Monday, November 30, 2015

Turkey Trot Race Recap

Happy Belated Turkey Day my peoples! Hope that you had a day full of giving thanks, a lil extra turkey in your belly than was comfortable, and time with those that mean the most to you. In our house we had all that and more. More than just a lil extra turkey in our bellies. A house more than full of people. And a 10k turkey trot to boot. 

Our morning started off a little too early for a night spent (literally) watching bread rise, but once we got moving it seems like the day didn't stop. Our 3rd running partner had to back out of the race last minute, so we each grabbed an apple and went on our way. The problem was... the way wasn't exactly clear. Between our later than expected departure time and the huge number of participants it was mildly stressful getting to one of the open parking lots, but honestly that was the only negative of the whole race day experience. And if we are being honest here, we should have left 10 minutes earlier anyways. Rookie turkey trotter mistake...

Once we parked, we made our way to the starting line just in time to see the wheelchair start and get in line with our pace group. I mentioned it before, but I was a little nervous to race a 10k. With a 5k, my game plan is to go all out from the beginning and use the mantra that you can do anything for only 3 miles. With a half marathon (my preferred distance), I normally have set paces or a race plan to get me through. With a full marathon, I just try to survive. Like true professionals, Andrew and I decided to first broach the what is our game plan topic in the car in traffic on the way to the race. Ooops. Our plan pretty much consisted of finishing, possibly running together, and getting back to our car in time for turkey as quickly as possible.

Before we knew it, the race was starting and we were off! The first mile had great fans and just flew by! Miles 2 and 3 we held an easy pace and they luckily offered a lot of water stations (which was awesome because it was definitely a balmy almost 80 that AM). The first 5k we paced steady at an 8:40 per mile that felt comfortable and definitely sustainable- which was better than I expected. Around 3.5 the turnaround point of the race happened that also coincided with a pretty strong head wind for the rest of the course. I hadn't really paid much attention to the course during the first half and forgot to bring my garmen, so I was heavily relying on the race signs to get my bearings on the distance. Some of them fell in the winds, making it an even bigger surprise when I would come to the next mile marker! Probably my favorite part of the race was seeing multiple people run across the 4 lanes of racer traffic to hit up one of the hottest pie restaurants in Houston at 8am. My endorphins got the best of me and with one poor woman I jokingly tried to snag her pie... only one of us was amused. With the second half our pace dawdled a bit with the headwind, my shenanigans, and some tired legs, but we were both still pleased with clocking in a final race pace of 9:05.

Overall it was a great race and very well organized! I had never actually done a turkey trot before, so I loved adding that to a day full of eating, eating, and more eating. I really enjoyed racing this distance. I thought it was much more mentally challenging than a 5k and I love the physicality of 6 miles that doesn't kill you at the same time. I will be thankful to add more 10ks to my race schedule this next year.

Hope that you are recovering from a turkey coma,

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Traditions

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Wishing you a very fun filled holiday with no turkey fires or family drama! While you are staring at your turkey waiting for it to cook, I thought you may want some Thanksgiving day trivia to wow your guests!

Here are some regional Thanksgiving traditions... 23% of people doing Black Friday shopping! No thanks, I will hide in my house till all the toasters and TV deals have been ripped from crazy shoppers' hands.

Turkey fires are most common in Texas on Thanksgiving (shout out to my Lone Star State), but the numbers have been declining!

Live animals — including lions, bears, tigers, camels, goats, elephants, and donkeys — were a part of the original Parade processions.
Between 100 and 200 POUNDS of glitter are on average used per float in the Macy's Day Parade. I wonder if that includes those vintage elephant 'floats'.

The oldest turkey trot started in 1896 (!!!) in Buffalo. Which you may want to consider doing because...

The average number of calories consumed on Thanksgiving (including snacks) is 4500 calories! 

