Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve


At Your Altar

Parenting is a regimented and structured adventure, with known milestones sprinkled throughout the growth and development of your children. Although I know these milestones, and can see them coming, they always seem to catch me by surprise.Read Article

More Important Things

Friday was a good day. Although it started straightforward enough, my plans were busier than usual. Not only did we have schoolwork to accomplish and work to do, it was also laundry day and I wanted to vote early.
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Parenting young children is exhausting, and although I know my aunt is being truthful when she wholeheartedly recommends retirement to me, I’m able to recognize that every season has its challenges and its rewards.Read Article


For the entire existence of humanity, there has been a singular experience that unites us. No matter the time, geolocation, cultural surroundings or economic environment, human reproduction was universally recognized as an essential good. The gradual transition from child to adult to parent was a natural progression that was something to be celebrated. Not only did it denote a degree of maturity, but was also a sign of growing wisdom. The student truly becoming the master.Read Article


Halfway through my kids’ summer vacation, and I’ve hammered through my to-do list. Projects, tasks, and ideas from late 2022 are finally percolating to the top, and getting done. I’m eating great, working out, and watching movies in broad daylight. My schedule is my own, I am the Master & Commander of my schedule. My house is empty, and although I appear to be doing all the things that I desire, I, too, am empty.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


Summer vacation is finally here, and the kids are off with their grandparents for two weeks. Alison and I drove home yesterday and, for the first time in nearly three years, are home alone.Read Article


For nearly fourteen hours each day, my life is filled with abundant sound and light. Some of it is at my direction, much of it is outside of my control. Like my father before me, I try to bend the sound by playing calm music in the background, though not always to great effect.Read Article

All on the Field

I have 60–90 minutes each evening between when the children are finally in bed and when it’s time for me to go to sleep. I find myself incredibly pensive during this time, and often seeking to maximize the conclusion to my day. Frequently, I feel too tired to do anything and opt to go to bed early.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

Work from Home Dad

Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent more time working at the kitchen counter than I have working at my desk. In a way, that’s a shame because I have the perfect desk setup in our family office. The reality of my daily responsibilities means that for large parts of the day, I’m downstairs with the kids. Read Article

Friday Night Adoration

This week, Benedict will complete his initiation into the Catholic faith when he receives the Sacrament of Confirmation. With just a few days to go, I took him to Adoration on Friday night.Read Article

A Time for Play

Work expands to the time that you give it. Work is a good thing, giving structure and purpose to our days. It allows us to share our skills with others, and to provide economically for our family.Read Article

Do Nothing

My day has a way of getting away from me. For the first 90 minutes that I’m up, I’m in complete control. I walk, read the paper, pray, drink coffee. It’s quiet, still, and orderly. As soon as the first pair of small feet come down the stairs, everything goes out the window.
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Humble Fatherhood

This November is the two-year anniversary of the release of my book Humble Service, a book about the lessons learned on my journey as an at-home dad. The topic of that book, like this blog, is a part of my identity as a student of life.Read Article

A Quiet House

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 5:00am and went for a walk. I came home, sat down, and read the news. This is a pretty normal morning for me. Just after 7:00am, three of my children came downstairs very excited. The day that they were waiting for had finally arrived!Read Article

Invest Today

My knowledge as a parent goes only as far as my oldest child. I know how to deal with young kids, but am clueless about pre-teens, teens, and beyond. I understand that the journey of a parent is about growing and nurturing a child to become a healthy, functional adult. There are plenty of pitfalls along the path to autonomy and independence. I can only control so many variables because, in the end, my goal is not control. Like God, I do not want robot children. I want children who can stand on their own two feet, live up to their potential, contribute meaningfully to society, and live a fruitful life.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

Building Your Domestic Church

What’s the difference between a priest and a husband? In a word: scale. What the priest does for his community, a husband must do for his family. We tend to think of the Church in the macro: a global movement with hierarchy, structure, customs, and laws. In reality, the Church is both macro and micro: what happens on the large scale is closely mirrored in the daily lives of its families. In fact, when you consider just how closely the life of the family imitates the life of the Church, it becomes evident just how inseparable the two are. Read Article

