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Friday, March 22, 2013

Seven Quick Takes (Volume 5)

Joining Jen yet again!

— 1 —

Is it Friday again already? And have I really been blogging for five weeks? Life is just flying by, I tell you. I have to say, I'm not all that impressed with what I've been writing with this little bloggy hobby of mine. I've started writing posts on deeper topics like NFP, marriage, my career, Will's career, the expectations that come with a fancy and expensive law degree, etc. I have so much to say but I just can't pull the trigger. It's too soon. It will happen, but not yet. Not yet.

If you don't know this movie, then we can't be friends.

— 2 —

Poor Daisy is sick! I would normally be at work right now but I am currently observing our dog's—ahem—BMs for "signs of infection." We hope it's something she ate that's just working its way through. My mom, Big Momma D, recommended feeding her a banana with her breakfast and seeing how it goes. She is going less often so I think that's a good sign. I would hate to have to spend big $$$ on x-rays and stool analysis.

Come on, girl, perk up!

— 3 —

Enough poop talk (you thought I'd never stop, didn't you?), let's talk March Madness. ESPN wrote a funny article about "How to fill out a losing bracket." These rules come in handy when you have a boss, or perhaps husband, who just has to win. My favorite, obviously:
Pick against the Jesuits. They have five schools in the dance -- Gonzaga, Saint Louis, Creighton, Marquette, Georgetown -- and none lower than a No. 7 seed. Plus, they're coming off the election of the first Jesuit pope in history.
Bet against the Jesuits if you're looking to lose. God is on their side now more than ever!

— 4 —

I've been posting a lot about running lately. I started back up with a consistent training program and I am loving it now that I am getting into better shape. I didn't even realize how much I really missed running!

— 5 —

A JAG blogger recently posted about how being in the military and moving every 2-3 years helps him  be less materialistic. I can already relate just from having to move every couple of years since heading out to college. While I do hate packing and moving and all the chaos that ensues, I really do look forward to the great purge. I just hope God gives me the grace to continue to have a positive outlook on living like a "modern minimalist nomad" when the time comes (again and again).  

— 6 —

Will was out to lunch yesterday in uniform and a young stranger came up to him, shook his hand, and said, "Thank you for your service. God bless you. My brother was in the Army and died in Afghanistan." Will could barely respond before the young man turned around and walked away. Will has been approached by strangers thanking him while out in uniform before, but nothing this intense. Will said he could tell the young man was in pain and it probably took lot of courage for him to approach Will and thank him for his service.

Instances like these really remind us why we choose to make the sacrifices that come with a career of military service. I really do think a lot of people are skeptical of our decision. I took on a lot of student debt to get my law degree. I worked my ass off in school, graduated summa cum laude, worked my ass off some more, and passed the bar exam. Oh, I was just destined for a successful legal career! What a shame to give it all up. When we decided that Will would do JAG, we acknowledged that I will probably forego what I (and others) envisioned for myself when I chose to go to law school, before we were married. But that's okay. I choose to support my husband who serves people and their families, just like that young man in the restaurant.

Aim high.

— 7 —

I will be taking a break from blogging next week in honor of holy week. (I just know my five subscribers will be very disappointed. Most of all, Big Momma D.) Everyone, have a joyful Easter and/or Passover!

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Five Favorites

For this week's installment of Five Favorites with the lovely Hallie, I decided to mix things up and allow my husband, Will Brez, to designate his own five faves. 

What can I say? I like taking risks.

Here goes. . . .

1. Having a Mechanic Buddy

Will's friend from ROTC is a mechanic and installed new brakes and tires on our car at a substantial discount. Keep your friends close and your mechanic friends closer.

I approve this favorite!

2. Jesse Pinkman, Yo!

Will is really into the show Breaking Bad right now. He even fills me in on the episodes he watches without me. We're on Season 4. I found it hard to keep up with the show because I generally disliked everyone and couldn't find a character to root for. (Same reason we stopped watching Mad Men.) 

Well I guess I'm rooting for Pinkman, too, yo! I think I  may actually prefer Hank's character right now but I mean Walter White just needs to chill. 


3. Ace Jumping on the Bed 

He's known to have this crazy look in his eyes from time to time.
Don't come near me.
Let alone jump on my bed.

Ace jumped up onto our bed for the first time ever yesterday. This is definitely NOT my favorite, but Will says, "What? He's got hops!" Okay, we'll give it to you, Ace. Just this once.

4. Fifty-Two Days Until Commissioning!


5. Groupon/Living Social Deals

"They're on a hot streak." Will recently got this touchscreen watch for $30. (I think they were trying to move this inventory because Lance Armstrong is all over the packaging. Oops.)

We also purchased a Sam's Club membership and an oil change for our truck, which is usually pretty pricey.

And those are Will's five favorite things this week.

