LDRICHEL   47,676
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Been M.I.A. in Austin, TX

Sunday, October 21, 2012

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19

Sitting here in the Atlanta airport, headed back to Indianapolis, I can look back upon the previous week and judge it to be a smashing success – not only for our Kuali community, but also for myself personally. Aside from questions about my triathlon training, the question I am asked most often is “what exactly do you do?” This is always hard for me to answer in a succinct way – not because I am so knowledgeable in the technical aspects of my business, but because the organization I work for is something quite special…and like no other model I’ve ever seen before. If you usually read my blogs for workout inspiration, you might be bored with this one. I thought about apologizing…but, unfortunately for you, I don’t apologize for anything I am passionate about.

As someone untrained on the technical side of software development (I majored in Communication), I understand the necessity to explain the basics for those new to the Kuali Community. Without the basic building blocks, you won’t understand a word of this blog.

So, let me lay it out for you. I work for the Kuali Foundation. Contrary to how the name sounds, our work has nothing to do with koala bears…sad to say. Kuali is a community of universities and commercial organizations that collaborate and work together with pooled resources (both money and software developers) to create software specifically for higher education. If you’ve ever worked in a higher education environment, you know how different it is from the corporate world. In fact, most university workers I speak with have chosen to leave the corporate world for a university setting. Because it’s THAT different!

Currently, there are 8 Kuali software projects in varying stages of development and sustainment. Some of these include an HR system, a Research and Grants Administration system, a Financial system, and more – again, all of these specifically built to meet the incredibly diverse needs of a university/college environment.

I work for the Kuali Foundation, the non-profit legal entity that handles all the licensing, administrative, coordination and financial needs of all 8 software projects. Each project has their own governing structure, funds, Board of Directors, functional and technical councils and coders. The Foundation is made up of 4 employees [my boss (the Executive Director of the Foundation), myself, an Accountant, and an Infrastructure Specialist]. That’s it.

Together, we (the Fab Four) handle all the “business” of the projects. Things like Membership Agreements, Invoicing, Reimbursements, Communication, Event Planning, and so much more that you really don’t want to read about. I am the Fiscal & Administrative Manager (and pretty much personal assistant to the Executive Director, who answers to the Kuali Foundation Board). I serve as agenda and minutes keeper for several of the project boards and handle most of the administration for the Foundation and a small part of the accounting.

As a community that collaborates on software development, most of our meetings are virtual via conference call or Skype. Kuali recognizes the importance of working together face to face, though, and therefore, holds two events per year for face-to-face meeting: Kuali Days and the Kuali Community Workshop.

Kuali Days is an outward-focused event, designed to share information on all of the projects with institutions looking for an affordable, valuable software solution for their campus. After the actual “Kuali Days” (2-3 days), we have internal community meetings (Project Boards, Development Teams & Councils). It’s a LONG week of sessions and meetings and networking. It is exhausting. And it is invaluable for team building and vision casting within our organization.

In order to explain why this week was so special, you need to know what went down for me last year at Kuali Days 2011 in Indianapolis, IN. I had only been on staff for 3 months. At that point, I was still very unfamiliar with the software projects and felt lost in a sea of acronyms and geek speak. I didn’t know anyone, which made socializing difficult (and socializing is such a huge part of these conferences). Because of my position within the Foundation, I felt a bit lost at Kuali Days. On the one hand, there were all these project team get-togethers and dinners…but I wasn’t part of a project team. You’d think I’d hang out with my boss all the time, but she kind of runs in higher class circles than I do at these things…so I wasn’t really a good fit there either. (Special Note: She would never say that this is the case…and, with her good heart, she would always welcome me as an integral part of the organization.) The perceived lack of importance was completely MY issue last year. In summary, it was a very long and very lonely week for me.

Still, in the midst of this new paradigm of “lonely in a crowd”, I was drinking from a firehose in terms of learning about all the software projects and how they operate. As I sat in those presentations and meetings, I was floored by the level of intelligence displayed from every single one of my colleagues. It occurred to me, “Holy cow. I work with GENIUSES!” Not just one or two, but HUNDREDS!!!! This look at my colleagues was so eye opening for me and so inspiring. And they weren’t just super smart, they were all SO KIND and friendly and down-to-earth. You know how you have a few people you really like at work and the rest are just so-so? Well, it’s the opposite with Kuali. I like them all! There really is a COMMUNITY feel…like we are a strange, nerdy, wonderful family. There is a real sense of “we’re all in this together”.

When I felt this vibe from the people in the community, I was hooked. I “drank the Kuali Kool-Aid”, as they say. It was last year when I realized that I had finally found my forever career. I decided that this was a place I could stay for the long haul…no more looking around the next corner for the next job in the next industry. This is a place where I feel inspired and passionate about the growth we’ll see in the years to come. That is a feeling that I can’t wholly express. It was quite a significant moment in my career and it is this feeling that keeps me going through those inevitable awful days at work.

Going into this year’s Kuali Days, I had fears that dated back to last year. Mainly, fears of networking (you know, we all have to start somewhere and this networking thing is so new for me) and feeling insignificant or lost/out of place in the pool of genius. Essentially, it was a confidence issue if I’m being straight up honest. Going into this Kuali Days, I wanted to grow in the area of networking and to have a purpose for being there besides just taking notes for the Board Meetings. In the months leading up to this conference, I pieced together a plan of action and continued to try to figure out what my purpose would be at Kuali Days.

I volunteered to be a Newcomer Ambassador. I did this with some level of anxiety. As I’ve said before, I have no technical knowledge to bring to the table. At all. It was during this Newcomer Reception that I realized that, because of my position in the Foundation, I know almost everyone. As such, I could help the Newcomers get connected easily with their assigned Ambassador. And my assigned newcomers would get no technical help from me, but I could most certainly put them in touch with the key person in their project of interest. This is when it clicked for me – my niche in Kuali is to be a Connector between the Foundation and Projects, and to represent the Foundation out among the projects. When I think back, I realize that my boss told me this in my initial interview. But something just didn’t click until this week.