These Days

Over the weekend, I finished reading a book. The last time I accomplished that feat was in August. I’ve started a walking streak, another habit that I’ve let slide in the past 90 days. My sleep schedule is out of whack, and I’ve lived day-to-day. I could just blame it on everything that was 2020, but in my experience, this is something cyclical. I fall into and out of routine.Read Article

Praying As A Parent

For nearly three years, I’ve done most of my shopping via pickup. From time to time, though, I need to go into the store to make a return. Doing that with four kids plus the item to be returned is no easy task. One night last week, with the kids in their pajamas and ready for bed, I left the house to run some errands. Read Article

Life with Four

I bring a lot of structure and process to my life. During the day, when I’m alone with my children, I need that support. I need to have decisions pre-made for me so that when it’s time to go, I only have to execute. Sometimes I use these ready-made solutions for safety, like the order in which we get into and out of the van (everyone uses a single, passenger side door). At other times, it’s just for simplicity (I always arrange my children’s plates on the counter in the same order).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


I came up in the Boy Scouts program, rising from the 1st Grade Tigers program to the rank of Eagle Scout. Along the trail, I learned many life skills. That achievement was a direct result of the constant support of my parents as I progressed through the ranks. As a military child who moved frequently, Scouts formed the third pillar of external stability in my life, aside from Church and school. No matter where we went, the Scouts were there. Read Article

Default to Yes

A new school year is upon us. For many parents, September is like a second January, a natural point in the year when we review our life, our goals, and our aspirations. For me, I want to change something in my relationship with my children.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


About the time that dinner ends each evening, I crash. My energy runs out, and I want nothing more than to get the kids into bed and sit down. Bedtime is a special time for little ones, and a golden opportunity to wrap up your day. It’s hard to embrace it for what it is when you need a break.Read Article

Cherish Your Children

After several months of vacation, I’ve gotten back into my routine of walking each morning before the kids get up. My day can be very exhausting, so by getting my mind and body right before the sun comes up, I’m better prepared to take on the challenges of being a stay-at-home parent.Read Article

Humble Service

Life as a stay-at-home dad was nothing like I expected. For the first two years, with only a toddler to watch, I was bored. As my family grew, I quickly became overwhelmed. Juggling care for the kids and managing the house proved to be a bigger challenge than I could’ve ever imagined. I spent five years trying to find my identity, when it was right in front of me the entire time.Read Article

Read A Book

When you think about your overall health, or even your performance as a stay-at-home dad, I want you to think in terms of balance. Like a body builder who ensures that his routine doesn't neglect any major group of muscles, take the time to work on each major aspect of your life. That’s what this chapter is all about. Your intellectual growth is just as important as your spiritual or physical health. Reading before bedtime can also be a great sleep aid. On nights when I read immediately before laying down, I will typically fall asleep in minutes.Read Article

Little Kids Praying

Praying with little kids is often a difficult experience. While I try to set a good example, my kids often fiddle, wander, or play. As it turns out, they’re not being disrespectful. When little kids fiddle, they’re really engaged in the activity. It’s how they listen, process, and understand things. They may not say the words, but they hear and know them. It can be frustrating when they refuse to pray, but giving them their space has its benefits. One day, the switch will flip, and it’s a beautiful thing. 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

Full Time Fatherhood

Expectations of fathers change over time. There was a period of time where the only requirement of fathers was to pursue their career for the good of the family. This is the nuclear age, Leave it to Beaver, model in which the mother manages the children, the shopping, and the cleaning. The man would get up, get ready for work, and come downstairs to a prepared breakfast. Same thing in reverse for his arrival at the end of the day.Read Article

