Monday, November 28, 2011

Friend Makin' Monday - Holiday Shopping

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Holiday Shopping

  1. Do you like to shop? Most of the time
  2. Have you started shopping for Christmas gifts yet?  Yep.  I try to start picking up things in September/October.  I need to get to wrapping though.
  3. Did you shop on Black Friday?  If so, what did you buy?  Not this year (Thank goodness!)
  4. List a few of your favorite stores. Nordstrom, Belk, Crate&Barrel, Anne Taylor, Banana Republic
  5. What is the last thing you purchased for yourself (food and drinks excluded?) A new pair of cute Toms from Island Traders
  6. Do you prefer to shop in-store or online?  Usually in-store
  7. If you could purchase one thing that you don’t need at all for yourself today, what would it be?  Hmmm.... A nice, pretty new outfit.
  8. Does your significant other shop with you?  Do they love it/hate it? The hubs loves to shop, probably more than I do.  I don't know what I would do without his help when it comes to clothes!
  9. Do you shop at thrift stores? I have, but I get frustrated when I can't find anything.  I should probably give it another shot though.
  10. When you’re holiday shopping, do you make lists?  I tend to keep a general list on my phone with ideas.  Sometimes I stick to it and sometimes I don't.
Now it’s your turn so copy and paste, add your own answers then go to and link up!  Happy Monday friends!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What am I thankful for?

So many things....
  • I am thankful for my husband.
  • I am thankful for my best friend.
  • I am thankful for my family.
  • I am thankful for all my friends, past and present, as they have shaped (and continue to shape) me.
  • I am thankful for my health.
  • I am thankful that every single day, I have the opportunity to be better than I was the day before.
  • I am happy for the beautiful sun that shines, the rain that falls, and all things that make me know there is a greater being.
Bottom line...  I am thankful for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me.  I am not deserving of all the blessings, but I do my best to cherish them.  Enjoy this time with your family and friends, wherever you are.  Be thankful for your blessings, even when they don't seem like blessings.  

Be thankful!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thinking about being thankful - my best friend

As I continue to reflect on the things for which I am most thankful... 

My best friend, Margaret, comes to mind. While I am thankful for all my friends, there is just something about her that I can't imagine being without.

Margaret and I met sometime in 1982.  Her parents had moved to Beaufort and bought a home just in front of the neighborhood where I lived.  We both ended up at Miss Kay's "day care".  Margaret was about 6 months old and I was about 15 months old. Miss Kay kept lots of children, but from what I understand Margaret and I were pretty close from the beginning. This was the start of a lifelong friendship that I can describe as nothing short of amazing.

Margaret and I have been polar opposites from the start.  No matter our differences, we have had so many wonderful times together.  I could sit here and rehash every memory, but suffice to say it would likely embarrass us both.  Those are memories that I love to replay in my head - always followed by a long laughing session.

  • She is my confidant.
  • She is the person that I may cry to when I have no clue what I am crying about.
  • She is the person that an laugh right in my face and I won't get offended.
  • She has no problem telling me when I am being an absolute spaz and need some sense talked into me.

She has tolerated my being quite opinionated and never faulted me for it. In fact, we still giggle often about my pointing out that a birthday cake her mom made when she was really young wasn't that pretty... Oh what a little opinionated girl will say.

I am so glad that Margaret's parents chose to move to Beaufort all those years ago.  I am thankful that even though she lives in Florida, we talk several times a week and see each other a few times a year - never once skipping a single beat.

Can't wait to see her this weekend!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thinking about being thankful - my hubs

I have been thinking a lot lately about how thankful I am that the powers that be got Jason and I together.  I am never nearly as vocal with my appreciation as I should be, but believe me - I thank God every single day for my awesome husband.  As this time each year approaches, it makes me realize even more how much I appreciate J.

Dear J,

There are no words to express how much I appreciate you and how thankful I am each day for you.  You have been a rock for me, through every single good and bad situation since we met in 2004.

