Sunday, September 30, 2018

Day 51

Well, I crushed it again today! It's been amazing to spend the weekend relaxing, catching up, and pressing reset on a few things. I even had time to fill out my planner for the rest of the semester with what I already know will happen. I still have some blank spaces where I can add stickers or other fun items depending on the week; for some reason, I have been conservative with my sticker placement, but my planner won't be as cute and I won't have excuses to buy more stickers if I don't use the ones I have!

An update on my goals:

1. Go for at least two runs.
I ran 6.5 miles at 11:58 min/mile pace at 3:00 this afternoon. Success. 2/2 done.

2. Do at least six hours of reading/homework.
Did this one, but just barely. Feels good to be productive!

3. Take at least two naps.
Check! I had to be intentional about the timing and duration of this nap since I slept until nearly 11:00 and had 5.5 hours of reading/studying to do and 2 more hours of TV to watch. I took a 20-minute nap at 6:00 pm and felt refreshed when I woke up.

4. Watch at least four hours of TV.
Yep! I watched New Girl while I worked on my planner.

5. Wear my pajamas for at least 24 hours.
I don't know how many hours I wore my pajamas, but it was well over 24 hours. I changed to walk Scooter and go on my run, but other than that, I was in my pajamas.

6. Maybe do some laundry. 
Washed another load and have it in the dryer. Didn't put any of it away.

What a great weekend. I'm ready for a great week ahead where I don't get overwhelmed. I have two midterms next week (October 8 and 9) so a big task will be preparing for those this week. I also have my 18.5-mile long run on Sunday, then I begin the tapering period for Silver Comet Marathon. I'm excited about that, too.

Something that made today great: Sleeping in was a high point.
Time I woke up: 10:57 am (and it was AWESOME!)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Day 52

I am so impressed with myself today! It seems like it’s been forever since I had a day to do nothing, and maybe today wasn’t really one of those since I set goals for the day, but they were mostly goals related to doing fun things and taking it easy. For someone who is less organized that I would like to be, I do enjoy the feeling that comes from checking things off of a to do list or completing a goal, even an easy one. I am proud to report that I have really been knocking myself out and achieving the goals I set for myself.  Here’s an update on each goal:

1. Go for at least two runs.
One down, at least one to go. A rough 6 miles with Cousin Tim, but at least I got out there. 

2. Do at least six hours of reading/homework.
I read for a solid 30 minutes before I got distracted and started texting my friends about races we want to do and signing up for a 50K in December. Plenty of time to do this tomorrow, and I’ll leave my phone in another room. Just 5.5 hours to go!

3. Take at least two naps.
One down, at least one to go. 

4. Watch at least four hours of TV.
I am roughly halfway through this one. I watched one episode of Summer Heights High and am watching To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix. (It’s so good! I’ve added the book to my Amazon cart for some light, non-school reading.) I thought I’d be watching the LSU game, but we don’t have ESPN (or many other channels), so I’ve been checking the scores and occasionally reading posts with #LSU on Twitter. 

5. Wear my pajamas for at least 24 hours.
I am crushing this one. I exclusively wore pajamas other than when I wore running clothes for about two hours. Scooter gave Richard the fake out when he made two attempts to take her for a walk tonight, so I thought for sure she was going to fake me out too. She didn’t, and that’s the story of how I took my dog on a walk in the dark in my pajamas. 

6. Maybe do some laundry. 
Two loads washed, dried, and folded. Maybe I’ll put it up tomorrow. 

I am going to be ready for next week. Who knows, maybe I won’t even be exhausted by the middle of the week!

Something that made today great: Not having to leave my house for any reason. 
Time I woke up: 9:15 am

Friday, September 28, 2018

Day 53

Quick post today because I was finishing homework (oops) and just noticed the time.

I'm a volunteer coach with an organization called Girls on the Run. I was involved with GOTR in Shreveport and didn't expect my schedule to work where I could coach this season, but there is one team that meets on Wednesdays and Fridays, so I was able to pick up a volunteer gig.

GOTR is a personal development program for 3rd-5th grade girls that also includes preparing to run, walk, skip, or even dance through a 5K at the end of the season. I adore the program and am so glad to be able to work with my team this season. We have ten 3rd grade girls, and I am so amazed by the way they see the world. In some ways, their knowledge of how to treat others and be a good person is remarkable and encouraging, but they also have their moments where they do or say typical things that 8 and 9-year-olds say.

Today's lesson was about positive self-talk. Before the workout, each girl thought of an example of negative self-talk she had said about herself or heard another person say and wrote that down on a sticker. They were things like "I am not smart," "I can't do this," and "I am not brave." During the workout, we talked about ways to turn that negative talk around with positive self-talk, and at the end, we blew up a balloon and stuck the stickers to the outside of the balloon. Coach Hannah read all of the stickers aloud, and the girls had to respond to each one with positive self-talk. Then, we popped the balloon and smashed the negative self-talk.  They were full of passion and energy when they were responding positively, and I loved sharing this lesson with them. (Sometimes, the GOTR feels like a lesson I need in my life, too.)

I love their faces in this photo!

After practice, I picked up Scooter, and we came home to start a good weekend. I intend to go for at least two runs, do at least six hours of reading/homework, take at least two naps, watch at least four hours of TV, and wear my pajamas for at least 24 hours of the weekend. I'll also do some laundry. I'm setting the bar high!

Something that made today great: "Lunch with good people" at Creole Cabana -- I went out to lunch with people from my office, and not only was the food delicious, but the company was magnificent.

Time I woke up: 7:15 am

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Day 54

Today was better than yesterday in most respects.

After much discussion, Richard and I decided that we wanted to dedicate some of our income to hiring a housekeeper. With neither of us having an abundance of spare time for the things we like to do in the first place, we concluded that paying someone to do things we don’t like to do and don’t have an abundance of time to do would be worth the financial commitment. We had our first visit today, and less than a day into it, we already agree that this is going to be a good investment. We only have them coming once a month, but Richard and I are mature enough to keep things mostly in order between visits, I think. It’s nice to exist in a clean and more organized house. 

Since I was at home with the housekeepers, I was able to enjoy a leisurely morning that included using an appliance to fix my hair instead of throwing some Revlon No Blow Dry (my life saver many days) in my wet hair or salvaging the previous day’s hairdo with dry shampoo. Not only that, but I moisturized my face and put on some makeup. (I have so much respect for people who have daily routines that require this amount of commitment or more.) I caught up on some work for class, did a little laundry, and hung out with Scooter, too. I went into work for a very abbreviated afternoon of meetings, then it was time to go to New Orleans. I hit traffic, which was expected but not awesome, but then I had extra time to listen to My Favorite Murder podcast episodes. (That’s my current favorite podcast!) 

