Monday, December 6, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The first weekend of sleeping in was AWESOME after a crazy long racing season! I spent Saturday morning shoveling the side walks and rewarded myself with a tasty pot of coffee and jammie time on the couch with my boys.

Once the laziness waned, we hung out with some friends and quickly retreated to the sofa for more rest. It was splendid. Come Sunday morning, I actually decided to shower and put on makeup and headed out for my sister, Megan's place for our 2nd annual cookie bake.

Megan, one of the strongest people I know, just finished 4 months of Chemo treatments in her fight against Hodgkin's Lymphoma. With exhaustion and struggle tapping at the door all day, Megan marched forward as the hostess with the most-est as usual and never looked back. Sure, it took every ounce of my father's strength not to tear up when she talked about her struggles, but it was my role and I breathed deep and carried on.

And it was worth it! We turned her kitchen and dining room into Willy Wonka's friggin' Chocolate factory!

It was another great and extremely exhausting 6 hours of baking and I loved every moment. Sure, the mimosas always make the fingers less tired and the stories twice as funny, but it's the time with the girls that makes it more memorable... though I honestly don't need all these darn sweets during the off-season, but they sure do taste good!

Feeling the holiday spirit,
Kristy Kreme

Friday, December 3, 2010

All Growns'd Up

Yep, my lil brother had proven he's all grown up. On Sunday Jay and I joined my mom, Randy, Lulu, Zach, and 2 buds in a farewell dinner for the three boys. Monday morning they were sworn in and flew off to Air Force boot camp, ready to take on the biggest journey of their lives.

Courtney, Zach & Jason

It was so very bitter sweet, but a ton of fun none the less. It's hard to think of my baby brother taking on such an endevour. And yet, at the same time, I'm overflowing with how proud I am of him to take on so much responsibility.... Zach, I love you and I am so proud to call you my brother!
Mom, Zach, and Lulu

In true disfunctional-family form, though, we couldn't help but dial it up to 11 with our antics and loud, inappropriate conversations in the middle of a 'nice family restaurant'. Seriously - who's family jokes by calling their mom a sex offender? Or about sending nudie mags as Christmas presents? Yep, you guessed it, mine. And I love 'em for it! We laughed so hard there was no room to cry or be sad that he was leaving.

Dude, I wish the server would have warned me about Jay....

Sure, I bawled my brains out later that night. Wouldn't you? I have three houses to celebrate every holiday at.... and with Zach in boot camp over Christmas, that meant all three houses would have an empty seat staring back at us. All three homes with a small void. A space left empty in our hearts. But at least Zach will be out there to protect us - one of the most caring people I know, giving himself for others. Kid, I am so proud to be your sister.

Yeah, I'd just driven 5 hours for this hug. I love you, McGuyver!

I'm thankful for people like these three young men who are willing to step up and defend the rest of us. Godspeed and my angels stand at your guard.

Missing my baby bro,
Kristy Kreme

Jingle Cross Rock'd Our Asses

Where to begin? Was it the 2 1/2 extra hours of driving to get to Iowa City in a ice storm that made it unforgettable? The uber tasty Thanksgiving dinner? A talking dog? Purple unicorn?

Nah, it was another great weekend in my home away from home that made this holiday weekend so memorable. I won't deny that it was a tough weekend - the first Thanksgiving without Father Bob... wanting to be home with my sister who's fighting her own battle.... wanting to spend time with my brother before he leaves for the Air Force.... but it was a weekend set in stone months before this all unravelled and we weren't going to allow that to sway us.

Jay and I drove through the ice, rain, and snow to make sure Dorothy had family with her this Thanksgiving. Lucky for us, Ken & Lou took in Smokey while we spent the first night on Dot's floor. It was great to see her again, and at the same time I couldn't get over a feeling like Bob was only in another room....

To pass the time, we helped Dorothy with her to-do lists and decorated her home with oodles of Christmas cheer. And, when that was done we took a moment or two to do what else? Race our bikes, of course! People from all around the US joined us for some killa racing at the Jingle Cross Rock. It was awesome! I didn't step onto the podium, but I had a rockin' 4th and 7th place finish amongst some amazing women and that was enough to finish my season off proudly with.

Jay had a stellar season-send-off with an awesome 3rd place finish Friday night and top 10 finish on Saturday - way to go baby! You've raced like a champ this year! Jen Fisher also came out for her debut Jingle Cross, trading places with me over the weekend with a 7th place on Friday and bitchin' 4th place on a freezing cold Saturday morning. Awesome, Jen!!! Welcome to CX, Iowa-style! Dana and James Buddenbaum also killed it on Saturday and Sunday, flying the colors along with Todd Bauer and his son Jake, taking on his first CX race ever! I love our team! We have the best riders, the best people, possible! I love you guys and I'm so proud to race with you.
Photo courtesy of Jimmer C

Not to mention the rest of the MN crew - Linda Sone, Jeannie Fleck, Dan Casper, Jordan Cullen, my if-I-was-20-again crush Jack Hinkins... it was so much fun losing my voice while cheering you on! You make me push myself to be better - thank you!

Heck, maybe the best part WAS cheering on the racers. Shit, there's a whole collection of youtube videos to prove it! Here's my favorite summary of the weekend - can you find me and Hwood?

Some of my fave youtubes...

Don't understand the whole prime biz? (pronounced PREEM) According to a "Prime" is: A prize or bonus given to the rider who is the first to pass a certain point during a race. In cyclocross that also applies to dollar bills and Peeps in the mud, sticking out of beer cans, not to mention ass cracks and sports bras! Yeah, we were having a ball! Thanks to all my favorite girls who think goofin' off is just as fun as I do!
After all the fun and excitement, we picked up Dorothy for a fabulous dinner and good company. Once we dropped her off, the night was still far from over. We hit the local bar for the official JCR after party, put on our dancing shoes, and cut loose.

Lisa, Kenny, Wandoola, and me
I love these peeps!
The ladies love H.W. Cool Jay

Great food, great fun, great laughs ... it's what makes life worth living. It's too short and way too fast to take life so seriously, so I am extremely happy to have so many wonderful people in my life to goof off with. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for all my family and friends. For those no longer with us, I am thankful for the way they touched my heart and my my world a better place. For those I hold dear, thank you for loving me and for sharing this rollercoaster ride with me. I am thankful for my health, my home, my job, and for a wonderful husband who fills my days with love. And I'm thankful for my bike that resurrected the spark of light in me I almost let die out.

Satiated on life,
Kristy Kreme