Two Years with Alvie Bean

Alvie! You are two years old today. Such a very big boy. *sigh* Where has all the time gone?

It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t yesterday that you looked like this.

Birth Day!

Birth Day!

It’s crazy that it wasn’t yesterday that you were just learning to sit on your own:

Six Months Old!

Six Months Old!


Nine Months Old!

Nine Months Old!


Eleven Months Old!

Eleven Months Old!

Starting your first job as a college professor (PhD in Timey Wimey Wibbly Wobbly stuff):

The Doctor is In!

The Doctor is In!

Being excited and puzzled by snow.



You are two. You talk all the time, except when you don’t. You love to run everywhere. You are so very, very active. You are jumping with TWO FEET LEAVING THE GROUND. You love to sing and read and color.

The artist at work

The artist at work


You love dinosaurs and trains and hats.

Bike Hat!

Bike Hat!

You are goofy and mischievous.

More hats!

More hats!

You are so very polite. You know when to use please, thank you, excuse me, [you're] welcome, no thank you, hello, and good bye. You are such a charmer. Except, of course, when you’re not.

Mummy had probably just said something terribly mean like "don't put the spoon in your diaper."

Mummy had probably just said something terribly mean like “don’t put the spoon in your diaper.”

You are so physical. You play HARD!

This IS sitting still for the picture!

This IS sitting still for the picture!

You are so brave, and never hesitate to try new things.

Birthday Scooter.

Birthday Scooter.

You are my favorite thing. I’m sorry I won’t see you today, but I hope you enjoy those dinosaur cupcakes!


The last two years have been wonderful/scary/hard/delightful/intense/terrific. Thanks for being the best Bean in the land.

I love you.



Lello (rhymes with yellow)

Lello (rhymes with yellow)







Five Things Friday – Work is Crazy Edition

  1. I am thisclose to finishing up the main draft of my next fiscal year budget. I may be insane by 4:15 today when I need to leave work, but I will be *fingers crossed* DONE.
  2. Coffee is good. I had lots of coffee today already. EEEEEEE!!!!! Coffee. Sometimes I think coffee is my best friend.
  3. But then I remember wine. Wine is good. Wine is my other best friend. (Would coffee wine be good? Probably not.)
  4. I was working while eating my rather disgusting (but oh-so-satisfying) cafeteria breakfast burrito this morning and accidentally chewed off some of the wrapper and now I have aluminum foil in my teeth. That is NOT good.
  5. This morning, I helped Alvie get dressed and as we were headed downstairs he looked at me, amazement washing across is face, pointed at me and said, “Name mummy!” I said, “Yes indeed, my name is mummy.” He pointed at himself, “Name Lello.” I agreed with him, although his name is not actually Lello, that’s a close enough approximation. We got downstairs, and after some excitement around the concept of cereal and milk, he pointed at the architect and said, “Name Daddy.” You guys, he’s so big now! Where’d my baby go?


Lello (rhymes with yellow)

Lello (rhymes with yellow)

April 2014 Goals

And on time this month, too!

Let’s take a look at last month.

March 2014 Goals

  1. Write 30,000 words – 70% SUCCESS! I was a bit of a slacker in March and only managed just over 21K words. However, that’s 21K more than I had at the beginning of the month!
  2. Date night with the architect. – 100% SUCCESS! We went out for dinner & drinks on the 22nd. Two months in a row with a baby-sitter? CRAZY!
  3. Run 10 times – 70% SUCCESS! I ran 7 times and logged my highest mileage month since July 2011. In those runs, I had an 11 mile trail run, a post-baby PR in a (faux) 10K, and ran 5 continuous miles without a walk break. I am also 11.45 miles away from besting my 2013 total mileage.
  4. Take the Bean swimming – 0% success. Oops. No swimming for us.
  5. Fun weekend with my mom. – 100% SUCCESS! My mom was in town for a very short visit, but it was good. We had all sorts of fun, and I think she enjoyed seeing the Bean.
  6. Worry less. Still working on how to do this. – 50% SUCCESS. I’m not there yet, but I think I’m making strides. I just need to get out of my own head more.
  7. Get ahead of my to do list at work. – 75% SUCCESS! I was in good shape until last week. Hopefully I’ll get ahead again after this week. This week is going to kick my ass.
  8. Diligently work on my whiskey appreciation plan. – 100% Hmmmm… I don’t know how to gauge this one. I sipped some whiskey once. I did not appreciate it.
  9. Order a gluten free birthday cake for the Bean – NOPE. I am making cupcakes for school (that’s what he asked for). I have to work late on his actual birthday, but we’ll do a little family celebration the weekend after. He’s 2, he won’t know the difference yet this year, right? Plus, who needs cake?
  10. No desserts, sweet coffees, or other extraneous sugars for 30 days. – 87% SUCCESS. I had dessert on St. Patrick’s Day (after my 11 mile trail run), and some grief milkshake on 3/19. And then last week, week o’ stress & PMS, I bought a bar of dark chocolate that I ate over 2 days. Which barely counts. Maybe it’s closer to 90% success?

Another accomplishment: As of today, I have logged 231.72 miles of walking this year. Last year’s total (Jan-Dec) was 223.85. I win! Yay!

April 2014 Goals

  1. Make it to Rivendell on my “Walking to Mordor” adventure.
  2. Have fun 2-year-old birthday shenanigans with Alvie Bean.
  3. Hit the gym for strength training 2 days/week.
  4. Go to all marathon training long runs. All.
  5. 30K new words.
  6. Continue to eschew sugar.
  7. Get the budget done. Make it good. Celebrate.
  8. Garden prep! At least 50%
  9. 11 flights of stairs/day at work.
  10. Keep up with my #100happydays
The halfway point of my 3/17/14 11 mile trail run.

