Wednesday, March 28, 2012


That's how I feel right now... Actually, I go back and forth between feeling absolutely insane and excited.  Here's the story...

<----  Last night, one of my running buddies posted this on her Facebook.  About 10 seconds later, I asked her if she was indeed serious.  We had planned run ~12 miles together on Sunday, followed by my getting on my bike and riding while she did another 4-6 miles (she's training for a full).  Come to find out, she was actually serious...

So...I sent a message to one of my other running buddies to see what she thought.  I also mentioned the half marathon to Jason.  He and I talked it through.  We both figured that if I was going to do a 12 mile training run, what was one more mile.  Several friends agreed... 

Basically, this will be used solely as a training run.  There will be no seeking a PR or being ultra-competitive with myself.  I am going to run with my buddies and enjoy myself.  Then, I will be taking a few days of rest and getting ready for the RunRaleigh Half Marathon on April 15!  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Recipe 19 - Tortellini Primavera

A couple weeks ago, the hubs and I decided to re-institute "Meatless Mondays".  Last week we tried, but I decided to add chicken sausage to the dish at the last minute.  Tonight's dinner was totally meatless and totally delicious!  

Last week, I was scanning the vegetarian pasta recipes on  I came across a picture for a yummy looking pasta dish with veggies and tortellini.  At first, I didn't give it another thought because I haven't ever cooked tortellini.  Boy, am I glad that I decided to click on the picture!  I found this easy peasy recipe for Tortellini Primavera.  

The hubs and I both loved it from first bite.  I have never used tarragon before (that I can recall), but I think it gave the dish a nice "sweet" taste.  Maybe it wasn't sweet, but it was different than other herbs I have used in the past.

A few modifications:

  • Uses "fontiago" cheese - mix of fontina and asiago - instead of fontina.  Found it on sale at Harris Teeter
  • Would use more veggies or a different variety of veggies next time
  • Would use a pre-cooked tortellini, like Buitoni, as our frozen variety didn't all get cooked well

Monday, March 26, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday - Current Favorites

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. Please add you links too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. 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: Current Favorites

  1. Song - Just The Way You Are (Bruno Mars)
  2. Drink – Crystal Light Lemonade
  3. Physical feature of the opposite sex (or the sex that you find attractive) – His smile 
  4. TV Show(s) – Hmmm.... Modern Family, Kitchen Nightmares, Tabatha's Salon Takeover, and almost any other mindless TV show
  5. Actor/Actress – Always will be George Clooney 
  6. Book – I am currently reading Listening is an Act of Love
  7. Form of communication – I love communicating via text and/or email because it is easy and quick.  BUT, face to face is so much better!
  8. Exercise – Running
  9. Food – Oranges!
  10. Quote – Too much of a good thing can be wonderful! (Mae West)
Now it’s your turn to answer the questions!  Don’t forget to link up in the comments.  Happy Monday Friends!

Friday, March 23, 2012

What it feels like...

Recently, I have been having more hypoglycemic episodes.  There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the episodes, but they are very scary...Last night after a delicious dinner at Darryl's in Greenboro (hubs has meeting in town), I had one...

Hypoglycemia isn't just a part of diabetes.  My hypoglycemia is a result of a lovely, messed up endocrine system.  Due to the imbalances in my endocrine system, I can have a hypoglycemic episode several times a day or once in a blue moon - I never know.  The most telling symptoms of my episodes are dizziness and beaded sweat on my face.  Lovely.  

While I hate dealing with the episodes, I sometimes wonder if others go through the same thing but have no clue what to do.  I saw this post on Whole Living (pasted below).  While this person is living with Type 1 diabetes, my reactions are oddly similar.  Reading her post brought tears to my eyes.  I am not alone in this...  I hope the post will resonate with others that may be dealing with the same thing.

