Family Ties

This is where I chronicle the stories of my family.

  • 2019 In Review: Our Family and Homestead

    December 31, 2019

    Because I couldn't really call it "a decade in review."

  • The Secret Life of Children

    October 5, 2015

    When I was a child, I had several things that I kept hidden from my parents. Some things were small and inconsequential, like when a girl in my 7th grade class gave me a calendar with Mickey and Minnie mouse kissing on the cover. Some things were bigger and more consequential, like when I was... Read More

  • The Life of Jason

    September 12, 2015

    Every night at bedtime, my kids ask me to tell them a Jason story. Jason is a boy whose life is filled with adventure. And unlike most made-up stories that parents tell, Jason’s world is filled with the kind of detail and situations, just the right level of real life to make the stories relatable.... Read More

  • Gingerbread Houses

    December 13, 2014

    One of our favorite traditions of the Christmas season is making gingerbread houses with the children.  Thankfully, they’re at the age where their creativity is starting to take shape and it isn’t just Mom and Dad building the houses. Though we did have to help them frame the house. Thankfully, this year’s frosting held better than... Read More

  • Six Months

    September 4, 2014

    Every year since Ethan’s first cleft palate surgery, we meet with the cleft palate team at Children’s Hospital so they can evaluate his progress. They test his speech and his hearing, measure his face and jaw for abnormal growth, and poke around his mouth to see how his palate is forming and his teeth are... Read More

  • Email Your Kids

    August 21, 2012

    Children mark the passing of time. I've never been as aware of the passing of time as I am now.

  • Nancy Jean Clum (1958 – 2010)

    February 9, 2010

    I had the privilege of calling this woman my mother-in-law. I know that phrase that often stirs up a lot of negative stereotypes, but if anyone could rescue the term, it was this remarkable woman. She was a woman of priorities. Nancy was willing to set aside a blossoming career so she could raise her... Read More

  • On Becoming A Father

    February 18, 2009

    I’m going to beg your indulgence for just a moment while I talk about my son. I’ve been meaning to write this since he was born; but as every parent alive can tell you, days turn to months and months turn to years. So while I have this quiet moment sitting beside Ethan in a... Read More

  • The First Four Months

    December 31, 2008

    What a year 2008 was! Here’s my little celebration of the Gardner family’s most important event of 2008: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • Ethan’s First Surgery

    November 24, 2008

    Update: We’re home now, resting. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. I’m posting a quick update via my blog since I’ve been severely limited in my ability to connect while here at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I don’t have cell service to update Twitter or upload pics via Flickr, and their hospital network... Read More

  • Ethan Cam

    October 21, 2008

    As you can guess my journaling has taken a back seat to parenting; but that’s how it should be. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to capture little moment here and there in any medium I can. In that spirit, I present the Ethan Cam! If you don’t follow me on Twitter, and haven’t heard... Read More

  • Parenting A Newborn 101

    September 8, 2008

    Jessica and I put together a brief list of things that we either didn’t know or didn’t realize about having a newborn baby. It’s not exhaustive (though we are exhausted) and it’s probably not even 100% correct, but hopefully it could be of some use to those with a little one on the way. 1.... Read More

  • Meet Ethan Gardner

    September 4, 2008

    Well, in case you missed the announcement, we had a son! Ethan Scott Gardner came into the world on Friday, August 22, 2008 at 2:26pm weighing in at a whopping 9 pounds, three ounces! And now he’s almost two weeks old… how time flies. Many thanks to all of our friends for your prayers, thoughts,... Read More

  • Birth Day

    August 22, 2008

    Well, this is it, today is the big day. It’s an odd thing to know precisely when your baby is going to be born. Not anything like I had anticipated, because you know. I mean, you deal with strange questions like: how do I dress for a delivery? Normally when things just “happen” you don’t... Read More

  • Updates on Ethan

    July 1, 2008

    Thanks to everyone who had us in your thoughts and prayers yesterday as we met with the plastic surgeons at Children’s Hospital to discuss Ethan’s reconstructive surgery. Here’s a brief update; keep in mind, a lot of the surgery scheduling will depend on the severity of cleft, and we won’t really know that until our... Read More