Tag Archive: love

Pace

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We sat in the chair together, Max beside the just decorated Christmas tree, watching movies. You ate a popsicle – and then leftover tater-tots from lunch, your knees… Continue reading

Happy 6th Birthday Max and Kate!

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve told people often over the years that I never really saw God in my life until I first saw you Izzy. I believed long before that, but… Continue reading

A Pirate Looks at 40

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I turned 40 a few days ago. Someone asked me how I feel about it; I’ve been thinking about that question ever since. I’m not sure – I guess… Continue reading

Why I decided to go back to school after 15 years

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s been nearly a year and a half since I finally took that big step, a flying leap really, into the unknown. A leap of faith – across… Continue reading

Homework

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Homework is hard when you’re 5 and when you’re 10. We sit down at the table after cleaning the dinner dishes off and go through your homework. Actually… Continue reading

Rest, Power, and Possibility

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I took it easy this week. I rested Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday entirely and then went for a short swim on Wednesday. I kept it nice and easy… Continue reading

Seadragon of the Year

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You scooted over closer to me, shuffled your feet on the concrete floor, took a sip of the Sprite can, and hid behind it nervously. “I didn’t get… Continue reading

Freedom and the Art of Riding Without Training Wheels

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I watched you ride off, across the empty parking lot – through the waves of heat. You gave me a quick glance as you turned to come back,… Continue reading

The Lonely Pursuit of Significance

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wake up early. It never gets easier, but now my eyes usually open 10 minutes before the alarm on my phone sounds – be it 4:50am or… Continue reading

A simple life is lesson enough

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Someone asked me recently if I’m still writing letters to my kids. I tried to justify the fact that I’m just busier these days than I used to… Continue reading

Making the most of a short season

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I can still feel the pinch of the chlorine in bridge of my nose, that familiar smell of swim practice, tee shirt wet around the waist from riding… Continue reading

Graduation day: slow down, because time won’t.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I forgot to set the alarm on my phone last night. It normally startles me awake each morning at 5:00am. I woke up on my own at 5:04 in a… Continue reading

Victory

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I drew a line in the dirt with my foot. Dug my toe in. Then swept across it again with other foot – brushing the earth even. Standing… Continue reading

Swimming for daylight

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I left in the dark. Half asleep. Dangling my feet in the water flexing my ankles, pulling waves to the surface with my bony toes. Looking across the… Continue reading

Tee ball, Mules, and Chris LeDoux

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, After church on Sunday I helped you change into some “play clothes”, Max. I noticed that all of your blue jeans, excluding one pair, have holes in both… Continue reading

All at once; where do I start?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,  Here’s a letter I wrote to you a couple of days ago, but couldn’t muster the nerve to publish. Fear set in and as I told Mommy “the… Continue reading

Happy 15th anniversary

Karen, We met 16 years ago today. And 1 year later, we married. And today, Karen, I love you more than I did yesterday, and more than the day before, and the week,… Continue reading

The future; no matter what

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I purposely sat you in the back passenger seat – so that I could quickly glance back at you as we drove, Izzy. I took you to Nana… Continue reading

Rumpled. Exhausted. Wrinkled: Hyperbole and Parenting

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sometimes I think the hardest thing in life is getting a 5 year old dressed. Maybe that’s hyperbole. I don’t know. I’ve been through a lot of stuff… Continue reading

Empty cups and God: The life of a professional coffee drinker

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I went for a ride this morning. It’s beginning to warm up finally, but it was still cool enough for my winter cycling gear.  Before pulling out of… Continue reading

Chipotle Spaghetti

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, He used to walk in the front door – a smile on his face, his shirt and suit still freshly pressed, no dark circles under his eyes. She… Continue reading

The promise of spring

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, New ball gloves and under-hand tosses – the turning cheek of uncertainty grew more sure with each toss. I looked up at the sky, closed my eyes let… Continue reading

Telling my kids about Kurt Cobain

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It fell, drifted, slid almost silently across the cold tile floor covered with patchwork carpet remnants. Somehow I noticed the quiet fall of the poster from the wall… Continue reading

Happy Valentines Day 2014

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I found an old DVD in our bookcase a few days ago. Its labeled “Reception/Key West”. I showed it to Mommy and neither of us remembered exactly what… Continue reading

The Electric Horseman

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I sat with my hands over my face. Slowed my breathing, released slow. easy. breathes. felt hot tears fill the corners of my eyes, roll down my cheeks,… Continue reading

