Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Thanks to Stumble!
Rune Guneriussen
Alexa Meade

Eyes Open, Breathing Normal - Laying Down

So I did the opposite of my to do list last night. Walked the dogs last night after dinner and went to yoga this morning with my Bikram Buddy Kim...
Not sure whats in the air, allergies maybe...but I had to lay down during class at 6am this morning because I was super dizzy. I thought maybe I was dehydrated but that didnt cure me, been dizzy and headache all day, hate fall/winter allergy season. I'm still trying to figure out how a person can not be allergic to anything but still have allergies and all the symptoms. I defy the odds of medical science, along with the rest of my non-allergic, allergic family. I'll blame genetics. Go away headache!

Monday, October 24, 2011

To Dos and To Donts

We all get caught up in every day. Shit happens. Literally and Figuratively. (Insert crazy poop story here.) What we can do is plan according to what we'd like to accomplish each day and work hard to achieve our goals. Whether we complete what we'd hoped depends on us and the days circumstances. Eyes open, breathing normal we can all get there. I've thought often to myself how exactly do I do it; my projects; big or small, my daily goals at work and home, and life; eating, breathing, sleeping, each and every day. Throw in my yoga 60 in 60 challenge and looking back I have no idea how I survived for two months doing yoga EVERY DAY. On top of that I did at least one load of laundry every single day (my stanky, sweaty yoga clothes). One month post challenge, laundry has piled up and I don't make it to yoga every day and my projects are not being accomplished as quickly as they were before. What happened? I'm not exactly sure. Apparently taking almost 3 hours out of my evening each day to prepare for yoga, take class and return home and bathe still allows me to feel more accomplished each evening than eating dinner at a normal hour, running errands and spending time with my family.

To Dos - Bikram every day or as close to it as possible, which leads to doing at least one load of laundry a day, which leads to folding laundry and putting clothes away, which leads to dusting bedroom furniture from the rapid accumulation of dust in our house (I should buy stock in Swiffer.), which leads to sound sleeping and waking up rested the next day which leads to everything righting itself in my world.

To Do for this week more specifically is - WALKING THE DOGS, morning walks are on my newfound early riser schedule. I will not sleep past my alarm however 'tired' I can convince myself I am to sleep just ten more minutes. The earlier I wake the more I can accomplish. I will no longer sweat the small stuff and just do; eyes open, breathing normal.

Anything is possible.

The only thing we can waste and not get back is...Time.

Time. It JUST happened and its NOT coming back. Unfortunately rewinding our lives and replay or redos have not been invented yet. Until then, use it or lose it...
Seattle Trip - Second blog post coming soon...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Seattle - A warm cookie and a tall glass of...

