Monday, August 30, 2010

Spirit of Columbus 1/2 Marathon Recap

Hello, hello -- and happy Monday :)

I was trying to "save" this post until I had an official time to post for you (and, loyal blogger that I am, I have been checking the website all day ...) but, as of the time that this post 'hit the presses', results have not been posted. Suffice it to say, I was not "removed from the course", and my garmin (which, being caught up in the moment, I started late and stopped late) reads 2:57:46.

So... let's jump right in, shall we?

As a general rule, I never sleep well before races-- which, I believe, is probably caused by the overwhelming mix of nervousness & excitement that sets in the eve of "race day". Still, I did okay -- bouncing out of bed at 5:00 5:30am, bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to run.

Err... Right. Actually I was just really grateful that I had the foresight to set the programmable coffee maker the night before. 1 cup of coffee later (which I apparently did not consume quickly enough, as I carefully poured myself 1/2 a mug-full of creamer, and almost peanut-buttered Gracie, who had her nose in the wrong place at the wrong time... Gahh.. I couldn't make this stuff up, bloggies)-- things were looking up :)

Or, rather, down. These new socks were a joyful addition to my race day attire :) Fun socks are like fun underwear (sorry, Dad)-- no one but you knows that you are wearing them, but they make you feel a little extra special all day long :)

Breakfast was consumed (PB+J on toast .... and another splash of coffee), J was awakened... and we were on our way. (... after one dead car battery... which was handled with grace & minimal panic on both of our parts. Really, it was a blessing, as J's car does not have working air conditioning, and it was awfully nice to blast the air on the way home... but I'm getting ahead of myself :)

We arrived at the start line a little after 7am, and met up with my parents, who had come to wish me luck (my father also took on the duty of my personal paparazzi-- the next couple photos are credited to him!)
Then, since we had some time to spare, (and.. well, nerves, you know?) I decided I'd use the bathroom one final time ... which turned out to be a pivotal point for the entire race for me.

Now, lest you think I am going to launch into a diatribe about the evils of coffee (NEVER!) and how drinking a cup of coffee before the race was a mistake (which it wasn't, thank heavens :) -- I'll tell you standing in line for the porta-potties was a good thing not only for the obvious reasons-- but, even more so, for the woman I met while I was waiting.
(me & A. in the blue hat)

I can't remember who started the conversation-- and really, it doesn't matter-- the important thing is that I met her. We made a little small talk; I found out that this was her 1st half marathon, and inquired whether she had a specific goal. She told me that she was aiming for 12:30 splits. In a burst of uncharacteristic bravery (which, perhaps I can attribute to my mother's presence -- she's always been able to talk to anyone), I asked her if I could run with her for the first couple miles (my thinking being that if I could give myself a little cushion in the first few miles, I would be less likely to be eh-hem "booted from the course" later.)

And just like that, a friendship was forged.

I have to say... although I've always aspired to be a faster runner (remember my goals for a sub-8 minute mile, a 24 minute 5k, and a sub-2 hour half?!), being in the mid-back of the pack has blessed me immeasurably. I've found (and I wonder if it's like this at the front of the pack too... I just honestly have no experience :) that when you are not as focused on beating your neighbor to the finish, you have time to cheer them on. And that's incredibly wonderful.

I was able to stay with A. for 5 (!) miles-- and I am incredibly proud of that. We cheered each other on for over an hour-- sharing stories, goals, and encouragement. I didn't get a chance to meet up with her at the end, but J told me that he saw her cross the finish line. It was truly an honor for me to be able to run with her during her 1st half marathon. I only hope that I was able to be good company for her as well-- and that she might have an idea of what a difference she made for me yesterday.

Of course, after A. and I separated at mile 5, it was a bit of a struggle. It didn't help that the last 6 miles were a straight shot down S.R. 33 into the city (read: no shade)... and by the time I hit mile 10, I was hurting a little. But it was still good. Every step was a blessing. I chatted with the other women who were racing around me, I waved at the police men who were directing traffic around the racers, I yelled thank-you's to the volunteers, and (because I was one of the last participants in) I took 2 cups of water at each water station :) It was hot (HOT), and it was hard (and I have the aches and blisters today to prove it), but I am so glad that I did it :)

I actually beat my goal time (3:15 ish.... 15 min/mile)-- but J made it to the finish to watch me cross, and that meant a lot to me :) We drove home (in the air conditioned car-- hallelujah!), and I lay on the floor and contemplated the meaning of life for a while with Gracie (ughhh.... I'm not sure what the deal was... apparently I didn't fuel quite right and my salt/water/food ratios were off... I felt like I had the worst hangover EVER... poor Gracie didn't know what was wrong with her Mama, and hovered close by to keep an eye on me), before I showered and ate a mac & cheese recovery lunch :)

And today? Well, quite frankly, I had forgotten how much this stuff hurts :) My back and my ribs hurt, I have a blister between my toes, and I'm walking like a little old lady... but I'm happy, and I'm really proud to add this race to my list of races & life experiences.

