Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Frosty 5k!

As you know, Audrey, Luc, and I are training for the Disneyworld Marathon on January 10th (it's less than three weeks away!!). We're sponsored by the Rally foundation, and are raising money for cancer research. We held a fundraiser on December 12th: the Frosty 5k.

Audrey was the brains behind it and major organizing force. Even though we'd run many races before, none of us really knew how much planning and work one takes! She had guidance and support from the Princeton Running Club and people at Dillon Gym, to know that you need to rent portaloos (Luc's favorite term for them), should order X number of t-shirts, and have so many officials. We thought of many different possible 3.1 miles-long routes in Princeton, but most involved township approval and shutting down roads. No way. We settled on the Princeton cross-country course, which was easily approved by the university and all in cushy fields.

A week before, Audrey and I printed off hundreds of fliers and posted them all over campus.
Audrey organizes hundreds of fliers.

We took turns sitting in the Frist campus center, advertising and signing people up. That turned out to be highly unlucrative. Out of seven days, three hours each, we registered about six people. We also signed up two or three one evening, sitting outside the Graduate College dining hall. The most successful advertising was probably through, and possibly our fliers.

Audrey and I meticuously painted medals for first, second, and third in six divisions: Males over 30, Males under 30, Males under 15, Females over 30, and Females under 30, and Females under 15. We also had two extra medals: Average Place Male and Average Place Female:
1st Place Medal
2nd Place Medal
3rd Place Medal
Kids' medals
Average Place Medal

The night before the race, Audrey, Luc, and I assembled the medals, assigned bib numbers to runners, and organized t-shirts. We also baked sugar cookies. Audrey decided that every runner needed a snowman-shaped, frosted sugar cookie. So she baked 150. Rachel and I frosted them all.

We were ready. The weather was supposed to be about 26 deg F, cold, clear, and windy. I set out my many layers of clothes, breakfast, and last minute supplies I needed to bring, and went to sleep. The only thing I forgot to set was my ALARM.

Audrey woke me up at 7am with a text message " ready?" "AAAGH I WILL BE!!" I dressed and left in FIVE MINUTES. I swear that is a record! I picked her up only ten minutes later than we had planned, and we headed to Wegman's to buy several dozen bagels, a hundred bananas, and COFFEE. We scarfed down a bagel in the car on the way to the course. Volunteers--BEAUTIFUL WONDERFUL FREEZING volunteers--met us, helped unload, and set up.

All too soon, it seemed, the masses came to register. This is really the only piece which we would drastically change. Mostly, we'd have more than one registration table, separate lines for day-of and pre-registration, and possibly separate male and female lines. It was mildly chaotic (especially as our hands slowed increasingly as they stiffened and froze), but finally, everyone paid, recieved race bibs, and had the t-shirt of their choice (mostly).

Audrey and I at registration:
Audrey and Jess handle registration

We started only five minutes late! Our 95 runners embarked to the sound of Justin's trumpet, which was pretty sweet.

Our timing team eagerly waited the arrival of the first finisher:
10:05am: The Timing Team waits.

Luc manned the water station halfway through, and captured Meg running by!

The winner overall and of Males under 30 came blazing in at 17:30ish! Tyler, from PPL, came in second with 18:30ish. Full results are posted at

After the runners hydrated, ate bagels, bananas, and cookies, and warmed up with some hot chocolate, Justin's trumpet called them to the medal ceremony with--of course--the medal ceremony music from Star Wars. Awesome. I think everyone thought the medals were cute and enjoyed the event. :D

Clean up was fun--Luc got a flat tire driving over potholes by the fields, we had to divy up dozens of leftover bagels, bananas, and cookies, and we had to dump out about seven gallons of hot chocolate. Eh, we over-planned, but at least no one went hungry!

All in all, it was a fantastic event, we are incredibly close to our fundraising goal (the race raised over $3000), and we are PUMPED for Disneyworld!!!
THE TEAM: Luc, Jess, Audrey

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Tale of a Snowy Morn

On December 6th, I woke up at 7am to see the season's first inch of snow covering the grass. Groggily, I fed the prrraowing Muffinkins, gave him fresh water, and shoved a bowl of oatmeal into the microwave. I drank a glass of water, stirred in two tablespoons of peanut butter and a dollop of milk, and started eating. Sigh. Peanut-buttery oatmeal is not the most appetizing dish. I must, however, finish it all. I need the calories.

