April 2017 – Indiana, Rafting, and Puppy Butts

We started April off celebrating Chris being Student of the Month. Colleen is still a bit miffed and befuddled that this is the first time anyone in our family earned this award. Beth and I have been waiting years and years for this day to come 🙂 Ha! We are proud of ALL of our kids, and we were especially proud of Christopher as we got to get up early before school to enjoy prepackaged breakfast treats in the school cafeteria with him – makes you want to win this every month, huh?

Not many people out jogging with me on many winter days. They are missing out! I love running through fresh fallen snow on a sunny day. Definitely wakes me up and helps me appreciate the beauty in nature each day! I have a whiteboard in a hallway at work where I write messages and questions each week for everyone to see. We’re currently on Day 4 of a 10-day series on happiness tips. Today’s message was about appreciation, and we asked the question, “When do you stop and take notice?” My favorite answer that someone wrote on the board today was, “When Dave tells me to start appreciating what I have.” If people don’t figure it out on their own then I’ll definitely help remind them! 🙂 Here’s a great 5 minute video that is a great reminder for all of us to appreciate what is around us every single day – I encourage you to watch it (outside is my recommendation) as often as it will bring you energy and happiness.

Absolutely! Nothing is stopping my girls! Try to put them in their place – they will rise again even stronger! I sincerely hope some of our leaders are taking note. Treating everyone around us with respect is all of our responsibility.

Speaking of no one stopping my girls…for anyone who still believes in science, scientists, and the data/evidence they produce…here’s my mad scientist at work! Changing the world and impacting lives! This is where she’s at when she’s working “in the hood”. Her happy place 🙂

It’s one thing to have pictures of puppy butts on cards, but it’s a whole other thing to actually create a “Puppy Butt” card section. Is this that popular of a section that people ask for it and they need to categorize these cards? I wonder what occasion or anniversary is celebrated with puppy butts? Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to find out someday.

It was a big year for car purchases. First I got a new car. That let us turn my old car into “the family car” (for Colleen now). I started with a 2007 grey Mazda 3. I told the dealer I wanted the same thing but newer…so I left with a 2014 grey Mazda 3. And then (Beth’s plan all along I’m sure), since the minivan was a 2005, we dumped that and got Beth a new car too while we were there – so now we’ve somehow got three Mazda’s! The minivan was great for us…but Beth sure didn’t shed any tears saying good-bye to it

This past year went fast. We were driving back from the Boston Marathon a year ago when we heard that Prince died. A movie theater in Chanhassen (home of Paisley Park) painted this huge mural of Prince. Pretty cool to see it up close! Maybe I didn’t appreciate Prince enough while he was around, but it’s energizing to see all those out here who were touched by him and his music.

I also often jog under the bridge leading up to Paisley Park. People have written so many message to Prince there. They even have buckets of chalk out so you can add to it. Here’s Colleen adding to it.

I guess it’s not too surprising that life caught up to Aunt Beth sooner than any of us wanted. But she lived her life the way she wanted to and wouldn’t have it any other way. She was amazing at striking up a conversation with just about anyone – always with a smile on her face and could make any situation funny. It was sad of course, but it also brought our family together in Indiana. It is always great to see my parents, plus so many other relatives, and I’m very lucky to still have some great friends from college nearby who made the trip to Rochester. Aunt B made her home a welcome spot for all of my friends while in college and beyond – she was their aunt too! Here’s a short message I posted on Facebook at the time, “Rest in peace Aunt Beth – you are loved and will be missed. For over 25 years I bet her $1 for every Purdue vs IU football or basketball game, mailing the same worn dollars back and forth. I remember her picking me up at college one year during the Old Oaken Bucket game – I never had so much fun loudly singing the Purdue fight song in her car as Purdue stole a win that year! I think she’s the one that taught me how to swing a baseball bat, helped me pick out my first car, and I likely had my first beer with her – heh! She watched out for me in college and beyond – always with love and open arms. I will forever miss the fun rivalry of her poor choice in Indiana sports teams 🙂 Love & miss you Aunt Beth.”




I’m always glad when I happen upon a “sign”…did Aunt B have anything to do with this April cloud???

We saw Mixed Match at the MSP International Film Festival. One of Beth’s advisors in her PhD program (Dr. Jakub Tolar) is key to the efforts highlighted in this film. He was there for Q&A in the theater after the film, along with one of his patients who stars in the film, and he gave a shout out to Beth in the audience – and to researchers everywhere. He is always very driven, and he challenged all of us to sign up to be possible bone marrow donors and to raise awareness to the genetic complexities in ever growing mixed races. We can all save lives (the pic is of Beth doing a simple cheek swab for the registry).

Chris had his birthday party and invited a bunch of boys over to help celebrate. They decided to play all sorts of games after dark while running through our yard (and maybe the neighborhood). It rained recently, and I know I warned them about a few very muddy areas. It made me laugh so hard the next day to see these very deep footprints in the mud! Apparently one kid even lost his shoes at one point – ha! Fun times! Boys will be boys 🙂

Shoe tags arrived in time for Colleen and my 1/2 marathon, and my full marathon! I love that my mom found these before my Boston marathon…I buy them every time now for doses of inspiration!

Here’s our family at Easter. The best picture was when we had that blue fan perfectly centered over Chris’ hair. I think our wall changes as much as we do over the years!

I’m no expert on rafting, but I’m not quite sure they are doing this right. Something seems to be missing…

I’m glad they figured out their problem and actually got out onto water. The river was high due to lots of rain and snow melt…made for a fun day for them! Chris loves all of the activities with his troop…rafting and then Sea Base (off of the Florida Keys) this year, and dog sledding early next year. Fun!



Leave a Reply