Slow and Steady

Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Five: 2010 Recap... I know original huh!

Maxim for life: You get treated in life the way you teach people to treat you.
~Wayne Dyer
Today I had to miss a running date with two fantastic girls. I have the day off, my hubby had to work and the course was not jogging stroller friendly. I was bummed. My hubby texted me and said, why don't you pack up the kids, run to his work and he'd take us to lunch. Apparently I have taught my husband to treat me like a runner, but...I.DID.NOT.WANT.TO.GO. Running with a jogging stroller is hard, it was cold out and lets face it, I was still pouting about not being able to run with friends, on trails instead of country road. It would have been so fun. This hesitation only lasted about 30 seconds before I was dressed and bundling up the kiddos for a run. We only went 2.82 miles, but that is more than zero and I was ok with our 11:29 pace because my double jogger isn't as light as I would like it to be.
1. 2010 Resolutions
I didn't really have any resolutions this year. I think I started the year with this blog thinking I was going to lose weight and document it. I somewhat did that, but it wasn't my pure focus. I am down 20 pounds from this same day last year and I am pretty proud of that and look forward to showing I can maintain it.
2. Unintended Results
I ran a 10 K in January 2010, then an 8K in February. Suddenly I found that I was doing at least an event a month and thought wow I should totally finish the year with an event every month! Great idea, right? Wrong. I signed up last minute for a 10 miler this month to round out the year only to find out I didn't have an official event for September. Bummer. I signed up to participate in Run for the Bling of It in 2011. Hopefully it works out. Here is what my 2010 Race schedule looked like. I PR'd in 5 different distances and it felt pretty effortless even though I know I worked for each of these.

January
  • Cal 10, 10K 1:14:46 PR
February
  • Rodeo Beach Trail 5 miles 1:14:11
  • Ripon Almond Blossom 8K 56:09 PR
March
  • Pirates Cove Trail 20K 3:09:34
April
  • Zin Spin 50K Bike Ride
May
  • Avenue of the Giants 1/2 marathon 2:40:07
June
  • Tri for Fun Series Sprint Triathlon 1:57:29

July
  • Tri for Fun Series Sprint Triathlon 1:59:54
August
  • MC Mama Goes Master's Virtal 4 miles 47 minutes
  • Tri for Fun Series Sprint Triathlon 1:53:05 PR
  September
I was supposed to do the TBF Tri Club championships and got a bad case of bursitis in my right knee on a 16 mile training run. With my marathon in October, I took it easy

October
  • Not Your Average Adventure Virtal 10K 1:11:03
  • Nike Women's Marathon 5:34:05 PR
  • Merrill Down and Dirty Mud Run 5K
November
  • Giro di'Vino 60K Bike Ride
  • Stockton Half Marathon 3:01:54
  • Run Against Hunger 5K 32:51 PR
December
  • Coyote Ridge Trail 10 mile (10.5 official) 2:49:11
3. I participated in Jill's fantastic bloggy gift exchange HERE. I felt a lot of pressure when I found out Amanda B. from RuntotheFinish was who I was supposed to shop for. I gave ended up sending her a book she posted on a book wish list post. I was so glad she posted a wish list, I feel like she is the girl who has everything. Then just yesterday I got my gift from Staci HERE. I love it. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. IT. I am already through the first few stories and can't wait to burn through the book this holiday weekend.




4. I am torn about the goals thing for 2011. There are so many things that sound great, but I need to remain focused. Is anyone else having difficulty narrowing it down?

5. I have the best husband. My son has been reading these great Fly Fishing Kids books. My husband has gone the extra mile and made him larger than actual size, flies to play with while reading. I told him he should market the idea it is so cute. See bottom right. He epoxy-ed the hook and the fly is book character size!

Thankful Three

  1. For rice krispy treats and even better, Kix and Cocoa Puff treats
  2. For sun on a chilly day
  3. For this three day weekend to relax with my family

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday: Self Defense

Self-Defense is Nature's eldest law.
~John Dryden

Yesterday was the last day of my physical therapy for my right knee bursitis and other ITB, hip strengthening sessions. Tuesday was my last day covering extra at work, like opening and closing the office more than normal, because most of my co-workers are back from holiday break. My evenings have mostly been dedicated to spending time with my family. I have really enjoyed it, but have also put off signing up for the Krav Maga self-defense class by doing so. The 3 month special that was in my price range, ends this week so I stopped by on my way home from PT and signed up. I will miss dinner with the family 2 nights a week and I am not sure Duder is going to be pleased with that, Super Hubby will miss me too and I am not sure The Bug quite notices things like that yet. At the same time, I really feel like this is an investment I need to make in myself.
Have you taken any self defense courses?
My Goals
1. To feel more confident in general, 
2. to feel safe when I am doing things alone or with just me and the kids 
3. I would be lying if I said I didn't want to trim up a bit in the core and arm areas of my body

The Plan: 45 minutes on Monday, Wednesday evenings and some Saturday mornings from January to March is now devoted to Krav Maga. Wish me luck!
Thankful Three
  1. For an amazingly supportive husband
  2. For pink hand wraps
  3. For little ones that miss me when I am gone

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Motivation: Pre-NYR thoughts

When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
~Confucious

I am in a tizzy over goal setting for the rest of the year and the coming year. Just when I get it off my mind, someone else brings it back. I am not sure what my 2011 New Years Resolutions (NYR) will look like exactly, but I am really enjoying reading all different takes from my fellow bloggers, like Kerri HERE. You might also like to skip the 12 month long goal and opt for something weekly like Amanda B HERE. To start my motivation, I have signed up for the Run for the Bling of It Challenge HERE. I also have a cute picture link on the right side of this blog. My doctor told me last week that I should drop a few pounds, but I don't really like "diets" so right now I am trying to reframe achieving that goal without it being diet oriented or restrictive. I am open to ideas! 