7:30am. Oatmeal done. Email checked. It's 32 degrees F outside. Haha...

Time to get dressed:
-cold-weather tights
-long-sleeved shirt
-sports bra
-Bandaid three toes which still don't have healthy nails
-Vaseline entire rest of feet (and other areas)
-special low-rub socks for my feet
-fleece earband
-baseball cap
-old socks for my hands
-house key goes in tiny zippered pocked on back of tights
-accelerometer/pedometer watch

Filled the Fuel Belt:
-two packs of fruit snacks (Toy Story today)
-One 10oz bottle full of water
-One 10oz bottle full of Gatorade

8am. Sigh. Now I had to go outside and meet Luc.

Luc printed off the directions for the morning's adventure. This one was complicated!

1. Start at end of bridge
2. R on WA, L on Fac, R on Alex, R on Univ, R on Nassau
3. L on Snowden/ Riverside
4. L on Hamilton
5. R on Linden
6. R on Franklin, L on EWING
7. R on Valley, L on Harrison
8. Veer R on Burn Dr
9. L on Poor Farm Rd
10. R on Mt Lucas Rd
11. Continue R on Princeton Ave
12. R on Co Rd 518/Georgtown Franklin Turnpike
13. L on Canal Rd
14. R on Old Georgetown Rd
15. L on Copper Mine Rd
16. R on Canal Rd
17. Turn around at Sterling Rd
18. L at Griggstown Causeway
19. L at Towpath--stop at the red bridge!

Or in easier to grasp form, this is where we ran:
Twenty-one miles-long figure 8

Yeees. Twenty-one miles. Oh the apprehension. This was our 3rd to last long run--the last being the 26.2 miles-long marathon! One just never knows how a 4-hour-long run will go.

The towpath was crunchy, and the roads covered in patches of black ice. We inched gingerly along, enjoying the dust of snow on the trees. Before we even ran a mile, I realized that I needed to use the bathroom. Shoot. Good thing WaWa was on the way! Luc danced around outside for a couple minutes while I went in. Finally, we were really off!

We chatted for a few miles as we ran through pretty Princeton neighborhoods. Soon, the neighborhoods turned into rural woodsy areas with a business here and there. Because the sheer length of the run and the black ice weren't enough, a mile-long hill appeared. I do not like hills.

When we ran out of conversation topics (hey, we see each other every day at work, AND train together, AND usually hang out socially), we turned on our iPods and listened to Wally's Marathon Mix. WMM is an amazing, four-hour compilation of diverse upbeat tunes from our littlest supporter, two-year-old Wally (and his mom, Jill).

We angled west and crossed the towpath. Immediately, we turned onto a delightful-sounding road, Old Georgetown Road, next to a delightful-looking red barn structure. The road turned out to be LESS than delightful-feeling, as it was in fact another full MILE of UPHILL. Later, we found out that we gained about 300 ft in elevation during that mile. We huffed and puffed in time to our plodding steps and focused on the beat of the music. Nearly at the top, we passed an adorable adolescent golden retriever who looked just like a young Molly. She really really wanted to come WITH us, but I finally convinced her to go home. Aaaw...

Around mile ten, we had our first fruit snack pack. Aaah fruit snacks. They say that at 10-12 mile-long runs, you should start fueling. One can pay for special sport beans (jelly bellies), gummy things (fruit snacks), or gels (...uber sweet frosting), but we discovered that regular ol' fruit snacks both taste better and are much cheaper than these options.

Once at the top of the hill, the woods cleared and we ran through fluffy white farmland with horsies, sheep, and goats. After a glimpse of vast blue sky and trees waaay below, we reached the other side of the hill and started runnin' dooooown. Thankfully, the sun had melted the ice, and we only had to worry about not trippin'.

The base of the hill was along the D&R canal. We ran along the water for a while, past a beautiful little white church building. The bells were playing a slightly dissonant version of Silent Night. I paused the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" for a bit, because it didn't mesh well with the carol.

Finally, we reached the last leg of our complicated journey: seven miles home on the towpath.

