Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last Day in Columbia

Sunday morning we got up and prepared to meet Rick's brother and his two nephews at Shakespeare's Pizza! I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into a huge slice of pepperoni and pepper jack pizza.'s been too long. It was just as I expected. Greasy and delish. It was nice to see Brian and the boys and our friends, Kim and Craig, joined us as well.

After saying our goodbyes, Rick and I went to visit our friends Jason and Karin who had just recently had twin boys. I couldn't wait to hold them!

Jason and Karin with Benjamin and Samual.

Tara with both boys

Afterwards, we drove back to my sisters house to watch the big Broncos/Chargers (go Chargers!) game and prepare for our drive back the next morning. I managed to get in an 8 and 1/2 mile run and then back to shower and watch the Chargers kill the Broncos.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Columbia, Rockbride, and Murrays

Friday, Rick and I drove to Columbia to visit old friends and hang out at old haunts. We got to Columbia around 4:00 that afternoon and headed to Bambinos for dinner. Mmmmm....provel cheese smothered over a plate of pasta. You can't beat it. They don't have Provel in Colorado, seems to be just a Missouri thing. I got plenty of odd looks when I asked for it at the groceries stores.

After dinner, we checked into our hotel to freshen up and then met up with our friends Tim and Paula for drinks at Flat Branch. It was great to catch with old friends and I was happy to be drinking my favorite Oil Change Stout.

Saturday morning we got up to do a trail run at Rockbridge State Park. It was 65 degrees out, but a big storm was brewing. We hurried to the trailhead to start our run and found the trail was a huge mud pit. Rick opted for a hike, but nothing stops me when it comes to trail runs. I was gone. It was awesome and I did something that I haven't done in a long time. I turned off my Ipod, I turned off my fancy GPS Forerunner, and I just ran for the pure pleasure of just running. I enjoyed the feel of humidity in the air and the sounds of birds singing in December. I have no idea how far or how long I ran. I ran until I was tired and then I ran some more and the whole time I had a smile on my face. Finally, I noticed a slight change in the air, a cool breeze and some rain drops. Crap. I had to get back. I turned and ran back down the hill and started for our car. The rain and wind picked up and I was praying that there would be NO hail. At the bottom of the hill leading to our car, the tornado sirens started going off. I sprinted up the hill faster then I had ever ran it, the tornado sirens blaring the whole time. I plopped myself down in the 4 runner, muddy and out of breath. "Have a good run?" Rick joked. "It was awesome!" I replied.

Saturday night, we met some friends at Murray's; a favorite of mine and Rick's.

Craig, John, and Rick. They will all turn 40 this year....hard to believe.

Tara and Rick. Rick holding my eye that always wants to shut open.

Tara and Kim

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

It's finally here! Christmas! I left work early on Tuesday the 23rd to pack, wrap remaining presents, and get Piper settled in with the neighbors. We were driving to Missouri for Christmas on Christmas Eve morning, so we opened our presents to each other before we left.

Madison opens her gift. A new purple Ipod to replace her old pink one.

Rick opens his gift while Piper watches for something to chew on

Piper opens her gift..yum, yum, treats!

After cleaning up and getting the car ready, we hit the sack. The next morning, we got up and hit the road to Missouri. The drive itself was pretty uneventful. Madison listened to her new Ipod and read her Twilight series books, I read and napped, and Kansas was as exciting as ever. We got to my sisters house around 8:00 that evening and had a chance to visit with my mom, dad, brother, sister, their significant others, my cousins, uncles, and my niece. It was wonderful to see everyone, but we were exhausted and ready to sleep. Madison managed to open one of her Christmas gifts early though.

Christmas morning, I got up and did a 5 mile run. It was fun to see my old hometown and I ran over to see my grandparents and saw many old friends along the way. I managed to reconnect with an old college buddy of mine on my run. She was out shoveling her driveway as I ran up and I was very happy that she recognized me and I didn't scare her. It was wonderful to see her. Her husband had passed away from cancer this past year, yet she seemed to be in a good place emotionally. She's a rockstar! Her daughters had grown into very beautiful young ladies. After exchanging e-mails, I ran back to my sisters to shower and prepare dinner. We had decided not to do the traditional ham, turkey etc this year. Rick made some awesome chili and we whipped up a batch of beef stew to take to my mom's for Christmas dinner.

Tara and Rick Christmas Day

Mike, Bailee, Jordan, Jacob, and baby Sydnee

Mark and Stacey

Tara and Ryan

Rick opening his new Broncos shirt. A round of boos went up from my Chiefs loving family.

Maddie opening gifts.

Friday, December 19, 2008

What Motivates You?

So here it is, my new Precor Treadmill 9.31. I got a good deal on it from a used exercise dealer here in town. I am excited about the new treadmill, but not excited about spending the next 3 months running on a treadmill in my basement. I would rather be outside! The snowy weather and icy sidewalks will keep me from doing that though, especially after work when it’s dark. Better to be running on a treadmill, then breaking my leg slipping on the ice. I’ll still try to get outside on the weekends, but during the week, its treadmill time. Hopefully, this will take care of that sick, primal need that I feel to run. I ran on it last night and after awhile, I looked down to see that I had the incline up to 7.5% and I was sweating bullets trying to slog uphill. “Why am I doing this….it hurts” I asked myself. I realized that I had been off in la la land, visualizing the trail out at Deer Creek and trying to find the right incline to match the trail. Yes, I am one sick woman, but if that’s what it takes to motivate me, so be it.

