31 December 2010

Ending 2010

2010 has been an incredible year - full of changes and surprises. But for fun, here's a recap from the year:

January - MS and I went to Hawaii for a work trip for me and a vacation for MS. It was my first time there, but MS had been stationed there when he was in the Navy, so he became my tour guide. Once I got over my workaholic-ness, I was able to relax and enjoy the area. My favorite was Bellows Beach. LOVED that place and really want to go back.

February - MS and I started P90X to try to lose the weight after Hawaii. For 4 weeks we were very dedicated. It was great!

March - I ran the Irishman again and then did a speed drive two and half hours away to receive an award for work. I literally walked in 3 minutes before the banquet began. Pretty fun.

April - OOB came home to visit which was great. MS and I hosted our first Easter dinner for OOB, and the mom's. It all turned out well, I think. MS and I celebrated our 1st anniversary and I was back running on a regular basis.

May - This was a full month! KC and I hosted our first soon-to-be-annual spring party at work and it turned out great. MS and I took our last trip to Sconnie to see Nika before they moved. I picked up a cold or something that MS had picked up right before we had gone to Sconnie which made for a rough Half Marathon a week later. I was sick for two more weeks which was awful. MS and I took in the free fishing weekend and went to a couple different places. We also started our garden, a massive undertaking, but with what we hoped would be fruitful rewards.

June and July are kind of a blur...not a lot happened...just a lot of work and stuff. OH wait...HHS was in June which is why I was going slowly insane the months leading up to it. July was recovery month.

August - This was a good month. I was selected to go to a training for work, which was great. MS reminded me several times how wonderful he is and how lucky I am to have him in my life.

September - This was canning month. We had a bunch of stuff from the garden just sitting around so we met up with MS's aunt and uncle and had a day of canning salsa. We also made two apple pies using my crust recipe from memory. They turned out really well. This was also my last month before TCM. I ran the SF Half, which was rough, but I made it.

October - TCM number 4. Thank God for MS. He biked along side me the last 20 miles. Yes, I said 20 miles. He was so wonderful. He kept me moving. He supported me every step. So much love!

November - I moved in with MS! This was good on so many levels. We're moving forward in our relationship, I get to spend all my extra time with him, and I'm living in ONE place! Sanity is mine! :) We've had some growing pains, but it's been great. He had to work on Thanksgiving Day so we celebrated with my fam the next day at YOB's.

December - Christmas month! B-day month for MS! I also had an impromptu trip to Mississippi for a week. MS's mom had a mini stroke so he spent that week in the hospital with her helping her do her physical therapy and get better. MS spoiled me at Christmas again. And now it's New Years Eve and MS is working so I'm cleaning the house.

It's been a full year and I'm really looking forward to 2011. It'll be great!

26 December 2010

Christmas!

I don't have many pictures, and some are on MS's camera so I'll have to post those later. Christmas yesterday was nice, though confusing at times. Long story on that.

MS and I had a great Christmas together. We took turns opening gifts, had some pizza and curled up on the couch, falling asleep for a mini nap. Then we went over to his mom's so she could open her gift and hung out with her while her live-in boyfriend went to his family's house. Then back home for more pizza (we're cleaning out our freezer) and then sleep. Low-key but fun day.

MS got me some awesome gifts: A Boyd's Bears "Sweetie Pie" figurine, a jewelry box with my name engraved, necklace, earrings, pajama pants, stuff for my car, a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, dry measuring cups and utensils, a food processor, and a Kettleball set.

I got MS the Clint Eastwood 35 films in 35 years set, two other DVDs with Clint westerns from other production companies, 100ft measuring tape, a bunch of tool stuff he picked out, Cool Feet for his computer, winning lottery tickets (I hope they're winning ones), and some Home Depot gift cards. And then I got us both a gardening chair and tool bag to use next summer. He's spoiled. ;) But he spoils me, so it's a fair trade.

Nika got us a beautiful picture frame for her adorable photos, with her named engraved on it. I swapped out her photos from my old frame to the one she sent last night. I love it! Thanks, Nika! :)

Life is good. As my niece Ava kept reminding us today, "Christmas is about giving!" And it is. I had fun giving what I did to MS. And I think he had fun giving me what he did. I'm a very lucky girl to have him in my life.

22 December 2010

Jesus is coming!

And to be the sick individual I am I'm going to add, so to speak, just to be me.

But Jesus is coming and I'm very excited for that. It's MS and my first Christmas living together. It's been a challenge to buy and wrap gifts without each other knowing...well, especially for me since he has more time off during December than I do.

His mom is home now. She went home tonight which is good. It's amazing how much better she has gotten in just the last week with therapy every day throughout the day. I hope she continues to do it at home. She's opting not to have a nurse come in each day, mostly because of cost, but also saying she has a bike and stuff she can do at home. I'm praying she does it, because the stronger she gets and the more she continues her therapy the longer she can stay at home, which is where she wants to be.

Work has been annoying the last couple days, with me coming home and letting go of some steam to MS. He's had a rough few days with his Mom's stuff and her live-in S.O. Last night we had his friends over for dinner and to fix his computer. We ended up playing a board game, "You Might Be a Redneck if..." (Yes, we play these games in this state.) I had to laugh as I won the game and I'm probably the least Redneck of the 4 of us. :) Oh well.

It was funny, though. MS and I had been chatting on the phone while driving home (separate cars, but arriving at almost the same time) and at one point, mid-vent, he started laughing and said, "We're having a drink when we get home tonight." I laughed and said, "Oh yes, we are!" But then when Alison and Mike came over, they only wanted Diet Mt Dew, but I said, "Do I still get my drink?" MS said, Hell yeah, and so probably the first time ever, MS and I were drinking while Mike & Alison weren't. :)

Today was our work Christmas party. We've been having a cribbage tournament the last couple of weeks. I've become a legend by holding up the game for a week since I was gone last week. And then Monday, the guy I was supposed to play had to go home to take care of his kid. So yesterday I played 3 games in 2 hours and won 2, lost 1. Now I'm in the loser's bracket but it's double elimination. The second guy I beat, I actually Skunked. I heard from a few people that he was walking around with his head held in shame. One person told me, "I didn't know she knew how to play! I thought it was going to be an easy win!" Ha Ha! But then today I had to play the first guy I had beat, and I beat him again, almost Skunking him, but I let him get one more point to save face. But the tournament continues...the next guy I have to play had left for the day so it'll have to be next week. Should be fun.

And now, I'm sitting trying to regroup, but ready for bed. MS is working but tomorrow we're going to spend all day together, running last minute errands and just taking some time for us. Most of life has been swamped with work and his Mom, as of late, so having a day just to ourselves will be nice.

And Jesus is coming soon, and there's nothing more I'm thankful for. God bless you all. :)

18 December 2010

Wow!

I can't believe it's already December 18. The month has flown by and I have no idea where it went.

The month started out great with a "Leadership Challenge Course". It was great. We had completed a series of personal assessments (like Myers Briggs, etc.) prior to the course so we received a bunch of results back. They were extremely interesting. I learned a lot about myself; I only wish we could have had my bosses take them too, so I could understand them better.

Then it was our work weekend and KC and I put together a Christmas Party for our sections. It turned out to be a good time, though I was exhausted afterword. We also had a Kids' Christmas party. KC had created this theme too...Christmas Around the World. We had tables with different countries represented where the kids and parents could go around and learn about their customs. We also had Santa show up and had our pictures taken. Mine and MS's didn't turn out all that great, or I'd post it here. Well, I might post it later. We'll see how the month goes. :)

The next week was a blur...lots of work and trying to get things ready for me being gone this week. MS had his birthday too, but sadly I ended up working more that day than I wanted. So his birthday ended up pretty quiet. I had already got him his gift back at the end of September - he wanted a scope for his rifle. So he got that for b-day and Xmas, which is fine since this month has been crazy, though some of the fun was gone for his day.

Last Saturday we had snow...and wind...and a mini-blizzard, so we were pretty much trapped at home. This was okay by me. I got to finally finish my project while MS worked on some of his own projects. I was so very thankful to have it finished. What a pain. I will NOT be doing that again next year.

Sunday was a little scary. MS's Mom had a mini stroke so we spent the day at the hospital with her. She's actually still there because she was really weak so she's been going through physical therapy to get stronger. Hopefully she'll be going home before Christmas. MS has been spending his afternoons with her helping her with her PT. Luckily, he's had extra time off this week.

But then I had to pack and get ready for my trip. I went to Mississippi for a training for work this week. It was good, though it was more of a training-the-trainer course so I can train the people I work with on what I learned.

And now I'm home. KC and I made peanut brittle and some more vanilla today. We're too efficient though. It took a lot less time than we thought and we couldn't figure out a good third project so she went back home. So I'm just waiting for MS to come home from the hospital while I watch Psych from this week.

Life is good, you know? I'm pretty blessed.

01 December 2010

Learning to be a leader

My bosses signed me up for a Leadership Challenge Program that's in town this week. It's a 2 1/2 day seminar and it started at noon today. It's already amazing! I've learned a few things, or maybe was reminded of things, today in the first 4 hours. It's great.

Of course, it also makes me wonder if I am cut out to be a leader. I've had people telling me I need to put in for a big promotion that would put me in the higher roles at work. I'm hesitant for a lot of reasons...but that's immaterial right now.

See, Psych is on so I can't focus. :) I'll write more tomorrow. I'm sure I'll have more to say about the seminar, too.

29 November 2010

Procrastination coming back to bite me in the ass

Since 2007 I have been participating as "photographer" for one of our kid camps we hold for work. Our employees and other employees around the state can send their kids to this camp for a week to learn and have fun and blah blah blah.

Well, this year there were two camps...one for 10-13 year olds and another for the older teens. I was excited to do this again because it gives me an opportunity to play with my camera and experiment with my limited photo skills.

Normally, there is an intern who helps with the photos and with putting the newsletter/yearbook together that gets sent to the kids. Well, this year, due to budget cuts, there was no intern so it all fell on me.

This wouldn't be a big deal except my time after the camps is busier than snot with my real job. And add on it my personal life of prepping for races and moving in with MS and vacations to see awesome people...and time has quickly passed and the yearbooks are not done.

I finally got a deadline from the head of the department last week...but sadly it's for next Friday. I have a conference Wed-Fri so those days are out. Which basically left this past weekend. As of right now, I have half of one done. Uffda. I have a lot of work to do today and I'm struggling. ugh.

25 November 2010

A thanksgiving kind of day


It's Thanksgiving and MS is working. I hate days like this. We did both have yesterday off so we enjoyed spending the afternoon together. My former 1st cousin died last Sunday and his funeral was yesterday.* So we spent the afternoon watching movies and flipping channels on our extended cable (which I'm discovering is good and bad). I hate winter and the cold and wind and ice, but, as MS pointed out, it is good because then when we're both home we get to spend that time together instead of outside doing projects or yard work or stuff that has us "together" but apart.

Well, since he had to work and Mom is at her boyfriend's family (which, even after 16 years, sounds weird) and the rest of the siblings had things going on, we're having Thanksgiving tomorrow at YOB's. I offered to bring the pie, shocker, and so I made two pumpkin pies with a special recipe that I found online a couple years ago.

I have also been wanting to learn how to make bread. I learned eons ago back in Home Ec with the infamous Mrs. Wiese, but my attempts have always failed. So I thought I'd try again today since I had the time. They didn't turn out too bad, but I think I need to keep practicing, since practice makes perfect. My hope is that someday I'll get bread figured out well enough that it can become a staple - where I make it instead of us buying it. (healthier)

So it's been a pretty quiet day. Very cold and windy again outside, so I'm glad I stayed in. The rest of the weekend is supposed to be warmer so I'm hoping I can suck it up enough to get a run or two in. We need to decorate for Christmas yet, too. Maybe Sunday. :)

*Doug was my first cousin, Lorna's, husband. They had two kids around my age, so I kind of went to the funeral for them. Though he and Lorna divorced in the 80's I always liked Doug. He was a good man. He will be missed.

21 November 2010

Not sure where to begin...again

Finnegan, begin again...

Have you ever had that problem where you've stopped doing something because other things got in the way but when you get to the point where you need to restart the thing you had stopped that you don't know how to start again?

So I ran the TC marathon in early October. I took some time off to recuperate, mostly because I hadn't trained well enough so I was a hurting unit. Then I decided that since I was going to move in with MS that maybe packing and moving boxes would be a good thing to do. So every extra moment was spent doing that which took me to the beginning of November.

Then I had nine days in a row of work which were intense and sucky, though good. So with all the extra time with work, running took a backseat. Then MS and I took a vacation, which was much needed, but despite the nice weather in Texas, I didn't run there either.

Now we're back and it's been a few days of recuperating from vacation. So now I need to get back running and working out. And I'm not sure how to start or where to begin. I had thought about pulling out the tights today to get a run in, but MS said the roads were slick from ice and to stay home. Of course, I'm supposed to meet up with Bridget to give her some bars for her PTO meeting tomorrow...but we'll see. I'm, wrongly, hoping the roads are a bit icy so she'll say no to me having to meet up with her, but I also hope they're okay so I can get rid of these bars. :)

But how do I start up again? It's cold out, so running is not a simple thing these days - you have to plan and dress and coordinate so you don't freeze your butt off or any appendages for that matter. It's not as simple as lacing up your shoes and stepping out the door.

I know, I know...I'm making excuses. I could run on the damned treadmill, but I hate the treadmill. But maybe that's what I have to do to do something. I do want to start the 100 pushups challenge and 200 situps challenge. MS wants to start up P90X again, but that's an early morning or late night. I don't know what to do...

For now, since I haven't done a damn thing this weekend (we got full cable at the house, so now I have my TBS and TNT back...good but bad) I need to get my getting-fatter-by-the-minute ass off the couch and clean the house.

17 November 2010

The stars at night are big and bright

MS and I finally got a real vacation in this year. Well, he'd say we've had two since we went to Hawaii in January and did take a long weekend to see K&E back in May. But for me, this was finally a real one - it wasn't work related and it wasn't just a weekend, though it was a weekend. Anyway...

We headed down to Texas on Friday. K&E had moved there for new jobs and school, so this was our first trip to their new digs. We had talked about flying but because of the cost we opted to drive. Plus, MS has some Navy friends who live in OK so we were able to stop and see them too. It was a long drive though.

Friday night we had dinner with MS's friends at an Irish pub. The food wasn't that great but the fellowship was awesome. We met up with Brian and Belinda and their daughter and Mike and Kathy. 4 hours later we were able to head the rest of the way to K&E, getting us in around 1am.

Saturday E and his brother had a "thing" they had to do, so we and K took Nika to the park to play. I'm not sure who had more fun, Nika or MS. He had a lot of trouble this weekend getting "stuck" but Nika was quick to help out.

Saturday afternoon we went to the TCU vs SDSU game. It was the last home game for them before they made some major updates to the stadium. We got to go to a tailgate where we sampled some delicious chips that we need to find now. :) The game was a little stressful as TCU wasn't quite with it, but it still was a good time. K took a nice picture of Nika, MS and me (see bottom photo).

Sunday we went to an awesome restaurant called Gloria's. That was the best Salvadorian food I have ever had. I had the Pollo Asado Combinado so I could try plantains and yucca for the first time...not bad. It also had Mexican food so Mike had a big plate of yumminess as well. And it was just the right amount. I didn't feel overly full like I sometimes do, especially after having chips and salsa. Mmmmm

"Hey, Nika, pull my finger!"

Monday MS and I went to the Dallas Holocaust Museum. It was kind of on a whim because our original intention was to go to the Sixth Floor Museum, but as we were waiting for it to open we walked around a square and saw a sign for the Holocaust Museum. We, being the great planners we are, thought we'd do that first and then do the other one before we had to head back. Well, after 2 1/2 hours at the HM we realized we wouldn't have time for both, but the time was well spent. That was an incredible museum and we probably could have spent the entire afternoon there. So the Sixth Floor will have to wait until the next trip. We did see the Grassy Noll though, so I guess that's something. :)

After we got back I took some family pics of K&E and Nika so K can write their All Saint's letter. :) Then we went to Joe T Garcia's which, again and not surprising, had great food. I ate way too much here but it was so yummy. And the atmosphere! WOW! The building is a block long with a lot of outdoor/patio seating with fountains and heaters. It was great.

Of course we were sad to leave Tuesday AM but it was necessary. We had thrown Nika's life pattern out of loop for too long (not to mention K&E's as well). So Tuesday, after surviving rush hour traffic with an hour back up because of a multi-car accident, we drove back to OK to meet up with Brian and Mike again. Mike wanted to show us his place and I was in love. The pantry alone was almost enough to make me ask if he'd adopt me. It was huge! With a sliding door! And oodles of shelf space!! Then I saw the kitchen! *sigh* They're basement was incredible and gave MS and I a few ideas for our place too. It was fun to hang out with the military boys even though half the time they were using Navy-speak so I didn't quite understand what they were saying. It was fun though.

I can't wait to go back to visit them again and add in Ernie next time. We'll have to plan better. :)

11 November 2010

A sincere thank you

To all the military men and women who paved the way for those who serve to protect our freedoms today. God bless you all.

Veteran's Day Mash Up

For a holiday I did a lot. :) Normally my holidays are days to curl up and watch movies or something.

Instead, I got my comforter dry cleaned, caught up with some billing paperwork with my dentist, went to work and got a few last minute things completed, had lunch with Bridget, got a new haircut ("I have bangs! My hair is so now."), shopped at VS, checked out some new pillows and priced out the better ones to pick up next week, went to Target and survived, picked up a new tire gauge, bought popcorn (mmm...Poppy's), had supper with Mom, picked up some groceries (forgetting the sugar...again!), and fueled up Morty. THEN I got home and put the comforter in the aired out duvet and put it on the guest room bed, did a load of laundry and now, once TBBT is over, I will be getting ready to go see the Nikanator.

I'm tired. Now I need popcorn. But a few more chores to be done first...

Lack of writing

My life has been a mess lately! Well, not a mess, but a lot of work. Today starts a nice vacation which is greatly needed. Of course it's Veteran's Day, which is why I have today off. I'll take it. :)

So today, I thank and honor all those who have come before us...those men and women who stepped up to defend our country to keep us free and safe...those men and women who continue to serve in a time where the military isn't always appreciated as they used to be.

