An Awesome Playlist Can Make ALL the Difference

Yesterday I was so excited to go to the gym. Probably more excited than I have been in a very long time.

You see, I created a new playlist for my run. The songs make me so happy! They make me wanna dance \:D/...and run.

Here's my playlist:

Add a playlist to your page using iLike

I probably looked a bit like a fool as I did my run on the treadmill. There was definitely a spring to my step and a bop to my head. I was having FUN! I didn't care if anyone was watching. I was just enjoying my music.

At the beginning of November, I made a goal to run at least 5 runs in a month at a pace faster than a 9 min/mile. This was a pretty aggressive goal for me - quite an improvement from my normal pace. I decided to stick to slightly shorter runs. I've refined this goal to maintain that pace for 20 minutes.

Yesterday was the FIRST run I've done that broke that 9'00" barrier. My average pace was 8'57" for slightly more than 20 min and a total of 2.29 min.

Yay, me!
Now, I just need to do this 4 more times by 12/2. Wish me luck. %%-


Memories of Halloween

Halloween has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I used to love to dress up!

I've been challenged by the wonderful ladies over at The Secret is in the Sauce (SITS) to write a post about my favorite Halloween memory. I couldn't decide on just one.

First up, flashback to 1990, 8th grade. I dressed as a banshee.
Halloween was so fun that year!
My costume was great!
My make-up was scary.
(It would've been better if I'd been able to take a pic
with a more stoic expression. Oh well.)
It took a lot of time and effort to tease my hair just right. I vaguely remember my sister spending some time on the bus ride to school teasing and teasing and teasing it some more.

The best part of that Halloween, though, was trick-or-treating. You might say that 8th grade is too old to go out trick-or-treating, but it was absolutely fun! I went with a group of friends from school, and we walked around their neighborhood.
I remember a lot of laughter and fun!
I also remember how I refused to wear my glasses (I hadn't discovered the wonders of contacts yet) because they would've ruined my make-up. I don't know how I was able to do that, but I do recall a near run-in with a tree branch!

Next up: 1999.
My boyfriend at the time and I dressed up as Neo and Trinity from The Matrix
I don't really recall any particularly exciting thing happen that year. I just love how great our costumes turned out.

Happy Halloween, everyone!
Hope it's safe and fabulous.

This post was written as an entry for a contest to win a Canon Rebel T2i camera. Hop on over to SITS for great blogging tips and more awesome Halloween memories. 


Come back, fall! I want to bask in your loveliness a little longer.

The weather this fall has been crazy warm! I'll have to check the actual stats later, but to my recollection, it's been one of the nicest, warmest falls.

Most days I've been able to enjoy going outside in T-shirts and flip flops. Jeans, too, of course. That would be terribly inappropriate to go out without them. Of course, many days campus was filled with girls sporting their short shorts. No shorts for me, though. I'd already packed them away for the season.

Anyway, I digress. Let's just leave it at it's been unusually warm. And beautiful.

The leaves paid no mind to the warmth and changed colors and fell to the ground all the same. Actually this added to the gloriousness (is that a word?) of this season.

All this came to an abrupt end a couple days ago.
The temps dropped.
The winds became fierce.
This morning, I awoke to falling snow.

I love the look of snow, and while it's not in the least bit unusual to have snow at the end of October, the fact it's been so unseasonably warm the past few months, makes today's weather unusual indeed.

Mostly I feel jipped of the gradual transition from summer to winter.

My hope for fall this year is gone. :-(
Today I dug out the winter coat and gloves.

Have you been experiencing unusual weather this fall? What are your predictions for the weather this winter?
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3


What was I thinking?!

Remember my inspirational woman post?

Well, I've bitten the bullet and decided to join her next summer for a women's only pedal and paddle weekend excursion. It's a Friday through Monday experience with a 45 mile bike ride one day and a long kayaking trip another.

I've mailed in my registration form; I'm all set.

Well, except for that fact that to date, I don't think I've ever ridden more than 7 miles at once.

