Day 958 – Thankful for Starting the Morning with This Calming View

The alarm went off entirely too early this morning. I wasn’t ready to be jolted out of bed when it started it’s infernal bleating. As I stretched I considered going to back to sleep, but instead I sighed loudly and rolled out of my warm comfortable cocoon until my bare feet touched down on the cold floor. It’s still debatable whether or not I was awake or sleepwalking when I got dressed and ready to go outside. Eventually I found my way out the door to go for an early morning walk with Becky and the girls.

As soon as we started walking I felt so much better and breathed in the cool fresh air. The birds were singing away as we walked down a quiet road with no traffic. At one point I paused to take a picture of the beautiful scene…

And just like that I felt a powerful sense of calm that stuck with me through the entire day. No matter what happened, good or stressful, my thoughts would gravitate back to that calming view and I knew everything would work out exactly the way it should.

It took a while for me to get up and get moving this morning, but I’m so thankful I did!



Day 957 – Thankful for a Road Trip to Spend Time with My Mom and Time with Becky On Mother’s Day

This morning the boys and I loaded up and headed up river to my mom’s while Becky went to work for the day.  It was so awesome to spend time with Mom just shooting the bull and relaxing!  Dominic had the great idea to make homemade Mac & cheese (thanks again Shane for the recipe!) so after a quick trip to the grocery store we made lunch together as a family.  After the deliciously dense meal we went for a walk and had more time to just talk and relax together.

It is so easy to get lost in “being busy” all the time and miss opportunities to spend quality time with loved ones.  I’m so thankful for this time we had together today.  There are many memories I have of seemingly little moments that turn out to be fond memories.  Just a hunch, but this one will stick with me (and hopefully the boys) just like the spring walk with my Grandpa Lamping way back in 2001.

Thanks for the awesome time together today Mom!!!  Love you tons and appreciate you greatly!!!


Once we got home I was able to spend some time with Becky catching up on the day.  As I type we’re chilling on the deck and enjoying the sun with the sound of the boys playing baseball in the background.  She’s got some reading and I’ve got some work to get done, but it’s okay.  Sometimes it feels wonderful just being near each other.  Once we both wrap things up we’ll chill as a family to close up another great Mother’s Day.

Thanks for being such an incredible mom to the boys Becky!!!  They’re so lucky to have you in their lives!!!  Love you!!!


Day 956 – Thankful for the Places When I Can Feel the Presence of The Big Dude Upstairs

The sermon at church today was focused on the places in which we feel the presence of God.  Pausing to stop and think about where those encounters with The Big Dude Upstairs.  For clarity, that’s the name I use when I think of God, the Universe, or insert what ever your personal preference for the name of a higher power.  Father Dodge was helping us think of those times in which we’ve felt the presence of God and it was very enlightening.

When you’re asked the question, “when have you felt the presence of God?” what comes to your mind?

When I think about it there are so many times when I can feel God’s presence.  Off the top of my head there are a handful of moments that come to mind.  In these moments it may have been something as simple as a nudge.  Sometimes it’s that moment of seeing a bigger picture and realizing the beginnings of just how vast Everything is.

There is a magic to the moments themselves.  Something in those moments has the capacity to change us or point us in the “right” direction.  But the real takeaway for me today was to pause and think about what opened me up to those experiences.

Some of the thoughts that came to mind were while traveling and experiencing the wondrous views of scenic beauty that only could have been created by something much larger than I.  In other times it was only when I paused all of the voices in my head that I could hear what I was supposed to hear.

One of the moments that sticks out to me the most was a touch.  A moment in which I was emotionally broken down and exhausted, but was still trying to put on a strong and happy face.  In that one touch I could feel someone offering help and comfort, something telling me it was okay to admit weakness, a presence of something greater that helped me understand that everything would be okay.  It sounds maybe a little crazy, but that one touch felt was a moment in which I felt God’s love giving me a big hug.  In that one moment I knew everything would be okay regardless of how it felt in the moment.  One simple gesture, such an incredibly profound meaning.

I am so thankful for al of those moments, great and small, in which I can sense the presence of The Big Dude Upstairs.  Those moments remind me of the bigger picture, and I’m so grateful for them.



Day 955 – Thankful for Celebrating Dad’s Birthday the Way He Would’ve Wanted

Day 955 – Thankful for Celebrating Dad’s Birthday the Way He Would’ve Wanted

Dad would’ve been 64 years old today.  Throughout the day my thoughts went to memories of times we had together.  There was only one time when I felt a couple of tears starting to come on, but they were quickly replaced with a smile as focused on how much he would’ve enjoyed the day I’ve had.

My morning started off with a long walk with Becky outside as the sun came up.  It was a walk with the sounds of nature all around like Dad would’ve liked.


Once we got home we got the boys moving and I got to spend time with Dominic as I drove him to school early.  Dad always enjoyed those little moments with Nick and I and I fully took advantage of that time with Dominic.

My drive to work included a pretty spectacular mix of deer, cranes, ducks, other wildlife and scenic views. I soaked them in enjoyed the blessings of so much beauty around me.


