Prayers please!

>> Thursday, February 26, 2009

I found out today that my Grandma fell and broke her wrist. She's scheduled for surgery on Wednesday. Some of you know that I've been through this before when I lived with her. I broke my wrist almost 5 years ago, had surgery and spent nearly a year in casts and braces. I know first hand that it is so hard to do things yourself with a freaking cast on! I'm really worried for her since she lives alone. I'm going to stay with her tonight and my mom is coming tomorrow. Please keep her in your prayers. I'll update when I know more.


C25K Week 2 Completed!

I got through my last day of Week 2 today and it wasn't easy. The last 2 running intervals were pretty rough, but I got through them. Today was a nice cool day but it was super humid. I don't think I realized how much I was sweating until I got home and drank a gallon of water!

I start Week 3 on Sunday and this will include a 5 minute warm-up walk then two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog 90 seconds
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 3 minutes
Afterward, I'll do a 5 minute cool down walk. 2 weeks down, 7 more to go!


Grilled Sweet Chili Lime Salmon Fillets

>> Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On Monday, I decided that Jason & I should try to eat more fish. Eating chicken all the time is getting so boring and besides, we actually like seafood! I bought some frozen wild-caught salmon fillets, but I couldn't figure out what to do with them. We're fine with eating them plain, but I wanted a way to jazz it up a bit. Who do I call? Mom, of course!

I asked her if dill went with Salmon and she said she thought so. She told me to look up dill sauce on the Internet and try it from there. She usually blackens her salmon, but I didn't have the Cajun seasoning for it. I looked up several recipes online for dill & salmon and decided on one. I went downstairs to pull out the ingredients and......

.....I didn't have any freaking dill. Seriously. Back to square one!

So, I turned over the package that the salmon came in and found this recipe. I even had all the ingredients! So here you go:

Grilled Sweet Chili Lime Salmon Fillets

1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1/2 Tbsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tbsp Fresh chopped cilantro
1 Fresh Lime

Mix all ingredients expect the lime onto a flat plate. Coat both sides of the salmon fillets with the mixture. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

The limes were my lame attempt at garnishing. I'm no Hyper Homemaker, so that's all that can be expected of me. We really liked this recipe, except next time we'll leave the sugar out. I didn't like the sweet/spicy combination, but it's up to you. Even Jason, who doesn't really like overpowering cilantro, thought this was good! And I didn't grill it like the original recipe called for because we don't own a grill. But they were still good in the oven. One final bit of advice:

Don't mess with the cook!!!


I'm a winner!

A while back, I entered Elizabeth's (of the Waspy Redhead) blog to win an apron from Apron Allure. The original contest post is here. Aprons from Apron Allure are 50s inspired aprons that make you feel feminine and domesticated. I've never won a blog contest before, so I was super excited! Here it is:

The cool thing about this apron is that it's reversible! So here I am with the other side of the apron showing, pulling out my Grilled Sweet Chili Lime Salmon Fillets from the oven.

Thanks again Elizabeth & Apron Allure for the sweet apron!


Stuffed Peppers

>> Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Remember when I said I must be growing up because I found out that I actually LIKED cottage cheese? Well, I also found out recently that I like bell peppers....and all colors at that! I decided to try out a stuffed pepper recipe. I don't have the exact recipe with me, so I'll have to fudge it a little, but you'll get the gist.

You need at least 4 peppers (whatever color you like). Cut the tops off and remove the seed and inner core of each. In a large pot, boil water, then add the peppers. Keep them in there for a few minutes so they get a little soft. Then, remove them and put them upside-down on a paper towel to drain.

Meanwhile, you'll need two cups of cooked brown rice. I used easy-peasy Uncle Ben's microwave rice, but you can do it the long way, too. Put the rice in a bowl to cool. Saute 1 chopped onion and 1 or 2 grated carrots in some olive oil and cover for 10 minutes. The original recipe is vegetarian and I really wanted some protein, so I added 1lb of turkey to the onions and carrot mix. Add 3 garlic cloves pushed through a garlic press and cook a while longer. Then, add 2 cups of chopped tomatoes & 1 can of rinsed black beans and cook for about 5 minutes. The recipe also called for corn, but I didn't have any, so I skipped it.

