Tag Archives: Family


I made a conscious effort to start blogging more often in mid-December and even wrote a couple posts within a week to get back into it. The day after my last post, and the morning of my flight home after visiting my brother in San Diego, he told me that he was just diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and that he wouldn’t be around to see next Christmas. Here I am less than 10 weeks later and he’s gone.

So needless to say, it’s been a really rough couple of months for my family and I. I don’t like to get *too* personal on the blog, not because I’m afraid of putting stuff “out there” but because that’s just not my personality. I also don’t want to not write about him because he’s on my mind all the time. So I decided I’d put together some of my thoughts:

I’m heartbroken that your time was cut short.

I’m heartbroken that you were in so much pain.

I’m heartbroken for your three kids that lost an amazing father.

I’m heartbroken for my mother who had to outlive her son.

I’m amazed you were able to become an ordained minister (what?) while you were sick to officiate your best friend’s wedding.

I’m amazed by the outpouring of love and support you had from your friends and family near and far (that even the hospice nurse couldn’t believe).

I’m happy that I was able to spend the past month with you.

I’m happy that you we’re able to keep your sense of humor somehow through the whole thing.

I’m happy I was able to tell you how much I love you.

I’m happy I had the chance to say goodbye.

I’m happy I was with you for your last breath because I know you would have done it for me.

My brother wanted his life celebrated, not mourned, so I will remember you, not as someone who is sick and in pain, but as the fun, funny, intelligent, level-headed, advice-giving, concert-loving guy you were.

I will remember you for all our fun evenings together.

I will remember you for giving me away at my wedding when Dad couldn’t.

I will remember you as the guy with an amazing sense of patience and giving. (Where did that come from? Because I certainly don’t have it.)

I will remember you as the guy that always took care of me when you could.

I will remember you as the guy that took care of everyone else.

I will remember you as the guy who loved his family more than anything.

I will just always remember you.




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West Coast Leisuring

Hello from San Diego!

I’m out here visiting my mom, brother, and nephews and living the life of leisure. My nephews picked me up from the airport which was a whole new realm of weird since I knew them when they were zero years old. HOW ARE YOU A MILLION FEET TALL AND DRIVING ALREADY?

That’s a picture from last year since I haven’t gotten a group picture yet this time.

My days consist of waking up in the morning, going for a run, eating, napping, and eating. It’s the life I’ve always dreamed of. Speaking of running, my runs have been getting better. I haven’t tried a speed run yet but my breathing on my regular runs has improved as long as I’m not running up a damn hill. Here are a few views from my runs:

That is a season the locals like to call “fall.”

The whole itching thing has also gotten about 80% better and I’m assuming it’s from my school semester ending and the increased amount of nothing I’ve been doing. I don’t think the steroid pack that the doctor prescribed helped anything and the cause was psychosomatic like she said. I tell you, there is nothing more irritating than going to the doctor to find out your problem is in your head.

I go back home to Orlando tomorrow and I’ll be sad to leave. It’s fun getting spoiled by family and having your mom hand you $20 bills because “you look like you need it.” In the meantime, I’m going to finish the second batch of cookies my mom made and soak up the lack of humidity while I can.




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Picture Post with Some Words and Stuff

Oh hai.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written because I haven’t felt very chatty lately but I have been busy! I hate catch up posts so instead of calling this a catch up post, let’s call it a picture post with some words and stuff.

I’ve been reading a lot now that school’s out for the summer. I’ll probably have another book post coming at some point. I just finished The Storyteller, which is probably one of the best books I’ve read in awhile. I have a few more in my queue that I want to read but my friend, Keith, is trying to sway my reading in a particular direction.


Now I have no lack of Rizzoli and Isles books. Also, I’ve decided that people who don’t love e-readers just have extra space in their house to store books. I don’t even know where to put these. I’m tempted to read them right away just so I can give them back, which I’m sure is part of Keith’s evil plan.

Hubs and I made it out to Cocoa Beach a few weeks ago. When I say made it out to the beach, I mean we made it to the pier bar and stayed there all day.


