Saturday 31 December 2011

New Year's Eve 10km (or Ou Jaar's 10km)

That's my annual New Year's Eve 10km done and dusted. Instead of going to the 10km in Pretoria, which I've done the past three years, I headed out to the 10km in Vanderbijl Park. This town is about 70km South of Jo'burg (about the same distance as the Pretoria run). Way, way quieter than the Pretoria run and quite friendly. Even better was that we left an overcast and on-and-off drizzle in Jo'burg and got a clear blue sky in Vanderbijl.
There were more people than this lined up at the start (but not that many more) - quiet but friendly event.
I'll be back next year ;)
Interestingly, I ran my 10km PB at the 1999/2000 New Year run in this same town; but a different venue and route. I went there with my friend Roger, who has lived in Scotland and a few months ago moved to Australia. And, this same running club hosted a 21/50km run that I went to with my friend Michael a few years ago. I ran the 21; he ran the 50km. Lovely memories of friends and races from other years.

This year's running crew included my mom, Liz, and Sarah and Fred with his wife, Pam, and son, Mike. And then there we were met by Tommy with his wife, Izaan, and sister, Merle, and their friend Ferdi with his two dogs. Nice crew ;) Tommy ran his 10km PB tonight - an awesome 38 mins. He hasn't run a 10km road race since the New Year's one in Pretoria two years ago. He certainly has been running sub-4 mins prior to this run but nice to have it confirmed now. Well done!

 So, nice outing, lovely evening, friendly people on the road and a good start to 2012.

 To all of you - warm wishes for a year ahead that is kind to you.



 (For my non-South African readers... 'Ou Jaar' is Afrikaans for 'Old Year'. Where we say New Year's Eve, they say Old Year's Night)

Friday 30 December 2011

Facebook likes and un-likes

Yes, I'm on Facebook and have been for some time. When I initially joined I mostly ignored it, only occasionally responding to friend requests. Under pressure from friends to 'get with it', I started to become more active by dropping occasional comments and hitting the 'like' button for photos and status updates.

It's a bit of a keeping up with the Joneses thing, especially for FEAT and AR - I have separate pages for both. It just isn't cool not to have social media representation. I look forward to the days when social media is no longer 'in'. (wishful thinking?)

What I appreciate about FB are links to good resources like adventure sport videos; I am happy for my 'friends' when I read of their recent sporting (and other) accomplishments (but I do not care to follow your daily training log); I enjoy captioned photos (not too many of them - just the best selection) from a recent holiday / adventure / race; and other miscellaneous odds. It is also a super platform to keep occasional contact with people; I find it especially useful for people I've met through adventure races abroad.

There are a few things about FB that drives me completely insane...
  1. People who post multiple status updates daily: Arrrggghhhh... I dabble in Twitter (for AR and FEAT) and some peeps have Twitter and FB linked so you get a double-dose of the breakdown of their day. If you post many updates I've probably hidden you on FB or unfollowed you on Twitter - or both. I do not need to know what is happening in your life step-by-step during the day. Indeed, to paraphrase a comment I saw on the web, FB is the 'externalising of one's thoughts and imagining that others care to ponder them'. Status updates are more effective when they're informative and beneficial to your friends.
  2. Quotes as status updates - what's with the posting of quotes by famous and not-so-famous people? If one friend posted a quote here and there it would be fine; but when many friends post quotes daily - it's a bit overkill. There are hundreds of quote-resource websites; if I wanted to read quotes, I'd go there. FB should be about YOU, not quote-a-day. 
  3. Photos posted without captions. How about a bit of who, where, when?
  4. Attention-seeking status updates that beg you to enquire further or express sympathy. Like... "I've had such a bad day" or "Just got back from the doctor". Phleezzzee! Your post is written inviting and expecting 'friends' to ask, "Ag shame, what happened?" or "Oh no, I hope you're ok. Get well soon".  As a comment on the web about FB psychology says, "It’s as if we are reaching out to the world, trying to quench that ever-present thirst for attention and sense of importance". 99% of the time I do not respond to any of these; not because I don't care but because I'm not a fish that needs to be lured. If you have something to say, say it - like, "Just got back to the doctor after having three stitches on my elbow - I came off my bike this morning; nothing serious". 
Having been online for 17 years now I'm probably more guilty than most at living a life (and work) that is VERY online based. I do most of my communication through email; I organise almost everything through email and I 'see' friends more regularly through FB/Skype/email than I do in person.
The approach I've taken to social media is to make any updates or tweets informative - about a run/race/place (past, present or future) or share a FEAT video. I don't (and won't) share what I had for lunch or my frustration at standing in a queue in the post office.

