Suz's love for COWS + Allan's work with LASERS = one unique blog name! Welcome to our blog filled with race recaps, pictures of our labs, and everything else we share with blogland!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Tori's Febtastic 1st Annual Virtual 5k Fun Run/Walk

Tori's Febtastic 1st Annual Virtual Fun Run/Walk is perfect because there's no minimum time or distance and it's FOR FUN! Who doesn't need one day to do something relaxing and fun but still get some activity time in?! I set off to take the dogs for a walk on their tandem leash again. This time I decided we could venture off our sidewalk and walk down the road. Poor Sasha kept getting frustrated and choked (she isn't wearing a harness like Lucky) so I brought her back and took Lucky for a walk of his own.


It may shock you to know that Lucky is excellent on the leash when it's just the two of us. He stays close and looks at me and listens to everything I say. We even passed a neighbor's dog who was out in their driveway and Lucky only glanced once and kept walking with me while ignoring the dog's incessant barking. After his walk he was quite thirsty and had to have lots of water to rehydrate. It was a nice easy walk for me that I estimate lasted around 30 minutes and covered about 1.25 miles.

This is his favorite way to drink water
There's still today and tomorrow left in the month of February so go ahead and sign up for this virtual race if you want to take a day to kick back, have a fun run, and enjoy a beautiful day!

Virtual Run and Weekend Fun

On Friday night we headed downtown to watch our UAH Chargers Hockey team play the U-18 National Team and we sat right next to the ice. It was a fun experience even though I did too much talking and not enough hockey watching. We lost 3-2 but it was a good game.

Very close to lots of the action
Saw this at Mickey's and couldn't resist taking a picture

Saturday night was dinner with our next door neighbors at their favorite Mexican restaurant Casa Blanca. I judge each Mexican place on their chips and salsa and soft tacos and this one surpassed my expectations so we will be going back again soon. The food was delicious! The pictures below are evidence that I do actually fix my hair sometimes and wear clothes other than athletic wear.

My out to dinner outfit which included my new GAP open vest sweater and a 3/4 length Banana Republic shirt

Looove my Nine West ankle boots and GAP skinny jeans
Sunday was too beautiful not to be outside enjoying the weather so I decided it was the perfect day to run Grandma Lil's Happy 95th Birthday Half Marathon/10K. I started out unsure whether or not I would do the 10K or half but after 4-5 miles I knew the 10K was going to be it for me. I ran in a brand new running shirt I found at GAP on Saturday that is a pink-orange color and my only pair of gray running pants. It was warm in the sun but a little cool in the shade so this outfit was perfect for my run. I ran a pretty decent time of 1:20:27.

Stick chewing precedes any fun activity at our house if your name is Lucky
My "race day" outfit
Anything fun go on at your house over the weekend?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Speechless Sunday-Sunset Celebration

Abacos, Bahamas August 2009

Abacos, Bahamas-August 2009

Glendale, Arizona-January 2011

Huntsville, AL-September 2010




Perhaps I've been thinking of the beach lately or maybe just enjoying the sunsets a little more lately but these are my favorites!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ridiculously Beautiful

Those words are exactly how I would describe our weather here today. It's sunny, windy, and much too beautiful to be inside. Excuse me for being brief with words as today would have been NeeNee's 90th Birthday and to celebrate her and what a glorious day it is there will be lots of the following going on:

White chocolate mousse fro yo loaded with fruit coming up!

Sasha doesn't do anything halfway!

They do surprisingly well on the tandem leash

See Rachel, we do have hot days!!

I'm off to meet Allan for fro yo and to pick up something from Redbox. Gotta love getting a free code via text on a random day! The dogs probably won't miss me as they take their afternoon nap after their walk and "ball chasing" with the tennis ball.

If you're experiencing weather like this please tell me you are out enjoying it. What's your favorite thing to do on a free day? (Running excluded!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Weighing In on My Shows

Back in the fall when I posted my fall TV lineup I promised to check back in but failed to do so until now so here goes my take on all the shows!

Hart of Dixie-new show on the CW that has hooked me with the flirty banter between Dr. Hart and Wade and the hilarious situations she gets herself into!


Find more info and pictures here
Revenge premiered last fall on ABC and I love it! It really has gotten better and better as the season has gone on and I can't wait to see how they wrap the season up.

