Country people, filters, frizzy hair and a pub crawl

Thank goodness school is finally out! Our school didn’t get out until June 22nd then we headed to Kansas the next day for a very fast visit with the grandparents. Speaking of grandparents, my brother and his family stopped by for dinner while we were there. My son came out of the bedroom long enough to eat then headed right back in. When I went in to see what was going on he informed me that he, “didn’t want to hang out with those country people.” (Thank goodness he didn’t see my nephew peeing in the backyard.) Considering he’s still working on his filter, I figured it would be best to just let him hang out in the bedroom with his video game just this once.

92b426d1f293c3020875836fb9804978We weren’t there long enough to do much but Wichita has some hidden gems: art, nature, theater, great food, the birthplace of Pizza Hut. If you get a chance to visit make sure to do plenty of exploring. Oh, and never, EVER, go in the summer. I remember when I was growing up and I thought those people in California were freaks. The “big one” was going to hit and California was going to break off into the ocean and become part of Hawaii. Now I live here and I realize I was right. I’m one of the freaky Californians and we are going to be a Hawaiian Island when the next “big one” hits. And I’m okay with that!

9a257ebad4fbbc53f60d3b828a8bfa53We got back Sunday just in time to get the kids ready to start camp/work. We’ve been counting down the days until Saturday so we can sleep in! I figured it out that I’m in the car 2.5 hours dropping/picking up kids and driving 75 miles per day. My son keeps reminding me that I’m the one who signed him up for camp so technically it’s my own fault. That’s what I get for not wanting my kids sitting around on their behinds all summer because I have this pesky thing called a JOB.

This week my son was in a volunteer camp for teens. You have a sense of how his filter works (ex: country people) so needless to say we had a lengthy talk on the way to camp the first day. We chatted about social cues, engaging filters, not offending anyone, not saying everything that pops into our brain, etc. I fully expected a call from the counselor the first day asking me to come pick him up. Thankfully he made it through  a trip to the Humane Society, painting a fence at a senior center, planting at the botanical garden and even tye dying 400 shirts for fellow campers. However, the thought of going to the beach for a beach clean up proved to be his undoing. He decided to stay home today even if it meant not getting a Camper of the Week award. That kid really loves awards and REALLY hates the beach, which is pretty ironic considering we live in San Diego. (The beach part is ironic, not the award part.)

475b101f831ab04e3c5c7c9057db7034Full confession here…I had some work done today. My travel plans for Ireland are in full swing but my biggest concern has been my hair. Those of you who don’t have frizzy, curly hair won’t understand this but those that do are nodding along right now. For starters…it’s rainy and humid in Ireland…ALL THE TIME! Moisture and frizzy, curly hair Do Not Mix! So, today I invested 3 hours and a lot of money on a straightening treatment at the salon. (#14 on “The List” is to get a new hairstyle. I think this qualifies?) Here’s hoping I enjoy a frizz-free trip. Other travel plans include purchasing a GoPro, new walking shoes, a few new sweaters and…collapsible water bottle/wine flasks. *Snap*

Dublin Medal-LRebecca over at the Travel, Running and a Little Bit of Style blog commented on my last post that I should do a race while I’m over in Ireland. I’m pleased to announce that I took her up on her suggestion and I’m officially signed up for…The Dublin Pub Crawl! Okay, so it’s a virtual run, but since I’ll be doing plenty of walking and hiking (and possibly partaking in a pint or two) in Ireland why not get rewarded for it, right?

So here’s to a long weekend and checking things of “the list.”

Have a safe and happy 4th of July.Independence Day_Banner

I get to…

Countdown to @RunCarlsbad: 279 days

I got some really sad news about a friend of mine this week and I’ve been struggling to process the whole thing. I know the family is trying to figure out how they’re going to move forward and learn to live with a new normal. And just like that I’m reminded once again how fragile and precious life is.

social movementsIn the middle of all of this I started reading a book by Derrick Feldmann called Social Movements for Good: How Companies and Causes Create Viral Change. In the acknowledgement section he mentions an interview Marc Roberge, frontman for the band O.A.R., gave where he talked about a friend of his who had a tattoo that says “I get to.” Feldmann goes on to talk about all the things he got to do while researching and writing the book. I’ve been thinking a lot about that statement the past few days and what I get to do.

I get to use my body to exercise when some people would give anything to walk, see, hear, move, sweat, feel anything at all besides pain and fear. (That means completely changing the way I think about working out.)

5ea982f23b482b62c6247fb1c72d6e12I get to be a mother and watch my children grow into amazing, talented, caring people…today. None of us are promised tomorrow and for that I’m going to appreciate today even more. (I’m trying very hard to limit the eye rolls when I hear someone scream, “MOM!” for the 97th time in one day.)

