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Social Suffocation


Disc-LAME-er: There will be cliches, self-quoting, photos and a few words strung together to attempt an explanation as to why my last post was in January. But all that is lame. So…  how about we just enjoy moving forward from here? Work for you? Awesome! 😀

Okay, so let me start by saying that life can get the better of us at times. I’m not immune to its affects. It has certainly gotten the better of me. Well, at least it did back in January when I was laid off from my job of 6+ years. Lots of wonderful things have happened and I honestly meant to chronicle it all. But we all know how that turned out. 😛 I just hate the fact that when I finally come up for air, months have passed. 😦 So this is a public apology… especially to certain people who may have felt slighted by the circumstances of my life. I’ve been absent from most social media, with the exception of photos posted to Instagram that are cross-posted to Twitter and Facebook. (So follow me on those sites to stay up-to-date on my crazy, awesome life!) 😉

That being said… here’s what has been going on for the past 8 months.

January – I was laid off from my job. But instead of seeing it as a setback, my wife and I saw it as an opportunity. I’ve since gone back to school, working to obtain my degree in Human Development.JAN 10928856_10152855775201773_479394116374237407_n

February – We’ve been working together to homeschool our four younger children.I’ve always loved to teach, and now I can
play and active role in the overall education of my children! We alternate days of teaching the children and being full-time writers. We get to enjoy our children, as well as the beauty of each day.

FEB 1509885_10152936578756773_2315914500998318247_nThis month we also celebrated Aaron’s 8th birthday!

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March – My oldest son finished his run as the lead in USC’s “Six Degrees of Separation”. He was brilliant in the role and I couldn’t have been more proud.

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April – In April we celebrated, not just one, but two birthdays! A kid turning 2APR 10957005_10153012293131773_7301658854740171243_n

…and another turning 4.APR 11159983_10153060443701773_1136301091559878253_n

This was also the month that my amazing wife ran one of the most intense marathons! It was the SoCal Ragnar Relay Series! It consisted of 12 amazing women who came together to run all day and all through the night from Huntington Beach to San Diego! That’s like 200 miles! I was so proud of her and her team. We actually collaborated on a little video that chronicles the journey. You can view it here: Ragnar Relay – Lola’s Moving Co. Video.

May – This month, one of the highlights was my only daughter and I having another one of our Daddy/Daughter dates. She is just the most warm-hearted person ever, and I am so thankful that she is mine and I am hers. ❤

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June – As I mentioned briefly, we are both pursuing our dreams of becoming published writers! Well, this month we made that dream a reality by publishing my wife’s first (of many to come) book! She started working on it in March, and in about three months time, she finished writing it, and together, we self-published it through Amazon.com. It’s titled, “How To Shop Mostly Organic At The 99¢ Only Store” and it’s fantastic! It gives in-depth pointers on finding Organic, Gluten-Free and Non-GMO foods, so that you can live well and get the most out of your shopping trips to the 99¢ Only Stores. Click on the book to check it out. It’s available as both a hard copy and e-book!

Click here to purchase your own copy!

This was also the month that my second oldest son graduated from High School.

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He is now in his Freshman year at Fresno State University. Wow… time really flies. I can remember when he was 9 like it was yesterday…

Micah 2007-08

July – This month we enjoyed some good ol’ fashioned family time. You know, just being silly…

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…or roughing it in the woods, camping with 20+ family and friends from our church. It’s one of the things we most look forward to during the summer. This was our 5th annual camping trip and each year it only gets better.

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August – This month we sent our second oldest off to college, and finally had an opportunity to get away, just the two of us, for our wedding anniversary. The first time we’ve been able to do so in more then five years! We went to Ojai, CA and stayed at the Capri Hotel. It was a dazzling few days (with intense heat to match) that we both loved. 30 mile bike rides. Midnight pool swimming. Sushi for lunch and frozen yogurt runs in the evening. One of the best times I’ve had in like… forever! lol

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There’s a ton more I could say, but I’m hoping that this will help to spark my writing and get me back to being more consistent with my blog. Thank you for everyone who’s stuck around. I won’t keep you waiting like that ever again. 😉

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Categories: family, marriage, personal, photos, relationships, stories, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

What’s In Store for Two-Zero-One-Four


Hello I’ve been meaning to write a New Year’s post for the last (checks calendar) 23 days. And while I totally missed New Year’s Day, I wholeheartedly subscribe to the “better late than never” philosophy. 😉

This is my official “Welcome to 2014!” post. Albeit somewhat further into 2014 than I first anticipated. But you’ve still got a good, what… 11? 11 1/2 months to go? I think we can work with those numbers.

Okay, so this year I plan to blog more! I mean, I know that weeks have gone by since my LAST post, but we’ll just pretend that didn’t happen. M’kay?

One of the things I’d really like to do this year is establish more communication with my readers. You know, connect “on a deeper level” so to speak. Like, we start off as acquaintances who share an occasional laugh over some ridiculously juvenile meme about rainbows and coffee, and by the time this year is over, we’ll be BFF’s sharing inside jokes about that one time when I did something and you said that thing and was laughing for 20 minutes straight! Ha!

