Wednesday, February 29, 2012

my cup runneth over. (and CFC day 4)

Of course, I knew very well that today was the day the winner of the Las Olas Surf Safari Contest would be announced.  All day at work today, every time I sat down in front of my computer, I refreshed the page of the Las Olas Blog and looked at my gmail inbox.  All day, emails would pop up, and all day, they were reminders of meetings, details about stuff I needed to do for girlscouts, notifications that bills were due.  Normal stuff.  There were also lots of email from friends or family saying:  "News?  Any news?"

By the afternoon, I figured that if I hadn't heard anything yet, I probably didn't win, so I settled in to grade some papers, and then all of a sudden, there it was, an email from Las Olas and I had to click a few links until I ended up here.

My heart was pounding out of my chest and my hands were shaking.  I shouldn't have dared to want this trip as badly as I wanted it, and yet, I definitely let my imagination run wild at the thought.

And now I actually AM going to fly to Mexico for a week by myself to learn how to surf at this totally amazing tropical luxurious place.  Whose life is this again?

So, thank you!  Thank you to all of my friends and family who voted for me and spread the word and posted and reposted about the contest.  Thanks to all of my students who not only voted for me, but got so excited about the whole idea of this trip and rooted for me all the way.  ("Ms. Manhart, can I ask you one more question about the surf trip?"  "Well, okay, just one more question.")

Thanks for all the comments and texts and phone calls.  Thanks for being excited for me.
I love how many people's first reaction when I told them was to swear.  Mine was too.  I got lots of OMGs and NFWs and holy shits and WTFs and, my personal favorite from my brother Chris, Holy Tamales!  Also, lots of "Surf's Up" and "Hang Ten" so I guess I have to figure out what that means.

I just got a bunch of information, advice and a packing list from the super kind folks at Las Olas.  Flip flops?  Rash guard?  Bathing suits? Sun block?  Oh my God. And then this:

Your  Las Olas Safari includes
 ~ Scheduled ground transportation to and from the PVR airport 
 ~ 6-Night accommodations in dreamy, tropical oceanfront villas (includes all local taxes)
 ~ Daily surf lessons with expert, caring Las Olas instructors
 ~ Quality surf equipment including soft foam boards and female specific performance long boards
 ~ Day safaris to secret surf spots
 ~ Your own Las Olas rash guard (surf shirt)
 ~ Your own sport water-bottle for hydration
 ~ Daily Breakfast
 ~ Orientation and finale dinners
 ~ Daily yoga class
 ~ A private one-hour sports massage
 ~ A private one-on-one surf lesson with an instructor
 ~ Daily maid service, including fresh bath towels

 I'm drooling on the keyboard.    I go to Las Olas on April 12th, by the way.  And I need to hop right into gear getting my passport and airline tickets, ASAP. 

I want to stay loyal to the CFC and to everyone doing it with me, so, here is my day 4:

I barely made it through the afternoon on Clean Food, but I did.  I was just so excited and all over the place that it was hard to not just mindlessly snack or celebrate with sweets or a cocktail or something.  Thank goodness my friend Suzanne showed up with some clean food for me.

Breakfast:  Oatmeal, blueberries, coffee with coconut milk.  Hard boiled egg.  Decaf tea.

Snacks at work:  pear, almonds, orange

Lunch:  Leftover beans, sweet potoatoes and veggies with fresh salsa.
Pile of green grapes.

Dinner:  Lentil-nut loaf (a la Suzanne), Quinoa Mango Salad (a la Suzanne).

Dessert?  I don't know.  But I need something.  I think I'll have some apple slices with almond butter and agave.  Yes. That is what I will do.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, everyone.  I will be dreaming of the waves tonight, for sure.

Suzanne @
Willow @
Jill @
Lesley @
Brooke @

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CFC: day three

Moving right along!  I don't know exactly why, but this is the easiest time I've had doing this cleanse. This is the way we were meant to eat.

It feels so good to be taking such good care of myself.   When I pack my lunches, I feel like I'm giving myself little present each day.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking about foods I CAN'T have right now, but I just change that sentiment in my mind to I CAN.  I CAN have any fruit, veggie, nut, or bean on this planet.  That's a lot of variety, people. 

