Saturday, January 31, 2009

Are you ready for some football?

Football cake and cookies, that is. Out of complete boredom on Saturday, I decided to make some desserts to bring to my sister's house for the Super Bowl. Chris was working all day and I really needed something to kill time. I summoned all of my creative energy and a few hours later.... These were pretty fun to make! I used a 13x9 cake pan for the cake and cut off the surrounding area of the cake after tracing an outline with a knife. I mixed together red, yellow and blue food coloring to make the brown. Let me just tell you how sore my left arm is from stirring two batches of that frosting. Ouch. The color is more accurate in the cookies. It is pretty light but I could not stir anymore to get it darker. I used a football shaped cookie cutter to make those adorable cookies. Add some white sqeezy frosting with a small tipped tool (I have no idea what anything is called) and you have yourself some festive football food. Here is what I am looking forward to on Super Bowl Sunday: 1. Eating 2. Being with family 3. The commercials 4. The game 100. Bruce Springsteen I have my priorities straight fo sho.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

As time goes by....

It was one thing when my sister had a baby. It was my sister for gosh sakes. I was going to be an AUNT! I was over the moon thrilled and couldn't wait to meet that little baby growing inside of her belly. And then when your best friend from high school tells you that she is pregnant, the excitement is overwhelming. Seeing someone go from 16 to wife to mother is thrilling. But when your college roommate calls you out of no where one day to tell you the play by play story of peeing on a stick to see those two lines, well, the emotion took me over. My college roommate who I would lay in bed with and watch The Tom Green Show with. The girl I would go to frat parties with. The girl who I watched get married and the girl who stood by my side as I got married. We went from silly college kids to married ladies. And now she is going to be a mom. I am overwhelmed with emotions at every single thought of Lisa being pregnant. So much that tears come to my eyes every. single. time. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Adam and your little bean over the next 9 months. I love you like a sister and my excitement and happiness for you is more than I can express!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Slaying the dragon

The dragon takes the form of a stairmaster in some places. Beware!
A few weeks ago, I decided I needed to mix up my workouts. The treadmill and eliptical machine were getting boring. I knew the stairmaster would be a challenge but I would start with low expectations and then move onto getting angry at myself for not being able to complete a decent workout. The usual.
I stepped onto the dragon, err, I mean stairmaster and entered 10 minutes. I could do that, surely. After I remembered my name is Michelle*, I hit start and was on my way. 10 minutes later, I was so done. That was more than enough but I knew I needed to slay the dragon that is the stairmaster. I kept going back. I did 15 minutes and then 20 minutes, 30 minutes. One night, I was feeling ambitious and managed to do 2-20 minute intervals! Go me.
Last night, I really went for it. After running for 2 miles, I punched in 45 minutes, set the machine to the hill interval and was on my way. The last 7 minutes, I increased the level to 9. That hurt but I did it. I completed 45 minutes straight and I didn't do any of that leaning on the machine either. I was so proud of myself.
The dragon is slayed! Down with you might stairclimber!!!
*Airplane reference anyone?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We're going to Disneyland!

My deprived husband has never been to Disneyland in his 28 years on this green earth. Since I am a good wife, I decided that we must take a trip there before we have children because who would want to go to Disneyland with kids? Ick. No way.
After doing some research and calculating some costs, we (I) decided on the Sheraton Anaheim Hotel. It is right across the street from Disneyland, includes a free shuttle to the park and I booked a package that provides us with breakfast each morning. We will be spending 3 nights there, including our 1 year wedding anniversary!
I'm not only excited to take another vacation with my husband, but to be with him when he experiences the joy of Disneyland for the first time. I haven't been to the park in a few years so I am excited to re-explore the House of Mouse as well.
Is it June yet?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Nights are for....

-G-chatting with your mom for the first time! -Downloading songs off of itunes with my half of the $50 gift card my sister got us for Christmas. -Listening to Simon and Garfunkel's greatest hits and realizing that music just does not sound like this anymore. For shame. -Eating an apple and feeling healthy. -Being thankful for another day to relax although I plan to spend it cleaning. -stretching after a 3 mile run and 20 minutes on the stairclimber. Go me. -Man, Simon and Garfunkel are good.

