Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Favorite Things: Project Life

I have always been really into documenting my life. That is probably why  I've been a blogger on various platforms since I was 13 or 14 years old. I can honestly say I was blogging before blogging was even close to being popular. I have to say I am kind of proud of that. 

I have also done some scrap-booking over the years. I fell out of the habit mostly due to apartment living and just not having the space to spread out all my supplies. I didn't even have a table, so I would have to sit on the floor and use our coffee table, where my limbs were constantly taking turns falling sleep. Plus, I'm lazy at heart, so I hated always having to clean up after myself when I was done.

I love, love, love my blog. I love telling the stories of our life, and then looking back months and years later. I usually have a small story in my posts that I will forget about it until I read the post all over. It is so great for memory keeping. My goal is to have this blog to share with my children someday, so they know what our lives were like even before they were born! But there is something about having actual pictures and an album to flip through that cannot be replaced by blogging.

Now that we own a home, and I have my very own hobby room where I can work and organize my supplies as I want, it is time to start again. I can even leave out all my supplies I am working on, and I can just shut the door on my mess if I so chose. 

I read about Project Life a year ago, and it really peaked my interest! It seemed to be so simple! All you have to do is slide in photos, cards, or journaling prompts in any way you choose, and  then you get a beautiful album that takes no time at all (I did all of my 5 pages in about 30 minutes).

I love how these turned out. I've been googling other project lifers, and they do such great things with their pages that I am excited to try, so I can spice things up, as I just did the basics here. But I did come up with the idea of writing on the photos in photoshop before printing them all on my own! I also liked the idea I had to screenshot my mile split times from the race from my app to add onto my race spread.

I can't decide whether I want to do traditional scrapbooking to get me caught up on the events I didn't get scrapbooked in the last two years, do project life, or maybe just turn the blog into a book! We will see.

But I think scrapbooking is going to be super simple from here on out!

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Running of the Bulls 5k

Last weekend on a whim, I decided to sign up for a fairly local 5k, The Running of the Bulls, just because I love a good race. Plus, it has been a while since my first full 5k running a few months ago, and I wanted to see if I could do better on my time.

Adam decided to come with me, although I told him he certainly didn't have to. Just because I decided to get up early on a SATURDAY, didn't mean he needed to be tortured as well . But he really wanted to support me (and I love him for it). Although, every time I mentioned what time we would be getting up (5:30) he made sure to tell me he, "hated me."

When the alarm went off, I was ready to go. The 5k was not as local as I thought it was though, and it took us 45 minutes to get over to the race area. But the GPS failed us, and we could not figure out where to go at all! This made me anxious, as we drove all over the place, just trying to figure out where we were supposed to go. Unfortunately (or fortunately), we finally found the location for the race, and it was one of the first locations we stopped at. I don't know how we didn't see the finish line the first go round!

We got there at 7, I knew the race started at 7:30. This barely gave me time to use the bathroom, pick up my packet, pin on my bib number, and get a proper warm-up completed. You know how I said the race started at 7:30? Nope, I was dead wrong, it actually started at 8! I was a total nincompoop that morning.

Once I realized I had some spare time,  I stopped to pose for a picture with the school mascot. It reminded me of being back in NYC on wall street with the bull market statue.

It was so hot and humid that morning, and I was worried about being properly hydrated. I was dripping in sweat even before the race started. Luckily, the course was a nicely, shaded trail.

I felt really good throughout the race, even from the beginning (my least favorite part). I could feel the progress I had made in the last couple of months! I was actually passing people! I have never been able to pass people, I was always the one being passed!

When my app announced I had gone a mile, I was SHOCKED to learn I had completed it in 13:53. I have never done a sub 14 minute mile.  Before this race, my fastest mile was 14:30.  I was so incredibly proud in that moment.  My next splits slowed down a bit (14:23 and 14:59). All under 15 minutes!  I think I'm going to be in such good shape for Disney!

The last little bit of the race had a short but steep incline, followed by a brief downhill stint. When I rounded the corner, I could see Adam cheering me on. I crossed the finish line at 47:30. That is my best 5k time to date! .

That post race watermelon was possibly the best food I ever tasted. 

