2017 Christmas Newsletter
Written by Erika (Edited by Stewart)
TL;DR. Rain. Bike rides. Bought a truck. Camped in the truck. Specialized. Strava. Oh yeah and we’re expecting!
The year 2017 has been a very exciting, eventful, an amazing year from the very start all the way to ringing in 2018. We are calling 2017 the year of Bruce. So let us begin, a walk down memory lane…2017. For the first time in 366 days, Erika didn’t run every single day and actually enjoyed taking her first official rest day. January marked the start of California finally getting ‘temporarily’ out of the drought with lots of flooding in Morgan Hill. We thought at one point we might actually float away, so what did we do? We decided to drive in it. Probably not the smartest idea but it was really fun forging our way through the high waters.
In early February we took a trip down to Santa Barbara. Thinking we were going to escape the Norcal rain, we ended up bringing the worst storm that Santa Barbara has seen in a very long time with us. Of course, that didn’t stop us from enjoying a nice run along the ocean amidst a total downpour. We continued our trip south and spent the rest of the time visiting my Grandparents in LA and Stew’s side of the family in San Deigo. We finally escaped the rain and enjoyed some beautiful rides, the temptation to stay forever was strong. Once we arrived home we were back to reality and our daily schedule. Stew flew to Taiwan for a business trip and Erika trained for her upcoming Duathlon. And yes, it was still raining…
We went adventure camping in the Big Sur mountains, however, we forgot a sleeping bag and after we stopped laughing we discovered we could sleep in the Subaru. This sparked our interest in finding an adventure vehicle again, especially one with better off-road abilities. April means Sea Otter weekend and a 10K fun mud trail run on Mt. Diablo. Of course, lots of bike rides in between. The Tour of California started in Sacramento again this year, so we went up to visit family and celebrated mothers day as well. We also took the time to enjoy the Sacramento weather and old familiar roads.
Stewart left for a weekend in Kansas. Trust me, it was way more exciting then it sounds. Stewart has been competing in these long gravel style races throughout the year, and Kansas holds a 206 mile long, on gravel/dirt road race. Yes, he is that crazy. More impressive? He finished before sunset AND was in the top group of racers. I had a great time live tracking him and his co-worker and their process. I cannot even imagine racing my bike that long and on dirt roads in the middle of Kansas.
When stew came back we welcomed Bruce into our family. You can read more about Bruce here: The Bruce Build
Bruce is our perfect dream vehicle. Lifted, 2004 F150. And boy does he purr. Driving off road has never been easier and sadly the Subaru never gets out anymore. If anyone is looking for a Subaru, we have a blue one for sale! Summer was here and we had the perfect truck, so we started drawing up plans for building up our adventure vehicle while making some trips up to Tahoe. We celebrated three amazing years of marriage, a marriage that keeps getting better with age. And took the bikes on some dirt, because California was no longer underwater.
Stew celebrated his birthday with a trip to the driving range and we wrapped up the truck build. We purchased a camper shell and took our first overnight trip to up north to test it out. In August, we headed north with the rest of the country to Oregon. I had an Enduro Race in Oakridge the weekend before the Eclipse so we decided to make a trip out of it. The Enduro was awesome and I am totally hooked. The eclipse was pretty cool too. We ended up seeing friends in Ashland and met up with my side of the family on Bend. Spending ten days in Bruce wasn’t enough; it was difficult coming home.
In October, Stewart traveled to Hawaii for the Kona Ironman (no he was not racing and no I did not go with him). Instead, I participated in the Mt. Diablo Challenge followed by the Morgan Hill half marathon. I originally planned on racing these two events but I was carrying some extra baggage. We spent Thanksgiving in Visalia with Stewart’s family along with another quick camping trip before the weather starts to change, oh wait…its California. We wrapped up the year with a quick three day weekend in Tahoe, missing a white Christmas but did get a nice hike in with a few snow patches in South Lake. We will be enjoying our last Christmas with just the two of us, with a few bike rides and taking advantage of as much sleep as possible.
It is official. Baby is joining the Thompson Team in 2018.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Due Date: May 30th
- Gender: It will be a surprise
- How do you feel? Pregnant but I’m not letting that slow me down too much, getting an E-MTB for Christmas definitely helps. (Stew: Erika sleeps a lot now)
- Cravings? Strawberries
- How does Stewart feel? He is excited to build a baby bike but needs more room in the Garage.
Stewart still works for Specialized and is having tons of fun doing R&D on road bikes. Traveled a bit less for work this year but still went to a few new places including Kansas and Hawaii. Had plenty of memorable bike rides with friends and coworkers. Enjoys quiet time in his garage tinkering with bikes. Bummed to not get a van, but still sleeps great in the passenger seat of Bruce.
Maybe a little too in love with her job at Strava. Is still tutoring a few select students. Sometimes misses running every day but walking is currently taking its place for the near future. Loves riding her Venge and her new mountain bike that she got this summer. She didn’t get a puppy this year, but guesses a baby will do 😉 Thinks that growing a human takes up too much energy and is doing her best to be patient to meet the baby.
Yup, no mention of David the cat this year. Has officially been transplanted to Visalia with Stewart’s parents. Enjoys the occasional cuddle from Erika when they come to visit.
