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Sunday, December 16, 2012


“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” – (John 10:10 KJV)

This scripture really hit me. Am I truly living my life and enjoying it? Are you? Life may not be perfect but are we taking the time to truly count our blessings?

I think it is safe to say that this latest shooting in Connecticut has rocked our Nation. It has taken our already broken hearts and beaten them down even more. I don't know about you, but on December 14 I felt like I shouldn't go on with my happy day. It felt so wrong to have fun, joke around and enjoy the day because precious, innocent people were dead. My heart was heavy that day.

Jared and I went ice skating that afternoon. We had so much fun. We are already talking about when we want to go again. Then we shared a delicious dinner. Although I was having fun, the people of Newtown were on my heart.

On the way back to his place, Jared and I got to talking. I told him how strange it felt to go on with our good day when something so horrible had happened. Then it hit me... the parents/friends/family of those that are dead would want us to live. They would want us to go about our day, spread love to others and not take one single moment for granted. This is an assumption, of course, but I am pretty sure at least some of them would agree with me.

Yesterday we had our annual cookie exchange. The house was FULL of our family and friends. The moment I got there I hugged my youngest niece(4) and nephew(2) so tight. The older ones came later ( 14, 13, 12) and I gave them hearty hugs as well. To me the teenagers are still babies too. I'm not a parent so I cannot begin to understand what you might go through when you lose a child. I am, however, an aunt. An Auntie that loves her nieces and nephews as if they were my own. I want to protect them just as their parents do.

I so enjoyed the day full of laughter, friends and family. I think it was good for all of our hearts. We took the day and we lived. We enjoyed the food, the company, the music and a whole lot of cookies. We were living and it was beautiful. I never want to take that for granted.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ragnar Relay Series and 2013 Race Plans

I have an addiction... to running. I planned my 2013 vacation calendar around races. Yeah, that happened. In 2012 I conquered a half marathon. I never thought I would do that! So I needed a new goal for 2013.

Lucky for me I have friends like Abby, Kari, Missi, Michelle and Katie that push me to bigger goals. The newest racing adventure coming up in 2013 in the Ragnar Relay So Cal.

Q: What is a Ragnar Relay?
A: "Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport. A team is made up of 6-12 individuals; each individual runs 3 legs. The legs of the race vary in difficulty and distance, from 3-8 miles, allowing elite and novice runners to run together. Over 2 days and 1 night, teams run across 200 miles of the country’s most scenic terrain. Pair that with crazy costumes, inside jokes, a great finish line party and unforgettable stories. Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it Ragnar." -from www.ragnarrelay.com We will start in Huntington Beach, Ca and end in Downtown San Diego.

There you have it folks! I am doing an overnight relay race. We are doing a 12 person team. This will be the first race Abby, Katie, Missi and I will do together. We went to high school together and each of us have had our own journeys in weight loss and running. I rarely use this word but I find it appropriate to say; this race will be EPIC! I am nervous but excited.

Other races on the Menu for 2013:

Jan 20: Tinkerbell Half Marathon
Jan 25 : Runs For Cookies Virtual 5K
March 2: Chelsea's Run
March 24: Hot Chocolate 15K
April 19-20 : Ragnar Relay
May 11: Girls on the Go 10K (maybe)
June 2: Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon
November 28: Lake Murray 10K Turkey Trot
December 26: Bumble Bee 5K

Wow. I didn't know I had so many lined up for 2013. There's a possibility I will do the Las Vegas Half Marathon with Kari and Abby in December but I will have to see how much it will cost and if I can work some overtime to cover the cost.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The 50/50 Plan: Update

I have to say, I am kind of on a roll. I knew this weight loss journey wouldn't be easy but I have so much support, it almost seems easy. I have to do the work myself but it is great having others around me that are on a similar path.

This month I started a 6 week health challenge called "Elf For Health". Every 2 weeks we are paired with an "elf". During those two weeks we encourage each other, send recipes and work outs etc. My current elf is Amanda. She's just the sweetest! I love getting emails from her and hearing about her two littles! ( 6 weeks and 2 1/2 yrs). It always amazes me how moms have time to eat healthy and/or work out. I can barely find the time and I have no kids. hehe.

We also have daily challenges. So far we've had these challenges:

Day 1: Go meatleass monday
Day 2: Send a handwritten card or note to someone
Day 3: Try a new workout
Day 4: Get up 15 minutes earlier to meditate/reflect/pray
Day 5: How many different colors can you eat today
Day6/7: Clean out your closet1 Fill a bag and donate it
Day 8: Track your fiber intake. Shoot for 30g
Day 9: Have a salad today and make your own dressing

Today was the day we made our own salad dressing. I was pretty impressed with myself for making one. It was incredibly easy. Here's the recipe for you! I only made a small amount but it can be doubled or tripled even.

