Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Eggnog

Dear Eggnog,

Thank you for only appearing for three months out of the year. I think I might get sick of you if you were more available. It seems blasphemous to say that, but it's probably true. Your absence for most of the year makes it justifiable to be a bit gluttonous while you're present.

And when did you get so dynamic? I used to just drink you cold in a class. Now I can mix you with my other love - chai - or coffee, or eat you in the form of icecream. Way to keep with the times, Eggnog.

We're going to have a beautiful three months together.

Much love,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Welcome, Fall

On Sunday, my best friend, a car full of girls, Jason and I went to the Roloff Farm. It was rainy and cold for most of it, but we still got some good pictures of our annual trip to a pumpkin patch. A good time was had - we'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What If...

What if I filled out the application? What if I actually submitted it? What if I was selected?  What would my life look like then? What if it's worth it? What if it's not?

It is becoming increasingly obvious that my work life has come to a stalemate. The job I have was a great job, with an organization I am proud to be part of, when I was finishing my college degree. It was never intended to be something permanent - even with the 12-cent raise and additional 4 hrs (woohoo, 28 hrs/week) upon graduation. My career, and life, goals are much bigger than this. I am not cut out to be an assistant and I do not feel good about my performance as of late.

So, I have dug in and am starting the job search process. Looking for jobs is never the problem. On many occasions I have searched craigslist and created an entirely new life in Denver, Phoenix, and, once, in Georgia. It's the actually filling out the application, and should the application get filled out, actually sending it in. I always fail on one of those two fronts. 

The two jobs I have found that align with my long-term goals also come with some challenges. Namely, moving. I don't want a commuter marriage, so with moving comes the questions of what to do with my husband's schooling. My heart's desire is that he finish his degree and get his teaching certificate. His heart's desire is I find a job I am fulfilled in and will ultimately help me as I shoot for grad school. 

We've been discussing our different options, but the thing that remains the same is my husband's support of me pursuing these options. There's nothing more motivating than that, despite all the "what ifs."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 12: This One Time I Answered an Ad...

An unfortunate day on which we unknowingly ventured into public in the same outfit.
I love my husband, I really really do. But he has this really great trait that quickly becomes annoying and leads to all kinds of unloving thoughts towards him. He's helpful. Sometimes too helpful. Especially when we're running.

Running has never been a passion of mine. I have only recently reached the "someday I want to be really awesome at running" stage. Right now my main goal is to complete a run without walking. Or dying.

My husband, on the other hand, thinks running is thegreatestthingEVER. So, while I am thinking, "You're not going to die, keep going, you're almost there, crap it's only been five minutes, it's okay, you can do this..." he's all smiles and then starts telling me to push harder, pick up my knees, etc, etc. Can you see how this might be a problem?

After a run a few weeks ago when I was having particularly murderous thoughts towards the love of my life, I determined the best thing for our marriage would be if I had options of other people to run with. This led to a craigslist search for running groups.

The running groups I found were way too advanced for me, but I did come across a Running Buddy ad. Which I promptly answered. Then thought, "Nike, you are socially awkward and don't like strangers. Are you insane?!"

This story has a happy ending, though. My new running buddy is married. (I didn't know if the person placing the ad was male or female, so I had a lot of, "my husband and I" language in my response.) The four of us go on runs three times a week and we are all at about the same level. Everyone has something to bring to the table that makes us all stronger runners. It's really a perfect match.

I think answering a running buddy ad may have been one of my best moves of the year. I enjoy running with my husband again, my endurance has increased and my pace has decreased pretty dramatically in the last few weeks. I'll be a running machine yet - watch for us at the Jingle Bell 5K in December!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Tea

Dear Tea,

Thank you for being warm, delicious, and the perfect excuse to get together with my girlfriends on a Saturday. Our new favorite place, Tea Thyme & Lavender, is an amazing blend of all my/our favorite things: tea, antiques, lavender, and tasty homemade treats. You're alright, Tea, you're alright.

