One Year

This weekend marked one year since we moved to SoCal. It’s been a year of adventure and learning to belong. We’ve sown a lot of roots this year, which we haven’t really ever been able to do and it’s been an amazing process. B had to work this weekend, so I chose to celebrate the anniversary by painting our living room. 

 
I had to get creative with moving our furniture. I didn’t want to slide it and potentially scratch the floors, so I had to walk it in little segments. That took me a half hour alone. But I was really dedicated to getting this room painted. 

 
Progress photos are my favorite! This hot I does a great job of showing the color I see, which is nice because it’s really hard to photograph now that everything is painted. It definitely needs the white contrasts in dimmer lighting or it fades away. Which is exactly what I wanted, a soft barely there color.  

 

Four hours of painting later, I had a gorgeous living room. That doesn’t photograph well, but paint never does. Especially on an iPhone. I had to play with my Instagram filters to get the color to show better. Regardless, I am super happy with it. Now I just need to finish the kitchen and powder room. 

Here’s to another year in SoCal. I’m looking forward to more exploring as our roots take hold so our wings can take flight. 

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Five for Friday v. 27

I feel like I’ve gone mostly radio silent this year. I type out posts, tweets, and the like and then delete them unseen by any but me. I’m not sure where my reticence is coming from, but I would like to figure it out so I can get back to my old self. 

 

one Running has become such a part of who I am. I start to get antsy when I miss more than a couple of days. Today is a long run day and it will be my first run since Sunday. I’ve definitely noticed that my  attitude nose dived the more days I don’t run. Which means I need to figure out a solution to my not running on workdays. Which mostly involves getting up and running anyway. 
  

two We spent this week being good adults. It sucked. On Tuesday we spent three hours wrestling with taxes and we’re still not done. I’m waiting on one last 1099 and we need our investment documents. We have also done car maintenance three days this week and taken the pup to the vet. All overdue, so maybe next time we won’t do it all in one week. 

 

three I’m super excited to get back to painting this weekend. I took last week off since we had family in town. But now I’m ready to get ‘er done. I feel like all the little things are coming together to make our home complete. My MIL sent us rug backers to keep our accent rug from sliding all over. I’ve made us coasters that are cute and cheap. Now I just need to get the paint done and then get pictures up on the wall. Then I can take a break to figure out what to tackle next. 

 

four I have puppy fever right now. One of B’s cousins got a pup and they’ve plastered Instagram with photos. Unfortunately, I just don’t think it’s the right time for us to be adding to our family. We work long and odd hours. Loki does great, but I’m afraid it would be too much to ask of a puppy. But that doesn’t stop me from looking and dreaming. 

 
five I made a big effort this last week to reach out to friends and set up phone dates. Both calls lasted for well over an hour. It was so good to hear my friends’ voices. We’re turning them into standing dates, because it turns out I’m not the only one who is missing them. It was an excellent object lesson in reaching out and being rewarded. Moping about being lonely doesn’t solve the problem; calling people and reconnecting does.  
  

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Run To Remember LA

finisher medals

finisher medals

Today was race day! This race experience was so different from my half marathon last month. Speaking of, I can’t believe that I ran my first race in early December and it’s still not been two months since then. While Run to Remember is in it’s 12th year in Boston, this was the inaugural race in LA. They had quite a few hiccups, but overall it was a great experience.

race bib

race bib

I was super excited for the runner’s expo. I had so much fun wandering the one in San Antonio and had high expectations. This was prior to realizing that this was a first year race. B and I went together after both of our work days ended and I was pretty disappointed. There wasn’t much there to see and the set up was poorly done. Probably the most irritating part was while they asked for t-shirt sizes during registration, they just gave out whatever people asked for when they showed up. So, by the time we could make it, they were out of the sizes we had requested.

carbo

carbo

loading

loading

After the disappointing expo, we walked over to our favorite dinner spot in Little Tokyo, a doner place named Spitz. We fell in love with doner sandwiches in Germany, and this place serves the best ones we’ve had since leaving. We take advantage of going every time we’re in the downtown area.

race morning selfie

race morning selfie

The race morning started way too early. B stayed up all night, because he’s found his best runs are after a night of work. I napped from midnight to four am and it was brutal getting up that early. The parking garage didn’t open until 0530 and that started the worst part of the day. We made it to the race area by 0545 and sat waiting to turn right for half an hour, when we were less than half a block from the turn. There was only one entrance to the parking garage, and for a first responder race, there was absolutely no traffic control. We did eventually get parked, found out that they weren’t handing out the parking tickets as promised, and decided to deal with that after the race.

