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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wild Weekend

After completing two more fourteeners on Thursday and finding a much needed Starbucks in Pueblo, we headed down to La Veta (waaaaaaaay down south in Colorado) for our friend Scott's wedding.

We originally planned to camp in the Hotelement with Turbo, but after finding a half-open cabin that allowed dogs (with our friends Craig and Emily who own their own golden retriever named Turbo), we gladly settled in to this wee little cabin:
The cabin itself was a nice little size, but our closet that housed our twin bed for the weekend was a bit cramped between two adults and a full sized Golden. It was cozy enough though but we won't take our queen sized bed for granted again any time soon!

The cabin had this awesome rock climbing area right behind it. We brought the gear and had a really fun afternoon of setting up a new route. Chris did some great route finding and we weaseled our way up this rock and over a difficult roof to the top. Finding a way down through the trees and bushes was another adventure in itself!

After rock climbing, we threw on some clean clothes and hustled over to the rehearsal BBQ.
The next day, Chris and I kept it pretty low key and hung out on the porch reading books most of the day. Before we knew it, he was all spiffed up in his tux and we were ready to watch a beautiful wedding!
I'd say we clean up pretty well!
The wedding was a lot of fun -- hopefully there will be more pictures to come from a friend's camera (including a few photos that document what happens when you take a few engineers, a fire fighter, a kindergarten teacher, and put them alone with some little silicon balls from the center pieces... Let's just say it was quite amusing...)

On Sunday, we went to see the Great Sand Dunes with Erik and Michelle. Chris had never been to this crazy national park and I hadn't been there since my fifth grade trip -- over 18 years ago). The normally HOT tourist attraction was actually quite pleasant with some heavy cloud cover. We were on the lookout for lightning, but never saw any and instead just enjoyed the cooler weather.
The Great Sand Dunes sit at the foot of the San Juan mountains. The contrast between high peaks and endless miles of sand is stunning. Go there if you've never been.
Disclaimer: Chris is really good at backflips. Surprisingly good. At least on a slope. So he immediately found us a good dune and started hucking backflips off of it. He made it look pretty and easy, just as he does everything else, so I decided to give it a try.

Not so easy.

Not so pretty.
Chris essentially had to toss me over backwards. I completed the flip -- more like a back handspring since I put my hands down somewhat -- but then couldn't stop the rotation and ended up on my back in the sand. The good thing about sand is that it is quite forgiving.
I have a great husband who would even break from his hysterical laughing to come help me up. The sand would just pour out of my shorts!
Chris is an acrobat. Very impressive!
Chris and Erik hiked over to a far away dune and wrote us a message. The two ladies on top of the dune with Michelle and I swooned too!
There are so many great pictures from this trip that I'd love to show. I need to put them in a slideshow and then I'll post it. We had an amazing time at the wedding and at the dunes. Many many laughs were had over the weekend and it was great spending time with friends who we only usually get to see on bike rides (which don't really allow for much conversation!).

Congratulations to Scott and Melissa on a beautiful wedding!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Remember these??

I forgot all about them until a recent trip to Target.

Yes, they are as outstanding as you remember them to be.

Pizzeria Pretzel is my latest obsession.


Get some.

You won't regret it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer should never end

I have many excuses for not blogging.

Although none of them really matter, so I won't go into it.

Instead, here's a bit of what has happened lately...

*I picked up Chris from Antelope Wells, NM shortly into his 19th day of riding the Divide on July 1st. The road he had to finish on was really boring -- even in a car -- I can't even imagine how he did it on a very spun out singlespeed. He ended up finishing the race in 19 days and 21 minutes, setting a new singlespeed course record. I could not be more proud of him.

