u t h p s t r
in His grip, thankfully!


you can check out our little one at…


it’s been a really great day today hanging with dawn and ella.  i got to hold my little girl a lot!

pax: ty


everything is great this morning.  happy mommy, screaming hungry baby…

…and a few thoughts are running through my mind.

first is i’m overwhelmed at how precious, wonderful and beautiful my little girl is.  as i look at her and hold her, i’m amazed at how perfect she looks and how much love there is for this tiny little peanut. no regrets whatsoever that i didn’t get a boy.  not for a moment.  she’s more than i could have ever hoped for.  i prayed that she would be healthy and not ugly and she is so much more than not ugly, she’s amazingly beautiful.  because of this joy and wonder and love for her, it leads me to he next two things i’m thinking!

caring for her.  in a way i feel sorry for her because i will be a very concerned, protective and cautious daddy. this comes from a very loving yet nervous and dare i say “overprotective” mother.  it’s not that i couldn’t do anything, but mom usually ran a bit twitchy and cautious.  ask any family member about the time i was tied to a tree at age 5 so i wouldn’t wander off into lake tahoe. anyhow, i think i will now just start to understand why mom was like that and it was based on love.  i know i will be watching her like a hawk!  where are you going? who are you going with? will the parents be home? all of these questions will be common phrases in ella’s life!

protecting her will be huge too!  this is the kind of protection that might go to that deep, dark and ugly place inside of me if someone does something stupid with my little girl. what came to mind last night were the creeds, “you make my daughter cry, i make you bleed!” or “try and touch her and you’ll be pulling back a bloody stump!”  i have an uncle willis that had a talk with every boy that ever went out with my cousin doreen.  she loved dating, was a great person to go out with, lots of fun, was great at conversation but definitely not someone that would be naughty dating.  even though doreen would never have done anything dumb, uncle willis still met every boy and took them for “the walk” around the neighborhood before they could go out.  the talk on the walk was basically, you touch my daughter in a way that i wouldn’t appreciate, you lose a most precious body part.  i now can identify with that sentiment and will be looking for that good balance between dangerous and slightly crazy dad to put the “fear of God” into any boy that would even think about making a poor choice with my daughter.  i love how bill engvall the comedian puts it when he talked about his daughter and what he told boys. “i’m not afraid to go back to prison.”  because if my daughter is hurt, my life means nothing to me and you better run!

maybe this isn’t so pastoral, but there is the sensation of protection for this vulnerable and precious little girl that now is my job to watch over. sorry if that offended anyone, some of this is in jest, but the love and care that my emotions are full of right now also bring with them a healthy dose of psycho dad protectionism.  and i’m ok with that! just remember: don’t mess with my little girl, ever!

pax: ty


ladies and gentlemen, i have the honor and privilege to present to you for the very first time…

ella faith hogue


she is 6 lbs and 6 oz and 21 inches long.  she’s completely perfect and beautiful.  dawn is doing very well considering she’s had a c-section this morning.  actually she’s dozing off holding the baby.  it’s really unbelievable now that dawn and i are parents!  this little life is in our hands.  wow!

pax: ty


so, we are testing a local legend tonight.  the crazy horse chicken fajita burrito has been consumed by dawn.  lore and legend say that it induces labor. we’ll see if it’s true.

it was consumed by dawn at 5:45 pm eastern daylight savings time on monday, april 13th, 2009.

let the countdown begin!

pax: ty

ps. we also have a dr.’s appointment tomorrow morning that might tell us real scientific information.


well today is dawn’s due date for the baby…

…and nothing happening much yet.  we had a false alarm on friday afternoon/evening but nothing materialized.  she got down to 10 minute contractions and then sat down and they went away.  big bummer actually.  it would have been great to have a baby in our hands already. oh well, God knows the timing.

so know the hope is to wait until tomorrow.  dawn has an appointment with her dr. to see how she’s progressing and we’ll bring everything with us in case it’s time to have the little one.

