Adios, 2018!

I’ve been in a foul mood for the last week. 2018 has felt both supremely long and shockingly short. And while I sometimes feel that everything my husband and I have built for our lives came crashing to a halt in the last two years or so, we have managed to still have some amazing moments.

… Harness in the good energy, block out the bad. Harness. Energy. Block. Bad. It’s like a carousel. You put the quarter in, you get on the horse, it goes up and down, and around. Circular, circle. Feel it. Go with the flow … (Happy Gilmore)

In the spirit of gratitude and reflection, here are the best moments of 2018:

January

  • I discovered others share my life mantra of Maximum Enthusiasm
  • I officially achieved my goal TSH! #thyca
  • I went fat biking – and discovered I enjoy getting fat all winter!
  • Two of my sisters and one of my nieces came to visit me. ❤
  • I adopted a senior beagle, who we named Beauregard, and my dog-mom life is basically complete.

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February

  • I demo’d a sweet Kona Big Honzo DL and questioned if I really wanted a full suspension mountain bike when I got a job
  • The Eagles won the Super Bowl!
  • My doggo had a successful surgery to remove a lump under his leg
  • I rode bikes with a guy in a velomobile

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March

  • Not one but TWO multi-day power outages! Great excuse to break out the camping gear at home. Thanks, Nor’Easters!
  • I became a Pactimo Brand Ambassador!
  • Hosted my first Trail Maintenance work day to repair a section of boardwalk that was devastatingly broken.

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April

  • I did a lot of gravel and mountain biking as the snow abated
  • One son was accepted to the university of his choice
  • My other son went mountain biking with me for the first time ❤
  • Wild green onions grew in our yard for literally no reason
  • Muddy Onion with Karen, Gail, and Matt!! (read the post – then go register for 2019)

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May

  • I celebrated 5 years of mountain biking with … more mountain biking
  • I was one of three speakers as part of REI’s Women’s Speaker Series, discussing trail construction and maintenance
  • Formally announced registration was open for The Dirty Apple Ride
  • Rode gravel in the rain with my friend Judy
  • Farmer’s Daughter Gravel Grinder with Matt!! (go register for 2019!)
  • My in-laws and two of my nieces came to visit! ❤

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June

  • Completed my fourth Ride for Homes, benefiting Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia
  • Girls + Matt Bike Camping weekend at Kingdom Trails was literally me living my best life  #ThankYouLandOwners
  • Rode my bike to the farm for their strawberry festival
  • Friday afternoons at the brewery, sitting on the patio and watching the tractors go by
  • 3 years cancer-free
  • Another child of mine graduated from high school

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July

  • Birthday!
  • Lots of route scouting and adjusting for The Dirty Apple
  • A hawk landed in the tree behind our house and ate a snake while the sparrows of our yard screamed and darted around. That was cool.
  • Mt Riga gravel and Three State rides
  • And I got a job!! … which also means significantly less bike time.

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August

  • Started that new job, which is right off the bike path but doesn’t have showers
  • Hatch chile verde – frozen leftover from the in-law visit in May – is food of the gods
  • NEW BIKE DAY!! Santa Cruz 5010c XX1. She’s orange and her name is Jezebelle.
  • Golden Gran Fondo, courtesy of Pactimo Brand Ambassador program!! (go register for 2019!)
  • Time in Colorado with my friends and family ❤
  • My friend, who passed away suddenly back in May, visited me in a dream. It was his birthday when I woke up.

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September

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October

  • The Dirty Apple Ride was a huge success! I learned a lot about bringing a bike event to fruition and can’t wait to open registration for 2019!
  • Learned Adventure Cycling has a two-week bike tour of Denali and added that to my list of Bike Things To Do In My Lifetime
  • Took one of my sons to see Nine Inch Nails with Jesus & Mary Chain.
  • Took my second ever mountain bike skills clinic and learned exactly how much better I can be with proper technique
  • Organized a trail care morning for my office
  • Summoned for Grand Jury Duty! … but ended up dismissed
  • Our trail town committee (I’m the VP!), along with tremendous volunteers, completed a 600′ boardwalk section of a new trail we’re building

