Monday, December 31, 2007

My Holiday Blues


Another sunny, blue sky filled Christmas. I spent a full week in southern California catching up with family, seeing my sister's new apartment and my cousin's new apartment, baking cookies, attending several parties, going to The Getty museum, hiking in the Laguna Beach area, visiting the ocean, eating, drinking, talking, laughing, crying. Ya know, all the usual things that we try to cram into one visit every year. I think it's safe to say, we're all exhausted but glad to have had some time together. (Ben, we missed you!)

Sadly, I returned to KC tired and sick. It looks like my New Year's celebration will be quite chill, or downright boring. This holiday has never proved to be anything like those depicted in the movies. Someday, I will find myself dancing the night away at a fabulous party, in a spectacular dress, with champagne in one hand and a beautiful man on my arm. Until then, I'll be on my couch, in pjs, cough medicine in one hand and alone. Forgive, the melodrama...I'm sick on New Year's, people. Give me a break.

Here's hoping you're having a more exciting and romantic evening. Happy New Year, everyone.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Peace To You

Until Monday, I was enjoying a perfectly calm holiday season. Sure I have to travel for the holidays which can be stressful for some but I happen to really like airports and my lovely family decided to pick names this year which meant I had very little shopping to do. While I am not a fan of shopping, I do love to give gifts so it was hard not to break the rules. We also put a modest limit on the amount of money we were to spend on each gift, also difficult but it turned out to be a fun challenge. I added another challenge by pledging to only give handmade items this year, either made by me or someone else. There are lots of great things out there made by very talented people so the only problem was choosing which one to go with. In the end, I'm very pleased with my choice and I hope "my person" is too!

As I mentioned above, I was doing so well until Monday. Work got a little (or a LOT) crazy in ways I wasn't expecting and it was a little (or a LOT) out of hand. I was lamenting the absence of peace in those few days (which felt like an eternity,) hoping 13 hour work days wouldn't last much longer, wondering how I was going to make progress on the personal to-do list (which was short but there was no extra time in sight,) when I was finding myself exhausted at the end of each work day. I do not like holiday stress- stress because of the holidays or during the holidays. Everyone around me is stressed out so I do the best I can to avoid that same lifestyle and for the most part I am successful. Hence, my frustration when life seemed to explode on Monday. Well, the work has slowed down and peace is returning to my quiet little life, for which I am grateful. I still have a few things to take care of before flying out tomorrow but nothing to lose my head over. I feel like myself again.

As you may be approaching your holidays and calendars filled with events and extended family, may you also have peace. May you find moments to simply breathe, observe the beauty around you, feel the love you have for your family and friends, and say a prayer for the world.

Wishing you peace this holiday season.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Perhaps The Perfect Weekend

I'm sure there are many definitions of "the perfect weekend" but allow me to describe one. And it just so happens that this particular description comes from my own experience and it starts on Thursday.

Double Booked Thursday

Let me begin by saying, this is highly unusual for me. After work, I met my friend, Rania, for an early dinner. We had both skipped lunch and were starving at 5:00 so we met on The Country Club Plaza since it was the central location. However, we did not consider the possibility that all of Kansas City would be there shopping their little hearts out, therefore, making the usual convenient parking experience, a complete nightmare. So, we opted to leave the shopping haven for a simple dinner at the one and only, Planet Sub. I hadn't been there in a while so it was fun and we chatted about life, jobs, family, cultures, traveling, NYC, etc.

We parted and I took The Max home, changed clothes, walked to the downtown transit center, and took the 57 to the fabulous, JP Wine Bar where I was meeting my friend, Kelly. Every couple months, we meet there to catch up over wine and cheese flights. It's divine. We talked about life, family, charity, values, the holidays, international travel, friends, etc. In this conversation, we discovered that we both had a favorite sweet spot that the other had never been to so we decided that we would meet on Saturday to introduce each other to these tasty treats. What a fun thing to look forward to!

Freedom Friday

Financial freedom, that is. December 14, 2007, will go down in history as one of my favorite days ever. Most of us have debt of some kind, and while it may be good debt, it can still feel like imprisonment. I've been excitedly nearing the end of one such sentence but I wasn't exactly sure when I'd be paroled. On Friday, I looked at my bank account that included a recent payroll deposit and I realized my freedom day had arrived. Barely able to contain my joy, I gave myself the most fantastic early Christmas present I could imagine and submitted my final student loan payment! I am no longer owned by Houghton College! God bless us, everyone.

Sensual Saturday

I had a hard time falling asleep the previous night, perhaps too excited over Freedom Friday, so I slept in on Saturday morning. At noon, Kelly picked me up and we began our afternoon tour of some new and old favorite KC spots. Our first stop was my opportunity to introduce Kelly to the lovely and delicious, Baby Cakes, which I experienced for the first time this summer. After perusing the delightful shop and talking with one of their employees, Kelly chose the traditional vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting to be enjoyed later.

Since we knew we would be indulging in quite the sugar-filled afternoon, we thought it best to stop for lunch so we didn't end up sick! We settled on the new Pizza Bella on Baltimore and 18th, in the Crossroads District. We had both been wanting to check it out and this was the perfect oportunity. It comes as no surprise to most, that I'm often sceptical about pizza in KC since it's so different from the pizza I grew up with in WNY. However, as long as I order something in the gourmet realm, I won't be disappointed. Pizza Bella offers wood fired pizza and I ordered the Biancoverde (fresh mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino romano, & arugula)- perfectly satisfying. Plus, the restaurant itself has been beautifully designed to include interesting textures, clean lines, fun red chairs, an argyle wallpapered wall across from the restrooms, and large windows that allowed us to watch the falling snow.

We put our To Go boxes in the car and decided to visit the snow-covered shops that are on the same block. Did you know that you can buy local and handmade underwear? I often try to buy local and handmade products and food whenever I can but it never occured to me that it would be possible to do this with underwear! This was one of the many things I learned while talking with the very sweet, enthusiastic and bored (due to the lack of customers on this snowy day) employee of Birdies. I highly recommend a visit. We continued down the block talking with shop owners and clothing designers happy to have a distraction from the quietness of their afternoons. Some sold clothing made from recycled fabrics, others offered local art, handmade soaps and lotions, high end silk gowns and quirky things like bright yellow and orange horizontally striped unitards! Talk about an eclectic shopping experience.

