My Summer-of-Tri’s comes to a close with the grand finale being the Madison 70.3 Ironman. My goal was to do 4 triathlons this year but due to some construction, only got 3 and 2/3’s completed. The other triathlon distances I had completed before but Madison was, by far, the longest. It was loooonnnggg and grueling at times but I managed to muscle my way through it. The 55-mile bike took us through the WI countryside where there happens to be a lot of hills… those damn hills! Then for the run, the course snaked us through the beautiful University of Madison campus. All along the way there were a lot people that came out to cheer us on. It was a really cool experience and a really gratifying challenge… but time for some rest.
After no races last year, it is really great to get in so many this year. This race was the last race before I do my first 1/2 Ironman in Madison. It was a bit hot but still a fun race. I did get a PR but not as much as I was hoping for. I guess that just means I’m going to have to do it again!
Another school year has started! This year, it’s 6th grade for Carter and Emery is off to 2nd grade. Carter moved to middle school so a lot of new things for him to explore and learn…such as changing classes every period, riding a bus to school, and obviously many new people and teachers to meet. Luckily, he has a lot of classes and gets to ride the bus with his best friend Brendan, which makes it even more exciting! It is kind of sad that with Carter’s move to the new school, the kids will never be in the same school again. Emery was a little sad about it at first but seems to be doing ok without her big brother on campus. I’m sure they will both have a great school year!
For the last weekend before school, we squeezed in a few more fun outings. Obviously, we had to enjoy the good weather so we went to the local park and the pool. The park was pretty standard but it was float night at the clubhouse. It was a good time as usual, primarily because both kids won new floats! We’re starting to get a good collection of floaties at home.
The Wassmer crew came up to Chicagoland for a weekend getaway to do some touristy things. We went swimming at Naperville Centennial Beach on Friday. I have swam there many times for the Naperville Triathlon but never went there for fun. The water was a bit colder than our neighborhood pool but the kids still had fun.
On Saturday we all went downtown Chicago. We hit up the Chicago Museum of Illusions, the famous Bean, and did a little shopping. It was a long hot day and we were all pretty wiped. Carter, Emery, and Grandpa all snuck in a quick nap on the way back to the burbs.
Another successful triathlon in the books! This is now the 6th time I’ve done the Naperville Triathlon and it was fun as usual. All of my extra training this year paid off and I got a PR! Based on the year-over-year comparison, I’m getting older and still getting faster. The weather was ideal so that might have helped, the skies were clear and the temperature was cool. I would like to sit back and relax but can’t yet because next I have the Chicago Triathlon and then I have the big 70.3 Half-Ironman in Madison.
If you like running 7 miles with huge hills, high temperatures, and high humidity… then the Bix 7 is for you! It had been over 6 years since I last ran the Bix and I had totally forgotten how much torture it was. The hills are just brutal and the 10000000% humidity didn’t help the situation. The real fun is hanging out after the race with friends at the local bars.
Emery wrapped up her first softball season. Their age group was machine-pitch so the girls had to get used to hitting off of that contraption. She had a blast learning the game, hitting balls, and hanging with her friends.
On the way home from Emery’s game, Carter stopped and checked out his new middle school, Crone. A couple of weeks ago the school invited kids inside to check out a book but it doesn’t hurt to take it all in again before the big day.
I had my first race of the year at the Lake Zurich Triathlon. Unfortunately, 2 weeks ago the organizers sent out an email and let us know the bike route was torn up. Apparently road construction got delayed so the roads were not ideal for bike riding. They changed it to an Aquathon (swim and run) instead of canceling the whole event. Even without the bike, it was still good to get out and get a feel for racing. It had been over a year and a half since my last race so I needed a little something to get me going.
Carter is now 11 years old! This year it was back to a pretty normal weekend birthday celebration with some familiar activities with friends. Carter had some buddies over for lunch and Mini golf and then played video games all night. Nothing better than unlimited video games on your birthday! The next day Uncle Jason surprised Carter with a trip to get ice cream in his old souped-up Trans Am.
We finally made it to Florida! This trip was originally planned for March 2020 but then Covid locked everything down. We pushed the trip back to summer 2020, then Thanksgiving 2020, then Marh 2021… and then finally in June 2021 we got on a plane and flew to Bradenton.
We didn’t have much planned so the week was consisted of lounging around. We visited the pool every day to swim, did Mini golf one night, and had some nice dinners next to the water.
It is the kid’s last day of school and to make it extra special, it is Carter’s last day at Patterson! Next year he will be off to middle school. To wrap up their time in elementary school, Carter’s class took the traditional trolley ride before school and a farewell ceremony after school. After all of the official school activities wrapped up, Carter went over to join his old classmates to remember Grace Dudich.
It is the last week of school so Patterson had the annual Field day which consists of a ton of outdoor games that the kids rotate through. I volunteered to help so got to spend a couple of hours with the kids helping them close out the school year. Carter is not just closing out the school year, he is also closing out his time at Patterson! Next year he will be off to Crone to start middle school.
That night Emery had her first softball game. It’s fun to see all the girls learn how to play the game, whenever someone gets the ball there is a brief state of shock while their little minds try to quickly figure out where to throw it. Emery’s whole team seems to be hitting the ball really well, she cranked out 2 out of 2 hits.
To add to all the excitement of the night, right before the game Emery lost a front tooth!
Emery and I had some good times at the Daddy Daughter Dance last weekend. Last year was remote due to COVID but this year it was awesome because it was in-person. We went out to eat before with some friends, then headed to our clubhouse for some Fun games, photo ops, and of course dancing.
It’s nearing the end of the school year and we’re heading into summer. Carter is wrapping up his final year at Patterson and celebrated with the traditional 5th-grade Sock Hop. I tried convincing him that he looks good in a leather jacket but I don’t think we’ll be seeing it again anytime soon.
It was a big soccer weekend for us. This weekend Carter’s soccer team, Team Chicago, played in a tournament in Woodridge and won the whole thing! There were a few nail-biter games but ended up dominating the final game. Emery wrapped up her spring season of soccer which marks the end of her recreational play. As usual, I had a blast coaching them all and seeing everyone grow throughout the season. Next season she is going to more of a club environment where it gets a bit more competitive and she’s super pumped.
Here in Naperville, the district has been 100% remote since the beginning of the year. Now that the COVID cases are not as bad as they have been, the kids have the option to go back part-time. Both of the kids were excited to go back so off they go! Emery started back in school last week and Carter started this week. Here are some “first day of school” photos that just happen to be over half of the way through the school year.
Emery is now a whopping 7 years old! Even with the dreaded Covid, we still had a semi-outdoor party with a few friends to celebrate the occasion. The girls did some painting, pinata, cake, and wrapped up the party with some fun in the snow. After a super long 2020, it was nice to see Emery having fun with some of her buddies.
We obviously can’t have a large party with the entire family but we still luckily got to see the grandparents. Grandma/grandpa Wassmer made the long hike up from Davenport to hand-deliver some birthday goods. Grandpa and grandma Stubler are now just down the road so it was a quick trip for them to come over and say hi.
To wrap up the celebration we obviously opened presents and had an awesome meal. For the super-special family dinner, we ordered in some really good sushi from our favorite place downtown Naperville.
In keeping with 2020 holiday tradition, we stayed home this year for Christmas. We had to dream of sugar plums and vaccines in our own beds instead of the usual visits to the grandparent’s houses. Since everyone was remote we had video calls with both families to open presents and attempt some sort of normal holiday celebration. Luckily Santa is immune to covid so he still swung by Christmas day. He dropped off a lot of gifts but unfortunately did not leave any vaccine.