Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Motorcycle Toy

Sunday, July 24, 2011
I got a new toy this week - a uCLear helmet communicator.  Not only can I use my uClear to answer phone calls or listen to music as I'm riding my bike, but I can use the intercom function to talk to another rider who also has one.  I got it all hooked up yesterday and then Matt and I went on an evening ride to test them out.  It definitely added a new element to riding!  It was so fun to be able to talk as we rode down the street on our separate bikes.  It made riding my bike even that much more enjoyable.  It was kind of a bummer because I couldn't really hear Matt once we hit about 50 mph because the wind in the helmet was too loud.  Supposedly it's supposed to automatically adjust for noise like that - I may just have to play around with it a little more.  Now I just need to add some music to my phone so I can listen to some tunes as I commute back and forth from work!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

People Need People

Saturday, July 23, 2011
I've been thinking about this little phrase a lot lately... people need people.  We need people when we're down to buoy us up.  We need people when we're going through trials to strengthen us and encourage us.  We need people when we're happy to share in those joyous moments.  We just need people.

I have several friends who are going through some really rough patches right now... I think that it is times like these that I remember the importance of friends, and why I need to be a good friend.  Last week I received a call from a friend who needed a "dinner date" because she recently had her heart broken and didn't want to be alone.  I think God knew that my friend would need me that evening, because I had stayed at work 30 minutes later than normal on a Friday night and received her text just before I was getting on my motorcycle to go home.  If I hadn't stayed late, and hadn't received her text just then, I know I would have been all the way across town and probably would have already eaten dinner before I saw that she wanted to go out.  Our dinner together raised both of our spirits.

Also last week, I received an email from another friend who is going through a difficult trial right now.  I have been blessed in that I have the freedom to pick up and fly across the country to be with her at the drop of a hat.  Her mom is with her right now, but when she needs me to be with her and support her further, I know I can be there for her.  For now, I hope that my constant thoughts and prayers can strengthen her and her family.

I am thankful for those people in my life who I know are always there for me...


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Worth Every Penny

Thursday, July 21, 2011
This blog is typically a place where I record my comings and goings.  It's definitely more of a travel log than a journal.  A few years ago I started a private blog that only I have access to as a place to record more of my thoughts and feelings.  I'm not doing very well at that because that blog has less than 25 posts!  Anyway, this post includes a few of the "feelings" that I would normally reserve for my other blog, but thought I would share here anyway.

Life doesn't always take the course we would anticipate or desire.  I never in a million years thought I would be 31, single, and childless.  But here I am.  I realize that, being single, I lead somewhat of a selfish lifestyle.  I do what I want, when I want, without having to run anything I do by anyone else.  Sure, I would absolutely trade my lifestyle in a heartbeat to have a family of my own, but I've decided for now to capitalize on this fact :-)

After doing some calculations, I realized I've invested a lot of money in myself over the past couple years.  I thought I would blog about three of these "investments" that I believe are worth every penny.

1.  Laser Hair Removal - Okay, maybe this is a little TMI, but I LOVE the fact that I've been able to get laser hair removal.  I've finished the areas of my bikini and inner thigh, am almost done with my underarms, and am about half way done with treatments on my lower legs.  Can I just tell you how much more confident I feel?  The treatments kinda suck, but the end result is great.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.

2.  Veneers - When I was in the 7th grade, I got hit in the mouth with a softball.  I was playing 3rd baseman, Chrissie Bacon was pitcher (she was the fastest pitcher in the league), and Kelly Firkins was on the other team and leading off on 3rd.  Chrissie and I had planned that, since she could throw the ball so fast, she would throw to me and I would tag Kelly out.  Great plan in theory, but when I didn't use two hands to catch the ball, and the ball bounced out of my mitt and hit my mouth instead, I decided that a great plan without great execution isn't so great.  Needless to say, one of my front two teeth totally died.  I ended up getting a root canal on my birthday to fix the tooth.  Happy birthday to me!  The tooth had to be packed with bleach from the back in order to keep it white.  Since then, I've always been a little self-conscious of my smile.  That white tooth was really white - much whiter and more opaque than the teeth surrounding it.  I began to notice that the tooth to the side of that front tooth was a little brownish in color, and I didn't like that the other front tooth had a white spot on it.  When I switched dentists a few years ago, Dr. Cutler showed me x-rays explaining that the brownish tooth next to my super white root canalled tooth had actually self root canalled... that the impact of the injury I had in the 7th grade had caused that tooth to die as well.  He also said the white spot on my other tooth could have potentially been caused from the impact.  Anyway, each time I would go in for my 6-month checkup, Dr. Cutler would ask when he could fix my teeth.  I finally gave in.  My multi-color teeth (or patchwork quilt as the dental assistant called them) are now beautiful and even-colored.  As a side benefit, I haven't bitten my fingernails since my temporary veneers were put on on June 9th.  I'm not jumping the gun here, because it's only been a little over a month, but if I would have known I *might* stop biting my nails if I got veneers, I would have fixed my teeth a long time ago!

