Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Recap - Flowers, Frisbee, and Showers

It's been a fairly easy going weekend this go around!

Brandon arrived home from work just as I was pulling up and he parked in his car port and then snuck around the side of the house, hiding something behind his back as he peeked at me gathering my stuff from my car to come in. What was he hiding? These. Almost three days later and they're still beautiful.


Brandon and I went and explored the Gorge near his house after dinner at Costa Vida with his roomies. There are two parts to that gorge, the park, and the dog park. We went on a walk through the dog park - and it was really cool! Aside from being surprisingly beautiful and well kept, there were tons of people there walking their dogs. So many people! So many dogs! After a long cold winter where most people stayed in doors as much as they could, it was surprisingly pleasant to see all the activity in the outdoors. And the dogs were pretty fun to watch. It's amazing how far they'll go to retrieve a stick....

Saturday morning we finally got some Ultimate Frisbee in. Playing with a new group, most of what I ended up doing was just running around the field defending and distracting players. I didn't get a lot of actual time with the frisbee, and while I still had a good time and felt like I was effective as a team player, I'll have to work on uping my frisbee time. ;)

On Thursday evening I got a message from one of my friends growing up (I've known her since 3rd grade when we moved to Indiana) inviting me to her baby shower that Saturday if I was in the area. So that was my surprise treat for Saturday, getting to see her, her sister, and her mom! So fun. :)

In the evening, after missing that last two Saturday West Coast Swing, we finally made it out to dance. And got bumped up to the level three class (there are three classes and we went to level one the first time and have been attending level two until this last time)! It was all focused on technique  Really good for us but somewhat intimidating!

And then yesterday, Sunday, we relaxed at the house after church and took things easy. We stole away to get some fresh air just before sunset and threw a frisbee around in the park until our bare feet were numb from the cold ground (the air was warm but the ground, not so much!). We drove back to Brandon's with all the windows down and the sunroof down as well and everything just felt very fresh and rejuvenating. It's nice to have the winter past us.


Friday, April 26, 2013

The End of Physics.

Oh, hey! Sorry I've missed a few days. Things have been crazy 'round here!

Let's see. Wednesday's highlight was the completion of my final for my Physics class. Hours upon hours upon hours of studying and I did ok. Not awesome, but ok. But more than anything, I'm just so happy to be done.

The highlight for yesterday was finishing up a busy day at work and having absolutely nothing on my plate for the evening. A first in a long time. I had options for things I could do, but I just ended up Skyping with my sister and chatting with a friend until I went to bed. It felt so good to just relax.

Today is very quiet in the office! I think Brandon and I are going to explore a gorge near his house this evening and maybe do a little geocaching there before or after grabbing dinner. Should be fun!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday...any highlights?

Today looks to be another pretty average day. Work. Study. Pretty straight forward.

I've got my books sitting on my desk ready to fill my empty moments. Thus far...I'm not sure what today's highlight will be. I know what tomorrow's highlight will be, but today is still a mystery. :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Good morning, Monday!

Hello!

Highlight from yesterday: Macaroni and Cheese for dinner. Nothing special, but there's something wonderfully comfortable about simple mac 'n cheese. And Cinnamon Rolls for dessert!

Anti-highlight: I was supposed to skype with my sister yesterday evening but between Brandon not feeling well and me doing everything I could to make him feel better, I completely, 100% spaced. And unusual of unusual, I didn't have my phone out by me to notify me when she sent me a message to see if I was ready to skype. Sometime I need to coordinate these things better...because that's exactly the kind of forgetfulness that I was venting about on Thursday! No good! I still feel pretty terrible about it....

Things are pretty quiet here at the office with most of our people out hosting a huge group we've got going on a cruise. We're down to four here and we'll only have two on Friday! Craziness! I was feeling fairly crummy last night and this morning but I didn't want to leave the office even more understaffed and I knew I'd be more productive here at the office during my down time. Which is important as my final for physics is coming up quickly! And with a little herbal tea, a warm corn bag, and something to occupy my time and thoughts, I already feel quite a bit better. :)



Let's see...today looks to be pretty uneventful. Work, study, work, study, home, study. Soccer game, study? We'll see. :) I feel about 95% recovered from the half so as soon as I finish this final, I'll get back to running. Running takes a fair amount of time, but when you have time for it, it really can be fun.