A warm cookie and a tall glass of shut the hell up. The thing about travel is its unpredictable. You could plan every moment that you will spend on a vacation but the forces of nature and the travel gods will guide you no matter what. What we can do is check a vacation off of our list. More specifically vacation sans child, sans family, where we went where the wind took us. Enter soon-to-expire frequent flier miles and a much needed break from our daily routine and Seattle is where we landed. A weekend away that we could discover a new place, together. No time schedule, no planned events and completely guided by our stomachs.
When asked what we did in Seattle the answer will always be, we ate some great food, morning, close to noon and night. We ate well and to me that defines the best vacation, best weekend, best time spent with my husband. Away from daily life chatter we could talk and actually listen to each other over a beer or glass of wine or cup of coffee and a great meal! It doesn't happen often, this vacation thing, This sit down and eat together and talk thing. Hell it's been three years since our wedding and this is the first we've ever gone away together. We've pledged to each other to make it happen once a year, an adult vacation that we can just be us as a couple.
Back to the warm cookie...
So as a not so frequent flyer to the west coast, I had never flown on frontier airlines which is who we got our free cc point tickets from. Thank you American express for all, the hard earned money I've spent with you to earn my plane tickets and hotel stay. Wait a second...who should be thanking who? I know I know, but I'll be damned if I don't use my point effectively! I think I took it over the edge with our 8 "free", warm chocolate chip cookies. So apparently this is a frontier airlines thing. We serve you a drink offer you some for purchase snacks and then come back in 20 minutes when all the aforementioned food and beverage are gone to hand deliver you a warmed chocolate chip cookie. The cookies are probably leftovers that have aged to a crispness unknown to the human palate so they zap the suckers in a microwave or easy bake oven for a few minutes to freshen them up for their valued customers. I was down with the free chocolate cookie, it coulda used some milk...but for my nearby passengers on each and every flight I want to order them a tall glass of something else.
Talky McGee and farmer Jo started the trip out from Austin to Kansas city with a whirlwind of conversation that did not stop. I would have rather a screaming child in our row as at least they give up after a good 20 minute screaming fest. And I say this about a screaming child because I remember not so fondly the day 2 year old Kendall refused to buckle up on our descent. However much that attendant requested we get our child buckled she pulled a bucking bronco-esque technique to wrestle out of the belt all while screaming bloody murder. Yep we were those people! Everyone at some point will experience it. But back to our most recently flight...hearing someone's life story -- eh hem overhearing someone's life story because they are talking louder than the engine roar to over share their life with the entire plane. They were obnoxious. A cookie didn't mend my broken ears and when the attendant finally announced we had arrived in Kansas city claiming frontier airlines- a whole different animal, I couldn't agree more.
And by the way, the Kansas city airport is a whole different planet. We had to de-board our flight with the connection to Seattle and the inside of the airport was reminiscent of an abandoned warehouse that they would keep aliens. Area 51 anyone?
We finally made it on 'a whole different animal' to Seattle and were pleasantly surprised to find the public transportation convenient, useful and cheap. For $5.50 we were dropped off two blocks from our hotel. Having not eaten anything but our free cookies and some beef jerky throughout the day we were in downtown Seattle by 6pm local time and we were starving. We settled in to the hotel and rested until our stomachs led us directly across the street for some Thai food. Pumpkin Prawn Curry. Yes, my mouth is watering again already. Dustin had Pad Thai and our empty stomachs were grateful for the deliciousness. Back at the hotel we made no plans at all other than our first food stop for breakfast at Dahlia Lounge for brunch and roaming the Pike Street Market.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pizza & Impressions

Had an awesome first night back with Kendall last night. We went out for pizza as a family to our favorite spot, Southern's, for their specialty pizza. Kendall went to Utopia fest with her mom over the weekend and she did a kickin' impression of some 'ninja band' that sang nursery rhymes. It was one of those moments that Dustin and I both wished we had a camera rolling. We are looking forward to the weekend with our 'in house entertainer'.
In other news got our first farmhouse delivery today. I AM SOOOOOooooooooooo excited to cook dinner tonight. Sweet Potato Greens and leftover pizza it is...Sausage Risotto baked in a Pumpkin tomorrow...and Lettuce Wraps this weekend... I have never been a big menu planner but this Co-op thing has me inspired.
Eyes Open, Breathing Normal...Eating Well

