Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: A Year in Review

I honestly can not believe that 2010 is already coming to an end. This year has been full of ups and downs, excitement, some tears and disappointment, lots of laughter, love, and many many great times!

I think it's safe to say that I can post 2010 stats because from the looks of this storm, I don't think I will ge to the gym tomorrow, but if I do I will make changes where necessary...

2010 Stats:
Run - 378.08 miles
........ 304.39 miles in 2009
Bike - 1260.64 miles ..... 1036.16 miles in 2009
Swim - 64,400 Yds ........ 110,350 Yds in 2009

When you look at these numbers, you can obviously say that running and biking increased in 2010, and swimming decreased from 2009 to 2010 ... but I am happy that I got into a routine of incorporating more strength training, stretching, core work, in addition to a yoga/pilates class here and there. Without those things, I don't think I would have been able to recover from that nasty knee issue!

Asside from the stats, let's take a look at all many things that occured in 2010!
  • Started dating the BF in January
  • A friend's fun birthday party in Downtown Minneapolis
  • Welcome home party for the BIL - returning from duty in Iraq (for good)
  • A few sessions of adult swim team
  • Indoor triathlon in May
  • A couple bridal showers
  • attended 6 different weddings
  • Two Twins games at the new Target Field
  • Two camping trips with the BF and friends
  • Bret Michael's concert
  • A long trip with the BF to San Diego!
  • Volunteering for the Fargo Youth Run
  • Participating in the Fargo Marathon Challenge - completing both 5K and 10K
  • A Sprint Triathlon in June - Average Joe
  • Women's Triathlon in Minneapolis in August
  • Bachelorette party in Wisconsin
  • Brad Paisley concert in October
  • Full Moon 5K in November
  • Vikings game vs. AZ Cardinals
  • Sioux Hockey game with the BF and family
  • Jingle Bell 5K in December
  • My 30th birthday -- two birthday parties, one a surprise by the BF!
  • Mannheim Steamroller concert
I am sure I am missing a handful of important dates as it has been quite an eventful year and I have loved almost every minute of it! I can only imagine what 2011 has to offer! I need to start putting together ideas for 2011 and hope to get them posted up here soon!

How has 2010 treated you?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

Day 4: Christmas Lights

I remember helping mom decorate the Christmas tree each year, reminiscing over our childhood ornaments - the ones we made at school and the ones we got as gifts. Usually, our Christmas tree was lit up with white lights and I would love to sneak upstairs to sleep on the couch next to the lit up tree. It was such a warm and fuzzy feeling. In fact, there were times where I would come home from college and would rather curl up on the couch in front of the tree than sleep in my own bed...

For many years, my two sisters, parents, and I, would climb into the vehicle and drive around town for hours looking at Christmas lights. We had a few regular spots that we had to hit every year because the entire street was decked out in lights or decorations. We would listen to Mannheim Steamroller, or Lori Line, while driving around, taking in the beautiful holiday sights. This is probably one of my favorite holiday memories.

There's just something magical and beauitful about the Christmas lights.

Monday, December 20, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

Day 6: Holiday Baking

This is one of my favorite things about the holidays! I always like to make a handful of different things to share with family, friends, and co-workers. I have a few things I like to make every year, but like to try new things from time to time.

This weekend I feel like I spent a great deal of time baking, but didn't do too many different things. I guess a few of the things I chose to make this weekend were a bit more tedious and time consuming.

I made turtles, white almond bark covered pretzels, peanut butter cups, molasses crinkles, and attempted to make my grandma's angel candy. I have never made anything before that has required a candy thermometer, but I am bound and determined to perfect my angel candy making skills. I tried 3 times and the 3rd time was by far the best.

On the down side, I forgot I left one of my burners on my glass stove top on medium heat Saturday afternoon. Thus, I went to brush off some pretzel crumbs and wiped my left hand completely across the burner. It hurt so bad, but it doesn't look as nearly bad as it felt for the past couple of days. Just a handful of small blisters (no pun intended) and a lot of leathery looking skin, that's all. Geepers.

Day 5: snow, Snow, SNOW!

Another winter storm is rolling through. There's just something about having a fresh coat of white snow on the ground to put one in the holiday spirits! I can't imagine celebrating Christmas without snow. However, I can do without the 6-8 inches predicted for this storm. But, I wouldn't mind a late start for school tomorrow. Please don't wish for a cancellation for us, otherwise we will have to make it up!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

Day 7: Favorite Gifts for an Athlete

If you're looking for gifts for a triathlete (or running) in your life, here's a list of things I would love to receive that might help you!

