Monday, December 30, 2013


I can hardly believe that 2013 has come and gone. I barely posted (though I did keep Jenessa's mission blog up to date if that counts for anything). Apparently Instagram and a cute boy with the bluest eyes absorbed not the radio star, but at least the urge (or time) to blog. I am a little bit sorry about that only because my blog books have been the closest thing to scrapbooks or regular journals that I have kept. I am sorry too that I haven't kept tabs on other people's blogs. That said, it has been a wonderful year. I have learned so much and gone on adventures that I never dreamed of. I still am passionate about my work and adore my dear friends, family, and boyfriend. I couldn't ask for more. 

So here's to another great year and fingers crossed for 2014. It's going to be amazing. I just know it. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

it's all good

Years ago, I was notorious for saying one of two phrases - it's all good and no worries. Unfortunately, no worries has not slipped out of my vocabulary, but as a throwback to days gone by, the phrase of the day is it's all good. So what if I'm behind on to do's or I haven't blogged in weeks and weeks or that I am not nearly prepared for my next half-marathon. I have wonderful friends and family, a great niece and nephew that keep my entertained every second of every day (even from hundreds of miles away), and a sweet boyfriend who makes me laugh. Life doesn't get much better than this. 
 (Court, Hill, and I at Saint Mary's in August - Hill's five-year-old Ellie was our fabulous photographer. Amazing to have been such good friends with these girls since we were spandex wearing freshmen volleyball players.)
 (My favorite little man got a haircut - can hardly breathe, this makes me so happy. Love Mae's demure look in the background.)
 (How could I not grant this darling girl's wish?!)
(Yes, it was a sad season for the Giants, but going to the game is never a sad thing. A perfect way to welcome in fall and a great excuse to cuddle extra close.)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Katie & J.D.'s Fairytale Wedding

I do not even know where to begin except to say that a girl met a boy and they fell in love. Watching Katie and J.D.'s relationship unfold has been like watching your favorite romantic comedy - but better because they're real, their love is rooted in their faith, and on July 13th they were married in a stunning redwood grove behind Saint Mary's in Moraga. 

I know I am not the bride, but as a bridesmaid I got to get done up too. Melissa Finlinson worked her magic and made me actually like a put together grown-up. 
The main challenge of the day was that I was getting ready with Melissa from 9-11am and had to stay beautiful for at least twelve hours. Quite the feat, but we did it.
Had to show you how great my eye make-up looked. I loved it! One friend said, "You should do your hair like this more often." Yes, I agree. Too bad I didn't do it myself. :)
Goofie selfie I sent to Jenessa on her mission. Yes, the pout was necessary.
The night before the wedding Katie, Brooke, and I stayed at the Lafayette Park Hotel. All the bridesmaids arrived by noon at the hotel, and we finished getting ready together. This is one of my favorite shots of the whole day taken on my phone waiting for the light to change in front of the hotel. Naturally this is Katie and Margaret (her matron of honor her sister, and her best friend). Seeing them together makes my heart happy.
This is the bridesmaids (Kelly, Margaret, Katie, Brooke, and myself) and Katie waiting behind trees in my car as the guests are arriving. We're hiding from the sun and from J.D. No peaking before the ceremony!
The Katies were my first two friends at San Ramon when I started teaching there in 2007. Katie, the bridesmaid, is currently battling breast cancer and valiantly persevered through all the wedding activities despite feeling pretty awful. Life is always better when both the Katies are around.
Part of what made this day so special was having Seth with me at the wedding, despite it being his 32nd birthday. He kindly let me introduce him to all sorts of people and made conversation with strangers while I got caught up rhapsodizing about who knows what. 

