Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why We Love Mark Cavendish!!

In 2010, my young son and I had a life changing, thought provoking experience. We met Mark Cavendish.

Previously mentioned, we were let into a lobby at the hotel where cyclists were staying in our town. We waited outside the breakfast room to meet the riders. We had never met Mark Cavendish, we had only heard stories about him. Some not so very nice.

We saw Mark Cavendish approaching the room and he saw us standing there. He was going into breakfast and hadn't eaten yet. I whispered to my son," we will catch him after he eats." 

He could have walked past us, head down and ignored us. Instead, he looked right at us and approached us! Wow, just wow. He saw a young fan and made a large impression and taught him a lesson.

I told him, " its okay, go eat and we will wait." He said, "its fine." Not only signing for us but taking pictures with each of us. Something so simple but profound.

The media and fans can say what they will. As for me, I will stand behind Cav and support him. You can tell a lot from behavior and looking someone in the eye. You can tell he's quite the kid person.

Later that summer when he rode to a emotional stage win, I can tell you, I was crying tears of joy for him.
He is cocky but he backs it up. He can throw fits like the rest of us, can anyone here say they haven't had a hissy fit? He always thanks his team first after a win and he wears his heart on his sleeve.

He gained two fans with his simple, selfless kindness that day.  By going out of his way to be nice to a young boy, he made a huge impression that will last forever.

This is just my opinion. I don't expect you to agree or like it. I just wanted to share. I've met some of cycling's media darlings. Let me tell you some of them aren't so nice or friendly. One of those riders has ignored us on three occasions. So you can take the media oir others opinion as gospel.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I love Jens!

I heard someone say last week, they were pretty sure the song " The King of Pain" was written about him. He has said himself his job is to inflict pain and suffering.
When Jens is on form, watch out. Last summer on the cobbles in the tour, he rode Andy Schleck into yellow. He suffered on the cobbles for his teammate.
He shines in the mountains, climbing like the true beast he is; grimace and all. He makes it look easy,yet you can see the suffering on the faces around him.
Of course, he also crashes in spectacular fashion. 2009 Tour De France comes to everyone's mind when they think of him. He hates talking about that. Or what about last year, when he crashed and rode a junior bike to the finish? The man is unstoppable.
What endears him to me, is his interviews. He is so funny. If I'm having a bad day, I can YouTube Jens interviews and laugh. My favorite was after a stage of the TDF last year. When asked about retiring he says, "ja, they going to have to shoot me off the bike. As long as they offer a contract, I keep riding."
He also writes a great blog which is second only to a tv interview for me. I loved one of his last blog's after this years TOC crash. Where he explained his broken wrist and that he only had surgery, so he could hold a glass of milk when he is old.
I could go on and on. He's a class act and truly one of the greats. Not only a good rider but a great ambassador for his sport. I cannot wait to hear what he says or see what he does this year in France.

 This video cracks me up everytime! Embedding isn't allowed so you will have to click on this link

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Confessions of a Mom Cycling Fan

I didn't set out to be a cycling just happened.

I don't even own a expensive bike. I don't even cycle. I’m not a athlete or even married to a athlete. My kids aren’t athletes.

It started in 2005 with our son Conner . He became obsessed with Lance Armstrong. We watched the Tour De France together that summer, not understanding a thing about the sport. 

We decided to watch the summer after, learning a bit more. Each summer the knowledge growing and our fan status blooming. In January of 09′, our fan status changed to Super fans. The AMGEN Tour of California chose our hometown as a start. Then Lance announced his comeback.

We got up early and went to the race. We ended up at the sign in tent at the bottom of the stairs. We weren’t even prepared to get autographs but that’s what happened. We ended up not only meeting some of the largest names in cycling (some of the most controversial also) We learned who us nice, who isn’t nice and became addicts. Once you meet the riders, it becomes more real. Especially if one or another is rude or kind. We also learned, if you don’t know the riders name they will probably not sign for you. 

The next year, things became even bigger. Our town was picked as a start for the AMGEN TOC again. This time we were ready. We had tshirts,posters,sharpies and knew more riders than ever. We set out to where the team buses were parked and ended up meeting a hotel worker. He let us in the lobby and into fan nirvana. We met all if our favorites, learned a huge lesson and the obsession reached epic proportion.

Now my son and I are huge fans. We traveled this year to see start. We follow all the cyclists on Facebook and Twitter. We watch every race and speak our own nerd talk to each other. It’s been a fun experience. We get a lot of odd looks and comments. 

