That's Life

And THAT is why we don’t staple our fingers…

Wendy and I were both being uber cranky with each other and I felt a need to make her laugh so that we could move past it. Now, I'm 31-years old. I'm not an idiot most of the time. I am rational. I don't do stupid things (most of the time). But for some reason I had this thought that pretending to staple my finger would make Wendy laugh...

“My dad peed in the shower…”

Camping season is coming to an end, and thank goodness because I don’t think I could bare to look into the faces of my fellow-campers until at least after the holidays. Not after what happened.

Buddha Did It

Poor Noah. He’s at the age when kids don’t just start wanting to tattle on their siblings. They need to tattle on their siblings. They need to shift the blame. They need to change the focus when mom or dad are getting frustrated over something that they have done. But Noah is an only child. That means he’s got nobody to blame things on and nobody to throw under the bus when he doesn’t want to take the heat for something naughty he’s done. Enter Buddha. Our three-year-old lazy tank of a dog who doesn’t do a whole lot besides lay around all day or blow snot in your face when you’re trying to enjoy your latest show on TV. As if instinct has kicked in full force, Noah has started tattling on Buddha. He’s started blaming Buddha for the naughty things he’s done. Yesterday I walked into the kitchen and noticed that “somebody” had drawn all over the new kitchen chair with a...

Lightning Crashes & Power Outages

Last week a lightning storm passed through. At first I was a little bummed. When I went outside to check out the lightning, it was all up in the clouds. Loud, but not flashy. No lightning bolts. Suddenly everything went pitch black. The power was out. The lightning grew more intense and turned into beautiful lightning bolts. I grabbed my camera, and this is what I came up with.

Don’t Swing, Danny Boy…

It all started when my friends Mike and Meryn invited me to go hit some baseballs with them at the local batting cages. I immediately wanted to say no. I couldn't hit baseballs. I'd just make a fool of myself. I immediately went back in thought a couple decades to my little league coach patting me on the shoulder, sending me to the plate with one nugget of advice. "Just don't worry about swinging," he would tell me every time. "Take the walk." I can still see my teammates faces pressed against the chain link dugout, all hoping that I didn't blow the inning for them.

Buddha don’t take no crap…

I had doggie nail clippers in one hand and a doggie brush in the other. Buddha looked at me like I was flaunting torture devices. What happened next was all a bit of a blur. Suddenly Buddha jerked free, whined, and ran. Dad hollered and jumped. Noah watched in great horror and amusement at the whole thing.

The First Piece of the Puzzle

As I sat starting to build a jigsaw puzzle with my four-year old son, he laid down the first piece, looked at me, and profoundly stated, "This puzzle is looking good, huh Dad." That got me to thinking about what the first piece of a puzzle means in real life...

Backwards Undies

Part of Noah's increased independence is putting on his own clothes, no matter how inconvenient it is for Dad to wait for him. Underwear, pants, shirts, socks, shoes, jacket. He doesn't want help with any of it. The toughest thing for him is to always get things frontwards or right-side-out. He has a tough time pulling his sleeves back through if they've been yanked out of his shirt or jacket the wrong way. He has a hard time figuring out which shoes go on which feet (though he's finally starting to master that one). His pants sometimes come up backwards, leaving him frustrated as he tries to figure out why there is no zipper or snap in the front. And, the thing he seems to struggle with the most, and coincidentally which he gets most discouraged about, is pulling up his undies the right way. If time zones are my Kryptonite, underwear are Noah's. And, when he's feeling extra frustrated at having...

I don’t want to be your counselor. I want to be your date.

Please note, I wrote this post some time ago before I started dating Fabulous Wendy. Hopefully that disclaimer will save me from getting my butt fabulously kicked. Anyway... Maybe it's my curse in life. Maybe I bring it on myself. Maybe I just want to whine about something today. I try to date as often as possible. Finding dates is not the tricky part. What's tricky is not getting burnt out doing it. In all honesty, I never dreamed that I'd be in a position where dating was tough because of "who I was." I never thought I'd have to worry about the reasons why somebody was dating me, and how genuine any relationship actually was. But, that's another post for another day. It seems like the majority of dates I go on end up by the end of date one (or no later than date two) in deep discussion over personal issues, ways of thinking, and life situations. Because most...

Any Excuse to be a Cowboy

Where I live, cowboys aren't in great abundance, which makes me sad. The world needs more cowboys. As for me, I look for any excuse to be a cowboy, and if I look hard enough I can usually find one. Camping. Fishing. Rodeos. Country music concerts. Trips to the local cowboy boot store... Any excuse will do, really. In all honesty, the boots and the hats are fun, but being a cowboy (a real cowboy), even if only for a moment here and there is about much more than the garb. It's about a simpler life. A life that I often wish I could escape to on a more permanent basis. Imagine... A life where I didn't sit staring at a computer screen all day every day. A life where I didn't walk around, constantly paranoid of my iPad getting dropped or damaged. A life where I have to remember my friends' phone numbers, and I have to dial the digits in one at a time. A...

