Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a sneaky little bugger. Throughout the year, I occasionally comment that Christmas will be here tomorrow. Typically this comment comes out when someone talks about how fast time goes (or is going). So even though in May, I will tell you that Christmas will be here tomorrow, I am still astounded at how fast the holiday sneaks up on me....I mean, it's going to be here next week!

I know I should not be surprised. We got our tree November 28th, I've watched just about every Christmas movie possible, and all the presents are bought and wrapped...but I guess when I finished the quarter this week, I didn't realize that there were only 6 or 7 days till Santa came a calling.

As with most people, I love this time of year...the movies, the music, the trees, the lights, the endless supply of goodies, but most of all the goodwill and generosity of others. Sometimes it's hard to see through the craziness of the malls, the stress of getting everything ready, and the dour of the economy, but there is something inertly good about most people during this time.

A couple of nights ago I was watching the national news and they ran a story about children's (and adults) letters to Santa. This year, post office workers were reading a lot of letters (you know to filter them before they get to the big guy), and finding out that children were not asking for toys, but for clothes, and even food (cue Angela crying). Within minutes of the broadcast, ABC said they got a flood of emails and calls from viewers asking if they could be Santa's helpers for these children (cue Angela sobbing).  The thought of what complete strangers are willing to do for others, is always astounding. I hope it continues all year.

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday filled with love, joy, friends, family, good food, great wine, and lots of laughter!


Merry Christmas!

With love,
Ang & Ben

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Aftermath

Hands down--busiest quarter ever. Yet, probably also the most fulfilling--it's funny how those two typically go together. Besides teaching my own course, and the two papers that were finished and submitted for publication consideration, the general exams took over my life. I turned them in yesterday with a few hours to spare, and although I typically feel anxious about turning in final projects, this time I just felt done. I walked off UW campus and felt overwhelming tired. Hopefully they went well, but I guess I won't know until January.

Until then, I have promised myself that I will not think about my answers--in fact, what is uncharacteristically weird, is that I have not thought about anything. It's like my mind has gone completely blank. Maybe it has just shutdown, in an effort to rebuild and reboot later on. What I am most happy about though, is the reclaiming of the house. Here is what the study table (or the dining room table) has looked like for a few months:


Although they cannot all go back to the library at once, the returning has already started. Bring on the Christmas movies and couch time!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A few thoughts on bullying and more.

I thought this was pretty powerful, and commend Cindy McCain for speaking out, going against her husband's stance (John McCain). She (and others) point out one of the glaring problems with discrimination and bullying: our leaders' refusal to give equal rights to all.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Two Years.

At this time two years ago, I was walking down to get coffee for the crew coming in to set up for the reception (and by crew I mean lovely lovely friends and family). I cannot believe that Ben and I have now been married for two years. Since he has to work today we celebrated last night, first by watching the wedding video that Grace and Phil recorded (and I am eternally grateful to have a copy). We watched part of the ceremony, but basically skipped to the end to see the toasts, and comments from people at the reception. 

Ben and I both agreed that not only was that one of the most fun times of our lives, but that we wish we could live it over again, just to have the same group of people all in a room, having a good time. I am sure everyone remembers their own wedding the most fondly, but I just remember an atmosphere of joyfulness and celebration, of love and family, of laughter and dance.

At the rehearsal dinner
 
The past two years have been remarkable, set off by a wonderful night of our families and friends united together (and if I hadn't lost my laptop, I would include more pictures), and I am looking forward to the next 62. Oh, and thank you for the well wishes on the video....they are hilarious to say the least. And if you don't think you made an appearance...don't worry, you did.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Book Bindery

Here is a pretty sweet write-up in the Seattle Times about the restaurant where Ben is working: The Book Bindery. You know it's pretty popular when only after two weeks from opening, this cook's wife couldn't get in....on a Wednesday. I'm very excited to go someday and feast, or sample wine in their winery, or just peer in through the window, which sounds like it might be my only shot at it until after the holidays!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A sad day for the laptop

Ben and I had an accident on the plane ride to Atlanta a few weeks ago. In an effort to avoid spilling my water all over the laptop that Ben was watching a movie on, I handed him my water glass while I attempted to get back in my seat. He wasn't watching...I wasn't watching...an ever so unfortunate kick...water everywhere...laptop dead...no bueno.

