Sunday, March 31, 2019

Day 148

My travels today were much smoother than Friday’s, and for that I am grateful. I wasn’t up for another day of delays. 

Ariel and I took today easy, which was a lovely way to end our weekend together. We went to bed late last night (I actually stayed up reading Harry Potter for about an hour after we decided we were too tired to finish watching standup comedy on Netflix), and I didn’t set an alarm. I first rolled over around 8:15 am, then I repositioned myself and didn’t wake again until 11:15. Ariel had already gone to church, so I climbed back into bed and read some more Harry Potter until she came home. 

We hung around in our pajamas while talking and drinking coffee after she came home, then we went to her gym to get a workout in because I still needed one more RunBet run for the week. Then, we changed clothes and went for a 3:00 lunch, where I enjoyed a particularly delicious cheeseburger with chorizo on top and a cocktail with good conversation. Then, we grabbed drinks from Starbucks, and it was time for me to finish packing and get out of town. 

I had such a wonderful time celebrating Ariel and meeting her New York people, but it was also nice to spend today together doing friend stuff since we don’t do that nearly as often as I would like. The shower was great fun, today was a fabulous day of friendship, and tomorrow will mark the beginning of a marvelous (but looking quite busy!) week. I’m ready to make it a good one. 

Something that made today great: I was going to pick spending the day with my best friend again, but it might be consider cheating to pick the same thing two days in a row. So, I’ll pick sleeping in (see below).
Time I woke up: 11:15 am

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Day 149

What a beautiful day for a bridal shower! I was a little nervous about being cold in New York, but the weather was fabulous today; the sun was shining, and the temperature was perfect.

Ariel and I started our day with a trip to a get our hair styled, which was a lovely and much-needed treat for my hair that can be bushy sometimes. As wedding fun is getting into full swing, today was my debut with Ariel’s friends and future family, and I wanted to look my best. Turns out I could do a pretty good job on my hair by myself if I had the patience to straighten my hair in very, very tiny strands...but it was nice to sit back and let someone else do it for me today. 

After we finished with our hair, we ran back to Ariel’s house to change, grabbed some coffee, and dashed off to meet Ariel’s parents. We fixed her mom’s hair before going on a grand cab adventure through city traffic. Let me just say Oh. My. Gosh. Baton Rouge traffic has nothing on the madness up here, and while I know I’d break any promises I made to never complain about Baton Rouge traffic again, I’m going to make an effort to be grateful that Baton Rouge traffic isn’t close to what traffic is elsewhere. 

The shower itself was absolutely fabulous! The decorations, food, and beverages were on point, and the location was amazing. There was a great party playlist, and we had fun playing games and learning about Ariel and Kevin. The guests were great, too! It’s always good when the people you know are friends with other great people who are fun to be around. We stayed well past the scheduled end time hanging out and socializing, and everyone agreed that it was a great event. (Phew!)

After we dropped Ariel’s parents off again and made it back to her apartment, we were ready to change clothes and relax for a bit. Then, somehow, we were hungry enough for dinner around 8:00, so we ordered Thai food and walked to pick it up. Now, we are watching The Crimes of Grindelwald, and I must say that this is a pretty awesome way to spend a Saturday night.

Something that made today great: Spending the whole day with my best friend!
Time I woke up: 7:45 am

Friday, March 29, 2019

Day 150

It’s after midnight in New York, but not in Louisiana! 

Traveling today was a bit of a struggle. Both of my flights were delayed, my first Lyft driver canceled my ride, and it took two different Lyfts to get to my final destination...but I made it in one piece. 

Now, I’m cutting out pieces for one of tomorrow’s games, and I’m so excited! We also watched Father of the Bride (which Ariel and I had never seen) and ate pizza and Oreos. I also drank some pink wine, which is one of my favorites! I’m looking forward to tomorrow but am ready for bed tonight. 

Something that made today great: Bojangle’s in the Charlotte airport!
Time I woke up: 7:28 am

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Day 151

I love, love, love being married. It's awesome largely because I have the best (and dreamiest!) husband on the planet. Being engaged was pretty fun too because we had several wonderful celebrations during our wedding season, but planning a wedding is tough work. I did my best to breathe and enjoy the ride, but by the time we were picking chairs and table cloths for our reception, I exasperatedly called Richard and told him that he had to handle that detail, because I couldn't make any more decisions, no matter how small they were. (He did just fine with the chairs, too.)

Over the past few weeks, though, I've learned that co-planning a shower to celebrate your best friend is less stressful than planning a magical wedding. That's what I've been doing, and I don't have any decision fatigue!

I'm heading up to New York for the weekend, with the shower on Saturday. Planning the games has been my favorite part because they are so silly and fun! When Ariel was my maid of honor, she planned several fun games and activities, and doing the same for her has helped me remember what a great time we had and how much fun being engaged was when I wasn't worried about some minute wedding detail. Being married is like that, too; it's fun when I don't sweat the small stuff. But when I do sweat it, Richard is patient and kind and helps me figure out the next steps. (Mental note to self: try to worry less and have fun more often!)

Ariel and me at my bridal shower in North Carolina! She and Robin did an amazing job planning a lovely event.
I'm so excited to meet some of Ariel's friends from New York and spend some time together this weekend! I love a good excuse to celebrate good people in love, and one of these people happens to be one of my favorites in the whole world.

Something that made today great: I ate even more bowls of Lucky Charms than I did yesterday!
Time I woke up: 9:00 am...oops. Guess I needed it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Day 152

I'm not typically hungry immediately following a race, but after a few days, the hunger kicks in. For me, that day was today. Last night around midnight, after I had eaten a good dinner, I found myself in the fridge foraging for snacks. A full link of boudin, six slices of colby jack cheese, and a handful of Hi-Chew candies later, my belly was happy, so I finished my homework and went to bed.

I woke up today and made reasonable food choices for breakfast and lunch (yogurt, some leftover Mongolian beef, and some Pfeffernusse cookies), plus I drank plenty of water. It seemed like I was going to be back on the right track and would not need snacks after dinner tonight....but then I ate a handful of Hi-Chew candies. After that, I wanted a bowl of Lucky Charms, which turned into not one, not two, but THREE bowls of cereal. Oh, and I wanted some grapes too.