Thursday 29 December 2011

Origami strawberry

Just 'cos...

I got into origami in early high school after seeing a book on paper folding. I could whip up an antelope, sunflower or crane in a jiffy.

Got a buzz a few weeks ago and found the strawberry online by chance. I made it in early December at about 01h00 when I saw the instruction image lurking on my desktop (it had been there for at least three weeks) and figured, "Oh well, what better time of day to make an origami strawberry than one o'clock in the morning...". Takes less than 10 mins and is absolutely delightful ;)

Tuesday 27 December 2011


During my house sitting stint I got to watch satellite telly and although I caught a few favourites, like Law & Order and CSI and a movie or three, I gravitated towards some shows I'd never seen before. I took a shine to 'What not to wear' and 'How do I look?' on Style and also found 'Clean House' (also on Style) and 'Hoarding: Buried Alive' on TLC. OMG!

Occasionally, while out running, I catch a car going into or out of a garage and some of those garages... they need a visit by 'Clean House'. What I find most incredible is how partners and children put up with the collecting / messy / don't-throw-out tendencies of their partners/parents who seem to control the household. Sure, they finally crack and call 'Clean House', but that they live for so long under and on top of stuff...

As for the Hoarding show... goodness. I think the only difference between the people in Clean House and those in Hoarding is that the latter are usually alone - partners and children have left - and the stuff has accumulated for in excess of 10 or 20 years. They end up sleeping on top of piles of stuff because their bed becomes buried and they can't sit on their couch, sit at a table or even prepare meals in the kitchen - there's just wall to wall piles of stuff.

Ja, it's an addiction. People just can't let go of stuff and having and being surrounded things 'feels' like security or some kind of safety.

What I have enjoyed about Hoarding are the psychologists, who help people to let go and deal with the emotional issues, and the professional organisers, who work through the stuff with the hoarder around what to keep and what to discard. It seems to me that the Clean House crew just move in and clean, which I like too. There's something very satisfying in the transformation of the homes and the lives of the people concerned.

I'd quite fancy to be a professional organiser. I remember years ago when I was working for Let's Play and I had to sort, organise, count and pack a huge amount of donated sports equipment (see photo; click on it to see bigger). It was such a kick.

I regularly clear out at home too. Magazines, papers and such accumulate so quickly! I've recently been doing cupboards too. Over time I find that there will be items that I don't wear for a year - they go bye-bye. People I knew had a small place with limited cupboard space for clothing. They had a rule; if you buy a new tee shirt, you must throw one out. You can have new stuff, you've just got to trade an old item for it. I like and have been using this approach for some years.

A friend passed me on to this website - The Minimalists. The posts here, written by two guys, are about "minimalism and living a meaningful life with less stuff". This is a great post from one of their archives about a guy who reduced everything he owns to 288 items.

 On that note, my fingers are itching. Need to dig around for more stuff to throw out...

Suikerbosrand in summer

Under overcast Jo'burg skies, we headed out to Suikerbosrand yesterday hoping for the best; and that's exactly what we got. Months ago I took my mom out to Suikerbosrand for the first time -  a pre-Camino walk. She was really keen to get out there again to see how she'd improved over the months. My dad and his partner, Therese, joined us - they regularly head out there as they're avid birders. My dad has always been really sharp at spotting and identifying birds and he's really good at bird calls too. I definitely didn't get this gene.

Mom, Dad, Therese, me
We started out just after 8am and there were already dashes of blue in the sky. A light drizzle - really light - cooled things down and for the rest of the morning it was just absolutely perfect - light breeze, cool conditions and a clear sky.

Saw a good number of birds, butterflies, dung beetles and many shongololos (for non South Africans, this is a millipede). Only saw animals in the valley before the end - lots of them but they were a good distance away. Probably zebra, wildebeest and some antelope. Vegetation all over is green and lush with lots of pretty flowers all over.

Looking North, towards Jo'burg

I do so love coming out here - and only 35 minutes drive from home! ;)

I tried making some panoramic images...

