D&D

Oh wow, a whole 3 months have gone by.  I promise, it’s me, not you.  A lot has been going on in my world the past few months, and I am summing them up with D&D.  No, not Dungeons and Dragons.  And no, not a misspelling of my bra’s cup size.

It’s sort of a bad news/good news thing, so I’ll start with the bad so it can end on a high note.

D #1 = Divorce.  Yup, who knew? I hope you understand that I don’t want to get into details because writing them isn’t fun and I’m pretty sure reading them isn’t either.  But, it’s a part of my life and will be shaping a lot for me as a single mom. He left the state to be with his new love and I don’t have family in the area, but I DO have a lot of friends and a great network of support I can lean on if I need to.  So, I imagine this is the best for both of us now.  Make no mistake – I don’t hate him.  I’m disappointed, but all I want is for everyone I know to be happy, and if this is what it takes, then so be it.

Enough of that, right?!  On to the good news!

D #1 = Darden!  That’s right – after a freakishly challenging MBA program, I graduated last month!  That, my friends, has been the biggest reason for my long absence – between work and school, I barely had time to breath, much less cook consistently and blog.

But, while I’m filling up my newfound free time in some creative ways, it’s also nice to now I’ll have the time to focus on getting my blog rolling once again.

I admit that in April and much of May, I didn’t eat too much.  Not a good thing – and not healthy – just couldn’t.  Thankfully, as life is developing a routine, my appetite is slowly coming back.  Lot’s of good things like smoothies, salads, stir fries, and wine 😉

I also spent many early morning’s in April and May (like 3am morning) going on what I lovingly referred to as “rage runs”.  Mainly because it sounded fun, but it really was how I chose to work through some emotions during that time.  I’m now back to working out at normal hours, which for me is usually sometime after work.

You pretty much already have my major life updates.  Lot’s going on at work, and I’m also getting involved in my local start-up entrepreneurial community, which is really exciting.

Otherwise, just keeping busy and working with my kids and my friends on developing our “new normal”.

So that’s it for now.  I’m going to work on a blog face lift in the coming weeks (it is a season of change in my life, after all!), so stay tuned there.

Until then, some pics of the past week or so, and we’ll chat soon.  Promise 🙂

found a way to bring the two cats together in a close proximity. SINK WATER
lovely gift from a very lovely friend
Bark and Brews! R and I took Kuma to the Botanical Gardens. Pups welcome all Sunday’s in summer!
nap time in the pool for R
R and her cat Ginny 🙂
my cat – napping in my spot on the back deck
Ginny looking busted in the bath tub
the new morning picture!

still my fav pace for java in the morning
Kuma snuggles
my gorgeous girl

Managing A Few Days Without Total Chaos!

FOOD

It’s been all homemade eats the past few days since getting home from FL.

coconut water, chocolate Vega powder, mango, and banana smoothie!  Was my first of the week, and was out of decent greens
coconut water, chocolate Vega powder, mango, and banana smoothie! Was my first of the week, and was out of decent greens
that was rectified on Sunday when D went grocery shopping, so Monday's smoothie was vanilla Vega powder, 2 clementine's, water, and spinach.
that was rectified on Sunday when D went grocery shopping, so Monday’s smoothie was vanilla Vega powder, 2 clementine’s, water, and spinach.

I know the bottle says Shakeology, but I don’t use it.  Not that I don’t think it’s packed full of nutrients, but I had an allergic reaction to their vegan vanilla a few months ago.  So, I still to Vega most of the time and Sunwarrior on occasion too.  To be honest, I don’t use protein powders all the time, but when I’m making my smoothie as a meal replacement or I know it needs staying power (or when I know I’m a bit lacking in some vital nutrients), I’ll toss it in.  After a week of travel and mostly eating out, I tend to add them to my smoothies.

I also did a lot of batch prep on Sunday’s.  That included some of the Happy Herbivore meals and salads.  I have to admit, I’ve become addicted to the Fitpacker container system the past few weeks.  It makes storage a breeze and takes up less space.

