Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

An oldie, but a goodie.
Woulda taken a new shot this year, if her Hello Puppy hat hadn't gone MIA.

Friday, October 28, 2011

InstaFriday: Quiet on the Blog, Loud on the Insta!

Happy Friday!
My favorite post of the week.
And basically, my second post of the week.
But I promise, I have a lot of fun stuff lined up next week (PinterTest Kitchen is THURSDAY, HOLLER).

While I was busy being quiet over on the bloggity blog, I was causing quite the ruckus on the InstaGram feed.

Consider this post my apology for my silence over here....
I make no apologize for the ruckus over there.

Friday, I flew out of NorCal for one of my 284,523 SoCal trips I have over the next few weeks.
Schnuttled to the airport by the happiest airport shuttle in town:

And despite my plane requiring unseasonal de-icing (um, WHAT?) and Betsy getting her 4th flat tire of the year, we were finally reunited at the John Wayne Airport!

What was I in town for? Another Bridal Shower for the lovely Cari.
(More to come on that soon!)
Obviously my brie was involved.

When I got back, I found my favorite terrible movie was smuggled into my suitcase by Betsy.
Holler at the 5 Dollar Bin.
And holler at friends who enable your terrible cinematic preferences.

The week was crazy.
My tea did not want to brew properly.
My recycle bin needs to be emptied.
But I'm too exhausted to think about it (so I just take pictures of it).
People put the weirdest crap on their cars.
And I may have gone to bed at 7:12 the night of the picture of me on my couch with my tea.

And a little encouragement from the Word was much needed this week.

Wednesday night we celebrated my mom's birthday. My sister and I took her, my grandma and my aunt to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. It was my job to get them there.

Craziness ensued.
I think my sister and I will do it again.
Sans relatives.

Mylie is CRAZY.
And I may have over-insta-ed her this week.
Please just deal with it.

Anyway, anytime someone has a gift bag, she MUST, and I am talking compulsively HAS TO, put her ball IN the bag.
Then she looks up at you like "throw it, you idiot".
And if you don't throw it.
She whines.
And paws at the bag.

She has been known to put her ball in the dishwasher, toilet, trash can and artificial christmas tree box as well.
It's the weirdest dog habit ever.

We got our cheesecakes to go.
And had them while my mom opened her gifts (more on those in a sec).
Of course, somebody (I won't name any names) can't STAND when she is not the center of attention.
So her ball was placed in, on, and around every birthday object possible.
Do you see the expression?
Throw it, you idiot.

Members of my family are recipients of unique gifts.
I mean, who wouldn't want those snazzy sneakers.
(A STEAL at only $7)
And Seasonal Holiday Votive (assembly required!)

After the festivities, Mylie and I returned home, where she got to open her goodies from the bloggy giveaway she won.
Yeah, I know? Right!?! Doggy Bloggy Giveaway!!
Mylie says thank you Homie, this was the BEST DAY EVER!!!
How cute are the doggie candy corns?

Thursday I took a vacation day to continue celebrating my mom's birthday (more on that next week!)
So Mylie and I went on a quick run. Which was more of a drag out for her. And a hobble home for me.
The post half marathon knee is kinda jacked.

Followed by a quick trip to Michael's.

My sister finally, and I mean FINALLY hopped on the smartphone train and got herself an iPhone.
Introducing: Frosted Flecks.

Yes that is what my sister named her.
(Long story).

While we were out adventuring, Facebook was abuzz about movie being filmed in San Mateo. (Of Men and Mavericks starring Gerard Butler and Elisabeth Shue).  So when we were back in town, we went stalking.
Don't hate.
It's a gift.
No celeb sightings, but we did see one camera man packing up for the day at one location, while security and the other crews set up for some night filming at a local liquor store.

Oh...and then I went back for more. 
At 10pm on a work night.
And caught a glimpse of this super awesome yellow VW bus.
Shiny and new.
Flower power hippie stickers.
HMB Stickers.
And ran into my sister's wedding photographers.
And a friend from elementary school.
And I got my full stalkerazzi on.
Unfortunately, the only reason I was successful in snapping shots,
was they were done filming.
Which I found out after. 
Kind of less victorious feeling with that fact.

But they transformed San Mateo into a little bit of Santa Cruz.
At least for the night.

Stay classy, San Mateo.

Linking up with Jeannett:
life rearranged

Monday, October 24, 2011

1 Chronicles 29: Read It.

Read it. I promise it's good.

Like, really good.

The highlights and underlines are my own notes, and favorite parts of the passage.

