Well, it's that time of year again. This won't be short. Fair warning. There will be pictures, however...
Little Miss Bella turned 1 year old in January! She got her very own Pupcake and her brother even let her snuggle him.
For Valentine's Day, Sandie took me to Sacramento to see the prologue and start of the first stage of the Tour of California. I wish I had written a post about this weekend. It was awesome. The prologue was great because you get to see each rider individually and it's an all day event! The weather was perfect and only started to drizzle a bit toward the end. This was Lance Armstrong's first race on American soil since coming out of retirement. The crowd was insane when the bigger name riders came by but it was THUNDEROUS when Lance came by.
This photo was taken by a guy we met at the race named Jeff Hiroshima.
We brought Madison with us and she really enjoyed it as well. The next day was wet and cold but still big fun. We even spent some time in the Davis Bicycle Museum. The drive home was long as there was a huge snow storm in the mountains. Well worth it though, we had a blast! In case you don't know, Levi Leipheimer won the race for the 3rd straight year. Lance was riding in support of him. This was also the weekend that Lance's bike was stolen. If I had a dime for every time I was accused of stealing it when I got home...
Much to my delight, Shayna has taken up baking! She makes pretty pies... and I LOVE pies! I can't wait for Christmas, she is making an apple cranberry pie for the family.
This spring Madison's soccer team had a great season with only one loss in league play! They did great in tournaments as well, taking second place in the Comstock Shootout and going undefeated to win the Capital Classic!
We had the families pose in the picture because without them, this would not have been possible!
In June we had a cancer scare with the Chili Dog. Thank goodness it was NOT cancer. I don't know what I would do without him! Our friend Jon told Sandie"If it is cancer, there's not much they can do." Sandie told him, "Brent will spend every last dime we have trying..." She's probably right.
A friend of mine at work told me about a bike race that I had never heard of before. Funny, since it's the oldest race in North America. It is held every Father's Day in Nevada City, Ca. We hemmed and hawed about going since it was last minute, we had no accommodations, Chili just had surgery, and we had plans Saturday night. It would need to be a day trip. The clincher came when Lance tweeted that he was going to race... and he was bringing Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner with him! So after Shayna took me out to breakfast, we loaded the dogs and our hangovers into the Pilot and headed to Cali! What an awesome event! 40 laps around this little mountain town. When we got there, it was tough to find parking. We had a little walking to do. Once in the race area, we found a hot dog stand and had some lunch while watching the end of the pro women's race, then the elite men. We picked a nice spot on the uphill section and waited for the pro men to start. Lance and Levi broke away from the pack about 4 laps in with another rider playing wheel sucker while Lance and Levi traded turns at the front. Horner stayed back and paced the pack, grinning like a Cheshire cat the whole way. He was having fun. When the time was right (after the 3 leaders lapped the field), Lance took off and there was no catching him. The roar of the crowd as he came up the hill was like a jet flying over! This video (taken with my phone, forgot the camera!) was on his second lap off the front. The first rider through is Lance, the next is about to be lapped by the field, next is the field which has already been lapped by Lance.
As you watch, keep in mind that this is UPHILL! That is fast! Even if you are not "into" cycling, you should check this race out. It's electrifying. Here is a link to a photographer's blog I found. There are beautiful photos of the race. Very Americana!
In between soccer games (both girls), Sandie and I managed to get some riding in.
Marlette Peak overlooking Marlette Lake and Lake Tahoe
Diamond Valley, Ca
The biggest of which was The Death Ride. Sandie did great for her first big ride. We just got our tickets for next year too!
Madison went to her first sleep away camp this summer and really enjoyed it. Several girls from the soccer team went as well which eased the homesickness I'm sure. She was away from us for her birthday which I thought might kill Sandie but she made it through.
Shayna started her own soccer team to play in the City Adult league and asked me to help her out with coaching. I had fun working with the ladies and we put together a pretty nice season. They improved steadily all summer and even snuck into the playoffs! They all enjoyed it (and each other) so much that they wanted to stay together for the indoor season. We are 5 games into that now and just beat the team that eliminated us in the summer 8-3.
We took a family trip to Southern California again this summer. We usually go for July 4th but went a little later this year. Sandie and I took our road bikes this year and went on a couple of nice early morning rides down PCH.
After a couple of days with Aunt Sharon and Uncle Vic, we headed down to San Diego. We stayed in the Gas Light District in a nice hotel that was a stone's throw from PetCo Park. We spent a day at Sea World where Sandie worked as a teenager. The girls had fun petting stingrays and riding rides. Sandie said the place had changed a lot since she was a kid!
The next day was relaxation time. We went to a ball game (where Madison stubbed her toe). Sandie and I drank a bunch of beer, and then we all hung out by the pool! Good times!
Then it was back to Huntington Beach for few days before heading home.
Shayna started her senior year of high school and Madison started 7th grade. They are a handful but we love them.
Shayna is very busy with work, the leadership program, and 2 AP classes. She got a promotion and is now a Staff Lead so she's making good money. Between all of her school activities and work, she's hardly ever home but she checks in to let us know she's still alive every night. Hence so few photos of her. She has a set of senior pictures on a disc. If you would like to see them or have one for yourself, email me and we will email some choices for you.
Madison got her braces off and has become the dream of all the boys! She also made the 7th grade volleyball team and is having the time of her life! There were 3 agonizing days of tryouts! Now they are training 2 hours a day! She hasn't complained yet so she MUST be having fun.
Sandie did a weight loss boot camp with some of the moms from the soccer team just to dump the last 5 lbs that would not let go. It worked out great for her and she has kept up on her training. She did an 8K run on Nevada Day and made it in just over 48 minutes! The dogs and I wandered around downtown while she ran and we greeted her at the finish.
We got hit with a nice snow storm a couple of weeks ago, followed by temps as low as 20 below! The back streets are still caked with ice and it's like driving down crappy dirt roads. We got a little rain and then snow last night to make things that much worse.
I'm sorry this was so long, but that's what happens when we don't keep up on our blog!
Hope you all have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Brent, Sandie, Shayna, Madison, Chili, and Bella