Friday, February 27, 2009

Out of control wii

My in-laws made their granddaughters holiday season with a wii video game system. Their reasoning was that our family might not be going out as much for entertainment and so we could stay home and fun playing the wii. They were right on the money, and in fact I think, wait...I know my wife and I are enjoying it as much as the kids. It really is a totally interactive video game experience. There is one member of the family that really takes wii playing to the next wife. After the last couple of tennis matches we have had I have threatened to put the video camera on us so we get ourselves in the running for that $10,000 they give away on AFV. She turns playing into a total aerobic activity. Twice I have been the victim of ferocious forehands (one to the butt and one to the back). She just about killed herself slipping on our carpet going for a ball (to her credit she still managed to keep the point alive while falling on your butt during our match). My youngest has managed to smack the TV cabinet because she was a little too close when she swung, and my oldest has smacked into a wall now and again, but my wife is close to either knocking of the family out cold or causing a wii injury to herself that could be very painful. Either way I hope I get it on tape so I could get it in cash...$10,000 that is!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Be careful what you say

There was a time in our lives that my wife and I could talk about anything in our house with no worries. When our daughters starting getting to the age that they could understand what we were saying we went to talking more softly or speaking in code. I feel that those are no longer good options for us since our girls started repeating our conversations or asking questions about them. Case in point, shortly after we attended one of our teenage nieces cheer leading competitions (yes, I know...what can I say. I am outvoted on most of these things) my wife made the comment that I am sure she never thought would be overheard, and never repeated. That is until a family function a few weeks back when the mother of our cheer leading niece mentioned another competition was coming up, but since our oldest daughter explained to her that night that her mother (my wife) would "rather stick forks in her eyes then attend another cheer leading competition" we probably were not interested.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Dad, what's for dinner?"

Tonight was one of those nights that make me think being a part-time stay-at-home Dad is going to be more difficult than I thought. My better half was on a day trip for work and was headed home a little later than she thought. The girls and I were knee deep in some home cleaning (the family has recently decided to get our house picked up and put in order, which I love!!!). Yesterday we tackled the girls room, and today it was the toy room getting the home make-over. Well, dinner was now on me and when we finished our room cleaning it was already 5:15pm, and I didn't have a clue what we were going to eat. If I would have just remembered what my wife had told me and cooked up a little pasta thing would have been fine, but I decided to improvise a little. I went straight to the freezer, the one place I used to call home for the night's dinner plans before I was married. There was nothing, nothing at least that I could handle. Then, in the back I saw something, it was frozen solid and looked a little like taco soup, one of my favorites. Mind you, it was frozen solid and by now it's 5:30pm. So, I dump the frozen block of something into a pot and turn the stove burner up to the max. Needless to say this was going too slow, so I then transferred the frozen block into a bigger pan and threw a top on it. The girls were getting anxious and hungry so I called audible #2 and threw together some cheese quesadillas and apple sauce (that's healthy right?). While they chowed down I was still holding out hope for my frozen something or other. After it started to smell like something was burning I decided to take a look. Not only was it not close to being ready to eat, but I discovered what I thought was taco soup was actually spaghetti sauce. How someone can make this mistake is beyond me, but as I have been telling my wife I must have been in another state of mind or something. So, with my options for myself running low I turn off the stove and abandon the burnt frozen mess and look at my other options. It turns out my plan B for the girls was not enough and they are still hungry. I then go to an old standby and try to throw together several items to make something that, after eating, does not remember anything that anyone would eat. In this case it was tortillas. cheese, ketchup and pepperoni, or as I was calling it, pizza. This idea was more horrible than it sounds. Did I mention I pounded down two glasses of wine during this whole process. Thankfully, as I was finishing off my so called pizza (oh yes, I ate it...and my stomach it feeling the effects as I write this!) my angle, my goddess, my wife walks through the door. Before I can even fully explain the events that have taken place up to that point she has pasta boiling. Before you know it all my girls are eating a wonderful dinner while I sit at the computer and write down what happened. I have a long way to go, but I think my heart was in the right place. Now I just hope I don't get sick later tonight.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Laugh 'til you cry

There are a few certainties I have in my life and one of them is that I married the perfect woman for me. We are so compatible it is scary. One of the ways I know this is that we have the same sense of humor, which is probably only funny to us. Last night we were catching up on some of our shows on DVR and my wife was enjoying a chocolate peppermint patty. She then looked at me to say something very important and I turn to her and see her mouth surrounded by a thin, chocolate ring. This is funny to me on so many levels, but mostly because our 5 year old daughter has this look constantly. In fact, I swear she sometimes gets this look without even eating chocolate...I don't know how but it seems I am always cleaning off her face. So to see my wife, a 38 year old woman, with the same look made me laugh instantly. And when I pointed it out to her she too started laughing. We both laughed so hard we were crying. It was the second time last night we did that, but I probably shouldn't talk about what made us laugh the first time. She is my soul mate, my best friend and the other half of my comic duo. I am more than certain she was the one I was supposed to meet and I love her more than she will ever know.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Back to the future

