Monday, September 30, 2013

Bakin' Friends

Some highlights from my Sunday:

- Church - always great.  We had a small group host meeting after the service, so Ina rocked out two hours in the nursery.  

- My aunt visiting

- A 4.5 mile walk (or therapy session) with Kim

- Ina using a big girl cup.

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I thought this was a great idea until about 30 seconds later when she saw the dogs playing and threw the cup down to crawl towards them.  

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- Watching football while peeling apples

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- Making crockpot applesauce. This was so delicious, it was hard not to eat the entire thing warm!

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- Receiving baked goods in the mail

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This month I signed up for Bakin Friends hosted by Steph.  


You can read more about it here, but the basic concept is that every month you are matched with someone to send you a baked good and someone else to send a baked good.  Additionally, every month there is a special ingredient that needs to be used.  This month the ingredient was zucchini and Deb sent me some delicious (gluten free) zucchini bread.  

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I have never tried buckwheat flour, but the bread was absolutely delicious, but I need to buy some now!  Thanks Deb!  

I sent some zucchini cookies to Alex over at Yums and Loves.  

I really enjoyed the concept of baking for a stranger, and I also loved waiting for my baked gift to arrive!

Also - just to make your Monday extra special - here is a picture of Ina and her cousin giving each other some love.  

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I can't get enough of these babies!  Have a wonderful week!



Sunday, September 29, 2013

My Weekly Food and Fitness Plan #5

Good morning party planning people!

How is your weekend treating you? 

Mine has been great!

We had dinner with the fam Friday night.  The only GF options were salad and french fries - guess which one I loaded up on?

Those little buggers felt like acid in my stomach for the first 4 miles of our supposed-to-be-10-mile run on Saturday morning.  About 8 miles in Danielle and I realized that the sky was going to open up on us at any second, and by 9 miles I was caught in the middle of a down pour.  An extremely sweet woman stopped and picked me up about a half a mile from my house.  I told her she saved my iPhone's life!

The rain cancelled my cider-mill plans, so the rest of Saturday was spent cleaning

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and playing.

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The kid is a genius - she can already spell her name!

Last night we met up with our friends Meg and Nigel to eat Thai while my mom watched Ina.  (Thanks Mom!)

Today's plans are completely up in the air.  Church.  Grocery shopping.  Who knows, maybe a trip to Home Depot?  

Hopefully I will have time to prep for this week's meals:

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  • Monday: roasted eggplant spread baked over chicken and topped with goat cheese - served with pasta
  • Tuesday: We are hosting our first small group!  We are having build your own tacos / burritos with rice and beans.  Still trying to think of dessert ideas - any GF ideas?
  • Wednesday: almond butter crockpot chicken
  • Thursday: leftovers (aka - eat everything that could go bad in the fridge)
  • Friday - Sunday: VACATION
  • Breakfasts: apple oatmeal muffins


  • Monday: 4 mile run
  • Tuesday: spin class
  • Wednesday: off
  • Thursday: 30 minute run
  • Friday: longerish run - maybe around 8 miles?
  • Saturday: I hope to get in a 3 mile run around Nashville with my sister
  • Sunday: off

I hope you have a blessed week!  How are you going to make it awesome?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Vaccines (and other things to talk about on Friday)

Good morning!  I am doing the Friday dance while spilling my coffee on my already coffee and crock-pot-juice stained t-shirt that I wore all day yesterday and slept in last night.  Keeping it real.  

Today's post is heavy on ramblings, so let's get to it.

1. Yesterday Ina got her flu shot.  She was a trooper and only cried for 10 seconds.  Vaccines are a bit of a hot topic in our family because Dan is extremely anti-vaccine.  However, because I am a pharmacist, as you can imagine, I am pro-vaccine.  I pretty much have to pull the, "because I am the mom and I said so" card every time we go to the doctor's office.  If you are anti-vaccine I would encourage you to read this article.  I think it does a wonderful job of explaining why vaccines are so important. 

2. Sticking to our meal plan was going so well and we were right on track until yesterday.  I put the roast in the crockpot at noon, and didn't realize until 6 that it had to cook for 3 more hours.  Fail.  Instead of going to a restaurant I pulled some frozen chicken out of the freezer, chopped some veggies, and whipped up some of my gluten free pizza mix to make a BBQ chicken pizza.  It was so good! However, I woke up at midnight to feed Ina and realized the crockpot was still on.  Fail #2.  

