Sunday, March 31, 2013


Tomorrow late afternoon, we will be in Hawaii.... Maui to be exact!!!

We have never been, and this was all planned quickly, just four weeks ago.  I was very blessed to have been able to rack up 72 hours of overtime at the BFD last month, and so the money was available for us to go somewhere for spring break. 

After having an extremely difficult and disappointing past six months, I was desperately in need of getting away.  I have been so down and depressed, both due to the long winter weather months, as well as because of working the second job every day I wasn't at the BFD.  My overall healthy had suffered greatly.... physically, mentally and spiritually.  It was time for me to get out of my funk!!!

I quit working at Westside Pizza!  I earned a substantial extra income last month through the overtime!  I was already thinking about going somewhere sunny and warm and tropical for a week, just to get away from home  and recharge!  So, I booked us a trip to Hawaii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :-)

And so, tomorrow morning, we will leave our house at 6am.  Uncle Brad will go with us, and we will head to SeaTac to catch our plane.  Grammy & Papa will meet us in Hawaii, as they will fly out of PDX.

Eight days in Maui!!!  In a 4th floor condo, right on the beach!!!  In a most beautiful location on the upper west coast!!!  The weather forecast is for 79 to 83 degrees every day we are there, with lots of sunshine!!!  Sun, surf, sand..... rest and relaxation..... good food and good drink..... no worries about home and life!!!

I am SO looking forward to this trip.  We have NO agenda.  Our only big adventure for sure is to take a day trip out for snorkeling.  Other than that, we plan to lay back and play it by ear, one day at a time, one hour at a time!!!  We may do a lot, we may do very little...... but the goal is simply to be very relaxed and very happy!!!

ALOHA!!!   :-)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Birthday, Weather, Cycling, Kids, Hair.....

Today is the day..... my day.... my birthday.....  my 45th.  Don't feel any different, other than being about 20 pounds heavier than I wanted to be at this time.  Tired from being up at work, and getting up early.  Disappointed in the weather, since I had plans to ride today.  But alas, it is still my birthday!

The weather is crazy.  The forecast had been for today to be nice, and dry, just on the cool side is all.  However, so far today, we have had sun and rain and snow and hail.... and it doesn't show signs of great improvement that would lead me to getting my riding gear on!  :-(

Good news, the weather is supposed to be much better tomorrow, and I don't work!!!  So, letting go of the dream to ride 45 mile on my 45th birthday..... putting it off for one day.  I will go for my ride tomorrow, and maybe will be able to convince my brother, Brad, to go along with me!!!  :-)

My kids are amazing and awesome!!!  I love them so much, and they most certainly love me!!!  They spent 2 1/2 hours working together last night, to make a most awesome Happy Birthday Daddy sign for me, which they had hanging on the side of the house for me to see when I came home today!!!  It is awesome.  I posted a picture of it to FB, so you should be able to see it for yourself.  I can't wait to get my hands on both kids, and give them hugs and kisses like crazy!!!  :-)

Hair..... that is the hot topic around here this week.  We were supposed to get Evan's hair put into corn rows two days ago..... but, long story made short, it didn't happen.  Instead, we are heading back to Bellingham Beauty School today at 3:30pm, for Evan to be used by the head instructor, as she puts on a class for her students on how to put in silky dreadlocks!!! Yes, that is right.... Evan is going to get the dreads that he has wanted for so long now!!!  I will post photos this evening...... not sure at all what he is going to look like.

Anyway..... since I am not riding today, and Tracie and the kids are at school.... I am heading into B'ham to meet a fellow friend and firefighter, for lunch at Coconut Kenny's, and a couple of pints at Kulshan Brewery.   :-)

Just 10 days away from being in Hawaii...... and that will be how I celebrate my 45th birthday!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hitting My Mid 40's.....

Today marks my final week of being in my early forties.  This Friday, I turn 45 years young, and it doesn't bother me at all.  The only thing I am upset about is the fact that I had hoped and planned on being in the very best shape of my life when I celebrated my 45th, and that just isn't going to be the case.  Sadly, due to a very rough past five months of working a second job that I hated, and losing out on the time that I once had for taking care of myself...... well, I lost what I have spent the past several years working so hard for.  I gained back about 15 pounds, and lost lean muscle mass at the same time.  I am very disappointed that I am in the condition that I am now physically, and that I won't be meeting my goal for myself come this Friday.  But, on the bright side, I also won't be working the second job any longer, and will now be back on track to get myself physically and mentally and emotionally healthy once again.  I am confident that I can be back where I want to be once again by the time summer arrives.... and I just have to move ahead and accept that is how it is.

Yes, I had really high expectations for my 45th birthday, and those expectations aren't going to happen.  I am disappointed, yes, but also happy, knowing that I am now able to start moving forward again towards being a much happier and healthier person.  I need that so very badly right now.

I am so very much looking forward to going away to Hawaii the first of April, to soak up some much needed sunshine and warmth, along with an escape from day to day life here at home.   I look forward to connecting again with my kids.  I look forward to once again starting back into a fitness lifestyle.  I look forward to just resting and relaxing on a warm, sandy beach.  I look forward to having fun, and laughing, and playing.  I look forward to coming back home fully rejuvenated and ready to forge ahead in life.

We have a lot to do over the next two weeks.  Getting everything ready to go, shopping still for things we need,  sports activities for both kids, brakes replaced on my Honda, getting our new house sitter acquainted with our home and animals, Biolife plasma donations to earn more spending money.

No doubt, the next two weeks are going to fly by.  We will be in Hawaii before we know it, and that is awesome.  I have been ready to go since we booked the trip!!!