Just a real quick story this Friday before the weekend that strikes me as kind of funny. When I run on my treadmill I like listening to music instead of the TV, but I like having the TV on so I can watch something. This was a great deal when we had ESPN because I could turn on a game and listen to music at the same time, the perfect indoor running environment in my opinion. Well, ESPN was cut out of the budget along with the other 500 channels we were getting, so now I have to be a little creative. My parents had recently uncovered some old VHS tapes of my high school basketball games so I thought it would be fun to watch those while running. I popped in a tape last week and the date on the bottom was February 8, 1989....THAT JUST OVER 2O YEARS AGO ALMOST TO THE DATE....CREEPY. It actually has been fun to watch the games again, but, and my wife will love this...I cheer and boo while watching. I even start giving the me from 20 years ago a hard time when I didn't play well. "B" thinks it's ridicules when I watch highlights from a game I watched the same day (don't all guys do that?), so you can imagine what she will think when she reads this.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'll get to that tomorrow, right?

I feel like there are so many things I am putting off these days. I can't put my finger on why that is and sometimes it drives me crazy. Yesterday afternoon I spent the better part of an hour collecting a couple months worth of Maggie's presents in the back yard. Some were so cold they just disintegrated at the touch of my shovel. My youngest was with me and she does a great job as my spotter "Dad, here's another Maggie poop" I heard her say about 3 dozen times yesterday. So I can cross that little chore of my list, but it seems like 3 more got added after I was done. Maybe I am feeling pressure to do more outside of the office since at work there is less to do. I have a mountain of cardboard that needs to go to recycling, my oldest daughter has about 25 fundraisers and reading logs to fill out this month. I have been telling both of my girls since the holidays we were going to get a choir/allowance chart going. I need to get my arse in gear and get some of these things done before the weather gets nice and the new round of landscaping/gardening items get put on the list (but I do have to admit I love doing yard work so these really aren't a bad thing). I could be the lack of afternoon expensive coffee shop coffee in my bloodstream (we have cut that out of the budget as well). I will get it going soon, I just know it. Heck, writing about it gives me just a little boost so I feel better already. HECK TO THE YEAH!!!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Run Forest Run

There are many things in your life that you can't control. Sometimes those things can drive you crazy and/or effect your life in dramatic ways. The current economic crisis is really effecting my business and at the same time effecting my ability to find another job. This double whammy is driving me crazy and is completely out of my control. At the same time, there are many things we can control in our lives and sometimes it is those things that bring balance and calmness. For me one of those things I can control is my fitness level and exercise routine. Last year I found cycling to be a great way to get in shape. I bought a new road bike, signed up for the Seattle to Portland ride (200 miles in two days), started training and away I went. I could determine when, where and for how long I would ride. It gave me a great sense of control and provided me with a calmness that I needed to handle those parts of my life that I could not control. Right before the holidays I put the bike away and started running. Thanks to a new treadmill purchased with holiday gift money I kept a pretty good training program going and even ran my own half-marathon in January (not the best time to run a long distance outside in Idaho, but it was great and I finished it). I have now set my sights on my first full marathon this Memorial Day weekend. I am training hard and loving it. Most of my life I have been a runner competing on track teams and then running for fitness after my competition days were over. Because of an expanding waistline and sore knees I went away from running for many years. But, I decided that both of those excuses were things I could control, so I started slowly and began to run again. What has been an extra bonus is that my waistline has shrunk (almost back to my running weight in college) and because I am carrying less weight around my knees are not as sore. What a great deal that is. The college track team I ran for had a special one day camp for local elementary school kids so I took my first grade daughter and she had a blast, even said her favorite part was the hurdles (my event back in the day). If I could only pass one thing on to my children it would be a love of fitness, sports and physical activity. To me so many other great things can happen when you are fit and active. And it's something you can always control.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Hawaiian Dreaming

