Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day 2 with the Fam

Again, these blog entries are probably more of interest to my family members that read this blog, but thanks for sticking in there and listening to me brag about my wonderful nephew and my sister who is a great mom :).

We went to church today. Well, Monica sat in church, which was nice of her, since its not her thing and she was being gracious to come to meet all my friends, while John Michael and I took walks outside and played with rocks and got all nice and sweaty running around for a couple of hours since its very hard to sit still in church when you aren't quite two yet and not used to having to sit still :).

Then my adopted family :), the Millers, had us over for lunch. Yum! John Michael made friends fast, which left Monica some time to get to know some of my good friends.

John Michael and Mr. Miller were getting along just fine...

And yes, they spun him around after this...

Ah, Daddy'll be much happier about these shoes :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Two posts in one day, but this picture just couldn't wait for tomorrow...I walked into my room and found this...his dad is going to flip! :)

Day One with the Fam...

So, expect a lot of blogs this week...with lotsa newphew pictures :).

After picking Monica and John Michael up at the airport at 1am ( comment, although I am the one who...uh...picked the flight :)) we headed back to my place with a VERY unhappy and exhausted kid. We all slept in until 11 this morning! (I can't remember the last time I slept that late) and then headed to Kemah.

My sister and nephew are officially "allergic to humidity", as one friend has put it. I called my nephew "Tomatohead" (his cheeks were really red)- (Monica didn't appreciate that...I'll have to come up with another endearment I guess). I think we'll be spending a lot of time indoors :)

We tried to get John Michael to play in the water fountains, but both Monica and Aunt Sissa ended up getting more wet than he did.

He loved the Aquarium restaurant we ate lunch at...and the waiter loved him...brought him ice cream out...the plate said "Happy Birthday"...but it definitely wasn't his birthday. I'm tellin' you, this kid is cute and super smart!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What I Learned Today

So, twice a week (well usually twice a week, work usually manages to eat up one of those days), Irma and I get together for Bible study. Actually, we really just do our own quiet times and then share what God has taught us...its like double the dose of Godly wisdom to start your day! Loving it and I have been so blessed by Irma's wisdom and insight.

So today I was reading in 2 Peter 1:1-11 and two specific verses jumped out at me (I'll list the "qualities" that are mentioned after the verses...just bear with me!)

" For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Peter: 1:8)

"Therefore, brothers be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall" (2 Peter 1:10).

So first off, this is addressed to believing Christians. The qualities are as follows: virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love.

I looked each of these up in the dictionary:

Virtue: moral excellence, goodness, righteousness,- conformity in life and conduct to moral and ethical principles
Knowledge: acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles- as from study or investigation.
Self-Control: pretty self explanatory but- restraint of one's actions, feelings, emotions
Steadfastness: fixed in direction, firm- as in purpose, resolution
Godliness: conforming to the laws and wishes of God
Brotherly affection: well, I just looked up "affection"- fondness or devotion to a person or thing
Love: haha this one (of course) is way hard to define (there were like 57 definitions), so define it how you want

What's interesting to me is how this all ties together- watch:

To obtain virtue, one must be dedicated to pursuing righteousness. To do this, one must be in the Word, gaining knowledge by reading about God and studying His character. From what we learn, the Spirit begins to convict us of sin and grow us in attributes of self-control and steadfastness. This sanctification process leads to increased godliness. By becoming more like Christ, we reach out in love to our fellow Christians, and ultimately, begin viewing mankind with Christ's love.

Pretty cool huh? But, a pretty daunting list of honorable words right? Where does one go to find an example of what this looks like? Well, God of

All of these words directly describe God's character: His virtue is unmarred, His righteousness ultimate, His knowledge is omniscient, His self-control and steadfastness are rock-solid. He is never taken by surprise because everything happens according to His plan, He is faithful and holds ALL His promises to us. He is Holy. His desire to grow us and challenge us and discipline us can be described as devotion to us, and His work on the Cross is the ultimate description of love.

Anyways, I was just blown away by His grace in teaching me this today and though I would share.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm a triathlete!!! (and random sidenotes)

Go Ironbabes!

So, first off, thank you for praying that I wouldn't get a flat bike tire. I didn't. Now, ironically, what I should have asked you to pray about was not getting a car flat tire on the way to the race. Yeah, nothing like two women in tri-gear changing a flat on Hwy 59 at 5:20am. Oh, and to get to the donut, we had to remove the bikes and bike rack...and the lugnuts?...well, Erin pulled up on the tire iron and I pushed down...which resulted in my head-butting the hood of my car when the nut gave way. Nice (no, it didn't leave a mark). One person stopped...AFTER we were done of course :). But, that being said, we managed to take care of everything (bikes off, tire off, donut on, bikes on) in 15minute-ish. Not bad! Teamwork rocks! (and I am now the proud, yet financially reluctant, owner of 4 new tires...the others were looking pretty shoddy too).

