LifeOutdoors.Rocks

Enjoying this adventure called life!

Posts by lauraj

If Not Now, When?

What is it that you’ve been putting off ? We all have that list of things that we’ll get around to one of these days, right?  What’s on your “someday” list?  My list is fairly long, but I just crossed out a big one.

I’ve wanted to take my parents to see the Los Angeles Kings play for what seems like ages.  My folks haven’t been to a hockey game in over forty years; back in the days at the Fabulous Forum and before the “Great One”, otherwise known as Wayne Gretzky, arrived.

So, I did something really impulsive last week; well at least it felt impulsive at the time.  (Is it really impulsive when you’ve been contemplating it for several years?) I treated my parents and myself to see the Kings play against the Calgary Flames at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.  It was the last game of the season and I happened to be in town.  Ah, the stars aligned.  (Well at least for us to see the game; not so much for the Kings who lost 7-2 to the Flames.  Sigh!)

After a bit of fits and fussing as parents sometimes do, off we went. My “second-guessing, doubting, wondering should I have done this, will they enjoy it, gee this was a bit of money” thoughts quieted once we sat down and the boys hit the ice.  My parents had a blast!  They were even featured on the Kings Kiss Cam!  Check out those smiles.  No regrets on this decision.

You’re probably wondering what’s the point to this?  I was wondering that in the third period last night believe me.  My point is, if not now, then when? When are you going to check those things off your list? When are you going to stop making excuses for not doing that thing you’ve really been wanting to do?

This conversation started late last year with a friend of mine, Cathleen, who decided to make a career change and go back to following her passion, which is writing.  They were her words, If Not Now, When? That really struck a chord with me. I too want to do some different things with my career, but I get stuck in complacency mode and go about my normal day-to-day routine. It’s easy.  And it’s safe.

Following Cathleen’s words, I decided that this year I’ll take action, broaden my horizon and find ways to be more meaningful to my clients.  I’ve been working on a great blogging course and listening to endless podcasts that have now filled my already cluttered brain with more marketing ideas. (Thank you, Darren Rouse and Amy Porterfield!)  The courses have really given me the encouragement to start moving forward toward my own goals.  And in the process, I’m finding myself encouraging my clients (and friends) to do the same.

We all have fears of change; that’s normal.  But in order to grow, we need to overcome the fear and move forward.  For me right now, it’s developing more content for my website, giving people tools to be better marketers and to grow my following.  And that’s a little scary. I’m really comfortable sitting here at my desk, living in my little bubble of security.

So tell me, do any of these things sound familiar?

  • I’m not good enough.
  • No one wants to hear or read what I have to say.
  • I can’t write, or I don’t like to write.
  • It’s not ready yet; I need to perfect it.
  • I don’t have time. Maybe next month or next year.

Yeah, me too.  But you know what, no one is perfect.  No one expects you to be perfect.  But people do want to hear what you have to say.  I’m sure there’s something that people always ask you about.  How did you lose weight?  What’s your training regimen?  How do you do that thing that you do? Think about that for a minute.  What’s your area of expertise?  Write about it!  Use that as a platform to build your following, which ultimately will help you to grow your business. Trust me, you won’t regret it.  (Look at those smiles again – does that look like regret?  No, I don’t think so.)

It’s hard for many of us to promote ourselves, myself included; that’s totally normal. If you’d like some help or need a little direction, give me a shout. I’d love to work with you. I love all things marketing!  I love to connect with people and I absolutely love helping them grow their business.

There are so many tools out there – things like email marketing, blogging, social media.  It’s all really about growing a following and engaging with people. Figure out your ideal customer and grow your tribe.  Be authentic, build relationships and chase your dreams.  If not now, then when?

The New Guys – Vegas Golden Knights

Gotta give the Knights some love too, since a good deal of my friends are huge fans – most importantly Robin!

We’ve been having a blast going to games with our dear friends Matt and Amy.  You certainly can’t beat the energy at T-Mobile arena during a Vegas home game.  Loud is an understatement.

What an awesome inaugural year the Knights had in 2018. And to make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in their first year … that’s pretty darn special if you ask me.

So yes that’s me wearing a Knights hat.  We had a deal about supporting each other’s teams.  I’m waiting for the time when he gets to cheer for the Kings in the playoffs and wear MY hat!  (Did I write that out loud?)

