We Escaped the Room tonight playing the box escape room game called Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor. We even competed the whole challenge in under the allotted time. It was a good way to spend a snowy night as all activities got canceled.

Four people are smiling around a table playing a board game in a well-lit room at night.

Took the “Bear” (Big Darbs) for a walk in the snow tonight on some trails near the house. I think he really enjoyed it and felt at home blazing a trail through the snowfall.

A black dog stands in the snow, flakes falling around, amidst a wintery forest backdrop.

Compared to yesterday today’s run was rainy. I thought I found a break in the action only to find myself out there getting poured on. Just amazing change in weather 24 hrs later. 🌧️

A snow-covered ground borders a paved area, with bare trees and brush in the background, suggesting a winter scene.

What better kind of run to have than a trail run while the snow falls. Not bad for a birthday run this year. 🥳

A snow-covered path winds through a bare deciduous forest, conveying a quiet, wintery atmosphere.

A snow-covered wooden boardwalk meanders through tall, dense reeds in a wintry, overcast landscape.

Forty-Three

What another year it has been. It has been an interesting year and still busy as always. I keep thinking to myself that I should start these days, if not a month or so before my actual birthday but I feel there is something blocking me off from this time to reflect quickly and jot some things down. It is not to say I haven’t thought about it but I also don’t want this to feel like work or something I have to do. I want it to be something I want to do, so that is why I am doing it now while watching some snow fall and drinking some coffee.

A mug with “ADVENTURE awaits” text is resting on a wooden surface, with a snowy residential view seen through a window in the background.

This year was a really fun year at our seasonal camping spot. Between my wife and kids, I feel like someone was there as much as they possibly could be all summer long. I came back and worked from home during the weeks, typically with a kid or two (depending on activities), and went down earlier on weekends or sometimes took a Monday off and came back Monday night or Tuesday early. It has been a really enjoyable time down there this year by having more space in the new to us camper and just giving us a place to get away and not worry about things in our actual house. It then really feels like a weekend with no plans, versus if we would have been around our house, I would find odd projects and feel like I need to get stuff done there.

Another quick fun thing that happened this past year was April’s brother got married and we all were able to spend time as a larger family for a weekend. Not only was that awesome, but the wedding was at April’s parents’ house overlooking the pond on their property. Besides the sweltering heat, it was just a lovely time. Down in Ollie, IA for April’s brother’s wedding at her parents’ farmhouse.

As of the first of this year, my parents moved up to Minnesota which has already been great. We have been able to see them more, and they have been able to come to so many more kid events than before they would not have been able to. I don’t think they will be busy anytime soon with 6 grandkids in all kinds of activities. It was a little strange when I was back at my parents’ house in December, knowing that this town I grew up in and this house I grew up in will probably be one of the last times I am here. Not that I won’t go back for my reunions from time to time, but other than that, I have less of a pull to head back that way. I am good with closing that chapter of my life and excited that my kids will have a new different relationship with my parents as they live so close. Now I just have more boxes of stuff they have dropped off and I am slowly working throughout in my shed office.

For me personally over this past year, I don’t have too much to report, as I didn’t really do much but try to keep running as I have but didn’t really do any big races but found a trail race in the fall that was just fun as there were no expectations. As I type this today after a really long run yesterday, I actually don’t have any plans for the upcoming year, which I know I really need to start thinking about. I guess for now I will just refer back to Brendan Leonard of Semi-Rad’s philosophy called The Zen of Running I will “put in the miles so I can…. put in the miles so I can…”

Last year this time I was thinking of focusing on connections, and I am not 100% sure I really did it complete justice at this point. However, from a work perspective, I have over the course of the last couple of months been trying to double down on it. I think it is the one thing that makes 100% virtual work hard is you can’t have as many chance visits. So, starting and since my visit in December, I have made it a point to find people in the office and/or let some of the local people know I am around. I need to force myself to do this with some friends of mine, as sometimes in the throes of the weeks I can still make too many excuses.

For this next year Resilience will be the theme, and my family has taken a liking to it as well. I actually a couple weeks back wrote this exact quote down on a piece of paper and put it in the kitchen for the kids to see every day (well and myself).

“Resilience is knowing that you are the only one that has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up." Mary Holloway.

Previously: 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

Even with the colder weather it was actually a good day for a run. Explored some new areas and then took the easy trail to get back to the car in the end.

Bare trees frame a view of a calm lake with scattered snow on the ground under a clear blue sky.

Needed to move today after a long day of being on calls and knowing my night was going to entail updating slide decks. However, on this run if I would have been fast enough I could have snapped a picture of two beavers that quick jumped in the water and swam away here. FYI it is snowing… 🌨️🤦‍♂️

A calm lake reflects trees and overcast skies, with ducks swimming, surrounded by grasses and sparse residential areas.

When you see a green arrow while out on a run pointing into the woods you follow it right? Well it didn’t lead me to anything but took my mind off the back to cold weather again today.

A green arrow on pavement points towards a leaf-covered trail flanked by bare trees, suggesting a path through a woodland area.

