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

More Views and Hits

 

It’s probably been a month since we started this blog and I can’t wait to get more people to view it.  I’m not exactly sure how to do it, but I know we will get there.  I know it takes time.  It takes patience.  I have it.  I want it.  I think this may be a perfect opportunity to recap some of the posts from this week, perhaps I should do this on a weekly basis but we’ll see what happens.  So many more topics to write about – I wish there was more days in the week –

Sacrifice

Wedding Thank You Speech

My Girls – I am lucky!!!

Follow Through

I hate bad news…

Wake Up & Create More Time

These are great reads and they are quick and they will provide good advice.  I promise.  Follow me, the more followers I get – the more motivated I get.  Our wedding is in a week.  I will be providing a play by play of next weeks events, including the wedding.

Stay tuned…

08.31.13 – Max

Sacrifice

I never knew and I don’t think most people know what sacrifice actually means. I think it’s something I learned over time. According to Websters, there are multiple definitions – “an act of offering to a deity something precious”, “something given up or lost”, “surrender of something for the sake of something else.”

People often hear other say I sacrificed everything, but do people actually know what it means? If you review the definitions above, there are different meanings. I think sacrifice needs to be felt. You need to felt it in your heart. When something sacrificed, I think one knows it. I know what sacrifice means. I know what it means for me. I didn’t know what sacrifice meant when I was in high school even though I might have used the word. I didn’t know what it meant in college. I learned what the word meant once I had kids and today I was reminded of what it means and I think it’s important that people know what it means without misrepresenting the word.

I learned what sacrifice means when I had Ava, and than Zoey. My two daughters mean the world to me. When I say that, I mean I am willing to sacrifice anything for them. I want to provide them the best opportunity for happiness. Notice that I said happiness. Some would say I want to make sure they go to college, or get married to someone that could provide for them, or I want my children to be successful. None of that matters to me. My goal is to give my best attempt to make sure they are happy. I want both of them to be positive and have a optimistic view for life. I want them to be generous, caring, loving, and have the values I instill them to be happy which I will do. If there is one goal in life I CANT fail in, it’s making sure I accomplish this for my girls.

My dad didn’t teach any of this. What did he teach me? He taught me that if I touch his toy model cars, I get beat up by him to make sure I know that I’m not allowed to smash his cars together. Last time I saw my dad, I was 7 – a little over 20 years ago. I remember saying goodbye to him at a train station, I may even have saw a tear on his face. I was moving to the United States from Ukraine with my mom, grandpa and grandma. He was staying behind. I always thought back… was this him making a sacrifice for me? Was he doing this because he knew I would be better off without him? I look back now and will never truly know what was going through his head. What I do know though?

No matter what the situation, no matter how I feel, no matter what obstacles are in my way – I will NEVER do that my daughters. They are my everything. I have and will continue to sacrifice everything that is me and anything I have to make sure they find happiness. Let’s look at an example of the smallest sacrifice I have made, and this is my opinion of small sacrifice which some can think is big.

I worked with elementary school children for over 5 years through high school and college. A teacher is something I always dreamed of being. Molding young minds into little adults. To be able to teach them, give them dreams and goals, to watch them grow – watching them grow up would amazing and fulfilling. Instead of this, I got an accounting degree and am currently a financial analyst for a publicly traded company. Previous to this, I worked for a CPA firm preparing tax returns and doing accounting work for small businesses. So from teaching children, I went to making sure we hit sales targets and preparing various reports to management. Could it be worse? Absolutely, it can always be worse. But is this what I dreamed of my life being? No. Do I have an option now to go back to school and get my education certificate and become a teacher? Yes, absolutely. Will I? No. Why? Sacrifice.

Financially, my family cannot afford to this. I need to make sure my kiddos are fed, and not only fed, but fed organic (free of GMOs) to live longer and healthier lives. They need a roof over their heads in a good neighborhood so they don’t get mixed up with the wrong crowd and not making the good choices. I need to make sure they wear good warm clothes. They need great medical facilities around them, just in case. They need good schools around them. I want to make sure they have all the tools surrounding them, besides me, that will give them the best chance at life. Does everyone have the option to feed their kids organic? No. Do Moms or Dads lose jobs and thus can’t even provide the basic necessities for kids? Yes. Trust me, I understand that not every situation is ideal. I understand that not all people have opportunities or given opportunities. What I do understand is that I came here when I was 8. I couldn’t speak English and I had nothing. My mom had nothing. I had no Dad to teach me what Dads are supposed to teach. Am I doing what I want? No. Am I able to provide for my kiddos? Absolutely.