Post-race, even the donut decided to deflate...we found a gas station to rectify the situation

So here are my race stats and below are my observations, comments, etc on each event (full photo album is at the end of this post)

Age group rank (25-29): 46/60
Overall rank: 255/363 (not sure on how many women there were)
Swim: 8:54
Transition 1: 2:51
Bike: 42:21
Transition 2: 1:35
Run: 32:29

Total: 1:28:03 (for some perspective, the first place gal in my age group (Dana) got around 1:04:59)

The Swim (300yds):

So swimming with 50+ people? You can't swim...not really...its more like "don't get smacked under the water by another swimmer" (or trying to avoid the gal who decides to backstroke OVER you...I really wanted to dunk her...of course, good sportsmanship won out :) ). Lesson learned? Get at the front of the pack of swimmers when you line up. I breaststroked almost the entire course because I needed to see where I was going...granted, I did my own share of kicking and bonking people in the back, arms, legs, etc...unintentional of course. Its bound to happen when you have that many bodies in the water. But I felt good after the swim...I know I can go faster.

Lisa, me, Erin, and Dana (who took first in the 25-29 age group!)

The Bike (11 miles):

Lesson learned? Don't fall off the bike when mounting it. Granted, I did mount the bike just fine, but when the lady next to me brushed against me as she mounted, being the bike newbie that I am, I panicked and fell over...took her down too...oops...but thankfully she recovered more gracefully (ie her body did not make contact with the ground). I felt good on the bike- it was my best time ever at this distance, and as I get more comfortable on the bike, I will increase my speed. However, I do need to learn how to drink out of my water bottle while on the bike. I was too afraid to take my hands off the handle bars and was sooo thirsty...this led to a slight hitch in my run...

Gee, thanks Stacy for catching the fall on camera ;-)

The Run (3 miles):

I am pleased with this time...under an 11 minute mile and that includes about 0.5 miles of walking due to a severely sharp, high-up on the ribs, cramp. The cramp can be blamed on my inhaling (read: gulping) an entire glass of Gatorade at mile 1- due to said lack of fluid intake during the bike. I never drink this much at once when I run and it bit me, hard. But I still managed to sprint at the end, so lesson learned.

Crossing the Finish Line!

Thanks to Stacy, Stephanie, and Melissa for coming out to cheer us on (and taking the pictures!)

Bottom line? I'm going to sign up for the Hi-Fi Tri in Galveston in October: 500yd swim, 19 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. I think I like tris (grin). Check out Lisa's blog for her story.

Full album:

Ironbabe Triathlon

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Random...and odious bike

I made sweet potato fries (baked of course, not fried :) ) this morning...I burned them a bit, so I won't post pictures until the next batch...but I have a good excuse for why I burned them...I was distracted by my odious bike sitting in the living room expelling all the air from its rear tire...spontaneously...yeah that's a good sign.

So I put the bike on the rack and drove back to the bike shop, thank goodness its close. Yesterday when I went to pick it up, it took longer because the rear tire had spontaneously deflated and they had to replace the tube. So I walk in today and the guy goes "Again!?"...

So they fixed it for free, filed around the valve stem where the leak appears to be occurring and added an extra liner. I bought an extra tube just in case- not that it will help me much considering how long it has been since I have repaired a flat bike tire...I'm going to take a class next month, but let's just pray for no flats tomorrow eh? Odious bike...of course, I don't say that out loud in front of the bike...just in case...

Friday, August 15, 2008

holy scary bike batman

So you sense a pattern with these recent blogs? Yeah..I got a tri coming up (HUGE grin). Today I picked up the road bike (that I am borrowing from a friend) from the shop. I've never ridden a road bike before. The race is in two days. So I drive home, put on my biking gear (oh yeah, I now have gear...well...just a helmet really)...and drive to a neighborhood just down the street. I unload the bike , try to mount, and fall over. Graceful I'm telling you. So I WALK the bike over to a less uh...populated area (oh hateful pride) and try again...crash. Then I realized what was wrong- on the mountain bike, the seat is low enough so I can put my bum in it and then start pedaling, the road bike, not so much. So I spent the next hour mounting and dismounting, falling over numerous times, popping the chain off, I have tire marks all over my legs right now...etc... I finally got to the point where I could mount, transition to the road bars (the curved part of the handlebars) brake, stop, dismount, and not fall over. Then I worked on moving at a faster speed than snails pace and rode around in a huge parking lot, taking turns tighter and tighter to get a feel for how it handles and to realize that I won't actually fall over...uh, hopefully that is. So I'm more comfortable now...but guess what I will be doing tomorrow? Oh yeah,, I'm not talking about going and riding 20 miles, but just taking the bike out and building my confidence in my riding skills...oh I wish I would have taken the bike in sooner. Oh I'm going with Lisa and Erin to pick up our packets for race day...wahoo...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just a great day...