Once I finally recognized and understood what my function was, I took off with flying colors. I sent a text to my boss that said, “I’ve been networking my a*s off (literally…when you focus on people and listening, you don’t have time to stuff your face). The pleasant surprise is: I LOVE it! I love representing this amazing organization and who knew I’d actually be good at it?” She replied with a simple, “Me." emoticon

Because our community is growing in such tremendous ways and so many of the projects are at such critical and exciting points in their development, I can’t help but be thrilled to see what the future holds for Kuali. In addition, having a renewed perspective on my place within the organization makes me want to do more than I’ve ever done to please this community and help everyone connect and get plugged in, in much the same way I have been able to get connected. What an exciting time for all of us! The air at this Kuali Days was electric! I certainly never would have thought my “dream job” would have anything to do with IT. I feel rather blessed to have somehow stumbled upon this unique community and look forward to discovering more layers of this organization.

Hi. My name is Leah and I love my job.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEH50BEWELL 10/23/2012 11:40AM

    First off - welcome back! Secondly - for someone who claims they are "not so knowledgeable in the technical aspects of my business" What a difference a year makes! You so eloquently and passionately explained your line of work that it really makes one think about their own line of work and I would have said you've been in this business for a long long time based on this synopsis. You not only motivate others to hold steady on their course for health and fitness but also life.
Peace my SP Friend.

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KATHIC2 10/22/2012 5:36PM

  Only a handful of us really love our jobs. Good for you!

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KATHY_NATURELVR 10/22/2012 3:43PM

    How awesome to know someone believed in you before you believed in yourself.
emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 10/22/2012 2:49PM

    So glad you had such a great time and found you special place and don't have to worry because you aren't like somone else. We each bring our own special talents and abilities to whatever we are in, and you found yours. Awesome!!

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LINDAK25 10/22/2012 2:21PM

    It's wonderful that you're addicted to your job!

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PATTISTAMPS 10/22/2012 12:02PM

    Congratulations! How many people spend their whole working life HATING their jobs?? I know there were many years when I did NOT want to go to bed on Sunday night, because that meant I had to go "THERE". (life is differentn now!)

At one point in my varied history I worked for a small private college, and it was interesting. (Left because husband transferred to another state) Back then, computers were not what they are today, and there would have been no shared software - heck, even payroll was manual!!! So I was VERY interested in your story. And even more, I am thrilled for you and your new-found confidence! Yes, there will be still bad days, because if there weren't they wouldn't pay you for it... but your passion will carry you through those.



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GINGERHAWK 10/22/2012 9:31AM

    Having a job you love is so essential to other aspects of your life. Good for you for finding one and embracing all it has to offer.

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GRUMBLEGIRL 10/22/2012 6:54AM

    I'm glad you had a good conference. Reading your blog was just another sign for me that I need to make a change. I haven't felt that passion or sense of purpose in a long time. Thanks for sharing I'm sure that your health and fitness achievements over the past year were also instrumental in building your confidence for this year's event and you were probably giving off a more open and welcoming vibe. Since you feel good about your self, you were passing that off to others as well. Good job!!

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ON2VICTORY 10/21/2012 10:46PM

    emoticon glad you're back!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIVEDAILY 10/21/2012 10:11PM

    I love hearing about other people who love their jobs! I can not imagine how soul destroying it must be to work at a job that you DON'T love. I am happy for you!!

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OBIESMOM2 10/21/2012 7:19PM

    isn't it great to get paid to do something you enjoy??? I love my job and I work for the best company E V E R!

I was at Hartsfield on Friday! Returning home from a business trip to STL. I was so glad to see that darn airport...and even happier when I finally got to my car.

Every time I get on the escalator up to baggage claim/ground transportation, I hear John Denver singing: Hey it's good to be back home again.

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JMARIES51 10/21/2012 7:18PM

    This is wonderful, Leah, so happy for you. It is such a rare thing for a person to say these days. You have found your passion and your niche and probably your purpose. And it is all coming together with your Spark and your triathlon training and weight loss, and self confidence. You are the Spark and the Fire!

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SLIMLEAF 10/21/2012 7:09PM

    Thanks for explaining about your job. I'm really glad you enjoy it and that your busy week went well. :-)

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MOM-MOM8 10/21/2012 6:59PM

    emoticon It is great when we find where we belong. I am glad that you had an emoticon week.

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SENIORSWIMMER 10/21/2012 5:17PM

    Interesting. Glad you had a good conference. Safe journeys home.

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PEGGYO 10/21/2012 4:21PM

    thanks

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CINDHOLM 10/21/2012 4:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 10/21/2012 3:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KIPPER15 10/21/2012 3:48PM

    It is so amazingly wonderful to fine your niche job. Congrats. emoticon emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 10/21/2012 3:44PM

    I, too, work for an organization not like any other, with a completely different business model, with the flavor of academia and societal benefit. People come to this company and stay for decades. I, too, love my job!

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TREYONE 10/21/2012 3:30PM

  emoticon emoticon

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BLUE42DOWN 10/21/2012 3:13PM

    emoticon

Finding our niche is such an amazingly satisfying thing. emoticon

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NSMANN 10/21/2012 3:08PM

    What a blessing to work for an organization whose mission is centered on a social good.

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GUITARWOMAN 10/21/2012 3:06PM

    Your work sounds meaningful--and very enjoyable!

thanks for sharing!

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KBRADFORD88 10/21/2012 2:53PM

    I am reading this and realizing I need to make a change.

