June 30, 2009

Watch Out, Your Going to Fall! AHHHHH

It turns out that I'm kind of a during person.

Meaning I don't really remember to do something before, I remember to do it during.

Which is kind of anti climatic when I am showing you a home improvement project.

Everyone knows half the fun of improving something is seeing the before and then the after.

However, you just get the during. Mainly because I get so excited to start the project that I just skip the before. Then after all the destruction is done I start snapping away.

Our latest project has been to refurbish the banister for the basement stairs. Our house is 23 years old and the banister is original to the house. It was an okay banister and it was in okay shape. It had been badly stained in the beginning and was a little wobbly other then that it was fine. However, I wanted to clean it up and take it up a notch. So I put the handy husband to work.

Which meant he had to take the whole thing out and take it all apart. Which left our stair case looking like this for about a week.


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It was kind of scary to walk past it. I was sure that I was going to fall. I have issues.


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These are some of the 28 spindles that had to be stripped, sanded, primed, painted, put back together and polyed. It was so much fun. Smelt great too. (I hope that your picking up on the dripping sarcasm.)


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Here is our new banister.


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It is very pretty and slowly but surely the picture of my kitchen in my head is starting to match the real kitchen.

I should also mention that one of the best parts about this project I only had to go to hardware store twice. It was awesome!

Next project "before" pictures I promise.

June 29, 2009

Pinchin Pennies

I don't know about your household but this household is in major penny pinching mode. It has a little to do with the economy and a lot to do with the four growing children.

They need stuff. They need stuff all the time. They almost always insist on being fed. There are days that the only thing my 12 year old says to me is, "What's for dinner." I highly suspect saying, "Dinner, no dinner tonight" would not go over well.

Then they need things like glasses and shoes and school clothes and school fees and...

Well you get the picture.

I wonder whose brilliant idea it was to have four children?

Well what is done is done and we are really learning to the best of our abilities to save money where we can. Part of that money saving is buying certain household items like toilet paper, laundry soap and dish soap in bulk.

In fact until recently Costco sold a huge bucket of dishwasher soap for a very reasonable price. Then one day I went to buy it and they didn't have it. We checked around at other Costco's and other stores and have been unable to find it. Which had us buying other Costco soap but being a little annoyed that the cheaper version was gone.

After a little digging around on the Internet we found that dishwasher soap is actually very easy to make at home. Easy and did I mention very cheap! Yay Cheap! So here it is Krissi's first ever money saving tip.

Take these two ingredients:


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Mix them in equal parts (one cup/one cup)


Put them in a handy to use container with a one tablespoon measuring spoon.

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Fill your dishwasher with dirty dishes, put one tablespoon of soap in the pre-wash and one tablespoon in the wash container, and start. Total cost to wash your dishes 4.5 cents :)

Just in case your wondering the cheapest we are able to buy dishwasher soap now is Costco's liquid brand that cost about 9.5 cents a load. That is if you get every last drop out of the container. Brent also wanted me to mention that you have to have a Costco membership so those two things combined make the actual cost a little more.


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We also read that you can use vinegar instead of JetBlue in the dishwasher. We have tried it and the dishes are coming out clean and streak free.

What kind of tricks and tips do you have for saving pennies?

June 26, 2009

Tooth Fairy, Files Bankuptcy

In the latest financial news, "The Tooth Fairy," has just filed for bankruptcy.

She claims that the loss of teeth has become so great that she is no longer able to keep up. When asked why the sudden filing she sites the loss of teeth in one household being the proverbial straw. Over the course of one week she visited the home 4 times and most nights it was not one pillow but two or three.

She says, "8, 8 teeth in one week, if I didn't know any better I would suspect that parents, struggling in this financial market, have now turned to their children's teeth as a resource."

President Obama, when hearing the news of The Tooth Fairies bankruptcy, pledged his support and is currently having a Obama Tooth Fairy Dollar Minted. Not to be outdone by the US all world leaders are promising similar support.

The Tooth Fairy was overwhelmed with the support however a close friend the Easter Bunny reports, "While not happy with having to file for bankruptcy she did say she was a little relieved that she would finally be able to retire." With the world leaders support it looks as if she will not be getting a much needed break.