Soft Power

In the world of international diplomacy, there are two main forms of exerting pressure on another nation. The first is hard power. That’s to say, military force. If you want to bend another nation to your will, you can take direct military action and try to force their hand. The second, and perhaps more effective, is soft power. Soft power is influence. In diplomacy it consists of lobbying, economic aid, and other tools by which you can try to win the hearts and minds of your opponent.Read Article

Like an Abbot

St. Benedict is a well known figure within Catholicism, but his impact had a direct role on the preservation of Western Culture. Benedict grew up in an affluent Italian family and was sent to Rome to continue his studies. While there, he applied himself to his schooling, but was appalled by the moral weakness of his peers. In frustration, he fled.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

Goodbye, PBS Kids

Parenting in every era has its unique challenges. It's never been easy and the challenges are always different. One aspect of parenting is allowing your children to be children. The innocence of a child, once lost, can never be restored. It’s no longer enough to keep your kids from physically being surrounded by influences that you believe are bad for them. In a digital age, those people can get to your kids without ever meeting them.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

The Gift of Faith

A few weeks ago, I attended a men’s prayer breakfast at my parish. The speaker gave a short talk on the importance of praying as a family. One of the most challenging roles as a parent is not preparing your children to go out into the world on their own, but rather giving them the gift of faith.Read Article

Zero Screens

I have an ambitious goal. In many ways, it may appear opposed to who I am as a person. I consider myself to be well versed in technology. I stay up to date on the latest news, and many of my RSS subscriptions (see what I mean?) are of tech blogs.

Goal: zero minutes of screen time per week for my kids.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

Comprehensive Sexual Education

Parents have to do many uncomfortable things, not least of which is provide their children with a sexual education. This is what it means to be a parent, to shepherd the hearts of their children and raise them in truth. Moms and dads are irreplaceable, and they must be people of courage and integrity. I think that parents yield too much of their responsibility to schools.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 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


As a parent, I have a ton of things that I want to teach my children. I want to give them the skills and values that I believe will help them grow into healthy, well-adjusted members of society. Resilience is one of those skills.Read Article

A Father's Gratitude

The life of a stay-at-home dad isn’t easy. It’s much more difficult than I imagined it would be. My days are in constant motion. I get out of bed at 5 am, because if I don’t have time for myself before 7 am, I won’t see another moment until after 7 pm.
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How to Make God Present to Your Children

Faith is a gift, one that parents try to transmit to their children. Those who have a strong sense of faith understand how it acts as a lever and fulcrum, elevating the common drudgery of our lives into something almost supernatural. The biggest challenge in the transmission of the faith is not explaining complicated doctrine, or even making the mysteries of faith understandable. Rather, the biggest challenge is making the invisible, visible.Read Article

The Joy of Two Children

When Felicity arrived this Spring, I had just gotten a handle on how to deal with Benedict. Now a toddler, he’s incredibly bright and interactive. We had a weekly routine organized that consisted of errands, trips to the library, adventures to see family, and even ways he could help around the house. As with all things, the moment that we get comfortable and confident, things change.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


There are certain experiences that are universal to all parents. Children, regardless of culture and environment, all act in generally the same manner. They all follow the same mental growth curve and have the same milestones. Raking things towards themselves turns into a pincher grasp. Crawling turns into unstable standing. Babbles turn into words, which turn into sentences. As children follow this invisible curve, parents follow their own growth curve. We develop strong feelings of protection, strong opinions on proper parenting, and eventually, feelings of inadequacy.Read Article

God, Hell, & Timeouts

One of the areas of parenting that I didn’t anticipate being uncomfortable with is timeouts. I wouldn’t say that Benedict has a case of the terrible twos, but I would say that he is certainly learning how to process his emotions. He’s a very easy going little guy whose bad moods can generally be managed by a simple change of scenery. Otherwise, he’s a joy to be with and lots of fun. Yet, like any toddler, his actions merit a timeout a few times per day.Read Article