Hope that you are enjoying spending time with your loved ones!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fort Collins Brewery Recommendations

Last weekend a group of girls flew across country for a weekend themed of Beers and Bad Behavior to celebrate my very best friend's bachelorette party. It was so fun, I am so tired, and all of us have been texting about the cold that we must have shared. Cheers to hoping that goes away before the big day in a few weeks! 

I must say that I am not usually a huge bachelorette fan. I don't particularly enjoy genitalia themed head pieces, drink wear, or pinatas (sorry for all those bad mental images in your head right now). I don't really want to dare someone to do weird or embarrassing things in bars late at night. And the thought of coordinated 'with the bride' outfits makes my eyes roll back in their head REAL far. But enough of me sounding like the miser that I am. This weekend had none of that and It. Was. So. Awesome.

Awesome because L is my very best friend and she was so happy. Happy to see friends from across the country meet for the first time. Happy to be almost married. And happy because there was a lot of beer. 

I was pretty nervous when we started planning because we had 3 home brewers going on this trip and I was supposed to pick the breweries. If you know me, you know I'm a 10 dollar or less pinot grigio aficionado and while I enjoy a good craft beer and love our local breweries the stakes were real high. The way I shop for beer is I go to the liquor store, find something on sale that is most likely an IPA, and then purchase it if the label is cool. Yep, definitely didn't know where to start planning. There was a lot of googling, yelping, asking random friends of friends, and trip advisoring that happened. The greatest part of all that mad rush was it didn't matter. We went to a couple ones we knew we wouldn't want to miss and then just asked the bartenders what they recommended. 

So if you are visiting Fort Collins for a hoppy getaway, check out these 6 places that we went:

This was one of the absolutely cannot miss stops in our weekend and for good reason. The tour is free, but books up early. We snagged tickets online a couple weeks ago for a late Friday afternoon tour and there was nothing left for the rest of the weekend. I HIGHLY recommend going on this tour. It is free, the guides are great, we got to pour our own beer, and they give you a lot of samples. Like a lot of samples- aka have someone who can drive you home. Our guide, Sam, was able to answer all the home brewers questions, but still keep someone like me entertained. On top of that, you could tell how much he LOVED working there. My favorites were the pre-sour (only available at the brewery) and the Le Terroir (a sour). They end the tour with their famous Fat Tire and you get to take a slide down into the tap room. Book your tickets now.

Saturday we had high hopes to hit as many breweries as possible before the evening Notre Dame game and Funkwerks was first up. The ambiance is adorable and I love their packaging with its whimsy yet funky branding. My favorite beer was the Deceit, a Belgium style Golden Ale, and luckily no one liked it as much as I did meaning I got to finish it off. They have a lot of sours and saisons and really helpful staff. Sours aren't necessarily everyone's favorite drinks, but I'd go back for the Deceit.

This was initially not on my well researched intended list, but when FunkWerks recommended it our group couldn't pass it up. The big hit of the group was the Bothy, a bourbon barrel aged stout. That was a tad too intense for me, but I really liked the Whistle Blast, a honey brown ale of delishiousness. Also this place has the coolest tables made from old cable spools and was a great place to chat. They have a good diversity of beers and really wanted us to feel comfortable. Definitely recommend!

While this place didn't have as much ambiance as the other places, the beers were really good. The place was absolutely packed, but somehow we managed to get a table right when we came in (and it always helps when people buy you free popcorn because someone in the party is wearing a bachelorette sash and practically crying over all the cute dogs). Which leads to the next fact- Colorado loves their dogs. I was afraid by the end of the weekend that L was going to try to pack one in her suitcase. At this brewery she found a three legged dog and about died with excitement; there might have been tears. Anyways, I digress. They use snow as part of their water to brew with (so cool) and I highly recommend their Silent Snow White IPA or their Colorado Red. Another thing to note- they had the most amazing food truck when we were there (Umami); definitely a good place to come hungry.

