Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Best Day of Our Honeymoon

Two weeks ago, Eric & I got back from our honeymoon - two fun, fascinating, adventure-packed weeks in Mexico. Neither of us had ever been to Mexico and we loved it and want to go back as soon as possible.

December is usually my favorite month of the year, in large part because with my birthday and various holiday festivities it always feels magical and celebratory and exciting. In the weeks since we've been back it's been a little hard to focus on those feelings because of various small stressors in our personal lives and because of some awful, depressing, soul-crushing current events from the last couple of weeks.

In an effort to relive some happier memories - and because people have asked about the trip and I have been too busy to put all our pictures and stories on the internet - here is the story of the best day we had on our honeymoon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Post-Election Day Thoughts.

Hi everyone - Eric here.

So it's November 5th. We've all had to endure the drudgefest of election season yet again, and here we are, with an outcome not all that unpredictable by historical standards. While I don't identify as a Democrat, I generally align myself with views of the Democratic party, truly only because I feel they are the only major party that seems to understand why empathy, compassion, and equality are important to social progress. Somewhat surprisingly, I don't really feel strongly about the results of the Congressional elections.

When politicians are beholden to those who pay their way to job security (corporate lobbying), of course they aren't going to represent your interests. Would you do something against the interest of your boss? Probably not, and your boss would probably stop paying you. In this way, nearly all politicians, Democrat or Republican, are corrupt. So honestly, I could care less who runs the House or the Senate. We've all voted for people who don't walk the talk, because none of them do. They're all bought and paid for.

So, in the wake of a very normal, predictable, historically-definitely-precedented election, here are some thoughts that are running through my brain.  

To the Republicans: It's time to put your money where your mouth is. Or rather, it's time to put your Super PACs money where your mouth was. Not to say you have a mandate; there's always the veto pen, so don't get too excited. To paraphrase Jon Stewart, do you go full Sam Brownback and ruin Kansas (e.g. bankrupt the nation)? I want to see if you are committed to your positions, even though the economy is better than it's been in years, and that seems to be the only issue you care about. For the last eight years, you've done little but obstruct. Time to act on your words, as crazy as I think they might be.

To the Democrats: Don't be so dour. You saw this coming, and you are cowardly for abandoning the president when he has actually been very successful in a number of metrics (not a personal endorsement). Look at the results from the actual issues of the election. Most of the actual issues that are aligned with progressives generally passed. Whether that was higher minimum wage, marijuana decriminalization, or personhood amendments, it wasn't a bad night for the things many of you stand for. Kind of strange that voters want a higher minimum wage, legal pot, and no personhood definitions, yet Republicans win the Senate. To me, that points to the out-of-control Congressional redistricting, which has roots in race and class, but that's a whole other can of corn.

To the nonvoters out there: Vote. Do it. Even if it feels useless. Politicians count on people like you to not vote. We have some of the worst voter turnout in the world, especially among developed nations. Even if the people running don't represent your views, at least vote on the issues. It's a way to feel a sense of responsible patriotism, and you get a sticker to show off to everyone. If you continue to not vote, have fun with your pity party and unwillingness to participate in your own democracy. Your choice.

To my fellow voters, regardless of affiliation: Make corporate campaign contributions a central issue in the next election. Demand it. This issue bleeds in to every national conversation that we have, and clouds decision making on every level. We must fix the way our politicians are elected. I wholeheartedly believe it is the most important issue of our time. Climate change? Women's rights? Gun violence? Banking regulation? Food system? Energy? Police militarization? Foreign policy? All of these things and countless more nation-wide issues are corrupted by the influence of money in politics. We must be united on this front as Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and anyone else.

Anyway, I don't believe much will change after this election. Let's make political corruption a top issue next election, and see how things change.

Zeez actively fighting political corruption.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


We did it - we got married! And we even get to share an anniversary with Amal Alamuddin and George Clooney.
We got to take a picture with some bighorn sheep on our mini-moon in Taos!
It's not really our style to share everything about it on the internet - as much as it was a super fun party, it was also a pretty intense, personal, emotional moment for Eric and me, so we want to keep some things off the internet, and some memories we'd love to share and relive in person. But we will share a few things here, and a few pictures when we get them from our wonderful photographer.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Gratitude and Privilege

Recently, Eric & I can't stop talking to each other about how much we have to be grateful for.

On the morning of our second day backpacking.
 At the beginning of August, we finally went backpacking together for the first time - a trip two years in the making. We spent two days in the Pecos Wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, starting at a trailhead that is a half-hour's drive from our house. We had amazing weather, saw some beautiful wildflowers and lakes, and even harvested some porcini mushrooms. It felt wonderful to really get away from everything and spend time in the beautiful wilderness that's practically in our backyard.