So for you Las Vegas Golden Knights fans, I found some cool Vegas hockey apparel for you to check out.  (Affiliate link note: We may earn a small commission from any purchase at no additional cost to you. It’ll help keep Sochi in Los Angeles Kings gear!)

(Maybe we can get Sochi the Golden Knights hockey puck chewie toy.)

Shop Vegas Golden Knights Gear
Shop for Vegas Golden Knights Gear at Fanatics.com

Go Kings Go!

Most of you probably know that we’re huge hockey fans. I love my Los Angeles Kings, and have ever since I was a little girl. My sweetheart on the other hand likes “that new team” in Vegas.

Back in the ’70s, my dad would take us to the Fabulous Forum to see them play.  Rogie Vachon and the Triple Crown Line were my childhood favorites.  Tickets were so cheap, we’d go a couple nights a week to see them play.

I never did see Wayne Gretzky play, and it was only in 2017 that I finally went to a game at Staples Center.  I’ve got Robin to thank for that.  We saw back to back LA Kings/Las Vegas Golden Knights games, one in LA and the other in Vegas.  The Kings beat the Knights both games.  I was worried that he wouldn’t take me to another game at that point!  The Knights made up for it in the playoffs though.  I’ll leave it at that.

Anyways, my hockey apparel inventory seems to have grown in the past year or so – yay me!  My Jonathan Quick #32 jersey is a cherished item in my closet. Most of the LA Kings live not too far from where I grew up.  I keep joking that I’m going to track Quickie down in the South Bay and get him to sign my jersey.

Did I mention that I love my LA Kings? Between Fanatics and Fans Edge, we’ve found some great deals on hockey apparel. Sochi even has an LA Kings dog collar – it’s great quality and cheaper than the collars at the local pet store.  Go figure. (Go Kings!)  She needs the matching dog leash to go with it now.  Sochi’s a Kings fan you know… just don’t tell her daddy.

Check out some of this awesome hockey stuff!  My next purchase is going to be a Dustin Brown jersey.  🙂

And by the way, I do cheer for the Vegas Golden Knights on occasion too. I’m a huge fan of “cousin” Marc-Andre Fleury!

Check out our affiliate links below to FansEdge and Fanatics.  They’ve got some cool hockey gear that’s surprisingly reasonably priced.  (Affiliate link note:  We may earn a small commission from any purchase at no additional cost to you.  It’ll help keep Sochi in Los Angeles Kings gear!)

Shop Los Angeles Kings Gear
Shop for Los Angeles Kings Gear at Fanatics.com

Baby It’s Cold Outside!

Baby It's Cold Inside

Actual photo of me at my desk.

Actually this should be titled “Baby it’s cold INSIDE”.  Some of you may know about the furnace issues I had this past winter.  Improper installation of the furnace years back led to malfunctions and no heater.  That turned into blowing breakers trying to run space heaters, sleeping with the dog and both cats to keep warm…  I found that I’m really cranky when it’s 15F and my heater isn’t working!

I just stumbled on this site that features heated clothing for men and women.  I could’ve used that during this crisis du jour!  Plus it’s reasonably priced! I’m so down with that!

Check it out and let me know what you think!
ORORO Heated Vest

About Ororo

We are a heated apparel company for every single environment. We ALL know what life is like growing up in the Midwest. You wake up in the morning wearing a coat, several scarves, a beanie, insulated gloves and heavy boots and by the afternoon, you’re sweating with sunglasses on. And just when you think that winter is finally over, a massive snowstorm hits in April causing you to layer up again.

That gets old, right?

That’s exactly why we wanted to create a jacket that can be worn in any season you want. Our team brainstormed and realized this special jacket had to be durable enough to wear on freezing autumn nights, definitely would need all the internal heating elements to keep you warm through the winter. Not just the colder months either! We wanted to make sure it was lightweight enough to help you survive those wet, mild spring months. We did all this AND we made it look good!

We live by our mission every single day. Our goal is to make sure when you put on our heated apparel, that you are warm, comfortable and enjoying yourself. When you share your stories and pictures with us, it shows us that we are succeeding in that mission. That doesn’t mean we’ll get complacent, however! We are always testing new designs and the latest technologies to make sure you stay satisfied and most importantly, fashionable.

Challenge the climate. Don’t let your life be dictated by a thermometer.

Happy New Year!

Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve written here!  I’ve been busy with social media and blog posts on my other two sites:  ShorelineDigitalMarketing.com and our newly launched site OneHandOneGlove.com.  One Hand / One Glove is our site set up to connect one handed athletes and gloves.  I’ve got to find a home for all of these brand new left-handed extra large gloves!  Check out the site and please share on social media.  The more gloves, the merrier!

One of the things I’ve been wanting to put down on proverbial paper is the journey of our travels this past year. It was a whirlwind year spent with a lot of traveling, celebrations and family time.

The most monumental event of the summer was our engagement.  I couldn’t imagine my life without Robin and I look forward to continuing our journey in life together.  (By the way, Robin is the inspiration behind One Hand / One Glove.)  I am truly a blessed woman!

The rest of the year was spent crisscrossing the country it seems.  I was fortunate to be invited back to the US Masters Waterski and Wakeboard tournament over Memorial Day weekend in Pine Mountain, Georgia.  That’s always a tremendous honor to be a part of.  I haven’t been as involved with waterskiing as in years past, but still have some cherished ties with the skiing community.   Robin was able to join me – after coming straight over from Maui.  His daughter Kennadee graduated from high school in Maui so that wasn’t to be missed either.  Can you say frequent flier miles?

My cousin Teresa and I have taken over the annual trip to the Cocoa Beach, Florida condo that my dad and our Uncle Joe used to make each Spring.  There’s always a project there too and it was fun to share it with her.  It also gives me a chance to spend some time with my dear friend Heidi who lives there.

Another big event in our year was our three week road trip to Minnesota.  We had a blast coming and going – seeing new sites, adventuring around the countryside. It was awesome!

The original intent of the trip was to pick up my Uncle Joe’s canoe and bring it back to Big Bear.  (Yes we drove to Minnesota for a canoe.)  Well earlier in the year, after getting into DNA and ancestry research, we learned that we had another cousin who lived in New York. This was big news for all of us as we’re a close knit family.  The timing worked out for most of the family to gather together while we were up there.  We got to meet our “new” cousin Ray and his family who traveled all the way from New York to join us.  A very happy occasion!

The rest of the Summer and Fall included the wedding of Robin’s niece back in Texas.  We unfortunately missed the wedding of his nephew because we were on our trip to Minnesota.  We also made another trip back to Texas for the Brown family Halloween extravaganza.  If you ever wonder where all the trick-or-treaters have gone, look no further than Panhandle, Texas!

Finally we celebrated with my parents as they were honored with a lifetime achievement award at their parish for their nearly 50 years of service to the community.  We’re very proud of them.

So I finally added up the number of states traveled to in the past year:  15!  I’m hoping to dial it back a little this year, but we seem to be really good at filling up our social calendar.  Thank goodness for mobile hotspots and a man that likes to drive.  It enables me to keep up with my work while we’re traveling.

I guess I’ve rambled on like one of those Christmas letters, sorry about that.  The thing that really resonated for us this past year is the importance of family.  Be thankful for those people in your life, be it life-long friends or new-found family members.  And despite the negativity surrounding us these days, be kind to one another. We don’t have to agree, but we need to be nice.  I saw a great quote the other day on Facebook that read – “We need to recognize that the right wing and the left wing belong to the same bird.”

Cheers,

Laura

 

Sports and Unity – What Politicians Don’t Get

Below is a great article written by Chris Carmichael of CTS Training.  I wanted to share as it completely embodies my feeling of the need for unity in our neighborhoods, our country and in our world. I hope you’re enjoying the Winter Olympics!

What Olympians Know About Sport (That Politicians Don’t Understand)

I have and always will believe there would be fewer wars if there were more international sports competitions. That may sound naïve or farcical to some, but as a person fortunate enough to compete at the international level, represent the United States as an Olympian, and lead elite athletes in international competitions, I have seen the firsthand the power of sport to unite humanity and resolve conflict. Sport is the best type of diplomacy, just ask the unified Korean Olympic Team.

Effort Erases Bias

The political, social, religious, and ethnic differences between competitors fade as athletes compete. Effort and exhaustion are the ultimate equalizers. At the end of a competition, when you and your previously sworn enemy are hunched over, drenched with sweat, and gasping to catch your breath, there is no energy available for enmity. This is particularly true for athletes in team sports and mass-start individual sports because despite being opponents, you struggle together. You can see the effort written on the other athletes’ faces and hear their ragged breathing as it matches yours. Some biases and strongly held beliefs are harder to wear down, but I’ve always believed that if the race is long enough, competitors will only be able to see each other as equally human.

