Day 435 – Thankful for Spending Time with Becky Traveling Home From Vacation

Becky and I are used to spending time apart, whether for work and whatnot. It’s not an all the time think, but it seems like it’s the case every couple of months or so. No big deal, time apart is fine (& healthy!). I miss her when we’re apart, but nothing crazy.

All that said, I’ve missed her a lot more than usual over the past couple of days. It’s been bugging me, what’s different this time that’s causing me to miss her more. The boys’ schedule isn’t as crazy as it’s been in past times she’s been gone or anything like that. Then it hit me – we missed out on one part of our vacation that I’ve always loved, but have taken for granted… the trip home. When vacation was concluding she was hopping a jet early in the morning to head to Australia while the boys and I were taking our time and heading home.

This meant I had some pretty cool vacation closure time with the boys. We talked about our favorites events, days, meals and memories on the way home. Looking ahead to the upcoming week we talked about what the plan was. There was a lot of conversation about past vacations and how much fun they’d been. In addition we talked about everything that we had to do as soon as we got back and divided up the responsibilities (laundry, dishes, pets, homework, etc). For us it was a chance to conclude the vacation, enjoying the memories and getting ready to back to real life.

Normally I do that with my favorite travel buddy, who also just happens to be my soulmate. We spend the conclusion of the vacation together as we head home. It’s a time to go through pictures, get our heads wrapped around what needs to happen when we get home, and to start planning for our next adventure.

To be honest, I’ve kind of taken that time for granted. With that portion of our vacation removed it doesn’t quite feel right. It seems like there’s something unresolved that can only be fixed by the two of us going through it. This lack of time together at the end of vacation has me missing Becky more than normal.

Isn’t it funny that sometimes we don’t fully appreciate things until they’re gone? Had I not gone through this on this vacation I’d probably have missed it. One thing is for certain, I’m appreciative of the time we have together at the end of vacation and I’ll go out of my way to savor it even more in the future… starting with the time we spend together on Saturday… wrapping up this most recent vacation.



Day 434 – Thankful for a Well Rested Home

After being on the opposite side of the planet our sleep patterns have been a little out of whack.  In addition to the time change we went from over 14 and a half hours of daylight to 9 hours in one day.  Even with a couple of good nights of sleep the boys and I could all feel the lingering effects.

Last night we had a very chill night and ended up having everyone in bed (myself included) before 8:00.  Dominic was a sleep long before then, he was snoring away as Gavin watched Harry Potter and I typed my blog.  While Gavin and I both would have rather stayed up neither of us really put up much of a fight.


When I woke up this morning I felt GREAT!!!  10 hours of sleep was exactly what the doctor ordered.  I went in to wake up Gavin and he shot right out of bed and was smiling big as he bounced into the kitchen to make himself breakfast.  Dominic, who can be pretty rough some mornings, came out of his basement lair and was smiling and talkative.  We had an awesomely happy morning, no issues, no frustrations, no complaints, nothing forgotten, everything went perfectly smooth and we were all out the door with time to spare.  It was AWESOME!

At first I was going to be thankful for this perfect start to the day, but I realized that it’s really because of the sleep we’d gotten that everyone was in a great mood.  Maybe I need to think about forcing myself to bed a little earlier and getting a few more zzz’s every night.  When I think about what my end of the night is spent on it’s not always very productive, and to trade unproductive time for a happy start to the next day seems like a hell of a deal!  I’m thankful for the entire house being well rested, it made for a wonderful morning.



Day 433 – Thankful for Awesome Teams

Today was the first day back to work and something crazy happened after being gone on vacation for a couple of weeks…  There wasn’t a pile of stuff to get done from the previous weeks.  I didn’t feel a crush of pressure from everything that had built up while I was out.  I was able to jump into what I was working on before I left.  How great is that?  The reason this was possible was because of my awesome teams.  They often took it upon themselves to take on additional responsibilities while I was gone.

While I was on vacation I was able to shut off all work related stress.  With no stress from work on my brain I was able to be completely present in the moment with my family and in the experience.  It was fantastic!  Not to mention that I was able to think of new ideas and solutions for work thanks to my mind being clear.  All of this was because of the wonderful teammates I have who are passionate about what they do and are very successful at what they do.

A funny thing happened on Thursday morning while we were driving…  I realized that I missed working.  I was missing what I do, and, more importantly, I was missing who I did it with.  Don’t worry, I still had fun and enjoyed the day, but I was jones-ing to see my teammates again!  The reason for this is that they are awesome people who share common values.

Thank you to each and every single one of my teammates for being awesome!!!

Lee & CarolynIMG_7405IMG_0726


Day 432 – Thankful for Gavin’s Talk with Santa

Today’s been a pretty awesome day!  It feels great to be home again.  The day has been filled with checking off many tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, making lunches for the week, all the normal weekly stuff packed into a day.  Oddly enough, while typing that even sounds tiring, it was actually exhilarating in a different way!  It was a very productive day at home, and I am very thankful for that.  However, it was something else that really warmed me even more today.

