Day 115 – Thankful for the Anticipation of an Epic Weekend

About four months in the making, the time has come.  Challenges have been offered, challenges have been accepted.  Plans have been made, changed, changed and are now set.  Insults have been hurled, mud has been slung, and it’s time to back up the talk.  Time to live up to the hype.

This weekend a small handful of my best friends and I will get together for a weekend of awesomeness.  There is no question that this will be one of those times that reality absolutely crushes the high expectations.

Over the past week there’ve been several hundred emails exchanged and it’s been like an awesome extension of the weekend.  I’m sure I’ll be thankful for this weekend in a future post, but today I’m thankful for the anticipation of it.  Getting primed and ready has me smiling like a crazy twenty year old and the past week has been like a few bonus hours of time together.

While the craziness will be very tame compared to our younger days I can’t wait for the weekend to begin!!!


Day 114 – Thankful for Days In Which I Can’t Pick Just One

From the point that Becky woke me up to the point that I’m typing this in Kathy’s massage chair it has been a pretty epic day.  There’s been so much to be thankful for that I keep starting to type, then pause, then delete, then start to type, pause, delete, repeat…

There’ve been a lot of good things like getting a warmer weather run in with Becky early in the morning.  Seeing team members show strengths that help our team move forward.  A conversation that blew my mind and got more  seeds of dreams planted (I am pretty sure some of them have already taken root!).  There were many moments of happiness with team members, so many reasons to be so proud of them.  A fun and unexpected conversation with a mentor on the ride home.  A humorous and perfectly timed text string with another mentor.  A little bit of quiet time to be lost in thought and start planning on how to make dreams reality.  A few minutes at home alone with Dominic to shoot the bull.  Hundreds of texts with friends prepping for our epic weekend.  Hanging out with Kathy as she cuts my hair (all 12 of them!).  Laughing at Gavin’s comments while he gets his hair cut.  Knowing that I’ll be at home snuggled up with Becky soon.

While there’s been a lot of awesome to be thankful for there’s also been some tough things.  Something happened that reminded me to give my boys an extra hug and have a conversation with them about some more grown up topics when they get a little older.  I’m thankful that I have them in my life and that I have the time to have that conversation with them.  

I helped out in an office and tagged in as the front desk person for a while.  It was totally out of my comfort zone, caused me to fall behind in other projects, and reminded me that it is the role I am least suited for.  I’m very thankful to have stepped into that role today, it helped me see our business from the eyes of my teammates, a perspective I sometimes miss, misunderstand, or don’t fully appreciate.  This experience will stick in my brain for a long time and help me work better with my team and I’m grateful for that.
So while there were many ups and a few downs there were many reasons to be thankful – so many that they get rolled into one blog! ūüėČ


Day 113 – Thankful for the Successes of My Teammates

I really enjoy the feeling of my personal successes. ¬†It’s pretty awesome to stand on top of a mountain of an accomplishment and look at all the hard work that I’ve put in to make the success happen. ¬†That said, today was filled with a different type of happiness that has been cooler than my own personal accomplishment… ¬†The successes of my teammates. ¬†In two cases in particular (though there were more than just these two) really stuck out for me.

Nicole has been busting her butt trying to get a very large new account in Rice Lake.  As of this morning she found out she had won it.  She called me up and was incredibly pumped!!!  It was so rewarding to hear the sheer excitement and bliss in her voice as shared the good news.  I just sat back and smiled, listening with pride in every word she said.

Later in the day I was able to jump on a zone-wide training call with over 100 participants. ¬†To kick off the call Carolyn was asked to share her Express story and brag up what her team has accomplished over the past year. ¬†Her passion and excitement for what she has done was very clear to all of us on the call. ¬†She’s not one to brag, but you could hear the pride she has for her team and their successes in her voice as she answered the moderator’s questions. ¬†I just sat back and smiled, listening with pride in every word she said.