Are you taking NYRs seriously? I am not sure what makes January such a big deal, I feel like I am constantly setting goals. But I guess I do get the idea of a New Year being a fresh start. I am one of those that starts things on a Monday, or at the beginning of a month, starts make tracking success easier. I kind of like the option to modify and change my goals without feeling like I flopped on a stated goal, not great for NYRs. On the other hand, the flexibility to change or modify also leads this ambitious slacker on a road to unfinished ideas.

What categories do you break your NYRs into? 
Is this just me being too type A?

My tentative categories and examples are below. They are not precise or actual 2011 goals, but are certainly some ideas that are floating in my head:
  • Wife: Do a planned something nice each month for the hubby
  • Mother: Start a journal to document the funny stuff my kids say, example from 12/24/10:
    • Scene: Duder showing Super Hubby his almost fully eaten tamale.
      Super Hubby: you're a good eater, Duder
      Duder: I'm kill'n it

  • Work: Figure out a way to make it more rewarding: team building activity each month (not too elaborate, but definitely invest as much as I can to a cohesive, fun and productive environment)
  • Fitness: Run a sub 8 minute mile
  • Fun: take a full week off from work, I usually just take a Friday or Monday to make for a long weekend every now and again
  • Food: try a new cheese, find a new recipe and make it mine (mushroom barley soup was my 2010 recipe of the year)
  • Leisure: Read 12 books on my kindle (people, that is a real lot for me)
  • Friends: um...this one is hard. I need a local, everyday, do nothing kind of friend. You know, like when you were a kid and you could run across the street and ask if So-n-So could play. No party, no agenda, just a few minutes before the street lights came on, run around and play tag kind of friend.
Thankful Three
  1. For being able to publicly put "make friend" on my resolution list and know that at least one of you out there knows what I am talking about.
  2. For NYR's. I like being consumed by something that really doesn't have any negative consequences, that the masses are talking about so I don't sound obsessive and that will pass as quickly as the New Year comes. It's just a fun concept.
  3. For getting through tonight's chores quickly and easily. I hate chores, I am terrible at them, but I have been trying to contribute more regularly at home (dishes, laundry, dinner etc.) and as the saying goes, practice makes perfect...my basketball coaches would extend that to say Perfect Practice makes perfect. Chores are getting easier the more I do them.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Summary: Hills

May brooks and trees and singing hills join in the chorus too, and every gentle wind that blows send happiness to you.
~Irish Blessings
Today's trail run was super fantastic...ok so it wasn't exactly a run. It was listed as 10 mile, read fine print and you'll see it was 10.5, read my Garmin and you see it was 10.8...but whose counting. It was supposed to rain so I dressed warm, but the day was the most beautiful day ever. I could've been in capri's and a tee.

The first  half mile was all ascent in mud, sometimes deep mud, sometimes clay like sticky mud. Then we had some wonderful down hills with ocean views. Have I told you how much I love trail runs? Then a nice climb up a laddered path only to be given the gift of downhills with more ocean views. I had focused on the climb in the middle of the run, 1.5 miles. I should have let my eyes follow through to the right so that I would see in the last 2 miles I would have an even steeper climb. I am not much of a hills person. I struggled and hiked more than I ran. You could say the flats were about 50/50, but I walked all the uphills and ran all the downhills. Actually my downhills were just shy of reckless abandon...just how I like 'em. not once did I feel like wow, I have how many miles left? But there were times after a hard climb that my legs had to re-warm up to run. My feet actually got a decent workout, maybe it was that I was still breaking in my trail shoes.
Time: 02:49:15
Moving Time: 02:36:53
Elapsed Time: 02:49:15
Avg Pace: 15:34 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace: 14:25 min/mi
Best Pace: 06:53 min/mi


I needed today. It was just so beautiful and I had the best company. Cousin Rob, you're the best. Plus I got girlie time talk the whole drive there and back (2+ hours). I wish you lived closer cousin, let's do this again really soon.



Thankful Three
  1. For running partners
  2. For girl talk
  3. For a husband and kids who let me take 6+ hours of time to drive 160 miles and run 10.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday Five: It's a fantastic day

We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.
~Mother Teresa
1. I got to go on a date for Festivus. It was fantastic! There were no airing of grievances because we had none. I passed on the feats of strength because my husband always whoops my a$$ and I was still a little sore from the basketball game Wednesday night. Instead we went to sushi, where I had the most fantastic Hamachi nigiri, then we went to the theater to watch True Grit. It was hilarious! Not the movie, the theater. It was man date city. Only about 4-5 women in the theatre. If it wasn't a man date, it was nerd crew night. The several groups of 4-5 young nerdy guys were in the theater too. It reminded me of my husband and his friends from 12 years ago. They still look like that, but these days they let the wives tag along on some of their nerdy plans.
 
