Not runing in circles

This past Sunday was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure here in PDX. I ran in celebration of my Aunt Gail who recently beat breast cancer. The race was my favorite thus far for a few reasons. One being my PR! I beat my best time by more than two minutes. Now I've only run three races so far, so it's not that big of a deal - but it feels really good to make that kind of progress in a matter of four months. I've also been slacking a bit, so I can only imagine how much better I'd be doing if I was training better. So my time was great and I was proud of myself but really the best thing about this race is the power of the people. There are thousands of people there, walkers, runners, cheering sections. It's amazing. You can't not feel excited and elevated by the crowd. I also felt more pressure to preform. It's much easier to keep running (despite fatigue or sore muscles) as you see the names of survivors and those who have lost their battles pass you by. So it was a good day, a good race, a good cause. Just good all the way around. One giant warm fuzzy. Oh and the sun was shining down on us, despite a weather report for 90% chance of rain. That's someone up there watching out for us I think.

Other than that, not a lot going on.

I'm going to try to spend the next few weeks focusing on my fitness, my eating habits and some small creative projects. I am really feeling the need to take care of myself, physically and emotionally. Things aren't bad, but things aren't the best so I need to reflect on that. Make changes where I can and accept the things that I can't change. I need to learn to let some things go, even though I'm not ready. Things like, not all people are always going to like me or maybe we won't be parents. The longer I put it off, the worse I feel and that's sucky. I don't know exactly how I'm going to accomplish this yet, but I got mad reasoning skills so I think I can figure it out. It seems to be pretty deep stuff, no doubt, but it is what it is and I'm going to put my big girl panties on and see what we can do about it.

So that's the 411.

Oh and I might have told someone I'd run a half marathon with them in February. Yes I am insane. Certifiable. I have sixteen weeks to really get my as in gear. Pray for me, my legs, and the dear friends and family who will have to listen to me bitch and moan about the process....I guess that includes you if you're reading this.

Granny Erin

Hi. It's been a while. Oops! I guess life has been keeping me busy. Summer is like that. This summer especially. Trying to fit everything in before it's over. What happened to Summer? These overcast skies have got to go. According to the calendar I have three weeks of warn sunshine left. I want my sunshine!

In other news, I am back to the gym. I'd taken a little hiatus to do my running outside. Seems like one should take advantage of warm dry days and suck in (Yes I suck it in, moreso than breath. I'm running after all) the fresh air while traipsing around the city. Yesterday was so icky that the gym called and asked me to come get my ass back on the elliptical machine. Well technically it didn't call me, but it made me feel guilty when I drove past it. I give in to guilt. It knows how to work me. And boy did it ever!

I don't know what I was thinking. I walked in the with intention of spending 25 minutes on the elliptical and doing some light weights. For some reason I stepped onto the treadmill instead. And then I ran. I ran faster than I have run since I was a middle school track team member. Even then I only did sprints. So I ran two miles, without stopping to walk at all, at an 11 min/mile pace. That's fast for me. One minute faster than normal. I felt so good after (had to have been runners high) that I got on the elliptical for another twelve minutes. As a result of all this physical activity I feel like a ninety year old woman. I keep grabbing for my right hip when I stand up. It's pathetic. I feel like I could pull off the "shrunken little old lady" look today and actually yell out things like "Oy my sciatica!" I just need a little navy blue flower print dress with a doily collar. Yikes! No more gym hiatus. I should be able to pull off that workout and not feel as though a MAC truck ran me over, twice. I think running outside, while more fun and pretty, has really allowed me to slack off a bit.

So back to the gym tonight. With little less umph though.

Camping at Indian Henry

We camped at Indian Henry Campground this weekend. It's tucked into the very start of the Mt. Hood National Forest, flanked by the Clackamas River and Hwy 224. It's unbelievably beautiful! More than once I looked around me and thought "I am so lucky to live in this beautiful state!" This was out first time at Indian Henry and the sites we had reserved turned out to be really, really small but we scoped out some sites we'll stay at next time including some huge group sites that looked perfect.

Campfires, marshmallows, silly stories, good food, little hikes, and sunshine. It was bliss! Some of our pictures are below.

Scott and Nathan on the nature made bridge. The tree was probably 80-90 feet long and it rested just perfectly to make a "short cut" for the boys to take.

It's so pretty I stood in awe.

These are some fairly mellow rapids along the Clackamas River. Years ago I rafted this place with Scott and his buddies. It's an amazing thing to see and do.

Scott and Nathan checking out the jumping area at the swimming hole.



More pretty pictures

Livy was pretty worn out by the end of the trip but she made in on one last little walk with us.
Sitting here in my backyard (yes there is an app for that! Love my iPhone!) reading a book while I sit in the afternoon sunshine. The weather is what I consider perfect. The book is so good I don't want to set it down to eat dinner. The yard is spilling over with pots and pots ( I have a pot problem this year) of colorful flowers. The dog is sunning herself beside me. This is my own little paradise. I am feeling really blessed to have this. Happy weekend everyone! I hope you get a little piece of paradise too.

Have shovel, will dig.

Summer if finally here, and it showed up in full force. Nearly 100° for a few days in a row, and now we're in the 80's. I was super smart and planned to do a little front parking strip remodel on the hottest weekend of the year (so far). Scott and I had already dug up the sod, but I still needed to amend all the soil and plant the plant. I thought it would take a few took all day. Our dirt is made of granite, or some other from another plant uber hard material. I'm not kidding. I was standing on the shovel, trying to jump on it and I it wouldn't budge. I jumped and jumped and nothing. Passers by probably got a laugh out of it and the expletives that may or may not have escaped my mouth.

After an entire day spent digging, it is done. Well almost. I still need the pretty black gold potting soil to lay on top, but everything else is done. So am I. I am beat. My hands hurts, my back hurts, my ankle where the hose connector smacked me hurts. But it's pretty. I'll post pics when it's officially done. I'm pretty proud of myself. I did most of it by myself and for being such a delicate flower I got a lot done.

Next project is the front yard. I think we'll just cover it up instead of digging it out. That whole digging thing is hard work and I'm wimpy.

My plea

Living in Portland, and watching the news lately has meant having the constant updates on missing seven year old Kyron Horman. I am actually proud of local media (and national to some extent) for keeping this in the news after more than four week. He is still missing. His parents still long for him to come home. Our community is ready to know the truth and hopefully see him reunited with his parents. The saddest part, is that as time passes, it's harder and harder to hope for that. As someone who can't have children (yet) I don't know what it's like to have that maternal tug, that feeling that mothers describe, but I do have one particular feeling anytime I hear of a child who has been harmed by a family member, be it parents, stepparents or other. I feel like, I would have loved them. I would have given them a home when someone else wanted to remove them from one. Those children deserved better, and those of us who can't have children have to watch as people who don't deserve them waste the precious gift they are given. It breaks my heart.

I can't help but feel like looking up at the heavens and screaming. What good come of any of this? Why must those poor little souls suffer when so many of us want to love them and can't? How is there balance? Why? I am frustrated, angry, sad, disheartened, so many things. So many emotions...

Dear God, I will love them. I will hold them. I will cherish them. I will put bandaids on their boo-boos, and make sure they get all their regular check ups and shots. I will teach them to cherish others, and love. I will give them ice cream on hot days, hot cocoa when it's cold. I will wrap them in layers and play in the snow. I will teach them to swim and love the water. I will show them books and the magical lands within them. I will snuggle them in bed, and hold them when they have nightmares. I will teach them about the world, and the wonderful people that fill it. I will protect them from evil, and show them light. I will sing them lullabys. I will bake them birthday cakes. I will show them art and science. I will surround them with friends and family who will cherish them and share in my joy as well as theirs. I will hold their hand as they cross the street, and push them forward when they need it. I will play, and teach, and observe and relish in the beauty that is a childs mind. I will give them my everything. Please, please God, let them have that life, not the one they so often end up with. Please let me give it to them.

Dear Kyron, I am praying for you. Hoping you will come home to the parents that love you and want you safe. You should be running though a sprinkler on this hot summer afternoon. You should be looking forward to a bowl of ice cream after dinner. Please know that we all want you home. We all want you safe, and happy. Sweet boy, hang on if it's at all possible.

Go! Fight! Win!

Watching Cheerleader Nation on Lifetime. Brings back lots of memories. They a higher level competition squad than we were, but the all of it's so familiar. I miss it. I want to tumble and fly. I want to jump. I want to be one person in team of sixteen that makes one large amazing difficultly choreographed performance look easy.

I was a mediocre cheerleader at best, but I loved it. LOVED IT! The long bus rides filled with singing sad country songs. Overnighters filled with secrets and giggles. Daily double practices filled with laps and stadiums. Yes I even miss that. Bows and poms galore!

I wish there was some sort of cheer aerobics class to take. I'd be there in a heartbeat. Talk about an exceptional workout. It works parts of your body you forgot you had, and makes you arms and legs look perfect. Plus you get to yell, loudly. It's great stress therapy.

Oh to be seventeen again...

Book Review: The Writing Circle

We interrupt this blog for a quick review: A year or so ago I was sent a few books from a publisher who had seen another review I did. I still get books from time to time and I'm going to make more of an effort to review them and share them with everyone. Books are great! We should all get to read them all the time!

I love the feel of a hard cover book. It's weight makes me feel like it has something important to say. It's cover makes me feel like is has something to protect. The crack of the binding when it's first opened is like a secret, a special sound to listen for. The pages are thick, they want to be touched. They are a work or art for me. Generally I can say that I love every book. Books are like pizza. Even when it's bad, it's not that bad.

The last book I read falls into that category. I really, really wanted to like this book. The cover was appealing. The title, even as simple as it is, was intriguing. The idea of it seemed like a good one to me. I opened it with an open mind, but had to make myself read it. Very unusual for me.

I read rather quickly so you know there is something wrong when it takes me more than a week to get through a book of this size.

The Writing Circle by Corinne Demas was a good idea. In fact I think it should be pursued again. A room full of characters and their drama would be rather entertaining, one would think. Unfortunately I didn't find that to be the case with these characters. I didn't really feel there were any that were really relate-able or sympathetic. Dang it, I really wanted to like some of them. There was one, Nancy who was close, well okay I liked her a little. I really wanted to read the book she was writing!

Anyway, I found the book to be a little spastic, a little loose. The end was wrapped up very quickly and ended with a bang that didn't make any sense. Some might call it sensational or surprising? I thought it was unnecessary. Also in the unnecessary category were the sex scenes. So not needed in this type of book. So awkward. And yes, I am a total prude. I'm willing to admit that. But this was still gratuitous and odd. Certainly held some ick factor.

I think, that had any of the characters been a little more relate-able, or if we'd gotten to spend more time with just one (there were a lot of members in this circle and the book isn't all that long so you don't get too in depth with any of them) there could have some hope for the story. I do appreciate what the author was trying to do. I think. I'm still confused by the ending, which leave me a little angry at the book itself and I hate that feeling. As it is, I wouldn't recommend this book, which breaks my heart because I want to LOVE all books.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy to read and review.

Gotta get movin'

Turns out I only run consistently when I'm working towards a goal/race. Today I signed up for another 5k and scoped out a 10k for good measure. I need to get moving again. It's so easy to avoid it if I don't have a reason to build up stamina and work on better times. Damn this running thing, it's completely sucked me in. I really, really like to be lazy and sit on the couch but I have noticed a significant decrease in my energy levels and my happiness. Direct correlation to lack of exercise? Probably. It makes me wonder, Richard Simmons seems like the happiest man on earth, how much does he work out? Or is he high? (Note: I just googled him because I wanted to be sure I had his name spelled correctly. The first image that popped up was him, naked, covered in veggies. I will never be able to erase that from my brain completely. That image should be illegal.)

So August 14th, Crawfish Crawl and possible September 12th, Pints to Pasta. Pints to Pasta is pretty great actually. Beer and spaghetti for running? Okay! Did I mention it's either downhill or completely flat? Hooray!

I've got my bodybugg back on, watching what I eat and really making an effort not to cheat. Damn that cheese danish that actually called my name last week. How do you say no to a cheese danish from Beaverton Bakery? It's like turning down a free vacation!

In addition to getting my feet back on the running path I decided it was time for me to branch out a bit, maybe get a hobby or seek out some new people to hang with/or see people I don't see enough of. My group of close girlfriends all have some pretty large life changes going on. Some are having babies, some are going back to school, and that means I see less of them. I don't have any huge new things to occupy me, and I've noticed that makes me a bit lonely, a bit grumpy, and a bit jealous. Lonely, grumpy, jealous does not a pretty Erin make.

My first step in solving this issue was deciding what to do with my time? What do I love? Books. So I'm starting a book club. A few old friends who I never see, and a few old coworkers who I adore are going to read some books, drink a few glasses of wine and chat. I think it sounds divine.

Good changes, good choices, good times!

Basically I've got my ass in gear and I'm not letting up on the gas. Going to get this whole body in shape. But I promise never to pose naked with food. Ever.

Say Cheese!

Have you ever looked at old family photos and had a really good laugh at the expense of your parents and their horrible hair cuts? Or maybe your Aunt Bea's (yes I really had an Aunt Bea) dress made entirely of doilies.

Or maybe you have a hidden gem like this one! I found this at Awkward Family Photos dot com which is full of things to giggle and snort at. They even have a book now, available at Amazon and a few other retailers. Pretty epic stuff.

Do you think they used a full can of AuqaNet to get their hair up that high? Maybe the family that teases together stays together? Based on it's parent's hair I can't even tell if that's a boy or girl! I'm leaning towards girl because there is more bang, but I can't be sure.

My mom had some pretty whacky things done to my hair in school but it never made me look like a Guns N' Roses groupie. The Poodle Perm of fifth grade was pretty bad though....

The real reason for this post though, is not to disparage those poor souls from the 80's who didn't know any better. The real reason is to share my own family photos!

Remember when I mentioned a few posts back that Scott and I had decided to have some photos taken? We (well maybe it was just me) were really excited about fun photos on a beach and looking all tan and youthful and basically just having a good time.

We were looking pretty adorable that morning if I do say so myself. I had a really cute green dress on. Scott was looking relaxed and beachy in khaki shorts and a white button down shirt. I even had good hair despite the crazy humidity. Bonus! We showed up at the beach and waited. Photographer was about 20 minutes late. Not a huge deal. We're on vacation and we're in Mexico. I'm not going to let it bother me.

Juan shows up, very apologetic, he'd had car trouble. No big deal, it's beautiful and we're ready. We start taking some photos, hand in hand, walking along the beach. This is perfect! Then he has us back up a little, to get more water. Okay, we're on a beach, that makes sense. Then I get hit with a wave that soaks half my dress...hmmm we've only been at this for 10-15 minutes and my dress is already drenched. Oh well, it's warm. It should dry some and this will be fine. Then he asks me to walk over some rocks. Great! These will be really cool shots! Then he asks me to wade into a pool of water about two to three feet deep. I'm only 5'3" tall. That's almost half of me. Hmmmm.

Apparently he thought this was a "Trash The Dress" session like my Sister in Law had scheduled to do later in the day. You see she had this awesome wedding dress to do that in as she'd been married the day before.

I think it's a fairly new trend in wedding photos, but it's a pretty awesome one. Brides roll around in sand and basically trash their dresses and get these amazing shots.

I wasn't in a wedding dress though. I was in a short little sun dress. So when a wave would hit me, it would flip my dress all the way up to my head. I think I put on a little lingerie show for the photographer.

Really, I think it comes down to a misunderstanding and my failure to verify exactly what I had in mind. I tried to go with the flow once it had started because what else can you do? Unfortunately it just didn't work for us. When it was all said and done I had sand so far into my ear that I had to use ear cleaning solution to get it out, Scott and were both exhausted and we felt a little beat up.

Still, even though I was a little apprehensive I tried to imagine what great shots we'd get out of it so I was okay with the whole ordeal.

Then I got the link to the photos.

For an hour of photo taking, for nearly $300 we got 20 retouched shots. I like one of them. I don't hate one other one. The 18 other photos are worthy of the website mentioned above. They will never see the light of day.

There are so many things wrong with some of them I can't list them all. Not everything was the photographers fault either. Like I look REALLY stiff in some of them. It's obvious I wasn't comfortable with what was going on. But my biggest pet peeve is that because we had to look directly into the sun, you never get to see Scott's eyes. Not once do his pretty blues show up. The sun was so bright, and we never changed directions so it was impossible for him to open his eyes. There are other things wrong too, but no point in dwelling. I guess we'll chalk this up to a learning experience, and maybe a sign that we shouldn't be doing family photos... Sometimes I need to pay more attention to the universe I guess. Maybe we'll try again someday. Dammit I wanted cute pictures for our house that aren't ten years old!

Here are the two I'm willing to share, and I cropped the first one. I'm hunched over in it, so unless I crop it it looks like my boobs are hanging down to my knees and my dress is all poofed out weird. Thank goodness for cropping tools! The second one is nice but my dress is wet and I think that looks a little weird. Plus I'm a little stiff. At least my tan and all that running made my legs look nice! Bright side right????

Warning - Large Containers Lead to Drinking Large Amounts of Liquid

White wine - good. Peach schnapps - good. Ginger ale - good. Fresh fruit marinated in white wine, peach schnapps and ginger ale - Mucho Goodo! Drinking sangria out of a giant jug - super fun! Waking up the next morning - painful beyond measure.

Uggg.I lost half of my day today because I had the worst hangover I can remember having in a very long time.

It all started because we were having a birthday party for Scott, his annual backyard bash. I made a batch of my peach sangria. Normally I'll get a little tipsy and then back off towards the end of the night precisely so I don't have a hang over. The trouble started here because Charity - bless her heart - showed up with GIANT jugs with straws. I think it was a 56 oz bottle. I'm not sure. It looks like this.

Let me say, that never once was it filled all the way up. So it's unlikely that I drank 56 oz of sangria. But sangria was put into it a few times, so there really is no way to know just how many ounces I did have. This is a bad thing. If you can't track how much you're drinking, and you don't eat too much, and you're have a great time on a nice warm evening you're going to lose track of just how tipsy you are. I was really, really, really, super really, tipsy. Fun! But I forgot to drink water and take ibuprofen. Not fun!

It was a good party though. I think everyone had a good time. We had a good turn out. The birthday boy had fun, and that's the most important part.

I am going to take a little break from sangria though...

Hello reality!

Back from a week in paradise (Mazatlan, Mexico) and settling back into reality. It's so easy to just hop on a plane, head to a tropical destination and forget that real life even exists...but then you come back with four extra pounds and a mound of laundry that is nearly as tall as you and well, reality is back.

We had a fantastic vacation. Scott's sister's wedding was beautiful, a perfect beach wedding. The kids were great, the pool was wonderful, the food was delectable. It really and truly was perfect.

I took today off so I could get the laundry done, go to the grocery store, pick the dog up from the kennel and just get our life put together again. It's amazing how "off" you get just being gone a week.

In addition to the daily tasks I'm getting caught up on I also decided to reevaluate my diet and exercise plan. I've got to get the last bit of weight off, I've got to win this bet. So back to the gym I go, with a resolve to mix it up, give it my all, and focus on things that will really work. It also means I've got to focus on our food. Time to eat better! Right now this doesn't sound so horrible. I ate cheese and fried food for a week so I'm looking forward to some healthy options.

I also spent the morning reviewing the Oregon Reproductive Medicine website. They are the other large fertility clinic here in Portland. We've always worked with OHSU but the last few times I had dealings with them I felt like I wasn't getting the answers and support that I needed. The process is scary and intimidating so I really want a place with some better communication and more support. I think I'm going to register us for one of the free seminars they give and then go to an prelim appointment. We're close, so close to being ready financially that I want to get things moving. Today I have the resolve to move heaven and earth to make it happen. Tomorrow that might change (because I fear failure and the process) so I'm going to take steps in my moments of bravery. If I don't make it happen, it's not going to happen at all. I might have to make that my new mantra.

I know that sometimes this is all repetitive, that we've been down this road before, that you might feel like you're reading Pete and Repete's blog, not Erin's. I certainly feel that way. I just hope that one of these times things work out a little different, or that we get a little further along in the process. If you can bear with me I promise to try and make it as interesting as possible, even when it's not about IVF. And those days when you can't take another post about my misery over babies, well you can go back and read the post about the speedo!

And then she ran...

Today was the day, the day I ran. It was my first 5k, something I have been working towards for a few months. I never thought I'd be a runner but today I guess I officially am.

The weather was perfect. Cool and overcast, but no rain. Breezes just when you needed them. I don't think it could have been better. We'd gotten there a little early. As I'm new to races I didn't know exactly how it all works and the control freak in me needed to have all my ducks in a row. Turns out we could have arrived twenty or thirty minutes later but hey, now I know.

The race itself went really well too. I was able to drop into my normal pace (maybe a few seconds faster) and I ran. I ran and ran and ran. Further than I normally would before taking a walking break (yep I still have to walk sometimes, even after months of training). I suspect this is in part due to adrenaline. So I ran, until THE HILL. It was bigger than I suspected, and I don't even like little hills, not a bit. So I walked up the hill and started running as soon as there was some relief from the ascent. Stupid hill. I finished three seconds slower than I wanted to. THREE seconds! Arrrggg! But I still did it, and I felt good the whole time, and I felt fine after. So that is a huge accomplishment. Last year I was still hobbling around in that stupid orthopedic boot, this year I ran. :)

Here's a pic of me just before the race. Scott was a good hubby and went down with me and waited for me at the finish line.

The shirt I'm wearing is not the actual race shirt (Which is not even remotely cute or adorable! Who designs those things??). Instead I decided to wear a shirt from To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA).

This is from their website:
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

That's just the start of their vision. I'd encourage anyone and everyone to go read the entire story. It's what hope and healing are all about.

I chose to wear the shirt in honor of my friend Stephanie who took her own life earlier this year. A group of her friends did another walk/run today in her honor and I wasn't able to join them as I'd already registered for this race. I thought this was a good way to feel connected to them and Steph. It's funny, even as I concentrated on running today, maintaining my pace and not turning my ankle, my thoughts went to her a few times and I found myself quite emotional. Twice I had to talk myself out of tears.

I don't know how many more races I will do, but I think from this point forward they will always include some reference to TWLOHA. Just my reminder that there is other suffering and pain out there. No matter how long or hard I run, there are people out there who are more exhausted, in more pain, needing support and sometimes a little help to the finish line.

I'd like to think that Steph was with me today, making it easier for me and keeping the skies clear.

All in all, it was a great experience and I think I'll do another one, or two...

Family of Two

Stacey, I hope you don't mind that I stole your blog title, it just fits so well and really spoke to me!

I just finished reading a post from a fellow blogger, (hi Stacey!) who always offers me a great perspective on infertility and the emotions, issues, and realities that surround it. In her most recent post she mentions her family of two. This really stuck with me, as I also have a family of two. For nearly ten years of marriage Scott and I have been two. Despite hoping, praying, and taking medically assisted steps, we're still two. Hoping for three.

This past year I've made a few small steps in acknowledging that my family is indeed just that. If you're on our Christmas card list you might have noticed that we had a cute little picture of the two of us on it. I decided it was time to stop waiting to do that. Waiting until I could put up cute little pics of our adorable wide eyed children. I have been waiting TEN years to put a photo on our Christmas card! Just last month I made plans to have our family photos taken while we're on vacation. I've hesitated on this for years, thinking people would think it odd, or that it wasn't something you really do when it's just two. The truth is, I wish I'd done it years ago. Our wedding photographer lost all of our negatives so I was never able to order more than the original album we got after our wedding. Ten years later I have hardly any nice photos of the two of us. What was I thinking? How many times have I thought about all those beautiful family photos everyone else has, dreamed about our own, cute little pics of us holding hands, or just our silhouettes with a sunset, just something pretty! We deserved to be documented. Just because we haven't added a little bundle doesn't mean we shouldn't have those photos. Families come in all shapes and sizes and they are all important. Why it took me this long to realize this is beyond me. Growing up the only child of a single parent, I knew then that just us two made a family.

It's hard to explain, and I'm not sure I even know where to begin, but even now having just typed out the words 'Family of Two' I still feel odd. I know it to be true, but to someone on the outside they may not see that. Will people think we're weird for having family photos taken? Do people think it's odd when I type out a yearly Christmas letter to tuck into our cards? Obviously those aren't the things that make a family a family and I don't need approval from the outside world, but knowing that, I still want people to understand. Does that make sense? I want people to know that we're a family.

So I'm adopting Stacey's term from here on out. We're not hoping to start a family, we're hoping to add to ours.


I need sleep. It's been a busy few days and the weekend was anything but restful. On a happy note the back yard is looking super amazing and we're almost ready for summer! If only the sunshine would come out to see us. Spring was here for a few days and then headed south for warmer weather. Sigh.

I feel like we've been running non stop for the past few weeks. Girls weekend was a nice little break and we had a fantabulous time in the great city of Bend. If for some reason we couldn't live in Portland anymore, I'd move to Bend in a heartbeat! Other than girls weekend though it's been non stop something or other. It's going to be like that for the next three weeks too. But then we will be rewarded with a trip to guaranteed sunshine in MEXICO! YIPEE!

Scott's parents are taking all of us there to stay in their beautiful timeshare in Mazatlan. We've been a few times before and simply adore the place. In fact Scott's sister likes it so much she decided to get married while we're there. So it's going to be a great vacation and a celebration. Best of both worlds. Now if we can just keep the motor running for three weeks!

Did I mention that I'm training for a 5k that I run in a few weeks too? Yep, I have a lot to do....but first sleep, on freshly washed, warm out the dryer sheets.


Today I had an overwhelming urge to quit my job and just read books for the rest of my life. If only that were a valid career choice. It wasn't that work was so bad, a little harried and stressful today, but not bad. Nope it really comes down to just wanting to wrap myself in stories and places and people that are so varied and amazing, yet truly living withing the pages they fill. I want to get lost in a novel, wrapped up in a history lesson and carried away by a knight in a shining armour. Oh escapism! How I love thee! I think I need to spend a little time in a book store. It's been a while. I'm feeling disconnected. Kind of crazy no? But the smell and feel of a book make me feel so warm and fuzzy, so happy and content, so fresh and new. They are simply the road to happiness.

