Category Archives: Life

Happy Valentine’s Day

For six consecutive V-days Oliver has made me an awesome card. Each one is a little cooler than the last. This year’s is especially Oregonian:

2013 valentine

So happy to have him in my life and to have all of these keepsake cards he’s made for me. This is why I’m not a flowers and candy kind of girl – I want things I can keep, and hold, and remember for years.

 

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And now for something you’ll probs just all mock me for

Sister Simone Campbell being an awesome badass lady at the at the DNC. Lady Pope 2013!

Sister Simone Campbell being an awesome badass lady at the at the DNC. Lady Pope 2013!

There’s a lot for a moderate, mostly lapsed Catholic woman like me to comment on this week.

Pope resigning. (Hooray! I never saw him as the kind of spiritual leader who could help me answer the persistent questions and concerns I have about faith in general, and the church in particular. As far as I’m concerned, Sister Simone Campbell is my Pope.) Ash Wednesday. Lent.

While I don’t attend Mass regularly, I have developed kind of a weird habit of praying the Rosary while running. The repetition of both exercise hypnotizes me in a comforting way.

I live in “sin” with my boyfriend and I don’t think that’s wrong. I use birth control, and think more people should – and should get it for free. I believe, without judgement, that love is love and the heart wants what it wants – no matter what or who that leads a person to. (And no God that I know “hates” anyone.)

Yet, I still believe in the promise of the church and the teachings of acceptance and charity taught in the new testament. Because I believe in those things, this is one of my favorite times of year. It helps me understand what I find to be the most beautiful line of scripture:

A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John, 1:5 

Truth be told, I attend Mass every Christmas Eve just to hear Father Harry (possibly the world’s most wonderful priest) say it. There are so many dark days in life, and whether you believe in God, or Goddess, or science, or nothing at all, it’s nice to understand that darkness – in whatever form you confront it – may be defeated.

So, I like Lent because it’s an opportunity to build on that thought, to contemplate our mortality — our internal darkness — and to make a small sacrifice to try to be better, to not be overcome by it.

This year I’m giving up my biggest vice – dairy. So, back to the “vegan kickstart” only this time it’s 43 days, not 21. Wish me luck, and whether you believe in some of the same things as me, or now think I’m just a zombie-Jesus believing nut job – I wish YOU luck with whatever struggles you’re up against.

Enjoy them, fight through them, learn from them.

The struggle, just before finding a light, is the best part of being human.

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Filed under Growing Pains, Life, overshare, Politics

Sick bed training tips?

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This photo basically sums up my life for the past five days. Haven’t been able to run or do anything besides take medicine and watch House of Cards. (Which, by the way, is amazing. Reminds me of all the reasons I love and hate politics, and, why I love and love Kevin Spacey.)

I’m worried about losing strength – and I don’t think I’ll be able to start up again for at least a week – anyone have any tips for low-impact ways to stay strong while sick? What do you do to stay strong when you can’t get the miles in? During my marathon training in 2011 I got pneumonia and, even though it was two months before the race, I think my time and my body took an extra beating on race-day from the strength I lost as a result.

I’m going to make it up this mountain, setbacks or not, I just really want it to happen in two hours or less….

 

 

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Yikes

Yesterday I ran 9 miles uphill. Amazing and also a tiny bit painful. Why did I do this?  Because I’m a damn fool and I registered for the Mt. Lemmon (half) Marathon – 13.1 miles, all uphill.

Why did I do that? Not totally sure.  I registered for the race in some post-holiday, post-hometown visit, fit of ennui and confusion. I spent 10 days in Tucson this holiday break and it was an awesome-to-weird-to-awkward-to-horrible 10 days. I got back to Portland and immediately wanted a hometown do-over, so I registered for this race.

And now I run hills. Every day. Then I do this:

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We’re watching Lost Girl. Nacho loves it more than I do.

Every day.

Anyone else have a race coming up that you’re simultaniously excited for and terrified about? Details, and training plans please!

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Filed under 30 Before 30, Life, Running

I missed you

Wow. Somehow, it’s February, 2013. Somehow, I forgot to write. There is a reason, it’s just kind of a boring one. I spent most of 2012 deeply depressed which is something  I’ve struggled and lived with for the better part of a decade, and also, something I don’t love to write about for a variety of reasons. The biggest being watching paint dry is more entertaining than reading about another person’s struggle with depression. (Evidence.)

I stayed away from here because I wasn’t baking, running, or accomplishing anything interesting. My life for most of the year was like a dial-tone.

Luckily, I think things are getting better. I went for a run this week and on the way home from the gym (yeah, I run inside in the winter. I hate being cold SO MUCH) I noticed I was happy. Yay for me. And yay for this blog, where I should be a little more active this year.

To celebrate, here’s a picture of me crossing an item off the ol’ 30-before-30 list:

horseride

This horse, Beau, was really grumpy and about 1,000 years old. But it still counts.

And just for your entertainment, here’s a holiday photo of my brother and I at our family Christmas party. Which was also the best night of the holiday break. And was also the night I taught my Grammy how to Tootsie-Roll.

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Filed under 30 Before 30, Family, Growing Pains, Life

Running a half marathon with half assed training

This was a costume race – I hate costumes so I didn’t dress up. But, based on this photo, I’m going to say I went as a ghost.

I love my city and today was a good reminder of that. I ran the Run Like Hell Half Marathon and even though it was cold, wet, and my training was pretty half assed (though not as non-existent as it was in July for this race), I loved it.

This has not been a great year happiness wise. I fell into a post holiday funk in January and never really got out of it. Still in the middle of it to tell the truth. I should write about that, when I’m out the other side. But today – today I was happy. At the starting line surrounded by damp Ninja Turtles, Wonder Women (yes, plural, this was a VERY popular costume), and the Noid, I was just excited to run.

The race was pretty challenging. Like, four uphill miles through the Terwilliger Curves challenging. And, it was also beautiful. The leaves were changing, the bums under the Hawthorne Bridge were cheering (serious – they were my favorite cheering section and the course took me through their area twice), and even though I lost a toenail and bled through my shoe, it was fun. I’ll take it.

Signs of something very bad inside…

(PS: For anyone keeping track – and I doubt anyone is but me, but still – this race keeps me on track for the 30 Before 30 goal of running one race per month. In September I did a quick 8k with Race for the Cure (ahhh sorry super lefty lady friends – I needed a race and this was the only one that would work with my schedule. It was super boring and not worth a post.) 

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Filed under 30 Before 30, Life, Portland, Running

30 Before 30: In which I do not get eaten by a shark

When I was a little girl I was absolutely terrified of the fish tank aisle of any pet store or Wal Mart. (There were frequent trips to Wal Mart.) I would dare myself to walk down them and then just feel abject terror. So easy to picture the tanks simultaneously shattering and all those nasty little fish getting on me. At Sea World the shark encounter would give me nightmares. It was just so easy to envision the glass breaking, the hammerhead shark bursting forward and biting me in half as its last ask before suffocating.

So, I’m basically the last person you’d expect to go swimming around in the shark infested, fish-filled, coral reefs of Nassau, Bahamas.

But guess what, ya’ll? I DID IT.

And I loved it. Well, there was one huge, mean looking fish, that swam up to me and stared into my soul with his ugly fish eyes…

Besides that though, snorkeling is the best thing in the world. I could have stayed out there for hours. The experience was even cooler because I got to share it with my mom, in her first big one-armed snorkeling extravaganza.

Also, it’s extremely attractive:

All my photos from the trip are Polaroids because I’m THAT girl.

 

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Filed under 30 Before 30, Family, Life, travel