Especially me, its just odd for a grown woman to like cycling to some. I’m not watching to ogle or lust, I’m truly watching for sport. I decided to start a Twitter to meet other female cycling fans. I know they are out there and I needed to know I am not alone.

It's a great hobby to share with Conner. We have shared so many fun times watching cycling together. It's nice to have a common bond. I know that I will look back on these years fondly when he is grown someday.

A/N I ended up meeting some of the nicest people through this experiment. I have made so many wonderful friends. Found out that I am not alone in my love of cycling and have become a even bigger fan! We are looking forward to meeting some of our friends in the near future

Friday, June 24, 2011

Elizabeth's triatholon

When we were at Stanford and the kids were staying at home, Elizabeth called us. She saw a listing for a triatholon in our city recreation guide. She thought she would want to do it. I told her that she would have to train hard.

We all came home in February and started training. We first started with bike riding two miles. Then we added in running and then had to wait..months to swim train. She was most nervous about swimming.

I was a swimmer in high school and tried to teach her breathing technique and flip turn to make her life easier. She was a frais she would forget how many laps she did.

The day of finally approached. 1.2 mile run, 100 meter swim and a two mile bike ride. We got her set up and ready to go.

Off she went. The swim was a struggle, her goggles came off and went around her neck. She also has a hard time not stopping to breathe. She made it through and went on to the bike.

She booked it on the bike. She came bake with kids who had left ahead of her!!  She took off on the run and did pretty good. She was tired at the end but finished strong.

We are so proud of her. First person in our family to do a triatholon. She set her mind to it and achieved her goal! She's already talking about next time.

The Mother Daughter Book Club

Elizabeth loves to read, a trait inherited from her Mom and Grandpa. She flies through books and always wants to go to the library.

I love wandering through the library with her. Running her finger down the shelves, scanning for new and exciting books. She has a certain silly girl genre she likes. Think Junie B. Jonesesque but for bigger girls. Humor is her favorite.

When I was her age, I fell in love with a book. The character became my favorite of all time.  Anne of Green Gables changed the way I read books forever. Her spunk, wit, and determination struck a cord with me.

Naturally, I've been waiting for the day Elizabeth would read the series. I have several copies and even a e-book for her. Once she hit the reading level, I tried to get her to read them and.......she refused.

She has no interest if desire to read Anne. She is judging a book by its cover. She doesn't know the content but she's sure she won't like it. I blame Junie B. Jones.

So on our trip to the library a couple of months ago, I stumbled upon this book. The Mother Daughter Book Club by Heather Vowel Fredrick. It's about mothers who start a book club to get their daughter to read classics. Guess what one of the titles was??? Much Ado About Anne. Finally, I thought to myself; she will read this book and fall in love with Anne.

Wrong! She still refuses to read Anne. Maybe someday, she will finally read Anne. The saga continues.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I'm always talking about the Grandma's and last year I wrote my Dad a Father's day blog. This years its Grandpa's turn.

Benjamin was his given name but everyone called him "Brownie". He was a simple man from Kansas. The baby of nine children. His stories about growing up are funny. One of his favorite sayings was, " Wait for baby". It originated when he was young and trying to keep up with his siblings. It became a family saying for when someone is getting ahead of themselves.

He served in WWII proudly. He went to the European theater and was at the Battle of Bulge. His time was cut short because of a fight. Two men were fighting in camp, one threw a rock at the other. My gramps came around the corner and was hit in the eye. It damaged his eye permanently.

He loved to sing and whistle. Gene Autry was his hero and some of my most cherished memories are of him singing to us. I still cannot here Rudolf or Here Comes Santa Claus without bawling.

He loved his family and loved nothing better than when everyone was together. He could be found out back having a Bud with my Dad and uncles. He had a sister Wilma whom he adored. He was a good brother too.

He adored my Grandma. That was his girl and he was broken hearted when she died. He died eight weeks to the day after her. Wanting nothing more than to be with his girl.

He was a simple,kind hearted man. I think my emo tendencies come from him. He loved being sentimental. He loved remembering.

He had the most beautiful white hair. I loved to run my fingers through it. My last moment with him was doing just that and thanking him for everything. It was a beautiful goodbye.

This song reminds me of him. To me its Silver Haired Grandpa of mine. I miss him so much.


Saturday, June 18, 2011


We arrived at Stanford this morning. It brought back memories of the last time we checked in for surgery. Last time we were laden with burden. This time we were anxious but the load was lighter. We were better prepared not facing so many unknowns.

