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Scipio's State of the Union - a son.

Welcome Jake.

Hello there!  I'm writing you from a hospital in Esbjerg, Denmark, located in coastal Jutland - a well known college football hotbed. The last few days have been fraught with anxiety, raw emotion, pain, and indescribable joy but it has all been worth it to welcome my son into the world.  Jake got here a little early - three months too soon, in fact - but we're not letting him go.

You can follow our journey here.

What a ride, huh? I was a little reluctant to share our (temporary) adversity publicly because in my weird psychology, I see it as an imposition on you, I'm naturally private, and I don't like troubling others (typical Texan male, stiff upper lip etc.), but close friends made me reflect on what a special community we have here. Heidi, Jake, and I need strength from all available sources. So why not include the place that has given me so many laughs, so much thoughtful discourse, and camaraderie?  I also wanted to let you know directly why I may be a little more scarce around these parts for a bit.  And, far from a burden, I think our story will ultimately be an uplifting one.

That story is pretty interesting so far, in the sense that tightrope walking in roller skates over a crocodile pit is interesting.  At least in its initial stages. I'm looking forward to the boring part of this tale where everything is unremarkable and normal.  If you want to stay updated, follow that page - I'll update every few days. I won't have the time to respond to or update everyone here, as much as I wish I could.

If you want to send us a message of support, there's a guestbook; for other gestures, a registry. And please know that your moral support is enough.  My apologies in advance if you offer well wishes or ask questions and I can't get back to you in timely fashion.

I'll be a temporary Dane for the next ten weeks living out of a hospital room in the Sydvestjyk Sygehus, crashing on a little bed two doors down from Jake's NICU. Our days here are very long. Heidi's parents live nearby and are tremendously supportive in every way conceivable and the rest of my family stateside has been great. And we've both learned that we have some really solid friends. The fact that most Danes speak excellent English is also helpful. And a platoon of blonde NICU nurses who have already fallen in love with Jake means only good things for his future care. I'm sure that will be imprinted on him in some fashion.

I'm adapting well to Europe and now frequently wear pastel Capri shorts with my shirt collar turned up while carrying a stylish man-purse satchel.  All joking aside, Denmark is a great country full of caring people.

Of course, I'll be reading here and following my Longhorns, but I'm placing the steering wheel of the sleek Barking Carnival Ferrari (read: sure-to-explode-any-day Edsel) in the hands of my talented co-authors for a while. I'll drop in and write when I can. I'll need the release.

Jake is a hell of a fighter and we're going to look back positively at all of this one day.  Believe it.

Hook 'em.

- Paul

aka Scipio