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REGILIEH 10/21/2012 2:49PM

    How fantastic for you! I don't think there is anything better in the workplace then loving your job and knowing your place. I'm so glad you explained about your job, it is ver interesting and you will be the best person for your job! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHSHULER89 10/21/2012 2:39PM

    What an awesome feeling!! So happy for you! emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 10/21/2012 2:22PM

    Beautiful, Leah! It is wonderful to have a job you love. I wish I had one.

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ELRIDDICK 10/21/2012 2:07PM

  Thanks for sharing

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Everything's Weirder in Austin

Sunday, October 14, 2012

They are not kidding when they say "Keep Austin Weird". I have to admit, guys, it's rough not to stare at a person (or multiple persons) that have piercings literally covering their ENTIRE faces! And, yet, you wonder....isn't that WHY they do that? So people will look? I don't know. I am just a Midwestern nice girl who doesn't want to be rude. And yet I want to stare so badly...

So, as you've gathered, I made it to Austin. Yesterday was Airport Day and it wasn't the funnest. I mean, I love to travel. I really do. But, something about airport air and airport food and turbulence and kids throwing up behind me in line and sharing a shuttle with a group of sweaty software developers leaves me just feeling sick. I was so bummed that my headache did not go away last night so I could watch my friends finish their IronMan World Champion race. Stupid Hawaii. Stupid 5 hour time difference.

The good news is...I slept for 8 hours uninterrupted and it was GLORIOUS!!!! Had breakfast with my team this morning and now have a couple hours of me time. I went for my first swim in this beautiful 45-ft saltwater lap pool (with jacuzzi attached, of course - this IS the Hilton!)



Of course, I met a nice fellow triathlete in the pool. We did laps together for awhile and chatted it up in the hot tub. He is from Canada and is here for Austin City Limits Music Fest. He's been doing tris for 2 years and, like me (and so many others I keep meeting), he taught himself to swim from YouTube! Ha!

The pool is on a rooftop deck outside and, at night, there is an absolutely gorgeous view of the Austin skyline. I'll snap a photo tonight (after yesterday's airport adventure, my cell was so low on battery, I couldn't quite get a pic). During the day, though...I'm gonna go ahead and admit...the city (at least right around this area) is not attractive or pretty at all. I've heard it's beautiful up by UT Austin, though. But I haven't been up that way. And I won't be...until at least Wednesday. Back to back meetings from now until Wednesday.

Just going to get ready now and I have one meeting this afternoon (a short 3-hour one), so that's not too bad. Maybe since I don't have Airport Sickness anymore, I might go out with some folks tonight. We'll see.

More to come, friends...Kuali Days is just getting started and it's going to be a GREAT one! I can feel it in my bones!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EFFRAYECHILDE 11/2/2012 8:50AM

    emoticon

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NSMANN 10/19/2012 11:27PM

    WELCOME to my neck of the woods! Check out South Congress while you're here. (GPS Lucy In Disguise and walk from there.)

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GOULDSGRANITE 10/17/2012 10:06AM

    Have a great trip!

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SERASARA 10/16/2012 4:29PM

  emoticon emoticon

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POLSKARENIA 10/16/2012 12:26PM

    Enjoy!!

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SJKENT1 10/16/2012 10:00AM

    love the pool. What's it like to swim in a saltwater pool?

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PATTISTAMPS 10/16/2012 9:13AM

    Beautiful pool! and know that meetings are not fun, but sometimes you get some unexpected fun on business travel... (like the night I went with my fellow travelers to a local theatre production... but that's a story for another time!)

I have found with most pierced and tatooed folks you can just ask them about them... I often find myself admiring some of the work... would I do it... NO, but some of it is amazing... (and at my age, watching the skin get looser makes me realize how awful they would look on me in 10 years!!!)

Hope your trip is going well!

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BLUEJEAN99 10/16/2012 1:57AM

    emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 10/16/2012 12:35AM

  I have to admit that, as a Texan, my first reaction to your title was, 'so what else is new?' I avoid Austin like the plague if possible. However, I find myself there much more often that I would like, as it is a major way station between point A (San Antonio) and point B (Dallas).

Honestly, I'm sure Austin isn't really that bad. I know it has a lot of neat cultural stuff to offer...I really, really hate it because the roads simply aren't able to handle the traffic, and I have never once driven through without getting stuck in a major traffic jam.

I very sincerely hope your time in Austin is wonderful!

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PCASEY7 10/15/2012 11:27PM

    I wanted to have a swim too based on the photo and it looks so nice and sunny! Enjoy!

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ONLYTEMPORARY 10/15/2012 9:25PM

    emoticon

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OPTIMIST1948 10/15/2012 8:59PM

    I know its hard not to stare.
Great job fitting in a little swimming.


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JUSGETTENBY42 10/15/2012 8:36PM

    emoticon

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SHOAPIE 10/15/2012 8:24PM

    emoticon

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DANCINCAJUN1 10/15/2012 8:12PM

    UT is gorgeous .... emoticon

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JAMER123 10/15/2012 8:10PM

    I don't fly any more due to some of the issues you had! We love taking our time and driving. This is a beautiful country! We drive through Austin about twice a year and the traffic there is about as bad as flying:):) Have a great time there!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARRENLYNN 10/15/2012 7:50PM

    Hope the rest of your trip goes well and you connect with lots of great people and the flight home is way better!



emoticon

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FARIS71 10/15/2012 6:40PM

    THAT is a bad airport day!

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PATRICIAANN46 10/15/2012 6:37PM

  You seem to have a great time where ever you go. Your trip sounds like it has some good perks. I hope you continue to enjoy it. emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 10/15/2012 4:45PM

    Have a great trip.

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DIANNEMT 10/15/2012 3:56PM

    Glad you have a great place to exercise.

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CHUM48 10/15/2012 2:18PM

    Happy days!

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LIVELYGIRL2 10/15/2012 2:13PM

  What a great way to begin my day Leah. I liked sharing the excitement ( ahem / and the not so thrilling parts too( that' s part of the whole experience ) emoticon

To the rest of you,I'm from California. There are places such as San Francisco that you can see a representation some of those" unique" individuals that Leah referred to. One wants to have decent social manners , so you don't WANT to stare,be critical, and judgmental or unkind. emoticon

But come on , don't we SOMETIMES crave wanting to blurt out our reaction to some of his stuff .... emoticon

I am aware of that there is plenty of dialogue going on concerning posting words, that civil people wouldn't say if you were standing next to someone ( unless they happen to be temporally ticked off )). In my world,. there is such a thing ,as not not expressing ones thoughts and feelings, 100 percent of the time.
( even if our country honors individualism / living with others means using wisdom,
because our words an build up or tear down. emoticon

I want to bring up that just there is a wrong way to express these thoughts, and just MAYBE, there is an appropriate way to do so. Ya , think??? emoticon
.
I had this idea , that this reaction would be stronger, when a person was from a small town, and had rarely seen such a sight. emoticon

Our son who is now an adult, used to wear his hair in a punk style. Us parents only allowed him to do so, for a concert. Then he wanted to make it colors, and wear it more and more often. Oh my gosh ( I wanted to cringe ). emoticon

They never told you these delights in parenting classes. I wonder if they do now. But there will always be a new fashion statement ( or lack thereof ), or some other emerging trend that isn't embraced ) emoticon

He went across the country with some buddies, right after he became of age. Therefore, we weren't aware of this event, until after the fact.

Our family hadn't been out to the midwest to see relatives for a bunch of years as a result of cost and work schedules.

Our son managed to more or less, force his friends ,to take a detour to see his grandma. She lived in this town of about 11,000.

He just showed up at her door, without, any notice. She opened the door, to see a startling sight. Daniel was wearing his garb ( like an uniform). emoticon
the reason i picked this picture ( it's a stray cat..it is lovable/ as in, look what the stray cat brought in. ). I guess you'd have to be there to get it. Maybe the following paragraph will make it clear.

Can you picture the contrast ? A frail bent over plain old woman ( from osteoporosis ), and a strong tall young man, with an eyeball of an outfit, sharing a tight hug.I wish they had cell phones then, so my husband and I could seen this powerful moment .She just grabbed him, and pulled him in the house. emoticon

She announced she was going to call up a bunch of other family members to meet her at the local pizza parlor. She just strutted her stuff into the pizza place, and sat there enjoying this surprise reunion with her grandson. Oh, oh, I can totally imagine the talk for days, in such a place. emoticon just thinking about this tale, makes me wan to both laugh and cry ( on several levels ).

I wanted to share another story which relates to the earlier topic ,of not gawking at people... emoticon

One day I took a small community bus for an appointment. emoticon

A man climbed up the 3 or 4 stairs and he was wearing some really low baggy pants.What an unbelievable conspicuous view. emoticon
Ya, Ya, this little icon is probably someone who lost weight, but it also fits my story ....

There was several rows of people staring straight forwarding , not one person was even smiling, even a tiny little bit, or glancing toward him, after he got to his seat, or blink an eye, when he was getting off the vehicle. emoticon

Hey is this totally mainstream now, or common, or people SUDDENLY got SO polite. ??? I got it ...they are going to work, and their still half asleep ... emoticon

I got off onto the sidewalk, and then I started laughing. Others , on that little van, looked out the window , and burst into large smiles. ( Hey ,as I said, I live in California, so I earned the right. ) emoticon emoticon

No, no, I not saying, hey guys, lets be rude,
but once in awhile ; I give myself permission to let it all hang out ( Specifically,to literally allow that internal laugh ,the freedom to turn up the sound.Oops, maybe, This is the wrong expression to use.... HA, ha, hee, hee emoticon


Alright, I' not sorry! It's all too funny,..... something tickled me. emoticon

Don't you ever want to act like like a kid, and either just laugh freely, or fall on the ground and roar. I can't stand it, I don't want to stand it ( does that sound like a kids temper tantrum ? )

your not suppose to laugh at other peoples expense, but THEY give us, so many , in your face, opportunities. Sometimes, don't you think, that we should just laugh anyhow, because it actually IS hilarious .Maybe I have a unusual sense of humor, and it just " seems" normal to me, it's an illusion.

Actually there aren't a huge amount of things that make me giggle ( this just happens to be one of them )

Does anybody agree ? emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

The End of these two stories. BTW- emoticon emoticon

PS. Bear with me, it's long and I should of blogged this. I didn't know it was going to develop as i wrote it down.



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LELERS 10/15/2012 1:31PM

    emoticon Have a good trip!

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ROCKETGIRL229 10/15/2012 1:18PM

    Have fun! I hope you have a blast.

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JLLOVETT 10/15/2012 12:02PM

    emoticon

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MS0669 10/15/2012 11:50AM

    The photo make me want to go swimming ! ENJOY !

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GOOSIEMOON 10/15/2012 11:34AM

    emoticon Very cool!



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VOLLEYGIRL77 10/15/2012 11:18AM

    Lucky! Have fun!

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HEARTS116 10/15/2012 11:10AM

    Enjoy!!!
emoticon emoticon

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CLAYARTIST 10/15/2012 10:45AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MANDALORE 10/15/2012 10:41AM

    have fun!

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CHANGELIFE2016 10/15/2012 9:57AM

    Have fun on your trip and kudos to you for teaching yourself swimming. You tube videos do help an awful lot! I don't think there is anything with taking lessons though. I've really enjoyed my lessons and it's really given me confidence and taught me a lot. Have a nice week!

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MIMIDOT 10/15/2012 9:51AM

    Thanks for sharing your adventures. Sounds like you're having a ball! Rock on!!!!

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YULLABELLE 10/15/2012 9:39AM

    emoticon for sharing your journey with us. emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 10/15/2012 9:16AM

    Hope you enjoy the trip.