at the start

at the start

We lined up and after twenty minutes of speeches or so and an awesome helicopter flyover, we were off. B took off, as he does, and I tried to remind myself not to run too fast. That’s really not easy to do. But, during my half marathon, I started at a pace that left me without enough to finish the race strong and I didn’t want to do the same thing. Still, even with settling myself down, I found it hard to slow down to my planned eleven minute mile pace. In fact, I never actually made it there. My splits were 10:13, 10:49 (see, I tried to slow down, also there was a hill here), 10:43 (this mile saw me seeing B on his way back in and enter into Paramount Studios), 10:28, 10:34, and 10:11. I ran the race I wanted, with a faster second half of the race. I will say that running through Paramount was by far the best part of the race. They had a memorial wall set up, a red carpet area complete with volunteer paparazzi, and it was just a neat experience.

finishers

finishers

The last two miles were an exercise in will power. I wanted to slow down. But, I refused to let myself. I stuck with the people I had found and kept lying to myself. I told myself repeatedly that I could slow down at the next turn, and then I would try and speed up instead. Sprinting into the finish line was amazing. B was waiting for me after I got my medal and that was so much fun. He finished in 43:52 in his first ever race, which has clinched his spot on his work’s relay team for a March race. I finished in 1:05:(02/25 depending on whether you trust my app or the chip time more) which was a four and a half (to five) minute PR for me.

I really felt like my training paid off this time around. I’ve started running significantly faster in the last couple of weeks. I’m excited to see the improvements with continued training.

Post race we went to brunch with some friends, which is pretty much the best way to cap off a race. I’m really hoping that B will keep with the running with me, because I like the idea of visiting different cities to explore and hit up races together. It’s a lot of fun to be the couple that races together.

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Of Stuffed Dinosaurs and Exploring

  
One of our informal resolutions is to get back to exploring this massive city of ours. We’ve done a decent job of getting out and about during our eleven months of residency. But, since B switched to nights, we’ve really slacked off. The excuses are miles long, but they don’t really matter. Getting back out there does. 

 
Our original plan for today was to go up to Six Flags. We’re season ticket holders and haven’t been since the end of summer. The forecast threatened rain just long enough to alter our plans. I didn’t want to spend the day on the couch, so I searched for some museums to explore on a rainy day. We woke to sunshine, but the Natural History Museum and its Mummy exhibit was calling our names. 

While I didn’t take any pictures in the Mummy exhibit, I indulged in the rest of the museum. It was fun to wander the dinosaur hall. Then we found this polar bear who could be Loki’s ancestor. B had to pet him. 

  We were fixing to leave, when I saw a picture of the little stuffed dinosaur. I knew he would be perfect for Loki. We made our way back to the Dino gift shop to find him. He was forty dollars unless you purchased something else. I found a .69 eraser and got Loki a twenty dollar dinosaur. Yes, I might be a bit insane. But I barely got in the door before Loki started begging for it and he’s carrying it all over the house now. 

I didn’t know how much we needed this trip until we purchased that dinosaur. It’s so easy to fall into a rut, to quit exploring, to forget to be impulsive and have fun. That little dinosaur was an impulsive purchase and is pure fun. Here’s to a year of exploring and impulsive fun. 

 

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Joy

I’ve never really been a resolutions person. I know how hipster that makes me sound. But it’s true. I avoid the gym like the plague in January because I hate how crowded they are. I’ve never cared for diets so I don’t do them. I don’t like giving things up completely because I believe that moderation is key. 

And yet, I do want to make sure I’m being my best me. I want to live my life as fully as I can. I don’t want to hold myself back. With that said, here are a few things I want to do more and less of in 2016. 

cook more, eat out less

I’ve rediscovered how much fun cooking at home can be thanks to a cookbook housewarming gift. Now it’s time to capitalize on that and do more cooking. We have been doing better about eating at home more, but we still eat out way too much. I want to perfect a few recipes to be easy go-to recipes to counter that it’s easier and faster to go out. 

run more, drink less 

This is not me giving up booze. But it is me acknowledging that alcohol leaves me dehydrated and groggy the next day. And that makes running quite difficult. I ran 196.4 miles from the end of August to the end of December 2015. I want to run all of the miles in 2016. Running makes me feel balanced and centered. 

read more, internet less

I have decided to track the number of books I read this year. New reads, old reads; that doesn’t matter. What does matter is getting back to enjoying reading. I want to stay up late to finish books. I want the tv and laptop off while I lose myself in dusty pages. I lose a lot of time to mindlessly browsing the Internet. I want to cut that back so that when I do engage, it’s more meaningful and less of a time suck. 

laugh more, cry less

The end of years are hard for me. Transitions are hard for me. Winter is hard for me. Somewhere, I’ve lost my joy. Joy is my word for 2016. I have a daily guided journal winging its way to me that focuses on finding joy. I want to refocus on the things that make me smile, rather than dwell on the things that make me sad. 

Here’s to a new year, a blank slate, and a fresh start. Here’s to another day and making it count. Here’s to what was, what is, and what is yet to be. Here’s to 2016. 

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The Year is Dying, Let Him Die

The close of every year always manages to surprise me. It seems that I’m constantly looking back and wondering how I got to where I am. It’s a pretty marvelous feeling honestly. Because every year surprises me with what unfolds. I’ve definitely learned to stay open to what the year has in store. 