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


So I had another blog.
Started it in January of 2010 as an ode to "Thank You's" and being grateful for life in general. I blogged four times and never shared it with anyone. I rediscovered what I wrote and the posts are still applicable to my life today.  Its awesome how you can go back and see where your life was the day you entered your online journal entry. Whether shared with others or not, it captures your moment in time, your life and relates it back to the world. The post about the Haiti earthquake is the only current event indication of what was happening in the world when I posted these blogs originally. I will revisit the inspiration from this old blog to be thankful and grateful consistently in my day to day life. Now that I've got my eyes open and I'm breathing normal on a consistent basis I can be thankful - always. I will repost 'my thank you list' blog below from my first words as a blogger.
As a side note: Mom - I truly feel this way every day. I'm slightly disappointed that I never shared this post with you. Initially I did this blog as my own personal thank you list and I'm not sure I meant for others to read it - ever - but I'm glad to share it with you now. As far as current events are concerned I'm not sure what exactly was happening in my life on that day specifically but I can only imagine it had something to do with my baby mama drama as to the 'crazy' reference. Happy week of your birthday! Here's to a week full of happy birthday! I love you to the moon and back.
Gratefulness starts somewhere...
1/12/201012:01:52 PM
I am grateful that Robert K. helped me create this account so that I could share what I am grateful for, with whoever may eventual read this. So as stated to you Robert, you are the first person that I am thanking in my list of thank yous. I am grateful for Robert K.
Why is Thank You so Hard to Hear...
1/13/20109:46:22 PM
For many people, its hard to hear a thank you. Not just a simple thanks but a whole-hearted, gracious thank you. A thank you in response to a life changing step up, a mind altering game changer, the 'I appreciate you for everything you do' or the 'thanks for a favor, it meant more to me than you could ever understand'. Thank you's can change the world, being grateful can rewrite the course of history. Say thank you and hear it. Listen to those who are grateful and accept their thanks. The biggest gift in life is hearing the people you've influenced give thanks for you and understanding how much you mean to them. Open your arms, heart and mind to those who are grateful, they are the game changers in life.
To my biggest inspiration for this blog, and to a person who has reminded me of all that I am grateful for...Thank You, Jude. For you, I am grateful.
Building Codes...
1/15/20109:15:38 AM
Today I am grateful for Building Codes. Although they may seem like a miniscule thing to be thankful for and for most people in the construction business cause more grief and frustration on a daily basis, today I am grateful. After watching the footage of the earthquake in Haiti, a country without regulations in this area, I am thankful to have this enforcement to keep my friends and family safe in their work, school and homes. To all the code enforcement officers out there, Ned L., for you and the regulations you enforce, I am grateful.
The Gift My Mother Gave Me...
1/19/201010:29:48 AM
Today I am grateful for all the gifts that my mother has taught me throughout my life. Compassion, an open-mind, open ears to listen, graciousness in every action, the ability to create delicious meals out of simple foods, that I can laugh at myself and most of all a mothers love and caring. Today I am thankful for my mother and how she helped raise me. Especially now that I am a parent, and I am well versed in 'crazy' I am extremely grateful to have had you as Mom. Today, I am grateful for you.

Another First

Another first in the yoga room last night.
First off, its been a whole week since my last practice. Preparing for vacation and actually leaving town for four days kept me away from the hotroom for the longest period of time since I began Bikram. I did not prepare myself in the usual manner. Since traveling to Seattle I have fallen in love with coffee again and have been drinking a lot of it. Drinking copius amounts of caffeine requires extra copius amounts of hydration pre- and post-yoga practice. Getting back into the swing of things at work I sorta kinda forgot to drink water all day long like I usually do before yoga. When I got home and changed for yoga I suddenly remembered I needed to hydrate. The chugging of the gatorade ensued from then on until I arrived at the yoga studio.  I refilled the now empty bottle with water and prepared for my reintroduction after a week of no yoga with a good long savasana.
I made it to the balancing series when it was made painfully obvious to me that i forgot to make a stop in the restroom to remove excess gatorade and hydration before I twisted my body up and squished all my organs together in a pretzel. So it was a first for me to leave the room in the middle of the practice. I bolted to the restroom almost tripping over the lady cleaning the studio and was still able to make it back in the hotroom in time for the second attempt of the posture. Whew. I felt horrible for having to leave the hotroom, I've never had to do that before and I felt awful about it BUT...it was a lot better than the alternative.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Back to life, back to reality.
We have returned from our vacation. THE vacation. Our first Vacation away together. Sans child. Sans dogs. Sans family. Since we've been married this has never happened before. Weird concept. This is what happens to a married couple that does not honeymoon. You never or at least you wait three years "never" to go on a vacation together, alone. You dont prioritize a much needed break from your daily routine.
Now its a yearly tradition. Watch out world, Amanda and Dustin will be taking an ANNUAL weekend vacation away. Where we'll end up next? Wherever the winds and our credit card points will take us :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Coca Cola's Happiness Machine