The whole event really could not have gone better. The weather was great. People were happy. The food was delicious. Love was in the air.
Someday I'll post more that includes the groom...and all the bridesmaids and the bride with dresses and flowers showing...but for now, just know that there is still good in this world. There are moments like watching J.D. and Katie smile at each other while they were being married by their dear friend Jer. And there are moments like slow dancing to Ingrid Michaelson's "Can't Help Falling in Love" as the sun sinks behind the trees with my handsome Mr. Mann. It really is a good life.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Z - A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Z: A Novel of Zelda FitzgeraldZ: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a man who defined the Jazz Age through his writing, it is no surprise that F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda Sayre personified the Age simply by the lives they led. In “Z”, Fowler fictionalizes one of the most intriguing women of the era – whose real life matched the sensationalism of her and her husband’s creative work. The extravagance and decadence that seems to ultimately end Gatsby’s life also plagues the Fitzgeralds as they attempt to make their way into the circle of the literary elite.  Fowler opens part one of “Z” with a quote from T.S. Eliot: “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” This whole story is about how Zelda is in over her head for her whole adult life – not because Zelda is not smart or talented, but because the man she loves is forever seeking for something he cannot quite attain.

Reminiscent of Paula McLain’s “The Paris Wife”, I found myself captivated again by the expatriate scenes of France and Italy during the 1920s. More unsettling than “The Paris Wife”, “Z” brings up the argument again of whether truly great artists – be they writers, musicians, or painters – can achieve critical and financial success without leading debaucherous or tragic lives. Thus far in my reading, the answer seems to be a resounding no. Hemingway, who I appreciate but dislike profoundly, married four times and put a gun his mouth at 61. Fitzgerald literally drank himself to death at the age of 40. O’Brien had to live through the horrors to Vietnam to create his masterful “The Things They Carried”. Steinbeck was a manic-depressive. Perhaps a simplistic way to view the situation, but I cannot help thinking that great art needs great tragedy – be it self inflicted or out of their control.

As for whether or not you should read this story, it is not amazing, but it is powerful. If you love Gatsby or were fascinated by The Paris Wife or even thoroughly entertained by Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”, then this book should keep your attention. I know it held mine. Happy Reading.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Plans

Based off my recent blog posts, a person might think all I'm doing is reading so far this summer. That wouldn't be a completely false assumption. I have very simple goals for my summer. I want to run. I want to read. I want to get organized. And I want to see all the people I often get too busy to see during the school year. Throw in a few adventures - North Carolina, hot air ballooning, Tahoe, Katie Fin's wedding, turning 30, etc., and you have a fantastic summer in the making.
(More to follow on the hot air balloon ride - it was SO much fun!)

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's DreamA Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I dreaded teaching Midsummer more than any other book this year, perhaps with the exception of All Quiet on the Western Front, but I had SO much fun teaching this play. I had never appreciated before how clever this story is or how hilarious the lines. It was very nice to read a story where everything works out, even if it does take a bit of fairy dust to make it happen.

[The line "Though she be but little, she is fierce" is one of my favorite ways to describe my niece. It's a perfect description for Mae's fiery personality.]
(The exasperated Henry pictures are just a bonus. Love those two!!)

Of Mice and Men...Again

Of Mice and MenOf Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This spring marks the third time that I have taught Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. This year I was struck by how sad Curly's wife's story is. She's so young and characterized in such a way that makes you dread any moment she steps into the scene. And yet, she is also one of the unloved misfits of the story. Her life is just as tragic and her choices just as flawed. I love this story. It is absolutely brilliant.

The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck ClubThe Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's been months since I finished reading this in preparation to teach it to my sophomores, but the word masterful comes to mind. Tan's imagery and subtle weaving of plots lines creates captivating story telling at its greatest as well as awe at how well written her book is. The details about each of her mother/daughter pair is so specific, and yet the application of each story is universal. I love it.

(Again with the half stars - this would 4.5, but it earns the step up since I have to choose.)

The Lost Wife

The Lost WifeThe Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I did it again – I bought a book because I liked the cover. I got sucked in by the critic’s comment of “The Sophie’s Choice of this generation” and the rose palette used to color the picture of a couple kissing on the St. Charles Bridge in Prague. Don’t get me wrong – hard decisions about how to proceed under Nazi occupation are a compelling idea for a novel, but the writing is just good, not great. The tense shifting is awkward, and the twist is not subtle. I did love the use of art and color in the story. That is Richman’s greatest strength in creating her arc and imagery. So, read it if you have time or if you love this era. If you’re only going to read a handful of books this year, I can just tell you about this one. Happy reading!

