#AtoZChallenge: R is for Resilience

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There’s a well-worn path on my face.

RThere are many. They remind me of the course my grandma’s black Labrador retriever wore down in the grass after dozens of high-speed chases along the fence, barking his ferocious warning to cars as they whizzed past on a lazy rural Colorado highway.

Continual repetitions grooved mi abuela’s yard. That’s happened on my face, too.

They’re set where there’s heaviest traffic – on my forehead, beside my eyes, bracketing my mouth. In 44 years, a baby face becomes an elementary school face. Chubby cheeks give way, and a traffic jam of baby and permanent teeth stack up, awaiting braces.

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#AtoZChallenge: Q is for Questions from Kids

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This A to Z Challenge has proven quite challenging up around here.

QIt’s what happens when you toss in a load of high school soccer matches and club practice and, oh, an assignment at work that could make or break us. No pressure. I can handle it. It’s just words. In fact, I armed myself with a two-liter of Diet Mountain Dew and commenced writing.

Then fell asleep sitting up at the couch minutes later.

I have a great guest post to share and other stuff to write and letters to catch up with. The universe, though, saw fit to make this the day I caught up, a Friday, for the letter Q. For “questions from my girls.”

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#AtoZChallenge: P is for Pacheco (Plus Random Thoughts on Names)

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My name and I made one bettor some green one Super Bowl Sunday.

PI worked at the Hilton for Super Bowl XLII, between the yet unbeaten New England Patriots and New York Giants in 2008. A boisterous man, upon check-in, clapped his meaty hands together – Gator style, although I don’t know where he matriculated – when he saw my nametag.

“I’ve been wanting to bet on the Giants all day!” he broke his happy white-boy clapping to say. “Your name is Eli? This is a sign! I’m betting on the G-men!”

Hours later, the Giants, a 12-point underdog, pulled of a classic upset.

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#AtoZChallenge: N is for Not Science, but Art

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I should have invented a slide rule for this sort of thing.

NAt what age should you leave your kids alone at home? This slide rule could have a side for age, one for maturity quotient. One for boy craziness, probably, couldn’t be discounted. What of that kid in your brood who fosters a healthy obsession with setting things aflame?

(Is that just us?)

There’s serious stuff to consider, outside of the kids destroying my stash of graham crackers and provolone (Not together. That’d be gross.) There’s opening the door to strangers, unsanctioned living-room MMA, or setting a Betty Crocker cookbook on a hot stove (okay, that one was me.)

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#AtoZChallenge: M is for My Status Update is … Trill AF?

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So my boss said I was “trill AF” tonight.

MI had to look that up on urban dictionary, of course. It’s pretty bad-ass, actually. Totally not me, though. I just wanted to cap a rough day with a Red Baron pizza and a 40. Yeah, a 40. Only, apparently, I don’t know what a 40 is.

I bought a tall-ass can of Bud Light at Food Lion right after practice.

Not that tall, though. This can is my under-tall counterpart of the beer-can world. I bought, apparently, a 25. Twenty-five fluid ounces of wimp-ass Bud Light. Oh! The can says, though, there’s an extra ounce. And I’ll probably finish the whole thing in two, three sittings, max.

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#AtoZChallenge: L is for List of Things to do with your Kids

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Life’s better with the kids.

L.jpgYes, dad needs downtime. He’s got to write these posts and, oh, earn a living and stuff. And sometimes, he coaches other people’s kids and even goes out to play disc golf. Really, though, those times we sing AC/DC in the car or crash the Taco Bell happy hour, those are the best of times.

As a dad, I’ve washed my car inside and out with my girls. I’ve taught them to score a baseball game. I’ve coached them in soccer, which changed them almost as much as it changed me.

If you’ve just brought home your first baby or maybe you’re looking for ways to find quality time with your kids, especially girls, here’s a look at my list:

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#AtoZChallenge: K is for Keeping up with my Shiznit

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So, I forgot what letter we’re on.

KTwice. And what’s even better, I razzed fellow blog dad Eric of All in Dad’s Work about a guest post he promised me for this Wednesday. In the midst of the A to Z Challenge. For both of us.

Only, Eric has already guest posted for me.

In what can be attributed in equal parts to Canadian kindness and just being a standup guy, Eric wrapped up a post in his drafts folder to deliver the guest blog he didn’t have to deliver. Good man, Eric.

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#AtoZChallenge: I is for In This Moment

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I color with 64 crayons.

II mean this figuratively. Such an array makes for incredible detail, contrast, depth. It’s also maintenance. It’s lost time sharpening crayons. It’s keeping them all in the box, and just enough in each of four compartments. You know what I’m talking about.

It’s exhilarating, and also exhausting.

So exhausting that sometimes I envy guys who color with eight crayons. Say what you will about limited options; sometimes, the simplicity outweighs the complexity. Complexity becomes complex, sometimes. I’m destined for 64; at times, I’d like to pick the eight out of the box and run.

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#AtoZChallenge: F is for Finding a Way with Teens

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Teens get a bad rap.

F image.jpgWith white conservatives and Denver Broncos fans, teenagers rank among the ranks it’s still okay to belittle. They’re moody, they say. They’re unpredictable, they say. They’re a bubbling, volatile cocktail of angst and hormones and turpentine.

Okay, I made that last one up.

Natasha at OMG Parenting wrote of five parenting truths for the OMG teen years. Just this week, Andrea Mowery of About 100% posted the Most Important Lessons for Teens. “The most important thing a teen will learn,” Andrea writes, “is love.”

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☑️ #AtoZChallenge: E is for Everyday Guide to Bravery

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ESo, you’d normally see a guest post in this space here, midweek. Sometimes, that doesn’t work out. When your blog’s page authority registers at just 54, and your favorite baseball team is 1-1 with 16 runs scored (and 16 runs allowed), the universe asks you to sit down and take a number.

No gripes, though.

It’s in those spaces of forced improvisation that revolutionary ideas gain traction, or at least decent facsimiles of such. My friend Deb (of Deb Runs) poses a weekly challenge, Wednesday Word. Of all days, it falls on Wednesday, in the midst of the A to Z Challenge.

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