Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Taking A Breath and A Break

The radio silence of this site these days has been ringing pretty loudly in my ears. A nagging feeling that why I knew I should sit down and really focus on creative content, somehow the list of other life things kept getting in the way. It makes me a little sad, but I'm taking a break from this space. 

About a year and a half ago, I started this teeny tiny slice of the internet as a creative outlet and to chronicle an exciting time in our life. Almost 200 posts later, we have covered everything from moving to renovating to running to so many things in between. I'd like to think I may come back and start again, but who knows what will happen in the future. Right now between balancing family and friends and work and running and life, I know that something had to give. As much as I love this space feeling balanced and present in my life needs to take precedent for now. I'm really happy with the journey of the past year and a half and love where life has me right now. The best way for me to enjoy our current stop on this journey is to take a step back from here and focus on enjoying it!

Major props of all of you out there who 'do it all' and are thriving at it! I'm in awe over you! Also major props to some of you who may be struggling with balance- I'm so impressed at your work ethic! I'm excited to still be an active reader of the blogs I love so much and maybe one day I'll be back as a blogger.

Most of all thanks for those who have taken a bit of time out of their day to stop in and see what was going on over here! It has been a pleasure to share a bit of sass with all of yall! 

Until who knows if/when,

Friday, May 20, 2016

5 for Friday: Meal Time Savers

This week has been bananas. Scratch that the last two weeks have-- wait, no actually the whole last month has been a 'hang-on-for-dear-life' ride full of to do lists, to do-right-now lists, and what-is-wrong-with-you-do-it-yesterday-to do lists. I'm really hoping that things are going to slow down (read: I'm going to try to prioritize my time better), but until then I've been leaning on these meal starters hard recently. I generally try to make everything from scratch or scratch-ish, but that is simply because I enjoy cooking and really like to know what I'm putting in my body. These little short cuts/ okay in some cases pre-made meals have been what gets food on the table while the dog is stealing neighbors toys, we are scrubbing our fingers raw to get the accidentally-purchased-oil-based primer out of our bath tub, and the work day drags into the work night.

1) Trader Joe's Spinach Tortellini
Fresh Spinach Tortellini
Throw this some spinach, ground turkey, garlic, and tomato sauce together for an easy 15 minute meal that tastes great and is budget friendly. Pair with a nice glass of dirty laundry or a serving of bills to be paid.

2) Tamales
Texas Tamale Company is always good, yet even better when there is no time to make a real dinner. I personally love the chicken and the spinach, but I heard that the black bean ones are delicious with a side of eggs for breakfast. Heat up some charo beans, slice some tomatoes and an avocado, and enjoy while trying to figure out exactly how to fold a fitted sheet or better yet hiding it in a closet minutes before company arrives.

3) Pre-Made Rotisserie Chicken
I love cooking whole chickens, I love the smell, I love the taste, and I love how fancy I feel pulling a whole bird out for dinner. However, I also love that buying the pre-made chicken at the grocery store means we can eat before midnight. I like mine with green beans and crescent rolls. Best served on clean dishes or paper plates, or straight from the plastic container. No shame.

4) California Pizza Kitchen's Frozen White Pizza
Confession: I've never actually been to CPK. Confession: I generally don't like pizza. Confession: This one may be going too far, but in grad school I would buy one of these during Fridays in lent and just eat this all day. There is a little spinach on it... so that must count for something. Love these suckers and piling on some kalamata olives and red pepper flakes. Best prepared in an oven. Pro tip: don't try to clean said oven while cooking pizza.

5) Crock pot anything!
I've been using thsi bad boy quite a few times recently to just be able to eat something with half the work.

What about you? Any meal time savers that you're digging?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Adding Another to the List

I have 13 home improvement projects spinning in my mind right now, 2 currently creating a crap ton of saw dust in our loft (so excited to hopefully soon share), 1 new set of DIY project parts headed our way in the mail, and I'm thinking of adding another to the list. Shhh... don't tell my husband. Or our awesome set of family and friends that spent a big part of the weekend and today helping whip up another DIY project into shape. 

