Vroooom Vroooom y’all!

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I was kind of a jerk the day I got my first car.  So, my #FirstCarMoment begins with my Ma fussing at me in line at Golden Corral.  Not a Golden Corral Buffet.  Just the regular kind. Because we are classy like that.  It all kind of happened like this…

Before we left to go to my 16th birthday dinner I was convinced that a car was going to be outside the house. I am not sure why I was so sure about it.  Ok, actually I do know why.  Because I was spoiled.  I can admit that. But, please don’t tell my kids because I am not nearly as generous as my parents are.

So, when we walked out and there was no car my balloon instantly burst.  I tried to hide my disappointment (I think…) but when we drove by the bank that was selling my dream car (a 1993 Calypso Green Mustang) and it was no longer parked in front I am sure I was pouting like a bullfrog.

I got it together and we ate and had a pleasant time. After we left dinner, I was driving of course, my parents suggested we cruise through the used car lot in our little town.

As I pulled around the building I couldn’t believe that my little Mustang was parked right there.  Talk about adding insult to injury. (Man, I was I little jerk!)

I slowly drove past it, when I noticed a huge banner that said Happy Birthday and it was full of balloons. (Yes, my childhood was directly from an 80s movie except way more countryfied.) I couldn’t believe it! I jumped out and jumped into the car. Actually, that isn’t totally true because the movie soundtrack playing in my head at the moment (probably something like Take My Breath Away…) was interrupted by my parents being unable to find the key. Still, though, I was like a movie star.  At least in my own mind.

I loved that car and I drove the crap out of it.  I went parking in that car. I cruised my town in that car. I grew up in that car.  It was my baby and I washed it by hand and never let it go through the car wash, since my God Father Rod told me that it would damage my paint job.

Eventually my senior year of high school I traded it in for this:

Although, I loved the feeling of the wind through my hair, I never loved my Cavalier like I did that first Mustang.

There is just something sweet about your first car that you can never recreate.  That moment of freedom you experience when you pull out of your driveway all alone the first time. Suddenly the world seems all yours.

My Cavalier was amazing and reliable. Until it wasn’t.  Although that was totally my fault.

I was driving down I95 between DC and Richmond when I blew that baby up.  Not because I was driving too fast, but because I didn’t maintain it.  The engine was totally out of oil and I was totally out of a car.

I look back to those days of being young and dumb and I am shocked at how much I took car maintenance for granted. I guess I thought my Dad would do all the work forever.

Now that I AM the Dad, I have traded my sports car days in for keys to an SUV.  I mean, how else is this family of five going to be able to get around?

I think of Asher getting behind the wheel and although that is at least 12 years away, I hope he will be more responsible than I was.

I had no idea that the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is seen as the 100 most dangerous days for teen drivers.  I can’t say I am surprised though! I think of all the risks I took and I count my lucky stars. And that was in the days before the distraction of cell phones were even added into the mix.

With around 12% of the millions of accidents each year being attributed to tire issues I see that I need to do more to insure my family’s safety on the road.  I live on a four lane highway so, trust me, I see first hand horrible accidents every so often.  We have to make sure that our families aren’t part of them!

I check the tire pressure on my wife and I’s cars every Sunday afternoon.  That is something that my Dad has drilled into my head to do.  And I will make sure my kids do that as well. I need to, however, be more vigilant about the tread on my tires.

Often, we look for the best sale on tires, but there are certain things you can’t evaluate just by price. Michelin has been in the tire business for 125 years (say what!??!) and they are all about preventing the around 125,000 accidents that occur due to inexperience drivers having tire issues.

My #FirstCarMoment was amazing and I want my son’s to be as well! So I will trust only the experts with my tires.

After all, keeping these three safe is one of my biggest jobs as a Dad!

My babies! So proud to be the Pappy of these three. #blessed #joy #kids #father

A post shared by Michael Bryant (@thepurposefulpappy) on

  • Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and Michelin for this promotion.  I have received compensation for my participation, but my first car memories are my own.

Kinsa For The Win!

This winter was brutal. I know, I know many of you would say that since I live in Virginia (and not in the mountains) that it was easy. And maybe it was, comparatively so. The cold and snow we could deal with, but our biggest problem was that it seems like we were constantly sick.  At one point I was so down for the count we had to pack up and go stay with my parents for a week, because this stay at home dad could not get out of bed.

If it wasn’t me who was sick, it was my Harper. Or Asher.  We would trade back and forth with only a couple of weeks of good health in between.  The house smelled like bleach and Lysol, but we couldn’t stay well.

With such small kids, taking temperatures was a fight, which is the last thing you need at 3 am when they are crying and Mom and Dad are freaking out.  Then we found The Kinsa Smart Thermometer.

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It hooks into your iPhone so you aren’t digging around trying to find a thermometer in the dark. My favorite feature was that it saves your kids temperatures.  Not just the last temperature you take, like some digitals, but you can save what they were running and their symptoms under their individual profiles.  Let me tell you, that comes in super handy when the Urgent Care Doctor comes in and looks at you and your kids and says, “Which one of you am I here to see,” and the answer is ALL THREE OF US! I was able to pull out my phone and give him an easy run down of the last 24 hours, even though my brain was fried.

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Everything you need comes in a nice box that is strong enough to withstand life in the diaper bag. And to combat the anxiety that my kids seem to get when you want them to hold something under their tongue there are fancy colors that go across the screen.  (It will also take a temp under the armpit which was a godsend with my daughter.)

Now that we are expecting our third kid any day now, I have already set Bellamy up a profile on the Kinsa App on my phone, so it will be ready for the first late night fever that every baby inevitably pops.

I hope you will check out this amazing product.  Just click on the Kinsa label below. (Kinsa Health did provide me a sample to try, but they aren’t paying me for the review.)

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Winter time is here…..

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I used to dread winter time. I struggled so hard with Seasonal Depression that I swear as soon as the leaves started turning I would want to take to my bed and stay there until it warmed up again.

This winter is different though.

I’m feeling good. And it is all because of my wood.

Double entendres aside, knowing that you are going to be able to keep a warm house the entire winter season when your bank account is too low to fill up your propane tank does a lot to put a smile on your face.

Another thing that has been a lifter is the time that my Dad and I spent together stacking this wood.  It was no small task, and it took even longer because we talked nonstop the whole time, but growing closer to him is a blessing.

So when my fireplace is burning bright I will remind myself to smile, even though the days are short. My joy can still be long.

 

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(Not shown is the HUGE stack by the house!)