Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Finishing the basement!

So as the baby gear continues to multiply, we decided it might be a good idea to have some more living space in the house.
Our goal: have a complete, finished basement before we bring the baby home.
(I have heard that messy projects involving wood, nails, paint and noise are not great for a newborn!) 
 John and his team have started the process and we are so excited to see it all come together!

The space between the poles will have a countertop with stools behind the couch - providing use of the small space between the poles, "stadium seating" for optimal TV viewing and of course, an excellent spot for snacks and beverages!

This inlet next to the stairs will house a small bar/sink area - perfect for a mini fridge, cool bar glasses and easy recycling. 

We know getting to all of the badger games this fall might be tough(!) ... so the next best thing - create a basement ready for badgers/packer games on the big screen so people will want to come visit us!

Watch for more updates to come!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Door County 1/2 Iron Triathlon - Part 3 - Post Race!

With the race out of the way we still had a good chunk of the day to enjoy!

Here are the guys --- you can't even tell they just did 70+ miles of exercise!

Post race couples photos! I think Anne and Dusty's is on their camera :)

The six of us.

Mom and Dad and Barb and Frank came up for the day to chase Patrick around with me. It was great to have them along and I hope it helped everyone prepare for September. I am not planning to miss Patrick in the Ironman, so they are planning to get me to the right places to cheer!
Thanks to you all!

Patrick and I just before we went swimming/ floating in the bay. It felt so good to cool off!

I think the guys were getting bored with the photos - I have over 220 from the weekend!

Patrick with Andy and Heidi after the race. They will be competing in their second Ironman this September as well - so watch for them on the course too!

And after showers and naps for the group - we went to Gibralter Grill for dinner.

More delicious food and great company!

We finished out the weekend on Monday with a few stops at shops and wineries for Door County treats and a breakfast at my favorite place - the Cookery!
Overall, awesome weekend - and a job well done guys :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Door County 1/2 Iron Triathlon - Part 2 - The Race!

We got down to the park about 7am on Sunday and  the guys were ready to go! Patrick and Duty both were wearing Pain Cave gear from their friend Jake Mueller - I belive all three of the guys will be sporting the gear come September. 
It is pretty sharp!

Here is Patrick getting his numbers and wave information inked on with a Sharpie.

Anne and Duty (and Harper) pre race.

Andy and Heidi were also up in DC with their family for the race. 
They had five people racing in their group - what a challenge for their fan base!

And here are the guys going into the water for the start of their race. They were in wave #7. There were over 1,000 people in the race on Sunday --- crazy to think that will be doubled in September and that they will all start at one time!

And they're off --- 1.2 mile swim.

Here is Patrick coming out of the water and getting help with his wetsuit.

Derek on the bike - we liked his red, white and blue helmet, helped to find him on the course!

This is mile 22 (of 56 total) for the bike. You can see Dusty's parents with their posters (and Harper). Our group did our best to divide and conquer the route so the guys would see us as much as possible. At this particular point, we were all in one spot - it was an out and back loop so we could see everyone twice at mile 22 and 33.

Here is Patrick at mile 47 - that new bike was working well for him and looks so good!

Here is Patrick on the run going through Egg Harbor - still all smiles :)

Dusty on the run - aren't the uniforms great?!?

And here is Patrick in the home stretch. He shaved of almost 30 minutes from his time in Racine last year! Awesome!

And the reward for finishing?!? A nice shiny medal and a seat in an ice bath!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Door County 1/2 Iron Triathlon - Part 1

This past weekend we drove up to Door County for the 1/2 Iron Triathlon. This is Patrick's last triathlon before the big one in September.
We rented a cottage in the woods with Anne and Dusty and Derek and Connie. 
The place was perfect - just north of Fish Creek - dog friendly (Harper and Scout came along too!) and the right amount of space for 6 people looking to relax before and after all of the race festivities!

The race was on Sunday - so Saturday was a somewhat lazy day of checking out the course, getting used to the water, relaxing on the beach and enjoying DC. Here are the boys coming out of the water - Saturday was hot and windy - so the waves were a bit challenging - glad it was much calmer on Sunday!

We enjoyed a late lunch at Fred & Fuzzy's in Sister Bay - outdoor seating and great food!

Here are Patrick and Dusty with their pre-race beers! That counts as carbs... right? We also made a fabulous dinner of RP pasta (thanks Will!) to really carb up later that night :)

Patrick and I also drove part of the course so he could see where he was going and I could confirm where we would be stopping to watch and cheer him on.  One of the worst hills on the 13.1 mile run has some temporary signs to help "encourage" the runners!
It was pretty steep!