So I had a really fun day today. It started off with Lisa and I trekking over to Twin Lakes Scuba Park to practice the open water swim. She's swum in a lake before (during her last tri) but I'm a newbie and didn't want to panic on race day. So we swam two 300m. Times were around my 7:46 ballpark, so I was pleased with that. And I didn't freak out (too much) when my foot touched a shallow, squishy, icky part of the lake bottom or when little fish decided to nibble on my legs and feet. So I call it a success!

Then we headed over to Tri On the Run for a seminar in transitions and nutrition. Transitions are the periods of time between each of the tri events when you are switching to the next event (grabbing your bike, putting on your runing shoes, etc). It was good because the speaker walked through each step of the tri process, a definite bonus for a novice.

And then the nutrition seminar! Well, this was actually why I wanted to go, because with my increase in workouts per week, I don't think I am eating the right stuff, even though I am a pretty healthy eater, I have been lacking energy recently. I also want to keep my health in good shape and diet is a large part of that. I had been contemplating seeing a nutritionist to put together a meal plan and give me some pointers and voila! this seminar happens. This woman is AWESOME! And I am totally making an appointment to meet with her. It is a bit pricey, but totally worth it to make sure I stay healthy. They do a metabolic rate test and come up with meals that work for you during the week, for your training, etc. And since 1/2 marathon training is just around the corner, I think it will be perfect!

Then, Lisa, Dana (another NASA gal, who is a tri veteran), and I went over and talked tri talk at the Cheesecake Factory...I think the Vanilla Bean cheesecake might replace the Lemon Raspberry as my favorite cheesecake ever (and yes we ate cheesecake after listening to a nutrition seminar....everything in moderation folks! :) )

My head is just swimming (no pun intended!) with all the information that I got from the seminars, Lisa, and Dana. So exciting!!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Trial Tri

So I took today off from work because I can :) and decided it was the perfect time to do a trial tri. I've been swimming, biking, and running, but never back-to-back. So I decided to try the distances today. I did much better than I thought I would...what's with my run time!? I shaved almost a minute off of my summer-mile time..weird.

Bike: 2.2 miles to pool
Swim: 300m in 7:46
Bike: 11.7miles ~50minutes (I forgot to stop my watch at lights) (14mph)
Carry bike upstairs to apt- grab armband and visor
Run: 3 miles 31:00 (10:20 mile...this is insane!)

So I feel much more confident now about next week's race. However, running after biking? Weirdest sensation was like my legs didn't want to listen to my brain...I'd still like to be faster at the bike and I really think that running time is a fluke (I thought the armband was going wacky so I drove out the mileage and it certainly was 3 miles...).

Tomorrow Lisa and I are going to an open water area that we can swim in...let's hope the grindlylows don't get me :)

Now I am going to talk to the apt people because it appears that my AC has broke...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Masquerade Invitations- Complete!

So, this tropical storm came in handy with getting today off, because I needed the extra time to whip out this invitation order that just snuck up on me! I came up with the design a few months ago, just hadn't started the work. I'm pleased with how they turned out. It's for a Sweet 16 Masquerade Ball (yes an actual ball- how cool is that!?). If I look glittery over the next couple of'll know why :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

1.5 days off!

So, because of this, I get the next 1.5 days off...(JSC closed)...nice...and I can't even work from home 'cause the email, and IM, and other servers will be down. .."sigh of happiness" :)

TS Edouard

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Dynamo Game!

So even though I profess soccer to be the best sport ever (it really is) and that I am a die hard fan of Dynamo...I have to confess it has been awhile since I went to a game. So yesterday, Nujoud, Natalie, and I went to the Dynamo vs Columbus Crew game. Really good game (and we won 2-0) and I got to wear my bright orange Crocs :).

The team warming up

Orange Crocs!

Nujoud, Natalie, and me

Getting ready to play

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Triathlon Training Update

So, inspired by my friend Erin, who is also training for the Ironbabe Sprint Triathlon this month and created a new blog dedicated to tracking her training, I decided to give an update on my training (since many of you have been asking)...but no new blog, just an update :)

For the first time in 5 years, I took a REAL bike out on the road this morning. Yep. So what's the difference between 11 miles on a stationary bike and 11 miles on a REAL bike...oh...wind resistance, hills, cars trying to hit you, a group of women running a 5k race who you can hear plotting to jump you and take your bike and helmet (actually I found that pretty funny :) )...and about 20 minutes different on my time. I'm borrowing a Trek 850 mountain bike from a friend of Erin's. Nice bike- but I would be interested to see what difference a road bike makes...I think I'll be borrowing my friend Jeff's to perform that experiment.

My swimming is improving! My time on Friday for 300m was 7:45...I took a few minutes rest then did another 300m in 7:46. I'm alternating 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke. While the competitor in me would love to do the whole thing freestyle, it just isn't going to be possible with the time I have left...but there are no rules on which stroke you use, so I figure I can live with that. What is going to hurt me the most is my run time- I'd love to run an 11 minute flat pace, but I have a feeling it will be closer to 11:15....again, I have to keep telling myself, "you are doing this to finish, it doesn't matter what time you get". Yeah...I have to remember to LISTEN to myself :).