In both of these cases I had to fight back a tear of pride, I am so happy for them in their accomplishments. ¬†It was particularly rewarding as I know how incredibly hard they’ve both worked to to get there. ¬†They’ve both put in tremendous time and energy to reach their achievements, they’ve both made sacrifices to achieve. ¬†I found it very fitting that a little while back Nicole shared one of my all time favorite quotes, the one below:


Thank you also to all of my other teammates that had a positive impact in my day today through their successes: Katie, Angie, Leanne, Rebecca, Jenn, Nicole, Autumn, and Sammi.  While you may not have thought much about something that you did today, you all put a smile on my face for one reason or another today and for that I am grateful.

To circle back to where I started, I really enjoy it when I am successful.  My heart is filled when I see the successes of my teammates.


Day 112 – Thankful for Driveway Engineering

I got home from work a little early and was able to enjoy a little time outside with the boys while it was still light out.  The weather was pretty warm (anything over 32 in January is warm in my book!) and there was a lot of ice in the driveway to keep breaking up.  So I threw on a sweatshirt and winter boots while still wearing my shorts, and went outside.

While we could have just focused on it and probably got it all removed we decided to have a lot of fun with it instead.  As we were chipping the ice we didn’t like how all the water was pooling in one spot so we decided to build a small drainage system by digging channels into the ice down to the end of the driveway.  

We had so much fun hopping away at the ice, we were smiling the whole time!  All the while we were taking about the science of fluid dynamics and helping them see how to help the water go where it wants to go.  Before we knew it the time came to head inside.

I really appreciate these moments that just seem to happen out of the blue.  I know the boys and I won’t necessarily remember this moment in particular forever, but for this moment I’m incredibly thankful to have taken some time to do some driveway engineering with the boys.


Day 111 – Thankful for an Early Morning Run and a Taste of the Mid-90’s

When the alarm went off at 4:23am (yeah, it’s actually set for 4:30 but the clock is 7 minutes fast) all I wanted to do was go back to sleep. ¬†That wasn’t going to happen, Becky was wide awake and ready to tackle the day. ¬†There was no way she was going to let me sleep in and skip our run.

After our run¬†all I could think of was this clip from Tommy Boy (be warned, there’s mildly inappropriate language at the 28 second mark):

That movie still cracks me up all these years later! ¬†It pretty much hit the nail on the head, especially when Farley says “Need sleepy!!!” ¬†Anytime I think of this movie I am flooded with memories of watching it over, and over, and over again in the dorms with my friends at Michigan Tech, and then quoting the same lines over, and over, and over again and laughing hard over, and over, and over again! ¬†How could my morning get any better with those memories in my brain?

With this already in my head I turned on Pandora for a little music while I was in the shower. ¬† Lately I’ve been listening to a station of any song I’ve ever given a thumb’s up to and the first one it fired up was another great mid-90’s song… ¬†Idaho by The Bodeans. ¬†After jamming out a bit it moved right on to another mid-90’s classic, Hook by Blues Traveler. ¬†Ahh… ¬†gotta love the songs that you sing along to but really don’t remember the lyrics to.

While the weather may have tried to dampen my spirits just thinking of those songs and the movie Tommy Boy have a smile on my face! ¬†I’m very thankful that Becky was the Spade to my Farley and got my butt out of bed and moving before 4:30 this morning.





Day 109 – Thankful for Active Family Time

No, we didn’t do any crazy feats of strength.  We didn’t run a long distance or bike up a huge bluff.  We didn’t lift weights or anything too difficult.  What we did do was a couple of things as a family that involved being up and moving, and it felt awesome!

To start off the day we hit yoga as a family.  While Gavin split off to the kid’s session, Dominic, Becky & I sweated it out in the hot yoga session.  Afterwards we were all pretty relaxed, chill, and had that nice post exercise glow.

