It is these moments

We must remember to be present during those fleeting moments in this life where we are deeply touched, and awake, and present in our lives... for those truly are the moments. The real moments that take our breath away and break our heart wide open. Its moments like these that give our lives meaning. 
Wishing you a joyous and peaceful weekend friends. Namaste.

Final Stop of the North Face Masters Tour... Snowbird

Utah was the final stop of the North Face Masters Tour. The first day I arrived the temp was 74 in Salt Lake City, which put the mountain at about 65. The snow was slow and sticky. Thankfully registration day, a storm came through, and dumped snow through out the night.  Dumping enough snow to give us epic conditions for the event. Pow in April is nothing to complain about! All the athletes were fired up to put on a show.

Qualifier day was on Silver Fox, which is a pretty short face, riddled with fun lines. I chose to ride the North Shoot which has a mandatory exit. With the fresh snow I was slowed way down by the sluff which effected my score pretty huge. I stomped my landing and rode strong to the finish. I finished 6th which gave me a spot in the finals.

 North Way was the finals day venue. I felt a little stress knowing that I was in 1st going into this day on the tour. I wanted to pick a line that I knew would be a winning line if I could put A,B, and C together. Shannon Yates, a veteran in the competition scene, was sitting in second after Kirkwood. This was her home mountain which gave her the advantage. Qualifier day she rode a fast line, flawlessly! I knew I had my work cut out for me. Bottom-line I had to just think about myself and everything would pan out the way it's supposed to. 

I had a couple line choices one more difficult then the other. Both of which I felt could win the event. I chose to take the more difficult line which didn't work out in my favor. I rode fast and fluid through out the entire run other then a significant hesitation before a large drop. I had a small butt check which is always considered a loss of control. I did hit a couple more features which I landed with ease, which helped build my score but I knew would not be enough for a win. Even though I didn't ride my line like I wanted, I still had a blast!

 Finishing 4th, placed me 2nd overall on the North Face Masters Tour. Yahoo!

The Snowbird Ladies dominated the podium taking over all the top 3 spots. Shannon Yates taking the 1st place win and won her second overall title.Yeah Shannon!

Now that Spring is on I am looking forward to beach days and Mountain Biking with friends. I hope to travel for the snow this summer. I am happy to end healthy and with a very successful finish. We shall see where my future leads. My hope is to be invited on the Freeride World Tour.

I want to thank all my friends and family for all the support this season. Also to my sponsors Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Slick Willy's Banana Wax, US Air bag, O'Neill, Tahoe Moonshine Distillery, and UKY. 

Love and Light to all in this coming season. Enjoy the sunshine and get outside!

2012 North Face Masters Overall Tour Winners ~ Women

Rank Name Score
1. Shannan Yates 235
2. Casey Lucas 220
3. Laura Dewey 151

Kirkwood Rocks!

Pretty excited to share this! 
My partner and friend, Josh Daiek, won the Freeskiing World Tour stop at  Kirkwood, which gave him the overall FWT Title! Congats Josh! The world is yours...
 *Beau's Up*

42 anos de bênçãos!

42 anos de bênçãos! 

Com a Graça do Nosso Bom Deus, no domingo dia 22 passado, dia lindo de sol, estivemos comemorando o 42º aniversário da Congregação São Lucas.

O culto maravilhoso foi dirigido pelo pastor Rev. Paulo Edmundo Jung, aliás, a partir das próximas semanas será o novo pastor desta congregação.

Seja bem-vindo pastor Paulo, como também vossa família!

Aos colaboradores, que sempre se fazem presentes, nosso muito obrigado!

Vera R. L. Guterres - Presidente

“When we do our Practice…”

Have you noticed that the sunset is more vivid when we do our practice? And that there are fewer “jerks” on the freeway? The hardwood floor is the most comfortable bed in the world when we do our practice. Our mate is more patient and kind when we do our practice. Even the government seems more organized - when we do our practice. We want less and give more, we notice beautiful hearts, and are more forgiving of the mean-spirited. When we do our practice it is as if we live in a different world with our hearts open wide. But of course it is not the world that has changed; it is we who have changed, and that is one of the great secrets of yoga. We change but it appears as if the world around us blooms like a flower.-Max Strom

be more.

   i can't get this post out of my mind.
she is speaking of photography. mostly.
but it spoke to something else in me.

her words:
'i adjusted my settings. and adjusted them again.
and again and again.
it was work, but it was worth it...'

