pas·sion  // 1. A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger. // 2. a. Ardent love. b. Strong sexual desire; lust.c. The object of such love or desire. // 3. a. Boundless enthusiasm: His skills as a player don’t quite match his passion for the game. b. The object of such enthusiasm: Soccer is her passion.

For the record, let’s just go ahead and ignore 2b… I’ve written about passion before. At the time, I was looking for some physical to do; something to fall in love with, something to take up my time. In May, I was also new to the area – unsure of where to go, how to go about gallivanting around town; I was the equivalent to the nervous new kid in class.

Long story short –  I’m questioning myself a lot lately.

Can I seriously chalk up my ‘favorites’ to ‘passions’? Do I dare? I mean honestly, what will I be remembered for? Sure, I am a mother, wife and daughter. But – can I really say that my interests qualify as passions?…  Passion!! That’s SUCH an intimidating word!!

running :: I say I love running. But do I really?? I’m the first to stay inside when the weather is crappy. I talk a big game, but my times are mediocre at best, and I haven’t even run a marathon. To me, this thought is pretty depressing, and it hangs over my head like a cloud.

music and arts :: I could spend days in museums, listen to smooth classical music all day long as it drips from my speakers. In college I took an Art History class – I did excellent, and [personally] wanted to change my major to the subject. I can’t draw a stinkin’ stick figure, but I truly appreciate the arts.

cooking :: I can’t exactly say I’m good at it, but I love cooking. And not just throwing together a dinner, but following a hearty, challenging recipe. Standing over a stove and making anything from scratch is so therapeutic. French Cooking is my absolute favorite; and if I had the unlimited time, I would cook and bake all day.

my faith :: This is something that I have been quietly wrestling with. For the longest time I kept God in the dark, mainly out of anger. In the past year, my heart is pulling for a Bible study, regular church going, and I thirst for knowledge of my faith and how it came to be.

yoga :: I hesitated on putting this up here, because while I want to be passionate about it, I’m downright horrible at it. I can barely touch my toes, but will buy Yoga Journal when I have the chance; and I yearn for the day that I can actually have a ‘practice’ not a once-a-month-for-30-minutes-while-child-naps fling.

I want to have passions for all of these things. I want to study all of these things incessantly, know them inside and out, and not have a question as to what propels me. I realize that these passions might morph over time, and I’m ok with that. I hope that while I will always have a passion for running; that maybe my focus will shift from completing a marathon, to getting faster as I grow older, or being smarter about nutrition. Maybe in 10 years I will come out of my Renaissance/Baroque obsession and focus on Early American Art. Indian food instead of French cuisine. You get my drift.

I’m not good at any of these things, but I want so badly to be.

“it is not good to have zeal without knowledge” – proverbs 19.2

What is your passion? How did it come to be – did it manifest over time or spring up over night? Do you have something you wish you were passionate about? 


Best Tuesday Ever.

I was woken up this morning at 0830 by my loving husband. Um, what?? Usually I’m up via my daughter’s whimpers and cries at promptly 7 am. He whispers, “babe, its late, I have to head to work soon” to which I reply, “IS SHE OK!???” – Upon opening her door, she beams up from bed and goes, “HI MOMMY!!!!” – I am confused, but I like this new child who apparently has taken over my daughter’s body.

We saw Daddy off to work, ran errands [in which I spent JUST $40 on dinner for the next weekish] and on the way home, went by the community mailbox. For the record, these things do not work. Never have I stumbled upon my neighbor and chatted her up at the ugly box that holds all of our incoming bills/magazines. In fact, it is quite a nuisance to have a community mailbox, because we are in the Pacific Northwest, it is raining 80% of the year, and walking in it just to retreive stuff I throw away is looooooow on my list. Nevermind that. BUT it is a good place to put a poster up if you’re missing a cat.

So, I grabbed the mail. … ALL OF IT. Amongst the random Safeway ads and random brochures, there were some amazing gems in there.


I was so incredibly stoked to see that my giveaway from y is for yogini/we’ar came in. Thank you, Lo!!! I’ll post more on this later, but its comfy yoga gear that feels amazing and just WAIT until you see my butt in these pants. Yes, butt-enhancing pants make for their own post.

Costco Connection. Love it. I love anything Costco.

Wine Country Gift Baskets brochure. I’ll probably never buy/receive one, but I seriously consider sending myself one every year. For those wondering, I want the “Festive Gourmet” basket, or “Tis the Season”. I also am eyeballing the “The Ultimate Office Party” basket, which really… please. We all know I wouldn’t share any of this. Like I said, I’m just drooling at this point, and this is fun to go through.

Then I glanced at a package addressed to my husband, from a publisher in Colorado. Odd. I texted him, in case it was important, and noted to myself that it felt like a book. He replied back with “it’s a late bday/early Christmas present – open it!” Naturally, I did what any mature, level-headed 20-something year old woman would do – I tore into the package like my life depended on it. It was a running book. [!!] And!! Yes, an ‘and’!! Its “Running the Edge” – a book I’ve been meaning to buy! It aims to ‘discover the secrets to better running and a better life’ and is co-authored by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano. I should probably mention they also autographed it [!!!!!]. I texted my husband, used a million exclamation points, and he promptly responded with “there should be a Kara Goucher autograph in there too” – I froze. Saddened, I flipped through the book and couldn’t find her autograph. I glanced back at the package, and whaddyaKNOW, BOOM –


Um, yeah. That just happened. I still can’t believe it. My running idol, her autograph, plain as day. I am getting this framed ASAP. My excitement also clearly got in the way of level headed thinking.


From there, kiddo went down for her nap, I managed to get a relaxing shower in, and even did some yoga for half an hour. I’m sipping on some hot tea, counting my blessings, and about to start making a double batch of chicken noodle soup – something I have been pining for, FOREVER. Baby #2 is definitely channeling the happiness, and is dancing around in my belly something fierce. Smile love love love.

My friends, I hope Tuesday was as good to you as mine is.

Since I’m feeling all fuzzy inside, here’s an added bonus picture of me doing yoga.


Best Tuesday Ever.

Food Extravaganza Round Up

– check out my post about heavenly Gluten Free Pizza, here

Man. Thanksgiving was ridiculous. Festivities actually started Wednesday afternoon, since Husband was allowed to come home early [thank you Army!]. My brother in law and his girlfriend came to visit, and even though we only had four adults and a toddler, we definitely ate our way through the food, and had a blast doing so.

Thursday I had an amazing run, before I dove headfirst into the sweet potato soufflé and homemade cranberry sauce. It had been raining ALL day long – and not just the typical Pacific Northwest sprinkle; it was coming down sideways, the wind was insaaaane, and it looked ominous. The clouds broke, the sun shone through, and I decided to take advantage of the time. I’m glad I did, it started raining again just as I turned back into the neighborhood.


I actually don’t have pictures of the actual Thanksgiving dinner, but the next day we also indulged in some cupcakes… white chocolate cranberry cupcakes, to be exact. It was DIVINE.


And while Daddy was out volunteering at the Seattle Amica Marathon during another monsoon yesterday, baby girl and I stayed home. Requests were made, like, “BELLE TAKE YOUR MED-CIIIIINE” and “MOM-EEEEE, SMELL MAH TOOOOOES!!!!!!”


Although it was a stressful super busy day for both Mommy and Daddy, they were both rewarded in their own little way. I’ll let you guess whose reward is whose. Winking smile


and PS don’t make fun of the incline/pace or else we’ll hunt you down and find you.

Food Extravaganza Round Up

So, So Proud.

I wanted to do a huge weekend round up, but I’m leaving that for tomorrow’s post.

I just want to express how incredibly proud I am of my husband. Today, while thousands of runners ran the Amica Seattle Marathon, he stood with our run group [wear blue:run to remember], holding a flag for the duration of the race. He woke up at 3, met the bus at 5, and was at the Mile 18 marker holding my brother’s flag. What makes me tear up is the fact that two other soldiers from his platoon volunteered as well. They were out there in the pouring rain, blustery wind and cold weather – less than ideal conditions for a marathon, let alone standing there for hours on end. These are 18 year old guys that could have been doing anything but this; but instead decided to honor their fallen brothers in arms. In fact, one of the guys who volunteered, also did this back in June for the Seattle Rock’n’Roll Marathon. Seriously. This warms my heart, gives me goosebumps and puts a lump in my throat, all at the same time.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t be at the race today, but I quizzed Husband on every single aspect ever, and I’m pretty sure he’s tired of talking about it. Rumor has it there are some amazing photos coming up on their Facebook page, soon – so join the group and keep your eyes peeled for them.

Volunteers at a race should never be overlooked. Races literally could not be put on without them, and often times they’re putting their hearts and soul into the project, just like the runners are. So whether it’s a 7 year old handing out water cups at your local 5k, or a police officer at a roadblock – make sure to thank those guys, because they are out there as well. Smile

So, So Proud.

Pregnancy, Running & Postpartum Goals

So, something clicked yesterday while I was… well I don’t know what I was doing, but I was probably eating leftovers. Which, are GONE by the way. I love that we cooked just enough for Thanksgiving dinner, and a leftover meal – call me crazy, but I actually cannot stand having turkey and cranberry sauce for a week straight. No thanks.

Anyway, I was thinking more about my running dreams and something clicked. Remember how I said I wouldn’t analyze it? Well I found the running ‘meaning’, and since then, and it became obvious. A part of it said, “…To dream that you are running alone refers to your determination and motivation in the pursuit of your goals. You will find success and rise above those around you…” !!! What didn’t dawn on me, is that earlier in the day, I had written out a list of goals; one for running while pregnant, then one for postpartum goals.

During pregnancy, I would like for my second trimester to be my highest total mileage. While I won’t PR on a long distance run since I was training for Marine Corps earlier in the pregnancy [plus I promised my husband my longest run would top out at 10 miles], I am confident that I can do this – I am feeling great, and I also have nearly 6 weeks to run 50+ miles. Easy peasy! I also want to incorporate more yoga, as I am feeling the kinks of the relaxin doing crazy things to my joints. Abs and flexibility will not be ignored; but most of all – I vow to enjoy every run. I’m also studying more about the ‘on paper’ aspect of running, instead of going out and just ‘doing it’, which I’m really enjoying!

Focusing on running this during pregnancy is easy, but I also am [mentally] focusing on postpartum goals. I’m not crazy, and I know my body will need time to bounce back – I’m not singing up for a half just 2 weeks after giving birth. I will train smarter than before, and focus more on my form and nutrition. I would love [not really] to get in the gym and work on burning fat and gaining muscle in my upper body, and of course, finally run a flippin’ marathon and PR my half. I just need to tell myself to BE PATIENT. I tend to get very frustrated when I don’t see results overnight, if I don’t PR every race, etc. I know. Horrible mindset, and I have to change that.

As always, the second something ‘feels funny’ I will stop in my tracks and not run another step. If my doctor were to tell me tomorrow to stop running, I would.

SO! There you have it. Smile The next post won’t ramble on and on about pregnancy, I promise!

Pregnancy, Running & Postpartum Goals



— Cranberries, because they’re a Thanksgiving staple; but a song about Dreams. We have come full circle and the post hasn’t even started.


Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving! Ours was low key and super fun; Husband’s brother and his girlfriend came in from out of town, and like any other Thanksgiving, we made way too much food, ate way too much food, and spent the rest of the afternoon grazing on … you guessed it, way too much food. In my gluttony, I decided to eat the crap out of some croissants and various other gluten-laden products. Long story short, my stomach hates me, and I am getting ZERO sympathy from the rest of the household. Boo.

Anyway, that’s not why I’m blogging. I had crazy dreams last night. Not like this one [yes that is Val Kilmer, circa 1985]  –


What was fun about these dreams? Luckily, the ones I remember were ALL about running.

Apparently yesterdays’ trail run left a little more than just a simple impression on my psyche. Though it was POURING all day long, I timed it perfectly, and stepped out the door during a break in the rain. The sun came out, but while the trails were slick, they were picturesque, calming, and very impressionable. There’s just something about running by a lake in the fall that leaves me at a loss for words – so my brain decided to relive it during my sleep. Loved it.

Another dream included eating brunch at Olive Garden [Um. I don’t like Olive Garden, so I don’t know what this was all about.] and in walks Sally and Sarah [I stalk follow them on Twitter, so yes, I’m on a first name basis.] from Oiselle. They come right up to me, and they offer me a contract. I know right? I was just as confused as you are. They wanted to coach me while running during my pregnancy, but they were more so interested in coaching me to my first marathon and a half PR, postpartum. Pretty sweet dream, if you ask me.

