It's Almost Christmas and I Haven't Kicked Anyone (Yet)

Something very strange is happening to me this year.

I'm enjoying the holidays.

Maybe it's because I actually feel pretty prepared this year. I don't think I am actually more prepared than usual, I just decided to give myself a break this year.

It probably has more to do with my son actually getting excited over Christmas this year. He loves the tree and is showing it by letting it remain upright, rather than pushing it over and removing the ornaments. We read 'The Night Before Christmas' every night, and he has it memorized. He plays constantly with his nativity scene. We went and saw Santa and he was SO excited he actually behaved.

It is so cliche, but so true. Reliving Christmas through your children can somehow smother the Grinch.

Admittedly, I'm still dreading some family functions, but honestly? There are relatives I dread seeing no matter what time of year. Like the one who eyeballs me in horror and wonders out loud how I've gained so much weight (uh, I'm pregnant?). Or the one who compares my son to her grandchild who is three months younger and potty trained and why isn't G potty trained and you really need to get him potty trained before the new baby arrives.

I would like to add that that particular relative will bombard me with this 'advice', then in the same breath add that her daycare potty trained her child because she couldn't handle it.

And then, we have the numerous family members who are obsessed with me having a girl this time round. Not even joking, I think they will be literally angry with me if I have a boy.

I'll see what I can do. Monday is the 'big' ultrasound, so maybe I can wave my magic wand and guarantee a vagina.

If not, I'm seriously considering calling in sick to a few upcoming functions.


Back in the Warm Glow of the Internets

Just as I'm all 'Hey world, I'm going to blog more!', my computer goes belly up.

That was two weeks ago. A trojan took me down. I have no idea where it came from. And honestly, I was stunned it got through all the security on this computer. But hackers are assholes. Crafty assholes.

Thankfully, my husband is some kind of IT whiz. And yesterday, he got this hunk of junk back working. I don't know how. Basically it required wiping the entire hard drive and reinstalling eleventy billion updates.

But thank you, husband, for your tireless efforts to get me back online!

You don't know how much your rely on the Internets until you do not have access. I didn't miss stuff like email or Facebook, probably because they're on my phone. But things like banking, bills, SHOPPING. You know, the important stuff.

You should have seen me on cyber Monday. I was climbing the walls thinking about all the unmissable deals I was losing out on.


Now I'm doing a mad scramble to finish my Christmas shopping online. I honestly tried the old fashioned way, but me (pregnant) and my toddler (worst shopping partner EVER) epically fail at at real shopping.

I even went out at midnight on Black Friday. The deals weren't that great, but I was childless and managed to check off almost all of my nieces and nephews.

But it wasn't the same as sitting on the couch, with a cup of tea, clicking away, NOT waiting in line and having stuff just show up on my doorstep.

I'm in my pajamas, unshowered, with coffee. And I'm going shopping.

Internets, I love you and lets not be apart again.


Not to Complain, But...

So I've already gone over the barfing. Which seems to be subsiding (knock wood).

But dude, this pregnancy has been so completely different from my first. Which was mellow and relatively easy.

I think it's a dirty trick. Cause now I have a toddler to chase.

A toddler who likes to run into the bathroom while I'm vomiting and turn the light on and off as fast as he can. Nothing makes barfing more enjoyable than doing it under a strobe.

My first pregnancy, odors bothered me, but not to the point where I'm nearly homicidal over my dogs standing by me (THEY REEK) or where I'm tempted to punch the lady in the grocery store who bathed in White Diamonds.

About a month ago, I went insane and decided I needed to deodorized the carpet in the living room. I used a powder for 'pet odor'. It was described as a 'fresh scent'.

For me, 'fresh scent' brings to mind clean air, fresh laundry, you know, stuff that has a pleasant aroma.

Arm & Hammer's idea of 'fresh' is more like junior high boys locker room...musky and sweaty and foot fungus-y coated in cheap spray deodorant and a touch of Drakkar.

The next week of my life was devoted to getting the 'freshness' out of my carpet. Incessant vacuuming. Then I steam cleaned. Twice.

It's almost gone, but once and a while, it will waft up from places unknown and I want to burn the carpet and all the living room furniture in a big bonfire in the backyard.

So my nose is going crazy. I wonder if I can get my hands on some of that stuff medical examiners smear under their nostrils while performing autopsies?

Just a thought.


I'm Going to Try to Write This Between Dry Heaving (Urp)

Blogging has been on the dead bottom of my list for a while. I've clicked over here, looked around for a minute or two, thought about writing something. left.

It's hard to write about stuff when you've only got one thing on your mind and you're not supposed to talk about it.

But as of today, I'm talking.

I'm pregnant, knocked up, in the family way. About 12 weeks, so just about in my second trimester.

And I am so ready to be in the glorious second trimester. That promised land where you're not supposed to feel like you're dying every waking second. This pregnancy has been NOTHING like my first. My first, I had a little nausea, but nothing that couldn't been soothed with well timed snacks.

This time? Well, I'll put it this way...my OB gave my a prescription for the same nausea meds they generally give to chemo patients. On top of that, unbelievable fatigue - so bad I could literally lay down in the middle of the living room and sleep after only being awake for a couple of hours. And dizziness. And headaches.

