Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Cotton Row 2014

This weekend I did the Cotton Row Run for the 2nd year in a row with Adam and my friend, Jana (read last year's race recap here). Monday morning was a hot, hot, hot day! It was 90 degrees and humid before the race even began! Jana and I had already decided the day before we just wanted to hang out and walk together, so that is exactly what we did.

We had a good time at the race, and it was a great way to celebrate Memorial Day. We met some awesome people at the race. Two of the ladies were completing their first 5k, and we even met someone going to the Disney Half marathon!

My time was a little slower than last year (about 56 minutes), but I finished further from last than I did previously, and I wasn't swept to the sidewalk! So I was super pleased. I can tell I'm getting into better shape lately. I get less winded during races, and my soreness does not last as long. The biggest issue I had post race was blisters (I really need some new running shoes)!

After the race, we were sweaty and gross, so we all went home to take some showers, and then met our other friends for breakfast at IHop before everyone headed back home.
Other fun activites from the weekend? We went bowling and had a girl's vs. guy's competetion, they blew us out of the water. Which was good for them, because otherwise we  had made a bet that they were going to have to watch Frozen with us. There was lots of going out to eat, and we had non-stop Mario Kart tournaments.

I was sad to see them go. It was so lovely having my friends here, I just wished everyone lived closer.  But I'm sure our next get together will be just as fun. My hope is our weekend trips will never end.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Day in Lynchburg

This weekend was definitely fantastic! Having friends come visit was just what we needed to forgot about all the anxiety we are having due to waiting to hear about the house at the end of this week! I mean ugh, Friday seems so far away, like I can't even breathe.  Patience is a virtue, but it is for sure not mine.

For our first day of vacation, we took the whole gang up for a day in Lynchburg, Tennessee.  I have been up there a handful of times, and it is always fun to spend the day in that little town and to tour the Jack Daniel's Distillery.

We started our day trip by having lunch at Miss. Mary Bobo's Boarding house, which really is some of the best Southern cooking around. I didn't eat much of course, but I think my friends enjoyed it enough, that it made up for my lack of an appetite. Anna even bought their cookbooks!

After lunch, we headed over to the Distillery to do our tour, they were booked till later on in the afternoon, so we decided to do a little shopping at the town square in the meantime.  When we were walking out of the distillery, there was a man with a horse and a buggy offering carriage rides to town. We decided that sounded like fun, so we took a horse ride!

The horse was beautiful and named, Belle, and the guide was kind and funny. Our friend Anna even got to drive the carriage for a while.

The town square is absolutely charming! They have several little mom and pop shops, as well as their Jack Daniel's souvenir stores. My personal favorite is the Moon Pie General Store, full of novelty items and you guessed it, moon pies.

Soon it was time for our tour, I enjoyed the tour even though it was my 3rd time. I tend to forgot a lot of what I learned in between tours. But I will say the time and effort they put into their product is really impressive. It makes me appreciate Whiskey a whole heck of a lot more.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Currently: May 2014

Excited About:  My W girls and their guys coming in to stay the weekend with us for Memorial Day. We have so many fun things planned, but not only that we laugh so hard and so much when we are all together. That is what we need most of all.

Watching: I am actually watching the classic 101 Dalmatians Disney Film. I guess doing the Disney Run has revived my love for all things Disney. I've been collecting all the classics, and I have been enjoying watching them. I'm at that touching scene where the puppy almost dies (spoiler alert: he survives). I can't wait to share these movies with my future children. 

Listening To: I have not been listening to a lot of music lately, but I am listening to a lot of audiobooks. I do admit to liking Talk Dirty to Me by Jason Derule (I can't help it, that beat is infections) and also Team by Lorde.

Reading: I am currently reading Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen for book club, which I am really enjoying so far. Which is a surprise to me because I don't read a whole lot of fiction! I've also been thumbing through a Walt Disney Travel Guide, just so I can plan the perfect trip.