I am not sure why, but when I read this passage last week, I knew I had to share it with others. 
1 Chronicles kinda gets a bad wrap. Actually both Chronicles kinda do. But if you can make it through the crazy detailed descriptions of the generations and genealogies and tribes and such, you will end the book with this passage. Totally worth trudging through. But for now, I'm just pasting the last chapter.

David is providing for the temple that his son Solomon will build.

Can you just read how excited he is to give to the Lord out of the joy of his heart?

And then the people. They are so excited too. They rejoiced, because they gave out of their whole heart.

It's all God's anyway.

But he allowed David and His people to give from their own hearts - and they blessed God for that.

Everything we have is our Great God's.

Every dollar, every gem, every possession, even every ability that we have.

Do I give out of the freewill of my heart?

If I do, do I do it joyfully?

Probably not enough.

Just read it. It's impossible to miss the excitement and joy in the giving.

I hope it is as contagious to me and you as it was for David and the people.

29 And David the king said to all the assembly, “Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is pyoung and inexperienced, and the work is great, for qthe palace will not be for man but for the Lord God. So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of ronyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble.Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God: s3,000 talents1 of gold, of the gold of tOphir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the house,2and for all the work to be done by craftsmen, gold for the things of gold and silver for the things of silver. Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself3 today to the Lord?”
Then uthe leaders of fathers' houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and vthe officers over the king's work. They gave for the service of the house of God 5,000 talents and 10,000 wdarics4 of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron. And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, in the care of xJehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a ywhole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

David Prays in the Assembly (Listen)

10 Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: z“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 aYours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head aboveall. 12 bBoth riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. cIn your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 13 And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.
14 “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 15 dFor we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth areelike a shadow, and there is no abiding.5 16 Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. 17 I know, my God, fthat you test the heart and ghave pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. 18 Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. 19 hGrant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may ibuild the palace jfor which I have made provision.”
20 Then David said to all the assembly, k“Bless the Lord your God.” And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, land bowed their heads and paid homage to the Lord and to the king. 21 And they offered sacrifices to the Lord, and on the next day offered burnt offerings to the Lord, 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, and 1,000 lambs, with their mdrink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. 22 And they ate and drank before theLord on that day with great gladness.

Solomon Anointed King 

And they made Solomon the son of David king nthe second time, and they oanointed him as prince for the Lord, and pZadok as priest.
23 qThen Solomon sat on the rthrone of the Lord as king in place of David his father. And he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. 24 All the leaders and the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David, pledged their allegiance to King Solomon. 25 And theLord made Solomon very sgreat in the sight of all Israel andtbestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.

The Death of David

26 Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. 27 Theutime that he reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 28 Then he died vat a good age, wfull of days, riches, and honor. And Solomon his son reigned in his place. 29 Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the Chronicles xof Samuel the seer, and in the Chronicles of yNathan the prophet, and in the Chronicles of zGad the seer, 30 with accounts of all his rule and his might and of the circumstances athat came upon him and upon Israel and upon all the kingdoms of the countries.

Linking up with Jami, who happened to blog her We Encourage Tuesday on a similar topic:

Friday, October 21, 2011

InstaFriday: From 4s to 13.1

My 4s arrived last Friday, and hopefully,the pictures around here are a bit more exciting.

Snow White is out, and Snow White 2 is in.
That is her in the cute panda case.

I also had to get some panda apps to go with it.
Obviously, right?

 I mean, every iPhone in a panda case needs an app that just has random pictures of pandas, right?
Oh, and they painted my teal front door red. Could be better. Could be worse. 

Just don't get me started on the orangey-red railings. 
They're just plain UGLY. 

Also, Snow White 2 was present for the homecoming of her iPhone siblings Betty (White) and Big (Black).

Uh, yeah, I ran wogged a half marathon on Sunday.
Yeah, I'm still talking about it.
I say if I'm still in pain from it, I can still talk about it.
And show you my swag.

Since I am no longer "not-training" for a half marathon and trying to get runs in before dark (and by not-training, I mean doing a half with three weeks notice), I had time to do some actual cooking the other night.

Followed by some baking.

Don't hate, I ran wogged a half marathon, REMEMBER?!?!

PS, I call these my crack brownies. They are kind of hard to find. And not be confused with cheesecake swirl brownies. Which are not as hard to find. I may or may not stock up and hoard boxes of these in the back of my kitchen cabinets.But if you touch them, I will kill you.
If you're really lucky I might make you a batch.
I said might.

Or, as I say, beast mode activated.
Either way, she is super cute.
And does a mean bat impression.

