Moments of Gratitude

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I stumbled on this passage last night from an article in Writers Digest about being grateful for little moments of magic.

As the approach of Thanksgiving prompts us all to give thanks for what matters most in life—our families, friends, good health, good fortune—we should remember the gifts of the writing life, too.

And when we reflect on the joy and torment that a creative drive and a way with words can bring, we should be grateful not just for these perfect little moments where everything comes together, rare and fleeting as they may seem, but for all the blurry snapshots in between. Because they’re just as important, if not more so. They make us sit up, take notice and smile our most genuine smiles when we look over everything we’ve done and recognize, there in the midst of all our outtakes, a perfect little gem. And they remind us that we’ll never capture those moments of magic if we don’t keep trying.

This blog chronicles all of this for me as I capture The Adventures. The seconds. The Blurry. The Clear. The Good Fortune. The Outtakes. The Gems. and The Magic.

I’m grateful for it all.

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Happy Thanksgiving.

{MF Dre}

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Turkey (Trample).

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To Black Friday or to Not Black Friday?

I used to do it all the time, but without my Parter-in-Crime-Shopping Sister, it is just not the same.

And there is no fun in trying to shop online together 3000 miles apart.

So, I think I’ll stay in my PJ’s,  thank you. (Bonus: my Post-Race Legs weren’t really planning on moving anyway).

  Yesterday’s Turkey Trot might as well have been called a Turkey Trample. 2 miles into 9, I felt like I’d been trampled on.  The first two miles were about a 60% grade – no nice flat warmup or rolling hills to ease you in. Straight.Up.Hard.Core.  I honestly think I underestimated trail running.  It was SO tough.

I headed up to Topanga State Park bright and early.  The parking situation was minimal and confused so I wanted to have enough time to park and catch the shuttle to the start.  Well, seems like everyone had a problem with this because there was only one shuttle and it was a bus that could barely clear the steep, windy roads.  FAIL.

Race started 30 minutes late because no one could get up the hill on time.

There were actually 3 Races – 5k, 10k. 15k.  Why didn’t I pick the 5k?

So the first two miles were pure hell.  And I only give 10% of the blame to the 2 Martini & Truffle Fries dinner the night before.

Miles 3-5 veered off the main trail into a single track called the Garapito Loop.  The Upper Rustic Garapito Loop Trail is an adventurous course on poorly marked trails through one of the most rugged areas of the Santa Monica Mountains.  Three pieces of advice on this trail:

1.  Low Hanging Branches, specifically the Second Low Hanging Branch beyond the first one you’ll duck.  It’s the second branch that will get you.

{Figure out how to duck with your eyes looking up}

2.  Muddy Hair-Pin Turns.  Listen for the person in front of you to call out Hair-Pin Left or Hair-Pin Right.  If you’re not listening, you’re running right into Poison Oak.  

{But if you finish the course and shower within an hour, you can wash it off successfully, so run fast}

3. On a single track trail, there is not a lot of room to pass.  If the person behind you is kicking your heels, find a place to step aside, and let them pass.  

{Drop your ego and the urge to kick dirt in their face.} 

Surprisingly, this part of the race was actually pretty fun – the Amazing Race jungle journey I never did. (and now don’t need to).  Orange and Grey man was the guy didn’t fail me with the Hair-Pin Right signal Once.  Good Runner Man. 

Miles 5-7 were Hell. Again.  Straight Up Hill.  Unfortunately the volunteers at the water station coming out of Garapito told us it was all downhill from there, so I was a little dismayed when the molehill we were on coming out of the loop turned into another Everest-like peak.  I may have walked a little.  Not going to lie.  Saving Grace was that it was really pretty.  Cloud-covered, mountain trail kind of pretty.

Downhill...FINALLY

The last two miles delivered on that forgotten promise. All downhill.  And it was Fast.  I think I clocked the last two miles at 6:47 and 6:52.  Crossing the finish I was Dead. Dead. Dead. The I just got hit by an 18 wheeler dead feeling.

Thank God they had Breakfast.  Thanksgiving-Sized Breakfast.  Muffins, Croissants, Fruit, Scrambled Eggs, Juice and Coffee.  What? Post-Race Fuel is more than a half a banana and a mini cliff bar? It was like they knew I’d been duped by the course and it was payback time.  Thank you.  I’ll eat. and eat again.

  I have mixed feelings about the race.  Probably because running up Mt. Kilimanjaro is not quite my thing.  I had moments of agony, moments of adventure and moments of freedom (downhill) during the 9.3 miles.  The one branch-two branch duck, then jump over a crag, avoiding the rocks when you land, and don’t forget, listen for the hair-pin was not for me.

I don’t run to create stress. 

But the XTERRA team were super nice, there was plenty of fuel and water on the course and despite not having the most organized parking situation and the blatant lie about the “all downhill from here” piece, they did serve a kick-ass breakfast at the end which kind of made you forget that you hated your life so much for the last hour and a half. 

Glad I did it. Glad its over.  Next year I’ll be thankful for Trotting vs. getting Trampled.

{MF Dre} 

Grace.

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Grateful

My heart is full and my smile broad. 

Thank you for the wonderful blessings and gifts of grace that enrich my life each day.

Mr. & Me.

The Family

Homie #1

Homie #2 (and #3)

 and all of you that I’m proud to call my friends.

Happy Thanksgiving xx

{MF Dre}

Energizer Bunny.

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I’m not sure how it works out this way, but I seriously have too much energy.  I don’t know how to sit still.  The other night the Mr. and I tried to watch Forks Over Knives and my left leg started having agita.  Seriously I got Kicked.Off.The.Couch.  No biggie, I got to do dishes, clean the kitchen, walk the dogs – all of which sounded 1,000x better than sitting still on the couch.

Forks Over Knives examines the claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. Honestly I’m no scientist, but I do know that a lack of reliance on Bacon, Red Meat and Doritos in favor of a cleaner diet probably does something to contribute to this energy situation.  It wasn’t a bad movie, I just couldn’t sit still.  Finding that to be the case A.LOT. lately.

MF Dre. Bunny

“Ever since you started running like crazy, You are on FIRE all day long. What’s up with that? Shouldn’t you be tired?” — Mr.

{Why No. Thank Goodness. I Think}

Here’s What’s on Today’s List:

  • Running 6 Miles with Homies
  • Thanksgiving Grub-Worthy Recipe Quest
  • Whole Foods 
  • 3 Loads Laundry
  • Vacuum
  • Fresh Cranberry & FIG! Sauce
  • Salted Caramel Cheesecake – my first attempt EVER at a cheesecake
  • Makeup Appointment – BIG EVENT on Saturday
  • Rent a Tux for the Mr. 
  • Bank
  • Start Phase 1 of a D.I.Y.
  • Manicure/Pedicure
  • …. I’m sure more will be added.  

Fresh Cranberries, Sugar and Cranberry Juice

Dried Figs

Gingersnap Crust

Salted Caramel Cheesecake - Pre Oven

With all that done, I’m hoping the Mr. will come home soon and volunteer to Vacuum.  It is the One chore I just can’t seem to bring myself to do.  Energy or Not. 

Thinking it might be time to start the Holiday Shopping – like today. Black Friday has come early. Wednesday, Friday… same thing.  If you liked these pants from Saint Grace, you just might be able to snatch up some during their sale.  Get an early start on your Holiday Shopping – 50% off select items and Free Ground shipping on orders over $75!   

And for you local Runners, Front Runners is having a sale too. Passing this along with a plea to you:  PLEASE DO NOT BUY THOSE UGLY GORILLA FEET SHOES.  THEY ARE HIDEOUS.

kthx.

 

{MF Dre}

Tuesday Things.

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One.More.Day

Before.5.Great.Days.Off

I’m Thankful that Tuesday is Friday.

Bared the freezing this morning and headed out for 5 Miles.  Sometimes I wish I liked running on the dreadmill, but really I don’t. At All. I’d much rather see my breath and have icicles form on my nose.  

Plus, I need to stay limber and ready for the XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot on Thursday before I eat like it’s the last supper. I’m doing the 15k…not really sure what I signed myself up for.  Check out this elevation map.

I run the hills in the hood, but my version of a hill is a speed bump.  I guess I’ll have to create some sort of chant in my head to dominate these bad boys…something like “Bite.Me…er Pie.Me”  There we go…one hill = one slice of Pie.  So I’ll be good for the entire Pecan Pie. {With Ice Cream}

The Mr. hasn’t told me what we need to bring yet.  So I’ll be the last minute-er at Whole Foods fighting you for that last sweet potato, the can of pumpkin and those crispy fried onion in a can things.  I jest. But only about the crispy fried onions.

Time to get on to Tuesday. (FRIDAY!)

{MF Dre}

P.S. To all my Michigan friends, I think you’ll say HAIL NO! to this. Makes me want to boycott Victoria’s Secret forever. Or at least until the next sale.


Tuesday Things.

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One.More.Day

Before.5.Great.Days.Off

I’m Thankful that Tuesday is Friday.

Bared the freezing this morning and headed out for 5 Miles.  Sometimes I wish I liked running on the dreadmill, but really I don’t. At All. I’d much rather see my breath and have icicles form on my nose.  

Plus, I need to stay limber and ready for the XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot on Thursday before I eat like it’s the last supper. I’m doing the 15k…not really sure what I signed myself up for.  Check out this elevation map.

I run the hills in the hood, but my version of a hill is a speed bump.  I guess I’ll have to create some sort of chant in my head to dominate these bad boys…something like “Bite.Me…er Pie.Me”  There we go…one hill = one slice of Pie.  So I’ll be good for the entire Pecan Pie. {With Ice Cream}

The Mr. hasn’t told me what we need to bring yet.  So I’ll be the last minute-er at Whole Foods fighting you for that last sweet potato, the can of pumpkin and those crispy fried onion in a can things.  I jest. But only about the crispy fried onions.

Time to get on to Tuesday. (FRIDAY!)

{MF Dre}

P.S. To all my Michigan friends, I think you’ll say HAIL NO! to this. Makes me want to boycott Victoria’s Secret forever. Or at least until the next sale.


Playing with Fire.

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This may just have to be on the Thanksgiving to do list.

Pumpkin Smores Pudding.  Why Yes. Please.

The Mr. is in Mexico for the weekend for the Baja 1000.  {Um, What’s that?? followed by a quick No Thanks}

Opted to skip this one in favor of a single girl  weekend.

{Yes, Please.  Thank You}

Before he bolted out the door, we (I) shared a few rules of the game:

The Dogs will dominate your side of the bed. And I will permit it.  You may have a fight ahead of you to reclaim your 1/4 of the bed.

may take some liberties to help you rearrange your closet.  This will allow for more room for my clothes.

I will spend money on fancy bottles of wine, manicures and clothes. Because they’re necessary.

Do not blame me if the DVR feels overburdened and accidentally deletes Top Gear, South Park, American Pickers and god forbid Formula 1 News, Qualifying, Races or any other F1 related content. 

I know you love fireworks. When you decide to light up the night with 6″ mortars, I will not be forgiving if you come home with anything less than 10 fingers, 10 toes, a nose, 2 eyes, 2 ears, and 2 eyebrows.  And the need for a hearing aide won’t be ok either.

Playing with Fire may or may not have happened last time we were in Mexico.