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July, 2009:

Only Before 7:00 AM

As some of you may know, I was sans kids for an entire week – July 13-20th. It was a busy week with work and other stuff, but one thing I did get to do was get up in the morning and take Duma for a walk – I like doing it in the morning rather than the afternoon – gets me up and going and ready for the day. Crazy thing happened the 1st day I did it . . . about 1/4 of the way through our walk, I started jogging. I KNOW! ME! JOGGING! The person who runs only when chased chose to jog – and nobody with a chainsaw or ax was following me!

Even MORE surprising? I didn’t hate it! Apparently before 7:00 a.m., I’m OK with running.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I only ran 2 minutes, then walked a few minutes, then ran 2 minutes, etc. But it was great!

I did it a few other mornings that week – both Duma and I loved it . . . and I got to run further and further without being tired.

Then in MN I got up one morning and took a little walk/jog . . . OMG it’s easy to run at sea level!

Back to altitude and I’ve gone 2 times since we got back . . . I ran 4 times as far at one time today without taking a break.

So ya – proud of myself for this one.

Oh – and I’ve decided to hike Pikes Peak in September with some friends for a Brain Injury Foundation fundraiser. Not sure what I’m thinking! I’ve only hiked up the Peak twice – and never in one day. Hiked half way up to Barr Camp, stayed over, then hiked the rest of the way up and down then next day. But this one? All the way up in one day . . . 12.6 miles and 8,000 foot elevation gain from about 6,000 feet at the trailhead to 14,110 feet at the summit. There will be no running, but at least it’s motiviation for me to keep trying every morning!

Lucky Ducks

They don’t quack, but my kids are LUCKY! They just got home from a two-week vacation in MN – one week alone with two sets of grandparents and one week with me and Hubby there.

Lucky to have grandparents that love them and are young enough to have the kids stay with them during the summer without Hubby and I being there.

Lucky to have a Mom who doesn’t mind a good road trip and will meet her FIL in the middle of Nebraska to trade the kids one day and drive back home the next day. Lucky to have a Grandfather who will do the same.

Lucky to have a Dad who got us hotel rooms in NE at a hotel with a water slide.

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Lucky to have a Grandpa that loves to show them new things, like The Archway Museum in Kearney, NE.

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Lucky to have Grandparents that like to camp so much that they will take you camping for a week and show you how humid and green MN can actually be :-)

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Lucky to have a Grandpa who LOVES to fish and knows all the best spots on the lake so you ALWAYS catch fish.

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Lucky to have a Grandpa that will let you climb all over him (and walk all over him!)

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Lucky enough to have an Aunt who owns a cabin on a lake and is willing to spend the day with us so you can jump off the pontoon into the lake to swim.

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Lucky enough to have an Uncle who bought a new jet ski and lets you and your Mom take it for a spin.

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Lucky enough to have another Uncle who will take you tubing.

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Lucky to have a Grandma who will let you do almost anything, including riding around the yard on the lawnmower in 90 degree heat and humidity.

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Lucky to have a Godmother that will take the entire day off of work so she can spend time with you and help you get to know her kids better.

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Lucky to have parents that will let you have ice cream twice in one day.

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Lucky to have a Grandpa who was a member of the volunteer fire department for over 25 years and got permission to take you for a ride in a real live fire truck!

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Lucky enough to return from the fire truck ride at the exact time another fireman entered the firehouse and mentioned that he had to drive a fire truck in a parade in a neighboring town that evening.

Lucky enough to have a Grandpa who volunteered to drive the fire truck in the parade so you could ride in it again and throw candy during the parade!

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Lucky enough to be the very first entry in the parade, so that when you made it to the end, you could park the fire truck, sit on the curb, and get candy from all the other entries.

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Lucky enough to have a Mom that will make the ride home longer when she stops at the military vehicle museum you have been wanting to see for the past 7 years every time we drive by it on our way to or from MN.

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Lucky enough to see a 48-star flag.

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Lucky enough to see ammunition that is actually taller than you are, which, by the way, you thought was way cool.

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Lucky enought to have a sister that happily spent an hour at the museum with you even though she could have cared less and all she wanted to do was get home.

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My kiddos are so lucky to have such wonderful Grandparents and to be able to experience such wonderful things. Thank you to everyone who made their trip special . . . cousins who slept in tents and collected teeny tiny frogs with them, grandparents who tended to them when they had fevers and weren’t feeling well, aunts and uncles who took time off of work so they could have a fun day at the lake, Grandparents who took them camping and fishing, a Godmother who went out of her way to make sure she spent time with them and made them feel special, Grandparents who took them to a parade in a fire truck . . . thanks to all of you.

A Little Whitewater Never Hurt Anybody

While the kiddos are getting spoiled rotten at G’ma and G’pa’s house, Hubby and I made impromptu plans to go whitewater rafting through the Royal Gorge with one of his work buddies who was here working. It was so fun to be able to make last-minute plans like that! We hadn’t been rafting in over 10 years.

The weather was beautiful, the river great, the Gorge was amazing, and the rafting was awesome!

*Note – this is probably the only time I will ever post pictures of myself in a swimming suit!

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Ted, Me, and Hubby before we got in the raft. Note our VERY stylish river boots! Last time we went, they made us wear wet suits even though it was warm out, so we figured we’d be doing the same this time. Um, nope. But, you can’t raft barefoot, in flip flops, or in Crocs. We hadn’t brought anything but flip flops for our feet assuming we’d wear a wet suit and river boots. Well, we ended up with Boots and Suits :-) I know – we’re irresistable!

