Adventures #27, #28, #29, and #30- Clay, Balls, Malls and Holmes

Well, this is embarrassing.  I have not written this blog in over a year and I have missed telling our little adventure world about 4 amazing adventures.  I think everyone has a year when things just rush by.  This past year or two has brought quite a bit of change to our tribe of 10.  We have had to deal with struggles that we never hoped we would.  There have been funerals, divorce, moves, lay-offs and job changes.  All of this rocked our world and I will be the first to admit I kind of lost my mojo when it came to writing.  Sometimes when we try to understand change we need quiet and patience.

It is never our job to “fix” things, but oh my how we will try.  Loved ones will walk the path of chemotherapy and it is our job to just love them in whatever way it makes sense.  If they need to let go and move on to life everlasting we must let go with love and leave the bitterness of the end behind.  If a couple decides they are no longer happy and make the heartbreaking, but personal decision, to part ways it is not our job to tell them to give it another go.  But, we will.  We all want to believe that we have the power to change these things.  Ultimately, everyone will need to work through these things on their own time and in the end, love will always take center stage.  The sun shines again and every struggle and self-realization becomes a starting block for deeper relationships and understanding.  I have learned a lot about myself this past year and I have some things to work on and I also have a lot to be proud of, too!

So, here we are a year later and still strong, still a bit on the side of loopy and still together.  I don’t think anything will ever break up the band. I picture us at 80 sitting with our calendars plotting and planning an adventure that won’t break a hip, but still challenge us.

Because I know most of us don’t have the attention span to read 4 complete blog posts in one sitting I am going to capture each one that I missed in just a few paragraphs!

Adventure #27-Clay spinning in Old Town Manassas

Suzy is quite the creative one.  Her home is proof of her genius decorating skills and love for art.  She brought us to a pottery on the wheel class and it was so sweet and the low-key nature of sitting around making things together was much needed.  Lisa had moved to Wilmington, NC and we missed her terribly.  We invited her sister to join us and we had a blast with her. I hope one day she will join us again!  Lisa, we also pray that you come to the realization that you miss DC traffic and come home to us!  Your dry humor is missed so much. So, to sum up this adventure is one sentence:  When Kat puts clay on the wheel it will end up everywhere but the wheel and when everyone else does, it turns into a masterpiece.  If you are surprised you are new to this place. Also, what would an adventure be without Maryhelen making us laugh.  “Oh my love, my darling, I hunger for your love….” There is a video circling of the Ghost re-enactment somewhere…Because it has been a year I could only find one photo of our day and it only includes a couple of us.  Will update with more if able to find.




Adventure #28 – Foot Golf

Heather and Stacy planned a fun adventure of Foot Golf!  Not only did we each get sweet purple golf shirts, but I FINALLY came in 2nd in something.



I will not say I excelled at Foot Golf, but I will say I didn’t completely blow it. It will come as no surprise that Suzy came in 1st.  She even knew how to check for wind placement.


Foot Golf requires you to play golf with a soccer ball.  Next to each tiny golf hole is a bigger hole designed to fit a soccer ball.  There are a million jokes to be told here, which I know were muttered throughout our day, but we are classy ladies and classy ladies refrain from telling crass jokes in a public forum.

Here we are at the end.  I don’t know why I caress people when we are taking photos.  It must be some sort of nervous tick.  I do know the group of guys behind us may have been amused by us or they may have annoyed.  I can’t imagine why?


Adventure #29 – Scavenger Hunt for Charity

It was December and Heather and Stacy planned a fun day of scavenging for us!  If we completed 10 things on their list the money we brought with us for the adventure would be going straight to the local food pantry.  The tasks at hand went from easy – count how many restaurants are in the food court to the utterly embarrassing – try on the most ridiculous prom dresses you can find and take a picture.  Rather than go any further with written explanation here are some fun pictures from our day!



The PLANNERS (aka the girls that didn’t have to embarrass themselves at the mall)


Cover one girl in a pile of stuffed animals.


We had to make a commercial for a store in the mall. We chose Victorias Secret.  We ended it with a KD photo op when we realized that the DZ’s were the ones who planned this craziness. Although MH is wondering why those two aren’t in the picture.  We are all KD’s right?


Asking for condiments at 10AM.


PROM DRESS time.  We looked ridiculous.



We did it!  A lot of cash to feed the homeless this winter.


Picturing Stacy and Heather plotting  to attempt to embarrass us makes me laugh.  We have been through so many moments and nothing has quite broken us yet. We will always prevail scathed, but never down for the count.

Adventure #30 – The Escape Room

Our mission for this adventure, planned by our very own super sleuth Spunky Tate, was to escape the room with all the info we needed to save Sherlock Holmes from certain death.  All we needed to do was uncover the clues that led us to who kidnapped him and where he was being held.  We had one hour in one locked room.  We’ve got this!

Before we got started we were given a list of things not to do.  Here is a picture of the list that we all know would be completely ignored and thought of as a challenge instead.


Don’t lift the carpet, don’t climb on walls, don’t lift furniture and remember there may be a red herring.


Oh, the red herring.  We thought our first clue that led us to a briefcase was our first red herring.  We gave up on it after spending 15 minutes trying to open up.  It must be a red herring, right?  Wrong.   Our game host was watching us and most likely laughing with her co-workers from another room over a hidden camera.  She rang our room and helped us solve the briefcase passcode because, “there would be no way to move on without what is inside.” Oops.  It was at this point I officially became the adventure photographer.  I was the one that convinced the group that this was indeed a red herring. Once you have lost all credibility with your fellow spies you must gracefully take pictures and document how each person will suffer the same fate.  That is all, but one of us.  Hmmm….who could that end up being? Here is a quick timeline of our hilarious time in the Save Sherlock room.


The briefcase that IS actually important.


Trying to figure out the map. Incorrectly.


Because we were at a loss we asked for a clue.


And another.


Standing at the wall of clues and coming up with a strategy. An incorrect strategy.


Still positive we will solve this with 49 seconds left.  Incorrect.


Ok, so we didn’t end up solving the case. But, Patty prevailed as the ONLY one to come up with a clue without asking for help.  She saved face for the lot of us.  Speaking of faces.  Tracy decided it would be a great idea to get a laser treatment on her face 2 days prior to this adventure. In typical fashion nothing kept her from us.  Including pain and puffiness.  Here she is trying to hide behind a magnifying glass.  Ummm….this is why we didn’t solve the room.  Definition of magnifying glass:  It magnifies objects.


I can’t.

Here are the rest of us as absolutely the worst spies in history.  But, to give us a bit of a boost the event host did let us know she gave us the hardest room.  Truly. She did say that.


Tina getting ready to write clues on the whiteboard that would further confuse us.


Reese Witherspoon in disguise as Stacy.


