Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Little Notes

I'm in avoidance mode. I have several phone calls I need to make, I need to get ready for tomorrow (a 2 job 14 hour day), & I have some dishes to wash. I just finished making snickerdoodles to take in to work tomorrow for a co-workers birthday. Since I'm the only girl I try to bring in a some goodies to help celebrate the birthdays. Actually, it's been so fun to make them. My parents have been in the process of remodeling their kitchen so I haven't really been able to cook much for a long time. Tonight I made the cookies in the new kitchen! I'll have to post before & after pics soon. I've got to get my digital camera back from my sister's kitchen counter where I left it this weekend.
This evening I received a tremendous blessing at prayer meeting. My pastor asked me recently if I would be willing to do a Bible study/discipleship thing with a girl who got saved a couple of years ago & has been coming to our church really faithfully ever since. We met for the first time tonight. I'm really excited about it. I'm getting the opportunity to know her better, I'm being challenged myself through a new channel of accountability, & I know the Lord has many things He wants to show us. Such good stuff!
I also found out today that b/c I am an employee of Cardinal Health, I get a 15% discount on my Verizon Cell phone. Yahoo!
All right, it's almost 11...time to get to work on my chores. Does anyone else out there get tired of the constant maintenance of life? I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I think maintenance is the gist of the curse. Leave things alone & they do not stay the same; things will dissolve into utter chaos. Already the level of fitness that I had attained for the Indy Mini is slipping. I haven't been able to keep up with the 20 + miles a week that it takes to 'maintain' that level. If you add up all the time it takes to maintain our bodies - feed them, clothe them, remove hair, style hair, on & on & on. If only we didn't have that (or vehicle maintenance - don't even get me started on that one! or relationship there's another doozy!) stuff to take up our time & money - wahoo! What a wonderful world! Not that I'm complaining...I'm just musing. And now it's off to work *sigh* then sweet dreams for me...for at least 5 hours :-)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Yay! I've been tagged! Now I'm supposed to list 8 interesting/weird facts about myself. Thanks to Alicia for tagging me (maybe that should be #1 on my list - I actually like being tagged, but it makes me feel a little more a part of the blogging community). Here goes...

1. I have lots & lots of gray hair already so I get it colored on a regular basis. I've been everything from almost totally blond to dark brunette to very red (but not Ronald McDonald red). I'm also kind of like cats & dogs; when I get really stressed I loose a lot of hair. That can be scary when it goes on for a while.

2. I have lots of weird eating habits. I love ketchup on tuna. I also love cottage cheese, celery, & black beans rolled up into a whole wheat tortilla. Yum!

3. I almost always drink at least 8 cups of water daily. Usually a little more (unless I'm driving in the car for hours).

4. I have a terrible time with my ears when I fly. I have to use those Ear Planes ear plug things & I still can't hear when the flight is over. Totally killed all my aspirations of being a flight attendant.

5. I love crossword puzzles & word searches. I know that totally contradicts my cool girl image, but it's true. But I hate board (read, 'bored') games/card games. Short attention span or something.

6. I'm totally OCD about some things... for example, the vacuum cleaner cord must always be looped around the hooks properly, not just looped over the handle & dragging all over the floor.

7. I've dated lots of delivery men (could this be just b/c they are the only new guys I seem to meet?). From FedEx to even a couple truck drivers (this is not as bad as it seems; one is the son of a pastor I know & respect, the other was just a bit of a mistake but still a respectable guy). I have forever sworn off dating any more men who regularly say, "Please sign here," & hand you a little plastic stylus.

8. I am extremely cold natured most of the time. That can make it really miserable to work with 7 men. It's not uncommon to see me at work any time of the year wearing a big fleece hoodie (sometimes even over the top of a wool sweater!) drinking a cup of coffee.

Now I'm supposed to tag 8 people to continue this craziness. Problem is, I don't think I have 8 people reading my blog! So here goes...Erin, Bekah, & Adele - you're all tagged! Plus, I'm totally calling you out, Andy! Amoke' has ratted on you & I know you read this blog to keep tabs on my life. So it's time to get a google sign-on & start leaving your comments, massive lurker! You can start by listing 8 things about yourself (or list 8 things about Amoke'; maybe then she'll read my blog, too!). Adam, I think you're lurking out there, too. And anyone else...time to get posting & let me know you've been here!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Random Things I Love...