Apple Balsamic Dressing:
1 Tbsp Apple Butter
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
3 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
fresh ground/cracked pepper to taste

Add all of the ingredients to a bowl or cup with a lid. Shake it up and serve!

I paired this with a salad that had: Mixed greens, pomegranate arils, shredded carrots, apple, walnuts and bleu cheese crumbles. It. Was. Delicious.

I don't know why I don't eat more salads like this. They are so incredibly tasty, good for your and very easy to make.

I don't know if I am 100 % on track to meet my 50lb goal in 50 weeks but I am getting SO close! I don't care if it takes me 55 weeks, I just want to get there. Running has been great lately. I ran my first 10K race on Thanksgiving day and did better than I had hoped. The Tinkerbell Half Marathon is in about 6 weeks. I feel mostly ready. I just need to get a few more long runs under my belt.

So here's where I am at right now:
Current weight: 158.8 lbs
Total loss: 37.2 lbs
Current size: 10

I cannot even explain how good I feel these days!

Getting Caught Up

Since I have been out of the blogosphere for about a month, I thought I should do a short recap of life's happenings.

The biggest things that have gone on are the annual family trip to Bates Nut Farm and celebrating Halloween with my guy.

I love that my family piles in vehicles and visits Bates Nut Farm. It is a family tradition that I never get tired of. I look back on previous years and I am in awe of how young my nieces and nephews were. I mean , Peyton wasn't even born when we started going there. Now she's almost 5! I love that my 14 year old niece is mostly "too cool" for a lot of the happenings at Bates but she's all about the horse drawn wagon ride. There's still a bit of little kid in there. And I think she is secretly a little bummed that she is too old/too tall for the pony ride these days.

The boys have just as much fun. Justen is still quite excited to find his perfect pumpkin and tackle the large inflatable slides. Tyler is still in awe of everything and just likes climbing over the pumpkins rather than picking one out. It was a good time all around.

On Halloween Jared and I hung out at my place and handed out candy to all of the littles that came by. I was feeling particularly festive so I made Halloween themed treats/dinner. Bat wing "soup" with bat wing and bunny tail dippers (chili cheese dip in a bread bowl with blue corn tortilla chips and sour dough dippers), Mummy dogs (hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls) and frankenstein krispy treats. Our super hero themed pumpkins were a huge hit with the neighbor kids. Green Lantern and Batman were deemed "awesome" by all of them.

For the third year in a row I made, decorated and sold "Cookies For A Cure" to raise money for the breast cancer walk. I made 80 dozen cookies. $2100 raised in the fight against breast cancer. It was so fun to do. And tiring and stressful. But I am incredibly thankful to all that ordered!

Thanksgiving was pretty mellow. Thanksgiving morning I ran my first 10K race. It was at Lake Muraay. My goal time was 1 hr 12 min. I finishedin 1hr 6 min. I was very excited about that! Thanksgiving day was spent with Jared's family in Carlsbad. A lot of food and football! A really great time with wonderful people. I love them dearly.
My family celebrated Thanksgiving on December 1st. That was the first day we could all get together. We ate too much and played some games. The Battle of the Sexes :Scene It game gets pretty competitive. Somehow the guys always win. The girls are pretty sure they know why, too... they cheat! Somehow the boys cheat. They have to! haha! Oh the fun we have!

Time is flying by but life is so good. I am feeling more and more blessed with every passing day.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lauren's Ride Fundraiser

Most everyone knows that i have been talking about Lauren's ride since it began in early September. Sometimes things just grab ahold of your heart and take root. When I heard about what John Byrne was doing, I was impressed and touched. I was all in.

Having two older brothers, I understand how close the bond can be between a brother and sister. Especially older brothers and younger sisters.

I've followed John's journey since the first day.Every day they post a blog or update, I am amazed at how doors are opening and how many good people are stepping up to be part of it.

The Oakland Raiders have been a huge support for the ride and much to my dismay, the Chargers haven't returned any of our phone calls or emails. The original idea came from Dottie, the front office administrative assistant at Monte Vista Headquarters. On September 25th, she mentioned getting a bunch of Charger's fans together and taking a huge picture. I immediately loved the idea. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible for me to do something simple. I suggested we turn it into a fundraiser but we knew cookies and cupcakes probably wouldn't raise much. So my mind started racing. I told Dottie we could keep it simple. burgers, chips, water. Easy. My text to her was : "That's a great idea!! Wonder if we'd have time to put together a little fundraiser. Like sell burgers or something. That's probably too complicated though". Then it was on like donkey kong! Well that lead to cupcakes then face painting. Then someone offered to dress up as Smokey Bear (side note for those that didn't know.. the "the" is no longer in his name). Then someone offered a sound system so we would have music. The water was donated by the fire station on the compound. The Union chapter donated $250 to help with the cost of food. Everything fell into place. We had about 2 weeks to get it all together. 12 days to be exact. Because we were having it at a CAL FIRE facility, there had to be quite a few Chiefs involved and many approvals made. On October 1 we got the final approval we needed and we were off.