Cutest little spy eva!


Maryhelen with her notebook that only confused us further.


Carefully avoiding putting this over my brows.  We don’t need to see those super-sized.


Patty.  The only intelligent one today.  And always the one who is funny without realizing how funny she truly is to us.

After walking out with our heads bowed in shame we were given the opportunity to choose some costumes and take a fun group picture.  Once again we weren’t thinking clearly and instead of coming up with a theme we grabbed the most random items and snapped the pic.  But, that is us in a nutshell. Random and Grabby.


One last thing.  Stacy parallel parking is a pure adrenaline rush

So, here we are 30 adventures later.  I could not imagine life without these women.  We miss our dear Lisa and Kelly who are both so far away from us and hope we will be reunited at our next adventure.  We are thrilled that Tracy’s husband got stationed in DC again.  We have missed learning big words and are already feeling smarter upon her return.

I recently found our first Adventure Girls calendar and was struck by how awesome we thought we were that we had 12 full adventures to document in a calendar.  Can you even believe that we have more than doubled that number and have spent the past 6 years and THIRTY adventures challenging one another, laughing until we thought we would pass out and learning how to step up our friendship game.

Here is to 2016 and beyond.  I leave you with a reenactment picture of our very first adventure.  May we always remember the thrill of being the Gigglers and the Screamers!


Adventure #26 – Blood and Guts Zombie 5K

We let them in.  We let them all in.  I am not talking about the zombies.  We ran like cheetahs to escape those creepy slow walkers.  I am talking about the whole famdamily!  We finally found an adventure that we thought would be fun for all of the Adventure Girl families.  What could be more good, clean family fun than running through blood and guts and running from terrifying zombies?  Ok, I guess there are a lot of things that would be less shocking, but we had to make them sweat a little.  We wanted them to feel the whole Adventure Girl experience.

Number 26 was a bit different than past adventures, though.  First of all, this is the first one where the planners (Maryhelen and Tina) had to tell the group what we would be doing so we could register and train.  I had every intention of following the “Couch to 5K” plan you see online. And I did.  It was just tweaked a bit.  I got up from my couch on Saturday morning and went to the 5K.  Couch to 5K. Check.  And now I am sitting on my couch sore as the day is long thinking I should have actually printed out the directions instead of just pinning it to my “One Day” board on Pinterest.  To my friends who ran the Marine Corp Marathon on Sunday…I tip my hat.  Ouch.  Rephrase: I will tip my hat next week when I can raise my arms again.

We met up at 8:30 AM to fill out those blessed waivers and get our race bibs.  It was so fun to have the kids meet and see one another again.  They all grow up so fast and are such great kids.  We are all truly fortunate.  Here we all are before the race.

The Adventure Girls and their Families

The Adventure Girls and their Families

I turned to the Hots family.  Did I say Hots?  I meant Hotz and let them know that I was the athletic one of the group.  “I have an abundance of upper body strength and high oxygen levels in these lungs of mine.”  Oh, Sam (MH’s hubby) how I love thee.  He said, “Really?  That is great.”  That man is such a graceful liar.  I think I heard the sounds of George (Tina’s husband and my brotha from another motha) saying, “shhooot.”  followed by laughter, followed up with a high five from my husband.  They have to deal with me daily so honesty is standard issue.   Actually, they weren’t near us.  But, if they had been it would have gone down like that.   We all need two types of people in our lives.   Honest, straight shooters and little white liars.  I think I have found the latter in Sam.  I mean look at my sunglasses.  Do they scream ATHLETIC?  More like, “where is my latte?”

We decided to jump in with the first wave because we were early and I am so happy we did.  That made my late finish line cross less apparent.  Of course, Jason started out like the beast he is and I swear the Zombies were even like, “ummm….I think I will just step aside.”  Underneath those muscles and manly facial hair lies a gentleman heart and he waited for Suzy at the first obstacle. Here he is in BEAST MODE!

Brian (Heather’s husband) and I started together and even though we promised each other we would walk together peer pressure took over and we jogged with our families.  It had rained pretty consistently the week leading up to the race so mud was in FULL force.  G (Tina and George’s son) had a big bike race the next day so he opted out of the race and was our class act photographer. I am so thankful he captured this ridiculously attractive shot of me climbing over the wall. I thank God everyday for my grace. HA!    He did it all while holding on to Tina’s floral purse.  He’s so awesome! Here are some great race shots taken by G-Money!

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The obstacles were fun and challenging.  One rock wall was so slippery that it was nearly impossible to climb up.  My agile daughter made it up like a champ and then I gave it a go.  I won’t get into specifics, but I will say the helper at the top saw some bra action and my knee took a beating.

Finally, we were rewarded after a great 5K running from zombies and laughing with our families with these beauties! We sucked them down as MH couldn’t stop talking about Lester. (Our guide from repelling). That girl loves a bloody Mary and she sure does love a man who can find things.

The kids had a great time bonding over Can Jam and chicken Legs and I am not surprised that they all had a blast together.





I think I will come up with Adventure Kids nicknames and the next time they join us they will have to refer to one another as such. What troopers to be putting up with our crazy stories for so many years. Last, but not least I filmed the kids and husbands describing their moms/wives. The only hubby not featured is Brian (Heathers man) as he left right from our race to a Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition. I mean, really, how cool are these men? We are some lucky girls.

***I promise to never again wait this long to write and post the blog. I have forgotten half of what happened that day. Judging by my husbands attempts to describe me that day I guess that might be a good thing.***
Also, remember that life is about that muddy, sometimes terrifying trek and not the finish line. Enjoy it!

Brokedown, Finiliquie, hard-core Kat

Adventure #25 – Repelling, Mountain Climbing and a Goat Trail


“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

A few months ago my book club chose a Mark Twain novel to read and discuss.  When we all sat down to dig into the book together I discovered I had a completely different view of the ending than the rest of the group.  I actually thought to myself I must know something that they don’t about Mark Twain and his writing.  After this weekend I am sure that Mark and I would have been kindred spirits and I know that if he were alive today he would be an Adventure Girl.

Heather teased us with details for a month prior to the adventure.  She talked wind, weather and all things that had me thinking HOT AIR BALLOON!  My girls, Patty and Tina, texted with me and we pretty much decided that we would bring a blanket, some wine and cheese and watch the rest of the girls fly into the clouds in the fire balloon.  We would still have a blast, but we would be on the ground.

