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!!!

Seneca goes from infant to toddler so quickly

These last few months we watched Seneca transition from baby to toddler. From crawling and climbing to walking and running. She’s almost 16 months and she’s an excellent communicator. She has a few words: Mama, Dada, Hi, Meow Meow (Wowse our cat), and Milk. She also says “Ffff” for fish and “Shhh” for shoes. She knows about 40+ signs and she can communicate her wants and needs (she’ll even sign the weather outside). Her favorite toys are dolls (and anything of Liam’s). She loves avocados, eggs, raspberries, and sweet potatoes – everything else is fun to throw. She loves to dance any time she hears music. She’s an excellent napper and goes to bed without a fuss – she usually tells us when she’s sleepy. She’s learning how to swim and loves to play in the water. She’s a petite little thing weighing in at 18 1/2 pounds and 29 1/2 inches. Her eyes have settled in a beautiful shade of gray, changing to blue if she wears blue, and green if she wears green. We all love her so much.

 

Seneca’s Firsts

I’ll try to keep a running list of first words and milestones, I should have started this earlier but oh well.

  • Late October 2017 – 1 year’s old, starts to stand up for the first time, pops up around her birthday and then starts standing a lot better. Says ‘mama’ and ‘dada’, ‘baba’ and ‘be-be’ for Binkie.
  • December 2017 – starts taking her first steps in Mid December. By January she is walking and by the end of Jan she is speed walking.
  • Jan 2018 – she is getting good with her sign language and can say a lot of things. She pats her leg for dog. She says ‘meow, meow’. She says fffff for Fish at the Aquarium.
  • Feb 1, 2018 – she holds her cell phone up and pretends she is calling me and says ‘hi dada’. She loves baths and pats her tummy when she wants one.
  • March 7, 2018, says ‘shoes’, ‘eyes’,
  • March 11 while on our trip to Maui she starts nodding ‘yes’, so cute! She is starting to say Fish all the way through. She signs Bird by pointing to the top of her head. Today at the pool in Maui she chased some birds around while pointing at her head.
  • Aughfff is Avocado. Booah is Bird. This month she is eating so much. It’s getting nice outside so we go for walks every night and she sings. She loves Frozen and Moana, she is a good climber and gets up and down the stairs easily. April 23, 2018
  • May 17 – she’s saying more and more all the time. This week she said Fairy, more, door (singing along to the Frozen song, Love is an open door), me.
  • August- yesterday she said grandma and grandpa while on the phone with my parents, sounds like “bumpa” . Other words include “moon”, she calls bugs “bees”. She says “towel, shower, bike, bye bye’. She now likes to wear her pink helmet and loves for me to put her on Liams bike. She has a Finding Dory splash table that she loves to play in.
  • September 2018 – so many new words. This week she said her name Seneca, she says ‘hi Cows’, she says ‘Beeshoe” to tell the bugs to go away. She calls walking “walkie” and she loves to say Hi to everyone and everything.

Happy Moments in January 2018

The holidays have been absolutely amazing and I had so much time to spend with my family. It was great taking 10 days off, the only other time I had done that was while I was on paternity leave. I did fun things with my family every day and got in to the habit of putting my baby girl to sleep every single night, and now it has been 2 months since I have done that. I will put her in my arms and rock her to sleep while she drinks a bottle, then pop a binkie in her mouth and let her fall asleep. I savor every moment and make sure i am so present, I think about how thankful I am for these moments and savor them.

Angie got me an amazing present for Christmas, daddy-daughter swim lessons. I did my first one in the last week in January and although I was sick as a dog, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It was such an amazing experience and was one of the happiest moments I have had. What a wonderful bonding moment with my daughter, she was so happy and stared into my eyes with the biggest smile and her twinkling eyes. I told one of my co-workers how amazing it was and she said that it was too bad she is too young to remember, but I disagree, I think these moments build that bond stronger between us. We take them into the pool and sing songs while we teach them swimming motions such as kicking, floating and paddling.

Liam has been an amazing big brother and loves to play with his little sister and teach her things. I have a hard time getting him to bed because he just loves being awake so much, as I write this he is laying in his bed and singing songs. I am so happy that I have these two children in my house and it is so fun to hear them talking and babbling with their cute little voices. I love my time with them and never want to be too busy for them. I love being a father and teaching them, but also having fun with them and making them laugh. I love holding Seneca and chasing Liam with him in my arms, this makes them both laugh and scream with excitement.

