#parenthood

Daddy Daughter Day

For the last 8 months, my favorite day of the week has always been what quickly became known as Daddy Daughter Day. The first few were a little nerve racking for Jenn when she had to go back to work at the end of her maternity leave as we worried about not if I could care for Tenley but what antics we would get into. At the beginning, the days consisted of lots of time receiving daddy snuggles and praying she wouldn't poop until Jenn got home. Now she is getting more and more mobile every day which allows us to get out share our fun with the world.

This week was a little different. Instead of bubbles and reading time, we decided it was a great day to give back. We started by helping a close friend prepare a couple sets of wheels for the new United Althetic chairs to be used during the Monument Avenue 10k on Saturday.  

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Then we made our way over to the 10k expo where I got to share my story and Cameron's mission with some good people. I was also able to get in a few hours of desert acclimation training on the trainer inside the sauna of the Arther Ashe Center. 

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On Saturday morning, we extended the day a few hours while Jenn ran the 10k. While waiting for her, we made our way up to the SpeakUp cheer station for a little bit. I apologize to the runners of Richmond for not cheering louder. It seems someone finally found my mute button and I'm not sad about it. 

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Lessons learned from being a lifetime Cubs fan

8 years ago Jenn and I bought our first house together. The day we closed on it there were two very important things I needed to do. The first was to propose to my best friend and pray she had lost her mind and would say yes. The second was I wanted to put up a flag pole on the porch so we could proudly display my, now our, affection of the Chicago Cubs. Ever since, we have used the flag as a way for others to locate the house as it hasn't come down since. 

As the sun rises this morning, our neighbors will once again drive past on their way to work and see the flag(s). On the surface, they think Cubs fans live there. They aren't wrong but it goes much deeper. Those flags are a symbol of a household which has been taught the lessons of loyalty, patience and hope.

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81 years ago, my great grandparents were blessed with the birth of my grandmother. From day one she was taught these lessens of life through being a Cubs fan. Later in life, she would teach her children (my mother's generation) who taught their children (my brother, sister, cousin and myself) who are now proudly teaching our children. Until this season, she was the only living family member who had seen the Cubs go to a World Series and that was when she was just 10 years old.

The day one tradition has continued in the family with my brother, sister and I all being guilty of watching a Cubs game in the hospital with our newborn children in our arms.

The day one tradition has continued in the family with my brother, sister and I all being guilty of watching a Cubs game in the hospital with our newborn children in our arms.

As a kid, we would dream like many other kids about our team winning it all. It wasn't always the easiest dream to keep alive when our team would lose 100+ games a year and be mathematically eliminated from the possiblity of reaching the postseason early in the season. What was easy as a kid who only wanted to win would have been to stomp our feet in a tantrum every year. It was also very easy to do what Grandma said to do which was to do the exact opposite of throwing a tantrum. 

From the very beginning, Grandma taught us to never give up on our team. To always be loyal and to stand by those you care about. She taught us to be patient in believing that our day would come. She taught us to say, "Next year. We will get them next year." You couldn't do the last one without truly embracing the first two with an unwavering belief in hope. 

Last night, America was treated to the finale of what will be forever remembered in baseball history as one of the most memorable World Series to have been played. Down 3-1 in a best of 7 series, the Cubs refused to give up. They refused to give up on themselves and their loyal fans. Most importantly they refused to give up on each other. They continued to believe and "Next year" became this year. Multiple generations of fans realized their childhood dream right next to the players who were celebrating on the field. The Cub also proved that Grandma wasn't crazy and the life lessens she passed on are truly worth living our lives by. 

After retiring from a career in the school system, Grandma continued watching Cubs baseball everyday but from a little closer than her living room. Her Cubs staff photo from a couple years ago. 

After retiring from a career in the school system, Grandma continued watching Cubs baseball everyday but from a little closer than her living room. Her Cubs staff photo from a couple years ago. 

It was my birthday!

Over the years, birthdays have become more meaningful for different reasons. They used to be about everyone celebrating the day the greatest birthday present for my mom came into this world. That's right, my mom and I share the same birthday and it's awesome! Now that I am old and wise(r) (at least half is correct) birthdays are about spending time relaxing with friends and family while reflecting on both the past and future. 

