Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Nephew is Growing Up

A couple years ago I took my nephew to see Toy Story 3 and it hit me how fast he was growing up. There was a moment in the opening of the movie where Andy is being measured against a door jam. My sister does that with her boys. I looked over at my nephew right at that moment, knowing how fleeting time is. Now he's 12 and taller than me.

...He didn't even get a coloring page at dinner tonight...

I finally got a chance to watch him play tonight. He scored a touchdown against an undefeated team. Only two other teams have scored against these guys in quite some time. I can see why, since they are obviously being fed human growth hormone or something. I swear they were eight feet tall and watching them tackle my nephew on a couple of carries was scary as hell for me.

He was fine, of course. He's tough, fast and lean and he's been training for it. Still, he'll always be my "little" nephew. He could grow eight feet tall and it wouldn't matter.

I'm a proud auntie today. My nephew plays well, he's smart and he's quick. Most of all, he's having a good time, which is the most important thing to me. They lost today, but they looked damn good doing it against a very tough team.

Until next time, Go Trojans!

Monday, September 24, 2012


The earth in the stony mountains is hard-packed and tough with roots all through it, even when you dig away from the growing things.

My husband worked with gloved hands, pushing and stomping a shovel into the red dirt, to break a hole where his grandma's dog Rhett would lay to rest. Just about a month ago he came to live with my in-laws after the sudden loss of his owner and rescuer, Dorothy, one of the sweetest of ladies that ever lived.

Dorothy got Rhett after he was rescued from an abusive home. For the first few years, he shied around doors as if expecting punishment on the other side. It was also said he mistrusted men for a long time. By the time I met him, not a trace of those fears remained.

Rhett was old. He had a seizure disorder and arthritis. He had just lost his best friend in the whole world. He was happy at the Grahams' but his poor body couldn't take the loss. We buried him today in the garden, overlooking the house.

This year has been a year of loss. It's been a year of battles. It's been a year of growing closer to those we love and realizing a deeper appreciation for the unconditional love of the family and friends that surround us through the bad times and good. I have an amazing husband an incredible family and wonderful in-laws to thank for the support that has gotten me through this year. The hardest part about this is that I don't get to tell Dorothy "thank you."

Thursday, September 20, 2012


The Disneyland Hotel has two water slides in their pool area. The beginning of each is shaped to look like the monorail, which has a station right next to the hotel in Downtown Disney. The same friendliness and service you'd expect at the park is given at the hotel. After a three night stay there, I'm not sure how I'll ever be able to stay in another hotel near there again.

Mock Jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins and other harvest vegetables decorated lamposts and windowsills at the park, tied with Orange ribbon and autumn-colored bows. It gave a distinctly October feel even though it was one-hundred degrees both days we went. Hopefully, next time we go won't be so hot. It was brutal, but it was worth it.

California Adventure looks very nice. The front is more cohesive with the 1920's Hollywood theme they modge-podged together before this last remodel. Cars Land's forced perspective is incredible, but both of the big name rides were more hype than they were worth. While the Radiator Springs Racer was fun, it was a little slow and Luigi's Tires just needs to be taken out for something else. The land just has too much of a "kiddy" feel to it, like most of "A Bug's Land," which makes me wonder if Disney isn't trying to take the park in that direction on purpose. It would be a disappointment to those who appreciate the addition of thriller rides like California Screamin' and Tower of Terror.

Friday night my mom and I went on a run around the block, which I'm glad I did because I skipped my Monday run after the terribly long and arduous ride from Anaheim.

We did it all, our wish list rides, the new attractions and the nostalgic ones. Our last ride the last night was me and Chris on King Arthur's Carousel, which is one of my very favorite things to do with him. There's something so romantically simple about riding on a painted horse with calliope music playing underneath the golden light bulbs while the night swirls past.

Disneyland magic. It's still there, even though we've been there twice since our honeymoon now. In line for Small World, we saw a couple in bride/groom ears put in their own boat for their own private ride. I used to scoff at romance for being so sickeningly sweet, but all it took was to be romanced by the one person who would break through my toughened heart and now I look at those people and know they are the luckiest people in the world in that moment.

Still, I have enough of my old self left to tell myself, "Enough with the gooey stuff, the readers of this blog now have diabetes because it's so sweet," which brings me to another subject which I'll write about in detail on the next blog post.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Running for Women

I tried on two pairs of shoes at Fleet Feet. The first, Brooks, I picked because signing up with Running for Women came with a 20% discount on Brooks products. (It also came with a $5 off coupon towards any bra, but that's not much of a deal when the "cheap" one is over thirty dollars).

They were comfortable, supportive and I felt like they would do just fine. The. I tried the newest model of my Mizunos and and they put the Brooks to shame. Unfortunately, it was the difference between paying $80 for a pair of shoes and $115.

So the Brooks, then. They've actually worked out pretty well. I need to lace them up the way I like, but so far I haven't had any weird arch or heel pains that sometimes come with new shoes (I have a weird, high arch and I need tons of stability).

I did my first two runs in Monday and Wednesday and had a blast. I'm shy, I'm naturally protective (it really takes me a long time to let people in), and I like to take time during the intervals to just look around, so for at least 1/3 of each class I've been a one woman wolf-pack. Besides, I don't have kids or dogs, so sometimes it's hard to find topics of interest.

By the end of the second class, I was ready to run more. I have to remind myself I've been mostly sedentary for nearly six months and pushing myself is not going to do anything but injure me. At least I ride to class, so I do get that little extra on the bike.

It's beautiful and wonderful to be running again. This time around I'm really trying to concentrate on my breathing. Having a talking partner actually helps, believe it or not. I thought it would be the opposite, that conversing would make me forget my breathing but that hasn't been the case.

I'm waking up early tomorrow so I'll have to save more details for a later post. So far, a positive experience! I'm excited for next week!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Two "Getting Active" Events and Other Things

I've joined "Running for Women" through the local Fleet Feet. It's a walk/run interval program that increases over time and works toward a goal race, the Turkey Trot on November 17th. Unfortunately, I'll be missing the race because that is the day I'm going to the STAR TREK CONVENTION IN SAN FRANCISCO OH MY GOD!!!!


Sorry, I'm a little excited.

I've also signed up with the American Diabetes Association for their Tour de Cure bicycle fundraiser. I've agreed to do the ten-mile family ride in Roseville on May 4th of next year, so I have plenty of time to get in shape. The booth at the air show cheered me when I signed up and gave me a shirt. It was so warm and fuzzy feeling! :) I'm riding for my dad, who has type 2 diabetes.

In October Chris and I are going to go see Richard Dawkins in Berkeley for his US tour. I'm about as excited as I get when I'm going to see a concert. I'm literally giddy. I can't wait!

A lot going on. Big, fun, exciting things! After so much hard work and adjusting to life here, I finally feel a little weight off my shoulders. I feel stable enough to be able to commit to things long term. What a feeling! It helps that I'm working four days a week instead of five now. I cut my hours from 47 to 39. It was just too much, but now I will be better rested and able to do a better job at work. Oh, and of course, Disneyland next weekend. Slap some ears on me and call me a mousekateer because I am all about having fun in Disneyland! Until next time!