Death & Appreciation

I don’t ask this often but please share this.  Death & Appreciation.  Both extremely difficult topics for me to write about.  Death, because I’m not very good at dealing with it.  Appreciation, because I feel like most people don’t have any appreciation in life and it makes me feel bitter about it.

I woke up this morning knowing it was going to be a long day ahead of me.  I wanted to keep sleeping, to not deal with today.  Yesterday brought 12 hours of work, followed by laundry, dishes and dinner, taking the garbage out, and than more work.  I stayed up till almost 2am, and finished watching the last episode of Season 1 of Revenge (great show by the way).  Back to today, waking up, I woke up feeling mentally and physically, and in a way, unappreciated.  So why was I not looking forward to today?  I had a full day of work (busy time for quarter close at my job), I wanted to make sure to get home on time for the family Bears time, and I had a funeral to attend during the day.  Unfortunately, I felt as though there wasn’t enough time in the day to get everything done, especially on 5 hours of sleep.  As I looked ahead to the day, I couldn’t help but feel down.  Than something happened… something great.

My wife, Mrs. Z, text me a picture of all the things she appreciates about me.  It’s like she read my mind and knew exactly what I needed.  All the things I read made my heart feel happy.  I felt appreciated.  I felt loved.  I felt as though I could take on the world at this point.  To get a note, email, text of all the things you love and/or appreciate about your significant other when you least expect it, is amazing!  It really turned my day upside down.  However, I still had a funeral to attend to.  This person was like a grandpa to me (he was my grandfather’s sister husband), who actually invited my mom, me, and my grandparents (my immediate family) to the states from Kiev, Ukraine.  I knew him well and respect him and found out the other night, he passed away at the age of 85.  Now, my opinion is that if you live until 85, you should be grateful.  Now I know that you should be appreciative as well.

Attending this funeral this afternoon was difficult.  I cried as I hugged his daughter (my aunt), I cried as I hugged his son (who I don’t see often but know him well enough), I cried as his granddaughter gave a speech about him, and I cried as the casket was lowered.  And as I looked over at my grandfather, I thought to myself how impossible it will be to deal with his death, and tears just began rolling down my face uncontrollably.

As I made it through that, I made my way back to work and have continued grinding it out until just now.  I’m waiting for a report to get done, and will pack it up to make it just in time for the Bears game.  After all of today, here is what you all need to know.  Things I’m learning that I never thought I would.

I learned today one reason to get married is to have a support system 24-7.  My wife comforted me, she was loving, and that means everything to me.  Death comes so fast, yet it seems that day may never come.  Everyday here on Earth needs to be appreciated because tomorrow, death may come get you.  So don’t waste your time with bullshit (sorry for the language), instead of complaining, being unhappy, criticizing, judging, being lazy – go do something with yourself.  Go serve some sort of purpose in this world.  Each of us are born so insignificant and die insignificant.  We are remembered by some and soon forgotten through generations.  But we have an option to make a difference, to enjoy life, to appreciate things.  I consider myself a positive, energetic person but I feel like I have more and I’m wasting it.  It’s time to make a difference.

I want to spend more time writing.  I want to spread my word.  I want to provide advice.  I want to help people.  I want to give people energy, positivity, love.  I’m not sure how I’m going to do this yet, but I believe this is what I’m meant for and with the support of Mrs. Z now, knowing she got my back no matter what, I will get there.  I will make a difference.  I will appreciate and when death comes for me, I will be ready and know that I did all I can here.

I don’t ask this often but as I mentioned at the top, please share this.  This post is for Alexander… I love you and respect you.  Your memory lives on with me forever.

Max 10.10.2013

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This will be my 3rd post of the day.  I have so many topics to write about and so many stories to tell but as I’ve mentioned previously, it’s difficult to find the time.  I have noticed that as “we” get more followers, it motivates me to post more, to write more, to share “our” story more.

Although, Mrs. Z hasn’t posted anywhere near as much as me, I know she will get on this sooner than later.  For instance, since I am away this weekend, I can almost bet that she will spend some time to post something good.

I realized the joy I get when I get a notification saying “User XYZ is now following you.”  I know the reason I get this great sense of accomplishment is because someone read one of the posts and wants to know more about what I’m going to write, what advice I may provide, and interested in hearing more of the story.

Writing has never really been a passion of mine.  Reading has never been a passion of mine.  However, I am now 29 years old.  I am a Father.  I am a husband.  I am son.  I am a grandson.  I am an uncle.  I am a friend.  Looking back, I have definitely grown up because now I believe writing is helping me express the way I feel and think at times.  Reading now makes me think of things I may have not thought about before.

I want you to follow this blog because I literally have hundreds of topics I want to write about and provide advice on – parenting advice, how to play the role of husband, how to make relationship lasts, better health advice, life tips and just a Guy POV.  I believe the more you read, the more you will understand.  I do not care about making money at all.  I wouldn’t even know how to make money off a blog.  What I do want to do is get enough followers to make a difference and be able to make a difference in people’s lives.

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Max 10.01.2013

Wedding Planning Guy Advice (Part 2)

I began a post yesterday about planning a wedding from a guy’s point of view.  So I wanted to continue with Part 2 today – click the link to read Part 1.