But…

First things first.

I figured one way to do cultivate our new found togetherness is to come up with a term of endearment for you all (all 11… 12… 13 of you ;-)). You know, like “Beliebers” for Justin Bieber (I am not) or “Marshmallows” for fans of Veronica Mars (I am indeed). Anyway, these are a few of the ideas I came up with:

  • Dove Bars
  • Dream Dovers
  • Doverboys & Doverbabes
  • Dove Tappers

Okay, okay… I know those are super lame. So please, if you would, help me out with some suggestions! I would be your BFAY (best friend all year)! Or at least until my WP premium expires. Which it won’t! I assure you.

So, back to 2014 stuff…

I’m working out again. 1003214_10151777577201773_1716813791_n

My wife and I will be celebrating out 10 year anniversary this August and I want to look even less frumpy than I did then. (Hows’ that for setting a high goal? 😛) Not that I was totally frumpy. But I want to look like I just graduated from the Super Hero Training Academy! 😀

Far fetched?

Maybe. Maybe not.

We’ll see how it goes. I’m starting off at around 200lbs. My trainer will get me down to about 185lbs, then I’ll build muscle mass back up to 200 (or as close to that without looking like some weird balloon animal).

Wish me luck! 😀

Categories: fitness, health, personal, photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

New Eyes


I just completed 10 weeks of my fitness regimen and here’s my obligatory BEFORE/AFTER photo. 😉

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After dropping 10 pounds in the first few weeks, I’m now at the place in my training where I’m working on gaining muscle mass. This almost seems backwards in a world that spends so much time, energy and money on LOSING weight. So I’ve had to change my perspective of what it means to train, my overall definition of healthy living and recognize that my success, failure or whether or not I should feel satisfied, is not found in the constantly changing numbers on a glowing digital scale.

Take a look at my photo again real quick.

Understand that I didn’t put up this photo hoping people will say something like, “Hey, great job, Riis!” or “Wow, you look fantastic!”. No.  This photo is up because I want to point out a few of the obstacles that sometimes prevent us from celebrating every success… big and small. See, I wouldn’t look at this photo and see success. While others may see the result of commitment and determination, what I see is all the work (at least in my head) that still needs to be done. I feel the weight of where I want to be and the hard reality that I’m still not there. I want  you to understand that even after considering my progress, I’m still struggling with feelings of dissatisfaction. I wrestle with feeling like I messed up somewhere or that I’ve fallen behind or that I should have hit some ridiculous milestone…  and that I’m failing.

But I’ve got new eyes.

And these eyes show me that every morning I wake up is a victory. Whether I complete 2 push-ups or 200… it’s a victory. Spartacus workouts, 5k hikes, 45  minutes of hardcore cardio on a spinning bike… the fact that I’ve done any thing at all, is a victory. So when I’m tempted for some bizarre reason to pick up those old, negatively-tainted eyes, I look at a picture like this and remind myself that I’m one step closer than I was the day before. 🙂

Categories: fitness, health, personal, photos, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Before I Die…


Has anyone ever heard of a global art project called “Before I Die…“? What started off as an experiment in New Orleans, has now grown global! Apparently, over 200 Before I Die walls have now been created in over 15 languages and in over 40 countries, including Kazakhstan, Portugal, Japan, Denmark, Australia, Argentina, and South Africa.

I admit that I didn’t know anything about the project until I happened to drive past a wall on my way home from church on Sunday. My wife actually spotted it and said, “Hey! That’s one of the Before I Die walls!” I said, “What?” and looked to see where she was pointing. And that’s when I saw it… I was so moved by it that I turned the car around and parked so that I could get some photos of it.

 

If you are interested on the back story, check out the website HERE.

What do you want to do before you die?

Categories: current events, opinion, personal, photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PHOTOBLOG: An August Debut


Well, you’ve heard the quick and dirty version of the birth story, so I won’t rehash that again. But they grow up so fast and I thought I’d share a few pictures of our dear August’s  life so far… all 7 days of it.

I love this shot of him peacefully sleeping in the hospital room. There’s something about these early days of sleep that seem so epically restful.

 

Of course, for the first couple of days there was more sleeping than anything else. Well, except eating. There was a ton of that, which was usually followed by being snuggled up with his gorgeous mama.

 

Here he is with my father, whom the grandkids affectionately call Papa Welch.

 

All the kids call my wife’s mother Ama because it was too hard to say “grandma” when they were younger. And it just stuck.

 

Of course, I am a proud poppa.

 

The wife, the complete brood, and the maternal grandparents.

 

First ride in a car seat. He looks so tiny!

An August announcement. I hung this outside our bay window after we brought him home. We have a lot of dog walkers and moms with baby stroller passing by and they all stop to read it. Even one of our neighbors came over with a present because they saw the banner!

 

My mom, Granny Welch.

 

My brother, Uncle Myke.

 

And no day would be completely without the healing properties of Mommy kisses.

Categories: family, personal, photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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