Long time no post, sucker.

*images not from my trip, but stolen from google search results. I did ride the trail pictured here, Joe's Ridge, which scared the living hell out of me.

Well, winter's finally coming to an end in the mountains, and though we had snow as recently as last week (and, um, maybe again tonight), I am in "Spring Mode". That means that rather than pushing projects and duties aside for snow-related things, I'm instead pushing them aside for springy/summery things.

For example: last week I swapped the snow tires off our cars. I de-thatched and aerated our lawn. I spent a good amount of time in the yard pulling up all the work I had done with a little landscaped section around a tree and some bushes (woodchips and landscape fabric), killed the grass that had grown through it all, then put down new (GOOD) landscape fabric and some new woodchips. This past weekend we all went camping (which I'll get into more below), Caroline's first trip (she was a CHAMP). Have a (very) sore rear end from mountain bike rides this weekend... Yes, it's finally spring. My next huge tasks are to clean up the deck (whose peeling paint makes our house look like a hovel), hang our ski-lift-chair swing, and SERIOUSLY clean out the garage and workshop. Then get a new boiler, and start saving to replace the rotting windows in Caroline's room (well, that has to happen before next winter, anyway). And GET ON THE BIKE.

I'll say it here so I can be held to it, though it's ambitious: my goal for the summer is to summit Rabbit Ears Pass on the bike. Which means, I need to actually RIDE my bike this year. More bike commuting, more rides at lunch, etc. And after this weekend, I'm ready to get going. Well, all of me except my butt, at this point. I think I mentioned above that it is SORE.

So Friday I skipped out of work at one to pick up a bike I had rented, pack our camping stuff (the Audi was REALLY packed down) and head out to Fruita for our camping/MTB trip.

I have just spent the last 20 minutes or so looking for videos or pictures of the trails I went on (D and I only rode together once, on Sunday - on Rustler's Loop). I didn't take a single picture while riding (too busy, umm, riding), but we do have some from camping and a little extracurricular activity in the Audi. Our friend Scott has some pictures of me on the trails which we'll get posted shortly.

Saturday morning, the girls went out for a ride (about an hour and a half or so) while the guys watched the kids, then we swapped and the guys and I rode for a couple hours. Then it rained and rained and rained (of course - we were camping, after all).

But had a GREAT time and we're both really glad we made the trip out there. A different kind of valley than we're used to here in Steamboat, Fruita (and Grand Junction to the East) was, I assume, carved out by the Colorado River (which was just a short 150-foot drop below us on the Rustler's Loop trail). We live in a pretty awesome state.

Anyway, on Saturday I hit the Kessel Run (TOTALLY did it in less than 12 parsecs), Prime Cut and Joe's Ridge.
Looking at the stats it doesn't seem that impressive, but for my first ride of the year (and really only second MTB adventure), it was just at (or above) my limit.

Overall a great, great weekend.

After we get some of our pictures posted, I'll have Dana post as well.

 Lincoln Park Zoo!!!
Here's a little photo of C and Daddy at the Lincoln Park Zoo during our recent trek to Chicago. I think Caroline liked it-there were a couple good "ooooh!"s in the monkey building, and anything that looked vaguely like a dog got a loud "DOGGIE!!!". Everything else got a "N Dis?"

Life is a goin'. I'm a little scared to go to work tomorrow with this whole swiney-flu thing going on. Oh well. At least I get to be at the new Hayden office, which is so, so nice.

We booked our tickets today for Mark's cousin Kelly's wedding in San Fran in mid-June. I'm pretty proud of ourselves, because we even bought them their wedding present today, too. We got so many wedding invites last year, there was a lot of, "Did we send the reply back?" or "Did we send them a gift yet?". I even wrote on the invite "gift sent 4/27". How's that for organization?

I'm pretty excited about this wedding for a few reasons. First, it'll be nice to get out of town for a few days (Thursday-Sunday) because my partner Ron leaves for Italy tomorrow, gone for the next two months, which means I'm on call 1:2 for the next long times. By June, I'll need a little break. Second, I'll have finished running the Steamboat Marathon on June 7th, so I don't have to worry about trying to find time to get my long run in that weekend. Third, looks like we'll be able to meet up with my bro and his family while we're there, so they can finally meet Caroline, which is pretty awesome. Fourth, hopefully we'll also have a chance to meet up at some point with our friends Bittoo and Ursula, who we haven't seen since our wedding, and fifth, any Fitz wedding is a GUARANTEED good time. So I'm pumped.

