Wrap n’ Roll

Wrapping up the week and rolling straight into the weekend, that’s the name of the game! This week has flown by and I’ve also felt incredibly productive both at work and at home. I was able to run 4 weekdays (including this morning…which was a really early alarm for everyone), got a great amount of work done and was even able to sneak in a pedicure, a movie and some time with my Mr. Dan.

First of all, the half birthday celebrations yesterday were more than expected as always and I feel pampered, loved and fulfilled.

The day started out with Dan chauffeuring me into work in the rental mini-van, then returning to deliver me a extra big latte with extra big results, followed by a facebook frenzy of well wishes by friends, family and the sweet little sisters below – who are experts at photo editing #amIright?

The next wonderful thing that happened to me was this ‘omg!’ inducing lunch complete with meal-prepped grilled chicken, lettuce, 1/2 avocado and S.R.I.R.A.C.H.A. Dan was in charge of the sriracha ‘drenching’ on this one and sad to say it just didn’t kick enough. Therefore, tomorrow’s container leaves the chicken unrecognizable to the naked eye. #morespiceplz

At the end of the day after I had to put out a few tiny little fires at the workplace, Dan swooped me up and took US to get pedicures together in Beaverton. He loves taking me to get pedicures and he’s the happiest guy I’ve ever seen sitting back in the massage chair, people touching his weary hairy feet and even a little nail polish. He may not be as appreciative of me getting photo evidence for the blog, but I think he and his clear-painted nails will get over it!

To wrap up the evening, this handsome guy whisked me away in our weekend rented mini van and we headed to Cinetopia for dinner and Great Gatsby. I was thrilled beyond belief as I saw a dear childhood friend of mine enter the theater just after me, and it was a great to giggle, chat and make ‘let’s see each other soon’ plans with one another. In the meantime I’ll work on finding old photos of our younger years for a Throwback Thursday, Gretchen!

When we returned home late, I was surprised to find that my parents had dropped off a chocolate cake, fresh raspberries, a gift card to our favorite java spot and a beautiful flower in a vase picked straight from the garden – all for the special day!

I have the greatest family, friends and boyfriend I could ever ask for. It’s easy for my mind to be happy when there’s so much positive energy flowing through my beautiful life.

This weekend I have a lot of solid blog (this one) and educational reading/viewing to dive into (like this!) – many peaceful running miles while Dan’s off being important, and a whole amazing world around me to take in, one breath at a time!

heart JE

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Throwback Thursday: ¡Olé!

We made it to Thursday – ¡Olé!

Today has me thinking about how close we are to a holiday that is very near and dear to my heart: Cinco de Mayo

What’s not to love about celebratory margaritas, chips, salsa, guacamole and other traditional cuisine not Taco Bell, Dan!.

I know that whenever I don’t want to put dinner on the table the first restaurants that come to mind serve chips by the basket, keep the salsa coming and have eclectic flare and mariachi bands. Seriously – my salsa to chip ratio is 2:1, I have plenty of tomato stains to prove it.

Lately around the house we’ve been mashing avocados, chopping onions and chilling that guac like we’ve never tasted something so decadent! I’m looking forward to maybe putting together my first shot at making Sangria this weekend. Who knows, maybe I’ll share!

Sorry for the shorty post – today is going to be one of the busier days of the whole month with quite a lot of pressure on the little girl below’s shoulders.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is brought to you by a little girl who has always been chasing the sun with a smile on her face, sombrero and all.

¡Olé!

heart JE

April Summary

Whoa – reality check, it’s still technically April? I think we’ve got some confusion around here, the weather has been gorgeous in Portland and that’s not normally until June July if we’re lucky.

Really though, with the change of seasons, my work focus being on the month of May and all that has gone on in my world it’s difficult to face that tomorrow is the 1st of May. No complaints, just level setting with my mind because so much has happened this month.

April to me meant change, maturity and responsibility at work. It brought overwhelming success and pride that I’ll never forget. It propelled me into overshooting my running goal of 100 miles by 16 miles – which is unheard of during such a busy month. 

I’m looking back to my April’s Eight Great Goals and I seriously missed the mark on 6 of 8. I didn’t think reasonably what craziness the month would bring and sadly there were a few things that were out of my control and even out of my scope of importance. Where we did have amazing success was with limiting latte intake – I am looking forward to keeping that in mind in the months that follow.

