Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Let It Take You Over October 22, 2014

Nothing went wrong. Nothing spectacular happened either. It was pretty much your average day around the Schmidt house today. Dad went to that place called work. Mom cared for dear baby Carter when she wasn’t working. Dear baby Carter was in good spirits. All was well around here.

So when it happened this afternoon, it brought an unexpected smile to my heart.

Carter has taken to spending time with dad when he gets home from work. It’s like he’s soaking up all the dad time he can, since he doesn’t see him as much as mom and I. Today was no exception, as he clung to dad while mom finished making dinner. That’s when that magic thing happened again. To me there is really other logical explanation for the emotional vacation the spirit takes when a good song makes an appearance in one’s day. Music. From the ground up, it touches the soul in a way words alone cannot.

Please let me preface this by saying dad, in general, is not a giggly person. And he doesn’t particularly care for dancing. But when One Republic’s “Good Life” came on the radio as mom was cooking and dad was holding Carter, what happened next really was its own slice of goofiness. I think dad thought mom wouldn’t see, but she has a way of noticing these kinds of things. Namely, she could hear both dad and Carter giggling like ninnies, so there was no way she wasn’t going to investigate the cause.

The scene in the living room was one that would have brought a smile to anyone’s heart. There dad was, with Carter, dancing around like a ninny to a song about living a good life. “When you’re happy like a fool, let it take you over,” Ryan Tedder sings. “When everything is out, you gotta take it in.” Good Life

That is exactly what mom and I did in that moment. As dad was happy like a fool, we took it in. And, in doing so, we were happy little fools too.

Today was just another day. Nothing went wrong. Nothing spectacular happened. It was definitely a pretty average day around the Schmidt house. That is, until that moment, when joy came alive at the hand of music and reminded us we are, indeed, living the good life.

 

Only in Wisconsin

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:03 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

Wisconsin. From the ground up, it’s a pretty quirky place to live. And I love it.

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

Cheese. Beer. The Green Bay Packers. We are known for a lot of silly things in the fabulous American state of Wisconsin. But today was something new for me. Today I attended the world’s largest one-day outdoor fish fry. Fish Day, it’s called, which sounds pretty simple all on its own.

But everything about this festival was far from simple. After an excessive heat wave, the weather lent itself to the perfect temperature that set the stage for a fabulous day. There was no wind, but still the most amazing smells wafted through the air. My nose enjoyed the cocktail of all sorts of fried goodness, kettle corn, sunscreen and people. Lots and lots of people.

The best part of it all was the people at Grandma’s house. I saw all the usual characters like my favorite little people and their parents and grandparents, but also met for the first time the majority…

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Walking On Sunshine October 21, 2014

I didn’t really need another reason to love fall. From homemade apple pies (and the leftover apple pieces I score) and brisk twilight walks around the neighborhood to Packer football (and my dreams of catching a pass from QB Aaron Rodgers), it’s definitely my favorite season. And don’t get me started on the cuddles.

So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that today I lived another reason to embrace all things fall. There has been somewhat of a pattern forming this time around that involves several cold, dreary days in a row followed by relief otherwise known as the sunshine. Today the sun shined on me as I strolled along next to dear baby Carter in the stroller mom pushed through the neighborhood. As we walked, I felt the crisp fall leaves under my feet and soaked up every ounce of sunshine.

That’s when it happened. I discovered another thing I love about fall. From the ground up, there is no other time of year you can walk on sunshine. Our neighborhood has an abundance of mature trees that a few short weeks ago made for a beautiful landscape as you approached my forever home. That is no longer the case, as much of the trees have now shed their (mostly yellowish) leaves, which can be a bit disheartening. Not to me.

I love the idea that today I walked on sunshine in the sunshine. I was warmed with joy to my core as we perused the neighborhood I’ve grown to know and love. I know I didn’t need another reason to love fall, but you can never have enough reasons to feel blessed. And that is how I felt in that hour or so with my beloved forever mom and dear baby Carter. Completely and utterly blessed.

I know not everyone saw the sunshine today. Literally or figuratively. So today I share the words of American baseball executive Frank Lane, who said “if you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.”

As certain as I know the sunshine will come again, I believe no one should have to weather the storm alone. For what it’s worth, that is why I choose today to share my sunshine with you in hopes the light of joy is as contagious as I know it can be.

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My Two (Fashion) Cents

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:23 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

Only style remains the same.