1. running clothes - shorts, shirts, sports bras, tights, etc.
2. TYR swimsuit
3. Brooks Trance running shoes
4. cycling jerseys - there's a saweet UND Sioux one at Scheels!
5. Clif Bars, Gu, or ZipFizz
6. Coupon for 1 session of adult swim team/masters
7. Yoga mat, yoga bag, medicine ball, exercise bands
8. cycling shoes
9.Foam roller and The Stick
10. Registration for an event in 2011!

What other gifts do you think would be great for an athlete?

Friday, December 17, 2010

12 Days of Christmas

Day 8: Puzzles

Growing up, my mom would take some time off work to stay with us girls while we were home on Christmas vacation. I have fond memories of spending hours and hours, for days and days, working on puzzles with 500 pieces.

Now, as I have my own classroom, I have a lot of hand-me-down puzzles, and I am constantly amazed at how excited my students get when I give them a few minutes here and there to work on a puzzle. They will ask me all the time if they can work on one. So many kids these days spend hours and hours in front of the tv or video games and don't own a single puzzle.....

Working on puzzles over the holiday break was such a great bonding moment with my mom.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 9

Day 9: Favorite Treats

1. Frosted cut-out cookies - I have many memories of baking and frosting cut-out cookies. I am sure my sisters would say I was quite bosy with the frosting and letting them know how it should be done "the right way".

2. Mom's homemade caramel corn - it's the perfect mix of popcorn, peanuts, and caramel. It's very light and crunchy and with just the right amount of caramel!

3. Grandma's (and Mom's) chocolate caramels - My Grandma always made amazing homemade caramels and wrapped them in wax paper. My mom makes them every year, and last weekend my Grandpa reminded me that my mom's caramels are perfect, just like my Grandma's were...

4. Homemade Peanut Butter Cups - chocolate, peanut butter, butter, and sugar. Any problems with that?

5. White Chocolate covered pretzels - with red and green sprinkles (must use holiday shaped pretzels!)

6. Cinnamon flavored hard candy - Grandma made the best.

7. Spritz cookies - mmmm.

8. Chex Mix - there's just something so good about this salty mixture of cereal, pretzels, and nuts. My favorite are the cheerios!

9. chocolate covered peanuts - chocolate and peanuts, need I say more?

10. Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies - I have never made these, but they are at almost every holiday gathering and so delish. I love the soft chewy ones!

What are some of your favorite holiday treats?

Past Few Posts:
Day 10 - This or That? Holiday Survey
Day 11 - Favorite Christmas Movies
Day 12 - Favorite Christmas Tunes

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10

12 Days of Christmas: Day 10 - This or That?

This is a survey that I have seen out in blogland a few times this past week. I figured I would use it for one of my days of Christmas! Feel free to play along!

1. Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Christmas Eve was usually the day we opened our gifts growing up. I like the idea of opening up most gifts on Christmas Eve, just my sisters and my parents, and then enjoying the rest of the evening and Christmas day with the extended family.

2. Giving or receiving? I love, love, LOVE giving and finding the perfect gift for people... sometimes it makes me go crazy though, becuase I have a hard time deciding!

3. Real or artificial tree? I love real trees. My parents have gotten real ones for the past few years, and those Frasur Furs smell wonderful. The mess of pine needles is so worth the smell real trees give!

4. Angel or star tree topper? This one is a hard decision. I would have to go with Star, just because I have a really pretty one for the top of my tree and love it.

5. White or colored lights? Depends. I remember when my mom started decorating two trees. The upstairs tree was bigger with white lights and crocheted angles and pretty decorations. The downstairs tree was smaller, but had all of our kids ornaments (bought and homemade) on them with colored lights. I would like to be able to do both!

6. Tinsel or garland? Garland. I have it on my banister and above my cupboards, wrapped in white lights. Love it.

7. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Definitely wrapping paper. However, I lose patience with ribbons and bows, because they all fall off and get destroyed in my years of transporting them home. I have memories of my mom taking my gifts and adding a "little extra" before giving them. :)

8. Stockings: Before or after presents? After, preferably on Christmas Day morning since we usually opened most of our gifts Christmas Eve.

9. Snow or no snow? MUST HAVE SNOW ON CHRISTMAS! I couldn't do it any other way. It's just so magical! However, I can do without the 20 inches we got last Christmas Eve, that kept us home and not able to travel to visit family.

10. Candy canes: Eating or Decorating? EATING!

11. Hot chocolate, apple cider, or eggnog? I will pass on all three. Ask me if I want a Tom and Jerry and I am all over that!

12. Cookies: sugar or gingerbread? Sugar cookies... unless they are soft gingersnaps.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Countdown - Day 11

If you missed Day 12 of the 12 Days of Christmas, click here!

Day 11: Favorite Christmas Movies
(number 1 and 2 tie for first)

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
2. Elf
3. White Christmas
4. The Polar Express
5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (w/Jim Carrey)
6. The Santa Clause
7. Home Alone 1 & 2
8. Prancer
9. It's a Wonderful Life
10. Miracle on 34th Street

I think I could watch all of these movies over and over again! What's your favorite Holiday movies?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Birthday (cont.) & 12 Days of Christmas!

