Thursday, July 29, 2010


Tuesday, Heather and I completed our first day of Ragbrai ever! The 60 mile route was from Algona to Clear Lake. My dad knows a couple who lives in Algona, Noel and Amy were gracious enough to let us sleep in their basement Monday night...big thanks! Tuesday morning, we started off at the crack of dawn, 6 am, to try and beat the heat!

Ready to roll on the Twinn Schwinn Deluxe!
We were joined by plenty of other riders as the sun came up.
Along with the sun came the could see the haze over the fields.
Our first stop was for breakfast in Wesley.
Back on the bike...this was Heather's view for the 60 miles of the trip
Next stop...Britt, IA. Home of the National Hobo Convention!
Plenty of bikers made the pit stop in Britt.
We even signed the 8 foot tall Hobo cut out!
Back on the road, we came across plenty of interesting people. One such couple, also on a tandem. Their bike was painted black and white, they had matching ears and horns on their helmet, they had matching tandem tattoo's on their calves and their bike had a tail! They inspired year we are shooting for matching jerseys!
The third town we stopped in was Garner, IA
The temperature was rising so we pressed on...but we made a stop at the Smoothie Guys. Peach and Strawberry swirl smoothie, it was so good!
...15 miles to Clear Lake and the sun was out in full force!
As we were riding into Clear Lake, Ryan (a friend from my running club) and his friend Walt caught up to us and rode into town with us. Ryan snapped a few action shots of us!
Myself, Heather and Walt rolling into Clear Lake!
Surf's up in Clear Lake
At the end of our first adventure of Ragbrai...still smiling!
We made it back to the high school and found our truck. One last picture, check out all the bags in the background...all those smelly clothes cooking in the heat of the day!
All in all, we had a great time on Ragbrai! What a great way to take in Iowa, we saw lots of interesting people and had plenty of laughs. We are already thinking about next year! Go RAGBRAI!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pella Birthday Fun

Saturday evening Heather and I headed to Pella for the combined birthday party for Nathan and Aaron. It was a music and baseball themed party, complete with Cracker-Jacks and music themed cakes!
Heather found these sweet sunglasses for Nathan to wear at the party.
I also brought some sharpies to make some party themed tattoo's. Nathan got a guitar on his arm...
...and Aaron got a baseball, complete with flames!
Nathan shows off his tattoo while Aaron and Shay smile for the camera before the party gets under way!
We started off with opening some gifts.
Heather found a sweet deal on Etsy: super hero cape, cuffs and mask. We had it customized with a rocket and "N"s on the cuffs!
Nathan loved them! What a little super hero!
...I made him a rocket ship to go along with his rocket cape.
Nathan was ready to blast off with his wild imagination!
Aaron checked out the rocket..."This door is just my size!"
Nathan got this sweet card that expands into a guitar and plays rock 'n roll music...with out missing a beat, he knew how to hold the guitar and strum the strings!
Who is this caped masked man?
...we may never know.
Aaron's turn to open his gifts.
Nathan is quick to help his little brother
Aaron makes a deal with Tom, "I'll trade you one of my drums for that blackberry!"
After presents we had some food and some cake. Here is Aaron's cake.
...and Nathan's cake. Awesome job Shay on the cake making!
While we were finishing our food, Nathan decided to play us all a song.
This was an original song entitled "Cubbie".
The Pella VL's pose for a family picture before Aaron digs into his cake.
Aaron goes head first into his drum cake!
Mom gives a smile while Dad show Aaron how to take a big bite!
Next it was time for Nathan's cake and blow out his candle.
No smiles for this tough guy...
As we cleaned up the party and headed back to Chad and Shay's house, we got a picture with the little birthday boy!
...and the tough birthday boy!
Nathan's rocket ship landed in his room...ready for an adventure!

We had a great time celebrating these two little guys. Chad and Shay did a great job throwing the birthday party.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Aaron

Wednesday was officially Aaron Paul's first birthday. Heather and I headed to Pella to celebrate with the Pella VL's on his big day. When we got there, Aaron was already rocking out on the drums!
Aaron shows Auntie Heather his drumming skills.
We brought the little man a little gift...Nathan really wanted to help his little brother open his gift, but he waited patiently while Aaron peeled away the paper.
"No way!" Aaron exclaimed, "A harmonica and a green crazy ball...this is just what I wanted!"
Auntie Heather and Aaron test out the green ball.
We had a true summer meal...BLT's, watermelon and corn on the cob!
After supper, Nathan got into a "dance" mood. He had me play his guitar while he danced...
...and dance he did!
This dance got so wild, his shirt came off! (I did not teach him that)
Aaron was enthralled with his older brother, he even gave him a round of applause!
After the dance party, we had a little Jersey Freeze Ice Cream...twist, of course! These two gave me their best "silly" face.
Aaron really enjoyed his ice cream too!
After the ice cream, we played Aaron's favorite game...Empty the Laundry Basket. Nathan challenged his little brother to race..."Oh no you didn't just challenge me" Aaron says/thinks.
...and their off.
Aaron goes for the "over the head" method, but then remembers he has a big melon after the towel hits him in the face.
Nathan again takes his shirt off as he gets down to business of throwing some towels!
After the games...Aaron, wanting to be like his big brother, takes his shirt off (seriously guys, what are you teaching these kids?) As we get ready to head home, we snap a quick picture with our two favorite nephews!
Happy Birthday AP...we love you and can't wait for your joint party to celebrate some more!