Monday, March 31, 2008

Long run; lost KEY

A heartfelt "thank you" to everyone for sending kind words and thoughts our way. It was the first time Ally had lost a friend (Abbey) in the way that "they would never come back". At seven, I am sure I didn't have the first clue about death. Luckily, Ally has a solid faith and comfort in knowing Abbey is with Jesus, and what on Earth could be as amazing as that?

Long run
I got in my 20.5 miler on Wednesday (sucked, but that is just the way things go sometimes!), but felt good on my Sunday 8-miler with IronNick!

Today I experienced a first ---- first time losing my car key on a run. Arghhh! And of course we are having a blizzard, so even though Bob and I took out our mountain bikes and retraced my steps, the key was buried under snow. So $165 later, and 2 1/2 hours at the dealership, I have new keys to my car. Here's the funny part - I sat in my car for 90 minutes waiting for the tow truck FREEZING - remember we are having a blizzard -- only to find out later that the little black buttom on my keychain is a CAR-STARTER! I couldn't drive it without a key, but I could have had the heater on for the 90 minutes I waited! Grrr.... I've had this car starter on my keychain for two Minnesota winters.

Bring it. I deserve it. Who reads those inch thick manuals in the glove box, anyway??????

Ally and the Flu
So everybody knows that Bobby gets migraines, right? Which means he has great vomiting skills. Well, Ally hasn't thrown up in at least three years. So she wakes up on Saturday, throwing up in my BED! So I get her changed, cleaned up, etc. and put her on the couch in the great room. I soon hear the familar sound of VOMIT, and rush to the powder room, where she is holding the bucket in her hand, standing a foot in front of the toilet, hurling violently onto the floor. It is splattering on all the walls. Poor child - no well-honed puking skills. I cleaned up puke and diarrhea all day. (She also hasn't been sick often enough to discern between a fart and a shart).

But I sure love her.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rest in peace, sweet Abbey

Ally's little friend from her swim team, Abbey Taylor, was laid to rest this morning. She had much of her intestine sucked out by a pool drain last summer, and although she received a transplanted pancreas, liver and several feet of intestine, she suffered complications and died on March 20th. She was six years old.

Abbey will be greatly missed by Ally, as well as all the other girls in their lane.

Bless you, sweet girl.


Two of my favorite people are also Triathlon Bloggers. They both are in the running for Team Evotri. Please check out their blogs, but also, please vote for them both to be on the team They are both extremely worthy!

MAKE IT 2 OUTTA 3 In a coordinated effort with other Tri-Bloggers I am supporting both Commodore and TriBoomer in their combined effort to make the top three vote getters of this month's EvoTri sponsorship. Both of them are equally capable of representing their fellow age groupers and I want them to make it to the final phone call on Saturday where they will each fight for the one position on the team available right now. If you are a reader of this website and have not voted for either one of these men, now vote for both of them and push them to the final round by following these instructions. Send two emails, one for each candidate, to In one email write in the Subject field: In the second email write in the Subject field: The top three vote gathering candidates will advance to a round of interviews by members of Team EvoTri. Voting ends at 11:59 PM on Friday, March 28, 2008


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Break!!; small rant; Laura gets engaged

We are traveling around the old ancestors' stomping grounds and having fun in spite of the rain. We toured the quaint little town of Fairmont, WV, the SUPER cool town of Cumberland MD (Gateway to the West!), and have now checked into our hotel in Martinsburg, WV after driving 15 miles of the Historic National Road. It was really neat to just be there knowing so many of our ancestors traveled that very road during the westward movement. It is so beautiful out here I can totally see why the Hatfields and the McCoys fought to the death over this land.

Tomorrow we visit Bunker Hill, and the old cabin of Col. Morgan Morgan, who is documented to be the first white settler west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, back in 1710. I can only imagine what it was like in his little cabin on the west side of the ridge, and having nothing but wilderness between him and the Pacific Ocean. His 2nd son Zach founded Morgantown, WV, and other sons and grandsons for generations had really interesting and historic lives. 

Some stories are of bravery and principle, some are of violence and unimaginable hatred. There are those who fought in the Revolutionary war for our liberty from the British, and there were brothers who fought against each other in the Civil War;  and then there was John Hunt Morgan, who burned homes of rival settlers while the occupant familes were asleep. I cannot imagine being a mom, living such a hard-scrabble frontier life as it is, to awaken to my cabin's roof being on fire, and my door deadbolted, unable to save my children, let alone myself or my husband. *shudder*

On a more positive note, Nathan Morgan many generations later, traveled out west to seek his fortune during the Gold Rush, only to arrive and then learn (via Pony Express) that his sister's husband had died. So he made (and survived)  a return trip in a covered wagon, to pick her and her children up to take them back to Oregon with him. Once he arrived "back home", it turned out it was "her and 60 others, too" waiting to be led in a caravan of wagons, horseback - and even on foot - to Oregon and California.  So many generations later, I and thousands more of Morgan Morgan's kin are living our own American dreams, thanks in large part to the bravery and commitment of his descendants, and my ancestors.

After I load some pictures, I'll post them. 

