Day 1,005 – Thankful for Chillin’ In a Hammock

With a lot of life going on this week I feel like I’ve been on a hyper speed treadmill. From one thing to the next with only brief pauses in between.

While camping tonight I found an unexpected moment of solace… chillin’ in a hammock. For reals, taking a little time to just chill and relax while looking straight up at the sky while rocking back and forth feels exquisite. The boys are swimming with their cousins, there are a few family members near the campfire, and I’m just relaxing for a little bit. Ahh…

Life just seems more simple in a moment like this. Kind of funny, but one of my mentors has been telling me for weeks I should take some time to quiet my mind and think… this might just be the spot to do that, or at least the motivation to follow through on that advice in the near future.

Time to go back to looking up at the sky and listening to nature.


Day 1,004 – Thankful for Scouting Memories that Flood My Brain at Scout Camp

Tonight we went to Camp Decorah to pick the boys up from their week of scouting adventures. I’m so thankful that I went along with. For a while I contemplated staying home to chill and take some time to myself. Little did I know that’s exactly what I was about to get at camp!

There’s a magic to going back to Scout camp that brings back so many awesome memories. Hearing stories of Dominic’s SPL leadership experiences filled me with pride, made me smile, and brought back memories of leading in that role. Watching the boys assemble for the lowering of the flags reminded me of so many nights at Camp Tesomas. The fire bowl made me think back to several specific moments still burned into my brain from camps – especially my first campfire. Funny how even over 30 years ago I remember the camp director talking about watching the sparks from the fire ride into the sky and comparing them to our scouting careers and lives.

As I blog we’re waiting in line at Dairy Queen and I’m still bombarded with old memories of scouting… for one reason or another o had to leave camp a little early one year and my dad came to pick me up. We drove home and I still remember talking excitedly about all of my camp experiences most of the way home while he smiled. Tonight I’m doing the same from the other vantage point and I’m wearing a smile.


Day 1,003 – Thankful for a Delicious Home Cooked Meal for Becky from Lynn Bartsch

Between work and life this has been a crazy busy week… which is actually kind of wild as the boys have been gone all week! I can only imagine the chaos had they been home this whole time 😁

When I got home from work I was feeling pretty tired and just wanted to relax. Thanks to Becky’s coworker and friend, Lynn Bartsch, we were able to do just that. Instead of either of us having to cook dinner we ate an awesome dish of paella home cooked by Lynn. OMG, it was so tasty and totally hit the spot after a long day..

How cool is it that he took so much time prepping a meal for Becky and I? My mind is still blown by his action, the focus he put into its appearance, and just how tasty it was. As I type this I’m smiling as I’m completely full and going into a full on food coma…

Lynn, thank you so much for the extraordinary meal, it was greatly appreciated!!!


Day 1,002 – Thankful for a Walk with My Dad that I’ll Never Forget

One of the benefits of doing this blog daily and then sharing it is the memoires that re-appear each year.  Today was a perfect example of this.  My post from a year ago reminded me of a wonderful act of kindness from a friend.  The post from two years ago brought a peace and calm that I’ll hope to convey through the next few paragraphs.

To properly set the stage I need to start from the start of the day.  My alarm went off and I laid in bed looking up at absolutely nothing in the dark in the direction of the ceiling.  I considered going back to sleep but opted for movement (quick side note – funny how many times something really cool happens when I talk myself into getting out of bed instead of sleeping in…  maybe I should do that more often!).  Once dressed I headed out for a run and as soon as I stepped outside my senses were filled with one of my favorite scents, freshly dug topsoil (I know, it’s weird, but trust me, there’s something magical about it for me).  I paused and took a big breath in through my nose and immediately felt a light breath of wind across my face.  Before the small gust had finished washing across my face I was thinking of my dad.