3. Fall air!  My morning runs have been feeling even more refreshing thanks to this beautiful weather.  Ina and I added a mile to our run yesterday just so we could breathe in a little more.  We also slept with the windows open last night.  So nice!  

4. Dan - I keep on forgetting to update you guys on his hip surgery recovery.  He is doing better physically and able to hobble without his crutches for short distances. He will hopefully start PT soon.  I do think he is getting a little restless mentally.  Poor guy was so used to going to work everyday. That is why I have taken it upon myself to give him a to-do list every day. Ha!  He is enjoying all of his extra Ina time.  Last night I had to work late, and when I finally crept out of my office I found Ina bathed and PJ-ed and them reading a book in her nursery.  So sweet.

5.Ina's Halloween costume.  I wanted us to do a family costume, which would be so cute, but unless we have a party to go to Dan and I probably won't go through the effort of dressing up.  So I am back to the drawing board. Any ideas? 

Have a great weekend!  I hope you have something fun planned.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Good morning!

One of my new goals lately is to try to focus on what I am thankful for (instead of always complaining).  I also love the feeling of community that comes from the weekly food and fitness plan link-ups on Sundays.  So, I thought I would start another link-up on Thursdays called Thankful Thursdays.

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Too much?  Probably.  If you want to join, grab the button each week, write a post about what you are thankful for, and link-up. 

Today I am thankful for:

- Coffee.  Particularly the blueberry muffin variety.  Seriously, how do people get out of bed without knowing coffee will be waiting for them?

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- Morning hair

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- Safe items to play with in my bathroom cabinets.  Yesterday I was able to put on make-up AND curl my hair while Ina played with my box of nursing pads.

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- The fact that I was asked to lecture at UNC AND that those lectures are over.  I love lecturing there, but I always get so stressed out about it.  

- Cherry tomatoes.  Ina is REALLY thankful for cherry tomatoes.  

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- Family dinner time.  At the table.  Dan and I holding hands to pray and attempting to hold Ina's hands while she tries to eat the peas on her tray.  

- Grilled pork chops.  I used this marinade recipe and served with baked sweet potatoes and a salad.  

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- Flowering plants that come back every year

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- Overgrown brussel sprout plants and the ability to Google, "how to harvest brussel sprouts"

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- Bath time - Ina has started to notice her reflection in the water spout.  So funny.

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- Dr. Suess's Sleep Book

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- One hour of quality husband-wife time last night (<-- thanks to Dr. Suess's Sleep Book).  We just watched TV together, but it is still something that doesn't happen often because as soon as Ina goes to bed so does Momma.

- All of you guys!  Thanks for reading everyday!  Muah!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Something You Should...

Good morning!  

For once, I don't have anything to talk about.  No worries - I have provided some links for you: 

Something you should watch:

This video of every single day in the life of a pregnant couple.  So cute!


Or in case you haven't seen this yet - this guy waking up from surgery.

Dan and I laughed for hours over that one!

Something you should read:

This advice to married couples - nailed it.

This hilarious collection of cool parents.

(Thanks Courtney for the links to those!)

Something you should make:

Your own coffee creamer I made the French Vanilla and I love it!

Crockpot Applesauce (I was forced to do this because Aldi doesn't carry unsweetened applesauce, but I am happy I did!)

Something you should do: 

Go to a pumpkin patch or cider mill (<--my weekend plan)

Sign up for a race - come on, you know you want to walk / run that Thanksgiving 5K in your area!  Now is the perfect time to start training.  

Something you should think about:

If you had 3 things to say to the world, what would they be?  

I don't know the other two, but first I would say, "Do you want to come over for dinner?"  

I better start cooking now. 

I am off!  See you tomorrow bright and early with a new link-up.  I hope you join me!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Roasted Eggplant Spread

Good morning.  How is your Tuesday looking?

I am feeling very optimistic about mine as I continue to knock things off my to-do list.  I am going to have a few words with whoever keeps adding things back on, but that is another story.  

