Last week my wife and lost our first child, Fiona Michelle, was stillborn.
We have a small idea of what happened, but not 100% sure. We are in pain, but our faith in God and the support that we have surrounding us. Time will heal our hearts, but we will always miss not having our Fiona girl to hold and love.
I think I am writing this not to invoke sympathy, but so that I can come back in the future and see where I have grown from this point I time.
My heart swells with the thought of entering Heaven's gate and seeing my Fiona standing there waiting for me to pick her up, and love her for eternity in a perfect world void of sin and death.
As hard as this has been it will hurt less with time, but my plea to all parents is to cherish the time with your children. I will never take LIFE for granted after this moment in our life.
I also know with Fiona watching me that I must live a life that will make her proud of her daddy.
This one is for the one's who have bought a kilt, but have yet to step up and step out into the world. Maybe you picked up that kilt at a renaissance faire or a highland games, so you would blend in or so you could be part of the crowd, and you plan on wearing it again when you go back. Meanwhile you have a kilt hanging in the closet begging to be worn, to be seen, why pay over the top festival prices for a kilt that will be worn once a year?
The time has come for you to enjoy your investment ane put that kilt on and introduce the world to your kilted self. What's the worst that can happen? Somebody you don't know comes and talks to, you get awked a few embarrassing questions, or nobody really seems to care. In any of those situations you are not going to be any worse for wear.
Make the look yours, wear you favorite boots or shoes, flip flops even work or say screw it and go barefoot. However you wear it doesn't matter really, as long as the pleats are in the back, what is important is that you wear it. Be confident, be bold, be kilted!
Once you have worn the kilt a couple of times you feel more confident in it and you can really start coming out of your shell.
My first time stepping out in a kilt, other than at highland games, was my senior prom! I tossed myself in the fire, people know how mean, rude, or judgmental high schoolers can be and that's where I chose to come out as a kiltie to the world. To my surprise and delight I never heard one negative comment, at least not to my face.
You have to make the decision to not care what everyone else is going to think about you. You don't have to brave or daring you need to be bold and unfazed by the world.
You already took the first step and purchased a kilt, now don't let it sit around for eleven months just waiting for next years faire put it on and take the world by storm.
Kilt up and be a true brother of the brotherhood.
A close friend of mine has at times referred to me as a confused German because my heritage is Germanic, but I wear the kilt, and for some time she may have been right.
This past weekend my wife and I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Houston Highland Games Association's Robert Burns Supper. While not our first Burns supper, it was the first large supper we were privileged enough to go to. We saw old friends we hadn't seen in quite some time, ate haggis, and had an enjoyable evening out. I was even asked to be one of the sword bearers when it came time to pipe in the haggis, an honor I wasn't expecting.
This got me thinking today, how the kilt has effected my life. I have zero Scottish blood in my vains, but I wear the kilt proudly and joyfully. If not for the kilt I would never had experienced the highland games, never been married in a Prince Charlie, and necer realized my love of the bagpipes, listening not playing.
If the kilt never entered my life I would never have known about Robert Burns and the beautiful words he crafted in his songs and poems, and this last weekend never would have happened.
Being a member of the Clan MacLeod Society I have attached myself to a Clan that I can call family and wear their tartan, and I have made lasting friendships through them.
Even though I found a clan to call home I still had my own heritage to be proud of, and wanted to be able to represent it. So imagine my delight when I found the German American tartan on USA kilt's website, unfortunately when I got to the point of being able to afford one that tartan had been discontinued. Heart broken I started for another German tartan, and to my delight USA kilts had another tartan for me the German Heritage tartan, it was soon mine.
Having been a member of the Brotherhood of the Kilt for some years and trying ane failing more than once to get a BotK kilt when I saw a chance to help get that tartan back into production, I had to take it. It took a few years for all the behind the scenes stuff to shake out, but we finally have a place to get these kilts again, and I believe ALL BotK members should get one of these affordable kilts, find them at got-kilt.com.
It is these two kilts that I wear most proudly. The German Heritage because it represents everything that I am, a man of German descent that wears the kilt.
The Brotherhood because I had a small hand in it being back in production, but also because what the brotherhood stands for, promoting the kilt for ALL no matter where you come from, what your background, tall or short, skinny or rotund, man or woman the kilt is for us all.
Life is much more interesting when you wear a kilt, strangers want to talk to you, you find a confidence that wasn't there before, and a whole other world is opened to you.
I am no longer a confused kraut, I know exactly who I am, I am the Kilted Texan and I have German Blood and a Celtic soul.
I encourage any of you that love the kilt but haven't yet put one on and stepped out of your front door and gone into the world, do it, and do it proudly you will never regret it.
#everydaykt #1 - two questions today. "Should sporrans only be worn for more formal events, or all the time?" and " Is there a reason Utilikilts only sells the "switchback" design on their website and do you view it as a positive innovation in functionality of the modern style kilt?"
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Put a Kilt On.
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When looking at a sgain dubh, I highly suggest you save your hard-earned money and buy a quality sgain made by a reputable blade smith. If you are formally dressed, don't cheap out on a piece of mass-produced junk! You wouldn't wear a knock-off cheapie sporran with your hand-sewn heirloom-quality kilt, would you?
