Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fritz's Wedding...

...Saturday we went to Matt's friend's wedding. It was held at All Saints at 2pm and then the reception was at All Occasions that evening. I went and got my haircut and had Miranda fix my hair for the wedding as well (yes, I planned that! I always get my hair cut when I have something to do that night, no need to waste a good hair day on nothing!). It had a small braid with my bangs then was curled and half back. Here it was (I was trying to pose with Shadow but he got cut out of the picture), keep in mind this was AFTER we got home from the reception so heat, humidity, sweat, etc...all kind of deflated it by this point:

Here is Matt and Mandi who made a gorgeous bride
YEAH! Me and Chuck! He HATES having his picture taken so we have a deal where I get my "birthday gift" from Chuck which is our annual photo together. This is our 2010 photo:

I was trying to get a photo of everyone dancing and Matt thought he was super cool by flashing me peace symbols. Yeah babe-you're awesome! Peace to you too.

I wish this photo wasn't weird lighting and so grainy because I think it's a great picture of both of us (and you will RARELY hear me say that I like a photo of myself, so you must know I REALLY like it). I even wore my Lia Sophia ring. I've worn this outfit to another wedding last summer, I call it my Top Model outfit. This year, it's either shrunk in the dryer or I've grown a few inches so I had to be careful about bending over. Matt helped me out in this department by blocking me when I leaned over to sign the guestbook, however, it did make for an awkward slow dance since I could only put my hands on his biceps so my dress wouldn't raise too much. Guess I'll have to retire this dress soon...so sad! :(
It was a fun night and great to see some old friends we haven't seen in awhile. We thought we might have to deliver our friend Stephanie's baby who is due any day! The guys wanted to do the 'ole Night at the Roxbury SNL dance with her in hopes it would get the baby moving, she graciously denied (thank you Steph for ALL of us). Congrats Brian and Mandi! May you have a long and happy marriage!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mike Shannon's...

...last Friday, Amy, her husband Chris and I enjoyed a great evening at Mike Shannon's which was participanting in Downtown Restaurant Week. I think we all left happy, full and loving the food there!
Chris and I both ordered the t-rav for an appetizer. Holy moly! There were a ton of those things, definitely enough for two but I still gobbled mine up. Amy ordered the crab cake and we all agreed that appetizers got two thumbs up.

All three of us got salads. I had the House salad which was like a St. Louis salad. I told Amy how much I loved St. Louis salad and she laughed at me because I'm pretty sure every time we get together, I have had that! Chris and Amy both ordered the wedge and I think we all would give our salads two thumbs up as well.

Now for our main courses, we all went different. I ordered the strip with Irish pototoes! YUM!!! I was so full from the first two course though that I didn't eat the whole thing so I had it wrapped up and let Matt enjoy it.

Amy ordered the filet with asparagus but was a good wife and let Chris eat the tips of the asparagus. I'm with Chris though on that, the tips are the best part. Chris took our waiters advice and ordered the rib eye that had been marinated for 72 hours, his came with baby carrots. After we all finished the third course, once again I'm pretty sure we'd all give two thumbs up! When we were leaving, they gave us a $25 voucher to come back and use between November and March for participating in Downtown Restaurant Week. I thought that was pretty awesome.

After dinner, it was such nice weather that we all walked a block over to 1. make sure my car wasn't towed and 2. to show them my dad's brick at the stadium. I'm sure they were VERY impressed with that. I asked Chris to snap a picture of Amy and I to commerate the evening:
Thanks Chris and Amy for a great evening out! Can't wait to do it again and definitely can't wait for next year's Downtown Restaurant Week!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Runners 4 Luke...

Calling all runners, walkers and dog lovers!!! On September 12, CHADS Coalition is putting on a 5k/10k walk-run and a 3k walk for you and your furry friends. My friend Angie is organizing Runners 4 Luke for the second year to remember her son Luke who was killed outside the St. Louis Zoo in 2001. This past May, the Zoo dedicated the new Crossing Bridge in memory of Luke, you can read about it here.

We would love for you to come be a part of our team Runners 4 Luke. Even if you don't know Luke, it's nice to have the support out there plus this is a great organization that the event is raising money for. We're ordering shirts on Monday for everyone on the team to run in (no extra cost to you!) so head over to their website and sign up then be sure to email me your shirt size before Monday. Hope you all can come enjoy the day with us and support an awesome cause!

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Adventure on the Katy Trail...

...so this past Sunday, Matt was at the farm and I'd been invited to go to Montelle Winery for my friend's birthday. Being that I was lazy all weekend, and most of last week (I only ran 11 miles total last week which is no bueno in marathon training), I decided since I had the time, I would bike to the winery, visit for awhile then bike back to my car.

I started this ride on the Katy Trail by myself at the Weldon Spring mark. On the first half of the ride, I was smiling and feeling great. Between Klondike Park and Augusta, I stopped to call my friends to see if I should keep going or had missed it. They didn't answer so I decided in my best interest to turn around and head back. This was the halfway point so it took me an hour for 8.1 miles. It may have been a little further so this mileage is just an estimate.