While grocery shopping Becky and I noticed a huge stack of Mallo Cups, one of his favorites from way back in the day.  I made a beeline for the candy aisle and brought home some “birthday cake” for Dad’s birthday and we all had a couple of “slices.”



Lastly, the boys and I headed out to the workshop to work on a top secret project.  We had some fun up there and as we started to head done I looked at the picture of Dad with the boys and I and wished him a happy birthday.  Gavin smiled and said “how cool that we are doing one of his favorite things on his birthday?”  I couldn’t agree more bud!


As I ate my Mallo Cup I just smiled and thought back to all the times Nick and I ate them with Dad…  How awesome to have so many great memories!


Dad, happy birthday dude!  So thankful to have had you in my life as long as you were.  Love you Bud!


Day 954 – Thankful for Gavin’s Solo

It was only couple of days ago when I was thankful for my boys inspiring me and here we are again. Tonight was Gavin’s 4th & 5th grade concert, the last for the Kreiling boys at Summit. During one of the songs, The Sound of Silence, Gavin took the stage front and center for the final solo.

Gavin got up to the microphone and sang all by himself to a pretty good size crowd. In less than 30 seconds my mind was blown and I was so proud of the little dude he is becoming. To be willing to take the stage in front of everyone and do a solo blows my mind. How awesome that his self confidence is high enough to do that?

Gavin, you’ve inspired me to keep an eye out for the opportunities that I might normally shy away from because I’m not sure enough of myself. You reminded me to go for it and do what I enjoy regardless of the thoughts of others. Thanks for the inspiration bud! Love you dude!!!


Day 953 – Thankful for Paying Attention to the Nudges the Universe Provides

Today and over the past week or so there were more than a couple of times when I could feel the universe nudging me in certain directions.  When I say a “nudge” I mean this lift subtle push in particular direction.  They’re these cool little moments when I can take a deep breath and think about where it’s pointing me.  In heeding their direction in the past I’ve usually gone in a better direction than the one I was in.

When I have a laser like focus on something I have a tendency of missing those nudges.  Sometimes they can so light that I almost miss them.  Other times I recognize them but choose to ignore them.  In some of those occasions I am left to either learn from my mistake or have a future opportunity to learn that lesson again in the future.

There’ve been a handful of these nudges in the past week and I can’t help but smile at them.  I’ve been noticing some subtle changes that I can make that could help me reach some goals and dreams more quickly.  Even better than that is that there are personal changes I can make that will help others reach their goals more quickly too!

Thanks for the nudges Big Guy, they’re greatly appreciated and I’m taking them in.



Day 952 – Thankful for All the Miles My Parents Put On and Drawing Inspiration From Dominic & Gavin

Earlier this evening I talked with my mom for a little while as I drove home from work.  I had to cut the call off early so I could grab Gavin from home and take him to soccer practice.  After he was dropped off I called my mom again and then we hung up so I could run in and eat and get some work done before I had to run back to pick up Gavin.  Then as I drove to pick up Dominic from his track meet I caught myself thinking about just how many miles my parents must have racked up while I was a kid.

I’d like to think that I appreciated them and all the driving they did for me back then, but I think it’s only now as I get older and am the boys’ Uber that I get the basics of what they sacrificed for me.  My mom commented on how when she’s asked trivia about events in the ’80’s she doesn’t often know the answer because the 80’s were a blur of taking care of us boys and working.  I am finally really starting to get it.  Thanks Mom and Dad for all the miles and time you gave for Nick and I!!!


The other thing I caught myself appreciating more than once over the past couple of days was how often I am inspired by my boys.  Funny how that works, isn’t it?  I’m pretty sure this equation is supposed to be reversed, but they inspire me more often than they know or than I realize.

Gavin’s high energy, upbeat attitude, and wanting to always talk and spend time together can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.  There are times when I just want to get something done and I really need to focus.  Throw a Gavin into the mix and it gets tough. What he does do though is cause me to pause and make sure that what I am doing in that moment is really that important.  Sometimes it is and I ask him to give me space, but then I spend time with him after I am done with the task.  Other times I realize that the most important thing I can be doing is spending time with him.  In those moments I set everything aside and spend time in the moment with him.  He’s seemingly always upbeat and ready to go, his energy inspires me to be happier and get an extra bounce in my step.

Dominic is willing to try and do anything.  Last night in his concert they asked everyone who did a solo to stand up.  I figured almost everyone would stand up, but he was one of only a small handful of kids who did.  Two nights ago he nonchalantly told us he was doing the high jump in track…  something he’d never done before at a meet.  Last night he told me he might have interest in a different sport next year.  Last week he went with a totally different haircut just because.  Dominic is supremely comfortable in his own skin and doing his own thing.  He doesn’t worry about what others think, he just continues to be Dominic.  I absolutely love and appreciate that part of him.  He inspires me to be myself and not to worry about what others may think.  There have been many times when I’ve gone outside of my comfort zone because I have him for motivation.

Both the boys are so much more than those couple of qualities, but those are the pieces of them that have been very inspirational for me recently.  I am so thankful for the way they motivate me to attempt to be a better person.