Read this article last night.
Coca-Cola Viral Video
Love the video

Thanksgiving Pot Roast

Last night, Kendall and I had a girls night. I picked her up from school and we drove home in more traffic than usual, both of us hungry. After finally getting home later than usual we decided that I would make a chicken dish served over rice using the Santa Fe Philly Cooking Creme. Philly Cooking Creme has become my new favorite refrigerator staple for last minute cooking ideas. We sat down for dinner and were both impressed with how good the last minute, thrown together meal was; Chicken, black beans, corn, tomato, red onion, jalapeno with the cooking creme served over rice.  Yum. My mouth is still watering.
As we sat together eating, Kendall proclaimed that, "We should make this for..."
I waited for her to finish her statement and it just kind of sat there unended. I said "...for Daddy?" thinking she was going to name a person. She said no and then thought about her statement some more. "We should make this for Thanksgiving or...we should make a Pot Roast!"
"A Thanksgiving Pot Roast...thats an interesting thought Kendall..."
We haven't made plans yet for this years Thanksgiving but we had discussed doing something non-traditional. Skipping the turkey and doing a shrimp boil instead. Apparently Kendall wants to have Pot Roast!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Farmhouse Delivery

Sample Bushel - Photo Credit: FarmhouseDelivery.com
I am super excited about next thursday! My first delivery of fresh, local produce. Yay, Living Social for intro-ing me to this local company.
Farmhouse Delivery
Dustin and I have talked about joining a co-op before and we've never pulled the trigger on the idea because we just weren't sure about the produce we would get and how much of it we would actually use. We are all about the waste not, want not these days.
Give me an entire bushel of tomatos and this girl will have plenty of recipes to work with. But if get a bunch of radishes and unrecognizable fruits or vegetables I was concerned with not using what I was given. Insert pre-week list of whats included in next weeks delivery (a full week of recipe preparation) PLUS a weekly blog post with recipe to use that week's harvest and Amanda is willing to give it a shot and venture outside of my comfort zone for both cooking and eating! Especially when the recipes look and sound AMAZING. New favorite recipe blog...
Farm + House + Table

Rattle me Softly...

Photo Credit: Amy's Garage - (Not my cabin air filter)
Oh the endless rattles. Yes...mom...my irritation with every little rattle or drip comes from you. I am genetically predisposed to be bothered by every little sound or whistle that bothers me, I think this is the same genetic predisposition to not liking Wilco's neverending riffs. Yes honey...I'm blaming my excellent hearing of odd and irritating noises and my genetics for not liking your favorite band.

This story coincides nicely with yesterday's customer service post and something also must have been in the air because Ashley also told her own tale of customer service on her blog yesterday. See post here.

So I finally gave in to the flashing "maintenance" light in the Prius and followed through with an oil change that it was begging me for yesterday on my way home from work. I went to my typical Shell station for an oil change and carwash package deal. As predicted one gentleman walked in the waiting room to show me my air filters both cabin and engine. Yes if your car was built in the past ten years you have a cabin air filter as well as an engine air filter. You should change it at least once and a while. You may have a small family of squirrels living in there if you don't. Do not have it changed at a dealership or oil change place, order it online and change it yourself, Rock Auto is my recommendation. They (your oil change vendor of choice) will try to convince you that you should really switch out the filters immediately, this is there job and they obviously earn commission off of the upcharge or sale of the filter. Don't give in, unless you know the person and want to give them your money. I happily waved the guy off and told him I'd switch out the filters myself when it was necessary, that he could go put those right back in where he found them.
Fast forward to this morning...

Incessant rattle appears out of no where in the Prius. The last time this happened it was a tiny shelf in one of my gloveboxes that was not inserted properly. Low and behold the shelf is not aligned properly, I fix the shelf. Driving down the same roads as I do every morning, the rattle is still ridiculously loud even with small shelf now fixed. Its bothering me so much that I actually stop on my way into work at the same Shell station that removed my air filters the day before. I pulled up like I was needing an oil change and I told the guy that I had just been there the night before and my cabin air filter was rattling since they removed it yesterday. Without question, without double checking the accuracy of my story, with a smiling happy face (he must do Bikram yoga) he says "sure I'll check it for you". After five minutes of readjusting the filter and removing all the leaves out of the filter he puts it back into place and apologizes to me for the previous days employees lack of customer service. I was shocked. Happily shocked. I thanked him for helping me and was on my way to work, sans rattle.

Moral of the story. Mom check your cabin air filter when you hear a new rattle, it could be leaves rattling in the flow of air or if you recently had an oil change and they took out the air filter - they didn't replace it properly.