Katy Trail as some great sites and I only pulled my camera out once to take this pic which is way cooler in person:

On the way back, I went to grab my water bottle, went off course and flew head over handlebars right into a pile of dirt and rock. I got up, dusted off as best I could and got back on the bike. I wasn't too upset but the more I kept pedaling, the more my butt hurt, my hands hurt, my bum knee hurt (thanks 'ole high school injury) and I was THIRSTY! I'd drank all of my water and I felt like I wasn't going ANYWHERE.
When I finally made it back to Defiance, I stopped in this little bike shop where people can rent bikes and they have air for people to use. It's a nice little stop along the way. I ran inside to grab a Gatorade-oh orange Gatorade, you have never tasted more delicious than you did in that moment!

Got BACK on the trail knowing I didn't have TOO much further to do. I was so close to the end yet so...far...away! I went to grab another drink of my Gatorade when this lady passed me, kind of suprising me and then she went to cut over like as soon as she'd passed and I kind swerved a little and she yelled at me!?! I know, my fault but she could have rode a couple more feet before cutting me off. ANYWAYS, at this point, I just am done and want to finish.

I'm out of Gatorade, still thirsty and now on the verge of tears because I felt like I did awesome to start off and then horrible the second half. I think in half-delirium, I was questioning why I was about to cry. I compared it to life...pedaling away and getting nowhere. Then I saw the sign I'd been waiting on, the sign for Weldon Springs!!! I pedaled as hard as I could and finished! So it took me about 1.5 hours to do the second 8.1 miles.

Oh the way home, I treated myself to a Sonic Campfire Blast for $1.09, which I feel I rightly deserved. When I got home, I went in the backyard to rinse off my legs and arms from the tumble I took. OMG! The water from the hose was like scalding!!! Got all my cuts cleaned up then went inside to chill with the pups, iced my knee and watched a couple episodes of "Snapped." I was a little concerned since my knee was bothering me that it might affect my running this week. I might be taking a break from cycling but then again, when do I ever learn from my mistakes?! I'm sure I'll be biking again sometime soon! Happy Friday everyone!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Casey Up to Bat!!!

...this past Saturday, my good friend Beth and her fiance, Casey, came into town for his softball tournament. Due to the crazy weather we had on Friday night, his games got delayed 4 hours. After a quick bite to eat, we did what any friends would do that haven't seen each other...we watched the marathon of "America's Next Top Model"! Beth had gotten off work at midnight and woke up at 6am to get on the road so needless to say, she needed a little siesta.

Casey's game was supposed to start at 4pm but didn't end up starting until 4:45. He had the best cheering section....me, Beth and Emma! When I arrived at the ballpark, Beth met me and we started walking towards the game. Of course, Emma felt the need to stop and potty. At the time, I was on the phone, holding Emma and carrying my lawnchair, water/bowl for Emma and a drink for myself. Emma decided to go #2 so I set the chair down to get the bag off the leash to clean up and wouldn't you know it, my chair falls smack into the middle of the poop!?! Grrr...no worries, quick fix and we were good to go.

Right at the start of the game, I lightly touched my sunglasses and those things cracked!?! Then about halfway through the game, this bird comes flying STRAIGHT AT BETH'S HEAD!?! It was insane! It was a nice, fun, relaxing way to spend some good quality time with Beth. After the game, she and I headed to The Cheesecake Factory where after 45 minutes of waiting, we found out there was ZERO wait outside (which it was really cool and not too humid). Grrr! We sat outside, was served fast and were in HEAVEN as we split a piece of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake Cheesecake. OMG!!! This just confirmed my love for peanut butter even more.

Here's Casey and Beth before his game:
Casey at the bat! Beth kept talking about that book and no one had any idea what she was talking about.
Thanks for coming to visit! Maybe next time you come, the bathroom will FINALLY be finished!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Wonderings...

...just a random post for a random Wednesday...

*I got a new screen for my laptop so I'm back in business and loving it! They even updated my computer to Windows 7. Sweet! Back to blogging from my comfy red chair.

*Okay so I know the economy is bad but I miss the little perks from businesses! Last fall, our dentist quit giving out free toothbrushes (I didn't believe Matt when he came home without a new one but my hygienist confirmed when I went in the spring.) No fortune cookies from our favorite Chinese restaurant. No snacks for the pups at their vet visit either. Please look up economy so we can get the perks back among other things!

*Matt and I finally got our massages that we got as a wedding gift last Thursday! We were just trying to draw out the gifts as long as possible. JK! It was a nice, relaxing time.

*Anyone watching Big Brother? OMG! Last Thursday was INSANE! I don't like Matt (on BB, not my husband!), he reminds me of James from a couple seasons ago.

*I swear my Yahoo headline in my email has been "Boats head to teen sailor drifting in Indian Ocean" for at least two months...am I missing an update on this?

*Anyone going to St. Louis Downtown Restaurant Week? Last year, it was earlier in August and Matt and I went to Mosaic to celebrate the end of camp. You can read my review here but the coolest thing ever, and I still talk about it, is that my salad dressing was brought out in a pipette! How cool!!! This Friday, Amy and I are going to Mike Shannon's and I'm SOOOOO excited about it! Matt is going on a bachelor party for our best man (you all know my feelings on that) so I told him, well my meal will be $25 so I think you should only spend $25 as well. He inserted his own eye roll there. Oh well-it was worth a shot!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tri Girls Trophy!!!

