Monday, July 09, 2007

July 2007

Well it’s official; I have the coolest wife ever. She took me to a bike race, “Colorado Crankworx,” for our 6th year anniversary. Crankworxs is a bike event that has traditionally been held at Whistler ski area in British Columbia. I don’t know the background but they decided to hold one at Winter Park Colorado. We drove up Thursday night, ate dinner at a local restaurant, and stayed the night at one of the lodges.

I’m still recovering from my wreck (two weeks ago!!) and it hurts to lie down for a long time, so I woke up at 5 am and decided to go for a walk. I wasn’t sure were to go, so I got in the car and found a dirt road that looked like it might have some nice views. The sun was peaking over the mountains, and it was absolutely beautiful. It was a great way to start the day.

After my walk, I drove back to the hotel and woke up Hannah with some peanut m&m’s. I got the idea from watching a TV commercial were I guy put a diamond necklace on his wife while she was sleeping. The women woke up and kissed her husband and they lived happily ever after. Hannah’s not in to diamond necklaces, and I don’t have the money for one anyway, but I knew m&m’s would get me the desired response. Hannah woke up, smiled, ate the m&m’s and went back to sleep….mission accomplished : )

After we checked out of the hotel, we went to Safeway for breakfast, and headed up to the race.

Crankworx has cross country races, downhill races, and slope style / big air competitions. The event in BC is much bigger, but this one was pretty good.

In the morning we watched the slope style / big air events. The racers would enter the course by riding off a 30 ft platform and landing on a steep slop. Depending on how fast they road they would get 40-50 feet of air. It was INCREDIBLE!!

In the afternoon, we hiked to the top of one of the ski runs to watch the downhill events. These guys (and girls) were riding so fast that I got nervous just watching them….memories of my crash have left me a little gun shy.

All in all it was a great anniversary. Hannah is my best friend, and I can’t image life with out her.

And now you moment of ZEN……this is an old picture, but it deserves to never be forgotten..

June 2007

Well its official, I’m tough. T- U- F- F tough. That’s right, I’m a grade A tuffy. I’ve been telling you all this for years and now I have a medal to prove it. I raced in my 1st Xterra triathlon 2 weeks ago.

My friend Kristen is a swimmer and my friend Laurel is a runner and I love to mountain bike so we decided to enter as a relay team. They let you do it as a team if you’re not ready for the real deal. I thought this was a safe way to try something new. For those of you who are not familiar with the Xterra triathlon let me give you the run down. Basically the Xterra triathlon is the coolest triathlon in the world. They hold these races around the world and they are unique because they are all off road and held in rugged locations. The amateur races usually consist of a 1 mile lake swim, a 20 mile mountain bike course and a 5 mile trail run.

After seeing everybody warm up in their swimsuits I am convinced that these triathletes are the fittest athletes around. Needless to say, I was very intimidated. I almost backed out because I have been so busy at work I haven’t had time to train. Riding 20 miles on a mountain bike at 9000 feet above sea level and pushing as hard as you can is not the same as 20 miles on a road bike.

Most of the race was single track and I was worried about some of the technical areas….rocks, stumps, etc… When it came down to I actually did fairly well. I passed more people than passed me and I did very well on the downhill and in the technical areas. In fact, that is where I was able to pass people. I just wasn’t prepared for the 3 miles of steep uphill at the end. It was terrible!

Anyway, like I told Eric, “I went crazy fast” on the downhill single track and we ended up being the fastest relay team. This doesn’t mean a whole lot because I didn’t have to swim or run, but we were the only female relay team and beating the boys always makes me feel good. I wore my medal around the house for a few days until Eric said it was getting old.

My dad flew out from Utah to hang out and watch us race. It was wonderful having him here. He could win in his age bracket if we could only teach him how to swim. I was surprised how good it felt to see my Dad and Eric cheering for me at the finish line. I felt like a little girl again in a very good way. It was a great experience and I look forward to racing again.

