I’ve officially launched my basketball career! My summer camps prepared me for this moment; now it’s time to show the world what I’m made of.

If you’re looking for me out on the court, I’ll be the one biting my nails and sporting Giannis Antetokounmpo’s jersey number (34) and his signature Nike shoes.

Basketball is definitely my favorite sport so far! It doesn’t hurt that we have a pretty good team (currently undefeated), a dedicated coaching staff (shout out to Coach Dad), and the best cheering crowd around!

I can’t wait to see how the rest of our season unfolds; we’ve got a lot of potential!

Arizona Thanksgiving

It took us seven years, but we finally made a return trip to Arizona! This time, I had a sidekick instead of an empty seat belt next to me.

After 2 gas station lunches on the truck topper, 17 art projects completed, an undisclosed amount of screentime minutes, 26 hours of backseat bonding with sissy-butt, and 1,700 miles traveled, we finally arrived!

First stop: dropping dad off in Payson, AZ for his hunting adventure. That, of course, was the worst part of the trip. A close second, however, was experiencing mom’s driving, as she anxiously navigated Dad’s new Toyota Tundra across Phoenix’s 10-lane interstate so we could meet up with our Arizona familia.

Spoiler alert: We made it there safely and with very few naughty words spoken.

We arrived on Thanksgiving day, just in time for Aunt Nay Nay and Uncle Jon to cook us a delicious turkey dinner! After giving thanks for that spectacular home-cooked meal at a cozy, shared table, it was time to do ALL. OF. THE. THINGS.

Between a boys vs. girls basketball game at the park, tagging along on a photo shoot with Brooklyn, hitting the jackpot at Dave and Buster’s arcade, braving the local indoor ropes course (thanks, Brooklyn!), arm wrestling Codey (I won), tossing the football around with Jon, playing with our furry friends, decorating a Christmas tree, eating lots of popcorn, and watching the gorgeous sunsets, WE. LOVED. EVERY. MOMENT.

…Until the sun set on our party and we were forced to say goodbye.

We hated to go our separate ways, but mom reserved an airbnb for us, near dad’s hunting camp, and the hot tub was calling my name! So, next stop: Pine, Arizona, where Genesee, mom, and I set up a home-away-from-home in the middle of the Pinal Mountains, hoping for Dad to harvest his elk early so he could join us for the fun. And sure enough, sometimes hope is an effective strategy because we only had to sleep there, fatherless, for two nights before we got to enjoy Dad’s company (and dad jokes) in the hot tub.

It was another trip for the books! We were amazed by the Saguaro cactus, we improved our chess game, we received breakfast in bed, we hiked through local state parks, and we even got to visit one of the seven wonders of the world: the Grand Canyon! Genesee and I were in constant awe of all 217 magnificent miles of it, except for those moments when Dad had us in constant fear by talking about all of the tragic endings that have happened onsite. I don’t think Dad meant for me to poop my pants, and for the record, I didn’t, but me and my puckered butt cheeks stayed VERY far from the edge.

Clearly, you don’t have a vacation like this without a lot of f-words: Family, Fun, Foaming hot tub bubbles, Friends along the interstate who admired dad’s rack, and Food in the form of elk meat for a year!

Apparently, some of the best things in life require a 52-hour round-trip expedition.

We will be back, Arizona! And hopefully before the next 7 years pass us by.

The Montana Mule Deer

In early November, Dad took me out of school for a week so I could learn about the geography of Lewistown, Montana and the lifecycle of a mule deer. It was our first big trip in my new truck and I was pumped! However, because I’m generous, I let dad drive so I could play on my new iPhone, ’cause you know: priorities. (And safety.)

The trip started out a little rough, as it was my first time away from mom for so long and I got homesick – all over the airbnb bedsheets. So, I also got to learn about public laundromats. Let’s just call that extra credit.

In time, I settled into mule deer camp. But it wasn’t easy. When we hunted hard, we braved deep snow with our chained up tires and hiked through sharp winds just to get our eyes on several mule deer and a herd of 500 elk. Luckily, when the hunt was over for the day, we played hard, too: Cory and I threw the football back and forth, we went out to eat at a restaurant, I gulped my new favorite beverage (Prime Hydration Drink), and we patronized the local movie theatre to experience Wakanda Forever.

Eventually, Dad and I got the job done when we harvested a 4×4 mule deer. It’s never easy, but we do whatever it takes to bring home the bacon. Or, venison, in this case. We knew the ladies would be proud (although, truth be told, Genesee would have preferred bacon.)

