My Races For 2015

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 | Posted under Health + Fitness

Last week I briefly hinted about what kind of running I would be doing this year, and now, I’m finally ready to announce what I’ll be doing!

And I’ve got some really big ones!

April 25: Get In Gear 10K — I did this race last spring just after we moved to Minneapolis. It’s a really nice run up and down the Minneapolis and St. Paul sides of the Mississippi River. Last year the weather was pretty good, and since spring arrived pretty early (aside from this brief interlude of snow), I’m crossing my fingers it will be another nice run. I thought about signing up for the half marathon, but I just knew I wouldn’t be ready for it since I didn’t run much over the winter. But the 10K is something that’s pretty easy for me to train for at this point, so I’m not too worried about it!

July 4: Red, White and Boom Half Marathon — I’m sort of still on the fence about this but I’m 90% sure I will run this half marathon, namely because it starts and stops a mile away from my house! Last year’s course actually went by our house (although we weren’t living here at the time). The course is supposed to change because of some construction in another part of our neighborhood, but it will still mainly be here in Northeast Minneapolis so it’s very convenient. It’s probably going to be a really hot race, but that might be a good thing for me to run in because of this next race…

August 14-15: Ragnar Great River — That’s right! I’m doing a Ragnar!! Woohoo!! What’s a Ragnar, you might ask? Well it’s 200+ mile relay race involving a team of either 6 or 12 (12 in our case). It takes about 36 hours to complete, so you’re up all night traveling and running with your team. I will be running — and fundraising — on behalf of the JDRF, which is the leading organization fighting to cure type 1 diabetes (which I’ve had for 21 years, in case you forgot). There are a few others PWDs on the team as well, but most of the runners that I met at tonight’s kick-off are either a family member of someone with diabetes, or they are friends of someone with a connection to diabetes.


October 4 -- Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon — I AM DOING IT!! Since I’ll be training all the way up to mid-August for the Ragnar, I figured why not put in another six weeks of training and do the TC Marathon while I’m at it?! Haha. Again, this will be a pretty convenient race since the start line is about three miles from our house (we picked a great running neighborhood). It’s supposed to be one of the best marathons in the country too and just about everyone in Minneapolis has done it so I know I will get a lot of good advice!


I might also run the Torchlight 5K in July and the Victory 10K or 5K (since I did so badly last year), but those are my main big races for the year. I think it’s plenty! I probably won’t have any money leftover to run anything smaller this year, but I’m really excited to get out there and run run run!


Any advice as I tackle my first Ragnar and marathon?! 



Thursday, March 19th, 2015 | Posted under Currently



Planning… my training for the races I’m going to do this year. I haven’t formally announced what I’m going to be racing yet, but I’m getting ready to reveal my list next week! Stay tuned!!

Shopping… for a new pair of running shoes. You’d think working for a running store that I would know exactly what to get, but alas, no. Instead I’m overwhelmed with choices! I don’t love my current shoes, so I want to try something new, but I’m unsure. I think I have an idea of which ones I’ll, but I’m having trouble feeling settled on any particular pair.

Looking… for a new job in my field. I’m currently on track to do my practicum in January, but in order for me to be competitive, I have to have some experience working in the mental health field. Keep your fingers crossed that I can find something that gives me experience and works with my school schedule!

Dreaming… of summer! It was so nice over the weekend and now it’s back to cloudy and 40s. That little hint of 60s with sun was so nice! I really want it to come back…

Contemplating… doing a Project 333 or some kind of capsule wardrobe. I’m feeling really blah about my wardrobe these days. I like some stuff, but I just feel like I have too much stuff that I don’t like that distracts me from what I do like. I need to pare down my wardrobe and then build it up again with things I really like! Anyone else ever do a capsule wardrobe? I’ve been bookmarking blogs like crazy!

Needing… to kickstart my weight loss again. I’ve totally plateaued (actually, I gained a bit). I know I keep talking about this, but I’ve never been that great with weight loss. I lost a ton last year because a medication I was on helped surprise my appetite but now that has sort of gone away. Well, I still have less of an appetite than I did this time last year, but some of my urges to mindlessly eat are coming back. I don’t feel like calorie counting, and I don’t feel like eliminating anything. I really just need to cut back and I think that means keeping a few less junk food items in the house and also not relying so heavily on pastries and junk when I’m at school or needing a quick breakfast on my way to work. It’s really all about planning and most of the time I’m a “on a whim” kind of girl.

Wanting… a new purse, preferably a Kate Spade tote. Something classic like this one. I have a Longchamp bag that Erik gave me for my birthday almost two years ago and that’s my primary bag. But it’s getting a little gross and has small holes on the corners. I also have a Kate Spade shoulder bag that works for long days of walking, but it’s not very big so it’s not practical for my life. I’d really like a purse that I could use to go from school to work to outings with friends, instead of constantly moving my stuff between my backpack and my purse. It takes up a lot of time and constantly moving things invariably leaves me without something when I need.

What kind of bag do you use? Any recommendations for something functional, stylish and yet also affordable?



The Weekend of Dinners

Monday, March 16th, 2015 | Posted under Minneapolis

This weekend I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday working my various retail jobs, so my time at home was focused primarily on dinners with Erik.

On Friday night, we thought that Erik’s nephew, his wife and their baby were coming over for dinner but due to miscommunication and a technology error, we ended up not realizing that they had canceled two days prior! Oops! So we were all set with fajita makings, which we ended up just eating on our own (plus plenty of leftovers). Since the plans changed, we were left to wonder what to do with ourselves!

We decided to save our night out for the next night (which was the original plan) and instead we stayed in an watched Birdman, which won Best Picture this year. My dad had raved about it over Christmas, but Erik and I were both left feeling a little meh about it. The acting was good and the cinematography really is amazing, but the plot wasn’t exactly what I envisioned so it was a little disappointing. It ended up feeling like a much simpler movie than I was led to believe, based on reviews and what I saw on television.

Erik and I hadn’t really had a date night out in Minneapolis in quite a while, so on Saturday night, Erik made plans for us to go to the Loring Pasta Bar and the Kitty Cat Club, both of which are located on the same block in Dinkeytown (the neighborhood where the University of Minnesota is located).

The Loring Pasta Bar has quite the ambiance — it has this vintage warehouse feeling, kinda of like steampunk if you’re familiar with that style. We had the most delicious bread ever, some really yummy calamari, and then for entrees, I got the spaghetti bolognese and Erik got the “mac and cheese” with lamb. I use quotation marks because it was just penne pasta with cheese, but he said it was good. They also had a live band playing, with a violin, guitar and bass. It was perfect date music.

After dinner we took a stroll around the block before heading to the Kitty Cat Klub, which had this 1920s New Orleans meets vampires look. It was very ornate and very vintage, but it also had this eerie quality to it. It was pretty cool, although because it was so close to campus we had a run in with some college girls who decided to play “Never Have I Ever” and squealed incessantly. Even after we moved to the other side of the bar we could still hear them!

We made a last minute decision to stop at Insomnia Cookies. You can get these delicious ice cream cookie sandwiches, although I decided to just get half a cookie sandwich. It was still too much for me to eat!

We hosted our Junior League dinner club on Sunday night and we decided to go with a St. Patrick’s Day theme! I bought some placemats and green napkins at Pier 1 and it had a slight St. Patrick’s Day feel without being overly kitschy.


Erik made corned beef and mashed potatoes, and the other girls brought an appetizer (shamrock chips with Guinness cheese dip), Irish soda bread, and cake with mint ice cream.

It was so delicious and really fun to host dinner at our house, although we realized that our dining table really doesn’t fit 8 people comfortably. We might need to expand now that we have a house!

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? 



Ten on Thursday

Thursday, March 12th, 2015 | Posted under About Me

1. Twitter or Facebook? 

Both? I’ll probably be vilified for it, but my tweets are cross-posted on Facebook. My “audiences” are pretty different on both (Twitter is mostly bloggers, Facebook is mostly family and IRL friends, although there is some cross-over). I’ve never had anyone complain directly, and I’m not an active tweeter anyway so I know that it’s not like people are getting dozens of messages each day.

2. Morning person or night owl? 

I’ve always been a night owl, but  not nearly as late as I was when I was in college!

3. How do you drink coffee? 

Cream and two Splenda if it’s a regular coffee. If it’s a latte or cappuccino, then just two Splenda.

4. It’s 9pm and you’ve got the house to yourself, what do you do? 

I’m probably watching TV and eating popcorn, or maybe renting a girlie movie on iTunes.

5. What’s on your nightstand right now? 

My ring dish, my Victoza pen (diabetes medication), a packet of travel size lipgloss I got for Christmas and never did anything with, and a half dozen empty juice boxes from middle of the night low blood sugars.

6. What smell do you love? 

I love a lot of food smells! Cookies baking, vanilla, chocolate, things like that. I also love the smell of freshly cut grass. It’s just very clean.

7. What smell do you hate? 

Skunks. Gasoline. The smell of urine in a subway station on a hot day.

8. Other than your current home, where would you most like to live? 

Well, I would love to move back to NYC and actually live in the city again. But I would also love to live somewhere in Europe — maybe Paris!

9. If you could eat only one nationality of food for the rest of your life, which one would it be? 
Probably Thai. They have a lot of variety in that cuisine! Meat, veggies, noodles, rice… they have it all! Oh, and Thai iced tea is one of my favorite things ever.

10. When you were six years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

I don’t know if I had a concept of what I wanted to do as a job when I was that little. I know I wrote a lot of stories, so maybe a writer?


Mid-Semester Progress Report

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 | Posted under School

I’m officially halfway through my second semester of grad school. This semester is going well, but it’s definitely different. There is a lot more reading that I’m doing on a weekly basis and more weekly quizzes, and a little less with writing papers. I still have a few papers in my Counseling Theories and Techniques class, and my Marriage and Family Therapy has a couple big projects but they are a little less research intensive. One of my papers is creating a family tree and then analyzing the relationships in my family using one of the family theories that we’re studying.

Last week I registered for classes for summer semester! It’s hard to believe that I’m going to be heading into my third semester in just a few weeks. I only have one week off from class, which is a bit of a bummer since I had a whole month off between fall and winter semester, but that’s just how grad school is, I guess.

The classes I’m taking are a bit shorter, more one and two credit classes, so I’m taking a lot of them! Right now I’m registered for Couples and Family Policy (a weird name, but basically it’s focused on couple and family relationships), Multicultural Studies, Assessments of Families and Couples, Systemic Interviewing, and a special topics seminar on eating disorders.

However, I wasn’t able to register for two classes that I actually need, so it might change later in the semester. I’m not supposed to take Assessments until fall semester, and instead I’m supposed to be taking Intro to Trauma and Crisis Intervention, but I forgot to register and now the only section I can do is full! There is another section of the class, but it’s only a two week class and one of the weeks happens to be when I’ll be out of town for my best friend’s wedding. Luckily, it is possible to swap semesters, but the program director doesn’t really think that’s a good idea so we’ll see what I end up doing. I wish I hadn’t forgotten to register, but maybe someone will drop out of the section I want. I’m first on the waiting list, so there’s a good chance I can get in!

The other class I’m supposed to take is Observation Practicum, which is basically a four week class, spread out over four months, where we observe other students who are doing their internship to learn what we’ll be doing. However, they only had one section available and it predictably filled up! There are more than 20 students on the waiting list and we’re really hoping that another section will open. Even though according to the timeline I should take that class this summer, I only need to take that class before I start my practicum. I probably won’t start that until next January, or possibly even later depending on where I end up doing my practicum (they all have different start dates), so it might not be a big deal if I wait until the fall.

I also might sign up for special topics on grief and loss counseling, but right now I’m not signed up for that because it would conflict with the Intro to Trauma class. That’s more of the priority since it’s a required class! I’m also thinking about doing a seminar class on Mindfulness Based Therapy, but I think I’m going to wait until I figure out the other required classes first. The special topics are fun, but they aren’t really contingent on anything and I can basically do them whenever.

Overall grad school has not been as hard as I thought it would be. It’s challenging in some ways, but mostly I think because it’s so reading and writing focused — and those are my strong suits in life — that makes it a little easier, even though I don’t really have any prior knowledge about psychology. It’s been such a relief to enjoy what I’m learning and it definitely makes me even more confident that I’m heading in the right direction!


This Week

Friday, March 6th, 2015 | Posted under This Week


Gratuitous cat pic of the week

The high of my week was having dinner with a couple of Erik’s coworkers and their significant others. We always love hosting dinners at our house and Erik has some pretty awesome coworkers!

See also: my cat, who is adorbs. Everyone loves her, even when she is really weird.

The low of my week was finding out that a couple practicum sites that I wanted to do my internship at won’t be accepting students during the semester I want to do my internship. I’m planning on starting my practicum in January 2016, but most places have fall start dates. I won’t be prepared for this fall (plus I missed nearly all the deadlines) so that would mean waiting an additional 8 months! So I’m frustrated and I just want. to. be. done.

I’m currently reading nothing. After a little Twitter chat with some of my blogging gal pals (San, Stephany and Becky) I realized that I don’t need to read a book I don’t like! And unfortunately, The Elegance of the Hedgehog is just not cutting it for me. Maybe I will pick it up again at another time, but for now, I am moving on to greener pastures.

My workouts of the week were just one Orangetheory workout. I was pretty much Queen Lazy this week. But I am still hoping to do at least three workouts at a week, and probably more now that the weather is starting to warm up! We’re looking at 50 degree weather next week! Wheee!

The best thing I ate was Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. Yumtastic!

My plans this weekend include having dinner with family, volunteering for the Junior League of Minneapolis’s annual American Girl Fashion Show fundraiser, and finally having dinner with Lisa (we had to postpone our get-together because she was sick). Plus: working!

Question of the Week: What’s your policy on quitting books? Do you hold out until you finish or do you toss books aside if it doesn’t hold your interest? 


Hello, March!

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 | Posted under Monthly Check-In

1a6f25772c3f9d1f5983782d8c9cab4fIt’s been awhile since I’ve done a monthly recap, for no other reason than I simply forgot to do it. I haven’t been blogging as much lately and it’s something I want to change! So here I go!

Apply to new jobs. I met with the director of my program last week to formally transfer from the counseling and psychology program to the marriage and family therapy program. She mentioned during my interview that she really encouraged me to find a job in the field to make it easier to get a practicum (i.e. internship). I now have a meeting on Wednesday with a student adviser to work on my resume — because my current resume has absolutely nothing to do with mental health — and figure out what kind of practicum sites I should apply to. My plan is to do my program in two years, which doesn’t give me a lot of time to get everything done. It’s kind of stressing me out.

Find a therapist. Which leads me to this goal. The program director also encouraged me to find a therapist when I told her how anxious I get with all of this. She said all good therapists have a therapist, which I think is really good advice. Therapists really need to know their own issues in order to help others. But of course, finding a therapist also makes me anxious so yeah. Loads of fun there.

Workout at least 3 times a week. I have put on a few pounds in the last couple of months, which is not horrible but it’s the wrong direction! I want to keep losing, especially since I lost close to 25 lbs. last year. I’d really like to keep that trend going this year. Exercise is a big part of that, especially with some of the running goals I have.

Eat healthier. This also brings me to this goal. Eating healthier is so important in losing weight and I have been eating pretty crappy. It’s showing up in both my weight and my blood sugars. I need to cut down on some of the carbs and sweets and focus on eating more protein. And just less food, in general.

Read more. Finally, I need to read more for pleasure. I did pretty well during my break from school, but now that I’m stuck with textbooks, I haven’t been putting in the fun reading time like I was.



Coffee Date!

Thursday, February 26th, 2015 | Posted under About Me

I love coffee, so let’s have some together!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… about all the TV shows I’m watching! Erik and I have a number of shows in our queue. We rarely have the chance to watch them live, so we use On Demand quite a bit. Our favorites right now are The Walking Dead (and The Talking Dead), Downton Abbey, The Originals, and The Vampire Diaries (those last two are pretty much my influence, but they have enough blood and cuts and back-stabbing to make it interesting for Erik). Most of these end in the next month or so, but then the new shows start! We’ll be watching Game of Thrones and then later this summer, Orange is the New Black. So good! Do you have any favorite shows? Any shows that you converted your significant other into watching?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… that my weekend is looking pretty full! On Saturday I’m having brunch with Lisa, then I’m volunteering with the Junior League of Minneapolis for our annual fundraiser, and then in the evening Erik and I are going to the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show. Ahhh the joys of homeownership!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…. that I definitely am tired of the winter! I really want to go running outside and it just won’t warm up!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… that I’m not sure what spring or summer races I’m going to do. I had in mind a half-marathon in April but now I think I will just do the 10K instead. I don’t think I’m going to be physically ready to do a half-marathon in only a few weeks. I don’t want to spend the money on a big race and not do very well in it. But I am tempted to sign up for a marathon in the fall! I’m thinking about the TC Marathon here in the Twin Cities. Erik is doing the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, and that’ll be a lot of fun, but yeah, I really need to figure what I’m going to do so I can start training.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… that I’ve been doing a lot more hot yoga lately. I definitely like it a lot but I don’t know if I’m quite head over heels in love with yoga. I enjoy it though and I’m glad I got the gift card from my mother-in-law for Christmas. I’m also still going to Orangetheory Fitness and today, I sprinted for 30 seconds at a 7.0 MPH (that 8:34 min/mile)! Woohoo!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… that I’m having crazy baby fever over here! OMG I want a baby! But it’s totally not going to happen for awhile because of this little thing called school and money. Sigh.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you… that my cousin had her baby boys! She was having twin boys — fraternal — and they were born last week. Their names are Abel and Gabriel (after their grandfather and their dad, respectively). Cute, huh? One of the little babies has a heart defect though, and it’s really sad. He needs a couple of surgeries in his first year of life! Yikes! So please pray for him, his baby brother, and of course, his parents and hopefully everything goes okay. We’re hoping to see them when we go to Oregon this summer for a friend’s wedding.


