Sunday, December 9, 2012

Home Again

What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been! It seems like only yesterday we started looking into the possibility of moving to another house, and now here we are, already getting settled into our new home, thanks to our wonderful realtor, Maggie, and several strokes of Good Fortune making the place we've been dreaming of a reality at long last.
 From the spectacular vaulted ceilings in the master suite, kitchen and living room...
Offering lots of light and an open feel...
 To the private and lovely half-acre wooded back yard...
The brick walkway curving around the house...
to the gazebo and gate...
 And back around to the spacious deck...
With a peaceful view of the back yard...
 Everything about this place says "home" to us.
We've only been here a week, so are still finishing up the unpacking and organizing process, but it already feels like home here, and our little family could not be happier.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


It's hard to believe that this is our last weekend in the house we've called home for the past 15 years. Through a series of serendipitous events over the past several weeks, we seem to have been brought to the doorstep of the home we had been dreaming of for a long while now. The happenstance occasion of rediscovering a previous bicycling buddy who just happens to be an awesome realtor - realizing as soon as we saw a particular for-sale-property and knowing deep in our hearts that "this is the one" and then having our offer on it accepted - a casual mention that we might be interested in selling our current house which was met with a resounding "YES!" and subsequent very reasonable offer - home loan interest rates being at an all time low - everything pointed to this being the right time for us to make the move to a new home.

While I'm naturally fond of our current house after living here for 15 years, it's been obvious for quite some time that frankly we're seriously running out of living space. And with Fry being such an active pup, we've been wanting to find a home with a bigger yard and more room for him to play as well. Then when we saw what is soon to be our new home, there was no question this was where we were supposed to be at this stage in our lives. So now, as I sit here at my computer, surrounded by packing boxes in various stages of readiness for the move, the reality of it all has begun to sink in. It's really truly happening - we're moving to our new home in mere days!

And even as I say goodbye to the first house I ever bought, I'm very excited about moving to the home Steve and I will now be buying together, and we all look forward to spending many happy years and making lots of wonderful memories there. :-)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you were all able to enjoy the day...
Spending time with your loved ones...

Sharing a smile...
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Biking Kind of Weekend

Fry had so much fun last weekend, he wanted to go out to the bike trail again this weekend.
Eager to get back out on the bike myself, how could I refuse? :-)
 We made it a two-day extravaganza of sorts, deciding to hit the trail both days. Fry was, as usual, the perfect little sidekick, staying just by my rear wheel and giving me encouragement on the climbs
The weather was cool and brisk but sunny on Saturday; still nice and fall-ish if a little grey on Sunday. Perfect weather for mountain biking.

And Fry was thrilled to get to spend both weekend days in the woods with us.
Running with the mountain bikes is one of Fry's favorite activities, and he just keeps getting more and more awesome as a trail dog.
It did take a good bit of positive encouragement, though, to persuade him that the trail scarecrow meant him no harm!
As for me, I'm still loving the Niner and we are really starting to bond more and more. Riding it just makes me smile.
I feel so comfortable on this bike.
It just feels like home and makes every ride a great ride.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Always FRYday

I asked Fry if he wanted to go for a mountain bike ride...
Did somebody say "bike ride"?!?!?
We entered the trail and rode a short distance until we got to the creek, where Fry played in the water for a bit. Our little man is always eager to chase acorns his Daddy tosses into the creek for him to retrieve.
Mr. Happy
Of course, as soon as we get back on the bikes, he's ready to go!
Ready to Go!
My two best guys and I followed the trail as it meandered through the glorious autumn woods.
Me and My Guys
Descending steep chutes.
Dropping In
Climbing past the Uphill Guardian, which earned a doubletake and closer look from Fry.
Climbing Past the Uphill Guardian
Through sweeping turns.
Around the Bend
 Always enjoying the view and the companionship.

Best friends
We navigated over logs and bridges, through rock gardens, down heart-pounding descents, up technical climbs and across fast flat sections of trail as it meandered along the creek and wound through a forest fully clothed in Autumn's finest.

