Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thankful Thursday: "Our Disease" & Pocket

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I’m thankful for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. What a delightful way to raise funds for a cause. I know some people love it and some people hate it, but I say, if you’re raising funds and awareness through something fun, you’re doing something right. I also know there’s been talk of starting one (in some form) within the CF community, but I think us rare disease communities need to stick together. It’s their time to shine!! I’m thankful for the generosity and fun-spirit being shown through the campaign and the millions raised!

I’m thankful that “our disease” is CF. Go with me on this one for a minute. We often see our challenges as huge. CF is a gnarly disease. There is a lot of headaches and heartbreaks that it causes. But when I read about ALS and watch videos of people with ALS my heart breaks, and I can’t help but feel blessed that our family’s disease is just CF. It really puts our daily struggles in perspective! 

I’m thankful for a kind and loving daughter. Tuesday when we picked Mckenna up from school we got the report that she wasn’t a good listener while there. We did all the typical parent things: talked to her about her behavior, coached her up before school today, I even created a good listening sticker chart for some good old positive reinforcement. Well when we went to pick her up today, I stopped at the front desk (where the timeout chair is located) and asked if Mckenna had visited today. I found out she had not, but that the receptionist actually secretly loves when she does because she’s “a doll” and “so sweet". On the way out the door, we happened to see the school’s owner and director and chatted a minute. She proceeded to tell us how loving and friendly Mckenna is to everyone…not a bad reputation for being a month in. As a mom, my heart broke to hear she was naughty earlier in the week by not listening (and even requesting timeout…that little control monger)…something the teacher had mentioned another time or two in the past. Of course my mommy-side kicks in. I worry about how she will do in school. I picture what it would be like if she was the dreaded kid in a class. I understand that that’s all a little premature, but I’m a mom, so I worry! Ha! But man am I thankful for the feedback we received today. If Mckenna is strong-willed and not a great listener from time to time, but is ultimately known for being loving, kind and friendly to everyone, I will feel pretty good about the human she’s become :)

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for beef jerky. I've been focused on eating more protein lately and you can pack quite a bit of protein without an absurd amount of calories with dried meat. I like that I can pick at it and also let it set in my mouth to really taste the flavor. Actually, when I eat it, it kind of looks like I'm chewing tobacco because I often store it in my lower lip!   

I'm thankful for YouTube. Mckenna has something called "Wee Worship" at her school that she absolutely loves. They direct the school through interactive worship songs and most of the kid seem to really enjoy it. She enjoys it so much, that she requests to sing the same songs at home and do all of the hand motions. Mommy and Daddy do not know the lyrics, music or the hand movements. YouTube has us covered!! Mckenna has enjoyed "practicing" her singing voice in the comfort of her own home lately.

I'm thankful for Pocket. I'm not a big book reader, but I do like reading articles. I often come across articles that look very interesting, but don't have the time to read them when I see them. Pocket allows me to push a button that saves the article to one central place and even lets me access it without internet or phone service available! I generally hammer through as many articles as I can when I'm trying to wind down for bed. Pocket makes it easy.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I rarely write blogs and think about the fact that people I see in everyday life may read them. I write and send it out to cyberspace, and then, a friend of mine mentions something about the blog, and I think, "oh shoot, people I actually have to talk to face to face read some of my inner-most thoughts and idiotic statements." This is one of those blogs I actually thought about before-hand, and thought, shoot, if these people read it, they may be creeped out...but I think it's an important one, so I'll write it anyways. If you read this Heather and Therace, I'm sorry. I'm a creeper. A major, major creeper.

It's hard for even the most driven and motivated people to stay driven and motivated in the gym all the time. Especially in mommy-world! You're up in the night with kiddos. Your "alarm clocks" don't have a snooze button. Your little buddy(ies) rarely let you pee alone, let alone rest on the couch if you're feeling sleepy. Non-parents have it just as bad. Work is crazy. Relationships are crazy. Social lives are crazy. Shoot, for most of us, if not all of us, we would like another few hours in our days. Exhaustion creeps in...and if you're anything like me, it really creeps into my workouts.

I usually can pull myself into the gym knowing that I will have more energy after the workout. But many days I am not motivated (nor do I have the energy) to push myself quite as hard as I should to get the most out of my hour at the gym.

Enter: My gym-spiration.

There are a couple women in my life that are beasts...and I mean this in the best of ways. They are the kind of women who walk down the street and you think to yourself, "Are they a professional athlete? At the very least a fitness model?!" They aren't just thin. They are the women who look like they just left a hard workout and are headed home to juice something and eat a piece of raw steak with a side of kale. You know the type...ripped, but not too ripped. Skinny, but not too skinny. They look like they work hard. And like they could probably kick the butt of any man at the gym, on their worst day...asleep.

The first of which was Mckenna's swim teacher. The other is a trainer at our gym. Both of which I have befriended and adore because they are even more beautiful on the inside than their well-toned gams. They are both (even though they don't know it...until they read this incredibly creepy post about them in the internet) my inspiration. They are fit, healthy, and work really, really hard to be that way. When I workout with them, I push myself harder because a) I don't want to look like a punk and b) I want to be more like them.

