Sunday, December 30, 2007

Half Marathon Hey Hey!


I did it! Yesterday morning, I woke up around 2:58am and got ready to run my first half marathon! All went well! There were a good number of peeps there running. I met some really cool runners and had a great time! I started too fast and then settled into a good pace by my 3rd mile (a half marathon is about 13.1 miles). I was amazed at how the Lord sustained me the entire way. I blasted my iPod the entire time! Toby Mac, Israel and the New Breed, a John Piper sermon, Hillsong Live, and some other random jams really kept my energy going! There were a few times when I couldn't imagine running much longer, but then, I'd tell myself to keep going!

Overall, it was a great physical and mental challenge. I'm so glad I did it! When I was coming down the home stretch, I could see Court and her grandparents (Mom Mom and Pop Pop) cheering me on and that was awesome! I also saw some other friends there and was so grateful for their support and encouragement!

After I crossed the line, we walked over where they were giving out bananas and watermelon and water and we chilled there for a bit. My friend, Pam, was gonna be coming through soon at the completion of the full marathon! So, we were waiting around to cheer her on! In the meantime, they began the awards ceremony. It was about time for Pam to cross the finish so we started heading back across the street. BUT, I saw that they were doing awards for my age group. We stopped to see who all won trophies. Well, after they called third place, they went on to call fourth place. And what do we hear? Miss Wendy Shelton, USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We all started laughing because we nearly walked off. Mom Mom said here Wendy give me your stuff. Court said I've got the camera, GO! So...I walked up on the stage and accepted my 4th place trophy!!! It was quite a day!!!

Then, we went across the street and waited to cheer for Pam and she made it! In fact, she made it 30 minutes quicker than she had projected! I'm so proud of her! Way to go Pam!!! Great job!

Special thanks to everyone who called and left voicemails as well as all the emails! You really made a difference! Thank you! And thanks to Mom Mom and Pop Pop for getting up early on your vacation to cheer me on! And a super thanks to my buddy, Court for waking up at 3am to take me to the race and snap photos of all of it! You're the bomb!

Click on the slideshow to see all of the photos from the day!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I heart holiday sweaters

So, how many holiday sweaters do you own? If you're like me and don't have one...well, you can make your very own and you don't even have to know how to knit! Click here and go for it!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Eve Popcorn Party

We hosted a Thanksgiving Eve party that featured an all-you-can-eat popcorn bar complete with fixins such as dried fruit, nuts, spices, marshmallows, sprinkles, and more. A handful of friends came from work and then the rest were just a random sampling of everyone else that we get together with. After customizing our popcorn, we moved into the living room to watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on a big screen that we projected the movie on. Thanks to work for letting us borrow it for this event! We had fun explaining Thanksgiving to our Thai friends and they had fun trying to understand Charlie Brown's English! They said he was difficult to understand, but still cute nonetheless.

Check out these photos from the event:

Singapore Style

I know this has taken a while, but I'm finally getting around to making some updates to the ole blogarooski. Anyways...Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Check out these photos from when me, Terri, and Court went to Singapore! .

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Super Sumo Saturday

I've always been intrigued by the big, big sport of Sumo Wrestling. Little did I know that one day I'd get to watch the sumo world championships! Yes! This event rolled into Chiang Mai for 3 days! We got to witness this first hand on Saturday--sumo youth world championship! Here's a glimpse inside this grand event! We cheered for team Mongolia! They grow 'em big and strong! **Warning these photos contain lots of sumo booties.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My First Thailand Cold

Well, it's official! I have my first cold since I've been here. It's not super bad. Basically, I'm dealing with a sore throat and a voice that sounds like Marge Simpson. Other than that, I feel OK. I'm trying to get better before our next visitor comes this Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's me and Moo chillin'. She's taking good care of me while I'm not feeling great.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Starbucks Saturday

The past few months at work have been crazy busy! Court and I have worked most every evening and every weekend! So, this past Saturday was a necessary time to chill! We crammed my backpack full of some of our fave mags that we've gotten in packages from friends in the States. I also brought along a book that I recently started. First off, I'll tell ya that I'm super picky about what books I read. So, upon the recommendation of a friend that I trust to select a book for me, I'm reading "The Cat Who Went Underground". So far, so good. I'm surprised that I'm actually diggin' it. I was hesitant to start it. I'm allergic to cats and don't really care that much about anything that has to do with them. (Sorry, Miss, Brad, 'Lil Buddy, and Pierre.) BUT, I am enjoying how the author, Lilian Jackson Braun, wraps her impressive and crafty vocabulary around this kinda ordinary story to deliver a tale teeming with small town quirks and a big fat dose of whodunnit. You should pick it up if you haven't. It came out in 1989, I you've had plenty of time.