So, how can you "prevent" hypoglycemic episodes:

Eat a well-balanced diet and eat small meals OFTEN.  Yes, it will feel like you are constantly eating, but it is really the best... My eating during the day looks like this:
  • 6:15 a.m. - 1-2 cups of black coffee
  • 8:00 a.m. (Breakfast) - usually a "green monster smoothie" or mini egg frittatas and turkey sausage
  • 10:00/10:15 a.m. (Morning snack) - Chobani greek yogurt, almonds and a piece of fruit, or turkey and cheese "roll ups"
  • 12 noon/12:15 p.m. (Lunch) - Leftovers, a massive salad with grilled chicken or beans, a sandwich thin with peanut butter and soup, etc.
  • 2:00 p.m. (1st afternoon snack) - same as morning snack 
  • 4:30 p.m. (2nd afternoon snack) - string cheese and a piece of fruit, apple with almond butter, etc.
  • 7:00 p.m. (Dinner) 
  • 8:30 p.m. ("Dessert") - if I really want something, I will have some Honey Nut Cheerios or some yogurt

Keep snacks handy.  Because I know that I can usually get my hands on sugar during a hypoglycemic episode, I don't carry sweets (plus they are tempting).  I do keep a small Jif peanut butter and a spoon in a Ziploc bag in my purse.  If I have a blood sugar episode, I will get some sugar to get my sugar back up, but then immediately eat several spoonfuls of peanut butter.  

No sugar on an empty stomach.  I have, unfortunately, had to learn this the hard way...  I have discovered that if I eat any sugary food (or drink) on an empty stomach, my sugar levels go crazy.  I reach a big sugar high, leading my body to push out insulin way to quickly, followed by a terrible crash in my blood sugar.  I now have to make sure I have a good protein-filled meal (or snack) before having sugar.

Listen to your body.  If you are hungry, eat.  Don't wait until it is too late.  This again, is something I have learned the hard way.  There have been times that I have waited way too long to eat and ended up going crazy with anything I could get my hands on in the pantry.  Not a pretty picture - standing in front of the open pantry door, shoving Wheat Thins down my gullet.

What Hypoglycemia Feels Like

Posted by Whole Living Daily
Editor’s Note: Kerri Sparling is our featured guest blogger for March. We love the frank and hopeful way she chronicles her experiences living with type 1 diabetes
I was 48 mg/dl after dinner.
I thought I had over-estimated a bit for dinner and when his words started swimming in the foreground before they slammed into my ears, my hands unzipped the black meter case without thinking.  Grape juice stained my mouth but the moment ended with a sheepish smile and a "I think I over-bolused a little at dinner."
Before bed, I was 107 mg/dl.  Safe.  I curled against Chris, said a silent prayer for the cat to remain off my pillow, and fell asleep.
At 4:07 am, I woke up with the lamp on.
Then I remembered that I had woken up about 20 minutes earlier and turned the lamp on, like I was trying to wake up in stages.  My shirt was melted against me, my face was cold with sweat.  My meter case was open and lying next to me, but I couldn't remember testing.
Siah hopped up on the bed and purred loudly.
Moonlit lows had been leaving me alone lately, letting me cling to the few hours of sleep I was able to catch.  But this one must have been hiding under the bed, knowing full well that my earlier low had sapped my liver of its glucagon storage.  My thoughts were unraveling like a scarf.  Did I test earlier?
Chris stirred next to me.  For some reason, I was determined to let him sleep.  I pressed the "on" button on the meter to recall the last result, my brain stuck in a routine of "test, then treat," even though I knew with every breath that I needed juice now.
Last result was the 107 mg/dl before bed.
Click.  5 ... 4 ... 3 ...
Siah put her little gray nose over the meter screen and pawed at my wrist.
42 mg/dl.
Nodding to myself almost matter-of-factly, I swung my shaking legs over the side of the bed and put my feet on the floor.  I felt like I was made of yarn.  My feet wouldn't plant themselves in place but instead kept staggering, one after the other, throwing me into the wall.  I tried to take a step forward and crumpled to the floor.
My brain is fully functioning.  I know words.  I know sounds.  I know exactly what I need to do and what the number 42 means but my body has betrayed me and won't move as I have asked, as if I were a robot who had been over-oiled.
Crawling back into the bed, I meant to tap Chris on the shoulder but instead my hand took on a force of its own and whacked him solidly in the chest.
"Help me?"
He woke up instantly.
"Sit down."  In a matter of seconds, he was back with a bottle of juice, despite the fact that there were two juice bottles resting on the bedside table.  Autopilot for both of us.
Again with the grape juice.  Wiped my shirt against my forehead.  He held my arm and kept me steady.
Drained the bottle.  Rezippered the meter case.  Routines, routines, robotic routines.
Turned off the lamp.  Collapsed against my pillow and listened to the sound of my labored breathing, aware of the hurricane of juice in my stomach and the tears in my eyes even though I didn't feel sad.  I just felt low.
"It's okay.  You're okay."
And I lay there, at the bottom of the well but slowly coming back up to the surface, like a sad robot.  Wishing I could tell him "I know," but instead these tears fell out and my mouth wouldn't make the words.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Almost kicked out of yoga...