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D grilled Saturday night, and I begged for a repeat of the awesome portabello burger I blogged about last time!  With some grilled squash and mushrooms and air fried french fries, it was a fun and tasty dinner (that I didn't have to cook!)
D grilled Saturday night, and I begged for a repeat of the awesome portabella burger I blogged about last time! With some grilled squash and mushrooms and air fried French fries, it was a fun and tasty dinner (that I didn’t have to cook!)

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part of Sunday's dinner was some zucchini and yellow squash noodles pan sauteed with garlic and Italian seasoning.
part of Sunday’s dinner was some zucchini and yellow squash noodles pan sautéed with garlic and Italian seasoning.
I also dig my baked spuds!  This is some maple baked beans with cruncy cabbage
I also dig my baked spuds! This is some maple baked beans with cruncy cabbage
oh look, another baker!  This one has steamed green beans mixed with hummus on top with some hot sauce.
oh look, another baker! This one has steamed green beans mixed with hummus on top with some hot sauce.
big bowl of yummy vegan Pho!
big bowl of yummy vegan Pho!
Monday's lunch - a BAS and some spicy mac made with quinioa gluten free noodles
Monday’s lunch – a BAS and some spicy mac made with quinoa gluten free noodles
hot and sour tofu soup with onion, bell peps, and green beans.
hot and sour tofu soup with onion, bell peps, and green beans.
and another baker, but just with cabbage and hot sauce this time
and another baker, but just with cabbage and hot sauce this time
this is HH's Bayou Bowl!  Brown rice topped with a cajun style lentil and veg.  And cabbage for crunch because that's my thing
this is HH’s Bayou Bowl! Brown rice topped with a Cajun style lentil and veg. And cabbage for crunch because that’s my thing
and tonight's dinner of spicy tofu tacos on corn tortillas with veggies on top
and tonight’s dinner of spicy tofu tacos on corn tortillas with veggies on top

FITNESS

Still doing the Beach Body on Demand workouts.  I honestly do like them because there’s variety (my Achilles heel in DVD based workouts).  I’m in my final 7 days of the 21 Day Fix program workouts and I admit to feeling pretty darn good.  And much stronger.  And possibly constantly sore 🙂

I’ve also joined a really active challenge group with a coach who totally understands vegan nutritional needs, so I’m pretty stoked there.  Plan to start the kick boxing program on Monday, which aligns with completing the current program.

Of course I have my 3x per week runs too!

this is me and my helper Ginny doing Yoga fix on Sunday.  I have to say that working out at home thrills her in very odd ways.  She loves to either work out with me or be near me when I do.
this is me and my helper Ginny doing Yoga fix on Sunday. I have to say that working out at home thrills her in very odd ways. She loves to either work out with me or be near me when I do.

Last night was Cardio Fix.  I’m trying to work out more in the mornings, but it just wasn’t happening on Monday.  I had to be at the office before 7am, and that would involve getting up around 430, and that’s just silly.  So, evening working it was.  By the way, I’m not sure why I’m smiling.  There’s this exercise in this video called Surrender’s, and I’m pretty sure they’re evil.

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Today was a 3-fer workout.  Upper Body Fix first, and because that was challenging by didn’t wipe me, I followed it with a 4 mile run.  Then this evening, R and I went on a bike ride when she got home from school.   3 laps through the neighborhood for a total of about 30 minutes.

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LIFE

Well, it’s been a nice few days!  I’ve only been home for a few, but they’ve been pretty chill.  For the first time since grad school started, it felt like a normal weekend!  Saturday M had some friends over (that we’ve known since they were young) and D grilled.  It was hanging out and being silly mostly.  I also did the week’s meal planning and D did the grocery shopping while I studied.

Sunday was laundry, cleaning, batch cooking, a school team meeting, studying, and watching a movie!  We watched Moana, and I loved it.

