April 2015
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B.A.A. 5K Recap

A bunch of Kristian’s coworkers decided to sign up for the Boston Athletic Association 5K that’s part of the marathon festivities. He asked if I’d like to join them and I was like “you had me at ‘you get to run across the Boston Marathon finish line.'”

(They don’t let you finish on the marathon finish line, but you do get to run across it.)

(Technically, you could run across the finish line any old time, but that would involve dodging a lot of crazy traffic.)

My sister was kind enough to watch LJ for us, so we got to spend some quality time with each other… and the other 8,000 or so people running the race.

Seriously, I can’t remember a more crowded run. We waited for about 20-30 minutes at the back of the starting line (because we are, admittedly, very slow) after the race was supposed to start. We waited so long, in fact, that just as we crossed the starting line, I looked over and Kristian’s very fast co-worker  was just finishing the race. He did finish in the top 100, but that is still an impressive wait.

Lucky for us, we still tend to enjoy each other’s still company, it was a beautiful day, and we weren’t paying our babysitter by the hour.

(We weren’t paying her anything at all, but I did pick her up a little something at the race expo afterwards.)

The course itself is great. If you’re reading this blog post because you’re googling the race to see if it’s worth the $50 race fee, let me tell you that yes, yes it is. It’s crowded, but well organized (I could have done with some more porto-potties, but I am pretty sure that could be said about every race in the history of running). The course itself is crazy flat, there are plenty of people out cheering, and you get to run across the Boston Marathon finish line and keep going.

(They do have to continuously announce that, if you want to take a picture at the finish line, to please move off to the side and not cause a backup.)

(Because there are apparently a lot of people out there with selfie sticks and no common sense.)

We spent a lot of time dodging walkers, which is kindof annoying, but also not all that hard because, seriously, if this course was any flatter it would be a map of pre-Aristotlean earth.

I did not set a PR, but I did beat Kristian by 12 seconds. Which, because the race is so enormous, was good enough for finishing about a hundred places ahead of him. This is about as close as I get to bragging rights when it comes to running.

(In case you’re new around here, I’m so slow my spirit animal would be a turtle if I wasn’t already a honey badger.)

(I should also probably mention that he didn’t really train for this one.)

Basically, I surge at the end of most races when I’m about a few hundred feet or so from the finish. I didn’t train as much as I should have for this one, but I did train more than Kristian and I can generally run farther than him. I told him I’d run most of the race with him, but once the end was in sight…. all bets were off. Remember how I said there weren’t really enough porto potties? Yeah, with about a quarter of a mile left I realized that I really wanted to finish and use one. Kristian basically looked up and I was gone .

(He still finished strong, and we got our race medals and t-shirts together.)

My sister told us to take our time and have fun, so we spent the morning chilling with Kristian’s coworkers, walking around Boston, and checking out the marathon expo. My sister may or may not have regretted her decision to give us the morning off. Especially when LJ started eating non-food items in protest of both her parents having the unmitigated gall to leave her with her beloved auntie for a few hours.

(Let’s just say it’s a good thing that my husband is good at googling things from his phone.)

(Because I had already called my sister to remind her that they should both be wearing sunblock, so I was clearly not in the most rational of moods.)

(And now we can all file “I ate part of the window!” under: things I never want to hear my toddler say when I get home.)

(We’re talking non-toxic stuff, not lead paint!)

(Brand new window, brand new sill.)

(Seriously, please don’t report us for this one.)

The race shirt is one of the nicest race shirts I’ve received, although that’s a pretty low bar these days. Unless it’s a tech shirt, I usually don’t even bother bringing one home. The medal is also pretty badass.

My new favorite race medal! #baa #5k #onlyinboston

A photo posted by @beerandpie on

All in all, it was a pretty successful race!

Pink “Splarkies”

I’m on my way to Florida for a work retreat (it’s a hard knock life for me), and my biggest #FirstWorldProblem is that it had been weeks (weeks!) since I got a pedicure. Sandals weather with faded, chipped toes? Oh, the horror (horror!) of it all.

(I can be kindof an asshole sometimes, but that last paragraph is most definitely sarcasm).

(Just in case you couldn’t tell).

I picked Lilian up from daycare yesterday, and we were waiting for Kristian to come meet us for dinner. It was going to be a pretty major wait, so I was trying to figure out how to kill some time. We were right in front of a nail salon, so I put two and two together and decided it was time for Lilian’s first pedicure.

As you can see, she was a pretty big fan of this idea.

Happy Happy

Or perhaps she was just a fan of the Annie’s bunnies that were left over from her snack? Either way, she was in a fantastic mood.

The plan was for me to get my toes done, and then she would get hers painted. She sat very patiently while the tech basically took a cheese grater to my feet (it had only been a few weeks, I swear! I didn’t think they were that bad, this lady was just crazy thorough).  She found the entire process fascinating, and asked a ton of questions. She was just starting to get all antsy when Kristian showed up to distract her.

(Which meant that I got to close my eyes and enjoy the foot massage).

(Because, let’s be honest here, the foot massage is like 85% of my reason for getting pedicures in the first place).

(LJ suggested that he get “pink splarkies” as well, but he demurred).

She spent an awfully long time studying the color selection, before finally going with the bold choice of… hot pink. I was actually kinda surprised that she didn’t go for one of the “splarkies.” She very excitedly sat in the chair when it was her turn.

As you can see by the patented Sanchez-50-Yard-Stare, she wasn’t 100% sold on having someone else touch her toes. But, once she had the hot pink going on, she was pretty excited.

Hmmmm

(She got more excited later, I swear).

(And, yes, that is the My Little Pony skirt that I made for her).

The nail tech was a really good sport about it, so I made sure to tip her really well. I think the women in the salon all got a kick out of the whole thing, but, still . She very patiently painted the toes of a squirmy two-year-old. That is some serious sport.

I don’t know if there are any more pedicure dates in our near future, but it’s nice to know we can start doing stuff like this together.

What’s Up Doc?

I wrote, last year, about the Easter Egg Hunt that Lilian and I went to. But I don’t think I ever mentioned that we found out the next week that we won the big Easter basket that they raffled off. It was full of prizes from local merchants.

Oh hey, guys! I totally won a kick-ass Easter basket!

The best part of the basket was a very nice gift card to Lively Kids, the boutique that sponsored the egg hunt. And by “nice,” I mean a hundred freaking dollars (!). Kristian and I tried to use it to buy Lilian’s birthday present, but they sell more clothes than toys and we didn’t find any big ticket item that we thought would work.

This is is my roundabout way of saying that yesterday Lilian and I found ourselves back in the store with a very nice gift certificate that was about to expire.

This is is also my roundabout way of saying that I spent a lot of someone else’s money on a pair of itty, bitty Doc Martens.

Baby Docs!

We sized strategically, so hopefully these will last a few months. Even if they don’t? They were free. I’ll make some one verrrrry happy with a kickass hand-me-down. Or I’ll sell them on eBay. But I am kinda digging them. They remind me of something I would have worn in the mid-90s.

OK, this is the part where I admit that they remind me of the Docs that I totally pined for after watching the Babysitters Club Movie. But that involves me admitting that I watched the Babysitters Club Movie. So let’s just say that Lilian is a big fan of her new shoes and leave it at that.

Shoes!

Pi Wedding

Saturday night, a really good friend of mine got married. It was a beautiful wedding (It’a been so long since we’ve been to one that I forgot that weddings always make me cry!). It was also a metric shit ton of fun. 

I mean, it was gonna be fun on principle, just because a certain little someone had a sleepover with her auntie and uncle. Which meant that Kristian and I got a hotel room near the wedding venue. Which meant a) adult beverages and 2) sleeping past 7am. 

(That certain little someone had a pretty good time herself.)

My friend and her husband (who is also a friend) met when we all worked together. Which meant that the wedding up ended up being a mini-reunion for a bunch of us. None of us is in that department anymore, and we were all really close when we worked together, so it was definitely bitter sweet to get together. 

(Photos shamelessly stolen from another friend’s FB page.)

Moving on was great for my career, I don’t regret it for a minute. But, damn, I miss those guys sometimes. 

(Because, yeah, IT Department. It was like 90% guys).

(Kristian and I met when we worked in that same department, so you know our friends’ marriage got a good start!)

I didn’t take a single picture (whoops!), but rest assured it was a beautiful wedding. Our friend  Scott Langley  was their photographer, so I’m sure there will be some awesome photos eventually. 

Also, as was befitting a wedding of two nerds who got married on Pi Day, it was  awesomely  nerdy. Like, the totally awesome kind of nerdy. There was a Mario Kart tournament. And board games. I think that might have been the most fun Kristian has had at a wedding in a very long time. So many mutual friends to hang out with. So much stuff to do. So much me not begging him to dance with me. 

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They had an achievement card to get you to partake in all the wedding had to offer. I unlocked all of my achievements at once by makings request of the DJ, to sing karaoke, while drinking the wedding cocktail, eating a piece of cake, introducing myself to the dads, and having my picture taken with the maid of honor. What song did I sing? Total Eclipse of the Heart. The Wedding Crashers version. Natch. 

(I might need to retire that one from my karaoke repertoire, because I’m pretty sure that it can’t get any better than that.)

(I had the full support of the bride for that one.)

I danced all night. Allllll night. Like, I hit 19 thousand steps on my Garmin Vivofit, danced all night. They ended the evening with the Weird Al Polka Face medley. Epic. 

I think we need to get out more. That wedding was awesome. 

Maker

There is nothing better than being cooped up inside with a toddler all weekend long, while Mother Nature dumps buckets of snow all over your metro area.

(Did I say “better?” I meant to say “more terrifying.”)

Don’t get me wrong, I love weekends with Lilian. I look forward to weekends with Lilian. She’s my little buddy. We have crazy amounts of fun together. But… she’s also a lot like me. She doesn’t sit still very well. If we can’t go somewhere and do something, we need to have a project.

Which is how we ended up making all sorts of things last weekend.

It started with this article , which I read a few weeks ago (I may or may not have a wee bit of a backlog of New Yorkers to catch up on). “Bread is delicious,” I told Kristian, “and HFCS and vital wheat gluten are freaking gross. I want to try making my own bread.” Kristian did what he always does when I get an idea like this in my head. He told me to go for it, and he even picked up some yeast when he was out grocery shopping. Because, he is awesome. And he knows how hard it is to get an idea out of my head.

The results? Delicious .

It’s a running joke in my family that we keep our house on the cold side. As in the “we should probably all bring extra sweaters to Christmas” side of cold. (We turn the heat up for guests. I swear .) It would surprise absolutely nobody to hear that my dough took a long ass time to rise. It took so long to rise, I resorted to tweeting at a friend  who is an accomplished baker for advice/reassurance. As one does.

(She told me to give it more time. It got there… eventually.)

Untitled

I already realized several key blunders that I made. Including scoring my loaves the wrong way before I put them in the oven. Next time (because there will be a next time), I think my bread will come out a lot better.

Someone on Facebook accused me of not getting a decent rise. Trust me, it’s just a Myspace angle. Do the kids these days still say Myspace angle? I guess it’s a Snapchat angle, or something.

This is the kind of faith my husband had in my baking ability… he picked up an extra sandwich loaf at the grocery store “just in case.” Even though I’d already taken two loaves out of the oven. And they smelled amazing. And had very much not caught on fire. Well, I’m here to tell you, we had sandwiches for dinner. With my bread. And they were 100% edible.

(In Kristian’s defense, I can be a pretty terrible cook when it comes to making stuff like… dinner. I make elaborate, tasty pastries. But I also fucked up pre-made ravioli a couple of weeks ago. There was really no way to know which way this was going to go until we cut into the bread and ate it.)

(Delicious. I really can’t remind you all enough that it was delicious .)

Another friend suggested that I make french toast with my bread. Genius! This dove-tailed perfectly with my plan to let Kristian sleep in on Sunday, and to surprise him by making breakfast. I knew I was going to be out of town this week, sticking him with a toddler and a couple more feet of snow. It was only right to try and do something nice for him.

This picture makes my french toast look a lot better than it really was. The bread itself was still totally tasty, but I would have to give myself a solid B+ on the french toast part of the whole deal. And that’s probably me being overly generous. Next time, I will use less milk. And let the bread soak more. And maybe give the toddler a project so she isn’t constantly trying to pull stuff off the counter while I’m working.

Speaking of projects…

I let Lilian cover my craft room in glitter and pink heart stickers so I’d have a chance to finish my latest sewing project. “I makin’ valentines!” she told the cats, “It’s a project .”

My project? The Betz White Metro Hipster bag. I’m pretty pleased with it.

This was a fairly easy sew, but I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it with my old sewing machine. At one point, I think I was sewing through 4 layers of canvas, 2 layers of webbing, 2 layers of batting, and maybe there was some interfacing in there too. I broke a lot more needles than I would care to admit.

The trickiest part was waxing my own canvas. I couldn’t find any that I liked, so I used an online tutorial to take some remnants from a pair of curtains I made a few months ago and wax them on my own. I used a little too much wax, so this bag is probably going to be shedding for a while. It also deposited quite a bit of wax on my sewing machine. I am going to be giving it a deep cleaning when I get back from my business trip.

The pattern itself was pretty easy to follow, and I like the results a lot. I only made one modification, which was to add bias tape to the outside pocket after the fact. The pattern calls for leaving a raw edge, and I am just way too OCD for that. Even though the edge will be covered up by a flap about 95% of the time, I knew it was going to bug me to leave it like that.

I made the inside pocket pretty late on Saturday night, and it was slightly victimized by my tendency to sew for 30-45 minutes longer than I should. I always tell myself that I just want to finish the section I’m working on, but I make way too many mistakes when I’m tired. I should have packed it in. I ended up ripping out a bunch of my work (or, as my grandma likes to call it, “reverse sewing). And the top switching on the pocket is just not that great. I used a decorative stitch that would take about a million years to reverse sew, so I left it in. The irony of adding bias tape but not ripping out my janky top-stitching is not lost on me.

How great is that TARDIS fabric, btw? I’m a not-so-secret nerd, but I tend to not like using/wearing nerdy clothes/accessories. I liked that this fabric looks like a funky argyle. What do you all think?