Day 725 – Thankful for Phone Calls with My Parents

After a beautiful run this morning with Becky we loaded up Gavin and headed out to soccer in Sparta.  This past week I hadn’t talked with my mom nearly as much as usual and I felt like I was going through a little bit of withdrawal.  I’d texted her last night to find out what time she was thinking she would be up so I wouldn’t wake her when I called.

As a kid I still remember my hearing my mom talking with my grandma every weekend, seemingly both days some weekends.  In my memory it kinda feels like they were on the phone for hours, but knowing how time passes differently for kids it could have just as easily have been 30 minutes.  Hearing her call Grandma Joyce left me thinking that it was exactly what you are supposed to do, call your mom every weekend if she doesn’t live nearby.

It was wonderful connecting with my mom this morning before Gavin’s game.  We were able to just shoot the bull, not really talk about anything in particular, but I had a great time just connecting with my mom.


Later in the day I took the boys on a run to Menards.  Both of the boys brought books and were initially reading as we got back in the car.  My first instinct was to do what I always do when I leave Menards, call Dad.  In a split second I remembered that calling him wasn’t going to work so well and for the briefest of moments I felt pretty sad.  Almost as quickly I realized, how awesome is it that I had so many excellent conversations with my dad before he passed.  There were so many times we would connect for brief conversations, sometimes even just for a couple of minutes, that left me feeling more joyful.

And that’s why I’m thankful for conversations with my parents today.  I’m so fortunate to still have one parent that I can continue to have conversations with regularly.  In the big picture, I’m blessed to have such wonderful parents that I look(ed) forward to talking with them, miss when I don’t talk with them, and enjoy(ed) each moment I have connecting with them.  It’s another reminder of what a wonderful job they did of perfectly balancing that fine line of parent and friend.



Day 724 – Thankful for Reminders of Just How Awesome Life Is

Our Rice Lake office is pretty small so when a teammate and I needed to meet for some training we decided it would be best to head out to the local coffee shop.  The training went even better than I would have imagined, maybe the coffee had a little something to do with it!

At one point there was a very large family with MANY small kids running all over the place having a great time.  My teammate was facing the commotion and one point she told me to turn around and look at what was happening.  When I looked over I saw all fo the kids giving their grandma a big group hug while saying “I love you Grandma” over and over again.  The best way I can explain it was that it was like seeing a pile of happy puppies crawling all over each other to be closest to their mom.  It was beyond heart warming.

Looking back at my teammate I tried to continue but my voice wavered and I could feel a little mist in my eyes.  It really hit me just how inspiring that moment was.  Those kids love their grandma so much that everyone in the place could feel it.  So much love shared in one moment, created over so many years together.  What a special experience! I felt so blessed to have the opportunity to witness it.

Throughout the day that moment sprang back into my mind.  It reminded me of my Grandma Joyce and how happy I always was to see her.  I thought about how blessed our boys are to have wonderful grandparents.  That moment provided a glimpse into our potential future and reminded me of how I need to live to have that opportunity.  And, most importantly, every single time I thought about it my heart was so full of joy.

Later in the day I stumbled upon something that made me smile along those same lines.  The news article was titled “19 Tweets That Prove The World Isn’t A Complete And Total Dumpster Fire.”  Sure, the title is pretty cynical, but in the story were many similar examples of what I witnessed today, happiness!  Reading this was a reminder to me to quit watching all the garbage in the news and focus on the positive stories like this…  and to find ways to create more stories like this.

This evening I am back home and it feels great to be back after ra couple of nights.  Spending time with my family reminds me of why I do what I do, why I choose the path that I walk, and it reminds me of just how awesome life is!



Day 723 – Thankful for Comfort Food for the Soul

Dark clouds overhead.  Sounds of rain beating against the windows.  Cool, almost cold air .  Feeling like the seasons are changing way too quickly.  Throw in a workday that humbles.  Blend that all up together and it’s the perfect storm for comfort food.

