New Years Day 2015

IzzySeagroveBeach

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

This photograph expresses our year better than I can with too many words. I get lost in it when I stare at it – in the blending of the sunset in warm sherbet colors and gently cooling sky, the depth and shadows and light of the waves, the foam of the shoreline’s blurred white sand and azure wash, the strands of sun-streaked hair being blown by the afternoon seabreeze, your tan line, and pendant necklace that reads “Faith”.

This what life feels like today as we transition from 14 to 15.

A long far away look at what you can not see, but can feel touching your toes and blowing through your hair just the same. The faint whisper of things to come far out at sea and the rolling never ending sound, like waves, of the past. In all, 2014 was a good year for our little family. As I’ve thought about this year-end-letter my mind kept returning to this image of you, Izzy.

It’s quiet. And warm. Peaceful. But mysterious all the same.

I raced 3 times this year: winning my age group at the Mule Kick 5k in April (my first open 5k in nearly 10 years), I set a new half-ironman personal record at Toughman Alabama in August going 5:25, and I finished my 2nd full marathon, and first since 2003, at Rocket Man Marathon in Huntsville this month – also a new PR in 3:45.

 

"That old man ain't gonna ride?!"

“That old man ain’t gonna ride?!”

finish at Toughman

finish at Toughman

Rocket Man Marathon

Rocket Man Marathon

 

It’s the first year in many years that my results weren’t disappointing. It reminds me that life is all interconnected. When I was unhappy in my work life it effected my athletic life. Now, settled into a career that makes me happier, my body is responding to the demands I place upon it.

Izzy, you continued to inspire us this year. You once again won the “Seadragon of the Year” award on your summer swim team. You received the “Caring” award at school for your dedication to caring for others above yourself. Your grades have you placed you in the accelerated groups at school in all subjects. You raced another triathlon this summer and won your age group! And your Excel year-round swim team results are amazing everyone. In your first year as a fully dedicated year-round swimmer you are winning races and getting close in every stroke to achieving Southeastern qualifying times. Your favorite past time remains the same: reading.

about to cross the finish line

about to cross the finish line

izzyanddaddy

I've never been a UT fan, but the color and the idea is growing on me. You look good in orange. You raced at TN's aquatic center with Excel in the fall

I’ve never been a UT fan, but the color and the idea is growing on me. You look good in orange. You raced at TN’s aquatic center with Excel in the fall

We had your 10th birthday party at the skating rink with 13 of your friends.

We had your 10th birthday party at the skating rink with 13 of your friends.

Max, you received the “Perseverance Award” at Kindergarten this year for your determination to learn. You played tee-ball in the spring.  You continue to delight your mommy with hugs and kisses at her every request. You delight me with your ruggedness and desire to test your strength against me. It’s that well-rounded personality that makes you a very special little boy. You’re still all-boy in your camoflage side panel cowboy boots.

photo (61)

at a Tractor pull, in the rain, back in the spring.

at a Tractor pull, in the rain, back in the spring.

MaxBike

Kate, you are a rainbow. Mommy and I are both convinced that you will one day be a comedian – or perhaps an artist or chef. Nothing has changed about you: you still march to your drummer, tell it like it is, and have your own unique style. You played tee ball with Max in the spring and are doing quiet well in Kindergarten.

kateatbreakfast

Kate: the Indian princess

Kate: the Indian princess

kateartdesk

We visited the beach twice again this year – in May with Nana and Papaw at Gulf Shores and in August at Seagrove Beach with Gramma and Grandfather. These trips to the beach continue to ground our family and allow us to reset our dreams.

I'm a lucky daddy.

I’m a lucky daddy.

3beachsunset

Mommy took me on a week long trip through the Keys for my 40th birthday. We hit them all and stayed on Hawk’s Cay.

We went to Sloppy Joes, another Hemingway spot, and one of my favorite places on earth, and spent some time remembering trips and events from our life together. One thing is for certain - your mommy knows me well and would do anything for me - and I for her. I hope you kids recognize that in your home if nothing else. We try so hard to be an example of what family was meant to be (though it's not that hard for us).

We went to Sloppy Joes and spent some time remembering trips and events from our life together. One thing is for certain – your mommy knows me well and would do anything for me – and I for her. I hope you kids recognize that in your home if nothing else. We try so hard to be an example of what family was meant to be (though it’s not that hard for us).

I finished the miniMBA program at Belmont. This was a big step for me since I finished my undergrad degree way back in 1999. It’s never too late to grow and get better.

2014 reflected that.

Like the photograph, we stand face to the seabreeze, eyes focused on the rising and falling translucent tide, a warm sunset stretched across the horizon.

I love you,

– Daddy

A few more images from 2014:

at Aunt Carolyn's cabin in Farragut - one of our favorite places.

at Aunt Carolyn’s cabin in Farragut – one of our favorite places.

50's day in Kindergarten

50’s day in Kindergarten

scarecrow day

scarecrow day

trouble

trouble

ready to tri!

ready to tri!

1st day of school 2014

1st day of school 2014

tee ball opening day

tee ball opening day

 

 READ NEW YEAR’S DAY POSTS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS:

2013

2014