Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Old Mizuno's Hurt

Yesterday, I had the brilliant idea to put my yaktraxs on my old pair of Mizuno's instead of my newer ones so that I wouldn't have to take them on and off each time it snowed. I ran three miles and had the beginnings of a blister, but forgot by this morning.

I got up this morning and put my tight pants on.
(if you want to learn more about tight pants, click here)
You're welcome.

Put on my shoes, ran half a mile, and realized that I not only had a blister, but that my heel was cut open, blood was probably pooling in my shoe, and I most likely had the beginnings of gangrene and would have to amputate my foot before I reached home.

Okay, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But, it still hurt and getting in the shower after was complete torture.

 That'll teach me for wearing old shoes. I should just donate them and get them out of the house. I don't remember for sure, but I think I had about 350 miles on them before the plastic in the back wore through completely and started to jab me in the heels.

I was thinking about switching to a different brand or style of shoe that would help me cope with my heel rubbing issues, but I had to switch these out two weeks before my marathon, so I just went with the same exact shoe for the second pair. Any suggestions on what I should go to next would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Too Cold!

I never make New Year's resolutions because I am way too lazy to follow through on them, so I make "unofficial" ones instead.

One of my resolutions is to run even on days when I think it's too cold…….like today when it was -13 Fahrenheit. I mean, really, we moved from Minnesota to get away from this kind of cold. It made me feel a tiny bit better though when I checked the weather in our home town in North Dakota and saw they were at -18.

Ruger was so excited to go out that he couldn't quite sit down but was trying his hardest to be polite as he waited for me to dress for the cold.

I bundled up in running tights, old Columbia sweat pants, fleece lined blaze orange hunting shirt hand me down from Seth, double layered Columbia winter coat, two beanies, a scarf, running gloves, snowmobile gloves and my new yak tracks that I received from Seth for Christmas.

The only thing I didn't have was booties for poor Ruger's feet. We made it two blocks before he started limping from the cold so we turned around and raced back home as fast as we could.

I did a 10 minute workout that I found on Pinterest instead while Ruger stuffed his face with dog food.

Tomorrow should be warmer, so here's hoping we make it further than two blocks next time!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Family Visit

Hey there! We had an awesome Christmas and hope that you did too!

Here's our family photo and a couple of the kiddos. I think they get cuter every day, but I might be biased.

I usually save my vacation and take about 1 1/2 weeks off at the end of the year and Seth was laid off of work for 2 weeks at the same time this year, so we all got to be home together for the boys' entire school break.

We went to Seth's younger sister's house for Christmas Eve

and then everyone came over to our place for Christmas Day.

I made some lefse that turned I had prepped a couple days before and then was too lazy to make.

My parents came to visit after Christmas and brought the boys some boxing gloves that were literally a hit. Haha!

They were only here for one full day so we made the most of it by driving up to the mountains and tubing.

There wasn't much snow once we got up there, but there was still plenty on the tubing hill, so it worked.

And lastly, my grandma sent a story book for the boys with a recording of her reading the book to them. It is the sweetest thing ever and by far their favorite Christmas present. Thanks Grandma!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Seth May Have Broken the Pickup, But I Took the Car Out

So……Remember how Seth broke the drive shaft on the pickup? Well, I drove the two blocks to drop Jackson off at school one day last week and noticed a strange sound as I pulled up to the school. One tire was completely flat. After getting Jackson safely into the school, I drove home, filled the tire with air and managed to cause the tire pressure gauge to fly apart into little pieces. 

The next day, it snowed, so I brought out the only shovel that I could find and broke it on my second scoop.

We have a spade, so I used that with Jackson's "help" and it sort of worked.

Tucker wanted to help, so I let him use a broom by the side door.

Seth picked up a new snow shovel at my request, but I think he must have misheard me because he brought home another grain shovel instead…...

Also, I dropped my phone into the cup holder of my car as I was backing out of the garage one morning and it landed on the garage door opener that was already in there. Needless to say, the door started coming down as I started backing out and left a nice scrape on the roof of my car. The garage door is only slightly bowed out and not enough to be noticeable unless you know it's there, but it still bothers me.

Seth was nice and buffed the scratch out of the paint for me.

Oh, and remember the flat tire? The leak was in the sidewall (no, I was not driving along curbs), so I had to replace all four of the tires thanks to my car being all wheel drive.

Merry Christmas to me?

Seth got to replace his parent's van with a courtesy Rogue from the dealership until his pickup is done which will hopefully be sometime late next week. If not, I think he likes the Rogue a lot more than he thought he would, and with his history of switching up vehicles……..