'am i who i say i am?
am i authentic and real?'
i am trying to be more. 

Book cover

Book cover for Obatron Productions

I've been at births and I have had a loved one die in my arms and...

Finally someone else speaks of the correlation between birth and death. I have never been to a birth that hasn't reminded me of that moment when my grandma took her last breath in my arms. Its not morbid or sad in anyway. It is real life and is something that we will all face both at the beginning and end of our lives. 
Thank you Dancing Star Birth for posting this video on your Facebook Page today. Poignant and touching, this video chronicles the last days of the life of a man named Lord Gould. He says that when you really know you are about to die "Life screams at you in its intensity". Let us not be afraid to die or afraid to live while we are here. Namaste friends.  

How I Write... and learned to take more photos.

There are no photos today.  And... before you ask, I'll explain.  I haven't taken any.  It's not that I haven't written to anyone, and I've gotten some really fun mail, including a letter from Dawid, some awesome entries for the Mini Mondrian, and more, I just haven't taken photos.  But that's not the point.

When I check my PO Box, it's usually in the evenings after work.  Weekends are pretty much a "whenever I feel like it" thing.  The service window at my Post Office is only open until 4:30pm on weekdays, and noon on Saturday.  I almost always miss it, so I am greeted by the steel bars covering the displays.  On the occasion that I do make it to the post office before they close, the Postmaster, Katrina, is always there, as she has been since the early 80s.

The mail that I receive is eagerly opened on the day I get it, and is logged in my book.  I delight in reading the letters/cards, and have taken to sharing the experience with friends who are curious.  "What's that?!" has been asked many times when I have an unusual envelope.  My response is always the same - another gift from a pen friend.

And then... the letters get kept in my messenger bag.  I keep all sorts of things in that bag - envelopes, stamps, rulers, markers, glue, tape, chap stick, fountain pens, ink, blank paper of all sorts and sizes, and a clipboard.  I will pull out a random letter and re-read it.  And then I will start my response.

Sometimes, it takes me a couple of days to write a response.  Sometimes, it flows like melted butter on a hot pan.  I always date the letters for the day that I start writing them, but I often wonder if I should date them for the day they were finished.  They will then get placed into an envelope... and that's where I fail.  I don't always put them into the post right away.  I seem to gather them until I have 5 or 6 envelopes to mail out before I send them.

So, my question to you is - how to you write your letters? 

these are the places i will always go...

Come And Find Me (Acoustic) by Josh Ritter on Grooveshark

...though i'm here in this far off place
my air is not this time and space.

i invited bri over on friday.
i needed her help with an important gift.
i pulled out all the ingredients.
my prettiest utensils and fanciest spice jars.
brought them all over to my kitchen table.
turned the blinds and let the sunshine flood my space.
i let briana control my pandora station.
first: come and find me 
i am clumsy in the kitchen - but i measured so carefully this time.
poured the salt in my hand and felt it slip through my fingertips.
i got flour on my shirt. on my pants. even my shoes. 
i hummed through star mile.
whispered along to down in the valley.
the recipe went quick. 
it was in the oven before i knew it...
so we painted ferns onto a piece of the softest linen.
my hair fell in my face. i cried. 
and felt my heavy heart beat along to broken chair.
the oven timer rang.
we ran a tiny sharp knife through the warm shortbread.
tenderly wrapped it up in our linen.
and tied it closed with a cotton thread.
i snitched some of the left over crumbs - let them melt on my tongue. 
i tasted the salt. 
the butter.
the sugary bits. 
she played me one more before heading off.
thomas newman's any other name 
she had lot's of places to be this weekend.
i am so grateful that she spent a moment with me.

photo of briana by alisha stamper


Monsters concept
Graphite on paper

Happy Earth Day friends.

