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A quiet weekend.

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This weekend, Jon is busy with New Leaders Council, a leadership program that I completed in 2009 (highly recommended), so I’ve been able to have a really nice quiet weekend just to do whatever I want to do. It’s especially nice after the last two weekends had us out of town.

I got in a run around the Lake, made orange/clementine marmalade, finally got around to printing & transferring some photos onto extra flour sack towels I’ve had since the holidays, filed away everything in the embarrassingly-full “To Be Filed” box, planned a dinner party for next week, and gotten our apartment nice and clean.

While making the marmalade, I decided that since I had the weekend free, I’d also try to make the leftover rind into candied citrus rind, a process that takes about 3 days (mostly hands-off waiting time). It’s currently drying in the oven – we’ll see how it turns out tomorrow. Below is the rind boiling in the simple syrup.

I’ve also gotten caught up on the last few episodes of Smash, the only show that I can really get away with watching without Jon (he’s not that into it). The rest of today will be either starting to re-read Hunger Games (I want to jog my memory before the midnight showing next Thursday!), researching a DSLR camera, planning/booking my alone vacation, or reading through a packet about preparing for emergencies and taking some of those next steps. Or none of that, or some combination of that. It’s the freakin’ weekend – I’ll do whatever feels good at the moment, right?

I definitely broke the chain of writing down what I eat, so I’ve got to get that going again. I decided that the next two weeks are the ones I’m going to try to leave work by 5 PM two weeks straight (as per my 30 by 30 list). I normally have at least one evening commitment each week, but the next two weeks are clear so it’s as good a time as any to try it out. I’m used to working until quite a bit later than that, though, so I’m interested to see what I’ll learn about myself/my work during these few weeks.

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Writing down what I eat

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#13 on my 30 by 30 list is to spend two months writing down everything that I eat each day. I started yesterday, and I’m hoping I can make two months of it happen without breaking the chain.

I’m hoping that the accountability of putting it out there publicly will also help, so I’ll update here to let you know how I’m doing with making this happen.

Why am I doing this? Writing down what I eat is a proven strategy for eating more healthy and losing weight, and both of those things are good for me! My challenge is in keeping it up for longer than a few weeks at a time, and that’s why I put it on my list of things to do this year. It’s best when I do it in the morning (as in, planning ahead what I’ll eat that day as much as I can), but even writing it down after it’s all said and done is still a good practice for reflection.

Two days down, 58 to go!

Also – Shana saw my post the other day and offered to grab lunch together at Souley Vegan. So 20% of #25 on my list is also complete. Thanks, Shana!

30 by 30

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ImageI recently turned 29, and I was inspired to make a list of things I’d like to do before I turn 30. More commentary on these things later, but for now, I’ll share the list itself.

  1. Start looking into my family tree
  2. Six weeks of not drinking any soda
  3. Go back to Bermuda
  4. Visit Africa
  5. Finish a half-marathon
  6. Take a vacation by myself
  7. Take a bike ride
  8. Scan my old photos and share them
  9. Grow some sort of food to eat
  10. Take a photography class
  11. Buy a better camera
  12. One month of being fully hydrated (64 oz. water per day)
  13. Two months of writing down what I eat every day
  14. Plan a “30 Acts of Kindness” day for my 30th Birthday
  15. Finish the scarf I started
  16. Read two books about South Africa
  17. One month of exercising every single day
  18. Introduce 5 friends to Eatwell Farm
  19. Two weeks of stopping my workday by 5 PM
  20. Two weeks of not reading any email before 10 AM
  21. Finish funding our 6-months of expenses emergency fund
  22. Visit the California Academy of Science
  23. One week of eating every dinner with something from our CSA box
  24. Help out with Casey’s Girl Scout Troop at least once
  25. Try 5 new Oakland restaurants – B Side BBQ, Pican, Vegan Soul Food, Chop Bar, and ________
  26. Donate meaningful amounts to at least two Oakland school board candidates
  27. Volunteer for at least two Oakland school board campaigns
  28. Volunteer for the Obama campaign
  29. Finish at least two 5K races
  30. Try out more variety in the shoes I wear

A busy few months – lovin’ life.

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If you looked at my to-do list, you’d see in the “Personal” category that I’ve been meaning to blog about no less than 9 different adventures and topics for the past few months. But, as you might have noticed, life has just gotten in the way of all that and it hasn’t happened.

So instead of pretending that there’s a likely chance of me writing individual posts about all that we’ve been up to, I decided to spend time putting lots of pictures up for you to see and write a shorter post that includes more of a list of what we’ve been up to. Maybe I’m just not meant to be a traditional blogger. 🙂

So – check out lots of pictures here of our adventures, and here’s some quick descriptions of the fun:

  • We went Bioluminescent kayaking on the recommendation of Jeni Frudden, and it was really cool! Basically, there are organisms in the water at Tomales Bay that light up when disturbed, so if you are on the water at night you can literally make the water glow by moving your hand or paddle through it. Definitely one of those “you should do this once in your life” type of experiences.
  • In the “Putting Food in Jars” category, the following things have been made recently: apple butter and apple sauce while we were in Tahoe with Casey and Galen, apple pie filling made to give away as holiday gifts (with apples that we picked ourselves), three-citrus marmalade with Lynn and Marc, and roasted red pepper spread.
  • I’ve also gotten interested in making more homemade holiday gifts this year (I blame Pinterest), so I’ve so far made some lemon sugar hand scrub and started painting some kitchen towels.
  • We took a truly amazing trip to Big Sur to camp for the weekend with Steve and Sierra – a little hiking, a little cooking, a little waterfall viewing, a little reading, a little hanging out in a bar when it got rainy – it was perfect. The best part, I think we’d all agree, was when we went at midnight to the Esalen Institute to enjoy their natural hot spring pools that are right on the cliff overlooking the Pacific coast. The stars were gorgeous, and it was a very cool experience.
  • We went up for a final visit to Eatwell Farm for the chili party – made two different types of chili to bring home and freeze.
  • We’ve been planning for and saving for “Location TBD” international vacation to celebrate Jon’s grad school graduation in May 2012 (we’re also aware that we’re nearing the time in our lives when babies will be a reality, so we’re trying to enjoy big trips like this now before we take a few years to focus on little ones), and we’ve finalized our spot! We’re going to South Africa. We haven’t planned a single detail beyond that, but we will find some time during upcoming holiday days off to get crackin’ on some of that planning.
  • I’ve been twice to events hosted by Wine and Canvas – once with Melissa and once with Sierra – and had a really good time both times. I’m far from being a decent artist, so it’s nice that their staff make it easy to come up with something that looks OK.
  • Jon and I took our annual Auburn trip for the AU vs. Florida game (we won!) and had a really fantastic time. We rented a house in Opelika to stay at and tailgate from, and that turned out to be a great decision I think. It was a fun trip to get to see our friends and meet baby Patrick!
  • After several months of remodeling and construction, our apartment building finally has a really nice courtyard that we can use to host friends at so we celebrated it being completed by having an October BBQ that was really fun.
  • We spent a weekend in Tahoe with Casey and Galen where we did a little hanging out on the beach, made apple butter and apple sauce, grilled a really fantastic dinner, broke and then fixed the garbage disposal, and picked apples in Placierville on the way home.
  • The half-marathon training is going well so far – I’m actually heading out after this post is finished to run 7 miles (crossing my fingers that I avoid the rain). My biggest challenge continues to be boredom, which is compounded by my being the slowest runner in the world.
  • Our car sadly has neared the end of its life and has a bad transmission that we’re not interested in fixing again (it’s been rebuilt twice), so it’s time to say goodbye to the 96 Honda Accord. We spent a few weekends researching and buying a new one! We settled on a used 201o Kia Optima that we LOVE. It’s been one of my proudest moments – we’ve been saving for this car for a few years now and we were able to pay for it in cash and have no car payments. Cars just drive better when they’re paid off, don’t they?

So it’s been a busy and amazing few months – I’m loving the beginning of the holiday season and Christmas music!

Still running…

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Just wanted to do a quick update to let you all know that I’m still going on my half training. I’m running three times a week (usually on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday). I’ve now run longer than I’ve ever run in the past – this past Sunday I did 5 miles for the first time.

There have been a few new challenges along the way (turns out my most recently purchased shoes were causing my feet to go numb during runs, I had terrible knee pain last weekend for two days, my gym closes earlier on Sunday than I realized). This is in addition to the challenges that I already knew would exist (I get terribly bored when running more than a mile or so, for example). However, I’m committed – I’m gonna make this happen no matter what it takes.

Hopefully this weekend, when I’m in Auburn, I’ll get to do a 5-mile run on campus. Jon has agreed to do it with me – we’ll see how that goes. 🙂

Training Recap:

Miles Run: 37.5

Miles Left:198.5

Days Left:96

First Day of Training – Done

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I am back to running, having officially started my half-marathon training this morning.  I did 2 miles, and it wasn’t too tough.

My husband gave me a great idea a week or so ago when I was trying to figure out a good plan for taking walk breaks if I needed to.  I’m ramping up a bit faster than will be easy (4 miles in about two weeks), and I wanted to find a balance of challenging and reasonable.  I’m not the kind of person who will think that I have really “done” a half marathon if I’m not running the entire time.  The same is true of a training run – if I had to take walk breaks during a 4-mile run, I wouldn’t feel like I could say I actually ran 4 miles.  So Jon’s idea is to make sure I run the full amount, even if I take a walk break.  So if I need to stop for .1 miles and walk, I just add that on to the end of my run.  Today I ended up actually doing 2.25, with the .25 representing a few walk breaks interspersed throughout the run.  I’ll need to build up to the point where I’m not taking any walk breaks at all, but this is a good way to help me get started while also staying true to the amount of running I need to do.

My training plan has me running 236 miles total – that feels both empowering and daunting at the same time.  Only 234 more to go!

Training Recap:

Miles Run: 2

Miles Left: 234

Days Left: 124

Half Training

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On Tuesday, I’ll start training for the Bermuda Half Marathon. I found a training plan that feels reasonable in terms of number of runs per week (3) and time (20 weeks). This feels great – if I end up missing a run (probably inevitable – life happens after all), I won’t feel like I’m hopelessly off track. But it’s not so long that I feel no sense of urgency in moving myself along.

I’ll plan to keep y’all updated here as I progress.

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