Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oh the agony

Poor buddy! His eye is doing much better now but look at him, he looks funny. He keeps running into stuff and moping around. POOR PUPPY FACE! Last night before bed I found the cat sitting right in front of Marshall staring at him. I don't know if she had just got done licking him or if she was laughing at him. Poor little man!

If he doesn't get better by tomorrow everyone traveling here for the wedding will see him like this, but I think he'll be better by then. I've been going like a maniac to get ready for the wedding and now we are 3 days away! I am looking forward to kissing Bill for the first time as his wife and sitting down. If people ask me if they can help with the wedding, I'm going to say, "Yes, can you please rub my feet?"

Here is our outdoor wedding forecast: Friday sunny 102, Saturday sunny 94. We have the club house reserved so people can swim to cool off but it is going to be smoking hot. I never thought the temps would be this high in September in Oregon. I know, I shouldn't complain because it could be raining but it doesn't usually get over 100 more than once a year here and it has happened several times this summer. I guess the groom will be sweating for more than one reason!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Oh my baby!

Marshall (3 months) visits mommie at the office

My baby has an eye infection!!!!! He had to go to the vet today because his eye was oozing and red and he was keeping it closed. I can barely stand it, it's so sad. My poor baby!

When I want to annoy Bill I say, "Marshall is my human baby," and Bill says, "Then I guess we don't need to have a baby then." Hmpfh!

Look at how much he's grown, he's practically a dog now, I can't stand it! My baby!!!! He weighs 52 pounds now, he weighed about 17 pounds in the pic above.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Way to pick em!

Sarah came over on Sunday and made my wedding veil and then figured out all of the decorations for the wedding. She's the best of the best! Bill and I both have a hard time relying on other people to do things for us so this wedding is stretching our comfort level. It helps so much to have competent and understanding friends who handle things without drama or fuss.

Melissa is making my bouquet and taking photos of the wedding so between the two of them we will have saved a nice amount of money and shared the experience with them. Our friend Gayle will be coordinating everything on the day of the wedding so I do feel taken care of and I'm trying to remain calm. My poor mom hasn't been able to help much from afar but I have asked her to handle the glamorous task of making baked beans for the BBQ. MMMMMmmm!

The only details left now have to do with the food and now that I'm thinking about that I just realized we don't have a way to serve lemonade or a big enough bowl for the salad so I'm going to go freak out now....

p.s. the only exercise I did all weekend was 50 minutes of yoga last night. I have fallen off of the training wagon.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Neurologist is a Psychiatrist

I met with a neurologist today and had an interesting time discussing the bulging disc issue I've had these past two years and the other maladies bothering me. I get to have another MRI, xrays on my shoulder, and I get to have nerve conductivity test which include him injecting something into my muscles. He mentioned the possibility of scoliosis in my upper back and found a nerve problem in my right elbow.

People have tried to diagnose me with scoliosis my whole life but they always back off from it for some reason. I asked him how is scoliosis is treated and basically it isn't, you live with it. One of my shoulders is higher than the other so it's pretty likely that I do have it and it was never diagnosed. It would not be a good diagnosis to get but if that's what is causing everything then let's figure it out.

So I left with a bunch of orders for tests and a prescription for Xanax. He wanted me to have it for the MRI but I was thinking I wanted it for the muscle injection stuff he wants to do. So he said I could refill it. Xanax is an anti-anxiety drug and I didn't ask him for it so I must have given him the impression that I needed it which has me paranoid. HAHA just kidding!

Anyway, the tests will have to wait until after the wedding because I have enough to do next week!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My new hobby: before and after

Before: taken May 06, we had already put in rocks and started with some flowers. The rocks added a lot, it was pretty plain before that. Bill thinks this tree has a diesease but it has been growing and adding branches so I hope not.

Moving these rocks around made me sore for more than two days, I remember I could barely walk. Suprise! Gardening hurts as much as triathlon!

After: taken Aug, 06. I think the sunflowers are the best addition but the hanging baskets add a lot of color too which you can't really see in this photo.

The moss and ground cover are growing slowly, we're still learning about fertilizing things so I don't think we're getting optimal growth.

Before: taken Jan 06, not a lot in bloom since it's winter but we have added some nice plants to this bed and a rock border that really made it look better. I've been watching this bed like a hawk, hoping nothing dies in it before the wedding.

After: taken Aug 06. Still need to finish the rock border along the bottom side but I spent this past weekend pulling out dead plants and planting colorful flowers in bald spots. I don't know what the tall plants in the center are but they are about to bloom.

