Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Worst Week

My life is really good overall. Generally speaking. On the whole. Really good.

I usually tend to let the bad things roll off my back and move forward. I've found that by focusing on the bad things that happen, more bad things tend to happen. You see what you're looking for, you know? 

But this week has been a rough one. When I woke up on Monday, I felt some drainage in the back of my throat. I went for a run anyway. I didn't work out Tuesday and did not run on Wednesday. On Tuesday I was especially emotional and overwhelmed with my illness while at work. My head felt like it weighed 100 pounds yesterday. Today is Thursday, and I think I'll do some low impact cardio at my club house tonight. But I don't do well restricting myself to the couch. I've been at work all week while sick, and Monday was an especially long work day. I don't know the last time I was sick, but definitely not in the past 8 months, and most likely more. Granted, since starting Shakeology two years ago, I've gotten sick maybe once or twice, and it was much shorter lived than usual. So I guess that makes this more miserable, since it's been such a long time. 

I'm having some issues at work, mostly where I make silly mistakes (used the company card for a personal expense on accident) or feel like I'm continually falling short or not doing whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing. I mean, I make my lists. I do things as best I can. So much of my success rests on other people following through in their responsibilities. For example, on Saturday, I had a call from a branch manager saying that the restaurant that was supposed to cater his company barbecue on Saturday had no idea about his order. I went to my emails and had sent the correct information, but the lady whose hands the orders were in apparently relayed incorrect date and time information. But this reflects on me, and then the manager had to pick up the slack and figure something out at the last second. Another example is when I call hotels or make credit card authorization arrangements, and the hotel clerks have no idea what to do, causing my employees to surrender their own credit cards, even though I made arrangements. 

I've had two of three bosses in a sense "correct me" this week. I don't like disappointing anyone or falling short of expectations. One of the issues this week is a work hour issue. I had really hoped to just use 2 hours of PTO tomorrow and not come in at all because I'm feeling pretty rotten. But I have to come in tomorrow for a couple of hours. I'm not sure how to manage it and feel like bursting into tears at the thought of coming in.

And honestly, just the past two weeks at work have been a lot busier and more chaotic than normal. There's been a lot going on and a lot to plan for, and a lot of people I've had to rely on.

I'm stressed about money because I turned my middle bedroom into a gym instead of finding a new tenant. It's just an adjustment to a new and tighter budget, but it's stressful for me. I've done really well on a much smaller budget with way more expenses, so I don't get why this is so hard? I guess you adjust "up" as your means go up. So adjusting back down is a challenge. I'm trying to keep in mind the things I'm enjoying more now: more cleanliness, fewer dishes in the sink/rack, more fridge space, a HOME GYM...

On top of all this rather small-minded stuff is all the nasty garbage going on with the white supremacists in Charlottesville. My heart can't even handle it, and I don't know what to do about any of it. I don't want to be a passive person, like the citizens in Germany or Poland who just sort of let things happen. But I also don't know what actions to take. I know that indifference is the worst place to be in, and thankfully that's not where I'm at. 

I am just mentally and emotionally wiped out. I'm trying not to be discouraged about my marathon training or about work or money or life in general--or with how people are treating each other. I could really just use a day of leisure and relaxation. Sadly, anytime I take a day off it turns into a day where I catch up on "all those things I've been needing to do." So if I ever do decide to really take a personal day, I'll have to plan HOW I'll relax each hour--like actually plan blocks of time so I don't fill it with busyness. How pitiful, huh? 

I plan on writing a blog about my last trip home to CA over Pioneer Day weekend. We'll see if I can muster up the motivation to actually do it. After I blow my nose 45 more times. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Orleans and Summit

I went to New Orleans a couple of weeks ago for Beachbody Summit, a big event where coaches gather for company announcements, recognition, workshops, professional development presentations, and more. It was a great time with my friend and sponsored coach, Kathryn. Our days and evenings were pretty full with Beachbody activities, but we did get to see some cool things. New Orleans was an amazing city, and I’d honestly love to go back (whenever I will sweat the least).

