Friday, June 30, 2006


About 8 years ago, I ran quite a bit. Usually in the evenings, and after a few months of nightly runs, I entered my first 10k. It was an awesome experience to run with so many "seasoned" athletes, and it truly inspired me to enter another one- the Cleveland Marathon's 10K. Then, for whatever reason, I stopped and have not really exercised on a regular basis since- yeah, I know- pretty pathetic.

Then, I noticed in the paper the other day the add for Akron's Marathon. Then, I thought about this gal whom I work with at school. Her story is that at age 50, she was simply obese; however, she was determined to not only lose the weight, but to run and finish the Cleveland Marathon- yes, all 27 miles of it. Well last year, at about 1/2 of her weight from when I first met her, she accomplished her goal. AMAZING.

Maybe it's my male chauvinism, but if she can do that, then I can certainly scrounge up enough energy to run a leg of the marathon this September. But I have to tell you, having not run in a number of years, it's a little tough to get back into the swing of things. Two nights ago (my first true run of 3 miles), I felt ok- a little sore, but nothing too bad. Tonight however, I don't think I got out of my driveway and my calves started to cramp up on me. ( I know, I'm such a wimp!) I definitely struggled tonight, but I'm gonna do this thing. I've asked a few friends already if they would be interested in teaming up this fall- so far, no real commitments. Anybody interested out there?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Boy and His Bike...

Here's Josh and his birthday present... styling all the way!

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Grandparent's Birthday Tradition

My folks have embraced the tradition of taking each of their grandchildren out on a shopping spree for their birthday. I dropped Josh off at his grandmother's school today around 3:30, and off they went to Toys R Us (you know, since Josh has so very few toys at home, mind you) My Dad met up with them there, and about 1/2 hour later, Josh was the proud owner of a Pirates of the Caribbean sword (complete with sound effects), a whole set of Lincoln logs, a Teens Titan umbrella, and some other misc. items. Afterwards, they all headed off to Josh's favorite restaurant, Appleby's.

It was cute this morning when Josh and I made a short visit to J.C. Penney's. We passed the boy's section, and Josh spied this tie. He remarked to me that he wanted to get it so that he would look handsome for grandma this afternoon. We bought the tie.

Tomorrow, which is Josh's actual birthday, Cindy is taking the day off of work and we all are going to Dick's to buy Josh his birthday present from us- a new bike. Then we promised to take him to Build-a-Bear. I'll tell you, the guy who thought of this conept is just short of brilliant. Kids love it, and the store sells more accessories for the stuffed animals than most department stores have for us folks! It should be a fun day.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Big Birthday Bash

Quite a day... Josh had a number of his friends over today to celebrate his 5th birthday. After surviving a 4 day deluge of rainfall, we all were truly blessed with an absolutely beautiful day for an outdoor birthday party. Having "graduated" from pre-school about 3 weeks ago, Josh really wanted to invite some of his old friends from the school- along with a number of the neighborhood friends. All in all, we had around 12 kids at the party- which was plenty!

I've got to give a shout out to my daughter, Marie, for orchestrating a number of awesome activities for the little ones- including a treasure hunt and pirate hat craft (Pirates was this year's theme). Marie has more than once told me that she would like to be a teacher one day, and I'm convinced now that she would be a WONDERFUL teacher...she's especially great with the little ones.

After the crafts and lunch, we had the annual love this. Each one took a swing at it, and after a couple of rounds, it finally busted and the great scramble for the candy was on. The trick is to make sure that every child gets an equal amount of candy-easier said than done!

After that, we served the cakes: this year, we ordered one from Acme and Cindy decorated the other one. (I'll boastfully take credit for actually baking the one- I had the time since I get to be the bum for the summer!)

By around 5:30, most of the kids had left and Josh was absolutely exhausted. A combination of morning karate class, no nap, and a spirited party pretty much knocked him out for the evening by 7:30 or so. The little guy had quite a day- Happy Birthday, buddy. I love ya!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A New Roommate

I can only hope that Josh retains the enthusiasm for Sarah being his roommate in- say- 3-4 years from now. As of now, he's ecstatic! So, in preparation for Ms. Sarah's arrival, the room needed a makeover.

