Sunday, October 27, 2013

Once a Runner...

Several years ago I made a post about being a real runner. Here's the link if you'd like to read it. Strangely enough, even though I wrote that post when I was in my running infancy I think it still pertains to the way I feel about running.

What I'd like to add to it, at this point, is another reason why I think I must be a real runner, and that is, my solitary state. I run alone. Everyday when I run, I run alone. Now don't don't get me wrong. I actually like it, for the most part. I get to set my own pace. I don't have to make conversation while I'm trying to run (which I'm not very good at anyway). I don't have to work around anyone else's schedule. You get the idea. But it has really hit home this past week or two as I face running an actual race alone.

The Santa Barbara 1/2 marathon is coming up in a couple of weeks. I kept waiting for someone else to say they wanted to run it with me. Brad was game, but ended up pulling his hamstring and getting a horrendous case of poison oak that derailed any sort of training on his part. In the end no one came forward. Last year it was just me and a bunch of the guys that ran it. It was kind of weird but, I loved knowing that there was someone else out there that I know running the same course, someone that I might catch a glimpse of, even if we weren't running together. It just wasn't in the cards this year. So, then the question begs the answer, should I run it anyway?

Well, I guess the answer is YES! I signed up and booked our hotel last week (luckily I have an awesomely, supportive husband who will at least accompany me to the race, even though he can't run). I am running the race alone! I don't know whether to cry or whether to raise my arms over my head and and roar.

I envy those who have training buddies, who depend on each other, who motivate each other, who have similar goals, who can talk about aching shins, or being chased by dogs together. I envy those run in groups or pairs, who inspire others to want to run with them, who get others to say, "Well, if you're doing it, I want to do it too." It sounds sad. It is for a second I guess. This is they way life works though, right?

Don't pity me... It's Ok, this has just proved to me that I MUST be a real runner. While looking at a blog today I found some words that truly inspired me. In the end it doesn't matter what other people are doing. I choose this. I feel good when I run, especially long distances. It makes me feel self-masterful. It makes me feel like I've achieved something. And I have. And somebody, somebody who wrote this, out there understands.

So really, I'm not a die hard. I struggle EVERY single time. I've learned I just can't think about it too hard.  I just have to tell myself, I'm going, determine how far and make sure my gear is prepared. Then I just have to go. No rechecking my email or Facebook. No warming up just a little more. No fiddling with my iPod. I just have to start the workout and GO! Seriously if I think about it too much I end up not going. I also have to remember not judge a run by the first mile, and in most cases by the first three miles. I have to remember that I am never sad I got out there to run AFTER I'm finished.

Positive self talk is important and there has to be lots of it. I think I've learned a lot of life's lessons by running.

1. Be positive
2. Be prepared
3. Don't give up
4. Pay attention
5. Keep it simple
6. Endure to the end
7. Enjoy God's creations
8. Count your blessings
9. Some days are harder than others
10. Good stuff comes after you push through the hard stuff

Here's a picture that just kind of says it all. Pretty much how I feel everyday before I go out.

Here's another thing that has happened to me recently, but sadly, instead of continuing on, I turned around and came back (only a mile shorter than intended, but still) I'm going to do better in the future if this happens.

It's also my intent to enjoy things more. Look around me, maybe stop to take a picture or two. Make it into art. Artist inspire me. I want to be a running artist. 

Here's to running 10 miles tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Love Week -- Day 5

I LOVE my Apps!
I could go on and on but my apps (some better on iPhone, some better on iPad)
I'm not trying to be original here, these really aren't anything new... it's just what I LOVE.

Staying Connected


Photo Editing

 Phonto (easily put fonts on your photos - even from your own library)

Filter Mania 2 - lots and lots and lots of filters for your photos

Label Box (puts labels on your photos)


Candy Crush - I'm not a gamer person really. But this is strangely annoying and addicting. Try playing without buying anything. To me, I call it an automatic "you've-been-playing-too-long"shutoff valve.

So I mostly think I'm pretty smart, but I usually get creamed in this game.


We haven't had TV hook-up for about 6 years (with a brief period where Brad decided he wanted to watch hockey playoffs - that lasted about 2 months) Believe it or not, when we actually had TV the kids didn't even know what to do with it. -- We rely on these things. REALLY! It's the way to go. We have all 3 of these for about $30/month (maybe less).

Hulu Plus


Amazon Prime - instant view

 Kindle App
(I also use iBooks and Nook - all free Apps)
Pandora -- I'm probably in the dark ages, but I like it. I've heard some say Spotify is the way to go. I have it, but I have no idea how it works or why it would change my life.


 Pinterest -- Duh, no brainer


I also LOVE this!