That wasn't so bad!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One Cake to Rule Them All

I had a really good run today—even if I'm just running in circles around my neighborhood. (See map.) It kind of stinks because I really miss all my old running routes we found at our old apartment. But I'd rather run in circles than get hit by someone who is texting and driving. (Side note: I once was riding shotgun and a driver to my right was texting and driving. I somehow caught his attention and shook my head at him. He was truly embarrassed and shamefully put his phone away. I tout this as one of my life's greatest accomplishments.)

Back to my boring evening. I even jogged a couple more laps with both dogs by myself. I have never attempted this before. It's hard to run with both of them because Ace darts around peeing on everything, while lazy Daisy is a dutiful running companion but is, well, lazy. Overall, it was a good experience and I think I'll start running with them more. Maybe a few extra laps with Ace. He's a freak.

When I got home, Will had PANCAKES (!!!!) ready. (May or may not have been by request . . .) When I was toweling off from my shower I thought I heard cheering from the kitchen. When I checked to see what was up, Will showed me his masterpiece. 

"One cake to rule them all."

Yeah, this is a boring post but if this is going to be the BREZ blog, I have to include the thoughts, hopes, dreams, and accomplishments of all Brez-lins involved. 

Good night. 

ETA: Will says this is my "best post ever." 

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Week One Training Update & Half Marathon Race Goal

As discussed in a previous post, I want to get faster, stronger, and feel better about my binge eating self, so I'm running a half marathon in June. Training officially started last week and I figure the best way for me to stay on track with it is to declare right here in the blogosphere that I have a particular goal in mind:


There, I said it. Thirteen-point-one miles in one hour and fifty minutes. Or about an 8:24 minutes per mile pace. Ahhh. I can barely run three miles at that pace! - Brain 

Let me explain (if only for my own edification).

My previous PR is 1:53:32, 8:40/M. I ran this at the Key Biscayne Half Marathon in April 2012. I must note that this half has been moved out to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, and in an effort to keep the KB (Key Biscayne) logo, is now called the "Keep Believin'" Half Marathon. I find this funny.

Anyway, there are a number of reasons why I think I can do better. It was three months after I ran the full Miami marathon, but I think I only had one run between the two races. (I was busy, ok?) 

To make matters worse, conditions for this race were really bad. Like, there was a freakin' monsoon, as evidenced by this series of 'grams.

Oh, and not to mention heading up and over the Rickenbacker Causeway twice

Will was padding his resume for his Best Husband Ever Award and biked alongside me practically the whole race. 

The torture wrapped up with some windy/weird/annoying/not fun trails.

So my point is, if I work hard enough, I think I can PR. This is just going to mean I'm going to really have to push it on my training runs. My goal over the next couple of weeks is to run two short runs at race-pace tempo and then to run at least the last mile of my long runs at race-pace. (I realize going for two race-pace tempo runs a week may be asking for a lot for my out of shape bum but I am going for it.)


Last week's runs:
  • 4M Hike (Whatever! It counts!)
  • 3 M - 25:10/8:23
  • 3 M - 25:21/8:27
  • 3 M - 27:29/9:10 
  • 4 M - 36:23/9:06 (TM 1%)
This week's runs
  • 3 M (race-pace)
  • 4 M 
  • 3 M (race-pace)
  • 5 M 
I'll also be incorporating some core/strength training at the behest of my loving husband.

It goes without saying (but I'm sayin' it anyway) my goals will change if I feel like my pace is too easy, if I get injured, etc. But I'm really going to work to improve my time. Otherwise, I've learned that spending all that time and money training and racing just isn't as fun or fulfilling.

So let's do this! And maybe even put a 13.1 sticker on my car? (HA! Likely story.)



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shots from this Weekend: Lazy Dogs & a St. Patty's Triathlon

Saturday was mostly spent around the house . . .

 . . . until Will and I decided we needed a date night.

Walking two puppies is always an adventure. Let me elaborate on that for you.


Will wanted to take a picture of me. He has no idea how to use our camera. So instead of a picture of me, we got a nice picture of this palm tree.

Such texture.

Don't worry. I eventually moved into focus.

Nailed it.
Today, we were up before the sun to see our friend David compete in a local triathlon.

It was such a gorgeous day!

David's first transition. The water looked pretty cold.

And they were long transitions.

I interrupt these triathlon photos to present to you the most Irish children ever to be seen on the streets of Fort Lauderdale on St. Patrick's Day. 

The cutest.

Papa, paparazzi.

Back to the race, I guess. 

Here's David's turn-around on the bike. People were wiping out all over the place. Not David! Didn't even need to practice.

What turn-around?

Meanwhile, this man wins the race. Very nice form. He runs with Chi.

This chihuahua was distracting. No collar and no leash. We think he belongs to this child but we're not sure. Either way, they make a very adorable pair.