I've shared a couple of our recent projects like our DIY board and batten dining room and front door upgrade,
 but behind the scenes we have spent a lot of time over the past year (literally) working our way from room to room. Our house is by no way done, but we are getting closer to having the house look like we want it to.

One of the things I was deadset on when we moved into the house was fixing up the living room's centerpiece: the fireplace. It isn't ugly. It isn't attractive. It just kinda sits there needing some love. I'm not a fan of the painted white brick and I think the whole thing is a little flat, but I also have a fond vivid memory of getting my gym shorts stuck to the wood adhesive while laying a hardwood floor, so I need a bit more confidence before whipping up some plans.  I don't have a easy photo available, but you can see some snaps of the not-lighting-my-fire-fireplace from the following two photos.

Yeah there are definitely dog toys in both of the photos. Oops.

I've been thinking of creating an easy DIY upgrade to make the fireplace really stand out as the center of the room. I've come up with two options.

1) Adding a floating mantle
How To Build a Mantel:
I love that we could make a real centerpiece out of the fireplace AND have more than just a couple inch shelf for pictures, candles, and all sorts of knickknacks. I'm a little nervous to negotiate adhering anything into a wall of bricks... and the holes that it would leave if we weren't able to manage that. BUT I do love the look.

great idea: paint a traditional fireplace screen a modern, bold color!:

This could be a fun way to bring in some more color into the space AND it has the added benefit of being entirely possible to do in an hour.

Thoughts? If you were secretly adding projects to a home to-do list, what would you pick?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Denver- The Good Part

Okay, you heard me mope and complain and sugar coat pretty much nothing about the bad symptoms part of our weekend in Denver, but that isn't fair. Up until the moment of... well of no return, the weekend was perfect. Since documenting the bad side has happened, documenting the good sign is absolutely necessary. My sister and brother in law are kinda like the bests hosts ever. Everything is so casual and easy when you stay there that you couldn't feel anything but at home. I mean seriously if you had 4 grown adults getting violently ill in your basement and that doesn't stress you out, I think you deserve a big gold star. That was my last mention of being violently ill... I promise.

One day we headed out for a quick hike. When we lived in California, we would go hiking almost every week so it was nice to get back out and away from everything. Also, can you check out that hiking-baby-carrier-thing (yes, definitely the technical term). Emilia has probably more covered more elevation in her year on earth than I have in my life.

There were storms in the distance and the sky was a beautiful deep shade of blue. These are definitely not Houston views.

And because I can't help myself, here is one picture of the star of the show. 

It was so much fun seeing how much she has grown in the past couple months since I've seen her. If I'm being honest, for the past year I've carried some irrational guilt about missing all the little things- the daily developments, the mega meltdowns, or the what-the-heck-do-I-do-how-am-I-the-mom moments. Growing up with a sibling, you don't miss anything. You're there when they learn to drive, when you play cooking show during summer break, you're there when you steal their clothes, or the annual family beach trip- you are around all the time. From the first time I met this sweet little babe it became crystal clear that so much of this stuff will be missed. I'll miss watching my sister and brother in law send her off to school for the first time, (hopefully will miss) the first time she is grounded, their summer trips, and everything in between. But before I let myself go down a rabbit hole of tears, I realize that  of course these moments will be missed. This new addition may have their own siblings, their own memories, their own inside jokes on how ridiculous her parents are. My sisters and I haven't lived under the same roof in well over a decade and that doesn't stop us from picking up/ picking on where we left the last time we were together. All I can hope for this sweet babe is that her family provides both roots and wings. Oh and I guess I also hope for a windfall of frequent flyer miles.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Babies Win 5 Out of 6 Times

Warning: This is the only photo that you will find today (you will quickly discover why).
Extra Warning: There is a 2% chance of complete sentences; read on if you dare.


