Welcome to my blog!

I started this blog to share the ups and downs of real life. The good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the mundane, the insane...you get the picture. Why??? For no other purpose than to encourage others who are raising a family, going through the ups and downs of life, letting you know you are not alone, and that we are not all epic failures for having a life that is not perfect!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Randy Newman - Feels Like Home

Feels Like Home to Me

There are so many sayings and songs about home, home sweet home, no place like home, home for the holidays, the list goes on. And songs too, like "Sweet Home Alabama", and "I'm Goin' Home", "I'll Be Home for Christmas". The list goes on. Let me ask this- is home really a place? Is it a location? For me, it is a feeling.

A while back, when I was going through on of the darkest times of my life, and one of the most lonely times as well, I remember the only place I felt safe, secure, somewhat whole, was home. But it wasn't at my house- it was wherever my wife, and my kids and myself were all together. Whether it was home, church (we spent alot of time there in those days trying to find answers), at our family's houses, with friends, whatever, I was fine, as long as my kids were all there, and my wife was by my side. I was home. My wife and I had the most loving, supportive, caring friends anyone could ask for, but even if I was with them, and away from my kids, I was lonely. They weren't home for me.

And even in the times when I was on my face, crying out to God for help to ease the pain of an unimaginable loss, it still didn't give me the comfort I had when I was home. Even through the most exhausting times when we weren't sure my father was going to make it through another surgery, or when I was going through my own health issues, and spent almost a week in the hospital, my comfort was knowing that once I was back with my family, I was home.

See, it's the comfort of being able to hug someone who has unconditional love for you, even if you've just punished them, or argued with them. It's the feeling you get when you see your kids smile and laugh. And when you're hurting, or they're hurting, a touch, a comforting word, or just holding each other, heals the heart. When we lost our daughter before Emma, we did alot of that. I remember one night after Emily had come home from the hospital, and the kids were in bed, I was doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. That's when I cried, and grieved the losses we had. Nathan, our middle son, who is also our most sensitive and loving, came up behind me, held my hand, and said "Daddy, I can sit up and cry with you.". And he did. He was 6, almost 7. I was home. There is a song by Randy Newman, called "Feels Like Home". I posted it on facebook, and here as well. Listen to it, and I hope you all can go to that place that is home for you. Be well!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beauty and the Beasts

So, having three boys has been great! Camping, fishing, rough housing, (ya know, pillow fights, wrestling, kix cereal wars- the kids where ya load your mouth full of them and spit them out like a machine gun-good fun, ask Emily!!!) Boys are easy- keep them busy! When you are going out in public, make sure they are dressed ok, and that they don't smell, well, like boys! I mean there are very valuable identities you have to pass on, and valuable traits and lessons you have to teach them, but overall, boys are straight forward creatures. We had it all figured out- then came Emma.

She is truly a beauty among beasts! Even now at this young age, she has a need, a desire to feel pretty, and have other people tell her she's pretty and make a big deal out of it. She can be rough and tumble when she is playing around the boys, but when you put a dress on her, her whole attitude changes. She ever walks differently. This past weekend we were getting ready to go out, and she picked out her dress, her shoes, had to have her toenails and fingernails painted, and it dawned on me. I suddenly had such an understanding of a basic need that every woman has had since the beginning of time- to feel beautiful. The issue I have is that we must as parents, as husbands, as brothers, and MEN, make women feel beautiful, not for their physical appearance, but for who they are. Media, TV, magazines, etc...they do quite a job making girls from such a young age feel inadequate. I don't have the answers to this dilemma, but I do have such a better understanding of it now, being a parent of a little girl, who is perhaps the most beautiful thing God has blessed me with in this life.

So, after you read this, find something beautiful about your wife, your mother, your sister, your daughter, and tell them. Tell them they are beautiful, for that. Tell them they will always be a beauty among beasts!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Here we are! The Howe family. I'm Jim (in the hat and sunglasses), my wife Emily, My oldest son JB, (he's 13) is holding our youngest, Emma. (she's almost 2). In the orange shirt is our 10 year old son Nathaniel, and in the striped shirt is our youngest son, Aiden, and he is 7. As you may have guessed, we have our hands full. We're pretty young parents (32), we had our first child young, which presented challenges we'll discuss later. We've encountered struggles along the way, experienced amazing blessings, abundant joy, some heartache, and discovered a true faith. This is the journey we'll share with you throughout this blog. You'll hear from my wife sometimes, and from the kids too. We are by no means a perfect family, and we will never claim to be, but we are probably the most real family you'll meet. Life is messy-it's not perfect. Struggles aren't a sign of weakness. Coming through them together, and in tact, is a sign of strength. It's our hope that through our stories, our victories, and our lessons learned, others can be encouraged. You'll laugh with us, might even shed a tear or two. Welcome to our life-just less perfect!