Aguirre Springs Ride


Since the weather has been completely awesome here (I apologize to the people back East), Mike and I have been out riding as much as possible.  We took off to Aguirre Springs on Saturday for some major hill climbing.

We like to park on the opposite side of the Organ Mountains and then bike up the pass over into the Aguirre Spring campground area.


I always forget how terrible I am at downhill biking.  You never really think about that, but when there are major hills I clam up and think about the fact that I am going really fast and could be part of the asphalt if I don’t play it right.  I had to keep stopping because I was developing the “crab claw”, which is from holding your brakes so tight that you can’t let go.  I hate to say it but I’ve had the “crab claw” before during races too.


I don’t think you can tell in this picture, but this downhill is intense once you make it to the highest point of the loop.  The whole loop from where we parked on the other side of the mountain is about 15 miles.  The inner loop, which is very steep, is about 4 miles.


If you look closely in this picture, on the left hand side towards the top, you can see your destination.  Just take my word for it, it is a big climb.  My Strava totalled about 2600 feet in climbing.


This guy came along with me and decided to show me up and do three loops around the hard part of the course.


It’s a good thing I like him 🙂

On the climb back to where I was picked up, I felt pretty great because the climbing is very gradual.  I even made a Queen of the Mountain on the final ascent!

I totally recommend this ride for strengthening hill climbing skills.  I did this ride right before my first road race in 2011 and it definitely prepared me for it.

Liz’s Week In Review

20131116-035110.jpgSo when a week gets too busy that you start to jumble everything into one blog post, you just have to call it a “Week In Review”. I really want to try and document as much as I can while I am staying home since this will not be a permanent thing for me, but I have found I have been MORE busy than when I had a job!

First off, how cute is that when I toss a binkie at my daughter and she immediately puts it in her mouth?

I have been a little disappointed in myself for not riding well this week. I really want to get this weight off! We are very lucky to have family in town to watch Olivia on Tuesday nights.  Even though it is getting dark early, we still want to make it out to the Dona Ana’s.  This week I didn’t do my usual route because I was so tired, so I went and explored Chutes and Ladders, which is a really hilly, technical part of the coarse and had a blast! If you look closely a the map…you can tell when I got lost. (Bottom right hand corner..)



P.S. I just learned how to screen shot (I am so behind the times) and I just had to show you by putting my Strava links on here. 🙂

P.P.S. I love these shoes by the way AND they are on sale at Kohl’s. (I took a picture to send to Mike as a hint for a Christmas present!).  I also was able to run this week and actually got my 5k under 30 minutes…woot woot! Only 20 more pounds to go and maybe I can get a faster 5k time! 🙂


Olivia had her six month check up too this week.  I was glad to get some answers to questions I had.  She didn’t grow too much height-wise this past couple of months, but she made up for it in weight.  And let’s just say her head is in the 90 percentile, so I have no worries about her head growth.  She still is a long thing at almost 26 inches (25.8 to be exact). She was a champ!


I felt like I was in the kitchen the whole week.  I was making soup for an Enrichment activity and then I made Mike some corned beef and cabbage, which is an awesome fall/winter food.  (Too bad our house stunk.  People kept walking in and asking if Olivia had pooped. Ha!)  We had a youth activity this week where we made hygiene kits for charity.  It reminded me of when we went to the Ronald McDonald house back in April and they had the kits available for us.  It makes me feel good that we can give back. I’m always so appreciative of what they did for us.


Transitioning to crib.  That’s all I have to say. And let’s just say that it was been a LONG week when it comes to sleep.  This girl sure did like her Rock and Play and this mom misses her not sleeping through the night.  She is getting better though.  She only woke up twice last night!


When in doubt on where to put a baby, laundry baskets work well.


We started off the week with colds.  It made for a very fussy mom and child (poor Mike!).  Thankfully, we are both out of the clear now, but it sure is nice to get some cuddling in! Remind me that I will not have these times back!

We ended the week by going out on a quick date to a coworker’s wedding. I don’t even remember the last time Mike and I went out and dressed up.  It was fun to hang out and have some time together and talk.  He sure was a trooper!


And I got to see my lovely friend Stephanie and as we were leaving, I saw my fellow seventh grade science teacher Britt.  I sure do miss them! (But not the job…hehe). 20131116-035059.jpgHope you all had a great week and Happy Friday!

