Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Day 20

I don't dress up for Halloween every year, but this year I got in my head that I wanted to be Wonder Woman, and I wanted Scooter to have a Wonder Woman costume as well. I had no real reason to want to be Wonder Woman for Halloween--I haven't seen the new movie or even the old cartoons--but for some reason, the thought was stuck in my head. I actually think my interest had more to do with that time Summer dressed up as Wonder Woman in the OC, as I. Love. The. OC. (Note to self: I need to rewatch that episode ASAP.) More times than not, I achieve what I set my mind to, and with the ease of Amazon Prime, I conquered this spooky objective.

Photo from
Anyway, what happened when my costume showed up is that I didn't look as good as Summer OR the photoshopped model on the package when I put the costume on, and I was slightly disappointed by that. I run marathons! I should have a rockin' body for whatever Halloween costume I want! It's not fairrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

I wrote earlier this week about how pleased I was when my low expectations were exceeded by the bathrooms at Stuckey's, but I am glad I did not have super high expectations for this costume because there were certainly some differences between the photo and what I received. For one, that skirt isn't even the real skirt that came with the costume. Also, the gauntlets (arm pieces) are totally not tapered like the ones in the picture. Mine are regular old tubes with the same diameter throughout. Finally, the top did not have nearly the same effect on my chest. It wasn't a total bust like some Pinterest fails or horrendous Wish orders gone awry that I've seen on other posts, but I don't think I fooled anyone into thinking I am an actual superhero. For a Halloween costume ordered from the internet, though, I did just fine. Plus, my dog and I matched for Halloween, and that's worth its weight in gold.

Here are some fun photos from our day!

Something that made today great: Taking family Halloween photos
Time I woke up: 7:15 I think. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Day 21

Scooter is fascinated by the contents of our trash can, and I have about had enough of her shenanigans. Today, she spread her mischief to our kitchen counter and turned a sponge into a chew toy. Not cool, pupperoni. Not cool at all. 

A ritual at our house on most weeknights is for Richard and Scooter to go on to bed while I stay up and read or do homework. Usually, Richard and Scooter fall asleep, and Scooter makes a warm spot on the bed for me. Then, when I come to bed, I put Scooter in her crate and have a partially warm place to sleep. On nights when I have done enough school stuff for the day, we all hang out on the bed (which is so much more comfortable now that we have a king size bed) until it’s time for Scooter to go in her crate. 

Tonight, Richard stayed up a little later because he doesn’t have work tomorrow, and I finished my homework a little earlier thanks to being out of class earlier tonight. That meant we got to play on our phones together on the bed. I hugged Scooter and said to Richard, “I love Scooter,” and he turned to me and said, “Yeah, she’s the best, even if she ate a sponge and is going to poop it out soon.”

This is the kind of “I would love ______ even if _____” stuff I would have never imagined saying, but here we are. I guess we will have more of these in the future as our time as dog parents progresses. 

Something that made today great: Five miles around the LSU lakes with Jennie! 
Time I woke up: 8:14 am

Monday, October 29, 2018

Day 22

Since my extended family lives in North Carolina, most of the holidays of my childhood involved a road trip. I learned a lot from those car rides, particularly with my dad, who obsessed over time and got a little thrill when we made a particularly fast stop for food, gas, and the bathroom. As I have been in Louisiana since I graduated from college, I have continued to make my fair share of road trips. On my most legendary trips, I go to the bathroom, get gas, and hit a drive thru on my way out, and that is my only stop between Louisiana and Georgia. I completely blame my dad for this, but it’s also a point of pride. I fear that someday my bladder will no longer be such a steel trap, and my most legendary trips will involved two stops...but that day is not today. 

Family road trips also introduced me to the joys of rest areas by the interstate. It’s hard to beat the convenience of a clean bathroom right off of the interstate (no traffic lights) and a series of drink and snack machines for any non-meal cravings. I particularly enjoy a state welcome center with friendly staff members and hot coffee, although stopping for those amenities cuts into valuable travel time. On the other hand, picking a gas station bathroom can be a crapshoot (no pun intended) if you’re not near a place that is famous for its clean restrooms. (Buc-ee’s, anyone?) 

Today, I selected a Stuckey’s in Mississippi for my gas/bathroom/food stop, and my expectations for the bathroom were not high. I’d been to other Stuckey’s locations before and didn’t remember them being particularly clean or unclean, but the station itself didn’t look modern or fancy. Yet when I opened the bathroom door, it was not the sad single stall situation I expected. In fact, the bathroom was both bigger and cleaner than anticipated, and I was pleased. I took a few moments of my valuable travel time to browse the Stuckey’s brand goodies and left with a box of peanut brittle and a bag of bullseyes, and I wish now that I had bought some fudge. What a surprisingly pleasant stop!

I think I have touched on being surprised when my expectations were exceeded in another blog post, which surprises me a little because I don’t make it my rule in life to aim low. Stuckey’s has long been a part of road trip culture, but its status and services have changed over the years. One blog I read lamented that the true Stuckey’s sold out to a corporation, and what we experience today is not the real deal. (Isn’t that how it always goes?) Nevertheless, I was pleased to find clean bathrooms and good snacks at a Stuckey’s today, and while it takes a little more time than a rest area, it’s worth it for the peanut brittle if nothing else. So, if you’re road tripping and aren’t near a rest area or a Buc-ee’s—or if you just need some fudge, peanut brittle, or a pecan log—go on and give Stuckey’s a try. 

Something that made today great: Being reunited with Richard and Scooter!
Time I woke up: 8:30 am (eastern)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Day 23

For the first time ever, I have been at home to recover from a marathon, and I must say that I think there's something to that whole strategy. I didn't attempt to run today, but my legs feel great for walking and existing, which is not always the case after a big race!

Taking the rest of yesterday pretty easy was a good choice, and there's something to be said for sleeping late (nearly noon, though there was a time difference between Georgia and Louisiana), but it sure was nice to have a big home-cooked lunch and take an extra day off, too. Leah and I did some homework, then my mom and I went to the mall for some light shopping and smoothie drinking. It's possible that I would have the same effects if I was at home but my mom came and cooked a big lunch for me; maybe I will see if I can get my mom to visit so we can test that out some other time. I pretty much take any excuse for a good home-cooked meal that I didn't have to cook myself.

Tomorrow I'll make the journey back to Baton Rouge and jump right back into the class routine, but I am okay with that because it also means I'll be able to see my best husband and our favorite dog. The time away has been good, and I had plenty of fun, but my regular grind isn't so bad either. For that, I am thankful.

Have a great week, friends!

I wanted to post a selfie of my mom and me with our smoothies, but she didn't like how she looked, so here's half of a selfie of my mom and me with our smoothies.

Something that made today great: Drinking mango smoothies with Big Suz in the Mount Berry Square Mall food court
Time I woke up: 11:35 am

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Day 24

Marathon season kicked off for me today at the Silver Comet Marathon in Mableton, Georgia, which happens to take place on the Silver Comet Trail. The trail was absolutely beautiful, and the temperatures were perfect for a late October race. The cutoff advertised for the race was 5.5 hours, which would be a personal record (PR) for me, and one that I have been trying to beat for a little while now. But, today was not that day. (Fortunately, the race director kept the course open for 6 hours.) Every day can't be the best race day, but it does make me appreciate the good days even more. Also, even on race days that aren't the best, it's pretty wonderful to be able to get out and do healthy things like run a marathon on a beautiful trail with a friend and talk about life. Also, I’m proud of my friend Mary Lynn for finishing her first half marathon today!