It's been the pits, for serious.

But I see light at the end of the tunnel. The other night I told my husband, well, it will end. Maybe not till the baby is out, but it will end (please God, let it end SOON).

Of course, the drastic difference in this pregnancy has led to all kinds of speculation on the baby...IT'S A GIRL. Or, are you sure it's not twins? Yes, I had the doctor triple check. So unless someones really good at hiding, the Nugget is a singleton.

I'm calling it Nugget, by the way. For now.

So, there you have it...I haven't died, though to be honest, some days I've thought the end is near. I won't be such a stranger. Promise.

Now excuse me while I go sip on some damn ginger tea.


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This Post is Not About the Duggars. Really.

Since I've obviously hit some kind of rut and have nothing interesting or funny to write about, I'm in the process of a blog redesign. Because I'm pretty sure if my blog looks cooler/cuter I will miraculously be inspired and the words will pour forth and I'll have the popularity of Dooce.

Or not.

But I am redesigning - with help, of course, cause I'm technologically worthless. I'm okay with that. I'm just glad I have friends that have got my back on that front. It's give and take; I keep them honest about punctuation and grammar. It's all good.

If I had to focus in on my 'writer's block' (I seriously hate that term) and figure out what the root cause is, I'd have to say...well...um...

How about this: if I knew, I'd effing fix it? Right?

Some days I have a lot to say, but I have to self censor. Cause honestly, if I wrote everything I thought, you all would think I was crazy. Funny, possibly, but probably crazy and most likely mean and snarky.

I've thought about just letting loose and seeing if I start getting hate mail. I posted ONE TIME, long ago about the Duggars, and got quite a bit of negative feedback. Which was the most bizarre thing - Duggar supporters literally materialized out of nowhere and commented on my blog. Which leads me to believe there is a Duggar army that sits on Google all day long searching for anything Duggar related (which I completely understand, they are kind of fascinating).

I bet I'll get a bunch of Duggar hits just from this post. Watch.

Anyway. I'm trying to figure out my image.

Bear with me.


Right Now

For the first time in a long time, I'm content and peaceful.

My mom is home from Alaska (she's been up there for 7 weeks) - I have a feeling that was the first piece of the puzzle. She lives an hour and a half away, but its nice to know she's THERE, you know? Plus, she has the patience of a saint with my child, who has decided to be Whiney McWhinerson as of late.

He's still cute though. I'll keep him, I think.

So my mommy is home.

My husband and I are getting along really great. Like, actually having fun together. Not that we don't generally get along, but you know, life is stressful.

I've gotten to spend some time with old friends. Ones that have known me since I was in grade school. Something about reconnecting with people that have seen all phases of your life is so soothing.

Especially if they like to laugh.

Summer is winding down. I'm sad it's coming to a close. Not that it's been the best summer...the weather has been less than ideal and I've struggled with so many ups and downs.

But like everything in life, seasons change and we start fresh.

My mother-in-law has finally been placed in her final resting place. It was excruciating for all of us to revisit that grief, but we know now she's where she wanted to be...and that is comforting. Now I hope the healing can finally begin.

The rest of this summer? I plan to soak in as much fun as possible.

Starting now.



Sometimes, when I'm really nervous, or dreading something, I get this strange sensation where my legs start to feel numb and my heart races.

It also happens when I realize I may have just cheated death/injury/witnessing something horrible/getting a ticket. Like when you're driving and someone starts aggressively coming into your lane...and then notices you and jerks back over? Or when brakes squeal and you see a couple of cars just miss nailing each other at a red light. And just once and a while, when I am exceeding the speed limit and I pass a cop and just wait for them to pull out after me (the only time it's okay for a cop to follow you is if they're on a motorcycle and look like Ponch).

So I've never been able to put a label on what exactly it is I'm feeling. I could say maybe it's relief, but it never feels GOOD. Just weird.

Lately, I've been getting that feeling when I have to visit with certain people. As I near wherever we are meeting up, a really dark feeling descends over me. And then I get the numb legs and the pit in my stomach and the angry thoughts creeping into my head.

I brace for whatever I'm going to have to deal with.

What is this? I was thinking fight or flight. But it's like anticipatory fight or flight. Like I know I'm going to be offended, pissed off and sad. Before it even happens.

And it usually happens.

I think there is a lot to be said for intuition. I think that maybe I'm sensing something is VERY wrong. Never in my life have I had such morbid thoughts creep into my head.

It's disturbing. I question whether the universe is trying to tell me something. Very frankly, I don't think my mind would be going the places is has been without a reason.

Time will tell. I hope I am wrong, and maybe, after a while, I can get rid of this uneasiness.


Pat, I'd like a F for $1000.

This is probably not what my mom intended when she sent these magnets to my son.

But it pretty much sums up my week. Hoping it gets better.


Summer Here

Summer here?

It's messy, muddy, grimy. It's all boy.

Our summer is in our backyard. We spend a lot of time back there. It's not perfect. It would make Martha Stewart curl into a ball and cry 'Hold me!' Toys everywhere. Some broken. A pool my child won't go in. Grass that is in need of a mow. Half eaten dog toys.

