Transcription #140

Hi guys, welcome to threads podcast life unfiltered. Thank you so much for joining us tonight, Episode 140 with personal format ish with a q&a with Ben about his amazing trip to Montana and Oregon. But before we do that Ben’s gonna do a super short intro on the threads and then we’ll jump into the icebreaker

threads podcast life unfiltered is a show all about living and talking in an unfiltered manner. We focus on three main areas. Those are uncomfortable conversations, mental health and faith. And then each episode you can expect to hear dialogue about one, two, or even all three of those. For the purpose of tonight’s episode. We’ll probably hit all three and maybe not giving you know a huge focus to just one of them but we’ll touch on all three but before we get there, we’re gonna do a quick icebreaker This is the first time I’ve seen Jason and like two weeks I think Yeah, which is rare for us. And I have to say Jason, really respected my boundaries and as I was on vacation I hardly heard a peep from him unless I reached out first so I just really appreciate that and it was good So

yeah, interesting. You didn’t ask me to know you know it’s funny I talked to Megan about that and she’s like well that time then I’m like, well I don’t want to blow his phone up he’s like well he can choose not to answer and I was like No, but he’s on vacation so we had the conversation I did take a mental note I even yelled that yes for love yes because I know you listen now that hey don’t take Ben and stuff you know we were blowing up his phone early on vacation he muted it just it’s no big deal. He was worried about the purchase and I’m like Ben’s gonna say yes anyways it’s not it I’m the Yes man yeah well i mean it’s it’s not a frivolous I was just you know I did but I was I was not confident there wasn’t a frivolous purchase the sizable amount for us. So no, I did try to not bug you. Because you’re on vacation if you want to be but if you want to talk then you’re gonna message me and you did it No, two or three times but so yeah, I’m I’m glad I didn’t bother you. That makes me feel good. Yeah,

gold stars for Jason. Thank you. So that’s how I’m showing up tonight just kind of uh, I haven’t seen you in two weeks to be here

it is nice you know through the social media and I were able to see a lot of your pictures Oh yeah. And I could know what was going on and and those kinds of things so that was cool. But how I’m showing up tonight is well I we did the garden today and if you ever rubbed against like a pricker weed there. I don’t know why God made these because this son of a bitch is swollen and it’s like it’s throbbing my muscle I got it in the arm. And I got it my ankle and it’s super uncomfortable. But anyways, other than that, my Sunday’s been great. Today it was a day of rest as far as exercise like I went 11 straight took one off when six straight and then took today off so champion of the whoop month for August by a lot.

No no, not for August for July. There you go.

It is now August. So yeah, I was pretty happy about that. I was waiting for Mike. Because when you buy vacation, you know you’re the you’re the ninja word. Yeah, you’re the ninja exerciser. We were like talking shit to each other. And he’s like, I’m gonna I’m gonna work out so hard the next couple days. And I know he I knew he wasn’t but in the back of my mind, I thought he might. I literally at like 10 o’clock last night checked. I was like, if he starts creeping up, I will go for a run and at midnight I are well once it hits midnight late, but I just love doing that. So yeah, it’s been a good week, heading out to a conference on Tuesday. And so yeah, I’m ready to record and hear about your trip. Yeah,

I’m looking forward to talking about it. So before we get into talking about my trip you know, I know you did an episode with Mike last week where you kind of did your personal update Yeah, I did not sure there’s a ton new in your life since then. But anything else happened that’s been notable.

Yeah, we actually had kinda was going on when Mike was in but I’ve been getting so you know about my drama with my family with my dad and my sisters and yeah, paternity and all that stuff. And so my dad continues to send these cards, sent one to Megan. We wrote return to sender. So he got back and then my sister Megan decided to send a gift to Sally randomly through Amazon try to so I can’t return it but so Amazon’s weird where you can return it but it doesn’t let the other party know right so some people when they listen this episode are gonna probably think I’m Petty but what I did is when it finally credited my account, I took that money and I Venmo that to her and said, Hey, we were This is crossing a boundary where I have no context that includes the kids. Please don’t do this anymore. My dad sent a card to I sent that back return to sender and then I get this long email from my sister Megan about how how dare I keep her from the kids and like she’s trying to she tried to message davia on tik tok and, and then she tried to message her on telegram like we’re forgetting all these connections. So I don’t I kind of feel bad a little bit in a way but we had we decided as a family that we need to set this boundary as a family, right? How can you have a relationship with my children? But not

me? Yeah, that’s that’s weird. So that

doesn’t come off. Like I’m kind of cold hearted. Like I if you didn’t,

if somebody didn’t know the cost? And the story Hell yeah, that Okay, cool. Yeah, I do know the story, right? Know the background, and it’s not cold at all. Yeah. You’re, you’re holding up a boundary that you say Yeah, and that’s healthy.

