Slow Down * Enjoy Life Rotating Header Image

Camp Owasippe

This week he’s away at boy scout camp for the first time. Camp Owasippe.  The same exact camp I went to when I was his age.

It’s not his first week away.  Except for last year he spent a week at Loras the previous 2 years.

The first year he was away he was only 9 yrs old 😐

I’m not sure why but for whatever reason this week away seems different.

It feels like I miss him more than I would have expected.  It just feels weird.

Maybe it’s because it’s the same camp I went to and all sorts of memories are coming back to me.

I remember the time sleeping in a old WWII canvas tent with mosquito netting.  We needed every edge of the netting closed otherwise more than one mosquito would be buzzing in our ears at night.

Maybe it’s the canoe races.  Or the sailing.  I don’t remember a whole lot more, however.  I do know that I ended up with stitches one year because I decided to run past a fallen tree which caught.  Funny though that today my parents don’t even remember this happening.  I have the scare to prove it, however.

Well, whatever reason it is I do miss him.  Crazy.  Fortunately they’re sending some nightly photos of the kids.  I can’t tell whether or not he’s having a good time.  It’s for sure been hot out these past couple of days.  But I’d really just love to get on a call with him and hear about his day.  I guess I have to wait until the end of the week for that …

In the meantime I was able to spend some extra time with her today.

I took her and a friend to a store on the north side then we grabbed a to-go lunch at a old dining spot in Lincoln Park followed by a visit to the WNDR museum.  We don’t often do things just the two of us.  Despite her having a friend with it was still nice to spend time with her.

Recent milestones

This past week was busy

She finished 8th grade and is on to H.S.  He’s done with 6th and on to Jr. High

I suppose I think of it as more of a milestone rather than an accomplishment though.  I’m super proud of her as always, him too, but making it through 8th grade is sort of a given.  Graduating H.S. is going to happen too, eventually, but graduating H.S. with straight A’s or getting into the school of their choice, those are accomplishments.  I’m certainly not trying to downplay this week because these are important events 🙂

He’s had a really good few days of baseball too.  I might be more excited about that than the end of school.  He caught the game ending line drive Wednesday and then today caught another pop fly in the 6th for the first out and then tossed a grounder to 1st to end the game.  IMO he should always be in the infield, but I’m not the coach 😐  Plus he’s getting hits too!

Wednesday I organized an EOY class party where we had a water balloon fight, made tie dye t-shirts (where he and I ironed on PJHS and the kids names over the weekend) and played some kickball.  Thursday they had their EOY 6th grade breakfast, although modified, where they watched the 30+ minute slideshow I created.  In the afternoon he and his whole 6th grade class celebrated with a party at the park where we went through maybe 1500 water balloons in mere minutes.  And then Thursday night she graduated 🙂  It was a short but a very memorable event.

After a covid-modified year it was nice to end things with days like these.

Thursday night she had a sleepover with friends.  They decided to go for a late night walk and lets just say they experienced a start to the summer they never imagined.  Let’s just hope they learned a little lesson because of it.

We received lots of messages for her graduation but one message in particular sort of irks me, I suppose that’s the right word. “You have exceeded everyone’s expectations”.  The rest of the message is nice and complementary, but this part raises my eyebrows.  Who is “everyone” and what sort of expectations are they referring to?  It sort of comes off rude, to me anyways.  I’m not trying to lesson the other things that were said but I probably could have gone without that sentence.  Maybe that’s another reason why texting anything where emotion can’t be easily expressed should simply not be sent.

Well I digress …

It’s hardly rained in the past few months.  Temps are in the 80’s / 90’s to start June.  Our schedule is super busy in the weeks to come.  I’m still trying to figure out my next regular employment opportunity (ever since I dropped my primary client recently for numerous things I choose not to mention here).  When do we get to go to the lake.  When will my boat finder website become a real thing?  What are all the things we’ll do this summer?