I met up with Emma, her sister Molly, and their partners Conrad and Marine, for dinner. After a few rough patches this week, it was good to have some face to face time with an old friend. (I think the last time I saw Emma in person was 2016.) Social media is great, and I love a good group chat for catching up, sharing memes, or reminiscing on past hilarity, but it feels good to see one of your favorite people in the world. It certainly doesn’t hurt to add some fried food to the mix while you’re catching up. I’ve allowed myself to spend more time getting stressed out or upset about small things and less time chilling out or doing things that make me happy, and that’s an unsustainable I am going to work on that in the upcoming week. Boom. 

Something that made today great: So many great things, but I’ll go with seeing Emma for today. 
Time I woke up: 7:56am

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Day 55

Today was not my best day. I came home this evening feeling tired and hungry, which was not a good combination. I proceeded to eat six macarons (my current favorite study snack) and take a nap before I made dinner. I ate more for breakfast than I do most days, so I have no idea where this hunger came from. I wasn’t shy about the amount of pasta I had for dinner either. 

I’d planned to go for a short run after Girls on the Run practice, but Scooter was acting clingy, and I wanted to spend time with her since she was at Camp Bow Wow all day. After dinner, I was too tired to do anything. No work, no run, no watching TV. I laid on the couch under a blanket hoping I’d get a burst of energy, but no luck yet. 

I hope this passes soon. It’s 8:40 pm, and I’m going to bed with hopes of waking up early tomorrow and doing the school work and running that I’m skipping now. Tomorrow night, I’m going to dinner in New Orleans with my friend Emma, so I have that to look forward to. Surely tomorrow will be better. 

Something that made today great: Girls on the Run practice! My team is precious and wonderful.

Time I woke up: 7:14 am

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Day 56

Tuesday remains my busiest day of the week; not much is changing. My office hosted a Title IX Summit today that mostly went well, and I learned some valuable lessons about event planning, primarily related to RSVPs and whether or not people will show up to an event when they say they will. I made some notes for changes to make in the future, so hopefully, the program will only get better.

I had a gap between the summit and my 4:30 class, but I realized I left my favorite book, Ebony and Ivy, at home, and I was going to need that for class. So, I went home to pick up my book and ended up curling up under a blanket on the couch and resting. Richard made me a cup of coffee, and I perked up within a few minutes. Now, it's 11:41, and I'm awake doing some homework and writing my daily blog post. This challenge to blog every day is easier on some days than others.

My Foundations class met at the Board of Regents this evening, and we had Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education, Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, as a guest speaker. She was fabulous and had great answers to the questions my class asked her. I also appreciated her optimism about and enthusiasm for Louisiana. I don't pride myself on public speaking abilities by any mean, so I have mad respect for people who are able to discuss policies and major challenges with eloquence and confidence like Dr. Reed did.

My book group did its presentation today, so I have officially finished more than 50% of the items I will earn credit for in Foundations this semester. That's a relief! I'm going to buy myself a cake next week once I successfully make it through this insanely busy September. (I have my eye on a cake from the same bakery where we bought Russ's birthday cake!) Some things like participation and weekly discussion cards are ongoing, but I have done quite a bit of work for the course already. Now I'll have more time to think about -slash- catch up on statistics. Hooray!

Something that made today great: Drinking coffee on the couch under a blanket was pretty amazing. I can only imagine how great it'll be to do that when it's not so hot outside!
Time I woke up: 7:06 am. That's also my area code. Boom.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Day 57

We are reading Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities, and I would be lying if I said I was engrossed in the text. On the contrary, I’m worn out from reading all of terrible attitudes and actions of people, mostly white people, described  in the book. I’m trying to blame the long Monday for my tired state rather than the readings. I was enjoying learning about HBCUs way more than I enjoyed this week’s reading. Certainly history isn’t always pretty. The present isn’t always pretty either.

This is shaping up to be another busy week. I am looking forward to tomorrow's Title IX Summit on campus followed by class at the Board of Regents. Maybe I will have more energy to write things tomorrow.

Something that made today great: I had such an adulty morning! I woke up and read on the couch while drinking coffee, then I had a productive day at work.

Time I woke up: 7:48 am. Not great, but not bad considering I was up late last night. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Day 58

Cross-posted to Saddlebrook Sole Sisters

15.5-mile run went so much better than last Sunday's. Not only did I actually finish it all, but I made much better time than last week. I am sure some of this has to do with the fact that my body is remembering how to do this whole running thing, but paying attention to my heart rate is making a difference too.

I started out with run/walk intervals of 1:00 and 1;30, respectively, because that's my favorite interval if I have a long way to go and/or am apprehensive about finishing a distance. My friend Ellen introduced me to those intervals in 2015 when I ran my first Louisiana Marathon while I was still taking a Z-pack for some sickness I picked up the week before the race. That year, I needed to redeem myself from the Great Bus Ride at the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon, so I was not skipping the Louisiana Marathon. I ended up having a great race and beating my time from the Chicago Marathon in 2013, my only other completed marathon at that time. I have done run 2:00/walk 1:00 most of this year, but I can still move pretty well with the 1:00/1:30 intervals, even when I am walking more time than I am running. It's funny how that works.

After I did 1:00/1:30 intervals for half of the run (7.75 miles) and was keeping my heart rate down without any trouble, I changed my intervals to run 1:00/walk 1:00 to pick up the pace a bit and see if I had a little more in be. The switch went just fine. At 10.25 miles, I ran into Ellen (the same Ellen from earlier in this post) who was out riding her bike and looking like a champion. We chatted for a few minutes, and I caught my breath enough to finish my run on a positive note. With four miles remaining, I returned to my 2:00/1:00 intervals and didn't have any trouble. I stopped my watch during the chat time, but I finished my run with a negative split somewhere in the neighborhood of 7:00, so I think I would have had a negative split even without the pausing. That's how the game is played.