We landed before 5 and got an Uber to our cute Airbnb called “Little Orange.” It’s described like this, “Built in the 1860's, "Little Orange" is half of a "shotgun"; thus, it boasts the hallmarks of traditional New Orleans architecture: 13 foot ceilings, cypress mantels, pocket doors, tall shuttered windows, and hardwood floors. The shutters are a vibrant orange to remind you of this city's Caribbean spirit.”


Our first Uber ride was a relative success. I couldn’t really understand our driver very well except that her fiancée had passed away recently, and that was her first day back at “work.” She kindly took us to Wal-Mart where we got some almond, milk, egg whites, yogurt, veggies, and other things. I won’t lie, I was initially pretty tentative about the area as a whole, including the street we were on. It was a little run down and sketchy looking. But I felt much safer over the next several days.

Thursday night was the opening session at the Superdome, where some cool announcements were made. Most notable was about the new snack portioned shakes called Daily Sunshine. It’s a good serving size for kids, and a good snack size for adults. It’s plant-based, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO. It’s pretty tasty, too! I actually like the strawberry banana better than the chocolate. Not sure how that happened, but it’s a true story.

Friday morning was our workout with the super trainers. I didn’t register early enough to get in with Shaun T. But I did get in with Tony Horton. We had to be at the Convention Center by 6:00 for this. Afterward, we had a team photo with my coaches, Chelsea and Robb, who are some pretty amazing humans. It was my first time meeting them and some other teammates I’ve chatted with or followed online.

6am workout with Tony

Me and my coach, Chelsea

Me and my other coach, Robb

Me and Caitlin B

We walked from the convention center back to our house, which is about a mile distance. I immediately put on my running shoes and ran four miles. It was a little frustrating since I wasn’t familiar with the area. I had to do a lot of turning around at dead ends, or places where there was no sidewalk. But I got it done, and that’s what counts.

We headed back to the superdome at 9:30am for some motivational speaking from Brendon Burchard. I’m his new biggest fan. It was good stuff. After that, we went to the shuttles to get a ride to the convention center. But it was a mess, and the lines weren’t moving. We decided to walk to the Riverwalk outlets, which are almost attached to the convention center. The walk was pretty terrible, if I’m being honest. I was sweating so bad my garments and clothes were soaked through. It was awful. The crowds were bad to fight through too. We ate at Raising Cane’s, which wasn’t as good as everyone said it was. It was fine, but nothing special. 

Next we had our afternoon workshops in the convention center. About four pairs of coaches talk you through different aspects of coaching, whether it’s on-boarding new coaches, how to attract your lifers, building your brand, etc.

After that, Kathryn and I went to the Core, which is basically Beachbody’s shopping center. I didn’t get anything except Daily Sunshine samples. Stuff was too expensive for me. We then took photos with the super trainer cutouts.

Then we walked over to Drago’s seafood for an early dinner. We beat the crowd. It was tasty, except for my wilty salad, and the service was not good.

Charbroiled oysters

Seafood pasta

Kathryn's shrimp dinner
We wandered back to the outlets to try some beignets at Café du Monde. They were good, but I liked the ones at Disneyland better. 

We took some pictures outside the restaurant since it lines the Mississippi River.

And then we wandered over to the French Quarter to see Bourbon Street. It was way too crowded. The chaos is fun; it was an experience. But I didn’t need to spend much more time there.

When we got to a less busy spot, we called an Uber to get home.

I spent a few minutes on my running app to see if there were any runs people had done in the area. Thankfully, a girl had mapped a 10 mile run up St. Charles Ave with a loop around Audubon Park. I decided I could follow her route and had no excuses to use like, “I don’t know the area.” I am SO glad I went on that run. It was long, but the best way to see a town is to run in it. The homes I saw gave me all the heart eyes. They were amazing. If you are bored one day, use Google Earth or street view to look at the homes on St. Charles street in New Orleans. It won't do it justice, but you'll get an idea.

My run was great, besides the excessive humidity (80 degrees and 87% humidity). I ended up not doing the full loop of the park on accident (it was huge; I thought I had completed a loop but only did half). So I ran down Magazine Street for a little while. It was awesome. I guess it’s a big tourist draw, and I could totally see why. But after a while it started to look a little sketchy, so I ran back up to St. Charles Ave for the rest of the way.


