hanging out with friends

I really hate it when Josh goes out of town. I sleep horribly and multiple times throughout the day find myself turning to tell him something funny/frustrating/sad/ridiculous only to remember that he's not actually there. I miss him a lot when he's gone.

But, the fabulous lining to that situation.....is that I get some serious girlfriend time when he's gone! Josh left over the weekend to take our high school folks up to Windy Gap for the week. Since then, I've been able to have dinner with Chelsea, dinner with Maury, lunch with Maria and coffee with Helen. And I still have an overnight with Elizabeth and Rachel. LOVE IT!
I love that when girls get together they can usually talk one another into dressing up in ridiculous outfits:

And that girls give such sweet gifts with even sweeter inscriptions:

Be sure to make time for your girlfriends!!


breakfast, the meal of champions

Breakfast is so good that sometimes I want breakfast food for lunch. So I eat it.

Low sugar oatmeal with fresh local peaches and blueberries! (All that for only 2.5 points for all you weight watchers girls out there!)


the canvas

Josh and I finally decided where to hang the canvas....for now. If you've ever been to our house, you know that anything that can be moved usually moves at some point! So, for now, the canvas resides in our breakfast area/dining room/space between kitchen and living room.

What do you think?


andy vs frank

So the tour is over and I'm officially in withdrawal. Josh and I got more invested in this tour that any other. I'm going to miss the drama, interviews and mini-bets that we'd make during each stage.

I could blog on and on and on about some of my favorite moments from le Tour, but instead I've decided to discuss two of my favorite riders: Andy and Frank Schleck. They are brothers from Luxembourg, ride for Saxobank and are quite possibly two of the sweetest brothers ever. Luxembourg has always had great cyclists and the Schleck brothers are two of the best. They are constantly trading national titles amongst themselves. They train really hard and they love each other a lot. Did you catch what happened on Stage 17 of the Tour? Jens (fellow teammate) had a horrible 50+ mph crash on stage 16....and Andy and Frank stepped up the pace in honor of their injured rider. The Schleck brothers raced up the mountain, not leaving the other behind, to finish #1 and #3 for the stage. This is from Andy's Twitter (on 7/22/09) "After a bad day like yesterday with Jens we hat super day today Frank win I m so happy for him! He s the best brother an friend you can have" Isn't that too cute?

Here's an interview with the brothers after Stage 17. I love how Andy says that Frank "totally redeemed himself." Later in the interview, the reporter asks Frank how he feels about GC riders 1,4,5,6 (Contador, Armstrong, Kloden and Wiggens) he's says they're very strong riders and when he's asked about 2 and 3 (Andy and him) he says "they're just normal guys from the neighborhood."

Both Andy and Frank are single and I want to set them up with my friend Chelsea. Why are they perfect for her? Because they love to ride bikes, they love their family, they speak French, they are over 6 feet tall and they spent their winnings from their last race to buy what they call "something big" (its actually some land with a pond in their hometown; they admit its "not very rock'n'roll" but they wanted it so they could "barbeque with friends").

I think that I'm going to have to pick Andy (on the left) because he seems to have a great sense of humor. How do I know that? Well, we're actually great friends.....and he's been blogging for cyclingnews.com and its hilarious. Check it out----be sure to read about them trying to reenact moves from Step Up 2 on the team bus and his adventures in skiing.


He is Good

I saw this on the way to work yesterday. It pretty much sums up everything.


do i hear $10? $10? its going for $10. do i hear $15? $15?

Yep. I went to my first, and potentially last, auction. It was last Saturday morning at the Thieves Market on Mt Pleasant.

After seeing the rundown ramshackle of a barn, I was in awe. There were all these amazing items inside...pottery, fine china, pottery barn furniture, art. It was really kind of ridiculous. I was expected odds and ends from under Grandma's guest bed, but this stuff actually looked good!

So I sauntered over to the register and got a bidding card (or whatever you call those placard things.) For the first half hour I sat in shock in the back of the barn. I had no idea what was going on. There were some items that were being sold at the front of the barn, but I couldn't really get a good enough look at them to see how much I was willing to pay for them. And then, by the time I figured out that yes, we could afford to splurge $3 on a big white picture frame, the item would have already been sold. It was a rush unlike anything else.

And then I crossed my arms. Apparently the way that I was crossing my arms inadvertently pushed my bidding placard up in the air. I guess that it could have looked like I was bidding in a very nonchalant way. But seriously, it only looked like I was crossing my arms. And thus began the chaos. The auctioneer thought that I was bidding!! I had kind of been staring off into space. I was looking in her general direction, but I was just kind of falling into a daydream about everything. So imagine my surprise when I "come to" and realize that everyone (about 200 people) is staring back at me. The auctioneer is asking me again if I'm upping the bid on the table and chairs set. To which I say "Oh no. I was just kind of staring off into space. Sorry." And then the auctioneer made some kind of sarcastic remark. I didn't really hear her, because I was already retreating to the farthest rear corner of the barn.