I rolled out of the house at 8:20 am, which was later than I wanted, armed with 20 oz handheld bottle and a 2-L hydration vest, all filled with diluted Tailwind. Despite drinking all of that fluid, I managed to lose 2.4 pounds while I was out running. I was covered in sweat and not smelling like a fresh flower when I returned. I also got a little bit of sun on my shoulders (oops), but other than that, I felt great after the run. Around 5:00 I crashed for a nap, and now I'm doing a bit of reading before I retire tonight. It's not quite going to bed by 10:00 pm, but I'm excited to be in bed by midnight tonight.

Something that made today great: Picking up Scooter from Camp Bow Wow! We boarded her yesterday since we knew we would be gone for a long time, but I missed her. 
Time I woke up: 7:34 am-- not bad after a late night!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Day 59

Today is the kind of day I envision myself having when I am, as the kids say, “living my best life.”

I woke up early (for me) and met my librarian and her friend for a 3-mile run, then I came home and showered, played on my phone, and did a little homework before straightening up our house a little bit. We had tickets to the LSU vs. Louisiana Tech game, and Richard’s dad and a family friend came down to join us. We had great seats, great parking (thanks to a generous friend), and—after we made a pit stop at the LSU bookstore—great polos. I would’ve bought one too, but I wasn’t wearing any pants, and despite LSU being a “Big-time U” as described in Beer and Circus, I think it is frowned upon to show up to a game in a polo shirt and no pants. 

I yelled plenty of generic football phrases, drank from a commemorative stadium cup, and ate a “swamp sausage” for dinner. My favorite football phrase is, “There’s still a lot of game left to play,” because it’s true even if there is less than a minute left. (Flashback to last week’s LSU game...) “That’s how the game is played” is another one I like.

Every day won’t involve going to an LSU game, but I can dedicate that time to going to work and studying, and I’ll cook dinner sometimes. If I can keep up with running most days of the week and cleaning up a little each day, that will be fantastic. The fact that I had time to wear a little makeup today was icing on the cake. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this new routine after all. Hope springs eternal. 

Something that made today great: I ran my 3 miles faster than usual (my friends pushed me!) and didn’t stop to walk. I’m still a dedicated run/walker, but it’s fun to just run sometimes.
Time I woke up: 7:16 am! I think that’s the earliest I’ve been up on a weekend in a while. 

Friday, September 21, 2018

Day 60

It's hard to believe a week has passed since I wrote my acrostic poem about Friday, but here we are again on a Friday night.

I packed the day full of activities including taking a quiz, picking up supplies for Tuesday’s Title IX Summit (and visiting my classmate at her office!), getting some work done, getting a workout in, and doing more work, all by 3:00 pm. I left work to go to Girls on the Run practice, and I was wiped out when I made it home at 5:30, so I had a snack and took a two hour (!!) nap before dinner. 

Our friend Alex, an LSU alumnus, is in town for the weekend from Memphis, and he recommended grabbing dinner at The Chimes near campus. Everything about the meal was delicious, but my favorite was definitely the crab fingers (claws) sautéed and swimming in a delicious pool of butter. I can’t complain about the fried pickles or the BBQ shrimp and grits, either, though. Food like this is one reason why I keep running. I don’t know if any number of miles can make up for the sinful meal I just ate, but at least I don’t eat that kind of stuff every day. 

The weekend promises to be a good one, as I have scheduled running dates on Saturday and Sunday, and we are going to the LSU/LA Tech game tomorrow. Of course I’ll do a little studying, too. Then, it’ll be time for another week! Time is flying. 

Mmm, sweat.

Something that made today great: $5 Friday at Smoothie King! I hadn’t been to a Smoothie King since 2016 before today. 
Time I woke up: 7:25 am

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Day 61

Today was another good day...lucky me!

I had a good but busy day at work, then I came home for a bit to see Richard and Scooter before heading out to meet my friend Elena for dinner and drinks. While I was on my way out, I ran into my runner friends Ellen and Kimberlee, who were exercising not too far from my house. I rolled down my window to yell at them, and when they recognized me, I decided to turn around and say hello to them. I had great visions of seeing my Baton Rouge runner friends much more often once I moved down here, but life is so busy that it's not as easy as expected!

Elena, her friend Alicia, and I met at Perkins Rowe, a cool, hip place that I had not visited since I moved, and we had the "Sushi and Sake" special, which was a perfect dinner. The weather cooperated enough for us to sit outside, and it was so good to catch up with an old friend and make a new one. Now that we've met up, Elena and I are scheduled to go run together on Sunday, and we are planning a marathon before the end of the year. I have found that I am a much more dependable runner when I have someone to meet and run with, so I am hoping we can keep planning running dates.

I am noticing that I am not taking as many photos this week as I have for the past few weeks, so I'm including a throwback photo of Elena and me from 2016 when she came to cheer me on at the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon. It rained almost the entire race, but then we went to eat warm gumbo. We have taken lots of great pictures together, but this is one of my favorites!

Something that made today great: I'm having productive study time while listening to "Eagles Radio" on Pandora and snacking on macarons. I feel good about all of these items.

Time I woke up: 8:00. Tomorrow should be earlier than that because I have to be on campus to take a quiz at 9:00.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Day 62

At the end of August, Richard and I custom ordered a sectional, and it was delivered to our house today. I think it's going to help me reach a turning point with reading and watching statistics videos as long as I don't fall asleep on it. I have been curled up on it with my laptop and a blanket watching videos, and all seems right in the world.

Today was a great day because I was able to squeeze in so many things that I love. I had a good day at work, partially because we had lots of stuffed tigers in our office because we had a tiger-themed party for someone's birthday. I bought tiger stripe leggings from Amazon specifically for the occasion, but now I think we are going to make Tiger Leggings Friday, or TLF, a thing before game days. I'm all about starting new fashion trends.

Outside of work, I had a good running day. I went for a hot and sweaty run during lunch but was happy it wasn't as hot as it was on Sunday or Monday. Then, I had my first practice with my Girls on the Run team, and they were so excited about being on the team. I think we're going to have a great season. Then, I caught up with my friend Susan for a bit before she had a staff meeting, and I came home to see our fabulous new sectional and spend time with Richard and Scooter. Since Richard is off for the next few days, he made dinner, and I watched statistics videos.

It's been a full day, but I feel much better about how I am doing than I did on Tuesday afternoon. I'm optimistic that I'll stay on top of the many things going on in my life in the next few weeks and months. Thank goodness we have a great new sectional that I can sit on in multiple positions and angles while I tackle school stuff. 