I hightailed it out of the office for a late afternoon meeting.
Meeting ran later than expected and I scurried home to pack for a weekend trip to celebrate our favorite family member's 1st birthday and Mother's Day.
Packed a weekend bag, ate a frozen pizza, and cleaned the house in an embarrassing short period of time.
Went for a quick run while being highly impressed at the amount of drunk Cinco-de-Mayo-ers already out.
Did some more work, put my away message up, and tried to block out the growing to-do list items that I knew would emerge.
Hopped on a plane to see my favorite little family in the world.


Landed in Colorado, forced my sister to wake up to pick us up at the airport, oogled over their home renovations until we fell asleep.
Woke up to the best 1 year old that I've ever seen.
Forced her to hug me, tried to bribe her to dislike my other sister (road to #funaunt begins), and had a great time.
Cooked a bit, laughed a lot, and tried to acclimate to the altitude.
Had a fantastic Italian dinner, had about 7 fantastic Italian desserts, stayed up to late drinking beers on a patio.
Had a great day.


Woke up to the best 1 year old that I've ever seen.
Forced her to hug me, tried to bribe her to dislike my other sister (road to #funaunt begins), had a great time.
Got some exciting news from my other sister; although I'm still not retracting my niece bribery.
Got ready for a pretty wild 1st birthday party, talked shop with a fellow crime novel fan, was deterred from waking the birthday girl up from her nap to play with me.
Got sick, got sick again, hid in the basement for far to long.
Woke up hours later just to repeat previous activities.
Lured people into my room only to see them wearing gas masks, thought that was funny, but it hurt to laugh.
Slept, got sick, slept, got sick.
Infected husband who also slept, got sick, slept, and got sick.
Used a heating pad to stay warm, laid on concrete to cool off, and basically was a delirious mess.


Woke my mom and sister up with graphic details of the illness from Hades (happy mothers day).
Slept in a basement all day.
Avoided human interaction; I'm sure actually all humans were avoiding me.
Tried to drink a Gatorade.
Decided to definitely not drink a Gatorade.
Didn't make flight to Houston.
Actually could barely even make it up the stairs.
Watched a cooking show (not a good idea on an empty stomach) and fell asleep.


Tentatively made it up the stairs.
Tentatively ate more than 8 cheerios.
Tentatively saw the outside.
Slowly became human again (mostly to con the birthday girl to play with me).
Cloroxed the heck out of the room we had infected.
And (fingers crossed) are boarding a plane back home in a few hours.

That is what a vacation weekend looks like when the plague hits your family. Of the 6 adults visiting, 5 were struck down with this lightning bolt illness. Apparently in the contest between adult immune systems and baby viruses, babies win 5 out of 6 times.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Houstonians: 1 Year


May 3rd marks one year in Houston. A year ago, we were just getting into town with (barely) enough time to make it to the first of what turned out to be 7820364810837 open houses. Give or take a hundred.

A year ago, we were both embarrassingly sad that we left our favorite pillows at the last hotel we stayed in during our glamorous 8 hour stop over in Lubbock.

A year ago, we didn't quite remember what the Houston humidity was really like. Now, I don't think we will ever forget this.

A year ago, all our belongings were either in a car or a storage pod. Neither were particularly well packed.

A year ago, we were living out of 1 suitcase each. Our naivete believed that we would find a house, buy a house, and move into a house before too long- so we didn't pack very well.

A year ago, I had no job! I'd just quit one that I'd loved, was doing a little freelance work, and was in the middle of 7 job interviews to get the job that I love now.

A year ago, we were one day away from going to our first Kickball game. A group of awesome new people that have become our go-tos and are so grateful for.

A year ago, we were tired, and scared, and had no idea what was to come.

I'm so grateful that we took the leap back to (at times what felt like the kiddie pond) home. Houston really is an awesome place to live, work, and play. I can't wait for another year.

No longer Cross Country Kulhas,

Monday, May 2, 2016

April Showers Bring May....

