Soleil for President

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I know who I’m voting for on election day…

SoleilYep. My 8 year old daughter will be getting my vote.
Her convictions, ideas and vision for our future are astounding. 

*Here are 5 reasons you also should vote for Soleil on election day*

1. Soleil will remove all cars and replace them with horses for future transportation.  Imagine a world with no more toxins or fuel prices to fuss over. This will save the planet, peeps.

2. Soleil will make sure all children, 5 and up, have iphones.  These iphones will have a feature called *pop outs*.  These *pop outs* will access anything you need. Need food? Need clothing? There’s an app err… a *pop out* for that. Imagine a world where everyone has an iphone with buttons that access and *pop out* anything we need… actually, I think we are well on our way of heading toward this reality. Soleil will make it happen.

3. Soleil sees a future where money is not needed… except to buy your iphone. This will be our only need for money – so that no one is greedy.  

4. Soleil will equip every house with an invention – a button.  You will push this button to set up parties or a place for gymnastics. She sees a future where everyone will be healthier by having parties and doing gymnastics. Sounds good to me. 

5. Soleil will ensure all bad people are exiled to space. This point speaks for itself.

Soleil for President, Everyone – Hip Hip Hooray!

Obviously I live in reality and Soleil is not a presidential candidate.  Just to clarify any confusion.  Although she does have some wonderful ideas, her name won’t appear on the ballot.  
We will have to make a *for real* decision for this upcoming election.  How will you decide? 

As a Christ follower, The Bible is my ultimate authority.In this “election season” I am reminded of Romans 13:1-14. 

Yes, I will choose a *for real* candidate. But first, I choose to pray continually, trust wholeheartedly and live my life fully… so that~regardless of the election outcome~I know God is in control.

He’s got this.


Conspiracy Theory

I am a conspiracy theorist.

This wonderful trait was passed down to me by my Dad.  Thanks Dad.

And this wonderful trait was enhanced after I read George Orwell’s book, 1984.  And later when I saw the movie Conspiracy Theory, with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts.

Sometimes my conspiracy theorizing brain just goes crazy…

with assumptions. conclusions. and more than likely made up stories.

Some might call this being paranoid…  but I call it being aware of my surroundings.

Often these theories develop when my brain has idle time after I’ve seen something that triggers a conspiracy happening.

Given enough idle mind time, I could become a professional conspiracy theorist. Scary, isn’t it?

Thankfully, I don’t have much idle time, but when I do…

These are some of the conspiracy theories, assumptions and conclusions I’ve come up with while running and living life in my hood…

When I see a white van with darkened windows and no company markings on the outside of the van, I assume there is a kidnapper in that van.

When I see someone walk up to a car, talk to the driver for a moment, hand them something and receive something in exchange, I assume it is a drug deal.

When I see the price of vegetables and fruit skyrocket at the grocery store, while McD’s dollar menu remains the same, it is because “they” want us to be unhealthy and eventually need more medical care.

When I see gas prices at an all time high, I assume the oil companies are greedy and all they care about it our money.

When I see all of the commercials for all of the different medicines available to cure one thing or another, while causing side affects that will require 5 more pills to cure the initial problem, I assume it’s because “they” are trying to over medicate us and eventually take all of our money.

When I see a kid screaming, crying and out of control, I assume the parents are push-overs.

When I see someone staring at me, I assume it is because I have toilet paper hanging out of my pants.

When we have our windows open and I smell cigarette smoke, it’s because someone is probably standing on the sidewalk trying to spy on us… 
When I think someone might be spying on us, I assume it’s because I am onto something with all of my theories.  

When I see my number of facebook friends go up and down, without me adding or deleting any “friends”, I assume it’s because… nah, never mind… that will just sound too crazy.

Now I realize most of these silly conspiracy theories are not even close to being true. Most days these silly stories don’t even cross my mind. Most days are just normal days…

Or perhaps, not so normal.

Like when I sent my 2nd grade daughter to her elementary school yesterday and they have a lock down.

Not just a “practice” lock down.  But a real lock down.

Apparently, there was a distraught gunman reported to be seen near one of the schools in town.  For precaution, they put all of the schools within the area, on lock down. The person matching the description was not found in the area, so the lock down lifted and the day went on as “normal”.

Was the person reporting another fellow conspiracy theorist?  Perhaps.

