October is in full swing

Well, the weather outside is chilly and we’re deep into fall. I’ve just barely put away all of the lawn and outdoor stuff and preparing for the winter. This weekend I built some new shelves for the garage to keep it more organized and looking nice. Seneca is about 10 days from being 2 years old and she is as cute as ever. She has so many new words and I just love how she says things. She is so polite and always saying “please” and especially “thank you!” whenever someone gives her something. She hasn’t learnt her colors yet and if I ask her what color something is, she always says ‘blue’. Lately she has been saying “I see ghosts” and “I see cows”, haha, I love that! She still absolutely loves Fairies and we have a costume for her and Liam to be Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. Liam and Seneca play so well together and Liam is learning a lot in Kindergarten, he is so good with his words. The stock market has been week lately but my investments have done rather well over the last year, I’ve definitely made some good progress towards the future, while also learning a lot and building up my own ideas on things. Work has been going well too, I’ve been in the lead for quite a while and my 2019 pipeline looks good, and I’ll qualify for Presidents Club by the end of this month. I’ve been staying fit by riding as well as getting back into Jiu Jitsu.

The Fairy Forest

This past week was amazing and I got an unexpected surprise. On Tuesday Angie gave me a little box with something so incredible and amazing yet, I can’t speak of it right now. I was completely caught off guard in a good way because I had always wanted to experience that type of unexpectedness. This past week I’ve been thinking about how our family will change and grow over the next few years and how we can prepare for that.

On Sunday, Angie and I took the kids up to the canyon in Kamas and met up with Alexa and found a place called the Fairy Forest which was so fun to let the kids run around and explore. We played around for an hour and a half then came back to Salt Lake and ate at BGR in Sugarhouse.

 

Labor Day Weekend 2018

We had a spectacular Labor Day weekend and had a lot of fun things to do. I worked hard on Saturday to build a second bench for the backyard but then that left me enough time to enjoy the rest of the weekend with the family. A few weeks back when we were doing our family photo shoots, I saw a bench idea out at Day Break and it gave me some good ideas. The first one took me a couple of days to complete but I really wanted to finish the second one in one day so I would have the rest of the weekend, but it was exhausting work.

On Sunday we had the day to enjoy at Lagoon. I went for a bike ride during the morning and had time to take a quick nap then head out. We had an absolute blast and Seneca really enjoyed riding on all of the rides with Liam. The weather was perfect and we stayed until the very end, the kids were so exhausted and fell asleep on the way home. This past week my parents stopped in and stayed the night and were able to play with the kids. I had an Xray on my kidney stone and it didn’t show up, it’s quite a mystery that it dissolved, and hopefully it did just that. Yesterday I went on a 100 mile bike ride and the miles went by quickly, then we I hung out with Liam for most of the day. We put a blanket out under the stars with Seneca and watched planes fly by.

Seneca is now 23 months and so fun, I love watching her learn things. Her biggest passion is for Fairies and I sit with her and watch the Tinkerbell movies on Netflix. She has several friends to play with including Aya and Sparrow. She loves her grandpa and grandma and likes to say ‘hi ma ma’ and ‘hi bumpa’. Lately she has been fascinated with putting on her shoes herself. She hasn’t quite got it down but every morning she tries. She loves looking at bugs and bees. She loves Moana and Frozen. She likes to say ‘beeshoe’ (meaning shooo bee’s) to get the bugs away.

Liam started Kindergarten last week and was sad the first day but quickly got acclimated and now has a lot of stories to tell and new friends he talks about.

My Birthday and turning 44

Well I certainly had an exciting birthday due to a kidney stone. I had planned to take off Thurs and Friday from work, but still work on my birthday. When I got to work I started feeling some dull pains in my abdomen which made it hard for me to concentrate, I had to leave work and come home to have my wife take me to an appointment, but by the time I got there they told me to turn around and go to the ER. Once I got there they gave me some pain meds, did a CT scan and told me that I had a 5mm kidney stone. They sent me home with some meds and told me to pass it. After that the pain went away but I have yet to pass the stone and am unsure I will be able to without some type of intervention. I’ve been drinking apple cider vinegar and lemon juice in the mean time.

Later in the day we went out to dinner at JC’s Sushi, which was a blast with the kids. On Thursday I felt a little bit better and was able to do a light workout, then mow the lawn and in the evening we went to an 80′s concert and took Seneca to her first concert ever which she absolutely loved. On Friday I worked out inside then went downtown with the family to watch the Tour of Utah in 100 degree heat. Saturday was pretty mellow and I just watched the tour from home and worked in the yard. On Sunday we drove up to Guardsman’s Pass and watched the final stage, the weather was perfect. Then we dropped into Park City and had dinner there.