*I love talking to my grandma. I've got her on the phone right now & I'm wishing her a happy 85th birthday! She's such a steady, precious testimony to me & I love her so much. I love my grandpa, too. I can hear him in the background practicing his saxophone. So cute.
*I love Daylight Savings Time. I used to be a staunch opponent of switching times b/c I liked how Indiana was different from everyone else (I know, kind of silly). Anyway, I am totally in love with the fact that I can go running at 8:30 at night & still have enough daylight to get in 4 miles. Added bonus = the light is dusky enough that (I hope) passersby can't really see me totally lip syncing to my music :-)
*I love the fact that I live right in town, but I still can go only 2 blocks & see bunny rabbits out getting their evening munchies.
*I love hot bubble baths after a long hot run.
*I love having all my stuff put away & my space all dusted & swept (I hate the process & it doesn't happen often enough, but I love the end result).
*I love SheDaisy. I know, I know Goat Rope (aka, Country) music is not a fabulous genre, but with lyrics that go like this - "Twirl me like a trailer park in a tornado!" - how can you not just crack up!
*I love my ipod. It was an impulse, retail therapy kind of purchase, but I love the fact that it has over 2,900 songs on it. I can literally set it on shuffle & listen to it for days & not hear the same song twice. That's good stuff.
*I love "The Pirates of the Caribbean" & I am totally excited about Part III. I know the critics were disappointed in it, but who cares! Jack Sparrow is in it (& I know you all think I'm loopy for liking Johnny Depp, but I just can't help it!).
*Most of all, I love this blessed life the Lord has given me. When I really ponder the gifts He has bestowed upon me - salvation, family, a wonderful church, the opportunities to serve Him, & so on - I am filled with gratitude. What a loving God He is!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I did it!

Today I actually followed through on something I have been planning for almost a year. I rode my bike to work. I know that doesn't sound like such a big deal & why would I need to plan so much & so on. I bought a bike last summer with the intention of getting down to South Carolina at least one time to mountain bike with some friends down there. I was also planning on biking some & not running quite so much (especially in the really hot days of summer). I never made it to South Carolina but I did ride my bike a lot last summer. Over the winter I started thinking about parking the car & trying to bike more instead of drive. What all does that entail? I needed equipment (helmet, lock, lights). I got most of that for Christmas. I also needed to plan my route. The city completed a major bike path over the winter that takes me at least 1/3 of the way to work. I drove around a bit last week & came up with a route (the way there is different from the way home because of the traffic patterns). Autumn & I made a test run this past Saturday. It's about 9 miles round trip. We completed the run without any mishaps. So this morning I set out at 6:15 a.m. One good thing about having an early work schedule is the traffic is a lot lighter! I only had one snag. On the last leg of my route I have to cross Highway 41. It's 6 lanes in this particular spot but I didn't think it would be any problem because there is a traffic light. The only difficulty was that there was no traffic going my way; I had no way to trip the light. I sat there for a couple of minutes (long enough to get a bit antsy) & finally squeaked through on a turn arrow cycle. Tomorrow morning I'm going to go a bit out of the way to a different crossing that should have a little more cross traffic. We'll see how that goes.
I was blessed several different ways today on my ride. First of all, I was able to get up & out the door on time. For those of you who know me well, you understand that such a simple thing for most people is an act of God for me (I don't know what I'll do if I ever get married & have kids!). Then I didn't get railroaded on the way to work or the way home. That's practically unheard of in my town. Also, I noticed things that I've never noticed before. I drive these roads all the time - some of them literally every day, but since I had to take a slower pace I saw all kinds of things. It made me wonder, what else do I need to be slowing down to notice? I enjoy a busy schedule; hectic is my pace. But is that really how I should be? What is the Lord trying to show me or teach me that I'm missing because I have my head down, getting this thing done so I can move on to the next thing on the list? As I was enjoying the hot sunshine on the way home I couldn't help but mull these things over. I was also thinking about how easy it is to drown out the Lord's still small voice with the noise of my life. It's possible to never be quiet - & I don't just mean that I talk too much (which is probably true). I mean all kinds of noise from TV & music to conversations that are not glorifying to God.
All in all, I think it was a profitable ride; I think I'll do it again tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Our Last Day on Oahu