Things to look forward to until then: We're going camping in Fruita this weekend with some friends, and Mark even rented a pretty sweet Moots so that we can each take our turns on the trails. I finally got my Xmas bonus (hooray!) and got a pretty nice Santa Cruz Blur XC, so I'm sure we'll have some good times. Then my mom is coming at the beginning of June--we had given her a plane ticket out to Steamboat as an Xmas present, and it'll be fun to have her out here for a week to spend time with C and cheer me on in the marathon!

I have a feeling this will probably be my last marathon for a while. I haven't done one since the Fargo Marathon in 2006 (moving, starting a new job, and having a baby will do that to a gal) but started to get the marathon itch again last fall. I'm excited to do the Steamboat Marathon, just because I live here, I know it's beautiful, and it'll be a fun day, but man, it's been brutal trying to train for this thing over the past month or so. I was doing great until I got sick after my 12 mile long run weekend, and for the next 3 weeks, maybe got a few runs in total. It's been a little rough trying to get back into the program, and with Ron leaving for Italy, finding time to get those runs in during the week, plus being a mom and a wife, is just a really tough thing. I would never have been able to do this without Mark's support, but after this marathon, I think I'm moving to half marathons until we're done having kids and they are in elementary school. It's just been hard. And I'm very thankful for our treadmill.

Been so busy/sick, I can't even give you an update on my latest reads. I tried to read Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman, but I was totally lost in the depth of his hair metal knowledge by page 100 that I got bored and stopped reading. I've started Cinderella Story: My Life in Golf by Bill Murray (mostly) and it's pretty good, as well as an intro book on mountain biking and bike maintenance. Man, our library here is so awesome.

OK, I need to get to bed. I have a 7 AM meeting at the hopspital before driving to Hayden. Hope all is well with everyone....

 What, me post?
Here's a picture of Mark and me on Opening Day at Wrigley, me wearing sunglasses in a vain hope for some sunshine. I didn't get any. The game was delayed an hour or two, and had sheets of mist the whole time. I couldn't believe they played the whole 9 innings--Mark and I kept expecting them to call it after the 5th. We were completely drenched by the 4th inning, but thanks to a number of beers and seats THREE rows behind the Cubs dugout (thanks Jim!), the rain didn't seem to matter much. We had an absolute blast.

So yeah, our trip back to Chicago/Cincinnati was way good times, despite me having a nasty cold to start the week, and some nasty GI issues to finish it up. But Caroline got to meet both of her great-grandmothers, we had some good times with family and friends, and I even pounded out a 15 miler along the Ohio river. That's right. I'm so hard core.

So now we're still trying to get back into the swing of things at home--Mark's back to work for the first time in 2 weeks, and I'm getting slammed with one of my partners and our PA out on vacation this week. But we finally hired an office manager (with an MBA and everything!) who is going to start next week, which will make my life considerably easier. Woo-hoo!

Caroline is getting so big so fast--17 months old today! New words now almost daily, and way into defiance mode. Good thing she's so darn cute.

OK, my husband is requesting my presence for an after after now that the baby is put to bed. I'll blog more later. Can't say how much later.

Seriously, how cute is this?

So Mark told me I had to blog more, especially since I ended my two week dalliance with Facebook, and don't regret that decision in the least. Still working on the blog more part.

So I figured I'd talk about what books I've been reading, so that you all will get bored and forget that I don't blog very often. Let me know how it works.

I have been a huge Barnes and Noble freak since college, since that was the best place to go to get away from my apartment and spend a whole day studying and reading and not needing to talk to anyone. Mark and I would still make occasional bookstore trips together, although admittedly they became less frequent once we moved to Colorado. Then after C was born, I was way too tired to think about reading.

