Friday, December 25, 2009

Random pics from my visit so far

Just a hodgepodge of pictures:

Chad, Lynn, little Roman, and me after a concert at their church

This is my parents' dog, Cinnamon, she is awesome (she was kinda annoyed that I was interrupting her nap here...I think). She's a lab/heeler mix.

Christmas toy!

My bro, really excited about his new snowboarding hat :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Decorating Christmas Cookies

Since a large snowstorm has prevented me from going to Flagstaff to visit my aunt and uncle :(, I headed down to Tucson a couple of days early.

Grandma and I decorated the yummy sugar cookies Mom made before she headed up to Boise to visit Monica and family.


Yummy cookies!

Tamale Day 2009

Once again, I headed to Florence, AZ for Tamale Day with Tima and her family (sans Mom, since she is in Boise visiting the new grandson). They broke a record this year- 103 dozen tamales made!

Tima and Phyllis loaded the tamales to be steamed

Me, Andrew, and Dylan- stuffing tamales

Love this picture of these ladies- Dylan, Mary, and Lee

Terry spreading masa on the ojas

Tima and Mark, hard at work, and counting down until the game (Cowboys vs the Saints...)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Cards

Last year, I was too busy with my flight to make Christmas cards. I honestly think I am even busier this year, but thanks to my Cricut machine that I bought during the Black Friday sale, I about halved the time it usually takes to design and make them. Here you go:

Ankle status

It's getting better! I'm seeing this chiropractor that my friend Jessica recommended. She uses Active Release Technique (ART) therapy and the Graston technique.

Turns out, I have really weak hip muscles and my ankle just got tired of compensating and starting protesting. I've had 4 treatments (the above therapies plus lots of good hip strengthening exercises- bonus, these exercise also TONE. Woot!) and the ankle is feeling much better. In fact, I ran 4 miles yesterday and it didn't hurt at all! The trick, now, is getting the rest of me to learn this "new" (ie correct) ankle position. So my knees are twinging and so is my lower back...all very minor, just my body getting used to being able to move my ankle. Seriously, learning how your muscles work together is fascinating. God designed our bodies so intricately- it's mind blowing really.

It's also been very humbling to have it so blatantly pointed out by my limited range of motion how much more "in shaping" I have yet to do. The perfectionist in me wants it to happen NOW...but I know that in time, I will improve and hopefully, this added flexibility will mean fewer injuries. Yay!

So Houston Half Marathon, here I come!

My second nephew, Carter!!!!

My second nephew, Carter Anthony was born on December 2nd. I can't wait to meet the little guy next month!

Yeah, he was 9lbs 3oz...look at those cheeks!

John Michael getting to meet his little brother- he's touching Carter's hand...oh my gosh could that be any sweeter?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Party #1

So Pam, Claire, and I invited the singles from our church and from another church over for some festivities. The couple that heads up the other singles group had planned a party for the same night, so we ended up combining the two. Desiree had the idea to have a tacky Christmas sweater party. It was a lot of fun. The outdoor fireplace seemed to be a hit. Thanks Sholls for letting me borrow it!

Desiree went ALL tacky- hair and 80s makeup included!

Natalie also went all out, tinsel headband and wig

Part of the spread (snowflakes compliments of my AMAZING Cricut)

Lynn and me- I glued ribbons onto a sweater I had shrunk accidentally and tied bells on the ribbons. I was very noisy.

Natalie, Sara, Joseph, and Alex chowing down in their tacky get-up (albeit Sara, she was festive, not tacky :) ).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow in Houston!

Yay! For the second year in a row, it snowed in Houston. It didn't stick at work, but it did where I live.

The snow view from my window at work

Yes I took a picture of wunderground...

Backyard the next morning- still snow on the rooftops...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Decorations 2009

Ta-da!!! What do you think? Pam and I had fun decorating this afternoon...

Front door


In the living room

The tree


More decorations

At night...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Every wondered how you can sprain your ankle yourself (as in you are the one that causes the sprain?). Apparently, you've come to the right person. Okay, okay, I don't know if it's sprained. It just hurts (although I think it would hurt more if it was a real sprain, but calling it one makes it seem more dramatic and less I Love Lucy). Like...hurts when a run on it. UGGGGGGHHHHHHH (how's that for an exasperated groan of frustration? I can do better, but you are probably wanting to hear how I was the cause of my current...(not going to say the "i" word)...ouchiness.)

So last week, I woke up in the middle of the night and both my ankles were aching. Now, this isn't a completely random thing (with my disease, you discover all sorts of fun and interesting aches and pains at very inopportune times, like when you are sleeping). But this was a different ache, kinda like when your knee or elbow needs to "pop". So I rotated both of the ankles, and the left one popped, but the right one didn't, it just ached I reached down to "help" in the rotation. And the aching kinda stopped. I fell back asleep only to be woken up again a few hours later with some MAJOR hurtage going on in that ankle...I pretended its was dream and went back to sleep.

A day later (and minimal painage), I went on a short long run (7 miles). It felt fine, except for the last two miles, I started noticing it. I went out and bought a's been feeling better (yay). I went on a 3 mile run was supposed to be 4.1 miles...guess that tells you how it feels. UGGGGGGHHHHH. So it has been iced and wrapped and I am wearing tennis shoes around the house to give it more support (rather than going in flipflops or barefoot). Can I just tell you how FRUSTRATING "not-the-i-word"s are? Definitely keeps this gal humble, that's for sure. Pray for this non-i-word to be short lived...

