Happy July 4th to Ya’!

Hello Friends,

Wishing you all a Happy 4th, however you may be celebrating today! Besides our nation’s birthday, we have friends also celebrating birthdays (I see you Jim!), and memories of soldiers returning home safely. I am sure you all have good stuff to add to today’s celebration too!

So be safe out there, friends. Be careful with the grill, don’t hold fireworks in your hand, and know when to say when. Enough PSA, we’ll see you out there. Happy 4th of July!

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Twelve Day Experiment-Day 5

Hello Friends,

Sweetie shared a lovely little thought with me this evening: “I love spending time with friends and family”. Such a simple, wonderful thought came on the heels of a dinner with two other families, both neighborhood and school friends.

This is one friend with the girls on the skating rink (again with the WinterFest pics). When they were at the house, she and the other friend hid from my camera. Such are kindergartners.

They have siblings, and Cricket played happily without trying to keep up with the older kids all afternoon. Everyone played together well, so it was great.

The girls got to hang and play, Wife and I got to enjoy adult conversations. This is the peer support that parents relish. Good food and time spent with friends made for an excellent afternoon – one of those Christmas gifts that doesn’t come wrapped in a box with fancy paper and a bow.

You’re Only 40 Once

I celebrated another friend’s 40th Birthday this weekend. Besides that most of the group was ready for bed by 11:00, it was a great time and a chance for me to reconnect with many friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. Thanks again Nelly – Happy Birthday buddy!

My 40th was back in December and I have been meaning to write about it since then. The first reason for the delay is a pitfall that I have fallen into many times since starting this blog: I wanted to write the perfect post about turning 40. Yeah, that post eluded me because of the second reason for delay: I was not inspired by this milestone.

It’s a weird situation and one that I’ve been chomping on for the past three months. The “thing” has nothing to do with our celebration. We actually had two celebrations, with both sides of our families, and both around meals (food being one of my favorite things). And it’s not so much about getting older. I mean, I’m not happy with all the changes I’m experiencing with my body, but we all get older so that’s just life. I thought it might have to do with my current position in life. Granted, I have friends who are making six-figure salaries, others who have tripled the bottom line of their family business, but they don’t all have kids. And you can’t really compare to children – I mean, c’mon, priceless. So it wasn’t any one of those things, but at times my lack of enthusiasm was caused by a bit of all of those things.

And so I’ve passed the last three months doing a lot of thinking. Reminiscing on “old times” and remembering all of the life that got me to this point. And thinking about the future, like what will I do when both girls are in school? After the past two friends’ birthdays I decided it was time to put thinking aside for a night and do some writing, so here it is. I don’t know if it is the perfect post about turning 40, but I put this out there for any of you getting ready for this birthday (I celebrated with many of you on Saturday!) and for those of you who have also recently passed this milestone. It may take a minute, but I hope you find a happy acceptance of this new decade.

While we were celebrating on Saturday many of us were joking that “40 is the new 30”. Looking at a picture of me taken ten years ago, at a 30th Birthday Party, I recognize that there is very little about me that is new. But it is a nice thought. I know that I am older now than at the start of the detour (deep, I know). And I do think I am more wise, but only because I pay attention. I am thankful for all I have to show for my time so far, and honestly, I think I am settling in with this 40 thing. As Sister Scales-of-Justice shared with me, “Celebrating turning 40 definitely beats the alternative”.

Thank You Dead Presidents

So today was President’s Day, which of course means no school! How did you spend your day? Did you talk to your kids about our country’s Presidents? Did you discuss the current state of affairs in Washington? Did you discuss “civic duty” and the importance of voting? We neither!

The girls both woke up with smiles and lots of energy today. Blame it on some late nights over the weekend, or maybe the 60º+ temperature in Chicago right now. So civics lessons were not on the agenda, but going to the park was item number 2! (There where a couple of things around the apartment that HAD to happen first).

We're off!

We’re off!