Sometimes my best-est buddy can drive me totally bonkers, other times he makes me incredibly proud to be his dad.  Today was one of those days.

The Campbell Fire Department drives Santa around the island every year to give the kids a chance to come out, meet Santa, and talk with him.  It just so happened that today was the day of Santa’s trip through town.  Becky texted me the times last night and I’d almost forgotten about it until we heard some neighbor kids outside.  I quickly filled Gavin in and asked if he wanted to talk with Santa and he was in.


Once we got outside Gavin waited very politely and was the last kid to sit on Santa’s lap.  As he sat on Santa’s lap the big guy asked him what he wanted for Christmas.  “I don’t need anything for Christmas, I already got my present.”  Santa shot me a nervous look and then Gavin continued.  “I already got a vacation to New Zealand!”  He then proceeded to tell Santa about how he just got back yesterday.

It was awesome to hear him not only not ask for something else, but to have appreciated the trip so much – more than stuff.  For that quick comment that gave my heart the feels I’m very thankful.


Day 431 – Thankful for the Greatest Longest Day the Boys Have Had

The changing of timezones really messed with our brains today!  Technically, we started Saturday morning by waking up in Auckland and taking the detour I wrote about yesterday.  Based on the timing of our flight, we left Auckland at 3:30pm on Saturday and landed in San Francisco at 6:00am on Saturday…  Yup, today has been a 40+ hour marathon day for us.

Throughout the day we’ve had to pause and think about what we had for breakfast, lunch, and supper…  and then for breakfast, lunch, and supper again!  It’s been pretty ridiculous, two sunrises, two sunsets, and a lot of fun in between!


We’ve had time chilling on our own, enjoying a movie or game as each of us do the same.  We’ve had time playing games with each other (Exploding Kittens is AWESOME!!!).  We’ve had a lot of fun joking around and giving each other a hard time.  We’ve spent a good chunk of time talking about the highlights of our vacation time together.  Most importantly, we’ve had incredible bonding time as father and sons.

It’s been an incredibly long day, the longest the boys have ever had, but it’s been an epically great one…  One that will be burned into our brains forever and that I’ll always be thankful to have had.

Seeing this in the car while we headed home made my heart smile.  Mission accomplished!



Day 430 – Thankful for Sneaking In One Last Detour Before Departure

Becky dumped us to head off to Sydney to study and work for the week so it was just the boys and I packing up and prepping to head out today. Instead of chilling we decided to head out on one last detour… Mount Victoria in Auckland.

The reason I’m thankful for it isn’t for the view (which was pretty spectacular), rather the amount of fun we had getting there and the memories we made along the way.

Siri wasn’t super clear so we ended up getting turned around a couple of times in downtown Auckland which led to many laughs and giggles. Along the way we talked about memories of our trip and what we enjoyed most. Once we finally got to our destination the boys had to use the bathroom so badly that we only ended up staying for a couple of minutes – which was hysterical! The jokes were flying fast and furious as we feverishly drove towards the nearest place we had seen with a bathroom – McDonalds. Funny thing was that at one point there was a comment from Gavin that made us all laugh super hard and loud… and then it was dead silent as Dominic informed that he couldn’t laugh anymore without peeing… which made us all laugh louder!

The trip back was nice and calm, we told Siri to shut up and took my own route to the airport which worked out great! Again, most of our time was spent joking around and talking about the vacation.

Getting in one last chunk of memory making time was pretty awesome and is something that I’ll always be thankful for.


Day 429 – Thankful for an Appropriate Finale to Vacation – Yet Another Day At the Beach!

Day 429 – Thankful for an Appropriate Finale to Vacation – Yet Another Day At the Beach!

Today was the last day of vacation and we did it up in our style…  We hit an absolutely gorgeous beach – Cathedral Cove, NZ.  There was a mile and a half hike to get there, and it was worth every single step and then some.  Even the hike had great views!



Once we got there we spent time taking in the landscape, the weather and water carved giant rock formations jutting out everywhere in the ocean and on the beach.



After a while we all jumped in the ocean and enjoyed the waves.  They weren’t as big as the beach yesterday, but they were still lots of fun (and were less stressful for Dad).  There were nonstop laughs and smiles the entire time.


Becky and I chilled on the beach and soaked in sun while the boys played in the sand.  As we chilled they were digging, building, demolishing, and re-building.


One last set of waves we said goodbye to the ocean and started the hike back.


Tomorrow morning we start heading back on what will be the longest day of the boys’ lives – a 42 hour Saturday, December 2nd.  I can’t imagine a better way to wrap up one of the most epic vacations that we’ve ever had than by chilling by the ocean one last time…