31 December 2009

Ending another year

Last night K&E came to town (YAY!) so we drove around a bit so they could see the sights and then we went to my favorite restaurant for dinner. It was so fun to go out with a couple (MS was my date, natch) and just have adult conversation all night. And the food...OMG! LOVED it! I had Elk, E had Buffalo, MS had walleye and I can't remember what K had but it looked delicious too. Then we finished it up with a slice of carrot cake and some egg nog creme brulee.

I was so excited to see them and it was great to have them here to have a chance to get to know MS a little bit better. We all had a wonderful time.

Now today is the last day of the year. I had great intentions at work but didn't quite make it. And tonight I'm call for TCC. I'm praying and praying that there aren't any calls tonight. Primarily because the reason for the calls would NOT be good, and secondarily - I'm so tired, I just want to sleep tonight.

Last night I woke up at 2, wide awake. I relaxed for about 20 minutes trying to fall back asleep when the coughing started. ugh. So I got up and tried some tea and being upright for about another 20 minutes and went back to bed. I finally fell asleep and woke up about 5, coughing again.

I'm really getting sick of this cold. It's just wiping me out. :( I know part of it is diet, so I'm thinking I'm going to start SB up again next week. We have our Christmas' this weekend so Sunday or Monday would be good.

And so I'm just staying in tonight. MS is working so I'm just trying to reflect on the year, do some laundry, and pray for no calls.

I wish you all a great new year's eve and a wonderful 2010. See you on the flip side.

27 December 2009

Christmas Present

Before:


After:


Yes, my awesome BF gave me a TV for Christmas. (He got a welder and welder cart, so it was pretty even). I have finally upgraded from my 1993, 13" TV I have had since college. It wasn't that it didn't work. It worked just fine and fit nicely in my apartment. But now I have 32" of pure tv joy. I will say, it's nice to not have to squint to read the credits anymore. And it did give me a reason to tie up the cords in an organized manner in the back. When I moved in I just plugged everything in and called it good. Now things are a little bit better. :)

26 December 2009

Whoops


I'm realizing today that we didn't take any pictures of us opening gifts. That's not good. So here's one of MS before heading out to play in the snow for the first time this weekend.

He got me my own set of snow pants and boots, too. I tested those out this morning and I think they're almost too warm. I got a little light headed a couple of times and had to unzip my coat. So now he's out raking the roof and I'm going to get our lunch ready. Another day hunkering down.

25 December 2009

A Nika Christmas

Last weekend I headed to Sconnie to see my adorable Goddaughter and her awesome parents. K&E (the awesome parents) are my best friends and shockingly they still love me even with all the weird issues I've had. :) They put up with me and I love them all very much.

Our plan for the weekend was to prep for Christmas with all sorts of edible delights that are common in our families. So we started with lefse. E had some trouble finding the potato ricer but was quite excited once he did.


K's sister and I did a lot of the rolling out and flipping while K watched Nika and E tormented us. He took this photo saying, "I wanted to get Nika into the photo to aid in the cuteness." Nice. Like I'm not cute enough (though he's right).


Sunday Nika and I spent the morning together playing before we headed to E's church for services. We had some fun during breakfast, and she really liked her Santa bib.


My psuedo-art shot...I love this photo of her. I'd like to crop it down a bit, but I really love her sweet face here. :)


Sunday night we had a mini Christmas and opened gifts. I got Nika a few things - a Chatterbox Telephone (a nostalgic gift but K, E and I all loved it), some embroidered towels for her fun bath time, and a set of books that are a touch the art series. I love Starry Night...

Merry Christmas!

MS and I are hunkered down at his house and we're enjoying staying in. Lots of movies, lots of relaxing (making up for summer), and apparently lots of snow. The driveway has some deep drifts, but I'm really not seeing all this snow we're supposed to have. I'm chalking it up that we're in the country so the wind is blowing it around, whereas in town I'm guessing it's stacking up since it has nowhere to go.

So today we're going to finish opening gifts, have some cinnamon rolls, bake some cookies, shovel or snowblow, and just enjoy the Christmas. My bigger question is whether we'll make it to my family Christmas tomorrow or if we'll be postponing (I'm guessing the latter). Or if I'll make it to the Cities on Sunday to see my friends T&E for their anniversary.

Well, hopefully something will work out. For now, I'm going to curl up on the couch, have some tea, and enjoy Christmas with my boy.

24 December 2009

Hunkered down

So there's this BIG Blizzard supposedly coming our way, so MS and I have hunkered down at his place (he has a nicer TV and a garage for both of us). It's pretty funny though, because the weather guys have been "claiming" that this thing of monumental proportions is coming but we haven't had much of any snow yet. MS keeps saying it's coming, but I'm not sure if I should believe him or not. My sister says that he's right this time. Crap.

But either way, it's Christmas time again and we're hanging out and relaxing at his house. I'm hoping to make some cookies later and get MS involved in the fun of cookie making. I have a feeling he might retreat to the basement, but we'll see.

So for now, I'm going to knit, bake and then hang out with my boy. Hope you all keep warm if you're in the cooler climates. :)

17 December 2009

Just in case you didn't think I was crazy enough...

I’m seriously contemplating something I never would have thought I would contemplate..EVER in my entire lifetime. It’s going to sound insane. People will think I’m crazy. My own boyfriend thinks I’m nuts. The only person who thinks I might actually do this said, when I told her, “You’re actually thinking about this, aren’t you?” I’m sure my friends would want me to see a doctor. I’ve already admitted I need therapy. But I’m actually contemplating this.

My brother has suggested we run the JFK 50 Mile.

Yes, that’s right. An ultra marathon. What’s funny is my brother hasn’t even completed a marathon, so an ultra the first time out of the gate seems insane to me. But I’m hoping I can convince him that a few other races prior to the event might be a good idea.

We had talked about this before, kind of in jest but thinking about it all the while. I hadn’t thought about the ultra in months until he brought it up again today. So I, being the internet nerd, went online to check it out. And actually, it’s kind of cool.

from one of the websites: “This race, in Washington County, MA, was inspired by John F. Kennedy’s support of Teddy Roosevelt’s assertion, that to remain commissioned, military officers should be able to travel 50 Miles, on foot, in less than 20 hours. This led to the first JFK 50 in 1963 which is one of the oldest Ultra Marathons in the United States.”

That “MA” should actually read “MD” since it’s in Maryland, not Massachusetts but who cares. I like this idea, that a military officer should be able to travel 50 miles on foot in less than 20 hours. It’s doable. One website even says you could walk it and still finish under the 14 hour time limit, and it’s true. A consistent 15 minute mile would get you there in just over 12 ½ hours.

Not that I’m a military officer but the idea of the premise is great. If you’re going to lead, you should be strong enough to do so. And trail running! How fun! I don’t get to do much, if any, trail running in these parts but it would be a great reason to go camping in some hillier areas to get some training in. It’s a great motivator for me to get a few more races in and to stay focused throughout the year, building up to the run. And a great excuse to eat lots of good holiday snacks when it’s over since I’ll have the holiday season following the grueling run.

Plus I’d get to run with my brother. Probably not side by side since he’s 6 foot so his stride would be a bit longer than mine, but he has said he’s slow so maybe. J Just kidding, brother. But it would be fun. It’d be a nice trip out east for a long weekend, I’d get to hang with my fam out there, and compete in something insane (which people tell me I do when I run marathons, I might as well up the ante). I’d also get to buy a bunch of trail running gear, and since I love shopping for running clothes and gear this would be super fun. And the challenge of not only the miles, but the differing terrain, is appealing, as is the questionable weather, the intensity of that many miles upright all without a nap, not to mention the recovery time.

I haven’t committed myself yet, but I am thinking about it. It’s a great reason to get into P90X (which I was supposed to do in November) and to really get out and run more (which I have great excuses not to these days) and an even better reason to eat healthier (which both MS and I need to do).

16 December 2009

Checking in

It's been awhile since I looked at the Mondo Beyond page but I felt compelled to do so today. MS and I are still going strong which is great. I'm really excited about our future together.

I do feel that I have been a bit unfair to both him and me with not dealing with my issues and conflicts and struggles with my mother. Truly, who doesn't have issues with their mom, but mine have continued to grow in the past few months. Lately, any little thing she says or does just ticks me off and I'm not sure why. I know part of my fear is that I'm going to turn into her as I get older. In fact, MS joked about that the other night, "You know, the good thing about all of this is that we are getting to see what we'll be like when we're that age." God help us. I told him it's his job to keep me from being her.

I'm not sure why some her actions, complaints, conversations irk me so. My friend K has suggested a time or two (or eight) that I should go to therapy. She went with some issues she was dealing with regarding her career and decisions and it's turned her life around. I know I need to, but I need to figure out how to afford it.

So I took that step last night and actually read my benefits for my insurance for 2010. I figure if I'm paying for it I should take advantage of it. I need to find a preferred provider and then call to see how many sessions they will cover.

It's a scary step but I don't like feeling like this. I don't know why I get so annoyed with her. Part of it I'm sure I'm bringing on my self by not speaking up but when I do speak up she gets this hurt look or she gets pissy and snaps back at me.

