Category: Life

Random Thoughts Thursday 169

By , February 22, 2018 6:23 am
  • Has anyone seen “Black Panther”? We were going to go last weekend, but every theater was sold out (of seats we’d sit in, anyway)! We have tickets to see it next Tuesday. I’m looking forward to it!
  • I got a bit emotional yesterday at the end of the day with my detail coworkers hugging me and wishing me the best and telling me they didn’t want me to go! Thanks for reading my whining about work over the last few months. I know things will be fine, but I also need a place to express my frustration. So, thanks again!
  • I picked up Dietland by Sarai Walker in the discount bin at the bookstore last week and have been enjoying it! It’s fiction, the story of Plum Kettle, an obese woman biding her time until she can have weight loss surgery. But she ends up meeting some people who challenge the way she’s been living her life and lead her to question why SHE has to change. It’s not all “ra ra, everyone is beautiful,” but more “you don’t have to conform to society’s norms.”  There’s also a subplot of a “dangerous guerrilla group terrorizing the world that mistreats women.” <— overall awesome description from, me, per usual, ha. It’s not my typical read, but I’m glad I picked it up! I’ll read The Wild Truth next. And P.S. I should really get a library card.

  • How does March start next week? This month has flown by! I really need to focus on my nutrition and training in March to get ready for my April 7th 5K. I am looking forward to doing that!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 168

Another weekend of DOING ALL THE THINGZ!!!

By , February 19, 2018 12:59 pm

While I was sad my parents had to leave late yesterday morning (I wanted to hang out more!) it was a blessing in disguise because Steven and I were worn the f*ck out from our weekend of doing all the things, and needed a day to be sloths. It felt good to do almost nothing after two and a half busy days!

And I am still feeling lazy so I am going to bullet this shiz up, ha!

On Thursday

  • Mom and Dad arrived at 6:30 pm and we ate homemade vegan alfredo sauce on pasta! And dessert was a vegan apple pie sent from my mom’s mom!

  • After dinner, Steven and Dad went to Menards to get the beam and other wood for the basement project, while Mom and I watched the Olympics, then screwed around in the basement gym for a bit.

On Friday

  • I taught class at 5:00 am, and Dad and I went for a run (me)/bike (him) when I got back.

  • Then Mom, Dad, and I went to the 10:15 showing of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. I laughed so much, and we all liked it. I usually do NOT like Jack Black (except in The Holiday) but his character cracked me the hell up in Jumanji!!!

  • We went to Aldi after that (where we picked up a Kringle for Mom and Dad to try!), the came home and made lunch (salads and couscous). Steven came home from work and ate with us, then he and Dad got to work in the basement.
  • And Mom and I got to work shopping at the outlet mall! I live so close to the outlet mall – it’s less than a ten minute drive, and I even run through there and fill up my water bottle on long runs. We found a few deals, and made sure to send my snister photos of the clothes we were trying on.

Sample photo we sent Christina, ha

I only got two soaps and a new PocketBac at B&BW. Restraint FTW!!!

  • We went to Woodman’s (a grocery store) after to get ingredients so Mom could make a cake she wanted to try vegan for me (and to get some things I needed).
  • Then we went home and made chili and cornbread for dinner (and had pie and Kringle for dessert!). Steven and Dad kept working until we ate, then went back in to the basement to work more, after. I’ll do a separate post about the project, but it was structural, so there were parts of the night we were told not to be in certain parts of the house (on the stair landing or in the kitchen). Mom and I were playing Blokus in the kitchen when we were told we needed to move (they were putting a beam in underneath us, so I understand why!), so we went to the living room, but they had turned the power off, so we played Blokus by candle light. Ha.

On Saturday

  • Dad came to my Indoor Cycling class (then went back home to work in the basement with Steven after)!

  • And Mom came to my Fitness Boxing class!

  • After class, Mom and I went to the Holcomb Hollow grand opening, then ran errands at the mall. I hate going to the mall (and shopping, in general) so it was nice to have Mom with me! I got my rings cleaned, and did an exchange.
  • Then we picked up everyone’s favorite El Famous Burrito for a late lunch! (Seriously, most people who visit us want to go there!)

  • The boys ate a late lunch with us, sampled some of the Holcomb Hollow treats (and had more Kringle) then got back to work. Mom and I went for a swim (we swam for about ten minutes then used the hot tub for forty!). When we came back, I helped her book a hotel for her March trip with her mom to Mount Rushmore.
  • I made a stir fry type dish for dinner, and the boys ate with us, then, you guessed it – got back to work. I helped them clean out one (huge) duct and later, hold some ducts in place. That is basically all I did on that project. <— so helpful (they didn’t care, but I feel a smidge guilty to be entertaining my mom and not helping much)
  • After dinner, mom got to work on the cake she wanted to make. It was called a Hummingbird Cake (recipe here), and the main flavorings were banana and pineapple. She decided to make it in to cupcakes. It turned out AMAZING! We all liked it, and had some close to 11:00 pm. Oops. SO MUCH SUGAR ON THIS VISIT AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

  • The boys finished up the project around 10:30/11:00!

On Sunday

  • Dad and I went on a run in the morning, then I finished up this dishcloth real quick for Mom to take with her.

Ha, it’s obviously NOT blocked

  • Then they packed up and were off! We took a quick usie since, of course, we got no photos of all four of us throughout the weekend.

We’re extremely grateful my parents visited to help us with this basement project. My dad is so helpful with house projects (or any project). Steven and I were impressed that they got it done in one and a half days of work, and I know that wouldn’t be the case if I was the one helping him with it (because I have way less experience)!

And I appreciate my mom running errands with me and helping me out with other things around the house! And being up for doing anything I suggest, ha.

I really do hope though, on the next visit, all FOUR of us can do something fun, like go to a movie, or bowling, or out for a meal!!! I bet we can make it happen!

Random Thoughts Thursday 168

By , February 15, 2018 8:45 am
  • I felt like I’d been holding it together this week with Snow’s passing… then the cats got a very sweet homemade Valentine’s Day card in the mail yesterday. It was for all of them. And I kind of lost it again. Sigh. Baby steps.

  • My parents are arriving today and staying through Sunday. I’m excited to see them! I hope all four of us have some “hang out” time together.
  • I’m impressed with how long my current manicure has lasted – almost three weeks! I’m getting a new one today, because it is starting to peel a bit, but the gel is still all intact!
  • I noticed my purse was super heavy and couldn’t figure out why. Then I took almost all the change out of my wallet and it felt so much lighter. DUH. TOWN. Now I’ve been emptying out the change on the regular.
  • Oh. Em. Gee. Polly Pockets are coming back! They aren’t as cool as mine, but they are still cool!

My very first Polly!

  • I had a longer bullet point written about how people present themselves on social media, but it all boils down to don’t be an (obnoxious) a**hole. Seriously. I can’t believe some of the things people write.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 167

Happy Gotcha Day, Khaleesi!

By , February 14, 2018 5:34 am

Khaleesi (Khali) has been living inside with us for one year today! Happy Anniversary, Khali! Fun fact: Data was “adopted” on Valentine’s Day, too!

We weren’t planning on Khaleesi becoming an indoor cat. We thought she’d convalesce inside after she got spayed last year, then go back outside when she healed. But she ended up getting an infection the day we were going to let her out, and when she went to the vet, they said she needed to stay inside much longer than we thought.

And then I couldn’t let her back outside. I mean, duh.

Could you let this face back outside? (Ha, this was before I realized I could pick those black boogers out of her nose – I didn’t know they were boogers at first!)

So, while she’s escaped outside (grrr) a few times over the year, she is definitely an indoor cat now! We love having her inside, and she seems to tolerate us, ha! It took her a while to get used to us, but every day (even now!), we can tell she’s more comfortable around us. Unfortunately, she still hides from most other people. We hope she stops hiding someday <— wishful thinking.

People are shocked when I tell them Data loves being a big brother (and that he didn’t mind Snow). Data is fifteen years old and can be grumpy and persnickety. Give him a break – he’s an old man! Because of his personality, people thought he’d be a jerk to Khali, but her being around has actually improved his behavior. He no longer hate poops outside his litter box or on the welcome mat, and instead of play attacking us, he plays with Khali. He seems more energetic and younger, and he’s nice to Khali (not counting their playful royal rumbles). Guess he was never meant to be an only child!!!

Ha, I swear I have photos of the cats NOT in bed too.

And we’re very happy having two cats inside!

Is it Friday yet?!

By , February 12, 2018 6:29 am

Whoa, this weekend felt busy. Luckily I had Friday off, and had a chill day before the days of doing all the things!

On Friday night, Steven and I went to our neighbor’s restaurant for dinner and instagrammed drinks.

We watched some of the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies when we got home. I’m glad I had a drink before that – it helped me through what we did watch (the commentators talking over everything, just, ugh).

I slept horribly Friday night and was up at 4:30 am! Whut dafuq. Ugh. I cycled inside at home until it was gym opening time and I could go do my long run there.

When I got back we began a demolition project in our basement. My parents are coming to visit next weekend (!!!) and my dad is going to help install a new joist in the basement (part ii of this project). We were clearing as much out of the way as possible, before the visit. (The joist has to go above the ductwork below, hence taking all that wood off of it.)