And it sounds petty to send my sister back. But I’m like, I want you to know, I don’t send this stuff. And you know, I didn’t let Sally know. And I don’t know. It’s tough. It’s even with all the dysfunction, I still feel guilty doing that stuff. And I hate that. But, but yeah, so that’s, that’s pretty much what I’ve been dealing with this week. And, and then Oh, yeah. And then my sister Nicole is in town. Yeah. So she sent a text, like, hey, if you want to get together, and then I just send a text back. I’m like, Listen, for whatever reason, I know the reason when the teary quote unquote blood, which is only half now is not in my nucular family, like, my life is better, and I love you. But please respect my boundary. I don’t want to talk anymore. I don’t want to see you. It doesn’t mean it’s a closed book. But at this point, I think it’s better for everyone. And I was like, no one can see that. I covered my mouth like, oh, gosh, well, she can respond. And then she was like, totally respect that. I respect your boundary. I understand where you’re coming from, because I feel that way a lot. This is this is just of what she said, I’m not verbatim, but and I love you and be up the doors. I’m going to keep this line open. But you know, if we connect, we connect if we don’t, we don’t. So very cool. Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised with that response. You know, obvious with my sister Megan. doesn’t surprise me. I if I if I prepared? I will I would read read it to you and you would have been like, oh my lord. It was all about her. It had nothing to do with anything else is like, Oh, me, you can’t keep me from the kids. And I was like, Okay, so here we are. Back again. You’re back. Again. Are you feeling a little jet lagged at all?

I think I’m over it now. I did not fall asleep until probably 230 last night. All right. Because it felt like it was 30 Yes, three hours, three hours difference. Okay. And I’ve gone before for a weekend or a week, but two weeks on that timezone. It really shifts your brain does it I just started to fall back into that timezone.

Yeah. When you’re there long enough, you will. I mean, your body just adapts.

Yep. So that was brutal. So we went to the early service. So I got up early. I took my son to work. side. No, I’m really trying to get him to tell his boss not to schedule him Sunday mornings, but that’s another fight for another day. But But yeah, I took him to work. And then we loaded up the rest of the family. We went to church. We were home by like 11 had lunch at the table altogether, which was nice. And then 1130 end and I laid down and took a nap. Yeah, I

was gonna say

I don’t remember the last time I took a nap at 1130. But we retired

San so before we talk about the trip. What about your improv tonight? Yeah, let’s talk about that.

Yeah, so that’s a new connection, a very new connection. If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, I think it was I don’t even know if we had started threads when I did my last class. I don’t think we did. We talked about it on the talked about it, but I don’t think I was actively in it. Like it was spring of 2018. So that was right before we started Yeah, we started in June. Yeah. Anyways, I did my first improv class with the Civic Theatre in Grand Rapids before threads even started. Loved it had a blast. And then for, I mean, life just got busy. And I just put off taking class too. And well, fast forward to just a couple, like a week ago, a

couple, wait a minute, I

think I was on vacation, scrolling through social media. I think we were in between places. So I was just killing time looking at social media. And I noticed that the comedy project, which is a different entity than what I did, they were offering a improv to class. And so I was like, I’m doing it, I’m gonna sign up, let’s go. And it was a perfect time, Sunday afternoon, four to six. And so I said, Yep, I’m doing it. So the first class was tonight, there’s eight of us total. And it’s a little awkward the first night because you don’t know these people at all. And you’re supposed to just create these improv scenes with them. So it’s a little rough. I was a bear in a in one scene, and then I brought the bear back in and that’s, that’s perfect for you. Yeah. So totally fine. loved it, and would highly recommend if you’re local, check out the GR comedy project, they got some really, really cool stuff going on

follow up questions. What is the actual goal of this class? Like are you want to? or What is that? What is their definition of the goal for this class? Yeah. So

they have four classes improv one and improv two. The goal is to learn the skill, the technique, the flow of how to do improv. Now, my first class that I did at the Civic theater, it was very much just kind of a sandbox. Let’s have fun and play improv games. This is more, let’s get technical. Let’s talk about how you acted out that part right there. What could you

have done different why you did this, instead of this?

What would make the scene come alive more, what are some unexpected twists and turns you can throw in. So you’re really working on your technique. And the the bigger picture is every Monday night, they have open mic comedy, basically, the comedy project, it used to be at the dog story theater, now it’s at the comedy project. And so every Monday night, you can go and practice and have stage time and do the stuff that you’ve learned in class. So that’s one outlet that you can go. The second option is the final class of the series is like informants. It’s not a performance. It’s more, I guess, an informal,

so they probably just throw up. You go, you go seven o’clock. And they’re like, okay, you’re gonna act out this, and they just give it to you. Yeah, basically. And people can comment. Yeah. And

so it’s open to friends and family. But yeah. So okay. And then as you get into the more advanced improv three, and four, that becomes more, I think, almost entirely performance oriented. So the shows that they’re doing on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, you’re actually part of the show. Oh, boy. So that’s kind of the trajectory that they What’s your goal? I would like to at least do the open comedy night. But isn’t that just like telling jokes? No. I mean, yes, you can do that. Or you can just do crowd or with you can go with a group.

Okay, improv. So it’s not just specific to like stand up comedy. Next up is going to be Ben ba, ba, ba, and some these guys and they’re going to do a bit about or

whatever. Yeah, so you can if you want to do an improv scene, you can take suggestions from the crowd before you and do it there. I think it would be pretty awesome to go all the way through prop four.