M’s car is screwed up, so we’re currently sharing my ride.  So he’s been taking me to work so he can go to school and then picking me up in the evening.  While it’s a bit of a challenge, it’s not the end of the world.  Not sure his car is worth fixing yet, so we’ll see.

It’s been really nice out (80 over the weekend, chilly yesterday, but 70’s today and 80’s tomorrow before winter comes back and we’re in the 50’s).  We’re definitely taking advantage of THAT!  Kuma has been hard to keep inside, and Bumble has been joining her in the yard too.  Ginny sticks to her window watching and is just happy the house is opened up!

So, hope you’re having a good week so far!

D making a goofy grill face.  Since it's technically still winter, it's dark by dinner so he wears the head lamp when grilling!
D making a goofy grill face. Since it’s technically still winter, it’s dark by dinner so he wears the head lamp when grilling!

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Monday morning picture!
Monday morning picture!

 

Namaste from India!

FOOD

Just a few short days after my last post, I was on my way for a 2 week stay in India!  While I have managed to find plenty of eats, the “vegan” concept is still a bit foreign.  I usually get offers of boiled veggies, fish, and chicken.  Still – it hasn’t been all that challenging considering the plentiful vegetables and legumes!

congee with fresh ginger
congee with fresh ginger

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yes - nice hotel :)
yes – nice hotel 🙂

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LOVE the guava especially!
LOVE the guava especially!

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salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite
salad w/hummus as a dressing has become a total favorite

FITNESS

Yoga every day!  I certainly went for runs before heading to India, but haven’t since I’ve been here.  The air quality is such that I wouldn’t go outside anyway – even with a group, and our crazy long days in residency leave me little desire to do hard cardio.  So – every morning has been yoga and it’s been great.

LIFE

Well – I’m in India!  This is the last of my non-US residencies, and I have one more of those (in April) before graduating in May!

I arrived in Mumbai in New Year’s Eve.  Despite being awake for about 38 hours, I still hit up the NYE bash at the Opium Den bar in the hotel with several of my classmates.  Many others went to Dubai to stay with a classmate and ring in the new year.

I spent a week in Mumbai and, like much of what I’m seeing of India, it’s a study in contrasts.  There are those who are very well off (2-3% of Indian’s are wealthy by international standards – and that’s a LOT of people, considering there are 1.2 billion people.  That means there are more wealthy in India than the total population of Australia!), a rising middle class, and some abjectly poor.  And you can see it all in a very short radius.

Mumbai has heavy British influences, though with an Indian spice.  I found much of it quite pretty.

view from my room - the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline
view from my room – the Arabian Sea and the Mumbai skyline

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my class in front of the Gateway to India
my class in front of the Gateway to India
beautiful train station
beautiful train station

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yep - that's a guy with a really big gun....
yep – that’s a guy with a really big gun….

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a women's co-op we visited.  founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.
a women’s co-op we visited. founded more than 50 yrs ago, the goal is to employ women to help them provide for their families while still getting to stay home.
one of the Mumbai slums
one of the Mumbai slums
a gift from the co-op
a gift from the co-op

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We left Mumbai after a week, flew to Delhi, and then took a 6 hour bus ride to Agra.  It took 3 hours to get from the airport to the highway because traffic is so horrible – and it’s always this bad.

view from the front of the bus :(
view from the front of the bus 😦

We rolled into Agra quite late, checked into our rooms, and went to bed.  We had to be in the lobby by 6am to get to the Taj Mahal before it opened – hoping to see a sunrise, but it was foggy (or smoggy).

in my Agra hotel room.  Do not distrub me!!!
in my Agra hotel room. Do not distrub me!!!
tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi - but didn't know how!  Tried 0, but no answer.  Oh well.  Just went to sleep instead.
tried to call the front desk to ask about my Wi-Fi – but didn’t know how! Tried 0, but no answer. Oh well. Just went to sleep instead.

