Fact Friday is back

I haven’t done one of these in a while so here we go.


1. I used to eat ice cream every single day.  Back when I was 19ish, I started keeping gallon tubs of coffee ice cream in the freezer and I ate 4 scoops every night covered in sprinkles.  This was going on when I met Joe and even though he thought it was ridiculous that I did this every single day, he obviously couldn’t resist so most nights he joined in.  He definitely blamed me when he gained 20 pounds.  I had the metabolism of a 12 year old at the time, so I did this for a few years with no consequences.  Actually, the reason I stopped was because of running.  When I started running, I didn’t feel so hot fueled by pizza and ice cream so I switched up the foods I was eating.  I still love ice cream with sprinkles but I definitely don’t eat it every day.


2. I had the craziest roommate experience my freshman year of college.  Not that any of them individually were crazy (though a lot of my friends at other schools had some CRAZY freshman roommates), but it was just ever evolving.  I made a friend at orientation named Meghan and she made a request to live with my in the dorm I had chosen for freshman year so we would at least have one guaranteed friend in a 4 person suite.  We were mailed the names/phone #s of the other 2 girls over the summer and talked to them a few times and they seemed great so we were excited.  The two new girls lasted TWO DAYS on campus before they moved out and dropped out of school.  I won’t pretend I know what was inside their heads but they didn’t even give college a chance and they maybe spoke 10 words to Meghan and I in those two days.  So Megs and I had a 4 person room to ourselves until Christmas break.  We got a call maybe 3 days before we were due for winter quarter that we had a new girl named Lindsay moving in.  We cleaned up and all that and a girl knocked on our door and said she was our new roommate…named Maranda.  Apparently, we were getting 2 new roomies and they only told us about one.  There was lots more panicked clearing of closet space after that.  So now we are a foursome again except Maranda drops out of school 5 weeks later.  By this point, we clearly have a reputation as the room where people go to die, but really she left because she was obsessed with her abusive boyfriend and when we turned him in for hitting her, she didn’t want to live with us anymore.  Not something we will apologize for.  We finally got a 4th roommate that stuck at the beginning of spring quarter (hi Caryn!) and had one glorious 10 week term as a super tight foursome.  We always felt that it turned out perfectly in the end and we all became incredibly close very quickly, but it was a CRAZY year of drama.


3.  Not that you’d be able to tell because I’m all of 5’3, but I played basketball from the time I was around 6 all the way through high school on both school and travel teams.  I can shoot 3’s all day but playing became a real problem when everyone else was nearly 6′ tall.  Joe played for our high school and one of our early dates was going to the university gym and having a 3 pointer contest 🙂


4. When I bought my wedding dress, I didn’t exactly do things the traditional way.  I took my fiance.  I may be superstitious as hell when it comes to my sports teams but all that nonsense about not seeing the bride never bothered me.  The people from Say Yes to the Dress would be so mad at me 😉  But it went perfectly and I wouldn’t have had it any other way, I was struggling between two dresses and he was the reason I got the dress I truly loved more instead of the one that I technically looked the best in.  I went back later to show my mom and best friend, but I’m thrilled I did it with Joe first.  186_DSC6076189_JRP9503


5.  I know all the world capitals.  Yep, alllll of them.  This is shockingly useless but I live for the days when geography questions appear on Jeopardy.  A few months ago World Capitals was the final jeopardy category and I internally wagered everything I’ve got.  Usually, I just play around with geography games on Sporcle or that quiz app to try to find different ways to utilize this rather useless talent.



Any fun but useless talents?

How did you like your college roommates?

Give me a random fact about you!


The day of bacon

Yesterday I just really really did not feel like running so I didn’t run.  I know, novel concept, but it just felt right.  I wasn’t tired, sore, injured, or anything of the sort, I just thought about running and decided that even sitting around and researching sounded more fun.  I can’t remember the last time that happened (though I will totally chicken out of runs in terrible weather or move rest days around…I just never REALLY don’t want to run).  Then I tried to ask myself if I wanted to do anything at all, and unlike those days where your body just wants/needs to lay around, I really did want to get moving.  For some reason, running didn’t sound appealing, but pretty much everything else did…including lifting (insert shocked face here).  I ended up doing insanity plyo, plus 20 minutes-ish of kettlebells and 15 minutes of core.  I’m going to hurt like you wouldn’t believe after that.  I’ve been very guilty of neglecting strength training lately.


When I went to go make breakfast, Joe told me that we had some bacon that we should probably try to use up.  There was quite a good amount of it so it wasn’t going to happen at breakfast but I figured it was the perfect excuse for pancakes and bacon.

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This is Joe’s plate, I promise mine only had about half as many pancakes.  I’m really glad I exercised first though because I was stuffed to the gills after this.


At lunch time, I figured I’d try to use more bacon because it just had to be eaten, right?

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Jalapeno wrap, pesto, gouda, turkey, fried egg, and BACON.


I had some cupcakes for an afternoon snack but since that doesn’t go with the theme we’re just going to ignore it and move on.  For dinner, Joe brought home a fresh baguette so I thought soup would pair perfectly.  I made some lobster bisque and then realized I was on a roll with the bacon today so we used up the rest in our soup.

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If you’re wondering, bacon, parmigiano cheese, and lobster bisque are best friends.



You should be glad I didn’t have Joe take pictures of me working out in our non-air conditioned house (sweaty is an understatement) but instead provided you with pictures of a full day of bacon yumminess.  I’m declaring yumminess a real word, my English major be damned.



Ever have a “themed” day of eating? 

Do you ever just REALLY not want to run but still want to work out?  What is your go-to workout if you’re not feeling running?

Party animal (not really)

I told you all I was going to see X-Men and then maybe go find a new restaurant to try but apparently, Joe and I decided to get a little adventurous instead.  We saw the movie at midday after I ran and showered (special first showing thing) and it was over right before 5, which is when the restaurant was going to open but we’d have to kill 10-15 minutes first.  We saw on our walk there the sign for this cocktail bar I had heard about and always wanted to try and we are NEVER on this side of town, so we declared it the perfect way to spend a few minutes before dinner.  Aperitifs are a thing in France so who says we can’t have one drink before dinner, right?

Mine was passion fruit, blueberry, homemade passion fruit liqueur, and gin.

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And the inside of the bar was 70’s inspired with corresponding color scheme and furniture.  Very fun.

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They were so delicious, we accidentally stayed for a second one.  We just couldn’t say no to the espresso drinks, neither of which are martinis despite the glasses.  Mine might be the first ever rum drink that didn’t make me feel sick.

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Arguably our favorite part (besides yummy drinks) was the music…they were playing old school rap (think 80’s through mid-90’s) and we were totally alone in there and so into it.  I’m glad no one else came by to witness our dorky singing along.  All the older stuff though really threw me off, I lost a bet regarding the release date of an O.D.B. song.  Joe was wrong too, but I’m usually relatively good at knowing the specific years and got a little defensive about it being 1997 and it was 1999.  Cue sad face.

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We left after two and had a leisurely dinner next to some VERY enthusiastic soccer fans and I didn’t get any photos for you thanks to the distraction.  They were yelling nearly the entire time we were there and placing bets on the outcomes of all the World Cup games and who would score first, etc.  It pretty much took all of my willpower not to tell them my own opinions.


We started the long walk back and passed yet ANOTHER cocktail bar that had long been on my to-do list.  They are the only 3 fancy cocktail bars in town and all have great reviews but seeing as how I never go to bars, we never got around to it.  We debated going in since we went to one last week and had just tried another a few hours earlier but we realized the chances of us coming to the other side of town for one drink would be slim to none so we decided to go in and have just one.


It was in an old converted church so there were stained glass windows everywhere which was awesome.

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The bartender was very cute and friendly and the place was empty so we had her pick out drinks for us since we were only having one.  Which ended up not happening and we stayed for 4 more hours letting her pick us random drinks and talking to her and the manager.  It got dark in there super quickly though so no more photos except this random one I took of my nails:

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We felt like such party animals 😉  The bartender asked us to come back the next day for swing dancing but we pretty much maxed out our party quotient for a few more days.  We are going to go back again though when we get back from our trip.  Normally, I’m a “bottle of beer” kind of girl but I think all these fancy drinks are going to ruin me…



What was the most fun you had this weekend?

What’s your normal bed time?  I’m usually in bed by 11ish!



I’m addicted

Yesterday’s 400s were ROUGH.  I don’t often do speed work that early in the day and something just wasn’t clicking, I felt like I had no energy from the warmup on.  But, I made it through and it really does feel fantastic to be done with a really hard workout before you do anything else that day.


I also ate really healthily all day, which you probably don’t even believe is possible but I promise I do it a few times each week.  I always eat healthy breakfasts and lunches, it’s dinner where I add a little craziness sometimes, but for dinner last night I had salmon cakes with a light homemade lemon dill sauce, mixed vegetables (eggplant, cucumber, tomato, peppers, and onions), and couscous.  And avocado on top because it’s the best.


I’ve had fish and veggies for dinner twice in the last 3 days so now I’m really ready to have something a little more fun tonight.  We are going to see X-Men later and will probably try a new restaurant while we’re out.  I’m a little excited.  I’m NOT excited that the movie is in 3D.  Am I the only one who hates that?  We got these early screening tickets so we didn’t have a choice but I never see 3D if I have the option, it’s been probably 4 years since I’ve seen one. 


I had another picture for you but my computer just won’t cooperate in loading it so I’ll give you a confession instead: Joe and I have fallen into the pit that is Breaking Bad addiction.  Neither of us had ever seen an episode and we thought the premise sounded weird when we first heard about it but we didn’t have any friends who watched it to change our opinions.  After all the fuss about the finale, we decided we were curious enough to watch one episode and see if it sucked.  Well, we finally got around to that on Monday night.  We certainly didn’t think it sucked, we stayed up until 1am the last 2 nights after I finished my work watching all 7 episodes from the first season.  Oops.  I usually make myself stop reading if I’m still researching when dinner rolls around so I can have a few hours to myself at night and give my brain a break.  For the next few weeks, those 2 or 3 hours at night will inevitably be dedicated to us being addicted to this show.  


Any shows you loved but were super late to the party in watching?

Favorite healthy dinner? fish and veggies is for me

What was the last movie you saw?

A little bit of everything

My internet was down yesterday and it taught me very quickly how much I rely on it for a million little things.  For some reason, this only affected my computer and Joe’s was doing just fine.  I managed to steal his for a few minutes and read a few blogs but I couldn’t transfer my photos or anything so today you get a bit of a catch-up.


Monday was GORGEOUS out so I had a sunny and fantastic easy 5 mile run then did 20 minutes of core.  Then I had my favorite post-run food:

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Toast smeared with creamed honey, avocado, and poached eggs on top with a little bit of garlic salt.  Yum.


And we just couldn’t say no to my craving for more pizza.

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I also tried to take a little picture for you guys to prove that I do sometimes wear a little makeup and straighten my hair.

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It’s sort of ruined by a few things: a) my mirror is spotty as heck  b) I may have on some makeup but I’m still wearing a sweatshirt and c) I’m really awkward at taking photos of myself


Yesterday for no good reason my hips were CRAZY sore so I took the day off and am moving my interval workout to today.  I actually get excited when 400s are on the schedule because they go by so quickly that I can convince myself that running that fast isn’t so terrible.  12×400 as soon as I digest this oatmeal.


Oh…I almost forgot!  Super fun news…we are going on vacation!  In TWO WEEKS!  Yes, that’s very last minute (or at least it is for me! I like to plan things) but we got an amazing deal that we couldn’t pass up to visit another country we haven’t been to yet.  So I’ll be practicing my running at altitude and blogging to you from AUSTRIA in the very near future 🙂  We are spending the whole week in a small town in the Alps with access to 50+ miles of hiking trails and hope to spend all our time outside exploring if the weather cooperates…apparently, it rains a lot.  But you can hopefully expect some pictures like this:

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What is your workout plan for today?

Have you ever taken a hiking holiday?  Or just an outdoorsy holiday with no other plans than to explore the area?

More social than ever

Everything about my social life right now feels a little funny because Joe and I are going out and doing things more than ever.  We have a bunch of stuff we would like to see/do before we move so we are trying to get out at least a few times each week to cross something off the list.  Some of it is as simple as going to a restaurant we already love one last time but it’s still way more nights out than we usually have.  This weekend was especially fun, because we not only went to a fancy cocktail bar for a few hours (which is normally something I do with my girlfriends rather than Joe and it’s still been 6+ months since I’ve gone anywhere of the sort) but we also spent the rest of the evening at an after hours museum party.  We said it was clearly a grownup evening, certainly more adult than our usual pizza and beer and playing darts at the local bar.


I was trying to hold off my hunger until dinner but post-run, I just couldn’t, so I made a nice bowl of chili on top of sweet potato.  If you’ve never tried it, you really should.  It’s so delicious.

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And because I can only go 7-10 days without some kind of Mexican food, we made steak quesadillas for dinner.  I put ghost chili inside half of them and we played a guessing game as to which slice you bit into would burn your mouth a little 😉

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Then we showed up at happy hour nice and early and OH MY GOSH, the drinks were unreal.  I started conservatively with something I knew I’d like, made with strawberry, basil, and pepper.

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And it was made in the cutest little jar.

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The next drink, I just couldn’t say no.  I’m a sucker for almond flavored things, especially cakes/croissants/cookies but almond is a must order.  This was an almond and apricot sour and the guy was crazy skilled with his egg whites.  It was like someone took my favorite things (almond and sour patch kids) and managed to combine them in a delicious way.  I could literally drink this forever.

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By the way, hummus was the perfect counterpart to all this delicious drinking.  We may have killed two orders of this.

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My raspberry overload was pretty delicious too…raspberry vodka, raspberry liqueur, and raspberry puree.  And then they put it in a glass so tall I couldn’t drink it if it was on the table.

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And if you’re going to try to take pictures with your husband (a rarity for us), try not to do it while he’s eating hummus.  Mouth full.

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But do take a picture if he drinks a tiny espresso martini.

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Clearly I remembered to document our day drinking but then totally forgot to take any pictures at the museum party…  Actually, there are three but they’re of random empty rooms whenever we managed to find an exhibit to ourselves.  Still, tons of fun and I think I officially count as a grown-up after going to a museum party.


Planning for 5 easy miles and core work today 🙂  And no other excitement, I have to knock out 4 more books by the end of the day!


Have you ever gone to one of those “fancy” cocktail bars with really unique drinks?  What was your favorite thing you ordered?

What’s the most “grown-up” party you’ve been to?  We went to parties at the French Embassy a few times, I think saying you went to an embassy party sounds more adult than the reality 😉



Out and about

Yesterday I did my easy run early and changed because we had the bright idea of me bringing some of my work with me to a restaurant and getting me out of the house a little.  We are trying to do this at least once a week where we try somewhere new and just chill there with some books and taking our time over some yummy food and a beer.  It’s an excellent way to spend the day, let me tell you.


And you know I’ll like the place when there are bookshelves over your head on every wall.


And a big, sloppy burger doesn’t hurt things either.  They had pulled pork and onion rings on their burger, and since those are some of my favorite ingredients and it sounds an awful lot like one of my favorite pizzas, I had to go for it.


And you know you needed a closeup.


We took a little detour afterward at the museum.  The Egyptian exhibit was probably my favorite.


And on the way home, we picked up 2 slices of cake each to take home for later. 


Joe told me that it’s not a real blog of my day if I don’t also tell you about my failed spider killing attempt first thing when I woke up this morning… So, I come downstairs and on the wall above the fireplace is a GIGANTIC spider.  Like 3-4 inches across.  Obviously, I screamed for Joe to come deal with it.  He said no (he normally tries to rescue them and put them outside and I want them dead so they can’t come back to get me in my sleep) so I took the biggest thing I could find (Joe’s shoe) and swatted him hard.  Stupid thing is invincible and just falls to the floor and scurries into the fireplace.  We looked for him and cannot find him.  So now, there is a big spider on the house in my house with a vendetta against me because I tried to kill him. 



Do you have strong feelings on bugs/spiders/snakes?  I could tell you a terrifying spider story but let’s just say I was bitten by one and leave it at that.  Now they all must die.

Have you ever taken a book or notebook out so you can get out of the house and still get work done?

What are some of the ingredients that if you see them on a menu dish you know you’ll be instantly tempted to get that dish?

How I learned to run easy

Back when I started running 7 years ago, there were countless things I was doing “wrong.”  The thing is, I didn’t think anything was “wrong,” I mean, how hard is running?  You put one foot in front of the other and get out and do it as many days each week as you can handle.  My first ever run was with a friend and we ran 5 miles at 10:00/mi pace (she had a GPS).  Knowing what I know now, this was a steady state effort for me that day but that day, I just ran and gave it no thought.  And for months afterward, it was the same.  Every single effort was a steady effort, and my times got faster and faster as they do when one gets fitter, but I always ran at that same level of effort and always 5-6 miles. 


After 7ish months, I had become incredibly efficient at running 6 miles.  My steady state efforts were at around 6:50 pace and I began to get curious about whether or not I could race.  I don’t know how it took me this long to start reading about running, maybe because I was enjoying so much just going out and having no plan, but this is when I first started doing some research.  I was pretty thrilled by the idea that I would supposedly be able to race faster than my normal pace on race day, though the idea kind of baffled me.  I started looking up races and I saw a half marathon that sounded interesting but the farthest I had ever gone was 6 so I researched some more and learned about the mythic long run.  I read about how these are run slower and decided to go out for my first double digit run (yep, no build up, just 10 right of the gate…told you I knew nothing back then). 


I decided to go out at 8:00/mi and see how that went.  It was hard for the first mile or two because I had never run such a controlled effort before and it was really difficult to keep myself from speeding up but I eventually got it under control and something miraculous happened…it felt easy.  My daily runs had never felt truly hard before, because I had never pushed the pace, but neither had they ever felt this kind of effortless ease.  I went on my normal 5 mile loop and when I was halfway through the second one, I knew I was going to make it.  My stride felt so light and energetic, I couldn’t believe it.  I finished 10 thinking I could definitely go longer and feeling amazing.  I signed up for the half that day…and my first marathon. 


The funny thing is, I’m still always tempted to do my training runs too fast.  I don’t want to do my intervals at 5k or 10k pace, I want to do them at close to max effort.  I blur the lines between steady state runs and tempo runs.  But the easy days, those are special.  I can remember so accurately the feeling of that first long run and I try my best to replicate it on all my easy runs, to remember what it feels like to truly run easy and to feel like you could do it forever and like there’s nothing you’d rather do than just keep running.  You’ve probably read the little axiom “run the hard days hard and keep your easy days truly easy.”  It’s the closest thing I have to a training philosophy these days and whenever I’m tempted to go out too hard, I remind myself that the hard days are what make gains in your fitness and the easy days are for adaptation and recovery.  If that doesn’t work, I remind myself that easy days are what restore my faith in running 😉



Did you make any big training errors when you started running?

Do you remember your first long run?

What convinced you to sign up for your first race?

Today I’m powered by pizza

Last night, I had pizza as promised.  It was everything I hoped for.  SO GOOD.


Pulled pork, red jalapenos, cilantro, and lime zest.  I thought that after not having any for 2 months, I wouldn’t be able to eat the whole thing.  I was wrong.  Definitely missed having my pup to feed the extra bits of crust to though.


I think all this research is making me stir crazy, I always look forward to runs but I seriously NEED them right now.  I really cannot overstate the importance of clearing my mind for a bit every day and the sweaty factor just makes it even better, I tend to get all up in my own head when I’m this deep in my work but I’m actually incapable of thinking about it while I run, my brain only goes to fun and/or totally random things.  It’s such a relief and really makes me feel better about life so I stay motivated.


Usually another thing that helps is taking a 5 minute break to play with the pups.  You really cannot help but smile and be in a good mood when dogs are around.  They were with Joe’s parents over the weekend and Joe’s mom sent me these for Mother’s Day and they totally made me smile:

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So cute.  I don’t know how she got such fidgety dogs to sit so nicely.  Stevie looks a bit terrified of her sign though.


For the reasons stated above I’m actually looking forward to my interval workout today (note this date on your calendar, it’s unlikely to happen again for another year).  Mile repeats are going to hurt so good.


What is your favorite form of stress relief?

I always wonder…what do you think about while running?  My mind goes off on all kinds of crazy tangents but at least 40% of the time I’m daydreaming about something super random like winning front row tickets to see my favorite band and they invite me up on stage (true story from a run last week)

Moms…how was your Mother’s Day?

Whoops, my bad

Obviously, I’ve been missing since forever.  Sadly, it’s been for nothing fun or exciting but for an absurd amount of work that I needed to get done.  I have two chapters of my dissertation that I’ve been simultaneously researching and writing and I have 7 more weeks of intense research but a huge chunk of hard work is out of the way so I can be back to consistent blogging again (and running, for that matter!).  If you want to see an example of what I’ve been up to, these are the latest books I’ve grabbed at the library…as in, this is my “to read” pile for this week and next week these go back and I get new ones.  There are actually a few more next to my bed but we’ll pretend this is the full picture.

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I was still running 6 days/week for the first few weeks I was home visiting and trying to balance home and all this work, but I’ve moved to 4 days/week partly because of the work and partly because I’ve had my posterior tibial tendon acting a bit fussy.  I’ve been religiously doing strengthening work though 5-6 days each week and my last 2 weeks of running have had zero pain so I think I’m clear there (as long as I continue the rehab!) and I’m moving back to 6 days now.  And obviously, I’m still refueling like a champ:

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Home was great, and I’m sorry I shared so little (though you totally saw one of the best parts…my date with Cori!).  I definitely fell very far off the healthy eating wagon but I enjoyed every second of my Cafe Rio nights.  You really cannot go wrong with a salad that weighs more than your arm:


And I got highlights…which is completely irrelevant to everything but makes me feel summery:


Side note…I hate when people try to flatten the crap out of my hair when I get it styled. Also, it’s really hard to capture long hair in a photo when you are short and have correspondingly short arms.


Oh, and I doubt you’ll notice it on the blog, but Joe is sure getting an earful of it every five minutes…I miss my puppies.  My parents (and Joe’s parents for a few weeks!) are watching them for us while we do the whole moving process and get things finished up with all the logistics that come with moving nearly everything you own.  It’s so weird not having them around and we miss them a ton, though it’s a lot easier to sleep in when the little one doesn’t lick your face and jump all over you as soon as the sun comes out.

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She looks like she’s just soaking up the rays.


Today’s plan is 6 at easy pace followed by approximately six million pages of reading and then rewarding myself with my favorite pizza tonight!! I haven’t had pizza in AGES because there’s nothing good near where our parents live in Virginia and Joe has been dying to get one ever since we got back.




Any PRs in the last month I need to know about?  I’ve been living in a 1790s cave so spill!

Anyone injured? (please say no!)

Give me three things you are most looking forward to this summer!