So then C got big enough, and a new library was built, so we figured we'd check out the kids library section--which is AWESOME. She loves going there--stares at the fishies, pulls all the books off the shelves (but since they are mostly cardboard books in baskets she can grab, no big deal), jumps on the beanbags, and runs around the storytime room. It's fantastic. So then Mark and I actually started using the library card we got over 2 years ago.

Libraries are so fantastic. I realized it is even more fantastic that we are using it once Mark told me how much we are paying for it through our property taxes. Considering how much money we used to spend on books, we'll see how much it pays off.

The good news is that in the past 3 months, I have read 7 library books, plus two extra PostSecret books (I don't feel bad about checking these out from the library since I gave one as a gift). From my calculations, I have to read at least another 5 books to make sure I am getting my money back from my taxes. As I already have another 2 checked out, I'm pretty certain I'll be able to reach this goal. If you count in the books Mark has checked out and read, we break even, and from here on out, the library is ALL OURS.

Here's my list of books I have read since the beginning of December:

Complications by Atul Gawande
Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman
What I Think About When I Think About Running by Haruki Murakami
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
College Girl by Patricia Weitz
Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

PLUS the two PostSecret books
PLUS The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty (but that one was borrowed from Ann).

I rule.

I'm trying to think which ones I liked the most. I liked Complications because he's pretty straight on about some of the crap that goes through a doctor's brain sometimes. I liked Downtown Owl, but only because the author busts out some wicked 80's Fargo, ND references that only a local would get, and I appreciate that. The running book-meh. Flowers for Algernon was good, better than the last time I read it, in 8th grade HONORS ENGLISH (hi Mr. Kolstad), College Girl and Beat the Reaper I read about in The Week, and neither one was as good as advertised. Mark was the one who checked out Childhood's End, and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, and makes me want to read more Arthur C. Clarke. The PostSecret books, of course, were fantastic, and Memory of Running, I think I read it in just a few days because it was just such a great story.

So there you go. Tubby D's Book Club.

The two books I have checked out are Better, Atul Gawande's follow-up to Complications, and The Survivor's Club, by Ben Sherwood, which I plan to read on the plane out to my medical conference in Napa in a few weeks so people will think I'm levelheaded. Suckers.

OK. Still reading? Sweet. I'm going to do some dishes and go to bed. Oh. And maybe read a little.

I know it's been a long time since we've updated. Nothing huge going on, just life keeping us busy! I promise we'll try to update soon.

BUT, here's a bunch of recent pictures!

 New Caroline video
Nothing new to report, just a new video. YouTube nailed it AS IT WAS UPLOADED as containing copywritten material (the background song), so now I'm using Vimeo!

Caroline the showoff from Mark Fitz on Vimeo.

 Updates, etc.
So after not having to snowblow for the LAST TWO DAYS, I'm feeling well rested and finally a little relaxed (sorry for the woe-is-me stress post last time around).

Yesterday, went to the dentist and got a thumbs up (yay), and they removed a kind of permanent retainer that has been glued to my lower teeth for probably about 15 years, that some old dentist had clearly forgotten about and my dentists since didn't want to mess with.

After the dentist, I took a drive out to Hayden to check out the property that we bought (with Dana's business partners) to see how the remodel is going (they're opening a satellite clinic to better serve the surrounding areas). It's looking really good.

The space is a building from 1914 that had been a deli, so needless to say, a lot of work had to be done to get it turned into a medical office. I unfortunately didn't take any pictures, maybe I'll try to get out there again soon. Anyway, they're due to open in March(?), which is pretty exciting. Right now Dana drives out to neighboring Craig, CO (also known as CRAIG, AMERICA) where they rent space, so having their own space about 20 minutes closer to Steamboat will be a welcome change for everyone. Except, well, the patients in Craig, I suppose. But it's better than their having to drive to Steamboat!

Anyway, not much else to report on. The treadmill is still getting used(!!), but I need to work out a schedule so I get on more often during the week.

Oh, and Caroline is walking. I took a short, crappy video because my parents NEEDED to see it - I'll try to get better stuff up soon. I don't have a video of her saying "NO" yet. But that should be easy enough to make happen, unfortunately.

That's it!

weird picture a result of google search for 'stress'

It's been a little rough the last couple days. Without even mentioning the feet of snow we've received, Dana's been on call a lot and Caroline has been a little sick. Late nights (D on call) and early mornings (snowblowing, taking the kid to daycare, rounding on patients in the hospital) have made for some ragged parents.