What's next? A sub-2? An all walking half? A marathon? I have no clue. But I promise to keep you posted...

For now though, this tired girl is peeling herself off the couch and headed to bed...

Have a fantastic Monday night ;)

What is one of your proudest accomplishments?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Challenge Day #21: ....GO!

I did it!!

More details to come shortly, I promise :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Challenge Day #20: Ready, Set...

Hi, friends - I hope you've had a wonderful Saturday!

I had big plans for mine, but actually it's turned out to be pretty low key. I got my hairs cut early this morning, did the "final" paint coat in the"former blue room" (I'll still need to do some touching up once the tape comes off, I'm sure...), and then (inevitably) napped with Gracie.

I've gotta say though, the nerves have definitely set in.

But, I've focused my nervous energies on preparing.

See for yourself:
I laid out all my race gear.
(...and Gracie approved. Here she's sleeping trying to sleep on my hat. She's really very sweet, even though she looks a little grumpy here :)

J & I took a nice little walk through our neighborhood.

...And, of course, I carbo-loaded

(Yes, in fact, that IS a beer next to my plate 'o' pasta. My father recommended it as a double threat-- to calm my nerves and load in a few more carbs at the same time :) Obedient daughter that I am, I took him up on his idea. Hehe.)

And now I'm loading my iPod with some fun, make-me-want-to-dance type songs to keep me moving tomorrow, charging my Garmin, drinking lots of water, and watching "Where the Wild Things Are" with J before bed. (I'm not sure about the movie yet, but I can say that I find it visually stunning.... just beautiful :)

I'll see you tomorrow for a recap!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Challenge Day #19 (continued)

Gah. All right... apologies for the broken up posting ... I'm having some blog issues today ... my "save now" button is doing all sorts of wacky things... {Hehe... J would probably ask me (lovingly, of course) if I was experiencing an "ID-10-T" error...} Anyhoo..

So since I've all ready given you the scoop on Sunday's 1/2 (the final thing I will say about it is this: I ate a banana yesterday, in preparation for the race. You may remember when I told you I don't like bananas. Well... I can report to you that nothing has changed on that front. That's dedication, friends... :)-- now I am free to tell you about the rest of my week (because it really wasn't all together consumed with nerves about this weekend's race!) ... And the week has been (as a whole) a good one.

Of course, we had a few "eyebrow-raising" moments (as you might ascertain, "eyebrow raising moments" are significantly better than "hair-raising moments" ...eeep!), which included a limping Gracie (she was probably more embarrassed than anything-- she's fine now!), a leak under the kitchen sink (gahhh), and racing outside in the wee hours of the morning to drag our trash to the curb (... as the trash truck pulled up next door. ...Our trash is usually picked up well after we leave in the morning, so this was quite the surprise :-/...) Actually, overall, this picture pretty much sums up my week (I shall count this as the photo for challenge Day#19):

Yup, it's been a 'fuzzy until I get my 2 cups of coffee kind of week. Whew, I'm tired ;)

But, as usual, the good came right along with it. My good surprise of the week came on Tuesday evening, when J and I were discussing our upcoming 1st Anniversary (I still can't believe it's almost been a year all ready...) This year for our anniversary, we're going to do a little "weekend getaway" at a State Park, and we're really excited about it :) I asked (jokingly, as I was relatively certain we had discussed it before, and decided "no"...) whether we were getting each other presents for our anniversary-- and imagine my surprise when J told me he had all ready gotten me something! After I picked myself up off the floor (don't get me wrong, I know, without a doubt, that my husband loves me ... but this gesture & planning ahead really surprised me!), it hit me: Hm... now I've got to think up something to get him (I had planned a couple cute little things... but that was before we mentioned the p-word presents...)

If anyone has cool 1st Anniversary gift ideas, I'm all ears! Do tell :)

Aaaand, that pretty much sums up the week. There's some good stuff (in addition to Sunday's race excitement) coming up this weekend, but I'll tell you more about that when we get there!