The weekend started off with a great ride around Lake Chesdin with my boy Quinoa. It is one of my favorite training rides and I was excited to share it with him. It included a little bit of everything, tailwinds, headwinds, a bonk and a number of signs that made us laugh.  

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On Saturday which was the actual day of birth, I started by running around town in my favorite suit. It was also the first suit I ever wore. Just kidding, I'm saving that for my 80th birthday which will be here before we know it. It was however a day full of being outside, with friends gathered around the dualing dragons while a couple of yard birds were being grilled up. No meal is complete without dessert which means someone threw some strawberries on the grill to be the topping to Jenn's awesome strawberry pound cake. 

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And because no birthday or any day is complete without baseball we got to sit field side for the Flying Squirrels game courtesy of my boy Betsy. Someone even told the Squirrels is was my birthday so they set off some fireworks after the game. You're welcome Richmond ;P

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We finished off the weekend on Sunday volunteering for a fundraiser for the Massey Cancer Center, Pedal for Petals. Our dear friend, Amy Williams organized a beautiful ride through the City of Richmond that featured stops planned out to view the different hidden gardens within the city. Due to Jenn carrying around our little miracle in her belly and not being able to ride she volunteered with some of the administrative aspects of the ride while I got to lead a group dubbed the Flamorphins. The name came about because half of the group were local triathletes with Pink Flamingos taped to their handlebars while the other half were rocking Endorphin Fitness jerseys. 

                                                       The Endorphin half of the Flamorphins

                                                       The Endorphin half of the Flamorphins

Thank you to everyone who took time out of their day this weekend to wish me a happy birthday either on Facebook, text message, phone call or in person. It was a weekend I won't soon forget! 

Instant Karma of Parenthood

The first couple of months of "parenthood" have provided Jenn and I quite the adventures and he/she won't arrive for four more months. A week from last Wednesday, Jenn and I had the opportunity to make sure Baby W was growing according to "plan" and also to find out the gender if we liked. We did like and we did find out.  

We were given a bracelet of a certain color. Blue for boy. Pink for girl. In an effort to announce the gender we each wanted to take different pictures with mine being featured in nature somehow. Last Sunday the weather was Spring like despite being a week from the official start of Spring when the weather would be winter-ish. Jenn and I leashed up the pups and started to hike towards the waterfall at the end of the creek which runs through our property.  

Jenn asked as we were heading out if I thought, snakes would be out yet because it had been warm for over a week. To be honest, I hadn't thought about it. I normally don't. Growing up playing in the woods, we didn't think about the dangers of what lay inside but we were aware of them. We woud run through them creating a ton of noise and we never had a problem. Now as I am old and almost a father, my mentality switched to that of a protector of sorts. Although, I knew full well they would be coming out very soon, I assured Jenn it would be fine.  

I took the lead and kept an eye on the trail and it's edges quite attentively. So much so, I do not really remember the hike to falls at all. We didn't see anything and arrived safe and sound. I handed Girlfriend off to Jenn so she could continue playing in the water with her brother in the creek. I kept my eye towards the trail when I saw what I was looking for the whole hike. 

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He was just a couple of feet off the trail. It reminded me how aware you need to be when you are in someone else's house. Not being a huge fan of snakes, he definitely startled me. He didn't seem to mind that I was there so I left him alone and made my way by him while giving him plenty of space. You can't tell from the picture but it looked like he had recently eaten by a bulge in his belly. He didn't move a millimeter the whole time which was another clue he was digesting.   

Climbing up on the waterfall to accomplish the main goal of the trip, I thought about the reason we were there and how awesome it will be to bring a little one down there with us in the future. I thought about how excited I was to be a father. To teach them all the things, my father taught me about being in nature. How to have fun. How to survive. "Don't eat that!" "Snake! Run!" I mentioned earlier, we received a bracelet. That bracelet became the focus point of the picture we took that day. Jenn and I are excited to announce that Lil Baby W is a ...

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After I snapped the picture we came for, I started to climb my way back down off the moss covered, water smoothed boulder and just about busted my tail. I landed very close to our new friend causing my eyes to pop out of my head in an Oh my god moment. He repayed the favor of me leaving him alone by leaving me alone. Instant karma. A lesson sure to be on the list of teachings.