I really don't mind's the prep work that is a royal pain. When we moved into the house back in 2000, we had wallpapered Josh's room 1/2 way up w/ a border. At the time, it seemed like a great idea. However, when Josh was two, he slowly but surely started to tear the border off the wall. This time around, having learned our lesson, no wallpaper. But, getting that stuff off the wall, scrubbing the surface down, and taping all the woodwork took much longer than I cared to have spent on it. Anyways, three days later...I'm finally painting. (You'd never tell by Josh's picture, huh?...This is why it's going to take me a while!)

The room is going to have a jungle theme (very appropriate with my rambunctious 5 year old who does a great Tarzan impersonation). We bought a Jungle/ Animal border, which will go way up top, to accent the room, and we're going to try to find some safari animal wall hangings to decorate. I hope to have it finished by the end of next week- that is if Josh gives me back my roller!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Big Shoes to Fill...

  • Watching Monday Night Football w/ Howard Cosell- just till halftime
  • Getting a first hit in any baseball game after getting a "real" batting glove
  • Camping out at Y-Noah with the Indians' Guide troop
  • Playing catch in the backyard- a lot
  • Getting a B-B gun for Christmas and shooting it towards the hill- not the house!
  • Getting an absolutely awesome Notre Dame letterman's jacket
  • Traveling to Texas and getting outfitted with the hat/ boots before horseback riding
  • Attending/ serving the 7:00 A.M. mass at St. Vincent
  • Delivering the Beacon Journal bright and early on the weekends
  • Holding hands tightly while getting stitches in a rather unfortuitous place
  • Buying the entire softball team t-shirts for the season
  • Providing ample opportunities to fine tune the art of the written composition
  • Attending every single drama and musical performance during high school and cheering on a very mediocre talented kid
  • Vacationing at Lapeer MI cottage ...and shooing the bat out late at night!
  • Staying close by while watching Grandpa Eubank die in the hospital
  • Buying much needed groceries while in college
  • Coming into the bedroom late in the evening to announce that REGGIE just hit his 3rd homerun in the game! (one of New York's many World Series appearances)
  • Providing the courage to take on the Blue Streak at Cedar Point
  • All the awesome Christmas mornings...and all the toys pre-assembled!
  • The guitar and piano lessons/ instruments- especially the 12 string Ovation for a high school graduation gift
  • All the college and NFL football pennants
  • Unquestioning loyalty and support through a difficult divorce
  • The Rose Bowl game with Charlie White (a future #1 Browns' draft=pick bust) and the USC Trojans
  • Prudent counseling, advice, and patience during driver's training
  • Hosting the high school play cast parties and after Prom parties/ early breakfasts
  • Companionship on the links
  • Tuition...oh, the tuition for grade school, high school, and college
  • Heart-felt letters during the SEARCH retreat weekends
  • Cool little gifts/ gadgets from all the salesman trips
  • Family dinnertime and the conversations to follow
  • The incredible work ethic- always do your best...and then some
  • Words of encouragement and the much needed kick in the rear for somewhat erratic grades in school- an F in junior religion at Walsh- ouch!
  • Agonizing when Jose Mesa blew the World Series, Ernest Byner fumbled the ball, Elway led the drive, Jordan hit "the shot", etc...
  • Attending all the Walsh football games and rooting for the team #1 ball-boy- not exactly as glamorous as the starting quarterback
  • Giving the old army tent up for all-night neighborhood sleepouts- very fond memories here!