2. Last night I got a Facebook request to run today. Super excited to start today with a run. I love days off.
3. I have been wanting a Garmin watch, but they are so expensive. None of them are really suited for swimming so I gave up on a TRI watch and just wanted one for running that will show me distance and pace. Then magically I was in Costco and Ta-Da! The Garmin 405CX which sells for $369 was $219. Still expensive, but too good to pass up. I get to test it on an actual run this morning.
4. I like to give. Sometimes I don't pay attention to how much I am giving and I found myself staring at my bank account wondering, what happen? Small donations add up. My husband gave me an early Festivus gift and got us an account with www.kiva.org If you have never visited this site, I encourage you to. I had heard of programming like this, but never explored it. It is very exciting to know my small gifts can have a bigger long term impact than some of the ways I have been donating. I was completely blown away that my husband did this, I was touched and really really proud to be his wife.
5. It's tamale night! Did I say that loud enough? ITS. T-A-M-A-L-E. NIGHT!

Thankful Three
  1. For an amazing husband
  2. For running partners on this fantastic day off
  3. For babysitters, thanks Poley!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Turn Around: Glory Days

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
Wednesday Hump Day sounds funny, but like an out and back run it marks the turn around to the work week. Last night was book club night. We alternate months watching a movie one month and getting together for dinner and book discussion the next. Last night was a movie night, we watched "How Do You Know"
Not the best movie ever, but I enjoyed watching it with the girls. One unexpected thing I got from watching this was a feeling of uncertainty. Am I doing what I love? Reese Witherspoon's character is a competetive softball player and Owen Wilson's character is a baseball player. There were scenes with players practicing on the field or hanging out in the dugout, then other scenes in locker rooms with players getting iced, getting into spas etc. It was very nostalgic. I was not a softball player, but I was a basketball player. I miss the days when all I had to think about, aside from school, was waking up eating, practicing, eating, practicing some more, eating and practicing again. Yes ladies and gentlemen I lived for three-a-days. I came home from the movie very pensive. You see I don't coach any more because an 8 hour a day job, 2 toddlers, oh yeah and I have a husband, take up most of my time. Some days they take all my time. I do not have the commitment necessary to devote to a team of basketball players. As an adult, there are very few options to play with parks and recreation adult leagues being dominated by 18-25 year olds who played high school ball, but never went on to play college ball. 

Today I had a chance to relive the glory days. I played in my junior college alumni game. I ran with the girls, posted up, was fed the ball and guess what happened? I bricked almost every shot. Seriously had enough for my own housing development. I left a little embarrassed, but invigorated at the same time. Running with the younger crowd, check. Getting myself opportunities to score, check. Playing the role of directing and helping others score, check. I have all the components, just couldn't finish the job. Our team won, but the margin could have been more significant than 4 points. 
So why am I spewing all this? I miss team sports. Running is not a team sport. I love running and blogland makes it feel team oriented. I love TRI and am part of a TRI club, but need to be more active. I try lots of activity and I finally have realized that I am doing it to get back to that same feeling I had as a basketball player. I want to feel like an athlete. I want to be competitive. I want to have someone to push, to push me, to high five, to depend on and who can depend on me. Like the Dalai Lama says, "Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." I am happy. I am a happy wife, a happy mother and happily employed. I can happily run almost whenever I want and my family supports all my other TRIs and miscellaneous activities...wine club, book club, board member and whatever else I squeeze in the calendar. Family is my team right now. I am trying to make work feel more team oriented. I am pushing my running more so that I am feeling more competitive and athletic. But I still feel like something is missing and I can't pin point what it is...I may have it and just not know it. I just can't figure out what it is. As soon as I figure it out though, I will integrate it into my happiness by taking action.


Thankful Three
  1. This blog outlet
  2. Alumni Games
  3. Frozen yogurt with the family

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Monday Motivation: Final Event

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
~John Muir

I did it. I have found a running partner for my December month event. I was a little disappointed last week when I realized I was not going to finish an actual event this month. I had not started 2010 with the intention of doing one event a month, but as time passed I realized I had unintentionally been logging an event a month. This month I thought I would seal the deal with a holiday run, but the weekend the local runs were occurring, I got called into work and I thought my chance was gone. Saturday night at dinner my husband's cousin, and fellow runner, said she would do a 10 mile trail run with me Sunday the 26th. Sure it is a 2 hour drive I'll have to set out on at 5am, but totally worth it. I love a good trail run and I love achieving goals. Wish me luck, the elevation gains on this one is a little more that I am used to.
Distance Elevation Gain Single Track Fireroad Asphalt
7mi 1,900' 21% 64% 15%
10mi 2,740' 26% 65% 9%
20mi 4,390' 32% 50% 18%
50 Km 7,130' 30% 55% 15%










10 mi
Elevation Gain: 2,740'
(Per Avocet Altimeter)

The big bonus is I didn't have to do the egg nog 1 miler a couple days ago.

