Sunday, December 31, 2023

December reads

This month, I planned to read something light and gorgeous to end the year. Unfortunately, the book I was looking forward to ended up being quite the disappointment, but luckily I got my hands on three more of the Gaslight Mystery series and discovered a new favorite, so December wasn't a total loss.

With five books read this month, that brings my total for the year to 23! Considering I planned to read 10, I'm pretty damn happy with that result.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

November blahs

I had high hopes for this training cycle, and I'm afraid I'm already letting myself down a bit. For a few weeks I was having the hardest time figuring out why I was struggling; I always cut down on my mileage in the summer and bounce back, what was going on?

Friday, December 1, 2023

Well, I did it

NaNoWriMo ended early for me...not because I gave up, but because I finished my novel on November 26, four days ahead of schedule.

This challenge was surprisingly easy for me. Once I decided to write at least 1000 words a day, I just committed. Most days I wrote closer to 1200, which was good because it meant I hit my 30k word goal by the 21st and then had time to reach my stretch goal and finish the draft.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

NaNo check-in

It's day 19 of NaNoWriMo and I am having some feelings.

Originally, I wasn't going to write a post on NaNo until the month was over, but I'm at a point where I feel like a check-in is due, so here we are! A little-more-than-halfway check-in!

Friday, November 10, 2023

Time to get serious

August is always my worst training month. I'm not a fan of relentless sun, and by August we've already gotten eight weeks of it. Sunrise is at like 5am in the summer, so beating the sun and getting in a cool run is nearly impossible. And yes, I understand the irony of these complaints considering I spent the first dozen years of my running "career" in Florida. But I've discovered the joy of chilly, rainy runs, and now I find myself resentful of the heat.

More leaves, less heat

So in July I tend to fall off my training, and by August I'm often barely doing anything. That's not great considering I need to shift from a rest-mindset into a super-focused-training mindset by September for my February half.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

No books, just words

Despite having a long list of books available at the library right now, I am holding off borrowing any this month. Instead, I am focusing on writing.

In the last few months I've reached 50,000 words in my current manuscript. I'm aiming for a total around 70,000. That goal has always been sort of abstract, fully missing the T in SMART. I've been taking my time and writing a few times a week, enjoying the process without worrying too much about the destination.

It's been a long time since I've made this much progress on a novel!

I'm not sure what happened, but in the last week of October I started thinking about NaNoWriMo and how it might be a good opportunity to set a goal to finish this draft by November 30.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

October Reads


I didn't actually intend to read anything this month, but three books I've been waiting for became available to borrow mid-month, so I jumped on them all before my holds lapsed. One was a hyped-up fantasy I'd been waiting months for, and the other two were the next in the Gaslight Mystery series. Spoiler alert: I enjoyed them all.

Monday, October 23, 2023

What have I done?

A few weeks ago, Matt told me he had to request his PTO dates for 2024. Apparently firefighters request their dates well ahead of time and they are assigned by seniority. As a probationary firefighter, Matt's at the bottom of the seniority ladder, so it was recommended to him that he not even try for summer dates.

There's a few other stipulations –  things like choosing single dates vs. pairs of dates –  but basically he told me we should pick a few shifts in fall and spring and hope for the best. If we didn't get the ones we asked for, they'd give him a chance to pick different ones.

And I said, "Let's choose late September, and if you get the dates we can go to Scotland and I can run the Loch Ness Marathon."

Monday, October 9, 2023

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

I usually associate the coming of fall with fiery orange and deep crimson leaves, but this October has been fully yellow. When the sun hits the trees just right, you find yourself standing under a canopy of molten gold, and the world around you feels hazy and magical.

That was my experience this weekend hiking in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, near North Bend. 

Home for the weekend

Like we did in August, Matt and I booked ourselves a cute little rental and spent a four-day weekend soaking in this gorgeous PNW-October.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

September reads

This month I found a couple new-to-me BookTubers, and binging their videos was strangely motivating. As I've been writing more, I'm more aware than ever that I should be reading more. I'm not exactly reading with purpose yet – that is, I'm not focusing on my own genre or reading with a critical eye – but I do find the practice of reading is making writing easier, and vice versa.

Watching other people talk about reading made me excited to make time for it myself this month.

Pretty soon I'm going to stop patting myself on the back for having rediscovered a hobby with a low cost of entry (free thanks to Libby and my Kindle), but today is not that day.

