Tuesday, August 31, 2010


So while underwear shopping the other day I noticed the tag. Mind you that the tag on underwear is so small that I am lucky I could make out the writing. But on this tiny insignificant tag I noticed the "L", you know for Lucky or perhaps Large but who's judging. And then next to the L was the number 7. Now I do consider myself a Large person, so it would indeed make sense that I would wear Large underwear but I have absolutely no preconceived notions that I am now or will ever be a size 7. In fact my "goal" size is an 8. Which would make my underwear "XL". What on God's green earth size of underwear did I used to wear 40-50 pounds ago. Maybe those enormous panties don't even get a tag with a number size ratio printed on them, more like size 16 equals BE for Big Enough, or TMF for Too Much Fabric or YKWSYA for You Know What Size You Are. To be honest I never looked at my old Mu Mu drawls to see and I have been cutting the tags out of my clothing for years, so no one knew that I wore these ginormous undergarments.

Monday, August 30, 2010

And the pictures....

Austin playing in my Mom's front yard. I think my favorite part about her walking now is that she can finally wear dresses and look like a cute little girl rather than just having it get in the way.

Austin sitting on the bench with another one of Morgan's close friends, Sarah.

Austin sampling the peas out of Mom and George's garden.

Austin helping Grandpa in the garden.

Austin helping with all the presents at the party, you can usually just see her bow bouncing and weaving in and out of the bags and boxes.

Austin being a goof ball at Dane's birthday dinner, he was blowing on her hair and she was losing her mind laughing and carrying on.

Our weekend

Our weekend flew by like they all do.

Saturday Joe worked and I ran around, literally and tried to get entirely too much done. I sent Austin with my Mom to a baby shower for Jessie Krupp. She was my sister's best friend before she passed away and it's amazing that the families have stayed so close. It's a bitter sweet experience to watch Morgan's friends graduate from college and have babies, something that she will never experience. She will remain 18 forever in our minds and will miss out on everything else. It's like they say about death the initial shock and searing pain will subside but the wound stays there, it just becomes more of a dull throbbing pain that is irritated on occasion by things like this. It turns out that Austin was an amazing party favor and very helpful at the shower, I have posted pictures to prove this. :-)

Sunday we had lunch with my brother Ryan, his wife (still hard to type that, wow has he grown up) and her son. Followed by a birthday dinner for Dane who turned 14, again wow has he grown up. Joe went to the Broncos game with his friend Jeremy, who happens to be a big Steelers fan so it was a perfect match.

I was reading a magazine the other day and came across an article about this company and thought it was such a great idea that I would pass it along. I know that a lot of us go to baby showers and what not and can't think of a cool and unique gift so this definitely takes that on. You can buy onsies, or t-shirts depending on the age of the child and they have things printed on them like (the one that I just ordered for Austin) "I will make a difference". So for every article of clothing purchased a book is donated through the organization Room to Read (one of my ABSOLUTE favorites) to a child in a third world country. What a great idea!


Friday, August 27, 2010

The weekend...kind of.

So due to my HUGE project at work and Joe's amazing business neither of us have taken a weekend off in quite some time, but there is still something that makes me ecstatic about Fridays. I know in our current situation that Saturday and Sunday's are just the same as every other day but boy do I get excited.

I got to watch The Blindside this morning at the gym, what an amazing movie...love it. Makes me want to save the world one kid at a time, even more than I normally do.

I can't help but comment about the miners stuck in Chili, for those that don't obsess about the news like I do. 33 miners are stuck in a mine in Chili, they are alive and from what people can see thanks to a camera dropped down through an air vent this morning, in good spirits. The sad part about the story is that the new estimate for getting them out is by Christmas. WOW! Can we ship them a backhoe? Makes me thankful to be in a first world country where everyone with a shovel would dig my butt out of a mine if need be.

I get my haircut tomorrow. Haircuts are always AMAZING but since it has been almost 2 years since my last cut I am even more stoked. It's embarrassing to write that it has been that long but I have been super busy and it's super expensive. I have even tried to go to cheaper stylists in the past but am always disappointed. So I head back to Traci, she has been doing my hair for almost 12 years now...through computer school, numerous boyfriends, two home purchases and countless laughs.