Saturday 24 December 2011

Merriness, time shifts, naughty little dog and baby blankie deadline

Merry season
Thank goodness for Christian holidays - enjoyed by us all. Christmas comes at just the right time to turn our New Year into a substantial festive holiday season.

The nice thing about the end of the calendar year is that it provides an end, and a new start. We wind up our year and then jump into the next.Without it... nah, wouldn't be good. It's a psychological thing - I like. It's like finishing a project. Sure in reality, project continue into the next year, but it does provide opportunity for finishing, starting, reflecting and renewing.

Time adjustment instead of time zone
During my recent Cape Town visit I thoroughly enjoyed the evenings that stayed light until 8pm. In Jo'burg we're now light until a bit after 19h00. That extra hour seems to give you 'more' time. Although Cape Town would really benefit from daylight savings in winter, two time zones in South Africa is so not feasible. Yeah, it works in other countries but, call me cynical, I don't see it working here. Remember too that we've already kinda got two time zones - GMT +2 and 'African Time').

But a time adjustment... This could work.

I spent my first two years of high school in Potchefstroom and we had this thing where our clocks essentially went into daylight saving in winter. In summer school would start at 07h30 and in winter everything shifted 30 minutes later.

To get more out of summer in Jo'burg - considering that it gets light around 04h30, if you started work at 07h00 and finished at 16h00 (instead of 08h00 to 17h00), then you get three hours of daylight, after work, to play. Or even start at 06h30 (afterall, it has already been light for almost two hours) and finish at 15h30. Nice eh?

The little dog
Dog sitting is going well and the little Jack Russell and I are running well together. We had a little altercation earlier this week when he did a despicable deed. I ignored him for the rest of the day (which this attention-seeking fellow did not like) and he didn't get to go run until the next day. Needless to say he has been an exemplary citizen since as he knows full well that he was a bad, bad dog. That sweet face is tough to resist but doesn't work on me when he is a beast.

We're having fun out running - he runs very nicely - and we've been meeting other dogs - and their owners - in the neighbourhood.

Baby blankie deadline
About two months (or more) ago I started on a crochet baby blankie for my friend's as-yet-not-conceived baby. I'd delighted to report that I now have a deadline. As we're in the first trimester with a first pregnancy we're holding our breath for the next 10-weeks that all progresses smoothly.

My mom has been watching the steady progress of the blanket. Depending on what I'm up to, I add a square or three a night - and sometimes I don't get to it for a week. This blanket is certainly a labour of love. My friend has dogs and recently when showing it to my mom she joked, "Imagine if your baby blanket ends up as a dog blanket". Funny - not.

Wednesday 21 December 2011

By chance running companion

I'm house sitting for my friend; it's more pet sitting than house sitting really. Two labs, one Jack Russell and a cat. The Jack Russell, Rikki, has the cutest face but a typically naughty temperament; but that said he is better behaved with me on my own than when I've been a visitor.

I took him out for a run on Friday evening and he's a nice running companion. He's good most of the time, only going crazy when he sees other dogs behind gates and as he isn't my dog and I'm not sure how well he interacts with other dogs, I keep us at a good distance. With me, he gets little leeway to bark at other dogs because I keep the pace and whisk him away without missing a step. I'm sure I spoil all of his fun. We went walking on Saturday evening and he was also very good.

Last night I took him out for another run around the neighbourhood. We're getting more comfortable with each other. Nearing home I saw a guy running with a rottweiller, not on a leash. I took a different route but nearing home noticed the guy and dog approaching.

Rikki, on a leash, went ballistic - the rottie was very well behaved. I told the 'dad' that this wasn't my dog and that I wasn't sure what to do with him around other dogs. After a while I put the little dog on the ground and he calmed down quickly, making friends with Rex, the rottie, as I chatted to his dad, Jason. He was taking Rex home - the dog was pooped and not being a great running buddy that evening (it was quite hot still) - and said he would head out to run more. I suggested that I'd be happy to join him after putting Rikki inside. He agreed and we decided to meet on the corner a few minutes later.

It turned into a lovely run going into dark - much cooler than the evening had been. And it was great that I could get in more of a run, which I'd been considering doing anyway after dropping Rikki at home but I certainly wouldn't have gone so far and nor would I have had a route as interesting.

