Friday, May 29, 2015

5 for Friday- Office Edition

Hooray for Friday! You know what this makes me think of... this guy.


Just kidding, I felt like I needed a dog picture to make Friday more exciting. Get it together, guys! Friday already is exciting... it is Friday. Man, that is deep.

Anyways, I'm particularly excited for this Friday because Monday means my new job starts. That is both thrilling and scary all at the same time. I'm really looking forward to starting something new and fully settling into our Houston life, but, at the same time, I've had basically no schedule for the last month. I could wake up late, watch West Wing endlessly, eat cereal for lunch, workout in the middle of the day (I should have tried water aerobics... it was always the most packed at the gym), or literally do nothing at all- all day every day. That was my life. And now I have to put on non-spandex pants (your welcome, world) and rejoin the working world.

In order to make the transition as easy as possible, I thought my Five for Friday should focus on reminding myself what I do to make work mornings as easy as possible.


1) Pre-Pack Breakfast and Lunch


Tone It Up - Recipe Profile - Overnight Oats
This may be the single easiest thing to make mornings easy. It is not that hard and basically requires 10 minutes the evening before. For breakfast, I really like to make Tone It Up's Overnight Oats (bonus points for frozen pineapple chunks from TJs). Lunches are usually leftovers or a salad.. exciting stuff. Making breakfasts and lunches might remind me of my mom packing me a perfectly portioned half sandwich, cucumbers, strawberries, and girl scout cookies for lunch until I was 18, but mostly it just makes the mornings so much easier. 


2) Getting the Blood Flowing


Yoga for runners
Not every morning, but most every GOOD morning I tried to get a short run in, a quick strength/circuit training in, or at least some yoga done before prepping for work. I rarely do a hard workout in the morning, but I have found that it makes me more alert if I get some sort of endorphins in the AM.


3) Watching the news 


And not local news... I pretty much hate local news... and the ridiculous outfits that all Southern California news anchors. I like to have the news going while I'm getting ready to feel prepared for the day.


4) Audiobooks


Alas, you have figured out the truth. I'm basically an 80 year old woman. I couldn't handle my commute in CA if I didn't have an audiobook to entertain me. And confession, sometimes I would sit in the parking lot at work to hear just a bit more of the story. My favorite audiobooks are mindless thrillers, which is exactly the opposite of what I read in real life. It's okay that you don't believe me- I double dog dare you to try it; audiobooks are game changers for commutes.


5) Cal



Okay, obviously this is a new one. And probably more than being a way to prep for a successful day, this will be a major pain in the butt. Between puppy accidents, puppy feedings, and puppy energy I have no earthly idea how this will fit into a morning routine. The good news, we are both amateurs at this act and will have to figure it out together. 

What do you do to make the mornings seamless? Or do you just embrace the madness?
-S

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Our Chilean Adventure Part 3


Sick of these recaps, yet? Suckers- we are just kicking off the hiking portion of the trip. In case you missed it, my husband and I went on a backpacking trip in Torres del Paine, a national park in Southern Chile. We just left off, by ARRIVING.

The catamaran lands on the edge of Lake Pehoe and here we are- officially kicking off the W circuit trek. Looking around the boat you see all these trekkers headed out on their trips, huge backpacks in tow, feet sans 2 inch blisters, and you can feel the palpable excitement in the air. This is where we made our first mistake. You know what else we smelled in the air? Hyper-confidence. We looked around, scoped out the other trekkers, and felt pretty confident in ourselves. Drunk on fresh air, we decided to start in hyper drive. Get out in front of the slow pokes. Maybe even be the first at camp that night. Look at this face below... confidence right?


Wrong... this is the face of erased confidence about 15 minutes after a wardrobe malfunction. You see, yes we did try to get out in front of everyone- ironic since 99.8% of the time on the trek we didn't see a soul, but I digress. We had high hopes for what excellent trekkers we would be, but literally our first steps onto the trail were plagued with ineptitude. It all started with a simple task- to take off our windbreakers. However, it was like watching a drunk toddler put on shoes. There were too many layers, too little space in our packs (soon referred to as our horcruxes), a couple curse words, one definite picture-perfect moment of me falling on my backside like a turtle due to my horcrux, one of the windbreakers flying off into the wilderness, and a mini-internal meltdown. Here we were on the precipice of an INCREDIBLE and CHALLENGING trek and I can't take my stupid windbreaker off without  causing a scene.