Anyways...we placed our orders. Court: 1 grande ice caramel macchiato and an apple walnut muffin. Me: 1 large and in charge americano (I brought my own Splenda). We walked up to the 3rd story to sit outside and max and relax.

We made ourselves at home on the balcony that overlooks Thapae Gate. Unfortunately at this moment, the view and coolness of this stitch of town is being interrupted by construction everywhere! In fact, as we sat on the 3rd story, iPods blasting, and neck deep into Southern Living, I saw a very frightening thing happen. We were about eye-level with some construction guys swinging from beam to beam trying to put a building together or something. No hard hats, no steel-toed boots, no protective eyewear, no harnesses or ropes or anything! Just natural talent. Anyways... 1 dude tossed a hand saw to another dude, he caught it and began to hack away at a metal pole. His first whack knocked the BLADE out of the saw and I held my breath as it dropped and bounced off of the sidewalk below. Now, I had just been watching peeps walk in and out of that area for about an hour and then this happens!!!!! I couldn't believe it. He didn't seem phased at all. Oh well, he shrugged and caught another saw that his co-laborer tossed him. The other 2 dudes up on the beams who seemed to be just watching him didn't really seem to think a thing about it either.

A few minutes later, we gathered our ripped out pages of our Runner's World and Southern Living, collected all of our things (we kinda moved in for a few hours) and headed home. As we walked under the spot where the blade had speared the concrete, we ran in case it started raining saw blades, hammers, and nails. I think it's ok that they didn't have hard hats, boots, and protective eyewear. The innocent bystanders below are the ones that need it more!!!

It was so nice to have that time just to chill and hang out. I love hanging out and not even needing to talk! Good coffee, good reading, good times!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rickshaws are RAD

Last week after one of our Thai lessons, we stumbled upon this rickshaw rally. Maybe it's something like the Myrtle Beach Bike Week minus the thundering mufflers and beer bellies. Nope. This was a lean crew of about 40 old men blowin' the dust off their carriages, pumping the ole tires, spit-shinin' their spokes, and doing a few leg stretches to warm up!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pomelo: Not Nature's Candy

Since moving to Thailand, my life has been enriched by many things. For you faithful blog groupies, you may recall my post on the wonders of the lychee. Well, now I'd like to share my experience with a pomelo. I had never heard of a pomelo until I moved to Thailand about 7 months ago. When packaged in the market or grocery store, it's been peeled so it's only the flesh that you get and it looks kinda like a clearish/whitish grapefruit. I was told it tastes like that too. I wasn't too curious after hearing that being as I don't really enjoy grapefruit at all. Anyways...this past Friday, Panida, the world's coolest Thai teacher gave us a big green ball that she called a "som oh". She said it had come from Chiang Rai which is about 2 hours away. Basically, she said it was like a HUGE orange. BTW...some of the oranges here are green on the outside. We graciously accepted and I tucked it under my arm like it was a fat baby then dropped it in the backseat of the car--which I would never do if it really was a fat baby. I was intrigued. The texture was just like a basketball...thousands of little bumps. It probably weighed about 7 pounds. The color of the peel was a mossy green and wouldn't lead anyone to believe that there's something sweet and delectable inside.

Panida told us to wait a couple of days and it'll be super sweet and delicious (aroy mahk!). So, tonight we were super jazzed to finally get into this big green bomb! Silly me, I thought that since it was kind of like an orange/grapefruit I could just peel it. Wrong! It didn't exactly work like that. Little did I know that there was about 2 inches of white angelfood cake-like stuff beneath the bumpy green basketball exterior. After a few tries, we finally got to the flesh. It was so odd. It smelled really sweet so it didn't take me but a second to dig in and try it. Busted! It totally was NOT as good as it smelled. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe it needed more than a few days to be ready to eat. But, I don't think I'll be picking up any pomelos any time soon. Definitely NOT nature's candy!

Check out the photos by clicking on the slideshow at the top of this post...even Moo was curious!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Where U at?!

