Tag Archives: birthday

135/365. a wonderful surprise birthday party.

135/365. a wonderful surprise birthday party.

jerome, the bearded white wizard is telling a story about his son jerry ( sitting to his left in blue to the right of the fire ). we very much surprised jerry for his 50th birthday party. jerome and jerry are both very special people at organic valley.

as a side note, i’m wearing a green cape that says “captain grassmilk”, neon green socks, green shorts and green shirt. long story.

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin.

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin. I.

after the race it was time to head off for a fun birthday day in madison, wisconsin. we started at the awesome dane county farmer’s market which is on the capitol square so we got to peruse the approximately 300 vendors and go in the capitol and hit the observation deck which offers an excellent view of the city.

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin. II.

the perfect time for a gratuitous ( and rare ) family portrait!

as you can see i was wearing an organic valley coat so i got lots of questions about the fire at organic valley headquarters from concerned folks. lots of love and support in madison!

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin. III.

the rotunda in the capitol building is pretty awesome. odin thought it was mighty impressive. i wish i could have figured out a way to take a better picture. i tried to take a panorama of the entire thing but it wouldn’t stitch together nicely, so you only get to see a small bit :-)

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin. IV.

i’d be lying if i said at this point odin wasn’t really ready to head out and see something other than statues and elaborate rotundas. see that smile? it’s a carefully crafted fake :-)

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin. V.

so, off to the madison children’s museum we went because while i might be getting old, i’m not too old to hang out with odin at a children’s museum where they have fun stuff like a giant hampster wheel that generates electricity for lights!

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin. VI.

and some sort of crazy facial real time facial recognition exhibit…

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin. VII.

and pinball, which take a lot of concentration especially when your poppi is taking pictures from funny angles…

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin. VIII.

and a green rooftop with a chicken coop with a great quote from frank lloyd wright that i might have to steal and put on our own chicken coop for The Girls

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin. IX.

they even had little chicks to pet. of course, odin has lots of practice calming baby chickens and grown hens thanks to tending to The Girls

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin. X.

the baby chick was so content it eventually fell asleep in odin’s hands! the museum staff ladies were super impressed with his Chicken Calming Powers.

then, alas, it was time to go and we headed to a photography exhibit at madison museum of contemporary art but there was no cameras allowed. at a photography exhibit! boo!

Scenes from The Best Birthday. or how to have a great time in madison wisconsin. XI.

after the exhibit we went to pizza brutta for some of the best pizza in madison. i had the prosciutto with asiago cheese and arugula. highly recommended! kris and odin are more traditional in their pizza tastes and had pepperoni. odin said it was the best pizza he’d ever had which is very high praise indeed.

for some reason, i felt compelled to take a picture of the table sign instead of the food because i liked the colors, fonts, shadows and lines?!

and to cap off The Best Birthday, we went to chocolate shoppe ice cream for a scoop of butter pecan ice cream before heading home very full and very content.

’twas a fine day. odin said it was the best birthday he’d been to even though it wasn’t his birthday :-)

on still kicking 30 year old me’s ass.

on still kicking 30 year old me’s ass.

in addition to getting me some clams to celebrate my first birthday after running over 2,400 miles and losing 110 pounds ( i lost 4 more since writing that post ), kris organized a surprise trip to madison so i could run in the 10K “bratfest” which is the first race i’ve ran since running in the chicago marathon last october.

i’ve slowed down running over the past few months and have “only” been averaging 10-20 miles a week so i thought i’d take it easy and enjoy myself. the way i see it, it’s a “personal best” just to get up at 6:30a.m. on my birthday to make sure i register for the race on time and i didn’t need to go and try to break any personal records. but, hey, the best laid plans and all that. i felt so good running that it almost didn’t feel like i was pushing very hard to run a faster 10K than i’ve ever run before.

i ran the first 5K at around 9 minute miles which is, in and of itself, a record setting pace for my former clydesdale self. but when it became clear that i was going to have plenty of gas in the tank i picked up the pace and ran the second 5K at an 8’30” pace to finish with an 8’45” average time per mile. i probably could have even pushed it a bit and harder if i paced myself better over the entire race and hit just over 8 minute miles. and the great part? i felt awesome at the end. i’m pretty sure i could have kept an 8’30” pace through a half marathon.

i couldn’t be happier that after a year i’m still kicking 30 year old me’s ass ( and running almost 2 minutes per mile faster than i was just a year ago when i wrote that post ).

it’ll be interesting a year from now to see if i can shave another minute off my times and get close to a 7’30” per mile pace which is about a 3 hour and 16 minute marathon pace and close to what i’d need to run for a boston marathon qualifying time. i’m not saying i’m going to be able to keep that pace through a marathon but who knows!

i do think running a race on or very close to my birthday is going to be a new tradition. next year i might give the spring madison half marathon a whirl.

the super bestest part was having kris and odin standing right by the finish line so odin could give me a high-five before i crossed the line :-)

day 2192: odin turns six!



yes, for the fifth year in a row, odin starts his day by waking up, racing downstairs, donning his special birthday shirt and running outside to watch the fourth of july parade assemble in front of his grandparent’s house in the upper peninsula of michigan.

it’s quite a fun way to start your birthday year after year what with giant cows appearing across the streat and everybody recognizing that it’s your birthday, ’cause your shirt says so!



patriotic birthday cupcakes made with love by grandma.



odin inspects the first of what will presumably be the first of many birthday cards that play “chicken dance” song.



it ain’t a midwestern fourth of july parade without a tractor or two!



and it ain’t a midwestern fourth of july parade without an ATV convoy!



jesus! and a soldier! on a float!



the belly dancing troupe was a new and intriguing addition to the yooper parade :-)



odin and his cousins, unaware that in about 1/40th of a second the girl up in the cab of the forestry equipment is going to blast them with a water gun.



i thought they retired smokey the bear?

if they did, he’s gone rogue and is still appearing in upper peninsula parades.



didja know that, thanks to their innate gentle disposition and intelligence, texas longhorns are are increasingly being trained as riding steers?

i didn’t!



phew. that was a long parade. time for some nourishment. and when you’re hanging out with yooper finns that means there’s probably some pannukakku sitting around.



in addition to cupcakes grandmas can make a pretty awesome cake!



yes, presents were opened with some frenzy.



odin enjoys his new roller blades ( we left his helmet and pads at home )!



after a parade and presents, what could be more fun than bouncy slides!

independence day birthdays certainly have their benefits :-)



odin is running out of steam on this “best out of three” competition against his cousin on the inflatable obstacle-course-rock-climbing-slide thing.



but, hey, who really loses when the course ends with a giant slide?



even more competition with cousins on the elastic harness-that-holds-you-back-while-you-try-to-place-an-eraser-on-velcro-inflatable-thingy.



such a fun-filled day, can’t forget to actually sing “happy birthday”, blow out candles and eat some cake!



for the first time in 5 years, birthday fireworks were rained out!

the upside? we had the time to end odin’s 6th birthday with a father/son sauna.

as awesome as fireworks on your birthday can be, ending the day with a sauna is pretty awesome in its own way :-)