home again

well, for now.

we got back from central america on saturday night and spent the evening with friends while a tremendous storm blew through. it was a great segue back into “life”. i’m going to have to order some more pages for my passport soon. i think there is one more quadrant on a random page that is free. six years of travels! sheesh.

i had to work in winston and greensboro monday and tuesday so we just got back from that quick trip this afternoon. and we leave for the beach on holidays with the in-laws on saturday.

i officially have an ear infection. memories of my elementary school days are flooding back. i even remember being held down on a table by at least 4 doctors and nurses while they attempted to remove the tubes from my ears. the papoose was not strong enough for me.

i don’t think my house has ever been this chaotic with piles of crap everywhere. including the day we moved in. but i’m not even looking at it until tomorrow. i’m am just so tired.

so. tired.

i just need a few nights of solid 8-hour sleeps.

and maybe a nap or two each day. by the pool.

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it’s friday

(Now that song is in your head. You’re welcome.)

I kept meaning to blog this week but ran out of steam/time everyday. My apologies. We’ve had a full week. I’m going to work my way backwards, if that’s okay with you.

Today I had an awesome run.

It was a 45 mi run: 5 blue, 35 green, 5 blue; plus some extra because I decided to run a loop rather than double back. I’m so unpredictable. I don’t even know what the heck I’m going to do until I get to a corner and have to turn left or right.

But anyway, I had a great run. I feel like running in the morning has been challenging for me, feeling empty if it was a fasting run or feeling heavy/tasting breakfast if I ate something first. Today all I had were 3 Clif Bar shot bloks and a few chugs of water. I didn’t realize it until now, but they have caffeine from green tea (I probably wouldn’t have chosen to use them had I realized it… thought it was just a bunch of sugar). They tasted good and I felt great on my run, probably due in part to them.

I did the 4.8ish mile loop in just under an hour and mostly in the green zone (i.e. slower pace). I’m wondering how tomorrow’s run will compare since it will be half green, half yellow.

I also learned some new things about the miCoach app today! If you love seeing a graph and breaking down your run, I think you should definitely give this app a try. Check out the additional notes (shown for my red zone, available for the others as well):

I ran all the way back up the steep hill, trying to maintain <12:00 mile, which naturally put me in the red zone for over 5 min. But I conquered that beast and still felt good.

Compared to last Friday’s run (slightly longer loop):

I also learned that miCoach keeps track of any songs you play (through your music player, not Pandora)! Brilliant! Not brilliant: Britney Spears feat. the Ying Yang Twins somehow always cycles through. Must remove from playlist.

I also added my new shoes to my list so they’re ready for me when I decide to take them out for a spin.

See that middle box? I made that up, I haven’t run 200 miles on a pair of shoes nicknamed BOOM. Just wanted to show you what your shoe boxes look like if you choose an Adidas brand (vs New Balance and Reebok that I have). Neat.

This week’s runs were pretty good. I think I got sprinkled on by various sprinklers at least thrice. It was nice. We leave one week from today for Panama and Guatemala for 16 days and I highly doubt I’ll be able to run there. So I’m kind of bummed and don’t want to loose any stamina I’ve built up. Just crossing my fingers that our hotel in Guatemala has a decent gym with a treadmill since, being the blonde chick that I am, I will not be running on the street alone in either country.

Yesterday I met my seester at some outlets and enjoyed a hot afternoon walking around shopping.

Wednesday was the Fourth and it was fun! We hung out with some friends, had too many watermelon cookies, ate delicious pasta for dinner, and watched some fireworks in our neighborhood. It was quite good!

Nothing happened Tuesday.

But on Monday I got to meet our new nephew, Mordecai!!!

He’s just a bundle of cuteness. So sweet and content.

Uncle Bribri is a natural.

Seriously. Does it get any cuter? He didn’t cry once.

We also hung out with Mordie’s older brother Malachi.

This little punkin head snuggled up to me while we were watching some educational cartoon that I can’t remember the name of and you probably wouldn’t know. He’s a keeper. 🙂

Since we’re leaving in a week, it’s time for me to start the annual gathering of all things mini or trial-size. New to this year’s lineup (thanks to various germaphobic friends and news segments): a small bottle of mattress cleaner.

Perhaps I’ll do an entire post on how to pack for an international soccer tour for those who don’t play soccer but have to go. No one’s blogged about that before, right?

let’s do this

Every time I press ‘start’ in my micoach app, Reggie Bush says, “Let’s do this.” So now I find myself thinking it at the most random times. Getting ready to cook dinner, changing the sheets on the bed, trying something new…

This week I picked up some coconut water in attempt to try other ways of hydrating after a run rather than Gatorade. (No hate-or-ade here, just wanted to mix it up.) It was meh. I didn’t love coconut water the two times I tried it straight from the nut. [TWSS] So I shouldn’t be surprised that I didn’t want more than a few sips. But I heard there is a dark chocolate flavor so… I’ll be trying that.

Today’s “Let’s do this” moment came when I finally decided to buy the first Harry Potter book and start the wild ride, contributing to Rowling’s $10/second earnings. That’s right, I managed to make it this far in life without reading anything by J.K. Rowling. But I’ve seen the first couple of movies and played through Lego Harry Potter on the Wii, so I kind of know what to expect. Kind of.

I’m already over 50% through it and I’m wishing I hadn’t seen the movies. You know how you might picture things a certain way as you’re reading, but then you see a movie and those faces and buildings and scenery are stuck in your mind’s eye? Yeah. Not my fave.