I do love attending hot yoga sessions at Arrichion.  I got to class yesterday at 3:45 p.m. yesterday with the full intent of taking my little "nap" before the session started at 4:15 p.m. forward a few minutes...Mary arrived and I haven't seen her in a few weeks.  So, we started to talk.  We were catching up, talking, etc.  I didn't realize we were talking loudly or disturbing other people.  A few minutes later, the teacher came in, looked at us and told us "...There should be silence in room..."  Whoops!  I thought she was gonna kick us out!  I guess I haven't paid attention in the past, but I have learned my lesson...No talking in yoga.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Recipe 18 - Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta

Tonight's dinner was another new recipe - and a hit!  We had Eating Well's Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta.  When I found this recipe last week, I was very excited to find something for our recently re-instituted "Meatless Mondays" that looked like it would have no problem filling the hubs up.  When I emailed Jason the menu plan for the week, he seemed intrigued by the title...So, we were heading in the right direction.

Well, fast forward to today...  I was looking forward to having this recipe, but I was kinda craving some meat.  I thought about adding shrimp or chicken breast, but they weren't terribly appealing.  I ended up adding some Al Fresco Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage.  What?  You thought this was "Meatless Monday"?  Yeah, well, it was...  Until I added the chicken sausage.  Oh well...

The hubs and I both agreed that the dish was very good and would have probably been delicious without the sausage.  However, we both thought that the sausage made this even better.  So, you looking for a easy, yummy recipe for dinner?  Try this!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Recipe 17 and NCAA brackets

I have no clue why I can't
get the picture oriented right :-(
Last night, we had another new recipe.  I am happily well on my way to getting in 52 new recipes this year!  We invited my cousin and her husband over so the boys could work on brackets.  I fixed Orecchiette with Italian Sausage for dinner.  I have never cooked orecchiette, but one of my favorite dishes at The Grand Floridian Cafe (Disney World) is the Orecchiette with Shrimp.  I swear that I would eat this dish multiple times a day when visiting Walt Disney World - so yummy!

Last week, I found a similar recipe in Rachael Ray magazine, but when I was looking for it online I couldn't find it.  Well, thank goodness for following lots of food blogs and finding Sunday Nite Dinner!   

We prepared the recipe just as directed.  The next time we may make a few modifications.  We discussed the possibility of adding sun-dried tomatoes and/or roasted red peppers for a little more color.  I also think a little white wine might a good addition.  The hubs and I will likely make this with shrimp or chicken in the future since we don't eat (turkey) sausage all that much.  

After dinner, we set to working on the NCAA brackets.  Jason gets frustrated when I do my bracket(s) each March.  I am not super competitive and really don't care who wins the tournament.  So, when doing my bracket, I complete it with my under-over-mascot-color method.  In other words, sometimes I pick the higher (or lower) ranking team, sometimes I pick the mascot I like, and sometimes I picked based on the school colors.  I know that some of you may think it is a slap in the face of NCAA basketball, but it works for me.  In fact, I normally beat the hubs :-)  So, without further ado...  

