Day 993 – Thankful for Retiring a Pair of Hiking Shoes

Yesterday was the last hike I’ll ever make in these shoes.  I know, it probably sounds kind of crazy, but I’m very much attached to these shoe.  To most anyone else they are an ugly, beat up, ripped, dirty, smelly, and goofy looking pair of hiking shoes, but to me they are so much more.  When gaze fondly upon these shoes I have awesome memory after awesome memory of moments that these particular shoes have been with me for.


When I look at these shoes I remember:

  • Hiking up Grandad’s Bluff before 5am and walking past deer sleeping the side of the road and the company of my friends
  • A road trip and a couple of long hikes with some friends in Colorado
  • Hiking through Joshua Tree National Park with my family
  • A random conversation at a Trader Joes in San Francisco that results din Becky and I seeing a crazy waterfall that drops right into the ocean
  • Hiking through the Ancient Grove in Olympic National Park and having a conversation with my dad
  • Another long road trip to Colorado to take Dominic out to accomplish a dream – summiting a mountain (Mount Sopris)
  • Taking the boys on a hike up approximately 1.7 million stairs to a beautiful watch tower in New Zealand
  • A jungle hike in Grand Cayman with friends
  • Taking in the incredible view and feeling of history of Mayan ruins in Belize
  • Touring around Isle Royale, my fortress of solitude
  • Hiking to the top of a glacier in Alaska with my family
  • Cruising through the lava fields in Hawaii with my family
  • And so many hikes with my family in the bluffs near our house

One simple pair of shoes, so many memories they created with me!  Funny how those shoes were with me for so many mind-blowing moments.  When I think about it when I’d lace them up there was always a smile ahead.  I’d bet that if I looked back at my heart rate and stress levels during that time my heart was racing with excitement and my shoulders were totally relaxed every single time I put them on.  My body and subconscious just knew that adventure lie ahead when they were on my feet.  How awesome is that?

Sleep well in the big shoebox in the sky!



Day 992 – Thankful for Reconnecting on Father’s Day

What a whirlwind last week was!  We were all headed in different directions from Sunday afternoon until this afternoon.  Next week goes in the same direction as we all head in slightly different directions again.  Over the course of the past week and the next few weeks there are approximately three days when all four of us are in the same place at the same time.  Today has been one of those days and we took time to enjoy it.


We got a great hike in and were able to spend time catching up on everything we’ve each been up to over the past week.  Nothing like enjoying the beautiful weather while hiking with family!  Between hiking, eating as a family, playing games, and just talking it’s been a wonderful opportunity for us to all reconnect before we break huddle tomorrow morning and go our separate directions for another week.

Along those lines, I’m going to cut it short and head back to time with them.


Day 991 – Thankful for Family Fun and Deep Conversations with Gavin

This is going to be a short one so I can keep enjoying one of the things I’m grateful for today… family fun! My niece Sela had her graduation party today and it’s been great spending time with family and reconnecting. It’s so awesome to spend time talking with family and that’s what I’ll be diving right back into after typing.

Earlier in the day I went for a run and talked Gavin into rollerblading alongside of me. We had a great time talking about many random things while got a great workout in.

After a while I turned on The Nights by Avicii which led Gavin to ask a pretty profound question. Next thing I knew we were having a conversation on the importance of living while we’re alive. This took us down paths including why we travel, why we should appreciate each moment we’re blessed to have, and how can we more truly savor those moments. It was an incredible discussion that I’m hoping will stick with him for quite some time.

I still remember having a similar conversation with Dominic back in the day. It’s one of those moments that I hold deep in my heart as it leaves me feeling like I’ve been able to help impart something that is a core value of mine that they will keep in their life as well. So much fun talking with the boys about life like that!

Back to the family fun! 😁


Day 990 – Thankful for Enjoying Nature Early In the Morning

The day started off with many reminders of why I so enjoy being out in nature.


When I was out running / walking with the dogs this morning it was before anyone else was up and moving on the quiet road we usually run on.  The only sounds were those of birds in the wild and the occasional crunching of small mammals in the brush.  At one point I caught myself stopped in the road just listening to the sound of a woodpecker drilling into a somewhat hollow and rotten tree.  I was totally lost in listening to the repetition of its pounding.  It was so peaceful!

