Tuesday June 21, 2022 

Happy first official day of summer 2022, this day is also known as Summer Solstice. The Summer Solstice will occur at 10:13am. Summer Solstice is when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, and this creates the longest day of the year because it will be light out for the most time on this day. 

This day is a wonderful celebration of the fun to come within these warmer months! 2022 Summer Solstice-First Day of Summer

Here are some ways that you can ring in the Summer!  

 Cheers to the summer months. Take some time to soak up these warm days! I know I will be! 

Rejoice fathers everywhere! Father’s Day is a day to celebrate ourselves and our own fathers! It’s times like this that we take time to ask ourselves what kind of father we are, and is that good? I figured I’d share a story about how I became a father, how it shapes the man I am today, and how I appreciate my father more as a result. 

As a young parent I said to myself, “I shouldn’t give my kids what I never had. Instead, I should teach them what I never knew.” Of course! Besides, I’m a millennial, what didn’t I have growing up?  

Our First Child 

A 2020 Christmas surprise, that my wife and I decided to keep secret from our family and friends, was that she was pregnant! 

  Becky's positive pregnancy test 2020 christmas

Already, we were planning the fun things we’d be doing with our kiddo. What would we name our son or daughter? “Brexley” was the strong contender for a girl name! Sweet, right? A few months passed, and we learned from the doctors that we were having a son! I’ll state for the record now, I was personally hoping for a girl. My wife was adorable as a kid, and anyone would love to have a miniature version of her running around in their life. Though, I will say, his ultrasounds pictured a darn handsome little guy! 

Ultrasound of Wyatt Ethan Schwarz

Our Lessons 

What parent doesn’t think of what they’ll teach their children? Our goal was to make sure our kid had the skills, in no particular order, to be self-sufficient in as many aspects of life as possible.  

  • Finances. Lord knows, I didn’t treat savings with any respect until well after college. He won’t have the luxury of making the same mistake. 
  • Home Maintenance. Most things that operate in your home are life, or at least lifestyle, sustaining. Our son should know how to fix them and have the tools and resources on-hand to do so. 
  • Social Skills. Emotional intelligence can take him further in life than intellect alone. I would want our son to observe and understand the qualities of people in his life whom he enjoys being around and emulate those qualities. Humility may be the most important. It is not just an understanding of what you AREN’T, but an understanding of what you ARE. 
  • Physical Health. The one thing no king can pay for, and any peasant can afford. There are too many opportunities in life that become unattainable if our son isn’t in good health. I don’t want those experiences robbed from my child because he couldn’t stay active in sports and eat healthy. My older brother taught me a great lesson in life by use of a simple spreadsheet. It became very clear to me that fast food is far more expensive to eat regularly than healthy store-bought foods. 
  • Mental & Spiritual Health. I’ll leave this broad, but faithfulness is the best relationship. As our son matures, life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, so he must become stronger and more resilient. Having faith, and awareness of his mental state, is what will give him that strength. There are times when he will need to lean on those around him. My hope is he will feel comfortable turning to us when we can help his circumstances and to God when we can’t. 

Reality Strikes 

Now for the piece of the story I haven’t told you yet. I was working from home during my wife’s 14-week ultrasound when she called me. In tears she said, “There’s something wrong with the baby.” I rushed out the door and drove 20 minutes down HWY 60 to the clinic, heart pounding.  

I entered the doctor’s office to greet my wife and was told there is a large omphalocele in our son’s umbilical cord. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s usually tied to a severe genetic disorder, often fatal. The doctor strongly suggested we consider terminating, but we, in unison, refused. The recurring theme you’ll find is that, if we had put ourselves in his shoes, we’d want our parents to give us every opportunity to fight. So that’s what we did. 

After transferring to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, we had frequent and expensive visits to monitor and plan for our child’s birth. A scheduled C-section was the route we took, set for August 5th, 2021. 


