I know that this conclusion feels sad for a lot of people.
I understand that hurt and I'm sorry for it.
I know that I still haven't said much about the breakdown of my marriage. My intention is to avoid the discussion of any details that could in any way detract from the relationships between my boys and their mother.
But here's what I can say that might be helpful in understanding my readiness to move on with my life.
When Andrea moved out six months ago, it began the legal process of divorce. But for me it wasn't the beginning of the divorce itself, it was the end of it. It marked the end of many years of hard work to restore the marriage. It marked the end of my fear, and my efforts to avoid that which I dreaded most. And when it all unraveled, I realized that the fear itself was doing me more harm than the object of my fear.
My work in counseling for the last few years was primarily focused on learning to accept and make the best of a hurting relationship, even when it wasn't what I had hoped for - and didn't seem like it would head that way. Learning to let go of my expectations for marriage really prepared me to let go of the marriage in a peaceful way.
In my experience, most people enter into the legal proceedings of divorce with a sense of confusion, rejection, and loss. That's why a divorce can easily bring out the very worst in people, and that's why it usually takes about two years. And that's why it's so difficult (sometimes impossible) for people to find any sense of closure.
So I'm not saying that there was no anger, grief or hurt. And I'm not saying that Andrea and I are now good friends. But we do have a respectful & cooperative relationship. We can coexist and communicate well, and it seems that we are both willing to do what is necessary to help our boys feel safe and loved.
I do regret my shortcomings in marriage, but at the same time I feel good about my efforts toward having a good marriage and growing as a person.
I do regret (and understand) the pain that people I love experience as a result of this divorce, but at the same time I feel very thankful for the peace and joy I am experiencing now.
I do not regret the choice I made more than 10 years ago to marry Andrea. It's been painful at times, but there were good times too. Andrea and I had some different ideas about marriage, and some difficulty working through those differences. But she was kind to me in many ways.
That relationship brought Will and Isaac into my life, and it was a major part of shaping who I am today and the place I find myself now.
And the place in life that I find myself is a very good place to be.
The boys are brilliant, hilarious, loving, growing, and well adjusted.
I have wonderful family and friends.
I'll have a place of my own to live soon.
I'm experiencing some really amazing and meaningful connections that I never expected 6 months ago.
And the new year looks VERY inviting.
I hope that all of you can experience some of the same gratitude and hope.
Whereas the particular skill which is demonstrated herein, demonstrates full compatibility with the numerous and randomly astounding wonderments performed by one "Nick Wagenamker" and for the general betterment of western culture, should be added to his repertoire post haste.
My first official Stock20 project was a "Christmas Gift" for our faithful customers (who have remained loyal in the absence of new music for about 5 months).
So I developed a unique interpretation of "Silent Night", recruited a talented vocalist to refine and record the melody, then today Tony released it.
I've since received scores of positive e-mails and order comments from our customers. In less than three hours it's been ordered and downloaded over 300 times. That makes me happy.
Here's an mp3 version for your listening/burning/sharing enjoyment.
And if you (or someone you know) is a media professional, a free license to use this song in creative projects can be acquired at www.stock20.com
ps. I also posted a short video on the boys' site, should be available shortly.
If anything is out of the ordinary
If the contents of a room are re-arranged
If people are laughing and he doesn't get the joke
If anyone raises their voice (kidding on not)
If anyone gets a "time out"...
"What Happened? What Happened?"
If the explanation you offer is inadequate:
"What Happened? What Happened?"
Sometimes these explanations can be challenging. And with Isaac, you can't just make something up.
I think the video below (provided by Tony's zoo photography) is one of my favorite "What Happened" contexts.
This past weekend, Tony and Tara planned a really exciting day for the Rudd boys and the Corbin 3. I've posted a photo essay on the boys' blog.
All the creatures were fascinating in many ways. But for two members of our group (who happen to be in the preliminary potty-training stages) excretory function seemed to remain the central theme of every exhibit.
The animal in the video below was not very active, but was greatly enjoyed by all.
note: Isaac calls Will "Wilson" when he is excited.
But a few weeks ago, I was able to avail myself of that opportunity. I filled out the paperwork required to loose the demolition duo on calvary's unsuspecting children's ministry, and found myself a seat next to some of my other siblings.