Joe and I watched an interesting Penn & Teller last night, they do a show called Bull Shit! where they tear down common myths or theories and show why they aren't true or as they call it...Bull Shit. Last night it was about Stranger Danger and to sum it up how we are turning our children into little people that are scared of their own shadows. They interviewed a child psychologist that believes our common statement of "Stranger Danger" is making it so when children grow up they have a harder time having meaningful relationships or trusting people because they have been brought up to believe that you should be afraid of everyone. They broke down the statistics that show 150 children a year are captured by strangers whereas 95% of children that are molested or murdered are done so by someone they know. They went on to explain that we are killing off the natural explorer in kids and rather than embracing their curiosity we teach them that the world is scary and should be observed from a safe distance. Obviously I am a wuss and it will be immensely hard for me to just let Austin live her life but looking back on it perhaps I am such a wuss because my Mom was too. Just food for thought I guess.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

You can never...

Obviously I was raised with brothers so this statement is slightly off however I stand behind it 100%.

You can never have too much money, too beautiful of a women or too fast of a car.

I LOVE cars, they speak to me and this latest Lexus is a true piece of engineering. While my number one pick will always be the McLaren F1 LM, there are only 5 on the planet so it may take me a while to get one. ;-)

Just take a look at these bad dogs...

First of course the almighty F1 LM, named such to commensurate the 5 cars McLaren placed in the top 15 at the 1995 Le mans. A few key points about the number one car in the world...it can go 240 MPH and in order to purchase a McLaren you must fly to the factory and have it custom fit to you and your height/weight specifications...oh yeah and not to mention that every piece on the car is hand made. Not sure if you can tell from the picture...but the driver actually sits in the middle of the vehicle and the passengers sit on either side but in the "back seat". Just the way it should be, if I owned this car and someone even thought of touching one of my controls I'd dump them out on the freeway. It'll run you a cool million to start for a McLaren but it was always rumored that these LM's ran around 5 million. Who would I have to kill to drive off in this beast?!?!?!

But now the Lexus, doesn't it just stare at you...begging to driven. I have always said that a "true" sports car should NEVER have a stereo in it. If you're listening to music rather than the throaty sound of a V10 you don't deserve this vehicle...buy a hybrid and drink your latte.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Ok so I overslept this morning and missed spinning, however I do have to say I am not having as bad of a day as golfer Jim Furyk. He overslept and was disqualified from the tournament this weekend. :-(

I am sure everyone reading this keeps up on their refrigerators better than I do. It is one of those things that since I hate throwing food away until it is absolutely necessary and because the fridge keeps the food cold so it doesn't smell I tend to let it get out of hand. I couldn't help but laugh to myself as I pulled food out like a cantaloupe that literally ran through my fingers (gross!) or the ice covered petrified meat in the back. So in a perfect non disgusting world the refrigerator is used to store the food that we would like to consume which is what is so amazing to me that I let it get out of hand. Perhaps I should save this habit for my new year's resolution next year! :-)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


By no means am I suggesting that I should be wearing a swimsuit, or that my body is "bathing suit" ready, but since we swim at the gym...I do have to put on one of those luxurious spandex get ups once a week. I do venture to say though that J and I have the two least flattering swimsuits I have ever seen on anyone, period. They are both tank-kinies, and J's has lost all of it's will to live, it is no longer stretchy or formfitting. So we tease that it's her negligee, I know we're teasing but it's not that far off. And while mine (due to the weight loss) doesn't hurt anymore to wear, does give me a front wedgie and muffin top...although the leg part is getting loose enough to require me to pull it down so as to not offend the other pool goers (other than J of course who is offending everyone with her lingerie). We truly look like dumb and dumber every Tuesday morning, ahhhh I can't wait until we have earned new suits. :-)

Monday, August 23, 2010


Unfortunately it has come to be nothing of a big deal if not expected to get divorced. It seems as though I hear about a new divorce every week and my response has become so calloused to it. I have long since fed into the mantra that it is better to split from an unhappy relationship then it is to stay and make the entire family miserable and prove to be poor role models for your children, showing them that you should be miserable if you're married. I say all of this now with huge weighing doubts. The old saying of "stay together for the kids" used to infuriate me, because kids don't want to live in a house where there is constant fighting or no love. In recent months my thoughts are changing though. In a society where it feels as though a couple is setup to fail and divorce comes so naturally I am seeing more and more children with tremendous emotional scars due to divorce. I can't help but feel as though we have come to accept relationships and their short lifespans, whereas the same old things are true about kids not dealing with it well and friends and family feeling uncomfortable and helpless. I guess it just amazes me that the general acceptance behind something like this has changed without any of the ramifications. It's not like it got any easier for anyone involved but it is shrugged off as though it did.