My half-marathon training is going really well. I feel stronger than ever and the idea of running 13 miles in a few weeks seems more and more possible every day. Eric's been running with me on my shorter training runs, and it's really fun to start our mornings with a sunrise run. It feels so good to be working toward this goal and seeing the progress, and exploring Santa Fe on foot has lead me to some spectacular views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Eric with his first cherry tomato from the garden!
 It's harvest season, and Eric's garden is producing some delicious tomatoes, potatoes, kale, broccoli, and even a few strawberries. This morning when I needed a few more tomatoes for a recipe, I just walked out front and picked a few right off the vine - how cool is that?! And on Saturdays, we usually bike to the farmer's market to get the rest of our produce. Right now it's green chile season - the best time of the year in Santa Fe, probably - so the scent of roasted chiles fills the air.

Our most recent surge of gratitude comes from this happy news: Eric just started a new job as Program Coordinator for the best park in Santa Fe, which is right up his alley. He'll be spending a lot of time in the park, maintaining the gardens and educating kids & adults about plants. Last Monday and we both biked to work; on the way home, we met up on the bike trail by our house and rode home together. It was pretty darn cute.

And of course, we are continuously grateful for each other; for our life in Santa Fe; for Zeezy, the best cat in the world; and for all our friends and family that will be joining us next month for our wedding.

But while we are basking in all this gratitude, we definitely don't forget for a single minute how privileged we are.

Monday, August 11, 2014

First Ladies

In case you haven't noticed, Hillary Clinton has been all over the news lately. (Eric and I particularly liked listening to her Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross - check it out!) And not just because she recently wrote a book about her four years as Secretary of State - she's also the most likely presidential candidate for the Democratic party.

I know this meme is two years old, but I still love Texts From Hillary.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

On Eleanor Roosevelt and Running

"You must do the things you think you cannot do."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Whenever people ask me what my favorite quote is, that's the one that springs to my mind. I first saw it on a page-a-day calendar that I had growing up, and it immediately resonated with me. As a bookworm and an introvert, I realized early on that I needed to intentionally leave my comfort zone to change and grow as a person. And in my adult life, I have done a lot of things that I didn't think I could do, including:

- Go to college far away from home in a place where I knew exactly zero people
- Get hired as a campus tour guide, a job which involved talking loudly to many people at once (and often involved walking around in the rain, sometimes backward)
- Paid off more than half of my student loans a year after graduating
- Moved (with Eric!) to a place where we knew exactly zero people
- Went on a 6-day rafting trip (and actually had an amazing time)

And, of course, the big one: running. Those who knew me before 2011 can probably attest to the fact that exercising wasn't exactly my thing. Sure, I walked a lot, and was down for the occasional yoga class or bike ride, but running? No way. It boggled my mind that people ran for fun. People that I was friends with! When I lived in Chile for months, most of my fellow exchange students would complain about how annoying it was to run outdoors (uh, because the stray dogs would usually try to run with you or chase you). I nodded in sympathy, while all the while thinking, "What is the deal with running?"

Finishing my first 10K in Bellingham!
Well, when I got back to the US, my roommates would often go to the gym together, and I started to go with them, too - we all had busy schedules so I had to get my roommate bonding time in when I could. And when they suggested that maybe I could try running a little, and pointed out that the treadmills had TVs on them that had cable, curiosity got the best of me. I ran 2.1 miles that day, and it wasn't really fun per say, but it wasn't terrible. And I had run 2.1 miles! That was honestly something that I never thought I would do. I was so impressed with myself that I immediately texted 4 or 5 of my running friends to brag about my accomplishment. And then slowly, but surely, I started to become a runner.

I still feel weird saying that - I'm a runner. I spent so many years assuming I would never be a runner, and even after three years I haven't gotten used to it. At first I thought I wouldn't be a runner until I ran my first race. After my first 5K, I thought I would feel like a runner after I ran a 10K. After my first 10K, I decided I'd need to run the Bolder Boulder to call myself a runner. Well, I did that. So what's next?

Right after finishing the Bolder Boulder, SO happy to be sitting in the shade.
Long story short, a few weeks ago I registered for my first half marathon! It's happening in September, two weeks before our wedding, in Santa Fe. Which means it's at an altitude of around 7200 feet. That makes me pretty nervous, and part of me still thinks, "I can't run a half marathon. I'm not a runner." But there's a bigger part of me that knows I can prove that voice wrong.

