Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm Home!

But not for long.  Lucky and Josh greeted me at the airport on Sunday night. I was so excited to see my boys! This trip was the longest that Josh and I have been apart since before our wedding. Crazy right?  That night Josh's friend Peter and his new girlfriend came over for dinner. They are in town visiting from Minnesota.  Once they left I crashed hard. I am so exhausted in every way possible.  In fact I've had to take a nap every day after work just to get through the rest of the evening.

My training schedule is totally off. I did another hilly run in California on Saturday morning and ran a solid 5 miles on Tuesday night.  Luckily it wasn't too difficult to re-adjust to the altitude though it did slow me down. 

California Runs (3 total) Stats:

Distance: 10 miles   Time: 1:28:34   Avg. Pace: 8:51 min/miles

Stats (for Tuesday):

Distance: 5 miles    Time: 48:02    Avg. Pace: 9:38 min/miles

It's been a whirlwind since I arrive back in Colorado.  Tuesday was my downtime night for the week. Last night we enjoyed yummy food and great company with Ryan and Claire. They were nice enough to make dinner for us. Tonight my FIL Jim will be in town. We're going to eat at our favorite restaurant in Longmont, Martini's Bistro.  Mmmm...key lime cheesecake.  Tomorrow I'm partaking in a little surprise and then Saturday we're heading to Denver to celebrate Claire's birthday. Busy busy.

So glad it's almost time for vacation! We will be on our way to France a week from today. I can almost smell the cheese and taste the wine already.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Freshman Year

After a long week, it was nice to wake up at my Mom's house this morning.  I scheduled a few tweets for work and headed out for a quick run before getting back to the grind.  It was a hilly run that looked like this:

Even with the hills I was able to maintain a pretty good pace.  Gotta love the 4000 ft elevation drop. I'm totally off of my training schedule but I figure I can get in a couple good long runs before we head to Europe in 13 days!

Time: 36 mins   Distance: 4.05 miles   Avg. Pace: 8:53 min/miles

After getting cleaned up and some work done it was time to take my little brother Riley to freshman registration.  It totally brought me back to when I started high school. I vividly remember going to my registration, even what I wore.  As I watched the kids in line, unsure of themselves, with anxiety and excitement taking their school pictures, trying to open their lockers and getting their class schedules I was thankful I was all done with that.  Though I did meet two of my BFFs Sarah and Lisa that year. 

Riley is playing freshman football this year which I think is great.  It's also a great way to get to know some of the new people that he'll be going to school with and being confident heading into the new world of high school.  He is also quite the ladies man. Every time we walked somewhere on the campus there were girls waving and calling for his attention. It was so cute.
After registration I took he and Emma for a celabatory frozen yogurt treat.  We stopped by FroyoLife.  It was delicious!  I basically tried half the flavors and had fun with all of the toppings.  Between the three of us we ate 2 lbs of froyo.  Delicious.  It was awesome getting some one on one time with my Californian siblings.  They are getting so big and are just great kiddos...ok teenagers.  I will be 30 years old when Riley graduates in 2014.  Man I feel old!
We headed home and so I could get some work done before Mom and Mike got home.  We had a nice evening talking, eating a delicious chicken, caper and artichoke dinner Mike made and hanging out.  It's nice spending some time with them not in heavy duty grieving mode.  Tommorrow my Uncle Ben, his girls and my Aunt Jan's family is coming over for a little BBQ. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Girls Gone Wild or Just Camping

*Playing catch-up with this post.

I haven't been spending nearly enough time with the girls. This weekend we packed up the Escape and drove to Lake McCounaughy. Sarah and Lisa spent the night on Friday night because we were getting up super early to head out. Rache arrived around 5:45 am and by 6:15 we were on the road. Everyone was pretty groggy until we got to Ogallala where they go their coffee fix.

Once Thalia, Melinda and Sheila arrived we headed to the lake. We tried the spot where we spent the 4th of July. There was a huge family camped there and the water was above where we camped last time. I could not believe how high the water was.

This is where we had our first adventure...Thalia's car got a little stuck going back up the rough sandy road. Luckily with Melinda behind the wheel it made it up. I followed right behind. I was super nervous taking the new car up it but we made it on my first try!

Final we found a spot in Arthur's Bay and got all set up. It was almost 100 degrees and the water was the only place to be.

Note to self...97 degree temps, pink panty droppers, and nothing but a granola bar in the stomach are a bad combination. After a small incident and a nap in the sand I was refreshed.

We drank, we swam, we laughed and lounged. By dusk we were ready to eat and relax. Smores...mmm so good!

As is the trend there was another huge storm. We could hear the rain approaching as it crossed the lake which was pretty cool.  The next morning we took a dip in the lake to get the sand off, packed up and headed into Ogallala for some deliciousness at Valentino's.

We were the first customers there.  After we were stuffed to the gills we headed home, but not before we got Thalia this awesome mustache and mini Blizzards from DQ.

Good girls weekend for sure!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Life Remembered

Thursday was a difficult day to say the least.  Of course I didn't sleep a wink and was up at 3:30 am digging around for pictures of my grandpa.  At that point I knew that there was no hope for recovery, but he was still hooked up to a ventilator which was breathing for him.  When I turned on my phone upon landing in Kansas City, a text from my mom popped up telling me that Grandpa had passed away about 15 minutes earlier.  I burst into tears. The poor guy in the seat next to me didn't know what to do other than get out of the way so that I could get off the plane asap. 

