Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving 2018 is in the books and Emilee and I have a lot to be thankful for this year. We have been in our new home almost a year now and we couldn’t be more pleased with the decision we made to buy this house. The location is great, and the house has plenty of room to start our new family. Emilee is pregnant, and our first child is due in February! We are grateful to have such a great home to raise our family in and be close to both of our parents as well.

This year, we volunteered to host Emilee’s family for Thanksgiving. So, a few weeks ago my wife broke out the To-Do List to prepare for hosting Thanksgiving. Let the work begin! We started doing all the deep cleaning and making sure we had enough tables and chairs for everyone. Then came the grocery list and assignments on who would be making what for Thanksgiving dinner. I do not think initially we realized how much work goes in to hosting 19 people for Thanksgiving. Even though there was a lot of work that went into preparin…

Just “Roll” With It

Thanksgiving will soon be upon us.Roasted turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, side dishes galore, pumpkin pie, and time spent with family.

What part of the meal is your favorite? For me, I’m all about the carbs from a “fresh out of the oven” dinner roll smothered with butter.I’ll be honest, the roll hits my plate before the turkey! So, it is no coincidence that one of my memorable Thanksgiving meals, involves a dinner roll.It was 1995 and I was roommates with my younger sister at the time.We couldn’t travel home to be with family because of snow and poor road conditions, so we decided to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner on our own.Our mother was an excellent cook who always prepared a traditional Thanksgiving feast, and after years of helping her in the kitchen under our belts, we were optimistic we could pull off this culinary endeavor. We planned our menu, purchased Tom Turkey and a cart full of groceries, and invited my boyfriend (now husband) to join us for this epic meal.The…

Learning From a 6-Year Old

Throughout my life and career, I have had many people that have taught me things and many that I have looked up to and considered role models. Those role models have changed and evolved over the years, and I am always finding new people to look up to and learn from.

In the last couple of months, my oldest son Jackson has hit the top of that list. Since he started Kindergarten at the end of August, he is always coming home with words of wisdom for us. The second week of school, he came home and was extremely excited because he was a “CAPS” winner. When he first mentioned it, I thought it was probably a game they played in gym class or something, so I asked him what CAPS was. He replied, “Dad, it is Considerate, Appropriate, Prepared and Safe!” I was shocked to hear that response, as it was not what I was expecting at all. Over the past few weeks, he has come home and told us about “CAPS” he has won at school and is always so proud to tell us the reason he won it and what CAPS attribute …

Clues From Cash

KnowBe4 Security Tips - Hovering over links
How can you tell if an email is safe? Even if you catch red flags in an email, such as typos or poor grammar, an urgent demeanor, or even a spoofed domain, how can you truly decipher the safety of an email?
An immediate step you can take is to watch out for one of the most critical tell-tale signs of a phishing email—a mismatched or fake URL.

Why is hovering important? What can it do for you?
Hovering not only allows you a moment to think before proceeding, it allows you the opportunity to see where a link is going to redirect you. This is especially important because not all links lead to where they appear, or insinuate they'll go.

When you hover, check for the following to ensure you're staying safe and secure:
If the email appears to be coming from a company, does the hover link match the website of the sender? Does link have a misspelling of a well-known website (Such as Does the link redirect to a …

Mom I can go to kindergarten, we just won’t tell Dad

A few weeks ago, our little girl got on the school bus for her 1st day of Kindergarten just a few short weeks after her 5th birthday.Even before she was born my wife was harassing me about whether we would let her go to school at 5 or wait until she turned six.I don’t view myself as ultra-authoritarian but that was a topic that I wasn’t open to discussion about.She’d wait until she was 6.My stance wasn’t based on gaining an advantage in academics or athletics, but simply a protective stance to ensure that she would be mature and capable of standing on her own, particularly in her later school years.
 As she has grown older people ask her how old she is and what grade she is in school.Cylee is a little outspoken thing and pipes right up.At a mid-summer doctor’s appointment, she was asked by the nurse if she would be going to kindergarten?Cylee promptly responded with a “yes” while her mother politely informed them she’d be going to pre-K.There was a short argument that ensued amongst th…


Earlier this week I came walking into my office to find this amazing welcome sign.My sister Laura, with some help, had it made out of old barn siding – from a barn we use to play in as kids.It brought tears to my eyes. I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm south of Libertyville.My dad loved horses therefore we all had our ponies and would ride for hours over the hundreds of acres, checking cows and fences and playing all kinds of games.Dad was also a big believer that if you couldn’t ride bare back you didn’t know how to ride, and with that the first 16 years of my life I was riding bare back.
On a farm south and east of our house and about a mile through the pasture and down the pig trail was an old house and this old wood peg barn.My sisters and I played for hours in that old barn, making hay forts in the mow, swinging from the ropes on the pullies and stabling our ponies.I remember sleeping overnight in that old barn.We hosted Halloween parties, and once had to ride our horse over …

Breaking My First Horse

As summer is coming to an end, I am reflecting on how I spent it. This summer flew by fast as usual, and I spent a lot of my time breaking a very stubborn horse. Looking back, I sincerely do not know who learned more from it, me or him, but it was a learning experience for both of us.

I bought my horse as a weanling straight off his mother out in a pasture. When I first got him home the time was mostly spent sitting in the lot hoping he would come close enough to catch him, because he had never been around people before. We figured a lot of things out the hard way, from having to get stiches before we were even halter broke, to refusing to load on a trailer. There were probably more angry moments than fun ones. I even had a few moments where I was positive this was a waste of my time, and I should just sell him. We had multiple days with me hardly being able to catch him, not being able to saddle him, or even of him dragging me around the lot a few times. The whole “do not let go of th…