I get to help people make a difference in my community through the work I’m paid to do for my organization and the volunteer work I do to support causes that are important to me and those I love.

I get to share my life with some pretty incredible people. I get to be there for my friends to share laughs and tears, successes and failures, good days and bad days.

I wish I could make the pain go away for my friends. I wish I fix what was broken. I wish…but I can’t. So I’m going to focus on what I get to do today…for me and my friends.

I get to


Hard habit to break

Countdown to @RunCarlsbad: 284 days

I feel incomplete if I don’t open my post with a race countdown so in case you’re wondering, it’s 284 days until the next Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon & Half Marathon. I already have “my mile” reserved (3/23) and my incredible team of volunteers will be there supporting our runners and the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation.

In the meantime…

bc6912c7a2579c5b1d913e445c9962caCan we chat a bit about bad habits? More specifically, breaking bad habits? I’ve been reading a lot about mindfulness thanks to the health & wellness class I’m taking and I’m really hoping something clicks.  When it comes to bad habits, my mother is very fond of reminding me that, “Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I know already!

power of habitI’m currently reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. I’m not very far along but I can tell you that I’m learning a lot about the relationship between cues, rewards and routines. Duhigg notes that when alcoholics learned alternate routines for dealing with stress, they stopped drinking for good. And once they incorporated those new routines for coping with stress and anxiety in their lives, the successes were dramatic. Science seems to support the theory that this approach works for all kinds of habits: overeating, sedentary lifestyle, procrastination, overspending…need I go on? I guess the good news for me is that bad habits can be changed!

12920461_10156741391530156_4881089207484859035_nSIDEBAR/SOAPBOX: Did you know that today is Organ Donor Registration Day? If you’re a registered organ donor, thank you! If not, why not do it this week? It’s not like you can take it with you. Right? And how cool is it to know that YOU have the power to give life.



51SWAg1t46L._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame was recently on Good Morning America talking about the 10th anniversary of her book. She said something that really resonated with me. She said, “Tomorrow doesn’t have to look like today.” How perfect is that?

Side note: If you’re too lazy to read the book (ahem…like me), the movie is cute and perfect for a lazy Friday night at home on the couch with a glass of wine.

In related news…I joined a new gym today.

And with that, I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom:






#DonateLife #EatPrayLove @GilbertLiz @cduhigg



Vacuum hack aka why I’m drinking pumpkin spice lattes in March

Last week I was on a roll and ran FOUR times! This week I haven’t logged more than 6,000 steps in any given day. It’s been a busy work week. Not to worry though because it will all be worth it when I’m enjoying a girls’ weekend with my daughter and my person. YAY!! Can’t wait!!

879f7c9f89b77b629569b65feee4a267I, like many people, cannot function without my morning coffee. I’ve been trying very hard to be a coffee connoisseur but if I’m being honest…I’ll drink just about anything in the morning as long as it’s hot. My friend, Miss Brenda, is a real coffee connoisseur and I’m constantly disappointing her. Two years ago, at her recommendation, I invested in a very expensive burr grinder and I switched to top-quality beans. That grinder lasted less than a year. I wasn’t giving up that easy so I invested in yet another very expensive burr grinder. Well, last night, less than a year after purchasing my second grinder, it also died.

043656f70c32ff0dcf9fd01d3063c1d3Hoping to salvage the damn thing I decided to see if maybe there was a bean or two jammed somewhere. I slid it across the counter and accidentally knocked an completely full bean hopper across the floor. (Insert swear word!) Deep breathe. I swept them up, tossed them in the trash, and kept pressing on. I cleaned everything as best I could then refilled the  bean hopper to test my handiwork. No luck. (Insert swear word!)

Okay, let’s try this again. Carefully remove bean hopper…oops. (Insert swear word!) This time I’m bringing in the big guns…the Acme 5000 vacuum.

In hindsight…

549cc3c4691c397774737dad1db2541aDid you know if you try to vacuum coffee beans with a vacuum it will actually grind them for you and spit said coffee grounds all across the kitchen floor? Who knew? (I’m not going to lie; I considered sweeping them up and putting them in the coffee maker. I’m not proud but desperate times…)

Alas, the very expensive burr coffee grinder is now in the trash and I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m not a coffee whore. I’m perfectly fine with pre-ground coffee, well, except for Folgers.

ca706a090729eb4787474f5575a30517Which is why I’m drinking Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice coffee in March. (Hey, it was the only thing I could find in the back of the pantry. Don’t judge!)


Are you a coffee snob? What’s your morning drink of choice?

#CoffeeSnob #PumpkinSpiceLatte

This is so not like me!

