Gratitude day 59




I am grateful for my walk home with Coop the other day. He’s in a good space right now. He likes kindergarten. He’s settling in and we’re all enjoying the routine. The day I took this picture was picture day. He loves that shirt. He looked good in it and he knew it. How do I know? He told me. Actually not me; some other kid’s dad I’m not even clear he’d ever met before. “I look good in this shirt,” he said, “I just kinda, y’know, I can feel it.”

If hearing that from your boy isn’t nice, what is?

I am grateful for cool things to look at. This morning the misty fog on the Olympics across the pond was pretty spectacular. Then, I parked next to a very cool old truck. The best vintage cars have just enough rust to let you know they still put in a day or two of hard work every now and again. I appreciate a car that’s well cared for, not just because it looks pretty, but because someone loves it enough to drive it for decades after most of its kin have already disappeared.

And lastly I am grateful for this Ted talk I watched at lunch today. It validated my policy at work of trying not to track my time too closely. You read that right; I try not to track time if I can avoid it. Why? Because my job isn’t fun when I am always watching the clock. It’s best when I can get an idea, chase it down a rabbit hole, and maybe pop back out with a cool new solution or feature for a website; an idea realized that wasn’t a sure thing when I started. I think that works best for me, and I think it works best for my clients, too.

Gratitude day 57

I am grateful that it is a rare occasion I drive to work. Parking is a drag, and I get grumpy when I don’t get a walk or a bike ride in somewhere in the day.

I am grateful that our renovations are starting to actually happen this week. It’s been a long time coming. I am trepidatious about how this, my first experience with a home renovation will go. I’ll feel better when I’m at the destination on this one, but every long journey starts with one step.

I am grateful for some time spent this evening with my boys making paper airplanes from a great paper airplane book from my youth. It is amazing what a great toy a piece of paper can be when you fold it up, and what a few minor adjustments can do to improve a paper airplane’s performance.

Gratitude day 55






I am grateful for Julie’s idea to go to Goldstream provincial park for a weenie roast for lunch. It was all kinds of a great way to spend the day. Having a fire is fun. Eating hot dogs is fun. Being outside is almost always more fun than being inside. The natural beauty of that place, from the majesty of a great big waterfall, to the microcosm of the moss on the side of any given tree is amazing. It makes me realize my gratitude for living near this particularly amazing place on this particularly amazing planet. What are the chances?

I am grateful for the brotherly love that exists between my boys. They can fight like cats and dogs; perhaps just dogs; perhaps actually particularly violent dingoes… But I digress. Often they fight, but sooner or later they make up, and you can see how much they prefer to be together than apart. That photo of them holding hands – that’s all them, and just how they were this afternoon. If that’s not nice, I don’t know what is.

On that note, I am grateful to Kurt Vonnegut, whose novels I love, but in this case I am grateful for this quote about his uncle Alex, from whom I borrow that phrase A LOT in this blog :

One of the things [Uncle Alex] found objectionable about human beings was that they so rarely noticed it when they were happy. He himself did his best to acknowledge it when times were sweet. We could be drinking lemonade in the shade of an apple tree in the summertime, and Uncle Alex would interrupt the conversation to say, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

So I hope that you will do the same for the rest of your lives. When things are going sweetly and peacefully, please pause a moment, and then say out loud, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

My late grandfather, Steve Lathrop Sr. had a quotable phrase he often uttered to me and many other family members on many occasions, from backyard barbecues to fancy dinners. It was similar and went like this:

“It doesn’t get much better than this.”

[pause for effect]

“And this is pretty good!”

Gratitude day 54


I am grateful for Firehall open houses. This year it was in Esquimault. Farley is particularly enthused with firetrucks these days and he loved it!