Yeah, it's not exactly classy.

But you know what else it has? Memories. And I kind of love that. Dirt and all.

For more summer, breeze on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry for You Capture.


Nap Please

Have I mentioned that I am tired today? The kind of tired that I feel as if my eyelashes have tiny weights tied on them with tiny little strings. Serious, narcolepsy type tired. So tired I scared myself driving to and from the post office.

And? My toddler is on day four of NO NAP AT ALL. Which I hesitate to admit, but is probably a sign of the extinction of the daytime nap.


He's faked me out a couple of times in the past, but the last few days have been different. As in, I put him in his room and all he does is remove every toy from its basket, every book from the shelf and every article of clothing from the drawers. All while screaming at the top of his lungs.

Things aren't looking too promising.

I tried to get him lie on the couch with me for a rest, but all that accomplished was me being half awake, feeling even more groggy and him hitting me with books he wanted read.

Right now, he's alternately watching Yo Gabba Gabba and trying to hijack my keyboard.

I still need to work out today, clean and make meals.

Time to brew some coffee and pray for an early bedtime...for him and for me!



My cousin and her family are up this week from California. My grandmother lives right on the 'beach' (mudflats). While a lot of people think mudflats are kind of gross, they are PERFECT kid beaches. Sand forever, not a lot to hurt your feet on, and the water (when you finally reach it) is nice and warm.

We got in some great playtime.

On the way home, G said 'I had a great day today.'

We did. We really did.

For more play, jump on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry for You Capture.


Dewey Decimal is An A-hole.

I've been working on budgeting better and was looking at expenses - and noticed that hoooo doggies, I spend a lot on books. Too much.

So I decided to get me a library card. I found our local library system online and signed up - and the card came in the mail yesterday. It said all I needed to do was show up with picture i.d. and my card and I'd be golden.

Here's what I forgot about public libraries. Since I actually haven't set foot inside one in um, ten or so years.

You can't find shit.

That is, unless you're good friends with Dewey Decimal. And believe me, I would have no problem getting reacquainted with him, but stupid me, I brought my toddler to the library with me. I thought he'd be awestruck by all the books. That he'd sit down in a little beanbag chair and pore over all the wonderful picture books.

[Not my kid]

I had a rude awakening when I was reminded that my child is not, and will never be, that child. A library child. He's more of a let 'em loose in WalMart child. A park child. A circus child. Not a 'quiet place' child.

Especially a quiet place with a ginormous fish tank.

FIIIIIISSHHHHHH!!! Fish! Mommeeeee, fish!!

Yeah, I see them.

I figured out pretty quickly that the little list of books I wanted to find, so neatly tucked inside my purse, would be staying put. No books for me today.

We went directly to the children's section. Where my son decided to lie down on the floor and roll around. I grabbed for a couple books that looked semi interesting, scooped him up under my arm and made for the checkout counter.

All the way there, he made a racket. Mommeeeee! Books!! BOOOOOOKKEEEEES! Even the men at computers hunched over the free internet (porn) stopped and looked up.

My saving grace was that there were a few 'recommended' books right by checkout. And one was, in fact, on my little list.

Thank you God. I hope you don't mind me picking up a book that has 'blue balls' in the title. It's been a rough day.



For some reason unbeknownst to me, I have been on a organizational tear recently. This is far from normal for me. My house is all sorts or random and cluttered. Let me rephrase that - certain ROOMS of my house are straight out of Hoarders.

So I've been slowly (very slowly) tackling one project after another. I'm gearing up for a garage sale (hopefully soon) and am pretty proud of myself for getting rid of stuff. I come from a long line of collectors and it's hard for us to part with, um, everything. My grandma used to rinse out plastic baggies and foil and reuse them. I suppose you could say she was a pioneer of recycling. Or just that she was super frugal.

The latest room I'm trying to tackle is our office/guest room/scary catchall for the entire house that is like those closets that you open and a bunch of crap topples out - except its an entire room.

Last Fall, that room became my mother-in-law's, when she was undergoing chemo and radiation. Really going through everything, not just tossing things into boxes, like REALLY delving in - I'm not going to lie, it was really sad. Bits of her were still here. The informational booklets about lung cancer and quitting smoking. A binder full of information for caregivers. Tons of hand sanitizer. The flip flops she borrowed from me when putting shoes on became difficult. The flannel sheets my sister in law brought for her.

I got through everything that was for her. I threw out the information on cancer. I know enough about that asshole right now. Her sheets, I folded and put in the back of the closet. I put on the pink flip flops.

And I got back to work.

I dug in even further. Into the things I shoved into storage bins when she came to live with us. Things that I was working on, getting into, when we discovered she would be staying with us.

Everything on that's been on indefinite hold.

I found a packet from Seattle University with application materials for their accelerated teacher certification/master's program. Honestly, I had completely forgotten about looking into going back to school.

Also? All my 'craft' stuff. Not that I'm super crafty, but I have been known to make cards from time to time.

Then I pulled out all the fabric and thread I'd purchased because I was going to start sewing. My sewing machine was shoved underneath a desk.