I was super excited about today's race because I had been missing the camaraderie of running with my friend Catherine, and we were wearing our awesome new running dresses. Unfortunately, after a promising first half, I wore down fast. I went in with a plan for the race, but that was thwarted about a third of the way the through the race when the mile markers disappeared. I expected today's race to be small with little to no crowd support--I have run marathons basically alone before--but I also expected mile markers, and they were not there for me. I didn't realize how motivating it can be to see a sign every mile, but it definitely wasn't good for my mental state to have no confirmation that I was as far along the route as my watch said I was. The course was mostly out-and-back, but when we hit the turnaround, our watches had us around mile 13. When we asked where the heck we were, the volunteers told us we should be around 14.8 miles. 

As it turns out, we had missed a small out-and-back section totaling 1.8 miles. We only had to do it once on the course, so we made it up on the way back, but we were mad about it the whole time. Although there were no mile markers or signs, we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by friendly volunteers at the turnaround. I made sure to describe the lack of signage as "bad" whenever I could for the remainder of the race.

Despite the excellent weather and my training at lower heart rates toward the end of my training cycle, my heart rate rose in the second half of the race, and I struggled for a bit. Catherine was a patient and lovely race partner through it all, including when I wanted to walk from miles 18.5-20. (It was a fast walk, though!) 

During the last five miles, when I started doing calculations to estimate our finish time, I came to the realization that we were likely to finish under 5:50 but definitely under six hours. As recently as two years ago during the Marine Corps Marathon, I had not run a marathon under 6:00, and I missed that by more than 11 minutes, due largely to unusual temperatures around Washington DC that weekend. Now, I have run my last few marathons under 6 hours as a normal occurrence. It was humbling to consider the progress I have made in the last few years. If I stick to it (and possibly try a little harder), I will eventually run that 5:30 marathon I have been chasing...and then I'll set a new goal. For now, though, it's good to celebrate my progress in the past few years and enjoy the fact that I can even participate in this incredible sport.

In the end, we finished the marathon under 5:48, making this my third fastest marathon to date. (Also, it's my fastest marathon on a trail, though this was a paved trail.) That's not too shabby! The shirt is super soft, the medal is neat, and the race was generally good other than the unmarked miles and out-and-back section. I would do this race again if I happened to be in the area around race weekend some other year.

Something that made today great: Catching up with Jake after my first race of the season!
Time I woke up: 5:16 am

Friday, October 26, 2018

Day 25

I spent the day with my mom because it was her birthday, and we had a pretty fun day! We had a leisurely morning of drinking coffee and playing on our phones, then we had lunch, went shopping, and went out for dinner. It's nice to be able to celebrate with my best mom over a tasty meal. 

Now, I'm full of good food and ready to take on my race in the morning. I have to be up and on the road early, so I'm going to cut this short because (a) I have little to say and (b) I need to get some sleep. Tomorrow should be a good day for blog writing!

Something that made today great: Rediscovering Kit Kats...they are a pretty delicious candy. I've been a Snickers girl for a while, but Kit Kats are good too. Bring on Halloween!
Time I woke up: 9:23 am (which is 8:23 am central!)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Day 26

I'm not sure I have come out and stated this explicitly on my blog, but in case my interest in having an excellent planner, adoration for office supplies, excitement about doing well in school, and love for knitting weren't obvious indicators...I am a nerd. I am especially interested in business leaders and the way they live their lives. In recent years, I have read Clarence Saunders and the Founding of Piggly Wiggly: The Rise & Fall of a Memphis Maverick and The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: The Amazing Story of How America Lost Its Mind Over a Plush Toy--and the Eccentric Genius Behind It for fun, and I loved both books. Although I don't aspire to follow their trajectories, there is something about businesspeople and their life stories that makes me want to understand their paths. Perhaps I am interested in their leadership styles and want to learn from what they did well while also recognizing some of their choices that could have been better. Leadership is an important component of my field.

Today, that nerdy interest spread over to my podcast listening. When I lived in Natchitoches, I rarely carried my phone on runs, and I didn't listen to music most of the times I went running, either. After I started working at Centenary in July 2016 and had access to a treadmill, however, I decided to start listening to podcasts while I trained, something I do now if I am training on a treadmill or running by myself for more than five miles or so. Then, the podcasts spread to my kitchen and my car.

My car doesn't have an AUX port, but I recently bought a radio adapter for my car, and now it's all podcasts all the time. Today, while I was driving from Louisiana to Georgia, I listened to a couple of different podcasts, including a new one called "Household Name." It's not exactly about the people behind the businesses that are household names--although they are sometimes featured--but being able to learn mostly unknown stories about these companies absolutely drew me in. Some people binge-watch entire seasons of TV shows--and sometimes I do that--but apparently, binge-listening is also a thing. 

Image result for household name podcast
Image from the podcast's website on Stitcher

I listened to most of the episodes that were posted (the podcast has only been going for a few months), and I was fascinated by some of the stories about familiar brands that most people probably have no idea about. "Household Name" tackled the Mattress Firm conspiracy theory (I'm still not sure about Mattress Firm...), visited the last Blockbuster stores in Alaska (and explained why they were able to hang on for a few extra years in Alaska), told the story of Charles Shaw (the man whose name is behind Two Buck Chuck wine from Trader Joe's), and even discussed the sexy origins of TGI Friday's (hint: it hasn't always been a family-friendly chain restaurant). I have a few more episodes to listen to, but I will soon have to wait for one release at a time, and I'm not looking forward to that. Fortunately, there are plenty of other podcasts to listen to, but I will definitely be waiting for the next episode of "Household Name."

Something that made today great: Home-cooked family dinner with my mom and Leah. YUM!
Time I woke up: 5:23 am...then again at 8:32. I really shouldn't have gone back to bed after I took a shower.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Day 27

Here’s something new: a blog post before dinner! 

Today, at Girls on the Run practice, we talked about strategies for dealing with peer pressure. There were several steps involved, and we eventually created hand motions to help the girls remember each step. Before responding, the girls were encouraged to stop and breathe, and we practiced those steps first. One girl, J, was not taking her deep breaths with us, and our staff member from Big Buddy (the after school program) said “Hey J, remember to breathe!”

J quickly responded! “I don’t need to remember. I’m already breathing.”

Well, she wasn’t wrong. I couldn’t help but laugh at her blunt response; not everyone remembers to breathe when faced with a stressful or difficult scenario, especially when they need to respond quickly. 

For our workout, we played a sort of tag game while we ran laps, and let me tell you that chasing third graders will wear you down faster than you realize. Several of the coaches ran in the opposite direction of the team and would tag and freeze the girls. To unfreeze, they had to respond to a scenario we gave them using the steps we talked about and practiced. I thought they hated the game, but they begged to keep playing when we said they could just run. So, we mixed it up and allowed some of the girls to tag the coaches and give scenarios to respond to. (They were almost all about cheating on a test or stealing various items.) The exercise was a success, and I even logged 1.6 miles doing it!

