A couple of observations

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A real quick post about some recent observations:

  1. You gotta play the games: This past weekend was divisional games in the NFL championships.  Baltimore was the favorite to represent the AFC and they got beat handedly by a wildcard Tennessee Titans. On paper this should have been a lamb being led to the slaughter.  How many times have we seen this.  Analytics have their place in sports, but there is the human element and sometimes an underdog just plays better that day.
  2. I know I have said it time and time again, but being sick SUCKS.  I have the worlds worst chest cold and my abs hurt from coughing so much. I DIDN’T even realize I had abs!
  3.  Sometimes running into an old friend is the GREATEST! It can totally make your day.  We were grocery shopping last night and ran into one of our little guys’ old baseball coach and his family.   They are an absolute treat and it is an honor and privilege to call them friends. This guy was my assistant coach for two seasons of AYSO soccer and we adore the entire family.
  4.  We still haven’t seen Star Wars and it is KILLEN’ ME!!  I want to know how it ends and be able to read some of the breakdowns and reviews (I am still trying to keep away from them so I can try to be surprised at some of the twists and turns).
  5. #millenniallifecrisis wrote a great post about other blogs and that the number of followers does not indicate whether a blog is good or bad.  Sometimes I beat myself up over the number of followers I have (or don’t have) but she is RIGHT. its about the enjoyment I get from doing this, not the number of likes or follows I have. Now I just wish I could stop obsessing over the Stats page!

 

Thanks for continuing to follow and read my rants, observations and stories.

Goals,Goals,Goals

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Everyone’s talking goals.  Whether it be weight loss, gym memberships or just peace of mind, you can’t watch television, listen to the radio or read a magazine without seeing something about goals.  I have made it no secret that I cannot stand the term ‘resolution’ in multiple posts.  Last year at this time I was in a discipleship program through my church where we had to set some goals.  these goals weren’t just you usual “I want to save more” or “I want to be a better person’.  These goals were specific and dealt with different aspects of your life.   Social, spiritual, vocational, marital, physical and more.  These helped you make real goals, not just blanket statements.  So I set a series of goals and shared a couple of them here.

Well, as you know, I accomplished this one, but struggled a little with the others.  I did NOT run six events in 2019, I actually missed two that I really LOVE to run every year and it really felt weird not running in them.  I did make a couple of strides towards improving my health, but I am re-upping my commitment in 2019.

So what are my plans for 2020? I have already shared a couple:

1) Improve my health, try to run at least once a week.  I am making different decisions with what I am eating, however, the running cannot get started just yet, I have the world’s worst chest cold and can’t run, let alone take multiple breaths without coughing up part of one of my lungs.

2) I set a new writing goal.  last year I said 104. this year I am adding one additional post a month, for a total of 116.  This is a totally attainable goal.

3) I love to read.  I mean really love it.  I have not made time to read in a loooong time.  I am setting a goal to read 12 books in 2020.  There are no rules around the books. they can be 90 pages or 500 pages. I just have to stop staring at the television and make smarter choices with my time.

Well, there you have it.  I set three goals in 2019, hit one (maybe 1.5) of the three, I hope that I will have a better time with this group. There are more goals, but I am just sharing these three.  If I get crazy I may share others but these three are good ones to start with.

So it is time for reader participation.  Have you set a goal for 2020 that you can share? Did you set goals in 2019 that you achieved? That you crashed and burned?  Please share in the comments section.  And please follow if you haven’t already, I would love to double my readership in 2020!!!

The first great adventure of 2020 (SNOW(meh))

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Our little guy goes to a year round school .  As a result we have extended breaks and a shortened summer.  One of the joys of the extended breaks is being off cycle of everyone else and not having to deal with overcrowded resorts or events.  We took advantage of this last week by going up to the snow at Big Bear lake.

OK, let me start this off by talking a little about snow.  I grew up in the Midwest with some rather gnarly winters (including a HUGE Blizzard when I was a small child).  I have memoires of getting stuck, shoveling, slipping and falling, just a miserable time with the awful white death.  Living in Southern California you travel TO THE SNOW, you are not stuck in it for months.  So as you can imagine, my urge to go to the snow is not exactly overwhelming.  Those memes you see on social media about the best part about winter snow is watching the news reports about it from California?  Yep, that’s me.  If I never placed a foot in snow again I would be okay with that.