No, these aren't memories for me and Josh...but rather my dad and I. I think that every guy hopes to be able to have some awesome memories with his son, but for me, I shamefully admit that it has taken a while to be able to reflect back on my childhood and truly appreciate the sacrifices and unconditional love that my dad had and still has for me.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bon Appetite

Finally....after watching my family chow down on steak, fried chicken, and pizza for the first 3 months of my life, they gave me some "real" food this past weekend. Not that soy formula doesn't quench the palate- but have you tasted that stuff lately? I'm guessing that Emiril LaGasse wasn't consulted when assembling the ingredients. Anyway, after checking out every baby web site known to man, my mom went shopping and bought me some single grain rice cereal (woo-hoo!) I didn't have the heart to tell her though that it wasn't much better than the soy crud that they've been giving me. Thankfully, she works during the daytime, and my dad got the message- after a number of disgusted looks/ food spits- to "kick it up a notch" and add a little bit of pears to the cereal. As least now, there's some taste to it. Hopefully, mom won't read this because she might lay in to good ole' dad. ("they" say you're only suppose to introduce only one new food a week...yeah, whatever)

Mom would never be upset with me because...well, I'm just too cute.

-Sarah Kay

Friday, June 09, 2006

An evening campfire

I love "camp"-fires- Actually, I love fires in my backyard- the camping I can do without. Something about sleeping on the ground in a tent w/ bugs crawling all over you has never been overly appealing to me. Having a fire in the backyard, the kitchen is about 50 feet away, and my bedroom doesn't have any creepy crawlers in it- at least I don't think so!

Josh loves s'mores...although, tonight, I let him down because we had no marshmallows in the house- just a big bag of double-stuff Oreo cookies. We put a major dent in that bag tonight!

Well, I just finished my first week watching all the kids, and so far, they're all accounted for. Sarah has been an absolute joy to spend the day with. I've always been one who can't sit still for too terribly long, but watching an infant can really slow your life down a bit- in a good way. Sarah, after a good feeding and a diaper change, is just content to lay down on blanket and smile/ coo for long periods of time- what a life! We've spent quite a bit of time out on the patio listening to music and just "chillin".

One week down, and only 9 more weeks to gotta love summer time!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Day at the Point

Josh and I, along with a few other teachers, chaperoned the 9th grade Cedar Point trip today...we had a blast! The weather was absolutely perfect, and this is the first time in a long time that I haven't come home feeling sick to my stomach. I simply can't take 8 straight hours of coasters and spin/ puke rides anymore- all of which Marie revels in. Josh, on the other hand, was content to do some of the other attractions at the park...the steam engine train, the paddleboat, the petting farm, a couple of the shows...and yes, the old-fashioned pictures. This was actually a lot of fun because everytime the gal told Josh to look at the camera and NOT smile- he'd start to giggle. It took 4-5 times to get the shot. Another highlight of the trip, for Josh, was to simply ride on the charter buses- complete with TV screens throughout. The little guy crashed on the bus on the way home. I forget that for every one of my steps- it's more like 3 for him. We did a LOT of walking today, so I imagine that he'll sleep soundly tonight.

Summer vacation officially begins tomorrow for me...let the fun begin w/ the Mr. Mom gig!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Congratulations, Kristin and Collin

Cindy, Sarah, and I made the trek up to Michigan on Saturday to celebrate what may be one of the last family weddings for quite some time...the wedding ceremony was beautiful, thanks in part to Terri's incredible singing and the Deacon- who evidently is a close friend to the Setera family. The entire bridal party looked fabulous, but the kids (Brad, Elizabeth, Andrew, Brittany, and Ethan) added quite a bit of charm to the ceremony.

Sarah gets an A+ for her travels in the car...we drove back the same night, so all in all, it was about 9-10 hours of car-time- most of which, she spent sleeping! We made much better time coming home last night- very little traffic helped!

Here's my great grandmother (my dad's mom) with what is now her 20th great grandchild- talk about leaving a legacy! She's a fantastic lady (83 I believe?) and truly enjoys her family. I can only hope that I have the same zeal for life when I'm in my 80's!

Again, best of luck Kristin and each other with all your hearts; remember that nothing can ever replace family; and Collin, learn to say, "Yes darling...whatever you'd like is fine with me."