2011 in a nutshell

no! this is me in a nutshell….Austin Powers reference? No? Ok, moving on…..

2011 was exactly like I thought it would be. One of the biggest years of my life.

Why is that? MARRIAGE occurred!

Overall it feels like 2011 was a year of two halves….the first half being all about the wedding, planning, preparing, anticipating. The second half was all about what happens next…

All of it was freaking awesome.


Started the year off right on the 2nd with a day of celebrating Paul’s birthday at the spa. Massages and Facials. Lots of crying took place, 98% most of those tears took place on Paul’s face b/c of the facial (extractions are just so…whats the word…invigorating? no, that’s not the word I’m thinking of….) and also the men’s bathroom at the spa was not near as nice as the womens bathroom. Guys want 8 showerhead showers and steam rooms and curling irons and lotions in their bathroom too!! Geeze!

fresh faces and massaged bodies = cheesy camera shots

Engagement pics also took place in January. Here are a couple faves:

I've had so many people tell me this one is "just sooo us"

We had these taken in Downtown Seattle which is where we “met-up” on our first date…we originally met online AND neither of us were serial killers! Sweet!

In case you were wondering, our photographer for engagement, family and wedding pictures is Angie Arms. She is the BOMB!


Trip to Alb to celebrate my birthday and also for Paul to meet the rest of the fam and friends. He passed inspection and was given the stamp of approval (even by Grandma!) WINNING!

Sandia mountains, trying to get a pic of the view (and us) and failing miserably...at the view, not at us. We look pretty cute I think.

The day we got back from Alb, this happened.

poor little purple passion


Decided Paul needed a commuter car for all his driving back and forth (70 miles each way) to my house

Hello Mini!!


Tulip Time!!

Annual Tulip festival in Skagit county

took some family pics

found our rental house to live in after wedding!

that steep driveway is my archnemesis!


finalized seemingly never ending wedding details, took another trip to Alb for my bridal shower, and had a co-ed wedding shower in Seattle with friends…

I had my "test" wedding make-up done that day...that's why my face is all fancy shcmancy

co-ed wedding shower means one thing. Guys dressed in toilet paper. #goodtimes

lots of kitchen supplies for all the cooking I will be (avoiding) doing


June ended before it began. I found a renter for my condo quicker than I expected and had to get all of my stuff moved out BEFORE the wedding which wasn’t originally planned. So now that was happening the week before wedding. Yikes! Got it all taken care of though thanks to my awesome friends. Then….

Family came into town, plans came together, rehearsal dinner took place.

Boom! Happiest day of my life- June 10th, 2011.

Honeymoon in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Don't we just look so relaxed and happy (and tan)? Is that what happens on honeymoons? Who knew?


Super chill month. We needed it. Played some softball, that’s about it.


In August we went camping. Every time I see this photo I think of the 1800’s. No idea why.

Paul and I also spent a lot of time on our bikes at a trail near our house.


Did a sprint Triathlon

Caught a  cold

Maroon 5 concert (while sick with above mentioned cold)

Was hired as a teacher at Bellevue College in the continuing education department. First class that I will teach is in Feb 2012!

That's me!!


Began hosting small group at our house on Monday nights. Got new tires for Purple Passion, Death Cab for Cutie concert, quick overnight trip to Oregon

Not sure why I have ZERO pictures of any of the above? #fail


Paul away at training most of month (sad face)

Was invited to do a guest lecture for an Introductory HR class at Eastern University

Did a  service project with our group from church

My good friend Nancy came for a visit and we went to see The Nutcracker. It was….different, but still really good!


Paul came back from training…HAPPY FACE!

Started this blog!

Ran two miles for the first time ever in my life

Whew! Yep, another awesome year in the books.

Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for me, my goals and my family!

What was your funnest memory from 2011?

Friday Favorites 12/30… (and aliens)

…are on hiatus this week due to it being the END OF THE YEAR (how is this possible???) tomorrow and thus, I think a 2011 summary is in order don’t ya think? That’ll be comin up tomorrow….

However, here is one picture that I just cant resist sharing….

Favorite pic of the aliens dogs from this week:

aliens have offically taken over our house. They have brainwashed us into giving them all our food and giving up our spots on the couch. We even had to sleep outside last night. Its getting ridiculous.

