Monday, October 31, 2011

Would you believe me if I told you:

Maddox and Brian had just gotten back from trick or treating, I was busy catching up with a friend I hadn't seen in a while...When our conversations and candy counting were interrupted with a rapt at the door, not surprising as it is Halloween and we were expecting some ghouls and goblins to come a knocking.

I open it to find a neighborhood family, including an old school mate of Madison's. This family is... well... let's see... nicely put and hopefully PC too... different. Over the years we have supported fund raisers and engaged in very happy conversations with the girls. Tonight the girls had brought big brother and dad along their trick or treating trek; they were on their way home and had to stop by our house, but not for a treat... this time the trick was on us...

In addition to the saying of the season, we were politely asked if their dad could use our restroom. "What could be the harm?" I thought... as I allowed them into our home.

As we stood and entertained a conversation that lapsed well into the awkward duration to cover the obvious nature of business happening behind the closed door at the back of the hall, I couldn't help but think of all the harm actually occurring in my bathroom.

My friend and her daughter politely excused them selves from the stalemate happening in my water closet, and upon exit gave me the "Oh, man this really sucks to be you" look, while I returned it with a "BRING ME LYSOL" look.

Still we waited, sorting candy, talking about costumes, I even provided refreshments! (Not to sir squatter, but to the kids.) One after another each of the visiting children wandered down our hall to check on the status of dear ol dad... "I'll be out in a minute." "Just finishing up." "I'm almost done."

I could take it no longer! Just the thought of having to see this man face to face after... you know...that, I excused my self to the kitchen to clean up dinner figuring surely he would exit and I would evade the pleasantries of their good byes... but no... just as I finish the kitchen task and have nothing else to do... he emerges. Puts on his coat, thanks us for the use of our facilities, and they all leave...not in the scurried "hide your face I'm so embarrassed" fashion, but as if nothing out of the realm of normal had just occurred.

There we stand, stunned, not sure what to say, staring at each other. A game of Rock Paper Scissors to see who is laden with the task of lighting a candle and checking the state of our porcelain perch.

Thankfully my friend had understood the dire circumstances we were in and returned with the greatest gift:

Brian braves the unknown, complete with the hazmat work gloves and bathroom cleaner, shirt pulled up over his nose and mouth. As he opens the door and steps inside, he turns, eyes meeting mine, and I know that I will owe him eternally.

I am now faced with quite the quandary... If it was this bad for us... how much worse it must be for him, the bathroom borrower?

Learned? If you begin with the thought "what's the harm" probably isn't a good idea to continue.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Lost Tooth

Maddox lost his first tooth on October 20, 2011 by biting into an apple at school.

It's quite fitting that he is wearing his "Big Mouth" shirt. When I commented that to him he was amazed, "Mom! How did you know I would loose my tooth today?"

I picked him up from after school care and he met me at the door with the biggest smile. It only took a moment to realize that a tooth was gone. He was so excited about it, and we had a moment to squeal in excitement together, then I had to hold back tears! I was in SHOCK, I could not believe that he was at the age of loosing teeth, just another sign that my baby is growing up.

As soon as we got home he tucked his tooth under his pillow, already awaiting the visit from the Tooth Fairy.

Learned: I must face the facts, my baby is growing up. It's kinda hard to live in denial when a toothless grin lives with you.

Bridge of Heaven

Last weekend Brian and I had the opportunity to escape, just the two of us. So we thought we would try to get as close to heaven as possible and hike the Bridge of Heaven trail out of Ouray.

I love this small Colorado town, nestled at the base of the San Juan mountains, it has been dubbed "the Switzerland of the West" or "Little Switzerland. If Ouray is the miniature, less grand, version of Switzerland, I MUST travel there some day.

We headed out of town Friday night, stopping at a delicious Tai restaurant along the way. Once we got into Ouray we wound our way up the East side of the town. It wasn't long before the nice dirt road became a 4 wheel drive trail through the thicket of trees. We found a perfect pull off camp spot and set up camp in the back of the Sequoia. (Truthfully this was the part of our trip I was most excited about).

The next morning we headed the rest of the way to the trail head and began our ascent to Bridge of Heaven. It was really, cold; though the sun was coming up we were on the west side of a steep mountain and it was several hours before we finally broke into the sun. This first part of the hike was through a beautiful aspen grove, though all the leaves were on the ground, they were still the most vibrant yellow. A few hours later of switch back hiking we finally reached the summit... of that hill. This was a beautiful place to be, the saddle between peeks overlooking the quaint town of Ouray.

The second part of the hike was a bit more steep and at (obviously) a higher elevation, so our pace was just a bit slower. We found a comfortable spot just off the trail with a great view and had our lunch. The rest of the climb was climbing along a few ridges, but just before the summit we ran into snow.

Though we were prepared for almost everything, we were not equipped to hike through snow pack on face of a mountain. Though it was disappointing to have hiked that far, we thought it wiser to return with no injuries.

That afternoon we arrived in Ouray and treated our selves to our favorite Ouray treat....Key Lime milk shakes from Mouses Chocolates. I was still a little chilled and decided to warm up with an Americano... YUMM! We had some time before check in so we wandered along the main street for a while.