I think it’s fair to say they enjoyed today’s lesson, and I have had a good refresher course for next time my friend tries to get me to steal a candy bar from the store or skip school when we have a test. What a blessing to be reminded of these important lessons myself as I help guide these precious, wonderful girls. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Day 28

I’m not sure I fully agree with the idea that people can be “too blessed to be stressed.” I understand where the statement comes from as far as religion goes, and I do believe that God is faithful, but I think a little bit of stress is natural and can be good for actually appreciating our blessings. At the least, that is what I am telling myself this week, because my week got off to a bit of a rocky start. 

Yesterday was a little rough. I allowed myself to get overwhelmed with school and life, and it was not my greatest day. It wasn’t particularly bad, but I’m so used to having mostly good days that I was caught off guard. It didn’t help that I wasn’t feeling 100% like myself physically, but I did go for a 5 mile run with Jennie before class, and I got my second midterm back only to find out that I crushed it. As quickly as the good feelings and excitement appeared, however, they fled. I came home and was stressed out about my statistics project, which was a big deal last night but is neither here nor there now because I did my best and submitted the project. My stress level changes about as quickly as the weather in Louisiana lately. 

Richard was gone to Ruston for a few days, so we decided to send Scooter to camp/boarding to give me the time I needed to focus on school and prepare for Tuesday. Monday and Tuesday are my longest school days, and no matter how much I do over the weekend or even the week before (which was less than average this weekend), I still end up staying up late to do work on Monday nights. Last night, I was stressed out and at home by myself. I didn’t realize how much I would miss Scooter! She makes life more difficult sometimes (why did she feel the need to chew up several of Wesley’s leftover birthday candles?) but she sure is cute and comforting the majority of the time. 

Today was a better day all around...except maybe that I didn’t run, but it’s okay to rest during race week. I’ve submitted everything that is due this week, my husband and dog are both under the same roof as I am, and I am going to be asleep earlier tonight than I have been lately. I can’t complain about that! Plus, I have family time and race day to look forward to at the end of this week. Life really is so, so good, even if I let myself forget that I am “too blessed to be stressed” sometimes; the key is not forgetting forever. Also, here’s a reminder from a Thoughts of Dog if you had a tough day. 

Something that made today great: Title IX office lunch date for burgers!
Time I woke up: 8:23 am 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Day 29

I have a statistics project that is due tomorrow night, and I was super proud of myself heading into the weekend because I thought I had a great project that I was practically done with before the weekend even started. My first attempt on Thursday night was a little too complicated, so I started over with a simpler project using the same data. Before the football game Saturday, I worked on it, and I was feeling good.

Then, last night, I hit a snag. I thought I'd recovered from it, but when I sat down to work on it tonight, I couldn't recover. So here I am, starting over for the third time. I should have kept the whole thing simple this entire time. Alas.

I'm off to try to get this thing right on the third attempt. Fortunately, I have around a 100% rate of eventually figuring this stuff out...but I don't know how late I can stay up tonight. Maybe I'll have more time to think about a blog post tomorrow.

Cartoon from 

Something that made today great: I did well on my midterm that was returned to me in class today.
Time I woke up: 7:00?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Day 30

What a great weekend! We had so much fun hosting visitors and participating in LSU homecoming. Other than the football game, some highlights included beating my nephew Jack at Super Mario Kart ("These are potato graphics!" he said, speaking about the 1992 graphics) and acting like whiny middle schoolers after being inspired by this video.  Unfortunately, the weekend does not last forever, and I am now doing my typical Sunday night routine of getting ready for the week's work. I had to pause to make sure I published something on the blog since I've been at this for ten weeks now. Woah, baby.

This will be a short week for work, so my work days will be longer. I'm heading to Georgia on Thursday to celebrate my mom's birthday on Friday, then race day is Saturday! The first marathon of the season is always accompanied by some pre-race jitters, and I'm feeling the excitement for the Silver Comet Marathon already. Like how there's always still a lot of game left in football, however, there's still a lot of week left before I can shift my mind to traveling and running.

I've started a weekly study meeting with one of my classmates (next week we're trying Skype/FaceTime...we will see how that goes) which is really helping me stay on track for working through statistics problems from our book. I am so glad to be more organized and in the groove of things than I was a month ago, because I can tell a difference in how I feel for sure. On Wednesday evening, I will be able to register for my spring and summer classes. I have my spring schedule figured out, but I am still unsure about what I want to take over the summer. 

Here's to a great week for everyone! Let's all make good choices this week.

Whiny middle schooler pose outside of our brunch location, Portobello's, before they left
Something that made today great: Delicious brunch with the family before they headed back to Houston
Time I woke up: 9:10 am

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Day 31

Homecoming was a blast, and I had a wonderful time, but it’s no wonder serious football fans get tired. I had a moderate day as far as parties and celebrations go, and I am ready to get my sleep on.  I can’t imagine how people who eat and party all day before, during, and after a game have enough time to recover and get back to their regular lives within a day or two. Whew. (Then again, maybe being a serious football fan is what people consider their life’s work to be.)

Since I’m tired, I won’t say much, but I will say that I had a great time seeing old friends, cheering on my favorite SEC institution in football, and spending time with my dreamy husband. Also, despite the fact that it rained during the football game this evening, the chance of rain in Death Valley remains as it has always been: NEVER!!! so please stay away with any “I thought it never rained in a Death Valley” comments. 

Something that made today great: I rode a pretend tiger! It had a sign on it that said “At your own risk!” and I rode without falling off.
Time I woke up: 7:56 am

Friday, October 19, 2018

Day 32

Some rad things that made my Friday fabulous, in no particular order:

1. Running 5 miles during lunch with Jennie...
2. ...and ending up on the Parade Ground for LSU’s Fall Fest (food and fun!)
3. Chatting with my statistics professor and receiving confirmation that I am on the right track with my project that is due next week
4. Being gifted tickets for tomorrow’s homecoming game
5. The arrival of our weekend guests 
6. Not getting an awful sunburn while running and going to fall fest (though I did get a little one and must endeavor to do better)
7. Richard and Scooter came to visit me at work!
8. Finding out that there’s another graduate assistant in my building  
9. Learning that Richard passed his board exam, which is awesome! I am so proud of him. 
10. Celebrating Richard’s latest achievement with a lovely little bottle of champagne 
11. Having a pretty tasty cup of coffee this morning
12. Singing and dancing to “Callin’ Baton Rouge” in our ombudsperson’s office while trying to convince her to go to the football game tomorrow (despite my excellent singing and dancing, she declined)
13. Finally trying ice cream from the Dairy Store
14. Having a meal in our dining area with guests for the first time

There’s probably more, but I am tired, and I don’t want to seem like I am bragging. I am, however, proud to report that I had a fabulous day. 

Something that made today great: Having friends and family to do life and celebrate with is pretty wonderful
Time I woke up: 7:32 am

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Day 33

I can say with confidence that I have fewer bad days and ugly moments than the average person. Some of that is probably due to dumb luck, but I attribute much of it to trying really hard to have an attitude of gratitude like we talked about at Girls on the Run practice. That said, nobody is immune to the occasional ugly moment, and I had one that took me by surprise when it happened to me on Sunday. I have debated whether or not to include it on my blog; on one hand, writing a blog was a challenge I started for myself, not for others, but on the other hand, there are a lot of misconceptions about others' lives and how things are going for them based on the content of their social media, and while I don't think anyone envies my lifestyle, I'm not one to broadcast the less desirable events in my life. So, I decided to share because I thought my experience might make someone feel more human.

