#AtoZChallenge: L is for Life of Pi, largeness, and whether I like Britney Spears πŸ 

The girls asked about colorful sea life, expanding vocabulary, and complex yet strong starlets. #GoAskDaddy #AtoZChallenge
Daniel Cheung photo (Upsplash)

Let’s see how many words starting with the letter L I can let loose in this lead-in, and shift this losing landscape. (I’ve lost lots of time in the #AtoZChallenge. I’d like to at least land this post later tonight.)

Leave it to me to lag behind for so long.

I’ve not had to learn to labor about lies to myself about why I linger. Is my lateness a lifestyle flaw or lack of preventing leaks? In light of how lonely writing can look, let’s leave well enough alone. 

So I’ll limit this lecture and let you in the loop past this lengthy lead-up, and let’s click the link live link below. (I love that I got 37 words from the L list loaded with literature (now 40!)

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#AtoZChallenge: K is for Katherine Ward, copywriter and grief and loss blogger β€” a #GirlsRock interview πŸ’”

Just reflecting over here …

I love a story in which our hero not only navigates adversity but also discovers ways to make the world better.

Katherine Ward is such a hero. This talented blogger and copywriter’s life changed when her father died in 2017. Losing a parent, I contend, is one of the most permanent events in a person’s life, having lost my father in 2000.

Katherine turned her own grief into a forum to help others who’d suffered losses, too.

I’m proud to introduce Katherine Ward to you today in #GirlsRock. Please give her a warm JAD welcome! She’s an inspiration of strength and kindness.

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#AtoZChallenge: J is for Johnston – an interview with writer Kate Johnston βœοΈ

So, I’m a little behind.

I’ll keep the pace in this #AtoZChallenge, without shortchanging any posts. I want to make sure to give this one especially it’s due. Today’s post is an interview with writer and writing coach Kate Johnston.

She’s a published author who devotes time to making scribes like you and me even better.

She believes in a principle I’d love to make a staple in my life. That if we make a daily practice of positive thinking, we can enhance our creativity and lessen the weight of obstacles that have held us back. (Writing #GratitudeAndShit every Friday is a good start!)

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#AtoZChallenge: I is for Inspiration πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ€

I’ve always been a David Henry Thoreau guy. 

It began in college. Because of course, it did. I read Walden and connected with a man in the wilderness with a plan and a journal.

His quotes hit home and his logic made sense.

His quotes have stood as the ones that inspire me most. It’s the one I’d write down, live by, try and impress the girls with. (As if.) 

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#AtoZChallenge: H is for Hayden, headphones, and happy hour #GratitudeAndShit 🎧

Just grateful to be kicking it with Western Conference All-Stars.

Is it possible that being grateful that I’m not THAT far behind in life sounds sarcastic?

Or that I’m grateful the Rockies haven’t lost ALL their games? Or that the pollen hasn’t ACTUALLY killed me? These are all viable items of gratitude if you ask me.

It’s the day for giving thanks for stuff in my life so let’s get on with it. Oh, crap. Today has to start with Hs, too.

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#AtoZChallenge: G is for Getting behind a cause πŸŽ—️

Mermaid Awareness Week? Sure.

I found my way to the polls last election cycle, as many of you did.

Contrary to my kids’ belief, I did it for more than the free donut at Krispy Kreme. (Although, yum.) Regardless of how the results came down, I did my part, expressed my voice, and that was enough.

It’s important to support causes: Getting behind something you believe in.

It’s two main causes. One, platelet donation. I try to go every week, and it’s humbling to know I can sit still for 2.5 hours and save a life. The second is the area Humane Society, especially the Trap Neuter Release program.

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#AtoZChallenge: B is for Bibster, baseball, and a spot by the birdbath #Gratitudeandshit 🐱

Stormtrooper dancing with a bot from a kids meal.
Bots. Bots would qualify in a post about the letter B. Dancing bots are a bonus. (Bonus, B too.)