Remember when we met?  Remember how you had to pretty much fight for your life to get me to keep talking to you after our 1st date?  Can you imagine where we'd be if you hadn't convinced me to keep talking to you, etc.?  

You are so awesome to me.  You are pretty dang patient with all my antics, even when I don't deserve your patience.  You are always willing to help with anything, even when I am stubborn and insist on doing it myself.  

You make me laugh.  Your craziness provides moments of purely awesome belly-laughs and I love it.  I love how you can make me really smile when I am stressed, sad, or worried.  You make dealing with hard and annoying things easier because of your humor.
You listen to my ramblings about this work issue, this or that run.  You listen and then ask questions to understand what I am really feeling/thinking.  You let me blab on and on and sometimes give yourself the short end of the stick because I don't listen nearly as well.

You have been there for me through this entire healthy transformation.  You have encouraged me to do the best I could, even when I wanted to give up.  You have tolerated and supported runs, etc. when it sometimes imposed on our time together because you knew I had a goal.  

Your personality allows me to open up and be me.  You get that sometimes I am a crazy, obsessive-compulsive, maniacal mess.  You get that sometimes I am in the mood to be a little silly and dance to the music in my head.  You never know what you are going to get, and you understand that.  

So, as I sit and think about the things for which I am thankful - I am most thankful for YOU.  I can’t think of anybody else I’d rather spend my life with! You are an awesome guy, a wonderful husband, and I love you.   I’m so thankful to have you in my life and I can’t wait to see what other adventures our life together holds!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Friend Makin' Monday - Thanksgiving Plans

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at so we can all see your FMM questions and answers.  The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Thanksgiving Plans
What are your plans for Thanksgiving this year?  Does your family have traditions?  If so, share them…(I know that some of you live outside of the US so  feel free to fill us in on other holiday traditions!)
On Thanksgiving morning, I will participate in the Ridgewood Turkey Trot 8K.  After the race and some meal prep at home, the hubs and I will head over to my in-laws for the day.  My mother-in-law and I will spend the afternoon in/out of the kitchen, while the "boys" watch football.  The day tends to be filled with cocktails, yummy snacks, a delicious dinner, wine, and even better desserts.
Normally, my parents come up on Thanksgiving night to shop, etc.  This year, we are actually going to my hometown to visit my parents.  My best friend lives in St. Cloud, FL and she is coming up for the holiday.  Since she doesn't come to NC often, we wanted to get to the coast to see her.  
Should be a fun weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The reason I am grumpy...

Toward people 90% of the time....  It is simply because I am hungry.

I saw this on a blog this morning and thought it was too funny not to share...

My poor husband often has to deal with my being mean/rude because I am hungry.  I can't help that my blood sugar tends to get too low and that turns me in to a raging lunatic meany. 

Jason often says that I am just like a little baby when it comes to eating.  I tend to eat on a fairly strict schedule.  When I get hungry, I get fussy and you better get food in my belly or I will raise hell.

Like Janae said, the hubs just needs to carry around a bag of M&Ms, Reece's Pieces, or something equally yummy so that I don't go off on him or anyone else.  :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

OBX Half Marathon weekend!

This weekend was spent in the Outer Banks for the OBX Marathon weekend.  In short, I had a great time!  The OBX Half Marathon was one of the halves that made my initial "fitness bucket list".  I am proud to say that I can now mark another item off my list!

We left Raleigh around 4:30 p.m.  We got to Nags Head and had a pretty good dinner at Mulligans.  I remember eating at this restaurant when the hubs and I were in Nags Head for our honeymoon and remembered it being good.  I knew going into the weekend that I was going to need to be careful about what I ate, etc.  I enjoyed the broiled shrimp, a few french fries, and some sauteed green beans.  After dinner, we got to our hotel and got settled.  We ended up just sitting around, talking, etc. until we were finally ready to head to bed.

From left:  me, Debbie, and Vanessa at the OBX Marathon expo
We all got up around 7 or so.  Vanessa was running the 8K and 1-mile fun run.  Debbie and I dropped Vanessa off close to the start line and headed to Stack 'Em High for breakfast.  It was delicious and hit the spot!  

