Sunday, June 30, 2013

Post Pictures Ice Cream

Our family pictures are done and I think they turned out pretty freaking awesome.  She got a bunch of the family, the boys and some of just Jen and I, been a long time since Jen and I had pictures together.  Since the boys did such a good job we thought we would treat them to some ice cream up at the Last Lick.  Even though Marshall said his mouth hurt from smiling so much he was able to eat his ice cream just fine.

Pictures From The Farm

Here are some panoramic photos I took at Kathy's farm today while I was waiting on Jen to get her makeup finished.  Jen couldn't believe that I had such artistic vision.  Actually she didn't realize I could take panoramic photos with my phone which made her jealous when she found out.  ;)

Jen Getting Dolled Up

The makeup artist and hair professional showed up to get Jen all dolled up for our family pictures. I was thinking after she gets all her makeup on and looking good I'm going to look like a troll standing next to her. That's alright that's what ever guy likes is a woman that makes other guys wonder how a turd like that ended up with such a hot woman.

Miss Effies Flower Farm

Here we are at Miss Effies flower farm getting ready for our family pictures. Our pictures aren't until 5 but we had to be here early so that Jen could get her makeup done. The boys and I have an hour and a half to kill but at least Kathy has 4G on the farm so we can watch some Netflix or something ;-)

Golfing This Morning

First thing this morning when Marshall and I got up we headed over to the golf course to get a round in and beat the crowds. Well it turns out you don't beat the crowds by showing up to the golf course at 9am on a Sunday. Now I've been out there before in Sunday and I was the only one in the course until 11am but this morning it was packed and we were clearly not the first to show up by a long shot. We ended up only getting 6 holes in because Jen was making breakfast and I needed to get a 2 hour ride in before we had family pictures this afternoon. I wasn't hitting the ball all the great but Marshall and I had a good time and that's all the matters.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Donuts For Breakfast

With Jen leaving early to head to CR to run some errands and pick out picture clothes for the boys that left me in charge of breakfast for the boys.  Normally I would go to my old stand by, cereal, but we were out of milk so I had to think of something else.  Well I figured I would get some good daddy points and take the kids to the bakery in Tipton to pick some donuts out.  From the looks of the picture above we may have went a tad crazy with the amount of donuts we bought but we had to make sure everyone got what they wanted.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Need New Pictures

Today at work I was looking at the picture on my desk and noticed that my pictures of the boys are a bit out of date.  You can tell it's a younger Marshall but Clancey is so young it's hard to know it's even him.  Good thing that we are getting new pictures taken on Sunday so I can finally refresh my pictures.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Boys Are Home

After being gone for nearly a week at Mema and Papa's the boys are back home!  At first it's kind of nice to have a bit of a break from being a parent but that only last a day or two and then you just start missing the kids.  It's not like they are babies anymore, so when they are gone it's not like it's any less work, you just miss having your friends around.  Tonight when they got home we decided to put Harley on the leash and take a walk as a family to celebrate their arrival back home and just be able to get outside and enjoy the summer some.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Crazy Rain

Over night we got a torrential downpour over here in north east Cedar county and it ended up causing a lot of problems.  Generally when we get a whole lot of rain the north side of Clarence floods but I've never seen rain like this.  On the way to work there is a park and a little creek about 2 mile west of town and when I got there water was covering the road.  In fact if I would have left any earlier I'm not sure I would have been able to get through.  The real story though is the poor city of Lowden.  I guess they ended up getting 6 inches of rain in something like 4 hours and it flooded the whole south side of town.  Hard to believe considering they don't really have any major bodies of water that run through the city.  I guess when you get that much rain in such a short time you are going to get some flash flooding.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Harley Playing With His New Chew Toy

Historic Bridge

On the way back from Stone City I saw this bridge over the river that I had always wanted to stop and check out. Not really sure of the significance of the bridge, since there was no signage to speak of, but it did have a pretty cool view. Been awhile since Jen and I bummed around in the car checking things out forgot how fun it was.