Those Who Save Us

Those Who Save UsThose Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I bought this book because it was on a “buy two, get one free” table at Borders. Borders should be the signal word to cue how long ago I bought this book. I chose it in part because the cover and the premise intrigued me immediately. World War II fiction is like catnip to me – one whiff of that era, and I’m a goner. Years later, I finally got into this book because my book club was reading it. And now that I’ve read it, I almost wish I hadn’t.

Blum’s approach to the Holocaust is unconventional considering that she tells the story from the perspective of a German woman who becomes the mistress of a Nazi and from the woman’s daughter, born of a love affair right as the conflict is beginning in Europe. Blum’s themes and historical detail are thought provoking and haunting, but neither of her main characters is very likeable. I recognize that my love of The Great Gatsby proves that it is possible to love a book despite its characters. Nevertheless I cannot fully understand the characterization of Trudy, the daughter, and so much of her storyline is lost on me. The story also is graphic – not so much in its depiction of the violence going on around Anna and Trudy, but the sexual abuse experienced by Anna from the Nazi commandant. Blum does manage to make real the depth of a mother’s love for her child during the war years, but then there is a major breakdown in that portrayal once the war is over.

And so, I don’t know what to tell you. People in my book club loved this book. Others were frustrated by the characters or how the story ended. I think this book is supposed to make you uncomfortable and to take a fresh look at the war, but I’m not sure this is one I would recommend. How’s that for non-committal?

(Definitely needing the half star for rating purposes - this would be a 2.5)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Just One Day

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)Just One Day by Gayle Forman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Gayle Forman’s “If I Stay” was so captivating that the next two books I have read by her have tasted of anti-climax. I don’t know if that’s her fault or if my expectations are just too high. That said, “Just One Day” is dramatic and compelling in a way that my teenager girl students will love this book. They might miss the details of delectably described macaroons or not appreciate how well Forman describes Paris, but teenage girls will love the love, the drama, the expectations, and the misunderstood relationship between Allyson and her parents….

I should add that when I picked up this book I was in a reading drought. I had neither read, nor had the desire to read anything. But I knew Forman’s new book had come out, and so without question I got myself to a Barnes & Noble.  That alone speaks volumes, and next year with Willem’s perspective of this same story comes out, I will buy that. So judge as you will based on this contradictory review, and know that this book also has references to Shakespeare laced throughout. Paris, Shakespeare, love, and heartbreak – that’s a good book. Happy reading!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Letting Ana Go

Letting Ana GoLetting Ana Go by Anonymous
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Go Ask Alice” still haunts me. When I saw that Simon & Schuster had released a similar style book, I felt compelled to read it. Part of me wonders if Ana’s story is really a legitimate diary, but I still turned page after page enthralled and dreading the inevitable fate that both Lucy and Alice already met. Honestly, this book scared me more than Alice’s story – eating disorders and body issues are so prevalent that it’s hard not to relate these anxieties to ourselves or people we know. I could not recommend this book to my students because I’d fear that it would serve as a “how to” on extreme dieting, but I would recommend it. It’s eye opening, haunting, and everything that a powerful book should be.

the book of mormon girl

The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American FaithThe Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith by Joanna Brooks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this book. I wanted it to speak to who I am and how I have been raised. I wanted Brooks’ beliefs and experiences to echo my own. Perhaps this is because it is rare to see lives like those of my Mormon faith mirrored around me, and perhaps it is an oversimplification to expect that any two people can really have the same experience. But when I read Elna Baker’s memoir, I felt like she was speaking in a voice I did not know I had. Reading Brooks’ I felt like I was watching a gutted version of a Mormon upbringing. It was too neat, too stereotypical, too slowly told. However, about halfway into the book, I felt the connection I had been craving all along, and I realized that while Brooks’ book is not a masterpiece, it is still well done. It opens an important dialogue about individual experiences in their attempts to navigate Mormon living and faith in a complicated world. I love that Brooks’ takes a stand against a “one size fits all” version of faith, righteous living, and world views. And now more than anything I just want to talk…with anyone and everyone about what it’s like to be them, whether they’re having a Mormon, Catholic, male, female, young, old, or just human experience. There is so much to learn and understand about others that we so often are too busy or too assuming to see.

