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Hello 2017!

Happy New Year People!  It’s been awhile since I’ve been here.

 

Over a year actually.

 

Time does indeed fly.

 

That being said, 2016 was not what I would call quick.  It wasn’t particularly bad, even though there were a handful of sucky moments – overall 2016 was a good year.

 

At the top of my list of sucky moments in 2016 would be my failure to complete a marathon that I didn’t train for.  Yeah.  You read that right.  I didn’t train.  At all.  But somehow I thought I was still going to get out there and run 26.2 miles.  It was stupid.  It was ugly and I called it quits at mile 15.  After I burst into tears and fell into Blue Eyes arms sobbing “I can’t do this.”

 

He simply said “Okay.  The car is over here.”  I was much more distraught over my failed attempt than he was.  It made no difference to him whether I ran the whole distance or only a portion of it.  He still thought I was pretty fucking cool.

 

2016 was the year Blue Eyes and I both turned 50.  He turned 50 first and for that occasion I threw him a surprise birthday party.  It was a huge surprise party with lots of friends and family in attendance.  You must understand Blue Eyes is an introvert in every sense of the word.  He likes people, sort of, but it is never his idea of a good time to be the center of attention.   When we arrived at the restaurant and everyone yelled “Surprise!” the look on his face was priceless.  He recovered though and enjoyed the party.

 

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My 50th birthday was five months later and for the occasion Blue Eyes took me to my happy place in Oregon.  Cannon Beach.  We spent two nights at the coast and I got to wake up in my favorite place with my favorite person.  It was pretty spectacular.

 

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Throughout the year we went to Seattle two or three times, spent a long weekend in Bend, and saw the coast more than once.  We even managed to steal away to Hawaii for a few days in October.

 

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It was a short trip, but we watched some sunrises and sunsets

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and rented a little cottage on the beach on the North Shore.  This is the view from the bed.  It was pretty nice to wake up to that!

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BUT 2016 is over and we are here in 2017.  Finally.

 

Blue Eyes and I have been waiting for 2017 for a while.

 

My youngest son will turn 18 in May.  He will graduate from high school in June.  Blue Eyes and I will begin living together -full time- under the same roof, I hope, by July (a mere three years and four months since . . . well, you know ;)).  We will have a wedding (for everyone to witness), on August 12th, six years after meeting on Match.com and then in October we are off on our honeymoon for three weeks.

 

When I was dating a lot, six plus years ago, I always asked guys “If you could go anywhere, where would you want to go?”  Blue Eyes’ answer was Greece.  My answer has always been Italy.  This October both will happen and I can hardly wait.

 

Oh, and did I mention I get to wear a wedding dress in August?  Which means I bought a wedding dress in 2016.  I went to the bridal store and said “Show me something appropriate for a second wedding” the girl looked at me and said “Anything you like is appropriate for a second wedding.”  And with that I had a blast with my best girlfriend and tried on a number of things I would have never worn in my previous life.

 

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I found the one.  And that one in the picture is not it, but its similar.  🙂  However, I refused to pay what the bridal store was asking so I found it on Ebay – from a bridal shop in another state – that had never been altered  (since it was a floor model).  It was quite a bit less.  It’s hanging in my closet now, waiting patiently for August 12.  Just like me.

 

Be well people!

 

PEACE!

Hello People 🙂

I hope you’re all well and wonderful.

I ran a marathon on Sunday and thought it appropriate to write a little something about it.

The last marathon I ran was Vancouver Washington in June of 2014, so it had been awhile.  My training was pretty great in the beginning but with school, work, my kids, my husband and a couple additional part time jobs it fell off and wasn’t what it should have been.  I considered not running it but that just didn’t seem right.

The Columbia Gorge Marathon is touted as one of the most breathtaking marathons because the majority of the run is along the old Columbia River Highway and the views are spectacular.  Here are a few pictures I took on the course to prove that fact.

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It was beautiful.  Truly. 

But OY the hills.  It was a constant uphill climb that I was not prepared for.  It was an out and back course and yet it felt like a constant uphill in both directions even though I know that’s impossible. 

