Monday, February 25, 2013

a little hike

where we were married

the wreath is still here...bare, but still here

Sunday, February 24, 2013

postpartum badassness

Yesterday I did a longer ride with my dad...
The first ride with my dad in what seems like ages.
It didn't take long to fall back into the groove of fixing myself, sternly, to his wheel.
Lucky for me, the ride was plenty fun and without (his) ego.
I kept waiting for the moment where I'd crack or falter or lag or bungle...
instead, I felt surprisingly strong and sure (believe me, it wasn't a completely bungle-free ride, but still...)

In my experience, coming back from having a baby is different than coming back from illness or injury.
Right now, I feel like a badass because I just gave birth eight weeks's a pretty big deal no matter who you are or how your baby ends up being born.
I don't care if you had your baby with or without drugs, in a tub or under the knife...I don't care if your labor was thirty-six hours of hell or swift and smooth in the course of a breezy afternoon...I don't care if you lazed on the couch and ate Doritos for nine months or if you ran a marathon the day before contractions began...
Having a baby takes a huge toll on your body no matter who you are or how you do it, not to mention the immeasurable shift that takes place mentally.
So, yeah, I had a baby eight weeks ago...the most ordinary/extraordinary thing a woman can do, so I feel like a badass for now.
And I am going to harness that badass energy for as long as I can.
Because I have done this before and I know the feeling fades.
It shouldn't (because taking good care of a child is badass, in my book), but it does.
Until then, bring on the twice (thrice, if I am lucky) weekly ninety-ish minute rides because that's about all this "badass" can handle right now.

After all, I don't want to part with my little baby much more than the blink of an eye, she'll be running out the front door to chase her friends.
Just like her brother.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


nothing pinterest-worthy here

or here

this furniture is literally falling apart, but look at my sweet kids

Some days I am on my game...
The house is tidy and organized.
Dinner is healthy and delicious.
I've broken a sweat in pursuit of fitness.
The kids are in bed at a reasonable time without struggle.
Bill and I have a few peaceful minutes together to breathe and reflect on our day.

Some days I am not on my game suck...
The house is blown up before sunrise and stays that way (no, gets worse) until I wearily collapse at midnight.
Dinner is an embarrassingly close approximation of Snoopy's Thanksgiving feast (popcorn, toast, jelly beans).
I've broken a sweat in pursuit of getting my son out the door in time to narrowly catch the bus.
The kids are wired and bedtime is fraught with tears and whining and maybe even a skipped bath.
Bill and I are two ships passing in the night between diaper changes and feedings.

Although my daily routine could easily be viewed as drudgery by some, I could not be happier.
Today my son stayed home from school with a gnarly cold and it was such a relief to not have to scramble for childcare or (god forbid) call out of work to take care of my sick kid.

The pressure is off.
Here I am, here we are...
some days I suck, but most days I don't.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

a bike ride

The trails were kind of a mess and the ride was brief, but I could not stop smiling.
I expected to feel winded, weak, and heavy...and maybe I was.
I didn't notice because I was having way too much fun leading my husband around our favorite trails as tiny snow flakes fell from the dreary gray skies.

We rode our bikes together on a cold Saturday afternoon and it was awesome.
That is all.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I've started and deleted so many posts lately...
I'm all over the place with what I want to write/share...
I'm scattered and tired and when I finally have time to myself, I end up rambling with poor punctuation and too many parentheses (like now).

Over the weekend, I laughed harder than I have in a long time (thanks to my son)...
I laughed so hard I broke my toe (it was worth it).
The baby blues have lifted and daylight savings is well within reach (March 10!)...
I'm unemployed and no longer reeling from the fact that I was let go (I've been working since I was 14 and never fired or let go from a job)...
My days are filled with simply taking care of my kids...a baby's needs are so basic (feed/change/snuggle/repeat), but I am not taking this huge responsibility lightly.
I want to get it right, yet I am being much gentler on myself this time...
or trying not to be so hard on myself this time.
I love being a mom to a newborn all over again...and I love watching my son engage his baby sister's attention.
"Look, Max, you got the first smile today!"

(and no, I haven't started riding yet)

Friday, February 8, 2013


reading a Mo Willems fave to his baby sister
I got lazy this week...
The dreary and cold weather has been great for going back to bed and taking long naps when the baby sleeps.'s winter and I'm not exactly training for anything right now.
I know my energy will return with some warm, sunny days.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nutella banana bread

so not a food blogger
This afternoon I completely blew up the kitchen in the name of satisfying a craving for banana bread.
Here is my recipe for kickass banana bread:
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 C sugar
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
2 eggs
3/4 C Greek yogurt (I use vanilla)
1 generous T Nutella
3/4 C pecans (roughly could certainly use walnuts or omit the nuts altogether)
Beat the eggs in a large bowl, incorporate the rest of your wet ingredients, blend well.
Add dry ingredients, stir.
Pour batter into loaf pan (greased or lined with parchment).
Bake at 350 for about an hour.
Let cool briefly in loaf pan, then transfer to cooling rack.
Enjoy it warm, preferably spread with Nutella and accompanied by a cup of hot tea.
This recipe has been loosely adapted from my trusted old-school Fannie Farmer cookbook...the original calls for 3 bananas (but I only had two) and considerably more sugar. I subbed in the Nutella and yogurt because Nutella makes everything better.

It was kind of a bad day.
This made it better.

Friday, February 1, 2013

she smiles

Happy baby.
I am so, so grateful to be home with her...
to be here to catch these everyday little pieces of magic.

Yes, this blog is called "Hardtales"...a nod to the "tales" I share here about adventures on my hardtail (26 inch!) mountain bike.
I guess I should say "used to share",as it's been some time since I shared anything remotely prolific or interesting about riding (let alone racing).
I can't imagine I'll be composing any kind of race report any time soon (if at all) and I'm pretty sure the next time I ride, it will sound a lot like:
Finally got on the bike.
I hate winter.
My legs feel like sh*t.
Still, I can't think of a better name for this space, so "Hardtales" it is...
Thanks for reading.