So...I'm thinking, post-half-marathon, that I'm mentally ready, and fairly close physically, to run a marathon. I was looking at a list of marathons in Utah last Friday and I found one that is coming up on September 14th this year. It is entirely downhill with a 5000 ft drop in total over 26.2 miles. It's probably the easiest marathon out there (though fairly hard on your joints), but still meets all the qualifications as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. I'm not planning on running the Boston Marathon, but it at least gives some weight to the quality of this marathon. It's a bit of a distance out as far as time is concerned, but hopefully nothing will get in the way of it happening. I might sign up today!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Saturday, complete!

I'm home! In my bed! And it feels good to be here.

But how was my Saturday? Fantastic. :)

Let's see. It started at the ripe hour of 5:00 in the morning when I got up to force down an English muffin with peanut butter (few things taste appetizing at that time in the morning). Yuck. I was going to eat a banana too, but it was so rough going with the English muffin that I just didn't even bother with the banana. Also, did I mention that it was raining pretty heavily outside? Not pouring, but close.

At 6:15 Brandon, sweet man that he is, drove and dropped me off near the race start at the University of Utah. I met Amy and the others there and we hopped around trying to keep warm in the rain (slightly less drizzly at this point), basking in the warmth of a light exhaust pipe (healthy - I know) (Also - random tangent - as I waited for Amy, I took a picture for two random women and as I was handing their cameras back, one of the official camera guys came along and told us (the three of us) to get together for a picture. Spontaneously we did, so somewhere out there is a random picture of me with three random women!). 7:00 drew near remarkably quickly and we got into the middle of the start pack, closer to the front of the crowd. I ended up not listening to anything at all during the run until that last minute or so, though I had my ear buds in the entire time...

And we were off! Three miles passed in a blur (I texted Brandon every mile to give him a good idea of where we were and what our pace was, along with taking a picture every mile until the rain was bad enough that I no longer wanted to) and who did we find waiting charmingly for us at there, near his house? Brandon! :) A few pictures, gloves for Amy, and we took off again. Around the five mile mark in Sugar House park we ran into Justin and Lindsey waiting for us and took a few more pictures before heading out for the bulk of the run. Around seven miles in, I decided that I needed to use the restroom and ran ahead of Amy to the next porta-potty row and got in line. A long slow line. She reached me well before I was even remotely close to front of the line and I quickly ran ahead again to the next restrooms. Long line again! Three times a charm, on the third attempt I was able to find a restroom line that was quick and made it out before Amy had been cooling her heels for more than a minute or two.

Running!

Ten miles, eleven miles, at this point my hands, which were covered in some light gloves, started to no longer be managing the soaked cloth against them very well. For that matter, the rest of me wasn't really thrilled at the soaked state of my apparel, but everything but my hands seemed to be managing. The last mile marker was at twelve miles and then suddenly we were in Liberty Park and the finish line was right in front of us! I barely had time to press play on my sprinting song (Session by Linkin Park) and sprint away the last hundred yards or so to the finish line! Crazy!

Once across the finish line, I scanned around for Brandon, returned to the start line to see Amy cross and found him there near Justin and Lindsey (a coincidence as they hadn't been standing with each other but had only just happened into one another). Amy, Justin, and Lindsey disappeared at that point (Amy had seen a friend she knew and they'd gone over to say hello) and Brandon helped me to remove the outside drenched shirt layer before whipping out a soft blue blanket to bundle me and, after a moment of not being able to find Amy in the crowd, lead me back to his car so we could head back to his house. I was doing alright, but most of me was numb and my hands were particularly frozen.