After breakfast, we headed over to the Dare County Youth Center to park for the expo.  We headed over to cheer Vanessa on as she completed the 8K, then we all headed to the expo.

After the expo and the 1-mile Fun Run, we headed to meet the NCRC crew for lunch at Goombay's.  I didn't know anyone except one person (other than the 2 people I travelled with), but it was nice to get to meet several others from NCRC and hang out.  I had shrimp and veggie quesadilla with black beans and rice.  Of course, I also added a yummy Rogue Mocha Porter to my order.  It hit the spot!

After lunch, Debbie and I headed to the Tanger Outlets for a while.  We wandered from store to store trying to find good deals, etc.  I tried on several things at a few stores, but didn't find anything that I just had to have.  

Pink/Orange/Yellow striped tank, bright yellow UA HeatGear
hoodie, black/white polka dot headband (Thanks Mama!), my
favorite green SmartWool socks and my Mizunos.
On Saturday evening, we took a quick ride around town and tried to find the race parking and the start line.  After we were comfortable with locating the race-day parking and start line, we headed to Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe.  Basnight's is owned by former Senator/Speaker Pro Tem Marc Basnight and the food never disappoints (in my opinion)!  I had the broiled shrimp, whipped sweet potatoes, and autumn vegetable medley.  

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the half marathon and hit the hay pretty early.  After checking the weather several times via several different apps on our phones, we settled on our clothing for the race.  We spent a little while talking, reading magazines, etc., but I am certain that I was the first to go to bed (around 9:15 or so).

After a great night of sleep, the alarms started going off at 5:15 a.m.  I am very particular about eating my breakfast a certain amount of time before I have a long run/race.  I had my standard pre-run/race breakfast of a bagel thin and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.  After eating my breakfast, I got dressed and we were out the door by 6:15 a.m. to head to the start line.
NCRC ladies before the race

From left:  Me, Beth, Vanessa, and Debbie
Debbie got her watch set and I got my RunKeeper app ready on my iPhone.  Before we knew it, we were off!  The course took us on US-158/Croatan Highway, through several neighborhoods, over the Baum (highrise) bridge, and all the way to historic Manteo.  It was a beautiful course!  
Our splits were awesome!
We finished the half in ~2:39:54, according to my watch.  The official time for the half is wrong on their website.  I think that my timing chip didn't register when I cross the start line.  I started with Debbie and finished about 20 seconds after her, but the official results show me finishing 11 minutes later.  I am sure glad I set the RunKeeper app.  It said I finished in 2:39:54 - that's my story and I am stickin' to it!  I completed my first half in 3:08:12.  So, yesterday was a full 29 minutes faster - so awesome!
Debbie and I after the half with our medals

Debbie and I with a local pirate
Post race food - shared a yummy BBQ sandwich with Debbie

"Roommates" after the race
After finding our way around the post-race party and visiting with some others, we caught the shuttle back to the start line.  We went back to our hotel to take quick showers before our 1 p.m. check out time.  I am so glad that our hotel offered late check out!  There was absolutely no way that I could have made it back to Raleigh without a shower.  After checking out, we went to Five Guys and had delicious burgers and fries before getting in the car for the ride back to Raleigh.  Our drive back was pretty uneventful, with the exception of a "detour" (I missed a turn somewhere) through downtown Williamston and downtown Everetts.  

We got home around 5:45 last night.  I was craving a big salad, so I went to Whole Foods to get J and I salads to go with our Maggiano's leftovers from Friday.  My salad was massive and I was still hungry - even after the leftovers!  I ended up crashing around 9 p.m. and slept like a rock!

It was a wonderful weekend!  The weather was beautiful.  The company was awesome.  AND, I got a half marathon PR!  I am looking forward to the next adventure.  I am going to take a few weeks off from long runs, but training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon will begin soon enough!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Friend Makin' Monday - Dating

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section on Kenlie's blog (  The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Dating 

  1. What is your current relationship status? (Be as specific as you’d like to be!) Married to my awesome hubs!  It will be 6 years in May.
  2. List a few qualities that you look for in a significant other… Handsome, considerate, funny, and just plain awesome!
  3. If you could choose to date one character in TV or film, who would you choose?  And which characteristics are most appealing?   Sadly, at this moment, I have no clue.  Drawing a blank...
  4. How long should you date before becoming exclusive?  I think it depends.  Every single person and relationship is different.
  5. What are your thoughts on public displays of affection?  I think holding hands, a few pecks/kisses are ok, but anymore than that isn't really my style.  I feel like not everyone wants to see me kissing my hubs, etc. 
  6. Do you kiss on the first date?  I have, no big deal in my opinion.
  7. Biggest turn-off?  Self-absorption
  8. What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?  Smile
  9. How long do you/did you wait before becoming intimate?  Again, I think it depends...  I think it all depends on the "connection" shared by two people
  10. Describe your dream date.  My favorite times with my husband have been pretty "ordinary" moments.  While it wasn't a "date", I had an awesome time sitting at the Johnny Mercer pier with a few beers with him this summer.  We talked about all kinds of random things and enjoyed the ocean breeze - nothin' better.
Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to go and link up in the comments.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Uncontrollable, pretty ridiculous emotions

Since late July, I’ve been training for a half marathon.  At first, I was training for the Women's Half Marathon in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Later in the summer, it became apparent that travelling to Florida for that race was going to be entirely too expensive, etc.  I ended up signing up for the Outer Banks Half Marathon in August and have been in training mode since.  
In the beginning, the half marathon seemed so far away.  At that time, I was volunteering with the NCRC Women's Beginner Running Program and I was focusing a lot of my energy on encouraging some awesome new runners.  I worked to keep my mileage moving up and making sure I was having quality runs, more than the distance.  
After the women's program ended on September 24, Debbie and I started to focus on the longer runs.  Yes, I convinced two fellow NCRC runners to join me for OBX.  The training has been great, but today it hit me.  
It is November.  The half marathon is on November 13.  What does that mean?  It is half marathon week.  It is very surreal at this point.  I am no longer "training for my second half marathon".  I am running my second half marathon in 7 days.  Do you know how fast, yet so slow, this week is going to pass? c
Do I look a little excited to have finished my first half?
Couldn't have done it without these girls!!

So, obviously, my nerves are starting to get the best of me.  I thought I was doing pretty well, but today it hit me - like a ton of bricks.  I was wandering around the grocery store this afternoon and couldn't stop thinking about whether or not this food or that food would be good for me to eat this week, etc.  
Am I crazy?  I think not.  I fully believe that all runners deal with these crazy emotions before a race.  So, what else am I feeling?  Everything... Totally ridiculous, totally silly, totally gloom-and-doom, but all those emotions make up how I feel - and will help me succeed.    
I am nervous as all get-out.  Yah, think?  Totally obvious, right?  I am nervous about going out of town for my half marathon.  I am nervous about staying in a hotel.  I am nervous that I will forget something in Raleigh (Yes, there are stores where I am going.  That part is totally irrational.)  I am nervous that I won't be able to stick with Debbie for the entire 13.1 miles.  I am nervous that something will keep me from finishing.  I am just a ball of nerves.  
I’m feeling anxiousSunday is so close, yet so far.  I would love more time to train, but I want to get the dang race over with at the same time.  It'll be nice to just check it off my list!  
I’m feeling pretty distracted. How am I gonna work this week?  I have no clue.  Honestly, all I want to do is read blogs about other people's half marathon experiences.  All I want to do is talk about the half because I need every single encouraging word I can get.  Heck, I may even resort to telling the folks hanging out in front of the Greyhound bus terminal near work about my running because I am sure my coworkers are tired of hearing about it!
I am feeling prepared.  I have worked hard.  I need to trust my training.  I have worked hard.  I have put in a lot of miles during my training runs.  Those training runs have been good and bad, but they have been training runs that meant something.  I know I have another half marathon (and many more) in me - I can do this.
I’m feeling excitedOf course I am excited!  I started running in July 2010.  I ran my first half in May 2011 and I am getting ready to do another one next Sunday.  I also have signed up for another half in February 2012.  Something about the challenge of 13.1 miles just brings out the excitement deep in me.  
I have to remember that not everyone can do what I am getting ready to do.  Yes, there are ridiculous numbers of people that have done ultras, marathons, and way more half marathons than me.  But, that doesn't matter - no matter what others do, it isn't an every-day, run of the mill activity.  
I am feeling proud.  I am proud of my transformation since May 2010.  I have done things I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams - and I love it.  I am proud of all the work and dedication that I have put into transformation.  I feel like a completely different person. 
I am sure that the next 7 days will be a roller coaster of emotions.  I probably need to go ahead and apologize ahead of time to the hubs.  The poor guy puts up with all my crazies and exemplifies what a patient, kind, sweet, understanding husband should be.  I don't know where I would be without his constant support.  
Wow, I feel better.  Guess I just needed to write a ridiculously long blog post about being freaked out and actually talk through the emotions.
Tomorrow, I will be volunteering as a course monitor for the City of Oaks Marathon and Rex Half Marathon.  I volunteered last year and watching the various people running is what "sealed the deal" about my running a half.  Can't wait to cheer on some awesome runners tomorrow!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Good workout...but so sore

