Day 572 – Thankful for Realizing Dominic is a Better Cook Than I Am and a Project the Boys Worked On That Has Me Smiling Big

Day 572 – Thankful for Realizing Dominic is a Better Cook Than I Am and a Project the Boys Worked On That Has Me Smiling Big

Let’s just say that one of our meals today was FANTASTIC and the other was a dumpster fire…  maybe more of a grease fire…

Which of these meals would you rather have had today?  Dominic’s homemade chicken noodle soup with bread pudding and peaches for dessert…  or…


my pathetic attempt at bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breasts on the grill?


Tough call, right?  Thank goodness I still had time to run to Festival, grab some burgers and save a little face.  Regardless, Dominic’s meal was awesome and way outshined my attempt.  Pretty cool knowing we have an in-house cook!

Throughout the afternoon the boys were working on a very cool project that was straight out of a list of things I always wanted to do when I was a kid but didn’t.  They took an old battery operated car that they were both way to big for, stripped it down, and started re-building it with some modifications.  By the end of the night they’d gotten the frame together and were able to go for a test run!  The next steps for this include putting the steering wheel back in, adding a bit of a floor, and possibly asking for some advice on what would happen if we went with a slightly (or much) larger battery…  Who knows, there may be a hand controlled accelerator…  So many options, so little time!

I’ve been thankful for each step in the process.  They took it apart slowly as to not damage anything.  As they pulled it apart they’ve been able to learn some mechanical basics that should help power future inventions for them.  We even had some time to work on being a team and taking a deep breath when something wasn’t going well.  All in all, it was a pretty sweet precursor to a dream on my list…  building a car with the boys.  This was an excellent first step.



Day 571 – Thankful for a Dad Time Capsule

This morning we went through a couple of storage bins of Dad’s old stuff and it was an amazing time.  Saved in those bins were some of his hunting stuff, piles of old pics, and even some of his old report cards and yearbooks!


Going through all of that brought back so many wonderful memories of time with Dad.  For instance, seeing a couple of safety harnesses reminded me of the time the two of us went to a hunting convention and had a great day together.  The old GPS and maps of his elk hunting spot in Colorado reminded me of the hunting trip I went with him on.  So many old pictures reminded me of other moments with him and of other stories he’d told me over the years.  It was an amazing time capsule of Dad.  Being able to share that time with my family made it all the better.

Over the next few weeks I’ve got quite the task in front of me, scanning many old pictures, newspaper clippings, and so on into an electronic format.  While that task may seem a little daunting I know I’ll be smiling the entire time.  How cool to be able to spend that much tie going through so many wonderful memories of my dad?


Day 570 – Thankful for an Awesome Teammate Who Made an Incredible Impact

Today is Carolyn’s last day with Express as next week she starts a new chapter and adventure in her life.  She will be greatly missed by many including her teammates, clients and associates.  As that reality sinks in today I find myself pausing to be so thankful for the time she’s spent with us over the past 3 years.

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When Carolyn started with us she was in a temporary role right after college.  She quickly showed us how talented she was and we moved her to our long term team.  After showing us even more of how she fits the values and culture we were building she was promoted to a sales role within our Eau Claire team.  Based on her performance and her quickly increasing leadership skills she was again promoted to manage our Menomonie team.

The office she took over was far from healthy yet she took on the challenge with a smile.  Working through all of the challenges and obstacles she built a core team who have continued to grow and flourish with her leadership and support.  That office has since become one of the strongest and consistently healthiest teams in our group.  Even now that team is poised to grow exponentially in many ways and continues to become stronger.

Did I mention that she did all that before 25?  So how did Carolyn do it?  She lives and embodies our values.

She is constantly learning and growing and lives the Growth Mindset.  Carolyn wasn’t afraid to try new things or to do things differently as she would learn from every experience.  If there was a training opportunity she was on it right away.

There were so many times in her career with Express in which Carolyn stretched way outside of her comfort zone to Grit something out knowing that it would lead to the long term successes and goals she had.  When others may have become afraid or nervous and quit Carolyn persevered and made awesome things happen.

Whenever a decision was made we could always count on Carolyn to Do Right.  This meant that she would take the time to make sure she was doing the right thing for our associates, clients, and team.  It’s not always easy to do the right thing, but she did, time after time after time.  She has an incredible moral compass.