Dad Life

Lately I’ve developed a real interest in car care. I want our cars to last, so I try to wash them weekly and keep them clean. I’ve always been on the meticulous side when it comes to the cleanliness of our cars, but these days I’ve also taken an interest in making improvements. I’ve upgraded the rearview mirror, the interior lights, and the radio on the van in recent weeks. While working on these projects, it occurred to me that I’m now the dad and these are the kinds of things that I do now. Several times I’ve been in a bind while making a repair, but with no one to back me up, I just had to troubleshoot my way through the problem and make it work. During these times, I realized just how fun it is to be a dad.Read Article

Hopeful Anticipation

I’m experiencing a noticeable difference between Alison’s first pregnancy and her second: I’m a lot more cool and controlled. With less than two months until the arrival of our daughter, we’re only now starting to make physical preparations. It’s not that we’re disinterested, just that there’s less mystery. Less mystery requires less planning. We have almost everything already, now all that we need are the little essentials.Read Article

Be Silly

Benedict’s favorite part of the work week happens on Thursday mornings at our library; he absolutely loves story time. Even though we’ve only been going for a few months, he knows when we’re driving to the library and he always charges into the story room. It’s a great time for us to be out and about, for him to interact with other little people, and for him to learn from someone other than me.Read Article

How Am I Doing As A Parent?

I enjoy systems and stability. I like to learn how to do something, experiment to find the most efficient process, and then implement that process repeatedly to complete a task. I have 90 minutes to work in the morning before Benedict gets up. On weekdays, I spend that time working on web design for clients, on Saturday mornings I write, and on Sunday mornings, I play. I’ve tried many variations of my schedule, but that one works, so I stick with it. There’s little need to review or make course corrections in how I lay out my week because the work is already done. It’s set, I move on. There is, however, one area of my life where this type of plan and repeat process doesn’t work: parenting.Read Article

Family Time Activities

I love Spring. Nature reminds us of the joy of new life and it also signals the beginning of the outdoor season. Every member of the family values, to admittedly varying degrees, time spent together as a family. As humans, we crave connection, and family time gives us that in a very safe and stable way. Just as it’s important to provide a young child with a variety of activities, your family time shouldn’t be spent solely in your living room. Spring and Summer present a wide variety of outdoor fun that can bring joy to all members of your family.Read Article

The Poor Box

Every moment is a teachable moment in a child’s life. What your children don’t realize is that as a parent, you’re constantly figuring out what to do. The life of a parent is one of judgement, evaluation, and action. We have to judge the proper course, model the expected behavior, and act decisively and within the vision of our children. We learn each day how to be better for tomorrow, but more importantly, all of this introspection helps us to define who we truly want to be and to start moving in that direction.Read Article

Pursuing A Daughter's Heart

I wanted our next child to be a girl. When the ultrasound confirmed it, I was elated. Her name is Felicity and she’s arriving in June.Read Article

Parenting is Innate

This blog post was originally intended to be a reflection on how the beauty of shared parenting reveals the true design of parenthood. I was going to discuss the many times when Alison has been there to help ease my struggles with caring for Benedict and how our system ensures a consistent experience for Benedict. As I sat down to write this post a few weeks ago, Benedict was crying. Usually he's asleep at 5am on a Saturday morning, so this behavior was unusual. I waited a few minutes to ensure that he was actually awake, not wanting to disrupt what may have been just a momentary expression of emotion after a bad dream.Read Article


Earlier last year, Alison and I started discussing acquiring a minivan. We've been a one car family for about 18 months, but as we looked to the future, the time for us to expand our fleet was drawing near. Logically, we decided a minivan would be the right choice for our next car.Read Article

Plus Two

We're nearing the half-way mark of Alison's pregnancy. This has been a very quick ride (for me, at least) compared to last time. I feel more confident in what's happening and what's going to happen. We're also getting to the fun part. Alison is starting to feel kicks, soon we'll (hopefully) know the gender, and in just a few short months, I'll be holding my second child in my arms.Read Article

