Category Archives: Holiday

Jingle Bikes for Kids 2013

With the holiday season upon us, I figured it was time to mention Jingle Bikes for Kids again. In 2012 we decided that we would rekindle a tradition in our family started by the wife’s father, which through the kindness of family and friends we were able to donate 12 bikes total. We were extremely happy with the way 2012 went so we decided to team up with Toys for Tots again for our 2013 bike drive. I know 12 bikes doesn’t seem like a lot but imagine being one of those 12 lucky kids who received a bike for the holidays and it makes it all worth it. This year we got off to a late start and are behind a bit but thru family and friends I feel as if we’ll have another strong year. The wife and I went a few weeks ago and put ours on layaway at Walmart and we’ll be bringing them home in a few weeks. The wife also did a blog post which seemed to spark a lot of interest do so I figured I’d write one as well to mention what we feel is a very worth wild cause. When going thru the holiday season this year remember even the smallest of gifts donated may seem inconsequential to you, but you may just make someone’s holiday the best it has been in a while. Please visit our Facebook page.

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Caroline Bike

The Weighting Game

 

A few months ago the wife and I joined up with a bunch of others for friendly little weight loss challenge. The thought of competition seems to light a fire under me, well at least most of the time. This time seems to be a bit different for me as I’m struggling a bit more than usual. Where I’m normally motivated by the smell of victory, I can’t help but think to myself “why bother”? While my numbers have been smaller I’ve started to notice changes physically and others have noticed as well. See I’m usually a numbers person when it comes to weight loss and I tend to obsess over them and are usually my downfall. Reaching the halfway point I’ve found myself giving into temptation with the stressful week I’ve had. It’s no secret that my weaknesses are chocolate and peanut butter, which around this year turn into Reese’s peanut butter eggs. The other day while dealing with a ton of stress I found myself at the store and purchasing those evil little eggs (which to make matters worse they were BOGO). Here it is the end of the week and I’m set to weigh in but those two bags of eggs are nowhere to be found. Yes I ate them both and feel guilty as hell, but at the time it felt oh so good. My downfall when it comes to fitness is my sweet tooth and that’s usually what gets me into trouble. Coming home early Thursday and going for a nice walk was a nice surprise and my attempt at trying to keep from falling back into the egg trap. While I do still feel the urge to have one, I currently only have one (singular) in the house and that’ll be my reward for walk I did tonight. I’ve made a pact with myself to try and prevent that from happening again and only time will tell if I’m successful or not.

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What motivates you during weight loss challenges? Have you ever “Given in” to temptation and fallen off the wagon?

Sneaky Sneaky

Well if I was to sum up Valentine’s Day 2013 for Nanci I’d have to say “Sneaky Sneaky”. This morning started out with a plan and a list; yes I procrastinated and waited until the last minute as usual. First on my list was a stop at the Massage Studio in Tampa, the wife’s favorite place to get a massage and I do mean favorite. She loves the feel of the studio as well as the friendly staff and I can pretty much guarantee she’s already looking over the calendar to see when she can go if she hasn’t booked it already.

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Second on the hit list was the card, which will surprise you when I tell you how long it takes to find that special card. I can pretty much guarantee within 2 minutes tops I can have the perfect card picked out (and my system hasn’t failed me yet). I’ll sit there and just browse the card and can tell you which one is the perfect one for her even before reading the inside. Not quite sure how it works exactly, but I always manage to pick the right one.

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Third on the list is the wine which was a no brainer, although I didn’t give into temptation and I bought her the smaller one. So the wine of choice for her was a Barefoot Moscato which anyone who knows the wife will agree that it’s her favorite. Funny but I remember the days she didn’t like wine and now we always seem to have a bottle in the house.

Now for the most important part which would be the flowers. Flowers for the wife are generally hit or miss as she’d be perfectly happy without. I chose to get them because I felt it would be a good change and a pleasant surprise. Then my next thought came to mind and I ended up with two bouquets of flowers. Two for the wife you ask, well not exactly. I decided to buy flowers for my mother-in-law as she deserves flowers too and my father-in-law would have wanted her to have some too. He passed in December of 2010 but I feel as he was there inside my head telling to buy the flowers. All in all I feel like it was a great Valentine’s Day and what I feel is going to be one of the best years yet.

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What special things did you do for your significant other for Valentine’s Day? How did it make them feel?

Coincidence or Fate

Not many know but this Dec 4th was two years since my father in law passed. A man who I admired for many reason. He lived most of his life from a wheelchair but that never held him back in the least bit. From opening and running several businesses and always making time for family no matter what. He loved the holiday and family much more which why I’ve chosen to do this post today.

