Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Colorado! The hubs and I have had a wonderful little holiday here. The sun has been out, and the sky is a beautiful blue. We spent the better part of Christmas Eve cooking up our own little Italian feast, and it turned out pretty awesome. It is a ton of work to make the noodles from scratch and build everything up just right, but the taste of everything was so good!!

We opened presents this morning, and now I have big plans to watch the movies we received, along with the traditional "Elf" and "Bad Santa."  We will be enjoying a lazy day together, thinking of all of you.  Sending all our love!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Happy Holiday Season!

Thanksgiving is already a week past, and Christmas is upon us. My shopping is only half-way done, and my calendar tells me that I need to ship out packages to everyone this weekend! Eek!! I definitely have some work to do...

This year, the hubs and I made our Thanksgiving meal from scratch. (Ok, I didn't raise and slaughter the turkey or grow the ingredients on my tiny porch, but it was as "from scratch" as possible). I even baked the bread this year, along with a pie AND a cake. It was pretty fabulous, if you ask me.

 In its entirety, the meal consisted of homemade mac & cheese, homemade "smashed" potatoes, grandma's stuffing, mom's gravy, homemade pretzel knots and a butterball turkey. For dessert, my spiced pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting fell in the oven, but still tasted good. And the pumpkin cheesecake with maple walnut topping was seriously to die for! I was glad we had leftovers... And we had plenty! (Honestly, I just finished them today).

I even set up a little table, using our "good" wedding dishes, silverware and our favorite beer mugs from Tiffany's. I think we're ready to host the dinner! Now we just need to convince people to get on a plane to come out here to see us, and possibly acquire more than two place settings of the nice stuff...

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Week in Paradise

The hubby and I were able to get away for a vacation this October, and we found an amazing deal for Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancun back in April. The weeks leading up to our vacation were more hectic and stressful than usual, so we were VERY ready to get away for a while.

The resort itself went above and beyond our expectations. The service was so outstanding everywhere we went, and the food was some of the best we've ever had. I was even able to get the hubby to eat escargot! And with how amazing everything tasted, we even agreed that snails tasted good at this place.  haha

The beach was equipped with cabanas, couches, armchairs and lounge areas. We spent a good deal of our time out on the sand, under an umbrella, with a drink in our hands. And when we weren't doing that, we were most likely sleeping somewhere! I don't think we realized how tired we were from all of the long work hours. We took LONG naps every day in the afternoon, went to bed early, and woke up late. It was probably the most refreshing and relaxing way to spend the week, and it seemed like we needed it!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Our New Baby

This past month, we said goodbye to the Nissan Rogue that carried us from Ohio to Texas and from Texas to Colorado. The Smurf-Mobile was struggling over the last few months, and it was time to get ourselves a little upgrade.

The new car has provided a whole new set of adventures for me because every day, I challenge myself to drive a manual 6-speed: something I have never really done before. Sure, I knew how to drive my roommate's car back in college, just in case it was necessary for me to get us home after being at the bars. And I suppose the years of mowing my grandparents' multi-acre farm on a tractor are cemented in my brain somewhere. But taking this gorgeous car out on the road, not exactly sure how I'm going to treat her each day, makes me a little nervous. I am as nice as possible, but some of the shifting is not quite there yet. I know I'll learn fast, and I also know that I will LOVE it once I get the hang of it. But it's almost like being 15 years old all over again, just trying to make it to and from my destination without any major issues.

My solace lies in the fact that it is for sure one of the nicest things I have ever owned. Whenever I'm walking away from it in the parking lot, I can't help but turn to look at it over my shoulder multiple times. Beautiful!


Friday, November 1, 2013

My Little Dudes

My heart was in Ohio last night, as all 3 of my amazing godsons got dressed up and celebrated Halloween. I can't wait to see them all again. It really amazes me how much they've all grown in such a short amount of time. Complete love!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

September Already!?!?

I have no idea how the time flew from July to September so quickly. Work has been more hectic than ever, but my hard work is paying off with rewards and results at the office. The hubs and I have been seeing less of each other as the careers are taking over the front seat, requiring a lot of overtime hours. I see a light at the end of the tunnel though, and I think we may be through the worst of it.

The past few months have been a challenge for the biking and the running as well. Whenever we DID have time to get out for a workout, we found that some obstacles were going to get in our way. My husband got hit by a car, while riding his bicycle near Boulder in July. Luckily, the man stopped and gave his insurance information so that the bike and the destroyed bike gear could all be replaced. I don't know how we got even luckier, and hubby only came home with some nasty road rash and bruising. No hospital trips required. Unfortunately, it took the bike store a month to fix the bike, and it really did put a damper on the race season that was ramping up so well. A huge disappointment, but there wasn't much we could do, other than start to look forward to the season next year.

I ended up with an annoying case of Runner's Knee throughout July and August. While trying to train for my half marathon, I had to pull it back and start over at square one. I'm back up to some longer miles, but not even close to the 13.1 that I would need for the event. So I revised my registration to the 5 Mile race instead, and will hopefully get to run it within the next couple of weeks...

Unless all this rain has anything to say about it. The Boulder flooding has already postponed my run, and if they delay it more than a week, I will probably have to cancel. October is going to be packed, so I'm crossing my fingers that the race will happen on the 28th or 29th of September. Here's hoping!

Right now, we are counting down the days to our next beach vacation. After the past few months, we are going to need it!  It can't come soon enough...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Visiting with My Nephew

My first week in July was spent cuddling with my nephew as much as humanly possible. He is such a sweet little man, full of great facial expressions and character. It was so hard to come and go so quickly, but I'm glad that I got to spend a full week with him while he was still so little.