Thankful Three
  1. For a 4 day work week. I have 6 days of work to do, so it isn't helpful exactly, but I will enjoy the long weekend
  2. For being done with the cookie exchange commitment
  3. For my kindle, I am starting In defense of Food by Michael Pollan...book club pick

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Sampler: Just one of them days

It's just one of them days,
When I wanna be all alone.
Its just one of them days,
When I gotta be all alone.
It's just one of them days,
Don't take it personal.
I just wanna be all alone,
and you think I treat you wrong.
~Monica

Ok, so I think I was killing myself this week. Not working out regularly, eating junk to make myself feel better, stressing out at work...just not the best week. Last night I crawled into bed around 8:30 and was asleep by 8:45. I reluctantly rolled out of bed at 8:30 this morning, went for some blood work (routine stuff) then picked up the family to go out for bagels. Yeah, well we barely made it through bagels. My 3 year old was whining about Jamba Juice, my 1 year old was whining about wanting my bagel, her milk, her bagel, my bagel again and anything she wanted the moment she wanted it. I had lots of errands to run and my husband thought it would be great to go out as a family. For errands. Really? Ok, I can do this...maybe not. It didn't go as well as expected. Wait, I shouldn't have expected anything, but potential disaster traveling with small people. We survived Target, we survived the crafts store and on the drive home the Jamba Juice oatmeal flew off the dash board and landed on me. That was the final straw. I was thrilled all the errands were done, but not thrilled it was done at a pressured pace. Work pressure I can roll with, husband rushing me, kids whining, um, not my forte. It was precisly this moment that my husband said, "The rain has let up a bit, maybe you should go for a run. It is going to rain for 10 days straight you know." Enough said, it went on the agenda for right after one more errand then I set out for my run. I needed to brave the weather for the health and safety of my family. It was just one of those days, where I needed some alone time and a rainy run was perfect.
When I got home, my sneakers looked like this.
Then the girls came over and we hung out like this. Wine, food, movie and nails. Thanks V and W.
To top off it all off, of my 4 miles, 2 of them were at an 8:40 pace. Whoot! I started the year hoping to break 10 minutes in the mile and I am fairly certain breaking 8 minutes is going to make it's way on my 2011 goals list. I have been whining about a 2 pound gain lately and my perfect husband pointed out, "If you can run 8:40 miles, who cares what the scale says." Smart guy, I know. Ooh, and I got pale purple shellac'd nails out of the girls day, woo hoo! Saturday turned out not too bad at all if I do say so myself.

Thankful Three
  1. For finally picking my cookie exchange cookie. The winner? Peanut Butter Jelly bars ala the Martha Stewart Cookie book.
  2. For a husband who saved me from myself today, it could have been way bad and it turned out way good.
  3. For sub 9 minute miles....You know it!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday: Eggnog or not?

I like being unconventional.
~Florence Griffith Joyner

Ok so I am a slacker. I have done an event every month all year except this month. I thought I would easily do one of those Santa runs and seal the deal. Well I got called into work last weekend and there went the easy opportunity. My favorite trail run course is being used on Saturday, but it is sold out. There is a trail run Sunday somewhere else, but it is 2 hours away. There is a run the Sunday after Christmas and that one is also 2 hours away. Ugh, not sure I want to commit to a 2 hour drive, especially without a running partner. So in searching for a closer alternative, I found the above. Yes a little unconventional, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Check out there FB site HERE. I am not sure on this, but at this point it is definitely an option.

Thankful Three
  1. For Holiday parties at work...so yummy!
  2. For my new kindle...love it!
  3. For the chocolate covered pretzels I won in today's raffle, because apparently 2 pounds isn't enough weight to gain. LOL just kidding, not taking the 2 too seriously, however, if it gets to 3 the $hit is going to hit the fan.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Turn Around: Priorities

Action expresses priorities.
~Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday Hump Day sounds funny, but like an out and back run it marks the turn around to the work week. Today it also marked another turn around, my fitness flaws. I talked Monday about changing my mind and not complaining anymore. I also posted that I have gained 2 pounds and still eat banana splits. Yesterday I posted about my bike trainer finding a temporary home in Super Hubby's man cave. Did I workout yesterday? No. Did I go to Buffalo Wild Wings and order fried pickles? Yes. Did I wake up at 6:00 am this morning to bake cookies for work? Yes. Guess you know where my priorites have been.
So while the cookies were baking I decided, I need to stop complaining and just do it. So I got dressed, took the cookies out to cool and did this.

Thanks for the "No Slackers Allowed" spinervals P, Geezus it's a workout. I had never done a spinervals video before. Love it!