Remove the mixture from heat and add to the rice in the bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lime and add salt and black pepper. The recipe also called for cilantro, but since my husband hates it, I didn't put it in. :(

Mix thoroughly and put the stuffing in the peppers in a greased pan. I had a lot of stuffing left over, so I shoved it in-between the peppers. Next time, I may do 6 or 7 peppers. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Enjoy!


Book Reviews!

>> Sunday, February 22, 2009

I've been reading quite a bit lately. I tend to go in cycles where I'll read a bunch, then stop completely for a few weeks. But once I pick up a book, I normally have a hard time putting it down. I'm behind on the books I've read, so I have 3 books to tell you about!

The first is "Firefly Lane" by Kristin Hannah.

This book is about a 30 year friendship between two women, starting when they are about 14. The book starts in the 70s and goes into the 2000s. I literally both laughed and cried while reading this book. I think the most funny parts in the book are when the trends of the decades are so nonchalantly mentioned in the book. For example, when the girls are in college, one of them gets dressed and to impress someone at an interview, she puts her hair in a BANANA CLIP!!! This is one of those books that you won't be able to put down once you start reading it. The friendship goes through many ups and downs and has an informative ending. Buy it!

The next book on my list was "Confessions of a Shopaholic" by Sophie Kinsella.

This book was just plain cute! This is a book that you will pick up and blaze through quickly, smiling. I stumbled over the British slang, but overall, it's pretty easy to read. I have heard that movie got so-so reviews and has been put down because of the "shopaholic ways" in today's crumbling economy. I don't know how well the movie follows the book since I haven't seen it, but the book is hilarious! The humor lies in that Becky Bloomwood (main character) is a Financial Journalist, yet she's deep into debt through her shopping habit. She has to put on a front that she is financially knowledgeable even though creditors are practically knocking down her door. Pick up this book for an easy - and fun - read!

My last book is my "responsible" book. It's "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey.

"The Total Money Makeover" was recommended to me by a friend. Truth be told, I read the introduction before I ever started the previous two books. I just forgot to pick this one back up. A few days ago I was sitting in my chair watching TV and saw this book laying on the floor. I told myself that I should probably read this book, so I finally turned off the TV and started in. "The Total Money Makeover" provides layman's terms advice on how to get out of debt as fast as possible and become rich. He tells you to keep money on hand for emergencies and keep building it up. Dave gives great advice when it comes to fighting off creditors and figuring out how to pay off debt little by little, starting with your smallest debt and going up to your mortgage.

Most of the advice didn't apply to Jason & I because we don't have a lot of debt. We have no car loans and our credit card is paid off every month. We have enough in savings to pay our bills for about a year if Jason ever lost his job. I do have $50,000 in student loans on top of our mortgage. Even though Dave says to pay off the student loans before you tackle your mortgage, I disagree. My mortgage will cost me much more money than my student loans in the end, so I am choosing to tackle the mortgage first. But I agree with everything else Dave preaches. He even gives great advice on saving for your children's college fund and goes a little bit into investing. It was a little humorous to read this book when today's mutual funds are losing money, but since I am still so young, I have plenty of time to wait for my returns.

What I have taken from this book is that I need to buckle down on our monthly spending to pay off our long-term debt faster. In the end, we will save ourselves a TON of money and be able to live a better life faster. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has any type of debt.

Thanks for reading through all of this! If book reviews are horribly boring, let me know & I'll quit posting them. Or, if you have reading suggestions, comment away!


C25K Week 1: Completed!

>> Friday, February 20, 2009

After the rough start of Day 1, I was worried about going into Day 2. I worked out normally on Monday expecting to run on Tuesday. However, Tuesday was cold and wet so I stayed indoors. Instead, I went back to the gym on Wednesday and ran inside. The treadmill was so much easier to me than running outside. I think it is because there's no wind, a steady temperature and no terrain. I decided that I need to do the rest of my running outside, weather permitting, from then on so that I can get used to it.

Today, I decided to run in the neighborhood next to mine since they have much more room and I won't feel as if I'm running in circles. I really liked this place to run much more so than my own neighborhood. There were a few small hills that made it tough, but I made it! I didn't even feel like collapsing on the couch afterward. Did I feel wonderful & exhilarated? No. But, I felt like I accomplished something and that's my real goal anyway.

I start Week 2 of the program on Sunday after a rest day on Saturday. This time I'll start off with another 5 minute walk and then alternate 90 seconds jogging and 2 minutes of walking. I'm gonna do this thing!


