Hitting the reset button on running

I’ve never been one to blog all my workouts. Lately, I haven’t had any workouts to blog. I stopped doing New Rules of Lifting for Women shortly after starting stage 3 in early August. I had excuses: it’s hot; I’m adjusting to a new job and schedule; I don’t want to get tan lines from my running clothes, those will look awful in wedding photos; I had wedding stuff to do. Of course, those were just excuses. Mainly, I was just lazy.

Being lazy gets old and boring. I miss running, racing and earning new PRs. I had a few of those last fall/winter. Despite some aches and pains that kept me from running higher mileage as I would have liked, I still managed PRs at the 10K, half and marathon distance. I feel most proud of my effort at the LA Marathon where I met my sub-4 reach goal. I didn’t recover well from the LA Marathon and cut back. I tried getting back to training, but fell off again after getting sick. I backed out of the Pasadena half marathon after fainting a couple days before the race. I thought I could use the Runner’s World early summer running streak to build my mileage back up, but it ended up just feeling like a chore.

I’m not in any kind of shape to race these days. I went out for a few miles today. I stayed away from the hills, kept it slow and easy, walked when I needed to, and left the Garmin at home. Even then it was tougher than I expected. I ran/walked 3 miles in ~38 minutes.

I know I need to take my come back slow and be patient. I do have one race goal, the Puente Hills YMCA 31st Annual Turkey Trot. It’ll be the 31st annual race… I can’t miss it.


Mexican pop culture costumes

I’ve written before about my distaste for those pop-up Halloween store “Mexican” costumes. You know the kind, the ones with brightly colored sarapes, straw sombreros, and mustaches. The type that inspired the We’re a Culture, Not a Costume campaign.

Aside from the inherent ignorance and racism (considering the roots of such images) of such costumes the laziness also bugs me. You want to dress like a Mexican for Halloween? There are so many other options. Hell, you could go as George Romney. I heard he was born in Mexico, just like my dad!

Since 2007, I’ve modeled and featured creative and low-budget costumes. Some are based on Mexican and Chicano cultural icons. Some were based on scandals that year and have lost their humor. Anyway, if you need some last minute ideas, check out the list.

Red & yellow!

El Chapulín Colorado (or La Chapulina Colorada)

La Dama costume

La Dama from La Lotería

Hairdresser on fire

Hairdresser on Fire (Morrissey inspired)

Calendar girl (3)

Mexican Calendar Girl

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Boda, Fotos

We clean up okay: Pro teaser photos

A few days after the wedding Michael Fletcher, our photographer, posted a few teaser photos. Naturally, we can’t wait to see more.

It’s been nice reliving the wedding through photos friends and family posted on Facebook and Instagram. We didn’t shy away from incorporating social media into our wedding considering our history, the fact that Twitter played a role in our engagement, and we’ve both been blogging over 10 years. We encouraged our friends to post photos using the #bicoastalwedding hashtag for Instagram and created a Tumblr blog with the same name for them to share photos. It’s been fun to see what others captured and see what we may have missed, especially on the dance floor and in the photo booth.

Back to Mike and Soupy’s (second shooter) photos.

Sean’s friend, Phil Young, made customized Dunny’s for us using KidRobot’s Munny kit. We placed them on the entrance table rather than the cake. Phil did a great job, especially with Sean’s suit and glasses.

We took formal wedding party and couple photos in the church and at the Brea Community Center’s Art Garden. The latter was uncomfortable. It was way too hot to be outdoors (the high was 107), but we worked quickly in 20-30 minute chunks and took breaks indoors where the air conditioning was on full blast.

Can you tell the veil is upside down? We didn’t notice this until I was waiting to enter the church and fixed it just in time.

That bouquet got heavy. I think it was a little too big for me. Oh well, that’s what I get for not being more specific about what I wanted with the florist.

All photos by Michael Fletcher.

Boda, Familia

Rehearsing for the big day

Practicing walking down the aisle

There were a lot of people at our rehearsal and dinner. We had a big bridal party, but we also had several people participating in the liturgy (or ceremony) in some way. The opportunity for family and friends to participate in a meaningful way is one of my favorite aspects of Catholic weddings. It really shows that it’s about families coming together to witness the couple making the sacrament of marriage.

Escorting the parents and grandparents

Thus, along with 5 pairs of groomsmen and bridesmaids, the maid of honor and best man, and parents we had: my grandparents; the flower girls and ring bearer with their parents and siblings; padrinos de lazo (sponsors of the lasso, a symbol of unity); padrinos de biblia y rosario (bible and rosary sponsors); madrina de arras (sponsor of the coins); three readers; a Eucharistic minister; and a couple to bring up the gifts (wine and bread to be consecrated). We didn’t have a specific madrina de ramo (bouquet for the Virgin Mary), but had Vanny take on this role.

When we counted up everyone my parents could expect at the dinner, it was over 50 people. We also invited Sean’s extended family who were in from NY and London to come over to my parents’ for dinner as well.