ODell Brewing Company

This place was on my list from the moment I started googling Fort Collins breweries. While I love the 90 Shilling, it didn't quite have the same level of coziness as the others. It is larger (hence why I tried 90 Shilling before) and they have a very diverse set of beers to try from. We split 3 flights instead of 2 flights like the other places and there were lots of tasty brews. Still it felt much larger and wasn't as much fun to sit around and chat at. To Odell's credit, it was crazy packed so they must be doing something right.I recommend the beers and am withholding final judgement on the ambiance until I get to try again.

Equinox Brewing

This was our last stop on Saturday before the game and it was perfectly cozy and situated in one of my favorite parts of Fort Collins, Old Town. The inside has lots of little nooks and crannies for good conversation. Instead of sharing flights we each ordered our own pint and I lucked out with the Rocket Man IPA. It is actually the product of  a CSU Brew Science class and I loved it! As we were leaving a band was setting up and I think this would be the perfect way to spend a causal evening.

So I'm definitely trying to detox at the moment, but it was such a wonderful weekend and a great way to explore the city. I would also recommend a day of brewery tours for other parties because it is a casual way to get to know new people and you have a lot to talk about. My overall favorites were New Belgium and Horse and Dragon, but I found a beer I liked at each one on this list.

If you are ever out in Fort Collins, you won't be disappointed with a day tour of breweries,

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Twas the eve of the eve of the eve of Thanksgiving

Twas the night before the night before the night of Thanksgiving, when all through the store
All the amateur chefs were cursing the shopping they abhor. 
The aisles were full while the shelves and produce lay mismatched, 
A cry rung out when all the frozen turkeys had been snatched.

The invited guests to dinner are snug in the beds,
While dreams of throwing footballs and wearing stretchy pants dance in their heads.
Andrew wheeled the grocery cart and I elbowed around with my list,
We'd foolishly dawdled in shopping and now we were... pissed.

When another cashier line opened there arose such a clatter,
I sprinted down the aisle to get one more thing for batter.
Away to the cranberries Andrew flew like a flash,
he threw the bag in and began to look at our stash.

The items slowly adding up in our cart
gave us hope that the shopping and us would soon part.
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
but the realization that we hadn't meal planned for the days so near!

Now, apples!  Now, pizza! Now mac and all the cheese!
With broccoli! And fish tacos! And something frozen and Chinese!
To the top of the cart! To the front of the line!
Now dash away! Now hurry! Now to the exit sign!

We sprang to our Honda sleigh, loaded the bags with a sigh,
And drove away into the now dark sky.
But I exclaimed as we drove out of sight,
"Don't grocery shop three eves to Thanksgiving night!"

Monday, November 23, 2015

My Life in iPhone Photos...

As I'm typing this (30,000 feet in the sky) I'm yawning because man oh man have the last 2 weeks been full of excitement. The boxes on the calendar seem to have flown by being jam packed with surprises, work, some travel, and a little bit of everything else. Before we get back to regularly scheduled programming, I want to share some photos of the madness around here recently because nothing is more real than some iPhone snaps and traveling induced manic commenting.


A couple of Mondays ago, Andrew finished yet another one of our home projects and now we have this planterbox on our patio full of 8 different herbs waiting for me to kill them. I will say this was probably the quickest home improvement project we have completed to date- all in less than a couple hours. And you see that picket fence, well that is to keep Cal from playing gardener... again. We've been enjoying the fresh herbs and how it decorated an empty section of our patio into something cute and useful.


Then the very next night (also the same day as the electrician's visit due to some home improvement projects gone... typical) my sisters, father, and I hosted a surprise party for my mom. Forgive me for the blurry photo, but she had no idea it was coming. It made me so grateful to be back in Texas and be a part of the festivities. It was also the first time we had that big of a group over for anything and we made it through unscathed. And VERY tired for work the next day.


