Sunday, June 13, 2010

One-Half of 2010

I am not known to break promises, and I don't plan on starting now. So ladies and gents, here's a quick---or maybe not so quick---recap of what I've been up to so far this year...

January 1, 2010--I ran my first 5k.
It probably doesn't sound like much of a feat for most, but to me, it was a serious personal challenge. I started to run back in October 2009, mostly to better my physical health, but also out of curiosity to see if I could learn to like running. I never understood the people that LOVED to run so much that they did it for fun. To me, running was never fun---never ever. But, after I kicked my first 5k's butt...I was totally pumped! The feeling of setting a very challenging goal, and accomplishing it was incredibly satisfying (and yes, I cried after I crossed the finish line...tears of joy of course. And then I pigged out on Chinese take-out).

January 30th--I said yes!
On a beautiful, sunny day, atop of Peak 9 in Breckenridge, Colorado, and being with two of the most important people in my life--my sister Sue, and my lovie Donald--we took a quick "photo op" break from skiing...and the next thing I know is...Donald and I are engaged! Literally the best of my life. Sue was an accomplice to the plan, and was an amazing photographer capturing such a special memory. Donald couldn't have done a better job if he had tried. May 29th, 2011 is our big day!

I ran another 5k, results weren't as good as my first race. In my defense (or my excuse...whichever way you want to look at it), I had only rested a day or two after the ski trip, it was incredibly cold and windy, and at this point, I'm pretty sure I have a serious leg injury. I have no idea what or how I got it, but all I know is, walking is painful...running is almost impossible.

March--A Miracle Arrives
The very precious daughter of my good friend Jamie is welcomed to the world! The arrival of baby Shay was certainly a special celebration. I start referring to myself as Shay's "Auntie Kristen". I don't think I actually asked Shay's parents if that was ok with them, I just kind of did it. Eh, that's just kind of what I do. hheeheh.

April--My Time to Shine!
I love April. It's pretty much my favorite month of the year. It's birthday month for me, and this year, I had another personal goal for myself that kind of overshadowed my birthday. I ran in the Country Music Marathon half marathon. Crazy. Seriously, probably one of the craziest, and yet most awesome things I've done for myself. I was a bit slower than I wanted to be, but I'm so proud of myself for finishing...especially after the lack of training I had since February. At this point, my leg still bothers me, but thankfully my adrenaline was running so much during the race that I never noticed the leg pain. Afterward was another story of course, but who cared? Not me! I had a medal around my neck and had a half-gallon of ice cream waiting for me when I got home! However, I knew that a visit to the doctor couldn't wait much longer...3 months had already been too long.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've certainly heard about the historical flooding Nashville had in early May. I'll just keep this brief by saying...WE ARE NASHVILLE. This city rocks and the people are even more amazing (even if there are a lot of people in this city that really suck at driving).

If I didn't love Nashville as much as I do, I'd probably live in Colorado. So I find it very convenient for me that my sister lives there (thanks Southwest Airlines for having cheap flights to DEN). For Memorial Day weekend, two of my sisters and I decided to meet up in Denver for another reunion. The main event was the Bolder Boulder 10k race...with the opening act dress shopping! I never thought I'd actually find "the dress" in another state, but it happened. At my first and only dress shopping appointment. Pretty awesome indeed, and certainly added fuel to my fire to run well for the race. Raceday came, and although Team Wiltse attempted to run the entire race together...I needed to run on my own. One sister was used to the altitude, the other sister is a long time runner. I'm neither of those things, and I was still battling my stupid leg injury (no thanks to the doc though...the prescription for an anti-inflammatory definitely didn't do anything for me, except for putting me to sleep). All 3 members of Team Wiltse finished one of the largest (and probably most difficult) road races in the United States.

June--Running the Road to Recovery.
I've been to a second doctor now, still trying to find out what's wrong with my leg. I think we have it figured out. Something about my quadricep muscles not sliding against each other the way they should be (sounds gross I know), and therefore I've basically been trying to run on a severely cramped muscle. After my first drug-less...although, not painless...treatment, I feel MUCH better already! I haven't been running much on it yet, but hopefully after one more appointment I'll be back and better than ever! I can't wait! Whoa, did I really just say that? Those are definitely words that I never thought I would say!

Whew, what a post...even I'm tired.

The end.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm back!

Seriously, where have I been for the past 6+ months?! I can tell you where I haven't been, and that's obviously on my blog! Well no fear, I'm returning. At least, I hope I am. Basically I'm posting this right now to hold myself accountable for staying true to my word that I WILL blog again this weekend. And hopefully, that won't be the only post for another 6 months. So there you have it folks---an update coming within the next 72 hours. I pinky promise.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


This post is so long over-due (or maybe it's really early for next year?), I actually thought about not blogging about this. But then I thought....nope, I need to because I'm proud of my efforts. My mom came to visit from Upstate (well really Northern to be exact) New York. Yes, I know it's hard to believe that there really is more to NY than just the city. Google map it, I swear there is. Anyway, it was Donald and my first official Thanksgiving dinner that we were going to host for someone else, and although it would have been awesome to have all of our family members gathered around our table, we were very pleased to have my mother here to share it with us.