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lots of baboons!  They like to steal things from people - especially food.
lots of baboons! They like to steal things from people – especially food.
this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle
this one won a little battle with a friend over the ownership of this bottle

From there we went back to the hotel for breakfast, then off to the Agra fort.  That was amazing!

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built to protect a palace, it was a total maze.  Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants
built to protect a palace, it was a total maze. Designed that way in part to confuse incoming troops, but mostly to stop stampeding elephants

Then it was lunch, and finally to a market and temple.  That particular trip was completely chaotic, but like nothing else I’ve seen.

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Then it was to the train station, back to Delhi, into a new hotel, a reception (which I admit I skipped so I could shower!), and then back to business today.

While here, I’m definitely embracing a different wardrobe!

on the way down to class this morning
on the way down to class this morning

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Tonight I’m off to have dinner with a co-worker’s family!  He’s from Delhi, and his mom and sister are making me dinner.  SO excited!

On the non-India front, I promised pics of the finish painted guest room.  Plus I can’t leave you without a few fluff balls and morning pictures!

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she loves laundry day
she loves laundry day
seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India
seeing Rogue One the night before I left for India
M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!
M and Kuma passed out on the sofa!
me as I landed in Mumbai
me as I landed in Mumbai
me and two of my awesome classmates
me and two of my awesome classmates

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Making Eats for a Week at Once Increases Sanity

FOOD

Bulk cooking on Sunday’s really comes in handy!  I had salads and soups most days for lunch.  Lot’s of smoothies too.

I have a fridge in my office, so these are big containers.  The soup lasted 2 lunches, and the smoothie and salad in a jar were my bfast and lunch one day.
I have a fridge in my office, so these are big containers. The soup lasted 2 lunches, and the smoothie and salad in a jar were my bfast and lunch one day.
at the office and ready to start my day!
at the office and ready to start my day!

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BAS!  Romaine, tofu, lotsa veggies, and my balsamic dressing.
BAS! Romaine, tofu, lotsa veggies, and my balsamic dressing.

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Silk soy vanilla yogurt and fresh blueberries
Silk soy vanilla yogurt and fresh blueberries

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there's oatmeal buried under this dish.
there’s oatmeal buried under this dish.

I also made a home made black bean burger that was really good and has also been lasting me for days!  It was pretty simple – 1 can refried black beans, 1/2 cup cooked oats, 1/2 cup (ish) salsa, fresh chopped cilantro from my garden (about a cup), 1/4 chopped red onion, 1-2 tsp cumin, and enough coconut flour to bind it all without falling apart.  It certainly wasn’t an exact science, but I put the mixture in the fridge and have whipped up a yummy burger on demand!

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pre-cooked burger
pre-cooked burger
as a lettuce wrap topped with simple slaw (Just Mayo & rice vinegar) and a baked spud with plain soy yogurt and hot sauce.
as a lettuce wrap topped with simple slaw (Just Mayo & rice vinegar) and a baked spud with plain soy yogurt and hot sauce.
just the burger topped with more slaw and red onion.  Side dish is whole grain pasta with a green sauce of tofu, cilantro, garlic, and lemon juice, tossed with spinach, green onion, and red bell pepper.  Recipe courtesy of China Study Quick & Easy.
just the burger topped with more slaw and red onion. Side dish is whole grain pasta with a tofu-based creamy sauce, tossed with spinach, green onion, and red bell pepper. Recipe courtesy of China Study Quick & Easy.

FITNESS

This week was mostly DVD workouts because it’s been hectic.  I did get to the gym one day, just one run, and twice daily walks with Kuma.

post gym & run sweat bomb
post gym & run sweat bomb

LIFE

After my last post on Sunday, D went to the restaurant where both A and M work and hung out with them a bit.  So cool.

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and a quick one with R after he got home!
and a quick one with R after he got home!

