Monthly Archives: August 2010

Race Report: Cedars of Lebanon Triathlon, August 28

Yes, this is a bit ridiculously late, sorry about that.

The race went really good.  The weather was amazing, the swim was in a pool and there were a bunch of people in the front who shouldn’t have been, so everyone’s times were a bit lower than they should have been just because of the bottlenecks with the slower people.  The bike was a lot of fun- I got up over 35mph 4 different times.  There were a lot of long, rolling hills, I was having a lot of problems with allergies that day and at mile 4 in the middle of the biggest hill on the course I started choking on the junk in my throat.  That wasn’t a lot of fun, but once I got over that (I had to get off my bike and walk for a minute) things were much better.  The last 3 miles they had warned us was going to be really rough, but I had no idea.  My hands and feet were literally numb from trying to hang on to the bike, but it was mostly downhill so I was going between 15 & 20 mph the whole time.  All in all the bike went great- it was 4 miles longer than the last tri that I did and I finished it in just a few extra minutes.  If I hadn’t choked on my snot, I would have probably beat my first race time!

I walked the whole run, I was trying not to get too worked up again (the whole snot business), and it was so pretty out!  My times were:
Swim: 6:48
T1: 2:57
Bike: 1:10:47
T2: 1:46
Walk 47:39
Total: 2:09:54

Okay, seriously: how cool is this?

I used to be so artsy fartsy DIY, then I got busy and lazy. Check this out: it takes DIY to a whole new (EASY) level! I think I may have to run over to Borders tomorrow to check out the book!

Magazine Beads


While I was visiting The Frist Center today I saw some jewelry in the gift shop that was made out of recycled magazines. I have seen these types of beads before, but today I realized that this would be the best way I could reuse the magazines I’m done with. So, with a little help from Google, I found tutorials here and here. They were linked from here and I may have just found another new favorite site.

I’ll let you know how the beads go, let me know if you try out any of their other tutorials, the site looks amazing!

Golden Age of Couture

I went to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts today to redeem the Groupon that we purchased yesterday for a free membership. It was perfect timing because I was already planning to go today to see the Couture Exhibit that leaves on September 16. There were a few things I learned:

1) I should have been born rich, and in 1930 so I would have been the perfect age and class to wear all of those amazing clothes.
2) I want to pay more attention to vintage styles and hopefully score some dresses from the 40s and 50s.
3) I want to start making my own clothes again. I made the dress I wore in my High School graduation pictures…but that was the last thing I made, even though I received a sewing machine from my parents when I graduated from college.

Sunsets

We saw amazing sunsets the first day of our vacation and the last.
This picture was taken in my car, somewhere in Kentucky. Sorry about the bugs on the windshield.

I took this photo of the sun setting over Mary Lake on my phone. My dad got some pretty incredible pictures on his camera, I’ll post one of them after I get them off of Chris’s computer.

My Sven

Chris: “Would you like a massage?”
Me: “Yes, but I’d like Sven to do it.”
Chris: “Who’s Sven?”
Me: “The Swedish masseuse!”
Chris laughs and begins to massage my shoulders.
Lily: “I want to Sven too!”
Climbs into Chris’s lap and helps massage.
Lily: “Mommy, are you stressed?”
Me: “Not anymore!

Lacking Contentment


I pride myself on being a bargain hunter extraordinaire. One of my best friends from high school once told a chaperon on a mall trip that if she couldn’t find me the best place to look was near the clearance racks. It was, and still is, completely true.

But I’m struggling right now with trying to figure out where blatant consumerism for the sake of consumerism starts and good, honest bargain hunting ends. I went to The Gap last Sunday for a free pair of pants- an incredible deal because I LOVE Gap’s pants and I truly don’t know how I got chosen to receive such a valuable coupon. While I was there, I found out that my weight loss efforts have had huge effects, I’ve dropped 2 pants sizes even though my overall weight loss is only 20 lbs, and decided to go ahead and buy myself some jeans too, since they were on sale and another coupon I had essentially made them buy one get one free. Throw in a dress and another pair of clearance jeans and I walked out of there with a bag full of great clothes for just over $100. Not bad right?