I DEFINITELY have some training to do!

Wish me luck!


Do you have the time?

I was walking home from work today when a passerby tapped his wrist to ask if I knew the time.

I was about to say No, because I knew I had no watch upon my wrist.

Then I remembered my cell phone was very easily accessible in the pocket of my hoodie!

I grabbed it and told him the time, but I was amazed at my reaction to this universally recognized symbol.

That tap to the wrist barely even registered as a valid question until AFTER I'd verbally heard the request as well.

With the ubiquity of the cell phone, has this simple gesture lost its meaning?

Or am I just old and losing my mind?
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.0

Can sitting at your desk be harmful?

I never realized how dangerous working in an office could be. I mean I rarely even leave my desk.

Yesterday, I did explore the tunnels between the Grain Exchange and City Hall during lunch. I was hungry and wanted to avoid the rain. A few trips to the bathroom in the afternoon, but other than that, I was pretty much sitting the entire day.

And the day dragged and dragged and dragged.

Finally it was 4:30! Time to go home!!



I didn't trip or twist or slip. Just all of a sudden my right ankle was in pain (at least that's how I recall it).

It started out as just a slow throb. I mean it HURT, but I was still able to maintain my regular pace (a little on the brisk side) as I walked to the shuttle.

The shuttle ride was a nice little respite, but the pain increased as I walked across campus back to my apartment. I even hobbled my way over to the auditorium on campus to listen to Roxana Saberi, the American journalist who was imprisoned in Iran in 2009.

I thought my right ankle even looked slightly swollen compared to my left, but my sweet husband assured me that my ankles are just naturally big. Nice.

So, I tried to sleep it off.

No go.

And naturally, I was in a rush this morning and left about 2 min late (which can make a huge difference), so I was forced to maintain a pretty healthy clip walking to the shuttle this A.M. I even made it with time to spare. In fact, I had to wait for the shuttle to arrive.

Guess I hadn't needed to walk that fast after all.

From the shuttle to work, I tried to take a slow, easy pace, but it was COLD and WINDY, so I walked slower, yet still a little briskly.

Now I'll try to take it easy throughout the day.

Hopefully it will just be a 24-hour thing (like a stomach bug) and will spontaneously stop hurting at 4:30 this afternoon.

Let's hope because I have a ward volleyball game in the morning, and I WANT TO PLAY!


You Again!

Since we had no YW going to mutual last night, my first counselor and I went to see a special preview of You Again.

I didn't really know what it was about, so I made sure to watch the trailer before heading to the movie. It looked like it would be pretty funny, so I was excited to go.

These special previews for movies are always so CRAZY! We arrived at the theater 45 minutes early only to be place in a huge queue that seemed to wrap and wrap and wrap...

Good thing we'd grabbed some drinks and popcorn before getting in line! :-"

Once we'd got to the front of the line, we had to "check" our phones. NO RECORDING OF THE PREVIEW was going to be allowed. What phone doesn't have a camera nowadays?!

Naturally, by this time, we'd been waiting in line for awhile sipping our sodas (well I had an Icee). By the time we were ready to find our seats, we both had to pee. We took turns and were comfortably seated in the crowded theater by the time the movie began. Phew!

The movie started out hilarious! =))

The interactions between Marni (Kristen Bell) and Joanna (Odette Yustman) were terrifically funny. I thought they played off each other really well. They were arch-enemies during high school. Joanna was a big-time bully. Now, she was about to marry Marni's brother!

Gail (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Mona (Sigourney Weaver)? Not so much! I didn't really care for their storyline. They were supposedly BFFs throughout grade school and high school. I guess I was expecting a little more pent-up drama from their characters. Something a little more similar to the Marni/Joanna dynamic.

About mid-way through the movie, I got a little bored. The funny was kind of wearing off, and I didn't particularly like where the writing was going.

I was definitely disappointed by the end.

Don't get me wrong. I'd watch it again, if Jeff wants to see it. It was funny. There were just also a lot of things about it that I didn't enjoy.