For the past week and a half, everyone from our office but 2 ladies moved into Suan Bua Resort for a conference that our company hosted for a large group of peeps that came from all over the world! Our company is hired to completely pull off an awesome conference for our clients. We provide many services such as having a full staff on site to help with anything the client needs, booking the hotel, assisting with travel arrangements, AND setting up a full coffee bar--beans ground fresh for every cup! Since I'm usually doing web design and a variety of web projects I was glad to fill in for my friend at the coffee bar when she needed someone to step in while she went back home to the States. This was a great gig to fill in at! The resort was up in the mountains about 45 minutes from my house. It was gorgeous! I love being up in the mountains! The resort even provided doggie daycare for Moo at the spa! I'm NOT joking! The ladies at the spa took care of her every day. They really were sad when she had to leave. Anyways...the participants of the group were really cool and super friendly. I opened the coffee bar each day from 7am and stayed open til around 10 and 11pm. I took breaks throughout the day and when I wasn't busy, I kept working on my web work. We had an on and off internet connection that was mostly off. One of the coolest parts about being at this event was spending so much time with our Thai staff. We're mostly all under 30 years old except a couple of ladies. At the end of the week, we all went and played basketball together and had a great time! It's great to be a part of such a fun team! Now, it's back to the city and back in the office.

After reading Court's blog I realized that we're missing Fall!!! That's definitely my fave season. Unfortunately, there's no sign of Fall here! Not even a cool breeze or anything! They DO have pumpkins at the market (they always do) maybe I'll get one to carve. I'll let ya know how that goes!

Friday, September 21, 2007

What's the hold up?!

Today, Court and I were heading home after work and sat in quite a bit of traffic for a while. We were creeping along and finally saw a cop cruise up on his motor bike. He starts riding through directing traffic, blowing his whistle, and driving at the same time. He was desperately trying to keep traffic moving and not disturb what was holding up everything. Is it a protest? Is it somebody famous? Is it a big sale on dried shrimp? Well, we get closer to the source, we hear blarring trumpets, sliding trombones, and cheerful clarinets. It was definitely a small parade of some sort. Oh wait! They're pushing buggies from the grocery store. Then, here comes a guy to our car window and throws in a bottle of water and a coupon book. We busted out laughing....this small band of enthusiasts are walking the streets in sweltering weather to announce the grand opening of a new International Tops Market grocery store. Who knew that a parade of 20 people celebrating the opening of a grocery store could back up traffic for miles!?!? Gotta love it!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Soup Beans 'n Cornbread

Ever since leaving the motherland of northeast Tennessee, my tummy has growled for soup beans and cornbread. This is one of my all-time fave meals! Mammy (my grandmother) makes the BEST soup beans in the entire world! She knows how to do 'em right! Anyways...a few months ago, we received a fun package from a friend, aka Richmond Memaw. It was stuffed with a bag of dried beans, a packet of cornbread mix, 2 PayDay candy bars and oh yeah...a package of smoked ham! When was the last time YOU got ham in the mail!?!?!? My mouth watered thinking about the spread this was gonna make! I quickly set the menu in my head: soup beans, cut up onions to sprinkle on top, slaw, cornbread, fried taters, and a full bottle of ketchup! Mercy! I'm tellin' you...I didn't know how quick I could get to the market to find everything I needed. The beans soaked overnight, the crockpot got fired up, and they slowly but surely turned into a mouthwatering taste of home! The cornbread in the oven filled the house with the smell of hot country goodness. And the fried taters....well, they'd have made your eyes roll back in your head!!!! I love cooking and I love eating. But there's nothing like cooking, eating, and thinking of everyone back home. Hope y'all are doing great!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Hookt on Fonix...

After almost 5 months of Thai language lessons, we're getting to the reading and writing! So far, we have learned everything phonetically. But now, it's time to step it up and learn the Thai alphabet! It's crazy but tons of fun!! I really, really am diggin' it! It's really clicking in my head being able to visualize the words that I've been learning! First, we started out by memorizing the alphabet--learning the names of each consonant and vowel, learning how to write each of them, and then learning how to recognize them when we see them. There's also 5 tones and 3 classes of consonants to figure out too! It was madly confusing at first, but oddly enough, it's starting to make sense! I love it!!!! I'm so grateful for our uber patient teacher, Panida. She's awesome! She does an awesome job teaching us and making it fun ALL the time! I can't wait to start being able to read quicker. Right now, it takes a few seconds of inspecting each consonant and vowel and tone, then figuring out which class it's in (low, middle, or high) and then sounding it out. In my lesson on Friday, we pretty much threw a party for every word that we could sound out! Hey, it's the simple things, ok?!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Pick Your Poison