Hopefully I can find someone to work with and work through all these stupid issues. I need to be fair to me so it's not weighing me down anymore.

04 December 2009

Recorders

I am so tired. So very tired. Today was just long...loooooonnnnnnggg.

But it ended well. I got to hear/see Zach and Emmy's Christmas concert. It was really cute and Em actually wore a skirt! Shocker! She is such a tomboy but she's wonderful.

It was so fun to see them tonight. I miss hanging out with them. The holidays are good for that at least.

But now, I'm very tired and going to bed. good night...

03 December 2009

Tired of being the planner

I kind of vented quite a bit today to KC. We had to shop today for the holiday party we're having for work on Saturday. Somehow we have gotten stuck with planning it yet again this year. I really didn't want to have one this year because it's so much work and not many people can attend. Plus we wanted to just have a spring get-together when it's nice out and more fun to be outside.

But no, Boss2b decided we should have a holiday party (not that he'll be there) so we have been planning it. We have a potluck so people can just bring things but then we supplement it with a few other items to make sure we have something. But our planning process was so late this year so we don't have a very good count of how many people will actually be there. And KC likes to include the kids of our co-workers so that adds to it all too.

It's just frustrating because on top of all of this, my family can't plan worth crap. No one wants to commit or make a plan because "well, we'll have to see what's going on" or "I'm not sure if that date will work (if one is suggested) but I'm not sure what will. I'll have to get back to you."

It gets old. And I'm really tired of being the party planner. Especially when it's so discombobulated.

*Sigh* I'm just tired and disgruntled about my job and all this crap lately. It's the holidays and things are supposed to be fun, but I'm just not there today.

02 December 2009

It's snowing, take 2.


I have been having a hard time articulating what I want to say lately. I start out with one thing on my brain but it comes out completely different when I start typing. It's like my fingers don't want to comply.

So anyway, one of my thoughts about snow was that I really don't like it. It does seem too soon and I know that it's December and we could have had a lot more snow by now, but still. I want to run outside (funny that I want to do this now when November was beautiful and I hardly went out). And I don't mind running dressed up like the Bumble, but I'm just not quite ready for it.

But it is also nights like this, with the new snow on the slick streets that will get slicker as the night gets colder, that I'm so thankful for my awesome boyfriend. MS is an EMT/Firefighter and he's already been on calls for 3 cars in the ditch and one roll over. It's just 8pm and he has 12 more hours of work to go with this crap. But he's very good at what he does and I know that when he gets called out again he will be there to take care of whoever has had difficulties tonight. I'm very thankful for him, his crew, and the rest of the crews working as EMTs/Firefighters. And all those wonderful ER folks, and police officers, and everyone else who is out taking care of the rest of us.

For me, I'm going to do some laundry, maybe, nah...I'm going to take a bath and go to bed early. I haven't taken care of me in awhile. Friday I can do laundry and do the other stuff then.

To all of my readers (all 5 of you), please be safe tonight and always. Blessings to you all.

It's snowing.

And I'm sad.

I don't mind the snow but it just seems too soon. I was trying to remember today how I used to run all the time last year, but maybe I didn't run as often as I thought I did. I'll have to look back in my log.

Today was a busy day at work. It's Wednesday which means Meeting Day! I had four this morning alone. Then it was just the task of staying focused and completing some projects this afternoon. I got two finished, but I have two I didn't and I needed. So tomorrow will be busy again too.

So I'm trying to not bite my nails until Christmas (and hopefully not after that). I have a bad habit and I thought maybe it's time to not do it anymore. So I'm hoping that I can not bite them throughout the month and maybe that habit of not biting them will stick. I did take a picture yesterday, but it didn't turn out well. But hopefully I can take one on Christmas and they'll look a bit better. That's my hope.

01 December 2009

Last month

These are the days when it's really hard to go to work. I've had 6 days off from work (almost 6 1/2) and now I have to return to the grind.

This wouldn't be a big deal, but I really have to be focused this month. Focus focus focus. I have a lot I want to do, a lot I need to do and even more I have to do. My problem is my mornings aren't always productive because I just can't seem to get going.

I need to figure out something to help me along. It's too bad I've given up on the Artist's Way for this month. Maybe that would be helping me - 3 MPs every morning getting the crap out of my head so I can focus. Maybe. But usually for me I have all the crap in my head at night so maybe I need NPs instead.

Anyway, I'm back to the grind today, the last month of the year and a lot to do. Wish me luck!

30 November 2009

Completed!

Okay, so I have officially completed yet another month of NaBloPoMo. Last year, if you recall, I blogged every single day. This year has been a little bit busier so I just did it this month. And I did it! A post (or two) every single day.


I'm really glad I did this. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make it through or not, but I did it. Now I can go back to my regularly scheduled programming.

OR I can continue with NaBloPoMo and attempt the Mitzvah theme for next month. Hmmm, that's an idea.

29 November 2009

One more sick day

MS is still sick, so this morning I ventured out so he could rest and went to church. It's the best season ever - Advent! YAY! I love me some Advent. All that waiting and preparing...it appeals to the list-maker in me.

So we watched a few more movies today. I finally got to see The Dark Knight and then we watched the, ick, Vikings game. It wasn't bad, and I do like football, but uffda.

MS seems to be getting worse instead of better though. I'm hoping this is just the darkest part before dawn and that he's better tomorrow. He's supposed to work but I'm a little hesitant about letting him go, but that's not really my decision. We'll see how he feels in the AM.

But for sure, tomorrow we're washing everything (or I am) and cleaning up some things that probably aren't helping to be lying around. Hopefully he'll get better soon.

And hopefully I won't catch anything. :)

28 November 2009

Sicky

MS has been sick since Wednesday night so we spent the day vegging. I think he overdid things yesterday (in fact, he agreed and said I was right in not letting him do any of the mowing). But we crashed at 7 last night - well, he did, I crashed at 9 - and slept until 7 this morning.

It's good for him to step back for awhile. We've been vegging and then decorating for Christmas, then vegging some more, then decorating, then vegging, then Cribbage (where he still beat me, even being sick), and now back to vegging. I'm doing my best to play Florence Nightingale, but he's not getting better so it might be all for naught.

Anyway, it's been a nice day despite the phlegm. I like these kind of holiday days.

27 November 2009

Firsts...and maybe never again

MS is a Black Friday shopper.

I am not.

But this year, I gave in and went along with him (partly because one of the items was a gift for me) and truthfully it wasn't too bad. Of course we only hit a couple stores.

We started at Target for a good deal. We got there about an hour before they opened and found the line to be formed about a block down, in front of the north entrance of Kohl's. I had been texting SBK because she was going to be there shopping. She said her sister and future SIL were at the front of the line of Target, so me being the tricky...I mean, SMART, one I texted Jess and she offered to pick up whatever I needed.

Hallelujah! So we worked out a plan where Jess and Cyn went in, MS followed and got a spot at the register (for the record he stayed in our original spot) and I stayed outside to provide moral support and cheer them on.

I will say this, Target was smart. They had carts lined up down and around the corner for about a quarter of a block and then had security personnel staged every.where. They were determined to keep the line jumpers out, and they did. It went really smooth - a single line - maybe two or three across and in the store they went.

After MS came out, 15 minutes after the doors opened (and we figured out we could have just stayed where we were and been okay, but we weren't sure) we headed to Menards. let's just say, I really dislike menard's. This was one of those, push and line jump kind of place and people filling their carts with blankets and slapping your hand if you mistakenly grab one (that was on me, in case you were wondering). I, however, had an armful and called it good.

Then, after a pit stop home to change my jeans because my DMD popped a hole while in my pocket at Menard's, we headed on a road trip to Cabela's to get MS a gun (Yes, E, we have guns here in SD).

Then, amazingly enough, we went BACK to Menard's to pick up a few things we missed, then to Wally World because we hadn't stopped there (stocked up on movies), then lunch, and then back to Target! Crazy we are.

But after that madness, we came back to MS's and mowed the lawn (another first - mowing on the 27th of November) and now we're vegging. The weather was perfect today, but MS is feeling a little icky so we're going to watch one of our new movies and relax.

I hope your Black Friday went well for you all. :) I'm proud to say, I survived.

26 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I went to church last night to take a little break and try to remember the real reason behind this day instead of just turkey, parades and football. The pastor had a decent sermon, at least after she finished introducing herself and the program she works for.

Anyway, she said there are three questions we should ask ourselves on this day. The first, of course, is the one we all know: What are you thankful for? (Or, "For what are you thankful?")

The second and the third were new, though sometimes the second gets answered in the first: "To whom are you thankful?" and "How will you show your thanks to God for these things/people?" (and I would add, how will you show your thanks to those to whom you are thankful?)

It made me stop and think. She suggested we all take some quiet time today and really reflect on these because the act of thankfulness is doing something in return, such as giving thanks. Her example was the awesome thank-you notes we all grew up writing. You had to give thanks to those who have given in return.

So quickly, because I have a lot to do today, I'm giving thanks, thanks for MS, my family, K&E and Nika, all my friends whom I cannot name or this blog would go on forever, my health, my job, my home, my life.

Thank you to MS and my friends and extended family for allowing me to be a part of your lives. I love you all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

25 November 2009

Uh oh

I used to always say that I can't bake unless I'm in the right mood. If I try to when I'm not then the cookies or whatever don't turn out right.

