Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Way Back in August

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In real life I’ve been back at work for a little over a week and it’s pretty taxing on me.  So I’m just gonna go back to August and document some fun things that I haven’t had a chance to blog about. 

First, a word from Noodle.  “I love to lay on paper.  It’s my favorite.  I do this every day while my catmom works out.”

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I ate a lot of good food while on leave.  Some cooked at home.  Some dining out.  If I hadn’t been working out every day, I would have gained a lot of weight.

On Sunday 8/20 we went to Lolita’s Mexican for lunch.  If you don’t get there by noon you will have long lines to order and almost no seats.  That’s what happened to us.  But it was worth it!

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On Saturday 8/26 we checked out Westroot Tavern for lunch.  It was a new-to-us place.  It was pretty good but expensive for what it was.  Fancy bar food!  We got the roasted Brussels sprouts with pork belly and it was really good but really oily.

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I got ahi tuna salad and it was just meh.  Plus it was tiny.

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Todd got fish & chips and it was ok.  He said it wasn’t salty enough.  So overall we won’t be back on a regular basis.

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On Sunday 8/27 Todd went swimming in Del Mar with the SD Tri Club.  He got to wear his new wetsuit for the first time!  He had a wetsuit that he wore for years, but it finally broke down.

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After that we went to lunch at Kappa Sushi, one of our favorite Japanese places around here.

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We had an early dinner at Pho Hoang Express.  Then we went to Bernardo Winery for the Ira B Liss big band concert.  We do this every year and it’s always such fun!

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After we got back home, it was time for the Game of Thrones season 7 finale!  I really enjoyed season 7.  Now we are watching season 6 again every Sunday night so we could go back and listen to the recap podcasts.  Long wait till season 8!

Todd took Monday 8/28 off so we went to lunch at Liberty Public Market.  We had sausage sandwiches from Mastiff.

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After that we shared two small scoops of ice cream from Scoops by Moo Time.  One was Banana Nutella and the other Chocolate Pomegranate. 

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And now, a word from Noodle.  “I loved to sleep in this cat bed by the window during my catmom’s leave from work.  I just wanted to be close to her, next to the recliner.”

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Thursday 8/31 was the kickoff game for the Ohio State Buckeyes football season!  We invited our friends Anne & Gilbert over for dinner and the game.  Todd made homemade carne asada, which set off the smoke alarm when he was cooking it.  But man, was it good.  Anne & Gilbert brought jalapeno corn bread and it was divine.

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Group selfie during the game!

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Todd made carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert.  So good!

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The Buckeyes beat Indiana 49-21, pulling away in the second half.  It was a great way to kick off the college football season!  The first college football Saturday was 9/2, so of course Todd was prepared for it!

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I haven’t been sleeping as well since going back to work.  I’ve been still working out every day though, so at least I’ve kept that going.  I’ll be back in a couple of days with more September recaps.  Talk to you soon!

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Smile Because It Happened

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“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – often attributed to Dr. Seuss

My 10 weeks of leave of absence from work is almost over.  On Monday I go back to work.  I wanted to extend it to mid-October, but they really wanted me back at work for quarter-end.  I feel so wistful today.  I can honest say that I’ve had the most amazing time the last 2.5 months.  The best time of my adult life.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity to take this leave from work.  I would highly recommend anyone to do it if they can.  It makes me look forward to the day that I can “retire” from work, hopefully in a few years!

I have a few more posts to document my life the last 2-3 weeks, but it may not happen until this weekend or next weekend.  However, I wanted to write a summary post of how I feel about my leave of absence from work, and also what I’ve learned during this time.

  • Don’t put your life on hold because of work demands, stress, or pressure.  I was giving the best of myself during work time, and the rest of my life was getting the shaft.  I was exhausted when I got home, and vegged out the rest of the evening.  I felt like a big slug.  I was not socializing with friends as much, because it just felt like I didn’t have the energy.  With everything going on at work lately (layoffs, massive changes, etc), my work friends and I have come to the sad conclusion that the corporation/company that you work for doesn’t really care about you.  They can get rid of you in a hot second.  So to think that you would be rewarded for putting in a ton of extra effort and time is foolish.  This is a hard lesson for me, since I am Type A overachiever personality.  But it is something that I really had to learn for myself.  Working extra hard and putting the rest of my life on hold did not get me any rewards at work.  It will not happen again.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me!
  • Exercising is a priority.  I exercised 6 days per week during my leave.  I will continue to do so after I go back to work.  I had forgotten how many benefits there are to exercising regularly.  I talked about why I was able to stick to regular exercising this time in this post.  My body felt so great when I moved it every day.  I really enjoyed the types of exercises I was doing.  My daily energy level improved so much.  And daily exercising improved my overall mood.  I’m so glad that I was able to totally reset my relationship with exercising, and was able to do it consistently almost every single day.  This was one of my intentions for my leave, and I did it.  I will continue to do it.
  • Make time for friends and family.  Social support is everything.  Before my leave, I was not socializing with friends as much.  It just felt like it was a big effort, after I had already “shot my wad” during the week at work.  This was totally wrong.  During my leave I was able to schedule social time with a friend every week, if not twice a week.  I loved hanging out with them and chatting.  It really gave me a sense of social support, and that I matter and I am cared for.  I saw my dad and Shelly and hung out with them.  I made a trip to Dallas to see my sister and her family.  All this was precious to me.  I will continue to make time for friends and family. 
  • Sleeping is a priority.  We often have the mentality that sleep is the time leftover after we do all our other things.  We are short-changing ourselves on something that’s vastly important for our health.  Staying up to watch TV, watch movies, read, surf the internet, etc is totally not worth it.  Sleep is when our bodies regenerate.  Lack of sleep is related to a host of health issues.  Instead of thinking of sleep as depriving ourselves of doing those other things we want to do, we should think of sleep as the ultimate “me time”.  During my leave I was able to reset my sleeping habits and got 7-9 hours of sleep regularly.  It really made a big difference in my overall well-being. 

I thought I was going to get more accomplished during my leave.  Things like house projects, purging, cleaning, organizing, etc.  But I hardly got those things done.  I’ve come to realize those are secondary to my primary intentions above.  I mean, I can hire people to do these secondary things, but only I myself can do the priority things above.  Those were absolutely up to me, and they were the most urgent things that I needed to change about myself.  So in that respect I feel very accomplished and awesome! 

I feel nothing but gratefulness that I was able to take 10 weeks off work.  Grateful to my manager for allowing it to happen, at great cost to him and my team.  Grateful to Todd for supporting me.  I  have never felt happier in my adult life.  I will do everything I can to carry this knowledge and these changes forward.  Onwards and upwards!

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Texas, Y’All

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As my leave of absence from work was coming to an end, we took a few days off to visit my sister and her family in Texas.  I haven’t visited since Christmas 2015, so we were excited to see them.  Of course, my nephews grew up quite a bit during that time.

Our plane took off on Wednesday 9/13 in the afternoon.  Todd and I were able to pack everything into one carry-on  and two backpacks!  It felt great to travel light and not have to check bags.  We got to DFW in the evening, but of course it took forever to get to car rental and get out of the airport.  DFW airport is HUUUUGE!  We arrive pretty late at my sister’s house, so we went straight to bed.

The next day (9/14) we woke up at 6am local time.  Boo!  Was hoping we would sleep more, ha!  My sister Joyce and brother-in-law Alex got the kids off to school.  Alex went to work some in the morning.  After Alex came home, the four of us hung out and chatted.  It was so fun!  We had lunch at Ali Baba’s Mediterranean Restaurant.  It was a lunch buffet and super delicious!  I was sad that I was already stuffed after one plate!

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The four of us took a selfie.  What is that, a “wefie”?  Open-mouthed smile

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Then we went back to the house and hung out until the kids came home.  Andrew (my 13 yo nephew) showed us the videos that he has created for his YouTube channel and they were so cool!  Kids nowadays!

We had Pizza Hut and Papa Murphy’s salads for dinner.  Andrew & Todd played Star Wars Battlefront on Xbox One.  They did this a lot while we were there, ha ha.  Todd was Andrew’s video game buddy.  Xander looked on sometimes too.

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The next day (Friday 9/15) we got up after sleeping 8 hours.  So much better!  Todd went to 7-Eleven and McDonald’s and got me iced coffee.  He also got egg McMuffin sandwiches for me and Joyce.  I actually brought my workout DVDs to Texas, so I did a workout in the morning and showered. 

We met up with Alex (who went straight from work) for lunch at Uncle Julio’s.  It was actually quite good!  I had shrimp tacos and enjoyed the mango jicama slaw.

