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Getting Fat…Must Run

Posted on July 20, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

What can I say? Everyone always told me my metabolism would catch up to me and it has. Gone are the days of gorging myself and not worrying about my weight. This didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a slow creep and I’ve seen it coming.

As a kid I always justified that I was the active kid that took the stairs, played sports, and could eat anything. Although, that’s not totally true. I always liked to say that I was someone who ate to live instead of living to eat. That’s still true to some extent, but as I’ve grown older I’ve learned my food vices. Sometimes I wish I was poor and couldn’t afford the foods I liked. I’m sure this is screwed up thinking, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be gaining weight if I only had Ramen in the pantry. On second thought, nah…I love my chocolate ice cream.

Seriously though, I’ve become addicted to food. I just feel like I need to keep stuffing my face. I’d never felt that before, but I feel it now. It sure makes for a new battle for me. Somewhere in life I decided that it was never ok for me to feel hunger. How screwed up is that? I don’t think we should starve ourselves, but how pampered am I that I feel like I need to eat so much that I never feel hungry.

I think in the past I’ve largely made up for it by playing sports. I’d still play sports every day of the week if possible. The problem is that life’s gotten too busy and the body is breaking down more and so I’m not playing sport as much. Combine the loss of exercise and increase in food consumption and I’m losing the battle of the bulge.

That’s more than you wanted to know about me, but I felt like I had to share my battle. I’m sure some will say that I have nothing to worry about and that’s exactly why I’m worried. I’m not enormous, but I don’t want to be enormous. I can still do pretty much everything, but I could stand to lose 25 lbs and my body would be much happier. Better to start now before it’s too overwhelming.

Tonight I started the battle. I went out for a run to workout for the first time ever in my life. For the last 6 months I knew this day was coming. I couldn’t just play ultimate frisbee and call it a day. I had to do something more.

I’d certainly run playing many sports. I’ve even randomly run various 5k and 10k events throughout my life, but I’d never really trained or run “for fun” or “for fitness.” I’m still processing the experience. More on that in a future post.

At least today I’ve won. That feels good. I’ll keep you updated on my progress and feel free to hold me accountable. Why else would I have shared all this on my blog? Now I have to follow through or else…

Kicking Off Las Vegas Summer Pool Side

Posted on May 31, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

One of the great things about being a Las Vegas blogger is that there are so many incredible activities for you and your family to do and write about. Yes, there’s the other side of vegas, but most people are surprised by how many family friendly things are available in Las Vegas.

When we first moved here about 10 years ago, it was shocking to think that Las Vegas had no waterpark. Something about the heat of Las Vegas and no waterpark didn’t sound right. However, over the past couple years, Las Vegas now has 2 waterparks. To kick off the Memorial Day weekend and summer, I was given some tickets for my family to attend Wet ‘n’ Wild Las Vegas. Not one to pass up an opportunity to skip work and go to a waterpark, I jumped at the chance.
Wet N Wild Las Vegas
The Crash Wife and I were interested to compare Wet ‘N’ Wild to Cowabunga Bay in Henderson. I’ll admit that we haven’t been to Cowabunga Bay this year and so we haven’t checked out the new slides, but we both came away loving Wet ‘N’ Wild much more. The kids area was better. The flow between slides was better. The pizza was better.

In a pretty genius move, Wet ‘n’ Wild even offers a free sunscreen station thanks to Comprehensive Cancer Center of Nevada. Smart advertising for them even if they’re trying to prevent new customers. Consider all the white boys we have in our family, this was essential.
Wet N Wild Free Sunscreen Station

This next picture is what I call the Wet ‘n’ Wild Hammam. Crash Kid #3 loved the warm cement. The funny part was that I asked the Crash Wife if it was too cold to go to the waterpark since it was only going to be 90. #DesertRats
Wet N Wild Hammam Las Vegas

I think that my kids favorite part of Wet ‘n’ Wild was the cabana boy (Josh was his name). It was so funny to see them talk about Josh in the first person as if he was their friend or something. Josh had a hard job with so many people getting hungry at the same time. He was even nice enough to pose for this picture with the Crash Kids:
Wet N Wild Las Vegas Cabana Boy

Crash Kid #1 suggested that if I really wanted to show Wet ‘n’ Wild on my blog, then I needed to get a go pro and hold it while I went down a slide. I told him we’d have to see if we could do that next time. I’m not sure the lifeguards would have been too happy with me doing that, but I’d have certainly been game.

