Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

you say goodbye...














... I say hello.
 Hello, hello.

another $90 and the sentencing of SEVEN MORE DAYS...

Poor, poor Kevs.
Hopefully that teaches you not to get into fights [and lose].

Monday, August 29, 2011

What I'm Making Monday

First things first.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!
You're twenty-something this year right???
And it works for WIMM because, well, she made me :) Love you, Mama Rica!

I've mentioned this before, but my parents are not big fans of cooking or baking. I'll be honest, most of my meals growing up revolved around hot dogs, white pasta (no sauce, just butter and cheese), five different kinds of bread, etc. You get the picture. My mom claims to have no creativity with putting meals together. Which is ironic, since I LOVE making food with LOTS of color (and never ever make a monochromatic meal)! Since they have so graciously allowed us to stay with them for the time being, I have offered my services as Personal Chef until we move out... hopefully giving my mom pictures and recipes for easy to make dinners (that are a little bit healthy too!)

So here goes the first attempt (for two, since mom and I were dining solo last week):
-DIVINE tasting Mediterranean Crusted Salmon (on sale at $6 for two fillets at Kroger).
-Handful of Baby Carrots cut in half lengthwise, with 1 tsp olive oil, oven baked 425' for 20 minutes.
-Romaine, tomato, avocado salad (with a bit of shredded cheese and dressing).
-Greek Yogurt, Honey flavored (100 calorie cup) with raspberries.
Try it! It is like a flavor AND color party in your mouth.
And for a bonus? Two little helpers in the kitchen, up to no good....

Sunday, August 28, 2011

ballboy and the kevs: rabies?

Mr. D (and my dad) finally made it home!!! Woohoo!!!
I know the pictures are old (so Kevs still has his cone of shame that he somehow keeps getting poop on. and don't go freaking out that little d got a haircut recently, SURAH!) but you know... the camera cord was still making its way across Nebraska when this comic was made :) 
Enjoy!




success.

Being in my hometown for the last few days, sans-husband, has given me a lot of time alone with my thoughts, especially at night since everyone is to bed early, and I have a hard time falling asleep with a crazy noisy cat attempting to scratch his neck through his Cone of Shame when he's not pressing said cone against the window trying to attack birds laser-cat style. Which is a good thing.

Since the summer after my Freshman year at college, I have not spent more than a handful of days here. Coming back to much of the same sights, memories, and feelings I left behind so many years ago has hit me with a wave of nostalgia.... and a little bit of something else I can't quite put my finger on.

Back in 2004, as a high school senior, [of course] I knew everything. I thought I had life all figured out. You know, graduate with a poli sci major, go to law school, become an ambassador to some foreign nation, and eventually settle down at 30 and have a kid or two. We can all see how that worked out :)

The thing is, I thought I was happy. I was always out to prove myself, that I could be the prettiest, the skinniest, the ditziest, whatever. Looking back, I realize how superficial that happiness was. I wish I could go back to my 18-year old self, shake her, and tell her how unimportant all those silly things were. I am so grateful I went out to Utah for school. It gave me a fresh start to be the person I always wanted to be, instead of someone who I thought my friends wanted to be friends with. Maybe that is why there are still so few (but very genuine!!) friends I am still in contact with from DSHS. I guess I felt like while so many of my friends were stuck in the same patterns, same routines, I was breaking free of that and trying something new. I was 2000 miles away from my parents, siblings, everything I ever knew. And it made me into a really strong person that I could have never imagined I would turn into way back then.

Back in '04, the thought of running more than three miles terrified me. Hence why I did track for a year and couldn't bear the thought of running FIVE KILOMETERS for cross country. It seemed so unbearable. While I had a lot of friends who had gone to BYU, gotten married, and/or started having kids by the time I went out there, the thought of either of those happening to me was just not in my deck of cards. I remember the first time Mr. D took me to a ring store to look for an engagement ring, and they asked me to describe what type of ring I wanted and I HAD NO IDEA. And wedding dress shopping? I picked out the first dress I tried on. Colors? Mr. D liked blue and I did too. It still amazes me that I was able to make those kinds of decisions (okay, mostly the one about GETTING married) so young in my life. I look at 19 year olds and think... really?? Was I ever that young and naive??