"All the peace and happiness of the whole globe, 
the peace and happiness of societies, 
the peace and happiness of family, 
the peace and happiness in the individual persons' life, 
and the peace and happiness of even the animals and so forth, 
all depends on having loving kindness toward each other." Lama Zopa Rinpoche

I love Parabola magazine

Have you ever wondered why the Buddha offered Four Noble Truths? Why not just Two—Suffering and the Way Out? Better yet, why not skip straight to the point: The 8-fold Path out of Suffering? Did the Awakened One stretch out the explanation because he lived in a leisurely, pre-literate culture and didn’t have access to the many examples of Steps to A-New-You that abound on the internet and bestseller lists?
No, the Buddha knew that liberation takes place in the wild and woolly space between the recognition of suffering (in one of its infinite guises, even mild boredom at our unrelieved success) and our conscious awareness of stepping on a clearly defined path. Awakening—or the movement towards awakening—takes place in those times when the bubble of ego is popped and you are in pieces and overwhelmed. The work of awakening takes place in that wild interval of not knowing.
“Those times, when you absolutely cannot get it back together, are the most rich and powerful times in our lives,” teaches contemporary Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön. In such moments we look at life and ourselves in a kind of detached wonderment--and sometimes we are met by another kind of awareness that seems to take mercy on us—a free attention from another level. It can feel as if we are being seen and embraced by a higher consciousness that is there all the time (inside and outside) only we are too caught up in our little world to notice. Madame de Salzmann called it a “look from above.” At certain moments, we are joined by this attention in our efforts.
In the “Burning World” issue of Parabola, Rafe Martin retells “The Brave Little Parrot,” a traditional Buddhist Jataka tale—or past life story of the Buddha. Here is my retelling of his retelling: A little grey parrot lived in a green forest. One day a storm sparked a fire that set the forest ablaze. The little parrot reacted in the usual way, flying away to safety. Yet because of her past efforts and many other factors in her conditioning, she couldn’t forget the sight of the trees and animals that couldn’t escape. When she reached a river where many of the other animals were huddling, she didn’t fly on to safety. She dipped her wings in water and flew back to the burning forest to shake a few drops on the blaze. The other animals thought her effort was ridiculous, pathetic—such a tiny effort against such an out-of-control fire. But she flew back again and again. Finally, her brave effort attracted the gaze of a god—who wept at her sincerity (or in other versions banged clouds together and made it rain). With this special help from above, the fire is put out.
At certain moments in life, we cannot deny our suffering. At certain moments we see all the way down to root of it—that we are limited and usually in ignorance of the forest in which we dwell. We spend our time and efforts desperately wanting things to be other than they are, blind to immense fact of our conditioning—we live in an inextricable web of causes and conditions, just like that parrot in the forest. Yet sometimes, instead of trying to fly away and relieve our suffering as quickly as possible—we dip our wings in the living water of understanding. We turn back and bring the cool water of understanding to our situation. And sometimes making the brave effort to be in the fire—to see and feel the heat of our situation-- attracts help from above. It might even attract help from below—or transform the way we look at our lives.
“If you are working inwardly, Nature will help you,” taught G.I. Gurdjieff. “For the man who is working, Nature is a sister of charity; she brings him what he has need of for his work.” From the perspective of awakening, a forest fire is not a calamity but a crisis that brings the ultimate healing, liberation from suffering.

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.
―Wendell Berry: "A Spiritual Journey"

Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous "I don't know."
―Wisława Szymborska from her Nobel Lecture: "The Poet and the World," 1996

Parabola magazine 

Getting Back Into It

A very quiet day at work last week allowed me to finally finish the giant stack of envelope blanks I had printed some time ago.  I had an assembly line of envelope shapes, glue, and eventually, tape.  I think I sometimes go a little overboard with tape, but I would rather the envelopes stay closed than fall apart in the process.  I have found that I enjoy envelopes made of colored paper much more than those of white paper.  It makes the letters I send much more noticeable without requiring much effort on my part.  Not that I mind the effort, but sometimes, I just don't have the time.