It is already May. No idea how that happened, but I will take it. April went by in a flash. It came with a vengeance and here in Houston is just rained and rained and rained. Then it stopped and then it started raining again. 

I had a big long list of things that needed to get done this past month, but very few things really got accomplished. In terms of consistency with posting on this little slice of the internet, it was the fewest number of posts in a month ever. I tried to write more consistently, but real life things took priority. Oh and netflix. Real life and netflix get in the way of so many things.

What was great about April? I got to attend a lot of arts events ranging from the symphony to a musical to a Greek play to a live printing demonstration. Andrew and I knocked off a couple Houston must-do's off our list. We spent a lot of time with family and friends. Had a blast checking out some restaurants (Uchi- I'm looking at you). Work has been challenging and fufilling. We may have just picked up a new training trick for Cal. And...

Andrew passed the Texas bar! When we moved from California where he was bar certified, we knew he would have to take the Texas again. The one thing we didn't know (or remember) was how trying the whole process to be. After months of him studying, a couple months of me worrying, and maybe a couple nightmares, he got the great news that not only did he pass it- but did great!

So April Showers are bringing big smiles so far this May,

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

One Thing I'm Good At (This Summer)

My parents were blessed with three daughters. Three daughters that never fought, never threw each other over couches, never borrowed eyeliner with no intention of returning it, and never cheated in Marco Polo. Three angels in heavy disguise. Now that we all pretend to be grown and don't have the opportunity to fight to the death over pool games as much as we used to, having 2 sisters is incredible. There is rarely a day where I haven't talked, texted, face timed, emailed, or actually seen one of them. Truly, the best gift that my parents have given us is each other.

But in no way shape or form did they bother to create 3 sisters that are alike. Yes, in many regards we could be nothing more alike, but in a heck of a lot more ways are absolutely nothing alike. One of the most obvious ways (other than my lack of red hair) were our hobbies turned passions, With an arts background, I see everything somewhat through that lens. When my younger sister played collegiate athletics, I caught so much slack for inadvertently, repeatedly calling her uniforms costume. Potato, potato- right? And sometimes I just think of my life as one big musical... without the singing, without most of the dancing, but definitely including an intermission. Okay I may have included that line to force them to roll their eyeballs back into their heads so far they will get stuck (... I see you through the computer screen!!!) but I guess that is what years of acting classes gets you.

The advantage of being predispositioned to artsy-fartsy things is that I have a plethora of cool things to do, see, or visit. For most performing art genres, organizations pull back from there regularly scheduled programming during the summer months and either go dark or produce something special. This means there are TONS of things to do in the arts over the summer.

So inspired by Chesson's list of things to do in Colombia this summer, here are my Houston Recommendations for a FREE and ART FILLED Summer!

1) Houston Shakespeare Festival

Oh how I love you so. There is nothing like bringing a picnic basket full of wine cheese and crackers to the hill to watch 3 hours of Shakespeare tipsy full of carbs. They rotate 2 plays through the 1 and a half week run (this year Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing), so whether you want a little dose of Middle Aged warfare or listen to gossip in olde english there is something for everyone.

2) Museums

Houston Museum District

Houston has some incredible museums that, as a general rule of humanity in Houston, have A/C. Andrew and I have been working our way through this list of free museum days and the museums that are free EVERYDAY! 

Free Museum Days in Houston Museum District:

Buffalo Soldiers National Museum – Thursday 1 pm – 5 pm
Houston Museum of Natural Science – Thursday 3 pm – 6 pm
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston — Thursday 10 am – 9 pm — Kids 12 & under free every day
Children’s Museum of Houston — Thursday 5 pm – 8 pm
The Health Museum — Thursday 2 pm – 5 pm
Holocaust Museum Houston – Thursday 2 pm – 5 pm
Houston Museum of African-American Culture — Thursday 6 pm – 8 pm
Czech Center Museum Houston – Last Monday each month, noon -4 pm

Free Everyday: Our favorites are the Contemporary Arts Museum and the Menil Collection