Speaking of work, Andrew and I were lucky enough to go to my work's gala that week. Coming from my previous background in development/ fundraising- they pulled out all the stops for an incredible night. Over 1400 people attended an evening that highlighted some of the best and inspired everyone for the future. Also it was a heck of a good time. Resulting in another very tired morning at the office.



The very next day, Andrew and I joined his folks at one of their yearly haunts- Wurstfest in New Braunfels. I had never been before and it didn't disappoint. The music, food, and atmosphere were fantastic and it was great to go with pros who knew all the places we should be when.


The next day we went for a little daytime date before heading back to Houston. It was great to spend some time just the two of us and enjoy a lazy afternoon.

The next week at work and home was a complete blur with more home improvement projects, a lot more planning, and a busy time at work. I had to fit a fully week into 3 days because I caught a plane to go see my favorite mini-human in the world.


Just chilling getting her photo taken...


My older sister had a birthday and I tagged along as 3.5 wheel (sitting in a high chairs = .5 status) for a celebratory dinner. Seeing this family makes my heart melt and makes me want a lot more frequent flyer miles. 


Then just a couple short days later, I squeezed those cheeks one last time, shed just a small tear, and packed my bags yet again for another stop...

A stop that I have been working to plan for quite some time.

A stop that included copious amounts of glitter and maybe a bedazzled fanny pack.

A stop that miles, weather, and everything else couldn't keep us away...


That pretty little lady is getting married in a few short weeks and we cheers-ed the home brewer with a weekend of brewery tours in Fort Collins, Colorado. It was awesome and I can't wait to share our favorite libations from the trip in a future post.  It made my heart happy to see her enjoying a girls trip and female camraderie before her big day. We shed quite a few cheers tears and I am already itching to see my best gal again. 
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Then I needed a bit more sister, brother in law, and baby time and spent one last fun afternoon watching baby drool, working on standing (and safe falling), and being completely wrapped around the finger of this little one. In an effort to work on my photography, I snapped a couple quick photos (not iphone this time) and then was off to the airport.

4+ hours later, I boarded a plane back to H-Town and am typing this while barely staying awake. Although the past couple of weeks have been exhausting, I am excited to have a few more big things coming down the pipeline over the next month.

So please send caffeine to my office, an extra alarm clock to mi casa, and no traffic on the drive home...


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Workout Regime Post Non-Race Race

gym gym fail elliptical dancing fail

Full disclosure: I'm typing this post with my arms freakishly close to my sides. Why you ask? If I move them to a more relaxed position, they feel like they will fall off from soreness. I'm pretty sure this new trait was due to a gross number of push ups and body weight exercises that my body was tricked into doing recently, but I could have been attacked in my sleep with no recollection.

What I do know is that pain does not end with an endurance training cycle; it only tricks that you are physically fit. I am the limping example of that. Monday I snuck in a cross training class at work that I have heard glowing recommendations about. One of my coworkers swears by it, but now I know that she just wanted to hear me swear up and down through the class.

Ow, my body. Ow, that is hurting my soul. Ow, too much hurt. Owwww, I will hurt for years to come. Ow, I think I'm dead.

No joke, this class made me sore while I was STILL IN THE CLASS. IS THAT A REAL THING? Also, please appreciate that using the all caps button made it harder for my to type. The things I sacrifice for the internet.

I can't say that I think I will be able to eat 12 burgers and still button my pants, but I do hope the instructor got a big long laugh out of my 'participation'. He should have taken a video and posted it or something because there is no way that my spastic mock exercises wouldn't be interesting to watch. All that being said, the class was awesome! I will totally go back again even if I never heal from the pain self inflicted on myself.

My fitness regimen is in a bit of flux right now. I'm planning on running a half in January, a 10k in a couple of weeks, and really vamping up yoga practice right now. 

Here is what the last week looked like:

W- 3 miles outside at lunch
Th- Cross and strength training + group fitness abs class at work
F- Nada
Sa- 4 hilly miles
Su- 6 flatter than flat miles
M- Cross training class that hurt everything
T- Yoga Self Practice
W- (hopefully) Run before work... I'm hoping that writing this will be my motivation to actually do it...

