Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Family Life

Play-Based Childhood

My first phone was the Motorola Razor. I vaguely remember getting it as I was entering my sophomore year of high school, but it could’ve been my freshman year. With its T9 keyboard, and limited minutes and messages each month, I don’t believe I used to all that much. I called my parents and friends, but I was nowhere near tethered to it. The original iPhone was released the summer of my freshman year of college. I was an adult, with a mostly formed brain, and received that phone as a gift shortly after launch.

The iPhone marked a fundamental reorganization of the childhood experience. My Razr had little function outside texting, which was arduous, and phone calls. The iPhone, and really the App Store that rolled out the following year, changed everything and no one thought twice.

There’s no argument that kids and teens face a harsh world today. There’s plenty of reason to be anxious and unsettled, but it’s always been that way. Nostalgia clouds the mind as we try to go backwards in time, but the reality is that every generation of young people has faced its share of existential challenges.

As the research continues to pour in, we’re learning more about the troubling drop in happiness among youth and its decline into despair. The last 18 years, an entire generation of children, have been involuntarily enrolled in a social experiment. The results of that experiment will be a burden they carry forward for the rest of their lives.

Childhood, adolescence, and puberty are critical in the development of rational, productive adults. These are the times when we safely learn the rules of living in community, we curiously explore what it means to be a person, and we come to understand our place in the world. For the last 18 years, our children have instead spent less time playing and learning, and more time sedately staring at a rectangle.

Now, as teens and young adults, they continue to stare at the rectangles. Predators and charlatans no longer have to go to the mall to hawk their ideas and wares; they’re right in our children’s laps. Through a steady diet of anger and fear, then conscript these kids into their virtual army, child soldiers fighting for the agenda of a person they’ve never met, ruining their lives and worldview while enriching their new generals.

Parenting is a whole-of-self endeavor and entirely exhausting. Between work, taking care of the house, and raising children, it’s no wonder many houses are a mess, we eat out more than we should, and parents’ physical health is largely neglected. But, like the best things in life, doing the hard thing counterintuitively brings satisfaction.

Giving our children their devices as on-demand babysitters is the easiest thing to do. Fighting for them, protecting their innocence, and giving them the gift of a play-based childhood, although objectively harder, is objectively the right thing to do. It’s the childhood they deserve, and the childhood that will prepare them to be happy and satisfied adults.

Heavenly Delights

On Saturday, my daughter, Felicity, received her First Holy Communion. It was a day that she’d looked forward to for months, and why wouldn’t she? Children are receptive to ideas that are hard for adults. It’s what makes them vulnerable, but sometimes vulnerability is a gift.Read Article

Breathing Room

Impulse shopping is really, really fun. There’s the enticement of an email, the excitement of a deal, and the endless possibilities that this next purchase will open up. Anticipation builds as the fulfillment and shipping process plays out and crescendos at the unboxing.Read Article


One of the false hopes that our psychology causes us to believe is that if we only had more, we’d be satisfied. If we only had that one more thing, a little more each paycheck, one more cookie, that’s all that we need. Regrettably and predictably, we get to that one more thing, only to find that the goalposts have moved.Read Article

Renew, Refresh

About this time, every year, Alison and I are bitten by the spring projects bug. There’s something elemental about it; I never see it coming, and it always just bubbles into my consciousness. Read Article


The Jewish people anticipate a great messianic return. Elijah tore off to Heaven on a chariot of fire, and he was merely a prophet! In ancient Israel, under the yoke of Roman occupation, the entire Jewish nation pined for the freedom the Messiah would bring and for the promise of the Covenant fulfilled.
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Fresh Start

With the house unpacked, and the children returned, today is our family’s fresh start. We are the same people, with the same jobs and school schedule, in a completely new environment. Read Article

Every Single Thing

We moved last week. Although I had the benefit of a whole crew to box up our home and relocate it, once the boxes were in the correct room, the crew left, and it was up to me. Read Article

New Beginnings

Growing up in a military family, moving was always a fact of life. Now with a family of my own, we’ve certainly moved a few times, but never like before.Read Article

Garage Doors

In my ideal world, our house would be clean all the time. Things pulled out for play would be put away, and I’d stay on top of the dishes in the kitchen and the bits of paper that always seem to float around. Read Article

Ski Trip

After a very, very long drive, today begins our family’s annual ski trip. It’s a much anticipated vacation, with the kids especially giddy about the break. Over the coming days, we’ll build our skills, play, and eat together with our extended family. Aunts and uncles will join us throughout the week, we’ll all share time with the kids, and hopefully there will be many pictures and great stories. Read Article

Silent Night

With last week's brutal winter weather came all sorts of inconveniences. Plans changed, businesses closed, and flights were cancelled. In a way, it was appropriate that this massive storm caused us all to pause in the closing weeks of the year. Read Article


Last Monday, just after breakfast this morning, my children gathered in our schoolroom at the sound of the bell. We stood together for morning prayer, and then my students took their seats at their desks to begin a new school year.Read Article

Parental Love

Our long holiday from democratic debate over one of the most contentious issues of our time appears to be ending. In the theme of this year, a return to reality is upon us. What’s so devastating is that we have to have this debate in the first place.Read Article

Faith Enrichment

The Catholic faith offers many wonderful experiences and expressions. Pilgrimages, devotionals, even listening to a great sermon. Yesterday was the feast of Corpus Christi and there may have been a Eucharistic Procession at your parish or in your town. Read Article