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PENOWOK 10/15/2012 9:02AM

    Hope you get to have some fun mixed in with the work! How strange to have such a weird experience at the airport and then more in the town!

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OFGREENGABLES 10/15/2012 8:43AM

    that sounds amazing (and weird)

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REGILIEH 10/15/2012 8:43AM

    Have fun!!!! The people in Austin have to be really down as they got their butt kicked on Saturday by Oklahoma! Have fun! So glad you are feeling better!

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JNFRDAWN 10/15/2012 8:23AM

    Oh my gosh, I just visited Austin for the first time a couple weeks ago, and you are so right! I had the weirdest experiences there!

Have a great and healthy-feeling time. Jen

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TREYONE 10/15/2012 7:57AM

  what a gorgeous pool-bet it is spectacular at night! Enjoy your trip! emoticon

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JENNAAW 10/15/2012 7:48AM

    Your airport description is so spot on!!! I am one who absolutely loved to travel by plane when there were roomier seats, nicer employees and passengers, etc. I wish I could drive across oceans.

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BESSHAILE 10/15/2012 7:34AM

    Ahhh. Me time. So precious. And I think I could have fun swimming at night in a rooftop pool.

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NEWTINK 10/15/2012 6:44AM

    Enjoy you trip

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GRAMPIAN 10/15/2012 5:53AM

  Enjoy yourself!

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TRYINGHARD54 10/15/2012 5:41AM

    have fun

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NCSUE0514 10/15/2012 4:54AM

    Bill Engvall (Blue Collar Comedy Tour) asked "when did shrapnel become a fashion statement?"

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TDWANDD2MYK9 10/15/2012 2:59AM

    emoticon

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PASKALINI 10/15/2012 2:14AM

    Enjoy yourself!! I absolutely LOVE Austin. My husband and I went every spring for South by Southwest (SXSW) the music festival portion. We never felt like anyone bated an eyelash at us for being tattooed because in Austin we were only MILDLY weird compared to some of the natives :)

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VIMVIGOR 10/15/2012 2:04AM

  Beautiful pool!!!

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A Re-Run You Won't Hate

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I've never done this before on my blog, but I thought today was a good day to bring back an old blog I wrote back in July.

In just about a week, I'll be one sleep away from my first half marathon. And, just in case you jumped on the LDRICHEL bandwagon late, it's important to me that everyone knows WHY I am doing this race...and who it's dedicated to.

Here is a link to a blog I wrote about an inspiring friend, who WILL be at that race when I cross the finish line. I hope to go straight over to her and sit right in her lap!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4968535


We made some shirts...and, of course, I'll be wearing one. Here is the awesome design that my best college buddy (who will also be attending) came up with:



Had a little snafu with the printers...so the design will be on a gray shirt (not green) and actually, my tek shirt for the race is pink. Perfect for this month...AND the fact that I'm a Sweat Pink Ambassador now. Ha! It'll match my shoelaces!

I'm getting pretty excited. But, first...to tackle my Austin business trip. Excited about that too!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILSON1926 10/26/2012 10:09AM

    You Rock!
M

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NSMANN 10/19/2012 11:29PM

    Cute!

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VIMVIGOR 10/13/2012 2:15AM

  emoticon

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KIPPER15 10/12/2012 10:11PM

    Wow, it's almost time for your next race already. You are a busy girl and great inspiration to all of us. emoticon

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 10/12/2012 5:09PM

    You will rock it out my sole sister!!

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LINDAKAY228 10/12/2012 1:23PM

    Have a great time and so glad your inspiration will be there for you too! I remember the blog. Have a great business trip too.

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MEH50BEWELL 10/12/2012 11:42AM

    Good Luck! Have a wonderful time. Can't wait to read about it... Bring pics too

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COLETTEISGREAT 10/12/2012 10:47AM

    Yay! I'm very excited for you!

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GUITARWOMAN 10/12/2012 7:45AM

    Exciting!

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KATHIC2 10/12/2012 7:36AM

  You are soooo ready!

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STHAX10 10/12/2012 7:15AM

    emoticon Have fun!!!!

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GOING-STRONG 10/12/2012 12:01AM

    emoticon

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JJAQUES41 10/11/2012 10:25PM

    Have a great trip to Austin, that's in my neck of the woods! good luck on your race, love the t-shirt!

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COCK-ROBIN 10/11/2012 9:36PM

    Great! Thanks for sharing.

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JUNEAU2010 10/11/2012 9:11PM

    emoticon emoticon
I went back and read your earlier blog and I am SO inspired! I KNOW you are going to succeed on this run and you will feel as if you are being carried by wings! Your whole SP community will be with you in spirit!

Comment edited on: 10/11/2012 9:14:40 PM

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WARMSPRINGDAY 10/11/2012 8:38PM

    emoticon

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OPTIMIST1948 10/11/2012 7:43PM

    Updates are always good. Nice shirt!

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LIVEDAILY 10/11/2012 7:38PM

    Thank you Leah! I did not know about your friend Alli, and I know you will be amazing on the 20th!!

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AMARILYNH 10/11/2012 7:15PM

    What an amazing story - thanks for referring us back to it!! emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLEAF 10/11/2012 7:04PM

    Leah, I wonder if you might dare to start to realise that just as Alli is an inspiration to you, you are an inspiration to many of us.

I'll be so thinking of you on 20th October. It's going to be a great day!

God bless

- and thank you.

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DONNA5281 10/11/2012 4:31PM

 
Have fun

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SPARKL3 10/11/2012 4:02PM

    Awesome. I think BOTH of you are amazing!

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LINDAK25 10/11/2012 3:42PM

    Love the shirt! I'm glad your friend Alli will be at the race. First, have a great trip, then have a terrific race. Hugs to you, your team and Alli.

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JENNCABA 10/11/2012 3:22PM

    emoticon Have fun, take lots of pics !! emoticon emoticon

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KATHY_NATURELVR 10/11/2012 2:44PM

    Amazing story, thank you for re-posting.

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REMEMBER2BME 10/11/2012 2:37PM

    Oh my goodness. Thanks you so much for sharing this about your friend and more about yourself as well. You BOTH totally ROCK!!!!

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CINDHOLM 10/11/2012 2:35PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SWEETEYES0601 10/11/2012 2:22PM

    Lots of excite in your blog there! We are all hopeful and excited for your success as well. Please take care during the run and thank you! As you now have become the inspiration to others that you hold with Allison. And bless her and her drive and her influence over you! emoticon

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SHUFFMAN126 10/11/2012 2:11PM

    I remember the blog from when you originally posted it, I'm not going to read it again today because I'm at work and I'll cry. Congrats on how far you've come! Enjoy your half!

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NILLAPEPSI 10/11/2012 2:01PM

    Have fun!! We wanna see pics!

Wow! Your friend is amazing!!

Comment edited on: 10/11/2012 2:04:52 PM

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LEB0401 10/11/2012 1:48PM

    This is the second time reading that post and I teared up all over again. Great re-post, awesome shirt, inspiring lady.

I CAN'T wait to read your blog after you run the HM!

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DJSHIP46 10/11/2012 1:41PM

    emoticon & inspiring!!! Enjoy!

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JMARIES51 10/11/2012 1:39PM

    All I can say is awesome inspiration. What a beautiful lady inside and out! Thank you for sharing that again because I did miss it the first time around.

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LANEE24 10/11/2012 1:34PM

    Wow... I'm at work and decided to go ahead and chart my food intake, thus far. I'm not great with my blogging, but I do try and read blogs more (yours have become favorites). Anyway, all of that is to say, I'm glad I took the time at work to read this. It really blessed my spirit. God is so good and to see how he shines through people never ceases to amaze me. I love the "I run because I can..." And, the friendship you have with Allison is so beautiful. Thank you for re-sharing that blog, and thank you for being an inspiration... for getting up and running in spite of! Best of Luck to you October 20th! I'll be rooting for you!

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EBURGITE 10/11/2012 12:52PM

    emoticon

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PEGGYO 10/11/2012 12:45PM

    have fun

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OUBACHE 10/11/2012 12:45PM

    Wow - what a powerful blog and a wonderful friend both of you are to each other. I know you will do great on your first half-marathon. How could you not with such an inspiration? Boiler up!

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BARBANNA 10/11/2012 12:41PM

    Really sweet, thanks for sharing!

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LADYPIXEL 10/11/2012 12:41PM

    I'm excited for you. Have fun out there, and you can do it! :)

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

I Feel Like A Farmer

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So, today was weird. If you know me well, you might know that I have a thing where my body kind of naturally wakes up between 3am & 4am every morning. I generally lay there wide awake for a bit and then fall back asleep.

This morning, I woke up at 4am and my mind started racing. I started to worry about things and the stress of this next week or so started to creep in...and, well, I was AWAKE. I had originally planned on going to the Y to swim at 7am this morning. But, I switched up my routine and decided to just get up and go. Doors open at 5am and I figured I could maybe sneak an extra 1/2 hour on the elliptical (because it's less crowded so early). There's a 30 minute limit.

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In case you wondered, there IS a line of people waiting outside the YMCA at 4:45am waiting for the doors to open. I counted 14. Geez....FREAKS.

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Got in, got on the elliptical. Did my hour. All done before 6am. I was feeling GREAT! At the same time, I was driving away and thought, "It feels like I didn't even work out. It feels like it didn't even count."

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That's when Inner Jillian (IJ) shouted at me, "LIKE IT DOESN'T EVEN COUNT????? Wait a second...wait. Remember the first time you used the elliptical?"

ME: Yeah.

IJ: How long did you last that first time?

ME: Uhh...5 minutes.

IJ: Yeah...you're right. Doesn't even count. Psssh.

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Well, you know...the day went on and work happened, etc etc etc. Legs started to feel this morning's workout eventually. Feeling awful stiff now. Definitely going to eat my words now! Haha. Definitely counted!!!!

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And around 3pm, as I was doing the most awful tedious website proofing work (click a link, document the result....read EVERY single word of a 50 page website and scan for typos...omg....it's AWFUL!!!!!), I started to feel pretty darn exhausted.

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It was then that I second-guessed my choice to get up at 4am! Haha.

Luckily, my little boy JUST came by and said he is getting sleepy and is ready for bed (it's only 7:45 and he had a nap today!) THANK GOD!!! I am more than happy to take him to bed (and get to go to sleep early).

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Plus....you know...I wanna be in the pool no later than 6am tomorrow.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EFFRAYECHILDE 10/29/2012 10:20AM

    emoticon

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KKARENKM 10/18/2012 11:05AM

    keep up the good job

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KEEPITUP05 10/14/2012 10:15PM

    I sure wish I woke that early! Good for you! emoticon

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ONEATATIME3 10/14/2012 9:37PM

  I like the way you are so strict with yourself. emoticon emoticon

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FATHINSN 10/14/2012 9:15PM

    Wow, that's great, go very early to the gym for morning workout! I did mine today because I thought rather than I returned to my bed, I better do a short workout to start the my Monday engine :P

Anyway, I like your Inner Jillian, can I borrow her when I feel too comfortable or too easy in my workouts or simply lazy :D

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REENIE131 10/14/2012 8:06PM

    That's a habit I've tried to get into...I can't.

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GAMMY98 10/14/2012 7:42PM

    Wow this is a great blog. I too get awake any were after 3 am. The first thing I do is read my Bible and then get into exercise. I just recently moved I start working on getting things unpacked and finding places for them.