Before I say more, it should be noted that:
1) I have a really hard to sitting through almost any type of presentation for more than 20-30 minutes (yes, I know that I have no right to complain about lengthy sermons)
2) If you know David and I, you know that we have a few divergent views on things, and some generally different ways of thinking/functioning (for instance: he's responsible, organized, and focused. He holds a job and completes advanced degrees. I barely emerged from college with a dubiously acquired bachelors degree and a career path that gets changed more often than the oil in my minivan)
So there I was in the 10:30 service:
-Surrounded by six or seven hundred nice people, a solid majority of those adults being republicans who have jobs and do not live with their mothers
-And I was listening to a 40+ minute lecture.
-And I assume that I was hearing a theological/philosophical idea or two that would not naturally resonate with my way of thinking.
Interestingly enough, none of those factors were primary in my consciousness.
I was mostly noticing how passionate and gifted my brother was. (And I'm generally pretty critical of such things)
And while he's very good at preaching/teaching/writing, it's a relatively small part of what he contributes to the church he is a part of. He's really talented at everything he does, has some innovative ideas and he works very hard (probably a little more than he should). If he hadn't abused me as his paper-route lacky 23 years ago, I'd hire him to run my company, or to do just about anything.
I think he could be pretty successful in just about any church, or any field he chose, but It's really clear to me that he cares very deeply for the people in the community that he serves as a pastor.
Sometimes I think it's got to be hard to be on staff at the church he grew up in. I don't have a lot of opportunity to observe, but over the years it seems like sometimes he has to pay twice the dues, for half the respect.
My dad's been a pastor for about 40 years. And he's been at Calvary for about 23. I think David's been there in some capacity for pretty close to a decade. That's a long time.
And I remember that it's a hard job. People have expectations and desires that are often in tension. So there's almost always someone who is unhappy and unaware of the bigger picture. Sometimes that gets expressed in unkind ways.
Lately I've observed some of that happening in ways that are beyond the typical pastor's experience. It's been difficult to watch.
First and foremost, I hurt for them. I can see that it weighs heavily on them. I wish I could do something to prevent it.
But I'm also very proud of them (and that would extend to my mom and my sister-in-law who demonstrate the same kind of commitment and experience the same kind of hurt).
While I don't regret the years I spent as pastor, I am thankful to be traveling a different route in my own spiritual journey; a route that gives me some distance from those pressures. But I'm very proud of what my they are doing, proud of their motivations, and impressed by their stamina in doing it. It's very obvious that their efforts make the world a better place in some really tangible ways.
So, when I feel that they are under-appreciated, over-scrutinized, or simply lied about, I feel some hurt on their behalf. I feel some pride toward them. But then I invariably experience a sense of confusion.
Both my dad and my brother have demanding and high stress jobs.
They both have had no shortage of opportunities to accept positions offering, more money, less stress (and probably greater sense of prestige or importance).
While they've both had some rewarding opportunities, they have both endured some very hurtful experiences.
And they both know that as long as they are focused on helping hurting people, they will receive more wounds.
I think that everyone experiences some mix of healthy and unhealthy motivations.
And everyone makes mistakes.
I don't think my brother and father are perfect.
And I don't think they are trying to enjoy or perpetrate that illusion either.
But when people assume, imply, or infer that there is a deep or pervasive insincerity behind the actions of my father or my brother...
I can only wonder what their angle "angle" might be
What's in it for them??
If you are going to embrace your dark side and employ yourself toward sinister ends, why not avail yourself of one of the many venues that richly reward such behavior?
...or at least build one of those cool christian theme parks
A Really Great Week
Halloween was a "mom day" but I got to help the boys get their spider costumes on, drive them
to Downtown Grand Haven, and photograph their trick-or-treat adventure.
(you can see a video in the post below, and more pictures here)
They seemed a little overwhelmed at first, but gained some confidence as the night went on. It's been really fun to see their personalities emerging more fully in the last few months.
After collecting scores of pictures of the boys, I made it to Katie, Ginger, and Willow's apartment in time to get some pictures of the "Dreams Come True" Fairy, and the "Miracles can Happen" Fairy.
Then I traveled with Katie and her mom to a theater in Kalamazoo for the world premiere of an independent horror film.
This was probably the first horror film I've ever watched in its entirety, and there is a good chance that I won't feel the need to see many more.
And while Katie expressed, in numerous disclaimers, the many ways in which this film was not the type of storytelling that she hopes to engage through acting... It was a *real film*. And Katie was this very believable "other person", on the big screen, with a name in the credits.
Improving the experience further, were some great/entertaining/enlightening conversations with Katie's mom (as we traveled), and the chance to briefly meet some of Katie's family from that part of the state.
