Day 1,086 – Thankful for a Vacation Joke that Just Keeps Going

Over the past week Becky and I have cracked the same joke probably over a dozen times and we’ve chuckled every single time.  A couple of years ago when we took the boys to Mount St Helens we stopped in the visitor center.  Prior to our visit I had no idea that it was run by the National Forest Service and not the National Park Service.  Up until that time I’d kind of taken for granted all of the awesome stuff that the NPS provides.


We wandered through the visitor center for a while and then Becky and I caught part of the same conversation between one of the employees and another visitor.  The visitor was asking where the beautiful map/pamphlet/guides were located.

At that point the NFS employee kind of dropped their eyes to the floor.  They kind of shuffled their feet and their lower lip almost seemed to stick out a little.  Then in the voice of disappointed child who knows they are disappointing their parents they said the words that Becky and I still joke about…

“The National Park Service are the ones who have those…”  Their voice then dropped to an even more pathetic sound of someone who’s completely given up, “We’re just the Forest Service.”

It was sad and yet oddly hysterical in a sad comic kind of way.  We both fought back the conflicting urges to give them a hug and crack up laughing.

Whenever we have or do something that’s a little disappointing we look at each other and say, “we’re just the Forest Service…”

Crazy to think that after two years we’re still laughing at the same vacation joke!



Day 1,085 – Thankful for Sharing Uber Duties with Other Parents

Some of the texts that have come across my phone tonight included the following:


They may not be the most exciting of text messages but they’re pretty awesome and greatly appreciated in my book!

These texts mean that several of us parents are all helping each other out. Instead of having to each run kids ourselves were able to help each other out to drive kids in groups to all of the different events they have going on. How awesome that we’re all able to help each other out and cut our drive times and Uber responsibilities way down?

Tonight was a heavy driving night, but tomorrow we’re totally off the hook. Sounds like an excellent compromise to me!


Day 1,084 – Thankful for Bonus Home Time

Throughout the day today I kept feeling like I should be more tired.  The alarm went off early for our run and I actually felt like I got enough sleep.  It seemed like my outside of work task list should be longer.  There was an absence of long car time.  All day long I had these sensations and each time I smiled.

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I’d initially planned on making a three plus hour drive to Kimberly, WI for a soccer game for Gavin yesterday.  After the game I’d make the three plus hour drive back home.  As luck would have it their fields were flooded and they had to move the game to a double header when they were in town on Saturday.  Talk about the best of both worlds, still two games this weekend, but no driving for us!

This fortuitous turn of events meant that I had about seven hours of bonus home time!  With that seven hours I got some extra sleep, got blinds put in, helped Gavin with the project I described yesterday, and got a bunch of stuff done that I was going to try to fit in later in the week.

Whoever would’ve thought that a handful of bonus hours at home would keep me smiling over 24 hours later?  Bring on tomorrow, I’m still feeling well rested today!


Day 1,083 – Thankful for Helping Gavin Find a Way to Earn Cash

Gavin shared that he’s getting close to having enough cash to buy the huge LEGO set he wants. With only $25 or so to go but no job he was left scratching his head. I was able to offer up a solution that he was pretty excited about.

We have boxes of old trading cards (specifically MTG) that are presently doing nothing but collecting huge amounts of dust. Unlike my old baseball cards there’s actually a market for some of them. I gave him some quick training on navigating the website and he has been off to the races!

Way back in the day Nick and I would’ve killed for a way to sell and trade in our cards like this. Instead of trading or going to a card shop Gavin’s able to sift through the old cards and find some that he can get a little cash for. He’s able to have fun sorting through old cards to find treasure to help him get the other stuff he wants. In the meantime it’s been a fun way to help him understand how retail and business works.

It’s been fun helping him find a way to make the money he wants by putting in the work himself. Until he’s old enough to have a job this could be an excellent way for him to keep making a few bucks.


Day 1,082 – Thankful for Simple Pleasures of Life, Laying On My Back In the Grass and Looking to the Sky

It’s been a great day with the boys. Lots of soccer, games, and hanging out. Dominic’s asleep on the couch as Gavin and I have a mini-binge watching session of Alone (Season 2). We’ve had a pretty awesome day.

Amongst all the busy-ness there was a moment that really sticks out to me. After Gavin’s second game we walked over to the game Dominic was refereeing. The game was for a couple of years older so it went longer. While we waited for the conclusion the two of us talked and watched the game.

At some point I laid down back in the grass flat on my back. I caught myself just relaxing and looking up the almost perfectly blue sky. The feeling of the sun on my face was amazing. There was a slight breeze. Gavin ended up doing the same and for a long while neither of us talked (which is an incredible feat for us!). In that moment there was no stress, no deadlines, just relaxing and peace. It was awesome!

How great that something so simple can bring so much joy if I just remember to take the time to appreciate it!


Day 1,081 – Thankful for Three Excellent Memories

Today there’ve been a few memories brought up which have made me smile wide.

Late in the morning Becky reminded me that it was a handful of years ago today when my dad and I built the treehouse with the boys. We had so much fun working together on that silly project that knocked off one of the dreams on Gavin’s dream list.

While driving to the bank this afternoon I couldn’t help but think about the crazy night almost 20 years ago when Becky agreed to go on a date with me. As luck would have it that story came up again in the evening as I drove Gavin and Payton to Dominic’s soccer game.

The other memory that made me laugh out loud was when becky and I recounted our last night of vacation in Banff. We decided to relax with dinner and a drink outside. It was a little cool out but the seemingly never ending stream of hot drinks and almost nonstop laughter kept us plenty warm. To this day it remains one of my favorite vacation memories.

Three wonderful memories, three instances of being 100% focused in the present, and three moments of perfection. Cheers to that!


Day 1,080 – Thankful for a Random Reminder of Dad

Today was full of many wonderful moments including seeing the growth of teams, making a positive impact, and doing what I love. There has been time for thought, reflection, laughter, and friendship. Thrown in some surprise schedule changes and flexibility and it’s been a very full day.

With all that in mind, what I’m most thankful for today is a text out of the blue from Becky at 7:30 this evening. No words, just a pic. With that one picture my heart was full, memories kept to the forefront of my mind, and I couldn’t help but smile. I still remember the moment, the photo, the walk, and the happiness of time spent with my old man and family on that night. One picture, so much happiness from a random reminder of Dad.