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    Archive for July 2009

    Friday, July 31, 2009

    I feel like I've been neglecting my blogging duties lately. I guess it has been one of those times where living life becomes more important than writing about it. Also, work has been busy for me, so my usual blogging time slot has been filled up with effort put toward planning a research symposium. But I won't bore you with details about my job.

    What have we been up to lately? Well, last weekend - not much. Friday was Winona and Saturday I drove up to the Cities solo for a girls night dinner to celebrate sister-in-law, Jen's birthday. I came home late Saturday night so that I could have the whole day on Sunday at home. We read the paper outside on the deck in our beautiful unsummer-like weather and then went out for a tasty Mexican meal for an outdoor lunch. It was a lovely day. Wednesday night we drove up to the Cities again to surprise everyone gathered at Mike's parents house for Jen's actual birthday. Benjamin hadn't seen his grandparents or cousins in a very long time and since they weren't going to be coming down here anytime soon, we decided to go up to them.

    Mike joined a swim club this week. They have open swimming with coaches available to members every weekday morning from 5:30am-7:30am at a local outdoor pool. He's been getting some tips in order to more efficiently swim in his next triathlon on August 8th. He has also started his Twin Cities Marathon training with his weekend long runs. Benjamin and I are volunteering as a waterstop for the run this Saturday. Hopefully the weather is nice. We always enjoy seeing the runners early in the morning.

    Speaking of volunteering, I took an interesting position recently. I am now a member of the Great River Ragnar Relay SWAT team as a Major Exchange Manager for the race on August 21st. I am going to manage a large group of volunteers at an exchange in Modena, Wisconsin (pretty much the middle of nowhere). Mike has done this relay race for the past 2 years, but couldn't get a large enough group of runners to run it this year. A call came out by email for people that were able to do more than your average volunteer and since I worked at an exchange for last year's race, I decided to see if they would take me. I'm told that this could involve traveling to the other relay races across the country, which happen in sweet places like Washington State, Utah, Vegas, LA, Florida, etc, etc. Who knows if that will happen, but at least I get a free race entry and an official Ragnar jacket, shirt and hat. I'm all for the swag!

    We are still working on planning our trip to Colorado. We've had to move it around a bit due to some scheduling conflicts, but at this point it looks like we'll be going August 12-19. I've been on the hunt to find some reasonable (i.e. CHEAP) lodging and it hasn't been easy. Traveling with Benjamin means that we ideally want to stay somewhere that has a closed off room with a bed so that when he goes to sleep, we can stay up and not disturb him. One bedroom places usually come with a kitchen, which we don't need, but with the kitchen comes a bigger price. Sooo, we'll see. We will be driving there (because we like torture) and will split up the drive to Colorado with one night in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mike and I made this same trip in September 2004, which is nice because we kind of know what to expect. It is 8 hours to Rapid City, SD from Rochester and then 6 hours to Estes Park, CO from there. We will have to stop along the way though with requisite visits to the Mitchell Corn Palace, the Bad Lands and Wall-Drug, of course. I am personally very excited to stop again at the Sonic in Cheyenne, WY. Those of us in Rochester are forced to watch Sonic commercials on our local tv stations without a Sonic restaurant anywhere close to us. Those delicious shakes topped with mountains of whipped cream get me everytime! Mostly though I am SO looking forward to mountain views. There is just something so romantic about the Rocky Mountains. We can't wait to share that with Benjamin.

    It is Friday and we have yet another relaxing weekend at home ahead of us. How'd we get to be so lucky?!?

    Top of the World, Ma!