Later in the morning as I drove north I kept taking in the scenic views of the natural world around me.  At one point I saw something that I haven’t seen for a very long time…  a skunk running (more bounding and pouncing ) playfully across a field.

Throughout the day my thoughts returned to the memories of enjoying nature in the morning.  There was a calm about me all day long from taking that time to appreciate the wild surrounding me and I’m thankful for it.



Day 989 – Thankful for a Story That Lives On for Another Generation – “Don’t Throw Your Keys”

My Grandma Lamping was the BEST!!!  There are so many reasons I am thankful for her that over time I’ll probably cover the tip of the iceberg of her awesomeness.  When Gavin and I were walking from the house to the garage he said something that left me literally laughing out loud…

“Hey Dad, throw me the keys!”

Ever since I can remember I have memories of my Grandma Lamping sharing the story of why we should not throw our keys.  Many of the details are still foggy so if someone else can help jump in and clear them up I’m all ears.  What I remember is hearing about someone once throwing the keys to someone else (I think they were thrown to Grandma?) and the keys then impaled the hand of the person catching them.


As a kid I used to laugh so hard at that story and, of course, I would giggle as I would antagonize Grandma every opportunity I had when keys were nearby and possibly exchanging hands.  Just like clockwork I’d hear, “Michael!” and it would be followed by a re-telling of the story and I’d giggle even louder.

Tonight I did my part to help keep this story living on for future generations… Just like I already have many times with both of the boys.  Each time I can hear her say “Michael” in my ear and I smile even bigger.  It’s one of many awesome little moments in life that remind me of her – and I’m thankful for each of them!


Day 988 – Thankful for So Many Incredible Memories to Fill My Heart Today

Day 988 – Thankful for So Many Incredible Memories to Fill My Heart Today

Throughout the day I caught my thoughts drifting away form the task at hand.  They’d almost always go somewhere sad at first but they’d quickly be swept up and whisked away by a wonderful memory.  The sadness which never really had the opportunity to settle in was carried off so quickly by the smile that followed the remembering of an awesome moment.

All day long I’ve been so thankful to have had so many incredible memories with my dad.  Each of them has lifted me up and filled my heart.  As Gavin and I chill and call it a night it’s been music to my soul to go through some old pics of Dad.

IMG_1957IMG_9388Grandpa Pete and Baseball 2010 10Grandpa Pete Summer 2010 252009 Pete Christmas 33At Grandpa's 4IMG_1241

Dude, I miss you so much it makes my heart hurt, but I’m so thankful for all of the memories we made that fill my heart back up with joy.  Thank you so much for creating so many incredible memories!  Love you tons Dude!!!


Day 987 – Thankful for Pedaling & Singing On the River with Gavin

When I was a kid my mom would go out of her way to help create memories for us.

A perfect example was the summer night we laid out on the road in front of our house and watched a meteor shower (don’t worry there were exactly zero cars on our country road between the hours of 7pm and 6am).  I’ll forever hold that moment in my heart as a time in which my imagination ran wild, my wonder in science and nature skyrocketed, and the joy in my heart soared for spending time with my mom.

While my mom found ways to help create those moments my dad sometimes just stumbled us into them.  By way of example there’s a specific cold late fall morning when I went trapping with my dad.  We went out on the canoe as the steam slowly rose off the completely still water.  There was no talking, just a perfect silence as we paddled, both of us slowing our paddle strokes to be a part of the stillness around us.

Those are just two examples of so many I have with my parents in nature.  There are so many wonderful memories I have of time with them as a kid and an adult.  They are so precious to me and I’m thankful for each of them.

Tonight I may have stumbled into one of them Gavin somewhat on purpose.  With it being just the two of us tonight I wanted to find a way for us to have a little extra fun so I found that we could rental a pedal boat or a pedal-toon nearby our house.  Gavin and I headed out for what we thought would be a bit of fun for an hour or so.

What we instead found was some incredible father and son time.  At some point we decided to play some music and before we knew it we were singing along to The Strubellas in the middle of the river.  We were singing, shooting the bull, and talking about everything from life to jokes.  It was incredible and perfect for today.  While I don’t know for sure that he’ll remember this moment like I do there’s one thing for sure…  I will remember it forever as one of my favorite times with him.


I’m so thankful singing and pedaling on the river this Gavin today, that was exactly what my heart needed.