This is our first house with a fence. A simple wooden structure that encloses our backyard doesn’t seem like much. In fact, it was built years ago and no one ever stained it. To me, it provides a safe place to let the children run free while I supervise through the kitchen windows. To my kids, it’s the boundary around their kingdom.Read Article


There’s a truth that is never clear in the mind of a child: everything a parent does is for a reason. They rarely can see the bigger picture, so an individual request (command?) is easily resisted. They miss the love that is behind the guidance laid out by their parents.Read Article

The Family Home

Alison and I bought our first home last year. Leading up to the purchase, I failed to anticipate how much different ownership would make me feel. I figured it was a simple transaction in which we traded one house we were living in for another. I was so wrong.Read Article

A Day of Play

This weekend was pretty special. My father-in-law is in town for the week. He came for a visit and to assemble a playground for my kids in our new backyard. On Sunday, we came home from Mass and went outside to play for a bit and eat our lunch. We then stayed outside until dinner time.Read Article

A Week of Warmth

It was a week of snow and ice, sleet and freezing rain. It was a week of downed power lines, rolling blackouts, and water boil advisories. Not only that, but it was a week of blistering cold, scarce food, and misery. But in my house, it was a week of warmth.Read Article

Reading Together

Filling up every minute of the day with activity for my kids is a real struggle. My kids are always up for adventure or doing something new, but each day presents the same challenge. How can we spend our day in a way that allows my children to grow and me to thrive?Read Article


Certainly children are a gift from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb, a reward.

Psalm 127:5Read Article

Our Responsibility

Once or twice a month, I’ll take an hour or so on a Saturday afternoon to go to Confession. Occasionally, I’ll throw in an additional errand or two that is better done without the kids. For many of these outings, I’d spend my entire time away from home feeling guilty. I’d feel guilty about leaving my wife, who worked hard all week, alone to watch the kids. I was wrong to feel that way.Read Article

Opening the Domestic Church

The center of the daily life of the Church is the Eucharist, but it’s not the whole life. Most of us have been unable to physically access the Mass for the past several months, leading to great sorrow. In the midst of this suffering, we’ve experienced the beauty of opening the domestic church.Read Article

Contemplating Life

Change is on the horizon for my family. Later this summer, we’ll be welcoming our fourth child home. The Book of Psalms describes children as a “gift from God” and as “a reward.” As I watch these young lives blooming before my eyes in slow motion, I’m seeing the wisdom of the author.Read Article

Family Walks

When I was in high school, we had neighbors who went for a family walk almost every evening. The family of four, along with their dog, could reliably be seen moving slowly through the neighborhood after dinner. I presume that they spent those evening walks reflecting on their days and chewing on life’s big questions.Read Article

Everybody Helps

At the beginning of 2019, I sat down to think about annual themes for my family. I wanted to have a lens through which we’d filter our daily life, especially our activities. Taking care of three kids and managing the household puts a lot on my plate. As my kids have grown, I haven’t done a good job involving them in the chores that maintaining a household requires. It’s time for that to change.Read Article

Dinner Table

Just before moving two years ago, Alison and I went furniture shopping. We had gotten by for four years with the furniture that we had each brought into our marriage. We were ready to trade up. Something that I really wanted was a real dining room table. As a military family, the dining room table was a staple of my childhood. No matter where we moved, or what house we were in, we always ate at the table.Read Article


All things being equal, I’d like to keep a regular schedule. I’d like to have my day divided into neat little blocks of time, and simply progress from block to block. At any given time, my routine would be so ingrained that I wouldn’t need to consult my schedule. I’d check the time and know immediately what it is that I’m supposed to be doing.Read Article

Taking Kids to Mass

It’s been a number of years since I’ve been to Mass on a regular basis without my kids. When Alison and I just had the one, and he was an infant, it was a great experience. We even had to work out a schedule for who got to hold him during Mass. As he got older, and our family grew, things became more complicated.Read Article

On Rest

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of rest lately. As a parent to three young kids, my days are quite busy. For 12 hours each day, I’m running at full speed in every direction. I’m playing, fielding questions, cleaning, preparing food, going on errands, and in the middle of all of that, trying to parent.Read Article

Tiny Saints

A few months ago, I was given a Tiny Saint for a gift. Tiny Saints is a relatively new business that sells small rubber keychains of different saints. They’re well made and the designs are very cute. I ordered a few more and put them on my keychain, one for each member of my family.Read Article


This is a big year for me. My son is starting school in the fall, my middle child is coming into her own, and my baby is getting ready to stand up on two feet and never stop moving. The lifestyle that we’ve developed, that of loose structure, is about to take on a whole new level of complication.Read Article

Praying as a Family

When we pray in a group, we’re vulnerable. Even if it’s just our family surrounding us, it’s easy to feel uncomfortable. That’s because prayer comes from the most intimate part of our being. Our hopes and fears are laid bare when we bring them to God in prayer.Read Article


Thanksgiving is a great American holiday. The virtue of gratitude is baked into our national DNA. There’s something really beautiful and attractive about generosity, and the way in which those Native Americans helped the first settlers is a profound statement on the innate goodness of the human person.Read Article

Economics of Staying Home

There’s nothing wrong about a family in which both parents work outside of the home. Each family’s situation is different, and the choice about whether to have one parent stay at home with the children is a personal, family decision that should be made after considering all factors. While it’s true that a single income family may have lower wages flowing into their joint accounts each month, that doesn’t make them less economically efficient. Read Article