Probably weird to put such a close up of my teeth, but this allows you to see the pretty drastic difference!
After... just ignore my poor sunburned lips (this picture was taken just a couple days after Rec Fest).  They also fixed my open bite!
 3. Last, but definitely not least, my trainer - In fact, I probably should have put this at the top of my list.  I guess I saved the best for last.  Anyway, I have talked multiple times on this blog about my trainer Brandee and my bootcamp classes.  I seriously feel like a different person since I started training with Brandee almost two years ago.  For one thing, I'm over 25 pounds lighter.  Yes, 25 pounds!  Yikes!!!  It's sad to think I let myself go that much to get to that point.  I always blame it on one thing or another, but what it comes down to is I wasn't taking care of my body.  I wasn't exercising enough and I definitely wasn't eating right.

I also know that because of Brandee, I am fitter than I've ever been in my life.  At the end of June when Brandee last did my body fat testing, I was stoked to have fallen into the "athlete" category on the body fat chart.  It took me a long time to get here, and I worked dang hard... it's amazing what a boost that gave me (as well as motivation to keep it at that level!!!)  Then just this week, we did fitness testing at the gym.  I was pretty proud of my 6:50 mile... when have I ever been able to do a sub-7 minute mile?  Just a few years ago I could hardly run a 10 minute mile.

Brandee's encouragement and training has definitely motivated me to lead a healthier lifestyle.  I still need her to keep me at this level because she holds me accountable (i.e. just last night I had to do 50 pushups as "punishment" for the sweets I ate over the last week!).  I hope one day I will feel like I can keep this up on my own, but for now, I appreciate the fact that I can truly lean on Brandee.  Not only as my trainer, but as my friend.  I mean, who else can say they watch the Bachelorette every Monday night with their trainer? :-)
Me... pre-Brandee (2009)
Me with Brandee... today!
So there you have it... I wouldn't change a thing.  Definitely money well spent, if I do say so myself :-)


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beautiful Day

Sunday, July 17, 2011
I am loving the beautiful weather we've been having lately.  Sure, summer showed up WAY too late, but we have been rewarded so far by the fact that we haven't had any really hot days.  I am taking advantage of that while I can.

Yesterday Aaron (one of my new riding buddies) and I took a nice little ride out to Ten Mile Creek.  Some of the houses we saw along the way were gorgeous.  I think I will have to go back out there just to drool over the houses and their great view.  Once we got out to Ten Mile Creek, we rode up and down the same stretch of road three times because the slight curves are a lot of fun :-)
Then last night, a group of us hiked Table Rock.  Matt and I rode our bikes out to the base of the trail, giving me a second "mini" ride in for the day.  We had hoped to hike to the top in time to see the sunset... but as things would have it, the sun was almost set by the time we started our hike.  That's all right, though - we still got to see the sky turn a beautiful purple and pink on our way up.  And the sunset reflected off the storm clouds behind Table Rock making for an awesome picture background!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

All Alone at the Gym

Saturday, July 16, 2011
My trainer Brandee is out of town, so I was in charge of this morning's workout.  Melissa and Robin both planned to meet me at the gym at 8:00 am, and I was excited to try out the workout I wrote up just for the occasion... until I realized neither of them were showing.  Hmmmm.  For a few minutes I debated about just going home and going back to bed for an hour or so.  But then I remembered all the treats I had at the pool party last night, so I bucked up and worked out alone.  I really don't like working out alone - the other people push and motivate me so much - so I was proud that I completed my workout.  Since I couldn't share with Melissa and Robin, I thought I'd share with anyone who wants an hour worth of (mostly) cardio who happens across my blog.

Warm Up - 15 minutes
5 minute walk
1 mile run (1.0 incline, 6.0 speed)

Incline Walk - 10 minutes
This is harder than you would think... no holding on!!
4.0 speed, 10.0 incline - 1 minute
4.0 speed, 11.0 incline - 1 minute
4.0 speed, 12.0 incline - 1 minute
4.0 speed, 13.0 incline - 1 minute
4.0 speed, 14.0 incline - 1 minute
4.0 speed, 15.0 incline - 1 minute
4.0 speed, 14.0 incline - 30 seconds
4.0 speed, 13.0 incline - 30 seconds
4.0 speed, 12.0 incline - 30 seconds
4.0 speed, 11.0 incline - 30 seconds
4.0 speed, 10.0 incline - 30 seconds
2.5 speed, 0 incline - 1.5 minutes

Side Shuffle/Lunges (complete twice) - 12 minutes
2 minute side shuffle (each side) - 3.5 speed, 1.5 incline
2 minute walking lunges - 1.2 speed, 1.5 incline

Pull-ups - about 1 minute
25 incline pull-ups (on the treadmill)

Bosu Exercises (complete twice) - about 10 minutes
50 bosu jump overs (each side)
15 bosu burpees with bosu shoulder press at top
50 squats on the upside down bosu ball

Abs (complete twice) - about 5 minutes
50 roman chairs
50 bicycle crunches
50 russian twists (each side) with medicine ball (I used 8 pounds)

Sprints - 4 minutes
Alternate 30 seconds running, 30 seconds straddling the treadmill... you can do as many sprints as you want to finish the workout.  I only had time for 4 sprints to keep me at an hour workout.
7.0 speed, 1.0 incline
8.0 speed, 1.5 incline
9.0 speed, 2.0 incline
10.0 speed, 2.5 incline


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Helmet Hair

Sunday, July 10, 2011
I love almost everything about riding a motorcycle.  I know I've talked before about how I feel riding isn't just about the destination, but about the journey.  Everyone knows I don't love driving in a car - I would MUCH rather FLY somewhere and skip the "journey" part of it all together.  But riding my bike is completely different.  The wind, the smells, the freedom.  Okay, I feel like I'm repeating myself.

