Brought to you by Woodfield Mall - A Simon Mall
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago during the 1980s, there were certain malls that became legendary. Shopping in those pre-internet days was a different type of thing, but visiting those malls wasn't just about shopping... it was about family, and a lot of memories were made within the halls of fashion, toys and commerce during special trips. While the Circus World/K-B Toys, Marshall Field's, and Sam Goody stores of my youth have been swapped for the LEGO Store, Macy's and F.Y.E., one of those legendary malls is bigger and stronger-than-ever, the mighty Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois - just minutes west of Chicago. With the official arrival of Spring comes the arrival of The Easter Bunny, and his presence at Woodfield Mall makes for another of those special trips that families will remember forever.
They say that Folgers is the best part of wakin' up, and that's true, but it's an undisputed fact that Folgers Coffee is also an important part of the entire day... especially here at Rock Father HQ. As a Folgers Brand Ambassador, I last showed you how Folgers plays into the early morning - the first hour in which my wife leaves for work, and the girls have to get ready and off to school. But what about the middle of the day... the couple of hours in which I have to get the bulk of my work done, and hopefully meet a few deadlines before having to go get the youngest of The Rock Daughters from preschool? Having my own coffee bar ready to rock here at the house not only provides me with that essential fuel for the day, but also saves me two important things: money and time. Hot Coffee? Got it. Iced Coffee? Got it! Did you also know that Folgers Coffee can help your goatee grow longer?* And is there a ZOOTOPIA nod somewhere in this story? Watch the video below to find out!
As I write this, it’s the height of “Award Season” in the entertainment world, and having worked in that realm before, I can’t avoid thinking about how the season might equate to life at home, as a parent. Surely there could be trophies dished-out for just about everything, from “Best Daily Performance of a Theme Song from an Animated Motion Picture that You’ve Heard 4,000 times,” to “Best Original Song About a Wrestler” (our three-year-old wrote one), to “Best Bedtime Stall Tactic,” “Best Dramatic Performance at a Kitchen Table (Breakfast or Dinner),” and even “Best Performance by a Stainmaker.” Ah yes, that later category is a real wild card… one in which the race to even become a nominee is a battle fought valiantly with an arsenal of colorful armaments.
Not long ago, my friends at Folgers Coffee (I'm one of their Brand Ambassadors) asked me what I thought of when I thought of the morning here at Rock Father HQ. In an instant, my entire routine flashed through my brain like that moment in the Guy Ritchie film SNATCH - the one where "Cousin Avi" says he's "going to London."
There is definitely a distinct routine that takes place every morning here at Rock Father HQ, and what went through my head looked a little something like this...
There's that quote - the one attributed to Thomas Fuller that I always tend associate with Harvey Dent in THE DARK KNIGHT... "The night is darkest just before the dawn." When it comes the metaphor, it was 2010 that was one of my darkest times. My wife and I were new parents, struggling to find our way and learn how to manage life with a child, just as all new parents do. The emotions of parenthood were intermixed with my own improperly managed depression and anxiety, and there were "events" throughout the year that were just not good. Blow-up after blow-up, I was cracking - allowing myself to be influenced by others, working with the wrong people... for the wrong company, and not knowing what I was really doing... or what I should be.
Growing up as a kid in the 80s, I distinctly remember visiting the music lab at Beacon Hill Elementary School in Chicago Heights, Illinois, learning basic notes on the Recorder, and hoping to one day enter a bigger realm of music. I was big into two artists at the time - Michael Jackson and Huey Lewis and the News - and, maybe it was the artists, maybe it was just the times, but I really wanted to learn the Saxophone. It was offered as an option for the school's band program, but citing the expense, I was not allowed to scratch my musical itch until much later. I was 15 when I bought my first Guitar - an NJ Series B.C. Rich Warlock... the same one that currently hangs here in my office, just feet from where I'm typing these words right now. It was that guitar, purchased with my own money from working at the local Hy-Vee Grocery Store in Davenport, Iowa, that truly opened the door to my life-long musical journey, accompanying me to many gigs throughout the 1990s and beyond. Now, as parents, my wife and I have been eager to support The Rock Daughters™ in their musical exploration starting practically at birth. In a time when arts programs are increasingly cut from school budgets, we're fortunate to have them in our schools, and the folks at Music & Arts exist to support that - offering families a place to buy instruments with confidence and world class service. With the Holiday Season upon us, it's the perfect time to look toward the Music & Arts Holiday Gift Guide (featuring HALESTORM's LZZY HALE and GREAT BIG WORLD) to pick a great gift for the budding player in your family. What would THE ROCK FATHER buy? Here's a few picks that I'm going to include in my own Holiday Wish Guide this year... we're making musical memories every day, perhaps it's time to make some of your own...