2 babies crawling, What do I do now?

Heston started crawling. And finally tonight when I got off of work and walked in the door Sarah put Alex down. And off he went. I can’t believe it. I picked him up and kissed all over him. He started laughing. Then I put him down on the blankets in the living room. And they both crawled after me. They are slow. But I know they will pick up speed when they figure it all out.

My babies are crawling! I was warned once they start crawling they will get into everything. We are overly prepared. I’m in shock. These 2 little peanuts that I held from Day 1 are now these mobile little beings. This is all happening way too fast.

I Facetime’ed everyone to show them. Same response from everyone. So happy and then they warn me they will get into everything. Yes I know. We are ready.

The best part is when they start chasing my dog Lol He loves them so much. He thinks they are his new toys now. They crawl after him, he puts his butt in the air and then takes off. It’s been fun. I just can’t believe it. My little Alex is crawling. I wondered when he would start. His brother was pretty much crawling over him at this point. But now they are racing over to me. Kisses for everyone. Big airplane rides then back down to the floor so they can crawl all over me and yank on my tie.

Best day ever! We are at the lakehouse until Sunday morning. Because Josh and I are hitting the Bears game at noon. We all needed a break from the city. It gets too intense there. It’s go go go all the time. Even if it’s just a day break we all voted to come up here.

I need to go cook dinner. The girls want brats on the grill. Yuck. I’m grilling tofu and veggies for me. And I made some brownies last night and brought them up here. They are made out of cauliflower I pureed Lol I didn’t tell them that part yet.

Have a great Friday night, friends. Love ya’ll!

25,000 and counting!

It was a little over a month ago I had hit 15,400 followers. And now we’re at 25,000! How exciting. I appreciate all of the followers. My Crowdfire App is amazing. It does all of the work for me. I’m very happy to continue to build a community of people who read my feed and also get directed back here to my blog. It helps get my story out there.

I am getting off work at noon today. We are all heading up to the lakehouse for some fall fun and relaxation. It’s cloudy but it’s going to be a nice cool weekend. I’m getting on my boat (Without the boys this time) and going out for some exploring. At the last-minute my buddy Josh asked if he could drive up tonight after he gets off work. He needs a weekend out-of-town I guess. The more the merrier. I’m going to drop everyone off then run to get a bunch of groceries. The service I have got everything on the list for us already but there are some new things I need to pick up for this weekend’s recipes. I’m so excited to get to cook all of this new stuff. The girls did a really good job in picking out meals. Adding my own vegan twist to all of them will be fun. I really hope they turn out well.

Another great week at work. Not as stressful. Things are going along. The money is flooding in right now and I love that. It helps me put a lot to the side to cover expenses. We have 2 more businesses opening this year and then we are done expanding until after 2018. Next year will be focused on getting all of the businesses showing a profit and making good financial moves to secure a great future. Next year will also be my swan song as I want to focus on my family. I don’t mind 2 board meetings a month. I can handle that. I’ve worked so hard for so long I worry I might get bored within a week but I know my boys will keep me busy and right now they are the most important.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. My boys and I will be enjoying some college football then some NFL. The girls aren’t going shopping this weekend. Not sure why. I do know Sarah sat them both down and worked on their budgets with them. They asked her for help. They both have made a lot of money working for us and are getting ready to decide what to do with it. I stay out of it. I just sign their checks. I am happy to know they are looking out for themselves financially and working on plans to save as well as plans to move into a different building. I have offered them one of our apartments. It’s closer to me, it’s nicer, and it is safer as far as I know. They would get a discount on the rent of course and I would finally feel good if they wanted to take the boys overnight for a weekend. They both have earned my trust on that. They have been asking about it for months and I said NO! They have both stepped up and stopped being brats (Thank you Lindsay) so I really think we could try that soon. But not yet. I love time with my boys on the weekends. We do man things. Like eat, and spit up on our shirts and go outside and roll around on the blanket Lol I can’t get enough of them. They are growing up so fast. It won’t be long and they will be crawling all over the place. They are both getting really close to it.

