EXERCISE IN MARCH
The nice thing about March are the random warmer days. This was a month full of epic runs with the Striders. Between intervals around Monument Lake, speedwork on the CC track, hill repeats up BFNH at Bear Creek Park, fun runs at Red Rocks, and tempos and long runs on the Santa Fe, it was a really great month of training and working hard. My favorite workout of the month was probably the intervals around Monument Lake because I felt really strong on that run. We had super cold mornings as well as a few warm short sleeved days.
skiing at breckenridge with dionne
Dionne and I had such a blast skiing together today. I gave Dionne a tour of all 5 peaks at Breckenridge! The powder on Peak 7 and Peak 6 were amazing today. I introduced her to Bliss and she went down that run twice with me. We got a little bit of sun coming down Bliss and some on Peak 9. Most of the day was cloudy but we were plenty warm. I really enjoyed being on the mountain with one of my best friends and hope we can continue doing this every season!
emma's spring formal
After a very windy track meet down in Pueblo where Emma ran the 3200m with no competition whatsoever and still managed to PR by over 30 sec, we quickly rushed home so that she could shower and get all ready for her church spring formal. Somehow she managed to be all ready in less than an hour. By some miracle I was able to do the updo that she wanted in 15-20 min, and I am very proud of how it turned out. She and her good friend Collin are headed to the dance together and I couldn't be happier for them. There is nothing better than going with a good friend!
Zoo Time With Madeline
One of Madeline’s favorite places to visit is the Cheyenne Mtn Zoo in downtown Colorado Springs. I took Madeline out of school early so that she could go to the zoo with Mike and Andrew. Madeline’s favorite part of the zoo is hands down feeding the giraffes. It has taken a few years for her to not be scared to feed them by herself. She just loves this exhibit so much. Her next favorite place in the zoo is the reptile house. For some reason snakes fascinate Madeline. She loves the big pythons. Of course, after getting through most of the zoo, the day is never complete without riding the carousel at least once. Going to the zoo with Madeline is probably one of the best things ever!
MADELINE'S CELLO FESTIVAL
Madeline participated in her very first cello festival and did so well. She played from memory with her bow Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Lightly Row. We were the most worried about Lightly Row as that song had been more difficult for her to memorize. By some miracle she remembered the entire song and played beautifully. She received a superior rating for her performance from both judges. They had such nice things to say about her performance. We are so proud of Madeline for trying something new this year and learning how to play the cello!
SKIING AT BRECKENRIDGE WITH MADELINE
I let Madeline ditch school today so that we could head up to the mountains to ski together! My legs were a little tired from working out hard this week, so I was happy to go Madeline’s pace for the day (which isn’t all that slow it turns out). We parked at the south gondola garage so that we could charge the Tesla while we skied. It ended up only costing $7 to charge for 5 hours which was awesome. We had a great time skiing all of our favorite runs while trying to avoid the crowds. I took Madeline on 4 of the 5 peaks today. We started on Peak 7 and made our way to Peak 6 to ski Bliss a few times. Then we headed back to Peak 7 to eat lunch before making our way to Peak 8 and Peak 9. We skipped skiing the blacks off Peak 10 since the weather was starting to turn colder. We hit all of the fun little kid zones in the tree sections. Madeline could’ve skied those all day and been happy!
It was a super fun day skiing with Mike and Madeline. We took Madeline on all 5 peaks at Breckenridge. She tried the blacks off of Peak 10 for the first time and loved them. Her favorite runs of the day were Double Jack off Peak 10 and Bliss off Peak 6. We made our way through all 3 kid fun zones on Peak 9 with Madeline and had lots of fun. She loved skiing under the spider and through the various tunnels. Some of the lift lines were more crowded than the last time we were at Breckenridge, but we never waited more than 8 min for any lift. We did a total of 15 runs, 18,530 vertical ft and 20.24 miles. It was a lot of skiing in one day, especially for Madeline who is only 6 years old. However, we celebrated our victorious ski day by eating dinner at an amazing Mexican restaurant with some old friends who were visiting Colorado during the long weekend.
Ski date with mike at breckenridge
Sometimes as parents we have to take a step away and focus on each other. Mike and I spent the day skiing just the two of us and we skied all 5 peaks at Breckenridge. It was Mike's first real introduction to the entire mountain at Breckenridge. We started on Peak 8 and made our way over to Peak 9 and 10. We decided to ski the blacks off of Peak 10 while our legs were still fresh. We loved Centennial and Double Jack and the first part of Cimmaron. The last part of that run was a long cat trail which made the entire run not worth it. After getting our fill of Peak 10 we tried some runs off Peak 9 before heading to lunch at Ten Mile Station. After lunch we did a few runs off Peak 8 and Peak 7 and headed straight to Peak 6 so that I could take Mike on Bliss. I had the most amazing flow on that run and was so excited by it. Mike loved it too but we decided that our legs were getting tired so we headed back to 7 and all the way down the mountain. It was a marvelous day of skiing together!
