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…

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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!!!

Thanks!!!

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.

Thanks!!!

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!

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

Thanks!!!

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.

Thanks!!!

 

Day 565 – Thankful for Those Moments When I Want to Yell at My Boys While Simultaneously Laughing at Them as They Bring Back Memories

This afternoon we were up in the workshop hanging up whiteboards and doing some small projects.  As I was focused on one thing the boys kept picking on each other.  They were little jabs that kept coming at a faster and faster pace.  The digs got a little deeper one after the next.  The voices got a little louder and slowly built up.  After awhile there was a little shove here, and a little push there.

Their constant bickering was starting to drive me up the wall.  I was trying to focus on my task and they just kept going and going and going…  Right at about the time I was ready to snap at both of them something happened…

Hearing a loud BANG I turned around and before I could see what had happened I heard laughter from each of them.  They were now at Gavin’s whiteboard pushing each other out of the way, trying to write things about the other, and laughing their butts off at all of it!

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Seeing this all I could do was smile.  It was brothers being brothers, the same way Nick and I used to do.  Push and push and push and then finally burst out laughing as a wrestling match breaks out.  My memory went back in time to so many of those fights, the ones that never resulted in serious injury, but quite often some type of a story that we still tell many years later.  Kind of like the time we got to the point in Dad’s kitchen that we were wrestling around, had each other totally locked up, and realized that if we went any further we were both going to get hurt.  That fact hit us both at the same time and we busted out laughing.  It was AWESOME!!!

The boys did drive me nuts, but I’m glad they did.  Moments like this are some of the best of having a brother.

Thanks!!!

Day 564 – Thankful for The Boys Helping Me with Improvement Projects Around the House

As I grew up there was always something be worked on in our house.  From construction to home improvements there was always a project or two that my parents were working on.  While I wasn’t always super excited to jump in and help it’s been amazing to see just how much I learned from them.

Today was another one of many opportunities to share a moment and some experiences with the boys.  There’ve been a handful of very small projects around the house that I wanted to make progress on today.  The boys were with me every step of the way from our trip to Menards to installation to troubleshooting to clean up.  Each of the boys helped out with different things at various times.  They also learned how to do some new things, how some new things work, and how to improvise.

Not only was it cool for them to learn new things, but it was just fun having them help me out.  Even when I got frustrated a couple of times they were able to help me smile when I was getting frustrated.  I knew they were watching me and I had to set the right example for them.  Regardless of when things went well or wrong it was awesome to have them spending time with me.

Thanks!!!

Day 563 – Thankful for Random Texts About Old Songs and Bands My Friends and I Used to Listen to Regularly

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Out of the blue this afternoon James, Rick and I got a text from Woodah.  He had just listened to an old album we used to enjoy way back in the day and reminded us of it.  Right away I hopped on my phone to download it as well as a few other songs from that same time period.

Over the period of about two hours there were about 60 texts flying back and forth as we remembered old bands, songs, concerts, bands we were going to start, horribly awesome lyrics, and completely misunderstood lyrics.  It was AWESOME!!!

While it’d be great to get all of us together more often moments like this had me literally laughing out loud in public and enjoying some time with my friends.  What a wonderful way to kick off the weekend than re-living the glory days for at least a little while.

Thanks!!!

Day 562 – Thankful for Taking Becky’s Advice on How to Spend an Extra 60 Minutes

Day 562 – Thankful for Taking Becky’s Advice on How to Spend an Extra 60 Minutes

As per a usual weeknight for us it has been pretty much non-stop action. Becky picked up Gavin, took him to swim lessons and then met up with Dominic (track practice) and I back at the ranch for a quick family dinner. We then loaded up and headed out to see Dominic’s art on display at the library (which was super cool!) and then went to Gavin’s soccer practice. Due to the weather Gavin’s practice was in an elementary school gym by the marsh.

Earlier in the afternoon I got a text from Becky about an idea she had to spend our 60 minutes while Gavin practiced. We were about 15-20 minutes from home so it wasn’t worth heading home only to turn around and go back so she thought it’d be cool to go for a walk while Gavin practiced. Dominic opted to hang in the car and read in peace and quiet instead.

Becky and I headed down to the marsh and enjoyed our walk through it. Along the way we saw many ducks and birds. We also saw between a dozen and two dozen muskrats!