Choir Concert

Rick and I went to Madison's choir concert last night. It was actually better then the first concert we went to and they sounded pretty good. They sang a bunch of Christmas music as well as Hanukah songs. They dressed up in xmas hats, necklaces, etc. and everyone looked really festive. Madison hates these pictures of her, but I like them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Productive Weekend, but no skiing.

Well....we didn't end up skiing. The weather forecast called for 12-24 inches of snow in the mountains; yea we didn't want to get stuck in that. I did get tons of stuff done though.

Saturday, I got up and did an 8 mile run with Piper before heading to get my hair done. I was in the salon chair for 2 hours getting the whole works done. I feel so much better. After the beautification process(yes, I realize that's not a word), I came home and did a whole bunch of chores and laundry before running Madison to a skating party. Rick and I went Christmas shopping on Saturday night and then to Sams Club for groceries.

Sunday, it was cold, snowy, and ZERO degrees, so we thought...great time to get to the mall! No one will be there! So we went and did more christmas shopping. Madison had spent the night with a friend the night before, so we were able to sneak her presents home and get them wrapped. Sunday afternoon, Madison and I put the Christmas tree up and made peanut butter blossums. Yummy! Rick brewed a new batch of beer and we both worked on a batch of homemade beef stew. We took turns cutting up veggies, potatoes, beef, etc. It was a pretty tasty dinner. That night, we piled up in the four runner and drove around looking at christmas lights. I wished that I had taken pictures of this one house. Eat your heart out Griswolds! This house looked so tacky, but it was very cool! There were people getting out of their cars to take pictures and to just stare in amazement this whole garage sale of lighted objects, that were stuffed into this person's yard.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Goodbye warm weather....hello ski season.

So....we have finally been getting a significant amount of snow in the Rockies. You know what that means? Ski season! We've checked out the ski resorts and they all have most of their runs open (instead of just two), so we are planning a trip into the mountains this weekend to do a little skiing/snowboarding. We'll probably just drive out to Breckenridge since it is so close and the new gondola is so convenient, but we're aching to get out to Vail again. We had heard how much fun Vail was from the locals last year, so we finally managed to check it out. They were right! We went out to the back bowls and had a blast. The back bowls and Big Sky Cabin are a little out of the way and it takes a while to get to them, but they are definetely worth it!
Anyway, I guess its time to put away the mountain bikes and the trail running shoes until spring and I will miss this....

but, it will finally be nice to go play in the snow.

We can also still do a little road riding if the weather gets nice enough. Last year, we had temps break into the 50's during the winter, so we got out on several road rides. The pic below is from a Lookout Mountain ride we did last year. It is only a five mile climb up, so it makes for a great ride and you are climbing, so you won't be too cold (notice the snow in the background, but I am still in shorts). Although the ride down is a little on the cool side....

I'll be sure to make you jeolous by posting ski pictures! He-He

Monday, December 8, 2008

Finally...the Turkey Day Pics

Hmmmm...why do these walls keep falling down? Oh....these aren't really the walls?

Now we've got it!

Finished product! Finally....

Dog after our 6 mile run

Rick getting ready to carve my bird

Goofing off with the mashed potatoes

Piper's new hiking boots.

The weather was great this past weekend, it was upper 50's on Saturday and 65 degrees on Sunday. We tried to make good use of it, since we know that this won't last too much longer! Saturday, Rick and I took the dog out to Lair of the Bear. Rick and Piper hiked while I did a trail run. It was gorgeous out and I was so happy to be out in the pines. I was running on fresh legs (didn't run all week due to the snow and ice), so I was cruising up the mountain at a pretty decent speed. The trail was dry and there wasn't any snow, we couldn't figure out why there weren't any mountain biking out and about. They must think that the trail is wet and muddy. Shhh...our little secret...we decided to return on Sunday to get in a mountain bike ride!

Sunday, we went back out to Lair of the Bear to get in a little mountain biking. We were the ony bikers on the trail, so it was so much fun! It felt great to be able to get out in December to bike in the high country. was not a good weekend for Missouri football. Mizzou lost on Saturday and my Chiefs lost on Sunday. At least the Chiefs put up a good fight. I was actually proud of them, they are finally starting to look like a team again. I hate the Broncos! I'm glad I didn't waste my time at the game....we almost went. Maybe next year.

Friday, December 5, 2008

More old pictures....

Madison and Tara-Vail 2007

Madison & Ryan - Fourth of July in Marshall 2008

Madison and Drew- Denver 2007

My puppy Piper January 2007

Rick Estes Park June 2007

Drew and Madison Estes Park 2007

Madison, Tara, Drew-Estes Park - Getting ready to ride the horses on the trail!

Madison on a horse - Estes Park- not so sure about the horse riding adventure

Recognize this? It's the hotel from "The Shining"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Through the Years....

I was organizing pictures last night and thought I would post a few of me, and some of the places that I've been, and of Madison, and how she's grown through the years....

Jeff, Laura, Madison, and me - Christmas 2006

Madison and her best friend from Missouri (my other daughter)Drew - big snow in Dec of 2006

Me in Sedona, Arizona (Sedona is a must see place)-June 2006

Me on the Flume Trail at Lake Tahoe - August 2005

Me at Lake Tahoe-August 2005

Rick, Trevor, Tara at a wedding - March 2005

Madison-Christmas 2004

Ski Trip 2004

Maddie and me building a snowman - big snow Dec 2006

Maddie Christmas 2003

Laura and Tara Christmas 2003