Eric raced in the sprint course which is a shortened triathlon. He had to swim a half mile, mountain bike 10 miles and run 2.5 miles. He worked hard for his race and lost 20 pounds in the process. He did very well and now he is hooked. They have an Xterra race in Ogden, UT in August and he was thinking about racing until he fell off his bike. Turns out he cracked his sternum, a rib, bruised his calf, and dislocated his arm. It has been over a week and I am still not allowed to hug him, touch him or look at him too hard. He must be hurting because he struggles taking the lid off the peanut butter jar.

Both Eric and I are working all of the time and I am gearing up for girls camp. Sorry for the delayed blog. Busy times.

And now your moment of ZEN.......(notice Eric's 'post race' bowed legs..)

April 2007

In April I had to go to Washington DC for some meetings. The meetings were scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and under normal circumstances I would have flown out Sunday night, but due to flight schedules I was a lot less expensive for me to fly out Friday night, so I ended up staying over the week end.

Because I had some extra time, I decided I’d play tourist for a day and bought a tour with “Old Town Trolley” for $25. It was worth every penny. The tour covers Washington's major attractions such as the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, Washington National Cathedral, the White House, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.

The trolley’s stopped at each site every 15 minutes so you could get off at the sites you wanted to see and skip the ones you don’t have time for. It was perfect. I only had two regrets. First: I wish Hannah were there. It would have been much more fun with her. Second: I wish I would have brought warmer cloths. It was 60 in Denver and the forecast for DC was in the mid 50’s…..well it was much colder and the wind chill was brutal. I did the tour in a sweat shirt and froze my nubbins off.

On Sunday, I attended church in Virginia. The ward was very friendly, and I had a great time. I even got a dinner invitation, but declined. The rest of that day was spent in my hotel room and walking around Bethesda (that’s were my hotel was).

Monday meetings….Tuesday meetings…Tuesday night I get a call from my friend Tim, and he tells me that our friends Joe and Barbara Muir live in Chevy Chase MD. Tim had their address and contact information, and low and behold they lived 10 minutes away from my hotel. I was disappointed that I didn’t get this piece of information sooner, but I was able visit them.

Joe was instrumental in helping me return to the church, and the meeting was kind of emotional for me. It had been seven years since I’d last seen him and I wanted to tell him that I had been grateful every day for everything he’d done, but when I saw him it was the same old Joe, and he down played everything he did. It’s wonderful to have good friends.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

December 25, 2006

As you may have heard, Denver had a heck of a snow storm last week. Roxborough received over 3 feet of snow, and some of the wind drifts were 6 feet. The whole town shut down, and we didn’t leave the house for 3 days, but had power, heat, and plenty of food, so it was like a vacation. Hannah went to work Wednesday morning, but decided to leave around 10:00 before the roads got too bad. When she got home, she had a movie, treats, and told me that we were going sledding. I told her that just because it was a snow day for her, I had to work (I had my laptop). The good news about technology is that I can work from home, and the bad news about technology is that I can work from home. It’s a mixed blessing.

By Saturday enough of the roads had been plowed that we could make it to the state park just up from our house, so we decided to go cross country skiing. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the snow was light powder – perfect conditions. The park was closed, which was great because we didn’t have to pay, so we skied in. The road to the park is about 3 ½ miles, and has great scenery. It’s almost better then the park. When we got to the park, we decided to do some exploring, and ended up having to make a choice of backtracking or going through a gully of scrub oak. We knew the scrub oak patch would stink to go through, but it was a long way to backtrack so we decided to go through. We found a dry stream bed that had slightly less trees in it and followed it down. The trees were so thick that we had to take off our skis and the snow was up to our waist. I slipped on a covered rock, and banged up my knee. I had a brief thought that I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the main trail, but Hannah broke trail and we made it out in about 35 minutes. When we got home my knee had swollen up so bad it looked like I had an orange under my skin, and now it’s starting bruise nicely.

