Weekend Ramblings

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1. A few weeks ago, I went to my awesome friend Jen’s wedding. I took all sorts of pictures, and planned on doing a full blog post about it. That clearly never happened, but I wanted to at least share a little bit of it with you guys. It was so fun. It was the first wedding I’ve been to in my adult life where I didn’t have responsibilities like “bridesmaid” or “bride”. I just got to hang out with some of my favorite NYC guys, and rap Gangsta’s Paradise per my wedding tradition. It’s cute, I promise. I can do it at your wedding for no charge.

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2. After Jen’s wedding, we took a 24 hour trip to DC which was just not long enough. I haven’t been there since I was in elementary school, and there was so much I wanted to explore! I did get to see the White House, the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Holocaust Museum (best part–so beautiful and moving). I also ate, like, the best dinner of my life at Founding Farmers. If you’re ever in DC, GO THERE! You’re welcome.

DC

 

3. Speaking of elementary school (I mean, I did for a hot second), did I mention how at PF Chang’s I ran into my elementary school music teacher? And she remembered me. I have “one of those faces”, or that’s what people tell me. I’ve looked exactly the same for my entire life. The awkward part? I never remember anyone. Even if I know you, if I’m not expecting to see you, it will take me a good 5 minutes to register who you are. I know a lot of people, so this is often embarrassing. I also have the hardest time learning names (because I have, oh, a million students), and this leads to a constant feeling of worst-teacher-ever. It’s a good thing I’m funny.

4. I’m pretty sure my birthday party is tonight. This week, Steve created an event on facebook titles “Ariana’s Birthday” which I was not invited to. Except he didn’t make it a secret event, and it showed up on my news feed, so obviously I clicked on it. The Stacey texted me to let me know she was attending. I hope they still shout surprise when I get there, and I hope that Nicole makes the dessert. ;)

5. I really really really love birthdays. I’m sure this is a big surprise. But I feel a little weird about this birthday. Everyone just gave up a weekend to celebrate me running a marathon. I feel like I should give them a break. I mean, not that I will turn down positive attention, because we all know I love things to revolve around me, but I’m starting to feel like a jerk, and maybe I should spread some of the love around. Like, for my birthday, maybe I should have thrown a party for me friends to tell them how awesome they are! I guess it’s a little late for that. It’s a nice idea in theory, though.

6. My other favorite thing about February is that the Academy Awards are coming!!! I still need to see Argo and The Sessions, but then my list will be pretty complete. At least for the movies I actually care to see which does not include Django Unchained. I’m sorry I just have no interest. Lincoln is still my favorite for the year, but I’m also a huge fan of Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty. There are some fantastic performances in Flight and The Impossible. And I think Pitch Perfect was totally robbed of a best picture nom. I mean, don’t you  feel like it was the best movie of 2012???

7. I’ve updated my blogroll. Check out some awesome blogs for your reading enjoyment. The list is a little ridiculous, but the sad truth is it’s less than half of my reader. These are the ones I really love, and I think you will too.

Reasons To Be Grateful

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As my first marathon draws closer (ummm, somehow it became marathon week–YIKES!!), I am finding myself even more emotional than usual. If you know me, you know it’s hard to get more emotional than my natural everyday state, but I promise you it has happened. Yesterday, I spent 15 minutes crying in the car because I felt so proud of what I’ve done. Not just the marathon, but every big goal I’ve set out to conquer, I feel like I have achieved. Not many people can say that, and I have a lot to be proud of.

With this pride comes so much gratitude. I’ve not achieved these things on my own, and beyond that, this experience and trip to New York City gives me so many reasons to be grateful. I’m totally overwhelmed by all of it, but I wanted to try to put some of it into words, so that when all I can think about is how badly my legs hurt, I will have a mental picture of why I’m lucky, why I should suck it up and run faster. ;)