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

It startled me at first. There I was, minding my own business, when someone else’s business looked me directly in the eye. There she was, the most beautiful West Highland Terrier I’d ever seen, all dressed up. Literally. She was walking down the street in a dress that matched her collar that matched her scarf that matched her visor. Yes, you read that right. She was wearing a visor obviously made special for a small dog, as it had teeny tiny holes for her ears to peak through. Our eyes met and she radiated this powerful positive energy that led me to believe she was incredibly happy to be waltzing down Antoine Avenue covered in matching pink fabrics.

It didn’t make any sense to me at all. I guess it would be plausible for a dog to wear clothes to keep warm, but it was a beautiful 70 degree day. There…

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Simple Gratitude October 20, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:36 pm

I’m not going to lie to you, it happens a lot around here. Poop. From the ground up, it is a reality of life when a baby is in the picture. I’ve known and understood this from day one. The magic number for dear baby Carter today was five. That is nothing new around here, but something happened today that changed the routine a bit.Family.

The family was all on the living room floor playing together with Carter’s fort (otherwise known as the box from his convertible car seat) when it happened. The smell wafted through the room, and the usual routine commenced. Dad looked at mom. Mom looked at dad. I watched as mom scooped up Carter and took him into his room to change his diaper for the seventh time today.

That’s when dad said it. “Have I told you recently how much I appreciate you?” Mom almost cried, which made my heart swell with love for everyone involved. It was one of those defining moments, and it was over something as small as changing a diaper.

I think that happens a lot, though. It doesn’t usually matter what prompts the words to be said. What matters is the impact they can have once they are uttered.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life,” suggested author Melody Beattie. “It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

It doesn’t matter what it’s about. Because let’s be honest, it was over something pretty silly in our case today. Something that happens every day, numerous times a day. But that doesn’t make it any less important. Saying thank you, regardless of the reason, is a pretty amazing thing.

 

The Board of Life

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:48 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

Who would be on your board of life?

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

Personalities. Inside or outside, that’s the first thing I want to explore when I’m faced with an exciting new environment. My nose doesn’t always allow this to happen until after I have also run a perimeter check, marked some territory, and sniffed some butts (if there are other animals involved), but that doesn’t change what’s in my heart.

I realized it today when mom took me to a new dog park. It was a lot farther car ride (let’s face it, I didn’t mind that one bit) and when we got there I knew I had something pretty spectacular waiting for me inside that fence. Sure enough, there were all kinds of new smells, new dogs, and new people all just waiting for me to arrive. As I ventured around the novel space, my mind wandered to the characters I have been fortunate to meet in the various dog parks, homes…

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Give Me A Reason October 19, 2014

I’ll admit it. I hate Mondays. I heard today there is a reason no one ever says it’s lazy like Monday morning. I know it was a play on Lionel Richie’s “Lazy Like Sunday Morning,” which I think was clever and incredibly accurate since Monday is (by far) my favorite day of the week. Thank you Artist In the Sky

It’s no secret that I love all things weekend. But I think Mr. Richie was on to something in his mention of lazy Sunday mornings. Need a reason? From the ground up, I’ll give you 3.

1. Sleep. In general, it is not the same as it used to be before dear baby Carter came into the picture. That is why I mention it in reference to the weekends, when it does happen a little more than usual. Every bit of it is precious, made even more valuable to me because it’s always more fun for me to sleep with my people than without them. That, and as Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci suggested “a well-spent day brings happy sleep.” There is nothing like happy sleep.

2. Snuggle time. Related to, yet separate from the sleep referenced above, the majority of Sundays incorporate some amount of snuggle time with my beloved forever people. It’s always hard-earned, since Sunday is also a time to get odds and ends done around the house. I think all that effort makes it even more rewarding for them to sit down and relax, which makes the snuggles all-the-more special to me. It reminds me of American poet Shel Silverstein’s words “I will not play tug o’ war. I’d rather play hug o’ war. Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.” For me, it’s more than snuggles. It’s like a hug for my heart.

3. Family fun. In the fall, it’s Packer football, pie baking, and playing in the leaves. The kind of fun we have together as a family indeed varies by the season, but I’m happily surprised to find the arrival of dear baby Carter has done nothing but add to the fun. Laughter and silliness abound in the most random of situations on a lazy Sunday when all really is well with my world. These are the things that are capable of healing the soul in a way no medicine can.

I know it’s not like your resident doggie optimist to come right out and say I don’t like something. If anything, that should tell you just how much it’s true. Because there is nothing lazy about Monday mornings. There is less sleep, snuggles and fun on Mondays. It’s that simple.

The best thing about Mondays is that Sunday is one day closer than it was the day before.

 

 
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