Friday, February 25, 2011

Birthday Recap

Yes, my birthday was last week.  But, to be fair, I like to drag out the celebrations as long as possible, which is why I haven’t posted this yet. 

Okay, not really.  Its just because I’m lazy and I keep forgetting.

Anyhow, it was great birthday: low key, relaxing, & a bit overindulgent.

For starters, this showed up around 4:30pm on my birthday:



Here is what was inside:



The sad thing is that I didn’t even need a list to tell me what kind each was.  I have been stalking the Crumbs website for so long, I already knew them all. Top row: cosmopolitan, red velvet, Elvis (banana and peanut butter). Bottom row: squiggle (like a hostess cupcake), half baked, tiramisu.

I invited Karolina, Emily and her fiance’, Joe, to come eat them with us because I knew 3 things: 1)I did not NEED to eat them all myself (even though I could have) , 2) they would likely not survive more than a few hours alone in my house and 3) I ate the all of the cupcakes I previously intended to share (Alone. On a train.)

Here is the aftermath:


It was the most divine, sugar induced hangover in the universe!

Best. Birthday Present. Ever.


A few days later, my sister, brother and niece came to town. I am obsessed with my niece, Grace.  She is pretty much the coolest person I know.

The last time she was here, we took her to the Please Touch Museum, but she was a little too small for most of the things there.


But this time, she was juust the right size:


CIMG3640 Big fan of the slides


Maybe still a little too small for this?


Who doesn’t like carousels?


First she milked it, then she sat on it


I am a bad influence


I’m on a boat, yo



Amanda is a riot


Again with the slides..

Grace wasn’t feeling so well, but it was a lot of fun! I think Amanda and I maybe even had more fun than she did.  We also watched “Beauty and the Beast” about 17 times in 3 days. Its Grace’s favorite.  “Belle and Beast,” she calls it.  She knows all the words to the songs. I laughed so hard when I heard her sing it the first time, I almost peed my pants. (Yes, I was drinking, but still.)

I love that movie but it will be okay if I don’t have to watch it again until I have my own kids. Or ever.


On Sunday, we had some friends to our local bowling alley for a mini birthday party, complete with cake and pizza (and beer).

Here’s my cake:


Can you guess who liked it the best???


So, now I’m officially 31. And its as if all of a sudden, my clocks are ticking and my body is falling apart.  I feel creaky and achy and my blood pressure rose unnaturally high when asked to get on the scale at the doctor’s on Tuesday. (Don’t worry, its ok, it was normal 15 minutes later)

My doctor (bless her heart because I really do adore her) kindly reminded me that “things go downhill after 30.”  I’m not sure if she meant my body parts, my ability to stay in shape, my average daily caloric needs, or just my basic body functions, but its one of those things that maybe didn’t NEED to be said. Especially after going off birth control three months ago and being the only person in the entire universe to GAIN weight instead of lose it. Neat.

I’ve been hearing that 30 is the new 20.  I’m calling bullshit because if that’s the case, then 31 is the new 21.  And I can ASSURE you that I am not (nor do I FEEL) 21. (Although some kind dude in Vegas last month told me I looked 21). I cannot drink like I’m 21, I cannot run like I’m 21, I cannot walk up stairs like I’m 21, I cannot spend money like I’m 21, I don’t even drive as poorly as I did when I was 21.  Pretty much the only thing I do I now that I did when I was 21 is sleep.  And even recently, I’ve noticed I’ve been adjusting to mornings better. I only hit snooze about 3 times instead of 7 or 8.  Soon, I’ll be fifty, getting up at 5am, going to the gym, taking my pills and doing three loads of laundry before 8. 

God help me.  It really is all downhill from here.  How soon is too soon to retire?

Have a good weekend, kiddos!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

the ass in class

I just sent this to my college magazine with the following caption:


Becky Oot ’02 and Andrew Marx were married on May 15, 2010 in Philadelphia, PA. Alumni in attendance were: Moriah Geaghan Jellison ’03, Jessica Casale, Allison Heishman ’03, Brian Norris ’05, Jill Kroos ’02, Jillian Matundan ’01, Eileen Kasda ’04, & Kate Dowling ’02. Becky would like to remind anyone thinking of submitting a wedding photo to the Washington College Magazine to remind your photographer to take the alumni photo at the beginning of the reception, and not the end, as in this picture.



I really hope they print that last part.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Baby, the Bathwater, or Both?


All of a sudden, we’ve been talking about kids a lot.  Maybe that happens after you hit the one year mark and can high five your husband for  successfully getting through the “paper” year (and also for the satisfaction of knowing how many of your friends must have lost some money on their bets).

Or maybe its because its just the next big life thing to do (before retire and die.)

There are so many buzz words associated with having kids.  Like: “ready” and “expensive” and “sleep (or lack thereof)” and “career.”  Mostly the word “ready” though. 

Almost every parent I talk to has said “you’re never really ready.”  Well, ok.  Do they mean that in the “nothing on earth can prepare you for kids and how much they will change your life” kind of way?  Or the “unless you have zero debt and $100,000 in the bank you aren’t ready” kind of way?

I mean, really.  What does it MEAN when they say that?

Because if being ready means that one day I will wake up and say, “hey, you know what? I don’t so much care for (or need) sleep anymore. Let’s have a baby!”  I’m pretty sure that I will, in fact, never be ready.

And if being ready means having no debt and $100,000 in savings and a college savings account already set up, then no, I’m pretty sure I won’t ever be ready.

And I’m a planner.  The annoying kind.  The person who has everything mapped out days/weeks/months/years/decades in advance.  I plan everything from my meals to my vacations. But the thought of trying to plan for a baby? Even I am humbled (nearly rendered immobile) by such a daunting task.

Its not that I don’t WANT to plan.  Its just that it seems futile to try.  Sure, I will put money into savings and try harder to get up early.  But the idea of looking at a calendar and saying “I think we should plan to have a baby around this time” kind of ruins it for me. FOR ME!? The psycho planner extraordinaire? Yes.

Because I am the kind of person who does not take it well when my plans fail, or change or get postponed.  And I just do not want to relate to pregnancy and having kids the way I relate to the rest of the things in my life.  I want to be surprised,  elated, and a little unprepared.  Not panicky unprepared. Just “YAY! Now this is happening and I thought maybe it might and that’s okay because I have several months in which to prepare a bit more” prepared.

I want it to be a completely authentic and new experience for me. 


Can I be Frank? (you can be George.)  I really don’t LIKE being a planner.  I don’t know exactly why I am so inflexible sometimes and it bugs the shit out of me.   I drive MYSELF nuts. I never let myself relax. It is like the most obnoxiously large character flaw. EVER.

I know that having kids will turn my world upside down, and that it will literally force me to go with the flow and be more spontaneous. And I am SERIOUSLY looking forward to it.  I cannot wait to watch my stomach grow and stand on a scale and (for possibly the first time ever) know that the numbers are going up for a REALLY AWESOME reason.  I am so excited at the thought of having actual unavoidable  reasons for changing plans at the last minute and flying by the seat of my pants.

Would I like to be a millionaire and not have to worry about how much money kids will cost? Sure.  But that is not a reality for most of America the world.  Millions of people make it work ( and genuinely want to make it work) every day (welfare recipients with 45 children excluded because they usually want to do anything BUT work).

Every time we talk about having kids, I think of the movie Idiocracy.   We are those people at the beginning, rationalizing away the desire to have kids.  (If you haven’t seen the movie, you should watch it just to find out how horrifying it is when the intelligent people of sensible means stop procreating and the welfare recipients take over.)  Its kind of a crappy movie but the point I’m trying to make is that I spend so much time planning things, that I rarely have the time to genuinely enjoy them.  And I don’t want having kids to be like that.  Call it selfish (although I don’t see how getting huge, quitting drinking for 10+ months and committing your life to the health and well-being of another human is selfish), but I just want to enjoy it.

So if I get knocked up and I don’t have $100,000 in the bank and I haven’t woken up before 6am since I was a rower in college, it will be okay.  I will make it work. I have a great husband, a good job, a plethora of supportive friends and family, and a lot of sisters with hand-me-down baby clothes, and a lot of friends who can’t wait to babysit (right, guys?)


I don’t want having kids to be another one of my well-planned ideas gone awry. 

So I’d rather keep the expectation bar low not plan much at all.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Oh, Hai

Am I the only person who gets all sad and anxious on Sunday nights in anticipation of Mondays? It totally ruins the last few of my weekends, no matter how much awesome happened before it.

And this weekend was no different. I fiddled with my training plan some more and got a massage on Friday. The plan was originally to do 4 miles of fartleks but I didn’t want to ruin my massage. Sort of like not wanting to ruin my manicure by folding laundry.   I took a rest day and instead spent many hours dancing my butt off at the Girl Talk concert. And drinking vodka. Heck yes.

Saturday I ventured up to Drexel for the Philadelphia Materials Science Day, which Andrew planned and executed. It was fun and really interesting. I heard a cool talk about how (contrary to popular belief) a good portion of the pyramids were cast stone, not carved. I also made some foam, helped build a giant nanotube out of balloons, and ate a cookie.  Andrew did a great job with the event, I am very proud of him!

On Sunday, we had a family birthday lunch/dinner at Ekta, which is the greatest Indian restaurant in the universe, and then watched the train wreck that was the Superbowl performers (I’m looking at you, Black Eyed Peas).

And I did 5 miles on the treadmill. It was easy. As in not challenging and I didn’t even sweat that much easy.  My training plan has me doing my weekly long runs 30 seconds-1minute below race pace.  (This is for me only and for the purposes of injury prevention, some people may work up in speed and distance faster.) Either way, I cannot believe I’m saying 5 miles was easy.  I am giving credit to ample rest and the speed work I’ve been doing on my shorter distance runs. It works! Who knew?

