Friday, January 23, 2009

Santa Monica Sunsets

MLK weekend

Ever since Veteran's Day weekend, I've been wanting to visit my cousins, Mike & Becky, in Santa Monica. They live a few blocks away from the beach and it just sounds wonderful. So, the long weekend over Martin Luther King Jr. Day I went to Santa Monica. It was so much fun and so relaxing. Mike & Becky are the best and were very welcoming. I drove down Friday after school and my run. I got there 9:30 and we stayed up that first night talking until 2 am. I haven't done that in a long time (oh wait, since the reunion last July). They have 2 children living with them now, and I got to sleep in Arica's room. We woke up, had pancakes and then went to the farmer's market. We got such yummy and fresh produce that we enjoyed all weekend. We came back home to put the produce away and then went to the beach in the afternoon. It was so nice just to have a book to read, people to watch, and take a nap. It was so beautiful to hear the waves crashing down and then it would be silent until the next wave. That was my favorite part and each time was surprised at how loud the waves were compared to the absolute silence afterwards. Sunday we went to church and then we took a little drive around. I had heard about the famous Santa Monica pier and had to go and see it. I watched my second sunset that weekend and walked the pier. It was very nice and fun to walk. There were tons of tourists and I think extra busy because of the long weekend. I guess I wasn't the only person with the idea to come to the beach that weekend. We went to the LA temple grounds, which is quite close to their place. I am definitely going to return and do a session in that temple. It is so beautiful. This will be my second visit to this temple without going inside. The last time I came to this temple, I was with Heidi and we were a little lost in LA and just came upon it one day. Monday was my drive back, but I wasn't in a hurry and finished my book first and left around 11 am. It's only a 4.5 hour drive and a tank of gas. So, a very economical trip for all the relaxation I got in. They told me I was welcome to return and they don't know it, but I will!!

New Years Resolutions

It's still January. . . It's not too late to say my resolutions, is it?

After seeing fine examples from Gary & Ashley and Mom & Bob, I've decided to join their ranks of one who recycles and lives greener. Although I don't produce a lot of waste, I still can do better. And lo and behold it was actually easier than I really understood. Apparantly I've had these containers the whole time that I've lived in this new condo (since last March). I never knew what these multi-colored bins were for. They were outside in the back turned upside down and backwards. I just thought they were garbage. But then I saw these bins outside every Friday infront of my neighbors houses. But it wasn't until Jackie showed me hers that it clicked that that's what they were. So, I dusted them off and put them right-side up in my garage and now can use them as intended. I now recycle cans, plastic, magazines and glass. And even better I just put it out on my curb on Fridays and they pick it up for me. I love when cities support the cause. I also decided to buy a Brita filter system. So now I use my own bottle (from Yosemite NP) and take that to work with me. When it's hot, I can drink 32 oz before lunch at 11:45 and then another 32 oz before dinner. However, the water at school doesn't taste anywhere as good. When it's not as warm, I'm lucky to get down 32 oz a day. I know I need more water and it's a daily quest. These are just a few of the things that I'm trying this year. I constantly look for easy things that I can incorporate into my simple life. So, if you have any ideas that work for you, let me know so I can try them in my house.

Running now

Those of you who have been watching my blog since this summer know that I have been fighting the bulge. And it still confounds all my logic. I was able to drop around 20 pounds, but have not gotten anymore off since then. I guess I should be happy I didn't gain it all back over the holidays! Well, I have a wonderful friend named Jackie who is making it her personal goal to help me get fit. I am so grateful for her constant encouragement and high expectations. She's a runner and has decided that even though I've never ran before in my entire life, that I should start. So, my goal is to run an entire 5K by May. I had to laugh when she told me the plan because I've never liked running and could not picture myself ever doing it. However, she has started me out nice and slow and now I really enjoy it. She has helped me to get the items necessary to make running easier than I could have expected. We took a day to go and get me some running shoes. These are my first pair of running shoes that I don't wear except for when I'm running. Next, I needed a much better support and Jackie steered me in the right direction. I told her sports bras just couldn't hold my big girls, but she assured me they did and it's true; they do make over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders. I really, really like this bra and need to get a few more. The straps don't fall off and I don't get black eyes when I run anymore (hee, hee). I have to thank Champion USA for their exceptional design and comfort. I usually run with Jackie and we've worked out a good starting point. In her neighborhood, she's marked out a 3 mile loop and my first time around was 42 minutes walking. My first run/walk was to walk 4 minutes and run on the 5th minute for one minute. Yeah, that was pretty hard and I was there for a good few weeks. Then she thought I should bump it up to running for 90 seconds. And now, I'm up to running for 2 minutes every 5 minutes. Probably next week I'll be bumped up to 2.5 minutes. I'm now charting my progress and runs in this log book Jackie got me for Christmas. And I have this fancy watch that keeps track of the times/dates of each of my runs. As I get better and start logging my time in a mile, it keeps track of my best mile and averages also. Now that I've been running on this schedule, I really look forward to running now. And not on a treadmill. I have run outside everytime. It is so refreshing, fun, enjoyable, beautiful and energizing to be running in the real world. I am thankful that I can run outisde and know that I wouldn't do that in cold Utah. Also, Las Vegas has a lot of 5K runs and in fact, I'll be running in the Make A Wish Foundation 5K next Saturday (1/31). Wish me luck. My goal for this run is to run half of it and get a good time, which would be under 38 minutes. Jackie wants me to run another one before the May run and wants me to run 3/4 of it. That will also get me 2 good times so I can beat myself. I'm a little nervous about doing this one next Saturday and hope it will be a good first 5K.
So, I hope that you are working on your healthy goals this year. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Since I'm not really losing any weight, my new goal is to just run and get healthy. I'm hoping the weight will have no choice but to leave. Good luck!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Shout Out to My Utes

I hope you all saw the Sugar Bowl last night. It was absolutely amazing. I am so impressed with my Utes I can hardly stand it. The first 3 minutes the Utes scored 3 touch downs and stopped the Alabama offense 3 times. Immediately we were up 21 un answered points. Alabama did not know what hit them. And all the commentators where so hesitant about Utah and how they shouldn't really be in a BCS bowl game. Well, we certainly proved them wrong. Alabama's only way to get on the score board was to kick field goals (from far away) to get on the score board. Then their special teams scored a touch down. Not even their offense could score because Utah's defense was so good. And that was just the first half. The second half was a little bit more scary because then Alabama scored another touch down, but never fear, so did Utah.

All in all, Utah has the BEST record in the nation. 13-0. Not one other team has been undefeated this season, not even the so called #1 team in the nation. Plus, Utah won their bowl game, which makes their bowl game record undefeated as well. Utah should be #1 in the nation, but they most likely will be #2, after the team who wins the National Championship bowl game.

Cooking Highlight

Here's a little sample of what I had last night for dinner. A marinated pork tenderloin, thinkly sliced and cooked with onions, served on Boston lettuce as a wrap and a side of rice. It was delicious and took less than an hour to make.

It seems like it's been forever since I've actually cooked, at least 2 weeks with vacation and everything. I've had good meals, but it's different when you cook. I have missed cooking and when I came home, I made my list and went grocery shopping. For me, cooking is relaxing and fun; so it was a treat for me.