HOWEVER, when you have a child who has a real desire to go play in the snow, and constantly asks “dad, why do you not want to go to the snow?”, you eventually put your feelings behind and go to the snow. DAD TIP: It is NEVER as bad as you remember, put your memories behind you and experience it through their eyes.   So after many excuses and stalling, we booked a trip to Big Bear lake.

And you know what?   It didn’t suck.

Now we did have some pretty optimal weather.  The roads were clear.  So we were spared some of the worst parts of the winter weather.  Big Bear lake is up, up, up a mountain.  The drive up is long and wind-y and there are some pretty long drops on the other sides of the guardrails.  The views are AMAZING!  I really wish I were a little more comfortable and able to enjoy the views a bit more, but my focus was on the winding single lane roads ahead. We did stop at one of the turnabouts to take in the view and snap a picture or three.

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Then we arrived.  Big Bear Lake is beautiful; filled with cabins and covered in snow.  As I mentioned above the roads were cleared and the snow had been trampled down by previous revelers.  There was still quite a bit of it around.

 

We checked into our cabin that was just a hop, skip and a jump away from the lake.  I mean we literally walked 300 yards and we were at the edge of the water.   It was very…  Quiet.  Which was THE BEST.   The first day we walked along the lake, threw chunks of ice and snow on the frozen lake to see if we could get them to break through the ice (we got a couple break through that were close the edge, but the ice was pretty solid and most just skipped across the top). There were a couple of sled ramps that we used as well.  We did a little shopping to get supplies and grabbed dinner.  That first night was COLD and we did not want to get out of our nice warm beds in the morning.   We got up and going and decided to go tubing.  We went to a local tubing park that had all day passes to get the most fun for our buck.

 

We had a GREAT time tubing, racing each other down the hills (the little guy got a really fast tube, and won most of the time!).  After we wrapped up our tubing adventures for the day, it was back to the Cabin to clean up and grab dinner.   As we arrived to the resteraunt, there was a group of 25 people who came in at the same time!!!  Although we rushed our order in to get in front of that group, we somehow ended up waiting a LOOOONG time to get our food.  The plan was after dinner to do a little bowling, but by the time we got to the bowling alley (which was real close to where our cabin was) there was a wait. So bowling will have to wait ’til another day.

After a much warmer night in the cabin (I came to my senses and put a sheet at the base of the door, stopping a lot of cold air from getting into our cabin) we got up and packed our stuff up for the trip home.  We went into big bear lake village and walked around, picked up a couple of tee shirts for the little guy and eventually headed home.  It was a great quick getaway for us. Just far enough out to feel like we were really getting away, but not too far either.  We have plans to go back next month with some friends who own a cabin up there.  It should be a great time!!!

 

So a couple of points to make.  First, I went to the snow and it was not as awful as I  thought it would be.  At one point I looked at newmom and said ‘this trip is for him, not us’ and I meant it.  Newmom mentioned to me before the trip that I would be writing this very post saying that I had a great time (I am and I did) but she knows how I really may be disingenuous because I really, really really don’t care for the snow.  That is true, I live somewhere where there is very little chance it will ever snow, and I am quite okay with not going.  But even with those sentiments, I did have a great time, put my disdain aside and spent a couple of days experiencing something through a different sets of eyes, both newmoms and the little guys.  This does not make me a big fan of snow, but maybe, just maybe it doesn’t suck as much as I remember.

I hope this is just the first of many great adventures waiting for us in 2020!!

 

The title…

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A quick post about the title of this blog.   Today I was listening to a podcast a friend of mine puts on about music.  I follow this podcast along with others and also visit the companion website.   On their social media page they asked for what their viewers/listeners thought were some of the best music of 2019.  I shared this post  on a couple of my favorites from 2019.  In the podcast my friend said “and listener Will put up a link to his blog called newdadintraining even though his kid is like, 19 or something like that”.  I had a good hard laugh at the comment but it did make me think about the title of this blog.  Am I still a ‘newdad’?  While I continued to attempt to unbury myself from an avalanche of e-mail (I have been out for a few days) I pondered that thought in my head.