I tried to get us out as quickly as possible. The girls were ransacking rooms while I did silly things like dishes and laundry. We were rollin’ by mid-morning, with the day steadily warming up. It was a bit bizarre to head to the playground; 1.) It’s February and most playgrounds and parks are usually buried in snow, 2.) The entire park smelled like wet dog poop, and 3.) There was garbage everywhere (clearly a busy weekend at the playground). We didn’t let any of these things hold us back though, and the girls loved running all over the playground. They had the run of the place right until we were ready to leave.

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Swings-always a favorite

We wrapped up playtime and enjoyed a much-needed snack. Then back to the apartment for a quick Paw Patrol episode (not a school day!) while I swapped car seats and laundry, then out again. We headed to the Buyos’ house for some lunch and a quick visit. The girls did well, until the lack of sleep turned them into drunken sailors whose ears stopped working. Time to leave.

When we got back to the apartment Wife was already home. This seemed like a bonus except that she was not feeling so well. That made for a quiet afternoon, yet still no napping. So after a solid dinner and bath both girls fell asleep without much drama. Overall, I fell way behind on my Monday routine when I usually put the apartment back together. But playing at the park, in February, was great (albeit spooky). And spending the days with my girls is always fun, even with a lack of sleep. I’ll add “making time for families to play together” to the list of great things that our past presidents accomplished. And Happy (early) Birthday President Washington.

Welcome new year

Winter break is now over. Sweetie is in bed, all ready to go back to school tomorrow. Wife is already back to work, ending many days where we were spoiled with her presence. Cricket and I are looking forward to activities starting back up and getting back to a daily routine. And so begins 2017 on the detour.

I am not going to list a bunch of resolutions here, mainly because I don’t believe in New Years’ resolutions. And by “belief” I mean that I historically don’t put enough energy into my resolutions to make them an active part of my life. I historically don’t choose concrete resolutions that I can engage. But I do believe in challenges, so I will share two with you all.

My first challenge for January 2017 is to publish two new posts a week. Ideally, this will be Mondays and Thursdays. I have a list of topics to write about, and I have the house renovation to catch you all up on, so the material is here. Now to make the time. As I write this the Cricket is crying herself NOT to sleep, thereby eating up the few hours that should not have two small bodies running all over them. No excuse though – such is the life of a parent. And thank goodness for Wife – hey, good transition!

A second challenge for me this month is to live my gratitude. Our attitudes effected our life situations, so I am going to try to put forth a grateful attitude and drive my situations accordingly. I might even do a morning mantra to set my mind right. Let me start now by saying, “Thank you,” to all of you reading out there. An internet existence is dependent on “likes” and followers and visits. And I am grateful for all of you out there that provide any and all of these to the detour. Besides that, your presence here helps to shore me up, helps me deal with the tough days and the creative blocks.

And so welcome 2017! I hope you all are looking forward to all of the challenges and gifts that are sure to come this year. This is like a throwback post to the early blog posts – no pictures. No fear though, Sweetie and Cricket are right here as always and I promise at least one pic for the next post. Until then…

R.I.P. Carrie Fisher

While we are big into recycling and re-purposing in our daily lives but I don’t usually re-use photos on the blog. Today is an obvious exception, as this photo of Sweetie from Halloween 2015 pays homage to Princess Leia Organa (Skywalker), as portrayed be the late Carrie Fisher.

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I find Carrie Fisher’s life fascinating. From fame to relative obscurity back up to sci-fi royalty; fighting battles with fictional villains and real-life mental health ones. There is admittedly, more to her than just this one character.

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We talked about this in front of the girls. And even though Sweetie chimed in on the conversation, she didn’t get what was going on. We try to talk about death as just another part of life, but it is still sad. Thankfully, fan response has been strong. In one tweet I read, the author wrote “Be Princess Leia in 2017…be a [general]”. And wife’s sentiments were, “In a world of Barbie dolls and damsels in distress, thank goodness there was Princess Leia.”

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October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all out there! Snow shoveling, winter break, tree decorating, gift buying and wrapping; it’s all been leading up to today.

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Our family has much to be grateful for this season; good health, financial stability, employment, family, and yes, you, our readership. I was just telling Brother Mechanic that it is good to be a member of our family right now. So we send out well-wishes to you and yours for a safe and happy holiday, whatever holiday you celebrate. We hope you enjoy the loving support of family and the warm embrace of time spent together. Merry Christmas.