In the last few months I've had the opportunity to get to know Katie pretty well. But conversations of substance have mostly been relegated to the phone, with the majority of our time spent together taking place among slides, swings, monkeybars, and the continual exploits of four very active children.
So the evening felt like a "preview" of the not-so-distant future, when it will be very natural to go to a movie, for a walk, or dinner, or simply have a face to face conversation with no interruptions until the annoyed teenager kicks us out of the coffee shop at closing time.
I'll write more about that later--the really-great-week continues...
Lately, when the boys are not with me, I have spent my time working through the details of major life transitions, downsizing, reorganizing, redeveloping my business, or editing. I'm pretty sure that I've not watched a single episode of a TV show or a movie during that time. I've spent very little time listening to music.
But this past week I got to spend Wednesday night at the theater (in the entourage of a movie-star), and then my first (and long awaited) night at the symphony on Friday.
It was absolutely amazing. I had the honor of taking my mom, who perfected the experience with her musical knowledge, binoculars, and generally exciting persona. Got to see Ryan in action, spend a little time with Gigi, and hold a short conversation with Rob and Kim.
The first part of the concert featured a world renowned cellist (maybe my favorite instrument), the second part featured the full orchestra and an incredibly moving composition (Tchaikovsky).
Special thanks to brother Ryan for the tickets, Bompa Bill for putting the boys to bed.
The Frauenthal is a beautiful setting, fall is my favorite time of year, and the spiralling melodies--driven by a perfect blend of voices-- seemed to be releasing the very best kind of chemicals into my brain.
I let my eyes relax their focus, and watched the synchronized movements throughout the string section...
....and it all seemed very, very right.
[transition post from a really-great-week to a really-great-fall]
And my life in general feels that way right now.
Not perfect, not void of stress and challenges. But very good.
July of 2006 through July of 2007 may have been one of the most difficult years of my life. 2005 had some generally rough spots as well.
But I just can't get past how fortunate I feel to have opportunities like the ones I've described in this post. So this "really great week" seems to be full of little pictures of those things that make the future seem very inviting.
and beyond those things which I've already mentioned:
My boys are developing hilarious personalities and interacting like never before. They really love each other, they learn so fast, and they can mimic almost anything they see adults doing.
Three years ago, I had no idea how much I wanted to be a father. Now I just can't imagine my life any other way. And they get more fun all the time (also their capacity for destruction increases daily).
They seem to be anchored in a very rich web of relationships. I'm so thankful for all the people that love them so well.
And though I've not been able to adequately invest in many of the relationships that are important to me, *I* feel very anchored too.
Friends, family, & xin-laws (pronounced "kzin-law") have all been very supportive in helping with the boys.
In the not too distant future, we'll all be celebrating the arrival of some important, and long awaited babies.
I'm realizing that I live in a very beautiful place (I can't believe how neglectful I've been toward that beauty in the past).
I feel healthier than I have in years, the daily headaches I once experienced seem to be dissipating, and my debilitating vomit-blood-E.R.-narcotics-headaches may be gone forever.
I can see well. My new eye doctor fitted me with contacts that allow me to see at least 20/20.
My vocational opportunities grant me parental flexibility, adequate income, and some rewarding creative opportunities. I have every reason to believe that my little company will [more than] survive its current transitional difficulties.
I should be back to work on my musical projects soon, and I'm working on two very interesting short films.
My parents have been incredible hosts for the last few months, making an extra effort to ease the sting of a living with your mother at age 31. My boys have loved the proximity to their grandparents, and plans for a future home are in the works.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner... and I feel very ready to engage the spirit of both holidays.
My new audio workstation is up and running.
yesterday and today I spent several hours learning the basics of my new recording software.
20 minutes ago, I recorded my first track.
here it is,
it's very rough, improvisational, and unedited.
but it's my first recording in my new studio,
and it's really good to be back.
there's a more interesting audio file at will and isaac's blog (also from today).
here's some snippets of what I've been up to since my last post...
will, riding the "barrel train" at an orchard/pumpkin farm a few saturdays back.
A couple weeks ago Isaac spent a few days experimenting with a new way of voicing frustration.
This would involve:
1) dropping everything
2) fleeing as fast as he could to whatever he perceived to be the edge of a safe perimeter
3) facing whomever he was upset with (from a distance of preferably 40 feet or more)
4) wailing his lament of injustice.
In this particular episode, his sprint from community was so passionate, I thought he might race into the orchard never to be heard from again... but he stopped at the treeline.