Nothing too exciting, but not to shabby either. Are you planning a workout regimen for the holiday seasons?


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Man Who Came to (Thanksgiving) Dinner


Oh I wish this was about the play, but it isn't. We are facing hard hitting questions today, folks. Buckle up... and by that I mean unbutton your pants for the Thanksgiving madness that has already started.

We are headed to a Thanksgiving gathering with my family (hosted by my folks who are excellent cooks and rarely burns things), but now that I'm a full fledged adult I need to step up my game and bring something more than a shining personality. For the past 3 years I've made Thanksgiving with friends and family, so instead of making the whole thing all I have to do is pack some punch with a couple menu items. I guess I will have to do the dishes too.. 

fail explosion thanksgiving turkey turkey frying explosion
Just a turkey on fire (cue Thanksgiving sobbing)

Everyone has different Thanksgiving traditions or lack of traditions. For me, I never had a single sweet potato until I went to college. Not for Thanksgiving, not sweet potato fries, not on a Tuesday night- none of them. Honest to goodness, the first time that I made a sweet potato dish (beyond a baked sweet potato) was Thanksgiving 2012 where a couple of my best college girlfriends flew out to spend the holiday in CA. I manically made a google doc of all the different foods, shopping list, and even a 15 minute increment list of all the things that needed to get done. Which all sounded great until my turkey wasn't defrosted (#oops), my baking bag was actually a brining bag (didn't even know what that was), and I realized that I didn't buy sweet potatoes (shouldn't be that hard). I bought something sweet and potatoe-y, but definitely white instead of orange with a weird texture. Yam? Imposter tuber? We shall never know. It was not the highlight of the meal, but then again no turkeys were set on fire and the wine was a flowing.

BUT back to the task at hand, since the family is hosting a large Thanksgiving event this year and now that we are back in the same state, I definitely want to pull our weight in the food bringing (not just food eating) portion of the event. I love to cook, however, anytime we host people or bring nosh to a gathering I have the same fear: WHAT IF I BRING SOMETHING THAT IS BASICALLY INEDIBLE?

So my truth for the next week will be anxiously re-checking my grocery list, saying 'you will not ruin this holiday' affirmations in the mirror, and trying to find the stretchiest stretch pants possible while prepping for my measly contributions to T-giving. I sent over a list of what I was planning on bringing to the main chef in charge and I had a list in mind of how as a guest I could  

I tried to be kind to my mom (hostess with the mostess, no doubt) and bring things that: 

A) Don't need (or needs very little time) in the oven- no one who is hosting wants to deal with someone else's side dish taking up space in the MVP(lace) in the kitchen.

2) She doesn't already make. This was selfishly for me and my belly too. My mom makes the greatest mashed potatoes in the world. Legit. She is already good at this, so I will let her make them instead me bringing a knock off of that and her having to scramble some new recipe together and possibly miss a step.

3) Meal beginning and enders- Personally I am always scrounging together an appetizer (or forgoing it completely) when people come over for dinner. I'm too busy watching Andrew hyper speed clean the house while I try to get a meal in order to think about artfully decorating a cheese plate in the the shape of a turkey. Damn you, Pinterest. So in my warped mind, bringing an appetizer or dessert (while they may not be show stopping or an ohhh and ahhh moment) is a great mini way to help the hostess.

My main question for the internet at large is do you trial run new recipes before you bring them somewhere or just go with the flow and trust the difficulty level of the dish is up to par with your skills? I've done a little bit of both without too many catastrophes.


Monday, November 16, 2015


Well lookie lookie. I'm back. Sorry for the unscheduled hiatus last week. Lots of excitement was happening around these parts with a surprise party, some house projects, and a bit of a weekend adventure. I can't wait to share those with you, but given the state of things I'm asking for the opportunity to briefly express my sadness with the acts of terror across our world. Whether we see news covering Paris, Lebanon, Russia, or the systems of injustice that plague people across endless borders, I, like all of us, am dismayed.

