Monday, March 30, 2015

In Real Life

I think I'm just old enough that part of me is kind of creeped out about meeting someone online first, and then in real life.  But I may finally be ready to let go of that -- I've had nothing but the best experiences, and now I have a full trifecta!

The first time it happened was Megan, whose blog was also the first or second local Dallas blog I ever read.  I found her through Mike, and read what she wrote quietly for some time, and eventually started commenting sometimes.  She wrote about trying different cross-training options, and I invited her to join me and my husband for boot camp.  Not a lot of people are game for the kind of 5:30 a.m. intensity that we love, but she said she'd try it.  I still remember setting it up and making sure she'd have her own car and could follow us, just because it seemed so sketchy to me to meet someone from the interwebs in real life. 

And it worked out!  We go to boot camp together about three mornings a week, and occasionally run the same local races (and occasionally even run them together).  On the horizon -- potentially a marathon (New Orleans!).  She's a daily positive factor in my life -- actually, in our lives, my husband thinks she's the bomb too.  So first internet stranger turned out to be incredible and now a real friend. 

The second time it happened was Sara, another Texas blogger, who was going to be running our local marathon on her birthday as her first marathon this past December.  So I made sure I knew what she'd be wearing and watched for her as I cheered with friends near our house, and then planned to find her again near mile 20 and jump in the race to run a few miles with her. 

And it worked out!  She heard me cheering near mile 7 and waved since I called her by name, then we got to chat when I ran with her for a few miles starting at mile 20.  And we even met up to celebrate for her birthday dinner, along with her friend Amanda, a new-to-me Texas blog.  Fun night and we'll hopefully cross paths at more Texas races in the future, especially since we both run San Antonio most years. 

Well, this weekend, I was going for the third "in real life" meeting.  This one was different because I have read Aimee's blog for as long as I can remember reading and really following blogs.  I think I started in 2012?  And I think maybe I found her through Friend Making Mondays?  Or a comment on Bella's blog (which I think was the first I ever read)?  When I started reading, she had a young son who's now a little person.  Running was obviously something we had in common and by far the inital reason I started reading, but there was so much else I loved reading about -- her life, her family, her work, her time in the Peace Corps, and her voice resonated with me. 

When I was trying to decide whether or not to run Boston this year, one of the factors in my "pro-Boston" column was that she said she'd be there cheering again, and I figured we'd be able to grab coffee or something.  But then I decided not to register for Boston, so that plan wasn't going to work.  But then some time ago, she mentioned that she'd be in Marshall, TX this weekend for a vegan healthy eating convention (I wish I'd paid attention to what she was attending, because it would have been really interesting to have gone myself).  Marshall is only about 150 miles away from our house, so I sent her an email and said that if her schedule worked out, we should meet up.  On our drive home from Mardi Gras this year, I took note when we passed through Marshall and kept my eyes peeled for potential meeting places in between. 

And it worked out!  We had dinner on Saturday night, and we basically closed down the Italian bistro in Italian that we chose since we sat talking for so long!  It was so much fun and she already feels like a real friend.  I got home after midnight, so I ended up too tired to go run with my friends Sunday morning and had to do 13 solo miles, but it was so worth it! 

I'm thinking the internet's a pretty great place! 

I wonder if I'll meet anyone else, and if so, who?  Would it be Jennifer if I go visit my in-laws in Pittsburgh in April?  Bella when we go to San Fran for a little while in May?  Amy at a beer mile challenge?  Mike if I end up mediating a case in Corning, which oddly enough may happen in May?  Gracie if I run New Orleans?  Meredith at a race?  Newlywed Grace somewhere?  This is why I like reading blogs where I can tell the author is someone I'd like!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Run, run, run at Mardi Gras

I mentioned before that at Mardi Gras (in Mobile) this year, the Friday night parade theme was Run, Run, Run!  I should have taken more pictures.

Anyway, since I write enough about running, I figured I'd share some photos from the Crewe of Columbus parade this year. 

One of the early floats, before we knew what the theme was:

A blurry picture of the theme sign, Run, Run, Run! 

