Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hello old friend, it's really good to see you once again, and an attempt at planned meals

For the past few months I've been doing the majority of my runs solo. I actually kinda like it- I can push myself to the out of breath stage if I want to and not have to worry about carrying on intelligent conversation (not like I'm real profound when I'm not out of breath..), I can listen to my terrible music as loud as my eardrums can handle (there's something about Forever your Girl and I Wanna Dance With Somebody that gets my ass going! ....and my mouth probably singing out loud, off key, and publicly...not to mention the hand dancing), and when my slow self needs to walk I don't have to feel like I'm slowing someone else down.

But this morning, I had some fantastic company! Since the 70.3 is coming up in a couple weeks (!!!!!!) the brick workouts are in full effect. I met up with some old TNT friends, and sweat it out for a good few hours.
I kicked off the morning with an 8 (though I swear to God it felt like 10) mile run with this girl. Lovely Misty was my mentor on TNT, and she's ridiculously fabulous! We hit a pretty route (that I'm embarrassed to say I'd never done!) and caught up on the past few months. It was OH so glorious!
Just about our "turnaround-GU yourself-Becky gets to blow her nose in a tissue and not her sleeve" spot. Come on, runners....don't say you don't do that...

I have a thing for tall buildings that seem to disappear into the fog. I just think it looks so cool! And this area was just really, really pretty (just try not to focus in on that overflowing bag of trash that's set next to the trash can. Oh, H-town, you so classy.).

APPARENTLY there was some race today that I didn't know about!! I was NOT happy to see that I missed out on something, and felt really left out for about 3 minutes. Then I saw a puppy and got over it.

After our run, Misty and I met up with some more fantastic Team members (one of whom, Christa, has a super awesome blog you should totally check out!) at Lake 288 for an open water swim. I decided to see if I had any of my Yankee blood left in me (partly out of curiosity but mostly because I'm too poor to buy a wetsuit) and brave the 63 degree lake water for about a 2100. Turns out, this girls got a little north left in her! Thank YOU, Herring Cove!! Now I just gotta pray that the wind chop on race day doesn't completely annihilate me. I didn't take any pictures of the swim- no one wants to see this in doubled up lifeguard suits, and the lake itself looked really dreary and it had started to rain a bit...and also, I left my phone in the car and was too lazy to walk the 10 yards to go back and get it.

Donnie and I are trying something new this week! Donnie told me that he really wants to eat healthier, and that whatever I would put on a plate (as long as it wasn't fish or mushrooms) he would eat! He's even wanting to bring spinach salads in his lunch!! I'm a proud, proud girl!! This boy was a meat and potatoes boy when I first met him. He has branched out SO much in the past few years, and it makes cooking (when I have the time, energy, and ingredients on hand) so much more fun! This week, we have planned out all of our dinners! We went grocery shopping today and stocked up like whoa on fruits and veggies and are completely prepared for our week of cooking. I'm so excited! (I don't know about you, but if I don't have anything planned for dinner, and I'm not craving anything, I find it real hard to look forward to eating it. And that sucks. I think you should totally be psyched for what's on your plate. When I'm not jazzed for what's on the menu, sometimes I feel like it's a waste of calories...)

And because you OBVIOUSLY wanna know what's going to be on our plates this week:

Monday- Grilled chicken Greek salad with homemade dressing (fresh dill! Yes!)
Tuesday- Burgers on the grill, with roasted tin foil potatoes
Wednesday- Pasta with homemade turkey sausage, broccoli and cheese
Thursday- Grilled cheese and creamy tomato soup
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday- fingers crossed for a date night
Sunday- Easter candy. Let's be honest.

I feel so organized! if only my lesson plans could be as organized as my fridge...

What did you do today that made you super happy?

Do you plan out your meals, or do you wing it?

What's your guilty pleasure music?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My sister in law got married, and a photographic journey!

To really end spring break with a bang, my sister ( law...moot point) decided to have her whizbanger of a wedding in one of my most favorite places! (No, not Disney World. That's already been done for this family...I win!) Austin. Freaking. Texas. Not ONLY did she have it in like the coolest city in the whole state. She had Salt Lick BBQ cater the reception. (She's pretty badass!)

But I'm totally getting ahead of myself. Let's take a photographic journey through my final few moments of freedom and sanity Spring Break 2k13.

Kris and Rita came to visit!!!

Are my parents NOT cute as buttons?! They came down for the rodeo wedding, which just so happened to be during rodeo season. Those Yankees love them some rodeo! They were lucky enough to catch one of the last days for this year (and I was lucky enough to catch yet another fantastic round of Mutton Bustin'. If only I was a kid....I'd be all over that sheep... and sweet ass belt buckle...)

Friday at about 9 am we hit the road for Austin. Friday at about 11:45 am we hit up Homeslice Pizza. Never been? Well, if you're a Texan, than shame on you. This is the best damn pizza you'll ever have in your life. And I'm a pizza brat who also worked at a pizza joint. So. Obviously my pizza opinions are legit as hell. (Try the eggplant pie- you won't be disappointed!)

Saturday was WEDDING DAY!!! Since I had to share a borderline twin size bed Friday night with a fellow bridesmaid with whom I felt I could not back my ass up on (sorry, Ashley), I woke up almost every hour. When it was just about daylight, I strapped on my Nike Frees and set out for a sunrise run and some hill work. Little did I know how rockin' Lakeway Texas is on a beautiful Saturday morning...
These guys totally let me gawk all over them, taking pictures and grinning at them like an idiot while they stared me down and ate grass. They got bored with me after a few minutes and frolicked off into the woods together. But on my return trip, I found them playing in the street (ballsy lil' dudes), and gawked and grinned at them all over again. I love nature. I also came thisclose with the fattest, prettiest robin I have ever seen. And I also smelled a skunk- I was cool not meeting up with him in person.
This picture doesn't really do this hill any justice. This bad larry was one of the biggest hills on the route. Took this shot after I had "sprinted" up, while I was walking around trying to get the spots out of my eyes and my heart rate out of the "look out she's gonna blow" level. The coast down felt fantastic!