Stories from a gym

Because I am a workout feign and a bit of a jock, I have belonged to some sort of exercise facility for many, many years. The local, family owned athletic club in my hometown was a part of my life from near birth. I learned how to swim in the pool, I attended sports camp there during the summer and worked out as an adult to lose 50 pounds. Due to my jockness, I am a no frills girl when it comes to work out attire and appearance. No makeup, no matching, no decently styled ponytail. I look fug when I work out. I get red as a tomato, I sweat more than a pig under the summer sun and I don't care. I have no qualms about looking horrible when I exercise. It is, afterall, exercise. And if you are doing it right, you should look fug. There are those females that do not get this concept. A trip to the gym is a trip to the dating pool. My hometown gym was not one of those places at all. It was completely family oriented with tons of kids and old folks occupying the place. It was the last place a girl should go to find a potential boyfriend.** I recall being at the gym once, working out on the treadmill and observing a girl and a guy walk in together. They were in their early 20's and it was obviously one of their first times to this particular gym. What was their attire, you ask? Well, the girl was wearing a sports bra and booty tight shorts that covered, well, her booty. Again, this is not the type of gym to flaunt your body. People are generally covered up here. Even those with hot bods. She had full makeup on, her hair was down and brushed and shiny. I laughed. Until I saw her boyfriend. And then I cackled. He was wearing baggy jeans probably three sizes too big for him. To go along with that look, he had on a wifebeater and red tinted sunglasses. To top off the hotness that was his outfit, he had his wallet chain hanging low out of his pocket. I continued to workout longer than planned to watch what these two were going to do. It was hilarity in motion. I could not look away. The girl stared at some of the cardio machines, hopped on the bike and worked out for a solid 5 minutes before realizing that she looked ridiculous showing so much skin. She wandered around a bit, covering her torso with her arms and took a seat in the lounge area. She must have been pooped. Now onto her boyfriend. You must get the mental picture of this dude first. He is a skinny white kid, baggy jeans, wifebeater, red tinted sunglasses resting on the top of his head, wallet chain hanging out. By this time, I had moved over to the weight room where Whitey was working out his biceps. Because I am mean and competitive with complete strangers, I was determined to lift more than him on each machine. (Maybe I'm the tool?). The best part of watching him struggle to lift weights was watching old men in the weight room not only lift more than him but stare at him due to his attire. He just looked so out of place. After a total about probably 20 minutes inside of the gym all together, the couple walked out. Whew. What a workout! I don't know if they ever went back to that gym but I hope they took into consideration the attire of other people. I'm convinced that the better people look when they enter the gym, the shorter their workouts will be. Sadly, I only exercise at the apartment complex fitness center now. Aside from a girl who I am convinced in an exercise anorexic, there are no fun characters. I need to rejoin a gym! **Funny enough, Chris and I belonged to the same gym in hometown before we met. While he would usually frequent the gym on the other side of town (there were two locations), sometimes he would go to the gym I attended but he worked out after 9 and I worked out no later than 6. I wonder what would have happened had we run into each other at the gym once? We are both too shy so I'm sure nothing would have happened!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Old People in College: Take 1

I'm not sure if I ever wrote about signing up for a yoga class through my local JuCo (Junior College). I am taking that 5 week academic class in March but I needed something more and I thought yoga would be perfect for my aging body. Our first class was Tuesday night. I was nervous about going, no thanks to my husband who teased that I would be the only person there that wasn't hardcore into yoga. I reminded him that it was a junior college class and I was sure that hardcore yogi's would be at a private yoga studio doing the downward facing dog. I drove to the middle school where the class is being held and noticed 1 other car in the parking lot but many cars turning into the lot as I parked. Oh good, classmates! Or so I thought. I walked to the front office expecting to see a sign posted about where to go but did not. Instead, I stood in silence with 4 other females for a good 2 minutes. I'm not sure what we were waiting for but I was sure we were all going to be in yoga together. An older man drove up and posted a note on the front doors of the office. This guy is our yoga instructor? Interesting. I read the sign and it was for a class called Personal Safety. The other 4 female standing with me all followed him to that class. Wonderful. Why am I the only loser here for my yoga class? I asked him if he knew anything about my class and he informed me that there was a conflict with the gym and it was canceled for the evening. He said to call the main campus to find more information. Groan. Upon calling the P.E. department at the school, I find out that sure enough, the instructor had to cancel the class due to a conflict and that the class was full and scheduled as usual. Apparently, she was able to contact everyone in the class about the cancelation. Except me. Awesome. I was the lone loser who didn't get the email or phone call about the class being canceled. The only loser who showed up to class when everyone else signed up stayed at home. Thank goodness I only live a few minutes from the campus. I am going back tonight not sure what to expect. I wore jeans and a sweatshirt Tuesday night and while I'm sure we won't be doing yoga tonight either, I'm tempted to wear my damn brand new yoga pants just to show how ready I am. My name is Michelle and I am an Old Person in College.