Death by Doughnut

Oh man. I was almost killed by a doughnut on my last hike. Or stupidity. I haven't decided which. Okay, I know deep down it was the stupidity. The doughnut was just waiting there patiently to TAKE. ME. DOWN. But let's rewind to the beginning. Doughnut Falls. (wait, did you think I meant a real doughnut? Not while this flabby-gutted blogger still jiggles in the wind). This... ...is Doughnut Falls. This summer Fabulous Wendy and I are finding new hikes nearly every weekend to places one or both of us have never been (which is easy for me since I've always enjoyed sitting in an air-conditioned house eating corn dogs over ever joining people when they went hiking). Thanks to the incredible Wasatch Mountains that surround us, along with the aftermath of a few keystrokes into Google, we found "one of Salt Lake City's most popular hikes"... Doughnut Falls. It was an easier hike. Only about a mile each way from the trail head...

Bug bites and Sunburns

Well, summer sadly is winding down. This year has been filled with all sorts of incredible trips with Noah, camping, fishing, traveling... No matter where we've gone, we've had fun because we were together. Except, that is, when it comes to the bug bites and sunburns. I am a magnet for mosquitoes. Don't ask me why. They can sniff me out from ten miles away, and they come in fast, hungry, and by the thousands. Even when I wipe myself down with mosquito repellant wipes, soak myself down with mosquito repellant spray, and surround myself with dozens of citronella candles, the mosquitoes find a way through. They'll find the half inch of skin I somehow missed, and they'll line up waiting for a sip of my sweet, sweet blood. Noah, on the other hand, doesn't get bitten. Ever. I have yet to see a swollen red bump where a mosquito has impaled him with his tiny needle straw mouth thingie. I almost...

Crying and Blogging

WARNING: Today is a Single Dad Ranting post. Come back tomorrow if you want fluffy bunnies and butterflies. CRYING AND BLOGGING I've spent 30 years trying to keep myself from ever crying. From my earliest memories I can recall moments when I tried desperately not to cry. As a teenager, crying was the last thing I could or would let myself do. If I cry as an adult, I might as well hand in my man card, right? That's what I've always thought. But then I started this blog. And I cried a few times as I wrote a few of my posts. As I wrote these posts, I was pulling all sorts of hurt and pain from deep inside of me, and the emotion was so overwhelming that I had no choice but to cry. And... I shared that I cried in those posts. Therein lies the problem... You see, when I wrote those posts, they were just another post on another day to...

People watching. The good. The bad. The awesome.

I've continued jotting down some of the interesting things I've seen since writing the first and second "people watching" posts. Just like I mentioned last time... Every day I am reminded of just how wonderful many strangers are around me. I am given examples that I am able to learn from and live up to. I’m also reminded just how far we all have to go. MADE ME HAPPY: I was at the movie theater and I watched as a little girl laid her cheek on her daddy's head while riding on his shoulders in the line to buy popcorn. NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I was at the movie theater and I watched as a man dragged his small child into the bathroom stall and gave her a spanking while scolding her about talking during movies. MADE ME HAPPY: I received an email from a reader telling me he was so thankful for The Real Dad Rules because of the greatly increased motivation he has found after reading it. NEEDS...

Thinking on top of the Box

A while back, Noah and I stopped after preschool to grab a $5 pizza (hey, we're bachelors!) On the way out, Noah wanted to carry the box, and half way to the car he got super excited and put the box down on the sidewalk. "Look dad, it says Noah!" I looked down and started laughing. "You sure? I don't see your name on there." He grunted at my apparent illiteracy. "Look at the box, Dad. It says Noah." Again, I looked at the box. "You're going to have to show me buddy, cause I don't see it." Another grunt as he squatted down. "Look right here, Dad." He pointed to the big "N" followed by the "O" in HOT, followed by the "A" in READY, followed by the "H" in HOT. "You see, it says Noah." I started laughing once again. "Yep, you're right." I guess sometimes you have to be a kid to truly think outside the box. Or inside the box. Or on the box. Dan Pearce,...

Our Not-Too-Crazy Turned-Real-Crazy hike

Once upon a time, while Noah was with his mom for the weekend, I went with several friends to go hiking to some waterfalls. The plan, get up, get pictures, get back. It seemed like a perfect not-too-crazy hike. 4.6 mile round-trip hike to some supposedly beautiful waterfalls via a "rigorous" hiking trail. People on this hike included my buddy Dave, my brother's wife's brother's wife Audrey (and her parents)... Yours truly... and Fabulous Wendy. The trail was tough. Thick scrub oak, boulders all along the trail, and 96 degree heat made us all exhausted beyond exhausted. Our arms constantly reached for water. Our minds quickly began to shift away from reality. We hiked and hiked and hiked and hiked with no sign of the falls. "Surely we've gone way more than 2.3 miles" we all eventually began to murmur. But still, there were no waterfalls.  At one point the trail began going nearly straight up. Dehydration and hunger began taking their ugly tolls....

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