For more info check out ABC's page on the show
Castle-if you aren't watching Castle, you should be! This is hands down one of the best shows in YEARS! Both my husband and I love it. We change the channel from Monday Night Football to watch this during the fall (and you know that's a big deal for a guy to change the channel from football to a tv show).

Click here for more info on the show
Biggest Loser-No idea what is going on with this show but after this week the people I dislike far outweighs the ones I still like. Drama, excuses, and immaturity have taken over and I pray that BL 14 is better!

Bones-Everyone in my family loves this show and my sister is NOT happy with the lapse in episodes as of lately. We are ready to see Bones have that baby!

Grey's Anatomy & Private Practice-I have been watching both of these shows since their very first episodes and both shows have stepped it up this season and made up for the sour note I felt they both ended on last season.






Photo credit
NCIS & NCIS: LA-My family watch both of these and they got me hooked on them when I was at home and got to see several episodes they had DVRed. I've seen several of the older NCIS episodes and I just don't know how anyone doesn't like Gibbs. Both have been very engaging this season so far!

Body of Proof-the first season of this show was last year and even though I didn't like her in previous shows there's something about Dana Delany's character in this show that I love. Not to mention the guys in the show are pretty funny. I've enjoyed watching her relationship with her daughter change. Dealing with a teenage daughter is always entertaining!


Check out the show page on ABC

Criminal Minds has been so-so this season but I believe this romance with Hotchner is going to add some spice. Prentiss is back as is JJ and they are two of my favorite characters besides Morgan. It seems like this could be a season filled with surprises so I'm anxious to see what unfolds before the finale.

One Tree Hill is in its final episodes and laugh if you will but I will be watching until the bitter end! The Finder is a new show on FOX that I've just started watching and it's funny and fairly action packed. The main character is pretty cute too so that doesn't hurt!



Now before you go assuming I live in front of the TV please know that I often DVR all of these and watch them the following morning while I do prep work for audits, read email, and catch up on blogs.


Anything you watch that I need to check out?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Heavy Heart

Today there will be no talk of running, our weekend filled with family time, or any cute pictures of the dogs. Instead I wanted to take a moment to share a couple of recent events with you that have been heavy on my heart. In early January we bid farewell to Allan's grandmother (Nanny Hall). Allan's mom went to Kentucky the day after Christmas and the entire family except for me made the trip in January for visitation and the funeral. If you recall late December and early January was the same time we were really sick and I didn't feel well enough to travel and hated to risk making anyone else sick with that virus. I hated to not be there for Allan but he assured me it was okay to stay at home.

5 years ago in December 2006 both Nanny Hall and NeeNee (my grandmother) suffered strokes and after losing NeeNee in December 2010 and Nanny in January 2012 I can't lie, I've been sad. It's left me thinking of my childhood and trips to my grandparent's and other memories I hold dear. In our recent trips to Kentucky we were able to spend time with Nanny and she shared a funny story with us from her childhood that we don't believe she had shared with the family before. I'll never forget the expression on her face as she told us that story of a Christmas many years ago.

Our garden flag from last summer

Last night my sister told us a U-28 crash in Africa had taken place on Saturday and took the lives of all four on board. The pilot and other crew members are stationed at the same base as my sister's husband and although they don't know any of the four families personally it is heartbreaking nonetheless. If you will, say a special prayer for those families and a thought of gratitude to those men who died serving our country.

I stopped watching the news in the fall of 2003 when my boyfriend at the time deployed with the U.S. Marine Corps. The fear of hearing about marines being killed in Iraq was consuming some days and even when our relationship ended I was always relieved to hear from him and know he was safe wherever he was. A fierce support of our nation's military was spurred by this relationship and my best friend's decision to join the U.S. Air Force in the spring of 2003. In the years following both of these events I've learned a valuable lesson. Supporting the war isn't the same as supporting our troops. I support our troops whether they are serving in wartime or peacetime and will defend them to anyone. I feel it's the least I can do to say thanks when they are willing to give their lives for people whom they do not know.

Thanks for letting me pour my heart out and I promise tomorrow will be filled with more sunny thoughts!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2-Day Valentine's Celebration

For those of you who don't know, Allan travels about 25% of the time for work and between his work travels and my occasional overnight nannying we have managed to not be together for all major events (outside of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's) this past year. Honestly it doesn't matter to us. Each and every day we spend together is special and I don't need a holiday to remind me how fragile and precious love and life are!

