Be You

For a long time I felt my life was hard when I was growing up. I have over time come to realize that my story is not all that unique and my life, no matter how difficult or unfair, was and is not bad at all. In fact I’m one lucky son of a mechanic and foster parent.

When I was growing up I was always freakishly bigger than my classmates and in kindergarten I could look my teacher eye to eye. I was horribly out of shape though, as big round as I was tall. My parents built into me a significant awareness of my comparative size and I knew not to be aggressive towards kids my age.

The most traumatic lesson in this was going to wrestling camp when I was five and having to wrestle 8th graders simply because they were the youngest kids in my weight group. I got my butt kicked.

I was especially taught when I was very young, never to hit a girl. This also resulted in a traumatic experience where I made fun of a girl on the playground, who recruited friends, ganged up on me and a nose bleed and hurt pride later I hardly ever picked on a girl again.

Traumatic experiences at the time, but in retrospect some good learning experiences.

So what did I learn, and am letting you know on a night where people go from house to house dressed up for the most part as someone they are not.

Be you.

Be five when you’re five, be a gentleman at all times, but at all times be you.

I may have went to a private school and tried to hang with the kids that had the money, but I didn’t have the money and trying to fit in was more work than it was worth. My true friends never cared how much money I had, or if I could show it by the car I drove or the clothes I wore.

I would have been much happier and my parents would have been too, if I was just me. A kid that wasn’t the richest kid on the block, but was fortunate enough to get one heck of an education.

I really wish I would have been me.

I have over time come to embrace being me and be comfortable that not everyone will embrace who I am, but that’s okay. I ultimately hope you will understand and embrace me and I know if you do it will be for who I am and what I believe.

So what is that today:

1. I’m your dad
2. I’m your mom’s husband
3. I am a family member and friend
4. I am a person who wants to give more than I take
5. I’m me

There’s more, but that’s enough for now.

Thank you for being my treat!!!!


My Best Friends

My first real friends, Damien and Shawn lived on Elizabeth St in Eden WI, hometown of Baseball star Jim Gantner, just two and three doors down from my house.

As I’ve already established, my memories of my childhood are spotty at best. What I remember about Damien is that he had a cool red non-motorized go-cart that we would take down to the ballpark and drive it down what seemed to be a huge hill. He also had curly hair and almost every Star Wars action figure that he kept in a Darth Vader case.

What I remember about Sean is that he had yellow hair, his dad last part of his hand in a hunting accident and I dropped a wrench on his head that caused it to bleed what seemed like more blood than the human body would hold.

Sean and Damien both went to public school, while I went to St. Mary’s and they both moved away by second grade. I have no idea where they are today, and I often wonder where they are and what they are doing as I do with all the friends I have had in my life. I also call a lot of them including Shawn and Damien my best friends.

Best to most people implies the top one or a single one. When I got married to your mother though I figured out what best really means to me, it means that at one point or even one moment they were and therefore will always be my best friend.

Therefore, while some think I took the easy way out by selecting four best men, it was the only right thing to do in my mind. Your Uncle Mike became my best friend over time, once he got passed being the annoying little brother. Your Uncle Scott in FL, became my best friend in high school. Your Uncle Steve in AZ, became my best friend when I became a college drop out. Your Uncle Sonny became my best friend when I went back to college.

What really got me thinking about this is that your Aunt Amy, who you have never met called this week out of the blue and it seems like forever since I’ve seen her, but she too is one of my best friends, because for what seemed like a moment in my life I could talk to her about anything.

Life goes through many changes and your geography, circumstances or you may change, but if your lucky you’ll have as many best friends as I have had.


In the Beginning

The first memory I have is waking up on Christmas morning when I was four years old. I have no idea why, but it is.

I woke up in our home on Elizabeth St in Eden, WI. I got out of bed and peered down the stairs through the bright green painted wood railings and I could see our Christmas Tree. That’s all I remember of that day, I don’t even know what presents I got.

My next true memory is walking to school across the street for my first day of kindergarten. I always loved learning and I’m glad for that because according to my Grandpa B if I didn’t I’d be dead.

Toward the end of his life he would tell me the same stories over and over. He’d tell me about an article he wrote called “Smoke I’m a Gopher Hole” for a local paper (I still don’t know what it was about), he’d tell me about wading through snakes to an island in the Pacific during World War II, about how he danced in a tutu with his unit on stage and showed me the picture of them in black tank tops, black socks and tutus and finally he’d tell me the one and most important lesson……

The lesson is simple,”If you don’t learn something new everyday you might as well be dead.”

I honestly try to share that with everyone I can and I truly believe it. I hope you will too, share it and believe it.


The picture is of Grandpa B’s house that he made using Popsicle sticks, he called it his “Pop Art.”

How I Met Your Mother

I guess I’m feeling a bit excited about this whole blogging thing today so I might as well just keep going. Don’t worry my energy will probably fade and life will interrupt as it always does.

I just posted on Facebook last weekend that my pointless accomplishment for the year was watching every episode of How I Met Your Mother. Your mother actually liked watching that show and I just didn’t get it so I always gave her a hard time for watching the openly gay guy who used to play a teenage doctor play a womanizer. I finally gave the show a chance over Labor Day weekend at your Uncle Steve’s urging and I loved it.

The show is actually about a father telling his kids about how he met their mother, this is the short story about how I met your mother.

As I am sure I will get to at some point, I dropped out of college the first time I went because my football career came to less than a glorious end. As a result I found myself back in good old Fond du Lac, WI and when I met your mother I was working in a feed mill mixing animal feed and driving a bulk feed truck.

On an evening where I was hanging out with my friend Steve, who had also lost his way when it came to higher education a bit, we went to his house and your mother was sitting on the couch wearing a friend’s pair of packer mittens. She was a friend of Steve’s brother Paul.

A couple of days later she had got my number and called to ask me out on a date. About seven years later we got married.

The lesson you can take from this post is, your mother is always right. After all she picked me and she knew well before I did that How I Met Your Mother was a great show. I could come up with a lot more reasons, but let’s just stop with those because most of them make me look much more stupid.


Why SoFeyen?

Pronounced So-Fine, because as my grandmother told me “e-y-e spells eye,” the sofeyen monicre has become a bit of a personal obsession, all starting with my threat to your mother that our first child would be named “So,” hence So Feyen.  (At the time we never planned on having children, so I felt free to make empty threats.) 

Commander Cheddar SoFeyen

 Our first child was named SoFeyen, Captain Caesar SoFeyen, and our second child was named, Commander Cheddar SoFeyen.  

Captain Caesar SoFeyen

We competed with Caesar and Cheddar in dog agility and we became known as the SoFeyen’s.  We had Team SoFeyen hats and windbreakers and our mini-van carries the SoFeyen branding as well. There was even a website until I got too far behind on the updates, but I still do own the domain name.

We ultimately did end up having a child and we named you Graham, you are now four and SoFeyen does not show up anywhere on your birth certificate.  Yep, an empty threat.
I’m not entirely sure where this blog thing is going to take me, but for now it’s my SoFeyen blog. 
This blog is for you Graham and I hope you learn something from it some day and maybe I will to. 

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