Today is no exception. I have a pumpkin pie in the oven, but I'm really not sure it's going to turn out. I may have to break down and buy one tomorrow AM (if there are any left). The pumpkin didn't get as smooth as I remember it from last time, but maybe (?) it'll work itself out. I don't know. I guess we'll see.

My banana bread sort of turned out...though we'll see how it does when we cut into it tomorrow.

I think all of this is because I just haven't been baking as much as I usually do, so I'm out of practice. I'm not sure how to fix that unless I start baking every time MS is at work. Hmmmm...

I'm really scared about attempting the turkey tomorrow. God help me. :)

Dreams

I had a weird dream last night.

MS and I were at a restaurant at a round table. I was sitting next to his mom, who was in much better health than I have ever seen her, and my mom was next to him. My mom (who will be Mom for the rest of this and PS for MS's mom) kept suggesting to PS different options for food.

What was funny is the menu had all these dinner options, but it was the full meal. Like you got a chicken thing with the potatoes and veggies but also the wine and dessert to go with it. Mom was suggesting to PS a meal but said she'd drink the wine for PS since she didn't like it. PS looked at me and MS and started laughing and said, "Hell, no. I like my wine." I've never seen her drink wine - only coffee or soda.

But then this tall woman came in with a green facial mask on - she was rubbing it in and i was jealous because I have wanted to do a mask for awhile. Anyway, she then turned to mom to talk then back to the table and it was all rubbed in. Anyway, she came off like she was MS's mom, but she wasn't. Tall, short hair, kind of Meryl Streep-ish look except with black hair - almost like Muffy T from LS for those who remember her.

Then I looked to my left and there was another big table of women, with one man whose back was to me but I could tell it was my former Uncle Robin. And all my cousins from my mom's sister were sitting there. Tanya had stood up and with a big look of surprise saw me and said, "Girls, Moe is over there!" And then Nicky looked over to me but squinted, like she couldn't get me in focus, and I squinted back at her, teasing her, and said, "Hi Nicole." And she just turned back to the table.

It was weird. And I'm not sure what to do with all of that.

It was especially weird after the night I had had. Mom FINALLY agreed to go pick out a paint color for her kitchen - which stems from a conversation from Ava's birthday when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas this year and she said she had never gotten her gift from last year. Which is a whole other story and this is already a long enough post as it is. (K - I know, I know - "t" "y".)

Anyway, we picked out the color and I sent her on her merry way and waited for MS so we could make sure we got the right kind of paint. I laid out over $130 for paint, primer and a few supplies that MS didn't have, joy of joys. So I called her to tell her we actually bought it and all she said was, "Ok. I didn't get your insurance check from you."

UGH! No thank you, no nothing. Just "I didn't get a check from you." Truthfully it kind of hurt.

Oh, blah blah blah. I'm so sick of it all. But that interaction (which was a lot more drawn out than that) wiped me out. I felt bad because I really wanted to enjoy the evening but it just kept flooding back and emotionally I was a sack of potatoes. So unfair to me and to MS.

Someday I'll figure this shit out and be able to push this crap aside. Someday.

Right?

24 November 2009

Tired...

... oh so very tired today.

I'm thinking an early bedtime. So tired....


zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

23 November 2009

Chilly

I’ve been cold all day today. It’s Monday and I’m working which requires a different uniform. It’s complicated, but that’s okay. I probably could have gotten away with my normal clothes but I also had a funeral to go to, so the spiffier the dress, the better.

The funeral was nice, despite the circumstances. The woman who died was the wife of a former co-worker. She found out in February that she had cancer. It was quite progressive but she fought it hard and always kept her spirits about her. The priest said during the service that she had told them not to mourn her, do not weep, but instead celebrate her life. Fitting, then, that the school choir (where she worked) sang the Hallelujah Chorus at the end of the service. God bless you, Dody, and your family and friends. They loved you so.

Funerals always make me think about three things – one, Nicole and how young she was when she died; two, Dad, because he’s always present in my heart; and three, my funeral and how I would like it to be. This was a Catholic service, full mass, of course, but one of the readings was really was potent. It was from the Apocrypha, as I know it, from the book of Wisdom. (find text) I like that text and I’m thinking that if I die young and before my so-called “time” I would like my sister-in-law to read that. Then we can go into some OT verses and have some fun.

Yes, I’m a bit morbid and I plan out my funeral. I need to write it all down though so I know I get what I want. Some of my wishes probably won’t please some of my family, but it’s something to think about. Does your family know what you want? Have you thought about it? It’s kind of one of my fears, because when Dad died I know we didn’t really have a clue what he wanted – other than he wouldn’t have wanted all the fuss. But readings and hymns…all that we guessed on. I wish my mother would sit down and talk about it, but I fear if I bring it up she’ll come back with the, “Oh, you don’t want me around anymore” speech.

22 November 2009

Done

I'm am finished with those things-that-shall-not-be-named. I have gone through the last of the ones I am going to go through. I have put those I'm keeping back in storage, I have 3 boxes of books to go through and sell, a box overflowing with empty binders and folders, and my floor can be seen again. Thank God.

So I'm a happier camper. I made cookies tonight to celebrate, and so MS can send some to his friend who is deployed. But I felt normal again. I have just a few NLPs of papers to go through and a bunch of empty boxes to put back in storage, but that's tomorrow night's plan.

Tonight - I'm going to rest and relax with my boy and enjoy a little freedom from those things-that-shall-not-be-named. :)

Taking a break

It's the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday. I didn't run today, though I did get all dressed and even headed outside...even running all of 20 feet. And then I realized that I just wasn't in the right mind frame. Yes, I could have pushed myself but it would have been trudging along and not really good, though all runs should be good.

Instead I came back inside and did two loads of laundry and have been working on those things-that-shall-not-be-named. I even rearranged my storage unit. I'm getting closer to a stopping point. I have a few of those things in the way back that I'm not going to go through, mostly clothes and I'm not there right now, so I grabbed 4, went through those, and then took back 4 while getting the final 4.

That's right, folks. I'm down to the final four I'm going to go through at this time. I think I will hurt myself if I don't stop soon. So these are the last ones and then I can put back the ones I'm keeping and start working on the books to sell.

The good thing is I have gotten rid of a lot. I found one of those things with a stack of magazines this morning. UGH! What is up with that? So I recycled all of those and was free a thing. I have two receptacles full of recycling, two others full of books, and still four more to go. But I needed a break.

I can't wait until this is done and I can just go back to pretending the stuff doesn't really exist. At least for awhile. But I'm glad I'm keeping what I'm keeping. Someday I hope to have a library where I can put all the books out and then maybe I'll actually read them. :)

Okay...I better get back to it. MS is supposed to be calling so we can make cookies for a friend of his who is deployed. I know he had some of his own projects he wanted to get done, so hopefully he'll finish soon and we can get that done too.

Happy Sunday!

21 November 2009

Just another Saturday

Nothing like going in to work for a few hours to kill a Saturday. Oh well. I got a few of my taskers accomplished, which was good, and didn't let myself stay all day to do others, which was better.

SBK and I met up after I finished so we could do a little Christmas shopping for our boys. We both ended up finding what we were looking for and at a good price.

But here's a note to those reading. I'm trying to come up with a box of memory enhancing items to give to my sister. It's a long story, but essentially she ended an email to me the other day, "I want a long memory and a HUGE clue!" So I got her the Memory Board game, the Clue vintage board game, and then some Ginko Biloba. I'm sure there are other memory devices out there, but I need some help. Any ideas? I want to put a big box together for her for Christmas.

Speaking of those-things-that-shall-not-be-named, I pulled out 4 more from storage for tonight. I'm hoping to get through those while I'm doing some laundry. I'm making progress! My storage unit is starting to show signs of shrinkage! (hahaha...I said unit...and shrinkage... hahaha...I'm so juvenile)

20 November 2009

Another day, another week

Today was one of those days where I really could have spent another 3 hours in bed and maybe felt rested. I don't know why I was so exhausted but I was. Plus a nice headache on top of it all. Always fun.

Tonight was nice though. MS and his mom wanted to go to a memorial service/viewing of a friend of hers and MS asked if I wanted to go along. Well, not to be a funeral crasher, I said I'd go if he wanted me there. And of course he did.

So I went and was excited to find out it was at the funeral home where my friend/mentor works now, RRR. I was so excited to see him, as I haven't seen him since July. So we caught up and he met MS and told him he had to take care of me. :) Always nice.

It was just so great to see him. It's funny how God brings him back into my life at times when I really need to see him, when I need that boost of morale and joy. I miss seeing him on a daily basis, so these little moments really mean the world to me.

19 November 2009

Leaving his mark

So today we had a retirement party for the guy who got stuck in my office for the last year as an overage. He’s been with our company for over 25 years but last year, due to some manning shifts, he was stuck in my office until his retirement.

Well, today was his last day so, being the nice person I am, I ordered a cake and let the building and some of his former co-workers know that we’d be celebrating at 3pm in the boss’s office (since he was out of town and it has a big table). All is well and good.