I pulled all the sewing stuff out. I think it's time to take life off pause.

Last week, I signed up for a Sew Along over at my friend Andrea's blog (check it out!). I'm making the Daphne dress. The precut fabric came in the mail today. No excuses. Not sure who will benefit from my first attempt at sewing clothing (ha ha ha), but I'm thinking my niece will be the lucky recipient.

It's time to start ticking things off the list.



Black. And White.

Black and white. I just love it...it's so, well, CLEAN. Crisp.

We got out a lot this week, and I captured some wonderful moments.

At the zoo...kissing the hippopotamus statue.

At home, modeling the new big boy haircut.

Visiting Thomas the Tank engine...hanging out on the train.

For more black and white shots, scoot on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry for You Capture.


A Frat Boy Trapped in a Thirtysomething Mom's Body

The other night I was on Twitter, having a conversation with some girlfriends. Whoever follows me on Twitter, well, they probably think I'm mental. Because I won't go on Twitter for DAYS. Then, one night, I'll have like 50 tweets about random, random stuff.

Anyhow, the other night, the conversation somehow got to drinking (imagine). And I brought up beer bongs. And luges (I had to explain this one...you carve a 'luge' in a block of ice, then pour shots down the luge into a waiting mouth). And keg stands.

Then I made the suggestion that my friends make a beer bong and let their kids do hits off of it with root beer, then have a burping contest.

And with that, I nominate myself for the trashy parent of the year award.

Reading all my drinking suggestions would probably lead you to believe I was (or am) some kind of crazy partier. But I wasn't. For reals. The height of my partying was for about one year in college (okay, maybe two). The rest of the time, I was working 40 hours a week while taking 15-18 credits per quarter. Not a lot of time for fun. Or hangovers.

Still, I seem to have a wealth of information on drinking games/stupid methods of getting obliterated. Let's just say I'm observant. Maybe it's where I'm from. There wasn't a lot to do out in Podunk, WA except drink, go four-wheelin', and get knocked up. None of which I actually DID in high school. Cause I was SO SO SO boring. Not that getting knocked up is a good way to be interesting. Let's just say I wasn't even doing the things to get knocked up.

So, just in case you were following me on Twitter that night, I'm not a raging alcoholic, and I promise not to train my child on the beer bong. I'll wait till he's at least 12.


A Time Where Something Sucking is a Good Thing

A couple of weeks ago I was vacuuming and noticed the little red light come on, the one letting me know that the bag is full.

I was out of bags.

Of course.

Then I got to thinking...I have never owned a NEW vacuum cleaner. Like, ever. Every single one has been a hand me down. And I'm not complaining, not even a little, because this girl loves hand me downs. Big time.

But I had been noticing I vacuum and vacuum and vacuum and there is ALWAYS still dog hair in the carpet. Nasty.

I decided instead of buying new vacuum bags, well, I was just going to buy a new vacuum. Always logical, this one.

After doing quite a lot of research (okay, I sorted by highest stars on Amazon), I settled on a Bissell Pet Hair Eraser.


I ordered it up and waited (only two days, love that Amazon Prime!).

And it arrived a few days ago.

You know when the vacuum box has a picture of your pet, you've got a big shedder.

Vacuum Box

Carl - and honestly, I'm kind of pissed at him for holding out on the proceeds from that modeling job.

I know you're just dying to know how well the vacuum worked. (Okay, maybe not. But I'm still going to tell you.)

Ohmycrikey, DID IT WORK.


I got this much, out of an 8 x 10 area of carpet. Twice.


By the way, this post was not sponsored in any way, shape or form by Bissell, but if they want to pass on Carl's commission check, that'd be fab.

This vacuum? It totally sucks.


Well Read

I adore reading. As long as I can remember, I have devoured books. The library was one of my favorite places to go as a child. In the summer, we'd go every few weeks, and I'd walk out, barely able to peer over the teetering stack of books precariously perched in my arms.

My mom stopped sending me to my room for punishment, cause to me? That was like heaven. I could just go read and read and read.

Judy Blume was my favorite. Of course, I would get in trouble for reading her. Cause they were 'sexy'. All that talk about breasts and periods. Um....

I guess Forever was a little racy. Maybe.

I do remember getting my hands on a copy of Elvis and Me, Priscilla Presley's autobiography, when I was about ten. Totally inappropriate, and the person who lent it to me? My eighty year old great grandma. My mom didn't catch me with that one till I was done and re-reading it.

Then I moved on to Sweet Valley High. I always pretended like I liked Elizabeth better, because she was the sweet twin, but I always really wanted to be Jessica. And I bet you did too. Liar.

And those really awful Christopher Pike murder mysteries? Read those too. Those were like soft teenaged porn, really. Our parents had NO IDEA.

In college I majored in English and actually hated reading for a few years cause I had to do it, all the time, and then listen to a bunch of bespectacled (but they only wore the glasses to appear intellectual) blow-hards yammer on about Proust and Thoreau. And I had to read poetry and I know it's sacrilege for an English major to admit this but OMGIHATEPOETRYWITHTHEFIREOF1000SUNS. This stems from being forced to try to find something meaningful out of a bunch of words some dude wrote while he was doing copious amounts of opium or whatever. I do, however, enjoy a good dirty limerick.