This is my outgoing mail for today.  I love the very simple geometric design I put on the envelopes.  It adds a touch of class to them without being too overpowering.  I still have some 10-12 letters to write, and I think I will continue this design.

I have even thought of putting the design on the paper I write on.  I really should try that before the idea slips my mind completely.

I think I'll add a full set of these envelopes in the Mini Mondrian contest.  Oh yes... many more goodies will be going to the winner.  Have you sent in a postcard yet?  I received 1 entry yesterday from Adam.

And as with most of the letters I am sending out - I want to apologize.  It is taking me far too long to reply right now due to my Phantom Elbow Pain.  I believe I have found the source of it, and have taken measures to deal with it.  Bear with me, folks... I will get replies out as soon as possible!


Goblin concept

design for you | ambrosia girl

my iphone desperately needed a new wallpaper design.
...and then i had an idea.
to gather up some of my favorite blog connections 
and talented graphic designers
to share a bit of their art here with you.  

i'm so excited that jenn kirk of ambrosia creative agreed to participate.
her blog is a daily read of mine. 
i've got a set of her tiny polaroid magnets on my fridge
and some painted geo blocks in the works.
i am so inspired by the way she creatively supports her sweet family.
be sure and give her a visit. 

she's created two wallpaper designs for you.
and they are just so perfect for the spring season that we're in the middle of. 
i'm using them both - one for my lock screen and the other as my main wallpaper.
a little happiness every time my phone rings. 
find her designs along with instructions on how to set them to your phone - HERE.

42 anos de bênçãos!

No dia 18 de abril a Congregação São Lucas Harmonia completará 42 anos de existência.
Para agradecermos a Deus pelas bênçãos concedidas neste período, queremos convidá-los para celebrarmos no próximo domingo, dia 22, um culto especial com a pregação do pastor Paulo Edmundo Jung. Após o culto, teremos um almoço de confraternização.
Entre em contato para mais informações e convites para o almoço.

Culto: 10 horas
Almoço: 12 horas
Cardápio: Meio galeto, arroz e saladas
Valor: R$ 15,00

The Mini Mondrian Contest

Many of you are fellow bloggers, and many of you have held contests on your blogs that I would have loved to enter.  I always feel guilty because I didn't really have anything unique or unusual to give away on my own blog.  But, with the small adventure into painting envelopes, I discovered something that seemed to be a big hit.  

Meet the Mini Mondrian.  This tiny square painting and easel can be yours.  How do you win it, you ask?  I am going to take a page out of the book of the first contest I ever entered - send me a postcard.  Do you have that one unusually weird postcard that has been sitting around and you didn't know who to send it to?  Do you like to make your own postcards but the Postcrossing Snobs get angry if you send them?  Now's your turn to shine.  

You have until May 15th to send your postcard.  At that time, I will choose who is to receive this miniaturized masterpiece.  Anyone can enter, and I'll arrange shipping once the contest has ended.  All I ask is that you mention the Mini Mondrian somewhere on the postcard.

This Mini Mondrian has a twin... but has not been painted yet.  I am going to keep that one a secret until May 15th... 

It's been rather quiet around the blog the past few weeks.  That is mostly my fault... I have been focusing on other things in life.  But, mail has been going out steadily for the last week and I am slowly getting caught up.  Plus, there's also this odd phantom pain that flares up whenever I attempt to write for longer than 15 minutes.   I had hoped it would subside, but it looks like it's here to stay.  But, more on that later.

I hope you all are having a great weekend!

be more.

spring should be here. it keeps tricking me with a little peek of sunshine everyday. quickly challenged by moody and mean clouds and that annoying tri-town wind. oh, but when it does show itself! it's so so good to me. there is a direct correlation between the sun shining and the state of my being. 

the sunshine this week has meant family bike rides. and tonight we went further than we've ever gone. it was the perfect adventure that tonights cloud-break was calling for.  

when i am on my pretty blue bike - i am happy. happy enough that i notice. and that is such sweet relief from having 'tired' as my only recognizable emotion. i rode behind lukey for a mile of our ride. his turn as the family leader and something about watching him pedal-pedal-pedal in from of me (those bright green shoes, that red levi's tab and the yellow helmet perfectly snug on his head) made me feel so immensely happy that i can't even describe it. a combination of fresh air, my body moving, and the fact that that colorful, happy boy was mine...