Yes, escapism...bliss!

Hopefully this coming weekend will be just that! A quick trip to Bend with a few close girlfriends. No boys allowed! It will be a calm, cool, collected weekend of rest and relaxation and hopefully some belly laughs that leave my abs hurting the next day.

This is our last little chance to do this before our friend Cheryl pops out her little monkey.

I am really looking forward to the mini-trip and I'm really wishing it was Friday afternoon already!

Pretty hair always helps

Couple of things this week to note:

1. I took the entire week off from running to rest my ankle. I didn't even go to the gym once. I still lost weight and today when I did go for a little jog I felt good. Foot felt stable and my cardio level seems to have suffered very little. This made me feel really good. I might try either a short jog again tomorrow or take a long walk with Scott. I got a bodybugg (like they have on The Biggest Loser) so I'm now hyper aware of the calories I'm burning. The obsessive control freak in me wants to make the number go up and up and up.

2. I was unfriended on Facebook. Shocking I know, who wouldn't love me??? Unfortunately this week it was someone who I really thought was a friend. Sad to learn they didn't feel the same. She's a pretty special person with a zest for life. The truth is all friendships have some rough patches. You spend that much time with a person there are bound to be issues that pop up along the way. You hope that when things happen that both parties can be adult enough to talk it out and figure out how to fix it. That didn't happen here. I feel like I made the effort but I know I'm not perfect. Perhaps there was something else I could have done? I'll never really know because she basically dumped me. Actually told me that it wasn't worth it to have the conversation. Sad. Hurts my feelings, but I'm focusing on all of those great girlfriends I do have, who've survived years of ups and downs and all arounds. Most of the time we're all happy and loving on each other, but there have been times where we yell, and pout, and grump. We say our parts, let it out, work it out, and move on. As bad as those times can be, I think they're a good test of friendship and a good reminder that it's work from both parties. If you can't have a discussion with me when you're mad at me, if you give up on me and our friendship because I'm not worth the conversation then unfortuantely we aren't really friends, despite what I thought, despite how awesome I think you are. Life lessons.

3. I got my hair done did. This was hard. Searching out a new hairdresser almost felt like a slight on Steph, but she's not here and I know she wouldn't want me to wallow in a bad haircut. So I did a little research and found a great lady near our house. I went to see her this morning and I walked out feeling fabulous. I didn't get a hug like I always did from Steph, but I still felt great. I think it will be a good fit. The new do made me feel better, especially after the defriending incident. She even cut it so I'll have an adorable ponytail! I always have ponytail envy at the gym. No more! I have super cute hair down and up! YAY!


Just when I'm in a groove and feeling good about my workout plan, my ankle starts screaming at me.

I haven't been for a run since last Thursday and that run really turned into a walk. I'm not sure if it's been running on pavement? Or maybe it was just too much in just a few days? I have no idea really, but something has happened. I can actually feel the pins in my foot. I think. There is definitely feel something. Like a catch. And then there is shooting pain. No bueno.

So I've taken four days off from exercise (instantly saw a drop in my energy level!) though I did take a very long walk in the tulip fields on Saturday. Probably not the smartest thing but it was too pretty not to go!!

So I'm waiting two more days, no physical activity on the foot. I'll use the medicine ball and do some other things to keep moving and see how it goes. If I'm still in pain then I'll be calling the orthopedist. Grrr. I'm afraid to even think about what might be wrong with it. I am choosing to believe that it just wanted a break.

This has put a kink in my weight loss plans but I'm just going to get really diligent about what I'm putting in my mouth. Better eating, better body, better vacation photos! :)


Here are some photos from my Saturday adventure. LeeAnn, Amaya and I had a great time. I think it will become a yearly tradition!

Oodles and oodles of tulips!

My new favorite tulips, they are called Angelique. I will be buying some and planting them for next year.

Wait, maybe these are my new favorite...

Oh but I LOVE these...

I think it's safe to say I have a tulip problem. I picked out over $100 worth of bulbs I MUST purchase. But then I'd have to plant $100 worth of bulbs. It might be worth it though, just look at how fun that field is!!


I am afraid to even admit this for a few reasons, a) for fear that someone might actually hold me to it and b) that if I say it, it will really be true and it's just so wrong. So not me. I'm having trouble coming to terms with see...well the truth of the matter is...

I like running.

There. I said it. It's out there.

I like running so much I was looking up 10K's to do after my 5k in May.

This is crazy talk. Anyone who knows me just a little bit knows I am anti-running.

Maybe it's the endorphins talking? But they are from running. It's a vicious, VICIOUS cycle. No wonder people get sucked in.

10k. Pffft. Nutso. Erin = nutso.

Must go eat chocolate and reflect on this craziness. Seriously.

Oh and for anyone keeping track, I only have 4 more pounds until Scott has to quit smoking.

For your piehole!

Mini Pies!

They were actually very easy and I was surprised to find out that making my own pie crust wasn't all that difficult. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy but I thought it was going to much more troublesome than it ended up being. The hardest part was keeping the butter cold while I cubed it.

