Category Archives: about me

28: Part of Something Good

Everything there feels just as it should
You’re part of a life there, part of something good.
- Brandi Carlile –

Things looked very different on this 24th of July, as I sat in a Monterey, CA coffee shop, a quarter-mile from both the Pacific Ocean’s coast and the place we now call “home”, but thousands of miles from some of my favorite people.  We ran through the greens of Spanish Bay and along the water, nowhere near Lincoln or the Capital, but nothing to complain about here…

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Here, we have historic adobe houses, new swanky houses, and beaches that somehow show you both the sunrise and sunset (thanks, geography! – I still haven’t really figured this one out). Here, we have a totally different life than that which surrounded me one year ago.

big mistake first step

Now, more than ever, I know that there is always an adventure to be had – just turn over a few pillows and look under a few unturned stones. Something’s waiting. I know that change is inevitable; embrace it, challenge it, tell it what’s up!, let it change you. And now I know what MAF training is, how much I still have to learn about running, how to say “hello” and “Goodnight” in Swahili, where the wineries can be found in Carmel Valley (and to take the Grapevine Express!)  and that there is also a “Monterey”, Mexico!

These are all equally important life things.

adventures 

 tonyhorton5kgirls adult stuff
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Bateleur Camp_Sunrise 1 Amsterdam Canal Day
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 our year

Yep, that.

I know that even when it’s not perfect, it’s just how it should be.
It’s part of something good.

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What I Ate Wednesday: RD Edition, Tagged & Delivered

There are a few reasons why I rarely, if ever, share food log-type posts, but there was once a time that you would see a few recipes here n’ there, some meal recaps and a lot of LGF love. In what was now probably more than a month ago, Anne asked if I would put up a “WIAW” post if tagged, and I said “sure!”. She tagged.

Dear Anne,
I apologize for severe procrastination here. Let’s still be friends!

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Without further ado: we breakfast.

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(Melissa, 10 points if you can name this exact location!)

This photo is a few weeks old, but mirrors what most mornings look like. I have a huge glass of water before anything else – but then it’s right to the coffee (usually black or with a splash of almond or soy milk), and the peanut butter. Banana? That’s just a peanut-butter vehicle. I do love me some potassium and fiber, though.

Grab a spoon, a napkin, and a healthy appetite for nut butter!

On occasion you’ll see oatmeal + cinnamon here, too. On another occasion, you might see scrambled eggs + avocado + veggie(s). Sometimes things get fancy!

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Now that I work from home, nothing has changed about my lunch routine. I chop up a variety of fresh vegetables, aiming for at least 2-3 colors in the mix, toss in some pumpkin seeds and sliced avocado, and when I’ve planned ahead, a hard-boiled egg.

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One big difference of this work-from-home business? My home came stocked with a lemon tree in the backyard. So lovely, so California. This beauty’s dressing came courtesy of this tree’s abundant supply – freshly squeezed juice, and a few chopped basil leaves.

Top this off with some Farmer’s Market strawberries and a piece of dark chocolate. Perfecto!

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On the dinner menu: Tuna steaks and cooked vegetables.

There is no shortage of greens in this house!We usually snack on kale chips and/or carrots + hummus while we cook – un-pictured, but you know what snacky foods look like.

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Poor photo, great foods.

This colorful plate came together courtesy of fresh-from-the-farm asparagus and tomatoes. Summer is the only time you’ll see fresh heirloom tomatoes in my rotation – I’m not sorry for being a tomato snob. After placing tomatoes on the “never eating!!” list for 21 years of life, I take their new spot on my “favorites!” list seriously. Dice one of these babes up and sprinkle some salt, pepper and balsamic on there? It’s simply the best.

Smeared on that fish you see a spicy green curry paste, courtesy of Trader Joe’s.

Dessert: usually another piece of dark chocolate, perhaps a handful of walnuts (my fave) and maybe some dried fruit. And maybe a peanut-butter dip. Maybe.

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What was on your menu yesterday?
Taking tips for fish-grilling, as we put together the Weber today!

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Running & Reporting from the Bay in CA

It’s been quiet in this little corner, while life was being all kinds of loud! In the past few weeks, we’ve gone from this…

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….to this:

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Along the way we crossed 15 states (including the District, of course), stopped to see friends and family in Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Chicago, Quad Cities, Colorado Springs and Albuquerque. We visited the Corn Palace* (oh, yes we did), the Presidents at Mt Rushmore, a lovely bed & breakfast in Rapid City, SD and Los Pollos Hermanos (aka Twisters). We were graced with everything from sun to rain to golf-ball-sized hail (what kind of guest treatment is that, Wyoming?!).

*Nobody takes corn lightly in South Dakota.

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Moving on…

We covered 3500+ miles throughout 8 days, with a nice long break in New Mexico to celebrate my little sis gettin’ hitched!

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And in the 2 days that followed, our powerful little car trekked the remaining 1,030 miles. And the day after that, all of our furniture met us in California and – voila! – we are officially temporary residents.

