Day 749 – Thankful for Continued Improvement and Mom’s Coaching

This evening Dominic had a cross country meet and continued to improve.  His Grandma Mary & Grandpa Ken made the drive down for the race and he gave them a wonderful one to watch.  Of all of his races this year it was the one in which he went out of the gates the fastest, held a consistent pace throughout the middle, and finished with his usual blaze of glory.


I’m always so excited to see the boys work hard at something, learn from their experiences, and improve the next time.  This was has been even more special to watch as Dominic is taking in some great running coaching from his mom.  Seeing her help him get better at cross country has had me smiling from ear to ear.  Her relating of past experiences has had a direct positive impact on his performance.

I’ve often said that Becky is my running coach, it’s cool to see that she’s wearing the same hat for Dominic and it’s paying off big time for him.



Day 748 – Thankful for Awesome Parent Teacher Conferences

Tonight we had parent teacher conferences for the boys and they were awesome!!!  Each teacher shared how well they are doing in class, but more importantly, they shared how hard they are both working.

In many cases they talked about the additional challenges the boys were taking on when they finished their normal work.  It made me smile seeing that they were trying things outside their comfort zone and not just focusing on having right answers.  As we tell them often, if you’re not doing things that are difficult enough that you don’t get some questions wrong you aren’t pushing yourself enough.  Once you get them wrong you learn from them and then take on something more difficult and repeat.  We are so fortunate to have teachers for both boys who continue to help them push themselves harder like this.

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We got to hear more about what types of projects they are doing and what they are learning about in their classes.  We even got to see Gavin’s robot which was pretty awesome and reminded me of the one we made way back in the day when I was in middle school!  There was a sobering dose of reality in one of Dominic’s when we learned that we’re not too far off from registering for high school classes – yikes!!!  When did that many years fly by???

There was als a very cool surprise that may have caused a little awesome to leak out of my eyes.  Gavin shared a project he’d made that was “The Gavin K Kreiling Times.”  One of the articles was titled, “Meet My Hero” and had a cool little paragraph and pic of the two of us.  It totally made my day!

Boys, thank you so much for working as hard as you do in school.  We are so grateful that you’re learning that there are some pretty great experiences in life when we push ourselves beyond our comfort zone.  Please remember to always work hard, push hard, and go beyond your self-imposed limits…  that’s where the awesome lies…  Love you boys!!!




Day 747 – Thankful for Dominic’s Scouting Progress

This afternoon our Boy Scout troop had a court of honor to celebrate the successes and accomplishments of the scouts.  During the event Dominic was awarded the following merit badges: Astronomy, Fire Safety, Indian Lore, Kayaking, Music, and Swimming.  He also got his Star rank and was told that he’s only about a month away from attain Life Scout.


If I’m remembering correctly, he’s cruising towards Eagle at a rate much faster than I was.  I’m continually impressed and thankful for the strong work ethic he has in completing the homework he has for each of these awards.    Another thing that’s pretty sweet is that Dominic’s really enjoying trying out so many different things as he earns each of his merit badges.

I’m so thankful for Dominic’s progress in Scouts.  He’s busting his butt, having fun as he does, and is making serious headway towards a very big goal, earning Eagle Scout.  Keep up the great work Bud, I’m super proud of you and so glad you’re enjoying the ride while looking towards the destination as well.


Day 746 – Thankful for Sleepovers with Friends

Last night Gavin was willing to give up a sleepover in order to hang with his old man and brother for the night and watch movies.  We had a great time, but I also kind of felt bad that he didn’t get to hang out with his friends like he could have.  That sparked an idea…

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Tonight our house is currently being raided by a handful of kids for a sleepover.  It worked out for a few of the boys’ friends to come hang at our house for the evening.  While I’ve been hanging out in the bedroom or on the treadmill I’ve heard a constant buzz of the boys joking around, talking, and giving each other a hard time.  They’ve gone between video games and Nerf gun battles and been having fun the entire time.  Remembering some of the great lessons learned from the past I made sure we were stocked up on various Doritos, Pringles, and soda to help them power through an evening of fun.

There are many memories of sleepovers at friends’ houses that still rank as some of my favorite childhood memories.  So many evenings of playing games and having fun just hanging out.  We could’ve been playing video games, watching movies, enjoying the current sporting events, rolling dice, playing various board games or even just sitting around trying to decide what to do…  seriously, we used to have a fun pseudo ritual we’d go through when deciding what to do if we were stuck in inaction.  Still cracks me up just thinking about it!

Anyways, it’s nice to think that hopefully the boys will have a great time and maybe make a memory or two that they’ll laugh at for many years to come.  This old dude may have given the sleepover idea a green light for the boys, but it’s been funny just how many times I’ve caught myself smiling at memories as I hear them laughing or giving each other a hard time.  My best friends and I still hang out often, I’m hopeful they do the same with their friends as they continue to get older as well.


