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my life in my words


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Just Like Fire

FPP

 

. . . 2 more days until I look at yet another possible apartment.

. . . 13 more days until I begin my three (3hr) Home Study Interviews

. . . 25 more days until I (tentatively) move to a new home.

. . . 48 more days until I leave for my family reunion in Austin, Texas.

. . . approximately 75 more days until foster care pre-placement activities begin.

. . . 80 more days of going in to work 2 extra hours at #TheOl9to5 so that I can get paid for all the time I’ll be missing at work while I’m in Texas, at VBS, and when ‘kiddo’ comes into my home for placement.

. . . 82 more days until our Vacation Bible School begins

To say that time flies is a giant understatement for me right now. Even as I sit here typing this, I realize I have about 20 things left to do before I go to bed tonight. Yet all I want to do is curl up on the bed and sleep until morning comes. I realize this is just the tip of the foster-parenting iceberg and I know I can make it through this whirlwind of a season with God on my side. Still, I feel like this entire succession of events flew in quick!

Last weekend I sent in almost every bit of my licensing paperwork—except for the emergency evacuation diagram & strategy, which will come when I move. It feels SO good to be out from underneath that monstrous tower of paperwork! The countless hours and brainpower have taken a toll on my sanity, but it was SO worth it to get to here. Furthermore, I can’t help but be grateful for those who have helped me get from point A to here. From amazing people who have written foster licensing recommendations for me; to my loving friends & family who are looking forward to welcoming ‘kiddo’ to the fold; to the countless people praying for me to find just the right home to move to, and more! I feel honored and relieved to have such an incredible supportive community of friends and family holding up my arms in the middle of the battles.

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Next up comes filling out financial paperwork, applying for grants and taking on contract work to cover the rest of my foster/adoption fees (about $5,000 left to go!). Also, packing this weekend and getting as many ‘ducks in a row’ as I can before the rubber REALLY meets the road!

All along the way, I keep repeating, “I’m coming for you, kiddo! We’ll be together soon!” to myself. I get these beautifully gut-wrenching pangs of hopeful anticipation and butterflies swirl around in my stomach. Simultaneously, stars fly over my head as though I’ve been knocked on the noggin’ with a giant frying pan of all the details still needing to be managed. I’m definitely leaning into grace, hope, and trust during this season and believing that the God who began this good work will be faithful to bring it to completion in His time. The other day, I had a daydream that I was sitting with kiddo at the dinner table, explaining to them how sorry I was that it took so long for me to get to them. In that scene, I remember saying, “I had so many things I had to let God fix in my life before I could bring you in, but I promise to make it up to you in the precious moments we have left together. My life isn’t just about me anymore—it’s about you and me, together . . . finding life, love, and wholeness.” Yeah, there were plenty of tears in that daydream! Come to think of it, the tears have been pouring from my eyes like a leaky faucet these days. Oh bless.

In closing, I want to say a great big THANK YOU to every single one of you who takes the time to read about this journey, commenting on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter posts, and giving me comforting hugs when I let the doubts get the best of me. I could not ask for a greater crowd to be in my Arena as I embrace this year of PROMISE!

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Greatest Love Of All

Winston Churchill once said, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” I was at a youth conference years ago when I heard those words repeated and they have stuck with me since. It was a constant reminder that we have a chance each day to set up ourselves and our world for a bright future. The change and the hope that we push to the forefront of our lives to reveal to others carries with it much merit. Like many, I crave purpose and want to know that what I am doing makes a difference.  For that reason, I have made it a point to keep that mentality posed by Churchill at the heart of the things I invest my life in. I want to have a bright future, and likewise I want the generations to follow to have a fulfilling and bright future.

After grabbing breakfast, we headed over to her school where I got the grand tour, met her teaching teammates and helped set up for the day.

After grabbing breakfast, we headed over to her school where I got the grand tour, met her teaching teammates and helped set up for the day.

One of the simple ways I was able to invest in the future lately was volunteering at a local school. One of our Westside Kids ministry workers is a teacher there and after hearing more about her passion to see kids succeed in life, I asked if I could come in and serve alongside her to bless the class. She works at Seattle’s first charter school in the city. This particular charter school is both an educating school and social services agency for children and families struggling with the risks and realities of homelessness. Their school provides Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade education for traumatized, abused, or homeless children. For the families, they provide wrap-around social services to stabilize their housing and end the crises which put them at risk of homelessness. This school seeks to break they cycle of poverty and homelessness.