A couple of years ago today we were on a family vacation in Olympic National Park – exactly two weeks after he’d passed away.  Throughout the day I caught myself talking with him in my head when I had moments alone in the woods.  At one point on a hike that day I spoke to him out loud and said that I loved him and missed him.  Right after I said that a light gust of wind brushed across my face.  I almost froze in mid-step as I was in a densely wooded expanse of northwest rainforest that allowed very little air movement.  I can’t explain the feel in any way other than I could just feel in the core of my being that Dad was saying that he loved me too.  That moment is forever frozen in my brain.

Later in the day we went on a hike through one of the most serenely beautiful forests I’ve ever experienced, the Ancient Groves.  The trees were over 750 years old and had grown in peace for literally centuries.  My dad would have loved that place!  As we hiked through Becky followed her intuition and took the boys ahead of the trail without me a little bit and I lagged behind.  For a short while I felt the presence of Dad walking along with me.  I never actually said anything, I just walked with him and soaked in the beauty around us.  It was quite possibly the most peaceful and fulfilling walk I’d ever been on with him, or with him but without him as it was.  Memories of talking with him about his similar walk in the woods after his dad passed away slipped into my memory.  That was one that I’ll never forget.

This morning between the smell and wind and the general temperature I had such clear memories of that walk in Olympic.  As I ran I thought of Dad often, especially when I had this incredible sight in front of me as I turned a corner…


Day 1,001 – Thankful for Insanely Awesome Customer Service From Pac-n-Mail

There were almost several different topics today; getting to know a teammate better, laser like focus, rolling up the sleeves, and a handful of others. While I’m still very thankful for each of those things I’ve just got to blog about something that happened late in the work day that still blows my mind.

We had something that had to be shipped out quickly from Eau Claire and after getting an initial quote my jaw dropped at the price. A friend totally stepped up and not only saved us a ton of cash, but they drove all the way up from Winona TODAY to help us out. How wild is that? Making a drive like that to help us out in a pinch! As soon as Ryan pulled up to the office he was smiling from ear to ear and was happy to help. Within a matter of minutes it was loaded up and on its way.

For reals, I was expecting it to cost a lot more, Be a pain in the butt, and just barely make the deadline. Instead I found someone willing to go way above and beyond the call of duty to help us out. If you need to send or ship anything please be sure to give Ryan and the Pac-n-Mail Express team a call – they are amazing!!!

Ryan, thank you so much for the help today!!!


Day 1,000 – Thankful for Spending My 1,000 Night of Being 40 with Becky

Funny how there’s a mystique to certain numbers isn’t it? For the past month or so I’ve had today in the back of my brain and have been thinking about what I should be thankful for today. I’ve had ideas of being super deep and philosophical, thought about some type of a countdown of my favorite memories and/or posts from the past 999 days, and even pondered something humorous. The funny thing is that in doing that I was totally missing the entire concept of why I blog daily about something I’m thankful for.

Even throughout the night and day I was way overthinking today’s post. At least today I was tying in concepts from experiences, interactions, and thoughts from today. In putting that much thought into it over the course of the day there were so many things I was thankful for that could’ve otherwise been missed. Alas, I couldn’t quite nail down what the right thing was.

About thirty minutes ago it hit me right between the eyes and I literally chuckled to myself. It was the perfect post for today.

Tonight hasn’t gone anything as planned, but I’ve gotten to spend it with Becky. Who cares the situation, any night that I’m able to spend with her is one in which I’m thankful. In spending time with her tonight I’m spending time with my best friend. Why over think something so simple? I’m thankful for the most precious gift in the entire world, time with a loved one. How awesome is that?

Thank you to everyone in my life that I’ve spent time with in the past 1,000 days since I turned 40, I appreciate you all greatly!!!


Day 999 – Thankful for Awesome Surprise Hosting by Jennifer and Nick

When I wrote about Plan B yesterday I was focused on being in the moment with family. We had so much fun spending time together, chilling, and shooting the bull.  As we drove home this morning I realized that there was something else related to this weekend (okay, one of many things, but one that I’ll write about tonight).