Something that made today great: Preacher posted more than 30 memes/jokes/comments about iceberg lettuce on my blog post from yesterday. Some were good, and others were so bad they were all good.
Time I woke up: 7:17 am. (My watch tracks this for me! Boom!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Day 63

Two versions of the same blog post:

Today was a great day.

This afternoon, I took the lab portion of my statistics quiz. I felt confident about 3/4 of it but totally tanked the other 1/4.  After the quiz, I ran into a former LSMSA student in the Panda Express line, and we shared a late lunch. Running into people I know on a campus the size of LSU's is always a pleasant surprise.

For my Foundations class, I met with my book group, and we got organized for our project on Beer and Circus by Murray Sperber. I really enjoyed the book we read and am looking forward to our presentation next week. Then, I think I will be done with presentations for a little while.

I am learning every day as I read and interact with my classmates and professors. I know that this program is where I belong right now.

Something that made today great: I had fun cooking dinner tonight!
Time I woke up: 8:00 am

Today was a great day, but it was not an easy one. I was up late last night reading, and I allowed myself to sleep until 8:00, the time I said I would be at work this morning. I'd planned to drop Scooter off at Camp Bow Wow by 7:30. We are finally having our truck repaired after we were rear-ended weeks ago, and we have a rental car for the time being. No pets are allowed in the rental car, so I dropped Scooter off this morning in my car. I had to make an extra stop by the hospital to pick up the rental car because Richard said he would pick up Scooter when he finished at work today. (I am usually in class until 7:20 on Tuesday.) I missed my exit on the way to the hospital, and there was already typical commuter traffic on the interstate at that time. I arrived at work more than an hour after I originally planned, but I still managed to have a good day.

This afternoon, I took the lab portion of my statistics quiz. I felt confident about 3/4 of it but totally tanked the other 1/4. After the quiz, I beat myself up about it for longer than I should have and decided the best solution to my problem was to go to the student union for a mid-afternoon lunch/snack. I ran into a former LSMSA student in the Panda Express line, and we shared a late lunch. Running into people I know on a campus the size of LSU's is always a pleasant surprise.

For my Foundations class, I met with my book group, and we got organized for our project on Beer and Circus by Murray Sperber. I really enjoyed the book we read and am looking forward to our presentation next week. Then, I think I will be done with presentations for a little while. What was as helpful as preparing for our presentation, though, was taking a few moments to decompress and share some of our graduate school struggles. It was nice to speak candidly about some of my feelings related to being a full-time Ph.D. student.

Like that I sometimes feel guilty for getting behind on reading and staying up late the night before class to finish an assignment when I am only working part-time so I can go to school full-time. Sometimes I get frustrated with myself for putting myself in this position when I have classmates who work full-time, commute an hour or more to attend class, and/or have kids, yet they seem to stay on top of all the reading and not come to class looking like they need a nap. This morning when I left for work, there were two articles sitting in my printer tray that I needed to read before I could participate in a class discussion...tonight. The articles have been available for over a week, yet I didn't even print them until last night. As it turns out, my classmates are in similar positions as I am, and we are all learning to navigate the volume of reading in addition to everything else going on in our lives. (How appropriate that our discussion focused on women in higher education following World War II!)

I am learning every day as I read and interact with my classmates and professors, but I don't love everything I am assigned to read, and sometimes I find myself skimming to the point of having to re-skim or reread because I don't remember what I just read. My other classmates seem to come to class prepared to discuss the material  I know that this program is where I belong right now, I just wish I could shake this feeling that I am not a good student because I am not reading so deeply that I absorb every word of every article or book that I touch.

Something that made today great: I had fun cooking dinner tonight!
Time I woke up: 8:00 am

Monday, September 17, 2018

Day 64

My friend Elena posted this photo on her Facebook today, and after going for a run at lunchtime, I can confirm that it is accurate. 

During lunch, I ran the 4-mile loop around the LSU lakes, then I did a little out and back section to bring my total to 4.5 miles, the balance remaining on yesterday's long run. Since it was a shorter run, I thought I could push the pace a bit, but that plan totally flopped. I should have known that was a stupid idea, but it's hard to believe I have let myself fall this far in training.

My new plan is to train by heart rate. There will probably be some slow, rough runs in the near future, but I think this is a safer plan than busting it until my heart rate shoots up and I have to walk more than a mile. I'll report back.

Something that made today great: We have a new hot water heater! It heats our water and doesn't smell like rotten eggs. Victory!
Time I woke up: 8:30 again. Boo.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Day 65

(Cross-posted to Saddlebrook Sole Sisters)

With just shy of six weeks to go before the Silver Comet Marathon, I made myself get out and attempt my long run this morning. I had 15.5 miles on the schedule, and my last double-digit mileage run was on August 6. Time has gotten entirely away from me. I knew that I was behind, but it was hard to believe how much time has passed between double-digit runs until I looked at my calendar today. YIKES.

I didn't start my run until 8:30 am, which is a huge mistake because it's already hot outside at that time.

Since I have big goals and aspirations to break my PR (and not get cut off), I need to be taking my training seriously. So, that started again today. I didn't make the full 15.5 miles for several reasons, including:
  • I knew I was going to run out of fluids, so I went back early. I ran out just as I turned onto my street. 
  • My pace was dropping, and I had to be showered, dressed, and on campus by 1:00 pm. 
  • My heart rate was up, and I could not get it down. (This really dropped my pace!)
For comparison, here's my heart rate (HR) chart from August 6 (top) and today (bottom). I walk/run, so the drops are happening during my walk breaks. On August 6, my average HR was 149 beats per minute, which is pretty standard for me on a long run. Today, the average was 159 beats per minute but only thanks to lots of walking starting around 7.5 miles. I started an hour earlier on August 6, but I was also training regularly then.

So, I called the run at 11 miles and decided I'd catch the remaining mileage either tonight or tomorrow morning. I was not expecting to get out and break any records today, as I have a good understanding of my body, how it works when I take too much time away from running, and how it responds to training in the heat, but this performance was nonetheless a bit of a shock. I've built in time for exercise (of varying intensity) every day this week and will take a complete rest day on Saturday before next week's long run on Sunday.

There's definitely plenty of time to salvage this marathon and meet my goals, but I have to stay focused.

Something that made today great: RAD simulation was awesome!
Time I woke up: 8:10 am

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Day 66

I love my dog. I love my dog so much more than I ever thought I’d love a dog, in fact. I never disliked dogs, but I could totally do without them. And there have been days lately when I thought for sure I could do without Scooter. 