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After lunch we went to Super Target (we don’t have those in San Diego!) and got a wireless X-Box one controller for Andrew, since his controllers are wired.  Then Todd and Alex opened the controller and started playing the NBA game before Andrew even got home, ha ha!

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Of course after Andrew came from from school he played a lot with Uncle Todd.

We went to the Asian Food Court for dinner.  We had biang biang noodles, spicy oil noodles, zha jiang mien, fried dumplings, and wontons for dinner.

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Joyce was a little disappointed that the food vendors have changed there.  But we had a nice dinner anyways.  Who doesn’t love noodles & dumplings??  Even Andrew loved it.

We got the movie “Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2” from Redbox.  I tried to watch it with everyone but fell asleep.  Todd powered through with Andrew.

On Saturday 9/16 we got up around 6:30am.  Todd ate popcorn (his standard breakfast) and went running.  Alex & Joyce made pancakes, sausages, and eggs for breakfast for everyone.  Alex went grocery shopping.  Andrew & Todd played Battlefront again.  Then Joyce, Andrew, Todd, and I hung out on the couches.

I captuioned this photo “The family that looks at their screens together, stays together”.  Ha!  Open-mouthed smile

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For lunch Todd & I went to Papa Murphy’s to get two salads.  Alex made burgers for everyone.  It was yummy!

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In the afternoon we watched the Buckeyes football game vs. Army.  Then we tried to go to Babe’s for fried chicken dinner, but there was an hour wait.  We ended up at Rosati’s and had Italian food for dinner.

On Sunday we got up at 5:50am.  So early!  We quickly got our stuff together and left for the airport.  We got gas and then McDonald’s for breakfast.  We drove to the airport, dropped off the rental car, and got through security to our gate with plenty of time.  After we landed back in San Diego, we went to Point Loma Seafoods for lunch.  It was so yummy.

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Noodle was so excited when we got home!

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It was a great visit to Texas to see my sister and her family.  We loved being with them!  So awesome that we could fit it in before I had to go back to work.  Xander and Andrew are so much older now. 

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Saturday, September 9, 2017

San Diego Triathlon Classic 2017

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(This post is backdated to September 9th, the date of the San Diego Triathlon Classic.)

Todd signed up to do the San Diego Triathlon Classic again this year.  He did it last year, and before that a couple more times.  He always does the Olympic distance, even though the event itself has other distances such as the sprint.  He trained really hard for it for months this summer.  Lots of swimming, running, and cycling. 

Per usual, the night before, Todd lines all his gear up so that he doesn’t forget anything the morning of the race.

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The next morning (Saturday 9/9, the day of the race), we were supposed to get up at 4:15am.  However, Todd messed up the alarm and accidentally set it for 5:15am.  We didn’t realize it until Noodle woke us up at 5:10.  Todd was worried!  But we were able to leave the house by 5:20 and made it down to Liberty Station transition area by 5:50.  Todd got into the transition area fine and found his friend Amy. 

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He was able to rack his bike and get into his wetsuit and get body marked.  Then we headed to the waters edge to await his start.  It was dark still when the heats started, so pictures were not the best quality.

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Todd swam pretty fast and I barely saw him come out of the water!  The only photo I got was of his back, LOL.

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Then I went to the transition area bike exit and saw him come out with his bike. 

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After seeing Todd off on his bike, I walked over to Panera Bread and had a breakfast sandwich and coffee.  It was a nice break, since Todd would be on his bike for 1.5 hours. 

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Then I walked back and waited for him to return on the bike.  He was right on time!

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Then I waited for him to come by running.  I saw him on both loops of the 6.2 mile run.

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Then I went to the finish line and again he was faster than I expected and I barely saw him come in.  I got a video of him at the finish line, and a photo of him with his medal.

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Todd did so good and he didn’t feel hurt!  I’m so proud of him.  Then he went back into the transition area to change and came out with his gear.  We walked to the car to pack up.  Then we walked back to wait 20 minutes for his friend Amy to finish.  She was so excited that we waited for her and took photos of her!

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Some funny porta-potty signs at the race.  Disappointed smile

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We drove home so Todd could shower.  Then we went to our usual post-triathlon celebration lunch at Phil’s BBQ. 

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Another triathlon season has come to an end.  Todd did so well!  He matched his best time at this event from 7 years ago, which is quite good since he is 7 years older now!  Very proud of his determination, discipline, and commitment. 

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