Enjoy the nice weather guys! Get outside and do something fun. You all deserve it! I will update more tomorrow. TGIF! Love ya’ll!

First day of Fall

Welcome to the end of my summer and the beginning of my fall 2016. So summer was a huge amount of fun this year. I had my boys, I had the Olympics. I had all kinds of baby stuff going on. I honestly don’t deserve all the good I have in my life. The best things are yet to come though. Fall is here! Pumpkin spice everything, candles that make my house smell great. Football! And Cubs post-season play. It’s going to be a great fall season for my little family. The boys have completed swim lessons. I got their certificates tonight. Our last swim lesson and I’m happy. I think they enjoyed it a lot. I found out the next cycle for baby fun is usually baby yoga. Which I find ridiculous and I said no to. I told the moms in the class my boys will be signed up for another activity at night but we haven’t found one yet. I want to get them into something before it snows. Because I’m already paranoid about taking them out into cold weather. I don’t want to deal with it again. It was hard enough at the beginning of this year. I didn’t know what to dress them in. I was confused so I kept them inside for 6 weeks.

We are going up to the lakehouse tomorrow. I’m getting off work at noon so we can enjoy a long weekend. I’m dropping everyone off then making a quick trip to Sam’s club to get a bunch of stuff for this weekend. The girls want me to make a few things. Cookies was high on the list. But of course not vegan cookies because no one put me and the boys like those. I think they are really tasty. But I’m used to it. Oh well. I’m also supposed to make chili. Yuck. They want 2 kinds of meat to go in it. I could just about hurl thinking about it already. Sitting there stirring that pot all morning. Is there any good slow cooker chili recipes that I don’t have to mess with much? Anyone know of one?

I’m really getting into these cooking ideas. I’ve been trying a lot of different things the girls find for me. They wanted a cheese fest night. So I got all kinds of things and made 4 different dishes. That was a big success. You know what didn’t go over well? Seafood night. Yuck. I told them I really don’t know how to cook seafood but they didn’t listen. It was a disaster Lol Really bad and the smell for days. Even worse. Never leave cut up fish in your garbage can for 2 days, people. It was really bad.

The Cubs won last night! Great game that started off with 2 runs. And then it died down for a little while. Then more and more. Great game. Cam and I sat on our European pillow seats he bought. It was hilarious. But everyone in our row asked to try it out and we all agreed very comfortable. Not very practical to carry around but no one thought we were smuggling in anything bad. Just 2 dudes, with seat pillows Lol You know, typical Chicago Cubs fans! Geez, Cam.

Work was good. Got a lot done. Lindsay is starting a campaign to get me to move to Las Vegas with the boys. She said if she starts now I may change my mind and stay in America. I doubt it. I have bigger dreams than raising my kids here. I want to go explore and travel with them.

She has been traveling more than I have. We haven’t been talking much. Just business. Anytime I ask her what she’s up to she does the whole Huh thing, goes completely silent then says gotta run and hangs up. She’s squirrely.

So what is everyone doing this weekend? Anything fun?

Have a great rest of the week. I’m sure I will have time to update more this weekend.

Chicago Bust

Josh and I went to the Chicago Bears game last night. Fun guy’s night out. Wrong. Well we did have fun and we laughed a lot but the game was a bust. Cutler got hurt, then 5 others got hurt. It was bad. And now the next day one more went down. That game didn’t look that bad. Ouch.

Today has been busy. I have been going out a town a lot for day trips. But I make sure I’m back in Chicago by 5pm. That way I can get home in time to cook for supper or at least pick something up for me and Sarah. The boys are enjoying their random and various baby foods. We are trying different ones. Figures they both like the same ones and both don’t like the same ones. Very interesting.

Work is busy. My boys are perfect and my personal life is so quiet it’s finally back to normal. Finally. I love that. No one bothers me, no one harasses me online anymore. The trolls are have imploded. I knew I would be old news soon. The entire world is over me. Thank goodness! I’m over myself actually. I was over myself months ago but it was still a small presence.

