1. A is for age: 34

2. B is for beer of choice: Bell's Oberon

3. C is for career right now: SAHM/Photographer (WAHM..?)

4. D is for your dog's name: don't have any dogs

5. E is for essential item you use everyday: deodorant

6. F is for favorite TV show at the moment: The Real World *blushes*

7. G is for favorite game: Scattergories

8. H is for Home town: Sister Bay

9. I is for instruments you play: used to play the violin

10. J is for favorite juice: grape (especially fermented, heh)

11. K is for whose butt you'd like to kick: Hmmm...today I really would have liked to kick Dane's ass...little shit.

12. L is for last place you ate at: does home count...?

13. M is for marriage: It's nice! [/Borat]

14. N is for your full name: Kirsten Rae Dykstra

15. O is for overnight hospital stays: c-section and breast reduction (that was 3 years, 1 day ago, as a matter of fact)

16. P is for people you were with today: kid and hubby

17. Q is for quotation: "Behold the power of cheese!" Even have a license plate frame that says that....

18. R is for Biggest Regret: Not having chosen a more marketable college major(s)

19. S is for Status: married

20. T is for time you woke up today: 10:15. God, I felt like a princess!

21. U is for underwear you have on now: sorta nude-colored Jockey bikinis

22. V is for vegetable you love: sweet potatoes

23. W is for worst habit: biting nails

24. X is for x-rays you've had: I don't think I've had any, other than dental. Does a mammogram count?

25. Y is for yummy food you ate today: chicken cordon bleu

26. Z is for the zodiac sign: Aquarius

Lazy Dayzy

Dane doesn't have school again until Monday (his teachers are all in NY for a Montessori teaching convention), so for the rest of the week we have no real plans. Today I slept-in until after 10. I think after being sick last week and not sleeping well in at least a week's time that my body really needed that. I went to bed ~midnight and slept a solid 10 hours. Now I feel so much better, though I am sneezing a lot. I don't think it's the cold, though. I think it's all the thawing and an increase in mold. My Allegra isn't doing much to help (seems to do well with pollen/hayfever allergies, but not so well with mold).

Speaking of school, I have been working on getting Dane's application for the charter Montessori school down near Derek's work completed. Next Thurs. we are scheduled for a tour of their new facility. I REALLY hope Dane gets a lottery spot there. Otherwise we are planning to enroll him in a Montessori program in Muskegon that goes through 3rd grade and keep trying to get him into the free charter program in the coming years. It would be especially convenient, as wel plan to move back down near Derek's work, so he could be with the same kids through 8th grade if we are able to enroll him in that program.

After lunch I have plans to do my Cathe Friedrich Muscle Max workout. I just won a used copy of her Supersets & Push Pull workouts DVD (gotta find and inflate my yoga ball before I can do those) on eBay, too, so I hope to rotate the 3 workouts in the coming weeks, in addition to running. My plan is to run 4-5 days/week and do 2 days of strength training now that the weather is starting to improve.

Tomorrow Dane and I are planning to go down and have lunch with Derek. I am DYING for a shamrock shake from McDonald's, so it will be my free meal of the week. I'm working on eating low calorie ~5 days/week and then 2 days of higher calories, to average ~1650 calories or so every week. I *should* lose about a pound/week doing this. Still have 15#s to go to be where I want.



I must make this mine!

Isn't it beautiful--and only $200?!

I HATE both of the stupid little Canon point-n-shoots we've ended up with. First one (A60) we had an extended warranty with and it gave us so many problems that we ended up with a similar replacement (A520) a year or so later. Well, image quality and focus are just as bad with the replacement. And these cameras generally get great reviews, so I don't know if we've just gotten 2 lemons or what. I love both of my big Canon DSLRs (10D and 20D).

I have seen shots taken with the little Sony Cybershot models and played with a friend's--they are SO superior in quality to what has come out of our dumb compact Canons. Derek likes to blame me and has more than once insinuated that it must be user error. Right. 'Cause I know nothing about operating a camera...[/dripping sarcasm] Besides, he has had no better luck than I have. We have precious few snapshots, since my big cameras aren't practical for taking on outings and I end up frustrated when I take pictures with the defective little camera and they end up looking like out-of-focus, dull, flat, gray garbage.