Integrity in Productivity

My days are pretty full; that’s by design. I have my primary job, which is taking care of the kids. Layered on top of that job is my responsibility for maintaining our home, which includes getting supplies, indoor cleaning, and outdoor maintenance. I then layer on my own priorities, which include taking care of my health and writing. When I lay each of these pieces out on my schedule, my calendar groans a little bit.Read Article

Set the Bar Low

I’m not one to advocate for low bars. I’ve been told that I am particularly hard on people, which, upon reflection, is regrettably true. Setting ambitious expectations can be a net positive, but when it comes to my job, it can be demoralizing.Read Article


We’re lucky in the summer to have several large oak trees around our house. They give us glorious shade and a respite from the intense afternoon sun. This was our first Fall in this house, and I didn’t realize just how many acorns these giants drop. I now have a sizable oak grove in my front yard.Read Article

Controlling Kids in Church

Taking kids to Church is hard. There’s getting everyone fed, cleaned, dressed, and out the door on time. Then, of course, there’s the issue of noise. Kids aren’t very self-aware, and if yours are like mine, they enjoy the echo of their own voice in Church.Read Article


A 10-day stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) will drain you. Lucy’s stay was a bit unexpected, and very frustrating. I think any parent of a newborn shares these emotions. Read Article

A Successful Day

Defining success is elusive. In fact, it’s one of the more personal determinations that we make. We’ve had some great examples of success with the recent Winter Olympic games. It’s easy to conclude that the gold medal is the only one worth having, but how good must bronze feel after a decade of sacrifice, training, and hard work?Read Article

The American Family: Then and Now

I'm interested in American history, in particular, American military history. As a son of the South, I enjoy learning about the Civil War from the Southern perspective. I’m currently working my way through the book “Rebel Yell.” It's an exhaustive 650+ page biography of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Jackson was a brilliant strategist and one of our nation's greatest generals. The book focuses on his life story as told through his personal letters. Turning the pages, I feel like I'm living in the period. I now have a much better sense of what America was like in the 1850s. The American family then stands in stark contrast to the American family today.Read Article

The List

With just a few weeks until Christmas, I’m sure that your shopping is in full swing. For many of us, the hustle and bustle can be disheartening. In this season of Advent, we wait with joyful hope, but most of our focus is on other things.Read Article

Count Your Blessings

Greetings from the Jersey Shore! My family has gathered from five different states to celebrate Thanksgiving together. Kids are running all over the house and plenty of warm feelings are going around. The holiday season is in full swing, and I’m enjoying some rest after another busy year.Read Article

The Genius of the Family

Experiential knowledge is the most valuable of all. When Alison and I went to the hospital to deliver our new daughter, we wanted what all parents want: a healthy child. Minutes after Felicity came into the world, she began to deviate from that script. As if she was living out an episode of House, MD, her condition was both perplexing and terrifying. Her symptoms followed the criteria for one condition, only to swerve to a whole new condition. Her care team was chasing a ghost, and one that would not be easily diagnosed.Read Article

Education Happens Everywhere

One of the great tragedies of the American educational system is the way that it compartmentalizes learning. Learning and education, so it suggests, can only happen in a specific place and in a specific way. Thus, students must be in a classroom with books and a teacher in order for learning to happen. The problem is not so much the standardized format of instruction, but rather the subtle message that it sends.Read Article

Overwhelmed with Gratitude

Life is full of grand adventure. Our emotions, and the circumstances around us, can cast us into profound sadness or propel us to extreme happiness. We all have a tendency to take things for granted, so when we’re in the times of great joy, we should remember to acknowledge the source from which all blessings flow.Read Article

The Dinner Opportunity

We tend to overlook the dinner opportunity. Thanks to the rise in popularity of cooking shows, I think we’re beginning to appreciate the role that food plays in our lives. In fact, if you watch any home renovation show, people often look to upgrade their kitchens before any other room in the house. We need food for survival, but in the midst of a busy day, food serves a much greater purpose. Meals are a time for rest, relaxation, and for the family, an opportunity to come together.Read Article

If It's Broken, Fix It

If you take a careful look at mass produced products on the market today, you’ll note just how disposable our culture has become. Cars are safer, but feature more plastic. Furniture is rarely made with hard woods, but instead with pressed wood. Homes are built using cheap materials that don’t stand the test of time. Even when it comes to relationships, people have become commoditized. When something breaks, we think replacement and not repair, oftentimes to the detriment of our budget.Read Article

Mastering Patience

IKEA is not a store that I associate with the virtue of patience. Assembling the furniture is a task that tries me in so many different ways. We recently bought a few new pieces in order to upgrade our home and prepare the kid’s room for the arrival of Felicity. Surprisingly, I was able to assemble the wardrobe by myself and anchor it to the wall with Alison’s help.
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Failure to Communicate

I often feel that our ability to communicate is falling into the trap of diminishing returns. New forms of communication, at their start, are very pure. They focus on connecting people in a very personal and intimate way. Over time, external pressures on communications providers cause a dilution of the purity. Communication becomes less about sharing a story, experience, or memory, and more about a transaction.Read Article

Learning Happens Everwhere

Learning is a life-long pursuit and chances are, at one point or another, you’re going to sign up for some program of study in your adult life. You may be working on a degree, certificate, training program, leadership/management program, new job training, or even just taking up a hobby. The task of undergoing schooling so many years after you completed your last phase of education can be daunting. Yet, it’s a challenge worth taking on.Read Article

Give Locally

Until recently, Alison and I didn’t really have a giving strategy. Each month, we’d go over the solicitations that we’d received from various causes in the mail along with how much we had budget for giving. We’d write checks, send them out in the mail, and that was how we did things. There’s nothing wrong with that strategy. People were helped, good causes were able to move forward, and all was well. Lately, I’ve been rethinking our strategy because what was missing was a feeling of connectedness.Read Article

Where Are Your Manners?