Thank you, to a few: Kevin, Morris, Sam, Arnie, Elroy, Hans, Lane, Ron, Wayne, Eric, Sallie, Casey, Di, Ruth, Matt, Russ, Reid, Dean, RJ, Tom, Kristin, Bridget, Leroy, Joey, Jon, Brian, and so many more...

07 November 2010

Well, that's a total fail

So this month has already been crazy enough that I didn't succeed at NaBloPoMo. Silly me. Friday and Saturday were nuts though. This week has kicked my ass. I have been in bed and asleep before nine all week! I don't know what's going on ... if it's the weather getting colder, my job kicking my butt, or what. I just know, I have been tired.

Today is a short day at work at least. So I'm going to go to the grocery store to pick up "supplies" and then head home and have some baking therapy time. MS is working so it's just me tonight, which is good. I need a little me time. :) Not that I don't love having MS around, because I do, but it is nice to have some time just to myself. He gets his man cave...I get some nights to myself. :)

04 November 2010

Maybe 50 feet

I think other than going to lunch with my awesome sweetie today, I went maybe 50 feet from my office door...and that was only to go to the bathroom. Otherwise I was chained to my desk all day long trying to do all the paperwork and get caught up from the last two days of meetings and fun.

My sweetie has been wonderful these last few days, very supportive, having dinner ready for us when I get home, and taking care of me. He even made me tea to drink on the way into work this morning "to warm me up and keep me from getting sick". He's so wonderful and some days I really don't feel like I deserve his goodness, but I'm very thankful for it and feel very blessed. Love you, honey!

And since I'm typing this with his head on my shoulder, I'm going to keep this short so I can spend some quality time with him before I have to go to sleep. :)

03 November 2010

Meeting Wednesday

I hate Wednesdays. They used to be awesome when I worked at LS and the chapel service would have communion and the awesome sacristan's would bring me the leftover bread and wine for me to partake in the Eucharist and finish off the extras. :)

But now, Wednesday's = meetings. And it's not just one. It's 4. In a row. That go on and on. By 11:30 this morning I was cranky, hungry and crabby. But even the afternoon with no meetings is spent catching up...checking and answering the 9 voice messages, numerous emails and trying to finish the projects that need to be completed. It's frustrating.

These are the nights that I like to work late, but these are also the nights that I just want to go home. It doesn't help when the two people that just rub me the wrong way both came into my office at 4:30. I know they both mean well, but one is just high maintenance and the other is NOT clear in what she asks so when I try to explain to her she gets upset, answers back what she asked, which is incorrect, and then I have to explain it again. This goes round and round until I backtrack on what she asked, clarify what she actually has in her head that she's not saying but I'm finally figuring out, and then she can leave. Ugh.

I have 30 minutes til I can leave, but I don't know that I should. I have so much to get done and this mini-break of writing is a much needed release. Hopefully the next 30 minutes will be very productive. Crossing fingers!!!

02 November 2010

Closed Door

There are few rules in my office, which would make sense if you see the normal state of frazzledness that it embarks. But one of the most crucial ones is this: "It's not about you."

Yeah, it makes no sense, but let me 'splain. My office shares a door with my boss. Often people will go in to chat with him about very important and private matters. So they shut the door. For the first few months of my probationary period I would get very nervous. Did I do something wrong? What did I do? Crap, what's going to happen now? And so on...yes, I had a touch of paranoia.

Well, I have trained almost everyone now that when they close the adjoining door to lean in and say, "It's not about you." This works well. I can breathe a sigh of relief and they get to chuckle at it. :) Because honestly, it's rarely if ever about me. I'm a peon and not important to waste breath on. Plus if it WAS about me, they'd be pulling me in to the office too.

So today when Boss2 is meeting with a colleague and suddenly they shut the door, I get a little concerned. His door doesn't really fall under the "rules of the house" but it would have been nice. Especially since it wouldn't surprise me if they were talking about me. So my paranoia went up a bit. And especially when just before the door was shut my colleague stepped out and asked me which leadership program I'm attending next month and right after I answered, the door shut.

I hate this feeling. I know I shouldn't worry about it, but I do. It's just one of those things, I guess. I like them both and enjoy working with them, but when I'm not in the loop I get worried.

01 November 2010

It is finished!

Finally! The apartment is empty, save the vacuum and a few little things. MS wants to steam clean the carpets this week so I'm leaving that stuff until later.

After we finished up the crap at the apartment, MS and I went to Despicable Me. I was so excited to finally see this movie. It wasn't Toy Story 3 caliber, but it was freaking funny. "It's so fuzzy!"

So today starts NaNoWriMo, which I am thinking I'm going to attempt this year. We'll see. If I can keep up with this writing, I should be able to do that too, though the plot thing might be a little rough. We'll see.

But NaBloPoMo has begun as well, and here it is, my first post. On to the next!

31 October 2010

Almost there

Yesterday was insane. MS and I, and my Mom after I conned her into helping, spent the AM packing up most of the rest of my apartment and loading up MS's truck and borrowed trailer. God bless that man; he let me go to lunch with my sister and niece while he unloaded it all. I had pulled a muscle in my back yesterday AM before we started so I was hurting. What a doll.

Then he came back after I finished with Lisa & Em and we packed up his truck and my car with some more. We were both so tired we went to bed at 8:30. Sheesh.

Today, Mom came over after church and breakfast and helped me with the icky part - cleaning. We got my bedroom done and the blinds in the living room cleaned off, and the windows washed. It's amazing how dirty my apartment became...of course I hadn't really been living in it for awhile, and I had left my window open. :)

Tomorrow will be the final step. Finish the living room, bath and kitchen. Vacuum and wash the floors and empty out the refrigerator. *sigh* It'll be good to have it finished so I can move forward completely.

29 October 2010

I did it again

I did it. I signed up for NaBloPoMo for November again. I haven't been blogging on a regular basis but the challenge of November is to blog at least one post each day. I've been doing NaBloPoMo for a few years now. In fact, it's how I "met" several of my blog friends - Kat, Jill, ericjay - to name a few.

And in light of my last post, I decided I should sign up for this again. I love a challenge and this one I should be able to keep, even with a vacation in there and moving. At least I'll have things to write about. :)

27 October 2010

Wow...where have I been?

I just got a little shock as I looked at my history and realized that I haven't been writing much at all this month (year). That's sad, because I like writing, but I don't have a good place to do it right now. Nor have I had the time.

After the marathon, I took a few days off from everything but work and then I started packing and boxing up my life so I could move to MS's. Every waking moment, it seems, has been devoted to packing and moving and resettling at his house. It's been great because I know the outcome will be my sanity of living in one place so I can focus on other important things in my life - like running.

But so far, I'm still packing. Well, not right now because I'm on a work trip. Blech. But time is running out. Not that my lease is up because it's not actually up until the end of November (a poor timing issue on my part), but I really want to be out before Veteran's Day so I don't have to think about it the rest of November. MS and I have a trip planned (I need a vacation) and then he works every other day when we get back which doesn't leave a lot of time for packing and moving. Plus, I'm just ready to be done. D.U.N. DONE.

I'm really excited for this next chapter in my life and I think it's helping MS too. We've been in a Discardia mood - sorting, rearranging and organizing. We fixed up my office on Monday...MS spending 3 1/2 hours helping me clean, sort and reorganize. I love my updated digs! I've been really focused and motivated for work lately and it's rubbing off on MS. He spent the last two days going through all my kitchen stuff and all of his rearranging and organizing our kitchen. Of course, he's putting things where it makes sense for him...but since I'm the baker/cook between us, I may have to move a few things to make it make sense for me. :) It's not like I'd rearrange the garage. :)

But back to the original thought for this blog. I'm hoping that once I can get settled I can get back to writing a bit each night. I miss it, and it's good therapy for my soul. :) Plus if I ever want to really write, I need to get into a groove and do it on a regular basis. It's just like running. You can't just lace up shoes and expect to finish a marathon without training. Well, you can...but it won't be pretty. Likewise with writing. While I can just start typing and a product would be produced, it won't be pretty. And I wouldn't mind if I could get something else pretty in my life.

24 October 2010

4 weeks or 28 days

4 weeks ago was the last day I drank a soda (save for two sips of a diet coke during the Expo when I had left my water bottle in the car). So 4 weeks ago, September 26, to be exact, was the last day I savored the taste of a Diet Mt Dew (several, in fact). But because the marathon was to be run the following Sunday I stopped drinking soda so I could focus on hydration, hydration, hydration.

Well, I haven't had a soda since. And I haven't really missed it, which is good. I thought maybe I'd lose some weight this month since I'm taking in oodles of soda anymore but I haven't lost a pound...in fact I think I've gained (but I haven't been exercising regularly either).

But it occurred to me this weekend that me giving up soda didn't really do me much good, other than saving my pocketbook. I drank diet pop only so I wasn't taking in extra calories. And when I was drinking soda I'd drink more water too because after awhile the 'sugary' taste was too much so I'd drink water to compensate. But now just drinking water is getting annoying so I'm drinking Crystal Lite, which has calories.

So where was the benefit?

22 October 2010

Random catchup

I know it's been a long time since I've written. Things have been pretty crazy in my world as of late. Lots of changes and busier than snot.

So I'm moving in with MS and so the last two weeks have been filled with work, packing, moving boxes, packing some more, sleep, work some more, pack more, move more, taking a day off to spend with Mom, and more packing.