Seneca at her first concert, at Red Butte with Wang Chung and When in Rome

Seneca has been so amazing lately, learning lots of new words and just being a cute little bug. She is so entertaining and loves to play, laugh and make us laugh. She loves her fairies and wants to ride a bike so bad. Lately she has said many new words including “grandpa, grandma, bike, wheel, tickle”.

Bonding with my baby girl

We just got back from our annual Lamb Days camping trip and it was so nice to be able to have so much time with my family. I’ve been having such an amazing time bonding with my little girl and she just wants me to hold her every where I go. On our trip there were so many great times when I could just hold her in my arms and she would lay her head down on my chest. Absolutely priceless. The other day I was out watering the lawn and I sat down on a rock and she came up next to me and sat down, then I put my arm around her and kissed her little head and just savored the moment.

We got back from our trip mid day yesterday and I spent some time with her out in the garden. She hung out with me as I gardened and weeded and watered. She would come up and play in the water that I sprayed on the lawn or come up and jump on my back, or even help me put some of the weeds in a bucket.

I’ve also been taking he her to her second round of parent lead swim classes. I got this as a gift for fathers day. I like to sing the songs to her even out of the pool. She likes to hold her baby dolls and say “side side” ( side to side). At lamb days Angie got her a cute lamb beanie and knitted octopus.

On the legal front we’ve gotten a protective order against Sherrie and now taken the fight to her. Work has been better, not as much of a struggle as last year but definitely harder than the past. I’ve been spending a lot of time learning about stocks instead of wasting time on social media. The portfolio is growing nicely but I since a storm brewing and I’m trying to mentally prepare for it.

It’s been a great summer so far but the best is just savoring every second I have with my daughter. I’m so thankful that I have the wisdom to understand how fast time goes by so I am spending as much time as I can with my kids.

July cometh

Wow, summer is really 1/3 over already? So far the last few months I’ve been so consumed with ways to save money and building a dividend portfolio. I’ve been spending countless hours researching dividend paying stocks as well as reading a lot of books and putting money away. It’s been so fun seeing the growth in my portfolio in such a short amount of time. It’s hard to believe that in 4.5 years I’ve gone from being in debt to having a solid net worth and such good momentum. I feel much wiser and more patient but still have so much to learn, yet have learnt so much from past mistakes. I feel that we’ve had such a strong market over the last 9 years that soon we will have a major correction so I keep that in mind an plan for that.

Seneca had been an absolute joy to be around, she is so fun to play with and I spend as much time as I can with her. She is trying to talk a lot and it’s so fun hearing her babble all the time. She says new words and it’s hard to keep up with them. I took her to the zoo yesterday and she was so excited to see the ‘big birds’ and elephants and giraffe. She loves to wrestle with me, she makes cute growling sounds, she loves water and chasing bubbles. She sleeps well at night and is the best baby I can imagine. I try to savor every second with her knowing just how fast time goes by.

Other recent things include trying to adopt Liam and sever parental rights. We also celebrated our 5th year anniversary and had a beautiful party on our patio. I’ve been riding quite a bit but no racing so I can save money. This week I have my sister coming to stay with us for the 4th of July. Work has been a fight but I love my job and my team, I find it engaging and have a better attitude than last year when I was struggling.

Seneca at 18 Months

A couple weeks ago, Seneca reached 18 months. She’s still very petite at 19 pounds 4 oz and 30.5 inches tall. She still fits in some of her 6 and 9 month clothes from last summer and loves to swing in her baby swing. Her vocabulary is light, but she communicates well using signs and she’s becoming more vocal every day. She loves swimming, going for walks, playing in dirt, smelling flowers, shoes, lotion, Moana, Frozen, Meow Meow, and her family. She loves to eat avocados, spinach, eggs, plain yogurt, fish, pineapple, strawberries, and sweet pea snacks. Her eyes are gray-green, she has 12 teeth, and she’s a great sleeper.

It’s been 5 months now that I’ve put her to bed every night and it’s my favorite part of the day. I get to savor every second she is in my arms and she goes down without a fuss. Sadly, we’ve gotten to the point where I need to wean her off theĀ  bottle so instead of letting her lay in my arms with a bottle then a binkie, we watch Moana or Frozen for a few songs and then I gently lay her down and play with her for a few minutes then let her go to sleep. She has the most amazing personality that I just love. Her newest words are ‘buh…buh…buh…” when she says bubble or ball, and she likes to say ‘baby’.

April 2018

I’ve been getting back into my interest in investing and reading lots of books as well as putting money away in dividend paying stocks. I’ve been having fun building spreadsheets and calculations for retirement as well as researching stocks. I haven’t felt as strong on the bike as I have in the past so I’ve been spending more time doing other things like Jiu Jitsu and working on home projects.

Liam is getting so smart, he is drawing and spelling things, he makes cute pictures for us as a family. Work has been a bit of a slump but I’ve been in a good mindset and having a positive attitude. I feel good about the challenges ahead and the growth that will come.