So as promised here are some pictures of the pies and the process to make them. If you want to try them yourself HERE is the tutorial I used.

These are my little mason jars filled with the pie crust. I used Paula Deen's recipe. Anything with that much butter and shortening in it has got to bake up brilliantly. If you want the recipe go HERE

Filled with apple goodness!

And cherries too!

And then there's the top crust...

Almost ready to top off and freeze!

And then you pull them out of the freezer and bake them....and they look like this!

Adorable right? You can't stand it right? They are going to get even more adorable (like it's even possible!) when I put the little tags on them with baking instructions.

So in the end, they are adorable and they taste pretty darn good. The apples could have used a bit more sugar and cinnamon but they still taste good. The crust is A-MAZ-ING! I knew Paula wouldn't let me down. I'm going to make pear pies tomorrow after work. This is my new favorite thing to make.

In other news, I ran two miles this weekend at a really good pace and felt really good after. My new running shoes are fab and make my feet oh so happy. I'd forgotten that shoes really do make a difference.

This weekend also included a trip to the vet as Miss Olivia had a little impacted gland in her rear. Yes it's gross. Yes it usually is something you don't even have to think about, but old dogs tend to have more issues....anyway, the groomer suggested I get her to the vet as she seemed to be in some pain. They were able to clear her glands but also found a mass. They took a sample and have sent it off to the lab for more info. It's possible it's cancerous. It's possible it's just scar tissue. Either way it was upsetting. Just to have to think about it. Livy is my baby even if she's a grumpy old lady. We should hear more about the tests on Wednesday or Thursday. Cross your fingers or say a prayer please.

Thankfully I have a freezer full of pies if we need a little extra comfort food...

Just call me Donna Reed

I am planning a Mini Martha weekend for myself. I know a few of you will think I'm nuts for wanting to spend a weekend crafting/baking/sewing but it sounds like heaven to me so I'm doing it.

My first project will be this SUPER DUPER AWESOME apron!

Just take a moment and bask in it's awesomeness. I've got adorable fabric that pretty much matches my blog layout right now and it's going to look oh so precious hanging on a little hook in my kitchen, when it's not on me of course and then it will be even more adorable! If you need to make yourself one you can get the pattern HERE and her blog also has some great tips on sewing and other projects.

I'm also making mini pies. Yep teeny, tiny, itsy bitsy pies in wide mouth mason jars. They will be so cute you won't be able to stand it. I'll take pictures to prove it. I owe some sweets to a friend. For Christmas I gave him Six Months of Sweets and we're onto month three now. Apple pie it is! These are great little pies because you can freeze them and bake them when you suddenly get the urge to stuff your pie hole, and they are single serving sized so you're not tempted to stuff an ENTIRE pie into said pie hole. I think I might try some pear pie too. My Scott loves pears and I think the firmness of a pear will probably hold up well to being frozen and reheated.

It seems that all this gym time has given me oodles and oodles of extra energy and that translates into wanting to bake which is pretty much not a good idea for the hips and arse. So I need to make things I don't like so much. Anyone like lemon bars? Rhubarb? I want to bake, I don't want to eat!

I think I'll also set aside some time to organize my recipes. I pull all sorts of things out our magazines and stuff them in folders or drawers and then I forget about them. It's sad, I have this special little binder for just such recipes and I always forget about it so this weekend I will fill it up and make my own little cook book of sorts.

I really, really wish it wasn't only Wednesday!!

What not to wear to dinner...

First, lets talk about this:

This lovely outfit was on display for anyone lucky enough to be dining at Le Bistro Montage (affectionately known as Montage, or that place under the Morrison Bridge, or that place they wrap your left overs up like strange foil animals and plants) on Saturday night. I was one of the luckies who got to view it multiple times as it walked past me with six foot legs with six inch heels. It appears from the photo there is actually a head attached to the outfit but I didn't really notice that when it was within spotting distance. It could be that I was more than a foot shorter than it. It's owner very much enjoyed sashaying around the restaurant and also having make out sessions with her equally as tall, European, blue eyed mate. I only noticed he had a head because he was facing me as he sat down.

What the picture really can't convey is the quality craftmanship of those hot pants. You see, they are leather, and sequins. Yes both. I suspect they were meant to look a little something like the picture below, but got a little trashy in the American translation? It's perfectly fine for a model to strut down the CHANEL runway dressed like this. It is not what I would consider a going out at SIX PM outfit. In fact it's really more of a 82nd and Burnside outfit. Either way it was a sight for sore eyes. Not your typical Portland or Montage ensemble. It was the talk of the night.

Now let's talk about how AWESOME my birthday was!

Birthday cake. Mom's home cooking. Jambalaya. White wine. Pedicure. Bowling. Presents. Waffle Window. IKEA. Pra Ram Chicken. Friends. More friends. Even more friends!

Yep, pretty much the best weekend ever! I wish birthday's happened more than once a year. I am truly blessed to have so many fun loving people love me. I wish we'd taken some pictures but we were too busy having fun to even think about it. The bowling alley even let me keep a pin that everyone signed, some a few times, some in handwriting I can't quite read...maybe we spent a little time in the lounge.

It was the bestest. I can't wait for next year!