A week later we visited the Apple Genius Bar for help. The nice man helping us told us it would cost $800 to fix and since it was two years old, our best bet would be to probably just buy a new one. Then his further justification led to this conversation:

Man at Apple store to me: "People typically replace their computers every three years."

Me to Apple store man: "Who are these millionaires?"

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ode to Summer

Oh summer, how I enjoyed thee...and how thankful I am that you are over.

Let me start off by saying that my summer was lots of fun. North Dakota, 4th of July with family, weddings, the long bike ride, Vegas, South Carolina, and getting to be outside during the week trying to keep up with the youngsters. (Yes, I even enjoyed the one week of cheer camp).

Shane, Jeremy, Gma, Me, Ben, Sean, Ashley
Grandma's House

Darla, Jen, Liz, Me, Marlene
4th of July in Longview

Self-portrait
STP, Day 2, 6 a.m.

(More Vegas pictures to come)

South Carolina

School doesn't start for 3 more weeks, which I will spend getting ready for the new term. I'm excited to once again teach college students, especially since I won't have to tell them to stop throwing sand, keep their shoes on, keep their limbs in on the merry go round, be good sports, etc. etc. PLUS its FALL (or just on the cusp)!!--where everything feels new again: sunny days, crisp cool nights, rainbow of foliage, football, holidays, and some Trader Joe's pumpkin pancake mix on the way.

Summer you were lovely, but I'll see you next year.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ben's Nieces and Nephew

In South Carolina, Ben and I got to spend a week with his nieces and nephew. They all have completely different personalities, which were fun to get to know since we don't get to see them very often. Those little buggers definitely kept us on our toes to say the least. We had a blast hanging out with them, and can't wait to see them again.

Laura

Charlie

Ella

Anna

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Straight out of a Pat Conroy Novel

We landed back in Seattle yesterday after spending a week in South Carolina. My images of the South are based off of what most of us rely on when we've never physically been somewhere: the media. The south to me, or at least the coastal south is full of moss covered trees and marshy beaches...basically how Pat Conroy has described it. And what a wonderful job he did. The real images matched my expectations. When asked what she might want from South Carolina Margaret joked that if I saw Mr. Conroy to grab a book and get an autograph, in which I replied I would grab two. Little to my knowledge that he lives on Fripp Island...and where did I spend 6 days last week? FRIPP ISLAND! No, I did not see him, but I thought it was a fun coincidence. Our trip was amazing, relaxing, and full of Ben's family who we hardly ever get to see. I'll post more pictures soon and tell some fun stories....like how there are alligators roaming around the island and on the golf course....scary. But until then here are some images of sweet South Carolina:

Off our back dock

By the boardwalk

Sunset off the dock

Gaye, Brian, and Ben
(It stormed this night as you can see from the clouds starting to form)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Viva Garth Vegas!

About six months ago, I got on a mailing list to be notified when Garth Brooks tickets were going on sale. Now I know some eyebrows just furrowed....and a question lept out of your mouth saying..."Garth Brooks?". Yes. Garth Brooks. He came out of retirement last year and is only playing shows at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, which are like gold to get your hands on. Why? Garth Brooks! The man used to sell out shows faster than anyone in history, and even if you think you do not know many GB songs...you are wrong. I bet you know at least five...at least. Anyways, the tickets sold out uber fast, BUT if you got on the mailing list they saved some tickets...and lured you in with a package deal. An email came saying I had 48 hours to call and claim my concert tickets and two nights at the Wynn Resort...oh yes I will thank you. I think I called in three hours just to make sure they weren't really going to give my tickets away. SO a long story short, this last weekend two old married ladies traveled to VIVA LAS VEGAS! There were no heels worn, no clubs hopped, and minimal gambled, but Jordan and I had a blast!


We met in VLV around noon on Friday, walked out to a wall of heat and a taxi line that rivals any Disneyland ride and set out for the Wynn Resort. At first I was a little upset that we HAD to stay at the Wynn, but not when I walked through its front door. The resort is amazing (resembles Wonderland), so amazing, that Jordan and I jumped up and down when we saw our hotel bathroom. The bathroom people. Most people don't spend much time in their rooms in VLV, however it was so nice, it could have served as a vacation spot unto itself.