Today I went to Costco to pick up the burgers etc. While in line I was able to share with a couple people about Lauren's Ride. One of them made a donation right there.

Rain had been coming down most of the morning and all day yesterday. I was praying the rain would stop. I also kept having this feeling that no one was going to show up. Right there in the Costco parking lot, I prayed. I asked God to bless this fundraiser. I asked that things would continue to fall into place like they had been over the previous 2 weeks.

Tonight was more than I could have ever hoped for. The music was great, everyone was pitching in to help, the kids were having a blast playing with Smokey Bear, the kids got to ride in the fire engine, two engines from San Miguel Fire came over. When San Miguel Truck 15 pulled in, I looked at Ali and started crying. All I could say was "wow". The rain had stopped a couple hours before the BBQ started and people just kept coming. We even got a phone call from John and Tony! I had no idea they were going to call. Dottie knew and thought she had told me but I never got the memo. That was definitely the highlight of my evening. You can hear the deep gratitude they have for everything people have done. I have greatly enjoyed following John on his journey across the country.

Once we counted the money we realized how much we had raised. $1100!! My hope was for $500. We bought enough food for 100 people and we wanted to sell all of it. We definitely thought that was a realistic goal. When this first started I had the number $1000 in my head. I didn't think we would get to that but I really wanted to. My hands were shaking while I was counting the money. That total isn't the final amount just yet. i have a few returns I need to do and that money will go into the donation as well.

Thanks to all who supported this ride, fundraiser and my crazy ideas! And most of all thank you to God. He opened every door for this and blessed it. My cup runneth over.

Some of the people that came out to support the fundraiser and Lauren's Ride.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The 50/50 Plan: Update

Can you believe it is already October? Where has this year gone?

Honestly fall and winter are the toughest food months from me. Delicious pumpkin flavored breads, pastries, muffins, bagels. Apple muffins, scones, pie etc. Holy yumminess. Peanut butter blossoms, sugar cookies, ginger snaps, pumpkin pie...

The thing is, you can still indulge in the goodness of fall and winter foods. Just sparingly. I've also started to make them myself instead of buying premade foods. 1) no preservatives 2) I know exactly is going into the recipes 3) I can cut back on sugars and fattening oils etc.

Just today I made jumbo banana nut muffins. I just tweaked it some so there's less sugar, egg whites only and unsweetened applesauce instead of oil. I haven't tried one yet but if they taste half as good as they smelled while baking, I am going to have one happy tummy!

I also just found an apple spice scone recipe on www.skinnytaste.com. Only 163 calories per scone! I cannot wait to try out this recipe!! Brew a cup of good coffee, add some warm cinnamon sugar cookie coffee creamer and we've got one amazing breakfast!

I've been in a kind of funk lately. I haven't given up or lost steam. I just have a "whatever" kind of attitude where this is all concerned. I feel great though. I know it will pass. A few of my friends have been in a similar funk lately so at least I know it's not just me.

I've been at this for 9 months already. It feels normal now, the counting calories and watching what I eat. It doesn't feel as labor intensive as it did at the beginning. I just strated training for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon coming up on January 20. I am really looking forward to the race. I am also looking forward to my 10K (6.2 miles) race on Thanksgiving Day and the Bumble Bee 5K (3.1 miles) on my birthday! Having races to do helps me stay consistent with running and working out. I have so much fun at the races. I am competitive but mostly with myself. So here are the most recent stats:

Weight as of 9/14/12: 165.7
                    9/21/12: 163.7
                    Difference: -2.0
Weight as of 9/29/12: 165.7
                    Difference: +2
Weight as of: 10/7/12: 163.4
                    Difference: -2.3 lbs
Total loss to date: 32.6 lbs

Yep, I gained 2 pounds one week. I don't sweat that though. If it starts happening multiple weeks in a row, I will take a look at what I am doing then tweak it. But one gain, no big deal. You have to accept that you will have weeks where you gain and you will have weeks where you lose 1/10th of a pound or lose 3 pounds. You have to keep pressing on. Look at the number, accept it, and move on. If  you gained, check how much water you drank that week. Maybe you didn't drink enough. Or maybe you had too much sugar or not enough fruits and vegetables. Change stuff around and be more careful the next week. You can't take back or change that gain. What's done is done so move forward. It is a life long journey so there will be peaks and valleys. Stay motivated, friends.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The 50/50 Plan: Update

In just about 2 weeks I will be training for my second half marathon! The Tinker Bell half Marathon is in Anaheim on January 20, 2013. I am so excited for my next big race!