Until, that is, I find out after he left that he had taken his chewing gum out before he cut his cake, and stuck it UNDER the Boss’s conference table! HELLO! Who does this anymore? Gross! And then to do it in the boss’s office? Thank God Bruce told me so I could pry it off (with a tissue) because what if the boss had gone to move the table and put his hand in it? ICK!

Wow.

18 November 2009

Wednesday's suck

Today was a crappy day. I like my days off, but then when I come back to work it's insane it just bites.

I wore my glasses today so I could see, but then people just bug me - "How come the glasses, Moe?" It's like they think I'm slumming or something. Of course I don't like the brown glasses I have, so that didn't help.

And I didn't get a run in. So I'm crabby about that.

My saving grace? I get to see MS tonight. Thank the good Lord for MS.

17 November 2009

Stupid but redeemed

This day has had a bunch of ups and downs. The meeting finished early this morning...YAY! So we were able to head home early and then didn't have to go back to work (the perks of this committee). So I went home and had a great lunch and then ran a bunch of errands, finding a couple Christmas gifts, a haircut (which made me nervous because she didn't wash it, just sprayed it and the last time I had a dry haircut I looked horrid), and completed it all within 2 hours. It was great.

Then I came home and opened my book for the Artist's Way class and realized I had ordered the wrong one. Sheesh. There's a workbook for the Morning Pages which is basically a book with lines...uh, I have a bunch of those leftover from school which I'm finding in my things-that-shall-not-be-named. So I went back online and reordered the right one and I have to return that one tomorrow.

But I was still feeling pretty crappy because the MPs are supposed to be done long hand and I hate that. Thankfully one of the ladies in my class, a different one from the one yesterday who told me I had to do them long hand, said that I could do them via typing (it's just highly recommended you do them longhand). I may go back and forth but for now I just want to get in the habit of doing them, so typing it shall be.

After I got that message I decided to get 4 more boxes out of storage. These are mostly books so I went through them in a hurry. I have a box set aside of those I can sell, and then two boxes of ones I want to keep. The last box is about half full of memento stuff from the days gone by - one includes a tiara from Mark P who used to call me the LS Goddess. :) Love it!

So now I'm going to sit down and do my MPs which are becoming Night Pages. Tomorrow I'm going to try to do it in the AM instead and see how that works. Crossing my fingers!!!

Already messed up

So I guess not having the book has caused me to start out the Artist's Way incorrectly. You have to do the morning pages longhand to feel the words or something like that. one of my classmates said, "If you watch the video and read the book you'll understand why she says you have to do the me longhand." Well, the video wouldn't play for me and I don't have the book. Maybe this was a dumb idea.

Oh well. Today I have my morning meeting which should be interesting. And then I get the afternoon to shop for Christmas and maybe get a haircut. I haven't had the latter in 2 1/2 months. It's getting shaggy. Then I'll pick up my book and try to catch up on this course the right way. Crossing fingers!!!

16 November 2009

AW

If only this was a root beer post, but it's not. Oh, that's A&W. hahaha

I've started the Artist's Way today. I didn't have the book (and won't until tomorrow) so I had to postpone starting until this evening when I was able to find the first steps online. It's an interesting exercise to being - 3 free writing pages each morning when you wake up. I don't do longhand because I can't keep up with my thoughts so I typed out 3 pages (which, as I was typing, I figured out was probably more than the 3 pages would have been if I had longhanded it).

Anyway, it's my newest undertaking. Mondo Beyondo has finished, though I'm going to sit in, so to speak, on the class again in January just to keep it fresh in my head. The Artist's Way is a 12 week course and I'm going to do my best with it. I'm getting the book tomorrow.

I just want to write more and I know this will help me to get there. JC once told me that if you want to be a writer you have to write and write often, so here I am. That's what I'm going to do. I need to do this for me. If nothing else it gives me another outlet to spew my thoughts and work through some issues. It might be as good as therapy. :) Or at least a cheaper form of it.

15 November 2009

Trying to do things I like...

...versus doing things I have to do.

Those things-that-shall-not-be-named are still calling out to me but I made a vow to myself last night that I would not mess with them today.

I finished my my snapfish project this morning and sent it off to be printed. I went to church and was reminded of the Isaiah text which when I read it during First Week at seminary thunder actually boomed at the right spot. Kind of funny.

And then...I baked cookies. It felt good to get those ingredients going again. Even the clean up felt good. It was nice to do something 'normal' again.

Then, to celebrate my normalcy, I went for a 3 mile run. I needed this. I'm glad I forced myself out. Someone once said the hardest steps in running are the first ones out the door. That's so true. Once I get out I'm fine, but it's getting out that is my struggle. I need this and I can't keep skipping. It had been 16 days since I last ran...not good.

So I came home, had ONE cookie, and now I'm going to get ready to spend some time with my family. MS is coming along, though I'm not sure he's too thrilled about it. It's another step in meeting my huge family - this time the younger-older brother (YOB) and his kids. It should be interesting. :)

14 November 2009

Projects galore

So today started early since MS wanted to go to the gym. I'm proud of him for doing that, I haven't had the urge or desire to run at all lately, and believe me, my waistline is showing it. Not good.

So I got to start on my cleaning and dealing with those-that-shall-not-be-named things right away. I cleaned up my apartment, putting a lot of it in my bedroom, but at least my living room and kitchen are clean. YAY! I was going to pull out more of those things tonight but I thought I'd take a night off.

KC came over today and we made our Christmas gift project. It's really cool, but I can't tell you about it because some of the readers here will be recipients. Sorry. I promise to post photos and stuff later because KC got artistic and some are pretty cool.

Then I worked on a photo project. I totally spaced that I had used some of my coke rewards points earlier this year for a free 8x11 Snapfish photo album. Luckily, since Christmas is coming, I thought I'd actually use this and create an album. It looks pretty cool, but I haven't ordered yet. I want to look through a few more of my photos and make sure I have the ones I want.

I'm really excited about both of thses projects. I'm feeling a wee bit crafty and it's fun. I was going to bake tonight too but I decided to play it safe and just call it quits with the two I did do.

Slowly things are coming together. YAY!

Quote of the Day

When I had youth I had no money; now I have the money I have no time; and when I get the time, if I ever do, I shall have no health to enjoy life.

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

13 November 2009

Just a little wordling

Every now and then I wordle my blog just to see where my focus has been. I just use my main URL and then hit go to see what comes up.

A few weeks ago the biggest word was "boxes". Ugh. I know this has been the central focus point of my life lately and I'm kind of sick of it. But I know if I stop now I know this project will be like so many others of mine and not get finished.

So I continue. But I'm also happy to report that today's wordle had MS as the biggest word. That's probably how it should be. MS is a huge part of my life and my focus should be more with him and my family...not on work and boxes.

On a quick note, I also found in one of those-things-that-shall-not-be-named a computer thing I did back in college. It was entitled, "Things that make me happy..." and then followed with a list of just that. Funny enough most of those haven't changed. It was fun to read this and be reminded of things that do make me happy. I felt a grin slowly form on my face and soon became a full-fledged smile.

I need to do this more often and remember that life isn't supposed to be stressful all the time, that there is so much good in the world and so many things make me happy and focus on those instead.

So Happy Friday the 13th to you all. I hope you can find your happy place.

12 November 2009

Back to work

So today I headed back to work and I hit the ground running. MS wanted to go to the gym this morning (I think he's been feeling guilty since we've been trying to get rid of all the crap food in our homes so we can just eat healthy from here on out - if we don't buy it, if it's not around, then we won't eat it) so I got to go to work early. I got a lot accomplished, though not everything.

But being back at work means I'm also back to the boxes. I swear this is become a theme. I can't wait for this to be over, but I fear it's going to be several more weeks. Sorry, readers. But it's good. I'm getting rid of things I don't need anymore, I have a box set aside for books to sell (I'm sure this will be joined by more boxes soon), and I'm limiting the things I'm keeping. Someday I'll be more decluttered.

I can't write long tonight because I have a lot I want to finish before bed. But I'm back at it. Another day down.

11 November 2009

Thank you

Thank you to all those who have served and continue to serve in our nation's military. God bless each and every one of you.

10 November 2009

Day off

I almost feel guilty for what little I did today. Almost.

We didn't sleep in but we didn't jump out of bed running this morning either. We had some breakfast and then I watched the Early Show and Dr. Oz while MS worked on his Christmas letter.

I almost feel bad about that too - I keep meaning to write a Christmas letter but I've never been able to follow through on that. I wrote one back in 1998 but never mailed it. I wrote one after I got my Master's but again, never mailed it. Maybe I should try this again this year.

But then I spent the rest of the day watching movies. We watched Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and then I put in The Big Lebowski. I hadn't seen the former and MS hadn't seen the latter.

Mom wanted to meet up this afternoon for a movie as well, so she and I went to Julie & Julia, which was really good and now I want to bake, but MS has nothing at his house to do that. Oh well...Thursday night or Saturday I can fulfill my need. :)

of coruse tonight is NCIS night so that's what we're doing now while I type away. MS finished up his letter and he let me proof it. It's not bad, but I'm not sure I've had enough going on this year to write up my own. I'll have to think about that one.

