Happy Birthay Daddy!

Happy Birthday, Daddy! Today is my dad’s birthday and I just got home from his birthday party at Uncle Bud’s. he’s a shrimp and catfish lover!! Growing up at the beach, of course, seafood is just one of the major food groups, and we love it!

I am so blessed to have my daddy. I grew up walking in his shoes and his shadow in so many ways. He was an entrepreneur, who owned two video production companies, built houses in his “spare time,” and had MAD softball skills! In fact, I can’t remember sports not being a part of our life. Whether it was late nights with the Mustangs, or the LBC league, or watching Kipp & Kevin at Conway Tiger football games, or road trips to the Gator Bowl, Citrus Bowl, Sugar Bowl… You name it bowl! We went to and watched so many Atlanta Braves games, I wanted to change my name to Dale Murphy and when I realized that wasn’t going to happen, I was convinced I was going to marry him. I even considered ‘Murphy’ as a baby name

He taught me to throw, hit, pitch, spit, film, record, produce, direct, dance, fish, love, give and serve. Above all else, he taught me to stand up for what I believed in. Over the years, I’ve watched my dad serve so many even doing without himself.

The most precious time of his giving was what he gave me as a new mom. I’m not talking about the baby blanket he hand stitched in blue gingham almost identical to the one I had as a baby, using towels my granny had given me when I went off to college for the insides… THAT was the best material gift I have ever received. I’m talking about the time he gave.

As an aside, My OB/GYN Dr. “JT” Thomas, is an incredible man, has been my doctor for eleven years and became a very dear friend when he and his wife, Annie and I served together as Young Life leaders. There’s not a mom-to-be in this world that could ask for a better Doctor than JT. From explanations, to support, humor, and at the end of the day, just holding my hand and reassuring me that everything was going to be ok, he was an incredible leader and partner.

All that to say, there’s not really any advice he gave me, that I didn’t take and follow verbatim… Including nursing. don’t worry guys, this is not going to get graphic, I’m way too modest for that!!. What I will say is that some babies (ie. mine) consume more than certain women (ie. me) can keep up with and there are all sorts of exhausting rituals that can’t become a part of daily life in order to increase production.

Ok. That said. There were several weeks that I literally would wake up, pump, nurse, pump again and by the time my head reached my pillow, it was time to start all over again. Sleep was a joke I merely halucinated about. But, I wanted “the best” for my little guy.

It was a tough experience, but my dad was so determined to support me that he literally moved into my basement the week after Ethan was born.

By the time the first couple weeks passed, I was so exhausted my existence was almost a blur. I was on a rigorous “power pumping” schedule that left little time to rest. While the rest of the world slept, my dad would come to the nursery and feed Ethan his bottle while I pumped the next round, or supplemented with formula, cutting my “active” time in half.

He would rock and change and sing to him and quite honestly, if he hadn’t been here, I’m not so sure we both (Ethan & I) wouldn’t still be an exhausted mess.

My boyfriend at the time and his family were incredible, and there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for them. But, my daddy was right here with me, stinky diapers, breast pumps, outrageously expensive putrid formulas, lullabies, trips to walmart and all in the wee hours of the morning without hesitation. partially I’m sure because he was, and still is, completely enamored with his “little buddy” and got to spend alone time with him then but it was also the most support for me as well.

I was thinking earlier about all the mom’s that have no one to shared the load with. There are times when I have don’t every little and big thing on my own. If my dad hadn’t been there though, I’m pretty sure Ethan would’ve ONLY had pre-mixed formula those first 6 months! nothing wrong with that, its exactly what my mama gave me! 🙂

These last few years have been indescribably tough. I have been blessed to have my parents walking with me. I’m blessed to be surrounded by friends, brothers, sisters & mentors that have become a great source of spiritual and emotional strength. I’m also blessed that God allowed me to be born into one of the most incredible families. My mom & dad are phenomenal, and I would put The Martins & The Barnhills, up against ANY other family in America!

But what about those over 13.7 million single parents that don’t have that support?

What about the single mom with no family & a suicidal boyfriend to add in the mix.

What about those single moms that can’t get jobs because they have no childcare, but can’t afford childcare until they get a job!?

These are the moms, and dads, but most importantly, their children that I so passionately want to reach out to.

I’m definitely feeling the time crunch of only 9 days to go on this challenge, but I can tell you, this is only the beginning to my life long mission.

I have committed to living a better story & that’s a journey of a lifetime far beyond these 3 weeks!

Who do you know that will join us as we help over 21.8 million children being raised in single parent homes as well as the parents themselves, start a new chapter of their own!

For more specifics, visit www.kaciallen.com/21.html

9 Days… Starting Now!

nashvillewriter @live.com

http://www.kaciallen.com
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Please visit www.kaciallen.com/21.html to join us!

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