Top 10 reasons why fall is king

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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

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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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The best purchase I’ve made as a new dad

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  Ha – just kidding with the above picture. Although this has been useful at times. (Won this in a bet from my dad when Clara turned out to be a girl. We’ll save that story for another day). This story is about the best dad purchase I’ve made – ever.     Marty McFly had the DeLorean, Batman has the Batmobile, Michael Knight had KITT, and POTUS has Air Force 1. These gentlemen count on these respective modes of transportation to get from A to B, or present to past. Point is, one is synonymous with the other. There would be no world-saving, peace-treaty-negotiating, Biff-dominating, or Gotham-defending without the mobile ‘side-kicks.’ My best purchase as a new dad is no different…   The Graco Relay Click Connect Jogging Stroller (in the color of Fern) has been instrumental in promoting my abilities as a husband, father, and athlete. Additionally, if […]

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How do you measure the quality of a day?

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  I ask myself this question from time to time when I’m trying to take stock of the day. It’s a welcome change from evaluating yourself based off other metrics – family situation, income, career, where you’re living, etc. And it’s much less selfish. A binary metric that is answered simply as a “yes” or “no.” Did I help improve or brighten someone else’s day?   Many well-respected and intelligent people have been quoted as saying something along the lines of: The quality of a person should be determined by their impact on others rather than what we often refer to as “success” in the form of status, income, or other metrics. Some of these individuals include The Fresh Prince (Will Smith), Maya Angelou, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Dickens, Anne Frank, Warren Buffett, Abraham Lincoln…   How do you typically measure the quality of a day?   Well, maybe we […]

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Mike and the moms group

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  Conjunctivitis was the cause and a day suspended from daycare (due to illness) was the effect. Secondary effect – dad (me) had the day off from work.   This was a Tuesday. You know, one of the mid-three days (Tuesday-Thursday) that don’t have the terrible negative connotation of a Monday or the insurmountable high of a Friday… It’s just Tuesday. Most workers are at work and by 9-ish the streets are relatively clear.   Clara had conjunctivitis, which is apparently a contagious eye infection of sorts. She didn’t have a terrible fever or cough that could wake a bear in December, no, contagious eye infection. Seemed minor to me, so I approached the day as if it were a Saturday where Monica had to work or hit up one in the seemingly endless stream of wedding/baby showers. Clara and I’d be flying solo and the day’s docket had only […]

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Is greed killing our water park?

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  I’m a 30 year-old child when it comes to certain things (sand volleyball, road trips to the beach, days at the zoo, walks to the splash pad, park activities, certain workouts, …, and a day at the water park). Meaning, I get so excited these things are coming up that I often annoy those around me with questions, lists of possible things to do, and a generally high energy level in preparation for the desired item. My family and friends use the phrase, “Calm down,” abundantly in those situations.   So, when The Cruise Director (brother-in-law #1) told me that The Groom’s (brother-in-law #2) bachelor party would start with a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo and day at the water park, anticipation spiked early and often.     Monica and I have a season pass to the zoo but that doesn’t get us backstage to interact with the animals. […]

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Saving lives is a thankless job

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  Ask anyone that knows me well and they’ll tell you I don’t mind exaggerating a story here and there – “Taking the liberty,” as I call it. Not here. Not this post.   I wrote a post about people watching mid-way through our summer vacation and thought I’d seen all I needed for content… Wrong. The day after I finished the article, this happened:     I always wanted to be a lifeguard – probably why The Guardian and The Sandlot are two of my favorite movies (one deals with saving lives at sea and the other has a great lifeguard scene). I’ve lived by the water for short periods of time but was never able to pull the trigger. Nonetheless, I consider myself pretty competent in the water. SCUBA certified, I enjoy free diving, swimming for exercise, and just about any other water-related activity.     Knowing all this, the following […]

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The art of people watching, and what are they saying about me??

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  How many activities can keep you entertained for an entire day and not cost you a penny? I have no idea, but I know of one  for sure. The art of people watching is a skill Monica and I have worked toward perfecting for close to a decade now, and the beach trip we took this month ramped up activities in a major way.   To people watch is to observe our fellow humans in their natural environment and take stock of how we behave and interact… The results have been shocking.     The fact that we had a watchful eye – well 4 watchful eyes – at the beach led to us witnessing the rescue of a girl who got sucked out to sea in a rip-current, a brawl between 8 apparently wasted college buddies during our 7 am run, the tumble of a wind-tossed umbrella toward […]

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The ‘play date’ – how guys in their 30s make new friends

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  I look back to college and remember a time when grilling out with the fellas, having ‘a’ beer, and enjoying some game/sporting event was a regular occurrence. We didn’t need a reason to start that process at 1:00 in the afternoon… It was Saturday and that was reason enough.   Anything was on the table: philosophy, religion, politics, sports, and thoughts about why Florida was a better spring-break destination than Virginia Beach. Great times and next to zero responsibility.   Fast forward 12 years and the situation is slightly different.   We’re saving up for a few projects/purchases for around the house and although a grill is rapidly approaching the top of that list – we’re not there yet. The stove works though, so we’ve got that going for us.   There is still beer in the fridge, but thankfully Busch light (no offense to my friends still on […]

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Sometimes you have to setup a breast pump with your mother-in-law…

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This is a 99% true story (my memory isn’t what it once was so that accounts for the 1%).   Monica and I were getting steamrolled by the lack-of-sleep train that was Clara’s first few weeks of life. We had the unique and seemingly backwards situation that I was afforded 12 weeks off from work while she had about 6 to play with. Breastfeeding was going well, Clara was eating pretty regularly, and Monica was starting back to work. (Yes fellas, ‘breast’ will be used frequently in this post.)   We had done our prep work before Clara was born – you know, put up the crib, washed clothes, figured out the car-seat (or so we thought)…     Another thing we took care of was ordering the breast pump from our insurance company. It came in the mail and quickly found its way to a closet. Things were moving […]

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