Ever practice Tonglen meditation? I often do. Especially lately. It's powerful stuff..

Changing pain to compassion.


dyeing Easter eggs!

Wow, it's been a long time. There are no excuses, but several explanations for my blog hiatus. Although I have SIGNIFICANTLY more time on my hands than if I were working, having two kids is keeping me very busy! Mostly though, Lucas's hearing loss journey has slowed down. It has peeked and plateaued. We are right where we'd like to be.

Despite the missing processor that we are still desperately searching for, Lucas continues to progress remarkably well, and especially thrive in his mainstream setting. He continues to take swimming lessons and has started playing soccer. He has lots of friends with whom he communicates brilliantly. He is doing everything that I would expect of a typical 4-year-old boy.

Our biggest buzz word around here lately is advocacy... in several different contexts. I like to believe that I moved into advocacy mode when I stopped grieving his hearing loss when Lucas was 6 months old and I began this blog. Before that, I couldn't read about other children with hearing loss, because it was just too painful. Thank goodness I got over that quickly and began advocating for my child. I believe that this advocacy mode will last for a long time to come, at least until he goes to college and I now longer have much input. He will then have to fully advocate for himself. And those are the skills that we have begun to work on... NOW.

Prior to re-writing his IEP this year, Lucas received services at home from a teacher of the deaf once a week for 3 out of 4 weeks a month, with the 4th visit being at preschool. She now pushes in to his classroom every other week, with her goal being to teach him self-advocacy skills. He is learning to speak up when he doesn't hear, to ask others to repeat themselves, to position himself strategically in the best location in the classroom (away from loud objects such as radiators or music, as close as possible to the teacher). These skills are important LIFE skills, and will be most important when he enters grade school.

Although we're teaching him self-advocacy, I'm still advocating for him from the sidelines. I have mastered the 1-minute here's-what-you-need-to-know-about-his-ears-and-his-needs speech. This has been helpful for swim lessons, soccer practice and church. It goes something like this:

"Hi, my son's name is Lucas and he's deaf. (pause and let it sink in)... But, he hears and speaks really well with his cochlear implants (pause longer this time for the processing of an illogical concept)... I have two tips for you... get his attention before you speak to him, and be as close to him as possible when you do. Don't worry if one of the magnets falls off, because he can put it back on himself, but if the processor falls off, he may need some help positioning it back on his ear. Okay, thanks, bye... and good luck."

I'm also advocating for our local children with hearing loss. By starting a support group, we are helping each other advocate, informing each other about how to give our children the care and services they need and deserve, every step of the way.

Recently I visited my local state senator to speak to him personally about supporting oral deaf education in Pennsylvania. The idea was not all my own, but it made me feel incredibly empowered, like I could truly make a difference on a broader level. What was really cool, is that I took Lucas with me, so he could speak for himself. He certainly left a lasting impression on the senator, who was thoroughly impressed at Lucas's ability to express himself. I got to do some educating on cochlear implants (one of my favorite things to do), and the senator gave me a 100% commitment to writing a letter of support, which was my request. I also encouraged him to continue to support Medicaid in PA, without which Lucas may not have one and would certainly not have two cochlear implants. We would be paying for that first surgery for the next 50 years, and would probably both have 2 additional part-time jobs. He agreed that it was worth every penny the state spent.

Life is good, and we are immensely blessed by this hearing loss journey. It has opened many new doors and experiences, and we've met so many people whose paths we never would have crossed.

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." ~ Helen Keller

We really need to listen to each other. Even the boring bits.