A little background: Richard and I agreed that after he finished residency, we would leave Shreveport. Specifically, we would go to North Carolina, because that is where most of my family is, and I had been trying to get closer to them since before I even knew Richard. I'd made a plan to earn my Ph.D. from North Carolina State University, mostly because they had the best program in the state, but at least a little smidge because I'd been a Wolfpack fan my whole life, and it'd be cool to have my own degree from there. The backup plan if NCSU didn't work out was to apply to East Carolina University or UNC Wilmington, but we were definitely going to North Carolina.

Last Thanksgiving, Kathy told me she would pay the $50 application fee if I would just apply to LSU, so I went ahead and submitted the application. With some minor tweaks to the personal statement and CV, I made a convincing case that I wanted to be an LSU tiger.

Fast forward a few months, and I left NC State's Recruitment Weekend thinking I just needed to wait for my acceptance letter; the deal was just about sealed, and I was well on my way to achieving a dream that had been in the works for a few years. I had studied for the GRE and done well. My recommendations were clear that I was a good human being who was ready for the program. My personal statement told my story in a clear and convincing way, and I'd had several interviews for assistantships that I would love, no matter where I ended up. Things were going the way they were supposed to go.

But two weeks after Recruitment Weekend, instead of a "Welcome to the Wolfpack!" type of letter, I got a short and not-so-sweet (to me) letter from the Graduate School that said they were unable to offer me admission because the faculty of my program did not recommend me for admission. I lived in a quiet sort of denial for the first 24 hours and only told a few people who were very close to me. Part of me didn't believe it, and most of me didn't want to believe it. But it was the hand I had been dealt.

The next day, I shared the news with the rest of the world, because I had broadcasted my excitement for the future, hopefully at NC State, all over social media, so I figured I had to share the outcome sometime. People were supportive, as expected, but I definitely had an ugly moment that day too. What I remember most vividly is sobbing and howling like a wolf in my car before driving home from work that day. I blew snot all over my raincoat between bouts of loud, ugly cries and floods of tears. It was an ugly moment.

After that day, with the help of plenty of friends and loved ones, I refocused my efforts to try to figure out what in the heck was going to happen next. Richard had been waiting for a destination before he could start applying for jobs, and suddenly I wasn't sure if I even wanted anything to do with the state of North Carolina after this unpleasant incident. I didn't want to fill out more applications, pay more fees, or ask for more letters of recommendation, and I certainly didn't want to tweak my personal statements again. I was crestfallen and had little energy to think about any sort of next steps. I had already signed up to attend LSU's Interview Weekend, which was before deadlines for ECU or UNCW, so I decided to pour my energy into preparing to give LSU my best shot. I was admitted to the program, but I wanted an assistantship to cover the cost of my attendance.

We all know how and where the story ends, of course, but what some people might not know is that I spent a week preparing for interviews, anticipating questions, and listening to songs about Baton Rouge and LSU. Richard's dad loaned me a CD of songs about LSU called "Hey Fighting Tigers," and I played that thing until I knew most of the words to the "Billy Cannon" song.

Anyway, that was a lot of setup to get to my ugly moment, but on Sunday, I was talking with my mom about Christmas plans, and it was starting to seem like nothing was going to fit together between Richard's schedule, and I swear my mouth opened before my brain knew what was saying. I said to my mom,

"I wish I could be around everyone more often. This is just another problem that wouldn't exist if I hadn't failed to get in to NC State." 

My mom stayed quiet on the other end of the line. I think my jaw dropped a little when my brain caught up and I realized what I said. After a successful few months of moving to our wonderful home, getting used to my job, and learning to navigate my classes, the last thing I have felt like is a failure. I regularly tell people how much I love LSU and living in Baton Rouge, and it's all true. I hadn't thought about NC State in months before I said such a horrible, ugly thing about myself. (Okay that was kind of a lie...I did see that NCSU is having a good football season. But I haven't been thinking about their Higher Education Administration program.)

When I worked with the sororities at Centenary, I would tell our potential new members (PNMs) not to share their preference ranks with other people, because it could be awkward if they ended up in their second choice sorority, even if it was meant to be and ended up being the perfect fit. I probably should have heeded my own advice as I went through the graduate school admissions process, but I tend to go all-in on things. I can say for sure that I ended up in the best place for me, and LSU is the perfect fit. I'll share that story with anyone who needs to hear it, although when I was faced with my terrible disappointment, I didn't care to hear about how people's second, third, or even twelfth choice path turned out to be the right thing in the end.

What I wanted to say most with this post, which has now turned in to the saga of my graduate school admission process, is that it's okay to have ugly moments, and it's also okay to let other people see those ugly moments. Perhaps allowing ourselves to share those unpleasant thoughts helps us overcome them so they won't continue to creep in. I certainly haven't let those moments define me. In fact, I am having a particularly awesome week that only looks like it will get better as we cruise into LSU's homecoming weekend and we will be hosting one of my favorite sisters-in-law and two of my favorite nephews. I think I squashed those negative thoughts for now.

Meme courtesy of
Something that made today great: I had an ice cream sundae in an edible waffle cone for lunch.
Time I woke up: 7:57 am (nearly 9 hours of sleep last night, too!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Day 34

At Girls on the Run, the girls on our team keep track of how much they are running using craft loops as “lap counters.” The girls absolutely love these little loops. Whereas I mainly remember using these craft loops to  make lots of little pot holders on a tiny loom as a child, my team associates the loops with running laps at Girls on the Run practice. Slowly but surely, they are progressing in personal development and in running. They love saving their craft loops after practice and stringing them together. One girl told me today that she has hers tied together in a chain, and she uses them to decorate her room. (That also means she thinks about a Girls on the Run most days since she has a visual reminder of her progress and the lessons we have learned, and I like that.)

Earlier in the season, we had the team run laps around the parking lot (about 1/20 of a mile) and collect a lap counter every third lap, but we had some trouble with honesty. (Errrr, I mean, we had some trouble counting the laps correctly.) Some girls were saying they ran as many as 40 laps in 10 minutes, and I know we don’t have any 5 minute mile runners. Not yet anyway. We recently shifted to running laps around the school, which is somewhere between 1/4 and 3/10 of a mile depending on how sharply they cut the corners. Now that our girls are finding their paces, we can safely assign coaches with pace groups for running.  Rather than handing out lap counters in a frenzy, the coaches can spend time running and talking with the girls. 

Today at practice, we divided into three groups: the “run really fast” group, the “run sometimes” group, and the walk group. I ran four laps, which came out to be 1.08 miles, and each lap was special. I earned four lap counters, which I wore for the rest of the day. (I’m still wearing them now.)