I'd even recommend it to others - provided they go into with low expectations. It's definitely not the funniest movie of the year!


Felt like Phoebe!

I hope I didn't look like her, too.

Remember this episode of Friends?

Well, last night I went for a run. Usually, what I do would only be considered jogging. I'm not that fast nor do I push myself too hard. Slow and steady wins (or at least finishes) the race is more my mindset.

But I'm doing the Reach Your Better Body workout from Fitness magazine. The cardio portion of the plan is running intervals. After a warm-up, last night I ran (really pushing myself) for 1 min, jogged for 2 min and repeated that 5 times.

In order to run faster and harder for that one minute, I really lengthened my stride and picked up the pace. I was running much faster than my usual pace, and I really felt like I looked a little like Phoebe Buffay.

Hopefully my arms didn't flail quite as much as hers.

Hopefully I looked ridiculous only in my head. :D

On another note, I usually run during the morning, when there are few cars and fewer people outside. Lately it's even still been dark. I found last night that I much prefer this. Hopefully it won't be raining in the morning, so I can run before work!!


Back to Blogging: Why I Blog

Today is the final day of the SITS Back to Blogging event.

Today's challenge was to write about why we blog.

This should be an easy topic, right?!

Why do I blog??

As I thought about this today, I thought about how I really started this blog when I was living in NY. I was away from family and friends, and I thought blogging would be a good way to share my thoughts and stories with those I didn't get to see very often.

As I've continued to pursue this blogging venture, I've discovered how much I like to be open and share my thoughts. Blogging allows me to escape the bounds of my debilitating introversion. In the blogosphere, I can be an extrovert. Well, to an extent, of course.

I think this is the reason why I continue blogging. I love sharing with the world my thoughts and stories!

Another main reason I blog is for validation. Not sure this exactly a noble reason to blog, but honesty is important, right?! So, I admit, I feel much better about blogging when I receive feedback or gain new followers. There is no better blogging feeling than when I receive an email notification that I've received a comment.

Comment love is definitely a cherry on top of my blogging journey!

So...bring 'em on.



Back To Blogging: Women Who Inspire

At first, I was a little stumped by this topic (It's Day 4 of the Back to Blogging event over at SITS). I guess I don't really think about who inspires me in my life. I was going to do a google search for "inspiring women." Lame, I know.

Then, I stumbled upon Holly's blog at 504 Main who wrote:

I am more inspired and impressed by ordinary people
who have regular lives and jobs, and families,
and obligations but still find time to contribute to the world,
their community, their friends on a daily basis.

While I'd never visited her blog before, I was inspired by Holly, and my thoughts were immediately turned to my friend, Laura. Laura is totally awesome in nearly every way.

She is funny, down-to-earth, caring.

I haven't known Laura very long (I think I just met her back in April or May of this year), but she is definitely one fabulous lady.

An engineer by trade, she is now a SAHM with two beautiful girls--a 7th grader and a 3rd grader. The 7th grader is autistic and definitely keeps Laura busy. This is inspiring to me because while I do not have any children of my own, I know that I am very impatient and not very compassionate. Having a special needs child actually frightens me quite a bit. Anyone who can handle that must be absolutely full of love and compassion. I stand slightly in awe of such women.

On top of a busy, hectic home life, Laura also volunteers to work with the youth in our church. I do this same calling (YW President, for the Mormons who might read this blog), but Laura does it with much more enthusiasm and spunk. (Well, maybe that's also because she consistently has around 10 YW while I have consistently 1-2. I think it makes a difference.) Anyone who frequently deals with teenage girls knows it's not without a whole lot of drama. I'm inspired by Laura's honesty. When we talk callings, she doesn't sugar-coat it. She gets frustrated...(we all do)...but that doesn't stop her from smiling and doing THE best job.

I really got to know Laura when our two wards combined for YW Camp in August (and a few mutual nights in June and July). Camp was FUN. Relaxing. Full of laughter. Well, except those pesky raccoons...or perhaps despite them.