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The past few months have been a constant reminder of how we all miss him but have decided to try and make a difference in our lives or the lives of others. As I previously posted this year the wife and I decided to create a tradition, one to honor his memory and let his spirit for the holidays live on. We’ve gone and bought two bikes and created a Facebook page called “Jingle Bikes for Kids”. The purpose for this page was to encourage those to take the time and consider donating a bike to “Toys for Tots” or any other charitable organization. After all the holidays are about the kids and who didn’t love waking up to find a new bike under the tree? He did love the holidays and all the joy it brought the kids.

On Friday Nov 30th 2012 the wife (who belongs to Yelp Elite) got an invitation to go attend a VIP party at Busch Garden’s (Christmas Town) an event that after going we knew it’s almost like it was designed for her father. The lit trees everywhere, Christmas carolers, sing-along train and many attractions are things he would have total enjoyed. Coincidence or Fate?

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Prior to going to Busch Garden we had extra time before the event so we chose to eat prior to going. Right next door to Busch Gardens is Mel’s Hot Dogs yet another place my father-in-law loved so we ended up eating there. This was actually the first time I had been there but I knew of the place. From the minute I walked in I knew why my father-in-law loved the place. See he was a huge Coca-Cola fan and the colors in Mel’s reflected that, not to mention the food is awesome. So after eating we made our way to Busch Gardens and proceeded to enter. Walking thru the entire time I kept thinking “If he were still here this is where he would have wanted to come for the holidays”. As we continued thru we came upon a row of what appeared to be small cottages which sold everything from Christmas ornaments to delicious holiday treats. The wife and I stopped at one to get a hot cup of cocoa and a cookie. While we sat there in soaked in the sights and sounds I couldn’t help but think of my father-in-law. I could totally see him sitting there in his wheelchair sipping a hot cocoa and eating a cookie while carrying on a conversation with Mrs. Claus. Yes….. Mrs. Claus was there walking around taking pictures with people, signing autographs and greeting all the little ones (who all were smiling from ear to ear). Continuing on we stumbled across a huge Coca-Cola sign there and once again we thought of him. He was an avid Coca-Cola collector and it showed. If it was Coca-Cola related he either had it at one time or still did. Walking thru the park we next stumbled upon the sing along train. We boarded the train which took us around the park at night. The train lit with lights and played Christmas music for all to sing along with. I sat back and watched as kids as young as five to people in their eighties all smiling and singing along. After getting off the train we walked back to the front of the park enjoying once again all the holiday sights and sounds. As we were leaving I couldn’t help but think of my father-in-law as the whole experience start to finish was something he would have enjoyed. Also throughout the night we saw many things that made us think of him and helped us remember why many people loved and admired him. So as my wife and I drove home discussing the events of the evening and how strange it was we couldn’t help but wonder. Was the entire evening fate or purely coincidence?

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Have you ever had a time where you felt like fate was the driving force in an event? Or do you feel as if it were pure coincidence?

The end is near

No I’m not referring to the Zombie Apocalypse, but the end of my vacation. I’ve been off the entire week and it’s taken me all of that to catch up on chores that have piled up over the past few months. I fixed a few things around the house, ran errands and even started to clean the garage. The one thing I did not catch up on is sleep. It’s funny how your body can get used to a schedule and not be able to adjust. I’m usually up between 5:00am and 6:00am for work during the week and my vacation apparently wasn’t any different. While everything was business as usual (as far as holiday stuff) we did take the opportunity for an impromptu visit to The Seminole Hard Rock Casino on Friday for a bit of much needed fun. We played the slots and ate lunch at The Hard Rock Café which is something we hadn’t done in a while. The place was empty and you could hear bells everywhere (even on the machines Nanci and I played). We were up on the slots and kept playing and playing for what seemed like hours until we were back to what we took with us. You see what I consider to be a good day at the casino is coming home with what you took (or maybe a bit more) and playing for a while with their money. Saturday brought Nanci to the movies with some family and I never left the couch (well maybe for a few but I decided to just relax, watch some TV and turn off the brain for a bit). Later than night we ended up at Nanci’s brother’s house for some pulled pork, corn muffins, coleslaw and grilled corn. You see her brother is a master chef when it comes to cooking (I believe he inherited that from his mom). Hopefully today will allow Nanci and I to get the Christmas tree setup and spend the last little bit of time together with the boys before going warp speed back into that crazy thing we call work and life.

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Lazy

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What do you normally consider a good vacation? Do you ever get any down time or is it as crazy as usual?