Thankful Three
  1. For getting off my A$$ this morning
  2. For the Kindle I found under my pillow last night....love my hubby
  3. For the man cave

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday Tidbit: Invasion of the man cave

A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
~Winnie the Pooh

I have fallen off the exercise wagon. I run 1x per week and go to physical therapy 1x per week. Each are a good workout, but I need more. I got skinnier. I bought new jeans. I now have 2 pairs of jeans. They are both starting to feel snug. The scale says about a 2 pound gain. I am not shopping for more jeans. I am not getting fatter. I must combat the fact that I leave for work when it is dark and I get home when it is dark. I have time when the kids go to bed to jump on the bike trainer. I have hardwood floors. The reverberation is too loud for the kids. We converted our detached garaged into a man cave-flying tying room-x-box-boy movie with loud scenes and jam packed action kind of space. It is in no way shape or form feminine. This is my Super Hubby's space.
I suggested my hubby work out in his "off season," he plays softball a couple times a week March through October. He said, "when do I have time?" I said he could get up early and go to the gym or after the kids are in bed. He doesn't like the gym and has no interest in weights. He does however not mind the bike. I just so happen to have a bike trainer. He has agreed to let me temporarily set up the trainer in his man room. No we are not going to hang out in there, gab and read girly magazines, but I will have a space after the kids go to bed or super early in the morning to go get in a workout and not wake anyone up. Plus he'll have it set up to use when ever he wants without having to pack up and go to the dreaded gym. He doesn't lose his man card since he is not actually sharing the room with me, just letting me go in every once in a while. Alas, there will be no pink hand towels or Oprah on the TV.

Thankful Three
  1. That I survived Monday
  2. That I have one less excuse not to work out
  3. That I write about my 2 pound gain, but still went out for a banana split last night

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Motivation: Changing my mind

~unknown

And so starts a new week. While I have not pinpointed exactly how I am going to achieve self-actualization, I do understand that there are lots of little things that need work if I am going to get there. So I have been toying with the idea of having a new work mantra. I am currently working with "Be the Solution." It has worked well, it is ingrained, now time for a new addition. Right now I think I am feeling the "Be responsive, not reactive" idea. The idea that if I give myself a second, a minute or a day then my brain can process a "response" vs. my emotions delivering a reaction. This is the kind of thing that I think will serve me well at home too. This was the topic of conversation on my run yesterday afternoon. When I came home I read SUAR's post and thought, WOW, I was totally meant to be thinking about. You should read her blog post HERE.
Another thing I am toying with for a New Year's Resolution is to stop complaining. Yes I know that one will be tough so I am still sorting out the details. It could look like trying to put a positive spin on challenging situations or maybe a "push up" jar. Meaning everytime I catch my self  complaining or my family does, I get a marble in the jar. I will then have to do 10 push ups for each marble. I say marble just in case I am not in a position to knock out the 10 push ups right away. I hate push ups, but they are good for me so it is win win. I either stop complaining or get a wicked nice upper body.

What things are you doing to improve yourself? 
Have you nailed down your New Year's Resolutions?

Thankful Three
  1. Robe night with the family, I know, we're pretty fun and exciting people
  2. Getting a run in yesterday.
  3. Starting to re-focus 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Summary: Picture Story Time

Of all of our inventions for mass communicatino, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.
~Walt Disney


Sorry, I just get so busy sometimes. As promised, here is a picture of my ugly sweater for my wine club's ugly holiday sweater theme night on Thursday. You'll also notice that I am holding my white elephant prize, an off brand snuggie called a hugglie. You can bet I re-gifted this for the white elephant exchange at last nights holiday party. I mean it is zebra print, who wouldn't love it. I know snow flake boobs are tacky, but trust me, mine wasn't the worst sweater at the party :)
When I got home from wine club my husband was in his man cave. My son took the opportunity to steal our bed in our absence.
Friday was fantastic...kind of. I went to a professional development seminar on managing multiple priorities. The instructor was dynamic and had an energetic delivery. He reminded me of the hyperactive motivational speaker events people drop hundreds of dollars to go to. I think maybe I could do that for a living, but I just don't have the entrepreneurial bone. However, coaching is indeed my thing so maybe coaching again somewhere in my future. Not just basketball, but maybe life coachy kind of stuff. I left this thing wanting to make a vision board, change careers and read all kinds of self help books. Yeah, this guy was good! Have you ever had a life coach? Not mentor, but someone who really helps you start to finish, get you where you want to go?


Saturday was a lovely day. We had bagels as a family. 
Lunch time my cousins came over and we did the whole wine & cheese lunch. My cousin's is amazingly creative and a talenting seamstress. I commissioned her to make me an apron. I gave her a general idea and the base Dia de los Muertos fabric and she come up with this. Isn't it fabuloso!


   

Then I went to a holiday party. I love this belted sweater, my mom got it for me and I always get compliments when I wear it.


In other news, this is my new favorite nightcap. Not that I had an old favorite, but it is really yummy.


Thankful Three
  1. Sunday's, I feel like we just get so much done around the house and I love started Monday off fresh.
  2. Last minute running dates, I confess, I haven't run since last Sunday.
  3. For an adventurous daughter. I am so chicken and she fearlessly makes her way on top of the kitchen table...at 1. Lord help me.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday: Fortune Cookie edition


What does this all mean? I have had some amazing fortune statement cookies, you know, the ones that are not fortunes, but statements or proverbs. I have kept a few of these and put them in my wallet or posted them at work because they are smart ideas or motivating thoughts. But this, ah this is a fortune. Very exciting! So what does it mean? Since I was at a work lunch when I got it does it mean a positive change related to work? Does this mean fun and exciting things are in store for me in my wife-mom-daughter-sister capacity? Maybe I will climb the social hierarchy of my friendship circles...oh wait, we don't play the high school hierarchy game. Humph, I don't know?! Ooh, ooh, I know! It means that something will happen before the end of the this calendar year. Did I read that right, or does it mean something within a year of when I opened this cookie on 12/6/10. Hmm, there are so many directions this could go. Let me stop you dirty little bloggers now and beat you to the punch. Yes if I add the line "in the bedroom" I could spice up this fortune, but this blog is rated PG today so keep your minds out of the gutter.