The muskrats were awesome! Some on the banks, some swimming in and out of their houses, others on stumps, and many swimming. The water was very still so in many cases they left a wake as they swam through. When I’d go trapping with my dad many years ago we’d see them in the traps but very rarely swimming in the wild like that. They brought back a flood of memories of early mornings in the canoe.

Spending time with Becky was fantastic! As busy as we’ve been it was nice having an hour to ourselves without stress. Sure, we had yoga earlier in the week, but this time we were able to talk the whole time and it was great to just connect.

Becky, thanks for finding a great way for us to spend an hour tonight! That was awesome!

Thanks!!!

Day 561 – Thankful for Taking Dominic’s Advice on How to Spend an Extra 25 Minutes

Wednesday nights mean church for Dominic and the coffee shop for Gavin and I.  While Dominic gets his religious ed Gavin and I get our hot chocolate and decaf (Dominic also gets a hot chocolate on the ride home).  Due to schedules tonight we found ourselves away from home with about 25 minutes to spare.  Not enough time to really do much of anything…  but then Dominic had an idea.

Based on last week’s excursion for Gavin and I Dominic thought it’d be good to head up to Granddad’s Bluff so off we went!

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We just chilled on the top for a while, looking down on the city of La Crosse and picking out several of the landmarks.  We joked around, gave each other a hard time, and enjoyed each others’ company and scenic vistas.  As time ran down we headed off to do our thing.

It was a cool way to really savor a handful of extra moments together as opposed to squandering them doing something meaningless like just waiting in the car or dropping him off early.  Dominic, you had an awesome idea tonight Bud!

Thanks!!!

Day 560 – Thankful for Yoga’s Way of Reminding Me to “Just Breathe”

When I filled my mom in on my plans for the evening her response was a bright and cheerful, “it’s so cool that you are both into yoga, it seems like you are both really into it.”  I just smiled and responded in agreement.  After we wrapped up our call I thought about that for a few minutes.  Why do I enjoy yoga so much?

It’s time for Becky and I to have fun together, to enjoy some quiet time outside the chaos of life.  Those extra minutes to just the two of us are so appreciated and special.

To kick off yoga tonight Nick shared a couple of thoughts of remembering the difference between what we can control and what we can’t.  In the case of yoga we have the ability to push ourselves and push ourselves while looking for that one little edge that we can get.  That little extra movement or stretch, that slight shift that shows that maybe we can control more than we think we can when we focus on it.

The workout itself is fantastic.  Whoever would have thought that you could sweat buckets by doing something as seemingly easy as stretching?  My muscles get worked in all different ways and stretches, it feels awesome!  I just went downstairs to tuck in Dominic and my legs were shaking as if I’d had a brutal leg workout.  Gotta love that feeling!

Boiling it all down to one thing though is relatively easy.  It’s a time to remember to just breathe.  Throughout the workout we’re all breathing in a very specific pattern, working on keeping our breath calm through the storm of the exercise.  To conclude the session we end with a pose laying flat on our back.  We close our eyes, let go, and just breathe.  In that moment everything in life is stripped away, it’s just breath.  No stress, no pressure, and no expectations.  It’s time to just enjoy the sensation of breathing and it’s incredible how life changes for a few moments when I’m distilled to just breath.  With no deadlines, nowhere to be, no one to talk with, it’s just me and that’s so peaceful.

As I’ve mentioned several times in the past my mind goes in many directions during that time.  Often I’m on a boulder in Colorado laying out in the sun, on the porch by the side of the ocean in Hawaii, or walking through the Ancient Groves in Washington.  Tonight Nick reminded us to “just breathe” and when he said that I immediately heard the opening strings of a song on the guitar…

“Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam played in my head as I saw my Dad smiling at me.  No words exchanged, just smiles, and it was awesome.  With all of the non-stop energy of life set aside for a few precious moments it was like I was able to have a clear connection to Dad.  Just chilling, listening to the song, smiling.  It was amazing and I’m so thankful for that experience.

As I think about everything from today there were so many moments when I was hustling from one thing to the next, taking care of what needed to be done, and flowing from one thing to another.  My day was one steady stream of stimuli.  It was a great day, a productive day, and one that I am thankful for.  That said, having a few moments in which my body was exhausted from an excellent workout and the rest of life was on hold…  with no agenda but remembering to just breathe…  it was exactly what I needed, and I’m so grateful for that.

Thanks!!!