After showering and getting ready, we got to the Superdome a little earlier than the previous day. We got to hear from Chalene Johnson and Darren Hardy. I texted highlights to my family from Darren Hardy’s presentation because it was so good. We cut out a little early when Carl came on so we could get on a shuttle more easily than the previous day. We took the shuttle to the convention center and walked a little ways to a pub that had been mentioned on Yelp, called Dino’s. The bartender was our server, and she was really cute and nice. I got a chicken bacon ranch wrap with waffle fries, and Kathryn got a salad.

Darren Hardy 

From there we walked back to the outlets where we visited the fudge and ice cream place. We got fudge to bring back home, and ice cream to eat on the spot. We headed back to the convention center for our final afternoon of workshops. We actually got to sit with our team this time, so that was cool. It was a much more leisurely afternoon, thankfully. 

We walked back to our Airbnb again, looked for this Bakery Bar we had walked by (and had to backtrack to find it—my bad), ate some veggies and macro-friendly frozen meals, and got prettied up for the closing ceremony. We got to the Superdome early again for another team picture. It was kind of an ordeal because 1) lots of people and 2) poor lighting).

The purple and mint houses

The Bakery Bar

We both slept in a little bit on Sunday morning. I checked out reviews for nearby restaurants. A local had recommended Surrey’s. I ran by it a couple days before, and it was showing up as #1 on Yelp. So we walked to the restaurant. Kathryn got the Strawberry stuffed French toast, and it was yummy. I got a biscuit and gravy with potatoes and bacon. I’m sad to report that my biscuit hadn’t been cooked all the way. It was dense and doughy, not fluffy or raised. I didn’t even eat it. Everything besides that was so, so good. I knew they had messed up my biscuit when I saw other people’s plates come out of the kitchen as we were leaving. I was really sad about it and wished my server had followed up or asked what was wrong with my biscuit, and offered to bring me a new one. I don’t know if Louisiana is considered by others to be “the south,” but I was sad to have such a disappointing biscuit in what I consider to be the south.

My favorite home in the neighborhood
We packed up our things to make sure we were ready. Thankfully, our Airbnb host said we could take our time checking out since the cleaning lady wouldn’t be coming until later. So we hitched a ride to the French quarter where we did a self-guided walking tour. If you ever end up in New Orleans and want to know what you’re looking at, this site was helpful and cool:

In the French Market, we stopped and got some pralines and also went to Harley where I got my dad a shirt that is sadly, too small. After some more walking, we got some lunch at a random little stand in the marketplace from an Italian lady. I got a grilled ham and cheese. It was fine. We sat in a little park area where a lot of vagrants were. And oh my word, the flies. So many flies.

We walked a little way out of the French Quarter so we could catch an Uber more easily. The girl who picked us up had only been in the city for a few weeks; she was from Virginia if I remember right. We caught an Uber really quickly to get to the airport very early. I guess they had a lot of delays and issues early in the morning, so we wanted to get there early. After passing through security. Kathryn spotted Tony Horton with a line of coaches waiting to take pictures with him. He’s so handsome, and he was so nice. I was star struck.

I won’t say much about our flights home except that I don’t believe I’ll be flying with Frontier again. We left an hour late from Colorado due to all their other late connecting flights, and landed a half hour late in Salt Lake. And when you have to work the next day, those 30 minutes matter.

All in all, I found New Orleans super fun and charming. I absolutely love the style of the homes there and couldn’t take enough pictures. I would definitely come back for more, but I would visit in the coolest possible season. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Social Epiphany

I had an epiphany today while texting a good friend of mine who moved to Colorado a couple of years ago. She is very social and extroverted, so she naturally craves social interaction and was telling me how she doesn’t have many friends. (She does; they just live far away now.) I told her I hope she schedules girls’ nights and stuff so she gets the fulfillment she needs. She is a teacher, and said her department at work is very collaborative, so that fills her social cup.

And then I had this grand realization! A full circle moment where I have realized why I’m struggling so badly lately.

See, I am an introvert. I need and want alone time. I don’t like my time being encroached upon by others. I don’t like people pressuring me to do certain things with my time. It’s mine. Leave me alone.

