October 24, 2014


I am loving this weather lately! It's been in the 30's for the past few days when I've woken up, which is perfect for running (and wearing sweatshirts and jeans). I put my fleece sheets on my bed--those things are heavenly! And I dug the electric blanket out of the closet.

Today was my long run, and it feels silly even calling it a "long" run--because I just started a new training schedule, the long runs start at 5 miles. I thought about doing 10, just because I'm capable, but I was really looking forward to following the training schedule as written. It says 5 miles for week one, so that sounded good to me! ;)

As I was getting the kids ready for school this morning, Eli asked me if I would drive him to school today instead of taking the bus. He never asks me that, so I said sure. His school is about a 10-minute drive from home, and it's halfway to the Metropark, so I figured I could just drop him off and then go do my run at the Metropark.

I wore my Cold Gear running tights for the first time this season, and a long-sleeved top. I even wore gloves today! This time I made sure to remember to put on my heart rate monitor, too. After I got Noah on the bus, I ate breakfast, and then drove Eli to school. When I got to the Metropark, I realized I'd forgotten the most important thing (besides my running shoes)--my beloved Garmin. I remembered my heart rate strap, but forgot my watch!

I was super bummed, but I was 20 minutes from home, and certainly didn't want to go get it. I decided to use the Map My Run app on my phone (I hate using phone apps for running, but it was that or nothing). I didn't really have a goal for today's run, but the recommended pace for my long runs is 9:33-10:50/mile--that's where my easy pace falls anyway, so I didn't think that would be a problem.

I started the workout on the Map My Run app, then spent about 10 seconds fumbling around with my gloves on, trying to put the phone in my Flipbelt so I could start running. I felt pretty good once I started running, and there is something about running in the colder weather that just makes me feel so happy! When I hit the one-mile mark, there was a (very loud) voice on the app that announced my time, pace, and distance. My pace was at 10:05, which included the 10 seconds or so of not moving at all in the beginning, so I was doing okay on pace.

I stopped on the bridge and took a couple of photos, because it looked so pretty outside this morning. The lake was really calm.

In the third mile, I was completely lost in thought as I was running through the woods, and suddenly, right in front of me, was a doe. I could have reached out and touched her, she was so close! My heart leaped into my throat, and I think I scared her half to death as well, and she darted into the woods a little. She stopped and we just stood staring at each other for a little bit. I dug out my phone to try and get a picture of her.

She's hard to see here, but she was just standing there staring at me

Surprisingly, even with the stop for the deer, my mile time was still under 10:50. The last couple of miles were uneventful, so they were faster. The run went by pretty quickly--not that I expected it to be long, at just 5 miles ;)

I don't really have a whole lot to write about, but here are some random tidbits that didn't really fit in anywhere else...

My sister bought some Jamberry nail wraps and brought them to Michigan with her for us to try. She, my mom, and I watched a video on YouTube how to do it, and then we all gave it a try. I never knew what the nail wraps were--I always assumed Jamberry was a brand of nail polish. But they are basically stickers that go on over your nails, and they last a long time (up to a few weeks). I never paint my nails, because they chip within hours, so I was curious how well these would work. I was surprised at how easy they were to apply, and I loved them when I was done!

My hand is on the right--a checkerboard pattern

I recently tried something new for breakfast, and I'm in love. I've been pretty obsessed with sourdough toast for breakfast for a while now, and I've been spreading real butter on it. But I finally tried something that my friend Jessica and my mom told me about several times before, and it just didn't sound good to me--spreading coconut oil on the toast instead of butter. It sounded kind of gross to me, which is why I never tried it, but I finally gave it a try recently, and I love it! It has a really mellow coconut flavor, and I can get away with using less of it than butter (I use 2 tsp. for 2 slices of toast). 

I've been 100% on track all month with counting Weight Watchers points. I think taking a break from the counting was good for me, because I finally feel like I have my whole heart into it again. I am super determined to be back at goal by the time I go to Portland in March, and because of that, I haven't even had a hard time sticking to it. I even counted everything while I was on my blogger trips last week (including an overindulgence of wine one night). I got frozen yogurt while I was in NYC, and instead of just saying, "Screw it! I'll eat everything in this store!", I was conservative with the toppings and I estimated the points spent.

See? Conservative. ;)

Estelle's favorite thing EVER is the electric blanket. She hasn't moved from this spot on the couch in days.

The gerbils are extremely smart. They piled all the wood chips under their wheel, to keep the wheel from spinning, and then climbed to the top of it. The black one has been working on chewing a hole in the plastic at the top of the aquarium. 

Halloween is a week from today. Normally, I'd be very excited for Halloween--it's always been my favorite holiday to celebrate, because it was also Mark's birthday. I've always looked forward to going to my parents' house to have dinner, birthday cake, and ice cream, and to give Mark his birthday gifts before handing out candy while we sat next to a fire. (If you're new to my blog, you can start reading about Mark here. He was a friend of our family who was intellectually disabled, and had known my dad for 35 years. He passed away in March of this year from advanced lung cancer, which you can read about here.)

This was taken last Halloween, just before his stage IV cancer diagnosis.
We had no idea it would be the last time we'd celebrate his birthday. 

This year, I'm dreading Halloween. I'm so sad that Mark isn't here, and handing out candy won't be the same without him. I don't plan to go to my parents' house to hand out candy, because it would just make me feel worse. My kids really want to go to Jerry's parents' neighborhood to trick-or-treat, so his mom is going to take them; changing things up in that way will be helpful, I think. I'm not sure what I'll do. I think I may go bring some candy to the nursing home where Mark spent his last months. I've never handed out candy at my own house, because we've always gone to my parents' house, so maybe I'll start doing that this year. Regardless, I know what I won't be doing, and it makes me feel sad.

I hate to leave on a sad note, so here is a picture of Phoebe just begging to have her belly rubbed ;)


  1. I LOVE Jamberry! I actually started selling them (if you don't have a consultant let me know and I'll post a link). I NEVER did my nails before because I would get so annoyed when they chipped, but now my nails feel naked without them!

  2. Those "firsts" without someone are so hard. Do whatever your heart wants.

  3. Let us know how you like your nails & how long the jamberry lasts! I have heard of them before, but have never used them myself!

  4. I think that's a wonderful idea to go to the nursing home. Most of the people there probably have few visitors, and I can't think of a better way to honor Mark's wonderful spirit.

  5. Taking treats to the Nursing Home is a wonderful way to honor Mark's memory. Have you thought about taking treats to the group home? The year of firsts after losing someone is always so hard.
    I forgot to take my Garmin to the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon. I know the distance but I miss having my mile splits.

  6. I think you should celebrate Mark's life and keep doing what you would normally do. But maybe you all tell some of your favorite Mark stories or share things that you learned from knowing him. He would totally want you to continue with life as before I think. Though going to the nursing home does sound fun.

    My cat loves the heated blanket too. This year is my first time ever trying a heated blanket. I'm too much a hotbox to need a heated blanket. So I've pretty much given it to my cat. I just don't trust them so I try to remember to turn it off when we leave the house.

  7. You should go with your kids while they trick or treat!


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