Photos courtesy of Adam Westenhofer Photography
Now with that said once we realized Allan was going to be home and I didn't have any overnight nannying until Wednesday we spent Valentine's Eve and Valentine's celebrating and enjoying our time together. I could go on and on about how lucky I am to have Allan (he feels lucky to have me too!) but instead I'll share something we shared with a friend of ours recently, "Don't settle for someone you know you can live with. Fight for the person you know you can't live without."

All four of the Westenhofers
This year Allan got some new clothes and the new Star Wars game (Wife of the Year Award goes to...) and he got me three boxes of chocolates. These aren't just any chocolates but ones sold by Terrame Spa to raise money for the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. Having a niece born premature and growing up the daughter of a preemie I am quite passionate everything having to do with preemies and the NICU.

Chocolate caramel truffles = YUMMY!

Allan's company hosted members of the staff of Terrame for the lunch rush from 11-1 and held a special drawing for a gift certificate good for a Taste of Terrame which includes a 60 minute combination massage, deluxe European facial, and a pedicure makeover. Guess who won that?! Allan did so my Valentine's gift went from three boxes of chocolates (each containing a voucher for a FREE express facial) to an entire Spa Day! I couldn't be happier and Allan was really excited to win it for me!

Hooray! Spa Day!

When I walked in the door there was a fire going in the fireplace and candles lit in the den. We proceeded to devour an entire box of chocolates, valentine's cookies, cheese wedges, and crackers as our Valentine's Eve dinner and sat in front of the fire snuggling with the dogs before Castle came on. Yesterday I went for a 60-min massage which only lasted for 45 min but it was honestly the best massage I've ever had so I tipped her well and didn't complain about the 15 min. All I told her was that I'd run a half marathon on Sunday and that woman worked every muscle that was sore that I didn't even know was sore!

This was the massage room I was in!
Last night we went to Rolo's with one of Allan's coworkers. They worked a little late and I hung out in the office reading my book like the nerd that I am while they talked code like the nerds that they are. Dinner was great until we found out that Rolo's closed today at 2 so if we want to continue to enjoy their yummy home cooked food we will have to drive to the other location. We were literally heartbroken and it almost ruined our Valentine's Day. After dinner we spent the evening doing what we do best: Allan in the office using both screens AND his laptop and me in the den watching my shows and reading blogs! Perfect ending to our two-day Valentine's Celebration!

Hope you all enjoyed your day and told those you love how much they mean to you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mercedes Half Marathon: The Good, Bad, & Ugly

Thank you all so much for your sweet comments and encouragement for my half this past weekend! I thought of those comments quite often during the race especially those that had such faith in me that a new PR was possible. You guys are so sweet!

Allan & I pre-race
I'm going to be running A LOT of races this year and from here on out there will be the good, bad, and ugly for each one. I don't use anything to see my pace for each mile so I will just share my finish times with you. Mostly I will try to include pictures because after all a picture is worth a thousand words, especially on race day!!!

Almost race time!

THE GOOD:
  • Women's tech shirt, medal, and a running hat
  • A new PR at 2:31:17!!!!!!!
  • Running the ENTIRE 13.1 miles with no walking (more on this at the end)
Love the shirt, medal, and hat!

THE BAD
  • Temperatures of 22-29 degrees during the race (this is ALABAMA people!)
  • The numerous people who started up front with the intent to walk the entire half marathon
  • Relay runners who thought they owned the road
Some of us actually line up where we need to be

THE UGLY
  • Expo prices on shoes (Cotton Row has spoiled me with Fleet Feet having AMAZING shoes for $40!)
  • The patches of black ice at ALL aid stations along the course
  • My bloody socks that sent Allan yelling for his mom (I HATE feet so we won't be discussing this)
A shot of all the booths at the expo

Overall the race experience was wonderful and I must applaud the volunteers for the Mercedes Marathon for having aid stations at nearly every mile and volunteers who were encouraging to everyone. I kid you not when I say that just when I thought I might walk or slow down there was always someone there cheering for me. Prior to this race I have only run one race entirely (without walking) from start to finish and that was a 5K this past summer. My legs felt really strong and I continued to run and push myself knowing that a huge PR was possible if I could keep running. I stayed with the 5 hour marathon pace group for a large part of the race and they helped me more than they will ever know.

These girls were close to the finish and just the push I needed to sprint at the end!
Mentally and physically I was right on point yesterday. My legs were well rested and strong enough to endure running the distance and my mind stayed focused on keeping good form and pushing myself. I'm not sure why this race was so important to me but I couldn't blog the end of last week for fear of rambling on about my thoughts on this race. I couldn't run either because I kept feeling as though I needed to rest my legs. Apparently my body was right because my preparation was perfect for a run that blew my old PR (from my first half) out of the water!