I must call them and thank the employee who helped me today, my Prius is not rattling me softly into madness any longer! At least for today :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Good Customer Service makes a Happy Amanda

Eyes Open...
If any business wants me to be their number one advocate all they need is to acquiesce to my simple requests for good customer service. If you've known me for any significant time period in my life you know its in my blood to argue with customer service for any company until I feel that my point has been made. If I bitch a lot at a company I typically give fair warning to the Customer Service Representative if my previous experiences have been less than pleasant. I'll even apologize before I know a conversation will get heated. Some of my favorite examples were; HP when I had my laptop was still under warranty and I was talking to a computer program to try and get my point across and Dustin yelled out "FLUFFY" in the parking lot like in the Credit Card commercials, Time Warner Cable when we moved to our house we couldn't transfer the cable because they didn't service our new area, I had to pay a cancellation fee even though they didn't provide service where my house was - I still believe they were wrong in charging me but the $150 fee I paid was well worth the time I wasted of the Time Warner Customer Service representatives that had to hunt down Dustin's "phone confirmation - contract of service" recording and conference me in on a phone call that they could explain it all to me. At least 3 hours on the phone with at least 5 different people including upper level managers that had to authorize the "phone confirmation" playback. I even told the lady that although I had to pay them money it was worth the many hours I wasted of their time.

Since many of my responsibilities at my job are oriented to customer service at least now I have a true appreciation for being the person that fields an angry person's call. I'd like to think that I'm not always angry right away, I give the company or representative the benefit of the doubt before I go ape-sh** on them over the phone. Especially now that I'm a yogi...breathing normal helps a lot.
I can even get through the phone calls at work of late that I'm on the receiving end of the bitch call. It's kind of refreshing to field a call and when someone asks for a supervisor or a manager I can say "you are talking to them; if you call today or tomorrow i'll be the one to answer your call" if I can't help you solve the issue than you've got bigger issues than your travel agency website people. Oh travel agents, how i love thee...

So Dustin recently lost some weight and apparently in his fingers as well. His wedding band is super loose and we've been considering what to do. Turns out the jeweler that we purchased the ring from and the designer who manufactures it offers a lifetime size exchange on his ring since it cannot be resized because of the metal. I just found out today that we can go resize him and send the original ring back to the company for an exact replacement in the appropriate size. We will only have to pay shipping for the exchange. Go Calvin's! We loved you when we went searching for an engagement ring after such a horrifying experience at the mall stores and we continually get reconfirmation about our choice to go local with you for our wedding jewelry during every interaction since we first walked in your door. Calvin's has replaced missing stones in my ring and adjusted the prongs on my ring before, free cleanings and stone checks everytime we stop by!

Every experience, in person or over the phone that you have with a place of business is not memorable. The memorable moments are always on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Really Great Experience or Really Bad Experience. Some experiences are so awful that you actually don't reflect on it and realize the absurdity until much later. Its amazing what speaking up and telling your story can do - good or bad. It means your alive, your eyes are open and your breathing through.

In June my Emergency Vet experience broke the mold on customer service and my actions and reflections post-experience. By standing up and saying something about it (via story/letter), letting someone with influence know what I experienced, I single handedly created an Emergency Care training manual, got my vet's cell phone for my next emergency and shared a lot of laughs. See letter here.

When you hold the cash and the weight of you as a consumer and your circle of influence bears down on any vendor you work with you have the choice to do business with who you choose. Many of the purchase decisions we make are based on customer service stories and recommendations from our friends. With the introduction of local restaurant ratings online and online lists of service providers its more important then ever for local business especially to treat their customers as gold. In a down market, we're holding on to our money but when we're ready to spend it again we want to spend it with your business. Customer Service is King!

