14 Years Later…

Honeymoon 1

This week, Stephanie & I are celebrating our 18th year of togetherness, 14 of them in wedlock. It seems like only yesterday when I was walking through the WLWT newsroom to be introduced to my new producer. Although she doesn’t believe me, I DO remember that day. I remember the first time I saw her standing at the assignment desk. I don’t recall what she was wearing but I remember being introduced to her and thinking to myself that she was a very attractive woman. Little did I know that from that day forward she would be a huge part of my life and what a ride it’s been to this point! If life is a highway, then Stephanie & I are cruising right along, heading into a beautiful sunset, the windows are down and the music is blasting something from the 80’s that she can’t stand…aaaaaaand now she just turned it off.

Oh well. Marriage can be like that sometimes.  :-)

Nevertheless…life IS wonderful and being married has had its challenges at times however we seem to be figuring out how to do this very nicely, thank you very much.

To the woman I married 14 years ago….thank you so much for being the best partner a guy like me could ask for. You make me a better person and I am very fortunate to have you in my life. I love you sweetie!

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Inspiration isn’t a word I throw around lightly. I’m not easily inspired by people. In my lifetime, I can say I have honestly been inspired mostly by my parents & my wife and that’s about it. But in the past year, there have been many people in my life, whether directly or indirectly, who have affected my life for the better. A few will recognize the effect they’ve had on me over the past year but most of them probably will have no idea what I’m talking about. So now I am going to pay tribute to those who have come to inspire me…even if it is only in a small way.

On May 17, 2013, I posted THIS here on my little blog site. Essentially it’s about how sluggish I had become and how I had lost sight of my own health. Not long after that, in October, I posted THIS blog about wanting to play basketball again. Not long thereafter, in January, I posted THIS blog and included a photo that inspired me to get my ass in gear even more than I already had. Now…almost a year after joining my local gym and hiring a trainer, I am reaching certain peaks. I can’t say that I have set goals for myself because I haven’t. I haven’t set a certain weight. I haven’t set a goal that I want to lift X pounds or that I want to run a marathon. When all of this started, I just wanted to play basketball again. Slowly but surely, that has evolved into something else. Let me be perfectly clear when I say I am NOT a physical specimen. I am still trying to lose weight around my middle (the most difficult place to lose weight unfortunately) and I would love to be more tone. But for being a year in and not being on a rapid plan for weight gain or loss, I am seeing results and none more obvious than what happened today.

Today, I went to get my winter clothes out and most of them didn’t fit. My pants, which I previously bought at 38 inches around the waist, were loose. My shirts, many that were XL, no longer fit at all and looked like I was wearing a dress. So now I’m having to go to buy more clothes that fit and it…is…AWESOME! Not the shopping part…but the fact that none of the clothes I put away some 6 months ago no longer fit! I knew I was losing weight. I had to go buy shorts earlier this year so I knew I would probably need new pants. But everything is too big! It’s amazing to me and truthfully, I’ve needed a lot of help getting to this point. So without further adieu, here are some of those I would like to thank…

My wife. Not only is she inspirational in her own right, but she has been very supportive in so many ways. She hasn’t complained when I’ve spent too much time at the gym. She’s been great at making meals that are low carb or just healthier overall. She has been so supportive in so many ways and I couldn’t be doing this without her!

My “road wife,” Trish Gibowicz. For 2 football seasons, she has FORCED me to get to the hotel gyms, even when they were crappy sweatboxes, and kept me moving and eating healthy when I am away from home. She has been a great road partner and she has been a great voice of reason when I THINK I want to sleep in on a weekend.

Matt Lanning is a former high school buddy who showed up at our last reunion and was in peak physical shape. Seeing him at our age got me thinking about how I could get myself back together. Both he and my friend Dave Clancy, who is a trainer and owner of Buckeye Kettlebells, are my age and seeing them be in the shape they are in has been HUGE in making me want to get healthier.

Another high school buddy, Kevin Patterson, who was in a motorcycle accident a few years ago, has bounced back from that and is in fantastic shape. Some people would have bowed out after what he went through but he didn’t. He came back stronger than ever and when I see that he’s checked in at the gym on Facebook? It makes me want to get my butt to the gym.

My trainer, Cody Godsey, who has obviously been a huge part in helping me get stronger and healthier. Most of the time, when we’re going through my weekly workout, we are talking fantasy football or about our weekend activities, but I’m paying attention and I can see what he’s up too. Every week he is pushing me, giving me new exercises to do, all of which strengthen me and make me WANT to work out.

One of my best friends, Janet Hanneberg-Diggs, who has been supportive of me and who is one of the healthiest people I know. Not only has she been an inspiration on the basketball court, but a few years ago she was diagnosed with cancer and is now fully recovered. She is a survivor and when she tells me that I am doing a-ok? I listen.

All of these people have inspired me to be a better person, physically and mentally. It’s a small tribute I pay to them here. It’s not much compared to what they have been doing for me, some without ever even talking to me. But I wanted them to know that they have, in some way, been important to me and this process I am going through. It’s not as if I’m a caterpillar and soon I’ll be a beautiful butterfly, fluttering through the sky…

Nah. That’s weird. Instead I’ll just say “Thanks. You guys rock!” and I’ll leave it at that!


Back To School (5th & 7th Graders)

1512533_10204583537416183_6575950375130845867_n(1) 10570556_10152284344767361_3014319444697662505_nWell…it’s back to work for my 2 kids. After a wonderful summer (see the following post), Thursday they loaded up all their new school supplies and put on their new school clothes and headed off to begin the 2014-2015 year. Our kids’ school doesn’t have a middle school so Fer is over in the high school this year. It’s all new for him and he says a bit confusing trying to find his classes but I imagine he’ll get it down soon enough. As you can tell…they aren’t really all that happy to be returning to school but…it is what it is…

Goodbye Summer 2014



Well…so there ya go. ANOTHER summer come & gone. It seems the summer months FLY by and if you blink…they’re over. It was a great summer this year with trips to Denver and Cedar Point. We visited Grandma & Grandpa (and they visited us). We hung out with our aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins and friends. Christopher played baseball (sadly it was NOT a successful season) and basketball and Ava rode horses, was on the swimming team, went to several camps and was in a theater group that put on a great performance the last weekend before school started. Here are a few of the highlights from the past 3+ months…

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IMG_0704 IMG_0753  IMG_0850 IMG_1084 IMG_1138 IMG_1484 IMG_2181Goodbye summer! You will be missed… :-(

Birthday Trip To Cedar Point


It’s been YEARS since I’ve been to the amusement park to the north. Actually…it’s been 28 years. The last time I found myself at Cedar Point, I was 18 and my high school class took our senior class trip up that way. So…when my daredevil of a daughter decided that she wanted to go there for her 10th birthday? It seemed like a no-brainer. The reputation of Cedar Point is that it has more roller coaster than any other park in the country. I don’t know if that is true or not however I WILL say this…when you look at the park and you can’t tell one coaster from the other? Yeah…that’s a lot of coasters! The highlight of MY day? Riding a roller coaster called “Raptor” after the sun had gone down and the park was all lit up in neon and colored lights. It’s a GREAT coaster and it’s even better when you can’t see a darn thing! Here are some shots of our trip up north. Thanks to my sister Kathy and her family for joining us and allowing us to crash at their beautiful house in Findlay for the night! We had a great time and I imagine Ava will have fond memories of our trip for many years!