Last year our family took an amazing trip to Hawaii. We stayed in Kona on the big island with my wife's family for 10 days of extreme relaxation. It had been over 10 years since my last trip to the Hawaiian islands for our honeymoon. My wife and I took several hundred pictures during the trip and I made a little music video with them so we could always remember the fun we had. This year didn't look good for a family vacation so I decided this cold, dreary winter weekend to pull out the video to live a little of the dream and torture myself at the same time. Shortly after I hit play I had the whole family watching with me, dreaming of going back some day. Then, in a blink my wife was out of the room and on the computer. I didn't think too much of it because she does operate an online business so she likes to check for new orders now and then. When she called my in about 10 minuets later I was starting to she??? What I saw on the computer screen almost made me giggle with joy. The home page for Alaska airlines with itineraries for Hawaii. Had my wife been reading my mine for the past couple of months? In our family she has the tight purse strings, always looking to saving money and never really the one to suggest minute spending. I on the other hand am a bit more impulsive when it comes to money and spending. But, with the tougher times we have really had to watch where and what we spend our money. It took very little convincing before we were looking at all the options. before long with some serious research, a lot of airline miles and a companion ticket we were booked, leaving in just over three weeks for a 14 day trip back to Kona. HECK TO THE YEAH!!! I consider myself a pretty easy going laid back kinda guy, but I am just about to jump out of my skin thinking about it. And the best part it really is going to be inexpensive for us to go. I am all about experiences over material items so the thought of putting a little extra money towards this trip makes total sense to me. Look for my next few posts for the next three weeks to be flavored with a little Hawaii talk.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Bloody Plasma Valentine

During these tough economic times families are finding new and creative ways to earn a little extra cash. Blogging can actually earn you money so, here is hoping this turns into something. Another way to get a little extra coin is to donate plasma. Here in our little town we have a plasma donation center that pays you cash for your donation. I've only donated blood once in my life and it was not a very good experience, so the thought of donating plasma was not very enticing, that is until I found out what they use it for. It really is incredible how many helpful uses there are for human plasma (check out this link So today I made my 5th donation and in the process have made $170. Not bad for a few hours time sitting around watching TV while a machine does all the work. I decided to take my girls out for Valentines day with my plasma money. Eating out for us has really taken a plunge on our list of priorities and I wanted to do something special for my three valentines. We had a great time and I feel pretty guilt free about spending the money. I recently read an online article saying that most Americans prefer spending money on experiences instead of material object. I could not agree more. Give me a night out with my family over anything I can find in the store!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Put me in coach!"

As a way to get my 1st grade daughter, "K", to join her first organized basketball team I agreed to coach her team this year. I grew up playing basketball, attended many camps, spent lots of time practicing by myself and with many different coaches, so if there was going to be a sport I was willing to coach it would be basketball. I am proud to say that after last night our team is 3-0 and I am having more fun coaching this group of 1st and 2nd grade girls than I ever imagined I would. Most of my joy comes from seeing these girls learn the game and get so excited, it's infectious. Points are hard to come by so when we do score a basket I have a little habit of jumping up and down, to the point that now after we do score the whole team looks over at me to see my reaction. I am so proud of "K" and how hard she plays. She does remind me of myself in the way she plays the game. Only time will tell if she takes it as far as I did. I will say that the basketball gods were smiling on me when I was given my team as I have some real talented players. I was actually surprised by how good these girls were at our first practice. I have one girl who is my hardest worker and very scrappy, let's call her "M". She also says some of the funniest things during games. During our second game she was on the bench getting a breather. I was ready to make a substitution so I asked my assistant coach, also my wife "B", to get the girls ready. She asked "M" if she was ready to go in and "M" looked her dead in the eyes and said "I was born ready!" Are you kidding me??? How can I loose with that kind of excitement to play. We have 5 more games (there are only 5 teams in our league so the season is pretty brief) and I am hoping for an undefeated season (look out coach Summit, pictured in this post), but even if we don't win another game I can safely say this experience will be one I will always remember.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wigging Out

