Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Fun

Saturday, December 31, 2011  at 6:13 PM
I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas and are excited for 2012 to begin at midnight tonight!  I've really enjoyed reading so many of your "Best of 2011" posts with all the exciting achievements that you accomplished this year.  One of my accomplishments was growing a three-week-old beard.  Jennifer wanted me to grow it out, so I allowed it to happen for just a few weeks.  Here's what I got.
Complete with "sleepy" hair in the back
My Christmas was a whole lot of fun!  Usually there is a ton of family drama that makes it less enjoyable, but this year, it seems that the drama all happened before Jennifer and I got there.  That's AWESOME!  Jenn and I drove to Dalton, GA where her parents live.  We always flip-flop the holidays between our families to make it "fair."  We got to grab a bite to eat with my dad, mom, sister, brother-in-law and niece at Lupi's pizza in downtown Chattanooga which is possibly one of my favorite places to eat.  That was fun, and then it was on to Jenn's family.  We actually got to celebrate twice, once with her mom's family, and then once with just Jenn's family.  I did score some sweet stuff including some swiftwick socks (my favorites!) and this little gem...
Since I've been doing so much riding on the trainer, I really wanted to see speed and be able to record my mileage as well as have a computer that recorded cadence.  Previously, I had this computer minus the cadence.  The biggest difference is that you mount the magnet on the rear wheel so it'll work on the trainer. It is amazing!  I am really enjoying seeing all that info while I'm sweating.

I also got a sweet little number that I've been wanting for awhile.  It just came in the mail today.

It is so sweet!  I've read the manual and can't believe all the functions it has.  It has "slap technology" so I can just touch the screen, and it'll split/lap.  I'm pretty stoked!

But, I wanted to share my favorite part of Christmas vacation with you.  It happened on Christmas morning, and I can't really take any credit for it.  My mother-in-law, Kathy, decided that she wanted to do something as a family to help others this year.  She works with the community a lot and has quite a few connections, so she hooked us up with Providence Ministries which is a place for men and women that are abused, addicted or just need help.  They were planning a huge Christmas present giveaway for the city of Dalton, and they needed help.  We got up on Christmas morning, and Trevor, Jenn's brother, and Wyntre, Trev's girlfriend, and I busted out a nice 6 mile run which was really awesome.  Then, after showering and eating, we drove over to Providence Ministries.  As we pulled into the parking lot, I about lost my composure because of the huge line of people that were outside in the rain waiting to go inside to have a Christmas.  I was so choked up, and I wondered if I could make it through the whole thing, but we went inside and put name tags on.  We walked into a really large room that was filled with tables surrounded by people eating a special Christmas meal.  Then, we went into another room where all the families that had children were.  They were seated in rows that faced three rows of tables piled high with presents.  Here's what it looked like.
We got a few instructions, and it was go time.  Basically, our job was to take one kid at a time through the tables and allow them to pick out a present from each table, a stuffed animal at the end, dig through a box of miscellaneous items, grab a bag of candy, and then take them outside to where their parents were waiting.  It was so incredible to just meet these little kids that wouldn't have a Christmas present to open without this ministry.  I had a hard time controlling my emotions throughout the couple hours that we were there.  There was a news man from Chattanooga that was there with a video camera, and he asked to interview me for the news.  Sweet!  I'm famous!  :)  I never saw the interview on tv, so maybe they thought I wasn't good looking enough.  :(  Anyway, I felt like a stalker, but I snapped a picture of the last kid before we left.  His name was Kevin, and he was super cool just like all the other kids.
Here's a picture of the four of us siblings after we were done.

I haven't yet completed my 2012 goals/resolutions, but I do know that helping more people will be on that list.  It was so rewarding and such a blessing.  I am so blessed in so many areas, and I don't deserve it.  It's nice to stop from our busy lives to just see how amazing everything is around us when others are struggling at life in so many ways.

May 2012 be the greatest year you have had yet.  I look forward to meeting many of you bloggers at different races.  Have fun and be safe at your New Year's parties wherever you are...



I bet that was so emotional working to help those kiddos get a gift for Christmas - what an awesome thing to do!

I love your watch, I've never heard of slap technology but that has to be so great not to have to feel around for a button to hit! Hope you enjoy it. And the computer for the bike trainer is pretty cool...I really need one of those...but first I guess it'd help for me to drag out my bike trainer :).

Happy New Year to you and your wife! May 2012 bring you lots of happy, healthy miles!

Katie Duffy

It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas... hope your 2012 is just as good!


I love what you did for the kids - that is amazing. You guys are awesome!

Ok so need your help on the watch thing - I was looking at that one or the Garmin f60 (?) and can't decide. Let me know how you like yours!

Here's to an amazing 2012 - hope we can race at least once together!!!


What a fabulous Christmas!!!!! I keep telling myself that I want to volunteer for something like that. I'm not sure I could do the kids though. Maybe seeing this is just the push I need..Thanks

Ironman By Thirty

Merry Christmas Santa!!! (nice beard) I always give up after a week of not shaving. No commitment.

It looks like you had a very nice Christmas!

Way to go on volunteering! That is just plain awesome!


It sounds like you had a great Christmas! What an amazing way to spend your Christmas morning! You guys are awesome!!

Happy 2012 to you and Jenn! :) Hope to see you both soon!

Caratunk Girl

I love love what you guys did with the children! There isn't anything like that around here, and there is a huge need. I have thought of organizing something for next year.

I hope 2012 is your best year yet!


Okay, first, I LOVE that you gave back on Christmas! What an amazing experience for everyone involved and I'm sure those kids were so grateful! :)

That beard cracks me up...

WOOHOO on the great gifts. I love my wireless strada (although I don't have cadence...) And that watch is awesome! Can't wait for a review of the tap screen! :)

Happy new year! Here's hoping 2012 is amazing (and that we all get to finally meet!)

Matty O

Wow... I was a bit choked up when I saw all the gifts man. You guys are really great people for doing that!

Loved the beard. Currently on week 2 of mine haha. Heather likes it for a week and then she says it has to go... Somehow I have managed to sneak an extra week in ;)

Would love to hear your thoughts on the watch after you put it through the gauntlet a few times.

Speed/cadence sensor... YES! :) I love mine. Makes trainer riding soooo much better!

Happy new year to you guys!

Big Daddy Diesel

Happy New Years


Wow - You scored some pretty sweet items this year at Christmas! I do believe the best gift you received was helping others....That was truely amazing!

Cannot wait to read about your upcoming events and resolutions for 2012 :)

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