OK, I have to admit it...I'm a true fan of the new Coke Zero. I have been a long devoted supporter of Diet Coke when in the States and Coke Light now in Thailand. But Coke Zero is really winning over the people of this country! Yes, I know some Debbie-downers that say that you can clean off rust, blood, and red wine from any of your favorite light colored fabrics with these bubbly beverages--so, why drink something so toxic? But, I think this is merely an exaggeration of the chemical power present in Coke products (and any other soft drink). I must conceed that I'm sure there are probably some potent chemicals with names so long I couldn't even say it with a big fat degree in chemistry. I just enjoy the fizz, the flavor, and the funky fresh graphics on the cans! Coke products are nicely packaged poisons, don'tchya think?! So...with all that said...which recipe fixes your chemical craving? Regular Coke? Diet Coke? Coke Light? Other?

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Do I have noodle on my face?

Today, Bone, Lou Lou, and I went to a full day of Thai cooking class. This wonderful experience was provided by our teacher, Yui, at "A Lot of Thai: Home Cooking Class". First, we were picked up in a light blue Volkswagen Van. BTW....for those of you who know know that this excites the spicy chili's outta me! I knew this was gonna be awesome! Then, we went to Yui and her family's house where the cooking class was held. It was set up kinda under a carport type thing. It was decorated with vintage accents and a lively color palette. Yui has a sweet and humorous personality that compliments her knowledge about the history, artistry, and science of the dishes that we cooked.

Bone and Lou Lou looked like profssionals!!!!

Overall, this was an awesome experience that I would recommend to all my peeps! The final product of each dish was definitely YUMMO! If you're planning a trip to Chiang Mai, be sure to sign up for this cooking experience put on by Yui, at "A Lot of Thai: Home Cooking Class". Great food, great atmosphere, great teacher! Well done!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Welcome Bone and Lou Lou!

Bone (aka Brooke) and Lou Lou (aka Louis) made it to Chiang Mai for a visit!! I'm sooooo super jazzed to have them here! It's so awesome to spend time with them! They're some true peeps! Bone and I go way back to my freshman year at Belmont University. We were suite mates in the dorms and both suffering from intolerable roommates. We both survived and have been super peeps ever since! Anyways....we're having the BEST time!

Today, we went to the Mae Sa Elephant Camp! We watched elephants play soccer, paint a masterpiece, play harmonicas, and just be cute! It was tons of fun!!!

Stay tuned for more adventures!!!!

10k and beyond!

Sunday was my 2nd 10.5k. It was great! There were about 100 runners--I'd say about 12 were Westerners. This time, my housemate, Court, ran too. This course was a bit different than last week's. It had many more hills to run. We estimate that over 6k of the race was nothing but up and down big hills! It was a good challenge though. I tried not to over do it. I had a conservative start and I kept a modest pace.

I really enjoy running with so many peeps! Most of the runners are very encouraging--thumbs ups, waves, and smiles the whole way! Anyways...I had a good finish! I actually finished 4th in my age division! I received another big heavy medal and a tee shirt! Yay! The Queen's birthday run was definitely a success! I'm looking forward to my next run!!!

Long live the Queen!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!!

Yes, you read that right! This Sunday, everyone in Thailand will celebrate Mother's Day! This day features celebrations for the main Mama of this country....the Queen! Sunday, Aug. 12 is Queen Sirikit's birthday! The city is busy hanging paintings of her, plastering her photo all over billboards and hanging flowers and streamers everywhere! It's been cool to see everyone getting ready! You may wonder what I'll be doing to celebrate the Queen's birthday...well, I'll be running the Mother's Day 10.5k race in her honor!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

From the Finish Line

Yesterday, my friend Pam and I ran in a "10.5k". I put that in quotations because according to my nifty little Nike iPod sensor, it was really 11.5k. Either way, we finished! I stayed the night at Pam's house since we had to be there so early and she drove us there. The night before, we had a deliciously carb-loaded meal of spaghetti, veggies and french bread! Yummo! Then, we hit the hay and I was up around 4:08am. I took a shower to wake myself up, ate a piece of bread with a thin spread of peanut butter, stretched, then we were ready to go. 5:30am, We arrived at Chiang Mai City Hall where the start/finish line was. There were sooooooooo many people there to run! It was amazing! We were shocked! It was so chaotic, we felt like we were really late! So, we got in the registration line to get our number and then found a spot way way way in the back to get ready to start the race. We estimate that there were about 600 runners there! It was a little intimidating at first. These runners were serious----really short shorts, tank tops that were already drenched in sweat from their warm up run, people stretching their arms and legs like taffy, iPods in---everybody was getting in the zone!!!!

Please keep in mind that up to this point, I've only run 6k! However, I've been running that for about a month now. So, this was just less than twice the distance I'm used to running. This was definitely gonna be a challenge! So.....we ran! We kept a slow but consistent pace. At the start, we were passed by a lotta peeps! We ran a couple of big hills and started back to the finish line. As we approached about 2k away from the finish, we both felt great and kept truckin'! We began passing those who had passed us in the beginning. We turned the corner, down the homestretch, and finally made it to the red carpet to run in on! It was great! Peeps were waving and cheering!

So...I survived it and I LOVED it! I had so much fun! Thanks Pam, for running with me! You're a great running buddy! Our reward for crossing the finish line was a super heavy medal with the photo of some old law maker here in Thailand. I'm pretty sure it's 100% gold covered plastic! It's quite the keepsake!!! I'm now looking forward to continuing my preparation for the half-marathon in December!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Daydream Believer

I had a great weekend! It was nice and relaxing. Friday evening I did some web work that needed to be done but I took it easy on Saturday. I spent some time talkin' it up with a couple of peeps. First, Court and I met this dude for coffee that I didn't know (long story...friend of one of Court's family friends...see...long story...). He's visiting CM for a month and well...we just got together and talked. It was nice to meet him. He shared a vision with us of something that he'd like to do in the future. It was a great idea and kinda inspired me to get back to some ideas of some things that I've always wanted to do. Then, on to Sojo's for lunch. I got to chill with one of my peeps there. She was telling me about something that her main squeeze wants to do, his vision, and then she shared her vision of something that she'd like to do. Wow! Another point of inspiration for me! It was really cool to be surrounded by such creativity among us twenty somethings! This was inspiring, energizing, refreshing, and super exciting! Hit up one of my all-time fave sites for a magazine completely run by twenty somethings: Who says we're just a bunch of lazy Starbucks sippin' slackers?! We were created for great things...sometimes it just takes some of us crazy twenty somethings to go places that most sane peeps won't go!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Moo meets Dr. Nook

As you can see, Moo was ready for her first trip to the vet. And I was ready too--I wrapped her in a blanket in case she got a little too excited in the car! She did pretty good in the car. She got a little overwhelmed, I think, and could hardly sit still. But hey, she's a curious 'lil canine that loves to see everything! Her face was plastered to the window!!!

We arrived at Dr. Nook's office. It's not only a vet office, but also a doggie hotel with pool!!! I don't think Moo will be checking in there anytime soon, but it's there if she ever needs to decompress (eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom, and being cute is probably exhausting!).

When we walked in with Moo, everyone behind the desk ooo'd and ahhhhhh'd over her because she's so tiny! Then, when we told them her name, they all giggled and started moo'ing. "Moooooooo, mooooooooo, mooooo!" It was funny. Dr. Nook's assistant gently took Moo and put her on the scales. She weighs in at a whopping 1.0 kilograms! Dr. Nook took her temp, cleaned her big ears, gave her a shot and a tick and flea treatment. Moo was a star patient!

Dr. Nook gave us some specific instructions for caring for a Chihuahua since they are so small and fragile. Court took plenty of notes. We love Dr. Nook and we'll go back to see her in a few weeks for another shot!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Welcome, Moo!

Yesterday was my housemate's (Court) birthday! To make this day even more exciting, we brought home a new lil pup! She is a 12 week old Chihuahua! Her name is Moo! Ya the cow (she's got precious white and black patches all over her!). She's pretty much my new jam! She ran me ragged today! Moo is a little firecracker! Tons of energy! When she runs, she's a total blur! But like now...she'll wear herself out quick and sleep hard! She's laying in my lap as I type this! Well, I'm sure you'll be hearing more adventures of Moo in future posts, so I won't give it all away now! Just wanted y'all to meet Lil Moo!!!!!!!!

Site Meter