I Swear, I Lived!

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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Lately I've become aware of how fast time is moving and how easy it is to miss precious moments with the people who matter most- my family. At the end of my days here on earth I want to be able to say one thing about my life and my time with my family...

A little over a month ago, just a few days after Christmas to be exact, I was driving home from Ohio with my family when a song caught my attention. Usually on long road trips, I would have my iPhone earbuds in, listening to my pre-selected road trip playlist (I know…I shouldn’t do that!)

For whatever reason I wasn’t listening to iTunes that day, I was listening to the car stereo. And I’m glad. The song was “I Lived,” by One Republic. The chorus goes like this…

I, I did it all. I owned every second that this world could give; I saw so many places, the things that I did. Yeah, with every broken bone, I swear I lived!

The best moment of the song is when the lead singer says “I owned every second!” You can feel the gusto in his voice. It snaps. It plucks your heart and stirs your mind. I thought about a million things in the brief 3 minutes this song played. I thought about my children, my wife, our friends, the life we’ve been blessed with, and how often I take all of it for granted.

It’s true, and I’ve got a lot of growing to do. For some odd reason, I keep thinking I’ve got an abundance of time. As if the world will wait for me to make up my mind or get my act together. It won’t. And neither will life. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and look back with regret because I didn’t seize every moment I was given with my family. I want to tell a different story than many in this world will tell when it’s all coming to an end!


A story filled with laughter.

Fact is, we are moving so fast that we rarely stop to take things in, or have a good laugh at life. Maybe it’s because we take things too seriously. We drill down so hard on the facets of life that they’re no longer a privilege, and more of a duty.

If we’re not careful, this can harden our hearts, sour our attitudes, and make us too serious. This is my problem. I take life way too seriously, way too often. I become so driven to keep things in order, and get things accomplished that I fail to see the moments that deserve a laugh, like my son’s hilarious perspective on the world around him, or my daughter’s creative, fun-loving spirit.

I need to laugh more often. I need to lower the walls I’ve build, to keep me focused, and breathe a little deeper.


A story built on love.

I find myself thinking about how much I love my wife and kids, but not saying it as often as I should. Have you ever done this? This past weekend my two youngest daughters were in the musical Bye Bye Birdie in Indianapolis and they were amazing. As I watched them act and sing, my heart gushed with pride and love. As I sat in a chair in my living room last night, after the show, I watched them in the other room and thought to myself, “Boy, I love those two deeply!”

But thinking it and expressing it, are 2 very different things. I need to open my mouth and say it!

At the end of my days here on earth, I want to look back at a story filled with love that was expressed and not just considered.


A story built on living life to the fullest.

I read a story several years ago, about a family who found themselves sitting around bored on New Years Day, one year, and decided to do something about it. The “something” they did would be considered crazy by nearly everyone. They started a parade….yes, a parade, in their neighborhood….complete with floats, and balloons, and clowns, and a marching band. Crazy, right? It gets better. The parade became such a hit among their neighbors that they imposed a rule for it: No one could watch the parade, everyone had to participate!

This family decided that sitting around, and wasting life, wasn’t good enough. It was time to live. Today, their New Year’s Day parade is the most anticipated event of the year in their community. Everyone joins in. They even elect a parade king and queen from local nursing homes. It’s an event filled with love, laughter, togetherness, and fun.

Why don’t we do more of this? Not necessarily a parade, but fun? Togetherness? Fulfilling moments with our family?

Fact is, life isn’t slowing down. Nor is it yielding to our indecisiveness or busy schedules. Our children are growing up right before our eyes. Someday they will live in other cities and either have new last names or give your last name to someone else. We will be old and near the end of our days. What will you look back at the years gone by and be able to say?

I want to look back and say that I laughed, I loved, and I lived!

What is stopping you from living life to the fullest?

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.