Friday, July 29, 2005

Overheard at our house last night

"You're STILL reading Tour articles?!"

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Call me hardcore

We haven't played ultimate in a long time because of the high heat and humidity over the past few weeks. Even when the high temp is in the upper-80's, we err on the side of caution and don't subject ourselves to running around in the sun for an hour at high noon, so it's actually been 6-8 weeks since we played.

You can imagine my glee upon hearing today's weather forecast - high of 80-85. Whoopee! I packed my bag for ultimate last night so that I would be sure not to forget it this morning.

Tuesday, yesterday and today Andy has been in a training class in DC so he's driven the truck to the train station and taken the train into the city. Because I'm dropping Kevin off and picking him up, I've secured the van for the past few days even though I've been driving to work.

So on the way to drop Kevin off this morning, I realized that I didn't have my cleats for ultimate - the horror! The only shoes with me were my new shoes that I didn't want to get wet and grass-stained. The thought came to mind that I could drive to the train station and get my cleats out of the truck. That would be a bit desperate, though, wouldn't it?

Maybe I am desperate or maybe I'm hardcore, but I knew I was going to play today and I knew I'd be annoyed if I messed up my new shoes so I did it - I drove to the train station, wound around the parking lot looking for my truck and then hopped out, stole the shoes, and headed to the office. If I hadn't gotten stuck in traffic, my detour would've only cost me about 7-8 extra minutes. The ramp to get back onto I-95 after my detour, though, was stopped pretty far back so I added at least 15 minutes to my trip. You can't argue that it wasn't worth it though, right? Yeah, ask me at 1:30 this afternoon if it was worth and I guarantee I'll answer, "Duuuuude! I played me some ultimate!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Dianne: [The Senior Pastor Candidate] talked in his sermon about some things they did in the other U.S. church that he was a pastor with. They did a lot of "small-scale" service projects like raking peoples' leaves in the fall, giving out coats at football games, washing cars, etc.

Andy: That sounds good. I wouldn't mind having our leaves raked.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Kevin: What are you doing?

Me: I'm dusting.

Kevin: What's dusting?

Me: I'm wiping the dust off of these things with this rag.

Kevin: Where does dust come from?

Me: It's mostly dead skin cells with a little bit of dirt and a little bit of volcanic ash in it.

Kevin: Oh. Where did these crayons come from?

Celebrity Sighting

Dave Shields, author of The Race, a novel about the Tour de France (which we all know that I love), wrote a comment on this here blog.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Number Seven

Congratulations, Lance. You're a heck of an athlete.


At the Independence Day Parade in Catonsville, MD. He seemed to enjoy it and it was fun to watch him wave to the people passing by.

Kevin asked for a camera because I'm always taking pictures of him so I bought him a cheap disposable one and I love the things that make him think of taking pictures (tree service guys working next door, Papa working in the garden, etc.)

Chillin' in Grandma & Grandpa's yard.

Processing a new pastor

Our church's Founding Pastor is stepping down from the role of Senior Pastor so we've been in search of a new senior pastor. This is weird as there has never been another senior pastor except for Brian in all of our church's history (he and his wife and some friends founded it, after all.) But, I think it's time and I'm all for that decision.

Most of you know that I have had issues with our church and its leadership for awhile and some specific situations regarding Brian. This means that I have a very strong opinion regarding who should be the next "head" of our church.

This weekend, the man who our Senior Pastor Search Team recommended to our Leadership Team as our next Senior Pastor came with his wife to visit our church and our area. Granted, a few days will not be enough to really get a feel for what's going on on either side of the situation, but that's why God is in control of this and we'll all just do what we can with what time and other resources we have.

So I heard this man speak this morning during our church service and we also attended the Q&A/Meet 'n Greet afterward. That went on for awhile but it was worth it in my opinion.

All along I've thought that the new senior pastor's theology is the least of my concerns and that lots of other issues ranked higher up in my list of what's important. I want someone who will help get things done, who cares about each member of the congregation, who cares about the next person who walks through the church's doors, who is available to the congregation, who has leadership abilities and can pull teams together and encourage them, etc.

I was surprised to find while listening to the candidate that his theology comforted me. He was really on-track with my theology, which I wasn't even sure of myself. It's not that he said anything new or earth-shattering or different from Brian, but it was nice to hear it from someone who is not in the thick of trying to bring that message to the world at-large as the appointed spokesperson for the emerging church. I'm not saying that Brian's role as such isn't important, but it's not what I need right now and I'm a little tired of it. So, to hear this guy just "be" that kind of person with that kind of theology and be passionate about it was refreshing.