I follow the work of Shawn Blanc pretty closely. Shawn is a writer based in Kansas City who does a variety of work and writing based on doing your best creative work and the tools to help you achieve that end. Among his sites are Tools & Toys and The Sweet Setup. I like Shawn because he and I share very similar tastes, and so if he find a particular app to be very helpful, I will likely do the same. One of Shawn’s sites recently featured a book recommendation, “Emily Post’s Essential Manners for Men: Second Edition” by Peter Post. Emily Post’s writings on etiquette are the gold standard on the subject, and now her grandson, Peter, is carrying on her legacy.Read Article

The E Word

One of our greatest shortcomings as men is our inability to express, process, or deal with emotions. We know two emotions: passion and anger. The depth of the human experience is lived through the vast spectrum of emotion, each eliciting a different set of responses and lessons. Our female counterparts are often blamed for being too emotional, but I believe that it’s precisely their ability to intuit and live through their emotions that they’re able to live more fully alive.Read Article

A Balanced Social Life

The interview season is in full swing for Alison. We're about 18 months from graduation and her schedule is full of calls, phone interviews, and soon we'll be travel to conduct site visits. It's very exciting to finally see all of her work paying off, but it's also exciting for us on the social front as well.Read Article

The Entitled, Envious Millennials

I read an interesting opinion article in the Wall Street Journal that took on the issue of a generation of disrespectful children. In the article, the physician writes about his experience of children being overtly disrespectful to their parents during his office visits. While the author acknowledges that not all children misbehave, it's much more prevalent than it was 20-30 years ago. Interestingly, he cites research that demonstrates that disrespectful children, "are more likely to grow up to be anxious and depressed, three times more likely to be overweight, more likely to be fragile, less healthy and less creative, compared with respectful children."Read Article

Life in Sync

I once read that we ought to make a major decision once and then manage it daily. That's decent advice. I want to live a life in sync where I have clear routines that ensure that I do everything that I want to do, and, most importantly, that my home stays clean. A clean, tidy home is necessary for me to work and make forward progress. Nothing slows me down more creatively than a house in disarray.Read Article

Honor Your Mother

During the years when my dad was in the Air Force, he seemed to find himself frequently in jobs that deployed on a regular basis. As a fighter pilot, his squadron was often sent to the desert for 90 days at a time. While it was a somewhat manageable amount of time compared to the length of deployments that other service families have had to endure in the past decade, the frequency was fairly brutal. During those times of deployment, my mom was left mostly alone to care for us.Read Article

Be Social After Mass

One of my favorite memories growing up was being social after Mass. This likely had more to do with the copious amounts of doughnuts available in the narthex or Parish hall, but there was something fun and refreshing about not racing home immediately after Mass ended. We got to know the people in the pews, made friends, and I would often get a little excited when I saw people from Church out in the world running errands. That's what good community is.Read Article

A New Baby

I'm happy to announce today that Alison and I are expecting our second child. After two amazing years with Benedict, we're excited to welcome his younger sibling this June. All is going well so far, and Alison and baby are healthy.Read Article

A Christmas List

Although Christmas is just a few days away, I wanted to share an idea with you that might make next year's Christmas season a little bit less stressful. While the focus of the Christmas season should be on preparing our hearts to receive Christ, there's also an element of gifting. Gift giving is a wonderful and generous practice that allows us to show, in a material way, the internal feelings we have for one another. At its heart, gift giving is one person seeking to bring joy or help into the life of another. We give the gift of money to charities to ease the pains and sufferings of others. We give gifts to our spouses and children to meet some need or to bring them joy. We give gifts to our coworkers to thank them for their diligent work. Gift giving only becomes a negative when it takes our focus off of Christ and puts it on to materialism.Read Article

In Heaven Together

One of the best theological explanations of the Mass that I've ever heard is that when you're at Mass, you're drawn up into Heaven. When you go to Mass as a family, for that hour, your family is together in Heaven. Incredible! That explanation revolutionized my perspective of Mass and even today still blows my mind.Read Article

Take Pride in Your Car

Alison and I's Prius is 10 years old this year. Well, technically, I guess it's 11. We'll soon cross the 250k mile mark and man, is it in good shape. Looking at it from the outside, you'd never guess that it was that old or that venerable. In general, I think that men love taking care of their cars, but I want us to go a step further. I want us to have pride in our cars.Read Article

Finding Wholesome Programming

Lately I've been really into movies, books, and TV shows based on real life Cold War era spies. History fascinates me. Some of the stories are so crazy and unbelievable that they're more entertaining than any story that a writer could make up. I think that's why I'm so drawn to spy storylines.Read Article

Cherish Your Father

Benedict has started behaving like a two year old just a few months early. He’s usually loads of fun, but he can also test my patience. He'll be cute and cuddly at one moment and melting down in the next. It's all part of the deal when it comes to being a father. This experience of fatherhood has helped me to better recognize a great blessing that I had growing up and still have today: a great dad.Read Article