This is the thing with running - provided you're not in a rush, it can be easy to make running buddies. In past years I've occasionally picked up a running buddy on a run; easy when you're going in the same direction and are from the same neighbourhood. The cool thing is that my friend whose house I'm looking after is also a runner - I'll introduce him to Jason and Rex when he gets back and they can run together too - they live a block apart.

For now, I've got a run scheduled with Jason on Thursday evening. It's great 'cos he obviously knows this suburb and adjacent areas really well so I'm seeing parts of the area that I've never been through before. His company is appreciated - it can get dull always running on your own, as I usually do - and with company I'm getting in slightly longer runs than I'd do on my own. All good and three cheers for this festive running season.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Muizenberg trail race

Goodness, I have still needed to post my pics from Saturday's trail run on the mountain above Muizenberg. It was a First Ascent Trail Run organised by my friend, Ugene Nel. The week before I headed down to CT Ugene gave me a buzz to say that he'd heard that I would be in CT and he asked what was I doing on Saturday morning. Well, I roped in Heather and Michael and off we went to Ugene's event.

With Michael and Heather before the start - yes, check out that blue sky in the background ;)
Blessed with good weather, it was the most perfect morning. Race distance was listed at 12km - could have been longer? From the Westlake Arms we walked up the hill, on to Boyes Drive, for the start location - at the Silvermine trailhead. Lots of people! What really worked well was that we were set off in batches - there were 10 start groups with up to 20 runners in each group. We would start in Group 9.

The route started at the bottom of a hill so it was a beeegggg climb up, up, up. Heather and Michael are mountain goats so I took it in my stride - nice and chilled, breathing steady and pace regular.

Looking down on the first ascent - not even at the top yet! We came down this at the end.
As soon as I crested the ridge - stunning! And the trails... smooth, secure footing, fast. I'd caught a couple of people on the climb and even more on the 'runnable' section. I felt like an F1 car.

Lovely, lovely running!
Not a soul around. Heading for Bailey's Corner (in the background is the sea)
The next exciting part of the trail was when we came around what I believe is called 'Bailey's Corner' where you can see Muizenberg's beach. Not a great angle for a photo - almost looking into the sun - but very pleasing for eyeballs.

And then, we went up - again. Big up.

A section of step-step-step rocks going up-up-up.
And then, at the top!

At the top - a bit before the descent.
I saw Ugene just before this last bit of the climb and he chirped something to the effect of, "Looks like you're on holiday," in response to my steady uphill trekking style. Hahaha. I ran a 2:20 and placed 19th lady (of 41). Lekker. Makes me think I should have run more. Oh well. What a lovely morning it was.
L-39s doing a formation display
And then, later in the afternoon back at M&H's place, which is near the Ysterplat airforce base, I was treated to some of the airshow. Late in the afternoon the jets came out. There were three L-39s and then a Hawk. I thought these were cool. But these two sub-sonic training jets paled in comparison to the Gripen. The roar of the engine as he flew past the apartment (7th floor, corner unit facing the base) - oh my goodness! I want one for xmas! The thundering engines - deep into your core. Love it!

This fabulous day wrapped up with watching my cousin play at The Assembly in town. His band - The Roland Albertson Band - sounded fantastic. Excellent sound at the venue and good lighting made for a superb night. (you can download and listen to tracks from the link above)

I thought this one may have been of the Gripen, but it seems to be the Hawk.

Monday 12 December 2011

Running in the early morning rain, in Cape Town

I've been in Cape Town for a couple of days for work and play and visiting - home tomorrow night (so still more time for play). Although my schedule has been non-stop with instructing an O workshop, meetings and visits, I had a good dose of play on my agenda this weekend.

Saturday began with an early, early morning that saw me heading out with dear friends Heather and Michael to AR buddy Ugene Nel's run on the mountains above Muizenberg. I got some great pics but they're on my camera and I didn't bring a USB cable to pull them off. Not a USB cable in the house - so I'll post pics and a story from the race after I'm home. Suffice to say that it was a lovely morning with perfect weather, lots of elevation gain - 1200m and the first hill was a BIG one from the start - and stunning trails and views. I placed 19th lady -  a very fair result for a harry-casual outing. Heather rocked in as 5th lady.

