Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Trip To Tar-jay

Last night, I was scheduled to meet a few former students for dinner at Red Robin.  I decided I'd take the opportunity to return a few things to Target before dinner.  I had a swimsuit and a movie to return.  Not really sure why I had purchased a swimsuit in the first place - every one knows I hate water.  And swim suits.

Anyhow, I had about 20 minutes to run in and out of the place.  I had to make the returns, and pick up a few items like kitty litter, laundry detergent, coffee and such.  Ya know, your typical Tar-jay type of trip!  Piece of cake in 20 minutes.

However, on the way to dinner, a different group of former students called and asked me to meet them at a local bar, about 2 blocks from Red Robin. Since I'm not the teacher who says no to her students, I called Eric to double check that he had bedtime covered and prepared myself for a late night.

This change in plans clearly meant a necessary change in wardrobe.  You have to agree that one shouldn't wear a schlumpy hoodie to a bar, right?.  Which meant I had to FLY through Target, running my errands, look for a few things to try on and HOPE I could find something to wear to dinner/drinks.  In 20 minutes.  Missions Impossible?

Lo and Behold...
I found this cardigan in grey and threw it on over my white-tshirt. - very light weight and simple. I am thinking I should have bought it in white, though.  I have three grey long cardigans now...wonder if my sister wants one (Kim, call me if you do).

And I found a chunky necklace (one very similar to this picture) to accessorize!
 Mission Accomplished!

As an added bonus, I came across this dress.  The dress falls above my knees so I won't look as dumpy as one might assume from the length of the dress in this picture. I now have a dress for leadership camp!

If you do happen to find yourself in Tar-jay in the next few days, I HIGHLY recommend you pick up this little DVD treasure.
I'm on Day 3 and it is KICKING MY ASS.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Party! Party!

In the next three weeks, we are hosting two parties.

The first is my dad's birthday.  And my brother will be in town, too.  An added bonus, to be sure!
The second is a family reunion on my mom's side of the family. 

I love throwing a party. I love having people in my house, hearing their laughter, seeing their smiles, and feeling the love.  Despite my serious dislike of figuring out the menu and serving food, I must admit that with each party, the food part has become easier for me.  

Throwing a party this time of year is even more fun because I have loads of time for planning and shopping since I'm not working full time.

And I'll  have loads of time to 

1.  clean out the basement/guest room of all the junk we store in it and 
2.  organize and price everything for the garage sale (held the same weekend as party #1)
2.  cut down the overgrown bushes that have taken over since the last party - 3 weeks ago!
3.  take all the old clothes in the house to the local clothing bank
4.  make a dump run of old junk
5.  and do a final deep clean of the house before guests arrive.

It's going to be a busy couple of weeks!
Good thing I'm done detoxing - bring on the red wine!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Seattle RNR Half Marathon Recap

What a great day to run!  

 Jeff, Gypsy, Kelli and I waiting in the corral

We headed into Seattle around 4:30AM, rode a lovely school bus out to the start line...ironically, the start line is closer to our houses than the finish line.  In essence, we DROVE to Seattle, DROVE back towards home, than RAN to Seattle, and then DROVE home.  A little ridiculous but that's the way it worked.

Anyhow, the organization of the whole thing was great.  The first few hours of the day were a lot like Disneyland, standing in lines, waiting for your turn to go.  The race starts in waves so we had about an hour to wait until our corral was at the start line.  Once we made it to the start line, they did a great job making us feel like we were the first group off the start line, with an official gunshot and everything.

The energy of running with so many people felt amazing and the first 2 miles flew by.  It was easy to keep pace with those around us so we definitely chose the correct corral for our herd.  After the 2 mile mark, we set the interval timer and kept going.  Run 6 minutes.  Walk 1 1/2 minutes.  Never skipped a beat. 

 I felt really good through mile 10.  I hadn't run more than 10 miles so I wasn't sure if I had enough in me to make it the last 3 miles.  Fortunately, the race is plotted such that the last three miles put you on I-90, through the tunnel into Seattle, past Safeco field and finishing at Qwest Field with a lot of spectators cheering you on.  Needless to say, I found the energy and we actually skipped two of the walking intervals in the last 3 miles. It helped to have the crowd cheering us on, yelling over and over again that we only had a little bit more to go.

Jeff, Gypsy and I crossed the finish line together - in under 3 hours! I admit I almost cried but had to focus on keeping my legs moving or else I knew I would cramp up. Kelli totally kicked arse, having not run more than 6 miles before yesterday and she was less than 5 minutes behind us (turns out she prefers to run alone and does just fine on her own!).

