Bri and Steph get Awesomer.

That’s what I named the google doc that Stephanie and I are sharing to put goals and track progress on our way to doing a half marathon in October. 

We are using Hal Higeon’s training plans for the 1/2, but because it’s too early to start the 12 week training we decided to do the 8 week 10K plan first.  Basically I copied the plan into the document with the actual dates and our name in rows under each week.  This way, we can input what we actually did each day compared to what we were “supposed” to do.  I also put it all in my google calender (I made a “Training” calender) so that I can easily see what distance I should be running.  (Note: Definitely ran 2 miles this morning… cause that’s what I had put in the calender.  I was supposed to run 2.5 (SHOOT!), so on Thursday I will just add .5 miles on the end so that my weeks “Total Miles” is the same).

It is a completely do-able plan, and I really like that it schedules times for cross training, and good stretches (I’m doing yoga on those days). At my gym they have “Tune-Up Yoga” for athletes.  It’s a mixture of yoga and calisthenics and body therapy.  It felt fantastic. 

It is so nice to have someone to do it with, because even if we’re not doing the runs together– we know that someone see when we don’t do out work outs or (even better) when we do!!  We’ve been trying to come up with rewards and punishments for completion.  So far we have a pedicure (week 2), a foam roller (week 6), and a massage (week 8).  For punishments all we have so far is that if you fail one week, you don’t get to buy coffee the following week.

What do you guys use for motivation?

Hello three day weekend, I would like to make out with you.

Today I am off to Tahoe to ski for the first time EVER.

We’re going to hope for no broken bones, or frost bite, or mountain lion. Do mountain lions hibernate? These are really important questions I need to know. Oh, and apparently everywhere but in Southern California, mid-winter break from school is called ski-week. Who knew?

Here is a little something I found, and I cannot for the LIFE of me remember where it was from. But it’s pretty great. I definitely printed it and stuck in on my inspiration board at work.

Company Bonding Time

Last week I went to a place called Asilomar for a conference with my entire department.

It was a complete blast, and without any TV’s or Internet, there was a whole lot of bonding time.

There are about 4-5 people who are my age in my department, and we were called the “Kids Table” all conference which was totally fine with us. We stayed up to late playing King’s Cup and B.S. the first night, and then on Thursday night EVERYONE meets up to have margaritas in one of the ladie’s rooms.

I also learned a lot, BTW. During the day I was very good about going to everything and networking! But I think part of the reason my company pays for us to go is because they know the “team building” aspect of it is pretty great.

What A Weekend.

Good Morning!! Happy Monday. Here, have a cinnamon roll..

So, this weekend I was at retreat for the new church I will be going to. It was a blast. Got to meet a whole bunch of new people, hang out more with Stephanie and her roomie, and just get away for the weekend. My phone was off. I rarely new what time it was. It was grand.

There was lots of talking and singing and walking and thinking happening at camp. It was absolutely beautiful up there. And I loved waking up both mornings (even though it was cold) and getting to be out where it was so BEAUTIFUL. It also helped that the retreat center we were at produces the worlds greatest lattes ever.

Saturday we had a WHOLE lot of free time… and there is a wonderful woman who was in my small group that has her nose pierced… and I just kept staring at it. I have wanted to get it done for SO long, but really needed an accomplice on the project. And Stephanie was perfect for it. I googled it, drove down to downtown Santa Cruz and got my nose pierced.



Me and my Accomplice. We are destined for a life long friendship I think.
I even got an award at camp. “Most Extreme Body Modification”…. ha. I am pretty sure most people don’t decide to pierce their nose’s at a church retreat….. but I LOVE it.

The guy who did it was super great, and explained everything in detail. I told him I really wasn’t nervous, I have four tattoos, it couldn’t be worse than that. Than I told him to make sure I didn’t look like an idiot, but otherwise I trusted him to just do it.
Grams is please, I’m sure.
Anyways, great time. Can’t wait to tell you all what ELSE happened this weekend! (Like that little cliff hanger)

Weekend Recap.

Friday was amazing. Really. Fantastic. Terra and I headed over to the first social for Junior League at the Sky Bar, and it was so much fun. We drank mojitos, laughed a lot, hung out with some really fantastic people. After drinks, we even headed to a bar in downtown Palo Alto to extend the fun, and then ended up at a diner for french fries and pancakes. Basically perfection.

Saturday I went to the farmer’s market and then to a yoga class. Two important take homes from this, (1) The heirloom tomatoes right now are so freaking good my brain exploded.
and (2) I absolutely HATE yoga with instructors who are NOT yoga practitioners. I do not want to hear jokes, or your pop-music crap when I am doing yoga. I really really don’t.

