Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Little Trip To Asia!

Don't get excited...I really didn't go to Asia. However, for Arthur Murray's International Dance Festival, the theme for our studio was cruisin' around the world- visiting all seven continents. Each week our party was twice as long, we had food, we played games, and everybody came in costume. We divided it up so each staff member was in charge of one party- mine was ASIA!

*Sorry I couldn't get all the pictures in the order that I wanted...I decided to not fight blogger and just let it do its thing...so you might have to scroll around- sorry!*

I was torn between trying to involve/represent the entire continent of Asia and going traditional Asia/Oriental. I ended up doing the latter, as it was far easier than trying to encompass the entire Asian continent...which is pretty diverse if you really think about it.

First, the decorations. I found these great paper lanterns at Hobby Lobby (oh how I love that store!) and went back day after day to buy them one at a time so I could use the 40% off coupon each time. :) They had them in all colors, but I decided to keep it real traditional with the red and gold.

Then I decided to make a huge pagoda out of a metal arch my mom had and 20 pieces of red posterboard....and lots and lots of staples! It was quite a feat, but I think it really turned out nice and was definitely a focal point.

The candy dishes were replaced with take-out cartons. And we have a giant map of the world, tracking where we go with little red dots. The tables were decked out in some Asian fabric that I found (thanks again to my mom who serged the edges for me!) and bamboo.

My sister Tara, who works at the AM corporate office, was kind enough to get me some real Arthur Murray posters that were in Japanese! We have a huge backdrop that looks like we are on the deck of the "Arthur Murray of the Seas" and I put a coastline out in the water with a few Asian landmarks.

For the food, I got fried rice, spring rolls, and I made a teriyaki sesame chicken stir fry. I had some wasabi peas and wonton noodles to snack on as well. The best part was the fortune cookies I had specially ordered- the fortunes were all about dancing things! I left some as is and dipped some in chocolate. Then, came the cutest little things...thanks to Mikelle for sending me the link to that blog, which is where I got the idea. I made rice krispie sushi rolls! They were rice krispie treats as the rice, fruit by the foot for the seaweed, and decorating gel for the fish in the center. They turned out so adorable and were really yummy too!

I dressed up as a geisha- it gave me another chance to wear my big black sash from my wedding!

It was a fun event, but I am glad it is over. It was a lot of worrying and planning! (However it does make me think that I could be perfectly happy being an event planner for a living!)

Happy Asia Week!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My First Tri, er, Biathlon!

Saturday, May 22nd, I participated in my very first biathlon. It was actually a triathlon, however I opted to not do the swim since it was my first time and I wasn't sure what to expect. Lucky for me, they had a division where I could just do the bike and run- and bike and run I did!

Nick took a half day on Friday and we drove over to the race site in New Braunfels, about 2 1/2 hours away from here. We picked up my packet (and boy was I nervous) and then drove to my sister Amy's house in San Antonio which was about 30 minutes south. Belle helped me get ready for the race by giving me a bag with some treats to give me energy. We had a big pasta dinner and played Life before bed. (*Below* Me and April before the race)

Nicholas and I woke way too early for a Saturday morning and headed back up to New Braunfels. When we got there I had to get my body marked (go #309!) and check my bike into "transition". Luckily my friend and coworker, April, had decided to do the biathlon with me- I was glad to have someone else there! (Note: there were a few people from my ward there, however I hadn't really trained with them and they were all doing the swim...but nonetheless it was nice to have more than one familiar face there!)

We headed down to the river to hear the pre-race chat, and then headed back up to transition to grab our bikes while they started the swimmers. After the first swimmer came through transition and headed out on their bike, they let all of us biker/runners go. (*Below* The swim was in the Guadalupe River)

The bike ride was rather hilly, which I hadn't trained on, but wasn't too bad. About 1/4 mile in, my bike chain came off...I hopped off and fixed it and on I went again. It ended up being 13.5 miles that we biked through the hill country, over the Guadalupe River, along the riverbank, had a sharp turn-around, and then headed back. There was one hill that I headed down that was giving me so much speed that I was pretty nervous...it was a long and steep hill. After we did our turn-around, I realized that I was going to have to go back up that hill- yikes! I shifted into the easiest gear and pedaled my heart out; I made it up the whole way! After that I knew I was going to make it. (*Below* Here I go! Me leaving for the biking portion!)

I had pulled ahead of April during the biking and so I decided to wait for her in transition. I parked my bike and was ready to run, but waited about 5 extra minutes for her to catch up. She hurried and parked her bike, and then we were off. (*Below* Me returning from biking)

The run was a 3.3 mile loop around this cute little town called Gruene (pronounced "green"). April was having a really hard time running as she isn't a frequent runner like myself and hadn't trained as long. I wanted to just take off, instead of running in place while she walked, etc., but I remembered how much I hate it when I am running with someone and they leave me...even after I beg them to leave me because I am slower than they are. So I stayed with her- and she pleaded with me to go and told me she hated this and that she was never going to do it again and that it was a dumb idea and all those things. :) (*Below* Running so fast at the finish that I am blurry! See April right behind me?)
I kept running the whole time, getting April to do little bits of running here and there between her walking spells. When we could see the finish line though, I took off and yelled for her to catch me...she picked it up too!

I could see Isabelle cheering me on at the finish and met Amy & Ben, Isabelle, Olivia, Nick, and April's mom & aunt as soon I as crossed the finish line. I was happy to finish, however it was a bit disappointing for me because I hadn't really pushed my body as hard as I could have. I was happy though that I had finished with April :) (*Below* At the finish line with Nicholas)

Afterwards we hung around for a bit, but then headed to grab some lunch at Freddy's (a local burger and custard shop). Nick and I headed home after that and I slept most of the way back to Houston. I was all too happy to shower, and then we had a little rest watching The Office. We had to go to the studio to take down my decorations (more on that later this week) and then we came home and pretty much passed out! I think I was more tired from waking up early than the race! (*Below* April and I were happy to be finished!)

All in all, I am pleased with how things went. So far I am not really sore or anything. I am proud that I did the biking, as it was the new part to me. I am very happy that I made it up the hills (and that I decided to spring for real biker shorts that have the pad in the butt...definitely worth the money!) I am disappointed that I didn't push myself as I could have and for sure have the desire to do it again and beat my own time...and even add in the swimming!

I am not sure if I will do another biathlon or will graduate straight to a triathlon, but there are definitely more races in my future! :) Thanks to everyone for all of the support- especially Nicholas and Isabelle who were definitely two of my biggest fans! And my mom who ran and biked with me to train (and gave me an early birthday present of a helmet!) and Amy who let us crash at her house and fixed a great pre-race dinner! And definitely thanks to April....I wouldn't have signed up alone! :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wish us luck!

Well, wish Nicholas good luck; he is taking the GMAT in the morning...yikes! He has been cramming the last little while now and I know he is smart, so lets all pray that he does great!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I think I need to start eating Cheerios...

I give blood regularly and each time they tell you what your total cholesterol is- now this isn't a fasting test, but I figure it is fairly accurate. I donated on Friday and just found out that my cholesterol this time was 148!
I have peaked in the 160's before, and bottomed out at 118, but usually I am somewhere around 130. Looks like I might have to start pay more attention to what I eat! :)

If you are lucky enough to be healthy, go donate blood; there are plenty of people that need it!

Happy Mother's Day!

Here is a shout out to all of the wonderful mothers out there...

"Great moms get promoted to GRANDMA!"

Monday, May 3, 2010

Like my new blog???

I thought it was time to liven up the blog for spring...do you like it?

It is May and that means it is time to step up my training for my BI-athlon...I have only three weeks left to get ready! It is getting hotter and today's run felt more like summer; unfortunately I think that it is time to start running a bit earlier. I am going to get a bike lock and then I can keep my bike at our apartment and ride to my parents and around whenever I want. Too bad Houston doesn't really have any hills to train on!

May also means Festival at work which means longer, themed parties and lots of costumes! This time we are cruising around the world, visiting each continent. My party is the Asia party...wish me luck!

Also in May is Nick's GMAT test...May 15th. He has started to step up his studying; wish him luck!

May is also my mom's birthday, Mother's Day, and a visit from Tara. We will be busy this month! I am still trying to manage to do a few crafts here and there as I have been studying up on some crafty blogs...check back this month for pics of some of my creations! :)