Monday, January 31, 2011

She's crafty

One of the many and varied ways in which I have failed to live up to the expectations of my mormon DNA is my utter lack of crafting skills. I am much better with a credit card than I am at making stuff.

However, there are all these women in my family that ARE good at it. So yesterday when I wanted to make a fun treat for my work birthday buddy, I borrowed an idea from Emily and made a rainbow cake! I had to use basically every single mixing bowl I own and somehow both layers ended up a little taller than they looked in the recipe BUT, it looks pretty awesome and tastes even better.

I'll probably do something like this again in 2012.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rest Less

I think I finally managed to identify the source of the out of sorts mood I have been in for the last little bit. At this time last year I was in Vancouver, getting set up for the Olympics. It's sort of hard for life not to feel a bit anti-climactic when my brain is constantly reminding me "today was the day the trucks arrived, today was the day the Long Track team arrived, today was Opening Ceremonies." My regular life can't stand up to the comparison.

Anyone who knows me is aware that I am sort of an intense little person. So it's no wonder I love jobs where I get these concentrated bursts of life on fast forward. I came home from the Games with my head sort of spinning-you experience so much in such a short amount of time and then spend the next six months trying to figure out how to settle it all into your normal routine. I absolutely love it and couldn't be more grateful to be back in a job where I get to do this over and over.

However! A personality like this means that I get restless really easily. Which is why I like cross country moves every few years and first kisses and making new friends, and dropping a major/hobby/goal in favor of something that looks like more fun, and constantly getting on planes. It's not that I'm not pleased with my life or that I can't appreciate the stage I'm in. I just always want something to be happening.

So this week I have been going a little crazy-should I rethink signing the lease and look for a new place? should I book some trips? Should I take a class? Should I find a race to train for? Should I ask a friend to set me up? Is this really the right job?

It gets exhausting.

All of those things are good and frankly-I DID book a trip and I AM looking for a race and I'm ALWAYS evaluating if this is the right job-but I also feel like it's not a bad idea to learn how to be happy and satisfied with life between the intensity. Something tells me that will come in handy when a husb and kidlets arrive on the scene.

It was while I was making dinner for a friend this afternoon that I realized I had an immensely satisfying few days this past week-days that might not stand up to the comparison of THE OLYMPICS but a whole long string of lovely experiences that should make me calm. the heck. down.

Here's a rundown of highlights:

-The show Thursday night was SUCH a treat. If I had had too much time to think about it I'm sure I would have thought of a dozen reasons that it would be dumb to go all the way to Boulder on a week night, but since my coworker caught me off guard and then pretty much dared me to do it, adventurousness won out over practicality and we were thisclose to a band I have loved for about ten years.

-My dear friend Traci was in Denver all week at a ski and snowboard tradeshow. She works for a headphone company that is exploding like crazy right now so I went up to grab dinner with her. It turned out I got there early and she still had some work to finish up so I got to wander around the trade show a bit. I am a product nerd so it was fun to see lots of apparel and accessory lines and hello-a hall full of cute snow boys who have grown up jobs was just a bit like heaven. It turns out what Traci had to hang around for was a little DJ session with Mix Master Mike.
So when she apologized that dinner would probably have to wait I mentioned that I could probably entertain myself watching a legendary DJ while she finished up. And then in a move that I think shows that neither of us are in ANY danger of getting too caught up in the glamour of our industries-we blew off the VIP passes she got to a big party in favor of fish tacos at Wahoos, some much needed girl talk and a guilty pleasure Ashton Kutcher movie viewing. Traci and I became close when we were both sort of miserable on the East Coast and she always has a way of putting things into good perspective for me.

-Saturday I didn't set my alarm and just slept until I woke up. And then I stayed in my bed for another hour looking out the window and listening to music. Specifically this Damien Jurado song probably ten times in a row. My friend Mundi played it for me Thursday night as we were driving back from Boulder and it's weaseled it's way right into my top 10. There is something about the way he says the line "I'm tired an unwilling to be the only one who was wrong," that makes me well up every single time I hear it. I felt so spoiled when I finally got up that cleaning my house didn't even feel like a chore.

-I went and did the Incline for the first time this year. I've been trying to push my workouts a little harder this year and that thing continues to kick my butt. I feel good physically every time I go but it has the added bonus of making me extra grateful for this beautiful state I get to live in.

-I got home with just enough time to shower and go pick up my friend Ari who had tickets to the Colorado College hockey game and invited me to tag along. In a rare twist of ticket luck, two really cute guys ended up sitting next to us. One of them had played hockey growing up and was thrilled that we didn't know much about it and spent the entire game explaining rules and strategy. It was kind of adorable.

-After the game I came home and stayed up way, way too late which is pretty much one of my all time favorite activities.

-I slept in again today, had a GREAT hair day for church, caught up with my new favorite couple after sacrament meeting and then came home and baked pretty much all afternoon. My friend Darius came over for dinner, raved about my cooking and now I'm sitting here feeling not writer's blocked enjoying a nice cup of tea and my pal the internet.

See? Four really solid days and lots of really terrific moments.

Every day doesn't need to be Bobsled day at Team Processing : )

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fun Fact

My college roommate Lisa used to tease me that I could be nearly asleep on a week night and if it sounded like something fun was happening downstairs, I HAD to get up and go investigate. Which definitely led to more than a few mornings of me asking her to take notes in our 9:00 French class.

As much as I like to think I'm way more mature I went into our Media Director's office to ask him a question, he said he and his wife were going to a show tonight and a little peer pressure later, I've got tickets, a partner in crime and am driving ninety minutes to BOULDER on a WEEK NIGHT to see The Old 97's and Langhorne Slim.

So hey college me, you'll still get break outs and boys who stop calling in fifteen years but at least your crippling fear of missing out keeps the adventures rolling.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I have a serious case of writer's block. I have started probably a dozen posts in the last four days and haven't been able to finish any of them.

However, I have managed to listen to this song about 150 times in the last four days. I love Maria Taylor-Azure Ray was one of my most played artists in the early 2000's. If I could steal a female voice, it would probably be hers. It's a beautiful melody and the lyrics are quite romantic. I'm a little burned out on the reality of romance at the moment but I sure do love the theory of it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Parton Me

Dolly Parton is 65 today. Aside from being a big fan of her music, I have been a big fan of her personally for a long time. She is always so gracious about being famous and good to her fans, she's so comfortable in her own skin and doesn't apologize for or try to justify the hair and the makeup and the plastic surgery, she is so good at poking fun at herself and acknowledging the things that people joke about without getting worked up. She's not shy about expressing her faith but she's also so supportive of the gay community that has embraced her. I found out recently that she also set up a program called Dolly's Imagination Library in East Tennessee where she grew up to send a new kid's book every month until the age of 5 to any kid who signs up. And oh yeah, she's also crazy talented.

I am going to sound like an old person here, but there are so many people in the public eye that make me want to move to a cabin in Montana and never turn on the TV again. And then there are celebrities like Dolly who are kind and smart and truly embrace the responsibility that comes along with fame and fortune.

This is one of my favorite Dolly Parton songs. It really should have won an Oscar.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Air Plane

I have loved the internet for about sixteen years now but Friday night I realized there are plenty more reasons to be crazy about it.

Tickets to San Francisco were cheaper out of Denver so after work I drove up to DIA for my 9:20 flight. I was trying to miss traffic, didn't really hit any, and ended up at the airport way, way too early. And then my flight was delayed by an hour. So at this point it was 7:00 and I wouldn't be boarding for almost two hours. I figured I would hit one of the restaurants in my terminal and try to kill some time with something better than McDonalds.

I went upstairs and had just discovered that the Mexican place was a smoking restaurant (I had no idea such things existed! so gross!) and was turning to leave when a familiar face walked by. I couldn't process quickly enough why the face looked so familiar but I grabbed his arm to stop him while my brain raced and then I realized-I don't know this guy! My roommate was set up with him a few years ago and so of course, we did a full Facebook recon on him. We looked at photos, figured out common friends, read a bit of his blog. He lives in Huntington Beach now so his name has come up in many social situations of late. So all of that information just started tumbling out of me, "You are so and so and you went out so and so and you live in HB". Word vomit-I couldn't stop it even though I knew it sounded just a little bit crazy. Fortunately he was also an internet loving kind of guy and didn't think I was a complete lunatic for knowing way, way more about him than a stranger really should.

Turned out his flight wasn't for a bit so we ducked into a non-smoking steakhouse, ate some burgers, talked about missions and goofy mormon dating habits and swapped "what do you do for a living" stories and then went off to board planes to opposite sides of California.

Before any of you get too Sleepless in Seattle on me-he has a serious girlfriend so this is not the beginning of the cutest digital age romance ever. But it sure made my delayed plane a million times less annoying and made me grateful that the world keeps shrinking. I know it's trendy right now to shut your FB profile down or to talk about how the cyberworld isn't real and these people aren't really your friends, but I don't have enough fingers and toes to count how many fabulous people I have met, reconnected with, stayed in touch with, learned more about, or changed my opinion of because of the world wide web. Like anything-you can use it to waste time and avoid your life. Or it can lead you to a delightful couple of hours you really would have wasted trying to clear level 13 of Angry Birds*.

Viva la internet!

*i totally love angry birds.


We took my nephew Garrett to the zoo on Saturday. I mean, I know I'm his aunt so I'm biased but he's pretty awesome.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


If I had a nickel for everytime someone asks me "so what do you do for two years when there are no Olympics"? I could pay for the entire European road trip I plan to go on at the end of London 2012.

I won't bore you with the actual list but believe it or not SO MUCH STUFF. We also support the Pan American and Parapan Am Games which are happening this year in Mexico. I had a complete freak out Monday when I realized how stupid close everything really is and so this week I've been like a tornado trying to get all the balls rolling.

And as Thursday is closing down I'm tired. So. tired.

Which seems like a perfect time for a little trip to San Francisco! Some friends, some family, some running at Crissy Field. San Francisco and I are soulmates and it's been a little over two years since I've been.

I can't WAIT!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sticks and Stones

I wanted to say something about what happened in Arizona on Saturday but then I saw this Jon Stewart clip and he kind of says just what I was thinking. And he's funnier.
(This is a very unpartisan clip assigning no blame so Dad, you can watch it and you won't feel like you've failed as a father and raised a bleeding heart liberal.)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Arizona Shootings Reaction
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Comfort Food

Maybe it's because I got my first Bon Iver track on a winter mix, maybe it's because my friend Seth and I saw him live on a snowy night, maybe because the name itself is a play on the french words for "good winter", but for several years now, Bon Iver has been my cold winter evening go to artist.

I had forgotten about this a cappella version of For Emma recorded in a hallway in Paris. I still get chills when I hear it. And since it is snowing here in Colorado Springs tonight, I can't stop putting it on repeat.

I had a rah rah 2011 resolutions post all written in my head that I wanted to get out tonight. Instead I tracked down this version of Blood Bank. I feel like this one lost something when they recorded it in the studio. The live videos, however, make me cry every time.

This guy.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Girlie Show

I woke up to a really clear, warmish day today and decided it was a good day to reconnect with my long lost friend running. I haven't been on a run since um...Panama, so I was expecting it to be rough. It was. It certainly didn't help that I elected to do the loop through the Garden of the Godswe've been doing on our Thursday bike rides. It sort of messes with your head when it takes 10 times as long to do the loop. Fortunately the hills are just as brutal either way. And by fortunately I mean, sometimes I hate this place and it's endless hills.

At least I was smart enough to make up a fun playlist to keep me motivated after such a long break. Here are some highlights if your workout list is in need of a pick me up.

"Good Luck"-Basement Jaxx
This one has been a staple of my running playlist ever since my Boston roommate Linda gave it to me about six years ago. The best way I can think of to describe this song is "explosive." Even when I am really tired this song will always get me fired up. And it has some sort of angry lyrics which like it or not, can be terribly helpful when you just need to focus and push yourself.

"Howl"-Florence and the Machine
The entire album "Lungs" is actually a pretty good running list. I love to blast "Dog Days Are Over" on the downhill run after the Incline and there are plenty of others that get your heart racing. This track also has kind of over the top lyrics (Screaming in the dark, I howl when we're apart, drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart) that really help rile me up.

"Lights"-Ellie Goulding
My sister introduced me to a Passion Pit cover by Ms. Goulding and upon further investigation of her work, I found this track. I like things that start out a little bit slower and build. Sorta the way I prefer to work out.

"A Litte Bit Stronger"-Sara Evans
We went to see Country Strong on Friday. The reviews are terrible but I actually enjoyed it. I like Blair Waldorf and Garrett Hedlund is even sexier in this than he was in Tron. And the music was fun for pop country. I downloaded a few tracks and although this is a pretty typical breakup song, the chorus works for talking yourself into just getting a little further up this hill. Training and getting over someone are kind of the same as it turns out-if you have a bit of discipline, every day you get a little bit stronger. (CLICHE ALERT! This video is also terrible)

"Dreams"-Deep Dish
I really love Fleetwood Mac. And I really, really love the song "Dreams". Many many mix CD's ago, my friend Corey gave this remix to me and I don't think I've ever done a workout of any kind without listening to it since. It's such a great song, a great remix and hey, great advice ladies-players only love you when they're playing.

Happy trails everyone, if you have a favorite running song please tell me! I always need new suggestions!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

True Grit

Let's start the new year right with a great Dear Me letter.