But on we went. We went up. We went down. We went through the trees. We went across the fields. We went climbing the mountain. We went tired. We went hungry. We went. AND today was supposed to be the easy day. 


Outlook number 1- note, we were still too gun shy to take off our horcrux packs. 


Even though day one was in theory the easiest day (in terms of distance and time), we were definitely still challenged. The scenery (okay and the hiking) took our breath away.



The highlight of the hiking this day was when we came upon Glacier Grey for the first time. I've never seen a sight like this before. The mountains parted and there was a huge expanse of ice. 



We got even closer for sunset and I wish I had photos that accurately depicted the colors we saw. It was stunning.




And here we are at the end of day 1. We made it through the 'easy' day and up to our campsite by Glacier Grey. This secluded part of the park was the perfect end to day one and started building confidence while the challenge settled in. This wasn't going to be a breeze of a trip- it was going to be difficult and all those cliff bars and peanut butter crackers were going to be instrumental in FINISHING. It was painfully apparent that there would be no way to get help or leave early on this trip. You're injured? That sucks, you still have to hike 5 days to get out of the park. Your tent broke? Sorry, you're going to have to deal with that. This is not the sissy-California/car camping/beer drinking (ok maybe a little)/ smore eating trip that we were under to. So maybe it was exhaustion or maybe it was sheer terror, but sleeping on the ground that night (in the semi-freezing cold) was one of the best nights sleep I've ever had.

Don't miss Day 2 of the trek... it includes a boiling water wake up call.

-S

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Monday Runday on a Wednesday

What's in a name, anyways? Monday Runday version 1.0 is coming in two days late (even with the namesake in the title) and you can just deal with that.
Muddy shoes from sneaking onto the track
Ok, I kid. I joke! I'm eternally sorry and will try not to do that too often again. Here to make it up to you, I have a cute picture of a pup to share.

Look at those chompers... how could you not love that face?

Now that I am obviously forgiven, lets get down to it. You have heard me complain umpteenth times about the humidity and the heat and how I will never be able to exercise outside again. Well, never say never- unless it involves any photos of your middle school years, those can stay in the never category- because slowly, but surely I'm getting used to the sauna/workout combination.

Last week, my goal was to just get comfortable again while hitting the pavements and it was a success. I didn't push too hard for speed or mileage, but just got back into the swing of things. It felt so good to lace up my running shoes; something I missed during the move,

What it looked like?

M- 2m +yoga class
T- 3m
W- Off
Th- I couldn't go for a run... I got a weiner dog!
F-  3m
S- Easy 2.5-3m with Andrew
Su- Spin Class

What kept me going this week? 

Mostly trying to run faster than the mosquitos and listening to Undisclosed, a look back on the Serial case.

Goals for next week? 

Keep up with cross training and slowly add more miles. I need to stay slow, but build up my confidence running in a swamp first.

Anything else?

Oh my goodness, yes! Check out these before and after pictures! This is my running path at the beginning of the week and below is the picture after the MONSOON that Houston experienced this week. How insane!

Start of the week....
End of the week...
Anybody got any good runs in last week? Or a podcast to recommend? Send them my way!
-S

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Letter To Otto AKA the Saddest Pup in the World

Dear Otto-

Otto, the new, middle child

I see those sad eyes. Your tail is lowered and you run (as much as a fat weiner dog can do so) out of the room when our bundle of joy tramples into the vicinity. You aren't tricking anyone when you face the the wall to not see the pups- they are still there. Your head hangs to the ground and if I catch you one more time hiding in the office by yourself I may have to cry. Or may have already... Some things you don't need to admit to on the internet.