With fondness,

Full Disclosure: Speedy Turtles Day After

No longer speedy, just gimpy. Turtle Shell 1 got a makeover
And the tired bunch that stayed over for the award's ceremony. They were a little more lively at breakfast, but hit the wall on the "long" walk back to the car. It was really sad, but the locals call it the "Hood to Coast swagger." Way more awesome than "gimpy." We were like this for about a week. I guess 197 miles will do that do you.
Mixture of some of the people that made 2010 Hood to Coast happen - runners and drivers

Week 6: Speedy Turtles & The Mother of All Relays

It's my blog and I'll do what I want - even if that means doing stuff out of order. ;-)

The prompt for Week 6 "All About Me" was "whatever tickles your fancy." This is my excuse to share our Hood to Coast story. I know ya'll have been dying to know, despite its passing three weeks a couple months ago...

On Thursday, August 26, eleven runners, two drivers, and a volunteer descended on Pastini's Pastaria in Cedar Hills shopping center. Their mission? To get to know each other before they spent 33+ hours in a vehicle together. Oh, and to load up on carbs. Two runners were complete strangers (thank you H2C forum). One only the Team Captain and her husband had met four days before (again, yay H2C forum). They ate, they laughed, and they talked/asked questions. A lot.

It's 3:45am, it's dark outside and we have running suits on... Hit it!
Turtle Shell 1 hit the road at 4:00 am with their Captain's blessing. They were not blessing her when they arrived on the Mountain before anything was set up. Whatever, they got over it.

Turtle Shell 1 drivers and runners. Recognize two faces? Yeah, that's my family. *so proud*
While Turtle Shell 1 was at the Mountain, running down the mountain, and participating in general awesomeness, Turtle Shell 2 was chilling at the meeting house and eating pancakes.
Heck yeah that's a turtle. Runner 10, Leslie, rocks the griddle.
Eventually, Turtle Shell 2 also had to hit the road. After a pit stop in Clackamas to pick up a runner and a quick photo-op....
One of the drivers and six runners. Turtle Shell 2 power.
Due to their later start, the Turtle Shell 2 peeps were pretty antsy. They arrived at the Sandy Fred Meyer with an hour-plus to spare before runner 6 hit the exchange. This gave the drivers plenty of time to collect some swag and van decorating.
The DH (he injured himself the week before the race, so was relegated to driver) and my cousin. Aren't they adorable?
After some minor incidents (hello dead car battery), Turtle Shell 2 hit the road and started their first set. 
Christy, runner 8, hands of to Julie
One of the Team Captain's goals was to find the Iron Mullets. Find them she did... 
They had a garage sale the TC found on craigslist. They were delightful And fast.
The Speedy Turtles ran at sunset, in the dark, and slept in fields... 
Calvin (Daddy) and Nike at Exchange 12
Hand-off between Shelby (left, runner 7) and Christy at Exchange 25
The one moment the TC took a nap. Until she heard, "Stop stop there's a person!" (She wasn't the person, Runner 9 was)
Turtle Shell 1 provided one of the Team Captain's favorite moments. Runner 6, Crystal, came running into Exchange 31 all smiles and yelled, "I'm beating Jason!" TC turned to see J. Hall booking it after Crystal with the clipboard. TC yelled, "Go Jason, go!" just as Bentley (also a Jason) was pulled into the race for the clipboard hand off. 
Crystal running in her last leg
My last leg was a 7.25, mostly on gravel, and was not my favorite. Here's the hand off that set me off to my finish... 
Loved handing off with my best friend of 14 years - was terrified moment before this she would be run over by the Honey Bucket truck. Didn't love that.
All in all, the race was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. Everyone pulled together at the end and got the job done and had fun doing it. There were times of crying, times of laughing, and times of awkward silence, but it was a worthwhile event. 
Turtle Shell II walking to the beach to meet up with Runner 12 and Turtle Shell 1 (photobombed by white hat guy)
It was great to meet up with the rest of the team on the beach and "run" to the finish. The run was supposed to be more of a light jog, but Runner 12 took off. Team Captain fail. 
Most of the team could barely walk at this point. Awesome.
2010 Speedy Turtles - mostly novices and they rocked it
2011 application is in the mail. Looking forward to an even more awesome event. It really was "like Woodstock on wheels." Loved every minute of it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Week 10 & 11: Old and New