Richard started his job on September 4. Scooter is crate trained, but we don’t like to keep her in there all day since that’s where she sleeps at night, so I put Scooter in the backyard that day when I left for work. Out deadbolt on the back door wasn’t working, so I just locked the bottom lock and left. When Richard returned in the evening (I had a class that day), the door was open, and Scooter was in the house. Nothing was destroyed or peed on; she was just hanging out inside. 

“I need to fight harder with the deadbolt tomorrow,” I convinced myself. Eleven years in residence life has given me above-average skills for locking and unlocking tricky doors. 

The next day, I tried the deadbolt again with multiple keys (mine is a copy) and still failed, so I put Scooter in an empty bedroom with her bed, a water bowl, and Jamison the giraffe. I raised the blinds a little so she could bark at dogs walking by or delivery trucks rolling down our street. When Richard and I are home, she spends most of the day in our office space sleeping on a chair and looking out the front window, so this seemed like a good idea. But Richard came home to this:

Woah. So not cool, Scooter. Fortunately, we were already contemplating the purchase of new blinds in the next few months, but this was sooner than anticipated. (We have since replaced the deadbolt.)

After the blinds day, I decided to crate her in the morning and put her in the yard for the afternoon. That seemed to work, but driving home to do that and hang out with her (she is needy!) was taking a big chunk out of my day that could be used for running or even just eating lunch at work so I could go home sooner. 

Once the deadbolt was fixed and she could no longer push the door open with her paws, Scooter started knocking over plants and making a mess on the patio, so by Thursday, I was done with her nonsense and decided to drop her at Camp Bow Wow on my way to work Friday. Going from home to CBW to LSU takes almost an hour, so even that is time consuming. Fortunately, Richard picked her up, so I didn’t lose an hour twice. 

Anyway, having a dog isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but in the grand scheme of dog behavior, she’s actually very good. She’s potty trained, and she doesn’t bark too much, beg at the table, claw at things, or tear up the furniture. She is generally chill, but she also gets appropriately excited for things like going on a walk or trip to the dog park, taking a ride in the car, or Richard or me coming home. (How did I live without someone barking at the door as I pulled in the driveway and then running to the kitchen door to meet me?)

Today, I took a self-defense class at LSU from 9-4 and decided that whatever Scooter destroyed was something that was left at her height anyway, so I deserved it. (We lost an envelope and a sheet of labels from a box of office supplies.) I picked up Scooter and took her to Richard’s work so we could get some notarized papers that I needed to FedEx today so they’d go out first thing on Monday. I told Richard that I really didn’t have the energy for the dog park and that I would probably just take Scooter home after the FedEx store. 

At the FedEx store, I cracked the front windows of my car and ran in to mail the items.  (I discovered that my back windows are not going down right now, thanks to trying and failing to roll down the windows so Scooter could talk to Richard. She’s helping me find so many broken things!) Nobody else was in the store, so I was in and out in roughly three minutes. When I came back out, Scooter was in the driver’s seat, hanging out and not barking at anything. I asked her to move to the back, but she didn’t cooperate. I’m sure I was an awesome sight to see in the heat of the day, begging/commanding my dog to get in the backseat through a crack in my window. 

After a few tries, I decided to open the front door and move her to the backseat, hoping with all of my might that this wouldn’t turn into a cartoonish scene with her getting into the back only to hop into the driver’s seat again before I could shut the doors and sit down myself. She sometimes gets distracted and wanders away, but she is not a dog who bolts off, so I didn’t grab her. Today, she was wandering at a faster pace than usual, so I had to rush to grab her and shove her into my car. 

I had made up my mind that I was not taking her to the dog park until I saw the leash in my passenger seat and knew that she knew she was going on an adventure. So I asked, “Do you want to go to the dog park?” And her ears perked up, and she wagged her ax tail like she always does when we say “dog park” or “walk.” Then she smiled, and I took this photo. We went to the dog park after all. 

Our dog park adventure was short-lived because it thundered, and she is terrified of thunder, but I felt better about my dog mom skills for at least taking her out there. Then we went home, and I yelled at the TV during the LSU game (no technical football terms, don’t worry), and Scooter rested beside me on the couch. She didn’t bark at the TV, not even once. 

She’s still the best dog I have ever had, and the worst things she’s done are pretty moderate, but she has certainly done things that have made my life harder. It’s a good thing she makes my life better, or I might have to do what my dad threatened me with when I was bad and “trade her in for a dog.” Oh, wait. 

Something that made today great: Richard and I got to spend a few hours together this evening (as opposed to one hour). 
Time I woke up: 7:30. Boom goes the dynamite. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Day 67

It’s been a while since I have written an acrostic poem, but that’s changing right here and now. This one’s for you, Friday. 

F - Finally, it’s here!
R - “Ready for the weekend” is one way to describe me
I - I’ll definitely try to be productive but I’ll also
D - Doze off for a nap in the afternoons
A - Auburn will not be as good as LSU (so I hope)
Y - Y’all know I’ll get a long run in too. 

Something that made today great: RAD class at LSU
Time I woke up: 8:30 am...I am going in the wrong direction here. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Day 68

I’m short on time again today, but I would like to take a few sentences to give some recognition to page protectors. 

Not only do page protectors physically protect my papers from spills and crumbs, but they look remarkable in a three-ring binder. I feel like an organized, responsible adult and student when I see my notes and other files nestled into a delightful plastic page protector. It’s like a security blanket for my school stuff. I’d like to give myself multiple pats on the back for the statistics study guide I am making and promptly inserting into page protectors. 

Something that made today great: I made an A on my first paper!
Time I woke up: 7:15. Not much time to get dressed and get out the door in time, but I made it to work at 8 again. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Day 69

There are more episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants in the world than I have the time, energy, or desire to watch, but I did watch some SpongeBob when I was in high school, especially when my sister was in her SpongeBob days. One episode I have seen a few times (I think Leah had a VHS of this one) comes from the first season, and it's called "Ripped Pants." I won't go through the entire plot of the episode, because everyone knows that SpongeBob is nothing if not deep and thought-provoking, but there's an episode summary on iMDB. The important thing to know is that SpongeBob rips his pants, and when he realizes it makes people laugh and gives him some good attention, he keeps ripping his pants and talking about it. ("Oops, I ripped my pants again!")

Well, today I ripped my pants, and while I don't want to keep ripping my pants, I do want to talk about it. So here's the saga of my now-ripped pants.