Lost

Lost is so back!! What a great episode last night to kick off the season. In my opinion, that was one of the best season premieres they have shown. I won't say too much since there might be some blog readers who have yet to see the episode (my husband included). I am already counting down until next Wednesday night! Lost fans, what did you think? No spoilers please!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm a winner...you might be too!

Shalay over at Writefully Yours has given me a blogger award. I feel so special. Thanks Shalay! The rules of the award: 1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. 2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap." Well, there's no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon. 3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself. So here it goes, 10 honest things about me: 1. I love to exercise. I make it part of my daily schedule and even if I tell myself earlier in the day that I am going to take a day off, I rarely do. I enjoy it so much! 2. My family is all up in each others business....in a good way! My parents drove 60 miles to watch me and my sister complete our half marathon in October, my dad is driving all over Northern California to watch my brother in law's basketball team this season, we get together several times over the holidays to see neighborhood Christmas lights and decorate cookies. We love spending time together and do it a lot for any occasion. 3. I am taking yoga through the local community college this semester. 4. 5 years ago, I started on a path to lose 50 pounds. Currently, I have gained 40 of those pounds back. Bad Michelle. 5. I adore my niece. She is the greatest. 6. Work Michelle is totally different than Home Michelle. I don't think my husband would recognize me while I am working with my students. 7. I have a couple of amazing friends here in Sacramento that I met through The Knot message boards. 8. My grandmother passed away nearly two years ago and I think about her every single day. 9. I received good news from some friends recently. I love my friends and want nothing more than the best lives for them. I miss them! 10. I love green apples, but not red apples. The 7 bloggers I am giving the Honest Scrap Award to are: 1. Stef from Stefanie's Stories 2. Alison at Parallel Parking 3. Lindsay at Sweet Vanilla Bean 4. Angela at HoopFamily 5. Lisa at Hava-Blog 6. Cathleya at Wifey Lifey 7. Kim at Kimberly Michelle I love reading all of your blogs and look forward to seeing what you can to say each time I log onto your page.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Picture of the Day

Former President Bush and Former First Lady Laura Bush in Marine One, flying away to their new life as "private citizens." President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, V.P. Biden and Jill Biden, standing on the steps of the capitol, watching them fly off. What a moving sight to witness. History changing right in front of our eyes. It is so moving, so historic, so overwhelming. Sure, it happens every 4 or 8 years but it does not make it any more special each time it happens. America is great.

Monday, January 19, 2009

When addiction goes too far

While on the stairclimber last night at the gym, I was reading my new issue of People Magazine. Patrick Swayze is on the cover and there is a lengthy article about his fight with pancreatic cancer. As I was reading through the article, I was so touched by his strength and the support he has from his friends and his wife of 33 years. I know he recently went into the hospital with a case of pneumonia but was also released and is trying to recover day by day. The article states that pancreatic cancer does not have a long survival rate but that so far, Patrick Swayze is beating the odds. What a great story...until I get near the end of the article and my opinion changed. Direct quote: "Still, there are some things Lisa can't change about her doggedly stubborn husband. A source says Lisa herself quit smoking but that despite her pleas, he won't follow suit. He has acknowledged that his lifelong habit "probably" has something to do with his cancer-it is a proven risk factor for the disease-but told Walters that "when it looks like I may live longer than five minutes, I'll drop the cigarettes like a hot potato. Right now it's not my priority." The first sentence of the next paragraph says (oddly enough): "Instead, his No. 1 priority now is to get back on his feet and continue to fight for every new day." Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Sorry, Patrick Swayze but I can't help but loose a bit of sympathy for you. You are sick, deathly sick but decide that quitting smoking isn't very important even though you know how bad it is for you? Even as you are fighting a deadly form of cancer, you won't make a vow to stop smoking? How disappointing. How upsetting. What a let down. When it looks like you will live longer than 5 minutes? So, what you are saying is that if you start to get better, you will stop smoking. You will then make a priority to stop something that is killing you. But for now, your life isn't worth it. The hard times your wife is going through seeing her husband of 33 years in pain and agony isn't worth quitting. Is your philsophy, I'm dying anyways so what if I smoke? You won't have another day to fight if you don't stop smoking NOW. Not at minute 6. NOW. Hey Michelle, eating chocolate might kill you. You have to stop eating chocolate. You have a disease that is made worse by eating chocolate. Oh ok, Dr. I will stop because losing my life isn't worth another piece of chocolate. Sure, I will miss chocolate but I don't want to die. I'm angry with you Patrick. I care a bit less about your illness now. Sure that might seem coldhearted and it would be great if you recovered but you are chosing not to try your hardest by continuing to smoke.

Weekend Days 1-3

Happy Monday/Dr. MLK Day/Day before we have a new President! I have today (and tomorrow!) off from work which is awesome but today has gone by way too fast. I have been somewhat productive but I am hoping tomorrow drags on a bit. My weekend was great! We went down to hometown for lunch with my family to celebrate my dad's birthday. I made him this awesome cake! The day after that birthday celebration, I hung out with my in laws for my BIL's birthday party. I ate a lot of food this weekend. A lot. I'll move on and show a picture of Diana, just because she is cute. (I'm watching Oprah as I watch this and why, oh why, are Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher on her show talking about Obama? Why them? Random.) Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I love seeing video of the "I have a dream" speech. Dr. King was such a great speaker and such a visionary for unity and equality. I did not vote for Obama. I have my reservations about his stances but I am an American first and he is my president. I remember sitting in my apartment in Long Beach in 2001 watching President Bush being inaugurated. It is so amazing to witness history when a new president is sworn into office. I am looking forward to being home tomorrow and watching the festivities and hearing President Obama take his oath to serve our country. I'm glad I will be able to share this history with my children someday. When they are old enough to understand to meaning behind the first African American president, I wonder what things will be like in America. Hopefully, our country will only get better and improve from the tough times we have seen over the past years. I'll probably watch the inauguration wearing my Palin 2012 shirt.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Additions and Replacements

Last night, I tried a new food. You should all be shocked. I don't try new foods. The closest I come to trying something new when it comes to food is checking out a new restaurant. So when I went to California Pizza Kitchen last night with some friends and supplied a coupon for a free appetizer, I had a feeling I would have to try something new. The selection of choice: Hummus. I was skeptical...as always when something new is presented to me. But my friends encouraged me and told me that if I liked garlic, I wouldn't mind the taste of hummus. Fine. I took a bite and it wasn't too bad. I don't think I will be running out to the store to stock up on it but I will for sure eat it next time it is presented to me. Go me. That was my addition.
As for the replacement, it isn't exactly a healthy replacement to soda but it is quenching my yearning for the flavor of root beer.Photo source
Soda Pop Shoppe Jelly Bellys! I already love Jelly Bellys (did you know the factory resides in my hometown??) and I love the soda flavored jelly bellys even more. The taste is a perfect match for the actual soda flavors. I just have to learn to control myself on the serving sizes! What is a new food you want to try? What is your favorite flavor of Jelly Bellys?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Numbers Everywhere!

