Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I am a fan of keeping things honest on here.  No one's life is one hundred percent cheery and happy all of the time.  It can really seem that way on the internet, however.  So by keeping things honest, I am going to tell you that I have been having a lot of really low self-esteem days.  I look in the mirror and hate what I see.  I believe during my last melt down, the word I used was "huge."

Cringe-worthy, I know.

Growing up, I was chunky.  I was made fun a lot for it.  My parents always told me I was beautiful.  My sister thought I was the most beautiful girl to walk the planet.  But somehow, some way, I fell into the trap that most young girls fall into.  I saw myself as ugly and huge.  When I got to be almost 170 pounds, I decided to do something about it.  I thought this would make me feel happy and confident in myself.  I got down to 123 pounds, which is not underweight for my height, but it certainly did not look healthy at all.  And I still saw "huge."

Now, I am in the best shape of my life.  I am able to run miles and miles without stopping.  I kick butt in Crossfit classes.  I can pick up really heavy things and set them back down again.  I have muscle definition in my arms.  My legs are beautiful.  And yet, I still look in the mirror and see "huge." 

I go through days like this.  Weeks even.  Then, something happens and things get put into perspective.  This time, I climbed a mountain.  As I looked out over the millions of trees and the gigantic ocean, I realized that I am not huge.  I am quite small.  I am just a grain of sand in the middle of a million other grains of sand.  

There is far more to me than just the parts that jiggle on my body.  I'm kind.  I'm compassionate.  I'm generous.  I like to think I'm funny.  Just because I can't see those things in the mirror, it doesn't mean they don't matter.  They matter more than whether or not I have a muffin top over my pants.

That goes for all of us.  Each and everyone of us is beautiful.  We all have amazing things about ourselves that make us unique.  We all have traits that we can't see in the mirror that make us who we are.  We are not huge.  In fact, compared to most things, we are quite small.  The ocean is huge.  The earth is huge.  The stars are huge.  The universe is huge.  I am not huge.  You are not huge.

I think Kimya Dawson says it best.  We should all live by her words:

"If you ever hear someone
Say you are huge look at the moon, look at the stars, look at the sun
Look at the ocean and the desert and the mountains and the sky
Say I am just a speck of dust inside a giant's eye"

Sunday, April 27, 2014

How Is It Sunday Already?

I swear these weeks keep going faster and faster. Suddenly it's Sunday and I'm preparing for Monday all over again. This weekend went so fast. Friday I began housesitting for some friends and I was in charge of their poor sick dog. We picked her up from the vet and hung out with her all weekend.

Saturday morning, I spent time with the dog and did some important things, like my resume. Jobs have started being posted, so I'm on a deadline now. I left boyfriend to hang out with the pup while I spent two hours at the gym with my leading lady.

We worked our butts off. Well, we did arms and abs. I cannot lift my arms this morning. The rest of the night I spent being Domestic Debby.

I made beans from scratch, brown rice, and steamed vegetables. I felt so accomplished. I topped it with Braggs Liquid Aminos, which I may or may not have a slight obsession with.

Today, my friend asked if we wanted to adventure with her. I haven't been in nature for awhile and was really needing a large dose of it. I was able to run 10.5 miles before we left for the hike.

It was lovely out. Not too hot and not too cold. We hiked our favorite spot called Strawberry Rock. This is the view you're rewarded with at the top.

Of course, we feel like rockstars at the top.

I tried getting a good picture of us, but I just ended up looking like a goober.

I love the great outdoors. It is really good for my soul.

This is the rock that we literally have to crawl up. I should take up rock climbing.

We also had to pose for our annual kiss-on-the-cheek photo. Words cannot describe my love for this woman.

You may have noticed my purple Under Armour jacket. I recently purchased that at a garage sale for ONE dollar. Best purchase ever. The night ended with Sunday brunch for dinner since my dad has been out of town for two weeks.

Watermelon season is my favorite season. I am now heading to bed. Have an amazing Monday!

Do you need nature to survive?

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Congratulations to all of the people who ran Boston on Monday!!! I love all of the recaps so much!!!

My muse has left me. I'm not sure where it went, but by the time I get home at night, I can't even concentrate on blogging. If I were a real blogger, I'd have drafts saved for the days when I just feel tired and all I have to do is hit publish.

School is winding down. We only have one class on Tuesdays now until the end of the semester in the middle of May! This Tuesday my friends and I decided we should probably just quit the program and become artists. 

Oh wait. No. Teaching is definitely what we should stick with.

With all of this free time, one would assume I would be spending my time finishing up projects and papers that are due soon. Well, after studying for a straight week and then taking the test on Monday, I am drained. After the test I wandered around in a daze. I even took a shower and realized halfway through that I hadn't turned the light on or shut the door.... Needless to say, I fell asleep at 8:30 on Monday night and slept until my alarm went off.

Wednesday, it was pouring down rain, so I went to my dad's house and did mile repeats on the treadmill. Those hurt. So badly. I had Friends to keep me company, but it was the last episode, so I had to turn it off before I started crying. It's only been 10 years. Still too soon.

Today, I came home from the gym and did nothing productive. Then boyfriend asked if I wanted to take the dogs for a walk, so of course I said yes.

I had already run 5.5 miles, so I just walked at a leisurely pace. Malcom, however, got his cardio on and pulled boyfriend 3 miles.

Milo also got a little cardio in by trying to keep up with them. 

When I came home, I found this waiting in the freezer for me. 

Now, I am actually going to knock out some school work. Let's just hope we don't have an art assignment due.

Can you draw?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Random Lists

I feel as though it has been so long since I've updated you on my life. Since it's been awhile, I've decided to compile a random list of what's been going on in Rachel Land.

1. Milo came home!
Milo had been with his dad for over a month. Since Milo is like my child, this was heartwreching for me. So, finally, I asked for him back and my wish was granted.

2. The weather has been amazing.
So I've been sitting outside any chance I get. I've gotten about 2 shades darker, which is great for the middle of April. Te dogs enjoy sitting with me and playing tug-o-war.

3. Last week was Spring Break for the students.
I didn't have to go to my placement, which is always a little sad since I am loving it there. It was perfect timing though, since the entire week I spent studying for the RICA.

4. I literally spent all week studying.
I would wake up, eat breakfast, study for two hours, go to the gym, study for two hours, eat lunch, study for two hours. I was so exhausted by the end of each day that I fell asleep at 9:30 every night. I'm crazy.

5. I agreed to go out on Saturday night!
After a week of doing nothing fun, I actually wanted to go out on the town. I dressed my 87-year-old self up and didn't leave my house until 9:40! I made it until 1am before I felt like laying down on a bench and falling asleep. I think that's appropriate club behavior.

6. I was Instagram famous.
Heather randomly texted me and asked if I knew msmerri on Instagram. That happens to be one of my best friends in real life. She then alerted me to the fact that I was on the front page of the "Exlpore" page. I didn't even know that was a thing, but pretty exciting!

7. Easter.
I'm 26-years-old and the Easter Bunny still comes. We searched for baskets, ate brunch, and then I ran a long way. Then, we ate at my sister's house for dinner. It was low-key and amazing.

8. I can't end on an odd number, so here's an adorable picture of my puppies.

Tell me about your life lately!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another Award!

My best blog friend Heather nominated me for the Liebster Award.  She is just the sweetest person on the planet.  She nominated me for a very specific reason--- she thinks I should run a marathon.  She will be running one in October and I can't wait to support her through her journey!  Thank you so much Heather!!

From her blog:
"If you haven’t heard of this award, it’s an award for bloggers given by bloggers. When you are nominated for the award, you answer a set of questions asked by the blogger who nominated you and then nominate 11 other bloggers, and give those bloggers a set of questions to answer."

Heather's Questions for Me:
{1} What state do you live in?  I live in the Golden State.  Otherwise known as California.

{2} You won a free entry for ANY marathon in the world, which would you choose? I would absolutely choose one in another country.  Which one?  I don't know.  There are so many, many great ones!

Not my picture, obviously.

{3} Will you run a marathon? I am terrified to run a marathon, but so many people have been trying to convince me to lately that it's not totally off my radar.

{4} What does training look like for you, when you are in training for a race? Since running is my therapy, it is really hard for me to go a day without running.  I run 6 days a week with one day off, usually Fridays.  When I am training for a race, I try to incorporate more hills and I also run outside a whole lot more.

{5} What is your favorite course to run? Just in general?  I love running around my dad's house because I get to run through the big trees.  And it's mostly downhill...

{6} How many hours of sleep do you get? I try to get at least 8.  Some nights I get more, some nights I get less.  

{7} What is your favorite spring/summer activity? Hands down going to the river.  And for the past few years, I have been blessed enough to travel to the San Juan Islands in Washington.  Nothing beats that.


{8} What is something on your bucket list? Traveling the world.  I have so many places I want to visit.  Thailand and Greece are currently at the top.

{9} What is your favorite food? Sushi.  Pho.  Cheese.

{10}What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Mint Chip, but it has to be green.

{11} What is your favorite quote? Oh NO!  Don't make me choose!  Currently I am loving, "Good things will happen to you if you stop thinking they won't."  

I am a terrible rule follower and am not going to nominate anyone.  I don't want to play favorites.  So I encourage everyone who reads my blog to answer any or all of my questions.  I love each and everyone of you, so thank you for following me!!!