How much stock do you put into your fortune cookie fortunes? Help me figure out my fortune by playing Madame or Mister fortune teller and translate this fortune for me.

Thankful Three
  1. For a quite dinner alone with a glass of wine and a fun book
  2. For girls night in my home town, so much fun
  3. For my wine club gathering tomorrow night. When else can I look forward to wearing a tacky holiday sweater that is clearly inappropriate for anything other than drinking centered activities....if you are lucky I'll post pictures tomorrow. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Turn Around: eReader?

“The books that help you most are those which make you think that most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.”
~Pablo Neruda

Wednesday Hump Day sounds funny, but like an out and back run it marks the turn around to the work week. Today will be a short post, hopefully with some follow up in the coming weeks. I am thinking of getting an eReader. Kindle is all the rage, but a co-worker suggested the Nook. My FB friends think an iPad is the way to go if not sticking with the old fashion book/library route. So what do you think? I have my laptop which isn't even a year old yet. I also own the newest version of the iPhone. What do I want an eReader for? Books. I have been in a book club for 2 years and feel that my commitment has warranted consideration of an alternative reading approach.

Should I get an eReader? If so, which would you recommend and why?


Thankful Three
  1. For a focused day at work. I am starting to think my coffee is was sets the tone for a successful day. 
  2. For dinner with the in-laws. 
  3. For the marathon training episode of biggest loser. I think I am ready to register for my next one now. Not just Biggest Loser motivation, but check out P's race recap of CIM, it's so motivating.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday Tidbit: Gift Exchange

The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have been invited to participate in a cookie exchange. There are 6 of us. We are all to make 6 dozen cookies and then we'll trade around so that everyone has 6 different kinds of cookies. Sounds fun right? Um, yeah, I don't bake. I have gone as far as trying to comission an avid baker friend of my to make my 72 cookies for me, but her commercial grade oven is on the fritz. Think it was a sign I should own up to my portion of the exchange myself? So people are making sugar, peanut butter, chocolate chip, white chocolate macadamia nut and oatmeal cookies. I need to pick a cookie. I don't like ginger bread, I am not making it, don't suggest it. I was thinking maybe brownies, fudge or rice crispy treats. Thoughts? Help me pick my cookie (or bar or treat). 

What should I make?

In other gift exchange news, Jill over at Run with Jill is coordinating a blogger gift exchange. Isn't that the most fantastic idea ever?! I am super excited about it. You only have until 12/8 to sign up. Your effort only involves 1. signing up by sending Jill your email 2. she'll send you the name of your secret gift person 3. you send a card and $5 gift to your person and 4. Enjoy spreading the holiday cheer. Easy, fun and a cheap way to show some fun bloggy bloggers some holiday love. Will you sign up?
Above cute picture thing was stolen borrowed from Kovas at Midwest Multisport Life.

Thankful Three
  1. For the 6 dozen cookies that are in my future...what will I do with all of them?
  2. For Gossip Girl, I think I am thankful for this show far too often. Ok, let's make it Modern Family
  3. For the new sweater my mom gave me, I got so many compliments yesterday

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Motivation: Six Words

Man is not made for defeat.
~Ernest Hemingway


Ok so I am going to give credit where credit is due twice removed. Thanks One Crazy Penguin for your post crediting EMZ who was crediting PBS. Both awesome bloggy bloggers were commenting on the story about Ernest Hemingway winning a bet coming up with a 6 word story. His story:
For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn. 
Both bloggers went on to comment about what their 6 words would be and so because I am a big Hemingway fan, I am totally borrowing their idea. Here are a few of my 6 word efforts:
  • Raised with little. Rich in life.
  • Pleasures: Cheese, bread, meat, chocolate, wine.
  • Blame the weather or the kids.
  • Taking a nap is pure joy.
  • Type A control issues totally suck.
  • Procrastination is truly my perfected art.
  • Slacker by choice, not by birth.
  • Lead by example or by shouting.
  • Life spent outdoors is life lived.
  • Got everything I wanted in life.
 Thankful Three

  1. For my mushroom barely soup. I got a base vegetarian recipe a year ago from a friend's husband and have perfected it. Yes that means there is meat in it. My current version has pancetta. delicious!
  2. For the Sun Also Rises. It is a great book, but my favorite is my memory of listening to the audio book version on the way to Yosemite for one of our wedding anniversary trips. My husband hated it (the book, not the trip). Good times.
  3. For my case of Old Spanish Red, Ripken Vineyards. I have never been to Spain, but a Rioja style red wine and a Hemingway book can completely transport you.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Summary: All Created Equal

"God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than He is of any other slacker."
~C.S. Lewis

Awesome! According to C.S. Lewis, the Big Guy sees us all on the same playing field. So when you play, play, play and don't win, win, win don't worry so much. So on the subject of playing and winning, it pays off to run in virtual races. While I did not win the Not Your Average Adventure Virtual Race, I was a random winner 3x removed. While I am a winner, expect the Big Guy to have a sense of humor. This ambitious slacker is now the proud new owner of this wonderful prize. Thanks P, you are super-fantastic!