Last night we visited our good friends Brad and Chessa and their new stud muffin Silo for dinner. 

Ina loves an opportunity to be the bigger baby.  It doesn't happen very often.  

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I bought this yummy roasted veggie dip for an appetizer.

I love roasted veggies.  Turning them into a dip is taking it to the next level.  

This is weirdly healthy and tasty.

Here is the recipe: 

Roasted Eggplant Spread

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Recipe modified from Ina Garten 


  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 sweet onions
  • 3 bell peppers (I used two green and one red, but I think any combo would work)
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Chop all veggies into chunks except for garlic
  3. Toss everything in EVOO and salt and pepper
  4. Spread on cookie sheet and roast in oven for 45 minutes
  5. After veggies have cooled, pulse in a food processor until they are chunky, like salsa.  (Be sure not to over-pulse, or else you might have baby food.)

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This was great as a dip, but could also be used as a pasta sauce.  I also have visions of slapping it on some chicken, topping it with goat cheese, and baking my heart out.  Yum.

Also, be sure not to forget the eggplant.  Or else you will have to take everything out of the oven and start all over again.  

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Eggplant seems to be a required ingredient for roasted eggplant dip.  Weird, I know.  

Have a great day!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Walk to the Park + Ina's Slide Face

Good Monday morning.  

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(Ugh, I fall more in love with that girl every day.)

I am determined to make this week great and yesterday was the perfect way to start it out.  

We went to church, where we heard an awesome message. 

We came home and I destroyed my kitchen baking while Dan and Ina napped.

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We watched a very exciting baseball game.

Then Kim, Ina, and I went on a walk to the park.  

We swang,

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we slid,

(the video is OK, but Ina's face in this picture is priceless - thanks Kim for your excellent photography skills and thank you Ina for giving me blackmail for years to come)

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and we talked.  Talked a lot.  It was amazing to catch up with Kim.  Even though we are neighbors we haven't had a conversation longer than 5 minutes in months.  We were due, and it took us the whole 3.5 miles to catch up.  We have now started a new Sunday tradition!

Even though it was just walking, we covered some ground, and added on to the 9 miles I did on Saturday, my legs are sore this morning.  I also have a splinter in my foot, which I am sure could have been prevented if I ever wore shoes.  All of that to say that I will probably deviate from my weekly plan and take today off. 

I hope you have a blessed start to your week!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Weekly Food and Fitness Plan #4

Good morning and Happy Sunday.  How has your weekend been so far?

Mine has sufficiently worn me out.  Both nights my head hasn't hit the pillow until around midnight which is a HUGE deal for me.

Friday night we went out to eat for a family member's birthday.

Saturday morning Danielle and I knocked out 9 miles - good thing because our half marathon is in less than a month.  

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Then I did the grocery shopping, played with Ina, (a box - her new fave toy)

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and dropped her off at grandma's so that we could go on a little date.

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Thai curry FTW.

We also stopped by the plaza art fair for a few hours, only to look at a whole bunch of cool stuff that wasn't in our budget.  

Don't worry Dan, one day we will be able to afford that $4,000 1 foot water tower replica. One day. 

Today I have 45 hours worth of stuff to do, so let's get to this.  Here is my plan for the week: 



  • Sunday: walk to the park
  • Monday: JM Ripped in 30 Week 2
  • Tuesday: 3 mile run
  • Wednesday: 4 mile run
  • Thursday: 3 mile run
  • Friday: off
  • Saturday: 10 mile run - yikes
How are you going to tackle this week?  I would love to hear about it!
1. Grab this button:
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2. Create a post telling us your plan to make this week awesome (and add the button to it)
3. Add the link to your published post below
Have a lovely Sunday!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five on Friday


1. Ina finding the stairs.

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I posted on Instagram last thing that it just got real.  Last night, as I was in the kitchen cooking dinner, Ina started to crawl towards me from the living room.  However, instead of turning the corner into the kitchen like she always does, she looked at the stairs, paused, a lightbulb went off over her head, and she made a bee-line to the staircase. 

I have heard multiple stories about me as a toddler, but some of my favorites are the "stair-stories."  I guess I shouldn't be surprised if Ina follows suit.  