Working On: I keep making wish list boards on Etsy for how I want to decorate our eventual home. I have a guest room board with all things nautical, and I have an office board with all things yellow & grey. I just can't wait till we are home owners so we can decorate.

Loving: That in just two weeks I get to start spending Friday afternoons hanging out at Point Mallard, lazing about the Lazy River.  Doing my daily devotional every morning. Watching Fargo with Adam and laughing about all the funny accents.

Recent Buys:  The 101 Dalmatians Movie and also Aladdin. This race metal holder to display my race ribbons. This beautiful print for my office. Broccoli and Cheese soup from Quiznos. Yum.

Thankful For: Oversized sweat pants to laze around in. Springtime scents from scentsy.  Vanilla Cake Batter Protein Powder. Having a clean home.

Happy Memorial Weekend, everyone! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

My Summer Bucket List

I love the changing of the seasons, no matter what the season, and right now I have caught the summer bug. Even though summer is historically somewhat stressful for me work wise, I know I am still going to squeeze in a whole heck of a lot of fun. 

These are just a few things I hope to do this summer (14 for Summer 2014!):

1.  See The Fault in Our Stars in Theaters
2.  Spend Fridays Floating on The Lazy River at Point Mallard
5. Running with the Goats 10k in Elkmont, Alabama
6. Glow in the Park 5k in Memphis, Tennessee
7. See Mary Poppins Play in Montgomery
8. Para Sailing
9. Deep Sea Fishing
10. Book the Disney Princess Half Marathon (once it is booked, there is no backing out).
11. Buy a Home
12. 10 Year Class Reunion
13. Garden of Wonders at Huntsville Botanical Gardens

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Foam Fest 5k & 28th Birthday

Yesterday was my 28th (what the what?!?) birthday, and we celebrated by doing the Foam Fest 5k in Nashville. Which is basically a race with obstacles, a side of foam, and a whole heck of a lot of mud. 

I can't believe Adam agreed to do this, and he actually wanted to do this! He kind of freaked out on me last year when he realized the Neon Vibe was a color run.  Then he complained about getting color on his clothes! The horrors! He is not as big of a fan of mess as I am. 

When we woke up Saturday, it was a whole heck of a lot colder and grey then you would like it to be when you are going to be spending time getting foamy and muddy. But what can you do?

I didn't really plan on running this race, I figured the obstacles would be enough of a challenge! I would say the obstacles weren't the hardest part. Nope, that distinction is reserved for walking uphill for half the race in all the mud. The course was uber muddy due to all the rain we had had the night before. Many times I would get stuck in the mud, lose my shoe, and then have to have Adam pull me out!

I completed almost all of the obstacles (minus climbing walls, which I was going to do, but Adam was convinced I'd hurt myself). I did not complete them gracefully or spectacularly though. There was a lot of head first flipping off innertubes (into ice cold water), falling in mudpits, and maybe one big slip-n-slide, where I didn't slip or slide the whole way, stopping embarrassingly in the middle, and having to army crawl the rest of the way through the foam.  But we had a blast, and I felt so proud of all I was willing to try.

It took us 2 hours to finish the race. 

It is funny to me, because in the past my birthdays have centered around food and sweet treats. I thought I might be sad today, thinking about how I couldn't stuff myself with my favorite foods. But honestly, it never even crossed my mind  that I was missing out on anything. I love that feeling.

I'm always a little sad when my birthday ends, there is something so nice about having a day when people take the time to say, "I'm happy you were born." But I guess I have 364 days to celebrate my unbirthday.

P.S-Adam met a Blue's Brother today at the race. This guy raced in this get up the entire time! I kept calling him a Doobie Brother, much to Adam's amusement, apparently they are not the same thing.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Three Recent Reads

1. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

I have had this book on my to-read list for a while. This book is just the type of fiction I love, it centers around a neurotic character (an agoraphobic mom who uses a virtual assistant in India to run even her most basic errands). Plus, it has a mystery element, so you have to figure out why and WHERE Bernadette disappeared to. The story is told through e-mails, text messages, and letters. It is an interesting approach and an utterly charming read.  