For the most part I did fine.  The turnaround point was 12 miles in.  Blue Eyes was waiting for me there with a hug and an encouraging word and I headed back.  At mile 16 I felt okay but could tell I was coming up on my wall.  Historically I hit the wall around mile 18. 

At mile 18 the sun went away, massive dark clouds appeared and the sky let loose with the coldest, hardest rain ever.  I started to sink mentally.  I rounded a corner and saw Blue Eyes and two of our friends cheering for me.  The friends had signs just for me (a first) and Blue Eyes had skittles.  The wall was pushed back a little and I powered up the hill to get back on the trail.

The trail was a little more than five miles before you come out and head down into the town of Hood River to the finish.  The trail is where I met the wall.

There was no shield from the rain, it was so cold and so hard that eventually I couldn’t feel my fingers.  I cried a bit, thought about quitting and then realized that no matter what I did I had to get to the end of the trail before anyone could come get me and if I made it that far it was just another 2.5 miles downhill to the finish.  So I sucked it up.

I came around a corner near the end of the trail and saw a figure on the side of the trail standing there.  The form was familiar but I was too far away to think anything else.  When I got closer I saw that it was my best girlfriend who I did not expect.  Especially not there.

Here are some pictures she took at that moment…

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This was mile 23.5.

That smile had very little to do with the marathon and everything to do with seeing a friendly face and hearing her scream “you got this!”

She was right.  I had it.  I finished 2.5 miles later and got my reward.  Another medal and a well deserved hug from the hubby.

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And then there was beer…..

Be well people!

Feels like I’ve abandoned this blog, however I think simply not having time for it is more accurate.  Life is busy.  Life is good. 

This blog was started from sadness.  I thought the love of my life had just dumped me and I wasn’t sure I was going to survive it.  This blog gave me an outlet and anonymity.  Fabulous strangers told me they understood and sympathized with me. 

Somehow I moved beyond the sadness and spent a lot of time dating a lot of people.  Sometimes there was no date.  Only sex.  It was an interesting period and I cringe at some of my memories, laugh at others and am grateful for most.

I joined Match.com at the very end of July 2011.  It was such a yucky experience that my profile only stayed visible for 11 days.  I met a lot of jerks in 11 days.  Blue Eyes and I exchanged phone numbers during those 11 days but he didn’t actually contact me until after I’d shut my profile down.  I was so jaded and skeptical and sick of wasting my time when he asked to get together I said no.  He asked again and to get him to leave me alone I made our first meeting very difficult on him, with ridiculous location and time specifics.  I told him I only had 27 minutes to spare and if he was late it was his problem, not mine.  None of this phased him.

After that first meeting we dated for awhile and I decided he was too nice.  Too nice.  I broke up with him three months after we started dating because he was too nice. 

Six weeks later he called me out of the blue and asked me out.  Life has been pretty spectacular since that moment.  Ups, downs, twists and turns but spectacular nonetheless.

He has been my husband for a little over a year, yet our wedding is 27 months away.  We do not live under one roof, yet we spend every possible moment together.  I wouldn’t suggest this course of action to anyone, but it works for us right now.

My very best girlfriend took some photographs of us recently.  As I scrolled through them I saw how this lovely man looks at me, how I look at him and what love and happiness looks like, despite the day to day trials of life.

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I love this man and all of his niceness.  Despite my personal feelings about Match.com I will forever be grateful that they made “us” possible.

Be well people!

xoxo

Happy New Year!!

Since it’s been exactly five months since my last post I just want you all to know I have not abandoned this blog. I’ve just been a little busy.

Since today is the last day of the year I thought I’d make the effort to actually write and reflect on 2014. It was a life changing year for me in a variety of ways.

At the beginning of the year I had the brilliant idea to go back to college and get my BS in nutrition. Yes, I’m 48 years old and have an amazing job working as a corporate paralegal. As a matter of fact I’ve been a paralegal for over 20 years, however it’s not my passion and you only live once so I considered my options and made the decision. I can retire from the company I work for now in 9 short years. That is to say I can retire with full benefits at 57, even though I won’t be able to draw on them until I turn 62. Nonetheless, I thought that would be a perfect moment in my life to stop doing what I have to do to make as much money as I can, and start doing what I want to do regardless of the financial gain. Hence my degree-seeking behavior.

It’s going well, which is surprising. School and I did not get along many years ago and it’s amazing I finished high school, let alone paralegal school. But apparently things have changed, I’m a little more focused and a tad bit more dedicated to the cause. I’m officially a sophomore (based on my credits) and have maintained a 4.0 since the beginning. Please don’t confuse my 4.0 GPA with the assumption that it’s “easy” for me – it’s not; I’ve cried a lot, stayed up all night a lot, and melted down before finals a lot. Yet I’ve managed to do it, while working my full time, no-walk-in-the-park job, and being present for my kids and Blue Eyes. Of course my kids are 21 and 15½ so being present for them is very different from when they were younger. And Blue Eyes? Well, he lives 46 miles away from me and while we see each other often, being present for him is very different than if we lived together 24/7.

I was pretty focused on paying off debt this year and I’m happy to find here, on the last day of the year, that while it didn’t go as I had imagined (because somehow I thought I could pay off all my debt in a year and still manage to live and not create more debt — ) it did go well. I’m starting 2015 with roughly the same amount of debt, but since my debt load increased during the year due to my oldest son having surgery, I did pretty good. I went on vacation three times, got through all four children’s birthdays, AND got through Christmas without the use of credit. In addition, I paid off the IRS, two credit cards in full and all the medical expenses associated with said child’s surgery (except for the last $40 payment I have to make to the surgeon next week). I’m very pleased. In 2015 I expect to make more of a dent.

It’s a fact that I work to vacation. Seriously.  That’s the reason I go to work every single day. So I can go on vacation. This year I went on three wonderful vacations. Blue Eyes and I hiked 12 miles into the Grand Canyon in March and then 12 miles out a few days later and couched that beautiful trip with some well-deserved recovery (and a little ceremony) in Vegas. It was a spectacular trip.

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In July I went to central Oregon with two of my most favorite girlfriends and learned to fly fish (okay, that’s not true. I learned how to stand in the middle of the river and look like I knew how to fly fish.) That was a fun, fun, fun time.

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And then in October I met my two brothers and sister in Vegas for a weekend of sibling togetherness which was amazing and wonderful in ways none of us expected. We had not all been together in over two years so it was a banner moment in time.  I love my siblings. ❤ ❤

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In addition, Blue Eyes and I went to the Oregon coast and found some new favorite spots we will definitely revisit. All in all my vacation needs were met.

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Running fell by the way, way side. I did run a marathon, but only one. I ran the Vancouver USA marathon and felt like I did a good job. I PR’d by a minute or two in general and PR’d the course by 10 minutes so I was happy. Sadly, though I just didn’t make time for running both before and after that marathon. I miss it and have been getting back into it slowly. My Garmin broke and I’ve decided to go without one for a year and see if it changes my feeling about running. I’ve already fretted over the fact that I won’t know how far I’ve run when I have to run X amount of miles, but that’s silly. I’ve run every distance multiple times and I know which routes meet which demands. I think it will be refreshing to not have a Garmin. At least today I think that. I just want to run, and remember that I love it.

I did run a relay event with some girlfriends in November. That was brutal. Six legs covered by 3 women. Originally we had 6 women, but two of them were injured and one went out of town so it came down to three of us. Each one of us ran our legs back to back, which seemed like a good idea initially. But since I hadn’t run in quite some time (um, like the marathon in June) 11 miles kicked my ass good. Still we finished the relay and had a good time and I managed to smile through most of it.

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Other news? Blue Eyes is great. I love him madly and can’t wait until our “wedding” which is officially set for August of 2017 – after my youngest graduates high school.  It’s a formality for our friends and family and while it won’t actually signify the day we got married, very few people will know that and for us it will signify the beginning of when we actually get to live under the same roof 24/7/365. I very much look forward to that. As he says, the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter as each day passes and it will all be worth it in the end. Here, here. ❤ ❤

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I expect 2015 to be wonderful – Blue Eyes and I will go to San Francisco for a few days in March to celebrate the anniversary – San Francisco being one of my favorite places, as well as a place he has not been to (he did drive through one weekend on the way to San Jose, MANY years ago, but that does not count) I am beyond excited to show him this city that I love. Outside of that, I hope to run a couple of marathons, pay off some more debt, create none, continue to do well in school, be happy, stay healthy and stay very grateful for my life.