Now I did not obsess over it, just though about the appropriateness of the title of the blog.  When I started this adventure, I was truly a ‘new dad’ and I was running and training for races/events regularly.  Our little guy is now seven and will turn eight in April, not exactly ‘new’ now, is it?  I pretty much have not only fallen off the running bandwagon but seem to have rolled off the road, down a hill and into a deep vast canyon of inactivity.  I have not run a race since May 2019.  I have made a commitment to my overall health and set a goal to run at least once a week for the entire year so I would be ‘training’ again to shed the pounds and improve my overall health.  Who knows, I may actually register for a race or three in 2020.

So my conclusion is this.  The title of this blog will remain as is, no matter how old our little (or not so little) guy is.  There will ALWAYS be new experiences as he grows and develops into the man he is meant to be.   I will always face new challenges as a dad/father when it comes to him.  The physical training?  That all depends on how disciplined and focused I can be.

Although I know there was not an once of malice in my friends comment, we tease each other relentlessly, it did make me stop and think.  And as a friend, isn’t that one of the best things you can do for each other?

Here are a couple of links to their stuff (it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I do enjoy listening and hearing their ‘biased and unqualified’ take on music).

Podcast: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-ringing-ear-podcast

Website: http://killboringmusic.com/

I have a cold… Again!

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It feels like I just got over being sick. There have been so many people sick at work it’s nearly impossible to not catch something.

So congested, coughing and sinus pressure for one please. Oh yeah there’s the sneezes as well.

But I am not letting it win. We are currently on an adventure. Details coming soon.

2020, off we go!

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It’s always strange, the start of each new year. In the past when we wrote more checks it was a given that you would mess up the date as you wrote checks in January. Now that we have automated many payments, that has been reduced.

ABC has had a nighttime need program called 20/20 referring to perfect vision. It has a whole new meaning this year.

The year of the double Hamilton (I’ll let you figure that one out) is here. Time to start thinking about goals (aka resolutions) and the year ahead. To be honest I am always mindful of the future, you kind of have to be when you are a parent. So I will only share one at this time

My first goal for 2020 is to maintain the momentum I started in 2019 and to write 116 posts. That’s one extra per month than last years 104.

Well, here’s to 2020. I just have a feeling it’s going to be an amazing year!

2019, wait, it’s over!?!!!?

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How quickly the years seem to pass.  Case in point, tomorrow we will be in a new year! And kicking off a new decade.  It really feels like yesterday (or maybe last week) we piled in the car and drove up to Pasadena to watch my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes play in the Rose Bowl.

2019 was bookended with good-byes. The day after celebrating an Ohio State victory, we were off to Arizona to say goodbye for the last time to newmoms cousin who was killed in an auto accident. Our friend Satan passed away as well in January. As the year wrapped up, both newmom and I lost members of our family.  Newmom lost her great uncle and my great aunt Barbara passed away in December.

I continued to build on my faith and wrapped up a two year discipleship program through our church.   My faith continues to be a very important aspect of my life and I will continue to explore it and see where the spiritual road leads me.

The little guy.  Oh my, where to begin.  He has continued to grow like a weed.  He completed the FIRST grade and after a short break, we started Second Grade!! (how is that possible, I am sure it was last Tuesday that we brought him home from the hospital)! We had a couple of amazing adventures with the scouts and new scout friends!  We experienced some highs and lows with baseball and for the first time he played flag football!  He continues to amaze (and sometime infuriate) both newmom and I.

Another highlight for me in 2019 is right here.  The Blog.  I set a goal and made a commitment to rededicate myself to sharing our experiences and work on writing and I accomplished that goal and more!  It has been great to see the analytics for the year and it will be quite the shock when we roll into the new year and the number reset to zero (I will have to make 2020 even stronger than 2019 was!).  I really like writing this and creating a history for the little guy to have someday in the future, when he is ready.   Shortly after the new year, I will publish some new goals for the new decade.

