Category Archives: Holidays

4th of Julys Past

Happy 4th of July! Do you have annual 4th of July traditions? Growing up we always knew we were going to our family friends’ house for pool, BBQ and fireworks. We knew exactly what dish every family brought and even what music was going to be played during the fireworks show. As we got older and more competitive in sports, we were often traveling for tournaments during 4th of July and that tradition went away.

Over the years, Aaron and I have created our own 4th of July traditions. Let’s look back at 4th of Julys from the past since the blog was born. One of my favorite things about having a blog is being able to easily look back at what you were doing in a particular moment in time.


We still lived in San Diego and Aaron had to work during the day. I whipped up some Sangria and hung out with friends before Aaron met up so we could go watch fireworks at the bay together.


In 2010 we were living in Sacramento. I started off the day with the free 4th of July 5 miler race that takes place in our neighborhood.

And to reward me for a good race, Aaron made mimosas and breakfast before went to BBQ with friends and family and watch fireworks from the park near out house.


Last year, Aaron and I started a new tradition of camping for the 4th. We decided just a few days before the holiday to go camping for the weekend – just the 2 of us (3 with Cash). We didn’t have a large selection of campsites that late in the game, but we rolled the dice and really lucked out. We had a great few days camping before coming back the afternoon of the 4th for our other tradition – walking to the park by our house for fireworks.


This year were are kind of combining all our past traditions into one. Since the 4th is on a Wednesday, we are celebrating the actual holiday in town and then taking Thursday and Friday off to go camping. And we started the celebration last night with a BBQ and probably the best fireworks show I have ever seen.


And this morning I was excited to be able to once again participate in the 4th of July 5 miler.


Aaron whipped up some amazing gluten free pancakes and eggs and we sipped on mimosas while prepping for camping. Most people just bring hot dogs, chips, beer and marshmallows camping. But not us. Aaron hand-ground meat for blue cheese stuffed burgers and he is about to smoke turkey breasts for sandwiches. He even made two different flavored mayos for sandwiches. That is how we roll – we know how to camp!

This afternoon we are heading to a block party down the street and will then, of course, watch fireworks at the park.

In other news – check out these veggies from our garden!! I am so excited. Tomatoes, basil and zucchini. We will be bringing all this camping!


Five Years of Dating

February 9th is a special day – it is Aaron and my dating anniversary.  On February 9, 2007 Aaron asked me while we were out on a date, “So, when do I get to call you my girlfriend?”.  I responded with, “You can call me your girlfriend right now!”  We had been dating for a few weeks and had been loving spending time together.  We had already cooked for each other, been on a trip to Vegas and spent a lot of time together.

Here we are that crazy night in 2007.


So you might be asking, “Now that you are married, don’t you have a new anniversary?” We do, but we say, why not celebrate both?  We don’t really need an excuse to go out to a nice dinner and celebrate each other. Plus, since our anniversary is so close to Valentines Day, we chose to celebrate our Feb 9th anniversary in lieu of Valentines Day.

Today’s plan includes work, a couple’s trip to the gym, I will be coaching GOTR and then a fancy dinner out. Can’t wait to get gussied up (since I live in sweats or workout clothes most the time), try a new-to-us restaurant and spend some QT with my hubby.

Aaron is the best thing to ever happen to me, and after half a decade, I love him more than ever. He makes me laugh every day, makes me feel so special and he is a true partner. I couldn’t so what I do without him by my side! He truly is my best friend and I can’t wait for what is to come!

Have I managed to make you puke yet?  Happy Thursday!



What I Learned from the Superbowl Sunday 10K

This morning I started the day off with a 10K race in the neighborhood.  2012 marks the 3rd year for the Sacramento Running Association’s Superbowl Run. I ran the race in 57:15 for a 9:09 pace.  I was hoping for an 8:45 pace, but the first mile was a total bottleneck and I was chatting with a friend, too.  For mile 1 being 10:30, I am pretty pleased finishing with a 9:09 pace!

I learned a few things along the way, too:

  • I am really starting to like the 10k distance.  It is still a challenge without bringing with it as much pressure as a half or full marathon.  Any given weekend I could run a 10k, but it is also a distance I can see improvement in through training.
  • I like 9AM starts for shorter runs
  • I really like races that are close to home. This morning Aaron and I left the house 20 minutes before the gun went off.  He dropped me off a half-mile from the start so I got a little warm up and still was at the start line 8 minutes before the gun went off.
  • Not eating gluten has truly changed my life when it comes to pre-race preparations. Mornings that were nerve-racking and unpredictable now run smoothly (pun intended).
  • I am a big fan of running the tangents  
  • I am not a fan of people who cheat and cut corners.  The race is measured on the road, so get your a** off the sidewalk and onto the road. Grey shirt and black capris, I’m talking to YOU! I still beat her, though. And that’s all that really matters, right? I kid, I kid (kind of).
  • If you want to run in a well-managed race, choose a shorter race put on by people who organize marathons – they know what they are doing.
  • I need to do hill training – the slightest little incline kicked my butt this morning
  • I also need to learn how to breathe – I think when the going gets tough, I hold my breath.  When I would focus on long slow breaths through my nose and out my mouth the game changed! Thank you yoga for teaching me how to breathe – now I just need to remember to do it.

Now it is time for our 5th annual Superbowl party.  Aaron stayed up all night tending to the beef brisket on the smoker, we just took the wings off the grill, several dips are made, the beers are on ice and people should be arriving any minutes.  Time to put a bra on, I guess!  If I were to run for President, my first task would be to make the Monday after the Superbowl a national holiday. I don’t know how anyone on the East Coast gets anything done that day!

My heart wants to root for the Giants, but my wallet will be rooting for the Patriots in the under! Along with several other silly bets like the longest and shortest touchdowns.

Arrivaderci 2011

Putting my feelings about 2011 into words is really hard.  It was so a whirlwind year filled with the highest of highs and some really stressful lows, too.  2011 will forever be one of the best years of my life because it is the year I married the man of my dreams.

All the other bullshit (yes, a full curse word without all the asterisks is totally appropriate here) really doesn’t matter.  I choose to focus on the positive and all the wonderful things that happened this year.

Girls on the Run Summit in January – such an amazing and inspiring experience.  I am so excited to attend again in January in Tampa!

Wedding Dress Shopping with my Best Friends

I quit a job I was unhappy with and started working from home!

Aaron and I went on some fun adventures – camping, Lake Tahoe, Reno

I raced all over town – literally

I made my return to coaching Girls on the Run

We planned the wedding of our dreams.  I am so proud of the work we put into the wedding and that we did pretty much everything ourselves (with the help of Etsy, of course).  I am also pretty proud of how calm and collected I stayed through the whole thing.  I don’t think there were too many Bridezilla moments.  The result was the perfect day that I wouldn’t change one thing about!

I got to spend an incredible weekend in Napa with my best friends for my Bachelorette party.  I am one lucky girl.

Aaron and I honeymooned in beautiful Hawaii

Pretty awesome year, right?

I am hoping 2012 is a little more calm.  I don’t need a lot of excitement to be happy.  Fun things already on the horizon for 2012:

  • My best friend’s wedding and all the fun that goes along with that
  • Lots of races – 3 I am already registered for, and hopefully more

Cheers to a fabulous 2011 and an even better 2012.  Have fun and be safe out there!

A Modernation Christmas

In our family, Christmas lasts 3 days – so this Christmas post is a little delayed.  This year Christmas was a true Modernation affair.  We did everything in moderation, even moderation.  I started the festivities off with a 5K run on a 25 degree Christmas Eve morning.


We spent the day making our food gifts and then went to my aunt’s for dinner with my mom’s side of the family.

Christmas day is now a day for Aaron and I relax in sweats just the two of us (plus the fur babies).  We took the dog for chilly walk and then came home for present unwrapping and breakfast.


This year we went with the no-cook breakfast which was such a good idea.  I put together this delicious smoked salmon platter while Aaron made a fire.  We were able to leisurely breakfast and no one had to slave over the stove.


As usual, Aaron got me such thoughtful gifts – including these beautiful new sunglasses!


And I am excited for Aaron to break in my gift for him – a Weber Smoker!


In the afternoon we went over to our friends’ house for a couple hours.  The weather was so nice – we were hanging out outside by the firepit.  Love that!


Christmas night, we had a delicious dinner that we tag teamed.  Aaron grilled a rack of lamb and made a chimichuri and salad while I whipped up some homemade blue cheese risotto. It was so delicious we ate it before any photos were taken!

Monday is the day we celebrate our Italian Christmas with my Dad’s side of the family.  After a quick workout at the gym, we headed to Napa for the day to feast on crab, clams, and mussels and open gifts from our Secret Santas.

This photo of me and my grandfather from the wedding is one of my favorites.  He was really happy we gave him a framed copy!

My secret santa really went all out for me.  We got the Ravioli Maker and Pasta Press attachments for the Kitchen Aid mixer.  So excited to play!

I am pretty proud that over the 3 days of Christmas I managed to get a good hard workout in twice, and did something active each of the days.  That is pretty impressive because snuggling on the couch in sweats is so much easier!