Monday, March 23, 2015

Mountain Bike Monday - On being the "stoker"

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15

We headed out over the weekend to take Dreamwork (the tandem) on its first serious ride at the Battlefield. This was the true first test. Things started out great when the bike actually fit on the rack on the jeep! Hooray! First obstacle complete!

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15

When we arrived we decided to start out on some of the smooth gravel paths just practicing terminology with one another and getting the initial feel for riding together and the bike itself! We eventually popped out onto the main park tour road and decided to try some road riding.

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15

Keep in mind that pictures will be from a new perspective with this bike! And, speaking of perspective I think it's a great time to talk about being the stoker. In last week's post I talked about my job as simply providing the pedal power. That's the truth. My job as stoker is to pedal. If my captain is pedaling then I'm pedaling. There's no free ride here. We have to work together on the right gearing at the right time, when to stand on a climb, when to stop, how to start, and every other aspect of riding that you usually only think of subconsciously when you ride your own bike alone. After riding your own bike you don't have to give as much thought to the gear shifting, standing, stopping, etc. You just know how and when to do it. Your brain just remembers it I guess. Now, we have to re-train our brains and muscles to ride a little differently. We have to work in sync. As a team.

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15

And, I think we did pretty good! The key was to be patient with one another. We each have to communicate with the other about our needs and concerns. Every movement I make in the back affects the balance of the bike and Dynamo's steering.

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15

All I see is what's to my left and right. I had to lean around to snap the above pic. Riding a tandem is all about trust. I have to have complete trust in Dynamo. And, I do. We have ridden together over the years and he has patiently waited for me and supported me. He never left my side always encouraging me and wanting to help me do my best. So, we are pretty comfortable being together on the ride except now we will be on the same bike.

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15

The way I see things is that two are better than one. In any aspect of life. Wouldn't you agree? I'm a better biker with Dynamo by my side. He makes me better every single day. We are two peas in a pod.

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15

We had a great ride! A little over 20 miles. We were feeling great! We aren't breaking any speed records, but it was a nice steady ride. We got to stop and watch the water ripple and observe the squiggly line in the sand...

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15

And, we stopped and smelled the daffodils...

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15

And, looked at the beautiful trees...

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15

Spring is on its way!!

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15

I'm looking forward to many more adventures on Dreamwork! We make a great team!

Tandem Biking Battlefield 3.21.15



Monday, March 16, 2015

Dreamwork's Maiden Voyage

On March 10, we celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary and 11 year together anniversary. We were in Florida visiting Dynamo's parents for the week, but we are now back in town and picked up our anniversary present. It's a Cannondale Tandem 29er.

DW2

For years I've been asking Dynamo for a tandem bike so we can do some rides truly together, and finally he surprised me with one. I was so surprised that I started to cry. At first I just couldn't fathom how I deserved such goodness. I just couldn't believe it. What a huge blessing God gave me and us. Dynamo continues to shower me with so much love and kindness truly exemplifying God's love. Once I stopped crying I remembered what Joel Osteen says about learning to accept God's blessings and favor and how we deserve goodness. That is part of our journey here. We have to accept goodness. And, we have to have grace for ourselves.

DW4

Not only has God given me the most wonderful man in the world, but He also continually blesses us with all that we need and more. As I reflect on our years together and us taking our first ride yesterday, I am reminded of just how similar riding a tandem is to trusting God. When we ride the tandem, Dynamo is the captain, which means he rides in the front. He is stronger and makes all of the decisions. When to stop. When to start. When to stand. When to shift. Where to steer. EVERYTHING. My job is to be the stoker in the back. I just sit down and pedal. That's it. All I can see is what's on either side of me and his cute backside and I have no idea where we are going. I have to have complete trust. Trust in my captain and partner. Do you find that sometimes you struggle to have complete trust in your captain? I think most of us do. It's about learning to grown in our faith and ourselves. And, it ain't always easy!

DW1

Marriage, too, is much like riding a tandem. You just have to trust one another. Sometimes one of you will need to be the captain using all of your strength to pedal forward, make the decisions, and pull the other along...and sometimes you'll be the stoker. Either way, it's about teamwork. It's okay that sometimes one person is going to need the other more. That's just life. I've learned that most of the time things aren't 50/50. That's just not how life is. No relationship is 50/50. Love doesn't keep score. Whether it's your husband, your friend, your parents, etc. just let it go. Don't always keep track of who called who and who did or didn't do what. Just pick up and always focus on giving more. Give of yourself completely and with your whole heart. For your whole life. Our favorite pastor said years ago that a good and successful marriage has two givers. So, I'm going to give my heart out and just enjoy the ride. We are only given this very moment, nothing more, nothing less. I'm learning to live in the present and see where this journey takes us.

DW6

And, our beautiful new tandem has a name. It's called "Dreamwork." Dynamo named it. If you want to know why, check out this church sermon from the church we've recently been attending. Whether you're married or not, it's all about how it takes teamwork to make the dream work! The dream should always bigger than the team! Enjoy! Be blessed!


Dynamo, I thank you for loving me when I needed it the most. I thank you for being my rock. I thank you for being my soulmate. You make me a better person every. single. day! I can't wait to ride off into the sunset with you on Dreamwork! I love you forever and always.










Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love for a lifetime...

Love sign

On this Valentine's Day I wanted to share this church sign. It has spoken to me at a time when I needed so much love. Oftentimes we think that we are always the ones in the relationship that need the love and support. I would often say to Dynamo, "I feel bad that I need you way more than you need me." But, love isn't about keeping score. And, sometimes you may be giving love in ways that you don't realize, but it was somehow just what your spouse or friend needed at the time. Sometimes in our lives we are the ones that need the love and sometimes we are the ones being the rock. It doesn't matter how many times you need something, God doesn't want us to keep score. Give of yourself completely and wholly to the ones you love and care about. Don't expect anything in return. Don't expect a thank you or keep track. God wants us to be loving, kind, compassionate, faithful, and giving of ourselves always. Love is truly enough. Do everything with a happy loving heart. ALWAYS!

