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Thursday Thoughts – what makes you happy?

A friend sent me this link on Facebook (and tagged all the ladies I miss so much from around the world). We’ve all seen the “Happy” renditions being done by adorable little kids, church choirs, etc. Newest edition? The students in the small town I studied abroad in during college in Germany! I was there from end of August 2006 to beginning of August 2007, and then went back summer of 2012 to get all nostalgic. Watching this video makes me miss it! Also, European fashion, how I miss you haha

Endlich ist Tübingen auch Happy. <— click on the link for some amazing sites from the town I grew up in, and awesome Germans dancing to Pharell:)

How do you streak?

How is your #RWRunStreak coming along?  Mine is chugging along, with some days better than others.  Since it started on Memorial Day, I saw it fitting to wear my red, white & blue headband to be festive! Since it was the day after the baby’s 1st birthday party (I was pretty good and only ate 1 cookie and 1/2 a cupcake but chowed down on fried rice), I knew I needed to get a run in early before my motivation left, and before it got too hot.  My run was 1.4 miles to breakfast. Literally, I ran to go get some homemade blueberry pancakes from my uncle haha.  Tuesday consisted of another warm 1.75 mile run.

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I knew some days would be more mileage than others, but since the streak is to get in at least one mile, no matter the speed, I knew I could do it.  Wednesday was 1.1 miles during the day on my lunch break, as was Thursday (1.16 miles).  Friday I knew I needed just a little more oomph and went out for 2.2 WARM miles as soon as I got home from work and was hustling (9 minutes, 9 seconds a mile?!)

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Saturday I had some things to take care of, namely saying my final goodbyes to my old car Gunther (tear).  Gunther and I have been through a lot. My great grandma bought him new off the lot in October 1993 (yes, 1993).  He’s a 1994 Honda Accord and he’s a trooper. After she passed away, my Nana drove him for a couple years until she got the PT Cruiser she wanted. At that time my dad wanted to buy a motorcycle, but still needed a car for the rainy winters, so he bought the Honda from her.  When I got back from my study abroad year in college, I knew I’d need a car, and my dad wanted a truck, so in August 2007, I bought Gunther from him. If you’re counting that right, that’s 4 generations that have owned him.  I’ve driven him for the last almost 7 years and since I’m commuting and love roadtrips, I knew it was finally time to get a newer car, but was having a hard time saying goodbye! I had a couple people that wanted to buy him (because for a 20 year old car, he’s still pretty awesome), but ended up selling him to my older sister, for their second car. It was the only way I could ensure visitation with him!

So anyways, I woke up bright and early, took him to get his oil changed, washed, vacuumed, got his seats cleaned and then filled his belly with gas. He was pretty happy. My sister and brother in law came down around noon to pick him up, we had a chat and they were off. I promised to see him soon!  Then I sat in the living room and was stretching out my hip flexors because they’ve been SCREAMING lately.  Around 3pm I went to my Grandma’s and had a late lunch/early dinner with her before she went to BINGO and then I headed home to relax a little more and wait for the weather to cool down a little before heading out for a run (it was about 86* that day)

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I had originally wanted to just do 4 miles, but after seeing everyones Rock n Roll San Diego posts, I was uber jealous (I miss living in San Diego all the time and RNRSD was my very first 1/2 marathon – GO TEAM!). So I threw myself a pity party and ran 1/2 of a 1/2 that day instead. Allergies were KILLING ME.
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I’m almost positive this is the longest distance every run with completely negative splits! So proud of myself, especially because I don’t run this fast… ever (8 and under milers, don’t laugh haha)

My calves were a little sore, so I threw on some of my Pro Compression sleeves, chugged about 25 ounces of ice cold Fruit Punch Nuun and watched some softball before heading to bed. It’s been easy mileage since then.

 

How’s your streak going?

It’s time to streak!

Get your head out of the gutter! I’m talking about the Runners World run streak challenge!
20140530-203842-74322463.jpgCommit to running one mile per day each day between Memorial Day and the 4th of July. Chances are, on your regular run days you’ll run more than a mile, but on what would normally be a rest or crosstrain day, run one easy mile. Make that commitment to your running shoes (and your soul! Running does something special for me) and to yourself.

Check out social media channels and search for #RWRunStreak for inspiration! Make sure to tag your progress as well! This might be the only chance you’ve got to legally streak in public haha
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Baby’s 1st birthday

This past Thursday was Baby G’s 1st birthday! I absolutely cannot believe that he’s already 1. It seems like just yesterday his little naked booty was getting his first sponge bath in the hospital!

He hasn’t been feeling well for the past week or so, so he wasn’t 100% for his birthday on Thursday and his birthday party yesterday unfortunately, in case you’re wondering why he looks semi-miserable in some of his pictures. Poor little nugget just wanted to be held and cuddle.

I went to his house after work on Thursday so I could see him on his actual birthday. Found his grandpa attempting to put together his new little truck… without much luck. Move aside Grandpa, let the lady put together the truck! haha

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He’s still too little for the truck, but hopefully in a few months he’ll have a little growth spurt. He can’t see over the eyes in the front, so we were trying to put a little pillow under his bum. He wasn’t having it!

Saturday afternoon was his birthday party with a mustache theme:

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His little dessert table spread!

We tried to take some family pictures so my cousin would have some to print out, but he was NOT having that. Since he wasn’t feeling well, he just wanted to be held, and didn’t want to stand next to his treats.

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Attempt 1: Nothing but tears.

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Attempt 2: But then he sees something in the distance that he wants (it was a balloon)

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Attempt 3: Baby trying to escape the table, trying to get the mustache balloon!

His party started out only being immediate family, maybe around 10 people invited, especially since he wasn’t 100%.  But in our family, that would never fly, and when friends are considered family, that made it about a 30ish person party.

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Birthday selfies!

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He wanted to rip the mustaches off our faces, so I had to take the picture really fast since he was getting mad. His lasted about 10 seconds on his face, then he turned to me to try to rip mine off. It look him a few extra seconds, but he got it, and then kept trying to put it back on my face. It ended up being  a dangly mustache from the corner of my mouth… almost, little guy, almost.

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He was eyeballing this as soon as it came in the door. We tried to put it with his other gifts, but he wanted to get right on it – even in the box!

We ate lunch and some of the adults were having wine. He kept reaching for the wine glasses, wanting some, too, so we got a glass for him and poured his apple juice in it. He was uber satisfied and felt super sophisticated!

image_2He got SUPER messy while eating his lunch so we stripped him down when it got to cake time. My cousin ordered him a smash cake since it’s his first birthday, but with him not feeling 100% he didn’t want to dig into his cake (something he would have done in a millisecond when he’s himself!)

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He was more interested in banging his candle and toy together.

Parties at their house are always loud and crazy and full of people and kids running around wrestling, but they are always so much fun! And always filled  with good times and lots and lots of food.

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… and treats!

Thanks for coming to his birthday party!

 

Friday 5: Favorites and Fun

This week has been long. Drainingly (it’s a word now in my world) long.  But there have been some highlights that are getting me through the week:

1. This arriving at my doorstep on Monday:

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It’s my #Nuun in a box! haha

2. This music video and song. I love me some Jason Mraz and Mona Tavakoli, but love live jams even better:

3. Logging into my Captains account and seeing that Ragnar Napa Valley is 85% full! If you are considering the race (and you should!) hurry and register your team before it sells out (and it will).
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4. Baby G’s 1st birthday! Can’t believe this little dude is already 1 years old. Literally feels like he was JUST born!

Baby G I got home from work last night at 8:30pm and went by their house so I could see him on his actual birthday (the night before I was  all sniffly because I kept watching the video I took minutes after he was born when he was getting his first little sponge bath. He was so tiny!)