In 1 month from tomorrow, we have been in our house for 10 years. Storage has been inadequate to say the least. Our bonus room which is an awesome space has just been a catch all for things we don't have any other place for. WELL, now we actually have some space. Words can not begin to describe how happy this makes me. It has cost me a lot of mess and aches and pains (lots and lots and lots of screws, aw, my aching arm) But now it is all ready to fill.  Kelsi is already giving us a preview of how it's going to work.  Poor girl, sleeps in that room and there have been no closets or drawers to speak of, Ta-da! Until now!

(Shelves in the closet? Happy thought indeed. -- sorry, just a little Pride and Prejudice humor there)

I LOVE daisies.
Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?
Kathleen Kelly does (Meg Ryan via You've Got Mail) and so do I!
I planted 4 plants in my yard yesterday. I'm kind of excited about it.
(Ya? Well, you try doing a self portrait of you and a tiny thing on the ground)
And my last LOVE of the day is THIS!
Bahahahaha! All circa 20 years ago! These started circulating yesterday on Instagram. It made me extremely happy! Giddy even!! Big Hair! Bangs! Stache! The thing that made me laugh the hardest were the comments about Brad.
- Friend of Magnum PI
- Babe-like
- Zorro
- "If only they had put me in the game, we would have won State!" Uncle Rico
- Can you say "Rich Corinthian leather?"
- Good Gravy! Look at that stache!

                   Stefani and Brad Meyer                                               Christy and Rob Eggers

                   Caroline and Arnell Anderson                                    Mark and Melinda Lawrence

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Week -- Day 4

I LOVE My Friends!
This is why I leave these up until Valentine's Day

Yep, they are coming down today - but I love looking at them for a couple of months.
I unfortunately didn't send out Christmas Cards last Dec. Kelsi was in Idaho and we didn't see her until we met her in Canada a few days before Christmas.  No time for pictures and thus no Christmas Cards. But next year I promise we'll figure something out.

Anyhow, each night in my prayers I spend a significant part thinking/praying about my friends. They are such a blessing to me. Without even knowing it they have taught me how to be a better friend and in so doing, a better person. I feel extremely fortunate. Something I have been hoping and praying for my entire life.


Here are 3 other things I LOVE!
I call them Afton, Kelsi and Brady.

Wow! Speaking of being blessed. I have the three most amazing, neat and cute kids ever to grace the earth.  I really, really think and feel this. While they make me lose sleep, give me gray hair and use lots and lots of my time and money, they are what gives my life meaning and what makes it all worth it. They are why I get up each day and why I spend my time doing lots of things that I don't particularly like (read; make dinner, clean toilets and do loads and loads of laundry). I can't even begin to express how cool I feel knowing the Lord saw fit to bless me with such wonderful, talented and unique gifts.

My favorite thing is when they just come and hang out in the kitchen or family room with me. They never cease to make me laugh. They have tremendous insight and observations. I love how their minds work. They give our house life and enthusiasm. It warms my heart. I'm glad they like each other too. I wish my nose would quit stinging and my eyes would quit watering so I could write more about them (dang allergies;).

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love Week -- Day 4

So I love these 2
Troy and Macy
Troy and Macy

This is how they sit. Troy is always on the left and Macy on the right. If they happen to get the other way around, they'll adjust.

If you're wondering how else you can tell them apart, look at their eyes and ears. Troy's eyes open wide with ears up. Macy's eyes and ears both droopy.  Macy also has a white patch of fur on her chest. We also call Troy Fuzzy Face, can you see it? The fur on Troy's face sticks out a little giving him a fuzzy look. Macy's chubbier and more "horse-like". Troy is skinny (too many other things to do and think about besides eating)

This is how Troy looks at you when he thinks you have something for him - which is all the time. Or when he's anticipating going with you - which is all the time.

Macy's favorite place to be is outside or on her bed.
She has the best "doggie-smile"

We also call Macy "The Awkward Couch Sleeper"
She always looks a little stiff - probably because she knows deep down she's not supposed to be there.

This is how Troy prefers to be. The center of everyone's world. And don't you think he's cute enough to deserve it?

He also does this. Can you say demented? He likes to suck on his blanket. It's like a pacifier to him. What dog does this? We used to try to stop him, now we encourage it. If nothing else it keeps him out of trouble.
HA! I was only going to post a couple of pictures and be done with it. They are just too adorable. I can't help myself.


I also LOVE the dentist. 

Specifically, Dr. Swanson. 
He's my childhood dentist (Along with Dr. Brockbank and Dr. Leavitt) and he's THAT good that I still go to him. Brad and I still drive all the way up in San Jose to do so. The sad part about it is he's getting ready to retire. He's in semi-retirement now. 

If you look carefully at the photo below, you can see the results of my idiocy a couple of years ago when I used my tooth as a tool, and chipped my front tooth. I had it bonded once (by someone other than Dr. Swanson) and within a couple of weeks it popped off. I really wanted it redone and done right by the guy I knew could do the job. He came through.

