Day 1,121 – Thankful for a Statement From My Mom that Still Inspires Me 25+ Years Later

This morning I started off the day with an inspiring podcast.  Jocko interviewed a Marine helicopter mechanic who suffered horrific injuries in a crash in Afghanistan.  In the podcast she shared her story, complete with highs, insanely low lows, and awe inspiring highs.  I’ve tried typing a sentence to summarize her story, but you should really give it a listen instead.  You can find it here:  What an incredible way to start the morning (in addition to the beautiful sunrise over the bluffs and valleys in Arcadia).

At one point she shared part of why she works so hard and pushes herself like she does.  As she shared that story my mind started to drift and I had to pause the podcast.

Over 25 years ago my parents took me to a banquet to celebrate earning my Eagle Scout award.  On the long drive home afterwards my mom made a comment that has stuck with me forever.  Honestly, it’s between her and I (& Dad) and it wouldn’t be right to share it.  She said it and the words stuck.


When I’m stuck and want to quit, when I’m frustrated and ready to give up, when I’m ready to half ass something instead of giving 100%, and when I question how big I should dream I can hear my mom’s voice in my head.  In a split second my mind is set and I push through.  Those words inspire me to be better than I would be without them.

As Kirstie Ennis told her story today I thought of my mom and the comment she made.  I’m so thankful for what she said.  All these years later it is a guidepost that reminds me to push myself further and further.


Day 1,120 – Thankful for the Road Trips of Others Reminding Me of Road Trips Past

One of my teammates is going on a sweet road trip and the more I was told about it the more it reminded me of one of the first road trips Becky and I went on.

Way back in the day, May of 2001, we took a road trip out to DC to see our baby niece.  It was a short trip, less than a week, but I still look back on it fondly.  The funny thing is that I don’t often think back to that trip.  Once it was puled to the front of my mind I couldn’t help but smile as I looked back at the adventure.

We didn’t have much for cash, the AC in my truck died, and we totally underestimated how long it would take us to get out there and back.  One the way home we got lost heading out of DC within a matter of minutes.  This was especially problematic as we didn’t have cellphones and GPS way back in those dark ages.  Even with the handful of challenges it was a great trip!  I don’t think either of us had any idea just where life would take us adventuring after that one.

Nope, this picture wasn’t from the road trip, but it’s from the same era.  I’m still not sure who these two crazy young kids are!

Thanks to my teammate for bringing back a flood of memories, I appreciate them greatly!


Day 1,119 – Thankful for Access to Healthcare and Health Insurance

At the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the most basic thing we as humans need in order to survive.  All other needs are secondary to our physical well being as without life there’s nothing.

Over the past 12 hours I’ve had a few great reminders of how thankful I am for access to healthcare and health insurance.  These two things have had a positive impact on our ability to take care of our physical well being.  Because of the combination of those two things the physical well being of my family and I are taken care of.

Without insurance I don’t know how we would take care of the large medical bills we have had in 2019.  While insurance certainly is expensive and hits the wallet hard it seems to always end of paying for itself when averaged out over time.  To be able to doctor as needed without fear of being bankrupt by the time it’s over is a very positive thing.  The amount of stress it prevents is almost worth the cost in of itself.  Of course I’ll usually still crumble at the premium costs and deductibles I’ll be sure to think about times like this and take a deep breath.

Having access to healthcare is something else I am very appreciative of.  Being able to head to the doc right away when needed and get expert care within hours is a luxury I must remember to be thankful for.  There’s a peace of mind that this provides that almost never seems to be top of mind, but when considered it allows so many other things to be top of mind instead.  I am so thankful for having access to so many wonderful healthcare so close by.

Today I’m reminded of how appreciative I am to be blessed with the combination of healthcare and health insurance.



Day 1,118 – Thankful for Family Couch Time

The past couple of months have been a blur of activity. So many things going on seemingly constantly. Tonight was quite the opposite.

Dinner as a family was followed by some time chilling on the couch. Gavin, the girls, and I all snuggled up in one corner and watched a little TV (still slowly working our way through Season 3 of Alone). Becky sat a little ways down and read while occasionally watching with us. Dominic… well we’ve heard the sounds of life once in a while from his hideout in the basement. No worries, he deserves a little chill time too.

Laying on the couch all snuggled up for an hour of peacefulness was awesome!!! Moments like that are some of my favorites. Exactly what the doctor ordered before heading off to an early bedtime.


Day 1,117 – Thankful for a Very Soccer Saturday

Today’s agenda? How’s about some soccer with a side of soccer? Dessert? More soccer. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

After walking the girls this morning Becky and I split and headed our separate ways. She took Gavin to his game and knocked out a bunch of volunteer hours at the soccer tournament. I dropped of Dominic at the high school so he could catch his team bus and then I headed to his two games in Tomah.

After Dominic’s games I headed home, met with Becky and Gavin, and enjoyed about an hour of relaxation time. We then bundled up, picked up Dominic, and shot off to Gavin’s last game of the day.

Now we’re back home with bellies full of pizza as we relax a little before bed. Tomorrow morning we’ll wake up, head out, and do it all over again.

Even with all the running and busy-ness I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to let the boys do something they enjoy so much. I’m also appreciative for the ability to watch them doing that activity they love.

It’s so awesome to see how much they’ve both grown throughout the season. If they keep it up and stay focused I’m so pumped to see just how much better they are in their next seasons.

In the meantime I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share a Saturday doing something that they love (& that I totally enjoy watching).


Day 1,116 – Thankful for Reliving an Old Tradition

Becky was back home tonight so we busted out an old tradition… shopping / running errands date night!

After a dinner of leftovers we headed out to watch Dominic in the marching band before the football game. As soon as they were off the field we zipped off to do a little shopping. Almost as soon as we got back to the field and into our seats the band was about to march back out.

Way back in the day that was one of our normal Friday night routines. We’d head to Festival Foods, drop the boys off at the Tot Spot and enjoy a nice leisurely evening of wandering the grocery store in slow motion. It was a peaceful time for us to chill and talk while taking care of the weekly shopping (except the times we’d get called up to the front to take the boys to the bathroom 🤦🏼‍♂️).

Tonight had a lot of that same feel and it was kind of nice to back to our roots like that.


Day 1,115 – Thankful for Snuggling In the Warm & Comfy Musical Hoodie of Weezer

There’s something magical about a well broken in sweatshirt on a cool day. Way too big, super comfy, feels likes home, and it’s been with you so long it’s almost a part of you. On a cool fall day you throw it on and the world is suddenly transformed for the better.

The hoodie I decided to wear to warm me up this evening was Weezer. As soon as my brain thought “Weezer” a grin crossed my face as I feverishly thumbed my iPhone’s Music app.

As I hit play I could feel myself snuggling into one of my favorites…

“I’ve got a Dungeon Master’s Guide, I’ve got a twelve sided die…”

All my stress melted away…

“Flip on the telly, wrestle with…”

Ahh… nothing like a warm and comfy sweatshirt on a cool fall day like this.