Night Out with Noah

Well, tonight is my daughter’s birthday party so my house is full of 3rd grade girls. Needless to say, it was in our best interests to get Noah out of the house so the girls could enjoy their evening.

Our night started with our first visit to Costco. That place has everything! If there ever was a reason to get an extra freezer, that store is it. Costco is the Target of the warehouse stores. It’s a much better experience than Sam’s Club.

Our next stop was McDonalds for dinner. In fact, I’m blogging from the Playland right now. The No-Man is going to be tired tonight! It always amazes me that he can keep up with kids much bigger than him. Thank goodness there are some nice kids here this time. On our last visit here, the Playland was invaded by future hillbillies so this is a nice change.

It’s getting pretty late so I’m not sure if we have another stop in us or not. I bet some frozen custard can keep Noah awake for a little while longer. We just need another hour or so. There’s nothing quite like an evening out with a two year old, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The Power of Music and Childhood

My daughter, Kyah, has a birthday coming very soon, and the presents are starting to trickle in from relatives around the country. Uncle Terry and Urbis got her all sorts of cool gifts including an MP3 player that she’s been listening to almost daily. I hooked it up to my Mac to see how easy it would be to update it, and I put some Beatles music on there to see if it would work. Sure enough, it worked just fine, and I’ve been able to teach her how to turn it on and play songs. We’re still working on learning how to turn it off so we’ve burned through a few batteries, but we’re getting there.

Now that you know the back story, I can finally get to the point of this post. Kyah has really taken a liking to the Beatles which I think is one of the coolest things ever. I remember listening to the Beatles with my mom and dad so it’s nice to see another generation enjoying their music. Kyah said the coolest things I’ve ever heard a kid say in my life the other day. She was listening to “Here Comes The Sun,” and she handed one of the ear buds to me so I could hear what she was listening to, and then she says, “Dad, this song is really hopeful and joyful, isn’t it.” I was almost speechless when the words came out of her mouth. After a few moments, I finally responded, “Yes, Ky, it is very hopeful and joyful.” It’s these moments that remind me how amazing my daughter is. I mean, really, how many little kids can listen to the lyrics of a song and feel hope and joy? She’s going to change the world some day.

Pretty Sweet Picture, Huh?

Saint Louis Gateway ArchI keep going back to my Flickr account to look at this picture of the Saint Louis Gateway Arch that I took while we were listening to Ani DiFranco at Live on the Levee. We pretty much had the perfect spot for this picture and the concert.

Live on the Levee is a fantastic free event that happens every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer. We had planned to go to several concerts this summer, but we only made it to see Ani. With the Arch in the background, you couldn’t ask for a better setting. Other artists that appeared this summer were Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Los Lonely Boys, and G. Love & Special Sauce.

I was actually surprised by how manageable the crowd was that night. Back in Chicago, the free concerts in Grant Park were always very crowded, but Live on the Levee was much more enjoyable because of the smaller crowd. I suppose that comes with living in a smaller city, but I think it’s something I can get used to.

For all of you St. Louisans that didn’t make the trip downtown this summer, you really missed out. Get out next summer and enjoy the events that make this city unique and great.

I Don’t Like Quiet!

Home Alone

Well folks, apparently I don’t like peace and quiet.

My wife and kids drove to my in-laws for a week to spend some time with them before another school year starts. I stayed behind because I have to work and need to save my vacation time for the holidays. While not occupied with work, I’ve been wandering around the house trying to figure out what to do with time. Being home alone is so foreign to me that I’m struggling to keep busy. We cleaned the house before they left so I don’t really have to do much of that. It hasn’t rained a whole lot here so I don’t need to cut the grass, and I already filled in some holes that were left when we dug some plants out of our front yard.

Now, I know some of you are out there right now saying, “Well, get writing Tim. You have a bazillion posts to catch up on before the end of the month.” If you saying that, you’re absolutely right. Time will tell if I can rock out a ton of posts this weekend. The two liter of Mountain Dew I drank today is helping a lot! Stay tuned for what I hope is some interesting and entertaining material. Well, hopefully it will be interesting. Yeah, let’s start with that.

Knocked Up

My wife surprised me with a nice evening out for dinner and a movie for Father’s Day Saturday night. It was fun just hanging out and having a good time without the kids.