I read two books this month. Let's dive in!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Three years on

It's been three years since Matt and I moved to Seattle and I still feel it was the best decision we've ever made. After three years, the shock that we actually did it, that we truly picked up and basically started a whole new life, has worn off a bit. Now Seattle feels like more like home than an adventure.

Bye, FL!
So, three years in, I wanted to share some things I truly love about our new city.

Monday, September 11, 2023

I'm bad at balance

I don't know if this is a marker of adulthood or just how my brain happens to function, but I've really found I can't seem to maintain more than one hobby at a time.

Monday, August 21, 2023

August reads

This month I surprised myself with the number of books I read! I've been mostly focusing on writing rather than reading, but a new book in a series I like was released August 1 while I was traveling for work, which set me up to read at least one thing this month. (Nothing's better than a new book on a plane!)

After that, I guess I just got on a roll!

While the book that got me started ended up disappointing me, I enjoyed two of the three books I read this month and I surpassed my 10-books-in-2023 goal!

Thursday, August 17, 2023

TL;DR: I'm writing again

Buckle up, folks. This one is long and rambling, but in order to get to the point (hey! I'm writing again!), I had to provide some context as to why this is a big deal. Light on the pictures, heavy on the self-reflection. Here we go.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

A weekend away

I've been dreaming of taking a completely chill, no-stress vacation since the minute Matt entered drill school. I knew how little I'd see of him during those 15 weeks and I knew we'd want some major quality time after graduation. I couldn't plan this vacation ahead of time because we didn't know what his shifts would look like, but once we had his schedule I started scoping out some options, and I landed on Bainbridge Island.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Mom meets Seattle

Given that it's been three years since Matt and I moved, my mom decided it was finally time to come visit. I know she was a little nervous about the long flight (especially with how chaotic flying can be these days) and coming to the city in general (we've all heard how Seattle has been destroyed in an anarchist uprising and it's basically Mad Max out here), but we finally sat down and chose dates and got her out here!

The visit went really well. I had a long list of things I wanted to show her, especially if this trip ended up being a one-and-done situation, so we had a lot to fit into 4.5 days.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

July reads

I don't often read short story collections, but when a friend has her second book published, it's a good reason to branch out of your comfort zone!

As If She Had a Say is Jennifer Fliss's second collection of short stories. The stories are eclectic: some border on absurd while others dive right in the deep end of bizarre. I've gotten into the habit of reading light, easy fiction, and at first I had to kind of recalibrate my brain to be in a space to read this genre of writing. I'm out of practice reading stories that engage my brain and explore heavy themes.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

We got a dog! (Awhile ago...)

I started a post about Zoe awhile ago, but then life happened so here we are, seven months later, and I'm finally announcing on the blog that, surprise, we got a dog!

I'm just not going to be able to keep this short, so...sorry in advance for a long story about how Zoe came home to us. There are gratuitous puppy pics, though!

Monday, June 26, 2023

I'm baa-aack


In my last training post I was fighting an overwhelming feeling of defeat. June definitely didn't start how I wanted it to, but sometime midway through the month, things began to feel better.

I dove back in to both strength training and running simultaneously. Maybe this was dumb. Maybe I should have focused on running first and then added strength back in once my stamina had recovered. I'd definitely have avoided some intense DOMS! But honestly, jumping right back into my usual routine did wonders for my brain.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Introducing Firefighter Kearney

Back in the spring of 2020, as Matt and I weighed the pros and cons of moving to Seattle, the topic of careers came up. I was ready to leave education. He was ready to find a career he really loved.

He'd been in touch with a lot of people from the paddling community and some of them are firefighters. Matt was interested. The moment he mentioned it, I had a gut reaction, a deep and certain feeling: this is right. This is right for Matt. It's right for us.

Nearly three years later, that dream is a reality.

Feeling defeated

I'm trying not to, but I'm struggling to keep perspective right now. I put all my workouts on hold during fire academy so that I could adhere to a tight, inflexible schedule and take care of Zoe. I really only had so much bandwidth and I had to prioritize other things, and that was fine.

Matt graduated May 19, and I was ready to dive back into running. I literally scheduled my first run post-graduation in my calendar so I wouldn't miss it. 

Monday, May 1, 2023

April Reads

My kindle app was booming in April, but I only managed to read one book. I'm struggling with wanting to read. I want to want to read, but actually making the effort to get into a story feels daunting.
But! The book I did read was excellent.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

We got covid

This post is more for my own records than anything else. I just feel like...I don't know, it feels important to document it, or something.

Three years almost to the day that we were sent home from spring break and told we should expect not to return, Matt and I came down with covid.