As we realized the plans for the weekend we had kind of put in place were starting to unravel we went with Plan B.  Nowhere in the original plan for this weekend was the idea of staying at Nick & Jenn’s house.  As luck would have it, that’s where we all ended up.

With very short notice they were incredible hosts, taking care of everything from meals and drinks to sleeping arrangements.  Making room to have six additional guests is not easy work, but they were both completely chill and unstressed the entire time.  It was incredible!  Each time we’ve gone to their house to visit they always take great care of everyone, but this time was even more impressive to me because it was such a spur of the moment thing.


Nick & Jenn, thanks for taking great care of all of us this weekend, we really appreciate it!  We’re grateful for all of the memories you helped us create this weekend, especially on short notice!


Day 998 – Thankful for a Pretty Awesome Plan B

Day 998 – Thankful for a Pretty Awesome Plan B

So this weekend was supposed to go in a slightly different direction involving a Brewers game and a stay in Milwaukee. Due to some challengers we opted to go with a pretty sweet Plan B. The whole plan was to spend time with our family, Nick’s family, and Mom & Brad. We may have changed plans, but it was still mission accomplished!

Instead of Milwaukee we met up in DePere and had a great time chillaxing at Nick & Jenn’s. After a while we hit the Packers Hale of Fame and saw Uncle Frank’s screen. From there we hit the park outside the stadium and played a little 500 on a full sized football field in the shadow of Lambeau which was pretty epic! Afterwards we caught a semipro soccer game and chilled.

When we first planned this weekend we had a very different set of details in mind, but this Plan B still delivered exactly what we were hoping for, some excellent family time.

Funny how thing don’t always work out as planned, but if you are willing to be flexible you are still able to find what you wanted. It’s like a great philosopher once said, “you can’t always get what you want, if you try sometimes you’ll find you get what you need.” 😉 Today I’m very thankful for a pretty awesome Plan B that still provided the family time i was hoping for.


Day 997 – Thankful for Couch Time and an Old School Flavor of Summer

The boys are outside playing and Becky and I are totally chilling on the couch. To be honest, I am pretty sure she’s asleep already, but that totally cool after the long week she’s had. It has been a while since we’ve had the opportunity to just snuggle on the couch and I’m thankful for these peaceful moments.

Earlier this evening we picked up ice cream and Becky’s choice took me way back to being a kid. Every single time I have a taste of butter pecan ice cream I immediately am reminded of summer evenings at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Each night we were there would end with ice cream and that flavor was the one that we could always count on having (unless they took us to DQ). All it took was one bite of Becky’s ice cream and I was ready to turn on the Brewers game, sit in the screen porch, spend time with my grandparents, and then grab a mason jar and fill it with the lightning bugs I was about to chase. All that from one quick taste of butter pecan!

Pardon me while I cut this short and go back to chillaxing on the couch with Becky … who totally is sleeping now 😉


Day 996 – Thankful for a Great Night of Sleep, a Glorious Start to the Day, Courtney Playing Uber Driver, and for Becky Coming Home Soon

In its totality it’s been a very good day and it really started last night. Just like I said I would my bed was my destination right after blogging. My eyes were closed before my head even hit the pillow. Almost eight hours later I woke up feeling very well rested. It felt amazing!!! I just might have to do it again tonight.

Today I really don’t think I need to say much about the sunrise I saw, the picture pretty much speaks for itself!

Hugely thankful for the help of our friend Courtney this week! With Gavin having Camp Invention, Becky being out of town and me working I am so grateful for Courtney’s willingness to pick Gavin up each day. The monster cookies she also made were dee-lish!!! Thanks Courtney!!!

I am super thankful Becky is coming home tomorrow. Sure, having a second parent in the house will be awesome too, but I am finding myself really missing her now that she’s been gone the better part of two weeks. I am pumped to spend some time with her tomorrow night and this weekend!