We met at Panera at 7AM!  Early morning for these girls and we were so excited that Kelly was back with us after taking some time off to be with her gorgeous newborn.  I was terrified to order coffee  because of the pee factor.  We had a long drive and at this point we still didn’t know what we would be doing.  She finally spilled the scary beans and told us we would be heading to Luray to go mountain climbing and repelling.  We all jumped in Heather’s car and headed on out at precisely 7:30AM.  It was right around 9AM that we (maybe just me) realized that mountain climbing is not the same as hiking.  We also received a voicemail from our adventure guide that said, “Hi ladies.  I assume you are on your way.  I just want to let you know to stop in New Market should you need to use the restroom because that is the last civilized place to do so.”  It was like he already knew us at a soul level.

There was so much laughter on this car ride as we reflected on our past 24 adventures.  Maryhelen asked the question, “What was your favorite adventure and which one scared/challenged you the most?”  We took turns answering the question and the same adventures kept coming up.  Trapeze, surfing and rafting came up as favorites.  The most challenging seemed to be spelunking and trapeze.  After today I think that answer might have changed.  We had so much fun talking about the hilarious moments together over the past 4 years.  4 years!  I can’t believe it.  Where has the time gone?

Ok, there is no way to describe this day with words alone so I am going to take you through a picture tutorial on what to do and what not to do while repeling/mountainclimbing/goat trail hiking.

1) Do: Take every opportunity to photograph yourself helping out the group.  These two gals volunteered to carry the repelling gear to our cliff.  The two girls that volunteered to carry it up the goat trail at the end of the adventure did not take a picture.  Now I don’t remember who  the bad-a%4’es were that did it, so it is like it never happened.


2)  Do: Make sure you take pictures of the trail you are on just in case you can’t find your way home and need to call for help.  Also, while hiking to a repelling cliff on a trail named Storybook Trail try to visualize yourself in the story “Let it Go” instead of “Tangled”.


3)  Do: While inching your way to the repelling cliff platform pretend you don’t see rocks sliding off said cliff and pretend you don’t hear the rock hit the ground 30 minutes later.  90 feet is much higher than you can imagine.


4) Do: Go first.  Although it is scary to be the first to repel into the unknown I can say with certainty if I had watched yellow helmet after yellow helmet disappear over that cliff I probably would have asked for an alternate route down.


5) Do: Make certain to reflect on what you have just accomplished.  It is amazing what you can do if you listen to that little voice that says, “just walk through the fear”.  It helps when the little voice comes from your Mark Twain quoting guide.  If ever you need motivation please google Twain quotes.  Before beginning the repel our guide, Lester, told us about how Marky Mark said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” He went on to explain that if standing in front of you is your biggest fear you can actually take your hand and pass your hand through the fear.  Because fear is just an emotion there is nothing there, but the fear itself.  But, if you turn away and run FROM the fear you will find that should you face that same fear again it will be much bigger.  The best thing to do is breathe and walk through it and by doing so you make it so small that it is no longer a fear, but a challenge.  I loved his motivational talks throughout the day.  I got so much out of it that I know when anxiety and fear creep up on me again (they do often) that I have a few quotes in my back pocket to calm myself. The white cliff you see in the distance of this picture is what we repelled down.  Holy Smokes!


6) Do:  Realize that MH, no matter what silly, fat-pinching get up she is put into will never, ever look ridiculous and that she truly believes she does.  The sooner you realize that, the sooner you will love her and not be green with envy.


7) Do: Even when you are wiped, take a moment to swing over to your friend and high-five her for a job well done.  Friendship is all about the little moments that you can grab together in this crazy train of life.


8) Do:  Be like Tina.  There is never an adventure that she doesn’t seize the moment to take a posed picture and make sure her lip gloss is close at hand for touch-ups.  The one of her on the mountain. Too. Too. Much.  No one should look that cute.

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9) Do: If you hear the words Goat Trail run in the opposite direction. Even if Mark Twain is whispering for you do the opposite.


10)   And for my first Don’t: Don’t do Don’t.  As Lester would say, “Keep it Positive. Keep it Natural. Keep it Safe.”

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Thank you Heather for a thrilling day in Loo-Ray!  We will never forget it.


Next Up:  Maryhelen and Tina are planning our October adventure.  Cannot wait!

Adventure #24 – Wilderness Shotgun Shooting


Can we pretend for just a moment that THIS ^ is what we looked like in 90 degree, high humidity, Virginia weather while holding our 20 gauge shotgun? Ok, now get up off the floor and stop your laughing, ya’all! Is that how you spell ya’all? We are now all certified country, shotgun toting, don’t step on our property girls!


Through the years I have introduced you to our adventure girls and I hope you have a mental picture of each one of them. Each unique, each strong in their own way and each so wonderful it can astound me. It has been awhile since all 7 of us that live in the area have been together for an adventure. We were once 10 strong, but Tracy moved to TN, Kelly moved to the beach and had a beautiful baby boy and Lisa just recently moved to NC and had a beautiful baby boy, too! Life moves forward and sometimes it stands in the way of things like having fish gnaw away at your dead skin or mixing drinks that taste like toothpaste. I am thankful that #24 brought most of us back together again.

It was Stacy’s turn to plan and she is one of our official bad a%4’%#! She fears no one and like The Onion (Kelly) she is extremely mysterious. She won’t text you back to answer your ridiculous questions so the only way to get in touch with her is by ringing her doorbell. I thought about it a couple of times, but decided I am not that pathetic. Instead, I just showed up at Phil’s (her husband’s) work and traded Stacy secrets for Adventure info. Just Kidding. No, I’m not. Just Kidding. Or am I?

There are a few of us that like to analyze the clues until we are sure there is no possibility that we will actually be doing anything that is adventurous. How hilarious is that? 10 Adventure Girls that are terrified of adventure. Wait, make that 3 or 4 Adventure Girls. I think the rest of them mix courage into their breakfast smoothies. Ok, so when I said 3 or 4 I actually meant 2. Patty and I will text back and forth and try to figure out what is is and how to get out of it. Here is one of our texts after we received the following clues from Stacy. “Complete your morning stretches to ensure maximum movement and flexibility, you will want to be “quick like fox”. Heavy makeup and hair styling is a bonus as it adds to the intrigue and sexiness factor of our adventure.”


Tina is usually the one that talks me down from the ledge and then I pass that pep talk on to Patty. Somehow I have only chickened out of ONE adventure and Patty zero.

We met at Heather’s house in Clifton to find out what Adventure #24 had in store for us. I videotaped Stacy’s reveal and it cracks me up because you can see the intense nervousness on everyone’s face after she tells us we will be shooting at flying objects. As you may recall, we shot handguns in PG County a couple of years ago. I will never forget Tina turning to me after and saying, “this will be the last time I ever shoot a gun.” Her face in this video is priceless. For once, we were all pretty quiet after the reveal.