Laura is also very active (or trying to be). She bikes; she kayaks; she cross-country skiis. Soon, she'll be taking swim lessons, too. I think that's pretty awesome! It inspires me whenever I see her FB status with her biking results.

I almost forgot about how stunningly organized Laura is. You should see her closets and garage. Everything has it's place - even properly labeled. I have a hard enough time keeping my dishes washed, let alone putting things away!

Also, today I just discovered that she has a blog. Women who blog ROCK!

Thanks for all your kindness and inspiration, Laura! You are definitely worthy of some celebration, and I hope you realize just how inspiring you can be with your honest approach to life, your logically organized mind, your kindness. And so on. And so on.


Back to Blogging: A Title I Am Particularly Proud Of - "Temptations are like Tornadoes"

NOTE: It's Day 3 of Back to Blogging. This one was difficult. I've discovered I'm not at all very creative with my blog titles. I definitely need to work on that! :-) So...this title is pretty lame, but still one of the better ones. This was originally posted on July 2, 2008.


We can often feel them approaching

Sometimes they are so fascinating that we don't seek shelter or make proper preparations

Lots of conditions need to be in place for a tornado (humidity, wind, other meteorological conditions)--this is also true with temptations (i.e. not praying or reading our scriptures)

I thought it was a great analogy when I heard it in a Sacrament talk a few weeks back.

May we all be prepared for the spiritual (and physical) tornadoes that may blow through our lives!!


Back to Blogging: A Post I Wish More People Had Read - "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls..."

NOTE: This was originially posted on December 3, 2009. SITS Back to Blogging event challenge today is to re-upload a post you wish more people had read and explain why it was important to you. Visit the link for a better view of the original posting. I included all the original photos, but I didn't re-create the formatting or the links. It's definitely one of my favorite posts! The original is WAY better. :-)
But I just can't help it!

It's no secret that both Jeff and I LOVE waterfalls, as described here and here.

For me, it's almost even stronger than love. Is that possible? Is anything stronger than love? It is what binds us, after all.

For me, it's almost like a drug. If I'm out for a walk or in a park, and I hear the sound of rushing water, I can't help but go. chase. that. waterfall!! I keep listening and walking...and listening and walking...until I finally find it!

This past summer, I even convinced Jeff to make a pitstop on our road trip to check out the waterfalls in Sioux Falls, SD. You can read about that here.

A few weeks back, I took Sallie for a walk. I heard the unmistakably, wonderful sound of a waterfall, but I couldn't find it. anywhere.

Today, we went out again but this time hiked even closer to the river.

There it was again. An ever-so-slight, but deliciously exhilarating, sound of rushing water. It didn't take me too long to gasp at the beauty as I turned my head.

There it was!! Complete with icicles. Wow.

Now I didn't happen to have my camera with me - just my phone.

If you look real close, in the back center, you can see two streams of water going over the small cliff.

The camera on my phone doesn't have a zoom, so I knew that I needed to get closer.

Down we hiked. Sallie and I.

Closer. But still not good enough to satisfy my need.

Down. Down. Down.

Finally I could get a shot from the front.

This shot was difficult to get because Sallie, does not get my fascination with waterfalls. She was trying her darnedest to get back up the hill. Guess it reminds her too much of getting a bath. Something she does. not. enjoy.

Back at the top of the hill, I tried to capture one last shot of some icicles. Gorgeous!

I realize they are a little difficult to discern (darn no-zooming-camera-phone), but trust me. They are there. Kind of dead center, hanging from the blob of greenery.


Back to Blogging: The First Post I Ever Wrote "Chop, Chop, Chop"

As part of SITS Back to Blogging event, I am re-posting my very first blog entry! This was originally posted on July 2, 2006. As for opening blog posts, I think this was kind of lame. No welcome, no introduction. I just jumped right in. Guess that's good in some ways. :-)

So, without further adieu...here's a little glimpse back to the summer of 2006 in Brooklyn, NY! ENJOY!