  • I’m grateful I can run. Not everyone can. I see people every day who are physically less fortunate than me, and it breaks my heart that not everyone can experience the same joy, release, and freedom that I find in running. I could have a disability, or worse, I could not care enough about myself to make the choice to try. I’m grateful for the ability to run: mentally and physically.
  • I’m grateful for Susan LokenWhen I tell people about Susan, they either know exactly who she is, or are quickly impressed when I spew off her list of accomplishments that I’ve memorized through all my internet stalking. She has given me everything: my plan, tough love, an ear to listen, and most importantly, the belief that I can do this. The other day she told me that I’ve come a long way and shown a lot of improvement. She probably doesn’t know how much that meant to me, or how much I needed to hear it, but it made my month. I couldn’t have done this without her.
  • I’m grateful for my team. I’ve made so many great friendships through this process, and they have shown me tremendous support, love, and encouragement. There really is nothing like training with a team. I would highly suggest it for anyone training for their first marathon. I LOVE these guys!
  • I’m grateful for my parents. They are flying to New York to see me cross the finish line. My dad can’t afford it, but he insists on going to be there for me. My mom hates to fly, but her ticket is booked. Talk about support–flying across the country to watch your kid run a marathon. Yes, I’m still a kid. They are the best.
  • I’m grateful for my friends who are coming out to support me. Some of them live in New York, some of them live here, some of them live in the surrounding areas, but many of them are making special arrangements to be there for to share this moment with me. I will probably have my first marathon lined with some of my very favorites cheering my name. I don’t know what they heck I’ve done to deserve that, but I’ll take it!
  • I’m especially grateful I get to spend time with this friend. Mac is one of my best friends in the entire world. He lives across the country, and I see him more often than some of my friends that live in Arizona. Our friendship was just kind of meant to be, and so we make it work, and find ways to see each other. He is a life-long friend, and has been an undying source of support through this whole process. I cannot freaking wait to celebrate with him!!!
  • I’m grateful for the world’s most supportive husband. The other day we had an argument, and then “surprised” each other with coffee (at the same time), then he showed me he loved me by turning on every single light in the entire house because we always playfully bicker about the lights (I turn on all the lights, never turn them off, then he turns them all off). He is perfect, and I absolutely could not have done this without him.
  • I’m grateful for YOU PEOPLE. With the support of many of you, I have almost reached my goal of raising $5,000. So many people showed incredible generosity, and I am beyond grateful. I know those donations will be put to good use, and I cannot wait until I can attend an event to see kids reaping the benefits of our efforts!
  • I’m just grateful to be. To be alive. To be healthy. To be where I am today. I am beyond lucky. I wish everyone out there could feel a little bit of what it’s like to feel like you have it all. Just for a second. It feels amazing.
  • Oh, and I’m grateful for MARATHON TOES!!! Had to include that ;)
So tell me, what are you grateful for?

Spread Thin

I did not wake up in a good mood today. I don’t think it’s because I had a bad race yesterday. I tried to change it. I went on a bike ride with Nicole. I made a game plan for the day. I knew I was going to be tired, and I knew I didn’t feel like the best version of myself, but I also knew I had to push through it. Then I checked my email, got upset over something that shouldn’t have upset me, went to make breakfast, and it was like everything built up and hit me all at once.

The truth is, I haven’t felt like myself since I got back to Phoenix. I came home from Hawaii, and jumped into work the next day. I know that I had a week vacation that I spent in Hawaii, and I should have come back feeling all relaxed and ready to go, but I didn’t. I came back after 2 months away, and felt totally unprepared for my life–starting work, raising money, choosing material, and even spending time with friends and family. I feel like I jumped right back into a big puddle of expectations, and expected myself to stay afloat, but I just keep sinking. That was dramatic. I’m not drowning, but I’m just not myself.

Every time I start to feel overwhelmed, my immediate response is to beat myself up for not being better at dealing with it. I have friends that pile way more onto their plate (seemingly) than I do, and they still manage to be totally awesome, and pick me up when I feel down (Molly and Emily, I’m looking at you). I beat myself up for not being more like them, which is totally counterproductive and silly. Why would I want to be like someone else (no matter how awesome they are) when I can be like me? Silly.

Somehow, however, I managed to take a step back and look at what I’m doing–the big picture. In the last year, I have consistently stacked shows on with overlaps and no breaks. This is AWESOME! I LOVE that I’m getting work and I LOVE my job. So so so much. I have been so thrilled and honored to have opportunities, that if I’m offered a choreography or directing opportunity, I snatch it up without hesitation. It’s so good to have work in my field. The thing is, I shouldn’t have taken on 2 shows (1 that I’m directing and choreographing) at the same time as my marathon. I’m sure some people can do this, but some people also don’t work 6 other jobs while trying to raise $5000. I know I can do all of these things, but I don’t know that I should. Just like I tacked on an out of town race this last weekend because I wanted so badly to PR that it didn’t matter that I’d only been home for 2 weeks and was behind on everything. I always end up thinking I’m superwoman and can do everything, and then I spread myself too thin, and end up feeling like I’m failing at everything.

