On Rower, on Lifter, on Baker, on Blitzen

It’s not that I’ve taken a break from blogging so much as I’ve taken a break from… leaving the house.

In early November, Dan and I flew home to Cincinnati to see family for the holidays. In the 3 weeks since then, our lives have been fairly quiet — relatively speaking.

Here are a few things I’ve managed to get out of bed for recently:

Christmassing 

How on earth is it time for our second Christmas in Colorado? Dan has strung the outdoor lights and we have a tree — that’s as far as we’ve made it. We have time yet.

We bought our tree from Jax, the same as last year. In fact, I could have used last year’s picture for this year:

Yeti Cave

My beloved gym. I am approaching a year of membership there, and continue to find myself completely smitten with the place. One recent milestone: a 200-pound deadlift, which I’ve been dreaming about for months.

When I was looking for old Christmas tree pictures, I found a photo of one of my first deadlifts. I believe that’s a 15lb training bar with two 10lb plates, soooooo… 35lb. (This was likely from a Fundamentals class when I was first learning the form, but still.)

Another fantastic milestone was a recent marathon row. Though there were gym members who completed this 26.2-mile row challenge solo, I joined a 4-person team with Hannah, Linda and Tony. The row took us about 3.25 hours, with each of us rowing around 10,500 meters divided into 5- or 10-minute sections.

(These next two photos are courtesy of Coach Brittany.)

Baking

What did you think all the rowing and weightlifting was for?

I am still adjusting my recipes for high-altitude baking, particularly for cookies, but I can get chocolate cake to work.

Puzzling

I know, I know, it’s very Normal Rockwell of us. I used to do puzzles with my grandmother quite often, but I hadn’t touched one in years until Dan’s father got us started on them again during a family vacation. Now that it grows dark at 4pm and I can only watch so much Shark Tank, we’ve been sitting down with puzzles at night.

This one below is a Liberty Puzzles honest-to-god jigsaw puzzle, with fat wooden pieces that only fit together when using great care and attention. Liberty includes insanely detailed pieces of “whimsy,” such as the buffalo that I pried out below (see very top for the piece, or look inside the large buffalo for where the piece is missing).

Volunteering

My gym buddy Linda is also my neighbor buddy and my civics buddy and also just my best friend buddy. (Also my blog reader buddy. Hi Linda!) She turned me on to a fantastic event supporting the Food Bank for Larimer County, Bread ‘n’ Boards. A local lumber mill saves their wood scraps throughout the year, then creates beautiful breadboards and sells them for donations. Local woodworkers also create stunning works of art that are auctioned for the cause.

Linda and I helped them set up for the event. In the photo above you can see Linda labeling some of the artisan boards with types of wood and descriptions of the designs.

Opting Outside 

That “it’s dark at 4pm” comment was no joke. It can be challenging to get outside at this time of year. While we’ve mostly become weekend warriors, Dan and I both try to get out whenever the weather is even remotely reasonable.

Sure, he looks content here, but the wind was so strong that I had to chase my hat across a field.

Hello, gorgeous.
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