Lunch In Stone City

With the kids away today it left Jen and I on our own to do whatever we wanted. Well after sleeping in until 9 and having a breakfast we decided that we should go out and have lunch somewhere. We really couldn't decided until Jen brought up Stone City which sounded pretty good so we fired up the GPS and headed that way. We got a little before 1 for a late lunch and had the place to ourselves for the most part. Once we got done with our lunch we decided to go checkout the church that is in the hill to the east of the restaurant. We know the kids are going to be pretty jealous of our trip but when the kids are away mom and dad will play.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lunch at Mill Creek

After only being able to ride half of my ride today I was back in Clarence at noon and was able to meet up with the family for lunch at Mill Creek.  Mema and papa had come over to Clarence to pick the boys up for a week long visit to their house.  Papa is a huge fan of Mill Creek so when they come over they always stop in for a bite to eat.  It was nice to get to see the boys before they took off for the week and give them a proper hug and kiss.

FYI... Boy boys passed their swim tests this morning at swim lessons and are moving on to the next level :)

Riding Ironman Wisconsin Course

Today I decided that I would take the day off and drive up to Madison to ride the bike course with some friends.  I had planned on going tomorrow but with some people I know going up to day it seemed like the better plan.  I got up at 4am ate some breakfast and was out the door by 4:30.  I got to Verona, the start of the bike loop, about 10 to 7:00 and was off right at the scheduled time of 7am.  I got a new active camera that I decided to take with me today so see if I could get a few good pics, which it turns out I did.  The ride started off pretty good the weather looked like it was going to stay north of us and we were good to go.

Loop Ironman course for the most part is on the back roads near Madison but there are couple places where you have a short stint on more populated roads and that is when you get big truck traffic flying by you.  This isn't actually a close call but really I put the picture up to show what the viewpoint looks like from your bike.  As a reminder please give us space.
Anyways we were about an hour and a half into our ride before the clouds started to move in and it started to rain a bit.  It wasn't too bad but we were keeping an eye and figured we could beat the rain back to Verona and we might have had I not gotten a flat.
In my 5 years of riding I've never gotten a flat before and today of all days in my hurry to get going I left my bike bag with my spare tube behind.  At least I was with a group and they all had enough spare stuff to get me back on the road.  With the weather coming I told them to go on without me to try and beat the weather back which left me on the side of the road all by myself.  Right as I got my tire changed the weather got there and it just started to down pour.
The picture above doesn't do it justice but let me tell you it was bad and there was nothing I could do but ride and hope I didn't get another flat since I was by myself now and didn't have anything to fix it.  I ended up riding another 3 miles before I got to a huge downhill and, with it rain like heck, my brakes didn't work very well.  I decided to get off my bike and walk down the hill.  As I got off my bike I car pulled up and asked if I wanted a ride which under normal circumstances I would say no but today with the rain and the threat of another flat I told her yes.  I thanked her profusely for giving me a ride the last 10 miles into Verona.  Today kind of turned out to be a bust but at least I got part of a loop in and I didn't crash or get hurt which is always a good thing.  Hopefully I can make it up there again this year and get my 80 miles in, if not, no big deal I have logged a lot of miles on that course.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Marshall Teeing Off

Here is a video I took of Marshall teeing off on #7 at Lowden.  As you can see it was a really nice day out.  It was a bit warm but most of the bugs are gone and it was just a nice day to be out golfing with the boys.

Father's Day Golf

After my breakfast in bed the boys and I piled into the car for what I'm thinking is going to be our annual Father's Day golf outing.  I'm hoping that one of the boys becomes the CEO or a major corporation or a Master's Champion so someday we could have this outing at Augusta National, but for this year we are headed over to Lowden 3/30 Club to play some golf.  I thought the course would be busier then it was so it was a nice surprise to see very few people out on the course this morning. It's nice to not be pushed so the kids and I can really enjoy ourselves and they can play some golf too.  I actually had a great day out golfing today.  On hole #9 I got a Green In Regulation by hitting a 200 yard drive off the tee and following it up with a 200 yard 3 wood off the fairway to the green.  Not very often can a person, of my skill level, nail a 200 yard club and land on the fairway.  I did 3 putt the hole so I didn't par but I'm happy with my game none the less.  Both the boys had a great time hanging out with me and taking turns driving the cart.  Marshall played a few holes but for the most part just hung out in the cart and chatted with Clancey and I.  I uploaded my score card for those of you who are curious how I did today.