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November

  • Surgery to remove a lump in my breast (it was benign).
  • Built a bog bridge over a section of a local trail that crosses a wetland with the help of 14 fellow mountain bikers. Trail Care is a thing!
  • Not enough riding because Recovery (who knew a 5cm incision would hurt so much?)
  • My son and his girlfriend came home for a weekend! ❤
  • My sister and her girlfriend and her daughter came to visit for almost the whole week of Thanksgiving and it was glorious! ❤

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December

  • Ice Weasels Cometh with Karen! This year was at an abandoned insane asylum. It was cold. And fun. And the only bike race I will ever do.
  • ClifBar brought back Peppermint Stick to the seasonal flavor line-up. Yes, this makes me happy.
  • Finally back on the bike more consistently – if only it would stop raining! #OperationAvoidTheTrainer
  • Installed a new mailbox post and mailbox, instantly improving the curb appeal of our home
  • Went on a night gravel ride to see ERDAJT, the world’s largest outdoor holiday light display
  • Celebrated 7 years as East Coast citizens
  • Had all of my babies home for the holidays ❤

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What does 2019 hold? Hopefully a lot more fun, family, friends, and bikes.

See you in the future!

Can You Tell Me How To Get …

This week my place of employment afforded me an opportunity of a lifetime – to visit the set of an iconic children’s television program.

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Let’s back this up a bit – when I was a child, pay-television was on the cusp of the tipping point where it would spill into our homes and lives and become a “necessity” not a luxury. My parents decided not to pay for television, so we only had broadcast stations – the local affiliates, PBS, and a handful of other channels. “Television is a thief – it steals your time”. My sisters and I were allowed to watch three out of four programs in the afternoon – Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, 3-2-1 Contact, and Reading Rainbow. Pick three, but never all four. Often, Reading Rainbow was the one cut – not because we didn’t love it but because we would tune in right away to Mr Roger’s Neighborhood.

Never mind that I have fond memories of watching Dr. Who with my dad on PBS or being scared watching “Jaws” on the local affiliate. Cheers and Hill Street Blues were some of my favorite evening programs growing up – I got none of the jokes but thought the theme songs were so cool. Imagine my amusement years later when I went to college, got cable TV and binged for the first couple months. Wait – there’s SOMETHING ELSE that is TOTALLY AWESOME coming on next? Why yes, I’d be happy to watch more television!

Television truly is a thief – it stole a LOT of my time in college.

Anyway – I used to watch Sesame Street all the time. As a suburban kid, the concept of the urban neighborhood was foreign and exotic. I wanted so badly to go to Sesame Street. Even though the end credits said it was in New York, NY what that really meant was I was nowhere close to ever getting to Sesame Street.

My junior year in high school I took a media class and learned about radio and television. I loved the radio portion of the class but really loved the television part more. So much so that I volunteered to be the student producer/director on the program about the new high school being built for the school district’s television station. I produced two broadcast-half-hour shows and loved every minute of it. Looking back now, the shows are terribly amateur – but at the time I was very proud of my work.

Naturally I majored in television production in college. I’m one of the “lucky” people who then found a job in my industry. I have worked my way up from being a tape jockey – pushing huge carts of tapes from the library to the control rooms at a massive operations facility – to where I am today – analyzing ratings to drive changes to our schedule that will increase and retain viewership, plan special programming, figure out the promotional plans for network priorities, and manage a team that does the day-to-day work necessary to keep a cable network on the air.

Not ironic or anything that the girl who hardly watched television now makes a living working in television.

Anyway – back to the point. I am finally able to tick the box next to “Get To Sesame Street” on my list of lifelong dreams. Being on set is somewhat magical – children everywhere watch this program. And here they are … making the program! The iconic steps, the street sign. Mr Hooper’s Store. Big Bird’s nest. And I had  the opportunity to meet Cookie Monster and have my photo taken with him. The four and five year old me was giddy with excitement!

THE Cookie Monster and I
THE Cookie Monster and I

 

But it doesn’t escape my thoughts that for these people working on the production – the puppeteers, the cameramen, the directors, editors and puppet wranglers – this is just what they do every day.

And in that, I became very aware and thankful for the opportunities – the ups and down – that have led me to this place my life. That something we take for granted may be someone else’s magical moment.

Take that with you, meditate on it. There is beauty in the routine, the mundane, the things you move through in your everyday life.

See you on the road.