Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dazed and Confused

After this weekend's whirlwind of fun and activities, that is how I felt.  But most of the time, it is what I think of every time I turn around to see Kayda's expressions in the car.  She starts out very alert and excited. Wondering if this trip will lead her (it's all about her, it's never me going somewhere) to the dog park to play with friends and fetch balls from the lake or maybe home to my parents house in Katy to play in the pool or huge back yard.
pup loves swimmin!

No matter where we are going, one thing is for sure- about 10 minutes into the ride the gets this real serious look on her face and glazed over eyes.  Kind of like a little kid who is so exhausted but forces himself awake so he doesn't miss out on anything fun.

does this face look serious to you?

Besides that, here is a quick recap to my weekend! We packed up the car to drop Kayda off with my mom at our lake house, before heading out to a log cabin in Kingsland, Texas to celebrate my cousins's 30th birthday.  We are a close knit family, so naturally most of my cousins were there. We had a blast!

My cousin and new Mama!!!
This kind of scared me.  Dogs in the country don't do safety.

We stayed out there until Sunday afternoon when we had to pack up and head back to Austin. I'll add more pictures of the cabin later, because it was really neat.  Then it was off to Papa Noel to pick up the tree.  The selection was pretty awful, and I guess that is what we get for waiting so long to get our tree.  Sitting here with the lights on, I am thankful to at least have a tree and a house filled with that unique smell that simply cannot be replaced by any candle or scent.  Real Christmas trees are the bomb.com!!!

And what is Christmas tree smell, if not accompanied by baking cookies?? I finally got around to Day 2 of Christmas cookies and made some Mexican Wedding Cookies.  My mamaw makes these every year for Christmas, but calls hers "sand tarts".  They are delicious!!!! I got so carried away baking that I forgot to snap more pictures. 

 I have something to confess. My last run, Friday, was miserable.  I hurt after 5 minutes and nearly turned around before convincing myself that sometimes runs are not fun and they hurt and that I just needed to get through it, and 30 minutes was so temporary in the grand scheme.  So 30 minutes of self talk, mantra repetitions, and grimaced faces probably offensive to passer-bys, I was done and thankful.  Naturally, I had some fear for this long run (originally scheduled for Sunday, but Hal didn't have weekend party animals in mind when drafting his training plan)  and was dreading feeling as awful as I did during Friday's run.  With a little encouragement, I forced myself out the door yesterday with the intent on running 4 miles.  I really got into the swing and ended up running over 5.  It was actually a very zen run throughout my neighborhood of beautiful homes and equally impressive Christmas lights.  It reminds me that sometimes, after a "bad run" you've just got to get out there and do it again.  So you can see that it's just a part of the cycle. And that those runs happen way less often than the ones where you do feel awesome.  

Namaste, people. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 1 of 12 Days of Cookies:Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Cookies

Let me eat some dough!
I have been inspired by several other blogs to attempt 12 Days of Cookies.  Lately all I have felt like doing is baking, so this will be a good opportunity for the cookie monster to share.

    question: Who never tells me no when I ask if she wants to play? Or go for a run? Or hang out in    general? And who is always excited to see me in the morning, or when I come home from work? Or when I leave and re-enter a room??

     answer:  Kayda!!! So she will be the (sole) recipient of my first round of cookies.

cute cookie cutter

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Cookies


  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 25 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Instead of whisking, I threw all of the ingredients in a large bowl and beat on medium for a few minutes. It eventually got too thick, so I finished up kind of kneading with my hands before rolling it out.  These cute cookie cutters can probably be found just about anywhere this time of year.

I'm gonna take Kayda's word on these cookies and pass on a taste test.  Judging by her wagging tail, these must be pretty darn good.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

If You're a Sissy and You Know it, Clap Your Hands

Clap, Clap.

Sissy I am, when it comes to freezing cold weather.  I knew this day was coming.  The day when shorts and a long sleeved dri fit just wouldn't cut it.  I get dizzy running on the treadmill so I knew this run would kick off the beginning of miserable, cold-weather training and that today's scheduled 3 miles in 38 degree weather would be no joke.  I pictured this happening to me...

"She'll see it later, Clark. Her eyes are frozen".

A few weeks ago, my friend Brit, unfortunately still recovering from a running injury, was able to recommend some of her tips for training and her favorite gear. Apparently, the key to staying warm during these runs is keeping my head, hands, and feet warm.  

This Christmas list has a theme

Funny I thought I could wait until Christmas to collect.  It really isn't too far off of a thought, considering I have sunbathed a time or two on Christmas day.  So after lunch, I stopped by Hill Country Running Company to get the basic necessities.

Runner sales guy:  Can I help you?

Me: (out of breath from walking 20 yards in the cold) "Yes. (Huff). I need stuff to run in that".  (Pointing outside).

He laughed and took me around the store as we collected the following:

  • Balega wool trail socks 
  • White Asics semi-fitted jaide hoodie
  • Asics Thermopolis headband
  • CW-XCompression tights  that turned out to be a size too small
Having to get creative w/ my lower half (tight mishap), I decided to wear my Burton wool knee high socks w/ my lululemon crop pants, along with a sports bra and tee shirt under my new hoodie, new headband, Asics gel nimbus 12, and isotone gloves.

How was it, you ask??

Drumroll please................

