Last Day

Today was what vacation is all about. We all got to sleep in, and we were definitely on vacation time. After a little breakfast we packed the car and headed for St. George Island. One of my favorite places we go. It was the perfect day, mid 70’s, sunny, and a little breeze. The kids played in the chilly water all day and had a blast. My daughter collected sea shells while the boys jumped over the waves. The adults cracked a drink, laid out in the sun and relaxed. It was perfect.

My daughter wanted to take a jet ski out which you didn’t need to convince me of. As I was signing up for a time, the people coming in kept saying how they saw dolphins on their ride. The dolphins swam right by them as they skimmed the water on the jet ski. I was pumped. I have always wanted to live that. My turn. I got out in the open water and let it loose. The farther I went, the better the waves got. I hit about five waves perfectly where the jet ski was fully flying in the air. I laughed to myself as I was flying over the water. Then I went on a dolphin search. Nothing. Not one. I was so bummed. I turned around and picked up my daughter to now go with me. We cruised around and searched and searched for dolphins. Nothing. Not one. Bummed. I drove back in and switched with my wife. She only had about ten minutes left, but she made the most of it. As she came back from her cruise she was all smiles. She fricking had dolphins swim by her as she drive around. Four of them to be exact. Whatever, as long as one of us got to see them. I’m not jealous at all. Nothing. Not one bit.

Dolphins or not we had the perfect vacation day. As we all sit tired and nursing our burns, I just smile and feel great. This is what I needed! Crazy that this month has already flown by. Until next year, it’s been a slice!! Thanks for everyone who took the time to read and comment. I loved reading yours as well!!

Vacation Day 2

Yesterday we had a brutal bloody nose on the airplane down to Florida. Was hoping that would be it. Silly me. Day 2 then came. We had a two our drive to our final destination to our in laws. We absolutely crammed every piece of luggage and our golf clubs plus seven people into the little minivan we rented. I am good at Jenga now. On the road we go.

First stop was McDonalds to get a nice, healthy breakfast. Of course there was a line around the building. We got our food and on the road we go. Everything was perfect until about 15 minutes out. All of the sudden you hear it. It started with a tiny scream. Then an “uh oh” by our friends son who was crammed in between my two kids in the back. My wife looks back to see what was going on. My son, who had the bloody nose, was puking all over the back seat. Awesome. We have no way of getting out of the car. We have no towels or anything to clean it up.
“Ten minutes my man. Can you hang in there?” He gives us a sad nod and we finally make it to the house.

We got it all cleaned out, the kids got in the pool and all was good again. Two days, two different types of fluids coming out of my son. Once again, I’m hoping this is it. 🤞 We will see what else this vacation brings. As long as the alcohol keeps flowing, all will be good. Here’s to day 3!!

Bloody Monday

Nothing better than a good bloody nose. Growing up I used to have them all the time. Every time I put on a scarf in the winter, guaranteed bloody nose. No clue why, but it was just a thing. Now, my son unfortunately got that gene. We have had more late night wake up calls with him screaming bloody murder. Oddly enough, when we got into his room, it looked like it. He would have blood gushing down his chest and his face looked like he was in the ring with Mike Tyson.

Today, it reared its ugly head again. At home we have humidifiers, we put Vaseline in his nose nightly, and we have tissues by his bed. We have got his nose cauterized three times. It’s supposed to be done. Today we were on the plane, heading to Florida with no care in the world. I was deep into the movie Joker when my buddy taps us and says he has a bloody nose. We scramble to get up on a plane and my wife makes her way to the bathroom. Ten minutes go by and they still aren’t back. Great. I make eye contact with my wife as she opens the door to ask the flight attendant for a garbage bag. She gives me the thumbs down. I went back and relieved her. We sat in this tiny ass bathroom and tried to get Mt. Vesuvius to stop. Finally, the master of bloody noses got it to stop. We made it with five minutes to spare until we had to sit down for landing.

Pretty fun way to start our vacation. Luckily he handled it like a champ and stayed calm. A little clean up on aisle 3 and we are on our way to the beach. Bloody Monday taken care of.

