Shaping Up

No, this isn’t a post about how I’m getting more into shape (although I have been working on stretching more because it’s the only way my body will feel remotely normal–more on that in another post).

This post is about how the last, this, and next weeks are shaping up to be quite lovely, riddled with friends and family, and not too bogged down with messy adult things like our doctor dropping our insurance and not telling us until months later and AFTER we had an appointment with her, then billing us a bunch of money.

Last weekend, as you may recall, my dad was in town and my youngest girl cousin had her bat mitzvah. Jason and I even had an aliyah–well, mostly I did, but Jason came up and supported my off-key rendition of the Barchu. The good times continued at the reception later that night, where we had a yummy dinner and great conversations with my family. The only bad part was the fact that I’d been on my feet or sitting in an uncomfortable chair all day so my feet and ankles were amazingly swollen. I hear this is going to be a regular occurrence throughout the summer months. Hooray.

Our friends, Will and Nola, had their beautiful baby girl the day of our Baby Care Basics class at the end of last month. They had invited us to visit and meet her last week, but since my dad was in town, we just couldn’t swing it. They asked about this weekend, but unfortunately we were ‘booked’ already.

Friday night, my best friend and the maid of honor in my wedding was in town. So we met up at this place to meet her and her new boyfriend for dinner, tapas, and beer (Jason and Matt had beer, I had a sad version of a virgin margarita–they don’t do frozen drinks at all!).

Saturday, Jason was able to meet the baby (he’s reported back that even at three weeks, she is SUPER tiny) when he and Will went on an expedition up to Santa Fe to run errands and get in some shooting at a range up there. Meanwhile, Deb swung by, picked me up, and we spent the afternoon at The Baby Bear Store looking at cloth diaper options and Babies ‘R Us adding to the baby registry. It was really great to go with an already-mom who could offer suggestions and recommendations for things I would never have thought about. Like diaper rash ointments other than A&D and Desitin that apparently work much better. Because I registered online to begin, I picked up a swag bag full of baby literature and samples like this spectacularly tiny newborn’s diaper (I have a BIC pen beside it for an idea of just how small the diaper actually is)  and something called Butt Paste.

Jason and I met back at the house and were gone again to have dinner with our friends Jamie, Charlie, and Sebastian. Sebastian (about 15 months old) kept us well entertained while Jamie put the finishing touches on dinner: vegetarian breakfast pizza with cantaloupe for desert. We had a great time, and Jason has a new little buddy in Sebastian. They had fun playing with the farm animal magnet toy and making it sing to them so they could bust some moves. Jason also taught Sebastian a Korean word: 아니오 (ah-nee-oh) meaning “no” because everyone should know how to say no in multiple languages. The whole exchange was very sweet and Jason is going to be a great dad.

Today–happy Father’s Day by the way–Jason, my step-dad, and Jason’s friend Jesse are driving into the mountains to chop wood and look for treasure. Well, Jason and Jesse are chopping wood, and my step-dad Bruce is joining them so he can get in some metal-detecting time. I expect them to be quite sunburned and bringing home loads of fire wood later this afternoon. As a treat, my mom is coming over here so we can keep each other company (her birthday was Friday), watch chick flicks, and gossip.

Up next week is dinner with my cousin Mike and his wife at this place, then finally on Saturday, I’ll get to meet Will and Nola’s new baby. Since Nola just had her baby, she’s also able to give me some pointers and words of encouragement about my own upcoming birthing experience (less than 17 weeks away now!). At her suggestion, I’m going to check out:

 and 

**Question: What are you doing for Father’s Day?**

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My Ladies of Bridal

The ladies in my bridal party include a rocket scientist, a newlywed, a newly (holy cow, how is she able to drive already?) licensed driver, a total ham, and a little cutie.

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The inclusion of my friends Susan (the rocket scientist AKA Maid of Honor) and Katy (the newlywed AKA Matron of Honor) were fairly easy decisions to make.

SUSAN:

The Rocket Climber

I’ve known this woman for nearly two decades. We’ve been through it all–band, boys, college, grad school, bar hoppin’, and job searchin’. But, at the end of the day, she’s truly one of the few people I can’t imagine experiencing this day without.

I’m so proud of her too. When I first met her, she was shy and hardly what you might call adventurous. But look at her! Scaling cliffs!

She’s become SUCH an independent and adventurous woman.

So, not only is she super smart (did I mention she’s a rocket scientist?), but funny, beautiful, adventurous, and talented.

I love her!

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To be fair, I love all my girls!

KATY:

HilARious

It’s funny how life works sometimes. With Katy, we were destined to be friends. Case in point: The first time I met her, we were out with mutual friends and although we had never met before, we thought it would be HILARIOUS if she were to prank call my little brother (he was about 15-16 at the time). She had him convinced that they had met previously and he and his buddy, John, were actually considering sneaking out to meet up with her. And that was that… we went our separate ways.

A few months later, we were going to be hiring a new girl in the classified ads office at the Daily Lobo. Who should walk in but that same hilarious girl?

In the course of our friendship we’ve been each other’s shoulders to cry on, support systems, driving companions (around ABQ and to LA), we’ve even been each other’s “boss” (I wrote for her at the paper when she was the News Editor, and she freelances for me at the publishing company).

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Who to ask to be my bridesmaids was a tough call.

RACHEL & JORDAN:

Not because I didn’t know who to ask, just that I wasn’t sure they would want to. Teenagers… IE: Rachel (the newly [holy crap she’s 16!] licensed driver) and Jordan (probably the funniest girl I know).