I hate math. I'm no good at it and I always had horrible teachers in school. Those teachers enjoyed teaching math to the students who understand but I was shunned as someone who just couldn't find joy (or success) in Algebra II. That being said, I love numbers. I love statistics, I love balancing our checkbook, I love guesstimating how much our bills will be, how much we will save, and how much we spent on stupid crap each month.
I installed Google Analytics so I can track all sorts of fun statistics on my blog. (It would be funny if I linked my blog to the words "my blog".) If you don't know what analytics is, it shows you all sorts of info about the traffic that comes to your site each day. Super fun nerdy number stuff
Here are some of the interesting tidbits I have discovered: Since I just installed this a few days ago, my data only covers about the last 5 days. 1. I have 1 visit from someone in Melbourne, Australia. Good Day Mate!! 2. I have 4 visits from a lovely Italian in Gorizia. Buon Giorno !! 3. Nobody in the Middle East reads my blog. Whatever. I didn't want you to anyways. 4. Most of my traffic comes from people clicking on my blog from the nest. Thanks nesties! 5. On January 11, 39 people visited my blog. That is the day my Australian reader came to visit. 6. I have had 70 visits from California, 16 from Arizona (hi Lisa!), and 24 other states trailing behind with 1 visit. How fun, right? I suggest installing Analytics on your blog for all the fun facts you can fill your brain with. And for you Italians and Australians out there (and French, Swedish, Canadians and Japanese), leave me a comment. Tell me how you found my blog!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Because Maui is pretty

Our honeymoon in Maui was pretty gosh darn awesome. We were there from Monday to Friday. I almost cried when we had to leave. I love Maui. Pictures are fun so here are a bunch of pictures from our honeymoon. Enjoy! Where was your honeymoon? What was the best part?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

And The Winner Is

I love awards show season! The Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and Oscars are so much fun to watch. I enjoy watching the pre-show, the red carpet arrivals, the actual show and reading about the highs and lows of the night the day after. While looking over the nominees for the Golden Globes tonight, I realize I have yet to see most (if any) of the movies nominated. A majority of them have yet to be released in my area! But in the spirit of picking a winner, I will make my choices in the major categories below. Best Motion Picture-Drama: Slumdog Millionaire correct! Actress in a Drama: Meryl Streep Actor in a Drama: Sean Penn Best Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical: Burn After Reading Best Actress (Comedy/Musical) Emma Thompson Best Actor (comedy/musical) Dustin Hoffman Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet (Love her. Major girl crush) Correct! Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger (totally deserving of this award, dead or alive) Correct! Best Animated Feature: Wall-E (duh!) Correct! Television Categories: Best Drama: Lost....even though it wasn't nominated. So, Mad Men, I guess. Correct! Actress drama: Kyra Sedgwick Actor drama: Michael C. Hall Best Comedy: The Office...No, 30 Rock. Hmmm The Office. No, wait. 30 Rock. Seriously, that is like making me decide between eating nachos for dinner or pizza. NOT FAIR. Correct! Actress Comedy: Tina Fey Correct! Actor Comedy: Steve Carell...I mean, Alec Baldwin. Again, I can't choose. Correct! 8/15 correct. Not bad! The remainder of the categories bore the heck out of me. I plan to start the show 15 late so I can fast foward through the boring made for tv movie categories. Snooze fest. What was your favorite movie of the year? TV show? Actor? Actress? Am I the only one who cares about awards season?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Office

Reasons why I love The Office: 1. Jim 2. Jim and Pam 3. Dwight's ability to be extremely smart and very stupid at the same time 4. Andy singing 5. Phyllis getting an edge this season 6. "That's what she said" 7. Kelly when she told Ryan she was pregnant and in her interview just shaked her head no. LOL 8. Stanley the Manly doing crossword puzzles during staff meetings 9. Angela and Dwight carrying on their secret "do it" sessions 10. Michael hating Toby and not afraid to tell him 11. Kevin being completely immature all the time 12. Oscar in the episode where he gets outed and has to kiss Michael on the lips 13. David Wallace the CFO 14. When Jim looks at the camera 15. When Jim is in a scene 16. When Jim smiles 17. When Jim talks 18. Jim 19. Crazy Jan 20. When Michael marked the girls arm from Benihana's because he couldn't tell her apart from her friend. What do you like about The Office? And if you don't watch The Office, well, shame on you. Just do it. That's what she said.

Making it work

I went out for a 2.5 mile run this morning and boy, that was not easy. I really felt my extra weight slowing me down! We are going to see a movie soon (Gran Torino) but I plan to hit up the gym when we get back for another workout. Also, I am on day 10 with no soda. It hurts people, I won't lie. I need some sort of other beverage to take its place and water just isn't doing the job. But I am determined to get through the cravings. At least I'm not giving up chocolate. LOL. Yeah right, like I could do that. Hilarious thought though. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. Do something fun!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happiness Is....