Father's Day Morning

Father's Day morning started with the boys making me breakfast in bed.  They had gotten up early to decorate the living room with a bunch of stuff.  That spelled out Dad in both Xbox 360 games and in Magic the Gathering cards all while they were preparing a bowl of cereal and a glass of milk for me in bed.  

Once I got up they had a card and a gift for me that the boys had picked out.  They both knew that I would love a box of Titlelist Pro V1 golf balls and had Jen get it for me yesterday at the store.  Pretty great way to start out Father's Day if you ask me.  I"m thinking that the boys and I are going to have to go golf this morning for sure so I can see how my new balls play.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Clancey Skateboarding For the First Time

Here is a video I took of Clancey and I skateboarding yesterday.  It's a bit long, 15 minutes, but I figured those how want to watch it all can and those who don't, don't have too.  It was before I put my skates on but you will be able to see my trying to teach Clancey to Ollie the skateboard which I don't do a very good job of.

Another Long Workout

Today it was another long workout in the pain cave in preparation for my 6th Ironman.  I started off with a 4:15 bike ride in the basement, I wanted to go outside but when I started it was raining and I don't like biking on the roads when Jen is out of town.  I followed up the bike with a 1:20 run out on the highways north of Clarence.  So total today it was 5 and a half hours of working out, nothing like starting a workout at 8:00am when Jen and the boys leave for Cedar Rapids and just be finishing up when they got back home around 2:00pm.  The workout felt really good, besides being very long and somewhat boring it really didn't hurt too bad and I managed to keep my pace the whole time.  Tomorrow is Father's Day and I'm probably going to keep it to a short bike or run and just enjoy spending the day with the family.

Skating With Clancey

When we left I grabbed my old bag of skates out of the basement just in case I decided to skate with him.  Well it didn't take long of watching Clancey skate before he convinced me to skate with him.  It has been a lot of years since I've skated regularly, when I was in high school and college it was something I did almost every day but with many things of your youth you kid of stop at some point.  Even though it had been a lot of year I was surprised how quickly it comes back to you.  I'm not sure I would be ready to go bombing off a huge flight of stairs but I can at least get around without falling down.

Skateboarding With Clancey

This morning Jen and the boys headed to Cedar Rapids while I did my workout. Well while they were there Jen bought Clancey a new pair of shoes, skateboarding shoes. Of course the second they got Clancey wanted to get the skateboard out and give them a try. Since they were having a golf tournament today and we couldn't go golf I told Clancey we could head out and try some skateboarding. This is only the second time he's ever skateboarded and the last time was a few years back so I thanks it's fair to say this is his first time and it turns out Clancey is pretty good. After he got the hang of it he was working on learning to an Ollie and wasn't doing to bad if you ask me. I took a pretty long video of us skateboarding that I will try and get uploaded so for the time being the pictures will have to do.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sleep Out Went Well

While they didn't make it the whole night the sleep out went well last night.  I guess both the boys were out like lights almost immediately that left Jen to toss and turn all night at every weird sound in the lawn.  They didn't make it all night, came in about 4:00am, but they heard some thunder in the distance and didn't want to risk getting caught in the rain.  Maybe one of these weekends that I don't have a big workout the next day I could go sleep with the kids in the house.  Heck maybe we could even have a fire and roast some marshmallows first.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sleep Out in the Little House

Tonight Jen and the Boys are having there first sleepout in the little house on the north lawn.  They tried to convince me to sleep in it with them but I told them that I have work tomorrow and sleeping on a hardwood floor really didn't seem that appealing.  Hopefully it isn't too buggy and the storms stay away so they can have a good sleep out.  I also hope that Jen doesn't come inside tomorrow looking like a twisted up pretzel.  It's amazing the hard stuff and crazy positions you can sleep in as a kid but as an adult that same thing about kills you.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Clancey Shooting Paintballs

Sunday afternoon Clancey and I went out into the backyard and I let him shoot some paintballs.  As you can see he is a pretty good shot.

