Sunday, May 25, 2014


Ride for a Reason aka RFAR. Last year when Lowell did it for the third consecutive year, I had a 6-week old and a 19-month old at home and was like, "Nuh-uh. You are NOT doing this ride again. I don't really want to be a single mom." It's dicey enough for ANYONE to be cycling down the highway, but it's downright deadly for a blind man. I felt sort of bad about my demand as he LOOOOOOVES the ride and what it stands for, so we decided to do it together this year. On a tandem bicycle. With ME as the captain.

We have five whole training rides under our belts thus far, and we're totally nailing it. The weight difference was a little sketchy initially (our bike is built for the heavier person in the front, and I am definitely not the heavier one of us), but we quickly adapted. We've done hills, wind, distance, city, and highway cycling.... pretty much everything but cycling through fire and water.

VERY excited about surviving our first ride.
Woohoo! Our first Whoop up Drive (aka ginormously huge hill) summit!

To Magrath and back we go!

Magrath is the town where I work, and never will I drive this route with the same mind set.
This morning, we trekked to Fort Macleod and back (just under 100km) and surprised ourselves by our speed (maintaining an average of over 30km/hr with a maximum of 60km/hr). We could have done without the shifting issues while climbing the biggest hill, but Lowell's a pretty handy dude and he fixed things right up nice.

All of these rides of ours have included a first of some sort or another. This ride was our first divided highway AND our first wipe out. Not to worry, only our pride was wounded as we were basically stopped at the Tim Horton's drive-thru when we keeled over. HAHA. We made it safely alllllll the way to Fort Macleod then pretty much bonked in a parking lot. I failed to communicate to Lowell that I was stopping, and he hadn't expected the ordering thingie to come up so quickly. His shoes were still clipped in, you see... oops. Had it not been for my extraordinary strength, he would have been completely on the ground with the bike on top of him. Luckily for him, however, his wife is basically a (super humble) superhero and I lifted the bike before we both resembled roadkill (*patting self on back*).

The dudes in the truck in front of us- as well as the rapidly growing line behind us- got a good little show. They also got to wait extra long to order/eat because our bike didn't activate the sensor, so after a few moments of awkwardly talking to the machine and receiving only silence in return, I clip-clopped my way to knock on the window. All rather a comedic sight to be sure.

After a delightful little picnic with our music cranked (oh, did I mention we have a fancy shmancy speaker system on our bike?), we safely cycled our way home again.

Such a sexy eater.
We took this one for Fraser and Stefan... a choo choo train!
Lowell thought he was soooo sneaky taking a whiz on the side of the highway. teeheehee.

My parents (who had the boys) went out for a drive to find us, and snapped this action shot. And the next one.

I'm 95% confident that we will still be alive AND married at the completion of the 340km expedition from Banff to Southern Alberta Bible Camp. Now that we're used to the bike, I feel I'm much stronger with Lowell (as opposed to on my own bike) and I quite do love it. Probably because Lowell is physically a heck of a lot stronger than me and I like to let him prove his muscular manliness (by being the main source of power). I frequently find myself belting out the tunes then realizing, "Oh man. I must not be working hard enough if I'm able to sing at the top of my lungs while we're climbing this gigantor hill. I better at least pretend to work harder." Lowell is a powerhouse, and I very much benefit. Very very much.

My parents threatened to withhold sponsorship until we got our will drawn up. Well, we now have a legal will, so if THAT'S what was holding you back, then you can just go right on ahead and sponsor us now. Right here.

No, but for real. If you feel like this is a ride that you would like to get behind, and help send kiddies to camp who otherwise couldn't afford it... then please do!

Thanks for your support- both prayer and financial!

By the way, this is in no way a race. We look forward to savoring our time on the road, and stopping at every coffee shop along the way. Which reminds me... we're also accepting donations for our personal coffee fund. Haha kidding (sort of). ;)

T minus 5 days until go time and we're getting pretty pumped!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Stefan is one!

Okay, Stefan turned one a month ago, and we had his party ON his birthday but I've been avoiding posting about it because I had been hoping to post his one year video at the same time. Well, that's not happening anytime soon, and his special day is quickly fading from my increasingly cluttered mind, so I thought I'd better document the occasion pronto.

A few months before Stefan's first birthday, Chelsea shocked me to my very core by bringing up Stefan's quickly approaching birthday (which I had not yet considered). She proceeded to ask who his best friend was and what we were planning to do. After staring at her like a deer in headlights for a few moments, I searched my brain for a minute then responded, "Nico?... Wanna come over on April 12th?"

And that is what happened. Uncle Nicholas was working, but we met Auntie Chels, Nico, & Summer at Nana & Papa's for some hot tubbin, pizza-eatin fun!

It was on this, his birthday, that Stefan first saw how much he looks like his mommy!
Stefan and Summer... pretty smitten.
 I had wonderful visions of the boys happily frolicking in the superhero capes/masks I made for them (thereby conveniently providing an ideal photo op), as well as experimenting with 3-D sidewalk chalk (yes... it exists... and I'm curious about it too) and giant bubble wands. HOWEVER, the weather was ridiculous (as this winter has been RELENTLESS), and Fraser was the only one who seemed willing to give the whole superhero-mask-and-cape combo an honest go.

(Apparently I was VERY excited about the whole idea)
 Oh well, we have the entire summer to pull such things out, and at least the hot tub was a hit. Especially since Uncle G ended up joining us for a dip!

Now, if that Sammy isn't just the CUTEST!?! It was her first time in that adorable swimsuit.

Summer's first time in the hot tub was a grand success!

Please note the SNOW behind us (cringe).

We also, of course, had cake. And as any creative bone is my body was on hiatus, I repeated Fraser's first birthday dump truck cake. Easy peasy lemon squeezey.

On Fraser's first birthday, he didn't show interest in eating the cake- likely because he had not yet had any sweets and didn't really grasp the importance and deliciousness of sugar. Stefan, on the other hand, has been on sweets since he's been on solids, so I was expecting his face to be planted directly IN the cake. Like, immediately.

I was a little disappointed with Stefan's initial disinterested response to the cake. To his credit, he likely thought it was ACTUALLY dirt. My Dad took a piece to give to him, and he picked it up- along with the crumby that fell on the floor- and placed them gently back into the truck.

Once his attention was brought to the gummy worms, he began to clue in that this was indeed something special... and delicious.

After Nico & Fraser helped him polish off the gummy worms, Nico & Stefan continued to double fist the chocolate cake and stuff their faces while Fraser practised for the Olympics beside them. Hah! This is sooo typical.

As simple as the festivities were- and maybe BECAUSE they were so simple- it was a fantastically successful event. Happy Birthday big (and I DO mean big- in the 99th percentile all around) boy!