Friday, January 29, 2010


The final season begins on Tuesday. Since we don't own a TV, we'll be watching it online, and probably not until Thursday. Needless to say, I'm so excited. But also so sad to see it coming to an end.

The previews look amazing. Check it out.

"Passing on your left"

This past weekend D and I went out on an 8 mile TOGETHER.

We haven't been out on a run together since July. My mom is to thank for allowing us to get out together. She came to visit this past weekend and she loves spending time with K. And K loves spending time with her. And I love, love, love the company and the help. While my mom was in town I was able to: go for a mid-day run instead of a 6am run on Friday, go out to dinner with friends and my husband (stayed out until midnight!), and go for an 8 mile run with D. It was lovely.

Running with D is one of my favorite things to do. And it has been since early on in our relationship.

Soon after we started dating, I realized that I *really* liked D. We had a lot in common, shared a lot of the same values and beliefs, and had a lot of fun together on our early dates. But I did have two concerns. First, I was worried that he wasn't athletically-stimulating. A couple of months before starting to date D, I had finished my first triathlon and my competitive/determined drive was in full force. I was ready to take on a marathon and more triathlons. I didn't want, nor could I, date a lazy bum. What if D didn't like to exercise? Or worse, what if he wasn't supportive of my crazy disciplined life that includes morning runs, summer swimming, running errands (and truly running)? My second concern was a little more superficial... I was worried that my calf muscles would be bigger than his. In college I dated a tall skinny guy and while walking up a hill with the sun behind us one afternoon I realized how much bigger my calf muscles were than his. Years of pull-jumps, flip turns and swimming produced some big calf muscles. And this guy had skinny legs. I didn't like how our legs looked together and so I vowed never to date a guy with skinner legs than me.

So what if D wasn't athletically stimulating? And what if he had really skinny legs?

My fears were put to rest on our third date... he invited me over to his house for dinner. He cooked a four course meal, complete with salmon and a wonderful ice-cream dessert. When he welcomed me into his apartment, he was in shorts (it was January). And my fear of skinny legs was immediately put to rest. He had nice muscular legs; calves were definitely bigger than mine. Thank God! Before we ate he gave me a quick tour of his place and on his computer table I spotted a picture of him running the National Marathon! Thank you, Jesus. The man runs!

Within a month or so of dating we decided to train for the Marine Corps Marathon together. And so began our love of running together. I've really missed coming home from school and waiting for D to go for a run. Or getting up on Saturday, going for a run, and then cooking a big breakfast together.

Needless to say, our Saturday run together this past week was a highlight of the year for me!

When D met me on our front porch to leave for the run this past Saturday, he was wearing a black running shirt, topped with a white t-shirt, black running shorts, and smurf blue long underwear. He was a site to behold. As we approached the entrance to Rock Creek Park, a small group of runners entered the park with us. They were decked out in all of their cold-weather running gear. D is so anti-gear. He couldn't help but to make a comment about their expensive pants, socks, handwarmers, hats, backpacks full of water. He truly believes its about the running; not the gear. I agree to a point. But I like non-cotton clothing and a cute running skirt never hurts - it's nice to feel cute while you're running 26.2 miles! And a functioning, non-chaffing sports bra is a necessity.

Anyways, D joked about "passing on your left" as we ran past this group of runners with all their gear. The gear definitely does not make you a real runner; nor does it make you faster. The folks we pasted were posers! It was so enjoyable listening to D brag about his blue long-johns. It was also nice to hear him talk about feeling so good while out running. It was so great to be out enjoying the day and the run with him.

As spring approaches, we're hoping to get out more together with K. Our jogging stroller has been sitting in our sunroom collecting dust this past winter. The weather has been too cold. But as soon as spring breaks and it's not too cold for her to be outside with us, be on the look out for us. You'll know us by:

our lack of gear;
the blue long-johns;
and the big smiles on our faces.

Monday, January 25, 2010

2010 GOALS

I'm a focused and determined little lady. 

I thrive on structure, routine, discipline, and at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

Setting goals is important to/necessary for me.

I need to know where I am going and how I am going to get there.

I have spent numerous hours since the beginning of the month/year/decade thinking out, organizing, and laying out my goals for the new year. I know what I want to accomplish, I know why I want to do it, and I have a plan to get there.