I don’t mean this post to sound whiney, or debbie downer. I know things will get better, and I know that I’m still learning a lot about balance. For the first time in my life, I have something that I’m passionate about beyond theatre, and the reality is it’s a challenge to balance cooking and running into this mix of theatre jobs that I have. I keep saying I want to focus on just working one or two places so I can give more of myself and my focus, but then I keep saying yes to every offer I get, all while I sign up for extra races because “I really want to, and I know I can make it work!” News flash self: You can do anything, but not everything. I’ve heard that quote before, and it always resonated with me. An over achiever working in a competitive field, with a running obsession filled with probably way too much self competition and comparison to others.

I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m excited to learn it. I’m excited to find the day where I have achieved balance, and not because a 9-5 schedule gave it to me, but because I have created it for myself. I can’t wait for the day where I value my own worth so much that I can turn things down, and know more opportunities will come; when I can feel purposeful without an overflowing schedule filled with people to please. I know it will happen, and I know I am getting closer. I just need to be patient, breathe, and find a way back to that best version of me that I’ve been missing lately.

 

Refocusing

I have a confession. Normally, when I have a confession, I would then say something funny like “This summer I had a contest with my 2 awesome co-workers to see who could poop the most every day.” That’s true. Did happen. Was announced to all staff and students. We’re awesome like that. However, this may be slightly less gross for those of you who hate to talk about poop.

By the time I arrived back in Phoenix on Monday morning, I was feeling less than great about how my body looked, and physically I just felt off from not eating well. You see, I started the summer with the best of intentions. I was as careful as possible about what went into my body, tried to choose foods to fuel my training, as well as sustain me dancing for 6-7 hours a day. It was tough. The food was less than stellar, with choices for dinner sometimes being pizza, fried chicken, or the salad bar for the 6th night in a row. I bought lots of snacks to try to tide me over, which quickly transitioned into too much food too often, and way too many times thinking “Well, I ran this morning, and then danced ALL DAY. I can eat 2 desserts.” Also, there was a lot of justifying the mass quantity of vegan desserts I consumed as “healthy”. Two of my friends I spent the most time with are vegan, and we were so close to all sorts of vegan bakeries. The problem is, substituting earth balance or vegetable oil for butter and using refined carbs does not equal healthy. I know that. I get it. Mostly, I just wanted dessert.

All this being said, I was not shocked to get home, step on the scale (yeah….no scale = “I probably weigh the same. I’m dancing ALL THE TIME”), and discover that I had definitely gained weight. Not an obscene amount. Nothing any of you would probably notice. Roughly 5-6 lbs from where I generally maintain. So, no, 5-6 lbs is not a huge deal, but 2 more months of those habits, and an other 5-6 would be more lik 11-12, and you see where that leads. In no time at all, I could easily be right back where I started in 2008.

No.Thank.You.

Again, it’s not the end of the world, but I definitely feel motivated to make a change, and refocus. The truth is, if weight were merely determined by exercise, I would have a SMOKIN’ body by now. I love working out, and being active. I do it to be healthy, yes, but also because I genuinely enjoy all those cool endorphins. It’s like our bodies own cooler version of mood altering drugs. Thanks for that body! Food, on the other hand; food is tricky. I do genuinely enjoy eating good, healthy, nutritious meals that fuel my body. I really like healthy foods, and I don’t often crave things like cheeseburgers and french fries. However, part of the problem is that I do REALLY like food. I have a tough time with portion control (always have), and I also REALLY love dessert. Those of you that want to snack on potato chips: I don’t understand you. I want to snack on fro yo. Always and forever.

I’m trying to break the mentality of “I worked out this much, so I can eat this much”. It doesn’t really work like that. In fact, I feel like the more active I am, the MORE careful I need to be about my food choices. That may seem like an oxymoron, but the truth is when I significantly increase my activity, I am hungrier, and I do need to eat more, but that means more opportunities to choose less than awesome types of food, and overeat.

I’ve read a lot of blogs that said they gained weight training for their first marathon. I assured myself that wouldn’t be me, but when I started focusing more on my training, I made the decision to stop focusing on weight loss, even though the truth is, that is still the eventual goal for me. I let myself gradually slide back into eating habits that I haven’t seen in quite a while. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate moderately healthy, but not to the best I am capable of, and it shows. On the scale. In the way my body feels. It’s not “water weight”.