When I was teaching, I exerted all my energy toward my students and other teachers from 7:20 to 3:30. My social cup overflowed at work. I came home exhausted and ready to retreat to my silent home where I was content to work out and then chill for the evening.

Here’s where my friend helped me realize something. Since switching jobs, this position fills my anti-social cup. My introverted nature is satisfied in 8.5 hours of mostly quiet time at this office. That means that after work is done, I am ready for something fun. I want all the conversation and all the company.

It’s a weird change for me. I can’t believe it’s taken a year for me to realize this.

I feel lonely not necessarily because I want romantic company (I mean yeah companionship would be pretty awesome; having someone to spend time with by default is my favorite), but because I spend most of my day inside my own head. Most everyone knows my obsession with the Color Code framework. Blue personalities seek intimacy (deep connections) with people. While I don’t like to have an excess of socializing in my life, and I don't do big groups, I absolutely do need fulfilling collections, or I feel incomplete.

The problem is that the introvert in me is bad at making advance plans. I find myself on Saturday thinking, “Well shoot, I want to go to dinner tonight because I ran a gazillion miles, but who’s available at this point?” And typically, most people already have plans.

I also face the problem of not wanting to bug people. There is less than a handful of people I could probably hang with every day and not get sick of. I sort of assume the same is the case with me: probably most people don’t want to hang out with me daily. So if I have plans with a friend one night, I don’t want to ask them again another night in the same week. I assume they have other things they need or want to do, and I also don’t want them to feel bad if they say no.

The final problem I face is that I sometimes get invited to do things that I just don’t want to do. I often feel like I have to mentally “work up to” doing some things, like pre-charging a backup battery or something. Even if something seems fun, I have to mentally prepare. I know extroverts don’t understand this at all. It’s just a fact of my life and how I function. Sorry. Kind of.

I’ve tried to make good plans to fill my summer evenings because summer is when I come alive. I love being in the pool and by the pool. I love to read and take my sweet time to do whatever. I love to go to concerts (Twilight, anyone?). I love to go to baseball games. I love to be outside. I love to eat dessert with friends. I tried to work all this into my calendar when I {designed my summer}. But I’m finding that for the most part, I left too much time open with no plans, which is not good when I’m feeling this lonesome.

Anyway, this may have seemed like an obvious thing to everyone except for me. But now that I know, I need to be more proactive about making advanced plans with other people at least two or three evenings a week so that I don’t feel so empty and unfulfilled.

So... Who wants to have a campfire in the canyon with me? 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wonder Woman

I joined the rest of Sandy City in watching Wonder Woman at the Megaplex Theater last night. It was $5 Tuesday, so it was packed.

Honestly, based on the trailers, I had minimal desire to see Wonder Woman. I thought it didn’t look very good. But then my Facebook feed was filling up with all kinds of love—females I respect who saw it multiple times within a few days, posting articles about why this movie was important, and how certain parts made them emotional. Wow. OK. I guess I should see it.

So after the temple I drove straight to the theater and was able to get myself a seat to the 7:20 show. One great thing about going to a movie alone is it’s easy to find a decent single seat. Obviously I got my popcorn before I sat down to enjoy the show. And my friends, enjoy it I did!

I need to put out another disclaimer. I’ve never been into comics or heroes. I immensely enjoy Marvel movies and the like, but I’m no enthusiast or educated fan. I also admit I didn’t and still don’t know much about Wonder Woman or her story. So this may have contributed to my overall lack of enthusiasm.

But I walked out of that movie being proud to be a woman. It sounds cheesy and weird, I know. But I was so proud. This woman (who is astonishingly beautiful, by the way, like how is that kind of beauty even possible?) embodied pretty much every quality I aspire to be as a female.

She was strong. Physically and mentally. She knew what she wanted and went after it. She wanted to train, so she did it. She pushed herself. She wasn’t a baby about any of it. Homegirl worked. I teared up watching that six year old girl who was watching the strong women fight, imitating them, wanting to be one of them.

She was motherly. I don’t know if you remember any of my old posts in which I discuss my struggle with the desire to be a mother. But I loved when she saw a baby on the street and freaked out and wanted to hold it. I never have been the “OMG a baby” type. But her genuine excitement over a baby was something I envy.