We saw Knocked Up, and let me tell you; it was a great movie. We’ll probably have to add it to our collection when it comes out on DVD. A lot of the same people that were in Anchorman and 40 Year Old Virgin were in this movie so if you found those two movies entertaining, you’ll really like Knocked Up.

If you have the means, check it out before it leaves the theaters.

I Totally Forgot about Yahoo Photos!

Jeff Rocks

While reading TechCrunch earlier today, I was reminded that Yahoo was closing down Yahoo Photos in favor of Flickr. I personally like Flickr so much that I paid for the pro account and try to post photos as time permits.

Just for kicks, I logged into Yahoo Photos to see if I had ever posted anything in there, and sure enough, I found a great photo of my brother playing guitar back in 2001. Jeff was an incredible musician and played guitar and tenor sax from a very early age all the way through his 20s. Just like me, he’s kind of gotten away from playing as other priorities have taken over, but I’m hoping we’ll play together again some day. There’s nothing quite like jamming with your brother on stage while the crowd goes crazy. Good times!

Anyway, when I logged into Yahoo Photos, I was asked to transition my photos to Flickr or another service, and the whole process went very smoothly. Of course, I only had one photo to move so I guess it would be tough to mess that up. Now that Yahoo has finally decided that having two photo services doesn’t make a lot of sense, I hope they continue to put resources into Flickr to improve an already great service.

Wrigley’s Here!

Our New Dog
Originally uploaded by Tim Probst.

Just in time for Opening Day, Wrigley has joined the family. He’s a 3 1/2 year old beagle with the best attitude and personality we could have ever hoped for. He’s quickly made himself at home and seems to be comfortable here, and best of all, he’s a Cubs fan. Check out my Flickr page for more pictures.

What In The World Happened To Me?

Hello everyone! Well, it’s been over a month since my last post, and boy, has it ever been a crazy month. Some time ago, my wife and I decided that it was best for our family to move back to the Midwest so we could afford to buy a house and settle down so our kids could remember where they grew up. So, over the last couple months, we have been insanely busy with the planning of a cross country move. The first major hurdle was making sure I had a good job in our new location. My company really came through for me and allowed me to work from home in the Midwest. I really can’t tell you how excited I am to have this opportunity.

With everything settled with my job, it was time to find a house. My wife is really incredible. She contacted a mortgage broker who had worked with some friends of ours and had us pre-approved for a mortgage in no time. We then decided it would be best if she went on the house hunting trip, and I would stay at home with the kids. She really was the best person for the job. She’s very organized and focused and did a great job over a long weekend to find the perfect house. She came back with a camera full of pictures, and by the end of the next week, we had an accepted offer on the house we wanted.

Now, you would think all of these things going on at once would be enough to drive a person mad, but the story’s not over yet. We were in a long term lease in the house we were renting and had to find a new tenant so we could get our of the lease. One night, we were just about to cook dinner, and we got a phone call from a family that was parked outside the house wanting to come in for a tour. We almost said no, but luckily we let them come into the house. They were a very nice family and really a perfect fit for the house. The next day, they spoke with the owner of the house and decided to rent it. The craziest thing was their time frame was the same as ours. The situation could not have been better.

With my job, a mortgage, a house, and our lease worked out, it was time to figure out how in the world we would get all of our things back to the Midwest. We had moved locally at the beginning of the year, and we knew how difficult it would be to pack, load, and transport all of our belongings, cars, and kids almost 2000 miles. We decided to hire a moving company, and it turned out to be a good decision. It was hard enough just getting the four of us to our new house. I can’t imagine what would have happened if we had to drive a huge truck as well. We all made it to our new home safe and sound, and most of household goods made it here in one piece. My buddy, Scott, was kind enough to let us keep our other car at his place until my parents got there last week for vacation. They’re going to drive back in a couple weeks, and then we’ll really have all of our things here.

So, that’s what my family and I have been up to since my last post. As usual, my wife is doing a wonderful job making our house a home once again. My daughter is meeting new friends and getting used to her new school, and my son’s getting used to wearing pants, socks, and shoes. It’s weird to think that he wore shorts and sandals most of his life until last month.

There have been many things going on in the world that I want to write about so check back soon for new posts. It’s good to be back!