Yet I am so freaking nervous about putting my goals out there.

What if I fail to achieve a goal? 

Oh...the horror, the disappointment, the embarrassment. 


Without further excuses, here are my goals for 2010:


1. run 1000+ miles
2. run four races of differing lengths - 10k, 10 miler, 1/2 marathon, and marathon
3. do strength training twice each week (includes abs)
4. run a sub-4 hour marathon; sub-2 hour 1/2; and a 10k under 50 minutes

5. lose 10 pounds
6. lose the tummy/pooch above my c-section line (am I the only woman who had a c-section that cannot get rid of the fat?)

1. develop dissertation topic by end of February
2. have dissertation committee assembled by end of March
3. submit general research plan for May meeting
4. pass dissertation proposal defense by September 1st
5. schedule dissertation defense by June 2011
6. finish PhD program by September 1, 2011
7. complete my course-work by August 2010 
8. secure an external research grant for dissertation research by August 2010

1. read a book for fun each month
2. read two books with D
3. go out for coffee with a friend or alone at least once a month
4. pay for at least one massage
5. go to bed before 11pm on school nights

1. pay myself for mommy-share days (I'm watching a friend's child one day a week and she in turn is watching K one day; this cuts down seriously on our nanny expenses)
2. with saved $, buy the new camera I've been eyeing for months and put at least $2000 into my IRA

1. qualify for the Boston Marathon
2. train for an IronMan
3. get a real job


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Often talking to yourself is considered crazy. When I hear the phrase, I often picture a loud homeless man on the street (drunk or high) going on and on with himself about something. Often it is loud and angry.

This morning I found myself caught by another driver as I was talking to myself in the car. Ooooops.

To be fair, it's a long 35+ mile drive from home to school, and I lose WAMU about 5 miles before I arrive on campus. I often start up conversations with myself in the car. Or I reherse presentations. Or, lately, I've been rehersing difficult conversations I need to have with person's of authority (nothing like having to tell the head of your department about your frustrations and need to make changes in your course of study - more on this in the coming weeks as several difficult conversations still need to take place).

This morning I was rehersing what I would say if I was at an interview for the job of my dreams.

Seriously, I'm ready to be done with the whole student thing. I'm ready to take steps towards getting a job that I really want. I think I know what type of job that is. I'm starting to get excited when I think about the fact that I may soon be qualified to get said job. I'm ready for the next chapter in my professional life.

I've spent a lot of time constructing goals for 2010 (yes, I still need to post them). Most of these goals, however, are related to my athletic and personal life. They're goals related to races I want to run, books I want to read, places I want to go with K, etc... I've spent VERY little time thinking about goals related to school and my professional dreams.

Talking through my dream job interview this morning with myself made me realize that this needs to change. I need to reprioritize my school work, get on top of my dissertation research and make a timeline to get finished. I also need to do some networking and gain more experience related to the type of job I'd like to get when I am finished.

So what has all this talking to myself taught me:
  1. I need goals related to school.
  2. I do have a picture in my mind of what my professional life after school looks like.
  3. I need to make plans so I can get this job of my dreams.
  4. I need to think of myself as a well-rounded mom, wife, student, athlete (if I could do the student-athlete thing HARD CORE in college, I can figure a way out to do it as an adult with loads more responsibility, right?).
What I need to do:

Put all of my goals on paper. And share those goals with D, my friends, and the blogosphere. It scares me to put my goals out there, because if I don't achieve them I feel like I will be a failure in your eyes. But I also know that I need some accountability. I need encouragement. I need to be open and honest with everyone so that you will understand where I'm at, where I'm going and why. And I want to celebrate achieving my goals with you!!

Me and myself will be talking on the way how about S.M.A.R.T goals.

Goal #1: have goals posted on blog before the weekend is over.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BEING A PARENT (aka how a little tough love worked for me)

Being a wife, mom, student, marathoner, etc... is hard work. SERIOUSLY HARD. A few months ago I posted what my daily schedule looks like. It is freaking NON-STOP from sun-up to sun-down. Things have changed - since K stopped nursing, our nanny-share moved to our house, marathon training hasn't officially begun - but my days are still busy. There definitely are not enough hours in the day or night. And when I put my head on the pillow, I want to sleep through the night (even if the night is only a few hours long).

