Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Winner Emerges

In spite of all the things I've started in my life with good intentions of finishing, I'm afraid there are more than a few things that are yet to be crossed off the list.  In the last couple weeks, however, I decided to knock off a big one.

More than two years ago, I thought it would be cool to eat at all the dining establishments in the county that offer breakfast burritos.  Breakfast burritos are one of my most favorite foods and I will happily eat them at any time of day.  When paired with a Dr. Pepper and something nice to read, you've attained my definition of contentment.  

So in that 2+ years, I've been slowly visiting the various burrito-serving eateries, with the exception of one* (see note below).  This was, at some times, a challenge because many places stop serving breakfast burritos after 10 or 11 AM.  And shame on them.  In that amount of time, some places closed their businesses for good before I ever got a chance to try them out.  To balance things out, some new ones have opened too so I figure it all balances out.  So as of this day, I have tried breakfast burritos at the following establishments (in absolutely no particular order):
  • Chili Works
  • El Parasol
  • Viola's
  • Hot Rocks
  • Morning Glory
  • Knapp's Wraps
  • Coffee House
  • Daniel's Cafe
  • El Rigobertos
This was tough to judge, folks.  Every burrito I tired was great.  Many were fabulous.  I always ordered the burritos with bacon and green chile.  Judging was based on several things such as tortilla quality, tightness of the wrap, spice level of the chile, crispiness of the bacon, ingredient proportions, how well the ingredients were mixed with each other vs just layered, etc.  In the end only one could be crowned a winner, given the competition parameters.

Ladies and gentlemen....I give you the winner: Knapp's Wraps of White Rock

Congratulations, Knapp's Wraps :)  If you haven't been down to White Rock and eaten here, you are missing out.  Street food is all the rage these days and these folks know how to do it up right!

Keep it Real!

*Sonic Drive-In, in my opinion, is good for only drinks and dessert.  The food has no place in my life.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dresser Redo

On one Saturday two summers ago, I hit up an estate sale and came home with some pretty good finds: 2 wine racks, a watering can for flowers (which have long since died), and a dresser.  The dresser, I remember, was $10.  I gave the family the money and came back with Leni and the truck a few hours later to pick the dresser up.  

Ever since that time, the dresser has rested in the room that later became Josh's room.  It was functional, but didn't match anything in the room.  I didn't really care, because it was the good price and the functionality that pleased me.  Recently, however, I saw a picture of a piece of furniture online that inspired me to re-paint the one we had.  So after a trip to the hardware store for paint and new hardware, I got down to business.

Dresser painting: done

Painting the drawers (bulk of time)

Leni helped a little bit here and there, which was great.  I worked on this off and on for about a week but considering all the drying times, etc, it probably would have been about a day and a half job if there hadn't been a baby involved, but that's cool.  I definitely learned a lot and wouldn't be opposed to another project like this in the future.

Keep It Real!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Post Olympic Thoughts

  • What's up with competition attire not being red white and blue for the US?  Purple gymnastics leotards?  
  • Many congratulations to Michael Phelps, his coaches and family on his medals.  To be honest though, I actually don't like when people say he is the Greatest Olympian of All Time.  I tend to prefer Most Decorated.  I'm still having trouble getting over his lack of humility during interviews the last two weeks, which, for me, is part of "greatness".  It's still an absolutely incredible feat that deserves recognition.
  • Having DVR REVOLUTIONIZED how I watch the Olympics!
  • Rules for eligibility regarding the all-around in gymnastics are BS.
  • Synchronized diving should be limited only to identical twins
  • Women shot putters frighten me.  FRIGHTEN me.
  • It is amusing to me that the female beach volleyball players from Brazil have "Bra" written across the chests of their outfits.
Days until the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: 543....FAR too many.

Keep It Real!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympic Party

After months (read: years) of waiting, the magical time has finally arrived!  As I compose this, I'm also watching women's gymnastics on TV.

Confession, Part I: I'm a Michael Phelps fan.  Well, maybe not him personally so much as his accomplishments.  He's two medals (of any color) away from being the most decorated Olympian in modern Olympic history.  You have to admit that that's pretty epic.