I have started trying to pant my nails and keep them painted, I have been a nail bitter since I was little and have been quiting since Austin was born. But of course because I have had my fingers in my mouth for decades the nails are brittle and peal easily, every time that I mention that I can't get them to grow out to a reasonable length, J asks me "well are you keeping nail polish on them?". Heck no, I just like to complain and then accidentally rip them off with my mouth when they split. :-) Although I never seem to have the 9 hours it takes to fully dry this stupid stuff so my nail polish always has dings in it.

We are dog sitting for our next door neighbor, we have her for 10 days or so and I have to say that even though she is a great dog and doesn't add any work to my day I am always a little more anxious when taking care of something for someone, if one of my dummies do something I will just take care of it, but what if this little dog gets hurt and I let my neighbor down.

I have had a server down for three weeks now, which essentially means that my email has been a barrage of butt chewing for the same time. The technician and I worked on it all weekend and my favorite quote that he said was "well hell it's already been down for three weeks, what's another couple of days gonna do?". Obviously this guy is not getting his rear torn up like I am over the whole deal.

I am sitting at my desk listening to Austin, who is failing at taking her afternoon nap...watching as apparently the X-Men land in my neighborhood fully equipped with Storm's amazing cloud cover. Seriously though within the last three minutes the entire sky has turn black, the wind is whipping and the dogs are hiding under my legs. Hopefully though it will rain a lot on my grass, Joe "made" (I put that in quotes because truly I just gave in and decided to use my battle strength for something more pertinent at a later date) me turn the sprinklers to water every other day so now my sod farm is not quite as lush.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What breaks my heart...and what heals it.

I am going to apologise already for the long post...

I do an activity in kids group surrounding this story -

One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming
that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd
gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was
not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most
beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and
boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.

Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said "Why
your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine." The crowd and the young
man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of
scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put
in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges.
In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were

The people stared - how can he say his heart is more beautiful, they
thought? The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state
and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with
mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."

"Yes," said the old man, "Yours is perfect looking but I would never
trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have
given my love - I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and
often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty
place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some
rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we
shared. Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other
person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty
gouges -- giving love is taking a chance.

Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the
love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and
fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He
walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful
heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with
trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart
and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the
wound in the young man's heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were
some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect
anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's
heart flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.

I have the kids each make a heart out of play-doh and then we go around the group taking a piece of our hearts and giving it to one another either giving a compliment to the person or saying thank you for something they have done. It is one of the hardest groups I do not to cry. Hearing things like "thank you for taking the hits so I didn't have to" are always going to break my heart.

Last night's kids group broke my heart even more than usual. Obviously I am sworn to confidentiality but let me just say this, one angry teenage boy was given up on and shipped off, pedophiles have a their own section in hell and I always wondered what I would do when I came face to face with someone that I knew at the Safe House. I can tell you now from experience that it took my breath away. I cried the whole way home and again this morning while filling out my progress reports for the kiddos.

Thanks to my amazing daughter though, my heart began to heal when I got home. Her newest trick is to grab your arm while you are trying to change her diaper, pull it in real close to her face, snuggle it for a second and then kiss it. Literally it warms my heart to think about it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Whelp with every passing day we are getting just a bit older. I love getting older, I think I am a better person now than I was when I was 20 and anticipate being a better person when I am 40 so bring on the birthdays. But I do have to admit trips like this weekend make me laugh.

We went to "Sturgis" this weekend and I have to put that in quotes because we didn't even make it to the town of Sturgis much less the party scene but rather stayed in Rapid City with our friends. No concerts, no dancing on bars, hell we didn't even bring our bikes...but we had a blast and were able to meet our friends Derek and Rachel's newest addition to their family Little Lola. Instantly Austin and her became BFF's. It was cute to watch them give kisses and snuggle with each other, or the way their little faces would light up after a nap when they realized that their friend was still there. The trip up made me extremely sympathetic of parents that have colicky babies, Austin cried/screamed for 5 of the 7 hour trip. If I had a nail gun I would have nailed my forehead to the dashboard. The way home we decided to take a new approach and feed the little monster the ENTIRE way...that kept her happy and quiet. :-)

I know it looks like Austin is biting but I swear she is kissing.

