I'm on the fence....

I have been seriously thinking about training for a half-marathon. I've been jogging for about a year now and have definitely increased my speed and stamina but I am still pretty slow compared to most people. Here are my race times since I've been running in order of when I ran them:

10k- 1:17:17
5k- 35:23
10k- 1:12:57
9k- 1:04:57

The half-marathon I am thinking about running is only in 7 weeks which is not much training time. I am not too concerned about finishing, but the big problem is that in this particular marathon, you have to qualify. And, I would have to run a 5k in the next month in 31 minutes or under in order to qualify which is a LOT faster than I am currently running. So, my plan is to start working on my pace and give it a shot. We'll see if it happens or not.
On a similar note, does anyone have the Garmin Forerunner 205 or 305? I really want one to keep my pace, but I'm not sure that a) I want to spend the $, and b) if I do, which one I should get. It seems the only difference is that the 305 has a heart rate monitor. Do I really need that?


Jessica Simpson Wardrobe Malfunction

Ok, let's face it... This outfit was a really bad choice. Her stylist was definitely in a coma, BUT I wouldn't call her fat. The belt is totally making a muffintop of the upper tummy area.

All in all, I think most of us would still kill to look like her (sans mom jeans and metallic belt)... extra 10 pounds or not!


'Revolutionary Road' vs. 'Titanic'

About a week ago I saw Revolutionary Road with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in theaters. It is essentially about a woman who is not content with the social norms and constraints placed on her in the time in which she lives. She spends the movie searching for ways to break free of these restraints and in the end comes to a tragic fate.

Well, coincidentally, Big Monkey and I ended up catching some of Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet on Saturday morning on our trip this weekend. If you remember, that movie is about a woman who is not content with the social norms and constraints placed on her in the time in which she lives. She spends the movie searching for ways to break free of these restraints and in the end comes to a tragic fate.

Sound familiar!?

Ok, ok, I know the two are not exactly the same... one is a budding love story while the other is a love story gone horribly wrong, but I did find it so interesting that the Kate Winslet character is essentially the same character in both movies. She is a woman who wants more. She wants more than to be a wife to her husband. She wants to travel, live life to the fullest and "make it (i.e. life) count", just as Jack's toast to a table of aristocrats advises in Titanic. She wants love to sweep her off her feet, not to insist she settle because it is the responsible thing to do. There are really so many similarities between Rose and April that it could not have gone unnoticed to Winslet when picking the part.

I think one of the worst things that could happen to a person is to live a life so unfulfilled and without purpose.


Don't Mess With Texas!

Thursday and Friday took me to Houston on business. Luckily, Big Monkey was able to tag along and we had a great time living it up in the Lone Star State. Whenever we head to Houston, I feel like some character out of The Andy Griffith Show who is traveling to "the Big City"! The traffic is crazy, the City is huge, and the enormity of it all is a little overwhelming.

BM and I have our routine down during our biannual visits. We always hit the Galleria for some upscale shopping, Mama's Cafe on Westheimer for breakfast, and our own mecca, IKEA! Here are some highlight pics from this recent visit.(Kenneth Cole helping out in these tough economic times!)(Not sure if the sign got blown away in the Sept hurricane but seems like they should have it fixed by now?)(The breakfast tacos and hashbrowns are unbeatable at Mama's and way cheap!)


Message to the bride and groom...

This weekend my cousin got married to a great guy and the whole weekend was filled with family and fun. In a traditional Jewish wedding, there is a ceremony prior to the nuptials called a tish, where you can give some advice to the couple. During the tish, I really couldn't find what I wanted to say, but as I have had more time to think about it, I've come up with a few words of wisdom.

Now, I've only been married eight years and, believe me, BM and I are far from perfect. We have had our ups and downs. We have had plenty of hard times relationship-wise, but also lots of good ones. Here are a few things I have learned along the way in no particular order:

1) Complacency can be the most dangerous thing in a realtionship. The minute you forget that you have to work at it, things start going downhill.

2) Spend time often sharing details of your day (and also your thoughts on the day in general). I find that when we start to lose interest in the minute details of each other's lives is when distance grows. Over the years, people change, and if we don't keep up with those changes, we risk waking up next to a stranger.

3) This is an oldie, but a goodie... Pick your battles! I struggle with this one everyday, but I definitely find that we are more able to compromise when everything isn't an issue that needs to be discussed.

4) Go out to breakfast together. Not lunch or dinner, but breakfast. It kickstarts your weekends and sets the tone.

5) Go to bed angry... I am the type of person that likes to talk things out right now and get everything settled. Big Monkey likes time to think about things. It has taken me a long time to realize that sometimes it is better to give things some time. Think about what you want to say before you say it. (I never do this, but it really is good advice!)

6) Sit down and talk about your plans often. Have a life plan that you set together. Even if it doesn't come to fruition or your road changes, you will both be on the same page with what you want and expect out of your marriage.

So, newlyweds, I wish you a long and happy life together. I hope you take some of my advice and I too am going to try to remember some of my own words of wisdom more often.

Readers, anything you'd like to add to the list?


Sorry for the break...

We had big family wedding weekend since Friday and I haven't had a minute to blog about it! This is the longest I have gone without posting since this blog's inception and it was kind of a nice break. I'll be back with pics and updates tomorrow, but for now I'm going to catch some zzzz's.


The Little Monkey's first trip to the the donut shop

The Little Monkey experienced his first donut last Saturday and he is a big fan! He kept reaching into the bag for more. After four donut holes, I put a stop to it!


The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's Re-Opening Gala

The LPO had its first performance since Katrina this weekend and my Firm sponsored a table at the sold-out Re-Opening Gala after the performance. It gave me and Big Monkey an opportunity to dress in our finest and get in some culture (something we don't often get since the arrival of Little Monkey)!(I hate my hair in this picture but wanted you to see BM in his tux. I tried to do an easy updo but just couldn't make it work.)

The actual event was wonderful and included a performance by Itzhak Perlman and the San Francisco Ballet. I haven't been to a ballet in some time and really enjoyed it. Aren't ballerinas just beautiful in their tutus? No wonder every little girl wants to grow up to be a ballerina!
The after dinner gala was nice but didn't get going until about 10:30 and we were pretty much ready to call it a night, so we ate dinner and were home by midnight.

Thanks to my mom and Grumps for the free night of babysitting. You and the dogs are welcome anytime if it gets me and BM out of the house more often!


Stirrup pants? Seriously?!

Friday night I needed to get LM a tuxedo shirt for our night on the town (I'll tell you about it later) so I headed to the mall. I went into XXI, which is a very trendy 15-27 year-oldish clothing store. I often stop in to fool myself into thinking I can wear their clothes, but in the the dressing room I always just look silly or fat.

Anyway, have we seriously regressed back to 1984 in that stirrup pants are back in style? I mean this isn't Wal-Mart... it is a very hip store where the "cool" kids shop! Stirrup pants? Are you kidding me?


Who needs pockets?

Have y'all seen this video? It is kid of gross but funny none the less. I almost wonder if it wasn't staged. Who lets their two year kid play outside unsupervised stuffing frogs down their drawers? Cute but a little disturbing!


Love letter to Big Monkey

Happy Anniversary Big Monkey! We have now known each other for ten years (almost a third of our lives) and been married for eight of those. It gets better everyday! You are an adoring husband. You are patient when I am impatient. You are calm when I am in hysterics. You make me laugh when I want to cry. You make me think twice before I make a fool of myself. And most of all, you just make me a better person. I can't think of anyone else I would rather spend the rest of my life with or raise a family with. Thanks for being a wonderful husband, father, and friend!
I took off work today to have a day of fun with Big Monkey in honor of our anniversary. We had a wonderful time. We started off at The Ruby Slipper in Mid-City for breakfast. BM had the Three Little Piggies omelet (meat, meat, meat) and I had the basic breakfast with a side of pancake. It was relaxing and delicious!
We then hit the Nike outlet to suit up for our New Year's resolution of both getting healthier and losing weight.After relaxing a bit at home, we went to see the movie "Milk" (commentary to follow tomorrow).
We ended the evening with a fabulous dinner at Luke, one of Chef John Besh's restaurants. It was really wonderful. I started off with the fried oyser, bacon, and avocado salad. The bacon was nice and smoky and the oysters could not have been fresher. It was our favorite dish of the evening. I got the mussels et frites for my entree. The french fries were awesome and crispy. The muscles were a bit bland but a good choice since I didn't want something too heavy. The only disappoinment was the bread pudding which was much too dense and hard and as Big Monkey put it "uncomfortable to eat". But, it did not deter from a wonderful dinner!


Opportunity for Random Act of Kindness for our Troops

One of the women on the BabyCenter Bargain Board tonight suggested this and I thought it was an awesome idea!

Hickory Farms is having their big after-Xmas sale where everything is 75% off. Use code 849358 for an extra 15% off that. They have a special section (click here) where you can send these items to military APO and FPO addresses for free shipping. Go to anysoldier.com to get addresses of soldiers you can send them too. Hickory Farms even allows you to add a message to your shipment. I found two units from Louisiana.

What a great idea and it only cost me $19. Show your support for our troops today. I'm sure they would love to get a care package.

**On anysoldier.com, click on one of the names on the left hand side and then you have to register and their address will be sent to you. I found it a little difficult to understand at first so leave a comment if you have a question and I can help you.


New cute pics of Little Monkey

LM in a cheetos induced coma
LM discovers the joys of a three-way mirrorOur litte Slugger!Our friend, Stinks, brought this shirt back for LM from England and we thought he was quite stylin' until Aunt Rachel told us he looked more Jehovah's Witness than GQ!


Review of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I saw this movie tonight. I started crying when it began and didn't stop for three hours. That's not to say the movie was all that sad, but I pretty much cry at AT&T commercials, so you can't go by me.

I enjoyed the movie, but, of course have some comments. The movie starts with Benjamin being born to a family in New Orleans. His father sees what he is and promptly leaves him on a fellow New Orleanian's doorstep. The movie seems to be a parable for life, told like a fable. Because of this, I really think they should have left more to my own imagination. They really drew out every detail for me which lead to some unbelievability. But, in general, the story was good and, I would suggest seeing it.My favorite part about the movie, though, was the fact that New Orleans really becomes a character in its own right within the movie. The scenes were shot beautifully, showcasing our wonderful architecture, streetcars, French Quarter, parks. I really enjoyed recognizing places around the New Orleans and seeing them as I do everyday and how they might have been years ago.
Unfortunately, the director felt the need to bring Katrina into the story which was completely unnecessary to the plot, if not just awkward. Last, I have to say, Brad Pitt is just HOT! He just gets hotter and hotter... one day I will tell y'all about the time I saw him at Big Lots last Christmas. Yes, I said Big Lots!


Happy New Year! My resolutions...

(not my dachshunds, but too cute a pic to pass up!)

I want to wish all my friends, family and loyal readers a wonderful 2009. 2008 was a great year for me, BM, and LM. Personally, I have accomplished a lot this year of which I am proud. I began jogging, ran my first 10k, lost over 25 pounds, finally had an adult Bat Mitzvah (since I never had one as a girl), made lots of new friends (in real life and in the blog-o-shere :). Also, Big Monkey and I have had a great year watching Little Monkey grow into a toddler. We will be celebrating our 8th anniversary next week and I look forward to countless more years together.

As the new year approached, of course, I had to make some resolutions. Here's what I will work toward in 2009:

*I want to lose 15 more pounds and be able to maintain it.
*I have a tendency to procrastinate and I really want to work on not doing that. We will see. This is something that will be very hard for me.
*I want to make an effort to call my Grandparents weekly.
*I would like to organize our house. It is a small two-bedroom, but I think we could really enjoy it if space was utilized better.
*I would like BM and I to make more of an effort to have at least one "date night" a month. It can be pricey but I think it is important.

So, what are yours?