Parenting Requires Daily Adjustments

A few months ago, I was one confused dad. As a first time parent, all of the development stages in Benedict's life are new to me. As a man, I'm a little less in tune with the changes going on in his life. To be sure, Benedict is extremely gentle and considerate. He shares everything very willingly, a trait that I hope he continues to have as he steps into the leadership role of big brother this summer.Read Article

My Father's Son

My younger self would be very disappointed in me if he knew the truth. I like jazz. When I was in 4th grade, my dad got really into jazz and would have it playing as background music each night during family dinner. He loved it, my siblings and I did not. This small chapter of my childhood reveals a simple truth: we’re all like our dads in one way or another.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

Raising Wholesome Kids

My goal in raising Benedict is that he grow into a wholesome, mature man worthy of a great woman. The path to this ideal is filled with challenges, especially as he will face pressure from his peers and the temptations to make poor choices. I want him to preserve his honor, and the honor of those whom he associates with, so that he can present himself as a worthy gift to his wife should he be called to the married life.Read Article

A Family of Saints

During this year's Synod on the Family, Pope Francis canonized Louis and Marie-Azelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese. What's particularly interesting about the Martin family is the vocations that came out of it. The Martin's had 9 children, four of whom died in childhood. Of the five who survived, all girls, each entered the religious life. This true model of holiness in a family has me thinking, what will it take for me to raise a family of saints?Read Article

Giving Everything for Your Kids

Love is a concept that's been distorted and misunderstood. We all yearn to hear the words "I love you," but few of us can comprehend what it truly means until we're tested. It's easy to tell someone that you love them when all is going well, but what about when the whole world has been turned upside down? I think the best model of love in our world is that of a parent for their child.Read Article

Parenting: Exhilarating and Exhausting

Now that more of my friends are getting married and having kids, my Facebook timeline, or whatever we're calling it now, is filled with pictures of children. Heck, I look at my own Instagram and it's basically just pictures of Benedict. To some it may be annoying, but I think this all speaks to a deeper truth. Children are the most important thing in their parent's lives.Read Article

Be Your Child's Rock

A father's role in his children's lives is unique. I've written before about how fathers are irreplaceable, but today I want to focus on how you're a rock for your children. We all have needs. We want to feel emotionally secure and safe. Kids are no different. As fathers, our children depend on us to help them meet that feeling of safety.Read Article

The Gift of A Child's Life

Recently I've been looking back at old videos of Benedict. Man that kid was fat. What also strikes me is that knowing him today, I can totally see him and his personality in these videos. He shows the same curiosity, cheerfulness, and desire to be around people as he displays in his actions today. I'm so glad that we've captured many of those moments so that he'll have them to enjoy later in life.Read Article

The Lynchpin of Education

Throughout the course of my education, I have had hundreds of teachers. I can say that, to the best of my recollection, only one didn't have passion. I had ineffective teachers, I had "bad" teachers, but nearly all of them had an intense passion for their careers, for their vocations. This deep desire to do well for their students is a unique asset in the teaching profession.Read Article

The Surprises of Being A Stay-At-Home Parent

Now that I've been a full-time caregiver to Benedict (read "stay-at-home parent") for just over a year, I can admit that it's nothing like what I thought. Part of this reality is of my own choosing and the other part is unexpected reality. Our house is too small and Benedict's needs are too limited right now for my duties to expand to take up my entire day. I can clean the house in an hour and Benedict is still napping for 4-6 hours during the day. Were I not working, the rest of my hours awake would just be play time for me. Here's what I've learned.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

Reinforce Family Values

One of the most difficult challenges that parenting presents is passing on family values. If you value health, then don't give your kids three scoops of ice cream for dessert every night. If you value community, share a meal around the table at least once a day. Engage in family activities that reinforce family identity, values, and mutual growth.Read Article

Kids Are Not A Burden

Benedict has been sleeping less lately, meaning that he requires more entertainment during the day. He's mostly satisfied if I'm at least in the same room as him, but he won't let me work at the nook that we have in the family room without him sitting on my lap. As his behaviors evolve, I have less time to get work done. While some may view it as an inconvenience, I don't. It simply means I need to be more productive while he sleeps, and ensure that I'm getting up at 5am so I can get everything done.Read Article

