Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I got this latest letter for Dear Me just before Thanksgiving. It's from someone I really admire and I was quite delighted when he asked me if he could submit something even though he was not a girl.

I was standing in the kitchen half watching TV and half making dinner and then suddenly I was definitely crying.

This letter made me think a lot about some of the difficult things my own family has been through-divorce, illness, remarriage-and how you don't always react to those things the way you think you will. Or hope you will. There are situations I would have changed, but some I wish I would have been less hard on myself about. I'm trying to see things more as opportunities to learn and not always as the final performance. The last line of this letter is pretty stellar

“...the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.”

Sunday, November 28, 2010


English teachers can correct me but is it ironic that I kept talking about how I was just going to drink a ton of Diet Coke on vacation and then Brenda and I got delayed and instead of spending Monday on the beach we did this?

And is it more than a little funny that this is right across the street from that?

We did eventually make it here

(this being the last photo taken before I broke my 4 day old camera)

And so despite broken cameras and missed planes and too much sunburn, it was a wildly successful Panamanian Thanksgiving.

I thought about a lot of things-goals for 2011, the power of two, new places I want to go, lessons I can learn from Andre Agassi (not a joke), possible color schemes for my bedroom, where I want to be in 10, 15, 20 years...but mostly I counted blessings. My list probably sounds a lot like yours-family, friends, job, home, car, freedom-all the standard stuff.

By far the thing I am the very most grateful for is one whole year of feeling like I am just where I want to be. Professionally, personally, even the bumpiness of my love life (there is no non-lame sounding way to say that is there? Love life? barf.), I have no business complaining. And sometimes I still do but I'm also thankful that I usually manage to laugh at myself pretty quickly when things like delayed planes and broken cameras get my blood pressure rising. It is humbling to see how active the Lord has been in granting wishes I probably don't even deserve.

Tonight my sunburn still feels a little raw and the contrast of my pink skin with the snow that is finally falling in Colorado Springs is making me giggle a little bit while I listen to some Christmas music. Not a bad end to the first of this many holidayed season.

And for you...an artist I'm falling madly in love with of late. Rambling Man by Laura Marling. I posted her song "Ghosts" a few weeks back and then found this live version that is just stunning...I love the imagery of the first verse

He walked down a busy street
Staring solely at his feet
Clutching pictures of past lovers at his side
Sat at the table where she sat
And removed his hat
In respect of her presence
Presents her with the pictures and says
‘These are just ghosts that broke my heart before I met you.
These are just ghosts that broke my heart before I met you’

He opened up his little heart
Unlocked the lock that kept it dark
And read a written warning
Saying ‘I’m still mourning
Over ghosts
Over ghosts
Over ghosts
Over ghosts that broke my heart before I met you’

More to come...

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Leaving for Panama in the morning. Going to see how long I can go without getting on the www.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! I hope it's full of family and friends and really, really great stories.

Friday, November 19, 2010


All I want to do today is listen to Prince. And get all my work done so I can leave for Thanksgiving vacation with nothing on my brain but how many Diet Cokes I can reasonably drink before noon.

Here are some of my favorite Prince tracks that should pick your day up too:

I Wanna Be Your Lover

Let's Go Crazy

And my very all time favorite
Little Red Corvette

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


One of my goals for 2011 is to be nicer. I mean, I still want to be able to laugh at the people on Jersey Shore because they are awful. But for everyday situations, with real live friends and family-I would just like to live by that old quote "be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

One of the things that has made me want to try a little harder has been the letters I've gotten for the Dear Me blog. Many of them have come from women I thought I knew well but I had no idea the fears and worries and past experiences they were carrying around.

One of my favorites came from Megan in Utah who wrote about how scared she was when she discovered she was pregnant much earlier than she and her young husband had planned. I am ashamed to admit this but I have operated under the assumption that all those 19-21 year olds getting married in droves in my home state just couldn't wait to start churning out babies ASAP. Megan's letter made me feel like kind of a jerk for lumping all the girls who made different decisions than I did together. And to be completely honest-some of the things she was afraid of feel like things that wouldn't be any less scary if you were having a baby at 41 instead of 21.

So when I received this letter from a sexual abuse survivor, I again resolved to be more gentle with those around me. In her letter she talks about falling into stereotypical promiscuous behavior for an abused girl. How many times in high school did I look at the girls who had a "reputation" and think I was better than they were? How many of them might have had a story like this one?

I don't know this woman, but I admire her bravery. For writing this letter but more for refusing to give in to being a victim. It sounds like she has broken the cycle for her family and I think her daughters are very lucky to have such a strong example in their lives.