All in all, a fun time for the Crash Kids and me. Thanks Wet ‘n’ Wild for the tickets. I’m sure we’ll be back. In fact, I think the Crash Wife has purchased more tickets already.

Child Like Determination

Posted on May 17, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

Child-like Determination

Yesterday was Crash Kid #2’s first piano recital. Luckily there were only 3 people playing at the recital so it was fast and painless. It was exactly the way you’d want a piano recital. Friendly faces in the audience. A chance for your child to perform in front of people and the pressure that goes along with that, but the parents aren’t itching to leave as they heard the 10th child hunting and pecking their way through Yankee Doodle.

I’ll admit that I was a little worried for my daughter. She hadn’t practiced nearly enough and the “Be Our Guest” piece was pretty advanced for 4.5 months of piano lessons. The reality was that she only wanted to practice the songs she knew well. So, she never practiced “Be Our Guest” very much because she was still learning it. I think most of us can relate. We like to take on the things we know we can do and often set aside the hard things for later.

I have to say that in my mind’s eye, I’d already pictured what my daughter would look like if she failed at the song. I could see the despair in her eyes as she looked at me and wondered what she should do if she got off track performing the song. It was heart breaking for me to even think about it.

Much to my surprise and delight, she showed a beautiful determination as she slogged through “Be Our Guest.” From a piano performing perspective it was pretty awful. Her timing was off. She slowly and methodically pecked out the song with only a few parts playing on the right time so you could recognize the song. From a father perspective, it was brilliant.

I was so proud of Crash Kid #2’s determination to pluck her way through the song and do her best. I couldn’t have been more proud. Many kids would have shrunk at the idea of performing that song. She taught me an amazing lesson in determination yesterday. I couldn’t have been more proud.

Slightly Modifying My Responses to My Children

Posted on May 10, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how I respond to my children. This is true when they wake up in the morning, when they get home from school, when they ask me to do something, or need help with something. I think the way I react really makes a huge long term impact and I didn’t even realize what I was doing.

My gut reaction is often to overreact or start addressing the task at hand. For example, when they get home from school it’s easy to start by saying, “Start doing your homework.” Yes, I definitely want them to do their homework, but I’d hate if the way I was greeted when I got home was homework. A much nicer greeting would be to ask about how their day went. Of course, I’m unlikely to get long greetings to start, but I think with patience they’ll likely start expecting this and be ready to recount their day when they get home from school.

This really came to light the other night when putting my kids to bed. It took a couple times for this to sink in, but I finally think I got the message. While as a parent I often want the kids to get in bed so I can get to the things that I want to do in peace, I’ve been doing what I can to spend more time talking with my kids at night. Sometimes that includes climbing into bed alongside them so they know I’m there to talk and I’m not going to be running out the door as fast as I can.

After doing this a few times along with what’s possibly a bad habit of giving some short backrubs while we talk at night, I decided not to do it one night because the kids had acted poorly. Crash Kid #1 said in one of the most sincere voices I’ve ever heard him use, “But I like when we talk at night.”

Kind of makes my heart break thinking about it. I like talking with him too, but sometimes at night I’m tired and not that interested in talking about minecraft or modern architecture design. It’s a seriously tough balance. However, it’s amazing how big of a difference a little thing like 5 minutes of chatting at night can make in my relationship with my children.

Going back to the small ways I react to my children, I could do a lot more in the little things to better help my children. Often that means I need to take a step back and not react to their actions or questions and instead I need to take a second to think about the right way I should respond. That’s not an easy thing to do, but the more I think about it the more I realize it’s one of the most important things I can do.

Over versus Under – The Toilet Paper Debate

Posted on May 2, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

It’s time that we take on some serious journalism here and discuss the debate on whether the toilet paper should go over or under. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about, but to be 100% sure, here’s a visual representation of the debate:

Over versus Under - The Toilet Paper Debate

This is an extremely important subject and no doubt has been the fight between many a husband and wife over the years. I’d be surprised if this question isn’t one of Match.com’s algorithmic checks of compatibility between partners. Considering how much time you spend reaching for the toilet paper, this is an important topic which must be discussed. The problem is that too many people take a simplistic over or under stance, but the answer should be much more nuanced. Since nuance is my middle name, let’s dive into the nuance.