The Welcome Home Routine

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Tonight when I came home you three were sitting on the couch together. Scowls all around. Sometimes you 3 meet me at the door or even in the… Continue reading

The flu, bitterness, and baseball slumps

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I planned on starting the year off right. Start writing again. Start exercising again – moving towards something that resembled training eventually. And the hardest thing of all… Continue reading

New Years Day 2014

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I was asleep when the clock struck midnight on 2014. That’s generally been the way I’ve ushered in each new year for a decade or more. At one… Continue reading

Are you free? 5 lessons from Kate on how to be true to yourself.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve written to you a lot about being authentic; True to yourself even when the world doesn’t think you should. I’ve written to you about being relevant; Being… Continue reading

The Meaning of Christmas 2013

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’ve been passing around the “The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Lloyd-Jones in my men’s Friday morning Bible study. While last year I used Charlie Brown (actually Linus)… Continue reading

The Christmas Tree

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You wrote this poem last night Izzy. Thank you for the beautiful reminder (you’ve always had a way of keeping us centered). It made Mommy and I both… Continue reading

Count your blessings

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve read a lot lately about the divide between the rich and the poor. The habits of each. The divide that has always existed. And will always exist.… Continue reading

“Come look”

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,  Mommy ran into our room laughing this morning while I was dressing for work. “Come look,” she whispered. I love you, – Daddy  

Happy 5th birthday Max and Kate

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I sat alone in a cold empty hallway. A nurse left me sitting in a solitary chair outside a set of double doors.  “I’ll come back for you,”… Continue reading

Why recruiting matters

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had coffee recently with a guy I used to work with years ago. He admitted that he’s never understood guys like me. As he put it, “hardwired… Continue reading

Taking your 9 year old daughter to see Jack Johnson

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I put my arm around you Izzy. We sat in the balcony together while Mommy sat on the 2nd row. As the lights went down, you rose to… Continue reading

A Saturday nap on the couch

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I don’t nap. Ever. Unless it’s dark outside and past 8pm, I can’t sleep. In order to sleep I need complete darkness, complete silence, and a full day… Continue reading

How Revolution Changes Everything: Part 2

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I woke up this morning and fumbled for my phone to stop its 5am alarm. The room was still dark.  I set out for 6 slow miles before… Continue reading

Where writing comes from

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A new friend asked me today about writing. It forced me to think about my process. The lack of such of a thing. I reflected upon it as… Continue reading

Breathing still: a journal entry from the past in the present

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Here’s an  old journal entry I dug up from 1999. I wrote it one evening as the sun set over Bohicket Creek, on the Ace basin, John’s Island, SC.… Continue reading

Tales from the dinner table: Volume 4: We break things

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was just the three of us at home last night, Max and Kate. Mommy was teaching swimming lessons and Izzy was at church with a friend. I… Continue reading

With each 1st day of school

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’m struggling for words of late. Unfortunately that’s meant fewer letters to you kids. There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly it’s because life is good… Continue reading

Seagrove August 2013

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We walked on the beach in the dark. I put my feet in the water and looked across the black water. It rose against the horizon, the moon… Continue reading

How life should feel

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re at the beach again this week. We visit the beach twice each year. It’s important to us; a way to connect. A reset for the heart and… Continue reading

A flat stone sinking into the deep

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Your feet almost reach the foot-board of your bed now, Izzy. I don’t know why I noticed this recently. But as I passed by your room while gathering… Continue reading

A summer morning’s walk

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We walked down to the creek yesterday morning.  You asked to take your shoes off and walk in the shallow parts. I sat and watched from the grassy… Continue reading

Believe

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve never been the sort of believer who talks freely about hearing God’s voice. It always seemed so out there to me; like something people who are a… Continue reading

Freedom, joy, and High Cotton

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s been a hectic summer.  Odd work hours for both mommy and I, practices, bible school, always something these days. Several weeks ago we started a new family… Continue reading

Sometimes you have to choose

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Tuesday morning was a learning experience for me. Mommy and I decided to let you go to a birthday party sleepover on Monday night, Izzy; the night before… Continue reading

Learning to let go of control

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I woke at 4:30am  on Sunday – Father’s Day. I climbed on my bike at 5:15 and rode 43 miles. Mostly moderate-to-hard miles, feeling like the extra effort… Continue reading

Suffering,chocolate donuts and greatness

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I came across this old picture a few weeks ago at Nana and Papaw’s house. It’s from a cold evening in February 1993: McClellan Gymnasium on the University… Continue reading