I rarely drink pina coladas but I certainly thought it was a good idea to have three of them with rum floaters that day.  I literally don’t remember what I had for dinner that night even after seeing an itemized list of what we had. So I guess it was a good day!? (Don’t worry, our friend drove us home.)

At the end of April, we saw Evanescence in concert.


All my pictures were crap, but the show was great despite what the two bored ladies with primo backstage spots in the background seem to think. I’ve seen them probably four times and they’re always good. I heard they have a new album coming out so I was hoping to hear a couple new songs but they only sang all the old stuff. Not that I’m complaining!

I made it out to San Diego to visit my mama last week.


The weather was bee-yoo-tee-ful. So nice that I went out for a run every day and sat out on my mom’s porch just because.

While I was there, my brother had free tickets to see Beyonce, so we did that.


Neither of us are fans of her music but we thought it would be a good show. I guess she’s just not my thing. I appreciated what went in to making the show and I appreciated that Beyonce seems to really appreciate her fans. but in the words of my brother, “I’m not embarrassed that I saw her in concert. But I’m not proud.”

We also saw Lukas Nelson. He’s Willie’s son and I had never heard of him before but he was GREAT. I liked the show so much that I bought his new album when I got home.


The supermodel, a.k.a my mom, wanted to see the Spruce Street suspension bridge in San Diego which was about 30 minutes from her place.

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The bridge crosses a canyon so the part you can’t see behind us was really pretty. It was a fun little day adventure, minus the part where I was driving and had no idea where I was going.

We also had a few family dinners and breakfast at Swami’s twice (so good, I need a Swami’s in Orlando).


My mom will order a drink, take about 4 sips out of it, and then give it to me. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement if you ask me: my mom doesn’t waste drinks and then I get more drinks.

And since Pants hasn’t been getting much blog action lately, here she is hanging out and looking adorable.

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So that’s about it. Lots of concerts, some nice family time, and hanging out with the hubs. 🙂


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The Other Stuff

I’m back from California and I think I brought the weather with me. (You are welcome Florida.) While I was there, I went on a run (or three), celebrated my brother’s birthday, and spent a day in Julian (< – tee hee, sounds dirty). Here’s the other stuff that went on while I was in the Whale’s Vagina.

1. Fall

I will miss running by you, tree.

2. Laziness.

My brother has two cats that look almost identical – one named Boy and one named Girl. Girl took a liking to me.

3. Scenic drives to the mall.

This was on the way to La Jolla. It looks like we’re driving into the ocean. So, so pretty. Also, there is a small town that mom and I drove through called Torrey Pines that smells like Christmas.

4.  Buying things I don’t need.

We’ll call this, “reasons I should never shop at Bebe.” I love everything in that store and none of it is remotely in my price range. I have no idea where I’ll wear this but I’ll wear it grocery shopping if I have to.

5.  Getting lost.

Driving to the mall took exactly three left turns, but my mom and I ended up getting lost on the way home anyway. We stopped to ask for directions that didn’t take us on the freeway, and found a ton of ducks chilling by a little creek. It was so cute. I would get a duck as a pet if I could. And a squirrel.

6. Seeing Joss Stone in concert.

Joss Stone came to Humphrey’s in downtown San Diego and my brother and I scored 8th row seats from a scalper about an hour before the show.

We both recognized two of her songs and the concert was still great. I can rarely say that I love a show when I don’t know the music, but this was an exception. It was definitely the best night I had in San Diego, but it’s almost impossible not to have a good time with my brother.

7.  Going on a blogger date with this little cutie.

Do any tall bloggers wanna get together with me? Just wondering…

Shannon just started a new blog, but I’ve been reading her old one for awhile now so it was destiny that we meet eventually. She likes to run, she loves beer, and she insists on posing with bats hanging from the ceiling. All things I approve of.

8. Spending a day at Pechanga Casino and Resort.

Pechanga is the closest thing you can get to a Las Vegas hotel that’s not in Vegas. Mom and I made the 50 minute drive there, which was arguably prettier than the road to Julian. Lots of adorable little towns and mountainous freeway.