Back to the triathlon? 

Aaaand he finishes! So happy I caught this finish. There were a ton of people in front of me and I could not see a thing. Luck of the [quarter to a half (?)] Irish!

I told you St. Patrick is Will's favorite. So he dressed the part.

After the race, we all headed to Coconuts because Katie loves Yelp! and Coconuts had the most stars. Yelp! did not lie. This place was the best.

Fried green tomatoes, Canadian bacon, and an egg over easy. 

Corned beef for Will.

Katie and I highly recommend the Bloody Mary's.

And it just wouldn't be St. Patty's without a Guinness.



Friday, March 15, 2013

Seven Quick Takes (Volume 4)

Joining Jen for some super super quick takes once again.

1. First, I apologize for how quick these takes are going to be. I have been SWAMPED at work. So many deadlines coming up in a short amount of time. I kind of embrace it, because I feel like I'm on the show Suits (making Louis Litt proud), but it's mostly as horrible as it sounds.

2. Pause for a huge gulp of Tribute Blend.

3. Last night I was the last person in the building at work. I always tease my co-worker friend who stays later than me most days that there is a ghost that roams the building late at night. Lo' and behold, I was plugging away when I started hearing a tapping sound to my left. It came out of nowhere! I dropped everything I was doing and ran out the door. I even called Will on my way out because I thought I might be abducted walking to the car. I guess I deserved that.

4. My photo was chosen as a finalist in the #WAALove competition! Pleaseeee go to the WideAngle Blog and vote for this photo of Ace Brez as an adorable pup:

I am forever grateful if you do, as it would be to win a super fancy camera to take pictures to share with you all on this blog!

5. Also, a huge thank you to In Honor of Design for sharing the deets! Even though this photo is about the most beautiful thing I've ever seen and I will never be able to measure up to it.

6. Half marathon training update: My mom, Diane, who comments on this blog as "Big Momma D" joined our virtual training program. She's been adding her runs to our Google doc and putting us to shame with her six, five, TEN mile runs. Yes, she's about to turn fifty my friends. After my four mile hike up a mountain, I was pretty sore. That, and being very busy at work means I only got one run in this week so far. I was pretty happy with my pace, but obviously my mileage does not compare to that of Big Momma D so I am going to have to log some miles this week.

7. As motivation, I like to offer up my runs in prayer. Does anyone else do this? I pray before I run, offer the run to someone (usually Anthony), and when I feel like stopping or slowing down, I think of them and push harder. This week's run was for Pope Francis and I clocked a very respectable 8:23/M pace. 

Sent this to Samantha.
It is a competition, after all.

I am so motivated by Pope Francis's humility, even in my fitness pursuits. The Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways, people.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Five Favorites

Linking up with Hallie once again to share some faves from this past week!


Copying Grace (and countless others I'm sure) and going with Pope Francis in my coveted number one slot. Because he's my favorite Favorite. 

I was at work when I got the news (via Will Brez on g-chat because I of course forgot my phone at home yesterday) that there was WHITE SMOKE. I immediately googled until I found a live feed of the event and I watched everything from my desk. Luckily, my co-workers, including the boss-man, were cool about it. They even asked me a lot of questions. Of course, when they announced Habemus Papem! I had no idea who Cardinal Bergoglio was and couldn't answer their questions and looked like a total poser. But anywho, to my favorite meme thus far . . . 

My husband went to a baseball game the other night and I was finally able to watch Minor Revisions. Boy do I love Jennifer Fulwiler. She makes me want to move to Austin and work for Joe (is he hiring btw?) and write more interesting things on my blog and oh yeah write a book and be besties for ever and ever. Clearly this is realistic as I have flexible living arrangements and am an impeccable writer. 


Starbucks Tribute Blend 2013. I first tried this in Phoenix last weekend and it was so delicious I had to buy a bag. Currently consuming 4+ cups per day. Take these subsequent erratic blog posts as you will. 



Helloooo, this weekend is St. Patty's Day! Will loves all things Ireland more than the average Irish-American so I will try to do something special. He even chose St. Patrick as his confirmation name (making him William Patrick Patrick - weirdo). And luckily for Will, St. Patty's falls on a Sunday, so that he can take a break from his Lenten fast and partake in a little libation consumption. 

I think I'm gonna need to make these Irish carbomb cupcakes (or a variation thereof) in honor of St. Patrick's special day. 


And now some unsolicited pics from our trip to Ireland.
Sheep with a death wish in Connemara, William (HTTR) in Galway, and Christ Church in Dublin.


I have a love for all things Brit Lit. Currently re-reading Jane Eyre, a favorite. I don't know what it is about those Brontes. It may have something to do with them being feminist superheroes.

Angry eyes. But I guess it makes sense.