Anyway, the point is, I am really happy with the way my life has gone thus far. Sure, there are certain things I would love to change [*cough* our current job/living situation] but overall as I look over my adult life and the growth I have experienced, I am really REALLY pleased. Content, even. I have very few regrets that certainly are trumped by all the wonderful decisions I have made in my life, and if I had the chance to do it all over again, I would keep everything the same. And as I reflect on those [good] decisions, they all revolve around one thing: The Gospel. Something that I keep coming back to and is truly the center of my life and everything that makes me happy. Sure, I would love to live next door (heck, even in the same state!!) as my darling sisters, but at least I know that after we pass on from this life, I can be with them (and of course Mr. D, little d, the Kevs, my parents and DK, etc...) forever. That's a really long time, you know?

To think about how much I have changed in eight years, mostly for the better, it is hard to imagine what the next eight will hold. More kids? A new career? Travel? A home or two? Who knows.

I am just so grateful that after all those awkward, terrible years of elementary and middle school... the insecure years of high school... the "starting to figure out my life" years of college, I am finally happy in my own skin. Stretch marks, saggy skin and all. :)
also, I love having long hair. Why was I never patient enough to try it out before?!?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Product Review: Garmin 210

I remember my freshman year of college, way back in 2004, when a friend of mine gave me his ipod because he was leaving on a mission and thought it would be outdated by the time he got back. What?! I thought he was crazy (he was talking to a girl who still listened to music on a CD player), and happily accepted the gift and jogged around town with my clunky first generation ipod for months. I've obviously moved on from that ancient artifact, in the ongoing search to get sleeker, easier-to-carry stuff, like my pink nano. Why am I telling you this? Because I love stuff. Especially when it is top of the line, techno-gadgetry that I know nothing about [initially] but research it like I would an english paper... ok, probably a little more research that an english paper, but you catch the drift.

All my friends wear Garmin watches. I should be more honest with that statement and say that all my RUNNER friends who are serious about running and training [and have enough money] have a Garmin watch. I've wanted one for at least a year [you know, since I found out that they existed and were actually affordable], and when I realized I no longer had to drive the route I wanted to run to know the mileage, running suddenly got a lot more fun. 

Disclaimer: While I wish I got free stuff out of giving these reviews, I do not. 
My sole purpose of doing them is to pay it forward since I read a bazillion reviews off of Amazon, blogs, etc, before ever purchasing anything remotely expensive. These opinions are all my own.
This is my Garmin 210. I am smiling like a goof because I LOVE it.
Don't think about the peculiarity of the numbers too much, it's just a Photobooth picture.

The rundown [from Garmin.com]:
"Forerunner 210 gives you the freedom to train indoors or out, while tracking every minute and every mile. This GPS-enabled sports watch accurately records how far, how fast and how hard you worked.
We made the Forerunner 210 simple to use so you can focus on your workout. Out of the box, you’ll charge it, take it outside to find GPS satellites and answer a few setup questions. Then just press start and take off. Once you’re done, press stop. It really is that easy."

CONS:
-Pricetag (isn't that the way it is for all good purchases??): My base-model 210 was about $200 and I opted for the heartrate monitor, because I like knowing my heartrate.
-You have to plug in the watch and sync it manually to the computer. I like this method better than wireless because I feel like I have more control, but I know some peple don't like that sort of hassle. I plug mine into my computer once a week to upload and look over my workouts (usually Sunday).
-With that said, sometimes the syncing doesn't work the first time... or the second time. But I just keep "syncing" till it works... all while singing justin timberlake music of course.
-It is not compatible with Google Chrome, which drives me NUTS because I hate using Safari, but I suck it up and just hope that someday soon there will come an update with that :)
-You have to buy heart rate monitor and foot pod (so that it will work indoors) separately. Which is a pain, and I will probably cave and get the foot pod once the weather gets cold, but for now, I usually use my heart rate monitor on my long runs (not every run), but will probably use it every run the next time I get pregnant, since it has customizeable heart-rate alerts.