My first lap, I led the “run sometimes” group with B, who was in my running group on Friday. She was the only one who wanted to be in my “run sometimes” group today. “Can we do what we did on Friday. Run to the corner, then walk, then run to the corner?” she asked. Be still my heart. A fellow run/walker. After we rounded the first corner, we caught up with D, who apparently had a change of heart about the “run really fast” group. B’s mom picked her up after the first lap, and D joined back up with the “run really fast” group that had become the “run sometimes #2” group. 

My second lap, I ran with E, the only person from the “run really fast” group who still wanted to run really fast after two speedy laps. She had her heart set on running six laps today. It was a tall order in our limited time, but I told her she could do it if she paced herself. I ran my third lap with E, and we discussed ways we could help the causes we picked out last week in our “attitude of gratitude” exercise. She thought it would be good to send water (drinking water) to people affected by the recent hurricane. 

E and I started my fourth lap and her fifth lap together, but I ended up switching with another coach who had somehow ended up leading the walk group instead of the “run really fast” group. (We have learned to expect the unexpected and roll with the punches at practice.) I walked with L, who is incredibly sweet and kindhearted, but she worries an awful lot. She worries about what people think of her and say about her, and she suspects that some people don’t like her because she makes good grades. When balancing adult duties and responsibilities, it is easy to forget the things we worried about a third graders, but these concerns are very real to children, so I always do my best to listen to the girls on my team when they give a glimpse into what is running through their minds. 

By the end of practice, I had run 1.08 miles in 25 minutes, which is not remarkable for me with regard to pace or distance, but I did spend valuable time with some wonderful girls. B and I worked on pacing through run/walk strategy, I helped E reach her goal of running six laps, and while L still worries, at least she knows there are people who care about her. 

Something that made today great: Richard and I went on a belated birthday date to the Superior Grill near our house, and it was wonderful. We need to remember that date night is important. 
Time I woke up: 7:12

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Day 35

Well, last night's post was a little rough. I turned out to be way more tired than I could have imagined, so I wasn't awake at the time I write most of my daily blogs. According to my watch, I was awake for approximately three minutes to write my blog post. That's kind of impressive. I got nearly ten hours of sleep last night, and that is swell.

Anyway, I had a great Tuesday despite being a bit behind on my reading and having quite a few things to do today in all aspects of my life. In addition to being terrified of thunder, Scooter seems to be afraid of rain. She wouldn't go out to pee last night when it was raining, and while I was able to convince her to come outside in the drizzle/rain this morning, there was no urination involved. Then, it thundered, and all bets were off. The rain did eventually stop, so I jetted home before lunch to let her out and check for any accidents in the house. Scooter peed, I gave her a treat, and then I met people from my office for lunch at Thai Kitchen.

I don't think I have eaten at a buffet style restaurant since I used to go to the buffet in Natchitoches (Lucky Village...I had to Google that) with my coworkers. The different buffet with different coworkers was great, and everybody learned at least one thing from Urban Dictionary today, so that was a great educational moment for all involved.

After lunch, I went to lab (and learned that I did well on my statistics midterm!), went back to work for a little over an hour, and went to class. Our speaker this week was Dr. Walter Kimbrough, President of Dillard University, who gave an engaging talk about HBCUs and provided excellent answers to our questions from all kinds of areas. (These educational leaders we are hearing from have to know so many things!)

Once I made it home, the responsibilities didn't stop. I volunteered to cook dinner tonight (it's always a game-time decision on days when I have work and class and Richard also works), then we had to do some straightening up and organizing before our new furniture comes in the morning and our housekeeper comes in the afternoon. We have visitors this weekend for LSU Homecoming, so we asked the housekeeper to come this week, but I didn't want her to have to go through nonsense we've just left around the we spent about an hour picking up.

I'm doing laundry and just finished ordering new bedding for the furniture that's coming tomorrow...oops. I guess this will help us draw out the excitement of the process. Now, I have fewer than ten minutes before midnight, and among the homework and reading I have left to do, I need to unload the dishwasher and reload it with the dishes in the sink, run another load of laundry, and eventually get some sleep. I was not anticipating such a busy week, but here we are, and it's only Tuesday. Whew.

Something that made today great: Spreading knowledge from Urban Dictionary was hilarious and wonderful:
Time I woke up: 7:14 am

Monday, October 15, 2018

Day 36

I am worn out, but I did accomplish my goals related to getting out of the house and dropping Scooter off before I volunteered downtown. I run pretty regularly, but I apparently don’t last very long when moving boxes is involved.

Today is Richard’s birthday, and we are going to celebrate more when he is on his week away from work. 

Something that made today great: The weather was lovely. 
Time I woke up: 7:30 am

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Day 37

Today was off to a weird start. I woke up at 8:01 am and panicked because I thought it was Monday. (It wasn't.) On Monday, I have to be out of the house by 8:00 because I am taking Scooter to Camp Bow Wow before heading off to volunteer at Junior League's Hollydays. Waking up at 8:01 is not conducive to being out of the house at 8:00 am. Fortunately, today was Sunday.

Once I realized I had the day off, I started my lazy morning routine of checking Facebook, playing my silly games, and rolling over to doze off for a bit. When I did eventually get out of bed and walk to the front of the house around 9:45 am, I found that Scooter had been up to mischief. Specifically, she had been through our trash can and spread trash throughout the front part of our house. She had also licked the sauce containers from our Greek takeout on Tuesday clean...yikes. So, I did what I had to do, and I yelled at Scooter and told her that what she did was bad. I've never yelled at her. Then, I tried to put her in time out (in her crate in the closet) but she was not cooperative when I tried to make her go in the crate. She did lie down in shame, and I decided that was good enough. I also made the mental decision that I would crate her when I went back and forth to Alexandria to drop off the trailer we borrowed (about 4.5 hours round trip) and I would limit her treats today. I try to limit her treats most days, but Richard likes to give her treats multiple times per day because she deserves them. (She usually does deserve them.)

When I worked at LSMSA, I would sometimes take it personally when students (especially students on my hall) made poor choices, and I had to remind myself that their choices weren't about me. They didn't do whatever they did to make me mad; in fact, they probably weren't even thinking about me at all other than possibly hoping I wouldn't drive or walk by whenever they were doing whatever they were doing. I gave myself that reminder many times when I thought "Maybe if I had been a better or more observant SLA, they wouldn't have made this choice," but their actions were probably not a result of my neglect or failure to pay attention some particular need they had. 

I would like to think that Scooter's poor choice today was, like the poor choices of my former students, completely unrelated to anything I have done or not done. Richard worries that we are not feeding her enough, despite the multiple treats he gives her every day, so we are going to up her food intake a little and see if that keeps her out of the trash can. 

Pictured: Richard and Scooter on our dog-friendly date night. Life was simpler before she was a trash strewer.

Something that made today great: I did a little bit of straightening up and organizing, so our house is starting to be put back together again. We still have work to do, but we are getting there.
Time I woke up: 8:01 am 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Day 38

Five years ago today, I crossed the finish line of the 2013 Chicago Marathon, and life has not been the same since. Committing to run the marathon in the first place was a big deal, and I learned and changed in many ways through the training months, but racing helped me catch a new bug altogether, and I am thankful to be celebrating five years as a marathoner. More than that, I am grateful for all of the miles and memories in between. I've run miles alone, miles with friends, and miles with hundreds and thousands of other people, and all of it is meaningful and wonderful in some way. Even the bad days make room for more good days in the future. 