Athletes Want Competitors To Be At Their Best

Athletes are driven to win, but also understand the value of facing competitors’ best performances on the way to victory. We want our competitors to be excellent. We want them to have the best performances of their lives. It pushes us to achieve our greatest performances and adds value to the victory. And when we are beaten we want to make the victor beat us at our best, because that leaves no room for regret.

At the Opening Ceremony of the 1984 Olympics I marched into the Coliseum in Los Angeles as a member of the US Olympic Team. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, but something was missing. The Soviet Union boycotted the Games in response to President Jimmy Carter’s boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Carter was wrong, and so was Soviet leader Leonard Brezhnev. The athletes knew it, even if the politicians didn’t. We missed out on the opportunity to match our best against their best and see who won. The world missed out on two opportunities to embrace the humanity that emerges when athletes compete on the same field, but is lost when adversaries only communicate from behind their high walls and military arsenals.

My views on competitors evolved over the course of my athletic and coaching careers, and there was a memorable time I let politics get in the way. When I was the National Coaching Director for US Cycling, I wanted to bar other nations from training on the 7-Eleven Velodrome in Colorado Springs prior to the Olympics. A velodrome at 6,200 feet above sea level was a competitive advantage! The US Olympic Committee Executive Director at the time, Brigadier General Harvey Schiller, Ph.D., summoned me to his office and told me in no uncertain terms, “We can’t do that. That’s not what the Olympics are about.” He was right. The goal is to win medals, but for the athletes, elevating the level of competition increases the medals’ intrinsic value.

The Unifying Power of Sport in 2018

In 1980 and 1984, politics got in the way of peace. In 2018, sport got it right. Competing as a unified Korea isn’t going to magically mend all differences between North and South Korea, but it enabled them to communicate over something other than threats. It brought hundreds of athletes together to enter the Olympic stadium as one team and one people, and experience competition together as teammates. Nothing, and I mean nothing, negative comes from that.

At an individual level, a recent example of adversaries encouraging excellence from each other comes from the sport of luge. As reported by Reuters, a few weeks before the 2018 Olympics a Russian luger lent Chris Mazdzer a sled in hopes it would help the American out of a slump. Mazdzer was fit, healthy, uninjured… and inexplicably slow. While the Russian’s sled didn’t fit Mazdzer, the gesture and support from within his sport may have done the trick. After two seasons of frustrating results, he won Team USA’s first-ever medal in Men’s Single Luge.

Sport has the power to unite on an international scale and at the neighborhood level. These days it is easier than ever to find reasons to be divided, but regardless of our differences people come together for youth sports, rec-center leagues, and playground pick-up games. The values exemplified by the Olympic Games are learned on the playground first, and the lessons sport teaches kids (and adults) about empathy, teamwork, problem solving, conflict resolution, sportsmanship and goal setting are perhaps more important now than ever before.

Long live sport.

Chris Carmichael
Olympian

Original Article at CTS Training:  https://trainright.com/olympians-know-sport-politicians-dont-understand/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&inf_contact_key=01fb45446de49e29ce8804be1649fcf5fe2cb85a41a4219b4f0c8de50e2aa9da

Winter Olympics Time!

Happy Friday!  I don’t know about you but I’m really excited for the 2018 Winter Olympics!  The Olympics seem to bring the world, well most of it, together for at least a little while.  We all could use a little peace and some fun for a change.

I’m working on trying to write a little bit more this year.  Check out my blog over on www.ShorelineDigitalMarketing.com.  There is a lot going on in the world of social media and marketing so I’ll be sharing more of that with my followers.  Join us!

We’ve got some exciting projects ahead of us this year.  I’ll be launching a new website in the coming months – think gloves.  I’ve also got a few new client sites that we’re launching this month as well.  The TourdeBigBearHC.com and BigBearCyclingFestival.com for starters.  If you’re into cycling, you don’t want to miss out on our cycling festival, July 28 through August 5, 2018.  We cover everything from dirt to road and all things in between.  Come on up to Big Bear Lake, CA and beat the heat this summer!

And lastly, Robin and I, well mostly I, have welcomed a new addition into our fur family, Jinx the kitten.  You may have seen some of her antics on Facebook and Instagram.  #adventureswithjinx.  She’s a riot and she absolutely loves Sochi.  They are the best of friends.  #belikejinxandsochi #loveoneanother

So that’s all for now.  I hope this finds you well and looking forward to Spring!