She was brave. There were so many obstacles, so many people telling her that things were impossible, that they couldn’t be done, that she shouldn’t do certain things. But she had no fear to do what needed to be done. She ran into the fire. She pushed her way through those bullets. The best part? She didn’t make it look easy. Diana had to work through the firestorm. And her conviction and strength led MEN into the skirmish. It was so empowering to me to see men follow and respect a woman; I had tears in my eyes. It’s funny, you don’t realize how much all of this affects you as a woman until you see them positively and strongly represented on the screen. Then you realize you haven’t seen very much of this kind of female representation at all in the media, and you feel hopeful and confident in what you can do.

*Edit: This woman said it perfectly, "I felt like I was discovering something I didn’t even know I had always wanted. A need that I had boxed up and buried deep after three movies of Iron Man punching bad guys in the face, three more movies of Captain America punching bad guys in the face, a movie about Superman and Batman punching each other in the face and then 'Suicide Squad.'" I read this article after writing my blog post, and it appears the same things stood out to her and made her emotional too. The article is worth a read.

She was empathetic. I think this was my favorite thing about her, and the aspect of her character that made me most proud to be a woman. I know it comes as a shock to a lot of people, but I am deeply sensitive. That’s why I have to be careful about watching the news; human pain and suffering is more than I can handle. When Diana hears of innocents suffering and dying, she can hardly bear it. It’s not even a choice about how to respond. She acts. And she cares immensely about her cause. The way she looks at suffering people, the way she hears them and feels for them. I love it so much. It’s such a special aspect of being a woman, and it reminds me of the amazing women in Christ’s day who cared for Him. I think women are blessed and cursed with the gift of empathy, but I love the way she uses hers.

She grew. I loved her realization that it’s not about what others deserve. It’s about what you believe. There is so much evil in the world, but there’s so much good to fight for too. And love is ultimately what it comes down to: spreading love and sharing goodness with others.

And like, let’s be real here. She uses a sword and a bow. So she’s automatically pretty cool.

You all can think whatever you want about me as I join the masses in praising this movie. It made me feel all the feels, and I loved it. I hope all kinds of little girls loved it too and realize that nothing can hold them back either. Maybe one day they can also know that women with muscles are beautiful; we’ll get there.

Friday, June 2, 2017


You know... I've been so inconsistent about blogging. I think it's because of other social media. I feel like I put relevant life updates and activities and thoughts and feelings on social media so regularly that it feels redundant or unnecessary to keep a blog. I also write 2-3 sentences in a journal every night to review the day's events. But I guess each avenue has something unique to offer. Like if I had Instagrammed my whole Disney trip, that probably would have been annoying. But here, I could review the whole day in detail with photos and videos.

Still, for some reason I feel like I've missed a lot of important happenings in the past couple years of inconsistent blogging, and have a weird nagging feeling that I need to "catch up" somehow.

But Gretchen Rubin advises that you begin where you are. So that's what I'll do.

I'm now 30 years old. I'm still in my condo in Sandy (Midvale, really)--coming up on two years now.

I have two roommates currently, both quiet. I love it.

I trained for a half marathon and found out 10.5 weeks into a 12 week training plan that the race was canceled. I decided to run 13.1 anyway, and I did an out and back run at Gardner Village. It was glorious. I beat what would have been my time last year by about 7 minutes. I say "what would have been my time" because the race coordinators measured it 0.3 miles short, so I had to estimate what my time would have been--about 2:10. So here's my half history.

Provo Half in 2013: 2:30:06

Alpine Classic Half in 2015: 2:15:04

Gardner Village Half in 2016 (0.3 miles short): 2:06:47 - probably would have been 2:10 if it were a full 13.1.

Gardner Village Half in 2017: 2:02:51

And I've decided to run a full marathon in October. I found a local one that isn't a huge drop. I basically refuse to do any downhill runs because it ruins my knees. But they're pretty much all downhill, so they're hard to find. I'll be doing the SoJo Half on October 21 if anyone wants to come cheer me on. I need a squad who finds me along the route! :)

In other news... I'm working at Alpine Home Medical Equipment. I've been in this position for 11 months as of yesterday. I've had some cool opportunities and have learned a lot so far. I really enjoy a lot of things about it. I also have some stories to share but am too afraid of getting in trouble for what I post online. So if you want any stories, plan a lunch with me.