-Minimal traffic on the way home from work on a Friday afternoon -A 30 minute run on the treadmill with 1 minute sprints weaved into the workout -Seeing that my crockpot chicken salsa was burned around the edges but still quite tasty -My coworker buying a bag of peppermint candies from See's for us to share. Thanks Lindsay! -Not having one single commitment for the weekend -30 Rock on dvd

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Knowledge is Power

After you read this post, you will hate me. I'm sorry. It has been fun having you as a reader. I understand if you no longer want to read my blog. In case I haven't mentioned it before, back in 2004, I lost a bunch of weight. 50 pounds to be exact. I was pretty darn proud of myself as it was not an easy thing to do. I classify myself as a compulsive overeater. I just don't know when to stop so teaching my body to only eat a certain amount of calories per day and then stopping was a task. One thing that helped me was knowing exactly what I was eating. It is easy to stuff your face with food if you have no idea how many calories and fat are in that item. Ignorance is bliss right? Well, ignorance has caused me to regain much of that weight. Sad Panda. When I decided I needed to do something about my weight, I visited the menus of every restaurant that I liked. After checking out the calorie counts of some of my favorite dishes, I realize that I could no longer eat these foods on a regular basis...or at all. You would be shocked to know how many calories are in your favorite dishes from a variety of restaurants. Spoiler alert: I am going to be posting calorie counts for many foods below. If you would like to remain in the dark, I suggest you click away. CLICK AWAY NOW! Taco Bell: Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes: 270 calories, 15 g of fat Bean Burrito: 350 calories, 9 g of fat Burger King: Cheeseburger: 340 ca., 16 g fat Small French Fries: 340 ca, 17 g fat Pizza Hut: 1 slice of a medium cheese pizza: 230 ca, 9 g fat 1 slice of a medium meat lovers pizza: 330 ca, 18 g fat 6" personal pan cheese pizza: 640 ca, 27 g fat Onto the real killers....restaurants: Chilis Skillet Queso with chips: 1070 ca, 37 g fat Chicken Enchilada Soup: 220 ca, 14 g fat Caesar Salad with chicken and dress: 1010 ca, 76 g fat (dressing alone is 350 ca and 37 g of fat for 2 oz) For shock value, I am going to put the entree with the largest calorie count: Chicken Crispers: (wait for it.....) 1880 ca, 130 g fat As for you soda drinkers out there, here is a little something for you! 16 ounces... Pepsi: 200 calories 54 grams of sugar Mountain Dew: 220 calories, 62 grams of sugar Root Beer: 240 calories, 62 grams of sugar In every 20 ounce soda, there is 1/4 cup of sugar. Yum! I left a lot of places off of the list because I am too lazy. But I challenge those of you who want to make 2009 their healthiest year to look at those nutritional facts. This doesn't mean you can never go out to eat but think about those numbers and make smart choices. There are smart choices! Good luck!

You know what sucks?

Migraines. That's what.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Brainstorm with me: 30th Birthday

Seeing as my 30th birthday is just 7 months and 5 days away, I feel this is a good time to brainstorm ideas for what I should do. My birthday falls on a Tuesday but I'm ok with celebrating the weekend before to maximize the fun factor. Any one have any suggestions or ideas? I'm open to staycations, vacations, day trips, party ideas, etc. Thanks readers!

Picture of the Day

My mom, me and my sister.
T-shirts courtesy of my dad.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Well, that sucked

I left my BIL's basketball game at 7:20 p.m. for the 49 mile drive home that should take about 50 minutes. I pulled into my apartment complex at 9:45 p.m. Yes folks, that is a 2 hour and 25 minute drive home. Needless to say, I didn't quite get in workout #5 for the year. I had enough energy to potty, wash my face, create this blog and go to bed. I'm sorry for the unfortunate incident on the freeway that led to me driving 2 miles in 1 hr and 20 minutes. It sucks, it really does. But it also sucks that I was able to see my husband for 2 minutes tonight and didn't get a chance to workout as planned. In the words of Liz Lemon....Blurg.

