Monday, December 9, 2013


I feel torn about this Monday. On the one hand, we had an absolutely perfect weekend visiting friends in STL. On the other hand, it's nearing the end of the semester and I'm grumpy and stressed. So you're going to get both sides.

I did it. I signed up for Marathon #4: Top of Utah marathon, September 2014 in Logan, UT. The first half of it is a 2% downhill grade as you run down a canyon. I've heard that the course is gorgeous and I'll get to stay with a dear friend and colleague who lives up there. Training is set to start in June!

Question: are the RW training plans worth the $30? I've used the sub-2 training schedule several times, each time successfully, but I tore it out of an issue of RW. I didn't actually pay for it separately.

I absolutely adore my baby's daycare. His teachers are great. The directors are delightful. And some, some of the other parents make my days happier ones. But some of them are entitled a-holes. On any given day, morning or afternoon--take your pick, I am greeted by at least one gigantic luxury SUV parked in at least 2 of the following 3 things simultaneously:

  • a space reserved for handicapped drivers
  • a second parking space
  • a striped-off loading area for the handicapped spaces
One day I had to put my son in his car seat through the opposite side of the car, because the gigantic luxury SUV parked next to me was, naturally, in their space and mine. The owner, who approached as I was doing this, stood on the sidewalk and waited for me to back out so they could comfortably get it. Then she put her hands to her face and started shrieking because she thought I might touch the side of her gigantic luxury SUV with my side mirror as I backed out. That was the last straw. I opened my door and calmly explained to her that neither my mirror nor my need to put a toddler in his car seat through the opposite side door would have been an issue had she parked in 1 parking space. Her response: it wasn't her fault. 

We spent this past weekend in STL, primarily for my hubba-love's company Christmas party, but also to see our friends. While flying with small children is not the easiest thing ever done, so many complete strangers were so incredibly kind to us, and helpful, along the way. 

I started out the weekend at a cupcake happy hour with some of my favorite people. 

That night we dropped the kids off with some friends and headed to the Christmas party in our fancy clothes. I think I enjoy the party more than the actual employees do. :)
At the Kemp Auto Museum for the party--keeping it classy!

Friday night Mr. Joanna's company put us up at Union Station. I'd never been in the hotel part of it before and have to say, it's completely gorgeous. The picture only sort of does it justice!
Atrium of the Union Station hotel

Saturday we enjoyed breakfast with another friend, then headed to Springfield, IL to visit the Lincoln Presidential Museum with my dear, dear friend (and our boys' Godmother) MJ and her kids. The museum impressed me. The displays were very well done, the building organized in a way that made sense, and they had just the right mix of kid and adult-oriented content. I'd always heard it was worth the visit and it is!
plus, the Lincolns had great taste in wallpaper

Saturday evening we enjoyed some gooooood local pizza (read: NOT Imo's!) with friends. Sunday morning we had breakfast with our old neighbors, then headed for the airport for the long flight home. Icing on the cake, and a sure sign of a great trip? The rental car had WV plates. 

I guess we haven't really broadcast it too widely, but we are waist deep in a fairly large renovation project. Phase 1 involved gutting the kids' bathroom and remaking it and part of a useless hallway-to-nowhere into a nice bathroom and laundry room. It's mostly been a lot of fun to see the project come together. Not fun? Coming home to difficult-to-move BOARDS WITH NAILS STICKING OUT OF THEM sitting face up right in front of my younger son's bedroom door (did I mention that he's ONE?). Or coming home to find ladders left set up on the stairs to the upstairs, leaving no safe way whatsoever to get kids to bed without moving the contractor's stuff. Or, for variety, coming home to find building supplies strewn all over the front yard. The new space will be great when finished, but in the meantime, #Annoying.

Lemme hear it. What crazy contractor stories do you have? 

This week is the last week of my semester-long yoga class. This class=huge blessing. The instructor is excellent, plus I have little doubt that going helped to minimize the hip pain I was experiencing while training for Raleigh. I'm trying to decide if I have enough time to get from the spring class to the academic class I will be teaching. If not, I'll have to find some alternative for next semester, which is fine; there are a million yoga studios in this earth-loving city. 

That's it for this week's installment of Mondays. This week I'm going to try to find a running route clear enough of ice and snow to attempt. I'm pretty sure most of the country is in that quest with me this week. Stay warm, stay safe, and run strong my friends!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mondays in Love: Potpourri

It's ThanksUkkahMas! In our house this means:

  • new placemats for children to utterly destroy in under 1 month
  • finding the box to return the fall paraphernalia to the basement 
  • trying to remember which wrapping paper is "Santa's Paper Not To Be Used On Gifts From Parents Under Any Circumstance"
  • Raking leaves and wondering how long either the City or our neighbors can stand to see the pile of bags before caving in and picking them up despite, apparently, there not being any city leaf collection
  • Starting to plan holiday outings that include both small children and senior citizens, both groups of which have unyielding demands for cookies and drinks along the way.
But you know what else it's time for? Outrageous holiday catalogs! Want to pay $47 for pumpkin spice potpourri? Sure! Or read about other people making fun of crazy crap

All this is just a lengthy preamble to a Potpourri of Running post. Because I'm a week overdue for a post, and because 'tis the season to be crazy. Oh, and because I do what I want. 

First up, my Turkey Trot. The plan was to participate in the Orlando Turkey Trot, which benefits a senior citizens social services group. However, by age 8 I was the only person in my house awake on a weekend before about 11am. So, dragging anyone away from slumberland to join me proved difficult, so my Mom and I decided to make a donation to the charity then cover the distance later in the day. 
The good: It was adorable. My nieces (3 and 5 years old) joined us for the first half mile. My Mom headed inside with foot issues after about 1.5 miles. And my lovely SIL, Kdot finished out the 5k walk with me. It was really nice to just spend some time one-on-one with her (which we also did while shopping on Wednesday for pretty things)
yes, I am completely over-geared for walking 3 miles. Whatever. It was what I had on hand!

While away for Thanksgiving, we also got to continue one of my favorite traditions, the middle generation Christmas Martini. I love, love, love these evenings out with these people. 
Kdot, ODP, me, Mr. Joanna

And a brief November recap: it was a little light on miles after my race. I enjoyed every one of these miles. 
Miles: 44.9
Best run: easily the Raleigh City of Oaks Half-Marathon (race recap here). 
New shoes broken in: the week leading up to the race
New gear: I picked up a pair of Moving Comfort capris--my first pair of capris. Do you have these yet? If not, go now. Buy a pair. I love them. They are soft. The waistband is perfect. Love. 
Unexpected change: Both the Army ROTC and the National Guard have started showing up to train in my park before dawn, though not on the same days. 

Around now-ish, I've been meeting lots of runners, and have several leads on some running groups/running buddies that might work out. I am so in love with the outdoorsy lifestyle of this place!!

What's in store for December? 
  • for starters, I intend to sign up for....wait for it....a full marathon for 2014!!! 
  • Snow. That angry looking snow blob on the weather map? Yeah. That's us. 
  • Too. much. travel. And we're not even going anywhere for Christmas. But we are getting to spend lots of great time with friends and family. 
How was your November? Did you do a Turkey Trot? What's in store for your December?