And I can't believe how much Austin looks like Charles/Joe in this picture.

It's fun to watch how different both Joe and Derek's lives are now. Here's an old picture of Derek, Rachel and Joe when he went down to Phoenix to visit them on his bike.

And here's a picture of the two Dad's letting their daughters kiss each other. Too cute!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This and that...

In our training J came across an article detailing that we should take one day off of training after a race for every mile completed. While that means that I would have to take a month and a half off instead I decided that three days would be sufficient. I tried to go in yesterday but my legs cramped just getting ready. So this morning I hit the gym, apparently unaware of how sore my legs still were because now when I exert my muscles doing something like walking up the stairs it makes me sick to my stomach. It makes sense, the experts always say after a massage to drink plenty of water because the lactic acid released in your muscles will sour your stomach. Well I'm here to tell ya, if I make it through the entire day without vomiting I'll be doing well.

Remember the movies "The Truman Show" and "Ed TV"? I feel like a faithful watcher of those shows everyday. Joe's shop has security cameras in it and from any Internet connection I can log in and watch what's going on. For anyone that sends someone off to work you should understand this...sometimes either I miss Joe or I am thinking to myself "Hmmm, I wonder if he's busy right now?" I have the very rare privilege of being able to log in to the cameras and see what's going on, baby girl waves at Daddy and I get to feel safe knowing that he made it to work and everything is going well. I catch myself watching him walk around and working with patients, it's a weird feeling being able to watch someone that doesn't know they are being watched.

My favorite basketball poster of all time is hanging behind me in my office. It's the one with Michael Jordan on it that says..."I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." I failed this weekend and without knowing it succeeded on so many levels. I have been approached already by several friends that would like to start training and compete in the Iron Man next year with me. To inspire someone else to greatness warms my heart.

I am warning you now...that if you have ever wanted to judge me, here's your chance. Hell I am judging myself just for thinking this way much less being this way. So please by all means judge away. I have not lived on a budget in over 10 years, in fact I haven't balanced my checkbook in just as long. There has been no need, I got a great job when I was 19 and have been on a steady roll ever since. But now that we have a small business with large loans, I have had to...gasp...look at what food costs in the grocery store, or put off buying my weekly movies. I am attempting to take it in strife and realize there is a lesson to be learned here but I can assure you that it has been a challenge. It makes me feel better to know that Joe is just absolutely kicking ass and I am sure that the business will be successful because of him. However at least once a day I laugh to myself and say "besides being in debt beyond my wildest dreams, I am happy". And if I thought meal planning was hard before, meal planning on budget is just retarded.

Monday, August 9, 2010

And the pictures...

Here we are waiting on the swim start.

I look so tired without eye makeup on.

Looking out over the swim start. Those buoys that see way out there mark the course.

The bike transition area.

Dinner after the race with the family, I literally felt like I was starving to death.

Me still smiling after bike portion, albeit a goofy smile.

My pit crew waiting for my biking portion.

Mounting my bike to ride off into the sun for next half a day or so.

Walking my bike out.

The bike transition all empty.

Me walking out of the water waving for my family.

My cousin Jenny-Poo or Jennifer as I am sure she would want to be called with Austin at dinner.

The IronMan

I competed in the first ever IronMan 70.3 in Boulder this weekend. It consists of a 1.2 mile swim, followed by 56 miles on a bike and a 13.1 mile run.

So let's take you through the event as I saw it.

We had to register the day before and get my race numbers so we headed up to Boulder (about an hour and half a way) around lunch. Got all checked in and headed to hotel followed by lunch and then dinner, I have to say it's been so long since the three of us just hung out it may have been one of my favorite times of the weekend.