Be A Brave Parent

Most days, I'm surprised that I'm a father. Certainly Benedict has been in my life for nearly two years, yet actually being in these shoes, it's still quite shocking. I know that the challenge of parenthood is going to be the biggest one that I face, and I know that it evolves every single day as he grows. I'm learning all that I can so that I can help Benedict be a man, with a clean heart and a free conscience.Read Article

Celebrate Life

One of the great tragedies of our modern era is our misunderstanding of the value of children. For a wide range of reasons, people tend to hold a very pessimistic and self-centered view on children. This contraceptive mindset has brought us to a very sad place where people miss out on the absolute joys of raising children.Read Article

Be Emotionally Present

Growing up, one of the staples of my day happened just before bed. As I lay in bed, my dad would come into my room and we'd have a "goodnight talk." These few minutes just before I fell asleep would be full of conversation, jokes, and inevitably, some tickling. We could discuss whatever I wanted, I could ask any question because it was my time. Perhaps my favorite goodnight talk would be when my dad "made" me into bread, which was essentially a few minutes of tickling, rolling, and general silliness. There's so much talk in parenting circles today about the importance and impact of strong fathers and my dad's goodnight talks could be a case study in effective parenting. Perhaps the most difficult part about his being deployed so often was that we'd miss out on many goodnight talks.Read Article

Be Great, No Matter What

Last Fall, I wrote about To Kill A Mockingbird and the great scene where Atticus explains to his daughter that he has to have integrity, that he has to be the same person in public as he is in private. I took that scene and applied it to our Catholic identity and how we need to be bold in the public square expressing our faith with the same level of comfort as we do in our homes. In fact, that part of the book had such a profound impact on me that this is the fourth time that I've discussed this great American literary work since March of 2013. Today, I want to turn this lesson back on us again, only this time to discuss the integrity that it takes to be a real man. You need to be the man you ought to be, even when your family isn't around.Read Article

Am I Doing Enough?

It's been a year since I started caring for Benedict full time. It's almost hard to believe not just that a year has passed, but how quickly his development has progressed. He's awake more, walking around, and talking to me. I share one of the looming questions that I'm confident every dad asks himself on a daily basis, "Am I doing enough?" Am I doing enough to support and promote his development? Am I doing enough to help him have confidence and trust in himself? Am I doing enough to make sure that he knows that he's safe with me? Am I doing enough to help him know that he's loved? Your kids need love, attention, affection and time from you. If you're giving them those things, then you're doing enough.Read Article

Look to St. Joseph

One of the traditions in my line of Collins men is that each of us share the same middle name, Joseph. It's a tradition that started at least six generations ago, although I'm sure that the further I dig, the more Josephs I'll find. I'm not sure of the particular reasons as to why it was started, but I'm confident it was meant as a prayer for the intercession of St. Joseph. Joseph is a strong and silent character in the Bible, and the more we know about life in Nazareth in his day, the more we grow to respect him.Read Article

You're Irreplaceable

One June evening in 1996, I was almost left without a father. My dad was deployed in Saudi Arabia when the barracks next to his was bombed by terrorists. As I think back on that night, though I was quite young, I'm grateful that my dad was not among the 19 killed in action that night. While our culture doesn't put a premium on the impact that a great dad can have on a kid's life, the fact remains that no one can take your place. You're uniquely and perfectly suited for your wife. Your marriage is the most important relationship in your life, more important than that of yours with your children and more important than your relationship with your parents. Certainly these relationships are in a very close second place, but nothing will ever be as important as your marital relationship. It's the spring from which blessings flow, and no one can take that place of honor.Read Article