In other news I know I have been MIA in blog world for a few days. I don't know what it is, but things haven't been going according to plan. I am normally busy, like every night of the week. So the last two and half weeks of November I made a genuine effort to unbusy myself. Then Decemeber starts and I can just see the busy rushing at me. Then something odd happened. The Monday and Wednesday night Krav Maga class I was going to start, I decided to post postpone. I enjoyed not having a bazillion things to do and postponing it a couple weeks is going to make a huge difference in my crazy schedule. Then as an unexpected domino effect happened, my Tuesdays and Thursdays spontaneously freed up and my party last night for about 25 turned into a perfect intimate family-only party of 15. It was really nice. On the downside, other than physical therapy, I have been slacking in the exercise arena. I know it doesn't make sense, more free time, less exercise? The above DVD should help.

Today I am slated to run with a friend in an hour while my son is at religious pre-school. I will have my one year old and the weather forecast says it is raining now and will rain all day. I don't have a rain cover for my jogger. A couple weeks ago we had the same issue so I didn't get ready, I didn't run and it ended up not raining at all. Right now it is not raining and I have learned my lesson. Today, I will be prepared, I am donning my running gear just in case I have the opportunity to run and if not, spandex-y clothes are in, right?

Thankful Three
  1. Bunuelos; Pictured above. Tortilla dough, fried, rolled in cinnamon and sugar
  2. Sunday pre-school for Duder so I can get guilt free one on one time with the Bug
  3. Family, last night was fantastic

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday: Definitions as told by a 3 year old

Jill over at Running to Sanity had an interesting post about distance definitions. She was watching some show following some runner doing a "marathon". It turned out to be a half marathon. It is annoying that people refer to any distance as a marathon, short marathon, mini-marathon and other terms with marathon in them, but whatever. New runners will quickly learn the definition of a marathon and the weight that it carries to say you've done one. Non-runners will not get it, you can explain it, but be prepared to come across sounding like a running snob. What I personally don't like is race schwag that doesn't give credit where credit is due. I love my Nike Women's Marathon necklace. I don't like that all finishers including half marathoner's got the same design. If you are only in it for the necklace, go for the 1/2 marathon.

My 3-year son ran the 1/4 mile Run Against Hunger last Thursday, he got the same blue ribbon all the kids got for finishing and was very proud of himself. When family came over for Thanksgiving dinner they asked the Duder about his ribbon. He then proceeded to tell everyone that he, "won a marathon" and when asked if anyone else did the race he said, "yes, but they didn't win." Oh, boy! I will skip the distance definition lesson with my 3-yr old. Also, I am fairly sure he gets his competitive spirit from his Papa aka Super Hubby so don't blame me for his level of confidence.

Thankful Three
  1. For a really talented cousin who is sewing a few things for me including an apron with a day of the dead pattern
  2. For crazy amounts of change. Some people don't like change or they find it difficult. I find it hilarious because for me, it comes is such large doses no other other reaction other than laughing insanely is appropriate.
  3. For Liz Lemon, I am pretty sure we're soul mates

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Turn Around: Pay it Forward

If you have much, give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart.
~Arab Proverb

Wednesday Hump Day sounds funny, but like an out and back run it marks the turn around to the work week. Giving, what a way to bring home the week. If you are on Facebook you may already be privy to the "Pay it Forward" going around at this link. I am so excited about what I will do tomorrow. I already do my far share of "random acts of kindness," but I love the idea that so many people are going to make an effort to do it all on one day. Here is the idea as taken from David Del Mundo's page:


‘Tis the Season! A random act of kindness goes a long way so…

PAY IT FORWARD!!!

What can you do?
ON DEC. 1st...
• Pay for someone’s cup of coffee…
• Buy someone some groceries…
• Get the next person’s gas…
• Help someone out…
• Donate something…
• Be creative!!!

When you do something for someone there’s a good chance they’ll do something for someone else. If not, at least you’ve done a good deed for someone.

So on December 1st share some kindness and spread some joy! It can be as little as a few dollars or as much as you want. No one needs to know!

Join me, won’t you?

(I'm trying to make this a national event so spread the word. Maybe one day it'll be a nationally recognized day!)

I won't be offended if you don't decide to participate, but please... spread the word!

So there you have it, I am excited about giving, are you? What are you favorite random acts of kindness? My favorite is paying for young peoples expenses, whether it be when I am in line behind them at a candy store or fast food place or buying whatever fundraiser candy they're selling and letting them keep the treat. Sure there are needy people in the world and I give to them too. I just think when you show a child how to give, that there is so much joy knowing they might try to do the same some day because of how happy it made them feel to be on the receiving end.

Will you give today? 
It's not bragging, it's idea sharing so comment and tell me how you paid it forward today, I love fresh ideas.