From what little I know, I really like the candidate. I think he's a good guy and will get the job of senior pastor done well and he seems to mesh with our church's personality. My biggest (maybe only) concern is that their family will need to move here from England. They lived in Cincinnati for awhile and he pastored a church there but from what I can tell from others who have come to our area to work in our church, the Baltimore-Washington metro corridor is not like most other parts of the country. Good or bad, it is what it is - fast, driven, I don't know what. A senior pastor isn't something that we ultimately want to gain and lose and gain and lose a few times in the near future. It would be nice to have one for awhile. This is a big deal. So I'm afraid of his family not fitting in or liking living in our area after making such a huge life change to be here. Of course, nobody is going to know whether they will like it or not until they've been here awhile, so we just have to let God make the final decision, eh?

Next weekend the church congregation will vote on whether to accept or reject the candidate as our senior pastor and then he and his family will be able to accept or reject the offer.

I think I'd really like for him to be our new senior pastor although I'm afraid to voice that out loud.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

If only I'd read this sooner

Here's an article that I should've read when it was published on July 2, 2005. If I had read it then instead of now that the Tour's mountain stages are over and we know who the winner will be barring any serious misfortune, you can be sure that my blog would've screamed "Le Tour!" far more than it did over the past 2 weeks. So, friends, I'm sorry that I let you down. You may not realize it, but I've contributed to your loss of excitement over this amazing sports spectacle called Le Tour de France.

I leave you with this morsel from the aforelinked article by Dave Shields:

CNN has invited me to do a series of interviews on their network as this year’s race unfolds. I’m also doing lots of segments with other media, radio in particular. In tiny sound-bites I’m expected to convey the essence of this misunderstood and complex sport. The surprising thing is, it’s the easiest job in the world. Nearly everything about cycling is more interesting than casual observers assume. Yesterday I spoke with the hosts of a sports talk station in Nashville. I told them facts about how this event works, and listened to their stunned reactions. Once they got a taste of this forbidden fruit they attempted to dislocate their jaws in order to take in a bigger mouthful. Our interview went twice as long as initially scheduled. I’ve seen it over and over again. It’s a mystery to me how so many sports fans in America have been able to remain unaware of this event for so long.

Should I add this to my resume?

Today I sent in my application to be a New Balance Wear Tester. If I'm accepted I won't get free shoes or clothes or any financial compensation. I will merely get the satisfaction of knowing that my opinion really counts.

You see, I've fought with my feet and various other parts of me related to my foot problems all my life. As a kid, I could never wear my new shoes home from the shoe store because I had to wait for the stinky glue to dry inside where the pedorthist put in arch supports for me. I competed in gymnastics and spent countless hours in the gym pounding away on my feet and jarring everything good out of my joints. Today I'm mostly dealing with plantar fasciitis which has been extremely painful for the past 6 months or so.

Since high school I've worn orthotic inserts in my shoes which have helped my foot, ankle, knee, calf, hip and back pain tremendously, although I still have some problems even with the orthotics. Add to the space taken up in my shoes by the orthotics the fact that I have wide feet (EE on a typical Brannock measuring system) and narrow heels and you can imagine how hard it is for me to find shoes that actually fit - and cost less than $150.00.

Along comes New Balance with their high-volume manufacturing output of varying width shoes and - voila! - I'm a happy (albeit poor) camper. I'll take good shoes that fit for a price because, hey, I've tried the cheap shoe suffering route and it's so not worth it.

I feel like I'm a good candidate to test NB's shoes because I am active and play sports regularly, I'm heavy (particularly for a woman), and my feet are weird. The guidelines for testers state that testers should be as detailed as possible in their test reports and questionnaires. I figured I'd start with my application just to prove how detailed I can be. I told them all sorts of details about the history of my foot problems and how much I'd love to be on their team to help them develop truly superior shoes.

I'm supposed to hear in 4-8 weeks whether I've been selected or not. Even if I am selected, I may never receive a pair of shoes to test, but at least the option is there. I would really love to do this.

Monday, July 18, 2005

I'm not being fair

Really, it's not fair that my last post was about George Hincapie giving me a birthday present when, in fact, he didn't. And when, in fact, my husband and other family members and friends did!

