Happy Birthday Aviendha Shea Gilmore

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Happy Birtday Aviendha Shea

The sun rose twice on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 and the lives of everyone you have met has been brighter since.

You are a radiant being, who I consider myself lucky to have the honor of helping to raise. You have taught me to be a better father and person.

Never stop being you my dear.

The world is lucky to have you.


P90X2-Asylum Hybrid Week 1… Turning 30

Well, that was fun. No workout tomorrow (more on that later) so today’s workout marks the end of week one of the P90X2-Asylum Hybrid we are currently undertaking.

One of the major reasons I was looking forward to another challenge was that I knew that I would be motivated to push myself harder than I would if I were just going through the workouts on my own.

This has absolutely been the case. Checking in with my Facebook group daily has provided me with the motivation necessary to push as hard as I can to achieve maximum results. So far so good, as I am feeling great so far. ur

I also turned 30 this week. I have had a hard time focusing my thoughts on what entering my 4th decade means. I was telling my students this week that if I go by how I feel, I am more like 20. I feel great and in my mind I am still somewhere in my early-mid twenties. It isn’t until I peek in a mirror at the lines that are etching their way across my face, that I begin to realize just how much time has gone by and how much I have aged.

That being said, I feel amazing and am surrounded by a life that is hard to put into words. Yesterday was one of those truly amazing day. With the temperature creeping up into the low 50’s, Danielle, myself, Jennifer (Avi’s mom) and her boyfriend Meade took Aviendha Shea skiing for the first time. I rarely (if ever) write on here about our non-traditional family (something that is bound to change when Jen and I begin work on our book about co-parenting a child through and after divorce) but I think today it is appropriate.

We had an amazing time, and it was great for Aviendha to see all of the adults in her life truly enjoying spending time together. I was worried about her first ski trip. I was afraid all it would take is one hard fall and she would be scarred off. Once again I under estimated Aviendha’s capacity for challenge (Jen and Meade have started taking her rock climbing and she is out climbing many adults).

Between Deftones Monday night, Skiing yesterday with our whole family, and my party next Saturday, this is definitely going to go down as one of the best birthday’s I have ever had (thank you Danielle).


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Aviendha Shea Goes to Kindergarten

Aviendha Shea went to kindergarten last Wednesday. The day came and went and I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it. Part of the problem was that her first day of kindergarten was also my first day at a new school. I am working at a middle school and have had to leave before she is up in the morning.

With all of this happening, I never really took a minute to collect my thoughts.

Avi going to kindergarten isn’t the end of my world. I am proud of her, I am excited for her, and I wish time would slow down. I took some time today and scrolled back through the archives to this site. It is really interesting to see where my mind has been in the last four years. I still feel the same way about some things, I have changed my mind about some things, but all in all, I am still the same person I was when I wrote the things I have written.

One piece caught my attention in particular. I wrote this in January of 2009:

So much has happened, it seems like so fast in my life. My baby is a kid now. Which is something I think I have taken in stride. I try to not get too upset about her growing up. My thought process has always been that if I spend all my time sad that she is getting big, I will never stop to enjoy the Getting Big part.

I made a conscious choice, at four months, exhausted, (read the myspace blogs if you don’t believe me) that I would enjoy this, tired, stressed, I would enjoy it. I have a year and a half (she is a year and a half tomorrow. July 23rd, 2007. 7:44 am, it was a Monday, she had tiny hands and my uncle Greg’s face, she slept through the first night, she smiled the day she was born, she fit in my hand and the gravity she pulled down on me crushed everything I thought mattered. She stormed into my life-like a tornado with a nine-month warning, I am rambling I know. She weighed 6 pounds 7 ounces and my hands were made to hold her, my elbows bent just so, right dad? 18 months in a heart beat. She talks now. She laughs now.) of amazing memories.

My life is in Three Dimensions. I turn around and it is there. I turn around and it is there. I turn around and it is there.