09 November 2009

Taking a break

Ahhhhhh. Can I just say that again? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

I'm on a mini-break. I'm so glad for this and I so needed it. I'm taking a break from work and from boxes. Work went long yesterday and so by the time I got to MS's it was almost 6. We had pizza and watched Confidence, which is one of my favorites but he had never seen it.

Today I avoided my apartment save one brief moment to run up and drop off part of my project for Xmas presents and grab a soda. We spent the day running errands and doing a little Xmas shopping. It was such a nice day.

I really needed this. While we were driving around today I kept shrugging my shoulders and realizing that they were loose for the first time in a few weeks. It's so nice to get away from it all...a little breather.

08 November 2009

:)

My boyfriend is the best. I don't care what you think...he's the best. :)

I have had a really, really rough week. We had a computer program conversion, it was a long work week, I had to work late a couple nights, go in early a couple others, spent most of two days briefing everyone's favorite topic "Sexual Assault" and decluttering in the process.

Let's just say, I've been stressed.

MS came out to work today to pick up my house key so he could go to mom's and pick up a few more of the branches we had left from last week's excursion. We spent about 30 minutes talking about nothing, he kissed me and dropped me back off for my last two briefings. I will say that that break really helped.

Well, when I got ready to go today (late because the day ran long) there was something under the windshield wipers on my car. So many thoughts ran through my head - a note from a victim needing help, a note from an assaulter telling me I was next, a note from my former RB saying whatever, or some random flyer that sometimes show up.

But, no. My awesome boyfriend had left me a card with sweet words of encouragement and support. It's not like him, he usually shows he cares in other ways, but this was so sweet and so needed.

I get to go see him now and we get to spend three days together before we both go back to work. A nice little mini-break for the two of us. yay!

07 November 2009

Long day again

Well, it's a working day and I'm behind on a lot of taskers, so this morning I went to work at 5:30. This isn't a bad thing, I get a lot more done either early in the AM or after the official work day is over because I don't have people bugging me every 2 minutes, but it really drags the day on. By 4 this afternoon I was about falling asleep standing up.

We did have some fun today. My quartet got to sing the national anthem at a local football game. That was very cool. Of course my Alma mater was the opposition but I kept cheering for them. Very funny - I ran into Mike B who used to work with me in Admissions when I worked the call center back in the day (16 years ago). That was pretty cool.

But I'm just so tired. I ran some errands after work - picked up some paint for MS's project, returned some shoes, got some groceries - then came home and chatted with MS and my sister. I did some laundry and continued on the boxes. I'm slowly getting through all of those.

The good news - after work tomorrow I'm free until Thursday! YAY! Thank goodness for vacation. I need some time off. It's much needed.

06 November 2009

A brief exchange

MS, "I'm missing a nut!"

Me, snicker, giggle, holding-back all-out laughter.

MS, "Damn *my work* people." hahahaha

Fort Hood

Praying for those at Fort Hood.

Praying for the victims.

Praying for the wounded.

Praying for the families.

Praying for the shooter.

05 November 2009

Laughing on the inside

So I was just thinking how I haven't written consistently in several months but now that I am for NaBloPoMo everything is gushing out. It's like a valve opened and all these things I've been dealing with and thinking about are spewing out.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but it's funny that it takes this month for it to happen. Maybe if I had been doing this for the last few months I wouldn't feel like such a mess as I do right now. :)

So today's dilemma. I have an opportunity to go to Hawaii with my work for two weeks in January. Now any normal person would jump at this opportunity. I, however, being so very not normal, am hesitating. I don't know where I would work (I have a few department options), I don't like how it's set up (we leave before a holiday weekend thusly shortening our first work week), and it just isn't feeling right.

MS thinks I'm nuts and that if my job is going to throw me a bone I should snatch it up and not worry about it. I don't want to be "that" girl though. I don't want to just take a boondoggle like this one and justify it that I deserve it because I work hard and I've never been compensated. I've gotten to go to Turkey, Israel (Jerusalem even), Alaska. I've had good trips, albeit short ones.

Part of my hesitation is the work factor - what would I do there. If I'm just going to file I might as well stay home - I have enough of my own filing to complete. But it's also my work here at home. I get so many emails in one day that being gone for two weeks scares me. The week after playing catch up sucks. I've done it and I hate it. I never get caught up so I'm perpetually behind.

But going to Hawaii would be awesome and MS could probably make it work to come over during the same time and could show me around since he used to live there. It would be awesome place to visit and is on my to-do list.

It just all seems fishy. So I get to sleep on this one tonight, talk to my boss tomorrow and make a decision. It should be a no-brainer but for some reason my brain is holding me up right now.

04 November 2009

Stepping back

K - this is going to seem redundant...but I hear ya. And you're right as usual. I just need to figure out how to do it and find the courage you had to step forward. I may be scared as to what I discover.

I know I'm at the end of Mondo Beyondo, (though some would say this goes on forever) but I feel like i'm shifting through the lessons these days. The Lull lesson is still going on, but I also wonder if I shouldn't sit down and go back to week one where I wrote out my MB list. I'm not sure I was completely honest with myself during that one and I know I was distracted since we were blowing out sprinklers that night.

I just wonder if I'm being true to what my dreams and passion are. Not that I really know what these are but I'm not sure that they were even on the MB list to begin with.

MS and I had watched Dr. Oz together the other day with the show about sex and relationships. One of the first steps was to talk to each other for 10 minutes each day. So that night, though exhausted we were having trimmed trees all day, I asked him what he wished for (more as a joke initially because we have a very good relationship). He gave me his list, confident as he usually is. Then he asked me. Suddenly, for whatever reason, I was shy, teared up, and didn't know what to say. So as I am prone to do, I hemmed and hawed and then came up with my basics, one of which was to figure out my work. MS immediately said, "What do you want?"

That's the underlying and huge monkey on my shoulders - I don't know what I want. A friend of mine makes his decisions by stating what he doesn't want and then narrows it down, but that seems long and tedious when trying to plan my career. I just don't know where I fit, how I fit in anything. Sometimes I feel so stretched thin - a little bit of knowledge in a LOT of areas, versus a lot of knowledge in less areas that mesh together. It's a great trait, the former, when you're going to a small school and you have to participate or programs will die, but it doesn't help much on the outside when trying to focus on a career path. No wonder ADHD is prominent (not in me, but in the world in general).

So where do I start? I can't quit my job. I need the stability and it's not that I don't enjoy it, though pushing paper after awhile does tend to weigh on a person. I somehow need to figure out what I want to do within this company so I can keep my good retirement benefits and great hours and still be fulfilled. There's a possibility I can do this, but a few other stars need to align.

Which makes me wonder if I just need to be more patient and breathe a little deeper knowing that someday these stars will align and the opportunity will present itself and hopefully by that point I will be in the perfect place to step up and say, "I'm THE person for the job." Am I just stressing myself out because it's not happening RIGHT NOW during this Mondo Beyondo time like it seems to be for so many others? Am I just putting a bigger burden on myself? Maybe I did list my dream (not just one I listed because others have told me I should do it). Maybe I just need to realize that it's coming...just not at this moment.

Hidden treasures?

Sometimes decluttering is a good thing. You find things you haven't seen in awhile and remember stories and events of the good times of ago. Like PB and Tuna - which I still can't quite remember the stories, but I'm sure they were funny and to find a can of tuna and a jar of PB in a box just makes it funnier.

But then there are things that just weigh heavily. It's not that you forgot about them but you had buried them deep in your psyche and they didn't (seem to) mean much. But then you find them and everything is dredged up again.

Like finding an evaluation by my mother of me when I was in elementary school. This wasn't bad. It got me into a gifted reading program which was fun, as I recall. It's just interesting to see how your mother saw you. But then, there's the evaluation by the psych guy before LS. The guy who had met with me for all of 3 hours and then proceeded to determine who I really was.

What scares me is that he may be accurate. Some of the things he wrote still hurt, and I sometimes wonder if I should have an evaluation again, but then I wonder what if it was worse now, almost 10 years later?

But what if he was wrong? Or what if I just think he was wrong? How do I overcome these things he has said and try to live beyond them? Can I strive to be something better than his comments or is that so ingrained in my being that I can't?

I'm not sure anymore. And part of what he wrote makes me worried for my future career. I need the things he says I don't have and I'm not sure how to get them.

03 November 2009

STILL decluttering

Funny enough, despite my lamenting that this is the last week of Mondo Beyondo, I've been feeling the most un-Mondoish the past few days. I'm not sure what's going on in my brain. I sat at church and every little thing was tripping me to tear up. I just don't feel all together anymore.

I know a big part of this is the radical change I'm putting myself through - I'm decluttering in the biggest way possible - going through every box in storage and sorting what I want to keep and what I'm parting with either to Good Will or the Good Dump. It's overwhelming, not only the sheer amount of boxes and items, but the sheer amount of boxes.

Yes, I know that doesn't make sense, but it's like this: I sort through a box, the stuff surrounds me in a horseshoe pattern on the floor (as I'm prone to do), and then I get done and put what I want to keep back in a box, or there's a recycling box, the good will box, and then the trash box. The latter three I can take care of somewhat easily, but the first is tough. Where do I put it until I'm done with all the other boxes? I have very limited storage, and putting it back into storage will get it mixed in with the other boxes I still need to sort. It's a complicated mess.