Be Aware of Your Example

One of the books that I've read this year was Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People by Truett Cathy. The book was Truett's way of sharing his thoughts on business, how he built Chick-fil-a into a national brand, and how he treats people. In the book, Truett tells a story about a man who sat down next to him on a plane and inquired about how to keep his teenage kids on the straight and narrow. While he was listening to Truett, he ordered a beer. Truett asked if he drank beer in front of his kids and intimated the importance of the example set by this gentleman for his children.Read Article

Praying for Kids Vocations

A few weeks ago, Alison called me on her way home from the hospital. She was listening to Catholic radio and the host had suggested that parents pray a monthly novena for their children's vocations. I instantly thought of the struggles in discerning my own vocation and the benefit that 18 years of constant prayer could gain. We shepherd our children's lives, why not pray for their vocations?Read Article

Invest in Your Kids

Although Benedict is recently beginning to prefer walking to crawling, I've already begun to plan out all of the activities and hobbies that I want to introduce him to. He should learn Spanish and hey, maybe I'll learn with him. He should learn to play the piano or saxophone... I'll do it too! His grandfather and I are both pilots, so was his great grandfather, so he definitely needs to learn how to fly. There are literally endless possibilities and each of them is equally exciting.Read Article

Read to Your Children

A routine is perhaps the greatest tool in the toolbox of parenting. Kids do wonderfully with routines. Not only do they provide consistency, but they give cues to kids about how they should behave. Routines also help parents manage the dozens of tasks that come with caring for and raising children. A routine helps a parent make major decisions once and simply manage them daily.Read Article

Play with Your Kids

As I look back on the pictures of Benedict from his first year of life, I'm suddenly very aware of the fact that not too long ago, he couldn't roll over on his own. When we first moved into our townhouse last summer, he could barely crawl. Now, just a few months later, he's standing on his own and taking a few brave steps.Read Article

The World Needs Fathers

We're living in a very confusing time. For whatever reason, we've stopped seeing people as uniquely beautiful, each with something to offer. Domestic violence is alarmingly high, pornography and human trafficking is arguably more prevalent than ever, rates of absentee fathers are through the roof, and marriage is no longer permanent, but stable for as long as each spouse is sufficiently benefited.Read Article

Our Diocese's Best Kept Secret

When you have a new baby, everything in the world is wonderful. A long 10 months of hopeful anticipation culminates in you finally getting to hold your new little one as they snuggle up close to you and sleep. It's an amazing time and also an exhausting time. The joy of holding your warm baby is mixed with the terror that at any moment they could have a blowout and ruin your Hallmark moment.Read Article

Showing Tenderness

I love Benedict. I love the way he laughs uncontrollably as I hold his arms above his head and tickle his tummy with my nose. I love the way he gets excited when I snuggle up close to him and kiss all over his face. I love how much he enjoys being close to me and sitting in my lap. I love how he'll sit still anywhere if I'm rubbing his back or scratching his head. I love how when he's about to cry or is actively crying, he holds his arms up, hoping that I'll pick him up.Read Article

Kids Are Raised by the Community

Mass has become a bit of a struggle. For whatever reason, I didn't anticipate that Benedict would reach an age where he can't be entertained enough to be able to stay in Church for an entire Mass. For weeks now, Alison and I have had to take turns taking him to the back of Church and play with him there.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

Time Management for Kids

Kids today are operating under very tight time constraints. While the number of potential activities continues to rise, what’s also driving this boom in kid’s after-school activities is college applications. We’re told that colleges are looking for well-rounded applicants. That means that between homework, after-school activities, friends and family time, kids today are facing a real time crunch.Read Article

Caring for A Sick Child

There are many powerful acts of love and service. These acts force us into uncomfortable and inconvenient situations. However, it’s not usually the inconvenience that we recognize. The understanding that what we’re doing is important and helping someone else moves us beyond ourselves. This is never more clear than in helping to care for a sick child.Read Article

Priorities Matter

Our lives are full of priorities. Some things are simply more important than others. Making the right choices can drastically improve your quality of life.Read Article