Right. But did I need any of it? Probably not. My clothing collection already takes up nearly 2/3 of our walk in closet, my husband’s stuff shoved to the side and underneath my ever expanding racks.

Then there are the sites like Groupon, Living Social and SavvyAvenue. I buy things from these sites that I wouldn’t otherwise make room in my budget for because they are cheap. None of what I’ve bought is “bad” it’s just that I know that these are items that I could live without. But because it’s literally a click of the mouse, it’s easier to buy than reason with myself.

I’m also a “member” of RueLaLa (if you’re not and want to be, email me, I’ll send you the invite.) They are essentially a clearing house for factory direct clearances. They carry everything from furniture to clothing to cookware. Last week they hosted KitchenAid and this week they have Analon. I’ve wanted new cookware for some time now, so I’m very tempted to shell out the $200 and get some of this high quality stuff and a deep discount.

The problem that I’m struggling with is that, yes, I wantnew cookware, and an argument could be made that I have a few pots and pans that need replacing. But the reality is, I have a full set of cookware that works just fine. It’s not perfect, but it works.

Financially right now, we don’t have a whole lot left over. But, we have a whole lot that most people don’t- 2 iPhones, 3 computers (in a house with 2 adults and 2 toddlers) etc. etc. etc. We have more than we need, but because I am constantly seeing other things that I want, I feel like I’m depriving myself when I don’t hit the “checkout” button on my online cart.

We are living nearly debt free right now- we have 1 car note (we paid off my car last week!) and our mortgage. Our monthly expenses are relatively high because of where were have chosen to live, but we handle them. We don’t have much in savings, but we don’t carry credit card debt. I see all of our friends going on vacations and buying (it seems) whatever they want whenever they want and I can’t help but be jealous. Maybe they are drowning in mountains of credit card debt, I don’t know, but sometimes I wish I could just have that carefree attitude when it comes to money. But I also know I want to be secure and responsible.

I’d love some suggestions for how you handle the balance between giving yourself what you want and being content with what you have. I’ve heard of people that have gone an entire year without buying anything new. Or only bought goods from local vendors at the source of production. I’m not ready to try for a year, but a month maybe? I don’t know if I could do it. Tell me what you think.

*Photo from here

Book Review: Same Kind of Different As Me


5 Stars–Eye Opening

Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

If your elementary school reading list was anything like mine, you may have read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. If you’re from the north, that may have been your only exposure to life in the south after slavery. I knew all about sharecropping and how it was essentially a way to make slavery legal, what I didn’t realize until I read Same Kind of Different As Me was that there are still sharecroppers alive. I thought it was one of those terrible things in our history that went on long before the World Wars and modern times. It’s not.
Same Kind of Different As Me chronicles the stories of Denver Moore, a sharecropper-turned-homeless man and Ron Hall, an up and coming art dealer. It is told in alternating chapters from each man’s own perspective, first recounting the life events that brought them to Texas at the same time, and their ultimate meeting and friendship.
Written directly to the reader, as if you are sitting down for coffee with Ron and Denver, the story is gripping and personal. You come to know them like friends, and it’s just as hard to put the book down as it would be to walk out on someone while they are talking.

Fun at the Lake

We are in Minnesota this week with my whole fam-dam-ly staying in a huge cabin on Lake Mary. We are in a really remote area, and I love it.

Triathlon training is going well- Sunday I ran almost 8 miles, yesterday my aunt and uncle took me for a nice 11 mile bike ride and today my dad took me swimming. Dad had to me swimming because it’s been so windy here I can’t swim distance where we are at- he took me across the lake to where the water was a bit calmer. It was still really rough, I only swam for 20 minutes and it wore me out.

I’m sitting by the fire by myself right now, the first time I’ve really been alone for about 5 days. Grandma is reading the kids a bedtime story, and I need to go ahead sign off before Chris starts looking for his computer.