So Replikate readers...what is your story?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This is why having kids will be awesome. You can teach him all the stuff you both love and then see who wins when the kid grows and chooses which thing he likes better:

Cycling with Dad.

Or MNF with Mom.

Having nephews is pretty rad too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Monday

An old friend was in town this weekend. We got to spend some quality time just hanging out, eating good food, talking about music and teasing him into doing the Incline where I remembered that boys who are twice my height make that thing EVEN WORSE. It was a nice few days even though today I'm popping advil like it's my job.

I've been listening to a lot of great new music this weekend, this one from my sister's Fall mix though has been a real standout. It's just beautiful and perfect for grey November days. There is a little point at 1:30 where the female voice comes in and it almost stops my heart. I can't stop putting it on repeat.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

House Call

OK, I do realize that I've been sort of broken record-like about The Head and the Heart as of late. And if you also happen to follow me on Twitter or Facebook you are most certainly ready for me to move on. But this post here is not as much about them specifically as it about the lovely sensory experience we had Tuesday night when they so graciously agreed to play in a living room for a tiny little group of slightly obsessed fans.

My friend Heather, who I met through my friend Dainon, and who has become quite dear to me since I got to Colorado Springs, saw The Head and the Heart in Seattle this summer and being the savvy music blogger she is, realized what a gem she had discovered. She got to be friends with the folks in the band and somehow talked them into playing a small house show here as they passed back through on their way to shows Westward.

I love music (duh) but sometimes you go to a show and think, "these guys are better on a CD in my house." And whatever, I'm getting old and sometimes I don't want to be out too late and I don't want beer spilled on me and I don't want to be ten years older than the boys who hit on me. So while I still love a good show and I'm willing to get over all of the above, it doesn't happen nearly as often as it used to. And I'm pickier about who I'll see. All of this to say that lately, the shows I do choose to go to get under my skin and into my soul in a different way than they used to.

Tuesday night after I spent the entire day completely distracted by pre-event excitement, I picked up my other lovely Heather and we headed over to the house. It was a big empty place that Colorado College uses for gatherings and was just perfect for such a performance. We got there as both bands were unloading their stuff and I tried really hard not to just grin like a stupid groupie while they set up. I did have one "OMG!" moment when Heather introduced me to the lead singer, I mentioned something nerdy about how the sweatshirt he was wearing was an as of yet unreleased Nike model (they have friends with a hookup) and he said, "wait, do you have a blog? Did you write about us? I read that". Blush, why yes, I did write a completely drooly post about you guys this week. So much for not looking like a groupie eh?

Quite a few of my friends were there so we visited for a bit and then Heather and I went like little moths to a flame when we heard a guitar in one of the side rooms. We sat outside and listened to the boys rehearse and erupt into spontaneous Neutral Milk Hotel covers.

I think I could have just sat right there the whole night and been totally satisfied. One of the things I love about my job and one of the reasons I have stuck around in the sports industry even as a non-athlete has always been how inspiring slash fun slash rewarding slash all the words I can think of are so cliche it is to work in a place where you get to be around people who are truly the best in the world at what they do. Whether it's the athletes or the coaches or even the people I work with every day-no one is here because they didn't have anything better to do than work really hard to get a job in a super competitive arena that other people fantasize about. That's how I felt Tuesday night as we were listening to the guys from the band fool around with arrangements and tempo and harmonies. How you can not be filled up when you get to be around people doing the thing they love the very most and oh yeah, they kind of rule at it?

The Lumineers from Denver opened and they are pretty delightful themselves. Heather caught one of the highlights of their set:

The THATH came on and well-I don't know if I even breathed. It was dark and they move around a lot and my camera is old but this is pretty much what they are always doing-making beautiful music and harmonizing and looking happy to be there.

When they played Down in the Valley I was quite certain my little heart would burst, but I settled for just letting tears stream instead. That song is so ingrained in this particular phase of my life now and it was a sweet moment to stand five feet from the source and sway along with my friends. This stuff just does not get old for me.

After pretty much everyone left several awesome things happened...a sing along in a dark kitchen, a handstand contest, lost of karate kicks and this:

I didn't get much of it but yes, yes, a thousand time yes to tipsy musicians breaking into spontaneous Bon Iver covers at midnight. And yes to getting moments like this to make you just enjoy the hell of where you are right now.

Some photos from the night...

Heather (the organizer and music blogger extraordinaire) and Mundi, just being beautiful.

Aaron, fellow music lover and excellent climbing teacher, just being Aaron.

Darius (my climbing/cycling/boy advice consultant) and Adrienne. Just being adorable.

Heather, Paul and Julie, just happy to be there.

James, another climbing buddy and frequent photo friend, and me, just posing.