Work has been great, after a tough year I feel like I am back in action and our full team is firing. The mood is much better and we are off to a great start to the year. I am so thankful for my company and the amazing things that it gives to me and my family. I am so thankful for the Presidents Club trips that allow my family to have amazing experiences. I love that it allows my wife to be a stay at home mother and spend time with my baby. I love the challenges that make me a better person, and the relationships that my job gives me. I love being so close to work, and the home that I was able to purchase. I am excited to leave to Maui in a month from now and am having a blast getting prepared. I plan on riding my bike up Haleakala which is a bucket list item.

Fitness has been great up until getting sick 3 weeks ago. I had some high 1 hour threshold power numbers leading up to that and probably lost some fitness, but hopefully I can get on track soon.

Holidays 2017

I had an amazing holiday season this year and was able to take off a lot of time to be with my family. I had a total of 11 days off which was the most I’ve had off since my paternity leave and it was so great to have that time with my family. Angie had a lot planned so we were active with parties and visits from friends. We had a birthday party for Liam at Jungle Jim’s during the middle of the week. Liam was excited about the toys he got including a video game system I got that replicated a Nintendo system. I got him some Nerf guns and lightsabers for us to play with.

I absolutely loved the time I have with my baby girl, she was so fun to hangout with and I took care of her and put her to bed every single day. I spent lots of time playing with the kids. I also spent a lot of time working out and did plenty of long rides to get me fit for the new year. I tried my best to not think about work.

Thanksgiving Weekend 2017

It was a pleasant 4 day weekend for me to hang out with my wonderful family. On Thursday we had my father and mother as well as my Aunt Diana and Uncle Ted over. The weather was absolutely beautiful and warm, I also was able to get a lot accomplished and build some shelves in my basement as well as my garage, it was a very fun project and helped with organization. Angie and Diana made such a great Thanksgiving dinner and had plenty of leftovers.

On Sunday, we took the kids to the Zoo, it was the first time that Liam remembers going to one, and the first time for Seneca. Both kids absolutely loved it and the weather was again, perfect.

Seneca has been learning so many new things. She recognizes so many words and phrases, some of them include: Stand up! Shake your butt! Dance! She is also learning to walk but also doing her cute little butt scoot. She points to things, she also is extremely daring and loves to climb up on things.

 

4 years at CHG

4 years ago I started working at CHG Healthcare and I never would have imagined how much it would change my life as I walked through those doors for the very first time as an employee. The decade before I spent as a business owner, which had it’s highs and lows, but I loved being independent, how would it be working for a corporation? I had heard amazing things about this company but I was so worried that I would have a hard time integrating into the corporate world.

I’m happy to say that my worry of becoming just a number or a slave to a corporation didn’t happen. Instead I found a team and company that I believe in so much that I’m happy to be on the front line as a foot soldier. At CHG, we don’t have “bosses”, we have “leaders”. I’ve found a place where inspiration and personal growth are the blood of the organization. The core values are what we live by: Putting people first, continual improvement , quality and professionalism, honesty and integrity and growth. At the heart of every decision made, lies one of the core values.

This past year has been a struggle (in a good way). I’ve been stressed and pushed in so many ways which has lead to personal growth, humility and knowledge. It’s definitely been painful at times but looking back, I’m so thankful for these lessons, it’s made me tougher and more resilient.

I finally made it back into the green after several great weeks but I’m far from out of the woods. Here are some of the things I’ve learnt: I need to make it as easy as possible for others to work with me. I wasn’t working as hard as I thought I was. I was wrong about calls, I need to make 150 per week to be successful. Remove obstacles.

November 2017

Well I’m starting to wind down my work on the clubhouse, it looks better than I ever could have imagined. I learned a lot and gained a lot of tools so it was an awesome experience and looks great in my back yard.

Seneca is growing up so fast and can stand as well as climb up and down the stairs. She is so proud and happy when she stands up. She understands when I ask for a kiss, to stand up or to clap. She points at things she wants. I love seeing her learn and develop.

Work has been much better in the last month. My paychecks have been a lot smaller but I’ve learnt so much and feel like I’m much more engaged and happy.

4 weeks ago I damaged my ribs in Jiu jitsu and have been working on getting healed up. It is hard to sleep on them but I’m feeling much better overall and can’t wait to resume training.

Seneca Sands Up

It’s exactly a year that Seneca has been with us and this week she really figured out how to stand up. She popped up for the first time and held it for a few seconds during the week then quickly got the hang of it and was doing it all the time by the end of the week. She understands ‘stand up’ as well as ‘clap, give me five, say hi, and give me a kiss’ now. She points at things, she is learning a few signs from baby signing time. Things will really start to come along quickly now. She also got a new bike, and she loves it! I love to drive her around inside of the house on this thing.