Monthly Archives: April 2016

Day 216 – Thankful for Random Conversations with Friends that Remind Me that I’m Normal

Today I’m thankful for random conversations with friends that remind me that I’m normal.

Last night Gavin and I went to pick Dominic up from a friend’s house.  While the boys went through the normal 30+ minute prep to leave I sat down with Steve and shot the bull.

We had a great conversation talking about everything from business ownership to the joys of getting parental advice from our parents to houses to remodeling to road construction to kids to long term dreams and goals.  Before we knew it I was getting a call from Becky asking where the heck I was and if I was coming home anytime soon.

The conversation was great. Two guys talking about stuff that’s almost always in the back of our heads that we’re never quite sure if it is just us or if we all have the same thoughts about life.

After we finally got the boys packed up and out the door I kept smiling when I’d think about the conversation Steve and I had.  It was good for both of us, a random chance to recognize that we’re a couple of normal guys.  


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Posted by on April 30, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 214 – Thankful for Small Behavior Modifications

Today I’m thankful for small behavior modifications.

Usually when I’m running the boys to and from practice I usually chill or do a little walking.

Today looked like this:

Instead of chillin’ I was joggin’ and it felt great!  

The past couple of weeks have been crazy busy with work, family and prepping for Australia.  Many of my healthy habits had slipped and I’ve been looking for little wins that I could get.  This was one of them and it felt great!

I’ll definitely be packing my running clothes for practice more often.


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Posted by on April 28, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 213 – Thankful for 14 Years of Married Life

Today I am thankful for 14 years of married life.

Thanks to Becky for helping to keep every day a new adventure!


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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 212 – Thankful for Matthew 7:1-5

Today I am thankful for Matthew 7:1-5.

If you’ve been following since Easter you’ll already know that during that time I had started reading bits of the Bible occasionally.  Over the past month this has slowed as I’ve let many of the other things in life kind of get in the way.  During that time there has been a passage that has kind of haunted me as I’ve made mistakes.  Even as I was listening to a business audiobook it was quoted and totally caught me off guard.  There’s something that is very unsettling about the passage and I cringe every time it creeps back into my brain.


“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.  For with whatever judgment you judge, so shall you be judged; and with whatever measure you measure out, so shall it be measured back to you.  And how can you see the splinter in your brother’s eye, and not see the board in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter from your eye,’ while, behold, a board is in your own eye?  Hypocrite, first remove the board from your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”

I am sad to admit that I can be a very judgmental person.  I can let things that are trivial get the best of me.  I can look at the faults of others and judge how big their mistakes and issues must be.  I sometimes assume I know all I need to know about their faults and I judge them by my assumptions.  I sometimes think about how wrong the other person is first, get frustrated by them, and never once look back at myself.  I sometimes look at their mistakes and am very thankful that I have never made the same (but knowing deep down that I have).

And that’s why this verse makes me cringe.  As soon as it pops in my head it’s like the flag on an ice fishing tip-up springing up or the light bulb of inspiration firing up so brightly that it is blinding.  I picture this verse as some type of ego police officer tapping me on the shoulder and saying, “Guess what Kreiling?  You’ve been busted and are being arrested for 1st Degree Judgmentalnass (yup, the “a” instead of an “e” is on purpose to further the point).  Why don’t you take the bottom bunk on the left in cellblock C and think about what you’ve done.”

As I start to see and hear this verse in my head I know that I need to take pause because whatever I was just thinking is most like a flaw of my own that I am not wanting to deal with.  Why am I judging someone by a certain thing?  Because I am self-conscious of the same.  Why am I judging their actions?  Because I am self-conscious of similar actions I have made or have failed to make.  When I pause to listen think about what I am judging someone on and why it makes me realize that I am the one with the issue.  Sure, maybe their wrong too, but I need to work on me first (preferably with some help from The Big Guy).  As Father Mark used to put it, times like this help me better see the gap between who I am and who I am called to be.  Only in knowing that gap can we begin to close it.