Muddy Buddy & C25K

>> Sunday, February 15, 2009

A few weeks ago, my friend Deseere told me about a race called Muddy Buddy that she and her friend, Shawna, decided to do. It intrigued me because it included running, biking, obstacle courses and finally, a crawl through mud to the finish line. It sounded fun and different to me so I called up my friend Shana to see if she'd be interested. Oh, did I mention that there is free beer at the end? Her exact email back to me was this:

I'm in, but I need to know:
1. Can you run 3 miles?
2. Do you own a bike?
3. What does it cost?

It was something to that effect, anyway. I couldn't find her exact reply, so we'll just go with that. My answers to her were:

1. Not now, but maybe by then.
2. No.
3. $75 per person

As I typed out my reply, I could already feel her laughing. She knows I hate running with a passion, so I'm sure this email came to a surprise to her. The most I've ever run at one time was about 2 miles when I was in track in Junior High. And I sucked. Royally, in fact. Contrary to popular belief, not all people with long legs are fast. We tall people are awkward and it's hard to get the legs moving. (I can hear Shana contradicting me now since she's 5'9" and Little Miss Runner). But I told her I would do it, so we signed up. Our team name is "Running for Booze." You gotta love that!

I've always wanted to be able to run. I've tried on a several occasions, but it's always been hard on me. I consider myself to be in great shape since I'm doing 30 minutes of cardio 5 times a week plus full-body weight-training 3 days a week. Even though I don't have trouble on an elliptical, I do have trouble running. I've gotten to where I can make about 10 minutes on the treadmill, but that's about it. My doctor diagnosed me with exercise-induced asthma, so I take my Proventil inhaler about 15 minutes before I work out on cold days. Warmer days don't seem to bother me nearly as much. Even with the inhaler, I've still only managed 10 minutes. So, I decided to try a new approach to learning to run outside: the Couch to 5K program.

The Couch to 5K program (C25K) is a nine-week program designed for new runners to learn how to run properly. It tells you exactly what to do and you do it 3 times a week. I thought this would be a good way (and incentive) for me to learn to run in time to prepare for the Muddy Buddy competition in May. I ran for the first time today. Today's workout was:

  • Walk briskly for 5 minutes
  • Alternate running 60 seconds & walking 90 seconds for a total of 20 minutes
  • Walk briskly for 5 minutes
I downloaded Robert Ullrey's podcasts to help me along. Listening to someone tell me when to run or walk eliminated my obsessive need to check my watch/iPod constantly. I started off walking in our neighborhood (which is small) and then ran the first 60 seconds. It wasn't so bad. The next few 60-second runs aren't too bad until I get to about the 7th interval. This one was tiring. When I got to the final 60-interval, I thought I was going to die! I was right back at the house by that point, so instead of the 5-minute walk, I went inside, filled a glass of water, and collapsed on the couch.

My lungs and chest were burning, worse than when I was at the gym running on the treadmill. It wasn't cold outside; it was in the 60s and very humid. My airway burned so bad and I was coughing. I know that it's the asthma, but I don't know how to make it stop. I can only take the Proventil before I work out and can't take it again for 4 hours which is too late by then. I'm hoping that my body was just going through shock since I was running outside. It wasn't my legs that were giving out on me, it was my chest. Maybe this will improve by May and it's just a breathing problem. I hope so, because I really want to do a 5K. I know that I will never be a fast runner, but I will be happy to be able to just run it. Wish me luck and I will certainly update each week of the C25K program. Advice from runners is most appreciated!


Ski Trip: Day 4

>> Friday, February 13, 2009

On our last day, we packed up our stuff and headed out. But before we left, we had to get in a group picture:

And a silly picture was required immediately afterward:

Our first stop was Georgetown, where we saw this:

It was a cute little town that had some cute shopping. Most of them were closed, but we checked them out anyway. I believe that this picture is of one of the streets:

We visited the Visitor's Center in Georgetown and saw some old ski boots that made you wonder why anyone would ever try skiing in the first place. From there, we found out about a working gold mine that we could visit in Idaho Springs.

We started toward Idaho Springs and tried to find a place to eat. We decided to stop at the Buffalo Restaurant where they guessed it.....all things buffalo. This freaked out one of the girls, so she played it safe with chicken. I had a yummy buffalo burger and didn't regret eating that sucker one bit! Yum! From there, four of us headed to the mine while the other four headed into Denver to pick up a replacement piece for one of the rental cars.