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I wish you all the best in 2015 !

Peace!

Last weekend I went camping with two of my dearest girlfriends. For approximately two weeks prior to the trip I had debated with myself about whether or not I would actually go. My debate most often centered on money and my desire to spend as little as possible due to a variety of unexpected expenses this summer. But as the date got closer, my need to get out of town, decompress and feed my soul was far greater than my penny-pinching-debt-pay-down ways.

Friday morning I had to drop my puppy off at the kennel. I always feel guilty about that, even if it’s only for a couple of nights. To ease my own guilt I took him for an early morning run. I reasoned he would be so exhausted from the run he wouldn’t have enough energy to give me his sad puppy eyes when I said good-bye at the kennel. For those of you not familiar with my puppy, here he is.

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At a little over 200 pounds he is not a lover of the run, but he does love me and if I want to run with him he will run with me, for at least a little while. I’ve pushed him to run 4 miles before, but his limit is really 2. Friday we ran just under 2 and he was beat. After drinking a bucket of water, he sprawled out on my bedroom floor while I showered and got ready. We went to the kennel and said our good-byes with a minimum of sad looks.

Then I was off to drive 3 hours to my girlfriends home in Terrabonne, or as she calls it “TerraBama.” The day was sunny, the drive was lovely and Mt. Hood was a spectacular site.

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I got to C’s house around 10:30 and while she and S finished getting ready I enjoyed a nice cup of hot tea while sitting by her koi pond.

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Later I sat in her backyard with Frank. C’s standard poodle. You would never know from this picture that just seconds before he was all in my face attacking me.

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C had purchased a month’s worth of groceries and after her husband helped us get them all out to the cars we headed to our final destination. Camp Sherman. We arrived a little before 2 and were allowed to check into our cabin a little early. When we got into the cabin we all just kind of stood there looking around in amazement. It was pretty spectacular. The photos online were nice, but actually standing in the cabin looking around was far, far better.

After dropping our things in our bedrooms we opened the French doors and lounged in the Adirondack chairs a few feet from the Metolius River and let the vacation begin. C (who is a master chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris), made Margaritas, fresh salsa and chocolate chip cookies in a matter of minutes. Instantly everything was right in the world.

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Later that evening we walked around Camp Sherman for a bit before we had dinner at the Kokanee Café.

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Dinner was to celebrate C’s 60th birthday that happened a couple months ago. The Kokanee Café was charming and even though we were in the middle of Central Oregon and the menu was pretty meat heavy I was able to enjoy a wonderful and oh-so-pretty beet salad.

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Then we went back to the cabin, sat on the deck and I drank my first glass of bourbon. “Drank” is probably not the right word, it was more like “sip, let it burn down my throat, and then sip again.” Needless to say I was ready for sleep after that.

Saturday morning I got up while the cabin was still quiet and put my running clothes on. It was a pretty, bright and sunny morning and I couldn’t wait to get out there and run. I ran away from the river first, along a bike trail. So, so pretty. Constant reminders of why I love Oregon so much.

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After that portion of my run I made my way to the bridge we had walked over the night before. I noticed there was a path that ran along both sides of the river so I followed the one on the right. It was amazing. I ran, walked, took pictures, ran some more and was happy to see other runners out.

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When I got back to the cabin the ladies were up and on the deck. C handed me a cup of tea and I sat for a while before I jumped in the shower. When I got dressed and came out into the living room I was taken by this view. I had to take a picture. So, so happy I decided to come and be a witness.

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We drove into Sisters and did some shopping.

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I bought some olives (LOVE) and some Strawberry infused balsamic vinegar and C & S bought some clothes. Headed back to Camp Sherman that afternoon C advised S and me that it was time to do some fishing. “If we must” was kind of the attitude S and I had, but since we were gathered to celebrate C, and she wanted to fish, we were fishing.

After we got to the location we had to put on waders and boots. It was painful. The boots were the right size but they seemed to squeeze my foot so painfully tight I could have cried. C swore it would be better as soon as I got in the water but I didn’t believe her. Still we joked and laughed and had the best time, all while preparing to do some fly fishing. It was so fun. Again, glad I had come.

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Then I stepped into the water and made my way out to the center of the river. Wow. I am not a fisherman. In fact, I don’t “GET” fishermen. I don’t understand why people fish. It seems boring, time consuming and silly. Um, until I found myself standing in the middle of this rushing river and loved it. Didn’t catch anything, in fact, I wasn’t really trying. Standing in the middle of the river as the water rushed around me, on a beautiful, sunny day brought a peace on me I had not experienced in quite some time. I loved it and while I won’t say that I’ll ever fly fish again, I will most definitely stand in the middle of a river with waders and boots on and hold a fishing pole, just to get that sensation back. Peace. Pure and simple.

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After that excursion we went back to the cabin to claim our spots on the back deck, eat munchies and I think I drank a beer as we watched the water. Later that evening C whipped up dinner and after it got dark we walked back to the Kokanee Café to sit in the bar and have a drink together. Wonderfulness.

While C & S were staying one more night, I was leaving on Sunday. I wanted to get back by 1 p.m. to pick up my puppy from the kennel so that required I leave shortly after 9. I got up early to run and say good-bye to Camp Sherman and the Metolius and again spend some time being grateful for my life.

When I got back to the cabin I enjoyed a cup of tea, jumped into the shower, passed out hugs and headed home. I made pretty good time considering I went home over the Santiam Pass, which is a two lane road with not enough passing lanes and way, way, way too many motorhomes traveling. Since I made good time I stopped in Salem to see my niece. Her and her fiancé have a dessert company and they were selling their products at the Salem Bite & Brew. She was surprised and happy to see me since it’s been awhile and she asked me to hang around for a bit because her mother would be arriving soon. It was worth the wait! I was thrilled to get to see and chat with my former sister-in-law. It had been about 6 years since I’d seen her last. After that reunion I got it in gear and went to pick up the puppy.

When I got home I put my stuff away and lounged in my quiet house reflecting on the weekend and the joy of friendship and family that will always be family regardless of circumstances. There is a lot going on in my life right now, but all things considered I have very little, if anything, to complain about. I’m happy, healthy and content with me. Can’t ask for much more.

C got us a gift to commemorate our trip at Camp Sherman. The bracelets have the longitude and latitude location of the cabin we stayed at. So unique and thoughtful.

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Until next time people! Be well!

For the last couple of days I’ve been thinking about NOT running the Boring Marathon. I’m not firm on that thought, but I’ve been thinking about it.

It’s an incredibly busy time at work, my school work load is high, having both of my boys in the house adds additional work and I just don’t know if I can successfully pull off training properly to run in 2 months. I haven’t been running what a training plan says I should, and when I do get out there I just want to run and not think about my time, distance, etc. I just want to enjoy running for the sake of running.

But a part of me says fuck it. Just do it.

I had originally planned to run Portland because RunnerGirl wanted me to since she’ll be back to do it again. While I love Portland, I don’t love the Portland Marathon and I won’t be running it. It’s too expensive for me and it always rains when I run it and I’d hate to bring rain unnecessarily since it was perfect and beautiful running weather last year. Instead I’ll stand on the sidelines and cheer as she passes and then Blue Eyes and I will meet her and her husband at a bar to drink alcohol. It’ll be better than last year because I wasn’t drinking when they were here. It’s safe to say that is not what’s going on in my life this year and I’ll be about the beer.

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My bestie and I live in the same town but have a hard time getting together with kid responsibilities, work, life. We try to get together once a month without fail and last night was the night. We hit McMenamins Roadhouse so I could get my hands on a bottle of their Sunflower IPA. I love Sunflowers and I love IPAs, so this beer was made for me. It’s only around for this month and it isn’t available on tap, only in the bottles AND they only had two bottles left. So I bought a bottle, but I drank something else while we were there.

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After we left the Roadhouse we went to Sasquatch Brewing. Blue Eyes and I went to this place last week and had the BEST experience. The waiter was cool, the place was cool, we were there for a couple of hours during the late happy hour and really enjoyed ourselves. It was really pleasant. I couldn’t wait to go back. Sadly, aside from the fact that I was hanging out with my bestie, the experience last night sucked. The waitress was a bitch with a nasty attitude and the bartender was even worse. We still had a good time, because that’s what we do, but it really soured me on the place and I’m not sure when I’ll want to go back. We are not lacking in Breweries and Taprooms in this area so there is no need to revisit a place that left a poor taste in my mouth. The beer I had at Sasquatch was a 10.2% ABV. Kinda left me needing to go home.

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So in addition to beer being a friend and just wanting to run for the sake of running, I’m debating the marathon.

This may sound weird. It sounds weird in my head. BUT I’m going to run long tomorrow, 17 or 18, and see how it feels. When I get back I’m going to go to a 7 a.m., Bikram class and meditate on how the long run felt and whether or not I should run Boring. I know. It’s weird, but I think the yoga in the hot-as-fuck-room will help clear my mind. And while truthfully I may not be able to think about the marathon as I’m in the room, my mind will be clear when I leave and I can contemplate it on the way home.

In other news…. I got my second tattoo. A sunflower. For those of you following along you know my first tat, a running chick, is on my left shoulder. That didn’t hurt really. I mean yeah, it hurt a little initially, but it didn’t really hurt. This one? Um, well, yeah. It hurt. A lot. Two days later and it still hurts, but I love it so much I don’t care about the pain. I love my tattoo artist and what she does — and this tat is fabulous.

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So that’s what I’ve got going on.

I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend and the weather is great where you are. It’s fantastic here in the Pacific Northwest and I’m loving it.

Peace!

Hello People!

Just popping in to say hello and post a kinda quick update –

Summer has arrived in the Pacific Northwest and it is quite simply beautiful.  While I am in love with the area in which I live and do not mind the rainy days, I am overjoyed when the sun pays us a long overdue visit and rejoice when it decides to stick around for a bit.  Portland, Oregon on a sunny day is undeniably exquisite!

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I still can’t believe its July already though.

Summer started with the oldest having foot surgery.  He handled it well.

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And even enjoyed and took advantage of the recovery period….

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Cast is off now and he’s in a boot so its almost over.  Yes.  I’m happy about that. 
I’m getting my second tat on the 18th!  Woot woot!  I’m excited.  It was supposed to be done at the end of May but with my son’s birthday and my stepdaughters birthday at that time I could not afford to get it done. 

I’m signing up for another marathon because I know I can do better than I did a few weeks ago.  The Boring Marathon will be September14th and I’m pretty excited about it.  Its new, its small and its in Boring! 

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Of course I need to pull my eating habits out of the toilet or I’ll find myself doing worse than Vancouver.  I also may need to end my relationship with IPA’s.  But only until after the run is done!

Going glamping with my girlfriends in a few weeks.  I don’t camp even though being outdoors is my favorite thing (next to sleeping) but I can glamp in s cabin with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances that sits right on the Metolious River with the best of them.

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That’s the cabin we’re staying in.

One of my girlfriends insists I will put waders on and cast a fishing pole out into the river on this trip.  I think she is mistaken.  I will let you know who turns out to be right.

Blue Eyes’ 30th high school reunion is the weekend I’m glamping.  He’s a little disappointed I won’t be attending with him.  Honestly I think I am too.  But its not like we’re married….. Oh, wait.  Scratch that.

Overall summer is looking great! July is good.  August I turn 48.  September I run another Marathon and the kids go back to school.  Awesome summer stuff right there.

For now I will just enjoy the sun and try not to melt… This is me melting as I drove home on Monday.  It was 100 with no wind. 

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Hope your summer plans are bright and happy…. 🙂