Keep Moving

It’s the only thing to do at this point, just keep moving forward. We’re going to have a lot of nasty shit to put up with for a long time because of this unholy man elected to the Presidency. “The Beast”. But we’ll stick to our passions and our faith and ride this storm till the end. There’s too much at stake for us to give into the horrible Beast. If you think I’m being over dramatic, then you don’t actually know enough to pass judgment on anyone. I’ve made my peace with the knowledge of what the President is actually able to do, and it’s not much realistically. It’s more than politics. We are subjecting our kids to this nonsense.

Today I’m working from home for a bit. Time to blast some loud and abusive tunes through a very large speaker and focus.

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Every Little Bit

Just thinking about running makes my chest hurt.

I’ve been an asthmatic all my life. In the past 6 years I’ve been able to meditate my way through asthma attacks, to the point where I no longer need to carry an inhaler. Now that I think of it, I haven’t regularly carried one since before our daughter was born over 3 years ago. 

Nevertheless…even a “power walk” that is slightly too “powerful” will make my chest tight. That’s why I was surprised last week when, me of all people, went for a jog. Multiple times on multiple days.

Did I mean to go jogging? Not at all. I don’t even take jogging that seriously. It’s a strange thing to me, like: if your are going to run, run. If your going to walk fast, walk fast. What’s with this weird in between? 

To my credit I had gone out for a walk on purpose. The purpose of course was to reach my destination, the local park, where there is an outdoor gym area. 

Yes…I’m trying to be healthy. 

I’ve done this sort of thing before, where I drop things out of my diet that are wholy unhealthy and begin being more physically active. I inevitably fail. This time however, is slightly different. I’m not doing more or even as much as the last time, I’m actually doing less. 

I haven’t completely cut out soda and Redbull, my primary addictions, but I’ve cut back considerably. Opting for the smaller amounts spread out through the week instead of large amounts every day. Same goes for bread and candy (although Halloween has made that last one quite difficult). 

So I’m cutting back on unhealthy foods, but still keeping the sweet tooth in check. I’m being more active, but not pushing myself too far physically. It’s been a strange couple of weeks because for some reason…it’s working. 

I’ve been able to stick to the “Minimal Sugar, Higher Activity” regime for longer than I’ve ever stuck with any previous endeavor. There was a 6-7 month period where I regularly went to the gym, but that was a few years ago and I never curbed my eating habits. 

“Abs aren’t made in the gym, they’re made in the kitchen.”- Arnold Schwartzenegger 

So I’m taking it one little bit at a time, and not trying to carve out huge chucks. Keeping to this method, I’ve lost 7lbs in 2 weeks. No, this is not a “you should try this” post. It’s actually a post about realizations. 

Sports figures in the NFL always give the same answer when it comes to how they play the game. They don’t think about the game as a whole, it’s “one play at a time”. 

I suppose then, that’s what I’m doing. One play at a time, one day at a time, I’m doing my little bits to keep myself on the right track. As the old saying goes…

Every little bit counts. 

-B.K.

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Game 7

It’s a beautiful morning. Not much different from any other day in these parts although the fog lifted off the Pennsylvania fields enough to give us a fiery sunrise. We went through the same routine, my wife hustling to get to work, our toddler in fits every other second because she loves sleep as much as we do and she’s feeling a little ill. Wife out the door in a whirlwind of kisses and hugs, kid dropped off at daycare….now it’s just me in the car with my thoughts in silence.

That fucking game. Jesus Christ.

I’m admittedly not a huge baseball fan during the regular season. I just don’t find interest in it, especially while the Phillies are struggling. But the playoffs? The World Series? It doesn’t matter who’s playing, I’m right there for it. Analyzing stats, learning players names if I don’t know the team already, sucked into every inning like the universe revolves around each pitch.

This World Series was the best one ever. 

The Cubs, coming back from a 3-1 game deficit, no World Series wins in 108 years and 2 curses looming over the franchise, lead the game 6-3 when I finally got to turn it on at the bottom of the 7th. Then the innings just ticked on. Bottom of the 8th, Cleveland tied it. Bottom of the 9th, still tied after some wild pitches and emotionally confusing at-bats. 

