Words to live by...

"A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others." ~Author Unknown

"A good wife is her husband's biggest fan -- no matter how crazy he is." ~Me

"May God give you.. For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer." ~ Irish Blessing

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Good intentions

I sat down to write a blog on, hmmm, Sunday about my amazing ride out in the 64 degree weather. It renewed my energy. It was beautiful. I finally got out with the D70 on the bike, admired the Colorado beauty, and even saw Chris's lone Coyote friend Fileepoh (although was too slow hauling out Hoss Camera to snap a picture). I've yet to download the pictures but hopefully that'll happen later this week some time. The weather and the ride were just what my attitude needed.

Prior to that, I sat down on, hmmm, Saturday night, to blog about my most spectacular husband and his 2nd place finish in his first snow race up in Leadville. After waking up crankily about getting hauled out of bed so early, while still sick, on a Saturday morning to sit in ski traffic... we arrived in Leadville and I felt the pull of the race. I immediately regretted being sick and not having my bike with me. In the end, it's good I didn't ride seeing as I'm still -- over a week after getting sick -- still sickish. I also got to see Chris finish with a HUGE smile on his face. Another race in the books where I didn't even have a chance to worry about him or wonder where he was. My sights are set on the night snow race on the nordic course near Leadville on the 9th. It sounds like fun to spin around in the snow and endo into piles of powder. I think Chris is warping my brain slowly.

But alas, neither of the blogs actually got written past the first sentence. So here I sit, slowly catching up after an evening of online masters class bs'ing and an hour of trainer riding while reading boring material for said class.

In my head I've also been kicking around the idea of actually talking about our failed baby making attempts on the blog. It's something I've skirted around on this blog -- fearing it was too much information or something; however, today, as the reality of another opportunity passed set in, I realized that it's a huge reality in my life that no one (minus the husband unit and a few good friends) ever really asks about. But it is what it is... and it definitely weighs more heavily on my mind than anything else. I'm not asking for sympathy and I've yet to go off the deep edge of being obsessed or super stressed. But at the same time we're coming to a point where Chris and I have to make "decisions" and it's always nice to be able to verbalize that type of thing... if not just for our own sake, but also to hear from people who have gone through the same thing, or as a record of our experience for others who will ultimately go through it themselves one day.

Sure, some of it is personal, but don't worry, I'm still me.

I'll start you out easy. Today I bought a basal temperature thermometer. People I know (and actually trust) have been extremely successful with this and it, apparently, can provide helpful information when it comes time to talk more seriously to doctors. One day I'll tell you about my "invisible line of ignorance" that I'm scared to cross for I know I can never return. The thermometer is like putting my toe over the line to test the water on the other side. I'll let you know how that goes.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Good old fashioned random blog

This morning I realized that my nose has a purpose other than for being sick.

Chris had this great idea before bed last night of taking a very steamy shower before bed (steamy, like actually steamy, not steeeeeamy in the other kind of way -- yeah, I had to clarify that one at the time). We steamed for a good half hour, I choked down a few Tylenol Cold PM, we watched a really bad movie ("Gracie" -- some girl soccer movie -- as if I didn't start out not being a fan of soccer enough, somehow that movie made me dislike it even more), and then I slept like a rock. Minus waking up in the middle of the night sweating like a pig (a fever breaking perhaps?), I slept better than I have in quite a few days.

And then I woke up with the ability to smell again!


That sensation only lasted for about five minutes, and the rest of the day was spent at work feeling pretty crappy.

But I see a deliciously smelling light at the end of the tunnel.


So anyway.
Here are some cute pictures from Christmas that my mom sent me a little while back and I've been meaning to post. The first is of Chris and I before our Christmas Eve ride, the next is of us making deliciously gourmet cookies, and the next is of the fam (minus one brother and sister-in-law and mom who is taking the picture), and the last is me ripping it up on guitar hero. Yes. I'm awesome.

I haven't told any funny kid stories in a while so I feel the blog is due. So here's a quick one:

(Chris and I were watching "What Not to Wear" the other night and there was a teacher on there. The hosts made some comment like "you don't want your students learning style from you, do you?" To which we laughed. And Chris made some snide comment like "well, lucky for your kids, they are too little to notice style" (muahahaha, my husband is so funny). That would've been a descent sarcastic comment until I came back with -- "you'd think, wouldn't you?" After which I told him the following story which he immediately told me to blog about...)
I have this little guy who is generally the subject of all of my kid-stories this year. He's just a mess. I have come to love him, but he's seriously a mess. He comes from a pretty poor home. Our school has uniforms and his little sweatshirt was getting pretty nasty. It was dirty and had holes in it. The funniest holes were the home-made thumb-holes. I LOVE shirts that have thumb holes... I honestly think it's more of a comforting feeling than a comfortable feeling, but I would have all shirts with thumb holes if possible, however only have one that I wear to work on occasion (as seen in this picture -- also sent by mom).

