ride the rockies: 2015

as some of you know, my wonderful husband convinced me to get on a road bike for the first time in my life last february or march (2014) and convinced me to participate in ride the rockies with him.  so, in 2014, i rode his hand-me-down bike and trained for several months, getting in over 900 miles of training before we joined 2,000 cyclists for the 500 mile ride last june.

and i did it.

we had our team of five, and we called ourselves “grade expectations”.  greg, our fearless leader, was a 3-year veteran, and wade, a 2-year veteran.  then there was myself and our friends jeff & diane who we somehow convinced to participate with us.  they are just crazy like that.

after surviving day 1 last year,  (which included multiple flats, a derailleur malfunction, rain, sleet, lightning, hail, and a downhill crash which left jeff in an ambulance with an almost ripped off finger, and the 80-something mile course being closed due to severe weather), we re-grouped on day 2 to sunny skies and an almost 100 mile ride from winter park to beautiful steamboat springs, where we stayed two nights.  from there, we rode to avon, then to breckenridge, then from breckenridge to golden, where we crossed the finish line after finishing the 6 day, 473 miles with 28,000 vertical feet of climbing.

the scenery i experienced on my bike was absolutely breathtaking.  i wish i could take my big girl camera with me on the ride, but since it weighs about 100 pounds, i have to settle for my iPhone.  here are several pictures from last years’ ride….

this years’ course is 7 days, 464 miles and 31,000 vertical feet of climbing, and team “grade expectations” has grown to about 10 members!  and for some crazy reason, i’ve agreed to ride again.  and all this in the middle of a house remodel and move.

apparently self-inflicted difficulty with time management is something in which i excel.

if you asked me a few years ago, road biking is about the last thing i would have ever thought i would be doing.  i mean, spandex?  c’mon.  but i have to say, biking has been a welcomed activity for me.  it’s surprisingly therapeutic!  there are days i enjoy every moment of training, and other days where the trials and joys of life bring me to tears.  it’s become therapy for me.

and the exercise?  well, now that i’ve turned the big 4-0, the consistent exercise is something that can only be good for me.

this year, we have the privilege of riding as ambassadors for project recycle.  several months back, wade was introduced to project recycle through a co-worker who attended one of their fundraisers.  the heart of project recycle is simple.  they accept donated bike of all shapes and sizes and condition and they refurbish them to give away.  they teach people how to work on and refurbish bicycles in the kick stand, which is their 20,000 square foot space on an empty floor in castle rock’s adventist hospital.  one of their biggest events each year is the dream bike giveaway which is a program where project recycle partners with a local elementary school to give away bikes to kids!

wade and tyson (my 8 year old) had the privilege of going to this years’ dream bike giveaway in sedalia, co at the beginning of may.  they were a part of about a 100 volunteers who helped give away over 300 refurbished bikes to deserving elementary kids who earned their bikes through improved attendance, grades and respect.

here are some pictures from this years’ dream bike giveaway.  wade and tyson got to help a young 4th grader whose own teacher stayed after school to teach her how to ride a bike.  her teacher!  she got to surprise her mom by showing her that she learned to ride!  she was fitted for a bike during the giveaway, along with a helmet and a bike lock.  also, you can see the field set up before the giveaway, and after.

as a team, and ambassadors for project recycle, our goal is to spread the word about this great organization and help sponsor and support the finances it took to refurbish and give away those 300 bikes to the sedalia elementary kids.  it takes $42 from start to finish to recycle each bicycle.

would you consider sponsoring a bike?  or bikes?

my personal goal in the next two weeks is to sponsor 24 bikes, or approximately $1,000 in donations.  we are two weeks away from the start of ride the rockies 2015 (june 14th), so please help me reach my goal!

please visit this fundraising page to support project recycle through our team!!  you can donate through paypal using the link and all donations are tax deductible.

thank you all.

colonial: interior

so you want to see the inside?  well, besides having me at “hello” from the outside, the pictures on redfin (the only real estate website we used during our search) showed a room with a fireplace and a beamed ceiling.  so it had me hooked at “beamed ceiling”.

when i walked through the house for the first time, there were a few things that IMMEDIATELY struck me.


1.  orange.  don’t you love the orange wood EVERYWHERE?  floors.  trim.  windows.  crown.  cabinets.  who doesn’t love orange oak.  ummmmm, me.

2.  white walls.  it’s amazing to me that being a 25 year old house, NONE of the walls had been painted a color.  i actually love that.

3.  wallpaper.  in all the bathrooms.  but since it was put up 25 years ago, that means wallpaper is back in.  so believe it or not, i will be re-applying some wallpaper in some spaces.

4.  even though everything was circa 1989, it was immaculate, clean, and i could tell it was well taken care of.

OK, so here’s the tour!  when you walk in the front door, stairs are on the left.  coat closet in front of you. living room to right.  walk straight past hall bath and into kitchen nook.

this is the full bath in the main floor hallway. lovely mauve wallpaper.

laundry room shares a wall with the garage and has access to the backyard.

let’s go upstairs.

not all bedrooms are pictured because they are just bedrooms. at the top of the stairs, you can go left into a bedroom, which we’ll use as a playroom. sloped ceiling, knee wall. at the top of the stairs, turn right and you can access the hall “blue” bathroom, the hall closets, the smallest bedroom, the pull down stairs to the attic, and the master bedroom. the last bedroom is at the end of the hallway (the boys’ room).

the blue bathroom. the layout of the bathroom is totally usable. it’s a two-room bathroom. the first room has a sink and storage cabinet. then next room in has a tub, toilet and another sink. we are doing some re-arranging, but keeping the two-room concept the same. it’ll be a great layout as one kid can be showering while the other uses the sink.