Breakfast:  Oatmeal, blueberries, maple syrup, coffee with coconut milk.
Orange, mango, apple smoothie.

Snacks at work:  Orange, pear, handful of almonds.

Lunch: pureed squash and Sesame broccoli (leftover from dinner) and
Spinach, carrot, cuke salad with a hard-boiled egg.

Pre-run snack:  Banana with almond butter

Post-run:  Chamomile tea with coconut milk and agave.

Dinner:  I was STARVING after my run so this dinner tasted extra, extra good. 

Roasted sweet potatoes, sliced avocado, black and mashed pinto beans mixed with zucchini, onion, mashed sweet potato and fresh salsa, and one egg over medium.    I'm ready for daylight savings time so I don't have to take dark, crappy photos of my dinners. 

Before I set out on my run today, I posed so I could show you my hair cut.  You are not required to cut off all of your hair during the CFC, but it does feel pretty good.
My run felt good even though it was cold out there.  I thought about all the good foods powering me, and wished I had one of those vegetarian running shirts that says "RUNS ON PLANTS."  Today I had SIXTEEN servings of fruits and vegetables.  I love that.

Keep up the good work, everyone.  I love hearing from you about how it's going!

Clean Bloggers Unite!

Suzanne @
Willow @
Jill @
Lesley @
Brooke @

CFC: day two

Day 2 was also Monday-back-to-work-after-vacation, and despite the mental craziness that ensued, my body felt great.  Right now the CFC feels very easy to me.  I know this isn't exactly a good thing, but I'm so stressed out about all that I have to get done that I'm not having a lot of time to daydream about bagels with nutella.   I haven't even really felt hungry between meals. 

My day was busy and punchy and filled with good food and yes, so much water that I had to run to the bathroom between every class.  But, the great news is I had NO dips in energy, didn't get tired in the afternoon, and felt good and clear-headed right through to bedtime.  I will say that I missed my afternoon coffee, but more for the warmth of it than for a need for caffeine.  I had tea instead and that warmed me up.

I have no photos of food from the day, but this is what I ate:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberries and maple syrup.  Coffee with coconut milk.

Snacks at work:  Orange, pear, handful of almonds

Lunch:  Spinach Salad with carrots and cukes topped with 2 Black Bean Burgers

After work:  Ginger Lemon tea with coconut milk and agave.
slices of canteloupe

Dinner:  Suzanne's Peanut Tempeh Soup, broccoli with sesame seeds and sesame oil, roasted sweet potatoes, and some pureed butternut squash.

Off for another busy day.  Hope everyone is doing well!

Clean Food Challengers Who Blog:

Suzanne @
Willow @
Jill @
Lesley @

Sunday, February 26, 2012

CFC: day one

Off we go!  I am feeling clean, focused and good so far.  I know I'll probably feel tired tomorrow (from experience), but today has just been full of good food and sunshine (and pee breaks).

I think what you will find is that CFC means amazing, delicious food.  It's really not hard, people.  

Breakfast:  (get used to this... I will probably have it every day)
Coffee with soy milk.  Oatmeal with a pile of blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.  Within 5 minutes of finishing this bowl, I was pedaling away on the bike trainer.  Totally satisfying.

Lunch:   I had 2 eggs over-medium (you know you can have eggs, right?) and a pile of Quinuo and Garbanzo bean salad (recipe below)
Quinoa Garbanzo Bean Salad
(sorry, no exact measurements)
Cook 2 cups of Quinoa per package directions.  Let cool.
Add one big can of Organic Garbanzo Beans
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and Pepper
3-ish tablespoons of the Carrot Pistachio Pesto described below
Chopped fresh mint.

After errands!  Smoothie with bananas, blueberries, 2 cups baby spinach, orange juice.  

Afternoon Snacks:  I had a handful of almonds, an orange, some strawberries, and a banana with almond butter.  And water, water, water. 