That said, the fall 2018 race season is HERE! I’m a little later starting than I have been in the past few years--usually I at least have a 5K under my belt by now--and it started with a bang. I ran the Came Field Classic in Port Allen, Louisiana, and a crew of GOATS made a trip down south for the adventure. It was so good to see them, because they’re like extra family members. I have some pretty cool medals, but rather than a medal, this race gives runners who complete 7-mile Machete Challenge--1-mile, 4-mile, and 2-mile courses through cane fields on a local plantation—a prize unlike most other races: an actual machete. 

This race wasn't originally on my radar, but Elena reminded me about it, and I have only heard good reviews from friends I know who've done it, so I committed. (It's very, very easy to convince me to sign up for a race.) Elena picked me up when it was still dark out this morning, and we headed over to the race. We took it easy and had such a good time talking and checking out the different routes. The terrain was certainly different from the wooded trails that I'm used to, but it's good to switch things up from time to time. 

The post-race party was a blast with regular fixins like beer and jambalaya, but they also had cracklins, chicken quarters, grilled vegetables, and grilled pineapple...YUM! There was also some live music, so there were plenty of reasons to hang out and have a good time even after the race was over. We did exactly that and stayed long enough for me to get a little sunburn, but not a painful, terrible one. 

After I came home, I took a big fat nap. I tried to get Scooter interested in napping with me but had little success. I am the least favorite dog parent in this house, but she did join me to watch the LSU game. Elena brought me pineapple-themed goodies including a copper pineapple cup, so I washed it and used it for my gameplay cup. She told me pineapples are a sign of good luck. I like to think that the combination of the grilled pineapple, my pineapple cup, and a hard week of football practice all aided the LSU Tigers in their victory today. 

Two weeks until Silver Comet, and I am ready to go!
Something that made today great: I ate a whole bowl of popcorn and drank out of  my pineapple cup while I watched the LSU Tigers upset the Georgia Bulldogs today. That was pretty rad. 
Time I woke up: 5:27 am. Woah baby. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Day 39

I had an interesting realization today when I finished my statistics midterm and went to meet with my advisor for our monthly meeting: I haven’t planned for much of the “middle” of my doctoral journey. My idea of this program went something like this:

  1. 2018: apply, get in, get a GA job, move, start work, start classes, study
  2. Early/Middle. Take some more classes and get ready for the dissertation 
  3. Middle/Late: dissertation, dissertation, dissertation
  4. 2022 or 2023 (wow, that seems really far away): crush the dissertation, defend it, win, graduate, win some more
All of that is great, and none of it is necessarily wrong, but I'm starting to zoom in on individual semesters and look at which classes are prerequisites for other courses I want to take. I'm beginning to make decisions about classes I want to take, classes that look interesting but aren't necessarily related to my interests, and classes that I don't have to take and don't want to take anyway. Of course, much of the information about the classes I would take was shared with me during the application process, but now it's actually relevant to my life. I am doing the work, doing the thing, and keeping it together (most of the time...but don’t look at the piles on my desk), and it feels good! Having a study buddy for two of my classes will hopefully keep us accountable so we don't have to replay the game of catching up before finals as we did before midterms. Fortunately, we made it this far, and that is worth celebrating. 

Something that made today great: I treated myself to lunch for good work on my midterms. Few people love me more than I love me. 
Time I woke up: 7:30 am

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Day 40

I'm at a bit of a loss for what to write about today because I am so excited for the weekend. My excitement comes partially from looking forward to midterms being over and partially from being SUPER excited for some trail running with some of my favorite people. But, I need to stay present for my midterm tomorrow morning. I've spent hours and hours preparing for it over the past week, so I should be ready to rock it.

Since I am short on time and inspiration, I'll close with a recommendation for a Twitter account to check out. Lately, I've been really into Thoughts of Dog. I'm sure my interest has something to do with my recently-acquired love (instead of tolerance) for dogs. Well, mostly my dog. And dogs on the internet. Anyway, It's exactly what it sounds like: a dog tweeting his thoughts. Here's one from this week that I especially appreciated and one that's a "greatest hits" type of tweet. I hope you enjoy Thoughts of Dog as much as I do.

Something that made today great: I ate multiple kinds of cake because I had cake when I went to lunch, then we had birthday/retirement cake for some people from my office.
Time I woke up: 8:23 am. Doing slightly better!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Day 41

I know there are plenty of comedians out there who could make me laugh, and I also have a plethora of funny friends, but my Girls on the Run team is a special kind of hilarious. They're the most wonderful group of third graders who come to practice ready to contribute and have a good time. Sometimes they are so excited that they talk over each other, and we have to remind them of one of the team rules we set at our very first practice: only one person talks at a time. Sometimes they get tired of running and have to walk, but they still try pretty hard most of the time.

Today at practice, we talked about gratitude and how we can choose to be grateful or ungrateful about all kinds of things in life. One of our activities today was to name something, and the girls would have to respond with a statement of choosing to be grateful and a statement of choosing to be ungrateful. For example, for a pair of old shoes, they chose "I'm glad I have shoes to cover my feet, and I can clean them up so they'll look nicer," and for ungrateful, they chose "These shoes ugly."

The girls have a firm grasp on how opposites work, so when we talked about "teachers," they took the easy way out and went for "I love my teacher" for the grateful statement and "I hate my teacher" for the ungrateful statement. This allowed for a great learning moment about how being grateful or ungrateful can extend beyond loving or hating something, and they seemed to understand. For "vegetables" they went with "Vegetables can make me strong and healthy" as the grateful statement and "Vegetables are nasty" for the ungrateful statement. I think we really helped them understand today's lesson.

Each season, GOTR teams across the country also participate in Community Impact Projects. The projects are somewhat limited in that they need to be something that can be taken care of during practice time and at the practice site, but we haven't quite gotten that far yet. Past teams I have worked with have made toys for pets at shelters, written cards for children in the hospital, and made traveler supply bags for a homeless shelter. Today, we brainstormed for our project, which mostly meant that the girls identified needs in their community. I am amazed by how their awareness of some of the most awful things in the world and the greatness of need pairs with honest, innocent, and simple ideas to make their community a better place. I sometimes struggle to remember what my life was like when I was their age, but I was touched by many of their ideas.

And some of their ideas made me laugh a lot. For example, I was jogging and walking with two girls who were talking about ideas (they could add to the sign after each lap), and one girl suggested, "We could help people who got burned or run over" and her partner said, "No we can't, because they're all dead."

I took a photo of our sign, and below I present their suggestions without further comment. Spelling is all reflective of spelling on the poster except when I thought there needed to be some clarification. Who knows what we'll actually decide to do.