I took a very quick trip to NYC a couple weeks ago.
Can you tell it was my first time?
I went with the Jason Piasecki and Andy Maciejewski of a local creative firm (Qonverge), to pitch some marketing strategies to a music licensing & technology company.
Here we are in their studio just a few blocks from Times Square.
*Street vendor hot dogs
*An interesting kind of work assignment
*Lots of frustrating air travel delays...
*Some incredible turbulence while fighting through a severe storm over NYC
*The resulting involuntary surrender of my lunch (ten seconds before wheels hit the ground)
Collectively, the boys and I have consumed hundreds of apples. (and thrown hundreds of sticks and stones into various bodies of water)
and spent in ordinate amounts of time at playgrounds.
this particular adventure was shared with cousins Emma and Maya while Liam played soccer on the other side of the fence.
Will hung out with Grandma GoGo and Maya while I got to have a special "just isaac" trip to GR for some allergy/asthma testing.
He leveraged his charm and bravery to draw amazement from every medical professional who came in contact with him; watching with cool curiosity as they drew blood, holding meticulously still for the student x-ray tech, and spending several minutes inspecting every single oil painting at the Butterworth Campus.
He got to pick his own food at the cafeteria, and then we spent some time in the ambulance bay boosting paramedic moral through ruckus cheering.
This morning, the boys slept in a bit. When they finally called for me I left my desk and walked into their room to find will celebrating the fact that he had succesfully removed every stitch of clothing from his body.
"naked. no pee" he assured me.
I asked him why he felt like he needed to be naked.
"Got it! clothes off! Self!"
Isaac was clearly impressed.
I'm still trying to get caught up but making some progress. But the boys will be with Andrea for a stretch of several days and I'm hoping to make a good dent.
and life is very good.
Because of the cabin trip, I ended up having the boys in my care for about 24 of the 30 days of September. It was a really fun month. But I didn't get much work done.
And the process of -divorce-navigation/homeselling/moving/downsizing/evicting/re-leasing/adjusting-
has required a lot of time.
So if I owe you a phone call, an e-mail, some quality time, or a gently used rhinestone studded athletic supporter, I apologize. I'm hoping to get my act together in the next 2-30 months.
Tony and Tara have done a great job of keeping Stock20 alive, but from a business standpoint, there is much to be done. From a musical standpoint I'm even further behind. I've been unable to record/compose new music for several months. Typically, the new music releases are what generate income.
This past weekend Andrea took the boys to Marshall/Olivette, allowing me to (mostly) finish two important projects.
1) My new "loft" bed, will allow me to add a recording studio to the space that is currently my kitchen, office, and bedroom. My "apartment" behind my parents house is definitely tight quarters, but it's working pretty well for now and my parents have been very gracious. I will post pictures of our minimalist bachelor pad soon.
2) "Little Red Caboose" beds for the boys. My own general uneasiness and the collective wisdom on raising twin boys suggests that it's not a good idea to turn them loose in big boy beds until you can put them in separate rooms. I think they could probably survive it (others have), I'm just not sure I could survive any further lack of sleep. And I'm not sure they are ready to make another significant transition right now.
So my goal was to create a larger, more comfortable, and more sturdy bed, that wouldn't be very different from the "pack and plays" they have been sleeping in.
Just for fun, both beds feature the much loved "little red caboose" on the front panel, and they can look through the caboose windows to see the their sidekick in the other caboose.
I've been working on them for a couple weeks, but hadn't gotten very far. We worked feverishly throughout Sunday to complete them, got them situated with only minutes to spare before the boys return from their weekend trip. (a special thanks is owed to anti-onion katie and her two associates for their invaluable help with artwork, construction, and cleanup.)
I had a camera ready for the "unveiling". You may notice Will as he expresses his excitement verbally. Isaac opted for a very passionate round of lively and percussive dancing...
As you can see, the beds were a big hit initially, and have since offered up 2 naps, and 3 successful nights of sleep.
I'm missing time with many you, and hope to be a better at whatever I am for you soon.
Life is very busy, but continues to be very good.
the boys missed everyone.
we had tons of fun.
no potty training (too much hiking/canoeing/suzuki-ing/rockthrowing)
still vacationing, just here in town.
on the evening I packed the van, I said goodbye to the cabin until spring,
...and the setting sun turned everything to gold.
Hope to catch up on stuff like that soon.
I'm feeling less angry, less afraid, and more hopeful all the time.
