Late Summer Happenings

Lucia’s first time going off the diving board.
Susan and Shelly in Shelly’s classic car.
We went to a Des Moines Menace playoff game. They lost on PKs.
We went to a car show.
We decorated the sidewalk.
We went for a walk along the Des Moines river while Mari was at soccer tryouts.
Making bracelets was a popular activity this summer.
I was a referee at Keeper Wars, a goalie competition.
The kids made our foam float into a slide for the pool.
The girls played in the creek on a walk with Susan.
We got a cool volleyball net for the pool.
We went for a hike at Greenwood Park.
Rose, Lucia, and I went to the state fair.
Andrew and Susan went to Eatery A for a final meal. College departure is close.
Boy Cousins. They had a final weekend together, spending the night and doing some fun activities.
Mari’s soccer season started, with a new club. She is in the white.
We got a new couch.
8/16 – We had the Liesses and Reagens over for one last dinner before Andrew and Ian head off to college.

Birthday Weekend

This weekend we celebrated Mari’s 17th birthday and my 41st birthday. The Reagens and Mimi and Papa came over a couple of times for cake and ice cream.

Mari likes to go to PF Chang’s for her birthday dinner. This is probably the most popular sit-down restaurant for our family.
Cousin Swimming
Rob and Mari
On Saturday night Susan, Rose, Lucia and I went to see an outdoor performance of Into the Woods.
Swimming on my birthday.

Ski Trip with Andrew

This past weekend Andrew and I went to visit Regis University in Denver and then went skiing at Keystone. Andrew did a wonderful job snowboarding. I managed to make it down the hill a few times on my skis.

Lunch Parking Lot
Tunnel in the training zone. This was Andrew’s first time officially snowboarding and my first time on skis since college.
Ready to get started.

August 2021

Minneapolis Soccer Tournament

This weekend we headed to Minneapolis for a soccer tournament for Mari’s team. We watched a lot of soccer and spent a lot of time hanging out with friends.

Mari must be out there somewhere.
Susan, Lucia, and Rose took a morning off to visit friends: Hope, Sarah, Susan, and Jen.
Saturday was my 40th birthday, so we had a little party in our hotel room.

The rest of May

I have been woefully behind on the blog. I decided that to catch up I would just do a few posts that cover entire months. Here comes May. . .

Filling the pool with a sand foundation.
Spreading the sand
Susan, Mary, and Erin
Working on the liner
Working on the liner
Ian was the first one in the pool
Rose, Ian, and Lucia
Hope and Mari reffing
Going away party for our neighbor Vi
Generic pool shot
Lucia playing socer
Lucia’s Soccer Team
Rose’s Soccer Team
Elliot after band concert
Dew Tour
Rob Axe Throwing with Friends
Susan and Rob on anniversary date

MM100

Susan and I have been regularly exercising this winter, doing Beachbody’s Morning Meltdown 100. We are almost done. Here is a timelapse of one of our workouts.

Colorado Trip

My uncle Tom, who lives in Colorado Springs, has not been doing well. His mental and physical health have been declining and I had the opportunity to go visit with him for a few days at the end of last week. Susan stayed home on kid duty and I spent my days visiting with Tom, making time for a hike each day.

Susan playing at the creek with the kids.
Lucia chasing after Elliot.
I camped in Colorado. It felt like our RV trip to pull into the campground after dark and have to find my spot.
The view from my office. I worked on Eastern Time, so I had a couple of hours each day to get some work done before heading in to visit with Tom. I was fortunate that the weather was still warm.
My first good view of the mountains.
Uncle Tom, resting
Tom liked to hold hands and one of my primary responsibilities when I was there was to make sure I was available for that.
Meanwhile, life went on at home and Susan had to get all of the kids to their activities. here, Andrew is running in a XC meet , maybe at Southeast Polk.
My first hike in Colorado Springs was to Garden of the Gods. I tried to stay pretty close to town.
Susan also had to get up early with Oreo, who insists on waking us just a little earlier than we would like.
During this time, Mari also submitted her application to work at Coldstone Creamery. With soccer and XC winding down she will have more free time, and she is saving up for a new phone.
Soccer fans.
Red Rock Open Space in the foreground, with Garden of the Gods in the background.
Susan and the kids enjoying a fire.

Graduation Party

I started working on my MBA back in the spring of 2017. I took some time off because of our trip and finished up a couple of weeks ago. There was a slight delay in officially celebrating my graduation because I was waiting on a final grade. We had the Reagens and Mimi and Papa over to celebrate and Susan and the girls put together a mini graduation ceremony for me. I probably spent about 3-5 hours each week working on my MBA work and it will be nice to have that time back.

I put this one in just for Ian.

Dean!

About 10 years ago I started playing guitar. I wasn’t ready to invest in a new guitar when I was just getting started, so I had to choose between my mom’s old guitar and Kathie’s old guitar. I took them both into a shop and they said that Kathie’s guitar was in better shape, so I went with that one. I have been playing that same guitar for the past 10 years.

This year for my birthday a few families chipped in to help me buy a new guitar and this weekend I came home with Dean. Dean is actually the company that made the guitar, but it says Dean right on top so that is what we are calling it. I actually wasn’t planning on getting something so fancy or flashy, but of all the guitars I looked at it just felt like the right choice.

Dean. I think I just couldn’t get past that bridge.

RUN Freedom 5k

This year I am signed up for a series of four 5k races based on Nevada, Iowa. The first race was postponed, but they held this race in a socially-distanced format, with contactless packet pickup and staggered starts to distance the runners. The race went OK for me, and I am glad to have something to train for.

Rob’s Birthday

We celebrated my birthday on Wednesday, with Mari’s. For dinner tonight we had we had sandwich bar, which I love, and then we had something for dessert. I think we made brownie sundaes, which is great.

For my gift this year several families chipped in to help my buy a new guitar. I started looking this afternoon and hope to make a purchase soon.