...so we whined and moped and pouted around the office enough that the race director (another co-worker) gave in and gave us awards for our first place finish in the tri last weekend!!! I think these are even better than the medals they gave out because they are personalized!

Complete with team pic, date and our time! Don't mind that you can see my reflection in the plaque. Hopefully Tri Girls will make another triathlon sometime and give the other teams a run for their money!

Monday, August 23, 2010

'Twas the Night Before First Grade...

...this past Wednesday, my little Hay Hay started the first grade!!! I can't believe how much she's grown up in what seems like so little time. On Tuesday, her mom let her pick out something to do as an end-of-summer good time. She picked painted pottery! Geez-us Holyfield women are all the same that its kind of funny.

After we looked around the store for about 20 minutes, we all figured out what we were going to make. I settled on this:
It is a four piece coaster set and it goes inside that black holder thing. Being that we have six weddings in the next two months, I thought this was a cute and unique gift. Their last name will be starting with an "H" and the bride's name starts with an "S" and the groom a "C." You would think four little square things wouldn't take long at all to paint, right? WRONG! It took my almost two hours to paint those babies. I hope they turn out okay. If you can tell in the picture, some paint got under my "H" sticker so it'll have a little blue spot. Oh well, it'll just give it character.

Haley, err her mom, made this little pencil, scissor, whatever you want to hold holder for her new first grade teacher for Christmas. Again, we are all so much alike, I already have three gifts for Matt done and those were all purchased last spring! Anyways, Haley blew bubbles and it left a pretty cool design on this thing. Don't worry, I'm sure I'll have "after" pictures to show you all as well. Whew...I bet you can sleep better tonight now, can't ya?
I also saw a spoon holder that I asked Haley to make me. I asked her two Christmas-es ago for a spoon holder and I got a snowman one that stays out year round. I mean just because it's not snow season doesn't mean I don't need a spoon holder!
We went to Baked Goods off Gravois. In their bathroom, they have the walls decorated with tiles that people have made or left behind. I came out and told Haley next time the owners were in, she should ask if she could make a tile for the bathroom. The guy working heard me and brought us over a tile to paint! All in all, we were busy little painters!
On Wednesday, she called me after school. Here was our convo:
Me: "Hey Little Sister! How was the first grade?"
Hay: "Awe-some!"
Me: "Yeah? Why was it so awesome? What did you learn?"
Hay: "We learned about pennies and Abe Lincoln!"
Oh how I miss those days of awesome-ness when all it took was pennies and Abe Lincoln!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Uncle Will's Visit...

...whew everyone! It's Friday and I'm just now finishing up my recap from LAST weekend!!! This 'ole girl is wore out! After the tri on Sunday, we went home and rested, Matt slept for almost 4 hours!?! Then we headed over to his mom's house for dinner with Uncle Will. Dinner was delicious and Uncle Will was a pretty neat guy.

After his visit here in STL, he's headed to Georgia to visit his friend Paul, or PJ as he referred to him. They've known each other since 1944!!! I asked him how they met and he went on to tell us about this huge road trip they took like three days after he got out of the Navy and went from Kansas to Texas to California to Reno to Colorado and when they finally made it home...his friends convinced him to go to Alaska where he met his wife! Here's the whole fam after dinner: He's 84 years old yet when they were asking me about the tri and my running, he jumped in and told me all about the Firecracker 5k he did (it took him about a mile to warm up and then he passed all the walkers!) and how he'd hiked 9 miles up Pike's Peak and 9 miles back down. I hope I'm doing those sort of things at 84!!!
He was also cute because his sister gave him a disposable camera and told him to take pictures. So as soon as Matthew and I got there, he pulled the camera out of his front shirt pocket and made us get together for a picture then he snapped a few more after dinner. So Uncle Will, it was great to meet you! I hope you have a very safe trip and next time maybe we can hear some more of your fun stories!

Happy Friday everyone! I'm working this evening and other than that, I don't have a darn thing planned other than to get some good runs in and rest!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Boys & Pups During Jelly Time...

...Matt and the pups went with me to Katie's as well. We first had to stop for gas on the way there, Emma is a freak dog and hid under the truck box while at the gas station. Once we got on the open road though, she was totally going for the wind-in-hair thing. OH! And at one point, Katie and I had to leave in the car to go get more sugar. We chained Emma up on one of those running line things, well, the boys thought when we were out of sight that they could let her off. Um...bad idea! Kevin called Katie telling us to stop before the main road, um...yeah, Emma met us about 1/2 mile from their house!!! She's so silly, I love her and she obviously loves me!Once we got there, we walked around and got our dogs acquainted with theirs. Um...we have some major city dogs. Here's Shadow panting and about to pass out just like 20 minutes after we got there. Luckily, shortly after this photo, he finally realized he could get in and cool off in the baby pool!
The boys split wood all morning. Katie and Kevin are gearing up for the winter months.After lunch, the boys AKA Kevin fixed my bike tire. Katie has a road bike that she said I could use if I decide to do a triathlon on my own in the spring. So there's some motivation for me.Once the tire was fixed, Kevin and I took it for a test ride. He also gave me a crash course in what each gear means. Notice our gang of doggies, made it a little hazardous as they would just jump right in front of you.
Another busy, fun, HOT day with the friends! The doggies slept VERY well that evening.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Japapeno Jelly...

