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December, 2017:

Christmas 2017

9 Christmas’ of doing this on my own…

It’s exhausting…

I see that my last published post is a little over 7 months ago.

Quite a lot has happened since then.

Tonight though I’m ramped up on caffeine and the adrenaline resulting from last minute present wrapping.

So this one I will post regardless of how far I get with it.

I’m not even sure where to start.

The purpose of this blog was my attempt at leaving some written memories of our lives.  One day when I’m not around they will have something else to go back to.  Something more than their own memories or the stories people might tell.

There’s also maybe a little venting here and there as well …

Our summer was really beyond amazing and I cannot wait for it to be here again.

We spent numerous days on the lake with friends and family.

Experiences I always wanted and finally have.

I feel so fortunate that these two kids get to experience it as well.

And that we get to share those experiences with our closest friends and family.

While the summers in Chicago are definitely not long enough we packed in as much as we could before the weather started to cool (or more specifically before the lake was infected with some sort of toxic algae bloom … that sucked).

Nearly every weekend and in some cases weeks we were on the lake.

The two hour drive, nearly door to door, and we are able to break away from reality.

Into our own new reality.

Far from the lights and noise of the city.

Wild animals all around us.


A lake.  A pool.  Hiking.  Boating … a life so different from what we were doing even just 1 year ago

Yet summer came to an end and we were back into the grind.

School is 5th & 3rd grade.

She likes her teacher.  A man.  From what I can tell a really good teacher.   And he doesn’t seem to put up with girl drama, a definitely plus.

His teacher is strict but that’s good too.  He also likes her.  I don’t think he’s challenged enough in math yet and that needs to change.

He’s playing the guitar and she’s playing the viola.  And they both play piano.

Practicing those instruments though, that’s another story.

Just the other day she asked to stop taking viola lessons but by the end of practice she decided to keep on it for a while longer.  Hopefully a lot longer.

He likes guitar but practice really doesn’t happen.

And he’s really good at the piano he’s being taught.

Unfortunately our piano teacher of the past 4 years or so will soon be moving to Ireland.  She’ll certainly be missed.  I’m not sure what we’ll do though once she leaves.

He played baseball and soccer.  I coached both (as head coach).  I think though that my days as head coach or over.  I like teaching and working with the kids but the drama involved with some of the parents just isn’t for me.

She does dance now and really loves it.  Lyrical & Jazz.  And she’s also in Gymnastics.

He played basketball as well and will likely play floor hockey again.

She’s in volleyball but this year is skipping the club v-ball and playing with her school (which I’m helping coach)

School overall is good for both of them.  She seems to experience more drama than him.  And I’m sure that’s only the beginning as she continues to grow and mature.  Some girls honestly just suck but unfortunately that’s just going to be a part of life and I need to help her grow & learn from it.

What else …

We have an annual halloween party which normally consists of 100’s of people but this year I trimmed it down to a couple dozen.  Way more manageable.  Plus the weather didn’t cooperate so it was a good thing I reduced the number.

I know there’s a ton more but I really just wanted to quickly get some of this down.  Plus I’m fading fast

Oh yeah, but then there was tonight.

Like a last hour cram session before a big exam or the hours before a paper is due and I’m trying to get everything done.  Why I waited until the last minute is beyond me.  Not next year.  But I’m done now and things look and feel good.

Santa was given a full glass of milk plus 4 cookies this year.   Hope he enjoyed them 😉

Santa by the way seems to be a conflicting subject this year / at this age.  One believes.   The other seems either on the fence or off the fence and just won’t say it.  While I want this innocence to last FOREVER, I so do not want them to lose it, I know they will and that’s a sad thought.

Nevertheless I jammed hours of wrapping into minutes (or more accurately, many minutes) and knocked it out.  The stresses of the last month trying to get everything together is so worth it in the end.  In the morning they will be beyond excited to rush downstairs and see what they got.

She asked me my favorite holiday.  I told her a toss between Christmas & Halloween … I’ll actually go with Christmas 🙂