We visited the Phoenix Mine which is the oldest family-owned working gold mine in Colorado.

The building was kind of a log cabin, but much smaller. There was a small fire in the stove and there was ice that covered the ground inside.

They made the warnings about traveling in a mine obvious. Although I got confused about what I should be scared about, the mine or Bob?

The mine is a cool 40 degrees all year. At this time of the year, it was probably warmer inside the mine than it was outside. For the most part, I could stand up throughout the tour, but I did have to bend my head a lot. Jason & Brandon spent the entire tour with their heads bent over or to the side. The little lady that took us on the tour was short so she told us she could get through the mines faster than anyone since she was the shortest.

We saw the first emergency exit, followed by one of the old drills. This was a dry drill that worked a lot like a jackhammer. The dust alone killed so many people that they have since moved to wet drilling to keep the dust level down.

Next we came to the Phoenix Mine's Lucky Bucket. They claim that rubbing this bucket will bring you luck. They have several lottery winners to prove it. I bent down to give it a rub.

Hey, you never know when you'll need a little luck.

I think the weirdest thing was that they actually buried someone in the mine. This man requested that he be buried where he had worked for so long, so the owner complied. This sign is not too far inside the mine.

Then we finally saw a vein in the rock. This mine produces gold, silver, copper and zinc. I know I forgot something already. If you look at where the light is, you'll see sparkles. That's gold and silver.

Then, we saw a roped off part of the mine that had doors closed at the end. This part of the mine collapsed in the 1970s and no one has been in there since. They doors are holding back tons of rock and if opened, would cause a lot damage and possibly kill someone. You can see the bent support beams if you look closely.

Then we passed this unfortunate soul:

I kid, I kid. This was one of the mine jokes. But the picture looks real, doesn't it?

As we turned the corner, we were able to see a gorgeous copper vein. I expected to see that the copper veins would be green (like the Statue of Liberty), but instead they were bright blue. They were so pretty!

Then came the separating machines. I can't explain exactly how this works, but these are an example of the machines. Now they are much larger and much more efficient.

This part grinds up the dirt.......

.....and this is the table where each mineral is separated......

And that was the end of the tour. We each got our own piece of mined rock to keep at the end. From here we headed to Denver and waited for our planes.

Now that I've bored you all (all 3 of my readers anyway) with every single minute detail of my trip (okay, I spared a few things), please know that I will do this every single time I go somewhere. Until I hear complaints, I'm not stopping!

Okay, even if I do hear complaints, I'm not promising that I'll stop. The End.


Ski Trip: Day 2 & 3

>> Thursday, February 12, 2009

I woke up on Day 2 feeling fine. We all went to bed early, so we were well-rested. I wasn't too sore since I really hadn't done much work. I could feel the bruises starting on my shins and the backs of my knees were sore, but all-in-all, not too bad. We head out for the mountain again, but this time, we find the free parking.

Jason & I immediately split from the group again and head up the same ski lift as the day before. Today was harder than the day before for me as far as ski lifts go. The mountain was a LOT more crowded. On their non-busy days (like yesterday), they will let you ride in pairs instead of using all four seats. Unfortunately, they were so busy that we were asked to ride with two snowboarders. Jason immediately told me we were not riding with them because their boards take too much room. I was relieved because I was worried about getting off the ski lift with so many people involved. Then, two medics, who were just behind me, asked if they could ride with us. I said okay, but let them know that I may cause an accident. They laughed and said they would catch up to us to get on the lift. I felt a little better knowing that they could stay out of my way.

In ski lift lines, the snow is well-packed and a little difficult to move in. I had trouble turning a corner and got behind Jason. I couldn't get to him in time, so he got on the ski lift all by himself. Then, I got up to get into the next one and made myself. I heard the medic guys laughing and saying that they screwed it all up, too.

Getting off the ski lift today was easy. No squatting position for me! I was able to stand up and push myself off, just like I was supposed to. Go me! After I met up with Jason, I saw a large crowd:

Okay, Jason actually cut out most of the crowd in this picture. But we tried to figure out what they were looking at. This is what we saw:

We were watching a rescue dog training! It was really neat! He kept barking at the hole while the medic dug. Finally, they pulled out a glove. The dog had found it! Then I remembered that we had seen some people digging holes up there the day before. We had no idea what was going on, but apparently they were burying things for the dog to find. It was nice to know that the dog would be able to find me should I ever be in that position.