Things are going great. I’m training hard for marathons. I’m working out every morning and taking my dog for a walk every night. We hang out a lot actually. He misses me during the day. Sarah plays with him some, the pet nanny takes him out to the dog park if it’s not too hot. Lately the weather has been great. He’s got a funny personality. Great dog.

I’m going to a Cubs game tomorrow night with Cam. I promised him I would take him to a game this season. Our schedules finally lined up. He’s excited. He’s taking me to a Cuban restaurant before we go. I’m chugging pepto before we eat there. I love Cuban food but it’s spicy for me. Different flavors and I don’t even know what they make the sauces with. But it’s very easy to find vegan cuban food. They load things up with veggies.

Great week so far. Well it is Tuesday. I can’t wait to get to Friday and head back up to the lakehouse. I’m really looking forward to some boating/jet skiing combo adventures. Should be a nice relaxing weekend.

Have a great week everyone! God loves you and I love ya’ll too!

Rowboat Book Club Book #45

This is a very interesting book that I found via a newspaper article. We are going to read The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner.

Ruth Wariner was the thirty-ninth of her father’s forty-two children. Growing up on a farm in rural Mexico, where authorities turned a blind eye to the practices of her community, Ruth lives in a ramshackle house without indoor plumbing or electricity. At church, preachers teach that God will punish the wicked by destroying the world and that women can only ascend to Heaven by entering into polygamous marriages and giving birth to as many children as possible. After Ruth’s father—the man who had been the founding prophet of the colony—is brutally murdered by his brother in a bid for church power, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife of another faithful congregant.

In need of government assistance and supplemental income, Ruth and her siblings are carted back and forth between Mexico and the United States, where her mother collects welfare and her stepfather works a variety of odd jobs. Ruth comes to love the time she spends in the States, realizing that perhaps the community into which she was born is not the right one for her. As Ruth begins to doubt her family’s beliefs and question her mother’s choices, she struggles to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself.

Recounted from the innocent and hopeful perspective of a child, The Sound of Gravel is the remarkable true story of a girl fighting for peace and love. This is an intimate, gripping tale of triumph, courage, and resilience.

I’m ready to go and no one else is

Who’s going to see the Cubs play today? This guy! Our 94-53 Cubs have clinched the division and it’s time to start thinking about October. Everyone is up, I made breakfast and the girls are in the bathrooms getting ready. I heard one of them holler which sunglasses are you wearing today? Oh boy. My fun adult outing has turned into a fashion show. I understand it’s a great place to meet guys, but really girls. This was supposed to be family day! Not pick up Cubs fans and get free beers because they look hot day Lol Oh well. So I’m sitting here waiting. I’m in black shorts, my new Division Champs Cubbies shirt and ballcap with my new black Nikes. Oh and my Ray Bans. Aviators. Classic.

They picked a nice restaurant to go to for lunch. We’re going to sit on the patio and people watch while we eat. Then we are walking to Wrigleyville from there. There was a lot of debate on that too. Heather and Brandi said they would prefer to be dropped off because they can’t walk in their shoes that far. I said why can’t you walk in sneakers? And they both laughed at me. Whatever. So Sarah said we can all walk, plan different shoes. It’s almost like the LORD HAS SPOKEN when Sarah bosses them. At least I don’t have to do it.

