Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Quote of the Day: Wild Edition

"How wild it was, to let it be" - Cheryl Strayed, Wild

I am reading a fantastic and fascinating book. Actually, I finished it five minutes ago and this was the last line. I can't get over how good it was. Great writing, but even more than that - it was good for my soul.  More on that later. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Scenes From A Week: July 29

24 hours late on this post because of an awesome weekend at home.   The work week was relatively uneventful, but a 30-hour trip home and Sunday evening nightcap with a friend from New Orleans capped off the week beautifully.  As crazy as it sounds, July is almost over!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Editor Kate - Part Three

Is this annoying yet?  Probably.  I'm annoyed, too.  I can't get over how many errors I see in semi-professional, published work.  Also, I'm seeing a trend in what types of articles I find these errors on... not good, celebrity publications, not good.

why is "SIDE" capital?  It isn't even a link?  So confused.

he's "good" a good pair of lungs on him?
(i think you mean he's GOT a good pair of lungs on him). 

this one is hard to spot since it's so small.  paragraph 3, first line
"the couple has seemingly made a habit of doing things a bit a little bit".  oye. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

TBT: CER Editon

I just stumbled upon these two pictures.  I've published one (if not both) on my blog before, but man, I love them.  They basically sum everything up?

Half-Marathon Playlist

I so appreciate all of your suggestions on my half marathon playlist, so I thought I'd share in case anyone else is in a music rut like I am.  There were definitely songs that I should have included, and some that I probably should have left off.  I put the playlist together in about a half hour and I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.  

Back (Colt Ford + Jake Owen)
Sleepy Little Town (JT Hodges)
Rain on the Roof (Chad Warrix)
Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepson)
Goodbyes Made You Mine (JT Hodges)
A Woman Like You (Lee Brice)
ET (Katy Perry + Kanye West)
Dirt Road Anthem (Jason Aldean)
Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show)
Breakeven (The Script)
You Won't Feel a Thing (The Script)
For the First Time (The Script)
Nothing (The Script)
If You Ever Come Back (The Script)
Rolling in the Deep (Adele)
I Run To You (Lady A)
Somewhere With You (Kenny Chesney)
She's Country (Jason Aldean)
Bad Romance (Lady Gaga)
Save A Horse (Big & Rich)
Bye Bye Bye (NSYNC)
Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)
Oops! I Did It Again (Brit Brit)
Sexy Back (Justin Timerblake + Timbaland)
I Like It (Enrique)
Animal (Neon Trees)
Dog Days Are Over (Florence + The Machines)
Lose Yourself (Eminem)
Today Was a Fairytale (Taylor Swift)
Goodbye LA (Green River Ordinance)
Don't Trust Me (3OH!3)
Empire State of Mind (Jay Z + Alicia Keys)
To the Beat of Our Noisy Hearts (Matt Nathanson)
Daylight (Matt & Kim)
I Still Miss You (Keith Anderson)
She's My Kind of Rain (Tim McGraw)
I Dreamed A Dream (Les Mis)
Poker Face (Lady Gaga)
My Life Would Suck Without You (Kelly Clarkson)
You Don't Know Me (Ben Folds + Regina Spektor)
Live Your Life (TI + Rihanna)
Beautiful Day (U2)
These Days (Rascal Flatts)
The Joker / Everything I Own Mashup (Various)
Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis)
Sweet and Low (Augustana)
Whatever It Takes (Lifehouse)
Float On (Modest Mouse)
Crazy Bitch (Buckcherry)
Cupid's Chokehold (Gym Class Heroes)
Hey Girl (OAR)
Welcome to the Black Parade (My Chemical Romance)
Summertime (Kenny Chesney)
Finale B (Rent)
Livin' On A Prayer (Bon Jovi)
Step by Step (Whitney Houston)
Save Tonight (Eagle Eye Cherry)
About an Hour Ago (OAR)
Love and Memories (OAR)
If I Had $1,000,000 (BNL)
Beautiful World (Dierks Bently)
Elevation (U2)
I Kissed A Girl (Katy Perry)
Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
I'll Take Everything (James Blunt)
Don't Stop Believin' (Journey)
Apologize (OneRepublic)
I'm Alive (Celine Dion)
Higher Love (James Vincent McMorrow)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

10) See A Country Concert

This weekend, Wrigley Field played host to two exceptional concerts: Pearl Jam on Friday night, and Jason Aldean on Saturday night.  I was lucky enough to see one, and hear both!

