One year ago, I started this blog for the following reasons:
“The first is to be a productive outlet for my family and myself by highlighting how much fun you can have when you put family first, regardless of your family structure. The second is to inspire and give hope to other single fathers out there, especially those that are the primary custodians of their children.”
While only other single fathers (or even single mothers, for that matter) can answer if I met my second goal, I can with absolute certainty say that this first goal was a success and it exceeded my expectations. From our amazing trip to Walt Disney World to our weekly adventures in the greater Sierra Vista metroplex to our lazy days around the house, we are showing day after day what a loving, caring, and fun family looks like. And if this was not enough, Elaina got recognized at school this week.
I put in a lot of hours at work. I am pretty good at time management (and work through lunch on most days), so I still get off by 5:15pm every day, but the time spent at the office definitely adds up. While anyone can tell you that breaks need to be taken, it is important to ensure that those breaks are effective, meaning that they replenish you and allow you to refocus once you return to work. I do not take as many breaks as I should, but they are almost always effective. The best break? Going to one of my daughters’ schools and surprising them for lunch.
It is time for the annual Trunk or Treat at Fort Huachuca. Given how much candy they got last year from the event, you just knew the girls would want to participate. Time to suit up in your costume of choice, grab your candy bag, and get ready to wait in line for an hour in almost freezing temperatures!
As I have stated before, we get outside for an activity at least once every weekend. And every weekend is different, be it Children’s Museum Tucson, Tombstone, or Irwin Pool on Fort Huachuca, but we always find something to do other than just sit around the house. A couple weeks ago, my boss suggested that we check out Coronado National Memorial, which includes Coronado Cave. Since I had not been there in about six years and my girls had never been there, I figured we would give it a whirl.
Grab your shades, walking stick, and sunscreen, because this post is gonna be about hiking.
As a single parent, sometimes you just want to talk to other adults outside of work. I mean, I absolutely adore my kids, but the conversations with a six- and four-year can be somewhat limited. So when we were given the chance to attend my unit’s bowling night, I was more than happy to show up and support the event.
From the second that I picked up the girls from their summer with their Mom in Texas, the only thing that Elaina has wanted to talk about has been her birthday party (Gabriella had her birthday party at her Mom’s house in July). Little did she know, I had already been planning it all summer, and thankfully, she did not change the theme. So it was just time for me to bear down on the finishing touches to ensure that I stuck the landing, because this was the first of their birthday parties where I was going in as the primary planner.
It is really funny how fast things can get out of hand. When the girls came home from Texas on Sunday, I had Halloween sugar cookies waiting for them. This led Elaina to ask if we could bake and decorate cookies next weekend. Sounded like a plan, one that would be fun and fairly easy. While we were eating on the patio on Monday, my neighbor let me know that this was going to be their last weekend in Arizona before the Army shipped his family to Italy for three years, so it seemed right to invite them over for some cookies (and because their household goods are already packed up, their house is pretty much empty). As we were leaving for school, the girls spotted our other neighbor (whose son is in Elaina’s kindergarten class) and begged that they could come too. It still seemed to be manageable, so I did and they accepted. Elaina then told her best friend at school that she was having a cookie party, after which her friend begged to be invited. After I told Elaina that we could do that the Saturday after, her friend wrote a handwritten card to Elaina asking to please come to her cookie party. Like I was going to say no after that. So, I started planning for a Halloween cookie decorating party… for 17 (Note: One of the families cancelled the day before, so while it did not change the spread, the event itself was a lot more manageable).