Danskin 2011 and Cottage Lake Tri and Tri Again

So I was planning on doing the Danskin Sprint Triathlon again in 2011, but then some good and some bad went down.

First the good. Four days after my first (awesome) 2010 triathlon experience, I met my (now) husband. Fast forward a few months and then right about the time I should have been hardcore training for the 2011 tri, I was instead hardcore wedding planning.

forget the ring, look how awesome my nails look!

We got married in June and took off to Jamaica for a week which also was a great excuse for not interfered with my training. I did get some training in, but it wasn’t anywhere near what I needed in order to beat my time from last year. About a month before the race I decided that I would just wing it, go out there and have a good time, not worry at all about beating my time, just go and enjoy the experience.

Then the bad happened. During a softball game about two weeks before the race, I pulled my right quad while sprinting to first base. I hit a home run grounder, took off flying and felt a horrible pop in my leg. When I got to the base it instantly started hurting. BAD. I limped around the rest of the game and when I got home I could barely walk. I RICE’ed it and WebMD’d it to confirm that I did in fact pull the muscle. After about a week of it not really feeling better at all, I decided I should not even attempt the tri  😦 I didn’t want to risk further injury. It really was the best decision b/c if I had decided to go through with it, I would have almost certainly damaged the quad more.

Even though I wasn’t going to be participating, my good friend Jocelyn was, so I decided to go anyway to cheer her on.  It was her first tri (she was inspired to do it last year when another friend of hers and I did it) so there really was no way I was missing out on going and cheering her on to the finish. So although it was tough to be there and not be competing, it was still so awesome to be able to see her and cheer and support her on to an awesome finish!

Right before the swim. Look at how fake happy she is!

at the bike finish

showing that finish line who is BOSS

Since I missed out on the Danskin tri, Paul and I decided to look into doing another tri later on in the season. He had been itching to “tri” (I know right? that worked itself in there perfectly) one out as well and as luck would have it, we found an awesome sprint tri that was not too far away.  This particular race was actually a shorter course than most sprints, perfect for beginners (him) and injureds (me).

We did a couple practice swims in the lake, did some great bike rides by our casa and did minimal lots of run training. My quad was getting better and so we headed out that early Saturday morning to do the Cottage Lake Tri and Tri again.

The course is a little on the short end b/c if you so choose, you can do it TWICE. The horror.

400m swim, 9.1 mile bike and 1.5 run…repeat. We brilliantly chose NOT to repeat.

I was a lot little nervous mostly b/c I was unfamiliar with the bike course and being someone who has only been riding bikes for just over 2 years, I’m still not all that good. I am scared to death of don’t particularly like riding in traffic and don’t really have any idea what do do with major hills so confronting a course that I hadn’t seen before was pretty daunting.

There were only about 200 or so people in the race so it was waaay less crowded than the 3,500+ at the Danskin. Paul and I racked our bikes at about 7am and waited for everything to begin. Our awesome spectators got there in plenty of time to take pics of us before we headed into the water.

always with the cheesy grins us two

The swim for me was easy. I really enjoy swimming and fancy myself to be pretty confident in the water so the 400m was nothing I was too concerned with. I know, so humble I am. I actually passed Paul and exited the water a few seconds way before he did. He was quicker to change and get on his bike though so he sped off before I was even able to get going. Not so fancy after all I guess, huh?

Starting the bike ride I already knew I was in trouble with a capitol T. Where we took off was actually on a slight incline and I couldn’t get started. Took me a good minute at least to get on the bike and start riding. That may sound like no time at all, but believe it is FOREVER in race time.

The first half of the first lap of the bike route was pretty enjoyable and I was cruising along thinking, “OK, this aint too bad” and then…dun…dun…dun…my worst nightmare. A GIANORMOUS hill. Crap. What do I do? I decided to just kind of go for it (I must have been delirious or something) and instantly regretted it when I popped my chain. I had a panic attack stayed calm and huffed and puffed walked up the hill and attempted to get it back on.

TEN  minutes later I was on my bike again. T.E.N. Seriously, I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if it was all the people passing by, or just the pressure of the situation getting to me or what, but I could NOT get my bike working again. Considered numerous times just walking back to the transition area and calling it a day. But somehow that didn’t happen and I got the bike going again. As I was coasting back to where I would start lap 2, Paul was ending his lap 2. He was super excited to see me, but I was feeling utterly defeated.