After we clapped and cheered for the dog, we made our way to the first part of the ski slope. It was covered with snowboarders. EVERYWHERE. For those who haven't skied, snowboards only work where there is downgrade. They have to walk where it is flat. So, they will push themselves along as if they were on a skateboard until they can get to a drop. But, before they can go down, they have to strap their free foot in. This wouldn't normally be a problem, but they took up the entire place. I had about 3 feet in which to make my move and then I had to take a sharp turn to avoid more of them. This was difficult, but I made it. I thought I would trip, but I did great!

The rest of the day went well. I even made it down the last part of a blue run accidentally. But I didn't fall. I may ski slowly down hills, but I still ski standing up! I didn't want to overdo it so that I could ski a lot more the next day. I spent the last hour sipping hot cocoa while Jason went on some blue runs by himself. He had so much fun! He will just come racing down the mountain super fast and then stop on a dime. We went home that afternoon happy and with very, very sore shins and calves. Here's a pic of us halfway down the mountain:

The last day, Jason & I took our time getting to the ski lift. Before we left the condo, we looked outside and it looked sunny. We thought it would be a pretty "warm" (60 degrees), so we just put t-shirts on under our jackets. We took our hats, but left the scarves at home. When we got to the mountain, we decided to have some breakfast first because everything at the condo had pretty much been demolished by this point. Then, we headed out to the ski lift as it started to snow. Holy crap it got cold!!! It was below 30 degrees, easily. The sun disappeared as soon as we got to the mountain, but there was no turning back.

Sunday was not crowded a bit. I think it was because the mountain hadn't gotten any snow overnight and it was already icy the day before. The ride up the ski lift was COLD. We were burying our noses into our jackets and pulling our hats lower and lower. By the time we got to the top, we were almost shaking. We found out that there were lots of places for wind to get into our jackets. Brrrr!

This was pretty much our view for most of the day:

On this day, we decided to take a different green route than before. This route was a piece of cake compared to the ones we took the previous days. They were nice and wide and not too steep. Best of all, they hadn't been used as much so there was a lot more snow. I was able to practice turning and could even get a lot more speed without having to worry about anyone in my way. It was really, really fun that day! Despite the blistering cold, Jason & I had a great time! I skied on the main part while Jason would disappear in the trees and meet me farther down the road. We skied pretty quickly down the mountain in the afternoon, hoping to get one more run in, but we missed it by 10 minutes. Oh well. By then, my face was hurting. I found out that had gotten some pretty nasty windburn on my chin anyway. That stuff hurts a lot!

We made it back home in time for everyone to take their rentals back and start packing to leave the next morning for Denver. We all relaxed, ate yummy stuffed peppers, tried to finish the alcohol off and went to bed late. It was an awesome two days!


Ski Trip: Day 1

>> Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Well folks, I've made it back. And in one piece I might add. Although I haven't exactly mastered the art of skiing, I've at least made a dent in it. The trip pretty much went as follows:

J & I landed in Denver on Thursday afternoon where we discover that CO is actually an hour behind TX. We thought we weren't changing time zones. We left San Antonio in 75+ degree weather and landed in about 70ish weather. Nice! Then, we had to wait for my brother-in-law, Brandon, and his 5 friends to arrive from Houston for about 2 hours. We then had to pick up our two rental cars, pack up our stuff and make the drive to Silverthorne. On our way through the mountain, we had to stop and take in the view. And holy crap, it was friggin' cold! I was so glad that I brought the ski coat on the plane trip. You'll have to excuse the post, cone and dirty snow. I wasn't getting any closer to that edge than I had to.

Interestingly enough, we turned around to face this sign.

This made us wonder if we should have immediately gotten back in our vehicles and sped off. But, because we're such daredevils, we stayed. To the right of this sign, we found out that we were directly on the continental divide. Now that's kinda cool, huh? Here's me, Brandon & Jason hamming it up.

Notice the elevation sign. At this point, I did have a little trouble breathing. I was definitely tired very quickly. After we were finished playing tourist, we got back in the car and kept on driving to Silverthorne. As we hauled our bags up 3 flights of stairs, the elevation hit even further. Everyone was panting and getting a little bit of altitude sickness. I felt very light-headed for most of the night. Apparently, drinking water and keeping yourself well-hydrated alleviates the symptoms, so I was gulping water like a camel that had been in the Sahara for 3 months with no water.