What a brilliant talk this is. I love technology and am as hooked as the next person (maybe even more!) but I am also really glad I know how to have a conversation. For lot's of reasons I am really glad I wasn't a child growing up in this computer age. What she says is so true. "It's when we stumble, hesitate, or lose our words that we reveal ourselves to each other" I love that line.

KaBoom! Grant

Just submitted our application for the KaBoom! grant. We should hear back by the end of April. Stay tuned for our next committee meeting. We would love to have more community involvement to ensure we get the playground that everyone wants.

Our Goals

The creation of the Lucas Park playground is part of a broader redevelopment of Lucas Park that should significantly alter the long history of problem behaviors in Lucas Park. Look for Lucas Park to be closed down (other than the dog park) in June for improvements that will include a working sprinkler system, new grass, extensive landscaping, general maintenance and security upgrades, and of course the playground which we are planning to build in September. Then, we need your help to use the playground, hang out in Lucas Park, help us with landscaping and maintenance, and generally get to know your community while we restore a wonderful community asset.

One other note for parents with kids who like this link. We are also working with a group who are working to start a charter school called Lafayette Preparatory Academy that will serve families in Downtown, Lafayette Square, and other near southside neighborhoods. Search for the LPA facebook page to get more information.

We're Back!

Greetings. The Downtown St. Louis Playground project is coming out of dormancy. We are working towards construction of a playground for Downtown at Lucas Park (13th and Locust), right across the street from the newly renovated Central Library (opens November, 2012) around September 1, 2012. This will be part of a broader revival of Lucas Park. We need your help!!! To help, contact Matt O'Leary at

six! | the party

the night before luc's party he checked the forecasted weather every ten minutes. not joking. 
it called for not just rain but a thunderstorm the following day. we crossed our fingers and my boy said quite a few little prayers - that his friends would still be able to bring their bikes. 
in the morning we made the executive decision to switch the party from the church parking lot to our home - just in case. 

it was gloomy and drizzly before the party. 
bright and sunny for the few hours during the party.
and the storm clouds rolled in right after the party.
how's that for answered little boy prayers?!

as his friends arrived - they each found a parking cone in our living room to park their bikes - pop the kickstand and get to work. each station had a pile of supplies for decorating their bicycles and getting them ready to race!

our local trophy shop had a stash of old cycling trophies and kindly donated them to us. my husband and i spray painted the trophies to match the party. after cruising the neighborhood bike trail - the boys came back to the house and were presented with their BIG, bright neon trophies.  they each took turns standing on the first place podium for a picture and congratulating each other on their speed. it was the best part. they were so proud of their trophies! 

we then rounded everyone up and went back inside to fill their personalized bike bottles up at the fill station/gatorade stand and sang a little happy birthday over neon cake push-pops. All the boys went home with personalized bike bottles, some treats and a bike pin from lee + latimer. 

party success. 
and my party boy? such a happy six-year-old!

push pop containers found here.

*thank you, k. andelin for snapping some of these pictures for us!*

Interior book illustration

Illustrations to

six! | the invite

it's official. 
my lucas jude is six years old! we had the best birthday week ever. but the real fun started weeks before when we sat down together to make the plans. he decided on a cycling party - with hopes that the weather would cooperate and his favorite friends could bring their bikes. 
the invites were my favorite part. he made a list of his six closest friends and we got to work. we found most of our supplies at a local hardware store. neon spray paint for the bike stencil and shiny new bike bells to get his buddies excited for the party. 

he was actually able to help quite a bit. i did the spray painting and he peeled the stencil off. i cut and typed the party info and he stuck them on with a neon dot sticker. carefully choosing a coordinating color. i tied the bright orange bows and he tucked the bells into the boxes.  then we loaded them up and he hand delivered them to each of his pals. 

it was so fun when all the boys showed up to the party on wednesday! new bells attached to their handle bars. find more of the party details here!

invitation supplies:
gift boxes found here
bike bells found here
neon stickers found here
stencil cut with my silhouette machine and vinyl
free bike font found here

The Easter Bunny Came!

I had a little surprise when I checked my box a few hours ago...
It seems as if the Easter bunny left me a gift!