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When we last spoke to the Tooth Fairy she was in the midst of filing claims. Apparently for every tooth lost she will have to file a claim to that country in order to obtain the minted coins. This will slow down her turnover time significantly and warns children that it could take her weeks to make tooth exchanges. She is optimistic that the household that seems to be causing her the most stress is rapidly running out of baby teeth. She says, "It is with great relief that the last little one in that family has lost his two front teeth. Soon all the baby teeth will be gone and I should see a marked slow down in business."

June 24, 2009

What is Blooming!

You know how all winter I curse Mother Nature? I make all kinds of threats and let the whole world know how much I despise Mother Nature.


Just thought you should know that there are times that she is pretty much my favorite person.


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Her and I have a real love hate relationship.

Momma and Poppa

A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of a robin's nest full of little blue eggs. Since then we have heard the little chirps and squeaks of baby birds. We have also watched as Momma and Poppa flew in out of the nest with worms. It has been kind of cool observing the diligent parenting of wild life.

A couple of nights ago we were outside and I have to admit trying to get a closer look at the nest happenings. When suddenly momma and poppa began to nose dive and warn us that we were to close. In the process of the commotion two little ones took their first flight out of the nest.

Filled with guilt that we caused the early eviction of two little birds, who were not quite ready to be on their own, we tried to figure out how to get them back in the nest. We knew that we couldn't touch the birds or Momma would have nothing to do with them. We watched as the two little birds twitted and jumped around the front yard. They could get a couple feet off the ground but there was no way they were going to make it back into the nest.


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It occurred to me to look on the Internet to see what we should do. After a little googling it turned out the best thing to do was nothing. Several sites said that even though the birds were out of the nest that momma and poppa would continue to care for them. They would make sure they were fed and would do their best to protect them. The sites said that within a day or two the birds would be able to fly on their own. Leaving the little birds to hop around the yard are only job was to keep animals and children away from them.


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Sure enough Momma was very diligent and we were alerted to any threats with frantic chirping. There was no question when she was upset and thought her babies needed help. It was kind of neat to watch how protective both parents were to the babies. We watched for about 24 hours and sure enough the babies took off on their own.


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I learned all kinds of lessons first of all keep your nose out of things that are none of your business. Second, watching parent birds take care of their little ones should be mandatory viewing for new parents. I had to admire those birds their soul focus was the care and safety of their little ones even when they were not in the ideal situation.

June 23, 2009

Down with Reality TV

I don't know about y'all but I have about had it with reality TV. Starting with the fact that there really isn't that much reality happening on reality TV. Ending with the fact that nothing truly productive or worthwhile seems to happen on reality TV. In fact the opposite seems to happen including the destruction of families.

Maybe you think I am over reacting to Jon and Kate's big announcement and yes it was billed and advertised and marketed as their "big announcement," of divorce. WELL DUHH!! Did we not see that happen did we not watch as two people who obviously cared for each other started to like each other less and less. Honestly, anyone who watches that show just watched a family fall apart. I don't know about you but I don't think that is entertainment I think that is sad.

Meanwhile, my sons and I were only members of the household who refused to watch Jon and Kate's big announcement last night. With all my heart I wanted them to say the show was ending and that they were going to work on their family. I did not want to hear that they were separating and a family was being pulled apart.

It just makes me wonder what kind of world we live in that it is entertainment to watch a family fall apart. What kind of reality is it anyway for a family of 10, whose only real income is that of their show, to take vacations to Hawaii, Park City, Disney World, buy a million dollar home and so forth. That is not reality and ultimately they payed a far greater price for all those hand outs.

I am guilty of watching the show and enjoying the show in the first couple of seasons. As time went on I found the show was just irritating and not really how a mom and dad taking care of 8 kids lives. There are many more shows on TV right now that are one form of reality or other and honestly I am done with them all. I think writers should go back to writing good shows and reality should stay where it belongs in reality not on the TV.

June 22, 2009

I'm Watchin Ya

Today was the first day of a new swim session my very first class is the itty bitties. These are little 3 and 4 year olds who have never taken swim lessons.

They are usually very adorable and very scared. They are so timid and they all stand there and look at you like you are the big bad wolf. Well in away you are you are the one that is going to make them get in the water. In their mind they have no idea what other kind of torture you have in mind.

