Monday, January 31, 2011

20 Miles...Rocked

The view from my run

I ran 20 miles on Friday and it was great!  The Best 20 miles ever. 

I did not hate any of it,  I felt good and strong, I loved it.

A group of us ran the first five miles and it felt like a normal morning run, quick and easy.  The next five miles my friend stayed and ran with me.  It was good to have the company it made the five miles feel like no big deal, not as quick but good (thanks for the run Amy).

I changed locations and went to the bike trail on my own for the last ten miles.  I told myself that I just had to do a quick five miles in and out again. 

It was a beautiful day for running, a little cool, a little foggy.  I felt strong, I felt powerful, I felt like a runner. 

It was a good day.  It was a good run.

Last week was crazy.  Crazy good and crazy bad.  My friends and loved ones were dealt some hard blows.  Running 20 miles seems like nothing compared to what they have endured, my thoughts and heart are with them.

Happy Running, be Strong,


Friday, January 28, 2011

Do me a favor

I would like to begin by saying that we are fine, so please don't take this post for anything more then it is. 

Do me a favor and take a moment today to love on your loved ones. 

Take a moment to tell the people in your life that you care about them.

That you tell your husband, you mom, your kids, you daycare provider that you care about them.

Take a moment to say, "Thank you", "I appreciate you", "I am glad to have you in my life", "I need you".

Things can change so quickly. 

Take care of the ones you love and take care to make sure they know what they mean to you.

I am not just being my warm and fuzzy self.  

People in my life (some I know and some I know of) have had things happen recently that should serve as a reminder for me to be thankful and vocal to the people I love, and I am asking you to do the same. 

Tell people how you feel when you are not in a time of crisis, I promise you will not regret it.

Love always and Happy Friday,


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

For the love of dinner

and brussel sprouts.

I have not talked about cooking much lately, not for lack of cooking though, these people I live with still want to eat.  Maybe, its because I have been on a bit of a health kick and I have been looking at food in a more practical way.  Food = Fuel, is not nearly as much fun as Food = Love.

That being said I am still cooking with love, and I really enjoy cooking and feeding people.

I would like to take a moment to talk about brussel sprouts.  They are good, really good.  If you have not had them since you were a child, try them again.  If they are cooked properly they are delicious. My my husband and kids love them.
Here is what I think is the best way to cook them.  Cut the brussel sprouts in half, put some  broth in the pan ( half a cup or so),  let them steam for a few minutes (they will drink up the liquid), then add a some butter, or bacon if you prefer, and some garlic.  Turn up the heat and add a little agave, or honey, or sugar or balsamic vinegar, and let them caramelize.  Then serve and eat.  I promise you they will not disappoint, they are really good, we never have any left after dinner.

I have been on a soup kick, I have just been bad about taking pictures of it, just the same here are some of the meals I have been cooking:

Veggie packed Turkey Chili: I grew up eating New Mexico Chili, which is a far cry from what most people consider chili, but I am learning to make and enjoy regular chili.  For this recipe I grated up several zucchini and carrots in addition to adding chopped onions and zucchini.  I cooked the veggies and browned the meat then I added, cumin, New Mexico red chili powder, tomato paste, beans, and either broth or water I can't remember.  Anyhow, it was good, filling and super healthy, grating the veggies in made it a little sweet.

Tortilla Chicken Soup: Again I used tons of veggies, carrots and zucchini (you can use what ever veggies your family likes).  I adapted the recipe from The Pioneer Woman, but I made a few changes (more veggies, no beans, more chili, no tortillas).  I like her method of using corn masa to thicken the soup. Masa is available in the Mexican isle in most grocery stores, it is like a corn flour. 

Tortellini Soup: I told you I have been on a soup kick. I make a creamy tomato soup (I used milk but cream is even better tasting in here), then I add spinach and cheese tortellini. 

On Sunday, after running 17 mile, we had friends over for dinner. I fell off the heath kick and made creamy polenta, shrimp with a garlic butter sauce, asparagus, and garlic bread with fresh mozzarella, and our friends brought ceasar salad.  It was not low in calories but it was super good.

Last might we had an impromptu dinner party, I need to go grocery shopping so I made baked refrigerator pasta (use anything you have and add it to the pasta, top it with cheese and you are good to go).  I had some ricotta, spinach and mozzarella in my freezer from last time I made lasagna, some Italian turkey sausage, pasta sauce, whole wheat penne, white penne and fresh mozzarella.  I cooked the pasta, mixed everything in and baked it.  It turned out good and now I have more room in my freezer.

