November 18, 2011

The World's Best Energy Bar Recipe Ever

Please take a minute to check out my food blog and find the best energy bar recipe ever.  I have to be careful when I make these because I will eat the whole thing at once and not save any for the family.  This weekend I will have to make a triple batch to keep everyone happy.

November 17, 2011

Hunger Games

If you have not read the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and I HIGHLY recommend this book.  I finished this book in about 3 days because I could not put it down.  Of course after I finished the first book I had to get the second and third one in the trilogy to wrap up the story.  I know if I say anything about this book I will give many parts of it away but I can only describe this book as horrific, captivating and amazing. 

I also just found out that the made a movie out of it that comes on in late March and I just watched the trailor and all I have to stay is "Oh my goodness!!!"  I cannot wait for the movie.  This is a MUST MUST MUST read book.
Have you read the Hunger Games?

October 6, 2011

Southwest Airlines

I have been wanting to try flying Southwest Airlines for a long time because of their low prices and no fees for bags. Most of our flying normally is from Gunnison or Denver to Newark, NJ to see Joe’s family and at the time Southwest did not fly to Newark. This time however we were flying to Norfolk, to enjoy an O’Connell Family Beach Vacation in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.
I have to say that I LOVED flying Southwest. I am now a HUGE Southwest fan. Booking the airfare online was super easy and no stress. Then we arrived at the Denver Airport at 5am and we checked our 3 big bags at the curbside check in. At that time of the morning Southwest was the only one open for curb side check in. We had 4 people flying and could have checked 8 bags for FREE. We only check 3 but still it was so nice not to have to pay $75 for the bags.

In regards to boarding it was easy as well. With Southwest you are not assigned a seat. On your boarding pass it tells you when you board. There are 3 groups, A, B and C. I checked in the day before but I was never right on the 24 hour mark and for 3 of the 4 flights we were in the B group and one flight was the A group. Also since Lily is under 5 so we were able to board right after the A group but before the B group. Also, I don’t know what it is but by doing boarding this way everyone boarded the flight so fast. Normally on other airlines it takes a good 30 plus minutes to board the plane but everyone was boarded and we were pulling away from the gate in less than 20 minutes – Go Southwest!

Normally we fly United because United is the only airline that flies in and out of Gunnison year around. Over the past couple of years we have been flying out of other airports, and flying on other airlines because flying out of Gunnison is very expensive for a family of 4. Southwest has all airlines beat in regards to space in the cabin in the economy section. Southwest has all of the same seating, no first class, business class, economy plus, nothing like that. All of the seats are the same and all have plenty of foot room. I am a very short person, 5’3 ¼” and to me United has the least amount of space. If the person in front of me puts their seat back I cannot cross my legs. Southwest has plenty of leg room. The person could put their seat back and it did not bother me in the least. I could still lean over to grab my bag under the seat and cross my legs.

I do not have anything bad to say about flying Southwest. Now that they started flying to Newark you can better believe that my family will be regular Southwest fliers.

Check Southwest out at

Have any of you flown Southwest before?  Do you like them/ hate them/ indifferent?

September 4, 2011

Handies Peak - Mikayla's FIRST 14er!!!!

 This weekend Mikayla, my 6 year old, did her first 14er.  I am SO SO SO proud of her.  We went with my friend, Sherri, her husband, Tom, and their daughter Lydia, who is 9 and was also doing her first 14er.

There are two ways up Handies.  If you stop at the first parking lot I believe it is an 8 mile hike round trip.  We went to the second parking lot and came up the other side of Handies.  This made it about 5.3ish miles round trip.  Overall I am told the way we did it was steeper but shorter.  Mikayla was a little trouper.

She was tough and only until the very last push did she start to break down.  It was getting steep and she started crying.   At this point we were so close to the top that I was not going to let her stop and call it a day.  I was more than willing to take lots and lots of breaks to get the the top but Tom offered to give her a piggy back ride to the top and of course she took it.

 Here is a picture of us.  She made it to the top at 14048 feet. 

Shortly after we got to the top a man that we had passed on the way up showed up.  This is a picture of the youngest person (6 years old) and the oldest person (70) on the peak!
 A picture of the six of us.

 Mikayla getting her ride to the top.

 Taking a break before we made the final push to the top.