They all watch you and make sure that you don't do anything sudden. Sometimes they watch me so closely it makes me want to yell. "BOO!" But then I know they will all go running for their moms and that would make me a very very bad swim teacher.

But we have already covered that I have a not so nice streak at times.

This little class was typical they all stood there staring at me just waiting to see what horrible thing I had planned. When I told them to slide into the pool they all slid in with a look in their eyes that said, "I'm watching you!" They all nervously went through the first 15 minutes of class. However, I could tell that this class was going to be different.

See 15 minutes into the first swim class and not one of them was crying. All six of them stared at me big eyed and waiting for my evil to come out but no one was bolting. No one was hanging from my back screaming for mom. All eyes were dry and to my amazement there were even smiles.

Every last one of them is cute as heck and pretty much did everything I said. It was awesome! Maybe they can come home with me and train my kids. I have a feeling that this might be one of the best sessions I have ever worked.

June 21, 2009

theSwimMom Ask

Back to work tomorrow for the second session of the summer. My fingers are crossed that after a week and a half of battling illness that my family is all better. We can't keep being sick we have a summer to enjoy.

All though to be honest we don't have any major plans. Our plans consist mainly of relaxing as much as possible. I am finding that this isn't as easy as it once was.

The two older kids are busy, busy, busy. They are both swimming 3-5 days a week, participating in swim meets and participating in Jr. Life Guards. I am starting to think that S.'s participation in Jr. Life Guards is more for her social life than an opportunity to learn some life guard skills.

However, I have discovered how awesome it is to have her little brother hang with her. It is GREAT how much he lets me know. :)

The younger two are also jumping into the pool but mainly they are enjoying the freedom of summer.

We are anxiously awaiting summer weather. It has yet to warm up to the point that we "KNOW" summer is here. It has rained and rained and rained another day or two and the weatherman say that this will be the wettest June EVER in Utah. Just the kind of record you want in June, right?

That is about all that is going on right now. With everyone being so sick I feel like I haven't had a chance to say hi everyone, see what your up to, see how your summer is going.

Knowing that I thought I would ask an actual, "SwimMom Question," and ask "What are you up to? How is your Summer going?"

Come on people share your excitement between the pool and sick kids my life is very limited.

Happy Summer V-Cay Monday!

June 20, 2009

Shopping for Bolts

Any one who reads this blog knows that I have a very handy husband. Which I have to admit is, well, handy. (It is nice to know that at least I think I am funny, right?) There is one little draw back to my handy husband. He does not like to go to the hardware store alone. He insist on company, bored, incompetent company, is better in his book than no company.

I have tried many a ways to squirm out of the hardware store. He continues to persist in the insistence that I go with him. I have no idea why. Below is a conversation that we have all the time.

Brent: I need to pick up some bolts at the hardware store.

Me: Okay, I will see you when you get back.

Brent: You need to come with me.

Me: (Knowing that I can resist but resistance is futile) Okay (said in such a way to let him know it is anything but okay)

At the Hardware store:

Me: (Leaning on the cart in the bolt aisle wondering why there is a whole entire aisle dedicated to bolts. Thinking I would hate to be the employee responsible for sorting those bolts and also wondering how you even know which bolt you are suppose to buy for what kind of project.)

Brent: I need a doo hicky bolt to be blah blah long so that I can make sure that blah blah blah is installed right

Me: All right

Brent: Do you think this will work?

Me: Ummm . . . sure

Brent: I don't think it will blah blah blah blah correctly.

Me: Okay, so not that one.

Brent: How about this one?

Me: Isn't that the same one you just showed me?

Brent: No this one is blah blah blah. So what do you think?

Me: Sure that looks good to me.

Brent: Let me look at one more thing maybe it will be better.

Me: (Eye Roll, eye roll, eye roll but he is not paying attention to me. He is totally absorbed in the 1 trillion different bolts their purpose, size, shape, blah blah blah)

Brent: (Thirty Minutes later) So I think this one will work we will take it home and try it and if it doesn't work we can bring it back.

Me: (Having no idea what the bolt is even for) Oh, I'm sure that is the right one there is no need for us to bring it back. I'm positive you can get that one to work.

