Saturday, February 2, 2013


Jack and I went tubing with our Willits cousins yesterday at Soldier Hollow. It was fun.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Being Manly and Touching

It's strange to me how most guys including myself would rather not touch anyone who isn't directly related to them and even then, it's circumstantial. However there is a certain fraternal order that allows for touching. Bear with me on this and keep your mind right please. I went on a winter camp out with the young men from church over the weekend and we took some snow mobiles with us. Normally hugging a guy = not manly. However holding on to a guys waist as you rocket down a powdery bank at 60 mph, well, I guess it isn't exactly manly but it isn't UN-manly. Touching a guys butt in jeans, not cool bro. Grabbing a snapped football or giving the universal 'a-ta-boy' booty tap, well this is very manly. Snuggling with a guy while watching a movie and you may as well hoist the rainbow flag (not that there's anything wrong with that). Snuggling with a guy in a tent on a cold winter night so you combine body heat and survive, como se dice manly? I won't even touch on snake bites or Grecko-Roman wrestling but I am saying that even though in typical everyday circumstances real dudes don't touch. There are scenarios when the most manly of men are so because they do touch. It's an eternal paradox. I don't always touch guys but when I do, it's manly.

Monday, January 21, 2013

About 30

I turned 30 a couple of years ago and among my circle of friends there are several that are turning 30 or have recently achieved that age. Not all of the time but some of the time people freak out about that milestone and I don't know why.

For me personally when I hit 30 I was doing exactly what I had been planning on doing all of my life. I was married with an amazing wife and wonderful kids, a good job a house that was livable (okay the house leaves something to be desired - we're hoping on moving within the year). Sure there are things that I had not yet accomplished, you know, those super realistic goals of becoming a multi-millionaire and traveling all over the world and the like.

But in reality my life is exactly on course. That is not to say either that there are not improvements I'd like to make and that everything I have ever dreamed about has come true. We struggle from time to time, we don't get to buy everything we want, drive the trendiest cars or go on seemingly continuous vacations in exotic locations. I don't have giant pecs or a perfect smile or get all the sleep I want. For crying out loud I still break out like a chocolate filled teenager sometimes. With that said I wouldn't want to trade in my life now for any of those things (or the absence of them).

I love this time, as much as it feels like I'm going to lose the last whits I have when I hear a nail polish bottle smack the bathroom floor knowing our little girls are in there or another argument between the kids or dealing with their unreasonableness when its way past bedtime, stretched finances, over busy schedules, etc. This is it! This is what I signed up for and when I walk in to a room and hear the uncontrollable laughter of my kids or when I come home from work and see Sarah cooking dinner through the front window I am reminded about how great life really is and how much I have to be thankful for. Even more I'm glad that things have not been handed to us. We have grown so much through our trials and learned to trust each other. I am glad to have experienced what I have to this point and turning (insert age) should not be a reminder about what I haven't accomplished or a threat of impending geriatric life. Rather it is a badge of honor at what large doses of life I have been able to absorb.

Monday, January 7, 2013

You know there are certain things that embarrass me more than others but overall I'd say I have a pretty high tolerance for humiliation. I've spent a good amount of life in that space and its kind of part of my comfort zone. One thing that is embarrassing to me is just about anything that requires me to go without a shirt. There are several factors at play here, each adding to the embarrassment more than the last. If any one of them were present individually I think I could deal okay. Firstly, my last name is Aanerud. That means that a good part of my ancestry has spent a large portion of history sheltered from the sun since Scandinavia isn't generally a place where there are a lot of dark skinned Anglo's walking around. I almost said shirtless Anglo's but that isn't accurate - there are those. So combine that with the Hank Hill style farmer's tan that I have been carefully perfecting over the years of riding my bike and you have a sweet combo of white and dark (the scale of darkness is relative).

Secondly, I am today the most out of shape that I may have ever been at any point in my life. I sit all day at a desk almost everyday and I have a sweet Dr. Pepper habit (that I can kick at any time if I so choose, just saying). That matrix results in a rockin gut that would rival any pregnant woman's. Sometimes I am so bloated after eating crap and sucking down carbonated beverages that it actually feels as firm as a pregnant belly. And, sometimes, in the still of the night, I can feel the kicks.

Thirdly, when I was 18, in fact it was on my 18th birthday I did the most rebellious thing I may have ever done in my life and got a tattoo. The subject of the tattoo is not that bad, it's placement that's embarrassing. I was not myself when I got it. You know the story, a teenage kid all jacked up on Dr. Pepper, I've heard it a thousand times. Next thing you know there's money missing off the dresser and your daughter's knocked up. Sorry, that was off topic. Getting back to the point - so I have a lot of freckles and whatnot on my shoulders and back which is where I originally wanted it but because of that the 'artist' would not put it there. So it ended up on my lower back. By the way its a griffin. Bitchin huh?!

So my in-laws in their infinite generosity are taking all kids and grandkids on a cruise in February in which I will be sorely tempted to take my shirt off and swim with my kids. I did this a few weeks ago in California but we were literally the only ones at the pool so it didn't matter. It's funny though how you can still be embarrassed in front of your kids who are all oblivious to almost everything.

That's the trifecta - crappy coloring, crappy gut, crappy tattoo. I have to be the triple crown winner of idiocy right? Maybe I should get one of those awesome 20's style one piece jobs. Let me go check Amazon.