Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas - Pocono's Style

Doug and I tend to do something different every year for Christmas. Some years we are out in Utah visiting my fam, other years we're with his familyin Philly and we've done xmas by ourselves up in Vermont. This year, we decided to have our own celebration on Christmas Eve and then join up with his family for the rest of the weekend...I love having time to just settle in and chill before the craziness of the holiday ensues.

On Christmas Eve morning, we went up to our lake house, wrapped all of our gifts, cooked and baked like mad (well, one of us did) and just hung out.

Our stockings hung by the chimney with whatever that would hold them down since we don't have fancy stocking hangers.

Our little place (before the massive snow storm)

Late in the day, we took Zoe for a good walk across the lake, which is about 5 inches thick of ice.

I think the fish were celebrating with some bubbly under there

No, that's not a wrinkle on my chin - it's hair. That would be a sad place for a wrinkle at my age.

Zoe looked like a Polar Bear - hopping from snow patch to snow patch

Once we got home from our adventure, we sat down to a comfy dinner of Tofurky, garlic mashed potatoes, bread, carrot/green bean "medley" and some fancy wine.

After dinner, we got to my favorite part...gift giving! Cheesy, I know, but according to that purple book that most newlywed's get (Five Languages of Love), gift giving is my language of love. It's so hard for me to keep a secret, that I rarely make it to xmas without giving Doug some of his gifts along the way. Luckily (or not), his bday is on the 23rd, so it's kind of like gifting heaven around our house all week!

My gem of a husband got me some beautiful jewelry and a trip back to Utah IN A WEEK!! He figured I hadn't gotten enough of skiing, er, seeing my family, so he's sending me back out there. (I actually just had the thought that maybe he just wanted a weekend to himself, hmmm).

Some gems from my gem:) (Don't worry, my pinky is fine)

I got Doug a painting from an artist that we have both known since she was a munchkin and is now quite acclaimed, so he was pretty psyched with that. He also got some other small things like cufflinks, socks and TOMS.

The slug with his new painting in the apt.

Family photo - sans Ciena (she was with the in-laws)

We rearranged our living room for Thanksgiving and haven't moved it back, hence why it looks like our place is 10x10...it's actually like 13x10, so there's much more room;)

Christmas morning we got up at 6am to drive down to Doug's sister's house outside of Philly to watch our nieces and nephews open their gifts. I don't know what it is with these kids, but they had to be woken up at 9am to come open their gifts. When I was a kid, my mom and dad would catch us sneaking into the living room at 3am to peek through the white tissue paper wrapping...I always had butterflies so badly that I couldn't sleep for days before Christmas. Maybe I was just a greedy child. I'm pretty sure that if I slept in until 9, my parents would've checked the bathroom cabinets to make sure I hadn't drunk bathroom cleaner. Once the kiddos opened their gifts (taking turns and nicely admiring each others gifts as opposed to ripping open everything on your side and not caring what anyone else got), we jumped on the trampoline for an hour and then headed off to Doug's Aunt's house for another feast and then headed back to the lake house for the rest of the night.

All-in-all, we had a wonderful Christmas! And, one of the best gifts of all was the snow-pocalypse that NYC got on the 26th...SNOW DAY FOR ME on Monday!!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! And I'll chat with you again next year;)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Early Christmas

Doug and I try to see both of our families for Christmas every year, yes, mostly because we want to be fair and we love seeing everyone, but I'd be lying if I said that the skiing didn't play into our decision to get to Utah. We weren't in town very long, but we skied everyday and hung out with family the rest of the time, it was perfect!

We had Christmas with my dad on Saturday night and with my mom on Sunday. My dad gave me a new camera for skiing (small, pocket size), so we tested it out a bit.

Dad testing out Kelli's new camera

Adam and Brandon stopped by!

Kyle with Lola bean

Too school for cool - Whit

Utah has double the snow base they had this time last year, so we knew the skiing would be at least decent, but we hit the lottery. It snowed 50 inches in 48 hours and made everything a winter wonderland. We were having so much fun, that I didn't really stop to take many pictures. Here are the few I snagged.

Happy mama

Fearless driver

Game face

Look at that fluff!!

Pillows everywhere!

Doug the slug shreddin' the gnar;)

It's always to hard coming back to the crazy city after spending quality time in the mtns...I shed a little tear getting on the plane:(

Happy holidays from our family to yours! Unfortunately, we didn't get around to Christmas cards (with the move and our dog situation), so we will be sending New Years cards instead!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Of course for Christmas I want world peace and a healthy planet and I know that buying material things doesn't bring either of those things, but it's so hard to not get sucked into consumerism! I guess what makes me feel better is doing about 75% of my shopping on Etsy this year. I am so addicted...I could spend hours typing in different search terms and whatever comes up is such a fun surprise!

Some of my current obsessions...

Great wooden jewelry

Bed side table

Picture frame

Garden for my new balcony!

More jewelry

So, if you're looking for any last minute gifts check out Etsy! And no, they aren't paying me to say that. I actually wish someone would pay me for anything I had to say. Maybe I'll ask for that for next Christmas.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm In!!

It's officially, official, I'm in the 2011 Boston Marathon!!

Now I will be one of those blue-jacket wearing super heroes! (wink, wink CKH)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Virtual Tofurkey Trot

Who wants to do a virtual run with me on Thursday morning? I was planning on doing a long run, but it's supposed to be pouring rain and it would help me get out the door knowing that you are all running too:). I figured I would need a good run to get my head in the holiday mindset of sitting around (which I don't like to do) and eating all day (which I'm pretty good at).

The rules are:

1) Register in my comments section with your name.
2) Do whatever distance and pace you want - this is all for fun!
3) After you run, email me (kellijamison@gmail.com) your distance and address and I'll mail you a prize.

Thanks for participating in the first annual "KJ's Virtual Tofurkey Trot", I can't wait to pretend I'm running with all of you!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


All my fingernails are gone. I've been hungry for a week straight (like more than my usual hungry state). I feel like I've had 4 cups of coffee and I don't drink it at all. My right foot has been bouncing uncontrollably all day and I can't focus at work (obviously, look at the time stamp of the blog:).

It sounds like I have a good case of the pre-marathon jitters. Maybe it's because I have two (relatively) good legs and think that I can actually make 26.2 miles this year.

I'm going to bottle this energy up and sprinkle it on myself on Sunday morning. I'm crossing my fingers that it doesn't get stale!

See you on the other side with hopefully a stellar review.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dirty Jerz

That's right...Doug and I succumbed to the ridiculousness of Manhattan apartment prices and just signed a lease in Jersey City! I definitely had my reservations about leaving the city (que Sex and the City when Miranda moves to Brooklyn...gasp!), everywhere and everything else just seems second best, but saving bu-cu bucks is hard to pass up. We ended up finding a sweet place in a condo building right on the river. And since rents are so much cheaper, we could be picky with the place. We got a 2bdrm/2bath with a balcony on the highest floor of an all amenities building...wahoo! Here are some pics, so you all believe me.

The foyer (what? we have a foyer!)

The view into the living room (Doug poached all my pics)

Purdy kitchen!

If you stay with us, this is your view. Nice sunsets!

Our view from the balcony (I see a mini garden and a place to bike on my trainer)

View from our roof deck ("I can see Manhattan from my house!")

Looking South from roof (and there's a hot tub on the roof!)

So, all in all, we're pretty excited about the big change. It will actually be a shorter commute for me to work and only about 1o min. longer for the Slug. It's unfortunate that Jersey gets such a bad rap, but I know I won't stop making fun of it just because I'm living there. I just hope I don't start growing hair on my chest and our eventual children don't end up mutants.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Triple Dog Dare

My six year old cousin got in trouble in class the other day and had to fill out a "Think Sheet" about what he'd done wrong. Because it's small and impossible to read here, I wrote out his answers:

What happened? What rule(s) did I break?
A: I didn't do my work, instead I puwt a buwger on my frends librarey book.

I chose to break the rule(s) because...
A: I did a triple dog dare and thought I could.

Who did I disturb or bother?
A: Taylen and Jason's librarey book. And Miss Temple

What could I have done instead?
A: Do my work done and ignore any dares.

Apparently Aidan and I got the same gullible gene, because I always fall, er, fell for triple dog dares.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Miss Izzy

When I was growing up, we always had dogs. Usually when my dad would go out of town, my mom would get us a dog and then when my dad got back from his trip, he would find a good home for the dog. Not that my dad didn't like dogs, but he ended up being the disciplinarian and we notoriously had bad dogs. We did have a dog, Howie, that was with us for a long time, but he ended up going fairly crazy and chewing walls, so we had to get rid of him. We all loved Howie, but he didn't listen to anybody but my dad, so none of us felt a really close bond to him.

My love and appreciation for dogs all changed when we decided as a family to get a puppy (up until now, all of our dogs were older and from the pound). We decided that we wanted a yellow lab, found an ad in the paper for lab puppies and went and looked at them. We fell in love with one in particular and put our money down and were told to come back in 8 weeks to pick her up. So for 8 long weeks we threw out names, puppy proofed the house and counted down the days. We finally settled on a name - Isabella Marguerite was her formal name, but she went by Izzy (unless she was in trouble:).

Izzy turned out to be such a winner of a dog. She was so sweet and loving and could always tell when you needed some love. She was also the protector of the house (although she wouldn't have hurt a fly, but her bark could scare peeps away). When you walked in a room, you could hear her huge tail thumping against the ground because she was so excited to see you. And up until the last year, she's kept most of her youthful energy...at 15 years of age, who can blame her for not chasing the geese off the lawn anymore.

My mom has been good about keeping me in the loop about Izzy's condition and we all knew that she wouldn't be around forever, especially after a cancer diagnosis. But nothing prepared me for going home to Utah this weekend and having my mom tell me that the vet was scheduled to come to the house on Wednesday to put Izzy to sleep because she wasn't doing well and she didn't want her to suffer at all. When I saw Izzy on Saturday night, she still wagged her tail as hard as ever when I came in, and she tried to get up, but the cancer was in her leg and made it tough to stand. I could see it in her eyes that she was tired and in a lot of pain. That night was pretty rough, my mom, sister and I cried a lot and just sat with Izzy all night. We all knew that she couldn't make it until Wednesday when the vet was scheduled to come because we didn't want her in pain for 4 more days. So first thing Sunday morning, we called my brother and told him he should come out and say goodbye and then we called the vet to come out that day. The vet called back right away and said she'd be there in an hour. It seemed that Izzy knew what was going on because she was so peaceful for that hour before the vet came.

Just about an hour later, Kyle and the vet showed up at the same time, so the vet waited outside while we said our final goodbyes and then she administered the shot. It took less than one minute and the process was so easy. (I really wish that in our final days as humans, it was this easy and painless.) We all cried really hard together for a while and then took Izzy out to the vet's truck and said goodbye. My mom requested to have Izzy cremated so that she can spread her ashes in the mountains near our cabin in Torrey, UT...one of Izzy's favorite places. The peace we all felt after she was gone was amazing, we were still really sad, but so relieved to not see her suffer anymore.

It's tough to explain to someone who isn't a dog lover, or to someone who's never owned a dog, but if you are, you know the bond you have with your pet and the self-less love they provide everyday.
Miss Izzy, we miss you already and will miss your thumping tail and slobbery licks forever.

4/15/95 - 10/10/10

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Road Trip

I want to buy this happy little van and travel across the country.

Anyone want to come? We can listen to Rusted Root, eat granola and see the sights.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I heart NYC week

I often say that I have a love/hate relationship with NYC...this has definitely been a "love" week. Maybe it was the events, probably it was the friends, but the city gave it extra energy.

Monday night - One of my best guy friend's Jeff's 40th bday was Sunday, so his lovely fiance Steph invited us all over to their apt. for a quaint little party. It was a rainy, yucky night, but so cozy and perfect in their apt. We were surrounded by great friends, great food and great wine. Even though a Monday night is a tough night to go out, I didn't mind because we had so much fun.

Tuesday night - Every Tuesday night we have a running club through work. We leave at 6:30, usually head over to the running path along the Hudson River and do a variety of different workouts. We have an awesome coach who led us through a make shift track workout on the pier (every loop is 1/4 mile...just like a track). I felt the same ran-so-hard-I-almost-puked feeling that I do at a normal track workout, but there was such an awesome feeling of working with what you have and still having a great workout. It helped that we have an awesome group of runners that push each other and cheer each other on.

After the run, I met up with Doug, his cousin and some of her friends in the Meatpacking District for apps and drinks...it felt so NY showing up for a 9pm dinner! (minus the still sweating through my clothes factor).

Wednesday night - First soccer game of the season! I've been playing soccer since I first moved to NYC 7 years ago. I originally signed up as a way to meet friends and have kept playing, with a lot of the same people since then. Some of my teammates are also some of my best friends, so soccer has become a social outlet as well as the typical competitive one that I crave. Despite getting mauled by some dudes' cleat and being a little rusty, it was so great to be out there, under the lights, with all of my buddies! And what soccer game wouldn't be complete without the post-game hangout! Another late night, but sooo worth it!

Thursday night- Dinner with my lovely friend Flora (one of my said original soccer friends) at a new restaurant we've been meaning to try.

Friday night - A second party for Jeff's 40th (hey-you only turn 40 once!) at a beer garden in Astoria with all of our friends. It will be a perfect chance to wind down from the week and catch up with everyone again.

Saturday- is usually reserved for long marathon training runs these days, but I'm running a 10K on Sunday morning, so I'm going to eeeek out the long run on Friday morning before work. Saturday is wide open, so Doug and I will have a chance to hang out before he has to go to Hong Kong for the week.

Sunday- 10K race on Governor's Island...the first race to be held on this little island just south of Manhattan. We are sponsoring the race through work with The North Face, so I'm particularly excited to see this event go off and be a big success! Post-race is hopefully a brunch with some friends also running!

No doubt it's been a very busy week, and I just told you about my after work fun, but a very good week at that. I feel more energized than I have in a long time! (notice I haven't done my long run or 10K yet...maybe I will have to update this in a couple of days:) Just when I think I've had enough of this place, everything lines up and shows me that there really is no place like it.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Every year I try to put a marathon and a 1/2 ironman tri on my calendar...both of those seem to keep me pretty motivated to train hard throughout the year. Last year was the first time I attempted a 1/2 ironman, and so I thought I would make it two years in a row by signing up for the Toughman Half (full disclosure...I convinced my company to sponsor the race so I could get in for free...err, to market ourselves to this high household income, growing sport).

For the three weeks leading up to the race, I had been feeling pretty crappy, worn down, tired all of the time and not particularly motivated. I went to the doctor just to make sure I didn't have mono and when she said I didn't, I decided to suck it up and do the race. I had convinced Doug to do it with me as well, it would be his first 1/2 ironman. Luckily for him, he had to go to Russia at the last minute to meet with their government (my little James Bond:), so he got out of it. It's not like we would have seen each other at all during the race, but it's nice to have someone to drive to the race with, hang out with on the beach and then drive home with afterward. Someone that you can talk about the crazy things you saw, or how big that hill was, etc. I did make a couple of "friends" at swim start, but it's not quite the same.

Here's a recap if you're at all interested...if not, STOP here because it's fairly long.

My alarm went off at 3:30, but honestly I'd been watching it since 3am because I was nervous about missing it. I rushed around, stuffed down some food, took the dogs out, loaded my stuff in the car and took off by 4:20. After a few missed turns, lots of panic about missing the race because of missed turns, I finally found my way.

Point of no return

Setting up in transition

The race started at 7am, I was in the 4th wave, so I went off around 7:20. The swim is 1.2 miles and luckily, we had a great morning, no waves, overcast skies and low temps. We had a brilliant sunrise that was probably an omen for things to come later in the day (Mama always says - "red sky in the morning, sailors take warning). Unfortunately, the water was so shallow at the start, that you couldn't start swimming until about 300 yards in, so it made for a Baywatch-esque running start, so by the time I started swimming I was breathing pretty heavily. Other than that,
the water was nice and calm, which made for a great, non-dramatic swim. The nice thing about this race is once you get out of the water, you just lay down on the ground and there are volunteers to strip your wetsuit off of you (I knew this ahead of time, so I made sure to tie my shorts nice and tight, unlike some of the mooners getting stripped next to me).

Since the bike is 56 miles, I decided to throw on a pair of real, padded bike shorts over my tri shorts, to make my ride as comfy as possible. The course took us through beautiful horse farms, mansions by where the Clinton's live and bridges over troubled waters...it really was quite scenic and I tried to take it all in, but I was in a world of hurt. Apparently the race is named aptly...Toughman. It seemed like I was going up hill the whole time and my legs were on fire! I had a really hard time focusing on anything other than my current discomfort, so I tried to find songs to sing, mantras to say and finally settled on repeating the pledge of allegiance a few times because I couldn't remember the full preamble. Ughh, it was never ending! I was also trying to eat as much as I could because I knew I would need the fuel on the run, but my stomach wasn't having it...maybe it was the two pair of shorts pushing in on my stomach while I was bending over riding...either way, I barely sucked down a couple of GU's and figured I would try to eat on the run. At mile 50, some guy rode up by me and said, "let's go, only 6 more miles!" at which point I responded with "ughhh, I'm soooooo over this!" When we finally got to transition for the run, I was getting really excited just to be in an upright stance for the first time in a few hours.

The run was 13.1 miles and was awesome...I mean, I was hurting a fair amount, but the course was beautiful and about half of it was on wood-chipped trails, so my legs were quite thankful. Like the bike, the course was super hilly, with the biggest hill at mile 10...it's called - wait for it - The Toughman. Yeah, I grunted, swore and sludged my way up that stupid thing, knowing that on the other side was less than 5K! Once over the big hill, I picked up the pace and finished the race pretty strong. The last 200 yards were pretty painful. I was dealing with some pretty back stomach cramps the last mile, probably due to lack of fuel, and I'm not sure I could have run 200 more yards than I had to.