And now, a LIST for you!

Good List:

1. J. I love that even after 8+ years of knowing each other, the man can still surprise me :)

2. Chunky turquoise jewelry, that effortlessly moves from summer staple to fall staple.

3. New OPI nail polish. Ah, LoVe!

4. Swag Bags.

5. Silly Kitties. (You MUST watch this! I laughed until I cried ... and then? I watched it again :)
6. Crisp mornings. It was in the 60's this a.m. Positively delicious!

7. Coffee ...

8. September is coming-- and with it, so much promise! (i.e., 1st Anniversary Getaway, Races every weekend, Labor Day holiday...)

9. Apple Picking. One (unexpected) positive aspect of having such a hot summer is that the apples are ripening earlier this year. This weekend is the first U-Pick-'em weekend of the Fall, and I am so excited. (I am absolutely, unapologetically in LoVe with and ready for Fall.)

10. "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

And with that, I'm off to get a couple things done before I can really start my weekend :) Do you have any fun plans for your Saturday & Sunday? What tops your Good List for the week?

Challenge Day #19 : Swag > Nerves

Helloooo, bloggies! Happy Friday to you :)

I know posting has been rather non-existent sporadic over the past week, but that's because life has been good (if busy) -- and you can rest assured that today I am back "fresh": ready to write, with oh, so much to share with you.

So, first things first -- a little explanation of the title. (And before I go any further I must admit to you that I pronounce swag wrong. Totally wrong. I pronounce it "schwag". ...What 's worse? I'm not sure I consciously noticed it until I sat down to write this post and really looked at the word-- no 'c's' to be found. Ah well...)

So, if you've been keeping track (& I have been-- contrary to what my 1/2 marathon plan reflects :), my 1/2 marathon is coming up this weekend! You know, the one I was so excited about
here and here? The one that I am especially excited about now because I am going to use it as a stepping stone into my future career as a race walker? (Oh heavens, I'm just kidding.... First of all, I am nowhere near fast -- a gentleman that I worked with is a bonafide racewalker and walks his 5ks as fast as I RUN them. Secondly, I don't use the right form ... just trying to make sense of the linked tutorial makes my head spin .... I walk for joy, because I like to do it... No strings or rules attached :) Remember now?

Well, anyway, on Monday afternoon, my dreams and plans experienced a little hiccup. You see, on Monday I found out (The fact that I did not find out until 6 days before the race I'll take part of the blame for, but I'll share the other part with a "NOT fabulously user-friendly" website. Bah.) that the course has a time limit -- of 15:00 minutes per mile. (Last year the course was open to accomodate at least a 17:00/mile pace. And I know for some of you runners out there, this sounds like a piece of cake :) ... but I wanted to walk the whole thing.) Now, because I don't think I've ever put this into writing before, it was my ultimate goal to walk 15:00 miles for the half -- but I was primarily training so that I knew I could walk 13.1 miles in under 17:00/mile (long distances were completed with splits in the range of 15:30 - 16:00/mi.)

Needless to say I had a small heart attack. I may have cried a little. And on Monday night and through most of Tuesday, I wasn't sure what I was going to do... Deep in my heart, I never stopped wanting to do the race, but my tender little spirit was more than a little daunted by the possibility of being removed from the course and driven to the finish line...

And then came the swag. Or rather, what the swag symbolized for me. On Tuesday afternoon I ventured to a local running store, and, as I stood in line waiting to receive my "race package" (shirt, number, safety pins, maps and complimentary gu's, etc.) I realized that my anxiety was being overcome* by feelings of excitement, and hope. (*I was going to type "my anxiety was melting away"... but, quite frankly, that would have been a lie. I'm still nervous, and I know that my nerves will multiply exponentially over the next day-- as they always do before a race. It's just that all of a sudden, something was more important to me.)

Now, for those of you who have participated in an organized event like this (small, local races & large endeavors, like Race for the Cure, alike) you are probably all ready nodding your heads. ... But for those of you who haven't ever done something like this, I'll explain it like this: Packet pick-ups/ Race Expos (or whatever you want to call it) have a certain kind of electricity to them. There's just something about standing in line behind other participants, hearing the rustle of plastic "swag bags" and the faint clink from piles of safety pins, that in an instance, makes it real. Everything that you've been working toward is finally within reach.

