Monday, June 28, 2010


In January, I set out to run 1000 miles before the year was over.

Each Monday I go to the google document tracking my miles and add the previous week's mileage. Last week I realized I'm over 500 miles. I'm half-way there. And I haven't even begun marathon training yet. I've run (a little walking from time to time) more than 500 miles this year.

500 miles.


880,000 yards
2,640,000 feet
1,056,00 steps.

That's a lot of running.

Thankfully some time spent cross-training and running on the treadmill this spring resulted in a healed knee.

Marathon training commences in 2.5 weeks.

I feel confident that I will achieve my goal of running 1000 miles this year.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I've had the luxury of working from home this week.

No commute. Endless coffee and ice water. No public restrooms. Two computers - one for lit reviews and articles the other for the word document that contains the first chapter of my dissertation. A window to look out (I work from a closet at school - great to have my own room and computer, but I miss seeing sunlight during the day).

There is also the perk of running at 6am instead of 5ish. To get a run in and get to school on time means I have to run around 5am. This translates into a run from about 5:15-6am. When I eliminate my commute, I can run around 6am and still get to work on time. It is such a luxury!

This morning K and I headed out for a short four mile run. We left the house at 6:01. It was hot and humid out and I was sweating before we reached the first traffic light (a block and a half from home). We set out on a normal running route and it was crowded with walkers and runners. And they were ALL so friendly. Even the college kid, who looked like he hadn't run or exercised in ages. He was all waving to my baby and wishing me a good morning. It was a delightful run; full of smiles, good-mornings, waves, and have a nice days.

It was SO different from the 5am running crowd. For whatever reason, the 5am runners are a little more serious/tired and a lot less friendly. Rarely on my early morning runs to I get any pleasantries. Sometimes a passing runner will nod in response to my friendly morning smile.

The 6am crowd was great this morning and I'm looking forward to more 6am runs this summer as I'm planning to work from home on Tuesdays starting in July.

Also on our run this morning, we watched the sun rise over our little corner of the city. We had to navigate around an enormous goose who was monopolizing the sidewalk. We saw several BIG backhoes. Unfortunately they were not running yet. We also bumped into several of our neighbors who were off to the metro early in the morning.

This morning's run ended with two big glasses of icewater and a cool shower.


Today's goal: complete a full first draft of the first chapter of my dissertation.

Tomorrow's goal: edit said draft and email it to my advisor.

Tomorrow: spinning class at noon!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


This past week I watched K and her little buddy twice. That's two full days with two active toddlers.

It was exhausting.

With two structure, entertainment, planning, and activities are necessary. I've gotten good at planning Tuesdays when I regularly have both kids. But by the second day this week with two, I was really tired. We had some plans, but I also needed some grace/luck to help the day go by quickly and smoothly.

As luck would have it...

Thursdays are trash pick-up day. Both kids LOVE trash trucks (is there a kid out there who doesn't?!?).

And we were lucky enough to have the trash truck park behind our house for a little while that morning. And they they went up and down our ally - driving forwards and backwards (or back-ho as K calls it) for quite some time.

It was about 15 minutes of perfect and unplanned (not to mention FREE) entertainment for both the kids.

Here they are captivated by all of the trash truck activity outside.

Monday, June 14, 2010


For weeks (possibly months) K has refused to say YES.

She perfected no-no-no-no-no forever ago, but yes was a long time coming.

A couple of months ago, something clicked in her little mind and you could tell she knew the difference between yes and no. We went through a long period of time where her no would actually mean yes.

Often D or I would say, and by no you mean yes.

A couple of months ago, K started saying GO-GO for yes.

Conversations would go something like this...

Me: K would you like some milk?
K: go-go.

Me: K would you like to draw?
K: go-go.

Me: K we're going to the pool are you ready?
K: go-go.

Me: K do you have a poopy diaper?
K: go-go.

Not sure how, when or why go-go became her phrase of choice for yes, but it did. I truly came to love hearing her little go-go's throughout the day. I'd ask for a kiss. She'd say go-go and plant a big one on my lips. Super sweet.

Well, the time of go-go has quickly come to an end. Last week in Florida she began saying yes more and more. And now, when she needs to positively respond to a question she says yes enthusiastically.

I'm a little sad.


Speaking of go-go...

We purchased tickets to fly to Taiwan this summer. Taiwan family, we're coming! I haven't been to Taiwan since the summer of 2007. So looking forward to going back. Cannot wait to see D's family (I'm sure the boys are so big) and am excited for all the wonderful Taiwanese food.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Now that classes are over, summer is here, marathon training is about to commence, and I am re-motivated to get my *ss in gear, I've decided I need a little structure and a little cross training in my life. I've decided to use my lunch time at school each day to get my exercise in. Breaking up the day with a little mid-day exercise has been great. I'm more awake around 3pm and the afternoon hours seem to fly by.

I'm at school M, W, and Th.

On Mondays I plan to run at home before taking K to our friend's house for the day (it is the other mom's turn for the mommy-share). On Wednesdays I've been running at the gym and doing some ab work.

Thursday has become SPINNING day.

I took my first spinning class in six years yesterday.

It kicked my butt.

I haven't sweated that much since I ran 20 miles last summer in the DC heat.

My legs haven't been so sore in ages.

I haven't pushed my self so intensely in a L-O-N-G time.

I haven't had that much fun exercising since the NYC marathon.

