Thursday, August 28, 2008

More Birthday Fun

Last night, we went out with my family to celebrate Heather's birthday. We had dinner at one of our favorite spots, Bravo! Cucina at the Jordan Creek Town Center. The food was great and so was the company.
Heather and our niece Morgan hanging out together.
My mom and my sister Christa enjoying the evening.
My brother-in-law Wade, my aunt Judy and my mom are all smiles after the good food!
My dad and I sharing a laugh
Morgan hanging out with her uncle Seth.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Heather turned 25 this past weekend and I planned a surprise party for the big day. The planning started about 2 weeks ago and I recruited Joni and Kim to help me. They were more than willing to help and I couldn't have pulled it off without them, thanks again! The day started off with the leapfrog race in Dallas Center (see previous blog posting). We headed home and I made her blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Around 1:30 we headed to the Clive Aquatic Center for an afternoon in the sun. After that Heather thought we were going to head home to change and go to Bravo for dinner followed with some mini-golf. What Heather didn't know is that I had been planning a series of challenges and planting clues for her to find that would taker her on an adventure around town ending back at our house for a surprise party. I had arranged for Joni and Kim to be waiting outside the pool around 3:45 with an assortment of clues for Heather to follow. So promptly at 3:45, I checked to make sure Heather had her cell phone, gave her a kiss, wished her happy birthday and told her a car was waiting for her out front and left. As expected, she quickly questioned, "Where are you going?" But she followed directions and she gathered up our stuff and headed out to find Joni and Kim waiting with her first packet, which contained a clue and a puzzle piece, for each clue she was allotted "25" minutes to complete the challenge. That clue took her to her office where she found packet #2.
Packet #2 was stapled to the underside of the table. The next clue sent her home to get cleaned up, when she got there packet #3 was waiting on the bathroom counter.
Clue #3 took her to Boesen the Florist, where she had flowers and another packet waiting for her.
Clue #4 sent her to the Johnston Soccer Complex, she needed to make 2 out of 5 penalty kicks.
Joni was the goalie.
Action shot!
She only scored 1 out of 5, so Joni and Kim imposed a penalty of 25 push-ups.
Clue #5 included side-walk chalk.
and took her to the Vocelka's driveway where she played hangman.
Plenty of time for a quick "senior" picture pose.
Heather with the finished puzzle.
After completing the hangman puzzle, she received her next clue, #6, which took her to Hubbell Elementary where she had to cross the monkey bars and then...
...slide down the slide.
Oh what fun!
Playing on the rock wall
Clue #7 took her to Ashbey Park, to the tennis courts, where she had to win a match...
...against Kim
After tennis, Heather was blindfolded and driven around town.
Kim guiding Heather and enjoying some payback. Heather and Joni planned a surprise party for Kim's birthday a few weeks ago, so Kim was more than happy to repay the favor!
After all the clues, they ended up back at our house for a BBQ. We sang happy birthday and I made a birthday cake for the birthday girl.
Miya helping Heather celebrate her big day.
Sarah, Jill, Heather and Laura celebrating Heather's birthday, Heather missed the grey memo.
The Faircloth's rode their motorcycle's to the party, Heather is hoping to get one of those padded jackets for her birthday next year!
Even Coco and Riley helped Heather celebrate her big day!

Challenges complete, Heather put her puzzle together, "Happy Bird-Day"!

It turned out to be a great surprise party and all the planning and preparation was worth it to celebrate my beautiful wife on her special day!


Saturday morning, my friend Matt Harbert and I competed in the 3rd Annual Leapfrog Half Marathon Ride & Run. Now you may be asking yourself, "What is a Leapfrog Ride & Run?" Taken directly from their website: 2 contestants enter with 1 bicycle. Everyone starts the race at the same time. One teammate rides ahead and leaves the bike for his/her partner and begins running. The partner runs to the bike and then rides past (leapfrogs) their partner and drops the bike at some point for the partner. The process repeats as many times as necessary for the team to complete the course. First complete team around the course (13.1 miles) and across the finish line wins. Team must finish together! No support crews allowed. Cars discouraged along route. No drafting on bikes. Stay on right side of road.

This was a nice little race in Dallas Center, which was having their fall festival, Dallas Center Celebrations. Dallas Center is a small town, so the route headed out of town, made a loop and then came back into town. The start of the race was pretty memorable. The "race director" made an announcement for all the "Leapfroggers" to follow him, we walked up a side street and were standing there and he announced "OK, GO" I was not prepared for the start, in fact I think I was still discussing strategy, but the race was underway so I started running! The bikes took off and so did the runners.