Someone recently found this 1891 toilet paper roll patent which many argued “settled” the debate of over versus under. Here’s the image from the patent:

Toilet Paper Patent

I can see why many would argue that this ends the debate of over versus under. However, just because something patents something a certain way, that doesn’t mean it’s the most optimal way to use something. In fact, there are many initial patents that get modified and improved over the years. Plus, if I was getting into the nitty gritty (which I basically am), then it’s worth also noting that the patent doesn’t even have the toilet paper mounted into proper position. How do we know that the inventor didn’t intend it to be mounted the other way, but this was just the best way to illustrate the patent?

As a child, I must admit that I was a strong proponent of the over the top paper roll. I’m not sure if I inherited this view from my parents or siblings or if I came to the conclusion on my own through constant use. Either way, I became a strong advocate for the over the top toilet paper. It provided much easier access to grab the toilet paper.

As I’ve grown older, I still feel the same way about over the top toilet paper, but I’ve grown to understand an important nuance. Upon having children who became mobile I realized the merits of the under methodology. Any parent who has arrived at their toilet seat only to find a pile of unrolled toilet paper will understand why the under methodology is so important with kids (Side Note: I’m also told this is true with animals such as cats, but don’t have first hand experience). Yes, my children’s actions have converted me to the under approach to toilet paper.

I do look forward to the day when my kids are mature enough to appreciate the over the top toilet paper and I can return to my roots. We’re almost there. I can feel it.

The moral of the story is that we shouldn’t judge others if they choose to go over the top or under on their toilet paper. Like in most things in life, there’s always more nuance than we realize.

Funny Cinderella Perspectives from My 12 Year Old Son

Posted on April 30, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

I was driving home with my son (Crash Kid #1) after a church event where we got to hear from a member of the 12 apostles (Elder Holland for those following along at home). It was almost 10 PM as we got home and I told my son that he’d turn into a pumpkin at 10 PM. He corrected me and said that you turned into a pumpkin at midnight, not 10. He then went on to share his feelings about Cinderella. Here’s more or less what he said:

What was Cinderella doing out so late? She had until midnight. She shouldn’t have stayed out so late and the party even went on for 3 more hours or something. (Side Note: My son usually goes to bed around 8 PM)

Glass slippers. Those weren’t very practical. Glass isn’t very strong and can’t hold much weight before it breaks. Plump Cinderella would likely break them. (Side Note: I’m not sure why he thinks Cinderella was plump. I always thought she was skinny.)

They didn’t do a good job on the prince either. He’s wearing overalls or something. Wait…you know those things that hold your pants up. Suspenders! They should have spent more time on him. Those weren’t the right style then. (Side Note: I didn’t realize he knew Cinderella period styling)

Kids can be so awesome. Tonight was awesome with my son. When he said his evening prayers he prayed “I hope we can do a night like this again.” Can you give me an “Amen!”?

It’s Easy to Overreact

Posted on March 28, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how my children seem to overreact to the smallest of things. It’s quite frustrating as a parent, because you realize that it’s an overreaction and that whatever they’re overreacting to is not something worth worrying about. Sometimes they overreact so much that they start to get upset and angry and then you have to start punishing them for taking it too far. That starts a vicious cycle.

Maybe my kids are alone in this, but they are extremely determined. Once they get something in their mind, they can’t get it out of their mind and just want to keep fighting until they get what they want (probably reminds my mother of me…Sorry Crash Wife). I believe that tenacity will really pay off when my kids are older, but as a parent it’s extremely frustrating.

Tonight though I was thinking about how I can also overreact to stupid things. As I thought about this, I realized that I likely needed to have a little more compassion for my children when they’re seemingly overreacting to something that is insignificant. No doubt that thing is significant in their minds even if it’s not in the much larger scope of things.

This is going to be a hard change. It’s also a hard balance, because you don’t just always want to give in to children just because they’re being obstinate. Obviously, I don’t have the answers, but this is what I’m thinking about tonight.

Burnt Out and Tired

Posted on March 21, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

What a great title for a post on my Birthday huh? It’s just the reality and I thought I’d share. As a get a year older today, I realize that life is a challenge. That doesn’t change. Even when you have amazing things and opportunities in your life, there are also things that can really overwhelm as well.

The interesting part is that I have a pretty amazing life. I have a lot to be grateful for. I have so many opportunities and get to do so many amazing things. However, with all that opportunity it’s really easy to get burnt out and tired.