This one comes from a good friend who moved to Boston just after I left the first time. It seemed like everyone I knew was always talking about this cool new girl and I feared I was missing out. Luckily I moved back to Boston and although it was a bit of a rough patch, I finally got to meet Nat and find out what all the fuss was about. She is the kind of person who will stay in the dance club with me until the lights come on and then teach a fabulous church lesson the next week. She was the ringleader for the great Panama escape of 2010 and was a stalwart friend through way, way too much complaining about my life through much of 2009.

I love her letter for it's unbridled confidence. Too often I think women have a tendency to downplay their own talents and abilities and it can be to our detriment. I admire those women who can say-yep, I am pretty awesome. I'm still getting there but having friends like this sure helps.

Monday, January 03, 2011


If you have read my blog much, you know how much I love milestones. Birthdays, event anniversaries, ends of years or eras...I so appreciate any opportunity to look back, tally up the wins and the losses and adjust the path for the future.

2010 was a year of years for me. I traveled more, learned more, dated more, felt grateful more, attempted more, watched people I love go through wonderful and terrible things more, fell and got up more, and just felt more in one little year than I have in a long time, if ever.

I've already written several posts about this year but indulge me with a quick rundown...

I hiked my first founteener, learned to rock climb, finally put my bike to use and ran my fasted WBR ever by allowing myself to get worked by the Manitou Springs Incline once a week. I outfitted over 1000 members of Team USA for the Olympics. I got to work side by side with the top American design house and the top sportswear company. I shook hands with a Olympic Champion and got to hold his medal. I gave my passport a workout. I ran into an old friend in a pub a continent away, I ziplined in the Central American rain forest, I held a new nephew. I watched my mom bury her sister. I saw a wonder of the world. I welcomed a brother-in-law and saw my sister have the best day of her life. I saved myself into a nice little safety net. I saw less music but the quality was higher. I ran on beaches in three countries. I got my heart broken. I fell in love anyway. I got it broken again but I survived. I got rid of a toxic friendship. I talked to a boy on the phone until 3 a.m. A lot. I held grudges I shouldn't have held. I was impatient with people I care about. I made some really good friends. I welcomed lots of visitors. I went on blind dates and it didn't kill me. I did some dumb things. I realized they were dumb and didn't beat myself up too much. I took feedback too personally. I worked on that, I didn't always get better. I did a lot of kissing. I made good, good new friends. I spent time with good, good old friends. I met my best friend's husband on her wedding day. I bought a really great bed and a big TV. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I read before bed instead of internetting. I sent a ton of baby presents but I am still behind. I didn't return phone calls or emails enough. I probably spent too much time on Facebook. I finally saw the christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. I got to be the safe port for a friend in a nasty storm. I listened a lot. I still talked too much. People I love lost people they love and I felt helpless. I finally went on a big single Mormon trip and actually had enough fun to try it again. I didn't take enough pictures. I didn't even start half the post-Olympic projects I intended to do. I kept up my 14 year tradition of always making my bed. I didn't always unpack the day I got home. I cried more than I expected to in my thirties. I made my first visit to the ER I felt settled. And then I got restless. And then it was over.

And now it's 2011. I am not looking to top 2010, I just want to sit here a year from now and try as hard to figure out how to say everything in a paragraph. Things are off to a decent start: I just bought a plane ticket for a much needed weekend in my soulmate city of San Francisco, my college girlfriends are decending on Denver in March and I'm finally going to make my teenage dream come true with a trip to Havasu in June. I got brave and told my boss I needed more challenges this year and she's already taking me at my word, we're planning a whirlwind trip to London to visit sites and warehouses and I get to see 2012 Ceremonies outfits in a couple of months and October kicks off the ominous sounding "5G in 11M" where my team will support five major international multi-sport events in eleven months. So I'm planning to be healthier in anticipation of that crazy year, I want to get better at the fun hobbies I picked up, I want it to stick next time I give someone my heart, I want to finish designing my apartment, I want to see my nephews more, I want to find a magic cure for the eye wrinkles that give away my age, I want to write something real.

My friend Heather told me a few months ago that I "live big". I'm not sure I always agree-I know how much time I spend watching 30 Rock DVD's and reading about other people's adventures-but it made me feel really good. Despite all the rough spots, I have it pretty good and you know what Spiderman says, "with much power comes much responsibility,".

This song came through Pandora as I was writing tonight and I sure love it. Some wise words to start the year on. Happy New Year everyone, I hope it's your best ever.

But how do I know if I'll make it through?
How do I know? Where's the proof in you?
And so it goes, this soldier knows
The battle with the heart isn't easily won
But it can be won, but it can be won

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Sign Language

I have no idea what the message is supposed to be but I was pretty pleased to run across this place on New Year's Day. It feels like a good omen for the year.