My mom and I had lunch and she played the slots. I’m not a big fan of gambling and wasn’t going to play until my mom put money in a penny slot machine and made me sit down and play. One hour later, I was still sitting there having fun. I guess moms really do know best. I won a big $16.00 and plan to retire on that little nest egg.

And that’s about it for San Diego. I had a really good time visiting my family and now it’s back to real life.


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A Day Trip to Julian

On Wednesday, my mom and I took an hour an a half drive up in the mountains to Julian, a little old West looking tourist town known for their apple pie. The drive is super picturesque with all sorts of winding roads and sharp turns.

There was one area where the mountains were covered in gigantic boulders, which was really cool yet freaky to drive by.

That picture just does not do it justice.

The town doesn’t have much to it, but it does have a bunch of little mom and pop shops and restaurants, a bed and breakfast, and things to do like horse-back riding and…watching paint dry.

My mom and I wandered around town for a bit and checked out all the shops with cute things for sale.

They even have public toilets you have to pay to use. It’s a quarter to do your business unless you catch the door when someone else is walking out, which I’m thinking could be awkward.

I was starving by the time we got there, so I complained about being hungry until my mom agreed to go to lunch. We walked into a few places, but they were all jam-packed with people so there was nowhere to sit.

We picked the Julian Café and Bakery because it had the most tables and the best chance for us to sit down sooner than later.

The place was super cute and had great food.

Oh, I forgot to mention that during our shopping adventures, I may have made one purchase.


Best two dollars I’ve ever spent.

Since Julian is known for pie, we had to get pie. It’s law. I chose the warm apple pumpkin crumb pie and OMG it was amazing. I know people say that what they eat is the most delicious thing ever but this was definitely the best piece of pie I’ve ever had.

We asked the server how it was made and she said the owner won’t even tell her. She just knows he bakes the apples on the bottom first, then puts the pumpkin in and bakes it some more, and then puts the apple crumb on top. So it tastes like it’s all baked together in the best marriage of food since peanut butter and jelly.

After lunch, we walked around a little more. Since Julian is so small, it doesn’t take long to see everything. We spent a few hours there, and then headed home.

We made a stop on the way home at Moms because it just seems wrong if you don’t stop at Moms with your mom.

She had been to Julian once before and said she bought the best fudge of her life at this place. Of course, they had every flavor but the one she wanted. It wasn’t very busy when we were there, but it must have been a slow day because I heard the woman working say that they make 1000 pies a week. I’m definitely in the wrong business. Someone needs to teach me to bake.

We survived the trip home and had a nice time. It’s a cute little town and worth the trip for the apple pie and the pumpkin pie fudge. (< — I die.)


P.S. The AHS recap will be a little late this week since I’m an idiot and thought it was on Thursday instead of Wednesday and now have to wait until I get back to Orlando to watch it. Boo.


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CA So Far

I’ve been in San Diego for three days now and they have been packed with just the right amount of fun and lazy. I arrived Saturday morning and my flight was 40 minutes early. I didn’t even know that was in the realm of possibility for planes. I’ve been on flights that were 15 minutes early and then the extra time is spent sitting on the runway waiting for a gate. But 40 real minutes? Crazy.

After I dropped off my things, my mom, brother Tim, and two nephews went to Swami’s for lunch. My niece couldn’t make it as her priorities are totally not in order.

I just learned how to take screen caps with my phone. Fun!

I don’t know if Swami’s is a chain, but it’s similar to how you order at Crispers and has a menu similar to First Watch, except the atmosphere is more like a real restaurant and bar. I had an amazing (and healthy) egg white/spinach/tomato/feta/jalapeno omelet with rye bread.

After clearing my plate,  I proceeded negate my healthy meal by eating a pancake the size of my face. I know people say that all the time, but it was literally the size.of.my.face. I should have taken a picture holding it up to my face, but that would have furthered my shame. It was enough that, as I was putting butter on it, my 14-year-old nephew said, “that’s a lot of butter.” I think I liked him better when he was young and silent. 🙂

That night, we all went to see End of Watch.