Run with me

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, My biggest fear isn’t losing everything; it’s wasting this rare opportunity to change the direction of our life. I may never get the chance again to work with a… Continue reading

Fireflies

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Barefoot silhouettes small voices in whispers beneath the trees of our front yard. Hiding our house from the world. The same house that didn’t feel like enough not so long… Continue reading

200 years too late

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I didn’t want to run. I woke up and turned off my alarm that had yet to sound. I’m preprogrammed to wake up between 4:30-5:00am now.… Continue reading

Time to swim ashore

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, As the sun set into the Gulf I sat and considered the future. How one path leads to another and what’s behind you becomes overgrown sometimes and you… Continue reading

Team SP 5k for Oklahoma

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, In response to the tornado in Oklahoma I wanted to do something to help.  It’s a strange feeling being on vacation while so many are suffering. Mommy and… Continue reading

My favorite time of day

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate We’re having a blast on vacation. Each day is filled with hours on the beach, trips to the pool, sandcastles, boogie boarding, and holes dug to “all the… Continue reading

No ones keeping score

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I walked down to the beach alone.  I sat in the sand, digging my toes in, feeling the coolness of it’s depth – before the heat… Continue reading

The Leap

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I get emails and messages sometimes from other moms and dads who read my letters to you here on the blog. They often thank me for sharing my… Continue reading

3 Bugs in a Rug

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I woke up at 4:30 this morning and went for a swim. I’m starting what my coach calls a “transition week,” meaning I’m shifting from a week of… Continue reading

Meet Liz Lyles: mother of two, wife, and Ironman champion

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

Race week mantra: Chop wood, carry water

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wake up thinking about it. I try to put it out of my mind – focus on the tasks of the day, being present in the moment,… Continue reading

Tales from the dinner table: Simple prayers

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s been awhile since I’ve shared one of our dinner conversations with you. We put a lot of importance on family dinner time. Mommy has been teaching swimming… Continue reading

Handprints: how time passes

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Yesterday I held you, tired from fighting frail after the struggle a crackling of machines. Warm from your mother’s womb Softness of God nestling against my chest and… Continue reading

Clarity and Trust in the Texas hill country: Part II

PART II OF TRUST AND CLARITY IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY. READ PART I HERE. Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We drove straight to Salt Lick BBQ when we arrived. It didn’t disappoint.… Continue reading

Clarity and Trust in the Texas hill country: part 1

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Carolyn Horton handed me a pistol. “It’s scatter shot,” she said. “So you don’t need to have good aim, just point and shoot.” She walked back up the… Continue reading

Daddy, here’s a dollar

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, People don’t slow down often. I saw a guy cut across a median on the off ramp and slide 3 lanes over. That move motivated, I presume, because… Continue reading

Life is just a tire swing: Easter photos and potlucks

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great weekend! The sort of weekend that you hope for during the other five days of the week….filled with fun, love, and photo opps. It… Continue reading

Peaceful Easy Feeling

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Grandfather sent us this picture of you fishing beside the Pedernales River in Texas, Izzy. I stared at it for a long time. Different emotions overcame me as… Continue reading

Quiet beautiful pictures in our hearts and minds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Moments like this make life worth the struggles we sometimes face.  The quiet beautiful pictures we slow down to capture in our hearts and minds (and sometimes on… Continue reading

It feels so good feeling good again

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wrote to you a few days ago about some of the struggles I’ve been having with my health. At first the doctors called it an ulcer. When… Continue reading

Changes in Attitude

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The first 20 passed effortlessly. The first signs of spring allowed me to ride in bib shorts and a jersey rather than the layers I’ve been wrapping myself… Continue reading

Karen

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Life gets busy. We keep a hectic schedule at our house, between work, school, gymnastics, swim team, training, side projects, friends, family, etc. I’m not good at the… Continue reading

Amy Grant and Lady Gaga

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You kids couldn’t be more different. You’re each unique and special in your own way. You two girls have started playing together more lately as you’re getting older,… Continue reading

The Way I Take: One Twelve Media

Dear Izzy, Max ,and Kate, I heard a guy speak yesterday on the book of Job. As he made light of the Job’s trials I considered the path I’ve been following.  My life… Continue reading

Peeking into the cave

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had a rare Saturday with no training yesterday. Thanks to a quirk in my schedule I managed to get my workouts accomplished during the week, leaving me… Continue reading