Spend One-on-One Time with Your Kids

Growing up in a military family, my dad was constantly deployed. He’d be gone for 3-6 months at a time, leaving my mom alone to wrangle us three kids. When we were living in South Korea, my parents came up with a brilliant idea. Each weekend, they’d reserve time to spend with us one-on-one. The kids would get to pick what we wanted to do. It was an excellent practice that provided for some great memories and experiences.Read Article

Making Time for Playtime

Kids grow up too fast. As parents, we have the privilege of experiencing their daily growth. As a part of this experience, the days can quickly and easily meld into one another and huge developmental leaps can be quickly overlooked as others come along. It’s important for us, despite our busy lives, to remember something from our own childhood: it’s important to make time for playtime.Read Article

Family Walk

One of the best things that your family can do together is take an evening walk. Not only is a walk in the evening a great stress reliever, it can significantly increase the amount of time that you spend together each day.Read Article

Kids At Mass

There’s an ongoing debate in the Catholic Church about what should be done with children who make noises during Mass. To some, it’s a needless distraction when kids can be taken to the cry room. To others, it’s important for the kids to have Mass as a regular part of their lives. To those who think that kids making noise should be immediately removed from the Sanctuary, let me save you some time, you’re wrong.Read Article

My Favorite Part of Fatherhood

I love my son. He’s 11 months now and really knows how to get around.Read Article

Dear Benedict, Live Purely

Dear Benedict,

I wanted to write you this letter because it’s my responsibility to help you grow into the man that you were made to be. You were created with a very specific purpose in the course of Salvation History. Your mother and I are so privileged and honored to have you in our lives. You are a constant source of joy and fulfillment to me personally and to our marriage. You are truly the fruit of our love.Read Article

Make Her A Hero

Words have power. Words have the ability to build someone up or strike someone down. They have the power to reveal someone’s innermost thoughts or heal a past hurt.Read Article

Lead Your Children by Example

The responsibility of parenthood lies not so much in the direct instruction of children, but more so in setting the right example.Read Article

Deferring Your Wants

We live in a microwave culture. We want everything, now.Read Article

The Scariest Part of Being A Stay-At-Home Parent

I’m about to embark on a new adventure and I’m both scared and excited at the same time.Read Article

Your Example At Mass

It happens twice a year. Every Christmas and every Easter, without fail, our parishes are full of strangers. They fill our seats, they park in our spots, and some are even still using the old translation of the Mass.Read Article

Avoiding Awkward Sex Talks

Does teaching your child about the mystery and gift of their human sexuality really have to be an awkward conversation? The “Birds and the Bees” is the standard parental sex education talk, but is a one-time drive really the best approach? The talk is weird, it’s awkward, and both of you just want to get it over with.Read Article

4 Myths About Parenting

It’s truly sad how little we value children today. Modern couples are pressured and even praised for holding off on starting a family for any degree of time. Instead of being seen for the value that they truly have, and without accounting for the sheer joy of shepherding your own child, children are seen as a roadblock. We tell women that they can’t both be a mother and a valuable employee. We tell men that children will ruin all of your fun.Read Article

Avoiding Neglect

We’re men. We’re hard charging. We’re all about getting stuff done. But how do you do that while not ignoring your family?Read Article

Children Are Truly the Fruit

My son is rapidly approaching the one month mark and the experience for me, as a father, has been something truly amazing.Read Article

Leaving A Legacy

One of the strangest experiences I've ever had is seeing pictures of my parents when they were first married.Read Article

4 Reasons Your Pet is Not Your Kid

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have a cat.Read Article

Children Are A Reward

Each year, the Church celebrates Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness Week. We should all take time to learn more about this ethical method of responsible Family Planning. I’d like to share some thoughts with you.Read Article

Dad Smart

One of the most interesting experiences for me in being a new dad is how I am starting to recall particular memories.Read Article

7 Things I Wish I Had Known About Pregnancy

Becoming a parent for the first time is an amazing experience. I should warn you, though. You have been lied to.Read Article