Colorado Dreaming

In less than 24 hours our family will be heading out for our 5th Annual ski adventure to Copper Mountain!

img_6756

.

This years adventure will be minus the two patriarchs of the family due to priorities at home.  Can you all please do me a favor and keep your thoughts and prayers with Gr’pa Drake, my mother-in-laws father, as he faces declining health.  Gaylen and Debbie have chosen to stay back this year to be with her parents and let us kids continue on with the skiing adventure.  We have promised a TON of photos, GoPro videos and memories made so that we make it feel like they are right there with us.

img_6843

.

Each year brings new adventures, more wipe-outs, daring jumps and good quality family time.   We are always so thankful and appreciative of this trip.

img_6932

.

From family dinners and card games, to pool challenges, trips down Kokomo, terrifying journeys up the lifts (It is no wonder I keep it together when the lift stops mid-way and starts swinging), beers on the mountain, to snow ball fights while we wait for shuttles and everything in between.  This trip ranks high amongst the favorites each year.

img_6747

.

img_6837

.

img_6763

.

img_6772

.

img_6819

.

img_6917

.

img_6933

.

img_6900

.

.

img_6946

 

Cheers!

 

Bikes, Blues & BBQ 2016

Now that winter has set in and the cold has forced the two-wheels into hibernation, it only seems logical to rub salt in the wounds and reminisce on 90 degree weather and wind in the face, right?

img_0773

 

Arkansas

I had no idea how beautiful a state Arkansas is.  The trees, the hills, the hidden gems, the miles of curves.   Hands down my favorite rally trip so far, minus the time Clint did that little down on one knee number in Sturgis.

img_0659

.

On Wednesday, September 21st, a small group of us took off from Omaha to make our way down to Fayetteville, AR for the annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ rally.   It was a relatively easy and quick ride down there (I’ll bypass how much my seat SUCKS).  We made a pit-stop at the The Garage in Harrisonville, MO where we signed our names to the wall.  Score 1 for me as I found some fellow friends signatures who had been there a few days before us!

img_1393

.

We only made three official stops on the way there for fuel and to stretch, so we made great time!  Far cry from the ride to Sturgis!  Once there we set up camp and awaited the arrival of the Sullivan’s before we settled in for campsite brews and laughter.

img_0622

.

When on vacation, we are in no rush to get anywhere at anytime.   No rules.  No schedule.   When everyone is up we all decide where to go and what to do.   This particular rally included a lot of riding and a lot less walking around and boozing.  During the day anyway.  That might be due to the fact that towns in the hills are few and far between and they apparently don’t believe in bars.   This rally is the complete opposite of the Sturgis experience and I think is why it might have taken over the #1 spot in rally experiences.   #beentheredonethat

img_0678

.

Our first day of riding was pretty spectacular.  The sights, the curves, the beauty!

img_0693

.

Tourist alert

img_0626

.

We found ourselves a pretty incredible BBQ joint called Rivertowne BBQ in Ozark, AR.   The sweet potato fries and accompanying sauce to dip them in was to-die-for!

img_0642

.

img_0765

.

Bellies full, beer craving satisfied and back out on the road we went for several more hours, winding our way back to Fayetteville for campsite shots, brews and relaxing.

.

img_0643

.

The next two days consisted of a lot more riding…

img_0694

Parking lot rest-stops while waiting on a few lost riders…

img_0741

.

Getting lost collectively…

img_0751

.

Dancing while lost…

img_0740

.

Roadside beers FINALLY thanks to a random roadside convenience store…

img_0777

.

Ever wanna take a back road?  Or put a little gravel in your travel?  Tear down two lane country roads?

We feelin’ ya, Rodney Atkins.

img_0768

.

I wouldn’t necessarily say we were lost again.  Just exploring…

img_0712

.

Tracy has this fun way about her.  And when I say fun, I mean she holds a convincing personality that gets me to do things I wouldn’t normally do.  Last year Sturgis?  She had me ziplining.

This year?

img_0725

.

img_0721

.

It. Was. Incredible!  I need a helicopter hook-up, like stat!   So fun and slightly terrifying when the pilot pulled some funny stomach dropping business.

Thanks, Arkansas Helicopters for the fun!

img_0851

.

A little lawn-tractor pull action to close out our campsite experience was entertaining thanks to a very drunk redneck.

Y’all.  This guy was redneck.

Feel free to re-watch his awesomeness from my saved Snap here.

Should I remind you the pulls were lawn tractors.