Times like this make me feel tiny and helpless. I learned to express this most clearly by just saying 'my heart hurts.'  I struggle with what to share to try and convey the sadness we all feel, but am lost for words. I understand that many of us feel this way and vacillated back and forth on the appropriateness of writing about this destruction on my slice of the internet filled with running, recipes, and chatter. I wanted to offer one thing that helps me.

Many years ago when I was struggling with how I could express hope while going through an intense period of change, I read a line from one of my favorite role models. Father Hesburgh, a civil rights leader and previous president of one of my alma maters. As a priest he wrote that when looking for strength his favorite prayer was simply "Come Holy Spirit." I've uttered, laughed, cried, and smiled through these three words hundreds or thousands of time since then. The brevity and strength of words can come in handy in times like these. It came to mind upon learning that a current student at another one of my alma maters was killed in Friday's actions; my sincerest hope is that the family of that young woman and the dozens of other affected understand that we are with them. 

I hope that all of us have an opportunity to express and process the pain that victims of terrorism and systematic programs of oppression cause. I hope we get the opportunity express our gratitude, hug those we love a little closer, look at our priorities with clear eyes, and maybe even learn a bit more about how and why our world is faced with this pain. I hope we can through actions be in solidarity with those different than us. I hope for hope.

 And to share a couple of things I have been reading recently:

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Day of Photos... Well Kinda

Remember the bloggers block? Guys... I had such a good idea. No,  I didn't magically get gifted with tons of content that started flowing out of my finger tips, but I did have a good idea. I was walking to the metro to get to work and I thought 'I have it- I'll just steal from posts I've seen'! Instead of writing about the banalities of my day, I could iPhone document them. 

Full disclosure, the banalities of the day. I seriously in another life must have been a stalker because my love affair with a good voyeuristic view into other people's days is creepy. This is your warning, you may be in for a snooze fest unless you (like me) could moonlight as a private investigator. We moved like a mile away from a spy shop and ALL I WANT IN LIFE IS TO SEE WHAT THEY HAVE IN THE STORE. But then again, I think some weird personality quirks should be left undeveloped. I am probably one bad day and 2 strong drinks from trying to solve some sort of mystery that would undoubtedly leave me behind bars. 

Back to the topic of full disclosure...  So I thought it was a great idea to photo document a day, but then I forgot what I was doing around lunchtime. Yes, a whopping 5 hours in, I dropped the ball. I considered just acting like my day ended at 12:30, but decided I would try again the next day. And then... I forgot again. So I may not be Lisa Ling, but here are some photos of 2 days in the life, very unedited, not so glamorous, and hopefully a step away from bloggers block.

My view leaving the metro in the AM. I walk for about 15 minutes (thank goodness the summer heat is over) and then take the metro a few stops to avoid the crazy traffic. Instead of the crazy traffic, I just get to meet all sorts of crazy different people. This day alone someone asked me for money, asked me on a date, and (my personal favorite) refused to stop man-spread so that I couldn't sit forward in the seat, but had to tilt my body so far into the aisle that I all I wanted to do was shout the injustice to the world. I didn't. Again, I don't think I should be behind bars- especially for disturbing the peace, although I feel strongly he is wrong. I also realize that this amount of anger is not normal in the AM and I should try to stop convincing myself that I will one day magically become a morning person. Just a normal commute.

I successfully make it to my office without a new date OR a misdemeanor charge. Success. Once I get settled I down a large water and a full mug of tea while trying to get organized for a day of meetings, meetings, and more meetings. 

One meeting down, about 42 to go before quitting time. Ooops, I'm already back at the coffee machine caffeinating. I make a mental note to stop the IV of caffeine before I start shaking, but forget what I was thinking about by the time that I make it back to my office.