Running tonight I can close to a track and this came up on my watch. Very interesting and I wonder if it helps with track accuracy (which I am assuming it would). Now that I think about it this might have been around the spot I had my GPS issue tonight. 🤨

Between running into the wind for the first half of this run and the GPS screw up. I am not sure how far or fast I really ran 🤷‍♂️.

Rippled lake waters brush against a concrete shoreline, under a clear blue sky, bordered by bare deciduous trees.

Spending a day with my girls...

Spent today with these two girls and had fun with limited plans. We played some Arcade games at Dave and Busters, ate some rolled Ice Cream, did some shopping 😵, played in an empty pool, and then ended the night with a yummy dessert from the lounge while watching a movie in the hotel room.

Took the girls out to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner tonight and they wanted to dress up fancy.

When we started the goal was 8 as we both have been a little down for the count. As we approached stopping at 12 I swayed the vote to run another loop to get us on par with plan. Overall legs were good but my stomach not so much but we got the miles. Also ,we have been spoiled as it was cold today!

A cloudy sky over a tranquil body of water with a wooden birdhouse on a post in the foreground and a forest lining the far shore.

Decided to take the big dog for a longer walk this morning as we have very little on the schedule today. 🐶

On this day...

In my blog gardening (thank you Jamie I am stealing your term) I have stumbled across when I was in Germany for two weeks for work back in 2018. Granted I only have a handful of pictures that are in this blog and most of them came through my Instagram import I did a while back.

However, as I have been cleaning up some of the posts I see by adding the location of where the picture was shot for reference (thanks to Google Location Tracking), it has got me thinking should I take a little bit of extra time and recreate some events on my site? Maybe more specifically at a minimum, recreate or document places we visited and saw as I did for my family Trip out East and around Superior a couple years back (note you will not find it on the site yet as I kept track and never could figure out how I wanted to publish it). I do wish I did a better job of keeping track of those types of events or trips prior to the past year or so.

I was talking to my uncle the other day and my Grandfather (his dad) who was an accountant and had to bill his time to his clients by the hour kept record of pretty much everything he did but in very brief formats. He had a paper journal book for every year that would lay out people he met with and events in his life. For example, I saw the entry of where my mom was born (they wrote a different name than was hers so I guess they changed it later) in the morning and then in the afternoon it seems my grandfather had to go back to work as he then billed a client a handful of hours working on something. He also wrote down how much everything cost which was interesting to see that back then it only cost $18 for delivery and two nights in the hospital. Not sure how much insurance covers then but that is a shocking number compared to even what it cost for my kids 9-14 years ago.

I think of all that work he used to do journaling briefly moments of his life and I wish I had something similar but I do get caught up in that do I capture enough or do I capture too much. However, I just wrote out a paragraph of text explaining the couple of sentences I saw and could piece it together and found it interesting.

Now granted this day and age we even have the further benefits of quickly adding photos, GPS tracking, and stuff other data that could be easily included to our events in our life. However, that might be the problem is we try to correlate or craft the perfect end product vs just quickly jotting something down that if anything will jog our memory to what we were doing or thinking at that moment in our life. Maybe life changing like a birth or once in a life time trip or maybe just something like met a new friend in person for the first time.

One could say that sounds great start today and move forward why go back and put together something that took place 6 years ago. Well, I think it is because I have still been finding great joy in clicking the “On this Day” button and finding out what I did years ago. This is also the perfect time to remind myself and anyone else that needs some encouragement that in the end I am not doing it for anyone but myself. Maybe in the end my kids will look through it but I am not counting on that if anything it is interesting for me now so why not!

Decided to make it a short easy run today on as many trails as I could find. Was the perfect start to the day in the woods with the sun peaking through.

A tranquil woodland trail surrounded by leafless trees with a bed of fallen leaves covering the ground, indicating late autumn or winter. Sunlight filters through the branches, creating a serene atmosphere.

Some days it feel hard and today was that day. I decided to use the not feeling great run to pick up some streets I hadn’t completed. Nice to see the new completed building at Round Lake, should be a nice addition as the old building had no windows, no places to sit, and never used.

A modern building with large glass windows, a prominent wooden facade, and a sloped roof, nestled in a barren landscape with a leafless tree to the left and a pine tree to the right. A concrete pathway with steps leads up to the building

Well it has happened… This is the first to get braces (and not the last). I think Boo is pulling this look off and she was super good/nervous excited the whole time.

Before

During

After 🥰

Where did the trail go? I thought they hadn’t started construction around Braemar yet and I was right and wrong as I found myself running through chopped up trees. Let’s just say I don’t know if I was on the trail at points, had to walk over bad parts, and I got some nice cuts on my legs.

A landscape of a deciduous forest in late autumn or early spring with bare trees and a ground covered in brown leaves and fallen branches under a clear blue sky.

A forest trail covered with fallen leaves and surrounded by bare deciduous trees, indicating it’s either autumn or winter, with sunlight casting long shadows across the path.

A serene nature trail with barren trees and a wooden bridge in the background, illuminated by soft sunlight filtering through the branches.

I really hope that there is nothing wrong with drinking too much plain sparkling water as I think my consumption level of that has increased 5x. In addition, I just dug out my old SodaStream to further drink more 🫣