I'm sorry we got a puppy.... and another puppy. False- I'm sorry that you don't see how awesome it is that you have two MORE puppy brothers. Think about the possibilities! You pee inside? No one will think it is you! You want extra walks? Everyone wants to give you more attention to make you feel better! You want to assert your dominance? Literally, you are almost 8x the weight of these little guys. You are TOTALLY winning the dog lottery here.


Boomer, the old, deaf man
Your brother, Boomer, he is old. You know this. He has a white face, paws, body... okay he is basically a snow man at this point and that poor dog can't hear anything even if his life depended on it. Good thing he is so damn lovable. Having a bigger family may work to your advantage. Every pack needs a leader and I think it is you. I know they are annoying, they TOTALLY bite your butt a weirdly large amount, and the doggie door is the most confusing contraption in the world to them. BUT they're your brothers. You have to teach them these things (and it is okay to growl if they keep biting your rear).


Puppies have all the energy... and sharp teeth
So stop breaking our hearts and try to play nice. We didn't get a new set of puppies to make you sad. We got them to join the clan. In fact, if you weren't so darn (obese, disobedient, butt-juice-prone- don't google this, it is terrible) perfect, then we might not have gotten any at all! 
Look at this little brother of yours... he even looks like you!

And Cal, he is Andrew and I's puppy! He won't even live full time with you... he is basically just a psycho nephew that you only see once a week.

So cheer up, Ottie. No one could come close to you! Here is an insider tip, I've been a middle child for almost my whole life...and it is pretty awesome.

-S


Friday, May 22, 2015

Home is Where the Weiner Dog Is

5 for Friday is out for this week. You know why? 

This guy. Meet Cal Kulha, the newest part of the clan. Our little dachshund shaped piece of coal that melted my tiny-3-sizes-too-small heart so much that we HAD to have him.

Cal came into our life from Andrew's Craigslist stalking, ya know a la the Craigslist killer (possibly the most ridiculous real story turned Lifetime movie that I know of). My dad and I headed up to North Houston to just check these pups out and one look into those puppy eyes and HOW COULD WE NOT!

I know what you're thinking... Shay, you don't have a house, mere days ago all your belongings were trapped in a dusty pod miles and miles away from where you live, AND... Oh it doesn't matter look at this guy.

He needed us to get him. Cal is a 'tweenie' dachshund- meaning he will grow up to be between the standard and miniature size, but right now my shoe is literally larger than him. His paws and nose (yes, it will grow into a real dachshund nose) are brindle, a combo of red and black. He likes to sleep, cuddle, and even the grass is taller than him.


Look at that first family photo... he obviously is just our size. Or we are GARGANTUAN human beings like Buddy the Elf. Now hold on while I get sappy for a moment. Cal definitely did not come at an easy time to have a dog (switching homes every week, new job starting soon, potty training/ shoe chewing issues), but it is the first thing that we have done since we got here that makes Houston feel like our home- and that we aren't just visiting. House hunting requires more patience than I can muster and job hunting/ starting was a little stressful, but now we have this guy to make whatever street corner we inhabit a home. AND HE IS SO CUTE!

See that little red guy there? We also bought his brother... or at least my parents did. So we have a full wiener dog gang.

And one last photo to show you that we are serious about our dachshund obsession...

Wedding dress, bow ties, and hot-dog dogs.

Have a great weekend,
S

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Our Chilean Adventure Part 2!


Eeeeeek! I know it has been so long since I left off with the recaps, but as promised I absolutely have to share with y'all our fantastic adventure. If for some odd reason you don't remember a random tidbit from a month and a half ago, we went on a truly once in a lifetime backpacking trip through a park in Southern Chile called Torres del Paine. And before you see some raggedy pictures... believe me this is backpacking backpacking. Like I only had one pair of pants, had to sleep in a tent in freezing temps, wore a headlamp while hiking through complete and utter darkness, and ate ONLY DEHYDRATED FOOD backpacking. I might as well have been Shiloh in Homeward Bound, y'all.

Last that we left off, we were ALMOST to Chile and had just gotten on the plane after exploring to Lima, Peru to head to Santiago, Chile. You'll note that there are no pictures of our 20 minutes in Santiago because it was quite the adventure and mostly was spent perspiring through customs, perspiring through baggage claim, and perspiring through a last minute sprint to the plane. 