We made our way to the Bull Run Shooting Range in Centreville, VA. We had to drive in a caravan because some had places they needed to be that afternoon. This is how the caravan of cars rolled. Car One: Stacy and Heather discussing life and kids and politics. Car Two: Me on my phone with Patty freaking out about gun safety and ticks. Car three: Patty on the phone with me freaking out about the flying objects Stacy was talking about. Car Four: Suzy probably listening to music and feeling the warm breeze through her open windows. Car Five: Maryhelen and Tina calling me freaking out about back roads and all things bullet related.

We reach our destination and are surprised to find out for the FIRST time ever that we do not need to sign a waiver. This is shocking to us. I am pretty sure we have never had an adventure where we didn’t sign our life away. I am serious. Even when we jumped on a trampoline we had to sign that we would not sue should we die while performing a hurkee jump. Anyway, I digress. We met our incredible instructor Ken and made our way to the porch for a quick tutorial on shotguns at precisely 8:58 AM. Two minutes later at 9:00 AM one million people opened fire 20 feet away from us. We were all pretty happy we took a pee-pee break before heading out. Precious Ken said, “Well, what did you think it would sound like?” As he spoke we listened intently. All of us, but Patty. She simply could not understand how we were allowed to stand so close to real guns being fired. Ken said, “Ma’am I need you to pay attention.” Maryhelen had her head down, shaking and laughing. Every time we have our tutorial someone can’t keep it together. He explained the kickback to us and said we may have a mark on our shoulder that looks suspicious. I am sure you can guess that I figured out first that he meant it would look similar to a hickey. Sweet flashbacks to 1994.



We moved on to the course. The course is 15 stations with wood platforms where we would take turns shooting at clay pigeons. Each station is a little different with the targets coming at you from different angles and different speeds. Some were shaded and some were not. Suzy’s hair would tell you that story. As we were standing at station one Tina turned to us and in her sweet, adorable voice said, “Yeah, I am not going to do this one, guys.” I had a feeling recalling that convo in PG County, but we all did our best to try to convince her to take a turn. Once we realized Tina was sure of her decision we respected it. I know that each of us will come face to face with an adventure that is just not going to happen. For me, it was tandem hangliding. For Stacy, it was frisky horses. For Tina, it was shotguns. The great thing is we just don’t care. We are happy to be with one another and conquer as many fears as our heart will allow. That being said, I am pretty sure Heather will never turn away from anything because a minute after that conversation, she put on her gun vest, hoisted that gun on her shoulder and POW! POW! That girl is crazy.

Heather "Pow-Pow"

Heather “Pow-Pow”

One by one, we took turns getting advice from Ken. He is pretty legendary. People were coming up to shake his hand all day. He was an amazing instructor and eventually every single one of us broke apart a clay pigeon. What a rush! He made it fun, engaging and I think we all feel much more confident holding and firing a shotgun.  He even has his own golf cart to get him around the course….while the rookies walked. It took me back to our surfing adventure in Delaware.

Laid back with my mind on my money and my money on my mind...

Laid back with my mind on my money and my money on my mind…

Ken patiently instructing MH.

Ken patiently instructing MH.

Maryhelen is usually in the middle of the most hilarious moments of the adventure and today was no exception. She was near the end of line for the first station. When she returned to the group she asked if Ken had asked any of us if we had any medical conditions. One by one we laughed and said no. We knew where this was going. She explained to us that Ken first asked Maryhelen if she knew where her earplugs were so she felt her ears and realized they weren’t in. She then watched Ken look down a bit and she followed his gaze. She had tucked them into the top of her sports bra and they were peaking out of her tank top. He said, “I have never seen anyone put them there.” Followed by, “Do you have any medical conditions I should be aware of?” Oh my word. I am laughing so hard right now just remembering her walking off the platform and telling us what just happened. Here she is with her booby plugs. Bless her heart.

You put your ear plugs where?

You put your ear plugs where?


We saw a lot on that course.  Most of the people we saw were not dressed like us.  Remember Stacy’s clue to wear lipstick and have big, sexy hair.  We did not fit in at all.  We will pretend the stares we got from everyone were stares of complete and utter lust and not of the “just who do these chicks think they are?” variety.

Big hair, pink lips and workout gear.  We fit right in....

Big hair, pink lips and workout gear. We fit right in….


The best thing we saw on the course was the gun stroller.  Who invented this thing?  We couldn’t get enough of it.  We knew that people loved their guns, but to treat it like a baby?  I think I am going to get working on some gun stroller mobiles.  The guns looked like they needed some entertainment.  Maybe it could play theme music from Gunsmoke, The Godfather and The Sopranos instead of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star?  Who is with me? Trust.  It will make money.

Tupac with the gun stroller

Tupac with the gun stroller


We had a great time and decided after 5 stations that we could call it a day.  Actually we had to as our 2 hour lesson time expired.  We are slow to learn, but I hope we gave Ken a few good stories to tell around the campfire that night.   Thank you, Tupac Stacy!  Up next is Heather’s choice.  It is an all day affair and she says it is something she is extremely nervous to do.  That is scary, folks.

I would like to introduce you to the Annie Oakleys of this generation!

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Heather "Pow-Pow"

Adventure #23 – Fishy Pedicures


***I was unable to make this adventure.  Only my second miss in 23 adventures!  So, I let the girls know they were in charge of the blog this time.  Suzy did a fantastic job on the blog below!  Until next time…my little fishies. Love, Kat  ****

It was my turn to plan our adventure!  I was biting my nails as this would be our 22nd or 23rd?   It’s a tough challenge as we have experienced so much and all of us who “host” only hope that the girls haven’t experienced what we’re planning.  When I heard that our numbers were dwindling I decided I needed to go for it- FISHY PEDICURES!  Of course I was sad to hear of all of the conflicts keeping our girls busy and unable to attend.  But, it’s a wonderful thing to be so busy with first communions, races, games and family events.  I thought that four of us would be a perfect number for this adventure.

So, as we all do, I tried to throw everyone off.  I told them to wear their workout stuff and running shoes.  My plan was to bring everyone my all time favorite shoes for this event.  FLIP FLOPS!  So off to Wal- Mart I went to purchase some fun sparkly-cheetah flip flops.

When we showed up at the meeting spot, Safeway- across from Y’vonne’s salon in Alexandria, I was so happy to hear all of the guesses about what we’re doing.  Patty has the best expressions on her face as she guesses, “tattoos” or “brazillian” waxes.   Tina and Maryhelen giggled when I did the big reveal and passed out the flops.

I think I called Yvonne about a dozen times with questions and concerns about this event.  “How many girls can sit together?” “What food spots are close by?” Poor lady.  But, my favorite conversation with her was the one the night before the adventure.  I called after they’d closed and she answered cheerily anyway.  I mentioned that I’d seen a groupon deal and wanted to know if I could get the same deal for us.  Without hesitation she agreed and was extremely pleasant.