You can't really see it all that well...BUT, here's the deal.  My hubs is a huge Carolina fan (and alum).  He's slightly annoyed because I don't have Carolina going all the way - I have them losing in the Elite 8.  Part of me hopes that I am wrong, but I just don't feel like they have the "umph" to get through the tourney.  We'll see...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Running Mojo

Since the Disney Princess Half Marathon on February 26, my running "mojo" has been a little off.  Yes, I have been running.  I also have still be coaching Girls on the Run.  However, something was still "off".

Well, friends... I have an announcement...  My running "mojo" is back!  Here's a quick summary:

  • This morning, I had two awesome meetings about the upcoming NCRC Women's Beginner Running Program.  This is the program that got me started on my journey to love running.
  • The program calendar for WBRG is almost finalized!  
  • I have 3 people committed to being coordinators on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  I also have a slew of volunteers that are willing to take the lead on Saturday mornings.
  • I got the registration information updated for the program and registration will open in April.
  • I had a great run before Girls on the Run!
Also, completely unrelated...My brackets for the NCAA tourney are done.  I am gonna kick the hubs butt!

New Recipe 16 - Southwest Hashbrown Casserole

Each week, I make a menu plan for the next week.  Part of this planning is based on remembering things that the hubs has said he would like to have "soon".  The other part is actually asking him what he wants.  Well, last week he asked for something he has never asked for before - he asked for Hashbrown Casserole.  I have never, ever made a Hashbrown Casserole and had no clue where to start.  All I knew was that the casserole he envisioned had ground beef, hashbrowns, and cheese.  I was on the hunt...

Thank goodness for Google!  I found Healthified Mom's Southwest Hashbrown Casserole.  The ingredient list didn't look complicated - in fact, it looked easy peasy.  The only thing that I was a little "turned off" by was the Cream of Mushroom.  I don't tend to use a lot of "cream of" anything, but I knew the hubs would like this.  I did make a few modifications to suit our tastes:  1/2 cup fat free sour cream (instead of 1 cup), 1/2 can French's fried onions (instead of a whole can).  I also used reduced fat Cream of Mushroom and cheddar cheese.  I served the Southwest Hashbrown Casserole with Green Giant Simply Steam Baby Vegetable Medley.   

The assessment from the hubs - "...  We have to have this again..."  My assessment - I would reduce the sour cream a little more.  I may consider reducing the cheese in the mixture and use some of it on top.  Otherwise, it was the perfect comfort food with pretty low calories.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday - Bookworms

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. Please add your links too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. 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: Bookworms (Revisited) 

  1. How often do you read for pleasure?  I usually have at least one book going, but I go through phases where I am not really reading much.
  2. Are you currently reading a book?  If so, which one?  Not right now.  I started reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close last month, but haven't made it too far.  I also downloaded Home Front before our recent trip to Florida, but haven't started it.
  3. Do you subscribe to any magazines and/or newspapers?  If so, which ones?  Somehow or another, I have ended up with a ton of magazines...Not sure how that happened.  J and I subscribe to Time Magazine.  I also get Weight Watchers, Cooking Light, Clean Eating, and Whole Living.
  4. Do you prefer reading traditional books or using an e-reader?  I like both... I try not to buy too many traditional books because of the issue with storage. 
  5. How often do you go to the bookstore?  Not very often.  I depend on recommendations of others to find books versus skimming book covers at the store.
  6. Do you read at the gym? Nope, the up-and-down makes it hard to keep things straight.
  7. Have you ever been a member of a book club?  Kinda...I get invited to a Book Club every month, but it seems like I can never go.
  8. Do you wear glasses when you read? Yep.  I wear them almost all the time even though they are only meant for reading.
  9. Has anyone read the Hunger Games?  If so, would you recommend it?  Haven't read it...  Some friends have recommended it.
  10. What is your favorite thing about reading?  I just love to read and imagine the scenes just like a movie.  Nice and relaxing.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Finally settled in my new office

Several weeks ago, I moved from the office that I had been in for 14 months, during renovations to our building.  I never really got settled in my temporary space because it was an odd situation... The office where I was assigned was meant for two people, but I was the only one in there.  I did the best I could to make it comfortable, knowing that the arrangement was temporary.  