Back in December of 2016, my aunt Lori and I indulged our inner Maxxinistas and went shopping on right after Christmas. (She was ordering me some clothes for Christmas.) I picked out a pair of super cute navy pants that had a cuffed hem and a large square pattern on them, and I was really excited to wear them to work.

Well the package arrived, and when I tried on my new clothes, the zipper on the pants was busted. I didn't want to fool with sending them back for an exchange and risk getting another bad zipper, so I decided I would just have someone in Shreveport put in a new zipper for me.

People who know me well will tell you that I am either all in and getting things done early and done well, or I am a walking, talking tragedy who might never accomplish the task at hand. When it came to these pants, I was in the latter category, but in October 2017 (yeah, I could have conceived and birthed a child by the time I took these pants for a repair...but I didn't) the topic of alterations came up with my former colleague, and we decided to drop a few items off on our lunch break one day.

We dropped them off at a dry cleaners and were told that they'd call us when the alterations were done. Since it was October, it was almost "cute winter work pants" season again, so I was excited about getting a call...but the call never came. I waited for a while--several months--but I couldn't even remember the name of the place where we took them, and the ticket they gave me with the store information was somewhere in the abyss of our condo. (Remember how I mentioned that I am a walking, talking tragedy if I'm not getting things done early?) All I could do was wait.

In June 2018, my colleague happened to ask me if I'd ever heard about my clothes. I told him I had not, so he called, and it turns out our clothes had been ready for a while, the alterations people just didn't know how to contact us. That very day, we went to pick up our clothes. True story: the pants weren't filed under my name, my phone number clearly wasn't attached to them, and to top it all off, I couldn't even remember what I needed fixed on the pants. That's what happens when you buy pants and don't wear them for a year and a half.

Eventually, I was able to provide a mostly accurate description of the pants, and they rang up my total so I could finally take the pants home and wear them.

Fast-forward to today, three months later, when I decided that today would be an excellent day to wear the pants. I picked out a cute top and went to work. Things were fine, I climbed in and out of my car, sat down and stood up from my desk chair a few times, and even did a few squats. (Okay, not the squats. I don't do squats very often.) It was like every other day in my life when I had worn pants and shorts...until lunch time. I decided to go home at lunch to let Scooter out, and as I eased into the driver's seat of my car, I heard and felt the rip of the seam in the seat of my pants. This wasn't a puny little rip, either; the hole was big enough that I could easily fit my hand through. (I don't think my head would fit through the hole, though.)

Honestly, I don't even have words to describe these pants except "junkahola," a term coined by my aunt Lori, the one who bought me these junkahola pants. I put them on once, and the zipper broke. Then, the second time, I busted the booty with my below average size badonkadonk. Sometimes, the things in life that you think will be wonderful and fashionable are really just convoluted road maps to spending time and money on something that just isn't meant to be, and that's all I can say about the junkahola pants. Lesson learned.


Something that made today great: Date night with Richard and Scooter! We went to the dog park, then we had dinner at the Fat Cow, a dog-friendly burger place not too far from us.

Time I woke up: 6:56 am. I was early for work today!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Day 70

Tuesday is my most exhausting day because I usually work in the morning before going to lab in the afternoon and class in the evening. After I arrive home, I eat dinner and finish up my statistics homework. (Homework is due by 11:55 pm on Tuesday. I try to do it on the weekend, but I always have at least one question that I figure out after going to lab.)

Today mostly felt like other Tuesdays this semester, except that I was reminded of a much different, much scarier Tuesday on this day in 2001. I read Facebook posts today from an array of friends who are a variety of ages. Seeing everyone recount the where they were on September 11, 2001 was interesting, but what I noticed most is that no matter how old everyone was that day, they were all forced to grow up a little (or a lot) more and face things about the world that they hadn’t faced before. I was in 8th grade, and I thought at the time that my worldview was evolving as I made preparations for high school the next year, but looking back today when I am older and (hopefully) wiser, I see that 9/11 fast-forwarded my peers and me into a different time and required us to realize some unpleasant facts about how cruel and terrible things happen sometimes. Yet, I am still glad I lived without those realizations until I was a teenager. Many young adults today do not remember a world pre-9/11, and that is a shame, but it is also a compelling reason to continue to share the amazing stories of bravery and sacrifice that came out of that day. 

I’ll close with this photo from the 2001 Marine Corps Marathon because it reminds me of the wonderful ways in which runners represent goodness and persistence, and they always find a way to keep moving forward, even in the darkest times. May we all take a lesson from them today. 

Just two months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, approximately 15,000 people participated in the 26th Marine Corps Marathon. (Photo credit: Marine Corps Marathon, caption:

Something that made today great: I think I rocked my presentation in class!

Time I woke up: 7:45. Not great on its own, but great knowing that I was up late reading last night. I’m so pumped to go to sleep by 10 pm. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Day 71

I don't have much time to blog tonight because I am working on a PowerPoint that is taking way more time than I expected. Who knew that making fake Twitter posts from Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois would require so much time? Here's hoping I get all of the creativity points on my lesson tomorrow.

DuBois is not the only one who gets a little sassy on Twitter, though.

Something that made today great: I had a good day all around! Work was good, class was engaging, and now I'm making a presentation with fake tweets.

Time I woke up: Gonna go with 8:15 on this one. It was definitely before 8:30.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Day 72

Here's something I thought I would never say: I wish I had paid closer attention to Plato's Republic in college.

For my Foundations of Higher Education class, at some point in the semester, each student has to teach for roughly 20 minutes on one of our class readings. On the first day of class, I decided to sign up to do my presentation in September so I could get my teaching out of the way early, and this Tuesday is my day. In addition to the assigned article, W. E. B. DuBois's "Talented Tenth," I have to find two other relevant articles and synthesize them into a coherent presentation about the assigned article. For one, I picked Booker T. Washington's "Industrial Education for the Negro" because "Talented Tenth" is seen as a reaction to Washington's essay, and for the other, I picked a book chapter from W. E. B. DuBois and The Souls of Black Folk called "The Talented Tenth Revisited," and I have been so pleased with my choice of day to present as well as the supplements I picked.

"The Talented Tenth Revisited" talks about how people might not see "The Talented Tenth" as a reaction to Booker T. Washington or an elitist proposal that would only embrace a small number of black people if they knew more about DuBois's background in philosophy. The author goes on to show how DuBois's idea parallels those in Plato's Republic, and it really was fascinating! Fortunately, there are plenty of long quotes from Republic as well as explanations of parallels between Plato and DuBois, but I would have liked to be able to rely on my own memory of Republic than to depend on the quotes the author selected. Alas.