When we arrived at the salon we were greeted with a very warm welcome.   Of course we all had questions and were a bit loud and excited.  There were 3 fishy pedicure chairs available so we decided to split into pairs so we could chit chat.  Maryhelen opted for a manicure first, so off she went while Patty and I jumped in the chairs.   Patty was hilarious!  Some of my favorite quotes from Patty, “This is my kind of adventure!” as she cranks up the massage chair and “the fish are only going after my right foot”.   My fish were busy little guys, they certainly did a good job.

When it was time for Maryhelen and Tina, Patty and I switched to the other pedicure chairs.  Holy moly were those chairs nice.  Patty and I had a blast talking about our dogs (yes, we’re those kind of dog people) and laughing at Maryhelen and Tina.  Tina got the fishy pedicure seat that had been empty for a bit.  Her fish were like Piranhas.  They were jumping out of the water for a bite of her feet.  Maryhelen called out that Tina was holding her feet above the water and pushed her feet down.  Maryhelen  loved that one of the employees had nail polish that changes color- doesn’t take much to excite usJ

After our pedicures we went next door to eat Mexican food.  We loved the authentic appeal of this little restaurant.  Unfortunately, they didn’t sell margaritas.   But, we really didn’t even need one to cap off this great experience.  It’s a great thing when the conversation just rolls from topic to topic.  No holding back, no judgement and just good ole belly laughs.  Some of the best laughs came when we discussed the blog.  Our fearless leader Kat wasn’t with us so how could we ask her?  We all pulled the look down trick.  You know the one that everyone tries at a PTO meeting when they’re asking for a volunteer for some extremely time consuming task.  Reluctantly I agreed to try to fill Kat’s big shoes: Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.-Marcel Proust.

By Suzy Houtz


Chasing Fear and a Challenge to you! -My Messy, Beautiful

“Love is the true antithesis of fear. It expands where fear constricts. It embraces where fear repels.” -Marion Woodman

I am not sure of the exact moment that I realized I was fearful of just about everything.  But, I can pinpoint a year.  It was 2001.  I can’t decide if that overwhelming fear was associated with 9/11 or having a new baby girl at home.  But, I suddenly found myself panicking when a new challenge or obstacle was placed before me.  Even things that appeared silly to others would cause my heart to race.  Crickets are the first thing that come to mind. Can you take it? Yes, I said crickets. We were living in a rental home with a camelback cricket problem.  I would turn to my husband if I heard one at night.  Knowing what that sideways glance meant, my beautiful husband would search the house looking for that unpredictable creature so that I could rest easy.  When we moved into our new home different fears would overwhelm me.  I would walk behind my son and daughter catching their every stumble.  When they asked to go outside to roller skate you would have thought I was taking them to a roller derby. Knee pads, elbow pads, helmets, fingerpads (ha!) were all essential to their survival.  Even after dressing them for all catastrophic events I would still go outside to supervise.  And I know that I was not alone.  So many of my mother friends stood guard over their children.

You thought I was joking about the finger pads, didn't you?

You thought I was joking about the finger pads, didn’t you?

One day things started to change for me.  I was visiting my courageous bestie-friend, Colleen, in NYC.  There is a wall of rocks in Central Park that the city kids climb and explore.  I stood in awe as her children took off for their adventure.  I looked at her in disbelief that she wasn’t on their heels.  My kids looked up at me tentatively and then ran to climb with their friends.  I would like to say I didn’t run like a crazy person while screaming slow down, wait up, mommy is coming, but that would be a big, fat lie.  I climbed those slippery rocks scared out of my ever-loving mind.  I was dripping with sweat when we were done “playing” and Colleen just looked at me, shook her head and said something like, “I just love you.”  Which is a northerners way of saying, “Bless your heart.”  Would I have changed what I did that day even though I was embarrassed by my fear?  No, those were some big a$$ rocks.  But, I noticed a shift in my perspective when I returned to Virginia. I loved the independent nature of her kids so I started to let go little by little with my own children.  The kids didn’t require a full on lesson in safety every time they walked out the door and I started to breathe easier when faced with a new challenge at work or home.  When my husband decided he wanted to leave his sales job to become a firefighter I shocked myself by going into full support mode.  Was I nervous?  Absolutely.  But my love for him trumped the fear and we walked straight into the fire.  Ba-dum-bum.

The Big Rocks of Danger in NYC

The Big Rocks of Danger in NYC

Our dinner conversations were a lot of exciting, funny stories about life in the firehouse and I was left feeling a bit boring and anxious.  Yes, I had started to give my children the freedom they desired and needed, but I hadn’t let go of my own fears.  I was chasing the fear at every step.  Instead of running through the fear, I found new items to add to my list of scary things.  It was thoroughly exhausting.  So one day, I made a promise that I would run through the fear straight into the arms of adventure.  I knew I couldn’t do it alone so I enlisted the help of 9 messy, beautiful friends and the race toward exciting, worry-free, fearless lives was on!  Over the past four years we have checked some pretty scary things off of our “TO LIVE” list. Some of our adventures have been tamer than others, but they always take us out of our comfort zone. We have stood steadfast encouraging one another to step off the ledge and do things that leave us shaking and terrified.  At the end of each adventure we survey the damage and decide that every tear, drip of sweat and scream of terror is worth it.  Life is full of surprises, both filled with joy and sorrow and I am thankful that I have them, as well as a pretty cool group of friends and family to walk alongside me, especially when old fears and anxiety come a-callin’!

I promised a challenge and I hope all who read this will accept it.  I have started a public photo album and I would love all of you to email a picture to me with a caption or short paragraph explaining why that photo shows you running through the fear. ( I will upload the photos with captions and links to your blog (if you have one) and in a few weeks will put the link on my social media pages and blog to encourage others to look fear in the face and then run like a cheetah right through it.

I know there are other fear chasing women out there that are hopeful for a life filled with adventure.  It is possible and I hope you embrace that calling.  My suggestion?  Find some other messy, beautiful people to go on the journey with you.  You will find that having them next to you will bring more love and laughter than you can imagine. Go get ’em!

With courage,

Here are my MB’s!
The Adventure Girls


This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

My two beautiful children who love me when I am fearless and love me when I am ask them to look both ways before crossing the street.  Did I mention they are 13 and 11.  :)

My two beautiful children who love me when I am fearless and love me when I am ask them to look both ways before crossing the street. Did I mention they are now 13 and 11.:)


My honey, my salesman turned firefighter turned back to salesman.  Love this guy.

My honey! My salesman turned firefighter turned salesman. Love this guy.

Adventure #22 – Mixology 102, not 101. 102. We are that good.