On Friday night, I saw and heard the Pearl Jam concert from a Rooftop location, which was a cool venue and fun vantage point (especially during the rain delay, when I didn't get wet thanks to the indoor part of the building).

And on Saturday, Scott and I opened every window, and we were able to (quite clearly!) hear Jason Aldean's show.  It sounded great!  Since we know his music pretty well, it was very easy to tell what songs he was singing, so that was extra fun.

A good music weekend!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Scenes From A Week: July 23

36 hours late, but better late than never, eh?  This week the half marathon weighed on my mind and lived in my actions.  It was a slightly insane week - from Monday's "Burgers & Beers 5K", to a fancy work dinner on Thursday night, the Pearl Jam concert at Wrigley Field on Friday, Half Marathon Expo and carbo loading on Saturday, and the half on Sunday.

Whew!  An amazing week, but a tiring week, and I'm looking forward to some major home time this week.

monday's 5k run with my sweetie

a spectacular summer cocktail on thursday night at paris club
pearl jam at wrigley field on friday night (including a 2 hour rain delay!)
packet pickup with some of my favorites
carbo loading at matt & kelly's (ridiculously good
courtesy of the future mrs. maloney)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Half Marathon, Part 2

The race is over, and I am thrilled to say that I am now an official half marathoner!   Did I break any records?  No, and I didn't break any bones which makes this a success in my book.

The below is my account of the race, for my archives but also for future reference, as the ink isn't yet dry on this year's race, and yet my thoughts have moved to next year and others, as I think this might be the first of many in my half marathon career.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Half Marathon, Part 1

This morning is the Chicago Half Marathon, and I'm thrilled to be running.  I have never thought of myself as a runner, and yet, today I'm out there doing it, running when I can, and walking when I must.

This is my first half marathon, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.  I am.  I wish I was a little more prepared physically (why didn't I start training earlier?) but I am very, very ready mentally.  And I've said how important the mental aspect is to my running style.  My playlist is prepared.  My outfit selected.  My breakfast picked out.  My support crew (my parents!) are lined up in wait.  

There are almost ten Rank's running in today's race, and I count myself so lucky to be in their midst.  Am I going to be as fast as them?  Absolutely not.  I am quite confident, in fact, that I will finish last out of them (and possibly out of everyone:) but the fact is - I don't care.  My ego is completely removed from the equation.

I've never thought of myself as a runner, so more than anything, this is a game of Kate versus Kate.  Brain versus legs.  Heart versus mind.  Since I am such a mental runner, I decided to continue my trend of running "for" someone.  When I want to quit, I will focus on that person and I hope that will keep me strong mentally, even if physically I'm faltering.  The names are written on the inside of my arm.  

I know people run half marathon's every day.  I know that in the grand scheme of things, it isn't a big deal.  But this is my first race of this distance (it will more than double my race distance record!) and it's a big deal to me.  So if you have any prayers or positive energy to send my way this morning, that would be fantastic.

Without further ado, here is what I'll be thinking of at each grueling mile: 