The last decade of my life with Andrea formed many good memories, and much for which I'm thankful to her for.
But many of those years also contained a sense of something dark and immanent,
some painful choices and patterns.
and no options for collaboratively finding healthier ways of relating to each other.
and not having those options (and not understanding why)
does feel like rejection (whether it is or it isn't)
So while many people experience divorce as an overwhelming wave of rejection or loss.
I have felt those emotions more like the current of a river.
Sometimes a strong current, sometimes less noticeable.
But a current I've experienced (and contributed to) for a long time.
So now I do not feel a wave.
I am more aware of a steady "depressurization."
What was feared, resisted, and fought has materialized. And I find the experience of it far more tolerable than the fear or of it.
And it's nice to speak more freely with people I care about.
A good therapist is better than working through something alone.
But not having to keep things from those I love is much better.
I do feel loss, grief, and regret: for the hurting people I care about, and for the roles I have played in causing hurt.
But mostly I feel a lot of hope.
Did I mention that a week from today I will take my boys to the cabin for 8 days?
We're going to throw lots of rocks in mackinaw bay, canoe relentlessly, explore the function and grave responsibilities of wearing big boy underpants, and maybe I'll even notch some logs for the little cabin I started building almost 15 years ago (Cedar lasts a long long time).
And I do live with my parents
(and they have been great)
And I do not have a job
(but I'm not really a "have a job" kind of guy)
In spite of some current financial pressures (resulting in a screeching halt of all business development and advertising), my little company seems to still be paying it's primary bills and starting a slow recovery. My employee/friends have been great. And I think were going to make it.
Some of the responsibilities which claimed significant chunks of my time have drawn, or are drawing, to a conclusion. I'm hoping to start making music again in the next month. I may do more video work to fill some financial gaps.
More often than not, I get to spend every waking hour with my boys.
And when they are with Andrea, I still get to spend time with them every day.
And this is not the reality of most single parents.
so I'm really grateful.
So I raced around madly, pulling boxes into the garage as quickly as I could.
Just as I was about to go back inside I heard a voice from the upstairs window of my next door neighbor's house.
Lilly: "What about the Bike?"
Daniel: "Good point Lilly."
Daniel: "But you know what, it's gotten wet before, I think it will be OK this time."
Lilly: "Have you heard of rust?"
Daniel: "I hadn't really thought of that... [moving bike] Lilly, how did you grow to be so smart so quickly?"
Lilly: "Hello!!??!, I'm *NINE* Years old!"
I'm really going to miss my neighbors.
And they are now well along the way of moving into my old house. And I am completely moved out. (thanks to some great friends and family who were very generous with their help).
I would very much like to buy my neighbor's house so I can sit in Lilly's upstairs window and advise her driveway activities. (Or just so I could keep some of the best neighbors I've had, one of my favorite neighborhoods, and the incredible view of Bear Lake's wetlands).
It would be about half of my previous house payment, but still more than I want to spend.
If you have been to my house and fallen in love with the sunset-over-waiving-cattails, you should talk to my neighbors before they list their (old) house with a realtor (very soon).
But mostly I wanted to say thanks to everyone who helped. I really couldn't have made it without you.
Important Addendum: Moulton House Not For Sale
Please desist all efforts to sell my house on Moulton Avenue anymore. My previous renters (who wish to purchase the house) seemed to have found new employment, payed all back rent, and have secured a new lease with me. I'm hoping (for their sake and mine) that this works out well for them.
If you were really closet to that $400 bounty, I apologize. If you send me an essay describing your sales efforts, I will send you $1, or the object of my choice from one of my three "moving storage sites" as a consolation prize.
I was kind of counting on today and tomorrow to really make progress, but I forgot that I had agreed to watch the boys from 8am-2p tomorrow.
So today I will be working on moving all day (sans-twins), and tomorrow I will be back to the work-site by 2pm working all evening (and maybe night).
Friday I will be closing on the house in the morning, but working on packing and moving in the Afternoon and Evening. My 2 associates will be with me. While they enjoy the commotion of moving, they do slow me down a bit.
I hope to finish up moving on Saturday, while simultaneously unloading tons of stuff on eager victims at the garage sale managed by Sue Wagenmaker (the garage sale will only be happening on Saturday). If you'd like to help with the sale, the boys, or general moving/driving/cleanup stuff for any portion of that day, it would be great.
my verizon phone is out of minutes, so I will have to check my message and then call you back using my computer, (unless you are verizon, it's saturday, or it's after 9pm). Sometimes that takes a little while, depending where I'm at. Sorry.