My friend Suzanne is joining me for the CFC, and we traded some food (I love this benefit).  She gave me a container of Tempeh Peanut Veggie soup, so that's what I'll have for dinner tonight, with a spinach salad.

Tomorrow, I'm back to work, and my very beautiful healthy lunch is already packed. 


Earlier in the week, I had a massive CFC prep day.  I made a mess of the kitchen, but I'm totally set for the week. 

I made, and have in my freezer:
PESTO made with toasted walnut, lemon zest, parsley, cilantro and olive oil
This pesto will show up in various things this week, but the first plan is to slather it over roasted sweet potatoes.

Next, I made Carrot Pistachio pesto (and this is mixed into my Quinoa/Garbanzo Bean salad).
Mix together in the food processor 1/2 cup of toasted pistachios, a small piece of red onion, about 6 carrots and 2 cloves of garlic and about 1/4 cup olive oil.   

I spent $9.99 on these babies, and it was worth it.

For quick lunches or sides during the week, I cut up and roasted a gigantic butternut squash.  After it was soft,  about an hour at 350, I pureed it with salt, pepper, cayenne, and some maple syrup.  I love this stuff.  And it's filling.

I also made and have in the freezer a bunch of spicy black bean burgers and Carrot-Miso soup... I'll post recipes for these later in the week.  

Good luck, everyone!

Bloggers who are doing the CFC with us:  (want to be on this list?  leave a comment!)

Suzanne @
Willow @
Jill @

Saturday, February 25, 2012

week 6: check and CFC business

 We woke up to about 4 inches of new snow this morning.  I will admit that I kind of rolled my eyes when I saw it was going to snow last night, but you can't deny how pretty the world looks after a fresh snow fall.

This morning I did my 9 miles with Ashley, who is a senior in my class and a superstar athlete.  She's off to play college soccer next year at UMaine and just this week posted a new PR in her track event, the 800, which she ran in 2:23.  Now stop and think about that, you guys.  She ran a 1/2 mile in 2:23.  I know. 

And she was gracious enough to run 9 slow hilly miles with her English teacher.    Ashley runs her first half marathon in a month.

It was a very pretty but slushy run, and after the first mile our shoes were soaked through.  We got sprayed by about a million cars and plow trucks, including a total mud shower by one truck that seemed to spray us on purpose?  You can't tell from the photo, but we were both totally soaked from the hip down.  But you know what that means.... hot shower was that much more amazing.

So, I will do my cross training tomorrow and that will mean that I got a complete week of training in and I feel great. 

Clean Food Challenge people:
 I'm running a local half marathon in Brewer next Sunday, so I realized I should start the CFC one day early so that on race morning next week, I can eat a bagel and drink gatorade.  That doesn't mean anyone else has to start early, but just so you know, Sunday will be my day 1 and I will eat clean for 7 days.

I'm so excited by all of you who are joining me this time.  I've lost count, but it's a great group.  If you plan to blog about your experience, send me a link to your blog via email or in a comment and I will keep a blog roll at the bottom of the CFC posts as I have done in the past.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

What's for Dinner?

{note:  not a Clean Food Challenge meal, but lots of CFC food and planning coming very soon, and we are up to 20+ folks joining us!}

I guess I'm thinking about summertime because when I was perusing recipes this week, I just knew I needed this flavor.    The burgers are spicy (but not too, my kids loved them) and tangy and actually needed no condiments.

You know what else I did today?  I opened up a bottle of sunblock and put some on my hands.  Oh my good God I'm dreaming of the beach. I know.  It isn't even March yet.

Barbecue Chicken (or Turkey) Sliders with Cole Slaw

I got the recipe here, but changed it as follows:

         For burgers
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (I used panko) 
  • For cole slaw
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 bag of pre-chopped broccoli slaw mix.
I made mini burgers and served them on little buns like sliders.  

So delicious.  And kid friendly.  And summery.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

on happiness

"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it."  - Elizabeth Gilbert

In my on-going efforts to feel like myself again, I've been gathering up moments of happiness and paying special attention to little bursts of joy when I feel them.  I have been taking inventory of my many blessings, being proactive in what I choose to pay attention to.  There are small moments, and when they blow by me, I grab them.