The wedding coordinators at St. John Vianney, John and Josie, had their hands full with our group. The rehearsal went smoothly once we figured out some logistics (like, preparing the readings and listing out the bridal party — they didn’t receive the form we had mailed in earlier).

The wedding party

On our part, we forgot to pair up the bridal party for the entrances. We had thought of everything else with the ceremony and chosen music, prayers, readings, how we wanted to say our vows, etc, but we’d forgotten something really simple.

We ended up going by height and having my brothers go last since they were escorting my mom and grandparents. (Our parish gives the bride the option of being escorted by both parents or by her father only. I brought this up to my parents and they went with the latter.) Danny escorted Mamá Toni since he’s her favorite. Adrian escorted mom since he’s the baby of the family, and the favorite — according to him. As for height, we knew it would look silly for Adrian to escort Valerie, so we made sure he escorted someone shorter.

The kids of the wedding party (plus their siblings)

The flower girls did well, no surprise. I’d heard from their parents that Asha and Isabelle had been practicing for their roles. Anthony, our ring bearer, seemed a little nervous and withdrawn getting instructions from a stranger. Once I helped him out, he did okay and seemed more comfortable. I gave Vanny and Valerie the job of making sure he remain calm before the ceremony.

Rehearsal at SJV

We went through the ceremony with all the participants and then headed home for dinner to give everyone a chance to get to know each other a little bit. There were a lot of introductions since half the bridal party was coming in from New York. I was even introduced to one of the groomsmen, Andrew, that evening.

Twin time

Dinner was nice even if it was still way too hot out once again. It was probably in the low 90s at 8 pm. Mom and Danny prepped the salad and veggies and warmed up the lasagna from Macaroni Grill. The grilled chicken came from Juan Pollo. Sean’s aunts brought homemade rum cake for some Jamaican flavor. The backyard was set up like it had been for the wedding shower, just with a few extra tables. My mom’s good friend, Sylvia, came over and helped with the decorations.

Gifts for the attendants

Dad gave a speech thanking everyone for attending. Sean and I presented the bridal party and ceremony participants with their gifts. As we introduced each person or couple we added a couple of words about their importance in our lives. Asha and Isabelle loved their Cinderella dresses and became “best friends.” I told them we chose Cinderella since my Grandpa Bartolo used to call me Cinderella and it was my wedding.

Carmen, our planner, came over and briefly met the wedding party before packing up several items for the reception. We asked Carmen to try and place the two bars indoors if room allowed. We didn’t want the bartenders out on the patio for several hours in the heat. The rest of the drinks, water, wine and some other supplies were packed up in a friend’s truck. Sean, Danny and Adrian would handle that on Saturday morning.

At the end of the evening mom rounded up some of the bridal party for wedding favor assembly. Lori left the Mexican wedding cookies almost ready to go, but they still needed to be coated with powered sugar. Eric and Isabel opened the bags and got them ready for mom and Adrian to place the coated cookies in them. Everyone else on the assembly line was on ribbon tying duty. We made over 250 bags.

By the time we were done it was past 11 and I was ready for sleep. We left my parent’s house shortly after and checked in at the Embassy Suites where I had the “Cleopatra suite” to myself.

Boda, Familia

Final wedding Wednesdays: The parents meet

The families meet

One of the aspects of marriage that I’m still getting used to is having a second family. The Campbells are not just Sean’s family, they’re my family too. I just don’t see them very often since they’re in Long Island. Hopefully that’ll change now that we’re married.

Sean, on the other hand, has gotten to know my immediate and extended family pretty well since most of them live in southern California and there’s a party at least once a month. They’ve embraced him as a grandson, son, brother, cousin, nephew and uncle (for the cousins’ kids).

The parents

One of the basic things we hadn’t done pre-wedding was a parent introduction. My parents were curious about his family and asked question. What’s his mom like? What did they do before retiring? I showed them the Campbell’s photos (including some from their wedding Sean put up on flickr). They also got a kick when they found out they were almost going to be twins at the wedding. Despite living on opposite coasts, they had tried on the same dress. Mrs Campbell bought it, my mom didn’t even though it was one of her favorites.

Charlie and his angels

Sean and I planned the parents’ dinner shortly after the Campbells arrived from NY. We wanted to give some time for our parents to meet before the wedding madness began. We picked Lascari’s restaurant since it was less than a mile from the hotel. The group ended up being Sean’s immediate family plus Junior’s girlfriend, Olga and most of my immediate family. My brothers couldn’t make it due to work.

The Campbells

The dinner was fun. There was a lot of laughter as the Campbells shared stories about Sean. Even though Adrian wasn’t present, his name still came up as my mom noted that he and Junior were similar in their attitudes and sense of humor. They became immediate friends when they met the next day at the bachelor party.

Olga and Kenton

The in-laws shared stories about what Sean was like growing up — always reading, rarely getting in trouble. Just like me. Mi suegra (MIL) shared how much she’d like a granddaughter (no pressure) and how we should go shopping together next time I was in NY. My parents were amazed at how many of the Sean’s relatives had flown out.

We ended relatively early since we didn’t want to keep the NY contingent up late.