my brassiere.

I’m talking about my boobs for a good cause!

For every comment that this post receives (up to 200) by midnight (PST) Friday, July 13th, I will donate a dollar to breast cancer research.

This post is for my mom who just finished breast cancer treatment; for Fatima who is one year post-treatment; and for Melissa who is in the middle of her battle. All of these ladies have – and are – kicking cancer square in the face.

Go, girls.

I am also linking this post up to YeahWrite – a great “supportive” place for bloggers who write and writers who blog.

Last but not least, this post is set to the best Beastie Boys song of all time, Paul Revere. If you’re not familiar with it, you may want to take 3 minutes to listen to it here.

All set? Let’s do this:

“My Brassiere”

 Now here’s a little story I’ve got to tell
About two big ladies I know so well

 It started way back in my pre-teens
When my flat little chest had nothing in between

 I started to get curious about a “brassiere”
I could tell by how my shirts fit that the time was drawing near

 Riding to the store, sitting shyly by my mother
I’d give this thing a try if she wouldn’t tell my brother

 Two little boobies I see
I was hoping for some A cups but they sized up as a B

 The store clerk was a measurin’ all the way around
I was workin’ up a scream, but couldn’t make a sound

 She saw I was so nervous, feeling terrified
She said, “We’re done here, sweetie” and I could’ve just cried

 Fast-forward a few years, how the time has flown
My little pre-teen boobies, how they’ve grown and grown!

 Those tiny little B cups are now buxom double Ds
I keep them well supported or they’ll end up at my knees

 I wear one when I run
Sometimes two (but just for fun)

 Support is key here, girls, I even wear one to bed
All this talk of my big boobies might make your face turn a bit red

 But I’ll tell you this right now, and this is no ha-ha
You’ve got to be good to your girls – they are your precious ta-tas

 As for my two ladies, I support them all the time
Trust me, going braless would surely be a crime

 And every month I feel them up to check that all is clear
The “C” word is no joke and one I don’t wanna hear

 Now my drawers are overflowing with shades of black, pink and blue
I have so many brassieres, I don’t know what to do

 But you can never have enough of these fine boulder holders
God knows I’ll need support as these two aging breasts grow older

 You really can’t describe the power of these things
I’d trade my every diamond, all my golden rings

 If I could just have one, I’d go for fancy and be done
Live life to the fullest and let your ladies have some fun

happy campers.

I come from a long line of camping enthusiasts.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of weekends spent in the family’s AirStream, wasting the day away floating around on a barely-inflated inner tube covered in duct tape, with my only care being what we’d be having for lunch.

A lot has changed since then (except maybe the part about caring what’s for lunch) including my thoughts on this whole idea of “the great outdoors”.

I don’t know what I’d call it (lazy? old? too comfortable with indoor plumbing?) but I can’t seem to muster the same childhood enthusiasm I once had for bucking the crisp, clean, modern conveniences of home in exchange for, well, dirt. And since we live in the Pacific Northwest, oftentimes, mud.

Don’t get me wrong, I pull it together and rally with the best of ’em, but it’s just a bit more internal pep talk than spontaneous excitement that finally gets me going.

We just spent the weekend at a lovely spot with all the fresh air, chirping birds, green trees, and ….. dirt that you could ask for. And? It was a lot of fun.

Here’s a little re-cap in photos, since I know you were about to ask:

Once the campfire gets started, it’s really hard not to turn your frown upside down. I should probably go ahead and tell you that I am obsessed with campfires. It might border on pyromania, I can’t be sure. What I am sure of is that once that puppy gets started, I get all Carol Anne from Poltergeist on that thing. I just can’t look away.

In other news, why yes, we DO in fact kick it Eurovan style. For those of you who do not think this is too cool for school, we are going to have to agree to disagree. We worked hard to score this thing sight-unseen from eBay and we are not afraid to use it.

I’ll admit it. Camping is also a great time to relax and do all kinds of things you never do at home. Like beating your 60-year-old mom at dominoes and not rubbing it in one single bit. (Sorry, Mom. For telling everyone your age AND crushing you at dominoes. I take no satisfaction in this. AT ALL. None.)

Also, it’s great to be able to read a book for exactly three minutes before your 5-year-old asks if you’ll take her “just one more time” for a loop around the park on her bike.

Sure, I would have loved to make it through an entire chapter of the book I just started, but if this type of unbridled joy isn’t worth the interruption, I don’t know what is.

Camping is also the perfect setting to reenact scenes from The Blair Witch Project. Remember that movie from 1999? Whatever your opinion is of the film, you’ve got to admit it was really an impressive early display of social media.

It totally went viral. Unlike this blog post. Moving on.

Another great thing about camping? The FOOD.*

*Disclaimer: alright, fine. You already know that I think the best thing about MOST situations is the food. There’s no need to point out the obvious here, people.

Seriously, mac n’ cheese from a box with squeeze cheese will NEVER taste better than out in the great outdoors. This I can promise you.

My waistline wasn’t the only thing I fattened up this weekend. I fattened up my brain, too.

Manchester State Park used to be a harbor defense installation, then later a fuel supply depot and Navy fire-fighting station. The park contains a former torpedo warehouse built in 1901, a mining casement and a gun battery.*

I totally learned all of this on the tour and did not copy ANY of it from wikipedia.*

*Disclaimer: totally not true.

Olivia thought the bunkers were “neat” and wanted to reenact her own Blair Witch scenes:

Your local state parks are also a great place to find all kinds of fun signage to keep you entertained during any slow points in your weekend.

Just to be clear, I don’t think that these messages themselves are funny. I totally support noise ordinances, tsunami zones, and recycling, but the delivery? Come on. In the event of a tsunami, jazzercize your way to safety?

Also, what’s up, Popeye? It kind of feels like he’s sending a mixed message here. We buy our spinach in plastic bags. Thanks, Popeye, for causing my brain to explode from all of this confusion.

Last but certainly not least, I wanted to put your minds at ease and assure you that my pink polka-dot pajama pants were NOT left behind. They love camping and go great with my blue sleeping bag.

Speaking of sleeping bag, I will leave you with an interesting little tidbit: this bag is over 25 years old. It was John’s childhood sleeping bag and has plenty of camping stories to tell.

Hopefully none of those stories begin with, “This one time at camp I wet the bed.”

Anyway, besides its obvious vintage charm, I think it is so cool that “back in the day” these bags were made with such care that each one was personally stamped with the name of its creator:

Impressive, no? Does anyone know if they still do this?

In summary, I have “A day of detox” on my to-do list. For tomorrow.

Do you like camping? I’d love to hear from you!

sunscreen: a cautionary tale.

As a limerick:

There was a pale girl with no tan
And that’s where her real troubles began
She played out in the sun
And exclaimed, “Oh! How fun!
But this burn was not part of my plan.”

As a haiku:

bright orb in the sky
why do you mock my fair skin?
i can’t stay away

As a photo:

As a public service announcement:

USE SUNSCREEN. APPLY LIBERALLY. REPEAT.

On my to-do list today? Buy more aloe vera.

What are you up to this weekend? I’d love to hear from you!

a slice of americana in small town, u.s.a.

I love Independence Day for all of its patriotism and bright colors, but it’s especially fun when you can experience it in a small town or community.

There’s just something about being in a place where kids can run barefoot* and free in the streets, close enough to keep their parents at ease, but far enough away to enjoy some independence of their own. Where folks still wave to each other, and still use the word “folks”.

*Disclaimer: well, not OUR kid, but surely some kids were barefoot. In the streets.
You know, with nothing between them and 10 billion friendly germs. Must. Move. On.

We grew up in a small town where this was our reality, and within the last year, we’ve relocated to one that allows us these same simple pleasures.

Mother Nature finally did our little corner of the Pacific Northwest a solid and granted us
a full day of blissful sunshine yesterday to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

I took a few pictures for you. Enjoy!

There’s really nothing better than enjoying days like this through the eyes of a child. Even a really sleepy child who may or may not have a cold coming on, as evidenced by the flushed cheeks and droopy eyelids. I’ll tell you what, though. When there’s fun to be had, this kid can rally. Hard.

The camera and I sort of can’t get enough of her precious mug. Much to her dismay.
Sorry, kid. This won’t be the last time your mama drives you crazy.

It’s the simple pleasures in life, don’t you think? Like getting to be the one to take the pictures instead of sit on a well-used square of felt and plunge my body down a huge piece of questionable plastic.

It’s a time to have fun, but it’s also a time to recognize the sacrifices that have been made for us, and to remember those who are no longer here.

And also to be really grateful we don’t have to be the ones spending the day in those woolen kilts.

It’s a time to acknowledge that the true fabric of our nation comes in all shapes, sizes, colors and species. I mean, nothing says patriotic like giant slices of bread and a toaster van. Who’s with me?

It’s a time to be proud of who we are, and accept everyone else for who THEY are. Let’s face it, my friends. It is always time for LOVE.

It’s a time to drive your family crazy, stopping to take a picture of every red, white, and blue thing you see. And then it turns into the time to say “I told you so” when they see how awesome this photo collage turned out.

It’s a time to cheer for your team – whichever team you may be on – and look around at all of us waving the same flag.

And at the end of the day, it’s time to celebrate and re-hydrate. Cheers, America!
Gooooo team!

Did you watch the fireworks? I’d love to hear from you!

that’s (patriotically) pinteresting, volume 3: american flag pancakes.

If you’d like to get caught up on this little game we’re playing, you can read volume one and volume two.

In the spirit of our nation’s birthday, I bring you volume 3: american flag pancakes!

At the risk of being reported to CPS for breaking child labor laws, I’ll tell you right now that my mini person did this little experiment start-to-finish.

I think you’ll agree this one fell in the kid-friendly camp, though. Settle down.

I found the inspiration for this fun Fourth of July breakfast here.

Isn’t it cute? And the best part of all is that it also looked pretty easy. I think even I could have managed to not screw it up, but to hedge my bets on it turning out half-decent, I put it in the hands of the 5-year-old. Much safer.

In the spirit of full disclosure, we did alter the ingredients just a tad. Instead of toast, we used a pancake (points for whole grain). And we went sans cream cheese since the little is not a big fan.

Here is the serious chef, hard at work:

She requested that the Pinterest picture on my computer be set up near her work station. Kid doesn’t mess around.

Close up! Action shot! Look at that impressive precision. Watch out, Iron Chef.

Here’s the finished product. With a side of bed head:

I think Betsy Ross would be proud, don’t you?

oh, so THAT’S what nike was trying to say.

NOW I get it. As a closet procrastinator, those three little words have always eluded me.

JUST. DO. IT.

Personally, I think it would speak to me better if they added a tagline like “Sometime in the near future, when the mood strikes”. 

But if I’m going to call myself a “recovering” procrastinator, I’d better put my money where my mouth is.

So, I DID IT.

I have been putting off a 9-mile run since the weekend. I haven’t ran that many miles in a row in almost two years and I was feeling, well, really intimidated. So much self-doubt and fear. Am I fit enough to do this? Will I bonk half-way through? What if I have to pee? What if this is just too hard? What if I’m too old?

I was all set to just.do.it. on Sunday right after church. I gave myself a pep talk and some mental high-fives. But then I fell asleep 5 minutes after the sermon started and was still tired when we got home. I needed a nap to recover from my 30 minute snooze in church.*

*Pastor Dee, if you’re reading this. It’s not you, it’s me. I won’t let it happen again, I promise. 

So I got my White-Out and moved my long run on the calendar from Sunday to Monday. I blocked out my lunch break on my Outlook calendar. I was going to just.do.it.

I always like to stay hydrated on runs longer than five miles (it’s probably more of a mental need than a physiological one, but it makes me feel better. Alright, I’ll admit it: I like to pretend that my watered-down Gatorade is “magic fuel” that will take me the distance. Why does this blog give me verbal vomit? It remains a mystery).

Anyway, I am experimenting with different hydration packs because I’m not 100% satisfied with the belt system I’ve been using. For this fateful run, I decided to revert back to a trusty old standby: the Camelbak. I’ve loved this system for years for hiking and biking, so I figured it’d be great for long runs, too.

I was completely done for after just one mile of listening to the loud sloshing of liquid and the painful rubbing of the straps on my exposed skin (I run in tanktops year-round because I run “hot”.)*

*Disclaimer: not to be confused with LOOKING hot. That is an entirely different camp in which I do not fall.

This was just not working for me. I knew that if I kept this up for the full nine miles, my skin would be a sorely chaffed mess. I made the tough decision – I’ve very rarely ever stopped a run – to turn around and go home. It wasn’t easy to do, but my mom asked me from day one of this journey to please listen to my body. And I always listen to my mom.*

*Almost always.

It’s hard to tell from this self-portrait, but here I am with the CamelBak that was out to get me and foil my best laid plans.

And so, we come to Tuesday. The very last possible day I could do this run before it would start to interfere with my NEXT scheduled long run. I really needed to just.do.it.

I planned it for first thing in the morning. But then I started working on a deadline, and found a reason not to go.

Lunchtime! That is when I would do this run. But then I started working on something else, and found a reason not to go.

After work! Yes! This was going to be the best time to do this. Then monsoon rains started coming and I really started to regret not going first thing in the morning.

But, guess what? I still DID IT. The events leading up to me finally getting my rear in gear may not have been my shiniest moments, but I am still proud of myself for facing my fears head-on and coming out the other end victorious.

Sometimes it’s the little things that are the biggest things.

Ahhhhh, ice, ice, baby.

On my to-do list for today? Give myself AND our nation a big high-five! Happy 4th of July, everyone!

What have you got planned? I’d love to hear from you!

 

gratituesday – part 6.

Because there’s always something to be grateful for. And also, it’s Tuesday.

Here, I’ll get us started:

At the risk of sounding like the most hopeless sap ever (I am, and I’m totally fine with it)
I am so grateful for my amazing husband. And not just because he does a laundry list of things (including the laundry) for us everyday, and loves us in huge ways, but because he does things like this:

Seriously? Is this guy for real? Men, take note: if you want to impress the ladies, learn how to braid. Bonus points for matching the hair bands to the outfit.

And not to be outdone by the mad skills of her dad, I sure am grateful to have my very own personal in-house stylist that goes by “Olivia”:

(All the paparazzi has made her a little camera shy).

In keeping with the personal grooming theme, I am really grateful for this multi-generational mani/pedi session we had on Saturday. Aren’t my people cute?*

*Disclaimer: yes, I am aware that we have a 5-year-old who is getting far too comfortable with salt scrubs and hand massages. Meh, life is short. Let’s (foot)soak it in.

Last but not least, I am really grateful for new friends like Katie at Runs For Cookies who inspire us each day to be better. Push a bit harder. And eat one dessert, instead of three.

This woman is nothing short of amazing.

Last week, she mentioned my wee li’l blog as something she’s been enjoying lately, can you believe it?! I’ll tell you one thing: this newbie felt like a total rock star for 24 solid hours.

In conclusion, I have “Tell you all about the run I FINALLY did today” on the top of my to-do list. For tomorrow.

What are you feeling grateful for? Air conditioning? New shoes? Great friends? I’d love to hear from you!

caution: insects in mouth are grosser than they appear.

Alright, I promised you a run update, but I’m not sure this is what you had in mind. Here’s a snapshot of my training schedule for the last few days:

Saturday: 3 miles (loop)
Sunday: REST or Cross-Train (and by “Cross-Train” I mean nap)
Monday: 9 miles (out-and-back)
Tuesday: See Sunday

My mom was visiting on Saturday, so I wanted to get out and do my run early so it would be done and over with and we could get on to more important things like our mani/pedi appointments and ice cream. Priorities, people.

The run was going great: I was feeling strong and fast(er than a turtle). All was right in the world. Until mile two.

When my mouth met the business end of this*:

 *Disclaimer: yes, I realize this is a cute little cartoon bug and not a real bug. I am doing what is necessary to work past this traumatic experience, including denial and distortion of reality. Don’t burst my bubble, guys. 

Let’s be honest, if you spend a lot of time running, you’re going to spend a lot of time with bugs in your mouth. It’s just a fact of life. I would love to be one of those runners who can go along cheerily with their heads high and their mouths closed. But alas – I am not.

I am the runner gasping for breath, mouth open for maximum oxygen intake, and tongue lolling out. Because the mouth hanging open isn’t quite classy enough by itself.

So what was different this time, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you what was different:

That cute little cartoon bug flew in and perched himself directly onto my GAG REFLEX. He wouldn’t go down. And he wouldn’t come out. He was like an unwanted house guest that has drank all of your beer, used all the hot water, and refuses to leave.

Lucky for me, the Garmin watch has a pause button because dry heaving on the side of the road really has a way of killing your pace.

Ah, the life of a runner. So glamourous. So full of excitement.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I update you on the mulligan I had to call on that
9 mile run I mentioned above. Hint: I blame a most unfortunate wardrobe malfunction.

In summary, I have “9 mile run do-over” on today’s To-Do list. Right next to “Nap at lunchtime”.

Have you ever swallowed a bug? I’d love to hear from you!

that’s pinteresting, volume two: chicken enchiladas.

Pull up a chair and get yourself all caught up with volume one.

All set?

It’s time now for another exciting installment of That’s Pinteresting:
CHICKEN ENCHILADA style!

Will all of these posts be about food, you ask? Quite possibly. Girl loves to eat.

Does it still count if I found the recipe but had my lovely hub cook the meal, you may be wondering? My game, my rules. It stays!

Did he do the dishes, too, inquiring minds want to know? Do you really need to ask?
Is that a rhetorical question?

I found this recipe from this site. In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t realize until AFTER I pinned it that it was a Martha Stewart recipe. But truthfully? I don’t have a problem with her. I kind of think the stint she did in the Big House has helped keep her real.

But I digress.

Here’s the picture of the Domestic Diva’s version:

*Note to self: don’t forget the folded kitchen towel for staging purposes!

Here’s the original recipe, with my modifications in italics (I haven’t figured out how to make text another color):

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper (finally, a recipe that lets you just wing it with the spices)
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we only had two, so that’s what we used)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower (what’s safflower?)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotles in adobo
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces)(we used Mexican blend cheese because it was on sale at the store)
  • *NOTE: We (alright, John) also added some cotija cheese because, come on. Everything’s better with cotija cheese. 

Here are a few “behind the scenes” shots as we John went along:

Action shot! Look at those chicken-shredding skills! Impressive.

Getting loaded. (And also, filling the tortilla shells). ba da bum!

All set for a bit o’ baking! I can neither confirm nor deny that we may or may not have used more cheese than the recipe called for.

Ding! Time’s up!*
*Disclaimer: Alright, confirmed. We did in fact use more cheese than the recipe called for.

Look at that expert plating! Eat your heart out, Martha.

The final verdict? Pretty darn good. Even passed the 5-year-old test (though we did reserve some non-chipotled chicken for her sensitive little palate).