I crossed the line in 5:26...12 min. faster than my 1/2 iron last year!! I was really thrilled with my time, but completely spent. It's hard to explain a feeling like that, except for overall discomfort. It hurt to sit, it hurt to stand, it hurt to lay down, stretch, eat, drink - everything.

Trying to get comfortable

I gathered all of my stuff out of transition and was heading to the car when I saw the race director posting results, so I wandered over to see how I did. To my utter surprise, I saw that I won my age group! I'll admit, I started feeling a little better and realized that I was in that much pain because I really pushed myself and had a good reason to be dead. So, I hung around for the awards ceremony and then took off.

The loot for winning my age group! (The elite woman who won, got $1500...too bad she beat me by an hour)

It started pouring when I got in the car ride, so we totally lucked out on that front! Worse than doing anything for almost 6 hours is doing something for 6 hours in the rain. The whole car ride home was spent salivating over post-race food (and talking to you LPF). I wanted everything...burrito, french fries, pizza, milk shake, DIET COKE. The pizza and diet coke won out!


After dinner, I walked the dogs and was in bed by 8:07pm!! Now I can officially say I'm a TOUGHWOMAN!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cellphone Rant

I'm at my limit with stupid people using their stupid cell phones everywhere for everything. What is our world coming to that you have to take that call while sitting on the toilet? No offense buddies, but if you call me while I'm sitting on the pot...I'm not answering. Maybe even more of a pet peeve than that is people talking and texting on their phones at the dinner table. I often feel bad for them that their dinner date is that boring. And, when I see little kids at the table texting their friends while the family is eating, I want to spank the parents. (I know...I don't have kids and it's probably nice to just have a peaceful dinner sometimes, but what about manners?!)

A few other major no-no's on cellphones in my book...
- Biking while talking on the phone...I'm tempted to hit you just to make a point. And those of you who do this generally don't have a helmet on, so I know it will hurt when you fall.

- Walking down the crowded NYC streets while texting, swerving all over the place...see above.

- Talking soooo loudly about very personal details. I don't want to know that he didn't stay the night. I don't blame him...maybe it's because of your annoyingly loud voice.

Also, have you ever noticed that if someone is standing somewhere by themselves, the first thing they do is grab their phone. This happens a lot in elevators...awkward moment. If I worked in the marketing department for Blackberry I would have an ad with two people in an elevator "typing" away with the tag line "Blackberry - making elevators less awkward since 2002."

I've often thought how nice it would be to just ditch my phone just so I could say that I am not dependent on it, but I am! Just this morning when I got to work I had 4 emails from myself. Call dog groomer, deposit check, call mom, book flights to Utah....my phone is now my memory and I rely on it way too much. It's sad, I don't remember anything unless I write it down or email myself. Pathetic. And, I'll admit, I have pulled out my phone when I'm standing on a corner waiting to meet up with a friend...heaven forbid someone sees me just standing by myself! But, I'm making a conscious effort to not do all of the things that drive me crazy (don't worry, I have never tried to ride a bike and make a phone call)...I actually think that standing on the corner and watching the freaks on the streets is much more interesting than Facebook any day (expect for all of your posts of course:).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Passing On Dessert

Last night Doug and I were sitting in bed reading our books and he hit me with this...

Doug- "You're the heaviest small person I've picked up. I don't know, it's just weird, of all the people I've picked up, you feel the heaviest. Maybe it's because you're muscular, but you just feel really dense."

Me- "What the hell are you talking about? And who are you picking up?? And thanks for that."

Doug- "Well, I mean, I don't know. I guess I haven't picked anyone up in a while, and probably not any women, but I've picked up Rex and Ben."

Rex and Ben are Doug's good friends from yesteryear...and neither of them are midgets...both are full grown men.

If there was anything that could drive me to pass on dessert, that was it. Maybe I should have thanked him.

P.S. I can't remember the last time he tried to pick me up...who knows where this stuff comes from.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Help Settle A Debate

This debate has been going on for about a year in our house and I'd like you all to help settle it. Are bow ties a no or a go? Doug is suddenly loving bow ties and I'm not a fan. Whenever I picture men in bowties, this is what comes to mind...

Nerdy Professors

Thunder From Down Under

Pee Wee Herman


There are definitely times that call for a bow tie...black tie weddings and formal events. Even then, the bow tie still looks best at the end of the night when it is untied and hanging from the neck. I just feel like they don't fit in everyday at the office (especially if you're younger than 65).

There might be one exception...

Pierce Brosnan (he can wear whatever he wants)

So, please help settle the debate.