Monterey, CA

For the next 18 months you’ll find us running and riding along the bay, in the peaks and valleys of the Sierras and up and down many San Francisco-esque hills. I’m still on the Wellness Corporate Solutions team (whoop!) and joining the world of remote-working.

Currently, I’m reporting from the Adirondack chair in our back yard as I soak in the afternoon sunshine hours and admire the lemon tree that requires little care but provides ample fruit.

And that’s that.

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Filed under about me, distractions, new things!, pictures, things that make me Happy

{Marathon} Goals: To Share or Shut it?

Today we take a (probably much-needed) break from chit-chatting about heart-rates and running and the powers that be behind the training plan. Today, we’re slightly more reserved. Taking yet another different approach to something very familiar – the goal time(s).

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Until I watched this TED talk, I approached goal-setting coaching (i.e. my day-job) with one mentality* – talk, talk, TALK IT UP! Tell people as much or as little as you want, but TELL THEM. Spread the news far and wide so that you feel fully committed. Keep it in? Well, that secrecy may mean you  don’t really believe you can do it; you’re giving yourself an out. If no one knows what you’re up to, no one knows whether or not you “succeed”, right?

Yes, in some ways that’s true. But, that’s not necessarily a fool-proof way to fail or stall. *I should have known better; there’s never ONE right way to do anything.

Rather, there are two schools of thought on goal-setting:

The first suggests sharing your goals with your community (family, friends, social network, etc.) to create a sense of accountability, holding you firmly to that goal and the steps you need to take to accomplish it. They’ll presumably check in on you, see how things are going, see if you’re still crazy enough to pursue said goal(s) and/or decide they want to join you! This is so helpful, right? Don’t you want to come back with full reports? Successes? Plans for them to hop on the crazy-train and enjoy the ride?

Sure. If that’s what works for you – go for it!
But, you don’t HAVE to.

The second contradicts this entirely; keep it to yourself, because once it’s said, but not done, you already feel some sense of reward and accomplishment. You get the (sometimes shocked-and-awed) reactions from friends and family, which elicits some feeling that you’ve already done what you need to do! And whew, that was easy. You didn’t even have to actually DO IT! Pressure’s off….but sometimes, so is the motivation to act.

Things are easier said than done anyway, right? Always!

But it’s not that easy. And if {insert personal goal} was easy, everyone would do it and there’d be no need for announcing or for self-keeping.

Maybe you work best within your own head – Introverts, high-five! – and only you need to know what’s going on while it’s going. You don’t need a long list of outside accountability sources to stick to it, and you’d rather operate on the notion that self-motivation can take you a long way. You want to work hard and reap the rewards, and then you can share them, if you so desire.

That’s okay, too! And maybe, if that’s what works for you, the “I DID this” report will be just as, if not more, satisfying than the “I PLAN to do this!” announcement.

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demolish goals

Neither approach is right or wrong, better or worse, more or less effective. They can coexist or be completely independent. Whether or not either/or will work for you can only be decided by you. And as with most things, it’ll probably take some trial and error. Ugh, I wish I hadn’t loudly announced my desire to run a 100-mile ultra whilst high on endorphins after that 10-mile trail race! *Shakes fist* Darn you, happy hormones! Can’t you do math?! (End dramatic example.) But, what doesn’t? You’ll figure it out, for you.

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Are you a goal-sharer or goal-keeper?

I think I unknowingly do a little of both, depending on the type of goal. And for this round, my lips are sealed for no particular reason other than continuing the trend – try something new and see how it pans out.

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Because I’m Happy

With winter woes, snow-covered tracks and newly discovered levels of exhaustion seemingly behind me, this Friday calls for a little Happy dance. If you haven’t listened to this song yet, do so now and I’ll be here waiting for you as you enjoy 3 minutes and 53 seconds of musical + dancing bliss.

(Yep, way behind on the times here, but whoa Pharrell, NICE WORK.)

good day

In the spirit of Friday and having a good day and Pharrell’s intoxicating tune, here are a few thangs that have made me pretty damn happy as of late:

The HAPPY Dance Video. Yes, I’ll watch it again as I jam-out here.

LEGOs, in movie form.  Genius. Also, Emmett, let’s hang out.

UpWorthy.com shared one of the biggest contributing factors to happiness,  according to the science that is “measuring” happiness (?). I’ll venture to assume music comes in close in second-place. You’re welcome.

Handstand practice, in the office. If you can convince your coworkers to join you, and us, it’s just one minute per day. And here’s a step-by-step guide. If there’s a wall, there’s a way!

Tony’s Burpee Burner. I think Tony might be Emmett’s alter ego.

Running, specifically with this in mind. Wineries, sunshine, springtime and a finish line – all in one weekend? Yeah, counting down the days!

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What would be on your list, as of late? Share the web-searching and/or music-listening love! All eyes and ears.

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