Great Workout

After being gone for the past week I haven't been able to get the workouts in that I really wanted and needed to get in.  Today I decided that I really needed to make up for lost workouts and get a long workout in.  I really wasn't sure how far I was going to go but I was thinking on the order of 3-4 hours.  I got on my bike and I was really feeling it and ended up going for 3:10 and getting a total of 62 miles in.  Coming off the bike I was in the midst of a major workout high and really wanted to try my new shoes out, pictured above.  When I hit the road I was still in the groove and got in 6.5 miles and was averaging 8:26 miles which is a pretty good clip considering I just got off a 3 hour bike ride.  All in all I got over a 4 hour workout in and felt damn good.  This was really a breakthrough workout and with 91 days until Ironman I'm really feeling like things are getting dial in for Wisconsin.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Golfling With the Kids

The boys and I decided the best way to spend our afternoon was to head over to the golf course and get some holes in.  I promised Clancey that we would get a cart but when we got there all the carts were being used so we had to walk.  Turned out that, since he wasn't sick, walking wasn't too bad and in fact he liked walked because it was easier to find golf balls that way.
Marshall was golfing like a champ today.  He didn't get any pars but he was hitting ball really well and if the course had kid tee's he would have probably had a darn fine score.  Once he gets a little bigger and has some power he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Clancey didn't play much golf today but he still had a good time looking for golf balls.  Figure there is no reason to push him, if he wants to play he can play, if he doesn't no big deal.  Although if he is going to be on the PGA tour he probably should get started pretty quick ;)

Family Made It Home

The family finally made it home around 1pm today and it was great too see them.  Too bad when the kids ran in the door the first they wanted to do was pet Harley.  Guess dad's play second fiddle to boys and their dogs at this age.  Well either way it was good to see everyone and I'm happy they are home.  Not sure what the plan it but after the kids have been cooped up all day I think I need to get them outside some.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Made It Home

After a lengthy trip halfway across the country I made it home, too bad the family is gone and won't be home until Saturday.  Feels like haven't seen the family in forever and kind of sucks that I have to wait another day.  I guess I can try to hook up with some friends tomorrow and hang out.

Headed Home

After a couple days of meetings in Sunnyvale I am back on the plane headed home. Yesterday turned out to be a very productive day of meetings, in fact I almost decided to stay for another day to keep the work going. The only real disappointment is that I was never able to hook up with my friends who live out in Sunnyvale to see their home and catch up. That's alway the bummer about business travel, it's just that business travel. You work all day, debrief, eat supper and by then it's time to head to bed. Unless you span a weekend you rarely get to do anything fun in the location you are at.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

First Day Of Meetings Done

Well our first day of meetings are over and they went well. It wasn't the busiest of days but what we needed to get accomplished we succeeded in. Tomorrow will be a bit busier I suspect and we will also get an opportunity to do some networking at the social after the day of meetings. And now it's time to go find a place to hang out for a while and do a debrief of the days meetings.

Morning Run

I got to Sunnyvale last night around 6pm, got checked in and headed out to grab something to eat. We went to this local brew pub called Faultline and had a really great meal. We sat around had a few drinks and got home around 930. This morning one of my travel companions and I got up for a 530am run which felt awesome. The sun was coming, up the breeze was cool and it was just an all around nice morning for a run. Now I'm headed to go shower up and go to my all day meeting. Fun, fun.

Monday, June 03, 2013

On The Plane

I'm on my flight from Dallas to San Francisco and the plane has wifi which is pretty cool so I figured I should check it out. If nothing else it is cool to be able to surf the Web for the whole flight.

Headed To California

Here I am at the airport getting ready to jump on the plane and head to California. Going a be a long day of travel then a week of meetings, hopefully I can find some time to visit friends and see some things.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Headed to California

Tomorrow morning I hop on a plane to go to Sunnyvale, California for work for the next week.  I was just thinking that the last time I traveled for work it was to Sweden and it was the day after my last triathlon.  At least this time the race was only an hour long vs. the 13 hours an Ironman takes, so I won't be near as sore wandering through the airports.  It's been a lot of years since I've been out to the San Jose/San Francisco area so I'm looking forward to taking in sights again.  Hopefully me and my travel companions are able to get some time to go see a few things before we come back on Thursday.