I took off on lap 2 and cried for about the next five minutes while riding and tried to hide the fact that I was crying from the people along the course route cheering us on. Thank goodness for sunglasses.

This time when I came up to the hill I dismounted right away, walked up and then went on my way. I learned my lesson. By this time I knew the race was more than half over and I really just wanted to be done with it. I wasn’t feeling anything but sad.

don't be fooled, there are tears behind those sunglasses and that smile!

By the time I got back to the transition area, Paul was done with the race and waiting for me. He walked me back up to where I changed out of my bike shoes and got on my running shoes and he told me he would run with me. I was so upset that I just needed to be by myself to gather my thoughts so I had to tell him no even though it was really hard. I took off on the “run” and did some more crying for the first part of it. I ran here and there but most of the time I just walked and kind of zoned out. I was embarrassed, I was frustrated. This was nothing like my first tri experience and I just wanted it to be over and to go home. There was no one to blame but myself, I hadn’t trained enough and I knew it. Even through all that frustration though, it was OK, I knew I could do better, I am capable.

I got back to the finish line and Paul, Jocelyn and Nicole were super supportive and encouraging even though they knew I was not feeling it. We got some goodie stuff and our gear and headed out.

excited it was OVER

Even though my 2nd tri will not go down in the record books of anything I am really proud of, it was something. It was NOT sitting on the couch doing nothing. And my hubby has officially caught the tri bug and can’t wait to do more. We decided we are going to buckle down and make it a priority to compete in a few of these together in 2012. We are excited to see what we will accomplish!

Have you ever had a bad race experience?

Have you ever injured yourself before a race and had to back out? 

MR- We Bought a Zoo

Who wouldn’t want to see this movie after seeing that syrup-y sweet little curly headed girl on the preview yelling in her little chipmunk like voice, “We bought a ZOO!”? Probably only people with ice for hearts. But those are exactly the ones who should see this movie, b/c that ice would melt right up!

Decided to take the kids to see this on Christmas day and it didn’t disappoint on the “heartfelt movies to see on a holiday” scale.

The movie centers around an adventure-loving, just-lost-his-wife (for reasons they never quite get into), father of two kids (one a angry-ish teenager and aforementioned curly headed cutie-pie who is sweet as sugar) who decides one day that everything just reminds him to much of his dearly departed other half and he needs NEW NEW NEW. New ends up coming in the way of a new house out in the sticks that (surprise, surprise) ends up also being a Zoo. Who would have guessed? They really should make movie titles more non-descriptive and leave us a little more surprised.

Anywho…family of three ends up moving to the new house, meeting the zoo-staff (characters galore) and bonding with animals…and each other. Adventure arises, villains (by way of zoo-inspectors) arrive, and there is just a hint of some potential romance fluttering around. Enough to make the kids to go ewwwww anyway.

Matt Damon was great. He transitioned well from Bourne-action to believable-dad.  Scarlett Johansson was also pretty decent. I am not typically a fan of hers, but she played the zoo-keeper as well as anyone else could have. Interesting appearance from Patrick Fugit, who it took a minute for me to recognize from Almost Famous. Don’t know that I have seen him in anything really since that (awesomely epic) movie, but when I remembered that WBAZ was directed by Cameron Crowe, it all made sense.

The animals don’t necessarily steal the show, but they are of course an integral part of the movie. I have this weird thing where I pretty much call any animal(s) I see “puppies”, and there were lots and lots of cute little, big, scary, roaring, friendly “puppies” to fall in love with during this 2 hours.

Overall, great show especially for parents, kids and animal lovers. (And anyone who might be looking for an easy way to melt their ice heart.)

Overall Rating: Large popcorn, Large Drink

Christmas Survey

This little survey has been making its way around the blog-o-sphere, so I thought I’d take a crack at it….

Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you have an incredibly blessed day!

1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate? HC fo sho. I had some eggnog recently and did not have a good next three days so I think I am done with it forever!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? ummm, I have never seen any presents under the tree that weren’t wrapped, so duh, of course he wraps them? 