2.  Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

This is an non-fiction book about a woman who lost her mom, became disconnected from her family, and got a divorce in a short span of time. She decided to hike the the Pacific Crest Trail, that runs from Mexico to Washington, to reboot her life. I think I love this book because it is so outside the realm of anything I would ever want to do. I admire her courage greatly. The transformation she goes through in the book, from self-destructive to empowered, is incredible to read. 

3. The Call the Midwife Trilogy by Jennifer Worth

I adore the show Call the Midwife, so of course I had to read the real stories behind the series. It was interesting to learn about Midwifery in the 1950's, and Jennifer Worth is such a great story teller. The characters she meets in the East End were so entertaining. And the stories she tells about Sister Monique Jones are a riot. FYI, in my opinion, the first book is the best.  Be forewarned, some of the stories are so heart breaking, they will make you cry.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

House Hunting & Hoping

Adam and I have made a big step in our lives, we have begun house hunting. It is about time. We had originally planned to buy a house last summer, but after a lot of soul searching, we made the choice to wait a year and save up some money. You have no idea how much we did not want to wait a year. We were so tired of living in small place after small place. But it just made sense, so we did. 

I truly believe everything works together for a reason. If we had not waited, we would not have been approved for the type of home we really want. We would not have been able to pay off some credit cards, and I certainly would not have been able to have weight loss surgery.

Timing is everything. 

But lately, apartment living is really started to get to us. We are running out of space. New neighbors just moved in right above us, and they are super loud and do obnoxious things like jumping off the balcony. And recently the couple on the third floor got into a huge fight, and the wife started hurling TVs and his clothing over the balcony (evidence here). That was quite the shocker for a Sunday evening.

We met with our relator the first time on Friday, and we went to see three homes that evening. The next day we met up with her to see a couple more. We walked into one that we fell in love with. When we first walked in, we started picturing ourselves living there.  We imagined where we would put our furniture, how we would decorate.

It was 2,000 square feet of perfection. A fireplace, a spacious back yard, beautiful trees surrounding it! It has enough space for me to have my dream home office/craft room. I plan to call it the Petit Trianon (after Marie Antionette's Mini Palace she used as a retreat to be alone and escape the pressures of Versailles-History Nerd Alert). 

It just felt like home. 

It may have been somewhat impulsive, but we went straight to the mortgage company, and got our loan in gear, so we could make an offer. We were immediately approved.

We were so pumped to make an offer that night. But when we met with our realtor, we learned there was already an offer on the house. But it was shaky offer, and the buyers had not gotten all their financial information together yet. The agent representing the sellers felt the deal was likely to not go through, and it was worth making an offer anyway.

So we did. We have officially signed a contract with the sellers as a back up offer. The other buyers have till the end of the month to close on the house or we get it.

Patience has never been my virtue and two weeks seems so far away. Adam and I alternate between feeling hopeful about getting the house to feeling defetaed about it all. We just want it so bad, it will hurt to lose it.

We have decided to put our search for a home on hold for now, as we feel we will always be comparing it to our "dream home." At least if we lose this home, then when we renew our search, the home we put an offer on won't be in the back of our minds, making us unable to evaluate the home properly.

All there is left to do is hope, pray, keep the faith, and try to convince ourselves that if it doesn't work out, it is because there is something better for us out there. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Four Month Surgiversary

I cannot believe it has already been 4 months past my surgery. Four months after years and years of wanting to have surgery. I am currently down 107 lbs. That is astonishing, I couldn't be happier. People comment on my weight loss all the time, which I love and hate all at the same time. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable when the same people ask me over and over how much weight I've lost, I don't even know why. And yet sometimes I love when people ask!

