Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Back in 2010, I took an epic journey. And it was pure magic - all 13.1 miles of it. I'd never before experienced anything quite like it, nor can I say I've done anything like it since. After all, how often does it actually snow in Orlando, Florida, on the day of your first half-marathon?! And ever since I crossed the Finish Line at Epcot on that freezing cold January morning, I've been longing to do another Disney race.

So a couple of 10Ks, a few 5Ks, a half-marathon (for two!), and one sweet baby boy later, I'm going back. As of today, I'm signed up for the 2013 Disney World Half-Marathon...and listen up, Orlando - it's not just one but two Payne sisters toeing the line!

So bring on the miles and the magic, Mickey Mouse...we're coming back for MORE.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Winter was mild. Not only in temperature, but also in the pace of life! And spring, by comparison, promises to be very full and warm. In fact, spring has indeed sprung.

Sprung what, you may ask? Adventures galore! And a bunch of gerunds, apparently.

We've been play-ing: Leap Frog and Little Tykes know how to entertain 8 month-old boys. 35 year-old boys, too.

And travel-ing: Lots of trips to see Meme and Granddaddy in Virginia. And Erich took a whirlwind tour of Washington, DC, a few weeks ago. Our journey to Toronto and back, by way of Cleveland and Pittsburgh, is next on the agenda. Not to mention the beach later this summer and race madness later in the year.

And cook-ing: Enchiladas and Southwest turkey burgers - we lived to tell of both dinners! Working at getting a few new recipes under my belt.

And work-ing: Teaching and clinic - most balanced I've felt professionally in a long time. (Read: ever).

And read-ing: The Hunger Games with the rest of the free world (so, SO good). The Kitchen House and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, both entertaining reads. Next, a long-overdue date with Henrietta Lacks.

And (trying to get motivated to do more) runn-ing: I really think I must sign up for a fun race. Maybe two! It's no fun to get back in shape without a dangled carrot. Might need a little magic...

And imagin-ing: (See below.)

And plott-ing: (See above.)

And schem-ing: (You get the idea.)

And buy-ing: I was surprised to discover the timing was right for a beautiful (nearly) new Honda Pilot to join our family! Her name is Chuck Yeager, Charley for short. This particular Pilot hasn't broken the sound barrier. Yet.

And try-ing: Refer to 'cooking' and 'running,' in particular...

And (finally!) blogg-ing: What a busy spring so far!

And lov-ing: These guys. How can you not?

Monday, January 16, 2012

To Do.

So I'm spending this late-morning/early-afternoon gift of 'me time' doing things I love:

Drinking coffee and organizing and plotting & scheming.

It's not as lame as it sounds. (Ok, maybe it is. Wait - that's why they call it 'me time,' right? Right?!)

Anyway, it will come as a surprise to no one that I love to keep a 'To Do' list. And these lists are great reminders of just that - things I need to do. The problem is, there are certain things I put on my 'To Do' list that always get shuffled to the bottom. Other things take priority (and rightly so, most of the time). In other words, these things I need 'To Do' take (necessary) precedence over the things I want 'To Do.' And all too often, the things I want 'To Do' never get 'To Done.' Still with me?

But every once in a while (if we're lucky), we get a day to catch our breath and take a break from checking all the items off the top of the 'To Do' list and revisit the long-lost items closer to the bottom. Thankfully, in addition to revolutionizing humanity with his dreams of peaceful equality, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has afforded me just such an opportunity today.

So after our morning routine of oatmeal and playtime and Sesame Street, I sent the boys off on their adventure in the mountains and poured myself another cup of coffee. (What joy and leisure in a second cup of coffee!) And as I took a closer look at my 'To Do' list, organizing my music collection surfaced at the top. For some time now, I've been wanting to shift older CDs over to my iTunes library, creating a central place for all of my music, both new and old. But that sort of thing takes time, you know. And in the world of professional moms, time is a hot commodity! So I decided this late-morning/early-afternoon was the perfect time for just such a task.

And what a fun task it's been! My collection of music is sort of eclectic, to say the least. It's where Coldplay meets Mindy Smith. Where Josh Groban meets Brandon Heath. Where the Avett Brothers meet Julie Andrews. Where Bon Iver meets Reba McEntire. And where Weezer meets the Muppets. (No, seriously).

So now that my tunes are all together in one (shining happy) place, I can enjoy my music in the car, in the house, or on the run. It's the little things, really.

And speaking of being on the run, that's where the plotting & scheming comes in. There are a few winter and spring races tempting this one...and this one...or maybe this one. Or we could even do this one many options! The trick (for me, at least) is that I need some sort of motivation, usually in the form of a race I've registered for, to get me out the door for a run...especially when it's cold outside. So we'll see. The promise of future adventures is thrilling! Now I just need to figure out which one(s)...

I know, I know.

Add it to my 'To Do' list.