3. Colored or white lights on tree and house? is this question racist? 🙂 white lights. dont hate. 

4. Do you hang mistletoe? I would not have any idea where to even find mistletoe

5. When do you hang your decorations up? well up until this year, never. Not a big fan of decorating just for myself. But this year I went with my moms tradition and did most decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving. 

6. What is your favorite holiday dish, besides dessert? stuffing. Is that a holiday dish? I say yes.

makes me hungry just looking at it

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? lighting my hair on fire while we were outside lighting lumnarias in front of our house. I don’t know if that counts as a “favorite” but it sure is memorable!

Luminarias in Old Town in Alb

8. What’s on your Christmas wish-list? possibly a Garmin 405? but i think that will likely be more of a birthday gift…hint hint Paul….

9. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve? when i was younger we would go to Grandmas and open the “family” presents on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas morning it was opening time for me, mom and daddy-0. 

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? currently it is silver and navy blue with a few other random ornaments added in for flair.

nice stacking job on the presents huh?

11. Snow? Love it or dread it? love the look of it, dread driving in it, especially here with all the hills!

12. Real or fake tree? FAKE FAKE FAKE all the way! hate cleaning up pine needles. I can get the “smell” from a candle. 

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? of all time? that is a big question. But I have an answer….an engagement ring. BOOM. How you like those apples?

bling bling

14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you? well now, this question should really be the FIRST question…not sure why it is down here near the middle. Christ was born! Everything changed on that day and we should always remember that…best gift we could ever get. 

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? pecan pie!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? don’t think I have one…I will have to do some research and come up with a good one for going forward. 

17. What tops your tree? right now? probably some dust

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? giving for sure. I feel embarrassed sometimes getting gifts, like I can never fully express the gratitude or thankfulness that I really feel about it. weird. 

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night. makes me cry every time i hear “fall on your knees, o hear the angel voices, o night divine, oooooohhh night, when Christ was born” 

20. Candy canes, yuck or yum? gross

21. Favorite Christmas movie? Home Alone

22. What do you leave for Santa? three loud barking dogs? 

23. Do you have a favorite Christmas morning tradition? opening presents? isn’t this everyone’s?  

24. Do you prefer to shop online or in the mall? i like online, but I also just like to buy things for people as I see stuff in the store that they will love. Who cares if its in July? I can save it for a few months for them. 

25. Christmas letter or Christmas cards? I’ve always wanted to do a letter, but never get around to it, so cards all the way for me.

Friday Favorites 12/23

Favorite workout: The one I did today where I ran TWO WHOLE MILES in a row without walking. Never done that before and can’t wait to do it again!

Favorite Christmas gift I got in the mail and had to open right away:


I think they put crack in it. Seriously. I have been having withdrawals for four years since I moved away from Albuquerque. Thank you so much Amanda!!  (note…we did NOT put this on the tacos we made that night, although now that I am saying that, it sounds kind of good….)

Favorite Sermon: Gospel Centered Worship

John 4:6

Three barriers to worship
1) Digging in the wrong wells- making “stuff”, money, comfort, relationships, sex, respect and success our gods instead of going to Him, the eternally satisfying well
2)Unconfessed, unrepentant sin in your life
“Why is this such a big deal?  Because you were created to worship and without worshiping Jesus, you will be worshiping something, but whatever that something is will not be able to hold up under the weight of your expectations of it.  So to repent and confess is to violently pursue our own joy and the glory of God”
3) Ignorance- you can’t worship what you don’t know
” So what has happened is we’ve been allowed to create in our own minds our version of Jesus that we worship.  And worship always suffers when man is exalted and God is belittled.  Worship explodes from this reality: you are a rebellious, wicked, sinner and God has loved you in Christ.  There are no secrets from Him, and yet still He pursued and saved you.”

Favorite email this week from an employee:
This is regarding my vacation which I am planning to take from 9th January- 27th January, 2012 (15 working days) since something urgent came up at home. Its my younger sister’s marriage and I need to attend it. 

Favorite type of Christmas cookie:

someone needs to send me some of these too!!

Favorite Christmas Carol

O Holy Night

Favorite pic of the dogs:

I call this "face off for the toy until we fall asleep"

Favorite present wrapped by my husband:

I like to call it the present that satisfies our diversity initiative, but really I guess its just efficient. He used up every last bit of scrap paper that we had! I wonder to the lucky recipient will be???