It was really good but I thought the shaky camera was too much in some scenes. Also, it seemed like they were trying to do first person camera the whole time but there were camera angles that couldn’t have come from any of the three cameras that were being used by the main characters. So, I guess that was just out of place for me. But overall, it was really emotional, funny, and action-packed.

Later than night, my brother and I went out for a couple drinks and ended up chatting by the fire pit at Stadium until last call.

I swear my brother told anyone who would listen that it was his birthday and he actually got someone else that was also having a birthday to buy him a shot. That is talent.

Sunday was his actual birthday, so the family got together for Lupper (Linner?) at The Beach House in Solana Beach.

My niece, who I held as a newborn, drove me there. (<— omg, no words.) Tim continued to tell anyone who would listen that it was his birthday which got him a free dessert and no upcharge on premium liquor. I am going to use this strategy for all future birthdays.

I wasn’t going to drink but you know what happens every time I say that.

Plus, I figure that I have 5 good years of making my niece my designated driver until she graduates to drinking buddy.

My mom showed us all how to get drunk without spilling anything.

Tim had an oyster shot, which repulsed me in so many ways.

That’s vodka, tomato juice, and an oyster. *shudder*

There was yummy food too. I had the surf and turf kabob.

The steak was pretty over-cooked but everything else (including the appetizers that disappeared too quickly for pictures) were delicious.

We even got a family picture.

Which looked normal once we told the Terminator to take off her glasses.

From the left: nephews Ted and Cal (yes, twins), mom, Tim, Me, McKenna, and Kate (my SIL’s sister).

Side note: Kate’s name is Catherine and she went by the nickname Betsy all her life. When she moved from Chicago to San Diego, my brother decided she needed a more “California” name and insisted everyone call her Kate. What a nut.

The night ended with a carrot Nothing Bundt Cake that McKenna picked up that morning. I had one for the first time at a friend’s wedding in May and while they look plastic, they taste like angels and unicorns.

Tim made us sing Happy Birthday to him and then made us all start over half way through when he didn’t think it was good enough. My brother is a trip to be around and now he has three spawn that are turning out just like him.

We all had a lot of fun. Mom and I were even saying on the way home how we had a really good Tim’s birthday. It almost felt like we were celebrating our own. Ahhh, I love my family.


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Hello from Above

I’m currently writing this post from the sky. See you later, Orlando.

I’m on a (direct!) flight from Orlando to San Diego to visit my family for a week. Come to mama, sweet California weather. Smile

Even though I’m writing this post on the plane, I’m too cheap to pay for the in flight Wi-Fi, so this will probably be published after I land. Gotta love Windows Live Writer. No internet connection required. (If you blog and don’t use it, find someone to slap you repeatedly until you do.)

An early flight today meant an early wake up yesterday to get in my long run. I ran 11 miles, but had to make a quick stop home half way through, so my run looked like this:

  • First 5.5 miles @ 9:52 pace
  • Second 5.5 miles @ 9:53 pace

Not only is that about 25 seconds faster than I have been running, that’s super consistent. I swear I thought last week’s race was a fluke. I’m telling you, if you want to run faster, do HIIT. It works. My slow ass is proof.

Ok, back to today.

I’ve never seen OIA as busy as it was this morning. My flight is on “Delta, operated by Alaska Airlines” so I waited in the Delta line to check my bags only to find out that I needed to check in at Alaska Airlines on the opposite side of the airport. I waited a half hour to check my bag at Delta, then another half hour at Alaska Airlines, and then another half hour to get through security. So, by the time I got to my gate, everyone had already boarded the flight. Eff.

I was hungry and annoyed that I didn’t have time to get oatmeal from Starbucks.  Expensive in flight food to the rescue.

Beef jerky and a fruit and cheese plate for the low price of $13.00, plus a free breakfast cookie that I didn’t eat.

