Friday, November 19, 2010

An Awesome Playlist Can Make ALL the Difference

Yesterday I was so excited to go to the gym. Probably more excited than I have been in a very long time.

You see, I created a new playlist for my run. The songs make me so happy! They make me wanna dance \:D/...and run.

Here's my playlist:

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I probably looked a bit like a fool as I did my run on the treadmill. There was definitely a spring to my step and a bop to my head. I was having FUN! I didn't care if anyone was watching. I was just enjoying my music.

At the beginning of November, I made a goal to run at least 5 runs in a month at a pace faster than a 9 min/mile. This was a pretty aggressive goal for me - quite an improvement from my normal pace. I decided to stick to slightly shorter runs. I've refined this goal to maintain that pace for 20 minutes.

Yesterday was the FIRST run I've done that broke that 9'00" barrier. My average pace was 8'57" for slightly more than 20 min and a total of 2.29 min.

Yay, me!
Now, I just need to do this 4 more times by 12/2. Wish me luck. %%-

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Memories of Halloween

Halloween has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I used to love to dress up!

I've been challenged by the wonderful ladies over at The Secret is in the Sauce (SITS) to write a post about my favorite Halloween memory. I couldn't decide on just one.

First up, flashback to 1990, 8th grade. I dressed as a banshee.
Halloween was so fun that year!
My costume was great!
My make-up was scary.
(It would've been better if I'd been able to take a pic
with a more stoic expression. Oh well.)
It took a lot of time and effort to tease my hair just right. I vaguely remember my sister spending some time on the bus ride to school teasing and teasing and teasing it some more.

The best part of that Halloween, though, was trick-or-treating. You might say that 8th grade is too old to go out trick-or-treating, but it was absolutely fun! I went with a group of friends from school, and we walked around their neighborhood.
I remember a lot of laughter and fun!
I also remember how I refused to wear my glasses (I hadn't discovered the wonders of contacts yet) because they would've ruined my make-up. I don't know how I was able to do that, but I do recall a near run-in with a tree branch!

Next up: 1999.
My boyfriend at the time and I dressed up as Neo and Trinity from The Matrix
I don't really recall any particularly exciting thing happen that year. I just love how great our costumes turned out.

Happy Halloween, everyone!
Hope it's safe and fabulous.

This post was written as an entry for a contest to win a Canon Rebel T2i camera. Hop on over to SITS for great blogging tips and more awesome Halloween memories. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Come back, fall! I want to bask in your loveliness a little longer.

The weather this fall has been crazy warm! I'll have to check the actual stats later, but to my recollection, it's been one of the nicest, warmest falls.

Most days I've been able to enjoy going outside in T-shirts and flip flops. Jeans, too, of course. That would be terribly inappropriate to go out without them. Of course, many days campus was filled with girls sporting their short shorts. No shorts for me, though. I'd already packed them away for the season.

Anyway, I digress. Let's just leave it at it's been unusually warm. And beautiful.

The leaves paid no mind to the warmth and changed colors and fell to the ground all the same. Actually this added to the gloriousness (is that a word?) of this season.

All this came to an abrupt end a couple days ago.
The temps dropped.
The winds became fierce.
This morning, I awoke to falling snow.

I love the look of snow, and while it's not in the least bit unusual to have snow at the end of October, the fact it's been so unseasonably warm the past few months, makes today's weather unusual indeed.

Mostly I feel jipped of the gradual transition from summer to winter.

My hope for fall this year is gone. :-(
Today I dug out the winter coat and gloves.

Have you been experiencing unusual weather this fall? What are your predictions for the weather this winter?
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What was I thinking?!

Remember my inspirational woman post?

Well, I've bitten the bullet and decided to join her next summer for a women's only pedal and paddle weekend excursion. It's a Friday through Monday experience with a 45 mile bike ride one day and a long kayaking trip another.

I've mailed in my registration form; I'm all set.

Well, except for that fact that to date, I don't think I've ever ridden more than 7 miles at once.

I DEFINITELY have some training to do!

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Do you have the time?

I was walking home from work today when a passerby tapped his wrist to ask if I knew the time.

I was about to say No, because I knew I had no watch upon my wrist.

