Day 207 – Thankful for a Great Saturday Hanging Out with Gavin

Becky and I are running man to man coverage this weekend.  She headed to Des Moines with Dominic and his soccer team while I stayed back with Gavin to take him to his soccer game and multiple birthday parties (I swear that kid has a more full social schedule than I do!).

Tomorrow we have a bunch of chores to get done, but today was all about enjoying some time together.  Between soccer, playing games, building a workbench for him, getting some great grub (pizza with bacon slices, Canadian bacon, and bacon bits), and now chillin’ out watching a movie it’s been a pretty excellent day with Gavin!

Gavin is #15 in blue




Day 206 – Thankful for an Awesome Relationship Origin Story

In movies, books, and comics (graphic novels) one of the best ways to develop a character is to have an incredibly awesome origin story for the character.  As the present unfolds you slowly get to learn more about their origin story and things kind of click and make more sense.  The more you learn of it the more you get to know the character and can start to see why they act the way they do, why they value what they do, and see some of the potential faults they may have.  When well done, the origin story really completes the character and helps you see the world through their eyes.  When done poorly, you slowly quit caring about the character or just never get into them in the first place.  An awesome origin story really helps to set the tone of the future.

In just under a week Becky and I will have been married for 15 years.  Maybe it’s that big number starting show up more and more in my brain, but I keep thinking back to the craziness we’ve lived for the close to two decades we’ve known each other.  The universe is somehow conspiring with me on this one as in the past couple of weeks there’ve been more than a couple of comments recently about how we met, how we make it continue to work, and how the hell Becky can put up with me after all of these years!  One comment in particular inspired today’s blog…

“How did you and your wife meet?”  That question always makes me laugh out loud!  It depends on how well I know them and how much detail I think they can handle 😀  Truth is, we have a pretty awesome relationship origin story.  It starts with a wedding, finds one of the protagonists looking across the church and seeing the light of the heavens shining down on a beautiful girl with an amazing smile.  That smile makes them realize in an instant that this is the woman he’ll marry…  At the same time the beautiful girl with an amazing smile is thinking, and I quote, “oh shit…  he likes me…”  The night continues with laughably terrible pick up lines (“you can trust me, I’m an Eagle Scout”) and a lot of Captain Morgan (that sailor was my wingman that night and I’m forever in his debt!), moves on to the girl finally giving her number to him (mainly due to exhaustion and my buddy the rum pirate), and then ends with man riding home with his parents (just to clarify, I wasn’t living with my parents, just staying at their house that night) and explaining to them that he just met the girl he is going to marry….

And they lived happily ever after…


Every time I get asked about how we met or have some reminder that pops up and brings it to the front of my brain all I can do is laugh and smile.  Who ever would’ve thought a story like this would have an origin story like that.  Put a beer or two in me sometime and I’d be happy to share more of the story.  I can guarantee two things after you hear it in its entirety…  You’ll hurt from laughing so hard and you’ll wonder why Becky ever said yes.  If you have daughters, you might even consider teaching them the dangers of drinking too much Captain Morgan at a wedding reception!  I’m thankful to have such an awesome relationship origin story to share.



Day 205 – Thankful for the Release of Listening to Great Music

Long day, but a very good day.  Between driving to a couple of offices, helping teammates in setting up their development plans, and giving my difficult conversation presentation to a huge client of our’s it was a pretty intense day.  Most of the day was spent with brain locked in and dialed on a what had to be done.  By the time I started the long drive home I needed release.  

After a few short miles I pulled over, opened the trunk, dug around, and found exactly what I needed…

Forget my iPhone and Apple Music account, I was kicking it old school with my CD binder.  Great music from the 90’s and 00’s poured from the stereo.  There was no stress, no tension, nothing…  just my tunes, my voice singing (not sure that it really qualifies, but whatever!), and the road.  It was the relief I needed, the air bleed valve on this air tank.  It was amazing.  I’m incredibly thankful for the powerful release of listening to great music.


Day 204 – Thankful for Childhood Classics I Just Can’t Put Down

Last night I was in bed early and was planning on getting a great night of sleep.  Instead of turning off the light I reached for a book that I recently suggested to Gavin.  He’d read it and wanted me to read it again so we could talk about it.  I figured I might as well get a few pages in and then I’d nod off for the evening.

Two and a half hours later I finally laid it back on my nightstand with no need for a bookmark.  It’s been a while since I’ve pulled the “read the book from cover to cover in one sitting” trick, and it felt great!

The book I found for Gavin was Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper.  It was the start of the Dark Is Rising series that I loved as a middle schooler.  Not only did Gavin enjoy it, but Dominic read the entire book on Monday too!

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I may be a little slow on the draw this morning (getting up early to run was a little rough), but it was all worth it.  There’s something so refreshing about cruising through a book in one night like that, especially when it is one that I used to love as a kid.


Day 203 – Thankful for Putting Myself in Someone Else’s Shoes

Here’s a weird little admission of mine…  Sometimes I wear other people’s shoes to remind myself to think from their perspective.  Don’t worry, I’m not the creepy guy who secretly tries on your shoes while you’re not looking.  The shoes I occasionally step into were gifts from my brother Nick.  Specifically, they’re shoes that were worn in professional sporting events – a pair of Najeh Davenport’s Packers turf shoes and a pair of Jonathan Lucroy Brewers cleats.


Once in a while when I get stuck on something I’ll close the door of my office and slip one of these pairs on.  It’s my mental cue to think from someone else’s perspective and try to understand how they might be viewing the world.  It’s amazing how differently I can see an issue, challenge, solution, or idea when I take myself out of the equation!  Attaining a little bit of distance, no matter how much of a mental trick it is, has been very helpful.

While I may look like a dork walking in my office with a pair of baseball cleats on I know it helps my brain slip out of its normal thought patterns and gives me a different set of holes to look through in the shadowbox of life.  For that change in perspective, I am very thankful.


Day 202 – Thankful for Mother Nature Lending a Helping Hand

Sometimes it’s kind of frustrating when I wake up for a morning run and it starts raining.  Ugh…  Either sleep or dreadmill…

This morning was an awesome example of how Mother Nature lends Becky & I a helping hand once in a while.  Take a look at the pic from my phone this morning!


How awesome is that?  Surrounded in a ring of rain the middle stayed white!  The weather held up and we were able to get our run in and stay dry.

Sometimes I get frustrated with the “bad luck” of rain while running, this was a great reminder that we have just as much good luck with it too!


Day 201 – Thankful for Weekends That Just Aren’t Long Enough

Day 201 – Thankful for Weekends That Just Aren’t Long Enough

Seriously?  It’s already 8pm on Sunday?  Where did the weekend go???

Isn’t crazy just how quickly time can fly by?  In some cases I get frustrated and wish that I could have more time.  When I really stop and think about it I remember that I should be thankful for the weekends that fly by and just aren’t long enough.  It usually means I did it right, busy, fun, fulfilling, and non-stop.  While I’m feeling exhausted there were usually some pretty cool memories made.

This weekend was no exception.  From the start of my day off on Friday until now it’s been non-stop thrill ride of excitement.  I’m totally exhausted and will crash shortly after writing this.  Since yesterday’s post we’ve hunted Easter eggs, headed home, worked in my workshop with the boys, went grocery shopping, made supper, and no started winding down for the night.

This weekend was non-stop and crazy…   It just wasn’t long enough, but I’m thankful for all of the great moments it brought!