dustin lafferty

musing on faith, parenthood, life

Author: Dustin

Avoiding the Rosebud Moment

Bob Goff, for those of you who may not know, is quite possibly the most interesting man on the planet.  He has a heart overflowing with compassion and has impacted the lives of thousands, if not millions of people.  His book, Love Does, attacks the notion of what it means to live out love on a daily basis.  I say “attack” and not “address” because Bob doesn’t address anything…he attacks each moment with a ferocity that screams “JOIN ME ON THIS ADVENTURE!!!”

The world needs more people like Bob.

For a long time, I was one of those people who would hear about Bob’s adventures…his spur of the moment, drop everything and travel halfway around the world exploits…and wish I could do that.  “I wish I had his money.”  “I wish I could just drop everything and go start a foundation that helps millions.”  “I wish, I wish, I wish.”

photo from Lovedoes.com

photo from Lovedoes.com

Truth is – I’ll never have the resources that Goff does.  I’ll never have his influence.  I’ll never, I’ll never, I’ll never.

Truth is – Most of you reading this won’t either.

Bummer, eh?

Kinda wished I hadn’t woke up the blog, right?  Fortunately, this is only part 1 of the story.

I’m intentionally writing about someone else after a 6 month absence from the blog because, just today, I heard a quote from Bob that has impacted me more than anything I’ve heard in a long time.

Make time for the ones who will be around your deathbed.

Chew on that one for a moment.  Actually, put down your phone, tablet, close the computer and go make time right now.  This little musing can wait…


…welcome back.

You see – just this week my wife and I made a new pact that we would make more time for those that matter most to us.  We agreed to cyber-blackout hours…the phones are muted and the computers are off. Thereby giving our full attention to those 4 crazy little ones in the few hours we have with them before they go to bed.

[I would insert a cheap joke about the 4 gray hairs I saw in the mirror this morning, but let’s face it, there are WAY more than 4]

It’s as simple as that.  The ones that who will be around our deathbed are the ones who matter most in our life.

As much as I enjoy reading my Twitter feed, as much as I enjoy keeping up with my favorite sports, as much as I enjoy listening to my favorite music – there is NOTHING I enjoy more than the 4 little ones that call me “Daddy” and the woman with who I get to spend the rest of my life.

They are the ones who I want with me when my time is up…they are the ones who are worth my undivided time.  They are my rosebud.


this is not “rosebud” either, but I didn’t want to spoil a 70 year old movie for anyone

This is what Bob Goff would say that Love Does. Taking each day, each moment, and making it matter for a lifetime. Instead of sitting and wishing, love gets up and does…or at this point in my life, it puts the gadget down and plays.  Make moments that matter.  Live Intentionally.

I Live This. I Love This.


p.s. That’s really Bob’s phone number in the back of the book too. Call him sometime!

Going on 32

Today is my last day at the Baskin Robbin’s age of 31.  So I thought I’d take a look back at the last year and decide whether I’ll welcome 32 with a smile, or go on the lam.

The year started off quietly and was a smooth, until Christmas.  Christmas Eve, after helping Santa, I fought a war with a dishwasher clog until waving my white flag around 11 pm.  A quick, but futile effort to Wal-Mart for something…ANYTHING…to use to break up the clog ended in frustration before it ever began.  After all, Wal-Mart closes before midnight on Christmas Eve.  So, at midnight, I was hand washing every dish in the house – or so it seemed.  Ready to settle in for a long winter’s nap, my near sleep was interrupted by Michael.  My 11 month old was not aware of my evening, and wasn’t interested in going back to bed.  So after fighting, rocking, snuggling, snacking and finally watching the Papal Christmas Mass, at 2 am, Michael drifted back to sleep.

As did I.

But that Christmas Mass was cool, I may have to stay up late this year too.

Christmas Day wasn’t much smoother.  Anna woke up feeling bad…and if the Princess a’int happy, ain’t nobody happy.

By late afternoon, we reached Em’s parent’s house and Anna had developed a very pronounced wheeze to go with her cough and general malaise.  Winter decided to show up the day after Christmas.  Indiana people will remember the huge snowfall that arrived on December 26th.  Businesses were closing, we were certainly not heading home as travel advisories were being posted all around us…

…and Anna was wheezing…worse.

So off to the ER go Emily, Anna & I.  Worst.Christmas.Ever.

After battling sickness in the house for the entire winter, we planned our first “party of 6” vacation for Spring Break.  Something simple, like a trip to Cincinnati or maybe Gatlinburg?  Nah, not this family.  We’re going to Colorful Colorado!

“Oh, but you’re flying, right?”

