Pizza and a Show

“Any ideas for dinner again?”

I almost responded with my snarky list of “Dinner ideas for when Ty asks for them”, but another text came through.

“It’s state of the union day!”

Oh, yeah! And it airs at 6pm PST, so that means it will be on during the time we’re usually making and eating dinner. So, instead of trying to focus on what’s for dinner, it was a simple answer: Pizza.

Why? Because tonight will be the first time I’ve watched The State of the Union in full, live. And nothing makes me enjoy a comedy… err… an update on the progress of our Country more than watching it while enjoying pizza… and a beer.

You Can Call Me Al

10 miles outside Spokane, about to pick up Robin. We are ready for a great weekend with friends eating Mac and Cheese and drinking beer in the beautiful city of Coeur d’Alene.

I take over the radio, because, let’s face it… I’m just the hip guy whose music is obviously on point (See, Aliya, I get the lingo!)

Of course the first song to play is You Can Call Me Al. Too bad it’s dark out, because I am sure traffic would love to see me dancing and reenacting the music video in the passenger seat of the car.

If you’ll be my bodyguard, I can be your long lost pal…

No resolutions. Just live.

2017 was another incredibly great, sad, scary, restful, and busy year. As Ty and I brought in the New Year on the Las Vegas Strip (which is incredibly quiet with no traffic), I stood there thinking, “Was 2017 a great year? Am I glad it’s over?” I immediately thought of:

  • Losing a close friend after he was shot and killed by a cop.
  • The fear in my mind the day Ty called and said, “There’s a shooter and the Mandalay Bay and we are running, running, running.”
  • The day Ty text me to say that our sister-in-law’s niece was shot at a school shooting.

My thought, “2017 was a year we were impacted by bullets.” This blog isn’t meant to be political, so I’ll stop there, but that was a tough reflection.

The next morning, I thought again, and remembered 2017 was there year where:

  • We had a long overdue vacation to Maui with Ty’s parents, where we enjoyed every moment together.
  • Ty and I took a week long vacation in New York City. No work involved. No family or friends tagging along. Just us. And it was fantastic.
  • The eclipse.
  • Aliya got her first “real” job, and decided to take a break from sports.
  • I got to visit Japan and China and experience two different cultures and eat wonderful food.
  • My team expanded, allowing us to focus on larger projects and clear backlogs.
  • I got to visit with my Aunt for the first time in five years (and see Brooks and Dunn with Reba!)

These thoughts came quick. They were great memories, and I know we had many, many more. And the year just flew by! It made me think, “Did I stick to my New Year’s Resolution?”… I couldn’t even remember what it was.

So, for 2018, there is no resolution. I’m just going to live. Life can be cut short and give your curveballs. Those are memories stuck with you forever. But if we just take a breath and recognize that each day something great can happen, then the better memories will stick out.

I look forward to reflecting on those this time next year.

(Love and miss you every day, Craig.)

If anyone needs me, I’ll be out for the season.

It’s my favorite time of year. That time of year where Starbucks cups turn red, we get the Christmas tree, I wear my “I think it’s not ugly” sweater, and I channel my inner Clark Griswold and hang on the side of the house hanging Christmas lights.

The only problem with this time of year is the snow. But, warmer weather is around the corner. T-minus two weeks until our family vacation.

Also, even my dentist loves my sweater.

She passed!

I took Aliya to her driving test today, and she passed! “Back in my day” we took the driving test the day you were eligible to get your license. Now, you’re able to take it as soon as you’d like, so long as you have a permit and passed the written exam. Now she waits 4 months until she’s able to walk into the DOL and get her license.

I don’t know what’s more exciting: her passing, or knowing that we only have 4 months until our jobs as Aliya’s chauffeur comes to an end!

$50 shipping, dust, and memories.

I was excited to pull out my “solar flare” lens cap from a kit I bought on Amazon a few years before the eclipse. I thought, “Solar eclipse? Solar flare! Of course that’s what it’s used for!”

Thank goodness for “The Googles”. I found out that the solar flare lens I had buried away was not certified to be used to take photos of a solar eclipse. In fact, it shouldn’t be pointed towards the sun.

This was a bummer. I knew that I wanted to take photos of this event. We were fortunate to live in the path of 97% totality, and a week prior to the eclipse we had found the perfect spot to setup! Although we purchased our glasses well in advance, I was kicking myself for thinking I was good-to-go with the camera.

So, for the next few days I watched different sites to see if I could get any last minute solar films to put over my lens. I felt doomed.

But, as luck would have it, I was able to purchase a verified filter on a reputable site. The only problem? The film was $25, and overnight guaranteed shipping was $50! I wasn’t going to spend $75 on film to get here overnight! That’s crazy talk!

Well, I am crazy, and I spent the $75. And I was very thankful I did, although I could have been more prepared.

The pictures turned out great, but it was the company of family that made it even better. We even took Kip!

Our view was in an area called “Jump off Joe”, and my in-laws, Ty, Aliya, Kip, and our family friends followed the dirt trail up the hill to watch the sky go dark. And it was a site to behold!