Tonight I also found comfort food for my soul to warm me on this cool damp evening.

To bring some extra joy I first fired up some great music…

Then I stumbled onto this wonderfully motivating and captivating video…

Lastly, I had some time talking with my family to wrap up the night before my blog and bed.


That was exactly what I needed to warm my soul this evening…  and the box of Fiercely Cinnamon Hot Tamales didn’t hurt either. 😉


Day 722 – Thankful for Having a Complete Team

Is there much better than when everything is in place and right where it should be?  That was the feeling I experienced in our Rice Lake office today.  The last piece of the puzzle started in the office today and we’re all geared up and ready to go!


Of course, I’ve had this feeling often, but it’s one that I sometimes take for granted.  Today included several moments in which I paused and just soaked in the feeling of completeness.  There was a buzz in the office, much activity was happening, and all was exactly the way it should be.

There’s a lot left to do, much training to happen over the next few weeks.  From there we’re sure to celebrate many successes and learn and grow through many challenges.  Regardless, today I’m just soaking in the sensation of everything being right in place.  Our team is complete!


Day 721 – Thankful for My Dream Book and Reminders to Stay Focused On It

If you’ve read this blog for a while you know that I’ve got a book I keep with me much of the time.  It is a small approx. 4’x6′ black leather bound book in which I keep a list of dreams that I have that I would like to accomplish before my time on Earth is up.  As new ideas come up I add them to the list.  When I complete them I cross them off and track them later in the book.


Sometimes I go to the book when I’m in a good mood to see what I should put on my radar to chase after next.  Sometimes I go to the book when I’m having a rough day and need some extra motivation.  Once in a while I want to just pause life and remember why I am doing what I am in life.

In the pages of the book are my main motivators, the reasons I push hard and focus in the directions that I do.  Those dreams also remind me to enjoy life as it happens, to keep me focused on the present, and to push myself to dream bigger and bigger.  This book is where I create my grit, they are the long term goals that I am passionate about and willing to persevere for.

Over the past 48 hours I’ve had a few reminders of why this book is so important for me to have.  The reminders include thinking of how young my dad was when he passed.  I recently heard the story of someone almost exactly my age who went into the doc for back and rib pain to find out that he had stage 4 cancer in his spine and has very limited time left.  A cohort going through a tough time.  For several various reasons they all reminded me of my dream book.

Thanks to each reminder I’ve spent time tonight adding and reviewing that list to make sure I keep focused on achieving what I want.  It’s a lot easier to work hard and sacrifice some things while knowing it’ll get me what I truly want out of life.  It’s led to conversations with Dominic tonight about working hard.  This focus has also reminded me to live now in the present, to balance out the prep for later AND enjoy today.  It keeps me focused…  it brings me great joy.



Day 720 – Thankful for the Feeling of a Building Storm Front

While it was disappointing to have Dominic’s first cross country meet of the year cancelled due to storms there was a silver lining…


When I got home from work today I took a little extra time to just soak in the feel of the pressure of the storm building.  I just love that feeling of the air getting thicker, the temperature almost feeling like it’s increasing slightly, and the almost electric feel in the air.  You can tell that it’s gathering speed and ready to pop at seemingly any moment.

At the park the race was cancelled before the rain and storm hit so we were able to sign Dominic out in no hurry at all.  As I talked with another parent the sweat started to bead up on and I could feel the pressure of the storm continuing to grow stronger.  The more it was building the more I was getting giddy to see the result.

When we drove out of the park the wind really took off.  There were swirls of dirt and leaves as the storm finally started to hit.  Then temp dropped, the rain came, the storm popped and in a flash it was over and gone.

The entirety of the storm is pretty amazing and I often take a moment to be thankful to witness the storm itself.  The raw power of the lightning, wind and rain is incredible.  That said, I’m almost more of a fan of the slow and steady build up to the storm.  That sensation of the pressure continuing to build in the air is amazing in of itself.