It's an exciting time, one I never thought I'd be doing (this way), but I am excited for it. For the last year I've basically been living here anyway, so making it "official" is just paperwork, and moving the big stuff. :) It will make my life super simpler - living in one place is so much better than living in 2 places.

It's been fun to see how we merge our stuff together. I have more kitchen stuff, surprise, surprise, than MS has so merging that has been interesting. It's nice to have a big kitchen (finally!) where it's easier to bake. :) Life is good.

Anyway, in addition to packing and moving numerous boxes, work has been crazy busy. I reread my performance indicators today for my yearly evaluation and it's humbling (and a bit scary) to realize that I haven't been living up to my standards as of late. I need to get this move finished and get better at focusing on work. Once I can be settled in my brain and physically I can then better focus on work.

Life is good, folks. I'm a happy camper. :)

13 October 2010

Is it Ideal?

As many of you know I struggle with my weight, and since it's a requirement for my job to stay in shape, I'm always looking for what's going to work best.

For awhile I was strong into South Beach, but I have found that it's tough to stay on Phase I when I'm running. Two weeks of no bread or fruit does not a happy girl make - especially when I'm also burning calories. The extra burn of calories does help the weight loss, but I'm so crabby and unhappy it's not really worth it.

The latest craze at my workplace is the Ideal Protein diet. It's incredible the results my friends have had with it, but I really question some of it's sanity. For one - their Phase I is until you get 95 or 95% of your goal weight loss (that can be quite a long time). For two - you can't have milk or cheese...no dairy. Instead you take a supplement, which concerns me because while supplements are good, they also aren't fully effective. And what's wrong with milk? For three - it's a bunch of pre-packaged bars and shakes for some of your meals. Where's the real food?

I don't get it, but I'm a little jealous of the results my friends are getting. I'm just not sure I'm strong enough to stay that focused. And, as one of my friends is finding, what happens once you meet your goal? Then it's all on you to maintain because there is no maintaining program.

I don't know. I need to exercise more, but I need a plan to do it. Running is great but it's not burning what I need. And eating better would be a good thing...maybe it's time to go back on the Beach, even temporarily.

04 October 2010

TCM 2010

Lots of lessons learned from this race. I'm surprised I finished. It was truly amazing considering all the crap that led up to this one. So let's recap...

So marathon weekend began Friday night. I had to work late and we didn't get supper until almost 8:30. Ugh. Packing/laundry all the fun stuff took place and I thought I was ready.

Saturday, I headed in to work to clean up a few things and MS finished packing up the car. He met me at work and we left my car there. The drive up was uneventful, other than we were cutting it close on time so we didn't eat lunch (and breakfast was a granola bar). This is where my horrid need to follow the plan I set up came into play and proved detrimental.

I had my per-race massage scheduled at 1230 with Keith. I snagged the bathroom while he was finishing setting up so I wasn't there when he and MS met. MS mentioned his lower-back issue that he has had constantly (and the chiropractor isn't helping - shocker!) so Keith asked if he could borrow MS for 10 minutes. I said sure. Then he came out and needed 30 minutes (MS is a mess). So that shortened my massage - which was okay, I didn't need that much.

So then we busted down to the hotel to check in (opposite side of the city) and traffic was horrendous. So a quick check in and back up to Keith's for kinesio taping - which took an hour longer than we had planned and we still didn't do what were supposed to (which hindered me Sunday). And we still hadn't eaten. At one point I was standing up arm stretched out to my side and my head turned the other way and I became nauseated and had to lie down...twice. Luckily Keith had some yogurt, which helped. It brought my sugar levels back up so I was clear headed again.

Then it was off to pick up my packet. It was 6pm and the expo closed at 7pm. Ugh. Not how I had this planned, but in hindsight the packet pickup was EMPTY so I was able to get in and out super quick, and the handouts were numerous because people were trying to get rid of their stuff. We got 3 cups from the Fargo Marathon (an option for next year) and handfuls of mini Larabars. Mmmmmm.

Then back to the hotel to drop off the stuff and time for food. It was after 7 before we got to TGIFriday's (which seemed a better option than Chevy's or IHOP), but they were sooooo sllllooooowwwww. We finally got our food at almost 8, snarfed what we could and then I took half of mine back to the room for Sunday AM (but forgot a fork so I didn't eat it anyway).

We were so tired. We both showered and then crashed around 9:30 and crash we did. I was exhausted, nutrition starved, and very nervous for Sunday.

Sunday AM - I woke at 4am, wide awake. At 4:22 I got up to go to the bathroom, then went back to bed to cuddle. I need cuddling because I felt like I could throw up. A little before 5 I got up and got ready. Of course I ended up realizing that I had forgotten a few important things - my pace tat, my accelerade, my endurox, to name a few. But I figured I could do without them. MS walked me to the train station (I asked for that so he could know where to go and so I would have a little last encouragement before I had to head to the start.

The marathon changed some of the procedures at the Dome, which threw me off a bit. They had specific areas open, which I got in, but not before they did a bag check. Then they changed some of the times for races (at least it seemed) so that threw me off too. But I did what I could to keep things normal for me.

Anyway, I got to the corral and, trying to be optimistic, I started at approximately 5:15. They didn't have a 5:15 pace team this year so I just started between 5 and 5:30. 5:30 was the only pace team with balloons, which was weird too, but I figured if I could stay in front of them for most of the race, I'd be okay.

I missed the national anthem - some young guy singing way too low so I heard the last few measures. The wheelers took off and they gave them a 10 minute head start (which I think was different). So the elite didn't start until 8:05, and we were just standing there trying to stay loose. Another weird thing - you know how people always take off running as soon as they can and then have to stop and walk then run, then walk before they hit the official start line? Yeah...that didn't happen. Everyone.Walked. And maybe 10 feet before the line we started running. Weird!

I felt pretty good the first few miles, in fact, I only walked through the water stop between 2&3, otherwise I ran for the first 6, albeit slow. I saw MS at 4 and dropped my throw-away shirt and ear guard there and kept going. Then MS met me at 6 I think and from there on he stayed with me the entire race - riding ahead and taking pictures or getting gel shots and Gatorade ready for me. My legs were tight so I took those meeting moments to stretch.

The downfall - I was passed by 5:30 between 10 and 11. This was my breakdown point - I started crying and just tried to keep running. I tried to stay with the pace team but I couldn't even do that. MS kept encouraging me, "This is your race, honey. Run YOUR race." He was right but it took awhile for me to get there. I kept imagining Year 1 when the sweep bus came up behind me a few miles later and how I didn't want that to happen again. I may not have trained well, but I didn't want to fail either. And the sweep bus would be a total fail.

It took me 3 miles to get there. MS would ride ahead and see where 5:30 was and then time how long I was behind them. That helped. And thank God for math because I was able to do the math to figure out if I could still finish under 6 or not. That helped. So after that it was just a matter of keeping moving forward. MS was worried about the 2pm deadline, but I was on my clock so I was just looking for under 6 hours. With his help, I made both.

Splits sucked:
Mile 1: 10:57
Mile 2&3: 23:06
Mile 4: 11:35
Mile 5: 11:22
Mile 6: 12:41
Mile 7: 13:57
Mile 8: 12:29
Mile 9: 13:35
Mile 10: 12:30
Mile 11: 13:00
Mile 12: 13:16
Mile 13: 13:51
Mile 14: 13:44
Mile 15: 12:42
Mile 16: 14:55
Mile 17: 13:28
Mile 18: 14:57
Mile 19: 13:37
Mile 20: 14:28
Mile 21: 15:07
Mile 22: 14:29
Mile 23: 16:22
Mile 24: 15:08
Mile 25: 14:09
Mile 26: 13:39
Last .2: 2:36

I guess the good thing is the last 4 miles were negative splits. But there's not a whole lot of consistency here. And I did finish: 5:51.46 (official chip time)

I felt like a running virgin for this race - I wore brand new race clothes (I had washed them at least) but they actually didn't cause problems. But I forgot so many of the obvious things - eating, for one; my during race process - I guessed the whole way; my recovery plan - I didn't have one; and so many other things. Just the lack of training was awful. I have to be more diligent for the next one.

I kept thanking MS for his support and he said at one point, "This is something you're passionate about, I'm glad to be here to support you." Which made me feel about this / / big since it is something I'm passionate about but I didn't make it a priority this year.

So if I'm going to run Austin, or Fargo, or Akron, or something other than TC next year (though it would be fun to run TC next year since it's the 30th year), I need to come up with a game plan. I have a week to recovery and make my plan. Crossing fingers I can come up with a decent one that will be doable and workable and successful. I need to do better the next time. I have to!

01 October 2010

New Year Resolutions

Today is a new year in my world, so I thought it might be good for me to come up with some resolutions. I'm not usually good at keeping these (who is, really?), but I need something to help me refocus my life. Maybe a fresh start will be good.

Granted, I'm running a marathon in a couple days, so most of these will start next week, but I want to get them out there.

So...in no particular order:

- Learn to walk down the hallways of buildings without looking into every, single office to see who's in there. A friend suggested blinders. It might help.

- Stop talking about my diet and exercising at work with others. That's my problem and no one else.

- No FB or yahoo at work until 9am (we're allowed to look at them, but I usually start right when I get to work). This will be tough, but I know I can do it.

- FOCUS at work!! Must keep laser focus!!

- Set up a better filing system at work and use it. This is a work in progress. Maybe I need to just purge everything and start over. That's wishful thinking.