Next, it was Kelly's turn to introduce me to her favorite local sweet spot, Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolates. All I can say is "Wow!" You truly must visit this magnificent gallery of chocolatey goodness. It was overwhelmingly beautiful. The space is beautiful but the chocolates, oh, the chocolates! They are without a doubt the most exquisite chocolates I've ever seen or tasted. Yes, the website includes pictures but they don't do them justice, they must be viewed in person. We ordered the most intense and rich hot chocolate, which they call "drinking chocolate," ever to have graced our taste buds. Let me warn you, do not order chocolates AND drinking chocolate at Christopher Elbow. It is not possible to consume both. However, you can order the drinking chocolate, sip it slowly while sitting at the window, again watching the snow fall, and take chocolates home to be enjoyed at a later time...a much later time. And just to clarify, the drinking chocolate is delicious! The flavor is deep and dark and the texture is smooth and thick making you savor it slowly, which I'm convinced, is how hot chocolate was meant to be experienced. This was a truly decadent afternoon! Thanks, Kelly!

On my way home, Rania called and we made a plan to hang out. I thoroughly enjoyed the snowy walk home, dropped off my afternoon purchases, picked up my Netflix movie that had thankfully arrived, turned around, headed back to the bus stop, took The Max to Rania's house, catching up on a few phone calls along the way. We watched the independent film, Waitress, which was an excellent recommendation by my friend, Laci, had a fantastic bottle of red wine and delicious chili that Rania made earlier in the day. A perfect way to top off this snowy day of complete indulgence.

Simple Sunday

Outside of volunteering at the Kansas City Reperatory Theater this evening and finishing the large mug of coffee sitting next to me, I have no plans. I not sure I could handle anything else, some recovery time is in order.

So, that is the description of my weekend. While a perfect weekend, I'm glad these are not regular occurrences. I guess their rarity is part of what makes them perfect. Thank you friends, thank you local shop owners, artists, designers, sommeliers, bakers and chefs, thank you KCATA, and thank you Mother Nature. If you made it to the end of this post, you deserve a prize! To adequately relay the events and experience of these four days, fewer words would not do.

May a perfect weekend be in your near future.

Free Music- 24 hours left!

Nettwerk Music Group and the Vancouver Sun are pleased to announce another free digital download album. It's Seriously Westcoast Vol.2 - Happy Holidays. Seasonally themed and features 15 songs from such
artists as Barenaked Ladies, Sarah McLachlan, Medieval Baebes, Jars of Clay and many more (like the fabulous Matt Wertz & The Weepies!)

This special digital album will only be available for a limited time staring on Saturday, December 15 at 12:01am for 48 hours only. To download your album go here.

So, tell all your friends to come and download some great holiday music.

Best Wishes and Have a Safe & Happy Holiday Season.

-Everyone at Nettwerk & the Vancouver Sun

TRACKLISTING:
01 - Barenaked Ladies - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
02 - The Weepies - All That I Want
03 - Sarah McLachlan - Silent Night
04 - Matt Wertz What Child Is This
05 - Liily Frost - Skating On The River
06 - Oh Susanna - Go Tell It On The Mountain
07 - Medieval Baebes - The Holly & The Ivy
08 - The Be Good Tanyas - Rudy
09 - Barenaked Ladies - Elf's Lament
10 - Melissa McClelland O - Holy Night-MST
11 - Jars Of Clay - Hibernation Day
12 - Jenny Owen Youngs - Things We Don't Need Anymore
13 - Martha Wainwright - Merry Christmas And Happy New Year
14 - Kyle Andrews - Under The Misteltoe
15 - Leigh Nash - The First Noel
16 - Sarah McLachlan - The First Noel_Mary Mary (DJ Shah Remix)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

3191



This sweet blog is one of my favorite lunch time visits. Two friends living 3191 miles apart take a photograph almost every morning to share with one another, and the world. I know what it's like to try to stay connected with loved ones living far away and this is such a unique and beautiful way to share a bit of their daily experiences with one another. I hope they continue with this practice in 2008.

Much love to you, my friends and family so far away. I miss you and hope you're all enjoying this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The First Ice Storm Of The Season



Just letting you know that all is well, for me at least, in the icy midwest. Thanks to those of you that checked in on me. Things are covered in ice but it wasn't as bad as the meteorologists predicted for our area. Other areas are having a much different experience. Here the roads appear to be well treated, however, local students and teachers are enjoying a snow day, and I'm working from home. I know it's dangerous but it's also GORGEOUS!

Be safe and stay warm, everyone.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I'm Just A Broadway Baby

Anyone that really knows me, knows that I have a deep love for musical theatre. In fact, I would say musical theatre was my first love and the reason that I pursued music in high school and college. In every stage of my life, there has come a time when I returned to that love, whether it was a string of tours passing through town that I'd attend even though I didn't have the money, or the purchase of new soundtracks that I'd play until I couldn't listen to another note, or a book I'd purchase and spend every waking moment reading until it was completed, or the days I would stand at a piano trying to find my voice again. Usually, it's some combination of all those activities. I've never paid attention to the pattern of these phases or moods or OCD moments so I'm not sure how frequently they present or how they vary in length of stay. That might be interesting to know...at least, interesting to me.

As I'm sure you can guess, I'm in one of those phases right now and have been for the last few weeks. I've re-discovered some old CDs, including soundtracks and compilations, I've started singing when I'm alone at the studio or even waiting at a bus stop, I've watched several YouTube videos, Broadway.com videos and movies like Show Business: The Road To Broadway, and my latest find is The Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook Podcast, where I've spent the majority of this day. I'm not sure if he's planning to add new podcasts but even if he isn't, I've got lots of catching up to do!

Thank you to the world-wide theatre community for adding such beauty and inspiration to my life.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Thoughts In Darkness

A warm December walk home from the bus stop capped my work day. It was a gorgeous night and I couldn't help but notice the darkness, which I'm still not used to experiencing in the five o'clock evening hour. The city is beautiful in the dark. The lights downtown are bright enough to make the city seem alive. All imperfections are hidden. People are black silhouettes making us all undeniably equal. Everyone and everything is beautiful in the dark.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

So, did you watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? That's one of my mom's favorite events of the year. I'm sure she had it on while prepping the turkey in LA. I even got a text from my brother, Luke, this morning asking if I was watching it. I was sleeping. It was 8:30am. I did catch the end of it but I'm not the biggest fan of parades, don't tell my mom or Luke.

Ah, I love my family and I'm thankful that I get to see some of them next week at my cousin's wedding. It's hard to live so far away sometimes. Wherever you find yourself today, I wish you all a lovely Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

First Snow

It's snowing! It's snowing! It's snowing! This is my favorite day of the year. Seriously. And it came 9 days earlier than 2006.

The rain changed to snow before my very eyes and in that moment a miserable day turned beautiful. There's a rush of energy running through my body and nothing can alter my state of happiness for the rest of the day. Every year on this holiday, I find myself sitting on a comfy chair or couch near a window, with a blanket on my lap, a steamy beverage in my hand, while writing in my journal. It's my little tradition and I love it. I love the first snow. I feel like it's just for me.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dreams

Do you have them? I don't mean the kind that come with REM but those that answer the questions, "what do I want to be when I grow up?" or "what do I hope for my life? or "what do I wish to contribute to the world?" What are your dreams? Can you articulate them? What were your childhood dreams? Are you living them? Where do dreams come from? How important are they?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Isn't She Lovely?

I've spent the last several weeks drooling over the artisic talents of some designers and printers I recently discovered. I didn't realize I was in love with the letterpress until I saw this. Lynn Russell is the designer and printer behind Satsuma Press from Portland, OR, and her work is lovely. Below is one her holiday cards and if I had the money, I would be sending one to all of you this holiday season.



You can purchase this card and others from Lynn's Etsy Shop. (Be sure to check out her 2008 calendar, someone in my life will be getting this for Christmas. Love it!) And if you haven't discovered Etsy before, you're in for a treat. It's a great place to find original and handmade art. I felt so inspired after seeing Lynn's work that I had to share it with the world. I hope you have a similar experience.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Week...Or Maybe Next

I've had much to think about lately but I won't bore you with all the details, at least not right now. But I will ask you a question. What motivates you to workout? Apparently, I need the fear of a marathon to get me to the gym. While this isn't exactly breaking news, it is an incredibly frustrating reality.

This was supposed to be The Week. The Week I return to a regular workout routine, although, not as rigorous as my marathon training routine. I gave myself a nice two weeks to enjoy some rest, food, and all the extra time that suddenly appeared in each day. But I thought that was enough and I was looking forward to exercising and feeling good again. However, after the cold and dark walk home from work, I've yet to make it out of my apartment and down the block to the workout room. (That's right, it's only a block away!)

I would love to be one of those people that just loooooooooves to _______ (fill in the blank with any form of exercise) but I'm not. I know and even feel all the benefits that one receives as a result of regular exercise and I value those things. So, why haven't I had a single workout this week? Do I really have to sign up for marathon after marathon just to live healthily?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

CONGRATULATIONS, HEIDI!

My fabulous friend, Heidi, ran the NYC Marathon today! Please, join me in congratulating this incredible woman and her amazing accomplishment. I'm so proud of you. Love ya, girl!



(This is the most recent pic I have of me and Heidi and it was taken July 2006 when I was visiting her in her beautiful city.)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Walk in the Park


Almost every day, I walk from the same bus stop to my apartment after work. It's a lovely walk through my neighborhood so most days, I look forward to it. Today was no different, except I was particularly appreciative of the walk. The air was crisp, the sky was a clear blue, the tree-lined street was proudly displaying the colors of fall, the sun was beginning to set and it's rays lit the trees so that they sparkled. There's a reason that fall is a favorite season for many, myself included.


As I walked toward the park, I passed a community garden and walked around to see what was growing. My knowledge of gardening and farming leaves much to be desired but I do appreciate it and hope to find a desire to learn more about it someday. In the meantime, I'll admire the gardens of others from afar and salivate over the rows of brightly colored fruits and vegetables at the Farmer's Market.


Since I'm completely engrossed in Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin's Three Cups of Tea, I've stopped to read at the park the last couple nights. It works out nicely to have a park so close to my apartment. Tonight, people were out enjoying a little touch football and frisbee. I was enjoying the company of my book, the sounds of laughter, and the spectacular sunset. This evening was a gift.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Life in Art

I've told many people about the beautifully talented photographer and professor, Steve Johnson. I visit his photo journal regularly, some might even say obsessively. But the way he captures a moment is simply breathtaking. Steve, thank you for sharing your talent and adding so much beauty to my life.

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Since returning from San Francisco, I've one song consistently running through my mind. It's not a new song but it was the theme song for the event and I thought I'd post the lyrics so you could join me for the Melissa Etheridge marathon that's taking place in my brain.

I Run For Life
Written By Melissa Etheridge
2005, The Greatest Hits The Road Less Traveled

It's been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Everyday that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast
If you ask her why she is still running
She'll tell you it makes her complete

CHORUS

I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend I run for life

It's a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin and they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul
And now I'm still learning the lesson
To waken when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running
I'll tell you I run for us all

CHORUS

And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers
Running for more


Here's a statement Melissa made about the song from her website:

"Ford asked me to write a song for their "Race for the Cure" initiative to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer charities. I wanted to write a song that was personal; climb into people's emotions and portray a woman who has had breast cancer but is out of it. The first verse is about a survivor. The second verse is from my own experience and the last verse is for those who have not been diagnosed or don't know anyone with breast cancer yet. We are all running for answers and to make the situation better."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nike Women's Marathon 2007

Dear friends & family,

I did it! With your support and love, I completed the Nike Women's Marathon this past Sunday. I can't believe it's over; it was an amazing experience. San Francisco is a beautiful city and what better way to see it than to follow a marathon course. (Okay, there might be a couple other options!) I didn't have a big "wow" moment at the finish line, rather, the reality of this accomplishment has been setting in a little bit each day. This is likely to be a long email so if you'd rather skip to the pictures, I'll understand. :)

Here are some facts from the event:

23,500 total runners
5,400 TNT runners (those that raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)
$3,830- total raised on my behalf for the LLS
$180,000- total raised by my team
$18.5 million- total raised by all TNT teams from around the country!

All these numbers were announced at the Pasta Party on Saturday night. When we entered that party, we were greeted by all the TNT/LLS staff & coaches who were cheering from the front door all the way down the long staircase and into the convention center. I wish I could accurately describe this experience but words and even pictures (see below) fail me. It was the first of many moving moments that would occur that night. We took in all our carbs while pictures of our honored patients scrolled by on the large screens above. John "the Penguin" Bingham (columnist for Runner's World), Joan Benoit Samuelson (1st gold medalist for the first ever women's Olympic marathon), & Amy Bartlett (a recent non-Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor) gave inspirational, motivational, and emotional speeches. It was the perfect way to remind us why we were all there, why we all signed up to complete 26.2 or 13.1 miles the next morning. For anyone interested, you can Amy has a blog worth checking out- ichoosehope.com.

Me In The Midst OF An Overwhelming Greeting From TNT/LLS Staff & Coaches

Me & Jen (My Running Partner) At The Pasta Party


I was up bright and early on Sunday morning and surprisingly enough, didn't feel nervous. Although, by the time we reached the Start Line and found my family, I was anxious to get the show on the road since I was going to be out there for HOURS! We started at Union Square, passed through Fisherman's Wharf, the Presidio, Golden Gate Park, the "Great" (or "Not-so-Great," in my opinion) Highway, around Lake Merced & back down the Great Highway to the Finish Line. My dad, mom, & sister, Melissa, were able to be there for the whole weekend and I'm so grateful! It was great to see them at the Start, mile 3 and at the Finish Line cheering me on. At the recommendation of my assistant coach, I put my name on my singlet and when my family wasn't nearby to cheer for me, many others stepped in the to say "Go, Amy!" I have to say, it was such a help to hear that from complete strangers. There was so much support for all the runners/walkers, you couldn't help but smile.

A Few Teammates & A Coach Outside The Nike Tent Just Before The Start

Coach Doug & Me Waiting For The Start

The Official Start Line


Many of you have asked about the dreaded hills of San Francisco. Well, the 2 largest hills weren't so bad because I was expecting them plus, once we reached the top we were greeted with spectacular ocean views. It was a challenging course and there were more than just those 2 hills but they were smaller so sometimes I didn't realize I was going uphill, I just thought I was feeling tired. Physically, it was difficult. I was hoping to have some adrenaline thing kick in but so such luck. Instead, I had unexpected aches and pain appear at unexpected times. For example, a blister on the ball of my right foot developed around mile 15 and later, I discovered it was actually a bruise with a blister on top. And the last 5 miles, I was fighting some really bad cramping in my left calf, a result of favoring the right foot. Even with these unexpected pains, it was worth it. I finished a freakin' marathon! There were several moments when I thought about all of you. You had supported me and in some cases, told me your stories of leukemia or lymphoma. I had only one commitment, to endure through 26.2 miles. I knew many of you were thinking of me and that gave me the motivation and desire to keep going.

100 Yards From The Finish Line

The Beautiful Nike Finish Line

Theresa, Me & Jen- Teammates Just After the Race


I've learned so much through this experience and I'm so glad that my friend, Rania, dragged me to the TNT informational meeting last May. I highly encourage you to look into training for an endurance event with your local TNT chapters. I am lucky to have had this opportunity to meet so many inspiring athletes, patients and cancer survivors, to raise money for a worthy cause, and to challenge myself like never before. Thank you for your support, encouragement, advice, phone calls, emails, cards, and belief. I couldn't have done this without you, it was definitely a team effort! Thank you for being a part of my team and part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society team.

With love and gratitude,
Amy

P.S. I have more pictures so let me know if you would like to see them and I'll send you the album once they are all collected. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

26.2

I'm alive! I'm currently at work and don't have much time or energy to write but for anyone still reading my blog, I wanted to at least let you know that I completed the course. I am officially a marathon finisher! I'm exhausted and everything hurts but it was worth it. I'm still processing the whole weekend and I'll write more later. Until then, here are a couple pics from the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco.

100 yards from the finish line!


This is me with two of my teammates, Theresa & Jen, after the race. We all finished!


I have so many people to thank. Today, I'll start with my family that was able to come and cheer me on and those that called me over the weekend. You don't know how much that meant to me. Many more thank yous to come...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bon Voyage...well, almost.

In just 2 days, I fly out to San Francisco with my team! It's really almost here and I'm starting to get nervous. How do I know this? Because I'm procrastinating and all I want to do is sleep. I have many things to do like shopping (mainly picking up some GU), laundry, packing to figure out, papers/emails from Nike and the Society to read before take off, oh, and I need to work out! Add to this my rather full work schedule (i.e. I haven't had a day off since 10/7) and I'm a little busy. Busy with a car is one thing, busy without a car (in KC) is a whole 'nother deal. Somehow, it will all get done. It always does. And if I forget anything, I'm sure I can find it in the little town of SF.

I am looking forward to the weekend and the marathon but I must admit, I'm also looking forward to it being over. I can't wait to have my life back. Until then, I'm trying to be present throughout the final moments of this experence. I probably won't blog again until I return but if you're looking for something to do Sunday morning, feel free to send a good thought my way.

Cheers!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Today...

...I'm at work so feel free to call me. I'm open to any and all distractions.

*********
...is the one week mark! Unbelievable. One week from this very moment, I'll be in the midst of the Nike Women's Marathon. I've had my last Saturday run, which we did on our own since it turned out to be quite the stormy morning, and our coach says we're ready. This week, we have a very light training schedule and while I'm looking forward to that, it feels strange. I'll be drinking lots of water, eating well, and going to bed early every day. Jealous? My rock star life simply must be put on hold for this week.

A couple more thank yous for generous donations to the LLS~

Greg & Sionnie LaFollette
Danielle & Jeremiah Frink

Thank you, friends!

**********
...my friend, Will, who's in the studio with us this week, talked about his grandparents. Their names are Thelma and Hardy. How great is that?! Oh, and Hardy is one of 18 natural born children, no multiple births. Those were the days...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

One Down, One To Go

When I took on this marathon challenge, I made two commitments to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and to myself.

1- I agreed to raise a minimum of $3800 for the cause. I set the goal a little higher, $4000 seemed like a nice round number.
2- I agreed to follow a training schedule and complete a 26.2 miles in honor of those touched by blood-related cancers.

Last night, I went to a team meeting and found out that my first goal has been reached. I was so excited! Thanks to the many wonderful people who made contributions to the Society on my behalf, I've raised just over $3800. What an honor it is to have such generous people in my life.

Now, there's just one more goal to reach in this adventure. Workouts this week have been strong and knowing there's just a week and a half remaining, I have all the motivation I need to keep going. Every day, the excitement builds and yet some disbelief is still present. Is it really possible that in eleven days I'll be on a marathon course in San Francisco and that this five month journey will have come to an end? That's crazy...and not worth focusing on at the moment. Instead, I'm going to enjoy these upcoming days and attempt to be as present as possible in each moment.

Today's thank you goes to the one and only, Laci Scott!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Happy Birthday, Luke!

I miss you and love you and hope you're having a fantastic day!


Monday, October 8, 2007

Thanks & Football

This is exciting, I have more people to thank! THANK YOU, MICHELLE BARTO & KELLY JACKSON!

The current total is $3554, that's 89% of the goal! There's still time, in fact, I think there will be at least another day to make online donations. (I'll find out more at a meeting tomorrow night.) So, if you haven't already, give, give, give!

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Monday Night Football- I'm off to watch Buffalo play at home. Go Bills!

*Edit- I am NOT watching the game because it's NOT on NBC. I am NOT happy. Since when is Monday Night Football on ESPN?! My whole family is watching the game. I am NOT watching the game, I do NOT have cable. Did I mention I am NOT happy?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

2 Weeks From Now...

I will be a marathon finisher! I'll be honest, I can't wait to make that declaration! I'm really looking forward to the weekend: the experience of walking/running alongside 15,000 other people, many of whom are there to support the same cause, hearing the total amount of money raised for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, seeing my mom, dad & sister at the finish line, getting to know San Francisco. I've even excited about all the emotions (& pain) that I'll feel throughout the event. I have an idea of what I'll be feeling at each stage but you never really now until you're in that moment. It's all part of the great adventure.

I have just 2 days until all the money is to be raised and turned into the office. I have amazingly generously people in my life. This generosity has been displayed in many ways, one of which has been financial. Fundraising is pretty new to me, I usually shy away from asking people for money, especially this much money. This was an opportunity to challenge myself for an organization that I knew helped many. I've learned a lot and I'm grateful for the overwhelming response from my family and friends. At this moment, we've raised $3,354! I can't thank you enough.

I have people to thank that I don't even know. The last 2 weekends, I've gone out with teammates to boot block, meaning that I stood at a well-traveled intersection with a sign, wearing my TNT t-shirt, and asking passersby for donations. It's actually pretty fun. People are glad to give a dollar to help find a cure for cancer, someone even gave me a $10 bill yesterday! Admittedly, it's also funny to see how hard some people try to avoid making eye contact with you. :) I still have about $450 to raise in order to reach my minimum committment so perhaps I'll be at an intersection near you!

To my ever growing list of people to thank, today I add:

Dre Baly
Debbie Schnitzer
Melissa, Luke & Andrea W.

The next 2 weeks will be focused on final preparations. I look forward to my workouts and taking advantage of these last strength building opportunities. And I look forward to the final fundraising steps, as well. Thank you for reading my ramblings. Your support and participation in my life are priceless.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Observations Between 5pm and 7:30pm

I left my apartment about five o'clock this evening to begin my grocery shopping journey. Generally, this is a two hour task but tonight, it was a bit longer. Here's a bit of what occurred in this span of two and a half hours:

- At 5:07pm, I boarded the bus that passes through my neighborhood, cart in hand. I'm armed and ready for this journey.
- On this bus, a woman compliments my cart and proceeds to list it's many uses. I found this rather humurous.
- We actually encountered traffic in my neighborhood...this is unusual.
- At 5:19pm, I boarded a second, rather crowded, bus. Also, unusual...at least, for me.
- Most passengers were headed home and several were adorned with iPods. There are times that I wish I had an iPod but I can't relate to those that must have direct sound at all times. I like silence sometimes or just the natural sounds of the day.
- One 20-something guy generously gives up his seat to a woman. Lovely.
- Bus arrives at my stop at 5:50pm. On my walk from the stop to the store, a mom and her two young boys deboard their bus. The boys are in matching school uniforms and they have at least one more bus ride before they arrive home. There is something so beautiful about a mom and her children traveling via the bus. She must be a strong and patient woman. Motherhood- the hardest job on earth. Motherhood while depending on public transportation in Kansas City- harder than that.
- I repacked my groceries to fit in my cart and was back at the bus stop by 6:26pm where I ran into an old bus-riding friend.
- Another crowded bus...weird. It's also a malfunctioning bus, as every time the driver needed to extend the ramp for passengers in wheelchairs, it wouldn't go back into gear. She quickly figured out that if she restarted the bus, everything worked fine...until the next time the ramp was used.
- Some were getting frustrated with the bus (not the driver) because they were trying to make connections and we were running significantly behind schedule. At this point, I overheard this little exchange:
Guy #1- "I tell people all the time, if you're in a hurry, you ain't enjoying your life."
Guy #2- "I tell people, if you're in a hurry, don't take the bus."
- Later, I overheard a different guy saying: "Responsibility is a hell of a lesson to learn. It took prison for me to get it."
- Of course, I'm one of the people who missed a connection due to our lateness. Thankfully, it was a beautiful day so the uphill walk with a full cart of groceries was enjoyed.
- Oh, and my final observation of this journey: there were 2 girls walking in front of me, one in a pair of shorts and her thighs never met. I hate her.

Are your trips to the grocery store at all similar?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Pressure's On!

As you know, in less than 3 weeks, I'm participating in my first marathon with a goal to raise $4000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Well, I just found out that my FUNDRAISING DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 8TH, just 1 week away! Somehow, I missed this detail and thought I still had a few weeks. Some of you have mentioned that you plan to make a donation, well, now's the time.

Throughout this 4 month journey, I've had the pleasure of meeting people who have battled and won their fight against blood related cancers, some who are in the midst of their fight, and others who have lost loved ones to leukemia or lymphoma. On Saturday, one TNT alumnus told a story about the finish of her first marathon. When she crossed the finish line, a small boy stood quietly holding a sign that read, "you did this for me." That's what it's all about. Also on Saturday, a young girl, about 4 years old, came with her parents to encourage and support us in our training. She has leukemia and I imagine, they wanted us to know who we were helping. They didn't say a word. Their presence was enough.

Your contributions are helping these children as well as many adults. I'm hoping to raise the final 20% this week. Will you help? There is no donation too small, every dollar counts. Please, consider making a donation today and feel free to pass along my fundraising website to your friends and family. Website no longer active.

Thank you to all who have partnered with me and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. New additions to this list of generous partners are:

Jeff & Amy Turner
Greg Bish

THANK YOU!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Life Is Beautiful

I saw Roberto Benigni's movie for the first time last weekend and I cried. Incidentally, this is becoming a more frequent part of my movie watching experience. While I didn't cry when I came across this story, it still resonated with me. If you know me, you know that I love NYC. I don't know what it is about certain places that produce that spontaneous internal response. Last weekend, it was Life Is Beautiful, today, it was Raul's story and yesterday, it was pictures of Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. My heart ached when I saw that familiar park. In part, it's about a sense of belonging. Guido, Dora, and Giosue belonged together. Philly was the first city I connected with as an adult. And everyone belongs in NYC, it is a true melting pot.

Anyway, if you have any affinity for NYC, I think you would appreciate this account of one person's random Wednesday night.

Don't Tell My Coach...

because I don't think ice cream for dinner is part of the approved marathon training diet. But it was yummy. And I'm not sorry. Or feeling guilty. Sometimes a girl just needs ice cream for dinner.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

22.

"It hurts up to a point and then it doesn't get any worse." Ann Trason

I fully understand that quote and I found it helpful to remind myself of it throughout the course. It's good to know it will hurt. What will hurt? Everything will hurt. But the pain's not going away and you still have mileage left to complete so get over it. Those are some of the things than went through my mind today. Other thoughts included: "I can do this," "I will not quit," "I am strong", "Just one foot in front of the other," "Have you hit a brick wall? Aim higher and jump over it," "My only job is to endure."

Several people have asked me how I felt after completing the 22 miles. My honest answer is, I don't know. It's strange. Perhaps I'm not able to process it just yet because I'm so tired. But it mostly feels the same as ever other week where the mileage has been increased. Every time I am challenged like this, I am sore in the same exact way. There's some comfort in that but it also makes the fact that I completed 22 MILES today a bit...anticlimactic. Now, don't get me wrong, I am proud of myself and my team. I feel great about knowing that I WILL finish the Nike Women's Marathon in 4 weeks.

My body has never been worked like this before so it's been an interesting journey. Training for a marathon is just as much a mental challenge as it is a physical challenge. I had heard that before but now I've experienced it. Thank you to my family, friends and teammates who have been so encouraging over the last 4 months. I couldn't have gotten this far without you.

There are two people I'd like to mention, my dear friends, Lisa and Heidi. Lisa will be running the Beijing Marathon the same day that I am running/walking Nike and Heidi is running the NYC Marathon two weeks later. I find inspiration in these women so when you think about me, think about them, too. Good luck, ladies! We can do this!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

5 Weeks

The Nike Women's Marathon is in just 5 weeks! I can't believe it. It feels like I just started training last week but in reality, it all began 4 months ago. I'm definitely getting nervous, a theme that's likely to repeat over the coming weeks of blog entries...sorry, in advance.

Today was another 8 mile day so it wasn't too bad. The hardest part was that I did it by myself on the treadmill. I didn't know until late last night that my usual ride was out of town this weekend and I didn't have enough time to come up with a plan B. I'll be sure to have the transportation situation set up for next week because it's a long one and I will certainly need my team and I want to be there to support them, as well. So, this morning, I slept in until about 8:00 and then spent the next 45 minutes talking myself into getting on the treadmill. I used the "Pumkin Spice Latte Motivation Technique" (PSLMT) with great success. When I finished my workout, I put on a sweatshirt, (that's right, I didn't even shower) grabbed my bag, walked to Starbucks, placed my order, and sat in the window writing in my journal and sipping on the tasty treat. When I was done writing, I caught up on phone calls with family and walked home. It's a perfect day for a walk, sunny but cool. I love mornings like this.

Next Saturday, I'll need more than the PSLMT to get me through the 22 miles scheduled for that day. So, this entire week will be focused on positve thoughts. (Warning to all Kansas Citians: This means there's a good chance that I'll be talking to myself more often than usual. Do not be alarmed. Feel free to look but try not to stare, that's just embarassing.) It's going to be hard but it will also be exciting. I mean, 22 miles is no joke. I'll have to come up with something really great to celebrate. Maybe a venti latte.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fall It Must Be

There was the obvious change in the weather last week. And school buses appeared more frequently. The sight of a small boy protesting his first day of school and a heartbroken father having to physically put the scared boy onto the big yellow transportation vehicle. The first required sweatshirt. Football. All of these things suggested that fall was more than "on it's way." However, I didn't believe. That is until yesterday. Somehow, I had forgotten about this treat that accompanies my favorite season. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, fall has arrived. Welcome back, my dear friend, my dear addiction.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

And We're Back

After 2 weeks of missing team runs, I headed out at 5:30 this morning to join my team in the 8 mile run/walk. As nice as it was to be on vacation, it felt good to be back out on the trails and into a good training routine again. I missed a 20 mile run last weekend which was making me feel very behind. But I have one more long one (22 miles) before the mileage decreases and we approach marathon day so I'm trying to focus and hope that I'll be ready.

These trail runs have been a lesson in nature. I think I mentioned the roosters that accompanied my run in Houghton and the deer that came to visit during a challenging hill training course. Well, today we met a beaver swimming down the creek and later a blue heron chilling out in the middle of the same creek. I love that. We also witnessed a grown man running in a blue one-piece speedo. (It looked like a women's one piece bathing suit but on a man.) There was nothing natural about that!

I bought some socks and new running shoes after training today. Why is it so hard to decide which running shoes will be best? I'm going to try these on the treadmill this week and see what I think but it was harder than I expected. I wanted to put my foot in a shoe and say "these feel great!" No such luck. Hopefully, these will work anyway. After all, they have to take me across the finish line in just 6 weeks! Yikes.

Thank you to these lovely people who have recently made donations:

Don & Lori Chaffer
Kathy & Tom Tehee
Lisa Zeshonski


I'm off to take a nap and then party the night away at Mary's wedding. :) Congratulations, Mary & Jarod!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

From Sea to Shining Sea


Some people live in the same town their whole lives, some move every year or so, and some fall in between. I average 2 years in any one location. My sister, Melissa, moved to DC right after college and stayed there until last Tuesday morning when she got in her car to begin her cross country move. That's 8 years in the same beautiful city. I was able to join her for 2 of her 4 days on the road. That's right, just me, Melissa and the open road. It was fantastic. We drove through Kansas and Oklahoma...


the Texas Panhandle (home of Laci Scott!)...


New Mexico (this picture does not do justice to this most beautiful state)...


Arizona, which presented some of the most interesting plant life I've ever seen...


and finally, California...


and more specifically, Los Angeles, where Melissa took pictures of any sign mentioning the city while I attempted to keep us alive on the freeways of LA...


In her defense, I had one job while I wasn't driving and that was to make sure and get a picture of the "Welcome to California" sign. We were crossing and admiring the lovely Colorado River and BAM! There it was. The sign. Melissa hit my leg several times while repeating "get your camera, get your camera" or something similar. Have you ever tried to turn on a digital camera and take a quick picture? They do not respond with the speed one would hope. Here's the result...


Sad, I know. Thankfully, we had a good time otherwise and I think I've been forgiven. We met my parents and my brother, Ben, who had flown out for a visit as well. I saw my parents' new apartment and neighborhood, met some of their friends & co-workers at a party my parents hosted, experienced Ben's culinary skills first hand, spent time with extended family, and of course, went to the beach. Seeing the water is a must for every coastal visit! All in all, a great trip. Everyone should be so lucky to drive across our beautiful country and share the experience with a sister. Thanks for letting me share it with you and may LA be good to you, Melissa!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Is it really Saturday?

I know, you're expecting an update on today's team run. Well, I'm at work...alone (although, that's quite another story) so I wasn't able to join the team for the weekly run. In fact, I'll be missing 2 weeks in a row since I'll be out of town next weekend. (I'm helping my sister move to LA; it's gonna be great!) In the meantime, I'm working a 10 day week and hoping I can find the energy and drive to complete all my training in the midst of this insanity. This means I MUST complete today's 8 miles on a treadmill when I get home from work. And I gotta tell ya, after the morning I've had, that does not sound at all enticing. Anybody have any motivating tidbits to offer?

By the way, you may have noticed that I never document my times for these run/walk distances. And I never will. So for those waiting to find out how long it takes me to complete 26.2 miles, I'm sorry to disappoint you. My goal is simply to complete the mileage in the allotted time...whick is approx. 7.5 hours with the early start. I'm not a runner. Maybe someday I will be a runner but for now, I'm a person putting one foot in front of the other, sometimes a bit faster, somtimes a bit slower.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Beer and Cupcakes

At some point in the 18th mile of my training this morning, I began singing "18 bottles of beer on the wall, 18 bottles of beer, take one down, pass it around..." You get the idea. And don't worry, I wasn't singing it out loud for all the world to hear and therefore, be concerned about my psychological state. When you're out on trail for hours by yourself, it's interesting to see what thoughts pass through your mind. I'm not sure what it means that "18 bottles of beer" came to minde but it made me laugh and gave me the extra energy and motivation to complete 18 beers, I mean, miles.

Some of us chose to start the morning at 5:00 while others began at 6:00. Starting earlier was great because it was much better training weather. The only negative is that there were many moments where I was running in pure darkness. A little spooky. Once again, the first 10 miles felt great and the last 8 were pretty tough. By the last 4 miles, I was reminding myself that all I had to do was put one foot in front of the other. When simplified to that level, it seemed possible even though every bone and muscle in my body was aching. When I finished, I realized I had completed this 18 miles in less time than the 16 miles two weeks ago! This was good news, good news indeed.

To celebrate this achievement, my friend, Rania, and I patronized a shop I've been eyeing for months now. Baby Cakes is a locally owned cupcake shop which sounded like heaven to me. I ordered their most popular cupcake, the red velvet, and Rania chose the strawberry. We sat on a wooden bench outside the charming shop and giggled like little girls as we enjoyed our scrumptious treats. What a divine Saturday afternoon activity. I am a happy girl.

*********

Thank you Joel Limpic and Dave and Jill Humes for your very generous donations made this week! I am so grateful for your support and encouragement. I couldn't do this without all the people that have made contributions, given encouragement, coached me, and participated as teammates. Together, we've reached 55% of my financial commitment and 18 miles of my physical commitment! October 21st will be here before we know it. Thanks, everyone.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Short Long Run

It's another Saturday morning and another team run completed. Today's distance= 8 miles. Short. Well, short in comparison to last week's 16 miles. Thankfully, we started at 6am so we were done before it got too hot. Can you believe I am saying "thankfully, we started at 6am" on a Saturday morning?! Yes, that's just how unbearably hot it has been all week and will continue to be this week.

Anyway, I usually have my cell phone with me but accidentally left it in the car this morning. I don't own a watch so I use it mostly for time. Jen started the run with me but unfortunately, she had to cut her run short due to an injury. (Hope you heal quickly & feel better soon!) I felt a little lost not knowing what time it was and I was concerned that I was having a particularly slow day. I was pleasantly surprised when I got to the finish and discovered I was a little faster than normal. Weird...good weird.

Funniest moment of the morning: I found myself, literally, in the middle of a boys high school track team practice not once but twice! Just me and 30 fourteen year-olds. It was hilarious.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Beauty in the everyday

I have spent the last couple years trying to intentionally see the beauty in life. It didn't take me long to discover that beauty surrounds me every day. I had no idea. It's now almost habit for me to take a look at my surroundings and take a mental picture of a striking tree, the face of an old man who's eyes have seen so much, a well-loved community garden, a child playing in a fountain finding relief from the heat, the interesting lines of a building or skyline, a tired mom waiting with me at a bus stop, colorful produce at the farmer's market, the eerie darkness of a stormy sky, or the simplicity of a clean kitchen.

Today, I stumbled across the blog of a former student. I knew her as a vibrant, passionate, intelligent, artistic, complex, free-spirited girl. She's still that girl, although, now a woman, wife and new mom. She values many of the same things and people she did as a high school student. There's something beautiful in that, in fact, there was always something about her that stood out. So, this afternoon, I find beauty in Aimee.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

i'm melting...

it's supposed to be a humid 100 degrees all week. marathon training, anyone? yikes!

**********

happy birthday, dad (yesterday) & mom (tomorrow)! i love you.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

survival of the fittest

Before my head hits the nearest pillow for a recovery nap, I thought I'd let you all know that I survived 16 miles today! I feel surprisingly good but talk to me tomorrow when walking might be an impossibility and we'll see if that statement still holds true. The first 10 miles felt good, miles 11-13 sucked and the last 3 miles got better the closer we got to the finish. Miles 11-13 were so difficult because it was a very humid 90 degrees and we were in direct sunlight. It was rough but we did it and we didn't even get lost!

I couldn't have done it without Jen & Theresa- thanks, ladies, you're fabulous! Another huge thank you goes to our coach, Doug, who graciously checked in with us throughout the course and provided much needed encouragement.

Well, my alarm sounded at 3am and again at 4:45am so I'm off to Never Never Land. Goodnight, all.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

how walkable is your house?

my walk score was 71 out of 100. higher than i expected, although, i would argue their definition of "grocery store."

"Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc."

what's your walk score?

Monday, July 30, 2007

lost and found

on saturday, we had 6 miles to complete for our team run and i did it with my friend, jen. we were chatting away and missed a turn on the course, even though the coach had taken the time to put chalk arrows on the pavement and told us where the turn was before we began.

these are mostly unfamiliar roads to me so i rarely know where i am in the midst of these training sessions. once we realized that we had likely missed the turn, we started asking random people that passed by, "excuse me, do you know where neiman is?" the first couple people didn't speak english, or pretended not to speak english. and the final person, told us it was opposite the direction we were heading. we didn't know by what distance so, we just kept going, creating our own course.

because, we are often at the back of the pack, fellow teammates have gotten used to passing us on their way back and encouraging us as they pass. saturday, it was less about encouragement and more about "hmmm, has anyone seen jen & amy?" we wondered if a search party would be sent but since it was only 6 miles, we returned before anyone got to that point. there were lots of "where were you" questions and we tried to be creative in our answers but it didn't get us very far. we just got lost...kinda. :)

btw, jen- thanks for pushing me this week!

************

since a couple people asked, my deadline for thursday has come & gone and we were so close to the goal. i was hoping to raise $2000 by thursday so $1911 isn't too bad. thank you to all who participated in the first half of my fundraising efforts. i'm going to have to get creative for the second half and i'll be sure to let you know of any events.

thank you to the following people for their recent donations:

Bess Bundy
Courtney Reid
Jen & Mike Dehaven


as always, if you would like to support me & the leukemia & lymphoma society, please, visit my website.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

yet another reason to love metro bus drivers

i was on my way to work this morning and i got on the same bus i take every day. the same driver has been on this route for the last couple weeks, although, i don't know her name. as i'm getting off at my stop, she stops me:

driver: have you ever modeled?
me: no (is she talking to me?)
driver: i did it professionally in new york for a while. you should really consider it.
me: thanks! (uncomfortable but flattered smile)

the things i would miss out on if i drove a car to work. :)

hilarious!