Then I remembered my cell phone was very easily accessible in the pocket of my hoodie!

I grabbed it and told him the time, but I was amazed at my reaction to this universally recognized symbol.

That tap to the wrist barely even registered as a valid question until AFTER I'd verbally heard the request as well.

With the ubiquity of the cell phone, has this simple gesture lost its meaning?

Or am I just old and losing my mind?
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Can sitting at your desk be harmful?

I never realized how dangerous working in an office could be. I mean I rarely even leave my desk.

Yesterday, I did explore the tunnels between the Grain Exchange and City Hall during lunch. I was hungry and wanted to avoid the rain. A few trips to the bathroom in the afternoon, but other than that, I was pretty much sitting the entire day.

And the day dragged and dragged and dragged.

Finally it was 4:30! Time to go home!!



I didn't trip or twist or slip. Just all of a sudden my right ankle was in pain (at least that's how I recall it).

It started out as just a slow throb. I mean it HURT, but I was still able to maintain my regular pace (a little on the brisk side) as I walked to the shuttle.

The shuttle ride was a nice little respite, but the pain increased as I walked across campus back to my apartment. I even hobbled my way over to the auditorium on campus to listen to Roxana Saberi, the American journalist who was imprisoned in Iran in 2009.

I thought my right ankle even looked slightly swollen compared to my left, but my sweet husband assured me that my ankles are just naturally big. Nice.

So, I tried to sleep it off.

No go.

And naturally, I was in a rush this morning and left about 2 min late (which can make a huge difference), so I was forced to maintain a pretty healthy clip walking to the shuttle this A.M. I even made it with time to spare. In fact, I had to wait for the shuttle to arrive.

Guess I hadn't needed to walk that fast after all.

From the shuttle to work, I tried to take a slow, easy pace, but it was COLD and WINDY, so I walked slower, yet still a little briskly.

Now I'll try to take it easy throughout the day.

Hopefully it will just be a 24-hour thing (like a stomach bug) and will spontaneously stop hurting at 4:30 this afternoon.

Let's hope because I have a ward volleyball game in the morning, and I WANT TO PLAY!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Felt like Phoebe!

I hope I didn't look like her, too.

Remember this episode of Friends?

Well, last night I went for a run. Usually, what I do would only be considered jogging. I'm not that fast nor do I push myself too hard. Slow and steady wins (or at least finishes) the race is more my mindset.

But I'm doing the Reach Your Better Body workout from Fitness magazine. The cardio portion of the plan is running intervals. After a warm-up, last night I ran (really pushing myself) for 1 min, jogged for 2 min and repeated that 5 times.

In order to run faster and harder for that one minute, I really lengthened my stride and picked up the pace. I was running much faster than my usual pace, and I really felt like I looked a little like Phoebe Buffay.

Hopefully my arms didn't flail quite as much as hers.

Hopefully I looked ridiculous only in my head. :D

On another note, I usually run during the morning, when there are few cars and fewer people outside. Lately it's even still been dark. I found last night that I much prefer this. Hopefully it won't be raining in the morning, so I can run before work!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fabulous Birthday Week

My birthday week was kicked off on Sunday with a party at my parents house, where my nephew, Emillio, baked and decorated this gorgeous cake. He just graduated high school and is going to be a pâtissier someday. He does great work, right?

We enjoyed grilled pizzas and caesar salad for dinner. Delicious!

My sister gave me a food dehydrator, which I've already used to dried some fruits and make fruit leather. Yum!

Tuesday was the actual day of my birthday. I got to spend it with the Young Women of the White Bear Lake and Saint Paul wards at Girls Camp, where they serenaded me at breakfast with not one, but two, birthday songs. I love the WBL ward's version and need to get that from them. It was awesome.

We took a 10 mile canoe trip with the girls that was supposed to be 3-4 hours, but took us 5 hours. There was an incredible head wind for the last 2 miles that was killer! I'm a terrible canoer, but I still have fun doing it.

After dinner, the girls all did some skits. They were all great, but the YCL's was the best because it ended with them presenting a birthday cake to me! Yep, I definitely felt special...and loved. Thanks, girls! And Bre
(cuz I know you orchestrated the whole thing).

Since I was at camp on my actual birthday, Jeff surprised me at work on Thursday with these beautiful flowers.
I was totally shocked! It was such a sweet surprise.

My office also had my birthday lunch, so Jeff got to stay and meet all my co-workers. We had some delicious pasta, salad, and mini eclairs for dessert! After lunch, Jeff and I walked around the farmer's market where we bought some delicious chocolate! I also got some fruit to dry with my new dehydrator.

Not really part of any birthday celebration, but Friday night, we went to a Saints game. As always, it was super fun to hang with our friends Bre and R.Jay! After the game, we had some ice cream and played Ticket to Ride. It was a lot of fun!

Back to birthday celebrations on Saturday as Jeff and I joined my brother, Dan, and his girlfriend, Chelsea, for a session of Hot Yoga at Core Power Yoga. The class was intense, and I felt a little nauseated at times, but it was good. Jeff has now discovered that he really enjoys yoga. Who knew?!

After yoga, we went out to dinner at Subo in downtown Minneapolis. Dinner was their birthday gift to me. It was delicious! It's tapas-style dining, so what you order is shared with the whole table. I even tried Ahi. Yep, raw tuna. It wasn't too bad. Couldn't bring myself to try the scallops, though. Maybe next time. Jeff also discovered he's a natural with chopsticks. He was totally showing off. He'll be all set if we end up in China for the Peace Corps. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Lifestyle, New Hairstyle

You may or may not know, but Jeff and I have decided to make some changes in our lives. We're purging much of the clutter and materialistic things in our lives, including our car.

This is a big change. An all-encompassing change.

For me, I tend to change my hair. Sometimes a hair change will prompt life changes and sometimes it's the other way around.

Here's the progression of my hair changes this time around.
After (from front)

After (from side)
After (from other side)
After (from back)
The above After shots are of a haircut I did myself. It turned out really cute! I was so pleased and proud that I could get nice layers and texture all on my own. I've enjoyed such satisfaction cutting my own hair the past few years.

I loved this haircut when my hair was still wet. It laid just right and looked super cute.

I never had (took?) the time to actually do my hair in the mornings before work, so the cuteness would often fade as it dried, and I would fall back into the habit of tucking my hair behind my ears, which I hate.

After (from front with hair tucked behind my ears)
The haircut above was done on July 24th. It was mostly prompted by how HOT it's been this summer. My neck was always too sweaty. It was gross and uncomfortable. So, out came the scissors.

Jeff really wanted me to go shorter, but I wasn't brave enough. I mentioned it to my step-mom, and she thought I could totally pull it off.

With making the switch to commuting by bike, I decided I'd push myself. I thought long and hard and decided I'd try shorter. It will be easier to maintain, easier to ride with a bike helmet. So much cooler in the summer!

I didn't think I'd be able to pull off a short haircut on my own, so I did a quick Google maps search for hair salons near my apartment. I found Püsch. They are only 4 blocks away, and they had some awesome specials, so I called them up and made an appointment.

I was so nervous...and yet so very excited!

I showed Kasey some pictures and let her go at it. When she was washing my hair, she commented on the nice texture of the cut. I couldn't help but brag that I'd done it myself.

Here's what she came up with.

I think it makes me look more mature; Jeff think it makes me look sexier.

What do you think?? Take my poll in the upper right.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What a Morning!!

When my alarm went off this morning, and Sallie nudged me for her breakfast, I didn't fight it. I hadn't run since the Torchlight 5K last Wednesday, so I was excited to get out there again.

I put in my contacts, brushed my teeth, and got all dressed for running.
As I was putting on my shoes, I thought I heard some thunder.
A quick peek out the window showed no rain, so I leashed up Sallie, grabbed my phone and keys, and headed to the front door.

To discover it was raining. Raining hard!

Sallie wouldn't even step out the door.
I didn't want to get my phone wet.
So, we headed back inside.

She still seemed like she needed to go potty, so after dropping off my phone, I leashed her back up and headed into the pouring rain. She still didn't want to go out, so she did a quick pee and made a beeline back to the door. I don't blame her. I didn't want to be standing in the rain, either.

Now, I had some extra time, so I decided to work on my blog. I uploaded some pics from my camera and got a couple posts started.

Then it was time for a shower. A quick shower.
Shoot! I needed to shave my legs. After a few seconds debate, I decided I'd risk it and take the extra few minutes to shave.

When I was just finishing up in the shower, I suddenly remembered I'd volunteered to bring a dessert into the office today for lunch!
I hadn't give this another thought since leaving the office yesterday.

I now had 20 minutes to finish getting ready and prep a dessert (to prepare/bake at work). What I had in my mind to make wasn't going to work. I was sure I had all the ingredients, but when I looked in my cupboards the only ingredient I had was the rhubarb.

So, I hit the Internet. Thank goodness for Allrecipes, where I did an ingredient search for recipes with rhubarb and oatmeal. I found this recipe that seemed easy enough to grab all the ingredients and go. Of course my rhubarb was in the freezer. Luckily, I'd chopped it all up before freezing it. It took a little time to break off 3 (out of the 7 in the bag) cups to bring into work.

But I was in a rush, so while the rhubarb thawed ever so slightly, I was busy throwing on my clothes and mascara. Combing my hair.

Grab the 3 cups of rhubarb.
Grab a 9x13 pan.
Grab all the ingredients (I'd measured and thrown them in Ziploc bags before getting dressed).
Grab my phone.
Throw it all in my backpack
Blow a kiss to my husband.
And out the door!

I left only 3 min later than usual.
And caught the shuttle with one minute to spare!

Oh, what a morning!!

Now, let's just hope the dessert is divine and the rest of the day is a little less crazy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nauvoo, IL

Playing organ at Lyon Drug in Nauvoo, IL
When I was younger, my aunt lived right in Nauvoo. We took a few summer trips down there to visit with cousins.
I loved walking around Old Nauvoo and seeing how the pioneers lived. It was fun!
One year, I even got to play this little organ. It's not something they usually let visitors do, but my mom asked, and so I got to play.
This was back in the day when I was actually taking piano lessons and could play far better than I can now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Race Day!!

 The much anticipated race day was yesterday, July 21st! I love the Torchlight 5K. I don't know what it is about running around downtown Minneapolis, but I LOVE IT!! It has been 3 years since I last ran this race, and I didn't want another year to go by without running it, so I convinced some of my friends to join me.

Naturally after pushing myself and training about 3x each week for the month or so before the race, I didn't feel prepared at all to run. My previous two runs were DIFFICULT, to say the least. Come race day, I was really nervous.

So, of course, I woke up with a slight tickle to my throat! The nerve.

Then, I had scheduled a doctor's appointment. That may or may not have been the best idea. But it allowed me to go into work late, since I knew I would be staying late for the race.

When I got to work, I found out that we had an extra ticket to the afternoon Twins game. Would I like to go? Oh yeah.  
Twins game
 It was actually very cool to be in the new stadium. It was a very fun atmosphere. So much energy. 

We're gonna win Twins. We're gonna score!
The Twins beat the Cleveland Indians 6-0. Four runs were made in the 3rd inning and two more in the 8th. The other innings were a little slow but still fun.

During the 4th inning, we went to grab some food and use the rest rooms. Yes, I took a picture in the bathroom. I thought it was fantastic to see that they installed toilets with dual-function handles. Flush up for #1; flush down for #2. Yeah, I'm a dork.
Energy Efficient toilets. Cool!

After the game, it was back to work for me. Around 5pm, someone assumed that I had left for the evening, so she turned off the light in my section. I was too lazy (and it wasn't that dark), so I continued to work without the lights for another hour.

6pm. Time to change into running clothes and head toward the Basilica. My friends Bre and Tacy (Lisa couldn't make it; she was not feeling well come race day) hitched a ride with my husband down to the race (parking can be a real pain!), and we all met together at the race start.
We ARE ready to run!
Even Sallie came out to cheer us on! Here she is waiting for us to finish our race.

Just a-chillin'
The best part of running a race? FREE FOOD!! There were around 4,000 people who ran the race (I think), so the lines for the food were incredibly LONG, but free food is free food, so I'm definitely not gonna complain about that!
In line for post-race food. Love it!
We had to get a banana shot!
So much good food. Where do I put it all??

Mouth full, Hands full
Overall, it was a fabulous day!
Twins game was totally awesome, plus it was a WIN for the home team!!
I was nervous about the race for absolutely nothing!
Running with friends is so motivating. I only walked briefly for a water break.
We kicked out a 10:05 min/mile!
I was totally shocked.
And happy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Welcome, BlogTrotters, to Minnesota

Land of 10,000 Lakes
The North Star State
The Gopher State
Land of Sky-Blue Waters
The Bread and Butter State

Whatever you call it, I call it HOME.

I was absolutely delighted to receive a comment on my blog last week from Carabee over at BlogTrotting inviting me to give a little tour of my neck of the woods. BlogTrotting is a fun blog where you can visit other exciting places around the world.

I am genuinely thrilled to share with you a few of my favorite things about Minnesota.

I'm a Minnesotan, born and raised.

I grew up in Alexandria, MN. Hop over here for a brief tour of the main street of Alexandria, as I remember it from my teenage years.

Alexandra is the heart of the Central Lakes area, where are plenty of lakes for swimming and fishing.

I've since moved from Alexandria (more than 15 years ago) and now reside in St Paul, our state capital.

But what I really love about living in St Paul is living across the street from the University of St Thomas. Both my husband and I are students at UST, and we love our beautiful campus. We love to walk the grounds and will generally take any visitors we have on a quick tour.

The St Thomas Arches are an important part of UST culture. Incoming freshmen walk through the arches to the applause of current students and faculty, welcoming them to their new home. Neither of us started as freshmen, so we didn't get to experience this, but we are looking forward to Commencement when graduating seniors walk back out through the arches and head out into the world. I'm not sure if this will be a part of my graduate commencement ceremony, but it will definitely be a part of Jeff's. We have two more years of school before we head back out into the real world.

I've actually only lived in St Paul for a year and a half. Before that, I always considered myself more of a Minneapolis girl. While St Paul is growing on me, I definitely prefer the downtown of Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis skyline is beautiful!

The skyway system is wonderful!
You can easily stay dry and warm in the rain or snow.

Another thing I love about living in the Twin Cities is all the fun running paths!
I love to run with my little girl, Sallie...
And take walks with my husband.

We've moved a lot around the twin cities.
and in St Paul near Crosby Lake .

I can't forget to mention Como Park Zoo. This is a fun, free zoo. They do accept a suggested donation of $2 for adults and $1 for children. We've gone to this zoo a couple of times .

I could go on and on about this great state! There are so many things I didn't mention like:


No matter where I live, I will always consider MN my home.

Feel free to browse through my blog to discover other random things about me (and occassionally MN, too). If you've visited any of the links in this post, you might have noticed many were from my *other* blog, Dodson Journal. Go ahead and pop over there for even more exciting advertures! I love MN, but I also love to travel and see new things. Mostly these adventures are with my husband, so naturally, they get posted on our family blog.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Minnesota.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer and AC and Running with Friends

I missed posting my Gratitude list last week. :-(

This week, I'm thankful for:
It's been HOT, HOT, HOT this summer.
I've always been in the "I'd rather be hot than cold" camp, so this summer have been delicious for me!

Even though I like it HOT, I'm still also grateful for AIR CONDITIONING, so I don't have to do this all day.

I'm also grateful to be able to RUN! I love running. There were a couple years when my shins would hurt too much to run, but that has been changing, and I've been forcing myself to run a few times a week. Today I had the wonderful opportunity to run with my friend, Tacy. We ran further and longer than I normally do on a morning run, AND I made it to work on time. Whoo hoo!

What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Emillio!!

This is one of my favorites! What an adorable little kid. That spring, he loved to wear those rubber boots. In fact, I think he may have worn them throughout most of the summer, too. What a silly little guy.

I remember when I found out I had a nephew. I was at Girls Camp. My little sister was there, too. It was so fun to hear our older sister had a little boy. We were SO. VERY. EXCITED!!

He was my best little bud for awhile! I loved to hold him and play with him. We even joked around that I was his girlfriend. So fun!

When he was beginning to talk, my friend, Aimee, tried very hard to teach him to say, "Orange Eight" (from a refrigerator magnet) and "Nunchuck" (can't remember why). I wonder if she remembers that. To this day, my family refers to her as Orange 8 Aimee. :-)

Now, this little guy is a high school graduate! (June 13, 2010)
And today he turns 18!
Happy birthday, Emillio!!
Hope you have a fabulous day!

Friday, July 2, 2010

DC Marching Band Trip

In 1993, our high school marching band when to Washington, DC, to march in the 4th of July parade.

I didn't actually get to march (so don't look for me in this picture), but I got to go anyway! Whoo hoo!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Weather, Cars, America

Today has been long.
I have been cranky.
Don't really feel like writing this post,


It is important to express gratitude,


even though I'm not particularly feeling it today,


I'm grateful it didn't rain on our camping trip last weekend.
We were a little concerned because it was forecasted to be a big storm with hail and everything. We didn't exactly feel good about sleeping in a tent in that weather.

On a similar note, I'm grateful for the beautiful sunshine.
Even though I spend my days inside with my back to the window, it's nice to know I can always turn around and see the sun shining.

I'm grateful my husband is picking me up from work today.
I'm just happy I don't have to walk to the shuttle. I'm just not feeling up to it.
Plus, he picked me up on Tuesday, and we got home 20 minutes before the shuttle even left Minneapolis to head to St Paul!

I'm grateful for the 4th of July.
And for the festivities that await me this weekend to celebrate:
Ward Picnic, Friends' BBQ, Dinner with Family, Picnic at Uncle Rodney's, Fireworks

What are you grateful for today? What are your holiday weekend plans?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Education World ® Technology Center: Get Outta Class With Virtual Field Trips

Education World ® Technology Center: Get Outta Class With Virtual Field Trips

Directly from the website: You look outside the classroom window and see yet another in a long string of gloomy days. Inside the classroom, restless students seem mired in malaise. It must be time for a field trip! No money, you say, for busses or admission fees. No time for travel? Then why not a virtual field trip? The Web provides the resources; you provide the fun. Every day is a beautiful day for a virtual field trip! Included: Tips for creating your own virtual field trips!

This obviously is geared for the classroom, but I think taking a virtual field trip (VFT) would be fun for anyone!

This article has lots of links to existing VTFs!

One of the links directs you to Tramline where you can visit lots of places virtually or create your own field trip to share with others. They also have an interesting article on VFTS vs. WebQuests.

I created a WebQuest on the Industrial Revolution in my Technology for Instruction course this past spring. If you visit this WebQuest, please keep in mind that it is still a work-in-progress. I am intrigued by the idea of VFTs and will definitely explore this further.

What are you waiting for? Go EXPLORE!

What cool tech tools are you using today?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Flashback Friday: 1989

Big Glasses and even bigger bangs!
Oh yeah!

My little brother, Corey, sure looks happy.
Not so sure about the rest of us.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Who Wants to Color???


So, today's Tech Tuesday is kind of lame.

BUT...if you're a parent (or anyone who likes to color), who may enjoy this website:

Ivy's Coloring Page Search Engine

You can search for any type of coloring sheets. Say you want to print out something to color for the 4th of July, just enter "4th of July" into the search field and VOILA! Lots of cool pictures to color!

I recently had to search for Graduation, Father's Day, and Birthday pictures. I thought the site was pretty useful in helping me out.

I hope you will, too.

What cool tech tools are you using today?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Flashback Fridays: June Nieces

This was back in 2002.
The year Suzane was born.
She'll be 8 tomorrow.
Holding the new bundle of joy is her big cousin, Selena.
Aren't they just adorable?!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Morning run

So...Jeff and I joined the gym back in April. We've been going pretty diligently a few times a week. Pretty good, right?


And, my weight loss has definitely stagnated. I keep telling myself that I'm building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat, but...


Time to start incorporating more cardio. Since we generally focus on weight training when we go to the gym together, and I don't want to spend my entire evening at the gym, I decided I needed to push myself to run in the morning before work.

So, I set my alarm for 5a.m.

After snoozing 3 times, I finally decided around 5:22 that I simply didn't want to snooze anymore. I didn't necessary want to get up and go for a run, either. BUT I knew that if I just turned off my alarm and didn't get out of bed, I would sleep and sleep and sleep and be way late for work.

So, I got up and ran 2.5 miles.