For a moment, I thought I might coin a new term, procrastineating, because I have been eating so much during my study time, but I am legitimately hungry. Also, I wouldn't be coining a term, because procrastin-eating and ProcrastinEating are already in Urban Dictionary.

Now that I'm full, I'm off to bed for a full night's sleep since I didn't get as many hours as I would've liked last night. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a less hungry day.

Something that made today great: I really don't have anything negative to say about today, and that in itself is great!
Time I woke up: 8:15 am

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Day 153

Over the past month or two, Richard and I have established the post-dinner dog walk as a sort of ritual at our house. Richard encourages his patients to take a walk after dinner for their health, and he tries to do for himself what he encourages others to do for their health. Sometimes I have a lot to do and let Richard and Scooter go on their own, but I always enjoy the nights when I join them. Most of the time when Richard and I are home and talking together, we're doing something else like cooking, eating, or playing games on our electronic devices, but dog walks are simpler, so they have become a good time for us to talk through our day or the upcoming days and make plans accordingly.

Tonight on our walk, I was playing through the next few weekends, and I have something fun and exciting planned almost every weekend until the second weekend in June. Woah, baby.  I have my school stuff scheduled out, but the time to rest and be by myself still needs to be written in; otherwise, I'll end up crashing in the middle of the week, which is less than ideal. As I was justifying my plan, I told Richard, "Well, I'll be out of school in May, and I don't think I'll be working, so I'll have time to rest then," and he said to me, "You know you're entitled to a break sometimes, right?"

Of course. Maybe. No. Yeah, definitely. I totally am. I think.

I didn't answer his question with much confidence, but I knew he was right. Even thinking back to Saturday when I messed up the relay exchanges, I don't give myself a break often, and that's not fair to me. So, for the next few months as I'm staying busy almost every weekend and trying to balance a lot of awesomeness at once, my reminder to myself will be that I'm entitled to a break sometimes, and so is everyone else, which means I also need to be gracious in giving breaks to others.

Photo from Pexels. This photo isn't Richard, me, our dog, or our neighborhood.
Something that made today great: I came home for lunch with Richard and Scooter!
Time I woke up: 8:30 am

Monday, March 25, 2019

Day 154

In addition to my coursework, I am currently helping my advisor with one of her current research projects. I'm being compensated to transcribe interviews, and it's really good experience for me as a novice researcher. I have the help of Otter, which is an awesome, free app for transcribing audio. There are premium features, but I have done well so far with the free version. The software is imperfect at times, but it's certainly a time saver compared to manually transcribing every word. Plus, there's the occasional misinterpretation that makes me laugh.

This evening, I've been transcribing an interview with a student who aspires to attend veterinary school, and whenever she says "vet school," Otter transcribes "bed school." I'm tired, so bed school sounds pretty awesome to me right about now. If Higher Education Administration doesn't work out for me, I would love to have a tenure-track position in bed school. My expertise would be in naps. Naps on the couch, naps when the sun is shining, naps on planes, naps after working out...I would be great at that job.

But for now, I have to stay focused on making Plan A work.

Photo from Pexels

Something that made today great: Practice 5K at Girls on the Run practice!
Time I woke up: 8:15 am

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Day 155

Just about two years ago, my trail group, Get On A Trail Shreveport (GOATS), was founded following a 100-mile relay race, the Chicot Challenge. As fate would have it, just a few weeks later, my friend Elena would talk me into running a 50K trail race, the Badlands 50, with her even though the longest I'd run was a marathon (42.2K), and the longest I'd run on a trail was ohhhhhhh...three miles. (Sometimes I'm really surprised that I agreed to do the Badlands 50, and other times, I'm not surprised at all.) At the same time as I was scrambling to buy trail gear (gaiters, shoes, and a hydration vest) and get somewhat trained for a trail 50K in ten days, GOATS was organizing its first group runs. I joined up with the GOATS, and I'm so thankful that I did, because they have become some of my most treasured friends.

This year and last year, the Chicot Challenge has been a bit of a homecoming race for the GOATS, and it's perhaps the most fun I've ever had running. This probably has something to do with the fact that there's plenty of food, fellowship, and beer among the miles of running. Trail runners generally enjoy food, too, and Cajuns make the best race food around; sure, gumbo and boudin exist outside of trail racing, but I'm pretty sure empirical studies have found that boudin and gumbo taste better after a bit of kickin' roots and cussin'.

Teams for the Chicot Challenge can have between 2 and 5 members. Most 5-member teams divide their miles so that each runner does 20 miles at some point during the day. For the last two years, the GOATS gathered for a drawing--I think it's been at Great Raft Brewing both years--and the relay teams are born. Last year, my team, Party GOATS, ended up DNF-ing at mile 84, but this year, I was determined to come back faster and stronger so I could help my team knock out 100 miles in under 20 hours.

I ended up being captain of our team, Totes McGOATS, and we started planning our strategy quickly. Absent T didn't want to run at night, I don't mind running at night as long as I can be slow, and everyone else was down for anything. With our plan established a few weeks before the race, we were pretty much set. I started color-coding a spreadsheet with times and notes a few days before the race, and then as plans often do, our plan changed. Specifically, we lost a team member the day before the race. Some things can't be avoided, so we set a plan in motion to tackle 100 miles as a team of four if we weren't able to pick up a fifth person on short notice. Everyone was quick to step up, and Absent T even said he'd run at night if he had to. With a four-man plan in hand, we started the race Saturday morning at 7:00 am.

The race is on a 20-mile loop that is divided into four segments with (approximately) the following mileage: 4, 4, 8, and 4. There's some coordination involved with picking up and dropping off runners at each exchange point, and my team hit a snag on our first pickup. Absent T was our first runner, and we had him scheduled to run the first two segments so he would be able to run his 20 miles in the daylight. The exchanges are numbered 1, 2, and 3, and they are located at the end of the segment they're numbered for...not the beginning. When it was time to pick up Todd at the front of Segment 3, I went to Exchange 3, which was the wrong location; he was waiting at Exchange 2. By the time I turned around to high tail it to Exchange 2, Absent T was finished and I was ten minutes away. Rather than lose the time, Absent T decided it would make the most sense to kick a sign, yell a little bit, and take off on Segment 3, the 8-mile segment.

With me feeling like a complete doofus, we went back to the start/finish to hang out until it was time to pick up Absent T at Exchange 3 (for real this time). We also had to rearrange a few things on the spreadsheet to keep everyone's segments spread out, but Matt, Bryan, and I got it all figured out. We dropped off Bryan to run Segment 4, and I apologized profusely to Absent T, who promised me that he didn't think I was dumb. Then we headed back to the start/finish to wait on Bryan, and I was up for Segment 1 on the first loop.

Bryan flew through Segment 4 so fast that I hadn't even changed into my trail shoes, and we'd built a cushion of 8 minutes by the end of the first loop. I took off for Segment 1 in my road shoes; it's the most challenging segment in my (and most people's) opinion, so I wanted to get it out of the way first while my legs were fresh. The average pace to make the cutoff is 12 minutes per mile, and Segment 1 shows longer than 4 miles on my watch. I knew I wouldn't be able to hold that for most segments, but fortunately, I didn't need to have speed as my strength. I finished in 1:01:51, using all of our banked time and leaving us with a six-minute deficit, but it's okay because Matt was up next.

Matt was by far the fastest person on our team. Todd and Bryan can run fast, too, but Matt is on another level. Bryan and I headed to the start/finish before we realized we were going to need to pick up Matt pretty quickly. We took the long way out of the park and made it to Exchange 1 just a few minutes before Matt rolled in--26 minutes for Segment 2. Wow! He made up my lost time and bought us 16 more minutes. We got our exchanges straightened out, and Brian and Absent T finished out Loop 2 with some time in the bank as well; we were 33 minutes ahead of schedule at the end of Loop 2. 

Loop 3 was the Matt and Bubbles (my trail name) loop. When we lost a person, I said I was willing to run a total of 40 miles, but it would be slow, and I really didn't want to run Segment 1 more than once. Matt stepped up and said he'd do Segment 1 twice, which was a huge help. He kicked off Loop 3 by running what took me over an hour in about 34 minutes. Dude. I ran Segment 2 in 47:38, contributing a whopping 22 seconds to our cushion of banked time. At Exchange 2, I tagged Matt in for Segment 3, and he ran 8 miles in 58 minutes, even after coming off Segment 1 not long before. He tagged me back in, I finished Segment 4 in 47:38, buying another 22 seconds, and we were ahead of the cutoff by 85 minutes going into Loop 4. We were also ahead of the sun, which was ideal.

Bryan led Loop 4, Absent T met him at Exchange 1 to run Segment 2 a second time (bringing Absent T's total to 24 miles for the day), and I tagged in at Exchange 2 for Segments 3 and 4. Matt had initially been scheduled to run Segment 4 and Segment 1 back-to-back, but we agreed that it would help him if I took Segment 4 at whatever pace I needed (we were still 81 minutes ahead of the cutoff) so he could run Segment 1 of Loop 5 faster. Armed with my headlamp, I took off into the dark woods and ran Segments 3 and 4 in 2:45:41, which dropped our cushion to 59 minutes with just one loop to go.

Matt took off for Loop 5 in the dark expecting to take 40 minutes on Segment 1 since he hadn't run night trail before and had already run 16 miles. When Bryan and I arrived at Exchange 1 at 10:40, though, Matt was waiting for us--he'd run the hardest segment in the dark and still beat 40 minutes. What a beast. Bryan took off on Segment 2 at 10:42 pm, then Matt and I headed to meet him at Exchange 2 so I could run Segment 3 a second time. I'd thought I would also run Segment 4 again (which would've been a third time), but Bryan was feeling good and generously offered to do Segment 4, miles 96-100 of the race, bringing his total for the day to 24 miles. I'm really glad he did, too, because the second time doing Segment 3 was tough. I started Segment 3 at 11:27 pm, and I was surprised at how tough it was because I felt like my nutrition had been about right all day, I'd hydrated, and I wasn't hurting anywhere. Around mile 6 of the 8-mile loop, I started thinking about the miles I'd run, and I realized if I'd done Segment 4 again, that would be my third time. I couldn't make sense of it, then I remembered that I'd picked up Segment 4 from Matt, and he never ran Segment 4. So, when I had been awake for 18 hours and thought I was 26 miles into the race, I was actually 30 miles into the race.

I gladly tagged Brian out when I finally made it to the end of Segment 3 (which actually only took me 13 minutes longer than the first time I ran it, 12 miles into my mileage) and called it a day at 32 miles. We still had 42 minutes of our cushion, too! I never would've thought a surprise 50K would be my idea of fun, but here we are. Todd gave me a big hug, and we hung out at the exchange with the Breauxs--who I'm now calling my "Louisiana parents" because they have taken care of me as a runner since I was training for my first marathon--who were waiting for another runner to come in. When their runner tagged in, we all headed back to the start/finish.

Bryan came in at 2:15 am, and Totes McGOATS officially clinched the 100-mile relay finish. The day didn't go exactly as scheduled, and it was certainly not the same plan we'd established a few weeks ago, but we got the job done, and I am so, so proud of these men I call teammates. Perhaps the most amazing part was seeing how everyone's strengths came out to make it all work. We certainly wouldn't have been able to do what we did without flexibility on everyone's part, but I'm also amazed at how much everyone pushed themselves even harder than originally planned so we could still get the job done. Our team was such a great testament to what teamwork can do and how important it is to be gracious when plans change. We needed speed and endurance for sure (which we had), but I don't think we could've done it without the support of each other either, and that's part of what made this experience so amazing.

I'm already looking forward to next year.

Something that made today great: Reunion food and beverages with Megan and Aaron at Olive or Twist
Time I woke up: 7:35 am?

Day 156

Nothing like a good trail relay to get the endorphins going! We are 16 hours and about 85 miles into the Chicot Challenge, and things are looking good for my team, Totes McGOATS. I’ll go out for 8 miles once our runner makes it to mile 88. We have 20 hours to finish, and while I’m the slowest runner on my team, even I won’t need the full cushion my fast teammates have built. This is good news. 

We should finish the relay between 2:00 and 2:30 am, and then we will all be ready for a good sleep. Or maybe a breakfast burrito and a good sleep. 

Something that made today great: Runnin’ trail
Time I woke up: 6:00 am

Friday, March 22, 2019

Day 157

Whew, what a week! 

I’m spending Saturday in Chicot State Park for the Chicot Challenge 100 Mile Relay, and that’s giving me the chance to spend some time running in nature and reunite with some GOATS friends. I’m pretty sure this is exactly what I need. Tomorrow will be a big day of running, then I’ll be back home on Sunday to prepare for the week. 

I’m thankful for my body and the great things it can do, and I can’t wait to hit the trails in the morning! Also, hanging out by a campfire tonight sure was a treat. Hopefully the bad luck cloud that’s been following me won’t be on the trail tomorrow. 

Something that made today great: Boudin cooked on a campfire...mmmm!
Time I woke up: 9:05 am

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Day 158

I just realized what time it was and that I hadn't written a blog post yet. Oops!

Today started off well because I met my friend Ellen for a run this morning at 8:30. When I was ready to leave for work, my car wouldn't start, but fortunately, Richard was off of work today, so I took the truck to work. No problem.

Then, when I got to work and went on my morning coffee walk, there was no coffee in the carafes! This was a minor setback, though, because the supplies for coffee were all there, so I made two fresh pots to be enjoyed by me and the people who were to come behind me.

After work, I had grand plans to pick up groceries on my way back from campus, and I specifically wanted to go to Albertson's because I wanted to pick up some Holy Roller IPA to bring to the Chicot Challenge this weekend, and I wasn't sure that Walmart Neighborhood Market, which is on my normal route home, carried Urban South beer. I very rarely drive home at exactly 5:00 because I either have class or go for a run before I head home, but tonight class was canceled, so I left after work.

Well, on my way to Albertson's, I ended up in an accident when someone turning left across two lanes (traffic in the right lane was stopped, and someone in the right lane waved her through) pulled into my path. I tried to stop, but I didn't quite make it. Instead, I ended up ramming her driver door hard enough to crunch it and deploy the airbag but not majorly dent it in or shatter her window. Yikes. So, for the future, I'm avoiding Perkins Road during the 4:30-6:00 window.

So, not a good day for cars at the Davis house, but we replaced my battery, all drivers and passengers involved in the accident are perfectly fine, and the truck is still driveable. Also, I'm not sure my sweet little sedan would've fared so well in this accident, so I guess I should be glad I had the truck.

For those keeping score at home, I've had an attempted robbery while I was home, two empty coffee carafes when I went for my morning coffee, and a car accident since Saturday. (These incidents vary in level of severity.) I guess I'm lucky that I've stayed safe all three times, but I'd like a little less excitement in the coming days. Fingers crossed for a better Friday.

Something that made today great: I had extra calories on My Fitness Pal, so I got to have two servings of ice cream today!
Time I woke up: 7:45 am

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Day 159

Another short-ish one today because I’m falling asleep. I stayed up way too late last night, and it really did me in. But it’s okay, because I can go to bed tonight. 

I filed our taxes today, which was much less complicated than I expected this year. Richard and I had planned to hire someone to do our taxes, but then I decided to see how much trouble they’d be do do on my own. I’m glad I did, because H&R Block made our taxes easy, and Richard said I should use the leftover money from not hiring someone to do our taxes to register for races. That seems like a fair deal to me!

I ended up owing the state of Louisiana $13 in Consumer Use Tax as taxes on some shirts I ordered from Custom Ink, so I am dropping those big bucks in the mail tomorrow. I chose a Voldemort stamp from my Harry Potter stamp book, and I hope the person who gets the mail at the Louisiana Department of Revenue has a sense of humor!

Something that made today great: nerding out about distractor analysis and validity in my Testing and Measurement class. It’s actually probably kind of weird how much I like that class. Also my partner and I got really good feedback about our Paradigm Project that we submitted on Monday! 
Time I woke up: 9:00 am

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Day 160

While I was searching Pexels for a stock photo to use in today's post, I first entered "runner" and received 97 results. Then, I typed "fast runner" and learned that Pexels doesn't use Boolean search limiters when I received 877 results. This is in stark contrast to what I've seen in my time as a runner. There are plenty of runners out there, but there are not more fast runners than runners. Fast runners are included among the runners. I settled on this picture of what looks like a person tying their laces and preparing to go for a run.

Photo from Pexels

Anyway, since I managed to beat my 2:30 half marathon goal, I want to continue working on speed. I'm signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon 50K at the end of October, and runners for the 50K have to maintain an 11:30 pace for the first 14 miles and a 14-minute pace for the remaining 17 miles. I have plenty of time, so I'm not too worried. Actually, I'm kind of excited that I have this cutoff hanging over my head to keep me motivated while I'm training in the summer. I recently finished a Half Marathon Trainer RunBet, and now I'm taking it easier with a different RunBet that gives me a minimum amount of running per workout, and my goal is to average a 10-minute per mile pace or faster for each workout. The longest workout is 45 minutes, which would put me at 4.5 miles, but I'd be thrilled to run 6 miles in 60 minutes. We'll see where it goes between now and April 21. Tonight, my goal was 2 miles in 20 minutes, and I hung in there for 28 minutes, or 2.8 miles. Not too bad!

I've been doing this running thing for a while, and though I lack any sort of formal training from an accredited institution, what I have found is that people who want to be faster runners have to run faster. So, I'm doing just that and hoping it sticks. Sure, I'm only running faster for a short distance, but this is how I'll trick my body into thinking what I currently consider "fast" is actually not so fast.  My RunBet ends on April 21, so I'll assess my progress and start the cycle all over again after that.

Something that made today great: Catching up with Ariel and getting excited for her shower!
Time I woke up: 8:30 am

Monday, March 18, 2019

Day 161

Today wasn’t bad for a Monday, or for any day really. I was up late last night doing my taxes and reading, then I forgot to set an alarm when I went to bed, so I woke up without an alarm and ended up starting my day later than I intended. At least I was well rested!

I had a good but short day at work before Girls on the Run practice and class. I spent a chunk of time last night organizing my literature review material that I’ve printed thus far. If I am half as powerful as I feel when looking at my binder with its divider tabs and table of contents, I will be just fine. If the office supplies are a distraction from actual progress, I’m in serious trouble...but at least I am in serious trouble with a nice binder.

Now, I’m going to bed before midnight for the first time in a few days. Hooray!

Something that made today great: My partner and I got good feedback on our paradigm project!
Time I woke up: 9:00 am

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Day 162

Well, today was less eventful than yesterday, and I am thankful for that. Sunday nights are usually spent preparing for the upcoming week, and this week was no exception. I finally started our tax returns, and our situation is looking to be much better than I expected, so that was a nice surprise. I'm also making steady progress on my school assignments and don't feel overwhelmed, so that's a victory.

Bring on the new week!

Something that made today great: I cooked a delicious dinner
Time I woke up: The first time was around 8:30, but I read in bed before falling back asleep until after 12. (I love lazy days!)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Day 163

At the last minute, I ended up going out to a Shamrock Run 5K today in Baton Rouge. There's a big parade in honor of St. Patrick's Day (or maybe just as an excuse to party--I'm not here to make that judgment) every year in Baton Rouge, but this was the first year (or maybe first year in a while) that there was a run involved. Long story short, when I was attempting to park, I listened to someone who told me I wouldn't be able to get out of one parking lot after the race, moved my car to a location where I was told I would be able to get out after the race...and then the opposite happened. While I was proud of myself for being a good rule follower and not copping an attitude with the volunteer who told me I needed to move, I was displeased after the race when I wasn't able to drive myself home. (Fortunately, Cousin Tim didn't listen to the rules and was able to drive me home.) I didn't have any plans outside of the house today, so it wasn't a big deal to not have my car. My main goals were to nap, do a little homework, and do some pleasure reading. Then, I'd walk Scooter and cook dinner...nothing too crazy.

As anyone who's ever shared a hotel room or attended a sleepover with me can attest, I am a deep sleeper. Scooter loves to bark any time another dog walks by or someone comes to deliver mail or a package to our house, but I am able to fall back asleep quickly even when she does wake me up. Also, she usually doesn't bark for an extended period of time.

Image from
Well, today while I was falling back asleep after a Harry Potter reading break, she started barking, and she kept barking. And barking some more. Then, someone tried to enter my bedroom. I heard him turn the handle on my locked door, and I panicked. I don't know if he saw me sit up in bed or not, but by the time I made it to the front of my house, he was pulling out of the carport and driving away. I called the police, but other than a description of the man and the vehicle, I didn't have much information to provide.

So, that was unsettling. I'm thankful that Richard and I are pretty diligent about locking our doors, because the robber (or robber wannabe) would've been able to enter the house with me while I was sleeping. I probably wouldn't have heard a person walk in, either, so I have a special appreciation for Scooter's barking. (I showed her my appreciation by giving her some pulled pork with her kibble for dinner.)

Although I was disgruntled about my car being stuck across town all day, it wasn't because I was concerned about having an empty driveway. I just wanted to drive myself home and stay at home all day. I doubt this attempted burglary would've happened if my car had been in the carport, but maybe this scare was what we needed to make a more serious investment in security monitoring for our house. I'm so shaken up after the whole affair that I don't even want to nap when I'm home alone...and if I don't want to nap, you know it's serious. 

I'm ready to invest in all kinds of security equipment now. 

Something that made today great: I picked up some of my favorite snacks and treats from Trader Joe's today!
Time I woke up: 6:15 am 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Day 164

Richard and I have completely different tastes in music. He likes metal and hard rock, so he listens to the Octane station on Sirius XM. I love Southern rock, oldies, indie music, and pop music. Where our tastes overlap, however, is in the sweet spot of early 2000s rap and hip-hop.

We were both teenagers in the early 2000s, so we came of age going to school dances that played the same catchy rap and hip-hop songs that we'd bump in our cars as 16 year-olds riding around town with our friends and celebrating the independence and freedom that comes with a driver's license. (Well, that's what I'd play when I wasn't listening to Death Cab for Cutie or the Decemberists.)

One of our favorite rituals as a couple is to cook dinner while listening to Salt Shaker Radio (you're welcome for that link), although we haven't done that since I started school,  and I'm not sure we've done it since we moved to Baton Rouge. Still, Salt Shaker Radio is one of my favorite Pandora stations because it gets me pumped up and brings back some good memories. Beyond that, however, Salt Shaker Radio has introduced me to the fact that there is an extended remix of "Salt Shaker" by the Ying Yang Twins that is 8.5 minutes long. I love it because "Salt Shaker" is one of my favorite throwback tunes, but what makes it even better is that Richard almost always gets "punk'd" by the remix...we'll be jamming to it together, then he'll realize that the song has been going on for four or five minutes and isn't ending. (The original version is four minutes long.) He's always distressed when he realizes and exclaims, "This is that extended remix, isn't it?" and when I say that it is, he exhales as loudly as possible and sometimes does a pouty dance. Knowing that I want to hear all 8.5 minutes, he realizes his options are (a) change the song and make me sad or (b) endure the entire extended remix. In true dreamy fashion, he always picks option b because he wants me to be happy.

Photo from YouTube
Tonight, I'm up finishing my portion of a group project. I have Salt Shaker Radio going, and just as I was trying to figure out what to blog about, the Salt Shaker Extended Remix came on. Naturally, I had to dedicate some blog space to it (although now I'm having strange deja vu and thinking I might've written about Salt Shaker Radio or the song before). So, here's a nod of appreciation to the Salt Shaker Extended Remix that has gotten me through some tough days at work. Nothing like a little rump shakin' to change a bad mood or power through a tough task.

Something that made today great: Higher Education Administration mix-and-mingle lunch. So much fun!
Time I woke up: 9:00 am

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Day 165

I'm a little over the halfway point in the semester, but due to scheduling, I had a midterm this week. Specifically, I had a take-home midterm in my Testing and Measurement class, which I thought I would breeze through. Instead, I'm on the last two questions and am overthinking my answers. I'm taking a break to eat some candy and blog, and then I'm going to finish my midterm and go to bed.

Taking a test about tests and assessments is pretty interesting after spending lots of time and energy thinking about how tests are made and questions are developed. I'm not sure I have a future as a psychometrician, but I did make this awesome meme just a minute ago.

Something that made today great: Our house is clean!
Time I woke up: 7:55 am

Day 166

It's 12:17 am, and I just realized I didn't press "Publish" on this post. Oops. It's still March 13 in other time zones, though!

This evening, I was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, an honor society, which was very exciting because one of my goals during my doctoral program was to be invited to join, and it happened sooner than I expected. Check that one off of the list.

Phi Kappa Phi's name comes from the Greek motto, Philosophía Krateítõ Phõtôn, which translates to, "Let the love of learning rule humanity.” Seems like a good idea to me. I really do love learning. I don't think I would have chosen to take the next steps in my education if I didn't love learning. Still, there are some times when I am not as responsible with my schooling as I probably should be, and I end up being caught in a pattern of behavior that I don't particularly like but that I also fail to change.

Last semester, it was reading Ebony and Ivy. Admittedly, it was tough read in many ways, but spreading out the reading over a few days made it easier to digest. Even knowing that, however, more times than not I was reading Ebony and Ivy on Monday night before I had class on Tuesday afternoon. This semester, it's the same story with Wednesday nights and The Handbook of Strategic Enrollment Management. To its credit, I'm finding this semester's text to be easier to take in, but why do I allow myself to put off reading it until Wednesday night? This week has been busy, so I'm allowing myself some slack, but I definitely opted to do other items on my to do list before I cracked open my book, which means I'm allowing my silly behavior to continue. So, a goal for the rest of this semester is to do a better job letting the love of learning guide my studies instead of the love of cream, napping, or playing games on my iPad.

Something that made today great: Mini cheesecakes for dessert!
Time I woke up: 8:30 I think.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Day 167

Last Tuesday was Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, which meant parades, festivities, fun, and king cake among other things. That sets the bar pretty high for all other Tuesdays. 

Today was fine, just busy. I have a growing to-do list to tackle with quite a few things wrapping up by Friday, so I have to hunker down over the next few days. I'm short on things to talk about other than that Mardi Gras is a more exciting Tuesday than the average Tuesday. Perhaps I'll be more entertaining tomorrow. 

Something that made today great: Signing up for races!
Time I woke up: 9:00 am? 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Day 168

I had a good Monday, but since I don't have much out of the ordinary to post about today, I'm going to take this chance to post about the other thing I did this weekend, which was to run two half marathon races in one weekend! I've run marathons--more marathon races than half marathon races, actually--and ultras, and I have done back-to-back long runs, but I until this weekend, I had never done two separate and official half marathons in one weekend. That all changed this weekend, and it was such fun.

Richard is always great race support!
A few weeks ago, I stated that I was on a mission to break the 2:30 mark in a half marathon and was following a plan from Runner's World. I ended up deviating from the plan a little bit, but apparently, I did something well enough to make my goal on a humid Louisiana Saturday. I've had my eye on running a 5:30 marathon for a while but had not thought much about running a faster half marathon until recently. Mentally, there is something that seems more doable to me about running 26.2 miles at a 12:35 pace than 13.1 miles at an 11:27 pace, but I'm becoming more comfortable with running miles at a pace that starts with "11" than I used to be. With practice, I should land that 5:30 marathon finish soon enough, and then it'll be time for some new goals!

The sub-3 hour Sunday race crew!
On Sunday, my friend Sandra and I drove to Lafayette to run the Zydeco Half Marathon. (We'd planned to have our other partner in crime, Elena, with us, but Mother Nature can be cruel, and the sinus crud landed at her house this weekend.) I have participated in a Zydeco race a total of five times now (ran the marathon in 2018 and the half marathon in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2019), and it's always a good time. Like Saturday in Baton Rouge, Lafayette was humid, only it felt even more like swimming than Baton Rouge had the day before. I didn't have any major time goals for Zydeco, especially after running a new personal record (PR) time on Saturday, but I figured I'd enjoy the course and run somewhere between 2:45 and 3:00, which is exactly what we did. (My finish time was 2:58:10.) Sandra and I hung out with Schemer at the start for a few minutes, but he was pacing the 2:20 half marathon, so I knew I had limited time with him. While waiting in the start corral, I found Brianna, one of my former students, who was running her first half marathon. We'd commented on Facebook about hoping to see each other at the race, and we ended up seeing her for nearly three hours because we ran/walked the race together! Brianna and I used to do 2- and 3-mile run/walks on campus when she was a student at LSMSA and I was training for my first marathon, so it was really neat to share this experience with her. Also, she crushed it and didn't whine at all even when she was tired and in pain. We picked up another runner, Ann, around mile 7. Ann was doing her second half marathon, and we helped her cross the finish line with a PR of over 47 minutes. Somewhere around mile 8, we saw my friend Russell Poe, who was cruising toward a 13 minute PR and looking strong. We shared a sweaty hug in the street before he took off to burn up the last 16 or so miles of his race.

Perhaps my favorite part of this new running achievement was getting to do two of my favorite running things in one weekend: proving to myself that I'm getting faster/stronger and helping other runners. (A close third is leveling up to Jupiter for Half Fanatics!) With racing, working on projects for school, and doing Deltasig things, my weekend was pretty packed, but Richard and I ended the weekend with a family date to The Bulldog and a walk with our best dog. I can't believe how much better I feel today than I did a week ago, and I'm hoping to keep that up as long as possible. This upcoming weekend will be the last one for a few weeks where I don't have some sort of race and/or travel planned, so I intend to take it pretty easy this weekend and get ahead on school work where I can. Fingers crossed that I stick to the plan!

Something that made today great: I'm making steady progress on my literature review and my group projects. There's still plenty to be done, but I feel like I have everything under control.
Time I woke up: 8:25 am

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Day 169

I have written about my sorority before, but I’m not sure I’ve talked much about my professional fraternity. Honestly, my involvement as an alumna of both organizations has looked much different than I thought it would and has not been as seamless as I envisioned when I was a college student. Living away from collegiate and alumni chapters of both groups and having an unusual work schedule has made staying involved in a more traditional sense a bit of a challenge. What has not changed, of course, are the promises I made when I joined both organizations and the type of person I aspire to be because of the high standards of character that they each prescribe, but it’s always good to be reminded of what I promised to do and why it matters to preserve them. 

In January, I had the opportunity to facilitate at The Journey in New Orleans through Alpha Gamma Delta, and this weekend, Delta Sigma Pi had its South Central LEAD Provincial Conference in Baton Rouge, so I’ve had meaningful opportunities to reconnect with both recently. As I mentioned yesterday, I was nervous and unsure what to expect from attending my first event since 2011, especially since this was my first event in a new province. As it turns out, the South Central Province and the Southern Province share that Southern hospitality that I love so much. (It also doesn’t hurt to stay close to a Past Grand President who will introduce you to everyone.)

In many ways, attending LEAD now was similar to going as a collegiate member. The breakout sessions were of high quality, and I learned several pretty cool things about habits, personal finance, and the history of the Deltasig Ritual. At lunch, I had conference chicken (my first of the year since I didn’t go to any student affairs or higher ed conferences) and met Deltasig brothers from all over. After the breakout sessions, I enjoyed networking with other alumni and made fast friends with the National Community Service Chair, Angie, who shared much wisdom about exercise, raising daughters, being involved with Delta Sigma Pi, and more, and I was able to sit with her and some other wonderful alumni at dinner. A few hours after walking into a place where I only knew a few people, I was sad to leave to go home so early. That’s a pretty significant change from not being sure I wanted to stay through dinner earlier in the day, but the things I love about Delta Sigma Pi run deep through the fraternity, and they didn’t go away just because I left the scene for a few years. 

Something I’ve found from both of my recent reunions is that having the fortune to participate in Ritual together continues to be meaningful and inspirational as I do my best to get this whole life thing as right as I am able. While there are some secrets for members only, both of my organizations state publicly through creeds and ceremonies that members should live their lives in such a way that they can use the skills and benefits gained from their membership to bring credit to the organization. At a time when it’s tough to read much good news about fraternities and sororities, this adherence to values matters more than ever. 

Alpha Gamma Delta’s Purpose ends with the words, “This shall be my Purpose that those who know me may esteem Alpha Gamma Delta for her attainments, revere her for her purposes, and love her for her womanhood.” Delta Sigma Pi’s memorial service, which is public, reminds guests that brothers should strive for others to say of them that “The world is better because they dwelt upon it” when they are gone. (I don’t own the most current Ritual, so I don’t know the exact quote right now.) Spending time with brothers and sisters from all over reminds me that I have the privilege to be part of something huge and wonderful, but I’m also charged with helping to preserve it. It’s a tall order, but most things that are worthwhile require some effort and work. 

I’m up for the challenge. 

I should’ve taken more photos at LEAD. 

Something that made today great: Ran the Zydeco Half Marathon with new and old friends, including a former student who did her first half today! (Maybe I’ll write a late race report if I’m low on inspiration this week.)
Time I woke up: 4:15 am

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Day 170

Saturday has been awesome! I want to give this day the attention it deserves, but I have to leave for Lafayette by 5 am (which is going to feel like 4 am with the time change) so I’m going to have to delay until...hopefully tomorrow?

I met my goal of running a 2:30 half marathon with 32 seconds to spare! The humidity made race conditions a little less than ideal, but it was pretty standard for Louisiana. I’m super proud of achieving this goal, because I had to dig deep at times to get there.

Pre-race good luck kiss from Dash the Gator!

This afternoon and evening, I went to the provincial conference for Delta Sigma Pi, my professional fraternity, and it was wonderful. I was nervous about going and unsure what to expect after mostly being out of the Deltasig scene for several years, but it was amazing. In most ways, I felt like I hadn’t been away at all, and that was a good feeling. 

It’s way later than I planned to be awake today, so I’m going to stop writing now, but today was fantastic. I’m ready for a good Sunday now. 

Something that made today great: New Deltasig friends!
Time I woke up: 5:15 am

Friday, March 8, 2019

Day 171

All right, it's the weekend again! I'm optimistic about this weekend, largely because I'm not worn out going into it. That's a good sign, but I need to keep it that way...which promises to be a challenge since I've scheduled myself for two half marathons, Delta Sigma Pi LEAD here in Baton Rouge, and school work. Oh, and we lose an hour this weekend. Swell. I've tried to be careful with my scheduling so that I can rest and not start next week tired, overwhelmed, or grumpy, and if my plans work out, I'll strike exactly the right balance.

I wasn't sure what to blog about today other than my plans for the weekend, but then I remembered that I learned something super awesome today, which is that Black and Decker once made collegiate licensed Dust Busters. My biggest current project at work is assisting with the efforts for a Campus Climate Survey, and I've been asking for donations for incentives from various offices and organizations on campus. In a box of donated items that I picked up today was an LSU Dust Buster, and I am actually a little embarrassed by how excited I was about it...but I think this vacuum is the bee's knees. The person who wins it will be quite lucky.

Despite my busy weekend ahead, the most notable thing to blog about today was the LSU Dust Buster. I guess it's like that sometimes. Happy weekend, y'all!

Something that made today great: I usually try to write something here that wasn't in the regular content of my blog post...but it's hard to top an LSU Dust Buster.Time I woke up: 6:28 am (buuut I played on my phone for a bit before I actually got up)

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Day 172

Another good day! This is wonderful news. 

I woke up in a good mood, didn’t hit traffic on the way to work, and made it to work right at 9:00. I got my lab work back from my doctor appointment yesterday and learned that my thyroid is at least partially to blame for my recent funk. My medication dosage has been adjusted, and I’m hoping that’s all it’ll take to be on the road to not living in a fog. 

I had a lovely day at work including going out to lunch with ladies from my office as an early celebration of International Women’s Day tomorrow. Class tonight included a WebEx meeting/conversation with David Williams of Rice University, which was fun AND educational. What more could a girl need?

Just as my cup reached the super full point, Richard and I decided to go out for dinner just because. Lately, we have been doing a lot of cooking at home and haven’t gone out to eat just the two of us, so this was a nice treat. We went to Superior Grill, and I allowed myself to order and eat everything I wanted because I have not one but two half marathons this weekend and will need my energy. (Also, I am doing great on my dieting!) For dessert, I had the coconut fried ice cream...YUM! It’s pretty cool that I have the best husband ever. 

Tomorrow should be a good day, and this weekend looks promising too. Perhaps I’ll stay on this path and be back to regularly scheduled optimism soon. 

Photo from ModCloth

Something that made today great: Besides all of the things I mentioned above, I wore my super awesome dinosaur necklace today. 
Time I woke up: 8:00 am? (I usually check my Garmin app for this information, but I apparently rolled over at 4:04 am and moved around enough for my watch to think I was awake.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Day 173

Today was a much better day, and for that I am thankful. I think it helped to have responsibilities and tasks to attend to as opposed to having the freedom to plop back into bed whenever I got a little tired. I wouldn't say I was bursting with energy, but I did have a productive day including work, a Junior League training, reading for class tomorrow, eating dinner (prepared by Richard), going for a run, and reading an article for the literature review I'm writing. (See, that sounds more like my regular self!)

After last week's meeting with my advisor, I'm tossing out a chunk of the ideas I had for my grant proposal and looking to ask (and hopefully answer) questions from a different angle. Tonight, I read "The Two Different Worlds of Black and White Fraternity Men: Visibility and Accountability as Mechanisms of Privilege" by Rashawn Ray and Jason A. Rosow, and it totally rocked my world. As I'm wading through article abstracts, there are way more times that I end up resorting a file "for later" (that is, a general "articles" folder that I might never revisit) or entirely deleting it than when I find one that is going to work. This one knocked it out of the park by being what I was looking for but also inspiring me to think more deeply about certain aspects of my research. When the sticky notes, highlighter, and pen all come out, it could just be true love.

(If all you got from the above paragraph was "Nerrrrrrrrrrd. Nerd stuff. More nerd stuff. NERD. ALERT" then you pretty much got the whole point.)

I'm optimistic about the rest of this week. I can do this! (And if I ever doubt I can, I have plenty of people who will remind me that I can...which is awesome.)

Something that made today great: Junior League training meeting on "Simple Wisdom for Women" - I'm already using some of what I learned.
Time I woke up: 7:15 am

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Day 174

 I spent time today texting with my mom, which is something I do most days. When I told her I needed to figure out what to make for dinner, she suggested a baked chicken, which is one of my sister’s favorite meals. I decided on green beans as one of the sides, mostly because they’re delicious when my mom cooks them. (Mine were inferior to say the least.)

One thing I love about green beans is snapping off the ends. Both of my parents came from families that had big, thriving gardens, and one of my favorite rituals as a child was sitting at the kitchen table with my grandfather and snapping the ends off. Then, we’d snap the beans into smaller pieces and put them in a plastic bowl. Like other similar idle activities (picking out pecans, anyone?) it gave us time to talk while we worked with our hands. I miss my grandparents and their wisdom, and I so admire the people they were and how much they were able to do with so little. 

Richard was working today, so I snapped beans without anyone to converse with today. (Scooter was home but isn’t much help when it comes to dialogue.) I stood alone in the kitchen and snapped the beans directly into the pot where I planned to cook them.  I listened to Harry Potter and the Sacred Text (of course) and enjoyed the productive feeling that comes from preparing a home cooked meal. (Welllll...mostly. I had store bought ice cream for dessert.) 

My work week starts tomorrow, and I’m hoping I can have a few good days at work before heading into the weekend again. I’m still not feeling stellar, but I have a doctor appointment tomorrow. Fortunately, I’m not behind on anything for school, but I do need to get things straightened out sooner rather than later or I will be behind. Yikes. 

Something that made today great: Reading a few chapters of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in my pajamas
Time I woke up: 10:46 am

Monday, March 4, 2019

Day 175

In case my less-than-riveting blog posts these past few days haven’t been an indicator, I haven’t really been feeling like myself lately. I thought for a while that I was just tired, but that doesn’t seem to be the only issue.

Today, I decided to stay home from work (most people were taking the day off since tomorrow is Mardi Gras) and continue resting. I also decided to try to find a doctor who works with my insurance. (I love the Student Health Center at LSU and am going there Wednesday, but I wanted to have someone off campus too in case there’s something more complicated going on.) Since I had the time, I logged on to my insurance company’s website to look for options, and I started making calls.

But this wasn’t your regular making calls from a website.

Instead of having links I could click and prompt my phone to call, I had to manually dial the numbers myself. Not a big deal, this is something I did frequently at LSMSA: look at a number and remember it for long enough to turn around, walk to the phone, and dial out. 

Only no matter how accurate my memory is, it’s not helpful when the insurance company lists the wrong numbers. 

I’ve dialed plenty of wrong numbers in my life. It’s not normally a big deal. I am a child of the 90’s, and I occasionally made phone typos. I still make them now.  But today, when I dialed numbers as written, I didn’t hear from the correct party on the other end. The first time it happened, my voice quivered, but I made it through the call before letting a few tears roll down my face. 

By the third time, I was incoherently sobbing and apologizing to the wrong number I’d dialed.

Woah baby. Get a grip.

Not me, but I think this is the face I made. Image from Meme Generator

I did eventually get through to an in-network provider, but what a journey it was! I have no idea why I was so emotional. Dialing a wrong number is like a 1.13 on a 1-10 scale of mistakes a person can make in life, but anyone overhearing my phone call would’ve thought I had done something way worse.

I did manage to get it together and do some school work today, but I am going to need to get out of this funk sooner rather than later. Thank goodness I have tomorrow off too. Geez. 

Something that made today great: king cake, ice cream, and a piece of candy
Time I woke up: 8:40 am

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Day 176

I cannot seem to get enough sleep this weekend, and I am actually kind of concerned. Here are some haikus about my life these past two days:

I am really tired
I’ve taken multiple naps
But I am still tired

I’ve run lots of miles
But I can’t focus to read
I don’t understand 

Maybe tomorrow
I will be more productive 
But I might just nap 

Something that made today great: Napping while it rained outside
Time I woke up: 8:53 am

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Day 177

I took today off from doing anything school related, and that was just the ticket. I didn’t eat as much king cake as expected, but there’s always tomorrow!

I went out for a run this afternoon and cooked red beans and rice for dinner in the Instant Pot. Richard receive an Instant Pot for Christmas, we have been trying new recipes and enjoying them. 

Wow, I’m boring myself. I think I’ll stop here and not bother posting this one on Facebook. 

Something that made today great: After waking up with no alarm, I was able to take
Time I woke up: 9:00 am

Friday, March 1, 2019

Day 178

Woo hoo, happy March, y’all!

Now that it’s Friday, I feel like a weight has been lifted. Through the power of breaking my responsibilities into smaller, more manageable tasks and not quitting, I made it through this crazy week. Now, I’m going to limit the amount of time I spend outside of my house, and I’m going to like it. 

I had a good day at work, but the highlight of my day was grabbing lunch with two of my classmates. We rarely see each other outside of class or have time to talk about things that aren’t the class we are sitting in when we do have a chance to chat. Sure, we had to schedule something as simple as lunch on campus two weeks in advance, but that’s the way we have to do things right now. The food and company were both worth it. This evening, Richard made sous vide steak with potatoes and asparagus, and I went out for a run. If I can keep this momentum, March will be just fine. 

Something that made today great: Mardi Gras is coming, which means king cake everything! I had cream cheese filled king cake for breakfast and king cake bread pudding for dessert at lunch.
Time I woke up: 8:00 am