PROS:
-Um it looks normal on my arm. And not hugely screaming "I'm a running GPS watch!!" Sometimes I wear it as my regular watch for about a week [as long as the satellite is turned off, which it does automatically within 30 seconds if you are not actively using it] before I have to charge it.
-Four easy to use buttons. I hate touchscreen while I run, so for me this is a huge plus.
-Live distance, pace and heart rate readouts. I love knowing all that stuff as it is happening.
-Customizeable for interval workouts. I have only used this once, but its a GREAT feature. You can also get it to beep at you at every interval (or mile, which I usually use on my runs) so I'm not constantly checking to see if I hit that mile marker or not.
-ADVENTURE!! I love being able to just turn this sucker on and go for a run and not have to plan or map it out beforehand! This one little extra step really makes running so much more enjoyable to me, knowing I can just go for a run and not have to worry myself with numbers.
-Heart rate monitor makes calorie burning tracking much more accurate. Usually calorie trackers gage about 100 calories a mile, but I only burn about 70 to 80. So I like knowing just how many calories I am burning so as not to eat more Swiss Rolls than my body can handle :)
-Just like the description said, I literally took it out of the box, charged it, took 30 seconds to input my profile info, and went out for a run. It is by far the simplest setup of all the Garmins, and was the deal-maker for me to buy it as opposed to any of its more advanced cousins.

OVERALL...
I love it. Can't you tell?? There are very few runs I use my ipod with these days.. but the watch ALWAYS comes with me.

Friday, August 26, 2011

friday favorites

Little D is doing SO much these days... it is incredible to me how he is just a learning sponge and is so smart! He really does understand almost everything I say. Like when he runs to the back door because he wants to swing and I tell him he needs to put on his shoes first...
Priceless.
And every time he hears water running he will frantically start making the sign for bath and then beeline for the tub. This morning he was watching "Tom and Jerry" with my mom, the episode where they adopt a duckling who fills the tub (and then the whole house) with water.... he looked at my mom and did the sign for "bath" while doing his little pleading cry.

Speaking of cute kids, 4 year old cousin Benjamin was at the store picking out toothbrushes for everyone in the family, when he picked out a blue hippo one and told his mom that "this one would be a good decision for Baby D." So, Benjamin... here you have it! Baby D's first tooth gumbrushing.
"Thank you!"

And for all of you (meaning my sisters) asking about the status of the Kevs, he is still cone-headed till at least Monday when we see the vet again. He seems comfortable all around the house but gets insanely jealous when little d and I make our way outside. You know when snakes molt [or whatever it's called] and lose their skin? Yeah, that's kinda what's been happening to Kevs' head and ear... I'll spare you the actual image (not that I could get myself to take a picture of it). But he's finally off pain meds and in the last stages of antibiotic treatment. He'll be back to creeping on the wildlife outdoors before we know it!

DZ #86: move out of Utah [and post-move weekend update]

Since I am an idiot and forgot the camera cord in Utah (where it is probably buried amidst a billion other cords somewhere in one of our cars, heading back East THIS VERY MOMENT!!), cell phone pics will have to suffice for an update.

MONDAY: 
Of course, consisted of some serious flying. Little d stayed up the whole first flight until the moment the plan landed and proceeded to collapse for an hour. What a doll.
TUESDAY:
Post-trauma, the Kevs has found new meaning to life:
Cicadas, birds and squirrels outside my bedroom window.
I think he is really starting to warm up to the idea of living in the East....
WEDNESDAY:
All day spent with an inexplicable craving of this...
 And this:
^Especially the latter^
THURSDAY:
My mom got this in the mail...
HILARIOUS. But seriously... My poor parents, husband, child, etc.
Also went to Stride Rite for little d's first "real" pair of shoes...
meaning ones he can actually walk in (unlike these ones that made him walk like a dinosaur).
FRIDAY:
Today I will be eagerly praying for poor Mr. D [and my dad], driving all our stuff across the country and hopefully making it back into my arms by tomorrow night.

Happy Friday from Little d and one of his many girlies :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

#1 most asked question: "So what do you even DO all day, now that you're not working full time?"

