Posted by: nankennard | November 16, 2011

Growing up…

Aaron and I watched Abe and Breanne walk into school together this morning while Ali sat contentedly in the jogging stroller.  Aaron commented on how quickly they’ve grown and what awesome kids they are and I had to agree!

Abe is seven years old and in 2nd grade. He has become a voracious reader and also loves to write, draw, create secret code, play pretend with his sisters, and play board games.  A few weeks ago asked us if we would help him sell his Nintendo DS on Craigslist.  He had saved for two years to buy that DS with his own money and had recently stopped playing it due to lack of interest.  Abe recognized he could get nearly $100 for his DS and games and would rather have the money to spend on books.  He was happy to send the video games on to another boy who was excited about it and save his cash for something of greater value.   Abe is very logical and smart.  He has a few close friends at school and church and is easy to get along with and love.  He is a peacemaker and very generous with his sisters.  He is also clever and witty.  Just last week I got home after Aaron had already tucked the kids in bed and found some papers on the table that they had doodled including Abe’s rough draft Christmas list:

This list make me smile.  I love his logic and requests.  He really enjoys reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and owns all but two of them.  He recognizes that only Dad could handle managing $10 million and he would be happy with just $30.  I asked him why he wants a 2-story house and he said because he likes stairs.  Sliding down them, stepping up them, he just likes stairs.  The new brother request has been going on for over a year now and Aaron and I have both told him it is a potential possibility but certainly not before Christmas and there is no way to guarantee a new baby would be a brother, so he’d have to get used to the idea of a potential sister also.

Breanne is in kindergarten and is a friendly, loving girl.  She is making lots of new friends and loves to give hugs to her friends and family.  She works hard in school and is reading and writing quite well.  She has a TON of energy and is giggly and happy.  She is fast on her bike, strong in gymnastics, and loves to run and play.  She is the perfect middle child and plays well with Abe and Ali.  A few weeks ago we watched “The Sound of Music” as a family and after the movie was over she went upstairs and started figuring out how to play “Do-Re-Mi” on the piano.  She loves to make music and seems to have a dance beat going on in her body all the time.  She is tender-hearted and wants to help others feel loved.  She loves to dress pretty and accessorize her outfits.  She seems to have clicked with a group of Kindergarten boys and says she plays pretend with the same four boys at recess every day.  Reminds me of myself at that age!

Ali is getting more creative and independent every day.  She just has to be included in the older kids activities and is nurtured and led along by Abe.  She follows her siblings everywhere and loves to ride her bike to school to pick them up at the end of the day.  She often pretends to be a baby kitten and cuddles up on my lap to read books.  At the current moment she is pretending to be my “pet” while she throws blankets and then folds them back up.  Three years old is such a fun and creative age!  She is adventurous and excited about life and enjoys going to gymnastics and swimming.  They’re all growing up so fast!!

Its been a BUSY couple of months since moving to Boulder two months ago.  We are feeling very blessed and grateful that the transition from everything Westminster to everything Boulder has been going so well.  We sold our house in Westminster just last week and are glad to have that taken care of.   Abe is adjusting to his new school and Breanne loves her new reading class.  The kids are enjoying their gymnastics classes and we have been able get the majority of our things unpacked.  Our new house is really starting to feel like “home.”  We have found our new favorite grocery stores and restaurants, great parks for the kids, new health care providers (by health care providers, I mean massage therapists who specialize in runners), and we have joined a new health club where the kids very much enjoy going to the “kids club.”  We were lucky to find a new friend in our Ward who is happily willing to earn a few bucks by helping us with the kids on Tuesday and Saturday mornings so that Aaron can do his mountain runs while I do my interval training.  The running scene here in Boulder is fabulous!!  I have been investing more time and effort into my running by gradually increasing my weekly running mileage and intensity and supplementing my running with a lot more core work, dynamic stretching, massage therapy, and nap time (to counteract the higher mileage.) Aaron has worked hard to refine his daily routine as a business owner to include more quality time with me and the kids, more running with his “mountain men” ultra marathon friends (and some running with me too), less office time, less reliance on employees and partners, and more profit (imagine that?!)  He has also been coaching the Young Men’s basketball team for our church on Thursday nights and recently accepted the calling of “Ward Mission Leader” which is sure to be demanding and fulfilling at the same time.  After phasing out of my church calling with the Young Women in Westminster, I have started a new calling in the Boulder Ward teaching Abe’s Sunday School class, which I LOVE!  Every Sunday night after the kids are in bed you can be sure that Aaron and I are sitting next to each other with our calendars out synchronizing our complex and full schedules in order to make the whole production go as smoothly as possible.  Amidst our busy (sometimes chaotic) daily lives, we do still make a lot of room for simple “FUN” as you will see in the following pictures.  We feel overwhelmed with gratitude for this amazing time of life with our three awesome kiddos, our good health, our peaceful home, Aaron’s consistent business, our Faith and knowledge of God’s love for us, and the amazing amount of love and support we feel from our family, friends, teammates, coaches, and fellow Church members. Life is BEAUTIFUL!!