Last night I went on a beautiful ride with a motorcycle gang.  I'm talking EIGHT bikes!  SO. MUCH. FUN.!!!  I don't think I stopped smiling the entire time.  The picture above is at Swan Falls overlooking the beautiful Snake River.  Definitely a fun night and one of the highlights of my weekend.

If you look back up at the first sentence of this post, you'll see I said I love ALMOST everything about riding.  Helmet hair is one thing I could definitely do without.  I swear, I put that helmet on for two minutes and my hair goes completely flat.  It often gets a little crinkle in the front - not quite sure how that happens.  Anyway, so when I take my helmet off after riding, I have helmet hair the rest of the day.  Not Fun.  Or at least Not Cute!  I've especially noticed how bad helmet hair can be with my new shorter haircut.  I think before it was easier to just pull it back in a ponytail and that way it wouldn't really matter that it was flat.  Right now I have no options except to let my hair look like it's plastered to my head.  Lucky me.  I promise, my hair looked much cuter before the ride!


Saturday, July 09, 2011

10k PR

Saturday, July 09, 2011
I guess it's not that hard to PR when I only remember running one other 10k race, but I was super proud of my time this morning for the Fit For Life 10k - 52:14.  That's a 8:25 minute/mile pace.  Yea for me :-)


Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday Evening Ride

Sunday, July 03, 2011
When I decided to go to my old ward's Ward Prayer tonight, I didn't know that the real reason I went was to make some new motorcycle friends.  I have been looking for people with bikes who I could go riding with, and I'm hoping tonight I found some!  We did a quick, impromptu ride tonight... it was a short one (just out to Eagle Island State Park), but it made my night!  Looking forward to new friends and more motorcycle rides in my future :-)


Bonfire & Boating

Friday night after ziplining, we got together with some friends for a summer bonfire.  With all the wet weather we had this spring, we weren't able to plan bonfires like we have the last couple years.  We had a fun evening with friends roasting the biggest marshmallows I've ever seen!
Brooke, me, David, & Jen

Saturday was our first time out on the lake this year (finally a weekend of hot weather!).  I LOVE being on the lake. A special thanks to Jared for taking us out on the boat.  I had a blast tubing, trying to surf, and just riding along in the boat.
Lance, me, Brooke, & Kirsten


Friday, July 01, 2011

Zip Idaho

Friday, July 01, 2011
Jen and I had fun exchanging Christmas presents this last December... If you'll remember, she got me a pottery class for Christmas, and we had a great time each Thursday during the month of January trying to perfect our clay throwing skills.  Okay, maybe not perfect, but at least get to where we knew a little about what we were supposed to be doing.

Well, we were clearly on the same kind of wavelength of getting something cool we could do together, because I got her a zipline gift certificate to Zip Idaho so we could try out the series of ziplines in Horseshoe Bend.  The weather is finally cooperating with us, so after Carsten's wedding today, we headed up to the hills.

I didn't realize it when I booked it, but ziplining actually ends up being a several hour adventure!  Between the drive up to Horseshoe Bend, the shuttle to the zipline, the actual ziplining, and then travel home, it took us almost 5 hours!  But it was well worth it.  We had a blast flying through the air over the canopy of trees on 6 different ziplines.  The longest zipline was 1/3 mile long, and on one of the ziplines we got going up to 40 mph!  We are already talking about going back with a group of friends.
Just before our first trip down the zipline.  I know, we look amazing in our helmets!
Jen - zip, zip, zipping along!


Congrats Carsten & Jenna

I had the privilege today of attending my good friend Carsten's wedding.  He was married for all time and eternity this morning in the Boise temple to his sweetheart Jenna.  I am so happy for Carsten and Jenna.  My favorite part of the wedding was watching Carsten.  He had this gigantic smile on his face the entire ceremony (nothing new - Carsten is always smiling) and he couldn't keep his eyes off his beautiful bride.  I know that they will find such joy in this new journey together.  I am looking forward to getting to know Jenna better as she joins our circle of friends!

After the wedding, we all headed back to Carsten's parents' house for a beautiful wedding luncheon.  We couldn't have asked for better weather... blue skies, sunshine, light breeze.  And the food was delicious!  It was catered by Goin' Dutch Catering - the dutch oven cooking was such a fun idea.  And did I mention delicious? :-)

It was also fun to see Lance - he flew into town for the wedding.  Here's a pic of Carsten, me, Jen, and Lance at the temple after the ceremony.  It's funny to think that just a year ago I didn't even know Lance or Carsten and now they are some of my closest friends and I feel like I've known them forever.