Patrick walking up the start of the hill... not only was it steep, it was long and curvy!

Maybe 1/4 of the way up the hill!

After the "yay! you made it" sign - there is actually one more, saying "oops, never mind" as the hill continues --- wondering how many water bottles got thrown at that one --- that's just mean!
But hopefully the signs helped at least a few people smile!

Here is a picture of me with my race backpack. This was a Christmas gift from the Ellestad gift exchange. I LOVE IT! It is not only a backpack, but a chair and a cooler - perfect for raceday.  Connie was joking that I looked like Dora the Explorer - so we had to snap a photo!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dean Twins TV Commerical

This morning I got to go to a Dean TV commerical shoot. Typically these are not in Madison, so it was pretty cool that it was just down the street and all of the marketing folks could go take a look.
This particular commerical takes place in a water aerobics class at a local health club.

The set up required was incredible and funny to watch since everything needed to be "in" the water.

For those of you that don't live in the Madison area, the premise of the commericals is that Dean doctors and Dean health insurance work together to make your life easier. No hoops to jump through to get your care - and - that they are ALWAYS there for you no matter where, no matter when.

"Dean" the doctor and "Dean" the insurance provider are actually twins from California. Here is Matt getting the final touches on his wardrobe (kind of a moot point, in my opinion, since he is getting in the water!)

Here is "Kate." She is our target customer - and has been in multiple commericals with the Dean twins over the years. I was really hoping for a picture with the twins, but this works too!

This is Jason (the insurance provider) and Rose - Kate's mom. She was hilarious! I think the swim cap really made her character pop - but she also had an "old lady from Titanic" vibe about her :)  

Here is the whole group practicing their water aerobics moves before getting into the water. If you can believe it, Rose was by far the best! But then again, she probably actually attends water aerobics!

And here the guys are in the water. Kate and Rose go between them and they start by zooming in on just the ladies talking. Then pan out to include "Dean" in the shot. We did not stay for the whole thing - I invision MANY takes happening today - and of course lots of costume changes as the water continues to creep up the guys shirts and closer to their microphones!

Watch for these commercials to air this fall :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Neighborhood Baby Shower

Last night Heidi threw me (and baby E) a baby shower with some of the neighborhood girls. It was great to have all of these new moms in one place sharing their advice and stories!
Heidi made this beautiful cake for the festivities - she is so talented with her decorating skills! We also enjoyed some other delicious food (including amazing chicken wings made in a smoker by our neighbor Billy!)

It was a great night and in addition to the advice, so fun to get some more baby stuff. We did get a crib sheet - so I guess could now officially have a baby in the room - though we would still prefer he/she waits to make his/her entrance until after September 9th!

Oh and on that whole he/she front --- here is the latest update:
I often refer to the baby as a "he" - not sure why.
Many last night observed that I am "carrying low" which I guess means Girl - but I do have a long torso...

July 7th - threaded needle pushed into the top of a pencil eraser and held over my wrist - depending on which way it swung (forward and back or side to side) would deteremine the sex.  Outcome: Boy
Beth also took part in this and her outcome: Girl

July 17th - peed on baking soda - whether it fizzes or not determines the sex. Outcome: Girl
(I think, we had ALOT of baking soda in there and I believe some air bubbles needed to escape, some surfaced and popped - other ladies commented that theirs almost overflowed with fizzing which means boy.) Mine certainly did NOT do that. I did not take it out to the group for a second opinion cause that is just gross!

So your guess is as good as ours - guess we will just have to wait and see :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Other highlights from Minocqua

Monday morning we all drove into town for breakfast at Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty. This is again something the guys had done in the past and were excited to share with us. It. Was. AWESOME!... All you can eat family style breakfast: homemade sugar donuts, pancakes, French toast, biscuits and gravy, eggs, potatoes, sausage, kielbasa, ham... It seemed to just keep coming!
After your meal, the kids get Babe the Blue Ox crowns.
Then of course before we left, we all needed to get photos with the statues in the parking lot!

What a great way to start the day! I don't think anyone even needed lunch after that great meal.
I would definitely recommend stopping if you have the chance :)

We also had the opportunity to see Mom and Dad's high school friends who are also on White Sand Lake. They have been on the lake for years, but just retired up there a few weeks ago. Their new house is gorgeous and and will be awesome for lots of family and friends get togethers in the future!
Tom offered to take us skiing and Patrick and Eric took him up on it!
Nice smooth water... :)
Check out Tom's new boat! I am definitely going to have to take a run next year if we have the chance!