We have the day off today. I'm going to sleep in. And go for a long run. And listen to music. And write letters. And go to lunch. And buy a swimsuit for panamaintendays.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Brilliant night last night with The Head and the Heart. I need a little time to properly capture what was really quite a tender night for me. And we clearly had fun.

I have a new post up on Dear Me and this one is from a boy!!! About three or so years ago I started getting comments on Replikate from a guy in Texas. They were always very nice and complimentary but I had no idea who he was. A little correspondence over the years and I still don't think we've figured out how he stumbled on my blog but I've enjoyed having a fan. I read his blog too and what I've learned over the years is that he's a great husband, a terrific dad, and a true music lover. So I was pretty delighted when he sent me a Dear Me letter.

I've been pretty focused on letters from women but I'm so thrilled to add a male perspective. Sometimes I think don't realize how much we have common but also how our differences make us better equipped to help each other. As usual, it's a great letter with some great perspective.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Loud and Clear

My sister Emily has a lot of talents. One of them is the ability to make a really terrific fall mix.

Her 2010 version came in the mail this weekend so I've been listening fairly obsessively. I'm sure there are more tunes that will make their way onto this blog but here are two that have me smitten.

This is "If He Breaks Your Heart" by Jeremy Warmsley. It's kind of adorable:

If he treats you right
I will be his friend
I will never sing
This song out loud
If he breaks your heart
I will break his legs
If he breaks your heart
I will break his face

The obvious problem with this song being that the boys who tell you that they will kill that guy if he hurts you are usually related to you, gay, or firmly in your friend zone. But I do love my gay/related/friend zone boys dearly and I do love this tune.

This one is called The Running Kind by Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers. It's a great song and I'll bet just about anyone can identify with the lyrics:

Wanted you to stay forever and a night
But come to find, you are just another of the running kind

Happy Fall y'all.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


There was a moment my freshman year of college when I specifically told myself, "remember this." It was May and I had just gotten one of the coveted appointed positions in the Student Government cabinet for the next year. We had locked down a stellar cast of roommates for the fall semester, the sorority I wanted to join was courting me and the cute runner I had been crushing on for six months was taking me to the Spring Formal. In sharp contrast to the first quarter where I cried myself to sleep every night and couldn't seem to make a friend to save my life, it appeared that life was finally playing right into my "college will be better" fantasies.

But even at that perfect moment I knew that there were plenty of other shoes to fall and I wanted to slow myself down, absorb and love what was happening RIGHT THEN and also realize that it wouldn't always be like that. But also to know for sure that periods of amazingness are possible and that they often follow periods of utter suck.

I have mentioned before that things have been pretty dreamy ever since I moved to Colorado. So I was due I guess. And that's why when it sort of felt like the bottom dropped out on me a couple of weeks ago I just decided-fine, I'll take it. I can be sad and I can cry and I can be frustrated. But I'l take it. Because I have been here before. And I will be here again. But awesome things will happen between now and then and if I have to deal with this to get more of that then fine, I'm in.

And maybe that's why God elected to throw me a bone last week. I always say when I'm telling people about my job that for every hour you spend talking to gold medalists, you spend six months folding clothes in a warehouse. But this week was one of the weeks that makes the fact that I'll spend the next six days slaving over a forecasting spreadsheet worth it.

My boss and I and two of the Marketing folks flew up to Portland on Tuesday to meet with our athletic apparel sponsor to go through the 2012 Team USA line. We sat in a locked showroom with no photos allowed and saw amazing product that was really athlete focused. It was a crazy few days with a TON of information and decisions to be made but it thrills me to my very toes and completely overwhelms me to be part of this.

So there was that. But then personally it was just like an explosion of little moments that absolutely made me feel like the Lord is so aware of me and the desires of my heart. A selection of highlights...

-Tuesday night. Dinner in Portland. A guy from the swoosh's hockey division who lives in Toronto was in town so he came along. We're doing the typical career path walk through that you do when you meet a new person in your industry. He mentions ESPN and Sports Illustrated, I mention PUMA and the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. He says-I know there were a lot of people there but did you perchance know a Lori M? And my mouth drops open because yeah, she's one of my dearest dears. Turns out his wife is tight with her too and suddenly the world is smaller. And it's nicer. Everyone else is feeling good from the red wine, I'm drunk on connections.

-Later that night I meet up with two friends who have both moved to Portland in the last year. They didn't know each other yet but I was convinced it would be a girl-match. We met up at a coffee shop and ended up shutting the place down. We laughed and we commiserated about everything from jobs to boys to religion. I stared at the ceiling of my hotel room until the wee hours feeling humbled by the quality and quantity of outstanding people in my life.

