Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Long time, not posts...

Life has been crazy and well, I guess I've forgotten to post anything for a bit. So the quick update:
  • Scott's back on the job market. The news came the same day my brother got his cancer diagnosis. Bad day. Things are going ok. Job searching just isn't a fun job.
  • Speaking of my brother, he is doing well. His 2 week post surgery follow-up appointment and pathology report confirmed that he is now cancer free! Thank you all for your prays and words of support.
  • We took a family trip to Ord, NE for Memorial Day. Home of the Bengstons (friends from college) and ExtraORDinary Days. Fun was had by all. (Though, some of us were a little short on sleep.)
  • Tomorrow I leave for a 3 day yoga conference in Chicago with my good friend Monica. You can catch more info on my yoga specific blog.
  • Friday is Lexi's last day of Kindergarten! How fast the year has gone. We've loved her teacher Mrs. Price and she's learned so much. She is such a good little reader...which comes in handy since Brea's favorite thing is to have someone read to her!
  • The weather has been cold, wet, and windy, but RAGBRAI training has begun! 52 days and counting.
So there's the quick and dirty. With a lazy summer schedule ahead, I hope to be posting more regularly again...that is unless we're too busy sitting pool side! (If the weather ever warms up!)


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's the view...

It's views like this that help all the miles, all the wind, all the hills worth all the time on the saddle. Just me, my bike, and the beauty of nature. Doesn't get much sweeter than that.


Friday, May 16, 2008


Tilde went in for her little sterilization procedure at the vet yesterday. Last night she was tired and obviously sore. The poor little thing. But today she seems to be feeling much better and isn't even bothering her stitches too much.

The vet had an interesting comment that Scott and I had never really thought about much before. He's concerned about how timid she is around strangers. Not that she's aggressive about it (though she did growl at the vet a couple times), but being that she's young she can still be conditioned to be more accepting of a wide variety of people. So we've been charged with the task of socializing her as much as possible. Treats in our pockets for people on walks to give her. Treats at our front door for visitors to give her. Socialize, socialize, socialize. What a lucky girls...she's growls a little at the vet and now she's going to get showered with goodies from everyone she meets.

So, if you're headed to our house for a visit or see us on a walk around town, get ready to socialize with Tilde!


Monday, May 12, 2008

Random Kindness...

In a world full of uncertainties, shadows, and what seems like lots of general evil at times, it's nice to be reminded that there is also still plenty of good.

Last night while driving to campus to teach a bunch of highly stressed college kids some yoga as they head into finals week, I was lucky enough to witness a random act of kindness. A car about a block in front of me came to a stop in front of a house where an elderly lady was struggling to get her trash can to the curb for pick up this morning. Out popped a young lady who happily moved the can to the curb with little effort and a smile. A moment of pure kindness. It made my heart smile.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Here's to Moms...

(and Grandmas and Aunties...)

Thanks for the love you bring to our lives.


Goodbye Old Friend...

We lost a friend this weekend. Our old cat Zoe, at just shy of 13, was hit by a car Friday night. It was quick. He did not suffer.

Honestly, he's lucky to have made it this far as many times as he has tested fate. And even though we knew that we would probably soon loose him (he was really starting to show signs of his age), it's still a hard life experience to deal with...especially for a 6 year old who has the biggest, softest heart.

Zoe was a big ol', hairy lover. Scott and I got him the summer we got married. Even though with Lexi's arrival he found him self banned from the comforts of the main part of the house, he adored the girls and they him. He was always by our side or curled up nearby in the sun when we were outside working in the yard or playing in the sandbox. He was a gentle old soul.

Scott gave him a nice little grave behind the garage under the lilac bushes where we often found him napping in the cool shade on hot summer days. Later this week we're going to pick out a nice plant to add to the space in his memory. A tough, yet necessary, life lesson for our girls.

By buddy. You will be missed and always remembered.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Doing Good...

In yoga terms it's referred to as Karmic yoga. Doing good. Supporting causes that better our world and positively affect the greater community. So in response to a comment/request on a previous post, I'm doing a little promotion for a chance for you to do some good.

The first ever Spinning Nation fund-raiser event is being held at locations all over the country this June 28th. It's a chance for a whole bunch of individuals with a passion for Spinning and/or cycling to contribute to three good causes. Our studio, due to it's small size and the relatively short amount of time individuals would have for fund-raising between now and June 28th, has opted not to hold an event that day. I whole heartedly support the efforts however as a Spinning instructor, cyclist, and individual who believes strongly in supporting great causes. And while the 3 charities being supported don't directly deal with the cancers and health conditions that have affected me most personally, their efforts are honorable and make a difference in thousands, possibly millions of lives. A list of participating locations can be found on the Spinning Nation website. Check it out to find a location near you.

