Funny but I get more personal emails when I post about running than most of my posts. I think it is because whatever our form of exercise is: running, walking, biking, swimming - we can all identify with the struggle to get out do it whether it is because of motivation or lack of time, the great feeling of accomplishment when you do get out or complete a race, and trying to keep up the habit (I just keep telling myself it takes 21 days to form a habit - it has worked so far with my giving up facebook).

I have to admit, I am not getting on with my running plan as much as I had hoped. Life gets in the way. I've be pondering a tri for my 40th but I am a long way from that right now. Barely getting out to walk or run will make it almost impossible to find time to train for a tri.

So to help us all with getting motivated as the  Texas weather finally improves and the rest of the country starts warming up I am providing my list of Top 10 songs for getting out and getting a move on. I've tried running without music and for a while I ran and listened to NPR. I've found that both stress me out while I run because I either spend too much time in my head or I was getting upset with the horrible events in the world. So I have to music and because of that I have an official rule about running playlist: You can't judge a person by the running/exercise playlist as the intent  is to add the music that makes you get up go. To that end, I think I might have some pent up anger as the music that really gets me going are the break-up, getting over your sad self songs. I mean Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is well loved because it gets us all energized. I have a few slow ones on here and I know there is a whole RPM and your song list strategy but I am not coordinated enough to get my running and music and my pace together. I just need music that gets me going.

Meghan's Top 10 15  20 23 Running/Get Up and Move Songs

I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift
Girlfriend - Avril Lavinge
Titanium - David Guetta (featuring Sia)
Dark Horse - Katie Perry
Voodoo Child - Rogue Trader
Love You Like a Love Song - Selena Gomez
Sydney (I'll Come Running) - Brett Dennen
Ways to Go - Grouplove
Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
Mama's Broken Heart - Miranda Lambert
Starship - Nicki Manaj
Wishlist - Pearl Jam
Never Will Be Mine - Rye, Rye Robyn
Wind it Up - Gwen Stefani
I Would Do Anything - Foster the People
Dancing on My Own - Robyn
Trojans - Atlas Genius
Swimming in Your Sea - Bob Scheinder
Run The World (Girls) - Beyonce
Take a Chance on Me - ABBA
Only Wanna Dance with You - Kesha
Fall Down - will.i.am
Night Jogger - Those Darlins


Year in Review - Mixbook

FINALLY! Life at the Lucas House 2013 Year in Review photo book.  I made this one on Mixbook, which I have to say I like more than others I've used especially since it lets me pull photos from Instagram, which is where we all know I live. I couldn't get the book to embed but you can view using the link below. I am not 100% pleased with some of it but that is more just me wanting to get this done as I've had it in process since January.  Enjoy the wild ride of our lives in 2013.


PS: I just realize that the link isn't hot. You need to copy and paste it in to your browser to see it.


♥ this guy

Hard to believe 12 years ago Rick and I were just in our first full month of pregnancy with this guy. 

He is a mini-me in so many ways, like wearing the weight of the world on his shoulders so it does my soul good to see this smile. 
We spent the weekend watching him do what he loves more than anything. I am excited about our team this year although I don't want to jinx it in any way. It is hard to find the team that fits just right - one where you like the parents, the kids like each other, everyone is having fun, and the boys enjoy playing together. We've been practicing for almost 3 months now and finally played and it all felt good. 


spring break recap

As is the case every spring break in Austin changes in to a whole new world as the who's who of music and film descended on Austin for SXSW. It is the one time of the year that I feel like a foreigner in my own city. It almost feels like living in LA and who wants to live there? News coverage featured JayZ, Seth Rogen, Jimmy Kimmel ran his show here for a week, Rachel Ray, and on and on. So it is surprising with all this news coverage that Pete Flisakowski was able to slip in to town unnoticed.

We enjoyed our time with Grandpa Pete,  but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate with his hopes of fishing. He got out one day on Lake LBJ and then he and the boys fished from the docks one day at Lake Pflugerville. We managed to do a few other things to keep busy including visiting the Bob Bullock museum, the Cele Store for some BBQ, The Noble Pig for a great sandy, a baseball practice with JT, and Sherman and Mr. Peabody (Grandpa Pete and boys only!). The chickens loved having him in town so they could show their tricks to a new audience.

There is a good chance, Grandpa Pete had to undergo some serious therapy to decompress and acclimate back to regular life after a few days here but we enjoyed having him and hope he makes an annual fishing trip  to Texas in March.

After Grandpa Pete left, Rick and I had two nights of adults only activities to wind up our Spring Break. The first was seeing Lucinda Williams at the new venue the Roost and the second was helping Rick's buddy Mike celebrate his 50th. Both were great events. I've wanted to see Lucinda ever since I was introduced to her music when we arrived here 15 years ago but she is a hard ticket to come by. I was not disappointed. The Roost is a smaller venue and because of SXSW it wasn't packed. We were close to the stage and I think she played almost all of my favorites. The birthday party was great fun as well. I left at a reasonable hour but I think some mid-forty and newly fifty year old men learned that they can't drink tequila shots like they did years ago.

We are all back in the full swing of our normal routine post spring break, work has been busy (hence my late post), and of course baseball is going full speed now so most nights are spent juggling schedules.