Confession, Part II: If Phelps misses his target and doesn't beat the record, that's okay with me, because I'm kind of enjoying his flop.  That might make me a bit of terrible person, but I'm okay with that.  But in the last two weeks, I've seen some interviews that painted him with a less than humble brush.  He has admitted to not working as hard as he should have, skipping practices, and other such related poor choices.  Bad decisions certainly have their consequences and he may be realizing that more than ever right now.

On Friday, we hosted two couples for a small Opening Ceremony Party.  I'd LOVE to be able to have invited more but our living room is small and I've recently realized that us and 2 more couples is about all we can accommodate comfortably.  So my brother and sister came up from Albuquerque and our friends Chris and Sarah rolled in from Santa Fe to enjoy this event with us.

For dinner, we had some Shepherd's Pie in honor of the hosting nation.  For dessert, a cake decorated with the Olympic rings in fruit:

In addition to themed food, we had some games of our own.  First was a little croquet:

Of course, there had to be a podium for the winners:

Sarah, Chris & Claire

I'm sure you didn't notice the beers they were holding.  In a stroke of brilliance, Chris and Sarah brought beer that was themed towards Olympic medals.  As pictured below, we've got a beer with the word "GOLDen" in the title, Coors (the SILVER bullet) and a Dos Equis Amber, whose label was quite BRONZE if you ask me :).

In addition to the croquet action, Claire and Nick had brought some hula hoops to play with.  It needs to be pointed out that these were not regulation hula hoops.  They were made out of irrigation tubing and INCREDIBLY heavy.  Quite the ab workout, even painful at times when more than one hoop was used at the same time.

Look out into it Leni got!
Enjoy this video of some of our hula hoop games:

Without a doubt, my favorite activity was our very own torch relay!  It was planned to include everyone but be a surprise to Chris and Sarah upon their arrival:

Oh yeah and we watched the Opening Ceremony, long as it was.  I was impressed with the entire orchestration.  The amount of times that the staging and props on the floor changed right in front of our eyes was amazing.  It was a great blend of history, dramatics and humor.  Favorite moments included the live performance of "Chariots of Fire" with a cameo from Mr. Bean, the Queen "parachuting" in from above, and the part with the five huge rings coming together overhead.  I wasn't overly impressed with the actually lighting of the torch but the torch apparatus itself was pretty cool.  Great Britain should be very proud of the show they put on.

Hope everyone enjoys the next two weeks of events.  I know I will!

Keep It Real!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mid-Summer Update

I've been so neglectful as of late.  Many apologies.  But I don't feel too bad....I can think of very few followers of this blog who don't catch on to what's going on in the Moore household via Facebook. is time to give some attention to the blog.

So Far This Summer...

My most recent post before this was immediately following Joshua's baptism over Memorial Day Weekend.  Good times.  Since then, we've been keeping busy:

First, there was the Gorski wedding:

This kid was a real hit at the wedding....and exhausted from it all too!
When we got back from the wedding (which was in central Virginia), it was HOT in Los Alamos!  This shouldn't be news....the whole nation was (and still is) having a ginormous heat wave.  Our home is without central AC or a swamp cooler, as are most of the homes this old in Los Alamos.  Since last summer, we've had a window unit in our bedroom.  It was so hot when we got home that I started having to take Josh into our bedroom after lunch time to stay cool was getting up into the upper 80s and low 90s in our living room.  After about a week of that, I'd had it.  We had a HUGE window unit for the kitchen, dining room and living room area, but it needed to be installed and since it required a 220 volt outlet, it wasn't your typical installation.  God bless our friends Chris and Sarah....they came over one Saturday and Chris helped Leni install the beastly window unit while Sarah and I kicked back and watched.  Now our house is much more comfortable during all times of the day.

Next was a trip down to Silver City, New Mexico, the new home of Leni's parents!  Paul has accepted the call to serve at the little but very active Episcopal church down there, so we had to go down to check things out.  On the way down, we knocked off 3 breweries from the New Mexico Brew Challenge (more on that below).  In Silver City, we enjoyed the small town feel, the cute downtown (complete with farmers market and art market), bike trails, apricot picking, and the town's proximity to the Gila Wilderness.  We did a challenging yet beautiful hike on Saturday afternoon with grandparents, parents, baby, and 4 dogs.  Difficult but well worth it!

We also found the people at Paul's new church to be tremendously nice and welcoming.  On the drive home, we picked off one more of the many Albuquerque breweries.