Sitting in the car was wonderful! Dry and warming up! But the best was yet to come as I quickly got into a hot bath once back at his place. There's nothing quite like a bath to really warm you up. We dashed over to Over the Counter Cafe for a quick victory breakfast with Dallin and Grant before I again rushed off to my massage appointment. It had been awhile since my last proper massage and between that gap in time and my slightly aching body from the run, the massage was incredible.

Late breakfast conversations. 

And the fun didn't stop there! At Brandon's again, we lounged for about an hour before heading to the Krishna Temple in Salt Lake where they were having their Festival of Colors. We arrived just in time for a throwing of colors and enjoyed the festivities a bit more before heading home.

Most awesome photo bomb. :)

Cleaned up a second time, we opted to pass on West Coast for the evening  (which ended up being a very good call - both of us were tired and either slightly sick (Brandon) or achy and sore (me). It's definitely more fun to dance when we feel well and energized!) and ended up just relaxing and taking things easy.

I've only posted a handful of photos from the day! If you'd like to see more of them, they're mostly posted on facebook. :)

Long but fun day!





Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday! The weekend is here!

Ultimate Frisbee flopped yesterday. I drove to the park where it was supposed to be happening and drove around several times, waited about twenty minutes, drove around again and then left. I didn't see a single group of people playing Ultimate Frisbee. I was not a happy camper.

I very much appreciate communication. In no way am I perfect at making it happen, but I appreciate how easy it is to facilitate it. And thus, I was extremely frustrated that I'd driven all the way up to play on the word of someone who appeared to know what they were talking about, only to find no one there and nothing happening. If it had been a five minute drive, it might have been nothing to me, but as it was a twenty minute drive on way and I waited for over forty minutes, I was angry. If I've ever done anything like this to any of you, I'm really sorry. If I'm ever not going to make it to something that I said I'd be at, as soon as I know, I'll let you know.

Anyway...tonight we're going to the Expo for the Half Marathon tomorrow and then out to dinner. Should be fun! At the moment I'm trying to figure out what exactly I'll need for today and tomorrow since I won't be home until Saturday evening. You'd think it'd be easy, but there is so much happening tomorrow! Run, massage, Festival of Colors, maybe West Coast? Good things ahead!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday...Ultimate Frisbee?

Today is the first Thursday where I won't have my physics lecture.

:)


To celebrate the freedom and opportunity to do something else, I'm planning on heading out to play Ultimate Frisbee tonight. It's been far too long since I last played.

Those things aside, today is pretty run of the mill.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday Nails!

Highlight from yesterday, last lab! And going to Topher's basketball tournament game with Cami. I'm not usually one to watch Basketball, but it was fun to have Cami explain and narrate the game for me.

Today's highlight, thus far, has come in the form of a pedicure. My office treated all of us to pedicures this morning in place of our usual Wednesday morning meeting. :) No complaints there! It was both very nice to have my feet pampered and quite amusing to watch some of the men in our office squirm with ticklish feet.


Work meeting!
New corn bag!

Ticklish feet!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Weekend plans! Getting excited!

I've been looking over the plans for this weekend today and I have to admit that I'm pretty excited! This Friday I'm going to the Salt Lake City Marathon Expo with several friends and then out to dinner at Tuccis Cucina Italiana (pre-race dinner!). Then Saturday morning early early at 7:00 the Half-Marathon starts, followed by a massage at noon, followed by adventures with Brandon at the Salt Lake City Hari Krishna Festival of Colors, followed by West Coast Swing Dance in the evening if we have any energy left. Which we may not. ;)

And it's my nephew Felix's birthday on Saturday. :)

And somewhere in all of that, I'll also be studying for my Physics final exam. Good stuff. :) I'm sure you'll hear more about all of it as the week progresses.

A Cream of Wheat Morning - Warm and Delicious!

Good morning! And a happy Tuesday to you too.

