Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Best Day Ever - Birchbox

So today was the day I have been waiting for. I finally got an email that I could sign up for my very own birchbox subscription. There is a waiting list after all and I've been waiting an eternity three weeks. Birchbox is $10 a month (only $10!!) and they send you a cute little box with all kinds of samples of beauty and health stuff. Last month they had ear bud headphones and lip stain and a protein bar. Check it out here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Our Mini Vacation

We took the kiddos to Adventureland on Saturday. The weather was gorgeous - 73!! It was even too cold to go swimming - we had a great time.

Did you know that Adventureland does not sell a single item of food that is not fried or full of fat?! Thank goodness there was a ton of walking! I was able to maintain my weight.

Here's some photos:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rock climbing is for boys too

I FINALLY got my hubby to go rock climbing with me last week. Since I had already taken the intro course (click here to read about that), I just needed to "test" again which is where they watch me climb to make sure I remember the class. There was another couple there and the guy was there for his "test" and the girlfriend needed to go through the intro class. SO, we swapped partners and the guy, who is Chad, and I do our tests together while my hubby and his girlfriend go through the class.

Now, the girlfriend is about 90 pounds soaking wet and my husband is an easy 200 pounds all day long. You are supposed to climb in partners so you can be tethered to the person on the ground and they control the rope and catch you on the rope should you fall. When there is a weight difference between partners of more than 20 pounds things get entertaining.

My husband let her climb first and she did her unannounced fall no problem. My hubby was able to catch her on the rope and she was lowered to safety without harm. When it was my hubby's turn to climb and the girlfriend was his anchor, Chad and I quit climbing to watch what would happen.

While they are rigging up the ropes and tying knots, I noticed the instructor pulled a tether cord from the ground mats and tethered her to the floor. When my hubby did his unannounced fall she was completely unprepared. When his 200 pounds came down on the rope it yanked the rope in her hands and she started jogging towards the wall in an uncontrolled fiasco. She hit the end of the tethered cord and it stopped her from breaking her nose on the wall and zinging to the top.

I almost peed myself!! It was the funniest damn thing I've ever seen: the horror on my husband's face and the complete shock on her face from being thrown towards the wall. Priceless.

Needless to say the instructor stepped in and helped to control my husband's decent down the wall and the ditzy, weightless girlfriend failed the class. Which proves to me that too skinny will kill people - so eat you twig!!

Despite the fact that husband almost plummeted to his death, he loves to rock climb with the proper partner (me). Thanks goodness, because I really love rock climbing and now he does too.

Here's the hubby tying his knot to get ready to climb.

Here we are after our climb!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Yummy recipe

I just saw a wonderful looking recipe at Mama Laughlin's bog: check it out here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rock Climbing Is For Girls

My wonderful friend, Andrea, joined me for ladies' night at the local rock climbing wall. We thought we would just show up and climb some big ass rock wall - much to our dismay, we had to go through a 1-hour training course. <sigh> Fortunately, the instructor kept the mood light and was funny the whole way through.

I'm so glad we took the training coarse because you climb in pairs. One person climbs the rock wall and the other stays on the ground and "belays" (which means pulls the slack in the rope and stops you from plummeting to your death). Without this training, we both would be dead for sure. :)

At first I was intimidated, but quickly realized that rock climbing is a lot of leg strength and little arm strength. After my first climb to the top, I was hooked. We "practiced" going up and down over and over and switched off. As it turns out, my friend Andrea, is a bit of a screamer.... Every time she got a little higher she would screech and people would look to make sure she wasn't dying. It made for a VERY interesting night and she had the attention of our instructor a little well - he loved her! And it was great to watch them.

I will definitely be doing this again and really hope to make it a weekly event. Hopefully, I can get the hubby to go soon. It burns 900 calories in an hour and will tone arms like nothing other.

Here's the climbing walls at UNO:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Owl Ride 2012

I somehow managed to talk my husband into doing the 2012 Omaha Owl Ride. Basically, it's over 2,000 bicyclists riding a 17-mile coarse from downtown Omaha through midtown and to Aksarben Village and back. It started at 11pm so we rode in the dark with lights on our bikes. It was tough and took us about 2 hours, but it was fun and worth it. Here's the photos:

Here we are getting ready.