What’s new in your life? 


This Week

Friday, February 20th, 2015 | Posted under This Week

The high of my week was getting a free side and a $20 gift card to Famous Dave’s because we had to wait so long for our order. It should have been a low of the week, but we weren’t really that bothered by the fact our order was slow (I mean, we were a little bit). Then we find out that the manager wants to give us extra food and a $20 gift card for the inconvenience, so we were like “Score!”

The low of my week was dealing with some not so happy feelings regarding moving away from New York.

I’m currently reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I started it on the flight home from Mexico and haven’t really read too much of it since we got back, but I’m definitely planning on picking it up again. It’s different than a lot of fiction books I’ve read, which I like, because I’m not usually that interested in reading fiction.

My workouts of the week were Orangetheory Fitness on Wednesday and Modo Yoga Minneapolis on Thursday. I really wanted to do more, but it’s been so cold this week! I also need to remember to hydrate more before yoga. I felt really sick last week so I tried to do better this week, and I did feel better but I need to remember how draining the heat can be. Need more fluids!

The best thing I ate was some German gnocchi at Burch Steak. So yummy! (Most of the money I spend is on food, so it makes more sense to talk about food — besides, I love to eat!).

My plans this weekend include having dinner with Erik’s nephew and his wife. We haven’t had them over since we moved into the house, so it’ll be nice to show it off to them.

How was your week? 

No Comments »

Life, Right Here

Monday, February 16th, 2015 | Posted under Personal Essays

It’s been a little over a year since we moved to Minnesota. Our one year  move-a-versary was while we were in Mexico, so I didn’t have a chance to properly reflect on it while we were there. But now that we’ve settled back from our trip and things are returning to normal with school and work, I’m starting to think about it a little more.

It all started last week when I was at work. I casually mentioned that I had moved to Minnesota last year, and the customer — who I presume to be a native — scrunched up her face and exclaimed, “Why’d you move here?!”

I was completely taken aback by her tone. “It’s a great place to raise kids, but then get out!” she continued.

Uh. Thanks.

It certainly didn’t help my overall discomfort about living in Minnesota for the past year. I have trouble putting my finger on it, because honestly there’s nothing wrong with Minnesota. It’s nice enough, you know. Minneapolis is a nice city. We have a nice house. We have a nice family. It’s… nice.

And it makes sense. Every time I explain to people (which is more often than I really want at this point) that we moved here because of cost of living and to be closer to family, it sounds right. But it hasn’t really made it any easier. Because we gave up friends and jobs we really liked and a city we both really loved to move here. It was the practical, responsible decision but I’m still pretty bitter about the whole thing.

There are a lot of regrets about how I did things in New York. I regret not trying harder to find a career I liked in New York City. I regret not handling money better. I regret not being more insistent that we try to work it out, because I really would much rather be living in NYC — or in Westchester — than here. It’s just the honest truth.

Then over the weekend, I saw a Twitter exchange between Ashley and another blogger that struck a chord about moving. Ashley had asked about the adjustment, and the other blogger replied that it took about 3 years to start making real friends and five years to feel settled. And it’s completely true. It’s always a huge adjustment to move, and it’s even harder when the move wasn’t really something you wanted in the first place.

I also read San’s beautiful post on Saturday about how things don’t always go according to plan or happen exactly on a perfect timeline, and it really resonated with me. I identified with it because I feel like even though I’ve met a lot of mile markers for someone my age, there are still things that nag at me. The fact that I don’t have a job that I really love — let alone a career — and that we don’t have kids yet are things that weigh on me everyday. I’m six months out from being 30 and I just feel like things should be more settled. Or maybe it’s because my life seems somewhat out of sequence. The fact that I’m married but without the stability of a career is awkward to me. Sometimes I look back at the last five years and wonder what the hell I’ve been doing because it doesn’t seem like I have much to show for it. Two failed grad school pursuits that basically forced us to leave New York because we couldn’t afford it on a single income.

If I had just…

A lot of people say that comparison is the thief of joy, but I don’t think I compare myself to other people very often. But I do compare my life to the life I wanted. I had things I wanted to do, and the fact that I couldn’t make it happen is a constant burden. I don’t know what to do about it other than to throw up my hands and admit defeat. I couldn’t make it happen and now I have to make the best out of my current situation.

Which then circles me back around to the fact that my current situation isn’t even that bad, and then I feel even more guilty for not appreciating what I do have.  I feel like a whiny baby which is probably why I hardly ever write about how I really feel anymore.

So that’s where I am today.


With Faith & Grace All rights reserved © 2012-2015

I am a HowJoyful Design by Joy Kelley