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Week that Was-#100 Happy Days

Day 29- And yet another sneak peak into my nautical themed guest room, I'm telling you that room makes me so freakin' happy. It is the first room fully designed by me. I just need a few more finishing touches before I can call it done and move on to the next project, the hobby room.

Day 30-That was one hot day, so I did a brisk walk on the treadmill just to get a little activity into my day. I did so while watching Orange is the New Black. I just can't get enough of that show. 

Day 31-I fell in love with Taylor Swift's new song Shake it Off. It is somewhat cheesy but it is super, super catchy as well. 

Day 32-My first run in the new neighborhood in my mismatched socks (that is just how I roll). I'm so glad that the streets are wide enough here that I can safely avoid traffic. I'm loving the 0.5 mile loop I can do around the block. All our neighbors are so friendly and well, neighborly. So much better than our insane apartment neighbors. 

Day 33-I really have grown to love my morning protein shakes. I'm always trying to come up with new combinations. This week I've been doing a chocolate pistachio shake.  Yum.

Day 34-There is nothing better at the end of the day then changing into my pajamas and leopard slipper boots. 

Day 35-I got out and did a morning race. I even managed to beat my fastest 5k time. That was definitely a wonderful personal victory.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Beach Snaps

I wanted to round out my posts on the beach trip by just sharing some of my favorite pictures (the sunset picture was taken by my niece), without sharing a lot of words. It really was a great trip, and a kind of Summer of 2014 send off. I always feel like summer isn't summer without at least one trip to the beach. So I was happy to squeeze one short trip in.  I already miss the beach and the promise of the start of summer so much. But I am feeling hopeful about all the exciting activities fall will hold. Plus, is there anything better than the transition time between seasons? Bring on all things PUMPKIN.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Gulf Shoes Zoo & Lambert's Cafe

On our last day of vacation, we all decided to check out the little Gulf Shores Zoo.  It is a small zoo, but I was impressed with the amount of animals they had! Lions, Tigers, Bears, Oh my! When I was looking up the information on the zoo the morning before we left, they said they had baby tigers that you could pay to play with! How cool is that? Who doesn't want to hold a baby tiger?

Alas, it was a 50 dollars to play with the tigers, and my husband did not want to approve this excursion (he acts like we just bought a house or something), so I didn't get to. But seeing them was at least second best.

One cool thing about our trip to the zoo is I actually got to hear a male lion roaring several times. He was pacing back and forth, obviously annoyed about something. His mate was just laying down in the shade ignoring all the racket he was making. It was almost as if she was saying, "There he goes again." Maybe they were in an argument?

After our morning at the zoo, we decided to grab lunch at the famous Lambert's Cafe (Home of the Throwed Rolls) in Foley, Alabama. I have been to Lambert's cafe a couple of times when I was a child living near the one in Missouri. But I didn't remember much about it, outside of the throwing of the rolls. 

I loved the decor at the restaurant, very down home and country.  The food was delicious, of course! You do order an entree, but they also bring around a plethora of pass around sides like mac n' cheese, friend okra, and squash. And of course, there was a constant stream of thrown rolls (which I caught like a boss, by the way).

The waiter was quite the jokester, which I think is Lambert's signature stick. I also seemed to be his joke target du jour. He said I was being pushy because I started ordering before the others (in a funny way not a mean way). He acted like he was about to spill a whole pitcher of coke on me (it was actually a pitcher of slow moving molasses). I didn't jump surprisingly, but I didn't exactly understand at first that he did it on purpose, which my family teased me about endlessly.

Overall, it was a lovely day and a lovely meal, and it was a nice, last day at the beach. 

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Week that Was-#100 Happy Days

This weekend has been great, but it has been entirely too short.  Isn't it always? Friday night, we kicked it off by going to see The Guardians of the Galaxy, we both really enjoyed it, it was so funny. Saturday, we drove to Huntsville to go out to eat and do a little shopping. We got some new curtains for the living room, since the windows were curtain less and the whole neighborhood could see our business, it was kind of creeping me out. We also stopped by the local movie store, and Adam invested in a million seasons of Seinfeld, and I added to my ever growing Disney movie collection.

Other activies of the weekend include: watching  A Bug's Life, catching up with my DVR, and putting together our nautical themed guest room. It is looking amazing by the way! Once I finish with it, I will be so excited to share!