Since it summer break right now, there’s no morning pics with D and R 😦

However, most days in the summer I’m up and gone before anyone else wakes up.  And D and I are total nerds so we send each other good morning selfie 🙂

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On Tuesday we went out to see the USA v Argentina game (we don’t have cable).  It wasn’t as painful as I feared it would be, but still sad we lost.  M and I got in our Chelsea gear to get in the soccer spirit!

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I got to see AC and E yesterday for a quick visit!  First time since AC moved to NOLA about 5 months ago.

The rest of the week was work and studies, cats and dog and general Clan mayhem!  It’s the end of the term for me at school and exams are starting through the next two weeks.  Wish me luck!

laying claim to the dog's toy
laying claim to the dog’s toy
puppy love!
puppy love!
enjoying my global economic research documents
enjoying my global economic research documents
a shot of Kuma last night to send to BF - a classmate of mine who's a major pup lover...and wanted me to name her Donut.
a shot of Kuma last night to send to BF – a classmate of mine who’s a major pup lover…and wanted me to name her Donut.

Mine and D’s anniversary is tomorrow, so we’ll be out of town most of the weekend having a good time – which I may or may not blog about 😉

Happy weekend everyone!

 

Compatibility

So I have to say that I’ve been increasingly concerned that blogging is incompatible with my life!  Which – frankly sucks because I’ve always loved it so.  So – I’m not willing to give up on it, but I do apologize it’s been so scarce!  Between a full-time demanding job, a full-time demanding grad school program, a busy family, and life in general – it get’s tough sometimes.  But…I’ll keep blogging when I can and hope it gets more frequent than it has been!

FOOD

To be honest, I have not spent nearly enough time in the kitchen of late.  Another things I feel has been sacrificed to the grad-school gods!  That doesn’t mean there aren’t good eats though 🙂  Life is too short for icky food!

Here’s a few things I’ve noshed on in the past couple weeks.

Smoothies…always!

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D and I occasionally do “smoothie selfies”!

his are always from Tropical Smoothie Cafe.  He gets an Island Green almost every morning!
his are always from Tropical Smoothie Café. He gets an Island Green almost every morning!
once in awhile, I go there too (though I usually make mine).  Apparently I found buying my smoothie unamusing this day...
once in awhile, I go there too (though I usually make mine). Apparently I found buying my smoothie unamusing this day…

Other eats!

the BAS has made a huge re-entry.  Fast, easy, healthy, yummy, and filling.
the BAS has made a huge re-entry. Fast, easy, healthy, yummy, and filling.
BAS topped with a Boca Burger
BAS topped with a Boca Burger
baked spud w/ refried beans, cabbage, and hot sauce
baked spud w/ refried beans, cabbage, and hot sauce
baked spud w/ lentils, kale, and BBQ sauce
baked spud w/ lentils, kale, and BBQ sauce

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tofu scramble!
tofu scramble!

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FITNESS

Re-joining the Y has been a really good thing.  While I still prefer to run outside, it’s a nice alternative when I can’t.  I’ve started going 3 days per week to weight lift and either run there or at home.  It’s not as consistent as I’d like yet, but so far, so good!  I’ve taken a few classes too, but group exercise classes are rarely my favorites!

LIFE

Well you know.  Work.  School.  Family.  Puppy.  Those all take up most of my time 🙂

Can’t complain about any of them though.  My current term at school is wrapping up and we head into exams next weekend.  Lot’s of projects, papers, and cases to fill my evenings.

Work has been steady, but not overly crazy – which is nice.  Had one quick work trip since I’ve gotten back from China, but it was just an overnighter.

Family has been very great.  M and A are both moving up in responsibilities at work, which is great for them.  A is also doing great in her very own apartment and balancing that, work, and school.  R finished up 7th grade just yesterday!  D is always pretty awesome, and everyone has been healthy.

Kuma is a total sweetie.  She potty trained quickly to the bells on the back door, and she’s wicked smart.  Stubborn too, but that’s why she’s in puppy school!

Ending with pics!