Monday, October 10, 2011


A big Congratulations to my Mom! She met her goal of 55 before 55 over the weekend riding her bike all the way to Mifflinburg from her house. Congrats Mom, I am so proud of you. Inspiring...where do you think I got the 60 in 60 idea from...? ;) Love you.
In other news, BIG Hokie game this weekend that WASN'T on Texas cable. Big booooohisssss to the blacking out of the hokie game.  Wish I could have watched the magic live...
This is what Hokie love sounds like:

Kendall asked me this weekend, "What a Hokie?" and I proudly stated "I Am."
Go Hokies!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rain Dance

I think we will be resorting to some serious measures soon. The weather gods have been teasing us here in this great dry state of Texas. Specifically deep in the heart of central Texas. This weekend is the first in a long time that the weather has followed through as predicted. Scattered showers but no good hard rain. It's so funny to hear people say 'what is this wet substance falling from the sky?', it's funny now but the closer and closer we get to repeating the La Nina weather pattern the more realistic a 9 year drought seems and the more frightening the prospect of non voluntary water restrictions become. With fires threatening everywhere throughout the state the more the lack of water scares the hell out of me.

We had visitors over the past week, Ashley and Scout stayed with us from Tuesday to Friday and it was awesome to spend some time with them. My favorite moment was Kendall and Scout's monumental bubble bath. Put the jetted tub to use for the second or third time this year...it's awesome what some jets and a few drops of Arbonne body wash can do. I think Jay said it best when he told Ashley we needed more bubbles. We did the traditional dinner out with Grindad one evening and then Mim the next. Cheddar's and Rudy's respectively. I skipped yoga all week, Tuesday through Thursday but it was totally worth the moments spent with our family. We miss those Holzers, a lot more than we knew before we were able to have the girls stay with us. Little heartbreaker Holzer herself probably said the cutest goodbye ever on Friday morning on my way out the door to work,"I want to stay here forever and play dress up and do laundry." I told her she could do all of the above especially my laundry if she was so inclined. Turns out a toy ironing board in Kendall's room was Scout's version of laundry.

Made it back to yoga after work yesterday afternoon and again this morning. I'm not sure what I ever did without it. Even on days that I do not feel like going, I even try to talk myself out of it often. Even on those days I walk out of the yoga studio after my 90 minute open eyed meditation as they refer to it in Bikram and I feel great. I feel refreshed. I feel better. I feel like myself. Yea I might be dripping in sweat, looking like I showered in my clothes and smelling like roses, but it feels awesome the moment you walk out of the studio. It's worth every moment you second guessed yourself before and during class. On a daily basis, normally during the warm up series of poses and then again in the back strengthening series I think to myself, 'what the hell am i doing here?' and then I remember I shouldn't be thinking at all and just breathing normal. Just be. Be in the moment. Regardless of where I am during my day, yoga has definitely retrained me to just be. Live in the moment and not get so caught up in the mental list of things I need to accomplish each day. I keep my eyes open and I breath normal much more often then my old self. No one is perfect and sometimes I find myself closing my eyes in disbelief or holding my breathe. I'm working to be in every moment so I can live every moment, good or bad and remember all of them fondly.

It just started raining and I'm actually excited that the satellite isn't working and I can just listen to the rain for the first time in what seems like forever... Dogs are all snuggled up on the couch with me. This is what fall feels like...in Texas!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Pillow Pet
Yesterday was a great yoga day. I was hesitant about any physical movement because of my lower back. They always say the best thing to do is to keep moving and in my case get back in the hotroom, so I did. Originally I planned to go back at 6am yesterday to try and heal my back but when my alarm went off and I rolled over my back said "oh no you don't" so I laid in bed for an hour longer. After rocking the yoga ball office chair (which did wonders) and walking like a little old lady most of the day I had to seriously convince myself to get back to yoga. I was more afraid of injuring myself further and not being able to move at all. So I got over it and went to my usual 7pm class. I forewarned the instructor about my injury and he told me to do what I could in class and not to push too hard on the forward bends. Terry at the front desk also had a surprise for me, she got me my 60 in 60 tshirt and I love it. I officially have my 'you can't buy this, you earn it' 26 in 60 tshirt for my 60 day challenge. I mentioned my injury to her as well and she made an interesting point. Typically when you have a new injury or pain its because you are about to have a real breakthrough in your yoga practice. At the time she said that I kinda chuckled as I walked or waddled into the hotroom. Guess what? This yogi did the toe stand pose for the first time ever. Standing on my left foot I went all the way down into toe stand, which has never happened before. I also completed every other pose including back and forward bending without pain, my only trigger was the straightlegged situp which really pained me but every other pose was a walk in the park plus I actually had a breakthrough. Even with my old lady walking and standing before class I had a breakthrough. Go me...Go yoga...Go hotroom whenever you have pain!
On a not so similar note, I have been so intrigued by the Amanda Knox story. As have many, many, many people over the past four years. I was shocked two years ago when she was convicted and I felt goosebumps and relief for her and her family yesterday when she was freed. I was watching a tv special on friday night about the case and the upcoming verdict and I looked at Dustin and said "I don't know why I'm so intrigued by this case?" and he pointed out that I studied abroad and it was almost like it could have happened to anyone, it could have been me. Despite the name (obvious similarity there) there's not a lot of similarities between Amanda Knox' experience in Perugia, Italy and me in Lugano, Switzerland. We were both 20 year old women leaving home to study abroad to learn more about ourselves and different cultures. I wouldnt change one moment of my experience abroad and I do not idolize in one bit  or wish upon anyone else what Amanda Knox went through. I hope her and her family are now at peace as they return home after her 4 years of helplessness and hopelessness. My one hope for everyone is that this doesn't detract from study abroad and travelling in general. The benefits of living within and learning about a new culture firsthand outweighs any media circus or murder mystery. What you don't hear anyone talking about is the number of American students living and studying abroad each year and how many of those individuals get caught up in a foreign judicial system for crimes.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekend Tales