I'm so thankful for my wonderful, devoted, kind, gentle, and strong husband. This is our 10th Valentine's Day together. There's no one on earth I'd rather grow old and wrinkly with than him. Hold onto those you love with all your might. Protect them, care for them, and show them you love them. Enjoy each and every moment together. I love you forever and always, Dynamo!



Friday, February 13, 2015

Lovely lavender goodness

From time to time we change things up a little, and the lavender is no exception.

Lavender soap by The Daily Scrub www.facebook.com/TheDailyScrub

We wanted to give it a little extra umph and power so we added Purple Brazilian Clay to the recipe.

Lavender soap by The Daily Scrub www.facebook.com/TheDailyScrub

Besides being a natural colorant, the clay is known to draw toxins out of your body leaving it better than before!

Lavender soap by The Daily Scrub www.facebook.com/TheDailyScrub

We encourage you to this new recipe that's better than before and let us know what you think!




Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Little Man turns 3!!

I'm a little late with this post and I apologize, but I'm back on track now!

Our little man turned 3 on January 24th! Time sure does fly! We pulled out the usual party hat and got him all ready!

Charlie's 3rd birthday 2015

He could hardly contain himself as Dynamo lit the candle on the half of the doggie bone!

Charlie's 3rd birthday 2015

We sang to him and then let him enjoy his treat!

Charlie's 3rd birthday 2015

It's so hard to believe that he is already 3. We have had so many fun times together and he has brought so much joy to our lives. He makes us smile from ear to ear all the time! He is so full of himself and full of life! He truly is a blessing to our lives. Animals are such a gift from God. We are to care for them, love them, and keep them safe. After all...we all want to be the person our dog thinks we are! Their love is unconditional.



Monday, January 26, 2015

Hiking Beaver Lake

Poco hike 1/25/15

Yesterday was such a great day that we decided to head over to Pocahontas State Park. Dynamo went for a ride on his bike while Charlie and I hiked around Beaver Lake.

Poco hike 1/25/15

Charlie was so excited to get out on the trails to celebrate his 3rd birthday! There were lots of dogs and people out enjoying the beautiful day!!

Poco hike 1/25/15

It was all I could do to keep Charlie from jumping in the water! I knew it was way too cold for that!!

Poco hike 1/25/15

But, I did let him get his paws damp!

Poco hike 1/25/15

The sun shining down from above was so bright and the air was so crisp! We just felt so rejuvenated being outside with all the goodness around! I just loved the bright green moss amidst all of the brown leaves!

Poco hike 1/25/15

Charlie did not like having to stop for pictures, but I just wanted to enjoy the warmth of the sun!

Poco hike 1/25/15

The hill at the lake had such beautiful moss! I made him pose for a few pics there!

Poco hike 1/25/15

We stopped at the top of the dam on Beaver Lake! The water was rushing over. I didn't want Charlie getting too close!

Poco hike 1/25/15

Next, we went over to the boat ramp area to wait on Dynamo.

Poco hike 1/25/15

Poco hike 1/25/15

Eventually Dynamo came riding in like a knight in shining armor!!

Poco hike 1/25/15

We had a wonderful time enjoying the park! Charlie got an over 4 mile hike in!!

Hope your weekend was fantastic!




Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shotgun Rider

With Monday being a holiday, we decided to get out and enjoy the fresh air! There were lots of others at the park enjoying the day as well!

Poco ride 1/19/15

Each day we have to remember to be grateful for the time we have together to be outside enjoying God's creation.

Poco ride 1/19/15

I am thankful for the warmth of the sun on our chilly rides, and the sparkle that it gives to the water it shines over!

Poco ride 1/19/15

I am thankful for a husband who WANTS to ride with me at my pace. He is always patient, kind, and supportive of me. He lifts me up!

Poco ride 1/19/15

When we get to the dam we always stop and stare in awe of its beauty. Dynamo mentioned the sunlight in the background just over the top! It still amazes me everytime we ride up and see the rushing waters!

Poco ride 1/19/15

We enjoy being with one another. We enjoy the time away from the rest of the world, away from the phones and the internet. It's a time to ride and reflect and just be together. And, there's always time to stop and just look at the world around you and admire it's beauty. Every single leaf, acorn, mossy tree trunk and creature is God's work.

Poco ride 1/19/15

And, silly me just had to make Dynamo give me a mooch! But, the park is a special place for us. It's just full of peace and beauty. There's no noise of the world around, just the two of us together!

Poco ride 1/19/15

Sure, the trails can be tough. It's just like life. But, we can make it. Together, with those we love we can make it. Without Dynamo's love, support, and encouragement I wouldn't be where I am today on the bike (and in life). He takes the time to help me and love me. He patiently waits for me at each of the peaks and turns during our ride, knowing just when to push me along. He encourages me out of the tough valleys and together we have both grown as people and bikers. We have to support one another and encourage each other to be the best we can be. There's a Tim McGraw song called "Shotgun Rider." I always want to be Dynamo's shotgun rider! I want to always be with him and by his side through the good times and the bad. He is a blessing and a gift from God.

Poco ride 1/19/15

I pray that each of you will stop and take a moment to think about all you have to be thankful for and show those you love how much you love them. Protect them and love them with all you have. But, mostly, be thankful to God for each and every blessing you have.