Ironman – My sister-in-law Lauryn placed 2nd in her age/girl group in yesterday’s Ironman race here in Tempe. The girl swam 2.4 miles. Then she rode her bike for 112 miles. Then she finished with 26.2 miles. That’s a 4-hour marathon at the end of the day. The girl is tough as nails! I am inspired to be more fit.

Woody Wagons – I’ve always loved cars, but I’ve had a particular affinity for woody wagons. When I was young, I loved the boxy woody wagons from that 1930s that became sleek during the 1940s. When I was in high school, I fell for the less-is-more woody wagons during the 1950s. After college, I fell for the long and low woodys in the 1960s. Now that I am a Dad in my 30s, I’m really diggin the 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon. Why? Mostly b/c this is a woody that I could really buy and not just adore. And when it comes time to buying, I want something that is fast, reliable, and safe. The roadmaster has a Corvette engine that is both quick and reliable. Plus it has modern safety features and comfy new leather interior. I’m aware that commoners will look at the 1996 Estate Wagon and remember that they made fun of that wagon while they sat tall and proud in the 1996 Ford Explorer on their way to soccer practice. I’m okay with that. Their distaste today keeps me from having to pay tomorrow’s collector car premium. In other words, a great car is cheaper when not everyone agrees that its cool. It’s a supply and demand thing.

Getting it Together – In my 20s, I always felt overwhelmed by the routines of life. Maybe I was traveling too much or I was just too distracted by pursuing women, but I always felt overwhelmed by cycles calendar year. I never felt like I had enough time to plan for any holiday–Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year. Every holiday, including my own birthday, felt like it was rushed upon me with short notice. But now that I am married and have a family, I can actually see holidays coming and plan accordingly. Life is more fun this way.

Family Room Renovation – For the last couple of months, I’ve been redoing my family room: new floors, new fireplace, new wall paneling, and new built-in shelves. I’m about 75% there and it feels so good to have the most lived-in room of the house finally looking right. I want to get it all done in time to enjoy stockings hung from the mantel.

TV – It’s fun to watch TV shows and movies as I renovate my family room. But I am well aware of that magic on the screen doesn’t pass through into my own life. To be entertained through shows, movies, and video games is to accept the reality that your life partly defined by fictitious characters.

Staying Put – Candyce and I have always been adventurers, but during the last few months, our #1 priority has been to stay home. We’ve turned down invitations to great parties and outings with friends. We’ve had no regrets. It’s hard to figure it all out, but since Norah turned 4 earlier this fall, it’s dawned on both me and Candyce that life is going by terribly fast. We want to slow down and savor our life together, and staying home more than we leave home seems to be helping slow down the clock.

“I’m perfect, here’s my blog.” – I’m inspired by the designers and fashionistas who keep such picture perfect lifestyles and share them on their blogs. I’m also okay with the fact that my blog is very much like me–imperfect.