Trying to balance all of my belongings and smile = FAIL
I never thought I'd set a PR in possibly the coldest race I will ever run! Special thank you to Allan and his mom for pampering me the rest of the day on Sunday and for the sweet tulips they got me. I'm one lucky girl! Countdown to my next half is 25 days in case anyone but me is wondering!

Aren't these beautiful?!
Hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day! Allan and I are celebrating on the 13th AND the 14th!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

Oh Randomness that I posted on Friday was literally one of the longest blog posts I've ever written and it took me over an HOUR to finish it! Apparently it published but then disappeared. I was tagged by 8 different people for the 11 random things posts and I answered two questions from each of them and shared 4 or 5 random things about us. I put lots of time and thought into all my answers which was wasted! Sorry if my replies to your comments sounded sarcastic. I had no idea you guys were seeing nothing! Oops! The fact that I wrote that post at 2:00 AM means that I can't really remember what I was going to share so forgive me.

This is the only picture I can remember downloading for last Friday's post
The lab picture shows one of the cases that made me interested in pursuing a Master's in Animal Breeding and Genetics. I see a dog and wonder about things like this just like Allan's sees something complex and mechanical and wants to figure out how it works! We make for an interesting pair!

Moving on...

This Sunday I'm running half marathon #2/12 for 2012 in Birmingham, AL. The Mercedes Benz Half Marathon has grown over the years and I'm excited to be able to run a half so close to home. We get to stay with Allan's mom for the weekend and see our precious little niece who is almost walking! I'd love to set a new PR so I need to run faster than a 2:38 half which I know I can do if I keep my pace at 12 minute miles.



Our entire house is clean! For you this may not be something to get excited over but between the two of us and two large dogs it is a challenge to keep the house clean. I also reorganized all of my clothes so they would be easier to find. The drawers where cute dress shirts and pants used to be now hold my workout clothes and sweatpants which have become more of my daily attire. Now if we can just keep the house this clean!

Anyone else running a race this weekend?

Do you find it difficult to keep your house clean too?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Your Questions Answered

Remember waaay back in December when we had our huge Christmas giveaway and one of the additional entries was to ask us a question? Without further delay here are your questions answered!

Sweet and Savory by Sarah asks, "What colors were your wedding colors....and show us some pictures!"

OUR COLORS WERE NAVY (MARINE), LIGHT BLUE (POOL), AND ORANGE!!!

Our entire wedding party minus Sasha and Lucky who were the flower girl and ring bearer
Yes it rained right up until I went to walk down the aisle!

Maggie Wolff asks, "What do you love most about running that you didn't expect to love?"

SUZANNE: I LOVE TO RUN WITHOUT MUSIC AND I CAN GET BORED EASILY SO IT SURPRISED ME THAT I HAVE NO PROBLEM RUNNING ALONE FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS LOST IN THOUGHT.


ALLAN: I LIKE THAT I CAN LIFT WEIGHTS LONGER BECAUSE MY CARDIO HAS HELPED ME HAVE ENERGY THROUGHOUT MY WORKOUT.

Kim asks, "Do you guys have any dream races you want to run? Or destination races?"

SUZANNE & ALLAN: HAWAII!!!!!

 

Katy asks, "I'd like to know why you chose your blog title!"
Sarah asks, "I'd like to more about your connection to cows. Do you ranch?"

BOTH OF THESE GO HAND IN HAND SO I'LL ANSWER THEM TOGETHER. I GREW UP ON A SMALL FARM AND WAS GIVEN MY FIRST COW AND CALF BY MY PARENTS WHEN I WAS 3. WE RAISED COWS (FOR FUN) UNTIL MY SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL WHEN WE SOLD OUR ENTIRE HERD. MY LOVE FOR COWS IS PART OF THE REASON I CHOSE TO PURSUE A DEGREE IN ANIMAL SCIENCE AND ULTIMATELY A MASTER'S IN ANIMAL BREEDING & GENETICS FOCUSING ON BEEF CATTLE. ALLAN WORKS WITH LASERS SO WE TOOK HIS WORK AND MY LOVE FOR COWS AND MADE A BLOG TITLE THAT FITS BOTH OF US!

This is NOT where the blog idea came from!!!