Short version – if you read this, tell me. I am dying to know what you think.

Someday, Someday, Maybe

Someday, Someday, MaybeSomeday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Full disclosure – I picked this book up because Lauren Graham wrote it. Gilmore Girls has been embarrassingly impactful in shaping my adult self, and so if Lorelai Gilmore, or at least the woman who brought that character to life, wrote a book, I had to read it. All that said, I am surprised to say that I enjoyed Graham’s book. It was witty and self-revealing. I loved the use of Filofax pages, doodles, and scripts throughout the novel. It added depth and life to Miss Fanny Banks, aspiring actress extraordinaire. Perfect first book of summer.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Firsts and Lasts

Without taking the time to go through past years, I am relatively certain that I have not skipped a month since I started this blog...and really the only reason I'm posting tonight instead of in two weeks is that I don't want to skip May completely...and because Jenessa said she could check blogs on her mission (she thinks), and I want to have posted something (even if that something is this sad little post).  The big thing to note is that summer begins in FIFTEEN days. Then I will be able to run as much as I want to and catch up on all the posts that I'm behind on. Dare to dream. Happy May Days!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


After randomly "Bueller, Bueller" in the voice of that "dry eyes" guy for an entire school year, I found out most of my students didn't know the reference. A few people have been saying "Jaclyn, Jaclyn" every time they've opened my blog page to find that yet again I have not updated. The reality is that my day to day life has been been pretty simple lately. It entails the following--
I set a goal to run, walk, or hike at least ten miles a week. I've discovered the key to my sanity is time outside moving in some way. My school days that include this are infinitely less stressful. 
 I have been counting down to Jenessa getting home since before she left for Israel. Her arrival home kicks off a month of chaos - the annual J2 walk-a-thon, Jewels, Ryan, my grandparents visiting, Jenessa's mission farewell, Katie Finegan's bridal shower, etc. It's going to be a great month - at the end of which I will probably collapse from exhaustion - so worth it though since this will be our send-off month before Jenessa leaves on her mission. 
 And of course, most of my free time lately has been spent with this cute guy. From exploring the Napa Valley last weekend (where he, not me, said we should take random pictures together. If you look closely, you can see the camera remote in his hand.) to doing our classic dinner and a movie, we are having all sorts of fun. 

So there you have it - my simple, albeit wonderful, life so far this spring. Can't wait to see what else it holds. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

First Annual Girls' Trip

Our first annual girls' trip took place at the beginning of February (I know I'm a bit behind). It was so much fun to sneak to warmer weather in Arizona with Jewels, my mom, and Henry (the only boy invited). We shopped, ate delicious food, played cards, watched lots of Downton, saw most of the fabulous Jackson cousins, and just enjoyed each others' company. So glad we finally started this tradition!

ps. Henry really was such a trooper with his double ear infections and cold while we travelled. You can tell we have him on picture overload. Just can't help ourselves.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

There is Sunshine....

Yesterday afternoon Seth and I wandered through downtown Los Altos as part of my request that we spend a little bit of time outside walking. Los Altos is a charming town with flowers growing in planters and little families sitting outside on the main street eating ice cream cones and frozen yogurt. The sun was shining and creating that perfect state of warmness where your skin feels sunkissed, but not so hot that you are desperately seeking open doorways with air conditioning escaping out into the street. As Seth and I walked hand in hand, laughing and talking, I had the thought that life doesn't get much better than this. 
Not mention that we picked up a couple gorgeous desserts from Satura Cakes. Like I was saying, perfectly delightful way to spend part of our sunny Saturday. Hope your weekend was just as good. Happy Spring!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fact or Fiction

I've been known to have a more than a few strange interests and make more than a few strange comments that people don't think are reflective of me. Here's a few of the recent things that are part of my reality.