This is not a great picture but on the drive back to Lake City there was a bunch of cars pulled over.  This is a bad picture of a MOOSE!!  I have lived in Colorado for 14 years and I have never seen a moose.  I have heard there are some around Lake City and up in Crested Butte we will hear about someone seeing one every few years or so but this is the first moose that I have ever seen.  He was happy to just walk around and munch on the willows - he did not care at all that we were all standing above him taking pictures.  It was wonderful.

August 28, 2011

Weekend Trip to Glenwood Springs

This past Friday Joe and I headed to Glenwood Springs without the girls.  We have never left them with someone else.  For the past 6 years either Joe or I have always been with them.  So, they are ready to hang out at a friend's house all weekend while we went and had some fun!

We spent the night a Hotel Denver right in downtown Glenwood Springs.  Friday night we enjoyed dinner at the Riviera Restaurant and then we played a round of mini golf.  Saturday morning we slept in and it was nice to not wake up to Lily crawling into bed with us.  We went to breakfast at Rosi's Little Bavarian Restaurant where I had Eggs Netupe.  I really wanted to try some of their homemade cinnamon rolls, pastries or just a slice of cake but I was too full!  After breakfast we headed over to the Yampa Spa.  The Yampa Spa had vapor caves which Joe and I love going to.  Finally after relaxing at the Spa we headed out for a hike.  We hiked to Hanging Lake.  It was super steep 1.5 mile hike from the parking lot.  In about 1 mile we gained over 1000 feet which equals about a 16% grade.  Joe and I were starting to get crunched for time so even though we were passing lots of the people on the trail and hauling a** it still took us about 45 minutes to get to the top.  It was worth it.  The lake is just beautiful.  After heading back to the car we stopped at Rib City for some excellent BBQ.  The BBQ was the best I have had in a long time. 

I wish I had tons and tons of pictures to show you but even though we took the camera with us we never had it one us so we did not take any pictures.  Click on the links above to get an idea.

August 26, 2011

Day 4 - 1 Mile

I am starting to worry that I am not going to hit 21 miles this week.  I did one mile run yesterday and a weight workout.  I was suppose to get up early and go for an early morning run but that did not happen today.  I am going to try and get some more miles in the weekend but since Joe and I are going away for the night I don't know if that will happen or not.

August 25, 2011

Day 3 - 8 Miles

Yep - I did some catching up today.  I did 5 miles first thing this morning and then another slow 3 miles at lunch.  Now I have a bank of some miles towards my goal of 21 miles this week.  I need this bank since my hubby and I are going out of town Friday night and I don't know if I will be able to get 3 miles in on Saturday.

August 24, 2011

Day 2 - 1.25 Miles

Yesterday I only did a 1.25 mile run because I also wanted to get in a quick weight workout.  I wanted to finish the other miles up after work but that did not happen as well.  I did catch up today because I was able to get in a 5 mile run this morning before work.  I am also hoping to get in another few miles at lunch so I can stock up!  My hubby and I are going away on Friday night.  This is the first time in the last 6 years (since we had kids) that we have ever left them with a friend/babysitter over night so we are due!

August 22, 2011

Day 1 - 3.03 Miles

I had hoped to run first thing in the morning and then get another couple of miles in at lunch but I decided to sleep in instead!  I did have a great 3 miles and my pace was 9:45 which is fast for me. 

Running and Blogging

One thing I have noticed with this blog is that when I am running good and strong I blog a lot more and when I slack off on running the blog lags behind as well.  As you can guess I have not been running as much as I would like to be right now.  I head out for a long run and my mind is just not in it.  I have been mountain biking a few time instead of running and I am LOVING that.  Two weekends ago I went mountain biking on the hill behind Western (as I call it - I don't think it has a name!)  I did over 11 miles on the mountain bike and I only saw one other person the whole time.  It was awesome. 

Over the next 7 days I am going to try to average at least 3 miles a day for a total of 21 miles.  I really want to loose a couple of pounds (who doesn't!) mostly because we are going on a beach vacation in a few weeks and I have put on a few pounds.  I am going to post daily as to whether or not I did this.  Hopefully my doing committing to daily updates I will keep running and keep posting. 

August 20, 2011

Backpacking Trip with Mikayla

Last weekend my friend Sherri and I took our daughters backpacking.  Sherri is the pro backpacker so I just put on my pack and follow her lead.  We took the girls to Boulder Lake outside of Ohio City.  It was a hard hike with 2 miles of steep uphill but the girls survived with very little complaining.  Mikayla was strong and had no tears!  The hike was 7 miles round trip and we had beautiful views during the hike.

Here is Mikayla and Lydia.  Lydia is 9 years old and they are best buds.