1 My mom, who helped me take my first step and every one after
2 My dad, Shawn Steil, who didn't teach me how to walk, but helped me to soar through life with the kind of guidance and support that only a dad can provide
3 My grandparents, Jeanne & Gerry, who are examples of healthy lives and living well
4 My four brothers.  I would be lost in life if I wasn't a sister.  (And growing up with you four was certainly a test of endurance like this race will be).
5  My cousin Christine, a lifetime BFF, and a person who's friendship has calmed my fears and stoked my confidence more times than I can count.
Mike Maloney, and all the baggage that that entails.  His life and death strengthened my resolve to be healthy, fit, and strong.
7 My family members running the race today: Scott, Matt & Kelly, my brother Austin, my cousin Anne, my cousin-in-law Bryan, and two cousin's man friends Kyle & Jeff.  Gifted runners and true friends that I am lucky to call family.
Martin Richard, for whom I pledged to run this mile shortly after the Boston bombings claimed his life.  I was registered for the 1/2 before the bombings occurred, and while they scared me a bit, they also boosted my resolve (eff you, terrorists).
9 My high school soccer coach (cough, cough) who said I wasn't "much of a runner" and therefore put me on defense instead of offense like I wanted. And to anyone else who's inspired doubt in my heart.
10 My grandma Phyllis, a champion of physical fitness and of me, who's time on earth overlapped mine by less than 10 years, but who's presence on my life is strong to this day.
11 Scott, my partner in life and in running, since 11 is our lucky number.
12 The bridesmaid's dress that I'm wearing on the 12th in three short months, and the bride whom I am lucky to call a sister (to-be).
13 Myself,
 the only person who needed proof that I could do it.  And by God, if I've made it this far, then there is reason for celebration.
I'm hoping to be back on the grid tomorrow with a recap of the race.  Hopefully I'll have good news to share, but at the very least, rest assured that I will be trying my very, very hardest.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Beer and Burgers 5K: Race Recap

Scott and I participated in the Beer & Burgers 5K on Monday night.  The race packet pickup and start line were a mere blocks from my office which was super convenient for me.  :)

Scott and I decided to run the race together (which is unusual for us) as a practice run for possibly running the Chicago 1/2 together this Sunday.  Of course, I had to take our requisite pre-race photo:

I don't have much to say about the race itself.  It was flat, except when it was obnoxiously hily :)  It was super hot at start time - mid 80s which makes running a very hot, very sweaty affair.  I used both water breaks - one for water and the other for Gatorade (I've never taken a drink of Gatorade during a race before, but it made my stomach feel kind of uneasy).  Anyway, it was my first race with my Nike+ app, and I liked that a lot.

My in-laws were at the race cheering us on, and my mother-in-law snapped the next photo of us just before we crossed the finish line.

Overall, I liked the course... but hated the race.  It was the "Beer and Burgers" 5K - but the line to get the Beers and Burgers was between two and three blocks long!  Ridiculous and absolutely the worst organized post-race party I've experienced in my running "career".   Regardless, it was a nice (hot and sweaty) run on a July evening with my main squeeze.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kelly's Bridal Shower

My beautiful sister-in-law-to-be had her second bridal shower this past weekend in Cedar Rapids so of course I made the trip back to my favorite city.  (I actually got a ride with her and Matt, so it was extra easy).

On Saturday morning, I got up early and headed to one of my favorite places in the world: my salon.  After my hair appointment and a belated birthday pedicure with my mama, we were off to the shower.

The shower was hosted by Kelly's bridal party and featured a really cute guest book idea.  Instead of the traditional guest book, they had attendees write their advice for the bride on one of three categories: night before the wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary.  I chose honeymoon :)

At that point, we mingled a bit with other guests, introducing ourselves as the proud sister and mother of the groom, and of course said hello to the bride and her family.

We posed for a few photos, and then it was time for the game - "he said, she said".  The premise of the game is that the moderator (in this case, one of Kelly's two younger sisters/maids of honor) asks a question, and then tells you how either the bride or groom answers that question, without telling you if it was the bride or groom who gave that answer!

For example, what one word describes your fiance ?  Answer:  "lucky!  I mean wonderful".  :)  Then you held up your stick with either the lips up (if you thought that was Kelly's answer) or mustache (if you thought it was Matt's answer).  Spoiler alert: it was my hilarious younger brother who gave that gem of an answer.  :)

The spread was as beautiful as it was delicious and included a huge fruit salad, deli sandwiches, a veggie tray, homemade wontons, and gourmet desserts.

And of course, then it was time to shower our bride-to-be with items for her new life.