The moment we learned Matt had gotten a place in Seattle FD, we defaulted back to being extremely cautious. We'd been a little more lenient with our masks and such, but we knew that covid could set him back and we wanted to do everything in our power to ensure he got through drill school unscathed.

Despite our best efforts, a recruit came down with covid and spread it to three others in the cohort. Matt was one of them.

Monday, March 27, 2023

March reads


This month I read three very different books and enjoyed each of them! I didn't have much time to read in February (and technically I finished Spare early in the month), but in March Matt and I got COVID for the first time and I found myself with lots of time to read. I finished two of these books in the week I was sick.

This month brought fantasy, romance, and good ol' literary fiction (which I don't usually like very much). Let's dive in!

Saturday, March 4, 2023

A change in priorities

Look, I know February is only shorter than a typical month by ~3 days but somehow, it always feels like it's barely three weeks long.


Friday, February 17, 2023

My Better Half Half Marathon 2023

Well, that was unexpected.

It's been awhile since I've written a race recap like this, so bear with me.

The day before the race, as I drove home from packet pickup, I messaged Elizabeth on WhatsApp. I told her I had an inkling that a freak PR was possible – this would be my first half marathon run in cooler weather, and realistically I felt like I was pretty well prepared, even if my brain was in denial that I was running – but that I wasn't going to think too hard about it.

Given that I said it out loud, you wouldn't think I'd still be so surprised that it happened.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Let's talk training

I've got a half marathon looming this weekend, which I'm running with my friend Sarah, so it only makes sense to finally sit down and review my training...such as it was. This is actually kind of tricky because I can't pinpoint exactly when I started. I signed up October 5, so let's say that's when I intended to start training, but I didn't put together a plan right away. Actually, any nebulous plan I had in my head was sidelined by a week or two of persistent smoky days just four days after we signed up for the race.

It wasn't until November that I sat down and figured out the remainder of our long runs for training, but that was derailed by the holidays, vacations, the flu, and Zoe's arrival.

These interruptions and the slow start had the bizarre effect of me being in a state of denial that I'm training at all. This is the first time I'm sitting down and trying to get myself into the mental headspace for a half marathon, and the race is tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

January reads

I did not set resolutions this year, but one of my goals for 2023 is to read more. "Read more" is pretty abstract, but I think the plan is to aim for 10 books this year. I can average one a month, taking a couple months off if things get busy. 

These days I borrow ebooks from the library to read on my Kindle, which is very convenient although sometimes annoying because I have to wait for the books I want to be available. I miss collecting books — I got rid of approximately 200 when we moved, and now have only two small bookcases in the house. It was so hard to decide what to keep! There's something about holding a real book in hand, and it's nice to reminisce about what you've read by seeing the book on your shelf. (Don't tell Matt, but I think we could potentially install some floating shelves and expand my collection again, which I'd really love to do.)

Friday, February 3, 2023

Putting down roots

In May 2022, as I was getting ready to leave one job and start another, we closed on a condo.

The hunt was long and the market was working against us. Prices were inflated and the interest rates were climbing. The amount we sold our Florida house for – a 3-bedroom single family home with a garage and a pool – was the listing price for most small condos in Seattle. Depending on the square footage and the neighborhood, we could afford one or two bedrooms, but every time we put in an offer, someone else had a better one, and the place would get snapped up.

It felt like déjà vu. We bought our first house at the height of a housing bubble, too.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

I'm running a half marathon

It's happening.
The last time I ran a half marathon was 2019, but it feels kind of like a fever dream now. I tend to forget that I ran it, even though at the time it was so important to me. I think when I ran that last half, I was trying to prove something (it was post-CECS recovery), but my heart wasn’t really in it. I remember being excited and hopeful – emotional – but I also remember being intensely unhappy during parts of the race. I wanted it to be over. I had a hard time finding the joy and beauty in the struggle.

Afterward, I reckoned with the truth that I had put a lot of pressure on myself for that race, and I made the decision to step back and not do any big races for awhile.

That was February 2019. The next year, the race organizers moved the race to January (because of football? I think?) and the appeal of that particular race has always been that it falls on my birthday weekend. So, I ran it as a “virtual” 5k and opted to run the Gasparilla 15k in February instead, and then the pandemic hit and races were put on hold.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Oh hey, it's 2023

I really thought it had been over a year since I posted here, and I guess that's true if we're talking regularly scheduled programming. I missed my usual "year in review" post, so let's pick up where I left off — March 2022 — and rundown the last year.