Week 10 was supposed to be a picture of me taken over 10 years ago. Here's the thing - I didn't have a digital camera until after my Freshman year of college and I don't currently have a scanner (I know, right?). So, I'm cheating on the "over 10 years ago" and calling "more than 7 years" good enough. ;-)
2003 High School Graduation Party - it was cruise themed. We all got crazy sunburned on one side of our faces.
Week 11 is a picture of you taken recently... Here's me two weeks ago. Less sunburned. Ha.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Taking the Plunge

Today my dear friend texted and asked if I'd join her 2011 Polar Plunge team. Um, absolutely! (I chickened out on her last year and they had so much fun I regretted not joining them.)

So, in February I will be jumping into the frigid waters of the Deschutes River with two of my favorite girls and their friends. (And, probably, my favorite boy, but he's needing some extra convincing right now.)

This event is a fundraiser for Oregon Special Olympics and as a team member I will be raising funds over the next four months for this awesome organization. (See bar to the left.) An active lifestyle should be open to all and Oregon Special Olympics takes up the torch to make that happen.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Sushi

Dear Sushi,

First of all, you're awesome and definitely at the top of my favorite foods list. What I'd like to thank you for today, however, is for your uncanny ability to help build relationships. When I learn people like sushi they instantly become one of  my new favorite people. Sure, it's completely possible all we'll have in common is sushi, bu you know what? While we're eating together that time is precious and relationships are deepened.

I'm pretty sure you're the sixth love language.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Go Get My Skirt On

I don't talk a lot about running on here, mainly because I'm disappointed in my current performance, but it is becoming a rather large part of my life. Know what I like best about running? Gadgets. That's right, I'm my father's daughter. Running skirts, hats, reflective gear, and Garmins make my heart go pitter-patter.

I've been drooling over for a month or so now. It's kinda like a mecca for me, but I'm still pretty cheap when it comes to buying gear. Except shoes. I won't skimp on shoes.

Today I received an e-mail titled "Just in time for Army10-miler & Marine Corps' Marathon." Inside? The SkirtCamp Camo collection. (Unfortunately I don't have a link to the collection cause it's being unveiled at the Army10-miler.) Ya'll know I love my military and any chance to support them. Here's an opportunity to make a purchase to boost my running gear and support our injured warriors. It's a win-win!

Watch the video and go visit Worth it.

**Note: RunningSkirts is based in California and internationally affiliated. The video is for a fundraiser they did for a Canadian-based foundation, Soldier On. US donations go to Marines Helping Marines.***

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ladies & Gentlemen, May I Have Your Attention...

I would like to direct you to my "Blog Reads" on the right. Go check out Carly Carlson's fantastic post on the photoshoot the boy and I did a few weeks ago. She posts some of the best/funniest on her blog. The Monday Night Posse had a full gallery viewing last night and I just don't know how we're going to decide on our absolute favorites! She did a fantabulous job!

That is all... you may go back to what you were doing. ;-)

*Pictures taken in Baker City, OR and outlying areas.*

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Black Fleece Pants

Dear Pants-I-Bought-to-wear-under-snow-pants-for-Snowshoeing,

Thanks for being awesomely cozy and not making me look too slovenly if I happen to leave the house in you. My legs appreciate the fleecy softness, I appreciate your zipper pockets and comfort. Best Bi-Mart purchase ever.

You rock,

Feeling the Love

Yesterday I received this blog award from Momma Zen. My very first! I found her through a blog hop and have enjoyed seeing her beautiful photography. Go stop by and say, "Hi!" Her husband just deployed, so she could use some extra love. 

Now the rules... 

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog, and link back to the person who gave it to you.
2. Pay it forward to 15 bloggers you have recently discovered.
3. Contact those blog owners and let them know that they've been chosen. 

My picks - fifteen is a lot, so I'm using "recent" loosely:

Tall Mom on the Run - a mama and a runner, she's also dang cool.