Sad but true, all good things must come to an end. We wrapped up our Hawaiian vacation with one more day on Oahu. Autumn really wanted to go to Pearl Harbor. I agreed that it was very important & even though I had already been there, that was where we started our day. Pearl Harbor is a very hard place to visit. It is so historically important but it is an incredibly sobering experience. We threw a little levity into the mix by getting our pic taken with some sailors (totally Autumn's idea!).
From Pearl Harbor we head to the Pali Outlook. It's the top of a cliff where a huge battle took place a long time ago (I'm saying it all so vaguely so that I don't have to try to spell any more Hawaiian names...they're hard!). Anyway, the view is spectacular.
Then we went to Kailua. Autumn managed to really provoke a little Asian woman with her driving. There were lots of hand gestures & meanie looks thrown our way. Quite scary. Anyway, we made it to Kailua on the windward side of the island & as you can tell from the pics, this side is much more lush than Waianae. The water is an incredible teal color. We had lunch at a very nice restaurant (I ordered some kind of Asian salad & I have no idea what I really ate, but it was very good & let me tell you, I'm getting skills with the old chop sticks!). Then we went to the beach for a quick swim. I love the water so much...we wrapped our day up with a little more shopping & then it was back to Cody's to pack up. We flew out that night & I've been dreaming about going back ever since!
Mahalo to Justin & Cody for showing us such a great time! Until the next time...aloha!


Right now Maui is my favorite island. Maybe it's b/c I've been to Oahu 3 times; maybe it's b/c I only got to spend one day there; maybe it b/c it's the only island with a Krispy Kreme. I'm not sure, but I do know that I really want to go back.
Since we only had one day to experience Maui we tried to be really smart about what activity we chose. Lindsay, one of Cody's roommates, decided to come with us (& we're so glad she did!). We flew in, picked up our rental car, & headed to K-Mart for some munchies.
We stopped in Paia for a little window shopping. We found a shop with a Santa Claus outside it's front door & stopped for a photo op. A kind, golden Australian surfer boy stopped to take the pic for us. Such nice people in Hawaii! :-)
We had decided that we would drive the Road to Hana with the help of Cody's tour book, "Maui Revealed". This is an excellent book that I would wholeheartedly recommend. Armed with granola bars, raisins, water, & m&m's, we hit the road (this food came in so handy later!).
The Road to Hana is about 40 miles of road cut into the mountainside along the coast. It is very windy & has more one lane bridges than I could count. Thankfully I was the only one in our group who has any tendency towards motion sickness so I could drive the whole way & we all were able to ride in comfort. Autumn kept tabs on the book & told me where to pull over. We saw Rainbow Eucalyptus trees (they only grow on Maui - nowhere else on earth) & we saw waterfalls. The first falls was a quick 3 minute hike down a little path. We were higher than the falls & looked over a valley to see it on the other side. So beautiful & it was really cool because we could hear it before we could see it. We hopped back in the car & headed out to find another falls that promised to be private & lacey - definitely worth the hike. We found the spot, locked up the car (toting our purses with us b/c of the theft problems) & ran into some people just coming back from the falls. They promised us that it was worth the hike. We discovered minutes later that we would be hopping boulders the whole way. After about 30 minutes of rock hopping in flip flops we reached the falls. So beautiful & lacy. Water trickling down so far to land in a deep almost completely still pool. The falls was so high that I couldn't really take a picture of the whole thing. We managed to make it all the way in & out without any real mishaps. I thought we were going to have to piggy-back Autumn out more than once b/c her flip flops kept having blow-outs!
We then headed to Hana & the black sand beach. The contrast between the almost navy blue water & the black sand was remarkable. To say it was beautiful just doesn't even begin to describe it.
We wandered into Hana hoping to grab some dinner before turning around & heading for the airport. I was starting to feel a bit of time crunch b/c it would have been BAD if we had missed our flight. So we ended up at a mom & pop kind of restaurant w/ a walk-up order window & outside eating area. Lindsay ordered a sandwich (which she got right away) while Autumn & I ordered the dinner special. We waited for something like 20 minutes & still no food. Long story short, Hawaiian people are sometimes too laid back. They had put our order together & just not bothered to give it to us. I got a refund (no way could I eat it & drive). We loaded into the car & headed back to the airport while I munched on a granola bar :-) But we didn't miss our flight!