After buying new treads for my car, I just had to treat myself to some new ones as well. I picked the pair on the left. DSW was having a sale and I had an extra $20 off so they were super cheap. My 2 year-old boots are on their last leg (har, har) so it's nice to have a car without holes in the tires and boots without holes in the heels.

Sadly, all of those expenditures meant that we stayed home on Black Friday and are not planning any purchases on Cyber Monday either.

So, in case you were expecting a Christmas present from me this year, please don't hold your breath. It should be arriving some time around December 2014….

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Pirates!

The boys and I stopped at Party City one night to pick up some supplies for a baby shower that I was hosting and spent most of our time there trying on costumes.

I love the look on Jackson's face in this picture.

Tucker's class had a Thanksgiving program followed by a lunch last week and I was lucky enough to visit him at school for it.

He did great with his part in the program and his table buddies all jumped in for a picture when they saw me taking one of Tucker.

I'm still recovering from the huge amount of food that I ate at our Thanksgiving. We seem to have free Encore channels this week, so I'm planning to lay on the couch and watch as much TV as possible while it continues to digest - I hope everyone else had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 18, 2013

How Little Girls are Evil and Seth Broke the Drive Shaft on Our Pickup

Here's a little peek at the highlights and low lights of last week:

Monday: Jackson comes home from school with stories of being bullied on the playground and even a little in the classroom. This has turned into a daily occurrence for the past few weeks, but I was sure that the recess monitors were watching what was happening on the playground and that he was probably exaggerating a little. I mean, the adults responsible for keeping an eye on recess activities are actually watching what is happening and would notice if a child is being picked on, pushed down, called names, etc….right? Especially when said child approaches the monitors and tells them what happened, right? A responsible adult wouldn't tell that child, "Too bad. I can't help you" right?

Tuesday: Seth leaves on an elk hunt with his friend Brent until the end of the week and there are more stories from Jackson that night about being bullied during recess including some very mean little girls who have been harassing him, calling him names, tripping him, stomping on his stomach, hitting his back, etc. I think about calling the school, but I'm not really sure who to call and again, the recess monitors would have seen something like this, right? This sort of thing couldn't possibly be happening right in front of adults whose job is to watch for something like this, right?

Wednesday: I get a call at work from Jackson's school with the news that some girls had chased him down during recess, tackled him to the ground and proceeded to try to pull his pants off and tell him that they are going to kiss a certain part of his male anatomy. Two boys noticed what was happening and ran over to help Jackson, which attracted the attention of some other children. The recess monitors still didn't notice until seven children were in a full on brawl that involved one of the boys smearing dog poo on one of the girls. My assumption that the adults in the area were, you know, doing their job, was very mistaken.

I was so horrified and outraged that I almost left work to take Jackson home, but since he wasn't hurt or traumatized, I didn't want to put too big of an emphasis on what had happened, so decided to let him finish school as the day was almost over, give myself until the next day to calm down, hear Jackson's side of the story and decide on a plan of action. The school also let me know that the boys and girls would not be allowed to play together at recess until after Christmas and that any game involving chasing would not be allowed until then either. I let the school know that they should be checking in on what is going on in the homes of those little seven year old girls to give them the idea to attack my son like that in the first place. Shudder.

Thursday: Seth calls me during a baby shower that I'm putting on after work for my manager to say that he got stuck in the snow with the pickup and broke the drive shaft so his dad was coming to pull him out, but they needed me to show Dale how to get to where Seth was. At least Seth was at a high enough elevation that he had reception, or the guys would have had to walk 12 miles to the nearest phone.

I run home after the shower, make supper for the boys and Collette who has offered to watch them (she's been helping out a ton lately and I don't know what we would do without her), Dale picks me up after the dealership closes for the day and we make the 2 hour drive to find Seth and Brent. The closest we could get to the pickup was about 1/4 mile away, so Seth and Brent walked to us and agreed to go back on Friday with Brent's pickup to pull ours out. If you know Seth, you know that he had to really be stuck if he couldn't get out. He literally goes places that would be impossible for anyone else. We got home around midnight, went to bed, and Seth left at 5 the next morning to pull the pickup out.

Friday: I am in a foul mood from lack of sleep and missing my morning run so I write a nasty email to Jackson's teacher that I promptly delete without sending. I write a much nicer email asking to meet with her and the principal. As I'm near the end of our street on my way to drop the boys off at school a cement truck and a pickup are parked in front of a new build and completely blocking the street. I wait a while, but the four guys standing in the street don't seem inclined to move the pickup in order to let me around the truck so I flip them the bird in my mind, smile and wave, turn around and go the other way. Once I make it to school, another parent is parked across the driveway that I need to get through to drop Jackson off for before school care which he goes to in order to allow me time to get Tucker across town to his school in the mornings. By this time, I'm really irritated and I inch forward trying to get around him while he seems in no hurry to move and waits until his son has walked all the way up the driveway and into the building. It's like watching paint dry.

Later, I receive a call from the principal and set up a time for me and Seth to meet with him and Jackson's teacher the following week. I'm ready to talk rationally about what happened and I'm planning to bring up the fact that I'm disturbed by the teacher's policy of not allowing parents to drop in unannounced which I'm pretty sure will be news to the principal. Insert evil chuckle here.

Meanwhile, Seth shoots an elk while he and Brent are on the way to pick up their campsite and pull the pickup out which is several miles from where they were camped. The elk didn't drop, but left a substantial blood trail, so the guys looked for it as long as they could before going on to the campsite and then the pickup. Seth tied the broken drive shaft up, put chains on the tires and they made it out in time to pick the boys up from school.

Saturday: The boys and I get up early to go with Seth and help look for the elk. It snowed overnight, but Seth finds the blood trail again and the four of us spread out and walk in a line back and forth for two hours looking for the elk until the boys start to get cold. Seth looks by himself for another hour before giving up and we bring the boys home.

So basically, little girls are evil, Seth broke the drive shaft on the pickup and is now driving a pretty rad maroon van (courtesy of his parents) while it's in the shop, and I'm praying that the warranty covers the repair work that has to be done. Seth is obsessing over the elk and I would rather that he look for it with the pickup than taking a borrowed minivan on back woods trails in search of something that could have walked for a mile before finally dropping, so hopefully it will be repaired quickly.

Anyhoo, that was last week. Hopefully this one will go much better!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

We Went to Vegas!

But not for fun and not over the weekend. Save yourself some boredom and walk away now.

As you may know, but probably don't, the COSO framework is being updated, so I had to get my learn on in order to prepare for implementation. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) was holding a two-day training session in Las Vegas and flights were only $150, so Seth decided to take a few days off and tag along. The Sema car show was going on which meant that he had plenty to keep him entertained while I was at training.

The first night, we had a late supper at YOLO's which was within walking distance of our hotel. It wasn't very busy compared to the other restaurants that we saw and was also very dark. The waiter messed up my order, by giving me fish instead of shrimp tacos, but I like both so it wasn't a big deal. We just had an overall feeling of "meh" over the whole thing. 

We walked back to our hotel, which was a block off the strip and a complete dump. As in, the walls down our hallway were scraped up, the tub filled up with scummy water during my showers and the grout between the cracked bathroom tiles was full of mold. At least there were only two lamps in the room, so we couldn't see how filthy the rest of it was. A little advice: don't work in a low margin business like protein if you want to stay in decent hotels on work trips.

Since our room was depressing and it wasn't even 9 pm, we decided to sit at the bar for a while and watch TV. A guy sitting across the counter would not stop staring at us, so we finally got up and walked to the elevators. As we were on our way, he rushed past and got in the elevator with us and two other people. He stared at us in the elevator and then looked back over his shoulder as he was getting off on the 3rd floor. We got off on the 9th floor and started toward our room laughing about his odd behavior. I may have been imitating his elevator exit and Seth may have been saying something about his birthing hips when I saw a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye and suddenly the guy was behind us and calling down that hallway that he thought he knew us.

We said no but he kept following us down the hallway asking if we went mountain biking in North Carolina. Not unless that's the new slang for chicken plant audits…… 

By this time we had walked past our room and were rapidly approaching the end of the hallway. He finally stopped and said that we should all get a drink sometime and Seth said that we were probably leaving that night.

Either the guy was completely drunk, or a total weirdo. It was way creepy that he paid attention to our floor number and then followed us. Seth told the security staff about the incident and walked me to my taxi and back every day. While the incident was super creepy, I was so happy to have Seth with me!

The next night, we went to Burgr which was super tasty and the best part about our visit other than getting to spend some time together, and of course: COSO.

We got the Hog Burger and the Euro Burger with truffle parmesan fries and shared everything. They were both really good in different ways.

On the way back to our hotel after dinner at Burgr, we ran into Bumblebee

and Lt. Dangle

He really liked Seth.

I learned a lot at the training and feel confident that the company I work for really doesn't have any big changes to make in order to be compliant, but it was really helpful and even fun to be immersed in the IIA world and COSO talk for two days.

Goes to show what a nerd I am.

Also, the desserts were really good and so tiny that I didn't feel bad eating a ton of them. The event staff kept offering and I kept taking. At one point, it got to be a little excessive with them running to get me fresh coffee, but I'm not complaining.

I mentioned our dive of a hotel to a government auditor who was lamenting how tight spending is for government entities. Her nightly limit was $300/room and she was upgraded to the presidential suite in her hotel. Not sure if she understood how ironic that was….