Or perhaps there was a gunman.

Sometimes, conspiracy theories can come true.  bad things happen to good people. danger is around us.  that’s not a theory.

Everyday we pray for God’s protection to surround our entire family.  We pray for our kids everyday before they go to school.  They pray at school. We pray while they’re at school.

I asked Soleil if she was afraid at school.  She said “No”.  She told her friend Myah, “You know Who is protecting us, right?” Myah said, “Yea, I know.” and Soleil said, “God.” They were praying together during the lock down. I couldn’t be more proud.

I can concoct some pretty radical theories in my brain, but regardless of there reliability, I don’t need to fear evil or danger.  I know God is my Shepherd and He is in control (John 10:1-18).

What are some of the craziest conspiracy theories your brain has concocted?

Birth Story ~ Soleil

May 9th, 2004 ~ Soleil Elizabeth Babcock made her entrance into the world ~ via Beth Israel Hospital in NYC, NY
on that Mother’s Day Sunday ~ 5:46pm ~ our lives forever changed
our first born, our boo-ba, our sunshine
and it all started on a British Bus

now get your minds out the gutter. Soleil wasn’t conceived on a double-decker British bus or anything, but our first desire to have a child was.

At the time, P.A. and I were living and working in NYC.  We lived in Battery Park City, served in ministry at a vibrant church in Midtown Manhattan, and had a healthy love/hate relationship with the Big Apple. 

In the fall of 2002, we went on the trip of our dreams to Europe.  We traveled by planes, trains and automobiles, exploring England, Germany, France and Switzerland.  We backpacked, traveled light and stayed at hostels, convents and budget hotels.  Our first stop was London and the first day there, we rode on one of the British double decker buses.  The same kind of tour buses we made fun of in NYC.
Yes, we were those tourists.

On the top level of the double-decker, as we were taking in the sights of London, like Buckingham Palace, etc… P.A. and I both looked forward and caught sight of this cute little boy with wavy red hair.  He looked back in our direction toward his parents behind us and flashed a smile.  We then looked at each other and started to tear up.
We knew.

At this time, we had been married for over 5 years and had no plans of having children anytime soon.  We didn’t even like kids. unless they were a good distance away from us.  we were never ‘baby people’.  “Ohhh, let me hold your baby.” or “Your baby is sooo cute!” or “babies are the best!” …
those words never came from our mouths.

Yet, in this moment. we. just. knew.
We spent the rest of our dream trip talking about our future with kids.
And now we have 3 wee babs…
and Salem, our 5 year old, has a toy British Bus and often asks, “When are we gonna go on a British Bus?”  To which we reply, “We want to go as soon as we can!”

So we procrastinated on actually having a baby.  since we are good at procrastinating, why mess up a good thing?
By God’s grace and mercy, I became pregnant with Soleil in August 2003, right away, after waiting procrastinating to “try” and get pregnant.

As soon as we found out I was pregnant, emotions were high and everyday was a new adventure of learning and questions like “what to eat?”, “what to wear?”, “how will I feel?” and “will I make it thru the day without throwing up?”  At this point, I was consumed with myself more than a normal human typically is, I’m guessing.

I was very sick for the first trimester. I couldn’t keep much food down.  I lost 10-15 lbs.  and I was excited about this.  I was enjoying being a “skinny pregnant chick”.

Fast forward to February 2004.  I was 6 months pregnant and we were taking our birthing classes at the hospital, given by a midwife.  During this time, I discovered that the c-section rate at our hospital was very high.  I started doing my homework, not procrastinating for once, and researching everything there is to know about pregnancy and birth at one of my favorite places to dwell for endless hours, prior to having kids… the Barnes and Noble cafe tables in Union Square.

After our birthing class and my personal research, I was empowered with enough information to become a doctor and deliver my own baby, so I decided to change doctors.  Although I tend to be a people pleaser and don’t like hurting anyone’s feelings, I didn’t have a committed relationship to my doctor, so I changed hospitals and found a midwifery group that I could marry into.
These ladies rocked!  

