Day 1,799 – Thankful for Becky’s Birthday

Another whirlwind day is wrapping up as I sit in the soccer field parking lot waiting for practice to wrap up for Gavin. The day has been jammed – almost all great stuff – but jammed nonetheless. The normal rhythm has started to kick back in, tomorrow will be almost 100% on track, and by Wednesday it’ll be totally back to usual. Funny how excited I am to get back to normal!

Today is Becky’s birthday! For a few years we’d established a a sweet routine of taking her birthday off to travel or at least go hiking. With having just traveled it was almost as if we just celebrated her birthday a little early with Bruce last week. Hmm… I wonder where we’ll go for her birthday next year. We’re sure to be doing something fun for it and I’ve already marked myself out for the day next year.

I’m grateful for birthdays as they remind us to pause and appreciate the person who’s birthday it is. Over the past few years I’ve really started to notice how here may be the best of intentions to blog about someone outside of their birthday, but it doesn’t always end up being what I write about. For some reason I get too nervous and am self conscious of not writing well enough to do the person the justice they deserve. I know, it’s foolish to think that way, but the ego can be a ripe bastard sometimes. 😉

Today I’ve been thinking about how much I appreciate Becky often. With it being a day all about her my thoughts seemed to drift off to her on a regular basis. I was thankful for her smile, her laugh, her smarts, her jokes, her texts, her hugs, love, her support of my dreams, her passion of the outdoors and nature, her discipline, her focus and attention to detail, her mothering skills, her beauty (physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual), her love of travel, her ability to see the best in me when I don’t, her willingness to kick my ass when I need it, and just about every single thing about her. She brings the color to my life, helps me attempt to live into my best self, and is the best life partner I could ever dream for. I think these things often, but I especially took note of all of them today.


Day 1,798 – Thankful for Wrapping Up Ten Days of Nonstop Action

There’s been a metric ton of life packed into the last ten days. The past 240 hours have been about as loaded and crammed with life as ever. I’m grateful for each crazy moment of it.

Tonight the chaos reached a crescendo and a return to routine begins tomorrow. I’m thankful for the regular and ordinary I’m about to get back into.

That said, you know what I’m even more thankful for? This view right here:


Day 1,797 – Thankful for Options and a Plate of Bones

This morning started off with a bit of a surprise. Our flight out of La Crosse had been delayed due to mechanical issues. Because of this delay we would now arrive in Wichita well after 11pm rather than just after noon. Quite the difference for a short trip like this!

What I’m thankful for today is the bevy of options we had to choose from. Driving, different flights, different airports and so on – we had options aplenty. If the situation was different we wouldn’t necessarily have any options, let alone this many. I am grateful for so many potential solutions!

My brother in law Tyler is incredible with his smoker. To him cooking meat on the smoker is akin to a sublime balance of art and science. Dinner tonight was ribs…. ahh…. And they were quite possibly the best ribs I’ve ever had in my life. By the time the meat coma had set in I had nothing but a plate full of bones. So delicious!!!


Day 1,796 – Thankful for a Week of Mini Games

Way back in the day one of my favorite parts of a video we’re the mini games. While on a quest for something I’d occasionally end up at a mini game, a crazy and short little side step from the full adventure. They were a pleasant break in the real game and offered up some different types of challenges to spice up the overall game. Once completed I would jump right back into the bigger adventure.

This week has felt like a week full of mini games. Start one quest, skip to a game, go back to the quest, and then off on another mini game. They’ve been seemingly never ending over the past handful of days. The difference is that the time in the real game has only been fleeting minutes before blasting into the next mini game.

Case in point? Tonight. Get home from work, play the mini game “pack your bags.” Go back to real life and have dinner and do the dishes. Up next, is the mini game “I misunderstood the volunteer instructions I signed up for but didn’t realize until the time it needed to be done so it’s time to run to Menards to pick up snacks before the time runs out.” Not gonna lie, it was actually an awesomely fun game in a twisted kind of way. And now back to real life and blogging on the couch before bed.

Why am I thankful for a week of mini games? They’ve been a wonderful distraction and change of pace while simultaneously reminding me to find joy in the common and mundane. Appreciate the times of calm, make the most of the times of chaos. Nice little duality there.


Day 1,795 – Thankful for Dominic’s Sixteenth Birthday, Another Milestone Moment

Watch out world – Dominic got his driver’s license today!!! For his 16th birthday he gave himself the gift of increased freedom and independence.

I still remember the day he was born so clearly. So many memories of moments of him as a toddler and small child. Somehow those years have all flown right past and he’s well on his way to adulthood.

I am so grateful for yet another milestone moment for him as he continues to grow and mature. Each new stepping stone like this reminds me to pause and enjoy the time we’ve got left with him living at home. This stage of his life is cruising by so quickly. each moment truly is a gift.

Happy birthday dude!!! Love you tons and am so proud of the person you are and the adult you’re rapidly growing into. Love you bud!