When I worked outside of the home, I actually had time to read during the day, and read and read and read. On the train, at lunch, in traffic (just kidding, kind of...have you been in Seattle traffic?).

And then, when I became a stay at home mom? The reading came to an abrupt and grinding halt. But I have figured out how to work in some reading time. Usually it occurs in the bathroom. In the bathtub or the other place, whatever, don't judge. And I try to read before I go to bed. Usually this concludes with me passed out, drooling, the book on my chest.

Have I read any good books lately? Lots! I'm in love with the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. And yes, I have been reading the Sookie novels, the ones True Blood is based on...brainless? Yes. But so fun.

Also, my friend Andrea sent me a wonderful book called Cold Tangerines when I was having a rough time - it's about finding the small joys in life. It's a perfect little book, you can read a chapter at a time, and it is just, well, uplifting (thanks again, Andy).

On my nightstand, I've got The Help. That's next. I've heard wonderful things about it. Can't wait to dig in.

What have you read lately? I'd love some suggestions. I need to keep the nightstand stocked.



This week I was lucky enough to get to play around with a zoom lens. I haven't mastered the zoom, but oh, how I loved it! This is an expensive hobby I've gotten myself into. Crikey. My capture for the week? Green. Very green.

For more You Capture, zoom (ha) on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.


On the Ground

Things look different, down on the ground.

And I'm sure my neighbors enjoy the crazy lady rolling around in the lawn with her camera. Got to keep the masses happy, right? Every neighborhood needs a nut. I guess that'll be me this

There's so much to see, though. And the weather, well, it wasn't raining. So we'll call that GOOD. That's actually fantastic. And someday, I'll stop bitching about the weather around here. Like, when I'm dead.

While on my tummy, I snapped:
Some flowers that we thought were gone, but came back to life. And they're so special, because they came from my mother in law's hospital room.

And do you know what this is? Thyme. I thought it was edible thyme and was informed by my husband that it isn't. And I was like, for goodness sake, why would you plant a herb that isn't edible... This is why...

It's flowering thyme. A gorgeous little purple-y carpet in the flower bed.

Then I had a visitor, our first baby, Bridget the cat. She had been rolling around in the dirt and looks, well, homeless.

I think she needs a haircut. But I'm terrified of the claws of fury.

Finally, I had to include a shot of someone who is on the ground all the time. Her whole world consists of things under two feet tall...

My gorgeous little cue ball niece at her first Father's Day gathering.
Baby cheeks. Num.
For more shots at ground level, crawl on over to You Capture at I Should Be Folding Laundry.


B to the ORED

I am bored. Bored. Bored. Bored.

Don't get me wrong. There's plenty to do. Plenty of stuff that's no fun. Like organizing and cleaning and laundry and such.

The last six months have been filled with so many highs and lows and things to look forward to (and things that I dreaded) that now I'm just all funned/sadded out. (Do you like how I make up words as I go? Yes, nice work, English major. But let's face it. I graduated almost 10 years ago and that good old degree has not been put to much use. )

So I guess I've turned into somewhat of an addict. An addict who needs something to look forward to - anticipation is my crack. For a long time, I had travel and a race to dream about. Now? Well, for a few months, nada. I do have a wedding to attend in September, very excited about that...but it's in September. I need something NOW. (Megan, can you move the wedding up a few months? KTHANKS!)

Then, after the wedding...uh, Christmas? And if you know how I feel about the holiday season, well, not so much.

I know, a lot of people are telling me HAVE A BABY!

Which is a really good idea, you know, having a kid cause you're bored? Yeah. I like it.

Having a baby is not off the table, but you know, even if I got pregnant today (AND I'M NOT, even if the guy at Costco thinks I look it) , I'd have to wait nine months. Actually, ten. 40 weeks = 10 months.

And then some other people are like, hey, run a marathon. Well. Hmmm. No thanks. The training that goes into a marathon is just not something that would fly around this house. Bye honey, I need to go on five hour training run, catch ya later! Um, no. I do like to see my husband, you know, every once and a while.

Plus? After seeing all the poop carnage during my half? Holy crap. For reals. Those porta-johns would have made a sewage worker cringe.

So yeah, bored. Inspired? Yes. Motivated. No. Not such a great combination.

What to do? Any suggestions are welcome. Except those ideas from the effing spammers, who still think I'm into some kinky stuff.

And Blogger, why in the hell does word verification not work? I'm going to cheat on you with Wordpress, I swear.


Race Recap, My Style

Two weeks ago I was packing frantically for San Diego. Making checklists. And checklists for those lists. Double checking...shoes, GPS watch, running clothes, fuel belt.

And, and, and.

Little did I know what was going to happen to me three days later. I knew that I was going to run, or attempt to run, 13.1 miles. I knew that I had to get up at 3:30 am. I knew that it was going to be grueling.

