Writer’s Block: Back from baby duty and beyond

Whether you noticed my lack of bylines or dressing up in Buzz Lightyear costumes for area parades, I’ve been away from the paper for the last six months.

Jason Olson
Jason Olson

Not because of illness and the paper didn’t send me on a six-month investigative assignment to some far-flung reaches of Anoka County.

I guess it kind of was an assignment since I learned the ins and outs in the life of a three- to nine-month old.

One of the best opportunities of working for ECM Publishers is the ability to take up to six months family leave after having a child and since our first daughter was born in early February,

I decided to take full advantage of the opportunity.

As a result, I missed a great deal from the spring prep sports season, summer and majority of the fall season.

Heading into the extended summer vacation, I had ideas of getting a full night sleep, well rested each day, maybe making a big breakfast with bacon and eggs, going for long walks around the lakes in South Minneapolis and grabbing lunch with my wife on occasion.

Reality set in that first day when we were still in the midst of learning how to sleep through the night.

I won’t bore you with the details, but after a couple long nights, we reached quite the milestone… six or seven straight hours of sleep!

Those with children know the emphasis placed on the last sentence and need for an exclamation point.

Although you might get to sleep in bunches of hours, I quickly adapted to be a light sleeper, awake and in her room at the first cry or at least awake by the first yelp from the room across the hallway.

A couple highlights from the summer included Britta’s first Minnesota Twins game back in late April.

We’re not sure how much of the game she saw (or will remember, frankly) because we had her bundled up so much but we have photos and an official certificate of attending her first game (who knew!).

We visited Itasca State Park in August and Britta enjoyed her first baby steps in the water at the headwaters of the Mississippi River.

Walks, walks and more walks around the chain of lakes in Minneapolis, Mall of America, Hyland Park and a light rail ride into Minneapolis.

We discovered an excellent food truck within steps of the track called World Street Kitchen (excellent red curry chicken tacos!).

While the time away from Britta was far and few, I managed to get in my first half marathon in late April and first mud run (Rugged Maniac) in September.

The Get in Gear half-marathon course began cool in the late April unpredictably and by the end was cool, drizzly and even a bit sleety by the finish 1:47 later.

Rugged Maniac on the other hand was a blast.

The 5k course was set on the slopes of Wild Mountain and the conditions couldn’t have been better.

Climbing through mud and muck under barbed wire, over 10-12-foot high walls and up and down ski hills was a challenge.

In order to get to the start line, runners had to leap over a six-foot high wall.

The message on the front of the wall, warning that many of these are on the course so if this is a challenge, don’t bother trying it.

On a final note, remember to vote on Nov. 6 no matter who you like or dislike everyone needs to have a say in deciding our elected officials.