August, what a month, huh? The rampant heat, the whole Afghanistan thing, a big hurricane. Around here, things were busy to the max as well. School started, I was on the road for nearly half the month, we had two birthdays in the household, baseball started back up, and Lauren started a new job. I guess I’ll do a quick recap for posterity.

The Big Trip

Yep, I broke this one down pretty thoroughly on Facebook already, but August’s big event was a two-week road trip that took me from Austin to Longview to Little Rock to St Louis to Springfield to Chicago to Galena to Minneapolis to Carpenter to Omaha to Topeka to Tulsa and back. I am very well acquainted with the central United States and really all of Central Time in general.

The first four days alone were a great time, but I wouldn’t want to do too many more days totally alone than that. Just hitting the open road on August 1 with no huge agenda or timeline and the freedom to do whatever I wanted and stop wherever I wanted was great. A lot of breweries, burgers, baseball, border, roadside attractions, monuments, and such along the way. The rest of the trip was great too, of course, just much different. A 2-year-old thrown wildly off her sleep schedule resting her head in 5 different states in 11 days was… fun. So many gas station stops with Edie grabbing armfuls of crap and carrying to the counter. Her sleep and nutrition went to total shit. Oh well, it’s VACAYYYYTION!

Look, I could do a huge writeup of the day-to-day details of the trip. Every last restaurant visited, every last person I saw, every last roadside attraction… do you want that? Is that what you want? Would that benefit anyone but a curious future me? If so, let me know and I will do it. I swear to God I will.

I guess if I were forced to pick ONE picture of the 500 I took that summed up the trip, it would be this.

Birthday Boys

I turned 39 on the 23rd with a little fanfare. We celebrated on my birthday with a full van detail to make up for the aforementioned trip. At night I chose to grill up burgers and brats, with the neighbors dropping by to hang. On Tuesday we got a sitter and Lauren and I went out to a fun new seafood place at The Domain. And… I guess that was about the extent of it!

John turned 7 on the 29th, and for that, there was a bit more excitement. I am not good at buying presents for wives, parents, friends, siblings, etc. But god dammit I can sure shop for a young boy. It’s so easy! John got Mario Party, a Vikings jersey, a huge box of assorted chips, Nerf crap, and a lot more stuff. On his birthday, we had a small party at local arcade Pinballz with 3 of his closest friends, Wyatt, Clark, and Hami. Fun was had by all!

John, Hamilton, Wyatt and Clark celebrate John’s 7th!

Baseball Coach

I wanted to coach a little league team this year, after being an unofficial assistant for John’s teams in the past. There was an opening, and I passed the test. I got to be involved in a skill assessment day, rating every player, and then a draft of sorts. The teams are supposed to be as even as possible. John of course is automatically on my team, and we also claimed his friends Wyatt and Clark. In John’s first year of tee-ball he was the Bulls (they went with AAA teams that year). Then he was the Cubs and Blue Jays. But now, he and I are proud members of the Twins! The coach gets to pick the name. John and I debated long and hard about the Twins, Marlins, and Brewers, but the Twins won out. If we do this again, we’ll be the Marlins because “they have cool colors”.

It is quite a commitment. The coach has to organize everything from parent communications to practice times to prepping the field on gameday. But what the hell else do I have going on. I would literally be there anyway sitting there twiddling my thumbs watching John practice, so I figure why not just lead it and do it my way.

Back to School

Back, indeed… to Four Seasons Community School! I never dreamt we’d be sending John back there for second grade. I thought the pandemic was mostly over. One day before Jollyville Elementary was to start, we made the tough call to re-enroll him in private school. He desperately wanted to go, and Lauren was convinced it was the safe choice. I could have gone either way. It costs a lot to send him to private school whereas public is free, but this private school is so convenient because Edie also has daycare there. Plus, it’s a tiny group of kids.. like, 3 second graders. The chance of catching COVID are greatly decreased.

Pandemic or not, this is definitely the last year he can go there. It’s not even an option after Grade 2. So enjoy it, pal. Next year it’s back to RRISD!