Andy and Kevin gave me a hand-made card and a computer for my road bike. I have a computer on my road bike but no matter how fast I go, I can't get it to register over 1.7 miles an hour. I swear I've gone faster than that, at least on the downhills. The problem is that we had to move some of the wiring to hook up the trailer and it's not made to be used the way we (ok, Andy) tried to rig it. So now I have a new cyclocomputer with both a spoke-mount and a hub-mount magnet so we can use whichever works and fits best.

My family gave me all sorts of fun things including a new CD-ROM drive for Kevin's computer (so he can stop playing Big Bird and Jumpstart on mine and I can use it for my important work [read: blog-reading] again), a long-distance phone card (a hint? no, I actually asked for that), gift cards, a Rob Thomas CD, and some other things. And yesterday afternoon 2 of my best friends stopped by with an Oreo ice cream pie. Yum!! And thanks to everyone who sent me birthday cards online and in the mail.

By the way, I'm now 33 years old. It's not as bad as I thought it would be. Thirty-two was actually tough and I expected 33 would be, but it's not. That's good. I don't want to get anymore worry lines on my forehead ;-)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Big George!

Today is my birthday and I got an international present from people who don't even know me. I got to read that George Hincapie won today's stage in the Tour de France! Wow, George! Here are some quotes from that help explain why George so deserved the chance to cross the line first:

George Hincapie has become the first team-mate of Lance Armstrong to win a stage of the Tour since 1999.

[George] has been a member of Armstrong’s team for each victorious campaign.

Since the beginning of the Armstrong Era none of his team-mates have ever won a stage (with the exception of the team time trial, of course). Today Hincapie is in prime position to change that fact. The American is the only rider to have been with Armstrong for each of the Texan’s winning campaigns.

He rules! Thanks for the birthday present, George. And also to the Discovery Channel team as nobody does anything without the team director's (Johan Bruyneel) and team captain's (Lance Armstrong) approval.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Would just one post matter?

I want soooooo bad to write about the people I work with. But I shan't, because I know better and have learned better from others who have gone before me. No, I'm not linking to any well-known sites of people who have been fired from their jobs for what they've written in their person blogs because most of them are potty-mouths and if you don't already know about their sites, then I'm not going to be the one to point you toward them.

But I really do want to write about the people I work with.

It's a coca-cola afternoon

I don't drink much soda. When I do (usually at parties), it's caffeine-free as I am not very tolerant of caffeine and sometimes it gives me migraines. Today, however, I just popped open a can of Coke. I'm falling asleep at my desk* and that is a bad idea for someone who would benefit from retaining her current employment.

If I sip it slowly (which is hard for me to do which is a reason why I don't drink much in the way of alcoholic beverages) I should gain the alerting effects of the caffeine without getting jittery and without getting a migraine.

Here's to a more productive afternoon starting in about a half hour. Cheers.

* This is a true statement, it is not an oxymoron**.

** Funny line from Renaissance Man - "Hey, you can't call me no 'ox moron.'"

Update - Wow, that makes no sense. I meant to say hyperbole, not oxymoron. Yikes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Monday, July 11, 2005

New Photos

Kevin on the kitchen counter

The remnants of Quiet Play Time. Note that the biggest mess is underneath him - a large pile of blocks, cards, cars and action figures.

How many child safety violations can you count in this photo?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

A few hours to myself

Andy is driving his dad to Dulles airport and he took Kevin with him. Kevin will play with Abuelita & Tia Christy and Andy will pick him back up on his way home. This gives me a few hours at home by myself. Hallelujah!

Order of events:

  • Watch TV and eat ice cream

  • Fall asleep watching TV

  • Wake up to phone ringing (this wasn't part of the plan but it happened)

  • Slight re-organization of crafting area/desk

  • Catch up on day's Tour de France coverage

  • Listen to Jason's Lyric soundtrack

  • Write blog entry

  • Plan next scrapbook: ours and Kevin's journey to becoming a family ending with our trip to Guatemala

  • Put some puzzle pieces together (State Birds and Flowers jigsaw puzzle laid out on dining room table yesterday.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Office

Early this spring, I caught The Office on NBC and I laughed out loud. I was able to watch a couple of episodes before it was removed from the airwaves. I don't know whether it'll be back or not, but I sure enjoyed it and would like to see more.

That show is based on BBC's The Office. I've borrowed a season of the show on DVD from a friend and I've watched 3 episodes so far. I know that a couple of friends will want to flog me when I say that I enjoyed the US version better, but there it is - I enjoyed the US version better.