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FINALLY my turn again to choose the adventure.  I was so excited to plan a fun day for the girls.  As a group this has been a heartbreaking few months.  We have lost several beautiful people to cancer this year.  I had planned to include the amazing Emily on this adventure, but sadly she passed away just a couple of weeks prior on March 1.  Emily was a Kappa Delta at VA Tech with my biological sister, Theresa.  She was diagnosed with brain cancer a couple of years ago and had been fighting courageously from the start.  She started blogging about her journey and started a “to-see” list to conquer before the cancer took her sight. All the while she began educating others and raising so much money for research.  I noticed that snow-tubing was on her “to-see” list so I reached out to ask her if the Adventure Girls could help her check that one off.  We began planning the adventure and emailing one another.  It became clear last month that Emily would not be able to join us.    A group of KD’s, myself included, began calling nightly (at her request) to pray with her and sing her a KD lullaby.  I was once again reminded of the frailty of life and the importance of friendship. She inspired us to continue living life to the fullest.  She touched all of our lives.  Here she is with a suggestion for all of us.  You can also read more about Emily at

Emily also wrote something that stuck with me and I thought I would share. “Recently, two people have commented on all the fun I’m having on FB and in pictures. First, happy to trade – really, dying and relying on your parents, is not “fun.” I’m just doing what I would encourage you all to be doing: live. Just live every day to YOUR fullest. In fact, because both your hands work and you haven’t fallen three times in two days due to balance issues, YOU should be having more fun. If you’re not; you’re doing it wrong. If you hate something in your life – change it.”

So with that, and I am sure my Adventure Girls will agree with me, will continue to change the things in our lives that do not make us and our loved ones truly happy.   We are determined to heed her advice and live each day to our fullest and to make each day FUN.  And this particular day, at a beautiful little restaurant in Rockville named Quench, we did just that.

As the date of our adventure approached I started to get nervous, as I always do, that it was not going to be exciting enough.  But, I knew a break from yoga pants and sneakers would be appreciated.  We met at Tysons and after Maryhelen slathered lemon butter all over my cuticles we all drove to Rockville together.  We caught up on the way over.  Laughing and supporting one another.  Life is so good.

When we arrived we were told to sit at the bar and the bar manager would be over shortly.  There were drink menus placed in front of us and we were so excited to find out what we would be learning to make.  Here is the menu and what it looked like AFTER the adventure.


One of our gals took meticulous notes.  I, on the other hand, watched, whispered with my friends and drank.  I drank every last thing that was placed before me.  Matt, the bar manager, was extremely patient with us.  We aren’t exactly quiet, active listeners.  Everything he mixed was delicious.  My favorite was the Back Porch.  One sip and I knew that it was correctly named.  That was not a drink you would want to sip on the front porch.  You could, but you would be the talk of the neighborhood before a refill. Here is Matt garnishing The Back Porch!


After the class we were brought behind the bar in groups of two to make our own signature drinks.  First up were Team Super Hot Sisters.  (Maryhelen and her sister)  Happy Birthday, Colleen!  I can’t describe how seriously they took this task so I will just show a video.

This is Mixology for serious students only, folks.  :)   We had to name and present our drinks to the group and at the end Matt would vote on the best one.  Team Super Hot Sisters named their drink The Beach.  The name killed us.  It was so original and left us excited to try the suntan lotion in a glass.  Maryhelen “fed” all of us our drinks from a straw.  Two points for them.  It was YUMMY!


Next up was Team We Don’t Know What We Are Doing. Ever. (myself and Patty.)   Our idea was to make it St. Patty’s Day themed.  We went with rum as our base and then added the mint bitters for color and taste.  I gave it a taste to see if we needed more bitters before proceeding.  Holy crap.  It was awful.  It was like Listerine on steroids.  So we added a lot of vanilla syrup and sprite.  Convinced it still needed a little something we added a little lime juice and garnished it with mint at Matt’s suggestion.  We chose the Das Boot glasses because they looked like leprechaun boots.  Our drink sat looking sadly full for over an hour.  Not sure it was a fav. LOL.


Here we are serving our Naked Leprechaun!  At least our drink had style and a pretty cool name.

Last up was Team We Excel At Everything We Do in Life. (Tina and Suzy)  It seemed like it was moments before they were shaking and serving.  They made a delicious mojito type drink that we all LOVED.  Here they are shaking it up.

Crack me up, those two.  I just had to text Tina to remind me of their drink name. The Mint Krain.  It is so funny because at this point of the adventure a few of us were having major difficulties remembering anything at all.  I think their drink name changed 5 times before it made its way to our bar top.


We insisted that Matt give us a winner.  He let us know that The Naked Leprechaun won for presentation and The  Mint Krain won for taste.  The Beach didn’t win any awards, but I now make my husband walk around and “feed” me my drinks with a straw.  Such service.  Here are our three signature drinks.  Aren’t they professional looking?


At the end Matt asked if we would like to take a shot of tequila with him.  Umm, are leprechauns naked and taste of mouthwash? Of course we do!  He rimmed the glass with cinnamon sugar and garnished with a slice of orange.  If you haven’t tried this PLEASE do!  It was so good.

Thank you, Matt for teaching us the basics of Mixology.  We learned we will leave it to the professionals.  Your drinks were out of this world.  Such talent and patience.  Thank you to the chef for the amazing appetizers, too.  We will be back soon!

 PS. We had sober drivers and we ate burgers before heading home.

One last thing, on the way home Tina told us about a great new product that keeps your hair looking fresh while working out, but she couldn’t remember the name so we asked Siri.  What I said was, “product to help keep hair looking good while sweating.”  This is what she thought I said.  Reason:  We talk all at once most of the time and this was 4 convos going on at once.  Poor Siri.

photo 5

photo 3

Until next time….Live Life to YOUR fullest!

Adventure #21 – Olympic Fencing

It was Patty who planned our trapeze adventure and it turned out to be one of the most challenging and exciting adventures for all of us. So, even though Patty and I are technically the screamers and scaredy cats I never assume that it will be easy. We met up at a McDonalds and found out we would be heading over to the Fencing Academy for a 2 hour training session. As always, we had a blast. I decided as a tribute to the new Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon I would write this blog as Thank You Notes to the Fencing Academy. If you have never seen this bit here is a quick clip so when you read my Thank you notes you can imagine the seriousness of it all.:)

Here goes:

Thank you, Fencing Academy, for allowing us to realize that we are not as super sleuth as we thought.

