What My Parents Didn't Tell Me About Being A Grandparent

What My Parents Didn't Tell Me About Being A Grandparent

On Sunday, Dawn and I celebrated our 2nd Grandiversary. I mean, Avery, our wonderful granddaughter, turned two years old! Since she entered this world, she has captivated my life. I don't mean to brag but she is simply amazing. She is immensely curious, funny (yes, toddlers can have quite the sense of humor), loving, caring, generous, and at times, ornery. Also, she is quite the grandpa's girl.

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Thanksgiving Field Goals

Another year, another Thanksgiving in the books! It's always great to see everyone and eat ourselves silly. It's also the time for our traditional field goal kicking competition! Except for Ken, the reigning champ, we all had no problem hitting our practice shot). Then, when it counted, it got real interesting. Below are some of the video highlights.

Spoiler alert: there is finally a new winner this year!

Ken's first kick

Tony's first kick

Matt's first kick

Matt's second kick (there was also a third attempt, but I'll spare you the agony... it looked just like the first two)

Joe's second kick

Ken's second kick (which looks a lot like Joe's second kick)

Ken's third kick

Ken's final kick

Angelo's final kick from 35 yards out 

Joe's kick... for the game...

And the winner is...

z angelo victory

Happy Thanksgiving. And see you all next year!


Colorado Vacation

In early October, Dawn, Makenzy and I drove to Colorado to spend a week with my high school friend, Van, and his family. We took the northern route, staying on Interstate 80 through California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. It was the first time the three of us had been in Wyoming. Dawn and I split the driving duties while Makenzy stayed comfortably in the backseat and fulfilled the role of our chief Googler. When we'd see something that piqued our curiosity, we would ask Makenzy to Google it for us. Some of the random things we learned along our trip:

  • Sinclair, the new gas station here in Stockton on Hammer and West Lane, comes from Sinclair, Wyoming
  • There are more people living in San Joaquin County than there are in all of Wyoming
  • OJ Simpson is serving time in Lovelock Correctional Facility in Lovelock, Nevada
  • Green River, Wyoming was the first city in the US to outlaw door-to-door sales
  • There is a band named after the aforementioned law, Green River Ordinance

We stopped in Fort Collins, Colorado to see my friend Rich and his family. He and his wife, Dorinna and their son Nate, showed us around Fort Collins. It wasn't enough time to see much of Fort Collins, but there was enough time to do some site seeing, and visit the famous Walrus Ice Cream, where Rich convinced me to try their "Mystery Flavor". If you ever find yourself in Fort Collins and someone suggests you visit Walrus, you definitely should, but stay away from the "Mystery Flavor". It was great to see the Ruh family.

Then we finally made it to the Saukam house and the week of fun got kicked off quickly! We had such a wonderful week hanging out with Van, Christine, Evan, and Liam. We hung out a lot and just talked and laughed, but we also did some typical touristy things.

We spent a day in Downtown Denver and walked around the wonderful 16th Street Mall. We also visited the Red Rocks Amphitheater, Cave of the Winds caverns and drove to the Pikes Peak Summit.


We sure crammed a lot of fun (and food) into the week we spent with the Saukam family. It was so great to see them and spend some time enjoying the beauty of Colorado. Can't wait to get out there again!

Check out all of the pics here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattbeckwith/sets/72157637034930544/


Goodbye Sashi Noir

Our beloved dog, Sashi Noir, passed away on Friday. Our hearts have broken. She got sick on Tuesday and, after a trip to the vet, it seemed like she'd be sick for a couple of days and then come out of it. She did not. On Friday, she passed away. She left us knowing she was loved, I'm sure of it.

Sashi joined our family when she was just two months old. She was tiny and full of energy. She quickly got big and always had more energy than a dog of her size should. She behaved daintily as often as she acted like a big girl. She was a great protector and liked to play, especially hide-and-seek and basketball. I will always miss her excitement when I'd come home from work.




There may be more dogs in our lives, but there will never be another quite like you, girl.