Yesterday was quite bizarre as far as weather was concerned. As I mentioned, I left to a thin layer of snow everywhere and as the morning went by it continued to seem fairly miserable outside, snow gently falling and the temperature remaining pretty low. However, as the afternoon wore on, the sun came out and the temperature went up and the weather turned into something resembling perfect running weather. So I was able to change into my running home, rush home to drop off my car, and run my way the six miles to Brandon's soccer game. :)

Which was rather heated, by the way! The goalie on the opposing team was like an ox bulldozing through players, fouling them all over the place and to match that we had a rather feisty player on our team who wasn't willing to just take it. Long story short, the game ended two minutes early with at least two red cards pulled on our side. There was definitely a moment when I worried there would be a fight, particularly when the bully goalie had our feisty man in a headlock. Who does that? There is absolutely no excuse for doing something like that at a soccer game! But everything wrapped up pretty quick.

And we left to one the more unhealthy dinners I've had in awhile - hot chocolate, virgin strawberry daiquiri, deep fried cheese cake, and fish and chips. :) Hopefully I'll be able to attack healthier foods today...like the cream of what I had for breakfast...

Today looks to be quite....productive. After work I head down to my final final lab (make-up for one I missed) and then running with Cami. :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday...snow?

Good morning! It's freezing outside and there's a frost of snow everywhere? What's with this? Doesn't the weather know it's the middle of April?

Let's see...highlights from this weekend!

We weren't able to find a dubbed version of From Up on Poppy Hill (lots of subbed versions available online) so we're still waiting on that, but we were able to struggle through making a new corn bag. I say struggle because, for whatever reason, my sewing machine is being very troublesome. I probably ought to just take it in and have it maintenanced but I feel like the trouble is probably just resulting from something insignificant I'm doing wrong. As it is, the rest of that project is currently on hold, but I do think the one corn bad we finished turned out rather nice. We put crushed cinnamon sticks and cloves in with the corn and the resulting scent is very nice.

Saturday's highlight was a fantastic hike to the peak of Antelope Island just north of Salt Lake City. There was a bit of a question as to whether we'd go as the weather was kind of murky and overcast, but we ended going with it and it was wonderful! Beautiful weather for hiking, very pretty island (didn't really feel like Utah!) and a fairly rigorous three and a half miles to the top. Oddly, though I was tired and breathing hard as we went up, muscularly, I felt fine, but on the way down my hips started to hurt...My hips have frequently been the achy part of me post-run, so I've become quite used to stretching them, but the ache that has resulted from the hike has been very resilient and pesky. Two mornings out from that hike, I still hurt a little, though it is starting to properly fade now. We were pretty exhausted so we decided to opt out of West Coast Swing, an oddity for us as we usually attend quite consistently. But a nice relaxing evening complete with some warm pho (did I mention that the temperature dropped steadily as soon as we started down the mountain?) ended up being perfect.




Up at the top of Antelope Island!
Cool framing of a far hill from a rock passage.


Out hike from the parking lot afterward!

Yesterday! Highlights included making dinner in the evening. I made some bread in my bread machine (first time in this machine) and it turned out fine, but there were a few oddities to it. I was using a recipe from online that had me put the yeast in and let it sit for a little while and then add the rest of the ingredients and press go, putting the cook time at three hours, but my machine has a little yeast dispenser (which I didn't end up using) as well as taking four hours instead of three. So, I'm not certain the bread turned out exactly as expected, but it was good enough. Along with the bread we made Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken and Roasted Broccoli with Grated Asiago (meant to be Manchego but we couldn't find that at the grocery store). When you use a recipe, all the flaws in its construction come out rather glaringly. With the chicken, it wasn't clear whether we were supposed to use a pan or a dish (we went with a dish) and it wasn't clear exactly what we were supposed to do with olive oil, so I ended up putting almost three tablespoons in a pan when we fried the garlic, which was way too much. So, here's the recipe again:



Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken


Ingredients
  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsps brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tsps olive oil
Directions
  • Set the oven to 500 degrees.
  • Grease 9x13 casserole dish using 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Fry garlic with oil (1 tablespoon) until it becomes soft.
  • In a small bowl, combine garlic with brown sugar.
  • Put the chicken in dish for baking (sprinkle a little of garlic/brown sugar in pan before putting in chicken).
  • Put the garlic/brown sugar on the chicken.
  • Season with salt and/or pepper as you like.
  • Bake without cover for approx 20 mins.
Also, when we put the chicken in, the oven wasn't quite at 500 degrees and we simultaneously put in the vegetables, perhaps the cause of why the garlic/brown sugar didn't caramelize in the same way as the original picture. But the chicken was delicious!