Our secret attempt at showing our readers the coolest looking pro-fencer EVER failed miserably.  Evidence below. #ponytailsandirishcapsrequired

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Thank you, Fencing Academy, for reminding us that no matter what story is being told Patty will always be wearing the fiercest expression on her face. #Pattyisnotimpressed113

Thank you, Fencing Academy, for providing us with giant sized everything to pose with and look super smart and super strong.  #crossfitmakesheatherthinkshecankickanyonesbutt #stacyandkat=bobbyfisher

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Thank you, Fencing Academy, for providing Kat the perfect storm of serious instructor explaining the term (real, live term people) of “dry fencing”.  #can’tbreatheheatherandstacymakingitworse


Thank you, Fencing Academy, for giving us pink jackets to wear on Patty’s adventure.  Nothing says stabbing one another with swords like a pale pink jacket.  #cooolllllrider


Thank you, Fencing Academy, for helping us continue our long lived tradition of laughing, crying, and supporting one another. #whatwaslifelikebeforethis?

Our Olympic Team

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This place was awesome and our instructor was super knowledgeable and kind.  Terrific day planned by our Patty-kins.  Thank you!

Adventure #20 – Bikram Yoga

Websters Definition of Bikram Yoga
noun: Bikram yoga
1. a type of hatha yoga characterized by a set series of postures and breathing exercises, performed in a room heated to a very high temperature
Adventure Girls Definition of Bikram Yoga
verb: Bikram yoga (because what we did was most definitely an action and not a stinking lazy noun)
1. a type of hatha yoga that will literally will bring you to your knees while you are screaming for the sweet release of death.
     This adventure was brought to us courtesy of Maryhelen and Tracy.  We were all convinced we would be indoctrinated into their crossfit cult (JUST KIDDING about the cult part) that day and were pretty nervous we would be on crutches for Christmas.  When we met them at the National Spine Institute parking lot (good job throwing us off) they informed us we would be taking a hot yoga class.  The exhales that followed were hilarious!  YAY!  We would not be climbing ropes and flipping tires.  Little did we know that Bikram Yoga would be the most physically demanding adventure to date and we will forever call it the “Most Underestimated Adventure of ALL Time.”
     We arrived at Reston Yoga and one by one we paid our $20 and signed our release forms.  At this point I realized I was already hot  and sweaty.  I turned to one of the girls and said, “Even though we have not been locked in the classroom yet, I am very hot.  But, I can do this.  I can do anything for an hour, right?”  To which I was told, “the class is an hour and a half.”   We sat around waiting for class to begin in the lobby.  We were told by our seemingly sweet instructor that the goal is to “just stay in the room. That is it. Just stay in the room.” Ummm….okeedokee. We were told that the yoga room is a place of silence and not to talk to one another.  Looking back I am wondering why she didn’t add that we were not allowed to breathe either.  I would have NAILED that one.
     Some of you probably  know that I find it difficult to not talk for an hour and a half.  And to not laugh with my girls on an adventure would be an impossibility.  The SECOND we made our way to our yoga mats I failed at both.  My mat was positioned directly in front of the heating grate.  I looked at Maryhelen and mouthed, “What the &*!?” to which she laughed out loud.  We are already failing.  But, I can promise you that once those doors shut there was nary a giggle.  I am certain smiling was out of the question, as well.  All we could do was glance at one another and give our special death looks.  I know that everyone spoke deep into my soul with just their eyes.  This is what I heard.  Stacy: “If we have to flip over one more time I am going to lose it on our instructor.”   Tracy: “If she tells me I need to grab my ankle the other way again I am going to grab HER ankle with my fist.”  Tina, Heather, Suzy,  Maryhelen: “Kat, you distract her and we will make a slow run for the door.”  Kat: “I think I might have died twenty minutes ago. My funeral will be your distraction.”
     There were times where I felt like a little girl that was desperate for her mommy’s approval so when our instructor said for the 100th time for me to please breathe through my nose and not my mouth or told me the gap in my fingers was too wide I complied.  But, then I rebelled. Oh guys, I rebelled so HARD.   When she told us to flip over to our knees for the 100th time from a laying position I didn’t budge.  I laid on my back like my life depended on it.  When everyone was done with the knee pose and flipped back over to the laying position I welcomed them back with my death eyes.  Thirty seconds later she told us to flip back over to the knee position so I shut my eyes and hoped she wouldn’t notice that I remained on my back.  And then I heard this. “This is not a class where we lay down and meditate.  You will need to finish this pose. You will need to get up and finish.”  She is not talking to me, right?  My eyes are closed so she can’t see me, right? No such luck.  I could hear Stacy breathing heavy two bodies down from me.  Tina whispered to me, “are our heart rates supposed to be racing?”   I see Tracy grabbing at her empty water bottle.  The instructor said she was ok.  We were almost done.  I passed what was left of my water bottle up to Tracy.  That was a mistake.  The second it left my hands I couldn’t think of anything but water.  But, we love each other with such abandon that we will give our last sips of steaming hot water to one another and not think of the consequences.  I swear I had visions of swiping it right back out of her hands, though.
     When the class was finally over we made our way out of the studio and I witnessed a grown man tearing up.  I looked at him and spoke to him with my death eyes.  “We will never speak of this again. We will carry on with our lives with the thermostat reading a beautiful 70 degrees.  Oh, and Namaste.”
     Once safely outside the studio of doom I began to like sweet Rima again.  We talked for a bit with her and I felt we had a kindred spirit.  She loves adventure and seemed to really enjoy hearing about our group.  I will also say that the next day I had a strange longing to go back and do it again.  Maybe Bikram Yoga is like childbirth.  You forget all of the pain and only recall the jubilation of the end result.  In this case, the door being flung open to cool air.   The veterans in the class told us they would have cried had they taken their first class with Rima.  She is tough, but awesome!  If she had told us we could have left at any time we felt uncomfortable I think we all would have left at the 15 minute mark.  But, she pushed us and we did it.  That is always our only goal.  To just give it a go!  I want to thank her for believing in us and pushing us to finish.  Bikram Yoga was a big accomplishment.  Bikram Yoga with Rima as an instructor deserves some kind of major award.
     Heather thought the adventure was going to be ice-skating.  Here she is before lunch at the Reston Ice Rink. We pretty much did the exact opposite.  We weren’t holding hands in the ice cold singing Christmas carols while happily gliding across the ice. Instead, we spent an hour and a half holed up in a room  that was 105 degrees with 50% humidity gliding across a mat of our own sweat and most likely a little pee-pee mixed in.  Good times.
     Tracy and Maryhelen were so worried that they just took this group over the edge and that Adventure #21 won’t ever happen.  I say, NO way!  We will all look back on this one as one of the toughest, but we did it!  Once again, we leaned on each other and made it through what would be a nearly impossible task on our own.  I found this comic and I laughed so hard reading it.  I actually think our instructor said to “just not think about it” a few times.  This cracked me up!  We love you, Rima!
     If you would like to give Bikram Yoga a try and live in the NOVA area check out and ask for Rima.  Tell her the adventure girls sent you and Good Luck to you!
Here is what an hour and a half does to a girl.  Our after shot.
Next up:  Heather and Stacy have something crazy on tap for us.  Can’t wait!

