Friday, April 3, 2020

Jack Rogers Lounsbury-Decker

Jack Rogers Lounsbury-Decker was born on November 14th, 2019. He was born whole and healthy at 8:30pm, 7 pounds 5 ounces and 20 inches. Katie pushed like a champ for 3 intense hours!

In the hospital, I had tremendous anxiety leading up to Jack’s birth. PTSD is a real thing and I was reliving JJ’s nightmare birthday fearing that terror and loss would strike again and I would lose Katie and/or Jack.

Once Katie started pushing though all those anxieties dissipated. Sharry had never made it to that first active stage so it was completely new territory for me. Katie was a rockstar and pushed through the evening and we were able to meet our new beautiful baby boy. He was welcomed to this world embraced by love and tears of joy and gratitude.

Almost five months have gone by and here are some of the highlights of our Jacky boy who we adore completely.

The consensus is that he looks more like Katie...thoughts? To be clear, in my book that is a very good thing!

Jack is not the best sleeper and he is keeping his mama exhausted but she is fueled by a potent combination of love, passion, and caffeine. We’ve decided he has inherited some of our worst genetic traits in that he is light sleeping Lounsbury and a troubled bowel Decker. It makes for some particularly great 3 AMs.

Fortunately to counter those two less desirable traits he has a heart-melting smile and when he’s not struggling with gas he has a very easy-going temperament. My very favorite thing to do with him is holding him cheek to soft baby cheek as he watches his mama or crazy big brother run around. Katie loves greeting him after a good nap (when we are so lucky) to find big bright eyes and a glowing smile of joy.

Jack is JJ’s biggest fan. I think his very favorite past time is watching his big brother run around like a maniac and I’m sure he cannot wait to join in. JJ, in turn, has exceeded our expectations as a new sibling. He is patient, gentle and loving. He has never expressed any kind of jealousy and only minimal frustrations. It makes me verklempt watching him hold Jack’s hand and doing his unique flavor of baby talk, “Jacky boy, I love you so much I just want to eat you to pieces” or some such variation.

I will say this Jack (and JJ for that matter) are two very lucky boys to have such an extraordinary mother in Katie. Her love, energy, and skills as a parent know no bounds. She is a fun playmate, excellent teacher, and patient caretaker. Being quarantined, I’m positive, we would all lose our sanity if it were not for her. I love and am very grateful to her. We, three boys, build our lives on the foundation of an incredible and capable woman.

In the last few months, I also completed my tattoo set that began with Sharry on my right arm, followed by JJ on my right leg, then Katie on my left arm and now Jack on my left leg.
Jack’s tattoo follows the JJ video game theme. My very favorite video game franchise is The Legend of Zelda and in case you’re not familiar with those games, you essentially level up your health or power by collecting hearts. Jack has grown my heart, love, and spirit in this life even as, at least for now, he has absorbed my energy.

Just this week Jack had two big milestones on the same day in that he had his first “real food” and went on his first hike. What a big boy!

Finally, during this time of quarantine, I wish you all health, peace, love, and sanity in the face of cabin fever and a world gone mad.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Fall 2019

So far 2019 is going by in an amazing blur! JJ is at my very favorite age. He is funny, a tease, becoming more adventurous, learning so so much and is crazy cute. JJ started preschool two days a week and he is finally to the point where he consistently enjoys it, however, that was not without a difficult start. At first, he would cling and cry begging for Katie not to leave him. He was uncooperative and would break down if the preschool teachers asked him to do anything that he did not want to do. We had serious thoughts about pulling him out and trying again next year. I am so glad we stuck it out. Two weeks ago we had our breakthrough day and he has not cried once since then before or during preschool! Katie did some amazing work in helping him persevere.