As for the roasted broccoli, we took it out after ten minute to stir it but as it had started to burn a little (since the oven was at 500 degrees instead of 475) but we tried it, found it to be soft enough, and decided it was done.



Roasted Broccoli with Grated Asiago 
Ingredients
- 1 large head broccoli
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- Coarse salt
-1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
-1 ounce Manchego (or Asiago) cheese, finely grated (1/3 cup)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim 1 inch from end of broccoli stalks (and inch below where floret stalks diverge from main stalk). Cut off florets, and separate into large pieces. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, peel the outer layer of stalks; thinly slice crosswise (Essentially, you can eat as much of the stalk as you want, just make sure it is sliced into bite size pieces.)
  • Combine broccoli (both stalks and florets), garlic, oil, and red-pepper flakes in a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Roast until broccoli is crisp-tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom and tossing broccoli once halfway through.
  • Remove from oven. Sprinkle broccoli with lemon juice; toss to coat. Serve, topped with Manchego.
This evening I'm planning on running down to Brandon's soccer game again (about six miles). His game starts around 6:35 which means I'll need to leave my place on foot no later than 5:30. And that's pushing my luck a little. And on top of that, it will probably be pretty chilly outside. But who knows! It could end up being perfect. :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday! It's here!

Let's see highlight for the day....well, it is Friday, so that's a definite highlight, plus I've pretty much finished putting up and labeling most of over 500 family photos and documents to Facebook that I scanned over two years ago. I'm not really sure what my plan of action was with them before, but I feel like I've finally done something with them...

Other pluses include that tonight Brandon and I are going to try making some new corn bags (finally). I got my sewing machine out, plus the fabric, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and corn and now I just have to hope that my sewing machine doesn't give us too much grief...and I suppose I should check to make sure I have thread in the correct colors... along with that, I think we're going to have pizza and popcorn, and attempt to watch From Up on Poppy Hill.

Interesting note from Facebook. I have a friend who declared that she was going to delete her account on Facebook, and act which I respect and understand, but something I will never do. Why not? Because I have posted thousands of photos to facebook and if I deactivate my account, whisked away along with me are my photos. Granted, they instantly reappear if I get back on, but to some extent, Facebook is my method of visually staying in contact with my family when I can't be with them face to face. Thus, photos.

Lastly, the most fantastic highlight of my day was reading a story my grandmother wrote down from years ago. Here it is:

Grandma Gini and The Quail 
One afternoon Grandma Gini was sitting at her dining table writing letters. Grandpa had flown his plane to Wenatchee to have some maintenance work done. Grandma was half listening for the airplane to return as she wrote. 
After awhile, from a distance, she did hear a plane. It didn't quite sound like Grandpa's, but, she thought, "Ill just go outside and look" - The planes fly right over the house to go to the local airport.

So, she opened the foor to step out on the porch. As she did so, a shrub beside the porch exploded - or so it seemed - with a covet of quail. With whirring wings and startled calls, they flew to a fir tree a short distance away.

Needless to say, Grandma was startled too! She almost forgot to look at the plane - which wasn't Grandpa's.