The next morning the alarm went off at 4am and we made the trip to Boulder reservoir, got my bike all checked in (Joe ended up renting me a bad ass bike), got body marked (wrote on with a permanent marker to note my age and race number) and changed into my wet suit. Joe, Austin and I hung out on the beach for the next hour and a half waiting on the swim to start. The professionals went first and they are FAST, holy smokes. They finished the swim in 23 minutes! The oldest of the groups went next and were given plenty of time before the rest of the groups started which were sent into the water in 5 minute increments. The oldest racer was a 74 year old woman (who I saw running at the end which means she kicked my ass!). My turn came up, I was in one of the largest groups. There were 1800 racers and 600 of them women with the age group 30-34 having the largest numbers. I can't really explain what it was like to stand with my daughter on the beach waiting my turn, watching all the other moms dance and play with their kids, just an awe inspiring moment for mom's everywhere. As I choked back tears of my reality getting ready to come to fruition I walked to the water. It was cold and I was glad to be wearing a wetsuit. It was a water start, so everyone entered the water to about the 8 foot depth mark and tread water waiting on the horn to sound. I somehow got pushed to the front of the pack so when that horn sounded I was swim trampled by 100 of my closest competitors. I got back my senses and started swimming the never ending course. I swear every time I would look up I wasn't any further along. It took me 1 hour and 20 minutes to swim the length and I was dead last, but not dead. :-) I kissed my family and limped off to the bicycle area, got all changed and headed out on the 56 mile trip, my legs were already dead from swimming so I was sure this part would be a challenge. Did I mention I had never been on a road bike, or swam in open water...while I did plenty of training it was all indoors.

The bike part was exhausting like you would imagine and not just because it's biking but because in my case I was on that god forsaken thing for 4 and half hours. I foolishly didn't bring a water bottle thinking that they would have some at the transition area so I had to wait until the 10 mile mark to get a water and a banana which may have been the best food that has ever touched my lips. Cyclists would pass me and say things like "great job Crystal!" (my name was printed on my number bib on my back). It was amazing ot me that while everyone was competing it was a competion with yourself not others, so everyone was so positive and enthuasistic. I made it to the 40 mile mark and stopped for another snack and was approached by a race official that let me know I was the last in the group and he was going to follow me to make sure that I finished. There was a sense of safety in hearing his big diesel engine behind me, I knew if anything happened he was there. I pedaled my bike another 10 miles at which time I heard him stop behind me, I stopped and he let me know we were out of time and he would have to take me in the rest of the way. 6 miles short and heartbroken I got in the truck, of course I immediately had to start talking to keep me from crying so I now know his life story, if you ever need a sign made in Boulder Colorado Dean is your man. :-) He apologized a hundred times for not being able to let me finish but with the roads being blocked and all there was only a certain amount of time they could let me have.

In hindsight I would have worn a watch, perhaps if I had known in time that I was running out of time I could have pushed it harder slowed down less for drinks and what not, but that's hindsight and doesn't help much now. I have always lived my life with the mantra that it is better to try and fail then to not try at all. I believe this is a saying best said by someone like me that very rarely fails because I can assure you that this failure hurts. 6 miles separated me from my goal. Of course I would have had to run next and with the shape that my legs were in running at a 10 minute mile pace for 13 miles would have probably been impossible, but I would have LOVED the chance to try.

Today I am nursing a very swollen, bruised butt (I went to click into my pedals slipped off backwards and landed on the tire) and a crushed ego. Oh yeah and a third degree sunburn, I thought there would be sunscreen at the bike exchange but I was mistaken so my white shoulders spent that 4 and half hours just cooking.

In honor of Kimberly's last list and to keep me from being depressed here are the things that I am most proud of from this weekend.

1.) I was scared of the swim and being in open water and walked in anyways, Joe said that my face looked so unsure and nervous, which I was.
2.) I swam for over an hour and was able to walk out and kiss my perfect daughter.
3.) I had to complete two laps of 28 miles a piece and didn't quit after one lap even though I was SOOO tired.
4.) I rode a bike in traffic and wasn't even that intimidated, probably because I was in so much pain but I'll take it.
5.) I was the only one in my age group that raised their hand when asked if it was their first triathlon.
6.) I never cried, even though I wanted to.
7.) I kept a smile on my face the whole time.
8.) I didn't wreck on my bike, one of the guys that I saw at the end had wrecked and was missing a good quarter of his skin.
9.) I had my family there to support me because let's face it at this point J and Nate are family too.
10.) Last but not least I set a goal 7 months ago and went through with it and even though I didn't get the desired outcome, I didn't quit.