For next time, we would at least triple the chipotle in adobo – it wasn’t spicy at all – and we’d add a touch more salt. And also, like many casserole-esque dishes like this, it was even better on Day Two.

P.S. Don’t think I’ve forgotten that I owe you a running update! Just because I’m a procrastinator, doesn’t mean I haven’t crossed a few runs off my list. Stay tuned….

Have you tried anything that you’ve found on Pinterest? I’d love to hear from you! 

taking a run down marathon lane – #6: THE PR EDITION!!!

I should clarify that by “PR” I mean Personal Record, not Press Release, although I was sort of tempted to submit my race results to a local newspaper. Maybe one that’s main readership is turtles*. And my mom.

You know, the two groups that would be most impressed by my running skills.

*Disclaimer: Yes, I know that turtles don’t read. It’s called a “metaphor,” people.

Anyway, I digress. If you’re new to all my running nonsense, you can find out more about my goal here.

If you’d like to get caught up, here are the recaps for marathons 1234 and 5.

Take your time, we’ll wait. No rush.

Ready? OK, here’s my 6th marathon report:

February 19, 2006
Austin Marathon
Austin, Texas

This was a significant race for me for several reasons.

For one thing, it was the month before we decided to start trying for a baby and I knew it would be my last marathon for quite awhile. I realize there are many hardcore women who run up to the day they give birth and finish marathons the day after.

I am not one of them.

It was also significant because (caution: this might not be the last time I mention this) I PR’ed, BABY!! What a fun feeling, even if you aren’t out to set any records. (um, hello, major understatement). I run to FINISH, not for a time goal. EVER. But still, it’s motivating to see yourself improve and get stronger.

Lucky for all of you folks, it was also significant because I actually HAVE A COUPLE OF RACE DAY PICTURES! They are a rare find. I’m not very photogenic on most days, and even less so after running for over four hours. Trust me, it’s not cute.

I’ll share the few gems I have with you later, but let me just tell you now that one of the MOST significant things about this race was the CRAZY WEATHER.

What? That sounds lame, you say? Trust me, it played a leading role in the day.

I took the liberty of searching the interweb to find a visual on just what we were facing in the weather department that day:

Oh, Mother Nature! You and your HILARIOUS sense of humor! She’s a barrel of laughs, isn’t she? Look at how she decided to dole out almost the coldest day in AUSTIN’S ENTIRE HISTORY right smack on race day. It was such a riot!*

*Disclaimer: this is called “sarcasm.” It was brutally cold and not funny one. single. bit.

BUT, the good news is that it was nothing if not motivating. I felt like I was constantly trying to stay one step ahead of frostbite and/or losing a toe or 10 from the frigid conditions, so I think it made me a faster runner. It’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. Don’t burst my bubble, people.

Here are those pictures I promised. You’ve been warned:

Here I am waiting to start. I like to pretend I am catching snowflakes on my tongue, instead of screaming from the cold.

Now, you should know that my awesome husband is always a huge supporter of my races (even going so far as to sign up to be my co-crazy in this little goal I’ve come up with) but on the day of my Austin marathon? He raised his support to new heights.

In addition to wearing my own running clothes (which were not nearly enough) I also wore every layer of running gear that John brought for himself as well. Including his gloves, which turned out to be a lifesaver. Thanks, love.

And here’s the other photo from the day that I have:

I don’t think I’m actually in this picture anywhere, but it gives you a good overview of how freakin’ cold it was.

Weather aside, it was a really great event. (Did I mention I PR’ed? Yes? A few times already? By the way, I PR’ed).

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I answer your burning question, “Has Melisa been running AT ALL this week?”

In summary, the main item on my To-Do list for today is something that starts with R, ends with N and rhymes with “fun” but I’m not going to tell you what it is because I don’t want to break the suspense.

What’d you get up to this weekend? I’d love to hear from you!