This the first flight I’ve been on that has movie player rentals available.

The player has over 75 movies on it and a bunch of TV shows. It’s $8-$10 bucks depending on the flight length, so it’s not a bad deal especially if you’re watching with someone.

You know what’s awkward? Taking a picture of yourself while the dude sitting next to you watches.

He didn’t even ask why, which I appreciated. However, he did tell me I look like a volleyball player. I don’t know what that means but I’m gonna take it as a compliment. Also, before we ever left the runway, I heard a kid ask his mom if we were still in Florida.

I will be slapping him later.

Edited to add: If you receive posts by email, I have no idea what’s going on with all the funky letters. Sorry about that. 😦


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More Humid Than Humid

Monday night, I went out for a 5 mile run that turned into 3.5 miles. I haven’t run at all in over a week so you’d think it would have been a good run. But no. I was still full from dinner and it was so humid out that I could barely breathe. And I really like breathing. It’s worked out well for me for so many years. Unfortunately, we completely bypassed Winter and Spring and went straight to 90° Summer. Thanks for nothing, Florida.

When I got home and plugged my Garmin in, I noticed my pace wasn’t that bad for hating life out there.

I was just running for some exercise and not trying to maintain a pace, so I was really happy with the numbers. Then I promptly gave myself a high five for being awesome. Now I just need to keep that up for about 22 more miles.  Or even 10 more. I won’t be picky.

After my run, I watched Being Human (the U.S. version) and cried for the last 10 minutes. Did not see that ending coming. Plus, I cry at everything. It’s ridiculous. Season finale is next week and I’m so loving that show and Sam Huntington. How cute is he?

Of course I had to look up everything about him. And in case you’re wondering, his birthday was on Sunday (he’s 30, so he’s totally legal) and he was in 2 episodes of Veronica Mars as Luke. (Who the hell was Luke? I know that show like the back of my hand.) Then, he was in Fanboys, which also starred my girlfriend, Kristen Bell. (You cannot have her, Lindsey.) So, I’m thinking I can use him somehow to get to KB. Unfortunately, I also learned something about him that I cannot unlearn.

Yeah. So I guess he starred in that show that shall not be mentioned.

Now that you know a whole lot about a dude you have never seen before, let’s get back to that humidity thing. I will be getting away from it for a few days since I’m flying out to San Diego today to visit these goofballs.

My brother, niece, and nephews.

And my mama.

I’ve heard San Diego has these things called “hills” and I might even try to run up one of them. But I don’t want to get too crazy. Should be a fun family kind of weekend.


Do you cry during movies/TV shows? (I had to stop watching romance movies and certain dramas because I’m a mess and so worn out afterwards. I own The Notebook and still have never seen it because I know I’ll cry.)


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I’m out of clever titles. So today I give you…stuff.

1. Race pictures for the Sarasota Half Marathon are in. I think that town is trying make nice with me. I know for a fact that two photographers caught me walking and one photographer caught me shoving a PB&J in my face. But, by some miracle, none of those pictures made it on Marathonfoto’s Web site. And I’m sure we’re all better off for it.

2.  Speaking of that PB&J, eating during a race is especially uncomfortable for me since I can’t eat gels or any normal “runner food.” Of course I can’t eat and run at the same time either, so it’s completely awkward to walk and eat a sandwich while tons of traffic is driving by. I look like a total lazy ass as every other runner is passing me by and I’m chowing down.

I need sugar-free PB&J Gu’s invented STAT. Someone please make that happen.

3. This Saturday, I’m running the Navy League 5k. My work is sponsoring one of the water stations and asked if I wanted to run it. I love free stuff so of course I said yes. I’d probably take a case of rabies for free if someone offered it nicely. The race proceeds go to charity. It’s basically an un-timed fun run with a raffle for everyone at the end instead of prizes for placing. I’m pretty sure there are no rules for this race either. It’s the first race I’ve ever seen that allows roller blades.

Does that even sound safe around a bunch of runners? I can’t see anything good coming of that. But the good news is that I could probably ride a pony to the finish and it would be ok.

