Freedom, for so many reasons. First – my kids were on Winter Break last week. For those who aren’t familiar with my local school district’s calendar, let me give you the Cliff’s Notes version. Apparently, kids here need to have a full week off every hour and half or so. We start at the beginning of August and then get at least a full week off in September, November, December/ January (2 weeks), February, and April. The kids love it … the parents, not so much. Fortunately, my wife and I both work from home, so we don’t have to pay crazy $$$ to put them in camp or hire a college kid to watch them. Unfortunately, we’re both home with  them full time. And that causes … friction. But wait, there’s more.

Atlanta is now SEATlanta. It rains here more than it does in some tropical forests. Last week, with the kids home, we had monsoon-ish rain every day but one. So – imagine a bunch of energetic kids locked in a house with two people trying to work … and they have nowhere to go to expend energy. This caused a decent amount of … friction.

Fast forward to today, Sunday the 24th. Mark it down as a day with actual, real, honest-to-goodness sunshine. Not a cloud in the sky. Idyllic conditions. Freedom. Freedom from the week of no school (because they go back to some level of sanity starting tomorrow), and they were able to play outside. Calgon, take me away.

Today’s Food

Yes, even though the fields were a swamp, my kid’s baseball team decided to swim through practice. So, I got a bunch of additional activity in today. That, coupled with tons of work in the yard in the sole window between torrential downpours, gave me a massive headstart on the day.

  • Running out the door for church this morning, I grabbed the ole standby – my Fiber One bar.
  • Lunch – I kinda assumed that practice would be cancelled because it rained all night. Alas no, we still met. I barely had time to get home from church, change, and get to the fields, so I just had another Fiber One bar. Yeah … if you’re scoring at home, that makes two for the day. Definitely getting my fiber in. On the way home, I caved and got myself a small bag of Doritos. It was a small fail, but at that point, even those disgusting looking hot dogs on rollers in the gas station looked appetizing.
  • Dinner – it was soup and grilled cheese sandwich night for us. But to be honest, the grilled cheese sounded gross – just because of the calorie and nutrition value. I’m almost excited to be thinking that way. Yes, they’re delicious, but my sole focus right now is on having one good day after another. I made some stovetop Kung Pao Chicken – not low cal at all, but it wasn’t over-the-top either. Today has been a good calorie day.

Beer. Beer is Good

See the sunshine in the background??

As mentioned above, the sun was out. It was beautiful, truly. I coached my youngest in baseball, I played basketball with my oldest, I did some work in the yard. It just felt good to be outside. Today was a day for day-drinking. I started off with some Wild Leap Alpha Abstraction Vol. 4. They now have 5 different versions of this beer. I’ll admit that I’ve only had Vol 3, 4, and 5. And this is my least favorite … I still love it. It’s a delicious beer, and it makes me happy. Imagine how much I liked #3 and 5!

But wait, there’s more. I then turned to Nashville’s finest … Bearded Iris Homestyle. I am winning Sunday. Hazy, citrusy, smooth, delicious, consistent. This is a fantasttc beer. And then, yeah. I added a DFH 90-Minute IPA, just for good measure. THIS was a great Sunday!

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

I got lucky. Or maybe it’s because I knew deep down that I earned it. Long story short, I kinda went nuts today. The luck part comes in when I tell you that Sunday afternoon included a long tennis match followed by coaching my kid’s baseball team for two hours. Yes … I ate some garbage at Super Bowl time. And yes, I had more like 4-5 beers over the course of the day. But I feel like the 18,000 steps I put in allowed for some indulgences.

Breakfast – My requisite standard Fiber One bar.
Lunch – Not a lot, truthfully. When I play tennis, I don’t eat too much before, and then snack it up a bit after. A few chips … a meatball or two. That’s about it. The bananas weren’t close to ripe, so I didn’t add one of those but should have anyway.
Dinner – Super Bowl. It was a smorgasbord. Dips here, wings there, hot dogs and hamburgers o’ plenty. Not gonna lie. 1) I wasn’t the best at making solid decisions. 2) It’s almost impossible to catalogue everything I ate, because it’s a bite here and a chip there. Suffice it to say that I ate a bunch of crap and don’t feel 100% this morning. I feel like there’s a correlation. The only miniscule saving grace is that we made wings in the AirFryer and in the Instant Pot. So, they weren’t technically as bad for you as fried wings typically are. I know it’s still a fatty meat … small victories.

And now for the beer …

Among others*, I enjoyed two fantastic beers. Thanks to Sprayberry Bottle Shop for always stocking beers that make my wallet go empty.
This weekend, I went out to re-stock the beer fridge and picked up some winners. Back to tennis for a second. I’m not good at that whole “hitting the ball over the net” thing. I’m there for exercise and camaraderie. And there’s always beer. I typically like a pre-match beer, just to calm the jitters. I was completely excited to try Wild Leap’s latest in the Alpha Abstraction line … Vol. 5 (pictured above). This may be the best one in the series.
Once back home and getting everything together for the festivities, I popped open a Bearded Iris Homestyle. Again … so good.
* Yeah … as the game dragged on, I had a few. The commercials were flat, the halftime show was underwhelming, and the game was a yawn-fest. I had some beer. It made everything slightly better. Back to normal life tomorrow. Everyday routines and more normal-ish scheduled and eating habits. (Note: I know that I need to grow as a person to the point where I still make those good decisions on weekends. Again, I say … baby steps.)
Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington