Thursday, January 31, 2008

off to the races

we have officially experienced our first pinewood derby. and it was good.

first, may i say that there is just *something* about a man in uniform, even if it is a cub scout uniform...


there were a lot of boys at the derby, and therefore lots of cars.


matty and jack had a lot of fun designing his car. isn't she pretty? (the decal says "indy speedster" which accidentally got written down as "lady speedster." glad we caught that before they started calling the races.


his car was underweight, and being the novices that we are, we declined to add any more. shortly after making that decision, i looked around the room and noticed all of the *work* that was going on. (i learned what graphite is, and that $1.50 in quarters glued to your son's car is money well spent.)

i would also like to take a moment to clarify that matty was NOT the father who had to miss the derby because he was having nerve reconstruction in his hand following an incident with a pinewoood derby kit and an electric drill. nope. matty was NOT that guy. unfortunately, we know that guy. the pinewood derby can be a blood sport. who knew??

no trophies here, although jack was pretty pleased to get to the 4th heat of the tiger races. he seemed content to watch the races without taking much stock in who won and who... didn't win. i think it will be a totally new ballgame next year. i was watching those wolves, and they brought game!

gratuitous blue-eyes shot.

668

i ran in southport tonight, along the cape fear river. wow, what a difference location can make when you've been out of a running groove for a bit. the sunset was beautiful, the weather was beautiful. i ran right out on the pier, and it almost felt like i was running on water. it was definitely a joy to be looking at different houses, wildlife, the lighthouse... a 2 miles well spent.

total time 30:00 at walk 1/run 12/walk 1/run 16. all in all a great evening out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

okay...okay...

man, you guys don't miss anything...

i said sleep was not necessary. and there i was, sleeping away in my spt. (if you haven't read the comments, take a peek at what amanda had to say. she's pretty cheeky that way!)

and i started reading your posts, and it seems everyone caught on to the fact that we didn't need to sleep away our 25th hour. and i looked at that photo of poor me with my head down, feigning sleep. and i realized that i did NOT want to spend my 25th hour dozing.

so i got up from my desk and went directly down the street and spent an hour sitting in another chair.



i hadn't realized how much i needed to do that!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

671

total time 31:27 at walk 1/run 12.

yawn. my enthusiasm has defintily been waning this week. thank goodness for podcasts to keep me entertained...

672

total time 39:15 at walk 1/run 11.

spt



if there were a 25th hour, one just for me, i'd like to say i would take a photography class;

or learn how to make digital scrapbooking pages;

or read a book from cover to cover;

or overcome my dislike for rolling out dough;

but i'd probably be doing this.






how about you?

Friday, January 25, 2008

spt - the 25th hour



sometimes it gets to be friday afternoon, and i panic when i realize i haven't posted a challenge yet. for those of you who don't know, i manage a hotel. working full time is challenging on it's own. working full time in an industry that runs 24/7has it's own special challenges. the days just never go quite the way you've planned.

i know many of us can appreciate crazy, busy days. we work, we parent, we console, we cheer, we volunteer, we carpool, we sing, we craft, we travel, we exercise, we make dinners, we visit, we entertain. and yes, we even sleep sometimes. but we manage to find time for it all, don't we?

we fill our hours with things we need to do, and balance those with things we want to do. quite often, there are the things that go undone: the pile of laundry that waits another day, the good mail that rattles around the back seat of the car, the chapter that goes unread... how often do we bump the fun-for-me stuff in order to make time for everything else?

my sister, jen is an example of someone who has clearly mastered making the most of every day. i can't tell you the number of times she has uttered the phrase, "there are twenty-four usable hours in a day," when i've shared my disbelief at the sheer volume of things she manages to accomplish. (i'm still pretty much attached to my seven hours of sleep after seventeen hours of everything else!)

but what if there was a way to do it all? what if there was a twenty-fifth hour of the day, an hour all to yourself! no commitments, no distractions, no need to sleep. what would you do?


Thursday, January 24, 2008

gift[s] from the sea



to say i am thrilled with the turnout for this week's spt challenge would be an understatement. i have spent hours reading about blog names. learning what makes each name special, each blog special. learning more about why we blog and what we take away from it. learning that there are a lot of people who've been visiting amuse-bouche, and i didn't even know you were? (thank you so much to all of you who are jumping in to this fun project!! give a shout out sometime so i know you're there!)

as much fun as it has been to read all of your posts this week, the greater joy for me has come from reading the comments you have left for me. a little positive reinforcement is always good for the soul.

there were many days (early days) of blogging when i felt adrift in the great sea of the Internet. putting my thoughts out there, hitting the publish button, and waiting, breath held, for a comment, an acknowledgement that my words had reached somebody. in many ways, i was like a beachcomber, tossing my message in a bottle out to sea in hopes that it would somewhere, someday connect with another soul. and in the same way, i horde the messages that come back to me, visit them from time to time when i need to feel connected.

last year, i read this book, and it still its on my nightstand. as a lover of words, of language, of metaphor, i pull strength from her words. the irony is not lost on me that i live near the sea, i live the metaphoric life. i wonder if there is not room for a chapter about messages in bottles, as well.

all of this is to say thank you for your wonderful comments this week. thanks to those who have stuck with my over the past year, and thanks to those who are now making introductions. blogging with you, communicating with you soothes my nerves and stimulates my mind. if i have to toss and turn at night, i would much rather be thinking about your kind words than the more mundane details that usually rattle my brain.

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after. - anne morrow lindbergh, gift from the sea

675

well, it finally happened... i started out on a run and had to cut it short. don't get me wrong, i've thought about cutting it short before, but i've never actually done it.

i set out to do the 4 mile run. i was going to see how my time compared to last saturdays and mondays. but in the first mile i knew something was wrong. it wasn't just that i felt lethargic. it wasn't just that i felt like i was walking and not jogging. it wasn't even raining, or cold.

it was my bladder.

holy cow. it felt like my bladder weighed 10 pounds! i finished up the first mile, willing myself to believe that i could put mind over matter. in the second mile, i kept breaking my running to walk. i decided to turn toward home. i was still about 3/4 of a mile away.

i really didn't know if i would make it! because, the thing is, there is NO good place to potty on my route. my detour took me past the house of the only neighbors where i would think of stopping, but they weren't home!! agh, the agony!

oh well, 29:40 at walk 1/run 11/hobble 2.5

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

it's national soup swap day!


check it out! i got a little guest press over at soupswap.com

i know some of you are swapping, or thinking about having a swap. please let me know how it goes! better yet, let them know at the soup swap blog - you can read up on soup swaps all over the country.

today is the *official* soup swap day - but i know from experience that any day can be soup swap day!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

spt


so, what's in a name...

first, a definition

amuse-bouche (uh-MYUZ-boosh)n: any small bite of food or appetizer-sized portion, often served before a meal
etymology: 1968; French 'that which amuses the mouth'

an amuse-bouche, is a tiny bite-sized morsel served before the hors d'Ĺ“uvre or first course of a meal. they are served as an excitement of taste buds to both prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to cooking. the course often becomes a showcase for the artistry and showmanship of the chef.

as explained in this New York Times article

That beautiful predinner bite or sip is a delightful surprise as your guests finish their cocktails — a little gift, if you will, from the chef — just before you summon them to the table or just as they arrive. As it often is in restaurants, the amuse-bouche can be one of the most memorable moments of the meal.

The fact is that as long as it’s small, tasty and pleasing to the eye, almost anything can make an amuse-bouche.


i chose amuse-bouche as the name of my blog for several reasons:

1)i am a foodie, and love the juxtaposition of this culinary term with the other creative elements in my life;




2) i love the intricacies of language, and couldn't resist the opportunity to *borrow* this word - i don't have a food blog (obviously.) what i have is a blog that showcases the most memorable moments of my life;



3) i am always drawn to the close up, the cropped shot, the photos of stolen moments, the details. i see my life this way - glimpses, heartbeats, smudges, smiles;



4) and, perhaps most importantly, i am too intimidated by my own perfection to write long and detailed blog posts - if i were to dwell on each subject, i would have a draft folder larger than my hard drive will allow! when i decided to start blogging, i made a deal with myself that i would keep it simple, a showcase of small, creative moments, wrapped up in bite-size packages...




677

after work, i set out on the same exact 4 mile run i had done on saturday in the cold rain. this time, no rain, and no music. just me and the cold and some frustration to burn...

total time 58:27 at walk 1/run 11.

that's right, TWO WHOLE MINUTES off of my time from saturday!!

which begs the question, did the rain slow me down? did i run faster becuase i was in a pissy mood? did adding an extra minute of running increase my pace that much?

can i do it again?!?!?

Monday, January 21, 2008

679

saturday was cold.
and rainy.

either one would have been fine by me.
together, it made for an interesting run.

total time 1:00:35, 4 miles at walk 1/ run 10.

and this is how i recovered after a hot shower and a cup of tea...

Friday, January 18, 2008

spt - what's in a name



two spt assignments into the year, and we have already tackled some tough challenges. how about we lighten it up this week?

i find inspiration for challenges everywhere. part of my creative curse is that inspiration can strike at any time: on a walk, at work, as i'm falling asleep, you know - whenever i least expect it.

becky left a comment earlier this week, wondering how i came up with the name for my blog. then i noticed that michelle a. had an entire post devoted to the name of her blog.

which got me wondering how you came up with the name for your blog?

the swappin' was good!

last night was our second annual soup swap. while some of us struggled to find soup inspiration during the past few weeks of 60 degree sunshine, the weather finally cooperated, and soup swap day dawned with gray skies and rain and, well, more rain! perfect soup swapping weather!

we swapped early this year in order for it to coincide with our *third thursday* calendar. *third thursdays* are a series of social/cultural/educational/recreational/relaxing/
entertaining/networking evenings that were actually born of the fun we had at our first annual soup swap! (what i'm telling you here is, if you haven't swapped soup yet, get crackin'! you never know where it will lead...)

in anticipation of a slightly larger crowd, we moved the swap from my home to a local historical building on the grounds of the former Fort Johnston, right down on the Cape Fear River.



while the swappers were arriving, we snacked on desserts and hot beverages. a few swappers struggled with "soup spill," which should just be further incentive to make your soups earlier! (note: a quart of soup will not freeze in three hours.) while they were mopping up, and the rest of us were socializing, i took a few moments to run through the "rules" and to lay out the fun prizes!

this year, we offered three prizes.

first picked,


frequently picked (the first soup to disappear from the table),


and, of course finally picked!


thinking that some of our newer swappers might be intimidated by the telling of the soup, i jokingly announced that each swapper would be limited to 7 1/2 minutes. i'm happy to say we all had no trouble at all talking up our soups! when we finally drew numbers, here is what awaited us on the soup table:



soups presented this year were:
garlic soup (first and frequently picked!)
organic carrot soup
2 French onion soups
ham and navy bean soup
3 cheese potato soup (finally picked!)
sweet potato black bean soup
chicken noodle soup
North Woods bean soup
Senegalese peanut soup

matty and i brought the sweet potato black bean soup, choosing the "let's throw a soup out there that we've never tried!" route. i am happy to say that the soup is fabulous, and i only regret we didn't make enough to keep some. in my anxiety over presenting a soup that wasn't a tried and true "go-to" recipe, i decided it might not be a bad thing to offer a little *incentive* for choosing our soup. during the telling, i produced some lovely milk chocolate, and promised it to the person who was first to pick our soup. (as organizer, i have no qualms at all about throwing a curve ball!) it worked like a charm, especially when one of our swappers tricked another by telling them to choose the wrong soup so she could claim the chocolate! (even funnier because they are husband and wife - well played, tonya!)

the swapping was over all to soon, and there was nothing left to do but go home and admire our newly stocked freezer.



get your swap on, people! if you haven't already been invited to a swap this year, get off your sofa and organize one. you will not be disappointed!

to read up on other swappers around the world, don't forget to visit knox gardner and his gang over at the soup swap blog. if you're interested in recipes for the soups at our swap, they'll be posted over on the where we live, inc. site!

swap on!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

681

got to run in the balmy 27 degree morning. as chilly as it was, i am so glad i went ahead and did it, as the rest of the day was a whirlwind of meetings upon meetings upon meetings. i didn't get home until close to 6 pm, and i was hungry and ir.ri.table!!

total time 28:29 on the first day of walk 1/run 10. i took it easy, and the ten minute running sections felt awesome. it brings a whole new meaning to slow and steady for me.

jackalope

amanda's comment yesterday reminded me that i snapped another photo of jack post haircut. he actually loves his short hair (this is the cut he gets every summer.) it's not pink, purple or heliotrope, but he did pick out a red gel for himelf...



day eleven found us in the pediatrician's office, getting a prescription for the good stuff. if, by good stuff you mean gooey cream that he will have on his head for 8 to 14 hours. turns out the little buggers are resistant to the Rid. tenacious little nits!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

shorn

we may be losing this battle...

...but we WILL win the war!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

spt



believe it or not, sometimes i offer up an spt challenge, and i have no idea where i will go with it. this week is one of those weeks.

a few ideas rumbled through my brain as i tried to zoom in on something, anything. i tried to get a closer look at myself - just a piece, a snapshot of a part of my life that gets more attention than other things.



i am not a numbers person. math has never been a strong suit of mine, in geometric form, in algebraic form, in statistical form... i am a student of sociology, of people, of language arts and cultures. i've always felt that numbers simply stood in the way of other, more important learning.



but these numbers are different. these are the numbers that guide my morning, noon and night, the numbers i have tracked for years, some years more diligently than others. these numbers define my days in terms of caloric intake. they are the journal of which days i have been successful in my perpetual struggle with weight, weight-loss, with my self-esteem. yesterdays numbers play a huge role in how i see myself in todays mirror.



683

total time 28:43

not much, but it was good to get outside at the end of a hectic monday.

Monday, January 14, 2008

charily we roll along...

here's a fun topic of conversation for monday morning. i wasn't going to blog about this, as it is a somewhat, ah, sensitive subject. however, having noted april's word of the week, i see it as a sure sign that this little story was meant to be recorded for good times' sake. or some such. read on...

charily /adv./ gingerly, carefully. warily. guardedly. cautiously. also sparingly or frugally.

every morning, for the past week, i have risen from bed, enjoyed a cup of coffee, absorbed the first sobering twenty minutes of the daily news, taken three or four good, deep, soul-cleansing breaths, and commenced the business of charily picking. through. my. son's. head.

yes, you guessed it, jack has head lice. three days back to school after winter break, and he's scratching like a madman. (and i know, due to the incubation period of said head lice, he probably picked it up during winter break, not back at school.) but still, the irony.

never mind the fact that on day two back to school, he was *given* a brand new stocking cap, that someone had crocheted for all of the children. never mind that he got a purple hat and his friend got an orange hat, and they decided to trade. due to the incubation period, blah blah blah, he probably picked it up before the hat trade. but still.

before i continue, i must add that this comes on the heels of a crazy case of ringworm of the scalp. which he may, or may not, have picked up from a stray cat last fall. which did, undoubtedly, leave a 3 inch bald spot on the back of his head (oddly shaped like the entire African continent). head lice and ringworm of the scalp are not related. the bald spot becomes important later, however.

if you are still reading (and thank you, THANK YOU if you are still reading), we are back at day eight of the head lice experience, the second time i have tried to take him back to school, only to be turned away after the very kind and sympathetic admin assistant at school found two more buggers on his head. after i had charily (or not so charily) picked through his head already.

i have done the RID. i was at my least favorite store in the whole wide world last sunday night at 10:30 buying the RID. the 3-step-kit. i have washed and picked and combed and laundered and boiled for the past week. i was even tempted to try the mayonnaise thing, until i found out that i was supposed to leave the mayonnaise on his head for 4 to 6 hours!! i can't even type that out without gagging a little bit.

jack has had very short hair most of his life. at the hair cutting place, they know his clipper number. but i've resisted the head shaving thing for two reasons. number one, of course, is the aforementioned bald spot. number two is that the day before Christmas, we took the cousins for a portrait sitting, and i had jack's hair cut (keeping it longer in the back than i usually do because of said bald spot.) and i think it's the best haircut he's ever had!! i mean, see for yourself:



i am on the verge of throwing excuses one and two out the window. it's only hair, right? it WILL grow back.

i just fear that if we go the head shaving route, i will be left charily comforting my child when the kid who sits behind him tries to use the back of his head in a geography lesson.

685

today, i was good for a 6 miler. i was actually hoping to run in the raindrops, but all the moisture had moved out by the time i got out the door. well, all the moisture but the humidity... i had to take off my jacket within the first mile!

it was a good run, my first mile was a 14:33 pace, which i'm pleased to announce is becoming more my *norm* than the previously recorded 15 and 16 minute miles. i'm still sticking very close to my walk/run regimen, and i have no doubt that once i am running the first mile consistently, that time will come down even more. for now, i'm not even going to sweat it.

total time 1:34:29 at walk 1/run 9. the run itself felt really good, and i'm happy to stay around 6 miles on the weekends (until, of course, i'm *really* training for a. big. race.)