So for now the boxes I'm keeping are getting stacked in my bedroom. The empty boxes I can break down (i.e flatten) are being flattened, the boxes I can't flatten are getting stacked in my entry way.

I have boxes every where. It's overwhelming.

I can't wait for this project to be finished. I have limited time to do it so it's taking longer than I would like, but I'm getting it done. I just wish it wasn't so daunting of a task.

02 November 2009

Church Day

Yesterday was a full church day. I haven't had a day like this since LS. It was good though.

MS and his mom go to a different church than I do...still ELCA, just not one I knew was in our town. The pastor there was celebrating his 25th ordination anniversary so the church had put together a surprise get-together for him between services. MS's mom wanted to go so we went.

We got to church early and hung out in the fellowship hall just chatting. We got to meet the pastor's internship supervisor who was a bishop in ND for awhile. MS and I had a bet going that I would know more people than he did at the church (the small incestuous Lutheran community, as we called it at school). I said that I doubted that but for every person I knew I would take him out to dinner.

I owe him 6 now. Sheesh.

The associate pastor went to grad school with me - I think she recognized me but we didn't really talk. The Bishop was there, who I knew but he didn't know me. One of the retirees from my current job was there. The pianist for the adult choir used to go to my home church. And then on the prayer list was not only RAC but his daughter in law as well. Crazy.

After church we went to Boston's for lunch which took for.ev.er. But it was good. Then MS dropped me off and I headed to my LS meeting.

I've been invited to be part of a President's Advisory Council for LS for this area. I wasn't quite sure about it, still not so, but it was good to catch up with Rick and MaryS and see a fellow student, Chris C, who now runs one of the programs at the local college. There's a longer story with the latter but I'll save that for another time.

All it all it was nice to reconnect with church people. Not sure where that'll take me but it was good.

01 November 2009

NaBloPoMo

YAY! It's NaBloPoMo time again! (National Blog Posting Month)

I started this a couple years ago when it first started by Mrs. Kennedy. It was great because it connected me with some really cool people, a few of whom I'm still in contact with. It's great!

My worry is that this year I won't make it every day. I'm hoping I can, but with my schedule as it is it might be tough. I'm crossing my fingers though that I can and that it will get me back into writing again. Somehow I'll figure it out.

For now, Happy NaBloPoMo and All Saint's Day!

27 October 2009

Continuing a Clearing

My life seems to be consisting of creating a clearing and not much else these days. My decluttering process has been almost non-stop. I finally got through the papers and such in my living room, recycling oodles of magazines and papers, boxing and filing others and felt like I had made a lot of progress. MS was proud of me though my kitchen counter still irks him. He said, "You'd be shittin' kittens if that was cleaned off." He's right, of course, and I hate it that he's right. So that continues to be on my list.

But being the fabulous man that he is and anxious for me to achieve my goal of decluttering and sorting, he suggested that we bring home eight boxes from my Mom's over the weekend. Three of those have Christmas ornaments I'm going to sell; the other five were a treasure chest of sorts - full of papers and trinkets from my past, college and high school life.

It was fun to go through those boxes. I ended with two boxes of ornaments to photograph and eBay, a box of recycleables, a box for Goodwill or to sell or as White Elephant gifts and then three that I'm keeping for now. I've found that I have to go through things twice to really know if I want to keep them. It works, though time consuming.

My plan is to stop by mom's again this weekend and get another set of boxes OR I'll get some boxes from my storage at my apartment and go through those. I have books to sell from my collegiate days and I'd like to get those done soon.

I'm glad MS keeps nudging me in this direction. I'm not always good at jumping feet first into projects but with a little nudge I will take that step forward.

But this clearing process is wonderful. It's something I have wanted, nay needed, to do for so long and between Discardia and MB I've been able to take that step and continue forward. I'm really excited to whittle my worldly possessions down to the ones that are most valuable and to purge the rest (however I do that - selling, recycling, giving, throwing). It's cleansing, refreshing and oh, so needed.

Tuesday's random thoughts...

I keep thinking that it's next week instead of this week. It's like thinking it's Friday when it's really Monday. This is just frustrating. I packed extra clothes today for a meeting I thought I had tonight after work - turns out it's next week. Thank Goodness I didn't sign for time off ... I had thought about leaving after my 3pm appointment today and going home to get a few things accomplished before the meeting, but I don't have to now. Whew.

Other than that, life is great. MS and I had a great date night yesterday. We spent the day running, running errands, mowing the lawn, joining our phone plans, and picking out his Christmas present. I know that doesn't seem like much of a date. But then we went to my place, cleaned up and went to a local restaurant for dinner. It was such a nice evening, just spending time together talking. We need to have date night more often.

Okay...I really need to get my life together. I just found out that I forgot to forward an important email which is resulting in his being late on important paperwork. Not good. Granted I got the email when I was on vacation for 4 days when MS and I went camping, so when I came back I had 100s (literally) of emails to sort through, but still. This is very very bad. I need to purge not only my papers and books at home, but emails and emails at work and home. Suck.

Funny. My boss just asked me if he could go work out. Uh...duh. You're the boss! You run the place! Do what you want! :) Made me chuckle.

Feeling productive tonight at home! WOW! Trying a new cookie recipe that's supposedly a roll-out, but didn't roll out. Hopefully they'll spread out in the oven. Not sure, but trying them anyway. Probably will be trashing this recipe.

Getting a lot accomplished though, which is nice. MS is at work so tonight is all mine. I have this night and Thursday at my place before next week. We haven't been spending much time at MS's lately and I feel bad about that, so this weekend is all for him.

Back to work!

25 October 2009

A little behind

It's been a few days, obviously, since I've written. It's been pretty basic. Nothing really exciting has been happening. Well, one thing. K came to visit on an impromptu trip. That was fun. She and I and MS went out for dinner and then came back to veg Friday night. Saturday AM we got some time to talk and catch up a little more before she had to head out. It was so good to see her. Nothing like a reunion with friends to refresh my soul.

Saturday MS and I spent the day at my mom's, cleaning out her gutters and then fixing one of her breakers that has never really worked right. MS got to play electrician and I got to play electrician's helper. :) Always fun. We do make a good team.

Leaving Mom's though, MS thought we should take some of the boxes home that I have had at mom's for...well, forever. I took a few of the boxes of Disney ornaments that I want to sell on eBay and then 4 other boxes of stuff from college and high school.

I started going through those boxes last night and then all day today (6 movies worth). I've been able to toss some stuff, reorganize the boxes of books I want to keep, and now I have a little bit left I have to decide what I'm going to do.

Here's one question for y'all: I have a couple journals from when I was 15 and then 20. Do I keep them or destroy them? Some of them really show what a pathetic little child I was, some of the entries are deep (after Dad had died), but some are just dumb. Not sure I need to keep them, but not sure if shredding or burning them would be like burning my past. In some ways that wouldn't be a bad thing, but yet I'm not sure that's what I should do. I'm conflicted. Three notebooks and I'm conflicted.

So tomorrow, the 26th, will be my 13th anniversary of having started my job. It's hard to believe it's been 13 years, but wow. It will also be 6 months since MS and I started dating so tomorrow night is date night. :) Should be fun. It will be more fun if I can get these boxes put away.

21 October 2009

Runner, I am

This morning on dailymile.com one of my training buddies wrote the following: Solid run at about 75% effort. Started out 45 deg. in light drizzle, last 6 miles were steady cold rain with nice cooling breeze. No ice bath needed. I am sure people thought I was crazy running out there, but it wasn't too bad. Note to self: purchase rain jacket today. Brrrrrrrr

I had to chuckle at that and wrote back to him, "You aren't crazy. You're a runner." (same difference) :)

I ran in the drizzle this morning, ending before the steady cold rain that he experienced. But it was great, other than having to clean my glasses every block. It felt good to be able to get out at 5:15, go for a short run up and down the city streets without a care in the world. The rain kept me cool, but not too much since it was 45 degrees. My legs felt great and I just wanted to run and run and run. Sadly, the clock was inching closer and closer to the time I would need to be home to shower and get ready for work. Sometimes work just gets in the way. I wish I had more flexible hours. :)

Which reminds me of the days when I worked at LS and I was splitting my time between two departments. Both of my bosses had a flexible schedule and neither were in before 9 unless they had some extremely pressing meeting. One would work later but both could also work from home if need be. Some days I wish I had that kind of schedule, especially when I'm having a great run in the morning before work. Maybe someday, but if I stay in this career field, probably not.

Baseball season is over

Except that this morning when I was running in the rain I kept smelling boiled hot dogs.

Let me tell you, there is almost nothing worse than smelling boiled processed meat when you're trying to run in a fresh rain (which smells awesome usually).

Blech. So tell me, what has been the worst thing you've smelled when running?

20 October 2009

Silence is golden

I was thinking about silence in church the other day. Silence is so precious. Not always in a good way, mind you. If you aren't able to hear something, that silence is overwhelming and frustrating and can leave you feeling helpless.

But at times silence is what is needed. God is prominent in the silence. When what's his name was looking for God - where was God found? Not in the noise, but in the silence.