Ever struggle to come up with a gratitude list? I have.

It doesn’t make you an ingrate. It’s tough sometimes to get creative, so I hope this A to Z Challenge will bring a little spark out in me. For Day 2, the letter, as you might predict, is B.

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#AtoZChallenge: A is for A new name for this blog πŸ“›

A stormtrooper explores a kickass AirBnB in Columbia, S.C.
New name, same cool Stormtroopers.

A drunken woman led to the renaming of this blog.

Let me explain. I’d been feeling as if the Coach Daddy name didn’t fit anymore. Like, I’d cycled out of it.

I’m still a coach.

I’m still a daddy.

I’m just not … Coach Daddy.

I drove to the restaurant where Camdyn works to pick her up after her shift one night. I pulled my flashy gray Hyundai into a parking space and texted her, as I do when picking up any of my girls: I’m here little one.

(They love when I do this.)

And I waited. There were tables to wipe down, or she forgot the Coke Zero (no ice) she always gives me for picking her up. And three boisterous women approached my car.

Well, one did – the other stayed back.

Are you our Uber? she asked in that too-loud voice that often accompanies a night of Bud Light tallboys. I laughed. Nah, I’m just a dad, I said.

Are you our Uber? she asked in that too-loud voice that often accompanies a night of. Bud Light tallboys. I laughed. Nah, I’m just a dad, I said.

I explained that I was there to pick up my daughter, who works there. You can all the way out here late at night to give your daughter a ride? She asked, swaying only a little now, because this was serious.


You know when things are extra – funny, sad, anger-inducing, delicious, whatever – when we drink? Well, to her, this simple act of picking up a kid after a dinner shift felt like Dad O The Year material.

She smiled at me sweetly in that loving way that many of us do after the second margarita.

YOUR DAD IS SOOO SWEET! The lady told Camdyn as she walked to my car. Dad, those girls were SO drunk, Camdyn muttered after waving and smiling.

She’s right, you know, I told my kid. We drove off and they waved.

She has no idea she had just renamed my blog.

I am just a dad now, and that’s fine. I didn’t want to stop being my kids’ coach, but some things are out of our control. I coach a group of boys and girls who feel like my kids. But my teams always do.

As Just a Dad, I do cool shit. I drive my oldest to California … in three days … in a beat-up Subaru … with a cat in the backseat.

As Just a Dad, I’ll go to my middle daughter’s match in the middle of the week and get easily talked into Mexican food afterward. (Enchiladas = ❀️)

And I can pick up my daughter at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night. What else would I be doing? And if a tipsy chick wants to think that’s pretty all right, well … I’m good with that, too.


πŸ‘¨β€πŸΌ Sometimes, a dad has to find his in between


Am I doing this right?

I really don’t know. What’s a dad supposed to do when he raises his girls to be strong, independent, decisive yet kind, compassionate, but at the same time calm-natured, and courageous enough to actually spread her wings and fly?

And then she does fly.

Or, she will. All the way to California. A 40-hour car ride you’ll take with her, your oldest girl, the first you fathered and coached. The girl you helped find that college home she wanted – just a place in the mountains where I can play soccer, she said.

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😬 10 things grateful: Tranquility, good friends, and the moment the pieces fit #GratitudeAndShit

Madison took this stormtrooper photo the same day at Kings Mountain as Hayden did. Very similar pictures! I’ll use one Camdyn took next time.

I’m usually better at this.

You know. Staying in the present. It’s how I’ve managed to keep the train on the tracks when all else fails. I remind friends of this when they cling to the past or fret about the future. Frame where you are now, and be fully in it.

If one of those friends said that to me now, back, I’d see how impossible it feels.

Madison is moving to California next month. I’ll take a 40-hour road trip with my oldest and her cat, Munch. I wake up at 4 a.m. every day worried about it. But I’m getting better. She’s excited. I’m excited for her, and I’ll work extra hard to buy plane tickets to visit her early and often.

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