Friday afternoon was spent walking the strip, dodging in and out of casinos to 1) check them out, and 2) to get some much needed AC. Hot is an understatement. On our way back to the hotel we popped into the discount tickets area (I was looking for Cher) and saw Phantom of the Opera tickets 1/2 off...oh yes we will thank you. So we hurried back to the Wynn, showered and headed out to the Venetian where we got our free drink at Tao and off to the show. Apparently the Venetian spent $26 million to set up Phantom, and it was noticeable. The show was amazing (yes, I will be using that word a lot in this post). The actors were incredible, and the chandelier dropped it like it was hot. A burger at Margaritaville, one Bellagio water show, and two old married ladies were in bed by midnight (give us a little credit, this is WAY past our normal bedtimes and we had been up since 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. respectively).

Day 2 started off with Jordan sleeping in (a rarity for a mom with two almost two year old twins), and me swimming and lounging by the pool. I went down around 7:30 to avoid the crowds, but also because it was already 90 degrees. After a relaxing breakfast on the terrace we headed out to the older end of the strip and popped into Circus Circus. Now the last time I was in VLV, Jen, Greg, and I got stuck in Circus Circus...literally. We had to shoot out a back alley after wondering aimlessly for 20 minutes trying to find an exit. I do not have fond memories, but that is all changed. Not only did I win $8.70 on a penny machine (living the high life right?), but also played blackjack for an hour walking out with more money than I walked in with...woo hoo! We had as the sign said, "slots-o-fun." Back to the hotel, a chance meeting with an old college friend (Beth Wertz) and it was time to get ready for Garth! A pre-show mojito and we sat down to our front row balcony seats...about 12 rows away from GB (small scream of happiness).


There are few words to describe the show. It was Garth, his guitar, and a tour through his life including all the music that inspired him or his family. He played his classics, but also Haggard, Jones, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Elton John, Randy Travis, George Straight, etc. etc. etc. Even if you're not a country fan, or a GB fan, you would have still had a blast. He was hilarious, told all these great stories about how songs came about, sang a surprise duet with Trisha Yearwood, and the whole time was wearing Carhart jeans, a sweatshirt, and baseball hat. He was gracious, genuine, and very down to earth...plus he played 30 minutes longer than expected, which was lame for the people waiting for the later concert I'm sure, but he could have played all night with no complaints in the audience. AMAZING!


Five hours of sleep and we were both back on planes out of VLV. It's definitely a different world down there, full of debauchery and any other word you can think of...but this old married lady had a fabulous time....slots o fun...if you will.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Case of the Thursdays.

Every Thursday, things start to change in sports camp. The kids are used to each other, tired of each other, tired in general, and a little bit over the whole thing. We call it "a case of the Thursdays." Crying because it's not our turn to get on the swing yet? Case of the Thursdays. Do not want to participate in any game...EVEN when it's the one they specifically chose to play? Case of the Thursdays. Etc.

The truth is that us counselors get a case of the Thursdays also because we are also used to the kids, tired in general, and a little bit over the whole thing. Yet, yesterday there was a bright spot that made it all better. I pretty sure I won't be able to describe it accurately, but it was one of the cutest things I had seen in a long time.

The all sports camp was playing a game of Pig Pen, where basically the kids hide and try not to get spotted by the kids designated as Farmers. If they are spotted they go to the Pig Pen until they are rescued by another...well...pig I guess. Hmmm....this game all of a sudden doesn't seem politically correct. Whatever.

Well, one of my favorite campers ever (Nicholas) who is about two feet tall, with an ear to ear smile and freckles, decides to curl himself in a ball in the open field. His tactic basically is "if I can't see you, OBVIOUSLY you can't see me." It might have been a case of the Thursdays, but I laughed until I almost cried. How cute is that? Other kids are hiding in bushes, running like banshees away from everyone, and Nicholas just decides to be a rock in the field....and the best part? It worked.

Thursdays are hard, but I'll take a case of the Nicholas Thursdays any day.

Happy Friday!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Where does summer go?

My grandma pointed out yesterday that this is the last week of July. Although I had some vague recollection of the date, I had not realized that summer was almost over. Yes, that is a little dramatic and a touch of an overstatement, but it always seems like summer goes so fast. Here I thought I would wait till August to start thinking about fall quarter, feeling in my bones that it was light years away...but no...just five days from now and I should be writing a syllabus and emailing professors about my upcoming exams. Where did summer go?