That's what I have been cooking.  What is on your menu?

Monday, January 24, 2011

17 miles done

I ran 17 miles yesterday.  It was fine, not good, not bad, but fine.
I accidentally took this while I was pulling out my Gu

My first challenge was that I was relatively ambivalent about running it in the first place.  Rob was at work and I did not end up going running until 10:30 when he got home.  I normally start before the sun come up, 10:30 felt like the middle of the day.

My next challenge was due to ambivalence as well.   I did not fuel properly the day before.  We were at a 5 year old's birthday party and I ended up eating a "Cheese Burger No Burger" for dinner. 

In case this is not a regular item on your menu, it is a bun with condiments, lettuce and cheese.  I don't eat beef, so I improvise.  Not that I don't enjoy this culinary delight, because on occasion I do, but it is not an ideal pre-running meal.

The first four miles felt like they took forever, I kept thinking about all the miles I had ahead of me.  The next 8 were good, I got my stride and was broke down the miles into shorter increments.  It was much better to think about only having 3 more miles until I am half way done, or I am half way done all I have to do is run back not.

I was having a hard time just before mile 12 and then Eminem came onto my ipod, regardless of what your feelings are on Eminem, he is so good to run to.  His power and anger pushed me:

The roof comes off
Until my legs
give out from underneath me
I will not fall,
I will stand tall,
Feels like no one could beat me.

It gave me power and I felt great.

Great until mile 15, then it was hard again.  This is when my lack of proper pre-run nutrition became an issue.
I had used up almost everything I had, I felt empty and hollow and I tried to will my brain to leave my body and just let me run.  I did not want to think about it, I did not want to feel it, I just wanted to finish.

At mile 17 I felt amazing. The the final push, when I can see the last mile marker and I knew I can finish. I knew I have done it. 

It is amazing, I feel full and replenished. 

This is why I run.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The kids week in pictures

I have been playing with my new camera, apparently a camera can take better pictures then my phone.



Friday, January 21, 2011

I like women

Not like I like men (my husband to be specific) but I like women.

I went to a girlfriends house last night, several of us were there working on projects (our blogs to be specific).  Some of us blog for fun and others are starting businesses.  Regardless of our purpose we were all there supporting, helping and enjoying each other. 

What an idea.

Even cartoons depict girls as being catty and mean to each other.  Why?  Why are we expected to be mean, jealous and nasty?

My closest girlfriends were my friends in junior high and high school and collage, we are still friends because we are real, we respect each other and we want good things for each other. 

I celebrate in their happiness and success and I ache when they struggle.  

As women we should hold each other up and not step on each other as we try to climb to the top.

I love and appreciate the women in my life, the ones I have known forever and the ones who I just met.

I like women,


New blog look and technical difficulties

As you can see I am working on a new look for my blog, and by a new look I mean I am aiming to have an actual look to my blog, I am having a bit of technical difficulties.  I know they are there and I am trying to work them out.

Keep a look out for my new and improved look in the next few days.  Let em know what you think and if you have any suggestions.  Also, because I am asking for your input, is there anything you would like me to share or rant about?  Since I have decided that I am okay with my life being an open book I am open to chatting about what ever you want to hear about.

Happy Friday,


*Thanks Kim for your help in improving the look of my blog- it is so fun to play now that I almost know what I am doing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A note on customer Service

Today's Rant.

I went out with some friends last night.  We tried a new local place, it was Tuesday night and they were busy.  Aparently they had not planned on being busy because they had one server, by the way she was also the bartender. 

Anyhow, we were there for 30 minutes and the (only) server never made it to our table.  She was hussling, but she never made it to take our drink order or even say hi. 

After 30 minutes we left.  We were not mad, we just wanted a glass of wine.

We changed locations. 

At the 2nd location of the evening, there was an area to sit with a couch and some chairs, we asked if we could sit there and order some wine.  The server's response was that they were too busy and he would have to check with the bartender to see what he could do. 

What the F***. 

I tried to remain calm. 

I asked if I could just buy some wine from the retail area then all we would need was some glasses, the server thought that was a better plan.  We bought the wine, then asked the bartender to open it, he then informed me that there was a corkage fee.

Again what the F***! 

They waved the fee, and we finally had a glass of wine.


If you are working and you are slammed, call someone to come help, an owner perhaps.  Then, until help arrives,  appoligze to anyone you are not able to help in a timely manner, and a glass or a bottle of wine gifted to the table as you run by does not hurt.

