Saturday, April 9, 2016

Cherish it. It goes by fast.

Facebook puts up these little reminders of something you posted years ago on that day. I saw this pic of Evan from 3 years ago, and can't believe how much he's grown. So I took a shot of Evan yesterday, 3 years to the day that the pic on the left was taken, and put them side by side. He looks like such a little boy in his Phillies uniform, now he's one of the big boys. I miss when they were little, but it's great to see them grow up.   I have such clear memories of the picture on the left. Seems like it wasn't that long ago. You have to cherish every moment, because before you know it, they're all grown up.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter Fun (At night!)

 This turned out to be a lot of fun. We didn't originally plan it this way, but it turned out perfect and the kids had a blast! We had our first Easter Egg Hunt at Daddy's and it was at NIGHT! The kids spent the day with their family and then their Mom brought them over late in the afternoon. They opened their Easter baskets and we watched the new Pee Wee movie again.

We had originally planned to do the Easter Egg Hunt with my neighbor who has a young daughter, but she couldn't make it back before dark, so I went out to hide the eggs at dusk, and the kids came out with flashlights and "finger lasers" to hunt for the eggs once it was dark. Turned out to be a great time and a fun twist on the typical Easter Egg Hunt. It was a bit chilly out and reminded me a bit of Halloween. 

I think there's one in the tree!

Love this pic. Taken using only the flashlight and the ambient light from the back porch. What a great Easter Night. I think we may do this again next year!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Listen up kids! Do not get married. Ever.

I was trying to keep the tone of this blog positive throughout this whole divorce process, and so far, I think I've done a pretty good job. The posts, although they've been far less often than had things been "normal," have still been strictly about the kids, or my parents. But I learned something in court today. Something that I would like to impart to anyone willing to listen:


If you follow this advice, this may be the best advice you ever get. If you meet someone that grabs your soul, and is someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, by all means, be with them! I'm not saying don't date, or don't have a partner for life, but whatever you do, do not go down to the court house and apply for a marriage license, ever. It is the worst possible decision one can possibly make, and until my dying breath, I swear before God I would never advise that either of my children, or anyone else for that matter, that they get married. I will tell them that is an absolute mistake and warn them to avoid it at all costs. I will emplore them put their common sense ahead of their emotions. Trust me, with what I'm going through now, it will save you decades of grief and regret in the end.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

No Other Way to Say it.

There's no other way to say it: I'm having a really hard time.

Not only with the loss of my parents but with everything: The divorce. Loss of what a family should be. Loss of my best friend. I feel like I've failed at every possible test in life. That I've let down every single person who was important to me, and that no matter what I do, nothing can possibly reverse it.

That's a pretty hopeless place for a person to be in, and I don't think anyone ever thinks of that. I think when you're someone who's made some pretty bad mistakes, you're just vilified and dismissed as someone who will never change or get better. It's a terrible place to be, especially for someone who normally had a happy disposition growing up, and for the first time in my life, I don't have an answer on how to fix things.  When I was a kid, I had this unbreakable spirit. I always felt that I had this undeniable sense of goodness inside, that I was always on the right path, and that I was meant to do great things. I truly believed it. I never wanted to hurt anyone. Ever. I don't feel that way anymore. Obviously, something broke inside of me after 9/11 and it led me on the wrong path and away from the person that I was meant to be. The end result is that I have never felt this alone in my entire life, and it is unfamiliar territory for me, and it is scary. I don't think anyone deserves to feel this level of loneliness and heartbreak. Maybe I do deserve it. Maybe this is just karma playing itself out and I'm getting exactly what I deserve for the way I behaved all those years. All I know is that I never thought things would be this hard. Just getting through the day sometimes seems impossible. I'm really good at putting on a happy face, but inside I am completely shattered.

This sucks.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Our Slow Motion Video Project

We had a lot of fun coming up with ideas over the last year for the slow motion shots. Shot and edited entirely on the iPhone 6+. Enjoy.

Slow Motion Fun from Pete Burke on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Memories of Mom & Dad

We had just got home from The British Open Pub in Bonita Springs, FL. My parents got all dressed up, and we all went out to dinner. It was a great night. Had lots of laughs. Didn't realize it would be one of the last times we would all be together. When we got back to my parent's house, my Dad wanted to take a picture of him and my Mom. My Dad, in his wheelchair sad, "Hild, come here, sit on my lap." My Mom was worried about hurting his skinny legs, but my Dad said, "Come on!" So they sat for this photo. Turns out to be the last photo of them together. 

Celebrating my Mom's 83rd birthday November 14th. I was able to spend nearly the entire month of November with my parents. I drove down from the Philadelphia area in early November and stayed until the first week of December. Made a lot of trips to the stores with my Dad. He wanted a good deal on a new TV. He would spend hours looking at the circular ads in the paper, then we spent days driving around to Costco, electronics stores, etc. I think he liked just being out of the house. He could barely walk, but he wanted to get out there and be as independent as he could. 

This is my Mom and Dad how I'd like to remember them. They both had great senses of humor. They absolutely loved all of their grandkids. My Mom always said before we got off of the phone, "give Evan and Eliana a great big hug and a kiss for us and tell them we love them." The kids got talk to their grandparents one last time via FaceTime in November. I wanted them to come visit one more time in November but we just couldn't make it happen. I'd rather my kids remember my parents this way like in the photo you see here. They got to spend time with their grandparents on our many trips to Florida, and for that, I will be forever grateful. They meant the world to my Mom and she loved checking in on the Daddy Diaries and Facebook to see all of the latest photos and videos. Admittedly, I haven't written or posted as much as I would have liked to over the past year or two just because of the way my life was going and mourning the loss of the idea of ever having a normal family life, but I'll continue to post for the kids and for anyone else who is interested. Hopefully, they themselves can look back on this site one day, see how they grew up, knowing that all of their grandparents visited this site often. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Flashback: Feb 5th 2010. Evan's Monthly Photos

Taken just weeks before the birth of his baby sister. I shot these monthly portraits of Evan. He's about 2 1/2 years old here.