 Below is the finished result (sorry about the view up my nostril) Smooth as can be. Dr. Swanson said it could come off again if I'm not careful, but I can already tell it is a lot better than the first time. I didn't know how precious my teeth were to me until this incident. 
Now I've just gotta get that dang crooked one fixed (ya, it's the same tooth).  I might leave it though, I think it adds character.

And speaking of teeth. Afton get's her braces off (FINALLY!!!) in about 6 weeks!
We are beyond excited! 
Here she is showing me how straight her teeth are.
Ya, she's weird.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love Week -- Day 3

We LOVE YouTube! I mean really, who doesn't?
Without further discussion here are our current most loved videos.

Such a crack up. We're pretty sure we like this video because Buttermilk reminds us of our dog Troy. And who doesn't love baby goats hopping around?

Brady actually couldn't decide which one was his favorite, but since they both have to do with goats I decided to post both.


Her favorite fluctuates but this is her favorite as of last Thursday is this.
You can thank her Aunt Shannon for this one. Nothing like some good potty humor for your day.

She really has about 100 but there's one she always goes back too.
Kelsi's into crossovers. How great can a Harry Potter/Titanic mashup be?

I am not so good with favorites - but when it really comes down too it I never get tired of this video.

Before he shows this video he loves telling people that baboons try to intimidate a rival by showing him his big read bum. 

I love that the baby is totally unfazed.

So now there you have it, a view into our warped minds. I hope you were in a stupid mood when you watched these, otherwise you will wonder what has happened to those rational people you used to know.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love Week -- Day 2

Who knew something like this could make me so happy?

I picked up all these items randomly at IKEA recently. I had no particular plan for any of them (Ya, impulse shopping is a problem around here) but they were so cute and such a good price. A couple of weeks later they were still sitting around. As I was busy installing cupboards and cleaning my garage on Saturday, the thought crossed my mind, "If I don't hurry and do something with these heart candles, Valentine's day will have come and gone and my cute purchase would be in vain." I stopped right in the midst of my busyness and put together this little display. I LOVE it! I see it every time I come down the stairs. Sometimes I stop midway down and just look at it. The cute tray came from my grandparents and looks rather awesome here don't you think? The rest of it came from IKEA.

Oh ya, and since we are speaking of love, I LOVE that place too!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Love Week -- Day 1

My friend/acquaintance/person whose blog I stalk, Denae Harlow (or D-Dawg), has been doing "Love Week" for many years. The week around Valentine's Day she blogs about different things she loves. I have been promised recently that if I remember to be grateful, my troubles would fade away. I've also been troubled recently (don't worry, nothing serious) and thought that maybe thinking about things I love can somehow qualify as being grateful. They're kind of the same right? I've never participated in Love Week before but have always secretly wanted to -- so here's to giving it a shot. And I apologize if any of it seems to turn into "Gratitude Week". Again, they're kind of the same right?

First off I LOVE this!!!

For the last 2 years my friend Annette and I have been in charge of programs, posters and publicity for the High School play. This year they are performing "The Sound of Music". We like recreating the familiar movie poster for our promos.  Of course I keep saying "we", but what I really mean is Annette. She is a whiz at everything photoshop and graphics. I just bask in the glory that comes since we both have the assignment, she just does all the work. Here is what she came up with this year. I ask you, could it be any more adorable? I submit that it could not!

The other thing that makes this so neat is that the part of Maria is played by my sweet, young friend Shaelyn Eggers. She is super amazing, talented and smart. Not to mention, cute and so nice.  AND to top it off all that green grass, blue sky and pretty mountains are right here Hollister. Ahhhh, I love where we live.

So if you are enticed by this beautiful poster, you can come see Shae and all the other kids (including 2 of mine) in the Sound of Music. March 13 and 14, and 21, 22 & 23. (See, this is what I do for our job - Annette does stunning posters and I post dates about the performance, HA!)


Also, in keeping with "Love Week".
I love this guy:

Since it is Valentine's Day this week I know I should probably save talking about my Valentine until closer to the actual date, but I felt I needed to write about him now.

You see, last night I had a dream that Brad was killed in a car crash. In the dream there was a replacement guy for me - a new husband. I think he might have been the guy left alive after the accident. He was attractive, helpful and very kind. I knew this because I interacted with him for most of the dream (which was more like an action movie than real life). In the end when everything calmed down and I saw the guy across the road looking down at his shoe and was about to go to him. I realized I didn't want to go to him. I wanted Brad. I had a big empty hole in my chest and my hurt hands didn't matter any more in comparison. I didn't know what I was going to do. So, like any sensible person would, I woke up. Brad was still there. We were still married, and I was glad. I Love Him!!

Happy love week to you all!