The Story of Oatie

I think I have a good memory but I'm sure my mom or sister will correct some of the details of this story. The dates of when I got my cat are a bit fuzzy. My cat, Oatie (nickname for Oatmeal) was a gift for my birthday when I was younger. I spent that birthday (7th, I think) in a hotel room because we were on the road for one of my dad's triathlons. I still remember sitting at the desk in the room, opening my presents and blowing out my candles. One of those presents was a picture of a cat. Ok, great thanks, I thought. I can't get a cat so you are giving me a picture of one. How Trey of you (Sex and the City reference). Much to my pleasure, my parents informed me that I could get a cat when we moved into our new house that was being built. When that day came, I remember going to the local shelter and looking at the kitties in cages. They didn't have that many on that day but as soon as I saw her, I knew she had to be mine. She was small, just a few months old but she was meowing her heart out, clawing the cage and I couldn't take my eyes off of her. "We can come back another time, Michelle. They might have more cats then." My mom suggested. "No, I want that cat." I insisted. My birthday present, my choice! My mom agreed, paid the money and we took her home. I don't remember the details of bringing her home. She was pretty shy as she had been abandoned in the hills when they found her. Eventually, she got used to us but did not like visitors. She would disappear when the doorbell would even ring and when we hosted our Fourth of July party, she wouldn't make one single appearance until she knew everyone was gone. Oatie was my best good friend (TM Forrest Gump). She was such a good cat to play with when I was growing up. She loved to run around the house, jump over stuff, chase anything and just be happy. She also loved sitting on laps. She was like an automatic blanket on those cold nights. I missed her terribly when I went away to college. When my mom was house hunting, Oatie stayed with my dad at our childhood house. I wouldn't know until later but he loved Oatie too. My mom found a house and it was time for Oatie to go back to living with her. The adjustment was tough. I was there when she showed her the house for the first time. My mom showed her all of the familiar things so she would understand that she lived there and not some stranger. We left her alone to wander around but soon, we didn't know where she went. All of the doors were closed so she had to be somewhere in the house. I found her underneath a recliner chair in the back room. She squeezed herself all the way under the chair! What a scardy cat! When I moved in with my mom after graduation from college, I was so happy. Part of my decision to leave Long Beach and move back to Fairfield was because I missed my kitty. We sure did get close in those 2 years I was back in Fairfield. When I would leave to go out of town to visit friends, Oatie would go into my room and lay on my bed. She knew that a suitcase by the front door meant that someone was leaving. That did not make her happy. She loved her family. In the last few months of 2003, Oatie's health started to go downhill. She was nearly 16 years old at this point. I thought she started to go blind because she would bump into the fridge and cabinets. She didn't have as much energy as she used to have. She couldn't even jump up on the couch to snuggle. It was very, very tough to watch her health decline. She started to pee on the carpet and get cramps in her body. I recall being home with her alone during one of those episodes and I was so scared. I knew that I was losing my cat and I was not ready for it. January 2004 rolled around and by mid month, we knew we had a decision to make. She wasn't eating or drinking and it was only a matter of time that she passed away. She seemed like she was in pain. So we talked about taking her to the vet and putting her to sleep. It was a horrendous decision. Me and my mom tried to avoid talking about it but we had to do what was best for Oatie. Our plan was to take her on Friday January 30th. My dad came over on Thursday and after we told him our plan, he showed his true feelings for Oatie. "You can't do that. You can't put her to sleep. She is a part of this family. You need to let her die here at home with you. You wouldn't do that to any other family member." All these years, I had no idea my dad felt that way about that silly little furball. He was so upset he walked out of the house. He was right. Oatie needed to be with us at home. My mom called the vet, cancelled the appointment and asked for some advice on how to best handle what was to come. Oatie passed away Saturday January 31st in the morning. My mom was with her, holding her in her favorite blanket. I couldn't handle it and was in my room crying. I found a nice, red velvet box that I had received at Christmas. It was the perfect size to bury her in. We included part of that blanket and a picture of me and her together. We buried her in the backyard and I stood and cried for a long time. I needed to get out of the house so I drove up to Roseville and went to the mall. I cried the whole way there and almost broke down many times while shopping. The Super Bowl was the next day (the infamous Janet Jackson performance) and I sat on the couch alone, eating nachos. Nothing could cure my broken heart. Oatie left my life that year but I think about her a lot, even 5 years later. I wish she was still around. People asked if I would get another cat but I just can't bring myself to do that. She brought so much joy into my life but the pain from her passing was too much to bare. So that is the story of my Oatie Kitty. I have a picture of her that I found recently. I will upload it when I get home and add it to this post.