Day 745 – Thankful for Movie Night with the Boys

Becky’s heading to a friend’s house this weekend so it’s just the boys and I at home.  Seeing as she is out of town we figured this would be a great opportunity to watch a slightly thrilling movie that she doesn’t have an interest in watching.  The boys and I have our popcorn fired up and are about to enjoy some quality movie time together on the couch.


What makes it all the more special is that Gavin had the opportunity to do a sleepover at a friend’s house but decided not to so he wouldn’t miss our movie night together.  How cool is that?

Time to cut this off and fire up the movie before the boys get restless 😉


Day 744 – Thankful for Re-Reading a Book and Getting More Insight

A while back a client recommended the book Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. I picked up a copy on Audible and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The authors are Navy SEAL officers who share their leadership concepts through sharing stories of their time in the military. They do an incredible on of helping you see their experiences through their eyes while also showing what they did, both right and wrong, and sharing what they learned. The stakes for them in the heat of the moment are much higher than those in my business, it really set the stage on how important some of these simple to understand ideas are.

After a reminder of the book in a recent presentation and then an email sharing it as the book our leadership team is reading this month I was excited to fire it up again. Over the past couple of days I’ve been listening to it again and I swear I enjoyed it more this time! The first time around many of the concepts made sense, this time I could see a more clear application of them. There were several points when I had to pause the recording and think about what was just discussed, how I’d made mistakes in the past, and how their advice would have been very beneficial. It’s also been helpful to see how a couple of small changes could have a tremendously positive impact.

Thanks Jocko & Leif for an excellent read and for so openly sharing their experiences! It was great to read it again and I’ve already got plans to bring it back to the top my my reading list in the next couple of months.


Day 743 – Thankful for a Deep Sense of Fulfillment

My drive to Chippewa Falls this morning was one of the best rides I’ve had in a very long time.  There was an overwhelming and deep sense of fulfillment that came over me within a couple of minutes of pulling out of the driveway and continued through the entire drive.  When I pulled into my destination I was hesitant to actually stop, I wanted to savor the moment as long as I could.  Fortunately, I had training with my team right afterwards and the feeling has persisted all day long.

I’m not exactly sure what brought it on, but a few minutes into my drive I turned off my audiobook and enjoyed silence for a while and got lost in my thoughts.  When it felt right I turned on some chill music and continued to soak in just how much there is in my life to be thankful for.


Amongst the things that came to mind and I focused on for a while were:

  • How awesome it is to have the perfect music playing in the car while thinking and driving.  I almost always end up finding the right tunes to set or enhance the mood.
  • How blessed I am to be in such a wonderful marriage.  We enjoy spending time with each other and doing the same types of things.  We’re seemingly always busy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.  We’ve got a great combination of growing towards our long term dreams and goals while enjoying the moment.
  • My boys are both great sons and amongst my best friends.  I truly enjoy their company and appreciate the times we have together.  It can be trying to attempt to walk the fine line between being a parent and a friend, but thanks to years of training from my parents I feel like it pretty close.
  • How great is it to have such strong relationships with my mom and brother?  We talk often, share our successes and challenges, and enjoy spending time together.
  • Dad may not be physically with us anymore but I constantly hear his voice in my head and feel his spirit regularly.  Our relationship has changed greatly, but I’m thankful that it is still there.
  • Even on mornings like this one when I want to sleep in I enjoy running and being physical.  I’m very grateful to have the physical ability to do things I enjoy.
  • On the drive I had flashbacks and memories of several past vacations including Australia, New Zealand and Washington.  The memory of Australia hit home with the beautiful fall colors that I experienced in my first autumn in May (which, incidentally, where all of these fall pictures came from).  The rolling hills between Arcadia and Eau Claire reminded me of our time on the north island of New Zealand.  Thinking about Becky and the boys reminded me of our trip to Washington.  I’m so thankful for each of those memories made and I full of joy when they re-appear in my brain.
  • I’m thankful for the career path that I’ve found.  There is always room for growth and there’s always the opportunity to push myself beyond my perceived limits while helping others along the way.
  • The drive from La Crosse to Eau Claire is beautiful!!!
  • I swear this had to have been the fourth straight day of peak colors on the trees.  The brilliant oranges, reds, and golds were mind blowing and caught my attention often.
  • Taking a cue from yesterday I took time to appreciate just how comfy my soul felt with the quilt of clouds wrapped all around it this morning.  They reminded me of a loose fitting and comfy sweatshirt for the bluffs.
  • Last, I am so thankful for each of the mistakes, challenges, and failures I’ve had in my life.  Each of them have helped shape me into who I am.  Each has led me to today and this moment.  Without them I wouldn’t also have the feeling of contentment that I have.

All day long these thoughts and so many more have been going through my head and I’m so thankful for this deep sense of fulfillment.  Life is awesome!!!