Saturday, December 19, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
An update on miles shows that I've finally broken the 300-mile mark! I feel compelled to add here too that part of my recuperation includes switching one more mid-week run to a cross-training day, so while I'm working out just as much (and just as intensely), my total miles will be lower while I finish working through my IT band issues.
284.5 + 1.4 + 9.2 + 3.0 + 14.0 + 4.1 = 316.2 miles
On things not running-related:
This past weekend Elliot did something that amazed me. On Saturday afternoon, he walked into our mud room, picked up my running shoes and brought them to me. He waved them at my feet and put them on top of my feet like he wanted me to put them on. I thought he just wanted to see them on, so I put one on to model for him. He picked up the other one and waved it at me, so I put it on too. As I did that, he walked to the back door and grabbed the door knob (he can reach it, but can't turn it yet). I had no idea that he a) understood that he can't go outside alone, b) understood that you have to put your shoes on first, and c) understood the doorknob. Of course, he's never gone out alone or without shoes (beyond our driveway), and he can't use the doorknob himself, but it was his putting together the whole process of it that amazed me. It sounds so simple, but it amazed me. I love that kid.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
- He loves anything on wheels. On walks, he inspects every parked car. He also loves toy cars and trucks.
- He loves being read to, especially right before bedtime.
- He's a talker! Sometimes he lectures us, sometimes he's telling jokes, sometimes stories--all in unintelligible baby garble, of course!
- He's blond, with dark blue eyes that have small brown rings. His eyes and (I think) mouth are shaped like mine, but overall he looks more like Brendan. He has Brendan's nose and coloring. He has awesome dimples.
- On his play & learn table he shows a consistent preference for the banjo music/movement to the other instruments.
- He loves to dig things out of his toy box, sometimes to the point of almost falling into the toy box.
- Cell phones and remote controls are his cryptonite.
- He loves applesauce.
- The blue lids that come on Ziploc disposable storage containers are lots of fun. We almost never have many in the drawer because every day he takes them out to play with them. After slobbering on them, he even sometimes puts them back. :)
- He hates grass. I have no idea why. He will play with grass clippings, but will not voluntarily walk on grass and screams if you put him on the lawn, sometimes even with shoes on. He finds it especially not entertaining to be put in the yard and then sprinkled lightly by the garden hose on a hot day.
- His most coveted toy is the grill. He simply does not understand why he can't play with it, and that pisses him off.
- There are only two things Elliot consistently dislikes. The first is grass (see above). The second is knowing that someone is in the bathroom. It matters not whether he's home with both parents or just one of us. If either of us goes into the half bath and closes the door, he takes up his post, where he hits the door, tries to cram his hands underneath, and talks/yells at whoever is in the bathroom. Why? I have no idea. It sounds annoying, but it's actually really cute.
- He loves dogs. There are a few at daycare that are great with the kids and vice versa.
- Every time he sneezes, he smiles or laughs.
- We think he could find a bag of Cheerios in the middle of a corn field (we live in IL)
Monday, August 3, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
154.6 + 38.8 = 193.4
Between this afternoon and tomorrow, I should hit the 200 mile mark!
Rock & Roll Chicago is in 9 days. I'm very carefully tapering--watching food (or trying), keeping each run at an intentional pace and distance--all those things. I'm feeling good about race day. Last week and this week at track practice we did 800 workouts (half-mile intervals). Last week I was running each interval in 3:55. This week I ran each in 3:50 (give or take a second, in general). Both weeks, the workout felt comfortable, and even more so this week even though I was faster. So, I'm feeling good about where I'm at physically. I'm pretty excited about the race! Now we're all just praying for good weather.
In other news, life is going about at its insane pace. Elliot is finally having the surgery to open his blocked tear duct (in his left eye). I'm so thankful that we have access to the medical resources needed to safely get it taken care of! That thankfulness is tempered by the unending doctor's appointments, phone calls, and cost associated with such treatment. But nonetheless, I'm happy for Elliot that he won't continue to have incessant goop in his left eye.
As for me, I've been making great progress on the last paper of my dissertation. I've had to ease up working on it in the last week though to focus on getting ready for conferences and related professional endeavors. I'm getting ready to head out to two conferences, which thankfully are both within driving distance. I'm pretty excited about them. They are both good places to meet potential employers, and they are both a little less stressful than the conferences I'll go to in the fall. I'm happy to have lower-stress places to debut my dissertation work and smooth out the wrinkles in what will become my job talk. I do not plan to discuss job applications here, but will say that the season is slowly starting, and with it, B and I are starting to have long conversations about where we can see ourselves living, and how we might plot out a future in which we both can find fulfilling careers.
Finally, a few shout outs.
- A HUGE congratulations to N for the successful defense of her dissertation!
- I've said it privately, but want to say publicly how proud I am of my Dad for doing something that he enjoys, and not just doing it, but making it an integral part of his life. Check out his website here.