I am grateful for our daycare provider. She commented on the above photo on Facebook because she knows and likes my kid. Both kids. She took care of Coop, too, and still sees him socially on occasion, and when we’re dropping Farley off sometimes. She’s got an amazing respect for kids that I wish I saw in more grown ups, myself included. She sets a great example for the children, but also for their parents. At this point she feels like is a member of our family. For the record, I’m not writing this because she told me she reads my blog recently, although that is flattering. When she mentioned the blog she said she was glad to get a glimpse of Farley’s world. Cussing awesome reason! If you are ever in need of a recommendation for daycare in Victoria, hit me up via email and I’ll provide contact info.

I am grateful for the immediate comfort that comes with the presence of old friends, in town and over for the full sacrificial turkey ritual this at Thanksgiving. Remember when I said I made some great friends as a scout? I’ve known my pal Ryan since I was 12 and he was 10. Now I also get to hang out with his spouse and 2 kids, similarly aged to Coop and Farl. If that’s not nice, I don’t know what is.

Gratitude day 50


I am grateful I am in bed. I’m tired, but I will be asleep soon.

I am grateful I have a space to tinker in. Tonight I made most of a bicycle from bits laying around.

I am grateful for my family. For a brief period we were all on the floor playing with lego. Coop made a great table and chairs, complete with coffee mugs, iPhone and cookies. If that isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

Gratitude day 40


I am grateful for the nap I had with Farley today. He’s still a fairly avid napper, but he won’t be forever. Best to drink these kids in while one can, and I did today, and it was nice.

I am grateful for leftovers. It made dinner easy; otherwise, we we’re beat. I think it would have been hard.

I am grateful for my big boy’s understanding and gracious response upon learning that my little boy knocked over his plastic beadwork project, thereby destroying dozens of minutes of work. Cooper was upset, but he didn’t freak out at Farley too bad upon hearing the news.

Gratitude day 37

So many things to be grateful for, but top of my list today is the first day of kindergarten.

I am also grateful for the celebratory post-first-day-of-kindergarten feast at the White Spot, in which the boys finished it all off with chocolate sundaes.

And lastly, I am grateful for puddles. I am not a fan of the rain, but 2 year olds in puddles are a nice silver lining.

Gratitude day 36

I am grateful for my folks again. While Julie and I were at work, they came to our house, tidied stuff up, and prepared dinner. So nice!

I am grateful my knee is continuing to get better. So much so it’s not really the knee anymore, just the pulled quadricep it is attached to.

I am grateful for kindergarten starting tomorrow. This last while has been tough on Coop, he’s had to start at new schools more than any kid should in just a few short months. This week will be a bit tipsy turvy, but starting next week we should be into a regular routine! and that will be great for everybody.

Gratitude day 35


I am grateful for Vancouver island, just the way it is. My brother sent me this link, which has some interesting ideas about linking the island to the mainland with a bridge or tunnel. Reading it made me realize that my gut response to that notion would be that I’d prefer the existing ferry system. Not sure why that is, but it’s good to find you are happy with what you’ve got.


I am grateful for my folks, and my biggest, Coop, who by all accounts had a great day traipsing around town today.

I am grateful for a quiet day at the office. I ploughed through a fair amount of work, and me knee and brain found it to be a restorative experience after a busy weekend.

Gratitude day 33

I am grateful for kids playing quietly on the living room floor on a lazy Saturday morning. Spoiler alert, nothing happens in this video but quiet playing. The first 10 seconds is representative of the whole thing. This went on for an hour or so. If that’s not nice, I don’t know what is.

I am grateful for a visit from a garter snake in the garden today. Some people might not like snakes in their gardens. I do. Having grown up in Calgary, snakes were a rare but fascinating sight in my childhood, and I never saw one in our yard. I feel fortunate to have them in my garden. Not sure why, but I really do.

I am grateful for my folks, who come to Victoria to visit from time to time. The kids love having them around, and so do I. They come bearing gifts for them, and they buy us all dinner. They plant pansies in the garden, and surprisingly, they don’t freak out when there are garter snakes.