I loved it.

I love that my bottom hurts from the saddle and that all of my leg muscles are sore today.

I loved it so much that I can totally see myself becoming a certified spin instructor and teaching my own classes some day. Seriously, how much fun would that be?!?!

I also loved my instructor, Julie. She had great music and was full of encouragement. She paid me a HUGE compliment by telling me I looked like I had been spinning for years and that there was no way I was a virgin spinner. Love her for telling me I had an awesome first class! I'm so excited for next Thursday and completely bummed that the only other spinning class she's teaching this summer is on Friday evenings from 6-7 (that totally doesn't work with my schedule).

I tried my hardest to keep up with the class on Thursday, but quickly realized I was out of my league. I have a lot of room for improvement.

I know that spinning is going to make my legs stronger and increase my endurance.

I also know that having fun and working so hard is going to help me in so many ways: I'll feel better about myself, I'll enjoy exercise more, I'll probably lose some extra weight, and I might even make a spinning class friend or two.

Here's to a summer of spinning classes, a lot of sweating, and great cross-training.

Stronger legs and leaner body... HERE I COME!

** photo credit:


School: I turned in the first 1/2 of the first chapter of my dissertation to my advisor this evening. Pen has been put to paper...I'm writing my DISSERTATION!

Weekend: we are so freaking busy... my friend Heather is coming to visit tomorrow morning, we have a 40th b-day party to attend tomorrow afternoon, and a wedding on Sunday.

Dinner: BBQ seitan with spicy cabbage.


This is K playing in the fountain at the National Arboritum surrounded by the original pillars of the US Capitol.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Many years ago, my friend Becky left Washington DC.

She went off to Atlanta and then to Tampa.

I hate that she lives so far away. I hate that I couldn't tell her I was pregnant in person (I emailed her a picture of my positive pregnancy tests instead). I hate that she wasn't here the day K was born. I hate that she lives so far away and I cannot see her when I want to.

I last saw Becky in January. In March, my other friend, Andrea, and I started talking about going to Florida for a girl-cation sometime in the spring. Coordinating Andrea's work schedule, my school schedule, and Becky's CRAZY work/coaching schedule was not an easy task.

But we did it!

On Saturday morning, K and I left DC on an airplane (zoom, zoom - that's K's noise for an airplane) and flew to Florida. We were met at the airport by three of my good friends.

Girl-cation 2010 had officially started.

We started the weekend by grabbing lunch at the Taco Bus in Tampa. It was awesome. I had the butternut squash burrito and it was heavenly. K enjoyed it, too. Our first order of business after lunch was getting to the pool. Getting a toddler packed up, dressed, sunscreened, and to the pool is no easy task.

We lathered up.

We all got our flip-flops on.

And we went to the pool. YEAH!

On Sunday we drove out to DeSoto Beach. After one look at the beach and a quick dip in the water, I realized why this is one of the nicest beaches in the country: large sandy beaches, warm water, clear blue water, and no commercialization. It was delightful.

Here is out little water-baby running from the parking lot to the beach. She could not wait to get into the water and grab the waves.

K was a HUGE fan of the water; the sand not so much. I carried her the entire time we were at the beach. She wouldn't even stand on our beach blanket because it was "messy".

Yes, she is a little princess at times.

On Monday, we went for a morning walk at Lettuce Lake. I had high hopes that we'd see an alligator while out walking along the river.

We looked and looked.

But no alligators were seen.

K did manage to drop my Pittsburgh 1/2 marathon water bottle into the water. And although we didn't see any alligators, we made the decision that a water bottle rescue mission was not in the cards.

Bye-bye water bottle.

On Monday night we went to one of the county water parks where Becky was coaching her swim team. They were doing time trials; trying to get swimmers qualified for the Paralympic Nationals this summer. I really wanted to watch the swimmers. They are amazing - swimming with such disabilities yet striving to improve and get stronger and faster. They were inspirational to watch - even if it was for just a few short minutes.

K spent most of her time at this pool on the kiddie waterslide. Specifically, she sat at the top of the slide and put her fingers in the running water.

She would have sat in this position for hours if I had let her. And when I turned my head, she would quickly lick the water off her fingers. Little stinker doesn't understand the concept of DIRTY WATER.

Our girl-cation was over SO quickly.

If only the last 15 minutes of our flight home would have gone as fast. K screamed the entire decent. She kept complaining that her ears hurt and I know they did. I tried to get her to eat and drink, but she didn't get it. She just wanted to walkie right off the airplane (zoom, zoom).

It was a fabulous four days. While K slept during the evenings and at naptime, we big girls cooked wonderful meals together, enjoyed a good chick-flick, and laughed and laughed and laughed.

Here's to Girl-cation 2011...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


We're back. K and I spent the past four days in Florida visiting with friends. We enjoyed a lot of quality time in the sun - at the beach and pool. We ate wonderful burritos and excellent fish tacos; not to mention some super brownies made by Andrea!

After spending numerous days doing nothing but what is pictured above, we're getting ready to get back into the swing of things at home. There's a dissertation to be written, laundry to be done, chores to attend to, and a birthday party and wedding to attend this weekend. We are busy, busy, busy.

On the way home, I got interviewed by one of the local news stations in Tampa. K and I, along with my two girlfriends, made the evening news. Email me or leave a comment if you'd like to see our TV debut.