Our trip to Maui

Well I have been so excited for this trip for such a long time, we’ve been doing a ton of planning and that has only made it more exciting. We’re finally here and I’m going to write a breakdown of each day here in Paradise.

Saturday March 10 – flight leaves at 4:50, delayed by a half hour, bumpy flight most of the way. Got in about 10:30 and made it to the hotel by 11:30.

Sunday March 11- got up early and had breakfast, then drove out to shop for food, and pick up my bike in Lahaina. I had a mostly pleasant ride down the coast, it was windy but a perfect temperature. A little exhausted from the day before but took a quick nap and then went to the pool with the kids where we got very cold quickly. We showered and got warm then went and walked along Wailea beaches then had dinner at a place near the hotel. Kids were wiped out so we came home and crashed out.

March 12- we were up early and put in the car by 7:45 for the long drive to Hana. The journey took us 9 hours total but was well worth it. It was raining like crazy but there were breaks in the rain that allowed us to check things out. We were able to check out a gorgeous black sand beach and a red sand beach by Hana. The red sand beach was much more remote to get to and the path was a bit treacherous so it made me really nervous with the kids. It was well worth the drive and the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen.

On the way back we stopped for a bite to eat and saw one more waterfall. We got back to the hotel at 5pm then got cleaned up and had a bite to eat at a fresh grill in Kihei.

The kids were great during the ride and slept for most of the way. Seneca is so absolutely cute, she gets so excited when she sees the water and the pool. She flaps her arms and screams with excitement. Everywhere we go she smiles and waves at people and they say she is so cute.

One last thing, the Halfway to Hana shack has the best fresh baked banana bread I’ve ever tasted, I ate a whole loaf!

Tuesday March 13- today was the day where I knocked riding Haleakala off my bucket list. I was really worried about the rain because it came down so hard the day before but luckily it wasn’t bad. I rode to Kihei to pick up Chad around 9am then we stopped at the beach to get a photo. The first 18 miles were flat and windy then we started the 36 mile climb with a bad head wind. After about 25 miles things got a lot better, more humid but no wind or rain. As the miles went on my legs started to suffer, my back started to ache and I got a bad headache. After 6000 feet things got really tough at an exponential rate. Chad was losing a lot of water and started to cramp up, eventually so bad that he had to stop a few miles from the top. Luckily I was able to make it but it was super painful and very cold at the top. I had Angie waiting for me and had her drive me back since it was so wet and unsafe at the top. Glad to have that done with. I came back and had a hot shower then went to dinner with Angie and the kids.

Wednesday March 14th- today was mostly laundry and transferring from one hotel to another. I rode my bike from Wailea to Kapalua, it was a pleasant but humid ride up the coast. We checked into the Ritz Carlton then went swimming for a bit, then are dinner with Sharrell and Jaron, had a few drinks then went to bed.

Thursday March 15 – today may have been my favorite day of the trip so far. It started out with an awesome ride over the North Shore of Maui where the roads were absolutely beautiful and there were relatively few cars on the road. The humidity was so high that my hands slipped off the handlebars and I crashed pretty hard taking a huge gash out of my leg. I was able to get a ride back from a motorist thankfully because the front wheel was bent.

I got back and patched myself up and went to the CHG welcoming brunch which was beautiful and amazing. After that I took the bike back and we went to the pool for a bit. We then went to the Westin hotel for a wonderful Luau which I enjoyed a lit more than I expected I would. The food was great and so was the entertainment, Liam loved the fire dancers. My favorite part was holding my baby girl and slow dancing with her. My heart was filled with such joy.

Friday March 16 – we got up kind of early then went on a whale watching tour from Lahaina. We were able to see quite a few humpback whales from afar but there was one that came up right next to the boat and surfaced then went underneath, it was absolutely amazing and beautiful. We also saw a calf playing and jumping out of the water and landing on her back. Poor little Seneca got sea sick and threw up twice. When we got back to shore we ate at a wonderful place called Paia Fish Market, the food was awesome. Went back to the hotel and rested for a bit then went swimming and back to Lahaina for dinner.

March 2018

Oh these last few months with Seneca have been so amazing. I love spending as much time as I can with her as she grows. She loves to entertain and make us laugh. She loves to make funny faces and raspberries. She is learning new words all the time. Today she said shoes, ear, eyes and coat. She puts her hand up to her ear when she says hi, like she is holding a cell phone. I spend every night putting her to bed and savor each second of being with her.

Work has been good lately and I’ve had some consistent results but not as high as in the past. I have really learnt from our recession last year and gotten better, and we have a great team now. I’ve been really focused on putting away money for retirement and studying dividend stocks. As for fitness, I’ve lost a decent amount after being sick and still working my way back, which is taking a long time. I hit a true FTP of 321 watts in an hour the first week of Jan and two months later I’m not even close.

We leave to Hawaii in 2 days!!!