I can't even tell you how much I have been learning on this journey. A couple weeks ago I gained a pound at my weekly weigh-in. You know what my reaction was? "OH well.. on to next week!" What a huge improvement. A couple year ago the one pound gain would have crushed me. I am learning more and more than this has to go slowly. It has to be a permanent lifestyle change.

Trust me, it isn't easy. I IS , however, totaly worth it. If you think you can't do it then you can't. It is just as much a mental game as it is a physical game. Counting calories isn't always fun but you get into a rythm and figure it out.

If you need some motivation to get moving and shed some pounds, let me know! I KNOW you can do this! If I can, you can. Here are my latest stats:

Weight as of 8/24/12: 167.4
Weight as of 9/14/12: 165.7

Difference: 1.7 lbs
Total loss to date: 30.3 lbs!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Celebrating 3 Years!

I'm only about 2 1/2 months late in writing this...
On July 1st Jared and I celebrated 3 years of dating. This year we actually had 4 1/2 days off together. A few days before our anniversary, we started by hitting up the Del Mar Fair. We aren't really into the terrifying rides so we stick to the exhibit halls and check out the many many products being sold. We particularly love the ones with free samples! OH and the mini donut booth!! Have you ever been to that? They make the most uhhh-mazing mini donuts that are hot and covered in cinnamon sugar. We may or may not have eaten a whole dozen.  I had a $4 corn dog... or what I like to call a mini corn dog. It looked like half the size of an average hot dog. Lame! But when in Rome, have some fried food at the fair. Including a deep fried Snickers. Delicious!

Thursday was a pretty low-key day. Jared came over to my place and I made us lunch. Italian Panini's. We watched a couple movies then got ready for our fancy-smancy dinner at Pamplemousse Grille in Del Mar. We've only been there twice but the food is incredible. And expensive. SO worth it though. I've been on track with my weight loss so I finally got to wear a dress I've had for 2 years. Jared's smile told me it was worth the wait. He looked pretty hot himself.. dress shirt, tie, slacks... Oh yes. He looked good! Our server was so nice and very helpful.

Here's what our dinner looked like. Pictures don't do it justice: 

Appetizer: Tempura Rock Shrimp w/Plum Sauce

Jared's Dinner: Koby Beef burger w/ Truffle Cheese and Truffle Fries
Jared's Dessert: Stone Fruit Cobbler w/ Oatmeal Crumble and Toasted Coconut Gelato

My Dinner: Mixed Grille of Ahi, Salmon and Seabass

My Dessert: Chocolate-Caramel Cake, Salted Caramel Sauce

Vanilla Gelato


Friday we were supposed to go ice skating but one of us fell asleep. It may or may not have been the blogger herself. I'm never gonna tell! At any rate, Jared made dinner for us and we lounged all evening. Those are some of my most favorite moments!

Saturday we had a "fun" filled day at the reptile show. Not exactly my cup of tea but my guy loves him some reptiles. The things we do for our men I tell ya! Only one near heart-stopping moment when a little girl shrieked. Moments before I had noticed a woman holding a tarantula and I was certain it had gotten loose, causing the little girl to freak out. I nearly bolted for the door. Thankfully the lady still had the disgusting furry spider on her hand. (Shudder!)

Sunday was our actual anniversary. Funny thing is, we had nothing planned for that day. We really didn't do much but we did spend the day together.

Every day I thank God for blessing me with a man like Jared. He is by no means perfect and neither am I. I could go on and on with the mushy, lovey-dovey things but I will leave it at this:

So many years I prayed, cried and asked God "why" He hadn't brought the right man into my life yet. On July 1, 2009 I knew exactly why He had me wait and I would do it all over again. Jared is truly my other half. He reads my thoughts, knows my heart, completes my sentences, hugs me when I cry, apologizes when he was wrong and loves me so fully and completely every single day. Thank You God for this incredible gift. I cherish it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The 50/50 Plan: Update

I hope you're not bored with these updates. They are more for my benefit and a reminder of the journey I am on. I do hope you find it interesting and inspiring.