Friday, July 10, 2009
125.5 + 8.3 + 4.1 + 4.0 + 5.9 + 3.75 + 3.0 = 154.6
The all-team training was great, both because I got to see some new faces and because I got to run a different course once mid-season. A new course is great for two reasons. The first reason is obvious--just simple variety. The second is less obvious. On race day, you're (usually) on a course you don't know by heart. You don't know, for instance, that there's a 0.2% grade from mile 2 to 5, which is virtually invisible to the naked eye but painfully obvious to your legs. You don't immediately know what is causing the drag or when it will end. Exposing yourself to that kind of uncertainty during training only prepares you better for the big day.
Speaking of the big day--it's only three weeks until Rock & Roll Chicago! I'm not sure I'm feeling as prepared as I would like, but even so I'm really looking forward to race day. The course looks good, and all the bands will be great to have on the course. AND, today I reserved a hotel room for the Detroit Free Press Marathon. I registered for it a while ago and have been training with it in mind all spring and summer. It's really happening. It's going to be a great weekend.
Training news: tomorrow is our first 10-miler for the season.
Aside from running, life has been crazy busy recently! I've been working overtime on my dissertation, which is going well. A few job postings are surfacing with January start dates, so I'm starting to consider those. I have two conferences coming up, other professional commitments, and one very active one year old. Our dear friends and Elliot's God parents, MJ and JT, are moving to Iowa this weekend. We're happy to see them moving into a great opportunity, but are really sad to see them, their son, and their bun in the oven moving a few hours away.
There's been so much going on that, despite my best intentions, I feel overwhelmed by the thought of really outlining it all right now. I'm gonna turn in for the night, and maybe get into more detail here later.
Friday, June 26, 2009
106.2 + 3.0 + 8.0 + 2.8 + 2.75 + 2.75 = 125.5 miles
Tomorrow is our second 8-mile long run. I'll be joining other regional TNT chapters for an all-team Saturday. New trail, new running buddies, here I come!
We're getting ready for a Team yard sale, scheduled for July 18. If you have items you'd like to donate, please let me know!
Monday, June 15, 2009
82.4 + 3.0 + 6.0 + 3.25 + 3.0 + 6.0 + 2.5 = 106.15
On their last night in town, my Mom got some last Grandmothering in. I couldn't resist capturing it.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
71.4 + 3 = 74.4 miles
Before practice, Meg (who, thank goodness, has some time off from work) and I went to Body & Sole so I could get some new shoes. Here's a recap: we walked in and a sales person greeted us. I held up my old shoes and said "I need a new pair of these." He got said pair of shoes from the back. As we were waiting for him, I thought I might check out some other shoes just in case there was something else great out there. So when he came back I said, pointing at Meg, "she has these shoes now, but before she had these she had Saucony's and liked them better. I thought maybe I should try on a pair and see if I like them better, too." The sales person laughed (a habitual, nervous sort of laugh) and said, "Oh, I thought you were starting a story of something she wanted to say and you were just going to speak for her and not let her talk." A few minutes later he said that one of us smelled nice. The whole interaction was vaguely awkward. However, my new shoes are in much nicer colors than my old ones. They're shiny, and that makes me happy.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Monday/Tuesday = 6.0 miles
Thursday = 2.0 miles
Saturday = 3.7
today = 2.4
Total = 14.1
57.3 + 14.1 = 71.4 miles
Otherwise, things have been up and down here. My aunt (Mom's sister) died in a car accident on May 16. I made the trip to Pennsylvania sans husband and baby. I wanted to be there for my Mom and family. My brother also made the trip from Michigan. It was really nice to see my cousins, but of course we all wished it could have been under better circumstances.
This weekend my brother, sister-in-law, and niece came to visit to celebrate Elliot's birthday and hang out. It was a weekend filled with good food and good company. We had a batch of the filled pancakes in my new pan, dinners of tri-meat kabobs, homemade pizzas with beer crust and great toppings, and chicken oro bianco. I also made cupcakes for Elliot's birthday. We went shopping, stayed up late playing games, and hung out. I bought a shirt over my sister-in-laws objections (it was fun!). Dan, for funsies, changed my homepage to the Youtube video for my least favorite song on the planet just before he left. We had a good time.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Two of the 5.7 new miles were spent pushing my 21 lb. son in a jogging stroller. I had imaged this would be easy. Not so much. If you ever want a great arm workout while running, give it a try! He seemed to enjoy going for a run with me, and I was glad to try it out. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the people who do races while pushing their handicapped/sick children. They always inspired me, but now to a whole new level.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I mostly wanted to write about my first Mothers Day with a baby breathing outside air (I was enormously pregnant last Mothers Day). It was a perfect day, all around. My husband let me sleep in, which is pure luxury these days. I woke up at 8 to eat breakfast, then went back to sleep until 9 or so. I got up and went to church, then came home and started making a huge brunch to share with my boys and our friends K and N. While I was cooking, B brought me these flowers, because he's wonderful. Both he and Elliot gave me cards, too. Elliot even adorably signed his card (with help from Dad).