Grandma went back inside. As she started to close the door, she noticed a little quail on the floor by the door. It had flown the wrong direction and come through the open door.
"Oh dear," thought Grandma. "Now what shall I do." She didn't want to hurt the little bird and she knew it would be scared. 
So she got a broom. She said - to herself - and the bird - "Maybe if I scoot it with the broom it will fly out the open door." 
Well - quail don't like to be out in the open when tehy think they're in danger - so the little quail didn't want to go out in the open - it wanted to hide. Instead of flying out the door, it flew across the room and found a place that was dark and hidden - behind the piano! 
Grandma didn't think that was a very good hiding place - she thought, "Oh my NOW how am I going to get that quail out!" The piano is too heavy to move and is difficult to get behind it. So - she stood on the piano bench. Turned the piano light so it shone behind the piano - and spied the poor little bird. She leaned over and stuck the broom handle behind the piano and gently shoved the little quail to the corner and around the side. As it got out in the open it flew off. Do you think it went out the door? No! It flew across the room to the top of the mini-blinds on the window. As Grandma crossed the room with the broom upraised, the quail flew down behind the sofa.
So - Grandma thought, "That isn't a very good place to hide." She put down the broom and moved a rocking chair. Then she moved an end table so she could move the sofa. As she pushed the sofa out into the room, the frightened little quail felt it's hiding place being found and took off again. Not out the open door, no, but across the room to the wall unit, and behind the radio amplifier on a shelf.Now Grandma was becoming quite frustrated. She was afraid to leave it there - since it was such a strange place the quail might not come out - and might die!
So - she carefully moved the amplifier, and reached behind it - into the tangle of stereo wires. She could feel the little feathered body as it crept farther back into the corner. Every time she got it out a little it would scurry back into the corner. She finally turned the amplifier sideways (and pulled out some wire connections) - and scooted it out along the side of the amplifier. The little quail saw light - and took off. 
Did it fly out the door? No. It flew back behind the sofa again.
So - Grandma moved the sofa some more - the little quail looked at grandma - it was so afraid - and Grandma said, "I won't hurt you. Please fly outside." But that didn't look like safety to the little quail, so it flew off across the room again, to a shelf of the wall units, behind a big copper pitcher. 
Grandma looked at it and thought, "Maybe I can capture it here." So she went into the kitchen and got a big colander. The little quail crouched in the corner. Grandma slowly moved the big pitcher and at the same time put the colander down over the quail. Then she got a big flat book from another shelf and held it against the shelf where the quail was. Grandma very carefully and slowly moved the colander with the little quail under it over onto the book. Then, holding it very carefully, she walked across the room and out the door, pulling it shut as she went. She walked down the steps and carefully laid the book on the grass. Then she moved the colander. The poor little quail huddled on the book - still trying to hide. Grandma said, "Go! Go! Fly away to your family." It sat there a few seconds - then flew off to the fir tree. 
"Thank goodness," thought Grandma, "I hope it found its family." 
She went back into the house, and had a cup of tea. It had been an exciting and worrisome afternoon. 
Just then, she heard another plane coming over. She opened the door very carefully, went outside, and closed the door (quickly!). It was Grandpa, flying over the house, on his way home.

See? Isn't that wonderful?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Happy Thursday!

Yesterday was my 2.5 year older brother's birthday. :) He laughed at me when I verified how old he is, since I should be able to remember the constant ratio between our ages. I'd say that could be considered a highlight of the day...other highlights might have included my last formal lab for Physics (I have one more I'll need to do since I missed one a few weeks ago), running with Cami/Topher and eating Cami's delicious Zero Soup (still not sure I understand that name)...

An up and coming highlight of today is that I have my last physics lecture today! The next week+ will have to be filled with reading and studying for my final, but I'm so glad it is almost over.

I've also decided that I need to waste less of my time, or at least have more to show for my wasted time. I've got a number of very worthwhile projects that I'd like to do (tons of photos and videos that have no home....) as well as some fun projects that are just waiting for me (a.k.a. the thirty pounds (or something like that) of feed corn, fabric, cinnamon sticks, and cloves I bought to make more heat-able corn bags). I'm certain I waste far too much time on other frivolous and unfruitful pursuits....I've got time to do something more interesting. So there it is!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday, what have you got for me?

Recap from yesterday's run:

I grossly underestimated the weather. True, my best and favorite runs have been when it has been lightly sprinkling, but I neglected to consider a couple of other factors from yesterday's weather before going out for my run. Notably, the fact that it was more raining than sprinkling, the temperature was 40 to 43 degrees, and the wind was brutal.