- Start and complete the 100Pushups challenge. My upper body strength sucks.

- Honestly workout, with weights and cardio, and lose the 20 pounds I need to drop. A lot of the gals in my building are on the Ideal Protein diet - which sounds great until you find you can't have milk ever again, only a calcium supplement. That doesn't work for me. I love me some milk - especially after running. So I need to refocus my workout routine and work all aspects, not just cardio.

- Declutter my life at home. This should be happening with the most-likely upcoming move...though it could end up like my last move where I just throw everything in a box and it sits there for 3 years. :)

- Declutter at work. I have a lot of extra stuff just lying around. Not good.

- Redecorate at work. I've had the same photos/artwork up since I got my new furniture December 2007. It's time for a change.

- Write more. I miss writing.

- Bake more. I miss baking, too.

- Run more. I miss running, too. Well...I run a lot, but I need to keep at that. I'm thinking of running more than one marathon next year. E's inticed me with the Austin Marathon in February...so I'll need to keep with my training after this one in two days if I'm going to do that. Would be fun and good for me too. :)

This is a start. I'm sure I'll think of more. But for now, this is where I am.

15 September 2010

Root to Rise (reprinted)

Kristin Armstrong writes for Runner's World and while I haven't had a lot of time to read my favorite mags lately, this article struck me. It's not really about running, but life. And since RW online doesn't let me share to blogger, I'm copying and pasting ('cause that's what I do).

Root to Rise
08/31/2010 5:02 PM
Today was a double sweat day. I ran early this morning, which created tension (in my body, not my mind – especially after mile repeats yesterday, whew) and I went to yoga this afternoon, to release tension. I think I am now so accustomed to sweating that my body goes from matte to full-on-open-pore- drainage in less than five minutes.

I stood on my mat, stretched out in triangle pose, with sweat pouring down my arm and plopping onto my towel; the teacher asked us to turn, firmly plant our hands and kick one leg up. "Push against the floor, use it to ground yourself. Remember you have to root to rise." With that single sentence, my zen concentration went out the window and I started obsessing over her words. I breathed and worked my way through all the poses, gladly flopping onto my soggy towel at the end of class for a blissful savasana. I wanted to be still and ponder the idea of rooting to rise.

Rooting to rise is a visual, physical concept in yoga, when what you are trying to do requires strength or balance. You literally have to push against the floor and channel your core strength in order to extend through the pose (and, if you are me, hold it without toppling over). You can see and feel your response to the applied energy of rooting your body. But rooting to rise is a viable lesson even in less visible scenarios.

It applies to marathon training, painstakingly building a deep base in order to have something to draw upon when the time comes to rise to the occasion of race day. With our longest run coming up this weekend (22 miles), I have already started to go there in my mind, preparing myself by collecting energy and harnessing positive thoughts. I subconsciously do this when I have something challenging on the horizon, making sure I am firmly rooted for the test ahead. I am not one to reach high for something without doing the work to ensure my feet are balanced firmly beneath me. I believe in the notion that the best fun is the kind you earn.

Rooting to rise pertains to my mothering, digging deep and trying to enrich the soil that nourishes my children. It's my job to root them; their job to rise. Only deep roots will enable them to survive the seasons of life ahead. It would be so easy to get caught up in the shuffle of school and activities, thinking I'm doing it right without stopping to consider if I'm doing the right things. My goal is to shepherd these children into adulthood, not just to school and sports. If I am not consciously rooting myself, my actions and choices will not stem from a place of intent.

It relates to friendship, and the investments made in the roots of my relationships. Relationships that are fruitful, or offer a canopy of shade, are the ones that have been deeply rooted and well tended. When crisis hits, the relationships that rise to surround you are the ones you have poured your heart into during ordinary times.

The time to root is today. Whether it means a strong and steady yoga pose, a hard tempo run, dinner alone with your spouse, reading a story with your child, signing up for that class you have always wanted to take, or making time for a friend, the way to root is to stretch, to go deeper, to invest your heart.

14 September 2010

Crazy busy

It has been insane in the Moe household. Between work, running/training, more work, canning and trying to maintain a relationship, things have been crazy. I'm looking forward to October when the marathon is over, at least that will curb a bit of the training (though MS and I have talked about going to the Navy Ball next year so we can curb the training completely ... we both have a few pounds to lose before that).

I hoping my life will calm down eventually. Is that just a pipe dream?

07 September 2010

Salsa and weekend

So last week we made and canned salsa with MS's aunt and uncle. I was really skeptical about how it would turn out, but we tried it last night and it wasn't too bad. It had a little more cayenne pepper than I would have liked, but luckily I have a lot more tomatoes so I can try another type.

It has been a really nice weekend. Saturday, MS and I went for a long bike ride/run (respectively). After vegging and recuperating, we went into town and did a little shopping. We priced out deep freezes for the house. The freezer upstairs has been packed full of ice packs and food and as sales come around MS always wants to "stock up". So I convinced him if we're going to keep stock piling we need a bigger freezer.

Sunday, after a mini workout, MS went to work and I went to church, did some laundry, then canned minestrone soup. I keep seeing these commercials for Stouffer's stuffed melt and soup with tomato bisque so I'm thinking I might need to find a recipe for that and can that next. :)

Yesterday, MS and I went for a bike/run again (this is where he bikes and I run). We went 4.5 and I'm realizing just how out of shape I am. I'll get there, but boy I'm starting late. Then we ventured into town again before the storm hit and bought the deep freeze, carried it downstairs and set it up.

All in all, it's been a great weekend. I still have today off but I'm going to go into work for awhile and try to get some things accomplished for the week. It'll be a busy one again, culminating with my fitness test on Friday which seems to be a fail unless I get really lucky that morning and a half marathon on Sunday. Prayers are welcome! :)

05 September 2010

Canning, Running, and Recipes

So I know I haven't written in a long while. I have had things going on, but I haven't had a chance to blog. For one, I have been really busy - good busy, but still busy. And for two, and the bigger reason, my computer has been messed up royally.

A few weeks back i was heading on a trip and so I had the comm nazi's at work clean up my personal computer and load a couple programs I needed for work. That was all well and good and Kenny G did a great job. But he also removed one of my paid-for AntiVirus programs and loaded a free one we use at work. Fine and good. It worked for a week...then i got a virus. Then it disappeared by the time I got my computer home for him to check on...then it came back but worse. So he fixed it. At least I thought he had, but it took a couple reboots for it to actually take.

Now I'm up and running again, literally and figuratively.

After my last post MS and I spent some time catching up since I had been gone for so long. Then I went to the Guthrie to see "The Scottsboro Boys" which is by far one of the best musicals I have seen in a long time. And the bonus is that after it leaves the Guthrie it's heading to Broadway! So I've seen it before Broadway snobs! YAY!

Last Monday, MS and I went to his aunt and uncle's for a lesson in canning. We made salsa and had a great time. We finished earlier than we thought we would and so Dianne and I made a couple apple pies too. I made the crust from scratch, natch, and she peeled the apples. Basically I made it though and it turned out really well. It was nice to know that I could do that from memory.

Then a busy busy week was upon me. Trainings, catch-up from being gone, budget woes, meetings, planning, etc. It was busy but great. I attempted salsa on my own one night while MS was away and that was a pain...I highly recommend doing that with friends. It took forever and the recipe I used (different from the Monday one) only yielded 3 pints. Blech. Oh well.

On top of all of that I realized that I am 5 weeks from a marathon and 2 from a half, so I got back in my running groove. I started up at the right time of year - no humidity and great temps. I got in 20 miles last week (7.5 yesterday) and took today off to give my knees a break. It starts back up tomorrow.

I really need to drop 10 pounds in the next 4 weeks so i'll be at last year's running weight. I'd be happy with 7, but 10 would be awesome.

Today I canned minestrone soup. Not sure if that was a smart thing, but it seemed to work. We'll have to try it in a week or so and see how if it still tastes as good as it smelled when I was making it.

Which leads me to my big question - what do all my cooking friends out there do for recipe gathering and storing and filing? I have a ton - books, internet print-outs, magazines, calendars, etc - and I'm looking for a good way to file them. I thought about setting up a blog and tagging them so I could access them anywhere, and I might still do that with a big disclaimer that these aren't mine but just reprinted and probably without permission. But looking for other methods too. Any ideas?

22 August 2010

I love catching up with blog friends

Years ago I was participating in NaBloPoMo and I 'met' some of the most amazing people. And tonight I am playing catch up with ericjay. We initially started talking, I think, because of running, but then discovered we work in the same industry so we became fast friends chatting about the nuances of our co-workers. He's awesome.

Someday we'll meet, I'm sure. He thinks we'll end up at the same training some time, forget to tell each other we're going to be there and run into each other haphazardly. My thinking is we'll do that, but we'll forget the last part and end up talking about it later wondering how it is that we didn't run into each other. :)

It's all good. ericjay will still be awesome, and years from now, if we ever meet, that will continue to be a constant. :)

21 August 2010

I went to a mall...voluntarily

Last night was great. Tim, this guy John, and I went to the local American Legion. They were having karaoke and Tim wanted to go sing. Okay. I'm not a big karaoke fan, but occasionally I'll have 'a moment' and go and participate.

Good thing I did. We were 3 of maybe 8 people in the bar, and that was including the karaoke lady, her husband, and the bartender. And other than the karaoke lady, we were the only ones singing.