I am learning SO much on this journey. Thankfully I am not alone in this. My good friends Ali, Melissa, Michelle, Kristen, Crystal and Suzy are also on a journey of healthier living and shedding a few LBs. The nice thing is that we are all doing things differently but 100% supportive of each other.

There are so many ways to lose weight. Healthy ways. I , personally, don't believe in no carb diets, diet supplements etc. I don't believe those are all together healthy. Rapid weight loss shouldn't be a goal. One thing a lot of us talk about is how this is a lifestyle change. It is slow and steady, daily changes and awareness.

I haven't changed my eating in any dramatic way. I cut the number of calories I consume and I make smarter choices. One mini york peppermint patty is 50 calories. That is not going to fill me up. Not even come close. A medium apple is around 80 calories. So for 30 more calories I get something that tastes good, is nutritious and it fills me up for a while. I choose leaner cuts of meat, whole grain /wheat breads and pastas. You know what I also do? Allow myself a cheat day. *GASP* I know.. cheating goes against so many "dieting rules". But guess what.. I am not on a diet. I am changing my lifestyle. The thing is, I love food. I am not going to stop living and just chew on lettuce all day. I am going to cook fresh, good tasting and healthy food. I give myself a little bit of wiggle room though.

On Friday night, Jared and I had plans to go to a new burger place in Poway. "The Burger Joint". Knowing I would be pigging out on burgers, fries and onion rings, I ran 6 miles Friday morning. Even though it was my "cheat" day, I tried to at least exercise enough to counter some of what I would be eating. Believe me... it was SOOOO worth the calories consumed. The only problem was that I ate half the burger, 2 onion rings and a few french fries and I was full. I eat multiple times a day so my portions are small. Therefore my stomach can't hold as much as it used to. How I wish I could have expanded it that night. The unbelievable rosemary garlic fries would have been enough incentive to expand my stomach for an evening.

Jared has been so amazing during this process. Supportive , patient and encouraging. He doesn't even bat an eyelash when I am scanning bar codes or checking nutrition facts. He's trying to eat healthier as well. Maybe I have been a good influence on him?

I've become so comfortable with my weight and body.I am no longer afraid of the number. I have embraced it. I cannot even tell you how liberating it is. I am not longer embarrassed. I am happy with how I am doing, how I look and feel. So down to the nitty gritty:

Weight as of 8/3/12: 169.9
Weight as of 8/24/12: 167.4
Difference: 2.5 lbs
Total loss to date : 28.6 lbs
Current size: 12!!!!

Next month I start training for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon... I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The 50/50 Plan: Update

This has definitely been a journey. One that I didn't know if I could stick with. I am a bit stubborn sometimes so I have never been willing to give up. Sometimes I think my scale is lying to me. It is hard to look in the mirror and think I look exactly the same as I did 5 , 6 months ago. Don't get me wrong, I know I look different. I certainly feel different. But sometimes I see the same old me in the mirror.

When I put on a running shirt that I've had for a while and I notice it is loose, that's when I realize my body is changing.

I know I am tracking my calories and what I am eating. You know what is awesome about my journey? I eat whatever I want!! I'm serious. Cereal, hamburgers, fries etc. The difference is I make good choices. Leaner meats, whole wheat buns, baked sweet potato fries. I also only eat those things on occasion. I like me some food but there is a balance between eating healthy and eating what you want. I incorporate more fruits and vegetables, more fiber and grains.

Most people think dieting is a death sentence to your taste buds. It doesn't have to be that way. You can have great food while eating healthy. One of my most favorite websites is Skinny Taste. She takes normal, every day recipes and tweaks them so they are healthier. She also gives the calorie amount and weight watchers points.

The fact of the matter is, you have to fuel your body. You can't live off fruits and vegetables alone. You can't go without carbs. Most of those fad diets are the quick fix. Shortly after you stop their diet, you slip back into your old ways and gain weight again. It has to be a lifestyle change. It is work at first but eventually you will get into a good groove and it will just happen.

I also don't deprive myself. Jared and I go out to eat a couple times a month. Most of the time I make good choices but sometimes I want a big ole cheddar bacon burger and a milkshake. And I have it. *gasp*. I also know that means I probably need a really good workout the next day or within a couple of days of that.

You also have to do what works for you. My friend, Melissa, is also on a weight loss journey but she is doing Weight Watchers. She has a fabulous blog and every Wednesday she has "Weight Watchers Wednesday". Hop on over there are read her post from last week then go back tomorrow to see her latest post!

Here's my newest stats:
Weight as of 7/27/12: 172.2

Weight as of 8/3/12: 169.9

Difference: -2.3lbs!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

The 50/50 Plan: Update

It occured to me today that I haven't posted ANY updates of my progress during the month of July...oops!!