We went to church on Sunday, and Hannah gave a wonderful talk about the importance of receiving, and showing our appreciation for the gift of the atonement. She also sang in the choir.

That night we cooked a ham, made cheese mash potatoes, salad, rolls, and cherry cheese cake for desert. After the feast, we opened our presents, and being stuffed played “fat dog” (lay on the floor).

A few weeks ago Hannah asked me what I wanted to do for Christmas. This was our first Christmas without family, so we wanted to establish some traditions. I told her I didn’t have any ideas, and she asked me if I wanted to go downhill skiing.

When I worked at Brighton, I would volunteer to work on Christmas. I didn’t have any family in town, so I figured I’d let someone else spend it with their family. Christmas day was a great day to work… My boss would let me take a few runs before we opened, and everyone was in a great mood. I always wanted to go skiing with my family on Christmas, but because Hannah’s not a big downhill skier, I never thought we’d do it. The one condition that Hannah placed on the skiing adventure was that I couldn’t be too bossy.

Christmas morning we got up at 6:00 and drove to the Loveland Ski Area. It’s more of a local resort, so we didn’t think it would be as crowed as some of the destination areas. Another bonus is that they have an entire section of beginner / intermediate runs separate form the rest of the area. We had a wonderful day. I think this tradition may stick.

That evening we went and saw the new James Bond movie and ate all of our Christmas candy.

Hannah speaking…Christmas was wonderful this year even though we did not get to spend it with other family members. Because I was preparing for a talk the weeks leading up to Christmas I made an extra effort to reflect upon why I really should celebrate the season. Christmas is about celebrating our Savior and receiving our King. I didn’t make treats or buy lots of stuff but I was happy. I was happy with the blessings I do have because of the Birth of Christ… life, the Gospel, eternal families, the Comforter, an eternal perspective….life is wonderful.

And now your moment of ZEN.........(I was Santa again this year)

December 15, 2006

Last week stunk. Our cat Max had been fighting a cold for a few weeks. He seemed to get better, but then he would relapse and get sick again. We took him to the vet twice, but were unsatisfied with her diagnosis – “Max is in perfect health.” Hannah found a cat specialist in Castle Rock, 30 minutes south of us, and she took him there.

Once there, she explained the history and the vet noticed that Max’s coat looked unkempt. He decided to run some tests, and found that he had the virus called Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). FIP is extremely rare, and only 1% of cats are diagnosed with it. He told us that there was no cure, and that Max would appear to get better, and then get worse – never fully recovering and steadily going down hill. The decision was made to put him down.

The morning we were scheduled to put him down, Max was feeling better and purred when we picked him up. It sounds dramatic, but it was one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do in my life. I bawled like a baby. The last time I cried that hard I was a child. I really bonded with that cat. On Sundays when I’d take a nap, he would jump on the bed and sit two inches from my face staring at me until would lift up the blanket and he’d crawl in. If I rolled on his legs, he wouldn’t make a sound, just kick his way out, and then go back to sleep.

Hannah and I decided that we needed another cat right away, so we went to the pound and picked up a 15 pound black male. He’s very mellow, likes Sally (our other cat), and sleeps all day….he’s perfect. We tossed around several names, and landed on Pete…I think. For fun I’ll list a few of the names we tried on:

  1. Berry White: Named after the R&B singer. Berry White was a ladies man, and had a deep baritone voice. When Pete was at the pound he was in a room with all females, and he would let them lay on him, and has a deep rumbling purr, but his meow is a soprano.
  2. John Coffee: Named after the black guy in the movie “The Green Mile.”
  3. Puddy: Named after David Puddy on Seinfield
  4. Molasses (Mo for short): Black Strap Molasses??? Slower than molasses??? I don’t know it just seemed to kind of fit.
  5. Mouse Face: From the side he looks like a mouse.
  6. Chief Meow Meow. This was Hannah’s first choice but Eric rejected it.

What ever we end up calling him, we’re glad to have another cat.