Day 742 – Thankful for Choosing to See the Beauty In the Weather

The skies have been pretty gray for quite a few days now. Times like these make it easy to complain and let the dull sky and damp air deflate my emotions. That’s why I decided to flip my mindset today!

All day I’ve been actively working on enjoying this weather instead of getting frustrated by it. This hasn’t been perfect but it has helped a lot. Here are some of the things I’ve appreciated the most about this weather:

  • The low lying clouds have been awesome! Just floating in, on and around the bluffs like a thick quilt. In the right light they really make the leaves pop!
  • This is definitely sweatshirt and sweatpants weather. Nothing like a night like this to help me appreciate wearing sweats.
  • Mmm… comfort food is always more delicious on days like this.
  • The sounds of rain pouring down are very peaceful and wonderful to sleep to.
  • This is perfect crawl into bed and snuggle weather.
  • While it’s been raining a lot tonight there wasn’t a drop during Dominic’s cross country meet today!

So there you have it, many reasons why I’ve appreciated this weather. Yes, Phoenix or Hawaii sound really nice right now, but I’m here, not there so I’m going to appreciate what I have.



Day 741 – Thankful for the Interesting Crossroads of Learning, Doing, Teaching, and Reflecting

To be honest, this one is still very rough and I’m not quite sure how it’s going to come out, but it feels right to write about tonight.  Funny how that works.  Some nights I’ve already got the blog pretty well written and there’s just the mechanical typing of the words.  Other nights, like tonight, I’m thinking and creating as I type.  Both ways are equally rewarding, but for very different reasons.  It’s almost like one way is telling the story while the other is living it.


Throughout the day there’ve been multiple times when I caught myself approaching a situation from multiple angles all at once.  In some cases it was the memory of past events helping me see a new event in a different light.  Other times I was helping to guide someone through a struggle very similar to one that I am facing.  There were moments in which I was learning for me, soaking it in to teach others, and finding ways to take action immediately.  It’s been pretty wild, an interesting crossroads of learning, doing, teaching and reflecting.

I’m not quite sure how to put this completely, but there were multiple moments today in which I was doing all four of those things at once.  The things I learned I was also doing and teaching.  The things I was teaching were things I was reflecting on and learning from.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Very Yoda-esque, but what the hell Mike?”  That’s where I’m struggling today.  I’m not quite sure how to put how rewarding it felt, how humbling it felt, and how much I learned, but I’m truly grateful for those moments today.  It feels like a different level of learning or a different depth to the experience when all four of these things happen at once.  I’m not sure that I’ve had a day quite like this when I’ve felt all fours ways at once, yet alone multiple times in one day.  Maybe this old dog is learning new tricks…  Or maybe this old dog is just getting old!  Either way, I’m thankful for the experience of feeling this way today!


Day 740 – Thankful for a Homily About Marriage

Today’s been a solid day all around.  I’ve had time with Gavin, time with Dominic, and even a little time with Becky.  Everything I wanted to get done this weekend has been done and then some.  Next weekend is setting up to be the weekend in which I finish up the insulation in my workshop.  There was some drive time that involved driving through forest with the maple leaves in full fall colors.  The Brewers are moving on, and the Packers…  well, we won’t talk about that one… 😥  Outside of the Green and Gold the day’s been pretty awesome.


When I stop and think about today the part I am most thankful for was a wonderful sermon from Father Dodge at church today.  The focus was on marriage and it was a pretty unique way to think of it.  He shared a deeply personal story that helped me see a different picture of the sacrament of marriage than the one that I’m used to and it helped me see it very differently.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot on and off today and will be something that sticks for quite a while.

Also during the homily he learned that there was a couple celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary today.  They’d even been married at the exact church we were in!  Father Dodge brought them up to the front and renewed their vows.  It was incredibly touching and left many of us with slightly wet eyes by the time it was over.  The focus on spending the rest of our lives together was powerful and seeing how we were surrounded by so many others who’ve been married 50+ years was awe inspiring.  Starting off my Sunday with a sermon like that was pretty sweet!