Eventually we’ll remove all the wood paneling off the walls

Of course, in the process, we found a hot mess of construction under the landing for our first floor stair. Gah, there’s always something with this house. Every time we do a project, we have more questions about how our house came about – we think the house started as something much smaller that was added on to more than once. That’s one logical explanation to some of the things we’ve found, like frame outs for windows in interior walls.

We took a short work break to check out “Snow Daze” in Kenosha. The downtown area had over forty-five ice sculptures to check out! Most of the sculptures related to what the business (or sponsor, in the sponsor area) was. What a clever way to get people to walk all over downtown when it’s so cold!

It was in the teens, but we still stopped for ice cream!

Then we went home and got back to work. Which was really just more brainstorming and discussing how to install the new joist and rebuild the platform under the stair. Next weekend is going to be busy. I was hoping we’d actually have hang out time with both my parents, but it doesn’t sound like it.

On Saturday night I put together Valentine’s Day treats for my fitness boxing class then FINALLY chilled out. Woo hoo!

I woke up Sunday to more snow. It didn’t seem like much looking out the window, but when I got outside for a run and saw how deep the tire ruts were, I called my run short and went back to snow blow so I could get out of the driveway to go teach fitness boxing!

I taught, ran errands, came home, unloaded, finished shoveling, then finished my run.


After lunch, we went to the Chicago Auto Show. It’s been several years since we’ve gone and we thought it would be fun to see all the models in person. And I was excited to check out the F-PACE!

We walked around the show for about two and a half hours, then headed to Waterhouse to try the Impossible Burger.

Seen on the way to dinner!

We both liked it (and the buffalo cauliflower “wings” we got)! This burger is only available in certain restaurants, and I hope more add it. It’s great that regular (non vegetarian/vegan, I mean) restaurants are adding vegan options to the menu (like TGI Fridays adding the Beyond Meat burger) and I hope this trend continues!

We got home close to 9:00 pm! On a Sunday! I did the Sunday night chores and was beat. I woke up well before my alarm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and felt exhausted. I might have to take a Monday afternoon nap after work!

Second stop in the vegan donut tour

By , February 9, 2018 6:19 am

Silly me! In my 2018 quest to eat a vegan donut, I had somehow forgotten there is a Do-Rite Donuts (somewhat) near my office that I could pick one up from, if I took the time to walk there! WHUT?! Kim, you so sil. I know.

So on Tuesday, I swung by on my lunch walk to see if they had any vegan donuts left. Nope. Okay, got it. Go earlier in the day.

The next day, I lengthened my walk to work to stop by, and they had three vegan donuts to choose from. Horray! I went with Chai Maple and it did NOT disappoint.

The vegan flavors were in the top left shelf.  They have gluten free donuts too (in the cabinet on the counter).

What a treat!

I now feel better about how I accomplished my main goal for the year. It was purposeful and planned, and I did not rely on someone else (like I did when my snister took me to a vegan bakery in Kansas).

And I’m ready to expand on this goal for the rest of the calendar year, and make it my 2018 Vegan Donut Tour! Let’s see how many states I can eat a vegan donut in.

So far I’ve done:

State Date Name Flavor Rating (1-4) Photo
Kansas 1/15/18 Mud Pie Cake Chocolate Frosted
Illinois 2/7/18 Do-Rite Chai Maple

Potential states include: Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Ohio, and California (we’re really hoping to get out there this year). Now, I just have to make sure I plan my travel around finding a vegan donut, ha!

Random Thoughts Thursday 167

By , February 8, 2018 6:20 am
  • I’ve been writing a lot more weekend recaps than I used to. I like it! Thanks to Mica, with her “Last week, briefly” series, for the inspiration. We both recently discussed how we love having our blogs to document what we were up to at certain points in time (despite how cringe-worthy some of our earlier writing is!).
  • Christina gave me this decorative box (what do you call these?!?) for Christmas, and of course, I had to cheese it up with some snister pics!

  • I’m a fast talker, and am aware of it. I gave training twice this week and wanted to make sure I talked slow enough for people to understand, so I practiced at home (awkward) and brought this post it for my co-presenter to show me if I needed to slow down, ha! (He didn’t have to!) Also, I am so glad to have those done. I was dreading them (but we practiced a lot so they went well and we received compliments).

  • On January 30th and 31st, I got an offer to review RunLites (from a different person/company each day) and responded to both immediately that I’d like to try them cause I’d use them! Then… crickets. Ha, I suppose that is what I get for writing this!
  • I caught these two cuddling together again! Aww!

  • Thank you all for continuing to be kind, supportive, and understanding, as I’ve been a bit mopey lately. It means a lot to me.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 166

Knitting to the rescue!

By , February 7, 2018 6:25 am

I’m so glad I had this skein of yarn and new pattern with me on the train last night.

It sat in my bag, untouched, on the ride in, and most of the ride home. I was too tired to think about figuring out a new pattern.