Emma's 17th Birthday
We celebrated Emma’s birthday as a family one week late since some of her gifts were still en route. This year she got some winter running gear from Lululemon; specifically, a nice running jacket and a new long sleeve running top. She also got the Align leggings from Lululemon that she had been eyeing in my closet. It was time for her to have her own really nice leggings. She also got a coat and a shacket from Francesca’s and a necklace from Albion that matches the one Abby and I have. Her final gift was a 5-time punch card that she can use to go climbing with her friends at the rock-climbing gym. She received lots of nice gifts that should last her through her college years. She also got a generous gift card from Buckle from her grandparents. She is officially set up with some new clothes and something fun that will help her adventurous spirit.
We are so lucky to have Emma in our family and can't believe that she is only one year away from being an official adult and leaving the nest. She is such a joy and blessing to have in our lives and we are constantly in awe of her kindness and many, many talents.
*Emma had a big friend party later in the month and had loads of fun with her friends eating snacks, playing games and closing the night with everyone singing happy birthday to her while eating an amazing chocolate cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes!
Emma's AFA indoor Track Meet
It’s officially still the off season for Emma with her running but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t working hard and pushing herself towards some amazing goals for her upcoming races. Her first indoor race of the season was at AFA where she ran the one-mile race. Her performance was phenomenal even though this race was only intended to be a kick start race to get her leg turnover figured out before the next race. She ended up placing 5th and got a PR of 5:31.77 (the top 5 were all within 3 sec of each other) even though she died a bit on the last lap and lost two places. Her upper body and arms were severely tired which meant that she will need to focus more on upper body strength throughout her upcoming HS track season. Still, she learned that she has to stay mentally strong even when her body isn’t feeling it. It was a great reminder for her as she focuses her mind on track running. At the end of the day, you only become a better runner by learning from each race.
Exercise in January
This year I wanted to do things that I have never done before. I’ve been praying for good health at the start of this year so that I can reach my goals. This month proved to be a successful one in so many ways. With the Revel Rockies half marathon in June, the Triple Bypass in July, and the R2R2R in October, I knew that I needed to start now to build strength in areas that are weak. I was pretty consistent in my routine and was able to fit in the peloton twice a week, Striders run workouts twice a week plus a long run, the Incline twice, both upper and lower body strength, core, and stretching every day. The weather was snowy, and the trails were not that great all month but the only run I had to do on the treadmill was a track workout which ended up being an awesome experience anyways. I was even able to fit in a morning of playing pickleball with friends after a hard run earlier that morning. Some of the things I learned this month was how exactly to approach the strength training days.
Emma’s Advanced Jazz Band was nominated by the CMEA (Colorado Music Educators Association) as one of the top 2 best jazz bands in Colorado, along with Montrose HS. It was a huge honor to be selected. They were invited to play during the CMEA weekend at the Broadmoor and had an hour-long concert where they played seven songs. It was the best high school jazz concert I had ever been to, and this was the best I had ever heard this band play. They sounded amazing and so professional. The ballroom where they performed was so beautiful and the perfect location for a classy jazz concert. I was so moved by how amazingly talented Emma and the other musicians were in this select group.
SNOWSHOEING AT SPRUCE MOUNTAIN
The day after Mike got back from his reserve duty training in DC, we decided to head out on the snowshoes to one of our favorite places. We love snowshoeing and hiking at Spruce Mountain Open Space. There aren’t usually a ton of people there which is nice. The first part of our hike was filled with some sections that were a little barer than others. As we approached the top of the plateau, the view was amazing, and the snow was plentiful. Our hike was serene and peaceful! Along the way we saw a few different groups of people. We saw a few hikers, a couple of people on fat tire bikes and a group cross country skiing. Even with the occasional sighting of people, it still felt very private and quiet. We decided to not trek it all the way to the end but went out 2 miles and then turned around. We were both so happy that we didn’t try and push it too much since we were pretty spent by the time we got back to the car. Snowshoeing with Mike in the winter is one of my favorite things to do.
