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2010 Year in Review


I’m not going to lie… I’m ready for 2010 to be over.  This was quite possibly the worst year in my memory, with the exception of the birth of my son.

Starting off the Renovation

The year started out on a high note.  My wife and I started a renovation of our master bath.  Which isn’t completely finished yet!  We took on this project and didn’t really know what were doing.  We learned alot on our way, like making a shower pan, our advice on that… leave that up to either the professionals or purchase a fiberglass shower pan that you can tile over.   Better yet… we just will never attempt to do another bathroom due to the tiling was alittle more difficult then expected (all because we tiled a wall and it sucks!) and the shower pan well we made it in concrete in the beginning and it made a bigger mess.  It ended up leaking down into the basement even through our plastic lining so that’s when we had to redo that and get a custom fiberglass pan.

29 Weeks Pregnant

In the midst of our bathroom reno… we found out we were pregnant.   There is another piece of advice… never start a major project and then find out your pregnant. HAHA!  That was quite a surprise.   We weren’t expecting this at all, so that is why you can see that it came as quite a surprise.  I was shocked, excited, terrified, and happy all at the same time.  In fact you name an emotion, I probably went through it during the next couple months.   I never thought I would have been giving up my “man cave” but in the end it was all worth it.

Grandma and her kids

Then a few weeks later on March, 28th 2010, my grandma Angie Billinger, passed away.   Looking back on this it came as no surprise to me that she finally left us, but I know that I was devastated.  I may not have shown it on the outside but I was.  Even though I wasn’t as close to her and didn’t show her has much love as I should have, this was the first time that someone (and first for this year), that someone died.   I look back on the life that my grandmother lived and all I can say is WOW.   Her cinnamon rolls were, well lets just say that Cinnibun didn’t even compare to how good her’s were.   The German food she made us will be missed.   I loved my Dr. Pepper drinking, popcorn eating, and loved dancing to the young people music, Grandma.

Nick Dutcher (Friend and Colleague)

As if dealing with my Grandmother’s death wasn’t hard enough, my close friend and colleague, Nick Dutcher, passed away July 20 2010.  This came as a shock to the whole newsroom when we were told.  I can remember this day like I remember 9/11 (I’m not comparing it to that day just to be clear).  Nick normally came into work at 2pm.  He was rarely late and would always let someone know if he would be or if something was up.  Well it came to be about 3pm and the newsroom was a buzz that Nick wasn’t in at work, he didn’t answer any phone calls, tweets, or anything which was very un-Nick like.  I believe that around 4pm we sent out a check the welfare and the police found him at his house.  Then, I remember this part very vividly, 7 minutes before our 5pm newscast they call us into a newsroom meeting… VERY STRANGE! I was in the process of editing a story and trying to get it done before the newscast.  I told myself this better be good because I still have a ton of work to do on this, well when your News Director is almost in tears before she even brings it up you know something is wrong.  She told us and all I remember was looking over at our Managing Assignment Editor and he just looked at me and said “I’m sorry.”  Now, Nick was a very well liked person in our newsroom.  He came into work everyday with a smile and I was always able to joke around with him.   I sat up at the assignment desk every Monday and Tuesday and got to know Nick very well.  Nick has and always will be missed, not only by me but by the entire news world.

Now after these two events happened, I went into a small depressed time in my life.  I didn’t feel like doing much of anything.  I wasn’t sleeping well.  I just wasn’t clicking properly.   I was testy and grumpy at work and I know that I probably wasn’t very pleasant to work around.  I don’t really know how to describe this time in my life.  I had friends reaching out to me and saying that they are there if I need it.   But with my depression I didn’t want to seek help.   However about a month after the depression started, it ended and the building excitement of the child being born draws close.  But there was more before that!

My wife’s grandmother had a stroke about a month and a half before William is born.  Now this scared all of us.  We were told that she might not make it past the next 3 days.  Most everyone in my wife’s family is really close with Opal Nicholas, so we took this pretty hard.  Liz didn’t want to leave Wichita when we came back because she wanted to make sure that her grandmother would be ok.  But now she is doing fine and is back to talking and walking which is incredible considering where she came from during this time.  It seems like just yesterday we were sitting right by her side in the hospital.

Then my grandmother had a started having low sodium which was leading to dementia symptoms.  Luckily it wasn’t life threatening so we weren’t worried about that.  But still it just added on to the many things that happened during this year.