That picture just kills me.  The look on her face says so many things, "I've got this."  

"What, Mom?"

"There is nothing to see over here."

2. Iced chai tea for dessert

I found this hiding in my pantry a few days ago and having been enjoying it over ice with milk after dinner.  

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As the days get colder, I will start heating it up.  Mmm....

3. Grilling in the rain

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Last night Kansas City had a pretty big storm.  However, that didn't stop us from making our new favorite grilled chicken.  I predict that chicken will be on the menu until it is too cold to grill. Even then, I think Dan could put on a coat.  Ha!

4. The overlap of baseball and football season.  Most days, it is difficult to be a Kansas City fan.  However, today it is not, and I am soaking it all in.

As of last night, the Chiefs are 3-0.  How awesome is that?!?

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The Royals are still in the wild card chase.  

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I have been listening to sports radio on my drive to and from work.  Who am I?

5. iOS7

I have heard many complaints about the new iPhone operating system, but I love it.


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It took me 30 minutes to download, and I think it is so clean and bright. 


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Plus, anytime I get to put a new picture of Ina on something is a win for me.

I am joining a new link-up today.  Thanks to these lovely ladies for hosting.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

In the Past 48 Hours I Have...

- Ran three times.  (Thank you, morning rain shower)

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- Been puked on.  Twice.  And when I say on, I mean all over.

- Forced four doses of antibiotics down poor Ina's throat along with 4 doses of Motrin.  (Poor girl has an ear infection -so sad.)

- Lectured to a room full of fellows and PhD students about extravascular pharmacokinetics.  

- Completely re-written a (very long) report to meet client specifications.

- Sat through a stressful client meeting.

- Had cereal for dinner because I thought we had chicken in the freezer but we didn't.

- Ate chicken for dinner without Dan because he had a last minute get together with friends.

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- Taken one picture.  (Above)  Ina loves roasted okra, but she can't eat the skin, so she just sucks the insides out.  

- Sat staring at my laptop, working, before Ina woke up and after Ina went to bed, two nights in a row.

- Prepped dinner for tonight 

- Set a personal record for number of times hitting the snooze button

When it rains it pours.

The past few days have been a whirlwind.  I am lucky to catch a breath of air every once in a while.  I can't even explain how good it felt to crawl into bed last night and just lay still.  

I am back at it again today - sorry for no post yesterday.  I hate days that I don't write one - I miss you guys!

Have a Happy Thursday.  The weekend is soooo close. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ina's First Day of Daycare

As I mentioned yesterday, my cousin Abby (who came her all the way from Texas to take care of Ina) went back home.  

Naturally, this means I had to find someone else to watch Ina.

However, I didn't even look.  It was like she found me.  

Danielle, who I have been running my long runs with, is a teacher, but is taking some time off to watch her son.  During our first run, when we were catching up on each others' lives, she mentioned to me that she watched two other children.  

In high school, I had worked with Danielle at summer camp for many years, and I saw how great she was with kids.

I casually asked if she would be willing to watch Ina when Abby left and she agreed.  

Well that was easy.  

And it just kept getting easier.  She is affordable.  Her schedule is flexible.  She has everything that Ina would need already at her house. 

Yesterday morning, as I pulled into her driveway for the first time I was kind of a mess.  Ina had a rough night teething that I just knew was going to translate into an even worse day.  I was considering telling her that we would wait until the next day to try it out.

Then, through the glass door, I could see three adorable toddler faces looking out in anticipation to see the "new baby." Who wouldn't be calmed by that?  

As we walked into the front door, Ina, who had been fussy the entire morning, was looking around in awe, and even let out a few smiles.  I was kind of looking around in awe too.  Her house was spotless and beautiful.   Shiny hardwood floors.  Organized toys (I need the secret on how to do that).  A huge bowl of fresh fruit and a container of homemade cookies on the clean counters.  

Ina immediately noticed the dog in the backyard, who was very excited to see us.  The backyard also had two swing sets and a garden.  

I could immediately tell that Ina was going to love it there.  

Handing her to Danielle wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and when I walked out the door Ina didn't even flinch. (Usually, she cries if I leave the room!)

Danielle texted me throughout the day with updates and questions.