I began the morning before Thanksgiving by making the muffins that you see below. It was a twist on a family favorite...cranberry-orange bread. Although, this time around, I wanted to make something that would be a bit healthier than the recipe that we normally follow (thanks Ms. Betty Crocker for feeding me during my youth). I'm not going to post my version of the recipe now, for a few reasons. One, I usually leave the baking up to these two ladies. And two, I need to perfect the recipe a little more to get it exactly like I want. Then I'll post the recipe. They still tasted pretty good, and looked really cute. But I know I can do better.

Which leads me onto the main course. It was my first time making a turkey...and I'm proud to say, I nailed it! It was so perfectly golden brown, and juicy (and cooked to the correct temp! YAY!), gosh, it almost makes me want to go make another one right now. I think I had beginner's luck or something, so I'm really tempted to make another one for Christmas just to see if I really do know what I'm doing. Donald helped make dinner too.......his mashed potatoes were delish! And I'm proud to say, that all of the other food made it to the table without getting cold. That's something I don't do well with when it comes to multi-dishes in the kitchen....I am getting better, but there's almost always something on the verge of being cold when it hits the table, and more devastatingly, my plate!

It was a great Thanksgiving dinner, and my mom had a great visit. There's something so satisfying about being able to show my mom after all of these years that I have become quite an amazing young lady (that's right...I'm not afraid to give a little credit where credit is due).

So, this past Thanksgiving, I was very thankful to be able to have the chance to have another Thanksgiving with my mom, and do a little role reversal for once. And of course, I'm very thankful to have all of my family, friends, my canine daughters, and especially my Donald. Here's to wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

When I was younger, I wanted to be just like my sister Susan. If she did it, I did it too--or at least I tried really really hard to. Sure we could fight like we hated each other, but then two minutes later, we were best friends again. Well, she just turned 30 (ummm, I hope that wasn't a secret Suze), and although she wasn't exactly excited to hit the big 3-0, I think she makes 30 seem really cool, and really cool 30 year olds celebrate their birthday in Las Vegas. Sticking true to my younger days, I joined Sue, and one of my other sisters Michele in Vegas for the big celebration. We had such a great time, although it was only for a few days. Here are just a few of the highlights from the trip...

First of all, I have to mention that the Encore Wynn is an amazing hotel, and just so happens to be where country superstar Garth Brooks will be playing shows at for the next couple of years. If you ever get the chance to go to Vegas, I would HIGHLY recommend staying at this hotel. Absolutely STUNNING! It's very modern chic, and even if you're arriving in your "travel attire", you'll feel like a million dollars just walking through the doors.

The first photo, is just a little taste of what you'll see inside the Wynn resort. I really want the mosaic tiled floors in my house someday...or as a piece of art on the wall...there were many of those throughout the resort as well...again...stunning pieces of work!

We ate dinner at the hot on the scene, Asian-bistro restaurant Tao Las Vegas, located in The Venetian Hotel and Casino. The restaurant had a super cool vibe, and incredibly delicious food.
I wonder what the chance of a Tao opening in Nashville is?

I took the photo above from the staircase that led to the Tao nightclub (also a really cool place, but my sisters and I didn't stay very long...we all had long day of traveling and wanted to hit the casino floor before going to bed). Which brings me to my next photo....proof that I won it big in Vegas. Ha, yea, riiiiiiggghhhhttt. If I remember correctly, I only started with $10 the first night, so I didn't do too badly. Thankfully, I didn't get too carried away with the gambling, and I don't think I'll have to call any 1-800-I-Have-A-Gambling-Problem number anytime soon. Unfortunately, I also didn't come back to Nashville with a fat wallet either.

We had breakfast in Paris the next morning. Ok ok, not really Paris, France, but it sure felt like it! We ate at Mon Ami Gabi (a classic French bistro) and had fantastic quiche Lorraine, big skinny lemon pancakes, spinach and brie crepes, and cappuccino in a bowl (personally, I don't have the correct taste buds to enjoy cappuccino, but the bowl was super cute!)

...and of course when in Paris, you must see the Eiffel Tower!

On the last day, after Michele left for the airport to fly back home, Sue and I had some time to kill before we had to leave, so we took another stroll on the strip, and I was able to get these last two shots. The first one is outside of the Venetian hotel, and the second is of the fountain show outside of the Bellagio hotel (and yes, it really was like the fountain scene from "Ocean's Eleven"--I love that movie by the way). The fountain show was really spectacular...the water shoots practically just as tall as the hotel! It was amazing! I wasn't able to see the show at night, but I'm sure the sunset show is unbelievable!