Posted by: aaronkennard | November 4, 2010

Cheap entertainment

As far as spending money for entertainment goes I think we have the cheapest form possible at our local King Soopers.

1 penny for a ride, in which all 3 kids can enjoy at the same time….hard to beat that price!

Posted by: aaronkennard | September 5, 2010

Climbing with the kids and the Indian peaks area

This morning I met Nan and the kids at Castle Rock near the top of Boulder canyon after my morning run in the mountains.  The kids really enjoyed doing some top-roping.  And I got my but kicked by a 5.9+ that Chris George lead with trad gear.  I am definitely extremely out of climbing shape.  At least I had fun climbing the 5.6-5.7 route a couple times.

The kids couldn't get enough chucking rocks into the river

The kids couldn’t get enough chucking rocks into the river

Abe loving his first climb, he was psyched to be out climbing, it was really fun to see him get into it.

Breanne

Breanne was also pretty stoked to go climbing and did great

From the looks of things, Ali wasn’t in favor of the decision to not let her try out the harness and climb

Before meeting the family at the climbing area, I went running in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area.  It’s an absolutely gorgeous place to run and explore.  I only had under 3 hours this morning to run and I got a bit lost, so I didn’t cover as much ground as I had hoped.  I was thinking about running over pawnee pass, but somehow I missed the super obvious marked turnoff and ran up the isabelle drainage instead.  At the top it gets super steep and the trail ends and it becomes scrambling up steep boulder fields.  I had to turn around when I got to a steep glacier that was not passable without crampons.

Then I spoke to some people who pointed out where I was, and showed me the airplane couloir route up to Navajo peak, where you can still see remnants of an airplane crash in the couloir from 50 years ago.  I wished I had time to go up there, but it will have to be another day.   I really want to get back up to this area again before the end of the season.  What a great way to start the day though.

Ended up doing a very leisurely 10.5 miles with 2450 Ft ascent,  in 2:50 including a bunch of stops.

Some pics of the scenery up there:

Niwot cutoff trail

Niwot cutoff trail past Longs lake

Heading to lake Isabell

Heading up to Lake Isabell

some small lake near the top of isabell drainage

Cool glacier bowl at the top of Isabell drainage

A cool glacier bowl at the top of the drainage

Looking up at the ridge from the highest point I could access when I hit the glacier

This was the high point I could reach before getting stopped in my tracks by the glacier

Posted by: aaronkennard | June 19, 2010

What a glorious colorado day in the mountains!

Woke up at 4:30 in our tent to a train passing right by our campsite…no wonder the site wasn’t taken!  But it was perfect timing because I was itching to get out for a run.

Ran from 5 – 7 am – We were camping by the moffat tunnel at about 9200 Feet – I ran up the road a mile until the wilderness area single track started, which was simple phenomenal trail.  I ran into a couple huge Elk in the pre-dawn which was kind of cool, they were about 100 feet off and just ran across the trail and off into a gully.

I was just out to take it easy and run enjoyably through the mountains.  I couldn’t help stopping to snap pictures and take in the beauty.  Did about 8 miles with about 2600 feet ascent.  All really easy paced…14 something miles was my overall average which included all my stopped time enjoying the scenery.  Enjoyed the climbs and the descents quite a bit, really just loved being out in the mountains running around in the pre-dawn and then sunrise.  I’m not a morning person AT ALL – except when I’m in the mountains, then I can hardly wait unitl its light enough to get out and bike or run or fish or whatever it is…mornings are so amazing in the mountains.

Ran with my nathan hydration pack which I really like a lot, thanks for the tip Jon – I don’t even notice I’m wearing it because its so high on the back and light, and it packs 70 oz. of water…I love having ample water.

After I got back, we took down our camp and took Nan down to start her race.

She did amazing as usual…you can read her report – she ran 15 super hilly miles at about 9000 Feet elevation in like 6:28/mile pace…1:36.  She’s crazy fast.  She got beat by a lady Named Nuta who did a 2:24 marathon at chicago and has been pro for a while.  Although, Nan did beat Nuta in the Bolder Boulder a few weeks ago.  Nuta had the advantage in this race though because she trained specifically on the course and had won it the year before.  It was fun to watch the race, Nan certainly gave her some stiff competition.

Then the absolute highlight of the day was doing the family fun race with the kids.  I ran with Breanne, my 4 year old, who ran the entire mile, and just loved it.  She was so proud of herself and her metal for finishing.  And my 2 year old even ran/got carried by Nan, for a half mile and was THRILLED with getting to pick a prize and a metal.  Abe also ran it much faster than Breanne and I, they all loved it, and I think I loved it more.  Its so much fun to see the kids getting excited about running and camping and life in general.

Oh, and then I got home to a GORGEOUS new mt. bike on my front porch…does this day ever stop!! (sorry, runners, I may lose you here unless you were/are a biker too).  I got the major hookup on a dealer cost on a Fuji 29er outland full suspension with sram XO components…a totally sweet set up.  I have to admit, since I’m a lot more into running these days, the whole part about the cost and the gear required for biking doesn’t do it so much for me anymore, and is actually kind of a nuisance.  But I also admit I was pretty stoked to put the bike together for the sake of getting out and hitting some trails.