...so last week, Katie calls me because she found a mix (I keep wanting to call it apoxy which I know is paint so help me out Katie and leave a comment with that it's called) to make jalapeno jelly. What a good friend...she was willing to help me out with my abundance of jalapeno issue! So we set a date and this past Saturday, I made my way to her house.

The recipe called for 12 ounces of jalapenos which would be about 12 medium size jalapenos. Friday afternoon, I picked about 20 and packed my laundry basket of things to take-seriously, you would have thought I was moving in! Matt looked at he bowl and said we needed more so he picked a couple more handfuls of BABY jalapenos-those suckers were hard to cut.

Anyways, after a little visiting, I broke out the plastic gloves and begin cutting and de-seeding these jalapenos. Katie began the steaming process. FYI-she has the coolest kitchen appliances!
After the steaming was done, we had to puree them with one cup apple cider. Um...let me just tell you now that this uh..did not look appealing and by this point, the entire house smelt of jalapenos and I was having a jalapeno induced asthma attack...that stuff was in my nose, in my throat, I think it even got in my brain!After a minor incident of some overflowing jalapeno jelly mix and moving it to a bigger bowl, we were finally ready to can!One jar of jalapeno jelly coming right up!
Ta-da! Part of our finished products! We ended up making six jars in which we split, I took 3 and she kept 3. I've heard this is pretty good if you serve it with crackers and cream cheese. Of course, Matt put some right on his BLT that we had for lunch. The stuff she had also listed recipes for other jellies and jams you could make so we might get together again and try out some other stuff. So thanks for taking some jalapenos off our hands!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3 Monkeys and 6 Bloggers...

...equals one fantastic time! This past Friday, we had an STL Blogger Dinner at 3 Monkeys. After driving through hella traffic, can I just say that I'm so glad I don't fight traffic every day and even when I think I am, it's nothing compared to the city, I finally made it there parking like 4 blocks away.

As we sat down, we quickly ordered some Spinach Artichoke Dip-half price appetizers baby!!! It was delicious. I made a reservation for 10 but some people cancelled so we ended up with six so we offered to move to a smaller table so our waitress could take another table. All was good with the waitress then Heidi asked how big the 12" pizza was and it went down hill from there! Aimee ordered her pizza first and got the 16" incher which was only $2 more than the 12" so she could take some home to her hubby. I didn't want to look like a bad wife so I also ordered a 16" as did Sarah. Heidi was the smart one that got the 12" because that would have been plenty for dinner AND some. Here's our table of assorted pizza:
Once the pizza arrived, we didn't have any table space!!! So we had to make a few adjustments, box up pizza BEFORE we ate and stack a few plates but once all the work was done...it was pretty darn good! When I called Matt to tell him I was on my way home and I had dinner for him, he was pretty excited. He knows I usually bring the leftovers home for him and no, Heidi, he didn't get in trouble for eating them!

As usually, the conversation was great and the women at the table were amazing. I love having such great friends that I simply met through blogging. Although we were bummed that a few people cancelled, I'm excited because that means we get to do another one soon so they can come play too!!!

Here's Angie, myself and HeidiRandall, Sarah and AimeeSo thanks for a fun evening ladies! Can't wait to do it again.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tri Girls...

...well, the triathlon was yesterday. Let me just start off by saying I heart race days. It's what you work so hard to prepare for and the buzz and excitement is just something I can't describe. I'm in a fabulous mood the whole time I'm there.

Here is our team TRI GIRLS: (L to R) Amy (biker), me (swimmer), Shelley ( runner)
Whoa! Free tickets to the gun show! You're welcome!!!I started us off in the swim. I figured this was an okay picture to show of me in my swimsuit. Proof that I did it yet far enough away to not scare you all off. I finished 300 yards in 5 minutes and 11 seconds which is about 10 seconds faster than I'd been training so I was very excited about that.

Let me just tell you that swimming alone or with one or two other people in the pool is VERY different than this serpentine swim. At one point, I looked up and some guy was trying to pass a lady going the opposite way I was going so it really messed up my rhythm of breathing. And just because you tap someone on the foot (which means-dude, I'm right up on you, move out the way!) doesn't mean they take the hint. I tapped the lady in front of me twice on the foot in our last lane. I should have made a move to pass but at that point, I knew I didn't have it in me to pass her and finish strong so I decided to just stay steady and not push it.My teammate Shelley was at the end of every lane cheering me on and when I got out she handed me my towel so I didn't have to run entirely in just my suit to tag Amy. I yelled as I was running up the stairs, "Amy! I'm coming!!!" She still didn't hear me and I hesitated a second to cut across the mount line to tag her for fear of being ran over by another biker but it was all good.