One day I realized that this little guy had his thumbs sticking out of the cuff of his sweatshirt. He caught me looking at them and he exclaimed "LOOK! My shirt is like your shirt!" So that was cute. One day he was down in the office and they noticed his holey/gross shirt, so they gave him a new one. He came upstairs, proud as could be of his brand new sweatshirt. It wasn't ten minutes later that I look over and see him fiddling under his table with his scissors. Guess what? His new shirt has thumb holes too. Turns out I do influence the fashion of 7 year old... boys.
P.S. Our new grassroots biking team is slowly getting off the ground, and if you've ever wondered who the random people are that I mention, check out Chris's new "interview" section of Ride Against The Machine. He'll be adding people every few days. I think it's a really cool idea.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Right now it is 5:00 pm, 17 hours into the day.

I have, literally, slept for 15 of those 17 hours.

And this is after doing absolutely nothing for all of our four day weekend and sleeping basically all of yesterday minus going to my masters class.

Chris is almost better. In fact, he's out riding in the freaking cold right now for an undetermined amount of time. So basically he's better minus a few sniffles.

And I am still in my pj's.

To my own credit, I guess Chris felt bad starting Friday and I didn't start feeling bad until Sunday, but still. I want to be better and out riding (ok, maybe not out riding in this cold but at least riding the trainer for a little while). In fact, I'm so sick of "resting" that I am pondering getting on the trainer and just spinning my legs for a little while despite my better judgement.

I believe Chris is even close to moving past the "poor thing, what can I do" phase and into the "ok, get better already" phase and I don't blame him one little bit. Tomorrow I will be going back to work no matter what because I can no longer B.S some sub plans with the little I left out on Thursday.

I'm getting restless... but not really better. Ah, the aggravating irony of illness.

I'm annoyed.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wii are sick :(

Chris and I are both sick.

This never happens.

What was supposed to be an incredibly adventurous four day weekend for the two of us has instead found us being lazy in bed, on the couch, and playing the wii until our eyes are burning.

MLK day will find us in a similar position as right now -- sniffling, coughing, and whining on the couch.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reality Check

This morning I took the dog out for a walk and the weather was BEAUTIFUL.

It couldn't have been nicer.

Originally my plan had been to stick in a movie and ride a long trainer session today, but since the weather was so nice I knew I couldn't pass up a chance for a nice outside ride.

After bringing the dog back, I quickly changed and packed up the D70 for an outside ride adventure with Monster Camera. I intended to connect some trails together to find some nice scenary, take breaks to play with the camera, and just enjoy the afternoon outside.

However, as I rode away from the house, I noticed the air felt colder than when I had walked the dog... despite now wearing winter tights, booties, long sleeved jersey, coat, hat, and heavy gloves.

Ok, I'll warm up as I ride.

But after a few minutes, it wasn't warming up. I hit the dirt trails and they were so tacky that it felt like riding through a can of Play-Doh. So I diverted back onto the road, changing my plans and route to meet the conditions. I kept pedaling (into a monster headwind by the way) and looked up and noticed that a big block of dark clouds had moved overhead. Ah, yes, the weather was changing. Quickly.

So, here I am, after a whoppin' 30 minute ride, back in the warmth of my own home. Despite the gorgeous weather this morning, I guess it is the middle of January after all.

Tomorrow the trainer and I have an 86 minute date while we watch "Open Season" together.


Friday, January 11, 2008

An ode to the 60 pound bike...

One of the perks of teaching first grade is having a genuine excuse to read super cute little kid books.

Right now we are studying "All-About" books...aka informational texts. Today I was excited to read a book called "Dogs" to my kids during reading time. Not just because it was about dogs, but it used one particular dog as an example that looks a lot like Turbo. It shows pictures of this Golden as a new pup and as it grows up. It was the definition of "super cute."

Here comes the best part of the book though...

One section of the book is called something like "What Does My Dog Look Like?" The section opens with a picture of the pup sitting next to a boot and it says "When I brought my dog home, it was about the size of a cat and weighed the same as a big bag of sugar." Ok, cute. I'd agree with that fact.

But then...

"Now that my dog is grown up, it weighs the same as a bicycle!"

No kidding.

And it shows a picture of a full-grown Golden Retriever next to a bicycle. As a point of reference, our dog is a full-grown, male Golden Retriever who is on the smaller side for a Golden at 63 pounds.

