Monday, March 29, 2010


I ran my first race (8k)

I liked it

I found a race to run in May (10k)

I found a training program that last six weeks

My race is in six weeks

I'm getting a tax return and you know what I want to buy? Running clothes

I have become a little obsessed

Maybe I should stop eating these chocolates


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

mmm mmm food

I've been in Mexico a lot. Before this school year I spent a really good chunk of time here, but still I'm always learning. And I'm not talking about my Spanish, but of cultural things. I have actually found, this year, that there are more cultural things that I thought were just my friends in at the daycare rather than Mexico or Baja California as a whole. Then I came and lived here - and guess what? The food Cande prepares at the daycare kitchen is like the food my kids eat at their houses! Go figure.

I love Mexican food. This is no surprise. It's good. This year I've discovered some new things that I love.

My dad used to always get tortas when we were visiting Mexico. A lot of times tortas are served with ham. I don't like ham. And really - why would I get, what appears to be a ham sandwich when I'm in Mexico? Taco, please! This year I was converted. We went to a recommended torta stand here in town and now I'm hooked. They even sell tortas at our school's tiendita, or little store. Bad news. I have to stay away. Now I'm on the hunt, looking for the best torta. Trust me, I still love a great taco, and I almost prefer them... but MAN a carne asada torta hits the spot.

I first saw bolis being waved around by vendors at the border. You know, you're waiting in line for up to an hour and who wouldn't love a popsicle while you're waiting in your car? Yeah. I found out about these this year. And you know what? They don't just sell them at the border. Yeah. Bad news, again. Vanilla (as seen above) are wonderful. In fact, so wonderful that I can't seem to waste a boli eating opportunity on another flavor. If you come and visit, I will convince you to get another flavor of boli, and I will try it. Okay? Okay. Deal.

These are just two examples. I'm going to think of more.

And you people wonder why I run so much.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Where Amazing Happens

"Where Amazing Happens" - You know, the slogan for the NBA at the moment. Their commercials cut to very short clips of star players dunking, amazing jump shots at the buzzer, or great blocks. They say that that the NBA is where amazing happens. Which, you know, is kinda true. Professional athletes score big, and do feats that 99.9% of us can only dream of. And, well, watching men play basketball is ... fun :)

While professional athletes seem amazing, and they can be, they ARE paid millions of dollars, have been coached since they were kids, and have had great opportunities handed to them. I'm fairly certain amazing happens other places as well.

In most aspects, what happened today wasn't AMAZING, but for me, personally, it was. I ran my first race.

For thousands, maybe millions of people, running races is not a big deal. They schedule their lives around trainings, short races, local races, marathons, etc. They know the language, they know what to expect, racing is their life.

I was never athletic growing up. I cringe when I think of most of my P.E. classes (except that game, in elementary school, where you got to roll around on those scooter seats - remember that? Best day in P.E.!). But, three years ago, I took up running seriously. Well, not seriously, but something to commit to. And while one fall I was just lazy and didn't do it, and one fall I broke my foot (NOT while running), it has been in my life for the past three years. The last year I have actually been fairly committed about it - keeping a log, trying to improve times, trying to improve endurance, etc.

But I said I had no desire to run a race. All of those awful memories from P.E. classes do not exactly make me want to PAY to have people watch me run. And while I think I put in a decent mile time for a beginner, it's nothing great.

But today, in Ensenada, there was a small race, and my roommates wanted to do it, so we went for it. Today I completed an 8k (5mile) race. In my mind this seemed more than feasible - I've been putting in 7 mile runs on Sundays, but 5 miles on a course is different than 5 miles of MY choosing. It was more of a trail run, with two small hills, lots of rocks, and a fairly constant incline for quite a while - and I didn't stop once (even though my steps on that last hill were more like tiptoe prances). I gave a decent time (50:50), and I can't believe I did it. I actually didn't even tell people I was doing it, for fear that I would chicken out, or bail out of the race halfway through - but I didn't do either one of those things.

My bib number is going on my wall - for everything it represents.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Yesterday, as we waited for names to be called, a few of my fifth grade girls quizzed me on the status of my gray hair. We talked about all of the different options. Renata specifically wanted to know why I hadn't taken the problems into my own hands...

Renata: Why do you not... you not... (motioning with her hands)...
Me: Pull it out? ALL of this gray hair?
Renata: Yes! Yes - you pull....
Me: Because then I would be bald, Renata.

We talked about dyeing hair, and I told them how I had dyed the ends of my long hair blue, then green, then red, when I was a teenager. They asked why I had done something so crazy. Now that my hair is longer, and I can pull it back, the kids have often commented on my multiple earrings. I had the pleasure of explaining to my two tutor students that I used to have a long bar in my ear. They were repulsed.

The gray hair, the colored hair, the piercings.. it doesn't seem that different to me, but it is VERY different to these students. And while I'm more conservative now, and they still seem weirded out by my different choices, it is somewhat reassuring to me to show them that a very normal, sane, average person can make choices that go against the flow. I'm not advocating that my students get piercings or dye their hair (oh please, no!), but there is something to be said for allowing my students (especially my girls) to see that the possibility of choosing to go a little bit against the norm can be perfectly normal and okay. In a world of the latest brands, mall stores, popular music, and gadgets, I know I can at least show them that there are ways to be your own person. It's a small way of saying "Hey! Look at me! I'm not so weird, yet there are certain things I believe, and it's okay."

Friday, March 19, 2010

1 Peter 5:10

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." - 1 Peter 5:10

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A running partner

Meghan wants a Vizsla!

"Everything I have I count as loss.
Everythig I have is stripped away.
Before I started building, I counted up these costs
There's nothing left for you to take away.....

Hello hurricane, you're not enough
Hello hurricane, you can't silence my love"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Most Difficult Thing

I believe I have found that the most difficult thing is actually, really, wholeheartedly giving your life to God. Being willing to sacrifice your dreams, your desires, and your own will.

I am still working....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I should have figured this out sooner. Washing down a 4 mile run with carne asada tacos is... just perfect.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

hurry hurry hurry

I just realized that I've been running around like a maniac all day. Wait - I knew i was running around like a maniac all day. It just became really apparent when I rushed home, and soon found myself eating my snack so fast that I could hardly keep up with myself.

Oye veh.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Cooking Weekend!

Yep. It's about time I got to cookin'.

Cinnamon rolls from scratch on Friday night:

Stephanie and I made stuffed chiles on Saturday:
Tilapia and yams on Sunday:
(Yams just might be my new favorite)


"May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." - Romans 15:5-7


Mexican house parties start at 1am, apparently. And rain on bedroom skylights is noisy. I didn't get much sleep last night.

Rain does, however, shut down a house party.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


Saturday afternoon:
Watching NCAA basketball on T.V. (UCLA vs Arizona St.), grading Social Studies workbooks, making homework for my students for next week, admiring how long my hair is, about to cook some stuffed chiles, planning my first running race in a few weeks, chatting with mom, planning on seeing "Alice in Wonderland" tonight.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


"So come over just be patient and don't worry
So come over just be patient and don't worry

So come over just be patient and don't worry

And don't worry…


No I don't want to battle from beginning to end
I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge
I don't want to follow death and all of his friends"

Monday, March 01, 2010


A good end to a bad day: outlasting all the guys on the treadmills at the gym. Mmmm... it feels good to be a gangsta.