As of 6/24/12 I was 175.3 lbs

As of 7/27/12 I was 172.2 lbs

Difference: -3.1 lbs.

That may not seem like a lot but it is right on course with what my goals are. It has been slow going but I know that is I keep with it, it will be worth it. My body will continue to do what it is supposed to do. Will I hit my 50 pound goal by December 22? I don't know. I am not too worried about that though. I am happy with my progress thus far. My running has improved and I feel stronger and more fit. My clothes are loose and I feel a confidence that I haven't had in a long time.

So here I am, still trucking along in this weight loss journey. I must say, I am enjoying every step. Even the frustrating ones because they make me stronger and remind me that I have a fantastic support system. 1.2 pounds until I hit my half way mark!!! I can't wait :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The 50/50 Plan: Update

I've been trying to space out the updates so I don't bore my readers to tears. I'm sure one of the last things you want to read are my ramblings about weight loss and fitness. This is mostly a journal for myself so I can look back on my journey. If I inspire people along the way, even better!

I haven't really done much running since the half marathon. I think I have gone twice. I've done my best to let me knee injuy rest and heal. I am happy to say it felt great while I was on the stair stepper tonight at work! I am ready to hit the pavement again.

The weight loss has been slow but consistent. Overall I am very happy with the numbers.

Starting weight 5/25/12: 179.5
Weight as of 5/31: 180
                    Difference: + .50 lbs
Weight as of 6/9: 179.3
                    Difference: -.70 lbs
Weight as of 6/15: 177. 5
                    Difference: -1.8 lbs
Weight as of 6/22: 175.3
                    Difference: -2.2 lbs

Total Weight Loss overall: 20.7 lbs!

I'm almost half way and I am about 3 pounds away from the weight I was when I met Jared. Feels great to be back!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rock N Roll Half Marathon Pictures

Friday at the expo:
Abby signing up for the Las Vegas Half Marathon

Saturday Night Pre-Race Dinner:

Katie lives on the East Coast so she was with us in spirit

Back: Missi and Abby
Front: Me and Kari

Race Day:

The Runners...

  My family and friends:
My love. He's been so incredibly supportive during my training!

My youngest niece, Peyton. She was pretty proud of her auntie!
This is my favorite picture. We didn't purposely make funny faces but that's how it ended up. Hilarious!

My Parents

One of my big brothers. The other one couldn't make it but he was there in our hearts.

Kaelah, me, Mindi. Mindi's mom has leukemia. I ran part of my race in her honor.

My sis in law ,Katie. Her sister Kayla had Lymphoma. I ran my race in honor of Kayla too.

My sweet friend, Summer. I've known her since 3rd grade.

Jared's family came too!
Jared's Mom and I

Homemade signs for Auntie Shannon:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rock N Roll Half Marathon

I did it!!!! I ran my first half marathon!

On Friday Abby and I went to the expon to pick up our race packets. We had a good time checking out all of the booths and merchandise.

Saturday evening Abby, Kari, Missi and I went out to dinner to the California Pizza Kitchen. Delicious! I love carb loading! Our friend , Katie, lives on the East Coast but we had her there in spirit.

My hotel wasn't stellar. The room was nice but lacked a microwave eventhough on their website they said every room has one. The shuttle to the start line was full. Imagine my surprise when I found that info out during check-in. The person making my reservations in March failed to mention a separate reservation had to be made for the shuttle. Thankfully a very nice person checking in cancelled her husband's spot on the shuttle (he wasn't running the race) so I could have it.

Race day I woke up bright and early at 415. I got on the shuttle no problem and to the start line. On the shuttle I met a woman that is a "Legacy" runner. Meaning she has run in all 15 of the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathons. It was her 65th marathon over all. Her goal is to run her 70th Marathon on her 70th birthday in August. Pretty amazing!!!

I met up with Abby and Kari at gear check and everything became real. It was happening! Kari went ahead to her start corral while Abby and I waiting in a very long line to use the restroom.  Running has broken many of my germaphobe rules. At races there are only porta potties. YUCK.

The waves went a lot faster than we thought they would. We projected our start time to be around 7:03am but we started at 6:50am. Abby and I stayed together for the first mile but then went at our own pace. I knew I had to leave her early or I would want to stay with her for a long time. I love running with Abby. I am comfortable with her and the pace we run together. I needed to get into my own pace early. This day, the half marathon was mine and mine alone.