I think I was expecting more adventure from the get-go, so I was a little surprised that I was nearly half-way through the book before Harry even got to Hogwarts.

I decided to read the series on my Kindle rather than borrowing or purchasing hard copies because I have a few trips coming up and the Kin-kin is way easier to travel with. Another reason I chose the Kindle is for the dictionary feature. Yes, I still have to look up words in a young-adults fiction book, but I also like to look up the names of various characters. I started doing this while reading The Hunger Games trilogy and Suzanne Collins’ other series, Gregor the Overlander. Collins is brilliant. It was like finding Easter eggs as I went on these adventures with Gregor and Katniss! E.g. in The Mockingjay, Katniss meets a pair of twins named Castor and Pollux, the names of the twin stars in the Gemini constellation. Side note, twins in Spanish is gemelos, in French is jumeaux, and in Portuguese is gêmeos. Bam. A little classical education for you.

Today, I had a few chuckles as I read some of the characters’ names in the Sorcerer’s Stone. Some were obvious like Emeric Switch who authored A Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration and Phyllida Spore who authored One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi. With the help of the dictionary I saw the humor in the name Sirius Black: Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky.

And now I’m rambling. Anyway, if you have a Kindle and are reading a fictional novel (other than the Bourne series), check out the names of some of the characters. If the author is worth her weight, there’s probably a story behind those names.

babies are a good reason to party

This past weekend was busy but great. I worked Friday night in Greensboro doing a Norwex show and had a baby shower for one of my dearest friends.

It was the cutest shower I’ve been to, no detail was over-looked. And there were no gross or embarrassing games.

Pom poms everywhere! Allison worked hard making all of these decorations!

I made a pink drink which looked presh in some mason jars with paper straws.

Just a few of the peonies that were fresh from Dorothy’s garden.

The mom-to-be! There was so much pink and so many ruffles!

Um, I barely held it together reading this… gah the emotions were overflowing that day.

I love these girls. 🙂

And these man-ladies.

I couldn’t leave this picture out. Petals is such a sweetie. And I love Ginna’s new haircut!

For more and prettier pictures of the set-up, food, and guests, check out Carrie’s and Allison’s blogs.

I crashed as soon as I got home on Saturday night and spent the day Sunday cleaning and packing for our trip. Since I’ve watched season 1 of Downton Abbey about 6 times now, I’ve moved on to season 2. Love it!

These will be my traveling friends for the next two weeks or so. We’re on our way to Ottawa (driving: via VA and PA). We’ll be spending the week with our Canadian AIA buddies. I’m really excited. We always stay with our family friends (rather than in the dorms) and I love them. Even though it’s a chaotic week ending in a 24-hour sports marathon, we always leave feeling refreshed.

mid-week update

My friend Carrie always does a weekend update (a la SNL). It’s a good idea but no longer the weekend. So here’s my mid-week update.

*New juice recipe is up: Fresh & Fruity Juice (seriously good.)*

Last week we headed to SC to visit my bff and her family. They have two beautiful kids now. It’s weird to think about the days when Little B didn’t exist.

And how about that bridge? I got to spend some time hanging out with Little T, too.

Sleeping babies are the best.

I wish I could’ve recorded the sounds he was making. 🙂

After a quick trip to SC, we headed to CLT to visit CCC(D). She cooked an amazing dinner for us. After she whipped out her onion goggles from the utensil drawer, of course.

She also cooked up a mountain of waffles for brunch on Saturday.

My brother was there, she must’ve known that he is a black hole and eats everything in sight. Except for the “sticks” in the pineapple.

Before she made breakfast, though, we hit up the local farm market. It made me miss my juicer.

I am totally that girl who wants to travel with her juicer.

We made it back home as storms blew through and brought winter back. No, winter. Go away. You had your chance. It’s OVER.

(In recent news, I’ve started watching Portlandia. Spot on.)

‘ello from Vancouver

We arrived in Vancouver late Sunday night and for the first time, there was no familiar face waiting by the wooden statues to pick us up. We walked to our rental car (finally) and drove back to our old neighborhood, talking about past memories and pointing in shock at 50 homes that stood on what was an open field when we left in August.

It has been weird being here. It feels more like home than Raleigh. I think because we work from home and travel so much on weekends, we haven’t really established a routine. We don’t have “something” to miss while being away. (I mean, obviously we miss Lola. But that’s different.)

Anyway, I stopped in at my former go-to grocery store.

It’s still the same. 🙂 Except for this new “product” that caught my eye…

I thought about buying some. But’s nearly $10 for a tiny bag. No thanks. I’d rather be bent over and forced to spend way too much money on stretchy fabric that reminds me that I’m not an athlete. (See Lulu reference below.)

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend who was a student when I worked at SFU. We had sushi, of course. I think I’ll only be eating sushi in BC. It’s just so good here.

We also got to meet our good friends’ baby, Asher. 🙂 Look at that FACE!

It’s just so squishable!

I also got to do a little shopping (thanks Lulu, there goes went most of my Christmas money) and meeting up with other friends… no pictures from those. I was also seriously starting to miss my gym! …maybe that’s why I don’t work out anymore! 😉

One thing I don’t miss about this place, the rain. I debated bringing my rain boots. Definitely should have. Wet jeans/feet is the worst. Looks like I’ll be staying inside to  hang out as much as possible. 🙂