Crewe of Columbus float

Somehow we're already on float 11 by now it appears, but that float was Run of Luck.

Run of Luck float:

Even blurrier, but I think it's Run for the the Roses:

The Beer Run sign/float:

Home run float sign:

Running of the bulls was another float theme:

Runaway train was one of the last ones:

And a pciture of the train float coming:

Side of the train:
I missed the sign, but this was the Azalea 10k Trail Run float, which was my favorite.  I guess it's a local race so it would be in my mind, the most obvious float for this theme:

And the Crewe of Columbus parade won my award for 2015 Weirdest Catch of the Year.  I caught this t-shirt, which I thought was hilarious:

Here's a detail of the back.  Yes, apparently someone on the float on Feb. 13, 2015, was using t-shirts from a Sept. 27, 2014 high school cross country meet as throws...

So bizarre.  Weirdest catch of the following night was a 4-pack of toilet paper, but the t-shirt wins out for being weirdest overall.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Baby pictures

I can't help it, have to share some newest nephew photos.  I told my brother to sign me up for the "daily dozen" of baby photo texts.  The second day he was home from the hospital, I didn't get all 12, so I texted him at customer service to complain.  He said my approximate wait time was 18 years and there was 1 customer ahead of me.  I threatened to post a bad review on yelp, and I guess that did the trick!  My sweet brother and/or his wife are sending me at least 8 baby pics per day, often all 12 that I requested.

Sharing some highlights from his first week and change.  Trying not to pick too many...

According to my brother, the first few days involved TONS of screaming, and a complete day-night reversal...

Check out the little fists of rage:

A little yawn?

This was the first smile picture:

This might be the funniest:

Life is so hard that first week:

I love how curious he looks here:

I thought my husband would like the curious monkey hat:

Here's following his first bath (I guess they don't really get super dirty so it's okay to go a week before washing?):

And perhaps my fave:

The best news of all?  I'm going to get to meet him!  Hubby and I just booked 10 days of May trips!  Flying to DC on May 5, heading down to Charlottesville for my reunion, then flying back on Sunday of that week, then we'll have to hang out in Dallas for 10 days, then flying out to San Fran on a Wednesday and coming back on Memorial Day. 
Should be an awesome month, especially since I think I have a lot of work travel in April that will probably largely suck my will to live...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Grammar fun

This made me laugh and I believe is worth sharing.

Hope it's big enough to see.

(If not, it reads:
With the Oxford comma:
we invited the strippers, jfk, and stalin.
Without the Oxford comma:
we invited the strippers, jfk and stalin.)

Thursday, March 19, 2015


This one was pretty easy, thanks to all the words.  To make it a bit harder, we put aside the box top, but it was still a one day project, one of my best friends came over to help since she loves puzzles too. 

By the way, I think the calf pain I had after the 5k this past weekend and then my 13 miler the next day is gone.  I took Monday completely off, and did boot camp Tues but took it very easy, then another boot camp Wed., and then took it for a 6 mile run this morning and it was fine.  Fingers crossed that was it!  I love it when something hurts like crazy, amputate-now, pain, and then you take two days off and then you're not 100% sure which leg it was that hurt....

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Special Street

As I mentioned, this past weekend was my favorite 5k of the year.  Even the more uneventful years are so fun -- so many friends run this race and it has a great atmosphere.  This weekend, there was someone walking in front of me during the last half mile and she was struggling, I told her to come on, and she did and thanked me.  It's an encouraging and fun atmosphere.  Possibly because some people start drinking before the race?  Haha.

I have tons of awesome memories from this race:

One year, I had an amazing pacer, and I remember feeling like a dog because she kept turning around and saying "Come on girl" to me.  She also kept my watch during the race.

One year, I pushed my godson in a stroller.  I think I shared this story before, but I ran as hard as I could with him, and on the big hill of the race, halfway up, I realized that directly in front of me (and therefore directly in my godson's face) was the butt of a guy wearing nothing but green boxer briefs. 

One year, it was the day of my bridal shower and my mom did the race too, pre-festivities.  It was a PR at the time and one of the happiest days of my life! 