I was supposed to be babysitting Saturday night, but unfortunately the entire family got sick, and I didn’t want to risk getting sick myself. I have been sick NON-STOP since I moved here. And my immune system will pick up most anything at this point. I am sure I have written about this here, it’s just how my body works. After a stressful period (like finals, or I don’t know, the past six months), my immune system just shuts down. I have had step-throat, bronchitis, the plague…. I am so tired of being sick!!!

The blessing in not being able to babysit was being able to go support my Aunt in her first ever triathlon. So rad. So rad that her first ever race was a hardcore triathlon including an ocean swim, and so rad that I now live here and get to go support my family. My cousin Amber and I made some kick ass signs for the race, and it was totally worth having to get up at 6am.

The race was the “Mermaid Triathlon”, so I drew a mermaid. It’s pretty badass.

Our little mermaid.

Look at them go!!!

Hope everyone’s weekends were relaxing! Check in tomorrow, for my Grams very own top 5 hot men. It’s pretty fantastic.

A Blog Post in 4 Parts

Part 1.
I definitely fell down a flight of stairs this morning. My pants are too long, my heals too high, and I am just not the most coordinated of people. I am actually surprised I haven’t previously fallen down a flight of stairs.

Upon starting to fall my brain went through several thoughts:
1. Oh shit.
2. At least I have health insurance.
3. Hopefully my phone won’t fall outside of reach, you know, in case I need to call an ambulance.

My leg is pretty bruised and scraped, and I have a headache. What’s the difference between a “I got a little head bonk” headache and a “concussion” headache?

Part 2.
A while ago I found a whole bunch of old pictures at my Gramsy’s house. I borrowed them so I could make copies of them, and I wanted to share:

My grams is the one sitting, second from the left.

This is at the Fairmont Hotel in SF in 1953. I think she looks like a movie star.

On her wedding day. My Grams is 6′ tall, and I absolutely adore this dress.

My Grams and Grandpa Bill.

This is my Grams holding my mom.

This is my Mom is a family heirloom dress she had turned into a wedding dress.

Part 3.
My dear friend Nora tagged me in the 5 sexy things meme.

The rules are plain & simple:

* Write 5 things that make you feel sexy.
* Post a pic if you dare!
* Pass it on to 5 lovely bloggers.

Things that make me feel sexy…

1. A new hair do– and a blow out.
2. A bath and a glass of wine.
3. Doing my eye make up with bronzes and browns to go out– I like how it brings out my blue eyes.
4. Running. I am always so proud of how able my body is. It is capable of SO much.
5. A new dress.

I love this picture for a couple of reasons. One, the outfit I was wearing was awesome… and I was wearing boots Spencer picked out and loved. It is also the most recent picture where you can tell I am losing weight. I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin: and that’s always sexy.

As for the tagging aspect, if you are up to it, have at it:

Kelly @ Dear Friend,

Molly @ Stilletos and Diapers



Miss M

Part 4.
I posted here about the trip my bestie and I took to Europe when we were 15. I didn’t have any pictures of us to go along with the story, so here is one a bit late. We shared a dessert every day while we were there… crème brûlée
, chocolate, pain du chocalat…. sigh. I miss France.

The one where I get all Grammar-y on your behind.

If my apartment caught on fire, and I had 20 seconds to evacuate I would A. Shove my cats in a duffel bag and B. Take the contents of one shelf of my library.

My prized possessions are, and have always been, books. I am not even talking about the fact that I collect books like it’s going out of style (How many bookshelves is “too” much in a 500 square foot apartment?). I am talking about my attachment to them. They are like my babies, I read and re-read. I have a shelf dedicated to my favorite books of all time. Books that mean something. Changed something. Books that are priceless.

There is a copy of Pride and Prejudice that Ryan gave me on my 21st birthday, and is over 100 years old.

There is the bible my grandmother received as a little girl.

There is a copy of Alice in Wonderland that has the scribbles of my grandfather when he was 5, including at attempt at his own name: complete with backwards “e”.

There is a the first book I read in french, “Le Petit Prince”.

My favorite books are the ones my grandpa sent me when I was in my undergrad. He sent me grammar books a couple of times a year (Sometimes even the same one). To him, being able to express yourself well and in a way that gains respect is really important. He also wrote inscriptions in every single on of them. LOVE that. 50 years from now, I will still have those words from my grandpa.

Anyhow, I came across this on MSN. It’s “10 Easy Secrets of Good Grammar”. Anytime someone can explain grammar in an intelligent and amusing way? Gold Star.