Have I mentioned lately that my boys are the cutest babies on the face of the Earth? Oh I have? Well guess what. They still are! They are really getting big personalities. They do everything alike. It’s hilarious. If you get one laughing and start making a fuss the other starts then they go back and forth. The competition has started early. We go on Monday for our 7 month checkup. Yes I go monthly. I don’t care. I want to make sure we are hitting our nutrition marks for growth. And we are. My babies eat vegan food. Only vegan food and it has not in any way hampered their development. That was my main worry about deciding to do that. I’m going to have to get over myself when the boys start hanging out with other kids and they start discovering other food. When they decide they no longer want vegan, ok. It will kill me inside Lol but okay! Because I just don’t want to look at or cook meat. It’s disgusting. Yuck. Even the thought of it makes me want to hurl. Gross. I’m going to try to sway them as long as I can but eventually those Golden Arches and those beautiful looking french fries will win their hearts. And then it’s off for Happy Meals once a week. At least we have a solid basis to start from. The doctor actually said starting them off from day one with the vegan aka elemental formula has proven to him that it is not at all a bad choice. And he will start doing some research into this. He said if it really is all vegan and all natural it is the absolute best thing besides breast milk. Duhhhhh, doc. That’s why we’re doing this. My boys get the best. Until they are brats and tell me they hate me. Then they get NOTHING! Lol

Looks like 2 of them have made it out here. Brandiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii LETS GO! Bye guys! Go Cubs!

Soul to Life – The Beginning

Close your eyes

I was born in a breath and I will die in a breath. In between, I must live fully. For years I’ve been going about my day. Nothing has really brought me into an awareness that I needed more in my life. Until now. I have been writing this book in my head for about 20 years. I have always been a seeker of things. I love life, but I have become stagnant to it. I feel like I’m no longer growing as I did when I was in school. I’m not challenging myself, I’m not being challenged. I am just…here. If you are reading this you have some common thoughts.

Let me be honest. I do not have the answers to your life. I only have the answers to mine, whether I recognize them or not. My goal is to provide you with the words I need to share in hopes that one thing I say may inspire you to shift all of your energy, love, and perception to a higher level. I want to wake you up just as I want to be awoken. What I am offering to you I am also offering myself. You and I, my new friend, are in this together now. As long as you are reading this I have your attention. I promise you I am going to make the most of our time together. When this book ends you will feel better. Your problems won’t go away, your broken heart won’t heal and your bills won’t be paid. I promise you will understand yourself more. You will begin to question yourself more. This is not going to change your whole life. It’s going to change mine. I am your guide into my journey. Together we will see where this takes us. Your thoughts will formulate on the things I say to you here. From that, your inspiration will begin to cook and bake. You will end up with something so delicious even your soul will feel it. I promise.

So close your eyes for a few seconds and prepare yourself for this. Give yourself a moment of silence and get ready. This is going to be fun, emotional, compelling, and necessary. You have to finish this book now that we have begun. Not to satisfy a curiosity. For yourself. This is the one thing you may have done all for yourself in a while. Give yourself permission to breath. Then relax.

Ready?

You know nothing

You don’t know anything at all about your life. You may know the basics but there is so much more you have yet to learn about yourself. Just as I don’t know anything about my life either. So we are in this together. I know that I am male. I know my years are 43 and counting. I know I am a human being and I know what color my hair and eyes are. I know my height and weight. I know I can walk, lift up things, speak, think, and feel. These are all I know about myself. I am constantly changing. Are you? Yesterday I described the sky as big. Today I describe it as blue. Am I wrong?

Which is right? If both are right, how am I ever wrong? We tell ourselves descriptive terminology when it comes to how we define ourselves. We are completely wrong. Your soul has not lived this long for you to fail it so deeply. We all should be ashamed of ourselves to ever try to categorize who we are by adjectives. I am tall, yes. I am male, yes. I am a commercial real estate investor. What? Now we are starting to define ourselves by our careers? How bold am I to think that is all I am.

You do not belong on a list of things. You belong to a natural state of being. You are undefinable. I am undefinable.

Try to understand

There are no steps to follow on your journey. I can not tell you how to live. I can not tell you if you follow my 4 basic steps to enlightenment you will finally understand everything! That’s not going to happen. What I can tell you and with all of my heart, it’s going to be okay without instructions. Let me further crush all the things you know and say you don’t need instructions. You have always lived your life as it is. You can and will continue to make the rules up for yourself as you go. You know what it best. You know what brings love and what manifests fear for you. I am going to tell you the most ridiculous thing you will ever hear about my life. In all sincerity I do find it hilarious now. Now I do. Back in the olden days I did not find it funny whatsoever. I am going to open myself up and become vulnerable to make my point. Again, I am guiding you to where I need you to go on the next path of this journey we are on. We are going to talk about chickens for a moment. Yes, chickens!