Monday, July 23, 2007

A half marathon!

I now know that I am capable of completing a half marathon which is pretty dang exciting. I still have about 3 months of training so I think I'm in good shape. This weekend's course was chosen for it's hills and we were all hurting a bit as a result. Of course, we're prepping for a marathon in San Francisco so bring on the hills! I wonder if San Fran will also have deer to greet us along the path?

This Thursday, July 26th, is the deadline for reaching 50% of my fundraising goal. At this moment, we're at 45%...we're soooo close! Thank you to everyone that has participated in this part of the project. It's exciting to know that together, we're helping families and patients live more fulfilling and longer lives. This week, I thank:

Rania Dallal
Jarod & Mary McBride
Charline Biondo
Bill & Kathy W.
Carol Samrualruen
Roger Cromwell
Kara Fink

If you would like to help me step closer to the goal of raising $4000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, click here (sorry, website is no longer available) to visit my fundraising website. Thanks!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Deadline- July 26th!

Dear friends and family,

As you may remember, I'm training for the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco with Team in Training (TNT.) We all want to find a cure for blood-related cancers so we're raising money for that cause. My personal goal is to raise $4000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and I'm hoping to meet the half-way point by July 26th. That's less than 2 weeks away! WILL YOU HELP ME? Will you make a donation today? Will you forward this email to your friends, family & co-workers?

As I've learned, you never know who may want an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. I received a couple donations from people I didn't even know, simply because their favorite artist posted a MySpace bulletin and blog that included my website and marathon info. One of those people had recently lost a friend to Leukemia and was grateful to have a chance to honor her and help others affected by the same disease. It takes just a moment to do but the effects are long lasting. Please, take a moment to pass along this email.

My TNT fundraising website is:
website no longer active

Many of you have already made contributions on my behalf and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you, once again. I am deeply touched by your generosity and support. Together, we have raised $1,100 so far! On behalf of The Society and the families they touch, a heartfelt thank you. I've been updating my TNT website with weekly entries regarding the week's training. If you're interested, please, feel free to stop by to see both my training and fundraising progress.

My first deadline is quickly approaching. Please, consider how you may help in reaching this first goal marker of $2000. Remember, every little bit helps!

With sincere thanks,
Amy


P.S. In case, you're willing to post a MySpace bulletin, blog post or email notice, here's content/copy you may want to use. Of course, you don't have to use it but I know you're busy people!

Subject: Support A Good Cause
Body: My friend, Amy, is training for the Nike Women's Marathon in order to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Leukemia is the 1 disease killer of children but it strikes 10 times as many adults. Unfortunately, cancer has touched many of our lives which is why I'm asking you to consider joining in this fight. Please, visit Amy's website to make a donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on her behalf.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

thank you list continued

These are people who have generously made donations over the last 2 weeks. I continue to be touched by the support that has been given to me and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Allan & Cyndi Lepine
Heidi & DT Slouffman
Heidi & Keith Kaminski
Kristin & Gideon Hodulick
Rich, Tami & Tru Barr

Thank you, everyone.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

rainy days and sundays...

Saturday, June 30, 2007


4:30am- alarm sounds
5:00am- walk about 1 mile to nadia's apartment. notice 2 new coffee shops. of course, neither are open so i can't make any recommendations. recognize that nobody else in the city is awake. there's a very light & occasional sprinkle.
5:25am- arrive at nadia's & wake her up. oops, she forgot to turn on her alarm clock.
6:10am- arrive at training location. team has already begun the run. it's raining. over the 6 mile course, most of which i walked with andrea & her dog, hank, it continued to rain harder and get windier. we were officially "soaked to the bone" by the time we completed the training. it's been a long time since i've been that wet while fully clothed!
7:30am- sat in wet clothes for a team meeting in an air conditioned room. burrrr.
9:30am- arrived home & quickly jumped into a warm shower. ahhhhh.

things i learned today: i don't like training in the pouring rain. i need to buy a waterproof watch. rain doesn't make me run faster as i would have thought, it makes me walk.

rainy afternoon movie recommendation: once


sunday will be spent at a friend's wedding. hopefully, a rain-free afternoon. (congrats, nadeem & bethany.)

thank you for your donations this week!
michelle garciano
karissa minn
janen troy
jay pfeifer

thank you, tyler burkum, for helping me get the word out! your fans have been great. he's a talented musician & a good guy so check out his music!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

10 miles

i did 10 miles today!!! and i didn't die, somebody congratulate me! i was nervous going into today's training b/c last week's 8 miles felt really hard and it was difficult to imagine adding another 2 miles to that. but i felt great for the first 8 miles today and while the last 2 miles were tough, it still felt better than last week. not sure what that means but i'll take it. of course, i got home, took an ice cold bath, followed by a gradually warming shower, & a fantastic nap. (that 6am start was EARLY.)

mary beth, my team's honored patient, ran the anchorage marathon today. go mary beth! she is an inspiration to me.

peter chan!! thanks for your donation!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

dump the pump

i almost forgot! it's national "dump the pump" day so i hope you took the bus/train to work today! i did...of course, i do that every day so maybe it's not so special.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

more thank yous

this week, i want to thank the following people for financially supporting me in my marathon training:

kelly jackson (check out her photography at kellyjackson.com)
laura lesniewski
melissa w.
erik jones
gloria & scott manuel

i am constantly touched by these acts of generosity and often feel inadequate in expressing my gratitude. may you all know how much your kindness means to me.

i also must thank nadia for graciously allowing me to ride with her to our team runs on the weekend. she's a fantastic person and it's been fun to get to know her. thanks, nadia! i love seeing your shining face in the 6 o'clock hour on saturday mornings.

p.s. this saturday...10 miles.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

marathon training update

the training is going well, i feel stronger every week so that is good news. as i mentioned in my previous post, we did 8 miles this past saturday. that was...stretching but more b/c of the hills in the course and not so much the distance. however, since the race is in san francisco, i need the hill training. last night, i went to a fantastic yoga class as part of my cross training. normally, i do pilates at home but i think i'm going to try to do the yoga class once a month or so. it's good to get some instruction and it's just a really good class. so that's a quick update on the training.

also wanted to say thank you to the following people that have made a donation to the leukemia & lymphoma society on my behalf:

russ, tiffany & oliver long- my very first donation!
luke & andrea w.
lisa zeshonski
kori ayres
ginny & aaron routhe
andrea hamilton
kristen ockrin

i'm getting closer every day to my goal of $4000! thanks, everyone.