Cougars

Not that kind of Cougar, the baseball kind. One big thing I missed about last summer was our ability to go to the Kane County Cougars games. We live right down the street, so whenever we get a chance, we love going there. I love it because there is no better atmosphere to me than a baseball game. I have loved that game since I was young, and watching these young men compete is so fun for me. The kids love it because they get to run around, go up and down the hill, eat popcorn, hot dogs, and ice cream. They get to go to the kids area and play in the bouncy houses and just be silly with their friends. We love to get lawn seats, grab a couple of lawn chairs, and enjoy the beautiful weather the summer has to offer. All while still spending less than just the parking at Wrigley.

Today on our way home, we drove by the stadium. I took a quick glance just remembering how much fun we have there. I miss it. I asked the kids if they were ready to start going to some games again and they let out an enthusiastic cheer. Even though it was way more fun when they were affiliated with the Cubs, I don’t even care what team they represent. They are our Cougars, and we will cheer them on regardless. Minor league games are so nice because they are super inexpensive, they are so close, and they are so kid friendly. Our kids have tried to throw the ball to the targets during innings. They have run the bases after the game. They look up to the mascot as if they are celebrities. But there is nothing better than the fireworks at the end of the game. Dollar for dollar, that is one of the best fireworks shows around. Now that the kids are a little older, we don’t have to cover their ears because of the noise. We can just sit back and admire the show. Glorious.

I am super excited that we will get to go watch baseball again this year. I can’t wait to head to the beer cave, grab some stadium beers, grab some peanuts, and watch some baseball. I look forward to hopefully teaching my son a little more of the game by watching these pros play. I don’t know how much attention he will be able to put into it, but we will try. We will grab our gloves, and sit and wait for a foul ball to hopefully come our way. Best of all, we will sit with great friends and our amazing family and just enjoy watching baseball in the beautiful summer weather.

Packing

All day today was spent getting prepped to leave on Monday. Well some of it may have been being lazy and binge watching some weird show my wife is into. But in between that, it is getting myself mentally prepared for chaos. I think we may have set a record today for how much laundry we did. Next step will be getting the house cleaned so we can come back to a clean house. That is absolutely necessary. Then it is getting packed. My nemesis. Another thing in life that seems so simple, yet I am so bad at it.

The biggest problem is the weather keeps changing in Florida, so there is no one right way to pack. I definitely am hoping to spend most of my days in shorts, t-shirts, and bathing suits. The weather is not going to make it that easy. It is supposed to be nice during the day, but get cool at night. A couple days have unfortunately dropped into the mid 60s, so now we need to pack a little of everything. This is where I struggle. I am a compulsive over packer, even when we just go away for the weekend. My goal is to bring as few bags as possible on this trip, especially because I have my golf clubs and we have booster seats we need to bring as well. I just have to figure out how to manage just bringing a little of everything without bringing too much. I keep telling myself there is a washer and dryer there. Not sure that will matter, but I am going to do my best to keep the packing as light as possible.

Tomorrow we are going to make this happen. I am not going to overpack. I am going to take only what I need. Yeah well that is not going to happen, but I don’t care. I am getting out of here!

The Happiest of Hours

Slowly but surely we are starting to get back to the way things used to be. We have an awesome staff at my school. We sit and chat and laugh daily. The hardest part about last year was the fact that I didn’t get to see all of them and have our daily border line inappropriate conversations. It is what makes coming to school fun. I love my job, but if I was with a crew that was stiff and crabby all the time, it would make me miserable. We have the opposite here. We ALL get along. We love to hang out and laugh together. We have so many inside jokes that you don’t even need to say anything half the time for the other person to know exactly what you are thinking.

This morning was a perfect example of that. What started off as two people in a room talking, ended up with like seven of us cracking jokes and laughing hysterically with each other. I had to pull myself together and get my filter back on before the kids came. Now, we get to end our day the way we began. We get to finally get out to a happy hour. We have had just one in the last year, and I miss them. It is a time to get out of school and just talk about anything. We try and steer away from school talk, but there are always the few who bring that to the party. Either way it is great to grab a drink, and sit and relax while telling stories and joking around. I missed this when we weren’t able to do it. It is another sign that things may be creeping back to normalcy.

It is a perfect start to what I hope to be a perfect spring break. I hope everyone else out here in school land can find a couple partners in crime to start the weekend off right. Now we just have to convince my principal to allow us to get off a little early. Happy spring break everybody!!

