Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pic of the week....

At the Challenge last weekend they had all these boxes of chalk for kids and spectators to write things on the concrete with at the finish lines and through the course of the race. They were giving the chalk away also to take home... and since my new home project was chalk board/magnetic section of a wall in my kitchen I took some... but not before leaving my mark on LS'09...

I love you Jess - and miss you every single day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Livestrong Challenge Picture Overload...

I thought I should dedicate a post solely to the pictures we took over the weekend... you can read the recap HERE

Before the Race - so early it was still dark :)

In front of the capitol

Our whole group...

Dave and Della

Newbs and Zeke

Cay and Newbie


After the 5K - Cayla, Newbie and Me

Newbie and Me after the 5K

Holding our posters of our bf we share....

He loves me more :) j/k

Zeke, Papa and Mama Newbie, and Newbie

The 5Ker's... (minus Ciearra's momma)

Just us girls :) Ciearra, Della, Newbie, Cayla and Me

Newbie and Zeke

Cayla, Newbs and Zeke after finishing

Before the race in the staging area

We look so serious...

Headed out for the ride

Lance Armstrong finishing the 90 miler

Me, Newbie, Ciearra, and Cayla after the ride

Me finishing the ride

Newbie crossing the finish line

Ciearra after just finishing

My Favorites....

Monday, October 26, 2009

AH - MAZING.....

Is the one single word to describe this past weekends events.

I participated in the LiveStrong Challenge this weekend with a handful of lovely friends - we all united together to raise funds for cancer research and the LAF (Lance Armstrong Foundation) and also take on a physical challenge of running and biking.

If you are not familiar (although I presume most of you are) the LAF is a non profit organization, founded by Lance Armstrong in 1997 that inspires and empowers people affected by cancer.

Just a brief overview (I stole from the website)

The LAF believes that unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything. Read LAF Manifesto here. LAF also provides the practical information and tools that people with cancer need to live life on their own terms and also take aim at the gaps between what is known and what is done to prevent suffering and death due to cancer.

The LAF unites people to fight cancer and pursues an agenda focused on:

It truly is becoming a passion for me; especially after this last weekend.

To see the community of cancer survivors, individuals who are still fighting the battle, loved ones, care givers, etc was truly amazing. The camaraderie amongst this group of individuals is truly a testament to the impact that cancer and the LAF has had on each person that was there. Cancer, like the LAF, not only affects those that are diagnosed... but all.

We (Cayla, Hunter and I) arrived in Austin late Friday checked into the hotel, visited with Della and Dave, Newbie and Zeke and then headed to bed (we had an early morning).

Saturday morning we arrived at the race site at 6:45ish to pick up our packets and get ready for the 5K. There were over 3,000 people there to participate in the run. The support was also unreal. The streets were lined with supporters, volunteers, friends, family, yellow balloons, signs, etc.... It made running a whole lot more fun for me :) (I hate running remember)

I enjoyed looking around and reading all the signs that were on people's back... let me explain.

At the race start they had a table with little signs you could pin on your shirt that said "In memory of", "In Honor of", and "Survivor". You could take these signs and put the name of the person(s) you were competing for. Most people pinned them on their backs so as you were running you could read who that person was competing in the Challenge for. One little boys said "In Honor of My Mom"... so sweet....

Mine said "In Memory of Jessica Gage Bonesio" (pics to come later)

It made the time pass quite nicely to read these; and also read the shirts of the many teams who had them made. Also very inspiring.

After the 5K we headed for a fantastic post-race breakfast at Austin Java... delish! Then went to the convention center to visit the "LiveStrong Village". The convention center was set up with booths, tables, etc for vendors. (It was basically a vendor-expo). There were all sorts of bike shops, doctors, fitness equipment, cancer centers, etc there advertising and giving free goodies... I loaded up on Aquaphor (which I have an addiction to), cliff blocs and bars, LiveStrong bracelets, and water bottles (seriously every booth was giving out water bottles)

Then we headed back for a much needed nap.... then dinner...

Sunday was the 20 mile bike race and probably the most sobering and awe-inspiring event of the weekend.

The race finish was lined with supporters (again) and yellow balloons - as you came across the finish line they stated your name over the loud speaker and how much money you raised. The lines of people cheering you on was crazy!!! It was so motivating and un real. I just kept thinking... I wish Jess was here to see this!!!

The bike course was hilly (hence the name HILL COUNTRY)... it started at Dripping Springs high school and wove through Dripping Springs... there was a 10mi, 20mi, 45mi, 65mi, and 90mi course. Lance was there... he rode the 90mi. to come of him coming in from the course.

OMG - speaking of Lance... I totally forgot to tell you that we saw him, up close and personal, on his bike on Saturday riding through downtown... he was literally an arm's length YUM-O :)

The bike start was a little hectic.... we were on about a 15 minute delay...but really didn't start riding until about 1.5miles into the course.... it was so back logged with riders at the start that you ended up walking your bike until it thinned out. It was frustrating.... but it is for such a good cause you couldn't get too upset! We had a hectic morning that morning anyways so we may have all been a little on edge...

Our morning started out just fine... drove 30min. out to the course, parked without hardly any issues. Began getting ready for the ride into the staging area (about a mile or so) then I realized I had lost the car keys. While tearing the car apart and every bag in the car I still couldn't find them.... Cayla realized she had a flat tire on her bike so we had to change that.... meanwhile I'm still looking for the keys. I was about to say "f" it and make Zeke and Hunter look for the keys when I realized that I put them in the pocket of my jersey... seriously Allison??? These pockets are supposed to be handy dandy - but I clearly never use them or else I probably would have checked there first...oops! But we found them and were on our way.

The staging area to the start line was PACKED with riders of all levels, a ton of pros that were riding the 90miler with Lance...I wish I could have been up there to see all of them. Then towards the back were all of us 20milers and 10milers. There were riders of all shapes, sizes, and ages... There was one kid who participated in the 10mile ride that I swear had just taken the training wheels off his bike. There were dads that had the carriers strapped onto their bikes in back with their kids in tow... professionals, grandparents, all sorts of people... all riding for the same cause.

Seriously - you should all join my team next year and participate in this incredible event.

Registration opens December 1 for next year and you bet your ass I will be on that list.... Team Tri for a Cure in full effect!!!


Pics to be posted soon....keep checking back!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pic of the week....

Well .... it's a video really....

You should go here:

and watch the videos from my friend Nick's Comedy Troupe
4th Collective.

This summer they won the Houston 48 Hour Film Festival with their video Subterfuge (which you can watch by clicking on the You Tube link above or click

Anyways....enjoy :) Happy Thursday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three posts packed into one....

Pic of the week, Weekend Re-Cap, "Not Me" Monday....

We will start with "NOT ME!" Monday - a forum by which to admit your dirty little secrets... inspired by Erin B and MckMama...

This last week was a whirlwind for me, physically (fighting allergies and onset of flu like symptoms), emotionally (this will remain unsaid), schedule wise... too much to do. So it was not me who said "F" it and hopped on a plane to Houston to escape...and visit with friends and celebrate a wonderful woman's (and second mom) birthday at a surprise birthday party.

It was not me who, at this said birthday party, enjoyed watching a shirtless gentleman jump out of a cardboard cake that Kristin and I constructed from scratch. (description below)

It was not me who stayed a day and a half longer in H-town just because I wasn't ready to come home... and it certainly wasn't me who didn't do half of what I should have done today regarding work initiatives.

It certainly is not me who sits here on the couch and updates her blog and catches up on tv rather than clean and do laundry as she should...

*Not too exciting Not Me's today --- but stay tuned*

Weekend Recap:

As you can tell from above; I was in Houston this weekend. I hopped on the plane Saturday morning and headed south to celebrate Mama Lu's bday. Kristin and Nick had lovingly put together a wonderful surprise bday party for Lu and I was very happy when I was able to make it for her party. I headed out at 8am Saturday and made it to H-town with no problems... Kristin, Nick and I ran errands and got the last minute necessities for the party and then Kristin and I went to work on the cake.

Kristin had this brilliant idea to have a friend of theirs jump out of a cake to surprise her mom at the party; he agreed; but the problem was no one had a pop out cake (go figure). Luckily enough, K&N had enough cardboard to build a shelter out of so we went to work. We constructed the below cake out of cardboard, duct tape, staples, and scotch tape... excellent!

I forgot to mention it took a saw as well

The base of the cake...

Testing the "Popping Out" effect...

The first layer Iced....aka... tablecloth

The second layer iced....

FINISHED...complete with streamers :)


Cayla and I at U2 - we had so much fun after a major ticket debacle was corrected.

