Hudson Oliver Boyd

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It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write this post. I shouldn’t be writing this. I should be writing a celebratory, happy post about new life and all of it’s glorious potential. Instead I’m writing to let you know that on thursday September 25th we found out that our third little boy was gone.

It was a thursday, much like the thursdays in the months prior. Ronna had gone in for a regular appointment and we were set to deliver in seven days. The routine for these appointments has been pretty simple. Get checked in, pay the bill and go to the back for a sonogram. The sonogram tech is the same woman we had with both of the boys so we have quite a rapport with her. Ronna and her immediately knew something was wrong and it didn’t take long to realize there was no movement and no heartbeat. It was then that we found out he was gone. At this point we didn’t have any answers to the obvious questions and we wouldn’t get those answers until we delivered. The hardest part was yet to come – the delivery. We had already elected for a C-Section and were advised that we needed to go through with it as soon as possible so surgery was scheduled for later that afternoon. Surgery went well and that’s when the doctor discovered what he believed caused the death. Hudson was a very big boy – 11 pounds 8 ounces to be precise – and he had an abnormally short umbilical cord. When the doctor pulled him out the cord was loosely wrapped around his neck and we believe that’s what caused him to pass. Even with the grief of knowing we would be leaving the hospital empty handed, he was perfect. He was a chubby little angel like his brothers and he looked just like Tucker. They would have had such a good time together. He would have made the perfect addition to Sawyer and Tucker’s rendition of “Mammas don’t let your babies…” We got to keep him with us in the hospital for the next 12 hours or so while family and friends came and went. It was difficult to see him in his little crib, lifeless but at least we got to see him. I stood over him and waited for him to take a breath and look up at me like his brothers once did. With tears rolling down our cheeks we said our final goodbyes on Friday morning and allowed the nurses to take him away. Never in my life have I felt a greater pain.

It hasn’t gotten much easier since that day but, with the help of family and friends, we’re getting by. People have already rallied around and showered us with love. So many people have been involved it will be hard to thank everyone.

For anyone interested in attending the service, it will be on Tuesday at 11am at Turrentine Jackson Morrow in Allen. Though this is a graveside service, we want to welcome anyone who would like to join us.

“Those we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever.”

Sawyer’s birthday party!

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Sawyer celebrated his birthday a little early this year at the pool. He turns 4 on September 10th but we wanted to have his party at the pool so we did it a little early before the public pools close for the summer. He had a blast and I think all the other kids did too. Got a ton of legos and great gifts and for that we say “Thank You.” We hope to see everyone again next year!

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Ironhead

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I got to blast around some backroads with my buddy Raymond a couple weekends ago and I forgot to post anything. I traded the Shovelhead for this bike and I’m loving it.

I learned that it’s best not to mount a GoPro directly to the tank of a bike that has no rubber mounts. The camera got vibrated pretty bad so next time I’ll wear the camera on a chest or helmet mount.

The Collective Brewing Project

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In case you haven’t heard, I’ve been working with some fellas in Fort Worth who are starting a brewery. When I started working for them last year I had no idea it would turn into such an undertaking. I’ve done a lot of work for them and I’m excited about all of it. This van is the latest. If you look closely, you can see a dinosaur gripping a beer bottle. Those little circles under the arrow are where the taps will be installed.

See more here »

Goodbye Lolli

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I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t known what to do or say for quite some time now. This whole ordeal has been difficult for me to even digest, let alone react to. I’ve never witnessed anyone battle cancer and literally fight for their life so I didn’t know what to say or how to comfort my wife. So keeping quiet and attempting to be supportive has been my plan of attack since early last year. I finally had to confess to Ronna yesterday that I had previously been angry with Kim. I internalized my anger, but I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t try chemo one more time. Why she would opt out of the last round of treatment. I realize now this anger was just selfish and immature, but I didn’t want to see her give up. Witnessing her pain over the last couple months and knowing she wasn’t living the life she’s used to has made me realize that my feelings on the matter were irrelevant and that she had earned the right to make that decision. She was the one who had to endure that pain and discomfort, not me. I don’t deal with loss very well and this is no different.

Hearing the testimonies from friends and family was endearing but hard to hear. Watching the slideshow at the service was painful, but seeing those pics of my boys with their Lolli was a memory that cancer can’t take away. Just the fact that she went by Lolli was a testament to who she was. She wouldn’t have a standard monicker like “grandma” or “granny”, as Walter would have had it. She spoiled those boys and loved them from day one and it’s going to be hard to tell Sawyer his Lolli is gone. We used to get in trouble for not having socks on the baby and now I won’t be able to dress the boys and not think of her. Trips to the river won’t be the same, but I promise you Lolli – those boys will swim. Every time the family wants to go to Jim’s Pizza, I’ll reluctantly agree but I’ll know I’m not alone in wishing we were eating somewhere good and, just like her, I’ll suck it up because Ronnie and Ronna love it.

My heart goes out to her closest family in this time, but especially to Gray and Ronnie. I know she’ll never be replaced, but you must know we’re here for you. Lolli, I’m going to do my best to be a big brother and a good son. You can rest assured that Ronna will be there during those times that Gray will need his mom – like getting ready for Prom or his wedding someday. I’ll make sure his tie is on straight and Ronna will make sure his hair is styled. I sure won’t tell Ronnie what to do, but you should know he hasn’t had a coke in a week.

Goodbye Lolli, we’ll miss you. Love Josh.

Colorado Road Trip 2013

Vacation was great this year. We got to drive up to Colorado Springs to visit my grandparents and while we there I was able to take my wife and kids to all the places I visited growing up. We made our way to Garden of the Gods, Helen Hunt Falls, and Manitou Springs. We even drove over to Green Mountain Falls for a short stay in a cabin in the mountains before we headed back to Texas. It’s a lot of work to travel with a toddler and a five-month old baby but it was worth it. I hope we can go back very soon. I know my grandparents enjoyed the visit and I miss them already. We don’t get to see them very often and I intend to change that if I can.

New Work

I’ve been plugging away lately at getting my work section updated. We’re going through a merger and rebrand right now so everyone in the UX department at American Airlines has been pretty busy. Some of the stuff in the work section is just for mockup but some of my work has gone into production too. Check it out some of the rebrand stuff here and have a look at Award Map too!

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Disclaimer: I did not design the new American Airlines logo, I just use in my comps. 

Shovel Update

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It’s hard to write this post but I wanted to put it out there anyway. Dad and I have been working pretty hard to get the Shovelhead running and on the road. We wanted to have it ready for the Just  Kickers rally a few weekends ago, but it just didn’t happen. So instead, dad stayed another week and we worked to get it back together and running pretty well. After he left I got it insured, inspected, and registered – all in a few days. Then on Tuesday the 14th, I was riding it around before putting it in the garage and ended up having a spill. There’s some pretty extensive construction going on right now on 75 and I hit some of it. On the access road near my house part of the road (in my opinion) was improperly marked. So I started to follow the barrels thinking the road was curving towards the right and, sure enough, I ended up in the dirt. I walked away with some road rash and a pretty sore shoulder but overall I think I’m good. The bike will need some repairs and I’ve already filed a claim with Progressive (who, by the way was awesome). Obviously, it could have been worse and I shouldn’t complain about wrecking my back up Harley but it’s pretty frustrating to have a bike “finished” then back on the repair stand in a week but that’s the way it goes. I’ve already got ideas for it’s next round so stay tuned. As soon as I get the claim check I’m ordering parts!

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