The week before the move back into our renovated offices, I worked hard to pack things up.  I was very methodical about how I packed because I knew that I wanted to get things "right" as soon as possible.  I am one of those people that needs my "creature comforts" around in order to be the most productive.  Silly as it may sound, I just need everything in its "home".

Move day arrived and I got to work quite early.  I knew that I wanted to get as much moved before the movers got there and all my coworkers started moving all their belongings in.  I went to my temporary space and moved my personal items. I knew where I was going to put everything temporarily and I got to settling in my new space.  Not long thereafter, my buddy in IT got my computer set up and I was up and running.  My coworkers were amazed that I got settled so quickly...  They were all still immersed in their "box hell" and I was just working away and happy as a clam!  I guess that's what happens when you are totally Type A and think every scenario through before you execute the plan.    

The past few weeks have been slightly uncomfortable in my office because I didn't have all my pictures up, but that changed today!  I knew that there was no way that I could get my diploma, pictures, etc. up without some help.  Thanks to my awesome in-laws, my office is 99.9% complete!  We got to the office at 10 a.m. and got to work.  We spread all my pictures out and (of course) thought through where things would look best.  My mother-in-law has such a knack for getting things "just so" - thank goodness for her!  

So, here's my completed office!

From the interior, glass door looking into my office
(The picture above the lamp is Cape Lookout, one of my
favorite spots in the world!)

Looking straight into my office from glass door
(The items on the wall straight ahead are my Meredith College diploma, my 
PHR certification certificate, and my certificate for completing 
Municipal Administration at the UNC School of Government.  The art on the right wall 
was made by a friend of my mother-in-law.  It is a neat torn paper collage.)

View of shelves from guest chairs

Left:  View of shelves from outside door
Right:  View of my desk from outside door
(The very long print is of my hometown... Beautiful to
look at every day.  Makes me miss home!)


Saturday, March 10, 2012

I get by with help from friends...

I did not want to do my long run today.  When I woke up, I saw the temperature and almost got back under the covers.  Then, the voice in my head reminded me that I am supposed to run another half in the middle of April.  I know that if I don't keep my mileage up, I'll bonk that half and no one wants that!  I also knew that Debbie and Lisa would push me to keep going once I got out there.  

The run started off a little rough...  We started out at CASL Soccer Complex because Debbie needed to go to her daughter's game after our long run.  From the get-go, we were dealing with pretty crappy head-wind.  No bueno.  The wind blowing in my face would normally be welcome, if we had started from the other end of the greenway.  Yesterday - not so much...  I am normally the one that removes my jacket before the second interval, but yesterday the wind was causing me to be so cold!  After about 6 or 7 intervals, I was finally starting to get warm and shed my jacket.   

I felt so heavy the entire time we were running.  My legs, as strong as they may be, felt like they were really weighing me down.  I seriously felt like my feet were in cement blocks.  I am not sure what was causing this, but thank goodness for running buddies.  We passed the time talking about all kinds of stuff, including the upcoming NCRC Women's Beginner Running Group.  I am looking forward to coordinating the program (more on that later)!

After the run, I ran home and got cleaned up fairly quickly.  The hubs and I went to Mellow Mushroom to get some lunch and watch the Carolina game.  I have to say that I was quite concerned about taking Jason to a restaurant to watch the game.  He tends to get quite loud while watching basketball.  He was actually pretty well behaved, except for a few moments when he was a little rude in the general direction of a high school age NCSU fan.  

We ended back home after lunch because I had a killer headache.  I am not sure what was causing it, but I took a long nap and still had a headache.  Unfortunately, that kinda ruined our evening...  I still haven't figured out the cause of the headache, but I have been sucking down water like it is going out of style to see if that will do the trick.  