Long story; but the short of it is that we were given counterfeit tickets (unbeknownest to the purchaser) and were kicked out of our seats. We eventually got the issue settled and was able to enjoy the show :) But not after a very irritated Allison and Cayla let them have a piece of our minds :)

I hope you have a wonderful week! I found my camera cord (as you can see) and I will be sure to post a Pic of the week on Thursday -

This weekend is the LiveStrong Challenge :) I am very excited!

Monday, October 12, 2009

U2... Rattle and hum....

Circa 1988.... I was 7... but I remember this being the first U2 album I owned...

Tonight - I will get to see them LIVE at Cowboy Stadium...

stay tuned for concert/weekend recap.... I'm so excited I can barely stand it :)

***And no worries - I will take my camera!!!!****

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tri #4 - the sunday monsoon...

Last Sunday was my 4th tri since April - During these last six months I have experienced a tri in the freaking cold, a little rain, a beautiful day .... and Sunday was a monsoon!!!

The race was set to start to 8am (late for a tri start time) transition opened at 6:00am... we arrived at 6ish... already soaking wet from loading our bikes and such...

Needless to say - I was not a happy camper... rain is great when you can lay around in sweatpants all day, watch tv, doze in and out of consciousness while watching movies...however; it is NOT optimal weather to be swimming, biking, and running.

During the pre-race meeting we were told that the bike course was cut short by 7.8 miles due to high water on the low crossings....about 3 1/2 feet of water stood stagnant at one of the crossings...and I'm pretty sure you utilize a bike and not a kayak during tri's :)

So the bike course was 6 miles instead of 13.8.... bummer....

Other than that things went realtively well... swim was good... I had a 6:30 swim time which was way better than what I had been averaging in the pool when I went to swim... I averaged 19mph on the bike (which I was ok with considering the conditions)...and the run was WAY better this time than my last tri (which I sucked).... all and all it was a great race for me.

The rain held off until the beginning of my run when the skies opened and buckets of rain fell on my lovely body as I pounded the pavement. Then it stopped... which was great... except I was carrying pounds of water weight during the rain... hey whatever... beggars can't be choosers!

We took no pictures (it was a monsoon people) so I have no pictures to prove the craziness that was this triathlon.

I did however BUY A CAMERA!!! (not that I had it during the race - clearly!)... So now I can post my very own pictures rather than stealing them. I bought this before my trip to California so go ME!!!!!

No pic of the week this week... I can't find anything good..... check back!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Six Months?

Six months is a relatively short amount of time; but can crawl by like six years sometimes. Six months is 1/2 of a year, 25 weeks, on average 181 days, 4,344 hours, 260,640 minutes, 15,638,400 seconds.... doesn't seem like much when you break it down....

I started thinking today about the last six months and what I have accomplished, been through, learned, etc... begins my OCD bulleted list :)

* Competed in my first triathlon
* Since have competed and completed 4
*April, July, August and October (recap coming soon)

* Lost and kept off 25 pounds

*Experienced a pain unlike any other in the loss of my best friend - made it through it but still feel the pain everyday

*Seen one of my dearest friends get married...

*was involved in two car accidents in 28 days... sorry again Erinn :)

* went to Hawaii on an amazing vacation (Thanks Castleberry/Bland clan)

*Raised nearly $1,000 for cancer research between the LiveStrong foundation and the National Brain Tumor Society

* Learned that every experiences matters. You never know when they will be taken away. It is these experiences, no matter how painful, sucky, etc, that make us who we are and shape us into the human being we are.

*Learned that my nieces and nephew grow up too fast... Kaylee turned 9 and started 3rd grade, Shelby turned 1, Cooper turned 3 (outside of the six month mark)....

* Crashed my bike a few times.... but through those provided many laughs for my friends and hey that's what life is about laughing!!!

*logged more airline miles in six months than i ever thought possible....

I'm sure many many more things have happened in the last six months... but these just popped into my head... what does six months mean to you? what have you done? or what will you do?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Life should be a beach (all the time)

It's pic of the week day.... are you excited???

My pic this week is the view that I woke up to for three beautiful mornings in California. Sitting out on the terrace of our hotel room, drinking coffee, and enjoying a cool morning on the beach is not too shabby my friends. If I could do it every single day I would. I seriously fell in love with the beach town of Hermosa Beach... too bad houses on the strand where we stayed range from a cool 2 million to around 7 million.... OUCH!!