The BBC version is too raunchy for my tastes and there were jokes that I'm sure I missed because of not being able to hear or understand what they were saying. I also like the main actor in the US version better - he just seems more genuine but clueless than the British guy and I "get" the jokes on there better.

For what it's worth, that's my opinion.

Nine Month Anniversary

Last weekend was our 9-month anniversary of meeting Kevin and becoming a family of three. Looking at pictures of him from back then really show how much he is growing and developing - he looks more like a boy than a toddler.

Some changes in the past 9 months:

He sleeps through most nights, he knows how to work the computer mouse, he plays imagination games, he knows how to pick only the ripe raspberries and he talks to Dora on the TV.

Some unchanges in the past 9 months:

He doesn't like not wearing shoes, he wants to be held a lot, he's cautious and he loves to play with balls.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Watch the trains go by

Today in the Tour de France is the Team Time Trial. It's like an individual time trial (against the clock and not directly other riders) but with a team (duh.) The team gets the time of the 5th rider across the finish line. I'm so excited!

Monday, July 04, 2005

A buzzkill, in effect

It never fails. I plan everything - "Kevin, you may take 2 and only 2 books"; "Find a small toy to take along"; "Do you need a drink of water?" Then I set off on our bike adventure and 2 minutes into my warm-up or just over the crest of a fast downhill or just as I downshift to cruise my way up a slope, I hear it.

"Please open my fruit snacks, Mama." "I need water, Mama." "I dropped my Cheerios, Mama."

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Every once in awhile, Andy channels an extrovert

I am married to an extreme introvert. When he took career inventories in school, one of his top career suggestions was always "long-distance truck driver" and I do think he'd excel at that job. I wouldn't excel in the role of wife of a long-distance truck driver so I'm glad he never followed up on that, but he would do very well not to have to interact with other people but in between long stretches of just him and the road.

On the last night of our honeymoon when we walked a few blocks from our hotel in Anchorage, Alaska (yes, we are really cool for going to Alaska on our honeymoon) to eat dinner at the restaurant where we'd eaten breakfast our first morning in AK, another couple from the hotel went inside when we did and they started some small talk with us. The next moment may not have really happened but here's what I remember: Andy asked the other people if they wanted to get a table with us! They said yes and we ate dinner with them. "Who are you and what have you done with my (newly-minted) husband?" I asked.

When we go to places like the mall or the zoo, he gets really cranky because of the other people there. You can imagine my surprise last week when he suggested going to dinner on Saturday night a few hundred yards from where a local town was going to shoot off fireworks for Independence Day. He thought we could go early to eat dinner and then find a place in the throng of revelers to watch the sky show. "Who are you and what have you done with my husband?" I asked again.

He keeps telling me he's himself but I'm not convinced.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

It's only just begun

Two opening "newsflashes" from a couple of websites I frequent during the Tour, particularly because I don't have cable TV and I have to "watch" the Tour on the Web.


15:12 - Welcome To The Live Coverage Of The 92nd Tour de France!

The 2005 Tour de France is scheduled to begin at 3.40pm with a 19km time trial from Fromentine to Noirmoutier en L’Ile.

Riders will depart at one-minute intervals.

The final rider to begin the first stage will be the defending champion, Lance Armstrong. The American Discovery Channel rider’s start time is 6.48pm.


Against the Clock and Down by the Sea
Good morning and welcome to's minute-by-minute coverage of the 2005 Tour de France. Today's opening 19km stage from Fromentine to Noirmoutier-en-Ile is against the clock, but it is not short enough to be considered a bona fide "prologue". Suitably, it is French rider Ludovic Turpin who has the honor of opening the festivities. The little climber from AG2R rolls off the start ramp in the seaside town of Fromentine at 3:40. Skies are overcast the temperature is 78F and the wind is off the ocean, out of the south west at 6mph; it is expected to pick up as the day go on which could favor the earlier riders in today's test.
3:24 pm

Whose legs are you wearing?

Yesterday I did a road ride with Kevin in the trailer in the morning and then in the afternoon a group of us went mountain biking (first time in a few years - suh-weeeet!). On Saturday mornings, Kevin and I usually go for a bike ride while Papa sleeps in a little but this morning I told Kevin, "We can't ride this morning because I don't have the legs for it today." Kevin pointed at my legs and said, "These your legs?"

I then rephrased my explanation.