We took him to the Cincinnati Zoo, where he was obviously very entertained.  HA

Friday, July 12, 2013

Early Summer Race Report

Time for another race report! This early summer has been keeping us busy heading out to see my gorgeous hubby race throughout the area. We've had some awesome results along with some that didn't meet up to our hopes. But the weather has been amazing here in Colorado, so it always seems to be a good time to head outside for the events!!

June 1st must have really motivated Mr. Erickson to get a good result at the finish line. Racing at the site of his weekly training schedule's sprints, we were once again on some home turf. A morning crit race was also favorable for us, finally able to get up and out the door instead of waiting around until the afternoon. He looked comfortable and confident and on the last lap, he led the group to the line on the final straight-away!! Two racers came around him just before they crossed the finish line, but he got his first Colorado podium! Not to mention, some more upgrade points as a Cat 3. One more step closer...

The North Boulder Park Classic race proved to be another challenge this year. An extremely difficult course and several racers at their peak performance made for a difficult day. I watched three specific racers (all of them almost at the Cat 2 level) walk away with the podium positions, lapping almost the entire Cat 3 field. I stood there crossing my fingers that those racers would be applying for their upgrade status soon!

One of my favorite events so far in Colorado was the Louisville Masters Crit Championship race, sponsored by the Sonic Boom team and Lucky Pie Pizzas. The course start/finish was set up on Main Street in downtown Louisville, and spectators were able to sit out on the various restaurant and bar patios to watch and cheer on the racers. This is one race that I would love to bring family and friends to see. The atmosphere was upbeat and fun for everyone, and it never hurts to be able to sit at a picnic table with a beer, while watching some experts show us how lazy we are!!  haha


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My First Triathlon

When we moved to Colorado, I felt that it was important to get myself involved in the community's love for the outdoors. Not only would it help me to transition into the new culture easier, but it would also be a great way for me to shed those pounds that came with stress and discontentment in Ohio and Texas. So I set a lofty goal: I wanted to finish a Sprint Triathlon in June of 2013. I would have nine months to train for the event, and that should help me reach both goals easily!

Originally, I was looking at the Boulder IronMan Sprint Trathlon. But after I started my training, I just was not feeling confident in swimming 750 meters in open water. I didn't want to quit though, so instead I did some research and found the 33rd Annual Longmont Triathlon on June 2nd. Instead of an open water swim, we would be in a pool, and it would only be 525 yards. This seemed much more manageable, and on the morning of the event, I found that I was not the only one nervous about the first leg! I was lucky enough to start in the second wave of participants, so I was able to watch the first wave slowly make their way through the laps. It helped give me a little confidence, and I would say that it was a big success for me. I finished in 1:39:33, which was better than my goal of 1:45:00!
It's been a week and a half since the race, and I still don't know if it's set in that I reached such a big goal. I'm really proud of myself, but I need to keep pushing. I signed up for a half marathon in September, so the next four months will provide a new challenge, and should keep me moving.

I'd like to say that my first triathlon won't be my last. But I do think that it will be the only one in 2013. It took a great deal of training, and this was just for a Sprint! I found it challenging to keep up with the pool workouts especially, so I might be leaning more toward the duathlon / long distance running scene. But who knows! Maybe 2014 will make me change my mind about that...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bolder Boulder 10K

Boulder, Colorado sees tens of thousands of people every Memorial Day weekend for their Bolder Boulder 10K. It was a perfect goal to keep my training on track and keep up with the running regimen through the winter and spring months.

50,000 people were signed up for the 2013 race, with waves starting at 7:00am. I was in a qualified heat, so the gun went off for me at 7:27, and I immediately watched everyone around me sprint ahead! Knowing that I would need to pace myself, I kept up my own snail's pace and eventually started passing most of those same people when they started walking. Throughout the run, we passed live bands playing on the sidewalks, barbecue parties starting on front lawns, and even a couple of frat parties with keg stands and all. It was definitely an event worth attending, and we will be back next year. 

I had finished the Yeti Chase in January with 1:08:00 on the clock, and I really wanted to beat that time. But Boulder's rolling hills and the hot sun kicked my butt! I ended up finishing 43 seconds slower than that goal, but this just gives me something to continue working toward for 2014!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Our First Visitors in Colorado

This past Memorial Day weekend, my parents made the trek out to Colorado to see our new apartment and get in a good visit. They were excited to see the mountains, so we booked a two night stay in Breckenridge for the beginning of their trip. In hindsight, it was maybe a bit ambitious of us to take them to 9,600 feet as soon as they stepped off of the plane... But Breckenridge was beautiful and quiet during the holiday weekend. We were able to find some great restaurants, go for a little hike on the trails, and we stayed in a beautiful condo. The hubbie and I liked it so much, that we are talking about going back for some more hiking and maybe even some camping later this year!

After we headed back down to a more reasonable altitude of 5,800 feet, we stayed at our apartment and just spent some quality time together. Dad and I whipped up a chicken lasagna one night for dinner, which was a lot of fun. I haven't cooked with him in a long time, and it was nice to have someone help chop up that chicken!! We had some new movies in our library that they wanted to watch, and we got to talk and laugh and catch up for a few days. Since we usually only see each other once a year any more, we wanted to make sure that we made the best of it.

We took them into Boulder for the Memorial Day Creek Festival, and stopped so that they could take in the beautiful view. I don't think it was hard for them to see why we live here. We get to see those flatirons every day, and I don't think we'll ever get sick of it.  Just beautiful!