Sacrifices are made every single day for them. Small sacrifices, big sacrifices, and in between. Now that I think about it, are they even sacrifices or is it just the unconditional love I have for them that makes me do whatever I need to to make sure they are taken care of?

08.31.13 – Max

Happy Last Month of August.

Wedding – my thank you speech?

My wedding is exactly a week away. We have done a lot of planning, finalizing this week and we still have a ton to do. I hope for it to be all worth it for the bride to be and have the day be as magical as she dreams it. On a separate note, as I was sitting at work a couple of days ago, I decided to write a standard “thank you for coming” speech that as the groom I can say next week. Basically, thanking everyone for coming out, blah blah blah. I wanted to post it on here and see if I would get any feedback and if anyone has any suggestions. As I mention, I want it short and sweet so here it is.

Hi everyone. I’ll make this short and sweet – I needed some help with giving a thank you speech, so I did the only thing I can think of – I googled it and it basically laid out exactly what I need to say so here it goes.

On behalf of my wife and I, can’t believe I just said that after 11 years, we’d like to thank you all for coming here today and sharing our special day with us. It’s good to be surrounded by people who are important to us, and to see them all in one day coming together just for us is a great feeling. We hope that you’re enjoying tonight as much as we are, I mean we’ve had open bar for an hour or so now but I’m sure we’ll get there (hopefully laughter). We would like to thank you everyone for your kind wishes cards, gifts and support and are so grateful and appreciative of it all.

We would like to thank our wedding party for all your help in organizing this little get together. We definitely couldn’t do it without you. We would also like to thank…

Chuck & Peggy (bride parents) – thank you for everything!!! Thank you for giving me your daughters hand in marriage that you raised wonderfully because you got her to like a guy like me. I promise to, as I have, continue taking care of her – even though she might organic me to death. Peggy, this also gives me an opportunity to say thank you for all time you spend with our girls, we honestly can’t thank you enough. Chuck, just so you know – I will continue to learn as much as I can from you so that we won’t have to call you every time we have to remodel the bathroom, paint the rooms or in my case – change a light bulb.

Momma Max (my moms) – I don’t have enough words to thank you – You all know me for the amazing and wonderful person that I am, BUT I couldn’t have done it without this woman over there. I know how much you have sacrificed for me and you have always been understanding with me no matter how much trouble I may have gotten in. Thank you so much and I love you more than you know. Now let me attempt to translate this to Russian, especially for my grandfather. (speak in Russian)

My best man, Akash (AK), first of all, thanks for the kind words (improvise). Not many people know this guy as well as I do, even though this guy doesn’t show it, his heart is bigger than anyone I know. He has been here for me through thick and thin and it means the world to me. I wouldn’t be where I am without him. So Thank you and I love you.

And finally, the bridesmaids, thanks for calming Katie’s nerves and helping her in preparation today – I can only imagine the past 12 hours have been quite interesting. But thank you and she looks absolutely stunning.

I will be cheesy for a moment and say I am the luckiest guy in the world today as I stand here next to the most beautiful woman in the world. Katie and I have had our special time in high school, college, after college and the past 5 years with our beautiful Ava & Zoey who have just been the absolute joy of our lives. I believe the key to our relationship has been forgiveness and love and it will continue to be love and support no matter what. So I love you and I look forward to growing old together for another 100 years. I expect to live at least that long with all the money we spend on organic food soooo … seriously though, I love you.

We have so many others that have had huge influences in our lives and we would both like to thank you again for everything. Let’s enjoy the rest of the evening and I know all the guests we invited here can probably drink this bar dry so don’t let me down and everyone have a good time and be safe. – Cheers

Let me know what you think and don’t forget – follow our blog as we will continue to share our story, provide advice for relationships, tips and how to stay together forever no matter what obstacles you may come into or we will just tell you to dump your significant other – either way – lots more content coming.

08.30.13 – Max

Parenting – I am lucky

Ava & Zoey

So I haven’t been able to post many pictures but I figured it would be a good opportunity to share just how lucky my future wife (mother of my kiddos) and I are. Anytime I may be having a bad day, I can just spend a few minutes with my daughters and that changes. There is always good days and bad days, but never a dull day. I truly am lucky.