The little boy, who still feels like a little boy took lessons from Atlas and threw it all up on is not-so-broad shoulders. I wake up in the middle of the night sometimes (too often) heart racing over nothing. Three Dimensions.

Now that she is five and I can talk to her about what she was like when she was little, I tell her about how she fit in my hands, how my arms were bent just so, how she looked my uncle Greg and smiled the day she was born.

The sun rose twice on the day she was born. She is the sun in my world, and it is brighter for her presence.

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This is what I posted on Facebook the night before she boarded that bus for the first time:

Aviendha Shea Gilmore will be getting on the bus and heading off to Kindergarten tomorrow. I could sit here and wax poetically about where the time that has gone, how she has grown up to fast, how I cannot believe that a little over five short years ago I laid eyes on her beautiful face for the first time. Instead of tears of sorrow for the time that has passed, I will be shedding tears of joy for

 her as she takes the next triumphant step in her amazing life. I could not be more proud of this young woman or the people in her life that have helped shape her into who she is today. As she steps into the next phase of her life tomorrow morning it will be with the love and support of the most amazing group of people any kid has ever had the privilege of being surrounded by. I love you my daughter. You make the world a brighter place and we are all blessed to have your light shine on us.

Getting Back on Track

In the weeks following our trip to Cape Cod, I struggled to get myself back on schedule. I was wholly unmotivated and got very little done around the house.

I didn’t miss a workout and continued to stick to my diet and exercise with Body Beast. But getting out of bed and getting going with my day had been a struggle. I had gotten up before 6 am almost every day for over a year. So not being able to get up and get at it was odd for me.

This week, for whatever reason, I have been able to get back to my usual schedule of morning workouts (except today, because I couldn’t fall asleep last night). I think a big part of getting motivated to get back into a routine has been getting back to work on the deck.

I am finishing up the final touches of the deck and am really happy with how it is coming. I decided to use deck boards for the skirting around the base of the deck

I am going to stain/seal it next week. I just have a few finishing touches to apply to the hand rails and I am ostensibly done with this project. It came out better than I had hoped.

I am starting Phase II of Body Beast on Monday. I have my last Phase I workout today, Build: Shoulders. Then I am going to take three days to rest/recover. And by “Rest/Recover” I mean I am going to do Insanity and X2: Yoga. I haven’t gained any weight (actually down a little bit) by design. I am not eating enough carbs or calories to be adding weight. I am going to up my calories slightly over the next month (to 2400). I feel pretty good about how I look/feel at this point.

Beast Week 2

Avi and I are reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at night. I read her the “Kings Cross” chapter the other night from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She loved it and wanted to know what happened, so I told her we would have to start from the beginning. As I was reading it, she asked me “Daddy, why are your eyes leaking?” I said, because Daddy loves this story. I can’t wait to work through the series with her.

Vertical Plyo

I have the best workout partner ever. It is hard to take breaks when she is yelling “no breaks” at me.

You will notice me wanting to take a break about 30 seconds in, but refusing because she is still jumping. That is freakin’ motivation. Aviendha has become one Shakeology drinking, Shaun T. and Tony Horton loving kid, and I could not be happier.

My legs felt amazing tonight at softball (which is remarkable in that they never feel good at softball) and I believe PAP is responsible. I collected 4 more hits tonight (in 5 ABs) and continue to rake. If only I had taken up this sport years ago.

The Deck Project

Being unemployed this summer, I needed a serious project. One thing I have hated about my house since I bought it in ’07 was the lack of outdoor living space.

There are beautiful sliding glass doors off of the dinning room, that until recently, opened up to steps leading down to the driveway. This led to avoiding spending time outside. We have a beautiful back yard and Avi loves playing out there. But, there was never any place to sit and enjoy the space.

A few months ago, when I realized I was not going to have a job for the summer (and maybe the fall) I decided to sell my motorcycle and use those funds to build a deck.

I have never undertaken a project like  this. With some guidance from some friends, today I “finished” the deck (there are still some small things to be done, but I put the power tools away, so I am done for now.