Matt and I came up with a plan to go longer intervals before exchanging the bike, it worked out that he rode out 3.25 miles and then dropped the bike, I ran to it and picked it up and rode 3 miles then dropped the bike, he got to it and rode 3.85 miles and dropped it and then I rode the last 3 to the finish.Here we are shortly after the finish of the race, apparently our plan worked great because we finished in 1st place with a time of 57.45.
We had some tough competition in Ryan and Ben, they finished second around 59 mins. Pictured from left to right, Ryan, Matt, myself and Ben.
Ryan and Ben trying to relive high school glory days, we snapped a quick senior picture pose. They get the "A" for effort award, Ryan was even bleeding trying to keep up with us.
Matt and I receiving our 1st place trophies! These are some rare photo's because Matt can be seen actually wearing running shorts instead of his usual basketball attire! All smiles after the race.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I (Seth) think it is good to have goals for yourself. Not only big life goals, but also smaller goals too. A couple years ago, when I turned 25, I decided to come up with "25 goals for my 25th year of Life". There were 25 things I wanted to accomplish in that year. I didn't reach all the goals, but got some of them and it was fun keeping track through the year. This list became a tradition and now in my 27th year I have 27 goals on my list. Again, these are stretch goals and I know that I may not complete them all, but it is fun to try. If you are interested, here is my list:
  1. Run a Marathon

  2. Landscape the backyard

  3. Read 8 books

  4. Write a song

  5. Record a song

  6. Start building my acoustic guitar

  7. Go snowboarding

  8. Bench press my own weight

  9. Illustrate a children's book

  10. Take some sort of dance lesson

  11. Read through the Bible

  12. Catch a walleye

  13. Paint a painting

  14. Fly a kite

  15. Go camping

  16. Brew my own beer

  17. Road trip

  18. Go to a concert

  19. Refinish a bathroom

  20. Tile the kitchen/entryway

  21. 10,000 push-ups

  22. 10,000 sit-ups

  23. Enter a photography contest

  24. Run 1500 miles

  25. Go ice skating

  26. Go sledding

  27. Climb a mountain

All that said, I checked two more off my list last night. After I get done with a run, I do push-ups and sit-ups and last night marked 10,000 for both!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Weekend o' Fun

This past weekend was a ton of fun. Rob, Erin and the girls were in Pella visiting some friends, so on Saturday, we all meet in Pella for family pictures and some quality time together. Big "Thank You" goes out to Chad and Shay for opening up their home and letting everyone crash there for the day. Family pictures were at noon and they went very well. After the photographer left, we all hung around the park to play some more. Here is a group shot playing on the playground.
Heather and Karys playing on the swings, say "Cheese"After the swings, they headed over to the merry-go-round, that was a big hit!
Karys was having so much fun, she invited her sister Gracie and Cousin Nathan to come play with her.
Nathan teaching the girls how to dangle your legs.
Let's share a smile. Share a kiss.
Even Riley got to come out for family pictures, but we didn't put her in jeans and a white top.
We played so hard at the playground that Shay got tired she couldn't make it back to the car and needed a ride.
Group pictures were a lot of fun. After the photo shoot was over we headed back to Chad and Shay's, the kids took naps and some of the adults too. Heather and I got changed and headed to a wedding. One of her friends from high school was getting married. Heather was excited to go because two of her good friends were also attending the wedding. Here is the former Tulip Court, Amy, Heather and Sarah, reunited to celebrate the wedding of the former tulip queen Hillary(not pictured).
Check it out, when we try, we clean up pretty well!
After the wedding we headed back to hang out a little more with the gang and watch some Olympics and then it was back home. Sunday we had everyone over to our house for lunch. We cooked kabobs on the grill and had corn on the cob. A biggest hit of the afternoon was the "Miracle Bubbles" that Grandma Doreen brought.
Excitement in every bubble as they floated to the ground.
Try to catch them before they pop.
Nathan was so excited he could hardly contain himself or he was trying to eat the bubbles.
Grandma Doreen and Gracie showing us how it is done. Nathan says, "I can help"
Grandma remembered she had her bubble machine in the car, that brought everyone out to the yard for some bubble time!