Category Archives: Family

TGIMT (Thank God It’s My Thursday) 

The best kind of workweeks are three-day workweeks. Today was my Thursday because on REAL Thursday I’m leaving for my cousin’s wedding in Iowa/my stalking mission of Bachelor Chris Soules. I’m looking around at my living room right now and realizing I need to do ALL THE THINGS before I go because a friend is coming over to house-sit and dog-sit and I don’t want her to think we live in squalor. I also just bought a dress for this event about an hour ago when hubby and I went on a binge wedding-clothes shopping mission. 

Does anyone else think that work really gets in the way of life? Because I could have had all this stuff done DAYS ago if I didn’t spend 8-10 hours a day being an employed adult. Just kidding (mostly), I VERY much appreciate being employed and earning a living. 

I missed Track Tuesday while I was out shopping tonight, which was sad, but I’m going to try and hit the gym at 4:30 tomorrow morning (I tend not to sleep when I’m stressed or before I travel). Saturday I forced myself out the door to meet my group for 8 miles at 8 am, even though my partners in crime were both booked elsewhere. I managed to find people to talk to for about 6 of the 8 miles, so while 8 miles didn’t really fly by, they were definitely not as painful as they could have been.  My average pace want as great as I would have liked, but I was able to converse the whole time, so I’m guessing I could have gone a little faster if I wanted to. Mostly I wanted to make it through. I’m supposed to do 9 this weekend (and I have a 15k next weekend), but thanks to Map My Run, I realized that 9 miles in a smal town in Iowa is REALLY hard to do. So I’m going to try and do a few laps around town, and squeeze some walks in. Not ideal, but better than nothing. 

So excited to see these people this weekend! I’ve got a recipe headed your way, hopefully tomorrow, that my hubby calls “the best thing I’ve ever made,” which is pretty high praise so get excited. 

Your turn: Any fun weekend plans?

How do you squeeze workouts in on vacation/when you’re with family/when you’re confined to a hotel gym and sharing a room with your parents?

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A Crazy Busy Week and Bracket Madness!

After a weekend spent recovering from my 10k PR runner’s high, the work week threw me right back into being a busy bee, and I haven’t gotten ONE run in. My legs are craving some pavement pounding. This must be what it’s like to like running.

We spent a lot of this week reminiscing about our time in Ireland just about a year ago, especially since it was St. Patrick’s Day. We went to McMenamins, our old stomping grounds, to drink Irish Stout on nitro and Irish coffee and listen to bagpipers and try and decide what the best thing we ate in Ireland was (answer-fish and chips, but we couldn’t decide what ones, and seafood stew). Tuesday is normally my running group night but I had a late meeting and didn’t get home in time to meet everyone so we did this instead.  

 

March Madness started up this week, and I’ve never filled out a bracket before. But someone at work asked if I wanted in on the bracket challenge and all I want is to be office popular so I said yes, and now I’m hooked. We went to lunch yesterday at Life of Riley, the sports bar I love across the street, in order to watch a few key first games. I was excited to order a sald with grilled chicken, and by that I mean I ended up getting  this delicious Philly cheesesteak instead. With a salad.  

 

This afternoon I’m kicking off a long weekend by reliving my youth at the state dance team competition with my bestie and his mom and I’m so flipping excited! Here’s what I liked like back in the day.  

  Then hubby and I are going to the beach for a few days of much needed R&R. It’s supposed to rain off and on which is perfect Orefon beach weather in my opinion. You don’t go to an Oregon beach if you want to lay out and tan, unless it’s a freak 90 degree day in the summer. I’m excited to run along the beach with the dog and put together a tricky puzzle I got for my birthday. Because I’m 80.  

 

I’ve been wanting to make myself one of these for a while, so I finally buckled down and did it. And I love it! I have 6 medals on it total so far and can’t wait to add to my collection. My next race is a 15k in mid-April. 

Happy Spring Break to those of you who get one in the upcoming weeks! Does anyone else think that it’s really cruel that you grow up getting regular vacations every year and then all of a sudden you become an adult and they just rip them away from you? Because I do. We should all follow the school calendar. 

Your turn: Are you doing anything fun this weekend?

What were you involved with in high school? Sports? Drama? FFA?

What do you do with any awards or medals that you win?

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Luckython 10k – Mud, Medals, and Fully Loaded Potatoes

My first 10k is in the books! I may have a few half marathons under my belt but I’ve never done a proper 10k until this drizzly, breezy Oregon morning. This is the first race hubby and I have done together in years!



Luckython, organized by Uberthons, was a 5/10/15k held at the Reserve Golf Course. St. Patrick’s themed, of course. We ran along the golf cart paths, which were riddled with mud puddles. Mile 1 was slow going, since they started all three distances at the same time, but miles 2-6 felt decent. I managed to PR my 5k and 10k times! 



