Day 907 – Thankful for Biking Grandad Bluff with Becky and Time with Dominic

Becky and I opted out of our normal cycling and yoga classes in favor of a slight change of pace this morning.  We bundled up, hopped on our bikes, and headed to the bluffs.  After taking cycling classes this winter we’ve been chomping at the bit to get outside and ride.  Sure, it was a little chilly (24-ish degrees), but we figured it’d be okay.

Once we cut across town we headed up Bliss Rd and up Grandad Bluff.  Holy crap is that a crazy climb!  The cool part was that we were able to make it all the way up and enjoy the beautiful view from atop the bluffs.  Whether hiking, running, or biking the view seems a little better each time it’s earned.


The way down was amazing, but also a little chilly.  Without really thinking through everything I never thought about low 20’s temps and the windchill of going 25+ mph while going down (crazy to think our top speed was over 30!  I’m sure many of you have gone faster, but that was crazy to see).  Regardless, starting the day with a nice long bike ride outside was a great start to the day.  Throw in the sense of accomplishment of reaching the top of the bluffs and I felt great.

Gavin headed out to Hunter Safety classes and Becky was babysitting for a friend, so it was just Dominic and I.  We went out to breakfast and had a wonderful time shooting the bull with each other.  Feeling inspired we then did a little shopping (mmm…  Holmen Meat Locker…) and had a lot of fun hanging out for the better part of a couple of hours.  What an awesome time for us to hang out and just talk while spending time talking about values.  Once we got home he got some homework done until lunch and then we fired up some games with the two of us until everyone else came home.

It’s not often we have extended periods of one on one time like that and I’m thankful for every moment we had today.  Connecting and bonding with him fills my heart with joy.




Day 906 – Thankful for a Day Bookended By the Moon

What a full day it’s been! As a cool added bonus it began and ended with brilliant views of the moon.

This morning the moon totally lit up the sky when we went for our run. The light was so bright we ran with our moon shadows as additional company.

This evening we set out with the family, dogs included, on a quest to see the Northern Lights. We headed north past Holmen and turned east before Galesville. We followed the twists and turns of country roads that gradually transformed from two lane roads into almost one lane dirt roads on top of the bluffs. When we found the optimal spot I got out and was thwarted by the brilliance of the moon. The light reflecting off it was so intense it drowned out any possibility of seeing the green lights dancing in the sky. When we decided to head back home we plugged in our GPS and realized we’d driven all the way to Ettrick! Sure, it would’ve been awesome to see the lights, but the moon provided some pretty scenic views as we drove through the driftless area’s country roads.

Today started with an appreciation of the moon’s beauty and ended with the same. How cool is that?


Day 905 – Thankful for Family Workouts and Fitness Coach Rufus (Gavin)

Last night Dominic asked Becky if he could go to the Y to workout after supper tonight. Without hesitation the answer was yes. Tonight as we were figuring out who was going to take him Becky also talked me into going. As we started getting ready we helped talk Gavin into going along with also.

Once we got to the Y Dominic split off for some weightlifting while Fitness Coach Rufus (aka Gavin) took Becky and I to the track. Coach Rufus decided to hit the intervals pretty hard as we went from sprints to jogs to sprints to walking and everything in between. After a while he proceeded to take us to the cycling room and led us on a great workout including ladders, hills, and the whole gamut.

It was pretty awesome to get out as a family. I’m so glad the boys are loving the feel of exercise and are open to doing it regularly. What a great way to help them stay healthy AND get some excellent family time.

Seeing Gavin in the role of Coach Rufus put a huge smile on my face. Not only does he crack me up with his larger than life personality, I’m pretty sure Becky and I got a glimpse into the future. He’d be an excellent coach and it’s easy to see him doing some type of a role like that in the future.


Day 904 – Thankful for Repose

My alarm went off at 4:32 and I was doing sit ups with Becky by 4:50.  We were out the door for our run by 5:10.  After the run, a hot shower, and getting ready I was out the door by 6:45.  At work I jumped into some building maintenance followed by some follow ups form a meeting the day before.  A few minutes in one team meeting and off to a phone meeting before I met with a couple of teammates for planning.  From 9:10 until 4:25 we were hammering away on ideas to move our teams forward in the next few months (with the exception of a short lunch).  After the planning session I jumped into another project and was out the door around 5:20.  Drive home, eat a quick supper, change into workout clothes and off to yoga by 6:12.

Non stop from 4:32am until 6:12pm, my mind was cranking away in overdrive with many thoughts, ideas, and plans.  To be honest, I was feeling pretty mentally exhausted by the time I got to yoga and laid out on my mat.  And that’s when the magic happened…

I felt total repose.  No stress, no noice in my brain, no tasks, no next meeting, no pressure, no timelines, no nothing…  except a focus on my breathing and my body.  My mind was totally still and it seemed as if I hit the pause button on life for an hour.  Extreme relaxation, peace, and chillin’.  Exactly what I was craving to calm for the night.

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Tomorrow will also be very full and complete, but I know I will search for and find moments of repose to soothe the savage beast throughout the day.