Day 1,794 – Thankful for Flow State Writing

Flights home, time away, great food, completed dreams, walking in airports, safe travels, and the list goes on and on today. Much to be thankful for today, there are so many options to pursue for my blog today. But they might each need to wait for another day to have their moment of glory.

On our flight to New York and in our flight back to Minneapolis my writing juices were flowing well. The excitement of leaving town on a flight helped fuel my writing with a nervous energy. The writing on our flight today was primed and ready thanks to many thoughts from the concert last night. Both days saw the clouds part and I could so clearly see exactly what I wanted to say.

I’ve been making slow and steady progress since my last coaching call. These past two sessions seemed to go wildly smoothly. Since taking time to really look at what’s next my brain has been working the concepts over and over again. My mind must’ve had enough time to process and I was able to get into a sweet state of flow.

What I’m also reminded of today is just how therapeutic writing is for me. Taking a step outside of myself and processing thought and emotion Haley’s me see the world so much more clearly.


Day 1,793 – Thankful for a Specific Moment at the Springsteen Concert

Seeing Bruce Springsteen live and in concert was mind blowing on so many levels. The entire event seemed so surreal. I often would pause and realize that I was actually seeing this in real life. Bucket list item checked off, was well worth the wait, travel, and cost.

The best part of the entire night was a single moment which I’ll have burned into my memory. A moment which will always bring me a smile. A single moment of pure Becky joy that topped anything Bruce did all night long.

Late in the show Bruce was talking about how his purpose was to help people through his music, whether in good times or bad, or vacuuming or doing laundry – which nailed Becky to a T as she often has Bruce on in the background on Saturday morning me as she’s doing things around the house.

At the point he said the last part of that line becky let out a sound of joy followed by a huge joyful smile – either of which I’ll ever forget. In that instant I witnessed the physical embodiment of someone realizing a dream, and it was perfect.

Springsteen’s show was amazing, even more than I expected, but that one moment was the single best part of show.

I didn’t take any pictures of the show, I burned the memories into my soul


Day 1,792 – Thankful for a Mike & Becky Vacation

Today was the start of something we haven’t done in a bit over four years… Becky and I started a short vacation with just the two of us!

Back in May of 2017 we went up to Bayfield for an extended weekend to celebrate our anniversary while the boys hung out with Dad and we all had an extraordinary weekend.

Since that trip we’ve done each vacation with our boys, with our friends, with our family, with my business partners, or without each other. Each of them has been wonderful, but it has been way too long since it has jut been the two of us.

This morning we hiked off to the airport early (yes, we live close enough to the airport that we walk there), hopped on our first flight, and we were off! All day was spent either flying or walking through Manhattan and taking in something completely different – just the two of us – and it’s been great to have time alone again.

Tomorrow we’ll knock one off the dream list, but even more importantly, we’ll create more memories together.


Day 1,791 – Thankful for Being So Excited I Self Medicated with Melatonin or Else I Won’t Sleep

I feel like I’m reliving an old childhood memory tonight. I’m a young kid and it’s the night before Christmas Eve (Santa was a pretty cool cat and almost always dropped our presents off before bed on Christmas Eve). I’m laying in bed and am so excited I can’t stop thinking about what’s about to happen the next day. My mind won’t shut off and I feel like I’m staring at the ceiling for hours and hours… though it has actually only been ten minutes. What I would give to be able to drift off quickly, it would speed up the wait 😉!

Tonight’s a little different but so similar. Tomorrow morning we are getting a step closer to knocking out a dream that’s on both of our lists! My mind is racing and the adrenaline is pumping, and I’ve still got a couple of days to go. Deep breaths and melatonin are both definitely needed in order to even catch a wink of sleep tonight.

Anticipation like this is amazing! So excited, so pumped, and totally in need of sleep.


Day 1,790 – Thankful for Camping, Reduced Supervision, and Another Year of Gavin

Another summer and another year of camping with the Thums family! As per normal we’ve spent the entire day eating too much, chilling out and enjoying the outdoors, and listening to the cousins play and have a blast.

What I’m grateful for from this trip is seeing just how independent the cousins all are. No need to make sure adults are with them at all times as they take great care of themselves and each other. It was totally surreal when they loaded into a pick up truck driven by another one of them to go off fishing on their own. Seems like only a year or two ago we were more exhausted from watching over them constantly. Crazy how much they’ve grown!

Gavin’s birthday today seems to fit right into that theme. As of today both of our boys are teenagers- how crazy is that???

What a difference a year can make, especially these past twelve months. Gavin has grown and matured in so many ways, while still definitely retaining his youthful self. Seeing him grow, become more confident, and mature has been one of my absolute highlights of the past year for me.

Gavin – thanks for keeping my life exciting in so many ways (& largely positive 😉). So proud of the kind human you’re growing into and so grateful to be able to call you my son. Totally proud of you bud! Love you dude!