Once the sun came up, this is what we were dealing with for wedding day. Sucks, doesn't it? (PS- if you're looking for a real dive to stay in, check out the Lakeway. Infiniti pools over looking the lake, hot tub, swim up bar, and towels that you can easily steal 7 of without anyone batting an eye.) They also had really good fruit at their buffet, as well as a parfait station. Breakfast buffet win!

While the ladies dined, Donnie and cousin Justin shared brunch, sipped on chocolate milks, and enjoyed the view. (Look at them, flashin' those wedding rings. Back off, boys and girls, they're married!)

We got all wedding ready with a couple minutes to spare for some sweet photo ops complete with scenic backdrop! Didn't Katie do just the greatest job picking out our dresses AND finding us something we'd LEGIT wear again?! Francesca's and Katie for the win!!
Good grief, is my mom not just the cutest?! Love that woman to PIECES!!!! She even helped set up for the wedding! What a champion!!
2 more beauties! My beautiful sister and mother-in-law! Calm, cool, collected as ever, and looking absolutely gorgeous!! (This picture really doesn't do either one of them justice. They are SO pretty!!)
Playing with my fellow ladies and my fish eye. Let's count how many chins of mine you can see? THOSE girls were super fun!! (And I'm lucky enough to be "related" to 2 of them! Donnie's family is ridiculously fantastic!)
Post Ceremony! She's hitched, fellas!! Gorgeous as ever, but holy bustle- it totally took 5 of us to bustle her up....and that was before anyone had any cocktails! Maggie Sottero ain't nothin to mess with.

Me, my love, and some more fish eye fun. He was a groomsman, so we looked ESPECIALLY put together and matchy matchy that night. Made for some sweet photogs!!

And alas, as most good things do, spring break came to an end, our trip to Austin ended in a sad, quiet, mildly hungover trip back to Houston, and we bid farewell to my parents and shipped them back to NH.
I'm my dad's daughter for sure. 

And one last gem to end this post with:

Happy Thursday everyone!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

(half) Ironman training and Memaw's birthday!!

Happy Spring break, fellow teachers!!

The Galveston Half Iron Man (also known as IMTX) is a MERE 4 weeks away! And since I had been without a bike since, ohhh, October... that means it's been training crunch time over here! So on Friday, as soon as I got outta work, I went straight to the gym and got in a good couple miles in the pool. It was no open water swim in the gulf, but for now it's going to have to do. Saturday morning, I donned my spring-iest apparel and headed to Memorial park to do my most favorite run route ever!
New Lulu shorts and my FAVE compression sleeves. Add in the clover run and that makes for one happy girl on the first day of spring break!

On top of it being the first day of spring break (which of course is a recognized holiday on my calendar), it was also Memaw's birthday!!!!!
Feliz cumpleanos, memaw!! We love you!!!

Memaw is Donnie's grandmother, and she has so graciously taken on about a million of her grandchildren's boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/wives as her own family. She is probably THE most badassest person I have ever met. 75 years young and she can't stop won't stop! Truly inspirational. I hope I have her energy and drive when I'm in my 30's, let alone my 70's. To celebrate Meems, we surprised her at Pappasitos (for all you non-Texans, that's some top notch Mexican food, and I feel sorry for you if you've never imbibed) for a late lunch of pretty much all you can eat fajitas (and they kept the guac and fresh tortillas coming!!) and queso (!!!!!!). Later on, we all went to the horse track. (Yup. We're that kinda family. For Donnie's 30th, the whole family went gambling at the casino in Louisiana.) In addition to the typical horse races, last night they were featuring camel and ostrich races!! My favorite kinda races!!!
We were so happy to be back at the track! However, for some reason I had never noticed until last night that the jockeys actually still whip the horses. (Apparently I thought that went out the window back when slavery was abolished.) This made me very very sad. My inner desire to be an animal rights activist shone through, and I decided to take my betting money and just drink cheap beer instead. Too bad cheap beer is only on Friday nights....I wound up $15 in the hole....and when you're buyin' drinks, there's no chance of breaking even. BUT- the camel and ostrich races were fantastic, and they don't get beat up, so it doesn't hurt my heart so much. Although I'm pretty sure the ostriches did not want to be paraded around, and the camels seemed far less than thrilled to have people riding on them while they were trying to run. I wish I had some pictures of these races but, of course, I was hungry and went on a mission for food right when the ostrich races were starting so I had to watch them from the middle of the pizza line. ....and then I went back to my seat before I could even get pizza because I was too nervous I'd miss the camels too! Thanks, cousin Brian and Matt, for waiting in line for over an hour and hookin' a girl up!!

This morning's weather was crappy so I had to forfeit my ride outside for a lengthy spin on the spin bike at the gym. 47 miles in a room where the AC was out. It did NOT feel so good. But I finished in pretty good time, and even ran a nice 3 miles afterwards that felt surprisingly good!

And then it was my favorite part of hard work outs- foam rolling time!!! I sang John Mellencamp in my head the whole time I rolled this morning to Max and Lady (Donnie wasn't home so he missed a good serenading). They didn't know what to think. But man, oh man, did it feel fantastic today!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, whether you have a vacation or not!