I apologize for taking so long between posts. It has been a busy week. Christmas was wonderful, as usual, and I am one year older than I was when I last posted. Emily was with us for a week and we are now into 2010. WOW.
On Christmas morning Tiffany joined us to open gifts. In the past, we have waited until Emily came up and we'd open our gifts together, but with Tiffany trying to juggle time with her Dad and his family, her boyfriend and his family and her Mom and her family we have learned to be flexible. I think she does a great job of making sure that all the bases are covered and no one feels slighted.
After opening gifts with Tiffany, Bev and I were off to Tappahannock to pick up Emily and see Amanda and Destini. Tappahannock is the halfway point between us in Maryland and Emily in Virginia Beach. Emily's mother is kind enough to meet us halfway on Christmas day to help minimize the amount of driving. She usually brings Amanda and Destini with her and we have our own little red neck gift exchange in the Sheetz station parking lot. Destini had a very Tinkerbell Christmas. She was very tired, and with all of the attention on her she was a handful. As is always the case, it was nice to see her and Amanda, even if it was only for a short period of time.
The following day, as you all should know, was my birthday. Bev does a fantastic job of making sure that my birthday celebration is completely separate from Christmas. She makes sure that my birthday gifts are all wrapped in birthday paper... not Christmas paper or even holiday neutral paper. I got lots of great gifts for my birthday. Mostly gift cards from my favorite places (Starbucks, The Olive Garden and The Bike Doctor) as well as tickets to see Terri Clarke. She will be at Ram's Head on Stage in Annapolis on Feb 21st. It is an acoustic performance of just her and her guitar. She is one of my favorite country singers and she puts on an awesome show. So, with the concert being in Feb, I am able to stretch my birthday week out just a little bit further.
This New Years eve we all actually stayed awake and watched the ball drop...because we were babysitting! Eddie and Tracie, the couple that Tiffany babysits for on a regular basis needed someone to babysit their 3 kids (one 3 year old and a set of twins about a year and a half old). Tiffany had plans with Josh and friends, so Tracie called Bev and we ended up hanging out at their house until the wee hours of the morning. They also have 2 dogs, so Emily was having a great time "doggie sitting" while Bev was baby sitting. I was pretty much... just... sitting.
That brings us into 2010. As far as resolutions go, I resolved a few years ago to not make any more resolutions... and I have stuck to that. Looking forward, I am optimistic that 2010 will afford me the opportunity to continue those good things that I started in 2009.
For those interested, next weekend is the Tappahannock 200k brevet. I have just about everything that I need, with the exception of a few small items like tubes, and air cartridges in the event of a flat. Sunday I rode (see my 2010 Training Log link) in the cold (18 degree with a wind chill of 2) to see how my 'layered' approach to warmth and wind was going to work. I have to say that I was warm throughout the entire ride, with the exception of the little spot on my forehead that was exposed. I also used the ride on Sunday practice eating while riding the bike. I know, it sounds pretty simple, but with big gloves on, trying to unwrap chewy granola bars and ride a bike... not so simple. I think I came up with a system that will work. I'll let you know. The ride on Sunday also taught me that 'chewy' granola bars, when exposed to 20 degree temps do not stay 'chewy'.
I will do another entry probably on Thursday or Friday to let you all know where I am at physically and mentally for the brevet on Saturday. I am cautiously optimistic that I will be fine, after all... it's only 129 miles.