Family Traditions

Traditions and rituals are more than just repetition… they often tell a story. A family sets it’s foundation on traditions… from the small of a secret handshake with your son or the big of a thanksgiving feast with all your relatives. On the macro level, traditions can teach children where their family came from or give them insights into their cultural or religious history. On a more micro level, traditions can serve as reminders of events that have shaped your family or reminders of great friendships.

There is irrefutable research that shows families hat engage is “traditions” have a stronger connection with one another. Traditions can be particularly effective during times of change or grief. When we moved and he had to go to sleep in a new room, Jax knew every night we would read a few books and “count the stars on his ceiling” before I kissed him goodnight. It provided him with a sense of security in a new environment.

Jax and I have our secret handshake: (Shout out to Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson who were the inspiration for this). But, Oliver and I were still searching for that father-son tradition.

That was until I realized we need search no more… we didn’t need to find one, because traditions aren’t just thought up one day. They are created authentically and often times are the moments that you don’t even think twice about. It was there right in front of our faces!

Every night before he goes down to sleep, Oliver climbs up on me and settles his head on my shoulder and says, well he doesn’t really say anything. He isn’t really talking much at this point. But, I know what he’s thinking… he’s thinking he really wants his dad to sing him to sleep… a lullaby, a beautiful, calming rendition of his favorite song… Hush, Little Baby.

This is our tradition. Jax never really took to my singing (probably because it sounds like multiple cats crying). However, Ollie… he loves snuggling with dad and listening to the smooth, sweet tones of his father’s voice whispering one of the most well-known lullabies as he drifts off into dream land.

The best part of this… I have no idea, literally none whatsoever, what the lyrics to this song really are. I’ve tried everything. I rhymed real words and made up words… I’ve tried looking up the lyrics, but I can’t remember them in the heat of the performance. I feel like I do when I’m in the car belting out Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing… apparently it’s not, “smelly wine and sheep perfume.” Then there’s anything by Notorious BIG (including the ever confusing), “Birthdays were the worst days/ Now we sip champagne every Thursday.” I know a few words and the rest are completely made up.

That brings us to the greatest tradition our family knows… dad and Oliver’s version of Hush, Little Baby:

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word, Daddy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird don’t sing, Daddy’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring don’t shine, Daddy’s gonna buy you an air freshener that smells like pine.

And if that air freshener doesn’t smell right, Daddy’s gonna buy you a dragon kite.

Different lyrics… same tradition… and it puts the kid to sleep… EVERY.DAMN.NIGHT.

Doesn’t matter where… when he hears Dad’s version of Hush, Little Baby.., he’s out cold

My Kids > OCD (Only on December 26th)

Every toy has been unwrapped, opened, put together, had batteries installed and played with. Now to shove them in a corner so the boys can play with the toys Jackson got for his first birthday three years ago. Matching outfits are packed away never to be seen again until the above picture comes out at some holiday get together 20 years from now.

Elfie has returned to the North Pole… (thank god)!!! Santa has come and gone and in his wake is enough cardboard and wrapping paper to pollute the Mississippi River (I still can’t spell without that little tune we learned in third grade). Only one wine glass was broken yet somehow 30 more boxes of decorations than we owned last year seem to have made their way into the attic.

I’ve written about this before, but I still contend that the day after Christmas (especially for someone with OCD) is the worst “day after holiday” of the year. Yea, I know what I’m saying… I was up all night and celebrated a Packers Super Bowl win just a few years ago and had to get up early the next day for work, but that was a joyous wake up… my team won the Super Bowl, so who cares about that day after… I get it… but for me the day after XMAS has always been a disaster.

However, this year… I tried to let it go as best as I could. I let stuff stay out, I didn’t pack up ornaments or the garland on the mantle. the leftovers weren’t nearly packed in separate Tupperware (yup… that’s right, I just covered them with tinfoil). I allows my children to play with their toys and didn’t even make them put one away before playing with another. I sat comfortably while a fire burned warmly in the fireplace, and enjoyed watching my two little boys play together with all the new toys Santa left them the day before.

This Christmas was about them… not me… not anyone… just them… and I enjoyed that much more than a day of OCD controlled cleaning and organizing like I usually do on December 26th… (at least for today).

Eight Months

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but it feels like just yesterday that this little chunk was born. A lot can happen in eight months… when you take a step back and think about that amount of time in a vacuum it seems like forever, but in this case eight months have flown by. 

  • Weight: large watermelon 
  • Length: second notch on his walker-car
  • Eating pasta, pizza crust, apples and bread
  • Crawling 
  • First Haircut
  • Loves playing w his colored cup-stackers 
  • Enjoys watching the dogs run and around and play
  • Stops crying when Jackson sings “Rock-A-Bye Baby” to him
  • Watched his first regular season Green Bay Packers game (9.10.17- SEA 9 – GB 17)
  • Became a cousin for the first time (to baby Dominic)
  • Loves to laugh

A Football Mind


Steelers vs Chiefs… and Antonio Brown is back on punt returns… Someone explain to me why you would have the best wide receiver in all of football returning punts at all, let alone when you’re winning by 22 points?!!! Who’s calling the plays… a two year old!!?!

So I’m sitting here watching my 13th straight hour of football and I’m wondering if jax will want to play… I did… and I loved it. But that before all this concussion stuff. 

Back in the day as long as you could walk straight you went back in the game and to be honest I’m pretty sure I talked my way back into a few games w/ out being able to walk straight after a few hard hits.  I see so many parents opting out  of signing their kids up for football… and towns now have flag football for young kids.  (I think you have to be 10 to play in pads.)

I’m all for whatever sports this little guy wants to play.  I’d love to have him play football… but if he wants to stick to coaching… I guess I’d be ok with that too. 

Dad had some skills back in the day too!

The “FROZEN” Tundra of Green Bay

As I sit here drinking my Luke warm coffee in my sleeveless packers tshirt, the pure delight like that of a kid on Christmas morning… For the greatest day of the year has finally arrived… It’s opening day… It’s GAME DAY… It’s the Packers first football game of the season today.  

Yet I can’t quite connect with my feelings. There’s something I can’t quite put my finger on… I should be Marching Parade around the house happy… In my Aaron Rodgers jersey doing push- ups on the back porch happy… Yelling “Go Pack Go” for all of the neighborhood to hear happy!!! But I just can’t get in the mood for some reason…

As I sit here writing and thinking and reflecting Jackson is chanting “FroFro” as the DVD ends… AGAIN. Because of that I have to go restart Frozen for the 7,853rd time today. Hang on… That’s it… Is that the reason it doesn’t feel like football yet? Because I’m watching an animated Disney movie on repeat?  

There has to be some sort of connection here. There’s no way my son… The son of a Green Bay Packers Owner, the same kid who knows no letters EXCEPT the letter “G”… Would choose Frozen over the NFL’s opening day. The Packers opening game. 

Wait a minute… Frozen… GREEN BAY? Frozen TUNDRA…? THE FROZEN TUNDRA OF GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN… THE HOME OF THE GREEN BAY PACKERS!  

… That’s it… This kid is a genius! Hit play on that DVD kid it’s time for some football!

#GoPackGo