For brunch we had sausage, hash browns, toast, fruit, and filled pancakes made in my new pancake pan. I saw this in a catalog a while ago and really wanted it, so B bought it for me for my birthday. A picture of the first batch is below. As you can see a few are a bit darker than is probably optimal, so I need to refine my technique a bit. That aside, I loved them. We filled them with blueberries, chocolate chips, peanut butter, pb & chocolate chips, and blueberries & chocolate chips. Making them is a bit more involved that I'd envisioned, but not difficult. I don't really like pancakes and I loved these. As my husband's family says, they're a "be back." After lunch we played frisbee outside for a good long while. It was perfect weather, enjoyed pleasantly with good food and friends. What else could I ask for?
And before I forget, mileage update: 48.6 + 3 = 51.6
Saturday, May 9, 2009
33.9 + 14.7 = 48.6
Still not a lot of miles for the year, but it will go up quickly over the next few months.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
One of my best friends and I both had birthdays in the last two weeks. We always celebrate together, but she was out of town visiting her family this year, so we postponed until tonight. To celebrate, we and our husbands decided to go out for dinner then have a homemade dessert from the cookbook she gave me for Christmas. We chose "Vanilla bean with white chocolate buttercream." I learned SO much about cake baking from this recipe. It calls for a vanilla bean, which I had never used. The recipe calls for three 8" layers, but no one owns 8" cake pans, so I adjusted the recipe to use 9" pans. Also, the icing follows a recipe with several elements I'd never seen before. It took three trips to the store and several hours of baking (some with assistance from my husband) to get it right. In short, it took some commitment. Like most things, it will be much easier the second time around. My husband insists that I tell you how good the cake was, to clarify that it was well worth the effort. And well...I was pleased. So, here is the 2009 birthday cake:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I got the month started on a good note, by passing my prelim on April 1. For those of you who are not insane and consequently pursuing a PhD, the prelim is the second of the three big hurdles of a PhD program. The first is the qualifying exam, which is usually an exam covering coursework. The second is the prelim, which is a defense of a dissertation proposal. I've learned that this means different things for different programs. Sometimes passing it is permission to start research. In my case, I had already done a significant portion of the research. It was a mid-process check with my committee and a time for their input on my ideas to move forward. I was pretty anxious going in, but it turned out to be a really constructive exam.
Easter weekend I went to Chicago just to get away for a weekend. It was long overdue and much needed! I went on Saturday morning and came back on Sunday evening. On Saturday I ran around with my friend Lynn. That evening we had dinner with her husband and a good friend of theirs from college. On Sunday I slept in (which was half of the point of going) then went to the Art Institute for a few hours, then headed back to the hotel to get my things and head to the train station. It was my first night away from Elliot since he was born. This trip has made it clear to me that the occasional weekend getaway is a great thing. Everyone needs a break every now and then!
This past weekend I bought a new car. This had been a long time in the coming. Two weeks prior Brendan and I spent a lot of time talking about whether it was worth it to keep up the maintenance and repairs on my Sable or replace it, and we decided it was much more practical to replace it. I loved my Sable. I'd had it for over 7 years and put over 70,000 miles on it. It was 13 years old with 129,000 miles. I loved that car. It had been my Grampa's and felt in some way like an extension of him. But, it was time to move on. So after a lot of tears I forced myself to go look at cars. After much test driving and hours spent on Edmunds, I decided on a 2009 Toyota Prius. I will post pictures of both the Sable and Prius when I get home. I'm still taking nominations for names for the new car. Please make suggestions!
Throughout all of this I've also been working on a scrapbook for my niece, Nadia. It's coming along. I just finished a spread for February that I'm particularly happy with. I'm currently on the Christmas pages (I'm doing them very much out of order). I'll post some pictures when the whole album is finished and given to the proud parents. In the meantime, suffice to say I'm really enjoying working on it. As N says, hobbies keep us sane.
Saturday night we went to card club, a monthly get-together of us and five other couples we're friends with. It's always a good time. We found out that one of the couples is expecting their third child. We're really happy for them!
Monday (two days ago), Elliot took his first unassisted step! I didn't even see it. Brendan was playing with him in the living room while I was working in the kitchen. Brendan said he took one step then fell over. I haven't seen him try again since then. He's happy cruising and using his new walker toy (thank you, Lisa!). We'll get pictures/video as soon as we can. I think he'll start walking more regularly in no time, but we'll see. I just love to watch him figure things out. His other new trick is turning on the water in the bathtub while I'm getting ready for work in the mornings. I think he's pretty much the greatest kid ever.