Tim has a great voice and made me cry when he sang Collin Raye's "Love, Me". We also sang a couple duets, which was a lot of fun. I miss singing like that.

Today, Mary and I went on a little trip to Birmingham. We were bored and didn't want to sit around our rooms doing nothing. So we drove around wishing we could find a mall or a California Pizza Kitchen. Funny enough, as we turned the corner into the Galleria we decided to try, there was a CPK. :) YAY! Nothing better than a Roasted Spinach and Artichoke Chicken pizza. Mmmmmm.

But then we went to the mall to walk off all the food. Somehow we ended up at Ann Taylor's Loft and shopping for me - to ease into an update of my wardrobe from t-shirts and shorts to "grown-up clothes". She picked out an outfit, then an associate came over and basically Mary said, "Dress her." And they did. I tried on shirts, pants, sweaters, belts, necklaces, more shirts. It was funny. I'm easing into adding color into my wardrobe too. I actually bought an orange shirt and it does look good. I really wanted to find a red one, but with my coupons I have I can do that when I get home.

The best thing was that they had a 30% off your entire purchase if you buy a pair of pants at regular price. And then I could get 20% off if I signed up for their card. Initially I had forgotten about the first deal, so as the lady was ringing up my purchase and we were at $200 and only 3 items had been scanned, I thought the card might be a good idea. But when I got my total and it was almost half the cost, I was so stoked! YAY for deals!

Now I'm just hoping that when I get home, if I walk into ATL at our mall and say, "Dress me" there will be someone as nice and smart and patient as the lady who worked with us today was. :)

AND I got my hair cut. :) I have been very productive today. Now, I'm just listening to "Juno" on tv and relaxing. I did a load of laundry and I'm debating on starting to pack for my return. I have a few more clothes to add now. :)

18 August 2010

Today was an exciting day

I tell you, I am learning a LOT at this course. It's awesome. The instructors are great and their insight is incredible. I mean, today...I learned all about...

Deviled Eggs.

I kid you not. We spent 20 minutes on deviled eggs and how they are a waste because with the time that it takes to make them you lose value on your final product. Because despite the fact that eggs are super cheap, first you have to boil them, then peel them, then slice them, then gut them, then take the guts and mash it up with some other stuff into a creamy mixture, then fill the eggs with said mixture, then you realize that they have a rounded bottom and won't sit on a normal tray so you'll have to slice the bottoms off a bit to make them flat so they'll sit on a tray, then you place them on the tray and sprinkle them with garnish (generally paprika), then carry them to your serving location, and then, because they slip and slide, re-straighten them on the tray so they look presentable.

THEN you'll have a guy come by and take 8 because they aren't filling (they're what people call "smash & swallow's") and then your whole purpose for buying them because they're cheap has just gone down the toilet because he just ate a third of your carton. AND the caterer is probably going to mark these up overall in price because they are a pain to make.

DEVILED EGGS. Seriously.

I have to laugh, because if I don't I will certainly go crazy. 20 MINUTES on deviled eggs. WTF?!?! But I laugh because it really is comical.

The class I'm in cracks me up because people aren't really paying attention and end up on tangents that aren't even close to what we're discussing. We were talking about seating arrangements today based on etiquette rules and precedence and a gal raises her hand and asks, "So, if your boss transfers do you get to keep your job or do you go with him?" Ummm...not quite on topic dear, and considering why you're in this class, that's not really a high priority at this time, even for you.

I just shook my head. I feel a little like I'm back at Sem where people liked to tell their stories...partly for attention, partly because they really felt like they knew it all...and so they raise their hand at every opportunity, "At my workplace, we do this..." It's just funny.

I spent most of this afternoon texting back to work because it was a) more fun and b) more productive.

Don't get me wrong. I love that I'm here at this class - this will be beneficial for me in the long run, I just have to find how it will work with my workplace because this is really geared for our higher headquarters locations. But some of the nonsense does make me laugh.

So for kicks, I and another gal in the class went out for dinner...to an awesome Italian place that had the best service I have ever had. And the highlight, other than the deliciosio food, was when Mary asked the waiter, "Do you have any bread?" And he repeated back, "Breasts?" and she smiled, "Uh, no. Brea-D." He started laughing, "I'm so sorry. Slip of the tongue. Yes. I'll bring that out for you." When he came back he said, "Here's your breaD." hahaha He was a great waiter.

I need to run now though...that food was way too yummy. Too bad I can't move.

16 August 2010

Odd

Okay, this might just be me, but this seems really stupid. At CB2, which I normally like, these are $25 a piece! You can get the same thing at Lowe's for $6. I like the concept, but $25 or $50 for two? Really?

15 August 2010

Typical

I'm in Alabama and, surprise-surprise, it's hot. And muggy. I just left this weather! Things back home were beautiful today and I'm still hot...and sticky! Ugh.

But I can't complain too much (well, I can, but I'm going to try hard to squelch that desire) because I have some awesome lodging. My work isn't known to splurge for the peons, like me, but this time they stepped it up. I can only assume it's because I'm going to a training with people who are normally treated like this.

Seriously though, I have a two room suite - a bedroom with a big bed and tv, a closet complete with 2 robes, a bathroom with a toothbrush and toothpaste along with the other normal amenities provided, and a sitting room with a loveseat, chair and another tv. Plus a mini bar! Nice. Moe's classin' it up today.

Too bad the room is far from everything I need - like a place to buy food. I have no rental car so I'm subject to my feet or taxi's. And I'm tired and broke. Tomorrow I'm going to have to make friends with someone...this girl does not do well without food and my trail mix is almost gone.

I'm excited for the course though. It will really help me, my bosses, and my career. It's a nice next step up, so hopefully I don't screw it up.

Oh, and I planned really well, as usual. It's supposed to rain all week. When I had looked last week to see, rain was not in the forecast. Now it's there all week. And did I bring an umbrella or rain coat? nope. Good thing I'm not made of sugar. :)

13 August 2010

An amazingly busy week

Boss2 has been awesome as of late and as of late he has worked hard to get me into a short training course that would help me immensely in my job, even though technically the course isn't for my job description.

Well, it's been up and down the last couple weeks and finally two days ago it was confirmed that I have a seat for the next class, which just happens to start on Monday...in Alabama. Uh...okay.

So the last two days have been a whirlwind of me finding a person to sit at my desk while I'm gone, tidying up all my projects and cleaning up my desk so JH doesn't have to deal with my normal mess. So in that aspect, this class has been the perfect addition to my already hectic life.

In other aspects, this is the worst time of year for me to go. A lot of projects and suspenses are coming due in the next week - the week I'm gone. But I have a lot of great co-workers.

Kenny G helped me today to get my own computer up and running faster and hooked up the process I need so I can check my work email on it. I tested it tonight and it works great! JH was so awesome and patient this afternoon while I was running back and forth trying to figure out what she needed to know and what could be passed by. I gave her the quickie tour of my office and the bosses as well so she knows where everything goes and what needs to be done.

I have all the confidence in the world that JH will do well and I got almost everything that I needed to completed. The rest can and will have to wait until I return. Luckily the class is shorter than I had first thought, so I'll be back a little sooner. And my computer is working so as long as they have WiFi in the housing the school provides, I'll be set.

I'm really looking forward to this class. It's not only needed for my job now, it's a great stepping stone for my future career - the job that I want.

Next step: Signing up for the Master's course I need for that job as well. But I think I'll wait to do that until I return. :)

09 August 2010

I'm a lucky girl

My boyfriend is the best. He proved it again last night.

I have been on Phase I of South Beach for the last week and Saturday night I was whining...a lot...about wanting popcorn. I got to the point where I took it out of the cupboard, a pack out of the box and sat it on the counter. That was after a day of smelling a bagel that I had on my desk.

Anyway, I'm not allowed to have either while on Phase I, and I did hold strong. But Sunday when I got home from work, MS had chicken, green beans, sugar free jello and sugar free fudge pops. Yum! That's ALL allowed on the eating plan and this was such an awesome gift.

Then today, my mother called him to see if he would show YOBs kids the fire station and fire truck. And he did. He took time from his lunch hour to show them all around on an impromptu tour.

He's wonderful. Moments like these remind me why I'm with him. <3

A great day

My sister and niece came to join me today and we hit Downtown to check out the Sculpture Walk. Our town has numerous sculptures come in for the summer. It's awesome and always fun to walk around. We had been talking about doing this for a long time, but it finally worked out.

So we hit the sculptures at 9 and walked for 3 hours, going up and down the streets and in and out of shops. It was great!

After lunch we went to a local museum and had a blast. We also ran into our mom and other niece and nephew (Mom's watching YOBs kids this week) there. There were some cool exhibits - one on corn, one on hot air balloons, another on diners and drive-ins, and a brilliant one on underwear*. :)

The rest of my day was supposed to be running errands but I decided nothing I had on my list was vital today (a couple would have helped but not vital) so I have just vegged. I needed this after a long weekend of work. I do need to type up a list of all the things I do. That's a long story, but Boss2 wants to add another tasker and swap one out (not really possible but he and MS think it is). So I might do that tonight. But I'm kind of thinking about going to bed early.

I did attempt a "real" bun tonight. My friend SBK showed me a trick with a sock, but I'm not sure I have it right yet. I need to work on that.