So, I’m refocusing. I went to TJ’s excited (although when am I not excited about grocery shopping?), and stocked up on tons of produce, and spent entirely too much time stalking ingredient lists. Steve was thrilled to sit there watching me label read for hours after our red eye, let me tell you. He’s a lucky man. It was nice for me though. I used to only look at calories, and I am actually trying to do just the opposite now. Sure, that cookie may have the same amount (or even less) of calories as a banana with almond butter, but it has no nutritional value, and an ingredient list a mile long. I promised myself I would give up the calorie counting, and other than checking it out just to be aware, I have. I check in to see if one thing may have significantly less than the alternative, but that’s it. This time, I looked at the ingredients, and the protein, fiber, and added sugars. I have a whole fridge full of awesomeness, and just yesterday I noticed a big change in the way my body felt, and my energy level.

It’s easy to forget how great healthy eating feels. Does that sound cliche enough? But, seriously, it does. It feels awesome, and I feel better about myself already, and that’s the part of this that really counts. And I have no doubt that I will fairly quickly get back to my normal weight, but until then, here are some pictures of me looking cute this summer to remind myself that I don’t look like I gained 50 lbs, even if, at moments, I kina feel that way.

Oh, nope. That’s definitely a demonstrative Poop Contest picture. Not a cute picture at all, actually. You’re so welcome friends. Now we’re out there for THE WORLD to see. Or my 6 readers. Either way.

Okay, there we are actually looking cute. This is Tali and Camille. They ran with me all summer, and then we did this pose. I love them, and this picture is my fav.

Okay, I feel better now. Something about those two (and the Poop Contest) never fails to lift my spirits. Onward.

CGST 2012 Weeks 2 + 3

Pam's Kitchen. Super yummy Caribbean food in Seattle.

Wow, it’s been a crazy, busy, awesome, fulfilling two weeks. Here’s a look in mostly photos:

Pam’s Kitchen. Super yummy Caribbean food in Seattle.

Jerk chicken sandwich from Pam’s Kitchen. Ahhhhhhmazing.

I visited Heather and Kara, and got not a single picture with Kara. Lame. We did go to Pike Place together though!

Original Starbucks!

Ridiculously amazing mushroom pizza from The Pine Box in Seattle.

Go here.

BFFFF!!!!!

Weekend off ladies! Tasha, Tali, me & Camille

Chocolate potato donuts. What??? @ Tasty & Son’s in Portland.

I baked!! These are so yummy–will definitely have to make them again when I’m home, and have the whole photography set up. Lemon, blueberry, chocolate covered ginger cookies. And vegan.

Something about me looking like a child, and Terra being old? Even though I’m 4 years older than her….

The camera game. My favorite past time.

Tali and I are so good at it. We win.

I don’t even know…

More time with my fav ladies.

I love her so much I’M GOING TO EAT HER!!!

2 weeks to go!

CGST 2012 Week 1

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So, perhaps you noticed that I’ve been a little quiet over here? It’s been the good kind of quiet. The my-life-is-loud-and-full-so-my-blog-is-quiet kind of quiet. My life up here is super busy, and filled with things that probably make no sense to the outside world, but here’s some highlights from my first week of grown up summer vacation at theatre camp.

I’ve enjoyed several delicious cappuccinos from the nearest local coffee shop.

I saw Brave with my favorite ladies.

I enjoyed my weekend off by getting pedis and coffee with my oldest camp friend Karisa. Karisa and I became friends my very first summer as a student in 2000!

I’ve also spent a fair amount of time at the McMeniman’s School down the street. It’s super cool–an old elementary school turned into a restaurant. They even have the “Detention Bar”. And cute water fountains. Terra drank from one.

On Sunday, Terra took Nicole and me out to her family’s cabin in Trout Lake. It was fun. I peed in an outhouse.

And enjoyed nature.

We dug meet out of the ground, and then we ate it. It.Was.Awesome.

We also played my favorite game. The Camera Game.

The rules: Move your face

and as fast

as possible.

Now I’m back to an other busy week. I guess the camera game will have to wait until the weekend ;) PS, this weekend I am going up to Seattle to visit 2 of my very favorite ladies! Cannot wait!!!

 

10 Days

I’ve been running for 7 months. I don’t run super often, and I definitely don’t run very well, or at a pace any faster than your average sea turtle, or snail.It’s not easy, and most days I am convinced I hate it until it’s over. From the moment I went on my first outdoor training run last October to now, I have never gone longer than 7 days without going out for a run of some sorts, and that was due to PT orders. Today marks day 10.