Speaking of Katie she has been doing the stay at home mom thing like a rock star. She is JJ’s very favorite person in the world and I sincerely get verklempt thinking about what an extraordinary mom she is. Katie is kind, patient, fun, warm, flexible and loving. She fights bad guys (JJ’s favorite game), teaches ABCs and 123s, goes to the park, reads tons of books, watches Big Bird, Bingo and Rolly, perseveres through preschool and plans all sorts of big kid activities. And she performs all the above while being an exceptional, beautiful, adventurous, generous and loving wife/partner AND growing a new little baby boy in her belly!! Amazing!

Jack (baby boy #2) is fast approaching with the due date of November 19th. We cannot wait to welcome him into our loving little family. JJ is pretty excited to have a new best buddy but often expresses his frustration, “He’s taking FOREVER”. It’s amazing to watch Katie’s little belly grow into a big ol kicking watermelon. I have to be honest though the closer we get to the due date the more my anxiety grows. As we go to doctor appointments and classes my PTSD will sometimes randomly hit as my mind flashes back to the day my life forever changed on JJ’s birthday and the day we lost Sharry. I am going to be an emotional mess and really think my heart will only rest easy once Katie and Jack are home from the hospital, safe and sound. So please send prayers and loving/healthy vibes our way.

Last week I got my Katie tattoo. I love it. It’s a giant redwood tree with a full moon behind it and in the tree are carved the initials KJ with a heart around them. This has a lot of symbolism and real-life connections for me. I am a major nature lover and tree hugger. Last year we went to visit the giant redwoods of California on two different occasions and I was awestruck by their grandeur. I proposed to Katie on a full moon eclipse and we were married under a full moon.
The tree represents the strength, beauty, vitality, and oxygen that Katie continually brings into my life. The moon is symbolic of light and connection. Katie entered my life on the darkest night and like a full moon cresting over the horizon brought clarity, light, wonder, and magic into a life that was bereft of color and joy.

I am aiming to update once Jack is here with the good news and Halloween fun!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Exciting News!

It’s been quite a bit since my last post, I’ll try to post somewhat more regularly our Lounsbury-Decker adventures, pictures and/or random musings.

Three years ago Sharry and I were anxiously awaiting our baby boy. I cannot recollect those days that were so full of anxiety, hope, and promise without being overcome by emotion. The last days that Sharry would ever know. If only I would have held her a little tighter, be more kind and loving, savoring every moment. Little did we know the cataclysm that was to soon blow apart our world. Sharry gave her life for our beautiful baby JJ the morning of 6/16/16.

At that time I never imagined being happy or hopeful again. I would be the best dad, counselor and human I could be until I could finally rest in peace. Fortunately, it hasn’t turned out that way. Three years ago I would have never in a million years have guessed how happy, full and extraordinary my life would be, once again, today. At almost three years old JJ is amazing. He’s smart, cute, silly, chatty, kind, full of life, and brings such joy and life to me and our entire family. And of then, of course, there is Katie. I love her so so much. Our one year anniversary is coming up at the end of June. She is an exceptional mother to JJ, and a loving, beautiful, thoughtful and supportive partner and friend to me. I sincerely believe that Sharry had a hand in bringing us together to give her boys the best life possible.
Without her, mine and JJ’s lives would be on a far less happy and heavenly trajectory.

I have lived through hell and made it through, not unscathed. I have deep ugly scars on my heart that I cherish as a testament to both how incredibly beautiful and magical life can be and on the other hand how torturous and agonizing it too often is. To love and love deeply is to invite such pain into our lives and for me, it is so incredibly worth it.

When we’re playing at home we often play hide and seek where one of the 3 of us hides. I always get some anxiety when Katie is hiding ready to pop out and scare JJ and me and so I play that up for JJ. I love his response, “dad you gotta be brave!” I am doing my best to be brave in life and on that note I’m very anxious and excited to share that Katie is pregnant with another baby boy that is due at the end of November! We are so excited to expand our family and there is not another human on Earth that I can imagine walking this road with than Katie. She is the Lounsbury-Decker family rock and anchor.