I honestly couldn't imagine this situation being any more perfect and I am not just saying that because Danielle reads my blog. (Hi Danielle.  I hope you don't mind I wrote a whole blog post about you.  Ha!)

We are so blessed.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Olathe Medical Center Women's Triathlon 2013 Recap

Good morning and Happy Monday!  I hope you had a fantastic weekend.  

Mine was filled with some sad points-my cousin Abby, Ina's nanny, (on the right) went back home to Texas for good.  We are going to miss her so much.

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Some awkward points -I didn't know any of the songs they played at the wedding I went to, let alone all the new dances.  I mostly stayed upstairs and watched all the cool kids move until they played The Cupid Shuffle.  Ha!

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And some high points- I completed my first triathlon.

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And then I ate pancakes.  

Makes sense, right?

Before I go into any more detail, I wanted to point out that last year Courtney ran the Hospital Hill half marathon with me when I was 12 weeks pregnant.  This year, for this race, she is 12 weeks pregnant!!!

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Congrats Courtney!  I can't wait to meet that baby!

Okay, now, back to the race. Here are my results, which I was super surprised by (more on that at the end).

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I honestly thought there was no way I was going to finish this race is less than 2 hours.  I really still don't know how I did.

500 Meter Swim (11:35)- 

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I wasn't nervous to start, probably because I was so cold.  Our age group was the last to enter the lake, and I was one of the last girls to enter the water, so I thought I wouldn't have girls swimming over the top of me.  Unfortunately, I still did, and even worse, there were three girls who formed a line I couldn't get around who kept on kicking me.  

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No matter which way I turned they were there, so I finally went with it.  I did breast stroke almost the entire  time because it made me uncomfortable to not see exactly where I was going.  By the time I turned the second corner, I felt comfortable enough to work my way around the line of girls and finish strong. As soon as I got out of the water I ran through a group of people, who were all sweetly cheering.  With the swim being over you couldn't wipe the smile off my face. 

Transition 1 (2:08): This was really slow.  

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I didn't know exactly where to go and my legs were wobbly from the water as I grabbed my bike, put on helmet, shoes, and socks, and stuffed my face with some energy chews.  I also checked 10 times to make sure I had my helmet on.  

10.6 mile bike (46:10)- 

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(Thanks to Courtney for sending me this picture and thanks to whoever took it!)

The bike was by far the hardest part for me, but that is to be expected, considering I started riding my bike 3 weeks before the race. There were lots of hills, and they got steeper as the race went on.  I pretty much stayed with the same group of women the entire time.  What I didn't expect was that the roads were still open, and the cars on the road made things kind of scary.  I was timid to pass people.  Also, because the MS-150 was biking on the opposite side of the road at the same time, it was difficult for cars to make any headway.  A truck stayed right next to me for 2 miles, which as you can imagine, put a cramp in my style.  I was so thankful to begin the ride down the hill to the transition.

Transition 2 (0:47) - This was much faster, probably because I was ready to get rid of that darn bike.  

3 Mile Run (27:11) - The run was my bread and butter.  

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(I love all the tattoos you have to wear!)

My legs felt like jello for the first 5 minutes or so, but I just kept on moving.  I passed quite a few girls, which of course made me excited.  What was so cool about this race, was that as I passed girls, they would yell out to me, "Great job!  Keep it up!" so I started yelling it back to them.  The sense of camaraderie was great. After my legs came back to normal it was just like a typical 3 mile run to me.  Crossing the finish line was pretty darn cool.

I can't wait to sign up for next year's.  My goal is to beat my time from this year.  I also need to figure out a "place" goal, but for now I am happy to be in the top half.  

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One more thing - about 3 weeks ago I was really close to not doing this race.  Really close.  I didn't have a functioning bike.  Dan had just had surgery.  Ina was not sleeping.   I had only swam a handful of times.  I didn't think I was going to be able to finish it.  Obviously, now I look back at my 3-weeks-ago self and wonder what she was thinking and how she could have possibly had that much doubt in her abilities.  

Not only did I finish the race, but I think I did a pretty darn good job.  

This makes me wonder how many other things I could actually do if I didn't listen to all of my self doubt and insecurities. 

Food for thought.

Have a wonderful week!

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