I have had more fun and learned more information from this project than I ever expected. As a bonus, after Tuesday night, I will have this wonderful task behind me and can enjoy seeing what my classmates are learning from their teaching presentations.

I'm really liking school so far, but the volume of work has been an adjustment for sure. Working on this project has been a wonderful reminder that I am in the right place and that I am fortunate to have time to pursue something that excites me so much. I would like to get myself on a better schedule soon so that Sunday and Monday nights will not be as packed with reading. I haven't had a "normal" week since I started school, and we have been traveling every weekend since I started, so I guess I should just be happy to be swimming rather than sinking.

Something that made today great: Richard and I picked up Scooter from Camp Bow Wow, and she was so excited to see us!

Time I woke up: 10:44 am. I did roll over at 8:47 and consider getting out of bed, but it was a classic case of "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Alas.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Day 73

Now that I’m a big bad doctoral student at an SEC institution, I’m a football game watcher on the weekends. LSU won again tonight, so life is good, but we are all a bit nervous for Auburn next week. (Richard and I are less worried about it than other members of the family.) Thankfully, today’s game against Southeastern Louisiana University was a bit of a snooze, so I was more focused on perfectly spreading my boudin across a cracker than I was on tweeting about whatever was happening on the field. 

Mercer also won tonight, so it was a good football weekend! NCSU won too, but the word is still out on whether I care anymore or not. It’s hard separating a lifetime of supporting a sports team from your own personal experiences. 

Something that made today great: hot boudin! I didn’t know what I was missing before I came to Louisiana. Also, shaking a leg at Sundown with my new friends Tiffany and Dana was pretty sweet. 

Time I woke up: 8:47 am. It’s not perfect, but it’s not noon either. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Day 74

In the summer of 2008, I was working a VERY part-time job, so I decided to use some of my free time to teach myself to knit. Armed with a pair of knitting needles and a skein of yarn, I managed to grasp the most basic knitting techniques from watching YouTube videos. I knitted one scarf for my sister before I quit knitting. 
As I was packing to move to Louisiana in 2010, I ran across two skeins of yarn I purchased in 2008 and started a second scarf. I was talking to a boy at that time, and when I told him I was knitting a scarf, he told me his mom was also a knitter. I wouldn’t have called myself a knitter at that point, but he told his mom I knew how to knit, and she bought me a nicer skein of yarn from the knit shop in Shreveport than I’d ever bought myself from Michaels or Walmart. Since I couldn’t let the lovely yarn go to waste, I knitted a scarf with it, and then I was hooked on knitting. His mother and I built a friendship largely on our mutual love of knitting and creating fun new projects with all kinds of yarns. 

Fast forward a few years, and I met a new boy with a mom who knitted. The boy was Richard, and his mom was Kathy. Kathy was a little intimidating because she was so skilled in so many ways; she was great at knitting, sewing, cooking, gardening, being a sorority woman, and more stuff I didn’t even know yet. Richard had told her that the girl he was seeing was also a knitter, so Kathy and I bonded over that when we eventually met. We shared patterns, and she passed down yarn to me from time to time. (I rarely had anything worthy of passing up to her.) In 2014, we decided to learn to knit socks together, and we succeeded! She succeeded at everything, though. I’ve been inconsistent with my knitting, and I have a collection of unfinished items, but Kathy was pretty good about finishing what she started before starting something new. 

Sometime recently—we are a little unclear on exactly when—Kathy started knitting a sweater. She’d made sweaters before, so this wasn’t anything out of her ordinary repertoire. I would run far away from any project that required me to cast on 300 stitches, but Kathy was up for the challenge of little stitches on small needles. All through the last few months, she worked on the sweater. I watched her work on it sometimes when we would come to visit after she had chemo, and I imagine she knitted sometimes in the car on the way to and from Houston for visits to MD Anderson. If I did a little math, I could calculate how many stitches are in the sweater, but I know for sure that there are thousands. Thousands of times that she made little loops and pulled them through each other until they made a sweater. 

As I was driving from Baton Rouge to Ruston last Wednesday, knowing that Kathy has passed before I saw her one last time, I thought about hours spent with Kathy, sitting around in her living room knitting, talking, and drinking wine. I always felt so lucky to spend that quality time with her because I know that not everyone has a good relationship with their in-laws, but I treasure those days even more now that I have lived the last of them. The sweater crossed my mind as I drove, and I wondered if she’d finished it. I was pretty sure she hadn’t, but I didn’t know how to ask about it, especially while there was so much to think about. That night at the dinner table, though, Russ asked me if I would finish the sweater. 
“I was hoping you’d ask that,” I said with a smile. That night, I grabbed the basket with the sweater and pattern and tried to figure out how much was left to do. (Knowing how to read a knitting pattern and compare it to the actual knitted work is a skill that takes some time to develop.) She had made careful notes and tally marks for each repeat, but she was well into the pattern by the time I picked it up; I figured out that all that remained to do was knit the neckline (which was still 120 stitches), sew the armpits where the sleeves were attached, and weave in the pesky ends. 
I worked on the sweater off and on, finishing the knitting on Saturday night after the funeral, doing a pretty awful job with the Kitchener stitch (I should really master that sooner rather than later), and weaving in the ends before I left on Monday. Knitting can be such a peaceful hobby, and the feeling of finishing a project is always gratifying. Now that this garment is done, hopefully Kathy can start her next project in Heaven. 

Something that made today great: road tripping with my favorite man!

Time I woke up: 7:30 am. Not too bad. 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Day 75

People have plenty of ideas about how many days a person has to do something until it becomes a habit.  I have never been one of those "run every day" type of runners, but I did once have a streak where I ran or walked at least a mile every day. I made it at least 50 days, but I don't think I hit 60.

Regardless of any run streak, what I will say is that I have been a regular runner for a while, but not a daily runner. Since I started my GA job and school, however, I have let running fall by the wayside. Whatever habit I did have is now eluding me; I have skipped my long run the past two weeks in a row, which is not a good thing when training for a marathon.