Welp...  Lesson learned.  1) Don't get out of the habit of lifting weights at the gym 2) If you do get out of the habit, don't rush back in all gangbusters.  If you do #2, you will regret it.  

Case in point...  Yesterday afternoon I left work a little early to head to the gym.  I knew that I wanted to get in a really good, long workout since it has been a few weeks since I have devoted a good amount of time to the gym.  

For a quick warm-up, I did 15 minutes on the stairmill.  Goodness, I love and hate that machine!  After my warm-up, I went through the 30-minute express workout.  To finish up my time in the gym, I did 30 minutes on the Arc trainer.  I decided to be all industrious and do the hill profile at level 10, fun for the workout but a bad idea the next day.

This morning I was so sore when I woke up.  I had planned an 8-mile run with Debbie for 9:30 a.m.  Unfortunately, once we got going, I had to cut the miles back to 6.  I just couldn't do it!  My legs felt so heavy. When we stopped and checked our pace, it was faster than our normal average pace.  Despite being quite sore, I say we did dang well.

The coming week is going to be a little "off".  I want to get in a few, quality short runs but will not run more than 5 miles in any given day before the half.  I am becoming quite the "nervous Nellie"!  Can't want to mark the OBX Half Marathon off my bucket list!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Feelin' Good...

To get back in to the habit, that is...  My last post was on October 22, exactly 12 days ago.  Since then, I feel like 3 months have passed.  In short, work has been nuts, I did my best to stay on track, and I haven't been derailed - just need to get back into the swing of things.

Quick review:

  • October 22 - last really long run before the half (12 miles!)
  • October 22 to 25 - My organization's annual conference...  What does that mean?  Basically, 1,200+ elected and appointed municipal officials converge on a convention center to learn and schmooze.  For me, that means lots and lots of walking around, eating crappy convention center food, and getting very little sleep.  
  • Trip to the mountains - Took a trip to the Asheville area.  The hubs and I were able to enjoy some peaceful time together, complete with yummy meals and beautiful fall leaves.
Now that things have "slowed down" a little, I am getting back into a good habit of working out and watching what I eat.  During all the busy-ness, I was able to keep working out and eating well, just not as diligently as normal.  Luckily, I didn't gain any weight during the time that things were a little "off".

Also, big plus of not seeing my organization's municipal officials more than a couple times a year...  TONS of compliments on my successful weight loss, etc.  It was pretty comical to see municipal officials with whom I talk on the phone regularly and have them walk right past me because they didn't recognize me. Love it!

Only 11 days until the OBX Half Marathon!!!!