Back in August we went to the beach and K's sleep schedule was rocked. HARD. My little girl who would normally sleep from 10ish to 5:30am was acting like an infant... up every couple of hours, wanting milk in the middle of the night, etc... Some bad habits were built. And we, as parents, were to blame. Her going to bed habits and sleep schedule were all off. We continued to treat her like a baby. I would spend upwards of an hour each night rocking her to sleep. By 9pm I was just getting her to sleep and still needed to do homework, run (if I skipped in the AM), and eat dinner.

K definitely owned me.

And I was miserable. Either I wasn't running or I wasn't getting enough sleep. And I definitely wasn't doing enough homework. I was grumpy. I was mad at myself. I was mad at D - mad that he wasn't doing more and mad that he was doing things that I should be doing (no win situation for him). It was a deadend situation.

SOMETHING needed to change.

On New Year's Eve, we went to a wedding. We got home around 2am. K was up at 2:45. I was up with her until after 5am. It was miserable. I was mad at her. I was mad at myself (you see the MAD theme, yes). I finally put her in her crib, told her I loved her, and walked out of the room. She cried. I cried. I woke D. We needed to talk...

I told him how mad I was; how something needed to change. And we came up with a plan.

We started a new bed/nap routine with K that includes some tough love. She gets her milk before both bedtime and naptime, in the evenings we brush her teeth, and we'll rock her or pat her back for a few minutes. Then we are out of there. She is responsible for falling asleep on her own. And she's responsible for sleeping through the night. No milk in the wee hours of morning. No cuddling.

To use K's new favorite string of words: "No, no, no, no, no!"

We've had a few tough nights with a crying baby in the room next door. And she usually fusses when I leave her room at night. Now the middle of the night cries are few and far between and the nighttime fussing is getting shorter. I only had to sleep one night in our basement because of her crying!

And I feel alive again. I'm not mad. I'm getting rest. Both D and I are able to exercise. I have time to do homework. And we're eating dinner before 10pm.


And things aren't just good for me. K is sleeping longer each night (not waking until 7:30 most mornings). On days I go to school I usually don't see her. This is sad, but I'm able to get ready so much faster, am at school earlier, and so eager to see her in the afternoon.

The discipline has been good for all of us.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This past Sunday, my husband celebrated his birthday. And a B-I-G birthday it was (big number, that is). It was a birthday marked by an age that ends with a ZERO. Yes, another decade. Another 10 years. A new 10 years to look forward to... For those of you who don't know D that well (or don't know that there is a little bit of an age difference between us), you'll probably be surprised to learn that my husband turned 40 on Sunday.

He doesn't look a day over 30 and can still eat (and not gain a pound) like a 16 year old boy.

In honor of D's 40th birthday, I thought I'd share 40 things I love about my husband:

1. he's a really good listener
2. he's a fantastic, fun-loving father
3. he makes me laugh
4. he committed to running a marathon with me to show me he was interested in pursuing me hard
5. we have several inside jokes between us that never seem to get old
6. he's really good at his job and his clients love him
7. he has a really great group of friends
8. he likes to travel
9. he's run two marathons with me
10. he was my biggest fan at last year's NYC marathon
11. he encouraged me to quit my job and enter a PhD program
12. he listens (without complaining) to me go on and on about statistics and never complains
13. he always drives when we go on a road trip
14. we accomplished two of his life goals together on our honeymoon: surfing and hang-gliding
15. he is a fabulous cook
16. he pays all of our bills/manages our money
17. he introduced me to iGoogle
18. he cooks 99.99 percent of our meals
19. he cleans up the kitchen after cooking all of those meals
20. he cleans all of the dirty diapers in the evening
21. he encourages me to sleep in on the weekends when K gets up early
22. he loves eating a meal slowly, having good conversation, and enjoying some nice wine
23. watching him enjoy every moment of our dinner at Per Se brought me so much joy
24. his shrimp/dill salad is to die for
25. other "to die for" items D cooks: eggplant with carmelized onions, bulgar wheat pancakes (with almond powder), pumpkin pancakes, seared sea scallops, vegetarian meatloaf with butternut squash
26. he laughed when I locked us out of our hotel room on our honeymoon
27. he's took care of me when I burst my eardrum, got a concussion, and had the flu
28. he has completed numerous triathlons in the past two years and wants to do more
29. he's content staying home, ordering pizza, and splitting a beer with me (on a Friday night)
30. he held my hand during my c-section as I was throwing up continuously and didn't let go (even though I yelled at him mercilessly during labor)
31. he forgives me again and again and again
32. he enjoys cooking dinner for me and my girlfriends
33. he likes to snuggle
34. he went out with me and two of my friends to a high school basketball game as part of our first date
35. he bought me two engagement rings
36. he married me twice
37. he laughs at and with me (when appropriate)
38. he is honest
39. he is kind
40. he's the best friend I've ever known