Very cool. Do you know a is who runs the comedy project? Is there a company do you do know?

There’s a couple of owners. Okay, well is one of his name, then band is another?

It’s not the the jaegers is it? No, I don’t think so. Are the yoders dope?

Oh, maybe. Okay. I don’t know.

Interesting. Yeah, so that sounds cool. I don’t think I would like to do that. Even though I’ve done a ton of plays.

You would love it. I think you would get into it.

I think I would when I got past the awkwardness by Yeah, man. I don’t know. I’m very proud of you for doing that. Because that’s way stepping outside your comfort zone. It is.

So the first so we’re all gathered on the stage to do Like icebreaker warm up stuff, whatever, yeah. And so then he’s like, Alright, four of you gonna come down and four of you gonna stay on stage. And the first four on stage, we’ll be the ones to do the first scene. There were a couple people that couldn’t get off that stage fast enough. They’re like, Nope, not me. But I hung around. I waited until other people left. And there were like, five of us. And I looked at one guy, and he looked at me, and then he’s like, I’ll go, he went and sat down. So like, it’s you. So I just jump right in.

I’m curious out of those people that they ask the question like, hey, how many have done this before?

That was in our discussion? Like, introductions? Yeah, selves. So how many had just Well, it’s impromptu, so everybody’s had at least Oh, okay. It

didn’t matter that you took it at the Civic theater? No. Okay. So all right. Well, let’s talk a little bit about your trip. I mean, I think we’re going to try to stay away from the minutiae stuff. But I know if you guys didn’t know they the first part of the trip, Montana, went to see a great aunt

Judy. Yep. How did I remember that was incredible.

Because my mom’s name, Judy. So can you explain the reason for the trip? And I mean, I’m sure there’s several reasons and then we’ll just kind of jump right in.

Yeah. The the first and foremost reason that we did this trip is because aunt Judy, great aunt Judy, we all call her aunt Judy, even the kids. She’s at, okay, she’s not getting any younger. Um, and Stefan joined our family. Gosh, she was two, so almost 13 years ago. And then that span of 13 years, Aunt Judy has consistently been at least aware of what was happening and supportive. And she would send letters, handwritten letters, she would send birthday cards. And at the time, we kind of felt like, Who is this aunt Judy? And why does she care so much? And why does she keep sending cards, like, we don’t know her. And we’re trying to, you know, get Stefan plugged into our family. But then we’ve got this biological relative that just keeps reaching out. And we were young, and naive, and thinking we knew best. And so probably for the first, honestly, 10 years, we were just kind of like, and Judy sent another note? No, really.

So you guys went a long time without really kind of reaching back. We would

sort of reach back. I mean, we did a phone call at one point. We became friends on Facebook, we would email occasionally. But it wasn’t like this. It wasn’t the same amount of effort she was putting into. Okay, she had been so just dedicated to reaching out even when we were being unresponsive, not taking it seriously. She didn’t stop. Like she just continually tried to be this presence in Stefan’s life. And we were so weirded out by it at first. But then, as we’re getting older and wiser, and recognizing that she’s getting older, we just kind of had this realization within the last three years. We really need to make this a priority. We need to at least meet her. So yeah, Ron can fill in that gap and know who and Judy is and and so it’s not just this strange relative that sending stuff on Christmas and birthdays, and randomly throughout the year. But this is Aunt Judy, and she’s awesome.

It’s so great that you did that because he doesn’t have really any other connection to biological. No, not really. So Oh, man, what a huge win for you to do that. You kind of wised up in your old age. To give him that opportunity. Yeah.

Now he does have somewhat of a relationship with his older biological, half sister. And she’s been great. But we have all the time in the world to meet her and her family we really wanted to make make it a priority to go see Judy. Yeah,

I mean, she’s 80 Yeah, I mean, she could live 20 more years or tomorrow, and she probably will live. Yeah, she’s a Spitfire takes care of herself. Yeah. That’s amazing. I’m so glad she continued to do that. It is it is kind of weird. You know, going back to my earlier point about my dad sending cards. It’s kind of a different situation, but I don’t know. I don’t know what what and Judy got out of it. And I don’t know what my dad gets out of it. Like what is he? Why is he doing it? Does he actually still want a connection or is he it’s just bizarre I don’t mean to jump on your brain right into my head but so Okay, so you plan a trip she lives in Montana in the boonies, right? Yeah.

Oh great Abuja

Did you eat literally have no cell service outside the house other than Wi Fi,

okay didn’t have cell service which I was surprised, okay. But it was in the middle of nowhere and So up until this point up until the you know the night that we’re driving from? Well we Okay, so one thing that I need to make clear about this trip is it was non traditional, like, who flies to Portland and then hops in a rental car and drives back east and hours, right? Like, why Why do that? And so to that, I would say because we ultimately wanted to end up in Portland and it was cheaper to fly into Portland. But yes, so we basically arrived at the airport, drove to a hotel where we stayed for the night and then drove 10 hours to middle of nowhere, Montana, and we got off the freeway exit and we’re driving these windy, seemingly endless roads up in the mountains. And I just looked at me and I was like, babe, what if she’s catfishing? Us? And she’s actually not like, who we think she is? What if this is some creeper on the internet?