SkinnyRunner - funny and runs like a mad woman

Racing With Babes - another mother/runner who PRed at her last 1/2

Wife of A Wounded Soldier - this lady has been through hell and back with so much grace and inspires me every day

Rough and Rede - my former blog prof, I love the variety of his posts

Marine Wife Unplugged - another inspirational military spouse with a beautiful eye for photography

Make Yourself at Home - Laura is a peach, you should get to know her

Aki's Instant Noodles - Ingredients: Recollections (62.4%), Observations (27.3%), Opinion (9.1%), FD&C Yellow #5 (1.2%); go give it a try

Pink Spandex - randomness of two twenty-somethings balancing life, work, beer, and exercise (Plus they're my favorite people in the world.)

Ok, just one more beer... - discovered this awesome gal yesterday she's amazing and hilarious!
one step at a time... - mother, retired military spouse, crafter of beautiful ornaments

Treble Maker - talented singer friend of a friend who is both witty and inspiring

A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench - Nikki makes me laugh, and think, every day

Southern Hospitality - need to be refreshed? Go visit this lovely Southern belle

In My Own Words - retired Canadian teacher with a refreshing sense of wit and insight

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


"What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" ~ Robert H. Schuller

 What is it that holds us back from doing the thing we most want to do? What keeps us from achieving our full potential? If you're anything like me, it's fear of failure. Failure - and disappointing people I care about - is my kryptonite. Interestingly enough, I've never failed at anything I set my mind to do - but the caveat to that is I've also never taken any huge risks. 

Here's what I would do if I knew I couldn't fail:
  1. Finish the cover letter for my quasi dream job instead of typing about it.
  2. Apply to Grad school this winter for fall term.
  3. Teach in a foreign country for a couple years
  4. Run a marathon.
  5. Start a private practice
Most of those things are relatively simple and easy to accomplish as long as a plan is in place. I'm good at making plans and organizing when it's something that needs to be done. I'm not so good at taking risks, even if the reward would be greater than the fear I feel now.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? 


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tear My Heart Open, Sew Myself Shut

Lately I've been thinking about the challenges of growing up. Several of the teens I mentored are now in their twenties and it's interesting seeing them go through the same things I went through five years ago, and still struggle with today. Balancing old relationships and new ones. Becoming more independent. Realizing sometimes you have to let go of things to make room for new ones. 

I don't have life figured out. And whenever I think I do, something crazy comes along and reminds me I'm still learning. I'm still trying to hold on to parts of my past - hurts, joys, and people - and I'm not convinced that's a bad thing. At least the joys and people part. 

What I'm starting to realize is I'm holding on to some of those things/people so tight that they're suffering. The relationships aren't growing because I'm not allowing them to mature. I'm so possessive of them that everything is seen as a threat. That's not healthy, nor mature. 

Yeah, I've still got a lot to learn.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week 9: A Photo that You Took

Snail at Camp Reehers
Most of the pictures I post I have taken. The one above I took the first day of our disastrous first camping trip of the season. (That is, before we got rained out and I woke up in a flooded tent.) I'm pretty proud of it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

PS: I Love You

While driving back to work on Wednesday after a two hour hiatus, I was thinking about the little things we do for our loved ones that say, "PS: I love you." See, I had just spent two hours at my friends' house because I had a bit of an emotional breakdown at work and needed to leave. I texted both of my girlfriends to ask if someone was home cause I needed to not be at work and they replied, "Yep, come on over."

Once at the house I was still feeling the anxiety and angst of whatever caused the emotional relapse, but we didn't talk about it. My favorite four-year-old kept me distracted, the girls and I visited, the four-year-old and I had lunch together, and then I headed back to work. No one pushed me about what was wrong, no one commented on my fleeing from work in the middle of the day (benefits of having a part-time job). They just let me be.

On the way back I realized that was my friends telling me they love me. They knew I needed an escape and provided a reprieve. I wonder what my life would look like if I was intentional about post scripting every interaction with "I love you." Something small that tells the people around me how much they mean to me.

What are your "PS: I love you"s?