It was perfect. 
Me, Gypsy and Kelli at the end of the race

I really couldn't have asked for more from myself or my team.  Having never run a 1/2 before yesterday, I wasn't sure what to expect but hoped for meeting our goals.  Gypsy and I had previously walked two half marathons and, after the last one, I knew that I was ready to amp up the competitiveness and start running.  I feel good about the training.  Without Jeff and Gyp to keep me honest, I don't know that I would have trained as well as I did.  I feel good about meeting our goals.  Surprisingly, my body feels good today.  Only slightly sore with a MONSTER blister on my foot.  But nothing that a little stretching and the Shred won't knock out of me in the next few days.

I am not done running. For the next few months, running will be for fun.  I'll go for a run because I want a glass of wine or a huge meal.  I'll go for a run simply because it feels good when the run is over.  I'll go for a run to stay healthy and strong.  I'll go for a run because I want to; not because I have to.   I have new goals, such as improving my mile time. In November, we'll run the Seattle Half Marathon and long runs will begin again this fall.  But I'm not going to do more than two of these marathon things a year.  It is too hard to work full time, be a wife and a mom, and train.  I'm lucky to have the friends and family to support me but doing more of these in a year doesn't appeal to me.

If you think about it, two half marathons a year equals a FULL marathon and you can't beat that!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Little of This, Little of That

The past four days have been simply gorgeous.  Temps in the 70s, which is perfect for this area! 
With the sun, comes early morning wake ups (4:15AM to be exact) as the sun streams through our multiple picture windows into our bedroom.  One of the downfalls of having a loft as a master bedroom is the noise that floats up in the morning and the large picture windows that allows for a lot of sunlight...directly into my eyes at it rises.  But I refuse to put blinds up and ruin the effect of the windows. And I don't want the sun to go away.  I'll just have to dig out my eye mask again.

Alexander had swim lessons this morning.  During the lesson, while our little fishes swam and swam, Gyp and I discussed our race strategy.  Both of us care very little about the ending time.  Our goal is to not walk unless we are in the walking interval.  Even if we have to drag ass across the finish line, we both want to run/walk the intervals we have set from the start of the training.  It was nice to confirm matching goals and I HAVE NO DOUBT we will meet it.  And then eat a huge lunch after we're done!

Immediately following swim lessons, we took Alexander to a local park and met up with Umma.  Alexander ran and ran and swung and swung and the three of us tag teamed on the giant slide.  Like I said, the weather was beautiful and we took full advantage. 

Once the boys were tucked away for naps, I went into Seattle with one of the herd to pick up our race packets today.  Unfortunately for us, there was a Mariner game at the same time so parking was atrocious.  Simply atrocious.  We ended up parking in the jail parking lot (my friend works for the court system), paid half of what we would have paid for parking, and enjoyed a lovely walk in the sunshine to Qwest field for the Expo.  We picked up our bibs and swag bags and walked the Expo for free goodies.  We were unable to stay too long but long enough for the excitement of the BIG RACE on Friday to build again.
 (notice the MGD64 sign to the left?  Who says they won't run for beer?)

Eric and I went out for a delicious Mexican feast tonight and are now watching Inglorious Bastards.  It's pretty good and a really unique twist to WWII. 

Another swim lesson tomorrow.  Another day of sunshine tomorrow.

Summer vacation rocks.  Kinda like the rock that JUST hit our picture window...FROM THE NEIGHBOR MOWING HIS LAWN!  OMG.  Did no one learn their lesson??

It's Official: I'm a Muggle.

One of the things on my to-do list this summer was re-read the Harry Potter books.

I was going to re-read the Twilight books first (in anticipation of the girls going out to see Eclipse on July 1).
But then Eric and I were flipping through the channels the other night and lo and behold,  Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was on.

It was a sign.

Since I picked up the first HP book on Saturday, I have read the first four (finished it late last night).
I've read non stop.  Rather than clean, do laundry, or take a nap while Alexander and Eric nap, I have read. 
At first, the reading was great for all the rainy days.  Soon, the sun start showing.  So, now I'm starting to rock a great tan from sitting outside and reading for 3-4 hours.
As only a true Muggle can do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How do I find these blogs??

Today's story:  An eight year twin girl named Ellie, who is dying of cancer.  Her two year battle is coming to an end.

It's hurting my heart.  Yet, I can't turn away from it.

Kiss your loved ones tonight.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Time for a Run

For Mother's Day, I asked for a watch.  A runner watch.  Nothing fancy.  And certainly nothing expensive.

I wanted a watch that I could use for running intervals to improve endurance and speed.

Eric didn't want to pick out the watch for me because he wasn't sure what bells and whistles I wanted (what part of nothing fancy didn't he get?)

I spent this afternoon searching online for watches.  Boy, there are a lot of expensive fancy ones out there!  Maybe in another year, when I'm running more, I'll go fancy with a Garmin or Polar watch.  But, for now, I've made my decision.  And I'm looking forward to this little beauty arriving on my doorstep...