I was feeling so good through most of the race. My pace stayed mostly in the 11-11:30 min/mile for the majority of the race. The slower paces are when I stopped at the water stations. At about 5.5 miles I got really emotional. I was running along the 163 freeway and I looked up at the bridge. There were people lining the bridge cheering, holding signs and I was listening to a Britt Nicole song about making love your legacy. I nearly broke down sobbing but i held it together. I still had 7.5 miles to go! Mile 11 was the hardest for me. My knee was hurting for some unknown reason so I walked most of it. I started back with the running in mile 12 and wanted to run through the finish line.

There were spectators everywhere. Most of them lined the streets to give out high-fives. There were a few awkward high fives when someone washolding out their hand, I go to high- five them and I realize they are looking at someone behind me that they know. oops.

There were a ton of signs along the way. Some of my favorites:
"Chuck Norris never ran a marathon"
"This is a motivational sign" next to a person holding a "This is another one" sign
"If you're reading this, stop. You should be running"

There were also a ton of different running shirts:
"If they can do 9 months, I can do 13.1 miles"
"Sweat is just fat cells crying"
"Dear God, Please let there be someone behind me reading this"

It was the "Rock N Roll" series so there were bands and DJs along the way. Some of the volunteers at the aid stations dressed up for the occasion. Some of the runners did too. I saw Mario (as in mario and Luigi), KISS, Gem (or she atleast looked like Gem), Elvis (like 3 of them), Barbie, Wonder Woman etc.

My goals were to have atleast one negative split time (run a mile faster than the previous one) and finish under 3 hours. My goal time was 2 hrs 45 min. My official time was 2 hrs 45min and 33 sec. Spot on!

I was greeted by a huge group of my family and friends at the end. I was handed homemade signs and all kinda of beautiful flowers. I am so thankful and blessed that they were all able to make it. A few couldn't for various reasons but there were definitely there in my heart! Surprisingly I didn't cry until well after my finish. I was hugging Jared and it all started to hit me. Delayed reaction much?

When I got home i found two pieces of paper taped to my door. My best friends little boys had made signs for me. It was the perfect ending to the day! SO incredibly sweet!

I have a ton of pictures but I will post those in a separate blog.

Today was incredible. I can't even tell you how amazing I feel! I accomplished something I never thought I could or would do.

If you care, here are my times:
Mile 1: 11:27
Mile 2: 11:48
Mile 3: 12:09
Mile 4: 11:29
Mile 5: 12:26
Mile 6: 12:20
Mile 7: 11:19
Mile 8: 11:51
Mile 9: 12:46
Mile 10: 12:37
Mile 11: 13:42
Mile 12: 14:31
Mile 13: 13:27

Friday, May 25, 2012

The 50/50 Plan: Update

I am pretty happy with this week's results. I've been a good girl all week. Eating right, tracking my food/calories and continuing my running. One more week until the Half Marathon... holy crap!

Starting weight: 182.8
New weight: 179.5
Weekly loss: 3.3 lbs!!!!!
Total loss: 16.5 lbs.

Yes.. I'm stoked!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The 50/50 Plan: Update

I can't believe how quickly the month of May has gone by! Or that it has been 3 weeks since I posted an update.

At he beginning of the month Imentioned doing a few challenges like The Shred and The Arms Challenge from Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. I started out the month pretty good but as Half Marathon training increased, my dedication to those challenges decreased.

I decided to forget about the challenges for this month and focus on my running and my training plan. I don't feel one bit guilty because I am still working out. I've been doing great on tracking my food though. Honestly I am pretty proud of that fact. Tracking calories and logging your food can be pretty tiresome. I started using MyFitnessPal to track my food and I love it. The App on my phone makes it super easy to quickly add your food. The data base seems to be pretty big too. I've found just about everything on there.

So here's where I am at:

Starting Weight as of 5/11 :184.2
Current Weight: 182.8
Difference: -1.4
Total loss: 13.2

It is going a lot slower than I had hoped and I am not quite averaging a pound per week yet but I am losin gand that is the most important thing! I will remain positive and stay focused on my goal Here's to another fantastic week!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More Blankets

Front of the Brochure
I tell you what, "Blankets For Brianna" has completely captured my heart. I love making blankets for the organization. I am constantly thinking about other colors and designs I can do.

Crocheting blankets definitely takes some time. Depending on the pattern/size it can take weeks. I've made a few fleece tie blankets but they have always been with two pieces of fabric. I noticed some of the ladies were mentioning tie blankets with only one piece of fabric. I googled the "how to" and realized it is incredibly easy and quick!

1) Measure the fleece to the size you want
2) cut a 2in x 2in square out of each corner
3) Cut 2in strips along each side of the fabric. It shouldn't go past the bottom of each cut out corner
4) Cut a small slit in the bottom of each strip you just cut. It should line up with the bottom of the cut out corner and the end of the strip.
5) Take each strip, put it through the slit and pull it through.