08.29.13 – Max

Goodnight

It’s after midnight.  It’s bedtime, but I’m feeling excited.  I’m feeling optimistic.  I feel good.  Why?  I believe this blog will provide insight to individuals looking for advice for relationships, looking for optimistic views, looking for positive vibes.

My fiance hasn’t written much but she has had a view posts which worth reading which you can find under the Girl P.O.V.  We’ve had a full day of more wedding finalization for our big day next week.  We met with the DJ tonight which I will write about tomorrow but it was great, it made me realize that this is actually happening, I will be marrying someone I have known over 11 years, yet I feel nervous.  As I see her sleeping, I keep thinking what a lucky dude I am.  A great mother to my kiddos and my best friend.

If you are with your significant other, no matter the circumstances, no matter what fight you may have gotten into – give him or her a kiss on the forehead if they are sleeping and let them know you love them no matter what.  This was a goodnight and I’m ready for tomorrow.

08.29.13 – Max

Weekend Bachelor Party

My wedding is less than two weeks away.  My bride to be is ready to pull her hair out.  Per my post from yesterday My Wedding… 2 Weeks Away. – I am trying to be as stress free as I can and just enjoy every moment of everyday.

But before I officially tie the knot, I did have a Bachelor Party to attend last weekend.  For those of you who have not read this blog, my fiance and I do have two beautiful daughters and have been together for 11+ years.  Not sure where to begin.  My best man sent me a text a couple of weeks before the “Bachelor Party” letting me know what the plan was for August 17th and August 18th.  A full weekend (48 hours) of getting into shenanigans with your “bros.”  This a weekend which every groom to be gets jacked up for.  Ready to put on the Macho Man face and prove to his buddies one final time that you still have it in you.  A bachelor party, an ultimate night/weekend of a guy just being a guy with his friends.

My view on the weekend was different, probably because of my situation.  My views on life and relationships may be different.  I DO NOT believe your bachelor party should be your “last hoorah” or your final party with your guys.  I believe a relationship needs to be three parts – the Team, You, Her.  A family four parts – the Team, You, Her & Kid(s) – more on all of this in a different post.  My point is you and your partner need to have separate lives and I want to go hang with the guys (watch football, drink beers, play sports) – you do it, with permission from the Miss of course.  We both work hard, we both are great parents to our kiddos, we both take the time to spend time with each other and we both need our alone time too as these are all keys to a healthy relationship.  So as the Bachelor Party weekend was approaching, I was definitely excited but mostly because it was going to be another weekend to just hang with my friends and relax.  I know from experience that a night out or weekend away really helps me recharge to be a dad, recharge to be a kick ass employee and most importantly be a good partner in crime to my fiance.

So getting back on track, my bachelor party consisted of attending a Cubs rooftop (all you can eat and drink), we headed to our hotel (Hard Rock) where we consumed a few beverages and headed to dinner which was delicious.  I ate a burger with a delicious patty and topped with Italian Beef.  Afterwards we attended a few open bars in the city.  I won’t get into too much detail but I fairly enjoyed getting together with my groups of friends, some that didn’t know each other, I thought we all just had a great time that night.  There was however, a Part II for a few of us.  My friends took me to Wisconsin Dells for a night.  We left early the next morning and spend the day laying out, eating, enjoying the water slides (where I am pretty sure I bruised/broke my left rib), and taking a nap.  That night we spent quite a bit of time at the Casino and than a few bars which weren’t very crowded but the weather was perfect to sit around a bonfire smashing beers and taking shots with friends I love.

I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.  I got to do everything I wanted and once I got back I was re-charged ready to go till the wedding got here.  The one thing I did learn about myself on this trip.  My 2nd night, I really missed my girls.  My 4 year old and almost 2 year old were on my mind quite a bit.  I hated knowing this would be the 2nd night that I wouldn’t be sleeping in the same house as them which made me think… my future wife and I are going on a 4 night honeymoon.  Thinking about this gives me anxiety and I don’t get anxious easily.  I guess the 1st step will be to get through the wedding : )

I couldn’t thank my best man and best friends enough for the great weekend I had and I made sure to let them know multiple times how much I appreciated it.  But as I said before, I don’t believe it needs to be a Bachelor Party.  I believe once in a while, your guy or girl just needs some time to relax with friends and when that times comes, encourage it.  It’ll make your relationship that much stronger.  I would know because it’s been 11 years and we are still going “Till Death (Blog) Do Us Part”.

08.27.13 – Max