Happy birthday, D. Love you.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Last Wednesday we took off for Colorado to visit good friends who relocated to Denver just six months ago. D was so excited to snowboard out West, I was looking forward to some time away, and we were both a little anxious to take K on her first airplane ride.

In short, the trip was fantastic.

The plane ride to Denver was a little rough on K, who had to wake up nearly two hours early to get to the airport and could not sleep on the plane (we even had an extra seat for her, but no sleeping).

In Colorado, we took a short trip into the mountains and did a little bit of hiking. I will stress the little bit because with two kids needing to be piggy-backed and an altitude of 8000+ feet we didn't do anything too stressful. But it was beautiful. We even saw a bear print in the snow. Here we are walking along with the kids. K was completely asleep on my back in this picture, which is why her head looks a little out of control. I didn't think she would sleep if I put her on my back. I was wrong.

D snowboarded on Saturday and had a wonderful time. He's still a little sore from the day-long adventure. K and I stayed home. Maybe next year we'll enroll her in ski school. 

We also did a lot of eating in Colorado. Our friends love food and know how to cook. On Thursday night their nine year old son made dinner for us - vegetarian 'beef' super tacos. [A super taco is a taco with ALL of the fixings -- avocodo, tomato, salsa, beef, sour cream, cheese. One word: delicious.] On Friday AND Saturday nights we had homemade pizzas. And they sure were good. Nothing short of extravagant. D learned how to toss a pizza crust in the air just like a professional. I did a lot of eating. My favorite pizza was topped with artichoke hearts and marinated picante peppers, as well as tomato sauce and a sprinkling of cheese. So stinking good. Pictured here is the pizza preparation area.

**Notice the four types of cheeses (not including mozzarella). It was so indulgent.

Our trip was over before we knew it. Traveling home was pretty uneventful. K did sleep on both legs of our trip. We are home and unpacked and so looking forward to our next trip to Colorado...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

1000+ Mile Club

I've been searching online to find some motivation to get my a$$ out the door. I have BIG goals for 2010 (again, post on goals forthcoming), but my motivation is lacking. So I've been online looking for motivating sites, people, groups, etc... This afternoon I stumbled upon the Tall Mom 1000++++ Club, which is a group of women (an one man) who are aiming to run more than 1000 miles in 2010.

Sign me up!

If you break it down, 1000 miles equates to:

1,000/12 months in a year= 83.33 Miles per month

1,000/52 weeks in a year= 19.23 Miles per week

1,000/365 days in a year= 2.74 Miles per day

I can do that. And now that I've signed up for the challenge, I need to do that.

I estimate that I've run about 12 miles TOTAL in 2010. Pretty pathetic. I'm going to use my blog to publicly keep track of my progress. Hopefully I'll have a button on the blog to show my participation in the challenge. So much more to come...

Today I aim to run 4 miles. I'll end my run at Target (we need some baby supplies!).

Here's to logging lots of miles in 2010...


Being a full-time student, I've had limited time to read for fun the past couple of years. And with parenting, marathon training, and commuting, there is even less time.

This makes me sad :(

I enjoy reading. And my list of books I'd like to read (and in some cases reread) is getting longer and longer. With this in mind, I've decided to set a reading goal for myself for the new year (post on my goals for 2010 is forthcoming). My goal is simple... read one book for fun because I want to read it every month this year. As a secondary goal, D and I have decided to read two books together this year.

Where I'm starting...