Speaking of breweries, you may recall our commitment to the New Mexico Brew Challenge, or, as my sister-in-law refers to it, the "Beer Blast".  So far, we're in the lead!  Even though many folks in Leni's office said they wanted to participate, the only folks taking it seriously are us and our previously mentioned friends, Chris and Sarah.  As I said, we are in the lead but very cautious to assume future victory.  You never know when one couple will shoot out ahead of the other (it has happened in both directions).  But those breweries down south this weekend afforded us many points (points are assigned to breweries based on their distance from our area).  Still 6 or 7 places to hit up, so we keep chugging along....pun intended :)

Yet to Come This Summer...

We are looking forward to visits from some folks we love.  Later this week, we'll see some good friends from my high school days in Arizona, Amy and her sister, Allison.  A couple days after that, we'll see Leni's brother, Landon, and his girlfriend, Marcie, from Idaho.  I've got some friends from the Dallas area who say they might come visit....I hope they are reading this and looking at their calendars for trip planning purposes :)

Next week, I resume my work duties at church and am quite ready for that.  We've connected with a friend of a friend who will be watching Josh during my work hours and are quite confident that it will be a good fit for our family.

We are hoping to squeeze in a whitewater rafting day on the Rio Grande River sometime later this month.  Each time we drive north along the river on our way to Taos or Colorado, we always comment that it would be fun to be one of the groups in the rafts enjoying the river below.  Hope we can work it looks really fun!

Olympics....SO close!  The opening ceremony is a mere 18 days away and my excitement is growing.  Having the Olympic trials being televised on a channel that my television receives has been such a teaser.  Such a great time in life to have DVR :)

That's about it for now.  I hope this has found everyone else's summer going well.  Stay cool out there.

Keep It Real!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Kids' Table

We've all been present at large gatherings of people in someone's home before.  It was perhaps at a holiday meal or big weekend family gathering.  There were lots of people, tons of food and, of course, not near enough seating to accommodate it all.  That's okay though, because there was usually the same solution: the kids's table.

Odds are you've been there before...the rickety card table from the closet or, if the weather was nice enough, the patio table outside.  This was where "the kids" were herded so that the adults could be together at the dining room table.  I've had both good and bad experiences at the kids' table.  If I was stuck with some dining partners I wasn't familiar with, it was sometimes awkward.  But that was okay because awkward silence could easily be overlooked by the fact that everyone's mouths were full of food anyway.  As I got older, I often wanted to be at the grown-up table because I found their subjects of conversation to be more preferable to the things being discussed at the kids' table.

Tough luck, though.  I don't know if I've ever sat at the grown-up table.  Last week I turned 31 and, a few days later, found myself in the middle of a large gathering of friends and family.  There were 13 of us in my home enjoying some burgers following our son's baptism (see photos here).  The....more seasoned crowd ate at the table inside and we "kids" found ourselves outside on the porch.  There were 8 of us and the average age was 28.5-years-old, but it was still the kids' table.  I realized that, although Leni and I are in our 30's now and just became parents ourselves, it just may be a while before we graduate to the grown-up table.

And that's okay with me.

Keep It Real!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Let the Games Begin

There are only 71 days until the Summer Olympics in London.  But this isn't really about those games.

I'm talking about the New Mexico Brew Challenge, a competition being held among most of my husband's office co-workers and their spouses.  The goal: to visit each of the breweries in the state of New Mexico, beginning on Memorial Day Weekend and ending on Labor Day Weekend.

Leni and a co-worker have been mulling over this project for over a week now, determining rules of play, the point system, etc and finally have it all hammered out.  Different points are awarded for different breweries, based on their distances from where we live.  One can earn points for visiting the brewery as well as consuming a product sold outside the brewery as well.  In true engineer fashion, there's a complex spreadsheet for keeping track of points, etc.

Here are some quick stats:

  • Number of breweries: 20
  • Cities the breweries are spread across: 10
  • Distance between two closest breweries: .1 mile 
  • Distance between two farthest breweries: 403 miles
There's been some scoffing that it will be difficult for Leni and me to finish with an infant in tow.  While it is true that it may be hard, we are no less motivated.  I don't just want to win.  I want to annihilate.  I want to finish so quickly that someone cries.

Here's to a good summer and a great way to get around and see new places in the Land of Enchantment!

