Heartbreak and friendship.

Three years ago my wife and I found out we had lost our son. A miss-carriage had taken my son Levi Yates and modern medicine could not explain it. Statistically it is comment with first pregnancies I was told. At least I was the mathematical average. Such a relief. 

I can pace every inch of the OR room. I could draw it out by memory if ever the need arose. My child would need to be medically removed. Such a fucking clinical verbiage that only MDs are comfortable with. My wife was wheeled into an operating room and I was left alone in a room full of instrumentation and the smell of bulk hand sanitizer. Anger and sadness filled me. I wanted to break the bones of someone responsible and yet there was no one…

As I sat fuming in this room I received an email. Who checks email at a time like this? Recently I had met a guy at a house warming party and his name was Matthew. A man I barely knew shared my pain and love for me in this digital age. He had been down this road and instantaneously we were brothers. My pal Matthew had been in basically my exact situation in years prior and offered his love and prayers. It meant the world to me. In a time that I was unsure about life and love a man that I barely knew reached out to save me. To offer his story and love in exchange for my pain. He shared his pain and confusion and somehow I felt at peace. 

I sat alone in a waiting room waiting on my wife to return while reading the emails from Matthew and his wife Amy. I am not a strong man when it comes to medical environments. The smell of a hospital makes me weak in the knees and the thoughts of IVs makes me faint. Somehow I felt triumphant. I could  defeat this demon that lay before me. I knew a man and woman that had walked this road and arose triumphant. Likewise I could do the same. I am the man that could/would outlive this bastard of a situation. 

To this day I am super thankful for the love and support of Matthew. He is one of the most loyal and supportive men I know. We are brothers on this road of life. We are both men of broken lives and families. We morn the lives of children we never had and yet celebrate our the children we are honored to hold and steward. Our Lord is one of redemption and love. He is victorious of death and the grace. This brings be great peace. 

*This post was written through tears and sorrow and I hope you excuse the grammar and typos.


Photographer Mike Belleme’s treehome outside Asheville, North Carolina.

(Reblogged from cabinporn)

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment… But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.

-Anton Ego, Ratatouille

My daughter is one year old and therefore I watch a lot of Disney and Dr. Seuss films. I love them. These films are entertaining and ooze wisdom and great life lessons. Recently while watching Ratatouille I heard the above quote and it stuck with me. It is easy to be a critic and usually the people who are actually busy doing, creating, learning, and moving forward do not have the time to critique others.

Happy Birthday Swoop

Today is the 28th birthday of my dear pal Walker Reed. Walker, or Swoop as I call him, has been a close friend since my freshmen year of college. In the now 8 years that I have know him he has shown me love, grace, rebuke, and encouragement. There is nobody in this world that I give more hell to than Walker, but I also expect more from him than most. You only hurt the ones you love… or something like that.

Post college lived together with some close friends in an old house we called The Shotgun. Walker would blare rock music throughout the house most afternoons, watch movies on my TV without permission, and on rainy Saturday mornings we would sit with the windows open and talk about life over coffee. I cherish those days so much that most mornings the smell of my coffee brings a longing to be back there. 

Though I never trusted him enough to ride my Italian motorcycle, I now trust Walker and his wife Kacie with my daughter. I am honored to know them both and to call them my friends and family. Here is to another year Swoop. I love you and I am honored to call you a life long friend.

26 things I have learned in 26 years

1. Never second guess your gut. You have those feelings for a reason.
2. Buy quality and only cry once.
3. No product can redeem terrible customer service.
4. Giving to others is one of the biggest gifts you can give to yourself
5. Put down your iPhone and interact with people. People are more interesting than the Internet (usually).
6. Marriage is hard work. If you don’t want to work hard, don’t get married.
7. Babies do not like when you multitask. Save the multitasking for when they sleep.
8. Changing diapers is really not that bad.
9. Monitor your finances but do not obsess over them. Money will become your god if you do.
10. While photos preserve memories do not be afraid to put down the camera and focus on making those memories.
11. Bourbon with good friends can restore your faith in humanity. Add campfire for increased restoration…
12. Reply to every email.
13. Talent without integrity and work ethic is useless.
14. Boots are fit for every occasion.
15. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
16. It is all who you know.
17. You are never too old for LEGOs.
18. Stop. Deep breathe. Then speak.
19. Wetwipes > Toilet Paper
20. Most luxury cars are leased.
21. You can never have too many pairs of socks or underwear.
22. Internet critics still live at home with their mom. Do not take them seriously.
23. Archive every email. You will need it if you delete it.
24. Never half-ass. Do something fully, completely and correctly or hire someone to.
25. Know your own limits.
26. How you spend your money will tell you what you ultimately care about (sighs).

Holidays with my family always involve firearms.

How did I create such a cute daughter?!?

Me and my daughter.

Photo creds to Christine LeGrand

(click the photo and check her site out)


Sol Duc Cabin designed by Olson Kundig and built in Olympic Peninsula, WA, 2011. Thank you Lloyd Alter at Treehugger for the tip.


(Reblogged from cabinporn)

I love upstate South Carolina.