The thing is, every single time I run, I push myself to do things I think I can't do. When I feel like I can't go any further and I just want to collapse on the ground, I push myself to keep running for one more mile, or five more minutes, or one more block, or until I reach that shady spot on the trail. When I'm running, I'm constantly exceeding and re-evaluating my expectations of what my body is capable of. And I keep running.

After a training run over the weekend
 Turns out that's actually what makes me a runner. Even when I'm slow and tired and sweaty and all I want to do is lay down, I keep running. And the fact that five years ago, I never would have ever guessed that this is what I'd be doing? That makes it all the more gratifying. Thanks for the reminder, Eleanor.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Memories of Bogota

I'm back from Colombia! Well, I actually got back a couple of weeks ago, but between recovering from a post-travel cold, taking a weekend trip to Colorado, and getting back into the swing of working and having a social life, it's taken me awhile to get back to my internet life. But! Some pictures of my international travel are better late than never, right?

But first, a cautionary tale.

Monday, June 2, 2014


A year and a half ago, one of my best friends moved to Bogota, Colombia to teach English for a year. She loved it so much that she's staying there for a second year. Annie and I met in Spanish class and were both Anthropology majors, sand we share a love of languages, travel, and new cultures - so ever since she moved to Colombia, she's been encouraging me to come visit her.

We also share a love of giraffes! (Picture circa 2009)
A very tempting offer, of course, but I kind of brushed it off for awhile. Not because I didn't want to visit her or explore a new country, but because it seemed... impractical. Who was I to think that I could take a trip to Colombia the same year of our wedding and honeymoon? I pride myself on having good financial sense, and that seemed too extravagant.

But then, a few months ago, I realized that I really, really needed to take a pre-wedding vacation. I had some vacation days saved up at work and they weren't doing any good just sitting there. And only then did I bother to actually check prices for a round-trip ticket to Bogota - and they weren't crazy expensive. So I prepared my pitch for Eric, thinking of ways that I could save our household money to offset the cost of an international flight - bike to work more, buy fewer chocolate-covered snacks from Trader Joe's, etc.

When Eric and I both got home from work that day, we sat on our back porch with a couple of beers and I told him that I was maybe thinking about visiting Annie in Colombia if he thought that would be okay. And before I could even start my pitch, he said, "Do it." And then he proceeded to tell my why I deserved an international vacation to visit my friend. That night, I bought the tickets.

Enjoying the summer weather at a Santa Fe Fuego game over the weekend.
 People always talk about "the moment" when you know someone you love is "the one." I've never had that one stark realization. Instead, there have been a million moments in the last nine (!) years that have affirmed what I've basically always known - Eric is a super amazing, supportive partner. Two months ago, when he pushed me to buy those plane tickets to Colombia without any hesitation - that was one of those moments.

So tomorrow I'm off to Colombia for nine days! Big thanks to Annie, for the invitation and the amistad, and to Eric, for reminding me that sometimes you gotta spend some money, and travel and adventure are worth it. South America, here I come!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Year in the Land of Enchantment

It's been awhile, blog! I started to write a post a couple months ago about the best books I read in 2013, but that felt too pretentious so I moved on to other things. (Short version: Everyone should read The Round House.) Now it's practically the middle of April, we're almost done with our taxes, and we've been in Santa Fe for just about a year! (Eric got here April 1st of last year, but my New Mexico anniversary isn't technically until the 21st... just in case anyone's curious.)

Sunny winter day in Santa Fe
Sometimes the fact that we live in Santa Fe seems so bizarre. When people ask us how we got here - a question we get a lot, seeing as youth in Santa Fe are somewhat of an anomaly - we usually shrug our shoulders and say something like, "We picked it on a map and we ended up both getting jobs!" Which is the short version.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Hello Internet

So I brought back my facebook account after about a year of not having it. It was refreshing, and I'm glad I went without it for awhile!

It was such a negative part of my life... Being unemployed, sitting there refreshing the page, looking at everyone else's life successes, occasionally lashing out in political tiffs...

But I think I've figured it out. I really lost touch with so many friends and family without an online social media presence, and I've missed that dearly! So I think I am going to keep my ramblings to this blog. Facebook and stale political discussions don't mix. Facebook and cat photos do. Well, really anything and cat photos.