Behind Every Great Warrior is A Great Family

We owe a great debt to our current military members and to all veterans who’ve honorably served. While it's plainly evident that their sacrifice, courage, and willingness to serve deserves to be recognized, we ought not overlook those people who stand right behind them: their families. Families of military members and Gold Star families, those who's loved one died in the line of duty, sacrifice every day right alongside service members. Let's not forget those who stand behind and in support of our warriors.Read Article

Regroup Weekly

I clean our house every Saturday, both inside and out. The laundry is done, the floor is vacuumed, the car is washed, the bathrooms are cleaned, and the lawn is mowed. Saturday evening is a great time of relaxation for me because everything is in its place. By the following Friday, life has happened and the house needs cleaning again. I maintain this weekly schedule because at some point during the week, everything goes off the tracks and I need a reset.Read Article

Know Your Story

In the not too distant past, I didn't care much about my family's genealogy. I knew about my parents and my grandparents, and that was sufficient for me. This viewpoint was completely the opposite of Alison's, which espoused the joy and adventure of both learning about your history and then going to visit those places. While studying abroad, she took a few trips to European ancestral hometowns and got a small taste of what her ancestors saw and did. For whatever reason, last year, I became intensely interested in my family’s story and embarked on a family genealogy project to learn all about my family tree. I've concluded that by understanding your family's story, you can better understand yourself.Read Article

The Secret to Winning Your Morning

The past six months have been a time of great change in my daily routine. With Benedict now walking and the weather starting to get nice outside, everything about my routine has evolved. I'm thankful to finally be able to walk in the morning again and also that the pace of my work is picking up. All of these changes have had a significant impact on how I plan out my day, although Benedict ultimately holds a veto over the schedule. Essentially, I've found that getting my morning started with just the right mix of prayer, work, and family gives me the best chance of feeling satisfied when I lay my head down at night.Read Article

One Trick to Love Your House More

To say that our house has a yard would be a stretch. We have a patch of land next to our house that contains nothing but weeds. Certainly there's a wide variety of weeds, and they're all green, but I don't think I've been able to spot a single blade of grass anywhere near our house. Yet, now that we have a "yard," I've been very keen to take care of the exterior appearance of our home. Earlier this Spring, Alison and I spent almost an entire day outside, trimming hedges, putting down mulch, and planting all sorts of flowers and vegetables. As a point of pride, we take care of our home's exterior.Read Article

Open Wide the Doors

Over the Memorial Day Weekend, Alison and I didn't have much going on. She had to work on Saturday and we didn't have any plans to go anywhere or do anything on either Sunday or Monday. I was in the mood to have some people over, so we invited my parents and one of Alison's colleagues over for a cookout. The weather was scorchingly hot, but we ended up with a delicious meal of hamburgers, chips, and key lime bars. Alison and I do occasionally entertain friends, usually about one hangout every other month. Our Memorial Day gathering reminded me that entertaining friends is a lot of fun and that we should be doing it more often.Read Article

Plan A Sunday Adventure

While Alison and I moved to Virginia a little over a year ago, it wasn't until a few weeks ago that we actually did some serious exploring in our town. The gorgeous weather enticed us to go on a Sunday drive. These drives have largely fallen out of favor among American families since the rise of gas prices over the past decade. We drove around and discovered a huge sports complex, some really nice housing, and discovered that our town has an unbelievable number of churches. Sunday drives are about family, adventure, and most of all, relaxation. We need to rediscover that lost art.Read Article

A Place for Everything

I love living in a clean house. There’s something freeing about having wide open spaces with everything in its place. We all ensure that our homes are clean before we entertain or have guests over, but in the in-between times it’s often difficult for us to keep our houses completely clear of clutter. It just seems like cleaning ends up ranking pretty low on our to do lists during the week. One strategy that I’ve found to be particularly effective for cleaning is instead of setting things down, I put them away.Read Article

Cousin Time

Earlier this Spring, I took Benedict to my aunt's house for a play date. My aunt lives about 90 minutes away from us and three of her four children were home at the time. My cousins range in age from 16 to 23 and I've always been close to them. Benedict had an absolute ball stalking their cat, watching their dogs, exploring a new house, and playing with his cousins. The day was great for me too, and it was a great reminder to make time to play and have fun with your extended family.Read Article

Be Neighborly

I have a terrible track record of being neighborly. In the five years since moving out on my own, I've really only been friendly with one neighbor. It actually makes me a bit sad because having great neighbors is one of the best parts of the communal living experience. People looking after each other, enjoying each other's company, and sharing life together can enhance the lives of everyone involved. Perhaps I'll find that neighborly spirit when Alison and I buy our first home in a few years. Regardless of where we live, we all need to reclaim a strong sense of community in our neighborhoods.Read Article

Deck Life

Our townhouse has a small and very cheap deck built onto the back. It doesn't sit very high off the ground and the wood is in terrible shape. It was built sixteen years ago and hasn't been treated, cleaned, or stained ever. While it's nothing fancy, it’s a decent place to hang out. This year for my birthday, my parents got me several deck items from IKEA and now it's an amazing place to hang out at night! If you have some outdoor space at your home, dress it up a bit and enjoy these summer nights outdoors with great company.Read Article

Take Care of Your Home

I've gotten into a bad habit lately, where I ignore most of my daily to-dos for the sake of getting more work done. While it does feel good to make significant progress on writing and web design, it feels miserable living in a home that’s unkempt. I know that it's important to clean and I know how good it feels when everything is in its place, it's just that sometimes I let things get away from me.Read Article