Our campsite.

On our way home my friend Sherri made a comment that she could easily go backpacking again the next day.  I had to say that my shoulders needed to recover first!  I was sore and tired on Monday and Tuesday but it was worth it.  I love the fact that I can take my 6 year old backpacking and all of the memories she will have of these trips.  Joe was upset that he wasn't allowed to come but Lily said she wants to go next year.

July 7, 2011

Killer Workout

Head over to Run, Eat, Date, Sleep to check out the guest post I did.  I have never done a guest post before so this was fun to put together.

June 28, 2011

Trip to Denver

About two weeks ago we headed to Denver to see Joe's parents.  They live in New Jersey but they flew into Denver to see us.  His Dad is not big on the altitude of Gunnison so we decided to meet in Denver.  This also makes it a vacation for us as well.

Even though it was actually hotter in Gunnison than Denver we spent as much time as possible at the pool.  Or I should say that Joe and the girls spent as much time as possible at the pool.

We went to the Children's Museum of Denver.  This was awesome!  Here are the girls standing on a rock rattlesnake.

Grandpa Joe driving the fire truck.

They had the really cool exhibit that was a green with tunnels and holes.  Just a real tree.  Here is Lily dressed up like a possum.

Lily LOVED shopping in the market.  Then she went next door to cook with the food she just bought.  Mikayla loved the art area the best.

If you have real young kids they have the perfect play room for them.  We checked it out. 

The one thing my family does not have is any good pictures of all of us.  I had Joe's mom take a few and this was the best out of all of them.

Joe took Mikayla and his dad to a Rockies game.  Mikayla had a blast.

Lily sleeping in the big king size bed that her and I shared.

Mikayla has now lost 3 teeth!  Isn't she cute!!

May 31, 2011

Pictures of the Sage Burner

The Gunnison County Times has pictures of the Sage Burner here.  Now you can see some of the terraine I was running on.

Also, head over to Jesse at Love of All Things Hills and Trails to check out her 50K Race report for the Sage Burner.  She did awesome!!

May 29, 2011

Sage Burner 25K

I did it!  I ran the 25K Sage Burner at Hartman Rocks.  The first 3 to 4 miles were tough but then the uphill mellowed out and after another mile or so it was a long, mellow downhill with a few ups but not as steep as the beginning.  At the last aid station I rested for a few minutes and then I headed out to finish it up.  The weather was perfect.  Towards the end of the run it was getting windy but the wind was either pushing me towards the finish or it was cooling me down.  I wanted to do this run in under 4 hours and I crossed the finish line at 4 hours and 1 minute with a total mileage of 16.25 miles.  I would have done it under 4 hours but right after Jack's the course went down Collarbone Alley and that was so steep that I almost had to sit down to go down the super steep hills.

Sorry for the lack of pictures.  When Joe and the girls dropped me off in the morning we forgot the camera and then when Joe was taking pictures at the end of the race after one picture the memory card was full!

Would I do this race again?  Yesterday I would have said no but today I think I would.  Do I want to do the 50K Sage Burner - not at this time =).

May 26, 2011

Girl in Translation, a review

Recently I had the opportunity to review, Girl in Transalation, by Jean Kwok through the Blogher Book Club.  I truly loved this story and I could not put it down.  I am also the type of person who loves to read the same books again and again and that is just what I am thinking about doing with this one!  Please take a minute to read my review.
Let me know what you think.  Has anyone else had the opportunity to read this story yet?

May 20, 2011

I did it!

Well - I did it.  I paid the money and signed up for the 25K Sage Burner Trail Run.  I am nervous about signing up for it but as long as I finish in under 5 hours I will be happy!  Now I gotta find some goodies to stock my running vest with to keep me going.

May 15, 2011

Sage Burner - Can I do it?

I have been training to run the Sage Burner at the end of May.  This is a 25K trail run where the first 3 miles is all UPHILL and it is a long and tough uphill. 

Yesterday I headed out to do about 14 miles of this race as a test run.  I wanted to bail the first 4.5 miles.  I was so ready to turn around and head back.  It was also hot outside.  I know I should not complain about the heat because in Gunny hot is 70 or 75.  But I was in the desert and sage brush so it seemed much hotter than it actually was.  I was glad when the clouds moved in.

At one point I took a cutoff because I did not want to do the entire 15.5 mile run.  I was walking up just about every single uphill, no matter how small, on the downhills at the end my knee was bothering me and I kept thinking am I really up for this??? 