Head to a presentation our team was leading for a new hospital and snap a quick photo. I swear it was more impressive in person because of the curve of the 30 foot long window, but realize that my iphotography skills are not up to par. 

Ooops- so then I forgot to take photos. The rest of the day went like this: the team went out for a nice work lunch, had another meeting, took a wellness class for work, tried to get a grip on the actual work that wasn't getting done because of all the meetings, quick meeting, snuck in a quick cardio session, and then went to an ab class that left me doubled over the next day, and then got serious about the growing number of things that had to get done ASAP. I will say that none of those photos would have been very good anyways. When I got home, Andrew and I worked on another home improvement project leaving my nails looking pretty darn cute. Then it was bed time.

It would be factually accurate if I said- I woke up like this. Precious little Cal, anxious for his walk, wanted to make sure that the day was ready to begin for all of us. Cal 1 Humans 0. I did some yoga, ate some breakfast, walked to the metro, and headed into another day of meetings, meetings, and more meetings at work.

We had some visiting guests, so we toured them across the campus including everything from our concert series, specialized artist healthcare team, MITIE training labs, and then finally to a clinic at one of Houston's largest arts organizations. Sometimes it is nice to have a day where you get to show off all of the incredible things about an organization.

I ended the work day with catching the end of a pianist performance while working on some ongoing projects. Coming from an arts organization, I was a little nervous about working in a hospital setting (even while my job is still in the arts), but some days I know I am exactly where I need to be. While answering email and making to-do lists, I saw a couple with a freshly minted baby leave for the hospital for the first time as a new family. Watching their joy made me tear up. It was the perfect way to end a day. 

Then back waiting for the metro. Luckily this time I was not asked for money, asked on a date, and I even could sit facing the right direction. The small things in life matter on a Thursday afternoon.

I read a little more Lean In on the metro ride home. I'm definitely enjoying the book, but still have some hit or miss strong reactions to parts of the premise.

For dinner, I whipped up a quick shimp and veggie lo mein while Andrew ran to the store. Andrew making a solo run to the store is always a precarious situation. Sending him to get one thing, he will (undoubtably) come home with 12 items. I love that man dearly, but I don't know if he will ever appreciate a grocery budget as much as I manically do.

Foot in mouth. Husband came home with flowers. I look like jerk. I ask myself why do I always look like like a jerk? The answer is... I apparently must BE a jerk. The frequency of jerk occurrence is too high to be anything but statistically significant at this point. Real talk, though. Fresh flowers and burning candles in our home are 2 small treats that make me so at hope and at peace. Even in grad school with no time for laundry, an inability to cook a meal that didn't start from a can, and super glued to my planner at all times, these small pleasures made me human again.

Then we played a rowdy game of bananagrams (I'm a pro, by the way) before embarking on blogging and work and dishes and puppy wrangling.

You made it to the end? Wow, I applaud you on your ability to make it through. I hope to be back next week with some content that I don't cringe at pushing publish.

Till then, I hope you all have weekends as wonderful as you are!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Currently 11.4.15

Currently Experiencing: Bloggers Block. I can't seem to be able to start, continue, or finish any of the ideas I have flowing in my head. I want to finish off the Chilean Adventure recaps, share another home improvement foray, and spill the beans on my best friend's bachelorette party that I'm planning but as much as I will it to happen, it just won't. So you have this instead.

Currently Planning: THAILAND! Man oh man, my mind is wandering there on a daily basis it seems. We have out dates picked and most of the big stuff decided upon, but haven't pulled the trigger to start booking things... yet. Now I should be a little more motivated since the last time that I delayed, I messed up big time.

Currently Watching: I totally vegged out on the couch the other night and watched all of This is Life with Lisa Ling. I thought it was well done, interesting, and at times pretty emotional. I downright bawled during the Fatherless Towns episode about a father/ daughter dance in an Ohio jail. Like I cried so hard Andrew kept asking me if I was okay... I definitely recommend the series.

