Monday, February 25, 2013

What We're Doing in Group Therapy This Week

This week in my group I thought it would be a fun activity to have my teens take the Meyers-Brigg Personality Test. The Meyers-Briggs is a test that is based off Carl Jung's theory that all people observe the world in four different ways: Extroverted/Introverted, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving.

So I found a printable version of the test (found here) and I'm going to give it to my girls, and then we are going to compare the types (found here). I am a INFP, by the way, also known as the Idealist.

I think I like it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Grissom Army JROTC Wounded Warrior 5k

Running races is a weird thing to be impulsive about but that is totally how I am lately. I used to plan for these races months in advance. But now that I'm jogging on a pretty consistent basis when I heard about the Grissom Army JROTC Wounded Warrior 5k this weekend, I was just like why not?

So that is how I ended getting up before 6 o'clock this morning (on a Saturday!!). I was so nervous the night before and I don't really know why. It's not like this race was my first rodeo, and I have finished a 10k for goodness sake! But I was wiggin out as usual because I can never accomplish such tasks without a great deal of anxiety fanfare!

This race was for a very good cause (wounded soldiers of the armed forces) and sponsored by the JROTC. Something that excited me because I was in the Army ROTC in High School. And when the color guard posted the colors, I couldn't help but smile because I myself was the color guard commander. But then I thought how funny it all was because I hated running the mile in ROTC, and now I'm showing up to do 5ks voluntarily! Oh, how things have changed.

The race had over 600 people, and also had a lot of other patriotic elements including the singing of the star spangled banner and a ARMY helicopter landing! And when the race started, they fired off two cannons!

My only goal for this race was to be able to run a chunk of it, for whatever reason I have struggled to transfer my 5k training to the races. Maybe it's nerves or just not warming up properly before races, but it just doesn't come as easy for me as my training jogs. But during the race I was able to run ten minutes and walk the rest, coming in right at an hour! And this time I didn't finish last, so I count that as progress. Now at my next race I'll just aim to run a little longer!

I love the energy of race days and the people along the route cheering you on. I love the high I get after finishing. But let's not mention how awful of a cheerleader Adam is because he was was posted at the wrong place looking for me, and no where in sight when I crossed the finish line. But I can forgive him for this transgression, I suppose.

After the race, we had celebration banana caramel pancakes at IHOP, and I took a celebration nap with my mom's dog, Carlee, as pictured below. Yes, Adam was there to snap a picture of me napping this afternoon but not crossing the finish line at the race *shakes head*. But looking at this picture I have to ask myself, why am I such an angry sleeper anyway?

Race days make all the other days when I'm out training, although I would rather be sitting on the couch, and all those times I'm just putting one foot after the other, fighting through the leg pain to finish my jogging interval, so worth it.

Now I'm am ready for the Color Me Rad run in March!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Walking in Memphis (& A Million Photos of Graceland)

Song: Graceland by Vixine
(Make Sure You Have the Volume on for The Little Movie)
On the spur of moment, Adam and I decided to spend the weekend in Memphis & Graceland and my college friend, Anna, and her boyfriend Jon got to come along!

We got into town late on Friday and got to our beautiful room on Beale Street. We got dressed and ready and went to lovely dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. I've been to a few Hard Rocks in my time, so usually I would pick something more unique and local, but Anna has never been to one, so she really wanted to go. But the food was great, Adam loosened up and had some shots, and they had a live band playing. The band was almost too loud though, you know your getting older when you are more concerned with being able to have a conversation than jamming out to music!

After dinner, we walked up and down Beale street snapping pictures & shopping. Before going back to the room to hang out and being soooo loud, that the guy next door chastised us for being too loud. And we are were like dude, it is a hotel on BEALE street. What do you expect? There is even a sign in the front lobby that said if you want a QUIET hotel stay elsewhere. But we calmed down because we are just those kinds of people.
I was so freakin excited about going to see Graceland the next day, which Adam couldn't seem to wrap his mind around because I'm not a zealous Elvis fan. But still, it doesn't mean I wouldn't find it sooo exciting. The house from the outside looked nothing like I expected (i.e. a celebrity home). I think a lot of celebrity homes now are so over the top. But this was just a nice, big home with beautiful stone facade.
I really loved all the rooms in the mansion! Some were garishly 70's (think shag carpet on the ceiling), and the yellow and purple basement was fun, fun, fun! But I thought the living room and the dining room actually stood the design test of the time! I die for those stained glass peacocks. Even the staircase is grand! By the way, the upstairs of Graceland is off limits, even to most employees. For two reasons, Elvis only let his family up there during his lifetime, and the family didn't want to bring undue attention to the bathroom where he died.
We saw the graves of Elvis and his family, his many awards/trophies, and the infamous jungle room. We toured his private planes and got to see his really unique collection of cars. And I ended the day eating a peanut butter and banana grilled sandwich (because how could you not eat the King's favorite meal while at Graceland).
We really had a great weekend, and I couldn't stop smiling after the tour because it was just so much more fun than I could have expected. I think it even gave me a better understanding of the mystique of Elivs.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Heart Maps and All Things Group Therapy

At work, I do a twice a month group therapy session for teenage girls who are depressed/anxious/self-harm and have had some suicidal thoughts. This is by far my favorite population to work with. Maybe because I was that girl once upon a time, a teenager who didn't truly believe things could ever get better. But they did get better and I'm so glad I stuck it out because now I have such a beautiful life and my troubles never seem that insurmountable.