Monday Morning Thoughts

**I'm not a morning person so why do I proclaim in my blog that I will wake up (on my first day back to work in 16 days) and work out at 5:30 a.m.? Not. Ever.Going.To.Happen.

**Being a stay at home wife would be kinda fun right? I could do it. I was literally crunching the numbers this morning while taking a shower figuring out how much money my husband would have to make in order for me to not work.

**Why is my body still aching from my long workout this weekend? I guess I really am turning 30 this year...or maybe I'm turning 50. It feels like 50.

**I'm a paranoid person. I had to sleep alone last night and my eyes were popping open every 10 minutes at the sound of every creak I heard. I swear someone is going to break into my apartment someday.

**I get to see my family tonight!

**Is it lunch yet?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to the Grind

How can it be possible that my vacation is over? After 16 days, it seems like the last time I went to work was forever ago. It is going to be mighty painful to wake up early tomorrow morning. I had tried to wake up at an early hour the past few days but that just didn't work out. I am probably going to hit the hay a bit early tonight seeing as I need to get up an hour earlier to exercise tomorrow morning. I am determined to meet my goal of 31 days, 31 workouts and seeing as I am going to a basketball game out of town tomorrow after work, I know I won't want to workout when I get home at 8. Why? Because Gossip Girl is going to be on, duh. My alarm will be set for 5:00 a.m. and I will be at the gym by 5:20 a.m. for a 40 minute workout. Hmmm maybe I should go to bed now?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas Present in Action

I have never come across a snowman that I didn't develop a crush on so when I opened this Christmas present from my sister-in-law, I fell in love! I want to keep it out year around and give them kisses goodbye in the morning. Turn up the volume so you can hear the song they are singing! video

Work It Out!

So far in 2009, I have managed to work out every day. I realize that is not a huge feat considering I have been off of work and have nothing else to do. And only 3 days have passed. My goal is to work out 31 out of 31 days this month. I really enjoy working out and generally dislike days off. Today I had a glorious workout. 10 minutes on the bike to warm up 30 minutes on the eliptical 10 more minutes on the bike alternating 1 minute at level 8, 1 minute at level 15 20 minutes running on the treadmill I was pretty darn sweaty after that monster workout. I felt great. It was really nice to get back to running. I have not run in so long and I hate that. I have a race coming up in March that I really need to train for. I want to do great and that won't happen unless I run at least 4-5 days a week. I also want to join a gym again so I can do spin and yoga classes to add some variety to my workout but I'm too cheap to pay the fees. I need to stop by the local gym and see if they have any specials. For now, the apartment complex fitness center will have to do. What is your exercise routine?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happiness Is....

Homemade Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes
Peel and cut 1 potato in small cubes (1 potato was plenty for one person) Coat in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and spices/herbs of your choice Spread out on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Flip the potatoes 15 minutes into baking. Top with cheese and sour cream, salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2009 everyone! I hope you all had a great New Years celebration and were safe. Our night was spent staying warm and safe indoors. In the past, I have been able to see the fireworks from the Old Sacramento festivities from our sidewalk but this year, there was just too much fog so that was a no go. We watched half of Step Brothers, ate pizza and chocolate cake, I drank some wine (Chris had Diet Mountain Dew) and we watched NYE coverage on Fox News and NBC. I was glad midnight was coming because around 11:15 I started to get a bit tired. We headed off to bed shortly after the ball dropped and it hit me. I'm turning 30 this year. WOW. I promise not to complain about that a lot for the next 8 months but there is something actually empowering about it. I want to be better because of it. I want to exercise to my maximum effort each day. I want to plan for our future. I want to take random weekend vacations. I want to see friends and family more. I want to be the best wife that I can be. My life is pretty great (knock on wood). I am very lucky to have people around me who love me and a roof over my head and a car to drive to a job that I enjoy. I need to spend more time remembering the blessings that have come into my life. I hope you are all hoping to make 2009 the best year of your lives. Strive for that happiness that we all deserve!