Keep it Real (and drink responsibly) 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Joshua Daniel Moore

Our son is two weeks old today.  Below is the first picture we ever took of him when he was just a couple hours old.

Born April 24 at 3:59 am
His picture has been all over Facebook and across tons of text messages but he's had no mention on this blog.  

The reason for Joshua's absence on the blog is not lack of time to do it but rather not knowing what to say, since the word of his arrival has been out for some time now.

At this point in the game, reps from both sides of the family have come, seen, and gone.  Everyone was very helpful, whether it was cooking, cleaning, holding Josh, etc.  He's been to church twice.  He's even been down to Santa Fe a couple times.  

There have been two standard visits with the pediatrician: one in our home 48 hours after discharge and one in the doctor's office just yesterday.  Both went swimmingly.  I'm not a person who typically enjoys when people overstate things (unless for purposes of sarcasm and humor) a lot but one can't complain about hearing a pediatrician use the word "perfect" to describe any child, let alone one's own :)

Loyal readers and those who know me well may remember that I like numbers and stats.  Here are some we learned in yesterday's two week appointment with the doc:

Weight at birth: 7 lbs 8 oz - 15th percentile
Weight at 2 weeks: 8 lbs 4.5 oz - 25th percentile

Length at birth: 21 inches - 75th percentile
Length at 2 weeks: 22 inches - 90th percentile

Anyway I could come up with more to update you on I suppose but I don't want to be the parent that goes on and on.  For now, I'll just leave you with a photo from today.

Keep It Real!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

And Now, For My Next Trick....

...I will make my dog RE-appear!

Yep.  That's my 75 pound lab backing herself out of a hole she dug in our backyard.  I have known the hole was up there for months but had no idea until recently the extent of how spacious it was.  Earlier this week, I went out looking for both dogs because I knew they were not inside the house.  I could find Lucy, but Sierra was no where to be seen.  I called out to her and was shocked at an image identical to the video above.

Digging has always been a problem with our dogs, especially this one in particular.  Short of putting a shock collar on your dog and committing your life to watching them at all times and zapping them each time they start digging, there's really not a whole lot you can do about it.  One thing we read online is that if the dogs have a place where it is okay for them to dig, they might not dig in other places.  For us, that is the top terrace in the backyard, and boy, has this dog taken advantage of that!

The hole you see her coming out of in the video isn't really impressively deep but it shoots very far back.  When I'm irritated at Sierra for any reason, I think of the hole as the grave that she is digging herself, saving me a little trouble.

Anyway, I've been trying to capture this on video for a couple days now and once I got it, thought I'd share it with you.  

Keep It Real!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

When Are You Due?

As one might imagine, I've been getting this question a lot lately.  A. LOT.

It's very trivial to me.  People place SO much value on due dates without realizing that a due date is not a promise of the delivery of a baby at an exact moment in time but rather an average.  It's amazing how often that is forgotten by many.

Do you know what your personal due date was?  Were you born on it?  I wasn't.  I was three weeks late.  My poor mother.  Of all my friends who have had kids in the last year or so, I can think of only 1 that came on his due date.  I was looking for a legit medical website might report, on average, how many babies are born on their calculated due dates.  After looking at some seemingly legitimate websites and a few that were a little less credible, I found that the average is around 5%.  

While quickly visiting one of the less credible sites, I stumbled upon a ridiculous image and decided that, if I had to look at it, you should too:

Anyway, back to the 5%.  There's a 5% chance that our son will come on his "due date", April 18th, in 15 days.  Am I getting my hopes up for that?  Forget it.  Would it be awesome if he came a few days early?  You bet!  Am I expecting that?  No way.  Given the fact that I've had a very healthy pregnancy, I think I'll probably have to pay my dues in waiting for an overdue child. 

Please note that I said "healthy pregnancy", not "easy pregnancy".  There's no such thing as an "easy pregnancy" and anyone who uses those words in conjunction with each other should be punched in the throat while gargling razor blades. apologies to my husband.  He's under the impression that whatever is on his calendar, will happen on that specific day.  It's not that I'm saying it won't happen like that, but I'm too much of a realist to count on it.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the dumb things folks sometimes say to women who are expecting.  Actually, let's not.  There are far too many people who will read this post who have said these things without realizing it and I'm not out to make anyone feel bad (shocking, I know).  But I will say that if people thought about things that they say more thoroughly, they might say a little less :)  I'll instead focus on something you should probably avoid saying women in the final weeks of their third trimester.  It's pretty much just one thing...