Thankful Three
  1. For fun people who start giving events
  2. For the capacity to give, I am truly blessed
  3. For Son's of Anarchy, such a good show  

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Summary: Anniversary Edition

Instead of a quote today, you all will have the privilege of knowing our wedding song and lyrics. Please note that we did not play the symphony la-de-da version at our wedding, we went with the original version. Today marks our 6th anniversary and each year has been no less than perfect. Perfect experiences, life lessons and of course our perfect children. People say marriage is hard, parenting is hard and it takes constant work. Well my Super Hubby makes it easy it rarely feels like work. I won't kid you and say we never hit a bump in the road, but as quickly as those bumps come, they go. Instead of those bumps tearing us apart, they bring us closer. My husband once wrote in a card to me that he wouldn't want to take this journey with anyone else and I completely agree. I am not sure I believe in "soulmates," but it is true we are perfectly matched.


So close no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters  

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say
And nothing else matters  

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters  

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know  

So close no matter how far
It couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know   

I never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say
And nothing else matters  

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they say
Never cared for games they play
Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
And I know  

So close no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are 
No, nothing else matters 

Words and Music by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich Copyright © 1991 Creeping Death Music (ASCAP) International Copyright Secured   All Rights Reserved




Before Marriage

Wedding Day

Earlier this year.

Please note, I am currently skinnier now than in any of these pictures. Yes this is my anniversary post, but it's still my blog and I will proudly announce egocentric things like how skinny I am any time I want.

Thankful Three

  1. A healthy marriage.
  2. Getting everything I wanted out of marriage that I had hoped for before marriage... when I had the naive innocent mind of girl who wanted to get married live the dreamy life. Yup, I am living it.
  3. For marrying my best friend. I know everyone says this, but just ask my husband, I gab about things that are far too girly for him and he sits there and pretends to care like a real best friend.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Sampler: Baller for Life...

Be strong in body, clean in mind, lofty in ideals.
-- James Naismith

So not sure if you knew this about me, but I was a basketball player. I loved it. I practiced for fun, and while I hated running, I was FAST for a post player. My college mile time was 6:31. My current mile times are in the 10 minute range. Wednesday I went to my physical therapy appointment and told my therapist that the workouts are boring me to death. I start telling him about my upcoming high school alumni game Friday (11-26-10) and he says well lets make it more fun. He then proceeded to integrate some old school basketball exercises to strengthen my abductors. Step slides are awesome! No seriously, they are fun for me and made me feel nostalgic. I took pride in my defensive abilities. I also got to play on one of these:

I could have done this for hours.

Friday was the Alumni game. Short sprints and bounding...yeah, um a little out of practice. My lungs were dying the first 5 minutes of play, but settled down soon after. The alumni lost by 2 points, but I think that is a good thing. Good morale boost for the varsity players. We easily took twice as many shots as they did, unfortunately my hubby said it was obvious for the alumni that our shots were the first thing to go. To make up for my lack of defense, I went ahead and put on some hair defense.

Feel free to take pity on me and send boni bands, sweaty bands, TMB endurance bands and the like.
I am newly inspired to incorporate what I used to love so much into my current running-triathlon efforts. One directional exercise (running forward) has not been good for me. I need more lateral movement and bounding to get my former lower body function back on track. I have a college alumni game next month that apparently I need to practice for.

Holiday Bootie Buster total for this past week. Sat-0, Sun-1, Mon-1, Tues-0, Wed-3, Thursday-3, Friday-1 Totaly for week ending 11-26 9pts! Yeah, definitely got to get more miles in there.  Unfortunately my left foot hurts today. I think using my husband's tennis shoes for basketball was a bad idea. How I went from basketball being my life (including a basketball tattoo) to not even owning a pair of basketball shoes is beyond me. Ideally, I wouldn't work and get to coach basketball for a living while only working out and running the rest of my non-parenting-wife-ing time. I am so close to "strong in body," I am constantly striving for "clean in mind" and darn it, I keep playing the lottery so I can live my "lofty ideals."

I know, tattoos are permanent. I did this when I was 18 years old. I know that I have strayed from basketball. The main separation came when I got a prestigious Federal Fellowship and it stuck when I started having kids. But this tattoo represents alot more to me than playing the game. Where I came from the future was pretty uncertain for teens who did not come from affluent homes. There was a coach who took me under his wing at the end of my 8th grade year. When dressing like this was cool (I am on the left and yes those are slipper socks, pretty hardcore, right?!).
Somehow I made my highschool team and sat the bench my whole freshman year. That summer I went to basketball camp at UCLA and it clicked. My sophamore year I was starting on the varsity team. Guess what? To play basketball you had to make grades. To play basketball you had to get along with others you might not normally interact with. To play basketball you had to know your role, the roles of others and constantly strive for cohesiveness. To play basketball you had to know there were teams you were going to crush and teams that were going to crush you. I learned to succeed with tact and fail with honor. I learned so many life skills because someone took the time to teach me. I probably don't need the physical reminder of a tattoo to know there is light in anyone's future as long as they find their vehicle, but I have one. Most times I don't remember it's there, other times I regret it because I don't want my kids to have tattoos and other times I am proud that have it because it makes me feel grounded. Through basketball I made friends, learned critical life skills, got an education and even traveled to Europe for a tournament. The sun represented the light, the ball my vehicle and the 4 sets of 4 points my basketball number, 44.

How did you learn your life skills?
 Thankful Three
  1. For growing up, kind of...ok for recognizing learning opportunities
  2. For basketball, it's always there when you need it and apparently is key in rehabilitating my lower body weakness
  3. For people who care enough to see potential in others and foster it