10 things grateful, plus a coupla graduations 🎓 | #gratitudeandshit

stormtrooper life of pets wednesday wifi mcdonaldsWe’ve got two graduations in three days.

I’m not talking those horseshit half-graduations for third graders, either. Full-blown, leaving this school, taking my game to the next level graduations. Hayden’s done with high school and on to college at Piedmont International University.

Camdyn’s coming to Queen’s Grant High, where I can’t wait to get her on the field.

They’ve both overcome adversity and adverse conditions but found ways to shine in big ways. There’ve been tests of will and tests of character and just a butt load of tests – like, on subjects. We’re ready to get this summer on.

There’ll be shenanigans and Shanghais and lots of streaming The Office. There’ll be new jobs and dorm move-ins and summer workouts. I’m grateful for the milestones, to be here for them, and to be so connected to a couple of the coolest kids I’ve ever met.

What about you – what are you grateful for today?

abu toy may working target
Our cat’s namesake!

1-A desire to better me. I get frustrated and feel hopeless and then I remember to trust the process. I remember the big picture and figure out ways to figure out my obstacles. And those little wins feel like they’re clogging up to become big ones.

2-People who read this blog. Traffic ebbs and flows. Readers come and go. All I know is that if you’ve visited and liked or commented or just visited, I appreciate you. To have a forum with you, to read your words too, that’s the best part of blogging.

3-Others’ purpose and my involvement. A website. A project. An upgrade in soccer skills. Ask yourself how can I help? Plenty have helped me. Plenty still toss roadblocks on my path. The more energy I give the former, the less power I give the latter.

enchiladas beans don't remember yum
🎼Come with me / my love 💌 / to the sea 🐚 / the sea of love 🌮 🎶

4-Friends who get excited about writing. I love this bond! There are a couple of you who’ve faded a bit … let’s reconnect when it’s time. I hope the wheels still spin for you. I hope the will still drives you.

5-Solitude not by choice. It’s one thing to isolate yourself. To pause, reflect, meditate. It’s another when it’s not by choice. Do you fight it and labor to fill the void? Instead, embrace it. That quiet time is a gift and it won’t last forever.

6-Madison. My first kid changed me. After an interview for a feature today, my subject asked for parenting advice. I told him all about daddy/daughter dates and how that bond – and the expectation you set for all me in your daughter’s life – begins with dad.

jesus funko easter clearance walmart
The Prince of Peace – as a Funko Pop.

7-New perspectives and connections. David, the guy I interviewed today, is a gem. So is the mom of three who asked about a sleep mask and earplugs. (How’s the camping trip?) As is the new world I’ve found in coffee shops. And in coffee.

8-A cold beer to numb the pain. Careful. But at the end of a tough day, it can be a delicious reward. Start the day with coffee, sustain it with Coke Zero, end it (occasionally) with a low-priced bottle from Trader Joe’s. Score.

9-Coworkers like Carson and Nick. We get a lot of turnover in Target tech. Being hands-on with Apple and Bose products tempts the devil in many of us. These guys, and Nate, don’t bow to that. They’re good guys, good friends, and do good things.

LEGO girl spring holly target

10-A caffeine lift that keeps me going. It was a brimming cup of Americano today. Some days, it’s an ill-advised drink mix. Or a freshly-popped 20-oz. Coke Zero. My trick: Down a handful of caffeine, then take a 25-minute nap.

You come back as a Jedi, I swear.


collette gratitude quote


  1. ksbeth says:

    I love the transitions you and your girls are experiencing, that all means ‘growth.’ I’m grateful that I’ll have the opportunity to work at 2 different grandchildrens’ field days today! always an adventure and I’ll try not to break the rules this time )

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Yes – and I told them if any of them grows taller than me, they must pay the bills. I hope you’ll write about the field days. I’d better go check to see if you did.

  2. Gina Stonestreet says:

    Don’t forget to get your free donut today. At Dunkin, you have to buy a beverage, but I needed that cafeine boost any way.

  3. joyroses13 says:

    Congrats to your girls on the milestones they are celebrating and Congrats to you for bringing them to this moment! Keep cherishing the moments! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m along for the ride! Here’s to many more.

  4. Lauren Becker says:

    Congrats on all the graduations! I hope you have a great time celebrating. I’m definitely thankful for everyone who reads my blog and connects with me. It’s really the main reason I blog, and keep blogging.


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s all about survival, Lauren! And celebration for sure. This blog community is something else, isn’t it? That support means everything.

  5. What exciting times in your world, Eli. Your daughters are fortunate…and so are you. Learning to love life with all of its ups and downs is a process and trusting it can be challenging. You’re a great example and reminder for us. Thank you…and congratulations to all of you as you traverse new roads!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It all came together at once, Carrie. I’m definitely fortunate! Learning to love life under all conditions is exhausting, quite honestly.

      I’m humbled by your comment, but I’m just trying to be okay in this world! And be good to people along the way.

  6. Congratulations to your girls, and to you for working so hard to be the best dad you could be.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m definitely the the most okayest dad in the land, Mimi. Thank you.

  7. Wow that is a huge transition to college. I remember when my girl did this and I was excited and savored every minute with her the summer before. Experiencing life through your children’s life experiences is such a blessing. We do change in ways we never imaged and stretch and grow in ways that surprise us sometimes. I love all the points you made. Coffee rocks and so do you Eli. Keep being an awesome dad. Have a wonderful Saturday! 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      She’s daughter No. 2 to make the transition, Michelle. Yes, this summer should be stellar! We’re going to a baseball game together on Monday. I love to watch as she takes on the world now.

      Life itself teaches us so much not only about the world, but about ourselves. Thank you for your kind words! I hope your weekend rocks, too.

      1. I love seeing the world through their eyes too. I agree with you. Hope you have a wonderful time at the game. Have a beautiful Sunday! 🙂

  8. Great list as always. Caffeine! YES! What? No food today? Hmmm… Oh wait! There was the picture of something, what was that? 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thank you, Courtney! I have to keep my blood/caffeine levels at acceptable numbers.

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