Asia Society Texas Center (all spaces except Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery)
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
DiverseWorks (Gallery Space)
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Houston Center for Photography
The Jung Center
Lawndale Art Center
The Menil Collection
Rice University Art Gallery
Rothko Chapel

3) Miller Outdoor Theatre- 

Miller Outdoor Theatre is an outdoor theatre in one of Houston's most beloved parks. It offers 8 months of diverse professional programming- and the kicker is it is all FREE! As the largest 'always free' program of its kind in the country, Houston is lucky to have it. I've spent many a summer night sweating there and at first I wanted to write about the Exxon Mobile Summer Nights Houston Symphony performances, but when I looked over the whole summer season there was so much stuff that I didn't even know happened there! My picks would include: Tosca in late May by the Houston Grand OperaHouston Ballet perfoming in early May, and MetDance's Summer Sizzling Dance.  All free, Houston folks!

Okay, so now I will go back to burying my head in the sand and pretending summer won't happen...

Monday, April 25, 2016

Currently 4.25.16

Things have just been a blur around here the past week with the Houston floods and general busy-ness. Instead of hunkering down and getting things done, I have about 15 projects midway done, ideas for 27 more, and not enough motivation to finish any. 

So it is time for another Currently post...

Currently eating: 
No-Fry Italian 'Fried' Chicken
Okay, well we not currently at this very moment, but we made Port and Fin's No-Fry Italian 'Fried' Chicken and I'm still salivating over it. So delicious that when drumsticks went on sale again at the grocery store this week, we went and bought enough for 2 more batches. Just livin la vida loca over here. 

Currently Reading:
King John- Shakespeare's histories have never been my thing, so it is taking me longer than I would like but I have faith.

Currently Watching:
Amazing Race (except I have no idea who these 'social media stars' are) and Game.Of.Thrones. 

Currently Sweating:
I tried to run a couple times this week, but until my doctor's appointment for my hip I'm trying to take it easy. Sunday we went on an almost 13 mile bike ride that felt great. I miss the miles though :(

Currently Anticipating:
Trip up to Colorado coming up to celebrate our favorite baby's 1st birthday. Can't wait to see that little girl and her parentals. 

Currently Pinteresting:
Ideas for our front garden. Trying to find something that will be resistant to the Houston heat and be very low maintenance. This one falls squarely in the '15 projects halfway done' pile.

Currently Online WINDOWshopping:
Rose gold Druzy earrings, rose gold earrings, rose gold druzy, Faux Druzy earrings, Druzy Pendant earrings, Boho Jewelry, Druzy earrings
Pendant rose gold earrings after mine went tragically missing, new running shoes, and a PJ set with shorts because... Summer is coming (see the Game of Thrones non-reference reference).

Currently Stressing Over: 
A very hectic work week full of presentations, deadlines, and a couple work-fun things too. It definitely helps that I get to look forward to seeing Faure's Requiem at the Houston Symphony

Currently Grateful For:
Andrew picking up the slack around here while I've been running around like a chicken (drumstick, of course) with my head cut off.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Scariest Movie I Have Ever Seen, That I Haven't Actually Seen

While working from home the other day, I noticed some fishy comings and goings happening in a property nearby. Recently a big fancy townhome builder came in and bought the property up, but they haven't actually knocked down the old building. Because the comings and goings didn't quite look like they were of the townhome-building-meeting variety, I was less than thrilled with the safety of these encounters and called the non-emergency police line. Being married to lawyer, I knew was told that if the individuals were smart enough to lock the door behind them there was very little that the police would do without a real danger, I still kept my eyes locked (through blinds because I'm a wimp) at the property for the rest of the day. The non-emergency police dispatch woman even told me I gave a very good description of the individuals (I watch way too many crime shows and found this the highest compliment). The glamour of city living is not lost on me. Sitting there huddled against the window reminded me of the scariest movie I've ever seen, that I have never actually seen. 