I stuck to my goal of not walking (except through aide stations…I was already soaked, I didn’t need to waste my opportunities hydration so I preferred actually drinking the cups of water to tossing them in the general direction of my mouth). I have never EVER run 6 miles without taking walking breaks before. Never. And I kept all my miles under 12 minutes! I’m steadily getting faster. Today was a personal victory for me (note smiling face in the photo below).



After the race, there was a baked potato bar. I didn’t complain. 



On a final note, the boyband mix on Rock My Run has proved to be a complete game changer. If you were a teen in the 2000s, you will NOT be disappointed. It has really upped the ante my last few runs, because something about Aaron Carter just keeps me motivated (and BSB, and Hanson, and BBMak). 

Your turn: What are you up to this weekend?

Favorite boy band throwback song?

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Weekend Recap: A Run, Some Sun, and Some Fun

I’m getting really tense watching the Bachelor finale, so I figured I would blog a little bit to release some tension. If Chris doesn’t pick Whitney, I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’LL DO. That’s clearly not true, my life will go on, but for some reason I’m super into this season. It’s gotta be my Iowa pride. 

It continues to be gorgeous in Oregon, and now we are all on pins and needles waiting for the inevitable rain to start pouring down. Our Runner Chick training run this weekend was 5 miles, which my legs were just not feeling, but hopefully the next few days of workouts will get them loosened up because hubby and I are signed up for a St. Patty’s 10k on Saturday morning. 

After our group run, my running buddy and I hit up Tom’s Pancake House for some much needed refueling. I’ve never been a huge pancake fan, but these bad boys are da bomb. I can eat them on their own, no syrup, no butter, just pure delicious fluffy semi-sweet pancakes. And they are even better when you pair them with some country sausage and two eggs fried over medium. 





Saturday night we hit up our first Timbers game…THE first Timbers game of the season. Beforehand we stopped at Laughing Planet, a local chain that serves healthy bowls and wraps with local ingredients and lots of veggies, and split some jambalaya. 



Then a whole plate of Tillamook cheese foods at the stadium. 



The match ended in a tie (lame) but it was fun, as always!



There’s still an hour left before After the Final Rose and I’m already binge-eating Trader Joes Brown Sugar Frosted Shredded Wheat (no milk, just tossing them back plain). 

Your turn: Are you dealing with Snowmageddon, or are you living it up in the sun?

What cereal do you find yourself snacking on?

Pancakes or waffles? Normally I’m #teamwaffle but Tom’s pancakes make me question all my life choices. 

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The Valen-Times

It’s a gorgeous weekend here in Oregon!

My Valentine’s weekend started out a little womp womp, with a citation for riding the train to work without a ticket. It’s completely my fault, of course, for trying to outsmart their electronic ticket system. But still, not a great thing to have happen first thing on Friday morning.

The rest of the day, however, was great. A group of us walked from the office to Verde Cocina for lunch, where I forgot to take a picture of my huevos rancheros because they were so devious looking that I immediately started wolfing them down. Verde Cocina serves Mexican food with an emphasis on farm fresh veggies. Nothing is deep fried, and there’s a lot of non-traditional ingredients used, like squash, bok choy, and quinoa. I first tried it a few years ago at Portland Farmers Market so I’m thrilled that they opened up a cafe not far from my office. Also I can’t wait to try their margaritas because I bet they are phenomenally fresh.

Friday night was the start of a much needed restful weekend. We didn’t have much in the fridge or pantry for dinner, so we ran to Whole Foods and picked up some “gourmet organic” frozen items: tater tots and samosas. I had a bag of “lite ultimate Caesar” salad in the fridge, and some asparagus. I mixed up the salad, drizzled the asparagus with EVOO and salt and garlic pepper, and roasted it at 425 until it started to brown, while our gourmet frozens were cooking up. I also found this deliciously odd beer which I sipped while I waited for dinner.

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This dinner really hit the spot. Every once in a while, we really like some frozen meal supplements. They are quick and easy, and always feel like a treat. We enjoyed our plates while we we cuddled up on the couch under blankets. Our house has been super drafty lately.

When it breaks 60 degrees in February in Oregon, you don’t question it, you just get your rear outside, so hubby and I decided that a hike with the pup sounded like the perfect Valentine’s Day activity. We headed out to the Tillamook Forest to the Wilson River Wagon Trail to get in a few morning miles (since I was being bad and skipping running group).

