Happiness is

For some reason those license plate frames that read ‘Happiness is (fill in the blank)’ have always erked me for some reason. But last night, I seriously had a moment where I thought to myself, Now this is happiness.

I was driving to get frozen yogurt at a shop I used to visit often before the yogurt craze began. As a kid, it was a family ritual to grab yogurt on hot summer evenings, or even on brisk winter nights. My mom was even a pro at memorizing the daily yogurt flavors, without even needing to call to confirm. Our new house is conveniently in the very neighborhood of this shop. Closer than my parents house even.

But as I made the familiar drive, I realized our new house is in a neighborhood of my fondest childhood memories. Happy, happy memories that I am overwhelmingly thrilled to relive again! The yogurt shop. The grocery store we once shopped in regularly. The park that leads to the river. The local pizza place my childhood best friend introduced to me. The list continues. I feel like I’m breathing in all these old memories and it brings me such joy. Especially because now new memories will be made here in this very place.

The new house we live in brings me such pure joy. My main wish list item was a big backyard because my childhood home had the best backyard. As I gaze from my kitchen table, I see such possibilities if the memories that are to come. Chris and I continue to add to the already large list of ideas to make this backyard amazing. I’m dying to just lounge under an umbrella and daydream about our future in that backyard.

So though those license plate frames may cause me to roll my eyes from time to time, I guess I can finally say I get it. I have found that happiness.

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The end of an era

photo-31So, great news!

Chris and I are officially homeowners!!

The process was actually quick and painless.

We looked online, chose a list of houses,

and our relator took us through them.

House number 6 out of 7 was the one

so we put in an offer – and – long story short,

it’s ours!!

Of course, yesterday when we got the keys

I was out the door loading boxes into my little Honda.

But after the last load for the night was packed,

I looked around my apartment

and was met with unsuspecting tears falling from my face.

It’s the end of an era.

This apartment was a symbol of my independence.

And though I am ecstatic to start my newest journey and adventure,

it is a little hard to say goodbye.

5 years ago when I moved in to my first and only apartment without roommates,

I had no idea what adventures would come my way.

This apartment has seen me through the ups and downs of starting a career.

I subbed in every nearing district, praying for a job, but soon,

the downturn of the economy and lack of teaching jobs led to a stint of unemployment.

But this apartment also was the scene of the phone call

with news I’d been hired for my first teaching job.

This place was my safe haven during a crazy breakup,

a place to party during my single party girl phase,

and the place Chris picked me up for our first date.

I feel like so much has happened here.

I feel like I’ve grown up into the person I want to be in this place.

They say, “When one door closes, another one opens.”

Well, the door to my single girl life is closing,

and the door to an exciting future as Mrs. DiPlacito is opening.

When I look at it that way, it makes it hard to be sad.

The era of my Q street apartment ends here,

but may the memories never fade.

Runner Problems

Driving home from getting a scoop of ice cream,

(Have I mentioned that it’s blazing hot around here lately?)

still on a high from my run this morning,

I was filled with a surge of energy,

partly from the sugar and partly from the high of the run,

excited to brainstorm a plan for another run tomorrow morning.

But then in dawned on me.

Tomorow’s either a cross training day or a rest day.

Blast!

There is seriously nothing I hate more than cross training days.

You’d think I’d learn to like cross training by now.

After all, overuse is completely to blame for my nagging Runners Knee.

Yet, I really can’t stand cross training.

I guess maybe I just haven’t found an element of cross training that I connect with.

I’ve done hot yoga, spin class, Zumba. Even Jillian Michaels videos.

But really, nothing gets me going like running does.

It just isn’t the same kind of feeling.

Half the time I end up talking myself out of it, and justifying why a run will be fine.

But I guess I’ll never say goodbye to Runners Knee if I keep that up.

So I guess I’m here looking for suggestions.

What do you do on your cross training days?

And if you’re not a runner, what exercise do you love that I should give a try?

If I dissed your fave above, motivate me to give it one more try.

I need some inspiration.

So sadly tomorrow I won’t be running.

My grumpy butt will be going to the gym to find a cardio machine that calls to me.

I can only pray this half sugar, half runners high will get me through tomorrow’s workout.

I guess this is what we would call “Runner Problems.”

Run now, sleep later

I awoke this morning already sweating.

Sacramento is experiencing a heat wave that we usually don’t get in June.

Multiple days of over 105 degrees, and no relief in sight.

It’s summer vacation – I should really be sleeping in.

Most people would have looked at the clock,

which read 6:56, and rolled back over and forced themselves back to sleep.

Me, on the other hand, decided that I’d much rather sweat while running

than sweat as I unsuccessfully attempt to go back to sleep.

(For my adorable little apartment does not have central AC.)

Though this early morning run was far from cool,

it was, in my opinion, the best way to start this day.

Since returning to running from an injury,

I haven’t quite gotten that feeling yet that I’m back where I used to be.

There was a time that I was approaching 9:15 minute miles

and was close to making that my norm for my training runs.

I was on the edge of breaking a 2 hour half marathon

and 3 miles was a joke of an easy run.

But now, my pace has slowed to a respectable 10:15-10:30 mile

but 3 and 4 miles are definitely challenges at times.

However, today was the first day that I ever felt like I could return to the runner I once was.

My knees did not ache, my pace was up, and I never felt tired.

I’m not sure if it was the haze of the heat or if my mind was just in the right place,

but this morning was one of the best runs I’ve had in a very long time –

to the point that I said a little prayer of thanksgiving when it was over.

Thank you for this run.

This run makes me feel clarity, feel strength, feel peace.

I feel ready for this day!

So cheers to feeling like the runner I once was,

and hopefully the runner I’ll always be.

Strong. Healthy. Free.

And now I will retreat to my couch,

where I can feel the cool breeze from the wall AC unit

and return to slumber.

Summer Bucket List – Edition 2

 Last summer I made a bucket list

of all the things I wanted to do over my summer vacation

and I have to say – I was pretty darn successful!

There were a few here and there that went left unchecked,

but I’ve decided to make this a yearly tradition.

So here comes the second annual summer bucket list!

2013’s Summer Bucket List

1. Go camping at least once a month.  This includes May, June, and July.  May is included because well, I went camping in April, and we have a trip planned for May.   Why not keep the tradition going?

2. Visit the American River as much as possible. This includes floating down the river, running on the bike trail, and just visiting to skip a rock or two.  Last summer I didn’t do this nearly enough!!

3. Sew a dress for my rehearsal dinner with Abuela.

4. Wedding crafts/projects galore!

5. Try out trail running!    I’ve heard its good for your knees. But I’ve also heard, once you start, you’ll never go back.

6. Sign up for at least one race.  I’m dying to race, but I’m trying to return to running slowly. Man is it hard!

7. Read. A ton.  Same goal as last summer – try to read one book for every week of summer.  7 total.

8. Take a day road trip all my lonesome.  Lake Tahoe, the ocean, who knows!  Just looking to be spontaneous.

9. Run, run, run.  Last summer I wasn’t able to, so this summer calls for lots of early morning runs in the cool air before the temps reach 95+.

10. Spend time outside as much as possible – Friday Night Concerts, River Cats games, Picnics, Bike Rides, any excuse!

11. Eat ice cream at three of the best parlors in the Sacramento area – Vics, Gunthers, and Snooks.  I’ve only had Gunthers before, and as an ice cream lover, I think it’s about time I tried the other two!

12. Make it a baseball summer!  I have fond memories of Abuelo spending time watching baseball on a hot summer day for hours and hours and I never understood why.  Now, I’m loving the game more than I ever have.  Here’s hoping I can catch a few games in person, and if not, cheer from the couch whenever possible.  Go Giants!

13. See The Great Gatsby and Man of Steel.

14. Cross at least one thing off my 30 before 30 list.  Will this be the summer I finally make an ice cream cake?  Who knows!

15. Go shopping for fresh fruit and veggies at a Farmers Market.  Sacramento has such great farmers markets and I never take advantage!  May this be the summer I bike and shop at these fun events!

16. House hunting! Chris and I are on the hunt for our very first house.  Hopefully this summer we’ll find our perfect home!

17. Finally make some homemade salsa.  Sadly I won’t be able to use freshly grown tomatoes from my own garden (there’s no room for tomato plants at my apartment) but perhaps when I complete #15 I can use local tomatoes to make some salsa!

18. Watch SYTYCD (So You Think You Can Dance)!  What would my summer Wednesdays and Thursdays be without SYTYCD?! It’s only my favorite show!

Summer is inching closer by the minute.

I think this will serve as enough motivation to get me through

these last few weeks of school.

What’s on your summer bucket list?

Coming Soon!

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Tonight is the night before the first day of our state testing.

Which means…

Summer is quickly approaching!

Which also means…

that my Summer Bucket List Edition 2 is right around the corner.

Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’ll be dreaming of the sounds of the ocean

and all the other fun things I hope to see and do this summer.

Back to School Eve

Well, my dear Summer Vacation,

you’ve come to an end.

Filled with all kinds of amazingness,

you brought me great joy and relaxation.

I vowed to savor every last second of this time off

and I’m happy to say that I met my goal.

I bid you farewell.

Until we meet again!

Disneyland was nothing but fabulous!

My boyfriend and I are similar in our traveling likes and dislikes,

which always makes our adventures that much better.

I’m sad to report I did not take pictures of all our

road trip surprises along the way down to Anaheim.

My favorite surprise I packed was a box of Disney Trivia cards

from the World of Disney Trivia game!

My boyfriend brought me a surprise of packs of baseball cards

in hopes to teach me a few new fun facts

about baseball. (Another new favorite summer love.)

Go Giants, by the way!

I’ve been to Disneyland a ton,

but there’s always something new to do.

And I always leave with things on my list for our next trip.

I’d have to say my favorite part was the

Mad T Party in California Adventure.

It’s basically an Alice in Wonderland  party, Tim Burton inspired.

Theres a House of Cards, themed drinks at a place called “Drink Me”

and even a band where Alice and the Mad Hatter sing!

Pretty much my cup of tea! (haha!)

Though as a kid I always loved Snow White,

Alice has really become one of my favorites!

Alas, the one thing on my list for our next trip has to be

finally trying one of those Dole Whips by the Tiki Room.

The lines are always long, but the treat looks so refreshing!

Don’t ask my why I haven’t taken the time to actually

stand in line and get one!

Next time!

All in all, another great Disney adventure!