Friday, December 28, 2007

It's That Time ...

Time to ring in a new year!

A toast...

Here's to the outgoing year, 2007...
May the good times live on in our memories,
and may we learn lessons from the troubling times
that will make us stronger and better than ever.

Here's to the new year, 2008...
May it bring more joy and success
And less grief and regret.

To our dreams...
May we never stop believing in them
And taking the actions that will make them a reality.

To our friends and loved ones...
May we take the time to let them know
How much it means to us
To have them in our lives.

Let us encourage more and criticize less,
Give more and need less.
And whenever we can,
Let us create harmony and peace.

To new beginnings...
Let us start fresh, right now,
To make this the very best year ever.

A very Happy New Year to all of us!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

You Ain't Seen Crazy Yet

National Cyclocross races were this weekend. The weather was typical cross weather...cold. Very cold. It snowed on Saturday for Mark's Mens 35-39 race which made it somewhat miserable to be a spectator and probably equally miserable for the racers. The sun made an appearance for Sunday's Elite Men's race which made it more pleasant for spectators, but a complete muddy mess for the guys racing. (Note the differences in the videos - first one is Saturday and second one, below, is Sunday - both in the same location on the course).

I posted earlier about how crazy this sport is, this weekend was a 'case in point'. Ice, snow, mud, muck...yuck! Riding your bike as fast as you can in extreme conditions is insane to most, but these guys know how to do it and seem to love it. The fans do too...watching this national race was really fun. Especially watching the Elite race where some of the best racers in the sport show up. Tons of people, tons of cheering and I'm guessing probably a record-breaking amount of cowbells clanking. Lots of intensity, lots of energy and lots of fun...even if it was well below the freezing point.

Mark raced great and I'm really proud of him. He placed a very respectable 16th out of 97 or so racers in the Men's 35-39 and hung in there w/ the best of them in the Elite race. He may be crazy, but he's good at 'crazy'...and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

It's snowing here and holiday decorations abound. It's cold, but so beautiful out. For a CA girl, who always had sunny Christmas holidays, snow at this time of year is a treat. It really makes things magical. Hope you're all enjoying this special time of year...and I hope you'll get to experience some sparkling white snow for Christmas! Cheers!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Crazy Is As Crazy Does...

As a CA native, I find the sport of CycloCross slightly insane. 16 degrees? riding on snow and ice? riding up hills/down hills? hurdling over barriers? Crazy!!!

But as I stood out in the snow all bundled up I felt oddly nostalgic for my snow skiing days. It occurred to me that riding your bike in the snow is not that far from strapping skis on your feet, swooshing down a mountain, hitting moguls at tops speeds and dodging other skiers and trees. I suppose if you hit a patch of ice you'll get slammed to the ground equally hard in both sports. At least in cyclocross they wear helmets!

Here's a video of Mark from today's race, the KS State Championships. He took 3rd place.
Way to go, Crazy! ;-)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

First Snow Day!

Yeah! Snow! We had about 3 inches of snow and it's going to snow all weekend. The dogs LOVE the snow and it's so fun to watch them run and play, leaving footprints in the white blanketed yard.

Here is a video of Buster...Buster loves playing with his ball in the snow. He stayed outside for the longest time, just tossing around his ball, leaping into the snow and running around.

Backstory is that Buster is having some serious health issues, but the snow perked him up, making this an even more special day. I think the snow lighted all of our spirits. Happy first snow day!

Christmas with Kate

Had a great weekend celebrating the holidays with my family...Dad, Carole, Craig, Kirsten, Carrie, Mikayla, Michelle, Brad, Kate, Will and Mark. We missed seeing Stacie, Brad and Nathan as well as my Aunt Wendy and family, who we usually get to see at the holidays. It's amazing we managed to get the crew together that we did! It was soooo wonderful to see everyone and spend time together.

BIG shout out to Michelle and Brad who allowed us to descend on their house and convert it to full blown holidays mode within 24 hours - tree, lights, fancy table, gifts - the whole nine yards. A great time was had by was fun to help the Warezak's decorate and even more fun to kick-off the holidays together.

As you can see, Kate has had a 'preview' of Christmas morning. This is a photo of her after opening her gift from Mark and I (apropos given Mark is an expert/pro cyclist). It's a Red Rider scooter, which we call a pre-trike. It was a huge hit, especially after Michelle pointed out the bell! I actually caught her scooting around on it the next day in the living room when no one was looking! She just got on and started playing/riding around! We hope she'll have lots of fun on it and look forward to providing her with the upgraded trike when she can reach the pedals.

I can probably speak for everyone when I say that this weekend really made it feel like the holiday season. It was so nice to see everyone without the stress of the actual holiday too. I was really looking forward to spending time with the babies, but didn't realize how much fun it was to also just watch Craig, Dad, Kirsten et al spending time with the babies as well. Those babies are so loved, it's wonderful to see firsthand.

Here's to the next holiday (Easter? June 22? - yes it's a holiday!)...hopefully we'll get to do it again, and hopefully we'll get to see more family members.

Cheers to a great start to the holiday season!