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    Archive for September 2011

    A little business trip

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    US Capitol Building  

    I was in D.C. for work this past week (well, really I was staying in Arlington, VA). I attended a really great conference, but also found some time to sneak around the city by foot and also by bike. My hotel rented free bicycles, so on one free afternoon I borrowed one and toured all over the city and monuments. It was a fantastic day! I also was able to visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the monuments by night as well. While it was a great trip, I missed Mike and the kids and was very ready to be home when my last flight landed in Rochester.

      Dr. King Memorial Lincoln Memorial My bike rental and the Lincoln Memorial Jefferson Memorial

    One tooth less

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    First lost tooth!

    Benjamin has had his first loose tooth for about a month and has been so excited for it to finally fall out. He pulled and twisted it as much as he could lately, hoping it would come out. Yesterday while watching the Packers game at a restaurant in LaCrosse, he pulled it so much that it was hanging by a thread and causing him a lot of pain. Mom came to the rescue and although that tooth had made me so squeamish, I found the strength (not physical) to take him into the bathroom and yank it out once and for all. He was so pleased with himself and so excited to tell everyone about his tooth. Daddy wrapped it up and carefully placed it in his pocket. When we got home, we put it into an envelope and Benjamin placed it under his pillow at bedtime.

    This tooth fairy business has been bothering me since I knew we'd be soon playing the role. How do you sneak in their room at night? How do you pull out the hidden tooth without waking them up? How much money do we leave? This would be a good time for that parents' handbook that doesn't exist.  Daddy took this job thankfully and successfully sneaked into Benjamin's room at night to make the switch undetected.  Benjamin is a mover and shaker when he sleeps, so he had some trouble finding it in the morning, but was very happy to find "just one dollar??!"  Kids these days.

    Our Ultramarathon Man

    This weekend Mike ran the longest distance of his life - 31.1 miles through some very difficult trails at the North Face Endurance Challenge near Milwaukee. The kids and I braved cool early morning (VERY early morning) temperatures to watch him achieve this amazing feat. Although he said he may never need to do an ultra-distance ever again now, he was happy with his time - 5 hours, 10 minutes, 53 seconds - 38th place out of 183 runners!  We are so proud of him!

    We had a great weekend away in Wisconsin with the race, a visit with the Ryan Family cousins and watching the Packers win in friendly territory!

    Benjamin and Daddy Mommy and Lucy Start of the race Waiting to see Daddy Beautiful area where we waited to see Mike Mike finishing at 5 hours, 10 minutes

    Bikes, Running and Birthdays

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    While Mike was out of town with his brother Joe volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin (more on that later), the kids and I visited my parents to celebrate my Mom's birthday. We took her to Snuffy's Malt Shop for some rootbeer floats and burgers and then to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to see the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry for the first time. It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed relaxing in the shade at the Garden.

      Minneapolis Sculpture Garden  
    Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

    I woke up early Sunday morning to participate in my very first cycling event. I had signed up for the St. Paul Classic Bike Tour and was both excited and nervous about the event. A few weeks before I had purchased a new road bike and had only been on it one time before, so I wasn't sure how comfortable I would be with it. Plus, it is always harder to do these kind of things alone. But the ride turned out to be so much fun and I am so glad I did it. My bike and I had some serious bonding time together, it was great. I brought my camera along on the ride and got some great shots, here are a few:
      "Black Satin" is ready to ride Lilydale Rest Stop Ramsey Hill Badge of Honor Shepard Road into Downtown St. Paul

    So as I mentioned, Mike was in Wisconsin with his brother volunteering for Ironman.  The reason why they volunteered was because this gave them the chance to register early for Ironman 2012.  Both boys are going to race next year in what may possibly be the biggest race of their lives: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run.  Yowza!


    First Day of School

    Tuesday, September 06, 2011

    First days of school

    Today is the first day of first grade for Benjamin.  He has been so excited about starting school for a long time now.  All weekend he's been saying "I wish it was Tuesday!"  So now Tuesday is here, his new backpack is packed and he walked into school with a spring in his step.  Montessori school separates kids into classes that each have three different grade levels in it.  So this year is his first year in "E1," which includes first, second and third grade students.  There are a lot of changes as he moves up this year including a new teacher, a locker of his own (last year he had just a cubby in the classroom) and homework.  Believe it or not, but he is most looking forward to the homework...for now anyway!

    This weekend we met up with a bunch of Schmitts at a park in Cannon Falls (halfway between us and the Twin Cities).  Benjamin and Lucy both enjoyed playing with their cousins and exploring the park.  Here are some photos from the day:
    Lucy exploring German Cousins Grandpa swinging! Albert Grandma, Grandpa and the Grandkids Benjamin Lucy loving the grass