Chi & Greg Show, 49th State, & World Refugee Day

FATHER’S DAY 2019

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These days, when baby gets a little bit squirmy, I’ll try and put my hand on Deanna’s belly, and it stops. Baby just holds still. Apparently daddy’s already the strict one in this good cop/bad cop shindig.

Also, this kiddo is the happiest little fetus I’ve seen. I actually never knew fetuses could smile until I saw our own hamming it up.

Today was a good one. I think a half dozen people at church greeted me with Happy Fathers Day and I guess I’ll start getting used to hearing that from here on out. I’ve wanted to be a dad for as long as I can remember. That made the past year of waiting and hoping all the more challenging. Now that baby’s in the on deck circle, it feels kind of surreal.

📸: Jesse - who knew I’d find use for these random solo shots during our maternity shoot!

CHI & GREG SHOW

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Y’ALL. Guess who I got to see play live yesterday? That’s right. Chi & Greg people!

If you know them, they need no intro. If you don’t, do check their music out right away and know that they’re also wonderful humans.

Good music makes you feel thankful to be alive. So do old friends. So does seeing people put their hearts into what they do. Last night was full of all of the above.

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WORK WITH HEART

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To me, there's nothing quite seeing somebody put their whole heart into their work. And it's cool how that looks so different for different people. I heard one of my boxing instructors talk about how much he loves teaching other people the sport because of the confidence it gave him as a kid wanting to protect his sister. I met an artist whose body of work almost entirely draws from notes on her grandmother's life. She expected that to last for a couple pieces, but then found that the well ran deep.

When your work matters to you like that, you do better work. People notice and want to join. Your drive becomes contagious and helps other people connect.

Khalil Gibran says that "work is love made visible." And I try to go back to that reminder a lot. Because it can get so easy to let the thing you do every day to send you into autopilot. You can sit down, get your hands busy, and let the muscle memory take over. But I keep seeing that my best work isn't in my hands, but my heart. And it begs to get out there.

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49TH STATE

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One of my top highlights from last week: sailing down the Snake River in a raft. Scored with some fantastic moose, beaver, and bald eagle sightings.

Wyoming officially marks my 49th State. One more trip to Alaska and I’ll be able to check off one really cool bucket list item I’ve had for a while.

The United States are massive. And they contain multitudes. So many diverse landscapes, so many different people groups. So many subcultures and ideas and lifestyles and worlds within worlds.

Diversity makes a place better, whether you’re talking about terrain or plants or people. It’s a good thing. To ignore diversity is to miss out on a real gift.

Feeling so thankful today for all the random meals and meetings and moments I’ve been able to spend with friends I’ve made in different states. Next stop? Hopefully Alaska!

WORLD REFUGEE DAY

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Today is #worldrefugeeday

Thinking about some of my friends who’ve had to flee across borders because of the threat of violence. Folks like Ah Jee are resilient! When you hear about what some refugees have gone through to get where they are today, it’s not pity you feel, but admiration. And so often we respond with either fear or indifference, and that’s just embarrassing.

I wish everybody had a chance to meet some of the people I’ve met who have this journey as a part of their story. I know that’s not exactly feasible, so here are a pair of my favorite ways to support refugees locally:

+ Support refugee owned businesses. I know some places that actually put together a full blown guide to where they are. I think there’s one in Atlanta. But wherever you live, you can probably at least search online for some great restaurants and retailers owned by refugees.

+ Look for local opportunities to participate with refugee supporting organizations. Some local orgs throw welcome parties at airports. Others offer tutoring opportunities. You’ll find your flavor somewhere!

+ Learn the facts and fight the stigma. Use human stories to encourage others to respond more empathically.

THE PURSUIT

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Good day! I’m loving this type mural I found hanging out in ATL a while back.

Andrew Solomon describes “that vital sense of purpose that is the opposite of depression.”

I don’t take that to mean that people who struggle with depression don’t have a sense of purpose, or that living with purpose makes you immune to that, but I do think having a guiding purpose is truly life-giving.

Purpose is an easy word to use without really thinking of its meaning. What’s that thing that you can’t NOT do? What are you just absolutely drawn to? What do you pursue and why does it matter? Start answering these questions and keep answering them!

For some reason, this is a pretty big deal to me. Life is too short to not have something you’re committed to doing during your time on Earth. I get excited when I see other people discover their pursuits, when they go after it with everything, and meet allies and score little victories along the way. It’s a beautiful path.

BACK FROM WYOMING

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I travel often, but not many of my trips are actually vacations– going somewhere with the main goal of getting some rest. Wyoming, though? That was for sure a vacation. How do I know? This first week back went by exxxxxtra slow!

Huge amounts of gratitude to my in laws for the whole week. It was such a generous treat to be able to spend some time with nature and nephews.

Now that I’m home, here are some of my favorite discoveries/lessons from the week:

🗺 The times when it’s hardest to take a break from work are often the times where your work will benefit the most from some time away.

🗺 The @nps has a really cool Junior Ranger program. I didn’t go to many as a kid, and I don’t go to many National Parks with kids until I joined my nephews, so this is a pretty recent discovery. But it’s a good one! We got a backpack full of scat guides, discovery checklists, and binoculars.

🗺 Medium sized tourist towns seem to have the best indie bookstores.

Also, enjoy this photo dump, but this is by no means the last of my Wyoming pics. The Tetons are a camera’s dream.

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Philippe Lazaro