About and hour later (yes, Josh has left at this point) I see a set of canvases at the front that look awesome. Here's kind of how the three canvases went to auction:

auctioneer: and canvas #1. do i hear $10? $10? ok $10. do i hear $15?
me: (thinking) wow. that's a cool canvas. i think i like that.
auctioneer: and canvas #1 sold for $25.
me: (thinking) dang. i liked that one. i hope there's another one that good.
auctioneer: and canvas #2. do i hear $10? $10? ok $10. do i hear $15?
me: (thinking) man, that one is cool too. i wonder how that would look in our bonus room...
auctioneer: and canvas#2 sold for $25.
me: (thinking) seriously?! i have got to start thinking less and bid on this last one. maybe it will be as cool as the others. well, i hope it is.
auctioneer: and the last canvas for sale....do i hear $10? $10?
me: YES!!!!!!! I WANT IT!!!!
auctioneer: Well looky here. Now are you sure you want to bid on this?
me: YES!!!!
auctioneer: Well, you don't have to yell at me about it. Geez. Just raise your placard.
me: (waving my placard in the air)
auctioneer: Does anyone else want to big on this canvas or do y'all want to let this first time buyer get it for $10?
....silence......and more silence....its getting awkward now.....
auctioneer: And there you have it dear. You've got this canvas for $10.

And then everyone starts clapping for me. And I smile, even though I know its a belittling sort of clapping....who wouldn't love to have 200 people clap for you?!
So I ran to the loading area of the barn so that I could actually look at the canvas up close. It was perfect and I knew Josh was going to love it. I just had to sit and wait for him to come and pick me up. The next half hour went by in a rush. I had no idea what was even being auctioned off half of the time. I just sat there smiling, thinking about how good its going to look at our house.

Josh comes to pick me up and I show him the canvas in the back. He loves it too! However, upon closer inspection we realize that the canvas has been slightly damaged. It wasn't damaged when I came to look at it right after I bid on it. We conclude that it must have been damaged when other people were getting their items out of the back room. We decide its not really worth the hassel. We grab the paiting, toss it in the back of the car and head back to the beach house to celebrate.

So what do you think of our $10 buy?

the canvas is about 4'x3'


5 years of bliss

Josh and I just celebrated our 5th anniversary. Wow. I seriously can't believe all the fun we've had over the past 5 years of being married. I really didn't know that it could be this good. We are so very grateful to the Lord.

We celebrated with five days down at Sullivan's Island. We relaxed and ate our way through the long weekend. (I now seriously need to do a food detox. For real.)

One of the most fun things that we got to do on Friday (the blessed day) was open our box of notes. We had three boxes at our wedding that were labeled "First Anniversary", "Fifth Anniversary" and "Twenty-Fifth Anniversary." Our friends and family put notes in each box for us to open on the relevant anniversary. Some were pictures, sweet messages, blessings and well-wishes. Here are a select few:

I loved this one from Jake and Laurie!
Such a great question!

No, Marywinn and Dicky, we haven't had any kids yet.
Yes, we will let you take us out to dinner!!

I love the sweet note from my sister and her husband

Love the poem Harilyn.
Also love how you get straight to the point.

No worries Dad, no grandkiddies yet!

Thanks for the well-wishes Chuck.
We'll do our best at brainwashing your kids.

This was the funniest one we opened
You're married now Robin, but I do want to remind you
that yes, Christ is sufficient and that you are still really hot.

We actually ended on this one.
Advice that only Ryan Kraska would utter

So friends, in the words of Robin Sterrett: Carpe Diem, Que Sera Sera, Hakuna Matata, Let Go and Let God!


i'm a wreck

Well, let me just say that asphalt isn't really as comfy as it may look. I got an up-close and way too personal experience with the terrain yesterday.

Yesterday was beautiful day, wasn't it? The temperature was just right and there was not even that much humidity....which is unlikely weather for Shelby, NC, so Josh and I decided to take advantage of it. I hadn't been on my bike in a while (ever since I started with the trainer at the gym) so I was excited to see what I could do with my new muscles, but I was also still a little nervous about my rusty bike-handling skills.
The ride was awesome. We did a route I like to call "The Goat Loop" because we get to see a bunch of crazy pygmy goats and its a loop (creative name, I know). I was doing ok, not nearly as well as Josh, and was having a lot of fun. I was narrating our ride as if I was Phil or Paul, complete with funny anecdotes and sarcasm. It felt great to be having such a good time with Josh, doing something that he loves and something I've come to enjoy too.