I’m deathly afraid of chickens. I wish it was a joke but it’s not. Chickens make me hyperventilate. If they come near me I run. If they make chicken sounds, I run. If I even see a chicken. I run. It is a real fear inside of me. Logically I am aware I’m 10x bigger than a chicken. Logically I am aware that the chicken is not going to attack me. It doesn’t matter. Chickens are death ninjas to me and they will flap me in the face, peck out my eyes, and scratch my skin so deep I will be permanently scarred with chicken talons. Do we see how irrational that is? Yet, I’m still afraid of them.

I understand it is a real fear to me. Are you afraid of chickens? Probably not. That’s why I have no answers for you. I stay away from chicken places simply because I do not want to die or embarrass myself by running away, well like a chicken. For me, my fear is rooted in childhood. I know that. But why am I still afraid after all of these years? That’s what I call remembrance pain. As soon as your memory is triggered on something your body, mind, and heart react. Remembrance pain is real. It puts you right back into a sensory moment of fear or other emotion. It is an attachment that you must learn to cope with or break free from. On sight, I see a chicken and I freeze. Then I run. My mind remembers that traumatic chicken attack of ’79 and my mind says Danger! Danger! My heart begins to speed up and I look to evade and escape. Completely irrational, completely silly. I know. It still doesn’t matter. I tried going to hypnotherapy once to remove the death ninja chicken scenario from my sub-conscious. What happened is I paid $150 to lay on a couch and cry about my chicken fear only to feel worse than when I came in. That did not work for me at all. What does work? I stay away from chickens. Very easy since I do not live on a farm. The concern is I am afraid of chickens. Which means 100% I will teach my children that I am afraid of chickens. In their empathy and love for me they may also begin to fear chickens. That’s the problem. I don’t want them to fear chickens. I want them to be okay around them.

My fear is real. My concept of it being silly, irrational, and probably very overdramatic is known. Yet here I am. Standing in my truth that chickens are death ninjas to me. You are not afraid of chickens (You should be!) and I’m happy for you. Let us explore what 1 of your fears are.

What do you fear in life?

Maybe it’s death? Maybe you fear being alone forever? Maybe you fear a child passing away before you? There are all common things and great answers. But the person that is also reading this book right now may not have the same answers. I promise you as life has gone on your fears have changed. Think about it. You may have been scared of dogs as child. Now you own 2 and are fine. What transition did you get to in your life where that fear was gone? Did someone make you pet or hold a dog? Did the fear suddenly go away when you saw and met a friendly dog? Replacement is a great way for you to replace your fear with love. Your fears have been feeding your ego your entire life. Your fear has replaced things you may not even realize you like or love. You have let fear guide you. It is the exact same as I am guiding you through my book. Fear showed up, said this is Danger! Danger! You believed it and you stopped doing whatever it was that caused the fear to manifest. You are letting fear dictate your life. Is that how you want to live? Listen, I do the same thing. We are in this together. Don’t forget that part. Let’s talk this out. Fear gives you no rewards. It actually steals things from you. Fear let you not talk to the cute girl at a party. Fear let you not go ask for a raise even when you know you truly deserved it. Fear made you not make that I’m sorry phone call that you regret. Fear left you at a bus stop and took off years ago. And where are you? Still at the bus stop waiting for a ride. Do not do that to yourself anymore. It is a declarative sentence now because I hit the bold button by accident and I like it now so I’m not going to fix it. Do not do that to yourself anymore! Fear is an ending to something you want. It’s not a bridge to cross. Fear stops life. You can reach a center point where you feel like you are fearless and you can overcome. Human beings by nature are survivalist. Look at all our evolutionary accomplishments. Yet, fear has always stopped us from moving forward. Why do we let it? For me, fear shocks even me when it comes up in my life. I don’t recognize it at first then I think, oh yes, that’s what that feeling is. I don’t like it. Fear is an undershirt to your body armour. The longer the wear it the less warm you will feel. You can not change from a place of fear to a place of love overnight. Why not start to see fear as not a barrier, but a hurdle.

