Tag Archives: Kankakee

Vacation Time

A lot of people say they like it when their mobile phones cease to work in remote areas on vacation.

I would like to be one of those people.

I am not.

I think I spend more time stopping by my phone to see if I might have an extra bar or two.

The Michigan Abode

Deep Woods In MI

El Lago

A run on the rolling hills

Regardless, I spent the last several days in Michigan at the Lake. Clear Lake, that is, in Buchanan where the compound is located. It was fabulous. Jameson, Five Guys–thanks to Justin and Uncle Larry (ridiculously awesome), Red Robin, cookies, Pat Stearns-made burgers and more Jameson. Ted and Emily time and White sister time. Naps, Liam hanging with Eva, some Molly-Shawn time and running around the surrounding nature. My pal Justin was there and we exchanged new parenting stories. I stayed away from work, but work returned in a big way today with a huge announcement at UIC. In addition, SulliMom got her first haircut since entering motherhood from an old Bulldog, Kron. She provided premium cookies, too.

Liam and Eva forming a bond. Check the album for a full photo cycle of these two super-cousins interacting.

Before we left, we had the chance to see the most famous soccer team in the world up close and personal–Man U. They were working out inside UIC’s weight room in preparation for several North American matches. Sir Alex nodded at me and winked at Molly. Or, it could have been the other way around. Either way, that was really cool.

But life has a way of leveling those great highs to remind you that it’s not all fun and games. My Dad passed away one year ago today. Simply, I can’t believe the one-year anniversary of that event is already here. I think about him a lot, but today a butterfly landed directly on my shirt. I never pictured my Dad as a butterfly, but perhaps it was fluttering like one of his old knuckleballs. It’s off to Kankakee tomorrow to see a bunch of family–and for some, meeting Liam for the first time. To those who sent thoughts and prayers today, thank you.

Here are a couple of anniversaries I’m looking forward to this week:

-The first anniversary for me and SulliMom
-The first anniversary of Mark Buehrle’s perfect game


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I’m Back

Just like M.J. when he rocked the 45 and tallied the double-nickel at MSG, I’m back.

After more than a week of blogging hiatus, SulliDad returns to the scene. Okay, enough third person.

Truthfully, I had a lot to say last Sunday. It was my first Father’s Day as a Dad and my first without my own Dad. But a very busy day of traveling, running, visiting, traveling, eating and visiting some more…followed by an evening of packing for a trip delayed me. But the morning started bright and early with me opening cards. The card from SulliMom had tickets to see The Script, a new favorite of mine. I guess I should take my wife since there were two tickets. I’m pretty excited to see this group from Ireland play live.

It was an emotional, warm and humid day. I tried not to show it, but I’m sure people could read the emotions on my face at times. The first moment came around the two-mile mark of the 15th Annual Kilbride Family Classic 5k in Kankakee, which raises money for autism research. Each year, my Dad would be stationed at the two-mile mark reading off times. He would use the Timex watch I purchased him for a Father’s Day gift years ago, but I always had to set it for him to “chrono mode”. This year, as a member of Sully’s Striders team, I ran past the two-mile mark and he wasn’t there. It’s not like I knew he wouldn’t be there, but it still choked me up a bit.

The happy trio after the race sporting Sully's Striders T-Shirts and onesie.

But as I neared the finish line and saw SulliMom holding up Liam as he pseudo-cheered, I could feel my Dad at that moment. I think the reason for that–my slow time. At a race where I’ve run near 16:00 I had turned in a pedestrian 20:50. I could hear him yelling, with a cigarette between his fingers, “Go, get going. Don’t waste it.” He really would have given me hell for being defeated by my high school distance coach, Ken Klipp. He still has it. It was a fun race with tons of family around. In addition, the suddenly speedy John Jaramillo drove all the way to K3 to support us and continue his alarming running progress. He turned in a PR by about two minutes. When my Dad was awarded the race volunteer of the year award posthumously, Molly, Liam, my Mom and sister hopped on the stage. Mark Kilbride said several kind words about my Dad and provided my Mom a plaque and gift in front of about 1,000 folks in steamy Cobb Park. Never one to shy away from a microphone, I was given the opportunity to say a few words of thanks. One last time, thanks to the Kilbride Family.