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THESLIMMERME1 10/14/2012 3:58PM

    emoticon emoticon Is this going to be a new routine?
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LLAMACATCHER 10/14/2012 2:30PM

    Love it!! Great job emoticon

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KIMBOLEAN 10/14/2012 12:17PM

  emoticon

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NESARIAN 10/14/2012 12:05PM

    Lol! I see so much of myself in your blog! Glad to know I am not the only one!

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LYNNIERN 10/14/2012 7:33AM

    Thanks for sharing your story, love the inspiration it gives to get up early and exercise.

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FIREFLY_MEDIC 10/14/2012 5:01AM

    :)

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GRAMMAP1 10/13/2012 11:16PM

    I admire your enthusiasm. I don't know if that goes with personality types, but mornings are not my time of day. I don't suppose at my age, change would be easy. I am glad, however that it works for you! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBK0923 10/13/2012 6:49PM

    I can't get up and work out, I tried. I am not a morning person due to years of late shift work. I am happy for you being able to get up right away. great blog

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BBECKER1955 10/13/2012 8:35AM

    It's good to know that I'm not the only one with unusual sleep/workout patterns. Excelsior. emoticon

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POETICJUSTUS 10/13/2012 3:25AM

    Good for You! emoticon emoticon

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SLFGOLF 10/13/2012 1:00AM

    You sure are stronger than I. I know I would have still would have rolled over and just worried at that time in the morning. You did real well!

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KIPPER15 10/12/2012 10:06PM

    Great job. emoticon

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HIPPYCAT 10/12/2012 9:54PM

    I miss my early morning workouts - but nowadays I get up between 4 and 5 to get everything ready for my classroom. No way am I pushing that back an hour! It's awesome, though.
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CHANGING-TURTLE 10/12/2012 8:54PM

    Early morning work outs are the best, hubby and i were up at 5 wotking out but afterwards we went back to bed untill 10

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CAROL494 10/12/2012 8:34PM

  emoticon

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NKOUAMI26 10/12/2012 7:40PM

    emoticon

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ARUSHING2 10/12/2012 6:51PM

 
You are doing what I have had to do several times this past several months also.

Major, adjustment or shift of times, activities or places. You are adapting to the circumstances - outstanding.

( PS: I think that the traditional dairy farmer, is the one that has your hours of awakening, more or less! )

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ORODEO73 10/12/2012 6:35PM

    I wish I had something close so that I could get up and go to. Was a great journey! Good luck tomorrow

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BARBANNA 10/12/2012 4:03PM

    TGIF!

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POLSKARENIA 10/12/2012 3:18PM

    That's a great achievement! I always regret NOT getting up as soon as I wake up and exercise. I always feel so much better (as well as terribly virtuous) when I do 'brave the elements', ok, the darkness before sunrise! And early nights are good for you too - there's the old saying that an hour before midnight is worth 2 after... it works!!

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SERASARA 10/12/2012 3:08PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARENGMT 10/12/2012 3:02PM

    emoticon

What a great blog post!

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JO28352 10/12/2012 1:38PM

    Inner Jillian ROCKS! emoticon

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RONNIEHUEY 10/12/2012 1:17PM

    Go get them! 6AM swim good for you

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CHUM48 10/12/2012 12:41PM

    You go girl!

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HOLLYM48 10/12/2012 12:27PM

    emoticon emoticon Good job of getting up and going and I can't believe people get in line so early. I have to get up at 530a. to get ready for work and I can't imagine working out even earlier than that. I prefer after work work outs for sure. Way to go on the elliptical, so small feat there, it is amazing what our bodies will do after we start making them "love" exercise. Keep up the great work! emoticon

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EG8383 10/12/2012 12:03PM

  I'm so not a moring person! I can see the advantage though of getting the exercise in the morning. Did it make you have a better day?! Way to go =)

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MYBABYGIRLS 10/12/2012 11:54AM

    emoticon

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DALID414 10/12/2012 11:31AM

    I like getting things done before others wake up, I feel accomplished emoticon I don't tell anyone how early I get to bed that night though emoticon

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ESME25 10/12/2012 10:30AM

    emoticon

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MWOLFE25 10/12/2012 8:50AM

    I know exactly how you feel!

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AJB121299 10/12/2012 7:50AM

    great job

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JSTETSER 10/12/2012 5:41AM

    Funny!

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BLOOMING52 10/12/2012 5:31AM

    Way to go!

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BLUEJEAN99 10/12/2012 1:53AM

    emoticon emoticon

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IFEOMA4 10/12/2012 1:50AM

  Good for you

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KALISWALKER 10/12/2012 1:23AM

    LOL yep you are doing very well!

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PCASEY7 10/12/2012 12:00AM

    Well done and continued success!

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LIVELYGIRL2 10/11/2012 11:56PM

  You funny girl : ))

Pretty darn early, but you got the whole day ahead, started right. I only got to work out once this week do far ( it's Thurs). I'll have to make up for it. Too many projects... emoticon

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TREYONE 10/11/2012 11:24PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 10/11/2012 11:02PM

  Wow! I have to say that I'm impressed!

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CLAYARTIST 10/11/2012 10:05PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 10/11/2012 10:02PM

    Sounds like you have a good plan in place!! I am not a morning person so I applaud you for the early rising!!
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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

This and That

Monday, October 08, 2012

This week, I feel like this...



Maybe you didn't get that metaphor. Here's another:



Still confused? Here's a likeness of me:



My bad, that doesn't look like me. This is a little closer:



My only hope comes from realizing that, on Friday afternoon, I get to be here doing this:



AAAAAAH, one solitary moment of bliss. Then....this:



All so I can arrive and work my butt off for a week here:



But...you know what's awesome? After that's done, I get to do this:



Along 13.1 miles of this:



And then I'll get to collect this:



Then, a party with close friends and family to celebrate. Could there BE a better way to cap off the busiest weeks of my professional year? I think not!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EFFRAYECHILDE 10/23/2012 10:09AM

    emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 10/13/2012 12:17AM

  Oh Leah,
Your a good communicator. I love it!!!