Not bad!! In fact, I wasn't miserable at all. Not even close.  It felt refreshing! I didn't feel too bulky and bogged down w/ layer upon layer but instead felt light and comfortable.  My sister was lucky enough to pull up right as I was leaving and captured some of my delirious hype:


Burton wool socks: did what they were supposed to- the wool kept my feet nice and warm

Asics top: With a tee shirt underneath, it was perfect.  I liked that it had a hood just in case the wind chill was extra bad and I wanted to get a little gangsta. I zipped it up all the way so my neck was taken care of as well.

Headband: I'm glad I chose the thicker of the two.  It covered my ears the whole time and I didn't have to fool with it moving around.

Isotone gloves: Kept my hands warm for the most part, but I could feel a bit of a chill at times.  I think I may still get a pair of gloves designed specifically for runners.

Asics Gel Nimbus 12: I have had these shoes since I started running consistently averaging anywhere from 9-15 miles a week.  They probably have close to 300 miles on them so I may upgrade soon to the newest version.

Time for work.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Waking Up to Rain

This morning I woke up just a few minutes before my alarm went off at 6:27 AM.  I'm a weirdo when it comes to setting alarms or microwave times and never use an even number.  If I'm doing a cook time around 30 seconds I will choose 27 or if it should be 20, I may do 19 or 23. Totally random, I know.  Recently I've discovered self-trickery and encouragement to rise and shine via little messages to myself!

I'm headed to Dallas after work this evening and figured a friendly reminder that this day is no ordinary day- this is a day that I will travel!!! (to Dallas) which isn't an ideal destination, but was apparently enough to get me out of bed. 

Texas, and particularly the hill country region, has been experiencing an awful drought which has drastically lowered our lakes' water levels, caused the worst wildfires Texas has EVER seen, and made me forget how hard it is to get out of bed with the sound of rain tapping on my window.  This is when the friendly wake up alarm reminders really come in hand!

Cue morning routine, which I will document and explain once my kitchen is up to par for a picture.  It is literally a 5 step process of letting the dog run outside to potty, popping an espresso in the machine, throwing a waffle into the toaster oven, and putting food in Kayda's bowl.  

Van's whole grain waffle best served with peanut butter and mashed frozen banana on top 
    See me?? Not in the kitchen....

Total time to complete said process: estimated 23 seconds
Total distance involved: No more than 7 steps 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Sister. Melissa aka MoPro1, Mopie, Mo, Mozambique, and her least favorite and oddly enough my very favorite: Mobama!

Sisters annoy, interfere, criticize. 
 Indulge in monumental sulks, in huffs, in snide remarks.  
Borrow.  Break.  
Monopolize the bathroom.  
Are always underfoot. 
 But if catastrophe should strike, sisters are there.  
Defending you against all comers.  ~Pam Brown

I remember you as the sweetest little girl that could be.  The one who charmed everyone as you pranced around in your red cowboy boots you insisted on wearing every day.  The polar opposite of me and my tom boy stage you stood out as the ultimate girly girl.  A graceful ballerina.  An imagination that was larger than life.

Mom and Dad said you had a heart of gold, and you did.  You cried in the Jesus movie.  And threw up after.  You would put yourself second to everyone and serve others before you were taught such concepts as sharing and giving. It was who you were-and who you still are.

You are gifted with your natural brains and sense of emotion.  One who empathizes in the most true sense of the word.

You are carefree. Spirited. Gorgeous. Kind. Compassionate. Loving. Thoughtful. And resilient. 

My partner in crime.  

Oops, we did it again

My island hopping adventurista. 

alien hunting

You help me keep Austin weird. 

You drive me crazy like no one else can. You know how to push my buttons. But you also know exactly what to say to pick me up.  And how I like my burgers.  You bring me right back down to earth, calling me out and always for a good reason.

God put me on this earth a few years before you but today I stand next to you.  And go before you only to make the mistakes that you will learn from without having to suffer on your own.  Sister, you have such wisdom and strength and feel for others like no one I know. I will stand by you and celebrate your every victory, brave your every battle, and dance along beside you through every beat.  I love you, Mo

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Two months ago, my farthest non-stop run was 3.1 miles.  Exactly 3.1 and over a year ago at that.   Without getting too detailed on past distance records and running patterns (or lack thereof) let me just summarize in saying this: I have never been "a runner".  I have intermittently included running as part of my workouts but have never been organized or consistent about tracking mileage or even time.

Fast forward to the beginning of September.  In typical Rachel fashion, I decided that I would run a 10k race. Why not?  Perhaps a 5k would have been more appropriate to begin with,  but I wanted to push the limits and really give myself a challenge.  And so I did.  I set out to run the entire race and cross the finish line and ended up shocking myself with my time and PDR. 

The point is this: " If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves"
    - Thomas Alva Edison

There is so much that we cannot,  by physical limitations, do today.  On the other hand, there is so much we can do to get us there one day.  So you have never ran a 5k?  Do you have legs that can move and can run for 5 minutes today? Then get out there and run them for 5 minutes.  And tomorrow run them for 6.  Yes, we have to push ourselves and face challenges on the way to our goals but that is what gets us there.  And those same challenges are what deters most others.  Whatever we set our mind to do, within reason, we can.  It will take a mix of time, determination, persistence, but we can do it.  What are you waiting for?