Web Toolbar by Wibiya


7 Ways To Restore Yourself in 2013

But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?
Job: 28. 12

This will not be a New Year's Resolutions post.

With that said, 2013 will be a year of restoration for me. Restoration because I am no longer fallen.


For eight or nine months the year before my daughter was born I was 100% comfortable in the skin I was in. I didn't owe anyone a thing, literally, I had achieved the impossible task of living debt-free and I had my eyes set on the next car I was going to buy. This while slating out renovations on ny Queens, New York, 1-bedroom co-op that I was either going to rent or sell. I fancied myself with nice clothes, shoes and ate well. I cooked at home a lot and was enjoying this, my so-called life.

Then news of my daughter, my second child, came and soon everything changed. Once she was born I lost the ability to find meaning in the life I had been living. My job no longer made any sense to the point I began to make simple mistakes I never made, even as a trainee. It was as if the people there were speaking another language. My need for meaning became all-consuming, self-sacrificing and maybe even self-sabotaging. I switched jobs in this pursuit and did well for a while. Meanwhile, the woman who would become my wife was plotting her escape from New York and went to work creating a strategy that would help her to crack through the "glass ceiling" in the workplace she so despised.

So as I began to strip down to the blood and bones to find my soul my wife was beginning to pack on muscle. It was inevitable that trouble would soon follow.

In the years that followed, we moved from New York City to Atlanta, Georgia. She completed an MBA and found a game-changing, job and career. None of this was without its challenges, hurdles and slight degree of heartbreak. But she did it, by the grace of God and her own will. During the same time, I became known as E.Payne, the unwilling Stay At Home Dad Blogger. I became scholarly in the business of love, learning the most important lesson of all: Love is an action not a feeling.

My wife evolved into a one-woman dynamo and by all outward appearances I had become an emotional crackpot who couldn't get a job if one came and beat me with a bat until the snot came out of me. I probably wasn't as bad as I've just described myself but then again I may have been worse. Meanwhile, I was learning the tools of my new trade, becoming a little savvy in Social Media and not just using it as a tool become Internet Famous. Then a "dream job" came to me wrapped in a bow in December of last year. It was all glittery. But all that glitters ain't gold.

Winter's End?

In March of this year I told a Mormon friend of mine I had just come out of a "winter" that lasted for four years. She raised an eyebrow and told me she couldn't imagine how that was possible nor how I survived. But anything is possible when you are going through it. Little did I know that the deep freeze had yet to arrive. A mere two and half months after I sipped wine at a California vineyard during a blogger trip with my friend from Utah, I went into a meeting to find out how much my raise would be only to learn my position had been dissolved. I remember going to my car immediately after receiving the news and breaking down. I clutched the steering wheel and yelled out, "My family WILL NOT suffer because of me!" I hoped God heard me.


Modern Day Dad Versus Old School Dad

Rounding out the year always causes us in the digital space to reflect on "The Best Ofs"...our best posts, our top trends, etc.

I'm a dad who's got a son who will soon be off to college. As he enters his last lap in high school I'm finding myself talking to him more and more in an attempt to prep him for what lies ahead. So much so I had to stop one day and say,

"Wait a minute! My dad never did this with me."

I talked it over with a friend, a fellow dad and fraternity brother, and his comment was brutal and simple:

"Your dad is old school. They just didn't do that."

Ain't that the truth! The expectation that I would just "get it" because he did, because he was a product of the Great Depression and the Civil Rights. Succeeding wasn't an option for his generation. If you didn't succeed, you perished. I'm a 2012 Dad. I can't and won't assume that my son knows some of life's greater and/or more subtle lessons without my at least asking if he knows.

I found this infographic published by 7 Epic Days that speaks to how similar and dissimilar dads of today are from our dads and their fathers as well. After you look at it, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Modern Day Dads vs. Their 1965 Counterparts


The Spirit of Giving on Christmas

The other day I went to buy a lamp for my house at Lowe's and I could see the frenzy raging at best buy and I thought to myself, people don't give a rat's ass about one another anymore. Who are they even buying gifts for, themselves? Are they buying stuff just because a store says to do so with some silly sale where they are selling a product at the price it should be at anyway? In my home I stress that Christmas is about giving and not getting all hyped up about receiving. On Christmas morning my son will be volunteering, serving food at a shelter.

I do hope our lessons at home over time will prove stronger than retailers' advertising budgets that scream "More! More! Now! Now!"

From our house to each of yours. Merry Christmas!


The Top 50 Dad Blogs of 2012

I made the list in 2011 and I'm honored to be on the list once again in 2012 with such a talented group of men, authors and fathers. Some of whom I know personally.

The Editors at Babble.com have selected Makes Me Wanna Holler - Man, Dad, Husband as a Top 50 Dad Blog of 2012 (#41 actually, down from last year but still on the list).

I don't have anything overly-inspiring to say about this other than hard work does pay off. It's nice to have people I don't know from a can of paint acknowledge the creativity and thoughtfulness that goes into creating a product that exists in a flooded market.

You will never see me somewhere curling the ends of my mustache saying, "Haha...I'm in the Top 50!" I'm just happy to be in the company I am in.

And of course, I wouldn't be recognized at all if I didn't have readers --- you all --- to appreciate my words. The greatest thanks go to each of you. And my wife. And two friends, Ken & Hugh, who told me to keep going when they were the only ones reading this blog.


Follow me on Twitter at @EPayneTheDad. Like my page on Facebook.


A Father's Look

It launched a thousand ships (not hardly).

It saved us of all our sins (not even close).

It turned all to stone who gazed upon it (uh...this isn't Greek mythology).

But what this is is the look that all parents have given their child at least a dozen times. Even more if they are teens.


Give Your Wife Romance, Not Grief

When my wife is out I worry, not about what she is doing or who she is with, but whether or not she is safe. But rarely have I properly expressed this concern. Meaning I usually am a complete grouch by the time she gets in. She picks up on my bad attitude immediately and things have traditionally devolved from there. That is, if she even makes it home without me blowing up her phone to demand where she is. The latter action usually only happens if it really begins to get late. Regardless of the reason, neither of us have gone to bed happy.

But I'm a different person now (long story on this another time).

Recently my wife was out at a networking dinner with her associates and I did everything that I always do: cleaned the house and put the kids to bed (well I made the big one go to bed). But I added a couple steps:


Fatherhood And Marriage - A Little Girl's Perspective

Last week while I was in the car with my daughter (as these things typically happen while we are in the car together), she says:

"In order for a man to be a dad he has to be married."

I appreciated her sentiment but decided to ask why. Her answer was: "A man has to find a woman with kids and marry her in order to be a dad."

I chuckled a bit, turned the rear view mirror to face her and asked her how is it that she looks just like me. She shrugged her shoulders with an innocence that made me bubble over with a love for her that is indescribable and immeasurable.

It's only a matter of time before a real conversation that truthfully addresses her observations will need to be had.

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter at @EPayneTheDad.


Dad Fashion: Green Works

Add varying shades of a color to your gear that pops! For example, green! And what's best is that you don't have to spend a lot of money.

Green plaid pageboy cap by Zara Man - $28

Mint green Merino wool cardigan by Gap Men - $35 (Black Friday sale)

Army green hunting vest by Old Navy - $15