Thursday, December 29, 2011


I seriously cannot remember what it feels like to work.  I have off until January 3rd and am enjoying every moment of peace.

I've been getting in my runs for my half; so nice to run on bike paths.  I will have to use the one near me when I get back home.  It's also been nice for winter in Wisconsin, which is a great benefit.

It's also been fun to spend more time with my family.  Not concentrated time - we usually do our own thing most of the day - but we are doing some fun stuff together as well.

Like - cookie baking!

And the zooooooooooooo!


The rare purple-hatted polar bear

An entire lion family!

How wide are your arms compared to an ape's?

Mama and baby chick!

It was pretty much perfect.  It was a relatively warm day but there was hardly anyone there.  And as you can see, the animals were all out!  

After the zoo we hit the Original Pancake House, where I proceeded to clean my plate.  Which was alright as I was fueling for the 8 mile run  a couple hours later.  Do not ask what I am fueling for with the cookies/licorice I ate tonight

With all that excitement there is always exhaustion, as modeled by sweet Luna below.

I'm exhausted and happy, and have 2+ more days to enjoy this feeling!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mo' pittures!

Christmas is over, time to relax.  I'm especially lucky that I'm able to relax this week.  I was expecting to have to work the week between Christmas and New Year's, but last week our CEO sent an email to the company giving us this week off!  Yay!

The extra time has been spent in very relaxing ways.  Yesterday we didn't do much, just going to the park and out to lunch with my niece.

Hazel and Grammie

Push, Daddy, push!

Start of lunch

Mom and me


End of lunch. =)

I also managed to squeeze in a run that afternoon - back on track for training after my cold!  It was kind of awkward to run; I ate more than usual at lunch, and I could feel it!  Very successful runs the past few days - Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, day after Christmas = total of close to 20 miles!  Back on the horse!

Last night my brother, his wife, my mom and I played a new game.  It's called Forbidden Island and it is challenging, not only to play, but also to even understand the instructions.  It was a co-operative game so we all had to work together, but there were still arguments over how to play.  In the end we won, but barely.  I think we might play it again sometime this week and will be better at it.

Today was a rest day, and boy did I need it.  Actually most days have been rest days; I've been napping post-lunch.  I'm not alone in that.  My niece takes a nap right after her lunch, and it seems that all of us want to join in.

Mom and Luna reading on the bed

But not all was laziness today.  There was minor adventure - a trip to Old Navy!

Best dressed of us all

Clothing and jewelry were bought at ridiculous prices, then it was home for stir-fry. 

Tonight there was some work to be done so no games, but there are still plenty of days of fun to come.  Tomorrow's plan - cookie baking.  Can't wait!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Very late in the day but still officially Christmas in Madison, WI, so I say - Merry Christmas!

My Christmas was absolutely a blast.  Sure, the presents are nice, but that's not the point.  It was spending the time with my brother, his wife, their little girl, and my mom.

Won't say much about the details, because that probably won't be that fascinating.  We woke up, opened presents, I went for a run, and we had a wonderful Christmas dinner of prime rib.  I'll leave it at that, and just share some pictures of the joy.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pre-Christmas celebrations

I'm currently in Madison, WI, shocked by how warm this winter has been.  Relatively warm at least.  I went out for a run today and although I wore a long sleeved running shirt I was also plenty warm in my running capris.  Which is a good thing because although I swear I packed three long sleeved running shirts and three sets of capri/leggings, 2/3 of those running clothes were not in my bag when I unpacked.  I'd like to think I just forgot to pack them in my suitcase but I distinctly remember zipping up one of the running jackets in prep for packing it.  Soo...somebody stole my running clothes?  I just don't know.

But that's no fun to think of.  What is fun to think of is the time I spent this past Wednesday with my cousins.  I went over after work to my cousin's house and three of us had dinner together.  After tacos (which I haven't had in forever and forgot how good they are), we played Pears to Pears.  I lost thoroughly.  Luckily it was time to break for dessert (ice cream with fudge, caramel, peanut M&Ms and a brownie chunk) and then presents!

My cousin's hat and my sweater, hat, and scarf were all presents!

Yay presents!

When given the choices of what to do next, I immediately suggested putting together a puzzle, while watching White Christmas.  Definitely a good choice - best to avoid humiliation of losing again.

I read a blog recently that said White Christmas was the best Christmas movie.  I tend to agree.  The songs and dances are so fun, and the dialogue can be really fun.  Plus - who doesn't tear up when they stand and applaud for the General?

We didn't finish the puzzle that night; my cousin wanted to go to bed around 11, something about her baby getting up early...

Party pooper

We all got some good rest and were catered to with breakfast of eggs, bacon, and croissants!  After that it was back to the puzzle; which we completed!  Well, as much as possible.  There was of course one missing piece.  

Moderately challenging puzzle

After puzzle completion it was time to hit the chocolate!  Not to eat this time, but to dip.  Pretzels and oreos to share!  Very simple and delicious.  It's the expertise of my cousin and has become a Christmas highlight.


We hung out for a bit longer and watched a bit of Miracle on 34th Street, followed by pizza for lunch.  I was incredibly rude and had to run after that because I was supposed to actually be working!  Plus I had to get ready for an early morning flight the next day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Emerging slowly

This past weekend was lost to a nasty cold.  It was one of those cases where even though I had just got up from a 10 hour sleep I still had to go back to bed because I was exhausted.  Luckily it was a sore throat/cough/runny nose thing not a vomit thing.  Haven't had the latter in a long time.  In fact, I don't remember ever having the latter since I've lived alone.  God, please, don't let me get the latter when I am alone - I don't want to clean up my own vomit from the carpet!

Wow - that was a fun intro.  Anyway, even with my nasty cold I still was so ready to get back to cooking after my California trip.  I had a small butternut squash sitting in my kitchen, and ta-dah!  Garlic roasted butternut squash with parmesan cheese!

Oh so good

Aside from the cold I was happy to be home.  My cats were happy to have me as well, and showed me that with the traditional vomit on the bed, not in one place, but TWO!

You're welcome

It's also nice that Christmas is coming.  I got to put up a bunch of my advent pieces all at once!  I am kind of sad that I won't be putting up baby Jesus on the 24th because of travel (yes, again).  But it is fun to see the tree fill!

Wow - we're in the bottom row!

The last week before Christmas is always hard workwise.  A cold doesn't help much.  I took today off and rested. I'm back on my feet tomorrow - hopefully not only at work but with a run!