For now, time to go start tearing into the Honda's brakes..... been running metal on metal for way too long.  I got a day or two of work ahead of me on this project.

Come Friday, I hope to log 45 miles on the bike, to celebrate my 45th birthday.  And then, I plan to enjoy a nice birthday dinner, and a couple of delicious beers.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Good-Bye Westside Pizza, and Hello Hawaii.....

After a very long, frustrating, unhappy and unhealthy 6 months of working at Westside Pizza..... I gave my notice yesterday that I am done as of the end of March!!!  Personally, this has been a good 3 months too long now, and my body and mind and soul have paid a dear price for it.  I have gained about 15 pounds, become depressed and unhappy, and have lost touch with the lifestyle of health and fitness and family that I so dearly loved.  I am no longer a cyclist, but rather a guy who loves cycling, and longs to become a cyclist once again.

Although I took on this second job for the right reasons, it has turned out to be one of the worst things I have done in a very long time.  As strongly as I feel about getting completely debt free, and being able to start building wealth and preparing for retirement....... the way things have gone for the past six months, I won't be around to enjoy retirement anyway.  This job has done nothing for me other than to take away what I worked so very, very, very hard for over the past several years.

And so, I am now ready to move forward once again.  I will miss the added income that this job provided, as it was helping to pay the debt snowball.  However, I will not miss the job itself at all.  I will not miss the time away from home, and from my family.  I will not miss the time away from my health and my fitness.  I will not miss the time away from my cycling.  In fact, I would love nothing more than to simply be done this week!!!

On the much, much, much happier and more exciting side of life....... I was so very blessed to have been able to work 72 hours of overtime at the BFD last month!!!  That's a lot of extra cash.  My very first reaction was to simply throw it all at the debt snowball.  But as I thought about it, and thought about unhappy and unhealthy I have become over the past 6 months, I couldn't help but think about how much I have wanted to get away from this place.....from the long, wet, dark and cold winter we have had.  I long for sunshine and warmth, something to revitalize my soul a bit, and help me get back on track once again.  And so, I decided that we need to go away for spring break this year........

And Hawaii it is!!!  Long story on how this came to be.  But, we are heading to Maui for spring break.  And, we have invited Grammy & Papa, and Uncle Brad to join us as well.  Family vacation, for a full week in the sun and the sand and the surf!!!  :-)

Now that we have everything in order for our trip, and now that I have made the decision and given notice at Westside..... I just want to be done, and I can't wait to go!!!  :-)

Sunshine, warmth, sand, snorkeling, good food, family....... our very first time ever to Hawaii.  Yes, this should make life a whole lot better I do believe!!!  I need this, and am really hoping that April will be a huge turn for me for this year.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

And Just Like That..... MARCH!!!

Here we are...... March has arrived!!!

In just 20 days from now, I officially hit my mid-forties, turning 45 years young.  I had some really big plans for this particular year for myself, but alas, most are falling through already.  Such is the way of life I suppose.  It has been a really rough past 5 months for me, and so I should have expected that things may not work out as I had hoped or planned.  Instead, I need to move forward and just go with the flow instead.  Tougher said than done, but it's what I need to do.  Who knows, may 50 can be the big year for me to hit the milestones I had planned for this year!

Crazy thing is...... it's now March.  The Winter months have taken their toll on my this year.  I am so done with the wet and cold and dark and dreary days!!!  I have become physically and mentally and spiritually down, and am so very much in need of a major pick-me-up.  And so, with the help of 72 hours of OT worked in the month of February........ I am taking that family to Hawaii for spring break!!!!!  :-)

Yes, we are heading over to Maui on April 1st (this is no joke), and returning on the 9th.  Our very first time ever to Hawaii.  I am so ready for it, I can't stand the thought of it being a month away still.  Sun, sand, surf, R&R......... it is going to be awesome!!!  I am hoping that this vacation will be life saving for my soul.  I am simply not meant to be a Pacific Northwester in the Winter months!!!  I need sun, warmth, dry.  I can see already that I need to plan ahead for each year, to go on a vacation somewhere sunny and dry and warm midway through the Winter.  Just the fact that I have this trip booked now, has me already feeling so much better!!!  :-)

This month is going to go by fast, I am quite certain.  The anticipation of going to Hawaii will be pushed aside as we deal with kids' sports, drum lessons, school, work, and getting ourselves ready to go.  I am quite certain that it is going to be time to go before we are even ready!

February is all now a blur, I can't hardly remember what all went on or happened, in order to write it here.  Quite simply, I worked..... A LOT!!!  My regular schedule with the BFD, 24 hours on exchange of time at the BFD, 72 hours of OT at the BFD, and all of my shifts at Westside Pizza.  I guess that is why I don't remember much about it.  I hope to scale that back for the month of March, but will still be working at Westside Pizza two days each week.  I also am hoping to pick up more BFD OT whenever possible, so we can have spending money for Hawaii that doesn't have to come out of our family budget.  Having the whole trip paid for in OT would be wonderful.  :-)

Still on track with the Dave Ramsey financial plan.  Exception that Dave wouldn't approve of is this trip...... I know for fact he would say that this money should go directly to the debt snowball.  However, I am still doing the debt snowball.  I am still working the second job.  I am still keeping our family budget in line and working.  The only thing that hasn't been working is me keeping my overall physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health through this process.  With that, I personally feel that I need to take this break.  I need to get those things back, so I can push forward once again.  Sorry Dave!

So, baseball season begins for Evan this month. Fast pitch softball starts for Sierra this month.  Evan is moving forward very well with his drumming and lessons.  Tracie is still working at the school, and is back on track again with her online studies.  I am working both BFD and Westside still this month.  Let the fun begin!!!