Thank goodness for supportive running buddies and an awesome hubs.  Today was pretty dang good despite the lack of running mojo and a headache.     

Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Birthday!

This post first appeared last year, but I thought it was due again...  (Edits are in pink)

Happy Birthday to my Daddy!!! 
Today is my Daddy's 65th 66th birthday!  I am going to take time to write a little blog post in his honor, even though he will probably be slightly annoyed with me.  Actually, he might enjoy the attention...Who knows...    

I love both of my parents for all they have done for me, but there is just something special about my Daddy.  I guess the quote"Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy" is the best way to describe our relationship.  

My Daddy was born in Raeford (Hoke County, North Carolina).  He is the oldest of six children (4 boys, 2 girls) born to my very hard-working grandparents.  After graduating from Hoke County High School, he joined the Navy and soon ended up serving on an aircraft carrier in VietNam.  After getting out of the Navy in 1969, he ended up in eastern North Carolina (Carteret County), instead of heading back to Hoke County.  He worked for Carolina Telephone and part-time at a hang-out on the beach.  He swore he would never get married, but he met my Mama and they were married in 1974.  I am the only child my parents had, born in 1980.  I think this provided me some definite advantages...  Being an only child was lonely at times, but it allowed me to have lots of time with each of my parents.  I have awesome memories of activities that I participated in with both of my parents.  

Some of my favorite childhood memories with my Daddy:
  • Saturday mornings - When I was little, we spent nearly every Saturday morning doing something together.  We usually would go to Hardee's or Mike's Restaurant on Front Street.  After breakfast, we would sometimes go walk on the Beaufort boardwalk.  I have very vivid memories of getting in a lot of trouble during our Saturday morning boardwalk trips with my Dad.  If you have ever been to Beaufort, you know that there are lots of high price yachts during the summer.  I used to think it was funny to throw rocks at the yachts.  Needless to say, that didn't go over very well.
  • Riding bikes to watch softball - The home where I grew up is just up the street from the local ballfields.  From the time I was old enough to ride a bike, I remember going down to the ballfields to watch my Dad's friends play softball.  I never really paid attention to the game, but it was fun to be there with him.
  • "Working" - My Daddy owns a small telephone installation and repair business.  He's been doing side jobs probably since he left Carolina Telephone to go to MCAS Cherry Point.  Sometimes, he would let me go to work with him.  Most of the time, I was probably more trouble than anything, but it was always a good time.  I remember making "plugs" for his key systems - there were probably 25 color-coded wires that had to be placed in certain spots, etc.  For some reason he trusted me to do this.  Now that I think back on it, I think I should have been paid for this work :-)  I mean, I was keeping him from having to do it, right?  Maybe...  He probably had to redo most of them.
There are way more memories than the three I listed above, but those are the ones that always come back to mind first.

So, Happy Birthday (once again) to my Daddy!  I don't think I could wish for a better Daddy than you!  You named me - a unique first name in 1980 (Regan) and after your sister (Emily-Marie).  You taught me (and continue to teach me) that life isn't always perfect, but if you work hard you will succeed.  While we may not always agree (in fact, we probably disagree more than we agree), we are willing to listen to what the other has to say and try to respect the other's opinion as best possible.   

I found a couple quotes, etc. that I thought were applicable:

They say that from the instant he lays eyes on her, a father adores his daughter. Whoever she grows up to be, she is always to him that little girl in pigtails. She makes him feel like Christmas. In exchange, he makes a secret promise not to see the awkwardness of her teenage years, the mistakes she makes or the secrets she keeps. ~~ Unknown

A father is someone that holds your hand at the fair makes sure you do what your mother says holds back your hair when you are sick brushes that hair when it is tangled because mother is too busy lets you eat ice cream for breakfast but only when mother is away he walks you down the aisle and tells you everything is gonna be ok.  ~~ Unknown

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.  ~~ Jim Valvano 


Thursday, March 8, 2012

NaBloPoMo - Video of Dreams or Datebook

Would you rather have a video copy of your dreams or a datebook that contains the events of every day of your life?