Currently Realizing: A lot of big stuff is coming up. Holidays, weddings, travel, the Texas bar for Andrew, big work stuff for me. Looking at the next couple months, I feel overwhelmed and maybe spread a little too thin. The good news is I started a new routine for the month of November that I hope will help the mindfulness aspect of all these exciting things coming up. When the bloggers block takes a break, I can't wait to share.

Currently Reading: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead For an unknown reason, I had no interest in this when it came out. Even the tagline 'lean in' became annoying to me, but I've heard good things about the book so I snagged it at the library this week.

Currently Regretting: Returning our books late to the library. Mea culpa. Oooops. But still, support your local library.

Currently Sweating: But not as much as before. I'm loving my new training plan until the Turkey Trot 10k and how much cross training I'm getting to fit in! It feels good to have a little more flexibility in the routine, but still have enough mileage to not get runners restless.

Currently Eating: Trying these lasagna rollups this week! I also sat down a couple of days ago with a pile of cookbooks (told you I had bloggers block) to thumb through and earmark some new recipes to try. I love cookbooks! They are my favorite way to commemorate a trip and I think they look so nice displayed in the kitchen, but I tend to stick to Pinterest for recipe ideas. Hopefully this will help!

Currently Laughing: Hard. Really hard. You know how at most races the organizers give you a commemorative t-shirt? So we have quite a few in our house- one of each the slim cut female kind and one male cut version. Somehow (with a recent load of laundry?) my women's shirt, which is the identical color, ended up in Andrew's closet. He grabbed a set of work out clothes for the gym by his office and ended up having to work out in an extra tight, v-neck women's shirt at the gym. I really wanted a picture, but he was unwilling. Regardless, I needed that laugh.

Currently Shopping: I would love to get a head start on holiday shopping, but in the meantime am looking for shoes for my best friend's wedding. I'm thinking these...

What is new in your neck of the woods?

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Next One

Normally after finishing a training cycle, I need a break from the long hours of solo miles. I like to spend time in group classes or working on other fitness goals (planks will be the death of me) while I wait for that nagging urge to start training for the next one. I make it a habit to plan what my next race is before I finish the training cycle (which I did), but I don't try to jump from one training to the next one. I need some time to be. My feet need a pedicure. My training routes have grown monotonous. My motivation has wandered to spin class or a push up challenge or donuts. Most likely donuts.

Not quite the case this time. As you may remember, last weekend's half marathon got cancelled due to inclement weather and it was a great call on Houston Half Marathon's part. They caught some (unnecessary, in my opinion) flack, but I definitely want to publicly commend them for making a decision that absolutely no one wanted to make. I'm counting down the days till next year's race for the Karbach beer and tacos at the finish line. That being said, I didn't quite get that release of energy, enthusiasm, and chock blocks while crossing the finish line. I had a wonderful, albeit flooded, day of drinking mimosas, visiting ikea, and not getting poured on for a couple hours while trying to stay vertical. But I feel not quite ready for the break in training.

Now- I'm also not racing out to run a solo baker's dozen anytime soon, so don't think I'm as dedicated as I want to be. But it does mean that I'm still itching for the finish line and I think I've got just the race to solve that. It is soon. It is local. And the distance is manageable without being boring. Andrew and I are all signed up for a local 10k Turkey Trot and I'm so excited. I've never raced a 10k before, so that will be a new challenge. I'm also looking forward to being able to balance training with cross training and life.

So while it is an anticlimactic 'onto the next one,' that is exactly what it is. I've been working on manageable paces and distances this past week including a memorable, slippery, and downright funny/scary run in the rain before Mass on Sunday. I do think that this is a good way to manage the 13 pounds of mashed potatoes I plan on eating on Thanksgiving; it'll make a dent in the ghastly amount of carbs... I hope.

Any ways you plan on staying active this November?