And, I must say, it did not let me down.  The challenge with biking is that if it is going to be reallyfun, you really need good gear, which costs a lot.  But with the right gear, biking is fantastic stuff.  No more beat up 10 year old bike means you will see me mixing in a lot more mt. bike rides on the trails I’m running this summer.  It was such a blast riding for an hour and a half this afternoon up and down some crazy steep stuff, just pouring sweat by the buckets on the way up, and bombing the down hills.  Tons of fun!

I was so ready for a saturday like that after a busy week of work (and 12 hours of community service which was putting a damper on my morning workout routine)

Here’s some pics from the day:

Before sunrise, and before starting to really climb on the early run

Sunrise in the mountains

Cool pond near one of the high points

Coming down, gorgeous day, awesome trail

One of the many bridges along the trail, I love running back and forth across rivers, its always fun.

Often the trail was a river, and it felt great getting soaked – I love how my roclites held up with getting completely soaked, even early in the run, it never bothered me once, they drain really well.

Looking back at the tunnel where the trains go through the mountain here.

Start of Nans race

Right after they started, Nan going out strong (I think she realized after a little too strong perhaps)

Breanne absolutely loving her first mile race

Ali pretty thrilled with her metal and her prize, she couldn’t stop talking about running either, pretty funny.

Biking at White Ranch, why have I not ridden or run this trail before now??? 15 minutes away and absolutely awesome!

Just look at the views from the white ranch trail, and this doesn’t do it justice

Rob Davis, now there is a dude who can ride a bike, I was seriously in awe at the crazy technical stuff he was able to ride that I had no chance on…I have to bow down to him on the technical riding scene.

Posted by: nankennard | May 19, 2010

California!

A few weeks ago we went to California to enjoy the beach and Disneyland/California Adventure Park.  We all had an exhaustingly fun time.  Here’s a few pics of the weekend:

Posted by: aaronkennard | April 7, 2010

Spring on the Front Range

I went running for an hour this afternoon on the Mesa trail in the foothills by my house.

Doctor’s orders, he mandated that I go running but that I stay off cement or asphault.

NO!!!  DON’T THROW ME INTO THE BRIAR PATCH!

Absolutely gorgeous day to be running in the mountains, thanks doc!



Posted by: nankennard | March 15, 2010

Its been a while

I’ve been slacking in my family blogging lately!  Let me see if I can grab a few pics to share from the past few months…

Aaron’s been doing a lot of mountain running, and has in fact topped out that peak to the right a few times in the past few weeks.  I’ve been running some, and cross training some more as I’ve struggled with running injuries through the past few months.

Mountain biking is a great workout, unless early spring mud causes equipment failure, as in the picture above. It took me 20 minutes to get myself out of the clay-mud that I rode into because I had to keep stopping and scraping mud and twigs out of my brakes and off my tires to push my 80 lb. bike back up the hill and onto dry ground.

It was really fun riding fast back to my car though as that mud flipped up into my face and all over my legs and back.

We’ve enjoyed taking the kids out to dinner and spending time together as a family.

Taught ’em how to play mini-golf and Abe sank a hole in one on the 7th hole!!  Breanne and Ali mostly enjoyed running around the glowy neon surroundings and rolling the ball around.

Aaron turned 30!

SLEDDING!

Falling asleep while eating…

A fun, cold, race to the New Year with awesome people.  Aaron ran barefoot in nothing but shorts and won the “coldest runner” award.  Ash and Em ran together and we all hooted and hollered as 2010 rang in.  Adam accomplished a great task: He did not puke after snacking  on pizza, treats and whatever else all New Years Eve and then pushing the pace in the midnight race.

And our favorite thing about going to Utah at Christmastime is seeing Cousins!

Posted by: nankennard | December 2, 2009

Beautiful run in Eldorado Canyon

I’ve been doing a kid swap with a friend and today she watched our kids while Aaron and I went running together in Eldorado Canyon.  I am SO glad Aaron has been able to build up his mileage and can join me on beautiful runs like this one.  Despite how nice the weather has been lately, we did have a cold front come in last night and we awoke to 15 degrees and 6 inches of snow.  We ran anyway and I’m so glad we did.  The snow covered trail was very peaceful.  We didn’t see anyone out on the trail until we were almost back to where it meets up with the road again and then we saw one hiker.  I was toasty warm the whole run (after my feet got the blood flow to them about 15 minutes in).  I was glad I wore three layers on top and two layers on my legs though, as well as two layers of gloves.  What amazed me was that Aaron wore his new Vibram Five Finger shoes, as part of his barefoot running regime, and his feet didn’t get cold either!  I guess feet work pretty hard and get a lot of blood flow while running 13+ miles.  Even if it is through 6 inches of snow.

Posted by: nankennard | November 22, 2009

TMBG Family Concert

A couple of weeks ago we decided to be spontaneous and take our kids to the They Might Be Giants family concert in SLC.  The kids are huge fans of TMBGs kids albums, so the kids concert was a HUGE HIT!    I think Aaron and I had just as much, if not more fun than our kids too.

We stayed with Aaron’s parent’s while we were in town and Suzanne got some great shots of the kids!

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