Of the PreK variety.

A little snippity, snip, snip...

a lot of bits and scraps,

eventually leads to this:

Followed by some of this...

Overheard along the way, "No, I'm supposed to fold a cone Mom, it HAS to be a CONE! " Followed by a dramatic sigh and, "I guess I'll just have to ask Mrs. W. to show you how to fold it." Finally an exclamation of, "LOOK! I did it! I was frustrated but then I tried again and I DID IT!" and "I can't WAIT to show Mrs. W!"

Fingers crossed that all future homework is this much fun.


I Really Don't Know How This Happened

It's quite strange.

How have I not blogged all week? Highly unusual I know.

I haven't been out of town, sick, or busy. Possibly just at a loss for blog worthy material. I guess I could tell you how I've been avoiding things (besides the blog), like preparing in a timely manner for a little Stampin' Up! thing I'm having Saturday. I could also tell you how I got a little uppity and tried to do Level 2 of Jillian's 30 Day Shred and approximately 5 minutes later I was gasping myself right back to Level 1 where I belong. Or I could share how I was embarrassed at TarJay the other day when I unloaded the cart on the conveyor belt. Not only was I purchasing a Biggest Loser Boot Camp exercise DVD but two packages of cookies to go along with it.

Clearly I have commitment issues.

So other than basic life maintenance, blatant avoidance and trying to make heads or tails of the new LOST season, there's not a whole lot shaking in my corner.

How is life in your corner?



Sometimes your day starts with a crash.

Sometimes you pause to take in the fact that your steel cut oats are dripping down the front of your fridge and you are now short one purple Fiesta bowl. Oops. On the upside, you learn that steel cut oats are not as goopy as regular cooked oatmeal and are relieved it was not one of the retired chartreuse bowls (i.e. more $$$).

Sometimes you take a moment to reflect on the change happening for our country.

You kept your eyes glued to the Inauguration coverage like a news junkie and pretended you were there. Except you were thankfully ensconced in your warm home and comfy chair, instead of the bitterly cold, crowded mall area. You also remember running through those streets just a few months ago. You are thankful.
Sometimes you have several good mornings in a row when there is plenty of time and plenty of cheer. Sometimes it just takes one late morning combined with a short temper, voices raised and bursting tears to seemingly erase those good morning memories. Sometimes you are ashamed.

Sometimes you discover you do actually have muscles once you endeavor to find them, with Jillian Michaels' help. This causes pain. And sweat. And gasping for air. Yet you feel rather pleased with yourself all the same.
Sometimes TV is really, really good.

Sometimes you discover a new addiction. As if you need another one, of course.

Sometimes you stop for a moment to soak up the little girlness that surrounds you. Even as she eats her taco soup for lunch.

Sometimes you want to freeze time and never forget some of the things she says, like when she prays before a meal and says to bless this food for the "nurseries" of her body.

Sometimes your heart is full.


In Which I Learn I Am Nothing But a Girly-Mon

These arrived on my doorstep this afternoon.

I've known for a while that I've been, oh...shall we say lax with the strength training/target area type workouts. And several of my areas need targeting.

So carpe diem and all that. I tried 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels (AKA The Biggest Loser trainer) first.

And here I am a few minutes later sucking wind.

Yeah, it's a good workout. Level 1, that is.


I Just Can't Think of a Clever Race Report Title


Scott and I commemorated our 13 years of marriage yesterday (our anniversary was in June) by running 13.1 miles. Except not really together, because he runs much faster than I do. And there were approximately 18,000 other people running around us. Well, go big or go home, right?

(Yes, I have on *my eyes*. I'm just kind of vain that way.)

I told him to run his own race and not to worry about staying near me. He could have started with the first wave, with the faster runners, but he kept saying he was going to stay with me.


We waited at the start with my sweet friend Heather (Isn't she cute? Her hubs was running his first half too.) and a few other running buddies.

Once we finally got going everything was moving pretty slow because of the mass of humanity crossing the start line and moving across 4 crowded lanes. Up an overpass of all things. Why didn't I do hill training? Why don't I EVER do hill training?

A group of Elvis impersonators (or maybe one of them was real?) greeted us on the overpass. Definitely picture worthy. Should I refer to them as Elvi since there were more than one?


So we were not yet 2 miles into the thing and my beloved turned back to me, frustrated already at the crowds and the general slowness surrounding him, and said, "I'll see you at the Watermill Express."

Yep. I so knew he was going to do that.