How many of you out there get completely bummed out or downright angry with current events? Shootings, political corruption, climate change deniers, on and on and on.... I'd imagine a lot of of you do. Something I have recently been contemplating to combat news-depression is the idea of actively promoting justice. It's a concept that I've tried to always live, but also that I never really fully absorbed until recently. I believe that for peace, justice, happiness, and other good things to persevere, you have to actively DO them. You have to want them, and act them out in your daily life. And, the most critical part, you have to encourage others to do the same! Promote peace. Don't be afraid to stir the pot, in the name of good things!

So that's my new life goal. Finding out an effective means of doing this, well, I'm working on it. And I hope all of you are too!

Now in the spirit of this post....

Don't be fooled - his breath is terrible!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Employment History

The first job I ever had was in a garden, picking up rocks and putting them in a plastic bucket. I remember the interview process... and convincing my mom to give me an allowance resulted in fairly gainful employment.

My arugula is coming up! 

I was probably 7 or 8 years old. (Help me out, Mom?) I learned the enjoy the work eventually. Maybe my parents would differ. But I did eventually.

Age 12-14: After working for my parents, I took my skills outside the family business, and entered private practice, watering plants and dogs and cats for family and friends out of town. Watering people's plants gave me such a sense of satisfaction, of personal responsibility at a young age. Being proud of my pretty awesome self, I liked this feeling, so I never rushed, and began to enjoy them.

Tulips that just showed up and are getting ready to bloom!

Watering plants is such a therapeutic activity. It's one of my favorite things about living in our new house! We have so much more sun and garden room. Not that I really know how to garden... but all those years watering plants, the habit is hard to shake.

Kitty tanning his underside.
We've been so busy! A quick play-by-play of the last few months - moving to a wonderful new house, amateur carpentry, weekend trip to Colorado, promotions (both of us - yay!), double car trouble, business trips, Road Scholar group leading, among many other things. We miss everyone out there, and want to give a shout out to our dear friends who are expecting, Kyler and Alex Barton! Hooray for new life in all forms!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Weekend Outdoors (With Donuts)

As everyone hopefully knows, we love having visitors - we think Santa Fe is an amazing place (enchanting, even), and we relish the opportunity to show it off. Eric's parents visited Santa Fe over the holiday weekend, and we got to visit some of our favorite haunts while exploring some new-to-us places.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


The other day, my coworker Nicole told me that she doesn't make resolutions for the new year, but instead she makes suggestions to herself. I like that - 'resolutions' always sounded so firm and inflexible when we all know that life is anything but. It's been a few years since I've made an actual list of resolutions, but I do like to take the new year as an opportunity to think about things I'd like to improve on and accomplish. If I still want to improve on and accomplish those same things a few months down the road, then I usually get a little more proactive with goal-setting. Now that I write it out, it seems like kind of a lazy way to go about things, but I also like to give myself room to change my mind and to not be too hard on myself if things don't go according to plan.

New year, new giraffe statue discovery in Santa Fe!
 Eric & I feel like we're in a pretty great place to start thinking about self-improvement - we both love our jobs and we love living in Santa Fe, and stability is always a good starting point, right? But we are also getting married this year (woah), and we have no way of anticipating how the planning and the marriage will change or not change our lives. So we've got to be a little flexible.

With all that said, here are some of our 2014 suggestions for ourselves.

Monday, January 13, 2014

130 contacts

I finally just did one of those little tasks that you have on your brain but never do. You know what I mean? Usually pretty insignificant stuff, like vacuuming out the car, oiling a squeaky door hinge, things like that.

This task in particular was to delete excess contacts in my phone. You know, the people who you know you realistically will never see again. Believe it or not, I haven't lost my phone since the second one I had, my sophomore year of high school. So, every time I partook in the modern ritual of phone upgrading, I had my contacts transferred so as to not lose phone numbers. Pretty standard stuff. So when I need to look up someone's phone number, I have to sit there and scroll through, scroll, scroll scroll STOP til I find the person's name in alphabetical order. (I know I could search, but my way seems lazier. Habits.) Sorry, I know this is probably boring each person and cyborg from the Ukraine that apparently keeps tabs on our blog. (Blogger tracking statistics don't lie, Ukrainian bots, I know you are out there!)

Anyway. I finally did it. At least, I selected each contact I would delete, but I haven't yet pressed "delete." And you know what?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pictures of December

We're back! We've neglected our blog a little, and we feel bad about it. But after an energizing morning at the gym we are ready to blog again!

Even though we hardly blogged at all last month, we did a lot, which is probably why we didn't blog. December is always a great month for me because my birthday* (the best day of the year!) is in December, followed shortly by Christmas and New Year celebrations. This was also our first holiday season spent in Santa Fe! So without further ado, here is the photographic evidence.