That morning, as we checked into the hospital, I met a nice man who was sporting a Milwaukee Bucks 2021 championship t-shirt. I complimented him on it, and we got to talking about his day. Turns out, his son was welcoming a baby girl into the world… who passed away after 45 minutes of life. Devastating. I buried my own worries, for the remainder of our conversation, before departing with some kind words. 

The C-section went well. Becky was in recovery, and I followed our stable son to the NICU with his team of doctors and a ventilator. Wyatt on ventilator being carted to the NICU

I don’t think Becky or I left the hospital for 3 days. We spent every bit of time we could in our son’s room. Comforting him when nurses had to poke and prod for blood samples. Assisting with diaper changes (it was a delicate process due to the omphalocele.) Becky holding Wyatts hand in the NICU

Don’t get me wrong, amidst the worry and pain there were moments, even hours, of happiness and joy. Seeing my wife hold our creation and take a nap together invokes the greatest feeling as a husband and father. 

Becky cuddling our son Wyatt in the NICU while he is on ventilator

2 Weeks & 8 Minutes 

I can spare you the extensive details of the weeks to follow, but I’ll say we saw fluctuations in our son’s status. Day-by-day things became promising, then we’d take a step back. At around 12 days the doctors had a conference meeting with us. They sat us down and said they discovered an infection in his intestines. We had 3 options: Operate, administer antibiotics, or go palliative. We once again decided to give our son a fighting chance. We immediately administered antibiotics.  

I called Father Rick, from my church growing up, in hopes of having our son baptized. He was able to make a rush visit. That day was rough, but I felt confident Wyatt would pull through. We slept at the hospital that night. The next morning the doctors sat us down again in that same conference room. They needed to operate. We agreed.  

They removed over half of Wyatts intestines and, in doing so, had a successful surgery. As they were stitching him up though, a blood clot had let loose. They couldn’t maintain his blood pressure. Doctor Katie then called Becky and I in to hold our son for his final moments. He passed away in our arms at 2:13pm CST on August 19th. Being a father hit harder than I could have ever imagined that day. I would have given my entire life for this child that I’d only truly known for 2 weeks and 8 minutes.  

Our son Wyatt looking at us with his eyes wide open

A Happy Ending? 

All those lessons I’d hoped to impart to my son were dashed, but not wasted on me. They were essential in recovering from such a loss. Becky and I both had the Emotional Intelligence to support each other more than ourselves. We had Financial Responsibility to take care of bills and have a buffer during tough times. We took time to maintain our Physical Health and Home as we rebuilt our lives and regained a sense of normalcy. We reassured ourselves with Humility that we’d done everything a parent could be asked to do for their child. While we didn’t have the power to save him, we gave him everything we could. We turned to family and friends to vent our frustrations and, for anything they couldn’t understand, we turned to God. 

My own father, thankfully, never had to endure the loss of a child. I’m now seeing my experience as his son with a different lens. All the lectures, and the scolding, as a result of my wrongdoing growing up were the concerted efforts he made to prepare me for life and protect me from myself. In recognition of this day, I Say, “Thank you, dad, and thank you to ALL dads who prepare us for life. We owe you a great deal more than what you get on a daily basis.” 

With that said, I promised you all a happy ending. No, Wyatt Ethan Schwarz (believe me I fought for “Wyatt Earp Schwarz” and the wife wasn’t having it.) did not survive to come home with Becky and I. We did not get to raise him and teach him all these great values. There is, however, a favor he must have asked the big man upstairs. That favor was to have a little brother. Our Second Son in Ultrasound

There Is Another 

While Wyatt is the son that made me a father, his little brother is on the way to make me a tired one! At the moment, we have a running list of names and no idea which one to choose. Perhaps you can all help us out here! Go back to the social media post you likely found this article from and comment which of the names listed below you like most! 