I’m pulling for the Cubs. Why? I’ve never liked Chicago sports, I’m pretty “meh” when it comes to them. But I’ve always had a disdain for Cleveland. I don’t know why aside from a mix of things on the outset: I don’t like Lebron James, and the Cavs stole a championship away from my Warriors. The Browns have always been terrible. The Cleveland Baseball team has a culturally offensive mascot/name and refuses to change. If that’s not enough for you, consider this: when it comes to the World Series, I love baseball, and I pick the team I want on gut instinct and emotion more than anything else. 

Go Cubs. 

I’ll never forget where I was, sitting on the couch watching the game streamed via Periscope. I had just gotten back home from running out to get my wife a soda. Listening to the game on the radio as the Cubs have three outs to make to win it. Then two outs. Then right before I shut the car off to go inside, one out left. 

It’s a beautiful morning. When you’re up before everybody else you get to witness the grace of nature and the simpleness of humanity as it slowly awakes. You can smell clean air for a while, before everyone on the block starts up their car. Everywhere has its own smell it seems. 

I wonder what that field smelled like. I’ve been on a few in my life, sometimes it’s more grassy, sometimes more dirt. Plus the rain that kicked in at the bottom of the 9th probably stirred some things around. 

The ground was wet when he caught that ball, but it made no difference. All you had to do was look at his face as he saw it coming toward him. Simple. They do these drills in practice all the time. A ball driven between Second Base and the Shortstop. Second Basemen stays on just in case, First Baseman with one foot on the bag leans in to read the throw, Shortstop gets the ball to make the play. 

He threw a little high, put a little extra heat on it to beat the runner. First Baseman throws is arm up to make the catch, and soon after his other arm comes up to meet it, already knowing before the ball hit the glove what kind of morning he was going to have today. 
It’s a beautiful morning. 
-B.K.

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Halloween 2016

The Princess Anna dress…..

I had feared it for a time. Not because I have any aversion to Princess stuff, but because I knew our daughter feared it to an extent. As soon as it arrived to our house (as a present for her 3rd birthday a few months ago) she was awestruck and in love with it. But the logistics of putting the dress on made it…difficult.

We hadn’t found, until just recently, that the back of the dress opened up enough for her to step into it. So all this time, each time we’ve tried to put it on her, it ended with screaming and tears due to our attempts at rolling it up in a way and putting it over her head.

Fear no longer. The extra opening was revealed, she put on the dress, and love was immediately restored. In fact she’s spent a considerable amount of time in it for a holiday that only spans one day.

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Following the town Halloween Parade last week we’ve been up to our ears in candy. A lot more was gained that night than expected, as it was her first time truly experiencing the parade and sitting at the edge of the road grabbing the candy thrown her way. Then Friday arrived and for some reason we all felt in the mood to get into the real spirit of Halloween: getting as much candy as possible.

Trick-or-Treating at the mall went better than expected on Saturday. I was made nervous not by the idea of walking around with her in a costume getting candy so much as I was intimidated by the fact that it was the King of Prussia Mall…..the second largest mall in the United States. We live a not-so-crazy driving distance away, so we made the trip, braved the crowds, and had a great time. Our candy stock was about doubled.

Then came the trip, which is another post all together: Emma’s first trip with Mommom and Poppop. Her first time out with my in-laws without my Wife and I. They took a trip up to my SIL’s college where they were having a ToT day and she came home with a wealth of candy to add to the already impressive collection. The next day….today….her annual Parade at her Daycare, then Halloween itself. We did the usual route and the bank of candy grew and grew.

By the time we finished up at my parents’ house (the final stop before calling it a night), she had not only amassed more candy, but a whole utility pack full of pencils, erasers, mini-notebooks and more (thanks Mom!)

I should also mention that three things happened that added a significant portion.

1.) Wifey picked up a big bag of candy at Costco to hand out after we finished up ToTing.

2.) My Wife and I were very tired and lazy from a long weekend followed by a busy Monday and did not feel like passing out any candy.

3.) By the time we did our round of the block then over to my parents’ house and got back home, 90% of the people who were out on their porches had gone inside, thus ending Halloween on our block more quickly than we had imagined.

Therefore….we have a big bag of candy that will now go un-handed out thanks to sleepiness, laziness, and fate. Wayyyyyy more candy than originally anticipated…..