Point and fact, today:


High Wind Warning in Utah





Exactly. And did I mention that it is now 31 degrees?

With a tiny bit of foresight,  rather than simply heading out in my capris and t-shirt as originally planned, I opted for my longer running leggings, my t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a hoodie, a warm head band, and gloves. 

At first, when I set out, I was worried the hoodie might have been overkill. I was a little overly warm. But as I settled into the run, I became more and more thankful for the hoodie for simply keeping the dampest layer a little farther removed from my skin than it would otherwise be.

I ran South and then East for the first four and a half miles and the run wasn't bad. I'd altered my path a little to avoid the worst of the hills, so I didn't quite make it to the five mile mark before I turned around. And when I did turn around, I was very thankful for this fact because, where I had sort of thought the wind was blowing at me from my side on the way down, it turns out that it was pretty much at my back. Headed on the return, the wind and rain were blowing right at me. Within five minutes of turning around I texted Brandon and told him that, if he happened to be heading in this direction yet (he'd planned to come over before too long), he was welcome to come find me via Google Latitude (awesome app, by the way) and pick me up. I was done. He said he was just leaving work and I continued the uphill trek against the wind and rain. 

Between the traffic being pretty bad and Latitude not automatically updating, it wasn't until I had less than a mile left to go that Brandon finally reached me. But, goodness, I was glad to see him. He pulled up and I got in and happily smiled at not having to run that last mile and instead being able to focus on returning feeling my my frozen cold hands.

(A plus from the run is that I've now discovered a fairly decent biking path to my work.)

A hot shower and some quesadillas later and I was much happier. :) 8 miles!

Also, I went to Brandon's soccer game last night (it started at 10:40 - so late!) and his team won. :)

And then there's today...possible highlights for the day may include:

-Jody's ZuppaTouscana that she brought in for me for lunch. 
-Going to the gym with Brandon (racquetball, sauna, steam room, hot tub!)




Monday, April 8, 2013

Rainy Monday...Run?


Well, my Saturday morning run fizzled quickly as I lingered a little longer than I could afford to in my warm cozy bed and then never made it out. As a result, I've pushed my ten mile run to today, this afternoon immediately following work. It's rainy outside and I've decided that that is perfect.

I've never been one to train carrying food or water for my runs. I haven't often trained consistently for my half marathons and gotten up to these distances, but I feel confident I'll be alright without taking anything. Food I've never eaten during a race, water/Gatorade I've only ever had during races and not regular runs. Past the ten mile mark, I know those things can start to become necessary, but again, I think I'll be good today. Particularly as a result of the rain. I know it will keep my body cool and I'll lose less fluids from the start.

And then there's the question of what to wear...I'm thinking just a t-shirt and capris, like I normally would, but if it's cold...maybe a jacket? Hmm...

Highlight from yesterday: First attempt at Mingau de Aveia. I neglected to pop by the grocery store for some oatmeal so we ad-libed and tried it with cream of wheat. So, essentially it was just cream of wheat, white sugar, milk, and cinnamon cooked in a pot on the stove....Brandon remembers it being a pretty soupy consistency with a white color. Our variation ended up being pretty much identical to cream of wheat and very brown due to the half tablespoon of cinnamon that the recipe called for. Next time, oatmeal, milk, sugar. Cinnamon sprinkled a little on top. I'm still not sure how it will vary from regular oatmeal, but I guess I'll have to wait and find out!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday April 6th - Cookies and West Coast

Highlights to come:

- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- West Coast Swing Dance

Friday, April 5, 2013

April 5th! Friday. :)

Happy Friday! Fridays have always been good days, the entrance to the weekend, the beginning of a short rest. In school, it was a nice break from classes, the chance to do something different...and ignore homework for a few days until the impending doom of the beginning of the week loomed hours away. With work, it has always been the release from the rigid 8:00 to 5:00 schedule. I could do anything with my Friday evenings because I didn't have to wake up early on Saturday. Now I've found myself with the combination of the two. With class going most of the evenings on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Friday not only equals my entrance to the weekend, but also a sign that I've gotten through two more days of Physics. Thus, I'm always happy for Friday. :)

Goal for this weekend: Run Saturday morning! I'm thinking at least nine miles...though ten wouldn't be a bad things. That half-marathon is really coming up and I need to do some proper running if I don't want to hurt too bad when I do it. Honestly, I'm not that worried, but it's always good to do a bit more training....

