My toes hurt


I took the day off work and headed out to conquer then entire length of the Barton Creek Trail.  Trying to get the body ready for the Grand Canyon coming up in just under two months.  15 miles total and my toes are owie.  The whole bottom of my feet hurt truth be told, but no blisters and the legs will recover nicely by tomorrow I'm sure.  The trail is pretty flat and it didn't really feel like much of a workout until the end when my feet were screaming in my shoes and I had a big hill to climb to get back to my car.  It was beautiful weather outside and definitely a good departure from a typical Monday.

I loved these murals someone had painted on the trail at one point where the greenbelt heads under the freeway.  Nice splash of color since most of the trail is rather brown this time of year.  The trail is not very well marked but I managed not to get lost and got back with just a little time to spare before picking up the girls from school.

Beautiful City


My three mile run turned into a five miler so I got to see the capital downtown.  Makes me feel very urban and connected to my beautiful city to run down town.  I don't really know how the whole thing happened, I just got to my usual turn around point and the weather was just so incredibly gorgeous and I didn't *really* want to get back to work so I just kept going.  I got to the half way mark at Congress bridge (pictured above) and I was sure I had made a mistake.  I was out late last night and the only reason I was even out at it today was because my planned nap wasn't taking so I figured what the heck.  The body was not happy.  But I made it through and am glad for it now that it's over.  Still need a nap though.

Stylish Girls

I was reading my old post about my girls' personal style and I figured it deserved an update.  Such cute girls I have.

Sylvie has a very definite style.  Jeans, long T under a short T, and blue.  The blue is featured heavily here as you can see her three blue jackets hanging behind her.  And she just got new sparkly blue shoes which are her most treasured items.  When we saw these at the store she wanted them immediately but was distressed because they have laces and she hadn't yet learned how to tie.  Well, I assured her she could do it and she learned that very night.  She always wears a long T under a short one and although I find this style adorable on her I'm getting a little sick of the additional laundry.  You can also see here that she's growing out her bangs and they are clipped back only half of the time which of course is driving me crazy.  Gotta see that beautiful face.

Tessa's style hasn't changed very much in the past few years.  Although right after my last post expounding her love of pink she became quite the tom boy when it comes to dress and all those pink clothes she bought for 2nd grade sat lonely in her drawers.  She pretty much just wears jeans and Ts.  Usually class or club T shirts although she does have a few fitted Ts.  Sometimes she'll wear a scarf or throw something together that shows me she's going for a little flair, but in general she's a pretty basic girl.  Her hair still remains uncut since kindergarten and it is pretty much to her waist.  She only wears it straight down, very rarely pulling it into a low pony in the back.  This is her favorite jacket and it is very, very well loved.  She's broken "thumb holes" into the sleeves and this is a good thing I'm told.

My 2011, Widgetized


I figure it's time to unveil a little more of the crazy.  But first I will share a goal.  Yes, it is January but this is not a New Year's resolution per se - those don't really float my boat.  I have had however, a general goal over the past few years to become a more mindful person.  Living consciously and mindfully is something one hears much talk of in yoga classes and I definitely see it's benefit when I am able to incorporate that into my daily life.  I also happen to be a total geek about data and tracking things always provides motivation for me as well as a nudge towards mindfulness.  Hence my love of goodreads,, and of course this here blogging thing.  A few weeks ago I happened upon a website that for me, marries my desire to be more mindful and my obsession with data in an epic way and a 2011 project was born.  My intent is to keep it up throughout the year and see where it all take me.  I feel like an anthropologist in my own life.  Click here to see my daytum site.  Organized of course into neat little tabs for the different arenas of my life.  2011 here I come!



That is until the neighbor leaves her three (!) basset hounds locked outside and whining *again*.  (Is there possibly a worse sound in all of creation?)  And I finally admit that the Excedrin isn't gonna work.  Time to go lay in my bed.


Sometimes the best cure for a headache is sunshine.  Even if it is in the 40s.  In the back yard hanging with my doggies and my rss feeds.


This album was only on my "like" list for 2010 but this week I've been crushing on this song.

Guacamole Dip


Guacamole DipGuacamole Dip by Daniel Reveles

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Flat.  Trite.  Occasionally sweet.  There were some fairly readable moments, but in the end just predictable in the worst way.

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The Curse of the Good Girl


The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and ConfidenceThe Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence by Rachel Simmons

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Obviously I picked up this book with improving my parenting in mind, but as I moved through it I felt like I was reading a self help book. I can't overstate how important it has been for me to read this book and hear her articulation of how girls' (women's) tendency to be pleasers is keeping us from being our authentic selves. I don't feel like the author want to squash what is innately feminine, but she points out some of the hypocrisies in trying to appear "good" all the time. Great practical tips on how to deconstruct common dialogue traps. Just a great book and one that makes me look at what messages I'm giving my girls about human relationships. A must read for parents of girls. Especially if that parent happens to be suffering from a good girl complex herself.

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Things are getting a little stagnant around my house.  And in my head.  Just one of those weeks.  Dave started it all off with a sore throat last week which he was kind enough to share with me.  So I've been feeling just unwell enough to keep me off the yoga mat which is always a recipe for the crazies.  Not sleeping great either and it's all just yuck.  Sylvie got super sick this weekend and she's still home today with a raging fever and a killer ear infection.  So we're house bound on top of it all.  Fun.

So just a little update on what's been keeping me occupied.  I've been in a bit of a book funk so not ten billion hours of reading which would feel normal.  But my new iPad plus Netflix streaming has killed more than a few hours of this long, long weekend.  I have been able to get out to "run" with my friends so that has kept me from completely going over to the dark side, but I really need to get to yoga before I turn into a beast. 

I did pull out my boxes of childhood keepsakes yesterday and that provided a diversion for an hour or so.  Lots of old lovies, report cards, school papers, and old letters.  I'm still feeling depressed from the one or two glimpses I allowed myself into my old journals.  Seriously not fun.  I'm contemplating how much to read before writing personal history posts on my middle school years and I'm wondering if most of it is left best forgotten.

Great mood here.  Can you tell?

Of This That is Still


Fifth Grade

And here we are at the end of elementary school. I remember feeling on top of my game in 5th grade. A little bit confident even? Feeling like I knew how things worked and that I could navigate it all successfully. I remember making friends with my long term arch nemesis for a brief moment this year. He was my tormentor ever since I moved in during 2nd grade and would remain as much all the way through adolescence. But for a small moment we were friends and it only reinforced this notion I had of figuring it all out. A short lived moment in the sun.

I don't remember my fifth grade teacher's name, but I do very much remember the "micro community" we established in our classroom and how much fun that was. I was both the vice-president of the class/community and the founder of the one and only bank that kept our little economy afloat. Everyone had businesses of various types and I'm guessing money was earned for good behavior etc. I remember making some bad loans and being total petrified to tell the teacher that I had completely messed up the entire class economy. I guess they were right about my math skills after all.

Another big moment in my elementary school career (maybe before 5th grade?) was finally being able to join "Kids R Music", a children's choir run by a woman from our church and of which most of my friends were already members. This might be another indicator of my taste level considering I thought this was cool and a big social coup. Good looking outfits, eh?



And one more stop in 1986. My family took a trip to Ireland to visit our good friends who we had met while living in Salt Lake and they had since moved back to their home in Shannon.  We took two weeks to drive across the country and back.  Beautiful, beautiful country and so much better seeing it with people that know their way around.  I still have a lot of memories, even if they are starting to get spotty.  Four adults and four kids touring around the countryside in a tiny compact car, staying at lovely bed and breakfasts and visiting lots and lots of graveyards and ruined buildings.  Heaven.

Yes, that is me lying on top of a grave site pretending to be dead.  Nice.



Town Lake is my favorite place to run because the scenery is a benefit that outweighs my lungs complaining because of the cold.

Cinnamon is constantly distracted by the birds and squirrels, but when I stopped to take this picture no way was she going to approach.

Broken Bones

I need to add two addenda to my post on my fourth grade year, the first being the story of my one and only broken bone.  It's a rather humorous story or I would skip it all together.  That and the glory of posting yet another picture of me from the 80s.

My brother was about 1 1/2 years old and I was carrying him out to the back yard to play ball.  The ball was too big to hold with my brother in my arms so in my infinite 9 year old wisdom I decided to kick the ball along as I carried him.  Probably a totally safe activity for most people, but I managed to trip over the ball on our cement patio and dropped Ben splat to the ground.  I was falling hard fast and was about to land right on top of him so I put my arms out to catch myself.  And my left forearm snapped in two.  Didn't break the skin at all so when I looked over I was totally perplexed why I had two elbows on that arm.  Something definitely not right there.  I remember the awful car ride to the emergency in blinding pain, but all else I remember was that only after the cast was on and the doctor left the room I finally let myself cry.  Stoic here.

It became a bit of a family joke how Ben always told people in reverential tones about how I saved his life.  It was completely lost on his sweet self that I was the one that endangered it in the first place.

New Old Memories


I got a bunch of old photos from my dad when I visited my family over Thanksgiving.  Some of which I had never seen (or remember seeing) like this gem.  It's funny how childhood memories get wrapped up with specific photographs and the rest of the details are defined by those captured moments.  It's like getting new memories when an old photo of me resurfaces.  Like meeting someone new that I like, then realizing it's me.  Good moment so I thought I would share.

Plus I'm cute.

Humility and Stars


Driving home on our epic road trip this winter I was completely smitten by the view of the stars through west Texas, absolutely blown away by their beauty and number.  And I wondered to myself, if I were to chose just one star from the millions in the sky and someone else far away were to choose just one star, what would be the chances of it being the very same star?  My head says impossible, my heart says guaranteed.

This week I went to the temple and had a lot of questions and grievances hanging around in my head.  I am a girl who wants to understand.  But instead of praying for answers, I prayed for humility.  I just knew in a flash that humility was what I needed most of all.  And because I asked for that, the answers did come.  Mostly in the form of "let it go, Amber - your mind doesn't need to understand right now, your heart already knows"; for sure it was an answer direct to my heart.  It was such a beautiful moment.  I don't want to share here all that I felt and learned, but I will share a scripture that I read in the Celestial room.  I literally opened the book to a random page and when I saw the words printed there the tears came gushing.  More answers to prayers.
Murmur not because of the things which thou hast not seen, for they are withheld from thee and from the world, which is wisdom in me in a time to come. ~ Doctrine & Covenants 25:4
So I am trying to remember that when I let go of my pride, my heart knows things that my mind can't understand.

Happy Zoo Year!


And I thought I was above punnery.  We spent our New Year's Day the same way we did last year, at the San Antonio Zoo with our good friends.  Beautiful sunny but cool weather.  This has been such a long and blissfully lazy week that I am more than a little sad to see it go. The best thing about each and every day has been that it wasn't Saturday yet even though each day felt just like a Saturday - that there was always a little more winter break to go.  So yesterday was a little bitter sweet to see the week finally ending.  I am not looking forward to work tomorrow.  And getting up for 9:00 am church today was more than a little traumatic for Tessa who has taken her penchant for sleeping late to stratospheric levels this week.  Real life, here we come.