I could tell you it's writer's block or justify my leave on account of becoming a dad, but the fact of the matter is I haven't written on here in quite some time.
To be clear, I miss it.
But life has been moving ridiculously fast in the Kurbat bubble and most days my brain feels like mush by 6:45. I'm not complaining. Not at all. In fact, I'm pretty stoked on where things are at but I know I could blink and wonder where the next three years have gone.
I began a new job the morning after we got home from the hospital with Aria. It's downtown. I sit in lots of traffic. It's a grind. And I love it. Officially, my title is Creative Brand Strategist but I realize that's probably a bunch of gibberish to most of you reading this. It boils down to the opportunity to draft taglines, messaging and scripts for all kinds of awesome brands at Kitchen Sink Studios. I honestly feel like all of my experiences have prepared me for this role -- from creative writing to critical reporting, playing with different tones and styles, even coaching voice talent, I'm honored to help doers and dreamers put their best foot forward -- but nothing could have prepared me for the awesome team that took me in. There's real between these walls.
Most days we drink a lot of coffee. And sometimes Doug flies drones.
Oh, and I went down the Grand Canyon again. Eight days on the rapids with my dad, uncle, cousin Tim from Chicago and some of my their childhood friends. We reunited with the majority of the same guides from our first excursion so we knew we were in for a treat. To top things off -- Into the Wild has long been one of my favorite movies -- Brian Dierker, the guy who played Rainey, was the trip lead. I always tell myself I'm going to document more of my Canyon excursions but truthfully, it feels like a sin to disrupt the moment. The Canyon doesn't need a filter. It can't be cropped. It won't be tamed. And to fumble with my electronics was to ignore the mesmerizing beauty and mastery of the occasion.
I swear, those falls add years to your life. The midnight moon stands guard of your serenity. Big Horn cling to chasms like Gargoyles. Days fade into lifetimes and the thunderous roar of the mighty Colorado demands your respect. People die out there, but we find life. Onward we climbed, up Topeats Creek, into Thunder River -- the most vibrant oasis in the dust of the desert, where fresh mint greets the ripples of the ruthless river above -- further, further to Surprise Valley, the fertile plains and ancient home of the Anasazi, where the only reprieve from the midday glaze were two boulders the size of the houses we left at home. Then down. Past tooth and claw of ancient granite. We traced the trickle of Deer Creek into the Patio atop Deer Creek Falls where granola bars taste of Heaven and shade feels like life. The Up and Over Trail, as it's come to be known, amounts to some 15 miles of inner canyoneering that we're told relatively few people have had the privilege to partake.
Some nights the cosmos unleashed tears that flooded our measly bags. We shivered through the early hours.
Some mornings the horizon bled vermillion, as flash floods broke loose from distant veins and the water blushed of mud.
Though the burns have healed and the blisters shed, I know that Canyon water flows in me still.
I set back to civilization and had to kill time until my girls returned from Minnesota. If days in the Canyon felt like lifetimes, the seconds that stood between me and my ladies were small eternities.
My heart fluttered upon their arrival and every day with Aria awakens a zest I never knew.
Oh yeah, there was also a 36 hour stint in Vegas between the Canyon and my flight back to Phoenix. I learned how to play Black Jack and made incredible memories with the guys that I one day hope to recall.
In keeping with the spirit of adventure, Dani and I planned our first trek with Aria to Inner Basin in Flagstaff. But I'll let the video do the talking.
Then I went back to Sedona with Timmy and Dani's cousin Eli to embark on some cliff jumping and professional sun burning --yes, that's a thing, and yes I'm a pro -- just ask my shoulders.
Needless to say, tons of excitement over the last month.
I think it's caught up to me because I've caught a cold. But that's okay. The party has currently settled in my chest and the fact I can't catch my breath has forced me to slow down.
Which leads me here: Life's about the little things and the big pictures. It's easy to get swept off your feet in the hours of excitement. Rush is addictive. But I've found that I appreciate life the more I really notice the perfect moments in crazy days and the more content I am when I cast away fluttering fears to embrace the big picture.
Guys, I can't tell you how earth-shatteringly-peaceful it is to watch your child nurse. I know, I know. All you single dudes are convinced I've gone to the Dad Side. But to know that your child is safe and truly happy, what else is there? And when I see how much Aria needs her mom, I'm reminded how much I need my wife.
And when I see how hard my wife works to set the table, reclaim her pre-baby fitness and smile at whatever life throws her way, I'm on fire to be the greatest man I can become.
When the day comes to a close and the gridlock of I-17 gives way to a walk around the park with my pup, I'm grateful. When we pay our bills, when Hendrix plays on the radio, when my wife buys mac and cheese, when I get to eat pizza and drink Whiskey like a bachelor, I take note.
When the blowout didn't cause an accident, when a friend finds resolve...
... when I stop to see the moments and count the little things, I realize life's not as crazy as it seems.
Help me stay the course! Got things on your mind? Stories you want to hear? Questions you want answered?
Comment below and I'll see what I can do.
Thanks for reading,