Relevant Again

I grew up a huge Bulls fan. For as far back as I can remember, we went to at least a few Bulls games every year. We have been really spoiled because my uncle did a lot of work with a member of the Bulls organization. That work led to them becoming really close. Therefore, when we needed tickets, we could give my uncle a call and he would hook us up. We never took advantage of it, but we would get a couple sets of tickets every year. The best was when he gave us his season tickets for a game. He had eighth row seats on the aisle. They were amazing. Getting that close to the action really allowed you to see how big these men truly were. The game was right in front of you, and they could actually hear you cheer for them.

Over the last couple of years, my love for the Bulls faded. Their old regime dragged the historic franchise down. The thought of the Bulls, who won six championships with a Michael Jordan led team, are now fighting to keep out of the basement was depressing. The had a couple of decent years when D-Rose was on the team, but since then, I didn’t even recognize half the team. I couldn’t watch them anymore. I didn’t even really enjoy going to the games anymore. The only reason I went was to bring friends into those awesome seats, or bring my kids for the experience. It was a really sad reality that I couldn’t stand to watch the team I grew up loving.

Last year they finally got rid of GarPax, and now they have a great mind running the show. This was proven today when they finally made a power move for an all-star center. I will spare all the names because most reading this post won’t know them anyway. Every move the last couple of years were parallel moves that got the Bulls no where. No star wanted to come here as a free agent because this team was going no where. Now, the Bulls are finally going somewhere. They are making moves to finally get out of the cellar of the NBA. Is this move going to bring a championship this year? Probably not. However, it is bringing us closer to being relevant again. It is bringing us closer to more stars actually wanting to come to this team again. It is bringing us closer to fans jumping on board and watching this team again….with pride. It makes me excited to be a Bulls fan again. It makes me remember those old days, and now I can start bringing that joy to my own kids. Now we just have to be able to go to games again.

GoodBye My Love…

As you may have heard from some people in our district, we are losing the one consistent amazing thing that we have had this year…Wednesdays. Most people don’t love Wednesday’s because they are in the middle of the week. You still have two long days after that you have to struggle through. Well, for us this year, that magnificent day of the week is what made getting through the rest of the week a little easier. We have had Wednesdays to use for us. We still met with kids for SEL, read aloud, and sometimes small groups. But the rest of the day was ours. It was that time we could use for planning with our partners. We didn’t have to cram our planning into the tight special schedules that we have during the week. We didn’t have to plan our week on that random hallway encounter you had with your partner while they are desperately trying to go pee for the first time in 11 hours. Every Wednesday, I left not only having concrete plans for the rest of that week, but also have the following week planned as well. It gave us that day to check in with our week and see if we needed to adjust any of the plans for the following two days. We had time to collaborate, copy, and really get ourselves prepared. It was so nice.

The other part of Wednesdays that I loved is that we got to wear jeans. Any teacher in the world knows the luxury that is. It just gives you that one day to feel comfortable and normal. We got to have lunch, uninterrupted, without the fear of choking on our food because we were scarfing it down before the kids come back in from recess. You know the drill. Now that we are eating in our classrooms, nosy little students come in and scope out every single thing you ate. I avoid that at all costs. We also get to actually have some conversations with other staff…other friends that have seemed like long lost strangers this year. You can go visit a colleague’s room, laugh and reminisce. You just have time!!

Even though Wednesdays end up being so busy trying to get everything together in between getting online, planning, and a couple meetings, you leave feeling accomplished. I leave Wednesdays with nothing in my hands, nothing to do at home. It is a great feeling. I am going to miss this Wednesdays. I wish they would implement these into our normal school schedule. These Wednesdays keep us refreshed and keep us prepared. I will miss you buddy. It was great while it lasted.

Goodbye My Love GIFs | Tenor

Facebook, I Hate you…but I Love You

There is always such a love/hate relationship with all social media, Facebook in particular. There are so many days when I hate it. For so many reasons. First and foremost, it consumes way too much of my time. Obviously, it is self inflicted, but it has just become too much of a habit. This is the main problem. I will sit and scroll through Facebook and look at everyone’s feed until I either get too bored, too frustrated, or until I get to where I have already seen it. I will then put my phone down. Ahh a break….for like 7 minutes. I will then pick it up and start looking again as if in the last seven minutes new, amazing stuff would be posted. It’s habit. I literally don’t even care about most of what I see on there, it is just engrained in my brain to look at it. I hate it!