The answer to this one came so easily and without hesitation - I would love to have a datebook that contained the events of every day of my life.  My dreams are often very strange and don't really relate back to anything in my daily life.  But, if I had the datebook, I could look back at days in the past and relive those good (and not so good) memories.  Some I can think of right now:

  • One fall day when I was around 8 or 9, my PawPaw and Granny Pilcher took me fishing.  It was so very cold, at least to me, that day.  It also was pretty dang breezy.  I remember catching my first blue fish.  When we got back to the dock, my PawPaw helped me clean it and wrap it to take it home.  I put it in the freezer that evening and we ended up never eating the fish.
  • When I was a little child, probably 3 or 4, I used to "help" my PawPaw Brown in his garden.  He could grow anything.  He just had a magic touch - could grow collards bigger than you could imagine, yummy scuppernog grapes, tons of cucumbers, and every other yummy veggie.  I remember getting in trouble for yanking at the grapevines.  He would fuss because in an effort to get a couple grapes, I would end up tearing down the entire vine.
  • My 21st birthday (no, not the party part) - I visited my hometown the weekend of my 21st birthday.  My mom made a cake for me to take back to Meredith to share with my girlfriends.  On my way back to Raleigh, I stopped by Granny Brown's and she also had made me my favorite "chocolate" cake (yellow cake with chocolate icing).  When I got to school, I put the cake my mom made in the community refrigerator and told everyone to have some.  I put the cake Granny made in the refrigerator in my room and would only share with people I really liked... Since then, my Granny has made me a cake to take home for my birthday every year.
  • I remember Christmas 1992 (or 1991) - I was in the middle of my 6th grade year at Beaufort Middle.  My Uncle Curtis gave me a "spirit ring" for my middle school.  What's a spirit ring?  Like a class ring for middle school - silly, I know.
  • January 14, 1999 - I was a freshman at Meredith College.  I was attending a viewing of Artemesia for my art history class, then a meeting for my job at the YMCA.  When I got back to the dorms, things were weird... My roommate told me that I needed to call my parents.  My Daddy told me that my Nanny (great-grandmother) had passed away.  I knew she was sick, but I thought she would live forever.  She is one person that continues to influence me on a daily basis because of how she lived every day of her life.
  • May 6, 2006 - The day I married my awesome hubs!  I was given the opportunity to share my love and marriage to the most fantastic guy with some of the most amazing people in my life.
That's no where near the amount of memories that I would love to replay in my mind every day, but those are some of my favorites.  Most of my memories revolve around my family and a few very close friends.  I wouldn't change one thing...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hot yoga is saving my life...

Ok...So that may be a bit dramatic...  But, it is how I feel...  

In January, I purchased a special deal with Arrichion off Glenwood Avenue.  I went to my first class and thought I was gonna die.  However, I was hooked!  I made arrangements with my boss to leave on Wednesday afternoon at 3:15 p.m., so that I could attend Black Opal (my favorite so far).  As I was laying in shavasna today, waiting for class to start, I got to thinking...  I have never, ever, ever in my life sweat like I have during my practice of hot yoga.  I love that it is a ridiculously challenging workout and that I actually crave going every week.  I also love that it is an activity that actually helps ease joint pain and will help prevent future issues...

When I was very obese, I often had problems with joint pain, stiff back, and sharp pain radiating from my heel.  I was convinced that when I lost weight the pain would just disappear.  As I lost weight and became more active, the pain was a lot less severe, but was always still there.  Several years ago, I had a really bad winter.  I was in pain on all the time and had trouble getting out of bed in the morning.  Once I got moving, I didn't want to sit down because sitting just made things worse.  It was taking a toll on me mentally and physically.  I was referred to a local rheumatologist to discuss my issues.  I met with Dr. Tsiktsiris (aka "Dr. T"), reviewed my family history with , had a lot of bloodwork, and Xrays and MRI.  