Happy bridal shower, Kelly!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

7) Participate in a Bonfire

On Saturday night, Scott and I joined my parents and Matt at a barbecue hosted by Kelly's lovely parents.   After a ridiculously good dinner and a few drinks, we all found ourselves seated around their backyard bonfire.  It was wonderful!  Back yards are few and far between in the city of Chicago, so it was fun to have enough space to have a bonfire, good tunes, and of course good company.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Editor Kate

I mentioned how often I find errors in certain publications, particularly publications that are of the gossip/news variety.  Here are three that I've found in the past week.  I listed the error in the picture caption but see if you can spot them!

two commas toward the beginning of paragraph two
paragraph three - missing a space between "man"
and "has" - unless a manhas is a new species i'm
unfamiliar with... :)
last line of paragraph one - "has" everyone worked or "as" they? 
I cut individuals a lot of slack when it comes to typos, but there is a level of accuracy that we should probably be able to expect from publications.  I understand that their writers are only human, but what about editing?  Or at least a second look at what was written.

Monday, July 15, 2013

28) Take my mom out to dinner

In planning to do this item, I realized that both of us would actually prefer a spa treatment to a fancy dinner.... so, that's exactly what we did!

On Saturday morning (before Kelly's bridal shower!) my mom and I went to our favorite salon/spa to get a little pampering.  This was what I gave my mom for her birthday and at the time, July seemed so far away.  It was totally worth the wait.

Before and during our pedis, we sipped a little complimentary wine.  In the words of my mom:  "wine not?" :)

This was one of my all-time favorite items (across any of the four years I've done this).  Happy (belated) birthday mom!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Scenes From A Week: July 14

July is just about half over, and I'm really struggling to wrap my head around this!  Though the calendar disagrees, I consider June, July and August summer, so that makes summer half over!  (Wah wah).  That's all the more reason to soak up each day and really make the most of the six weeks left before Fall and football season begin.

my mid-week walgreens purchase highlighted how much of a
teenager i still am (at heart, atleast)
the quest continues to decrease (not necessarily
eliminate) my diet coke love
one of the highlights of the week - a (belated) birthday
pedicure with my mom at our favorite spot.  heavenly!
Kelly's bridal shower (more on that later:)
matt + my parents enjoying my new favorite summer drink: a peach moon
(peach schnapps, blue moon, and a splash of oj.  yessss).
a terrific day in iowa was capped off by drinks around a bonfire on a
gorgeous july saturday night.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Interesting Person Interview Series: Julie

Today I'm excited to share the interview with my cousin-in-law, Julie.  When I first moved to the city, Julie lived about six blocks from me.  Julie was a reader in my wedding, and has been a part of most of my favorite Special Family events.

Julie's interview, after the break:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Half Marathon Music

I have a favor to ask.... :)

I'm in the process of working on my half marathon playlist, and I'd love recommendations!  Keep in mind that I hope to finish the race in the 2:30 range, which means I need at least 150 minutes of music! Um, that's 40+ songs!

That's where you come in.  I'd love any suggestions you have for music to keep me going (running with my heart!).  Most of the music I put on my playlist will likely be mid- to up-tempo to keep me moving.  (Think: dance party music).   Thoughts?

Here are a few songs on my list:

- "Don't Trust Me" - 3OH!3
- "The Joker"/"Everything I Own" Mash-Up (Jazon Mraz/Chrissie Hynde)
- "Just Say Yes" Snow Patrol
- "Everybody Talks" Neon Trees
- "Good Ol' Days" The Script
- "Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen
- "Mr. Jones" Counting Crows
- "Murder of One" Counting Crows
- "My Kinda Party" Jason Aldean
- "Jack Sparrow" The Lonely Island (don't judge)
- "Shake It Out" Florence and the Machines
- "Devil Town" Tony Lucca
- "Some Nights" Fun
- "Radioactive" Imagine Dragons
- "Mamas Broken Heart" Miranda Lambert
- "Strangers On A Train" David Nail

Monday, July 8, 2013

Taste of Lakeview 2013

Scott and I crammed as many activities as were humanely possible in to the 4th of July weekend, including the Taste of Lakeview.

The Taste of Lakeview is a relatively small festival that was held just a short bus ride away at Lincoln and Belmont in Chicago.  They shut down a two block strip, and had a bunch of different food and drink vendors, cute artsy shops (jewelry, a small amount of clothing and art), and two stages for live music.

The reason we went to the fest was because a band we like (the Underwater People) was playing at one of the stages.  Scott's guitar teacher is their drummer!  Anyway, they were great (as always) and it was a fun excuse to have a daybeer... :)  It's over now for the year, but I'd recommend it in 2014!