Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Paternal Order of Pancakes

Breakfast for me generally consist of a packet of oatmeal and a banana before I start off my workday. The prep time is quick, plus it is free from any food guilt associated with some of the other breakfast options out there. But once the weekend kicks in it's time to pass the pancakes! 

Since I was a kid I've look forward to the laid back feel of a unhurried full calorie breakfast while watching Saturday morning cartoons (I owe that to my country upbringing). My grandmother always reminded me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. "Eat something, even if it's just toast, "she'd say, "or you'll be tired by 10am!" So, naturally, it's a mandate in my house that after waking up we all end up around the breakfast nook with a bunch of culinary options. This is a very important tradition for me. My wife can tell you how much effort I put into rocking the sausage, eggs, and pancakes on the griddle. If her family is around you might even find me cooking up some of THEIR favorite-- Scrapple (yuck). My oldest daughter has even gotten into the act by making her own "secret ingredient" blend of pancakes. Not only are the meals top notch, but the conversations are amazing as well. As we are passing the eggs we are also getting a chance to check in with one another to catch up on all the happenings from the previous week. Just this past Saturday, my wife had a business commitment which left the girls and I having a daddy daughter breakfast date. I learned about what their classmates were up to. They also rolled out their plans for how I was going to spend the rest of the weekend. This flair for planning my weekend is a "gift" that was handed down genetically by their mother. While those days of early morning soccer matches are beginning to become more frequent, I'm glad for the times where we get to slow down to truly connect and hear what's going on with one another. These Dad Days go by really quick, but I'm learning to savor every moment-one pancake breakfast at a time. 

Man Up Moment

If you're like me, the art of connecting through conversation doesn't always come naturally for me-especially with my kids. So here are a few questions that I ask when trying to get the dialogue going:

1. What do you look forward to most about growing up?
2. What has been the best day of your life so far? Why?
3. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
4. What do you think you would love most about this job?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

For the Love of Snow

This morning I woke up to a snow covered landscaped for the third time in the past week. This latest winter storm has left behind about 7 inches of snow on the ground. So, quite naturally, those appointments I had scheduled at the office today have been preempted by snowball fights, snow angels, snowman manufacturing. YAAYYY!! I really think snowstorms are one of God's ways of making sure everybody slows downs to spend some quality time with their family (unless you're a snow plow operator).  Our family does a pretty good job of spending time together but there's something special about those snow day memories. The kids are super excited of course to see the white stuff falling again.

 You'd think they would be focused on any activity involving playing outside in the winter wonderland-right???? So the other day I tried to make a snow fort for the first time. Things were going well, until I looked around and there were no longer any kids helping me. They had moved on to other activities. I kept trying to get them back into the snow fort business but to no avail. There I was "in the zone" with 6 mounds of snow and frozen fingers-ALONE. I thought this would be a good time to teach the kids a lesson on the importance of "following through" and completing something. I decided against the lecture and just went with it. I loaded them up on the boogie board and pulled them along in the freshly fallen snow for our version of Winter X-games. This created way more giggles than my boring snow fort could have. When I came home a few days later, they, along with the wife turned the half finished snow fort into works of abstract winter art by using paint (Thanks babe!). 

Olaf giving up nice warm hugs in our front yard
So, I guess my lesson on follow through didn't fall on deaf ears. Maybe or maybe not. All that matters is that we all took a few minutes to do something to make some lasting memories. The fact that the girls and I made a pretty good version of Olaf the snowman is pretty cool too!