1. English isn’t Latin
Yes, this sounds horribly obvious. But it means you can shove a few important things right back in your middle-school teacher’s face at your class reunion. For example, you can split an infinitive (in Latin, infinitives are one word and can’t be split). So, if you want “to boldly go,” be my guest. Likewise, it means a preposition is an OK word to end a sentence with.

2. “I” isn’t always the more educated choice
Use “I” when you’re the subject of the sentence. Use “me” when you’re not. If someone is doing something with you, to you, or for you, for example, use “me.” “The teacher was talking with Susan and me about our test scores.” It’s been drummed in our heads so often that “I” is always the proper choice that even really eloquent speakers like President Obama slip up here. He’s said things like “the main disagreement with John and I,” for example. It’s true that English hasn’t always observed these distinctions between “I” and “me.” But careful writers and speakers do today. You might not be taken to task in the New York Times as President Obama was, but chances are, someone will notice and scowl.

3. Semicolons are easy to use
Semicolons are the Rodney Dangerfield of punctuation. They’re called bad names. They’re avoided by professional writers and scared students alike. But they’re easy to use and so fun to write; no one should feel intimidated. Use them to separate two closely related sentences if you don’t want the full stop of a period. Or, use them to separate a list of items that already has commas in it. For example: “I have a lot of favorite book characters: Harry Potter, who has a scarred forehead; Hazel the bunny, who is the bravest character in “Watership Down;” and Eugenidies, the title character in “The Thief,” because he is sarcastic and clever.”

4. Apostrophes: also very easy
Women in labor aren’t the only ones with contractions. Words experience them, too — especially when two have come together to make a whole new word (something that sounds icky and personal, but really isn’t). Have+not has a wee baby called “haven’t.” The apostrophe stands in for what’s missing. They’re also used in some possessives. So, all the president’s men … the chicken’s beak … that sort of thing. There is an exception. Possessive pronouns don’t need apostrophes. Yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs: These words are inherently possessive, so you don’t need to gussy them up with any punctuation.

Apostrophes are generally not used to make plurals. It’s ABCs, not ABC’s. It’s the 1990s, not the 1990’s. There is an exception. If you’re talking about the A’s and B’s you got in class, or any plural form of a word with only one letter, the world will not come to an end if you stick an apostrophe in there. It does, after all, make clear the difference between “A’s” and “As.” The Apostrophe Protection Society might come after you, but they’re all the way in England, so you’ll most likely be safe.

5. Is it bad or badly? Good or well?
I feel … um, which is it? It all depends on what you want to say. There is a common misperception that “feel” and “am” are verbs that can only be modified by adverbs. It’s true that adverbs modify adjectives and verbs. But some verbs are what we call linking verbs. These link a modifier to the subject. I can feel “bad” just as I can feel crabby, grumpy or happy. (Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, I feel happily today!” Of course not.) Likewise, you can feel “well” if you are talking about your health. It doesn’t mean you have perceptive fingertips. You can also say “I feel good” or “I am good.” It all depends on what you mean to say, so don’t let anyone force a non-rule down your throat.

Want More Martha?

6. Remember to be agreeable
It’s best when your subjects and verbs agree. In the world of grammar, this means you match singular subjects with singular verbs and pronouns. You can get away with saying, “Someone left ‘their’ coat in the bus.” But it’s just as easy to say “Someone left a coat on the bus,” therefore avoiding the inelegant pairing. Likewise, when you have two subjects, you need a plural verb. The apple and orange taste funny.

7. Be careful with those modifiers
What’s wrong with this sentence? Creaking open, the cat slunk through the door. Unless the cat has hinges, it’s the door that creaks open. It’s easy to stick a modifier in the wrong place, and it can result in unintended hilarity. It’s best to put your modifier right next to the word it describes. Beware those little phrases that sometimes insert themselves in the beginning of sentences. If yours doesn’t directly modify the subject, which usually comes right after the comma, you might have a misplaced modifier.

8. Punctuating with quotation marks
In American English, punctuation usually goes inside the quotation marks. There are some wee exceptions. So, it would be either: Did you just say “Look! A hamster”? Or, She said, “Have you seen my hamster?” Semicolons and colons also go outside the punctuation marks.