What I didn't realize was how this race was going to affect me, as a person. How it would touch my heart
and my spirit in so many ways that I didn't think running a race could. Yeah, it was a lot about running, but even more? It was about being part of something greater than myself, knowing that I'd played a part in an event that was bringing good to a lot of lives.

While I could do a play by play of how much it hurt, or what each mile was like, I want to actually talk about parts of the race that really moved me, emotionally.
Cause there were a lot. Christy and I decided to pace together, and for me, that was so incredible. To share so many things with someone over a physically challenging course is something that I will always treasure. And I'm glad she's a sap like me - there were many times we were crying while we were running. At one point, Christy said she was hyperventilating from crying. Running and crying do not combine well. But there were so many moments:
  • Running by men in the military who were SERVING US WATER. Oh, my goodness. They already do so much. Them standing there, handing us those little cups? Seriously, that really got me.
  • On the freeway stretch, we ran by a little person. She was maybe up to my waist, her legs were bowed, and running looked painful for her. But there she was, pushing her limits. I mean, how can I EVER complain when someone with the physical challenges she has is running a 1/2 marathon?
  • Passing a woman who had clearly done chemo recently. Her hair was starting to come back in, downy and soft. She was walking, head held high, with a shirt that exclaimed 'SURVIVOR.'
  • The blind woman, walking the half, and I'm pretty sure she was on her own. She was using a cane, feeling her way along the pavement. She was small and her shirt read 'Little Giant'. When someone who literally is missing one of her senses can get herself out there and do a half...well, that's pretty freaking amazing.
  • All the supporters lining the route. A sea of purple. I could not have asked for better motivation than people yelling 'GO TEAM' and high fiving as I passed.
  • Whenever we hit a hill, I'd say 'WE OWN THIS HILL.' I'm sure that didn't get old (ha ha).
  • At mile 12, when I was running out of gas, I looked to my left and out of nowhere, I saw the mom of one of my high school friends. She is a Team in Training coach. She gave me a hug and ran with me for a little bit, and I so needed that.
  • Crossing the finish line with (okay, almost with, she beat me by a second) with Christy. What an incredible experience to share! Half mary sisters for life, girlfriend!
  • Celebrating afterwards with all my girls from Team Shrinking Jeans. So amazing to get to see everyone in real life. They're all in my heart forever.
So I guess that's not a traditional race recap, but out of everything, these are the things that stick with me. Not the pain, not the damned slanted freeway (okay, that sucked), not the heinously disgusting porta-johns and how gross runners are with their pooping. Not how I thought I lost my driver's license through the entire race (thanks again, Christy, for talking me down) only to find it in my checked bag at the end. Not Christy forgetting sunscreen and having to holler 'SUNSCREEN?' at every TNT coach on the route.

Not the guy who ran in Batman briefs. Okay, maybe that.

When I signed up with Team in Training, I was thinking, yeah, I'll train for and run a 1/2 marathon. That's awesome.

And it was.

But I didn't bargain for how I'd feel differently inside, how this would change me. For the better, I think.



Low Tide

Last week, for a few days, the sun came out. And, coincidentally, we had a record low tide. I'm so glad someone alerted me to this fact because I'm clueless.

Off to the beach we went. It was not even 70, and people were in their swimsuits. Hey, if it's over 50, Washingtonians are in shorts - 70? Yeah, that's tropical.

I do complain about the weather here in Washington A LOT. Like, all the time. But, seriously? It can be pretty breathtaking when we have a respite from the rain.

Yeah, I kind of love it here.

When it's not raining.

For more water shots, float on over to You Capture.


Gift Cards Are Good. Land's End Gift Cards Are Great!

I triple heart Lands Ends, and real quick like, I wanted to let you all know about a really super duper easy way to enter a drawing for a $100 gift card to Lands End. You know, for school shopping (or an outift for yourself, ahem). So, here are the deets:

  • Take the Lands’ End 2010 Back-to-School Survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XKS6ZZ9. Participants who complete the survey by 12 a.m. EDT on Sunday, June 13 will be entered into a drawing for one of five $100 Lands' End gift cards. Winners will be selected at random and will be notified on or around the week of July 5, 2010.
  • Bloggers who complete the survey as well as include the link in a post will receive one additional entry into the drawing for the gift cards. To receive your second entry, please send a link or screenshot of your post to Katie at katie@fedorukinc.com.
That's it. Super easy. Ten minutes, max. You can do it!

Go forth and pass it on!


Fun? YES.

I went to San Diego last weekend with Team Shrinking Jeans.

We raised over 43K for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

We ran, ralked or walked 13.1 miles.


We celebrated.

There was 'burrowing',

And laughing,

And dancing, lots of dancing,

And Irish Car Bombs (Christie forced Melissa, for serious),

And a ride through the Gaslamp District on a pedicab. The poor driver. I think we scared him.

So fun? Yeah, we had some fun.

You want some more fun? Head on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry for You Capture!



So I finally managed to get my hands on a Nikon D40 for my birthday/mother's day. And in the nick of time, cause I was ready to run over my point and shoot.

I've been having SO much fun with this new camera. It is incredible how much better the quality is, how much more clear and vibrant. So. Much. Fun.