Stands tall, drives well, and loves dirt. Planning its third remodel to accommodate baby just in time for summer camping. Erika may need a step ladder to get into the truck pretty soon…
If our future child could text right now…
“Whats with eating all this cheese…how about some ice cream up in this joint!”
“Really? More Music? Can you turn the sub down just a little bit?”
“WEEEEE! Another bike ride!” *bounce bounce*
“While I appreciate the fact you guys are laughing and having fun, I’m trying to sleep here!”
“Can you steal some more of Dad’s candy?”
“Strawberries aren’t in season? Too bad! That is all I want to eat!”
2016 Christmas Newsletter
Written by Sir David the Cat.
Erika and Stewart were so busy this year that they left me in Visalia and Tahoe. So while I was out eating mice and fighting off bears, here is what they were up to for 2016. Be sure to check out their website to stay up to date with their wild adventures!
At the beginning of the year, Erika decided to set a goal of completing a mile a day; which meant that Stewart would also be joining for many of those miles throughout the year. On Valentines Day, they continued their tradition with Stew riding to Santa Cruz while Erika ran a 10K along the Ocean. Followed by some yummy Mexican food and relaxing by the beach, a weekend favorite! Later in the month they enjoyed a nice camping trip to Montana de Oro State Park! It didn’t even rain that much this time!
Erika joined the Cycle Sport – Specialized Muscle Milk race team as Stewart took another business trip off to Taiwan; quite the world traveler. In April, Erika ran the Annadel Trail Half Marathon, placing 3rd in her age group, along side her awesome Mother-in-Law. Stewart landed from Taiwan just in time to see them both cross the finish line. Despite some leg injuries, Erika continued racing, completing her second triathlon and successfully not drowning. Stewart used his genius skills to build a tent out of wheels, tarps, and towels. I, David, was very impressed.
June means one thing, summer! School’s out! Erika had a very successful second year teaching 13 unique special education students, 1st through 3rd grade. It was a very emotional last day. The next day they quickly head off to Tahoe, to see me! And their road trip began. They spent 2 weeks traveling from Tahoe to Hood River. Hitting the mountain bike trails and camping along the way. They also celebrated their second year wedding anniversary. At the end of the trip, in Hood River, they watched two very special friends tie the knot before bee-lining it back to Bend for one more day of riding and the long drive home.
In early July, Stewart headed off to Europe for the Tour de France, no not to race, but rather to help teams with the new bikes. Erika missed me so much she came back up to Tahoe, this time bringing her parents to hang out with Stew’s parents. It was a great family vacation. Once Stewart came back from Europe they headed back up to Tahoe. I see a trend….
Erika headed back to teaching in early August, finding out they changed her grade levels and was now going to be teaching Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, First, and Second grade all in one self-contained Special Education class…..a new challenge, oh and with limited support. Things took a bit of a rocky start. Stewart did what he could to make it better, including tickets to a 49ers game and being an awesome support.
Stewart headed off to Europe again for a quick trip. Erika took the opportunity to visit her sister at Penn State. And after another trip to Tahoe, Erika made the extremely difficult decision to quit teaching….Stewart was beyond excited. However, a few emotional weeks went by as she packed up her classroom and tried to make the transition as smooth as possible. It was difficult to say goodbye to so many amazing co-workers. But now she had lunch rides with Specialized to look forward to and getting to support Stewart more from home.
Erika accepted a new job at Strava in early October and started just two weeks later. They head to Sacramento to visit their brother for his birthday before Stewart flew out to Germany. Stewart made it back again just in time to cheer on Erika in her second Morgan Hill Half Marathon, beating her PR by 20 minutes.
They spent Thanksgiving with me in Sacramento, showing them that I’ve become more cat like…they enjoyed family time and a quick trip to Apple Hill. They had missed the running and riding opportunities Sacramento has to offer. After Thanksgiving, they took a trip to the snow and enjoy the great outdoors of South Lake Tahoe.
That brings us to December. The house is decorated, the lights are up, the temperature has started to drop. Luckily they have a heater this year….it is beginning to feel like the Holidays.
Thank you to everyone who has continued to touch our hearts and lives. You are all such an important part of our lives. Here is to 2017!!
TL;DR A Year in Review
Still working at Specialized on the Road Bike development team as a Product Manager. Travels a lot to Europe & Taiwan. Has a difficult time deciding which bike to ride, it is a close tie between his Diverge and Venge. Makes the most amazing food, loves playing on his phone and working in the garage. Is looking at getting a van to build up as their next adventure vehicle.
Quit teaching and is now working for Strava on the Technical Support team. Is loving getting to work from home (and go into the city) and join the Specialized guys on lunch rides. Will have ran over 800 miles this year, but does not think she will continue with mile-a-day challenge next year. Enjoys coding and designing along with going on trips with Stewart. Wants to buy a house to call their own and so she can get a puppy (David is not very happy about this plan).
Spent the year with Stewart’s parents in Visalia and Tahoe. Went on a week long over-night adventure in Tahoe and still found his way home. Loves soaking up the sun and being lazy. Has found that cuddles are the best thing ever. Found that sleeping on the bed is the best thing ever. Found that food is the best thing ever. Looks forward to visits from Erika and Stewart. Hopes they don’t get a dog if they buy a house….but rather kidnap me back.