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Hubby and I enjoying the ride before we get to the bigger rapids. I just have to say, this rafting trip is awesome, even when you’re not working, because the views are AMAZING!

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This helicopter buzzed us, literally, a few times on our journey. This tour guide is a MANIAC! Oh. My. Gawd! He would be so close to the water flying through the gorge and then he’d pull up and climb the huge walls on the side, turn and come back down. It made me want to throw up just WATCHING it! But I still wanna do it 😉

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Here we are heading into Sunshine Falls . . . the last rapids before the ones that go right by all the people below the Royal Gorge Bridge. We all look so relaxed, don’t we? I’m wondering if our guide knows something we don’t know!

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Maybe this was what he was seeing come up. He was getting ready to bark some orders and put us to work! Tellin’ ya – loads and loads of fun!

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Here we are after making it through The Gorge. Notice the Suspension Bridge above us . . . it was very cool. The bridge is just as cool from the top as it is from the bottom! Totally a vacation destination for all you out-of-staters :-)

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After the Gorge, there are a few more class 3s before you float the last 4 miles into town. We saw all kinds of fun stuff, including a few big horn sheep hangin’ out on shore. Pretty neat!

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Ted – all I can say is “It’s hard to look smart in a helmet.”

Finally, kudos to our guide company, Raft Masters – http://www.raftmasters.com/. They ROCK! We’ve used them all 3 times we’ve gone rafting through The Gorge – they were just as great this time as they were 10 years ago. AND, they had quite a few of the same guides, which says a LOT about that company. They are professional, knowledgeable, safe, and a TON of fun. If you ever want to raft through the Royal Gorge, definitely check out Raft Masters in Canon City. (No, I don’t know anybody who works at this company – and I live more than an hour away – they are just that awesome that I wanted to give them kudos.)

Totally An Old Chicago Day

Today is an Old Chicago Day. Not because I need their food or love the atmosphere, but I need to chat. To QT. About stuff.

I don’t miss my old job. But I do miss seeing QT every day. And now that I have another job, I can’t even meet her for lunch during the day! Which means, we don’t talk nearly as much as I want to – and need to.

I need to talk to her. About stuff. About people. About work. About life. I need to listen to her talk. About stuff. About people. About work. About life.

I need an Old Chicago day.

What is an Old Chicago day? Let me tell you. The first Old Chicago Day happened about 6 years ago.

On a Wednesday, QT IM’ed me from her desk about 100 feet away from mine at around 1:45 p.m., saying she needed a bathroom break. That was code for we would meet in the lobby, stop by the bathroom, walk to the lunch room, grab a pop, and chat while we walked back to our desks.

For some odd reason, on this day, we both showed up in the lobby with our purses and car keys. Without further word, we both got in the elevator, got in our cars, and drove to Old Chicago. (See?! We really do share a brain!)  Approximately 15 minutes later we were sitting at the bar at Old Chicago, drinks in hand (whiskey all around!), talking and chatting. In the middle of the work day. We gabbed and chatted and laughed and chatted and cursed and chatted and ordered snacks when it was dinner time and had a wonderful purging of the soul. A few hours and a few too many drinks later, we called Hubby to come pick us up.

That was the best bathroom break I’ve ever had.

I could use an Old Chicago Day today.

Mini Me?

Princess and I have a LOT in common – which is probably why we but heads so often.

We look a LOT alike . . . if not for the 70s background in the picture below (and my mother’s handy note-taking), I wouldn’t be able to tell who was me and who was Princess!

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She’s very independent and stubborn, like me. She may also have a slight temper – I have no idea where she would have gotten that from 😉

This past week, she was in my hobby room with me. She got down my softball scrapbook and was flipping through the pages (I love softball and played a few years in college). She got to a page with this photo on it and couldn’t believe it was me:

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Yes, I was a catcher for many many many years and a gatrillion games. Princess had tons of questions and wanted to know about everything, especially if I could wear sparkly earrings while wearing the helmet. I said no and then explained to Princess why I loved catching so much and how much fun it was.

Today, we show up for her last baseball game and she begs Coach Tim to let her be the catcher. It’s a gazillion degrees out and nobody else wants to do it, so he says go ahead.

Another Mini Me moment in the making?

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Maybe not . . .

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But she does have 12 years to practice . . .

Gobble Gobble!

We’ve been on the road again! 50 points to anyone who correctly indicates where we were :-) City and state, please.

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More Often Than Not

I just realized that after our unexpected 3-day trip to MN next week, my kids will spend more days this month in that state than in the one they actually live in.

18 days in MN
13 days in CO

And it’s JULY! Not exactly the best weather month to be in a hot and incredibly humid state where mosquitos the size of hummingbirds like to suck your blood!

However, I’m sure they’ll survive . . . they will, afterall, be getting spoiled rotten by grandmas and grandpas . . . much of the time withOUT Me or Hubby there. Camping, fishing, swimming at the lake, bike riding, golfing, playing with cousins, seeing GREEN things like grass . . . oh, and eating all the candy you want all the time because “Grandmas let you do that when your parents aren’t around, you know!”

Please pray for my children who will surely be deprived and abused this month :-)