At this point, I also cared more about Soleil – who at the time was Hannah-Soleil – and was growing beautifully.  We were growing very anxious to meet her!  During the 20 week ultra sound, the technician said in her Russian accent “she has strong arm.”  During this ultra sound, we also found out she was going to be a she.  P.A. kept asking, “are you sure?” only to be met with a firm look and a stern answer, “Yes. I sure.” from the technician who, as I said before, was Russian and looked as though she could arm wrestle us with her pinky.  I kept nudging P.A. to believe her and just let it be… but he asked because he had to be sure.

In case you weren’t aware of this fact: 
Pregnant women can experience a range of emotions.  

When I was just a few weeks away from my due date, P.A. and I went to Quiznos for lunch, and as I waddled into the fine sandwich establishment, I suddenly felt like I was under a spotlight.  As we approached the counter to order, one of the workers making sandwiches whispered loud enough so that i could hear, “Man, she is mad pregnant!”  Really?!?  I wasn’t sure.  I thought I had just swallowed a whole basketball or watermelon or some other thing roughly that size… needless to say, I was like “dude, I can HEAR YOU!” and I stared him down until he couldn’t handle my fiery gaze any longer and he turned away.  I don’t think he will share his opinion on any pregnant women again after encountering moi.

After 9 months of swollen feet, maddening hunger, severe need to always be near a restroom (not always easy in NYC), and feeling like a manatee… Saturday, May 8th arrived.  This was a normal day, whatever that means for our lives. We had a youth leaders meeting an hour north of the city and drove up there to connect, encourage and pray with one another.  During the dinner and meeting, I visited the restroom a record number of times and had some painful infrequent contractions.  At the end of our time together all the leaders gathered around to pray for us, as we were about to journey into the unpredictable land of parenthood.
They prayed I would have the baby that night.

As we drove back to the city, I talked with my sister in law on the phone, reporting to her all of the details of my recent contractions and obsessive need to go pee, throughout the youth leaders meeting.  When we got home, I plopped myself on the couch and watched some show about “Celebrity Moms”.  At midnight, I managed to pry myself off of the couch to walk four feet into our bedroom and Whoosh!   My water broke.

I. was. in. shock.  

I didn’t really expect to go into labor so soon – my due date was still a week away.  But there was no doubt, labor had begun.  I called my midwife. went to the bathroom 30 more times, soaked thru several pairs of pants and after 6 hours of laboring at home, we headed to the hospital at 6am.

Nearly 12 hours later, after an intense natural labor and all of the fun things involved with that – which I will spare you the details on, since you have enough other details of her/our long story – Soleil was born compound presentation.  this means she had her hand on her cheek when she was delivered.  let me tell you, that was super fun.  especially given no meds… and the fact that she was a “big baby” weighing 8.9 lbs.

But I didn’t care about the pain, though P.A. nearly passed out.  She was healthy and in my arms.  As soon as we saw her, we new she was not a “Hannah-Soleil”, she was a pure ‘Soleil’ ~ We were ecstatic!  and she looked just like a female version of Adam.  we couldn’t get over it.  so we gave her the middle name Elizabeth, after the middle name of P.A.’s sister.

Here is P.A. with Soleil – 1.5 days old – leaving the hospital.  I almost peed my pants laughing when I saw her in those sunglasses.

Soleil ~ just born ~ 5:46pm, Mother’s Day Sunday, May 9th

So, this is Soleil’s birth story with a lot of important details leading up to her life story.  She just turned eight years old and is already changing the world and touching lives.  She has changed our lives forever with her grand entrance into the world and we look forward to the rest of her story… so far it is only halfwritten.

Happy 8th Birthday to our Sweet Soleil!

Dear Soleil~

Dear Soleil ~ at this time in your life, most of the world sees you as painfully shy and maybe… maybe even some might see you as weak.  and you are shy, around most people. but, your family ~ we know you are extremely discerning and strong.  it is not easy to live like you do, in between two worlds.  and you are learning.  learning about not being of the world while living on the earth.  it can be painful.  it’s not easy to stand up for what you believe in. even when you are standing in silence.  it’s not easy to let go of expectations that are high and then quickly disappointed.
then, there are some days we worry.  we worry that you might be too much of a follower.  that you are too quiet when you should be more vocal.  that you would rather stay behind the scenes instead of taking your place on the stage to shine.  and even though there might be moments, or even seasons when you do follow… we remember.  we know whose you are.  we trust Jesus to hold you, protect you, strengthen you and carry you.  we know that you are following Him.

and as you grow, it will not become easier.  