Hence my life as the wife of a handy husband. It isn't all glamour I have to work very hard for all the projects he does so well. I have wondered why in dress shops they have chairs for men to sit in and wait for their wives but there are no chairs in hardware stores for wives. Maybe next time we are at the hardware store I will have to drop a suggestion.

I know there will be a next time because Brent is thinking he needs a different kind of bolt.

June 18, 2009

300 POST

I was getting ready to post a post and I noticed that this would be my 300th post. In just a little over 14 months I have rambled on 300 times. That is a bit crazy. Okay, this is me we are talking about so it is way crazy. My life is defiantly not interesting enough to fill up 300 post with profound, interesting words of wisdom.

Let me apologize now for all the bad post you have read through. Perhaps even a few of the crazy lady post you have read through. Now, I am really thinking about it I should probably apologize for all the times I went on and on and on about:

Home Improvement Projects (Man, you all should see what Brent is doing now. I love IT!)

I guess more than anything you have had to put up with lots and lots of rambling. It is so nice of you all to indulge me. Maybe sometime in the next 300 post or so this blog will develop some kind of theme and structure.

Then again probably not.



June 17, 2009

Pink Elephants

While in the midst of the the 24 hour flu I came up with a brilliant post. It flowed through me with pure brilliance. I know it was an excellent post the pink elephants told me it was brilliant. The drum line that had pounded out one drum cadence after the other inside my head told me it was brilliant.

The problem is that now the fever has disappeared, the pink elephants have gone and the drum line quit beating away I can't remember a word of this brilliant post. Maybe it wasn't that brilliant I don't really know how much I should trust pink elephants anyway.

I guess I will just have to think up another post. One that isn't thought up in the midst of a fever, chills, and pounding headache. Given those conditions I again might have to question the brilliance of said post.

Hopefully, the flu is done at this house. H. was the first victim last Thursday. Sunday Brent came down with it then Monday and Tuesday S., A. and I came down with it. At this time we have one lone family member left who has not had the joy of the 24 hour flu.

June 15, 2009

In a Blink of an Eye

Summer is in full swing. I would love to report that with the end of school came a slowing in our schedule. That is what I would like to report. However, the truth is we seem to be as busy as ever. I'm guessing that is the consequence of all these growing children I find myself surrounded by.


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S. received a registration packet from the Jr. High she will be attending in the fall. She spent hours pouring over all the information she is very excited about everything. Well everything but the Jr. High boosters she needed. Lucky for us we were able to get her into the Dr.'s office quickly and get the dreaded shots over with. Though while at the Dr.'s office the Dr. had to assure her that to his knowledge no one had ever died from Jr. High boosters. She quickly picked up on the words, "To his knowledge." I think he found her anxiety a little amusing.

Sadly I too found her anxiety amusing.

It is amazing what we choose to stress, over think, and become a basket case over.


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I have to admit is is a little strange to be the parent of this growing young women. I keep looking for my little curly hair girl and keep finding this nearly grown women. I don't question that I am old enough to be her mother I just question how 12 years passed so quickly.

June 10, 2009

What is Blooming!

Before I am done writing this post the most recent garden pictures should be uploaded to flikr. With all the bike business going on around here I have not been very faithful with the garden post. Don't let that fool you. Brent and I tend over our little garden with the vigilance of new parents. The gardens are our babies.

Being as all our actual babies are all big and do things like this when I try to take their pictures.


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She is such a bugger. Soon I am going to post a post on the boy craziness taking place in this house. That will show her not to hide from my lens.

Lucky me I still have this one.


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He likes to calls all her boys, "goobers" I really like him. Notice anything different between the first and second pic.




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Yup the braces are off. He still has some pretty funky contraptions inside his mouth but for now the braces are off. What do you think? Are those pearlie whites worth the billion and three dollars that they cost?

It it any wonder that Brent and I retreat to the garden. Peas don't need braces and flowers keep the bird and bee business pretty basic.

Oh.. Speaking of birds turns out we are not just growing children and a garden around here. The kids found this nest in one of our trees. Brent took the picture so it is a little out of focus. He blamed it on a shaky ladder. Sure I said.