To be honest, the first few days I was so exhausted and out of it, that exercise was the last thing on my mind, but from the moment I got back to riding my bike, and my energy started to come back, all I have wanted to do is run. I read other blogs, or see posts on facebook or twitter, and I totally wish I was out there myself. I’ve tried running for about .2 seconds every day for the last 3 days. Every time it hurts immediately, and so I think to myself “Not today. Maybe tomorrow.” It’s weird, because it’s not like I’m injured. I keep feeling like I *should* be back already. I know that’s silly, but I’m just so mentally ready, and NYC training officially starts next week, when I officially land in much cooler perfect running temps, and I just want to be out there killing it, and making it happen. Anyone have some patience I can borrow? I seem to be fresh out ;)

Okay, now that I got that out, let’s focus on some more positive awesome things, yes?

  • Turns out, you don’t actually gain weight when you exercise less. As long as you eat a little less. I have a confession. I have asked Steve no less than 15 times since my surgery if I am getting fat and gaining weight. Of course he said no. Husbands can lie, but the scale can’t, and I know you will all be as thrilled as I am that I have not magically gained 30 lbs in my 10 days off running. I’m sure you’re as shocked as I am, because everyone is that irrational, right?
  • I’m almost back to my usual biking stamina! I did a 20 miler yesterday, and it was a little slow, and a lot hard, but considering just a few days before I could barely hold an 8 mph pace, and did less than 4 miles, I’m happy that biking now feels almost normal, and I have an other cardio love that I can focus on in the mean time.
  • I’m so happy to miss running! Honestly, who am I??? I am the person who wakes up every single morning and thinks “I don’t wanna….” and spends at least 5 minutes in a mental battle convincing myself that I will be glad I did. Then as soon as I start I’m always like “WTF was my problem?! I LOVE running!” Well not always, but often enough. Mid morning it was 100 degrees, and I found myself thinking “100 degree running wouldn’t be so bad…” I usually won’t go if it’s above 80. I’m so happy to have found a love and passion for something that is so great for my body, and so unexpected! I actually really really love it, and I cannot freaking wait to start some kick ass marathon training.
  • Speaking of marathon training, I am beyond giddy to be working with the most amazing coach ever!!! Not only am I convinced that Susan knows everything anyone could possibly know about running, but she is soooo nice! I was so touched and surprised to be getting emails from her asking about how I’m feeling when our training hasn’t even officially started yet! This whole opportunity just blows my mind every day. I am a lucky girl.
  • I registered for a different goal half marathon!!

    I trained really hard with a goal in mind for Seattle. It’s super lame that I don’t get to go for it, but this means I should be stronger, faster, and more prepared come August, and I’ll be going with several members of my team, so the entire experience should be really great!
  • And lastly, Sunday evening I will be reunited with a great friend that I haven’t seen in over 2 years! I haven’t seen Mandie since 2010, and she is doing AMAZING things at the Oregon Shakespeare festival, being a big fancy professional actor, which she totally deserves because she is talented, and wonderful, and so funny. She is one of my biggest runningspirations, and I have my fingers crossed to be able to actually go on a run with her, since back when we lived in the same place, she was always going on runs, and I always thought she was crazy ;)

Look For The Silver Lining

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A week ago I wrote this totally rational, not at all dramatic post about how life as I knew it was over because there was no way I would be able to PR in Seattle, and possibly, not even be able to run it. It was truly one of my finer moments. Too bad I had the slight sense not to publish it ;)

That said, it hasn’t exactly been the best week for me. You may remember about 2 months ago, I had what I thought was the stomach flu. It totally messed up a long run and a race for me, and I even called in sick to work one day which never happens. After about a month and a half of not quite returning to normal, I finally went to the doctor to get everything checked out. I honestly expected that all of my tests would come back normal, and that I was just being overly sensitive, but when my doctor’s office called the same day of my ultrasound, I knew that something was probably wrong.

They told me I had gallstones, and needed to make an appointment with a surgeon to get my gallbladder removed. I was a little shocked, and more than a little frustrated that with all the effort I put into being healthy, I ended up needing surgery. The thing is, though, I get that some things are just out of our control, and my surgeon did tell me that this is something really common for people who have lost a significant amount of weight.

I met with the surgeon on Friday, and scheduled my surgery for the following Tuesday. They were great about getting me in, knowing that I would be leaving soon for 2 months. So this past Tuesday, I went in for my first surgery in about 20 years. I had my adenoids out when I was, like, 7. All I remember from that surgery is that the anesthesia made me really sick. Well, some things don’t change, but that was probably the worst of it.