It has been SO hot here lately!!!

My hair was so hot and heavy on my neck that I decided I'd had enough. I was tired of having to putting it up in a ponytail each and every day. I thought, hey, we'll be moving soon...why not go for something a little more drastic? So, I decided I'd cut my hair.

Friday night, I did a little research online, looked through a few hair style photos, grabbed a mirror and some scissors and went off to the bathroom.

Snip, snip, snip...

And voila...a cute little bob.

Here are some before and after shots.



This was the 2nd time that I cut my own hair. Both experiences turned out to be quite satisfying! :-)


Fabulous Birthday Week

My birthday week was kicked off on Sunday with a party at my parents house, where my nephew, Emillio, baked and decorated this gorgeous cake. He just graduated high school and is going to be a pâtissier someday. He does great work, right?

We enjoyed grilled pizzas and caesar salad for dinner. Delicious!

My sister gave me a food dehydrator, which I've already used to dried some fruits and make fruit leather. Yum!

Tuesday was the actual day of my birthday. I got to spend it with the Young Women of the White Bear Lake and Saint Paul wards at Girls Camp, where they serenaded me at breakfast with not one, but two, birthday songs. I love the WBL ward's version and need to get that from them. It was awesome.

We took a 10 mile canoe trip with the girls that was supposed to be 3-4 hours, but took us 5 hours. There was an incredible head wind for the last 2 miles that was killer! I'm a terrible canoer, but I still have fun doing it.

After dinner, the girls all did some skits. They were all great, but the YCL's was the best because it ended with them presenting a birthday cake to me! Yep, I definitely felt special...and loved. Thanks, girls! And Bre
(cuz I know you orchestrated the whole thing).

Since I was at camp on my actual birthday, Jeff surprised me at work on Thursday with these beautiful flowers.
I was totally shocked! It was such a sweet surprise.

My office also had my birthday lunch, so Jeff got to stay and meet all my co-workers. We had some delicious pasta, salad, and mini eclairs for dessert! After lunch, Jeff and I walked around the farmer's market where we bought some delicious chocolate! I also got some fruit to dry with my new dehydrator.

Not really part of any birthday celebration, but Friday night, we went to a Saints game. As always, it was super fun to hang with our friends Bre and R.Jay! After the game, we had some ice cream and played Ticket to Ride. It was a lot of fun!

Back to birthday celebrations on Saturday as Jeff and I joined my brother, Dan, and his girlfriend, Chelsea, for a session of Hot Yoga at Core Power Yoga. The class was intense, and I felt a little nauseated at times, but it was good. Jeff has now discovered that he really enjoys yoga. Who knew?!

After yoga, we went out to dinner at Subo in downtown Minneapolis. Dinner was their birthday gift to me. It was delicious! It's tapas-style dining, so what you order is shared with the whole table. I even tried Ahi. Yep, raw tuna. It wasn't too bad. Couldn't bring myself to try the scallops, though. Maybe next time. Jeff also discovered he's a natural with chopsticks. He was totally showing off. He'll be all set if we end up in China for the Peace Corps. 


New Lifestyle, New Hairstyle

You may or may not know, but Jeff and I have decided to make some changes in our lives. We're purging much of the clutter and materialistic things in our lives, including our car.

This is a big change. An all-encompassing change.

For me, I tend to change my hair. Sometimes a hair change will prompt life changes and sometimes it's the other way around.

Here's the progression of my hair changes this time around.
After (from front)

After (from side)
After (from other side)
After (from back)
The above After shots are of a haircut I did myself. It turned out really cute! I was so pleased and proud that I could get nice layers and texture all on my own. I've enjoyed such satisfaction cutting my own hair the past few years.

I loved this haircut when my hair was still wet. It laid just right and looked super cute.

I never had (took?) the time to actually do my hair in the mornings before work, so the cuteness would often fade as it dried, and I would fall back into the habit of tucking my hair behind my ears, which I hate.