So while of course I’m sad that our paths are splitting for now I can’t help but smile and beam with pride and gratitude for the time we’ve had together.  Because of Carolyn all of my teams are stronger.  Because of her help I’ve become a better leader.  Thanks to her leadership and coaching so many others have grown in their careers and are on a faster track thanks to her help, leadership, and inspiration.  We’ve got strong and sustainable relationships with more of our clients thanks to her.  As I look around our teams she’s had a positive impact on all of us, directly or indirectly.  How could I not be thankful for that?

Carolyn, thank you so much for sharing your time with us over the past handful of years.  Your impact will be felt throughout our teams for ages.  Thank you for pushing me to dream bigger and for the hugely powerful impact you’ve had no me!


Day 569 – Thankful for a Wife Who Just Gets Me

Earlier today I received a text from Becky which reminded me of yet another reason I am head over heals in love with her.  Her text with an idea of how to celebrate our 16 year anniversary shows just how much she gets me…


Gavin had left me pretty frustrated after Cub Scouts today.  It was a long day of work and it was one of those days in which my To Do list grew more quickly than my ability to check them off.  I was wore out and ready to call it a night and start fresh in the morning.  Becky, sensing my mood decided to fire up a slideshow on the TV showing a picture of each of the National Parks.  We went through each one and tried to guess where it was.  By the time we made it through all 59 I was feeling much more relaxed and in a better mood.

I am so thankful to be with someone who just gets me.  Regardless of what I say she always knows what I’m really feeling and seems to find a way to cheer me back up and put a smile on my face.  In past blog posts I’ve mentioned that this blog could be called “Yet Another Reason I Love Becky,” but it is nice to write about other things I’m grateful for once in a while.

Thanks for always finding a way to cheer me up, you’re the best!!!  Love you!!!


Day 568 – Thankful for Taking the Time to Enjoy the Beautiful Snow (Seriously)

Yes, I am also tired of cold weather and I am ready for Spring to finally kick in… but seeing as there’s nothing I can do about the weather I changed my attitude for the time being. 😁

This afternoon I had to run a quick errand and I took advantage of the opportunity to be outside for a few moments. This was the scene in the bluffs…

How beautiful is that? The heavy snow coming down, sticking to the trees, making the area turn into a scene from a Christmas card. It was awesome to take in.

Sure, I could’ve been frustrated by the heavy snowfall, but life is happier when I take a deep breath and appreciate the scenery.


Day 567 – Thankful for Riding Shotgun Instead of Driving

Today was our monthly Owner/Manager Meeting in the Rochester office.  Seeing as Nicole and I have a lot to cover in our offices and we’re heading in the same direction we met up and rode most of the way together.  It’s always fun getting to shoot the bull with her about work and personal life while we head to Rochester.

This morning she took one for the team and drove us.  It was AWESOME!!!  With all the time I usually spend in the driver’s seat it was so peaceful and relaxing to be able to just ride instead of drive.  It’s funny, I don’t always realize just how much less stress there is when riding.  Not only that, but I was able to take in the scenery including some pretty gnarly looking snowdrifts!


Nicole, thanks again for driving today!  That act of kindness was awesome and greatly appreciated!


Day 566 – Thankful for Remembering to Choose My Attitude, Gratitude

It’s funny how one or two negative things can real set the tone for a day if I let them.  In the case of today there were a couple throughout the day that left me in a bit of a funk.  Half joking and half not I looked at Becky tonight and asked, “what am I thankful for today?”  I was letting a couple of things rule my attitude, and not for the better.

As she smiled and responded my mind started rewinding back through the day and I realized just how much I was thankful for.  Many moments that left me smiling or led to full on belly laughing.  Some moments of pride, some smiles at taking on a new challenge.  More than a few moments of enjoying the beauty of nature (even with, and in some cases, because of the snow).  Emails from teammates and peers that left me beaming.  Moments of accomplishment that left me smiling at hard fought success.  Moments of just connecting with others at a deeper level.  I was thankful for being able to cook dinner for the family and spending time with them.  An awesomely different breakfast.  There were fleeting seconds of silence which felt wonderful.  Nuggets of random trivia that made me smile (thanks Becky for sharing that today was the 27th anniversary of the release of Temple of the Dog).  Great moments with each of the boys doing some of the things they do best.  Giving Becky a kiss when she got home.  Listening to music after everyone went to bed so I could just chill.  Seeing a friend achieve a dream on Facebook.  Taking time to think about what I’m thankful for.  Writing this blog.  So many amazing moments and experiences that I am thankful for today.

I can’t help but laugh at myself and realize how pathetic it was for me to let a couple of things impact my overall happiness and joy today.  When I sum it all up, it’s been an awesome day!  I’m so thankful that I decided to choose my attitude by the end of the day, and that attitude was gratitude.