Ready, set, road trip!

On September 25th, we programmed our GPS for RedCliff Condos in the Spanish Valley of Moab, Utah.

After 1500 miles, 37 license plate sightings, 25 hours in and out of the Chevy Suburban, 19 “Are-we-there-yets,” 4 gas station visits, and one-night sleep at Sterling, Colorado’s Holiday Inn Express, we had finally arrived!

We settled just in time to watch the Sunday night Packer game, and then made plans to soak in the hot tub, frequent the Moab Food Truck Park, discover local playgrounds, shop the downtown boutiques, and eat lots of ice cream!

But, the main reason we made the trip was because Dad drew a muzzleloader tag to hunt elk, after a 12-year lottery wait. This required me to wake up at 5:00 a.m. each morning and trek a cumulative of 60 miles across the La Sal Mountains in my durable Merrell hiking boots (except for that one afternoon when my Crocs had to suffice), just to keep up with Dad’s zest to unravel the mysterious whereabouts of an elk bull hiding on tens of thousands of public acres that we had no familiarity of.

It was challenging and exhilarating, exhausting and peaceful… it was quality time spent with Dad.

Yet, despite giving it our all, the final score was:
Utah Elk: 1, Me & Dad: 0.

But not all was lost.

We gained a new appreciation for the beauty of Moab after visiting Dead Horse Point State Park and recreating our Mesa Arch family photo at the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park.

There exist no words to accurately capture how fabulous this corner of the world is, so we invented our own: “Moabulous.”

It was another trip for the books, especially for Genesee, who got to live her best life with easy access to Grandma, made-to-order bacon breakfasts, and unlimited data for streaming videos and downloading iPad games. The rest of our gang had a blast too, because when Genesee is happy, everybody is happy.

Ferguson Friday

To keep me from getting a case of the lonelies while Dad was away on his hunting trip, mom promised me a sleepover with Wyatt! We decided to enjoy the beautiful fall weather by making our annual trip to Ferguson’s Morningside Orchards. Apparently, Friday afternoon, immediately as school lets out, is the best time to visit if you want to enjoy the place all to yourself!

But it wasn’t just me and Wyatt running around… Mom invited Noah, too, so Genesee could have a sidekick. And Noah brought his parent, Carrie, so mom could have a friend. When everyone has a buddy, everybody wins!

We loved jumping in the new corn pit, mining for gold and other gems, and eating apple cider doughnuts. Mom got her obligatory caramel apple and I requested a take-home bag of freshly-picked apples. We covered every corner of that farm until Wyatt may or may not have tipped over a life-size cow sculpture. (If that actually happened, luckily no one was injured.) Upon returning home, mom made us a delicious spaghetti dinner to fuel us for the intense Nintendo Switch gaming night of Zelda that was about to ensue.

Eventually, mom said we had to go to sleep because it was a “sleep” over after all, and because I had to wake up early for my soccer game. We didn’t want the night to end, but we were excited to try out the never-been-used trundle bed, so mom invited Genesee to snuggle in her bedroom to let us have our boys-only slumber party. But, once the lights went out, Wyatt and I heard a noise and got scared out of the room! And there we were, begging the girls to rescue us by sleeping in the room with us. Genesee was happy to crash the party, but mom was not amused as she laid there on the bunk, guarding our room from monsters.

We survived the night, somehow, and all of our fears subsided when the aroma of bacon filled the morning air… the only way to successfully conclude a slumber party.

Sioux Falls Soccer

When mom signed me up for a competitive soccer league at my request, we had no idea that our first tournament would take place out of state. But there we were anyway, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, wishing we would have read the fine print.

Still, it gave us a fun opportunity to explore another Jellystone Park with our motorhome. And even though we lost all three games, I loved getting to play with my cousin, Maddox, I learned a lot from my older teammates on this U-10 league, and I think I’m going to really enjoy being trained by Coach Zach.

Most importantly, however, in between games, we got to peruse the city a bit and even met up with the Porters at MacKenzie River Pizza, Grill & Pub (although I could have done without that scary thunder and lightning storm that started to flood their front lobby)… yikes!

Okay, Sioux Falls, I see what you did there… you convinced me to return some day… maybe for the 2022 First National Bank Fall Kick Off if I still love soccer by then.

Ready or Not

This guy has officially reached second grade status!

I was excited to have school back in session, even though it will be a little different this year with my little 4K sidekick on campus. Being the thoughtful big brother that I am, I showed Genesee the ropes and all of the tips and tricks during open house. Upon setting her free, Genesee sprinted down the hallway like she owned the place because, well, she’s about to. My sister spent all summer getting ready for school. Now we’ll find out if school is ready for her. Grab your popcorn and stay tuned….

Swing and Persist

Dear Golf Ball,

If you don’t like getting hit, you’re going to love my sister! She comes out swinging, but have no fear, she inherited my mom’s golf skills.

Dear Failure,

You never even cross my sister’s mind, so go find someone else to play with. She would never let you win anyway.

Bunk Buds!

Move over crib, we’ve got bunk beds in the house!

Ever since Grandpa, Dad, and I built this twin-over-full bunk bed (with trundle) for Genesee’s bedroom, we are officially slumber party ready!!! In fact, I’ll be her bunk bud forever! Or, for now, at least…. sleeping on her top bunk until my grey lookalike bed gets assembled in the other corner of the basement.

Let the nighttime shenanigans begin!


Now that I’m an avid golfer, I understand that I should yell, “FORE” to warn people ahead to be on guard; to beware.

Well, that same advice holds true when I warn you that my sister is now “FOUR!”: Get out of the way.
(Unless, of course, you come bearing unicorn gifts; then you’re safe for a while.)

But G’s birthday wasn’t just magical because of the unicorns; having a party while our Florida and Arizona family was still in town was truly the icing on the cake! After all, it takes a village to celebrate this girl and all that she is becoming…

A lover of chocolate milk, lemonade, blueberry biscuits, and all things bacon.
The fangirl for McDonald’s chicken mcnuggets and strawberry shakes.
A modern Punky Brewster, who prefers to wear mismatched socks.
The ultimate tickle monster, bath bomber, and bird chaser.

My sister may struggle to pronounce s-words and confuse “before” with “after,”
but she speaks with great conviction and can also communicate with eyes that go blinkety-blink-blink.

You might get fooled by her cute little giggle or that wrinkled-nose smile…
but this version of Genesee is a “fource” to be reckoned with, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Sunset Cruise

There’s just something about being on the mighty Mississippi with loved ones.

So, as Brooklyn, Codey and Lina prepare to return to Arizona in the next 48 hours, we launched the boat at the Clinton Street Bridge to make some Mississippi memories before the sun sets on our long overdue family reunion.

Globetrotters 2021 Tour

When the Harlem Globetrotters stopped in La Crosse, Wisconsin, as part of their 2021 tour, we decided to purchase tickets to give them a Goodenough-Florence-Graham-Behl-Krueger cheering section.

I watched in awe as they exuded pure athleticism and outright silliness, and I listened intently while they amplified barriers and triumphs of Black History, but one of the neatest moments was when the announcer climbed into the stands to give Genesee a much-deserved birthday shout-out!

Time flies when you’re having fun; the whole night is already a blur. Luckily, Genesee and I have our autographed basketballs to prove that we were there.