We were racing up the last street before our neighborhood. Its a great one mile stretch, with a few rolling hills, that you can really push your muscles on. We weren't going too fast towards the end of the road (stop-sign was coming up), maybe between 18-22mph. We saw Lou, a friend of ours, approaching on his road bike. We both shouted a friendly 'hello!' and kept on riding...only I though we kept on riding. Josh pulled ahead and off to the left to complete a U-turn to follow after Lou. I was looking over my left shoulder at Lou (because I'm always so nosey) and didn't see Josh turn. And then it happened. I ran smack into the side of Josh's rear wheel. At this point I know that I had my breaks on a little, because I always do that when I look over my shoulder (to reduce speed since I'm not looking at what's in front of me any longer). So I guess my speed was between 15-20mph. It all happened so quick that I just remember being on the asphalt thinking, "How did I get here? Wow, my skin is on fire. Where's my bike?"

And then Josh was in my face asking me what happened and assessing my injuries. This is about the point where I started to get upset and embarrased. I've just wrecked my bike and have a crowd gathering around. I tell them that I don't need an ambulance, I just need them to help me to the side of the road (I had ended up just right across the yellow-line). We're about one mile from our house and about 1.5 miles from the hospital. Lou stays with me while Josh races back to the house to get the car to pick me up. I'm really grateful that Lou was there, he fended off the spectators and answered all the idiotic questions from the natives.
We loaded up the bikes and headed to the ER. Somewhere during the hour-long wait in the ER, I realize that I'm still wearing my full cycling outfit: jersey, shorts, gloves and cleats. Josh managed to grab a change of clothes for me: a texas t-shirt and black leggings. I'm not sure which outfit was worse. I decided to stick with the cycling outfit, but mostly because I'm too sore to change at that point.

Three and a half hours later, my x-rays and CT scan have come back clear. Its at this point that I want to give a serious shout-out to Dr. Mike Wehmueller. Mike's a friend of ours that we met at church. He's a super nice guy who also happens to be an amazing radiologist and it made me feel sooooooooo much better to know that he was on-call that night and was the one reading my scans. He also provided some much needed laughter during a tense situation. So there you have it, if you're in the Shelby area and need a radiologist, this is the man to go to. (He was also way better than the doctor who was actually taking care of me in the ER, but that's a story that Josh isn't going to let me put on here.)

Today I'm feeling tired, sore and have a headache. I've got some bruising and road-rash on my elbows and my butt and a lump on my head. But don't worry, the damage to the bikes was minimal. Josh's wheel suffered, but I think that's only fair, right?

photo on the left: way the shifter is supposed to look,
photo on the right: my jacked up skifter

my broken helmet. no wonder my head hurts!
praise the lord that the CT scans came out clear. thanks for the prayers last night :)

Mom: We knew the injuries weren't life-threatening, otherwise we would've called you right away---promise :)
Dad: I didn't even break a bone! Aren't you proud?
Josh: The accident wasn't your fault. Promise. I blaim stuff on you all the time that we both know isn't your fault. So trust me, when I do actually admit that something isn't your fault you should take it and run.
Guy at scene of the addicent who thinks he's in the medical profession: You aren't. You are in fact just a guy that was smoking on his front porch who saw me fall off my bike. Just because you've watched 'ER' or 'MASH' doesn't make you an EMT.


a little older every day

I've felt older this year. I mean, I'm aware that I am actually older this year....but I just feel older. You know what I mean? I'm having a harder time connecting with youth culture, pop media, teenage impulsivity....it just all seems so immature. Which, just thinking the word 'immature' makes me feel decades past my prime.

And then there was the grey hair that I spotted on the way to work. There I was, minding my own business, when a nasty little ray of sunshine burst through my sun-roof to perfectly expose a giant gray hair on top of my head. I nearly threw up, had a heart-attack and wrecked my car all at the same time. And then the panic set in. Is this really what aging feels like? Are my best years behind me? Am I really in my 'late' 20s? Do I need a more age-appropriate haircut?!?!

arg. the villain.


fresh fruit

Ok, I think this craze at our house is now bordering on full-fledged obsession. Last Wednesday, at the farmer's market, I bought one pint of blueberries, one quart of blackberries and one quart of peaches. (I didn't buy any strawberries because I already had two quarts at home.)

Its now Monday and I had to go buy some more fruit. I can't believe that we went through that much fruit that quickly. But when I think about how its been an accompaniment to nearly every meal and on top of every bowl of ice cream, it does kind of all make sense.

And speaking of "cents", do I dare even mention how pricey some of this fruit can be?!?! Even buying the fruit on sale can seriously break our grocery budget. So you want to know what I did today? I started out at Walmart (don't hate) to look at produce and was really disappointed at the selction. I ended up only buing a pint of blueberries for $2, which was 1/2 off the Harris Teeter price. Then I went to ALDI (crazy german grocery chain) and bought three quarts of strawberries for $1.69/quart, which are normally $6 at Harris Teeter (maybe $3 when they're on sale). Then I went over to Harris Teeter to look at blackberries, but was so scared off by the price that I ended up buying 'local' peaches from a stand in the parking lot ($10 for the container, and the sweet girl threw a couple in on top!)