In any case, the dress, the candy, the weather and all was a success. Our kiddo spent some quality time dancing naked in a circle around her toy telephone while she slapped her rear end, and is now passed out in bed. The past four days have been well lived, and tonight is a night that will be well rested.

Sleep tight. Happy Halloween.

-B.K.

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Post-Binge Watching Confusion

It’s a classic case in our brave new world of television. My wife is suffering PBWC (Post-Binge Watching Confusion). 

After a few short weeks, she’s finally finished all that Netflix has to offer when it comes to seasons of the hit show “The Blacklist”. Is there another season on an actual TV channel? Yes. But we haven’t had TV in that way since we got our apartment together 6 years ago. It’s alllllll Netflix for us baby!

So now it’s a little rough. The cliffhanger season-ending episode has come and gone, and now comes the hardest challenge of any Netflix family: figuring out what to watch next.

We spoke about it briefly, going through the short list of shows we started but never finished. Then came the scrolling. Going block by block trying to find something new that could possibly hold interest…and also has a few seasons uploaded already. 

It felt….cold. Like our evening routine had just vanished with the rolling of credits. It’s not that we don’t have other things to do together. But we like our current routine of hanging out, watching a show and chatting about it and other things. We’re a rare breed that uses technology to enrich our lives and conversations rather than abandon each other to the depths of silence behind with noses in screens. 

By the sounds of it, from upstairs putting our little girl to bed, it sounds like she’ll be finishing up “Once Upon a Time”. 

Stay tuned.

-B.K.

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#CostcoStories

We aren’t just a family that goes to Costco, we are a family that lives Costco. It’s not just the free samples either. 

We go for many reasons, and often there are stories that spawn from observations and experiences. So I’ll be sharing those here soon! 

See, shortly after the new Costco location opened up a short drive away about 5 years ago, my Mom got a job there. Through her employment she’s able to provide us with a membership card (also cause she’s an amazing, loving person). At the time my wife and I had never been, so we figured why not check it out? 

We’ve been back at least once a week since. 

We get our usual groceries (not all, just a few things) and occasionally try new things. It’s where we do some of our holiday and clothes shopping as well. Each time we’ve moved into a new apartment/house? Picked up a few things. And almost every visit: we grab a bite to eat from the food court. 

Here’s the thing, it’s not just shopping, we like going out and doing stuff. But the “stuff” I speak of is mainly just walking around. Taking a stroll around somewhere familiar, just hanging out as a family. Costco provides something a little different though.

Not only do they have a rotation of free samples of things that allow us to try a little something new from time to time, but the landscape within the store changes sometimes too. Sections of things are shifted to accommodate a new product, or simply to make it easier to navigate the store. Plus new product comes and goes every other week or so. 

So it really is an oddity that we enjoy. Being able to go to the same, safe place to walk around that may hold something new each time, and we can buy or not buy things. And of course, say hi to Nana when she’s working ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Is this on the list of things that make us wierd?  For sure. But hey, enjoy the little things in life! 

Plus we get to experience silly things not only because of the store itself, but the people who shop and work there ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you have a Costco Story? Share them with me on Twitter with #CostcoStories !
-B.K.

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This is Me

Welcome to Fantasy Island! 

Not really, but I had you going for a sec right?  

Anywho, I figured what better way to start off a new blog than to intro myself for those who don’t know me or don’t know me well enough yet. 

Im 26, and for the past three years I’ve been blogging and podcasting about parenting (mostly) via The Poppin’ Bottles Dad-Cast with my friend Nick. You can also find my writing on a range of topics at The Good Men Project, Life of Dad, The Wild Letters, and a few other places from time to time. Currently I’m the host of The Weekend podcast, PBDC, and a web series called “THIS. with B.K. Mullen“. I’m a husband, father of a 3yo girl and we live in a small town in Pennsylvania. I also work in an equally small town as an Office Manager for some excellent Realtors. 

Lately I’ve given much consideration to the idea that while I talk about a lot of things on many mediums, blogging is still my comfy place. Where words flow and things are learned as well as taught. So here I am, for the first time ever, with my own blog about….everything. Well, almost everything. 

This is a place for me to tell the stories I’ve been dying to tell but haven’t had a place for. 

You’re in for a real treat. Thanks for joining me on my adventure ๐Ÿ˜Š

-B.K.

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