Directions to my house
We close on the sale of our house on Friday the 24th. And I intend/hope to be completely out by the end of the day Saturday (or better).
For all of you who have said you would love to help out,
I think I'm ready.
I hope to finish boxing most of my office/studio up tonight (besides the bare essentials).
Then I'll be doing a lot of cleaning in preparation for the boys return tomorrow morning.
I'll be storing most of my remaining stuff (hopefully not too much) in Angela and Ryan's new basement.
I'll be moving into my parents apartment (behind their garage). The boys will get the bedroom I'll sleep in the living room, and I'm still working on a good solution for a place to set up my recording gear and office. (Know of anyone selling a dirt cheap old travel trailer (around 22 feet)?
So now that I know where I'm going, and where I can put stuff, here's how I could use help (if that is something you would like to do).
1. General labor (cleaning, packing, moving stuff around) - Needed anytime Sunday(today) through Saturday the 25th.
2. Playing with the boys while I do General Labor (Monday through Wednesday)
3. Helping with a garage sale on Friday and/or Saturday, or collaborating on said garage sale.
-playing with the boys, taking money from people so they can be saddled with worthless trinkets, bringing a table that I can borrow, etc...
4. transporting objects large and small to my parent's or my sisters. By using my de-seated mini van, or your own vehicle if it's suitable.
5. Know of anyone who wants to buy a very nice Dining Room Table (big, solid, built in leaves, no chairs) or some very nice leather furniture. Both are less than a year old. Table (paid 800, will take 500-firm), Love Seat (paid 1300 will take 900, and if you want a set Andrea might be open to selling her couch, chair and ottoman).
call, e-mail or comment if you would like to help in any of these ways.
rudd "Dot" daniel "At" gmail "Dot" com
I really think it is a great house and a great price.
But I'm looking for a place where my boys and I can live with a smaller payment.
And we are supposed to be out of hour house on Cedar Avenue in less than 2 weeks.
That makes us "motivated sellers".
And I am offering a reward again.
Last time TJ and Lindsay scored the bounty. This is a bigger house, so it's a bigger reward.
$400 goes to the person who finds a buyer for my house.
Click here for details and pictures, or use this link: http://snipurl.com/1phaw
and it would be great if you could let other people know.
Maybe you don't know someone who needs this house,
but you probably know lots of people who could use 400 bucks.
I tried to scheme a zillion ways to keep it.
more stability for my boys
(or maybe for me)
but in the end it seemed obvious that my limited resources
would accomplish more by sharing my time directly with Isaac and Will
instead of exchanging it for a bigger house.
So I'm going to spend less,
so I can make less, so I can work less.
stability seems like a scarce resource
possibly an illusion
the most important pieces of my life
are orbiting just outside of my control.
and surprisingly, I'm starting to feel OK with that too.
If you've been to Cedar Avenue, you know why I love it.
And I think I'll miss my neighbors more than the view.
But I know that the view won't be missed by my neighbors.
They will be moving in by the end of the month.
And I plan to crash their back porch regularly.
So the three rudd boys are on the hunt for a new residence.
but first we have to sell our other house which is soon to be vacated by our former renters.
3-5 bedroom, 3 bathroom, great N. Muskegon location:
130,ish (price to be determined upon assessment of post rental condition)
more details to come (there will be a reward)
I am also grateful for the willingness of my friends to hear very bad news--with very little explanation--and still offer much support while withholding judgment.
A common (and valid) concern seems to center on whether we received help from a professional.
The short answer is "yes".
A more detailed answer would bring some clarity to a complex situation.
But that is probably the only purpose it would serve.
And right now I am more interested in making choices that avoid blame, bitterness, and finger pointing, than I am in offering clarity (especially via some public forum).
Whatever frustrations I may have with Andrea, she holds a very important place in the hearts of my two boys. And I will relentlessly work toward avoiding anything that will make this more difficult for them.
I do think I'm at a better place now to discuss this portion of my life. So if you are the kind of friend who can and should (someone who has a vested interest in my life, and an established pattern of meaningful conversations), feel free to ask me any question.
However, when asking, I hope you will still be patient with me. Right now I am:
1) wanting to be very careful about how I talk about this. I want to focus on what is best for the future, instead of what I am most angry about in the past (and that's difficult, so sometimes I just decide not to say anything at all)
2) There is much to be done. I'm running short on time these days. I hope you can understand.
rudd [dot] daniel [AT] gmail.com
I'm so glad I didn't take him up on that offer.