Last year we were living with my inlaws with no plans. B had just had LASIK and we weren’t sure how long it would take to get a job offer. Just two weeks in to the year, he got the call that caused a lot of angst until we decided to embrace the new adventure. 

January was a daze of getting him ready to start his training academy, me flying back to Texas to grab the spare car, and searching for a place to live. It was a whirlwind of too many hours driving and the stress of job hunting and moving. 

February saw us moving in to our new place, me finding a job, and the painful realization that our girl dog was not doing well at our new place. We went hiking and made lots of quick trips to the beach. We were settling in to B’s academy routine and they had finally started letting up on the paramilitary training style. 

March was me realizing that I hated my job, quitting it and walking into two positions the same week. Both positions needed some major subbing over the next couple of months, which was a fortuitous finding for me. B continued to dominate in his academy. And we finally rehomed Sam to live with the inlaws. I cried a lot this month over that change. 

April was me actually changing jobs and diving full force into teaching again. I received a lot of training in the music and movement classes, plus started building my own clientele. We reveled in being in SoCal with trips to the beach, to the mountains for hiking, and snapping up a SixFlags season pass. 

May saw us have our first visitors over Memorial Day weekend. We did our first movie at the Chinese Theater and made our first trip to the Griffith Observatory. My subbing was coming to an end and I started focusing on building up my own students. B was slogging through his academy and tantalized by the end that was drawing ever closer. 

June started off with my 30th birthday. It was one I had been dreading until it came and life kept going. We celebrated by hiking and then a fun dinner at the beach with friends. June also brought B’s badge and our first full celebration of his job. 

July saw B graduate as the number one recruit from his class. Their graduation party was an insane night of drinking and fun. We then had a brief week off before I started my summer classes. On one of those glorious off nights, B told me that he didn’t want to keep renting for another eighteen months. Our original plan was to renew our year lease in February 2016 and start looking for a home that fall. After that discussion we decided to try and find a house by the end of the year. 

August saw us pick a house and enter escrow less than two weeks after deciding we would buy. It was a whirlwind of appointments to pick out flooring and phone calls with our mortgage broker. We began packing things up and dreaming of paint colors. B also went on his first backpacking trip up into the Sequoias. I went home for my sister’s baby shower and on that trip decided that I needed a new hobby. Thus, when I came home I began training for my first race, a half marathon. 

September was the month we became homeowners. We bought paint, negotiated a whirlwind move where I painted two rooms and a wall in less than 24 hours while having our internet hooked up and furniture delivered. Before we knew it, we were spending our first night in our new home. Work was a blur this month as my schedule has morphed into my never having more than a day off at a time. 

October felt positively quiet after the previous couple of months. I taught, B worked and we kept settling in. We went to the beach with Loki and ran on the beach for the first time. We hosted our first house party and celebrated all month long. I picked out four new paint colors to try in the walls. None were picked. My sister had her baby and I enjoyed getting pictures of a cuddly newborn sent to my phone. Our plantation shutters finally arrived and we survived hanging them up together. 

November saw B switch to nights and his least favorite trainer. My schedule became too much and I broached moving a day. My students were all amenable and I built in a weekend for myself. My BFF came to visit over Thanksgiving and she helped give opinions on my myriad of paint colors. We made hurricanes, went to the beach, and grilled steaks for our fancy dinner. I bought a Christmas tree for our house and made grand plans for decorating. 

December started with 13.1 miles. I flew into Texas for a quick week of family and racing. I met my niece and celebrated Christmas with my family. I came home and tried once more to find paint for our main floor. Success was achieved in our ninth sample. B finished the second phase of his training and got to go along on his first helicopter ride along. We decided to buy a coffee table for our living room after I threw down our Turkish rug. We signed up to run a 10k in January. 

Even looking back, I’m still not sure how we got to where we are now. Life twists and turns and I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store. 

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Run to Remember: A Start

I knew almost as soon as I finished my half marathon that I wanted to run another race. Honestly, I knew as soon as I crossed the start line. The endorphin rush, being part of something so large, it all got to me. The moment our corral started running, I knew I was fully hooked.

Picking my next race really wasn’t hard. B is currently training for the Baker to Vegas relay race in March. We enjoy running the same basic distances when we’re off together. Not that we run together. He can maintain a 7:15 pace over a 10k distance. I cannot. But, since he’s currently focused on the 10k distance, I’ve decided that that’s the next distance I want to race. I like that the mileage allows for short runs that are easy to fit into my weekday schedule but still require long runs on the weekends so that I don’t lose any of my distance training.

We signed up tonight for the LA Run to Remember at the 10k distance. My 5 week training plan will launch on Monday. But, for me, I started back tonight. It was a cool and wet night and I really didn’t want to run. That’s what is so great about training for me, I don’t even see it as an option to skip. It wasn’t actually raining and I knocked out a solid 5 mile run. I’m really happy that two weeks after my first race, I’m back to training for my next race. What can I say, I’m definitely hooked on running.

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