Thinking about cutting my hair...

Not a la Britney, but shorter than it currently is--something like the attached photos, maybe. Right now it is shoulder-length and I am growing out some layers. I don't want to go really short, though it's fun...too much maintenance, need to use too much product that would sweat into my eyes. While I LIKE my hair sorta long, it's babyfine and straight as a pin, so even though it's fairly thick it always looks flat.

Any suggestions? I am thinking about going chin-length, that way I can put the front back in a barette for running, but still have my neck exposed. I'm kind of tired of having to put it all up when the weather is warm. It's kind of a pain while wearing a wicking baseball type hat on my runs.

Ideas? Pictures?



Marriage Meme

1. Where/how did you meet?
I was 17 and tipsy off wine coolers...he had the biggest feet of any of the guys sitting around the bonfire.

2. How long have you known each other?
Going on 17 years...almost half of my life.

3. How long after you met did you start dating?
A few days...?

4. How long did you date before you were engaged?
~5 years, I think

5. How long was your engagement?
1.5 years. Long enough to plan the wedding, save a little $$.

6. How long have you been married?
10 years as of this past Dec.

7. What is your anniversary?

8. How many people came to your wedding reception?
I think ~65...not including the wedding party.

9. What kind of cake did you serve?
Multi-level, each level had white cake with different fillings, ivory icing. We had about 2x more cake than we needed. We were eating cake for a week!

10. Where was your wedding?
The church where my ILs were married. We had 2 ministers. DH's grandfather actually married us.

11. What did you serve for your meal?
It was kind of picnic-style foods. Sandwich fixings, potato salad, beans...casual.

12. How many people were their in your bridal party?
4 couples

13. Are you still friends with them all?
I've lost touch with Lynne S. Not for lack of trying to stay in touch, on my part. Eventually I gave up trying to find her. One-sided friendships aren't worth the effort.

14. Did you or your spouse cry during the ceremony?
No, we giggled. My bridesmaids were all bawling behind me, though...buncha saps, LOL!

15. Most special moment of your wedding day?
The whole day was pretty special. I loved having my brother and Lynne sing, though. Wish our video had not gotten lost...I would love to listen to that, again.

16. Any funny moments?
When we were hugging our folks at the altar my FIL pulled my veil off my head.

17. Any big disasters?
Not really...there was a REALLY loud BOOM early in the ceremony. Someone must have hit their mic really hard, or something. We joked that maybe God was threatening us--after all, Derek's an atheist!

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went to Nova Scotia a few months later. Wonderful trip (except for my getting sick in the middle with a cold or flu).

19. How long were you gone?
10 days.

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change?
No church wedding. We would have done something very casual and outdoors, then had a relaxed kegger/BBQ, probably at the little Spring Lake Yacht Club near where we lived at the time. We could have had more $$ for the honeymoon, that way.

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
Left, if one is standing at the foot. Right when laying on my back.

22. What size is your bed?

23. Greatest strength as a couple?
Humor...we keep things light.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple?
Hmmm...probably money. He's a saver, I'm a spender.

25. Who literally pays the bills?
He does. I'd mess things up and we'd get collection notices if I had to be responsible with that.

26. What is your song?
Baby Got Back...? Heh, don't really have one.

27. What did you dance your first dance to?
"Just the Way You Are," Billy Joel

28. Describe your wedding dress?
Simple...short sleeved, buttons up the back, big friggin' bow on my ass. Matte, ivory satin. Here's a really crappy scan of a snapshot DH's aunt took--our favorite pic:

I think we have the negative somewhere. I should have some nicer enlargements done.

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding?
Silk poinsettias. I made the bouquets.

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? What do they say?
Just our wedding date. I need to have my ring resized since losing weight. Mine will likely have to be re-engraved.


So much for watching the Oscars...

Our cable went out about an hour in. Still have our cable internet, so it must just be the analog connection that is down. Bah. I think Ellen is doing a great job as host, though. She's really got the perfect personality for it. I always liked Billy Crystal, too. The opening montage of nominees on the white screen with random bits of dialog was cute...and I LOVED the musical bit with Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and John C. Reilly. I think Jim Carrey could have stood in for that little song, too. I'm still miffed all these years later that he was never nominated for an Oscar for "Truman Show," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," or "Man on the Moon." He won Golden Globes for 2 of those films, for chrissakes.


Bah, back to snow tires!

It's only been about a week since were were able to put our all-season performance tires (the "all-season" part is a joke. They don't handle even an inch of frozen precip well at ALL) back on the car, but due to the recent and predicted snowfall we had to switch our Winter wheels and tires back on. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE our Blizzaks and they are the difference between a car that is virtually undriveable and one that handles snow and ice like a pro, but putting the snow tires back on is a blatant sign that Winter is not in any hurry to leave.

*sigh* I was just starting to get used to days with temps above freezing and even a little sunshine.




Swiped from Liz

1.Where were you 1 hour ago.
Sitting here, I think...

2. Who will be your next kiss?
Hubby...DS is already asleep.

3. Is there anything pink within 10 feet?
My sweatshirt and socks.

4. When is the last time you went to the mall?
I hate the mall (total online shopper)...I think it was a couple of weeks ago. I had a $10 VS gift card.

5. Are you wearing socks right now?
See #3.

7. Do you have feelings for someone?
Yes. Married him.

8. what did you last drink?
Lite OJ

9. What are you wearing right now?
pink hoodie, khaki cargo pants, pink socks

10. What was your last purchase?
bunch o' stuff at Meijer

11. Last Food You Ate?
sweet potatoes

12. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
Eryn...I don't think my folks' machine counts.

13. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?
Ordered new running shoes.

14. Do you have a pet?
3 feline furbabies

15. What's the last sporting event you watched?
Saw part of a WRC rally car race not long ago on TV.

16. What is your favorite class?
LOVED my large format Photography class (though it was really tough--I did well) and my Lit. Theory class.

17. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
On a WARM beach, in the sun, sipping an umbrella drink, with nothing but the sound of the waves. Oh, and I would be svelte, toned, tan, and have no stretch marks or cellulite...ha!

18. What is the last thing you purchased online?
See #13.

20. What's your favorite soup?
I LOVE soup...but the best one was a seafood bisque that the Holland Country Club always did. I think it was sort of their staple.

21. Do you miss anyone?
Probably anyone who will read this. I have a lot of far-flung friends.

22. Last play/musical you saw?
We saw a little touring company do "Chicago" a few years back in Muskegon. Good vocal talents, but the dancing left something to be desired--not that I can talk.

23. What were/are your plans for the day?
I planned to get a long run in and did. Other than that, probably to bed early. I lead such a thrilling life...

27. What do you know about the future?
It will probably be cold...and dreary. Spring is still a month away. I'd kill to move someplace warmer!

28. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne?
Nope, but I've been a The Body Shop White Musk girl since the early 90s. Most other perfumes stink on me after a while, but not that stuff.

30. Where are your best friends located?

31. Do you have a tan?
I'm Scandinavian and Scottish...guess!

32. How old do you want to be when you have kids?
I was 5 days shy of 28 when my 6 year old DS was born.

33. Who was the last person that hugged you?
My best little guy!

34. Do you have any piercings or tattoos?
Ears are pierced (multiple times), navel, and 2 tattoos. I'm planning on a running-related tattoo of some sort in the future. Perhaps a little turtle on my ankle, since I'm so slow!

35. Have you drunk soda through a straw?
Uhh...yeah. Who hasn't?

37. Do you like hot sauce?
The hotter, the better!

40. What is your mood?
Meh...mostly tired and a little achey. Those aren't really moods, though. I guess I'm just content.

41. What makes you mad?
Bush & Co., Winter, hypocrites, minivans, stretch marks, inability to lose weight while doing EVERYTHING right...

42. What's the last movie you watched?
Lawrence of Arabia--or was it Jackass #2...? Talk about contrasting taste in films!

I did it...

9.5 miles, but my lungs are NOT happy with me. I definitely had more breathing issues than normal. I'm mildly asthmatic to begin with, but trying to run in cold air while recovering from a cold made matters more difficult. But I still ran ~11 minute pace, which is pretty good. I think I maybe could have done 10.5 if I were feeling better, not so bundled-up, and if it had been less windy. Maybe in a few weeks my long runs won't be quite so slow. I'd REALLY love to do the 5/3 Riverbank 25k at a 10 minute pace. My half-marathon last fall was at 10:15 pace, so I have my work cut out for me.


Go, Al!


Man, I'd really like to see Al Gore in the White House. I like Hillary and Barack, but I think if Al ran that he'd have the best chance of the 3 to be elected.

I need a motivational kick in the pants!

Ugh...I hate this weather. It's not snowing (for a change), but it's still cloudy, cold, and windy. It seems I can handle 2 negatives, but throw 3 into the mix and I positively dread runs. For instance, were it sunny, cold, and windy I wouldn't have such a tough time bundling up and getting out...or if it were warm, cloudy, and rainy I'd not give the weather a second thought (heck, running in warm rain is kind of nice). It seems that 1 positive factor has a way of cancelling out 2 negatives. But 3 negatives just suck the motivation out of me altogether. Plus, I'm planning a long run today and when it's much below freezing the liquid in the drinking tube of my Camelbak™ will freeze, making it harder to drink. And I still need to stay hydrated, even when it's cold (especially because the air is so dry).

It doesn't help that I still feel a little under the weather and didn't sleep well last night. It seems that I really only have coughing issues when I am laying flat. I suppose that's when everything wants to settle into my chest and throat. Yuck. I'd probably skip my run today entirely, were it not for the fact that this week was bad both in terms of eating and exercise, so I really need to get out there and get it done. I always feel like I've accomplished something after a long run, too. And that Fifth-Third 25k isn't all that far away, anymore. If I want to be able to build up to the 15.5 miles that I will be running that day (5/12) I can't afford to skip even a single long run.

Off to get dressed. It might still be an hour or two before I get my butt out the door, but if I make the effort to get dressed it will hopefully help motivate me to do my workout.



Pink, pink, what's wrong with pink...?

...Seems you've got a pink kink in your think!

So what's with all the pink, you might ask? Well, I used to hate pink. Pink was a color that was shunned in my wardrobe. I used to favor black and red. I still like those colors, but it seems that when I lost weight a few years back that I embraced my inner girly-girl and along with all of the "fat clothes" I rid my closet of, I seem to have developed quite a penchant for pink. I'm certain having a child who is quite the boy's boy likely had something to do with it, too. Living with an adult male, a minor male, and 2 male cats (until last June that # was 3) leaves me feeling like I'm drowning in a sea of testosterone, some days. Hmmm...can I blame the acne flare-ups (heh, those are pink, too) on airborne testosterone, perhaps?

I also like the musician, P!nk, and the association of the color with feminism and breast cancer research support. And it doesn't hurt that it's such a flattering color on every skin-tone. I can't really think of any color of Human flesh that isn't attractive in at least one shade or hue of pink. That can't be said for all colors (I'm looking at you, orange).

That's where my money goes, to buy my runnin' clothes...

Why does it always seem that just as I have every piece of running gear I could possibly need, the need for something more will invariably crop up? I am an admitted shoe lover (not so much in terms of wanting many pair of shoes, but in having fewer, higher-priced pair...hence my multiple pairs of Dansko clogs), but it's starting to get ridiculous.

I have found that after about 250 miles in a pair of running shoes that I start getting aches and pains that weren't previously there. In discussions with other slow, short-strided runners there seems to be a pretty common trend towards retiring shoes with relatively low mileage (most experts recommend replacing shoes every 300-500 miles). The thing we have theorized is that while we may not run as many miles, because we are slow and with small strides we are taking more steps and each foot is spending more time on the ground for the same # of miles. In terms of "hours worn," we are likely spending just as much time in our shoes as our more fleet-footed friends. And that time definitely counts in terms of compression of cushioning materials and wear on outsoles. But the other day I discovered something new that has caused me to prematurely retire a $$ pair of shoes (New Balance 1222). After only ~100 miles logged I think I may have to relegate this shoe to yard work or walking--no running.

Back around the first of the year I purchased a second pair of shoes (New Balance 767) in an "all-weather" model, that way I would have something to keep my feet warmer and drier for sloppy, snowy Winter runs. Shortly after purchasing these shoes our weather went all to hell. So for the past month+ I have run exclusively in the 767--enough to log ~100 miles.

A couple of days ago the roads were fairly clear and it wasn't too cold, so I decided to take my 1222s out for a run. And it felt great for about the first mile...much cushier, as they have a good deal more cushioning than the 767. But they also have a good deal more stability and by mile 2 I was starting to have pains in my lower legs--on both sides. By mile 3 I was considering walking back home and ended up not even logging 4 miles (which is probably just as well, given that I was dealing with a cold virus of some sort, too). The pains by the end of my run were into my knees and starting to radiate into my hips.

I think all of this miserable and challenging running I have done in snow has made my legs a lot stronger--as well as the strength-training I have been pretty diligent with for the past month or so. And I think this has likely decreased my stability needs. Running in a shoe without enough stability can cause pain and injury, but so can the reverse. An MD friend of mine who runs said he has a favorite running shoe store reassess his needs every time he needs a new pair of shoes--and he ran 8 marathons last year, so that's a LOT! He believes that even seasoned runners won't always need the same shoe or type of shoe. And given the fact that I am still a "newbie" runner, I guess I'm not all that surprised by my needs changing, either.

So I purchased a second pair of the 767 (the ones pictured above). Now I have my original all-weather pair to wear on messy roads and a regular pair for warmer, drier runs. I will probably continue with this model unless I start having issues. At least this shoe is a lot cheaper than the 1222 (by ~$45 full retail), so that's one positive!

Oh, happy day!

I think my son is reading! Only a little over a month ago we started him on low-dose Ritalin for his mild ADHD and now he is reading some simple words...he just turned 6 2 weeks ago. I am floored!

Today his teacher sent home a very simple little book for him to read TO us over the weekend. Something akin to a Dick & Jane book in its simplicity and repetition of sounds and rhymes. Somewhere we have some of those little paperback BOB books floating around that he should read, too.

Everyone with direct association with Dane is astounded by the amazing progress he has made in such a short time. I once poo-poo'd ADD/ADHD and medicating kids who were simply a little unruly--until I had a kid of my own whose overly active behavior and inability to focus made it nearly impossible for him to do the things that everyone knew he was capable of. Even basic things like getting dressed and out the door on time in the mornings are SO much simpler when it's not a fight to keep him on task.



TGIF...I'm exhausted

Blah. I really need a weekend. I have spent most of this past week fighting some sort of bug. Mostly it has made sleep difficult, and yesterday I felt really weak trying to do my weight workout. Today I had wanted to do my long run for the week, but given that I have done some sort of exercise nearly every day for 2 weeks straight I decided to simply take the day off. As it is I can barely keep my eyes open, much less muster the energy to actually go for even a short run. Hopefully I can get that run in tomorrow. I am starting to feel guilty, as my run on Weds. was also cut short by problems with one of my pair of shoes (apparently all the running in snow and strength-training I've done in the past month has made my legs strong enough to not require the level of stability in those shoes, so running in them led to serious pain after a couple of miles--sucks, since they were $$ and only have ~100 miles logged on them).

I've also eaten very poorly all week...weekends are always pretty off, but then Tues. was "Fat Tuesday" and being sick has pretty much caused me to throw all food-related cares to the wind. Reduced activity + poor eating will likely = a return of some #age to the scale. Crap.

I think I'm figuring this format out. Apparently the full WYSIWYG editor does not work on Safari. That's an issue I had with my Delphi blog, too, but I can do some javascript and feeds here, so that still puts this format ahead of my prior blog. I think I'm gonna like it here.

Ok...I *think* this might work well

I kind of miss the calendar feature, but this seems a bit more flexible than Delphi. I like the available themes, too...and I should be able to find some custom CSS themes that I can utilize, as well. Looks like the text formatting doesn't work so well with Safari, but seems to be fine with Firefox--or maybe I'm just missing something.

Just playin'

Hmmm…just playing with this new blog space. Not sure whether I will stay here or not. It definitely seems more flexible than my Delphi blog and I can use some javascript feeds (like my running/workout logs), which is nice. Not sure if I understand the text formatting, though...doesn't look like I can use regular HTML...?