And so the new year begins - 2015! What a year this will be:
In January I will get the opportunity to speak at a marriage retreat for couples who have a child with a disability. I'll get to continue my education with the Partners in Policymaking class that I've been enrolled in. I'll start my 6th semester as a professor at OC and get to hang out with some of my favorite people, my students.
In February I will celebrate 37 years of my beautiful wife being alive. I will celebrate Valentines Day with my little princess at the annual Princess Tea. I'll hopefully watch Peyton Manning and the Broncos avenge last year's SuperBowl loss. I'll speak at the church that gave me my first job on Resilient Fathers, Resilient Families.
In March, I'll watch and cheer on my students in like my 30th strait Spring Sing show. I'll spend some great time with my family on Spring Break. I'll get a big Dr. Pepper and some wings and enjoy a little Madness.
In April, I'll continue the madness and hopefully ring in yet another Kansas National Championship. I'll shed some tears and send away another graduating class from our Psych and Family Science department with pride in my heart and confidence that they'll be excellent in our fields.
In May, I'll teach my first summer course. I'll celebrate my baby sister's 31st birthday. I'll go to my in-law's house on Grand Lake and catch some bass. I'll spend some great quality time with my daughter as she will leave childcare this summer to get ready for Kindergarten.
This summer I will go home and celebrate my 20 year high school reunion with some very dear friends.
In June, I'll celebrate 2 years of life with my hero, Josiah Matthew. I'll cry thinking about all we've been through, and I'll smile thinking about all that is to come. I'll spend some more time with Lydia, and probably get some wood-working done.
In July, I'll celebrate my own birthday (38 years - wow). I'll load up in a car with my buddy Gabe and head off to one of my favorite places on earth. I'll spend an entire week at Green Valley Bible Camp with people who raised me, and with kids that I'm helping to raise myself. It will be my 27th straight year.
In August, I'll begin my 4th year as a professor at OC. I'll teach all family science courses for the first time. I'll think about my buddy, my son's namesake who will celebrate his 38th birthday just a few short weeks after mine. I'll send my beautiful young daughter off to school for the first time. I know I'll cry, but I'll be so proud of her.
In September, I'll spend precious time with my Hamlin family at our third biannual Hamlin Family Reunion. We'll remember those who have passed from us and celebrate the amazing legacy they have left behind. I'll hug on my Uncle Dick and Aunt Cheryl's necks and let them know how very much I love them.
In October, I'll be swamped with school work and enjoying every minute of it. But, I'll complain anyway. I'll get to pick out which superheroes my kids will be for Halloween this year. I'll go trick or treating with them and steal most of their candy when they sleep. I'll even try to sweet talk Lisa into buying a Super Girl outfit.
In November, I'll celebrate the birthdays of both of my parents, Dad will be 63 and Mom 61. I'll go to Canada for the first time to be a part of the annual NCFR conference with my colleagues and friends. I'll get to celebrate my favorite holiday with my family and even though I make fun of it, I'll secretly enjoy our ever-growing circle of thanks.
In December, I'll finish up another semester of school. I'll again celebrate family, friends, and my Savior. I'll give gifts and receive gifts. I'll leave cookies out for Santa, and wake up early to see if he ate them. He will! I'll watch football. I'll think what a great year 2015 has been and look forward to 2016.
In reality I have no idea what will happen in 2015. But, I do know this: I will strive to be better each day than I was the day before. I will attempt to cherish my wife and kids each day as if it were my last. I will do my best to let them know I love them. I will live hard and fast and enjoy every minute that I can. I will allow myself to step back, to relax, to feel. I will try to be angry less, and to listen more. I will pray for you and hope that you will do the same for me. I will not be ashamed to say I love you to anyone. I will strive celebrate each new morning of life by spending time with my God and I will celebrate each ending day by sharing devotional with my family. I'll do my best to be a great friend, an engaging professor, a humble child, a deserving husband, a super daddy, and a repentant sinner.
In short, it's this daddy's desire for us all to have a great 2015.
*Written in memory of Don Hamlin - I miss you Grandpa!*