  • Help poor people
  • Love people
  • Help people affected by Hurricane Michael
  • Love people who treat you bad and be kind to everybody in the world!!!
  • Help people that got knnptaed (kidnapped)
  • Help people medicare surgery! plea$
  • Help peple that's in danger
  • Help people that can't walk
  • Help parents that can't find their kids By: Symireah
  • Help people that lost the leg By: Edyn
  • Help plant and dogs
  • Be a good friend
  • Be kind -Kailey
  • Help people who are in need like poor people help them please!!!!!!
  • Keep people safe! By: Symirea
  • Help kids with education
  • Help kids a-time when they need help
  • To help people thats in the housital (hospital) give they letter and sent money!
  • Help every animal (every animal is like a human)
  • Help people stay warm an healthy 
  • Write on a poster that says stop littering and collect cans, bottles, and newspaper
  • Be kind to your coaches like Hannah, Kimberly, and Dana
  • Help people that lots (lost) their house
  • Help our teachers
  • Help someone
  • Help kid be smart
  • Keep people safe from trondos, herrcan, (tornadoes, hurricanes) floods too! By: Symireah
  • Help people that can't find their kids
  • Help people get over bad stuff that happened to them
  • Help people that got hurt
There's quite a concern on our team with people who are kidnapped or people who can't find their kids. My money is on that one for our final project...somehow.

Something that made today great: Free tots at Sonic because I reloaded my card on the mobile app. Boom.
Time I woke up: 8:59 am. That's what happens sometimes if you go to bed at 2 am.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Day 42

Preparing for midterms continues, and it has been so riveting that I didn't even realize what time it was. I looked down at my watch and realized it was 11:35 and I had not written a blog post, so here I am. I've been at this too long to quit now.

Richard returned today from a brief trip to Ruston to pick up some items we're inheriting and relocating to our house, so we now have boxes of items from his room at his parents' house, two artificial Christmas trees, lots of books, and who knows what else that are now our property. I am excited about most of it because we ended up with several items of sentimental value, but what we are realizing lately is that neither of us is very good at making the most of our space. For example, we thought our pantry was full of food and supplies, but our housekeeper helped organize it, and now everything is organized and neat looking. I thought we could handle our own organization, but what I am quickly realizing is that we would probably be better off to have someone help us at first, and we can observe what they do and try to mimic it on our own. 

I'm allowing myself to put off the task of organizing because I want to make sure I do well on my midterm Friday morning, but then it's game on. We're expecting a few visitors this weekend before the Cane Field Classic (a trail run through, you guessed it, sugar cane fields), then we'll have overnight guests the following weekend. Also, our new bedroom suite is coming on the 17th! Looking ahead to next week, it's going to be a busy one between school, work, volunteering at Hollydays for Junior League, and getting ready for our visitors. I'm excited to be loved and to have plenty to do, but there are quite a few preparations to make in the next week and a half. Not long after that, I'll be preparing for my trip to Georgia. I am definitely going to need to work some naps into the schedule.

Just A Lil Nap
Meme from 
It'll practically be Halloween by the time I get back to Louisiana, but some good news is that I ordered my Halloween costume today. I will neither confirm nor deny that my dog and I have the same costume.

Something that made today great: I think I did well on the lab portion of my statistics midterm!
Time I woke up: 9:10 am...going in the wrong direction here, but on the bright side, I got almost 9 hours of sleep last night!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Day 43

Well, the Monday of midterms went about as well as expected. I had my first exam tonight, and although I imagine I missed at least part of a question, I don’t feel terrible about it. After the exam, I meet with a classmate to do some reviewing for statistics (I will take the lab portion tomorrow and the rest on Friday), which was partly productive and partly frustrating. I came home to do some reading, and that was enough to make me tired enough for bed. I fought through some review videos and practice problems, but now I need to rest. 

As far as Monday goes, but especially for a Monday when I had a big exam, today was a good day. I’m hopeful that I can keep the energy up and do well on my statistics midterm. It’s only my second big grade in the class, and I’m still not totally used to the testing style of any of my professors, but I’m doing all right so far. 

I didn’t take any pictures worthy of blog inclusion today, but I did eat a handful of Swedish Fish as a snack, so here’s a picture of a package of Swedish Fish. If you’d forgotten that you like them, here’s your reminder that they exist. According to PETA, Swedish Fish are vegan, so consider these babies if you want a vegan friendly option during your upcoming Halloween festivities. 

Something that made today great: I felt rested after sleeping almost 9 hours last night. Good way to start the week!
Time I woke up: 8:54 am

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Day 44

Today was the day of the Chicago Marathon, and for the first time all year, I actually kind of regretted not putting my name in the lottery this year. I told myself I wasn't going to sign up for the lottery because I could be pregnant (I'm not), and it's so early in October that I would have no remotely cool weekends for long run training. Also, going to Chicago involves travel expenses like a flight and hotel.

But then today, as I was up early pounding out my last long run before my marathon on October 27 (spoiler alert: I didn't have any remotely cool weekends for long run training) I felt the little itch of missing out on Chicago. I think most marathoners have a special place in their hearts for their first races. It's difficult to duplicate the feeling of crossing the finish line for the first time, but there are always new reasons to keep coming back for more races. (It's crazy and beautiful all at the same time.) I spent most of my run listening to episodes of My Favorite Murder, but I took a little bit of time to reflect on how far I have come (in literal miles run and in life overall) since my first marathon nearly five years ago, and I can hardly imagine my life without running and without the friends I have made through the sport. So, even though I didn't run Chicago today, I still managed to have a lovely day, including some time for reflection.

After 15.5 miles, I picked up Ellen, and we finished my run in style, complete with sweat and stank on my part. (Then, she gave me water and banana bread and drove me home!) I think this might actually be the best last long run before a marathon that I have ever had. I kept my heart rate down, felt strong the whole time, and did not fall down, and those are all victories in my book. I haven't completely adhered to my training plan, but I have made great strides since the time three weeks ago when I ran 11 miles out of 15.5 and had my heart wondering what the heck just happened. I am proud of this progress and recovery, and I am ready to have a great race on October 27.

Something that made today great: Frozen Granita at PJ's during my study meeting
Time I woke up: 6:07 am. So there.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Day 45

The weekend thus far has been rife with opportunities to do grown-up things, and Richard and I have been rocking the adult game.

Last night, Richard and I went on a dog-friendly date for pizza and gelato with our best dog as a warmup for a weekend of adulting. I kicked off today by running with cousin Tim again, then Richard and I went shopping for nice clothes and furniture. On October 17, we will receive a fabulous bedroom suite, and our current bed will make its way to our empty room that still has blinds (we haven't replaced the ones Scooter destroyed), so we'll have a guest room! I was completely useless in the selection of our new mattress because I liked them all, but I think Richard and I settled on a good bed that's not too firm but not too soft either. I could probably nap on a pile of rocks, so I'm glad Richard is around to pick a bed that's actually a good investment.

We came home and watched the end of the LSU game (it did not end well for the Tigers), then I picked up Cane's for dinner, and I studied for the midterm that I have to take on Monday.  That's a pretty full day of being a good adult, so I'm about to plug my computer in and go to sleep.

Tomorrow, I have my last double-digit long run before my marathon in three weeks! The heat and humidity aren't letting up as much as I had hoped, so I might be running low and slow (like a Crock Pot!), but I'll get my miles in, and that's what matters. I'm down for 18.5, but I'm picking up Ellen at her house for the last three, which will keep me going as the mileage for the day is coming to an end.

I'm going to need a nap after that, but I have an afternoon study meeting, so I'll have to see if I can squeeze a nap in during the morning or if it'll need to be a late afternoon nap. (Typing these past few sentences already has me excited about the nap I'm going to take tomorrow!) There will definitely be caffeine involved at some point in the day. 