I sit around the house watching Laguna Beach Reruns and eating Swiss Rolls all day.
Joke. I wish I could do that. But first I have to find out where to buy SR's out here. 
But seriously, watching and cleaning up after these two is exhausting.
Thankfully, now that I am "home" most of the cleaning is done by my awesomesauce mother, 
who cleans messes so quickly I barely remember they were made.
My schedule usually consists of waking up with baby (which will change tomorrow since I finally made it to Lifetime Fitness today), chasing after said baby as I attempt to get some food down the hatch, playdates, swinging...
Medicating/antibiotic-ing the cat (and making sure HE eats), we all settle down for a nap, and the cycle starts all over again, except in the evening I turn into Chef Ruth and attempt to teach my mom to cook :)
 Overall, a good life. And throw in the next few weeks trying to look for part time employment (since DK and parents can watch little D) and getting a move on that portrait I should have started three months ago. So a little bit busy too. Just the way I like it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

10 hours of traveling + $300 + a cone of shame later...

We have arrived. It is good to be back in the Buckeye state.
Unfortunately, this morning as I was chasing after Kevs to give him his traveling/tranquilizer meds, I grabbed at his neck and got a gush of brown liquid all over my arm.
Yeah, um remember THIS post from two years ago?? You could say it's dejavu.
Animal bite. So we had to cover it up, pray that security wouldn't stop us from taking him (they didn't), and as soon as we got to Ohio, I raced over to the closest 24-Hour Pet Hospital.
Two and a half hours later, I came home with Mr. Cone of Shame himself:
What a crazy crazy day. I keep thinking things will slow down but the last three days have been insane and I've gotten about 8 hours of sleep total. Kevs is fine (but man does he hate that cone!) and is currently locked in the bathroom attempting to eat/go to the bathroom/get someone to let him out.

So surprisingly enough, Little D was the least of our worries. We fed him snacks nonstop, played with every toy and book I brought, and watched a slew of mini movies of him (his favorite thing to do). Traveling with him was actually really great this time.

As we were landing on our first leg of the trip, he actually fell asleep in my arms (yeah... he hasn't done that since the first week home from the hospital!) and stayed asleep for an hour!

Phew. Two of my three boys are safe and (relatively) happy under one roof. But the other one got to go  golfing today, so I know he's good. He only has to survive the 24-hour drive out here this weekend till I see him again! Miss you, Mr. D! Now I NEED to get some sleep...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hobble Creek Half Marathon

 This is the only photo from the race... I felt great and got 27th place in my age group, 392 overall at 1:52.37.... proof is here:

Overall, I felt great. miles 1-6 I tried to stay with Julia, but the last 7.1 I just tried to keep moving. I know I said my goal was "just to finish" but that is SO hard when you get in racing mode, you know?
I had new music, my foot didn't hurt till after I finished, and while the race started 30 minutes late, it was all downhill. I can't be too upset with my time since I have taken it really REALLY easy the last two weeks and have barely run 8 miles during those 14 days.

I really REALLY wanted to PR. Did I mention Cass finished in 1:29?! That's sick.
She is my idol.

My PR is 1:52.33 so I BARELY missed making that goal to PR by FOUR seconds!!
I think it is safe to say that after I take a month (okay, maybe 3 weeks) off running/training, I will be geared up for a spring marathon!! Now to figure out which one...

Friday, August 19, 2011

pre-race rituals.

Today was quite a crazy day... between trying a tranquilizer out on the Kevs (who staggered around the house all day like a drunkard who kept attempting to climb the stairs or run out of the house), deep cleaning the house, packing/throwing away stuff, and chasing after a crazy Little D, it was good to take my mind off the fact that I AM RUNNING THIRTEEN MILES TOMORROW. Yikes.

I mean, I've done it before but I always get some crazy prerace jitters (even after three very successful half marathons!), so pre-race rituals are a MUST for calming me down.

#1: Something yummy and sweet. My addiction as of the last year has been fro-yo at Yogurtland...oh, how I will miss you!
 #2: Chatting with friends about running. Nothing better to get me excited to run!
 #3: Painting my nails. Something about having chipped nail polish drives me crazy for 13 miles. Thanks to Laura Boyce for the cute new HOT pink nail polish! She knows me too well :)
 #4: Reading a good book... Little D's new favorite was given by Mager for his birthday...
Seriously. The kid gets this giddy every time he SEES me take out this book. His favorite part?
STOP, dog, STOP!!
 and #5: After charging the Garmin and ipod (with updated playlist), setting out my clothes and alarm for 4:30am, going to bed nice and early with my USWeekly.
Only goal for tomorrow?
I'm keeping it simple: To have a great time and finish!
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