No way.

No, no, like, we’ve got this far. We’ve never met her in person. Like, what if this just goes horribly wrong? And then she’s like, I really don’t think that’s going to be the case. And I was like, okay, but what if this just goes completely sideways? We’re in the middle of nowhere. She’s like, well, then we’ll just leave. like okay, well, let’s do this.

Yeah, that’s amazing. We I was looking at our stats we have one Listen, I Montana is that your is that great. And Judy could very well be. Yeah, I was just looking that up. So how did Stefan react? Was he cool with it? Was he like, Oh, this is lame. He

was the first night he really didn’t interact much with Judy. Like he kind of said Hi, gave her a hug, and then disappeared in the basement bedroom. And miracle ended up spending more time with Judy while social

miracle. I know. I mean, she she’ll make a friend with anybody. It’s

true. She did so. So I would say the things didn’t really start clicking with Stefan and Judy, until we went to the hot springs and that was Wednesday night. Okay, so

hot springs. Yeah. I mean, what are hot springs, I know what I mean. It’s just some random body of water that’s hot.

So in the mountains of Montana, there are deep below the surface of the ground. And I guess, going up to the tip of the mountain, there is essentially water that’s boiling in the ground and being warmed and so that water comes out as a stream from the mountains into like, in a pool somewhere. Well, the place we stayed was like a modern actual like pool. Okay, but it was fed by the water from these hot springs. Okay, so But the thing about Montana and especially where Judy lives is it’s ours from anywhere. So to go to Chico hot springs was a two hour drive one way and Judy doesn’t get the opportunity to visit with people a whole lot because she lives in the middle of nowhere. Yeah, so she talked my ear off

the whole two hours. Oh, two hours I needed an introvert break.

Yeah. Well, I didn’t mind I mean, in the moment I didn’t mind I wasn’t frustrated by it because she’s this incredible mountain. Do it myself kind of woman like She’s incredible, huh? So very cool. It was fun to get to know her and hear her stories and the hot springs were crazy.

So let’s back up a little bit with Stefan Did you have a chance? Obviously you guys traveled a lot, you know, bombing guess you flew not a ton of time but to ask him about how he felt about it. Did he did he? Did he say thank you? Was he? I don’t know. He’s He’s a teenage boy. So he probably said yeah, it was great. And just that was it. But I’m just wondering if, you know, maybe in the future or or now did he have a good attitude about it?

Yeah, I would say leading up to the trip. We didn’t. We didn’t move ahead with plans until he was okay with it. Okay, so we asked him Are you okay with meeting man, Judy? And he’s like, Yeah, I think so. Like, you do realize that she lives in Montana. And it’s probably the middle of nowhere. He’s like, that’s fine. So he didn’t really fight it too much and was like, Alright, let’s do it. So with his blessing, we kind of set the trip up. So yeah, it’s not like he was he didn’t ever have a bad attitude about it.

No, but you know how, you know teenagers are right. They’re not doing tic tocs in their sleep. They’re, you know, being grumpy about stuff.

Right? It was so cool though. To see stuff on starts to open up to and Judy. Okay. I think it was dinner at the hot springs. So Chico hot springs. I didn’t know what to expect. We were just told early on. I booked us a night at Chico and you guys are gonna love it.

So Judy did yeah. Oh boy. Look at you like she took

full control over that portion of our trip. Oh boy. I just kind of had to let go because we knew nothing about Montana at all. So Judy, your books the reservations and tells us and then we’re gonna get dinner there and it’s amazing food you’ll have a great time. So I didn’t know what Chico hot springs was and when we arrived it was raining so I was just kind of in a foul attitude. But just as soon as we got the cars unpacked, it stopped raining. And I just took the time to look around and who was crazy like they’ve got these covered wagons that we stayed in that have air conditioning and electricity. And

that’s by the way that sounds super cool. Like it was a fun little it’s kind of kitschy. Yeah, but it’s still cool. Like you’re still like, I got air. You know, I mean

Chico Hot Springs is like kitschy, but like upscale kitchen upscale, kitschy, really weird combination. Like I didn’t see that coming. And I still don’t know how to wrap my head around it. So the people who stay at Chico hot springs are generally upper class. People who in their free time like to go hunting and wild Safari type hunting and, or their, you know, families like ours, upper middle class. So it was one of those situations where if you’re, I had a really hard time figuring out the socio economic spread of the people. Yeah. But then we got to dinner. And the entrees the cheapest entree was like $30 Oh, damn. It, she’s insisting on paying for everything. So we got a couple appetizers. And dessert and it’s just living it up. Yeah. And like it was like a fine dining experience. I mean, you didn’t nobody dressed up like it was fine. Yeah, but this higher end style was definitely higher end and not at all what I was expecting. We drove in and I thought this was some cheesy rinky dink little wannabe resort right? Turns out No, this is like, upper echelon camping. glamping it’s like you at cornerstone. Yeah, pretty much. But it’s this place in the middle of nowhere by these hot springs in pray Montana.

Nice. So um, did Judy stay with you?