D and I have decided that the first book we'll be reading and discussing is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. We hope that this book will inspire us and help us to dream big and build more effectively as a couple and family (if nothing else, I'm expecting it to generate some good discussions between us - D is a huge Steven Covey fan; I'm not a convert - yet).

My first read of the year is The Life of Manny: Discovering Why People Follow A Leader.

For those of you who know me, this isn't the type of book I'd gravitate towards. I'm more of an Oprah's Book Club-type of girl. I love the Twilight series (still need to read Breaking Dawn). That said, I was inspired and excited to read The Life of Manny because it was written by Ray East. The same Ray East who read at my wedding. The same Ray East who has been a spiritual mentor to D for years. The same Ray East who every time I talk with him I come away feeling inspired. The same Ray East who is a blessing to our family. The same Ray East who is so quick to offer praise, advise, and good council.

We visited Ray in NYC the weekend of the marathon. It was then that he told us about his book and its upcoming publication. After listening to him talk about his book for about two minutes, I knew it would be at the top of my list of books to read in 2010.

I'm about 60 pages into The Life of Manny and am so enjoying it. Ray has creatively and uniquely turned a book on leadership into a page-turning novel. I'm learning and taking notes as I am enjoying the story. It is a great book; well written.

I highly recommend it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

i *heart* google

For months (possibly years), D has been encouraging me to use google applications more. We have numerous shared google docs, we have a family calendar online, I use google docs to back-up all of my school work, etc... I have used google applications, but I didn't think too much of them.

That is until today....

While downloading Google Chrome, I decided to create an iGoogle page for myself.

I am in love.

On a single web page, I can check my email, see my news feed on facebook, get a weather report, find out where D is using Google Latitude, check our family calendar, create my to-do list (complete with prioritization of items and a box to check off items I've completed), check the weather, link to my blog and other favorite web sites, and view my own zen fish tank.

What a great online tool.

Why did I not create my own page sooner?

What on earth was I thinking?

Google... I love you. Thank you for making such fantastic online applications. My world is a better, more organized place because of you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


It is truly an honor to be invited to a wedding.

To be invited to witness and celebrate the joining of two lives is a real gift.

I don't think I realized this until my wedding. To have all of my friends and all of his friends and both of our families in one place at one time...celebrating us...all enjoying good food and good wine... it was amazing. I didn't want to leave my own reception. I wanted the party to go on forever. Knowing how much I loved my own wedding and appreciated the effort all our friends and family went to to make it and be there for us makes me all the more excited to attend weddings I'm invited to.

We were blessed to end 2009 and begin 2010 with weddings.

On New Year's Ever, our friend Steve married his beautiful (seriously, a true beauty inside and out) wife. They had a small intimate candle-lit evening wedding followed by a reception complete with a three course meal and abundant French wines. It was elegant, intimate, and simply beautiful. D was an usher at the wedding and we had the honor of hosting a pre-rehearsal dinner (more on this, including the menu designed by my husband/personal chef coming) for the groom's family last Tuesday. Spending time with the groom and his family prior to the wedding and then celebrating their marriage, the new year, and the groom's birthday all in a period of 48 hours was one of the highlights of the year for me. To top it off, my good friend, Becky, drove into DC en route to the 2010 wedding and babysat K during the reception for us. It was such a blessing to have a night out with my husband, knowing that K was in such good hands. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Becky L!

On Saturday, January 2, my friend, Angie, was married in Pennsylvania. Her wedding was a 400+ person affair (yes, there were more people at this wedding than there were at Carla's!). The wedding took place in the afternoon with a reception immediately afterwards at the church. It was so different than Steve's wedding, but so Angie. She and her now-husband had friends and family from all over the world at their wedding. They successfully managed to include all seven of Angie's nieces and nephews in the wedding party. They even had a performance from the Youth Praise Band at our church, which Angie founded and leads. It was a extravagant celebration! And no one was left out.

Unfortunately, due to ushering responsibilities and a one year old daughter who will NOT sit still, D and I did not get to enjoy the wedding ceremonies together. Hopefully we will one day get to sit together hand-in-hand at a wedding. Hopefully...

But for now, we continue to celebrate (in spirit) with our newlywed friends, who are off honeymooning in southern Mexico and Morocco.

Cheers to all!

(Wish we were in the warm weather with you. It is freaking COLD here in DC.)