I'm just rambling now...maybe it is time for bed.

*I'm debating on putting the text traffic down on this one. My nephew and I had some fun with this. Hmmm...I'll think about it.

08 August 2010

My new water bottle!


I drink so much water now, my new hobby is peeing.

06 August 2010

Christmas in August

I'm in a quartet, as some of you may know, but onr of our parts seems to be dwindling as of late, so the rest of us left are thinking of just becoming a trio. This is okay with me as I love singing with the other two anyway. And we're keeping the arranger, which is beneficial.

Anyway, KC and I working on a Kids Christmas party for the children of our co-workers and she and KCM(her hubby) are thinking that we should sing this (below). I've always liked Jewel, so to sing one of her arrangements would be awesome. :) I'm kind of excited for this. :)

04 August 2010

Better than yesterday

I was a little more motivated today than I was yesterday, but still not where I need to be. I got assigned another tasker - actually two - today. Yet another additional task to add to my list of many that I do throughout the year. Some take more time than others, so it sort of balances out. God bless Boss2 - he asked what they could take off my plate, but there's really not anything that comes to mind.

The good thing is that I don't start the new taskers right away, so I have time to catch up with the rest of my stuff. I just need to do that now.

I did find, on one of my work sites, a bunch of articles and techniques to beat the afternoon slump and how to start in the AM. I'm going to read those tonight and see if there's something I can implement to help.

03 August 2010

How To Be Alone



This resonnated with me today, for some reason.

Text below (from a website so I hope it's all there):

If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were you were not okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find its fine to be alone once you’re embracing it. We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books, your not suppose to talk much anyway so its safe there. There is also the gym, if your shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in. There’s public transportation, we all gotta go places. And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation. Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on avoid being principles. The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by “chow downers”, employees who only have an hour and their spouse work across town, and they, like you, will be alone. Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone. When you are comfortable with “eat lunch and run”, take yourself out to dinner to a restaurant with linen and silver wear. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo desert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were. Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst fleeting community. And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no ones watching because they are probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely move to beats, after-all, is gorgeous and affecting. Dance till you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. Down your back, like a book of blessings. Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might of never happened had you not been there by yourself.

02 August 2010

What a fun day!

I love days like this! I was supposed to take photos of my friend's kids today, but we woke up to a nice rain shower and very gray skies so we're going to reschedule.

Instead, I spent the day doing laundry and baking. It was awesome! I made chocolate chip cookies, PB cookies with dark chocolate kisses, zucchini bread (1 big loaf, 1 mini loaf) and banana bread (1 big loaf, 3 mini loaves). I'm debating on making more cookies, but MS will be home in less than an hour so I should probably be done. I want to make oatmeal cookies and snickerdoodles yet, but maybe tomorrow.

It has been a great day. *sigh*

01 August 2010

It's a new month

August is here. K&E are starting a new life this month. It's in the plans for me to go to a course that will help my career (crossing fingers it all goes through). All of these changes are for the better. Everything is great and another reminder that life does not stay constant (and if it did I think the monotony would kill me).

So today, I need to reclaim my life. This month will be that start. I'm going to write more. I'm going to eat better (I'm back on the SB blog too). And I'm going to focus on self-care. I'm going to find myself again and work on becoming the woman I was meant to be.

26 July 2010

Great weekend

I had a great weekend. Despite having a cold ALL weekend long (I blame the deep tissue massage for releasing all the toxins I had held down so long and making me sick), I had a great weekend.

Sunday I got to hang out with the awesome Debbie. We hit GDC for some brunch and then we went to a mall. Yes, I said, "Mall". I'm so not a mall person but I survived and even bought some t-shirts at the Gap (gasp!) that were on sale for $10. I also found some new artwork to hang in my apartment.

Then I got to go to the Guthrie and see "A Streetcar Named Desire" starring Carlos from Desperate Housewives. It was AWESOME!!! Wow. Love it. Of course, now I want to see if Marlon Brando really did the role of Stanley justice or not. Then again, I'm not sure if I want to see the movie because that might ruin my experience of it - like watching the movie after reading the book. Hmmm... dilemma.

Today, cold still intact, I met up with AmyO from grad school and her daughter Sig. We headed to the local coffee joint and had a great hour and a half together. We've been trying for months to get together so this was perfect. So fun.

And now I'm home. The drive was good. I listened to NPR the whole way and got a little edumacated and was able to not crash every time I sneezed. I'm looking forward to a quiet night at home. I need some rest so I'm not sick all week. Too much to do at work to be sick. :)

24 July 2010

Alrighty then

It has been a very long week. So I decided to take a time-out and go to the cities for a mini-break.

I started the weekend running late, and though I should have made it to my appointment on time construction made me an hour late. Nothing like sitting on 94 between 35W and 280 for AN HOUR. wow.

But I had a great 2-hour deep tissue massage with the fabulous Keith. It has been 13 months since my last massage with him and with all the stress I've been going through I was so tight that Keith only got through my shoulders and back before my time was up. Not good. But I'm going to do my level best to get back on Monday to work my legs and back a little more.

We also tried some Kinesio taping. He's been trained and certified on it and thought, especially with my level of tension, that I could benefit from it. So we taped my right forearm, pecs and lower back. Monday we're going to retape those areas and tape my neck and shoulders. I hope it works...i'll try anything if it will help.

Tomorrow I get to see Debbie and go to some awesome theatre again. I can't wait. I need some culture. :) It's just nice to have a break for a while. Not that I don't love where I live, but everyone needs a break now and then, and I'm one who likes to travel, even if it's only a few hours away.

15 July 2010

Duck!

After work yesterday I just wanted to cry. I was so tired, stressed, my body felt like it had been run over by a train, and I was looking longingly at my savings account wondering about just how long I could disappear to some foreign country before someone came looking for me or I ran out of money. I got a lot accomplished, but not all of the stuff I needed.

Part of my hang up is that I have to make a HUGE supply purchase for a couple people that just have not been high on my list lately. Some things they have done, or not done, comments they have made about me behind my back (blaming me for their mistake), have just left me with little desire to help them out with their stuff. Petty, I know. I’m being very petty. But part of the other side is that it’s a very complicated order and I hate when people make things complicated. I have to get it done today, and I know I’ll feel better when I do, but I’m just dreading every moment.

Life has been pretty stressful lately. Probably my own fault. If I could just master the duck concept I’d be fine. I’m still working on that though.

For now, I press forward.

08 July 2010

I Believe She's Amazing

A little behind

"At least I'm not a big one!"

I've really been wanting to write here more. I have been writing but on a different blog/journal to work through my therapy. It's pretty sucky, so I haven't opened that up to anyone really.

But since that's specifically about therapy, I thought I'd vent and rant about the rest of my life here. :)

I haven't been eating well lately, nor have I been running like I should. I have very few weeks left before the TC marathon and I have not been running enough. Which is NOT a good thing. And my timing has sucked. The last few days have been PERFECT weather for running and I haven't run a step. I wish I didn't have this aversion to running after 7:30 pm (especially starting after 7:30 pm) or running at noon in the heat of the day. It leaves me with early morning (which I'm usually okay with) or right after work (which hasn't worked lately).

And my eating has sucked - one meal a day with a few snacks as of late. not a good thing. I really need to lose some weight and not eating isn't helping. Blech.

And all this leads to not sleeping well either. I'm going to really have to work on all of this.

There's my vent/lament for the day. :)

06 July 2010

Squishy

You know it's humid and you've been sweating profusely when you reach down to grab your legs to stretch and they go "squish" as water/sweat slightly sprays.

04 July 2010

Herman, revisited

A few of you know my Herman. He's been with me for many years. Technically, he's Herman II (like Audrey II but without the man-eating part) because the original Herman died in the 90s when I stupidly thought I could take care of him after the years of love my Mother had bestowed upon him. I loved him too much and he died in a week.

So when my last job decided to get rid of their service and Herman would have left with them, I asked if I could take on care of Herman and take him home with me. They agreed and since around late 2005 or early 2006, Herman has been with me.

When I first moved here I had to transplant Herman into a better planter because he was too big. Now he's gotten even bigger so he got a new pot last week. I wasn't sure if he'd take but he did! I'm so glad. So now Big Herman is kickin' it in a sweet big planter and looking good. I'm hoping he'll get even bigger. :)

03 July 2010

More proof I need to get organized

So two months ago MS and I went to Menard's to buy some oil and get a rebate form ($30 worth to be returned to us). I sent in my part a few days later and waited.

MS finally got his a couple weeks ago but mine never came. So I emailed the company and asked for them to look mine up. They have no record of it, so they told me to send in the original receipt, a copy of the email they sent me and they "would do their best to track it".

So I began the search. I don't track this stuff as well as MS does, so this was a struggle. I ended up going through all of my receipts in my "to shred/burn" pile and found 5 Menard's receipts...but none of the ones I need.

I could go to Menard's and print a new one but the CC I used to purchase it had it's numbers stolen a few weeks later so I shredded it. Ugh.

Luckily, I found a box with a bunch of receipts and there it was, right on top. So now I can send in the receipt for the refund request...again.

But this just proves that I a) need to spend maybe a little more time at home and b)I really need a file cabinet...really, really bad.

That's next on the list.

27 June 2010

The Giver

So a couple weeks ago I got on the short story "The Lottery" again. I have always been fascinated by that story and so I spent some time reading summaries, critiques, etc. on the web. AES came in to my office and said he wasn't really familiar with it, but after I explained the story he said that I needed to read The Giver.