Favorite color I have seen on a SMART car:

beep beep

it was like a lime-ish color. Never seen anything like that before on a SMART. Mom, you should look into this for yours! Very stylish.

and last but not least…

Favorite thing I saw when I went for my first run outside since I have been training again: 

it was breathtaking!

You can’t see it really well in the pic, but that is Mt. Rainier back there. So beautiful. How can you not love living here when you see this randomly on a cold winter morning?

Fake snow and Fro-Yo!

We decided to head out into the busy streets of Bellevue this evening to fight the crowds and see some fake snow. No better to kick off the holiday season right?

We made our way to Snowflake lane in downtown Bellevue.

Didn’t snap any photos of the lane itself while we were there so I stole the ones from the website to give you a general idea of what it looks like.

Its a fun drum line and then they “make it snow”. I would prefer if they would “make it rain” instead b/c I’m sure that would cause much more of a stir especially with all the last minute shopping going on.

Then we headed inside to warm up and get some fro- yo.

I didn't get a pic of the kids and Pauls. 🙂

J/K, these were for all of us. Mine is the one that is obviously the healthiest one. 10 points if you can guess which one it is.

Paul was kind of exhausted from spending all day with the kiddos while I was busy bringing home the bacon, but I assured him that after fro-yo the kids would just calm down and go right to sleep.

In other news…its been a great workout week so far. Here’s where we are at so far:

Sunday- strength train
Monday- ran total of 23 min, total workout 35 min
Tuesday- strength train
Wednesday- 30 min elliptical
Thursday- rest
Friday- Run workout 3 miles (plan)
Saturday – 45 min elliptical (plan)

Danskin Tri 2010- Seattle

In the summer of 2009, my friend Darby was doing a triathlon. I thought this was ridiculously cool. I had never given much thought to triathlons…like I knew what they were but had never really stopped to THINK about them you know? Darbs had just had a baby and she wanted to challenge herself and get back into shape after baby by doing a tri. She asked if I wanted to come  and I was absolutely on board to come and see what all this triathlon-ing was all about. At that time, I was gearing up and training to do the Susan G. Komen 60 mile walk the following month, so I was in a “lets do something we never thought we would do” kind of mood.

I was NOT prepared for what was going to happen.

Not only was it so incredibly exciting to see my friend compete in this race and cheer her on, but I was moved and inspired by the thousands of women of all sizes and shapes and ages doing this awesome athletic thing. I am pretty sure I cried at least 20 10 times. I had no idea this was what this was all about. I’m sure most of these ladies used to think “ME? no, no, I could never do something like that”. Well today all these ladies are doing that exact thing that they thought they could never do.

Amazing. I HAD to get in on it.

I decided that day that I would be doing the triathlon the next year. Only one huge small problem, I didn’t know how to ride a bike. But it’s not like that is going to stop me. No way. I had to do it.

Me and Darby after she finished rocking her 2009 Danskin Tri

A year later, I was there. In the water. Ready.


Standing knee deep in the water at close to 8am, wetsuit, swim cap and goggles on waiting to begin something I never in a million years I thought I would EVER do until about a year ago, I was surprised to find that I wasn’t nervous. Not one tiny bit. It was a strange sensation.  I had been waiting for the nervousness to hit me all morning. I am almost always nervous in a situation such as this. Brand new experience, physically challenging and the “unknown” looming before me. That awful swirling of uneasiness in my stomach settling in even though everything in my head says “this won’t be that bad.” Your body never lies to you like your head does. But I wasn’t feeling that right now. I was feeling nothing but calm, and anticipation. Like “C’mon lets get on with it already!”

A lady up on the pier above us was sprouting off some encouraging words into a microphone but I couldn’t hear anything she was saying. I was looking for my friend Peggy because she was in my same “wave” of green-capped swimmers, but even in the group of 40 or so of us that were there in the water waiting to take off, I could NOT find her. I told myself, “This is all you. You are the only one responsible for being here and completing this race to the best of your ability.” Right about then the countdown began and then 5,4,3,2,1 in the water we went.

It felt good to get in the water actually because it was already pretty warm for 8 in the morning which is atypical for Seattle. Of course this had to be the hottest weekend of the summer. But being the eternal optimist that I am, at least it wasn’t raining. That would have been way worse.