Happy Baby

I won’t bore you with all the details of William’s birth.  You can check out my blog post on the whole ordeal. But this was probably one of the few brights spots of this year next to actually finding out that we were pregnant.  I can say that William now means the world to me.  I don’t care how much he wakes me up overnight, I still love him with all my heart.  William’s birth meant more to me then just a new body to take care of.  It’s given me a sense of renewal. I’ve been more active and despite at the same time being more tired I’ve been harder working at work and probably a much better colleague.   I’m sure many of my fellow co-workers will agree with that too.  But all I can say is how great it is to finally be a father.  Coming home from work and taking him off of his mother’s hand’s and just letting him sleep in my arms is the greatest feelings I have had.  Seeing him smile is incredible, and he’s starting to coo, which if there is something that makes fatherhood better tell me now what I have to look forward to because there isn’t much at this point that is better(I realize when I am playing catch with him the backyard that will be another great fatherhood moment and probably better then this).

My mom got engaged and then later called the wedding off.  Talk about confusing! Personally, I’m glad that William is as young as he is because he won’t remember anything about this.  This may be petty, but I also found out that my cholesterol is very high.  Last year I put it off and this year I’m regretting not getting it taken care of.  You would have thought that the birth of my son would have kicked me into gear on my health… but no it didn’t.

Grammy holding William

December 14th, my wife’s grandmother passed away.  Much like when my grandmother passed away in March, I was not as close with this grandma as our other grandma.   It didn’t come as a shock to any of us.  I think what came more as a shock was being told she won’t be around much longer.   But even that I think most of us had come to terms with.  Unlike my grandmother I’m glad that she got to see her great grandchild and got to hold him.  I can only wish that my Grandmother had that opportunity.

The Front End damage of the car

The last thing to happen this year on Christmas day I was involved in a fatal car accident.  The lady that passed away crossed over the center line and hit me straight on.  I am very lucky to have walked away from the accident the way that I did.  I ended up with just a broken arm, scrapes and bruises, the broken arm prevents me from taking care of William at all.  It sucks because our relationship was taking ff and I feel that this will hurt it.  I looks at me and I know that he wants me to hold him but I can’t because the moment he gets fussy I don’t have a free hand to put his pacifier in his mouth or bounce him up and down on my knee.

The front drivers side

But it is very unfortunate about the family of the other driver.  I’m still processing everything I am going through between the emotional toll and the physical pain.  I could go into detail as to what happened but the only thing I am going to say is that, it is scary as hell to see someone coming straight for you and there is nothing you can do.  I’m just glad that William wasn’t with me and that I was in a TV station vehicle because I think the Ford Escape was the only thing that saved me from further injuries.   I am happy to be here still and I truly feel for the family of the other driver.

This may not have been the easiest of years for me and my family but not everyone can have good years every year right?   But as I write this, and reflect on some of the things that have happened in this past year, I look forward to the future.  I look forward to fishing with William, I look forward to him playing with his cousins, I look forward to spending more time with family, I look forward to better health, I look forward to building a stronger relationship with God, and I look forward to building a better and stronger relationship with my wife, Liz.

Like I have mentioned before, 2010 I’m glad to see you go. 2011 I’m ready to see what you bring!

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About The Rookie Dad

I am husband and father foremost. Secondly, I am a PBS producer and contribute to Traveling Dads and Dads Round Table.

Posted on December 27, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow! I think it’s safe to say you had a pretty shitty year! I am glad you are okay after your car accident. How scary! And (even though I hate it when people say this to me) you have a lot of angels watching over you and your precious baby boy. I hope he had a wonderful first Christmas.

    For the cholesterol, my husband has it too (and he was only 31 when he found out) and he has lowered his to a safe range (around 200) by using red yeast rice, a multi-vitamin, fish/flax oil and metamucil. He eats like crap (think everything coated in ranch dressing) but in one year he lowered it from 222 to about 198 and has kept it about there for 4 years now. Talk to your doctor about it.

    Happy 2011 for you!

  2. There are years like this, luckily they are few and far
    between. You say your son wasn’t planned but I think he was, just
    not by you. He is there to remind us all of the beauty and the
    fragility of life and that we can never take it for granted, not
    for a single moment. Children are a joy and can cause heartache but
    the good outweighs the bad. All of the issues of life can be dealt
    with. Now, however, you need to take extra special care of
    yourself, because if you are out of commission, you are not able to
    help your loved ones. You seem like an amazing family and your blog
    is like mine is for me, catharsis and therapy. Blessings on all of
    you and here’s hoping you and yours have a wonderful, healthy,
    happy new year!

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