Pink roses are my favorite and I'm realling hoping I can keep these ones going for 9 more days so they are in the wedding photos. I might freak out and add a little more. I can't help myself.

Here is where Bill and I will be married on September 2nd. We'll decorate the trellis with white tulle and dahlias from a local farm. As long as everything stays alive in the yard and Bill and I make it to our alter with all of our limbs intact, we should have a lovely wedding. Note: I have been banned from mtn biking so it should be fine.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New toys

Pic of covered bridge on Campus Way bike path taken last week with new cell phone camera. This is one of my favorite routes for running. Bill and I got new cell phones a few weeks ago, I cracked my old phone when when I crashed my bike so it was time for an upgrade.

I took this pic of Bree last night and sent it to Bill on his phone since he is visiting his parents in Arizona. Marshall dog has been sad since Bill left on Saturday--I thought I was the dog's true love but maybe not! Somehow, Bill got to go to Arizona and go golfing while I stayed home and did yard work to get ready for the wedding.

Let's just say I saved a few fun tasks for Bill to do when he gets back today. This kitty is named Cassie and my sister tried to give her to Bill last week but he wouldn't take her until after the wedding. We lost our kitty Pinky on the 4th of July two years ago and we've been thinking about a replacement since then. We had too much going on getting ready for the wedding to take care of a little baby kitty, so it looks like we might have a new addition to the crazy farm after the wedding!

Monday, August 21, 2006

A ride from you know where

It got hot here again and temps were in the 90s this weekend which made yard work a lot slower and hotter. I took Marshall dog to the river both Saturday and Sunday and I had a hard time getting him to leave. I guess watching me do yard work isn't as fun as chasing other dogs and swimming.

Sunday afternoon I finished making 20 hats for a customer and needed to take them for embroidery. I use a woman who does embroidery out of her home and the trip to her house is 26 miles away round trip. She happens to live on one of our favorite roads for biking so typically Bill will load the hats into a backpack and bike them out to her house. Bill wasn't available on Sunday and I needed a bike ride so I decided to do it myself.

It was about 92 degrees and windy when I left and the backpack full of hats didn't weigh much but it wasn't helping with aerodynamics or heat. I'm sure I looked incredibly goofy riding a time trial bike with a bulging backpack but at least I was getting a ride done. It didn't take long before I found out just how windy it was. I had to lean into the wind to keep my bike from swerving into the road and the route heads straight into farming territory where the fields have just been plowed so dust was blowing across the roads and into my lungs.

It took me just over an hour to ride 13 miles and I wasn't going easy, I was in a hurry because I was supposed to show up at Sarah's to babysit in about 1/2 hour. I was going to be late. I had to get off the bike and adjust the brakes on my front wheel several times, there is something wrong with the front tire and I had to choose to ride with the brakes open or let them rub.

I made it home 1 hour and 45 minutes later, my legs and hands were covered with grease, my nose was filled with dirt and I was exhausted. At least I got the ride done. I'm sure it was worth it ;) Other than that, I had a great weekend and will get some photos of our nearly finished yard up tomorrow. I'm getting excited for the wedding and to have friends and family come to our house!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Calm down

Yesterday was GOOD! I picked up my wedding dress and it fit perfectly and my shoes look great (and more importantly have no heel so I won't be any taller) so I just need to make a veil and my bridal attire will be ready! I stopped off at Cost Plus World Market after the bridal store and picked up everything I need to finish decorating our back deck on the 50% off table.

Bill finished painting the deck a stunning redwood color and now I'm impatiently waiting for him to refinish the furniture in a light blond color so I can have the ladies over for margaritas on a sunny afternoon. This weekend is going to be heavy duty yard work and sewing. After this weekend we only have 1 weekend left until the wedding. Good thing I backed off the triathlon training, I think my head would burst if I was still training for a 1/2 IM. I'm training once a day now until after the wedding and I feel great. Twice a day was too much and I had been at it for months.

It has been cooling off here at nights with highs in the low 80s but it's supposed to get up to 97 tomorrow. YUCK! I'll be obsessing over the weather since our wedding is outside. It hasn't rained here in weeks so...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Run baby run

I had a great run yesterday, the type that clears my head and I realized that I've been kind of miserable lately. I had just purchased two books with an escapist plot lines and had to conceed that I am going through something right now.