Take Advantage of Living Close

Thankfully, for the nearly three years of our marriage, Alison and I have always lived close to family. That wasn’t my experience growing up as my family moved across the country and around the world. While living in Michigan, we were about 2 miles from her parents and now that we’re living in Virginia, we're about 90 minutes from my parents. It's been a new and somewhat strange experience to see my family on a regular basis. In Michigan, we'd often go over to Alison's parents house for dinner and about once a month now, my dad comes over to go to breakfast with Benedict and I. I know that this closeness won't last since life changes will inevitably to spread us apart, but I'm making a conscious effort to take advantage of the close proximity while I can.Read Article

Be Ok Being Alone

It used to be that I'd take my regular walks alone. Before Benedict arrived, and even in his first few months of life, while it was bitterly cold outside, I'd spend about an hour a day doing my walk in solitude. I'd have a set path that I'd take and while walking I'd listen to podcasts. It was a great time to clear my head, be alone with my thoughts, and think. I'd encourage you to find some time in your week to clear your head by being alone.Read Article

It's Okay to Rest

Go, go, go, go. The frantic pace of our lives has gotten really out of control. We run all day at work, only to get home and have precious few hours to recharge our batteries before starting a new day. Of course, those hours are often broken up by more work in the form of business emails, finishing up presentations, and work on other projects. We've become a culture that celebrates busyness for the sake of busyness, to the detriment of our wellness. The employee who works all day and goes home to work for several more hours is praised as a performer. The employee who works for 8 hours and then goes home and rests is reprimanded and regarded as lazy. We've forgotten that rest isn't a bad thing, and that it actually allows us to move forward.Read Article

Do Something Amazing This Summer

Believe it or not, the summer months are upon us! Schools will soon be shuttering their doors for the season and temperatures will continue to rise, allowing for a more robust daily outdoor schedule. Summer signals more than just a season of rest, relaxation, and recreation; it signals the midpoint of the year.Read Article

Sunday Afternoons

I love Sunday afternoons. Many people don't really like them since they start to feel the Monday creep, but for me, I find them to be incredibly relaxing. All of the housework was done on Saturday, leaving the docket completely clear on Sunday. These wonderful afternoons are also the perfect time for some much needed family time.Read Article

For Granted

In life, it becomes incredibly easy to take things for granted. Small joys and simple pleasures tend to melt into the background after their initial newness fades. Something as wonderfully cute as a snoring baby can amount to little if we don't consciously take a moment to enjoy it.Read Article

Peace Starts At Home

When we were younger, my brother and I fought. A lot. This was to the benefit of my sister, since our punishment was typically to work together cleaning the kitchen, meaning she had months of practically no kitchen cleaning chores. I remember, after one disagreement, my dad telling us, "If we can't have peace at home, how can we expect to have peace in the world?" Following the news of the conflict in the Ukraine makes me grateful to be an American. I'm grateful that we have safety and security in our own homes and neighborhoods and don't go to sleep at night afraid that our house will accidentally be shelled by artillery.Read Article

Preprare for Adventure

I don't know where I'll be living in two years. In fact, I can only think of one other time in my life when I lived in a house for more than two years, and that was my Junior and Senior years of high school. During college I was only living at home part of the year, meaning that my current stint in Virginia will be the longest I've ever lived in one place. As of right now, Alison and I have no idea where we'll move when she graduates from residency, but I know it'll be an adventure.Read Article

Integrate with Your In-Laws

One of the biggest changes for any newly married couple is feeling out the relationship with your in-laws. In-laws get a bad rap, some rightfully so. However, for the most part, your in-laws are simply a new family that you're now a part of. It can certainly be awkward, after all, they've spent a lifetime together and have a vast trove of inside jokes and shared memories. Although there can be some awkward moments, the best approach is to fully integrate with your spouse's family. Don't settle for being an outsider.Read Article

The Joy of Serving

In the not too distant past, I engineered my weekly routine to involve cleaning a single room of the house every day. Since I spend almost all of my time at home, I want to have an environment that is clean and well maintained. When there's clutter or mess or dirt I feel impeded in both my energy and my creativity. When all is in order I feel balanced and at peace.Read Article

The Secret of Service

When you reach a certain level in a company, one of the perks that you may be given is an administrative assistant. The job of your admin is to take things off your plate that, while they may be important, don't necessarily need to be done by you. If you're running a division of a company, do you really need to be spending your time playing phone tag with a client?Read Article

Honor the Dead

Today is the 12th anniversary of my maternal Grandfather's death. It’s a special day for me because I had the privilege of being with him when he died. Growing up, I didn’t have much time to spend with my paternal grandparents, both having died by the time that I was in 2nd grade. I was fortunate to have most of my childhood with my maternal grandparents. My mom's dad died when I was in 8th grade and my mom's mother died when I was in college, but developed dementia starting shortly after my grandfather had died. I really looked up to, and still do, my mom's parents. I treasure the memories that we made together. In fact, many of the crafts that I made with my grandparents can be found in Benedict’s room.Read Article

Room to Breathe

We all need a little wiggle room. In the course of a week, most of your time is spoken for. Living an overly burdened schedule can lead to exhaustion, burnout, and you not giving your very best every day. You deserve, and you need, room to breathe.Read Article

Tell Your Kids Their Story

These days, things are changing rapidly in the world of Benedict. He's getting pretty good a mimicking, a few new words come out of his mouth weekly, and he's dangerously close to figuring out how to walk-any day now he'll start running around the house.Read Article

