Monthly Archives: July 2012

An Olympic Jump

We are watching the Olympics, or rather, I am watching the Olympics while Daughter is rolling off the couch, under the ottoman, between my feet. I am watching beautiful Kerri Walsh and fiesty Misty May Treanor come from behind against two European women in their 20’s. They, too, are beautiful and tanned. Kerri and Misty jump and they set and they slam that ball into the ground. I persuade Skylar to watch, if just for a moment.

Watch them jump! See them hit the ball?
Watch me jump, Mommy!
She slides off the ottoman and turns to face me. The game continues on the TV behind her.
She jumps.
Watch me!
I’m watching. 
Good job! You jumped high!
She jumps again and turns back to the TV. Kerri falls down.
She fall down. 
Yes, honey bear, she fell down. But look. she popped right back up!
Yes. 
Daughter jumps again, this time with a small plastic bowl on the tips of her fingers.
Look, I hit the ball!
The orange bowl flies into my lap.
She does it again. Stands below the TV, jumping and setting the orange bowl right towards my head.
Behind her Kerri and Misty set, spike, slam until the game is theirs.
I catch the orange bowl. I gently set it back to her.
She sets it again and again and again.
Right toward my head.

Beefsteak Tomato Gratin….

Sunday was busy. We started the day early, because that’s what you do with an early-rising three-year old. There were cartoons and waffles and then I ran away to Target to get groceries and have a quiet moment. As soon as I got home I wiped up a quick pasta salad for later in the day and then we ran off to the St. Paul Farmer’s Market. I was on a mission for two things: Eggs (because of this book) and Beefsteak Tomatoes (because of this recipe). I found both. And a whole lot of other goodies.

Later that day, while I was out biking and running, Husband made the Beefsteak Tomato Gratin (see link above). It was complicated and I forgot to tell him that we didn’t have quinoa and that I substituted Mozzarella for Gruyere, but he plowed through and made it for dinner. We broiled some salmon to go with it and it was amazing. Huge, fresh, local tomatoes. There’s nothing like them. Yum. And the season has just begun 🙂

Friday…

It’s finally Friday. And the crazy heat has broken. Our windows are open, the AC is off. I love it. Dog loves it. And I can hear the bugs and the wind again.

Today we’re heading to the beach. And then Husband is taking me for Sushi and some live Jazz. This weekend we’re doing more celebrating, because, well, you know. And I plan to bring this.

Oh, and the Olympics start. Are you watching?

I’m watching every minute I can. I think these athletes are amazing.

Plata Designs and a Present for Myself

I found myself a birthday present in Boulder.  I found it at the very last booth we walked past, right before we nearly melted in the Colorado Sun, moments before the 3YOs started to lose it. There was a little table, covered by beautiful work by Plata Designs. The artist was there selling her amazing jewelry. I bought a pair of dream catcher earrings. Happy Birthday to me.

You can visit her website here or her Etsy shop here. If you’re near Boulder, her work in in Hip consignment shop.

How did I do?

Last year at this time, I posted a list of 39 things I wanted to do while I was 39. Today’s my last day of being 39, so I wanted to let you know how I did. I have to say, pretty good. I might find time tomorrow to do numbers 22,2 3 and 31, but if I don’t I won’t worry about. Turning 40 has forced me to relax a bit. And I couldn’t be happier.

1. Do a Triathlon – DONE, on August 17
2. Run a 10K – DONE, October 1
3. Make homemade bread – how did I not get this done?

4. Take a nap – DONE…. ahhhhh
5. Enjoy a glass of wine with a close friend on a beautiful day – DO BLOODY MARY’S COUNT? Yes, I think so.
6. Read Anna Karenina – THIS AIN’T HAPPENING… LOST MY DESIRE
7. Do a charity walk for a cause close to my heart – I did the Color Run, close enough?
8. Make sushi – ARG! SO WANT TO DO THIS
9. Make homemade Veggie Burgers – GP’s Veggie Black Bean Burgers – DONE
10. Take the dog for a long walk – DONE
11. Go for a hike- Carpenter Nature Center – DONE
12. Laugh – DONE
13. Go snowshoeing – NO SNOW, POOEY
14. Finish an unfinished project – finished mom’s 3rd pillow – DONE
15. Open my eyes – DONE
16. Conquer my fear of piecrust – IN THE HEAT OF THE SUMMER? MAYBE THIS FALL
17. Cook an indian meal – DONE
18. Take a nap – DONE, again. I’m pretty good at this. 
19. Make homemade jam – this fall, I promise. 
20. Spend an afternoon playing with Daughter – can it be a morning? October 18, art projects – DONE
21. Make a recipe out of the French Laundry Cookbook
22. Take another nap – 3 might be pushing it. 
23. Climb a tree – did you honestly think I could do this?
24. Design my own fabric – deep sigh
25. Love – DONE
26. Plan a day trip just to eat – sept 22 -DONE
27. Spend more time reading – DONE, xmas break into the new year
28. Go kayaking – Wow… still haven’t done this. 
29. Relax – DONE, July 3 day off with Husband
30. Run a 5K with Daughter (jogging stroller, obviously) – MN Zoo 5k – DONE
31. Paint a picture with no restraints – another deep sigh
32. Make fried green tomatoes – did it, august 2011 – DONE
33. Do another triathlon – THIS WILL HAVE TO WAIT A COUPLE WEEKS, NEXT ONE IS AUGUST 12
34. Volunteer – DONE, SAVE Fashion Show
35. Take a road trip – September 22, does this count? – DONE
36. Bake cookies from scratch – DONE (xmas)
37. Buy handmade – DONE, a scarf, for me.
38. Smile more – EASILY DONE WITH DAUGHTER…
39. Have fun – DONE, running in the backyard with Skylar

Boulder…..

I spent the last four days with my sister in Denver, Colorado. We went climbing and swimming and shopping and eating. Saturday, we headed north to Boulder for the Open Arts Fest. And what  a Fest it was.

There were giant carrots and adorable rabbits.

There was a splash pad and butterfly balloons.

There was an art booth for the kids, which lead to blue hair and purple knees.

There were ginormous giraffes.

And an orange chair for Jen.

Going West

I’m heading to Denver this morning. I plan to spend lots of time watching Daughter play with her Cousin. I also hope to forget about work and enjoy a few days away from reality. Wish me luck.

On Training….

I’ve been training and I love it. When people find out that I’m training for a triathlon they often say, “Isn’t that hard?” “Isn’t that a lot of work?” “Oh, the training must be so hard.” And yes, it is hard. But it’s also so much fun. I really need a deadline to achieve something. In writing, I need a date on the calendar. In training, I need a race or event.
Before Daughter was born I completed three Inline Marathons. That means rollerblading 26.2 miles. The first year it was torture. I remember reaching the one-mile marker and thinking, “What the hell did I just get myself into?” It was horrible. And two hours and twenty minutes later, when I crossed the finish line and nearly passed out, I vowed to never again do a race without proper training. That said, the following summer I did the same race and finished in an hour and 50-some minutes. The third year I finished in an hour and 40-some minutes. Less than 10 minutes behind the pros and without speed skates or drafting. Or a sponsorship.
So last summer I decided to do a Sprint Triathlon. Training was a lot of work. But it was a lot of fun work. I taught myself how to swim laps. I spent many boring hours on the bike. And I trained my legs to run right after biking. I even spent an evening swimming with a four foot muskie in the lake. The day of the race I was a nervous wreck. But it was a blast. It was hard, don’t get my wrong. The first ten minutes after I was done I really wondered why the hell I had just done that.
But it was so fun!
And now I’m back. A month from today I’m doing it again. Which means I’m at the peak of my training this week. I’m swimming, biking and running all the time. And loving every minute of it. I went on a run the other day at 6am. The sun had just come up. The air was crisp. The first half-mile was torture. My back was stiff, my legs were tired,  my mind wasn’t into it. But slowly I woke up. My legs picked up the pace. My breath evened out. I greeted a passing runner. And then I was done. Four miles done and it was just past 630am. Given, there’s no way I can do that everyday. But when I do, and it goes well, there’s nothing better.(Except maybe a three-year-old laughing.)
In a month I’ll be a nervous wreck. Until then I’m having fun. Because if it isn’t fun, it isn’t worth it.
And this weekend, for fun, I’m running The Color Run with some dear friends. I can’t wait.
What are you doing this weekend for fun?

Laughter

Yesterday, Daughter and I spent most of the afternoon laughing. The day didn’t start out so well, and we ended up spending a couple hours at the Emergency Vet Clinic. After a number of tests and some guessing on the Doctor’s part (because Dog is too wiggly to get an accurate measurement) we were sent home with two bottles of eye drops and a bottle of pills. He’s doing really well, so that’s a relief.

But because we wanted to stick close to home, and close to Dog, we didn’t go to the beach or to the playground or to the pool. We spent the afternoon, first, on the floor of her bedroom and, later, on the floor of the living room. We tossed a little ball up in the air and let it hit us in the head. Then we threw a larger ball in the air and hoped it wouldn’t hit us in the head.

When we finally got off the floor, we tore apart the living room and threw toys everywhere. There was puppet show and a parade. The lines in the rugs because the road for the cars. The trains went around and around their tracks. We made a castle with the MagnaTiles. We sang songs. We danced. And we laughed.