Well, it’s midnight so maybe I’ll try to go to bed?


some little things

captain fantastic, an odd but strangely moving movie I got sucked into tonight

while inappropriate at times I question whether or not it’s something the kids should watch

in time I suppose

but what emotions will it raise in them?

for me, well certainly not to the extremes of the father in the movie, I can relate

raising them as I see fit, challenges around every corner, friction with some who think they know best …

and so I decided to write

i wish I could capture every moment

to write it down on a piece of paper, stick it in a bottle, in hopes of finding and reliving the moment at a distant point in time

today we went to pick up a new bike for her

we ordered it online but I could tell she wasn’t impressed when she saw it in person

she can be shy at times, who knew, and didn’t want to explain that to the salesperson

we ended up returning it and ordering a new, more expensive one 😐

with 15 minutes before soccer practice I remind him to get his stuff ready

he points to a bunch of things and says he’s good to go

on his way out I suggest a hoodie

he ran back in, apparently couldn’t find one, and let without

he was frozen at practice

i tried

each day is like that

all these little things, most of which we will end up forgetting

like her up in her room today singing away to songs of the 80’s

and him calling me in the morning telling me his lungs are too weak to play the band recording I’ve reminded him over and over to do

Winter 2021 Covid Edition

Birthdays were a little different this year.


A few family members visited. Others sent gifts via Amazon.  Still, some we didn’t see at Christmas time and still haven’t seen since.

I think everyone here has concerns.  It would certainly help if temperatures weren’t freezing and we could do something outside.

We do our best to stay healthy but especially since some family already had covid, an older family member actually died, others are exposed often due to where they work, and social distancing with certain families is limited, we have kept our distance.

The kids have small groups of friends but it still isn’t like times should be.

They are missing out on normal activities some of which may be more obvious to me while some more so to them.

8th grade graduation will be different.  6th grade end of year activities too.  Although I’m hopeful that by May things will be so near normal that they will be able to experience most of these things.

School is half day in, half day at home.  PE, Art, Music, things like those are not the same.  The basics like Math & Science though are the in school classes.

There’s a lot of push lately by a large majority of the parents but there’s a minority that is not in support of going back to school.

I’m sure the logistics of getting back into class won’t be easy.

I’d like the kids to be back full day but I don’t want them to be more stressed.  How will activities like lunch work out?  What if a group gets sick?  What if we get sick because of that?

Nevertheless we continue as best we can …

She’s taking weekly softball lessons and he and I practice baseball.  Dance for her is of less interest.  Summer camp at Loras is on the calendar.  She’s signed up for a spring softball season.  He’s scheduled for baseball and softball.  We’re missing out on floor hockey, big bummer.

We just picked High School classes and signed up for high school summer school … YIKES!  Four more short years and we’ll be planning for graduation.

It has snowed so much recently.  Some of the most I’ve seen locally in my lifetime.  I remember 2011 though, we had a lot then too.  But this is different.  12″ a couple weeks ago and at least another 12″ on top of that this past weekend.  There’s a ton out there.  It’s crazy though, we haven’t went sleddingt ice fishing, shot a pistol & shotgun, went snowshoeing and played some pond hockey.  He enjoyed it a ton, she, well, not as much.  But it was a fun weekend of new experiences.

That’s about it for now I think 🙂

Christmas Eve 2020

Today (well prior to 11 minutes ago) is Christmas eve.

Seven months into this pandemic.

Christmas is a love hate relationship for me.

I thoroughly enjoy doing everything for the kids.

But it is exhausting.

I’m literally stressed and sweating wrapping presents.

And it’s particularly difficult to do when the kids hardly leave the house.

At around 9:30 tonight my eyes started to get heavy.

Eventually the anxiety kicked in because I definitely cannot fall asleep early on this night

So now I’m fully awake.

At least everything is done.  Probably in record time.

And despite having a teenage who decided to make her way downstairs at 11pm on the dot … tragedy fortunately avoided.

Most of my work was done before school got out.

I realized during the course of that work that there was an uneven distribution and I had to scramble last minute to fix that.

But now all is done and I’m sure they’ll have an amazing day.