I recently cruised through some old blog posts looking for one or two photos that I could caption with the word "happiness."  What ended up happening is that I had a happiness festival.  There are so many, and it was so good for me, and I smiled for hours afterward.    Here are just a handful.

trying not to smile
triathlon finish line.

 dog smile
summer snack.

happiness in a glass

after a day at the beach.

quiet time for mommy.

first family mountain hike

raise your hand if you're happy.
"There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself. "
Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Dear Universe,
I know I got a little smug yesterday about my exceptional parenting and my extremely cooperative children.  And I know I had it coming today after going public with my very smooth and fun day.  But really?  All of this?

Today Reed had three time outs before breakfast.

During breakfast, Skyler said to me:  "You are not the queen of my life."
To which I replied: "Actually, yes I am."

In the middle of the grocery store, I said "I need  a vacation.  To Mexico."
Skyler rolled her eyes and said:  "Good luck with that."

Each child said "This is so boring" about 53 times each.  The bank teller asked me if I was "enjoying school vacation" in a tone that implied I looked like I was not. 

Reed poked Skyler and destroyed her lego tower which made her cry in an extreme manner that was not proportional to the crime.

And that was all fairly normal, but did Target really have to go into "CODE YELLOW" today because I lost Reed?  Really?

Over the walkie talkies to the other employees, a Target manager had to say these words:  "There is a 5 year old blonde boy missing in the store.  He is wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt with the hood up and a pair of earmuffs over the hood."

Okay universe, I guess we're even.  And did I say something about valium?

Monday, February 20, 2012

hope for the mommies!

This post is dedicated to all of my mommy friends, whether I know you or don't, who have wee ones who require all of your patience, constant attention and assistance.  There is hope for your sanity in the near future. 

On our first day of winter vacation,  I had a full day with my kids that showed me we've really turned the corner out of the near-insanity stage.  Sam is away at state meets in southern Maine, so I have the kids on my own for a couple days and we set out to have an action-packed day. 

It started with a Family Meeting.  For whatever reason, my kids totally love Family Meetings, which just means they sit down and listen and I tell them stuff.  I had some errands I needed to take care of and they wanted to have some fun, so we made a deal.  The deal was simple, really:  "you have to be good all day."  But because this information was conveyed during a Family Meeting, they shouted "Yes Ma'am!"

First stop:  LL Bean to return their broken-zippered hooded sweatshirts.  They each got new super-soft sweatshirts plus they each got a new item that completely thrilled them:  earmuffs!  Who knew?
They were good!

Next stop:  UMaine pool:  They swam happily until they were shivering.  And, get this mommies of littles, they showered themselves, dried themselves, dressed themselves, and we left with nary an incident nor a timeout.

Next:  a visit to my mom's where they (mostly) played well together while I chatted with my mom. 

Next:  To the movies!  We went to see The Secret World of Arietty which was very cute, and they were attentive and wide-eyed and they shared their snacks.  They were good!

Next:  (this was the real test).  I took them with me to get new glasses.  Let me repeat, I took my 2 often-crazy children to the eyeglasses store with the rule that they could NOT TOUCH any glasses.  God bless Lenscrafters for having a little Lego table in the corner.  You guys, I tried on glasses without feeling rushed nor did I break a sweat, got mine ordered, and we all walked out of there and no voices had been raised.  It was so weird.

I was feeling really crazy and lucky at this point, so we went to Dysart's (very Mainey truck-stop diner) for dinner.  They ordered their own meals (including sides of broccoli), colored their placemats, chatted with the nice trucker next to us, and ate all their dinner so they got ice cream for dessert.*

On the ride home, Skyler high-fived me and Reed said:  "AWESOMEST DAY EVER!"

Am I dreaming?  My children are not just tornadoes anymore;  they are small people whom I can hang out with.  Let's not get carried away here;  I know they have their moments, and it's only Monday of vacation, but still.  I was a proud mommy, and wanted those of you who still need Valium to get through a restaurant meal to know there is hope.