So here I am breast-stroking my way to buoy #1. The water was pretty choppy up until that first buoy. I heard later that there were some curious jet-skiers near by causing all the ruckus. All along the way there were volunteers on kayaks, canoes and paddleboards encouraging the swimmers and offering a break if anyone needed one. I thought for sure I would need to hang on one of them at some point but ended up not needing to at all. The swim was actually much more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It was the leg that I was dreading the most, but with the buoyancy of the wetsuit and the fact that I had done a lot of training in the pool and lake, I felt like I could have gone on and done another round of the swim.

Some of the next wave of yellow-capped swimmers and even the group after them- the blue-capped swimmers passed me, but I didn’t even mind. I was having a great time. Even though the breast-stroke is slower, you can see where you are going and you don’t get quite as winded, so I just caught a rhythm and was just rockin it out there. I only got kicked once but kicked a lot of other people. Not sure why exactly. I think some ladies just came up behind me and didn’t see me, so blammo! they got some Cinnamon-leg action.

The last leg of the swim was much better b/c it was headed back towards shore and the sun was no longer in my eyes. I could see those yellow buoys and couldn’t get to them fast enough. By that time I was ready to see what the rest of this race had to offer. A nice volunteer helped me out of the water, told me what a great job I was doing and off I ran to the transition area.

This is where I spotted my faithful spectators, Lisa, Ryan and Pat. They had three awesome signs for me and yelled their heads off and I found myself laughing and smiling as I made my way to my station to get on my bike.


I peeled off my wetsuit and dried myself as best I could and got my shirt with bib # on it and off with the swim cap and on went my bandana that I wear under my helmet. Downed a Vitamin water and slathered on some lip chap. Had some small chit chat with the ladies around me. I got my helmet and shoes on and was pumped for the leg that I was most excited for. A year ago at this time I couldn’t even ride a bike and now I have totally fallen in love with it. Couldn’t wait to jump on. Had to run the bike out of the transition area before mounting. This is where I saw my faithful spectators again yelling for me, but in an instant I was off!

The ride was absolutely beautiful. All along Lake Washington Blvd so there was a view of the water the whole way. I actually passed people which is something I’m not used to so that was kind of fun. =) When we got up to the super steep hill I walked up because although I’m getting better I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it without causing some sort of crazy accident so I decided not to chance it. Took like a minute to walk up and back on the bike and off I went down onto I-90. Coasted up to 24-25 miles an hour a few times and loved that, but there were plenty of hills that I wasn’t really expecting either that slowed me way down. But I kept on keeping on and did all of them without stopping. I even saw some ladies walking up a couple of them so I felt pretty accomplished. Darby sped past me at one point going the opposite way and yelled out to me but I barely saw her because she was so fast. At another point I saw a lady in a full-on motorcycle helmet!! I had to double take that one! No idea why she had that on, must have been crazy hot.

My quads were starting to feel the hills on the way back, but I knew that I was over halfway through the bike and pretty much halfway through the whole race so it was all “downhill” from there. Feeling good. Wanted to go so much faster than I was going and seeing all the ladies on their road bikes made me want to get one all the more. I’m sure it won’t be much longer until I am joining that club and zipping along as fast as I want to!

I was super thirsty at this point and don’t have a place for a water bottle on my bike so I was ready to be back by this point. I dismounted and off to my station for transition #2.


I was still feeling really good at this point although it was getting pretty hot. I didn’t do a lot of run training in the heat b/c well…it’s not all that hot very often in Seattle. Regardless, I knew this was the end and I was ready to rock it. Chugged some water, reapplied the lip chap, got my Saucony’s on, threw on a hat and I was off. Saw my spectators again as I turned the corner and they screamed for me again. They are so good.

The run was tough for me. I usually do a walk/run combo but I felt like I walked more this time than I usually do. The heat was getting to me I think. And I needed water. There were plenty of water stations but it didn’t seem like it at the time. The run was pretty as well, down the other way of Lake Washington blvd by the water towards Seward park. It was great to see all of the ladies of all shapes and sizes and ages as they carried on, completing this amazing goal. I had my music on and just tried to enjoy the experience even though I wasn’t finishing as strong as I would have liked.