The towpath is a beautiful thing. The New Jersey side is thirty miles long, from Trenton to New Brunswick. Princeton happens to be approximately halfway between them, affording us a scenic, flat, soft-and-knee-friendly running path. The most dangerous thing I have encountered on the towpath (even at 4am), is a bunch of geese protecting their precious goslings. The only downside, really, to the towpath, is that it stretches out in front of you. Forever. It's surrounded by pretty trees and water. Forever. On. And on. And on.

Fourteen miles into this run was when Luc and I died. My legs became like lead. But nothing...hurt. So we kept going.

My face relaxed to expressionless and we ceased chatting. After a great enough distance, you can just keep going forever, until things break (like, your body). It's only mental, a friend told us once. Don't focus on the fact that you have been running for three hours and will have to run another hour to get home. Focus on the beat of the music, your footsteps, your breathing, or landmarks. "This is where we crossed on our way over!" "This is the last street-crossing before Route 27!" "WOO IT'S ROUTE 27! TWO MILES TO GOOO!" Praying for everyone I can think of helps. Writing to-do lists isn't bad. Thinking about research is too upsetting; don't do that.

About half a mile from the end, I had enough. I started sprinting. Luc said "whoa, what are you doing?? COOL DOWN. It's a COOL DOWN." I slowed down. Hrmph. I was just so bored.

Finally, we reached the red bridge around 12:30pm. In ecstasy and relief, we stopped our watches. 21.07 miles completed in 4:01:50. Happy sigh. :)

I enjoy post-run, a lot. I love the stiff walk back to my apartment, the first glass of water or gatorade, my post-run-smoothie, stretching, showering, being in pain for the next three days, and having to eat back the 2500ish calories burned. Mmmmmmmm exercise!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Relaxing and SUPER Productive.

This year, as with every year I've spent on the east coast, I traveled an hour north to Fort Lee, NJ, to spend Thanksgiving with my friend Sarah and her lovely family. I only stayed for the afternoon and evening on Thursday, as I had to return to feed and love my dear gato and my friend Laura's gata next door. That meant that this morning, I could sleep in as long as I wanted to and have the most leisurely day imaginable. sleep in, I mean toss and turn in bed while coughing my lungs out until 10am, and by leisurely...I mean...this:

My apartment was filthy. Messy, and pretty downright dirty, too. My goal for this weekend was to decorate for Christmas, while enjoying Christmas music. I couldn't do that in such a state. Armed with a latte, eggs-cheese-n-salsa, and still in pre-Thanksgiving pumpkin PJ bottoms, I pumped up the holiday tunes and markered up my whiteboard. Do the dishes. Check! Hang up pile of coats on the couch. Check! Put away shoes that accumulated underneath the dining room table. Check! Sweep! Mop! Scrub! Borrow Meg's vacuum because I have her keys because they're on Luc's keyring because I'm taking care of Luc's fish! Vacuum! Pile dirty laundry in middle of floor in preparation for the post-acquiring-of-quarters! Find cat toys in EVERY nook and cranny!

Wonder why cat has so many toys!
Big day! We started by cleaning...

Find cat zonked in unmade bed!
Tuckered out from cleaning the apartment.

Yes, it was incredible. I hate cleaning. Thus, I go for weeks and then REALLY CLEAN ALL AT ONCE AAAGH. That was finally finished, so I showered. At 4pm. Beautiful.

Next! I dug out my Christmas decorations. Replaced summery picture of siblings with snowy picture of siblings. Hung little stockings on Moroccan wrought-iron hooks. Decided to go out and buy...

My first very own Christmas tree!
My first TREE!!!

It is of course real. I believe in pine tree smell, sticky pine sap, and pine needles ground into carpet.

I used a steak knife to trim it:
Steak knives trim trees just fine.

We decorated and decorated and finally have this:
Isn't it CUTE?

I LOVE it. It makes the living room so warm and cozy:
Living room!

Here's the tiny topper:

Some ornaments:

My sleepy buddy:
So sleepy.

My festive fish:
Sonne even decorated his tank.

And my other project of the day, making two pounds of refried beans from scratch:
Cleaning, decorating...and refried bean making!

Ah yeah. Who has a freezer full of tastiness?? Me.

And now, we must go to sleep. In my post-Thanksgiving, Christmas snowmen PJ bottoms. Love and Merry Start-of-the-Christmas-Season!

...and he is DONE posing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Busy busy busy

Fall arrived in Princeton and brought colorful leaves, busy conferences, and fabulous escapades. Sadly, the leaves have mostly fallen off the trees and the east is rather brown, but it was beautiful while it lasted!