Responsible Beauty
Goofy AND Gorgeous

Both of these young ladies are my cousins. They are sisters. And I’ve LOVED being able to watch them grow from little babies to the brave, conscientious, smart, and funny young women they are today. Words can’t begin to express how happy I am to have both of them participating in my wedding. (I’m a sap)

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 This brings me to my ADORABLE flower girl.

KAITLYN:

She’s probably the cutest little girl I know. I’m so glad she will be joining us! Her mom (Jason’s sister) has been SO helpful with searching for dresses in the right color and style for our little flower girl.

Hello Cuteness

 

Running Return?

 Around about this time in 2006 (I think) I met one of my very good friends, Suzuko.  We had a physics lab together, and we quickly paired up as we were a good few years older than almost everyone else in there. We also managed to find each other in the massive physics lecture the following Thursday. As we learned about force and momentum and all the wonderfully complicated formulas that make up the world and universe, we grew an amazing friendship. I loved physics that semester because Suz and I were devoted to getting through it together. We studied together, took the instructors extra study sessions together, and even got up at four in the morning to call one another in order to finish our homework before class.

In the middle of that semester, Suz completed a half marathon (Disney) and soon became a mentor runner for Team In Training. Of course, she talked about her marathon and recruited me by February. And that was how I began my own training for a half marathon (13.1 miles).

The event was in June and through the whole process, Suz and I trained together. After the school year was over and her husband left for field work for the summer, I even moved in with her and their daughter, Samantha. Initially, Jack’s (Suz’s hubby) sister was staying with them to help with Sammy, but once school was out, Stacie was back in Colorado. So I moved in and it was just us girls. It was probably the most fun I’d had in years.

Suz and Jack had been trying for kiddo number two before I got there and he left for the summer, and well… lo and behold, a few weeks (maybe 2 or 3) before our event, Suz discovered she was preggers (with baby Jamie). The dilemma then became, for Suz, whether to run her event or not. She decided… YES. I’m not sure if most ladies would elect to run 13.1 miles just a few weeks into their pregnancy, but Suz was determined. I was very proud of her for running it and inspired by her will.

My own progress was slow, I was at the time, and pretty much have always been, overweight. Needless to say, I was a slow runner. Sticking with the back (I was the back) of the pack was how I completed each practice with TNT, but everyone there was supportive, so I didn’t feel too bad.

Even with 6, 8, 10, and up to 14 mile runs, I didn’t lose much weight, which was a bit upsetting, but having the experience under my belt was still worth that minor setback.

Immediately after the Animas half marathon in Colorado, I signed on as a mentor myself. TNT was unfortunately losing one (Suzuko) to a pregnancy. As a mentor, I did get a few perks, like not having to raise money to get the same training… I just had to communicate with my mentees and keep them motivated and check in on their fundraising and mileage progress. This is how I met Deb.

Deb is a super perky and amazing woman. Her superhero job is to help people quit smoking. She’s wonderful. Deb and I were pacing about the same (SLOW). Although she was a bit faster than me, I had another woman nursing a pretty bad injury and the tree of us made up the back for the season.

Unfortunately for both of us, after completing the 12 mile run and then the Duke City 1/2 Marathon the following week, we were both pretty much down for the count. I had serious ITBS and she had major shin splints. Her goal of Rock & Roll in AZ (a half) or Hawaii (a full) was put on hold.

Fast-forward to now. I live in Seoul, S. Korea. In the land of very tiny people, I have found it almost impossible to get out and exercise on my own (all mental really) for the utter hatred of being stared at by wispy thin Koreans. 

On the other side of the world, Suzuko now lives in Huston with Jack, Sammy, and Jamie. She is raising two beautiful daughters. Deb has finally healed enough to train for and complete a half marathon and now she’s got the bug again!

As these inspiring women in my live continue to do great things with their athletic and personal lives, I am stuck. I am having a worthwhile experience here in Seoul. I am learning about myself and if nothing else, striving to be strong. I have the love of an amazing, smart, and talented man. 

As the end of our stay draws near, I am finding more and more reasons to start running again. My feet are itching to run, Jason will tell you. I mock-jog in my flip-flops of the way home from dinner on Date Night, and I have been dreaming about it, too. I have a ton of excuses too: it’s too dark, it’s too cold, I’m too tired, the Koreans will stare. But, those are superficial, I know. I am a little worried about starting to run in my now 3-year-old shoes… But, my feet are pretty wrecked already from wearing flip-flops and flats to walk all over Seoul. I do see many foot massages in my future.

Aside from my desire to run, in general, I do want to lose weight. I’ve gain a lot since moving here (about 20 pounds to be honest) and while I chalk that up to the transition from college life to full-time office work, I do have some pretty bad habits.

So, for myself, before my big THREE OH, I want to work on a few things, the least (but most exciting) of which is the running. I know myself enough to know how I operate. It’s the abundance of junk-food, lack of water, and limited exercise that is the root of my problem. I know and recognize this. I have been trying to curb the eating. Jason and I are working pretty nicely at walking after work and eating healthy or at least LESS. We’re trying this new thing called supporting each other (read sarcasm).

My goal for the month leading up to my thirtieth is to start running. I hope to be able to run with my running buddies (Deb and Jamie [NOT Suzuko’s Jamie]) by the time I get home. Wish me luck!