Once Amy took off, Matt and I headed back down to the pool in which he told me he was going to leave. I looked at him surprised and asked, "Are you going to come back and get me?" He laughed and said he was just going to take pics of Amy on the course-what a sweet husband! He got some really good ones too. Amy biked 18 miles in 1 hour 7 minutes and 18 seconds.While she was biking, I went back to the pool and cheered on a fellow DMer and two of my camp counselors. At one point, I heard another person cheering for Dustin and I looked back, "You must be mom! I'm Dustin's boss!" She was so sweet telling me how proud she was of him and how she was almost in tears watching him swim. After they finished in the pool, I headed up to watch Amy tag off to Shelley.

Anyone in a red jersey and gray helmet, we thought was Amy-we did this about 10 times. When she came and we started cheering for her, she yelled out, "Shelley! I'm coming!!!" I was cracking up as Shelley took off.

Shelley is just amazingly super speedy so we knew we didn't have much time to get to the finish line. I did get there in time to snag this awesome pic. Shelley finished her leg of the race which was a 5k run in 23 minutes and 34 seconds. Woohoo!!!

Our overall team time was 1 hour 36 minutes and 3 seconds which was under our goal so we were all extremely happy with that. There were 14 teams, in which they didn't break them up into men's/women's/co-ed but out of 14 teams, we got 5th place! Not too shabby, huh?

UPDATE: If they had separated out the teams into Men's, Women's and Co-Ed as they have done in the past, we would have been the first place women's team and beat the second place team by 10 minutes!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekend Excitement...

...so I'm pretty excited about the weekend ahead of me! It starts at 11am when I get off work today. I took a half day of vacation...why? No reason really, I'm just burning it so I don't lose it but the fun starts right after I get off work. I have a hot date with a man that runs like a machine and is tall, dark and handsome...his name? Treadmill #15. I plan on running at least two hours or as long as can on that bad boy. What a way to spend vacation days, huh?

Then Friday evening, we're having our STL Bloggers' Dinner at 3 Monkeys. Angie, Heidi, Randall, Sarah, Amy, Jenn, Cece and Aimee will be in attendance. I'm really excited for this. Some of these ladies I have already met, others I haven't so it should be a good time getting to know everyone and a fun ladies night out.

Saturday morning I'm headed down to Gray Summit to visit Katie. She's going to help me get rid of all those jalapenos. We're going to attempt to make Jalapeno Jelly!!! I'm also taking my bikes with me and her hub is going to take a look at our bikes. See...it's like bartering...here are some jalapenos in exchange for bike services! FYI-I'd go without the bike services, the friendship and fun times is well worth the trip there.

Saturday afternoon, we're supposed to go to a House Warming Party for a couple of Matt's friends. We went to their wedding back in May. Matt is supposed to work that evening so it's not decided as to whether or not we'll make the trip to their house but I'm hoping we do because we haven't seen them SINCE their wedding!

Bright and early Sunday morning is the triathlon. I'm only swimming so hopefully my part will be done in less than 6 minutes. I'm most nervous about getting out of the pool and falling when I run to tag my teammate. We got some sweet shirts made for our team although I will only be wearing mine AFTER my part of the tri. I'm sure I'll have pictures to post.

Then Sunday afternoon, Matt's great uncle who I've never met and Matt's not even sure who or how he's an uncle (boys! I'm pretty sure it's his grandpa's brother on his mom's side) is going to be in town so we're supposed to be doing something with the fam also.

So there's what lies ahead of me in the next 2.5 days...OH! I also need to sneak in 16 miles of running too...where? I have no idea but I'm sure I'll figure it out. Hope you guys have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tri-ing it On Sunday...

...so Sunday is the triathlon. I know I'm just 1/3 of my three-women team but I'm getting kind of nervous!!! At first we'd all signed up to just do it but now that registration is closed and we took at look at the competition, we realized there's only 6 female teams. So we basically have a 1 in 6 chance of placing in the top three....insert nerves and pressure!

I am by NO means a professional swimmer, athlete, runner, etc...I'm just working out and doing stuff to push myself and see how far I can go. My two other teammates, of which one is my boss, are pretty competitive and pretty good at what they do. Our runner is hoping to finish her 5k in under 21 minutes!?! Our team goal is to finish in under 1 hour and 40 minutes. I'm thinking (and hoping) it'll take me about 6 minutes, the biker 1 hour 10 minutes and our runner 21 minutes so that's a total of 1 hour and 37 minutes plus add in transition times so 1:40 is our goal.

Today is going to be my last day to swim before the tri. I've swam and timed myself like 4 times in the past week and I've averaged about 5 minutes 25 seconds for the 300 yards. Yesterday was the fastest I've swam it at 5:22. When the coordinator of the event started setting start times on Tuesday, I found out I was in the top swimming start times (you have to list your own). That's when I started freaking out!!! I don't want to be in the top, I'm so afraid I'm going to get swam on top of or passed by like 5 million people. I just want to get in the pool and swim at my own pace and get done.

I also think a lot of people have no idea how long it will take them to swim so they just write down a random time. That's what I did at first until I timed myself and knew what I was working with. So I don't REALLY think I'm in the top 50, I think I'm just one of the few that actually has timed myself. My start time will be 7:29AM on Sunday morning so if you're up, be thinking of me, k? Some positive thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

My other fear? Running toward my teammate in my swimsuit. Did I mention that the biker is also my boss? That means I'm going to be running towards my boss sopping wet in a swimsuit. Many of my other co-workers are going to be there as well and they'll all see me in my swimsuit. How awesome is that? NOT!