Question:  Do you think wearing black at weddings is bad luck? I was feeling a little guilty tonight about wearing black (mind you that my wedding was black and white) and I swear I have heard that people frown on it. Is that true?

Happy Halloween 2013!


I love holidays!  For the past five years, I have been cramming the holidays down my husband’s throat! 🙂  Mike isn’t one to celebrate them, but since we have been married he has been a good sport about it.  This year we had to continue the holiday extravaganza because now we have a kid to share it with!


There are so many awesome things to do in Las Cruces around Halloween!  And we had to dress the part for all the things we did!


Of course we had to bust out with Barney’s hot dog costume, just so I could get a good laugh.  He looks so ashamed..


So then I put him in this monkey suit to make him feel even more ashamed!


Speaking of costumes, Mike’s mom was able to make a “Little Peck” (Olivia’s nickname since she has been in my stomach) costume to dress her up in!


We gave it a little try on the trunk or treat we took her to…it was a little too late at night to have too much fun.


We went to the Mesilla Valley Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch too.  Love that place!  I look forward to it every year!


Olivia had a good time hanging out with family and going on the hay ride.


Not to mention, Dad had to take her down the slide for the first time. (No reaction by the kid!)

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving in Las Vegas with my family and spending Christmas here with Mike’s family! Happy Holidays!

The Return of the River Dog

The Rio Grande has been dried out for winter and I was worried that they were not going to release any water from the dam.  Usually it is in May when you see the river build up, but this year they waited until June because of the drought situations.


Of course, we had to take Barney down the river!  He has been a little neglected lately  because of all of the craziness of the baby, so we had to pamper him with his two favorite past times….frisbees and water.


I love this time of year with the beautiful summer sunsets!  What a silly jumper!


There were families taking pictures and people on picnics while we were playing.  Barney was putting on a show for everyone.  A photographer came around and asked if he could take pictures of Barney while he was jumping.  You know how we love our pictures!


Silly dog.

A Day At The Park



The nice thing about this time of year is that we are starting to get out of the winter slump.  Thankfully, we live in a town where we don’t get crazy, snowy winters.  We have major wind, but on some days you will get the perfect Las Cruces weather, which is the reason why Las Cruces is one of the “Top Ten Places to Retire”.


And we had one of those days the other day, so Mike and I headed out for a little frisbee playing (courtesy of a frisbee-obsessed hound) and some walking for me.  (I have been told to do 20-30 minutes of cardio a day…not counting the million steps I take walking around my classroom all day!)


Every fall the Rio Grande is dried up to preserve water for the irrigation needed in the spring.  It is kind of sad because I guess the water levels are pretty low here, so I am curious to see how high it gets when they release the water again.


There is something about the outdoors with your family that makes everything better.  It’s so fun to go on “family dates” to the park. 


Doesn’t he look like a little kid ready to go to Disneyland??

Happy New Year!


Well another year has passed, and I must say that 2012 was definitely a lot better than 2011.  Mike and I went back and looked at our 2012 goals and made some new ones for our “goal board” for 2013.  It gets me so excited about things!  This year is going to have a lot of changes, but it will be way cool to see how our family grows.

The picture above was taken on New Years Eve right when Mike came back from his last bike ride of 2012.  I was taking random pictures that day because I was being sentimental about everything being the “last thing of 2012”.  If you look closely, you will see he is not wearing any shoes because he had already come in from his ride.


This was the last picture of Barney in 2012.  I’m sure there are plenty more to come.

We ended up going over to Mike’s parents house and hung out for a few hours and played games and ATE A LOT!  I blame the 20 pounds of pregnancy weight on the holidays.  I am SO GLAD they are over, even though we were very blessed this year with a great Christmas and New Years.  Everyone has been so generous and supportive of us. 


Mike had to have his last egg nog of 2012 and here is the spread….


So much food!  We played a little Catch Phrase and hung out until it turned midnight and then we had to take a family photo.  P.S. We do not ask Barney to pose every time.  He seriously does it himself!


Here’s to an awesome year! Happy 2013!



Mesilla Valley Corn Maze

 The one thing about living in a small town like Cruces, is that there is always something going on that involves corn, chiles, or some type of farm activity.  We are very lucky to have the Mesilla Valley Corn Maze down the street from us.  Mike and I went a couple of years ago and had a lot of fun just hanging out and having a date night.  We wanted to go again!

