May 2010 – Wine, Graduation and Accolades!

Another LRS Graduation at the Dairy Barn

May has been a fun month.  Cindy might replace “fun” with “frantic” as it seemed to have a million activities moving a million miles an hour.  I traveled more than normal.  Jax, Atlanta (stay at the Loew’s Hotel near Piedmont Park – pretty swank) and a west coast swing out to San Francisco/Seattle (I could live in Seattle – casual, bike friendly, life-filled city). Cindy got to go with me out west which added to the frenzy but also made it great.  Stewart graduated Pre-school with flying colors.  Her teachers refer to her as “eager” and “beautiful” often.  Not sure if this is teacher code for something else or if this is the highest compliment. I’m going with the latter. I’m her father, I’m allowed.  Will is 3 days from being out of the 1st grade. A “WTF” moment for me.  How does this time pass so quickly!?!? Me sounding like my parents did when I was a kid ends now (for now). He won the Math Award which made his mom and dad very proud.  At risk of sounding like Forrest Gump, “He’s so smart, Jenny.” By the way, that graveside scene makes me tear up just thinking about it. In addition to big school milestones, Cindy and I were invited to tour the wine country with friends as they celebrated a 40th birthday.  We rode in style, stretch limo which made for good times.  We definitely owe our parents huge thank yous for taking time from their schedules to support our kids while we were away and during their school endeavors. We are very lucky to have such great grandparents sharing in our kids’ lives.

Click here for the slideshow of Stewart and Will’s School Accolades

Click here for the slideshow  of our afternoon in the North Carolina Wine Country

Click here to get to videos of Stewart’s Graduation Day

Click here to get to Will’s awards day video

Click here for Charlie’s Video Playlist

Click here to see all of our pictures a la flickr.


Rainy Day, Nap-time Aspirations

It’s raining out. A lot. I like this. A lot. The kids have friends over and are playing nicely in the playroom. Cindy’s taking “quiet time” while Charlie naps and after more jet lag than one should have from traveling west to California and Washington I felt like this was the perfect time to update what has been an overly quiet blog. Rainy days make me contemplate my aspirations.  These aren’t dead-end wishes that I don’t think will ever come true.  Instead, these are ideas I have for the future.  Maybe I’ll take the idea and make it happen.  Maybe I won’t. Last night I took Cindy to see “Wicked” for her Mother’s Day present.  It was superb.  Off-topic?  Not really as I aspire to see more plays.  Not so for the opera.  “Wicked” is the exact play to inspire such an aspiration.  In fact, if I felt the way about theatre as I do about operas I would offer someone could take me to see “Wicked” and that view would change forever.  Gauntlet laid for any of you Opera lovers out there.

Seeing this great play made me aspire to write more and more better.  The creativity that went into thinking up that story blows my mind.  Such an intricate, well thought out story.  Next aspiration:  Creativity.  I aspire to make many things into more creative endeavors. Work. More pie-in-the-sky PowerPointing (did I just say this?). Fewer one page summaries.  More creative solutions to age-old problems.  Less how-did-we-solve-this-last-year answers. More creative fatherhooding. Someone send me the link to creative ideas for ways father can spend time with their kids. See what I mean? Creativity would have made wanting this link sent to me less necessary. Seriously though, send me the link in the meantime as I could use some fresh ideas.

I aspire to pay off my house early. I aspire to sell people what I bake. I aspire to take cooking classes. I aspire to ride a bike across the country. I aspire to have a place in the country.  Like the mountains. I’d settle for the foothills.  Maybe even a lot of acres near a river.  I aspire to have my “thing” again.  In College I had rowing as my thing. I could eat a dozen donuts in a sitting too.  These things differentiated me. I like different. Maybe golf was my thing after college.  Maybe kids are now.  Maybe running is too.  I fear work might be. But none of these differentiates. There are many parents out there.  Many runners. Many workaholics too.  I aspire for differentness.  Maybe it is making up words like “differentness.”  Maybe it is waiting to be found.

The rain stopped.  Charlie’s nap is nearly over. Time for doing starts again. I’ll aspire more later.

April 2010 – Weekend Road Trip!

I like to think of myself as a low-stress guy.  Those who know me well are laughing out loud right now but it doesn’t stop me from thinking this way.  The last few weeks I have let work get to me.  I am going back to the way I was before.  It shouldn’t get to me.  I care about it but I would like to work harder about not stressing about it. Anyways, one way that helped me think about it less was to escape.  We took our first road trip as a family of five to a non-grandparent location last weekend and had a great time doing very little while we were away.  You ask where we went?  Roanoke!  That’s right.  Roanoke, Virginia. Home of…uh…trains?  Maybe a home of a star atop a mountain?  Ok.  Just back from Google and they are known as the “Star City” (named after the Star on Mill Mountain) and “Capital of the Blue Ridge”.  Caution:  Segue coming.  So part of this road trip was built around a running race. The Blue Ridge Marathon. BAM!  Segue complete.
My Mom often told my Dad that vacations shouldn’t be based on his running schedule.  With this premise firmly at the forefront of my mind I approached this trip delicately.  Hotel accommodations (complete with 2-room suite to allow for reasonable baby-sleeping needs and his 6:30 bedtime) were on me.  Light coordination of traveling schedules on me as well.  Minimizing the impact of me leaving the room at 5am and returning to the finish line of a race a little before noon…on me too.  Overall, I think I pulled it off.  This gets answered not by reactions from this trip but by proving we can go on other family trips without a running race involved.  More to come here.  Click here for details of the race…
We enjoyed our time in Roanoke.  I could live there.  I say that a lot when I am in a place where I can see any kind of mountains.  The fact that this place has both Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge access only makes it that much better.  Cindy could not so the business plan on eventually moving to Roanoke has been closed.  Probably a good thing given I really do love where we live.  While there we visited the Virginia Museum of Transportation.  Cool place.  Some parts better than the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer and some parts worse.  The better was the model train set in a Roanoke setting.  The train yard was cool too.  Alejandro’s Mexican Grill in Downtown was pretty spectacular.  Maybe I was hungry after the run but who doesn’t love a salsa bar?  Our family ate 3 bags of chips and I honestly could have walked out content.  The actual menu food was very good too…not 10 salsas to choose from good, but good.
All said, a fun trip.  The kids got to spend time in a “condo” as they call it, swam in a pool that was different than the one they normally swim in, eat out 5 meals in a row and stay up until 8:30pm.  Outside of Cindy and I finding ourselves reading at 9pm in the bathroom sink area while the kids slept it was a time of good memory and fun.
Also unrelated – we have this great photographer Jamie that we use.  Her company is called Oasis Photography and she will meet you anywhere, takes some pictures and then 2-3 weeks later she leaves you with CDs of the pictures for you to develop/distribute any way you like.  Her stuff is amazing.  Her price is right. We HIGHLY recommend her.
Check out the pictures Jamie at Oasis Photography took of us here.

Click here for a slideshow of our family trip to Roanoke.

Click here for a slideshow of Stewart on 2 wheels.

Click here for Charlie’s Video Playlist

Click here to see all of our pictures a la flickr.