One year, one of my dearest friends was in town for the race and a day of fun following. 

One year, a friend wearing a beer mug costume paced me and I clearly remember some spectator, a middle-aged guy with a belly, standing on the lawn of one of the apartment complexes as we ran by.  As we passed, he said, "ah, now here come the fun runners."  For an entire half mile I thought about going back to choke the guy and asking him how fun he thought a 7:xx pace was.  Can't even remember what pace I was running, but I swear, it was not fun (though it was a cake walk for the guy pacing me). 

Last year, one of my favorite running buddies who moved to California was in town and we got to hang out afterward. 

One year my middle little brother and his wife came to visit that weekend and we all ran it, watched the parade and spent the day hanging out at house parties. 

This is the brother who has been on my mind constantly lately with his new baby. 

So it was extra cool to go to my secret easy-in-easy-out parking spot for this race and realize the street has the same name as my new nephew! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Status check

Radio silence around here lately because there hasn't really been much to report. 

Life is just ticking along.  Working, running, all that stuff. 

Work is actually getting better.  The new attorney hired into our group in early January has taken about 3-4% of my caseload, but every little bit helps.  Especially since three of the ones she took are in active litigation, and two of them have upcoming mediation settings (in Indy) in the next 60 days.  That's a big relief for me.  The other thing that has helped is that the flow of incoming cases seems to have abated a little.  I feel like for the last month, each Friday morning, my email inbox is less of a disaster than it was the week before.  It always tends to blow up on Fridays and over the weekend, but if I can actually reduce the number that sit needing attention each week, I feel like I'm making progress.  Right now, the number is down into the mid-50s.  A lot, yes, but way better than the 80-110 that it seems like it's been since we came back from vacation several months ago and I was in the thick of overwork.  I've been doing better on the getting big reports drafted on schedule, though I still drag my feet a bit in getting going on the ones that require the most work.  I'm totally staying on top of voicemail (I have one message that's a few weeks old that I need to return, but I've been doing the behind-the-scenes stuff necessary to return it).  And the two unpleasant cases I've had in the last few months (also pretty much just these two ever), seem to be getting a bit better -- one settled, and one will hopefully settle. 

Running is also slowly getting better.  I'm not losing weight, and I'm kind of still in an eat-some-crap-every-day rut, but at least it's not getting worse.  I think giving up liquids (other than water, morning green smoothie, and nuun on long runs) is helping.  I've been surprised how much I alcohol and soda.  I almost never drink soda, but crave it when I can't have it.  And I don't drink much, but I seem to want that too.  I'm not at all surprised that I'm missing espresso and tea...  Anyway, back to running.  My times have been getting stronger, but I still have a lot of work to do.  I ran my favorite 5k of the year this weekend.  Two good miles, and then I slowed by about 40 seconds in the final mile.  I ended up only about 90 seconds off a course PR for me, and only about 2.5 minutes off a PR.  That's a lot for a 5k, but at the same time, it's not as bad as I would have guessed it would be.  I put it in a race predictor and it has me about 7 minutes off a re-Q, but maybe with a flatter course...  The downside to two pretty good miles -- I feel like I tweaked my calf.  Super tender to the touch.  Had it checked out on Sunday (ummm, after I ran 13 miles), got instructions to take a few days off, ice, light massage.  Anyway, aside from potentially a few days off now, I've at least been showing up for my runs and I feel like that's the biggest step.  If I keep doing that, the work will eventually pay off.  I never really committed to a spring half, so I may just not run one unless I come across something good.  I'm considering the Lakefront Marathon in Wisconsin for the fall.  I really wanted to run Steamtown, but I think given our schedules, we're going to be flying over to Europe on October 8, so once again, travel choices leave me with limited marathon options. 