so, it’s been 40 weeks of pregnancy today.  strange to think back about it all.  it feels like it went fast in some ways when you think it was just july when we found out.  and it feels like an eternity when you think how sick dawn has been and how miserable she’s felt for many of the weeks of her pregnancy.  at least this last week, our spring break, she’s been able to relax, feel really good and have fun scrap booking.  i’m happy that she had a stress free week.

now she’s cleaning up around the house and puttering like mad.  nesting in overload i guess!  maybe the baby will come today with all this work going on.  we might even bump it along by trying a local urban legend.  we might go to go to crazy horse tonight for a chicken burrito.  it’s “guaranteed” to bring baby into the world if you are past your due date.  maybe it will work if it is the due date too!

pax:  ty


a few days ago i posted about being a wee bit “pissy” about stuff in life.  usually [and thankfully] when i’m get this way it’s not that terribly long that it lasts and i can get back to normal. not that i’m that terribly normal.  yesterday after a great staff meeting with our youth ministry and anchor staff and some chinese buffet, i was able to grab my chainsaw and break a sweat out in the woods.  today before and after a “surprise” baby shower for us by the church staff i was also able to get out and cut away.

we’re working on creating a community garden behind church on some of the 14 acres of land we have.  so, my trusty stihl in hand i got to work outside cutting down some trees, cutting logs, trimming back branches and clearing out undergrowth.  i love spring break weeks where i can just get out and be physical and not have to think about much other than the job at hand.

it’s therapy with wood chips, splinters and two-stroke exhaust!  sweetness…

pax: ty


i don’t know what is with me this last week or so.  maybe i’ll attribute it to the baby coming and starting to stress out about if everything will be alright with dawn and the baby.  maybe it’s being sick of being cold and not seeing the sun. either way, i’ve been strange lately.

how you ask?

i feel like i’m a bit hyper-sensitive or a bit “pissy” or moody.

and i don’t like it.  things are setting me off, people are setting me off, things are setting me off.

not into any screaming tirades but just a bit of a funk and whining. [which i realize is what this post kinda is: whining!]  i just don’t like it and i’m hoping by seeing it in me and writing about it, that this process will start to help me change.  maybe the baby just needs to come and we can get on with living life in new ways with a baby in the house.

whatever it is, i just want to be happier and less pissy!

pax: ty


so did i just get pranked by my sister for april fools day?  i’ve been getting comments all day from my sister’s scrapbooking community on my blog post about dawn becoming a mommy.

actually it’s kind of touching. thanks for the great comments so far.  but since my sister was so kind to send the flood my way, i thought i might enlighten her friends a bit.

so ladies who migrate here from akotc, here are a few things you should know about my sister…

  • worked for an accountant for a number of years and then married one.  you would think she would be better at math because of that but obviously only really uses math now to figure out the discounts she gives on her kits.
  • drives a car bigger than my house.  not very pc or earth friendly, but the beast is useful to hold the girls and the in-n-out wrappers.
  • spelling and grammar challenged at times.  this one runs in the family i think because i have it too.
  • sings amazingly well. we both sang in church choir but her “mic” was on and mine was shut off i’m that bad. she could have kept being in choirs, could have been in a band, could have done some musical work, but never ran with it.  the down side to this is that she doesn’t sing any more. you should have at least started your own group like “his womenfolk”.  ask her about that!
  • hated getting picked on by her older brother. probably has a few scars and facial tics from it.  i don’t remember it being so bad.
  • has been and kinda still is a yuppy • preppy.  i wish i had some of the pictures on line of her back in high school.  very pretty, very put together, but amazingly preppy with her group of friends.
  • [this one throws her under the bus] sucking her palm!  yup, you read that right.  she didn’t suck her thumb but the center of her palm while she rubbed her middle finger back and forth across her nose.  it’s a hard one to picture but it was very funny looking and make an awful sucking sound. i wish i could demonstrate because you would be rolling on the ground laughing.  it was horrible.  especially when you have to share a room with your little sister because grandma and grandpa are in town sleeping in your bed for over a month and they are so strict that they don’t let you watch tv, eat candy or do anything fun.  oops, i digress.

well, that’s all for now.  i could come up with more, but i have a thank you dinner for our youth ministries tonight and need to be productive.