I've seen several times when a woman nears her due date (or even a few days after), that her Facebook Wall will be inundated with phrases such as:

Have you had the baby yet?

When's that baby getting here?

Friends...these fall under the category of comments that I find useless and not helpful.  This probably means that there's been no delivery to speak up and, in all odds, mom is probably uncomfortable and irritated about it.  If the baby had already come and the announcement hasn't been made, it probably means the family is just a little too busy and hasn't taken 5 seconds to breathe and get on Facebook.  I know that, in this day and age of smart phones and Facebook apps, that may seem ridiculous, but just chill.  When the time is right and convenient, all the news that a family wants you to have will be made available at the time that they choose.

Bottom line: Couples who are expecting a child are required to be very patient with the process and, if you want to be the most helpful (which I know most people do), just be a little patient in return.

To wrap this up, I wanted to share with you a clip from one of our favorite sitcoms, Scrubs.  It has always made me laugh out loud, but particularly these days.  Enjoy:

Keep It Real!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Swear! Your Children Were Safe!!

Funny story...

Last weekend, some wonderful teens from our church went on a retreat at a camp close by.  Leni was with them the whole time and I joined them for the day on Saturday.  I hardly sleep well in my own bed these days so the prospect of sleeping in a strange, camp bed did not sound at all appealing.  

Anyway, knowing that I wouldn't be contributing as much to the weekend as the other adults involved, I was more than happy to do some running around the day of the departure and take care of the supply gathering in order to have it all loaded in the van for them.

Among my couple stops that morning was the hardware store.  As I was wondering around, a friendly employee meandered over to see if he could help me find anything.  This being the only hardware store in town, I pretty much know where everything is, but I humored the guy and chatted with him for a few moments.  He asked if I was shopping for some project and I said that I was actually gathering supplies for a church youth retreat.

Big mistake.

I followed his eyes to my basket where the only items collected so far were duct tape and box cutters.  

Church youth retreat?

I can only imagine what the poor guy was thinking.  I'm not gonna got awkward.  I joked about it to try to lighten the moment but I think he seriously thinks we took kids to Gitmo instead of a legit retreat.

Ah well...he's not the first, nor the last person I'll meet to think I'm nuts.  If only he could have been with me a couple days later at Sam's club when, at one point, all I had in the cart was diapers and bourbon.

Keep it Real!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action!

About $10,000.

That's how much our church raised last weekend to go toward the mortgage of a new wing of our building.  Back in August of 2009, a few months before our arrival in Los Alamos, Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church dedicated a new fellowship hall with more benefits and amenities than I can mention here.  

Although the photo above doesn't do it justice, I promise it's a beautiful building and, more than 2 years later, we are still learning how to best make use of it.  As great as it is, it came with a hefty mortgage, as you can imagine.

Fast forward to this past weekend's aforementioned fundraising event.  In order to raise money to pay down the mortgage, a host of people (working on several different committees) put together an evening to remember.  It included dinner theater, the silent auction of more than 60 items, 4 live auctions, and an incredible meal.  You can't even begin to imagine the planning and volunteer hours that went into this event.

Leni participated as a member of the cast of the comedy dinner theater production.  He attended weekly (sometimes semi-weekly) rehearsals since the first week in January.  I went to most of these practices to just enjoy the hilarity and, towards the end, be the prompter when they started rehearsing without scripts.  It was quite educational to see the behind scenes portion of such a production and begin to understand what really goes into any number of the stage performances that I've seen in my life.  

After having watched rehearsals and knowing which parts were coming easily and which were challenging to the cast, I was very excited and, admittedly, a little anxious for the one-night-only performance and I have to say, I wasn't in the least disappointed!

Here are some pictures, although I do have to admit that a couple of them were taken during the dress rehearsal when I had better views.

The entire cast

Leni SINGING during the show.  I spared him the torture of posting the video :)
While people were enjoying their meals during a break in the dinner theater scenes,  there were some karaoke numbers and it was super fun to see who came up and what they sang.  This rendition of Copacabana really got some of the members of the crowd off their feet!  Quite a highlight!

