Sunday, January 04, 2015

Christmas Season

Christmas lights this year.  I decided to only put lights on the house and leave them off the trees.  I think it gave a cleaner look.

Sitting with Santa.  Will and Jack were VERY nervous.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2015 Goals and 2014 Results

2014 Results:

  • No Snacking: FAIL - I followed this goal very closely for 1 month, quite closely for the next 6 months, and very loosely for the last 5 months. By the end of the year my meal times had expanded to hours long and I was eating terribly.  I was going to say this goal was a mild success until I re-read my clarifications and exceptions and realized I broke most of my rules after the first month even thought I stayed relatively true to 3-meals-a-day.
  • Drink 64 oz of water per day: SHORT SUCCESS - I did this through May, but gave it up after realizing how annoying it was with no clear benefits.  The exercise did motivate me to do a better job overall of making sure to have a few glasses of water a day.
  • Read 10 books: FAIL - probably only 2 or 3.
In 2014 I had 8 months of a work crisis that influenced my 2014 goals.  I believe it also helped me mature and manage my life to maximize family time when I wasn't at work. Part of the maturity was realizing that these annual goals have done little to improve my health or life.  They were fun little hobbies with limited benefit.  I realized that no single "rule" or exercise can make me healthy and happy.  It takes a balanced and disciplined life.  Therefore...

2015 Goals: NONE

Friday, December 19, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween pictures from this year.  The 3 big kids made it all the way around the neighborhood.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Outer Banks North Carolina

Way back in June we took an amazing trip with the Veldhof family to Outer Banks North Carolina.  It is basically a thin strip of land that runs along the coast with lots of large houses to rent.  We were a block from the Atlantic ocean and 4 blocks from the intercoastal near the town of Duck.

The house was awesome.  We had 2 days of very high surf and 4 days of intense heat which was perfect for the ocean and pool.

We went on a pirate adventure for the kids one of the days.

On the drive out to North Carolina we stopped at Hocking Hills State Park near Columbus, OH.  The terrain was very unique rock formations including caves and waterfalls.  There were 6 main hikes of about 1 mile each that the kids powered through over the course of 24 hours.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Crazy Life

If anyone is still watching you'll know I haven't posted for almost 5 months!  Here is a quick snapshot of my life since the last post.

  • Chaos at work since December on a key quality issue and several new products
  • 4 little kids that are wonderful but time consuming balls of energy
  • Family trip for 10 days to North Carolina
  • Helping my parents move to the west side 
  • Week and the cottage
  • 10th annual (and likely final) PLT.  Paul finally broke the all time record going under 1:20.  I am OK with it.  He earned it.
  • 2 weeks camping in Grand Haven
  • 4 day work trip to Belgium 
  • 10 day trip to California - Sequoia National Park, Yosemite National Park, and San Francisco.
  • Lots of cottage weekends
= a blazing fast summer.  

"Diving Board" foot dangle on Half Dome

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Florida 2014

It was one of the best Florida weeks I can remember. The weather was great and the kids are really getting to an age where we can enjoy everything.

Florida Memories:
  • Wesley happily crawling around with a lot of personality. His crawl has swagger.
  • Wesley eating sand and getting face fulls of sand and not being bothered by it.
  • Evie swam all the time. She would spend all afternoon in the pool
  • 2 Manatees parked in front of our dock all day one day. Saw them many times over the course of 4 hours.
  • Jack motoring around the pool with his life jacket on. Will typically playing by the side or needing to be held in the pool.
  • Jack turning into a fish. On Thursday he swam for about 2.5 hours straight. Typical Jack he was in and out of the pool a million times but swimming for large portions of it. Of course he never stopped giving his commentary.
  • Evie’s birthday celebration on 4/10 (Thurs) included cake and presents.  Evie received an Elsa dress that Erin made and “Frozen” DVD.
  • A lady gave us a kite the last evening at the beach. Evie let go once and I had to sprint down the beach to save it. Evie let go a second time and some girls were in the right spot to save it. Both boys flew it for a while but I tied it around their waist.
  • Perfect sunsets on Thursday and Friday.
  • Jumping waves in the ocean.
  • Taking the kids out in to the serf and going up and down with the waves.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


We had an absolutely fantastic day at Magic Kingdom last week.  It was a marathon as we left our condo before 6:00 am and returned home at 2:00 am.  The park was mobbed but we managed to keep our wait times under 45 minutes for every ride.  The kids had a great day but were so tired by 10:30 that they basically passed out in our arms and in the stroller. 

I didn't tell Evie what space mountain really was before we went on the ride because I didn't want her to back out.  She did well but didn't want to go on it again.

 The Barnstormer roller coaster was a favorite. The boys could ride it and wanted to do it again all day but we never got back to it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


It has been a LONG winter.  The boys are ready for the outdoors again.  This should be a great summer.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Chicago Day

I turned a short Chicago work trip into an overnight family vacation.  We stayed at the Embassy Suites (highly recommended) in downtown and had an exhausting but excellent 30 hours in Chicago.  Our activities in order:
  1. McDonalds for lunch
  2. Swimming in the hotel
  3. Rain Forest Cafe for Dinner
  4. Cocktails at the hotel (free)
  5. More swimming
  6. Bed
  7. Big continental breakfast
  8. Subway
  9. American Girl Store and Lego Store
  10. Cheesecake Factory for Lunch
  11. Chicago Zoo (free)

The kids loved the view from our 11th floor room.  

Evie, William, and Jack shared a double bed.  As expected there were some problems.  Will was moved to our bed to fall asleep because someone kept pulling covers away from him (he was doing it to himself), Jack & Evie needed several reprimands, and Jack was upside down by the time we went to bed.  

The Zoo was far better than I expected. The lions, tiger, gorillas, polar bear, and hippo were active and very interactive.   

 The kids were impressed by the size of the McDonalds.  It was 2 stories with service on both levels.
The subway was a highlight. For boys that love trains it was awesome to ride one.  
 Evie renewed her interest in American Girl Dolls after seeing all of them in one place.