I'm excited for the half-marathon! I can't remember if I've mentioned this or not, but when I checked out the course map last week, I realized that the course pretty much runs all around where Brandon lives, an area that I'm fairly familiar with. Should be fun!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Highlights of Life! Starting with April!

One of my friends keeps a blog with another of her friends and this morning she posted about writing down one simple thing from each day that was a highlight of that day. Given the way life seems to rush past, I think this is a marvelous idea to catch some of the wonderful things that might go unnoticed. That's partly why I like the idea of blogging and journal writing so much. Given that my resolve to do those things has waned lately, I'm not certain who solidly this idea will hold. Ideally  I'd love to blog daily, to journal the wonderful things that happen to me on a day to day basis so I can be reminded of them, but I may have to compromise with a weekly blog that gives a small highlight from each day, simple and brief. I guess we'll see what happens!

April 1st: No one played a single April Fools Day Prank on me. :) I definitely consider that a highlight of the day. Don't get me wrong - I love playing pranks - but I hate having to spend an entire day being wary of them, and I don't appreciate immature mean pranks, very typical of the day. None of that for my April 1st! Also, apparently whenever Brandon sees the word "cacao" he thinks of me. :) He surprised me in the evening with a delicious chocolate bar he'd gotten at work. Sharffen Berger Sea Salted Almonds and Milk Chocolate. Yum! And, of course, he also patiently studied with me for most of the evening.



April 2nd: I bought my first airplane ticket for someone close to me. I'd originally planned on getting one for myself, but decided not to in favor of saving a little money and just accompanying via standby. A little risky, but we'll see how it goes. I also snagged a clementine out of the air. I wasn't expecting it, wasn't even looking at it when I caught it, missed it with my left hand, but then snagged it with my right hand. It was cool. One of those moments where I knew the odds weren't in favor of me catching it, but I defied those odds and did my own thing. My random thought for the day was that I am apparently no longer accustomed to spaghetti pasta. I'm more used to angel hair pasta now, so spaghetti comes across as surprisingly thick. I think I prefer angel hair...


April 3rd: After about two weeks of studying with Brandon (I'm so thankful for his patience with the time it takes! Not to mention my occasionally stressed induced moodiness...) I finally took the second part of my work day off, went to the Salt Lake Testing Center, went through all of the material I could review in the time I had, and it went it to take my third Physics test. After two abysmally failing test scores, again - the lowest I have ever received in my life, I actually did relatively well, all things considered. I'm accustomed to getting As and Bs on most things, and I got a C on this test. The result - a conflict of emotions. On the one hand, as I'm used to the higher grades, I wanted my score to reflect all of the work I'd put in to studying, as the previous two scores had clearly not. I wanted it to be higher in comparison to the comprehension of the material I'd had walking into the test. I wanted that high grade. But at the same time, since my resulting score was still many times over higher than my last two scores, I couldn't help but be happy and relieved by what I'd gotten. Definitely a highlight of the day.

April 4th: Today is still young! It hasn't even reached midday yet. One possible highlight is that a very large group of travel document wallets I've been working on for at least the last two weeks finally went out yesterday! Better still, from the sound of it, when they went through each wallet to double check the many items to make sure they were all correctly matched up (as I was off studying for my test), there weren't any mistakes or mismatches. It's easy to make mistakes when you are constantly putting together these docs, even when they only have two or three items. For example, I accidentally swapped the travel documents and tags between two docs last week so that the inside content didn't match the outside label. Two documents and very simple contents and I could make that mistake! And yet, here we are, several hundred docs mailed, with seven or eight complex items in each, and it would appear that I got them all correct. All the time and work I spent going over them and checking them again and again paid off. Such a good feeling.