The halfway point of my 3/17/14 11 mile trail run.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

“There are three types of lies — lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
Benjamin Disraeli

I am wiping the depressing slate of last week. I am dismissing the sadness of the anniversary of my father’s passing. I am wiping clean the sadness of my maternal grandfather’s death (Thursday last, funeral is today). I am not forgetting, willfully ignoring, or repressing.

I am, at this moment in time, moving on.

***cue awkward segue***

Ahem. Two things you should know about me. I assume that these things are true for all people, but just in case they’re not, I’ll just say this up front.

  1. I keep detailed spreadsheet workout logs. I have an excel calendar that tracks my miles run, walked, swam, and biked, as well as the amount of time I’ve deliberately spent on exercise. In addition, I have another spreadsheet that tracks each activity by month per year and looks at increases or decreases in time/workout; miles/workout; workouts/month, pace, speed, etc. (So far, perfectly normal, right?)
  2. I write my blog posts in my head while driving.

Starting in April, I will be taking part in a marathon training clinic. There are long runs every Saturday and starting in June, Thursday night workouts that I assume will be speed workouts.

I have access to a coach who made me a training plan based on my current activity level, past race times, and goals.

Apparently my past race times are too far in the past to have any bearing on where I’m at now, so the coach emailed me on Friday and said that for a good plan, I need to have a current 8K or 10K run at race pace under my belt.

I stressed. I freaked. I annoyed the architect with self-doubt. I mean, yeah, I totally ran 11 trail miles last Monday, but what with the underfueling and over-running (and elevation) ended up being nearly 15 minute miles. Not really what I want listed as race pace. And I haven’t run more than 5 miles (and definitely not at race pace) on pavement in…over a year? (Do you like how I put a question mark on that like I don’t know? ha ha ha. The last time I ran over 5 miles on pavement before last Saturday was the 10K I did on 1/5/13.)

I talked to my BAWG (bad-ass warrior goddess) group that I’m a part of. They assured me that I probably wouldn’t die (someone did say that even if I did, there was this new Resurrection show…) and so Saturday morning, I put on my chain mail leggings, zombie arm warmers (it was 34 degrees! brrr!) and got a 90s Jock Jams playlist up on Songza.

I headed out to the Springwater Corrider for my faux 10K.

It did not start well. There was construction on the path that caused me to reroute at the beginning, and it was hard. HARD! When mile 1 clicked over, though, I’d just done a 10:35 minute mile. I was okay with that. I just wanted to finish in under 1:10:00. That’s no where near a personal best, but it’s also (a) not a personal worst and (b) faster than that 10K last January.

Mile 2: 10:49Mile 3: 11:08

I ran for a bit past my mile 3 mark before turning around. I did the whole run in a kind of half-assed Galloway, and spent most of the run reassuring myself that I was still actually running.

Mile 4: 10:36
Mile 5: 10:45 (DEER!)
Mile 6: 11:03

Ummm…I guess I’m consistent?

Mile 6.21: 0:2:18 (10:57 pace – I didn’t have much left apparently)

Overall time/pace: 1:07:14 (10:49)

Now when I first saw that number, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, Yay! I beat my 1:10:00 goal!

On the other: Booo! My 10K PR is under an hour. I have so much ground to make up.

So, I went to enter my time in my training log AND in my spreadsheet. I noticed that this is the first run of the year that I had a pace under 11 minute miles.

And that there were no runs last year under 11.

And not a single one in 2012.

In fact, the last time I ran a comparable distance (5+) with an under 11 minute mile pace was April 2011, and for consistent times under 11, I really need to go back to early 2010 and 2009 – i.e. the times I was in the best shape of my life before my foot went all wonky (spring 2010) and I had surgery (October 2010), and then got pregnant (summer 2011), gave birth (April 2012), and didn’t recover for over a year (physically and mentally).

Seriously – in a not-official race, I posted my best time since I was in the best shape of my life. And I feel confident that 2 months from now, I can beat that time. I have run more this year than the last couple, but I’m still not as consistent as I could be. Once I start running with more consistency (10x/month minimum), I am going to be awesome.


My coach has placed me in the 4:45 marathon pace group. If I do that, it will be a 22 minute marathon PR.

Pretty much I win. (By the end of this month, I will have surpassed my 2013 total miles run. It won’t be too far into April when I surpass 2012.)

This makes me not want to break up with running anymore. We had a rocky couple of years, but I think we’re finally working out our differences.

Two Years On…

I cannot – nor do I want to – write another post like I wrote last year.

This anniversary – the second – hurts less.  I knew it would. I knew that it was impossible that so many people could say that time heals all wounds (and wounds all heels, right?) if it weren’t true.

I still miss him terribly. Something will happen, or I’ll see a funny sign or personalized license plate, or hear a really, really lame joke and I’ll think, “ha! I need to share that with Dad.” And then I can’t – and that hurts.

There are so many memories triggered by ordinary, every day things. There are times when I can hear him comment so dryly, so much without inflection, that if you didn’t know him, you wouldn’t know he was being funny. And he was so, so funny.

There are times I find words and phrases pouring out of my mouth that I know I heard from him.

There are things that make me so indescribably sad/angry that I cannot breathe. I don’t know with whom I’m angry, and that makes it worse. It’s hard to admit that I’m a little bit (a lot?) angry at him for having the unmitigated gall to die when he did – both a lot too soon and a little too soon.

There are days, though, when it is okay. Just a fact. An event in the past. It matters – still so very much – and it hurts, but it is okay.

He was amazing. He had a certain level of panache (oh, I wish more people got that awesome joke). There will always be an emptiness. And maybe even someday, I can forgive him.

I miss him but I’ll be okay.

December 2009

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
-A A Milne