After (from front with hair tucked behind my ears)
The haircut above was done on July 24th. It was mostly prompted by how HOT it's been this summer. My neck was always too sweaty. It was gross and uncomfortable. So, out came the scissors.

Jeff really wanted me to go shorter, but I wasn't brave enough. I mentioned it to my step-mom, and she thought I could totally pull it off.

With making the switch to commuting by bike, I decided I'd push myself. I thought long and hard and decided I'd try shorter. It will be easier to maintain, easier to ride with a bike helmet. So much cooler in the summer!

I didn't think I'd be able to pull off a short haircut on my own, so I did a quick Google maps search for hair salons near my apartment. I found Püsch. They are only 4 blocks away, and they had some awesome specials, so I called them up and made an appointment.

I was so nervous...and yet so very excited!

I showed Kasey some pictures and let her go at it. When she was washing my hair, she commented on the nice texture of the cut. I couldn't help but brag that I'd done it myself.

Here's what she came up with.

I think it makes me look more mature; Jeff think it makes me look sexier.

What do you think?? Take my poll in the upper right.


What a Morning!!

When my alarm went off this morning, and Sallie nudged me for her breakfast, I didn't fight it. I hadn't run since the Torchlight 5K last Wednesday, so I was excited to get out there again.

I put in my contacts, brushed my teeth, and got all dressed for running.
As I was putting on my shoes, I thought I heard some thunder.
A quick peek out the window showed no rain, so I leashed up Sallie, grabbed my phone and keys, and headed to the front door.

To discover it was raining. Raining hard!

Sallie wouldn't even step out the door.
I didn't want to get my phone wet.
So, we headed back inside.

She still seemed like she needed to go potty, so after dropping off my phone, I leashed her back up and headed into the pouring rain. She still didn't want to go out, so she did a quick pee and made a beeline back to the door. I don't blame her. I didn't want to be standing in the rain, either.

Now, I had some extra time, so I decided to work on my blog. I uploaded some pics from my camera and got a couple posts started.

Then it was time for a shower. A quick shower.
Shoot! I needed to shave my legs. After a few seconds debate, I decided I'd risk it and take the extra few minutes to shave.

When I was just finishing up in the shower, I suddenly remembered I'd volunteered to bring a dessert into the office today for lunch!
I hadn't give this another thought since leaving the office yesterday.

I now had 20 minutes to finish getting ready and prep a dessert (to prepare/bake at work). What I had in my mind to make wasn't going to work. I was sure I had all the ingredients, but when I looked in my cupboards the only ingredient I had was the rhubarb.

So, I hit the Internet. Thank goodness for Allrecipes, where I did an ingredient search for recipes with rhubarb and oatmeal. I found this recipe that seemed easy enough to grab all the ingredients and go. Of course my rhubarb was in the freezer. Luckily, I'd chopped it all up before freezing it. It took a little time to break off 3 (out of the 7 in the bag) cups to bring into work.

But I was in a rush, so while the rhubarb thawed ever so slightly, I was busy throwing on my clothes and mascara. Combing my hair.

Grab the 3 cups of rhubarb.
Grab a 9x13 pan.
Grab all the ingredients (I'd measured and thrown them in Ziploc bags before getting dressed).
Grab my phone.
Throw it all in my backpack
Blow a kiss to my husband.
And out the door!

I left only 3 min later than usual.
And caught the shuttle with one minute to spare!

Oh, what a morning!!

Now, let's just hope the dessert is divine and the rest of the day is a little less crazy!


Nauvoo, IL

Playing organ at Lyon Drug in Nauvoo, IL
When I was younger, my aunt lived right in Nauvoo. We took a few summer trips down there to visit with cousins.
I loved walking around Old Nauvoo and seeing how the pioneers lived. It was fun!
One year, I even got to play this little organ. It's not something they usually let visitors do, but my mom asked, and so I got to play.
This was back in the day when I was actually taking piano lessons and could play far better than I can now.


Race Day!!