-Friday I flew back to the Springs just in time for my friend Aubrey, in town for work, to pick me up and we headed to Denver for dinner. We caught up, ate amazing food and she told me all about the new boy in her life. It was great to see her and to hear that such good things are happening for her.

-Aubrey had a plane to catch and dropped me off at a BBQ joint slash bowling alley where my current favorite band was playing later that night. All my favorite Colorado Springs girls were there, my blogger friend Katie who I had yet to meet came with her husband and they were totally fabulous and then the show was just kinda perfect. A local band called the Lumineers opened. They came out onto the floor for one of their songs and I had the honor of holding their glockenspiel (this is not a euphemism) during the number. The energy was crazy and I could not stop grinning for rest of their set.

-I can't possibly say enough good about The Head and the Heart. My favorite music blogger and good friend Heather has been raving about them for months now and after Down in the Valley became the soundtrack to my roadtrip to SLC, I was really excited about seeing them live. I know I use words like "amazing" and "best ever" kind of a lot. But take me seriously here, their set was magical. This is a band that is juuust on the verge of taking off and you can feel that you are watching something really special. Their voices blend beautifully, the melodies feel like songs you've just always known and the lyrics talk about home and new beginnings and love in a way that had me in tears for most of the show.

2010 has really been a great year for music-I can rattle off ten great albums from this year without even trying-and still this one stands out. Heather talked them into coming through the Springs and doing a house show on their way back West so Tuesday I will sit in my friend Anna's living room and-this is just a guess-swing from grinning to crying for a few hours.

The world is good. People are good. Things don't always go the way I want them to but I'm learning that they often turn out better when I loosen my grip a little.

Watch these videos and see if you don't feel lighter.

This one was recorded in a club so it's not as clear but listen to those harmonies! and the time changes! swoooooon!

Saturday, November 06, 2010


This was a pretty terrific week and I have a longer post about it but I wanted to post this photo my mom sent this week.

That's my Aunt Barbara on my super handsome Grandfather's lap. And my cute red headed mom standing behind him. I think it looks like something straight out of Life Magazine.

Take more photos people, it's all you have 50 years later.

Friday, November 05, 2010


When I was in ninth grade, my parents announced that baby number six was on the way. I was fourteen years old and completely horrified. My parents were certainly too old to still be doing that and hey, five kids seemed like PLENTY to an oldest child who was already sharing a room with a fourth grader.

So I told my them I was never going to love the baby and they could forget about me ever babysitting or helping with "it." It sound selfish and teenager-y but at the time I just couldn't understand any of it.

I'm sure it's not a huge surprise that once Elizabeth was actually born, I was instantly in love with her and I have been ever since. But even at the time I was still concerned that since there were 14 years between us, I would be more of a parent or aunt figure than a sister. I was certain she'd be babysitting my three years old by the time she was my age.

The universe has a wicked sense of humor though and now Elizabeth and I-the engine and the caboose of the Clifford sibs-are the two remaining single children. The last two weeks have been almost comical as she sends me sad texts about her current boy situation and then she offers me similiar advice when I send her sad texts about the demise of my own promising romance. This little girl whose diaper's I once changed and used to be afraid of wind and rain. She is 19 now and I have been impressed with the dignity and grace she is showing in the face of a pretty major heartbreak. We were teaching her Beatles songs when she was two and was the little one when my parents divorced so she's often had to be more adult than perhaps she was ready to be.

I sent her a request for a Dear Me letter and she asked if she could write a letter to her older self instead. I loved the idea and I love the result even more.

I too hope that she always listens to "Slow Ride" when she buys a new car and I can tell her that yes, her older self will look back and say "that really wasn't so bad."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


I am PDX bound today to see what one of our sponsors is proposing for Team USA to wear on the podium in 2012. One of the many "pinch me" bits of my job.

I put up a new letter on Dear Me-this one from a blog friend I have yet to meet (although fingers crossed we are both swaying to The Head and the Heart on Friday!) but have come to know over the years after one of us stumbled on the other's blog (friend of friend of friend chain).

She's gotten married and moved to Denver in the time I've been reading her adventures and I've so enjoyed her perspective along the way. It's another great letter. More proof that girls rule.

Monday, November 01, 2010


Yeah that cold didn't really let up. But it took a break long enough for Mundi and I to have some Halloween fun in Denver. It was your basic mayhem but we had some good adventures and let's just say that I kind of rule at being a wingman.

I also got to meet my namesake which was really an honor.

But the true highlight of the weekend was this exchange with the guy making my sandwich at Subway;

him: So are you taking your kids out trick or treating tomorrow?
me: I actually don't have any kids.
him: You don't have any kids??!! You better GET ON THAT.

Thanks Subway guy, I'll be sure to GET ON THAT.