Ben and I still have a few trips planned (i.e. Vegas with Jordan and Garth Brooks, and a week long trip to the beaches of South Carolina), but camp (aka my summer job) is half way over, and my school procrastination is knocking at the front door. I sometimes miss the summers of youth that were not filled with obligations, but only one vacation, and hours and hours of riding bikes, eating ice cream, and waiting for school to start again with new clothes and a clean pencil holder. Yes, I was a little dorky and liked school, and apparently still am, but as a kid, it seemed like summer dragged on and school was a welcome relief. Come September I might feel that way too since fall is my favorite time of year (as seen here), but right now I am dreaming of a long last week of July....and thoughts of fun summers past:

In Disneyland

On the water (sorry girls, I look pretty sweet myself)


Backpacking with friends (Herb & Ben)

At the beach

Rolling around town

Happy summer everyone. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

204 Miles of...Soreness and Accomplishment

For Ben's 30th birthday present, I signed him and myself up for the Seattle to Portland bike ride, along with recruiting some friends to attempt the journey with us. I mean, who wouldn't want to ride 204 miles for their birthday? At the time (early February) I figured we had, oh I don't know, five months to train, so it wouldn't be a problem...you know, more about the journey than the destination.

Well the short story is we didn't train. Nope, not at all. The one 40 mile ride to Redhook doesn't count in my mind, since we stopped in the middle for 2 hours and ate nachos. But there we were crossing the start line on Saturday at 6:05 a.m....happy, optimistic, and woefully unprepared.

(At the start line)

The first part of the ride is beautiful. We rode down by Lake Washington and at this point the sun was starting to rise so it was really quite breathtaking. Then the sun went away and it was very very cold, but I had on knee length blue polka dotted socks which kept me warm, and also drew a lot of compliments I found out. Later on I realized that I was kind of a mile marker for people, because for some reason, although there are 10,000 riders, you pass and repass a lot of the same people. Anyways....we stopped at the 22 mile stop and then again at 55, mostly riding all together. Then things changed.

After the Day 1 mid-way point, we seemed to separate and that is when things got tough. Miles 55-70 are along this uber busy highway where you ride single file with a headwind and just your thoughts. Yuck. I stopped at the next stop by myself, and the boys stopped at mile 70 to wait for us. Once there, they took off wanting to make it to Centralia before 4 p.m. I called Annabelle who was a few miles back and not feeling well (stupid migraine), so she opted out which was super sad, but in hindsight probably a smart decision. The sun was starting to come out, and so was the pain. My knees hurt, my legs were worn out, and I won't even talk about my tush...that's saved for Day 2.
(Ben and Allan at the 70 mile stop)

Miles 70-85 were along this cool trail that resembles the Burke-Gilman, and I chatted to the unicorn ladies and other fellow riders I had met along the way. But by this time, I was stopping every 7-10 miles to stretch, rub my knees, and suck down some Gu, or other energy helpers. Thankfully...oh so thankfully I made it to Centralia at 4:15 p.m. To be honest, I really thought I wasn't going to be able to make it the next day. Everything was sore and stiff and my knees were done. I was so tired that I crawled into my sleeping bag at 7:45 and didn't even brush my teeth (a big deal for those who know my teeth hygiene habits). Then as if I blinked, it was 5:15 a.m. Day 2.
(At our camp site, 99.3 miles into the ride)

Day 2 started out...well sore. We popped some Ibprofin and headed out to the Chevron station for breakfast and the bathroom. This is the one thing I would do differently if we do it again. There are tons of organized stops with food and bathrooms, but the lines are stupid and add so much down time which in the end makes you more tired. So Day 2, we only stopped at one organized stop, and instead went to gas stations or other places where there were no lines and no chaos. When you are at a place with thousands of riders and their bikes, it gets a little nuts. Anyways, we started Day 2 at 6:45 and after suffering one flat, we were off through the rolling hills. The first 20 miles to Winlock are amazing. Up and down, up and down, where the ups are manageable and the downs are cruise worthy. This was my favorite part of the whole ride in terms of scenario and pedalability (yes, I made up that word).

This is one of my favorite photos of the trip. If you look to the left of Allan, you will see the world's biggest egg, located in Winlock Washington. We then rode to Lexington where the two nicest ladies were waiting with turkey sandwiches and Cool Ranch Doritos.

