Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Weekend roundup: go go go!

This past weekend was a SUPER busy one - I'm still recovering, hence the delayed post.  Here it is in a nutshell:

Friday after work we went to my bosses house for a BBQ.  We couldn't get a sitter, nor could one of my co-workers, so we brought all of the toddlers and let them run (kind of - my boss has a giant beautiful house with a grand piano, no kids, and many breakables).  The boys found the stairs the most entertaining for a game of lay on the steps:
Saturday our friends from Boston came over for brunch, and then we walked up to the zoo.

Saturday afternoon our friends whom we met at the playground (how Fresh Prince of Bellaire) came over to talk about their impending move to San Francisco (sad) and pick blackberries before a mellow dinner.
Sunday we met Lisa, Frank, and Lila, Andrew at Mars Hill Church in the morning, and then Lisa, Lila, Andrew, the boys and I hung out at Farmer's in Ballard while Frank and Matt climbed. 

After naptime, Sunday afternoon we made our way to Nicole and Salil's for a BBQ (and many games of ring around the rosy).
Sunday night Lisa and fam came over to watch a Baseball game.  I honestly have no idea who was playing, but it was fun to hang out.

Last night, our neighbors came over for a mellow dinner and catch up - they just returned from Copenhagen (awesome!) and shared travel stories ... which made me want to hit the road :).  The kids all decided to "go for a boat ride" in the living room before taking all the pillows off the couch and jumping all over the place. 

Now it's all about catch-up - cleaning, working all the hours I should have worked this weekend, and prepping for another busy weekend as we're off to Portland this coming weekend.  Thank goodness for all the great Seattle coffee!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

To wear: a topper

I am a firm believer in wearing a helmet when biking.  A few months ago I forgot my helmet when leaving the house and didn't realize it until I was at the bottom of our hill and the wind was blowing through my hair.  What did I do? Trek back up the hill to get the helmet.  I am SO thankful I was wearing a helmet on Friday - Matt and I were looking at it this morning and I managed to crack the foam all the way through to the shell with my fall.  Whoa.  So the first and most important thing to wear (when biking) is a good helmet:

As I now have a giant gash on my head that will no doubt turn into a big scar, I am becoming quite fond of hats.  I've always liked them but now I'm starting to think of them like mascara or chap-stick - just another thing you throw on that ties everything together.  My favorites?  Goorin Bros. Hats - a company from San Francisco that luckily has a store here in Seattle.  Yesterday I treated myself to this fedora (but mine has white pinstripes):

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It all came to a head

Well, that hurt.  That being my mega bike accident leading to a mega head injury.  Last night biking home I clearly wasn't paying enough attention (read, checked out thinking of what was for dinner, work, how the boys' day was, how nice it was outside, and how an a$$hat car just went the wrong way on a closed street) and took the trolley track from the wrong angle when BOOM, down went me and my bike.  At first I was embarrassed and wanted to get the heck out of there.  Then I was confused - there was a LOT of blood coming from somewhere above, and a LOT of strangers were stopping to stare and offer hankies and clean wipes of all sorts.  Some were just staring to see if I could talk, I think.

After pulling myself up and whipping out my tattered cell, I was whisked away in our Honda CRV chariot by my knight (Matt) to quickly pick the boys up at daycare (past closing time) and streamline to the nearest ER.  When we got to the ER Matt dropped me off because the boys were freaking, so we decided they should go get food.  I walked in and was amazed at how nice everyone was being to me.  I checked in, called my mom, sat down, and within minutes was briskly walked into the back room for the standard blood pressure and temp checks and then into a private room in the ER.  Later I found out this private room was one of few expedite rooms - head injuries mean check fast!  After MUCH painful cleaning later, my hip, arm, ankle, and tattered forehead were bloody holes, but at least they weren't as much of a mess.  I got 6 stitches on my forehead - turns out I had a 3cm giant cut that was making the dr's and nurses all a bit nervous.

Then I was whisked to get a Cat Scan "just in case there was brain bleed."  Try hearing that and acting normal.  I wept then was calm, carried on, was scanned ... and all was well.  Accept the gaping hole that still hurts as I type and when I turn my head.

The moral of this story?  I think I may have been doing too much, thinking too much, and not paying enough attention to the moment.  So, here goes ... Also, here goes my attempt at avoiding a giant scar on my forehead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lego maniac

The boys' favorite aunt and uncle (Amanda and Gabe) gave them a lego set for their birthday and the boys are hooked!  Apparently when I was at work, my "sick" boys (they've been sniffling all weekend) were literally trying to climb the walls. 

Solution?  Legos!  Pure joy.

Weekend roundup: a few of my favorite things

What a wonderful weekend!  We had a mellow-ish weekend at home.  Friday was Matt's birthday so we made our way to Carta Oaxaca - best Mexican food in town.  The staff now know us (or should I say, our boys) so well all the waiters and waitresses came by to say hola during the meal.

Saturday I had a race - the last in the Cougar Mt. series, a 13.7miler on trails.  My bad running trend continued and I ran my worst trail half ever ... somethings gotta give, and I think that something is me working runs back into my daily schedule. 

Sunday morning we went to the Amazon company picnic which was AWESOME!  The boys had a blast and skipped their nap ... that part, not so awesome.  Sunday evening Lloyd, Emily, and Louis came over to pick blackberries and then we all enjoyed an early dinner.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Running slanted up - and in good (bad) company

Over the past few years I've noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people running just for fun and in races.  Can running help turn our sinking economy around?  I think yes ... but I'm a little biased.

Per Running USA, participation in races, and road race finishers is on the rise.

Sadly, the unemployment rates (from Business Insider) seem to have a similar increasing grade.
Does that mean that people looking for jobs are out hitting the trails?  Not quite.  Per Running USA, 70.3% of women who run, earn a household income of $75,000+ and 76.0% of men earn a household income of $75,000+.

So are all of these well-off runners investing back into the economy?  Maybe.  But the US debt isn't improving because of this.  Unfortunately, the US debt chart has a similar climb to the unemployment chart and race finisher chart:
 I do think running is giving back to the economy, though.  Here's why:

  • Per Running, a rule of thumb for replacing running shoes is every 300-400 miles; since the most common races run in the US are 5Ks and half marathons (based on finisher stats), and per runners training for a 10K should target 80-100mi per week, runners should be replacing their shoes every 5-weeks roughly (although I replace mine every 6mo or so)
  • The average cost of a race is $49
  • Races are driving companies like to go public - this means more investment opportunities (hmm...) and more jobs
  • Runners spend!  We need GPS devices, shoes, socks, clothes, more (healthy) food.  We travel for races so spend on flights and hotels.  And if others are anything like me, we treat ourselves after races :)
Anyhow, deep thoughts from Amber Taylor - just in from a run.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekend roundup: Portland!

Time is going way too fast and I feel like our short but loved summer is almost over.  Last weekend we packed up the car and made our way down to Portland to visit my aunts and mom who were prepping for an amazing looking camping trip (my aunt Laura is a five star camp organizer and had meals planned out and lodging to fit royalty - no kidding).  We couldn't go camping because I already used up my vacation time.

The car trip was ... long, but the boys did a good job.  The vast number of "diggers" and "BOOOATS" kept them entertained for a bit.  At one point on the ride home, the boys were silent for a while, then I heard Wilson cracking up laughing.  When I turned around he had managed to get his froggy backpack onto his head and had been sitting there waiting for us to see.  With Wilson's laughter came Cole's attempt to get the backpack on his head (I say attempt because it turns out Cole is a bit scared of the dark so the pack didn't stay for long).  My boys are hilarious.  I think they should do standup.  No, I'm not that mom that thinks everything her kids do is perfect ... my boys are just perfect.  Heh.