So I did.

I'm not sure how many of you have read this book, but what an interesting story line. A "Utopian" society (at least as far as they knew because they didn't know any better) where one person is the keeper of all memories. A new keeper has been chosen so we follow his training for this task. It raised a whole slew of questions in my head about society and the way we run our world. Intriguing.

I don't want to write too much here because if you haven't read it I don't want to be the total spoiler of the book. It was short and a quick read, so if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

In my research after reading it, I found out there are two books that were written a few years ago to complete a trilogy of sorts. I'll have to find those too.

What would you like to know?

Are there any questions about me that you have wanted to ask but haven't? Or something you wanted clarified about me that hasn't been?

Ask, and you may be answered. :)

So I've been a little out of touch

I can't believe it's been 11 days since I last posted, or something like that...I can't count today - my brain is mush.

Anyway, I've been at a youth camp this week for work. It's fun because I get to play photographer for a week and not really have to be a counselor. And I get to sort of camp, which is fun too. Of course we don't cook our food over a fire, because with 97 kids that would be a little tough.

But every year I make the same mistake. I overpack. This year it was extra t-shirts and an extra pair of shorts that I didn't need (actually a couple extra pairs). Last year I had brought running clothes and ran twice that whole week. This week I decided not to run, so at least I didn't pack extra for that.

I don't know why I do this. As a 'staff' member of the camp I wear red shirts all week long. I wouldn't have to wear them all week long, but since I'm not assigned to a specific group of kids it's easier if I do wear red so they know who I am. And I have plenty of shirts to last the week, with even a couple extra. So why I pack more than I need, I do not know.

So I'm packing another box, marking it as youth camp and hopefully next year I won't do the same thing.

I'm glad camp is over, that's for sure, but now my real work begins. Running around taking pictures is one thing; but now I have to sort through all 1800 and find the right ones for the yearbook I get to put together. I didn't do the book last year, the intern did, so I'm a little out of practice. I'm sure it'll all come back to me soon...right?

16 June 2010

Smurfs!!!

Trailer

The website

The cupcakes





I'm ready!!!

09 June 2010

Thinking...

There have been a couple job positions open with my company as of late, but I haven't applied despite the fact I'm looking for something a little more challenging in my life.

So I was thinking that maybe I need to go back to school and get a Master's that would actually benefit me. Ashford University has a couple programs that I could do online and get another Masters in 18 months (accelerated program). But I'm not sure if this is the right time for this, or if I'm just trying to use this as an escape mechanism.

But then I look at these jobs that are opening and trying to look at the bigger scheme of things and what might come in the future, and maybe getting a better, more usable master's would be a good thing.

Something to think about...

05 June 2010

Good week

I had a really good week at work this week. I haven't had a week like this in a long time. I actually got things accomplished, not everything I wanted to, of course, but a lot of it.

I'm trying very hard not to think about all the things I didn't get finished because that's just depressing. I am looking to go in on Monday afternoon. I have a couple articles I need to write and one project that I forgot about and I have a meeting Tuesday AM at 9 that I have to have it finished.

Otherwise it was a really good week at work. I know I've been working hard when I'm mentally drained and my eyes are a little bloodshot (too much time at the computer), but it's worth it.

Today we're moving rock. I feel like I slipped a year. :) But it should be good - get out in the fresh air and do a little work. I'm out of shape and I need to get back into working out in one way or another.

02 June 2010

So it's June

I can't believe it's already June. It seems like yesterday MS and I were in Hawaii. Well, no, it doesn't but I was trying to make me feel better. :)

Today was absolutely gorgeous. I was going to run but I thought I'd take one more day off. Instead I just went for a walk after working a little late and took some pics of the flowers by the statue in the park by my apartment.

I should have ran. Today is National Running Day, but I spaced on that completely. Oh well. Tomorrow AM I will do my best to get up in the AM and get it done. I need to get out and run. It's been far too long.

Work was good today though. I actually got a few things accomplished. Tomorrow - a few more. Friday - a few more. Eventually I'll get caught up. :)

31 May 2010

Sick of it!

I am so sick of being sick. It all started a few weeks back when MS caught something while at work before we went to Sconnie. We came back and I started coughing like he was. Then I ran a half, and since then I can't get over this crap.

I had gone to the doctor a couple weeks ago and he said it was just allergies and to take Claritin-D. That made it worse! I was coughing more and and up more throughout the night after taking that then if I just went with my cough meds. But I wanted to get over it all, so I took both Claritin-D and Robitussin.

That combo seemed to help and I started to get better. But Saturday I woke up with swollen glands and heaviness in my head. Sunday was just as bad. I can breathe through my nose fine. It's just this sinus crap.

I want it to go away. I don't want to get MS sick and he doesn't want to get sick either, so we hang out together but there's no touching allowed. This sucks.

And on top of that, this morning is an amazingly beautiful morning and I REALLY want to go for a run. But I have a sharp pain in my right temple and crud in my throat.

Sucky.

29 May 2010

I made it about 19 hours

I'm not going to apologize. I'm not going to feel bad. It's not like I'm breaking down completely and gorging myself.

But I went on a walk...the the store...to buy a watermelon...and also got...dark chocolate kisses...and Cheerios.

None of these items are on Phase 1, let alone the cleanse plan. But I'm not going to feel bad. I'm not! I'm just figuring out that there are things in my life that I need.

Like food.

And not all food is bad. To quote the CD I've been listening to: "Food is food. It's not bad. It's just we can't overindulge."

She has an 80/20 rule when it comes to food - Eat well 80% of the meal, or the day, and the other 20% is yours. You eliminate the guilt, which can cause stress, which can cause weight gain.

So there you go. 80/20. And I need to run.

Edited to add: Okay, that was kind of a lame post, but the fact is I was sitting here with no motivation, could barely think let alone move so I could actually de-clutter which is my goal for today, so I needed to get something in me that would provide some sustenance and brain help. And it's not like I gave in completely and popped in the white trash pizza I have in my freezer, though I wouldn't be completely shocked if that happened later, at the rate I'm going.

Starting again

I need a fresh start. I need to lose weight which will in turn help me to feel better which in turn will give me a little more motivation to run which in turn will help me feel even better. A nice cycle.

So today is a cleansing day. Three days of Jay's special program (which is supposed to be a week - ugh). Today is water and juice. Tomorrow I can add in fresh fruit (watermelon is sounding REALLY good right now). Monday I add in fresh veggies - which is usually my cue to go to Olive Garden for salad (not that I can eat the breadsticks, which is sad, but the salad is good). For the latter, I'll probably just buy my own lettuce and get some more of their dressing.

Then Tuesday I'm starting Phase1. I talked MS into doing this with me again. He did it after we got back from Hawaii and lost 10 pounds. Of course then we went back to eating normal so that didn't really help. But we both need to slim down a bit.

We had thought about trying Ideal Protein, the latest craze at my workplace, but I'm not a big fan of just drinking shakes all day and eating salad and then a tiny sliver of protein at night. That feels too Slim Fastish for me. I'd rather eat real food.

So I'm going to do this again. I need to cut out my sugar intake; it's been bad lately. I need to drink more water. I need to eat breakfast - that's a big one. And that's my plan.

25 May 2010

A lot of walking!!

Okay, so 4 miles was a little rough, but felt pretty good. The bad thing is I start to get in my head and then I was choking up and had a moment where I couldn't quite breathe. I did walk quite a bit, but I'll get it back. It's early in the season yet.

Running!!!!

I had my "Union" meeting today (I'm just the recorder since I don't qualify to be union or management) and we ended early. I asked our facilitator if I had to go back to the office. "Nope! This was the duty for today. You're free!"

YAY! I love early days (which makes me wonder just how much I'm actually liking my job these days...I may need to reevaluate that). So I'm going to go for a run! I tried the 10 minute Trainer (via Tony Horton) this morning but that sucked. A run will be much better.

Off I go!!! (shortly...I have to get my shoes on, watch, etc.)

24 May 2010

Flip!

My life has flipped. Or turned 180 degrees. Or something.

Yesterday MS and I went to my niece and nephew's b-day party. Em's b-day was a month ago, but they were redoing their kitchen; Zach's b-day is next month but he has a baseball tournament that weekend. So my brilliant sister decided to hold the parties together.

It was a nice afternoon, albeit hot and muggy. Zach & MS hit some golf balls into the field across the road then played basketball. I went back and forth between the house and outside, stupidly having worn jeans so I was warm.

After the party, MS and I swung by the house so I could change and then we went to a nearby state lake to fish one last time during the "free fishing weekend". We caught one bullhead, 3 blue gills (only one worth keeping), and one carp (which I snagged) but then he got away despite the team effort. It was a nice, relaxing way to end the weekend.

But the flip is because while I was fishing, my dear friend Debbie was at the Guthrie enjoying one of my theater tickets - seeing "M. Butterfly". She texted when she got to the theatre, "OMG! The front row!" which is where my tickets are so I don't get distracted by the small aisles or the weird people. :) Then at intermission she texted she was loving the show. Then she called on her way home to tell me all about it.

I hung up the phone realizing that my life has completely done a 180. I now go camping and fishing. I'm trying to fit theater into my life. It's weird. Not necessarily bad, just weird.