The Island of Kauai

Also known as Justin's Island. Or so he thinks just because he's working for the District Attorney's Office there. Anyway, we caught a morning flight to Kauai on Tuesday. We landed & picked up our rental jeep - a hard top model that we put together & took apart more times than I care to mention, but it was so fun to drive. I wanted to come home & sell my Corolla immediately & get a Jeep. Then the reality of gas prices being $3.49/gallon set in. Moving on...
We drove across the street from the airport & saw the new court house where Justin will have an office. Then we crossed the street again to see where he would be living. The dude doesn't even need a car - he can bike everywhere!
We commenced to take a whirlwind driving tour of the island. I can't even tell you where all we went, but it was great. Kauai is very rural; the total population is somewhere around 60,000 people & 74,000 chickens & roosters. They are seriously everywhere.
We hiked back to a waterfall on a river. It was very pretty & very much reminded me some places here in Indiana. It's funny how I traveled half way around the world to see something different & I was elated to find a place that looked like home.
We hit the town of Hanalei (made famous by the song "Puff the Magic Dragon"). That was where I made my total impulse purchase of a Sunrise Shell necklace. It's absolutely beautiful. The strand of the necklace is made of Niihau shells & the pendant is one full half of a sunrise shell. These shells are only found on Kauai so they are very rare & valuable - at least to me :-)
We also went to the Pali Coast. We had to 4 wheel it for about 35 minutes to reach this beach. Once we got there we decided it was totally worth it. Note - Justin wanted to camp out on this beach that night. Autumn & I decided a hotel was worth the $35 or so each. Anyway, we walked for ever just enjoying the surf & good conversation among friends. I found one stack of rocks. The Hawaiians believe that there are evil little people (Menehune) who stack up the stones. If you knock them over you will be cursed. Kind of like their version of leprechauns & pots of gold. While we were walking on this beach we ran into a group of nekkies. The first time I've ever seen nude people at the beach. Yikes!
We also stopped by a resort to check out prices for one night. $540! And it was off season. We decided not to stay there (big surprise!). But we did hang out for a while & checked out their beach front, pools, etc. Are you familiar with the movie, "Six Days, Seven Nights" with Harrison Ford & Anne Heche? In that movie they are marooned on a deserted island & have to jump off of a cliff into the ocean to escape some drug smugglers. We saw that cliff. Justin has actually jumped off of it. I sat on the edge. I'm just not too nervy sometimes :-)
Justin warned us that all of Kauai rolls up at 9 o'clock. I wasn't sure I believed him until I realized that literally the only thing to do that evening was languish in our hotel room or go see "Blades of Glory". We elected to go for the movie. Although funny, I wouldn't truly recommend it; something about Will Ferrell gives me the shivers.
Kauai definitely has a pristine, unsettled beauty that Oahu seems to have lost. I loved it b/c it was kind of hickish & hippy-ish. I'm glad I have connections on this island now, too!

Aloha Days Part II

Finally getting back to blogging & my smurfy vacation. Let's see...we're up to Monday on Oahu. Autumn & I rented a car & headed into Waikiki on our own. We didn't have any issues figuring out where to go - we were headed for some shopping! The plan for the day was to see the waterfront, shop, & hike Diamond Head. We stocked up on souvenirs & we were ambushed by a Maui Divers Jewelry salesman at the International Market. I got suckered into picking an oyster to open for a pearl. I ended up finding twins in my oyster. Then Autumn got going. I think in all she got about 6 pearls. I got 4 (2 sets of twins). Then we had to decide how to set them. I didn't have too much trouble deciding how to set them (I'm kind of opinionated since I worked in jewelry sales for 5 years); I just had trouble deciding if I wanted to spend the money. Autumn had trouble making decisions of all kinds. So we were there for quite a while. In the midst of all this I turned around to look for an ABC Store (I seriously need a Diet Coke) & you will never guess who walked by - Ed from the plane! He was headed back to his hotel after surfing. He stopped & helped Autumn make her decisions & then he hung out with us for the rest of the afternoon. Then we left Waikiki to hike Diamond Head. Ed wanted us to come back & have dinner with him & his buddies before heading to the airport for home. We agreed on the condition that the guys didn't show their appall at our post-hike state :-)
As the pics show, the view from Diamond Head was fabulous. I love going to place like that at the close of day. The light is so golden. The hike was fabulous - not too challenging at all. I would like to go back & trail run it. The worst part was the stairs. They were steep & scary. It was very windy at the top & even though I look all relaxed in the pics, I was so ready to get down. I felt like I was going to get blown off!
We drove back down to Waikiki & met up with the guys. We met Ken & Joe. I asked Ken where we were going to eat & he told me we were going to go to a place called Ryan's in Ala Moana. He explained that it was a chain kind of place & we would probably just order a bunch of pupu & share. Hmmm...I was thinking, I do not like Ryan's Steak & Buffet (something about all you can eat is just gross) & I was totally sure I didn't want any pupu! Actually, it was a very nice restaurant & pupu means 'appetizers'. We had a very nice dinner & then dropped Ed & Lee off at the airport.
Back to Waianae to get some rest for the flight to Kauai on Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Aloha Days on Oahu Part I

Yay! I successfully put together my first slide show! All in all I took 187 pictures over the course of my trip to Hawaii. I won't bore you with them all, but I will highlight the major things we did.