I cannot believe it’d535b3f789f997ad17346dfef554b366s been so long since I posted anything. It’s so not like me to not have anything to say. Let’s just chalk it up to a ton of work and a few marathons of the Netflix & Hulu kind.  Don’t judge. (If you’re looking for recommendations…)

Last week I finally got in for an MRI on my knee and the doctor said the only thing wrong is that I have some arthritis, I’m old, and need to stop running. I happen to think she’s wrong…so I went for a run.  I figured since not running hasn’t made a difference then I had nothing to lose by going for a run. Right? Lucky for me I have a friend who is in the middle of training to do Myofascial work and I’ve already volunteered to be her lab rat. Now if I can just get a plastic surgeon, massage therapist, and personal trainer on my team I’ll be in great shape. (Oohhh…and a chef. And housekeeper.)

2bd2caf60badbbe313e7235309716ddbSpeaking of shape…I signed up for a health and wellness program. It’s a long story but I’ll give you the full update in the near future. I’m trying to keep an open mind and not be cynical. I’m not off to a great start. At the first meeting I got total stink eye for trying to sneak out during the “mindfulness” exercise . Oh, and for bringing a bag of M&M’s to the class. And for calling it fat class. What can I say, I’m a work in progress.


The Running Posse decided we were going to do a 5K every month and we did the Sweetheart 5K in February. It was such a dud we’re not doing it again. Let’s just say that my kids could have organized a better event. We registered for the Electric Run this month but I’m going to have to cancel because I have an unexpected Mother/Daughter trip to SFO on tap. We’re still looking for races for the next few months but…drumroll…my Foundation is producing the San Diego Fire Rescue 5K & Kids Run on Oct. 8th. I’m so excited for this event, especially because we have an incredible race committee. They’re talented, enthusiastic, dedicated, experienced runners…need I go on? I’ll definitely keep you posted on our progress. The website and registration are set to go live on April 1st. (Rumor has it there will be firefighters. And lifeguards!)

2016-03-14 18.43.30In other news…how ’bout that election? I’m not going to turn this post into a political soapbox but I will say that I have no intention of moving to Canada if a certain someone gets elected. I’m moving to Ireland.

I even have a little place picked out.





Speaking of Ireland…three night-night sleeps until my favorite holiday of the year: St. Patrick’s Day! We’ve been decorating for our annual shenanigans for a few days now and even the chairs are getting in on the action. (How cute are those chair socks! You’d be amazed what you can find at the local Japanese market.)
2016-03-14 18.17.54




The puppies have their outfits all picked out too. (Toto wasn’t cooperating so Lucas was kind enough to model both selections for us today.)
2014-03-13 12.45.42 20140314_161850






In closing, I’ll leave you with tonight’s Table Topic:
What would be a good addition to the human body?

Flat Irons vs. Chapstick

If you have kids you know how hard it can be to get everyone together at the same time/same place for dinner. That’s why I’ve been making everyone who is home for dinner sit down together at the table.

One thing the kids really enjoy doing during dinner is Table Topics. The question we had last night was, “What one modern day luxury item can you not live without?” After a short debate about the merits of a flat iron vs. Chapstick (that was my debate not theirs because they have straight hair so they will never understand my love affair with the flat iron), we all agreed we couldn’t live without Chapstick. Let’s face it, curly hair can be pulled into a ponytail or stuffed into a hat but there’s no substitute for Chapstick when you have dry, flaky lips.

So, what modern day luxury can you not live without?

Here’s another good question for you:

Marathon weekend has officially arrived

ED0115185433Marathon weekend officially launched last night with the Heroes of the Marathon celebration. One of the things I really love about this event is that it’s such a close, family event. I got to see several of the elite runners but didn’t get a chance to talk to any of them. I did get to catch up with my adorable girlfriend, Liz, and her hubby Tim. I’ve known them for about 10 years and this marathon has become a bit of an annual tradition for us. Her charity, Donate Life/Lifesharing, staffs the mile next to mine so we get to be partners in crime every year.

I also got to hang with the Flanagan Clan, who happen be the race owners/directors and world-class, amazing friends/sisters/neighbors. (Not officially sisters yet but Liz and I keep trying to be named honorary Flanagan’s. I think we’re in as long as they can’t find us to serve the restraining order.)12573230_10207035320099395_4922490176523796794_n

I hope you’ll take a minute to read about Lynn Flanagan and In Motion Events! She’s an inspiration and a role model to her family, friends, and the race community.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print for the moment. I’m off to get sign-making supplies, drop the Cambro’s off at Starbucks, and pick up bagels & shmears for tomorrow.

Let the fun begin!