At the hot springs, she had her own room. Okay, she had an actual room. Right? So we were at the very top of the hill. She was down a little bit

but she stayed with you like out in the resort and y’all got up in the morning drove back. Yep. Yeah. Very cool. It was it sounds interesting.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around. What was that?

It really intrigues me wanting to go like yeah, it makes sense. There must be a lot of like, I mean, Montana’s kind of nothing but not a wasteland that sounds critical. But you know what I mean, like a lot of hunting goes on. So it makes sense that maybe these guys that come in that have a lot of money that want to hunt, let’s say like elk or I mean, I don’t know if there’s elk in Montana, I assume that there is and so they don’t want to stay in some. They don’t want to rough it basic right? They want to go shoot this but at the end of the day, they want to be pampered.

Yeah. And so there’s even like a spa where you can go in and get a massage that’s up on one of the Okay, yeah, now we’re talking and then they they have mountain bikes that you can rent and you can go for horseback rides like it’s the kind of place that you could feasibly stay for five days and not get bored. Nope and spend $10,000 exactly which is why I think we only spent one night there

right and she was paying for it so

and that was so awkward to like miracle had a very difficult time looking at the menu and seeing the prices and she’s like it’s so expensive we’re just like don’t worry about it Judy said so she’s treating us

I think it’s different to when you bring your kids on vacation as you know when you It’s good that she’s noticing the prices on that because you would if you were out shopping with her be like hon that’s too expensive and yeah you could probably buy it and afford it but it’s too expensive for her we had the same thing when we went to Disney World with the kids and I was like listen as far as food you do whatever you want this is a one time thing we’re going to Disney you you want that souvenir I mean within reason I told them obviously I’m not going to spend more than $50 on a souvenir yeah and be you know be cautious don’t go in every shop and expect it you know what I mean? Some some loose parameters but I was like whatever you want to eat I don’t care I’ll buy it and I did and we spent a shit ton of money but it was a vacation it was one I’m not taking I’m not taking Disney again like it was once in a lifetime yeah if you want to go again you go with yourself or your your own kids. But yeah, I spent a lot of money there. So you had that a great time drive back to Portland. And tell me about that. I know you know you didn’t actually live in Portland, did you? We did we live well, like the outskirts. I mean, like Granville Granville to, to Grand Rapids or North you or whatever. Yep. So you went there? Did you set up like a lot of stuff from the friends that you met out there like to go out to eat and seven dinners or

that was originally going to be the plan. But as we’re ending our time at Judy’s, we caught wind from our friends that were going to meet us in Portland, that we were going to be staying with them. We heard from them that they may not be able to make the trip.

Where were they? Well, here’s

the thing. They have two houses now. Okay. The dad Ron, he works for Nike and does very well. So they decided to purchase a second home in Arizona. And so then, I guess over the last year, they kind of shifted out of Portland to Arizona, their son started going to school there. And their son is a couple years older than Stefan, but they’re like best of buds. And so that was kind of the reward I guessed for Stefan, you know, you just went way outside of your comfort zone, right, these relatives. Now let’s go and hang out with your friend. So we’re staying in Montana. And suddenly, we hear that that actually might not happen. Oh, no. Because one of their kids, their other child was having a manic episode, recently diagnosed with bipolar. And she was just a mass and got into some legal stuff. And I won’t get into all the details, right? It was a situation where if Grace was to leave long with their son, it would put Ron in a very tough spot because he has to manage all of that. So we’re just kind of preparing ourselves for the worst. And then we’re hearing Stefan say things like, I can’t wait to hang out with Julio, and in the back of our minds, we’re like, oh, boy, that might not actually happen. Like, when do we tell him that? Yeah. So there was definitely some high emotions and like, Oh, this is gonna go south real quick. And just kind of fearing for the worst. So that started happening. The same day that Stefan got to meet another relative, and that was his uncle. We drove an hour and a half in the opposite direction to go there. Because again, everything’s a drive in Montana, right? So yeah, it was just a very tense few days, like, I don’t know, what’s gonna happen. So to get back to the answer to your question, I had originally planned on seeing several people. Yeah, and, in fact, we have even scheduled some time south in Eugene, which is where we kind of started in our Oregon life. But with everything going on, our plans kind of shifted for that second week, and I saw one friend, who he’s a, when I knew him, he was also a youth pastor. He’s now a senior pastor. But he was so Such a good friend to me when I was going through that season of I had just been let go from the church. And there’s so much drama and hurt feelings and people in the church asking What in the world happened. So as that storm is raging, Brian was like this voice of calm and like this friend who was just there for me, he drove to meet me in Hillsboro where I lives and took me to coffee. A number of times it was just like, Hey Ben, how are you doing? Like this is really tough. How are you? So I got to see him and it was just awesome to you know, tell him the journey that’s taken place since that very rough patch in life. And the adventure that we’ve been on since so I didn’t get to see one friend I was hoping to see more. We ended up canceling the Eugene portion of our trip Yeah, just with logistics and everything else it just it was easier to stay put at our friend’s house and that makes sense and that’s just the kind of friends we are they were always there for us when we were going through our drama and our losses. And so now as they’re going through this season, we got to kind of return the favor and we just kind of shifted focus and we’re like this is where we’re gonna stay

Yeah. So going back to that Brian he’s a senior pastor now Yep. So let’s reflect on that and the trip itself because you know there’s a question that I’m gonna ask about Oregon How did it feel like now that he’s a senior pastors kind of moved up Did you Did you have a little bit of not regret but I mean, you definitely could have continued in youth ministry when he got back to Michigan You didn’t have to I understand that the break in the cut and starting something new but it did give you feelings again of like, man I I just I want to do that again.

