Archives for the month of: June, 2009

Michael spent the weekend with my Mom and Stepdad last weekend while we were in Duluth. It was the first time he’s been away from us over night. I was so excited for Michael to spend the weekend in Wisconsin because I knew he would have more fun in a half hour there than he does in an entire week with me.

We met my Mom and her friend Val in Minneapolis and had lunch with Aaron’s Grandpa and Grandma Sage. When we put Michael in my Mom’s  van and said goodbye he didn’t even flinch… thanks to a Noah’s Ark toy. My Mom was ultra prepared as usual. I think she had more toys in her van than Michael owns. We’re told Michael was a good boy and lots of fun. It was strange being without him for the first hour but then… this could sound bad but here it goes… it seemed as though we were had never had him. We realized that it was only because we didn’t have to worry one bit about him. Thanks so much Mom and Craig!!

Here are some pictures courtesy of Grandma Connie and Grandpa Craig.










Here are a few photos from the weekend in Duluth. I’m sure most of you followed Aaron’s tweets so no need to recap the races.






















This Saturday we’re heading up to Duluth, MN to run Grandma’s Marathon (no, participation is not limited to female senior citizens).  Michelle and my sister-in-law Amanda are running the 1/2 marathon. My Dad, brother Andy, and I are running the full.  It should be a great weekend – the weather forecast looks good, the course is by far my favorite marathon course, and Duluth is a great city.

In all honesty, though, I’m a little nervous about the race.  Of the 10+ marathons I’ve run, this will be close to the worst shape I’ve ever been in to run.  Thus, I’ve decided to approach this as a simple training run.  I’ve also decided to experiment with a couple of things that will hopefully keep my mind off of my rapidly enervating body.

First, I’m planning to bring several energy gel packets. Although gels have been around for a long time, the Des Moines marathon last October (another race for which I was less than optimally prepared) was the first time I really used them. In that race I took two gels, both close to the end of the race, but I could definitely tell the difference. After doing a little research, I’m planning to take about four gels this time and space them out evenly throughout the race. We’ll see how it goes.

The second experiment is twittering (technically referred to as “tweeting”) while I run. I’ve had a twitter account for a while but just recently started messing around with it.  As I was doing this, I came up with the novel idea of twittering Grandma’s Marathon. “I’m a genious”, I thought. “I’ll be the first person to ever twitter a marathon.”  Right before contacting FoxNews and CNN to ensure adequate media coverage of my historic endeavor, I Googled “twitter marathon”.

Silly me!  Countless others have twittered their marathons.

Oh well. I guess I’ll just be one in the long line of social networkers to real-time blog the trivial aspects of my life.  So, if you’re interested in following my progress, you can do so from the sidebar titled “Aaron’s Tweets” on our blog or from my twitter page here. I’ve also signed up to get updates on my phone of Michelle, Amanda, Andy, and my Dad’s times throughout the race, which I’ll try to tweet as well.

Wish us luck!

A couple weeks ago Michael and I met Aaron downtown for lunch. Michael was pumped to be able to see his dad in the middle of the day. He is definitely a daddy’s boy. Every day around 4:30 he starts to get kind of cranky. I could be off but I attribute it to a need for “daddy time”. When Aaron finally does get home from work Michael gets SO excited! He just can’t get enough of his dad! I can’t blame him! I can’t get enough of him either. Aaron is a popular man in this house!


We spent Memorial Day weekend in Wisconsin with my Mom and Stepdad. We look forward to the long weekend spent with them every year. My sister had the great privilege of entertaining Michael for the remaining three-and-a-half hours after we picked her up. He thought a long trip in the car was the perfect time to skip an afternoon nap. It’s a good thing Michael can do no wrong in Erin Marie’s eyes. 

We enjoyed a family bike ride, some shopping, a bonfire and lots of great food and conversation. My Mom finds every age appropriate, fun toy or activity conceivable for Michael and wants to make sure he can experience each thing at least once while in her presence. The ball pool was one such toy and Michael did have a blast playing in it. 





Every year we try to come up with a way to make smores better. This year we lined the edge ot the fire pit with crackers with chocolate on top while we roasted marshmallows. When the marshmallow was perfectly roasted (or perfectly BLACK in Erin Marie’s case) we had a melted piece of chocolate waiting. Greg has had to miss the trip the last two years do to being in the field so Erin Marie calls him during the bonfire to remind him that he missed lighting (or should I say blowing up) the wood. It’s always a sad time for Greg. 


Just after bath time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.


My cousin John Karhoff graduated from high school at Creighton Prep in Omaha in May. We attended his graduation party last weekend and had a fun time catching up with everyone. Michael was pumped to see his Grandpa Mike and Grandma Rose, Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Karhoff, Aunt Erin Marie and Uncle Greg, Great Uncle Kev (wow, you’re old!) and Great Aunt Jean and cousins Anthony and John. 

In the fall John is off to University of Nebraska at Omaha on a basketball scholarship. All the best John!


Uncle Kev, John, Aunt Jean and Anthony


Rose, Dad (with Michael), Aaron, Michelle, Erin Marie and Greg

Our friends the Van Cleaves are having a garage/estate sale in Ames. Check it out if you’re in the area.



This past weekend Aaron and I ran the 12.4 mile, Dam to Dam road race in Des Moines. Neither of us did a great job training but praise the Lord, we finished and we were both pleased with our times. Michael woke up at 4:30a to go to his cousin Addi’s house that morning. Poor Aunt Bekah didn’t get to go back to sleep when Michael arrived. He was awake and ready for the day. Addi and Michael were waiting at the finish line to cheer us in. 

Our friends Megan Tjernagel and Nicole Reynolds ran the race as well. It was Megan’s first road race. Both gals did a great job – way to do ladies!!! Aaron’s dad, brother and sister-in-law also ran the race. Everyone finished and in good time so it was a successful morning!

At the end of April we took a week-long trip to California to see our friends the Taylors. They have a 9 month old named Maddox and he and Michael acted as if they were long lost brothers!! They had so much fun riding next to one another in the car, dancing to baby hip hop, sharing carrots at Johnny Rockets, riding along as Abby and I ran at the beach, and keeping Aaron guessing as to what might calm who down when they had the occasional meltdown. 




















It was such a fun trip!!! We miss the Taylors so much and wish they would come back to Iowa but if they must be away at least they give us a cool place to visit! Thanks so much Marcus, Abby and Maddox for your hospitality!!! Can’t wait to see you again!!!











This photo courtesy of Aaron. He just might have some artistic talent hidden under that dry, accountant exterior.