We left the Indy airport on Friday morning and arrived in Honolulu at about 5:30 that evening. I had a voicemail from Cody when we landed to let me know that they were all tied up in a soccer game so I could just rent a car and drive on out to Waianae. Well, that thought had crossed my mind but I knew we wouldn't really need a car until Monday so I wasn't too excited about the idea. Never fear, Autumn's outgoing personality had made friends with a guy who sat by us on the plane and the buddy that came to pick him and his friend up was more than happy to give us a lift. Getting in cars with total strangers (three men at that!) is not my normal behavior but we took a chance and arrived safely. They even fed us once we got there. It was sushi and mostly inedible to me but Autumn liked it.

Saturday morning Autumn and I walked down to the beach and took some pictures and let the sun soak in. It was so nice. That night was the Kokua Festival. It's basically a big outdoor concert to promote environmental protection for the islands. I just wanted to see Jack Johnson. If you're not familiar with his music I would describe him to you as mostly acoustic, kind of a laid back Hawaiian sounding James Taylor. You should check him out; he's one of my faves.

So, great concert & then off to church the next morning. Then we hit the Aloha Swap Meet (kind of like a Hawaiian Covered Bridge Festival) followed by a fast tour of the North Shore. I included a picture of Pipeline Beach. That's where they hold the big annual surf competitions. The water was so rough that day that the lifeguards wouldn't let you in the water unless you looked local (i.e. you couldn't be a white dude!). We hit Matsumoto's Shave Ice in Haliewa on the way back. It's a must for any visit to the North Shore. Always get ice cream with it and someday I'm going to have to go back and try it with beans, too.

That pretty much covers Friday through Sunday. I'll get back with you bit by bit and post the rest of the trip. I promise, it gets better & better!

The Indianapolis Mini Marathon

I know everyone wants stories and pictures of Hawaii, but I only have a couple of minutes so I'll fill you in on the race. This past Saturday we lined up for a 13.1 run. Crazy as it may seem, I had so much fun! Autumn & I cruised together running and walking for the first ten miles. That got us past innumerable garage bands, a couple groups of bag pipers and cheerleaders, and around the world famous Indianapolis 500 Race Track. That part is always my favorite. At the 10 mile mark we split up and I fairly sprinted the last 3 miles. I felt really good and my foot wasn't bothering me at all (praise the Lord!). We wrapped up the day with dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, I wasn't sore at all the next day (although very tired), & I'm all pumped for next year! Anybody want to do it with me???
Here are my stats:

Overall Place: 18967 out of 29213
Division Place: 1817 out of 2831 (Ages 25-29)
Gender Place: 8073 out of 15245
Time: 2:39:41 (you can subtract about 8 minutes for bathroom breaks, believe it or not!)
Pace: 12:12
5 Mile Split: 1:00:48
10 Mile Split: 2:08:07
Last 5k: 31:34

Friday, May 4, 2007


Those of you who know Mike Manor will recongize his song, "She'll Be Coming Round Honolulu When She Comes" in my title. Every time I say, "Aloha!" I think of singing that silly song. So much fun.
Anyway, I made it back from Hawaii & we had a super fabulous time. I'll have to get some pics & stories posted ASAP. Let's just say that the tan, relaxed me barely made it through the jet lag. I started the week off by patching up a relationship that almost completely imploded over the course of my trip (some of you know what that it all about!), working both jobs my first two days back, easing back into a little bit of running, & taking my turn cleaning our church (with my sister's help). Whew! And tomorrow is THE RACE! I would like to say that I'm super excited, but I'm a little tired, I have the sniffles, & my leg is still misbehaving. I'm also a little concerned about the weather b/c it's supposed to be in the 50's & rainy. Like a typical girl, I just don't know how to dress! Running shorts/pants/capris? My running team's singlet (basically a tank top) w/ a long sleeved T over or under it? The options are mind boggling. Autumn & I are headed to Fazoli's to carb load & then we'll head over to Indy to stay with Heidi & Dave. I'm so excited to see them and the boys! Heidi is getting so cute with her pregnancy tummy...yeah, now I'm getting excited. I'd better get done with this little post and start packing!
I'll let you know if I run across the finish line or if I have to do it gimping or crawling!