But just so you know, publishing this post just about guarantees me that one or both of them will be difficult or have a tantrum tomorrow, just to keep me humble.  

*While we were waiting for our dinners, I told the kids about "Dysart's 18-wheeler" which is a sundae with 18 scoops of ice cream and if one person can eat it, he or she earns a Dysart's t-shirt.  They thought this whole concept was incredible and had a lot of questions.  No, we didn't order it.  But I did order Banana Cream Pie (Hello, CFC around the corner!  So good, so dirty!) which was delicious, and when Reed saw how huge it was, he said:  "Wow Mom.  You are totally going to get a t-shirt for that."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

week 5: on the mend

I started my week of vacation off right by doing my 12 mile run early Saturday morning.  I ran 2 miles, met up with my friends Amy, Casey and Kristy and did 8 miles with them, and then ran 2 miles home.  I was definitely still feeling sick and sluggish, and felt pretty beat up for the rest of the day, but the sunshine and fresh air was good for my spirits.   It was 35 degrees which means my camelbak did NOT freeze, and this is really something for February in Maine. 

When I got home, I purposefully made coffee and breakfast first and let myself get really really cold before I got in the shower because that makes the hot shower feel like the best thing ever.  If you are actively shivering and your lips are blue, that just means that your shower is going to be that much better. 

Check out how little snow we have!  When standing in Amy's driveway on Saturday, we noticed that some of the trees actually have very early reddish buds on them.  WHAT?  I have this sinking feeling it's going to mild until April and then start snowing.

I missed 2 runs this week, but maybe in the upcoming week I can get back on track.  I think I can finally say that I am better now.

Two things:
There are still a few days left to vote for me in the Surf Las Olas Contest.  Thanks for all the votes so far!
We have 15 people doing the CFC together.  You still have plenty of time to join us if you're interested. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's time, people: The Clean Food Challenge

I have been sick for 10 days.  During this sickness, I have had conjunctivitis (two times) and I have had a cough, sore throat, body aches and headaches the whole time.  During these past weeks, I have also been super busy and therefore eating on-the-go.  My diet has mostly consisted of bread in many forms, you know, like bagels, bagels and more bagels.  Today two things happened:  I felt like crap in a way that I only feel when I've been eating too much bread and not enough whole foods and veggies.  And, my friend at work told me he is going to do the Clean Food Challenge with his wife next week.  (You are OMIM official, Tony and Kate!)

I did finally get in a run today and felt pretty good, so I'm ready to make my way back and get super healthy.  But I have the upcoming week off from school, and I do much better on the CFC when I am working and my time is very structured. 

I've been leading up to this for a few months, knowing it was time to cut the crap and clean myself out, so here we go.  I will be doing the CFC for 7 days beginning on Monday February 27th.  That means I can spend next week, vacation week, organizing and stocking my freezer with extra clean soups and dinners.

What is the CFC?  It's a simple cleanse that I made up last year and this is the 3rd time I'll be doing it.  It feels so fantastic, and I recommend you try it. 

Here are the "rules" of the CFC (remember that I made these up but was guided and inspired by other cleanses).

-No Dairy
-No Sugar
-No Alcohol
-No Gluten
-No Processed anything
- Only organic and lean proteins like fish and chicken.

I will eat:  vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, fresh-pressed juices, green smoothies, and a gallon of water per day.   I will drink one cup of coffee per day.  You may call this cheating.  I call it necessary.

Have you been interested in doing a cleanse, but never been brave enough to try?
Would you have better luck on a cleanse if you had friends doing it with you?
Whether you've done it before or whether you are a cleanse virgin, would you like to join me?

If you are thinking about it, you may want to read these two previous posts:
getting ready for the CFC
shopping for the CFC

And use these tips to help keep you organized.   

1. Plan Ahead.  Pack your fridge and cupboards full of CFC friendly foods.  If you want to go crazy, you might even make a few soups and salads (like quinuoa, veggie and bean salads) to have in your fridge for quick lunches.  Almonds, cashews, pre-cut fruits and veggies work well for snacks you can grab when you are hungry.  The afternoon hours before dinner are hardest for me, so I like to drink a smoothie or eat something filling that will get me through the dinner prep time.