By this point we were weary travelers and landed in Punta Arenas at 5:30am. It could have been 2pm, midnight, or 4 in the morning for all that mattered- the lack of sleep had caught up to us and finding the exit of the plane was a challenge. Luckily, the Punta Arenas airport is teeny tiny with 99% of travelers heading to Antarctica or Torres del Paine. Picture us, terribly sleepy trying to find the bus that will take us another 2ish hours to Puerto Natales. THAT IS RIGHT! We still have another leg of this journey to find a freaking bed. So I will skip over the bus, the walk, and check in so you can enjoy the BEAUTY that is Puerto Natales.



Clean hair is overrated...

Puerto Natales is a quaint town, about as far south in Chile as you can get, that is driven by fishing and trekkers coming in to get supplies for the Torres. We hung about town, ate our weight in the last fresh food we would taste for a week, and went to the 3 O'Clock Talk at Erratic Rock. IF YOU ARE DOING THIS TREK, YOU NEED TO DO THIS. After learning all the things, we went on a quest for a good meal and fell asleep early. Oh, how much I would miss that bed once we were gone.

After what felt like minutes of sleep I woke up so nervous, but with no time to worry. We jumped on (yet another bus) and before we knew it, we were at Torres del Paine. Getting to Torres del Paine is obviously not easy, folks, but what it lacks in convenience it makes up tenfold in beauty. Can I take a minute and say what a moment this was? After months and months of planning, we pull up a gravel road and are finally there. The journey was actually starting! 



See that nice little bannister in the back of the picture there? That was the last time we would see ANY safety precautions. I should have held onto that sucker for dear life, but at the moment we were just ready to begin. We decided to hike the W circuit backwards, so we jumped on a catamaran and soared across Lake Pehoe. The views were breathtaking and the water was an incredible, serene blue/green. I kept yelling to Andrew across the bumpy waves that I wanted to paint our house that color. I'm not sure if he couldn't hear me or was just overwhelmed by the amount of selfie sticks on board, but he didn't respond. Spoiler alert- after almost a week of hiking with one other person, this conversation could have lasted HOURS on the final days of our trek. 


If you ignore the mountains, parts of the park remind me SO MUCH of Ireland.

And so it begins! We got off the dock and there we were. No one to guide us, no idea what we had actually gotten ourselves into, and in so many ways (although we are avid hikers) we were completely unprepared for the journey ahead.

That is where I will leave you today, folks! Can't wait to share with you the hilarious next steps (hahahaha, get it?) of our trek. Teaser alert, half a mile from this spot there is a wardrobe malfunction.

What do you think about traveling? My good friend Jill just got back from what looks like an AMAZING trip to Italy... check it out! 

Oh and thanks for the love on the irrational fears post yesterday! I made it through the testing, shed some tears, and definitely made a multitude of nurses laugh (at me). 

Have a wonderful Wednesday,
S


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Irrational Fears

Is that fear or fun on my face... I don't know. I'm kinda nervous just looking at it.

Might be a little intense for a Tuesday morning, but hang in their folks... we are talking about irrational fears today. Even more than just TALKING about irrational fears, today I have to live through one. Ever since I was a human, I've always remembered having deep seated, irrational, probably unhealthy, and totally based in (non)reality fears. It is kinda like a part of me.

How do I mean that? Oh easy! I climb the stairs at my childhood home in a zig zag fashion to avoid the sniper that is obviously hanging out in the dirty, dangerous suburbs of Houston. I pray the Our Father and Hail Mary literally every single take off and landing in an airplane (about 1 out of every 3 flights people ask me if it is my first flight). And on multiple occasions I have come inches away from ninja chopping an 'attacker' on my nightly runs just to profusely apologize to some poor soul that had the misfortune of running at the same time as me.

I know, I'm a horrible person. I should stop existing in the real world until the psych team from Criminal Minds comes and evaluates me because this is definitely not normal. But today, today I have to deal with another one of those irrational fears.