Yep, mom and gma were waiting to cheer us on, and allowing us to bypass the chaos at the organized stop a mile back. We took a nice lunch break and then rode through Longview and over the Lewis and Clark bridge into Oregon. I also liked this part of the ride a lot, since I knew where we were. Over the bridge and the sign said 48 miles to Portland. We were 75% done by this point, but my butt was 100% done. Sore, is an understatement.

We rode Highway 30 to Portland, and although the organizers of the ride said there were only two hills the whole trip, their pants are probably still on fire from being liar liars, because the whole damn ride was an incline, especially on Hwy 30. Some guy even passed me and said, "I sure am tired of these hills." Me too my friend, me too.

Once I saw this sight I almost cried with happiness:

Portland was in sight. As I wrote before, I really was worried I wasn't going to be able to do it. We had joked that we would ride to Longview, get breakfast at the Pancake House and my dad would drive us the rest of the way. When we reached Lexington and saw my mom and gma, I knew we could physically do it, but not until I saw this bridge did it really sink in. The fun part of Day 2 was that I kept up with the boys the whole way so we entered Portland together and finished just under 4 p.m....faster riding then the day before.

At the finish line were Annabelle, Jen, Katie, and Mark cheering us across, which was an amazing sight. We were so tired, so sore, BUT....

WE DID IT!

The next couple of days were filled with rest and friends, but this picture of Ben describes how we felt:

If you look closely you will see that Ben fell asleep with one shoe on, and 1/2 a sock hanging off. Happy 30th Birthday Ben, you did amazing!

Monday, June 21, 2010

And an Adventure it was...

To start with...this post will never capture how terrified and scared my mom, grandma, and I were last Thursday afternoon. I cannot even put into words the absurdity of the situation, and even though it's a pretty remarkable story to tell...I probably could have done without it.

Last Thursday, my mom, gma, and I headed out on our trip to Edinburg, North Dakota to bury my grandfather's ashes in the dark North Dakota soil where growing up he picked and hauled potatoes and every other thing you could imagine to earn money. Before he passed, he would always tell stories of fond memories he had growing up in Edinburg and how we would still like to go back and haul potatoes. It seemed fitting to take him home.

So us three ladies boarded a plane to Minneapolis out of Seattle followed by a connection to Grand Forks, ND. The first plane ride was unmemorable and I can tell you all about running from one end of the airport to the next with only 20 minutes to connect and switching gates, and not having time to eat or pee, but that is boring, and besides the point.

We finally get on our little 50 seater to Grand Forks, and take off. The ride is only 44 minutes, and it is going pretty smooth. But then, the plane makes a sweeping turn 30 minutes in and the captain comes on and says, "Bad news everyone. We have an engine indicator light on and it's not causing a problem right now, but they don't want to land a plane where they cannot service it, so we're heading back to Minneapolis." Basically I heard "engine problem" and started to panic. Then he told us the temperature was going up in the engine, but we should be fine...blah blah blah...then he got on and said he had power again so we're fine. AGAIN? Does that mean we didn't at one point? Finally we were back in Minneapolis and headed to another broken plane with the same passengers and crew. This time it was the bathroom, but I didn't care as long as all the necessities worked: engine, wings, landing gear, pilots, etc.

So literally after 30 minutes from landing we were back in the sky headed to Grand Forks again...phew...BUT then the captain comes on and says drinks are on him and we better have one because there are thunderstorms ahead. Sidenote: Most of you don't know, but maybe you do, that I'm not the best flier. Yes, I will board the plane and can probably maintain a conversation, but it is not my favorite thing to do, and if the plane so much as sneezes, I freak out. Needless to say, my gin and tonic was gone in 2 seconds.

So here we are 30 minutes into our 2nd flight to Grand Forks and the plane starts to freak out... and I mean FREAK out. Up, down, side to side, and not like "oh Angela were there a few bumps you sissy?"...no like the plane was out of control and everyone was wondering if it was going to tip over freak out. Mom and I are holding hands, grandma can't even look at us, and the plane is silent. But it doesn't end here...oh no.

Finally we are out of the storm and the sky looks better out of gma's window then mine, BUT then the captain comes back on (mom poignantly said later on our way back to Seattle that everyone time she heard the crackle of the pilot's mike her heart dropped) and says, "just to make this trip even more interesting, we are going to circle for a while, because they just cleared the flight tower because of a tornado." WHAT???? A TORNADO???? "But don't worry we have plenty of gas." Oh good, because I need one more thing to think about.