It's a really cool feeling. ... And it was what defined this race for me. It was during these moments that I came to my decision, with absolute clarity: I have absolutely no idea how this race will turn out, but I am going to give it my best. I am going to leave everything out there on the race course (hopefully just figuratively...), and I am going to let this experience shape me. I know that even if I am not able to finish as I would like to, what will stick with me in the years to come is the fact that I tried, and I did not back down.

Wish me luck :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Challenge Day #18: Fall

Today we Central Ohioans were blessed with deliciously cool weather, as well as (to my delight) a Fall sky.

Fall is imminent, and I couldn't be happier :)

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns."
- George Eliot

"There is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!"
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Challenge Day #17: Weekend wrap up

I must admit to you that Sundays have always been quite bittersweet for me.

On one hand, the day is filled with wonderful things: long distance days (for 1/2 marathon training -- Oy! 1 week left! :), church, Sunday papers (my favorites are the travel section & the comics-- J's favorites are the comics and the Best Buy ads, heh); Sunday dinners (mmm... pot roast.... I always think pot roast when I think of Sunday sit-down dinners. My Dad's was the best!) and, of course (lest I forget perhaps the most decadent & delightful of them all) Sunday afternoon naps ...

But some weekends, all the good can be forgotten in a moment when I remember that tomorrow is Monday, and I have to go to work ... Booo. (Honestly, it's not so bad... when I was in college and I had to travel back to Toledo on Sunday evenings, it was a lot worse...)

But this Sunday was all sweet :)

Although the way it started, I had my doubts.

... As I mentioned yesterday, the weekend I finally got myself in gear to re-paint the blue room-- and yesterday was phase 1 (sanding, sanding, sanding some more, vacuuming, vacuuming with attachment, vacuuming some more and finally washing down the walls to get rid of the fluffy blue dust that permeated the room...). I had initially thought that if I had a good start, I would be able to complete the project in 1 day ... but at about 6 pm yesterday, when I was gearing up to do my 'final vacuum', I admitted defeat :-/

Seriously, guys? Sanding kicked my butt... I was so achy this morning when I woke up, the last thing I wanted to do was tackle painting (what I imagine to be 3+ coats of painting... stripes are my nemesis...)-- much less get out of bed.

But I did, and things looked up significantly from there :)

First of all, this morning I had the chance to participate (read: attend) in an outside worship service. This year marks the Bicentennial of the founding of the township that my church is a part of, and so, in honor of the bicentennial festival, Pastor Bud donned period costume and took his church outdoors. Now, this may be very happy "hippy" of me, but something about worshiping outdoors has just always felt right to me. Like: this is how it's meant to be. It was a blessing to attend such a ceremony, and it was an inspiring way to start my week ;)

(PS: Unfortunately, I did not remember to bring along my camera, so you'll have to use your imagination-- imagine 75+ worshippers gathered under a big white tent in the early morning mist, raising their voices with the strings of a guitar. Got it? Good :)

And then, when I got home, I realized that I had a decision to make: I still wasn't feeling 100%, but I could slap up (not to say I'd do a bad job-- I just wanted to get through it quickly, as I had something to do at 2 pm, which I'll tell you about in a minute...) a coat of paint, or ... I could lie down for a while. ... Being the "Type-A-but-striving-to-live-in-the-moment" girl that I am, I crawled into bed and lay pondering my decision* ... until Gracie hopped in bed and curled up on my chest... and I promptly fell asleep :)

*And, for the record, I'd like to tell you that over the course of my Sunday I did manage to get a coat of paint on the walls (it took me 2.5 hours, in case you were curious), so I don't feel at all like I failed in my endeavors -- the only person who really cared if I finished this weekend was me... and I decided that I would rather enjoy my time and finish on Tuesday.

... 45 blissful minutes later, I woke to continue to the next sweet part of my afternoon-- a shopping trip to Fleet Feet (one of our local running stores) for their annual summer sale. Which brings me to:

Happiness is (Sunday edition):
A new pair of running shoes ! Wahoo - can't wait to break these babies in!

...and a snuggly Gracie sleeping next to them:
And tonight, having accomplished the shopping, painting & napping portions of my day, I am enjoying date night #2 with J. Sushi, a bottle of wine & "The X-files" (hehe... net.flix on demand is a glorious thing!)

Have a sweet Sunday night, friends :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Challenge Days #15 & 16 : Busy Weekend

Hi friends :) This is going to be a quickie tonight, as I am late for date night ... but I'll fill in the blanks for you tomorrow, I promise!

Here are some pictures from my lunchtime walk yesterday, and my Saturday activities-- Enjoy!


