Tag Archives: fun

Indy

I had a good weekend.

With the exception of a few years, I’ve been going to the same Indianapolis 500 race weekend gathering with longtime friends for the past 14 years. It’s become a tradition, and it’s a lot of fun.

The house has a changed a few times and the characters have changed in some fashion every year. But, the core group of people hasn’t changed and the experience has always been a great one.

We all stay with my friend’s parents (God bless them for having all of us there every year!) The majority of us know each other from our days when we used to work together and live in the same town and what makes it cool is that we’re still doing this, even years after several people have moved away to various parts of the country.

To the outsider, there may not be anything flashy about our get-together every year. But to us, it’s perfect.

Arrive on Saturday, go to the track and walk around, grill up a feast back at the house, listen to some of the people play their guitars in the basement (or other instruments – the ‘band’ has grown in size the past few years,) catch up with each other and share stories new and old, then call it a night. Sunday morning, it’s off to the race for those who are going, and that’s that.

It’s the same thing every year…and I love that. I look forward to it and am always excited when the weekend comes around.

I’ve been there through so many seasons of my life. Thought about that this year while I was there. The first year I went, I was barely out of college. A young television photographer/reporter, in a much different phase of my life than I am now.

14 years later, I now take my sons to the event. They’ve been the past two years and they had a blast once again this year. There are other kids there and they all do their thing while the adults do the same.

Again, it sounds simple but I like the simple things in life. It was great to see my friends, great to smile and laugh, great to have the boys along for the ride once again, and great to add another chapter to this annual event.

As an added bonus, I think the kids really got into the race itself this time.

We didn’t go, but as we watched it on television and it came down to unheralded Takuma Sato nearly passing previously two-time Indy 500 champ Dario Franchitti (now three-time champ after being declared the winner following Sato’s crash during said attempted pass) on the last lap, I could see their excitement.

My youngest son had already said he wanted to go see the race in the future, andmy oldest son immediately announced that he wanted to as well after the fantastic finish today.

Can’t wait…and can’t wait to see everyone again next year.

Fun with Fatherhood

I had a great weekend with my kids.

It wasn’t anything ‘special’ in the sense that it didn’t involve grandiose plans or major events. We weren’t on vacation, we didn’t really have anywhere to be…but it was a lot of fun.

Simple weekends like this one remind me of how blessed I am to be a Dad and how much of a privilege it is to get to raise children.

We started off Friday evening with an exciting three-pronged shopping/errand run to the video store, the hardware store, and the grocery store. Not exactly riveting on the surface, but finding joy in the seemingly mundane routines of life is always nice.

I hadn’t been to a video store in a long time. I forgot how much fun it is to just browse around and see what’s there. I let the kids make one selection each, and I found a movie of my own. My oldest son picked Puss in Boots and my youngest son went with a video game.

We stopped at a playground near the grocery store and I chased them around for a while, before realizing 1) that I am out of shape and was out of breath and 2) that it was getting cold and dark outside.

The rest of the evening consisted of pizza and a movie. Logan was asleep within the first five minutes of it but my oldest son and I watched the whole thing. I enjoyed it. I think he did too.

Saturday started with a visit to a neighborhood garage sale. The boys walked away with a board game, a book, and two Halloween drink cups…with the total expenditure being less than three dollars. Can’t beat that. They like going to garage sales. The buying power for them is incredible at those things! 🙂

Swim lessons were next. After that, we headed to the library. An hour or so there led to us walking out with nine (mostly kids) books in our (see: my) arms. They raided the shelves!

From there it was off to our favorite spot in Peoria, thirty-thirty Coffee Co. We toasted to a good weekend together and took a look at our books for a bit. I think the boys feel sophisticated or something when they’re in there. Whatever it is, they always ask if we can go. I love the place anyway, so it’s a frequent stop for us.

The afternoon took us to a nearby park where we played an impromptu game of baseball using a grill as home plate, a picnic table as first base, and two trees as second and third bases. The boys beat me, courtesy of a big rally in the final inning. (I tried to help them out by making myself swing left-handed and only getting one out per inning.) Good times, and the dimensions of the ‘field’ were perfect! We’ll be back for sure.

I made them a healthier dinner that evening, which they devoured. (Swimming and playing baseball will burn a few calories.) Grilled chicken, vegetables, grapes, and whole wheat pasta.

The boys made forts to sleep in and after a second showing of Puss in Boots, which Logan again failed to come close to making it through, it was time to call it a night.

We got up early Sunday morning and went to the first service at church. It’s always hit or miss on making it to the 9 a.m. service, but we managed to pull it off this time. It was a great message this week and the kids enjoyed their youth service as well.

I treated the boys to lunch at a restaurant and we spent the rest of the afternoon at home relaxing and having fun.

Oh, I almost forgot our attempt to make brownies which failed miserably! The part in the middle as shown in the photo was the only part that was salvageable. I’m surprised the smoke alarm didn’t go off. Ah well. They didn’t seem to mind.

I’ll take them to school this morning and then the rest of the week will begin. It’s always bittersweet to see them go. As any parent can testify, it’s sad seeing them wave goodbye. But, it’s also wonderful to be able to see them off in the morning.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a father. I’m far from perfect at it but I really enjoy this part of my life. It’s not always glamorous and it can be hard work being a parent, but it’s so gratifying to be able to share in the lives of my children and to be able to watch them grow up.

Big smile here 🙂

Have a great day everyone.