I hope you enjoy the other stuff, and keep your head together and heart engaged to the things you get to do to recharge.

Honestly, I can't believe what you've accomplished in this brief time. HA, HA, enjoyed the frustrated computer pic , cracking me up ( can you hear me ? )

You savor that run and massage.

I guess my now, my sister told you, she started running. I am guessing, it has only been 1 or 2 plus months. She is so darn jazzed about it ( that I posted on freecycle/ to find some running shoes without treading ). I don't have the $ to invest .

I got a response but have to see if the lady follows through because I was unable to pick them up last week. emoticon

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LIVINHEALTHY9 10/11/2012 9:27PM

    I really enjoyed your blog.
Have a good trip and a great run!

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PSHAW46 10/11/2012 8:32PM

  What an awesome blog! You go girl!

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NESARIAN 10/11/2012 8:07PM

    emoticon

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IFEOMA4 10/11/2012 4:45PM

  LOVE THE BLOG. I really get it all

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SUSANELAINE1956 10/11/2012 3:48PM

    Good luck!

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KASPER10779 10/11/2012 2:31PM

    I totally got all of those! I hope you have a great time!

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KKARENKM 10/11/2012 2:27PM

    deer in the head lights- yep can relate to that. nice blog

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MCJULIEO 10/11/2012 11:38AM

    Lucky You! Austin is a great place to get outside and enjoy the day... whether you're near Town Lake (now known as Lady Bird Lake) that runs through downtown, or the various green spaces that wind through the canyons and hills of this beautiful city...

Hope you enjoy this little bit of Texas before returning to the frozen North!

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LUKENEMISAUNT 10/11/2012 11:01AM

  Good job!

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SEATTLE58 10/11/2012 9:58AM

    Wow, I love your talent at posting all the pictures to go with your story! Awesome job and have fun during your hard work! emoticon

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GOOSIEMOON 10/11/2012 9:16AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLOOMING52 10/11/2012 8:14AM

    I get it!

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ILOVETOCRUISE 10/11/2012 6:50AM

    Good luck.
When we moved to the Austin area in 1985, the tallest building was the Sheraton by the river.
We do not live there anymore but do miss it.
Have a good day.

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SHAZG321 10/11/2012 3:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GRAMMAP1 10/11/2012 12:37AM

    Looks good to me. Much better than being a emoticon body!

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SERASARA 10/10/2012 1:42PM

  emoticon emoticon

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CINDYBEL 10/10/2012 10:12AM

    Hope you enjoy Austin. The weather is beautiful in Texas at this time. Of course, give it a week and it will change.
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POLSKARENIA 10/10/2012 9:43AM

    Excellent - love the visuals! Enjoy!!

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LORELLELAURA 10/10/2012 8:40AM

    massage? jealous! might have to book one of my own!

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BLUEJEAN99 10/10/2012 1:59AM

    emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 10/9/2012 11:41PM

  Nice to have such a desirable silver lining waiting for you after the initial clouds! Enjoy the end of the week!

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PCASEY7 10/9/2012 10:48PM

    Congrats and best of luck with the half marathon! Loved the photos in your blog!

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JAMER123 10/9/2012 9:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Is that a trail in the Austin area? Beautiful already? Can't wait to get into the area. AND got my massage today!! Sore but it will be great!!

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HEARTS116 10/9/2012 8:58PM

    Hope you have a great race! emoticon

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SHOAPIE 10/9/2012 8:39PM

    emoticon

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CHUM48 10/9/2012 8:21PM

    Great blog!

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KARRENLYNN 10/9/2012 8:03PM

    Well told! I hope you rock the week and do great in the marathon! :)

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ONLYTEMPORARY 10/9/2012 7:45PM

    emoticon

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FALLNTENN 10/9/2012 7:14PM

    Good luck on a successful week at work and wonderful run for the half-marathon.

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MELROSE13 10/9/2012 7:03PM

    The feeling when you cross that starting line-and then the one at the finish line-incomparable! ENJOY that journey cause there is only one time to have your "first"!
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JUSGETTENBY42 10/9/2012 6:44PM

    emoticon

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PEGGYO 10/9/2012 6:22PM

    have a great time

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IAMAGEMLOVER 10/9/2012 5:26PM

    Good luck on the half marathon. emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 10/9/2012 4:19PM

    Loved it! Good luck with the hm. What a great way to end the week!

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DIANNEMT 10/9/2012 4:05PM

    Hope you had a great half marathon that made the whole week of work worth it!!

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JUNEAU2010 10/9/2012 2:51PM

    Yes! While that deer may be looking at oncoming headlights, it is strong, it is beautiful, it is independent and it, too, can run very fast!

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JIBBIE49 10/9/2012 2:50PM

    Once again FEATURED BLOG in the Spark Mail. What an honor.

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PATRICIAANN46 10/9/2012 2:35PM

  Enjoy!!!!! Have an emoticon time!!!

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CREEKLADY1 10/9/2012 1:17PM

  LOve it!

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SLIMLEAF 10/9/2012 12:27PM

    Have a great run - just relax and enjoy it!

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GALINAZ 10/9/2012 11:24AM

    Good luck on your run and at work, you are amazing!


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EBURGITE 10/9/2012 11:01AM

    emoticon

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STHOMAS1009 10/9/2012 10:41AM

    Way cool! Love it!

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LELERS 10/9/2012 10:22AM

    emoticon

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CLARALAW 10/9/2012 10:13AM

    Go for it!

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SANDYLH1 10/9/2012 10:00AM

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REGILIEH 10/9/2012 9:47AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 10/9/2012 9:34AM

    Love it! Great blog!

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