I have also found out that the race is closer to 17 miles not 15.5.  If I knew for a fact that this race was 15.5 miles I would be ready for it - it would be long and hard but I could handle it - but 17?!  I just don't know.

This was also the longest, and slowest run I have ever done.  12.43 miles in 2 hours and 55 minutes at a pace of 14:04.

For the last three weekends I have done long, hard trail runs so maybe I am burnt out and need a week off.  I want to take a few days off and then head back out to Hartman's and do the first couple of miles again and see how it goes.  If it is easier I will fill better about the whole thing.

May 14, 2011

Signal Peak Trail Run

Last weekend I ran to Signal Peak and back.  Signal Peak is accessed by the trail system behind Western State College or you can also access it from the Tomichi Heights subdivision east of town.  I have lived in Gunnison for almost 14 years and I have never made it to Signal Peak but I have always wanted to. 

Most of the run was pretty easy with a slow and steady uphill until the last 3/4 of a mile.  At this point the trail was going straight up and it was too steep to run and so I was hiking at this point.

It was wonderful to stand on top and say "I DID IT!"  It was awesome.  The total run was 11.70 miles and took me about 2 and a half hours.  I felt great at the end and I loved every minute of the run mostly because the weather was so nice and this was the first warm /hot run of the season.

May 13, 2011

New Layout

Do you like the new layout?  Do you like the colors?  I was playing around with the layout today and thought I could use a change since I have had the same layout since I started this blog over 5 YEARS ago.  Let me know what you think.

May 6, 2011

Best Brownies EVER

I forgot to post the links to the best brownie recipe.  Click here to head over to my food blog to find out more.

April Miles

My goal for the month of April was to do 60 miles. Well, I came up short and did 45.6 miles.  This month I have the same goal but I am pretty sure I will be able to run 60 miles because I have a 25K (15.5 mile) race at the end of May and I need to get in a 10 to 11 mile and a 12 to 13 mile long run before the race.  With those 3 runs I will hit 37 miles easy.

Now that May is here the weather is getting nicer outside so hopefully, keep your fingers crossed, no more running in the snow!

April 28, 2011

Awesome Giveaway

Head on over to Tall Mom on the Run and check out the awesome giveaway she is hosting.  I could REALLY, REALLY, REALLY use some of this stuff.

Food Blog

I just posted some great recipes on my food blog - Farmer's Cheese and Yogurt and Spelt Crackers

Tomorrow I am posting on my food blog about some AMAZING brownies I made.  They are truly the best brownies EVER!

April 11, 2011

Ipod Runner

For years now I have always run with my Ipod.  If for some reason I left it at home or the battery was dead that run would be awful.  Lately though I have been leaving it at home more and more often and the thing is, is that I am enjoying my runs more and since I am actively thinking about my run I am pushing myself to run faster than usual.

So, do you run with or without an Ipod?

April 10, 2011

10K Sage Grouse Race

10K race turned into a 7 mile race.  This race was TOUGH.  It was so windy it was almost pushing me backwards at times.  I tried to beat my sister's time but it was too windy to consider that.  Her race was also fairy flat and my was hilly. 

Another thing, how many of you have ever ran a race that was what it was suppose to be in length?  I can understand a race going a little over the distance it is suppose to be but come on - this 10K was almost an extra 3/4 of a mile!  All of the races I have ever done have been a little bit longer than they were suppose to be  - never have they been shorter.  I wonder if my sister's race was shorter than a 10K - I just say this b/c I know what her pace is and it is not 9:40. - Sorry Sara.  But for now I will just suck it up and admit that she is faster than me.

My overall time for the 7 miles was 1 hour and 14 minutes - an average pace of 10:40ish.  For me, especially with the wind, that was pretty darn good.

April 1, 2011

Updated - March Running Miles - CHALLENGE

Yesterday as I did my post and realized that I needed less than 2.5 miles to hit 50 I decided that I HAD to hit 50 for March.  So after work I did another 2.5 miles.  The last mile was the best mile I have ever run because Mikayla did it with me!  I picked her up from dance and asked if she wanted to run 1 mile with me and she was up for it.  Our pace the last mile was between 11 and 12 minute mile with only walking a very little bit.  I am so proud of her!

So my running totals for March are 50.15 and April I am challenging myself to run 60 miles.  Anyone care to join me?