That was our planned meeting point after the finish. So he was basically telling me, "See ya, slowpoke." That's okay though.

After the crowds thinned out I caught up with Heather, Catherine and other running buds. Heather and I managed to stay together for the rest of the race and that made it a LOT of fun. I hope I didn't hold her back, because her other buds were going a bit faster.

Around mile 5 I had to document something else that gave me pause.

Note to self: if ever tempted to run a race in gold lame leggings, please remember these brave, yet somewhat misguided feather bedecked ladies. From their blessed back sides no less.
Yes, those are fish net tops covered by white sequined bras. Yes.
At least they were in a group I suppose and didn't have to go gold all alone.

The rest of the race was a pattern of 5-1 intervals, sometimes 4-2, cheering each mile as we reached it. There were tons of spectators, bands (even one-man), signs and applause. There is something so motivating to hear strangers call out your name (this year our bibs had our names printed much larger) and cheer you on.
Scott had finished about 40 minutes before I did, so he was waiting for me inside the convention center. He felt pretty good considering this was his first half, he had struggled with IT band issues and his training was somewhat, um...spotty.
Okay, Pot called and said the Kettle was looking pretty black too.
Here we are proudly showing off our medals. And my sweaty hair. But look, my mascara survived!

Even though we didn't run together, we ran the same course and covered the same distance. I'm so proud of Scott for crossing over the line from spectator to RUNNER. It's not a huge step, but it changes everything.
He might just be hooked.


Not Your Average Date Night

Late Friday afternoon we braved the traffic and managed to get downtown to pick up our race packets. Remember our anniversary present? Well, the day of reckoning is fast approaching, less than 24 hours. Eeek!

Getting our packets was rather exciting because it was Scott's first time to get his very own. Doesn't he look thrilled? Or perhaps slightly scared?

We browsed the expo briefly then made our way over to Buca di Beppo...

for some serious carb loading. Scott ordered spaghetti and meat sauce (he likes to live on the edge) and I chose Penne San Remo.

We made our way home through more traffic (seriously, what is up with that?), picked up Annelise from Pappo and Miss Peggy's, quickly shuffled her off to bed and settled in to watch the season premiere of Friday Night Lights. Aren't we terribly exciting? I know.


Good Morning, Good MORN-ing

Wasn't that what Debbie Reynolds sang in Singing in the Rain? Our morning routine isn't always that perky and peppy, but we muddle through.

A. usually wakes up happy and raring to go. Me, not so much. Once A. does her morning routine (play, potty, play, brush teeth, flip through some books, get dressed, dawdle, make her bed), which can take anywhere from 10-30+ minutes, punctuated by my gentle reminders softly whispered up the stairs (oh how I kid!), she eats a quick breakfast.

Yes, she still eats at the kitchen counter standing on her little step stool. It works for us and she doesn't seem to mind. Sadie doesn't mind either because there is always the chance A. will drop something.

I usually have one cup of coffee before taking her to school, and oh my, it is DELICIOUS. Look how happy I am:

That IS me being happy in the morning. This is also my scruffyish bed head, which is also usually my day head as well. I am in the very awkward growing-out-the-scary-short-hair-and-am-in-dire-need-of-color-attention-and-am-close-to-the-end-of-my-rope. To add to that, I don't usually wash my hair every day. Do you? For one thing, I am inherently lazy and for another, even my scruffy hair does better the next day.

This week my morning outfit has consisted of the random t-shirt that I slept in, covered up by a baggy sweatshirt, and jeans. See?

Oh. I am proud to say that I have worn these jeans every day this week so far. Am I completely gross?

Then it was time to grab my keys, wallet, A.'s backpack and dash to school.

There you have it. Our glorious morning.

What's your morning routine like?


SPT( er...W): I Resolve

I resolve to take more self-portraits with those that I love.

After supper, after splashing in a bath and once PJs were donned we had a little time for a game with our Little Pet Shop friends.

This game comes highly rated by our resident 5 year old by the way.

We took a time out for a family picture with the timer and a mad dash.

And another time out for hugs and consoling when our resident 5 year old did not win the game.

The tears were soon stopped once we started another game. I sense a trend. Our resident 5 year old went to bed happy because she had collected two cards and Scott and I had none. The game will be continued...

It's the little joys.

Make sure to visit Lelly's blog to see other I Resolve SPTs.


What to do, what to do...

Now that the holidays are in my rearview mirror I am ready to get some of those holiday treats and sweets off of my, ahem...rear view.