4. My playlist is set for the 5k. It’s more songs than I need but chances are I’m going to hate life once I get out there anyway and turn it off.

5.  Last weekend, I went over to the in-laws to help my MIL to help celebrate her 65th birthday. We had cake.

Once I picked off the almond slivers (95% of the time, I don’t like nuts in desserts), that thing was pretty good. A few family members were over and as we sang Happy Birthday, I noticed that my MIL sang Happy Birthday to herself. Twice. Once in English and once in Spanish for good measure. She’s a one-woman party. I’m not even sure she needed us there.

6. Because my bunny is freakin’ adorable, here’s a picture of her trying to hide her face while I was clipping her nails. She’s never done anything like that before. OMG, I die.

7. And lastly, my friend Jim at Biking My Mass Off is raising money for Multiple Sclerosis for his upcoming MS 150 bike ride. If you’re local in Orlando, he’s having a fundraiser at the Mellow Mushroom on Colonial and Alafaya. If you mention the fundraiser, 15% of your total check will benefit MS. That means you can get fat on pizza and drink till your sloppy and not feel guilty because it’s for a good cause.

Jim even offered to buy a drink or dessert for the first person that comes up to him and mentions that you heard about it on my blog. Luckily for me, he didn’t say that person couldn’t be me. Race you there to order the most expensive drink on the menu?

P.S. If you can’t make it but would like to donate anyway, you can do that here.


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Christmas Timeline

Christmas Eve, I woke up early to meet my group for an 8.5 mile run. During the last 2 miles, the top of my right foot started hurting for no reason and I ended up limping the rest of the day. Today it feels better but I don’t think I should run on it yet. The day before, I pulled a muscle in my hip by sitting down wrong. Getting older is the best. My body is getting really good at finding new ways to be in pain with little to no effort on my part.

After the run, I went to the salon to get my hair fixed.

The highlights STILL aren’t right, but at least my bangs don’t look like they were cut in the dark, my roots aren’t patchy, and the underside of my bangs don’t look like a circa 1994 Ginger Spice.

When the stylist saw the color of my bangs, he asked me if I thought it was “dated.”         Why yes.      Yes I do, you ass.

That night, hubs and I went to a family party at his cousin’s house. There were about 40 people there and I knew 5 of them. I didn’t take any pictures in an effort to not be the creepy white girl snapping pictures that no one knows.

I made these cute little reindeer cupcakes for the party.

Now hub’s family knows me as “that girl that makes reindeer cupcakes” so I’ve made quite the name for myself.

Hubs thinks the green-eyed reindeer look like zombies and I don’t agree. I’m pretty sure green-eyed reindeer exist in nature somewhere. I also can’t take credit for being creative since I totally stole this idea from Julie. I think next time I want to be more creative with the eyes and do some winks and other expressions.

At midnight, we did a Dirty Santa gift exchange where hub’s cruel family members kept taking my Starbucks gift cards. In the end, I ended up with caroling frogs.

They “ribbit” different parts of Christmas songs together and it’s really weird. Totally better than a Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino Light, which I did not want at all by the way.

We didn’t get home from the party until close to 2:00 am when hubs and I did our traditional midnight gift exchange a little late. I got some fun stocking stuffers, new clothes, an awesome jacket that the weather really needs it to get cold for, Evanescence concert tickets, and this thoughtful running trophy that the hubs had made.

The base has my name and says “1000 miles and 2 marathons.” Smile

After gifts, we watched the end of A Christmas Story on TV and went to bed. By that time, it was 4:00am and we were beat.

Christmas Day was a pretty lazy day. We exchanged gifts with the in-laws in the afternoon and then with a few friends in the evening. Later that night, we made a couple drinks and got in the holiday spirit with this Christmas classic.

I’m not kidding. We watched that.

I had a nice holiday and now I’m bummed my 4-day weekend is coming to an end. I really need to figure out how to pay bills and have disposable income without actually contributing to society. I hope you all had a great holiday as well. 🙂


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