Fact: I love Stanley Tucci. I rewatched "Easy A" and "Hunger Games" in the last couple months, and he is what makes those movies. He just came out with a cookbook.  Pretty sure that will sneak into an Amazon purchase sometime soon.

Fact: I have developed a fear of conversation that is seemingly uncharacteristic. I've always preferred small groups, but I've never had any problem making conversation with people I didn't know. Lately though, when it comes to socializing with people I don't know in church settings, I seem to lack the ability to make small talk. This just may be a sign that singles' wards slowly kill your zest for life (or something WAY less dramatic).

Fact: I hold onto things for much longer than is socially acceptable. I am an organized packrat. On the surface, everything looks clean and put together. On the inside I have back issues of magazines, letters galore, etc, etc. I'm slowly making an effort to get rid of things that really are completely unnecessary - aka ten years worth of random InStyle magazines. Don't judge. You all loved J-Lo at one point too. 

Fact: Seth and I made so much toffee over the holidays that we came up with an almost perfect recipe. Now I dream about having toffee stored in various drawers in my house and classroom. Unhealthy perhaps, but SO delicious.

Fact: While shopping with Jenessa and Ryan on the day after Christmas, my jeans ripped very loudly right up the back. Goes without saying that it was sorts of airy, and I am exceptionally grateful that Jenessa had a jacket I could tie around my waste, 90s mom style. 

Fact: I haven't enjoyed reading much for the last year. Normally I feel burnt out on reading during the spring when I have student papers everywhere and spring fever, but last year's reading burn out came early and never left. I've snuck in a few books still, but I just haven't been able to pick up book after book like I normally do. I think I'm in need of a good series that sucks me in one after the other to remind me that I am, in fact, a reader. Don't worry too much though - I still buy way too many books, a habit I've been trying to break for years. 

Fact: I love Taylor Swift's Red album. That doesn't seem noteworthy for some people, but for me, this is very, very strange.

Fact: As you know two of my closest friends from high school are named Hillary and Rachel. Two of my favorite people at work are named Hilary and Rachel - if there was just one of the two names, I don't know that I would have noticed, but both of them?! I love it.

Fact: I knew the big dramatic twist of Downton's third season way before it happened. Someone mentioned a fact about one of the actors in passing, and I knew instantly how that would affect the character. Even with all the drama, I still am so in love with that show. 

There you have it - inconsequential, random facts that are not fiction at all. 

Ode to Steinbeck

This past weekend Seth and I ventured to Carmel to eat at his cousin's restaurant with a couple of his college roommates. Before we ate, Seth was nice enough to brave Monterey traffic so I could explore Cannery Row. I had not been to Monterey since 1997 - aka before I discovered John Steinbeck and all his literary genius. I wanted to see one of the places that inspired Steinbeck's writing. As one of California's native sons, I feel like Steinbeck defines California heritage in a way no other writer has done, and so Seth and I wandered a few streets, watched the waves crash against the rocks, and then decided we were starving, so it was time for Carmel (more on that later). Steinbeck is everything that a writer should be, and so Cannery Row and the central coast of California is exactly as I had pictured it from his carefully crafted sentences.
 A couple pieces of Steinbeck's writing have been on my mind lately. One is a simple line from The Winter of Our Discontent when he says, "I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen." The other comes from Steinbeck's most epic work, East of Eden, when he says, "In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world."  How amazing is that?!  That same chapter goes on to say, "We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is." I love that so, so much.  I just can't help myself.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Called to Serve