The good news is, the surgery itself went very well. The doctor was done in an hour, and 3 hours later, I was released to go home. I woke up feeling much more pain than I anticipated, and I still am in a lot, but it’s surgery, and no matter how “easy” or “simple” laproscopic surgeries are these days, it’s still surgery, and it still hurts. I’m totally wiped out, and sleeping a lot, but luckily I have tons of family and friend support! Steve has been taking great care of me, and making me feel super loved.

 

He even found a Clementine balloon ;) Speaking of Clementine, the puppies have also been making sure I rest, and feel the love.

My phone has been kind of off the hook with family and friends wanting to see how I’m doing which is so appreciated. It’s really nice to know people care about how I’m doing. Today, Nicole even picked me up, and took me for a little excursion, and then I came home to these

Lisa, you sure know how to cheer me up!

You know you have great friends when they send you balloons because they live across the country and can’t see you in person! I have to say, as much as the situation sucks, and it does pretty much suck, the biggest silver lining is all the love and support I’ve received. Being sick isn’t soooooo bad when you have great people taking care of you and making you feel loved.

You know what else is kind of cool? These days, when you get surgery, they take pictures for you! I wanted to post some, but figured I’d spare you guys. What I can say is that these stones were ridiculous! Almost a dozen marble sized stones that have been giving me a rough time–I’m glad to say good bye to them! Peace out gallstones, you’re not welcome here anymore. In fact, who invited you in the first place? Not me. Coming in without an invitation…ummm rude. That’s okay, you’re gone now, and I am on the road to recovery. It feels like kind of a slow road right now, but that’s okay. I can be patient. No, that’s not a joke. I actually can be!

So that’s what’s been going on over here lately. Thanks again to everyone who has been super supportive, and made time to call/come by/etc the last couple of days. It means so much more than you realize!

Hoping I’m back to running and spinning ASAP!

Inspiration

Inspiration is a funny thing, and it can come from so many places. I never imagined I would become the type of person that loves healthy food, or cooking, or especially running, but somewhere along the line, I became someone who not only loves these things, but is passionate about them. There’s a difference, right? I love watching Seinfeld reruns, but I don’t feel passionate about it. Most days. Well…okay, nevermind. You get the point, and how obsessed I am with Seinfeld (ridiculously obsessed) is really not the point here.

Today I had the honor of having my story featured on one of my favorite blogs. I’ve been so inspired by Caitlin’s blog, and when she offered to post readers’ success stories, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of it, but I was pretty sure my story wouldn’t get chosen. It’s funny how often we all discount our own success. Even today, reading my story amongst two other beautiful and inspiring stories, I couldn’t help but feel like these other stories were somehow more profound, inspiring and successful. Isn’t that silly? Even when our success is acknowledged, and celebrated, it is still so easy to find ways to discount it.

I guess what I’m trying to do, is give all of us, and mostly myself, a reminder that celebrating success doesn’t mean you think you’ve reached the end. It simply means you’ve worked hard, and you deserve to feel pride and accomplishment. We live in such a competitive society (or maybe I’m just crazy competitive) that we sometimes feel like we have to do something huge by society’s standards in order to have achieved anything, but sometimes I feel like it’s the littlest things that make us productive, and help us grow.

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Those little things we can celebrate every day, and by allowing ourselves to take pride in them, we are inspired to continue, and eventually they become big things.

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I’m hoping you will take from my late night (yes, 10 pm is late for this girl) ramblings that it’s not only okay to take time to celebrate “small” accomplishments, but it’s something we all deserve, and by giving ourselves some credit, we can inspire ourselves to continue to make positive changes and choices in our life, and eventually become a happier version of ourselves than we ever thought possible.

What inspires you? What have you accomplished lately that we should celebrate together? Tell me!! I don’t care if it’s that you took a shower. Sometimes that is cause for freaking celebration, and trust me, I am the BEST person to go to with good news and things that should be celebrated!!

Mostly Happy Things

Yes, Winston is laying directly on top of Clementine. He is so rude!

Hi friends, happy weekend! The past few days have been filled with lots of things. Mostly happy things. And a few annoying things. I’ve been posting lots of recipes lately, and I kinda miss the whole writing about little things in my life just because they’re important to me thing, so that’s what I’m going to do today. :)

Annoying Things:

There are less of these and they’re less fun. Let’s get them out of the way first. shall we?