We stayed at the Beaumont Hotel. This hotel had sat vacant for over 30 years and was almost in ruins. The restoration took almost 5 years, and it looks amazing. For dinner that night we went to Bon Ton, an Italian restaurant, and devoured some delicious dishes! Dessert was called Black Nasty, and it was incredible, a thick chocolate moose pie with strawberry garnish and whipped cream.

We took our time getting going the next day, enjoying one last cup of coffee and the breathtaking jagged mountains and headed back to reality.

Learned: I have never been one to find the typical romantic gestures (flowers, chocolates....) all that romantic. For me, this weekend by far surpasses that romantic level.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1)Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am really in shock that I picked this book. I knew that it was going to be an adulterous type book, and currently I have no patience for reading about affairs. I am really disturbed by societies nonchalant portrayal of dishonoring marriage and commitment. I blame this book choice on the excitement of getting my Nook and wanting to read something "right now!", and seeing that the movie was made... so there... a thoughtless pick.

What else I am surprised about is how conflicted I felt the whole time. I hated Darcy, but then felt so bad for her as more of her character came to light, as I started to see why she was the way she was. I also was conflicted by the main character, I felt bad for her, and was even thinking she was justified in having the affair, but at the same time pissed that she would do that.

The ending didn't help me at all either; I glad it ended the way it did, but at the same time here is another story that seems to justify, even empower the act of betrayal.

So, I didn't like the story (my fault for picking a topic I personally despise), but the author did a fantastic job of pulling me from one side of the argument to the other and back again.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Rocked The Rock and Roll Half Marathon

I have been running for years, and have yet to successfully complete a half marathon. My first, The Other Half in Moab UT, was a horrendous experience, though I did finish. The second, The Canyonlands Half also in Moab, I got injured during training and was unable to run the full distance and instead ran the 10K. After these two unsuccessful runs in Moab I vowed never to return until I had a few successful halves under my belt.

I am happy to announce that I have my first successful half marathon down in the books. This past Sunday, October 9th, Anne and I ran the Rock and Roll half marathon in Denver. The weekend ended up being a great laid back girls weekend since soccer got canceled, complete with great dinners and even a movie, making the success even sweeter!

The run started at 6:55, so we walked the 3 blocks to the race start through the dark frigged Denver morning.
I was feeling so jittery and nervous. As soon as our wave was started, we began weaving our way around the mass of people. This typically means you run faster than your normal pace. But once we were clear of the mass and had a little open running room our pace was still pretty quick! We kept looking at our Garmin 305 in disbelief at the 8:45 (and sometimes 8:30) pace we were keeping through the first 5 miles. We finally made ourselves slow down (9:20) when we got to miles 6-9 for fear of collapsing at the end.

As we turned the 9 mile marker, I saw the pacers for the 2 hour group, and got so excited! Finishing in 2 hours was within my grasp! (I had a secret personal goal of finishing in at least 2:05) Anne was not feeling the same surge of excitement and gave me the ok to forge ahead with the 2 hour pacers. As soon as I left Anne it was like the pacers picked up speed, and I didn't want to spend the last 4 miles in misery, or worse, completely gassed at mile 11. So I slowed to a 9 min/mile pace. From about mile 11 on the course is gradual to very downhill, I took advantage of this and picked up my pace, still amazed at how good I was feeling. At mile 12 I looked at my watch and realized that I could actually complete this thing in 2 hours or less if I picked up my pace again. As we rounded the final corner I literally gave it my all and crossed the finish line with an OFFICIAL time of 2:00:56! I'd say that is technically running a half marathon in two hours!

I was, and am still, so happy with my finish time (which is 18 minutes faster than my time at The Other Half)! 3 days later and I am still feeling the adrenaline rush of it... so much so that I want to sign up and do another race this weekend, or ASAP! But I am going to take a break for this week and then see how I feel before I make a commitment like that.

This was a really fun race to run, being it is the Rock and Roll series of marathons, there are all kinds of bands playing along the race course. I almost didn't bring my iPod, but am glad I did; you only hear the bands for the few seconds that you are running past. There were also a lot of people lining the course (especially later into the race). They had all kinds of funny and encouraging signs. Some of my favorite were:

"I bet this seemed like a good idea 6 months ago!"

"Chuck Norris never ran a race."

"Your feet are hurting because you are kicking so much 4$$."

There were also some motivating racers. At one point Anne and I passed a soldier dressed in full fatigues, boots, and completely packed backpack. It was pretty awe-inspiring to see him running with the extra 80 pounds and clunking boots. Later another male runner passed us and his shirt said "I survived Roe vs. Wade".

The race expo and the after race goodies were the best of any race I have ever been in... yes, even better than the BoulderBOULDER... though I didn't see free beer being handed out at the finish line... We scored so many different energy and protein bars, juices, and drinks, even CHOCOLATE!!

Learned: Sometimes the best training is rest; two weeks out from the race I found myself completely exhausted. I couldn't even get out of bed or walk across the room with out my legs burning as if I had just ran 13.1 miles. I heeded the advice of an old friend who knows her stuff and took 5 days off and loaded up on Brewers Yeast, Cod Liver Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, and red meat. She promised that if I took the time off I would be amazed at how strong and fast I was... She was right!