Now, this isn't the first time that I've had to get my shiz together and be a real person. In the summer of 2012 I forced myself to jump out of an airplane and speed to my inevitable death skydive. I kid you not, my sisters and brother in law had bought a GROUPON (life choices... groupon for skydiving?) and asked me if I wanted to join. The words out of my mouth shouldn't appear in public, but I think you get my immediate drift- I WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT DO THAT WITH YOU. WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID? WE MUST NOT SHARE THOSE SAME GENES! Then I felt guilty. 


And I thought about it. 
And I was afraid I may be missing out on a priceless bonding experience. 
And I convinced myself that I needed to do it. 

After coming to my decision (and calling the skydive place to harass them about fatality rates) I told my parents the week before (trying to keep it a secret from my sisters who were out of town). My wonderful parents, who have supported me in all sorts of crazy decisions like getting a degree in theatre and referring to my puppy as my brother, responded with  "don't ruin this for your sisters." LITERALLY. You can't make this up. Don't. Ruin. This. For. Your. Sisters. Obviously, I'm really a brave person, have never backed out of any life threatening activities before, and am not dramatic about my life. They must have been confused and thought I was someone else with that luke warm (at best) response. But I did it. And I LOVED IT. Skydiving was thrilling with such a rush. The free fall feeling was ethereal and when you touch the ground at the bottom adrenaline is pumping through every inch of your body. I absolutely LOVED the experience and felt so proud of myself to get over my massive fear of heights.

That leads us to Tuesday morning. No, I don't get to do something as cool as skydive... I have to get blood drawn. Are you let down by my irrational fear? You probably should be. It isn't a glamorous fear or even a fear that makes much sense, but I have to bite the bullet to get poked and prodded, shots and tests, blood drawn and whatnot for my new job. And I'm TERRIFIED.

Want to know about the last time that I got blood drawn? The nurse asked if I had fasted and I started sobbing. She asked why I was crying and I said I wasn't. WHY WOULD I SAY THAT- I WAS OBVIOUSLY BAWLING. Then she told me in the nicest way possible that I couldn't get blood drawn in my 'state' and had to leave. Yes. A low point in my life. I was kicked out of a doctor's office. So actually that wasn't the last time I got my blood drawn... because I didn't manage to actually accomplish the task. But Tuesday morning, I have to do it. I need to go there, pretend it is okay, and listen to this song on repeat till I can leave. 

Very fittingly at Monday night's yoga class, the instructor ended class with a speech on balance. This oddly timed diatribe seemed so out of place in the moment, but driving home I realized how perfectly fitting it was. In yoga, balance is finessing both sides of your body so while you are acknowledging each side may feel different that day (one hip is open or you're carrying stress heavily in one shoulder instead of the other) you aim to eliminate preferences in your movements. We can also do this in life. By eliminating the small preferences in life, we can avoid disappointment after disappointment while adding content to our lives. Wow- that sounded really intense, bear with me. I can't imagine how much happier I would be if I stopped hating Mondays and realized they were just like every other day of the week. Or if I didn't get so snooty about when Trader Joe's doesn't have any of the sharp, sharp, sharp cheddar in a package socially acceptable for me to consume in a week. So that is what I am trying to convince myself will happen at this appointment. I will acknowledge that yes I'm IRRATIONALLY TERRIFIED of this silly appointment and choose balance instead.

That or I'm hoping that I don't embarrass myself too badly through my fear-tears,
S

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Monday Runday

Happy Monday! folks! Was it the best weekend of your life? That's okay, I hear another weekend is coming up in a few short days... And it's a long one. So in the meantime, here let me tell you about trying to do things in the heat and humidity where you can laugh at me.

There was some house hunting (let's skip over that one for monotony's sake) and dive into our first Houston race! Man, it is so different running here. The humidity, the heat, the fact that I don't stop sweating for 30 minutes until after I'm done exercising... How do people do this? Seriously, when will I get back used to this. One day this weekend, Andrew and I were walking the pups and a man with a running stroller passed us 3 times on a one mile loop. 3 times... And he was jogging while pushing 2 CHILDREN! Super human- is the only explanation. 