I knew when President Monson made the announcement that mission ages were lowering that Jenessa would go on a mission. I almost had an insta-cry moment even though I knew the departure date was months or even years away. Jenessa who repeatedly denied that a mission was a guarantee said simply that she would pray about a mission while on her study abroad in Jerusalem (like going to the Holy Land and walking where Jesus walked would make someone less inclined to serve the Lord :) ). Jewels told her in no uncertain terms not to pray while she was there (Jewels was only half kidding).  And now it's official, Jenessa is working on her papers, getting blood work done at Palestinian hospitals, and preparing to be Sister Hutchins somewhere in this crazy world.
(Jenessa at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem)
 I would be lying if I said I wasn't dreading Jenessa's announcement, despite the fact that I know Jenessa makes no decisions lightly...and if she decided to go, it would be the best decision for her. And I may or may not have been in a slightly cranky mood for the last two weeks because of the email that came with the official declaration that a mission was in the immediate future. That said, this morning, I saw on my Facebook newsfeed a video from the Deseret News. I have no idea how that was in my newsfeed. I don't follow the Deseret News. I honestly don't even like it as a real news source, but watching this video of Olympus High School graduates from the class of 2012 opening their mission calls was the first time I grasped the possibility of Jenessa's decision. I still will need therapy when Jenessa leaves, and Jewels may need to move to California as a sanity saver for us both, but this sister is finally genuinely excited for the youngest member of the J-team to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Stay tuned for the official call - fingers crossed that it comes soon.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Santa Barbara Half Marathon

I naively signed up for Santa Barbara before even running the San Jose half. Ultimately I was glad that I signed up early because I may have talked myself out of it - not because I didn't love running in October, but because I was so tired by the whole experience. Santa Barbara was barely a month later, but the calls to Anna  and Maria had been made. We had paid the entrance fee, put down money on the vacation rental, and settled on travel plans. 

The race was on Saturday, November 10. This complicated things because I didn't want to miss work, so Seth and I left as soon as that final bell rang and made the drive to the central coast. Seth dropped me off at the darling beach house I was staying at with Anna's family and Maria close to 11pm. We unsuccessfully tried to sleep and were lacing up our shoes just after 5am so that we could line up for the busses that were supposed to get us to the starting line.
 The busses were hopelessly behind, so we stood in the freezing morning sunshine and took pictures. I think our feet look so tiny. Not quite sure how the proportions ended up this way. 
For it being so early and so cold, we look pretty happy. Lots of laughing and lots of people watching. 
 This amazing woman has three boys and a husband working towards a PhD at U.C. Riverside, and she still managed to fit in time to train. We've come a long way from our days running around the halls of our freshman dorm. 
This is the iconic Instagram of the day. 
Our lavish travel arrangements - Santa Barbara school busses. Oh so fancy. 
 Maria ran her heart out and finished much sooner than Anna and I, so Maria was able to snap this action shot of our final turn on the course with Gangam Style blaring every inch of the way. This half marathon was a good excuse for Anna and I to catch up without her cute boys climbing all over her. It was also was an incredible view of the ocean as we rounded a corner during the last couple miles. 
 Tired, starving (my two pre-run bananas just weren't cutting it), and happy.
It was Veteran's Day weekend so our course had these fine gentlemen clad in uniform hanging out at the end. 

The standout thing about this run is actually what happened after. While it was a great adventure to run with these two friends, it was Maria getting so sick on our bus back to the parking lot that left the more lasting impression. The poor girl threw up over and over again over the course of the hour after the race and was so weak that I drove her back to Los Angeles because I was nervous about her being alone on the road. I was sad to leave Anna, Justin, and her boys much earlier than planned, but glad that I had the ability to get Maria home. Besides my legs shaking like crazy while Maria and got stuck in traffic on the 101, we had a surprisingly good time just chatting and marveling about the fact that we had done two races in a month. We even mused about the possibility of a marathon and gushed over pictures of her new niece. I fell asleep before eight that night curled up on Maria's couch. 

Because Seth had continued on to Orange County after dropping me in Santa Barbara, he was able to come pick me up the next morning so that we could make the trek back home. Naturally we had to stop in San Luis Obispo (which we also did on the way down) for food and to drop off Seth's friend Jim. When we got back to the Bay Area, it was hard to tell what had just happened. SLO, SB, LA, and back to the Bay in 48 hours - not to mention the 13.1 miles run in the middle. Oh, the insanity!!