Also, when you have plenty of seating, please don't tell a group that you are too busy to help them.  If you would like them to come back.

I have worked in customer service,  I was super friendly (shocker I know), even if I was having a bad day, or was totally slammed, I would state as much with a smile on my face and keep it moving.

We ended up having a good time and staying past closing.

That's all for today's rant,


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

musing on MLK day

My kids are biracial, I am white, Rob is black, and our kids are beautiful latte.

I never really think about it.

Kids don't see any difference, they may notice we look different but they don't think about it,  we are all just people.

We should be more like kids.  We should celebrate what makes us who we are and our histories but we should live and love for the people we are.

It devastates me that someone may decide they don't like my kids or tease them because I am white or because Rob is black.

I hope that they were born into a generation and place that people will just see them as people.

"Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

15 Down

I ran 15 miles today. 

It was a beautiful morning.  Once the sun came up it was sunny and cool, perfect running weather. My friend Amy ran the fist half with me and I did the second half alone.

Sometimes when I run alone, two miles can feel like forever, but today was good.  I put my ear buds in and I was good to go.  

If you have seen me out and about you know I like to make friends, in the grocery store, at the coffee shop, the air port and while I am running.  I like to chat and I am happy to chat up a stranger.

Today most people were training for Shamrockin half marathon.  There were a lot of people out today, most of them were running 6 miles, I felt impressed with myself and my 15. Then I met a group of older men, the youngest one seemed around 65 and the oldest was 74, they were running 20 miles, and then I felt a little less impressed with myself.

As I came up on mile 12 I began to hear a jingle-jingle sound.  "Strange", I thought.  "The key I run with is just one key, what is  that sound in my bag?" (And by bag I mean the ultra attractive fanny pack belt thing that holds all my stuff while I run).

I stopped and pulled out what I thought was my car key.  But no. 

It was house keys, on a key-chain that looked a lot like the key-chain I take running.  It was totally dark when we started running and I just grabbed the key and we were off. 

I was unhappy, to say the least, when I discovered that the jingle-jingle was not a key.

Silver lining: Rob was home, I had my phone, and I was running 15 miles not 20. 

Rob loaded up the kids and drove about 30 minutes out to meet me with the spare key (thank you).

Not ideal, but better then it could have been.

I finally made it home and one ice bath later and I was ready for a day out with my family. 

In the ice bath looking for motivation

Next weekend 17 miles....

Happy Running,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You may not know this about me

I am a bit of a control freak.  I am not sure when it happened, I am think I used to be laid back (in a high strung kind of way).  It must have happened post having children.  

I am tightly wound.  I thought I faked it well, but I have been informed that I don't.

My friends are afraid to help me cook in my kitchen.

I am can be easy going as long as I like things are going the way I want them to. I like to be in charge.

What brought on the tangent?  I always put Taylor to bed.   She is 4 1/2 and I have probably been the one to put her to bed all but maybe 10 times (and by 10 I really mean 7 but 10 sounds better).

This does not mean that I don't go out, I am not one of those moms, but my kids go to bed early.  It is easy for me to put my kids to bed at 6:30 and be out before 7:00. 

Last night I went out, and we had to be there at 6:00.  I explained to Taylor that dad would put her to bed unless she wanted to go to bed really early, she opted to have Rob put her to bed.  She seemed okay with it until I started getting ready to go out, then she got a little stressed. 

She said, "Mom I will die if you don't put me to bed."

I responded "okay, go get in bed and I will read to you now" (is was 5:10). 

Taylor said, "Oh, I will try not to die, I am going to go play."

I realize that I have created her craziness but it makes me laugh just the same.

I went out, Rob put her to bed, she was just fine, I did just fine letting go.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I have a problem or at least a habit

I really don't enjoy running marathons,  26.2 miles is not fun,  it is hard.

But somehow I can't stop signing up for them.  I ran my 1st marathon in March 2009, my 2nd four months later (then I went home and got pregnant).  Seven months after Jaxson was born I ran my 3rd marathon, and now three months after the CIM I am running my 4th. It's official I am going to run the Napa Valley Marathon on March 6th. 

I wanted to cry for a good portion of my last marathon, or at least a few miles of it, but I can't stop thinking about running another one.  And, as I mentioned before, I will feel like a total bad ass running two marathons before Jax is one.