And if you can't make it to a ride that day, or if cycling just isn't your thing, there are plenty of worthy events held all over the country all year long. Relay for Life and Race for the Cure are two nation wide events (there are lots of small, local worthy charities doing good too if that's more your style) that I have participated in past years and will continue to support in years to come...especially considering recent events in my life! Even the smallest donations of time or money can contribute to making a big difference.

Good luck Spinning Nation. I wish you a safe, fun, and successful ride!


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bike season's officially open...

Daisy (my bike) and I officially started our season today. A nice ride even with the wind. (Of which I could have mostly avoided if I would have gone out this morning instead of waiting to leave until 12:30. I should know better!) We did about 20 miles, which I jokingly told Scott is already 1/5th of the total distance I rode last year before RAGBRAI so I'm way ahead of schedule. I plan to be a little more committed to my training rides this year.

I felt so much stronger out on the trail today than in previous rides. It was a nice feeling. This year RAGBRAI has a bit more climb scheduled into the route, so comfort and confidence on the bike will come in handy. I'm hoping my local riding buddies and I can get together soon for a joint ride. (Hint, hint.)

One of the goals I have for this year is to become more comfortable riding with my cleats actually clicked into my pedals. I ride this way all the time in Spinning class and it makes a big difference in your power output and efficiency. Of course clicking into and out of the Spinner bikes is easy...they can't fall over while you fiddle around and get set. I was so excited today that for the first time ever I got BOTH feet clicked into my pedals while I was on the trail. This, however, is what happens when you get back into town, forget that you're attached, stop at a street corner to wait for a car, and then suddenly realize you can take your foot off the pedal because you haven't loosened your cleat.

You simply fall over at a dead stop. A little blood, a little bruise, some chain grease, and a really embarrassed ego. Oops! I bet next time I remember to snap out BEFORE stopping. So much to learn still.

All in all, an enjoyable and successful ride. One of many yet to come!


Surgery Day...

My brother had surgery this morning. First on the list. The report from Steve (a friend of Jason's) is all went well. Jason is awake and lucid but nauseas. They didn't have to do any more than was expected (just a little margin tissue removal around where the tumor lived). He will probably be in the hospital over night and then will hopefully head home tomorrow to Georgetown to begin his recovery.

Thanks to all for your prayers and positive thoughts.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Time for Tulips...

Friday night we ventured to Pella for the annual Tulip Time festival held each year during the first weekend of May. The tulips were beautiful, unfortunately the weather was not as you can see from the hoodies and blankets!

No trip to Tulip Time is complete without a little Dutch treat. After a quick walk along the main store fronts, we stopped at Smokey Row Coffee for Dutch Letters, hot cocoa, and coffee.

We met up with our friends Shannon, Allen, Maggie, and Tommy and were lucky to find a sheltered spot out of the wind for the lighted parade.

The kids had a blast watching and waving.

Fun was had by all, even with the cool temps. Fingers crossed that next year we'll be able to enjoy the festivities sans blankets!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Best Update Possible!

I finally have an update to pass on from Texas! All the tests (MRI, CT scan, labs, chest x-rays, etc.) are clear. Other than the small tumor in my brother's leg, he is cancer free! So the plan from here:
  • Tuesday he'll have surgery to remove a small amount of tissue around the area where the tumor was originally. Possibly one night in the hospital, possibly discharged that afternoon.
  • Recovery will simply mean rest for his leg while it heals. No radiation. No chemo.
  • He'll start a follow-up schedule that planned out for the next 10 years!
I can't even begin to tell you how relieved I am by this news. Everything is going to be OK! My little brother is going to be OK. I'm so thankful he's in touch with his body and didn't ignore the feeling that he should have this thing checked out.

At this point I'm staying put in Iowa at the request/suggestion of Jason. He's planning to head this direction soon to spend some extended time with us...I have a feeling he wants to spend a little time snuggling his nieces!

Thank you all for your prayers, words of encouragement, and support. A round of drinks for everyone!



"One.......two......three...four...five....(six), nine, ten, ELEVEN!"

When did my baby learn how to count to ELEVEN?!?!? We've been working on 1-5 since her birthday and last night she pulled out 7-11 all by herself! (I think this is probably a result of her sister's almost constant teacher play.) For some reason 6 is tricky...that little speed bump between 5 and she often needs a little help. Then she's off!

Wow. How fast they grasp things at this age! Fun, fun.