Day 536 – Thankful for Workshop Time with My Big Buddy & Escaping In Record Time

Day 536 – Thankful for Workshop Time with My Big Buddy & Escaping In Record Time

Gavin had a friend sleep over last night so I asked Dominic if he wanted to join me in the workshop for a while. I’m glad that he did!

While I was working on a bandsaw box that I hadn’t picked up on over 9 months Dominic started working on his sword. It was pretty awesome, as I set the safety on the bandsaw he told me exactly how to set it. Turns out he was paying very close attention in shop class. He went right to town and even showed me a couple of things! I’ve been pretty much self taught on using a bandsaw so it was great to learn a little new stuff from Dominic. After he’d finished cutting it out i showed him how to use a handheld router and he picked it up quick.

In a very cool way I was spending time with him and my dad at the same time, and I was thankful for every minute of it.

This evening we’re out with some friends having a lot of fun. We started the event with getting locked up in an escape room. I’m happy to say that team Technical Difficulties set the record for the fastest escape time in the room we were in. More importantly, we had a blast hanging out and figuring it out together. Now that we’ve been crowned champions we’re celebrating with nachos and drinks downtown in what will be another night of awesomeness. Speaking of which, I’ve got to get back to hanging out with my friends so I’d better wrap this up…

Another great day, another day with so much to be thankful for.



Day 535 – Thankful Gaming with Friends and My Big Buddy Helping Out

Day 535 – Thankful Gaming with Friends and My Big Buddy Helping Out

Tonight I’m having a lot of fun playing a giant pile of tabletop games while eating pizza and drinking a beer or two. We’re only a couple of hours in and already having a blast!!!

Earlier in the night Dominic took on a very special mission to help Becky and I out… I can’t say anymore as it is a top secret operation to bring happiness to Gavin and his friend. He took it on with a huge smile, enthusiasm and zeal, and I’m very thankful for that!


Day 534 – Thankful for Brothers Doing What Brothers Do Best

The poor souls who were unfortunate to be in Festival this evening while the boys and I were there heard this very heated debate:

D:  “Cello is better!”

G:  “No, Violin is better!”

D:  “No, Cello is better!”


While I was finishing up supper I heard the following coming from the living room:

D:  “I’m cheering for Kentucky.”

G:  “Why?”

D:  “I picked them in my bracket.”

G:  “I’m cheering for Davidson.”

D:  “Why?”

G:  “So they beat Kentucky.”

And on and on it’s gone, pretty much all night.  Brothers doing what they do best, driving each other bonkers, going out of their way to annoy the other.

The one thing they both agreed on was one thing I totally disagreed with.  Knowing that my brother wouldn’t let me down in this argument I called him up on speakerphone.  Nick didn’t disappoint, he stood with me on this one.  It was another case of brothers doing what they do best, sticking together for each other when someone who’s not their brother disagrees with them.

As I wrapped a couple of things up and came into the living room I saw this:


There they were, doing another thing that brothers do best.  Even though they try to bug, harass, and annoy each other they somehow ended up right near each other on the couch watching the basketball game and getting along like the best friends they are when no one’s watching.


Day 533 – Thankful for Stargazing and a Gift in the Background

The skies were perfectly clear this morning while we were on our run and the stars were out. Becky quickly pointed out the constellation Cancer. At one point while we were running a satellite slowly made its way across the sky. Later I noticed a very bright star so I pulled out my StarWalk iPhone app and discovered it was Jupiter. It was awesome to spend time looking up in awe at the wonder of space.

While looking up I was reminded of great times in Scouts when we would just lay on our backs and look up at the stars. We’d take turns pointing out satellites and drawing constellations. Even after all these years I am still struck by that same sense of wonder when looking skyward, and that’s something that I’m very grateful for. My hope is that my boys feel the same way and they continue to pass that on for generations.

Today I did my blog a little different. As I was running this morning I already had part of it semi-written In my head, and as I left the house something else struck me. What caught my attention was a gift I received about nine months ago. I smiled as I saw it, thought of all the ways it’s stuck with me, and started to mentally write this blog about it.

Little did I know that later in the day as I was stuck and trying to think a way out of a difficult spot I thought back to this and smiled… and it brought me strength and support. As I look back now I’m even more thankful for happening to notice that gift out of the corner of my eye this morning.

The funny thing is that this gift is right in our kitchen, right where I put my keys every single day. I can’t help but see it daily and when I notice it I smile. When this gift is in my mind I know that I’ll be okay through any situation. Any challenge in my life I know that I’ll make it through and be stronger because of it.

It was the gift I got from my neighbor Elaine the morning we found out that Dad wasn’t going to make it. She had put this in our door along with an envelope labeled “Donut Money.” That act of kindness brought tears of happiness, memories of love and happiness, and also a reminder that no matter what’s up The Big Guy Upstairs is always right there with me.

That gift is this simple and beautiful sign with a simple and powerful message: “but the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.”

Thank you Elaine so much for such an incredible gift! All these months later it still brings me joy and strength regularly. Thank you!!!


Day 532 – Thankful for Becky’s Parent’s Coming Down for Dominic’s Concert

I always have fun watching Dominic play at his concerts, it’s so cool to watch him perform.  Just like each other time I enjoyed watching hm play his cello, watching the way he works the bow, and seeing his head move along with the music.  It’s clear that he enjoys playing.