My schedule has been out of whack with traveling and adjusting to school, and the conclusion I have reached is that if I want to be great at all of the things I'm doing, I'm going to have to become a morning person. I wrote a whole post about naps yesterday, but I really like regular sleep too. A perk of becoming a morning person is that I might be more productive earlier in the day, so I'll have more time for possible napping, but this is going to be a real struggle for me. Maybe I'll start documenting when I wake up on my daily blog posts. That could be a good motivator.

Another good motivator is that my next race, the Silver Comet Marathon, is only 51 days away. If I can put in a few solid weeks of training, it'll be time to taper. I am chasing a time goal (sub-5:30) that I have been trying to hit for a little while, but if I don't get with it soon, I will be in trouble. 

Here goes nothing!

This is the face of someone who just got whipped by a treadmill. 

Something that made today great: I went to the UREC during lunch and ran 3.04 miles on the treadmill!

cross-posted to Saddlebrook Sole Sisters

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Day 76

A few years ago, my old coworker Yolanda gave me a coffee mug that said, “I like to party, and by party I mean take naps.” For several reasons, this was an appropriate gift. First, I like to take naps. Second, naps are where the pants aren’t, and I am not about wearing pants if I don’t have to. Third, if I wasn’t taking a nap back in those days, I needed some coffee to keep me awake. Like I said, a perfect gift. 

(Find this and other nap-related memes here.)

When I came home from work today, I was worn out. Today wasn’t a particularly exhausting day. I didn’t have class, and I had a cup of coffee to help me raise my energy level. For good measure, I put a picture of my coffee mug on Snapchat. (My username is kimbarlie if you want to get awesome snaps from me.) 

Despite the fact that I drank coffee and documented it on Snapchat today, I was wiped out and took an evening nap. It was everything I hoped for and more, even though I woke up still tired. So, I got to thinking about my blog post for today and decided that I wanted to dedicate my post to naps. I considered writing about the best nap I ever took, but I couldn’t pick just one. Maybe I’ll narrow it down and write about that some other day. Instead, today I present you with the Kimberly Davis List of Top Ten Reasons to Nap. The list is in no particular order other than chronologically by when the thought occurred to me. 

Kimberly Davis List of Top Ten Reasons to Nap
  1. It’s too hot to be outside.
  2. It’s too cold to be outside.
  3. It’s raining outside. 
  4. You just ate a large meal. 
  5. You didn’t drink coffee. 
  6. You drank coffee, but it didn’t help. 
  7. You didn’t sleep well the night before. 
  8. If you’re napping, you won’t be eating out of boredom. 
  9. If you’re napping, you won’t be bored, period.
  10. You’re too grumpy to be awake. 
What are your top reasons to nap? Comment below. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Day 77

I made a new friend today!

Out in front of the student union, there are always a few people set up to advertise for an event or promote their organizations. I only walk in front of the Union once or twice a week, but today was one of those days. Last week, I noticed a man sitting in a purple camping chair wearing a shirt that said “Jesus Talk.” He also had two metal chairs, one with a sign inviting people to tell him prayer requests or ask him questions. 

(Buy one here. I won’t get any money, but it could help you prevent a sunburn.)

Today, I was unexpectedly a few minutes early to class. I passed the man in the chair again, but I kept heading toward Coates, where my class is. There’s stuff I could talk to him about, but I was feeling a little too prideful to put myself in a chair in front of a bunch of strangers and ask a different stranger to pray for my family and me.  That lasted about thirty seconds before I decided to turn around and talk to the Jesus Talk guy. My heart is still hurting from the loss of Kathy, and I know my loved ones are hurting, so I thought it would be good to ask him to pray for us. I sat down in one of his metal chairs, we talked for a moment, I briefly recapped my situation, and we exchanged names. (His name is Ivan.)

While dozens of people passed us by on the sidewalk, Ivan said a lovely prayer for my family and me, and we talked a little more before I went to class. It’s amazing how private this interaction seemed in the middle of the daily campus chaos. Ivan is there almost every day to answer questions, pray, or just talk. I’ve decided I want to check in with him regularly, perhaps even bring him lunch sometime. Maybe one day we will even take a selfie.

Nobody asked me, but I think this was a much better way to share Jesus with people than those outrageous protestors who used to come to NSU to tell the students that all of the gay people were going to go to hell. Being willing to talk and open to questions creates a better foundation than yelling and carrying signs about who is going to hell. 

Something that made today great: submitting my first paper!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Day 78

I am back in Baton Rouge, and there is so much to catch up on for this shortened week! I could have managed my time better while I was away, but there’s also just a ton to be done. Today, I’ll write more sentences on my statistics homework than I will in my blog. Tomorrow will probably be short, too.

Something that made today great: discovering one of my books for class on Audible and being able to listen to one of my readings while I drove home. This won’t happen often, but I am glad it happened today!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Day 79

Well, the first LSU football game of my career as a student at LSU was a success! After some scary moments that I only really knew were scary by watching others’ reactions around me, LSU won! I think if blogging doesn’t work out for me, I could have a promising career as a sports commentator on The Twitter. 

Once again, this isn’t the post I planned for today, and I’m not saying as much as I’d like to say, but I am tired. We head back to Baton Rouge tomorrow, and I still have some catching up to do for school before I’m ready for the week. I trust that everything will be fine, though. 

Something that made today great: eating delicious food while cheering for LSU with some of my favorite people! 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Day 80

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say today was a great day, I think it fair to state that today was the best day it could be. Funerals are always hard, but they are certainly made easier with comfort from others. The weather was lovely, and the family had amazing support from other people who also loved Kathy. It was the outpouring of love that she deserved, with perfect hymns and words of peace that many people needed in this difficult time. 

I’m tired now and want to keep tonight’s post short, but I have at least one idea for tomorrow. I will close with this poem, written by a family friend (more family than friend) that I was honored to read at the ceremony. There are so many wonderful things we could say about Kathy, and this hits some of the high points. 

Remembering Kathy
by Celia Jones

Much more than skill
It was her touch
That gave life to her creations
That came to mean so much

Always family first
Before her own needs
Her giving heart overflowed
With thoughtful words and deeds

The things that she crafted
With mind and heart so very clever
Made the garments and crayon holders
To be cherished forever 

Her gardens and yard
Remind of Giverny’s
She taught French, loved France
Even took students on her journeys

Her culinary talents
Were Heaven sent
An evening at her table
Made dining an event

Angel wings from St. Peter
She earned her first day
She only had to serve him
Her crème brûlée 

Something that made today great: meeting family members I hadn’t met before and sharing lovely stories of Kathy