March 31, 2011

93 Miles in March - Did I do it?

Tall Mom challenged her readers to run 93 miles in March or 3 miles per day. I knew that I would not hit 93 but I was thinking I could do 50 or 60 miles. On her site she allows us to count running, walking, swimming or biking miles. For biking miles you convert it to running miles so it takes me about 5 minutes to bike 1 mile and 10 minutes to run 1 mile so 2 biking miles = 1 running mile.

I ran 47.65 miles in March. Man - I wish I would have looked at this before I went to lunch today. I did not feel like running but if I knew I was this close to 50 I would have made it happen.

My total miles (counting walking and biking) for March are 70.60 miles. I though this would have been closer to the 93 miles.

I am going to challenge myself to run 60 miles in April and have a total number of miles of 80. I enjoyed this challenge because it was not as overwhelming as it could have been.

March 18, 2011


I am slowly getting back into running but I am just not loving it the way I use to. I really think my problem is that I am already tired of running the same old streets that I have been running for years. Also, I am not training or focusing on anything. I am anxiously waiting for the trails around Gunny to melt so that I can start trail running again.

The Sage Burner is a 25K or 15.5 mile race at Hartman Rocks that I am thinking about training for. I thought about doing this last year but running at Hartman's is tough because it is a lot more uphill than you think it is. I think if I start focusing on that it might give me the boost I need.

My only concern with running the Sage Burner (other than the hills) is that it is a cupless race and I will need a good running camel back. In the past I have used the same camel back for running that I use for mountain biking and I hate it. It is heavy, big and rubs on my arms.

March 4, 2011

93 Miles in March?!?!?!

Tall Mom hit me with a March challange to run 93 Miles this month or 3 miles a day. Of course I signed up. I can count my walking and biking miles and since the weather is getting nicer (bearing any snow storms of course) I should be able to do this. Running 93 miles this month will be difficult but maybe 50? My back is better, my foot is better - maybe this is the challenge I need to get back on track. But it is also March 2nd and so far I am behind by 1.5 miles.

March 3, 2011

Silly Lily

In our house Lily is often called "Silly Lily." She will even call herself that. The other night I put her PJ's on for bedtime and she said that she wanted to be a princess when she woke up but she couldn't because I took off her princess stickers. So I said "How about you wear your princess nightgown to bed so in the morning she will be a princess?" She agreed to this so she went to bed in her PJ's and her princess nightgown on top.

When she woke up in the morning she said she did not have her princess wings on but she wanted to wear her bumblebee costume. That was also my day off and I thought she looked so cute I never even bothered to dress here. We went to Mikayla's school, the library, grocery store and Dad's work dressed like this:

I know - too many pictures - but she is too cute!

March 2, 2011

Talented Mikayla

Mikayla decided she wanted to audition for the talent show this year. Remember she is only in kindergarten. Joe and I were not sure what her talent was but after talking about it we decided she should memorize two very short poems.

Mikayla made the talent show and went to practice every day. She worked very hard on her poems. We video taped her preformance and here it is on youtube. You have to watch the youtube video because it is so cute. I am so proud of her and I can only image what will happen next year!

She is always making silly faces for the camera.

February 24, 2011

What Have I Been Doing???

It has been a little while since I blogged so I figured I would update you on what has been going on with me.

Running - I have been trying super hard to get back to running but it is a slow process. My foot is much better - YEA! But now my back is acting up. I feel like I am complaining and my boyd is falling apart which is not me but that is what is happening. My hips have decided that they don't want to sit right and keep going out. On Monday I had a great run and workout and then I spent the evening on the couch. But my hips are back in so I am going for a run on Friday and we will see how it goes.

Mikayla - Mikayla is going to be in the talent show. She is going to recite some poems. She has her poems memorized and has been going to practice. The talent show is on Friday and I am so excited for her. She is not worried at all. She is my social butterfly and makes friends everywhere she goes.

Lily - Lily is doing great and is so funny. She was looking at a magazine the other day and said that is a shark. I corrected her and said it was a dolphin. She said "dolphins have big tongues and otters have litte ones"!

Work - work is work. I am now tutoring two 5th graders in addition to working full time. I love these kids - they are so much fun. When I teach I remember why I wanted to be a teacher - I just wish I was using my degree.

Weather - It is starting to get warm outside. I love 30 degrees so much. It is much better than -20! I am going to either walk or go for a bike ride at lunch today.

1000 miles in 2011 - I am counting my biking miles, walking and running miles. I am still behind but I know as soon as I am really running those miles will pick up.

What is going on with you guys?