  1. Yesterday, Steve, Dan and I set out for a 30 mile bike loop this morning. Around mile 10, Steve got a flat that he fixed, then broke the new tube, then patched. At mile 15, his tire went flat again. I was the only one that had their phone, so we called my step dad (Thanks Hank!! You’re awesome!!) to come get him, and Dan and I set back to finish the loop. At mile 25ish, I got a flat tire. No joke. Dan went back to the house, and Hank came back to get me too. It was not so fun, but it could have been a lot worse. I have a whole list of people that would come rescue me in an emergency, so I’m just gonna try to count my blessings.
  2. Friday I had to stop and use the bathroom mid run at this really sketchy dry cleaners. The toilet had no lid and no flusher, so I had to reach into the open top to flush, but then there wasn’t enough water and so I had to use the hose that went into the toilet. The whole thing was so odd.
  3. The fro yo place is not open at 9:30 am. In fact, they don’t open until 11am. Now, if you ask me, that is just ridiculous.

Happy Things:
So many happy things! It’s been a pretty great week, in fact!

  1. I got some really great news from my amazing friend Emily that totally blew me away. I feel so honored and lucky to be working in such a supportive environment with some truly amazing friends.
  2. I got all of my fundraising letter sent out! I’m still waiting on some addresses (by the way if I asked for your address and you thought you were getting a super awesome present, I’m sorry about that…), and I have a lot of work to do in terms of getting business donations, but I spent hours (with the help, of course, of my super amazing husband) writing, addressing, labeling, stamping, and stuffing envelopes. I actually kind of enjoyed the whole process. Don’t forget, if you’d like to donate, you can visit my page here :)
  3. I found out I won’t be running alone for those 4.5 hours. I can’t say more than that until a very special person gives her own news, but I am beyond excited!
  4. I had a super awesome taper week “long” run with Stacey on Friday! She did a legit long run, and accomplished her first double digit run at a pretty quick pace! I love running with her, and I am so proud of her! PS, she is running her first half marathon next Sunday. Be sure to head over to her blog and wish her good luck!
  5. I ran with Jason on Monday while he accomplished a new PDR of 5 miles! Remember back in February when our runs consisted of a max running time of 3 minutes before taking a walk break? Now he runs 5 miles with no breaks. Think you can’t run? This guy’s progress could inspire anyone to get out there and give it a shot! 3 minutes to 5 miles in 2 months? Ummm, OKAY!
  6. Monday is Hermano’s birthday! He’s turning 15, and is kinda my favorite person on Earth. This also means he is only one year away from being able to drive me around all the time. It’s going to be awesome. “Hermano, take me to the store.” “Hermano, bring me some Dutch Brothers!” We celebrated yesterday. I’ll be writing about it soon.
  7. Last night I went to a fancy gaala! I drank wine, ate food, and pretended I was rich enough to bid on items. Molly and I really wanted the pop corn machine, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. My favorite part was that they described it as “A popping good time!” Yes, I would like a popping good time. How did you know??
  8. MY BFFFF Heather got my subscription to Eating Well magazinefor the holidays/my birthday/running, and the first one came in the mail this week! Thanks Heath!!! Love you!!
  9. I got 3 walks in with the duckies this week with Nicole and Kara. Duck lake is especially pretty these days. It looks like fall and there are all sorts of purple leaves:

    DUCKIES!!!!


  10. This happened:

    Yes, Winston is laying directly on top of Clementine. He is so rude!

  11. Friday I went to work and received these:

    My favorite part is where she writes "Don't worry if you cry. I actually cried too." Obviously these kids know me well, and just how sentimental I am. I totally cried.

Now if that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t even know what to tell you!

What made you happy this week??

Lisa & Sam’s Wedding Reception

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Remember my super awesome speedy friend Lisa that I registered for The Lost Dutchman as her wedding gift? Well her wedding was very small. So small in fact that no one was invited. Lisa and Sam were engaged and before they knew it, they were driving to the courthouse to elope! Super romantic. Lisa’s mom wanted to throw them a reception so that we could all celebrate their happiness, and on March 17th, Steve and I attended Lisa and Sam’s wedding reception.

I’ve known Lisa a long time. Since my sohpmore year of high school. I’ve seen her with a lot of different guys, and let me tell you, not a single one of them compares to Sam. He is so kind, and warm, and creates the perfect calm to her big and bubbly personality. Obviously we’re nothing alike. It was truly amazing getting to celebrate such a happy moment in her life, and just seeing my friend absolutely glowing. I also got to see a few ladies from high school that I hadn’t seen in what feels like an eternity!

Margaret, Lisa & Me. The three of us were pretty much inseparable junior year, but I haven't seen Maragret in entirely too long.

It was also great to see Lisa’s mom. I’ve always really liked her, and look how great she looks!

Ummm, Sandy, you look fabulous. I need your skin care regiment ASAP.