The final cause of death was a stroke which caused a massive brain bleed.  The doctors said that the stroke probably caused the car accident which then ruptured a brain aneurysm. It was quick and he died peacefully which gave us all some comfort.

Whitney arrived at the airport a few hours and a beer later to pick me up.  She was awesome at distracting me during the 3 hour drive to Springfield.  It's amazing how no matter how long it's been since we last talked or saw each other, we pick up right where we left off.  It's no wonder we've been friends for 17 years.  She kept me calm so that when I arrived at the hospital I was composed...until I saw Aunt Jan.  A few minutes later the chaplain and the doctor came down to take me to say goodbye.

On one hand I was so glad I got to say goodbye but it was devastating to seem him like that. He was cold as ice and looked so small.  The doctor cut a lock of his hair for me. I remember sitting with him, drinking juice, watching Shirley Temple movies playing with his gray hair.

My Grandma is doing as well as can be expected for losing her 'best bud.'  We spent all of Thursday and much of Friday going through pictures, telling stories, laughing, crying, loving and mourning.  I am absolutely amazed by the friends my grandparents have made in Branson. There was a continuous stream of people bringing food, drinking, and hugs.  The community they live in even provided lunch and dinner for us and any other mourners that wanted to join us. My grandma has a wonderful support system there which makes me happy.

The memorial service was on Saturday evening. I seriously considered wearing grandpa's big, white Velcro shoes to the service but decided against it at the last minute.  I used to love to put on those boats (size 13) when I was little. 

Beautiful flowers and pictures covered the alter. Friends and loved ones told wonderful stories about my grandpa, including one written by his best friend Wally, read by Wally's daughter.

I wanted to get up to tell everyone about how Grandpa was always at the end of the pool lane cheering for me at every swim meet, he ate all the jelly beans I didn't want until I finally got the right color out of the 'pooping' duck in this office, played dominoes with me in the piano room while I enjoyed juice and he enjoyed a glass of wine, always made sure ice cream sandwiches were in the freezer and strawberries in the fridge and so many more things but I couldn't get through it.  My grandpa was a big teddy bear who loved me, my family and his friends unconditionally.  I will miss hearing him call me Jessie Anne and say I love you Honey.

I feel so blessed to have had him in my life for 26 years, but am so sad that my kids won't ever get to meet and know him.  One of the best parts of the weekend were all the stories that people told us about him. I feel like I learned so much about him.  We even found pictures we're calling the Bond Years from when he travelled the world studying architecture. The service was followed by a party at Wally's house to celebrate Grandpa's life. It was a great time and he would have loved it. 

He was a world traveler, accomplished architect, gifted artist but most of all he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend. I will miss him forever.

February 26, 1926-August 12, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010


My Grandpa Tom died about an hour ago.  Unfortunately I just wasn't able to get there in time to say goodbye.

I'm sitting in the Kansas City airport waiting for my friend Whitney to come get me and drive me to Branson. I feel like someone just knocked the wind right out of me.


The obituary appeared in several local newspapers as well as ones in California where they used to live.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Colorado Girls

Thoroughly amused by this. Recap of the girls weekend at the lake to come...

....still feeling like crap.  From the cold...not the hangover.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sore...throat that is

After two days of presenting at a trade show I figured my voice would be a bit on the tired side. But then I woke up yesterday morning with a pretty bad sore throat. This morning I can barely swallow.  I think I have strep...ugh. I'm going to head to the doctor and hopefully they can get my all doped up so that I can get all my work stuff done for the week and enjoy the weekend at the lake.

Last night I was bound and determined to exercise since I didn't on Tuesday night after the closing of the show.  Instead of doing a speed workout I did a tempo run. Not going to lie it was hard. Breathing hurt and my ears were ringing.  I pushed through though.

Time: 37:35  Distance: 4 miles  Avg. Pace: 9:24 min/miles

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summertime and the livins easy

Friday night was baseball night for the Van Kirks.  We met our friends Cassie, Monte and their adorable son Porter at Coors Field.  Not only did the Rockies beat the Cubs, they set a record in the 8th inning for the most consecutive hits in one inning.

Yep you're seeing that right, the Rockies decided to make the loss really hurt with 12 runs in one inning.  We stopped at The Gin Mill for a few hours afterwards before heading home. I was super excited to hit the pillow when I crawled in bed around 1:45 am.

My plan was to get up and head out running around 6 am.  Yeah that did not happen.  I rolled out of bed around 8:30.  I arrived at MacIntosh Lake just before 10. It was already nearly 80 degrees. By the time I hit 3 miles I knew there was no way I was going to get through 7 more out on the lake with zero shade.

Jumped in the car and headed to the gym.  Finished up the run there no problem. I tried my first Hammer Gel...not bad. Consistency was pretty good as was the flavor. What really sold me was that I had no GDF.


Time: 1:37:16   Distance: 10.01 miles   Avg. Pace: 9:43 min/miles

Saturday night was ladies night! Thalia, Rachael, Sheila and I met at Thalia's before heading to the Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum concert. Oh Tim.....

The show was awesome! Wish we would have been able to get a bit closer. We enjoyed it nonetheless.  We made it back to Thalia's around 2 am.

Completely exhausted I still made it back home and up to Estes Park for a quick hike in Rocky Mountain National Park with Josh, my sister-in-law and my nieces.