...golden leaves...

...what more could we want?

Lake Carnegie is my fav.


Faraday even got to enjoy the brilliant outdoors:
Tryin' out the leash!

He continues to be my darling little buddy and is such good company! My life is much brighter with him in it. He walks all over me to wake me up to feed him, and sleeps on my chest if I ignore him long enough. He always greets me with a (often groggy) "prr!" when I come home. He loves to sleep on my lap when I'm knitting, reading, or watching a movie. He'll scratch my bookcase to get my attention when I'm too enthralled by my laptop...and he likes to hang out in the bathtub:
"Yes, your shampoo is still there."

He also loves to chill out while I wash dishes:
"Let's COOK!!"

Walking amongst leaves and playing with Faradude is quite relaxing. My life really isn't. What ELSE am I doing, you ask?

1. Performing at dance festivals:
We kept playing even when the music stopped!

2. RUNNING a lot:
The marathon is coming up so quickly! Today we ran 19 miles. Yes. NINETEEN. I'm sore and tired, but accomplished. We're hosting two fundraisers: the Frosty 5K in Princeton, and the virtual Coast-to-Coast 5k that ANYONE can do. SIGN UP!

3. Attending conferences:
I had posters in a conference at lab in October and APS at the beginning of November.
APS was in Atlanta, home of the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola. My usual buddies and I had plenty of fun at both:
TWO whale sharks

Love the Coke Bear

The best part of the Coke museum is the tasting floor. One can taste over 50 different kinds of pop (I MEAN SODA, EAST COASTERS, SODA)! One can drink AS MUCH as one WANTS! We indeed tried every kind, and had the biggest sugar high and then crash ever.
Taste the Coke!

4. Lots of other stuff, but we'll save that for another day. :)

Many more pictures can be found here, as usual.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Carnegie 5k: 27:53

Yesterday was my running races first birthday! Rachel, Audrey, and I ran in the Carnegie 5k, which was Rachel's and my first race this time last year.

Audrey decided to not run at her full speed and instead be my pacer. I said, "Eh, I just want to break 30:00." She said, "OKAY THEN!!"

She wouldn't let me talk, because we were going at a conversation-isn't-comfortable pace, and just chattered at me the whole way. It was beautiful.

Also beautiful: we wore our new bright orange shirts from Philly last weekend. As we were sprinting around the last bend, someone cheered "YOU GOT IT! YOU RAN PHILLY! YOU CAN DO THIS!" :)

See a difference from last year??
Race Date:09-27-08
Sex F
Age 23
Time 33:09
Pace 10:40.1
Place 271
Gender Place 116/171
Age Group Place F20-24: 13/20
Masters Age PLP 44.6%

Race Date:09-26-09
Bib Number 7
Sex F
Age 24
Time 27:53
Pace 8:58.4
Place 210
Gender Place 69/195
Age Group Place F20-24: 4/9
Masters Age PLP 53.1%

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Half Marathon: 2:18:55

Smilin' big at 10k mark.

Finally. After five months of planning, two months of training, and about two hours and eighteen minutes and fifty-five seconds, I ran a half-marathon.

Rewind five years: my junior year of college, four girls in my house were training for a half or full marathon. Another roommate and I said, "let's do that!!" So, we trained. We trained for two whole weeks. We ran: possibly two miles. We quit.

Fast forward a couple years: read this post. Yes, I ran a 5k (3.1 miles). And then a 10k (6.2 miles). And then, I said, LUC. LET'S RUN A HALF MARATHON (13.1 miles).

To the present: Luc, Meg, and I set about training for the Philadelphia Distance Run half marathon on September 20, 2009. Luc and I started with our marathon training schedule and worked with the coach to accommodate the half, so we ran four days a week: an easy jog on Monday, a long (6-7 miles) run on Wednesday, a speed workout on Thursday, and a long run on Saturday. The longest long run we did was 14.4 miles!!! So really, we ran over half a marathon before the race. That built massive confidence. MEG, it should be noted, started around the same time we did--from 0 miles. That's ZERO. The longest she did was nine miles before the race--so she was a bit nervous.