Sam’s parents were super nice! They came around and introduced themselves to everyone, and when I introduced myself they knew right away that I was the one that ran with Lisa, and they congratulated me on our time! So sweet! Look at this happy mama and her son!

Lisa and Sam seemed to be having a blast. Sometimes I feel like weddings get so stressful that the couple isn’t able to really enjoy themselves, so it was nice to see them having fun!

Also, can we talk about how freaking incredible Lisa looks?! Her hair, her dress…she just looked absolutely stunning. After some toasts, they did some special dances–father daughter, mother son, and then look at these two on the dance floor! Prepare for a montage that borders on creepy.

They just look so great together!

Their dancing pictures were my favorite, so I couldn’t choose and ended up posting about 100. Sorry about that…

They look so happy! I was totally an emotional hot mess trying really hard not to cry. People don’t generally cry at receptions. I was just so happy for them. And I’m a sap.

My favorite.

Runner up.

I even got on the dance floor for a little bit. Usually I have to be pretty tipsy for that to happen….

....because I look like this.

Steve and I had a great time! I’m so glad that it worked out on the weekend he was in town!

And my beautiful friend, I could not be more happy for you, and I don’t think you could have chosen a more perfect partner.

I love love!

Our First Wedding Anniversary

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I have to admit, having celebrated 7 date-a-versaries before we finally tied the knot, I was not super excited about the idea of starting over at 1. In fact, I asked Steve on several occasions if we could just keep going. As of January, we’ve technically been together for 8 years, so couldn’t this be anniversary 8.1? Well, I surprised myself and ended up totally little girl giddy about celebrating our first anniversary. Turns out it’s kind of fun to start over :)

Steve was able to make a short trip home for the weekend, so that we could celebrate together. We began Sunday morning by heading over to Inside the Bungalow, where we got married. When not being used for weddings, it’s actually a super cute coffee shop. Unfortunately they were closed, so we moved on right away. We went to Cartel to get coffee because so many of our friends have been raving about it.

Any place with foam designs wins my heart.

And they don't mess around with their cappuccinos!

The coffee was great, but the atmosphere wasn’t really my thing. Too much snobby hipster, if that makes sense.

Before we knew it, it was time for work (Yes, I worked on my anniversary…on a Sunday. Sometimes my life is not ideal). Steve drove up to Scottsdale with me, then spent some time with his mom while I was in rehearsal. Once I was finished, we shopped around some furniture store lusting after all sorts of things we would love to buy, then headed to White Chocolate Grill for dinner. That’s where he proposed almost 2 years ago :) We didn’t even bring the camera in, just enjoyed being there together. It was perfect.

After dinner, we came home for the moment we’d been waiting for–the cake!!! Did you know it’s tradition to freeze the top tier of your wedding cake and eat it on your first anniversary??

Is it also tradition to remove the flowers first? Because opening up a box and seeing dead flowers definitely did not enhance my appetite.

I’d actually never heard of this until we were in the planning stage, but I thought it sounded interesting, so that thing has been sitting in our freezer for a year.

We cut out a huge slice from the middle to sample.

  

"What does year old cake taste like?"

"Who cares?!?! I LOVE CAKE!!!! I will take sugar and carbs of any age please."

The result? Not great. Not terrible. The cake part tasted better than the frosting, but it definitely did not taste….fresh. I was surprised at how soft and fluffy the cake still was, but we definitely did not finish our piece, or what was left.

Steve is all present-ed out until Christmas (this past Christmas, his macro lens counted as Christmas and birthday, and I got him the balance on his bike after his 3 year old gift card to get his bike as his early anniversary present), so all I had to do was get him a card, but he surprised me with an amazing gift!

This isn’t just a photo album.

Yes, you are allowed to make fun of our ridiculously dorky nick names for each other. It's okay. I can take it.

We both really loved the movie Up, and when we were in Disneyland, I got him the grape soda pin, and now he got my an adventure book. It starts with a couple pictures from the wedding, and one from Boston with the note that this is just the beginning of our journey. Yeah, I cried. I love him. And I love this gift enough to post this picture even though I’m pretty embarrassed to admit to everyone on the internet that in real life I call him Loey and he calls me Loette. We’re special.

Unfortunately, before we knew it, it was time for me to take him to the airport :( He’ll be back for good in two weeks though, so we’re more than half way through! Hooray!! I’m just really glad we still got to spend our anniversary together. Regardless of how busy or rushed the weekend felt, it was still pretty amazing, and we have many more down the line to look forward to.

Did you/would you eat your wedding cake a year later??