swimming, bananas, and trail racing

On Friday night, it was Spencer's turn to go to the temple so I got a date night with Jack. We went to the pool at my work (a perfect time to go because we can't afford a membership for Spencer even with my employee discount!), we went to Chick-fil-A, and a we went to Yogurt Mountain to use my free 8 ounces I got from competing in the Jesus Half (also a perfect time to go because we can't afford the way Spencer loads up on his frozen yogurt and toppings - he thinks he must fill those ridiculously oversized bowls as high as possible and it ends up costing us more than the price of two half gallons of Blue Bell ice cream!) The yogurt place had maple bacon flavor which I sampled and it was weird. I ended up going with the vanilla bean and chocolate swirl with bananas and Heath bits on top. Delish!

Can we talk about bananas now?! Did you know that they are incredibly delicious in ice cream and frozen yogurt?! I never liked bananas growing up so I never tried bananas with ice cream until about a month ago, and holy banana split! Those things are good. I think I need to eat a banana split every night now to make up for lost time.
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Saturday morning was Spencer's 10k trail race! It was a beautiful day and a beautiful trail and also an incredibly freaking hard race! I can't believe that Spencer chose that race as his first race, and even though we both thought he was going to die alone out on the trail, he had a lot of fun and wants to do another race! Go Spencer! Also, awesome job to our friend, David, who took second place overall!
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The rest of our weekend consisted of crepes with friends, Sam's Club sampling, Pizza Hut, movie with friends (we watched Salt and I hardly asked any questions!), waffles, lesson planning, church, and Lost.

And Monday was just one of those 25-toddlers-in-which-9-of-them-were-screaming-in-terror-the-whole-time-at-work kind of days.

Hellooooo Tuesday!
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Confessions Round 2

1. Spencer and I consumed a half a gallon of Blue Bell Banana Pudding ice cream in 24 hours. I will go as far as to say that if you haven't tried this heavenly goodness, then you haven't even lived. Do yourself a favor and eat some right now.
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2. I get paid (a very tiny bit) to take my child to play with a million super cool toys and to have him make messes outside of our apartment. I also talk to adults on a daily basis now! (And occasionally hold two screaming babies at the same time while Jack cries and clings to my leg, but let's not talk about that)

3. I have had a marathon change of heart and have officially decided that I am going qualify for the Boston Marathon. (one day, far far from today)

4. I am a zoo junky. Since we moved to Birmingham, I believe I have spent more time at the zoo with animals than with humans, and as a result, in social settings (usually small talk), I have zoo diarrhea of the mouth that I think is comparable to a nervous tick in which I cannot. stop. talking. about. the. zoo. Somebody asks me how I am doing and all of a sudden I am spouting out random facts about zoo animals and inviting them to go to the zoo with me and once I get to the part about how our Birmingham lioness is on birth control pills and how the San Francisco Zoo actually gives animal sex tours every February for Valentines Day, I scream to myself in my head: ANNIE!!! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! You have GOT to have something more interesting to talk about than the zoo!!! 

5. I genuinely get a kick out of watching people uncomfortably/awkwardly/sugar coatedly/politically correctedly (totally words people!) ask me where I am from/what ethnic group I belong to/if I'm Asian. I am asked this a lot, and while it is not a hard question to ask, most people squirm as they struggle to appropriately phrase the question, as if it would hurt my feelings if they asked me in the "wrong way". (FYI, this is my favorite story about my non Asian-ness)

6. My brain is not the same as it once was. I told a child at work today over and over again that the horsie says, "Moooooo!" and didn't stop until my co-worker finally filled me in on the truth about horse sounds. (Further evidence of my melting brain ----> here)


Past confessions -----> here. lkjh



1. Jack went from barely acknowledging Ruby's existence for the past nine months (even though we hang out with her all of the time) to playing and flirting with her non stop. I think he is in love. Ruby is totally playing footsies with him in this picture.
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2. I finally started working last week at a child center at a health/fitness club. I think my official job description alternates between "getting paid to play with my baby (while I watch other children)" and "getting paid to torture, nap deprive, and give my baby separation anxiety (while I watch other children)". It just depends on the amount of time we've been there and the amount of hours past his nap time and the amount of babies he watches me hold and the amount of time I have to spend working outside of the "toddler zone".

3. I found a new running buddy!!! It is Spencer. This is a miracle to me because three years ago, he wouldn't even bike, let alone run, more than three miles with me in fear he would burn too many calories and lose the weight that he had worked so hard to gain for track. Life was pretty hard for him as a naturally skinny, collegiate track and field thrower. ;) Today, we ran 3 1/2 miles together (Jack came along in the jogging stroller) and we were able to have a conversation (almost) the whole time!


Get There and Share Team 413 Half Marathon

On Saturday, I raced in the Team 413 Get there and Share Half Marathon, aka "Jesus Half." Our race shirts had the scripture Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," the race began with a prayer, the start and finish line blasted Christian rock music, and all proceeds from the race went towards expanding the ministry of Team 413 to "get there and share" Christ. Living in the Bible Belt is pretty awesome.
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Now for the pros and cons of the race:

  • well organized
  •  energetic
  • plenty of aid stations
  • not as hilly as I thought it was going to be
  • the only half marathon in the Birmingham area that is not on a Sunday
  • five minute pr of 1:43, placed 3rd in my age group and 7th woman overall. (It was a reeeeally small race)
  • While it wasn't as hilly as I thought it was going to be, it still was no Utah down-hill-the-whole-way canyon race and those are the best. 
  • They did not mark every mile, and since I don't have a Garmin GPS watch, I had nothing really to help me even approximate what my pace was. I can't wait until we can afford Garmins! 
  • The race was small, and I didn't like that there were not many people nearby to push me. I followed my running friend/blogging friend/church friend/work friend, Lisa (who was running a 1:39 pace that I knew was a little too fast for me) until about mile 7, and after mile 10, I could see absolutely nobody in front of me for the rest of the race. What made it worse was that those last three miles weaved through neighborhoods and I was afraid that I was going to miss the turns. With the combination of being hesitant, exhausted, and having no one to push me, I am positive that the last three miles were significantly slower than the rest. 
So now that my race recap that you didn't ask for is over, onto the awkward race photos...
This was supposed to be a cute picture of me waving to Spencer and Jack right before the finish line:
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This was supposed to be my awesome post race victory photo:
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And then I went with the peace sign in the picture with Lisa:
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I swore I would never run a full marathon again in my life, but somehow yesterday I ended up looking up the Boston Marathon qualifying times online????! Running is addicting.

Spencer swore he would never run more than 4 miles, but then he signed up for a 10K TRAIL RACE that is at the end of the month!!! I am so excited for him and a little bit jealous that I can't do it, too. (Over a hundred bucks in races in one month is not in our grad school budget. Laaaaaame.)

After my race on Saturday, we went to Veterans Park so that Spencer could do his long run on the trail nearby and so that I could sit on my bum while Jack entertained himself on the playground (and if I had an iPhone I would have so been the mom on the iPhone at the park that day) (by the way I LOVE this response to that article that just makes every mom feel guilty).
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That night, we went out for the best/only bobas in Birmingham! Of course they weren't as good bobas from The Street in Mesa, but that's okay because I don't even think it is possible for anything to taste better than chocolate coconut bobas from The Street.
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To those who were affected at the Boston Marathon today - my thoughts and prayers go out to you!


Things I'm loving

  • New running/walking trails just a few miles from our apartment.

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Even though it looks like his arms are going to detach from his body, he was having fun, I swear.
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  • Making my playlist for my half marathon this Saturday! I am soooo excited. 
  • Homemade cinnamon rolls that two different friends dropped off to us within a couple of days! They must have known that I love homemade treats that I don't actually have to home-make myself and that no matter how many times I try my mother-in-law's recipes, they never come out tasting the same as when she makes it! 
  • Trying bubbles in Jack's bath for the first time. (Okay, I loved it, but Jack was terrified of the bubbles.) I hope he's grateful that I cropped the picture. 
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Salads I'm loving

Spencer and I LOVE these salads and rotate them regularly in our weekly meal plans. I truly do not find cooking all that enjoyable, but I love that these recipes are cheap, tasty, quick or easy to make in advance, and somewhat healthy. There are no delicious looking pictures to go with the recipes because I can't make food look aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but just take my word for it and try them, okay?

Chinese Chicken Salad

(I usually double this)

2 T sesame seeds
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
3 T white wine or cider vinegar
2 T chopped peanuts
2 T sugar


chopped romaine lettuce
chopped grilled chicken
chopped green onions
mandarin oranges
crispy chow mein noodles

Rumbi's Mango Chicken Salad


chopped romaine lettuce
3 diced tomatoes 
diced mangos or mandarin oranges
1/2 C feta cheese (we usually don't add this and it is still delish)
1 T sesame seeds
tortilla chips, broken up
chicken breasts (tastes good cooked w/ lemon pepper)
cooked brown rice

(makes a lot!)

1/4 c Dijon Mustard
2 T lime juice
1 t chili powder
3/4 c mayo 
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2  c white vinegar
2 T minced garlic
2 T ginger powder (I sometimes use less)

BBQ Ranch Salad

Lettuce, chicken, corn, black beans, avocado, tortilla chips plus whatever else you want topped with BBQ sauce and ranch

Will you please tell me your favorite easy/cheap/delicious/somewhat healthy recipes now?! You can even send me a link to your pinterest account and I won't even hate you as long as you tell me which ones you've actually tried and liked. :)


The Easter post (translation: a lot of pictures of my child in his Easter outfit)

We had an Easter party/egg hunt with church friends on Good Friday. Jack wore his cute hat for a new record of six whole minutes! I was so proud.
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On Easter morning, Jack did the whole Easter egg hunt thing until he realized that there was candy in the eggs. He then plopped down on the floor and ate jelly beans and cadbury eggs for breakfast while shouting "ball!" (what he calls eggs and anything else that is round) about a hundred times in a row.
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Our Easter miracle was that Jack slept/sat still in church so that Spencer and I could both actually listen to the wonderful messages given on Christ.  After church, we had a delicious Easter dinner with
And now for the "way too many pictures of Jack in his Easter clothes" portion of the post. (FYI The secret to getting your toddler to smile in almost every picture is to let them eat jelly beans all day long)
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Yesterday, I had a cadbury egg intervention and made Spencer hide our Easter candy from me (like he has in the past) because I have absolutely no self control when it comes to cadbury chocolate. I would prefer not to disclose how much candy I have eaten in the last 48 hours. :)