Oh well, if I finish in the time I've been practicing (I'm freaking out that I haven't been swimming long enough even though I've checked out the pool and know how it's set up) and tag my teammate without busting it (after I get out of the pool, I have to run across the pool deck and up STAIRS to my teammate...barefoot and in my swimsuit!) then I will consider it a success!

I'll be sure to post a race report along with pictures (none of me in my swimsuit-no fear!) sometime next week. Please send me some relaxing, positive thoughts!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Got Nothing...

...it's Wednesday, I've really got nothing to blog about. I'm feeling a little down this week and for no particular reason so I'm just going to post this picture that makes me happy. I have it on my desk at work and it always makes me smile.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My Poor Emma...

...so this weekend, I needed to get a couple good long runs in. On Saturday, I headed up to work and set a PR for myself on the treadmill in a 5k...I was under a 10 minute mile!?! That's like crazy for me!!!

Sunday morning, Matt went to work and I had mentioned I might run up to his work to get my miles in. From our house to the nursery (for trees, not babies) is 5.1 miles. Well Sunday morning rolled around and I woke up and did.not.want.to.run. My sinuses have been bothering me. They aren't awful, just annoying. Like when I tilt my head back it hurts, my ears are bothering me as is my throat...I think part of it is because of all the swimming I've been doing for the triathlon (this Sunday!) plus the weather. Anyways, I decided, fine I'll do it...I had nothing else to do and I'd feel better when it was done, right? WRONG!

I took Emma with me to keep me company. This run turned into more of a run/walk where walking prevailed. I was just whiny and didn't want to do it so I let that attitude keep me down. Oh well...I got the miles in although I fought every single part of it.

Now on to Emma...she's a weird dog. I used to take those little sour cream or butter bowls to put water in it for her but she never drinks from it. I had taken a half frozen water bottle for myself on Sunday so I offered her to lick the bottom of the bottle but she refused. We went past the community college and I saw their giant pond so we cut through. I figured she'd for sure wade in, get a drink and be okay until we got to the nursery but nope, she didn't want anything to do with it. We kept on trucking and it was nice because I didn't hold her leash while we crossed the campus since no one was out. PLUS since Emma is so afraid of strangers, when she sees one, she runs straight to me so it's really a win-win situation.

We finally made it to the nursery and when we got there, without hesitation, she jumped in the pond there, cooling off and getting a big drink. For 10am on a Sunday morning, the nursery was actually very busy! They sell produce that they grow there on the land...onions, tomatoes, sweet corn (OMG-this stuff is seriously DELICIOUS), squash and a variety of other items. When I got there, Matt was like hop on the golf cart, we've got to pick some sunflowers. We rode to get the flowers and Emma ran along side us. When it slowed down, we left and put Emma in the back of the truck.

Matt and I dropped her off at home and went to do our grocery shopping. Funny thing...grocery shopping after running makes your purchase LOTS of liquid...we bought milk, chocolate milk (I'm loving this stuff lately), sparkling water, Gatorade, green tea, water...so it must have the opposite effect of shopping while hungry. We got home and started lunch when I noticed Emma was limping around. She fought me at first but as I got closer I saw this: Poor girl! She must have rubbed her paw raw from all the run/walking we did on the concrete. I felt awful and gave her lots of lovin' Sunday afternoon. Only to be interrupted by Jealous AKA Shadow. See, here he's like, "Come on...love me too!"
When we started lunch, we put Shadow in the backyard. He laid down in the cool rocks under a shade tree yet when I let him in that little stinker was panting like crazy. Ugh...he is such a drama queen!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Harvest Restaurant...

...last summer, we watched Kristal's puppy Butch while she enjoyed a family vacation to Florida. To thank us, she, sorry-Butch, gave us a gift card to Harvest, a restaurant here in St. Louis that uses local and seasonal ingredients. We waited for a good reason to use it...camp is over for 2010-woohoo!!! That is call for major celebration!!!

The last day of camp is always bittersweet. I love having the kids and counselors around, it makes the day's go by fast, it gives me reason to get out of the office and I am given many different and not-typical job tasks i.e. tie dying staff shirts last week or making a kid's pizza Lunchable or even singing "Jingle Bells" at the top of my lungs so a camper doesn't get upset. However, it's a lot of stress which is not always welcome. I always look at it this way though, camp may be done this summer but it'll come again, so it's just a so-long and not a good-bye. Anyways, Matt and I started a tradition last year by going to a nicer restaurant to celebrate the last day of camp.