In the group, we do spend a lot of time talking about issues but also the girls just get to enjoy the company of other girls with their same issues. And they seem to like spending time just trying to shock me with cuss words, and then I'm all like, "pllllllllleeease I've heard it all. I worked at a rehab after all."

Earlier last week, I was looking for a fun and light activity we could do this week for Valentine's day. And I decided on doing a heart map. Just a map you draw that has a bunch of things that make you happy and are important to you.  I hope they don't think it is too elementary. But I think sometimes it is good to keep it simple and also give them reminders of things that make them happy.

But I had to do an example for them to follow first. So here is my heart map. So don't laugh at my taco which supposedly looks like a watermelon or  the fact that I misspelled my chosen career (therapy). I mean really? But I was watching a movie and wasn't paying that much attention. That is my only excuse.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Little Big Spring Memories

I'm still doing that running thing. Slowly getting myself ready for Color Me Rad in Match. And I do mean slowly, sometimes I think a turtle on downers could pass me by. But I know it is not about speed just about getting out there and doing it. And running makes me feel good and I like it, so nothing else matters. But sometimes I get tired of running in the same old places. I don't know how people do their running on treadmills inside gyms, I need new visuals to keep me occupied (although I guess the gym is ace for people watching). Changes of scenery.  So last week when I was in Huntsville for an appointment, I decided to go for a jog nearby at Big Spring Park.

Big Spring Park is a very beautiful little park, but I think enjoyed the run even more because it brought back so many memories from my younger days. Like once I went to a Peruvian dance festival with my best friend and got my first taste of a culture that was not my own. And I attended so many concerts there every year at the Big Spring Jam. I saw Jewel back in her "Who Can Save Your Soul Days," when she was still bitter at the world and not singing happy, country songs (that I like just as much, by the way). I saw Jason Aldean, Bucky Covington, and LeeAnn Rimes when she was little more than a high schooler herself.

My friend and I drove home from our college in Mississippi to see Taylor Swift, when she had first broken onto the scene and wasn't even a headliner yet. Before the million awards, and famous ex-boyfriends. We were driving back to school late that same night to get back to school by morning, and we got a flat tire and had to stay one more night, missing all of our classes, and one very important math test.

But I guess my favorite memory involves my first boyfriend. I had been talking to this guy online for quite a while when I decided we should met. I was taking a class at a nearby Art Museum, and he was going to pick me up in the park. When I came out the park was packed! Apparently, there was some kind of religious convention in town, and what had to be close to a million people were in the park in matching suits and ties! This totally freaked me out, as crowds make me nervous! And I had no idea how my friend was going to find me! Up until then my biggest concern was the pimple I had on my lip because what if he wanted to kiss me? Long Story Short, we did meet and we dated a short time. And he was pretty dumb as most first boyfriends are (in my opinion). But it was a good memory anyway.

I think the nostalgia is what has been most fun about being back in Alabama. Every where I go there is a memory that makes me smile. Driving by my friend's grandparents house after work and thinking of all our fun sleepovers. I think I am just appreciating the little things which probably would have never mattered to me had I not moved away for several years.

It is pretty good to be home and share all these memories with Adam and to be making some new ones of our own.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Lego-tastic Weekend

It has been a great weekend here at the Manor. On Saturday, I had a sushi/shopping/ice cream date with my mother, even if it was freezing cold and sleeting outside! On Sunday, we slept in, I went for a jog, and then we had a brunch date. I had the best omelet stuffed with crab, avocado, and Parmesan cheese. Yummy! I also managed to sneak in not one, but TWO glorious naps. Adam downloaded SIM theme park for me to play, which I loved when I was in high school. I also found out that an IHOP is coming to our tiny town and I about wet myself! I love me some IHOP. And now we are watching this crazy long Superbowl, not really caring who wins. However, my life has been made because I got to see Destiny Child reunited. I miss them. And oh yeah, we finally finished putting our 2,000 plus piece LEGO town hall together.

This project probably took us a complete day. It is a lot of work combing through so many pieces just to find the exact tiny piece that you need! But it was a lot of fun to put together and I love the finished project. I think what I like about LEGO is the detail they put into everything, even the little people.  There is even a working elevator! And the set just so happens to remind of the first dorm building I lived in during college, clock tower and all.

I guess now that we are all rested up, it is time to conquer the week ahead.  And I hope all my bloggy friends had a wonderful weekend too.