9. The dictionary is your friend.
OK, so this is my first cheat. It’s like asking the genie for infinite wishes as a way of working around the three-wish cap. But it’s not like I’m going to get fired for this, so … Use a dictionary. You’d be surprised how many questions I get in my SPOGG inbox that could very easily be answered with the aid of a good a dictionary. I do offer a small caveat: Not all dictionaries agree on everything. (I know! This is sort of like finding out that the Wizard of Oz is just an old guy behind a curtain. Dictionaries are made by people. People who have varying opinions. Weird.) My favorite is the Oxford English Dictionary. If your library subscribes, you can get free access. Otherwise, there’s a fee. You’ll learn where the word came from, what it means, and how it has been used over time.

10. Everyone should have a language guide or two (or three) nearby

Dictionaries tend to be cursory when it comes to how words should be combined and punctuated. Grammar books, on the other hand, revel in this sort of thing.

The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar has a book called “Things That Make Us [Sic],” and it’s about funny bad grammar in advertisements, politics and Hollywood, among other things. People who liked “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” will like it.

For a more practical reference, there’s Bryan Garner’s “A Dictionary of Modern Usage.” Organized alphabetically, it’s packed with quick answers to common language questions. He also has a daily e-mail newsletter that points out the differences between such words as “mucus” and “mucous,” along with drier fare.

Mignon Fogarty’s book, “Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing,” is punchy and useful for people who don’t write for a living, but do have to write for work or school. Two books by Bill Walsh, “The Elephants of Style” and “Comma Sense,” are great for professional writers or people who care deeply about hyphens and the subtle differences they can make (along with a lot of other fine points of language).

The one where I buy everything in Anthropologie.

I have this friend. A friend I love dearly, but Melissa is VERY dangerous to shop with. Typical conversations include:

Me: OMG, I have wanted a leather jacket forever.
Melissa: GET ONE!

Me: That sweater is ridiculously cute.
Melissa: Totally get it!

Me: These t-shirts are kind of expensive for being t-shirts, but they’re kind of cute.
Melissa: OH MY GOD, if you do not buy that t-shirt in at least 3 colors I will CUT YOU.

That’s right people, my life was threatened. So I bought some t-shirts.

Here are some of my purchases from this weekend, a tour including the Nordstrom sale on Friday and shopping in the city on Saturday. (Oh, and let me include that Melissa has a sister who works at Anthropologie–> so I got a HUGE discount there and at Urban Outfitters.) (Another side note: I have lost a size in pants and shirts, which is awesome but has been used as an excuse for some new clothing items!)

My favorite new thing is this cardigan.
I got some super flattering v-necks from Urban and Gap

These are SERIOUSLY the softest shirts in the world.

Spencer has a thing for boots. So I let him pick some for me to get at the Nordstrom sale. He picked these:

Which I pair with these glorious jeans:
And I totally got the most bad ass ring ever:

How was YOUR weekend!?

What to say…

Wow. How does one respond to something like that. I will say this, it made me cry. And, it’s not the first time he has made me cry because of something amazingly sweet he has said. He’s amazing at boosting me up, making me feel like I am the most amazing person who ever walked the planet. The secret is, that I think the same thing about him.

He asked if he could guest post because I was out of town. It was my family weekend, a weekend I have missed for the past three years because I have been stuck in Southern California. And I said yes, but thought he would just post something funny….I was pleasantly surprised.
On Friday: It was girl-cousin sleep over time. (Me, Amber (21), and Maddie (13)) We have no photographic proof of what transpired that evening. If you ask my aunt, we watched Tinkerbell and Sleeping Beauty and had a gloriously calm evening. Amber and I DID NOT split a bottle of Ménage à Trois red wine. We DID NOT give Maddie an energy drink that tasted like juice. And we DID NOT watch Little Miss Sunshine. Oh, Amber DID NOT eat an entire bag of chips.
Saturday was barbeque day. And can I tell you, I am so proud to be a part of this family of women. My mother is one of three girls, and I LOVE that we can all get together and laugh and talk like we’re the greatest of friends. My aunt Susan just closed on a house, so we celebrated with some champagne. It was perfect while sitting around the fire pit.
Sunday: Just the girls, plus Colton went to Santa Cruz and stayed at the Dream Inn. It was INSANELY beautiful. We spent Sunday poolside drinking Margaritas

and Sunday on the boardwalk on spinny rides (I am too old for spinny ride, oi).

This is my mommy and me.
My cousin Amber’s favorite ride is the Cave Train Adventure. It’s super lame, in all reality, but we were SUPER excited about it. Apparently we were making the attendent crack up.

Side Note: I was thinking that after six months here, I have never opened up for questions from you all!!! So, if you’re reading this through a feed, click through and leave me a questions you’ve been wondering about! And if you came here the old fashioned way, leave a question too! It’ll be like de-lurking PLUS the question game. Totally fun, no?