Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lessons Learned From a New Baby Girl

On September 4th at 11:37 my life changed again permanently. Renae Autumn Brooks was born to us. She is a precious child that truly brought a new level of love and joy. Here are a few of the things that I have learned in the past 36 hours.

I know the difference between Renae and Nicholas. I truly thought that a baby is a baby and that I would have a hard time distinguishing between Renae and my memories of Nicholas. Although that may be true if I were looking at another's children, I can truly see the difference in their look, their attitude, and their spirit. It is neat.

I still love Nicholas as much as I did before. Both Becca and I wondered if we would have to remove some of our love for Nicholas in order to accommodate Renae. This has not been the case. Renae is her own unique person whom we love and adore, and yet when Nicholas comes to visit, we see him as another bundle of joy. We are very happy with both of our children.

It's fun being a dad again. I thought I would find the process boring or even a little repetitive, but this isn't so. Renae is fun in her own way and has spawned a completely different sense of fatherly love and affection. I'm becoming something better as I now care for two nearly helpless beings.

I love my wife even more than before. Becca has gone through so much since we met about 30 months ago. It seems crazy and yet perfect that we already have two lovely children. My life is blessed constantly by her affection and attention to detail. She is a hard worker who is constantly going above and beyond what is required of her. This latest chapter in her book of selfless service has shown me even more of how far she is willing to go to do what is right for our family.

Love and life are great!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why I Like Cincinnati (Part 1)


Cincinnati has some wonderful architecture.  I love going around town and seeing the art of the buildings all around.  It is truly one of my most favorite parts about Cincinnati.

The Scripps Tower is Headquarters to the E. W. Scripps Company which owns over 15 newspapers, multiple local TV stations around the country, and several cable channels including HGTV, DIY Network, and the Food Network.

The Famous Union Terminal was finished in the early 30's, and has become a symbol of a bygone era of rail travel.  It now houses Cincinnati's Museum Center.

Although the Roebling Suspension Bridge isn't a building, it's architecture still adds quite a bit of character to the river front.  John Roebling later designed the Brooklyn bridge.

The Cincinnati Music Hall was dedicated in 1878.  It has been the home to the Cincinnati Opera, and Orchestra for over 100 years.  At one time it was threatened along with Union Terminal to be demolished.  Thank goodness it is still around for us to admire.

The University of Cincinnati started master renovation plan in 1992.  It's focus has been to draw top architects to redesign the campus as an architectural Mecca.  In many ways they have succeeded, and I love it.  Here is a view from Tangeman University Center looking toward the Steger Student Life building (Left) and the Stadium (Right).

St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica in Covington is one of the finest examples of religious architecture around Cincinnati.  Although Cincinnati has dozens of beautiful churches, this one is dramatically impressive.  The Cathedral completed in 1915 has multiple Mosaics made from hundreds of thousands of bits of colored glass.  It also has the largest church stained glass window in the world.  Here is a view from the alter looking toward the west end.