Best,
Laura

Reflections on 2017 and looking ahead to 2018

2017 has been a busy year for me, both personally and professionally.  My travels took me all over the country this year. From water ski and cycling competitions to family reunions and celebrations, I put some miles in on the road and in the sky.  It’s always fun to visit old friends and meet new ones along the way.  I’m very grateful for the ability to travel and work from the road – although working while physically on the road isn’t so much fun!

 

Looking forward to 2018 brings a lot of excitement and opportunity.  I’m working on my time-management skills so that I can balance my regular workload with additional education and learning opportunities. Web design and digital marketing are constantly changing so it can be a challenge to keep up if you’re not careful!  We’re also trying to keep our activity schedule a little less hectic next year.  We’ll see how that works out.

2017 brought tragedy to many people.  My prayers go out to those who have suffered loss this past year.  May they find peace and hope in the New Year.

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

Laura

Happy Spring!

It’s almost April already – wow.  The giant pile of snow in the front yard is almost gone.  A month or two back you couldn’t see our street from the house.  We are grateful for the much needed rain and snow though.  The lake level is slowly rising back up and our state is getting some relief from the drought. Thank you God!

We’ve been busy with work and the usual adventures. Bike rides, time with family – and yes the four-letter “W” word, work.  We said goodbye to another of our pets.  Big Kitty (BK) passed on at the ripe old age of 18.  I rescued her when she was 8 from the pound.  She’d been a good girl, tolerating the various dogs that have romped through the halls of our home.  She’s resting peacefully in the yard with Apollo.  Raz and Sochi are left to entertain one another now – Sochi makes sure that Raz stays in the house where he belongs. He’s thrilled.  Not!

In February we packed up four bikes, two humans (meaning us) and Sochi and drove to Panhandle, Texas (Robin’s hometown) for a gravel grinder bike race with a short stop in Gallup, NM for a bike ride too.

The interesting thing about Panhandle is the weather.  We arrived to record heat and then two days later, snow.  Of course the day of the bike race is the day the weather turned.  [Insert sad face here]

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I have to say the race was a lot of fun though!  Thank you Garmin for not getting me lost out in a pasture somewhere (that happened the next month in Malibu).  What is seemingly flat and uneventful is actually anything but.  We rode past farmland into rolling ranch country.  I saw beautiful heifers, antelope and even an bald eagle.  It’s a much different way of life there from how I was raised growing up in the suburbia of Torrance.

Beyond the beautiful rolling countryside are the beautiful people that live and work there.  I could go on about the agricultural community and how hard they work to provide food for their families, and the rest of us. How they spend countless hours tending to fields and livestock.  They do that.  But what you don’t see right away is their commitment to community and to their fellow man.

Recently wildfires ripped through Texas, Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma.  Nearly half a million acres in the Texas panhandle region alone.  Four young lives were lost.  Tragic, life-changing losses of humans, livestock and property.  The only reason I knew about any of it was because of social media and namely from the posts of Robin’s family.  No national news, no Facebook change your profile picture to Pray for Panhandle. Very little was said as those fires raged on for days.  Why?  Because they weren’t rioting and picketing and tearing up their towns?  Because they weren’t out screaming about who’s fault this was?  Nothing to see here, move along now.  No because, they were too busy fighting a wild land fire. Too busy tending to cattle and other livestock that had been burned alive or close to it.  Too busy taking care of weary firefighters and neighbors.  Too busy looking after their fellow man.  Too busy being a community.

Robin’s father, Billy, posted story after story of fellow ranchers donating their time and resources from miles away to help those affected by the fires – hay, supplies plus the trucks and fuel to get it their.  One rancher donated $30,000 worth of hay.  So many reached out and did what they could to support their fellow man.  And yet the news media missed it.  They missed reporting on how good people are, how selfless they can be and how communities do come together in times of sorrow to lift each other up.

Why isn’t that an exciting news story?  I won’t get on my soapbox here about the news media other than to say that they have a responsibility in their journalistic endeavors, one which I feel they take for granted.  This to me makes a newsworthy story. It’s what we need right now more than ever.  We need to come together and be a community.  I believe that we’re capable of it – I know we are in fact.  We did it in the days following September 11th. We came together as a country. We held each other as we cried. We lifted each other up.   The news media was human and respectful.  People were human and respectful.  I just hope it doesn’t take another catastrophic event for us to wake up again.

