February 26, 2014

To the Lady in Aisle 12

You don't know me, but I sure as heck know who you are.

I was walking through the grocery store picking up all kinds of food that my kids won't eat and will most likely rot in my refrigerator in the next week.  Judging by your mountain of organic and all natural foods in your cart, you were most likely doing the same.  I had just picked up three dozen eggs and was heading to find the rice and that's when you came into my life.

I was checking Facebook and Twitter like I always do, not really paying attention to where I was going but in the middle of aisle 12, you moved out of the way for me.  I can't even begin to tell you what that act of selflessness means to me.  I could have crashed right into and and cracked my eggs, but instead I was able to find the right kind of rice completely unscathed.  It's people like you that make this world a better place.

This picture has nothing to do with this post
While I am at it, I would like to thank the lady on the airplane that will one day give up her seat so I can sit across the aisle from my family.  My wife does all the work on the plane with the kids, but because of you, I can sleep near them with my headphones on.  Perhaps it will make it easier when one of the kids needs to go to the bathroom just as the plane is starting to touchdown.

I would also like to thank the guy at the post office that is going to pick up my pen that I dropped.  The fact that I won't have bend down and pick it up myself is something that I will forever be grateful for.  I would hate for that to be the moment when my back goes out, so you saved me from a lifetime of chronic back pains and I can't thank you enough.

There are others as well.

To the guy that will hold the door for me as I am half a mile across the parking lot I say, God bless you.  I probably should walk a little faster and since you are holding the door, I will.  I don't know how you see me all the way over by the Friendly's but I am so thankful that you do.  The fact that there is an automatic door right next to the door that you are holding means nothing to me.  You sir are a gentleman.

To the people writing open letters to strangers I salute you.  You will probably never meet that person again and they will go completely unnoticed because nobody else knows who the heck they are, but who cares.  Your letters give us all a sense that there are nice people in this world.  Or at the very least your letters let us know that you can't just offer up a simple "Thank you" to someone and be done with it.

Who exactly are we trying to draw attention to?

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


February 20, 2014

Disney… Still the One

They probably won't remember this trip, but we will

My kids are spoiled rotten.

They have been to Disney World more that most kids have ever been on vacation period.  We started them young; Tyler was around four months old and Carter was around three months at his first visit.  I'm not going to get into the whole nonsense about how our kids would never remember such a trip so why would we do such a thing.  Do we really think that an eight year old or a 10 year is going to look back some day when they are 50 and think so highly of the trip that they took to Disney 40 years prior?

Of course they aren't.

The trips when they were young were for their selfish parents who really enjoyed seeing the kids interact with the characters when they still gave a crap.  The excited looks from a three year old are way more amazing than they are from a nine year old who really hasn't watched anything Disney in the past couple of years.  He's probably excited, but he was more so five years ago.

But I digress, remember I wasn't going to go there.

I thought we hit a spell a couple of years ago where the boys could really care less about Disney.  Turns out it wasn't the case.  They had just outgrown certain things like TV shows and all of their toys, but as far as the parks were concerned, they still very much wanted to go.

Disney has been evolving for us.  The kids are getting bigger so they can go on more rides like Space Mountain and Splash Mountain and we don't need to go on rides like the highly overrated Goofy's Barnstormer anymore.  More and more of the rides in Hollywood Studios are accessible now and we don't have to go to any of the Disney Junior shows.  We used to have to sneak off and go on a lot of the rides by ourselves, but now we can ride most as a family. And that is pretty cool.

The excitement of the parks has changed over the years.  It's not so much about seeing the characters anymore as it is trading pins and finding Hidden Mickeys.  A lot of what we used to do, we no longer need to do because it just doesn't appeal to the boys anymore.  But there is so much more that does.

I don't know how long Disney will remain a part of our lives, but right now it's still the one.  

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


February 6, 2014

What was Dad 2.0?

The full meaning of Dad 2.0 (the annual dad conference held this year in New Orleans) didn't hit me until the morning after I arrived home.  I had a feeling going in that this would be a very beneficial event for my blog, my website, and for me as a dad.  I thought that maybe I would make some connections, meet up with the right people, and hopefully that would then turn into some sort of future relationships with brands, most notably Lego.

Image courtesy DesignerDaddy.com no idea who the lady is
While all of that was my initial my initial focus and something that I will have to wait and see on, when I got my first friend request on Facebook from someone who I met at the conference the next morning it really hit me.  This was a event that was so much more than I thought I was going to.  It wasn't about relationships with brands, or getting to know the RIGHT people.  It was about relationships with the people that were there. Namely the other dads.

I'd known some of these guys for a long time and had only met a few of them in person.  I met Aaron Gouveia and Jeff Bogle in Las Vegas, my wife and Lance Somerfeld's wife went to college together, and I first met Oren Miller at a Stay at Home Dads Convention in Washington DC.  Everyone else, I have only known them by looking at pictures of them online or reading their blogs.

That's not to say I didn't know them at all.  Far from it.  You get to know a lot about a person when they pour their heart and soul into a blog post every single day.  I had an emotional attachment to a lot of these guys, it's just that I had never met them in person.  My wife jokes that everyone that I have ever met online isn't real.  I couldn't possibly develop a connection with someone without ever actually talking to them face to face. That couldn't be farther from the truth. I didn't know these guys, but I knew them.

Ever have a reunion with people that you've never met?  Ever walk into a room of strangers and know every single person there?

THAT to me was Dad 2.0.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


February 2, 2014

The Touchdown Dance

Congratualtions, you just scored a touchdown!

Now what?  Personally I don't care for the over the top celebrations you see nowadays. The way I see it, you should act like you've been there and and that you are coming back for more.  When you start dancing you are making the moment about you, and not the ten other guys that helped to get you there.

It's something I've stressed with my kids… but it's not easy.

Carter is by all accounts the best player on his flag football scoring 15 touchdowns and being a threat to go the distance every time he touched the ball.  But what did he do when he scored?  He gave the ball to the ref.      

While I don't care for it, the touchdown dance has been around as long people have been scoring touchdowns.  Whether it's the Ickey Shuffle, the Lambeau Leap, or something stupid that Terrell Owens comes up with, players have been celebrating the score in some very unique ways.

What is your Touchdown dance?

StubHub wants you to share yours with them by entering their StubHub Touchdown Dance Contest.  All you have to do is post a video of you doing your dance on Vine, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube using the hashtag #StubHubTD.  One lucky winner will win a trip to next years Big Game in Arizona. There is no purchase necessary to enter and the contest runs through February 3rd. Dance away.

Since I don't dance, here is Carters.  He's just never allowed to do it in a game.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of StubHub.  All opinions and expressions are my own

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?