Hope knows how to party.

You got it Hayden. It'll be our little secret. 

Linking Up With Jeannett:
life rearranged

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Oh heyyy!!

My friend Gabriella - a real life friend - from high school, youth group, and for a short while we were even neighbors (oh and I literally ran into her on Saturday!) - awarded me this cute little award! And it seems like something kinda fun to do when I don't have much else going on around here, so I'm writing this up ahead of time and am posting when things are kinda slow around this bloggity blog!

First off - I am supposed to share 7 things about myself, and then bestow the award on 15 people.
15 is kind of a lot, so um, bear with me.

Fun Facts:

1. I am a lefty. I consider myself a purebred lefty, as both my parents are lefties. My sister was born lefty, but rebelled....and I always thought I was the rebellious one.

Laura: Rebel Without a Cause

My Dad: A lefty, but also a rebel.

2. I worked at a chinese food restaurant for a day in college. Serving water. And sometimes I got to serve the tea too. I got paid probably fifteen bucks for the whole night. And a free dinner. It was totally worth it.
But they never asked me back. Best job I ever had.

3. Speaking of college - I did all of my GE's in a program with no grades and no tests. Just pass or fail. And a TON of reading. 30 books in my first semester reading. And a ton of essays as well. #crazy but I loved it. I studied for ONE test in all of college. ONE.

Here are me and some of my roomies and friends freshmen year - I decided to skip reading for the night and head to the Halloween party in the Student Union.  I don't have a CLUE what book I skipped (probably something overly political and heinously boring), but I have some funny memories of the roomies on the dance floor.

For the record, I am wearing my poodle skirt from my 5th grade halloween costume.

Also for the record, Jen and Emily are obvious but I have no clue what a few of the other girls are...(I know Morgan was scary it possible they all were scary spice?)
except for Domenica in the red - she was "Hecka Tight Heart Pant Girl" - that was the exact name of her costume. I believe she was HTHPG every Halloween thereafter.

Also, we were partying like it was 1999, because it was.

Halloween 1999

My No Study Zone Desk. All party, all the time.

4.  My very first dog was a Rottweiler named Boris. He was freaking awesome. One day when I have a house with a yard I'm gonna get another Rottie. The crazy german kind. Where you can say some crazy German word and it will kill who ever even looks at you. Actually, I kinda had a weird stalker one time and in my self-defense plan I had the following order of action: door chain, self defense class, Killer German Rottweiler, male roommate, handgun. Unfortunately, I couldn't even get the door chain installed - so I didn't get past step one.  You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. About all of that.

5. In all of the places I have gone and things I have done, my favorite vacation memory of all time was renting scooters in Canada with my best friend Julie, and taking them through the drive thru McDonalds at 10am for soft serve cones. Because what else do you do on a scooter in a random town in Canada?

Prince Rupert, BC

6. If I were to do this whole life plan over, I'd have gone to school to be a computer nerd. Or a courtroom reporter. Clocking in at up to 130wpm could have really paid off.

7. My first car was a 1990 Pontiac Grand Am. When I bought it the sales guy was like, "oh yeah, it has the new AC roll down two windows...and go 50"
Surviving three Indian Summers in wine country - complete with the "Sonoma Aroma" with no A/C should get me a medal.

10 points if you know where this picture was taken.

So thanks again Gab! And congrats on finishing the FULL Nike Marathon - you are my running hero of the day!

And I am awarding this award to everyone with a button on my sidebar under friends.
Yep, YOU.
Yeah, no I am totally talking about you.
Don't close that window just yet.
You have been awarded.

Gimme 7 fun facts (you can comment them or do your own post) AND GO.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Run To Be: Nike Women's Half Marathon



It was awesome.
It was hard.
It was fun.
It was done on three weeks notice.
And it is OVER.

Thirteen point one miles on the books.

Saturday, my sister and I headed into the city to the Nike Expotique to pick up our race packets and requisite hoodies and event T's. 

We hunted for our names on the wall of Niketown, but sadly only one Grover was listed, my name ain't Margaret. I think we were left off because of the last minute registration. Such a bummer because I was totally looking forward to that part.

But thankfully they had another wall to write your own message - so we tagged our names. 

We did some pre race training.
And by training, I mean shopping.

My sister did the Nike Women's Half last year, and started her own tradition.
Shopping followed by lunch at the Burger Bar inside of Macy's.
I like tradition.

After a few purchase crises involving standing in three lines inside of Niketown to return a sweatshirt, my sister found two of our old friends - Gabriella and Jacque! I went to high school and youth group with both of these girls, and we stay in touch mostly through stalking their running adventures on Facebook!