I think about this when we seem to gloss over the silence in worship. There's a time, at least in our Confession & Forgiveness portion, specifically set for Silence for Reflection. This seems to last maybe 10 seconds (and that's generous) and then we jump into the confession part. Then there's time during the prayers where "time" is offered for people to offer up prayers to God for those they have in their hearts. 3 seconds...maybe 5.

I'm a big fan of the silence. Steve, one of my profs in seminary, loved the silence and really helped me to feel the importance of allowing people to feel the silence in the service. His thing was especially during the prayers that he would start to think of those who he wanted to pray for but by the time I was ready the pastor had already jumped back in, or he didn't even get that option because the 3 seconds turned to 1.

Once when I was substitute preaching at my home congregation I reveled in the silence. My mom told me later that people were very uncomfortable with it. I realized later, much later, that I should have explained it - why I was giving so much more time to the silence. I think people go to worship expecting to be fed, but don't realize that sometimes they have to take the spoon. And so when I let the silence open up for enough time for everyone to really think, it ended up being that they weren't really thinking about who may need prayers but instead wondering, "Why isn't she continuing the prayers?!?! What's wrong with her?"

I like the silence. It's good for me to own up to my sins to God in that silence of reflection and confession. It's good for me to remember other people during the prayers since so much of my life is focused around myself.

It's good to let God in during that time. It's good to just be and let the spirit of God wash over you in that Silence.

To quote Zack Siler in "She's All That" - "Be still. Be silent."

What's Opera, MS?

Funny moment last night...MS and I were watching TBBT and Sheldon was challenging Wil Wheaton to some sort of sci fi match up.

I don't really follow this stuff and at one point MS said, "We need to work on your Sci Fi knowledge."

And I said, "Okay, then we need to work on your opera knowledge."

MS looked at me and said, "I think we'll leave your Sci Fi knowledge just as it is." :)

18 October 2009

Crazy week

It has been very weird around here this week. I have been "cleaning". Well, cleaning as only I can. The nights I've been at home (i.e. not at MS's) I have been going through piles of papers and stuff.

Thankfully when I got home Friday I found a note from the apartment office talking about how they've cleaned the carpets and we need to help keep them clean (duh), but also that they've moved a recycle bin to each floor. YAY! They used to only be on the first floor which was a pain because I'm on a far corner so to walk all the way down to the main floor with all my stuff when i decide to clean was just a pain. Now I can just walk down the hall.

This was so beneficial this weekend. I filled half of the bin with magazines and papers. I filled a 13 gallon garbage bag with shredding. I have a shelf of white elephant gifts (or at least nice gifts that I have no use for anymore). And I have a box ready to go for building my running scrapbook this winter (I had a book, but I think it's too small so I'm going to get a bigger one and actually start this - I ordered a bunch of photos from recent races so I can help document).

I still feel cluttered but not nearly as bad as I did. It's a long process for me to go through stuff. I feel like I need to look at everything just in case I find something important. I know that seems stupid but it actually paid off when I opened my Xmas card from my mother from last year and found the cash she had given me. Yay! So I stick with my rule of going through everything.

It was kind of funny with K and Nika called on Friday night and K said, "You're just recycling all those magazines, right?" And laughed when I told her I was going through each one, tearing out the articles I want to read, and then I'll go through those later. I ended up, the next morning, taking all those articles I was going to read, all the exercises I ripped out of the women's health and old ones I had torn out the last time I did this, all the Runner's World except this year's and all the old O and Real Simple magazines and dumped them in the bin. I was never going to read them and it's just stupid for them to take up space.

So I'm feeling a bit better. Next up (once I get this cleaned up and vacuumed) I'll be going through my books...my boxes and boxes of books. MS thought the only books I was going to be selling are the ones I have in my living room. Um, little does he realize that those books barely crack the stack of books I own. I told him, "This is the bad thing about dating a girl who has a college degree and went to grad school. Lots and lots of books." Not to mention that I was always a reader. I'd like to get these sorted before J-term so I can get them up on the swap meet and maybe get some cash for next spring. If not there then I'll try maybe half.com or something.

I also am going to get all the boxes of Xmas ornaments I bought when I was in high school. I used to buy/collect Disney ornaments, but they are a little heavy to hang on my tiny 3 foot tree, so I've never put them up. I'm thinking eBay will be my best option for those.

So see, I have a plan. And I'm excited about this plan. I just need to stay motivated.

12 October 2009

Hopefully some questions answered

I've had a couple questions about KC's and my art project for Boss's Day. So here are some more pictures. We didn't take pictures while we were making them, stupid us, but maybe this will help.

Supplies for 6 cans:

glue gun/sticks
6 bags of bite sized candy (we used 3 musketeers)
6 mini cans of soda (we had diet coke and diet pepsi)
Curling ribbon - your choice of color - we used red, blue and lite blue
Hard, thin cardboard (we used a classification folder)
Small plastic beverage cups. The ones we used, when placed on the can (open end down) went about an inch over the top.
Scissors, pencil

This is what the top looked like at the end. This would be the bottom of the cup.



A side shot - you can see the cardboard and how KC glued the edges of the candy wrappers to the cup. The ribbon was curled on both ends (12 inches in length or so) and then glued in the middle with candy on top. Then the ribbon would pop out the edges. Go with spacing that works best for you.



See underneath how we glued the cup to the cardboard and that cardboard to the can.



And the finished product!

Why I love Kat

"Here's to a brand-spankin' new week full of amazing things."

Amen to that, sister. :)

11 October 2009

Messages from the Universe

Nothing a little hot glue can't cure


It's good to have artistic friends. They are a lifesaver.

I'm not completely inept, but making it work physically like it looks in my head has never been my strong point. Things just don't quite turn out.

But KC knows how things work best. So we saw these things in the grocery store the other day when we were out on another mission to put together Boss's Day gifts for our bosses (I have 3, she technically has 1 but sort of has 3 also). Well, I loved them but didn't really want to spend $12.50 a piece (plus tax) when I knew we could do it cheaper.

Well, it wasn't quite cheaper but damn close. Maybe $33 for the stuff we had to buy and we had some of the other stuff on hand. So maybe $6 a piece. And we got to spend some time together and I got to hang out with Carl (long story...that's for another day).

So I curled the ribbon and KC did the gluing and I love them! We did two sets - three with Diet Pepsi for my bosses, three with Diet Coke for hers. The look pretty cool, I think. :)

09 October 2009

Finisher!!!

Just because I can... here's a photo of me after the 5:21:55 finish. My sunglasses are crooked, but probably because my ears are crooked. I'm a wee bit emotional here. I was so very happy! :)

Horoscope yesterday

The poet Stephen Mallarmé wrote the following in a letter to a friend: "I don't know which of my internal climates I should explore in order to find you and meet you." I love that passage. It alludes to one of the central facts about the nature of reality:
The quality of your consciousness is crucial in determining whether you'll be able to attract the resources that are essential to your dreams coming true. In order to get what you want, you have to work on yourself at least as hard as you work on the world around you. This is always true, of course, but it's especially true for you now, Aries.

I'm taking an online class this month. I'm not usually very good at online classes, preferring to have the face-to-face contact with the instructor. But this isn't your typical class.

Mondo Beyondo is something I've written about before. Well this is a little different. The 5-week class gets a little more in depth to the world of dreams.

I'm not sure really what to say about this right now. We did an exercise last night that stretched me a bit, but I'm supposed to not blog about it and forget about it all since we'll be coming back to it next week. Weird, I know, but I can't really explain that.

I'm excited to see where this class leads me. It's already challenging my head and my heart. Hopefully I can continue to let both open to possibilities.

06 October 2009

uh oh

This isn't good. I'm so not feeling it today. "It" being the desire to work. Yesterday I had it. Yesterday I had a goal and I wanted to get a bunch of things accomplished during a time when it was quiet and not so chaotic, but because it was an off day for the workplace a lot of my programs I needed to do said work were down. Today, it hasn't been chaotic but I don't have that get-up-and-go feeling. I have so much to do, what is wrong with me? Is it the impending doom of the meeting I have tonight? Is it the overwhelmingness of Mondo Beyondo? Is it the after effects of the mentor lunch (where I actually ended up being more of a mentor than a mentee)? I'm not sure. It could be all of those factoring together. Whatever it is, it's not good.

05 October 2009

Race Recap

Well the weekend is over and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

Saturday MS came over after work and was in a tizzy. He was running late and so he was a little frantic. It was kind of humorous. Even after I told him we didn't really need to leave until 9 he still was overly energetic. We finished packing up the car and headed out. I was tired and still in planning mode for the race so I wasn't necessarily taking the best routes to get out of town, but we made it. :)

Our ride to the cities was pretty uneventful. MS was studying for his class this week so we were going over stats. It's good that I have no idea what his job really entails because as I asked questions he had to explain it which helped him to study.

We headed straight to the Expo to get my race packet, had a mild argument about the $10 parking fee, and then headed in. Everything was Lime Green. Crazy. I was just in the mood to get my packet and go, but we did look at a few things because MS wanted to check things out. We got free socks this year, so I'm thinking I need to figure out some way to go again next year - maybe we'll get shorts and I'll get a whole outfit. :)

We had extra time so we checked into the hotel, grabbed a sub at Subway and then headed to the Twins game. Debbie and her husband met us there. MS had never been to the Dome before so this was new for him. We had really good seats thanks to the marathon special and the game was really good.