Few things can rival the joys of being on the trail with our best boy; after all, out here it's always FRYday!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Everything is Better with Best Friends

This weekend marked the two-year anniversary of Fry joining our family, and we could not imagine a better way to celebrate than heading out to the mountain bike trails. Saturday was absolutely gorgeous, so Steve, Fry and I decided to head out for a mountain bike ride, where we put in a little over six miles on probably my favorite local trail. The sun was shining, there was just enough chill in the air to make things crisp and autumn-ish, and the turning leaves were stunning. Between the natural beauty of the woods, the freshness of the outdoor air and the exhilaration of being on the trail again, I don't know who had more fun, myself or Fry! Speaking of Fry, he was an excellent boy, staying right on Steve's rear wheel and behaving like quite the professional trail dog. Of course, he was still his usual friendly "social butterfly" self with anyone who gave him a "Hi doggy", but he never interfered or got in the way of any of the multitude of other riders, joggers and hikers who were also out enjoying the day.

Sunday morning Steve and I headed out to Beaverdam for a quick spin around the "east side" trails - West, Inner and Outer loops. Then after a short break, we took Fry out for a couple mile cool down ride where he was, incredibly, even better about sticking right with us than he was the previous day!
Fry, Trail Dog Extraordinaire
Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures or video of this weekend's rides since frankly we were having too much fun simply riding, but I will say there really isn't anything I'd rather do than share a beautiful day spending time with my two best friends in the whole wide world - Steve and Fry.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spyder, My Angel

It seems like only yesterday - not two years ago - that I held you in my arms for the last time. For 11 years, you were my sunshine, my best friend, my heart and soul. Losing you was the hardest thing my heart has ever had to endure, but I am comforted by the knowledge that you are now happy and pain-free across the Rainbow Bridge.
I love you dearly and I know deep in my heart that your spirit remains near me always. You are, and will forever be, My Little Spyder-Angel.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Remembering Zoe

You would have been 17 years old today. And although you crossed the Rainbow Bridge three years ago, you're still very much in our hearts. I remember bringing you home like it was yesterday - a tiny 2-month-old bundle of fur and sweetness that we called Zoe. You were loving, intelligent and funny. And you always did have that one wonky ear that just would not lie flat and always made us smile.
Even as a baby, you had a wisdom far beyond your years and a fierce intensity and protectiveness for your family hidden beneath your gentle nature, with eyes always so full of pure soul.
Our constant companion for nearly 14 years, you made our every adventure, every journey, every place we traveled so very special.
We love and miss you Baby Girl.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Brunswick Brawl

Despite being rather unprepared to re-enter the endurance mountain bike racing scene after such a long hiatus, Steve and I just couldn't resist the chance to head down east for the Brunswick Brawl this morning to try out a new-to-us trail. I did at least realize the shorter option was probably in my best (lack of fitness) interest, so signed up for the 3-hour category instead of the 6-hour. On arrival at the venue, the sun was out with temperatures in the 70s - just absolutely perfect mountain biking weather.
Brunswick Nature Park
 Of course, the sign at the entrance to the Brunswick Nature Park warning of wildlife in the park with the HUGE pictures of venomous snakes and alligators - yes, ALLIGATORS - had me more than a little uneasy! Fortunately, during my three laps on the roughly 9-mile course I didn't see any snakes or alligators, although Steve said he saw a copperhead on one of his laps. And on my second lap I did hear something large moving around in the low grass next to the trail as it skirted the edge of the water. Needless to say, I didn't wait around to see what it was, electing instead to pedal on as fast as I could...

The trail itself was really nice with pretty views, some fast flowy sections and plenty of tight stuff through the trees, although I did have to be careful in the turns as the soil down there near the coast is obviously very sandy with some sketchy corners.
Crossing the Finish Line
There isn't much in the way of elevation, again due to the coastal location, but the trail builders have done a great job of making the loops a lot of fun and you can always up the challenge by riding faster. ;-)  And for this event, the race promoters provided super nice swag bags, even including a seriously cool wicking jersey to all participants!

The race loop was roughly 9 miles long, and somehow despite struggling through intense muscle fatigue and general less than optimal fitness, I managed to complete three laps in 3:25:19,  good enough for a second place finish, about 19 minutes behind first in the women's three-hour category. Oh, and did I mention they paid out CASH for at least the top three in each division?!?!?! We had a great time and will definitely keep this trail and race on our list of fun things to do.
Women's Three-Hour Solo Podium

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Little Angel

To My Precious Spyder:
Happy What-Would-Have-Been your 13th birthday today.
You had a smile that could light up a room - or the great outdoors...
Always eager for a ride in the car...
Or just lounging in the yard...
You always knew how to enjoy Life to the Fullest.
You were my Angel here on Earth,
and I hope you know that even though you've crossed the Rainbow Bridge, your pawprints remain, as always, forever on my Heart.