Wedding Planning Guy Advice (Part 1)

So my wife did most of the planning and organizing of our wedding but believe me, I was involved in plenty and did experience all of this first hand, especially since we already live together.  Although this may be changing currently, I assume most couples don’t live together prior to getting married, but with us living together, having combined finances, having kids already – I was there for most everything.  As mentioned, I don’t believe my opinion really mattered unless she agreed with it but I did know a couple of things which was important to me that I wanted to make sure happened.

Open bar.  I wanted to make sure that the guests had an option for premium beer and spirits.  I am a fan of consuming adult beverages, especially on special occasions and I wanted to make sure that everyone had exactly what they would like to drink.  Since I felt like Mrs. Z dismissed most things I had to say, she did agree with me on this particular selection and we went to the next topic.

Another discussion we needed to have is the flower girls at our wedding, I was initially nervous about this, mostly about the older one, who has been shy on multiple occasions and I was afraid she would chicken out.  We discussed this multiple times leading up to the wedding day, but we ultimately decided on having her do it which was an excellent decision and she did great, more on this on the wedding day post.

DJ selection?  We had multiple options and Mrs. Z had done more research on this than I had.  I did have a recommended DJ through my network, but Mrs. Z had decided on this which I was a bit apprehensive about as well.  This was a conversation my mom brought up numerous times because she had multiple suggestions on the DJ and wanted specific DJs that were recommended to her.  She wanted to make sure that certain Russian songs were played and that “my” Russian side of the family had fun.  Mrs. Z had made a deposit on based on her own research and we ignored this subject up until a week before.  We had so many obligations with jobs, kiddos, daily tasks that once the deposit was made, we ignored this and the online organization chart for the wedding day (basically what we expected from the DJ).  Thankfully, we met with him a week before, and went through a lot of information that made me feel more comfortable about the day.  More importantly than the songs he would play, and other details – I felt he had a great personality and seemed like a fun guy, another decision that I applaud my wife on.  Although I think she just got lucky on her selection.

And since I mentioned the DJ, think about all the things you need to select.  What song the bride comes out to, the song groom comes out to, what song you walk out to during introduction, first dance song for bride and groom, first dance song for daughter dad dance, first song for son mom dance.  Although I thought these would all be easy selections, I was wrong.  I had to second guess myself, we often debated on our first dance song up until the day of the wedding.  As a guy, be sure you prepare yourself for solid arguments and what songs you want heard, its not as easy as you may think.

Another guy task was selecting the Groomsmen Gifts.  Although my wife had hers selected and bought months in advance, I’m a guy and procrastinated this until the last possible moment.  I actually picked up the gifts the day of the rehearsal dinner which is when we gave our bridal party favors.  It’s not that it was difficult to select this for my boys, but it got stressful to have to run around and do this type of thing when I knew 9 months in advance that I needed this done.  For those of you interested, I bought glass decanters engraved with their initials which were not super expensive but looked outstanding, very happy with my decision on this.

The one item I did select ahead of time was the tuxes for the groomsmen and I.  As the day got closer, I changed my mind.  I was at Men’s Wearhouse multiple times changing my mind.  Although I had selected what I was wearing, I had worn a complete different shirt to the wedding, more on this at the Wedding Day post.

What about the photographer?  Katie had selected this and made a deposit months in advance.  However, as the day came closer, and after talking to several people, what about a videographer?  At first we had both chose that we needed to save as much money as we could, since we were making all the deposits and payments on credit cards, and a video was something we could live without.  The conversations I had though, made me think differently.  This wasn’t a traditional wedding, we were going to have our daughters there.  This was going to be a memory they would not remember since they are both young (4 and 2), so a wedding video would be perfect, making sure to let our video guy know that we wanted as much footage of them as possible.  I told Mrs. Z to place a phone call to our photographer company and see if they had any available, fortunately they did.  Once I received the various package information, I made the choice and called and made all the payments.  This was done less than a week before the big day.

I talked about adding more stress to the big day and leading up to it.  Well, to add more to the pile which was growing rapidly already, I had to give a ‘Thank You’ Groom speech since nobody else was doing it.  I wrote a draft of the speech a week before.  I reviewed it, I read it, I memorized it – kind off.  But the closer the day got, the more I felt it needed to change.  The more nervous I got about what I was saying.  Although it was simple ‘Thank You’ that I have written about previously of my speech, I was getting over-worked up about it.  Want to know how it turned out?  A wedding day post coming up from me point of view.

So Guy Advice?  Don’t wait until the last minute.  I guess that would be the right advice to give you all.  After going through everything, I may have another.  If you wait until the last minute, you will be going with your gut choice on most everything and I believe all the choices I made were perfect.  If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change a thing.  So how did the wedding turn out on September 6th, 2013?  How was the rehearsal dinner?  How was the honeymoon without seeing our kids for 4 nights?  All of this and more from the husband point of view coming soon…

Max 09.24.2013

About Us

My fiance and I will be getting married in exactly one month from today.  We have been together for over 11 years.  We have two beautiful daughters, 4 years old and 1.5 years old.  We have lived together for over 5 years.  We are both in our mid to late 20s.  We have decided to create this blog to tell others about the journey we have been on and long journey still ahead of us.

We want to provide relationship advice, parenting advice, life advice, health advice – we want to be your 1st stop for any assistance or help you may need in your personal life.

We believe the reason we can provide the best advice to anyone is because of the experience we have been through.  The best part is you will also be able to get a Male v Female perspective.  We look forward to sharing our story.

We are still in the process of creating the appearance of the site, so give it some time.  My fiance is the artsy one so I will let her take the lead on this.

-Max. 08.07.13