Why hello, little leaf! What a lovely beacon you are of the gorgeous fall season to come :)

Ahh... The Saturday morning coffee tradition. Apparently, Gracie likes her coffee, too (see below -- FYI: she is smelling the creamer-- not sleeping next to it...)
Aaaand, today's project: (finally) painting the blue room. Which of course isn't as simple as it sounds... I had to sand first, vacuum 3x, and then wash the walls to remove excess dust ... It's 8:41pm and I still haven't gotten to the painting yet...

Happy Amy. This is before I started the sanding....(If I never have to sand anything ever again, it will be too soon ...)

What are your weekend plans? Relaxing, tackling a to-do list, like me? Do tell!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Challenge Day #14: Wednesday/Thursday Musings

Hello, hello friends :) I hope your week is treating you well --T.G.I.a.F.!

I must admit that I (*sigh, eye roll*) forgot to take my Day #14 picture(s) yesterday .

.. Okay, that's not really true at all. Truth is, I thought about taking pictures several times yesterday, but my camera wasn't handy, and it wasn't really possible to 'hit the pause button' on life while I obtained either my phone or my camera. It was a good day, though, and in an effort to preserve the spirit of the challenge (although, for the record, I'm just going to continue the challenge with today being day 14 ... It's my blog, after all :) I can paint you a little word picture: yesterday involved twilight walks, thin mints, coffee, family dinner & "catch up talks' between sisters who haven't seen each other for almost a week (it's incredible how busy life is on campus ... I get tired just thinking about it, haha).

And today has been pretty good, too :) I treated myself to a Trader Joe's trip during lunch time (oh, Joe, it's been too long -- how I've missed you!) with the purpose of picking up a couple items for dinner, but, s usual, I think I spent more time just looking at all the crazy-cool merchandise they have to offer. I swear, that place inspires me and feeds my soul, as well as my tummy :)

Tonight has been blessedly low-key. Oh I love these quiet nights in -- the ones that don't really have any plans or to-do's attached to them, so we mostly just end up on the couch-- me blogging, J. reading, and the "fuzzies" snuggled in between. I suppose there really is something to being "old (er), predictable, and boring" :) I languish in the beauty of the routine.

I'm actually going to keep this short tonight, as I'm feeling pretty tired, and my brain is wrapping itself around some deeper stuff, which I am looking forward to sharing with you in the next several days. But, not to forget the important stuff, I'll leave you with....

Good List
1. J. Something that I hadn't expected when I got married was the dependence I would develop for my husband. Now, don't read this wrong, it's not at all an unhealthy dependence -- I can do perfectly well without him, I still maintain my own social life and interests, and really, I'm a fairly independent little girl. But honestly? When I'm not with him I miss him-- even when it's just a matter of not seeing him all day because we each have our separate obligations. ...And sometimes this takes me by surprise, and the power of these emotions scare me. ... But I can't help but think that in some way, this is a good thing :) I know I'm still young, and that I have a limited grasp on the concept of love, but what I have found is that (like with all of life), sometimes you need to allow yourself to be a little scared and uncomfortable to grow.
2. COFFEE. Oh boy, was this ever a coffee week. Now, I believe that I have sung the praises of my baby french press before -- but I'm doing it again because I finally got my act together and ground my own coffee beans. And really, enjoying your cup of french press is much more (erm) enjoyable when you don't have to drink 1/4" of ground at the bottom of your cup ...
3. Fabric softener. Would you believe me if I told you that I have never in my life used fabric softener before this past weekend?! I have (honest to goodness) never bought the stuff before -- but one a whim (& a whiff in the Kroger aisles) I picked up a bottle. Oh.My. Lavender scented sheets = awesomeness.
4. 5 am snuggle time with Gracie. I LOVE it. I hope she intends to make it a habit :)
5. G(oogle)-Chat
6. Organizing the little things-- and how it always seems to make the "bigger stuff" so much more manageable.
8. Candles, wine, cookies & heart-to-heart chats
9. Sunshine & cool evenings -- Fall is on its way-- Wahoo! :)
10. "A happy heart makes its own song."

What is on your Good List this week?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday morning PSA

Because this stuff is near and dear to my heart, here is your August opportunity*, you central Ohioans :)

* I would like to state for the record that I would LOVE to do this (and I firmly believe that cats are something that are better in pairs -- you could adopt a mama & baby or siblings! -- J & I will not be able to participate in this. Not because I don't want to ... but rather because we are getting a little close on the J-mandatory cat:kid ratio ... Have I told you about this yet? The basic concept is that I am allowed to have only 4 "dependents" (not including J, hehe) at once-- which means 2 kids, 2 cats; 1 kid, 3 cats, etc. ... Even though we're not close to thinking about babies yet, I like to keep my options open :) ... Maybe the next time something like this rolls around I will have worn J down a little bit ...

