Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Adventures in Babysitting

I have had the extreme fortune of babysitting 3 very special children a couple of times in the last month. They are the best! Also they are full of dotable quoteables:

Noelle: Are those your dancing shoes? (nude ballet flats)
Me: No they are just my shoes
Noelle: But you dance in them?
Me: Yeah, I dance in just about anything
Noelle: So they're you dancing shoes!

Noelle: Stop talking to me
Me: Well then stop talking to me...
Noelle: Stop talking to me
Me: Stop talking to me
(and so on for like 5 minutes)

Dallas had continued to watch Dukes of Hazard as the credits rolled because "I like to hear the song again"

Dallas: Did you come to my birthday party?
Me: Yes
Dallas: Did I add you to the list for my birthday party?
Me: I don't know are you going to invite me this year?
Dallas: Ashley (another babysitter, who is a teenager) is on my list, I think I will add you to my list.

Emily is beyond excited about her upcoming birthday just ask her about it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Photo Comparison 33 weeks

I try not to make my whole blog out of weight loss, but it is clearly the most interesting thing about  me right now, so it is either weight loss or running. Below is a picture I have up in my office, I look at it everyday and don't always notice the differences between this shot 8 month ago and now. But every once in a while my manger will come to see me or someone will visit glance at this photo and tell me I don't even look like this girl anymore. So I thought it would be worth doing a comparison photo post:
 Sept 30th 2012 only days after joining WW
I actually remember looking at these pictures thinking I looked pretty good in them...
May 19, 2013, The angles are little different but, even so I think difference in shots is so noticeable.
Although I have no neck in this pic, the angle is as close as I could find to my original shot with Emily from September.

I don't have a ton of full body shots pre loss, and not that this one is a true full body shot, but I think at what could be tricky/not flattering angle doesn't look to bad.
Plus look how short I've gone with my hair!

Leave some love!

The Fault In Our Stars; an emotional review

Today I read an amazing book, a book that deserves to be praised with words that outshine mine, a book that has to be incredibly haunting to those with the misfortune of being touched by the subject matter, today I read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

I have been hearing/seeing how amazing the book is for months, months upon months. And like most good readers, and likely children of former librarians I am the type of person who always has at least 3 or 4 good books in their possession that they somehow haven't managed to schedule in and read yet. Instead I often re-read old books or seek out entirely new ones.

Everything I had heard about this book before finally picking it up and starting it was praise. So much freaking heaping praise you couldn't believe. Barnes and Noble gives it it's on little section in the store. It has two versions available in hardback (yet not available in paperback), a regular version and whatever the silver looking lining means about the deluxe version means. But anyway back to the praise, so much praise. On twitter, yes this is where late twenty somethings get everything from the news to book/movie recommendations from complete strangers who feel like friends, I follow a couple of writers whose books I love and other people in general whose lives I envy, and they are all like THE FAULT IN OUR STARS the best book of 2012, the best book ever, the BEST! And spoiler alert it's a tearjerker. It's a box of Kleenex as your constant companion tearjerker. No one ever once tried to hide the tearjerker nature of the novel from me, or as far as I can tell from the internet from anyone. Oh no those total strangers won't steer you wrong. The book also doesn't pull any punches, for the record the book jacket spells it out pretty clearly. "Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal,"

Ok so going into it you know the miracle has been used up and you are in for the beautiful sadness that remains. I devoured this book, probably the fastest I read 317 pages in a long time. I also decided to read a book that I was well, well aware was a tearjerker on my patio/balcony for all my neighbors to see. I'm not always the smartest girl in the world but I somehow couldn't resist the afternoon sun and so instead I decided to introduce myself to the neighbors by quietly sobbing for 3 hours on my balcony. At least I can hope they don't think I'm crazy and I am just really moved by Memorial Day.

I'm not going to spoil it for you. Really this book is too good to spoil. You need to read it, you need to feel like, you need to quietly sob on your metaphorical balcony. And spoiler alert unless you heart is made entirely of stone you are going to cry, probably sob. And yet you will love it and keep on reading until the end, the very very end.

P.S. This is actually classified as young adult novel. I read of lot of young adult novels, not because I  long to be a teenager again. Like gag me with a spoon if I had to go through that again, but simply after a certain grade reading level good books aren't classified by how much education you need to have achieved to understand it but rather by its subject matter. And I can say without a doubt I have read so many young adult novels that outshine "adult" novels in every way imaginable.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

Another milestone for the books...

Back in March when I signed up for the Klompen Classic I imagined the weather for May 1st-3rd was going to be amazing and gorgeous in the high 60's to 70's sunny and amazing. Much like the weather last weekend. What did I end up with? SNOW, it's freaking May Iowa, why is it still snowing? Has anyone seen the internet memes that picture and a copy machine saying something super crazy and it is like: Go Home copy machine, you are drunk. That is exactly what I want to say to the Spring. Go Home Spring, you're drunk.

Anyway back to the original point, when I signed up for this race, I also took the next two days off work planning on attending Tulip Time in all the amazing weather we were to be having. Except, we didn't, have amazing weather I mean. I have seen tulip time before so I just skipped the whole thing and drove home Thursday morning. Thursday's are normally my weigh in days for weight watchers but because I weigh in at work, and I wasn't at work I decided to give myself one more day to recover from the Taco Johns I felt I had earned after my race. Really I did earn it and I think between my daily points and activity points I stayed within my allotment. But it was a lot more sodium than I try to intake prior to weigh in so I wanted to give my body another day to recover. Instead I picked out the earliest meeting available on Friday, morning meetings are the best because it is similar to when my normal weigh in is, and I don't necessary have to eat prior=better weigh in. I had attending this particular meeting before, in December right after I had moved and once again had missed my normal weigh in do to vacation. Ironically enough it snowed on that day too.