My favorite photo so far with my new camera has to be this one:

My son on my dad's fishing boat, just before he left for Alaska for the salmon season. What is it with little boys and CB radios? I swear he automatically said 'Breaker, breaker...roger that.'

The cuteness.

For more best shots, head on over to Beth's and check out You Capture.


Why Can't I Just Not Care?

Do you ever wonder what it would be like if you could just not care? Seriously. Like just walk away, not care, turn a blind eye?

Sometimes, I think my life would be a lot simpler if I had that ability.

Recently, I tried to turn over a new leaf and be more open minded, loving, accepting. To be more helpful and less judgmental.

Because deep down? I like to help people. So I tried my hardest. I tried so hard it made my head hurt and my heart ache. I tried so, so hard.

But, I've come to realize, some people do not want my help. They don't want help at all.

Also? I've realized that no matter how hard you try, not everyone is going to like you. There may be no good reason, but it is what it is.

My personality type really takes issue with being disliked. I've never done well with people not liking me, especially if I dig deep and am really honest with myself and I still can't figure out why they don't like me.

Yes, I'm whining. But I truly struggle with this.

And some days, I really question the value of empathy. Don't get me wrong, I value empathy, but can you care too much? Is it a waste of energy and emotion to make kind gestures towards people who continually throw it back in your face?


Hot Mess

Today is my birthday - I'm the big 3-2.

Woo. Hoo.

No, I'm not all freaked out about getting older. I just don't get so excited about birthdays anymore. I really can't remember the last time I did anything for my birthday except maybe go out to dinner.

Which is fine.

No, really. I promise.

But sitting here today made me think about where I was ten years ago on my birthday. England. Having way too much fun. WAY TOO MUCH. As in, if you look up pent up, goody two shoes set loose in a foreign land with lots of booze in the dictionary, there's my picture.


That's me on the left. Yes, I am standing on a table (I was wearing a miniskirt standing on a table, cause I totally am classy like that). Yes, I am doing 'rock on horns' with my fingers. I can tell you that I remember that night and it didn't end pretty. Oh no.

Did I mention I drank a lot? Yeah. This drink in my hand? It's called a Snakebite and it is pure evil in a glass. In fact, many pubs over there will not serve this concoction because people end up doing stupid things after drinking a few...YOU DON'T SAY. The bartenders never had a problem serving those bad boys up to us silly exchange students.

Which brings me to this day,exactly ten years ago.

The birthday celebration extraordinaire. My twenty-second birthday fell at the end of the school year. I'd made some great friends and we were ready to cut loose.

I decided that I wanted to cook dinner for all my roommates. Nice gesture, no?

Except for the fact that I started drinking around noon. So, by the time dinner time rolled around, let's just say my knife skills weren't so great. I did not cut myself, but I'm pretty sure I grated some knuckle with the parmesan.

We hit the pub, stayed there till it closed, then hit the local disco. I remember pretty much everything that night, which is amazing, because I counted how many drinks I had and I hit 22 between 5pm and 3am. 22 for my 22nd.

Wow. Maybe I should be proud? Or not.

Here is the sole photo I have from that night. It is blurry. Kind of fitting. (OMG, I'm totally drinking peach schnapps.)

There are times I get nostalgic for that crazy time in my life. Cause I've for the most part lived a pretty down to earth, responsible existence.

But for a year (or two) I was a bit of a (FUN) trainwreck. I made it through, unscathed.

That hot mess? I miss her. Carefree, LOUD, probably obnoxious as hell.

But would I go back to that? Um, no. Not in a million years.

This morning, my husband brought my son in to me to snuggle at 7am. He got right under the covers, rolled over and hugged me and said 'I wuv you mommy'.

I'm pretty sure that no birthday party could EVER top that.



This last week - no make that two weeks - have been really rough.

You may or may not know my mother in law passed away early Wednesday morning. The lead up to her passing was...God...I don't even know how to describe it. Overwhelming. Scary. Unbearably sad.

And now that's she's gone, there is a sense of relief, not because she's not with us, but because she was suffering so horribly. I had never witnessed someone dying from cancer. And it is beyond awful.

But wedged in between the sorrow, there were little glimpses of the woman we love, gifts to us, things we can look back on and smile.

Grief comes in waves. I will forget for a moment that she's gone. Then it hits again.

My mother in law loved to ride on the back of her husband's Harley and today, when I was out on my run, a pack of Harley's roared by me. I stopped, there on the side of the road, sobbing. And then, for the rest of my run, I just talked to her in my head.

Thanking her. Asking her for forgiveness for any way I'd hurt her. Telling her funny things G had said and done in the last few days. Promising her that I would take care of her family.

And I think she could hear me.


Spam Belongs in a Can, Not in My Comments.

I need some help, users of Blogger!

I get the WORST spam in my comments. I won't even tell you what it is because I swear when I talk about it, more of them come and spam me - I will just say that it has to do with young women of Asian descent scantily (or not) clad. It is driving me absolutely insane.

For a long time, I blogged here and didn't turn on the word verification in the comments because, let's face it, I don't get a ton of comments and word verification is a further deterrent.