Adding to the fun of the evening was the presence of my brother and sister-in-law.  
 This was the first very large fundraising event that the church has done in several years and certainly since our arrival.  I knew that it was a complete success and that people had a great time but had no clue how it measured up to past events.  The next morning, while chatting with the choir director before the worship service, he told me that it was the best events he'd seen put on since he joined the congregation in 1991!

Bet you wish you'd heard Leni sing, huh?  It was....I'll say....priceless.  Stop by sometime...I'll show you the video :)

Keep It Real! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Conversation Between Expecting Parents

Husband: Hey!  Remember that time I did three loads of laundry and an enormous pile of dishes yesterday?

Wife: Yes I do. Remember how I've been carrying your son for the last 30 weeks?

Husband: Yes but you aren't considering all the work I did in such little time.  You see, work equals power multiplied by time.

Wife: .......shut up

Disclaimer: The names in this dialog have been withheld to protect the innocent....and the guilty.

In other news, today we crossed the 30 week mark.  Ten(ish) weeks to go!

Keep It Real!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Eyes on Politics

Two blog posts in three days.  To the few of you out there who have complained that I don't post your hearts out.

On a day when I'm not in a rush, my morning routine includes turning on the laptop and checking in with a few websites.  Email....obviously.  Then Facebook.  Sometimes Craigslist to see what weird stuff my fellow Los Alamosans are trying to sell.  But one place I always check on before signing off and finishing my getting-ready-process is the CNN website.

Today's headlines seemed like nothing new at first....kidnappings, threats of war, consumer warnings, etc.  That is, until I read the following headline: "Comedian Running for President"

Oh please let it be for real and let it be someone hysterical!

I clicked on the link and, to my great surprise, found that the one and only, Roseanne Barr, a Green Party member, is running for president.  See it for yourself here.

Oh my gosh!

She looks so much better than I remember her looking in the 90s
I couldn't believe it.  I quickly zipped over to the Wikipedia page on the candidates for the 2012 Presidential Election to double check.

That's right.  I confirmed what I read on CNN by double checking with Wikipedia.

We all know that, the way our country is politically shaped, no one who runs for the Green Party is going to become president.  Maybe someday in the future....but not any time soon.  But people who run for these smaller parties do so in an effort to get the word out and have some national publicity for their platform.  And good for them.

Man...I hope her campaign lasts a REALLY long time.  The comedic relief for me personally, even if she is completely serious as a "candidate", would be priceless in the midst of all the junk that comes with election season.

Now before you get too excited, settle down.  Nothing gets too darn serious until the Green Party Convention this summer.  As of current, there are a handful of other candidates also vying for the Green Party nomination.  But how could they put forth anyone else?  She's SO patriotic!!

So stay glued to whatever device through which you gather your political news, folks.  It's sure to be an entertaining ride, however long it lasts!

Keep It Real!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Back from Aspen

Yesterday, Leni and I returned from a week in Aspen with great friends that we knew from our Texas days when he was still in school.  We'd been looking forward to this trip since it's planning stages in the Fall and it was well worth the wait!

One house.  Six rooms.  Four bathrooms.  Thirteen people.

Leni and I, having the shortest distance to travel (7 hour drive), were the first to arrive and, after opening up the house that we had rented and greeting the second arriving couple, the next order of business was to zip down to the Aspen airport and pick up our good friends, Josh and Kalyn.  Next, was a trip to the grocery store to tackle a serious list of food to buy.  It took 6 of us a little over an hour to accomplish this.  Almost $450 later, we walked out with (almost) all the ingredients we used to feed that many people for the week.  The price sounds like a lot but when you divide it out on a per person-per day basis, it's incredibly darn reasonable!

Check out took so long!
After the return from the grocery store, more people started arriving and the excitement started mounting as people talked about looking forward to getting on the slopes the next day.  

I should probably mention that this was the 4th of several ski trips for which this group has gathered since 2008.  Not being able to ski these days, it was more of a chance to see good friends and hang out for me.  I spent a lot less time by myself than I had prepared for, which was a welcome change to my expectations.  One recent addition to the group (just married in this past Fall) only skied for a day and a half due to a pre-existing knee I got spend some time getting to know her.  Another guy had an unfortunate fall on his 3rd day and ended up with a messed up shoulder and not being able to go back out.  There was a day in the middle of the trip where several people, including Leni, took a rest day as well.  