5. And even more birthdays! My most favorite fellow pocket-sized partner in crime is living in Australia, so it was her birthday there first. I decided NOT to call her at midnight her time (because you know, you always want to be the first person to call!)/7am my time, which ended up being a good idea because she was most definitely sleeping at that time. We FaceTimed on my lunch break so I could wish her a happy birthday yesterday, and now it’s officially her birthday in the US 🙂 2 days of birthday celebrations 🙂

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What’s getting you through your week? I’m guessing it’s the Monday holiday (and uber jealous of those that have today off, too!)

Friday Favorites

It’s finally Friday! I do have to work Saturday and Sunday so it’s not really a weekend but I’m just excited for today!

20140509-083137.jpgConversations with this girl. I’m in California, she’s in Australia. With a 17 hour time difference it can be hard to schedule calls but when you can get them in, they’re amazing! And yes, you’re reading that right. That’s an almost 5 hour FaceTime call last Friday night/into Saturday morning my time. Worth the all if sleep that night before working super early on that Saturday.


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Same BFF finally getting her birthday present. I got us matching Alex an Ani bracelets and wouldn’t open my box until hers arrived in Australia. Choosing which bangle I get? 3 day, multi-step ordeal!

 

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This little stinkers face (and his affinity for that little plastic bat)

 

20140509-083720.jpgBASEBALL!! The Mariners were in town so it’s tradition to go to the games. Michelle and I had amazing seats, 4 rows from the Mariners dugout and got upgraded to 1st row when the drunkies in front of us vomited all over the place. Thanks security dude!

How about you? What’s been getting you through the week?

TMJ problems are back in my life!

Right now I’m on day 7 of a painful, stiff, tight right jaw muscle. My normal “bad” side of my jaw is the left side – the side that is constantly locking. When I got my bottom wisdom teeth taken out the day before New Years Eve, myself, my dentist and oral surgeon were hopeful that it would help with some of my TMJ problems. Unfortunately it hasn’t helped, and at the end of January, the muscle behind my right jaw became tight and stiff for the very first time. The muscle was so tight that I couldn’t bit down fully (and my jaw didn’t line up at that point either), I could barely close my mouth without pain, couldn’t chew fully without pain, and I couldn’t open my mouth fully because it was so tight and painful. Any time I tried to bite down fully or open my mouth all the way, it felt like my jaw was going to snap in half. That lasted about 5-6 days, and resulted in a soft foods diet the whole time. I used warm compresses on the muscle, and massaged where I could. I also broke down and used a muscle relaxer (1/2 of one) for a couple of those days.

3 months later and it’s back. Last Saturday morning I woke up with that same feeling in my right jaw and the muscle just won’t calm down. I’ve been massaging it with my knuckle like a mad woman, but holy heck, it hurts like NO OTHER. If you’re a runner and have had a knot that your masseuse has ever had to use an elbow on, one that made you see stars or questions your sanity, that’s what it feels like. It always freaks me out just a little bit more because the pain is right there in my head (another reason I was so hesitant to see a chiropractor years ago since the neck cracking/adjustment sounds come so close to your head).

So, on day 7, I’m having my usual smoothie breakfast that will transition into some sort of soup-related lunch.

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Ingredients:
a couple splashes of soy milk
2 tbsp of APS French Vanilla Complete Veggie protein powder
2/3 of a banana that was on it’s last leg
1 stalk of celery
handful of kale
handful of papaya and mango chunks

Don’t get my wrong – I love smoothies. They make me very happy. But folks, I JUST WANT TO EAT CRUNCHY, CHEWY FOODS AGAIN!!!!

Dealing with dealerships

After a long and stressful process of course!   I hinted in my last post how looking for a new car was not the business.  I’m still almost positive that’s the truth.