This meeting was totally unlike my usual meetings, I showed up about 10 minutes early and the line for weigh in was almost to the door. This meeting was hopping. Weigh in went well, I lost 1.2 pounds- for a total of 65.2 pounds. Shut the front door! 65.2, that is 260 sticks of butter y'all. They  asked if I wanted to stay and celebrate and I said yes. It was great hearing from different people about their success and struggles. And I was so, so pleased to share my celebration with the group. It might have been because no one knew me, or because the leader made such a big deal, but I could not stop smiling, I was so proud of the that 65.2 pounds. Plus the applause is amazing for the ego. When you are in the middle of it, it is easy to lose sight oh how amazing that loss is, but this group made me really feel how awesome it truly was. After the meeting several people stopped me to congratulate me personally and ask me how long I had been on WW. It was great. We have a pretty small core at work group, which I like, I feel like I really can get to know others, but I worry sometimes that I contribute to much. I have never been a person who can handle awkward silences, when our leader asks questions I feel like I have to speak up and rescue her so we aren't just sitting in silence for 30 minutes. It was a nice change of pace to just be able to sit back and enjoy what everyone else was saying.

My experience was very uplifting today. Happy Friday y'all!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What a difference 5 years make... Klompen Classic Redux

Five years ago I completed my first ever 5K race the 15th annual Klompen Classic and finished with an official time of 44:16.

Last night I completed my fifth 5K of the year the 20th annual Klompen Classic and finished with an official time of 34:10.

I took over 10 minutes off my time! Also I improved my PR by 11 seconds. For the 2nd race in a row I ran the whole thing, the whole freaking thing! I didn't set out planning to try to improve my race time, I just wanted to finish it. With only 5 days between races I wasn't sure how well last night would go, plus the conditions from last night where vastly less ideal. The temp just keep dropping and the wind, man that wind. There were parts of the race where I almost bent all the way over to get through it.
Chelsey and I pre-race, we are cold. Mom said I had too much teeth.
This was probably the biggest race I have run so far this year. Over 2400 participants. Because I used to live in Pella I was familiar with the route and already knew it was a pretty flat easy course- just how I like them! This was also the first race this year that had people line up based on their expected pace. This is something bigger races tend to do to avoid having to many walkers or slower paced runners in front of the serious runners. Lots of people where lined up which was nice because we were finally able to share some body heat. There was one runner in front of me who I didn't end up liking very much, I had lined up in front of the 11 min pace. He turned to look at the pace and moved up scoffing that you can walk an 11 minute mile. I assure you mister, it is hard to walk an 11 minute mile. But haters gonna hate. 

We finally got going just after 7 p.m. the course was pretty packed for the first 1/2 mile, Chelsey was really concerned about the amount of people and the possibility of tripping over others. It was hard to get a pace going at first and I kept looking at my watch trying to settle in, usually I go to fast in the beginning  but this time I found I was going to slow, so after a first 1/2 mile I started to push it a little more and passed some people. Lots of citizens of Pella where bundled up and out to cheer us on. It was really nice to see the signs and to have people cheering, even if it wasn't exactly for me. 

I passed the 1 mile marker with no issues, I was feeling pretty good and getting warm finally from the running, the first water station was just a little pass the mile marker, this time it was much smoother than my last experience I didn't have to grab it off a table because the volunteers were handing them out, and there were stations later to throw the cups, I only had to do a little dodging of people in the crowd. Most of the next mile was on brick streets. Brick is a little tricky to run on because it doesn't settle well, and I was concerned about twisting an ankle, on the new brick I was sticking to the side/curb where their was real pavement, but as we progressed that wasn't always there and the street was slopping. This was probably also the easiest mile weather wise, the wind was finally at my back. 
The second water station was not well planned out, people were actually having to wait to have people pour water in cups, although thirsty it wasn't coming close to being worth the wait. So I kept on trucking. 

The last mile was awesome and brutal. My legs and lungs were doing so well, but we had to turn back into the wind, when you are already tired from the race it sucks to be almost doubled over by the wind, it tends to sap the energy level, also we had passed by pizza ranch and the smell of food was both enticing and awful. After the 3 mile marker (which I was surprised to see- lots of races don't mark it because you are so close to the finish line) I tried to push what I had left, I couldn't see the finish line official time, but my watch said I was really close to getting a PR. This is also when a pack of teenagers started surging out of no where, some people where keeping pace but once I could see the clock at the finish line I knew I could get a PR so I started to sprint, I crossed at 34:10 I had taken 11 seconds off my time from Saturday. I heard but did not see my Mom and Dan.

Me crossing the finish line, not a beautiful shot but its my action photo.

After I crossed a said hi to Mom and Dan and grabbed water, banana and an Apple and settled in to wait for Chelsey to cross.

Chelsey at the finish line- she was cold and didn't love the music selection I provided for her.
Chelsey didn't have a working ipod so I brought her my old shuffle, I am able to charge it but no longer update the music on it, so it stuck as an awful reminder of my music tastes from 5 years ago. Needless to say Chelsey thought they sucked, to slow.

Chelsey and I post race, I think we are warmer here than in the first pic

It was a fun race and I am super excited I was able to improve my time again. Thanks for all the supporters but especially to my Mom and Dan who braved the cold to watch.