Yeah, it was weird. Um it’s a really good question. As I’m hearing him talk and recounting what he’s been up to there was a part of me that’s like kind of miss that Yeah, kind of miss being on the front lines and really working with youth in church people and everything else and it’s like I went to school for this like Yeah, why am I not doing this? Yeah, did

it give you like I don’t hear in your voice that you were like envious of him or jealous you were just like you were kind of mad at yourself a little bit right just like I went to school like should I go back to this like this is stuff I was mad

mad. Definitely questions bubbling up to the surface of hmm I kind of missed that. Yeah. And that was weird for me to feel that because for so long I’ve just been shut off to this idea of full time ministry is a career like yeah, I drew a line in the sand I’m not doing this anymore.

Yeah. And I honestly I mean, you and I talk a ton and I still don’t know your passion. I mean, it’s not corporate securities. It’s not selling printers. It’s I think it is ministry and I’m wondering if there’s just a block there.

I think my passion is connection connection. Okay, but that connection doesn’t have to be ministry No,

but you do say that hey, you know, I went to school for this and those kind of things. So to me that that would be like I don’t know to me it would be like, I was waiting for you to rock come back to Michigan be like, well, when you started typing, I did a ninja thing. I was like, in our group chat with Mike. I was like, now. Oh, now what did he do? He

signed papers on a house in Portland.

Yeah. Well, and that opens up my second question. You guys love it out there so much. Did you have feelings of wanting to return there?

I mean, oh, yeah.

I mean, I bet it would have been worse if you if you connected with more people. I think it would I mean, just be like, oh man, like this is great.

Yeah. And maybe it was for our benefit that we didn’t see a ton of people

that could be to maybe God was saying Yeah, not now.

Yeah. So I was feeling a lot more than my wife was, which makes sense like I I think I might have even said I think maybe we could retire here or, or you know, this really isn’t kind of an awesome place and I do sales. I can sell things anywhere. And you work in a hospital. You can work in a hospital right where so I think and then she at one point looked at a job posting. She was curious to see what the pay would be out there. Probably double what she’s getting paid. Yeah. Next thing I know she’s showing me this and I’m like, Honey, why You’re not helping the situation here and then she goes back to you. Well, I was just curious and wanting to see. So I think I don’t know for her but for me there was definitely a level of missing it. And like I really you know, I listened to the episode with you and Mike one of the questions Mike asked you is when did you feel the most alive? Yeah. For me I felt the most alive when we lived in Portland. Well, maybe not Portland in Oregon, like the Oregon coast. Yeah, makes me feel alive. It’s so

funny. I saw some of the pictures it was generally cloudy and I’m just like Why does he love it? They’re like Michigan is so much better it rains all the time over there you know it’s I don’t know I get it it’s just in maybe you’re passionate about it just because that’s where you got your start yeah and life quote unquote,

I feel like I I mean I made a huge move and going out first Yeah. And to have the first church experience go so well and to feel like I really did launch myself into something so good. And Andy and I just really fell in love with the area with the people like it Oregon became a part of us so it was almost like going back and wanting that part to be real again but it’s not or relive that time Yeah, even relive it it just felt so familiar. So good. But obviously we came back and we have no intention of moving back

obviously you will obviously you came back but obviously like Why not?

Because we have a life here so you have a life there too. is not nearly as strong as what we have here.

Okay, well that’s a good thing to say. I mean obviously you’ve established some roots here and you got kids but I mean I can you know I always think about when my kids are out of the house is are we gonna stay here? Yeah, you know what I mean but well I’m glad you had a good time. It sound like it was you know Ben and I kind of message What do you say some about your your blood pressure med Can I bring that up? Yeah, okay. Yeah, he had said something like Yeah, I did. I decided not to take blood pressure meds when he’s on vacation. I’m like, What? I would have doubled or something like that. I’m like I don’t vacation stressed me out. Like I don’t like them. I don’t mind going to the cabin. But I it’s not that I don’t like them. There’s just so many uncertainties and it drives me nuts but it seemed like you were like just chill.

Yeah, it was a very chill vacation. Obviously we didn’t have a lot of control over the Montana part but we had some amazing time to just chill Yeah, and like Judy’s backyard is a mountain and a river. And no we had she has a swing on her deck. I just spent hours on that swing just taking it in and listening to the river and looking up and soft jazz no jazz no music and then there’s like waterfalls near there that I hiked up to it was just it was so chill like the whole Montana part especially was so chill

that’s always a good thing as much as I love my internet is to get away in areas like that where it’s real remote because it’s just straight up awesome. Like it was if you it’s a good time to have some reflection and just kind of get away from the hustle and bustle of you know, river town Parkway where there’s you know, 17 lanes and you know, tacos and Burger King and you know what I mean?