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Right now the peas are going gang busters!


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Let me tell you we are enjoying all kinds pea dishes. Brent's favorite is fried rice. YUMMMY!!


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Tonight I pulled a handful of strawberries off the bush. They too were YUMMMY!


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Are you hungry yet?

The flowers blooming are very purdy.


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Really, one of my favorite places right now is in my own yard. It is nice to have the time to stop and smell the roses. It is even nicer when they are my roses.

Happy Gardening Everyone!

June 09, 2009

The Elephant in the Room!

Have you ever heard the phrase, “The elephant in the room?” Most of the time when this is said it is said in reference to a big issue that no one wants to speak of. So like an elephant in the room that no one wants s to acknowledge, for one reason or the other, the issue hangs.

I am bringing this up because if I was you I would be curious. If I was you I would want to know. If I was you I would want to ask. Of course I wouldn’t ask. I wouldn’t want to offend you or maybe I’m not suppose to notice or maybe it just wouldn’t be nice.

So like an elephant in the room I would try to ignore the issue.

Wondering what the heck I’m talking about yet?

Well I’m talking about the fact that I rode a bike for 103.5 miles, trained for seven months to do such a thing, spent endless hours exercising and well. . . I’m still rather fat.

Oh no! I didn’t just say the “F” word did I?

Yup! I said it you read correctly, I am still FAT!!

The elephant in the room, metaphorically speaking of course.

So what's up with that? Why after all this time and exercise have I not lost a single, solitary, tiny little pound?

I would like to blame it on a medical condition. I even went to the doctor for him to dig up something wrong with me. Once all the test came back do you know what I found out? I am 100% healthy, all of my blood work lies well within the normal range. Medically speaking there is no reason for me being overweight.

Dang it! No magic pill and I can look like Brittney Spears. Yikes! Do I want to look like Brittney Spears?

At the end of the day the issue of my weight comes back to me. It is how I eat and how much I eat.

Is it something I think about?

Ummm YAHH!!

When I see pictures do I cringe?

YUP I cringe right up and feel rotten and think there must be something wrong with me to be that fat.

Do I let it control my life?

That answer is a little more complicated. Obviously, food and I have some issues to work out. Obviously there are a few things that I need to deal with. Obviously!

However, at the end of the day I have a job where I wear a swimsuit. All kinds of people see me every day bee-bopping around in my suit. There is no question of my weight status while standing next to some of the cute tiny little girls I work with. Yet, I still have a job where I wear a suit and have no intention to change that fact anytime soon.

Also, I, ME, Yes fat Krissi rode her bike 103.5 miles in a single day!

Do I let weight control my life, to a degree yes but to another degree no. I have learned that I am not defined by my weight it is part of me but it is not all of me. If I spend my life waiting to figure out how to be skinny I will miss to many opportunities. If I spend every day concentrating on loosing weight and trying to look like Brittney (yah, umm yikes again) I will miss out on so much life.

In the end if I have learned that if let my shortcoming rule my life I will never figure out the greatness that is within.

Although, every now and then a magic pill to fix that shortcoming sounds like a great idea.

June 07, 2009

Ride 103.5 miles, CHECK!

Friday

9:40 am

I have always lived my life defined. Meaning that I know who I am and I know my capabilities. I am perfectly aware of what I can and can not accomplish. Which is why I never do anything that I wont succeed. Also, a reason why I don't do a lot of things. A LOT!

Among the definition of who I am is, "Not an athlete." Really, when we get down to it, it is the reason why I am freaking out about a 100 mile bike ride. Athletes ride a 100 miles, non-athletes aka Krissi do not ride 100 mile bike rides. It is very very simple. Yet here I am messing with my very own definition.

I have every confidence that I will reach the end of the ride tomorrow. I have trained, I have worked, I have screwed with the very definition of who I am. Leaving the only option of finishing and dealing with what I have done to myself.

I am positive that somewhere around 50 miles I will question and doubt my capability of finishing. I am positive that I will remember, "I am not athlete!" I am pretty sure that I will try very hard to convince myself that I should stop and stop now! However, the damage is done and I don't think I will forgive myself for not crossing that finish line.