I'm not sure how many hours this fruit will sustain us for, but I'm glad that we got it for a discount.....even if I did have to drive all over the county to get it.


childhood vacations

Ah, the days of sweet childhood vacations. Sometimes there's a smell, sight or old photo that brings those sweet memories of the good 'ole days back into focus.

Last night, Josh and I went out to dinner at one of our favorite pizza places. (Yay for Barley's!) When we pulled into our parking spot I giggled with delight.....parked right next to us was a car with this on top:

I can see in coming into focus right now....we're taking the red suburban to the beach. I'm yelling at my little sister to aim the air-conditioning vents in the back up a little more because its steamy in the car....we're watching a movie on this tiny TV that my dad has wired up to the cigarette lighter...i'm trying to sleep on the floorboard on the car...we've already asked 'are we there yet' at least 34875 times on the 3.5 hour trip...my older sister keeps looking at me and i'm trying to convince my parents that she's violating my personal space... Ahh, sweet childhood memories from the road.


farmers' maket delights

I just got back from the farmer's market in our little "up-town." (I guess when you have a small town you call the area "up-town" but when you have a city you call it "down-town"? what's up with that?)

I intended to just purchase some fresh blackberries. But then all these other things suddenly piled into my tote:

peaches, blueberries, blackberries, corn, flowers and sourdough bread
(the bread was a total guilt-induced purchase. i made eye contact and conversation with the bread lady and felt like i had to buy it. so its up for grabs--let me know if you want it!)

I went home to put up my farmers' market goodies. Raise your hand if you love fresh, local produce!


buzz kill

I went to the beach this weekend....ahhh, three bliss-filled days at the coast. But all that relaxation can crashing down during the ridiculous drive home yesterday. This was my speed during a 70 mph zone:



the tour

I'll be on vacation from July 4-July 26.

Ok, that's not true. But I wish I was. I actually wish I was on vacation in France.....watching le tour. But instead I'll be here in Shelby (which is almost as good, right?) where I've turned our bonus room into Tour de France central; complete with cowbells to cheer on our favorites and nutrients to make it through the 3-4 hours a day of live coverage.

Some of you out there might be asking "Why the heck is this whole 'Tour de France' thing so big?" That's exactly where I was, seven years ago, before Josh introduced me to the cycling world---bless his little heart. And while I can't answer for everyone, I can say that for me the Tour this year is a combination of things: world-class athletes pushing their bodies to the limit, unbelievably beautiful terrain, watching adults work as a team, hoping for a victory for 'the good guys' of cycling (the openly anti-doping teams), taking a break from the chaos of what's happening around the world and of course the unbeatable combination of Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwin and Bob Roll (pictured right).

So who am I cheering for this Tour? I thought you'd never ask:
I'm only rooting for one team this year: Garmin-Slipstream
Why only one team? Because I can't have my alliances spread all over the place, geez.
Why this team? For so many reasons! (A) they are dedicated to riding clean and are leading the way in the most progressive anti-doping system in professional sports (B) they have snazzy outfits, check out that argyle! (C) they used to be sponsored by Chipotle, yummmmm (D) we've been following them for several years at the USA pro tour in Greenville, SC (see the picture on the right)

This year's Tour roster stars: Julian Dean, Tyler Farrar, Ryder Hesjedal, Martijn Maaskant, David Millar, Danny Pate, Christian Vande Velde, Bradley Wiggins and David Zabriskie

Look how much better Christian is doing since his crash!!

Cadel Evans (from Australia, on team Silence-Lotto)
He's won second place twice, both times by less than one minute.
I think this could be his year, as long as he can handle the pressure of leading his team.

Andy Schleck (from Luxembourg, on team Saxo Bank)
He's great at time-trials and he can climb like a maniac....and he's so darn cute!

Denis Menchov (from Russia, on team Rabobank)
This guy is a quiet, underrated rider that just might surprise us all this year...he's a really steady rider, not all that spectacular at time-trials or climbs, who has a lot of fight in him--which is really what you need to finish this thing!

Possible drama aka "word from the gossip mill":
Team Astana: There's three top riders on the same team: Alberto Contador , Levi Leipheimer and Lance Armstrong. While Astana is one of the strongest over-all teams on the Tour, there's no clear leader for this team...and historically, the Tour is always won by a team that can throw 100% of its energy into one single rider. So stock-piling such great talent on one team might actually hurt Astana this year---who knew?

It looks all friendly, but I think there's a lot of tension on the team.

Images by Freepik