First Easter for James

Who knew holidays could be so fun?  Em and I hosted our first Easter and it was a smashing success.  Success… you ask? How bout a 21lb turkey for five people and one infant.  Fresh green beans snapped by yours truly serving as the foundation for the best green been cassy evar. A new cheesy potato recipe (not really that risky, I mean.. it’s cheese and potatoes… what’s not to like?) that turned out splendid.

James got his first Easter basket filled with silly hats (perks of parenting) and bubbles.  Easter egg hunt was a hit and he enjoyed playing with the cheap made-in-china plastic eggs more than eating the yogurt melts I put inside.  Our neighborhood has quite a few wild turkeys and James’ was able to spot his first gobbler (he even fanned his feathers for him).  Holidays were always special to me as a kid and it’s truly awesome for me to put on my Clark Griswold hat, make a bunch of food, host family, and put on the best darn holiday a Dad can.

Life as a Dad is moving so quickly and all I can do is try and soak up those fine moments that really make me smile.  Hope everyone had a happy Easter.

IMG_1862_resize

Twenty hundred and fourteen

Here we are twenty hundred and fourteen and hot damn, what a year 2013 was. If I may be so bold, I’d even consider 2013 to be one of the best years of my life.  Before I conclude that thought, let’s shuffle on back to some of the highlights nearing the end of 2013.

First, one of my favorite holidays . . Thanksgiving #foodmotivated #fat.  James’ first Thanksgiving, to be specific.  Em and I celebrated in usual fashion heading up to St. Paul for a big feast.  Who looked ridiculously amazing in a goofy tuxedo t-shirt outfit? The answer to that question? See below, kthx.
IMG_0796_resize
Shortly after turkey mow-town madness, yours truly had a birthday. . . ugh . . . thirty.  To soften the blow, my amazingly beautiful, talented, hard working, crafty, incredible, and lovely wife threw me a murder mystery party.  Holy. Shit.  What an awesome time. It helps that my friends truly are fun and everyone was a great sport about the whole ‘acting’ thing.  But hot dog. . .what a swell time. The girls looked gorgeous in their old timey dresses and the men, we’ll you can see for yourself:
IMG_0885_resize (1)
With December comes Christmas, too – another first for the lil guy.  This year we celebrated with GiGi , PopPop and Auntie Leash & Uncle Adam well before Christmas Eve. It was nice to just have the seven of us sit down, open gifts, cozy up listening to Christmas music, and enjoy a fine meal. Not just any meal, mind you – beef f’ing wellinton. Stupid good.
Christmas eve morning we hosted as per usual and yours truly made an outstanding pot of Juk soup. After that, we changed things up and hosted the Cooks plus Laura & Nate for a good ol fashion Christmas Eve dinner.  D&D brought a fantastic beef tenderloin from The EauC and we drank, played games, and ate ourselves sick (at least I did #missionaccomplished)
Christmas day was spent with the extended Goon family out in Victoria.  GiGi made lasagna – both traditional red sauce with hamburgesa and white sauce with chicken n peppers. Tasty.  All in all it was a great first Christmas for James. The kid got so many new toys and us parents got all the joy in the world out of dressing him up in goofy outfits. But don’t take my word for it . . . POW:
IMG_0960_resize
Closing out the entry, in December I received a promotion at work. I’ve wanted this position since I started working here in 2002 and it’s tough to wrap my head around that fact that it has become a reality. Cripes.  Cheers to 2014 and the future to come . .
p.s.  It is balls cold out. This weekend may be one of the coldest NFL games ever – Pack v. SanFran.
cold
Stay warm and think tropical.

Fall much?

Where does time go? Honestly.  Let us begin with a look into the mind of yours truly.  I can’t begin to express how proud I am of Emily. She is a phenomenal mother – better than I even envisioned she would be (and I had high expectations). I don’t know how single parents manage to do it but I do know that I could not do it without her.

Moving on, James is such a happy babe.  I love and cherish those special moments – that first time I open the car door when Emily arrives home from daycare. Like clockwork, he gives me a glance followed by that big toothless smile .  Come morning time, sometimes James will entertain himself alone in his crib and I can sneak into the room, peer through the side of the crib and surprise him – big smiles.  Even that special time early Saturday mornings where we just hang out in bed, the whole fam damily. I just love being a parent.

Ok, enough mushy mushy. Here are some adorable pics of JD at 4 months:

IMG_0588_resize

This goes without saying but, I love visits to the EauC.  Dori always has the gluttony corner packed with cookies, bars, and all kinds of goodies and when we’re not sugar bombing, we’re typically going mow town on Whiskey’s fish fry.  It’s so relaxing to hole up in the basement, watch college football all day Saturday, then do it all over again NFL Sunday style.