After we cooled down from our 3 flight walk-up, we went to pick up our rentals and get something to eat. Trying on ski boots was interesting. For those who have never skied, let me tell you this: ski boots are heavy. They don't allow your ankles to move so they force you walk heel to toe in an exaggerated way. They aren't very comfortable (or pretty!), so I'm wondering how long I'll last on these things. Anyway, those of us that needed skis got fitted and then we went in search for food. For some reason, we decided to eat Chinese food. Now, I will tell you that the food we ate was actually really good. Unfortunately for a few of us (myself included), the Chinese food didn't agree and some of us became sick overnight. So, memo to anyone traveling to CO: Stay away from Chinese food!

The next morning, we headed straight for Copper Mountain. Everyone except me was an experience skier, so with the exception of Jason, they all immediately headed up the ski lifts. Jason decided to try and teach me to ski himself on a tiny bunny slope. I popped on the skis with ease, which impressed J. Moving was a different story. On flat land, skiing is not fun. I repeat, skiing is not fun on flat land. You have to push yourself forward in order to move just a tiny bit. It's a lot harder than it would seem. I learned the two basic principles in skiing: French Fry & Pizza. (Food always makes sense!)

French fry is when your skis are pointed straight forward, just like a french fry. This position makes you move forward when you push (or fall). Pizza is when you touch the front end or back end of your skis so that it makes a triangle shape. This helps you to stop moving or stay in place if you're on a slope. The stopping part is the hardest part of skiing. Going is easy, stopping is a little more difficult.

The next part of skiing was trying to get onto a bunny slope. We found a small slope (and by small, I mean about 20 feet) and slowly pushed ourselves toward it. I got myself onto the "ski lift" which was actually more of a moving sidewalk. There were parents with 2- and 3-year-olds on this bunny slope that were already doing better than me. I could move quickly, but the stopping scared the hell out of me. I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to stop before I fell over a cliff or ran straight into a wall. We spent about 1/2 the day here. We took a break for lunch, then headed to a real ski lift.

Thank goodness that the ski lifts were pretty empty; otherwise, I would've been pretty freaked out. Jason talked me through the process of getting on and I made it! The view from the lift was amazing! Jason wouldn't let me get my camera out to take pictures because he was afraid that one of us would drop the camera. The funniest thing about the ski lift is the trees that line it. As we're slowly moving up, I start to notice that there are beads in the trees. I even see a face mask, several pairs of panties/thongs and a few bras (one that was HUGE). I didn't get the point of this practice, but it was pretty funny. As we neared the end of the lift, I started to get nervous about getting off. Jason assured me that they would slow/stop the lift if I needed them to, but that it wasn't too hard. He told me to hold the poles in one hand while pushing myself up with the other. Then, the lift would just kind of push me forward. I kept thinking to myself, "I can do this!"

And so our time came. I lifted my skis, held my poles, but forgot to push myself up with the other hand. I tried to stand up, but ski boots make that pretty hard. I thought I was about to fall over and the lift would have to be stopped for my stupidity. I was wrong. I got off the lift, moved forward, but in a crouched position. I looked like I was trying to pee while skiing. But the point is that they didn't have to stop the lift! I did this for about 10 feet before I fell over. I did have to get a good laugh at this one. Then, I had to practice getting up. This is also harder than it looked. But, I made it up slowly. So, now was the beginning of my ski travel.

We pushed ourselves toward the first ski slope and I looked in horror. The first slope was way steeper than that tiny little bunny slope I practiced on! This is what I saw ( looked much steeper in person.....really, it did.....)

I immediately put my skis in the "pizza" position and tried to go down slowly. Pizza also works to ski slowly, but it is pretty rough on the knees. So can you guess what happened? That's right, I fell over! And I was so irritated. So, I somehow make myself get back up, and try it again. I fall just a few more feet down the road. I'm even more irritated. I get up again and get a little bit further before I fall AGAIN. So you can guess by now, I'm really frustrated. And the only way down is to either:

A) Ski down the mountain.
B) Break something so that I'm carried down the mountain.

