Pinkeye is contagious – …a MikedUp Blog PSA

We faced this conjunctivitis dragon in the past. She went down. Hard. And the fight was pretty weak if I do say so myself… Where this past experience had the dragon flying solo and targeting only Clara – without backup and the cover of a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), this time was much different.   Maybe we were riding high over the last battle’s landslide victory, or perhaps we had just become too complacent to keep up our preventative protocols… In an honest moment, the conjunctivitis dragon would admit that she had employed a great number of war-fighters to target our entire family in the hopes of complete destruction. We were surprised and completely overwhelmed. Whatever the case, it was the perfect storm of destruction.   The TL:DR (too long didn’t read) version of the story below is that pinkeye is a mother. She’s contagious and she’s unrelenting, especially when […]

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My mother-in-law: a budding naturalist

This title (budding naturalist) is a play on words and if you give me a few paragraphs, we’ll get there. More than that, I think you may enjoy this one… I know I did.     In order to protect the identity of the innocent, I won’t name the individual (Barb – my mother-in-law) that this true story is referring to.   In the span of 6 weeks, Barb’s son, husband, and father-in-law had all undergone surgeries of different types on different areas of the body. All were relatively involved and had a decent amount of time required for recovery. By itself, one surgery for a loved one can put some strain on the other individuals in the family. But adding 2 more? I think we can classify that as a crisis.   The other important thing to remember as this story unfolds is the fact that Barb is admirably pushing herself […]

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I’m not allowed to say “Jiu-Jitsu” for the next 4 months…

My wife had a point…   There was work, our daughter, ‘the project,’ my daily workout, life, the blog, and now I come to her with a detailed, concise, and targeted pitch about why I (and we) need to start training jiu-jitsu.   She stared through me with a bewildered look on her face, let me finish through my rehearsed closer line, and simply said (I’m paraphrasing), “You’re not allowed to say jiu-jitsu for the next 4 months. Don’t think it. Don’t say it. And you know exactly why.”     I didn’t take offense. The comment wasn’t made in a condescending or exasperated tone. It was matter-of-fact. Cold. Straight. Truth. So in order to see it as such in the moment, I had to detach from the situation and see her point of view, because very rarely will she put the foot down so emphatically. “She must have good reason to do so,” I thought to myself. […]

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MikedUp Blog’s 1-YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!

Hi, Team!   Well… Year 1 flew by. Whether you’re new to the site or one of our long-time (can I say this yet?) readers, I want to say a heartfelt, “Thank you!” Seriously. You guys rock.   The feedback, questions, and comments I’ve gotten from many of you make this experience worthwhile. Here are a few examples:   A friend I worked with years ago messaged me out of the blue to say that budgeting saved her marriage and that reading my financial articles brings back so many great memories of their re-kindling. Multiple readers have reached out to me for help with their personal finances and fitness. Seriously! This has been a phenomenal experience! I am working with one individual that is halfway through paying off 33% worth of their annual salary in credit card debt. Another was in search of a routine and some motivation to build muscle… […]

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Tomorrow isn’t promised – get up and choose ACTION

We are not guaranteed today nor promised tomorrow, and once today is gone – the time is spent and there’s no turning back to change events or choices. With something so precious – today, now, this moment right here – we owe it to ourselves to live this moment to the fullest. We need to live. With time’s incredible value in my mind, how could I choose to waste it? I can’t. I won’t. I choose to live life to the fullest and I hope you’ll join me.   When deciding what things are most important in life, there are very few that slot in above you own health. How do we prepare ourselves to be our healthiest version? By eating well, exercising, and taking care of our bodies.   Here, we’ll focus on taking care of ourselves by choosing ACTION over the alternative.     So many times I’ve heard others […]

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Our toddler – future hostage negotiator

Have you heard the quote:   “My wife wanted a cat. I didn’t want a cat. So, we compromised and got a cat.” Can’t remember where I heard it or who they stole it from, so, apologies all around. But it illustrates an important point. Take it away Mick, “You can’t always get what you want.”    Yeah… Not sure that Mick ever met our toddler – Clara. Our advanced 1 year-old (23 months old) would vehemently denounce any such notion that something could be unattainable. I suspect most her age would say the same…   For example: I had Mac-n-cheese yesterday. Whaddya mean I can’t have it today, too? I want to swing! “Honey, it’s below freezing and a blizzard outside…” No factor. SWING!! Hey. I saw you guys playing cards yesterday. Let me see those things today so I can bend ‘em, chew ‘em, and hide ‘em in various […]

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How a sensible waterpark philosophy almost killed our marriage

Don’t get me wrong. I love family time, attending sporting events, and summer walks to the splash pad, but when it comes to certain activities there’s a switch that triggers in my head.   The opportunity to compete physically, for example. I also get crazy about vacations. Most especially during the lead-up. Christmas, a great book, and some weekends can all flip the switch. Monica knows the importance of keeping my building excitement in check for most of these types of activities.   “Hey, chill out…” Is really all I need to hear to detach from the situation, take a breath, and dial it down a notch or 2.   There was a time early in our relationship when that wasn’t always the case.   In those situations, excitement would build and I’d run at a red-line pace until the game ended, gathering dispersed, or until I crashed.   That’s all well […]

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Respecting limits: and determing a response after you find them

This article isn’t about football but I will use a football observation to illustrate my point. Don’t run away if sports aren’t your thing… Also, this is more of a ‘think piece’ than I’ll typically write. I hope you enjoy it. If not, let me know and I’ll keep these thoughts in my head and off the virtual page from now on. Either way cheers to a phenomenal 2017!!     So, Clara had been put to bed, Monica and I were relaxing on the couch for a minute and watching the Thursday night NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders (December 8, 2016).   Oakland had the ball and they were driving against the Chiefs, who kept their opponents in check for a majority of the game. In large part, this was due to the stellar play of the Chiefs’ linebacking core. These 4 guys […]

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Top 10 reasons why fall is king

Let’s get this out of the way – fall (autumn) is the best season of the year. Unquestionably, unequivocally, and any other ‘un’ word you want to throw in there. We all agree on this, right? Okay. Sweet.   Moving on.   This list is written from the perspective of an Ohioan living in a temperate climate complete with 4 seasons. We have 3 other seasons to ‘consider’ when we’re trying to decide on the best, but let’s be real.   The winter is the winter. Cold, miserable, dark. It has Christmas but that’s about it.   “Summer,” You say? Humid, miserably oppressive (in terms of heat) where all outdoor activity and exercise must be complete before 6:00 am or after 9:30 pm. I agree that the summer vacation is crucial but do we want to anoint an entire season for 1 week… 2 if we’re lucky? Not in my […]

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Parenting is the most important job

Forewarning: this isn’t going to be one of my typical posts… But my dad turned 60 yesterday, and it has me thinking. I’ve stuck to writing about fitness, finance, and some ‘funny’ family stories for the last 6 months, and it’s been a blast. For the most part I’ve gotten great feedback, the audience continues to share the posts, and people keep coming back. So, thank you guys so much and no worries, we’ll be back to usual next Tuesday. If you’re interested in a little variety, though – humor me for the next 700 words or so. Thanks in advance. – Mike Here’s the needed background so that you’re not completely lost. As I said above, my dad (Pops) turned 60 yesterday. He was 30 when they (him and mom) had me. I am 30 now and as you may or may not know, we recently had Clara. If you’re […]

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