It was in the EauC that I got to meet beautiful baby Julia for the first time.  I took some pics of her and JD:

IMG_0676_resize

PopPop turned 59 in September. One year away from that big ol six’er. Watching my Dad interact with James is one of my favorite things. I like to think it’s a glimpse of him 30 years ago when I was just a young ankle-biter.  Pics here:

IMG_0639_resize

The Annual Great Oaks Drive Chili cook off was a smashing success.  It was a little chilly for James but he snuggled mom closely in his papoose. We didn’t win this year but our chili got mad votes.  Afterwards we took the party to the Charlton garage bar and turned it up to eleven.  Good times were had but I didn’t get any chili cook-off pics, just more cute babby pics.

IMG_0705_resize

Who is the most adorable oatmeal bear evar? I’ll answer that question for you… no I won’t, you already know the answer.  It’s wierd how life is cyclical.  Now Halloween is fun again.  Why? Dressing James up in goofy outfits. As a parent does it get any better?  For Halloween, once again we found ourselves at the Charlton bar, handing out candy, tippin’ back grandpas cough syrup, and having a good ol time.

Party-wise, this year auntie Alicia came over while Emiliy and I went to a Halloween party at Blake and Kara’s. I didn’t take any pics of the party but guess what I did take pics of??!?! I know, it’s starting to get obnoxious. Sue me.

IMG_0740_resize

I want to close out the post with the biggest news of the year. Alicia and Adam are engaged! I could not be happier to have Adam as a future brother in law and the excitement of planning a wedding has already commenced. Goon / Fronius family expansion +++ Buckle up!

Summer what?

Where the eff did summer go?  All the sudden September is creepin’, work is getting mad crazy like, and students are back on campus.  FFS.  Blog time. Go.

James is growing like a weed. My “little fussy” is not so much living up to his name anymore – just happy as a pig in slop.  Daycare days have begun.  So far, so good and James seems to be making the adjustment pretty easily.  Of course it doesn’t hurt that our daycare lady is the sweetest evar and updates JD’s daily activities via mobile app?! What? I had no idea that I could pop out the old fruit phone and see when James took his last dump!? Love technology.

Speaking of the little fussy, here is his one month and two month shots:

One month:IMG_0421_resize

Two months:

IMG_0475_resize

Three month shots are happening any day now (Dad is slacking!)

JD got all up in that first 4th of July evar. Mom and Dad took him over to Step’s Grandpas place on Tonka.  GiGi and Auntie Alicia came with and it may very well have been one of, if not the, nicest 4th of July celebrations I can remember.

IMG_0453_resize

 

Celebrated GiGi’s bday a few weeks ago and James took his first trip to St. Paul. He is such a little guy and I love how his Grandparents adore him.  My Dad is so helpful every instance he can be simply because he has been there, done that. He knows that an extra hand is mighty helpful plus, it’s just his nature to help. They are both going to be such wonderful grandparents.

IMG_0542_resize

 

 

Fall . . . here we come.

Fathers day #1

This last weekend was quite magnanamous. It began with a Friday night fish fry (Whiskeys in EauC does a phenomenal frying of the fishes), followed by Saturday golf at The Valley in Mondovi, WI (first round out for yours truly) followed by an evening out at the Sigy farm with a lot of food and a little drinking. . . or maybe it was a lot of both?

Sunday we schlepped James back into the cities and out West to Victoria. It was so great to see the Crometts, I miss them. Christina has grown up to a spitting image of Hannah, it is equal parts astonishing and awesome.  My parents gave me such a sentimental Fathers Day card, it’s definitely a keeper. Alicia gave me my first office picture of James and I already hung it on my wall.  It’s adorbs.

My thoughts on Fathers Day were, “I don’t really deserve this yet”. I haven’t really even paid my dues yet being a Dad but hot dog . . . I am JD’s Father, so yea. I get a day now and it’s awesome. I do feel terrible that I didn’t even get The Donald a card. With everything going on in EauC, and halling ass back to the cities, I dropped the ball big time.  He knows I love him, am forever grateful for his fatherhood efforts, and wouldn’t trade him for the world.

Speaking of that, here are the pics from the weekend with the link being a great pic of my Dad and I:

IMG_0407_resize

Baby J, JD, James Daniel – sup world

Officially official as of May 20th, 2013 @ 7:00 p.m. on the nuts, comin in hot at 7 lbs 5 oz. with a length of 19.6″ and a delivery record of 1-0, James . . . Daniel. . . GoooOOooooOoOooN.

Some oblig mushy stuff I need to get down in writing  - I could not be happier. Emily was tremendous and after watching her go through that exhausting procedure I have no doubts that woman is going to be an outstanding mother.  All of my fam and fam-in-laws came to the hospital and it was so cool to have them there.

I’ll never forget the feeling of turning the corner, walking up to my mom and mom-in-law, only to have them both hug me as I announced the name / arrival of my healthy new son. Even the nurses sitting at the desk commented, “you guys are going to make us cry”. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.  Amazing grandparents, they are already proving to be /yoda.  Enough sappy stuff, onto a couple of pics from the first few days.

IMG_4348_resize IMG_0298_resize IMG_0299_resize IMG_4347_resize

Motherhood

This year, mother’s day meant something a little different to me. My wife, will soon be a Mom and I, soon a Dad.  This will be the last year that I get to concentrate solely on my own Mom (you’ll still get lots of m-day love from me Mom don’t worry). Now I gotta start planning stuff for Emily until the kids are old enough to make their own macaroni cards and sub-par-but-you-pretend-its-delicious-breakfasts.