Even though B would've been easier, it would've probably been more painful than falling, so I chose A. At this point, Jason is frustrated with me, too, because I'm just irritated with myself. He knew I would get pissed since I'm such a perfectionist. I usually pick up things quickly, and when I don't, I get highly irritated. But, I got back on my skis and slowly moved forward. I think I stopped about every 10 or 15 feet for quite a while. It was a very slow process. Each time I spotted a skier, and especially a boarder, I stopped to let them pass. I was so scared I would crash into them. Probably the most irritating thing was that there were tiny kids skiing on their own with no help. And here I am, at 30 years old, skiing 10 feet at a time, pizza-style. I fell several more times, but I did start skiing farther and farther each time. Here's proof that I could actually stand in my skis. Try not to get too jealous. Not everyone can make orange goggles look this hot. Notice my perfect pizza stance.

Somehow, after lots of slow trial and error, I made it down the mountain. In one piece I might add. I fell less and less as we moved down, and I almost started to have fun. Jason & I estimated that it took us 2 1/2 to 3 hours to get down this run. Just to compare, if you're a good skier and do this continuously, you can make it down in about 15 minutes. But I'm not a good skier, so we made it up the mountain once. By the time we made it down, I was breathing hard (still not adjusted to the altitude) so we took a break and waited for the others. We knew there was no way that we could get up there and make it back down before our meeting time. We met at our place and went back to the condo to relax for the night.


See ya!

>> Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Well, tomorrow is the big day. The day I will brave freezing weather to ski down a mountain! I'm sure I'll have plenty to report on Tuesday! Have a great weekend everyone!!!


More birthday happenings

>> Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On Saturday, a group of my friends met to celebrate my life here on this little old planet we call Earth. We celebrated my 30th anniversary of existence. To commemorate this special occasion, my dear friend Sylvia gave me a banner that said "30 & Thrilling" to sport all night.

We had dinner over at La Hacienda which was excellent, of course. Jason collaborated with Shana (read: convinced) to make me a yummy Red Velvet Cake. It was to-freaking-die-for. Thanks for the extra 5lbs I gained trying to finish that sucker off, Shana! Here's Jason trying to cut the cake like the good husband he is:

My brother was able to come into town to celebrate with me (or make fun of me). This was his reaction to my birthday:

But, no worries, because Shana & I were able to bring out the princessy-softer side of him:

I forgot to get a group photo before several of my friends left, so here's who I had left:

After dinner, we went out to Silo North. Upon entering, we headed straight to the bar where a friend bought my first drink. Then, a couple behind us heard it was my birthday (I guess the banner gave it away) and bought me a shot.

And me, who is not good at the shot game, actually had 3 before I'd had enough.

And at the end of the night (which was about midnight since I'm now a little old), my wonderful husband drove me home while my brother made fun of me some more. Here's Jason & I, the "old" 30-something married couple:

A big thanks goes out to all my wonderful friends that came out to celebrate:

  • Jason of course!
  • My brother Houston who drove the longest to see me!
  • Shana, who made a yummy cake that I've been trying to avoid ever since.
  • Sylvia, who thinks I'm not only thrilling, but thriving!!
  • Jessica, who gave me an awesome signature mat to commemorate the night.
  • Stacy & her husband Javier who came even though poor Stace was sick. She's a trooper, I tell you.
  • My cousin Becca & her fiance TJ who are both just plain awesome!
  • My other awesome cousin Kathy, who brought the princess gear my brother sported for all of 30 seconds.
  • Allison, my smartie-pants friend that I miss because she's busy working and writing her dissertation for her phD. (I'm tired just writing that.)
  • Jayme, her husband Jacin and their too adorable son, Shawn! I need to hang out with y'all a lot more! :)
  • Deseere & her husband sorry about the cilantro!
  • Shawna, who also got to feeling bad, but thanks for coming!
Thank you all for coming on my day! I couldn't have asked for better buddies!!!


I want this!

>> Monday, February 2, 2009

Some of you may know that I own a ridiculous amount of jewelry. And even owning this much, my husband still buys me more. And it makes me happy. The problem is that it is all stuffed in bags and drawers where it is difficult to get to. I never remember to check what might go with my choice of clothing for the day. So for some time now, I've been looking for something to put my jewelry in that would:

A. Make it easy to access
B. Be lockable in case I get to one day hire a cleaning lady!

I have found both! I found an awesome jewelry armoire at Pottery Barn (of course!) that just came out. It's the Hudson Jewelry Armoire and it's perfect! Now to convince J to get it........


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