Here's my kids' reaction at hearing this page "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAHHHHHH!" To them, the comparison was not unreasonable... they couldn't believe a dog could weigh THAT much! After all, a bicycle is quite the ginormous machine to a six year old.

But in the end, it was an adult that wrote the book...what kind of ghetto bike does Author ride that weighs as much as a Golden -- even a small Golden?

Think of the buffness you'd have huffing that sucker up a hill.


Thursday, January 10, 2008


The week has been long. Not bad, just long.

I'm lacking inspiration for a blog today but have an incredibly uneventful weekend approaching and hope to catch up on some blogging during that time.

For now:

Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts; the sight of the deep-blue sky and the clustering stars above seems to impart a quiet to the mind.
Jonathan Edwards

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Memories and Resolutions

Happy New Year to all in bloggerland! We are in St. Louis enjoying a relaxing week with the family and dogs. This morning Chris was attacked in bed by a fluffy herd of flying golden pig-dogs. Pictures will come soon but the camera is currently with Chris as he rides his bike over in Illinois with his dad -- I chose to opt out of the fun ride because of the extreme chill in the air... now I feel lazy but at least I'm warm :)

As the calendar has now turned over 2008, I can look back on another year. This year has been full of so many adventures that it'd be impossible to list them all here. The best part about blogs is that you get to publicly make statements and then look back on them later and laugh at your naivety or marvel at your wisdom. Here's what I wrote at this time last year, looking forward to '07 (with my current comments in blue):

Looking forward to 2007? You bet! If all goes as planned, '07 will be a huge year for me. That it was. I've realized my abilities and talents and this year I am going to do my best to challenge myself to accomplish things that I've always wanted to do. I am semi-committed to give time trials on the road bike a whirl. Yay! We'll see how training and trying out aero-bars feels. I like the idea of a 20something minute race although getting over the fear of going fast is going to be my biggest challenge. Surprisingly, going fast in aero-bars wasn't as scary as I thought. While I'm still not super speedy, I can now consistently cruise over 20 mph on a road bike without thinking twice. I gained some serious confidence on both types of bikes this year. I am also semi-committed to thinking about registering for the winter park mountain bike series. I need to get out and push myself on the mountain bike... once I am convinced that I'll get something other than last place in my age group, I will think about committing. I'm glad I did this series. Even if I paid more for not committing to the entire series right away, I am impressed that I went back for all seven races. I also didn't get last -- I'm still quite proud of my 2nd place finish in the series. I'm excited about conquering a few more of those mountains that I look at out the window everyday. We climbed 8 more. Wow. Chris and I are hoping to expand the family this year and find out whether or not a guy who rides on an SLR for 6000+ miles can really have babies successfully ;) Well, I guess we still haven't proved that this can happen, but at least it's been fun trying! I've gotten better at being patient and being genuinely happy for the countless number of friends that have popped up pregnant while we've been disappointed every month. This entire experience has been a challenge to my personality but with good results. Should be a big year. Even if things don't work out as planned, I'm sure there will be memories galore in the coming 12 months. Good or bad, we'll get through them with grace and plenty of pictures! That's right. We have over 1,000 new pictures from 2007 and many many many new memories.

So there we have it. I met and exceeded many of my goals and expectations for 2007. I even managed to deal with some unexpected challenges as well. As I head into 2008, I hope for much of the same. My goal is to challenge myself in the mountains on my bike and on my feet. Perhaps I will talk myself into more mountain bike racing outside of the Winter Park series (for sure a tour of the White Rim. Kokopelli tour too? Colorado trail on bikes or feet?)... Maybe by 2009, our 14er count will be up to 20 -- is there a true winter climb coming in 2008? I already know of a few changes coming to the Plesko house in 2008 and with these changes everything will be challenged; however, I'm sure that no matter what happens, we'll make it through (once again) with "grace and plenty of pictures!"

I greet the new year with my favorite "non-people/animals" pictures of 2007:

Some fancy named stove made out of cans but also a really cool picture!

This year we managed to have a Friday morning Starbucks date almost every week (except for over the summer).
Our car looked like this more often than not. Only now we can add a busted taillight to the picture! On this particular weekend we climbed one day, rode the next and camped the weekend away.
Fall on Culebra Peak. Scary road but beautiful scenery!
Frozen stream on Mt. Bierstadt. Maybe one of our less successful/less fun climbs of the year but it was quite pretty.
Ah, our failed White Rim trip. By far the most adventurous adventure of the year. I'm all for more adventures but let's hope this one doesn't repeat itself in 2008.
Thank you for reading another year's worth of rambling!