Slow Down * Enjoy Life Rotating Header Image

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 🙂


Things they say …

When you’re having an exhausting day and then this happens.

Daddy, can we put this in the “Chinese” cabinet? (he meant China cabinet)


The “Talk”

The school decided to give the “Talk” today

What age is appropriate for this? 4th grade?  So the school thinks, I suppose … :{}

The “School” has also banned just about every fun thing the kids could possibly get interested in this year.  How about you, the “School”, ban cell phones???  But that would generate too much opposition I’m sure so of course that’s not an option … argh!

The “School” also banned Spanish in the early grades.  They might suggest it’s due to financial issues, but “ban” or “cancel” what’s the difference?  Check out our tax bill in this area … financial issues?  I think NOT!  More like financial mis-management if anything 🙁

The “School” also banned music from being played during their lunch hour … come on???  Seriously?

Oh, and the “School” also thought that it would be appropriate to spend a ridiculous amount of money to build an outdoor stage that is now used for hide-and-seek, to write on with chalk, but that’s about it.  Maybe we could have used that $$ to keep Spanish in the early grades ???

Yet, the “School” thinks that 4th graders are ready for the “Talk”

But I digress…sort of

The “Talk”

Given separately to the 4th grade boys and girls today

So now “I” am confronted with a dozen followup questions … mostly about her period and everything that follows it … sigh

You know what “School”, I’ve got this covered.  But thanks for including this in the curriculum.

Maybe you could also address that girl that is calling other girls b!@#$es.  Or that other family that lets their 4th grader watch rated R movies or play ridiculously violent video games?

How about you address just being a better person and stop worrying about what you are going to ban next!

Could that be part of your curriculum?  I mean if you’re covering the “Talk” why can’t you make a big deal out of these other things that parents should also be doing … like raising normal kids.

Come on???  WTF


Who created my computer?

I should be working but these two seminary students are preaching GOD behind me at Corner Bakery this morning


Please go somewhere else :{}

One of the best lines … some student told them, GOD didn’t create this computer.  their response, well actually he did because he created us and we created the computer.  REALLY???  GOD created the computer???  Seriously???

Oh, and we need GOD because without his direction if there were no speed limits everyone would drive 125 MPH and we would all kill each other?

That’s Religion? Really? OMG!!!

Deep Breath …

“People that aren’t like us” … people that aren’t like you??? okay ….

I just don’t get it

Who make THEM better than ME?

Because they BELIEVE in a GOD?

Religion DOES NOT make people GOOD, people are GOOD or they AREN’T. And there are plenty of RELIGIOUS people that are NOT GOOD.  And that’s a fact … I’m sure President Trump could verify that

Sure, there’s good in religion.  Good things come from it.  It certainly helps people.

But the way these dudes are talking it’s like it’s GOD or nothing


Post Midnight Ramblings …

She turned 10 & She turned 65 this past Feb 🙂


clone tag: -8150670541870205879

That’s a lot of candles.

And we got a nice family photo 🙂

clone tag: -5533420649120722484

Report cards came home today.

Straight A’s for her 🙂 Straight X’s for him 🙂

Happy Day!


It snowed last December, one week before Christmas.

We had lots of snow.

But that was it.

It melted away before the NY and hasn’t snowed since.

It’s March 4th now

I could live without 6 months of cold but if it’s going to be cold it’s supposed to snow.

Speaking of snow, the snowblower wouldn’t start this year.  Thankfully the snow melted away.  And since it hadn’t snowed again … well the snowblower still doesn’t work.  That’ll wait til next year I suppose.


Parenting is tough.  These two like to torment each other.  I suppose that’s normal but I could do without it.

It would just be nice to go 24 hours without someone upsetting someone else … please!


I’ve been off the booze for a while now.  Maybe a half dozen attempts at drinking a glass since June ’16.

Let me just tell you, diabetes sucks.

Well it’s more like the I-didn’t-know-I-had-diabetes part that makes “this” part of diabetes suck

I’m ready to feel 100% better.  And it couldn’t happen soon enough.

Thankfully though I hopefully got thru the worst of it.  Looking back I wish I would have done something sooner …

Although I do eat a whole lot better now than I ever did before.  It’s probably the way “we” should all eat … healthy, low glycemic, non-processed, high fiber, foods, no sugar drinks, no pop, no gatorade … no beer 🙁


While I may not have the flashiest of jobs I can’t currently complain.

I work roughly 20 hours a week.

I have just about all the flexibility I could ask for and still make decent $$$

And yet while I don’t get promoted and sometimes the highlight of being self-employed is just getting paid, every once and a while something kind of cool happens.

I was fortunate years ago to find my way into the Chicago Bears organization.  And while I may not have departed on the best of terms (f.y.i. long story short they hired some inexperienced kid to be my boss. it didn’t work out. i left. he was fired one year later … i don’t want to say i-told-you-so, but I-TOLD-YOU-SO), I still created a few lasting relationships.

So within the past week I reached out to a newly hired NFL General Manager and he responded right away with the likely opportunity to work with him this coming May.  Pretty cool!  Fingers crossed.


Okay … i should go to bed!