Timex Ironman 50-Lap Sleek Flora Watch 

And I bought it on sale on Amazon.  For half the regular price.
Happy Belated Mother's Day to me!

Are you SURE I'm not on winter break?

It is the first day of summer.
I think Mother Nature forgot to send sunshine to the Northwest.

It is raining.  

With nothing but gray skies overhead. 
(pictures from google images)

And I don't think Mother Nature is coming around anytime soon.
National Weather Service Forecast - Seattle Metropolitan Area

 Damn her.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Dad. My Hero.

My dad and my son
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it...
This past year has been hard for my dad.  
my dad, my hero, would be the first to tell you to not bother worrying about him (in fact, I can hear him telling my mom that I never should have written this post about him.  Too bad.  I win.).  In the past six months, what started with a trip to the ER due to dehydration has become full kidney failure.  Daily treatments and nightly routines of kidney dialysis are what my dad faces every day.  Blood draws.  Doctor visits.  Total change in lifestyle.  It would be enough to make anyone want to quit. 
my dad, my hero, faces the challenges with dignity, strength, honesty, and optimism.   He has his good days and on those days, we rejoice that the medical world has made progress which allows him to have control over this disease.  He has his bad days and on those days, we cry, we worry, and we wonder why he has to go through it.
my dad, my hero, would be the last one to tell you to feel sorry for him.  He says, "the bad days are bad.  But they end in 24 hours, and they are fewer and farther between than they used to be.  When I feel good Chelle, I feel good.  And you can't ask for more than that." 
No, I don't suppose we can (although a new kidney would be nice).
He taught my siblings and I that, no matter what else, family comes first.  He believes that philosophy to the core of his being and it is evident when you see him giggle with his grandchildren, hug his wife, or talk on the phone with my brother.  He taught his children to laugh at themselves, stand strong and be independent, to love fiercely and with all we possess, and to never settle than for less than what we deserve. 
Thanks for the lessons, Dad.  
His legacy lies in his children. 
And his grandchildren.
I hope we have made him proud because we are proud of him. 
Each and every day.
I Love You, Dad.  
(Kim and Patrick love you, too.  I just happen to have a blog that allows me shout it to the world!)

Friday, June 18, 2010


Today's 7 mile run was brutal.  I have done this distance several times and I have never felt as terrible as I did today.  I was hungover.  I was dehydrated.  I was absolutely miserable.

Now granted, I did spend the past 3 days in a drunken "it's the end of the school year celebration" mode.  And since Mom's retirement party, I haven't rediscovered my Weight Watchers motivation.  So, I am to blame for my sluggish performance.  Bad food + Too much booze = Worse run of my life.

Therefore, for at least the next week before the half marathon, I'm going booze free.  I'm going to try going processed foods free, as well.  And drink loads of water to hydrate well before the run.

I may not improve my run time but good Lord, I have to feel better than I did today!

Happy Detoxing to me!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

School's Out for Summer!

My husband is a rock star. 

The last week of school is jam-packed with cleaning, grading, and social gatherings.  In other words, I'm a busy gal in the remaining 72 hours of a school year and Eric is a full time dad, from 6AM to 9PM.  I have an office to clean, grades to be done (no, I don't actually grade papers but I do have to submit final grades so work is necessary), end-of-the-year functions to attend, and it's all done with very little rest. 

I'm very blessed to be married to a very understanding husband who spends long days with a very busy toddler as I finish up the school year.

Yet, out of chaos, a tradition has risen.

On the last day of school, Alexander spends the morning at Mommy's work. We go to school at 7:30 and immediately run around the campus.  Then, we chat with kids who don't have to be at school but have parents who make them attend, give high 5's to kids he likes, ignore adults who scare him, play hide and seek in Umma's library, and then finally head home (shhh, don't tell anyone we leave an hour early).  By 9:30, Mommy is making breakfast while Daddy wakes up from his first sleep in from the summer.  By 11, Mommy and Alexander are napping.  And by 1, Mommy is on the golf course with her co-workers, drinking beers and slicing every single shot to the right (I really should practice more often).

We're three years into this tradition and it is awesome.

For the next eight weeks, Alexander will glue himself to my side.  I will wake early with him, read books at naptime and bedtime, be his daily playmate, and pretty much spend every minute with the kid. 

He will want to do everything with me and for all intents and purposes, his father will not exist.

To be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way (please note that I really like that Eric does exist).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summertime Fun!

My last day of school is Thursday.  Technically, it is a half day but we have a golf tournament for staff so realistically, it is a full day (of drinking and bad golf that is oh-so-fun!).

I started thinking what I want to do with my summer months (10 weeks, to be exact) and have started a list.  Not that my writing a new list should come as any surprise to any of my lovely readers...
  • Read.  I'm going to re-read the Twilight books.  And  I ordered two books from the local library this afternoon. Have you read either?  What did you think?