That’s why I am thankful for Matthew 7:15 today.  Over the past month when this has popped up in my head it has lead to some very interesting insights.  It’s helped as a trigger for me to realize that when I am frustrated with people I almost always have myself to blame.  Had I acted differently the situation would be different.  Had I thought differently I may have handled a situation differently.  Had I taken a moment to put myself in someone else’s shoes I my have handled my conversation with them very differently and given them a hug instead of a sigh of frustration.

As a result of this passage I’m realizing that I have a lot to work on, and I’m okay with that.  I’m just thankful to be more aware of what I need to be working on, and this verse helps me keep it in perspective and top of mind daily.


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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 211 – Thankful for Playing Old Guy Soccer

Today I am thankful for playing old guy soccer.

Yup, this is pretty much how I felt at about 5:50pm today:

Two Men on Soccer Field

Two Men on Soccer Field — Image by © Gary Salter/zefa/Corbis

An email came across my desk today that made me smile…  “Parent Pick-Up Soccer Games” was the subject line.  How can you say no to that???  I almost did.  There’s work I need to get done, I don’t have my work out clothes on me, I don’t have time, I might get hurt, and what if I suck were amongst the handful of excuses that went through my head.  I set the idea aside and was going to be content with skipping it and getting other stuff done.

That’s when I got the text.  “Brenda wants you to play soccer!”  Not gonna lie, I got a huge smile on my face while waiting in line to check out with my new contacts at ShopKo.  How awesome, I was actually wanted on a team!  Me, the guy who hasn’t played anything remotely close to competitive soccer in oh, I don’t know, 21 years.  My ego feeling inflated, I decided it was a sign and I should go play.  It wasn’t until after I got to the field that I realized I’m pretty sure Brenda wanted me to play so we had even sides 🙂

It was an absolute blast!  For a while I didn’t even feel my age, I was a total kid having a great time playing a game with other kids without a care in the world.  At no point in the fun did I think of family responsibility, work responsibility, or anything related to responsibility.  It was pure play and it felt amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, my play was anything but amazing, but it was fun regardless.  Chasing each other down, sliding to try to block a goal, trying passes and shots that I had absolutely no right to attempt, and smiling the whole way.  Even getting burned and losing my jock several times while Adam blew by me, around me, over me, and in a couple of cases, right through me…  Nothing could wipe the smile off my face.  Hell, I was even laughing at myself when Brenda and I both went for the ball at the same time and I realized why soccer players wear soccer cleats (like Brenda had on) versus soft topped Vibram Five Fingers (like I had on).  The entire time we were giggling, smiling, helping each other, teasing each other, and enjoying playing with each other.

While now, a couple of hours later, I’m a little stiff, a little banged up, and feeling a little tired, I’m still smiling and thinking…  Thinking, why don’t we do this more often?  Why don’t I take more time to play and enjoy playing just for the sake of having fun.  Between this and the escape room we did on Friday it seems like I should be doing this more often.  I know, there’s a balance somewhere that needs to happen between responsibility and play, but how often do I put the focus in the wrong spot or not make play more of a priority?  Times like this remind me of how I need to do a better job of making this a priority.

And as I’m thinking about that and typing this blog, I’m still smiling about how much fun it was to have a parents’ pick up game of soccer so this old guy could play and remember how much fun it is to have that much fun! 🙂


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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 210 – Thankful for Taking the Boys to the Rock Show

Today I’m thankful for taking the boys to the rock show. 

A client in Eau Claire told me about a rock and gem show that was going on this weekend in Eau Claire and I asked the boys if they wanted to go.  Becky was heading out to a winery with some girlfriends so we loaded up and went on a road trip.  My mom met up with us in EC and joined us for the show.

It was pretty awesome!  There were tons of crazy cool rocks including fossils, gems, And many other things.  The mixes of colors, patterns, shapes and textures were unbelievable.

While both of the boys were totally wasted from a very busy weekend they still had a great time.  Dominic was bound and determined to find something for Becky and spent a lot of time trying to find the right piece of amber or asking the vendors what they had or if a certain thing was amber.  He was very frustrated and disappointed but then found an awesome trilobite fossil for her.  Gavin was Gavin and was asking a ton of questions, moving a million miles an hour, was the loudest person in the event center and really enjoyed the stimulation of hundreds of thoisands of things to look at (most of them shiny).

