Sunday, March 27, 2011

2-24 where (the joy of LOVE project)

*trying to tie up loose ends, only one more joy of LOVE assignment left - waiting for that perfect picture still.....

the joy of LOVE assignment #24
where we met almost 18 years ago - nice...we met in a BAR :)

2-24 where - AMVETS

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hospital Stay Scrap Pages

Some of my most recent scrap pages. Double page layout about Greyson's surgery in January. He has completely recovered and I finally have the pages done.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Foto Friday - Project 365 days 78-84

my project 356 is turning into an iPhone 365 Project and I think I kinda like it :)

78 - 3/19: Snickers Really Satisfies

79 - 3/20: Spring Tulip Tree

80 - 3/21: Spring Daffodils on my morning run

81 - 3/22: Instagram, my new favorite iPhone App that I learned about from The Pioneer Woman

82 - 3/23: Creative workspace with my crafting friend Allison

83 - 3/24: School pumping sucks ....really bad! (Instagram tilt-shift option)

84 - 3/25: Working Lunch

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why Wednesday - Recovery

WHY does it take so much longer to recover from some marathons than others?

I haven't run that many (marathons) but enough to now see a difference in recovery times. After my first marathon I was able to go out the following Saturday and crank out a 10 miler, with a smile on my face. After a couple of other races, I haven't been able to move for three days and then it was pure torture to go out on that first run back. This time I took my normal 3 days off and by the 4th day my quads were ready to hit the road only to find out that their friends, the hamstrings (which didn't hurt a bit on any of the killer hills in Little Rock), were not so ready to get back into it. Still 2 and a 1/2 weeks later (or is it 3), I am just now starting to feel like I may be recovered. This mornings 6 miler finally felt good, was at a good pace, and I could have thrown a few more miles on top had I had the time. Only thing missing was one of my running partners :( to talk with. Oh well, probably made me run faster anyway.

So if anyone has any answers please share.

Anyway....Run On!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Apple Spice Oatmeal Cookies

The last time we were at Children's Mercy I had this EXCELLENT apple/oatmeal cookie from their cafeteria and I have been looking for a recipe ever since. Yesterday I found one on and tried it out today. I made one minor adjustment of adding craisins instead of raisins and included the nuts instead of doing either - or. Michael gave them two thumbs up (and ate two as well).

Apple Spice Oatmeal Cookies
1 c. butter
2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 c. finely chopped apples
3 c. quick oatmeal
1/2 c. chopped nuts or raisins
1 1/3 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
Combine butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs and beat. Stir in apples. Add flour, oatmeal, salt, soda and spices to apple mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts or raisins (craisins). Combine thoroughly. Drop dough from a tablespoon on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a moderate oven 350 degrees, 15 to 18 minutes. Yields 3 dozen cookies.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pioneer Woman Cooking

My friend, MomBE, loaned me her The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook and Michael made a few requests (see list below). Mom #3 has since found a copy for me on sale which is good since it may take me a while to get these all tested and it may get messy.
  1. PW's Potato Skins
  2. Hot Artichoke Dip
  3. Cinnamon Rolls (she's famous for these - has even been on many morning shows making them)
  4. Breakfast Burritos
  5. Migas
  6. French Breakfast Puffs
  7. Maple Pecan Scones
  8. MarlboroMan's Favorite Sandwich
  9. Spicy Pulled Pork
  10. Macaroni and Cheese
  11. Beans and Cornbread
  12. Cowboy Calzone
  13. Perfect Pot Roast - Was an easy recipe. We cooked ours in a crock-pot instead of a dutch oven and the only other thing I would do different would be to trim more fat off my Chuck Roast before cooking. Michael and Greyson both LOVED this.
  14. Chicken Pot Pie (Perfect Pie Crust) - First off, her crust is the flakiest crust I have ever seen. I left out one tablespoon of water and could have probably left out was a bit sticky. I followed the pot pie recipe to the T and it was unbelievable. We will make this one for sure again but maybe not too soon with the cup of whipping cream and 4 tablespoons of butter not to mention the cup and a half of vegetable shortening in the crust.
  15. Meatloaf
  16. Cheese Grits - We had these with steaks, cauliflower, and asparagus. Will say...there was a bit too much garlic in it for everyone and will probably leave out one clove next time. Might also add green onions and some bacon as well. FYI - we made a half a batch and it could have fed an army.
  17. Comfort Meatballs
  18. Creamy Rosemary Potatoes
  19. Olive Cheese Bread
  20. Flat Apple Pie
  21. Mocha Brownies
  22. Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce
As you can see....I have cooked a couple of her recipes and have no complaints. We obviously have a few more to go but what I have figured out so far is that they aren't really "healthy" meals so we may have to sprinkle them in with some salad nights.

It is a great cookbook, one of my favorite kinds...lots of pictures...but even better, she takes pictures of each step of every recipe. If you haven't ever seen her recipes check them out on her cooking blog. What a talented writer, cook, photographer, mother, woman...I have a little blog crush obviously. ;)

Foto Friday - Project 365 days 71-77

71 - 3/12: Geocaching with CaptainFingers & BeigeDebris. Used my new Geochaching iPhone App so of course had the Hipstamatic.

72 - 3/13: Miss Shawna, Greyson's "poopie friend". Seems that everytime she comes to visit he decides to have a blow out.

73 - 3/14: Small Town Cycle's (I have driven by this shop for 3 years now watching it transition from a broken down, vacant building into a local's dream.

74 - 3/15: Shower Shopping - looking for some decorations for Callie's Bridal Shower and ran across these beautiful yet fake orchids.

75 - 3/16: Box of Fun - Greyson has tons of toys and books and yet this box entertained him for more than 30 minutes.

76 - 3/17: Tummy Time in the Bath - tonight G decided he wanted to "go swimming". Did a bit of Photoshop editing to get Michael's hand out of the picture. Can you find it?

77 - 3/18: My First Homemade Chicken Pot Pie - and it looks almost exactly like the cookbook.

Tackle Your Email Inbox

My line of work (and a lot of my hobbies) has me often times helping people with their technology. At one time or another, it never fails, I hear "don't look Brooke, I'm embarrassed" or "I know it's bad but I am so busy" and sometimes it's just a look of shame that they give me when I see their email inboxes.

I know, I am a crazy, organization freak, OCD, calendar/to-do list driven person. For me, a full inbox (and I mean an inbox with more than 20-25 emails) is visual clutter, and any kind of clutter clouds my mind and in-turn is counter productive. This is for me....I don't judge. I say you have to do what works for you and for those that ask for advice I usually tell them how I manage my email and move on to our task at hand.

Today I ran across a blog post about Simple Living from The author suggests 10 strategies for simplfying your life and #8 really spoke to me as an organization strategy that I could pass on to my collegues, teachers, and friends as a way to tackle their email inbox that has "runnith over" and needs some attention. 

8. Clear out your email inbox. This has the same psychological effect as a clear desk. Is your email inbox always full of read and unread messages? That’s because you’re delaying decisions on your emails. If you have 50, let’s say, or fewer emails in your inbox, you can process them all today. If you have hundreds, you should put them in a temporary folder and get to them one chunk at a time (do 20 per day or something). Here’s how you process your inbox to empty — including emails already in your inbox, and all future incoming emails: 1) process them top to bottom, one at a time, deciding and disposing of each one immediately. 2) Your choices are to delete, archive, respond immediately (and archive or delete), forward (and archive or delete), or mark it with a star (or something like that) and note it on your to-do list to respond to later (and archive). 3) Process each email like that until the inbox is empty. 4) Each time you check your email, process to empty. Ahh, an empty inbox!

And remember - if it doesn't bother you then it doesn't bother me ;) I am not posting this in hopes for "someone" to get the hint or to send a subliminal message to anyone. Only here to help.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why Wednesday - Sick

WHY am I sick again? - throwing up, nausea, headache, fever, fatigue, body aches and more....UGGGG!

I swear, I have been sick more since I had G than ever. Between colds, flu, and the random stomach bug I am beginning to wonder what is up????

Is my immune system down now due to the marathon a week and a half ago? Does breastfeeding mess with your immune system? Or is Greyson bringing this all back home from the sitter? Who knows but I am VERY tired of it!!!

The most annoying part - it's getting in the way of my recovery runs. Hoping it passes soon.

Run On!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Photographer Blog Give-Away

All Digital Scrapbookers and Photographers need to jump on over to The Big Savvy Photographer {Blog} for a chance to win some awesome prizes (over $2000 worth). My fingers are crossed for sure (not that it has helped on all the other give-aways I have been signing up for). Maybe this time is my chance ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Foto Friday - Project 365 days 64-70

Another busy week with some traveling involved. Taking a picture a day is challenging enough but then to also post them here on my blog takes even more diligence. I am constantly rethinking how to make this Project 356 more manageable so that I don't let it slip away due to the time it takes to participate.

Starting this week my plan is to worry more about getting my images up and worrying less about recording what I have done to the pictures and what it was taken with. As you can see it was a Hipstamatic week. Enjoy!

64 - 3/5: Tanna

65 - 3/6: Crazy Stuck In the Car - had some fun with frames and overlays.

66 - 3/7: Nachos, my go to easy dinner.

67 - 3/8: Chickens - I have noticed these chickens since I started traveling to Cassville in August and finally stopped to take a picture.

68 - 3/9: Another happy bath time.

69 - 3/10: It's Spring!!!

70 - 3/11: Safety First

iPad 2 You're Such a Tease

This is what greeted me in my Outlook Inbox this morning....
I soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo want one TODAY!!!! I must get one!!! 
Apple is teasing me every chance they get and when I am going to cave??? 
Who knows ;-) Probably sooner than Michael wants :O

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Little Rock Marathon 2011 - What Hills?

"What Hills?".... Let me tell you "What Hills?" They are never ending and one of them isn't just a hill, I am calling it a mountain.

You might ask how in the world I let my sister talk me into Arkansas??? She's convincing for sure....She said, "We'll have fun." "We have to run something in Arkansas." "They have a really cool finishers medal." "It won't be that bad." ....and she was right (except for the "not that bad" part - the hills are "that bad" especially towards the end). We still can't believe we did it.

not a great picture but you get the idea
First off...runners included myself, Tralaine, and Allison Byford, a work friend from Springdale, AR. Support crew was made up of Tanna, Charlie, Mom, and Deena along the course and then Michael and Greyson joined them at the finish line. It is so awesome to have family to meet you along the course and give you some personal cheering. The race volunteers and other spectators are great but there is nothing better than seeing familiar faces. It's also nice that they carried some supplies and took what clothes we shed during the race.
2011 Course
Before heading to the start, I of course went through my normal pre-race prep which this time included pumping. Wondered how the boobs would be after so many hours between pumping and feeding G but it wasn't that bad afterall - I think being a bit dehydrated made it bearable. Figured out how to make my oatmeal by heating up water in the coffee maker. That worked perfectly; going to remember that for next time. I made my normal 3 pitstops before leaving the hotel and was good to go. Charlie picked us up at 7am and drove us to the start. This meant that we only had to walk 2 blocks - perfect.

Our driver (Charlie) dropping us off 2 blocks from the start.

Mile 0 - We started at 8am with a temp of 35 degrees. The wind was at about 10 mph and it was CHILLY. Tralaine and I split up from Allison and headed to Corral C to shiver and chatter until the start gun sounded. We placed ourselves behind the 4 hour pace group (which included a "WoooHooo'er").
notice our "security" over Tralaine's shoulder and the start behind us
Miles 1-6 - the first miles brought a few hills (counted 5 in the first 6 miles), running past the President Clinton Library, a trip across the river, under a highway, and through downtown. Tralaine took a few pictures and made friends with some other runners (as always). She called Charlie to let him know we were ahead of schedule and what time to meet us at mile 12. We ran into a friend of hers from Wichita, stopped for 2 water stops, and a rr break.

Us downtown.
 Miles 7-12 - We headed out of the downtown area and ran through some "neighborhoods". Not a lot to look at but saw familiar faces at mile 12 (thanks family). I passed off my gloves and buff. I had a few Shot Bloks and hit some more water stops and helped myself to some Gatorade. There was lots of hometown support including a church congregation or two cheering on the runners. One even had signs directing runners to bathrooms if needed.
No I am not running the half - but there were a lot of halfers.
Miles 12-17 - One Big Ass Mountain - We headed up a hill to the capital building (where we did have a picture taken) and on up a beautiful road through a great neighborhood with lots of support from the locals cheering from their front yards and supporters along the road (including some of our family). We even ran past the Governers Mansion where he was standing out in front waving to the runners. After we ran by we were kicking ourselves for not getting a picture by him (or asking him to take our picture - hehehehe). I fueled up with a Vanilla Hammer Gel (compliments of the race) and had a bit more Gatorade. We did lose the 4 hour pace group somewhere around mile 17 when I had to make my second pit-stop :( Somewhere in this leg of the race, the front side of my ankle really started hurting. I took some Advil and hoped for the best.
We're just sight seeing - not!
Miles 17-23 - coming down the mountain took it's toll on my quads and ankle. I couldn't run as fast as I had wanted down the hill but still made it to the bottom. We had some entertainment from a singing runner that was in his own world. Once we were down, the route followed a nice flat straight-away (out and back from mile 18-23). My goal was to get to the turn-around where our support crew was waiting. I passed off my jacket and then walked and ate a Hammer Gel. I walked a couple of water stops and with a 5K left I knew we had at least 2 more good sized hills coming our way. During this section I started repeating my favorite mantra in my head to keep me going..."you can walk when you're done" over and over again.

Miles 23-25 - I don't think my quads have ever felt the way they did those last miles, but I know I can always run a 5K. The first hill was bad!!! Halfway up my legs seemed to just stop; I let myself walk for a minute and then got started again. I knew I had to keep running no matter how slow it was. I decided it was time for a new mantra, one that would keep my legs moving. I heard a guy tell someone to shuffle up the hill so on every exhale I stared saying "shuffle, shuffle, shuffle". It worked on that hill so when we saw the last big hill coming (and it was BIG), and Tralaine said that we had to get up the hill, I started with my new mantra and it worked...along with the man at the top with a microphone and music yelling at all of the runners struggling up the incline. The hand that Tralaine put on my back about half way up helped even more, and we made it to the top. With about a mile left, I knew we would make it.

I didn't want break copyright laws and illegally post their picture but I will be buying this one!!!

Mile 25-26.2 - With a pause at the Lipstick stop and a conversation about how I didn't even know how much time had passed but that I was giving my all....we headed to the finish. As we rounded the curve and saw all of the spectators I was excited to be done but when I looked up and saw the clock above the finish I couldn't believe what I saw.....4:04:40. I looked over at my AWESOME sister with a huge smile on her face and all I could say was...OMG, NO WAY, BULL $%!& and ran to the finish line. As we crossed the finish line at 4:05:00 I don't think I have every been more excited. We high-fived and hugged and went through the gates to have the largest finishers medal put around our necks. my Little Rock Marathon - 2011 - Marathon results
Man that's a heavy finishers medal. And they do put it around your neck ;)
Finishers - Tralaine, Brooke, and Allison
Tralaine and I had a great time talking, seeing the sites, taking pictures, visiting with other runners, and enjoying the journey...I am so lucky to have an AWESOME sister like her that would stick by my side, keeping me going, and get me to my best time ever - 4:03:57 that's a 9:19 pace over all - WOW. I owe her a HUGE thank you and probably more than that. It was a great day for all of us for sure. Even Allison bettered her time by 20+ minutes. She really rocked it and is now crazy enough to go run the Fayetteville Hogeye Marathon this April and OKC in May. Anyone want to run with her?
Michael, Charlie, Deena, Shelia, Greyson, Tanna, Brooke, & Tralaine
I am still amazed at what we did - 10 months after baby, after C-Section, in the HILLS and I got a PR - Looking forward to my next one! My sister is the best!

Run On!

Why Wednesday - The Boogieman

Why does The Boogieman only come out in the middle of the night?

My husband seems to believe that at the past, when I only had late evenings to fit in my runs, he would jump on his bike and go with me (before baby) but he never offered to do that on my early morning runs. He says that the body snatches don't like to get up early :)

Run On!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Foto Friday - Project 365 days 57-63

57 - 2/26: Starbuck's Paper Cranes. Taken with iPhone 4 Hipstamatic.

58 - 2/27: Sick Little Boy. Taken with Sony Cybershot.

59 - 2/28: 17 Cents Richer - Running Pays (Chanti and I found all these pennies in 1 place). Taken with iPhone 4.

60 - 3/1: Out with the old...router. Taken with iPhone 4.

61 - 3/2: Breakfast=Lunch - I never do this and didn't eat it all but breakfast for lunch was good. Taken with iPhone 4.

62 - 3/3: Balancing Blocks - Greyson likes to have block balanced on his head and then tilts his head to drop them or grabs them. Not loving the "shadows" the flash creates but so many of my pictures are taken at night when we are hanging out...and I am really not sure how to work around it with my point and shoot camera.
Taken with Sony Cybershot.

63 - 3/4: Cousins - I love this picture...the smiles, the angle, the lighting, the color...I love it all and didn't do a thing to it. This is straight out of the camera.
Taken with Sony Cybershot.