  • Complete this challenge:
I bought it last week and when my muscles recover from the half marathon, Jillian and I are going to hang out.  For 30 days.
  • Work on National Boards, once a week, for four hours.
  • Run four times a week.  Not for distance, but definitely 3-4 miles each time.
  • Clear out the basement,  the loft storage space, and Alexander's closet and have a garage sale.  One gals "crap" is another gals "treasures", right?
  • Take Alexander camping for the first time.  We might end up sleeping in a tent in our backyard but it will be camping.
  • Visit a local park once a week to slide down slides, swing on swings, and laugh out loud with Alexander.
  • Thursday night Date Nights with Eric.
Can't wait to start crossing this stuff off the list!

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    200 miles

    I ran six miles after work today.

    With today's run, I have officially run 200 miles since I started in November.


    Think of all the places you can drive within 200 miles of your house.

    I think I'm officially impressed with myself.

    I promise, when this half marathon thing is over, I will stop posting about my running.

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    My Friend, Jen

    My friend, Jen.   

    Jen is a teacher.
    (Jen is also a VERY successful real estate agent but that isn't the point of this story).
    She teaches DECA (a marketing/advertising elective class) in a high school.
    She teaches part-time (90 students total).
    Her program is completely self-sufficient and each year, 1/3 of her students qualify for Nationals.
    And they win.

    In other words, Jen makes a difference.

    A few months ago, my friend, Jen was told she would not have a job next fall.
    The administration had political rational reasons for the termination of her position.
    A program, which raises $50,000 each year and is completely self-sufficient, would be cut.

    Jen's students and their parents disagreed with the decision.
    They asked the school how much money it would retake to rehire Jen..
    The district said Jen could retain her job if the kids raised $24,501 to pay for Jen's salary.

    The deadline to raise the money was last night.

    At 7PM on June 7, Jen answered the phone.
    Jen heard a voice tell her an anonymous donor wrote a check for $24, 501.
    Jen had to pull over and ask the caller to repeat herself.

    The caller told her that she made a difference to kids.

    I couldn't agree more.

    Sunday, June 6, 2010

    Sunday Run

    The half marathon is three weeks away.  That thought freaks me out.

    Today, the herd (-1) ran 10 miles with interval training.  Keep in mind, the longest I have ever run is 7 miles with interval training.

    Let's stop and read that last sentence again.

    I RAN 7 MILES?  What?  THEN I RAN 10 MILES?  What What?

    This from the girl who, during softball practice, would pretend she left something in the car, or would tie her shoes, or would complain endlessly how softball players didn't need to run because we stop and start from base to base.  I would come up with anything to avoid having to run from home base to the outfield fence.  I laugh about it now because the distance was SO short yet my complaints were endless throughout the season.  
    Oh, how my coaches must have loved me.

    Granted, all this running is with interval training (6 min run, 1.15 min walk).  But we're shaving down the number of intervals it take us to complete a distance and we're running faster during the running portion of the interval. We are running.  Who cares how it is getting done, right?

    I've said all along that I thought we could do this half marathon thing.  However, I have had my doubts.  Finding the time to run long distances is difficult.  Finding the motivation to run long distances is difficult.  Finding the stamina to run long distances is the most difficult of all.

    We're doing it, though.  One step at a time.  One mile at a time.

    Dare I say running has become fun again?!

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    For the Record

    Running with a head cold sucks.

    Running with new shoes rocks.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    On the Road Again - with a new pair of Sauconys!

    I am bored with running.

    I admit it.

    I miss the days when I would strap on the shoes, plug headphones in the iPod, and hit the road to run, just because it felt good to move.

    These days, running is more of an obligation and less of an accomplishment.  I am forced to hit the trails to put in the miles for the training of this crazy half marathon thing I signed myself up (in 3 short weeks!  ACK!) rather than hit the trails to enjoy the sensation of exercise.

    I'm frustrated that instead of losing weight, I'm gaining it.

    I don't have the time for the long runs. I'm frustrated that running anything less than 5 miles feels like a bad workout. Unfortuantely, running 5+ miles takes over an hour for my elephant self to finish.  

    But when do I have an hour on any given night with end of the year commitments, a family, and this dark, wet, dreary weather that is slowly killing me on the inside?

    But I wasn't raised by my mama and daddy to give up.

    So, I have done what any smart, enthusiastic, competitive woman would do...

    I bought me a new pair of kicks!

    Aren't they pretty?!

    I love Saucony shoes.  And I love the Saucony Women's ProGrid Hurricane 11 Running Shoe which is currently on sale at 

    On sale.  Awesome.

    Funny how a brand new pair of shoes can give a person a brand new perspective.