Travel for fun has been non-existent since Mardi Gras, which was already exactly one month ago.  We were thinking about trying to combine a work trip that I have in early April to SoCal with a trip up to San Fran to see my new nephew, but thankfully, we hadn't banked on that because now it looks like the work trip will fall apart.  I have been travelling for work, but mostly just overnight trips every couple weeks.  Philly has been horrendously cold!  But April has a lot of work travel on the books -- a couple Philly, one SoIll (does that work like SoCal?  Southern Illinois?), and maybe the SoCal trip.  In all, looks like I'll be on the road most weeks, but hopefully mostly short trips.  So now we're trying to plan fun trips for May, which should be better work wise.  We're planning on DC and Charlottesville for my reunion and to see my bestie, and then maybe San Fran and wine country around Memorial Day. 

So I don't really know how to report I've been filling my time other than working and working out.  Last week I finally was better about doing some running commutes to and from work.  Of course, last week was the week I got back on the horse -- because it was spring break so it looked like traffic wasn't bad.  Oh well, it was good for me.  Now I just have to sustain it! 

We've been watching far too much TV in the last month or so.  What we've been watching lately:
Bosch (detective series on Amazon Prime, we both read and love the books), just finished
The Bachelor (guilty pleasure, husband watches it with me to be nice), just finished
Amazing Race (more me than my husband), in progress
The Americans (both love it), in progress
Better Call Saul (just me), in progress, 1 episode on the dvr
House of Cards (both love it), waiting to watch season 3, our netflix isn't showing up on the tv and I don't like the idea of watching it all on the computer (which we did with Bosch).

Anyway, that's the current status of things here! 

Friday, March 13, 2015


I'm an aunt again!  This is Willard, my newest nephew, born either late last night or early this morning.  I got the text at 2:08 a.m., but they are on West Coast time, so that was 12:08, and I don't know how many minutes old he was at that point. 

I was hoping to get to meet him at the beginning of April if we were able to sneak out to San Fran and wine country for a week or so, but unfortunately, my April travel schedule for work is not being cooperative and now I have no idea when I'm going to get to meet him. 

I had some very bad dreams last night (went with my best friend from law school to see my law school boyfriend for some reason (maybe leasing his apartment?) and he was creepy and weird, and then my husband and I were walking down one of the big highways in Dallas and it was very crowded with groups of people, kind of apocolyptic, pigeons doing weird things, and we were trying to get home, we saw two running friends walking as well but we lost them in the crowd as I was kind of hanging on my husband's shoulders as he was steering us through the crowds trying to get us home, and then there were 3 planes really low and one was crashing -- no idea if that means I have some kind of inner turmoil?  I usually don't remember my dreams and when I do, they're just weird, very rarely disturbing).  I woke up and went to the bathroom.  When I came back, I saw the text from my brother and my husband got up to use the bathroom as well.  He seemed to have trouble falling back to sleep, so we talked for a while and I told him some things about my grandpa, Willard. 

The baby is named after my mom's dad.  My husband never got to meet him, he died in 2003, but I told him about how he made the Adirondack chairs on our back porch, how he's the one in a distinctive picture in our hallway, and some other things I remembered about him, the little he told us about when he was at Pearl Harbor and the war began, and the family confusion that surrounded his death (he had drafted a revised will but left it unsigned, causing issues between one of my uncles and his kids).  It was a fun conversation and I'm glad my brother and sister-in-law honored him with their first child.

Thursday, March 5, 2015



We got about 3 inches of snow last night (unfortunately, at least some of it is on top of ice because we got a couple hours of freezing rain before the pretty stuff started).

I woke up at 2:30 to go to the bathroom and my husband went after I did.  I had gotten back in bed and he looked out the window and told me there was snow.

I couldn't get it out of my head, so I gave up and got up and looked out.  And then I felt like I had no other choice than to get dressed in sweats, coat, scarf, hat, and gloves and go for a walk around the block.

Yes, all this was between 2:45 and 3 a.m. 

There was one woman out walking her dog and she said she wasn't sure if she should say good morning or good night. 

I loved making my own little set of footprints in the snow before anyone else has done so. 

Needless to say, there was no running with my buddies this morning -- we are certified Texas wimps, and I'm okay with taking a rest day on the 0-4 days per year of weather like this.  Mad props to everyone who deals with it all winter long ...