Attitude is Everything

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I found this note in your “Izzy – Tall and Proud” envelope at home. It’s one of the many places you store your self-affirmations and life lessons that… Continue reading

How Revolution Changes Everything

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve changed. Sometimes you’ll hear that people don’t change; It’s just the circumstances around them. I’m not sure I believe that. Perhaps a little backstory is necessary if… Continue reading

A Chat with your Papaw: Eddie Nikazy

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This the 200th letter that I’ve written to you here. So I thought I would do something special. Your papaw, my dad, is a man of few words.… Continue reading

Kitchen dancing: Gettin’ down to the Grateful Dead

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Another installment in our “gettin down” series: Kate, my little hippy child, we just had an extended kitchen dance session to the Grateful Dead’s “Hard to Handle.” I… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong and Grace

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, They gathered together, as much as that’s possible, in our modern age of social media. Virtual torches and pitchforks lifted. Snarled expressions. A thirst for blood. When there’s… Continue reading

The meaning of Christmas

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I love you, – Daddy

Just One

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We  went to the grocery store after gymastics practice Monday night, Izzy. It’s a sort of daddy-daughter routine of ours, no matter how mundane it may be. I… Continue reading

A Children’s Book: The Girl and the Dog

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You often talk about growing up to be a chef and an artist, Izzy. But you spend the bulk of your free time writing. I find stories, notes,… Continue reading

The legend of ol’Grey Tooth

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, In the darkness, beyond shadow, and depths of night, there lived a creature known as ol’ Grey Tooth. He terrorized his sisters. And crept into his parents room… Continue reading

Tales from the dinner table: the trophy wife

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sitting around the dinner table at night is important to our family. We try to sit down everynight for dinner. Sometimes it’s a simple pizza or take out, but… Continue reading

Saturday morning ride

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I rode through the country this morning. The first grey, damp ride of the new training season. I passed a field of cows, moving slowly in the half… Continue reading

Raising Twins: what kind of cars do clowns drive?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few nights ago I took you two little ones to Pet Smart with me to get Coco the dogs nails trimmed. Seemingly simple trips always turn into… Continue reading

The first step: Why signing up for your next race makes all the difference

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The distance is nothing ; it is only the first step that is difficult. – Madame Marie du Deffand I stumbled upon this quote yesterday. I thought about… Continue reading

Watching the embers float away

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I spent Saturday night in the backwoods of Kentucky, sitting close to a bonfire, staring into the heat of it. I sat close. Close enough that I pulled… Continue reading

How my little girl plans to make sad people happy: Part 2

PART 1 Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wrote to you a few weeks ago about your sticker club, Izzy. You’ve continued collecting stickers and putting them in notebooks. I find them all… Continue reading

What Rocky Balboa taught me about self-worth

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The original Academy Award winning Rocky came out in 1976. I was 2 years old. The film and it’s sequels have been a part of my life as… Continue reading

The miles: how I covered 112 for preemies

* Part 2 of: 112 miles for Preemies Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I shuffled into our driveway, stepping from the road’s pavement to the crumbling aggregate rock. It’s separating, becoming gravel in… Continue reading

Room in the Inn

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I met Anthony last night. He writes poems in his notebook and recites them with passion for the words. He can feel the weight and the blessing of… Continue reading

He waited up

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I went to a visitation last night for a friend whose dad passed away. He had been sick for a long time. We stood in the funeral home,… Continue reading

Three Little Birds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You played in the leaves at Nana and Papaw’s house on Sunday. Took turns on the rope swing in the backyard. Watched several deer sneak into the yard,… Continue reading

112 miles for preemies

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, 500,000 babies are born early every year in the United States. In 2008 you were two of them, Max and Kate. You were 10 weeks early. That experience… Continue reading

Looking back it was so fast

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was only a two mile drive, so my car’s defroster was still working to reach the outer edges of the seasons first frost. I sat alone in… Continue reading

Simple things: the philosophy of Max

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve written to you before about how we take turns at the dinner table praying. Each of you get a few seconds to say your own prayer. It’s… Continue reading

Watching your child compete

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was your first real gymnastics meet, Izzy. You had been nervous for a week leading up to the meet. “What if I don’t do well on the… Continue reading

8 Ways to Relax

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I studied the trees. It’s fall and the colors are changing. Brilliant shades of orange, yellow, red, and purple. Several minutes passed as I stared and… Continue reading