Debbie and John headed home and MS and I headed to the hotel to drop off a couple things and get some dinner. We were going to go to Outback since it was connected to the hotel, but there was a 45 minute wait, so I opted to go somewhere else. Another mild argument as MS kept saying, let's ask the hotel guy for places around here and I was standing there naming places off. We were both very hungry and a little crabby by this point so finally I said let's just go.

We ended up at TGIFriday's, which ironically is normally where I eat before running (or at least did last year), and we got right in and were served almost immediately. During dinner MS said he was getting a tickle in his throat and not feeling 100%. Not good. So we talked about that a little bit, then talked about tights vs running skirt for Sunday, and just talked.

Back at the hotel I set out my stuff for the morning and we set an alarm and were asleep by 9pm. I think we were both quite tired. He had worked the day before, as had I, and then the drive, the game - it just all added up. Of course I still woke up at 1:33 thinking I was late.

Sunday AM - RACE DAY!!!! I was surprisingly calm. It shocked me a little bit. The biggest conflict was trying to decide how I was getting to the train. MS finally decided for me that he would take me. I was hesitant on this since he hasn't driven in the cities before and while it was a direct route he was adamant about using the GPS which I knew would take him a weird route. Oh well.

After MS dropped me at the train it was back to the pre-race routine. I got to the dome, snagged the bathroom early, and then found a corner to focus. I stretched, I prayed, I stretched, I ran the race in my head, and I meditated a bit. At about 7:30 I drank my 5 hour Energy (yes, these work) and finished off my second 12 oz glass of Accelerade. I dumped my trash and headed out to the corrals.

It was chilly out and luckily MS had loaned me his under armour for the start of the race. I knew I wouldn't need it much after 3 miles. And of course, I was right.

I started in the corral by the 5 hour pace team so I could kind of stay with my pace. The national anthem was wonderful and again, I just felt calm. It seemed normal that I would be there to run this race that my longest training run was the half 3 weeks ago. I felt okay, I knew I would hurt at the end, but I felt confident I would do well.

So the race began. I started out at what I thought was a conservative pace. For the first time I actually saw the flag for mile marker 1 and I was at 10:34 - right on my normal training pace. Odd. Mile 2, which includes the nice Hennepin hill was 10:19, 10:36 for mile 3, 10:29 for mile 4. I was feeling good. My thoughts were basically from Joseph (a runner in town here who is on dailymile and had sent me some words of wisdom before I left) "Start conservative and stick to your pace. Save something for St. Paul." I was doing really well.

Debbie and MS met me between 4 and 5 as usual. I think I shocked Debbie. I tossed MS's shirt and my headband and gloves to her but her face was just in amazement. I know this was faster than I have ran the other two marathons and I think it caught her off guard. The next mile was 9:51, but I wonder if they had the mile marker in a wrong place, but I'll take it anyway. I know I had a surge of energy after dropping my extra load and having seen my cheering section.

After that my pace went down, as I expected but I still stayed steady. I won't bore you with those here. MS and Debbie met me at two more stops. Just before 13 I stopped and stretched with them and had a couple bites of PB&J and some Accelerade to keep me going. My 13.1 time was 2:27, which made me very happy and I was on track for my 5 hour time. I actually kept that for quite a ways. It wasn't until after mile 21 or 22 that I really dropped back. At 18 they met me again and I took a bit of a longer break to stretch and have some oranges. I still felt really good and I was excited I was probably going to make my goal.

Overall I pretty much only walked through the water stops I utilized (which weren't many since I knew when I'd see Debbie and MS) and then after mile 20 when I hit a couple hills and needed to stretch as my legs really kept tightening up. I ran a lot more of this race than I ever have, and the few times I walked I didn't walk long, just enough to recoup a bit and then started up again. And when I did start up again it wasn't overly hurtful where I had to force my legs to go, they were just a little heavier than normal and sore, but expected, not too much though.

So I ended up running in strong. I got a little emotional when I realized I could make 5:21 chip time and less than 5:30 gun time. MS had found a spot along the last .2 (the ING Sea of Orange) and was cheering for me. That and my time got me so choked up I stopped breathing for a moment - not a good idea to not be able to catch your breath when you have about 500 feet to go.

So I finished and I am really happy with my time. 5:21:55. I dropped 39 minutes off last year's time. I ran more than I did last year. I felt stronger and more prepared, though there's always room for improvement. I dressed right this year and the weather was great. My support team on the sidelines were awesome. Debbie had a great shirt that I'll post a picture of once I can get a copy from her. MS took pictures along the way and had an obnoxious cowbell that I could hear at least a block away over the crowd. It was all great.

Some thoughts I had :
- "Wow, it really is more crowded the faster you run." (I had told MS that things usually thin out by the time I get to mile 2 - well that's when I used to run slow. It was pretty packed most of the race.)
- "Wow, I'm running and a lot of these people aren't." (I really pushed for me to run more and keep focused - plus when I walked my legs would tighten up more. At one point I passed three guys and one of them said that he found it interesting that he felt the pain more when he walked than when he ran.)
- "There is no hill." (I have to use this when I come up to a hill, and it generally works for me. I can push through the hills and run them. The only one I didn't run was the really steep one at 21. That one is just too much. But I ran once I got to the top.)

So that's the race. MS and I had to head back home afterward, so we went back to the hotel, showered, iced, removed my pace tats, I took a mini nap and he loaded the car up while I was sleeping - darn him, and we headed out. We stopped at Arby's for a quick bite as we were both starving. While we were eating he said, "Okay. I'll make you a deal. You can keep running these as much and as often as you want. But the first knee surgery you have, you're done." Fair enough. My knee was hurting on and off from about 18 on. It was the same pain that made me pull out at 13 at Brookings in May. But I have some exercises and therapy that I can do to help strengthen it and I think I need to incorporate some more weight training (and drop a few more pounds - I'm on the right route for that, but I have a little ways to go).

I'm moving okay today. I'm still sore in the ankles, a little bit in the knee, and in the hips. All in all a great race. I'll post pictures as soon as I can.

Thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement, support, prayers, love. I couldn't have done it without you.

03 October 2009

25 1/2 hours

Just got back from my last "training" run before the marathon. I laugh at that because I just haven't been on a real training schedule the way it is. I tried earlier this year because KC and Joel were on one and I had convinced them to run this weekend too. They actually stuck to theirs (KC has more commitment ability to that sort of thing than I do). I, however, did not. I've been going with how I feel and pushing myself to run what I can and a little more.

So this week I've ran every other day, 3 miles or so. It's a tapering week and the weather has been crap but despite all that I'm feeling pretty good for tomorrow. The weather will be great, I have great supporters (both present and afar) and I'm excited to see how i do.

As of right now I'm not taking my computer with me so I'll have to blog and update everyone later. Pray if you're so inclined. Happy thoughts are also welcome! :)

02 October 2009

1 day, 12 hours

Okay, so the countdown has really begun. It's closer every moment.

Today my friend SBK gave me an Edible Arrangement. This was an awesome pre-race gift because now I don't have to buy fruit for the weekend. :)

The logistics of packing is now upon me. I have my checklist and laundry in the dryer. I need to make cookies yet for Debbie. My confirmation packet and pace charts and pace tats are set out for tomorrow. Two days from now it'll all be over.

Boss3 was great today, teasing me about taking work off to run a marathon, but excited for me and promising to track my race while I'm going. Boss1 was great today too, wishing me luck and also saying he'd watch the race too. The finance office agreed to help me with a few work details over the weekend so I can go without worry. And my supervisor's meeting earlier this week has freed me from worry about trying to get some training done this weekend, because now they can do it with their peeps instead of me having to do it.

And MS has been wonderful. He came over to my place last night because we've been spending a lot of time at his place. He went through his checklist for the weekend, got someone to come in early for him tomorrow and is going to come straight here so we can head to the cities. He's giving up a weekend of working around the house (and Lord knows he has a list) to spend it with me, and he's not even complaining. I can't believe he'd do that and it's really overwhelming.

Well, back to my list so I can make sure I get everything accomplished and not freak out in the morning. I want to get a short loosening up run in tomorrow before we take off because the rest of the day I'll be sitting and I need to stay loose.

Hopefully I can get online this weekend. If not, I'll post on Monday with results. :)

01 October 2009

Weather girl

I am never more obsessed with weather than the week before a race. Yes, I start a week out, which this year MS thought I was nuts, but I need to plan. I need to look ahead and see if I'm going to have to bring long sleeves or short, tights or shorts, sunglasses or no. It's just the way I'm wired. I have to plan this out. I have my checklist and on it is "weather".

So for the last several days I've been on weather.com more than I'd care to admit. I'm checking the weekend forecast for not only home but for the race location too. I'm checking the hour-by-hour reports. I'm checking the 10-day forecast. Hell, I even checked the monthly forecast initially. So far things look great for Sunday. I'm really excited for it!

Now, on to the rest of the checklist...at least for an hour or so until I can check the new hour-by-hour report.