 They had flame throwers for waiting entertainment.

TONS of people showed up!!

We made it half way!!

Some people got really creative!!

How I almost died this weekend

So through the Nebraska Adventurer Group (NAG), I signed up for a beginner course of rappelling Saturday morning. I thought it sounded cool and had thoughts of Mission Impossible in my head. After I rented a harness and geared up with my hydration pack and hiking boots, I met up with the other three victims volunteers and we set off to the cliff top to start our training.

Here I am all geared up and ready to jump to my potential death learn to rappel.

We walk over to the edge of the dirt cliff and I'm feeling pretty damn brave until I am about 5 feet from the edge and can see straight down 300 feet. That's when the tunnel vision and nausea started. Now I am not afraid of heights but I am afraid of falling.

Here's a view from the top:

Our instructor tells us that we have to "scramble" down 20 feet to get to the actual cliff. Translation: We have to climb down 20 feet on our own not hooked to any safety equipment and pray we don't break our necks in the process.

Here is the "scramble" down section:

This is when I should have turned around and gone home, but nope, my stubborn pride would not let me. So I "scramble" down the cliff side (quite ungraciously might I add) and make it to the top of the cliff side. I hook on all my ropes and equipment and stand with my back facing the cliff and my toes on the edge. I close my eyes and I can hear the birds and feel the sun beating down on us. I'm already sweating.

I look over at the instructor and wait for him to tell me this is all a practical joke and we can go home now but instead he mutters, "Now lean back on the rope and let go."

Now folks, there comes a point in your life when questions pop into your head such as, "Is my life insurance paid up?" and "Did I feed my fish this morning?" and I couldn't control all the thoughts wondering through my brain.

I take a giant deep breath, secretly hoping I would float away. But instead, I lean back on the rope and let go. I suppose instinct kicked in because I didn't die, instead I slowly let the rope slip through the devices and I started my descent down the cliff.

Here's a shot looking up 20 feet:

The trip down only lasted about 20 minutes and was really quite enjoyable. When we reached the bottom of the 200 foot rope, and we were still dangling 100 feet from the bottom, the instructor says, "Ok, now it's time to change rigging to prepare for ascent."

Ascent - as in climbing back up? Shit - why did I not think that we would have to climb back up the damn rope. I look up and I look down, thinking maybe if I tuck and roll I could land the 100 foot drop safely.

I reluctantly rig up the ascent gear and start to climb with all the upper body strength I have. It's a very slow and tedious process and shreds your arms from the weight. Half way through I am ready to give up. But it dawns on me that there is no quitting when you're suspended from a rope 100 feet from the top. Where could I go? No where but up.

I believe that when you reach a degree of complete desperation that your body starts survival mode. I glance up the cliff and just decide that this fun little "adventure" is now over and I want to take a shower. I use every last ounce of energy I have to finish my climb to the top.

Once I reached the cliff top and was safely sitting on the ground, I thought finally it's over and I can limp back to my truck. BUT NO!

There is still another 20 foot "scramble" to the top. WTF? I'm never leaving my house again!

With the help of the other victims volunteers, I reach the top and fall over gasping for air.

After my body stops shaking, I assess my wounds. A horrible gash on my left hand from rope burn, 4 more blisters on my hands and a variety of scrapes and small punctures from tree branches. I hike back to my truck and climb in with the AC blasting and take a quick "rest".

In hindsight, it was something I can cross off my bucket list, but I do not believe it is something I will do again until I am in better shape and all healed up.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My first hiking trip

I recently joined the Nebraska Adveturers Group through Meetup. I joined two weeks ago and have now gone on two 5-mile hikes through local forestry areas. The first time was not so great as I decided that I should wear long pants (100% cotton) to fend off the ticks and I also wear a large cotton shirt. It was 90 degrees at 8am that morning - what the hell was I thinking for wearing cotton?!

Here I am wearing all my cotton! 

After I endured hot, humid weather and my clothes drenched with sweat and clinging to every unappealing crevice, I decided I needed to go shopping for work out clothing. Where you say? Where else - Target, duh? They have a complete line of Duo Dry clothing which will not drench with sweat and come in some really cool neon colors. So I bought two outfits and now I'm ready!

That's me in the black.