It was an exhausting week.
15 people living in my house.
Intense shooting schedules. Long days.
Frantic phone calls and rushed commutes to manage childcare logistics and make sure I could spend an hour or two with the boys each day.
Very little sleep.
And somehow I feel very refreshed.
There is something very rewarding about working collaboratively with wonderful people to tell important stories.
The end of the week was a strange mix of sadness and happiness.
I was very happy to put Isaac and Will's room back together and have them back under my roof.
But I'll admit, once I had them asleep in their little tents, the house seemed very empty, and I missed the chaos. It was a very good week.
In posting it here, I hope that I will find myself making verbal explanations to people less often. I've already found that it is far too easy to tell this story in ways that justify myself at Andrea's expense.
And I know that no good will come from that.
So what's written here is not confidential.
But I'm not ready to discuss this in more detail right now.
***[e-mail i sent out a few days ago]
Some of you may already know, have an awareness, or suspect some piece of this. Some of you may have no idea at all.
And I realize this is not the best way to tell you, but there doesn't seem to be any good way, and it needs to be said.
Andrea and I agreed on the paragraph below, as reflecting truth and honoring both of our perspectives as much as possible.
In some ways, I would like to talk to you about this (and want to); but mostly I'm not ready to yet, don't think it's best, and it would not be possible at this time for me to have that conversation with all of you.
But that doesn't mean I don't want to talk to you at all, or ever again.
This isn't a secret [in fact we'd rather not explain this personally to everyone we know].
The paragraphs below seem to share the neccesary information that will be most helpful toward a healthy future.
I'm truly sorry, for the hurt this will cause and for the roles I have played in bringing it about.
With Love, Daniel
From Andrea and Daniel:
We're sorry to tell you that our marriage is ending. We decided to tell you this jointly because there are (obviously) many things we do not agree on, and at this point we know that focusing on those things will probably not be helpful for us or the people we care about. So we want to focus on what we do agree on.
We're both saddened by this, and we both have regrets about those things which brought us to this point.
We understand that this is difficult for the people we care about to, and we regret that.
We both want to do everything we can to make the best of this (especially as it relates to Will and Isaac).
We both want to maintain meaningful relationships with the people in our lives (you).
We both have a desire to avoid blaming and bitterness, and we both recognize that this will be a challenge.
You can help us by, remaining a part of our lives even when it's awkward, praying for us, and extending us some extra grace as things are difficult.
Daniel & Andrea
so I really do sincerely apologize.
It's a rough stretch.
I intend to emerge with everything needed to exceed your wildest expectations* but I really don't know when that will be, so I won't make projections.
Until then, I really am sorry, and I hope we have the chance for more interaction soon (unless you are that psychotic clown who keeps showing up in my dreams with an Amway presentation).
and oh yes.
As a consolation prize:
I've posted great video of the boys here.
(new band: Gigi And the Strings)
Phase one of "Big Project" complete.
Will tell you more about the name contest soon (it's going into a second round).
Also, put a short cellphone video of the boys on their site.
(more to come).
I realize now, that because of the longer post above it (with a similar title), it may have been easy to miss the preceding post (which offers a very polite and thoughtful transition to the demanding post). So if you felt slighted, I apologize.
2: Thanks for all your suggestions. Some of which are still in the running. However, I would like to turn this brainstorming session in a different direction. Forget about the slide shows. Instead think: "easy to associate" and "difficult to mix up". For example:
BlueAppleMusic.com (with a little blue apple logo).
There aren't a lot of synonyms or alternate spellings for "Blue" or "Apple" (both of which are common words). Plus it's an object with a unique (blue) characteristic.
"Music" is pretty good, but hopefully I would be able to get "BlueAppleRecords.com" too, in case someone was rooted in old-school understandings of distribution.
Also, be sure to post your suggestions in the comments so that creative synergy can flourish.
That 100 dollars is so close you can taste it!!!!!!
It's a long story, but I have to start a music distribution company.
I'll give more details in the future. But right now I need a name for an online store that promotes and sells music for independent artists.
It needs to be a: ".com" name (not .tv or .org or .net)
It needs to be easy to remember (probably short is best).
People will be making customized slide shows on DVDs featuring their own pictures. Music that matches the theme of the pictures will be playing along. At the end of the show, there will be a picture of the Artist who's music was featured. It will invite the viewer to visit us online to learn more about the artist and get special offers on their music.