Saturday, September 19th, Meg, Luc, and I drove to the convention center in downtown Philly to pick up our registration packets, walk around the health and fitness expo, see Audrey briefly, and meet up with Dave. We enjoyed a booth of running shirts with clever sayings, such as "My sport is your sport's punishment", "In my dreams I am Kenyan", or one that hits home:
Toenails are for sissies!
Marathon training has cost me four toenails so far. ;)

We spent the night at Dave and Heather's amazing new apartment. Their building looks like a hotel. They have a pool and a hot tub. We spent much of the evening in the hot tub.

The morning dawned bright and clear. We parked a good mile or two from the start of the race at the art museum (the Rocky steps one) and had a beautiful energetic walk there:
Start by the Art Museum!

The air was filled with excitement (cliche, but it was) as 12,341 runners and many more spectators and volunteers milled about in anticipation. We reveled in the glorious Philly skyline:
Training buddies and the shiny Philly skyline.

The race began at 7:30am with a wave start--the fastest people (based on estimated finish time) started first, the next group a minute behind them, and so on. We all wore chips on our shoes that timed us specifically between the start, 5k, 10k, 10 mile, and finish lines. Good thing. Our chip time was about half an hour behind clock time!

Finally, around 8am, we were off!! The course was fun--it started at the art museum, ran downtown by the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, back by the art museum, and off along the Schuylkill river, across a bridge, and back down the other side up to the art museum to finish. Bands played every few miles (except on the really boring, long river-side stretch in the middle), and thousands of people lined the streets (except on the really boring, long river-side stretch in the middle) to cheer us on!

Our personal cheerleader, Heather, took pictures! Here's one showing the start on the left and runners passing back by on the right:
There were 12,200 participants

Sadly, the ones of us were mostly blocked by other runners. But the official race photographers got some good ones!

Here we are still smiling at the 10k mark:
We made it to the 10k! Woo!

Our training long runs were at paces between 10:20-10:30 min/mile. Luc set our pace for the first seven miles or so at just a bit over 10:00 min/mile!! Finally, Meg and I forced him to slow down, because we wouldn't make it the whole way otherwise.

At a few points, my knees and hips would take turns twinging in pain or stiffening up. Thankfully, after a mile or so, they'd decide to loosen up. Whew.

Our race fuels of choice were fruit snacks (Batman or High School Musical 3) and one pack of Gu from the Gu fueling station. Gu is super sweet gel that helps you FINISH STRONG...or something. I had strawberry banana. It was okay. Maybe it helped.

On the last two miles, however, Meg and I tanked. It got really, really hard. Luc was an ever-bouncy cheerleader/drill sergeant and tried to keep our spirits up even when I snapped at him. It hurt, man. My knees, my hips, my feet. On the last mile, I even started wheezing--or almost crying, or hyperventilating?--and totally scared Meg. But thankfully, that stopped after a couple of minutes. We felt so badly like walking, but our ONLY goal was to NOT WALK. RUN IT. JUST KEEP RUNNING. Alllllmoooost theeeere.

I loved the enthusiasm of the supporters. They had signs, they had pom poms, they had encouragement for all. Finally, people were screaming "ONLY A QUARTER OF A MILE LEFT!!" We picked up the pace! We were on the homestretch! JUST KEEP RUNNING.

Then, we rounded a corner, and saw the finish line straight ahead! Meg SPRINTED off at lightening speed, with Luc caught off guard but quickly on her heels. They crossed at 2:18:43. JUST KEEP RUNNING. I pushed a bit harder. I crossed at 2:18:55. YEEEEHHHHAAAAWWW!!!!

About to die at mile 13.1.
(Remember, chip time is about 30 minutes different than clock time.)


SUCH RELIEF AND TRIUMPH!!! We got our medals, water, chocolate milk (good recovery drink), and a banana (excellent recovery food), found Dave (he finished way before we did) and Heather, and SAT DOWN. We couldn't believe it! We DID IT!

Dave, Meg, Luc, and Jess

The walk back felt good for stretching joints, but every little stair hurt.
Was it not a beautiful day??
Philly is a pretty city.

We relaxed in the pool and hot tub for a good 45 minutes. Aaaaahhhh. (Okay, an ice bath would be better for recovery, but they didn't have one.) Then we had a buffalo chicken cheesesteak. Then that NIGHT we had wine and cheese. It was oooone perfect Sunday! :D


Here's all of our awesome loot:
First Half Marathon!!!