On Saturday night I went to watch my fabulous cousin playing at The Assembly in CT town. His new band - The Roland Albertson Band - is rocking. The venue had superb sound and lighting and they were superb. Really easy listening music and a great vibe. On Roland's website ( you can listen to his music and download tracks. FEAT's theme tune comes from the track, White Wednesday.

Then, after little less than 5hrs sleep I was up again and M&H and I headed out for a run. We picked up their friend Gerhard on the way and parked on that cable car road. It was drizzling lightly so we donned rain jackets and set off towards Block House and on to the contour path. Bit of wind at first but once we got into the vegetation - fairyland! Really stunning.

8, 9 10... autotimer! With Heather, Michael and Gerhard
Our initial plan had been to run the trail and then go up and over the mountain; but there was heavy cloud up top and it was certainly to be howling and miserable up there. So we chose to turn around and run back. The weather had started to clear so the view over the city was lovely - even saw a rainbow.

Gerhard, Heather and Mr Rainbow
The day evolved to be a beautiful one - no cloud, no rain, which I spent sight seeing, visiting crafty markets, lunch in Hout Bay and hanging in Kalk Bay. It only gets dark here after 8pm, so it gives lots of time for really hanging out. Lovely.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Exploring raw

I've got a couple of buddies into raw food so it has been on my mind for some time. Not radical raw food eaters, but where they look at getting 60% or more of their food from raw fruits and veggies.

I've never been a big meat eater, even as a child and I don't think I ate red meat at all for almost 10 years (in the 90's) - it just doesn't agree with my tummy, especially when I'm running more. In general, I eat red meat when served it; I don't buy or cook it myself. It is kinda the same with chicken and I think I have almost a seasonal response to it because sometimes I'm fine with chicken and other times not - depends perhaps on what has been pumped into the chickens? Again, the more I run, the less my tummy tolerates chicken, leaving my belly upset.

I've also been very wheat/gluten aware since an illness five years ago when I'd been out for dinner and the next day suspected a 24hr bug of sorts as I was sick as a dog. My friend, who ate the same meal, was fine. The 24hr bug turned into a 10 day bug and I couldn't eat any wheat products without my stomach writhing in agony and my belly extending within 30 minutes. I did all the blood tests - no allergy. Just a sensitivity that developed as a result of the illness. When, even a month later, my gluten tolerance was low, I cut out all wheat products for a few months and then slowly introduced them but in limited quantities. If I go through a phase of eating more wheat products (cereals, sandwiches, pasta etc) I feel it coming back again.

Recently these sensitivities returned - feeling wheat and meat sensitive, lethargic and lazy. So, two weeks ago I decided to revert to simple, vegetarian eating to get back on track. As it happened, I went to a health shop to pick up some grains and at the counter they had a book, Rawlicious, which caught my eye. I've looked at various raw food books over the months but this one, written by a South African couple, was the best presented and has recipes with products that we get here.

So, I've been exploring raw food and have increased my intake of raw, plus some cooked, and I've stayed away from food with eyes.

I attended a raw food workshop, presented by the one author, and it was quite an eye opener. He's a vegan (too extreme for my liking) and rarely eats anything cooked. A bit too extreme for my interests. The first part of the course was a bit too much of the 'selling' of raw food eating - not my thing as I was on the course because I'm already with the programme. My objective was to learn a bit more about food preparation techniques because raw food is not just salads and juices.

And that's the key - not to think of raw food as a radical-bunny-hugger-hippy-child-of-the-earth way of eating. I'd classify it as a culinary category like Chinese, Indian or Spanish cooking. It's a whole new realm of food preparation and as such there are raw food 'cooking' courses, which I hope to explore too.

The highlight of the day was lunch. Oh my goodness! Absolutely incredible and tasty. Like really amazing. You can't believe what is made from raw foods - it really isn't carrot and celery sticks.

The other aspect of raw that appeals is the variety and creativity in foods and preparation techniques. I certainly get stuck in the butternut-courgette-carrot-broccoli routine; maybe a dash of potato, onion, spinach and mushroom. I walk the aisles in the supermarket and find little that makes me think, "Yum". I've been very un-food-stimulated for too long. The raw foodists bring in variety and exciting tastes with seeds, sprouts, seaweeds, grains and nuts, in addition to the veg and fruit that we commonly find.

So I'm back to being fully vegetarian (not vegan) again and it is working for me. I'm running nicely again (best since August), lungs are feeling great (they weren't, depending on what I'd eaten) and I'm trying new foods and food combinations.

For me, if something isn't working and I'm feeling kuk, then it is time for a change; time to try something different, because more of the same isn't going to produce a different outcome. Cutting out meat and eating less cooked food is the something different. Lots to learn, loads to try and I'm already feeling better for it.

Fifth and final Kinetic Adventure for the year

This morning was the last of the five-series Kinetic Adventure races. They're 20-25km adventure sprint races; and they're classified as this because the contain the three primary AR disciplines (run, bike and paddle) with a navigation component (control locations marked on a Google Earth image).

I've been taking part in these races for three years now, with an all-girls team. It has been a really fun journey to race with girls and this year I brought in and alternated a new girl with almost all races. For many it was their first time racing in an all-girls team and they all totally enjoyed the experience.

Me, Sarah and Vix at race briefing

Vicky has been with me for four of the five races this year; Sarah came in for the last two and I also had Jackie, Nadine and Louise in the team. Girls, thank you for your enthusiasm and energy and being game to give this all-girls thing a try - I really enjoyed racing with you.

Today's race turned out to be our worst result ever - in three years - and all because I got a nasty puncture! We were rocking in the front-ish pack and just after crossing the railway line my rear tyre was flat. I pulled out a stick, not a thorn, that had penetrated the tyre plus, at that spot on the tyre, a double layer of tyre liners (the thick white kind!). Although this tube didn't have slime (not sure why it didn't as I usually use slime) this was not a hole that slime would have plugged.

We stopped, hopped off our bikes, got the wheel off and started trying to get the tyre off. Mission (almost) impossible! The issue was that when I got my bike in July last year, through a friend, he had tried to 'convert' my tyres to tubeless (or such) and had used a glue on the tyre and so the tyre was mostly stuck in the rim. We couldn't get to the tube. After a bit of a battle and lots of tyre levers we got it sorted. And while this was going on two big clumps of teams passed us. Oh dear.

Vix has a go at a bit of tyre pumping
And once we got the new tube in we started pumping it up. I haven't used my pump for ages (haven't had a puncture since I got the bike - had bought a new pump) but it was barely pumping air. Such a nice fancy pump and it was almost useless. Some back stragglers came past and a kind guy loaned us his pump to complete the process. Whoosh - works well! Sarah has put 'New pump for Lisa' on her list of Santa.

And we were off. And then, just past the CP at the water crossing, I heard something odd - the one side of the tyre popped off the rim. Crazy! We deflated the tube, got the tyre back on and then pumped a dash of air into it (using my kuk pump - Sarah's didn't have a bike valve conversion). There was too much distance to just run my bike in. Riding was tough on the pap wheel but we made it back ok - but very far at the back; like where we've never been before!

Vix and I did the paddle and then it was up and over the inflatable obstacle course to the finish. To my knowledge there were three all-girls teams; we came third. Oh dear! And with such a short race there was absolutely no time to make up what we'd lost.

On stage with the other two girls teams
Anyway, a good morning - always great to be out and Heidi and Stephan's Kinetic Adventure events are always enjoyable.

What is cool is that we retained our overall position as winner in the women's team category and for our efforts will each receive a pair of Asics' new Fuji Racer or Attack shoes when they land in the new year. Our thanks to Steve, from Asics, for this wonderful prize.

Series winners! Vix and and Sarah with Steve (Asics)
Next week I'm in Cape Town to teach an orienteering workshop and some meetings and some visiting. On Saturday morning I'm running Ugene Nel's First Ascent trail run with my friends Heather and Michael (they'll probably be running ahead of me - racing snakes!). Looking forward to it. And that will probably sum up my event participation for the year.

Friday 2 December 2011

Getting more awesome

As you know, FEAT Canada took place in Vancouver on 15 November. One of the speakers, Jen Olsen, is a mountain guide - one of only seven female internationally certified mountain guides in the World.

Her FEAT talk is online and in her talk she mentions facing her 40th birthday in a few weeks and she adds, "I've been feeling devastated about not having a husband, kids or a pension plan".

She then refers to a quote she saw on Facebook that goes: "Everyone I know is getting married or pregnant... I'm just getting more awesome."

Right on, Jen. I can relate (not about being devastated about not having a husband or children, but that there's a spate of marriages and pregnancies).

Here's to awesomeness!