We are working hard at putting together a pretty strict budget, we're both trying to work out more and cook at home more, all while trying to recover from the holidays. Today I learned that the post office intentionally destroyed a package for us (because we don't have local delivery, and it was sent to our physical address via a method with no return-to-sender).

Last night I accidentally wiped out a couple months of pictures and music (and almost ALL of our pictures and music), while trying to be responsible and back it all up! Though no fault of my own (a pretty major software defect), I still beat myself up for it, and am looking for a way to fix things.

Not to mention our house is kind of a mess, with us in a 'half-cleaned-up-from-Christmas' mode, and the office in disarray due to the addition of a treadmill in there.

Then there's work! But don't get me started. :)

Anyway, just a little ragged, trying to do too many things at once, etc etc. (and no vacation coming until April!)

OK, complaint session over. Back to our regularly scheduled blog.

 New Year's mischief
From the Steamboat Pilot:

Steamboat Springs — An unidentified Oak Creek man who spent 18 hours in the snow overnight through the New Year’s holiday survived, suffering only severe hypothermia, fire officials said Thursday.

The 44-year-old man apparently left his house in the 100 block of Virginia Street at about 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to feed horses, Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chief Chuck Wisecup said Thursday. The man’s horses are on adjacent land just outside town limits, Wisecup said.

The man was intoxicated and never made it back to the house Wednesday night and was found frozen but alert and conscious in the snow on his property at about noon Thursday, Wisecup said.

The man was transported via ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center and did not appear to have any other injuries.

“All we could tell is, he had severe hypothermia,” Wisecup said. “He didn’t have any indications of frostbite, but sometimes you can’t tell until they get warmed up.”

In Steamboat Springs, New Year’s Eve was “pretty uneventful,” Steamboat Springs Police Sgt. Gerard Geis said Thursday. No bar fights or serious problems among revelers were reported.

“There was obviously a whole lot of people in the bars, but everyone behaved, and we didn’t have any of the mischief we might have expected,” Geis said. “Having it fall midweek, I think, helped.”

“We chased some guy dressed up like a bumblebee around and took him home to his mom. That was about it,” Geis said. “Really, people were well behaved last night.”

Well, beats Aspen.

 Game On.

The makin' babies thing is currently on hiatus for the next 6 months or so for a number of very boring, adult responsibility reasons. The good thing about this is that it frees up my year to do some other notable things in my life.

Here's a picture of me one of the times I ran the Chicago Marathon and trounced Hutch with my mediocre times. I haven't done a marathon since spring of 2006, when Hutch and I ran the renowned Fargo Marathon. Which, by the way, was actually really well organized and was a super-fun time. Regardless, in the midst of moving to Colorado, havin' a kid, and various shin-digs, I have, shall we say, let myself go.

So my New Year's Resolution (or one of them) is to run the Steamboat Marathon, which I've wanted to do for the last couple years, but always had an excuse not to. And I just officially signed up. This was the main reason for buying the treadmill--since I'm on call and glued to a cell phone for 1/3 of my life, trying to get runs in is pretty difficult, since, well, running with a cell phone outside really sucks. The rec center in town has a strict no cell-phone policy, so working out on the treadmills there was not an option either, and let's not forget that often my free time to run is when C is asleep for naps or for the night, which does not allow for getting outside for a run. Hence the treadmill--couldn't do this without it. And to be honest, even with a treadmill, couldn't do this without Mark agreeing to help, since some of those weekend long runs can take 3 hours or so, which will give him some good Daddy time with C.

The other thing is just that running has always been my biggest and best stress reliever, and not being able to do it when on call has been frustrating. No more excuses, and Lord knows I could use a major stress reliever with all the craziness of my job.

So there you go--if anyone wants to come and cheer me on, the run is June 7th, and Mark may even run the 10K. We'll see about that.

Wish me luck! Training is no easy thing--I still need to build up my base more (I'll do anything from 0-12 miles in a week lately), and the official training schedule starts the first week in February. At least my cross-training can be on skate-skis, or hey, maybe even snowboarding on the mountain, right?