I started by digging the holes by hand.

Luckily, we have almost no rocks in our soil. So I was able to dig the holes (a re-dig a few of them) without much problem. It also gave me a chance to show off my Beast Mode.


stainless steel cable for the railings.

Because the back yard gets full afternoon sun, and thanks to man-made global climate change, it as hot as hell (literally, as hot as hell) out, we bought a triangular “shade sail” and hung it over the deck. It creates a nice shaded space in the center of the deck throughout the afternoon. Had I known when I started that this was the direction we were going to go, I would have put more thought into where I placed the posts, and when I choose to cut them down. The original plan was for a wooden pergola.

shade sail

the (almost) finished product

I was worried about building the stairs, but it was actually easier than I anticipated. I would have been done with the thing a week ago, but I had to spend half of my time fixing my own newbie mistakes. At the end of the day, I am really proud of myself. I have created (with some help) a really beautiful and comfortable space where before there was asphalt. It took me about two weeks to build (while taking breaks to play the role of Eric from “The Little Mermaid” and whatever else Aviendha dreamed up). I am not sure about the total cost, I would have to go through the receipts (there were many return trips to Home Depot). The lumber cost $2000. All told, everything (aside from the new furniture we need) will be less than $3000.

We are hosting Avi’s 5th birthday party on the deck this Sunday, got hope it does not collapse.

Completely Preoccupied

Last week flew by, so much that the weekend arrived and I had no idea what day it was.

I think part of this was the weirdness of having a holiday in the middle of the week. Mike Greenberg of ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the morning has the idea to move the Fourth of July to the first Thursday in July and call it Independence Day, thus giving everyone a four-day weekend and avoiding the mid-week holiday. I completely agree. I actually vote we do this with all major holidays, like we do currently with Thanksgiving.

During last week’s craziness, I was able to “almost” complete the deck. I will have pictures up when it is done. Having never built anything like this before, I did not have a clue what to expect. It came out a lot better than I had hoped. I am in sort of the finishing touches stage, which is nice. I felt bad for Avi last week. I tried really hard to attend to her needs while also getting a major construction project completed. Not easy.

We celebrated Avi’s birthday with her school friends on Saturday. It was a bit before her real birthday, due to scheduling and what not. We were all afraid it was going to be a nightmare. Something about 15-20 four to five year-old kids in a pool together with only me and my father to keep an eye on them scared the crap out of me. It was actually a really nice time. The kids were really well-behaved and Avi seemed to have an awesome time and was incredibly gracious opening her presents. Two weeks from today my kid turns 5. If I close my eyes, I can see exactly the way she appeared the first time I laid my eyes on her tiny face. The sun rose twice on July 23rd, 2007 and my life has been brighter ever since.

I am reading a really good book that my sister suggested for me. It is called “The Art of Fielding”. If you were to ask me what it is about, the easy answer would be “baseball”, but it is really about so much more than that. I highly recommend it, to anyone. Baseball fan or not. Last night I was sitting on the deck (who knew a 18 foot x 16 foot platform could be so relaxing, it’s where I am typing this now) reading the book. I was startled out of my trance by a too-low flying by-plane. I looked up and the clouds were doing the most beautiful thing. I sat and stared at them for no less than five minutes. My eyes started to water because I forgot to blink. I truly love summer.

For the third month in a row, I switched up my Shakeology flavor. Last month it was Greenberry, the month before that Chocolate. For July (and probably August) I am going Tropical Strawberry. It just feels “right” for summer. I am mixing it with either almond or skim milk (sometimes half orange juice) a handful of Dole frozen tropical fruit and vanilla whey protein. I am loving it.

I realize this post jumps around a bit, but I think that is where I am at right now. I have a bit of an unsettled feeling. Being unemployed, not sure that I will have a job this fall. Hating the summer class I signed up for. Finishing the deck. Playing with Avi. My brain is a bit jumpy right now.