But, after dealing with all the garbage I've been finding in my comments, I figured anyone who is truly interested in commenting would put up with the hassle.

And that the spammers would not. WRONG.

No, for some reason, the damn spammers are not only patient with word verification, they are verified blogger users.

So, if anyone out there who reads this has any advice for getting rid of the creepy commenters, please say so in the comments.

I'm begging you!


We Ran. We Ate. We Drank. We Cut Hair. (Texas, Part II)

I fell behind in my Texas posts, but I'm BACK. On to day two:

After falling asleep listening to the craziest thunderstorm I've ever witnessed (and listening to Christy and Lisa yelling 'STRIKE' in the next room when thunder struck), I awoke to a bright and beautiful, albeit, VERYEFFINGEARLY Saturday morning. By early I mean 6:15 Texas time and 4:15 Washington time. Yes, that's A.M. There was coffee. So I didn't complain (I don't think. I can't be held responsible for any early morning whining that may have escaped). And then? We ran. Lots of miles. I did 9. NINE. What? And it didn't hurt, for the first time in forever.

I ate a PowerBar Shot. It was seriously the grossest thing I have ever ingested. I'm not even kidding. It tasted so horrendous it burned. But it worked. The last two miles went so fast.

Big ups to Amanda, the best pit crew ever. She drove up and down and up and down the road, making sure we were hydrated and all that good stuff. Plus, she took some amazing photos.

Like this one.

Christy, Amanda, Lisa, Thea, Me, Kirsten, Elaine

After our run, we all went and hunkered down in the Frio River. Best post run icing, ever. Miss Molly the dog came with us and spent some quality time fishing for the minnows that were nipping at our legs.

Next? A haircut. I think all of us were freaking out a little bit about cutting Kirsten's hair...except Kirsten! That hooker couldn't wait to be freed of her flowing locks! We measured the her hair to make sure it was long enough to donate, then Christy went to work with, um, KITCHEN SHEARS? Yeah. It was pretty awesome. Jonathan Antin is crapping his pants right now.

See? Don't eff with Christy and her kitchen shears. For reals, yo. She'll cut a hooker(s hair).

All done! Kirsten is one brave lady. And now? I can't even picture her with long hair...short just suits her perfectly.

The night continued...how many hookers does it take to open a bottle of wine?

And there was wine. And margaritas. And shots. And lots of amazing food.

We had a favorite things swag bag - each of us brought a little something to share with the group.
So much fun - and a great way to get to know each other even better!

It gets surprisingly cold at night in Texas. We gathered round the campfire, had s'mores and laughed. A lot.

You know when you wake up in the morning with a sore throat from gabbing so much you've had a good night!


Spring, Ya'll

Spring...courtesy of Leakey, Texas.

And Fredericksburg, Texas!

Happy Spring, ya'll! It's freezing up here in Washington, but gall darn is it beeyootiful down in the Texas hill country!

For more Spring, mosey on over to You Capture at Beth's place.


No Axe Murderers Here. (Texas, Day One)

If you'd have told me a few years ago that I'd meet a bunch of people online and eventually travel halfway across the country, by myself, to meet them all? I would have laughed in your face. Heartily.

Especially because I'd made a hell of a lot of fun of my poor brother in law when he was in the wedding of a couple he'd met online playing World of Warcraft (okay, that is still pretty high-larious).

So Friday morning, when my husband dropped me off at the airport, his concern was almost palpable. But, I assured him, I have pretty good intuition. And every bone in my body told me that I needed to go. To Texas. To B.F.E. Texas. Where there was no cell phone reception. I told him that if they were all axe murderers, it was like the most elaborate axe murdering plot in all the history of axe murderers and I had to go because it was that good. He didn't think that was so funny.

I sat in the airport, nervous, but so excited - giddy, even. My flight was delayed. And the asshole who checks your boarding pass made me check my carry on. It wasn't too big, there were just a bunch of other assholes who took their TOO BIG carry ons onto the plane and I think he thought I wouldn't put up a fight. I barely avoided a Meet the Parents situation (bomb bomb bomb bombbomb bomb bomb bomb). But after six hours at an airport or on a plane, I was there.

Lisa met me at the Austin airport. We loaded my luggage into the 'minivan that can' and off we went to San Antonio, chatting the whole way like we've known each other forever. And we met these hookers for dinner.

Clockwise from left: Christy, Lisa, Amanda, Me, Tiffany, Kirsten, Thea (OMG, I just realized Elaine is not in the photo...she must have taken it.)

I'm pretty sure I had the best fajitas I have ever had in my entire life. Did you know that they put melted garlic butter on their tortillas in Texas? True story. Manna from Heaven.

And there was a mariachi band. Unfortunately they were only playing sad mariachi music. It was kind of pissing me off.

We rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and took off on the two hour trek to Christy's in the hill country. Leakey, to be exact. After following the wrong black Tahoe for a bit, we were finally headed in the right direction.

And, I witnessed the most amazing thunder and lightening storm I've ever seen. Crazy. CRAZY. Kudos to Lisa and the minivan that can for delivering us safely to the banks for the Frio River.

Our long anticipated Hooker Retreat 2010 weekend had officially begun...