These are the people I like to surround myself with on a lazy day at the gym.

I can't tell you the difference having a motivational workout buddy can make. Of course, Ronnie is motivating in his own right, and we have a blast in the gym. But I can look like Lazy McLazyson around him and not be embarrassed. It literally has transformed my workouts to do workouts with, or take a class from, women who are truly inspiring!!

If you have been feeling a bit lax in your workouts or unmotivated, this would be my one piece of advice. Well, ok, I have a second key piece to go along with it...if you find that person, just befriend them, but don't exactly mention why initially...I think it may sound super creepy...especially for a dude. Although, on second thought, who doesn't like a little stroke to the old ego from time to time? Precede with caution there ;-) But seriously, find someone. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Be a Model Today!

Reading Mandi's blog yesterday got me thinking about the different things that I'm loving about Mckenna right now. I could of course go on and on and devote an entire blog, not just a single post, to this, but I thought I'd try a unique breakdown to highlight what I'm digging. I'll give you a big macro thing I love about her, a micro thing and something that probably gets overlooked and I may take for granted, but I absolutely love.

Big picture:
I'm often asked about one big thing I love about parenting and my answer has been the same for over a year or so now. I absolutely love to watch Mckenna's personality and character develop. Each day that passes, not only do I see her as my daughter, but I see her more and more as a unique and individually gifted and talented little human. Her likes and dislikes. Her quirks and mannerisms. Her little problem solving brain. The more I see, the more I like. I feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to play a role in her little life. To think that I'm able to have some influence on the person she will become is not only an honor, but it is of course humbling.

She cheeses so hard.

It can quickly become an exercise on self-improvement.

Why should she say "please" and "thank you" all the time but Daddy does not? Do I need to develop better manners? If I run out of patience waiting in a check out line, should I be all that surprised when she starts acting like a crazy woman in the store? If I'm not willing to try new things, or work hard to figure out a solution to my problem, how is she going to learn how important that is in life?

I feel a huge sense of responsibility to show Mckenna what a good person looks like, and with that in the back of my mind, it has no doubt made me a better person.

Small Picture:
I love her jokes. Don't get me wrong, her jokes aren't funny, but she laughs and so do I. And, she doesn't just blabber on trying to make me laugh, she really thinks about two things she can put together that don't fit, or a scenario that seems outrageous, and delivers it in a joke format to make me laugh. I've always thought it was important to put a smile on people's faces through humor, and a great personality trait, so I'm thankful that she's taken a liking to it. Take my word for it, I didn't land her Mommy because I'm good looking.

Something I probably overlook:
I love how kind-hearted Mckenna is. She has a genuine care for others and always seems distressed when others are in pain or crying. She's quick to say "I'm sorry" and is always interested in how she can make others feel better. Mandi is the same way and does a great job of modeling a caring heart. It's also definitely something I need to work on. I'm not mean-spirited by any means, but I don't have a "it's my job to make sure everyone is okay and happy" mentality. As a child, I think it's important to lean towards that end of the spectrum as opposed to the "it's all about me" syndrome. I'm very fortunate to have a partner that is strong where I am weak. I can only pray that I model good character traits as well as my wife does!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekend Camping Recap

This weekend we went camping about 3 hours north of our house with my parents, brother, Ronnie and Mckenna. Ronnie, Mckenna, my parents and I all went up to the same spot (actually exactly the same camping spot) about a month ago, and we were all excited to go back.

My sweet parents selflessly went up on Thursday and got the whole campsite set up. They don't mess around! They get the tents set up, "kitchen" area set, fire going, you name it. We then met them up there on Friday afternoon.

Mckenna absolutely loves it. She enjoys walking around barefoot, cooking her dinner on the fire, riding in "the bumpy car" (a RZR), going potty on a log, playing games, eating s'mores, and looking for animals. It is so fun watching her explore a different setting. She's such an adventurous kid, and I love watching it in nature. I also love seeing all the new things she gets to learn in a different environment. She is a little hit or miss regarding sleeping, the first night being a bit rough, but the following night(s) she sleeps like a champ. In fact, the second night we were there, she slept til 6:45...something our little morning bird doesn't ever do at home! She thinks it's pretty cool to sleep in a tent and "live like animals!"

Ronnie and I love it too. My parents make it WAY too easy on us, by being the ones to cook AND clean up (yeah I know, it doesn't seem fair for them! It's not! But they insist). We eat like kings because, like I said, my parents don't mess around. This weekend we had BBQ ribs, corn, rice, steak, grilled veggies, and shrimp. It was DELISH! We spent days driving around in the RZR (an ATV) exploring the area, relaxing at the campsite, and eating massive amounts of trail mix. We spent evenings around the fire enjoying time together and noshing on s'mores!

All in all camping as a family is quickly becoming a favorite vacation of ours!!!