Skiing at Breckenridge
I took the girls skiing up to Breckenridge during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Emma wasn’t able to come as she is preparing for an indoor track meet at UW. For me it was a bit overwhelming since I haven't really skied Breckenridge and so it's always hard to plan when you don't know what to expect. Luckily, I planned well, and we all had a great time! The drive early in the morning getting past Woodland Park was kind of a mess but the Tesla did quite well. We decided to park at the north gondola parking lot and take the gondola up to Peak 7 since I knew Peak 9 would be a mass of people during the holiday. Although the runs off of Peak 7 were supposed to be groomed, it must have snowed early that morning because nothing, and I mean nothing, was groomed at all. I was a little worried as Madeline has only ever skied on groomed runs. We took it one run at a time and went slow and she did really well. We did several of those runs before hopping on the lift to ski Peak 6 later that morning. When we got to the top of Peak 6 it was windy and the only run that was open that wasn’t a black was Bliss. From the top it did not look like a blue at all, but I knew we were already committed so I just told Madeline to follow my turns around the powdery moguls. Madeline made it down that first steep section just fine and had fun doing it. She said that she wanted to do that run again. After lunch we did it two more times. It wasn’t long after that run that we needed to rest at the Pioneer Lodge for Madeline. Abby did two more runs by herself and then we headed down to the bottom and called it a day!
ABBY'S SWIM SEASON
Abby is the third of our kids to go through the swim program at Pine Creek High School. We have gone through several coaches and this year was no different. Most of the girls were relieved that coach Mark was not going to be the head coach this season. He was the worst during Peter’s senior year. He yelled at the kids and was just not a nice person at all. Coach Ken who is currently the head coach for the Rapids club team came on to be the head coach this year. He had a lot going for him because he genuinely seemed to care about the swimmers. However, his communication skills was severally lacking this season. Add that onto the fact that the Rampart pool shut down for a period of time because it was so chemically imbalanced, and he actually encouraged his athletes to attend club practices if they wanted at any time during the season. The entire dynamic of this team seemed way off and very different from when the boys swam at the high school. Even with all of that, the depth of the girls’ team was so deep and so talented that it didn’t matter that the coach wasn’t that great because those girls carried the team. The only problem with that is the fact that the slower athletes didn’t get challenged very much. Abby loved being part of a team that wasn’t her club team, and she did like swimming with the other girls. I wouldn’t say she got the best training with this team because her swim times were slower than they were when she was swimming with her club team. For Abby it wasn’t really about the times but more about the experience of being on a high school team. She made really great friends and learned a few things about her form and what she truly thinks about swimming. Abby swims because she enjoys the exercise and the camaraderie and that is just fine by me. I am so happy that she swam her very best during the entire season. She mostly swam the 50 and 100 free this season and loved those shorter events. Abby was able to swim in most of the meets but had to stop near the end of the season due to getting cast in a role for the HS musical Bye-Bye Birdie. Theatre is where her true passion lies!
36.40 8th out of 12 vs FFC
35.43 158th out of 224 at Cheyenne Mtn Invite
36.08 13th out of 16 vs Doherty
1:25.58 5th out of 7 vs DCC
1:18.58 8th out of 9 vs Liberty
1:21.90 140th out of 140 at Cheyenne Mtn Invite
1:203.27 9th out of 13 vs Air Academy
1:56.35 11th out of 11 at Lewis Palmer
200 Freestyle Relay
35.78 split time vs Liberty
36.76 split time vs FFC
35.73 split time vs Air Academy
MEET #1 - PC VS DCC
Meet #2 - PC vs Liberty
Meet #4 - Cheyenne Mtn invite
Meet #5 - pc vs doherty
meet #8 - pc vs lewis palmer
Snow Day with madeline
Every time it snows outside the first thing Madeline asks is if she can go outside to play in the snow and build a snowman. Up until this recent snowstorm it had always been so cold that going out to play in the snow was not a possibility. So, she convinced Andrew to go out with her to play. Then I joined them for a little while. We tried to build a snowman on the first day, but the snow was so light and airy that we could not pack it very well. So, we just made snow angels, pulled Madeline in the sled, and threw snowballs at each other. One time when Andrew was pulling Madeline in the sled, he whipped it around so fast that she flew right out and landed face first in the snow. We picked her up and brushed her off and just laughed it off. She is such a good sport! The next day the snow was still around so Abby went out with Madeline and built a snowman and pulled her in the sled. Sometimes it just takes having a little one in the house to get the rest of us to go out and enjoy the snow!