 The much anticipated race day was yesterday, July 21st! I love the Torchlight 5K. I don't know what it is about running around downtown Minneapolis, but I LOVE IT!! It has been 3 years since I last ran this race, and I didn't want another year to go by without running it, so I convinced some of my friends to join me.

Naturally after pushing myself and training about 3x each week for the month or so before the race, I didn't feel prepared at all to run. My previous two runs were DIFFICULT, to say the least. Come race day, I was really nervous.

So, of course, I woke up with a slight tickle to my throat! The nerve.

Then, I had scheduled a doctor's appointment. That may or may not have been the best idea. But it allowed me to go into work late, since I knew I would be staying late for the race.

When I got to work, I found out that we had an extra ticket to the afternoon Twins game. Would I like to go? Oh yeah.  
Twins game
 It was actually very cool to be in the new stadium. It was a very fun atmosphere. So much energy. 

We're gonna win Twins. We're gonna score!
The Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 6-0. Four runs were made in the 3rd inning and two more in the 8th. The other innings were a little slow but still fun.

During the 4th inning, we went to grab some food and use the rest rooms. Yes, I took a picture in the bathroom. I thought it was fantastic to see that they installed toilets with dual-function handles. Flush up for #1; flush down for #2. Yeah, I'm a dork.
Energy Efficient toilets. Cool!

After the game, it was back to work for me. Around 5pm, someone assumed that I had left for the evening, so she turned off the light in my section. I was too lazy (and it wasn't that dark), so I continued to work without the lights for another hour.

6pm. Time to change into running clothes and head toward the Basilica. My friends Bre and Tacy (Lisa couldn't make it; she was not feeling well come race day) hitched a ride with my husband down to the race (parking can be a real pain!), and we all met together at the race start.
We ARE ready to run!
Even Sallie came out to cheer us on! Here she is waiting for us to finish our race.

Just a-chillin'
The best part of running a race? FREE FOOD!! There were around 4,000 people who ran the race (I think), so the lines for the food were incredibly LONG, but free food is free food, so I'm definitely not gonna complain about that!
In line for post-race food. Love it!
We had to get a banana shot!
So much good food. Where do I put it all??

Mouth full, Hands full
Overall, it was a fabulous day!
Twins game was totally awesome, plus it was a WIN for the home team!!
I was nervous about the race for absolutely nothing!
Running with friends is so motivating. I only walked briefly for a water break.
We kicked out a 10:05 min/mile!
I was totally shocked.
And happy!


Welcome, BlogTrotters, to Minnesota

Land of 10,000 Lakes
The North Star State
The Gopher State
Land of Sky-Blue Waters
The Bread and Butter State

Whatever you call it, I call it HOME.

I was absolutely delighted to receive a comment on my blog last week from Carabee over at BlogTrotting inviting me to give a little tour of my neck of the woods. BlogTrotting is a fun blog where you can visit other exciting places around the world.

I am genuinely thrilled to share with you a few of my favorite things about Minnesota.

I'm a Minnesotan, born and raised.

I grew up in Alexandria, MN. Hop over here for a brief tour of the main street of Alexandria, as I remember it from my teenage years.

Alexandra is the heart of the Central Lakes area, where are plenty of lakes for swimming and fishing.

I've since moved from Alexandria (more than 15 years ago) and now reside in St Paul, our state capital.

But what I really love about living in St Paul is living across the street from the University of St Thomas. Both my husband and I are students at UST, and we love our beautiful campus. We love to walk the grounds and will generally take any visitors we have on a quick tour.

The St Thomas Arches are an important part of UST culture. Incoming freshmen walk through the arches to the applause of current students and faculty, welcoming them to their new home. Neither of us started as freshmen, so we didn't get to experience this, but we are looking forward to Commencement when graduating seniors walk back out through the arches and head out into the world. I'm not sure if this will be a part of my graduate commencement ceremony, but it will definitely be a part of Jeff's. We have two more years of school before we head back out into the real world.