After lunch the four of us took the dogs for a nice hour long walk and enjoyed the feel of being in the sun.  After a couple of weeks of cold and yucky weather it was so peaceful to get some fresh air.  While we walked Gavin slogged through every puddle he could find.  Dominic took Sky and ran with her for a while to help her get the energy out of her system.  It felt awesome!

While we may not have been talking the whole time in either case we were spending time with each other and enjoying and appreciating the activity.  I think all four of us needed to have a day in which we got out and moved around and that’s exactly what we did.  These peaceful days are amongst my favorite…  time with my family and enjoying each other’s company.


Day 108 – Thankful for the Worst Bringing Out the Best

Today’s Facebook “On This Day” post was one that made me smile. ¬†It is the following blog post:


Yup, that was it. ¬†That was by far the closest I’ve come to skipping a day. ¬†Of all of the almost 500 days, Day 108 is one that will live in infamy. ¬†It was a rough day, a rough week, it was cold and dark, and I was just in a terrible mood. ¬†I was tired of things not working out the way I wanted. ¬†There was NOTHING that I was thankful for that day.

That’s when Becky saved the day (& everyday thereafter). ¬†I was tempted to quit, but she helped push me forward. ¬†As I kept throwing out bullshit excuse after bullshit excuse when she was pushing and pushing for me to come up with something she finally stumbled onto the heated car seats. ¬†“FINE! ¬†That’s what I’ll be thankful for today and then I can quit tomorrow,” was what the voice in my head was saying. ¬†I then proceeded to write the worst post in the history of the blog.

It may be the worst, but quite honestly it may be one of the few I hold closest to my heart.  I had a choice that day.  Quit or figure out what I was doing wrong that caused this day to happen.  Thanks to support from Becky and the grit that I had to keep going quitting was never really an option.

As I thought about it while laying in bed I knew what I had to do.  The first handful of days were relatively easy to come up with what I was thankful for.  There was almost a mental list that I kind of had prepped and ready and that list was pretty much exhausted.  From this point forward I had to start watching for things to be thankful for from the point I woke up until the time I went to bed.  I had to be more vigilant and really seek out things to be thankful for.  This was the turning point for me, this was when I started truly living the purpose of the blog.

In almost everyday since I’ve had to struggle to pick just one thing to be thankful for! ¬†It’s crazy, but when I finally really started seeking out things to be thankful for I was almost crushed by the huge number of things that I should appreciate. ¬†How crazy, just by changing my perspective I was now overwhelmed by the number of positive things around me! ¬†Nothing else changed, just my perspective… ¬†and all because I made the conscious decision to change. ¬†The same decision that all of us can make.

As an interesting side note, I don’t remember why Day 108 sucked so bad! ¬†I can’t recall any of what was going on in my life at that time, yet in the moment it seemed absolutely brutal. ¬†Isn’t it funny, the things that we stress about fade into the background and are easily forgotten, but that which we are thankful for endures.

Today I’m thankful for the worst bringing out the best. ¬†Had I not had a day in which I was that frustrated I would have probably continued to drift until this blog died with nothing but a whimper. ¬†By facing that moment I was forced to make a decision, and I made the right one.


Day 107 – Thankful for Dream Fuel

Ahh…  the red circle of carpet that will one day be mine…

Tonight Becky and I went on a date to see the TEDx Zumbro River Pitch Night in Rochester.  The event allowed 24 local speakers three minutes to pitch the idea of their TEDx Talk, with the one or two getting the most votes moving on to the actual event in May.

One day I will present at TED, but today was not the day.  Taking my failure as an opportunity to learn I went as a student and took notes on what the speakers did well and what I could do differently to be more effective.  Growth mindset kept me focused on finding ways to improve as opposed to getting frustrated.

In the long run I’m glad I had a chance to see what the event looked like, that’ll help me get my mind right when I get my talk polished enough to present. 

I may not have been presenting, but I’m pretty fired up and ready to go as this was the dream fuel I needed!