Tonight was Dominic’s orchestra concert and it was made all the more awesome by Becky’s mom and dad coming down to watch.  Ken and Mary drove a few hours south, had dinner with us, went to see Dominic’s concert, and are now headed back home.  We had a great time with them, talking about upcoming vacations for them, sharing experiences we’ve had, and just joking around.  I love Ken’s sense of humor, we’re sometimes on the same page so much that it’s scary!

The boys had fun seeing Grandma and Grandpa, Becky enjoyed the time with her parents, and I am always thankful for time with my in-laws.  Tonight I’m so thankful that they made the trip down, we all had a blast and had more fun because they joined us.


Day 531 – Thankful for Tracking My Food Intake

Today’s isn’t necessarily the most fun thing to be thankful for ever, but I’m very thankful for it regardless.

About a month or so ago when I got on the scale I really didn’t like the number that I saw. When I looked in the mirror I didn’t like the way some of me was looking. Instead of getting angry, disappointed or frustrated I decided to take action and get back on track. I am confident that I will be successful in getting back down to the goal i have set for myself, partially because I have a secret weapon… my food diary.

When I’ve dropped weight in the past it’s one tool more than almost any other that’s kept me on track. If I know I’m writing down EVERYTHING I’m eat during the day I make very different choices than when I’m not tracking it. It helps stop me from overeating and forces me to pay attention to how unhealthy certain foods are. If I’m especially hungry this tool helps me see how much extra exercise I need to earn the snackage I’m in the mood for.

This one little step has already helped me drop a solid number and I’m only two weeks in! How can I not be thankful for this awesome tool?


Day 530 – Thankful for Dominic’s Willingness to Try Something New, Becky Being Awesome, and Workshop Time with Gavin

Day 530 – Thankful for Dominic’s Willingness to Try Something New, Becky Being Awesome, and Workshop Time with Gavin

This is starting to get crazy.  While I was in final pose for yoga tonight a little bead of sweat rolled into my ear and started to tickle like mad.  I almost laughed as I thought about yesterday’s blog about sensations of life and realized this was one of them.  For a moment I thought about how thankful I was for that sensation and for being able to fight back the laughter in the middle of a room full of quiet people!  There have been no less than a dozen moments today in which I just paused and thought about how thankful I was in that moment.  Trying to focus on only one seemed to not be right so I’m focusing on three instead as they were at the core of my happiness today.

Dominic out of the blue decided that he wanted to try Drama Club about a month or so ago.  Over the past couple of weeks he’s been crazy busy preparing for the play, “The Little Mermaid.”  This weekend they presented it Friday morning, Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon.  We had so much fun watching him last night do his backstage work.  In between each scene change he’d run out, move a rock or two, and be back out of the way.  While he was only on stage for a few moments it was easy to see how much fun he was having focusing on his task.  It was awesome!

Dominic, Bud, sorry dude, but we weren’t able to get any pictures 😥  Due to some licensing stuff the school wouldn’t allow us to take pictures during the event otherwise that would have been the key picture for today.  Watching you on stage is burned into my memory and heart and I’ll never forget it!

That kid never ceases to amaze me.  He’s always open to new ideas and experiences and just kind of goes his own way.  I am so thankful for his willingness to try new things as he figures out what he’s really passionate about, what he derives the most joy from, and what he’s encoded to do.  It makes me smile from ear to ear as he tries different things like this, he’s learning a ton and puts his all into each project, even in the rare instances he finds that it’s not his favorite.  I hope he keeps this open mindedness and optimism his whole life, I appreciate it and am motivated by it!

A few days ago my post from the year prior was focused on Becky’s winning of the 2017 Wife of the Year award.  She pretty much tied it up again for 2018 earlier this year, but today was just awesome.  Making lasagna is something that I’m always thankful for, so that one’s given.  We had a relaxing run to start our day and I always appreciate the time we spend enjoying nature, just like today when we paused a few times to watch the eagles (there were 15 eagles in two trees close together!).  While she made lasagna this afternoon she also cooked up all of my lunches and breakfasts for the week which saved me a ton of time.  Throw in the fact that she picked up Dominic so I could go to yoga and she was amazing!!!  I’m so thankful for her every single day, but today even more than most.


While Becky was making lasagna Gavin and I had some time up in our workshop.  At the Renaissance Festival this past summer I had promised to help him make a wooden sword or axe and today I followed through.  We ran to Menards, picked up a couple of four foot 1 x 12’s and started crafting.  Gavin decided that he wanted to go Minecraft themed so we made a Minecraft sword and pickaxe.  These were our prototypes and based on how they turned out we’re thinking we’re ready to make them for reals now.  One of the parts I enjoyed most were all of the memories of learning to use tools with my dad and the memories of the fun things my Grandpa Lamping would make out of similar lumber.  The other part I really enjoyed was watching Gavin learn how to take a blank piece of wood and turn it into something.  We had a blast making these and we’ll be doing more of this next weekend with Dominic too!


All in all it’s been an amazing weekend, one in which I’m left awestruck by the number of things that I’m thankful for.  What a miracle it is to be alive, and I am so grateful for each moment I have.