But just short of two stops to mine, the conductor came on to announce our train was involved in an emergency incident, and to expect delays.

I immediately looked at the Metra site, which usually has the most current information, and saw that the train I was on had struck a pedestrian (pdf here). We were actually past the station, which makes me think it a suicide, and not an accident (but what do I know?). Ugh, that poor person.

The conductors didn’t have much info at first, but started sharing it as soon as they got it. We had to wait for the coroner and Metra police to arrive, and that would be at least an hour. Then they had to do a full investigation, which would take time. They expected a three hour delay, and couldn’t let us off, since we were between stops.

The Metra conductors were professional, courteous, extremely apologetic, and shared as much info as they had (and even offered bottled water). But I am not in the best emotional state these days* and felt like I was about to have a bit of a break down. Despite how great they were being. And despite the gravity of the situation (and trying to see the big picture).

So I brought out the knitting.

And focused on learning some new stitches.

And knitted for the two and a half hours we sat there (not three, yay!).

And saved my crying break down for the car drive home.

Yay, knitting to the rescue! It really is calming.

*Thinking about Snow, work issues, hormones, etc. I actually had a mopey post about Snow ready for today, but I’ll save it, and maybe not even post it. Writing about it definitely helps, and talking to people about it does too, but I am just not sure how much of my crummy emotional state I want to put on the blog.

A weekend surprise!

By , February 5, 2018 6:24 am

Our weekend started off to a very exciting Friday night watching The Martian (a favorite of mine that I watch over and over), ordering new shoes for Steven, and finishing the wash cloths my mom ordered for her sister-in-law.

There’s three each of the patterned ones, and four of the turquoise. What’s next? Starting on a beautiful pattern and yarn that Mica gave me over a year ago!

On Saturday, I met Rachel to run in Burlington, Wisconsin, our go-to (somewhat) middle point between our homes. We ran on a new-to-us trail, and could smell the Nestle plant in town for a lot of our run! It was lovely to see Rachel and catch up.

While I was running errands on the way back home, my older brother text me and asked if I had lunch plans. He happened to be in the Chicagoland area, so we met him and his wife for a late lunch. What a wonderful surprise! It was nice to spend my morning with one of my best friends, and my afternoon with family.

Me, Steven, Alyssa, Chevy (the dog), and Nick. They were in town to pick up this ’41 Chevy (the car).

It’s not often we get to sit and chat without interruptions when we are with family, so it was great to truly catch up. We finally got to hear (from them) all about the surprise trip they took my nephews on to California in September.

After that Steven and I ran a few errands. We both need new phones, so we went to the store to look at them. I am going to stick with Apple, but he is jumping ship (ha) and was looking at Samsung and Google models (we’ll order them online later).

My big goal for Saturday night was to stay up to watch Saturday Night Live because Natalie Portman was hosting and she’s a favorite actress of mine.

I was successful and stayed up for the whole show (only because I napped from 9:45 until it started at 10:35, ha). Unfortunately the show was mostly meh! Oh well. At least we have an antenna now and can watch meh shows again!

We got a few inches of snow over Saturday night and during Sunday morning. The roads were dicey when I drove to teach fitness boxing at Efit. This winter seems odd, with how many times it’s snowed and melted completely.

I ran inside when I got back from teaching, and Steven was lifting, so it was fun to be working out at the same time! We went out to the shooting range after lunch.

I feel successful when I hit the target!

When we got back, it was time for errands (clearing that snow!) then pretending to watch the Super Bowl. We had it on in the living room while we made dinner and banana bread, and prepped all the produce for the week.

I needed more quiet time than I had this weekend. Both days I wanted to take a nap (and truthfully, mope about Snow) and didn’t. I have a hectic work week ahead where I am giving training, and taking training, and doing my normal work. I hope I can find some quiet moments in the week!

A 💩week

By , February 3, 2018 6:22 am

I started the week off feeling irritated and angry. And agitated. I actually made a list of things that were bothering me, and how I was feeling. And promised myself I would do something about it if things didn’t get better in a few weeks.

Then our week took a total turn for the worst.

Then the water stopped working at the house (it’s working now).

Then I was worried I’d have to go to urgent care to get an ear bud out (it was stuck deep in my ear for about thirty minutes, until I got home and Steven got it after a few minutes of work. I was freaked out.).

Then the vet called and said both cats have roundworm (which we can get from them… yay).

These two trouble makers

Then… I just had to laugh.

This week can just eff off!

There’s been recognizable and appreciated good, love, and joy in each day. I just need the percentage of that to be a little bit higher! Since I am not working today, and about to leave for a run with Rachel, it’s already headed in that direction! Yay!

A little Snow-morial in our foyer, featuring a plant my family sent

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95 ‘queries’.