Or I guess, that I've never actually finished. I've lived in fear of this movie for decades. Or close to that. A little after Andrew and I were married, we were debating what movie to watch one evening. Somehow we got set on watching a scary movie (quite the rarity) and I tried to explain to him the scariest movie I've ever seen. I was going through the limited details I remember from a movie that I watched as a child and he asked what happened next. Ugh, I don't know. I didn't ever see the ending. Not only is that a frustrating end to a conversation, but it led to a frustrating google search of what the movie was.

Eventually I found the movie on youtube and with glee started it. I was so scared. I shrieked, I hid my eyes, I gritted my teeth until... well, I fell asleep. Andrew finished the movie that he didn't want to watch anyways and all was well. The next morning I was furious at myself for not finishing it. I prodded Andrew, who was decidedly in the camp of 'that movie wasn't a tad bit scary' until I just turned on the movie and watched it again the next afternoon. Well, something must have been in the water because I fell asleep. Again. 

Over the past couple years, I've asked him multiple times what happens at the end, but have yet to receive an answer. So here I am, a middle schooler away from the first time I 'watched' this movie and I still don't know what happens. Sitting here huddled against the window watching the comings and goings from a closed window kinda makes me want to start it again, but I just don't know if I can end my streak.

The movie was the made for TV remake (I know, I know) of Rear Window.
Rear Window Poster
"Who is watching who?"

Anyone out there if this movie (not the original and not the other one) is actually scary?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Race Recap- Texas Wine Series

How sweet it is to be writing this recap while watching the Boston Marathon! Houston was slammed with some nasty storms on Monday, so I penned this while watching the race live. Seriously, I love watching marathons. It is such a feat of human persistence and their times are astounding. But I digress...

Race weekend! Another one is in the books folks.

I tried to not get too excited, but I had really high hopes for this race. My tempo and long runs had been strong and I was going for the PR (personal record). I did my strength training, created a race plan that matched the course, and wanted it so badly. As a runner, I've never been particularly focused on speed. I love the process. I love the mental part of going into something knowing that it will be hard, knowing I will want to quit, and knowing that I can and will do it. But this time, I was selfish. just wanted to beat myself.

My hip had been giving me some trouble, but when I couldn't even finish my last long run (stopped at 10.5 instead of 12), I got nervous. I foam rolled, worked on nutrition, and skipped my last long run because I knew that if I pushed it early, I might not make it to race day.

It turns out that this time, race day wasn't my day.

The first 3 miles of the course were on trails and I had my plan. I wanted to run the first 3 miles at 8:50 and then slowly chip that time down to 8:35-8:40 paces when the course made it to the roads. I don't normally run on trails and knew that I needed to really focus on my footwork. That was my plan.

On race morning while running some warm up strides, my hip was just not having it. I tried to push the negativity to the back of my mind, but I started the race nervous. My hip wasn't sore or uncomfortable, it was painful. I forgot my plan and just went into 'get it done' mode. I ran too fast and the first 2 miles clocked in the high 8:20s. By mile 2, I knew today wasn't my day. 

I stopped to stretch, tried to loosen it up, but my hip was getting worse every step (I think the trails further exasperated that). I was so mad. I was so mad at my hip, so mad at my mental game, and so mad that it wasn't going to happen that day. Until mile 4, I couldn't get over it. We all have really cruel things (I'm going to assume this is a universal thing, okay?!?) that at some time or another we have said to ourselves. The thoughts that are normally so far back in the cobwebs of your mind that you never think. The things you would never ever dare to say about someone else, but can be easy to punish yourself with. Those were the only things I could think about. The first 35 minutes of the race, I don't know if I thought a single kind thought that was directed to me.