My Official Results:
Distance HALF MAR
Clock Time 2:48:21
Chip Time 2:18:55
Overall Place 9524 / 12341
Gender Place 4399 / 6430
Division Place 514 / 675
Age Grade 47.4%
Pace 10:36
Ttlrace 12341
Ttldiv 675
Ttlsex 6430
5 Km 31:46
10 Km 1:04:02
10 Mi 1:45:38

Next up: Disney World Marathon. Please Donate: we are raising $11,000 to benefit childhood cancer research, and could use your HELP! :D Thank you!

All half-marathon pictures are here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rock Band Cake!

Y'all know how much I love to bake. I bake cookies. I bake brownies. I bake cupcakes. I bake cakes. For the Tokabats, I baked a Tokacake. For Josh's birthday, I baked another Tokacake. Rachel and I recently, for no good reason, decorated cupcakes to look like kitty faces and sunflowers. (See lots of that here.)

So, when Luc told us that he found a wiki how-to make a Rock Band drum set cake, it was natural that he, as Meg's fiance, and I, as her good friend who really enjoys baking, attempt to make ourselves one for her birthday!

Here, in my own words, is our own adaptation of that rather gigantic confectioned musical instrument replica...replica.


Ingredients and Tools
2 boxed cake mixes
2 cans of chocolate frosting
1 can of cream cheese frosting
Black, red, blue, yellow, and green food coloring

1 13x9 pan
4 mini-Bundt tins
1 cookie sheet

Ziploc bags
Really good spreading knives (I used cheese knives)
2 chopsticks

1. Mix up and bake cake in 13x9 and Bundt tins.
2. Carefully remove cake from Bundt tins. These are your drums.
3. Moosh cake pieces back into the shape they should have been when removed from Bundt tins.
4. Cut 13x9 cake in half. One half is your controller.
5. Arrange four Bundt cakes on cookie sheet like drums.
6. Cut out a semicircle on either side of the controller; insert a drum on either side.
7. Moosh semicircle waste into a foot pedal. Arrange on cookie sheet.
See Figure 1.

Figure 1:
Creating a Rock Band Drum Set Cake.

8. Dump both cans of chocolate frosting into a mixing bowl and dye it black. This will take lots of black food coloring. Lots.
9. Spread it liberally, but not with too much gusto, onto the cake, which will probably crumble and require much mooshing and molding and glopping and glueing. Be sure to get all crevices.
See Figures 2 and 3.

Figure 2:
Carefully frosting the cake.

Figure 3:

10. Split the cream cheese frosting into four bowls, saving about a teaspoon in a fifth bowl.
11. Dye the teaspoon-sized portion orange (using red and yellow food coloring, perhaps?), and each other bowl red, blue, green, or yellow.

Now, you are ready for your detailed frosting!
12. Take a Ziploc bag, open it, fill it with frosting, and zip it up, squeezing out all of the air.
13. Squish the frosting down into one (non-zip-side) corner.
14. Reinforce the corner with scotch tape (a couple of layers).
15. Snip a small V into the taped-up corner.
16. PRACTICE on the extra half-a-13x9! Squeeze the bag and notice how thick the frosting is and how well you can control making tubes and dots.

17. Decorate as in Figure 4! :D

Figure 4:
VOILA! Rockband Drum Set Cake!!!

18. We used paper towels to carefully clean the frosting drips off of the cookie sheet.
19. We could not let our extra half-a-13x9 cake and extra frosting go to waste, so we went to TOWN, and brought Figure 5 to lab for our very, very happy labmates!

Figure 5:
With the leftovers, pretend you are Jackson Pollack.

While we were having the birthday party at Josh's house, with his brand-new Beatles Rock Band (which, incidentally, Luc, Meg, and I bought him for HIS birthday), we made Meg come to my place to see her cake. We were afraid, you know, it might be destroyed in transit.

She came in with eyes closed...
Keep your eyes cloooosed.

...and was HAPPY!!! ...if honestly not a bit surprised. ;)

Later, at Josh's, after playing STRAIGHT THROUGH Beatles Rock Band in ONE SITTING, we set the drums on fire:
Drums...on FIRE!
(So, how old is she?)

We sang (we were totally warmed up after BRB):
"Haaappy Biiiirthday to yoooou..."

She posed:
Meg's drums and her drum cake!

And then we ATE!