I also prepare for the CFC by deep-cleaning my fridge and my oven.  It just seems like the right time to do it.

2.  Go for filling foods.  You are giving up processed food, yes, but that doesn't mean you need to be eating celery sticks for a week. Especially if you are exercising, or if you are like me, you'll really want to feel full after you eat.  Curried Sweet Potato Soup (skip milk) is a life saver and keeps well in the fridge.  Anything made with potatoes will fill you up, and baked sweet potatoes are packed full of nutrients and taste really good.   I even love to cube and bake a sweet potato and then put it, still warm, on top of a giant salad (thanks, Ange!).   Eat oatmeal for breakfast with a pile of blueberries on top and some maple syrup.  For a snack, slather almond butter on a banana, eat handfuls of dried fruit and nuts, or eat a whole avocado sprinkled with sea salt.

3.  Go for flavorful foods.   Grill some pineapple or mango for a fruit salsa.  Add curry or cayenne or paprika to your dishes.  Dress your salads with lemon, agave, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Make a pesto (no cheese) to put over fish or boiled potatoes.  Eat spicy black beans and salsa with home-made guacamole!  Walk through your health food store with an eye for something new; try new foods and make it an adventure. 

4.  In a pinch?:  During the CFC, I try to eat only foods that are whole when I buy them from the store,  But, if you are in need of a store-bought snack, Kind Bars are dairy and gluten free and are minimally processed so they would be a good choice in a pinch.  Also, Lara Bars are dairy and gluten and sweetened only with dates.

5.  Drink the water:  Water helps this whole cleanse process because it flushes your system right out.  If you can succeed in drinking the recommended 1 gallon of water a day (my camelbak water bottle filled 5 times), you will be peeing all the time.  It's kind of a pain, but I credit all of the water as being one of the things that helped me feel so clean and sparkly during my last cleanse.   And water helps you feel more full, too.

 Here are two recipes I loved last time on the CFC:

Tangy Basmati (from friend Josie)

1 cup basmati rice
1 3/4 cups water
1 Tbsp oil or ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
3 Tbsp grated coconut
1/4 cup chopped almonds or raw cashews
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a small pan, heat up oil and add mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander seeds and nuts. When
seeds begin to pop, add coconut and stir well to toast and blend spices. Set aside until rice is
ready, at which point stir into rice with lemon juice and chopped cilantro.

Tempeh Stir Fry
Stir fry together 4 minced cloves garlic, 1 onion chopped, 1 package of crumbled tempeh, 1 head of broccoli chopped,  a bunch of halved green beans, 1 cup of sliced mushrooms, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

I served it over brown rice and sprinkled it with peanuts that I ground up in the food processor.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Reed had a swimming party.

And of course, it was duly documented.

 Thanks to all of our friends who made Reed feel so smiley and loved.

 Here are the faces of Reedo's bffs.

 Legos, transformers, spiderman toys, a crayon maker, and a super hero t-shirt?  Somebody please pinch Reed. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

week 4: check

Okay, so it might not have been the best idea to run 11 miles with negative 12 windchill this morning when I'm as sick as I am.  But the sun was bright, the sky was blue, and if you were tucked into your bed this morning staying warm, I'm a little jealous, but you know what you missed?  Besides the best hot shower and the best cup of coffee ever after the run, you missed seeing four white-tailed deer running silently across a frozen pond in the woods.  And it always amazes me that no matter how cold it is, if I am dressed correctly, I actually get toasty warm after about a mile, and even when it's freeeezing cold out, the sun will still be so strong and warming that you can feel it for hours afterward. 

11 miles, slow and sometimes hard, but done nonetheless. 

Okay, that whole sick week thing can be over now, and I'm ready to carry on!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

moving right along in February...

Well, hi! I guess I didn't post anything for a week! Let's see. I had a busy busy work week during which I squeezed in editing for Sparrow's next issue, and writing a review of this book that will eventually appear here, did some writing for my graduate class, and... oh yeah, I got sick! Conjunctivitis so bad that I couldn't open my eyes, and that was followed by a hacking cough and cold. So, there was that.