Here’s what I did this week:

Monday: 3 miles at race pace (10 minute miles but I’m considering upping this to 9:30 or 9, depending on how my next long run feels)

Tuesday: thebestyogaclassever

Wed: 3 miles at 9:30

Thursday: Off (sore)

Friday: Off 

Sat: Crosstraining & 30 Day Shred

Sun: 5 miles at 10:15

I really think that I need a Garmin for my race training, so that I can figure out my pacing and splits when its finally nice enough to run outside.  Does anyone have any good suggestions for ones that don’t cost 6 million dollars?

I’m ready for the weekend. 


Too soon?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Lets Talk about Yoga

Hellllllo, February!

I’m probably the only person in the universe that likes February, but its because its my birthday month and I am really vain about my birthday.  I’m an Aquarius, what can I say?  And no, this is not my “new” sign.  I have always been an Aquarius and I don’t intend to attempt to re-identify myself as a Pieces after all of these years.  Turning 30 is identity crisis enough.  No need to add insult to injury.

Anyhow, I like February.

2                                             Cake and gin & tonic, oh my!

A lot of my friends (and both Andrew’s sister and mom) also have birthdays in February.  Its basically one huge month of celebrating, and I dig it. 

wedding                                                                     I like to celebrate anything.

Speaking of celebrating, I was in DC a few weeks ago for work and discovered cupcake heaven.  It was in the train station.  It was called Crumbs.  I brought them home with every intention of sharing them with my fellow cupcake-loving friends, Emily and Karolina.  They didn’t even last 20 minutes once I got on the train. I ate half of one for “pre-dinner” and the other 1.5 after actual dinner.  Andrew helped. But not much.

cupcakefriends_n                                             These are my friends who like cupcakes. And wine.

When I die, I want to be buried in Crumbs’ cupcakes.  They were THAT good. 

I wonder if they ship….OH MY GOD, THEY DO! 

I’m done for.


In other news, I registered for the Broad Street Run. Again.  Maybe this year I won’t fall off my front steps and sprain both my ankles 3 weeks before the race.



There are no safety guarantees in my life, as my friends know well.  Every minute I spend uninjured is just one minute closer I come to actually being injured.  My friend Kate once said, “We are always prepared with you, Oot.  Every time we hang out there’s always the chance we might go to the emergency room. In fact, we kind of expect it.”  And she would know, because (somehow) she is the one who has ended up with me in the ER the most.  Oh the stories she will tell my kids.

I’m not embarrassed. Its who I am and we have all learned to cope  with it. Except Andrew. It still really annoys him.  He doesn’t think “accident prone” is attractive.  I can’t imagine why.  Who doesn’t want to bang a cute girl with nice legs in a short skirt (wearing an ankle brace and scabs on her knees)?

So THIS year, I really want to run the race. Like, finish it and not die and then go drink beer immediately afterwards.  So I’m trying hard not to get hurt.  I definitely overtrained for this race last year which is why a little fall turned into a HUGE injury for me. I mean, I’m usually covered in bruises and I trip a lot, but I don’t ALWAYS end up in bed for 5 days.  That only happens maybe once every other year.

So, this year I actually put together a real life training schedule, complete with color coding. Its pretty fancy.  Its also a muuuch slower workup in distance than  I attempted last year.  And it incorporates some speedwork, crosstraining and yoga.

Oh yoga, how I’ve missed thee.  

I took a late class at my gym on Tuesday.  I had looow (low, low, low) expectations, because I feel like gyms aren’t the best place for yoga: they’re loud and have flourescent lighting and its usually hard to focus and most times the rooms aren’t even private.  Yoga is always best practiced in a studio, in my opinion.  A lot of the experience of yoga is the setting in which its done, so it makes sense to do it in a space that its made for.

But anyway.

I went and it was a very full class, even at 8pm.  I am NEVER in the gym at 8pm so I had no idea how many people work out that late at night.  A LOT of people work out that late, in case you were wondering.

So we were kind of crammed in in the spinning room, in front of all the bikes and there wasn’t enough yoga blocks for everyone but it worked out.  The teacher closed the door and lit a candle and put on a nice soft light instead of the flourescents.  It wasn’t the perfect setting but it was a good improvisation.  Basically, she was just an amazing instructor.  She made sure every position was correct and walked everyone through every pose.  There were 2 people in the class who had never even done yoga before, and they were able to follow her and actually enjoy the class. It was just the right mix of challenging, stretching and relaxing. 

I am definitely going back.  I even modified my training schedule to include it.  I think it will be really helpful in preventing injuries, while also helping build strength without lifting heavy weights, which I don’t like to do while I’m running a lot because I hate running when I’m sore.

I guess this post wasn’t really all about yoga.



                                        This is my family. By Andrew.


Grace                                   This is my niece. She is the coolest. EVER.

CIMG3430                                                    We both wear our sunglasses at night.

winterbeer                                                                              This is Saturday.

cookies                                This is proof I have always been a dessert lover/fat girl.

bed                                              This is what my dog did to my mattress topper.

award                                                   This is the award I won for work. Modified.

CIMG3497                                                                      This is the love of my life.