Something that made today great: Spending the afternoon with my best husband!
Time I woke up: 8:14 am

Friday, October 5, 2018

Day 46

If someone walked up to me right now and asked, “Hey Kim, what’s the biggest lie you told all week?” my confident reply would be, “Well, after Richard and I went out for pizza and gelato on Friday night, I said I was going to study until midnight and definitely not fall asleep on the couch...but then I definitely fell asleep on the couch, so that was a pretty big lie. I didn’t mean to lie, but I was so full, happy, and sleepy. And that’s why I wrote a very short blog post and was in bed with freshly-brushed teeth by 10:30 pm.”

Then, whoever asked me that question would say, “Wow, thanks for your honesty. That was so transparent,” and my confident reply would be, “I just don’t want anyone to think there’s any shame in sleeping on the couch before retiring to bed before the club has even started charging cover.”

And that’s the truth. (But nobody is going to walk up to me and ask that tonight, because I will be in bed with freshly-brushed teeth by 10:30 pm.)

Something that made today great: Dog-friendly date night with Richard and Scooter
Time I woke up: 8:50 am

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Day 47

A woman cannot live on coffee and salad alone, but I sure tried today. (I ended up with a stomach ache.) I started the morning at home with a cup of coffee, then I headed off for my study date, which happened to be at a coffee house, so I had coffee there. Around 1:30 pm I realized that I hadn't had any real food, and when I went to grab a smoothie bowl (a meal I keep saying I will eat, but instead I always end up at Panda Express), the "On the Geaux" store was I grabbed a salad instead and scarfed that down with a Coke to drink, because if I needed anything, it was more caffeine. So, I wasn't feeling great by the middle of the afternoon, but the feeling eventually passed, and I joined my friend Ellen for a little running in our neighborhood after work.

I spent the morning studying with a classmate and working through some statistics problems. It was slow, and we completed fewer problems than we'd hoped to finish, but there was some good learning. We plan to meet again on Sunday and Monday, so I'm on my own to knock out some material until then (or maybe I'll find another study date!) The third best part of the study session (after grasping the concepts and getting the problems correct) was breaking out colored pens to use as a visual aid.

Honestly, anyone who is learning statistics and is not using colored pens is probably not as excited about reviewing notes or the learning process in general as I am. I am definitely here to embrace the learning process and make the most out of this class. Definitely. Maybe someone should do an independent samples t-test and see if statistics students who use colored pens make higher grades and/or report higher satisfaction with their courses. That'd be some useful research.

Something that made today great: Lots of great things today! Other than what I mentioned in my post, Richard made chicken fajitas for dinner, and they were delicious. (They were also more substantial than my other two meals of salad and coffee.)
Time I woke up: 8:07 am. (I am not on an upward trajectory this week...)

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Day 48

Next week is Midterm week, and I have vacillated between being anxious (an emotion we discussed at Girls on the Run practice today!) and excited. When I'm feeling excited, I am genuinely looking forward to showing what I have learned on a test (I realize this makes me a HUGE nerd), but when I am anxious, I wonder if I have overestimated myself and my abilities as a doctoral student.  So, keeping the scale tipped in the direction of "excited" is my major task for the next week or so. I said I was going to buy myself a cake as soon as October hit since that would mean I had survived a hectic September, but now I think I'm going to hold off on the cake and wait until after midterms. (Now that I have written down that I am going to wait on the cake, watch me post tomorrow or Friday that I caved and bought myself a cake...)

I took last night off from studying but have been busy tonight preparing for a study date tomorrow morning/afternoon. Perhaps the best way to feel prepared for my midterms will be to study early and study often, so that is what I am trying to do. It's hard to believe that I am almost halfway through the semester, but I guess the time flies when you're trying to make sure you don't fall behind. 

(Image from

I did take some time this evening to catch up with my Work Wife, Tricia, and she's coming to visit next month, just in time for the Girls on the Run 5K! That's also the weekend after my big paper for Introduction to Scholarship in Education is due, so I will be ready to celebrate again when she gets here. Between races and visits from family and friends, the next two months are going to be incredibly busy but also great fun.

Something that made today great: Girls on the Run practice! My team makes me laugh so much.
Time I woke up: 8:23 am. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Day 49

Now that it’s Day 50, I am officially more than halfway through my blogging challenge. I started writing again the day before I started my GA job, and I am amazed at how much has happened in such a short time. I still haven’t blogged about Leadville, either. Maybe I’ll start telling Leadville stories on my days when I don’t have anything noteworthy from the day. It’d probably be better than a list of made up and unscientific reasons to drink water.

Today was a good day overall, and I’m not nearly as tired as I have been at this point in the week in previous weeks.  There must be something to the concept of spreading work over more days of the week and taking the weekend to spend some time resting. This weekend will be taken up with preparation for midterms, but I’m trying to get ahead on that now. I’m taking a few days off of work for the Silver Comet Marathon trip since my mom’s birthday is the day before the race, and I am hopeful that I’ll be less tired if my travel days aren’t so close together. I’m also looking at more races to add to my calendar; there must be a balance to resting and racing. Hopefully I’ll be able to get right up on the line without overstepping it. Fingers crossed.  

I want to write about our class speaker at some point, but right now, I’m going to get some sleep. Tomorrow could be a good day for a class speaker update. 

Something that made today great: class tonight was awesome!

Time I woke up: 8:27 am, which is 27 minutes after I’d hoped to be at work today.  Maybe tomorrow will be a good day for going to work at 8:00. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Day 50

It's Monday night, which means I'm reading Ebony & Ivy again, but this week, I spread the reading apart, which is helpful for understanding and for not being mentally exhausted by the awful things people did to each other. Win-win.

Anyway, rather than writing about what I'm reading, today I'm going to celebrate the fact that I drank more than 80 oz of water, and I didn't even exercise. (My water intake is always greater on days when I work out.) I'm not the greatest at drinking enough water each day, but today was a good day for staying hydrated and not drinking too much soda. (Full disclosure: I did have a cup of black coffee in the afternoon and a can of Coca-Cola with my dinner.)

I read a few listicles for inspiration on my post about water, but what I've decided to do instead of sharing ten facts about drinking water is share a list of ten benefits that I think would be cool if they were true...but they probably aren't. If I used some of the tests I've learned in statistics class, the results would probably show that I fail to reject my null hypothesis with a significance level of .05, and there is no difference between people who drink more than the recommended amount of water each day and people who do not. Good thing I'm not testing that.

10 Benefits of Drinking Water, according to me:
People who drink enough water each day...

  1. Make better grades in school or perform better at work
  2. Remember to lock the door behind them when they leave the house
  3. Always save 10 cents or more per gallon at the gas pump
  4. Have excellent credit
  5. Are better leaders than their peers
  6. Don't get picked last in PE class
  7. Never lose socks in the washing machine or dryer
  8. Remember to unplug small appliances such as hair straighteners to prevent fire
  9. Are consistently rated "hot" on
  10. Are in more than eight people's "Top 8" on MySpace
Here are some reasons to drink water that have citations.

This infographic has references!

Something that made today great: We had Popeye's for dinner. I love Popeye's but try to go no more than once every month or two.
Time I woke up: 7:58 am