I did actually make it to the gym on Saturday before all the birthday mayhem started and yesterday we took a walk to Hawthorne so I did get my exercise in despite the not so great eating. Back to the gym tonight and I'm on track for a super healthy menu this week. As the sisters LeeAnn and Tina would say "I'm shucking this oyster!". So we're back on track to lose 8 more pounds. 6 to win the bet, 2 just for good measure.

I don't have a title for today...

First, thank you to my little cheerleaders! Tamara, Mary and Andy, I really appreciate the feedback and support. Last week when I hit my gym low you made me bounce right back up and hop on the elliptical machines again. Mucho, mucho thank you! Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually reads my words and hearing from you guys totally made my week!

Gym update: I'm still going 5-6 times a week. I finally lost a pound. It's only one, but it also means I'm only .5 pounds away from not being considered over weight on the BMI scale so I've got that to keep me pushing. I've actually been working extra hard lately. Having conversations with myself. In my head. Not out loud. That might have people looking at me like I was crazy. Of course that might mean they would pick a machine a little further from me which would be a-okey dokey by me! Something to ponder... Back to these conversations, I basically pep talk myself and convince myself that if I slack off, the only person being cheated in ME. Or I talk to myself about having fab (not flab) thighs for the beach in MEXICO. Last night when I got home from the gym I practiced my Biggest Loser Photo Op photo. You know where you pose like the finalist before the big reveal. Yeah, I made my arms look all buff and fun. Yes I am crazy. Yes I am willing to do what ever it takes to meet the goal at this point. I even did leg lifts while I cooked dinner last night. Got to get the extra burn in.

Life update: Things have been pretty darn good, I feel like all the gym time has given me better happy vibes and even more energy. So my house is clean, I feel like cooking and baking and crafting. I feel like doing. Doing anything and that makes the days that much better. I am starting to see that I might have been in some really bad (if not scary) funk after I broke my ankle. Things just feel SO much better. Scott is still working really long hours but he did have two days off this weekend so we got to spend some time together and that was really nice. Despite all this goodness I've still been feeling a little insecure over stupid stuff. I just need to "get over it" I suppose, but hormones and crap like that have a way of making you nutso. I'm bordering on a little paranoid nutso right now. I won't bore you with details. But dammit I hate feeling insecure. It's icky.

This weekend I'll celebrate my birthday with friends and family and I'm really, really looking forward to it. I'm in such a better place than I was last year. The only thing missing will be Stephanie. I was booked to go see her on Saturday and I won't. I thought maybe I'd take some flowers to her grave but then thought better of it. I will wait until her birthday week after next, so it's about her and I can avoid extra tears for my birthday.

Baby update : Zip, zero, zilch. No movement. But right now I'm okay with that. Tomorrow that might change :) Tomorrow I'm going to be older. ACK!

L.ance A.rmstrong Sabotaged me!

It's true. That super athlete. That primo cyclist. That human anomaly sabotaged me! I have been using his Livestrong website to track my food and exercise. It's this super awesome handy tool and it makes keeping a food journal really easy. The problem? He thinks my body is some super calorie burning machine extroadinare. His calcualtions have me burning about 2-3 calories more a minute than I actually am. I was relying on him to tell me how it was working. Unfortunatley that old addage, you can only count on yourself, is true in this case. He also thinks that I burn more calories in a sedentry state than I do. 200 more a day actually. Well about that. I can't be sure as I don't have one of those handy dandy body buggs like The Biggest Loser people do. Luckies. So maybe this is why I'm not losing weight? Perhaps. Or maybe my body just hates me. Or maybe Lance hates me.

The good news is I've still been tracking my calories so I know what I'm taking in. Now I'll just have to really readjust my gym time and work harder at keeping the food intake down a little too. Dammit.

I really thought I'd been working hard. I guess one hour at the gym five to six times a week isn't enough.

I got on the scale tonight and I'm back up two pounds. I don't even know how it's possible. I know I've had a large calorie deficit every day except one, and that one day wasn't so bad. So yeah the answer is my body hates me.

I'm giving this gym/diet like a maniac thing one more solid week. If results do not improve I'll go back to my gym two or three times a week and kinda watching what I eat. I'm not going to try so hard for no reason.

Erin has lost motivation, it's official.

PS. The only person to notice my body changing is Scott, and I half believe that he just says nice things so he can get me in bed. If no one but my husband is noticing, than there probably isn't much change going on. Insert sad face. I call uncle! So much for being skinny for my birthday...

I is stuck

Stuck. In lots oh ways. Today I am stuck on the scale.

I have really, really, really, really (no really!) been working my ass off these last few weeks. And yet, my ass is still here. I do not understand. Jillian (from The Biggest Loser) says it's a science, math really. Calories in, calories burned. So either my math is whack or my body hates me. Could be both.

Regardless. I'm stuck and I don't like it. Makes it difficult to keep going. The only thing that keeps me moving at this point is Scott's recognition that I look good. So I must be doing something right.

Stupid fat cells.

In other news, Scott is working an insane amount of hours and it's only March! I am already worried he's burned out and Spring hasn't even hit, let alone Summer. I hope they hire him a helper. He looks so tired when he gets home. Hopefully he'll have this coming Monday off and have an extra day to recuperate.

This weekend I'll be sewing. Curtains for a friend. Hopefully cutting out a pattern for myself. It's been a very long time since I last cut a pattern so I'm a bit nervous, but what's the worst that could happen right? Right.

Okay, that's it, sorry there is nothing exciting to report.