As we enter the final hours of the 2010’s  I look back on them with great fondness.  I have become a father and continue to be a husband, both of which are the greatest experiences of my life (so far).  This next year marks some pretty monumental milestones for me and family and I can’t wait to experience them all, and share them with you (or at least, the sharable parts!).

Thank you 2019, you were pretty good to the newdad family.

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On to 2020!!!

 

Instagram life

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I will start this post with a couple of shout outs to fellow bloggers who have written about this very subject (and the countless others whose blogs I don’t know). Mother of one on the run (lovingly referred to as MOOTR in my blog) and #milleniallifecrisis who has even started double captioning her Instagram posts (more on that below). They have written about the ‘instagram life’ that I will get further into now.

What inspired me to talk about perception versus reality was a conversation in the car. Newmom and I were talking about something or someone we knew and I said something about the ‘Instagram life’.  The little guy asked ‘whats Instagram life?’.  That is a really great question little man…

…Instagram life is your best foot forward in everything and anything you share on social media.  You never have a bad hair day, there is never a blemish on your skin.  Your make up is always perfect.  Everyone is smiling and posing with the best possible light and no one has a ‘bad’ side.  Your home is always immaculate and organized and every meal you eat looks like it was created by a 5 star chef.

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But its an illusion.   Not everyone has a perfectly manicured lawn.  Not everyone smiles all the time.  People have bad days.  What you don’t know about that perfect selfie is there were multiple other pictures that were painfully reviewed and picked over before choosing the one that ends up on social media.  That perfect family phot was actually the 12th attempt and at least one person lost their mind by take #8.  As I mentioned above, #milleniallifecrisis has gone as far as doing a double caption on each of her Instagram posts, one for “Instagram life” and another that is a little more realistic (one of my favorites was a beautiful winter pic where the reality caption mentioned that it was one of the coldest days she has ever experienced!).

 

AND WE EAT IT UP.   There are people with thousands, tens and hundreds of thousands of followers.   People who get paid by companies to just wear a certain brand or have their product in one of these people’s posts.  There are people who get upset and depressed because of the perceived “perfect’ lives others are living in this social media lens.  The trick is teaching the little guy that everything we see on Instagram and Facebook and whatever other social media sites we are looking at is not always reality.  To teach him to resist FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

So much easier written than done.  Envy is so real.  There is a reason it is a deadly sin.

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I experience it myself.  more often than I would care to admit.   I too am guilty of pouring over multiple copies of the same pose looking for the most flattering.  Of only wanting to post about the good, because trust me, there are plenty of moments that aren’t great.  It will take a lot of self discipline to be able to teach our little guy about perception versus reality.  But I feel this might be one of the most important lessons newmom and I will teach him.  Especially in this social media driven culture we are living in today.

Thank you all for reading and your continued support of this blog.  Please follow if you haven’t already.   And please leave a comment.  I would love to hear about your own experiences with social media. 

Maria Maria

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New life.   What a blessing it is.  This year Newmoms brother was blessed with an addition.  A beautiful little girl they named Maria.  Maria was born in November and made her first real appearance on Christmas day.  It was a very full house and that little girl was passed around to so many different people!!  She was very quiet and such a little blessing to see.  There is a four year difference between Maria and the previously youngest cousin in the family, so it has been a little bit since we have had an infant around.  Its so easy to forget how little they truly are when your little guy is outgrowing clothes almost as fast as we are buying them (or blowing out the knees)!!

Last night we hung out over at newmom’s brothers place and we got a little more alone time with the Baby.  Newmom was in HEAVEN!  Just looking over and seeing her holding little Maria brought back memories of just stopping and watching her with our little guy when he was an infant.   She has always been the most compassionate warm caring women I have ever known and seeing her holding and caring for Maria reminds me why she is so special to me!  Getting to hold Maria also reminded me of how fragile those little babies are and makes me realize the miracle of life.

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Psalm 127:3 reads ‘Children are a gift from the Lord…’ and that is so remarkably true.   When I think about the abundance of blessings in my life, Newmom and the little guy are tops on the list.

Maria, welcome to the family.  Its loud at times, chaotic at times but filled with love, which we all have for you.