and onto the unfinished spaces of the house. the attic, the basement, and above-the-garage. if i thought the beamed ceilings had me at hello, the unfinished attic and above-the-garage space sealed the deal. the possibilities! tall ceilings and just raw open space. the basement will become the man cave and bike shop for wade.  there are stairs from the basement that exit out the cellar doors in the backyard. perfect for bikes coming in and out. my main storage space will be in the attic, and the above-the-garage space will eventually be finished as a large hang out space for the kids!

the colonial

well hello.

it’s been a while!  now that 2015 has rolled around, i can’t tell you how many people have asked if i am opening the business again.

am i?

short answer is i don’t know.

i’ve had several people bug me to start blogging again.  i officially closed my doors november 2013 (you can read about it here) to take a year off for personal reasons.  like i said there, i felt that 2014 needed to be a year for me to “make room”.

did i?

well, kind of.  you know it is when you peel something out of your life and you are left with all this extra time and energy?  well, that lasted about a week.  it’s like no matter how big or small of a space you physically live in, you will always fill it up!  remaining full in a healthy way is always a balance and a struggle, and i don’t know ONE person who doesn’t struggle with it.  but i will say this:  i am grateful for my year off, and 2014 was filled with a lot of great things.

in 2014:

1. my sister moved to denver and is living with my parents.  she is only 5 minutes away, but i think busier than i am!  my parents moved during that time to a patio home and spent fall 2013/spring 2014 gut renovating it. i am so happy to have them under one roof and be so close.

2. wade somehow convinced me that i was able to participate in ride the rockies.  so we grabbed a couple of other crazy people and trained and trained and trained.  i think i logged in almost 1,000 miles of training between march and june that i had just sat on for the first time in january.  but i’m happy to say that we finished, and i completed ride the rockies 2014.  it was something like 36,000 ft of vertical climbing and 500+ miles over the course of 6 days.  and my craziness continues because we are signing up again this year.

3.  wade tore his acl in march playing pick up basketball and when he came home injured, my first (and fairly selfish) response was:  ”can you still do ride the rockies?”  well, yes he did.  he did ride the rockies in june with a torn acl and then had surgery in early july.  the rest of the summer was spent recovering.

4.  i took on a new role as “coach”.  in the fall, i coached my daughter and a gaggle of her friends as the pink panthers, a rec volleyball team.  we had a great time, and i loved teaching them the basic skills of volleyball and the rules of the game.  i admit, it was one of my favorite things in 2014.

5.  i turned 40.  oh, just seeing that typed makes me cringe.  but we celebrated big.  we took 4 of our closest friends and spent the day at devils thumb ranch.  we cross country skied, spent time in the spa, then topped off the evening all dressed up and eating fancy food.  it was fabulous.

6.  in 2014, my kids turned 9, 7, and 4.  will it ever stop?  wade and i celebrated 14 years of marriage, and our sweet, but slowly becoming crazy dog presta, turned 11.

so i guess the biggest news of 2014 for our little family is that we are moving.  and i am tired.  seriously!  just when i think life does have some room, we go and buy a house that needs a TOTAL overhaul.

now let me give a little background.  wade spent most of his youth in littleton, a great suburb of denver.  i spent my youth moving all around with the air force.  wade and i started our life together in denver, in our sweet little brick bungalow which we gutted and renovated and made our own over 6-7 years.  we brought two of our babies home to that house.  it was 1200 square feet of fabulousness.  then in 2008 we moved to nyc for work and spent a year having great adventures there. when we moved back to colorado, ava was going into kindergarten, so we made the jump to the suburbs, into what i thought was our forever home.  we looked at several houses in littleton, but the right one wasn’t available.

we’ve been in this house for 5 years.  wade has wanted to move to littleton for 4 years.  he’s been convincing me for 3 years.  we started kind of looking 2 years ago.  we really started looking a year ago.  we tried to buy (in my opinion, amazing) an old farm house on 1/2 acre in the middle of littleton, but it fell through.  then last september, after a whole year of really looking, we found it.

the colonial.

after looking at maybe 30-50 houses over the course of a year and really pursuing a couple of them, the colonial came on the market.  when i saw the picture, i knew exactly what house it was.  after driving through neighborhoods for a year, you kind pick out which houses in your mind you would live in.

it came on the market on a saturday.  we saw it on sunday.  we put in an offer sunday night.  there were multiple offers. ours was the lowest.  i trusted wade on that one because he didn’t want to play the “game”.  he was right.  i wrote a letter to the seller and unknown to wade, i also included a family picture.  the house was built in 1989, and hadn’t been touched.  wade wanted littleton, i wanted a fixer upper.  we wanted a bigger lot and some more space for the kids outside.  this was the FIRST house we had seen together where we both looked at each other and said, “this is IT.”

they accepted our offer on monday.  it was a TOTAL God thing! and now we are renovating!  but trust me, it’s not like it seems on HGTV.  please may i have chip and joanna??

here she is.  the colonial.  i think she needs a name, don’t you?

stay tuned!



sneak peek: the m family

no, the business is not open.  just doing a favor for a good friend!  it was one of those last-minute, after-church, we-had-15-minutes kinda things.  we met at our new house (more later as we are neck deep in renovation) and did some quick shots.  love this family.

sacred ground

last night i felt like i was on sacred ground.  friends and family gathered to welcome home and witness the formation of a family.  not something you get to witness often in a lifetime.  waiting and hoping and praying for this little guy to come home to meet his siblings and see his new home has been a long time coming.  after 3 weeks in china and some unexpected delays with a visa, and a VERY VERY late night arrival, amy and danny got to bring home the newest member of their family.  following their journey and witnessing the homecoming last night was an amazing experience.

and gotta love technology….one of amy’s best friends got to facetime in from connecticut to see the arrival and reunion!

love you guys.

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