New Topic - is anybody besides me fed up with the "mortgage crisis"? How did we even get here? I saw a post on CNN's message board that reiterates pretty much how I feel:

Posted By: TakeCharge @ 03/13/2008 11:49:17 AM
Comment: I am so tired of the finger pointing. Consumers need to wake up and take charge of their own finances. It doesn't take a math wizard to look at your paycheck and look at your motgage payment and figure out if you can afford it. It wasn't so long ago that people used credit sparingly (there was a stigma toward borrowing money) and a borrower actually knew how and when they would repay the money. Now, Americans are charging their value meals to Visa with little thought about actually paying for it. High schools should have mandatory classes covering household finances, budgeting, balancing the checkbook and avoiding the use of credit. Our sense of entitlement (which also leads to frivilous lawsuits) and the "everybody's a winner" mentality is going to kill us as a nation. If we as a people need big brother to tell us whether we can pay for something we want to buy, we are a bunch of sheep and vulnerable to being taken over by an enemy. Americans need to wake up and take responsibility for their own actions, be accountable and have some principles. The time to get back on the path that made this nation great is NOW. Pointing the finger at someone else for your troubles is not one of the qualities that made this the most powerful nations in the world. Our presidents are not what made this one of the most powerful nations in the world. It was the ingenuity, work ethic and values of the people.

Next New Topic
Laura and Greg's engagement was a blast and I am so thrilled I was able to be a part of it.
After our 16 mile long run, and church, Laura and Bobby and I went to lunch. Laura had a 1:00 pm hair appointment so the timing was perfect... 50 minutes to kill. We ordered and ate, and just as Laura was finishing up, Bobby went to the bathroom and came back with a pink envelope and said, " This is weird. There was a note for you in the bathroom." 

After reading it, and learning that she then needed to drive to Lake Anne in Chanhassan, (the place where they first met volunteering at the Miracle Kids Triathlon), she said, " I hope I remember how to get there!" And then Bobby reaches into his pocket and said, "well, I happen to have some directions to get there". 

It was perfect! She was off to go meet IronGreg. When she got to Lake Anne, IronGreg wasn't there, but IronTim and IronKaren were with another note, a gift, and directions to the restaurant where she and Greg eat once a week. 

IronGreg wasn't there. But IronNick and Iron Dia were! And they had a little gift and another note for her instructing her to look for IronGreg at the park.

But IronGreg wasn't there either! It was Steve and Jeremy from Bible study walking Zurich. But they had another note and gift and sent her to the restaurant where she and IronGreg had their first official date.

Alas, IronGreg wasn't there, either, but Ally, I and her MOM were! Betty flew in from Fargo to be a part of the surprise. We had another note, a gift, and sent her to find Greg at Plymouth Covenant Church.

It was Pastor Dan who met her there though. He had another note, a gift, and he took some time to pray with her. At long last, he led her to the sanctuary, where  FINALLY, IronGreg waited for her. She later told us that she burst into tears at the sight of him because she'd been driving all over town hoping he'd be at the next place! 

I don't know too many details, but I did hear that he got on one knee and proposed, and she said yes. 

Sweet. She is a prize. He is a prize. I am so happy for them both!! I love you Laura and Greg!!!!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Happy Birthday Bob and Nick!

Yesterday Bob and Nick both had their birthdays, so our tri group had a little pot-luck at our house. I love you guys!!

Happy Birthday!

IronTim and IronGirlNyhus.

Me with my hubba Bob, and TriStud's wife Helen.

TruStud and Santi talking in air quotes. (Like we "ever" do that in real life.)

I know I say it a lot, but we really do have a fun group of training buddies. We are all chomping at the bit to get outside and ride. All you warm weather types are so lucky!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Fillin' my bucket

Saturday we had a great team spin at the shop (Gear West). It was about an hour long, but what made it fun was that we interrupted Troy Jacobson a few times to do squat-jumps - you know squat down like a frog, touching the ground, then leap up and reach for the sky... sets of 15 or 10, followed by 5 pushups. We already have a rule that, if you don't like the background music on the iPod, you can change it, but if you do, then you have to drop and do 5 pushups for each song you skip over. So the hour went by really fast because we were getting out of our saddles and doing stuff we don't do a lot (not since 6th gym class, anyway).

Yesterday I ran 14.2 miles outside (temps were in the 20's!!! woo-hoo!!) and I took a steady 2:24 to complete it. I felt comfortable the whole way, no soreness the next day, taking the time to keep hydrated at the water stops - my bucket is getting filled back up, no doubt... and thank goodness. Bensen and Pischka ran, too - I love that dog!!! She is so good that she doesn't even have to be on a leash -- she just loves being with us. Then Laura and I went to church afterward, so it was a great day.

I am shopping today for trail shoes - my friend Kami, an experienced ultra marathoner, told me to get two pair - two different brands. I should alternate wearing both during training, and I'll want to change them halfway through the 50 mile race. She says that after 75% of the run, your feet will start to break down, and two different kinds of shoes will have slightly different pressure points on your feet, which will feel great. That makes perfect sense to me, and I agree that my feet do feel great up to a certain point even in a marathon, and then they do start breaking down, and I'll end up getting a blister or losing a toenail. So I will take that advice and change shoes at the 25 mile mark.

Lastly, Saturday night Bob and I and two other couples took all our kids to the Target Center to see the Matthew West, Jeremy Camp, and TobyMac concert. It was long (three bands may be one band too many!), but they loved it. Bobby stayed totally plugged in through the last song. He loves seeing these amazingly talented, "cool" rock star types, up on stage rocking out their music and being so totally filled with God's love... so much so that they want to sing about it, not be ashamed about it. TobyMac is a hip-hop rapper and even has a team of dancers on stage with him, so they really connected with all the high school and college kids in the audience. (But the lyrics are not about bitches, ho's, killing people or gang-love; it's about loving Jesus and being a good person and knowing you are completely loved even when life is hard). Throughout the night, though, these rock stars share their faith, talk about the charities that mean a lot to them, and what role God has played in their lives and it's really beautiful. It is neat to be in a room filled with thousands of other young people who are not afraid to have everyone else know that they love Jesus. The kids got to meet Matthew West afterward, and got an autograph.

The next day Bobby was up practicing his guitar. He'd love to be in a Christian band, and if that inspires him, that's great with me!

Meeting Matthew West: