Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy After Thanksgiving

Wow - Can't believe it has been over a week since I have posted on this blog! You can tell the busy holiday season is upon us!

We had a wonderful visit to Alabama for Thanksgiving and I have lots of great pictures to share! It will take me a while to get them uploaded so come back and look for them!

Right now, I am in food detox. Jeez I hate the withdrawals after free feeding for four days. It is hard to get out of that mode!

Also tried to run a little this morning. Not sure how I am going to measure the success of my workout, but let's just say I successfully ran "a little". Why is it so dang hard? I will just keep plugging away at it I guess. Believe in the process. Know if I keep going out there, keep trying to run, that eventually (and it might be a long, long while) it will start to get easier and I will not want to quit, stop, flag down a passing car, throw myself under a passing car, fake a heart attack, or lay down and weep. Want to join me some morning at 5:45 a.m? I am loads of fun.

Anyway, glad to be home, ready to be a regular blogger again, Thanksgiving pictures are uploading as I type. Come back to see the big goose egg on Chip's head, the Thanksgiving sports challenge games, Space and Rocket Center and more.

Hope your Monday is off to a great start. I will leave you with this...only 26 days until Christmas! ACCCKKKKKK!!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Warrior Dash

This weekend Hubby and Harold, along with some other good friends, took on the Warrior Dash race! It is a 3.2 mile run, sprinkled with 10 or 11 interesting challenges, like jumping over junk cars, climbing over a wall of hay bales, running up a mountain of old tires, hurdling fire and finally crawling through a huge pit of mud. Doesn't that sound like a terrific way to spend a Sunday morning?


Me either.

So the race was about an hour or so away from our house. We caravaned with the V Family and the H Family! In all, there were seven participants and 6 spectators. I was a spectator.

The gang heading over to the starting area.

Dad helps Harold pin on his race number!

All pinned and ready to go.

Chip warms them up for a boxing match. Not sure there is a boxing obstacle, but they should be ready regardless.

Our young spectators wearing the Warrior Dash signature hat. Each participant got one of these and a great shirt. Not sure why they didn't want to wear their hats during the race? Oh, well these kids look great in them!

Our family!

The H Family!

The V Family.

The race wave starts with huge flames shooting out of the top of the starting gate. Very dramatic - and HOT! You could feel the heat blast from many yards away!

We will call this the BEFORE picture. Keep it in mind.

And they are off!!!

This rope wall is one of the obstacles you can see from the starting line. After running all those miles they have to get up and over this rope wall.

Here are the fire hurdles. There were two of them - and it was REAL fire! Who dreams this stuff up? Is it safe?

Oh dear. This doesn't look very good either! Their is REAL barb wire over the top, so you have got to stay low in the mud to save your back from being sliced. We watch lots of participants that didn't do that and they were bleeding. FOR REAL - BLEEDING!

Here they come...all together....they cleared the fire hurdles and are now hurdling toward the massive mud pit. Please take a moment to see the guy at the left of the picture running in a Nacho Libre outfit. There were tons of hysterical costumes.

Andrew and Anne-Marie hit the mud first! Look at that beautiful girl! She is hard core! No fear of the mud! Her dad got a face full! That is RV's pants and blue shirt going in the mud on the far side. I missed a good picture of that little stinker on the far side. Nothing to bribe him with when he is older. You know I save pictures like this for the inevitable wedding slide show!

That is JV right in the center with a face full of mud! Peggy on all fours getting low, low, low to do the army crawl through the pit. That Boot Camp training paid off big time.

Hubby is in and here comes Harry!

Look at their faces! Doesn't it look like they are in an Army commercial or something? You can basically see the white of JV's eyes and that is all.

Hubby and JV got into a splashing match because they weren't dirty enough.

Yeah, I think he started it because he was already covered.

Peggy gets caught in the crossfire with a big splash across the face! Dumb boys.

They are almost out! I was clicking pictures, cracking up, yelling, it was super fun to be a spectator!

Disgusting to be a participant.