Sashi Noir 04/04/04 - 04/12/13


My Dad, The Face of Strength

My Dad, Mel Beckwith, has Mantle cell lymphoma, a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was diagnosed in February after an anomaly appeared in his regular blood work. It quickly progressed from "you'll die from old age long before this gets you" to "you need aggressive treatment now". Well, after two complete rounds of chemotherapy, Dad is still going strong. He's not going to let something like this stop him. Ask him what keeps him going and he'll quickly tell you that his strong faith has prepared him, he's not afraid to die and he knows where he's going. But this doesn't mean he's giving up. Not at all. He still has a lot of fight in him.

He's even fully embraced this new, bald look. And Beckwiths don't go bald. Ever. Well, rock the bald, Dad, rock it!


The journey to being cured is not yet complete, still some road ahead for him. But it's great to know that Dad's spirit is still strong and he's continuing the fight.


I love you Dad.

Another Year Begins

Our youngest daughter, Makenzy, recently started Junior High (Middle School, or whatever you want to call it). I am still in shock. Where did the time go? Emily is a college freshman. Again, I am still in shock.

We have always taken a picture of the girls on their first day of school. Somehow, the 2006 picture never happened. Crazy to see how they've grown!

(click the picture for larger image)

I am so proud of our girls. They have grown to be such wonderful people!

From 26 Years to 26.2 Miles

Earlier today, my twin brother, Mike, completed The San Francisco Marathon.

For those of you that know Mike, I am going to pause there for just a second.




Mike smoked cigarettes for 26 years, two-thirds of his life. On March 13, he smoked his last one.

On his third tobacco-free day, he started feeling anxious and realized he needed something to get him through the craving, something to replace the few minutes he "used to spend with the Marlboro man".

That something was running.

After work on that third day, he wandered into the mall, purchased a pair of  running shoes and shorts. When he got home, he ventured out on his first run.

"I ran ONE MILE.  It hurt.  It hurt a lot.  I was out of breath and my legs hurt.  With that said, I certainly didn't feel like having a cigarette then.  The next morning I woke up at 5 am and ran ONE MORE MILE before work.  Yes, it still hurt, but again, it made me stop thinking about cigarettes."

From that point, Mike was hooked on running. He quickly went from running a few days a week to running nearly every day. With every additional mile, he realized he wanted more and more. His leisure 5k evening runs turned into 5 miles and then 10 miles. In just after a couple of months, he was already amassing 300-mile months. Three hundred miles in a month! As a cyclist myself, I am in awe that he is putting in those kind of miles. Running.

"It became my way to stay a non-smoker.  It then became bigger than smoking ever was."

Mike spends a lot of time on the road for work. Well, to be more precise, he spend a fair amount of time up in the air as well, but you get my point. Recently he was in Manila, just as he has been many other times. This time was different. This time he was in Manila as a non-smoker. That was new. Everyone in Manila smokes. Not Mike, not anymore. Mike runs. Recently, Mike was in Indiana and he called me late in the day. He said he went out for a run at 6 AM. It was 80 degrees and the humidity was somewhere north of 95%.

The thought of running a marathon, although seemingly an impossible feat, was something Mike started thinking of pretty early in his running days. Can I say early in his running days? It's still early in his running days. The marathon was a long-term goal. He was more focused on his first "half-mary". Yes, he quickly started speaking a new language, too.

"I ran my first half marathon in June.  It was the Pillar Point half marathon in Half Moon Bay.  Right along the coast.  It was so awesome!!  While I've never tried to be "fast", I felt great for my first half marathon.  I had no time goal set, but was able to complete it in less than 2 hours.  13.1 miles.  For me, that was quite an accomplishment.  Ok, how much below 2 hours?  Fine.  It was 20 seconds below. I finished in 1:59:40. One of the proudest personal days of my life."  

After his successful half-mary, he continued to escalate his miles. Distances quickly moved from challenging to easy; what was nearly impossible only a week or two before, became a simple warm-up. A few weeks ago we were all meeting in Manteca for an afternoon of swimming, volleyball and BBQ. He ran. To Manteca. Twenty two miles. Solo.

That was his longest run. Until today.

Mike completed The San Francisco Marathon, his first marathon, in 4:28:52.

I couldn't be prouder.

Way to go bro!

Check out the pictures I took, here.

Sadly, we missed seeing Mike cross the finish. See, Mike crossed a millisecond after the green guy crossed... and our eyes (and cameras) were fixed on him. I didn't even realize that Mike was in this shot until well after we met up him. Ooops.