Even though I’m managing through falling under the line, we still had a great month and plenty of wonderful memories to show for it!

Yummy Eats

So much amazing food was enjoyed this month from date nights to weekend food prep:

Torta-Landia

Sweet Potato + Quinoa Stir Fry

Saburo’s

Work Related

I realize that I talked a lot about work this month, and really because I spend most of my day living and breathing my work with so many positive things to show for it.

I’ve promised Dan and everyone in my life that the craziness will be over starting once the fourth quarter is over – which means another month!

Still there were some good posts that came out of the craziness and want a collection of them here:

Under the Bridge

How High?

Desk Love

Keep Running

Running Love

I got after so many miles this month and it really impacted my happiness.

I knew that running was more than just about meeting my goal when I was lacing up after 8pm at night, or logging ten milers even after hitting my goal. The weather has been so warm I’ve even been breaking a sweat early on in the run, and there’s no better feeling.

Running for Days

30 Mile Weekend

Countdown: Tough Mudder

My Handsome Daniel

The one person who got the least of me this month was my wonderful boyfriend. We stopped carpooling due to my schedule, we only went on two runs together, he had a golf tournament that I didn’t make it to and he did nothing but try to fix the world and make things easier on my life. He’s my everything and I’m so thankful he’s in love with me.

Week 14 Cohabitation

Week 15 Cohabitation

heart JE

Today in History – 4.24.2000

Hello everyone!

There’s so many things we could chat about, like the weather, the new clothes I’ve bought lately {on sale!}, my job, what motivates me, my man, etc.

It almost crept past me but something reminded me of a decision I made 13 years ago that has significantly improved my life and my health.

Today, April 24th, marks 13 years since I’ve drank soda.

I could harp and harp on why soda is bad for you, here and here for example – but instead I’ll talk about what pushed me to the decision and the many reasons I’ve stuck to it over the past 13 years.

I was in Seventh grade, 12 years old and incredibly focused on softball and the things that I could do to improve my game. As a team, we were working on the ‘mental game’ to strengthen our minds and work out our discipline, so we were encouraged to choose something to give up for a week. Instantly I knew what I wanted to give up, but would have to enlist some help from teammates and my very own family.

See, my brother had given up soda a year prior and had always boasted about it – and being the competitive little sister I decided to lead follow my own path. I also was not such a light consumer of the sugary beverage. We would go to fast food restaurants for convenience after practices + games and I would consistently order the biggest Dr. Pepper or Root Beer I could get my hands on. No fault of anyone’s, just the health concerns of high soda consumption weren’t public knowledge as they are today – so it was more about the bubbly bite I’d experience from an ice cold soda rather than the taste of it.

I recall the ‘last supper’ like it was yesterday. My dad and I left the practice in Beaverton and headed to the East side, but not before a pit stop at McDonald’s to order a #2 (Two cheeseburgers) No Cheese, Ketchup Only with a Dr. Pepper to drink. I remember slowly sipping out of the straw, calculating what I was putting into my body and ultimately feeling sick as a result. The cup sat overnight on my nightstand, half full and eventually poured down the kitchen sink.

Realizing that I didn’t want to finish my last one, I knew I had an easy road ahead to look forward to both with this commitment and many others that followed.

Weeks passed, months passed. I noticed myself feeling better, my teenage pores were clearing up kind of and I was full of healthy hydration {water} like I’d never been before. Soon it was six months later and there was no way I was going back – I’d come too far to ever put a drop to my lips again.

Since giving up soda I have:

  • Saved a lot of $$
  • Avoided a lot of extra and worthless calories
  • Encouraged others to quit/limit their bad habits
  • Found the will to give up French Fries (going on 12 years)
  • Nodded my head to every health conscious reason to give up soda
  • Much less fast food dining
  • …Saved a lot of $$

I don’t nag or judge those who drink soda now, but I sure am happy that I don’t crave the stuff.

I know that I’m a happier person because of this commitment and the endless personal strength I gained in experiencing success will serve me well for a lifetime.

Like I said, happy:

Just try it for a week, see how much better you feel!

heart JE

Throwback Thursday: Desk Love

Happy Thursday! We’re one day closer to the weekend, the sun is rising early and yesterday was the start of sunsets occurring 8pm and later. #happygirl

I’ve been fielding the same few questions lately at work and feel that they are worth sharing in this space since you’re probably wondering the same things:

  • “What time did you get here?”
  • “What time are you leaving today?”
  • “Have you stepped outside yet?”
  • “Do you stay the night here?”
  • “Do you have outfits / shower products at the gym for when you’re here early/late?”
  • “You were here before me and you’re staying after me – are you okay?”
  • “How do you fit everything in?”
  • “Why do you think about work things outside of work?”