    Monday, July 27, 2009

    Benjamin and I drove down to Winona Friday morning to visit a friend from my college days, Samantha. Sam and Jake have the cutest little girls, Nora (almost 3) and Nina (15 months). Benjamin and Nora loved getting into mischief together while Sam and I caught up a bit. After our visit, I took Benjamin up to the top of the bluffs at the Garvin Heights lookout. For those of you who do not know, Mike and I both went to Winona State, where we met THIRTEEN years ago. Winona will always hold a special place in our hearts and we both love visiting very much. As Benjamin gets older, he is more able to understand the significance of the place and can enjoy the cool stuff Winona has to offer. He was very intrigued with the bluffs, so when I took him up to the lookout, he was SO excited. We stayed up there for quite a while, exploring and hiking down/up a trail. Unfortunately, our time up there had to end because Benjamin decided to fall down a small hill and cover himself in mud. All good things must come to an end, I guess.

    Benjamin on top of Winona at Garvin Heights

    I'm behind, I know.

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    I had totally planned to write up a post that summarized my trip to Hawaii and the boys' time at home last week, but I just never got around to it. Now it has been so long since I returned that I am not sure I feel like getting into the nitty gritty about the whole trip. Some of the highlights included many many tropical drinks, swimming at Waikiki Beach (where our resort was), a drive up the North Shore of the island with cousins Roland and Cicely and of course, Kelly and Mike's beautiful wedding. Getting married on a beach in Hawaii certainly has its benefits - the sunset behind the ceremony was stunning, also the food was outstanding (definitely some of the best wedding food I've ever had). Mom and I had a lot of fun on the trip, but by the end we were ready to come home to see our dudes.

    While we were away, Mike and Benjamin kept very busy by fishing with Grandpa Ed, playing with friends and attending the only All Comers Track Meet that we made it to this summer. Though they had some great bonding time, I think they were also happy to have me home again when I got back. The next week flew by for all of us. This weekend we hosted our Sister-in-law/Aunt Jen and the two of us attended the new Harry Potter movie, which was AWESOME! She was also able to stay for a while on Sunday afternoon too, which was so fun. Benjamin was SO happy to have her all to himself, which has never happened before, so it was a big treat! The weekend ended too quickly for us all. Last night I pulled out our old home movies from when Benjamin was a baby. He loved watching them. We watched 8 video tapes worth of stuff and just finished them all today. Now he wants to watch them all again, aiyiyi. It was amazing to see how much he's grown. What happened to our little curly-haired baby?!? Compared to the little guy on those movies, we have ourselves a little man now! He's still a cutie though. :-)

    We made it!

    Monday, July 06, 2009

    Mom and I made it to Honolulu yesterday at approximately 3pm. Checked into the hotel, consumed sushi, swam on Waikiki beach, had drinks with Roland and Cicely and went to bed early. Right now we are having breakfast on a patio overlooking the ocean. The photo above is the view from our room at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort. Beautiful.

    TRI-de & True

    Wednesday, July 01, 2009

    Good morning!

    Even after all of the excitement of Benjamin's birthday, things did not settle down here at the Familie Schmitt household because Mike had his first triathlon Sunday morning. He headed out to the race site, Foster Arend beach, early in the morning to set up his transition area. A little after 8am, I gathered up the spectating troops (me, Joe, AJ, Benjamin, Jennifer and Andy) and we headed out to a spot which I hoped would be good for seeing Mike bike and run. As it turned out, the spot was fantastic! We parked at Hy-Vee and walked just a bit down to the trail. From our vantage point we could see the bikers across 37th street coming and going and also a good section of the run along the trail. It was really neat to see all of the cyclists on their bicycles which varied from very expensive triathlon bikes to run-of-the-mill mountain bikes. Mike looked strong on both the bike and the run. Jennifer dropped Joe and I off at the finish line and we were able to see Mike complete the race. He finished the 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike ride and 3.1 mile run in 1:17:42. His impressions of the race were that it was "way fun," "the bike ride kicked my butt," and "I can't wait to do the next one!" He and Joe are planning to do the Turtleman Triathlon in August, which has much longer distances for each event (1 mile swim, 23 mile bike, 5 mile run). He has already begun his training and is very excited to race again.