Speaking of tacos and burgers. I didn’t even that wasn’t even the set I popped in my head. So Stefan loves him some Taco Bell and and Panera and it was great. Oba cute. OVA was the one that he was like, hey, Tim. So we’re in the middle of nowhere Montana. And Stefan and I are turning in for the night. Long story short, we had a room and the girls had a room Okay, there just weren’t any beds that were big enough comfortable enough for at night to sleep in. It was an unfamiliar zone for our kids. So we’re like you know what? Divide and conquer. There you go. So Stefan and I shared a room and just as we’re about to fall asleep He’s like, I think you can get queued over tomorrow. Like Stefan pull out Google Maps and look and see where the nearest kyudo but is and so he does and it’s three hours away. Oh

way that far. Yeah. All my Lord.

And Mike Sorry dude. We are on a mountain. In the middle of nowhere yeah takes an hour just to get to the freeway and then you got to drive two hours to go to the nearest city.

Holy cow. So that is remote. probably put it in perspective for him how far he Aquino driving, he’s probably on his phone, screwing around not paying attention. He’s like, Oh my god, it’s three hours to kidada. That’s amazing.

It was hilarious. We did go to that. kyudo But eventually, and we wanted to introduce Judy, to you know, some of the things we liked. Okay.

She took a three hour trip to Well,

it was the same way in the same area that we went to see his uncle. Okay, so we kind of worked out. So there happened to be a que doba in that city.

That’s so funny. So Judy, is she widowed? Divorce divorce. Okay. Yeah, well, you have a little smirk on your face. I don’t know the story. Okay. I was just curious.

She talks about her ex and her ex has passed on so get she’s widowed divorced.

Is there a woodstove in the house? Yeah, so she does she chopper on wood? Probably not anymore.

She gets it delivered right? She lives across the street from a mine a platinum mine. Oh, that’s where she worked for almost the majority of her career. She worked up the ranks and was like

one of the oh she wasn’t actually minor minor. Minor minor thing I would say she was she was a minor she wasn’t mining the Platinum she was

never like an actual digger digging for the Platinum

it’s a minor sir. Not a digger. That’s

but she was I forget the term they use but she was like the gopher that would bring stuff down to the tools are needed. Okay, so she worked her way up from that roll all the way into the office. Okay, like an administrative role.

Is the mind still active? It is interesting though. Isn’t it weird when you go to other states in the weirdest shit you’re like yeah, there’s a plan of mind like Yeah, what are they using this for? Like I just I it always the show how it’s made. I used to love that show. Let’s kind of like like,

what in Podunk Montana they’re pulling Platinum out of the ground?

I mean, it makes sense because it’s it’s in the mountain area and there probably is some mining going on, but it just I always I’m fascinated when I go to other places and like that, or people’s jobs when they tell me what we’re doing, like, that’s a job that you get paid to do that. Right. That’s amazing. Yeah, anyways, well, this has been cool kind of to live through it, I can tell that you’ve, you feel that you’re rested. Definitely. I could just tell your attitude when you came in and the conversations that we had the last couple days. So I’m really glad that you had that that opportunity to and it was like refreshing for you to see that’s the problem when you go on it feels like I’m so negative about vacations here. When I go on vacations, just like like Disney was for the kids. Sure. I mean, of course I ate good food and stuff like that. But like, I always struggle with like, if I go with the kids, how I can get away from the kids not to get away. You know what I mean? Like right? Can I have the same level of relaxation and vacation with my kids and without I guess that’s it? Sounds like you did well, great.

The original plan was Monday of last week was supposed to be my day to see all my people Okay, my own thing, and everybody else was gonna do their thing. The boys were gonna go to the beach. The girls were gonna go shopping. Okay, and I was gonna go hang out with people. I got one lunch. Even so it was still refreshing and relaxed. Yeah. We made it through the entire trip with like, maybe half of a blow up milk from one of our kids. That’s good. Overall, they were incredible. Like, when we started the trip before we left on Friday, I told everybody I was like, this is a celebration. Mom’s got a new job. Dad’s got a job within the last year. Stefan’s doing really well in school miracles worked on a lot of

Yeah, everyone’s doing their thing. We’re doing good.

So let’s treat this week as a celebration. This vacation we’re about to go out on very cool. And I think it just stuck like that was the mentality we all had was to celebrate and just enjoy each other’s company.

Awesome. So the last question I definitely have to ask since we’re whoop, people we’re working on our fitness. Apparently Ben posted something about a race are you going to do that? Are you interested in that?

I just saw it and

you know what happens when you you’re wet Mike and eyes whistle like we’re nuts. We’re Go for it. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, this is a threesome. I said I’m gonna compete though. So I’m going to blow you guys out of the water. If we Do it um if I do what I’m doing the five and a half five and a half anyways we’ll see I want to know how your weight loss and everything because you go on vacation you start and you’re judging like how how do you feel coming back from that gosh

it was such I had such anxiety and I had a couple of times I had to just work hard to shut it off like you’re on vacation yes if you do fall off the wagon you can get back on it’s not the end of the world.