Side note: A girl name would’ve been so much easier… 

  • Hudson
  • Declan
  • Boone
  • Graham
  • Garrison
  • Sawyer
  • Knox
  • Wade 
  • Barrett

Growing up on farm, I often felt more like a hired hand than a child when spending time with my father. Whether he was at his off-farm job, presiding over the council as mayor of our little town, attending church board meetings, plowing, planting, serving in the Minnesota National Guard, or responding to emergencies as fire chief – my dad was always working. From as early as I can remember, he expected the same of me too. My father and I never had that “my dad’s my best friend” relationship you see so often on TV. But, over the years, we became so much more than father and son. We were each other’s most reliable employee, business partner, adversary, teacher, advocate, student, boss, and champion. He was who I called first when things went wrong, and I was the one who took his calls in a pinch. 

No, my dad was never my friend but, for every second of my life, he was my dad. And he was always the best one he could be. He gave me lots of things, so many more than he or I ever realized, to be honest. However, they were hard to define, recognize, and appreciate. At least they were until I started thinking of them as things my father taught me, rather than things he had given me. Several years ago, I shared these thoughts online in the form of a list to honor my dad for Father’s Day. It quickly became an annual tradition and today is, without a doubt, the most popular thing I put on the internet every year. 

Dad holding infant me

I lost my dad on Halloween in 2021 and this Father’s Day will be my third without a father of my own. In honor of his memory, and in tribute to all of you out there wearing the dad pants as best you can, this year I would like to share my list with you. Dad always knew that we’re all just people raising people. It doesn’t matter if you share blood, name, or a home – you are family if you share love. Whether you made them or not, I promise you’re making them better. Keep it up! It’s worth it. 

Without further ado, here is my 9th annual Things My Dad Taught Me (expanded again, of course) post.  

Things My Dad Taught Me 

  • A person doesn’t have to be brave to act brave, but the result is the same. 
  • If you’re not early, you’re late. 
  • Chickens always come home to roost. Leaving the door open is on you. 
  • You can take the fast way or the long way to get anywhere, but only one gives you something to talk about along the way. 
  • Critters are easier to let out than get back in, so mind your gates. 
  • The right tool makes all the difference when the job goes wrong. Dad fixing bobcat
  • You can tell more about a man by looking at his cattle than by looking at his truck. 
  • You must do favors in order to get them. 
  • Sometimes how you do a thing is more important than what you’re doing. 
  • Mud boots and snow boots are the same, as long as you have enough room for wool socks. 
  • The people who answer your call are a direct reflection of the calls you’ve answered. 
  • Effort erases a lot of mistakes. 
  • There are lots of ways to handle a nut, but most work better with a little WD40. 
  • Never let a simple answer get in the way of a good story. 
  • What people say is rarely what they do, but they’ll remember both for you, so always follow through. 
  • Assuming is just a fancy word for guessing. 
  • You can borrow money, or you can borrow trouble, but never borrow both. 
  • Both good advice and bad advice can teach you something. 
  • Brown Watkins salve, Ben-Gay, and Excedrin can fix most things that are wrong with you. 
  • Life is short and time flies, so stop for a Mountain Dew whenever you can. 
  • You don’t have to be perfect to be right.
  • If you have to pay to fix it more than once, you should learn to fix it yourself.
  • The opinions of others won’t pay your bills, so don’t save them. 
  • Make time to BS. People prefer funny stories when reminiscing. 
  • If you leave without a knife, you will wish you hadn’t. 
  • Take your time saying goodbye. It might be the last one you get. Make it worth it. 

Dad and Mom times 2

My thanks and admiration to my dad and all the others out there trying their best to teach their children lessons worth learning. Enjoy your day! 

 Flag Day is a day reserved for honoring the national flag of our country. It is celebrated on June 14th each year in the United States and represents the date in 1777 when the U.S. got approval on the design of the national flag.  

The stars and stripes of our national flag became official on June 14th, 1777, during the Revolutionary War. Each colony had their own flag, but the declaration of independence made it necessary to come together under one united flag to represent our nation. The flag had 13 stripes alternating red and white along with 13 stars on top of the blue area to represent the 13 colonies.  