Here is Matt outside Harvest. As soon as we were seated, he looked at me and said, "This is probably the nicest restaurant we've ever been to!" I would have to agree and it was definitely delicious.
We were given bread with basil butter and a black bean puree. The black bean puree just tasted like mashed up beans, which is essentially what a puree is, right? The basil butter was so yummy and I loved watching it just melt on the warm bread. For an appetizer, we split the stacked crispy eggplant and basil pesto. Matt thought it was delicious and I just thought it was alright. It was the only course I was able to snag a picture of because Matt wouldn't let me take pics of our main course because the place was starting to get busy.For my main meal, I had the grilled certified Black Angus Hanger Steak with tillamook cheddar spoonbread, mashed garlic potatoes, steak sauce and it had a few onion rings (but think more like onion straws) on top. O...M...G! This meal was to die for!!! The first thing I tasted was the mashed potatoes and my mouth was in heaven. I wasn't too sure of the steak sauce at first but by the end of the meal, it was pretty much gone so I think it's safe to say that I enjoyed it. The spoonbread tasted like cheesy cornbread, it was alright but not too much flavor. Matt enjoyed that part of my plate for me. I had ordered my steak medium and I commented to Matt that is was very red for medium but I liked it. He laughed and told me that it was what real medium was supposed to be and most places we go to cook medium a little more done. I absolutely LOVED the onion rings on top adding a nice crispy taste and a pleasant surprise. My meal...definitely TWO THUMBS UP!

Matt ordered the Pan Roasted Duck Breast with duck confit and cherry potato cake, braised mustard greens and cherry-port reduction. I don't have as much commentary on his because I didn't taste it but I'll leave you with this, 1. Matt had a happy plate (meaning it was all gone and empty) and 2. Matt said TWICE that it was the best duck he'd ever had. For Matt to repeat himself means it was REALLY GOOD.

After dinner, we decided since we were in the neighborhood (but we really weren't) that we'd get Ted Drewes.
For those of you not in the STL area, Ted Drewes is like THE custard place in St. Louis. I always think it's a great idea to go but then every time I go (please forgive me St. Louisians and don't kick me out of the city, town or state!), I don't really think it's that big of a deal. I mean I almost got ran over in the parking lot-I'm not joking either. This van was pulling out of the lot and we walked behind it then it randomly decided to reverse. Luckily, it was going like 5 mph but it didn't stop until my hand was ON his rear window! Then it's such a huge crowd but the menu with pictures and descriptions is just a laminated piece of paper where you ordered so you either have to wait until you're at the front of the line to review it and order or squeeze up front, review it then go get in the back of the line. Seriously though for as busy as that place it, they always get people through the line fast and get them their concretes so that's a bonus for them.

Anyways, I kept telling Matt that we'd be right by Angie's house as we were driving to Ted Drewes. Well, a few wrong turns and we were right in front of her house!!! See I'm SLOWLY learning my way around that area of town. Okay, have a fabulous Monday everyone!

Friday, August 6, 2010

DQ: I'm SOOO Over You...

...so Wednesday started off rough when my car wouldn't start but luckily, Matt came to the rescue...okay, he just bought a new battery and that seemed to work. After he left to go help with tear down of the fair, I decided I should probably take my car for a test drive and what better place to take it than...DAIRY QUEEN! I went through the change jar pulling out quarters, loaded Emma up and we took off.

First off, let me say I love the cookie jar blizzard-cookie dough AND Oreos-totally the best of both worlds. Now let me tell you why I'm SOOO over DQ...about a month ago, I found out that they quit carrying butterscotch!?! WHAT!?! That's like the original topping of ice cream...before caramel and peanut butter and even cookie dough, it used to just be chocolate or butterscotch so I'm a little upset that DQ no longer carries it. I loved their Peanut Buster Parfait with butterscotch instead of hot fudge. That was a sad, sad day for me...

Anyways, moving on to the latest find at DQ. Their mini blizzards really ARE mini now!!! I'm pretty sure the price stayed the same but the cup size got cut in half. I mean I work hard to burn my calories during the day (on Wednesday, I ran 6 miles and swam three football fields or 300 yards but three football fields sounds so much further) so when I order me some ice cream, I really want some ICE CREAM, not like 3 bites...that's a tease of ice cream. I was tempted to also eat the mini blizzard I'd gotten for Matt, he didn't know I'd gotten him one so he'd never know if I ate two, right? Don't worry...I refrained and left his in the freezer for him.

I hate to be this way, DQ, but I think we may be done. I'm going to have to give all my ice cream business to Silky's so blog friends, please help me, because I may need an intervention soon with my addiction to Elvis Pretzelys.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What's the Dill Pickle???

...during Matt's man-cation, his friend gave him like 5 or 6 GIANT cucumbers! I swear sometimes I think Matt finds the most random things to bring home and then its like a challenge. Try to find some way to use them before it goes bad. The one bad thing though is the things he's brought home or we've grown lately (jalapenos and cucumbers), I do NOT like and Matt gets tired of the same thing very easily so variety is what I have to find.

So Sunday afternoon, I find this recipe to make my own dill pickles. Luckily, I had everything on hand, yes including dill, so I was good to. While I brought the mix and vinegar to a boil, I was busy slicing up the cucumbers and putting them in jars.
I felt like there was WAY to much dill in this recipe and when I went to pour it into the bottles, holy dill burning my nostrils!!! It was kind of crazy. Here's the finished product cooling waiting to go in the fridge.
I didn't use actual canning jars. I used an old Ragu and Frappacino jar with pop tops. Matt and I accidentally learned we could do that one time when we made homemade applesauce!

I also made my own version of this recipe but I used a lemonade-ish sports drink thing so I don't think it had quite the same effect. FYI-its still sitting full in the fridge.