Onto #100 Happy Days-The Week that was August 10th-August 16th:

1. Day 22
I spent Sunday putting all my new prints into frames, this is part of the Nautical room, I mentioned before. 

2. Day 23
Our family friend bought us a gorgeous new table for our breakfast nook. I am lovin it so much! You know this is the first proper table we have had in our entire time living together! We are growin up, y'all. 

3. Day 24
Everyday after work, Adam has been relaxing by enjoying our new basketball hoop. Sometimes I join him, it is a fun way to be a little active at the end of the day. 

4. Day 25
I have recently starting watching Orange is the New Black. Why in the world did I wait so long? That show is so awesome! I know I am going to be sad when I finish with season 2, as I will have to wait so long for season 3.

5. Day 26
Yes, it took me this long to switch to August on my work calendar. But I am in deep like with the photo this month.

6. Day 27
We finally turned in the keys to our apartment the other day. Seeing it empty and looking just like it did the day before we moved in was a bittersweet moment for me. It is always hard for me to say goodbye when we leave a place. That apartment was chocked full of 2 years of memories.

7. Day 28
We have been house sitting our favorite house guest, Carlee, this weekend. She has been cracking us up. We can see cows from our backyard, and she keeps running over to the fence to bark at them like she is big and bad. Is that cow was to challenge her what could she possibly do about it? 

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Up, Up, & Away (And My 7 Month Surgiversary)

Number one agenda for our family vacation to Orange Beach, Alabama, was to go para-sailing. I had been planning that little adventure for the last few months, and I have been dreaming of actually doing it for years and years.

It all started back in middle school on one of the many church youth groups trips we took to the beach. Our youth pastor organized a trip to go para-sailing. As he was polling the group, seeing who wanted to go, he mentioned we would have to go in doubles, and that there was a combined weight limit. At my weight, I didn't believe I could find someone that I could ride with that wouldn't put us over the weight limit. Nor would I feel comfortable telling anyone my weight. So I just pretended I didn't want to go,  and I was secretly so disappointed & so mad at myself that I had gotten to that weight. Yet again, my weight had kept me from doing something I really wanted to do. I'm pretty sure I drowned my sorrows in candy bars that night.

That is just one of the moments in my long battle with weight that has always really stood out in my memory. So now that I'm 7 months out from surgery, and 150 pounds down, I felt it was time to make this dream happen!

On the morning we were supposed to go para-sailing, I was not nervous at all, I was excited! It is always funny to me that more daring things do not make me nervous, but I have such unnecessary levels of anxiety about everyday events. I'm like Para-sailing? No problem! Yet talking to a waitress at a restaurant can terrify me!

The only time I felt any nerves at all was when we were strapped in on the boat and the motor started running. Then I thought, "Am I sure I want to do this?" But it was too late to change my mind because we had lifted off a nano second later! Before I knew it, we were 800 feet in the air.

It was so quiet up there and surprisingly peaceful. I could have stayed up there for hours!

Before we lifted off, the boat driver asked us how wet we wanted to get, and I told him we were down for anything. So he really splashed us down in the water hard at the end of the ride (Everyone else just got their feet wet). That was one of the best parts.

It was such a wonderful experience and a wonderful day. I think that is the best part of this weight loss journey, it is allowing me to have adventures!

Below is my seven month surgiversary picture. Yes, I accidentally put Day 7, so just ignore that. But I felt really good about myself that day. Heck, I feel pretty good about myself most days lately.


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Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Week That Was-#100 Happy Days

It has been one hectic weekend everyone, and I am exhausted. We have spent almost every waking moment moving stuff from the apartment to the new house. Although to be honest, it has mostly been Adam doing all the heavy lifting. I have been slowly unpacking boxes and making our wonderful new home, more us.  Of course, there has been some hiccups along the way. Our queen box spring wouldn't fit up our staircase, so we had to purchase a split queen box spring that won't be delivered until Thursday, so we have yet to be able to share a bed in our new home. It is kind of like we are camping. But we are so happy to be here that it just doesn't matter! 

There is so much stuff I want to blog about and I will soon, but right now all I have energy for is my weekly #100 Happy Days post! 

So here is the week that was August 3rd-August 9th, 2014:

Day 15-We arrived at the beach! Everyone wanted to go out to eat on our first night, and all I wanted to do was go to the beach! But alas we went out to eat, and it was dark when we got home, so I only had time to grab a picture of the beach access sign! I was just so happy to be on the gulf coast!

