Christmas at the Stenzel House

>> Saturday, December 31, 2016

Here are 14 photos from our Christmas parties in 4 different homes:

Getting into his stocking on Christmas Eve morning. (Santa came early.)

So many presents!

Who looks happier here?

He shook me down for loose change, and then became exhausted
putting all of his "earnings" into his dinosaur bank.

A final shave for baby Jesus.

A dancing light-up hat at Great-Grandma Eileen's house.

Christmas Eve with lots of family, young and old.

Great Grandpa's rules for the pool table.

Christmas morning with his cousins.

With my Grandma: Great-Grandma Jean.

My parents family!

More presents. Because that's what they need. Sheesh.

Using magnetic building tiles as clip on earrings. (Right after this, Henry pinched
his neck behind his ears with these things, and then he stopped doing this...)

This. Unfortunately.

Back soon with my DONUT MILE race report! Happy New Year!!


Friday Funny 1208: HONEST New Year's Resolutions

>> Friday, December 30, 2016

Here are some resolutions that I can really get behind. [via WorldWideInterwebs]

SIDENOTE: I've been posting fairly regularly on my Photo Blog, and as part of this Friday Funny, here's a funny post about things that are said at EVERY family Christmas card photo shoot. Enjoy. :)

Lots more funny stuff posted all week long on


Friday Funny 1207: Pick Up Lines

Some of these are funny. And some are God-awful...

More funny things on


Friday Funny 1206: The Best Cat Tweets of 2016

Here's a good way to end 2016...

More funny things posted 10x every day at


Empty-Nester for a Few Days

>> Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Mom kept my kids for a few days after Christmas, so yesterday was the first full day back home without the boys. I got a lot of stuff done. I posted this photo on Instagram last night with the caption:

“WHAT DID I DO WITH ALL MY TIME BEFORE KIDS?!? In the first 24 hours since my boys have been at my Mom's, I made 2 meals for my wife to take to work for lunch (blackened tilapia, and pork chops in apples and onions with glazed carrots), finished grading, submitted grades, resized and organized 800 files from my students this past semester, submitted 3 years worth of syllabuses to Hamline, vacuumed, did 5 loads of laundry (and made every bed in the house), hit the trainer for 90 mins, printed a few 8x10s for family, and stopped at the post office, library, and Goodwill. Big list for tomorrow too. Gotta keep moving...”

Here’s a sweaty selfie I took about 80 minutes into my trainer ride yesterday:

Notice I snapped the photo RIGHT as a drip of sweat was leaving my nose. Gross.

I did parts of the 3 hour “Spinervals 13.0” workout: a long warm up, 3x10 minute tempo, and 5x6 minute efforts. I skipped the 30 minute tempo in the middle because MY GOD THAT SUCKS.

BIG NEWS: I’m racing a Donut Mile tomorrow morning! (The same one that I did last year.) So check Instagram and/or Twitter to see how it all turns out tomorrow! Back with a full report probably next week.


Windiest Run EVER

>> Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Last night, we got back from 3 days in southern MN for Christmas. When we drove down, everything was frosty and white:

The frost quickly blew off the trees as the last 2 days were SUPER windy. And windy in the country is MUCH different than windy in the city.

Yesterday morning, when there were 30+ mph SUSTAINED winds, I went for a 5 mile run. Four of those miles were down the highway and back near my parents home in the middle of the open, flat, southern Minnesota countryside. When I turned into the wind, it was like I couldn't breathe. It was insane. After a half mile, I was breathing/working like I was running FASTER than a 5K (like 5:30 pace) even though I was running about 8:00 pace, so I let up even more.

My 2 miles of moderate/hard effort into the wind were 8:29 and 8:45, for a total of 17:14 "out."

I turned around and had NEVER felt such a PUSH like that on my back before. The hood of my hoodie was over my shoulder and next to my face pushing me like a parachute the entire way back.

I ran at a MUCH EASIER effort back, as I ran 6:37 and 6:15, for a total of 12:53 "back."

If I were to have had the same effort on the way back, I'd have to speculate that I would have been running around 5:30 pace. Easily sub-6 for sure! (That 6:15 mile was MUCH easier than either of those 8+ miles on the way into the wind.) So about 3 mins / mile faster based only on the wind.

That was nuts.


The Gym Needs a New Treadmill for Christmas

>> Saturday, December 24, 2016

This past weekend, I posted the following on Instagram and Twitter:

True story: I may have killed treadmill #47 this morning. Apparently, it can only take 9+ mph for so many miles. I started to smell burning, and I thought the air was getting thick. Then a trainer came running over shouting "Steve, you're smokin!" I hopped off to finish my workout on treadmill #46. 7.2 miles total with the middle 3+ at moderate pace (9+ mph or sub-6:40).

Two of the other trainers ran into me and asked if that story was true. I told them to ask trainer Leslie! That's how it happened. But then I heard from another trainer that someone else made it start to smoke earlier in the week too, so it wasn't just my doings. (That run was the final in my 3 weeks of solid running that I noted in this post earlier this week.)

In totally unrelated news: MERRY CHRISTMAS! Here's our set-up this year:

Hope you're able to spend some time with some loved ones! May peace be in your soul.


Friday Funny 1205: College Finals

>> Friday, December 23, 2016

Last week, my class had their finals. I posted this on Facebook afterwards:

News flash: she didn't.

Here are about a dozen more finals-related funnies from Tumblr:

This is too real.

Lots more funny things posted 10x every day on HAPPY WEEKEND!!



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