Monday, November 16, 2009

My First Half-Marathon!


Two years ago, I had yet to run a 5k....I can now say I have done a half-marathon. ::HUGE grin::

This weekend was AWESOME! Lisa and I road-tripped to San-Antonio, ate awesome breakfast burritos on the way from some random taqueria, got our packets, purchased the "required" runners paraphanelia (shirts with quirky running slogans, running glasses, tri and run stickers for the cars, etc). Then we had dinner with some of her family at Zio's (pasta a MUST the night before a race, at least for me...stick with what works :) ).

At the expo

We'd heard some horror stories of race logistics from the previous race year (which had been the inaugural year), so we woke up at 4:15 (ugh) and were at the shuttles by 5:15am or worked out so well, we got to the starting line with plenty of time to eat breakfast, check our bags, stretch, visit the facilities (I swear I have the most nervous bladder EVER, ::sigh::). There were SO many people...close to 30,000 people ran this race. The race started at 7:30am and we didn't cross the start line until about 8:05am! It took us that long to get up there, crazy.

On the shuttle to the race

My race morning granola in my engineered bowl :)

The weather wasn't ideal. It was ridiculously humid. Thankfully, it was overcast with relatively low temps (~65)...but me and humidity have never agreed so I was a bit worried. We hit some decent hills between mile 5 and 6 and I was really getting concerned that I might over heat. Yay for a double downhill and an AWESOME cool set me straight and I found my stride. We had a couple of sub-10 minutes miles after that, that's how good we were feeling!

The longest distance either of us had ever run before was 11.2 miles and I will tell you those last two miles were the longest of the course (other than that, the time flew by, seriously!). Running with live bands along the course was great and the course was PACKED with cheering spectators the entire way. That was pretty impressive!

The course ended up on a mean uphill, but we made it and crossed the finish line with arms raised high!

Of course, my legs immediately starting trying to cramp up (they never fully succeeded :P). I've had some problems with my hamstrings of late and they were certainly protesting. But other than a quite spectacular blister on my big toe from a sock seam that self-adjusted during the race, I came out injury free.

At the spa, after our awesome treatment

Lisa and I treated ourselves to a full body treatment (including a 90 minute massage- a scheduling accident on their part so they only charged us for the 60 minutes we had actually requested. What a blessing!). And then we chowed down at P.F. Changs. Comfy jammies and hotel movie being the nightcap :)

We spent today at the outlets in San Marcos- walking around definitely loosened the muscles...I'm feeling pretty good- no groaning when I stand up :D. That tells me I trained pretty sufficiently, so I am very pleased with that.

What's next? I've got a couple of things up my sleeve...but that's for a later post. Thank you all so much for your support. I really couldn't do this without those of you who asked about my training and encouraged me (Allyson and Kristi especially, love you girls!)- it's quite the lesson in mental and physical discipline. I thank God for allowing me to do this half-marathon, especially since I was on the injured list this time last year. All glory to Him, for His healing and His sustaining.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tima's Wedding Invitations

Here's my second attempt at wedding invitations- for my bestie- TimaSue! :)

Her colors are navy, silver, and white- the outside

Inside- yay for petal enclosures!
(don't worry Tima, all details have been blotted out :) )

Pumpkin goodness

One of the "bests" of fall...pumpkin yumminess:

Pumpkin muffins

Pumpkin gingerbread trifle

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More family time

I spent the last few days out in Boise with John, my sister, and the cutest nephew ever. We had such a good time. My second nephew-to-be is looking mighty big in Monica's belly...I think he (Carter) might be coming a bit earlier than expected. Then I will have the TWO cutest nephews ever. :)

Are you sure you got the picture Sissa?

Monica and me


Can we please go trick or treating now?

I got him a "bouncealine" (his words) for birthday/Christmas

Look at her cute belly :)

I did my long run this weekend along this BEAUTIFUL greenbelt.

Dumping leaves on John Michael.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mis padres

My parental units came to visit me last week. We had a blast! As I mentioned before, I woke them up at 5am (3am their time...after they came in on a 10pm flight the night before- bad daughter! :) ), dragged them to my race (the first athletic event they have EVER watched me participate in since I was very much the anti-sport child). Then we went to church and had the Smythes and Millers over for hospitality afterwards. Monday started out with a much needed stop at Antigua coffee shop for my dad and I and then we headed to Austin. Strolled South Congress, visited the capital building, and thanks to Lindsey's fantabulous recommendation, ate dinner at The Salt Lick, where I had the privilege of encountering the BEST RIBS EVER. Remember, I live in Texas now...many places have very very good ribs. These are hands down the best I have ever eaten. I, of course, forgot to take my camera everywhere. We finished up their trip hanging out in the Montrose area and then visting MFAH (the fine art museum). The Moon exhibit is pretty cool, by the way,- geeky me was drooling over the original Galileo book 'Sidereus Nuncius' (Sidereal Messenger). I read about him writing it in 'Galileo's Daughter', by Dava Sobel (great read, slow, but extremely interesting). Here are some of the pictures my mom sent me- because as I mentioned, I am a slacker and I didn't take any.

My dad and I (there was a really neat statue behind us...good job Mom ;-) )

Mom does a wicked good Charlie's Angels pose, doesn't she?

Aww, my Mommy

Best ribs ever. E...V...E...R.