Day 16- I finally got my beach time. Is there anything better than sitting in the sand, watching the waves, and soaking up the sun. I think not. I love all things sunshine, salt water, and sunscreen. 

Day 17: We took the whole gang out to play putt putt! One of our favorite group activities. You can barely see my niece Cassie in this shot, but I wanted to capture the Volcano in the background. That thing kept erupting and scaring us all.

Day 18:  We had a quick and fun road trip back to Athens. We love the time we get to spend together on road trips.  I snapped this shot when we were only a mile from home.

Day 19: I had a really busy day back to work. But one of my favorite moments of most days is catching up with one of my best friends via text in the evenings!

Day 20: Friday was moving day! It was so exciting to drive to our new home instead of the apartment that evening. It felt oh so good! We also had Carlee for the evening, so it was fun to have a house guest on our first night. 

Day 21:  I was just barreling down the highway, when my tire blew! That totally could make a #100unhappydays list. But I have Triple AAA to rescue me when my husband has no transportation to save me. So triple AAA made my happy.  I love triple AAA, they have rescued me so many times!  So the bright side is I have a new tire I guess? To go with the two tires we had to buy last year when I blew them out?

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

10 Year High School Reunion

Last Saturday was my 10 year class reunion.  And boy was I nervous. Not because my high school experience was awful or all my classmates were terrible. I really had the opposite experience. I enjoyed my high school years. 

When I was growing up in St. Louis, I attended a very rough public school until 3rd grade. I was chubby, and I remember being picked on often. It was a rough time. My mom put me into a private school for a handful of years to stop the bullying, which helped some, and then we eventually ended up having to move to Alabama. I started in the same school district in 6th grade that I ended up graduating from, and I don't really recall being picked on at all, outside of an occasional rude comment that everyone deals with during the teenage years.

Actually, I was nervous because although most people don't realize this (I'm a good faker), I can be extremely shy. I was lucky enough to have Adam by my side, or I don't know if I could have forced myself to attend at all! 

The event was held at the Space and Rocket Center, which I think was an awesome choice of venue! The event space was decked out in our school colors, black and gold, along with our yearbooks from throughout the years (the horrors of middle school hair). And of course, we blasted all music from the early 2000's.

Although I felt shy throughout, I fell into the swing of things, and enjoyed hanging out with some of my best friends from those years, that I had lost touch with.  I mainly kept to my small group of friends, although I said hi to many people. Just catching a glance at some of my old classmates was enough for me.

I really was pleased to see everyone, it was such an awesome blast from the past. And everyone was so kind about my weight loss. I have to say, it was fun going to my reunion weighing less than what I did in High School!

Ten years really flew by in the blink of an eye, I hope the next ten years slows its roll down a bit! Regardless, I'm proud to be a graduate of Athens High School Class of 2004!

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Week That Was-#100 Happy Days

I'm blogging tonight from my very comfortable bed, in our very beautiful bedroom, in our beautiful condo, in beautiful Orange, Beach, Alabama. I'm so happy to be on vacation with my family, and I am praying for sunny weather all week long! I hope y'all are having an equally amazing weekend whether you are on vacation or not!

Here is my 100 happy days post for the week of July 27th, 2014-August 2nd, 2014.

Sunday, I spent the morning hanging out at the local water park. I even got the courage up to ride the big water slide! That was wild and fun! Yes, that is me gliding on the water.

Browsing the web while watching reality TV is my absolute favorite way to spend the evening after a long day at work!

After sitting at my desk for several hours, I was feeling sluggish. So I took a brisk walk at a nearby park during my lunch break. It really did help me get energized for the rest of the day. 

Thursday nights are for trivia! It seems trivia either goes one of two ways, we start out strong and tank it at the end. Or we start out awful and pull off a win. Too bad, this was one of the start off strong nights. Still fun though.

We have been spending every evening this week taking loads and loads of boxes to the new house. Friday, I spent a couple of hours setting up our new kitchen, which I'm head over heels in love with, in case you were wondering. 

And of course for my Saturday picture, I had to do a "I'm on a road trip to the beach," selfie.  Adam had no idea I took this, therefore he looks none too pleased.

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