I am heaping blame on the holidays, but it really boils down to my lack of self control. I can't seem to just eat one or two cookies (or what ever treat), I want to eat them ALL. Until I'm sick of them or they're gone. What's up with that? I've let an occasional indulgence become the norm.

"Everything is permissible for me--but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me--but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12

What to do, what to do...

Better choices. Moderation. Balance. Smaller portions. Occasional treats. Ramp up the exercise. I know what I need to be doing, I just need to do it.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you whom you received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

This last week I exercised more than I had been (though still haven't started using light weights like I know I should) and made better food choices. Mostly. I'm trying.

I am also trying to remember that no matter what, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" Psalm 139:14

However. My good friend Vanity wants me to sign up for Weight Watchers again, this time with a clear goal set, say 3-4 months. Last spring WW worked well for me and I lost 20+ pounds (most of which I'm sure have returned). My other friend, Penny Pincher Cheapmeister wants me to give it a go on my own. I'm still on the fence, and the fence is hurting my larger heiny.

What to do, what to do...


Two Ponytails

This past week my little girl was all about having two ponytails.

Every. Single. Day.

Surprisingly, I was okay with that since few things say little girl to me like two little ponytails. I'm sure there will come a day, in the not so distant future, when she will no longer let me fix her hair or she may even want her hair cut (Gasp!).

So for now I will gladly continue to wrestle her abundant, squirrelly, curly hair into two teeny tiny elastic bands without gritting my teeth and screeching toholdyourheadstillstopturningyourheaddon'tsquirm. I will. With a little help from Above.

On another note, this scene from the refrigerator tickled my funny bone. Seems Annelise could only eat half of her banana so she put a clip on it (like we do our cereal and chips) and popped it into the fridge.

Problem solving by a five year old. Love that.


Freshening Up Our Nest

With a new year blossoming and Christmas packed away, I feel the unavoidable tug toward freshening our nest a bit. Not so much the spic and span deep cleaning type of freshening per se (those feelings are there yet I can avoid them) but the purely aesthetic type.

My goal has been to shop mainly from my own house or garage (repurpose, rearrange, rotate, rummage) or thrift stores.

I quickly amended my goal though to include a small Tar Jay spree for two new pillows and a furry brown throw.

The chair was living upstairs but has now rotated to our family room. The beige couch is new to us too, a benefit of trickle-down economics (it's my dad's old couch).

Yesterday, as I pulled into our garage, I glanced over at this antique fan that had been hanging out in our garage for a while. It was high time to do something with it. See the maker? Diehl? Well, that's actually my maiden name. Pretty cool, huh? My dad and uncles started collecting these from flea markets and antique fairs a few years back and he let me have one. I cleaned it up just a bit and set it up on our mantel.

It looks rather happy up there, which makes me happy too.

The mantel area is still a work in progress, not quite sure what type of progress yet, but it definitely needs something. Any ideas? The antique pitchers might need some tall grasses or sticks. I want to bring in soft neutrals (cream, off-white, ecru--it's fun to say ecru), browns and blues to off set all the green we have going on around the room. I'd like to collect white or cream plates and do a wall arrangement too.

Oh. I might as well admit this as well, I have a hankering for some animal print somewhere, maybe a pillow. Possibly just a touch of well heeled giraffe. Are we still friends?

Moving right along...

Our little geese family has migrated to the top of our TV armoire. They make me happy too.

I don't want to buy anything, or at least not big things if I can help it. I tried rummaging around our local Goodwill, certain that amazing treasures were just waiting for me to find them. Nope. The only productive thing was A. had to visit the loo for a poo. Nice.

I've been piling pine cones in bowls and vases this winter (A. is my hunter-gatherer) and that's been one of my favorite decorative touches. You can't beat free and natural!

I am almost motivated to borrow my dad's sander and tackle two pieces of furniture that have been living in our garage for, oh, ever. Almost. My plan is to sand them down a bit and then paint them black and distress them. Soon after I'll be making those silhouettes and finishing my quilt too.

(Did you catch my eye-roll?)

I'll keep you posted.


Challenging My Little Old Self

One of my goals this year is to have God's word more readily on my lips. In order to accomplish this, I know I need to be reading His word more and committing more verses to memory. That task could seem overwhelming, but I stumbled across a way to hopefully make it easier. I read about a scripture challenge and decided I would give it a try. You commit to memorizing two scriptures a month, on the 1st and the 15th, the goal being by the end of the year you have memorized 24 scriptures. Isn't that fantastic?