Sunday’s weather was 60s with both wind and sun ++  It was perfect for ol’ hotbody here but Emily was actually chilly at times. Alicia marinaded these DELISH chicken kabobs (with rosemary which I usually am anti, in this case it was stoops good) and seasoned potots. Emily and I brought Breyers (Byerly’s) sunflower seed pasta salad and a veggie boat. For once, it was nice to just be with family, no busy crowded restaurant for brunch.

I took a few pics of the family and I suppose if all goes well, this will be the last ‘gathering’ we have with just five Goons. . .   dgDOTcom get ready to be polluted with babby pics ++

Mom’s day celebratory images here:

IMG_0270_resize

Ask and you shall receive

So I’ve been slacking major, thanks Alicia for calling me out.  Emily’s body is pretty much reach to deliver and here comes the waiting game.  A couple of update pics of her pregnetsee:

IMG_0243_resize IMG_0237_resize IMG_0250_resize

Final thoughts before I am officially a dad:

  • Is my son going to have my awesome good looks, athletic talents and charm?
  • Emily has been an absolute warrior throughout this pregnetsee, could I be any more fortunate? <3 wifey
  • That first week home with our son is going to change my life, I am ready for a major life change and I could not be more excited
  • I hope to remember all the sound advice I’ve been given about parenting, fatherhood, etc..
  • Emily and the pets are our own family now, but some see that as crazy talk. Having a child really officially cements the ‘family branding’.

 

Tee minus eight days until due date . . . my cell phone is on and I am ready to leap into action. Game on.

Norf Shore

Couple weekends ago (I know, I’m slacking) Em, Step, Alicia, TaterTot and I headed up to that North Shore.  BigBernie made the trip for us and it may have been one of, if not the, most beautiful drives I’ve been on.  I’ve been been up there before but the weather changes almost ever hour, the lake is massive, and the forestry / surroundings are quite enjoyable.

The four of us ponied up and stayed at a rent-a-cabin that was basically plopped on top of a mountain overlooking Superior. The driveway was the steepest grade BigBernie has ever climbed, I shit you not, 40-45 degree incline – #NBD. The cabin was so cozy and high quality. If I recall, the visitor log had entries starting in 08-09 so it was fairly new.

Emily shot a gun for the first time. It was tremendous. She is actually quite the marksme…markswoman? First she started on Step’s scoped .22, basically a pea shooter.  It was quite a jump from that to the .20 gauge but she knocked down a couple clays, did a happy dance, and was only reminded a couple times ’muzzle awareness Em!’  Once she got all thuglife on us with that 9mm, jaws started dropping. I don’t know what to say, I am not a horrible shot, but I certainly aint like her, ya heard?

Speaking of how awesome Emily is, what a gal she was to spend the weekend up there stone sober while the three of us just drank our eyes out.  I gave a toast of recognition to express my gratitude to her but it needs to be said again. Thanks darlin.

Alicia and Adam brought up raclette for dinner, that was stoops delish. Raclette may be one of my new favorite things and if it weren’t for the fact that the last thing the Goon household needs is another sporadically used cooking appliance, I’d book it.  To those who’ve not yet treated yourself to raclette, don’t think about it, just do it.

Step and I hit up that sauna big time Saturday night. At the hottest, the thermo was reading 190 degrees. After boozing all afternoon / night, the sauna is crucial to sweat out the booze.  On a side note, I am so f’n glad to have Step as my sisters bee eff. I think of him as a brother and he’s just such a damn good guy.  All my friends get along with him, he’s always ready to shweel even if he’s hungover, and I like to think we’re similar in sense we both work hard / play hard.

Anywho, pics of our stay here:

IMG_0169_resize

Unc is old

Ever since I was just a young lad, I’ve always looked up to my Unc (Mom’s brother) the police officer.  He was such a cool dude, seemed to do well with the ladies, had fun / debaucherous friends and gifted me baseball card boxes for Christmas. This weekend we celebrated his 50th birthday. Hot damn.

Fifty.

How did he get so old so quick? I guess I shouldn’t talk being that I am *gasp* one year away from the big three oh.  For his fiftieth, I wanted to make absolutely sure his present was not a let down and this was not an easy task. I found that a fifty year old with a wife and two kids doesn’t really ask for / need much (guarantee this won’t be true when I am fifty. ooompsk)

After conferring with auntie she told me he loves Chipotle when he’s rollin in the black and white. I was hesitant.  ”Chipotle?” I thought. . . seems so cheap and not personal but then I thought back to my main objective and I ask you Internet, “Who wouldn’t want $50 worth of burrito monies”?  It will absolutely positively for sure get used! “Gee, I had a great birthday but I wish I wasn’t gifted so many free burritos from Chipotle” – said no one ever.

Happy Birthday Unc.

A few pics:

IMG_0115_resize