Happy 4th birthday Max and Kate

Dear Max and Kate, Yesterday on my trail run I noticed the contrast between the blue of the sky and the changing fall colors of the trees. I considered how to describe the… Continue reading

A walk with my son

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Here’s something I wrote after taking Max and our dog for a walk on Sunday: ************** We went for a walk me and you and the dog. You… Continue reading

How my little girl plans to make sad people happy

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You’ve been collecting stickers, Izzy. All kinds. Big and small. Elaborate fuzzy glow in the dark stickers and simple stars. You spend hours putting them in books. Yesterday… Continue reading

Hospitals and milkshakes

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You’ve been sick since Thursday, Kate. Your fever has peaked at 104.6. Mommy and I sit and watch you rest on the couch. And at night we sit… Continue reading

Why I didn’t race: Part 2

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, CONTINUED FROM PART I Learning to be still played a big role in why I didn’t go. After 20 weeks of training I stayed home, and missed the… Continue reading

Just part of it

Dear Max, I was awake. I rested there on my side, watching you sleeping fitfully. Shallow breathes. And each drawing gaps between your ribs. Retracting. We’ve been down this road before. The fear… Continue reading

Delights and Shadows: explaining poetry to an 8 year old

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few nights ago I sat on the edge of my bed reading. You came in and sat beside me, Izzy. “What are you doing, daddy?”, you said.… Continue reading

What do you want to be, Daddy?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We talk in circles at our dinner table. Sometimes we remember to pray. Taking turns. Mostly “thank you God” for this food, for my brother, for my sister,… Continue reading

The ocean never forgets

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was cold Sunday morning. I descended a hill on my bike.  The first sharp grip of fall around me, the first flush of warmth I’ve felt leaving my cheeks in… Continue reading

Storms and Hurricanes

Dear Karen, Storms and hurricanes could wash this all away, as long as I’ve got you I can take what life gives out. Make some faith out of some doubt…(ALO “Storms and Hurricanes”)… Continue reading

Family Heirlooms: Backyards and Adirondack Chairs

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Your papaw makes adirondack chairs in the driveway behind the house. He drags heavy saws and lumber out of the garage and uses his hands. He works into… Continue reading

Can love save us from ourselves?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sometimes I imagine the room they found him in. The sheer linen shades pulled across the windows. The sun coming through them creating soft white light across the… Continue reading

My birthday weekend

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We celebrated my 38th birthday this weekend. I took off from work on Friday to celebrate and go for a long ride. It was difficult to get out… Continue reading

What I’ve learned in 38 years: All streams flow into the sea

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ll be 38 on Sunday. And while 38 is far from “old”, it’s another year closer. Or farther away from youth, depending on the mood I’m in and… Continue reading

The problem with authenticity

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The problem with authenticity is that the world hates it. Most people, collectively, don’t want you to be you. They want you to be like them. That’s how… Continue reading

Parenting expert Dr. Meg Meeker on the athletic parent and raising athletic kids

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You know this by now, but Mommy and I aren’t perfect parents. Sometimes we need help. I was fortunate to be introduced to Dr. Meg Meeker several years… Continue reading

Across the Chasm: Writing letters to your kids

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I sat in my familiar spot on the front porch steps a few days ago watching you play. It was late in the afternoon. Past dinner. I gave… Continue reading

8 Ways To Be Content

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve been wrestling again. Not in a literal sense, thankfully. My body has long been too old for that. I’ve been wrestling with contentment. As I inch closer… Continue reading

Somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I couldn’t help myself. A few days ago I sat and listened to two women on the playground, about my age, talking… Continue reading

Izzy’s big day at the Vaco Kids Triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max and Kate, You did the Vaco kids tri again this year, Izzy. Our friends from Team Magic put on the race in Brentwood, TN at the Maryland Farms YMCA. We… Continue reading

Bare feet on the kitchen floor, the sound of waves, and 3rd grade

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Mommy and I sat alone on the beach on the last day of vacation. She talked to me about the sound of waves. I’ve thought about it since,… Continue reading

How Becky Lavelle turned tragedy into hope and inspiration

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

Why we dream big by the ocean: First day or Last?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We just spent a week in SeaGrove, FL. More than any other trip we’ve taken I made time to spend quiet hours alone or with just Mommy on the beach.… Continue reading

The Horizon, driftwood, and triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re back at Seagrove Beach, Florida this week. It’s our 2nd trip to the beach this summer. You kids are having a blast with your cousins. I remember… Continue reading