But back to the race, a part of me wants to skip to the free Shipleys and Whataburger at the end of the race...but it is Monday, so you're not that lucky. We woke up around 5:30 and headed to nrg stadium in Houston. The drive was quick and easy (other than getting stuck in graduation traffic... Seriously it's 6am- that is not a reward) and we parked easily. After a quick line for the restrooms (racers out there know what a big deal this is) we headed to the start line. 


The race, Impact a Hero, provides immediate and ongoing support for severely wounded post 9-11 combat veterans and their families and caregivers. What a wonderful cause to support, but the way that the race honors these heroes was really something special. About 5 minutes before we are supposed to start a bunch of buses, trucks, and shuttles all pull up the the start line led in by 15 or so Harley Davidsons... Wasn't quite sure what was going on here, but I'm still stretching and trying to get used to the swamp that is Houston. Then huge applause erupts as the veterans file out of the vehicles with their families. It was an honor to see how excited everyone was the racers, the heroes, the spectators. Quite a few eyes were filled with tears as the National Anthem was sung and the MC made the final announcements. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect since we registered for this race on a whim, but that moment made it really a special opportunity.

Then the race started! After some hard core analysis of 'ok I'm probably faster than them, but way slower than them' I found a spot to start near the front half of the corral and waited. Since I knew it wouldn't be the miles that were tough, but getting used to Houston weather I intentionally didn't wear my Garmin (watch that calculates your pace, splits, and distance). My thought process was if I stress about how slow I'm going I'll be disappointed in myself and feel frustrated... That was a huge mistake. I set off SO fast and didn't even realize it! At the mile 1 marker my pace (just from how many songs had played) was definitely around 7:30- which for me is too fast for the weather. I tried to slow down because I knew I would be hitting the wall any moment, but then realized the water stop that I anticipated being around 1 was no where in sight. Now I really slowed down because I had not hydrated or ate well (oops triscuits and beer for dinner the night before) and knew to keep my legs moving in the right direction I needed to massively change pace. The rest of the race I tried to keep some sort of equal pace, but my time was definitely getting more and more sluggish all the while I kept thinking 'I didn't know how lucky I was to run in California'. Finally the finish line was in sight and I managed a teeny tiny increase in speed to not look like a total wimp at the end of the race. 

Yep, that's a kid trying to refrain from barfing on the finish line, but yay Andrew finishing! There was absolutely no PR this race, but it was a great race to run for an even better cause.

So why was the title of this Monday Runday? Well until I can convince myself to stop whining about the weather, I'm going to share my running trials and tribulations- I mean successes... on Mondays. 

What you missed in this weekend recap was... WE EMPTIED OUR POD! Here is an after shot and our tireless helpers!



What did you do this weekend? Anything exciting?
S

Friday, May 15, 2015

5 for Friday- What I Gotta Get Done Next Week

Wow, what a bummer. You are literally reading my to-do list for next week. Feel over it? Don't. Because to-do lists are a necessity for me to get through life. I might not remember to wake up and eat breakfast otherwise- kidding ya'll! I gotta wake up and fuel, so that I can binge watch another series on Netflix... funemployment. 


thinking animated GIF
Via

But seriously, to-do lists are as much as part of my day as brushing my teeth and feeling dread in the pit of my stomach that I have left the oven on as soon as I leave the house. Actually to-do lists are apparently all the rage. To Do List Blog told me that: 96% of people in the survey say their lives are better with to-do lists. 89% say they enjoy making lists, 28% identify as obsessive listmakers, 83% of people still prefer handwritten to-do lists (and I will 100% kill you if you cross off something on my to-do list), and my guilty pleasure... 50% of people admit to writing a task on the list down that they've already completed just so they can cross it off. All day long, folks. All day long.

So what is on my last weekly to-do list of funemployment? So many fun things... you'll probably be jealous. That is ok. I will let you complete the tasks for me if you're REALLY nice.


1) Find a House- 

Nope, still haven't found one. We should do that. Living at the 'rents is awesome, but I'm scecretly fearing the day when I come home and all my belongings are splayed on the front lawn with a room for rent sign next to it. 