Family Traditions

Growing up, I lacked, in a certain sense, roots. Most children get to experience what I like to call the "Tree House Childhood." They grow and live, for the most part, in 1 or 2 homes. There are growth charts on a door frame, a tree house in the backyard, and stories of the same teacher instructing all of the siblings.Read Article

How to Schedule Family Time

As families grow and mature, they all face the same essential problem: with all of the different schedules, how do we spend time together? More importantly, how does the family spend time together on a regular basis?Read Article

Clean House, Happy Wife

I love a clean house and a fresh start in the morning. I get up and work for about two hours until Benedict stirs and demands breakfast. Lately, I’ve been refining my evening routine to allow for more time to pick-up the house before bed.Read Article

Men Do Manly Things

It seems that there’s a natural hesitation among men to engage in any activity that’s determined to be primarily for women. We don’t really craft, we generally don’t clean, and we don’t spend time with mom groups. The problem with distinguishing between activities for men and women is that we might really miss out on something that could be really good for us.Read Article

Why Big Tech is Wrong

I saw an article a few weeks ago that both Apple and Facebook were expanding their employee benefits programs to include the freezing of women’s eggs so that the employees can focus on their careers.Read Article

Don't Bury Your Talent

I used to work for a non-profit. My job was to go into communities and start youth programs. The biggest obstacle I faced every time I tried to get a program started was getting the parents involved. It seemed like no matter where I was, urban, rural, affluent, poor, parents just didn’t want to volunteer. There were some very notable exceptions, but by and large, most parents that I met seemed pretty absentee.Read Article

Maximizing Your Time

How you spend your day is important. Each day there are gaps of time that could be put to better use. You already have a daily routine and it might be very loose or it might be very structured. Regardless, you have a series of activities that you complete each day in a given order. What happens when you want to add something new to that routine?Read Article

Your Ideal Day

“Begin with the end in mind” is excellent advice. If you’re able to visualize a project at it’s completion, you can better understand the steps you need to take to reach your goal. One of the best strategies for planning out your day is to follow this simple principle.Read Article

Change Sarts At Home

I want to live in a world that doesn’t have me in the center.Read Article

Block Out "You" Time

We all need margin in our lives. Finding that margin can be difficult, but it needs to be a priority.Read Article

Family Time on a Weeknight

Family life is central to the Catholic experience. While we gather as a community to celebrate the Sacraments, the majority of the Church’s work happens at home, in the family. While busyness and a multitude of weeknight activities fill the family calendar, it’s important to spend time together each evening.Read Article

Handmade Gifts Come from the Heart

The tradition of giving gifts to friends and loved ones at Christmas is a centuries old tradition. Unfortunately, it’s been targeted by retailers who have sought to benefit materially on the tradition. While buying people gifts from stores (at incredible discounts, no doubt) isn’t a bad thing, you can do better.Read Article

Fun in Your Community

One of the tragedies of our technological world is that we’ve stopped using our local resources.Read Article

You're A Chef

There are times in the married life when we need to take risks. As men, we don’t like failing. If we can’t do something perfectly the first time, we tend to shy away from trying.Read Article

Keeping Family Prayers Fresh

Family prayers, just like personal prayers, can get a little stale. The problem with stale family prayer is that your little ones will get bored.Read Article

Choose Joy

Being joyful about our lives can be a challenge, despite all of the good things we have. It’s all too easy to let the bad overshadow the good.Read Article

Scheduling Together

The most powerful tool in your marriage is your calendar. Your calendar will always show you what you think is actually important.Read Article

Technology Bowl

Technology in our lives has really advanced at an amazing rate over the past 20 years. We’ve gone from a world where electronics made some things in our lives easier to a world where technology is completely immersed in our daily lives.Read Article

Game Night

Families today are busy. Parents are working multiple jobs, kids are going to school during the day and then participating in extracurricular activities until late in the evening. With all of these divergent schedules, it can be hard to have regular family time.Read Article

Working in Your Strengths

Lifelong marriage can at times be a challenging relationship. In fact, your marriage will be the most complex and intricate relationship that you’ll manage. You are closer to your wife than you even were with your parents.Read Article

Care for the Sick

As a part of your wedding vows, you promised to care for your wife “in sickness and in health."Read Article

Sunday Hero

Here’s the easiest way to be a Sunday Hero: take the first shower.Read Article

Be Prepared to Give

Being married means living selflessly in a selfish culture.Read Article

Love Letters

Marriage is all about daily rediscovery. Being that marriage is a relationship that spans several decades, both you and your wife change. With that change comes the need to constantly tend to your relationship. There are memorable summers and beautiful falls. There are cold winters and rejuvenating springs. One of the best, and most classy ways to keep your relationship in tip top shape is through love letters.Read Article

Leave it Better

"He always leaves the toilet seat up."Read Article

The Fastest Way to Grow in Patience

You can’t control the things your spouse does. But you can control your response.Read Article

The Best Way to Unite Your Family

As the head of your household, you’ve got a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. You’re tasked with protecting and nurturing your family. You’re also responsible for their spiritual well being. As husbands, we need to do all that we can to keep our family together.Read Article

Daily Family Prayer

Now that then Lenten season is over, it’s important for us to remember that while the season is gone, the positive steps we’ve taken in our lives should not be. The whole point of Lent is to refocus our attention and help us get closer to the people that we want to be. When the season is over, it’s still up to us to make decisions that keep us going in the right direction.Read Article

Celebrate Achievements

Life is a scoreboard. We set goals and then measure our progress against them. While this goal-setting process can be ruthless in the workplace, it’s difficult to make it through life without a couple of big wins. But sometimes going too far in your celebrations can overshadow the accomplishment.Read Article