During the days, I often drive to the ski resort to meet the gang for lunch.  During the first day that I was checking out the ski hill where the group spent most of their time (Snowmass), I found this funny sign outside a restaurant in the village:

Did you spot the grammatical error?

On two days, we drove into the city of Aspen to wander around the ritzy but beautiful downtown area.  As far as skiing goes, the Aspen area is actually comprised of 4 separate mountains and one of them had runs and lifts that came right into the downtown area:

Aspen Mountain as seen from downtown
During the week we were in Aspen, another of those 4 mountains, Buttermilk, was host to the 2012 Winter X Games.  

Saw some sweet runs through this half pipe super pipe
Of course, the finals of the best events were in the evenings of the last two nights but what we found was that parking was far too much of a hassle (lots were filling up in the early to mid afternoon!) to try to attend in person.  It was such a relief when the decision was made to just stay in our warm house and watch it on TV - no doubt providing better views and replays anyway than had we been standing there with a 1000 other people.  Because the dirty little secret about the X Games is that, for most of the events, unless you have a VIP pass, you end up watching it on an on-site big screen anyway because so much of the competition course is not visible from the bottom of the runs where the crowds are gathered or there are too many people blocking your view.

One set of events that I ended up enjoying that I didn't think I would was the snowmobile stuff.  I often think of snowmobilers as being reckless, loud and inconsiderate jerks - and that may still be the case!  But seeing them whip up in the air and move those heavy machines with their bodies was pretty darn incredible.  We got to see the first ever attempt at a double back flip in competition (unfortunately, he failed...broken arm...ouch!) followed by the first ever successful competition completion of a FRONT flip.  Think about it for a second.  A back flip is totally intuitive considering how the vehicle leaves the jump but a front flip is a completely different story.  Watch the video of it:

Absolutely insane.  Amazing moment for the rider as well as the sport in general.  Another record made on that same night was Shaun White's snowboard performance in the super pipe.  Athletes get 3 attempts in achieving the highest score and, like in the 2010 Olympics, he had secured a first place win after only the second round.  For his final run, he nailed all his tricks and received a first-time-ever-in-the-x-games perfect score of 100 from the judges.

The excitement for these records and events was palpable around both the local area as well as our house with our friends and I'm so pleased that we got to experience Aspen during this special event.

So we're back.  Tired, but pleased to have spent quality time with people we don't often see.  I'll admit that the 7 hour drive each way was uncomfortable at times for my back and it was a blessing to have Leni doing all the driving.

I can't wait to be able to ski again next year.

Keep It Real!

Monday, January 9, 2012


It's an exciting time around here....there are so many things to look forward to!  

16 days until....the (somewhat) annual ski trip with these folks:

We'll be coming from as far as Pennsylvania and Tennessee and as close as....New Mexico :)  The destination this time?  Aspen....where the beer flows like wine!  If you don't get that reference, we can't be friends.  I keep losing count but I think there are going to be 13 of us in attendance this year and we've rented a pretty awesome lodge for the week.  I won't be skiing (sad face) this year but look forward to watching ESPN's Winter X Games live in action at Aspen!

100 days until...the projected arrival of Mini Moore!  

Again, forgive the bad photo.  It's a picture of a picture.  
The photo above was taken at 20 weeks....which was 6 weeks ago.  Word on the street is that yes, we've got a name selected and no, you won't hear what it is until he arrives.  Stay tuned!

166 days best friend's wedding!

Janelle and Thomas will get married in June in Charlottesville, VA and I couldn't be more excited to be out there for the weekend.  Should be a pretty rockin' time....even if we'll be learning on the job how to travel with a 9-week-old :)

199 days until...the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. 

Is there still some lingering bitterness that Chicago was not selected for the host city for 2012?  Sure...but I think we can all move on and enjoy the wonder that is the Olympics.  Favorite summer events?  Swimming races, diving, and gymnastics!

So life is good :)  Hope there are things on your life's horizon that are getting you as excited.

Keep It Real!

P.S. Los Alamos Trails Goal Update: 25.6 of 29.5 miles completed, 2.9 miles to go.  No progress since the last post but with icy trails, I don't like to go hiking by myself these days.  I'll get there though!