Beyond the fact that it was a horrible football weekend in the Laycock household the hours and days clicked by in a hurry. I did the usual Friday afternoon Yoga class in the CP and was pleasantly surprised to meet up with my original yoga buddy, Kim. Kim and I started taking Vinyasa flow yoga together at Kat's studio way back when we were neighbors in the CP. I walked into Pure on Friday and low and behold Kim was signing up. Not only did we take class on Friday together we went both Saturday and Sunday morning. My latest breakthroughs in Bikram have also caused me pain as of late. I'm pretty sure I "threw out" my back on Sunday morning right after the warm up poses. I've noticed over the past weeks that my standing back bend right at the beginning of class has improved ten fold. I can actually look for the floor these days. On Sunday morning I really did notice how far back I was compared to the norm and I REALLY noticed it when we started the balancing series. I reached forward to grab my foot and my back told me "NO!". The rest of my practice Sunday was a struggle. Your lower back is real important when it comes to yoga and life in general and it was screaming at me the entire time. It was probably the best thing in the world that i was in the 105 degree extra humid room because my back really would  have hated me for continuing to attempt the poses in a normal temperature. The rest of my day Sunday was directed by my lower back allowing me to do only so much at once and aching even when sitting or lying down. I must say my yoga ball office chair has never been so perfect for my circumstances than it is today. Only position I feel no pain!
So the Hokies and the Aggies really messed up this weekend. It was a bad alma mater weekend in our household. Dustin said it best "at least the Aggies scored A touchdown." Poor Hokies. As per the usual the Bud Foster defense was awesome, we have NO offense and we are KILLING ourselves with penalties (atypical for Beamerball). What has happened to my Hokies? And ok...seriously Frank Beamer needs to up the ante on Special Teams. Uninspiring. If we could clone David Wilson for all positions on the team I'd be a happy camper. Maybe Wilson, Jayron Hosley and Danny Coale. I'd also keep George George just because he has the coolest name in history for a white boy. We do have a freshman QB and he has been struggling but seriously David Wilson is amazing. Best play of the game and the closest we came to scoring a TD. We gave Wilson a break to catch his breath after this play and the Offense successfully screwed the pooch and got NO POINTS.

Ahh football season...I didn't catch much (any) of the Penn State highlights but from what I hear they played like a high school team so all in all, football weekend BAD for Amanda.
In other news, Ashley, Scout and Jay were in the aTX this weekend and even though we didnt get the catch up (yet) there was comfort in the fact they were in the same area code again. We miss them. Jay's dad is heading off on a new venture with the Peace Corps so they were spending time with him and Jay's family this weekend before his departure. We'll get to spend some time with Ashley and Scout this week when they stay with us. It will be nice to have a big ole slumber party. Jay had to go back to CA for work and we were sad to have missed him. Should have had a big football party this weekend but I'm slightly glad we didn't due to the devastating outcomes of all the games.