sure, there is a part of me that wishes i could tell you it will get easier.  that life will be fair and balanced… and organized.  and clean and tidy.  and all your ducks will be in a row.  and all of your dreams will come true.  and life will become a fairy tale if you believe in yourself.  well… you know i never tell you that.  but isn’t that what all the movies for little girls say?  “just believe in yourself.  just believe.” we’ve watched so many of these movies, some of them hundreds of times.  but you know.  you already know!  life is not a fairy tale.  wishes upon the stars are not true.  penny’s will not bring you luck.  and there is no fairy god mother who comes to your side every time you shed a tear, ready to sparkle you from head to toe and send you to the ball.
you know.
you know you have a daddy, a mommy, a brother and a sister who come to your side and comfort you every time you shed a tear.  who squeeze you with big hugs, smother you with kisses and make you laugh when you are upset.  you know you have a God who is greater than any fairy tale story could ever peg. and He is by your side every moment of everyday.

you know.  
there is a specific code, time of day and special key that will unlock your heart and soul.  and it helps if there is a full moon and if the stars are aligned… not really, but…  😉  once you open up, the wisdom you share, the beauty that you speak, the love that you give is amazing.  it fills us up!  and for those… those very few, who are blessed to be close to you, it fills them up too.  

we don’t want you to conform to this world. and you don’t.  you are living between two worlds ~ beautifully.  with conviction and grace. you see beyond the surface.  already, you know such depth of the Lord.  and you are only seven.  

you bless us Soleil.  we are amazed by who you are.  thank you for being you.  there are no words descriptive enough to say how much we love you.  so we just say it.  over and over and over again.  until you get tired of hearing it.  we love you.
~your fam 🙂

Noted. By Les Babs

I hope You dance

I noticed it; again...

Not that I’d never noticed before. I am, after all; a people watcher. a student of culture. a keen observer of social science.

I took my daughter to a school father/daughter dance and I noticed:

That, most guys are awkward when it comes to being with their daughters- they either are seemingly distracted from her by a cell phone, disconnected from her by side conversations with other guys in attendance and talking about sports or hunting or some other  b.s. that seems to be more important, or they are all together distant from the situation, not really present at all. Just somewhere else- physically, mentally, -maybe even both

Tonite, I observed all 3 of the above at multiple times with multiple dad’s & their daughters. Distracted Dad’s. Disconnected Dad’s. Distant Dad’s.

Now you are probably thinking-“that’s pretty dang judgemental & who named you the Sigmund Freud of Father’s at dances anyway.”

Not a judgement, an observation- Of Myself….I have been “that dad”. All 3 of them in fact, sometimes all at once. I feel awkward walking into a room of dude’s I don’t know, I make valid reasons in my head to be disconnected, distracted, distant. And it’s so easy to be like this- especially when you sense every guy in the room is just doing the same.. just getting through the evening so he can go home and do something else more important- like watch ESPN or something else to distract him from true beauty.

There is something within us as Men that can cause us to succumb to a feeling of carelessness when a moment, an event, an evening with a child… does not focus on us or on our interests.

We give in to this sin of selfish distraction and our daughters suffer. They lose hope of the love they desperately desire that only a Dad can reflect… a Dad that loves in such a way that He foolishly dances with His daughter.

I noticed that tonite too…  I saw a Dad being a fool of himself…. His moves were definitely more like 1992 than 2012, But he strutted his stuff like no body’s business, and nobody mattered but that one girl he brought with him- his daughter.

No Distraction. No Disconnection. No Distance. Just Dancing.

I noticed I was jealous; jealous of the abandon this Dad possessed, the abandon that all Dad’s possess yet push away. The abandon to ditch everything and everyone else and focus on the one in front of you, the one you came to be with, the reason you are there in the first place. your Child.

And I think about God. I think if He was at a School dance we would not observe Him being distracted, disconnected, or even distant. I think He would be making a complete fool of himself, even embarrassing Himself with the careless, over-the-top love He has for His child. He would dance like no Dad has danced before. He would Dance because that is why He came in the first place. And every child in the room would be waiting in line for Him.

I noticed something tonite. I want to be more like God and less like me. I want to be that Dad that dances with his daughter while other guys just sit and stare.

Then maybe they can blog about the Dad who made a fool of himself, dancing with the one He loves…

noted by: Adam B