Last weekend I was looking on the local dealerships website to see what inventory they had, to narrow it down in my price range and then go from there. I’m OCD about certain things, so I had created a couple spreadsheets (on graph paper. Yes, I’m a nerd) with prices, car make and model, a range of years, prices based on mileage (from a dealership and CPO), MPG and size (shoulder room, etc., + length/height/width).  Then it was getting hard shuffling through the papers, so I put it on an Excel spreadsheet to make it easier… and then I color-coded it. Our local Nissan dealership had 3 cars I was interested in test-driving, so we headed down there on Saturday afternoon. Since I was looking for a car 2010-2012, I steered clear of the new cars, and was trying to find the used ones. After some confusion from me and my dad, a salesguy came out and told us that they don’t keep all their used cars together, but that they are spread throughout the next 4 dealership lots, since they are all owned by the same group. But that they did have some on their lot that were parked in a row facing the street. We went to look at those ones and quickly realized that none were marked. No paperwork, no years, no prices, nothing. Let me tell you, that may be how they get you going back to the salesperson, but it’s not convenient for anyone if the salesperson has no idea what year or mileage or price the car is off-hand (oh hey, that’s why we mark them!)

We had to go back and forth with the guy to look things up in their inventory, him telling me all the cars I might be interested in were “way out of my budget” and that he’d take a walk with us to find some cars.  My dad had hurt his foot a couple days before and was in NO mood to be walking (like literally, his foot was black and we thought he broke a toe).  We walked for a bit to another dealership next door, passed the car he was looking for (thankfully I saw it), and realized it was the model below the one I wanted to test drive, was pretty stock, etc. I test-drove it anyways, just so I’d know for sure it wasn’t what I wanted. It wasn’t. Then we went back to the dealership and I asked him to look up the 3 cars I had found, so that I could test-drive those. He banged away on his keyboard and then tells me they don’t actually have any of those in their stock, and that their online inventory is only updated once every 2-3 days. I’m not sure what the point of having an online inventory is if it’s not updated regularly.

He kept asking me if I wanted the one we test-drove, and I said I didn’t think so, and that I wanted to go to the Nissan dealership in the next town over to see if they had what I wanted. SHOCKER! They own that dealership, too. So he walked away to check their inventory and my dad and I waited for about 15 minutes. Where did he go?! 20 minutes after he walked away, another guy came up, introduced himself as the assistant manager and said he had to send the other guy to bring a customer home (aka they brought in their closer).  He kept pushing the car we test drove, and I kept telling him I didn’t really care for that one, and that it seemed really overpriced for what you were getting. He wasn’t super friendly and finally was just like “ok, well have a nice day” and walked away. So did we.

We’ll definitely not be going back to Momentum Nissan (or any of the Momentum-owned car dealerships in the Bay Area).  After our experience a week ago, I’ve heard from many that have been car shopping at Momentum dealerships that they are horrible. They have horrible customer service, aren’t knowledgeable and some are downright rude and ignorant of their product (not mention that they have higher prices than some other dealerships in the area).

We went home and I spent the rest of that night online, looking at dealerships a little further away, in the East Bay, Marin and Sacramento areas. I also had the online help of a friend who had just purchased an Acura TSX from Acura of Pleasanton and had a great experience with their Internet Sales Manager and highly recommends them to anyone looking for an Acura (or any used car they might have) that’s in the Bay Area!  We were each scouring a bunch of dealerships websites, and I found Maita Nissan in Sacramento that had a few cars I might be interested in, so I sent them an email asking for more information (since it was 9pm on a Saturday, the dealership was already closed).

… next update on what happened next!

Buying a new car…

and why it’s NOT the business.

Here’s my driving story in a nutshell:
I didn’t get my license until I turned 18 (there was no drivers ed in high school and my parents weren’t going to pay for it or let me drive their cars, so there was no point).  Turns out my freshman roommate in college didn’t have her license either so a few months into our first semester, her mom took us both to the DMV and we took our written tests together (both passed!).  I didn’t get a car until a year and a half later, right before my 3rd year of college (a lilac colored Saturn). I drove it for a year before I moved to Germany for a year. When I got back from Germany, I bought my Dad’s old Honda Accord from him, so he could then buy a truck to accompany his Harley.  Backstory on the Honda 🙂 My great-grandma purchased it brand new in November 1993 (it’s a 1994 Honda!). When she passed away in 1997, my Nana kept it and drove it.  About 6 or so years of driving it and she wanted a PT Cruiser, so she sold it to my dad so he’d have a car to drive to work in when it was raining too hard for the Harley.  He drove it for a few years and when I returned from Germany, I needed a car and he wanted a truck and BAM! I bought it from him.