Christmas is over. The hustle and bustle of getting things done is over for now. Truly, I’m exhausted from the last several months of mission and holiday preparations and kid’s activities and events. But I wouldn’t change that for quiet all the time. I love my busy life. It is a good, fun, and fulfilling life. I have thought a lot about what my goals would be for this next year…physical and spiritual goals are written down. Today’s snowshoe run was exhilarating but also tough. It taught me that despite the rough conditions, if I just took it a little at a time, I could get through it. That is exactly how life was for me in 2022. It was definitely rocky at times. I do hope that this next year is a little kinder to me in some ways. And if not, I will just take it one day at a time, applying the things I learned last year to make this next year a little better than the last! So, here’s to an amazing 2023!
exercise in December
I started out this month strong, consistently running with the Striders and doing all of their workouts. I had just come off of a 6-week peloton power zone build so I was happy to be running and not be completely exhausted. One of my favorite workouts was the lake intervals around Prospect Lake. The sunrise that morning was amazing. Shortly after that I got sick for a week but then popped back into the workouts and did the Bear Creek Tempo loop where I wasn’t going to really tempo it. I went out easier with Caryn and Dave and did an easier tempo pace but then the last mile I picked up the pace and finished really strong. After a week of being sick that felt really good. Over the week of Christmas, I was skiing with the family and took some needed days off of running so I was all pumped up to do my annual day after Christmas run with Dionne at Garden of the Gods. It is a tradition we started a few years ago and continue to do every year. Later that week we met up for a lunchtime snowy run at Bear Creek Park. I didn’t get in as much running this month as I would’ve liked but the runs I did have were pretty great.
Bowling at Air Force Academy
While Mike and Emma were off to Utah for Josh’s wedding, the rest of us headed to the AFA to spend an evening bowling. It was a riot watching everyone bowl, especially Madeline who started out rolling the ball between her legs until she discovered the cool ramps she could use. Abby struggled to not get gutter balls until eventually we just put up the gutter guards for her. After that her mood improved drastically and she started laughing and having fun. There was lots of laughing and joking going on as that is just what should happen when one goes bowling. Andrew did pretty well but was shocked at how many strikes I was getting. I think all of the kids were shocked that I was so good at bowling. I told them that is what I did in high school on the weekends at the American Club in Tokyo. I ended up getting one of my highest scores ever. It was a great adventure out of the house and one that we need to repeat often!
I always love the anticipation of Christmas morning and seeing the excitement from all of my kids as they sit at the top of the stairs waiting to run down and see what Santa brought them. Although we only have one little kid in the house, it is still so much fun as the older kids still get excited. This year none of the older kids had any idea what they were getting which made their excitement more intense than usual. All Madeline wanted was a robot dog and Santa delivered big time. Her face as she turned the corner from the stairs was priceless. The older kids were so excited by their big gifts too. Andrew got a subscription to Hello Fresh, Emma got air pods and a new Garmin running watch that is similar to an apple watch but does so much more, and Abby got an epic vocal recording system. Everyone was thrilled. This year I found the little pickle, so I got to be the first one to open up a present. Even though we had 10:30am church, we ripped through the present opening so fast. The kids all got things they needed and also wanted all in one. Madeline got a new matching lunchbox, backpack and water bottle, books, a princess Lego set from Mike which she loved, a Toniebox and Disney princess characters to go with it, an art easel with paint markers and a new apron, a set of instruments, and some new clothes. Abby got new shoes, new clothes, new paints, an everywhere belt bag from Lululemon which she loved and a new necklace from Albion. Emma got new shoes, new clothes, a GHD curling iron, and a necklace from Albion that she kept stealing from me. Andrew got new lunch boxes for school, new clothes from Kuhl and Vuori that he would never buy for himself, new skis, and his mission scrapbook that I finished and had printed for him. Mike and I bought new clothes for each other, mostly from Vuori, Kuhl and Lululemon which are our favorite stores. Mike also got a new work messenger bag and also his traditional Lego set. This year I decided on the Child from the Mandalorian series. He loved it. Of all the presents we received, the best was getting on the phone with Peter that afternoon and hearing his cheerful voice. It really put things in perspective hearing his positivity knowing that things weren’t much better than the day before but seeing how a good night’s rest can change one’s mood and outlook on things. I was immediately humbled and blessed to be able to have the most wonderful conversation with Peter. We sure did miss having him in person on Christmas but video chatting with him was pretty great. Family really is the best gift anyone can have on Christmas morning. I hope that our family never forgets that.
Reading Santa's letter thanking the kids for the cookies and milk and carrots for Rudolph
Mom found the pickle first
Everyone kept stealing my favorite white water bottles so Mike bought me more