It wasn’t really that cool.

.

My take-aways from Arkansas.

1. Take beer in the saddlebags anytime you leave camp

img_1151

.

2. The official campsite of BB&B doesn’t really have anything official going on so bring your own entertainment.

img_0648

 

3. We should have used Uber to get to the action on Dickson Street.  This is a reminder for next year!

4. If you don’t sit next to the girls they will create snap stories about it.

img_1394

.

5. Find the camping spot with the fans!  Drowns out the interstate noise and the flysimg_0658

6. If one trailers a bike to a rally, one will always get made fun of.

img_0615

.

7. Twinning is appropriate

img_0728

.

8. Time spent with the hubs is always the best.

img_0697

.

Cheers to BB&B 2017!

 

 

 

Stand Up Desk

I finally made it happen.

5 years of sitting and I’ve had enough.   Welcome to my new stand-up desk.

img_1405

.

I am PUMPED!

As a band teacher, I stood and walked around all day.  That percussion section always needed extra proximity love.

Contrary to popular belief, drumsticks are in fact not light sabers, swords or any other weapon of choice.

So, for seven years I was a mover and a shaker and sat only during prep time or for a quick lunch break.   In 2011, I moved into a career where I am sitting 90% of the time.  That time-frame is also when the major back issues set in.   I am thankful that after last years troubles, the injection I received last year into my sciatic nerve solved a lot of the issues, however, there is still residual muscle tightness.  I am confident that sitting all day is a major contributor.

img_1409

.

I’ve been contemplating a stand up desk for quite some time.  I’ve read a lot about the pros and cons of standing all day and for the most part the only con I can find that is worthy of repeating is that prolonged standing can have just as much of a negative effect on the back as sitting.   Good thing I have plenty of meetings on that calendar of mine, so having a standing desk is actually going to balance out quite nicely.

If you have done any type of research into the cost of a stand-up desk you are aware of the cost.  They aren’t cheap.  But, thanks much to Jenny of Prairie Californian, I found a cost effective alternative.  She made her own by using materials purchased at Ikea and so graciously shared the details with me, of which I will now share with you!

img_1410

Click on the titles to be linked directly to IKEA.

 

img_1407

 

Today is my first day using my new desk and as of right now (lunch break, four hours into it) I am pretty darn happy.   The only addition I am going to make will be a padded mat under my feet and an extra pair of tennis shoes that will stay in the office.   What you can’t see is that I already have a mini stockpile of work shoes under my desk as it is.  A girl can never be too prepared in the shoe department.   🙂

What about if I need/want to sit?

No problem!  I also have a work laptop that I can easily prop open for those days when I don’t have any meetings and need a position change.

I’ll keep you posted on the transition.  I am sure there will be an adjustment period getting my legs and back used to this new norm, but I am happy to take it on!

img_1405

Cheers!

Blanket Scarf Magic

Do you have a blanket scarf that you’d love to wear but don’t due to it’s suffocating tendencies?

Or do you have one that you’ve converted to a front porch rocking chair blanket?

Maybe it’s shoved in the back of your closet?

Or worse yet, you wear it while it slowly kills you.

.

img_1294

.

Listen.  Stop right now.  Go get the scarf.   And some scissors.

I am about to change your life.

 

Step 1: Don’t wear that dumb thing in it’s full glory ever again.

Step 2: Lay it out nice and flat on the floor.

Step 3: Cut it at a diaganol.

img_1298

.

Step 4: Put it on and commence a slow clap.

img_1276

.

Bonus Step 5: Give the other half to a friend!

Blanket Scarf WIN…

but an iPhone Camera + energy saving light bulb fail!

Those washed out photos, tho.  

img_1243

Cheers!

 

 

Weekend Recap | November 11-13, 2016

Saturday, November 12th
2016_11_14_10_07_14_greenshot

 

 

 

 

 

I could end the post right here.

Done.  

End of Story.

But, what’s the use of a hangover without the story of how it came to be?

Let’s rewind to Friday.

.

Friday, November 11th

First of all let me say Thank You to our veterans for your time served and to our current armed forces who continue to serve.

Thank You.

Second: Happy Birthday to my mama!  11/11 was also HER day! 🙂

Now, to the bane of my Saturday?  Friday night.

img_1331

.

We traveled north to Sioux City, IA to see the Turnpike Troubadors in concert with Jade, Kayla, Scott, Haley, Josey and Stephanie.  It was a ridiculously fun night.  Turnpike was INCREDIBLE to listen to… again, music geek in me can’t get enough of good music and TRUE musicianship that these guys exude.

img_1364

.