I think I was able to turn my attitude around by the time I went to bed last night. I was able to fit in a run, get some sewing done, and do yard work as well as relaxation and I realized that's all I need. I need balance in my life. Too much of anything makes me miserable.

I'm picking up my wedding dress today and we have most of the wedding details worked out. I think I'm going to calm down now. I think.

Here's a pic of Bill getting his nails done while we were camping this weekend. After spending the week with my sister and I he decided he wants me to get pregnant with a boy first. I love him so much, look at how silly he is, getting his nails done when we're camping. He cracks me up!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Camping with the inlaws

Bill got to spend the weekend camping with my entire family and I think he survived without too many wounds so that's good! We might make it to the alter in September! My mom and dad drove over from Spokane for my bridal shower Thursday night and then we hit the road Friday with my sister to check out the high Cascade country of central Oregon.

This area is amazing because you are surrounded by beautiful green forests and fields of black lava. There are mountain peaks all around and any direction you go you find more stunning things to see. I was so happy to go on the trip with my family, they have never seen this area and liked it as much as I do. MORE PICS IN MY ALBUM.

Friday we camped at a lower elevation and then went for a hike Saturday morning to Proxy Falls. Then we drove up to the lava fields and got to see a fire from above with airplanes circling around. We hit the Cascade Lakes highway after that and ended up at Elk Lake which is near Mt Bachelor and Bend, Oregon. Saturday afternoon we did a 3 mile hike to remote Blow Lake which was stunning (and warm).

Sunday morning we had to leave early so Bill and I could get back for a wedding in Portland. The wedding was lovely and inspiring as was the entire weekend and I feel more focused and grounded than I did when we left. I realized that I can't do it all and will step back from doing a longer triathlon next month and just do a shorter race so I have more time for the wedding.

I was trying to make everything happen at once and it just isn't going to work. Bill will still do the 1/2 Ironman I was planning to do and I will just have to get over it because I can't work full time, plan a wedding, handle my web store, do yard work, have friends, and train for a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run in the next 40 days. I CAN'T DO IT.

The feminist in me is disappointed on many levels and the word compromise is feeling more real than ever. Honestly, I will enjoy myself so much more now that I've let go of the triathlon goal but it stings to let go of my goals. You can't win 'em all girlie. I haven't decided if I'll do a sprint or olympic distance triathlon in place of the 1/2 Ironman. Whatever I decide, those chicks better look out because I will be gunning for the finish line.

Friday, August 11, 2006


The bridal shower was last night and even though the theme was gardening I came home with a print g-string that is apparently for Bill to wear. He's king of the apes alright!

The shower was lovely, my boss was the host and made a spread of food that kept everyone happy. She is from Egypt so she made YUMMY foods that had more garlic than I've eaten in a month. We had champagne and raspberry cheesecake for dessert and lots of laughs.

Today we're off to the MacKenzie River area to go camping with my parents and sister. It's been YEARS since I've camped with mom and dad so we'll see how they keep up with us.

Pics on Monday!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Opinons are like...

I'm not going to say it but we all have one. The stress of planning the wedding is more than the excitment for me at this point so I'm looking forward to my bridal shower tomorrow, it should help make this all seem real and not some item to be checked off a to do list.

Having my sister here has been PERFECT for me because she has listened to me vent and helped me with shopping and planning. She has been going on long walks with me almost daily and she's agreeable to almost everything I want to do. It's always nice to be with family because they are obligated to understand you. She fits right in with us and I really like sharing my life with her, she's a sweetie.

I'm going to miss her when she leaves, I didn't realize how lonely I've been lately. I spend so much time with Bill but I also workout by myself a lot and have isolated myself from girlfriends. I've been working out with men too much and to be honest, men who do triathlons aren't always the best people to talk about your feelings with. But you know what opinions are like...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Riding with the brakes on

My goal for the Mid Summer Sprint triathlon was to race the bike section as hard as possible and see how I could handle the run afterwards. Typically I will hold back just a little on the bike so I can run hard but I wanted to try something different and see what happened. We got there late and Bill grabbed my gear and bike while I ran to get my packet. I only had time to ride my bike around the parking lot to check that it was setup properly before racing to the water with my wetsuit in hand. I noticed Bill hadn't set my front brake lever so I pushed it down quickly and hussled to the race start.

They had men and women 30-39 swimming together and I got nervous lining up with a bunch of men to swim. Swimming with ladies is much easier, if someone runs into you they will often stop and some women even apologize! Men... not so much. After swimming with 2000 other people in an Ironman you would think I would be tougher but no, it just freaked me out. I came out of the water about 1 minute down from my goal time and swam 15:30 for the .5 miles.