It was so fun to see them in real life.
They are REAL runners.
They have both done FULL marathons.
Gab ran the Nike Full yesterday, and Jacque ran the half, and after she was done, she coached runners in on the Full.
These three in the pic with me are the definition of LEGIT.

The night before I set up all my gear.
And took a picture of it.
Isn't that what runners do?
I think yes.

Then it was race day!
I woke up at 5am to get ready.
I enjoyed a bowl of my pumpkin oats, a glass of water, and a little bit of coffee.
Coworker Cary also got a last minute spot, so she rode into the city with us! Woo!
When we arrived it was just people EVERY. WHERE.
My sister, mom and I go to Union Square every Black Friday.
I have NEVER, EVER, seen it this packed.

If you don't like crowds, this may not be the event for you.

We took our time lining up to use the restrooms.
Which, uh, was great and all, but kind of made us late for the race.

We approached the start line and were told, you need to run NOW, and you MUST catch up with those buses.

Apparently we were already BEHIND the sweepers.

Not the best way to start.
I was so flustered and freaked.
And I saw the panic in my sister's eyes.

Thankfully the buses roll at a snails pace and we caught up quickly.
But I was still a bit shaken.

I promise you, this WAS actually me today:

Source: None via Kim on Pinterest

But about 3 miles in, or 5k, I started feeling a lot better, and was able to enjoy the race.
Sadly we had already passed the Transamerica Building and the Bay Bridge, oh and hey, Bay Delta Tractor Tugs - so no pictures.

But we busted out Snow White 2 as we approached Pier 39, and started self paparazzi-ing.

We went over the hill at Fort Mason, and on the other side we found our "Run Support" team - aka our dad!

It worked out so perfectly, he was able to ride his bike along the course, speeding up ahead of us and snapping pics of us along the way. 
He was with us for a good majority of the rest of the race!

It was an overcast, and cool, but not too cool morning in San Francisco, and I would say it might have been the perfect running weather.

Laura ran with the "pace bike" for a bit.
As I looked back on the skyline.
See, we started right near the pyramid, look how far we had come already!

We're halfway there!

Around Mile 8, I was getting some "Lava Feet" as Coworker Cary calls them, where the balls of your feet feel like they are burning from the friction.
So we stole borrowed some medical tape from a first aid station and wrapped my feet.
And then I had to adjust the tape, and look where we stopped - at the VA (holler, Cindy!)

And now we had past the bay, and were heading for the breakers.
(Is that how Bay to Breakers works?)
Anyway, downhill from here, although between lava feet and hip flexors of doom, there wasn't much run left in me.

As we headed along the Great Highway, we approached Golden Gate Park where Matt, who had already finished his Half (2:10 for the record. I don't call him my beast-in-law for nothing), was waiting for us with a sign!

It was so cool having a sign with our names on it!
I felt like a legit half-marathoner at that point!

We only had about 2-2.5 miles left at this point, can you say holler?

Do you know there are Bison in Golden Gate Park? 
I did not.
Until my family went one day to find them.
Without me. 
Thankfully, they were out there cheering us on today! 
(Laura's pointing is a bit off...we were focusing on other things, obviously)

So now we're in the home stretch.
We made it on the big screen.
While waiting for this whole Chocolate Mile thing they told us would be at Mile 11.
We we ran wogged (which is a walk jog, there wasn't much running left at this point) all the way through 11.
It's really at Mile 12. 
Thankfully it was Ghirardelli Truffle Squares.
That made up for the lies.
Well, maybe two of them did.

And then, we were seriously, THERE.
Laura's Garmin told us about .4-.5 of a mile before the finish that we had completed 13.1 miles.
In 3 hours and 19 minutes
But they weren't gonna give me that Tiffany necklace if I didn't cross the finish line.
So we were bling-bound.

And we did it.
We got our little blue box with white ribbon.
From a firefighter in a tuxedo.
Handing them out from a silver platter.
Yes, that's real life. 

Coworker Cary completed it too (we train hard at our office!), and met back up with us.
And we all headed home.
A little bit sore.
A little bit blistered.
A little bit achy and broken.
A little bit thrilled.

And by a little bit, you know I mean a lot.

Oh..and look who won ;)

We showered quickly, and headed back out for my sister's other tradition.
Brunch at Il Fornaio.
Specifically, their French Toast.
My mom and aunt joined us as well.
And we rocked our bling.

Did I mention that I love tradition?