Growing Bigger & Better

Humble Beginnings

I drove by my childhood home a few years ago…it looked so tiny!

I remembered the house being much bigger, but it clearly wasn’t. It just felt a lot bigger to me when I was a little kid.

Hard to believe my Dad taught me how to play catch, chase grounders, and run fly patterns in that little front yard. All the neighborhood kids got together and played kickball in that little backyard.

And the driveway — well, the driveway was so short. As a kid, that driveway felt as long as a football field. I learned to roller skate in that driveway (Hey! It was the 70’s. Most of us kids could roller skate back then!)

According to Zillow, our old home at 3230 W College St in Springfield, MO (pictured above) is only 1,008 square foot. No wonder the yard and the house looked so small…it was a small house!

The house was small, but the memories are large…know what I mean?

Quick Summary

  1. Nostalgic Reflections: The author begins with a nostalgic look back at his childhood home, noting how much smaller it appears now compared to his memories as a child, highlighting the simplicity of his early years.
  2. Growth Over Time: He recounts how his family moved into progressively larger homes after his father’s graduation, symbolizing advancement and the natural inclination towards ‘bigger’ things as one grows in life.
  3. Inevitable Contraction: The narrative contrasts growth with the eventual reduction in one’s world, particularly in old age, as exemplified by his grandfather’s current life in an assisted living center.
  4. Life’s Phases: The author philosophically notes that life tends to expand before naturally contracting, a cycle seen in everyone’s journey.
  5. Challenges of Balance: A significant struggle for the author has been balancing work and family life, especially since he had children later in life compared to his peers.
  6. Expanding Responsibilities: With the birth of his children, the author’s life became busier and more expensive, emphasizing the substantial impact of parenthood on personal time and finances.
  7. Reflecting on Choices: He speculates on how different life might have been without children, acknowledging that while simpler, it would lack the fulfillment he has now.
  8. Growth and Improvement: The pressure to provide and be better for his family compelled the author to strive for growth and improvement in his career and personal life.
  9. Present Challenges and Future Growth: Currently, he faces decisions on balancing all life aspects, understanding that these challenges are part of the journey towards growth.
  10. Encouragement for the Journey: Concluding on an inspirational note, the author encourages embracing the process of ‘growing bigger and better,’ reassuring that current challenges will someday seem small in hindsight, and the journey does get easier.


After my Dad graduated from college, we moved away — into a bigger home, and then a bigger home shortly after that in Oklahoma.

The homes got bigger (maybe not better), and our family was growing up and getting bigger too. My brother Dan, who is two years younger than me, and my sister Merrie, who is eight years younger than me…we all graduated High School living in a big, old home on the corner of 2nd Street in Cushing, Oklahoma. There’s a lot of good memories there, too.

Life just naturally moves you in that direction — bigger!


And then one day, later in life, it moves you in the other direction.

Your world shrinks and you get smaller.

My Mom visits my Grandpa in Arizona several times a year. He’s a great man, who has made a big impact in this world, but his world at the assisted living center is now getting smaller. He’s getting smaller, too. He was once a great, big, tall man, and now he struggles throw his shoulders back and stand up straight.

Someday, my life will get smaller, too. It does for all of us eventually.

Life just goes like that…Bigger, then Smaller.


One of the biggest challenges I’ve had is balancing my work and my family.

Shelly & I didn’t have our first child until we’d been married for eight years. My son wasn’t born until five years after that.

I’m literally an “old man” with kids still in school! Most of my high school and college friends have kids graduating high school, or having their own kids, now. My friends are grandparents!

And there’s another thing, if you have kids, you already know…Kids Are Expensive!

Not only are kids expensive, but you love them so much they consume your entire life. You’re going to ball practice or running them to cheer several times a week. Your life gets bigger, and busier, and more expensive.

When your life is expanding, getting bigger, and your family is growing, you have to make choices about how you are going to spend your time, and what’s going to get your attention.

You’re getting bigger…and bigger is better because it sure beats getting smaller.

Sometimes I look back and wonder, “What if we never would have had kids?”

Honestly, that would have been terrible, but would we still be living in an apartment all these years later? Would I still be satisfied making $300 – $400 a week? Would I have pushed myself to grow and get bigger?

No, I don’t think so. Getting bigger has been better, but there’s a lot to balance.

Life just naturally moves you towards getting bigger, growing, expanding…until the day it doesn’t.


Right now, I’m at that point in my life where I have to make decisions about how to balance everything and still continue to grow.

That’s not a bad thing because it has helped me focus on being as effective as possible in my career while balancing my family.

If you have a family, you know what I mean. If you don’t, maybe someday you will. I hope you get to experience it.

Nothing will make you better like the pressure of having to be better.

If that’s where you’re at today, getting bigger and needing to get better, here’s what I can tell you…

…although where you need to go to get where you need to be feels like it is so far out of reach, someday you’ll look back on where you are now and think about how little it looks now.

Here’s to you growing bigger and better!


P.S. Hang in there. It gets easier. :-)