Day 903 – Thankful for Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

I am so thankful for my account.  Over the past few months it’s provided me the opportunity to read several business books and biographies.  With the windshield time I’ve had audiobooks have been an excellent way to utilize my drive time in a positive way.

In between books I often mix in a podcast to change it up a little bit.  One of the ones I’ve really gotten hooked on is Hardcore History by Dan Carlin.  It’s a very different look at history and gives a deep dive into many interesting topics from way back in the day.

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Certainly not for everyone, it’s a very interesting way to look back into history.  The current podcast I’m listening to is focused on Julius Caesar’s perspective of the Roman attacks on the Celtic tribes in Europe.  As he clearly explains up front, it’s history as told from the side of Darth Vader and gets into deep discussions of reasons behind the invasion and so on.  Throughout the story there’s a ton of history lessons piled in.  Not only is it interesting to go back in time to learn more history there are certainly lessons to pull forward into the present.  I never would’ve thought I’d enjoy history lessons so much that I voluntarily listen to them!

I’m thankful for an enlightening and knowledge filled ride to work this morning.  Soon I’ll be back to my normal reading, but for the time being I’m enjoying the change of pace.


Day 902 – Thankful for Today

Today has been an incredible day.  Nothing completely out of the ordinary, but so amazingly perfect in its completeness and depth.  There’s been a little bit of everything from struggles to successes to relaxing to working hard to working out.  There was even a little bit of time dreaming about travel and remembering past trips 😉.

My emotions have run the gamut but have largely been focused on the positive.

I’ve had to work through my weaknesses and had the opportunity to rely on my strengths.

There were moments of seeing the results of my past mistakes and failures while also seeing how I’ve learned from them.  I was shown past successes and saw how sometimes they created a false sense of security that I later learned from.

At times I had the stillness of mind to stop and think more deeply about how I live my life, how I should live my life, and how to close the gap between those two.

My morning started off with one on one time with Becky on an early morning run under a beautifully orange moon.  On my way to work I called Becky to make sure she was seeing the sunrise that looked like one of the two suns setting in Tatooine.

I had one on one time with each of the boys and got big hugs and “I love you’s” from both of them without being asked.

I spent time talking with both my brother and my mom.  There were several moments spent thinking of Dad.

It’s been an incredible day.  So full of life, so completely perfect in its imperfection.  I am so thankful for all that happened today, I wouldn’t trade a single moment for anything.



Day 901 – Thankful for Ice Fishing with the In Laws and Reminders of One of the Reasons I Blog Openly

Day 901 – Thankful for Ice Fishing with the In Laws and Reminders of One of the Reasons I Blog Openly

Today was AWESOME!!!  Not only did we have a large amount of family time, we had it with a large amount of family – see what I did there? 😉   Four of my nephews, four brother in laws, and my father in law all made the trek to La Crosse to slay some fish out on Lake Onalaska.  We spent the entire day out on the ice shooting the bull, walking on the ice, goofing off, eating a ton of snacks (thanks again Mary and Diana for the excellent snack age!!!), and pretty much everything a person can do while ice fishing…  except catch fish.  Personally, I see that as a very minor detail seeing as we all had so much fun spending time together.


For reals, it was great to spend time shooting the bull with each other and just spending time outside together.  The cousins all were wrestling around and enjoying each others company while all of us adults spent time talking and fishing.  Some of my favorite moments of the day were when I had one on one time with someone or we had a conversation as a small group.  It was wonderful just spending time with everyone.


Being out on the ice isn’t something I do very often so there were also a handful of moments in which I paused and just soaked in the landscape around me.  I’m head over heals in love with our neck of the woods and appreciate the drift less area constantly.  Seeing it from a different perspective was awesome and I enjoyed every moment of it.


Thanks again to everyone for making the long drive to La Crosse, we’re all thankful for the time with all of you!

When I took a quick peek at the comments from yesterday’s blog post today a gigantic smile crossed my face.  Here are the two comments I saw:

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Each of the comments struck a different chord with me and both reminded me of reasons why I take the time to write this blog every day and then share it openly and publicly.

Mike’s comment made me smile because that’s what I try to focus on each day.  Regardless of what happens it is 100% up to me to choose.  Life is too short to be in a pissy mood so I try to stay focused on the upside.  It doesn’t always work and sometimes I let myself be in a bad mood, but the more I work on it the more often I can stay positive and find the silver lining.  Life throws us tough stuff sometimes and we’ll never be able to prevent it all, but if we look hard enough we can find the positive meaning and use that difficult time to help us grow stronger.

Sammi’s comment made me smile for a different reason entirely.  I miss my dad deeply each and every single day.  I’m so appreciative of all of the moments and memories I had with him, I’m truly blessed to have had all that time with him.  If something I say or do can help someone else appreciate someone they love just a little more or in a slightly different way I see that as a huge win.  Her final sentence left me laughing and my heart full of joy.

Both of those comments remind me of reasons I am thankful for writing this blog and I greatly appreciate their reminders!