Elle asks, "I wanna know if you are taller than Allan. I think from a recent photo you may be. I am taller than The Captain."

HAHA, YES I AM BUT ONLY BY TWO INCHES.
 
HowdyfromNYC asks, "What would be your one piece of marriage advice to others?"

SUZANNE: COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE. IF YOU FOCUS ON MAKING THAT A PRIORITY THEN EVERYTHING ELSE WILL BE FINE.

ALLAN: BE FLEXIBLE AND WILLING TO COMPROMISE.

Our First Christmas 2005


Missy asks, "How did you and Allan meet? I love to hear the stories about how couples met and fell in love!"

WE MET AT AUBURN IN THE FALL OF 2002 AS FRESHMEN THROUGH WRESTLING. ALLAN WAS A WRESTLER AND I WAS A MAT CAT (WRESTLING HOSTESS). I LIKED HIM A LOT MORE THAN HE LIKED ME (I THINK) AND WHEN THE YEAR WAS OVER AND HE PREPARED TO LEAVE FOR SPAIN FOR TWO YEARS WE SAID GOODBYE AND PROMISED TO WRITE. AT THE TIME I WAS ACTUALLY ALREADY DATING SOMEONE ELSE AND HAD ANOTHER SERIOUS BOYFRIEND THAT CAME AND WENT BEFORE ALLAN RETURNED IN JULY 2005. BY AUGUST WE WERE DATING. WE TOOK A BREAK FOR 7 MONTHS FROM JULY 2, 2007-FEBRUARY 21, 2008 (7 MONTHS AND 19 DAYS IF YOU WERE COUNTING LIKE ME!). WE GOT ENGAGED TWO MONTHS TO THE DAY AFTER GETTING BACK TOGETHER AND GOT MARRIED ON MAY 23, 2009, AND HAVE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

Exchanging rings

Debby asks, "Tips on running in the cold?"

I DON'T RUN IN THE COLD THAT MUCH BUT I HAVE STARTED TO LATELY AND FOR ME HAVING SOMETHING OVER MY EARS MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE IN KEEPING ME WARM. DRESSING IN LAYERS HAS WORKED WELL FOR ME TOO!

Cute Vegan asks, "What is the one sport that will get you out of your chair yellin' at the TV?! Or on the sideline!?"

THIS IS A CLOSE TIE BETWEEN COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND WRESTLING. WE ARE AUBURN FOOTBALL FANS THROUGH AND THROUGH BUT DURING COLLEGE WHILE ALLAN WAS WRESTLING AND COACHING THERE WAS NOTHING THAT GOT US BOTH MORE EMOTIONAL THAN CHEERING ON THE WRESTLERS.  WE HAD A GIRL THAT WANTED TO WRESTLE SO ALLAN COACHED HER. SEVERAL DAYS AT PRACTICE I WOULD WRESTLE WITH HER OR HELP HER WORK ON VARIOUS MOVES. COACHING HER AND CHEERING FOR HER AT NATIONALS IS THE MOST CAUGHT UP I'VE EVER BEEN AT A SPORTING EVENT.

Coaching at NCWA Nationals during the women's matches
 If there's anything else you ever want to know just ask. Hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Suz & Allan and Cows & Lasers!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Virtual Run in my Altra Intuitions

Maine Mom on the Run is hosting a virtual run for her runniversary. It's 2 miles so that should be doable for most people and the best part: there's a runner's goodie bag up for grabs for one lucky winner!!! If I had to guess I would imagine it will probably be a good one! You have until Valentine's Day to get your 2 mile run in so stop by and sign up if you are interested.

Blue just happens to be my favorite color!




I got my 2 mile run in earlier this week after I received my Altra Intuitions in the mail that I won from Average Jane Runs when she hosted a huge raffle for her St. Jude Marathon. I ran my normal pace (which has been SLOW as of lately) but I took a couple of breaks to walk to see how the shoes were feeling and to make sure they weren't giving me any blisters. Granted this was only a 2 mile run but they felt great and I'm anxious to take them out for a longer run.

I never include these on the blog so I thought why not?!
Right now the dogs and I are anxiously awaiting a phone call from Allan. He is taking his GRE this morning and we have baked him a cake. As you can see I can't do anything in the kitchen without help! The sound of the Kitchen Aid stand mixer apparently means food!

We just want to help you!
And yes, that is a huge tray of Reese's cups on the shelf under the mixer!