It was a beautiful morning for a run! Sallie certainly enjoyed herself, too.

Unfortunately, now I am still hot and sweaty (yes, even after taking a shower). Of course it doesn't help that I have about 1.4 miles to walk to work and then I took the stairs to the 7th floor.

I know I shouldn't complain, because in about 2 hours I'll probably be grabbing that sweatshirt!

What's your favorite time of day to run / exercise??

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tech Tuesday: GeoGreeting

You have to check out this very cool website.

Basically, you type in a message, and it finds satellite images of buildings around the world that look like each letter in your message. Then it generates a link that you can copy and email to your friends. There is also an option to send as an e-card or a MySpace e-card.

Here's an example link I created this morning.

If you wanted to take this a step further with your kids or students, you could then click on a letter to view the building on a Google map.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flashback Friday: Grandma Gertie

Gertrude Wilma Ausbern (Bird-Wilson)
December 22, 1920 - June 5, 2010
This is a picture of my grandma holding me at Christmastime 1979.

This picture was taken at my high graduation party.
My grandma is the redhead on the left.
This is a 5-generation picture; the baby is my sister's 2nd child, AJ.

Yesterday, I attended my grandma Gertie's funeral. It was a very nice service. One of my cousins, who was unable to attend, wrote a letter that one of his brothers read. It was really touching to hear about all of his memories about Grandma Gertie.

My grandma lived in AZ most of my life, so I didn't have the opportunity to spend much time with her. It was wonderful to learn so many interesting things about her yesterday. And to hear so many fun stories. She will be missed, and I wish I'd gotten to know her better.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tech Tuesday: Prezi

I recently learned about Prezi in my technology course last semester. I like to describe it has PowerPoint on steroids. I believe they market it as the only zooming presentation tool. The zooming feature makes boring slide presentations come alive with movement. On their home page, there is a great video introducing you to this tool, if you're unfamiliar with it.

I created a couple Prezi presentations for my class last semester. Overall, I found that it was really user-friendly. For someone who tends to be a bit of a perfectionist, it can, however, be a little trying. There is no real good way to get text to line up perfectly, so the more abstract thinker will probably enjoy this tool a little better than someone a bit more concrete. It did teach me to try and let some of those things go. Once I was able to do that, I really came to enjoy this software!

There are a few other quirks, but they have a great Learn section and manual to help you along your way. There is also a showcase where you can look at presentations created by others. Some are even available for reuse, which means you can save a copy to your page and edit it to fit your needs or topics. How great is that?!

Here is a Prezi that I enjoyed. It is particularly related to education/teaching.

Playing to Learn by Maria Andersen

Here are the two Prezis I created for my class.

This first one is the first that I created. I'm taking an independent study course on Environmental Studies right now, so I created this to help me understand and learn more about Natural Selection. As a future teacher, I could use this in my classroom to help students understand this Theory as well.

Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection

Ok. One more, and I'll let you get back to your regularly scheduled day. :-)

This Prezi I created as part of my final project in my technology course. My idea was to begin a unit with a timeline that showed specifics events. I would then break the class into groups and have each group choose (or perhaps I would assign) an event on the timeline to elaborate one. Each group would then collaborate on that topic and add it to the class Prezi. I've created an example of what an elaboration might look like. I'd be willing to bet that my students would be far more insightful and creative than I was!

Early Civilization in Afroeurasia to 450 BCE

I tried to embed these presentation, but they didn't look so good on my blog.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Flashback Friday: High School Graduation

It's graduation season, so I thought it would be perfect to flashback to my high school graduation.
When I found my photo album and starting flipping through it, it hit me...

Oh WOW!!

15 years ago TODAY I graduated from high school.

I can't believe it!
It hardly seems that long ago.
I mean, I can't possibly be that old, can I?!

Here are a few shots of me and my closest friends from that momentous day.
We're so full of hope - looking forward to our bright futures!

Jill, Me
Before commencement at Jill's grandma's

Jill, Me
Hugging after commencement

Aimee, Me, Jill
After commencement

Angie, Me
After commencement

I have to admit, I got a little weepy-eyed looking through my photo album (and writing this post).
What good times we had that weekend!

Click here to see my Facebook album with more pictures from this weekend.