Heading to the finish line.

This is the AFTER picture. Wow! Head over to the shower hoses please!

Hosed off and a feeling a little better. There are still finding mud in places where mud shouldn't be. Thanks Dad for signing me up for this.

Look at Peggy's hair even after she went through the hose down! YIKES!

Donating their muddy shoes to a mountain of muddy shoes.

What a good time! Harry said the running part was the worst, but he really enjoyed the obstacles! Hubby loved it and even Chip said when he turns 14 he might be ready to give it a try. Weirdos.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spa Day

Let me first start this by saying "I am working WAAAYYY too hard." This is our busy season at work and it is living up to its name. I am working at least full time, worrying at night about what I didn't get done during the day, deadlines, proposals, changes, spreadsheets, rates, emails, questions, conference calls....I want to get off this ride, please!

I am going to take 10 minutes right now to go back to last Tuesday, November 9th. Two short days after I finished walking 60 miles. I went to the Lake Austin Spa for a half day of pampering and it was divine.

I took my camera with me for the first time and tried to capture all that is magnificent about the Lake Austin Spa. The pictures just don't do it justice. I think that may be because I really felt weird taking pictures there. I mean, the locker room had naked women all over it. Cover up girls! Someone might have a camera in here!! So when I did take a picture I was pulling the camera quickly out of my big fluffy robe and snapping it really quick and putting it away. Not the least bit concerned about composition or lighting - just point, click and bolt!

The Spa is located on a lake up in some mountains. The grounds are so lovely.

I went in and found my robe all ready for me in the locker room.

Quick shot of the locker room from behind my curtain. Some people don't use the curtain. Crazy weirdos.

This is a little drink station in the locker room. They have this delicious ice cold water with orange slices floating in it. Or you could go the hot route and choose from a huge selection of hot tea. There are also fruit and crackers for your enjoyment. I drink every kind of beverage they offer when I am there. Ice orange water, hot tea, iced ginger tea, warm lemon water...just because I can. I peed six times while I was there for half a day. Serious.

This is the bathroom side of the locker room. I love it. No paper towels. All hand towels rolled up in neat little packs. Big baskets for your dirty towels under the sink. On the counter they have hand soap, hairspray, spray deodorant, lotion, hair gel, mouthwash, cotton balls, q-tips. Any and everything you might possibly need. I use everything, just because it is there and I can.

This beautiful screened porch is off of the "Blue Room" where you wait for your treatment. It was so fabulous. Even more so because I had it to myself and could take a picture without being behind a curtain. It also allowed me to escape the two thirty somethings that were in the waiting room talking about how dreadful the construction was on their pool houses. One poor woman had to have her home theatre installation rescheduled three times because the theatre room in the pool house wasn't finished. My heart nearly broke for her. The other was nearly as sad. Her mother in law's house was going to take three years to build. It only took her two years to build hers, but that didn't include the pool house. That was extra time. I am glad they were able to get away from all that stressful construction to enjoy a day at the spa with their friends.
I felt like a complete fraud in there with my contraband camera tucked in my pocket drinking everything they offered.

When I finally went back for my treatment I was taken into the Hydrobath room. As soon as my girl left to let me get undressed I grabbed my camera and took this quick picture. Tucked it safely back in my robe pocket before hopping up on the table.

My girl, or massage therapist, whatever you want to call her was so nice. I was calling her my "angel from above" when my 80 minutes were over.

The treatments started with a salt scrub. Have you ever had one of those? SO FABULOUS! Made even more fabulous because the table you lay on is heated and they have a heat lamp right above the table. She draped this bean bag kinda thingy over my eyes to block out the light. Rubbed that salt scrubbed all over the place. Then my "angel from above" took some HOT MOIST towels and wrapped them around my tired, hurting feet. I almost died. But I didn't. I did moan and tell her that I could see her angel wings peeking out from her shirt. She thought I was weird.

Then came the BEST PART (for those of you who may be new around here, when I type in all CAPS that means my eyebrows are shooting up and I am being ultra dramatic cause I really mean it.)