Right near the end there is this hugemongous hill. Climbed up that and told myself that I just had to run that last little bit and then I was DONE! That was enough motivation for me. Kept on until the end and rounded the corner and saw Darby and Garrick yelling for me with a camera so I threw up some deuces and a “yeah that’s right, I’m the bomb” face then I blasted to the actual finish line at full stride. My other faithful spectators were on the other side yelling for me and unfortunately I didn’t see them, but they got a good pic of me right at the end at full speed.

A lady gave me a medal and another guy took off my timing chip and I tried to catch my breath.

I was done.

A year ago I was here cheering on my friend Darby and was so inspired by the dedication and spirit of these ladies that I made the decision that I had to be a part of it and here I was. A finisher.

I had never run for more than 1 or 2 minutes before last October. I took swimming lessons as a child, but hadn’t ever done any lap swimming or distance swimming before this past February and of course hadn’t ridden a bike in well, ever. And now here I was finishing all three in a pretty decent time. Could not feel more accomplished and inspired that you really can do whatever you set out to do. It just takes some determination, setting small goals and of course encouragement by those who love and care for you.

Finishing strong!!

MR- The Decendants

The Descendants staring George Clooney reminded me a lot of other indie type sleeper films that are really good but just don’t connect with mass movie-goer population. Great character pieces that touch a little to close to home.  I’ve heard that George might be up for Oscar with this one and I wouldn’t be surprised at all of that is the case. He was excellent. A pretty far cry from his usual charmer debonair roles that he is so well known for.

I was also impressed with the actress that plays his daughter, Shailene Woodley. I haven’t seen her before, but I guess she has been in quite a few TV shows. She stood her ground next to Clooney and was interestingly refreshing which is surprising since she is the only one in this movie who couldn’t stop cussing. It wasn’t excessive, just a little uncomfortable since most of it was in the presence of her impressionable 10 year old sister.

The story revolves around a husband whose somewhat estranged wife ends up in the hospital. Now the “back up” parent has to deal with two daughters who he clearly has no idea what to do with. He then finds out some shocking news while he is still dealing with the uncertainty of his wife’s prognosis. There is a side story concerning some family business dealings which I found to be somewhat unnecessary but I understand how and why they fit it into the story.

The real star of this movie is its location, Hawaii. The “real” aspects of Hawaii are showcased, glamorous or not…mostly not. The cinematography is really quite breathtaking and you really get a sense of Hawaii and what it is all about. Not a common location for movies, but it fit in beautifully with this story and I can’t imagine the movie taking place anywhere else.

Overall, most people who appreciate movies for character development and who aren’t afraid of emotion and seeing stuff that’s hard to watch will like this movie. If you are more interested in escaping and being strictly entertained, you may find this boring or simply uninteresting.

Overall Rating- Large popcorn, medium drink

Friday Favorites 12/16/11

Ok Ok I know its Saturday, but I had a little bit of this going on in my house last night….so not a lot of time to make sure this went out on time.

This is what birthday parties for 13 year old boys look like apparently?

Favorite thing I ate this week:

CC SBerries

These were probably the best chocolate covered strawberries I have ever had in my whole life. They had coconut covered ones too but we all know how I feel about coconut.

Its the consistency not the flavor. Don’t hate.

Favorite thing I heard said this week:
Kyle to Paul: “Your armpit smells really good”.

He does wear Axe, so I must admit, they do smell pretty good most of the time. Idk what it is about that stuff but the commercials don’t lie.

Favorite thing I bought myself this week: 

Thank you Etsy! 

Favorite thing I got out of a sermon I listened to this week:
Being a Christian means behavior modification, but behavior modification does not indicate true, genuine Christianity

Favorite thing I saw this week:

it was like it was on fi..ya

Favorite blogger of the week:

Monica over at Run, Eat, Repeat. 
Love her posts and sense of humor!

Favorite thing I saw on Pinterest this week:

you have the tune in your head now don't you?

Favorite pic of one of my million dogs from this week: 

doesn't it look like she is wearing a giant hat? She does have a British accent when she barks...

Favorite annoying corporate term of the week:

“resetting expectations”

and last but not least…

Favorite thing I scored from a work meeting this week:

There were these awesome salted chocolate caramels in there…not anymore!

What were some of your favorites from this week?