Nope, not this family.  We’re driving…for 2 days…across country…just barely avoiding another snowstorm that closed the state of Kansas.  You read that right, the entire state of Kansas was closed for travel and we missed it by 1 day.

As an aside – don’t ever question my sanity.  It’s safe to assume I have none.

Anyway, we arrive in Colorado Springs to spend a week with Em’s sister and brother-in-law & had a wonderful time!


So a wonderful family vacation in Colorado and on the way back, we stopped in KC to visit old friends and have the best BBQ in the World!

Summer went by too fast. But plenty of fun was had:



Fall has arrived again and it’s time for another birthday.  Tomorrow I’ll wake up and answer the obligatory question, “do you feel any older?”  Of course I won’t.  And after looking back at 31, I say bring it on!

Because for the next 365 days I get to wake up next to my best friend…



…and for the 365 days I get to be Daddy to these great kiddos…




And that’ll make #32 the best birthday yet.

“Live This. Love This.”

Life’s Reflection

I read this story today on Relevant Magazine and had to share it…for a couple reasons…

(1)  It’s an illustration, Watterson style, of Bill Watterson’s commencement address from 1995 at Kenyon College. Bill Watterson wrote & drew the narrative of my childhood through the adventures of a precocious young boy named Calvin and his best friend Hobbes.  Believe me, if you’ve never read Calvin & Hobbes, you’ve missed out.  In fact, stop right now and check it out.


(2)  It’s the best career advice you may ever receive.

(3)  The artist has captured the magic of Watterson in a very faithful form.  <– Check out the full cartoon.

In the pursuit of “ambition” don’t end up trapped in something that sucks your soul dry.  Leave time for family, friends…don’t spend your whole life accumulating riches that leave you lonely.

Find your life’s meaning outside of “stuff.”

“I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.” – Bill Watterson.

Don’t forget to check out the full cartoon, you’ll be glad you did.


My kids think I’m a hero. I hope I can live up to that label. But there are real live heroes out there – check out this story and you’ll see what I mean.


What are you doing to be a hero to those closest to you today?


Those lazy, hazy, crazy days

You ever had a bad cup of coffee?


Some say there’s no such thing as bad coffee…of course that is completely false.  There IS bad coffee and you’ll know it when you drink it.

Does it make you shake?  That’s for you to decide.

Do you run for the bathroom 10 minutes after drinking it? Also up to you.

Whatever the circumstance, bad coffee is a quick way to ruin a day.

You’re not drinking bad coffee now, are you?  By all means, don’t allow one more second to pass without redeeming that situation…I’ll wait…

Ok, fresh java? Good, welcome back.

I’m a coffee nut, give me a good cup of coffee and I’ll savor it as long as I possibly can. It’s the simple act of being in a moment. My senses can carry me to another place – if even for a moment.  You know that feeling too…perhaps smelling your Grandma’s famous apple pie cooling in the kitchen, the roaring fire at the autumn family reunion, the song that triggers a memory from years ago.

As summer winds down, I look back at all the fun that we’ve had and grow nostalgic.  My wife & I will have these memories, and their triggers, for years to come.  We’ll tell the stories to our kids about this or that and they will try to remember, at least for a while; however, after a short time they won’t remember riding a bike for the first time without training wheels…being thrown in the pool over and over all afternoon…eating cotton candy until they couldn’t stand it anymore…water balloon fights…

…but Em & I will remember. Emily and I agree, this summer has been one of the best we’ve had as parents.

When I’m old, and the kids are gone, the smell of burning wood will take me back to making s’mores around the fire pit in the backyard.  A fresh tomato from the garden will remind me of the time the boys and I planted our own garden, and the excitement in their eyes as they picked their own tomatoes.  The smell of fireworks will trigger memories of watching the boys run laps around the yard with their sparklers.

While my kids will be making memories of their own, I’ll smile and repeat that familiar phrase, “I remember when you…”

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…


Tissues ready

Ok, you’ve been warned…

A wonderful, touching story.

I pray that I am able to live long enough to dance with my daughter. Should I not be so fortunate, may I at least be there in spirit.

Welcome back

“…to that same old place that you laughed about…”

After an extended time off the blog has returned. Why did it go away?

Summer fun!

Summer fun!

That’s why. We became a party of 6 and, needless to say, I’ve had plenty to write about and little time to sit down and do it.

But it turns out, I like writing. There exists a very therapeutic effect in writing. The creativity flows, we can share some laughs…perhaps even reflect.

So here’s to a relaunch, hope you like the new look of the blog. Look for plenty more posts on the #dadlife, things that I find interesting, reflective, or just an occasional throwback (#TBT).

If you want to find me elsewhere in the cyberspace, I’m also hanging out on Twitter (@doostman), Instagram (@dalafferty) and Facebook.

Cya soon,


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