For you listening enjoyment, I am providing my top 10 Lucinda Williams songs.I think I've rewritten the list a few hundred times because there are so many I love. Lucinda definitely knows heartbreak and love and has some great lines like "conversation with you was like a drug" or "june bug versus hurricane".

1. Essence
2. R U Alright
3. Something About What Happens When we Talk
4. Still Long for Your Kiss
5. Right in Time
6. Righteously 
7. Those Three Days
8. Change the Lock (Tom Petty cover is the more known version)
9. Joy
10. Blue


running with regret

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. 

I think I can narrow down 2013 to two major regrets. I am sure I could come up with more but there are only two that I ponder every now and again. I think two is pretty decent number. While both are lessons learned and all the jazz there is one that I can take action with and other I just have to let go.

So 2013 actionable regret: The Zooma Half Marathon.
Hard to believe that it was just a year ago that I bamboozled my dear friends in to running the Zooma Half at Lost Pines Resort. And even crazier to believe that they are all still talking to me. Sadly I have done little to more like no running since the half (and I have the weight gain to prove it). I have a long list of excuses but I am slowly getting over those and working on getting back out there. Part of getting back out there includes a goal and right now I am pondering the half in NOLA in November. I've also wondered about having my goal for 40 being a tri but let's not get carried away!  So here are my reflections on running my second half:
  • I need to train better. - I ran mainly long distances on weekends but I often skipped my shorter week day runs. Ultimately this hurt me because while I managed to run 10 miles one weekend I wasn't adding enough miles. When I trained with Rick he kept me on a strict schedule and we slowly added miles. It was tedious but we had a far better outcome.
  • If I run a half with friends and we want to run the entire race together, we need to train together. I love my friends especially that they ran with me but we never trained together. I knew a few of my friends would run faster but three of us started together and probably could have finished together but we weren't used to each others styles. It all worked out fine but I would have liked to have stayed together the whole time but eventually I had to let them go ahead.
  • I should review the course in advance. Honestly had I looked at the Lost Pines course, I may have freaked out and skipped the race; the hills were insane and scary. I think a little bit of knowledge would have helped though.
  • Make plans that allow for enjoyment after the race. Lost Pines Resort was amazing and I want to go back someday. We all arrived on Friday, a bowl full of nerves and wandered aimlessly through the beautiful resort and then once the race was over we had to be out of our room. Next time I do this with friends, we make it a two night event and we enjoy/reward ourselves!
I am bulking up my playlist. I've dusted off my sneakers. I've weeded through my running clothes. Now I just need mother nature to cooperate and I will be out on the trails again. Ironically, Zooma sent me an email this weekend telling me they still had slots open for the 4/12 half at Lost Pines. I wish I was ready but baby steps, bird by bird, eat the elephant one piece at a time and whatever other adage applies.



There is a small transom window above my shower that I never notice or rather rarely notice but I noticed it today when I went to step in the shower and saw a scene I don't believe I've ever seen in Texas: icicles hanging from my eves.

I know it isn't the best photo and if you saw of photo of me taking the photo that would be funnier but you get the idea.

It has been 17 years since I've lived in a town where it snows. I've spent a few vacations in the snow but it has always been a brief trip and a novelty with the promise of a return to the South so I've never minded. Today I write to proclaim that I have reached my limit of cold. I think it is a bit of karma because in years past I have smiled, wiggled my toes in the sun while I looked at photos of friends up north suffering through a March snowstorm.

It makes me wonder how I ever managed to live here:

I remember walking across campus and my nose hairs freezing. And as soon as it hit 55 degrees we would all be out in our shorts.  I searched through my old photos for some of the snow but I guess we only liked to take photos in the warmth of the sun.  

Don't worry though, it set to warm up in to the 60s tomorrow although it looks like we won't be getting much warmer and there may be rain while my dad is here to go fishing with the boys. And of course, all of my sweet friends up North can sit back and wiggle their toes in the sun come July and August when I am inside hiding in the AC from the 100 degree temperatures.


Throwing Caution to the Wind

A few Sundays back Rick had the boys, which meant the girls and I were left to our own devices. We had maxed out our adventures at the grocery store and park and the weather was too nice to not want to be outside. It just happens that I had a large canvas sitting around - doesn't everyone? - and thought I'd throw caution to the wind and let the chickens paint. Full disclosure here, I usually don't have large canvases laying around but this one was left over from the TV show. One of my top 10 annoyances with the show was that they wouldn't let me use my artwork in the house. Everything I had was replaced with work that was (hastily) created for the show. Ironically you see more of my actual "stuff" in the pilot episode than you do throughout the rest of the show but that doesn't make up for me having to stare at it for 6 months.

So this is what throwing caution to the wind looks like.

Kit Kat definitely enjoyed painting more than Lulu. In the largest photo you can see her singing while she paints. Lulu eventually got worried about the amount of paint she had on her body more than anything else but also kept adding paint to her body. The boys came home while we were still painting and JT jumped in to lend his touch. Below is what they ended up creating. I am going to leave it as for now and hang it in my room although it was so much fun that I may take it down and repaint it with all four kids or maybe we will just get some new canvases.