I guess it depends on what type of mood I am in that day. 

I feel like I've begun to find a type of peace with food that I've never, ever had before. Sure, I have more self-control now, because I have a tiny tummy that keeps me out of trouble, but I am finding myself disinterested in all the foods I used to obsessed over. I also like that people have stopped tip-toeing around me when they want to eat items I can't eat. Adam used to only eat fast food if I wasn't around, and he would then try to hide it from me. Now he asks me to pick up food for him on my way home from work! 

I have also had a little bit of an epiphany. Recently, I have struggled with going out to restaurants because I eat so little, so to me, it feels like wasted money. I was talking about this with my wonderful therapist that I've seen off and on since I was 14 (fun fact, when I met her she was working at the same place I work at now). She talked about how I needed to just focus on the social aspect of going out to restaurants. She is so right! I think in the past going out to eat was all about the food and any socialization was secondary to that.

I also shared with her, that since I am still a fat girl, I feel embarrassed that I eat so little when we are eating out. I think the wait staff will judge me for being on such an extreme diet. Then it hit me, I used to be embarrassed about how much I ate, and now I'm embarrassed by how little  I'm eating.

When do I give myself a break? 

That was a turning point for me, I can't let food cause me so much anxiety anymore. That was the problem in the first place.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Love Book

This little video teaches you how to make those gorgeous and delicious looking courtesan au chocolat pastries from "Mendl's" in the movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel. I'm seriously considering making this just so I can try a bite. 

Beautiful photographs of what Venice would look like if the Canals were frozen over. 

Pictures we did not take before the onset of Digital Cameras.

I still love Sex & the City. Everything I need to know I learned from Carrie Bradshaw, Everything I need to know I learned from Miranda Hobbs.

10 famous people who actually missed the Titanic.

A little bit of a history lesson on Cinco de Mayo,  Pinatas, and some seriously modern Pinata designs (I love the ampersand).

One Author Recreates and Photographs Famous Meals from Classic Literature. I believe I need this as my new coffee table book.

The real photographs and people behind some of the wildly popular & original pin up girl posters.

Cherry Blossom vodka, any takers?

I had no clue that the voices of Mickey & Minnie were a married couple in real life, nor did I know most of these 63 other magical Disney Movie Facts.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Adam's 30th Birthday

I really tried to put together a big ole' surprise this year for Adam's birthday, since 30 is such a big one. But Adam really wanted to keep it simple this year, since so much is going on this Spring, so I decided to honor his request.  

We really kicked off the celebrations, with the cutting and the blowing out of the candles of the 24 cake in honor of the premier night of 24: Live Another Day on Monday. And yes, we watched the entire show. Adam even insisted on watching it live WITH COMMERCIALS. I haven't watched commercials since I dunno, 2004? He said it is all part of the momentum of the show.  The show was fantastic though, almost worth the commercials. It is great to see Jack Bauer back in action (if only because it makes Adam so happy).

This morning for Adam's actual birthday, I had gotten up a little early to arrange some treats I've been sneakily buying and storing in my closet like a squirrel with some nuts. Not pictured is the delicious Panera bagel, I left him in the fridge for breakfast.  And of course,  no celebration with Adam would be complete without a Lego set. 

When I got home this evening, I made Adam a spaghetti dinner. It is his favorite dinner, and it used to be our favorite meal to fix together.  But since surgery, I have not really been eating pasta, so I haven't made it for him in 5 months. I was happy to do that for him, even though I couldn't eat a bite. 

I guess his 30th birthday was really about food and 24. He was pleased, that is all that matters. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Weekend Report

Usually when I write one of my weekend recap posts I will say this weekend was absolutely fantastic/refreshing/fabulous or other various, positive adjectives. But this weekend was both good & bad, with equal part ups and downs.

