Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Almost 2 years have gone by since I moved away from Cleveland and my family, friends and beautiful puppy, and it still gets me. I'm going to blame this latest case of missing the family and my wonderful hometown on the Wednesday morning blues. I tend to be down in the dumps every Monday and Wednesday morning. These happen to be the days I run after work. Coincidence? I think not. I'd probably be in a super mood if I could get my run in first thing.

But, I'm digressing from the little pity party I've got going on here. My entire immediate family lives within a 1.5 mile radius of eachother. Which means, my brothers, sisters in-law, niece, nephew and mom are constantly dropping in on eachother. When I lived at home, I would often stop at my brother's house for a water stop during a run. In fact, this past weekend my brother and his kids ran to my mom's for just that purpose (my little monkeys are training for the WPAFB 10K!)

It's never too early to brainwash them on running!
my brothers, sis in-laws, neice and nephew

Anyway, it sucks. It's hard not to feel left out when you see facebook posts or email invites of everyone getting together, even just casually. I know they'd prefer me to be back home too, but it's hard to see life going on just fine without you.

I miss my friends.

 I miss running with my running buddy on the Towpath, instead of in circles all by myself.

RRB & Me
I miss lifting weight with mom at the Rec.

She's very enthusiastic

I miss curling up with my poopsie while I read a book on the couch.

He's attention-starved, can't you tell?

It doesn't help that I really just don't like Dayton. I miss having trees, diversity (everyone here has a pronounceable name!), different places to eat, Lake Erie. I suppose if I lived in Hawaii or Orlando, Fl, I might be singing a much different tune. Hehehe.

Huntington Beach, Lake Erie

BUT, all my wallowing aside, I wouldn't change it for anything. If I hadn't moved, I wouldn't be living with the love of my life (also a Cleveland transplant). And that, is definitely worth the move 3 times over. Alright, pity time is over. Ok, not really, but I won't bore you anymore. Friday is fast approaching, and it's uncanny how one's mood brightens as the weekend draws closer ;-)

Anyone else suffer from homesickness? How did you deal?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back In The Groove (Knock on Wood!)

I'm finally starting to feel like I'm back in my groove after vacay. Of course, this definitely helped:

I was completely blown away when I saw my time after yesterday's run! I'd had two decent 9 milers on Monday and Wednesday last week, plus an 800 calorie-burn session at LA Fitness on the bike/eliptical (I'm branching out!) on Thursday.

Before Hawaii, I was really stressing out about how/what if a week off would set me back and unravel how far I've come. And with the USAF Half now less than a month away, I was concerned (beyond obsessing over it).

So, when my run on Monday wasn't the disaster I had worked up in my head, I got a little excited. But for yesterday's run to be this fast!!!! I couldn't be more ecstatic!......HURRAY!!!!!!! A happy dance was definitely had.

It helped that it was a mom-tourage run, too. True, due to some technical difficulties that included hypocondriac rantings and nearly flat bike tires, I ended up running 2/3 of it alone. Yes, I left my mom at the side of the road like a sack of potatoes when she couldn't keep up.

Now, before you snatch away my daughter of the year award, let me add that I knew it was because her tires were flat (and not her nonsense about heart attacks and old age). And if I hadn't left her, she never would have gotten her flirt on with 2 handsome park rangers who refilled her tires while I was gone. It was all a part of my plan I say!

And, the whole rest of the run I had to listen to her gushing about how easy it was and how she was barely pedaling....all while I was puffing away.

Just another day on the path!
Other than that, it was a super fun weekend filled with family, friends and the world's best cuddle muffin (Teddy the dog).

Isn't he delicious!

Big bro's birthday gifts from Moi, complete with newly painted graduation cap
I've been torturing the Turtle by peeling his sunburn all week. I can't be stopped.

I primed a canvas with gesso before I left, and now I'm ready to start work on a new painting that includes palm trees, silhouettes and running. Best. Painting. Idea. Ever!

Friday, August 17, 2012


I've been back home for almost a week now, and I'm just starting to emerge from my vacation grief. I've wiped away my tears (and all my sunburned skin, which is now decorating most of Dayton), done vacation laundry and am already pouring over the condo rental site to plan when I'll go back!

Here are some of the highlights of our adventures in Hawaii:

1. Our flight got cancelled. That's right. 10 minutes before we headed to the airport I checked my email to kill time and saw the flight cancellation notice. "HOOOOOONEY!!!!! We have a PROBLEM!!!!!"

After a quick call to United, I patched things up and we now had a 9 1/2 hour flight (Chicago to Honolulu) to look forward to. Glad I downloaded all those movies to my iPad!

Up, up and away!

2. I fell in love with a flotation device.

Best $3 I ever spent

3. The Turtle lost his wedding ring. Nice try, Turtle! I foiled his little plan to return to bachelorhood by finding it on the ocean floor not 5 minutes after he lost it in the Pacific. Mwahahaha!

Waimea Bay: The scene of the crime
Back on where it belongs!

3. Honolulu traffic is rated worst in America. Well, it's not like they can just widen the roads or anything, it IS an island. Thanks to the congestion and our GPS smoking too much turtle weed, we missed getting to check out the Disney Aulani Resort. I guess I'll just have to go back to check it out!

View of traffic headed into Waikiki from our lanai

4. 80 degrees is cold! I'll kick myself for this comment in January, but after cooking in 100 degrees this summer, it was nice to cool down to a frigid 80!

Though....pants might have helped too

5. Udon noodles are the best meal EVER. Well worth the winding line pouring out onto the sidewalk.

6. I could live on the beach. Seriously.

My shade-loving Turtle
I smile so much more here!

7. Our flight was cancelled. Again. Ok, technically not cancelled, but delayed by 12 hours. And while I would have loved to stay an extra day in Hawaii, it really would have only bought us 8 hours, from 11pm until 8:40am when our flight was rescheduled to. So, after 45 minutes of finagling, our magical helper at the United Desk squeezed us onto a flight that, oh, by the way, has already started boarding. And, oh yeah, it's also the 2nd last gate.

If we can't find a flight, does that mean we get to stay forever?

It was a great trip and I miss it already. Now, it's time to look forward to the Air Force Half Marathon and our fall trip to Disney World!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ariel in Sepia

Ever since I saw the Little Mermaid on Thanksgiving Day night when I was 5 years old, that story has always held a special place in my heart. From playing with the Ariel Barbie dolls (the one with a fin and legs, and the one with just the fin), pretending to be mermaids with my friends and swearing up and down I would name all of my daughters 'Ariel', The Little Mermaid has definitely made its mark on me.

Which probably explains why I keep gravitating to her for painting inspiration. I know I've said this before, but this is my absolute favorite painting to date. I am so proud of this one! So, I found a picture from the movie and did a little of my photoshop magic....

Before photoshop

After photoshop

I was really happy with my sketch of Ariel. Like I've said before, it is so hard to get Disney's human characters just right.

Gang's all here!

And finally.......

Ariel in Sepia - 18" x 24"

I'm so happy with it! And now my art (kitchen) table is clear and ready for all the new projects I'll bring home from Hawaii! Alllllllllooooooha!