Supporting Your Wife's Goals

In the past, I’ve written about personal goal setting. What about helping your wife when she’s got a goal set for herself?Read Article

The Importance of Growing Intellectually

When we’re learning to drive, our instructors teach us how to pass the test, not how to drive well. There are many things that are like that in our world. In school, we’re taught to pass the test, not master the materials. So when we finish our education, we’ve learned a set of facts, not how to pursue lifelong learning.Read Article

Evening Routines

The end of today tees up the beginning of tomorrow. The things that you do in the evening can have a direct effect on how well tomorrow goes. The key to this whole system is a solid evening routine.Read Article

Better Each Day

My favorite boss had a saying that has stuck with me. “It’s never too late to do the right thing.” As men, we struggle. We have mistakes that we make every day. Yet, each new day gives us the chance to do things right again.Read Article

Grocery Shopping

Our appetite for adventure in life is constantly growing. Once we achieve a new height, we look for the next challenge. It’s natural to seek this progression, but it can cause us to miss some wonderful life experiences. We end up focusing on weeks and months while missing days and minutes. One of those things that can be a joy that is often overlooked is grocery shopping.Read Article

Dinner At the Table

Managing family life is a challenge. With family members running in all different directions, getting everyone together can require some real effort. A great time to get everyone together is around the dinner table.Read Article

When Your Wife Supports Your Dream

Dreaming is a wonderful thing. In dreams, you can release the physical limitations of the current world and imagine what it would be like to overcome them. Dreams are a not just an escape, they’re a path to the future. As a married person, your dreams have to apply to two people. If your wife isn’t with you in your dream, then you face an uphill battle.Read Article

Overcoming Natural Barriers

In our daily lives, there are natural barriers that often interfere with our goals. They are things that easily prevent us from doing the things we need to do in order to be successful.Read Article

The Richness of Shared Experiences

Shared experiences are a powerful force in our world. There are defining events across regions and nations that give people a bond. For example, most Americans will all remember what it was like during the Arctic Blast of 2014. These types of shared experiences are so important in your married life.Read Article

Maintaining A Household

The days of being a slob are over. You’re no longer a bachelor, you’re married. Well, unless your wife is a slob, too, I guess.Read Article

Acts of Thankless Service

As humans, we long to be recognized for our accomplishments. From a very young age, we seek praise for doing good things. Yet, in the married life, sometimes the joy is in not being singled out for a particular good deed.Read Article

Managing Family Time

We are living in a new era of working families. With many families having both parents working, it’s becoming harder to have time together.Read Article

Men of Sacrifice

Growing up, my Dad always gave up the best portion to us.Read Article

Transitioning from Single Life to Married Life

It's not hard to make the argument that the transition from the single life to the married life is pretty extreme. You go from a position of looking out for your interests to taking on the responsibility to maintain a household. Whoa.Read Article


We humans yearn to be connected.Read Article

Time Is Your Most Precious Commodity

Of all of the resources that you have at your command, time is the most precious.Read Article

Do You

Do you love your wife?Read Article

Managing Routines

One of the most difficult things that I’ve encountered in the married life is how to balance routines.Read Article

Make Evenings Count

My job frequently results in me working evenings. It isn’t particularly fun, it is just a fact of life. Of course, I make up for my hours by starting work later in the day.Read Article

Single Life to Community Life

When my wife and I got married, I had been living in the apartment that we would live in for about four months. Since we lived close, she had spent many meals and evenings over at the apartment. At the end of the evening, she would go back to her home.Read Article

Compartmentalization Kills

If you are living a fragmented life, you’re cheating yourself. In the 8th grade, I watched the American Classic “To Kill A Mockingbird.” In the film, I will always remember the scene where Gregory Peck explains to his child how he cannot be one person at home and another at work.Read Article

You Marry the Family

My grandfather once told my mother that, when you marry someone, you marry their family.Read Article

Going to Mass Together

Going to Mass as a family is important. As a married couple, together you form a domestic Church. The center of your family’s life is the Eucharist. The Church asks us to attend Mass every weekend not for Her benefit, but for our own.Read Article

Spring Cleaning

Some people don’t like spring cleaning. The thought of spending your entire weekend working is not very appealing.Read Article

Toilet Paper

The other night, as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed that we were almost out of toilet paper in our bathroom.Read Article

Bringing Roadtrips Home

I love taking road trips with my wife.Read Article

What's the Least I Can Do?

American Catholicism is having a rough go. The funny part about it is, none of it has anything to do with Church teaching.Read Article

It's Not Just About You Anymore

A few months before I got married, I joined a gym. Everyone asked the question, “Are you trying to look good in your wedding pictures?” It is a scene from any number of romantic comedies. Guy gets engaged and suddenly hits the gym. Are we really that shallow?Read Article

The Club

We emerged from the Christmas Season a few months ago. This Christmas was my wife and I’s first Christmas together. However, now that I am married, it was different in another way. I learned that the Christmas Season is also engagement season.Read Article

I Owe it to Myself

We cut ourselves a lot of slack. Many times, too much. We work hard and then use that as an excuse to be lazy. We come home, and expect our spouse to do all of the household chores. “I owe it to myself to take it easy tonight.”Read Article

How to Not Accidentally Cheat

We live in the modern era. The way we work continues to evolve. Business travel remains prevalent, but many people also accomplish most of their work from home. A balanced workforce of men and women leads to new challenges.Read Article