Friday night was definitely the high point of the weekend! Adam and I decided to go to the Botanical Gardens to catch an outside showing of the movie, Alice in Wonderland. The Botanical Gardens is probably one of my favorite places to visit, not only is it beautiful, but they are always hosting fun events (such as The Scarecrow Trail & The Galaxy of Lights).  This summer's theme for exhibits and events is Alice in Wonderland's Garden of Wonders and this was the kick off.

We brought a whole bunch of blankets and pillows, and thank goodness because it got really cold, really fast. I hadn't seen Alice in Wonderland in years, I forgot how charming (& nonsensical it really was).  During the beginning of the movie, when the white rabbit appears, declares he is late, and runs off frantically, Adam leaned over and whispered, "He just realized his wife has the credit card." It was so hard for us to stop laughing after that comment, he really cracks me up sometimes. 

I will be going back to the gardens ASAP, to check out the other Alice in Wonderland activities!

We woke up early Saturday to head to the bank and get an pre-approval for a home loan. While the idea of buying a home is excellent, having to sit down and take a hard look at your financials & debt can be a little uncomfortable. It did not got as well as we had hoped, but we are still in a good position to buy a home this summer.

After we left the bank, Adam and I got in the most ridiculous fight, that does not even deserve rehashing, but it put me in a really bad mood. Like a silly, can't stop crying mood. We had plans to run a few errands together, but I decided to go it alone, since we were so annoyed with each other! I ran my errands and then stopped by Sonic for some water with mango flavoring (my current favorite). I was finally feeling happier, so I took a selfie of me with my Sonic water, right after that picture was snapped. I dropped my drink, spilling all 44 ounces all over my car. I don't know if I was more mad about having to clean out the car or spilling all my water!

I came home, Adam and I put together my niece's graduation party invitations to go out on Monday, took a long nap, and did the grocery shopping. We obviously got over the silly tiff, and we enjoyed each other's company, while watching the new show Fargo.

Sunday, I got up early to bake Adam's birthday cake (his birthday is Tuesday). It just so happens his 30th birthday coincides with the reboot of his all time favorite show, 24. So I made him a 24 themed cake. It says Live Another Day, kind of a funny double entendre considering that is the theme for the reboot as well can be age related.

This isn't the first time I made a 24 cake (the last one was much better, see that here on my old blog), and if you want the recipe for my famous Peanut Butter Frosting, see here.

I guess all in all, the weekend was not too lousy, and only seemed lousy in the bad moments. Heck, anything is better than having to work!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Three Simple Goals for May

I really love setting and achieving goals, I don't even mind all that much when I fail at goals, because I still seem to learn something about myself in the process. I really loved the book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I especially liked how she focused on one aspect of her life every month, instead of trying to do it all at once. 

I thought I would like to try a variation on this idea and try to accomplish a couple, small goals for the month of May. If this works, maybe I will try three more in the month of June.

So here are my goals for May:

1. Do a Daily Devotional Everyday for a Month
Adam and I aren't big church going people, sometimes I wish we did go more often, and maybe that is something we will start doing more in the future. But we really have strong faith, and I really enjoy my time praying and reading the Bible. I want to do more of this. So I plan to get up 15 minutes early in the morning, and I will do a devotional everyday in May. I think I'm going to try 30 words: A Devotional for the Rest of Us by Jarrid Wilson.

2. List Five Things to Be Grateful For Daily
I already stated that I want to start my day with a quiet moment of devotion, and I also want to end my day with the same type of quiet. So I plan to focus on all the things I'm grateful for. I tell my teenage clients they should be doing this all the time, and I really think it is an important part of being generally happy. 

3. Save 100 Dollars for Disney
I think this goal is pretty self explanatory. My trip to Disney for the Princess Half Marathon is going to cost of us a little money, and the more I can get put away before the trip, the better. By the way, I recently came across this article on one lady's experience at the Disney Princess Half Marathon. It really helped calm some of my fears, I so can do this.