Circling...circling...circling...

"We have an update everyone, there is a plane in front of us and they are going to attempt to land. If they make it down okay, we should be on the ground in 11 minutes."

1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, no descending, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, not one flipping foot lower in altitude....9 minutes...

"Ladies and gentlemen, we're going to stay up here a little longer, the plane in front of us was 1 mile from the runway and a tornado touched down on the field. They cleared the flight tower again."

Panic, disbelief, uncertainty....waiting.

Circling...circling...circling...

"All right everyone, the storm is coming in on both sides of us. We have a pocket to land, so we're going to attempt to land." ATTEMPT? By this time, I could have parachuted out of the plane I wanted out so bad. I told my mom I would rather ride a donkey back to North Dakota then fly there again.

Thankfully the two best pilots in the whole world put us safely on the ground. I could have kissed them both. My gma's cousin Lana was at the airport waiting to pick us up and she told us for over an hour the tornado sirens blared and they were all stuck in the basement of the airport just in case this tornado hit:


Yes, this picture is courtesy of the Grand Forks Herald, and was one of the few that touched down at the airport that day. The plane in front of us landed in Fargo, and we were apparently one minute from heading there ourselves. Thankfully we didn't, because I probably would have boarded a train back to Seattle, rather then get on another plane.

We then waited in the airport to ride this out:

video

The rest of the trip was less adventurous, thankfully, besides the next day when you could barely step outside without getting blown down the street. But on Saturday we got grandpa all settled at home and that day the sun shone so bright, with the most beautiful sunset, almost as a thank you. We know he is now finally at peace, and so are we.

The two flights back were filled with high anxiety for the unexpected, but thankfully again they were normal. We did experience some turbulence over Montana, which I am guessing is from the tornados they also experienced yesterday. I know that we were very fortunate, because the tornados caused a lot of damage to areas of North Dakota and Minnesota, with lives lost. However, if I never fly during extreme weather again, I would not cry.

Right now, I am happy to keep my two feet on the ground...at least for a little while...and so are these two ladies:


Look how happy everyone is on board the plane back to Seattle. After this trip, everyone was ready to come home.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Back on the Wagon

...and on the blog too.

I'm not going to lie. After New York, I fell off the wagon. And not so much as just fell and left, but was dragged along behind it for a while. Since November, my running has been sporadic...3 times a week, no running for two weeks, etc. But now I'm ready to get back on.

The problem is that for penance for getting off, you have to earn your way back on. Forget flashing your "I ran a marathon four months ago ticket"...it's expired. Why? Because when you take 4 months off of anything, you lose it.

So currently I'm pushing, at times pulling the wagon, and it sucks. The miles are tough, my breathing labored, and the little voice inside my head is going: you did this to yourself sucker! And to be honest...I'm slightly afraid that I might bail again.

To counter this, I need inspiration--more inspiration than tight pants (which is starting to happen). Tight pants do not make me eat less cheese....I can't, it's too good...nor do they stop me from eating so many Zours that my tongue bleeds...so I need to exercise.

No, my inspiration lies in accomplishment; from both myself and others. My own inspiration is now signed up for the Rock n' Roll 1/2 marathon in June, and the Seattle to Portland bike ride in July. I'm also toying with the idea of running the full Portland marathon...we'll see. Until then, I will strive for my goals, and look to the lovely people around me for additional inspiration. What kind you ask? Well...

The inspiration that comes from seeing your mom brush off the running shoes and getting out there 5-6 days a week (sometimes twice); from your grandma taking daily hour long walks; from watching you husband suffer through excruciating pain to cross the finish line; from watching your best friend challenge herself to do something that was never her strongest area (way to conquer Lake Union Katie!); from watching Becky become a dolphin, and punish her first triathlon; from having friends who will sign up for races with you on a whim (thank you Sara); from friends who continuously will sign-up with you for numerous events and push push push you to be faster, but still eat nachos afterwards (Miss Allen); from watching former 'non' runners pick up the sport and become certified runners (minus the certificate--nice job Sara G.); from having your twin call and say she was inspired to finish a 1/2 marathon before turning 30; and many many more (Kelsey, et. al.).

Of course, inspiration comes from non-running/athletic achievements, and any time any of you put yourselves out there and do something that takes effort and determination, you are an inspiration to me.

Tally Ho!