I hope that makes sense! It really is very very easy. I bought 3 pieces of fleece.

I got  1.5 yards of each pattern. I thought I could make 6 blankets total out of the 3 pieces. When I started measuring I realized I could make 12 blankets total!

I finished another crocheted blanket as well.

When I dropped off my blankets to my friend, Becki, I had made a total of 17 blankets. 12 fleece and 5 crocheted. It does drive me batty bug me just a little that it was 17, not 18. I like even numbers. I know, I have issues. Good thing you love me anyway!

OH and I got a few brochures for "Blankets For Brianna" in the mail the other day! I love them. Let me know if you'd like one so you can spread the word about this amazing organization.

Happy Birthday Maci!

My friend's baby girl, Maci, turned 1 on may 6th. She's an adorable little girl. I just love her to pieces!! I was privileged enough to make her very first birthday cake. For first birthdays I always make a small cake just for the birthday kid. That way they can smash, smear, drool and eat all they want withouth sharing. I try to be kind to the parents though...white or light colored frosting :). I think she enjoyed her cake...

 I wasn't sure how the cow print and the "Cow Jumped Over the Moon" theme would work together. Sometimes you just have to jump in, do it and hope for the best. I actually really love how the cake turned out. One of my favorites.
My fondant animals need some work. He's quirky cute.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tyler is 2!

My youngest nephew turned 2 on April 22nd. I love his cheesy little smile and that he's figured out how to say my nickname "tee tee".

He's such a sweet little guy and always ready with hug. Unless he's in the mood to tease you. Then he gets a big smile and shakes his head no when you ask " can I have a hug?".

The day of his party was seriously the hottest day in April. The older kids had a great time shooting each other with squirt guns. They had even more fun shooting the adults and surprising them.

 And of course i had the honor of making his birthday cake...

Boot Drive 2012

Each April members of the fire service in San Diego County line the streets to raise money for the San Diego Burn Institute.

The annual "Give Burns the Boot" drive has always been a huge success. This year I joined my brother, Brian, and his fire fighters in Jamul. It was the same intersection we were at last year. Unfortunately the school at the corner was on Spring Break so the traffic was a lot lighter this year. last year we raised about $3200 at our intersection alone. This year was about $2000. Still pretty awesome! All together, CAL FIRE raised about $25,000 for the Burn Institute. I'm not sure how much the other fire agencies in the county raised.

All of the money goes towards sending burn survivors to "Camp Beyond the Scars". It was a great morning. The guys were especially excited for the coffee and blueberry muffins I brought them.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dispatcher Appreciation/Recognition Week

Every year there is a week set aside to honor Emergency Dispatchers and the job they do. It is usually the second full week in April.

I don't talk about my job and its stresses very much. I try to spare my friends and family the details of all we go through.

Let's be real though.. it is a hard job. Sure, I sit there for 12 hours and that doesn't seem tough but that's all we get to do. Our job is to wait for the next 911 call. There is no running to the store, walking outside, working out etc. We are there in that room for 12 hours. Especially at night.

We are the first people that the caller talks to. We are their link to hope when their world is spinning out of control. They are angry at us, scared, frustrated, thankful people. We are asked constantly "why aren't they hear yet?". Every time they ask that I want to say "I wish they were already there too".  We hear people beg their loved ones not to die. We hear teenagers that have been in car accidents screaming for their friends to wake up. You don't forget those voices. Sometimes we are the first to hear a new baby cry. It has only happened twice in my career but those are sweet, precious sounds that I love. We have to figure out where you are when you have absolutely no clue. Remember the 911 call that was released in the media last month where the guy shot his girlfriend (by accident) with a cannon. That was a 911 call that I took. The female voice on the line? That is me.

We listen to multiple radio channels and answer in a timely manner. All of us have side projects too. Soon I will be training to review our medical calls to make sure we remain at the national standard. We have to worry about getting every call out in 60 seconds or less and face the ramifications if we drop below that. We have to remain CPR certified and have 24 hours of medical dispatching training per year. We have mandatory ride alongs with Battalions Chiefs so we are familiar with the areas we dispatch for. We are called in in a moments notice when there is a large fire or event. We go to training exercises, work a lot of overtime behind vacations and have meetings.

All this being said... I LOVE my job. I work with 8 other incredible dispatchers. It is the most difficult and rewarding job I've ever had and I am so thankful God opened the door for me to do this job. In honor of Dispatcher Week, I made everyone in the office a mini loaf. Some Banana nut and some Orange Cranberry. They loved it.