This seems like the moment to remember that my mom told me I can’t do everything. I’d always respond, “You’re right mom, but I’m sure going to try.”

As I’ve gotten a year older, I think I’m going to have to modify that statement. In fact, I’m already doing so in many things. The older I get, the harder I try not to do everything. That’s really hard for someone who enjoys so many things in life. Kind of makes me wish that I only had one skill and interest. Then, I could just focus on it and not worry about all the other things that I wasn’t good at doing.

Of course, even saying that I realize that the grass is always greener on the other side. There are pros and cons to everything in life. That’s a lesson I keep learning over and over again.

I just got off the phone with Crash Uncle. He had some great words of wisdom that talk about enjoying where you’re at and not worrying about a lot of the other stresses in life. Much easier said than done. However, it’s something I’ll be chewing on this week.

Until then, I’m going to knock out a few more things on my to-do list so I don’t have that weight on my shoulders too. There’s something amazingly satisfying when you cross things off your to-do list.

Surprising Your Children – The Reveal

Posted on January 3, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

This year my wife and I decided to surprise our children with a trampoline. We were lucky that are friends wanted to get rid of there trampoline and so we just had to go and get it. Since we decided to make it a surprise, we had to get it and store it across the street at our friends house until Christmas.

In order to make it happen, one afternoon while 2 of the Crash Kids were at school we had Crash Kid #1 watch Crash Kid #4. Crash Kid #4 asked us where we were going and the Crash Wife said, “We’re going to do some service at our friend’s house.” Well, it worked.

As you read in my last post, we were in New York for 2 weeks for Christmas. So, we had some other friends put the trampoline back together while we were away so it would be there and ready as a nice surprise for the kids.

I’ll tell you. It was a nice surprise. The kids saw it through the window and got so excited.

Today Crash Kid #1 asked us how we were able to surprise them. We told him that we’d gone to get the trampoline when we said we were going to do some service at our friend’s house (Technically we were serving our children, so it wasn’t even a lie!).

When Crash Kid #1 heard about this he responded, “I thought it looked suspicious. You don’t go and do service in the middle of the day on Tuesday. It’s not like it was Saturday.”

He then added, “I was OK though, because I got a snack while you were gone. I got me a Snickers and I was happy that you left.”

I guess we need to have lessons on service and snacking.

Niagara Falls Panorama

Posted on January 2, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

Last year my wife and I had a chance to go to Niagara Falls to celebrate our anniversary. We decided to hit Toronto and then Niagara Falls this year since we were in the area again. No DWTS Live this year (just missed it by a few days), but we did get to watch Cinderella in Toronto.

The show was fun, but the best part of Toronto for me was lunch with my good friend Colin. It was nice to meet his wife and for the Crash Wife to meet them too. Canada is interesting since it’s almost America, but there’s just enough that’s different that it feels slightly uncomfortable. Quite odd.

Anyway, on our way back we got a flat tire on the rental car (5th flat tire in the last 6 months for those keeping track at home. At least it wasn’t snowing or pouring rain. We changed to the spare tire and were able to swap the car out for a new one without too much incident (Thanks Alamo!). We did have a little nervous time on the freeway with a donut spare, but I digress from the original point of the post.

This post was really just an excuse to share this amazing panorama shot I took at Niagara Falls:
Niagara Falls
*Click on the picture to see it in all its glory

Isn’t this picture awesome? This was the first time I’d used the panorama feature and I just got a new phone (Nexus 6),so I was excited to see that it took such great pictures.

Waterfalls are awesome. Niagara Falls is extraordinary. There are few things I like more. Plus, the Crash Wife and I have some good history there. We found the bench where I proposed to her (and she said yes in case you wondered) and reenacted the proposal. Well, we reenacted the part where she was chilling and I couldn’t propose until she took her leg down and was ready for such an important moment.
Niagara Falls Proposal
Since I’m sure someone will mention it, I might need to take a moment to comment on my outfit. Yes, I am wearing some great flannel pajama pants with some custom designed dress shoes (custom designed by my children with a pen). No, this wasn’t the plan. I originally had on some really sexy khaki pants, but during the aforementioned tire change I decided to not ruin them and changed into these flannel pants. Not sure what it says about me (and the Crash Wife for that matter) that I didn’t change back to the nice pants.