For my mom it seemed like a trip down memory lane… Getting to see some things but mainly helping me run man on man defense to help keep me sane while laughing at the stuff that was coming out of the boys mouths (like Dominic saying we need to seriously talk about the amount of his weekly allowance… Currently $0).

On the trip there we talked and listened to an audiobook that Dominic was getting into (41 – read by G-Dub).  The way back involved snackage and more conversation.  Along the way we may have raided the EC Express office and pulled a small prank or two!  And what day with the boys would be complete without comment or joke about poop…  Here’s Gavin with some fossilized dinosaur poop, one of the greatest finds of the day!

The day was a ton of fun and I’m hoping it’s one the boys and my mom will remember for quite some time.  


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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 209 – Thankful for Watching Dominic Develop

Today I am thankful for watching Dominic develop.


This is the smiling face of a kid who just wrapped up three pretty solid games of soccer.  He hustled all day long and said his goal in the last game was to grit it out and push through being tired and keep the hustle going.  As he put it, “everything hurt” by the end of the game.

Over the course of the day he got to play some great defense in which he showed how he’s improved his positioning.  He also stopped to see the field and make a solid pass as opposed to hammering the ball without thought as he used to do.  Then he got to play goalie for a while and was very aggressive and had a handful of saves.  The next game showed him getting more aggressive and using his body to gain position (and to be the occasional enforcer when needed).  The last game showed how he’s gone from cautionary and thought focused to getting more aggressive on offense and scored a couple of goals.

I’m so proud of him for focusing on getting better.  He’s listening to his coach, paying attention to what his teammates are doing, and consistently working on improving his game.  It’s so much fun to watch him grow and develop right in front of us week over week!  Today I’m thankful for watching that progress.


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Posted by on April 24, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 208 – Thankful for Friends’ Date Night

Today I am thankful for friends’ date night.

Becky and I are getting together with some of our friends tonight for a fun night of dinner, drinks, and then trying out one of the Escape Rooms in La Crosse!

Should be a blast, we’ve been looking forward to it for quite some time!

As the night is sure to go a little one I’m typing this now and may be adding to it as the night goes on 🙂


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Posted by on April 22, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 207 – Thankful for a Late Night Run

Today I am pretty thankful for a Late Night Run.

Shortly after writing this I’ll be putting the boys to bed.  Becky’s practicing her presentation for her university visit in a few weeks and will be going to bed shortly thereafter.  Once they are all out I’ll be strapping on my shoes and heading out for a nice long (& slow) run.

There’s something awesome about running at night when the lights all start to go out, the traffic disappears, and it’s just me and my headphones pounding pavement.  It’s quiet, peaceful, and a great way to escape from the organized chaos of every day life and slip into a run induced bliss.

I wasn’t much of a night runner, in the past I used to head out extremely early to get some miles in.  Then I read this awesome book:


One of the parts of this book that really resonated with me was his desire to balance time with his family, life, and his running.  One of the ways he did that was by doing late night runs.

Between this book and a handful of others (Born to Run by Chris McDougall, Eat and Run by Scott Jurek, Once a Runner by Jon Parker, and Finding Ultra by Rich Roll) I can usually fire up the audiobook in any chapter and enjoy hearing a great story while I run.

The other cool thing is that I’m not running on any type of a specific program and don’t have a desired distance that I want to accomplish.  I’m going to run until I pull a Forrest Gump and say, “I’m pretty tired…  I think I’ll go home now,” and then go to bed relaxed.


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Posted by on April 22, 2016 in Uncategorized


Day 206 – Thankful for Being My Best-est Buddy’s Hero

Today I’m thankful for being my best-est buddy’s hero.

In Gavin’s class today he and other students were asked to wear something that shows who their hero is.  How could I be anything but thankful for this post on Facebook from Becky first thing in the morning??? 

Thanks Gavin for choosing me as your hero today!  I’ve had a smile on my face all day.  Your non-stop combination of positivity, happiness and energy make you one of me heroes.  

My best-est buddy, I love you tons, have always loved you tons, and will always love you tons.



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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Uncategorized