Photo Friday!

I see this mural on the side of a carniceria, or meat market, every morning on the drive to work.

This photo is begging for you to write a caption in the comments section!

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Being a Stay-at-home-dad

1Please welcome Nickie Altamirano, a stay-at-home dad and Denver-area portrait-photographer and wildlife-landscape-photographer-extraordinaire. Needless to say this is a big moment for me not just because he’s my first guest blogger, but also because this guest blogger happens to be my husband!

 

Here’s Nickie on being a stay-at-home-dad:

Early on in our marriage, we chose that we would sacrifice whatever was necessary in order for one of us to stay at home full time with our children. When Stacey, my wife, had our first daughter, I had just graduated from college and she had a stable, full-time job as a teacher, so it only made sense for her to go back to work and me stay home. It was what worked for us at the time and was the smartest move. It’s now been almost 4 years, and I am still a SAHD and Stacey is still teaching full time and it is still what works best for our family.

It’s not always been easy though…

Being a “stay at home dad” is the hardest thing these days. It’s not hard for me because of everything I have to do. Like feeding Lore, changing diapers, making sure Sofie is fed too, keeping the house clean, doing laundry, making lunches, helping them when they are sick, comforting Lore when she is teething…you see the point.

What is the hardest is, the stereotype I have to break. Not too many people understand why Stacey and I chose this family dynamic. Many think I am lazy and chose the easy way out. I even had a person tell me I wasn’t a man because I wasn’t the “bread winner”…so I tell to all those who have never experienced “being a stay at home dad”…don’t be quick to judge. Think twice about it before you say “being a stay at home parent is easy“.

I thank my wife, Stacey, every day for making huge sacrifices for our family because you can’t even imagine everything she does either.

So, lets all be a bit more understanding. I love staying home with my daughters and it is a honor every day I get to do it.

Crochet away!

Fall is upon us and so it is time to begin crocheting scarves again. Here’s a pic of the very beginning of a fall-colors-inspired infinity scarf. More to come as I make more progress…promise!

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WordPress iPad App Tutorial #6

WordPress iPad tutorialsHere is the sixth tutorial in the “WordPress iPad app” series:

Adding a Header (image) to your WordPress blog on the iPad app:

Adding a header image to your blog adds characters and personalizes it. This tutorial shows you how to add a header image to your blog.

WordPress iPad App Tutorial #5

WordPress iPad tutorialsHere is the fifth tutorial in the “WordPress iPad app” series:

Changing your WordPress Site Title on the iPad app:

When you create your WordPress blog, the default Site Title is your username. Usually, people want to change that to their actual site title. This tutorial shows you how to do that along with adding a tagline.

Road Trip

Such a great day for a road trip!

Beautiful Fall Colors

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WordPress iPad App Tutorial #4

Here is the fourth tutorial in the “WordPress iPad app” series:

WordPress iPad tutorialsCreating your “About Me” page on the WordPress iPad App

The World Needs More Hugs

1I’m just going to lay it all out there…I like hugs. Hugs are just…well…they’re nice! I like hugging my husband, my daughters, friends, people in general.  Growing up in the Southern US, hugs were a part of a typical greeting and the intensity of the hug communicated how excited you were to see that person.

After moving away from where I grew up, suddenly it felt like hugs aren’t quite expected or normal to give to everyone. I feel SUPER awkward sometimes  when I go to hug someone and they just stand there and say “hi”. When they extend their hand for a handshake makes it even weirder.

There’s some really powerful research about hugs and the impact it has on our physical, mental and emotional health and overall well-being. Research shows that people need at least 4 positive touches (a hug, hand shake, hi-five, pat on the shoulder, etc…) for survival, 8 positive touches for maintenance, and 12 positive touches for growth. How many positive touches a day do you give and/or receive?

Research shows that hugs can:

  • Make you feel good (duh!)
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Alleviate fears
  • Be good for your heart
  • Decrease loneliness
  • Relieve stress
  • Build trust in relationships
  • Have better memory recall
  • Boosts your Self-Esteem

So if hugging can do all these things, then why not have more of it in our life?

Take this guy for example…this guy obviously understands the importance of hugging and has made it his mission to spread the benefits of it to total strangers:

So here’s my challenge–if you share this sentiment with me, then go hug a person. You may just make their day. If you’re one of those that either doesn’t like to or you just don’t think about it…put yourself out there and give a hug…the person you hug may be the one who really needs it. Either way, it’s a win-win situation!

Check out these interesting reads on hugs and positive touches:

7 Reasons Why We Should be Giving More Hugs

Oxytocin: Go Out and Touch Someone

10 Reasons Why We Need at Least 8 Hugs a Day

Hands On Research: The Science of Touch

WordPress iPad App Tutorial #3

WordPress iPad tutorialsHere is the third tutorial in the “WordPress iPad app” series:

Inserting a Photo into a Blog Post on the WordPress iPad app

In this tutorial, I show you how to insert a photo into a post.

Reflecting on the Excess

I was thinking about the post I wrote about getting rid of excess and I realized that that whole process has had a bigger impact on me than I thought.

For far too long, I’ve been basing my value on the quantity and quality of the things I own. For far too long, I’ve found my self-worth in my things rather than in myself and my faith and most importantly, how God sees me.

As a result of getting rid of so much excess in my life, you could say I’ve been ridding myself of self-excess. Since getting rid of things I don’t need anymore, I’ve started valuing other things more like:

  • relationships with friends and family
  • seeking out and spending quality time with friends
  • actually enjoying the little moments and seconds that make up the minutes and hours of each day
  • spending less time thinking about accumulating more stuff and instead savoring every moment and trying to live life to the fullest
  • Instead of worrying about my wants being fulfilled, I realize my needs already have been and I try to spend more time lending a helping hand to those around me (this year I really want to stop wasting my “free” time and instead spend it on helping people)
  • new and strengthened friendships with co-workers
  • really be THERE and in the moment for my daughters and husband

It’s astounding how I’ve changed (at least to me it feels like it) since I’ve started this endeavor to rid my life of excess. It feels sorta like when I lost 50+ pounds in 2011…one day I suddenly noticed that I didn’t feel so weighed down anymore. This is like an emotional and mental process of “loosing weight”…I’ve freed up the space that I wasted with all my junk (especially time that I’ve wasted) that now I can fill it with other worthwhile endeavors (like helping others).

So my challenge remains the same…find the excess in your life and try to find a way to rid yourself of it. Look at the physical things you own and the way you spend your time. We are so used to excess that it’s scary to think of getting rid of it…just do it though. You’ll find that you never needed that stuff anyway and you’re better off without it bogging you down.

 

To refresh your memory:

Getting rid of excess

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