They took Marty back and took his blood. When I got back to him the fellow had already been in. They told him if his creatinine had gone below 1.5 there wouldnt be a biopsy. They also explained they didn't think it was rejection. They just wanted to know what was going on. Maybe drug toxicity?

We sat behind a curtain listening to the older men high on Valium waiting for their angiograms and laughing hysterically at their comments to the nurses.

Conner was extremely anxious, he feared we were leaving them for a long time again. He kept calling over and over.

The bloodwork came back at 1:30, his creatinine was 1.4. The young fellow seemed disappointed she didn't get to do the biopsy. She had done "several" according to her. They did want a ultrasound to check for blockage. He went down for that and was given the all clear.

I truly believe our prayers were answered. Simple as that. No other explanation needed. We walked out lighter than air and relieved. We went to get boba to celebrate.

Thanks for all the prayers and support!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rare full moon rise at Yosemite.

We went to Glacier point at the end of the day. There were photographers with their very expensive camera's set up. We asked what was happening?

Apparently, its a rare event for a unclouded,unobstructed view of a full moon in Yosemite. We just happened upon it.

Also at dusk, a man in a kilt played the bagpipe.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grateful heart

A year ago this week, I had a breakdown in a relationship with a member of my family. It was a sad thing, for several years I had tried restoring and improving the relationship to no avail. I kept failing and being hurt by the failure.

I called my close cousins and a few my close friends. I decided it was time to walk away and allow God to heal my hurting heart.

Wow! What a difference a year makes. My heart is full of peace and joy, over filled with love. I learned that attitude and out look make a difference. Nothing has changed but my Outlook and perspectives. The relationship is still gone but I feel peace.

I have what I desire in spades and don't need to chase after someone unwilling to meet me halfway.  It's been really amazing and I wanted to share.

You can't change someone but you can change yourself and your behavior. It works and the peace is amazing. I still have hope someday things might still change, I know that isn't on me to work out and if it doesn't change, I will be okay.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Keep calm and carry on!

We had a good visit to Stanford yesterday. Dr.B was happy and even was ready to change us to three month visits.

He decided to take him of the insulin sensitizer and see what happens. Also taking him off a drug Valcyte which is to prevent something called CMV for short. It's a disease most people get as children and never know. Marty never had it but his donor had it. They've given him this preventive drug for six months and will take him off now.

Because of this, he has to come back the next two months. The receptionist was asking why he is still coming monthly? I guess most aren't by now. We think they just like us and are taking good care.

We got a phone call yesterday afternoon and need some prayer. His creatinine jumped from 1.3 to 1.7 and they want to do a biopsy next week of the kidney.

They had brought his anti rejection drug down in dose. Prograf is toxic to the organ in high doses. It could be this causing the high creatinine.

We have made friends with a couple. Alvin had his transplant two months before Marty. He has already had a biopsy and his creatinine is higher than Marty's all the time. After hearing that from Nekol, we feel better.

We also found transplantbuddies forum posts, this is get common and it seems to not mean the worst always. In fact, more often its easily treatable.

Marty has been drinking Diet Coke, it may be causing dehydration. He is going to drink more water this week. If his creatinine goes down he won't need the biopsy.

We were pretty devastated yesterday. Today, we are calm and at peace. Basically, by all accounts Marty has been lucky to not already have had this done. He hasn't had any major complications and everything has gone well. We have no reason to think anything other than that.

Please pray for this to be a simple fix and nothing to worry about. We are trusting God and taking each day as it comes. We are going to enjoy this next week.

We aren't sure what day the biopsy will be. We are hoping Friday.

Until then keeping calm and carrying on.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Blogger recently added a new page view feature. After today's blog, I've hit 10,000 plus views on my blog. I'm blown away.

Thank you to my faithful readers! This means the world to me. I better get cracking on some new blogs.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Busy,busy, oh so busy!

I'm sitting in the sun watching the kids swim. The weather is finally nice enough. My Dad asked why I'm neglecting my blog and my general quiet online. I'm busy living life.

Elizabeth has been training for a triatholon and I've been training with her. We've been running, swimming, and biking.

We've been finishing up our school year and I've been planning next year.

Marty has been working a lot....sometimes 16 hour days. He's doing well and enjoying being well.

Looking forward to having company next week and hopefully making some trips ourselves this summer. I'm itching to go camping again.

Of course, a lionshare of time is spent taking my kids to the neighborhood pool.

I've got blog's stored in my head and think I will try to get them out in all the busyness.

Hope to see some of you this summer!