In 1818, the U.S. congress added new stars to represent each new state that entered the union. Today our flag still has those original 13 red and white stripes along with 50 stars to showcase the 50 states of our nation.  

Teens holding American Flag for Flag Day

The end product here is, of course, greater than the sum of its parts. It stands for freedom and unity for all who fly it, and we here at PMG think that’s pretty great!

June is National PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Awareness Month, but it started as just one day. In 2010, the US Senate declared June 27 to be National PTSD Awareness Day. At that time, many support groups and organizations already recognized the necessity for a larger effort to aid people in seeking help. The day became a full month in 2014, via designation by the National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. The goal of this effort is to raise overall awareness of PTSD, reduce the stigma around treatment, provide support for survivors, and encourage more people to pursue treatment. 

What is PTSD?

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people develop after seeing or living through an event that caused or threatened serious harm or death. Results of this disorder can result in a wide range of symptoms and recovery times can vary greatly among those affected. Some people may suffer for weeks while others may take years to effectively recover. Common knowledge of this disorder may be relatively recent, but PTSD is nothing new. As a matter of fact, the first mention of it dates to 50 B.C.! PTSD Awareness Month TImeline

Why raise awareness?

Approximately 8 million people are currently living with PTSD, in the United States alone. Most people suffering don’t get the help they need even though treatments are available and effective. Efforts to raise awareness don’t just result in more people getting the help they need either. Effective treatment leads to lives saved, in some cases, and better quality of life for all affected. 

How can you help?

The first way to help is to know the signs that can indicate PTSD and what to do when you see them. Beyond that, proactively spreading the word is the best way to build awareness. Talking about a thing, before it’s a problem, makes people more able to recognize symptoms when they experience them AND reduces the stigma around pursuing treatment. The National Center for PTSD created a daily activity calendar for the month that makes such advocacy easy for all! 

Don’t forget self-awareness!

Awareness isn’t just for others. Whether you are a military veteran or a life-long civilian, it’s possible that a previous traumatic event could be the cause of current mental health issues. Only a trained provider can diagnose and treat PTSD but you can take an easy, 5 question self-assessment to help you decide if it’s something you should be talking about with your doctor or mental health provider. Remember, knowledge is power and answers to your questions are out there. You have the power to help people with PTSD, even if one of those people is yourself! 

FlexTrades wants to take the time to acknowledge and congratulate all the high school and college seniors that are graduating this year!  

I (Bailey) recently graduated from the University of St. Thomas in January and have been working as a marketing associate for FlexTrades since the beginning of February 2022. The adjustment from school to work is not a linear one and can be drastically different from person to person.  

It can be overwhelming to have everything change so quickly. I put together a few tips that have helped me through my transition in hopes that it will help a fellow graduate that is entering the work force!  

  • Be irreplaceable. Show up every day ready to take on your tasks and do them to the best of your ability! 
  • Stay organized. Have a place for each of your items. Create folders and know where all of your information is. 
  • Have a plan. Write out your weekly schedule and include meetings/deadlines.  
  • Ask questions. No matter the question, always ask when you are unsure about something. Seeking to understand is always seen as an admirable trait by those around you. 
  • Get involved. The best way to start to feel comfortable at work is to go to the work events! 
  • Be on time. This is simple but so important. If you aren’t 5 minutes early, you are late. 
  • Authenticity is key. Be yourself and do not be afraid to share your ideas. Managers want to flood their meetings with creative ideas, and they can’t be the only ones dreaming them up. light bulbs cog Idea. plan think analyze creative startup business. illustration creativity modern concept vector.
  • It is okay to make a mistake. There’s an important difference between a mistake and habitual errors. Own up to it and learn from it. Your manager will forgive you.  
  • Bring a good attitude. Keep your mindset positive, and if you are struggling take a 5-minute break. 
  • Take it day by day! Write out your to do’s before you begin each day at work, do not stress about the future.  

Once again congrats on graduating, FlexTrades wishes you the best of luck in your future endeavors! If you are looking for work, however, come join our team. Click to visit website