Lastly, I had yet another running dream where I was out with a ‘buddy’ [phantom runner that apparently didn’t weird me out at the time] where we just ran and talked. Maybe I’m missing running with someone, who knows, but I do remember it being a super short dream.

I’m not really *trying* to analyze these dreams, because they were fun and random, and well – they were about running, so I’m cool with that Smile For fun though, this is what says about running.

To dream that you are running away from someone indicates an issue that you are trying to avoid. You are not taking or accepting responsibility for your actions. In particular, if you are running from an attacker or any danger, then it suggests that you are not facing and confronting your fears.

To dream that you are trying to run but cannot make your feet move as fast as you want them to signifies lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. It may also reflect your actual state of REM paralysis during the dream state.

To dream that you are running alone refers to your determination and motivation in the pursuit of your goals. You will find success and rise above those around you. Alternatively, the dream may mean that you need to hurry up in making a decision.

To dream that you are running with someone signifies cooperation.


Update on Kara!

Ok. Sorry this has taken forever to push out! The last few days seem like they flew by, but at times [like sitting in the ER] time felt as though it was moving slower than … well, slower than time spent in a little white room with unknown outcomes!

First off, I GREATLY appreciate the support I received on here, Twitter and Facebook!!! Knowing I had you guys rooting for us helped. So Sunday things were looking up right? Yeah, we thought so too. Kara woke up Monday morning, with her eye swollen [almost] shut and it was way worse than Saturday’s initial “ohcrap” moment. So yes, you guessed it, right back to the ER. Where we sat for about 6 hours? Or was it 5? Maybe 7? Either way, they ran WAY more testing, and looked at her more intently. This also means they had to a) draw blood b) set her up for a possible IV.

Um. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about how this went down…

I’ll tell you right now, when it comes to most things, I can keep it together. To get her set up for an IV, they literally swaddled her in a blanket, taped an arm board to her arm, and of course, recruited me to help. Seeing her in this condition, and having to physically constrain my own screaming child is something that will send me into hysterics. [ps – I was uber pissed when the nurse quipped, “MOM you’re GOING to have to hold it together”. seriously? my two year old is in the worst pain of her short life, you’re making me pin her body down and you want me to NOT express emotion over this? Yeah, uh, eff off.] I do take solace in the fact that she was pain free when she wasn’t being annoyed by doctors. I say annoyed, because yes, they are there to help; but she doesn’t know that and will let you know.


[ taken yesterday, just after the IV was set up. her other eye looks swollen, but that’s just from crying all morning]

Long story short – she’s fine now. And like, FOR REAL fine, not “sunday” fine. She is on a different set of antibiotics [we didn’t have to do the IV, they determined the infection wasn’t ‘that’ bad], and within a day of them her eye is much less swollen, and the redness is nearly gone. We had a follow up appointment today and the doctors agree that the rest of the antibiotics will take care of everything, and they shouldn’t have to see her unless things turn south. And, if that’s the case, you will find me in a corner somewhere, losing my mind.


[ taken today!!!! she was mad at some brat kid at the doctor’s office. that’s a whole ‘nother post]

Scientific stuff :: She basically had a staph infection in her eye, leading to Pre-septal Cellulitis [common in young kids]. On Saturday, we left the ER with the misdiagnosis of Blepharitis [more common in the elderly]. Had the ER staff done a little more checking, we might have nipped this in the bud more than we already have. The extensive tests they did in the ER on Monday, where to see if the infection was in the front part of the eye [it was]. Had it been in the back, then it would affect muscles, and her vision could have been compromised. The blood they took was to determine white blood cell count, which came back fine. You can read more about this serious infection here, and I promise that there aren’t disgusting photos to look at – I checked. We’re not exactly sure [and the doctors say we might never know] how this came to be. There might have been “something” in her eye that nicked her eyelid and got infected – again, hard to say.

We all carry the bacteria for staph within and on our bodies – knowing the signs of a staph infection are vital, and I urge you to study them, even for a precaution. I have personally had MRSA, and my husband has had it twice. Scary stuff, and VERY aggressive.

Update on Kara!