Does this open the door for all sorts of anxiety, fears, and risks? Yes, it does. Believe me when I say that I have already experienced more than a bit of PTSD in our doctor visits. But does this also bring about an opportunity for greater love, meaning, light, and life? Hell yes, it does. And for me, new adventures guided by love, goodness, compassion, and hope are the entire point of being alive.

I cannot wait to welcome the little guy to this planet we call Earth. He will be a perfect little synthesis of the love Katie and I share. It will be fun to see if he has her bright mind, quick wit, kind heart, and beautiful features. Or will he have my big smile, silly nature, and love for nature? Or all the above? Will he have green eyes or blue eyes, dark or lighter hair, tall-ish or not so much? Obviously, we cannot know now but it’s fun to predict and then see how totally off we can be.

One thing I know for sure is that this baby is coming into the world in a pretty good spot with a big bro who will boss him around plenty but also include him in everything as his best friend in the entire world. He will have a mom that will hold him tight as soon as she is able, tenderly let him know how deeply he is loved and will be a champion for his life, helping him to learn, grow and experience life to the fullest. He will have a dad that will be weeping as he’s brought into the world who cannot wait to have another best little friend, to laugh with, to play with, to smother in tickles, hugs, and kisses. 2019 is on track to be a wonderful year!

Fun recent pictures...

Monday, August 27, 2018


JJ is going on 800 days on this Earth! I love this “big boy” so very much. He is silly, adventurous, cute, messy and stubborn. Some fun quirks: His bottom lip is constantly covered in a light covering of toddler drool. His most used statements are, “TV”, “no nap”, “my house”, and “watch dis”. He loves reading and his current favorite book is OOPS by Barney Saltzberg. He is still a fruit addict too so we have learned to have fruit as the dessert of every meal to motivate his eating of the main course. He loves trips and is always ready to hop in the car and play backseat driver, “that way, that way, that way” As a typical two year old, he can be very stubborn and big crybaby at times but as a general rule he’s a superstar. 

In honor of JJ a few weeks ago I got a new tattoo to go with the one I got for Sharry on my right arm. A 1-UP mushroom from Super Mario Brothers and JJ in pixelated letters.

The symbolic meaning is that 800 days ago JJ gave me an extra life and saved his daddy. If not for him I am certain that I would not be around today having found a way to be with Sharry whether that be in the afterlife or oblivion. Thanks to my best little buddy though I am here and sincerely love my current life. On that note, I definitely plan on getting at least one more tattoo on my left arm once I find a good “Katie idea” that sticks around for a while.

Thank you, JJ for bringing light, life and meaning to a life once so desolate and dark and planting the seeds of magic and good things now in my life and yet to come.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The eventful summer of 2018

This summer was amazing! Action packed, eventful and busy. We were away from home for 27 days! This post is going to be picture heavy and word light.

My family planned a week vacation in San Diego which was beautiful and amazing. JJ loved Legoland, the wild animal park, playing with cousins and being at the beach.

On June 27th which was also a beautiful full moon and my Grandparents' anniversary Katie and I were married. I cannot imagine a more beautiful day and ceremony. We were married on the beach in South Carlsbad with our two immediate families joining us for our happy day. Major thanks to Maureen (Katie's sister) for marrying us as well as Maria, Jen, Jane and Mary (among others) for all the work they put in to make the day so special. 

For our honeymoon we wanted to go somewhere cool, unique and adventurous. We ultimately decided on Norway where we had a magical time exploring mountains, lakes, glaciers, rivers and forests. Thanks to amazing grandparents for watching JJ!

There was no better way to end our summer and get off to an amazing beginning with our little family than to go on a National Park road trip! We drove 3500 miles over 12 days and JJ was a freaking road trip all star...we didn't even need technology once to keep him going in the back! (We had a tablet for emergencies but it was not required). We visited Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, Katie's family in Sheridan, Wyoming, explored the Denver area and Rocky Mountain National Park.