But home seemed pretty far away since we had to navigate a scary winter storm on our return trip. It was a stressful and nail-biting situation, especially for a worry wart like me. So I did the only thing I knew how: I cried and FaceTimed my mom in case we didn’t make it out of the snow globe alive. Since I inherited my anxiety from her, it probably wasn’t the best idea to alert her worst-case-scenario brain of my predicament, but she set aside her own worries to keep me calm. And I survived.

Little did we know, while we were in Montana, mom was trying to keep my sister alive, as they experienced a scare of their own when Genesee spiked a fever of over 103. Per advice from the nurse hotline, Mom rushed Genesee to the emergency room at 10:00 p.m.

Turns out, Genesee had a bacterial infection from an open wound and also tested positive for RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus).

And then the Goodenough family had two kids out of school.

Thankfully, Genesee made a full recovery a couple days later, and she now believes popsicles are the cure to all ailments. And who am I to burst that bubble? Especially if it means we can stock the freezer with flavored ice on a stick! ….That is, if any room remains after we fill the shelves with our hard-earned deer meat.

The Scene of Halloween (2022)

To get into the spirit of the season, Mom took us on a walk through La Crosse neighborhoods to admire the houses of the Halloween fanatics. And it worked! I was all in on Halloween… ready to trick and ready to treat. But then, I got eaten by a shark. It was a tragic end to what should have been a spooktacular event.

2022 Coulee Cup Tournament

It was a cold Coulee Cup tournament, so I was thankful that we brought the warm camper. Turns out, however, we didn’t need propane heat because my team was on fire! Your main man (me) even scored 2 goals in one game, which helped us advance to the championship round, where we came in 2nd place. And since everybody knows that 2 is better than 1, I think we can all agree that our team went out on top. I’ve even got a medal to prove it.

Hidden Trails Field Trip

Genesee’s kindergarten class got to take a field trip to Hidden Trails Corn Maze and mom signed up to be a parent helper!

It’s a good thing mom stepped into her helper role because Genesee and Barron have a crush on each other and those two love birds definitely needed a chaperone. In fact, one of the teacher’s aides told mom that Genesee and Barron hold hands on the playground. Gross!!

As her older brother, I have no choice but to intervene because apparently the “chaperone” turned into a photographer during this field trip. (Epic fail, mom.) Sometimes, when you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself…

Barron: Meet me on the big slide at recess tomorrow; we need to have a little talk.

And by “little,” I mean BIG.

And by “talk,” I mean whatever people do when they “have a talk.”

And tell your cute little dimples to stay out of this! I am my sister’s protector and she’s not allowed to date until she’s 74 years old. (Actually, she can protect herself and she usually is the protector of me, but still… Be afraid. Be very afraid.)

Toyota Tundra

You know you’ve got the best dad in the world when he buys you a BRAND NEW TRUCK!! This beauty is quite the upgrade from my bicycle, which only has two wheels. I mean, I won’t be able to drive it for another 8 years (so says the law). And of course, my name isn’t on the title because truck ownership as an 8-year-old needs to be a top secret mission (which is also why I didn’t pose for the pictures; I need to remain undercover). But trust me, I am the rightful owner of this 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. It’s the golden rule of being a kid: “What’s yours is mine. And what’s mine is mine.” Thanks, Dad!!

Mighty Mites

Genesee joined the Mighty Mites league this September to learn basic soccer and movement fundamentals through fun games and drills! She was especially encouraged to sign up after learning that her bud, Annalia, would be joining her on the field. Another cherry on top was that I got to be assistant coach because Coach Ryan asked me to help the next generation find their greatness. But perhaps the biggest incentive for enrolling in 4 weeks of soccer was that Ashlee said she’d come and watch Genesee tear up the field!

It was an added bonus that Ashlee brought Katie along! Then mom treated us all to dinner at SeƱor Villas, which was followed by a grand tour of Ashlee and Katie’s La Crosse home.

If this is what Mighty Mites is all about, I hope Genesee signs up again next year because it was mighty fun!!

Hello (again) Hatfield!

Home is where you park it.

Over Labor Day weekend, we parked it at Russell Memorial Park and Campground.

This time, it was all about the water wars, dinosaurs, and late night s’mores. Because memories are always made by lakes and campfires. I’m not so sure that memories are made at flea markets, but that dinosaur was pretty cool!