Vegas is one crazy city. I don't think I've ever used the phrase "this is ridiculous!" more at one time than I did that weekend. Now I know why they call it "Sin City", and I'm happy to say, that I in no way, contributed to it's sinful reputation. I'd probably go back to Vegas only once more, but that's about it for this sweet and innocent girl! ;)

All in all, I think Sue had a great 30th birthday...I mean, hello, I was there to celebrate it with her, of course it was going to be a great birthday. Happy (belated) birthday again Suze...I love you so very much, and I can't wait to be 30....just like you. :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fall Back into Color (Multi)

For the final installment of my F.B.I.C. series, I present to you....
the multi-colored photos!

For this post, I encourage you to sit back, relax, and just take it all in.....kind of like what I was doing when I took the photos...except, you'll be in a much more comfortable position, and probably won't get a stiff neck.

Although the next photo is in a softer focus, I love the way it works with the pastel colors in the background. Sometimes, the "oopsie" photos become some of my favorites.

And here are a few photos with the red and green combination...just incase you're the type of person who likes to get in the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving comes. Personally, I am not that type of person (no offense to you if you are that type of person)---
but the color combo still caught my eye.

Well, there it first series. What do you all think of it?

I'm leaving tomorrow for a long weekend in "Sin City." I'm hoping that I can get some great photos while I'm there, and if all goes well, I should be coming home with enough money to go buy some more gear, and hopefully have some left over to put into savings. One thing is for sure though...I'm going to make sure my sister has an awesome 30th birthday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Special Announcement!

I interrupt the previously scheduled series finale post to bring you a special announcement! I baked. Yup, that's right, I baked...cupcakes. Hmmm, what's the special occasion you ask? Well it's my dear friend Erin's birthday! Oh, did I mention she is having a birthday giveaway for YOU on her blog? There, I just did---so make sure you go
check it out AFTER you're done reading my post. ;)

For those of you who know me well, you know that when I think of a kitchen, I don't think of it as a place where food is prepared, but more of a place where food is stored and eaten. I'm certainly not as good at preparing delicious meals as the birthday girl is, but every once in a while I get the itch to really make good use of my kitchen. I really do love my small kitchen (I think the granite counter tops really make me feel like a gourmet chef or something crazy like that) and I believe my culinary skills have greatly improved over the past year.
These cupcakes certainly prove that theory.

Although these cupcakes weren't made from scratch they could have easily been passed off as if they were. What can I say, I'm a huge fan of convenience...just ask my George Foreman grill. The birthday girl is a huge fan of pumpkin (who isn't?!?), and I knew that she would love these Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese cupcakes
(thanks Jamie for recommending that I make this recipe!)

I tried to revise the recipe to my preferences, because I'm still trying to be good about the "bad" food I eat. Therefore, I made some substitutions of ingredients. For example, I used applesauce instead of vegetable oil for the cake mix, I used low-fat cream cheese instead of the full-monte kind of cream cheese, I also cut the sugar in half (trust me, it's plenty sweet enough!), and I went real light with the frosting (thanks Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese frosting from a can). And yes, I am the guilty party who took a couple of bites out of this sweet treat before I had breakfast! Yikes, don't tell my mom!

So, cheers to you Erin! I hope you enjoy being 26 as much as I have so far.

Up next, the series finale of Fall Back into Color....for real this time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fall Back into Color (Purple)

This is the post that almost didn't happen, and I'll tell you why.

I had already taken the shots I wanted of the some of the other fall colors (i.e. brown/yellow, orange and red), and I was on the hunt for a dark purple tree to give me a good balance of bright colors and dark colors. I knew there was a purple tree near in the complex, but as I was walking around and saw it from a distance, it was totally in the shade and I was all bummed out because I thought it wouldn't make for very good lighting. Then, I snapped back into the creative side of my brain, and told myself that I needed to get closer because things always look different from a different perspective right?

Upon further investigation, I found that although most of the tree was in fact in the shade, there was a streaming beam of sunlight that was poking through the upper canopy of the tree, and creating a magnificent back-light, and therefore making these leaves absolutely glow! I was so excited, I felt like I had just won money (which is in no way what I have on my brain right now as I think about my upcoming trip to Vegas....yes, I know I have high expectations!)

I admit, I did a teeny-tiny bit of tweeking in Photoshop for the next two photos.
They were a little bit on the dark side, which I still really liked,
but just the slightest adjustment made a big difference.

If anyone knows what kind of tree this is, please let me know. I absolutely love the heart shaped leaves on it--especially with the red and purple coloring. I could totally see myself owning a tree like this someday......someday.......when I become a homeowner.

So there it is ladies and gentlemen...the second to last post in F.B.I.C. series.
Coming up....the series finale!! Oh the anticipation!!