Matt and I tried the pickles on Wednesday and they weren't too bad, maybe a little vinegary. Matt liked them so much that he's now on the search for more cucumbers so I can make more and then we'll can them to eat over winter!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Cycling Gods...

...so if you can't tell, I'm really trying to be more active and get outside more. I've added swimming to my cross-train days which the triathlon is in just a couple weeks. In February, I'd like to do an inside triathlon at the Jewish Community Center. I did it, geez...four years ago in 2007 and it was a lot of fun and much easier and cheaper than doing an actual tri. So hopefully I can work up to that after the marathon and you can train all inside.

I've also tried to add some cycling. One of my friends on Daily Mile is a cyclist so we "challenged" each other...me to ride my bike because I kept talking about it and him to run. I've REALLY been trying to uphold my head of the deal but the Cycling Gods must have it out for me.

Bike Ride Attempt #1-Matt and I got up bright and early like 6:30am on a Sunday morning to go riding along the Katy Trail. I had asked Matt to have the bikes out and ready to go on Saturday but he didn't. So we had to tool around Sunday morning, getting the bikes down, airing up tires, etc...We finally make it on the trail and about half a mile in, it starts to sprinkle but we keep going, at mile 1 full on rain, lightning and thunder. Good news...we got our heart rates up from biking back to the truck so fast. Bad news...we only went like two miles and it took us longer to get ready than to actually ride.

Bike Ride Attempt #2-Matt and I got up bright and early on a Sunday morning to go ride a different part of the Katy Trail. Get the bikes out, my tire was flat so we stopped and filled it up. Drive the 20 minutes to the trail, get out and the tire is completely flat...GRR!!! No biking for us that day.

Bike Ride Attempt #3-Last Wednesday, I decide to ride Matt's bike to the post office to mail a birthday card. Just a short little ride but then I'd get my cycling in and we'd be good to go (plus I was putting off mowing because it was so hot). Well I got his bike out and the seat was so high, I could barely throw my leg over it. After getting ahold of Matt and adjusting the seat and bruising/scratching my entire right forearm, I was good to go.

I made it to the post office fine but as I start to peddle back, nothing, nada, peddling and going nowhere. Hmm...I know absolutely NOTHING about bikes and, of course, I only had my work phone. I try to get ahold of Matt and nothing. Grr...I was SOO mad, steam was spraying out of my ears as I pushed the bike an entire MILE back home. I hadn't taken water or a visor or anything because I thought it would be real quick...um, I was wrong!

So now both bikes are out of commission. Like I said before, I think the Cycling Gods are telling me to stick to running and swimming.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shaw Nature Reserve...

...last Wednesday, I headed down to Gray Summit to visit my friend Katie. I stayed the night with her and we saw the big town of Labadie and then watched a movie at her place. Then on Thursday morning, we got up and she took me to her work to show me around the place. She works at Shaw Nature Reserve which is part of the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Katie definitely knows her stuff and filled my brain with lots of new information. Here are just a couple shots I snagged from the morning:

We also headed down to the Meremac River where she teaches river ecology. Katie told me about river glass which is basically when glass, a bottle or something along those lines, gets tossed into the river and then gets smoothed over and makes some cool designs as it rides down the river. Here is a piece that she found:Here is Katie on the gravel bar. I must say she's a much better picture taker than Matt, no arguing, I just said, Smile! and rather than fight me, she turned and flashed her pearly whites.I picked up a rock to skip it and it sunk, I picked up another rock to skip and it sunk. I looked at Katie and said, "You know we can't leave here until I skip a rock, right?" She laughed and said she was just about to ask that. Lucky for both of us since it was eleventy billion degrees, I skipped the next one so we were okay go to back. Of course, we'd have gotten back to the cart faster if either of us had paid attention to where we were going-oops!

Hopefully, we'll be able to find a weekend soon that Matt and I can go visit her and her husband soon for a fun filled outdoor adventure weekend! Thanks for having me Katie.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Another Summer, Another Fair...

...this past week, Matt was on his man-cation AKA the St. Charles County Fair with his bestie Tom and all the people of the fair. I'm glad that he has that "out" and a place to relax and have fun but as a wife and an outsider, it can be frustrating at times but we're going to focus on the good.

In the past, I've typically gone out EVERY single night of the fair. This year, I told Matt, sorry dear but it's going to be a girls week for me which turned out very nice expect for Thursday evening, which happened to be my only night without plans. Turns out it was a good thing I didn't have plans because I had the worst migraine ever! I've only had a migraine one other time in my life about a month or so ago so I'm taking notes of when and often I get them so I can track them before heading to the doctor about it.

Anyways, on Friday evening, I was supposed to go to Fairmount Park with some friends but we all decided to reschedule. I woke up Friday morning and my headache was gone so I ran out a good seven miles. Then the headache started to come back but since I hadn't seen my husband since Sunday, I thought I would go see him for a little bit at the fair that evening.

The weather was yuck so it was actually a good night to go see him because he wasn't that busy. I was able to stay fairly dry and snap a couple pics. I wasn't really going for this but I thought this pic of the ferris wheel turned out cool.
A quick downpour came through Wentzville, cancelling the truck pull but we had an awesome sunset.
And that my friends, was my Friday evening...home by 10pm but happy cause I got to see my hubby!