Things have been crazy busy around here! I posted last week a little bit about my 30th birthday celebration the weekend prior. After a weekend of fun, I had a long week at work with two nights of parent-teacher conferences, but still found time to celebrate my birthday at work and afterwards with a beverage.

THEN, Friday I headed home to what I thought was going to be a christmas get-together with the BF's family and was surprised by a double birthday celebration with his family, my parents, sister, some relatives, and friends! The BF's brother-in-law also turns 30 this month! I think we were both shocked! I know I was! It was so much fun!

THEN, Saturday night, the BF and I had dinner with my 'rents before heading off to the Mannheim Steamroller Concert! So much fun! I am so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful family and friends. And, in the words of my sister - the BF definitely has won the award for BF of 2010! I am so lucky!

In hopes of not letting the stress of work take the fun of the holidays out of me, I am starting to celebrate the holiday with my own 12 Days of Christmas. For the next 12 days, I am going to do daily posts about my favorite things about the holidays. Anyone is more than welcome to play along.

Day 12: Favorite Christmas Songs
(in no particular order, except for number 1)

1. O Holy Night - John Berry, Josh Groban, Mannheim Steamroller
2. White Christmas - Bing Crosby
3. Joy to the World - Mannheim Steamroller
4. Carol of the Bells - Lori Line
5. Jingle Bell Rock
6. Baby It's Cold Outside
7. Silent Night
8. Drummer Boy - Mannheim Steamroller
9. The Grinch Song
10. Deck the Halls - Mannheim Steamroller

Mannheim Steamroller probably shows up quite a bit in my list since I just saw them live this past weekend, but they are great! Here's a Christmas light show video that goes along with Mannheim Steamroller's "Hallelujah" song. ENJOY!

What are your favorite Holiday songs?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jingle Bell 5K and CELEBRATION!

Jingle Bell 5K!
Last Saturday J and I participated in the Jingle Bell 5K for the 3rd year in a row. Sistah Steph was supposed to join us, but weather promitted her from getting to Fargo Friday night (booh).

Two years ago, it was freezing. Last year, it was freezing. And this year, it was still freezing but not as cold as the past couple of years! We were going to do cute holiday outfits, but never had the time to do it, so our outfits weren't anything too special - besides our faux fur knee length holiday socks.

This was my best Jingle Bell 5K out of the three and I felt really good when I finished. The start wasn't too pretty, as the street was covered in slushy-sand-filled-snow. But, once we were on the path it was better - but crowded.

Let's compare the results:
2008: 39:16 (4 degrees with 10-15 mgh winds)
2009: 38:39 (5 degrees with 12 mph winds)
2010: 38:05 (11 degrees with a slight breeze)

Overall, it was pretty fun and I hope to do it again next year. It's become quite the tradition!

3oth Birthday Party!
Saturday afternoon, my sister, brother-in-law, and another couple made it to town in time for my birthday celebration! The six of us shared some laughes and drinks over a few card games before heading off to meet the rest of the gang for dinner.
We had dinner reservations for Kobe's Japanese Cuisine. If you have never been to one, it is definitely a must. The food is wonderful and the entertainment is awesome! We all had our share of saki and moonshine - squirted directly into our mouths by our wonderful chef - the caucasian sensation!
After dinner a handful of us celebrated with saki bombs and I got to enjoy some fried ice cream!
From there we ventured over to a friends house to enjoy some drinks, conversation and play games. They had the XBOX Connect and that was supper fun!
My sister, friend, and BF did a great job putting together the evening's events. I am truly blessed and spoiled to be surrounded by such wonderful people! This has been the best 30th birthday, EVAH!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

HBBC: week 2 update

Let's take a look at week two of the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge:

Saturday, Nov. 27: 0 pts
no workout

Sunday, Nov. 28: 0 pts
no workout

Monday, Nov. 29: 5 pts
Run - 1.3 mi
BODYPUMP - 1 hour

Tuesday, Nov. 30: 7 pts
Run 1.7 mi
Bike 12 mi
SSC - 20 min
7 F/V

Wednesday, Dec. 1: 1 pts
7 F/V

Thursday, Dec. 2: 5 pts
Run 3 miles
SSC -20 min
7 F/V

Friday, Dec. 3: 7 pts
Bike - 15 mi
SSC - 20 min
7 F/V

First week total: 19 pts

Second week total: 25 pts

Subtotal: 44 pts

Definitely better than week one. Still trying really hard to get in the 7 Fruits and Veggies. This coming week is going to be a bit challenging with all that's going on with work (2 days of evening conferences) and finishing up my final project for a grad class. Should be interesting!