2022-06-19 Father’s Day

Woken up early. Margaret happy dad’s day. Gruffalo Hike. Costco while Norah napped. Norah overtired.

Father’s Day 2022 started off early this morning with Margaret coming in shortly before 6, giving me a big hug and saying “Happy Dad’s Day!” She’s so sweet.

I had planned to make pancakes but we were out of the mix, so breakfast was just boring stuff like oatmeal and toast. After breakfast, we went for a hike at the Bluffs loop, aka the Gruffalo hike. It’s the same loop I do on my mountain bike on the weekends.

Three of my favorites.
This girl is wonderful but I don’t think she knows just how wonderful she is.

Norah started to fade towards the end of the hike and we knew we had to get home for her to nap. She barely napped at all yesterday, after all. I put her down for a nap while Bethany took the other three kids to Costco as we were desperately low on food. About five minutes after I put her down, I heard Norah starting to fuss in her bed and her fussing continued for the next 45 minutes or so. She never ended up napping…

Elapsed Time Moving Time Distance Average Speed Max Speed Elevation Gain Calories Burned

Sometime in the afternoon, this day took a turn for me and I don’t know why. I’m pretty much ruined my own Father’s Day. I started to get very angry and was just mean to the kids over even very small things. It started when they were unable to pick up the basement without terrorizing each other and my mood just descended from there. I’m quite embarrassed about how I acted and how I treated the most important people in the world to me.

I apologized to the kids and to Bethany and they all forgave me, of course, but I haven’t forgiven myself.

2022-06-18 Trip to Breckenridge

Today we went up into the mountains to Breckenridge with some friends. It was a beautiful day up there – the temperature was just slightly cool and perfect for playing outdoors. It would have been nice to see more sun, however, as it was overcast for most of the day. But better the day we had than overly hot with the sun beating down on us.

We took off from our house around 8:20am and we were in Breckenridge by shortly before 10:00am. It’s amazing how such a short drive can get you so high up into the mountains. The kids didn’t think it was a short drive, though. They were asking the whole time if they could watch something on their tablets – almost made me lose my mind.

Our first hiking stop was the Breckenridge Troll which was a really neat piece of art made out of recycled wood.

Then we just hiked around some trails in the area. The kids did great and even Norah tried hiking a bit. She went back and forth between wanting to walk, wanting to be carried, wanting to be carried by Mom, wanting to be carried by Dad, wanting to ride in the backpack, etc. But considering it was coming on her nap time and she wasn’t going to be napping anytime soon, she did just great.

Hiking and exploring nature with friends.
Nature girl in the making.

After our hike, we rode the Breckenridge gondola up to the ski resort. The kids were excited at first and then terrified when it stopped shortly after we got on and left us dangling by a cable many feet off the ground. It stopped two more times before we reached the top, and Jack and Margaret wanted to either jump out or get out before we had reached our destination. It turns out they do that when someone is in a wheelchair or is having difficulty with a baby stroller, but we didn’t know that at the time. I, trying to lighten the mood, blamed it on our friend Mr. Kirk. He and his family were only two cars behind us and is he, being very, very tall, naturally must have caused some disruption. (Side story – when our kids want to express just how tall something is, they compare it to Mr. Kirk. He’s a unit of measure around our house. “Dad, how many Mr. Kirks is that?”)

Bethany and Norah on the gondola ride.

At the ski resort, we got lunch. We paid $100 for what was in no way more than $25 worth of food, but such is it at an expensive resort where you’re kind of captive if you didn’t bring your own food. Shortly after lunch there was a warning that a storm might be rolling in which would cause the gondola to stop operating, so we went right back down. The storm never materialized.

It was a great day with family and friends and I’m counting this as an early Father’s day outing. A day with the family is my favorite kind of day.

2022-06-17 Our First Summer Pool Time!

This week has been very busy for me at work, and today was no exception. I also spent almost two hours on the phone with my health insurance company because they incorrectly charged me emergency room co-pays for what should have been urgent care co-pays. I just love private health insurance – our country really has this figured out, not like the rest of the developed world and their socialized medicine.

My day at work was productive but boring to write about.

The day started out well. Friday is our trash pickup day, and Norah has started to really enjoy watching the garbage trucks. And today was doubly exciting because it was also recycling day! We went outside still in PJs so that Norah could watch the big trucks.

Pointing while making her “ooh. ooh” sounds. This girl is precious.

After that excitement, I went off to row which felt good, like it always does, but was hard, like it always is. Today we did a few distance pieces and on the first one, I got something like 800 meters in 3 minutes, which I’m pretty proud of.

When I went down to work, Bethany took the kids to story time at the library. She tells me it’s so cute to watch because the big kids get into it too and do all of the clapping or singing right along with Norah.

She posted something really beautiful about this on her Instagram today.

Then they played out on the playground outside of the library. There is also a stream for kids to go wading in. Bethany sent me this picture and it just warmed my heart. Louisa, Margaret and Jack all have their unique ways of interacting with Norah and caring for her and loving on her. They are very affectionate with her and it’s just wonderful to see.

My three girls

After work, we made a quick trip to the pool where we met some neighbor friends. It was hot and sunny until we pulled into the parking lot, when thick clouds covered the sun. We still enjoyed our time in the pool, but the slight breeze and no sun made it pretty cold when you got out of the pool. Then it was dinner right when we got home and right to bed for all the kids. Tomorrow we are heading up to Breckenridge with some friends for a day of hiking and hanging out. We’re all excited and need our rest.

2022-06-16 Thursday

Grandma left today and the kids were sad, obviously. I love that the kids got to spend some good time with her, especially considering we’re not going back to Michigan this summer like we have for the past few years.

Today was another work day for me but Bethany had her usual very busy day with the kids. In the morning she took the kids to a local park to play.

This girl loves her swings.

And during Norah’s nap, she helped them make a lemonade stand and boy, was it a hit! They were out for something like an hour and they made over $50! That’s way more money than I had expected them to make. Bethany used this as an opportunity to teach them about running a business and made them pay her (their employee, after all) $6 so that a) the rest of the money would divide evenly between the kids and b) she could buy herself a nice coffee from Starbucks. Bethany has a thing for Starbucks, in case you didn’t know.

Grandma made it to her overnight destination in eastern Nebraska in something like 8 hours which seems like incredible time when you compare it to traveling with 4 kids. It feels like that same drive would take us over 10 hours easily with stops for food, bathroom, just to stretch our legs, etc.