Thursday, January 29, 2009

XGames 2009

Last weekend we ALL enjoyed the Xgames in Aspen. This is the third year we have gone up for the winter games. There were many aspects to the weekend. Kyle actually worked for ESPN as the Results/Releases Manager. As it turns out, he loved it and they loved him.

While he was working from 8am to 10pm all week and weekend, Kel Dan and I played. We ate, drank and played a lot of games. Kyle got us media passes so we could access areas of the games that "common folk" couldn't. It was nice, up close and personal. The events get better each year. The guys that ride snowcross are crazy!!! For the first time in history, a guy did a double back flip on his sled....NUTS!!! I thought for sure there would be a death, he lived and I'm sure will do it again. I can't wait for next year!

Winter XGames 2009, Aspen Colorado
Snocross starting line, 20 times around the track
Just practicing his back flip on the sled
We were up on the Pipe, pretty cool
Shaun White, won it all
More action on the pipe
Kel and Dan, "back stage"

Monday, January 19, 2009

The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo

Oh how I LOVE the rodeo!!!! I don’t even know how it all started, but I’m guessing it had something to do with my Dad growing up in New Mexico. Ever since I can remember my parents would take us to the rodeo every January. This is a HUGE rodeo, they have something like 6 buildings, multiple floors, two arenas and nearly their own exit off the highway. We always went with our family friends the Hogansons and between the five of us kids and the parents, I’m not sure who had more fun.

For those who haven’t been to a stock show or rodeo, it’s not like a state fair…..these are professionals cowboys cowgirls. It’s what they do for a living, raise animals and/or ride them.

As kids, we would usually get our of school a little early, which was a rare occurrence, meet the Hogansons and hit the highway. We parked in the same parking lot, ate at the same dining hall/cafeteria, got a new cowgirl hat topped with a feather and sat in the same seats, EVERY year. After my parents divorced, my mom checked out of that duty, but I enjoyed going, so I’d gather a group of friends and go.

This year was about the same, Jaime and Andrew, Kel and Dan and Kyle and I all went. We met at will call, and started through the rows of farm equipment, animal feeders, random stuff people sell and finally to the cows. A cow, people don’t think of this animal as pretty, but when you see the ones at the stock show….they are pretty. They are washed up, combed, hair sprayed and lookin’ good. All kinds of cows, you name it, and they are there. We walked through the petting area for kids…always fun. There are all sorts of animals for sale, bunnies, chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows, guinea pigs, horses, etc.

We stopped at our typical dining hall for dinner, and headed to the rodeo. It was so much fun, bareback to saddle bronc riding, calf roping to barrel racing, mutton’ bustin to monkeys riding on dogs (random). It was so much fun! Until next year…

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm thankfully empolyed

Yesterday was a hard day at my office. We had the 4th round of inevitable layoffs. I figured they would be this week, but you're never really ready for it. Two were a bit of a shock and the other two I have to say, I'm surprised they lasted this long. No matter how you look at it, it’s unfortunate.

Along with 4 more people gone, we are taking a 20% pay cut and still working full time. A hard concept but I'm not about to question it, I'm thankful to have a job.

These are hard times for many people and our country. Our generation hasn't ever seen this kind of depression. It is something to learn from and be thankful for what we have. I pray this economic situation turns soon and financing is available. Without financing I soon may be without a job. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts, I needed them!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Nuggets and basketball

I have a renewed love for basketball. Kyle got tickets to the Nuggets game last night, thanks to the Broncos. I hadn't been to a Nugs game in a couple of years, and it was so much fun. They are entertaining to watch, always moving around, attitudes all over the floor, and of course the prominent showing of tattoos.

Back in the day, I went to all BB games in high school. I loved it then and concluded last night I still love it!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The end of 2008 and beginning of 2009

Happy New Year!!!! We had quite a few fun filled days in the past week. After the flurry of Christmas, we gathered ourselves and got ready for Rich and Penny to come to town. Kyle and I were really excited about it, especially after we knew we would be able to go to Aspen.

Their plans got a little jumbled and they arrive nearly 7 hours early. I had dinner plans with Erin, who was in town for 24 hours and Jaime. Afterward, I met up with Kyle, Rich and Penny at the Cricket, one of our favorite spots to take guests. Tuesday brought a whirlwind tour of the metro area. First I took them to my favorite breakfast/brunch spot, Lucille's. With full bellies, we headed to Golden for a tour at Coors, and annoyed, they were closed for the holidays.....grrrrr. Nonetheless, we took some pictures to at least look like we toured. I drove them up Lookout Mountain where you can find some of the best view of the Denver Metro area. From there, we made a stop at this cute shop where Penny picked up a pair of jeans, and then headed back downtown. Rich wanted to go back to the area where we were for our wedding this summer. We stopped into Illegal Pete’s (Similar to Qdoba or Chipotle) for a beer, went to the Rio for a famous margarita and of course chips and salsa, then met Kyle at home for dinner. We continued on the Mexican train for dinner at Salty Rita’s and then to the Tavern uptown for a drink. It was a great day.

In-between all of the downtown stops, I got a text from Kyle...."Something big is going to happen today, I'm not sure when I'll be home...." That had me worried because the last time I receive a text like that, 7 people were laid off. So I responded "with the players or you?" He didn't know. Not more than 20 minutes later, another text said "SHANAHAN GOT FIRED!" I nearly fell off my chair. Another 20 minutes passed and it was on ESPN at Illegal Pete’s. News travels fast I guess. All is well in our world. This change will mainly affect the football side of the organization, not staff.

Wednesday we laid low, ran a few errands until Kyle was off after the big press conference. All of our bags were packed and ready to hit the road to Aspen. Colorado pizza is one of a kind, so we stopped in Idaho Springs at BeauJo's Pizza for a lunch/dinner on our way up. We arrived in Aspen to see dark windows, police tape and emergency vehicles all over town. As you may have heard, there was a crazy on the loose, with bombs and threats that shut down 16 blocks of town. For those who don’t know Aspen, that is ALL OF TOWN! It paralyzed the entire town, good thing we didn't have plans to go out, even thought it was NYE. Skiing was on the agenda for Thursday, so we wanted to be rested. Don't get me wrong, we stayed up to see the New Year, but it wasn't 15 minutes later and we were all in bed.

Thursday, what a day......lets see, how do I explain this. The set up: Rich - skied a few times and smack talked all week, Penny - skied a couple of times, Kyle - skied a couple of times, Me - skied my entire life. That being said, we headed out all bundled up and hopped the bus to Snowmass. The emotions and feelings: excited, nervous, stressed, frustrated, pain, more pain, hunger, scared, calmed, fun. We experience them all. Kyle called it a day about lunch time, and the three of us stayed for a few more runs. As usual, Rich was all talk about how I was going to only see his back side all day....blah, blah, blah. The details, it didn't happen. While Penny took a break, Rich and I went on an "intermediate" run at his request. He nearly peed himself, swearing, falling and Hell NO I'M NOT GOING DOWN THAT ONE, the entire way down the hill. It was hilarious! The end: We ate dinner relatively early, and crashed about 9:30.Friday we showed the newly engaged couple Aspen. It is such a fun town, lots of great shopping, looking and eating and drinking. I think we all had a great time. The day was finished at Zanes, watching Kentucky come back for the big win in the Music City Bowl. We headed back to Denver after the game. Saturday came all too quickly and it was time for Rich and Penny to leave.

It was a week filled with lots of laughter, competition, drinks, good eats, car rides, smack talk, reality of loosing, excitement of an engagement and time with great friends. I can't wait until next time!