It was really nice to hang with Mike because during the work week we hardly see each other. The weather was so awesome!  Love me some fall weather.

You take a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick out  a pumpkin.  We weren’t planning on getting one, but still wanted to go look.

Mike wanted to find a really big one that was “manly” looking for his picture. 

I had to grab a small one. 🙂

Of course, he had to make a remark and demonstrate as to why there were zucchini growing out there.

I loved this pumpkin because it had a Curly Q on top.  The girl next to me got a similar one too.

We were one of the last people to go in the maze and only had twenty minutes to find the lookout and then come back.  The last time we went, we got a little lost.  We decided to play it safe and just walk straight there and straight back.

Of course Mike had to try out the little bikes.  He was having a hard time getting this one going.  We didn’t notices until we saw the picture that one of the tires was flat.  That would explain it!

Hiking and Biking The Ocho

 So I have been taking it easy the last couple months now that school has started (stay tuned as to why I haven’t been racing…I’m sure you can guess!).  So I decided to go on a hike while Mike biked the Ocho course.  Love that course!  I love how it has an awesome, long, drawn-out climb, and then once you get to the top….it’s all downhill from there!

I could barely geta hold of Mike on the downhill because of his super speed down the hill!

Meanwhile, Barney and I decided to take a stroll, and of course had to play a quick game of fetch.

We then proceeded to go the top of the hill and see what was on the other side.  Since it was close to sunset, we heard a pack of coyotes VERY nearby.  If any of you know me, I am insanely afraid of them, plus add the fact that my dog is miniature in size and well…we booked it!

It was nice to get a little jog in on the hike to make it feel somewhat worthwhile.  I can’t wait to get back into the exercise routine again.

P.S.  Here is Barney’s Halloween costume this year:

Mountainair, NM

 When I moved here three years ago, I knew NOTHING about New Mexico.  Las Cruces was a stopping ground on road trips to Texas and Florida, but that was about it.  We started doing mountain bike races and I was introduced to all the other cities of New Mexico like Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Gallup, and Los Alamos.  It’s pretty neat to explore these places and especially enjoy the awesome scenery.

Ever heard of Mountainair, NM?  Me neither.  Something about a town that’s named after a fresh mountain breeze.  I wish I would have gotten the pictures of the “main street”.  It was pretty much the whole town.

Anyway, Mike is finishing up the NM road series (he is trying to move up from Cat 5 and this was the last race).  I decided to join in, even though I had NO TRAINING whatsoever.

We got there and warmed up on the road.  It was cloudy, which was nice so we wouldn’t burn to death.  The race was 40 miles long and had a small climb at the end.

Mike was able to stay in the lead and got fifth in his category of more than 25 guys…awesome job!

My story ends tragically with being the naive one of my group.  I was in a group of 13 girls.  Three of them fell off the back and I was able to stay with the whole group until mile 25.  It was there a huge right turn happened.  One, I hate turns on a road bike and two, I hate people who cut me off on turns on a road bike.  And that’s what happened.  Four of us fell off the back of the group, and well, we stayed back.  I had so much rage and energy that I “pulled” the girls a lot to see if we could make it.  After being yelled at for going too fast, I slowed down and stayed with the girls.  At the finish line, they all slipped past me.  I was used. 😦  But I did learn to not help people if they are going too slow!

So I did it!  A road race!  9th place. He he.

Tasty Treats

My uncle sent these to me in the mail this week. It smelled like berries, BUT…this is the gloriousness that I saw when I opened them:

I LOVE chocolate covered strawberries and these were so good.  They didn’t have the leave son them so you could take a big bite and not have to worry about it.  Needless to say the hubby and I were very grateful.  P.S.  He sent them as a congratulations for winning state.

Mike and I went on a quick date night last night to our favorite local spot: Thai Delight.  Mike really likes the miso soup, and I admit I am not a huge fan of it, BUT the green onions make it very tolerable.  It reminds me that I need to find recipes with green onions.  They always seem to make the recipe ten times better, any suggestions?

Mike ordered our favorite dish, the Chicken Pad Thai (Hot) and I ordered the Beef Noodle Soup (Hot)

Well, I made a mistake.  Hot on Pad Thai is totally different from soup.  I had to drink so much water! I was literally crying on the way out.  It was embarrassing.

So we had to go get some frozen yogurt at Keva Juice to cool my mouth off.

Mike was annoyed because I wouldn’t let him eat until I took a picture.  🙂