I think you can get the point. I’m at my desk ALL day long, headphones on, smile on my face. When I’m not standing at my desk (cheers for a high desk!) you can find me strutting to the printer, sharing, collaborating, microwaving my lunch, refilling my water and doing everything I can to make an impact on the world that I live in.

Of course I’d love to be running around to meetings, working out at lunchtime and catching up with old friends over long lunches – but not now. The more work I’m getting involved in, the more I’m learning, the more people are noticing the work being done by my team and the more my ego gets a nudge from the positive feedback coming my way.

Like I said last week, it’s like a runner’s high.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is brought to you by a young lady who experienced love at first sight with this very thoughtful Christmas gift:

heart JE

Throwback Thursday: How High?

I remember summer days of my youth quite vividly. As soon as the sun was out and the first pour of lemonade made its way into a glass, I could be found outside – twirling, flipping, jumping and flashing my biggest ear-to-ear grin from the surface of our family trampoline. What bliss came from cranking the music to classic hits like The Macarena, Mambo #5 and the likes of Now That’s What I Call Music – Volume 2 while bouncing the day away without a care in the world.

Days like this could only be described through the rush from reaching the highest heights, the adrenaline from successfully landing a front flip and the wild sensation from doing secret ‘double bounces’ with my brother when mom wasn’t watching.

Believe it or not – this is how I felt yesterday at work. Is it possible to get runners high from having a conversation with some really bright individuals? Because I experienced it… and it was magical.

The past two weeks I’ve been getting into the office unbearably early to be sure that my morning work is taken care of in time for my new teammates to get settled in. The hope is that in doing this I’ll be present, peaceful and pressure free when they have questions and need my help to take their learning experiences to the next level.

In having to rise up to be a leader I feel like I’m finding my edge – my voice – and my influencing skills come to life. I’m working harder than ever, but have so much to show for it in the trust of my teammates and the feedback I’ve received from everyone who’s noticing.

Today’s Throwback Thursday is brought to you by a little girl who knew how rewarding it was to jump even before she was asked ‘how high?’.

heart JE

Running for Days

Happy Monday, you weekend warriors!

I seriously enjoyed this weekend not because it was lazy, but because I got things done. I was so productive and accomplished much of what was on my growing To Do list. I guess the hurry up and get work done week carried over into the weekend. I’m not even mad.

Let’s start with how things looked running-wise, since I spent nearly 4 hours at it –

  • Saturday 8:45 am – 10 Miles
  • Saturday 3pm – 5 Miles with Dan
  • Sunday 12:30pm – 5 Miles

I know you’re thinking two-a-days on Saturday is a little overkill, but it was much needed after the prior 6 days of only logging three speed-work miles. My mind needs those long runs to hash out thoughts, ideas, rants and creativity. To make everything better, the weather was clear and sun even poked through the clouds! Sure I’m a little sore, but Dan is the best at working out the kinks and I’m looking forward to a full day of standing at my desk today.

The remainder of Saturday was delightful as I was able to read the 148 blogs that were lingering from the week, enjoy two extra entertainingly competitive NCAA men’s games, and spend the afternoon with a weary and overworked Dan.

For the evening he was invited to a Timber’s game, so I made the most of my evening as a bachelorette and enjoyed brews in bed.

I think I know which one I would have enjoyed more!

Sunday was just as wonderful with ultimately not waking up until noon. Agenda included a quick rain-on / rain-off run, Dan and I went to Costco to grab lunch samples our weekend food prep staples and knocked out some quality meal prep to be shared later this week. I was impressed by how quickly and easily Dan jumped in to help out and was thankful because it cut down on the normal time by half. Salmon burgers, chicken, quinoa, veggies, you name it – they’re all there and neatly tucked away in tupperware containers on the second shelf of the fridge.

Extra exciting was getting a visit from mom and dad last night with an invite to dinner at one of our favorites – Original Taco House!

This morning was rough getting ready for another early 6am work start especially since Dan was sleeping soundly with no plans of waking until 10am. At least he’s promised to have dinner ready and on the table for me every night this week!

heart JE