2) Getting Some New Work Clothes- 

Funny thing. Since we don't have a house, we haven't unpacked our Pod (ya know the thing that holds all our belongings). So while I COULD rock my gym shorts and t-shirts at the new office, I think they wouldn't let me come back for day 2. On the list for next week is purchasing some new interchangeable pieces to supplement my work clothes until that pod is back in reach.


3) Find a Place For Our Pod- 

Never believe when people tell you, "you don't need to worry about that, it never happens." It happens because of that voodoo curse! Our Pod (or U-Pack people to be exact) told us that there is always enough storage and we can leave the pod at the terminal until we are ready to pick it up the next day, the next month, whenever! Oooops- apparently we are the exception to the rule. So not only do WE not have a home, but our pod doesn't have a home either. #YOMOOD (you only move once, or die).


4) Get the Chile Recaps Done-

I promise that we actually did go to Chile and actually did have an AMAZING time. I'm committing to sitting down and penning  the rest of the recaps and getting them out there. 


5) A Lot of Nothing-

It is my last week of nothing and it would be cruel to jam pack it too much! Hopefully there is a lot of sitting by the pool, catching up on reading, and Netflix sessions deep into the 10 o'clock hour (I'm old, ya'll). Oh yeah, and running. 

What do you have going on this weekend? You're going to find a place for our pod... that is so kind. 

-S

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Carbs for Life.

If you are hoping this post is about pizza, I'm with you. It isn't though. You can either click that little X or give me 1 minute because this is going to be a short one.

After completing the OC Marathon and Beach Bum Challenge... no more walking.

You know why it is going to be so short? Because I have to go lace up my running shoes and force myself out the door, into the humidity, and most definitely into the sweat. While wandering around last weekend, Andrew and I popped into the local running store to see if there were any group runs coming up (hey- anything is better than an appliance store- you've seen 1000, you've seen them all) and we signed up for a local 5k... for Saturday.

Now you haven't heard about it here much, but I love running. It is my outlet, my stress decompressor, and a time during my day where it is just me and my slow/fast/indistinct/persnickety pace. I've done about a dozen half marathons, 1 full marathon (hopefully another coming in January), and 5ks off and on for the past 6 years. About 5 days a week I hit the pavement and run. Often slow and short, but sometimes surprisingly long and refreshing. Even during the most stressful times (morning of our wedding and basically the whole summer A was studying for the bar), a run is one of the only things that will calm me down.

BUT, and here is the big but, HUMIDITY. Ya'll this is a real thing. And it is awful for someone moving back to the sweatiest place on earth after 9 years. See how late I'm posting today? It is because I'm dragging my feet to go out there and do a measly short run. I liken it to the experience of scuba diving- think about how weird and Darth Vader-y your breathing sounds... it is just like that. You start sweating before you have hit the edge of the block and it all goes downhill from there. By the time I'm a quarter of a mile in, my face will be red like a beet and I will already want to turn around and become an even larger couch potato. 

So there isn't a real ending to this post because I AM going to get out there and run. And I will convince myself that it is just the heat and humidity and I haven't actually lost all my cardio fitness. And Saturday will come and it will be an awesome race because it will be done. 

So send water, an ambulance, and sanity because I'm headed out.

Have a great Wednesday!
S

Monday, May 11, 2015

Do Mondays Count When Your Whole Life Is A Weekend?

Well not for much longer, because (drum roll, please) I have accepted a job here in Houston! I am so pleased that after about 1729937456 interviews for a position I applied for in February I will no longer be counting the days by what TV shows are on that evening! Funemployment was not as much fun as I thought it would be, but moving across country is stressful so maybe that was why. I am excited for this new position and will be starting in a couple weeks, so until then I need to fill up on as much excitement as possible. The new job is a challenge that I am looking forward to and my tasks will focus on arts integration into a different industry. Anything where I can advocate for the arts is up my alley, so the opportunity to focus on deepening engagement and integration seems like a perfect fit. More details, I am sure, will come!