Having him gone for that long was really hard. I had a lot of things on my intended 'to-do list' that never got anywhere near touched. One might think that having hubby gone for nearly three weeks and no job to keep me busy would open up a lot of time. But, as Chris says, Divide racers are high maintenance -- even in a self-supported race. Any time he'd get anywhere near a town that might possibly have a phone, I would wait like a teenager next to the phone waiting for it to ring. And yes, a few times I picked it up just to make sure it was working and yes, a few times I gave sales calls a few choice words before rudely hanging up. Luckily my friends and family were unbelievably patient with my mood swings -- happy as can be if I just talked to Chris recently, crabby and stressed if I hadn't. But, in the end, it was all 100% completely worth it. What an amazing accomplishment. I think we're both still in shock. The news even came to our house and did a story!

*After bringing Chris home, we essentially ate, slept, and enjoyed each other's company for a while. The hardest part of having a husband home freshly off 19 days of living off candy and gas station food is not falling into his same eating habits. He would eat every hour or two -- usually full meals -- and then snack on anything he could find. He dropped nearly 10 pounds racing the divide, while I gained a few eating junk while he was gone. The napping, however, was good. Really, really good. I love naps. It was fun to bring him to the dark side, even if it was just for a week.

*I went to Eldorado Canyon for the first time to go rock climbing. It was a lot of fun. Different than most stuff I've done, but fun!

*I had my first mountain bike race of the season last weekend -- and my first race as an EXPERT. Yeah, doesn't seem right to me either. It was eh. I felt okay overall, but ended up helping a hurt teammate an hour in and subsequently giving up the race and turning the rest into a chill ride. I wasn't really prepared for 3.5 hours out on the bike though (food/water wise) and ended up puking a few times back at the car from a supposed mega-bonk. That was not awesome. The Winter Park series isn't appealing to me this year for some reason, but I expect to do another race or two to see if I get into it. I am really looking forward to the Chequamegon 40 in September in Wisconsin with some friends, so I should get myself in good enough shape so I don't just keel over and die in that one!

*We hosted a really fun party at the house to celebrate Chris's race. Nearly 30 friends were able to make it. It was fun getting together friends from all sorts of aspects of life in one place. My dad's cousin made an UNBELIEVABLE cake for Chris and Kurt. If you are in the Denver area and need a wedding/other celebration cake (or cookies or pastries or cupcakes apparently), find The Cakehouse. So tasty and beautiful to boot!

*Chris and I had an excellent overnight camping trip to hike Mount Yale this week. Chris has a great write-up about it, complete with lots of pictures! We hope to do another one early this week, and perhaps a twofer early the following week. The wildflowers are out of this world on the 14ers right now because of all of the rain that we've had. We want to squeeze in as many peaks as we can before they remember that this is not normally a rainy state!

*Last night Chris and I went to a great dinner at The Fort. We promised his mom we'd go to a special celebration dinner for the Divide race and we both finally felt up to it last night. Previously, I'm sure one of us would've fallen asleep mid-dinner (ahem... Chris). We've always wanted to go to The Fort in Morrison and it was pretty darn tasty. Thanks for the dinner TMom!!

*Tonight Chris is at a bachelor party, so as the weather finally cooled, I headed out for a little mountain bike ride. I tried the two nearest neighborhood stand-bys and both were closed! The dogpark was closed because of fleas that had been found to have the plague! Who knew a "The Plague" even existed anymore? I thought the closure probably mostly applied to the dogs, but I didn't really want to take the chance that I'd cross the closed sign only to be attacked by rabid plague ridden fleas. So I went over to Standley Lake and tried there, but the trail was closed there also -- not sure why. I would normally have just taken the mountain bike on one of our good 'ol road bike routes since I was already out, but my rear tire was quickly losing air and I really didn't want to mess with a flat. So, I pedaled carefully home, willing to admit when the world doesn't want me out on my bike. Instead, I ate some tasty food and ice cream and I can blog while watching Shrek. Not a terrible backup plan!

My summer break is quickly dwindling down. I have a school training on Tuesday, which seems to mark the beginning of the end. It makes me sad, this has truly be a great summer so far. I'm not ready to go back to the stress and routine of work and grad school (two classes in the fall!) as I feel I have just started to recover from last year. It'll be fun once it gets started, but I'm certainly going to enjoy every second I have left of not working or doing homework. Maybe that'll involve blogging once in a while!