Bottom line, this 1994 Honda Accord (who I named Gunther) has been in the family since his birth, and has gone through 4 generations of our family. He’s now a little over 20 years old and fading. He had a good, long life, saw many adventures and roadtrips, was broken into 3 times and stolen once. He survived all of this because he’s one loyal dude. I think 20 human years equals about 80 in Honda years and he’s creaky and arthritic and just wants to retire.

I’ve been actively searching for a replacement for him for a couple months (without his knowledge… didn’t want to hurt his feelings), and car shopping is something I can say I do NOT enjoy anymore.  The salesmen are pushy (I put on my gameface), but the whole back ad forth game they play with them and “their manager that they need to get approval from” is tiresome, and I hate that their inventory online doesn’t match what they actually have on their lot.  In our hometown (and the town over), the same group owns all of the dealerships, so it’s impossible to get a better deal or search around at another dealer to see if they have what you’re looking for.

5 dealerships down, who knows how many more to go! (wish me luck and send any extra juju you can spare!) 

 

Where has the time gone?

I’ve been MIA. So much has been going on the last few weeks and there’s been virtually zero time for social media, blogging, anything other than work and sleep. I’m tired. But I need to update! This is what’s been going on in my life since the last time I posted…

20140216-144256.jpgRemember that one time the Seahawks were in the Super Bowl? This is my not impressed face when it was raining that afternoon (my hair was not amused).

20140216-144426.jpgSkittle and beer are all I needed to get into Beastmode status.

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my face at the beginning of the 2nd half, after Percy Harvin ran that ball back in for a TD in the first 12 seconds of the quarter!

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SUPERBOWL CHAMPIONS!!!

20140216-144639.jpg This warranted a nice little visual on Monday morning for my co-worker (from Colorado) who is a HUGE Broncos fan. We had been going back and forth since we knew it would be our teams in the Superbowl.  He was a pretty good sport…
after ripping these off his door:)

Then we had a work trip for NorthAm meetings… We have 3 offices in the US – ours in San Francisco, one in Boston and one in Miami. For a few days in the beginning of February, you’d think they’d choose Miami, right?

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WRONG… welcome to Boston.

They chose the coldest of the 3 locations. Myself and another coworker barely made our flights on Tuesday before they started cancelling them Tuesday afternoon.

20140216-144731.jpg This is what we woke up to on Wednesday morning…

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But Friday after the meetings they treated us to box seats at the Celtics game – my first NBA game and in a box?! I’ll take it!  After the game, we went to a place near TD Gardens for drinks and dancing.  At the end of the night when they were closing up, we went to get our coats and bags and my jacket was gone. My guess – some drunk girl thought it was hers. Luckily I had put my wallet in a coworkers bag when we got there, but that still meant  I was coatless in 20 degree weather, with no gloves and my awesome Koss headphones that were in the other pocket were goners.

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Some sightseeing on Saturday… before my flight home was cancelled and I had to haul butt to the hotel to pick up my bags and then to the airport to attempt to make the last flight out. I found out it was cancelled, called the airline, got in a taxi, to the hotel, got my bags and taxi’d to the airport, worked with someone at the counter, went through security and RAN to the gate. All in an hour. I’m pretty darn proud of myself.

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Finally got in a run in SF! I tried casual carpool for the first time, got to the city WAY too early for work, changed, answered a few emails, got back to work, cleaned up and changed and started working before anyone even got there!

20140216-144932.jpg This awesome photo was taken with a current coworker and a friend that was in town from Vancouver. We met each other in September 2006 when we all studied abroad in Germany in college, and were placed in the same language class. I currently work with the one on the left, and saw the one on the right when I went back to London in 2012. This was the first time the 3 of us had been all together since July 2007!  It’s crazy where life takes you.

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This little guy wearing the Valentines shirt I bought him – Auntie’s #1 Admirer for sure!

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How has life been for you?