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The trail was beautiful! We hiked four miles or so out and back, passing waterfalls, glades, and winding in and out of some gorgeous forestland. There wasn’t another soul on the trail. The only downside is that this trail, while being closed to motorized vehicles, is surrounded by ATV trails, so that noise started to get old after a while. Also the rural gun range shots started to get a little tiresome, but neither of these things put a damper on the beauty of our surroundings. Ramsay had a blast. He loves to be a wilderness hipster dog.

On our way home, we were hungry and it was lunch time. So we pulled over at Coleman’s Shady Rest, a roadside diner. I love all the roadside stops in the Tillamook Forest, on the way to the coast. I used to beg my parents for day trips to the beach so we could stop at my favorite diner for pancakes and hot chocolate on the way. Coleman’s wasn’t serving breakfast anymore, but they still had huevos rancheros on the lunch menu (I’m on a huevos kick lately). YUM. I think a more accurate description of this would have been “eggs and chili verde,” but I didn’t care because it was so darn good.

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We spent the rest of the day relaxing.

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For dinner, we stayed in, cooked up one of our favorite meals, chicken teriyaki, and watched Dateline, because my husband is the best and agreed to watch disturbing crime shows instead of a romantic movie or something. I also broke in my Moscow mule mugs.

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Today, we worked on finishing touches with the paint in our room, took the dog for a walk, and enjoyed opening up the windows and airing out the house. I’m not ready for Monday!

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Hot Mess o’Life

I got my Erin Condren life planner and wrote out a whole two week editorial calendar and had all manner of high hopes and aspirations for these last few weeks. And then work got busy and our house got messy and our cat got sick and we had to put her to sleep and I became an emotional hot mess. So, in a nutshell:

I love my Erin Condren planner, though I’m still working on using it to its full potential. I managed to jam it into my purse so I pull it out whenever I have a moment to organize my life through the day.

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I joining the Runner Chick training group based out of my local Roadrunner Sports store (with friends, obviously, because I am codependent when it comes to exercise). It’s been fun to get with a big group of people and run on Saturday mornings and I’m looking forward to continuing with the half-marathon group and HOPEFULLY register for the local Rock & Roll, because the medals are legit and pay tribute to the famed Portland Airport carpet (RIP #pdxcarpet). Plus running with pacers and trying to keep up with friends is very helpful for my split times. Stay tuned for more…I have to pay money for this group to ensure I stay dedicated.

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Work has been crazy busy (end of our fiscal year, what what to my fellow accounting types!) but we make time weekly to order crazy noodles from the Vietnamese place down the street and my tummy loves it. Picture pad thai without the fish sauce plus the bok choy and some bigger noodles stir fried to ultimate deliciousness. Seriously I think I’ve had these once a week since I started my new job. Worth the splurge. Plus the bok choy makes it feel slightly healthier than it is.

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Our baby girl, who’s been with my husband for something like 13-14 years, recently was diagnosed with Feline Cushing’s Disease (on top of diabetes, arthritis, and a benign tumor in one eye) and we made the excruciating decision that it was time to put her down last week. She wasn’t getting better with her medication, and her quality of life had decreased, but it was definitely the most difficult decision we’ve had to make as a family. I was in tears at my desk all day Friday, especially when I got this text message:

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All the tears in the world every time I look at this.

Now we are loving on our furry baby boy who clearly misses his sissy and keeps running to her room looking for her. Time heals all wounds but this one is deep for us. We definitely lost a member of our family and it was a tough weekend for us. Aka I skipped my run (which, in hindsight, was a terrible decision) and we drank beer and ordered Chinese food and barely left our house.

These looks.

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Now, it’s a fresh week, we have a clean house, and we are well rested after being forced to sleep on our couch for a week while we painted our bedroom. Clawing my way back onto track for 2015…still feeling the promise and still happy with all we’ve accomplished so far!

Now, your turn:
-How do you cope with the loss of a pet? How do you help your pets cope with the loss of a pet sibling?
-Are you in a running group?
-What do you think about the #pdxcarpet hysteria? (See examples here: http://pdxcarpet.com) As a lifelong Oregonian, this carpet has always signified coming home, and I have ALWAYS loved it, but I think the new pattern pays tribute in a fresh way that is not infested with 30 years of bacteria.

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A 12th (Wo)man Kind of Sunday

Oh my word, ya’ll (I wish I was southern), what a WEEK. As much as I tire of the monotony of getting up and going to work and working and coming home from work every day, after this last week, a little routine and some down time ain’t a bad thing.

But first, yesterday was just magical. I am hoarse from screaming at my television over the Seahawks game. I have never had so much nervous energy pent up during one game. I really thought it was over during the third quarter and now I’m ashamed that I didn’t believe in the power of the 12th Man. Since Portland doesn’t have a team and I lived in Seattle for four years during college and consider it my second home, I feel some “hometown pride” for them. When I was up there in Seattle on game day this fall, I couldn’t believe how many people were rocking jerseys. A little sports success, which always seems rare in the Pacific Northwest, has really brought everyone together.