This new blog of mine is intended to give the reader a small glimpse of my life. All of the absurdities and funny stories and crazy things that happen to me on a daily basis. There is a better than good chance that only I will find these stories funny or entertaining in the least. The only other person that I know will read this blog regularly will by my wife as she is the ying to my yang. Only she really gets my sense of humor and will understand what the heck it is that I am writing about. In fact she was the one who convinced me to start this blog in the first place. With the extra time I now seem to have (remember my job is a little slow right now) she thought it would be a good idea for me to be a little creative and start writing about my daily adventures. Of course for her the idea of doing nothing, even for 10 seconds is very foreign. In my blog description I call my wife "over active" and for good reason. If she had any more going on, or was any busier than she already is then I would have to change the word "over" to the word "hyper", but that might not go over so well at home. This all leads me to a question she asked me the other day that I really didn't know how to answer. You see, when my wife, let's call her F, does have the rare moment that she has nothing to do and nothing on her mind, I believe she creates something so absurd to think about that it really only makes sense to her. So, we are in the bathroom, or she is in the bathroom and I am in the bedroom...details that I can't really remember at this time...and she asks me what I would think if she bought a wig..............silence comes over the room. At first I thought she may be joking and was waiting for the punchline, but I can tell by the look in her eye that this was a serious question and she was looking for a serious answer. One of the main reasons I could not answer right away or with any seriousness is because my wife is a young, beautiful woman with a head of hair that most other women would like to shave off to make a wig for themselves...most women that is except for my wife. In fact it was her hair that first caught my attention back in college. At the time it was long, way long like down to her butt long, and it was curly and a gorgeous red color. I had never considered myself into redheads until I saw her....just stunning. Well, today her hair is shorter and she doesn't aways wear it down, but it's just as curly and still that gorgeous red color. So when she asks me about a wig I think to myself a) what in the h@&# is she talking about and b) oh, that's right...this is F. Before I can even blurt out a smart ass retort she states her reasoning for wanting such a thing. "It would be so convenient for me not to worry about doing my hair all the time" she says..."what a time saver." This makes perfect sense to me now, because one thing I know about my wife is that, while she does look great just about all the time, she puts much more thought into convenience than appearance. I can say this because she does look great without having to put much thought into it, and being the over active person that she is it does make sense for her to find things that make her life easier and more convenient so that she can spend this time she saves on thinking of more absurd ideas like buying a wig in the first place. I don't know where she is on the whole wig idea now, but what I do know is that in my eyes my wife could wear dryer lint on her head and to me she would still be the sexiest thing walking the earth.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Take your mark, get set.......GO!!!!

Welcome to the start of what I am hoping is a well written, well received, daily journal of one man's life from this point forward. I am joining the world wide phenomenon of blogging in an attempt to release some creative energy and maybe, just maybe, create something that becomes bigger than I can possibly imagine.

For my first blog I thought I would list 25 things about myself that will help you, the reader, find out where I have come from and where I am at now so that you will come back to see where I end up going. So, without further ado...

1. I am married to the most wonderful woman on the planet. I could use this whole list to talk about her and at the same time know I don't need to.

2. I have two smart, beautiful girls that are the center of my universe. I can't imagine life without them.

3. I live in the same town I grew up in and love it. I spent 7 years in bigger cities and maybe someday I'll live in one again, but for now I am a small town boy and loving it.

4. My parents still live in my hometown and having them so close so my family can see them as often as we do means more to me than they can possibly know.

5. I am the oldest of three kids with a younger sister and brother. I could not be more proud of the adults they have grown up to be and while we don't talk as much as some siblings, I love them to death.

6. I have 5 nephews and two nieces. All of which hopefully consider me one of their favorite uncles.

7. I could not have hand picked better in-laws.

8. I am currently in a career that is deeply effected by the current economic crisis, thus the part of my blog description "part time stay at home dad."

9. Before I started my current job I worked in sports marketing for several teams including several in semi-pro leagues, one from the NHL and a collegiate athletic department.

10. I grew up loving sports and competing in many, including running hurdles for my college track and field team.

11. I have lived in 4 states and traveled to many other, and hands down I think Idaho is the best in the US.

12. I have had several pets in my lifetime and I think my cat Muffin from childhood is my favorite.

13. I currently have a 10 year old Australian Shepard mix named Maggie. This dog has frayed every nerve I have and then some and I always think back to how my lovely wife tricked me to get her.

14. While always maintaining a decent level of fitness since college, I have recently jumped started things and will be running my first marathon this May.

15. Did I mention how awesome my wife is, and that she inspires me everyday to be the best I can be.

16. My girls, let's call them R and A, provide me with a lifetime of entertainment every day.

17. The house we currently live in is about 50% updated. I look forward to doing the other 50% while at the same time wishing fairies would come and do it for me in the middle of the night.

18. I have attended several PGA tournaments with my father and brother including the Phoenix Open, The Masters, The PGA Championship, The Ryder Cup and last year the US Open (the one that Tiger won on a bum knee). We plan to seeing the British Open as well so we have a clean sweep of all the majors.

19. Last year I rode the Seattle to Portland cycling classic with my Dad. 200 miles in 2 days. He kicked butt on a bike that is almost as old as I am.

20. When it comes to music I like just about everything but have a special place in my heart for hard rock (especially from the 80's!).

21. I also love just about all movies, but nothing beats the Star Wars saga.

22. I have my girls hooked on Star Wars as well....HECK TO THE YEAH!

23. I raced Dan O'Brien in the hurdles back in college. Guess who won?

24. I have many, many friends. Some I don't stay in touch with as much as I would like, but when we do talk it's like we never missed a beat.

25. I look forward to seeing where this thing takes me...hopefully you will too.

Until next time....Dad In Training Out!!!