Kuma!

floating in the pool!
floating in the pool!
my classmate M and his wife R came over for an evening of grilling and hanging out.  They have two Shiba's...brought Kuma this toy and she passed out with it!
my classmate M and his wife R came over for an evening of grilling and hanging out. They have two Shiba’s…brought Kuma this toy and she passed out with it!

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on her way to the first day of puppy school!
on her way to the first day of puppy school!

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pooped after puppy school!
pooped after puppy school!
smelling the catnip...
smelling the catnip…

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Bumble and Ginny!

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Morning pics!

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Other fun stuff!

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E from school bought me a scarf in China!  I couldn't figure out how to wear it around my neck, so I wrapped it around my hair.
E from school bought me a scarf in China! I couldn’t figure out how to wear it around my neck, so I wrapped it around my hair.
me, a glass of wine, and the Wall Street Journal on my Nook!
me, a glass of wine, and the Wall Street Journal on my Nook!
school influencing work!  The beginnings of my Kanban board (it's gotten more stickies since I took this pic a week ago)
school influencing work! The beginnings of my Kanban board (it’s gotten more stickies since I took this pic a week ago)

 

 

 

Thai & Taco Tuesday!

FOOD

I usually make up my morning smoothies as I go, but sometimes I like to follow a recipe to try something new.  And like yesterday, today I made another one from 365 Vegan Smoothies.  This one was called Super Blue Recharge and was loaded with several super nutrients like Acai and hemp seeds.  It was filling, and I only managed to drink half.

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Lunch was a BAS.  Romaine, beets, scallions, cucumber, herbed tofu, cauliflower, and tomatoes tossed with a tahini/maple dressing.

much prettier before tossing in the dressing!
much prettier before tossing in the dressing!
love my little Tribest personal blender for quick things like a single serving salad dressing!  Also - nothing like a fresh dressing too!
love my little Tribest personal blender for quick things like a single serving salad dressing! Also – nothing like a fresh dressing too!
after adding dressing.  It was SO good.  Couldn't finish it, but that's okay...BAS for the win!
after adding dressing. It was SO good. Couldn’t finish it, but that’s okay…BAS for the win!

Dinner was the leftover Thai soup and the rest of the family had tacos (I wasn’t feeling tacos myself).  So our usual Taco Tuesday became Thai & Taco Tuesday!

FITNESS

Another run on a warm day.  It’s going to be a rude awakening when winter actually hits.

changing for my run, and Ginny decided this was the perfect t-shirt to roll around in and pull over her face.  It was so strange...
changing for my run, and Ginny decided this was the perfect t-shirt to roll around in and pull over her face. It was so strange…

On a separate (but fun) note, a classmate of mine has suggested running the Great Wall Marathon when we’re in China in May!  While there’s no way I’d be full marathon ready by then (not between school and work), they have a half and an 8.5k.  I’m actually excited about the idea – though since Virginia Beach has no hills, I’m thinking the 8.5 k (and my training isn’t half-marathon prep right now either).  We’ll see 🙂

LIFE

Today was a work from home day.  Ironically, it was largely spent doing research and writing a white paper on managing virtual teams and being a virtual leader 🙂 Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?

A had a great follow-up appointment, and she’s cleared to read and drive again on the 1st!  She has one more appt with the retinal specialist on the 6th, but so far, they’re pleased with her healing.

D also gave me my Christmas present!  It was a bit belated, but don’t care.  I can be really tough on headphones, and I broke my last pair.  I’ve been wearing these totally uncomfortable ones since, so these were perfect!  They also have a Dark Maul thing going on, which I love.

comfy headphones!  The SoundSport model.  Perfect.
comfy headphones! The SoundSport model. Perfect.

This evening it was a meeting with M and a driving instructor.  Yes, my now adult son if FINALLY getting his drivers license.  It’ll be good too since he’s going to be a commuter college student instead of an on-campus one.

And now – blogging, dishes, laundry, and studying!  And with any luck, going to bed fairly early.

Night!