No, it’s harder to get back on but it’s completely doable

Yeah, so I made it a point to get one workout in each week so two workouts will be no you can say day every day. I’m like get your stats. Yeah, I wish I went in with these intentions of you know, doing like two or three a week. Like that’s not reality. If I can get one solid workout in each week, I’ll be happy with that. So first week was hiking up to the waterfalls second week was hiking down there was quite a bluff down the bluff and onto the ocean and they had like a walking path. So how did I do? I gained zero pounds Okay, I weighed myself the day before we left on the trip and yesterday when we got back that’s not and I had gained zero weight I was the same way that’s great and I checked it three times to confirm and I was like

I mean I look at ice cream and I gained a pound and a half I mean that’s that’s pretty incredible. So I

felt really good about that. Yeah and then the other aspect we hinted at earlier the whole blood pressure thing and my last physical in June the doc said you know why don’t we start talking about taking you off of the blood pressure medicine your your numbers are really good let’s see if they stay that way Yeah, without you taking the medicine and one of the things that I had been experiencing in the last month or so was feeling lightheaded sometimes like I will stand up and feel light headed and that’s a symptom of low blood pressure so interesting I mentioned that to the doc and she’s like you know that might actually be because this dose is over it’s it’s it’s more than what you actually need. So I figured let’s wait until vacation to play with medicine so that it’s not going to impact me and my you know, work and everything else I have Yeah. So I kind of weaned myself off of it and by the second week I wasn’t taking it at all and then got home from vacation next day took my blood pressure and it was in the green healthy zone and without medicine so this trip was so many things it was an opportunity to meet Stefan’s biological family and give him those needed connections. It was celebration was being there for our friends it was so many different things and even with all of that going on I was able to maintain and continue my physical health

goals Yeah Well it sounds is it there wasn’t a lot of stress there and then when you ran into you know your your friends not being able to be up there and didn’t sound like you just freaked out on the anxiety you know, you know, you know grandma Judy are great and Judy was catfishing you which is freaking hilarious. I never even thought of that. No, the catfishing would be you sending her a bunch of stuff, and then you show up and then it’s like some 13 year old boy or something. But no, it sounds like you didn’t have a ton of anxiety which of course if you’re having anxiety, the cortisol and all that shit that this packs on the pound. So that’s amazing. Anything else you want to add before we wrap?

I would say don’t always go with your gut in life because sometimes your gut can be wrong. And what I mean by that in regards to this trip is for so many years, like seven eight years, we just thought aunt Judy was a little bit off like Why does she keep sending this stuff?

Yeah, who does? Who does this? Like we’re not reciprocating calm down?

Yeah. So our gut initially was you know, almost a defensive reaction like we are Stefan’s family not back. Are you like kind of back off, right? But then over time, started realizing our gut was probably not right. So you got wiser Yeah. So don’t always trust your gut. I guess maybe the better thing is question your gut. Like, if you have a gut reaction to something, don’t just immediately act on it. Think about why am I having this gut reaction? And am I missing anything?

Be curious about it, don’t Have the initial anger, reaction or anxiety or this is weird or Yeah, I mean, obviously we have those to keep us safe. But over time, you should probably reflect on those for sure. Well, I’m glad you had a good trip. We’re gonna wrap this up. coming up in the next month. I’m going to give you a month rundown Wow, these are all subject to change, y’all. So now I’m going to be gone. Well, now I’ll be back next week. I don’t know why I brought that up. But August 8, we’re going to try to meet with Amanda Waldron. She was on the Waldron right? was on the show before she’s doing something, you know, off the top of your head.

So she is a therapist. And one of the things that she’s focusing on in her practice is working with people who are deconstructing their faith. There’s a lot of that happening. You see it all over tic Tock social media, like there’s a lot of Christians questioning their faith, dealing with some not so great experiences in the church. And Amanda is wanting to create space to help people work through that stuff. Okay. So that they don’t just completely walk away from the faith, but actually, okay, you know, filter out the good from the bad and move on. Excellent.

So she that’s pending. We haven’t confirmed with her then August 16. We’re recording. Like the dates matter. Megan Neff is been on the show before has she been on as an individual? I don’t think so.

I don’t think she can remember. But on our show, I know she’s been on.

Yeah, yeah, the gig economy podcast, but Megan’s gonna be on, we’re just, it’s not an interview format. It’s just going to be us talking about mental health. Her and I have talked quite a bit about her stuff, and her and her husband and those kinds of things. Just kind of, you know, just being an ear to listen to and then on the 23rd we’re gonna record with Ben son, Stefan, which is going to be interesting. The guy Stefan says, Not very many words when I’m around so this might be it might be shitty, but it could be great. I don’t know. It’s different when you get in front of a mic like you and I are super comfortable. Like we just hit record and start so we don’t really think about it much but and then August 3 is going to be personal format and that will be a long month of catching up. It’s a long time but we might switch those up a little bit. Who knows if Amanda can’t recording this on the eighth. But anyways, thank you guys so much for listening threads podcast. We really appreciate it. We’ll see you next week.

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