Here is the one I chose for the first part of January:

I wrote the verse on an index card so it will be easily accessible. I'll add a new verse at least two times a month. My goal is for my set of ringed index cards to be filled with scriptures that apply to different periods of my life throughout the year(s) and they will become deeply impressed upon my mind and heart.

Just thought I'd share this with y'all, helps keep me accountable and all that. If anyone would like to join me in this effort, by all means...please jump on in!!

Three Loosely Related Running Things

That's a mighty clever title, no?

I had a lot of fun reading your guesses about my playlist. Thanks everyone for playing along! Before the race I updated my playlist and added several songs. Some were old school like ABBA and The Cars, some were heavier like Van Halen's Running with the Devil and a new favorite from Beyonce, Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It). One of the best ones I moved up to the front is Get'cha Head in the Game from, yes, High School Musical. It's saccharine peppiness perks my feet right up.

Anyway, back to the point.

Sincerely Anna pegged it right away with her guess of New Year's Day by U2. Be checking your mailbox for a bit of good mail on its way to you. Soon. Ish.

My legs have been a little sore these last few days which has served to remind me I need to stretch more regularly and use my foam roller. Foam rolling helps as a form of self-massage to work out tightness and sore spots.

Professional sport massages are wonderful, but can be expensive to schedule regularly. A high-density foam roller can help fill in the gaps between appointments and maybe even save you some money.

In my last running post I mentioned taking an ice bath which aids in muscle recovery after longer runs. I think the key is to take your ice bath as close to the end of your run as you can, the sooner the better. Everyone has his or her way that works best for them, I have finally figured out what works for me. On your way home from your long run or race stop by the convenience store and buy two bags of ice (last week I only used what was in our ice maker, it was okay but not quite enough). Start filling your tub with cold water with the sealed bags of ice in there as well. You only need enough water to cover your legs. Grab a big mug of hot coffee or cocoa and climb on in. Once you are in, open the bags of ice and try to sit at least 10-15 minutes. It's terribly shocking at first, but works miracles on sore muscles.

What new songs are playing in your ears? Do you use a foam roller or take an ice bath? What muscle remedy works best for you?


SPT: This Moment

Scott is back at work.

Annelise is at school for the next 3 hours.

Christmas has been put away.

It's raining, dreary and cold.

There is nothing remotely urgent that needs to be done right now, so...

I've got an appointment with a big mug of coffee and DVRd (is that a word??) episodes of The Secret Life of an American Teenager. I can't quite wrap my brain around my teenage idol Molly Ringwald playing the role of The Mom instead of hanging out on a Saturday with The Jock, The Geek, The Basketcase and The Rebel.

I feel old.

Be sure to visit Lelly's blog to see other SPTs.


Running in the New Year

Can you guess what I did this morning?

You are right! I ran the Half in the 10th annual Texas Marathon in Kingwood Texas. I had heard positive things about this New Year's Day event and when a friend mentioned giving it a try, I was all over it.

It is a smaller race, about 400 runners between the full and half, with plenty of friendly support and great organization.

One section of the looped course was filled with everyone's names stapled to the trees. I may never have my name in lights, but it's been stapled to a tree. Isn't that nice?

Our goody bags were filled to the rim with coffee mugs, a hat, nice gloves, a sport bottle and a nice long sleeved shirt. There still might be other goodies in there, I haven't dug to the bottom yet. After the race there were stacks and stacks of hot pizza, sodas and cookies. I never thought I would cross the finish line and immediately go for a slice of za, but apparently if it's available I'm all over it.

Since it was the 10th year for this event, and we are of course in Texas where everything is bigger and better, this is the medal...

I know. It's almost as big as my head. It actually hurts my neck to wear it. Impressive, no? Each year they give out a small stuffed animal with your finish place on it. This year they had bats and I finished 99th.

After an ice bath, followed by a shower and some foam rolling, I felt pretty good. Considering my longest run prior to this was 5 miles and I have shown little (okay, no) restraint around all possible forms of sugar, I was glad my body remembered what to do.

This race was a lot of fun and I'm really glad to have started the new year this way. In a way it has re energized my attitude toward running. I'm ready to get the holidays behind me (and off of my behind) and find my running groove again. And my abs.

Happy New Year to You!

****Just for fun****I'll send a bit of good mail to the first person to correctly guess the first song on my play list for today. It's a bit old school and fitting for the occasion.
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