Prior to the start, I made a deal with myself to say a little prayer for a family member at each mile marker. I wanted to keep things in perspective and knew that the race would get tough (I was thinking at mile 11 not 2). Around the fourth mile marker, while reciting the prayer I realized how ridiculous I was being. Here I was doing something that I absolutely love and was making myself miserable over it. By letting myself obsess over this time goal, I wasn't having any fun. I wasn't thinking about the blessing it is to run. I wasn't thinking about how strong the body really is. I wasn't thinking anything other than horrible, dark, cob-webby thoughts.

So I stopped. Well, no I kept running, but I just stopped thinking about those things. I had fun. I crushed some intense (okay, for me) hills. I petted a horse (really, that isn't a weird euphemism). I joked with other runners. And sang some Michael Bolton at the top of my lungs. I haven't had that much fun on a course... maybe ever. It felt great.

After the half way point turnaround, I saw Andrew (we weren't running together) for a bit and said 'hey if we can, lets finish this together'. I slowed down and while my hip wasn't comfortable, after being on the roads for a few miles it started to feel okay. As much as I had actually wanted to race this course (run it in a way that you're really pushing yourself), running it was still a win for me.

A little before mile 10, the course looped itself back to the first 3 miles of trail running that then took you to the finish line. I looked at my watch and saw I could make my C goal (Goal A= PR, Goal B= beat my January race), but I also figured that Andrew couldn't be too much further behind. I texted him (oops...) and knew he was only a few minutes away. Now this is where I did probably the silliest thing I've ever done while racing. I stopped and waited on the course. Why not at least finish with my favorite running partner? I knew it was manageable for him to get a new PR and since I hadn't been pushing it, I had it in my legs to pace him in for that. So I just stopped and waited.

I felt absolutely ridiculous standing there on the side of the course. Some runners looked at me like I was delusional, some asked if I was okay, and some just tried to ignore the crazy lady who was cheering instead of running. Meeting up with Andrew was fantastic. He had been absolutely killing it and it was great to see him looking so strong. My idea to pace him to a PR was met with rolled eyes (rookie mistake to tell him the pace for the last 3 miles he needed to maintain), but it was nice finishing the race together. I turned off my watch at 11 and just followed his lead until the end. 

So on paper the race was the slowest I've ever run (other than a trail run that covered 1600 feet elevation), but in reality it was a blast. The course was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and the free wine at the end was definitely motivating.

And back to the PR. 1) I know no one other than me cares. 2) I hope that the next time I go all out for a new PR, I don't obsess like I did this year. Lets face it, I'm not even kinda fast when I'm going all out. 3) I don't know when (if ever) I will beat my PR. In 2010, I ran my first (and fastest) half in 1:55. That is 6 years ago. In the past 6 years, I've lived in 3 states/ time zones, graduated college, graduated with my MBA and MFA, had my first adult job, got engaged, ran a full marathon, married my best friend, bought our first house, and all the other mini-moments that make up the days. Maybe someday it will happen, maybe it will never happen. In the long run (get it), that doesn't matter. I'm thankful for this race and hopefully many more to come to remind me of that.

Back to foam rolling and googling hip injuries until my doctors appointment,

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Race Week Ramblings

This weekend, I'll be lacing up my sneakers and headed out on another half marathon. I'm really excited for this race...'s end-  a winery. I've done a pretty good job training with a couple set back recently due to my mystery hip pain that just isn't going away. I need to go see a doctor about it, but am trying to rest on it as much as possible this week and see if I can run on Saturday. I did an easy peasy 3 miles on Monday night and felt great, but a recent interval workout made waking up the next morning feel like death. So my goal for the weekend is to survive and hopefully feel somewhere in between. 

Since Race Week brings a lot of extra time while I'm trying to fill the time I've been going a little overboard with the carbo loading. I generally do a pretty terrible job fueling before race day. One time I ate a churro for dinner the night before a race... and had no breakfast. Another time I drank 3 beers and ate something fried (and delicious) with zero nutritional value. And another time I ate so many handfuls of gummy bears during a race that they congealed in my stomach and created a massive blob that moved up and down in my belly like a bowling ball. So.... I hope this makes you feel better about your own nutrition. 