I'll be back later tonight for "List Day". Happy Wednesday, bloggies!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Challenge Day #13: Today/Tonight/Tomorrow

Today was kind of a rough day.

Just one of those weird days when I couldn't shake the tired and melancholy, and all I really wanted to do was come home, curl up in bed, and start over (I have a sneaking suspicion that my sadness had everything to do with my extreme tiredness today …. 12 miles can do that to you, ya know…)
To put it plainly, I was in a funk.

But I did my best to find the good things. I strove to celebrate the mundane, fervently believing in the mantra "fake it 'till you make it."

Tonight I chopped vegetables with gusto, and sipped wine as I cooked dinner for my husband. Tonight when we sat down together to eat we dined on our fine china-- because china is for special occasions-- and what occasion is more special than having dinner with the love of your life?

Tonight I baked cookies, and enjoyed one (almost) straight out of the oven with an icy cold glass of milk. Tonight I scooped Gracie up every time she ventured near enough, and gave her extra kisses. Tonight I looked through my wedding pictures again, because they make me happy. Tonight I may have sighed a little deeper than normal, but I lingered in J's hugs for longer as well.

Tonight I will go to sleep in peace, knowing that , yes, this day will be over soon, and tomorrow will be a new start-- but today had it's redeeming qualities and it's "good stuff" in it's own right. ...You take the bitter with the sweet :)

Looking forward to the tomorrow ...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Challenge Day #12: 12 MILES, BABY!!!

We did it!

Distance: 12.00 miles
Time: 3:07:19
Average pace: 15:36/mile

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Challenge Day #11: Finding the good in 'thwarted plans'

Today's "Challenge Post" topic has ended up being a bit more ... erm... challenging than I was planning. I was going to post this evening about my long walk for the week -- 12 miles-- which I was super excited about because I was going to be going with a 'walking buddy', my father.

However, due to some rain and some technical difficulties (iPhone FAIL), the walk has been postponed until tomorrow. ...Which really isn't a problem at all, it's just disappointing. I had been looking forward to it (in a characteristic 'long distance day' = butterflies in my tummy kind of way) all afternoon, after all. Bah.

Mad/Disappointed Face. "Thumbs DOWN."

But I guess it's time for me to put on my 'big girl pants' and stop pouting about it. (J an the cats will be glad when I stop stomping around the house, hehe:) There were lots of good things about today, and now I can look forward to a long walk tomorrow evening-- which will be a wonderful way to wind up the day after 8hrs at work.

Good stuff today was, primarily, down time. Thank goodness for weekends! Since Ben has been in town our weekend has been a bit busier than usual, but this afternoon J & I got the chance to wind down and spend some good quality time together, talking and snuggling the kitties. (see our little "cuddle bugs", below.)

Actually, come to think of it, it was a pretty perfect Sunday afternoon.

Here's to seeing the good stuff (even in imperfect situations), and those who have the patience to love us through our cranky moments...

Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday, friends!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Challenge Day #10: Rainy Saturday

After a hot, muggy morning (80+ degrees at 9:30 am... whew!) -- which, I must say, was pretty perfect car washing weather-- this afternoon we were blessed with some of the most spectacular storms I've seen yet this summer; replete with dramatic skies, gusting winds and pounding rain.

Perfect weather for crawling back in bed with a small purring fuzzy (Gracie is curled up at my feet as I type) and a book ....

Today's good things are fun & laughter with new friends, and magnificent displays of nature.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Challenge Day #9: Company, Part Deux

I love having company, especially when they cook for me :)

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a homemade margarita calling my name .....

Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Challenge Day #8: Sisters

Can I be honest with you?

Having a sister is awesome, and the sisterly bond is everything its cracked up to be.

Laurie and I are, more often than not, delightfully and sometimes tragically on the same wavelength. She is one of my best friends, and I will miss her dearly as she returns to school tomorrow (but-- only 2 semesters away from a BSN-- YeAh!) Tonight we celebrated life by just being together; being silly and giggly and authentically, well .... US.

The following pictures need no further explanation:
(PS: photo booth is AwEsOmE!)

Okay... this deserves one comment : Where is our hair?!