But our weekend had some stress as well. We lost the 6th (literally, not exaggerating) house that we have been interested in! Even after putting an offer in the very first day it was on the market, there were other offers and ours was not the most attractive. What does that mean? Beyond the fact that we have literally looked at every house in our target area and price range, it means that more house hunting escapades are yet to come. The only thing that makes this a schmidgen better is that we are home! Our parents have been so incredibly gracious to have us stay with them and we are lucky to be able to have a semi-permanent address (access to a kitchen, running water, and real bed) while we play roulette with the housing market.

Speaking of parents, MOTHER'S DAY was this weekend! How was yours? Wonderful. I hope. I am an absolute sap, but it was special to be at HOME for Mother's Day this year. While my mom was out of town, we spent a wonderful day with Andrew's mom and it makes me so grateful that she raised him. I'm lucky that he had such a wonderful mom and it was nice to be able to be able to celebrate her. One of my sister's helped make a brunch the evening before and we spent the day at church, eating, house hunting, and more. We were able to sneak in a mini-photo shoot in their backyard and here are a couple of the photos- sans people (those need some editing). Their backyard is INCREDIBLE -basically an orchard in a neighborhood. Grapefruit, orange, avocado, olive, peach trees and more make it beautiful and tasty all at once. 




And some dog pics, because she is even prettier now that she is older.


How did you celebrate Mother's Day? By taking photos of dogs... figures.
-S

Friday, May 8, 2015

Five for Friday- Houston Weekend 1.0

How the heck is it possibly Friday? Seriously! A week ago, you were treated to this crazy post and here we are 7 days later in a new state, with some sweet roommates, and a whole lot of things left on our to do list. But the weekends aren't for bummer tasks, so to lessen the blow of having to make real adult decisions we have a weekend if fun things to fill our days. Raise your breakfast mimosa (wishful thinking...) to embracing the 5 fun things for our first weekend in Texas! 

Via

1) House hunting- 

I know you've heard me whine about it here and here (oops and here), but I've got a feeling we are honing in on something pretty darn good. We know what we want, we've hit the pavement 3 times already this week, and we are pretty darn motivated to settle in here. We are meeting our agent this afternoon, scoping out open houses on Saturday, and hopefully will be able to make our decision soon... Very soon.

2) Art-ing it up-

 I knew leaving the awesome arts and culture scene in Long Beach would be hard, so I've decided to really put out effort to find what cultural gems Houston has to offer. Tonight A and I are headed to an opening at Art League Houston and I must say in a little nervous. It's been years (or possibly never) to have known no one at an opening, but I'm sure we will see some amazing work and even get the chance to sneak in an artist talk or two. I know nothing about the organization, but saw the opening announcement online and thought it would be a fun addition to weekend 1.0. I'm particularly jazzed about a show called The Lucky Seven: Adventures of the New Saints by Stephanie Saint Sanchez.  

2) Shipley's- 


What you always wanted to know about Shipley Do-Nuts Shipley's Do-Nuts is opening its 300th location. In celebration, we asked company spokesperson Stacey Michel the questions we've always wanted to know. Photo: Shipley / Shipley
Via
Does it make me a glutton to say I've been craving Shipley's donuts since... the second we entered the state? Don't believe me? You silly fool, you. We literally gave Shipleys out as a late night snack at our wedding. Donut think I'm lying (get it)? These deliciously, glazed fried-dough make me heart sing and it would only be right to start supporting this local business ASAP.

3) Getting back to the gym

A week of driving, eating all your favorites, and the above mentioned donuts has me craving to get back into the gym. We have our new gym passes all set up and have been hitting it up once a day since we got here. Hopefully once we are more settled, I can get back into a real running regimen again. I have my eye on the Houston Marathon and need to start building up the miles to be ready for training.

5) Mothers Day! 

Obviously the most important of part of this weekend will be celebrating the Moms in our life! This will be the first Mother's Day I've been home for in well over 5 years and am looking forward to spending it with my mom and mother in law. Although I'm a sentimental fool, it is great to have a holiday like this on our first weekend back. We have missed moments like these (and a million others) being so far away and now we will be here!

What are you up to this weekend? Stuffing your face with donuts? Awesome.

-S