What joy!  I can only imagine the smiles this little guy made as he came across the country.

The inside?  Two awesome postage stamp pins!  I have never seen these before, and they are quite awesome!

Thank you so much, Misty!

A Mini Spoiler

In the quiet stirs
An idea founded in comments received
So with all the friendly banter...
Take notice and take heed...

The springtime only brightens your day...
... so how about a give-away?
The rules must be followed foremost...
for a chance to win something through the post.

Your mind is like a living room.

Sometimes guests arrive and sit down. Sometimes you realize that you don’t like them, that you don’t enjoy their company. Eventually they leave. And you vow to be more careful about the people you invite. Learning whom to invite is an art. —Thich Nhat Hanh

1st Place at my home...Yahoo! 2nd stop of the North Face Masters, Kirkwood

This last weekend at Kirkwood was the 2nd stop of the North Face Masters Tour. Day one I finished 2nd and with th random order chosen I would be starting last on day 2 in the Kirkwood's beautiful face, the Cirque. This is only my third year on the whole North Face Tour but this is my 5th time competing in the infamous Cirque. Every time I drop into this face my heart is racing part of nervousness and part the excitement of another adventure.  With consideration that we have had an extremely low snow year we had our start much lower on the face then in years past. I actually had to ride down to the normal traverse for the Thunder Saddle with fellow competitors, Tiffany Noel and Ashley Thornton, to find that we would be the first to face a 200ft. hike up through the actual venue to get to the start. We all felt like true mountaineers. With the knowledge that I started last I chose to start my way putting in the boot pack. Starting last I would have the most time to recover.

After the treck to the start was over the anticipation for my run began. I had a couple lines in mind but one of which that I was the most intimidated by had the highest scoring line ended up being the one that would lead me to my first win on the North Face Masters Tour. It was my first time riding last which isn't ideal in my book, for all the ladies on the tour have become very close and watching your friends shred has become one of the high lights of the contest. Of course I embraced my start position and enjoyed watching my talented competitors rip the top section before I would loose sight of them at the blind roll over. I was especially impressed with Iris Lazz, Camilla Brown, and of course Shannon Yates confidence and just all around charging. Honestly I was getting pretty nervous. When it came time for me to drop in my heart was racing at the gate. Once out the gate everything went calm. It was time to have some fun and shred the sickest face on the tour. Yeah! I stomped all my airs and stayed in control through the avalanche depree and also was able to get some face shots along the way. My favorite part of my run had to be coming to the finish with some of my greatest friends cheering me on. Laura Dewey had trown down the current leading score which placed her in the hot seat. I waited for my score and it came up as an 80.33 just a few points ahead but enough to give me the top spot. Honestly I still can't believe it happened.
I am now sitting in first on the tour with very few points over Shannon Yates. I will have my work cut out for me at Snowbird to keep that top overall position. 

I want to thank my family and friends for all there love and support over the past year. It has been a wild ride at times but with hard work and good intent I feel the universe is showing me my way.
Also thanks to my sposors for being so supportive over this past season! 
Thanks for helping my dreams become a reality.

alexandra jade: a giveaway!

the winner of this giveaway is chelsea of the blog rueschlove - congrats!

it's april! my favorite of them all. the first day of spring break AND it's birthday week for me and my little lucas. a week full of happy things are on the agenda and we're both so excited! to start things off and to keep me from spilling all the little birthday secrets i've got up my sleeve - a giveaway!

my sister jade has offered to give one of you run lucas run readers a bracelet from her new etsy shop, alexandra jade. i chose my favorite the shine from her spring collection for you. it will be sweetly packaged up and sent your way just in time to wear with your new springy outfits. i'm hoping there will be one wrapped up for me at the end of the week, too. wink! wink!

simply visit her shop and tell me which bracelet you've added to your wish list.
entries are open until friday at 8 am PST, to everyone! i'll choose a winner and announce it here on this post. good luck!

and if you just can't wait until friday - use the code runlucasrun10off at checkout to get 10% off everything in her sweet shop right now. help me support my baby sister and her brave new venture!

happy april, friends!