SulliDad with John Don't Call Me Pre Jaramillo

(More photos in the SulliAlbum to the right)

After the race en route to a gathering of Molly’s side of the family, we stopped to visit my Dad at the cemetery. As I held Liam over the spot where my Dad was buried less than a year ago, I kind of lost it. It felt good to let it go and it also felt great to have Liam and Molly by my side. Liam’s innocence provided perspective and our day continued. I look forward to telling stories to Liam about my Dad each Father’s Day.

Although overshadowed a bit on this Father’s Day is me gaining a Dad for the first time officially since the nuptials–a Father-in-Law. Molly’s Dad is great. I’ll stop there so my sister-in-law Emily doesn’t suspect me of brown-nosing so just trust me–I’m lucky to have gained a Dad, too.

The rest of the week, I’ll tell in photos…by the way, how about those White Sox?

I was at a conference in California most of the week. I am the rep for the Horizon League. This proves it.

I win things all the time. I won this at a session presented by the good folks at Broadnet. Autographed Ducks jersey by Teemu Selanne.

Great seats for Angels-Dodgers in Anaheim Wednesday courtesy of old pal, Ben Fischer.

Union Park World Cup Watch Party hosted by the Flames...lots of DeMerit jerseys.

L-R, Ticket donor, Ben, SulliDad, and two guys I'm looking forward to working with a lot this year, Reno and Jon...live from Angels Stadium.



Liam And ‘Hawks Swinging To The Cup Finals, Project On WGN Radio

After a morning run in the May heat of Chicago (it was quite moist out there), we took Liam to Kankakee for his first trip south of Interstate 80. We had a nice time, enjoyed a little breakfast, brought home more gifts and introduced Liam to his Great Grandma Kelly. (Funny, cute side story – My Grandma was having a tough time grasping Liam’s name. It went from Leon to I-AM before we straightened it out. Good times; and she’s not the only one to have trouble with the pronunciation, which surprised me. I thought Liam was a fairly common name.)

Liam with Great Grandma Kelly. Or, Leon, whatever.

A couple of weeks ago talk of a Baby Swing dominated the comment section of the blog. Several readers and friends offered their swings, swings they didn’t use and provided recommendations. We held out for nearly a month, but over the past few days Liam has started to have increasing Spurts of Sourness, as I like to call them.

Enter the Graco SnugGlider.

Liam's SnugGlider. The ladies love it.

Despite the offers of a complimentary swing (thanks, you know who you are) we wanted to make the purchase. We wanted something fairly inexpensive, mobile, took up little space and made the little guy a happy camper. In fact, old HS running colleague Kari suggested the SungGlider since we have the car seat which attached seamlessly.

The jury remains out as he’s only been in it a couple of times. It does make me yearn for a hammock for the back patio, however.

GO HAWKS: I have to think the Blackhawks are going all the way after sweeping San Jose earlier today. They are an impressive group of players, characters, front office ingenuity and brand purveyors. It is all coming together for the Wirtz franchise. Good luck playing for the Stanley Cup!

THE THINGS UNSAID PROJECT FEATURED ON WGN RADIO: The home of the Cubs and Blackhawks was home to The Things Unsaid Project this morning, as project co-creator Danny Smith was interviewed by Chicago journalist Rick Kogan on WGN Radio. The other co-creator? Me. Take a listen; it’s just a few minutes long.



Your School Lunch Menus

After reading the reports on Chicago Public Schools students arguing for healthier lunch menus, it brought me back to my grammar and prep lunch experiences while trying to predict what edible items may find their way onto SulliChild’s menu in the future.

At good ‘ol St. Martin of Tours in Kankakee our cafeteria wasn’t really efficient. Most of the time the lights were out, there were no “lunch ladies” and food generally wasn’t served. But, if I recall correctly, we usually had one special day each week. (Help me out here fellow SMT grads)

For example, Arby’s Day or Pizza Day or Taco Day. Despite my picky diet, I sampled that fare pretty often.

In high school at Bishop Mac the highlight of the menu was the Chicken Fritter Dinner. This was a case where the product lived up to the hype. Here I was introduced to the “Lunch Lady” and the women who staffed the Mac cafeteria were outstanding. We were very lucky.

To top it off, there were really solid chocolate chip cookies and the pop machine offered the finest in carbonation, the elusive Squirt. Inhaling Chewy Spree also rings a bell.

Now, after years of parents lobbying for a healthier lunch menu the kids are getting into the act. I guess that’s good, but you have to be a kid. Will SulliChild be saddled with hummus, soy milk and goat cheese?

Time will tell.

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