Slow Down * Enjoy Life Rotating Header Image

I Love My Little Guy

When is the last time he’ll hang out with me like this?

He sleeps next to me in my bed nearly every night.

He holds my hand when we’re out on a walk.

He tells me often that I’m the best dad ever.

I’m certainly not taking this time for granted.  I know it won’t last.  While I can’t wait to see him grow I also want him to stay like this as long as possible.


Summer 2019

It felt like the summer just flew by.  I think it actually sort of did.  But looking back at pictures we sure stayed busy.

Her softball all star team won the district tournament and then went on to play at state.  She played pitcher, 3rd, catcher, left field and 1st base.  In the 1st day of the state tournament the actual temperature outside was 100+ and the heat index was worse.  They had to play a double header.  The heat was ridiculous.   They went 1-1 the first day of games but lost our first game on the 2nd day (officially ending up in 3rd place in state) … there were some tears 🙁 but it was a great experience all around.  Plus she made some awesome new friends through this all


What in the world is the girl in the outfield doing while Ellie’s out there giving it her all???  This is why they didn’t win.


Catching in 110+ degree humidity.  Notice the parents in the background with umbrellas?  That wasn’t for the rain (not a cloud in the sky)


By far the most emotional of the kids.  I think she wanted it the most out of all the girls.


Early summer with family & friends


Then still doing it into August with some more friends


We’re missing a couple little ones in this picture but we’ll do this again next year and make sure we get them in the picture too



4th of July Weekend with the family.  We went home for a game and came back out to make it in time for this 🙂


The not-so-giant slip & slide courtesy of the association.  Still super fun but last year it was 3x the size.  Hopefully we can make that happen again next year.


He caught 20 fish between this day and the next morning


We have a new toy at the lake. So much fun!



In an effort to make taking the garbage cans to the street fun they get to ride back down the driveway on these 🙂


Last year I worked on the porch.  This year I painted this.  It took two coats.  I should have sprayed it


He took a whack at this and liked it (although I’m pretty sure he missed the ball on this swing)


Loras Year 2.  Badminton, Lacrosse & Football for him.  Aerial Dance, Badminton & Kayak/Canoe/Dragon Boating for her.


More time with family labor day weekend.  It wasn’t a warm weekend but we still made the best of it


And then these two got up and out on the lake by 7:30a for some quality fishing.  Being able to do this with her (and him too) … priceless


She has a bass on her line and her cousin (hidden behind her) also has a fish on.  Uncle Mark did well too but he needed some gloves when handling those fish 😉


Cari’s Tree

Every May 19th we make it a point to visit the tree planted in memory of our Cari.  In 10 years it has grown pretty tall, probably 30′.

A few years ago we planted some Salvia I believe it’s called.  Last year the damn mowers weed whacked the plant to pieces but this year they let it be.  Along with those purple flowering plants we planted some annuals along side them.

We had a busy day this May 19th with a full day at Great America for a dance performance.  He went on his first roller coaster that day, Goliath.  I skipped it, she did too.  He went on it with some friends though and there were no regrets.  The weather had forecast thunderstorms all day which never really materialized yet the park stayed empty.  We literally walked right up to the American Eagle  and other roller coasters and either got right on or had to only wait for one group in front of us.  I’ve never experienced that.  Usually it’s an easy hour wait just to go on the ride once.

When that was over though we raced home to get in our annual visit and flower planting.  We didn’t bury her so this is our place to go instead.  I like this better than visiting a cemetery.  I think it’s good for all of us that we have this place to go 🙂






Q1 2019

Often times I let too much time pass before I write about our lives …

She turned 12.  He turned 10.



NYE this year we took to the slopes of the UP with even more families than last


IMG_20181231_091638IMG_20181231_091822 IMG958698

President’s day we were at the lake for some of the best sledding



She performed a lead role in her school’s drama club


His indoor soccer team scored a first place trophy


She performed in her first dance competition and performed at the zoo



He worked at a food pantry with cub scouts

clone tag: 1237030743821615783

He learned what happens when you let an egg sit in vinegar for an extended period of time


He shaved his head again this year to raise money for childhood cancer research


He finally won a trophy in the pinewood derby


I’m spent a lot of hours working unpaid for a project that hopes to benefit us down the road.  But those unpaid hours have made for a challenging early spring.  I have had to pull back on that and focus on billable time.  I’m also in the midst of rehabbing our 3rd rental with a 4th on the horizon.  While the hope there is to build a tiny set of profitable rentals I’ve yet to see pay day 😐


Christmas Eve 2018

Another year of christmas decorations, lists, holiday shopping and present wrapping in the books :/

Things seemed more stressful than in years past

Probably a result of a variety of things

Some self inflicted, others not so much

The lights on our house, however, looked pretty solid this year if I do say so myself


There were years where I felt like spoiling the kids was a good idea

Then there are times when I feel like maybe that wasn’t well planned out

Now (@1:13am) instead of winding down after a full day I’m wide awake

When they were younger this day was (seemed) easier

I was challenged this year

I recently decided to part ways with a client whom I should probably never have started up with in the first place (over 4 years ago)

The money was stable though and most of the time things were good

But the regularity of less-than-positive dialogs simply became too much

The kids were actually disappointed when I told them I no longer work there.  Timing maybe wasn’t well planned as they enjoyed going to their Christmas party.  Plus the owners daughter was about the same age as mine and they played well together whenever they saw each other.  But I submitted my letter before any invite for that event came my way (assuming I was going to be invited anyways).

It probably didn’t help that the most recent of those negative meetings coincided with 12/14

Honestly that probably had a little bit to do with my decision but I’m better off

However, only if/when I receive payment for my most recent invoices will I be able to completely relax about all that

Speaking of 12/14…we invited a few friends and immediate relatives over last minute to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Side note, if you felt like you should have been invited but weren’t … please grow up and get over it!  

That said, it really was a nice day for the kids & I and family & friends too I think

The kids seem much more aware (I think that’s the word I’m looking for)

One of them had the idea to release balloons so I picked some up and after singing happy birthday most of us wrote notes, tied the notes to a balloon and the kids and some adults released them up into the sky.  Perhaps hoping that our notes reach her???

I was able to take a picture of the kids notes … a very raw moment

And a number of people posted or commented online or sent messages throughout the day.

No time of the year is ever super easy.  The holidays, december in particular, just compound the issue.

Even though today may have been more challenging than most I think these kids are grateful and will appreciate all the effort

48355923_2057146394341725_2255245524212908032_o 48167289_2057123734343991_5229962950281789440_n48375885_2057123704343994_6953261875643547648_n



121418_1 121418_2 121418_3 121418_4





121418_5 121418_6 121418_7