Day 739 – Thankful for Dominic Hunting with Grandpa Ken

This morning at first light was the start of the Youth Hunt in Wisconsin.  Shortly after the start of the hunt Dominic already had his buck!  Last year he shot a little spike, this year was a four pointer.  While I am super proud of him and happy for him, it’s not the success of the hunt that has me the most thankful this evening.


I am so grateful that Dominic has this time with his Grandpa Ken.  It is so awesome that they get time like this to hang out and do something they both love like hunting.

I have so many memories of going out to the woods to hunt with my dad and Grandpa Kreiling. There are many memories of doing many things with my Grandpa Lamping ranging from playing pool, spending time in his workshop, looking for arrow heads, and stuff like that.  Looking back there are many smiles I have from those memories when they cross my mind.

Dominic has many memories with Grandpa Pete and is blessed to continue making even more memories with his Grandpa Ken.  A quick conversation with Dominic and you can quickly see how much he loves his grandpa.  Spending time with Grandpa Ken like this means the world to him and will continue to bring him smiles for the rest of his life.  He is also so grateful to have such a caring and loving grandpa.

Great job hunting today Dominic!  I very thankful that it was safe and successful.  Please hold the memories you made with your grandpa today tight, they’ll bring you much joy through the rest of your life.  Love you Bud!!!



Day 738 – Thankful for a Date With/On the Couch and a Surprise Lunch with My Mom

After many nights and weekends of go, go, going I’ve got a date with/on the couch… I’m not sure which it is as Becky’s on the couch with me and I’ve already had some quiet time on it before anyone else got home. Regardless, it feels awesome to be chilling on the couch relaxing before I go to bed early tonight!

As I was about to leave the office for lunch today I got a call from my mom. She was in La Crosse for a conference and happened to be driving through Winona. We met up for lunch and had a great time shooting the bull for a while. Afterwards she was able to tour our office for the first time. How cool to have the random surprise of lunch with Mom! It was definitely a highlight of my day. 😁


Day 737 – Thankful for Brewers Playoff Baseball

This morning a memory from SEVEN years ago popped up in my newsfeed…

What are the odds that it’s exactly seven years ago today that we went to a Brewers playoff game???

Seeing as it only happens every seven years ago I’m very grateful for Brewers playoff baseball. It’s wonderful to see them playing after the season is over and hopefully making a run into October. Always fun to have a reason to watch baseball in the fall and another reason to shoot the bull with my little brother.

Hoping the Brewers kick some butt and take some names tonight!!!


Day 736 – Thankful for Remembering to Take Quiet Time to Think Today

Two years ago n this day I was “Thankful for Taking Quiet Time to Think Each Day.”  As soon as I saw the picture and the title that day popped right back into my memory.  Fortunately I saw this post early in the morning and was able to take action on it today.   Over the past couple of days I’ve finished up one audiobook and moved onto the next.  With the fresh memory of my post form two years ago I paused the recording while driving to Menomonie and just drove in silence for a while.

Much of the quiet time was spent thinking about the work day in front of me and working through strategy for the next few months.  Other time was reflecting on that day 19 years ago when we had the gift opening at my parents’ house and I confirmed that Becky was still willing to go with the “yes” she’d given the previous night for our date on the upcoming Friday (“Yes, fine, whatever!”  Ahh..  the romance was mutual :P).

At one point I was able to just silence my thoughts and enjoy the view around me.  When I shut the “voice inside my head off” I can more clearly appreciated what is all around me.  The leaves changing color on a distant hill.  The contrast of green grass, golden corn, and dark gray skies.  The bluffs with their exposed rock faces.  A bright rainbow arcing across the sky.  All the while the sun would occasionally peek out from behind the clouds and light up the leaves on the trees like a spotlight to more perfectly accent their colors.  So beautiful!  Every moment and view focused on the natural world brought me great joy and I was so thankful to be there experience it.


As I would soak in the world around me a great idea or two would emerge from my freshly uncluttered thought process and show itself.  Before I knew it I’d found answers to many questions and challenges I’d been facing earlier on the drive.  Funny how sometimes I need to remember to take three steps back, breathe, be thankful for all God’s gifts around me, and then the answers start to appear.  I’m so grateful for remembering to take some quiet time to think today!