Friday 1:30

Thanks to my good friend Willow, some advice from my little bro and of course Wendy aka the Exercise Nazi I have come up with the following statement.

"Good Thoughts give you Energy, Fruitcake."

Why?

Wendy's Advice, "You have to come up with a thought that gives you strength to keep going."

Jake's Advice, "You just have to relax and enjoy the experience don't worry about everything.

Willow's Comment, "You can so do this.... you planned, you practiced, you have awesome friends to ride with... it will be a piece of cake. Okay, maybe not cake. ooooohhhh, maybe it will be a piece of fruitcake! -- A little tough, a little sweet, kinda nutty, and something you want to share afterwards. Yep, I say it is a piece of fruitcake. (but a good tasting fruitcake; they have to exist somewhere.)"

Sunday 6:30


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Cristy, Heather, Me, Wendy before the ride

I did it, I did it, I did it. 103.5 miles on a bike. I rode from one state to another and back again. Due to our different skill levels all of us that started together ended up separated. I think I probably rode at least 85% of the ride on my own. The first 50 miles were cake.

I was absolutely amazed at how easy and how quickly I was moving. Oh, don't get me wrong I was passed so many times that I'm not even sure I can count that high. However I was doing awesome. Then it happened.

We were told that the ride consisted of rolling hills with no hard climbs. Apparently, cyclist have a different definition of hills then I. At mile 50 I encountered a road sign that said, "LRRH Strong Climb." I then looked up and for a second or two considered crying.

Before me was a mountain, a mountain that I had to climb. Of course I had no choice I had to go up. Over and over I repeated, "Doesn't matter how fast I get up the hill (aka mountain) just get up the hill!" I was also repeating over and over, "Good Thoughts Give You Energy, FRUITCAKE!" I also prayed lots and lots of prayers.

When I made it to the top that hill I had an overwhelming since of accomplishment and not a single doubt I would finish the remaining 50 miles. From that point on I encountered more hills (aka mountains, I swear they were not rolling hills) a downpour of rain and wind. Lots and lots of wind. Rumor has it that the wind was coming at us up to 30 mph. We were riding right into it.

All along I continued to pray and feel blessed and thankful to have a healthy body and the opportunity to challenge myself. Whenever I felt myself even start to think about being discouraged I would say, "Good Thoughts Give You Energy, Fruitcake!"

Before I knew it I was crossing the finish line with a great big smile on my face. I know I did because Wendy caught this picture.

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I did it I really did it! And I had a blast and not once did I even consider giving up. IT WAS AWESOME!!

I should clarify one little thing, when I say I did it, I did do it. I was the one who physically pushed and pulled the pedals 103.5 miles. However, I know it if wasn't for Wendy, who I have now decided to refer to as the Exercise Diva instead of the Exercise Nazi, my partners in crime Cristy and Heather, all of you who left so many positive and wonderful comments of encouragement, my husband who endured through all the tears, hours of training, and please come get me, my brother Jake who was there at my lowest point to give me encouragement and faith in myself, Becky and Will, Will for giving me some great advice and encouragement, Becky who drove 90 minutes just to leave a gift encouragement, and all the other family who showed their support, and most importantly Heavenly Father I would have never made it.


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All of us after the ride!

I never realized how high maintenance I am. I just want so say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

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June 04, 2009

Final Countdown

There is enough going on to post a post.

There is enough going on to post two post.

There are flowers blooming, peas harvesting, children growing, zoo goings, and holiday celebrations.

All of which are trapped inside me head. Waiting, waiting for the time that I can put two words together and think. Think without freaking out.

Here is a joke for you

Q. What happens when you challenge a type A, control freak, who enjoys environments in which she can control EVERYTHING, to ride in a 100 mile bike ride, in an environment where she has ZERO control?

I don't have an answer to this joke yet. However, by Saturday night I'm sure I will have come up with something hilarious.

Probably even more funny then me freaking out because there is sweat in my eyes.

All right deep breath, deep breath. . . .

Now as soon as I can stop hyperventilating all will be good.

Do you want to know what I think is hilarious? There are actually people in the world who enjoy this kind of thing. They don't freak out and think that these types of things are fun.

What a bunch of WACKOS!

I will see you in oh a 100 miles or so....