Take a minute to look at that tub. It is hot, it is huge, it is powerful and I want to marry it.

You get in there and the water is the perfect temperature - a little on the warm side. Then she puts in some kind of scented stuff - then the jets get going. Slow and easy at first and then so hard and crazy that water is splashing all over the place - out of the tub - hitting you in the face - just knocking you all over the place. Imagine how incredible it felt on my tired old feet. I died again. Almost.

THEN....she started massaging my scalp and head while I was in the tub. DIED AGAIN. Saw the pearly gates and was walking toward the light.


After all that gloriousness, you get out and get some more fabulous, oily, lotiony stuff put on for another 20 minute massage. It was seriously insane.

I always thought I would be so self conscious (I would be lying if I didn't tell you I want to apologize to her every time he had to touch my feet) but I wasn't. I loved it with a capital "LOVED IT"!

So after coming out of the glorious Hydrobath room I had to immediately find a bathroom. I told you I was drinking a ton!

I could safely take a picture in here behind closed, locked doors, so I did.

It was then on to the dining room for lunch. There were a couple of other ladies in there, but I snagged a picture anyway. They all had robes on!

It is such a peaceful, peaceful setting. I'm getting very tired just looking at the pictures and remembering how I felt sitting at my little table.

Lunch started off with this phenomenal Chicken Sweet Potato Soup. It was served in a thimble and I ate it in like two bites, but those two bites knocked my socks off.

Followed that up with a Paninni that had prosciutto wrapped chicken breast, with swiss cheese and avocado. Grilled to perfection. Served with this weird pickled lentils. Never would have ordered them, but they were so good I chased every single lentil around my plate till I caught it and ate it. They only give you about 17 lentils so it wasn't that much chasing.

Finished with soft serve yogurt. Not just any yogurt. How about Peanut Butter yogurt swirled with York Peppermint Patty yogurt. SMACK YOUR MOMMA good. (Sorry Mom, but I would have had to hit you. It was that good!)

After my luscious lunch I strolled the grounds. This here is the Pool Barn. Coolest building ever.

This is inside the pool barn. Two lap swim lanes with that glorious ceiling overhead.

These are giant doors that roll up to bring the outside in.

The outdoor sitting area by the pool barn. See the doors rolled up on the right?

From the pool barn looking back toward the main spa.

Some beautiful landscaped paths.

The cabanas up by the outdoor pool. Those are real plug in lamps up there in the cabanas. Totally fancy smancy.

Then it was time for me to head back to locker room to shower before heading home. My hair was doing some kind of wickedness after being wet, and then massaged with salt and oil. Woo Hoo! Not wearing a hat either. I'm sure I scared some other guests.

Right outside the fabulous shower stalls is this little table that has razors, lotion, tissue, shaving cream and this bucket of Iced Lavender Towels. Not even sure what you are supposed to do with an iced lavender towel, but I took one. Because I could. Wiped my face with it and sighed.

The shower was off the chain. Can you tell I am running out of ways to say how out of sight this place is? Just delightful in every single way.

Final shot of the whirlpool, sauna, steam room area. See those glass windows to the left? That was a private patio area off of the ladies locker room. A woman was naked, like ZERO clothes on naked, out there on the patio sunbathing. I found that weird and it made me feel super sleazy whipping out my camera to take a picture. Sucks to feel sleazy after all the slothing off of dead skin, hydobathing, hydrating, showering. So I shook that sleazy feeling off, grabbed another big glass of iced orange water for the road and carried my relaxed self out of there.

What a treat. What a glorious way to spend a few hours. So rejuvenating.
I love the spa, but never want to go back by myself again. It is way too fabulous not to have someone there to ohhh and ahhh with. Girls day at the spa! Me and my rowdy friends would probably get tossed out, but it would sure be fun!!!

Feeling much more relaxed now after sharing this time with you and reminiscing about the spa. I have to snap out of it and get back to the grind.....