But back to carbo loading.... We generally don't eat a lot of pasta around here. Actually, we pretty much never it eat. However, I recently just got a hankering for all Italian all the time and have a couple awesome recipes to share. 

Gnocchi With Pomodoro Sauce |
So good. Try it. Love it. Make me some. I would recommend using less cheese than the recipe calls for. I roasted some broccoli for a side dish and it was incredibly satisfying. Oh, and add lots of red pepper for a nice kick.

You don't even have to boil the pasta with this easy Dump-and-Bake Meatball Casserole!
I won't lie. I found this recipe because I had a bag of frozen meatballs that sat in my freezer for an embarrassingly long time. I didn't want to buy a million ingredients and I waned a lazy meal. It checked all those boxes and more. I add a bunch of fresh herbs, onions, and good Parmesan (but less than the recipe called for) and paired it with brussel sprouts. Easy, filling, and delicious. 

I will start switching to boring foods that are easy on the stomach in a couple days, but any pasta recs before then? I'd love to stare longingly at another tomato/cheesy/delight.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cal: A Year

Cal turned one yesterday. Big news in our house. A whole year. Yes, we went and got him a new toy for his birthday. It was one of the cheapest ones we could find, but the occasion needed to be marked. When he joined our family he could literally fit in one hand and now... oh, okay, he is still pretty small. 

Andrew and I (who, am I kidding- just me) were reflective the other day about all the Cal things that have happened over the last year. Some good (cutest damn dog ever), some not so good (remember the gardening incident of 2015), and all the rest of the times that we have been high fiv-ing each other on our ability to keep something living for a whole year. Side note: Cal was not the biggest threat to our plants' survival.

The first year- these are my thoughts:

1) Puppies are a lot of work. Every child who wanted a pet has heard this on repeat from their mother, but she is right. They need to pee and they need to eat and they need to sleep in the bed with-- okay, I think you get the gist. 

2) Weiner dogs have a damn mind of their own. Yes, you may teach them how to sit, but it's a 50/50 shot whether they will actually do that trick at any given moment. And the chances become slim to none of them doing it when you are trying to show off your incredible dog handling skills.

3) They also have an A+ ability to purposefully ignore you. Shouting their name before they dive head first to a newly deposited... present on a walk will likely result in them tilting their head, snickering to them self, and then eating all the shit in sight. Or just try waking them from a slumber, no way no how. Apparently Andrew and I are Houdini to Cal; we disappear at his will. 

3) Pups are also like the alarm clock that you never wish you had. I mean this in a couple different ways. The first is... well try sleeping in late with a puppy chewing on your hair. You wake up when they want you too. The second is far worse. Just as you are drifting off to sleep all tucked in for a solid, dreamy 8 hours, your four-legged friend howls. He gets up, lets out a blood curling bark, and proceeds to growl and whine at the closed and locked door. All the sudden that thoughtless sleep becomes an impossibility. The dog has decided you have a home intruder. This imaginary intruder will come, will get you, will ONLY be scared away with incessent barking. Upon groggily waking up, frantically shushing him, and letting the wild hound out into the house to find said intruder, they will look at you and with a knowing smile decide all is well in the world... in fact, they decide it is now bed time. 

4) Even with the bad puppy parenting noted above, I don't even know if its possible to love him more.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Happy April Fools!

Last year on April Fools Day, we started shouting it from the mountain tops that we would be moving to Texas! This year on April Fools Day, we announce... well nothing. With a whirlwind of a year, I'm so excited for fewer moving boxes, less puppy potty training, and more of whatever next adventure is to come.Even with all the ups and downs (house hunting... I'm looking at you), this year has been full of laughter (and pinot grigio). I don't have anything particularly meaningful to say other than... THANK GOODNESS WE ARE NOT MOVING AGAIN.

With the spirit of laughter in mind... I leave with you the April Fools Day tricks that made me chuckle. As always, thank you Buzzfeed.

And these via Dose...

Happy April Fools!