Friday, January 11, 2008

spt - a closer look



is there a part of you, a part of your home, a part of your creativity that gets more attention from you than anything else? when you look at your reflection, do you automatically zoom in on a feature you love or you loathe? when you are in your creative space, is there one project that gets your attention before all the others?



when you really zoom in on that thing, that feature, that idea, does it take on a whole new meaning for you??

do you think we will know what it is?



there is lots of room for interpretation this week!! get your creative juices flowing!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

welcome



welcome to spt!! this week sees many old friends and many new faces.

i am thrilled to see that so many participated in this week's spt challenge!! it's a nice upswing in momentum to start off the new year.

if you are new, please feel free to jump right in! our spt challenges are meant for all - the more the merrier. the only "rule" is that you participate when you can, and make the most out of your spt journey!!

i try to post challenges by Friday, so that we have the weekend to work it out. the idea is to post your spt to your blog on the following tuesday. (if it doesn't work for tuesday, never fear! there have been plenty of sp-wednesdays, sp-thursdays, etc.) even if you miss a week, or several, the beauty is that you can jump back in at any time!!

on tuesday mornings, i will put a mr. linky so that we can all share our photos and thoughts. mr. linky makes it very easy to go directly to the spt post on your blog: simply type in the permalink for your spt post for the URL (for those of you using blogger, the permalink can be found under "properties" when you right-click on the date at the bottom of your post.) this will ensure that whoever clicks on your name in mr. linky will go directly to your spt post. [if your blog is private, you can still post your URL, but only invited readers will actually be taken to your site when they click on your name.]

spt is an awesome way to meet new people, and to get to know amazing things about yourself and your friends. it has been a springboard for finding new blogs to read, and it can be a tremendous way to bring new friends to your site. if you would like, i would be happy to add your blog address to my sidebar, which also helps bring new traffic to your blog. my sidebar has gotten pretty long, but since i don't use an RSS feeder, i still use it to visit all of my blogging friends!! if you would like me to add you to the sidebar, please send me an email.

this seems like a lot of technical stuff for little old spt, i know. most importantly, take some for yourself and explore these challenges, and get some photos of yourself!! i took more photos of myself last year than i did in the past decade! trust me, they weren't all pretty. some of them weren't even in focus. but they are *me*, and i love every one of them.

welcome on this spt journey!! it's going to be a beautiful year.

687

2.5 miles on an afternoon when i was just glad to be out in the fresh air, just glad to be out by myself for a while.

total time 41:43 @ walk 1/run 9.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

689

after a stay-home day for jack and i, i went out for "just a three mile run." yeah, i said "just a three mile..."

who do i think i am?!?

total time 48:44 at walk 1/run 9. please note that i ran the first mile in 14:33. smashing! i came really, REALLY close to having an overall mile pace of 15 minutes (i was literally sprinting the end of mile 3 trying to beat the clock. well, *sprinting* for me...)

i came close!

691

i have a confession to make.

last weekend, after running 6 miles, i re-rode the route in my car to double check the mileage.

after. i ran.

and i was wrong. the "out" loop was only 2.8 miles, making my total run only 5.6 miles. four tenths of a mile short.

really? because it sure felt like six miles!!

so this weekend i felt the pressure to make good on the six miles. i just had to do it.

and, you know what???



and WHY didn't i take a photo afterwards?!? oh, well. it was awesome!!

total time 1:51:57 @ walk 1/run 8 (which means i walked a total of 13 minutes of the entire time. woo HOO!! (please note the under 16 minute mile...)

spt



hello, 2008!!

i love "new" years. i love looking forward, planning, dreaming. january is about the only time of year that i actually *embrace* change. what is key for me is that i don't really think about it as change. i choose to think about it as growth.

many of you know that i am a paper journaler, a lover of bound memories. for many years, i have used a 10+ journal, which includes pages for looking ahead to each year. i use these pages to simply list things i would like to accomplish in the upcoming year: play the piano more often, sew a cute skirt pattern, put more money in savings, bless my family, love... the lists are often "off the top," ramblings and far-reachings mixed with specific goals. some lists are short, some go on and on. many items carry over from year to year.

the funny thing is, i seldom go back to that page throughout the year. but it has become a new year's eve ritual of mine to sit down with my journal and check off the items i accomplished, and create my list for the upcoming year. it is so gratifying to see the things i've done, and sometimes humorous to see some of the things i actually wrote on the list.

all of this is to say, i guess i don't make resolutions, per se. i don't want a reason to get down on myself when i don't cross something off of my list. i want a reason to celebrate the things i DID accomplish!

however, this year, i resolve to do ONE thing. this year i resolve to embrace my word of the year. i resolve to wake up in the morning with this word on my lips, i resolve to let it guide my thoughts and actions throughout the year.

i resolve to open the door on this new year!