Ramsay hates football season because our yelling interferes with his nap time.

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After the game, I was so wound up that I took the dog out for a two mile jog to decompress. It was short but we managed to make it home just before the skies opened up and the apocalyptic rain started once again.

While I decompressed on my run, husband celebrated by baking some monkey bread which was a delicious smell and taste to return to.

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Now, it’s Monday again and I’m back on the train on my way to the office. Last week I got to go to my first ever company party, which was fun, especially considering it was at a swanky club on the east side and my previous company didn’t really have parties. Another night was craft night where I stayed up way too late laughing with friends and family and drinking All The Wine.

This week it’s just work, sleep, and keeping up with house work, and that sounds just perfect to me.

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I’m ready for my hike from train to office, which always makes me feel like I have the city to myself for half a mile and I love it. How did I live for so long without working in the city? I mean, my lunch game has really stepped up.

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So, your turn. Who are you rooting for in the SuperBowl? How do you entertain yourself during your commute? On a scale of 1-10, how tired are you right now?

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Come At Me, 2015!!

Happy New Year! How is it 2015 already? Where did my 2014 go?

This holiday season was an absolute blur. Getting used to my new job and new commute, balancing Christmas with my parents and hubby’s parents, my birthday, back to work, parties and treats and presents and family fun! It leaves a girl exhausted (probably why I’ve been sleeping in every weekend). But I’m ready to take this new year by the horns!

For starters, we’ve managed to keep our first floor clean since Christmas, which is a feat for us. We came up with a cooking and cleaning schedule that seems to be working, rotating meals and chores and throwing in a weekly date night.

I also have an Erin Condren life planner headed my way, which, based on everything I’ve read, will just rock my world. I fully anticipate this thing to just completely change my life.

After, sadly, failing the second part of the CMA exam, I ordered updated study materials (because obviously right after I fail the test they completely change it up and my $900 study system becomes instantly moot) and intend to pass at the end of May, with flying colors this time. Everything else is finished for my requirements, this is the last thing holding me back from those three oh so professional letters being added to my business cards.

I’m also going to ease myself back into a running routine. My normal schedule has come back to me and sometimes I get home before it gets dark! (Changing jobs makes me feel like I’ve regained my sanity.) So yesterday we took the dog out for a short lap around the neighborhood and it felt good! I’m eyeing more races this year, and really have my heart set on Portland’s Rock & Roll half in May.

I also have ambitious blog goals, but I’ve said that before. Crossing my fingers that I can develop some discipline this year and crank out some content that’s been percolating in my brains!

I’m ready for you, 2015!

What are your goals for the year?

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You SNEAKY Christmas!

Why is it that these last few years, Christmas completely sneaks up on me? I feel like the Christmas season lasted so long when I was little, and now it feels rushed, between shopping and work and decorating and trying to crank out some cookies. Womp womp.

I tried to convince my hubby that we needed a tree RIGHT after Thanksgiving this year, to no avail, so we went to get one this last weekend. This is the main event that gets me in the holiday spirit. We have vowed to always cut our own tree for as long as we are physically capable of doing so.

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So we dressed in our Carhartts and boots, hoisted Ramsay into the truck, and drove to our favorite little tree farm, where we spend an hour selecting the best Grand Fir of the bunch. Which is, without fail, probably too large for our house. Every year we say we’ll go smaller, but we just get so excited.

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We literally had to snip off the top IN our living room to make it fit. But it was totally worth it.

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I’m slowly reclaiming my life from 12 hour workdays (I start my new job on Monday) and am trying to get into a regular, healthy routine again. It’s hard to get back on the wagon. I’ve been making sure I get some good protein for breakfast, and today, I got lucky and came home before it was dark, so I took the dog on a longer than normal walk, because we both needed the exercise.

I have lots of post ideas percolating in my brain, so I’m hoping to sneak them into my schedule as I get the chance in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

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Thankful Thursday – Fattening Friday

I think I’ve come to understand Thanksgiving more as I’ve grown. I’ve always loved Thanksgiving for the food (since my two main food groups are bread and potatoes), but the last few years especially, I love thinking about all I have in my life to give thanks for. This year, I feel like my list is especially long. First of all, I’m thankful for the new job I’m about to start (more on that later) but I’m also thankful for my little family and funyons, my health, my happiness, and everything about living in the northwest! Also for stuffing leftovers.

Stay tuned over the next few days for updates of all my latest life happenings, as well as a few tasty recipes (I was in charge of dessert this year).

I’m thankful for YOU, for reading this blog!

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