Welcome to the beginning of nothing

You are here so that’s a great start. Your mind is slowly opening to what I am saying to you. You are awake and aware. Now it’s time to really see where your thoughts can take you. You are at the beginning of nothing. You will end up with nothing. But it’s the messages in between that I pray you will focus on. What kind of thoughts are you already coming up with? We have talked about fears. Did you think about what you are fearful of? Keep in mind there are all different levels of fears. That is why I am trying to tell you there are no instructions on your spiritual life. You are more connected to yourself than you realize. Your body reacts to your mind’s perceptions. Your mind’s perceptions make your heart react. Your heart impacts all of the sensory perceptions of your body. Everything you do, from soul to life, is connected. Everything. And guess what? When your soul leaves your body, it goes on forever. It takes with you everything you became on Earth. You carry it with you into your next energy. Please don’t think I’m trying to speak as if I know. I don’t know. I’m speaking on my experiences and my own ideas. I do know that we all die someday. I pray for you it’s many, many years ahead. I also pray for myself on that one too.

When you die what happens to your soul?
Where does it go?
Does it immediately leave your body or does it stick around until you ascend?
And by ascending what does that mean?

The clarity of it all

I don’t know. I mean I can spend the next few pages talking about my own beliefs but that’s not why you are here. You are here so I can guide you through my life and we can see what inspires your thoughts from it. That’s all. I don’t know what is going to happen when I die. I know legally, my businesses, homes, assets, and debits will all be taken care of. I have a will prepared. I know my children will be taken care of for the rest of their lives. I imagine the moment I die, a bright light will shoot down and I will fly up to the sky? With all of my heart, I really don’t know that answer. I wish I did. But then again, I wish I didn’t. I don’t think I want to know what happens to me. I would like to believe in what the teachings I have learned are all correct. Live a good Earthly life and seek the Heavenly rewards. Right? Do I believe I will move into a brand new house in Heaven on Samuel Lane, where all of my relatives will greet me and gather? Will we all still be watching the Cubs play from Heaven or can I just jump on a cloud and watch the game right over the stadium? (For free) I know, that I don’t know. I admit that.

Why are you sitting through life?

What do you do when you are having a bad day? I want to crawl in bed and sleep it away but that’s not going to help anything. I want to not talk to anyone or go anywhere. Again, not helping. Now that I’ve learned better, when I am having a bad day I go outside. Being outside helps my mood immediately. If it’s cold I go out for a deep breath and come back in refreshed. If it’s nice out I will sit outside for a while and just clear my head. If it’s raining, I will change clothes and go out in the rain. Rain doesn’t hurt you, so many people try to avoid it. My point is when you are having a bad day that’s the time to really get active. Do something, go somewhere, talk to someone, anything. Sitting in your sadness promotes longevity deeper into the abyss. Don’t do that. Find a new thought and go explore it. You can get yourself out of a bad mood. No one has ever died from a bad mood. It’s impossible to stay unhappy forever. There are far too many positive and interesting stimuli around that will change your perception.

I keep using that word perception because it’s a great way for you to realize you are both an internal and an external being. Your moods reflect your body posture. Your current activity level reflects your mood. When we have had a bad day do we want to go hit it hard at the gym or sit on the couch with a pizza and tv? See what I mean. Your perception will change at the dawn of a new thought. I remember helping a friend move out of her apartment after a breakup with her boyfriend. She cried the whole time. When we finally got all of her stuff put in storage I asked what’s next. She said I’m going to go dancing tonight, drop me off at my friend’s house. Just like that she was over it. She had cried it out and felt ready to move forward. How amazing is the human spirit that you can rise up so quickly after a fall. It’s great.