i love you laura, you’re an amazing sister!

pax: ty


so with the baby about three months away, i was thinking of some things i should let the baby know about mommy that would be beneficial to their future survival in the house.  so here are some of the things i can think of that will make their transition into our home easier and more productive…

  • mommy loves ice cream.  she can eat it three meals a day if i let her.  so if you’re ever in really big trouble, bring out the ice cream.
  • tickling is bad.  if mommy is tickled relentlessly she will start to kick with considerable force and not care if anyone is in the way or not.  also, with relentless tickling, she tends to stop breathing and you must let up a bit to let her catch her breath.  best tip, don’t tickle mom.
  • cuddling is a big plus.  hopping up on mommy’s lap and snuggling in will get you far.  it’s kinda hard for daddy to snuggle on her lap because i’m a bit too large and tend to crush mommy.
  • mommy procrastinates around the house.  so that means that we all have to pitch in to help clean up after ourselves, do laundry and help with meals.  it’s actually a good thing because it means everyone works to get things done and we get to cook what we like too.
  • chocolate.  the darker the better and combines very well in the ice cream category.  on the upside is that there will usually be some kinda chocolate in the house.  the downside is that if you have chocolate stashed in your room, mommy will probably sniff it out and take it.  then, she’ll probably lie about taking too.  mommy is not quite perfect.
  • scrapbooking.  this could be a whole post. i pray you are a boy because then all you have to do is once in awhile look at her progress.  if you’re a girl, we’re going to go broke.
  • hot showers are usually long for mommy.  this means cooler showers for us and more time getting ready before we go places.  if you wind up being a girl, it will mean daddy better get used to nothing but cold showers.  if you’re a boy, it means i’ll have someone to hang with while we wait for mommy.
  • games.  mommy [and daddy] loves to play games.  the farming game will be one we play a lot.  mommy likes to think she rules at this game, but daddy usually kicks her butt.  she does however usually win at racko and scrabble and loves it because it frustrates daddy because of her ridiculously unbelievable luck in those games.  not skill, but luck.  and oh, btw, don’t play mommy in monopoly. she cries when she looses so just stay away from the game.
  • books will be something you will be surrounded with.  your mom already has books she’s been saving for years to read to you, give you and she’ll be excited about introducing you to her favorite authors.  we’re going to have a real problem if you’re a boy because daddy’s going to have a hard time with you reading anne of green gables and the little house on the prairie books.
  • movies. this category will depend on if you’re a boy or girl.  if a girl, you’ll love mommy’s selection of chick flicks and old time movies.  if you’re a boy you can come downstairs with me and play my old xbox and watch my old war movies.
  • vacation will rock with mommy and daddy. it will consist of camping, hiking, fishing, museums, historical sites, national parks, road trips, historical markers, civil war sites, railroad trips, model train stores, scrap-booking stores, historical museums, historical forts, books and visiting family.  you may want to start thinking of friends you can go on vacation with as soon as possible.
  • lots of love. you will be unbelievably loved by your mommy [and daddy]. she has a huge heart, loves to laugh, will sit for hours and read to you, play games with you, be very patient, sneak you off for ice cream and be the best mommy you could ever dream of.  we don’t eat fish, aren’t really crazy about veggies and you’ll always be very, very loved.

well, that’s about it for now.  so learn and remember these and you’ll be just fine.  in case you’re wondering, daddy is amazingly cool and much more normal than mommy. i’ll be going to the basement to work on my model train now.

pax: daddy [ty]


this morning i’m grateful for the way God watches over us.  dawn was in an accident last night where someone hit her car from behind.  it could have been a much worse accident and i’m most grateful for the fact that she and the baby seem to be doing well.  we spend about 6 hours in the hosptial running tests to make sure there was no injury to the baby and that dawn wasn’t going to start any contractions.  now she’s staying home today to take it easy and she’s pretty sore and stiff.

we may not always think that God is watching over us and we may not always like the outcomes of  happening like accidents or illness, but God is tiall there, interceeding and caring for us.  so praise God that this morning i still have a wife and baby who are with me!

pax: ty

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