I also had a birthday, number 38. My birthday was full of emails and phone calls and cards and love, flowers delivered to work (see them, Jen?),  new running clothes and new kitchen stuff and good food. 

I have hardly any photos from the evening, but I did have some friends over for Indian food and Suzanne made me this awesome chocolate cake.

We also had a Valentine's Dance at Skyler's school this week.  This was the best I could do to get Reed dressed up.

A quick dance lesson before we left:
Suzanne was in charge of this dance and we went early to help her decorate.  It was a ton of work for her and she pulled the whole thing off with style and aplomb.  Look how relaxed she looks!  (Don't tell anyone I told you, but I saw her popping Tylenol and washing it down with her second coffee in the corner minutes before the dance started.)
The girls helped with balloons.  Reed popped some balloons.  Sorry, Suz. 

There was also just regular stuff this week.  Painting and being silly.  And lots of swim meets, so that is where Sam was. 

I missed one run this week due to being sick, but otherwise I'm on track.  I've got 11 miles on the schedule tomorrow morning even though I'm still not 100%.  I'd say I'm like 75%.  The forecast calls for a "real feel" temperature of -10 degrees, so please don't tell my mom that I'm going to run anyway. 

All this talk of cold weather reminds of something:  I would really like to go surfing in Mexico!  Did I mention that I'm a finalist in this great contest and might win a week at Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women?  Have you voted?  It takes 2 seconds!

If you have gotten an error message or had a hard time voting from the Las Olas site, all you need to do is send an email to with "I vote for Emilie" in the subject line.  Easy, right?

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's time to VOTE! (Help a hermana out)

In case you haven't heard, I was chosen as a top-ten finalist in the Las Olas Surf Safari Scholarship contest.  If I win, I will travel for one week to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to learn to surf with a group of women.

Excuse me for this terrible understatement:  I really, really want to go.  Por Favor.

I have been reminded by people who love me not to "count my chickens before they hatch."  Or in my case, not to "look at bathing suits in the Athleta catalog unless I win."  I may have a few pages dog-eared. You understand, I know you do.

Would you vote for me?  You can vote HERE once per email address.  If you FEEL like spreading the word, you know, like, with emails, on facebook, on your blogs, on twitter or on the street corner, I certainly wouldn't ask you not to.  You can vote from today until Feb. 24th. 

It takes 2 seconds and just a couple of clicks to vote.

Fortunately or unfortunately, it looks like I will have no idea what the vote count is until it's all over, so just vote and vote away and I will hope for the best.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Just in case, HERE is the link again.  :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunnyday run.

Tom, Rachel, Roger, Ashley, Libby, Charlie and me:  7 runners, 6 miles, 7 degrees.  Week 3:  check!
Look at that blue sky!  We had a gorgeous run this morning partly on the roads and partly through the woods on the bike path, and ended up with mugs of coffee and breakfast burritos at Verve.

I missed one run this week due to an especially crazy schedule, but I'm still feeling great about this training cycle.  Things start to pick up in the next few weeks, so we will see if I continue to feel so good.

6 miles @ 9:53 pace.

Thanks for all the love about the Las Olas contest.  Voting apparently starts tomorrow and will be open for about 2 weeks.  I'll post the link as soon as I know it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Reed's hair gets its own blog post.

If you saw some of Reed's birthday photos, you probably had a thought about the state of his hair.  It's thick and tangled and kind of has a mind of its own, so even though I keep trying to grow it out and create this surferboy look on him, it tends to get a little out of control. 

This is what I was going for:

This is what I got:
Reed brought the concept of bed head to a whole new level.  And yet I still loved it and couldn't keep my hands off of it.  But I got a lot of looks from strangers AND my own mother, and the teachers at Reed's preschool started calling him Rod  Stewart.  I thought it was probably time to address it, so I caved and took him to get it cut today.

What I wanted was a trim.  What I got was Justin Bieber.

He still looks good with a skateboard, but I can't stop calling him JBiebs.