Before I move forward with this blog, I thought it would be a fun exercise to take a look back. Sort of like a “what I did this summer” essay for school.

At the end of May we wound down the spring leg of the Miracle Tour. Then my kids got out of school, and we did what we pretty much always do: we headed to Florida. We had a great time at Disney, and even got to see a preview of Monsters University as part of a blog party they were doing. Hey, sometimes is pays to be a nerd!

We saw a sneak preview of Monsters University. Disney World, May 2013

We saw a sneak preview of Monsters University. Disney World, May 2013

Towards the end of that trip, a few things happened that were a little bit out of the ordinary. First, I lost my Nike Fuelband. If you’ve been following me at all this year, you know that my Fuelband had been the centerpiece of my health and fitness goals for the year. When I lost the Fuelband it was as if I threw away my goals and dreams for the year with it.

Second, my wife asked me if I was OK with going camping for my birthday. We had some friends who were already going to the North Georgia Mountains, and had invited us to tag along. I love camping and I love the outdoors. My wife? Not so much. So her being OK with camping was a little out of the ordinary.

Finally, my youngest daughter Kitty was fighting with some weird allergy thingy that week. It made us want to come home from Florida early, and it made our tent camping a bit more uncomfortable than usual. We had a blast during the day, but the nights were nightmarish – the whole family was crowded in a tent. Kitty didn’t sleep, which meant nobody slept. While this almost sounds like an afterthought, I think had we had a great and easy experience that would have been the end of it.

Me and Abbie at Anna Ruby Falls outside Helen, GA

Me and Abbie at Anna Ruby Falls outside Helen, GA

Over the next couple of weeks, we talked about how much fun our camping trip had been, and how surprised we all were at how fun it was. We pondered a way for us to keep the fun of camping but making it a bit more comfortable. The next thing I knew, I was the owner of a travel trailer. Yup – I am now one of those camper people.

That’s when Bizarro Summer kicked into high gear. We took the camper to Stone Mountain, then Pine Mountain, Georgia. A couple weeks later we camped at Lake Allatoona outside Atlanta. Then we topped it off with a trip to Chattanooga.

Me and the girls in front of Stone Mountain, June 2013

Me and the girls in front of Stone Mountain, June 2013

One more thing about Bizarro Summer. I’ve gotten way into gardening. Stephanie started a garden last year, and tried to maintain it this year. Because our travel schedule was so crazy this summer, I pitched in and helped out with the gardening. And I’ve found that I love it. I’ve grown and pickled my own jalepeños, and am looking at other pepper recipes, including Southern pepper vinegar. I might even try to make my own hot sauce.

Tabasco peppers in our garden, August 2013

Tabasco peppers in our garden, August 2013

Oh, and I quit drinking Diet Coke. That alone is “bizarro” in itself!

This summer has easily been the most fun I’ve had with my family in years. Shaking things up has translated into all other areas of my life (Even fitness. Fuelband or no!). And did I mention that I graduated from college?

My takeaway lesson from Bizarro Summer: if you do unexpected things, you will see unexpected results in your life.

Have you done the unexpected and seen unexpected results? I’d love to hear about it! Use the comments to tell your story.

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