So if you saw a cool slide show, featuring your pictures (or the pictures of a friend or loved one) and you liked the music and wanted to know more....
What kind of website would you remember?
If you have a suggestion, and can confirm that its available, put it in the comments.
If I use your suggestion I will send you a check for $100 (not a joke)
Here's a place where you can check available domain names:
Attention: Please don't use Godaddy.com (long story), use this one insetad
Here's a place where you can get cool suggestions:
**Please invite any of your creative friends to participate in the fun!
Stock20 got an important contract with a pretty interesting company.
Securing that contract required lots of extra work (for the last 4 weeks),
and meeting deadlines will require lots more extra work (for two more weeks).
(see "Call for Help" post above if you wish to ease this burden)
Additional Complicating Factors:
This video had to be completed about a week ago, and required more work than I anticipated. But it was for my favorite (and only) video production client.
Still have to make music and stuff for Stock20's monthly releases. (Although I'm hiring other people to help with some of the songs now)
If you are interested, here are some of the recent songs that I have composed and produced.
Will and Isaac are both cutting their biggest teeth.
Isaac has had two double ear infections in the past month.
The last antibiotic led to relentless diarrhea and the worst diaper rash ever.
But... things seem to be getting better on that front.
Hoping to be human again soon...
For lent, I am giving up the practice of throwing stones at the heads of angry elephants (maybe it's a metaphor, maybe it isn't)
Notice how the "new winner" fails to learn anything from the event which gives him a (less-than-ideal) reason to celebrate.
I'm glad I've never done anything stupid.
1) I don't know about you, but a big part of my spiritual upbringing has included a very scary event at the end of human history--
--various renderings of a massive room, where all of redeemed humanity would gather to watch every event of everyone's life (for judgment) on a massive movie screen.
Naturally, my frequent reflections on this event included only graphic portrayals those moments which I regretted most deeply, and those events which where horrifically embarrassing.
My only hope was that someone -- much worse would go before me and after me. And maybe my parents would have just slipped out to go to the bathroom.
2) Later on, I was exposed to a stream of theology that orchestrated apocalyptic events on a different time line.
Supposedly, God's justice would prevail on earth more incrementally, with humanity as his instruments.
3) So here we are now; on the brink of the rapture, world war 3, global warming, and many other civilazation-compromising possibilities...
And I can't help but notice that there are camera's everywhere, documenting every little mistake and posting them on a massive movie screen,
and every day all of humanity gathers to judge each little mistake...
ps. send me $200 and I'll send you my "Armageddon survival guide road map".
this little blast from the past is dedicated to my nephew Addison.
He's my brightest pupil in the Marshall Arts.
If he continues his dedication to the training I have given him, he may someday surpass the yellow belt earned by his Sensei through a week of free "karate-ministry" classes at my church.
Pay careful attention to the brilliant acting, amazing athleticism, and frequent outbursts of "your dead!". This is eighty's cinema at it's best.
PS. One day in junior high, my friend Jerry came up to me and said: "Look at this new move I made up." Jerry, you are so busted for ripping of the cobras and not giving them credit. I'd like you to come clean in the comments and see if you can remember what move it was. Remember, confession is good for the soul. You will never achieve your goals in karate if you carry around this guilt.
For the rest of you. Just remember: "You *ARE* the Best Around!"
the whole night was really fun, and the concert was amazing.
...but i was only thinking of you: my faithful blog reader.
I meticulously captured several seconds of this event so you could enjoy it in the pristine low resolution offered by my phone (and breathtaking audio).
ps. i guess stupid meredith woke up, oh well maybe she'll get a staff infection or something
We are at the start of Lent, the time of the year when the church invites us to test our freedom, and to question the notion: I can take it or leave it alone.
Try that with grumbling, drunkenness, talking about yourself, stealing, gambling, or other habits that diminish our freedom. What habits make you hard to live with?
Lent is about regaining control of our own lives, especially in those areas that damage other people. We don't admire those whose appetites or habits lead them by the nose.
Nearly all of us have habits, or even addictions, that keep us from God, and harm both ourselves and others. These seven weeks before Easter help us to focus our energy on improving.
An Excerpt from the tutorial:
get the full set of instructions here.
Secondly: I know I've done a poor job as a blogger. But here's how I intended to make it up to the millions of fans who check this site each day.
Starting next week. I will post something extraordinary every single day (six days a week) for the rest of February (mostly videos that will make you laugh or puke).
It's gonna be great. So get your Afghan and pull up a chair. 6 days until launch.