[Part 2] Why leading a blind athlete through a triathlon changed my life

* Continued from Part 1 Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, My alarm sounded at 4:45am on Sunday morning. I think I was already awake. I had fallen asleep thinking about swimming into darkness,… Continue reading

Twins: the small moments are worth all of the challenges

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve written to you often about how challenging it is raising twins. Especially twin 3 year olds. Thank goodness for you, Izzy. You’re such a big help. I… Continue reading

Triathlon and The Endless Summer

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I was tired Sunday night. I did a long ride that morning and the rest of the day was full of activities, including the VBS closing celebration at… Continue reading

Your children live by the example you set

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A lot is made in life of leadership. You’ll hear people talk about being leaders in various ways. Here are the three that come to mind immediately: Leading… Continue reading

Don’t be afraid of your reflection

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I took this picture yesterday while I was sitting on the front porch watching you kids play. I was thinking about other things, but casually watching you play… Continue reading

Fathers Day 2012: A letter from your mommy

GUEST POST BY KAREN NIKAZY – YOUR MOMMY. SHE WROTE THIS YESTERDAY ON FATHER’S DAY, BUT WE GOT SO BUSY THAT IT’S A DAY LATE. SUCH IS LIFE. Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,… Continue reading

What I learned by taking my 8 year old to a Jimmy Buffett concert

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last weekend we took you to your first Buffett concert, Izzy. You’ve been a little Parrothead since you were a baby. Since you were old enough to talk really. We… Continue reading

Meet Gordo Byrn: Ultraman world champion, multisport philosopher, and dad

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

One Wobbly Wheel

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few nights ago a neighbor pulled into our driveway to drop off one of your friends, Izzy. As usual our yard and driveway were full of toys,… Continue reading

The first time I failed as a father

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Ok, so it wasn’t the “first time I failed”, but it felt like it. 8 years ago when you were born Izzy I swore to you that I’d… Continue reading

My little girls

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Lately I’ve been explaining my letters to you to a lot of people. They’re curious about why and how I thought to do this. My explanation has usually… Continue reading

Nothing says “I love you” like a front headlock

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last night I had the pleasure of interviewing professional Xterra triathlete Craig Evans and meeting his family. It was my first video interview. I’ll post it here in… Continue reading

Starting over

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great vacation at Sea Grove Beach, FL.  I hope you kids never forget going on vacation with your grand parents. One day you’ll realize how… Continue reading

Desperate, like the last day of vacation

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Yesterday I woke up with a sense of desperation. I dreaded Friday all week. Occasionally throughout our fun filled week at the beach, I would think about it,… Continue reading

Vacation before and after photos

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re still on vacation and you kids are having a blast! I wanted to take just a second and show you your daily progression: Before beach, pool, cookies,… Continue reading

Shallow enough for you to touch

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re at the beach this week with Nana and Papaw. Right now it’s 9:00pm and you 3 are sound asleep on the couch after a long day at… Continue reading

Starting lines and finish lines: How to be Grateful

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Here’s my confession: I haven’t run a step or biked a mile since Rev3 Knoxville two weeks ago. I’m going a little stir-crazy. I took the normal week… Continue reading

Right Now

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I slept in a little. For me that means 6:30AM. As I made my way down the hall, I could hear faint noises coming from your… Continue reading

Charleston

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Here’s a little thing I wrote sometime in 2001, a couple of years after moving back to Tennessee from South Carolina. I wrote alot back then. I still… Continue reading

Fatherhood and Courage

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I heard Pastor Steve Berger talk about “courage” as Christians and the power that we have as believers to summon courage in our lives. Steve said… Continue reading

Sneak attack

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, One of my favorite things about mommy being a stay at home mom is that she keeps me updated on the daily happenings with you kids. Sometimes it’s… Continue reading

6 ‘o’clock Medicine

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Yesterday was one of those days when nothing was particularly bad, but nothing was particularly good either. My attitude wasn’t great yesterday. I’m tired from training alot. Unfortunately… Continue reading

Twins: dispute and resolution in two pictures

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This sort of drama plays out daily in our house. A quick spat, a tantrum, and mercifully a quick resolution, accompanied by a half choke half bear hug… Continue reading

Happy Anniversary Karen:13 years in 13 pictures

Dear Karen, Happy 13th anniversary. I love you. Here’s a recap of the first 13. We met on March 27th, 1998 in Murfreesboro, TN. 3 months later we were engaged and planned the… Continue reading