Napa will be a new challenge for me because I am essentially training on my own.   I have three friends running it but I will not be running with them, their pace is  faster then can I do.  We are already running 15 miles I don't have time to work on my speed enough that I can sustain their pace.  That being said, I am totally okay with it, but 18-22 miles will be hard on my own.

I had planned work on my pace before I ran another marathon, but I did not want to wait. There will be time for that before the next one (maybe New York).  Clearly I have a problem.

I ran 12 miles last weekend and it was good, it did not suck at all.  I am doing 15 this weekend, I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Happy Running,

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Moment About My Village

My life would not work without my village.

When I first moved to Sacramento I was devastated. 

This is not where I wanted to be but for many reasons (I will tell the story later) it made sense.

I never thought I would stay here but now I really like my life, it would be hard to leave.  I have made Sacramento my home because of my village.

I have three booster seats and a baby seat in my car and I only have two kids.

The flow of small people is constant, and I would not change it for anything.  My life would not work any other way.  Nor it would be as fun. 

I could not run a marathon, send out Christmas cards, write my thesis,  date my husband or for that matter be nice to my husband and kids or generally function without my village. 
I am a much better wife and mother because I do not have to do it alone.

If you do not have a village I recommend that you go out and make one.  

Happy Monday,

Monday, January 3, 2011


It is a new year...

I have been thinking about what I would like to happen this year, I am avoiding saying "resolutions".

I would like to enjoy my life more. 

I get caught up in the daily nitty-gritty, with all the things that need to get done, and then at the end of the night I melt into my couch.  This is my life and this year I will enjoy and appreciate it more.  I will take time to love on my kids, my husband and my friends. I will make time to play with the people that fill my life with joy.

Running... I will run a marathon or two this year and at a pace that I can feel good about.

Health,  I know that this is the most generic resolution, everyone wants to loose weight in the new year.  But oh well here we go.  My heart and legs are strong but I am not where I want to be physically.  I am active already, I am a regular at the gym, we eat healthy.... hello I just ran a marathon.  But when I look in the mirror or try on clothes I am not seeing any of that.  It is time to make a change.  Starting this week. 

This week I will:

Move more, not just running but in the gym.  I am committing to 5 workouts this week.

Adjust the way I am eating.  I enjoyed the holidays and now I have to make some changes.  This week I am starting by eating breakfast (not just a cup of coffee and a bite or two of the kids food), I not eating sugar or white flour, and I am adding more veggies everything I am eating. 

I will keep you posted on how it is going and tell you about the healthy food I am making and eating, and if you have any great health tips or healthy recipes please share them.

Its a new year,


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Goodbye 2010

Let me start by saying 2010 was a good year for me, not all easy, but good. 

We had Jaxson, we remodeled and moved into a new house.  I ran a marathon and finally finished my masters degree,  I got to be an aunt, I watched some of my closest friends get pregnant and become moms, I watched friends marriages end and friends falling in love. 

There are things I wish I could change and moments I would not change for anything.  I feel so fortunate that I have this life and the friends and family that make it worth living. 

I love you all and I am so thankful that I have you in my life. 

I am ready for a new year and all the good, bad and ugly that come with it.

Happy New Year,


Holiday Wrap Up

A little tidbit about Christmas.

As you know we are a food family.  We cook, bake, feed people and eat. 

On Christmas Eve, my mom, sister, Taylor and I  got busy in the kitchen.  We made sticky buns (vegan and regular), cupcakes for Santa, almond cake, brined the turkey, and made Cioppino for dinner.

That evening we met friends at La Pasado for drinks, as we do every year, the we walked to see the Farolitos  (paper bags filled with sand and a lit votive candle) and luminarias (small fires) that are lit all along the road in the historic part of town. 

We sang Christmas carols (or at least the first verse because that is all we can remember), and enjoyed the magic of friends, family and Santa Fe at Christmas.

We finished Christmas Eve at my mom's house where we open one present (Pajamas every year) and then it was off to bed to wait for Santa. 

Cupcakes for Santa

On Christmas morning the magic continued with happy babies and Taylor ecstatic knowing that Santa had been there and Christmas was finally here.

Later, we cooked, baked, fed people ate, drank enjoyed good company and celebrated.

It was a great Holiday and trip home, I am so thankful that I am able to give my kids these childhood memories and that I am able (with the help of my family) to make Christmas magical.

I hope that you all enjoyed your holidays and wish you all good things for 2011,


 *I will post more pictures and maybe a video or two as I collect them from the various cameras, and hopefully Kim will give me a lesson on blogging so I can figure out how space my pictures evenly.