We have had Panera every year on Valentine’s Day since the time Andrew was born. Even with the pandemic we didn’t want to stray from the tradition. It wasn’t quite the same as being in the restaurant, but we manage to make it work.
Today we went for a hike with the Reagens. The hike was fun, and a little longer than we had bargained for, then we (the Lieslands) got stuck on an icy hill trying to leave the park. A nice man in a pick-up truck stopped to dump some sand and the Reagens came back to help push us out.
Not too many pictures of the big kids as they were well ahead of us. Maybe I can get Andrew to share some of his pictures. . .
Not much is happening these days, so I haven’t had a lot to post about. I decided to take some time to share what we have been up to these days, on a day to day basis.
Susan has been working 40 hours a week as a billing specialist at 515 Therapy, a mental health counseling practice. She works from our closet most times, going into the office on Fridays for a few hours. When not working, she enjoys reading, exercising, and going for walks. She and I are almost finished with a Beachbody exercise program that had 100 30 minute exercises.
I have also been working about 40 hours per week, either at the dining room table or in my closet office in the basement when I have a meeting. I enjoy exercising and walking with Susan, and practicing guitar. I am taking an online guitar class right now, learning some traditional Kentucky tunes.
All of the older kids are back in the classroom this semester and have been enjoying it. Andrew leaves for school around 8 in the morning and usually gets home around 3:30 or sometimes stays to lift or run after school and gets home closer to 5. For the past few months he worked a seasonal job at Target, but that has come to an end. He is around more, but with track starting in a few weeks that will come to an end.
Mari goes to school the same hours as Andrew, but at a different building because our school district has a separate building for 9th graders. She really likes being back in school and having more things to do. She is planning on playing soccer at Valley and has been going to practices once a week in January. In February there are 2 practices per week and some ACL strengthening classes 2 more nights per week.
Elliot is in 8th grade and is the most neutral about being back in school. He thinks it is OK, but would rather not go to school at all. His school starts the earlier, 7:30, and we pick him up around 2:30. He doesn’t really have any activities right now and his soccer season won’t start again until March. He has been reading more over the past few months and passes some of his time doing that. He also likes like Rocket League, Forza, and ping-pong.
Lucia was going to go to school this year but because of the pandemic we decided to keep her home. Same for Rose and their daily activities should really be listed together because they spend 99% of their time together. They spend a lot of time playing and pretending, either with their toys or with role play. They like to play with their dolls, barbies, and horses. The are up around 8 or 8:30 and have lights out at 9:30, but they often stay up too late chatting until around 10:30. Lucia is doing dance class online this year and they are both signed up for soccer in the spring.
Susan and I have been regularly exercising this winter, doing Beachbody’s Morning Meltdown 100. We are almost done. Here is a timelapse of one of our workouts.
My cousin Joanna found this old photo of my parents and shared it with us this morning.
Nate’s dad, Gary, passed away this week. We have spent a lot of time together over the years because of how close we are with the Reagens, and it has been very sad for us. Gary was diagnosed with cancer about a year and a half ago and it has been a declining rollercoaster since that time. Gary was engaging, thoughtful, intelligent, and kind, amongst other things, and he will be missed.
Here is his official obituary, written by Nate and his brother, Josh:
Reagen, Gary Husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend of many, died peacefully at his home at the age of 71. He was surrounded at death by his two sons and wife Kathleen of more than 48 years. Gary was a man of integrity and bravery, volunteering for the Army and serving in Vietnam as part of a Special Forces unit called Project Delta. He was blessed with a uniquely deep voice that helped him in his career in television and radio for more than 20 years. Gary had a presence that got your attention. The way he spoke and how he carried himself left a lasting impression. He loved playing cards, listening to Motown, spending time with his family, and enjoying a beer with the sun on his face. Gary understood that life was precious and would often stop, close his eyes, and treasure the moment. He developed many great relationships over the years, especially with his five grandchildren whom he adored. If cancer were in any other form, Gary would have overcome it, just like he overcame so many other adversities in his life. The world was a better place with Gary in it, and our lives are better for having had him as a part of it. Rest in peace our brave warrior, we think of you and miss you every day. Memorial services will be arranged once gatherings can occur safely. In lieu of flowers and in his remembrance, please consider donating to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a charity that Gary strongly supported and believed in. Because Gary would always like to leave you smiling – And the Lord said unto John, “Come forth and you shall receive eternal life”. John came fifth and won a toaster.
Nate and his family have also been working on updating reagen.com to feature Gary’s biography. He led quite an interesting life.
Last night we split up the boys and girls from the Lieslands and the Reagens and had a girls night and boys night. The girls stayed at the Reagens’ and highlights included nachos, a dessert bar, fashion show, and couples yoga. The boys stayed at the Lieslands’ and highlights included sandwich bar, watching football, playing ping pong, playing drawful, and eating junk. Nate was unable to join us because he was in Minneapolis visiting his dad.
This year for New Year’s we had the Reagens and the Liesses over for a wild party. The Reagens spent the night.