Friday, January 04, 2008

spt - new you resolution



by the time tuesday rolls around, we will be one week into this new year. for some, that means we're back to work, for others, that means the kids are back in school, for all of us, that means the normalcy of routine is fighting it's way back into existence.

i've been scouring blogs the past few days, reading about resolutions and pledges and goals and words and themes for 2008. it seems we all have something to strive for, some talent to explore, some item to check off on our list. (and i do mean *all* of us, even if you are a self-professed "no-resolution" person.) maybe you've just needed this week to settle down and get comfortable with the idea of marking up your brand-spanking new clean slate with lists and dreams and diet plans.

before you know it, february will have come and gone, and we might have already misplaced our lists (or, in some cases, tossed them to the curb in utter frustration!) then will come spring and end-of-school parties, and summer vacations, and marathons and pumpkin spice candles and all of sudden!! all of a sudden, we will be reviewing the year, delivering a post-mortem on the very resolutions we are now embracing.

stop for a minute and take a self-portrait, a snapshot of you in the here and now. what ARE your dreams and goals for 2008? what is your word? what are you thinking about right now as we plunge head-first into the new year? (just a head's up - we WILL be revisiting these photos throughout the year...)

so, tell us about it: what is your new *you* resolution?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

soup's on!

it's time for the annual soup swap!! we'll be swappin' on thursday, january 17th this year.

check out last year's swap here.




this was an easy, easy gathering to put together, and required just a few hours of prep to make the soup (after all, if you're going to make one pot, you might as well make one really. big. pot.!) check out my sidebar for a link to the official soup swap site.

let me know if you decide to swap this year!!

cheers!

we are not a big new year's eve family. i much prefer to be home and warm and safe, finding year end solace in the routine of dick clark's rockin' new year's eve.

we did venture over to our friend's house for a bonfire on the beach (two bonfires in two months!!) and to enjoy some pig. at a good ole southern pig pickin'. we were home by nine, just the way i like it!!

we were tickled to find that we had accumulated six different varieties of hershey kisses over the holidays: original, cherry-filled, toffee, almond, dark chocolate and peppermint. now THAT was a delicious way to ring in the new year!!


cheers!

693

what a difference 24 hours makes. we went from the 60s straight down into the 20s overnight! ah, winter!! (now, if only we could see a few snow flurries...)

out i went, with two and three layers of clothes, for the most pathetic 2 and 1/2 mile run in recent history (my muscles were tight, the clothing added weight, etc., etc.)

total time 41:25 with 5 minutes of walking (walk 1/run 8). my pace was 16.5, which is a minute slower per mile than i was accomplishing last week. once again, i have to say that i'm just glad i was out there! i am NOT going to let numbers get me down. not at this stage of the game...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

694

my new year's day run was much less about ME, or RUNNING, for that matter. i planned to do a 5 mile run in the 60 degree sunshine (knowing that the bitter cold would be moving in overnight.) early into the run, i knew my stomach just wasn't up for it. ah, well.

jack and MATTY skated, and met me at the one mile mark. i hung out with them at the park for a few minutes of QFT and then we headed home together.

total running time 30:37, and i ran all of them (i stopped my watch for the 10 minutes of hanging out time.) hey, at least i was *out there.* we ALL were, and that felt wonderful!

we spent the entire day outside, washing the cars. even managed an afternoon bike ride with jack. a great way to kick off the new year!

695

my new year's eve run.

how funny is it that i a) wanted, b) planned and c) looked forward to a new year's eve run?!? three and a half sunny and cool miles all to myself to decompress from 2007.

total time 52:35 with 6 minutes of walking (walk 1/run 7). my pace was slow, but under 16 minutes. i was barely winded when i got home. what is THAT about? (i know, i know... time to really start working on that pace!

spt



my favorite spt? when it's all said and done, i keep coming back to this one. tall, strong and alone are three words that come to mind when i look at this picture.



here's what i wrote on that day:
today i am thank-full for all of the days that i have found solace, or spark, in this beautiful blogosphere. for the chance to cast my shadow out into the world, to share my *me-ness.* for the opportunity to blend with all of you.

i am tall. i feel strong (most days.) and the most important thing i've learned through spt this year is that i am NOT alone. through blogging, through spt...sharing ideas, crafts, dreams, parenting woes, even the contents of our purses has forged a hundred kinships, a hundred friendships.

thank you. thank you for picking up your camera each week and exploring your own *me-ness.* thank you for shrinking the borders of this country, this world. thank you for being my friends.