I've been doing a little dating recently. It seems to be going well. That's all I'll say on that, as the who and what are in my journal.

I am regularly listening to the Happier Podcast and Side Hustle School podcast. Because of Happier, I wanted to design my summer. I feel like I often let the summer get away from me. Being that my summer days are now much shorter as I work 8:30-5:00, I have much less time than I did as a teacher to do the things I always intend to do but never actually do. Thankfully, my friend Danica wrote a blog post to help me design my summer. I printed up blank calendar months of June-August yesterday. I immediately wrote in my runs, writing time, pool time, temple time, and some hikes.

I have some flexibility with empty nights, so I can switch evenings of activities if something else comes up like a dollar movie I want to see, or dinner or dates or whatever. I like having a level of openness but also having a plan to be productive and purposeful with my time. These long days with lots of sunlight make me so happy; I want to take full advantage this year.

Anyone want to come on June 26, July 3, or August 7 to a Bees game? It's only $5 per ticket and includes a hot dog :) Food truck leagues in West Valley on Thursdays or Soho Food Park in Holladay could be fun if anyone's down to eat.

Anyone want to come hike with me on June 15 or July 6 or August 10? Those dates are flexible, but it's a way for me to make sure it gets done.

As far as aspirations go...

I've been reading the 7 Habits book. It's so enlightening in so many ways. I love the part about making emotional deposits with people, and that deposits for some might be withdrawals for others. I think it connects well to Love Languages.

I hope to finish the Order of the Phoenix this weekend. I need to get the sixth book and get on track. I started my second Harry Potter series read-through over a year ago, and still haven't finished. I love to read and love Harry Potter, but for whatever reason have the hardest time sitting and doing it.

To be honest I am having a hard time doing much of anything productive lately. I feel like I'm sort of drifting along. So I am excited to have some plans in place to get to the temple, get to some Bees games, and get some road trips in the works. I also need to finish a life coaching course I'm signed up for. It's taken me a long time to get it done, but I've found that to be really valuable too. And I need to do a continuing education unit through NASM to keep my CPT current. I should explore that and see what options I have. I actually am looking forward to it.

My current calling at church is as Relief Society teacher, which I enjoy immensely. I feel I haven't taught in a while though due to stake conferences and being out of town and such. But I really enjoy it.

I've been working through the Old Testament and can pretty definitively say it is not my favorite. All this multiple wife stuff and "here husband, have my maid since I can't have babies" stuff is just too much for me.

I am still a Yelp Elite and have two reviews I need to write here pretty soon. That's been a cool opportunity and a cool outlet, and obviously a good reason to eat. I love to eat.

I have ideas for a book for NaNoWriMo, but I'm trying to decide if I want to wait until November, or just do my own novel writing month.

I have two days scheduled to do two things on my 2017 goals list: make sushi and make donuts (not the healthy kind).

I need to get my ukulele tuned and get back to practicing regularly. I lose it all when I don't practice. I don't remember anything. Consistency is key!

I'm thinking of signing up with Avatar Nutrition to really dial in my macros and physique goals. I don't aspire to have a six pack, but it would be really nice to drop that 8 pounds I've been battling. I know what I need to do; just have to stick to it. And paying for a service that keeps me on track and makes adjustments will be helpful. I even bought a scale! A SCALE! My first one in like a decade or something. I don't weigh myself often. I prefer not to. But regular weekly weigh-ins should be good and helpful.

So that's my life update. If any of you have any information regarding how I can obtain and raise a real life Baby Groot as my own, please contact me.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend

I have not been home to California since last June. I postponed my official start date at my new job to July 1 so that I could make a trip home beforehand. I desperately needed it.

I earn 2.67 hours of paid time off every pay period. I would probably have a lot more accumulated if I hadn't used everything I earned in 2016 toward my paychecks when I went to England in November. As of now I only have 24 hours accrued.

Originally, I had planned to not take lunches last week so I would use only a few hours of PTO for Friday, the 26th and fly home that day. But then I remembered my race I had been training so hard for. It was scheduled on Saturday morning. So I canceled my Friday flight and booked for Saturday evening instead.