I wanted to have quick transitions so I tried to focus and get out of T1 as fast as possible. As I was running with my bike I thought, hmmm, this is hard to push through the grass, I'm just not used to this new bike! I started out the ride at a good pace, averaging about 19 mph but I thought there must be a headwind because I couldn't go any faster and my quads and glutes were burning.

I quickly got discouraged when women on road bikes with clipless pedals were passing me and a girl with 16 on her calf went flying by me like I was standing still. I thought, "These people must not be pacing themselves, I'll catch them soon." But I never did, I just kept struggling and pushing but I couldn't go any faster.

I really thought I was in better biking shape than this, I had been riding consistently in training so I couldn't figure out what the problem was. I was getting really discouraged, by the turnaround my legs were getting fatigued and only my anger was pushing me forward. Shortly after that I noticed a noise coming from the front end of my bike. I reached down to mess with the cables in case they were rubbing but that wasn't it. I thought I was getting a flat tire so I eased up a bit to watch myself in case the tire blew. There was no way I was going to crash my new bike!

I finally made it in to T2 without a flat in 38:41 which was more than 4 minutes slower than my goal time. I put on my running shoes and took off. It was hard to stay motivated to compete knowing I was way out of contention for a top spot but I tried my best to hold it together and started passing women in the first mile. I wanted to go under 22 minutes for the run, this course is always slow as it winds through a park, but my muscles were a little too strained to handle anything faster than the pace I was going (7:29 pace).

I headed toward the finish line feeling relieved to be done but the disappointment was already setting in. Just as I was about to step on the timing mat, a woman sprinted past me and beat me to the finish. She was in my division and took the 1st place division spot and caused me to be out of the top 10 overall. The 1st place overall woman was from our division so she was taken out of the division results, Little Ms. Sprint Finish got 1st and I was 2nd by two seconds. It doesn't get any more depressing folks...

I made my way back to the transition area to see if my tire was flat and found that it wasn't, it was just fine. I lifted the bike and pushed the tire and saw that the brakes were rubbing. Bill had put my front tire on slightly askew and had left the brakes open (which he does on his own bike) but I ride with the brakes closed so when I closed them it caused the rubbing. Team B and E had failed to communicate.

I think there should be something in our wedding vows about brakes and bikes and checking equipment and being on time to races. OR NOT! I'll race another day and kick butt later. This race was a special one, I was planning to use it to earn extra points in the NW triathlon rankings since it was a championship race but now there are only a few races left and our wedding is right in the middle of all of them.

WAH. I'm going to go cry for a while now. Here's some salt in my wounds, a photo right before the finish:

Friday, August 04, 2006

I'll get it done

My sister is here for a visit, this will be the first time she's been to see me in Oregon since I moved here 5 years ago. She just finished Cosmetology school and is about to start a career doing hair so she's taking a little time off before she starts working. I took her to the pool yesterday, there is no one at it during the work week, I think she'll enjoy it!

Bill and I are starting to scramble with last minute wedding things so my stress level has been rising this week and I don't think it will stop until after the wedding. My sister's visit is a nice distraction but that little triathlon on Sunday is also looming around in my head. You have to live a structed life to handle triathlon training and I'm struggling with keeping structure this week. Who knows, I might enjoy focusing on just the triathlon Sunday morning.

Who am I kidding, if I am enjoying racing a triathlon then I'm not going hard enough. The finish line is going to feel GREAT!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I lost it

I love this photo of Marshall dog and Ms Kitty. Bill wants to call Marhsall Mr Wiggles. If you saw his full body tail wag you would know why. Anyway, there are worse things...

OK I HAD all of our wedding plans including a guest list with addresses in an Excel file and I can't find the file. I am a computer geek and I've searched everywhere so this makes no sense.

The wedding is in 30 days. This isn't funny! My boss had to remind me to buy shoes to wear with the wedding dress (thank goodness she thought of that!) so I'm feeling a little... disorganized.

Not to worry though folks, we'll end up married regardless. Last night I dreamt Bill and I were driving home from REI and we realized we were late for the wedding and we hadn't written our vows yet. ha ha ha haa haaaa!

I just reserved 60 champagne glasses so if more people show up, they'll have to share! I lost the list and we didn't do formal RSVPs. Ha ha haaaa haaaa! Now all I need to do is figure out how to decorate with 40 yards of tulle.