We let loose, we drank a few too many beers, we stayed our ground in the front of the venue holding steady to the gate, we flirted with the band, we sang along loudly and we made every ounce of that hangover totally worth it.

.

img_1354

.

img_1386

.

img_1387

.

img_1389

.

Is it me, or is Jade channeling Alan from the movie, The Hangover?

img_1385

.

We even managed to hang out with both bands (opener and headliner) after the concert at a local tavern, to which I awkwardly attempted small talk about music (listen Jordan, don’t talk after 10 beers) and Kayla took endless photos with the groups.

.

After hours snap chats = lame tag lines.   We love Friday’s?

Really, Jordan?

*insert giant eye roll*

img_1359

.

Thank GOODNESS social media didn’t exist when we were all in High School.   It’s bad enough as adults.

 

img_1391

.

img_1353

.

Friday kinda rocked, and I am ready to do it again, minus the heavy amounts of beer.

img_1328

.

So then there is Saturday again.

It looked like this:

  • 3am – Arrive back to hotel safely thanks to kind cabi who received quite a tip after my sober mind calculated.  I’m sure she deserved every penny.
  • 3:10am – Snap Clint attempting 16 times to open the hotel door.  It was classic.  Score 1 for Jordan catching that gem on video.
  • 6am – First wake-up call, thanks due to a rager of a headache
  • 7am – Wake-up again.  Headache and all…
  • 8am – Restroom.  Oh, hey there rumbling belly.  I hear you and I am answering by laying back down.
  • 8:30am – Respond to Kayla’s text.  Commiserating.
  • 9am – Dear LORD this headache.  Curse the fact I need water but curse the fact I am not sure my stomach can handle even that.
  • 9:30am – Respond to Kayla’s text re: lobby and breakfast.
  • 10:30am – Clint wakes ready to take on the world ( his ability to NEVER have a headache nor hangover really sucks sometimes)
  • 11am – Bid farewell to the crew and head back to Omaha.   Radio off, shades on, air full blast, with minor attempts to tune my overly-chatty husband out.  Dude… headache.
  • 1pm – Homaha – drop husband off at home so he can load truck up with hunting gear and head out to Clarinda.
  • 1:30pm- Pick up race gear for Beer and Bagel run on Sunday
  • 2pm – Home.  Hallmark Christmas Movie. Nap.
  • 4pm- Grocery store for hangover worthy snacks that are always top notch on the healthy pyramid.
  • 5pm – Dinner.  Hallmark Christmas Movie.  Nap
  • 8pm –  Succumb to just letting Saturday be a total wash and go to bed.

 

Sunday, November 13th

Let’s all take a moment and rejoice in the fact that I got out of bed at 6:30am and was ready to run the Beer and Bagel 4 mile trail run at 9am.

Can I get a Hallelujah?   Can I get an Amen?

.img_1372.

img_1365

.

Blair is a trail running PRO!  She recently ran a 50K.   Yes, you read that right.  50K = 31.08 miles.  So, I laughed at her for wanting to still run this with me.   It’s 4 miles.  That’s like her warm-up nowadays.  But, thankfully, she did it and we had fun and I appreciate her grace in not rubbing in the fact that this is peanuts to her distance legs.

I might consider running the 13.1 trail run next year.  Trail running is SO much better than road running.  It is so much more forgiving on the joints since you are on soft ground and uneven terrain that forces you to take it easy and watch where you are going, rather then operate as a robot and pound the pavement.  Running the 13.1 Beer and Bagel run in 2017 is a definite thought.  A consideration.

We will see. 🙂

img_1371

.

After the race I napped again.  DUDE!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!    I think it was a culmination of three days in a row last week of getting up by 3:10am on top of the minimal water and shenanigans on Friday night.  My body was O.V.E.R. it.

I forced myself into partial civilization on Sunday afternoon when I bundled up and went out on the HD, just her and I.   It’s that time of the year when the hubs is gone hunting on the weekends and I get my coveted solo ride time in when the weather is cooperating.

I managed to burn through a full tank of gas and it was all sortsa magical.

Solo rides = no destination.  No planned stops.   Just a direction, the roll of the throttle and a big ass smile on my face.  🙂

Although, this snap looks like I don’t even have a head, let alone a face for a smile.

But my front wheel looks B.A.

.

Cheers to a GREAT weekend!

img_1382