Come to find out, the race I signed up for got canceled because not enough people signed up. Wish they had let me know sooner, so I could have kept my Friday flight. Thanks a lot, Alpine Classic Half.

It's OK though. I made the most of my Friday by doing laundry, starting packing, getting Village Baker for dinner (and they royally messed up my order), going to the new Pirates movie with Joyce (where I obvs got popcorn), and getting dessert afterward at The Chocolate.

On Saturday, I was able to start my run at Gardner Village around 8:30am. I was so blessed with this run. I did the same course last year, but they measured it wrong, so it was 0.3 miles short. I finished in 2:06:47, on track to hit my goal of 2:10. But this year, I ran the entire 13.1 and did it in 2:02:51. My energy was great. The weather was great. My body felt great. I only had a few bugs crash into my face. I couldn't have asked for much better.

 My toes were killing me all weekend, and I got really bad chafing on my back and hip (in spots I haven't chafed all season?! so weird). Major scabs on my back right now from it.

To celebrate my huge PR (I got 2:15 on my last correctly measured 13.1 in 2015), I decided to drive out of the way to a donut shop in West Valley I had heard about: Donut Boy.

I was pretty underwhelmed by the amount of donuts they carried, as I am with most donut shops around here, but they were pretty well stocked and had another rolling shelf unit ready to unload. I got a crumb donut (raised, not cake), toasted coconut donut, maple bacon bar, and buttermilk bar. I'll write a review on Yelp for it if you care that much. In short, the donuts were decent, but nothing special. I did like the toasted coconut one.

I went grocery shopping, ran another errand, and cleaned my condo. I also put a 13.1 sticker on my car, since I've now run four of them. I figured it was time to let everyone who drives behind me know. ;) My grandma and mom came to get me to take me to the airport, where my flight was late to board. Cute grandma brought me a gift to celebrate me running 13.1: a couple of Think Thin bars, some Keebler cookies (the girl scout knockoffs), some vitamin water, a bunch of other goodies, and a cute card. She is the best.

My dad picked me up at Long Beach airport on Saturday evening, around 6:30pm. I almost cried when I got off the plane and saw the palm trees and felt the ocean air. Maybe you all feel this way about your home, but something about the air in California just feels different. The light is different. And it feels special.

We went straight from the airport to dinner at Casa del Rey because I ran 13.1 miles, so I get to eat all the food. The chips and salsa were legit, as always, and so was my burrito. Jake and Amanda met us there, and that was my first time meeting her.

My favorite thing about my family is the informality with which we hang out. One or two of us will be in the kitchen talking. Then another sibling comes and joins. Then another. My dad, Jared, Jake, Amanda, and I all stood in the kitchen quoting Forrest Gump for a pretty lengthy amount of time. The original plan was to watch Moana. But we ended up talking until pretty late, and I was exhausted.

I slept like poo, as I always do at home. Partly because I'm a light sleeper, and the pull out bed is in the dining room, adjacent to the kitchen which is especially noisy with coffee and stuff in the morning. And also because it's incredibly bright in my house. There are no blinds or curtains in the entire stretch of the kitchen, dining room, or family room.

So I got up, got ready, had a protein shake, and chatted with my dad in the kitchen. We casually decided to leave around 8am, and proceeded to have the best day ever at Disneyland.

First, we went and got Fast Passes for Guardians in CA Adventure. That line was so. freaking. long. But it moved fast. It took us probably 30 minutes to get our passes. From there we went straight to Soarin' Over the World, which my dad helped build, but had never gotten to ride. The wait was under 20 minutes, and we both LOVED it. It is so fun.

We were starving at that point, so we headed across to Disneyland where we got Mickey shaped beignets at New Orleans Square (at the Mint Julep bar). We listened to a jazz band play and fed a very friendly duck that came by.

After that, we went on Pirates, which was less than a 15 minute wait. Then we went to Haunted Mansion, which also was less than a 15 minute wait. While we were over in that direction, we decided to jump on Splash Mountain. My dad has never been on that ride in his life. That line was about 20 minutes long. We didn't get very wet, which was kind of a relief. We walked over to Big Thunder, and were on the ride in less than 5 minutes. Honestly, I don't know what happened that got us so lucky on Sunday, but it was so cool to have no waits!