Another reason I hate it is because I don’t like listening to people’s opinions about things they shouldn’t have opinions about. At least not online. The Trump/Biden posts almost threw me over the edge. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I literally had to mute about ten people because I couldn’t deal with their comments anymore. There is a time and a place for people to express their opinions, and to me, Facebook is not that place. Again, this is just my opinion, but it is another reason I hate Facebook.

My last reason is because it creeps me out. They listen!! You all know what I am talking about. You shop on your phone, the next hour there is ads about what you looked for. That is one thing. I get they take the information you searched online and use that. That is still weird, but doesn’t bother me as much as when they listen. My buddy and I were in the car talking about how his foot hurt. I said it sounded somewhat like plantar fasciitis, which my brother in law had. We didn’t look it up on our phones, we only talked about it. The next morning, he sends me a text with an ad for plantar fasciitis. Disturbing!

But then I love it. Today I got reminded of one of the reasons that I love it. The memories. It is usually my favorite part of my day. I love to see some of the memories that pop up. I kind of love and hate that they show up at different times of the day. I never know when they are going to come. Today I got two great memories right away when I woke up. The first one was of my dog that passed away on this day three years ago. It was sad, but seeing the pictures of him that I posted just brought a smile to my face. I loved that dog, and I love when I get the chance to see him. If it weren’t for Facebook, the only time I would see him is if I am scrolling deep into my pictures on my phone. The second reason is the memory of mine and my wife’s “babymoon” came up today. It was our trip to San Antonio that we went on before we had our first child, seven years ago. It was one of my favorite trips that we have ever been on. It was just us, well and our boy swimming around in her stomach. We weren’t at an all inclusive drinking all day. We didn’t have a thousand friends all over us and schedules to follow. It was just us, and doing anything we wanted to do. It was a very special trip, and I love those memories.

Facebook can really suck sometimes. Other times it can be amazing. It really is great to see some fantastic memories or other special events. My brother in law just got engaged, and even though we knew it was coming soon, we didn’t know when. It was that cool shock factor seeing online that was really exciting. Those are the things that keep me checking it. Well, that and the fact that I am obsessed with it and can’t stop looking. Again, I hate Facebook.

Let the Count Down Begin-Day 22

Every year around this time I have to listen to people talk about how they are going somewhere for spring break. I just get the “I need to get the hell out of Illinois” face on. In other words, I’m jealous. This year, I get to be one of those people, finally! This is actually a make up trip from December. We were supposed to go with friends to Orlando for Christmas break. As is it came closer, the virus was getting worse. Our biggest issue was that we would be getting home on the 23rd, and then seeing family the next couple days for Christmas, some of which were high risk. We couldn’t take that chance. The worst part about having to cancel was we had to pay for almost nothing. Our friends are Hilton Honors members so we would have had a free stay for the week. We had points, so our flights were not going to cost us anything either. It was a very tough last minute decision to tell our friends that we had to bail. Luckily we did. Two days into the trip, they found out their son had tested positive. They ended not only having to cut their trip short, but they also had to drive back. Disaster averted.

We wanted to make it up to them, so we started looking at flights over break. They were the cheapest I have ever seen them so we jumped all over it. My in-laws have a place in Florida, so once again, we weren’t paying for anything except spending money. Luckily our friends were able to pull it off as well, so in exactly one week I will be sitting on a beach in Florida. I love going on vacations, but I usually don’t count down the days. This year, I have been counting them down for the last month. I just want a change of scenery mixed in with sun, beach, cocktails, golf, and good friends. The kids will be super excited to swim in the pool and play around in the ocean. We will eat well all week, whether we go out to some of our favorite spots, or cook out at their place. Unfortunately due to too many hurricane hits, this past year they moved from right on the water to a couple miles off. It makes sense, but I will miss waking up to the sounds of the ocean right outside our windows. This new place has a community pool in their backyard, and since it is a new community, it is only them and one other house. This means a pool all to ourselves. I will take it.

This week will be filled with laundry, packing, and cleaning. Then we get to leave all of that behind and enjoy mid to upper 70’s. Let the count down begin! This week can’t get over soon enough.