I've actually only lived in St Paul for a year and a half. Before that, I always considered myself more of a Minneapolis girl. While St Paul is growing on me, I definitely prefer the downtown of Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis skyline is beautiful!

The skyway system is wonderful!
You can easily stay dry and warm in the rain or snow.

Another thing I love about living in the Twin Cities is all the fun running paths!
I love to run with my little girl, Sallie...
And take walks with my husband.

We've moved a lot around the twin cities.
and in St Paul near Crosby Lake .

I can't forget to mention Como Park Zoo. This is a fun, free zoo. They do accept a suggested donation of $2 for adults and $1 for children. We've gone to this zoo a couple of times .

I could go on and on about this great state! There are so many things I didn't mention like:


No matter where I live, I will always consider MN my home.

Feel free to browse through my blog to discover other random things about me (and occassionally MN, too). If you've visited any of the links in this post, you might have noticed many were from my *other* blog, Dodson Journal. Go ahead and pop over there for even more exciting advertures! I love MN, but I also love to travel and see new things. Mostly these adventures are with my husband, so naturally, they get posted on our family blog.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Minnesota.


Summer and AC and Running with Friends

I missed posting my Gratitude list last week. :-(

This week, I'm thankful for:
It's been HOT, HOT, HOT this summer.
I've always been in the "I'd rather be hot than cold" camp, so this summer have been delicious for me!

Even though I like it HOT, I'm still also grateful for AIR CONDITIONING, so I don't have to do this all day.

I'm also grateful to be able to RUN! I love running. There were a couple years when my shins would hurt too much to run, but that has been changing, and I've been forcing myself to run a few times a week. Today I had the wonderful opportunity to run with my friend, Tacy. We ran further and longer than I normally do on a morning run, AND I made it to work on time. Whoo hoo!

What are you grateful for today?


Happy Birthday, Emillio!!

This is one of my favorites! What an adorable little kid. That spring, he loved to wear those rubber boots. In fact, I think he may have worn them throughout most of the summer, too. What a silly little guy.

I remember when I found out I had a nephew. I was at Girls Camp. My little sister was there, too. It was so fun to hear our older sister had a little boy. We were SO. VERY. EXCITED!!

He was my best little bud for awhile! I loved to hold him and play with him. We even joked around that I was his girlfriend. So fun!

When he was beginning to talk, my friend, Aimee, tried very hard to teach him to say, "Orange Eight" (from a refrigerator magnet) and "Nunchuck" (can't remember why). I wonder if she remembers that. To this day, my family refers to her as Orange 8 Aimee. :-)

Now, this little guy is a high school graduate! (June 13, 2010)
And today he turns 18!
Happy birthday, Emillio!!
Hope you have a fabulous day!


DC Marching Band Trip

In 1993, our high school marching band when to Washington, DC, to march in the 4th of July parade.

I didn't actually get to march (so don't look for me in this picture), but I got to go anyway! Whoo hoo!!


Weather, Cars, America

Today has been long.
I have been cranky.
Don't really feel like writing this post,


It is important to express gratitude,


even though I'm not particularly feeling it today,


I'm grateful it didn't rain on our camping trip last weekend.
We were a little concerned because it was forecasted to be a big storm with hail and everything. We didn't exactly feel good about sleeping in a tent in that weather.

On a similar note, I'm grateful for the beautiful sunshine.
Even though I spend my days inside with my back to the window, it's nice to know I can always turn around and see the sun shining.

I'm grateful my husband is picking me up from work today.
I'm just happy I don't have to walk to the shuttle. I'm just not feeling up to it.
Plus, he picked me up on Tuesday, and we got home 20 minutes before the shuttle even left Minneapolis to head to St Paul!

I'm grateful for the 4th of July.
And for the festivities that await me this weekend to celebrate:
Ward Picnic, Friends' BBQ, Dinner with Family, Picnic at Uncle Rodney's, Fireworks

What are you grateful for today? What are your holiday weekend plans?


Related Posts with Thumbnails