I have been lucky in my sgains, having them made by many amazing blade smiths.
My prized sgain is a custom-made blade from Sgains by Raptor. It is made of Red Ironbark which required special permits to obtain and a hand-made blade. I'm told the tree was about 2,000 years old. it is easily my favorite of all sgains I've ever had. It does not see much use as I know I can never replace it. It is just that amazing.
Second in the image is a Damascus style blade, also by Raptor. It also has the heft and beauty of design as the blade previously described, and is #37. I love the simplicity of design which masks the strength of this blade.
I do not recall who sent me the 3rd sgain, but it bears mention as the antler handle has petrified mammoth tusk as the blade. Another amazing sgain, but the blade is a little fragile so I rarely use this one.
I have a few others, which I have not pictured as you can find cheap sgains all over the web, and I'll not get into those. Hope fully these examples of superior workmanship will help you see the value and beauty of a well-made sgain!
Please share with others so they can see the beauty of a well made sgain!
On the subject of traditional kilt-wearing theory.
At the Brotherhood of the Kilt we accept ALL kilt-loving folks. While tradition says kilts should be worn a specific way, I will NOT stand for people belittling, disparaging or otherwise maligning other people here, members or not, regarding how they wear the kilt. We are NOT the Kilt police.
I do encourage active discussions on different ways to wear the kilt, and suggestions for formal or semi-formal wear "corrections" but claiming anyone is more or less manly based on the cut or wear of their kilt is simply ridiculous.
To those who dedicate their lives in trying to enforce traditional kilt wearing method, I ask this.
Why are you not going after anyone wearing blue jeans if they are not some kind of factory worker, cowboy or miner? That is why blue jeans exists in their original version, loose and for workers.
The evolution of the Blue Jeans as fashion staple vs. work clothes has a decent article on wikipedia, I suggest anyone who is going to get all pissy about someone wearing a kilt a little different read that, as I firmly believe the kilt is going through a similar process of changing from a limited-use garment by specific people to generally accepted clothing for the masses.
I enjoy wearing my kilt to social functions. A good friend, and kilt owner by his own admission, asked me, "Why do you keep wearing a kilt all the time?" I just smiled and replied, "Why do you wear p@nt$?" I explained it was part heritage, part just being me, and a whole lot more comfortable than the constriction of jeans.
Now that fall is arriving here in the Tennessee Valley, the cool breezes helped too.
At long last I will be ordering a kilt in my maternal grandmother's clan tartan. I'll be ordering one of Sport Kilt's premium wool kilts in the MacEwan Ancient tartan. I would prefer the modern set, I think, just because it would be darker. But the ancient is what they offer. And hey, who knows maybe I'll decide I like the lighter pattern better. Regardless, it'll be another kilt I'll look good in and look forward to sporting around town. I'll continue to wear the US Army sport kilt for athletic events.
Yesterday I competed in my first Highland Games competition at the Middle Tennessee Highland Games. I wasn't the only first timer but I was the oldest on the field at 50 years old. One of the two pros and top ten in the world athletes that were there pulled me aside and told me he thought he had started late at 40. All the Pros and Amateur A were really friendly and supportive.
I did feel weird wearing something under my kilt.
Late in the season, but I got to compete today, and d@mn I wish there was more time for the games. I did get bit again, so more training, more lifting, and more kilts are in the future. The time out in the field with the other athletes, the male bonding, encouragement, the off color remarks, and the personal glory are all things that make the games great.
Each man is their own competition, the highland games are one of the ultimate individual sports. Sure there are rankings 1st, 2nd, and 3rd but each man is really throwing against himself and not the entire field. Soccer, football, swimming, they were all great when I competed, but none of the come close the comradery that I experience when at the games. I am not the biggest, strongest, or most talented in the field, but dammit I have fun! Men and women for that matter if you ever have a chance to get into the games give it a try, you won't regret it.
As I'm sitting here getting aquanted with my new 22# hammer from Old Celt I though t to myself, "good reason to sport my kilt." But honestly do you need a reason. I'm wearing my US Army tartan sports kilt out tonight just because. I guess I still have work to do to train my brain to just throw a kilt on as if it were a pair of jeans or shorts.
I have had my 18# stone for practicing the Stone Put for quite a time now. And then I found an old pitchfork at a flea market and refurbished it. Yesterday I took my dedication to competing in Highland Games Athletic events to a new level. I ordered a 22# hammer from Old Celt. Guess I'm committed. In regards to that, and not bashing any man in a kilt, BUT, a heavy athlete looks much more manly than a male highland dancer in a kilt.
Gentlemen, as experienced kilties we should sheapard those that are new to the brotherhood of wearing kilt wearing. It is fine to crack a smile and have a laugh, but then we should step up and correct any problems that we see. Pleats in the front? Let them know. If they are wearing their sporran wrong, inform them. Let them know so they can wear the kilt proudly and happily. If we really are going to be a brotherhood then we need to be our brothers keeper. Be strong, kilt proudly and watch out for the chance to help a brother.