After assisting kids with questions during their Math Quiz, I would listen as the kids would take turns quietly reading their books to me. One boy pulled me over to this pole and proudly showed off that he could say all of the words posted on it!

After assisting kids with questions during their Math Quiz, I would listen as the kids would take turns quietly reading their books to me. One boy pulled me over to this pole and proudly showed off that he could say all of the words posted on it!

It may seem odd to volunteer at a school where I have no kids (because I don’t have kids at all) but I found it valuable to give my time and energy to invest in a crew of kids that my teammate was investing in daily. One of my younger nieces currently attends a different brand/style of Charter School back home and I know that if I lived there still, I would offer the same services to the teachers there. It was an honor and blessing to work with this particular crew of kids and to serve my friend/their teacher in some simple but impactful ways. I walked away with such a positive experience and a renewed passion for the younger generation!

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As a volunteer, I got to sit with them in story time at the Library and lead them in a class craft about Harriet Tubman. The Library time was awesome because two of them crowded around me and snuggled in as the Librarian read the story. Then, they let me help them pick out books (oh Heaven!). It was also great to work with them on crafts and to see their wonder and awe at the flip books that they got to make and take home! 

I am looking forward to volunteering in her class once a month and getting to know everyone better. Her kids definitely think, behave, and feel differently than most kids I’ve worked with in the past, but to see them grow beyond their limitations is exciting. One of the kids in her class particularly has severe learning and behavioral disorders so they have a special aide that stays in class to assist with that one child. Still, their classmates cheered on when progress was noted and made sure that that child felt loved and included. It was also so sweet that the classroom kiddos were asking questions about the kids that go to our church—if we do crafts, what we do to have fun, and if we have church every day. While these kids may never get a chance to darken the door of our church in Ballard, I do love that they get to experience the love of Christ through their daily interactions with their phenomenal teacher, Ms. Reddy!

Social Studies time included a book about Harriet Tubman and her work with the Underground Railroad.

Social Studies time included a book about Harriet Tubman and her work with the Underground Railroad. The kids loved hearing about Harriet Tubman during Social Studies and were even able to correlate the information from the class book to others they had read in their free time. When they heard that Harriet wasn’t allowed to go to school, they chimed in agreement that it was probably because schools weren’t built in her time. It was fun to hear their varying perspectives and to enlighten them as they asked their questions.

What about you? Have you ever volunteered at a local school/community center/church? If so, what was your experience like? If not, what has been holding you back?

I'm super proud of all the hard work that my friend (and teachers like her) put in to give kids a chance to learn and build confidence. If you know a teacher in your life, please give them a great big hug and a word of encouragement—it means a LOT!

I’m super proud of all the hard work that my friend (and teachers like her) put in to give kids a chance to learn and build confidence. If you know a teacher in your life, please give them a great big hug and a word of encouragement—it means a LOT!


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When Christmas Comes To Town

 

For the most part, Christmas is a very Merry time for me! Ever since I can remember, Christmas has been a magical day filled with family, friends, presents, and delicious seasonal treats. The days leading up to it are equally wonderful. Life has certainly changed since I left home (almost 7 years ago!), but it’s fun to explore new territory and develop new traditions, while hanging on to some of my old favorites. I know that many of you reading this are already busy spending time with family, but I found myself with some spare time today to create a blog post—which I haven’t done in forever—and thought I’d share some glimpses into my Christmas season this year. So I hope you enjoy them!

 

As you know, I’m a HUGE fan of Christmas—decorations and all! Since it was my first year with space to call my own, I decorated accordingly. I also made sure that we had some sweet Christmas lights glowing from our front yard!

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During the weeks leading up to the holidays, I got to participate in some fun local events:

My Birthday buddy, Maggie, and I celebrated our Birthday with dinner at Red Mill Burgers and a stage play at Taproot Theater.

Had a fun fun Christmas party with our 2Twelve Youth Group!

Got to attend our church's annual Women's Christmas Brunch.  And bonus points cause my table won the game this year! Woot!

Got to attend our church’s annual Women’s Christmas Brunch. And bonus points cause my table won the game this year! Woot!

Enjoyed our office party at The 'Ol 9-to-5, which was especially sweet cause one of my old co-workers is onsite as a temp with us this holiday season while our tech guy is away on vacation. SO great to see him again!

Enjoyed our office party at The ‘Ol 9-to-5, which was especially sweet cause one of my old co-workers is onsite as a temp with us this holiday season while our tech guy is away on vacation. SO great to see him again!

 

The week before Christmas, we held a special event for our Westside Kids, called JINGLE JAM. It was a huge undertaking, with countless hours of volunteer work and administration, but oh baby, it was TOTALLY WORTH IT!! The giggles, sweet memories, and parent/kid testimonies made the event a huge success. Here’s one of my fave pics of us playing a game where the kids built “snowmen” out of  toilet paper, scarves, and (of course) their table leaders:

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On Christmas Eve, I got a big treat—I was able to attend one of our Christmas Eve Candlelight Services. I provided childcare for the 1st and then one of our adult volunteers and a teen volunteer took over for me during the 2nd one. It was sweet and beautiful. One of our Pastors performed special Christmas music with his son’s band, while another Pastor’s wife led the youngsters in a Nativity Story.

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On Christmas morning, I opened my Christmas stockings and enjoyed some of my treats with my tamale breakfast!

So much to enjoy this Christmas morning! Devotions, Tamales for breakfast, Opening stockings, Talking to Anabelle about her visit from Santa, and now off to go Christmas caroling at the Juvenile Detention Center with the #WestsideChurch crew!

So much to enjoy this Christmas morning! Devotions, Tamales for breakfast, Opening stockings, Talking to Anabelle about her visit from Santa, and now off to go Christmas caroling at the Juvenile Detention Center with the #WestsideChurch crew!

I love my stocking stuffers! :D // My fave kettle corn, peppermint chocolates, Jack Skellington socks & NBC bracelets, a youth ministry book, my fave holiday teas, lisa frank erasers, White Squall (a movie I've been wanting to own for years! SO GOOD!), my fave mini crackers

I love my stocking stuffers! 😀 // My fave kettle corn, peppermint chocolates, Jack Skellington socks & NBC bracelets, a youth ministry book, my fave holiday teas, lisa frank erasers, White Squall (a movie I’ve been wanting to own for years! SO GOOD!), my fave mini crackers

 

Then, I went Christmas caroling at the King County Juvenile Detention Center again this year with the crew from Westside Church! It was a great experience to see the difference that simple gifts can make in the life of an incarcerated youth. I’m so thankful that my church creates shoebox gifts for them each year and makes the commitment to see that we are on the scene to sing to the teens!

 

When I got home, I opened the rest of my gifts and enjoyed a tasty lunch with some of my favorite goodies!

WOO HOO!! Santa stopped by my place this year!!

WOO HOO!! Santa stopped by my place this year!!

I even got some AWESOME gifts from my Auntie O back in Austin, plus my family present exchange gift from my cousin's daughter, Sable! It was a beautiful set of handmade earrings and an Old Navy gift card.

I even got some AWESOME gifts from my Auntie O back in Austin (Costa Rican coffee beans!), plus my family present exchange gift from my cousin’s daughter, Sable! It was a beautiful set of handmade earrings and an Old Navy gift card.

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My Christmas presents from Santa: 2 new tops from Rue 21, a new Captain America hoodie from Rue 21, CSI Board Game, CSI mug, Willow Tree “Love of Learning” Figurine, Rue 21 Makeup set, DVDs > Caddyshack II, National Lampoons Vacation Series, Nightmare Before Christmas; And a special book about something I’ll be sharing with ya in 2015! ;D

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Beautiful Christmas presents from friends! Candles, a great book called THE LIGHTLINGS that I think every kid should own, Rudolph mug & stuffed animal, Chocolate, CSI Season 14 DVD, special card w/ photos of some of my Westside Kids, Hobby Lobby + Coffee Date gift card!

 

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Lunch time! Red beans & rice, cornbread, scrumptious macarons (FAVES!), coffee, peppermint marshmallows. Yummo!

 

And after a nice nap, I was up and ready to celebrate Christmas with my housemates! David cooked a delicious spread, and I provided the hot apple cider and bread. It was such a beautiful feast—so good that we gobbled it up without snapping a photo. But I did get a shot of his appetizer—roasted butternut squash with caramelized balsamic drizzle. Holy yum! Then after dinner, we opened gifts and wished David a Merry Christmas as he headed off to work at the hospital. After he left, Lauren and I snuggled up and watched HOME ALONE 2 together on the living room couch. We were cracking up SO much! 

Just so we’re all aware, Bobby Flay lives at my house!

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My housemates got me this super rad shirt for Christmas. I LOVE it!

My housemates got me this super rad shirt for Christmas. I LOVE it!

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Cuddled up & cracking up with Lauren watching Home Alone 2 after a DELICIOUS Christmas dinner made by David!

 

 

All in all, it was a fantastic Christmas! I did miss my family, but I got to talk to them throughout the day, so that was a plus. This was such a great season for me and now I’m off to join Heather’s family for some continued Christmas fun. I hope you and your loved ones had an incredible Christmas season as well!

Christmas Photo_Web

 


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I Heard The Bells

There are many things I love about God, but one of those things that I’m most thankful for is that He is all about 2nd chances. This Christmas, I was given a 2nd chance to experience a solo Christmas in Seattle. Last year was supposed to be my first go-at-it, but as you may or may not know, those plans were pushed aside by a long hospital stay. Having this 2nd chance to fully participate in some old/new Christmas traditions has ignited hope, love, joy, and wonder into my heart and mind.

Living thousands of miles from home and not being able to be home for the holidays can be just as emotionally draining as being home for the holidays. For instance, I had called each of my parents on Christmas Eve to schedule Skype video chat dates with them on Christmas Day so that I could at least “see” them in some way. My goal was to unwrap my gifts in front of them so that it would seem we were in the same room, enjoying some Christmas joy. I carefully planned my events around their schedules and then on Christmas Day, each of them had a change of plans and were both unavailable for visual communication. I was SO bummed. I still kind of am. Living so far from home is tough when you can’t “see” your family.

Still, I want them to be able to see how my day went and share some of that Christmas joy with them here. So, this post is really for them, but if you’re interested in reading about how my Christmas Eve & Day went, scroll on, mah friend!

Now, before you go thinking that this long-distance Arroyo-Martinez chick has forgotten to honor family traditions, think again! I love our family traditions and was thankful that I was able to uphold them this Christmas!

 

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I got to enjoy (and share with others) a daily sweet treat with my fun Advent calendar!

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I sent out my Christmas cards with my funny photo and was so excited to get some cards from friends near and far!

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Seattle really is lacking in delicious, authentic, Mexican fare, but I do know of this one carniceria that has fantastic tamales! They’re thicker than what I’m used to back home, but they are still just as tasty! As I walked out the door with my tamales, I noticed the case of Pan Dulce and it reminded me of all those Saturday mornings we would go to Mi Victoria for breakfast tacos. 🙂

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I was bummed I couldn’t join y’all at Aunt Sandra’s for Christmas Eve tamales, but I made sure to enjoy from a distance. PS: If the Whole Foods in Austin sells Intelligentsia coffee, be sure to pick some up! It’s great!

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This is a new tradition, adopted from my East Coast fam, the Warners—opening stockings on Christmas Eve! Oh, and obviously I had to watch one of my faves. My fave (Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer) was saved for Christmas morning. 😉

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And these are all the goodies I stuffed in my stocking: Rudolph coloring book; Maxx Robots magnets, Glow-in-the-dark skull tattoos, fun socks, Luna & Cliff bars, Candy Cane prism glasses, Razors, Tony Chachere’s, coffee scoopers, trail mix, cocoa drizzled kettle corn, Bath & Body body wash, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark, and just like Mamo always puts in our goodie bags—an orange, an apple, a candy cane, and nuts! 😀

Christmas morning was extra special! I woke up early to watch Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer before heading off to Christmas Caroling. Of course, I had to enjoy some yummy breakfast beforehand, though. 😉

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With breakfast being my favorite meal of the day, it’s no wonder I had a little more pep in my step while making Christmas breakfast! 

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After breakfast, I headed out to the King County Juvenile Detention Center to meet up with some of my friends from Westside Church. While we were there, we sang Christmas carols to the inmates and celebrated with them as they opened their gifts. It was SO special!

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Once we were done with caroling, I headed home to open gifts!

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The majority of the gifts are things I bought for myself, but I did get some special gifts from others as well! My housemates gave me gifts, my friends at church gave me gifts, and I got a package from Aunt Olga, which had my exchange gift from Liz in it!

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Um, I MAY have gone overboard on the gifts I got for myself this year . . . but in my defense, they were all on clearance/major sales. 😉

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MY LOOT!! –> West Elm bowls from my co-worker/friend Glenda, a 200 Cal Cookbook from my housemate Kiesha, a unique painted mug and a bracelet from Glenda, clothes from Old Navy, CSI:NY + CSI: Las Vegas, Big Bang Theory ornament, 8-bit Sunglasses, Hair Chalk, POPULAR book, Salt & Pepper shakers, Christmas Vacation on DVD, The Wolverine on DVD, a keepsake Rudolph ornament, and 4 new shirts from Old Navy!

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And I LOVE my sweet Wonder Woman jammies from Liz! I hope Gabriel likes the remote control car I got him!

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After opening gifts and touching base with the folks, I headed over to Glenda’s and enjoyed a (way too short) time of board games + snacks with her and a couple of her kids.

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Then, I headed over to Kristen’s house to enjoy a nice Christmas dinner! We had fun sharing about the gifts we got and trying out her new Rip Stick! I can’t wait to see her skate all around the town! Sadly, I had to leave early because of my allergies. 😦

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When I got home, my housemate Vivian invited me to open more gifts that she got for us upstairs. We also noticed that our landlady and her hubby left us a house Christmas gift! SOOOOOO much goodies! 😀

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Vivian got me Hungarian chocolates (She’s from Budapest), a hand painted/baked mug, and shared some of her Hungarian cookies with me!

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As we were opening gifts/chatting upstairs, Kiesha came home and we all sat in the living room, chatting it up! A little ways into the convo, Kiesha noticed my grey skull jammies and excitedly ran to put on her blue skull jammies! We’re twinsies!!

All in all, it was a great second chance to experience Christmas in Seattle! I love it here in the winter and making it through this year just helped me to realize that I can definitely do this again! I kinda of wish my family were able to join me up here for the holidays because there are so many fun things to do here! Welp, today I’m off to Auburn with the Jollys to share Day-After-Christmas fun with Heather’s family! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and I pray you have an incredible New Year!

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Starting Over | Fit Life Friday

I spy with my little eye . . . a jumping box!!! (O_o)

I spy with my little eye . . . a jumping box!!! (O_o)

 

It seems that I’ve been in “RESET” mode lately. I’ve been getting back in the swing of things, becoming more set into a new routine, and understanding myself and others in a lot of new ways. One of the things I’m celebrating this week is the way my mind has sort of reset itself in my approach to fitness. A lot of the things I used to regret doing, I no longer have to force or talk myself into doing now. I enjoy increasing my weight in BodyPump and choosing to add new moves to my circuits that I normally would steer clear of. I think that on the other end of this medical fiasco and recovery is that my level of fear in a lot of situations, including exercising, has dwindled. Do you remember when I was afraid of Box Jumps? Like . . . deathly “I’m going to bawl like a baby out of humiliation combined with seriously injury cause I’m pretty sure I’m gonna die” afraid? Well, I WAS. It was bad. I remember shutting down in the middle of a training session with Josh because the guy doing box jumps next to me was going to town on the tall box like King Kong and I was too afraid to lift my feet off the ground. I was afraid I’d fail. I was afraid that I would land wrong and break my leg. I was afraid that the box would tip over under the momentum I used to jump on it. You can imagine how weird it felt when I walked into the gym, and had willingly written box jumps into my circuit. Even weirder is that I kept it in for each workout this past week. I’m happy to report that in keeping it in the circuit and meeting it with success, this past week I have done a grand total of 216 BOX JUMPS! BAM! Oh it feels so good! I am going to give the box jumps a break this week, and switch up the workout, but next week, I’m going to try a slightly taller box!

 

Look, it may just be the small box, but for crying out loud, I DID IT!!!

Look, it may just be the small box, but for crying out loud, I jumped on it with confidence!!! 😀

 

Another piece of my life that has been reset is my living community. Two of my best friends have moved out to West Seattle and I have a new round of housemates livin’ it up Roosevelt style! Jess and Sera were a couple of my favorite housemates and had been with me in the Roosevelt for a long stretch of time, so we really got to know each other well. They cared for me after I was released for at-home recovery and encouraged me along the healing road. It’s nice to not have empty rooms at the house, but I DO miss them SOOOO much!

 

What a bittersweet day that was :'(

What a bittersweet day that was 😥

 

Thankfully, I was able to pay them an evening visit this past Wednesday! I headed straight over after work and they had dinner ready to be served once I got in. They made some delicious seasoned chicken with steamed broccoli. We got a chance to chat about how things were going at the Roosevelt and at their new place, how work was going for each of us, fitness/nutrition talk, and a lot of “that’s what she said” jokes (my fave)! Sera used to work at the 24 Hour Fitness I went to and now has a membership in West Seattle, so she invited me to join her for Boot Camp at the 24 Hour Fitness Active over there.

 

Awwww yuh! Finally reunited with my old housemates, Sera & Jessica! So naturally, we’re kickin’ it Booty Camp style. Team Cupcake in da hooooouuse!

 

We used to go to Boot Camp together when she lived at the Roosevelt and our instructors referred to us as Team Cupcake, so it was nice to have a little TC reunion! I was a bit nervous because she had warned me that her regular instructor was pretty intense and really worked you hard . . . drill sergeant style. I don’t really flow with that method, so I didn’t know if I’d enjoy it or just walk out. Still, I went. Much to our surprise, there was a different teacher this week and she was GREAT! She was very encouraging while still challenging us and making sure we were sticking to proper workout form/technique to prevent injuries. Now THAT is my perfect training style. I can absolutely get into the circuit with that kind of leadership . . . which reminds me of my old trainer, Josh. He was great. I miss training with him. Still, I’m glad I got a chance to catch glimpses of his technique in hers. It was refreshing. For the workout, we did:

 

Warm-up: (once across the room)
Marching Soldiers, Walking Lunges, Inch-worms, Jog around the room

Workout:
Triple Distance Push-ups: Push-up w/ Narrow distance between hands, Far distance between hands, then Normal distance between hands (x10 each arm)
Tabata Drill 1 > 20 secs of Wall Sits, 20 secs of Squats
15 Burpees
15 Push-ups to Side Plank
Tabata Drill 2 > 20 secs of Fast Feet, 20 secs of Tuck Jumps
CrossFit Drill > 8 rounds of 10 Full-body Sit-Ups, 15 Squats, 1 lap around the room
Superman Banana Drill > On call switch between Superman & Boat Pose

It was a really great and tiring workout, but I’m glad I did it. I really pushed myself and felt accomplished afterward . . . not to mention those rip-roaring post-workout endorphins! 😉 After the workout, we headed back to their place and chatted a bit more about fitness, technology, and romance. At one point during the tour of their place, we found ourselves standing in the doorway chatting, much like we used to at the Roosevelt. It made me miss our hallway talks together. I’m hoping to be able to make the trip over to West Seattle to see my buddies more often. Being around them just makes me feel at home. Speaking of home, I now have 3 new housemates to get to know. This may be a tougher challenge, since it means starting over, but so far starting over hasn’t been a bad thing for me!

Figuring out my bus ride back to Seattle proper . . . and watching The Big Bang Theory! :D

Figuring out my bus ride back to Seattle proper . . . and watching The Big Bang Theory! 😀

Happy Fit Life Friday, Y’all!

 

Coffee + Softball = A Winning Combo


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Synesthesia | The Color Run 5K 2013

I had so much fun doing The Color Run yesterday and thought I’d share some recap photos with ya!

 

The premise of The Color Run is that every kilometer has a color checkpoint and as you run through the checkpoint, the volunteers stand on the sides and throw a (non-toxic) color powder on you. Each checkpoint features a different color, (Orange, Yellow, Blue, Pink, Green) so that by the end of the run, you are covered in color. They also include an extra packet of color powder for you to hang on to until the end of the run and when you get to the finale zone, they have dance music, giveaways, free treats, etc. and on a 1-2-3 count in 15 minute intervals, everyone throws powder from their extra packets in the air!

 

 

Success, it is ours!

Success, it is ours!

 

 

My wonderful friends, Emily and Amber, joined me in the run . . . though we did more jogging than running—one had a hurt ankle and the other had recently given birth, so we made sure to take it easy. Still, we pushed ourselves, fought hard, and cheered victoriously as we crossed that finish line! Honestly, it felt so awesome to be able to jog the entire way. It was very fun and we all had an incredible morning getting covered in color!

 

All my Pre-Race goodies: T-shirt, Bib, Stuff Cuff to hold my cards/phone, Color Runner sweatband, Hot Pink color packet (by request, natch!), Color Run temporary tattoos

All my Pre-Race goodies: T-shirt, Bib, Stuff Cuff to hold my cards/phone, Color Runner sweatband, Hot Pink color packet (by request, natch!), Color Run temporary tattoos

Ready, ready, ready, ready—READY TO RUN!

Ready, ready, ready, ready—READY TO RUN!

I stopped off for breakfast at Caffe Ladro and treated myself to one of my favorite baked goods: Vegan Oat Bar! Forever yum!

I stopped off for breakfast at Caffe Ladro and treated myself to one of my favorite baked goods: Vegan Oat Bar! Forever yum!

And since I was in the treating mood, I couldn't resist stopping in to Metropolitan Market for some fresh pineapple!! Oh be still my heart :D

And since I was in the treating mood, I couldn’t resist stopping in to Metropolitan Market for some fresh pineapple!! Oh be still my heart 😀

I spotted the START LINE signage on the way to meet up with Amber for coffee

I spotted the START LINE signage on the way to meet up with Amber for coffee

As I stopped in to take a gander at any possible pre-race purchases I might like in their Color Run Store, I watched them prep the Finale Zone for the Post-Run Party

As I stopped in to take a gander at any possible pre-race purchases I might like in their Color Run Store, I watched them prep the Finale Zone for the Post-Run Party

I also took the opportunity to try some of the SWAG. They sampled some of the new Cascade Ice flavors and I am in love with them . . . now I just have to wait for them to go on sale ;) I also got to play a game at the Starbucks booth and though I didn't win the ring toss game, they still gave me a $5 gift card—sweeeeet!

I also took the opportunity to try some of the SWAG. They sampled some of the new Cascade Ice flavors and I am in love with them . . . now I just have to wait for them to go on sale 😉 I also got to play a ring-toss game at the Starbucks booth and though I didn’t win, they still gave me a $5 gift card—sweeeeet!

After some quality coffee chat time and the big line-up, we were finally ready to get our Color Run on!

Team “We’ve Got The Runs” is ready to go!

 

Though we were nicely coated in color at each checkpoint, I couldn't help but roll around for some bonus brightness!

Though we were nicely coated in color at each checkpoint, I couldn’t help but roll around for some bonus brightness!

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

 

♥ Celebrating the victory with my friends ♥

♥ Celebrating the victory with my friends ♥

 

We know how to party!

Tough girls know how to party!

 

Not so empty anymore ;)

Not so empty anymore 😉

 

Color, color, everywhere!

Color, color, everywhere!

 

 

But honestly, the pictures just don’t do it justice . . . one must experience it for themselves. However, since it’s already past and the next one isn’t happening til 2014, go ahead and watch this fun little glimpse into the Happiest 5K on the Planet!

 

I’M ALREADY LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR!


2 Comments

Legendary

There’s a danger in loving somebodything toooo much . . . 

Nah’ mean??

Yes ladies and gentlemen, there is danger afoot . . . a Big Foot! This recently opened sweet treatery is a mere 3 blocks away from my workplace (The Ol’ 9-to-5) and is catering to my latest addiction—oh so glorious FroYo!! This place seriously rules! Don’t get me wrong, I still got nothin’ but love for Menchie’s, but with this Diner ‘O’ Dreams just a hop skip and a jump away (and not up the hill like Menchie’s is) it’s a major competitor for my affection. Plus, they have some outta-this-world flavors!

Some are kinda scary . . . 

What the what??? Totally tried this!

What the what?!?!? Totally tried this! Let the record show that I’ve never actually drank a Red Bull so I don’t really know what this “should have” tasted like. What I do know is that it was pretty yummo. Not my fave, but not a dud either . . . and I’m still not going to drink Red Bull 😉

But most are really sweet! 

Holy yum, y'all! Did you know that Pineapple is actually my favorite fruit?!? Yeah? Well did you also know that it's more than tempting for me to not just put my mouth under the spigot of this flavor at the FroYo shop? TrueFax. I know, I know, I'm ridiculous. ;)

Holy yum, y’all! Did you know that Pineapple is actually my favorite fruit?!? Yeah? Well did you also know that it’s more than tempting for me to put my mouth under the spigot of this flavor at the FroYo shop and just let it flow freely? TrueFax. I know, I know, I’m ridiculous. 😉

 

Seriously though, this place is a Fro-tastic Wonderland for me! They have a great variety of classic + adventurous toppings to meet my fancy and they offer quality Gluten Free, Low Carb, Vegan, and No Sugar Added flavors that don’t taste “less than.” I’ll be honest, I’ve passed over a cup of ‘Yo’ at other places before because of tasteless or watered down NSA flavors. However, the ones at Yeti are full of flavor and don’t make me feel like I’m cheating myself. Obviously I had to pair my favorite fruit with this delectable flavor:

 

Honestly couldn't even tell that it was NSA, unlike the version I've tried at other FroYo shops. This definitely wins!

Honestly couldn’t even tell that it was NSA, unlike the version I’ve tried at other FroYo shops. This definitely wins!

 

Oh yeah, and I HAVE to tell you, that of all the coffee-flavored FroYo I’ve sampled around town, theirs is the BEST!!! I haven’t found a perfect mix for it yet, and lately I’ve been all about the mix, but believe me—it’s SUPER rich and delicious! It’s been fun stopping in from time to time to indulge in the sweet Yeti goodness and not feel like I have to rush around to grab-and-go. I’ve been known to pair a cup of this tasty freeze with some Red Beans & Rice w/ Andouille Sausage Gumbo at Metropolitan Market next door. It’s a match made in heaven if you ask me. 😉

 

You should also know that I'm a huge Menchie's spoon connoisseur and I carry an extra one around with me to use for eating soup or FroYo at other shops (The Jewel Box/Yogurtland). However, the spoons at Yeti are pretty rad and come in some great colors that I love! So now I carry one of each ;) www.I'mAMess.com

You should also know that I’m a huge fan of the Menchie’s spoon—so much so that I carry an extra one around with me to use for eating soup or FroYo at other shops (The Jewel Box/Yogurtland). I just like the weight, feel, and shape of it compared to others. However, the spoons at Yeti are pretty rad and come in some great colors that I love! So now I carry one of each 😉 http://www.I’mAMess.com

 

Speaking of perfect pairing, things are about to get even worse (but mostly better) for my wallet! I not only got one of these sweet babies:

 

Oh Yeti Club, ♫ you got a friend in me . . . ♫

Oh Yeti Club, ♫ you got a friend in me . . . ♫

 

But I also downloaded the Pirq app that Yeti uses, so I can get FroYo discounts (usually 30% or 50% off) during certain days/times. What a win!

 

http://pirq.com/

Dear Perq, thank you for helping us indulge on the cheap. Signed, Amo and her wallet.

 

Menchie’s also uses Pirq, so if the deal is better at one location, I’ll go there. But mostly, I’m okay with passing up the bigger money discount for the time convenience of just hitting up the lower discount in the Yeti zone. My main challenge will now be teaching myself that not every day is FroYo day . . . psh. Or maybe it is! 😉

 

I can’t wait til they add more flavors into the rotation . . . like their legendary Peanut Butter Coconut, Peach Cobbler, Greek Lemon, Homemade Apple Crisp, and Oatmeal Cookie! They also have cute shirts, coffee mugs, and other merch goodies for cheap! I’m getting one of the mugs next week!

So uh . . . who’s up for a FroYo date with me in the LQA? 😉