Blessings to you this Spring.  Get outside and enjoy the fresh air.  Hug your neighbor.  And your neighbor’s dog!

PS:  The Texas Farm Bureau has a page set up for donations to help offset the costs for those who were affected by this devastating fire.  These folks have not asked for help or for government assistance but I’m sure they would be grateful for the support.  Click here for information on how to make a tax-deductible donation:  http://texasfarmbureau.org/panhandle-wildfire-relief-fund/


From the Amarillo Globe News:

Most livestock and all fences lost in last week’s three wildfires were uninsured, leaving ranchers out millions of dollars.

Unlike insurance costs for equipment and homes, livestock costs are typically too high to be practical, said Randy Kennedy, an agent for Texas Farm Bureau Insurance — Panhandle. Feedyard transporters may insure the animals they ship, but grazing ruminants are typically uncovered.

A typical cow-calf pair will cost around $1,300 to replace, Amosson said. More than 5,000 cattle were displaced in the fires, although no estimate exists on how many have perished

AgriLife economist Steve Amosson estimated a four- to six-wire fence with steel posts costs $10,000 per mile, meaning the fires have accounted for million of dollars in fencing costs.

Fences are also not covered under Texas Farm Bureau Insurance’s farm and ranch policy, Kennedy said.

Hundreds of miles of Texas Panhandle fencing burned up during the fires, Texas A&M AgriLife communications specialist Kay Ledbetter said.

Happy Holidays! (Yes “Holidays” because we’re kind of in between now aren’t we?)

39597-be-grateful-for-today-every-daySo the page is about to turn to the last month of the year and it won’t be long and we’ll be opening a new calendar up to welcome in 2017.  Yes, it’s cliche to say “wow, how fast the year goes by”, but yes, it does.

What I’m finding, or should I say coming to terms with, is not only how quickly the year goes by, but how quickly life goes by.  Not trying to sound all melancholy here, just stating the facts ma’am.  This past year I’ve said goodbye to friends, a family member and my dog.  Next summer I turn 50.  Losing people (and pets) that have been a big part of your life makes you feel like a piece of your past has ended, gone.  Not that it really has; our past and our memories will always be there, there’s just something so final about death.  (Again, not really meaning that to be cliche.)  That door closes and a chapter of your life is over forever.

My uncle Joe passed away last month.  The feeling of loss was much greater than I had anticipated.  He was so much a part of my youth and truly a significant influence in shaping the passions that I have in life today.  He taught me how to water ski, ride a minibike, canoe and shoot, and really influenced my love of the outdoors.  And labs, I’m a lifelong Labrador lover because of him.  Well, his black lab Boots really.

We spent almost every summer at the family cabin in Northern Minnesota.  I cried the year my parents said we weren’t going – we were going to Cocoa Beach, Florida instead.  Tough life, yes I know.  I have a lot of great memories from Cocoa Beach too by the way.   But those summers at the cabin were special and they are a big reason why I love Big Bear so much.  The lake, the trees – the outdoors. It just all fit for me.

I’m very grateful for where I live today, for parents who have selflessly helped to get me here, the wonderful man that I’m sharing my life with, and for the family and many friends with which I have wonderful memories with.  It’s hard seeing those chapters close, but I’m grateful for having lived them.  Despite all the crap going on in the world today, life is good and we are all very fortunate.

fcb30062-8eec-4c14-a6fd-8ef39b4085e8My parents and I joined Robin at his fire station in Vegas for Thanksgiving this year.  We had a wonderful celebration with the families from their station and it was an opportunity for my mom and dad to spend an afternoon in his life at work.  Yes mom got to ride in the engine and yes those guys are incredible cooks! On the way our of town, we went through the drive through at Starbucks for coffee.  The people in line ahead of us paid for our order.  (Thank you to whomever you were at the Starbucks in Henderson at the corner of St. Rose Parkway and Seven Hills Drive.)  We in turn paid for the folks in the car behind us and left the cashier at the window a tip with the change.  #payitforward #bekind #itsnotthatdamndifficulttobenice It was a small gesture of kindness, but it made our day.

So moral of this rambling story is: be kind, be grateful and cherish the chapters that have already closed.  You never know when the next chapter is going to close.  And to quote my friend Ben Thompson, “None of us are going to get out alive so live life like your hair is on fire!