Dad's first time on Splash Mountain

We went over to Cafe Orleans at about 1pm to have lunch, but "they were reservation only at that time," and told us we could come back and check on the wait in 30 minutes. But our fast passes for Guardians were for 1:55-2:55, so that wasn't going to work. We made reservations for 4:50, and then went and had lunch at Stage Door Cafe. Dad got fish & chips, I got chicken nuggets and fries, and we shared a corn dog. Guys. That was the best corn dog I've ever had.

After that, we wandered over to Guardians. The line to USE the fast pass was 30 minutes. We thought it would be way longer, but it actually was spot on. That ride was SO FUN! I couldn't believe how many drops we got. So much better than Tower of Terror! Dad loved it, and I think it was probably our favorite of the whole day.


Since dad hadn't been to CA Adventure before, I wanted him to see what it was all about. So we walked down and got on California Screamin'. That line was about 15 minutes also. He loved that coaster. He said it was the perfect length of time.

We wandered back over to Disney, got fast passes for Space Mountain, and had our dinner at Cafe Orleans: a monte cristo sandwich and garlic fries. Oh man. So good! We should have shared our sandwich though instead of getting our own. We both were so full already.

We wanted to take it down a few notches, so we did the 10 minute wait for Jungle Cruise. That was great and cheesy as always. I needed a soda, so we each got a Coke Zero and walked over to Fantasyland and did the Storybook Ride. Dad doesn't like the tea cups or Small World, so we didn't do those. My app told me that Indiana Jones had a 30 minute wait, but when we walked over there, it was a 45 minute wait. It ended up being 38 minutes. I timed all the waits for fun. Dad said it was as jerky and awful as he remembered. I really like that ride though.

As we headed back to use our Space Mountain fast passes, we got a Dole Whip Float and shared it. Don't judge us. This day was entirely about food.

Star Tours had a small wait, only about 15 minutes, so we went on that before heading to Space Mountain. I love both of those rides.

After that, the electric parade was starting, but I still hadn't seen the Matterhorn Macaroons. So we went and each got one of those. I saved it for a little later. We hung out and saw a little of the parade. We hit up a souvenir store where I proceeded to cry over the voice activated dancing Baby Groot. And then we headed home.


I had told my dad when we got there that morning, that a couple of years ago, Patrick and I lucked out and got to watch the fireworks from the parking structure. Well, as soon as we stepped off the tram to the parking lot, the fireworks started. So we got to watch the show from the parking lot. Basically nothing was left undone that day.

We headed home, bodies sore, bellies full, blood sugar crashed, and so, so happy. It was an amazing day. Truly better than I think my dad or I expected.

Monday was pretty low key. I had tried to ask my brother if he and his girlfriend would want to go (or rather would want to drive me) to Huntington Beach, but I guess he didn't get the text I sent from Disneyland. So I slept in a little, put the couch back together, and got dressed to go on a run. I ran five miles total. My route was west on Gladstone, up to Barranca.

I stretched in the back yard, hung out with the dog who kept trying to sniff my crotch, chatted with my baby brother for a little while, showered, and ended up running into my brother Jake as I went to do laundry. We chatted for a while, and he didn't realize I was leaving that evening. He was disappointed and told me I need to stay longer.

Dad and I went to the grocery store to get stuff for dinner. We got chicken thighs and breasts, asparagus, corn on the cob, Cheetos, and stuff to make Texas Tabs (sans the syrup). Dad and Jake LOVED the soda.

My brother Jake came home to spend a little time with me before I headed back to the airport, so that was really cute. He took some very unflattering snaps of us. And Jared came home before going in to work to say bye to me. I love those boys so much.

Mouth was full of dinner

Checking out Jake's eye infection
I fought tears before leaving, all the way to the airport, and at the airport. It is so hard leaving; it's like you're separating from part of your heart. I feel like I'm leaving them behind, and I feel like we are all better people when we're together. I'm really struggling, especially not knowing the next time I'll get to go home. Maybe Pioneer Day weekend I'll head back for another short trip.

I love my people.