Adventure #19 – Biking over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge

Oh, my people.  If you have read our blog from the beginning you may have figured out I fear pretty much everything.  Some fears cause more anxiety than others.  But, bridges cause me to do and say things that make others extremely uncomfortable.  I grab hands and I really don’t take into account that some people (Suzy) aren’t hand holders.  I make the driver extremely nervous (Maryhelen) and am too obsessed with all possible dangerous outcomes to realize that.  So, I keep on obsessing about cars that may or may not becoming into our lane LOUDLY and I keep on squeezing hands that may or may not be breaking TIGHTLY.  You may also know that the last time I rode a bike I was with Tina, her husband and my husband and it was a muddy race.  But, did you know that Chris and I came in last place?  Did you know that after that ridiculous showing I sold my bike for $5.00.  So, guess what happened when Tina shared that we would be BIKING over a BRIDGE?  I bit the skin off of my toe-thumb.  I actually bit off ALL of the skin on my toe-thumb.

Enough about my anxiety over bridges and bikes….at least for the next paragraph.   None of us had bikes so Tina provided Stacy and Heather with the extra bikes she had in her garage.  EXTRA bikes!  Yes, Tina and her family are big into biking.  Her son, G, is pretty much a racing prodigy and I, for one, am looking forward to traveling to France to watch him one day.  Adventure #42!!!  This is what Tina’s family looks like when they are about to go riding.


Aren’t they just so fancy?   Here is our crew right before we took off.


We are not as fancy…but we look the part just a little, right?  Ok, now look at the background of this pic.  See that bridge WAY far away.  That,  my darlings, is the bridge we will be crossing.  It is very far away and three of us don’t even know how to set up our bikes.  Tina, rode the bikes around the grassy area and got the gears set up for everyone and we were off.   Well, Tina rode the nice bikes around and set up the gears.  My bike is my daughters and it was $50 at Wal-Mart so the gears are what they are.  Ok, now we are off.



Tina and Stacy took off like the rock stars that they are and Heather hung back with me like the rock star that she is.  Everyone needs a Heather in their life.  She will always make sure you are taken care of and never makes you feel like you are holding her back.  I made her ride in front of me so I had something to look at while conquering my fear of bridges with my girls.  She is so sweet and caring and kind until….until she screams at you for bad ideas and drinking coffee past 4PM.  Oh, how I love Heather.  She can ride in front of you leaving a draft to get you up a treacherous hill and then throw an F-bomb your way about wording for  a t-shirt for the VERY FIRST adventure girl baby.  (Sorry, Kelly for kind of spoiling the surprise). But, you should know the wording is NOT my idea because my idea was TERRIBLE.  I think it was because I was not allowed coffee and that hinders my ability to come up with good ideas for onesies.  But, then in the next breath when I tell her she can go ahead of me she says, “No, I am really just enjoying your company.”  I love you, Heather.  There is no tush I would rather look at while dangerous cars zoom past me.



And now onto Stacy.  I know I have probably said this before, but I really admire Stacy.  She has a dry wit like no other and she really gets people.  Her laugh makes me laugh and no one else I know would come to a biking adventure with hot rolled hair but Stacy.  Seriously, that girl looked so beautiful she could have been heading to Prom.  Even after 7.4 miles of blood, sweat and tears she looked like a million bucks.  And it was Stacy that I was able to share some of my deep thoughts about what the trek up that hill meant to me (while the others were off peeing) and I knew she understood where I was coming from and stood ready to offer kindness and laughter and all that happened in 45 seconds.  She really is THAT good.  45 seconds is all Stacy needs to make you feel loved.

TINA "Spunky Tate"

TINA “Spunky Tate”

Tina.  My Spunky Tate.  This girl is kind of a big deal.  She will always laugh at your jokes and I think she may be the most patient of all of us.   After a few emails from me asking if my “compromised lung” could handle the bike ride I finally just said, please tell me the route.  The following is the email thread that will prove just how beautifully patient Tina  is with me.

Tina: Drum roll…. Riding over the Woodrow Wilson bridge..stopping for guacamole & a margarita at national harbor and then when we’re well rested we’ll head back.  Seriously we can go super slow.  We’ll park on the parkway..not riding from my house.  Do u think that sounds fun & ok?  U know I always worry its not adventurous enough but I don’t think any has ever done it.

Kat: HOLY S%*$!  Riding a BIKE over a BRIDGE!   I can’t imagine anything scarier…for me anyways.  Is that a bridge that has a hill?  Freaking out already.  The margarita and guac will surely help ease my anxiety on the way home.  xo

Tina: Oops I didn’t even think about that!  Look at all u will be overcoming:)

Kat: Are we parking at Church St? Thank you for the adrenaline rush this morning.  Must go take nap.

Tina: No near marina where we went sailing..small park right there.  You crack me up.  You are going to rock this!  Still laughing that you got rid of your bike.

Kat: Good grief, that is 4.7 miles each way.  Damn!  We will name this adventure Kat’s Trail of Tears. Yes, I sold the bike for $5.00 and said Peace be With You.

You get the idea.  Tina is a saint.  And as always, plans the most excellent adventures EVER!  This had to be one of my favs.  The only thing that would have made it better was having everyone there.    Lisa came to meet us for lunch and cocktails even though she couldn’t do the adventure due to a nagging foot injury.  She is so loyal and wonderful to all of us.   Can’t wait for her to be back in the saddle.  If I had the strength to put her in a baby’s seat on the front of my bike I would have! :)  Love you, Lisa.  You are an incredible friend and I am so happy your house hasn’t sold yet.  JUST KIDDING…kind of.  not really.

Midway cocktails!

Midway cocktails!

In conclusion, here are a few things I have learned while biking from Virginia to Maryland via a bridge.

1) When someone yells LEFT don’t veer to the left.  That might be your natural inclination, but it is not correct.  Stay to the right.

2) When Tina is going through rules like the one above don’t stare at Stacy’s hair and wonder how she got it to look so good.  Actually listen.

3) Do NOT make a playlist for your ipod to listen to while biking over a bridge.  You will get yelled at by your friends and it will sound like this, “You can’t listen to music while biking over a bridge.  You NEED to be aware. GEEZ.”  If you would like my inspirational playlist let me know.  You can listen to it while doing less dangerous things like climbing a mountain or hunting.

4) When YOU scream left to a biker in front of you make sure you are actually going fast enough to pass him.  It can be quite embarrassing to scream LEFT  and never even catch up to him.

5) The same goes for walkers.

In all seriousness, I beg everyone to do this once.  It is a wonderfully fun, exhilarating, challenging adventure and I know you will love it as much as we did.  Here we are before the trek back over the bridge.  We survived!