1. What was your favorite vacation ever?
2. What is on the walls in the room you are in?
3. What was your favorite subject in school?
4. How old were you when you really got into fitness?
5. How often do you strength train?
6. If you became a multi-millionaire over night, what would you buy?
7. If you could eat lunch with someone famous, who would it be?
8. At which store would you max out your credit card?
9. What is your dream race?
10. Where is the furthest place you have ever travelled? 
11. What is your favorite time of day?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Running Community

Way back in 2007, when I first started putting one foot in front of the other in tennis shoes at a pace that probably was just a little faster than walking, I had no idea what kind of community I was entering into.  For as long as I can remember, my dad has run.  He was the only person I knew who strapped on his tennis shoes every single day, rain or shine, and went out on a run.  I saw his dedication and determination.  I had absolutely no idea that there was an entire community of people just like him.  They're called runners.

It took me signing up for races to truly understand what it means to be a part of this amazing community.  We wake up hours before others can even start stirring to pound the pavement.  We spend obscene amounts of money on dream races where we get just the satisfaction of crossing a finish line.  We run when it's raining, when it's snowing, when it's blazing hot outside, in 45 MPH winds.  We cry when we get a new PR, when we get injured, when we hear a story about someone overcoming every obstacle and still finishing that race.  We laugh over runners trots, black toenails, snot rockets, and waving our arms in the air because we truly believe it helps our watches find the satellite faster.

What I love the most about the running community, however, is how we band together as a unit.  We are just as proud of our accomplishments as a runner as we are of other's accomplishments as a runner.  Just having a blog about running has shown me what an amazing community of people runners are.  Your PRs make me just as excited as my PRs.  Your devastating run makes me devastated too.  We are competitive, but it doesn't feel that way because we celebrate everyone's victories.  When things get hard, we push harder.  If you run, you are a runner.  And that is something that we don't find many places.

A year ago, our community was devastated.  The unthinkable happened, and while I was across the country, my heart broke.  But watching what happened in the aftermath, reading the stories of heroes, watching the survivors get back up and show that we won't be knocked down has made me so very proud to be able to call myself a runner.  Thank goodness for this community that welcomes everyone, from all walks of life, all races, all genders, all religious backgrounds, with open arms and no judgements.  And in less than a week, we will show them just how strong we are.

I can't wait.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Soulmate's Birthday Weekend

My soulmate is turning 30 on Thursday, so that meant this weekend was her annual party weekend. We went down to celebrate with her last year, so this is quickly becoming an annual thing. Boyfriend and I hopped in the car immediately after I got out of class Friday afternoon to begin our trek.

We stopped for dinner along the way and boyfriend got the road trip essential. A double shot of espresso.

We got to the city a little after 9. The bridge is always so beautiful at night.

Saturday morning began with a 5.5 mile run around Google Land. Her husband took me on a lovely loop.

It was a little warmer than I am used to. I was dripping when I returned to their house.

After a shower and coffee, the girls went to the mall. Soulmate is pregnant, so we went to get her some maternity clothes. They have a pillow you can wear that adds three months to your belly. This is what she will look like 8 months pregnant.

I've also been keeping a secret from you guys.

Just kidding! This is actually me.

We got ready to head back to the city for the night when we returned.

The first stop was their hotel. The view of the city was amazing. The party was in SoMo (South of Market), so that's where they were staying. We ended up across town in The Sunset at boyfriend's cousin's apartment.

Soulmate's husband had rented out The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. It was amazing. Food just kept coming and coming. And I could order anything on the menu gluten free. Cheese? Bread? Melted? I was in heaven!

My soulmate was having a wonderful time.

Boyfriend was having a pretty good time as well.

We hung out for awhile, eating and talking and laughing.

Around 8:30, we walked to the bowling alley where we had our own lanes available. The alley was the swankiest bowling alley I've ever seen. It was right across the street from ATT Park.

Let's talk about my bowling skills. I'm probably the worst bowler on the planet. Let's check my score. I'd be CrayCrayRayRay.

At least I had fashion on my side. I'm really good at starting fashion trends. Be on the look out for this in Vogue.

A greasy breakfast was needed this morning for a few members of our party. Of course, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed because I was Sober Sally all night.

Then we were on our way home. But today is Sunday Runday, and it was beautiful in the city, so we had to make a pit stop to get part of my long run out of the way. We found this random little trail to run on.

Boyfriend was an awesome sport and ran with me. Well. He ran too. I kept looping back around to check on him.

The view was absolutely amazing today. It's not usually this clear.

I finished my run once we got home.

It was a wonderful little weekend away from home. I love that the city is such a short trek from here that we can do it in a weekend. I have this week off from my placement, which means a lot of studying. I will leave you with an adorable picture from family dinner.

What is your favorite city to visit?