Finisher Certificate

Pigman Triathlon

This morning was the Pigman Sprint Triathlon to get the triathlon season officially kicked off.  Let me tell you this morning it was down right cold to do the race.  When I was driving to Palo at 5am my thermometer in m car said it was 53 degrees and I'm not sure that is warmed up much beyond that.  Normally with a water temperature of 64 degrees you would be worried about how cold the water felt but today the water was 10 degrees warmer then the air temp so it actually felt quite good.  I'm glad that I have a full wetsuit with sleeves now.  I was really torn as to what to wear on the bike, with 55 degrees and a heavy wind I was worried that I would get too cold in just trishorts and a jersey.  I decided not to wear anything on the top and besides being a bit numb it didn't feel too bad.  Since I was racing I was keeping my heart rate pretty high which subsequently kept my body temp up.  Over all the race went really good.  I really wanted to PR today but with the conditions it just wasn't in the cards.  I did manage to PR the swim and the run but I was about 3:30 off my bike PR which was just a bit much to overcome.  I ended up with a 1:23.00 a 98th/614 overall finish and 17th/52 in my age group.  I swam a 10:07, biked a 46:28, and ran a 22:14 so I'm quite pleased with my performance.  My next race is a half Ironman in Racine in mid July so I have plenty of time to train but with this race I'm feeling really good with how I can do with season.  

Onion Grove Bar

Last night was the grand opening of the new Onion Grove Bar in Clarence.  He had been open previously in another location but it got condemned after the building started to fall down so after a couple months of work he turned the old Casey's gas station building into a pretty awesome little bar.  With it being his grand opening he had hired 2 bands to come play, both of which came with very great reviews.  It was too bad I had a triathlon this morning and had to be up at 4:30am or Jen and I could have celebrated our anniversary at the grand opening.  I went up for 30 minutes to give the owner congrats on getting his new place set up but headed home early so I could finish packing my triathlon gear and get to bed.  Since I couldn't go Jen and some of her friends decided to go up to check it out.  They had a great time, she said the bands were really good, the atmosphere was nice and the whole town came out.  It's exciting to have a new place in town that has live bands on the weekends, I can't wait until Jen and I can both go up and see a band!

Anniversary Dinner With Clancey

Yesterday afternoon Marshall got invited to go play at his friends house which meant Clancey was hanging with the parents for the afternoon and early evening.  To put it mildly, he was quite disappointed he couldn't go.  He gets along with Marshall's friend but since he was going over to his house it didn't feel right inviting Clancey along too.  Since I had to pick up my packet for Pigman we told Clancey that we would take him out to a special supper with us to celebrate our anniversary.  After a brief discussion we decided that Olive Garden seemed like a pretty good place to have dinner with dessert at DQ.  With that decided we all piled in the car to head to CR for the afternoon.
Whenever we go out to a restaurant we realized how great of kids we have.  How many parents would take a 5 year old kid on their anniversary dinner and how many 5 year old kids would sit there and act like a little adult.  This kid sat there like a little trooper, coloring in his kids book, from time to time chiming in on the conversation and couldn't have been more of a delight to spend the evening with.  We had a great dinner and we had a great time with Clancey, who made it all that much more special!

Paintball With Clancey

Yesterday morning after we had breakfast Jen told me that she really wanted to get her tomato plates put in the ground while it wasn't raining.  She was out there for all of about 5 minutes when she was back inside telling me I needed to head to Tipton to get her a bug head net.  For those who don't know, the gnats have been awful over in Eastern Iowa for the past couple weeks.  In fact I haven't been able to do any golfing because the gnats are so bad flying in your face that you can't concentrate to hit the ball.  Well I jumped right in the car and headed to Thiesen's in Tipton to get Jen a head net and while I was down there I decided to get some new paintballs for my paintball gun.
The other day Clancey and I were downstairs messing around and I got it out to show him, well ever since then he has been pretty fascinated by it and I thought it would be a special treat for him to get to shoot it.  Kind of another funny part to the story, when I bought the paintballs I got IDed because apparently I look like I'm under 18.  Like Jen said to me, I look good for my age but passing for a teenager is a stretch.
When I got home I gave the head net to Jen while Clancey and I got my paintball gun out.  At first he was a bit timid shooting it but by the end of 50 or so paintballs he was an old pro.  He told me that he wants to go out and play someday so I told him as soon as he gets a little older we could probably go do that.