Coming to some form of diagnosis wasn't easy - I was told that I carry the genetic marker for ankylosing spondylitis.  Dr. T said there was not a preventive treatment for ankylosing spondylitis, but taking an anti-inflammatory (especially in winter) and maintaining an active lifestyle would keep the issues fairly tame.  Dr. T and I discussed my running and he was encouraging.  He told me that almost any form of exercise would be beneficial because it would increase spinal strength and flexibility. He said that the goal is to keep from having to move toward more aggressive treatments for as long as possible.  I agreed with him fully - anything that keeps me from having to take a pill or have a shot and I am all for it!  

Since then, I have continued to run, but in the winter running becomes harder because of the joint inflammation and pain.  There were several weekends in January where I couldn't get out of bed for my long run because my joints hurt so terribly.  So, I fully believe that the hot yoga sessions could not have come at a better time.  The practice of hot yoga is beyond beneficial for the physical and emotional journey of life, especially with the pain associated with ankylosing spondylitis.  The heat in the room help reduce discomfort, but also helps by making the stretches and strengthening moves easier.  I love how "loose" I feel when I am done practicing at Arrichion.  I fully believe that the principles taught at Arrichion have saved me immense amounts of discomfort and pain.  I am generally more energetic, less "down", less fatigued at the end of the day...  Also, silly enough - I can actually sit in a chair all day without being in terrible pain!  

So, as cheesy and dramatic as it may sound...  I fully believe that hot yoga is helping save my life...      

NaBloPoMo - Invisibility or Ability to Fly

Yesterday's NaBloPoMo prompt was a pretty interesting one to me...  Would you rather have invisibility or the ability to fly?

When I saw the prompt on my Twitter yesterday morning, it didn't take me any time to pick - I'd want the ability to fly.  Why you might ask?  Well, for those that know me in real life... You know that I am pretty impatient.  If I had the ability to fly, I could get things done quicker (and hopefully more efficiently) because I could save so much time dashing from thing to thing.  

Plus, when I think of having the ability to fly, I think of Wonder Woman.  Who wouldn't want to be Wonder Woman?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Recipes 14 and 15 - Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms and Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp and Vegetables

The hubs and I enjoy inviting the in-laws over for dinner on a regular basis.  We usually pair this with some kind of Sunday evening "hang out" time.  This past Sunday, I decided to try a new (to us) Weight Watchers recipe.  We had the Balsamic Chicken with Mushrooms with roasted red potatoes and steamed broccoli.  This recipe was super easy, but looked like it was hard to make.  There were very few ingredients - basically chicken, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and mushrooms.  If you are looking for something easy to fix that looks and tastes like a million bucks - this is your recipe!

With the previous review to be the positive, let me follow with a little negative...

Sometimes you win with new recipes, sometimes you don't.  Tonight was the latter.  I was very excited to find the Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp and Vegetables recipe on last week.  It looked like it would be another one of those recipes that would be super easy, but taste awesome.  Unfortunately, it wasn't all that awesome to us...  Don't get me wrong - the recipe was easy and tasted pretty good; it just wasn't our style in the end.  When I first tasted it, I thought it was going to be keeper - so much so that I took a picture of it and posted it on my Facebook.  As we continued to eat, the less yummy it became.  With each passing bite, it got heavier and heavier.  The hubs and I both love the mixture of ingredients, but not the creamy sauce.  The whole wheat spinach spaghetti, shrimp, asparagus, red bell pepper, and peas were good.  But, I just couldn't get past the white sauce - there was just something "wrong" with it... I should have realized we both wouldn't fall head over heels for this dish - we both aren't big fans of creamy, white pasta sauces.  So, we've decided that we will definitely use most of the ingredients for a modified version of our own - the big difference will be that we will use a red sauce and/or diced tomatoes instead of the creamy yogurt sauce.   

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde and FMM - Music Playlists

First things first, sorry for those that read the post yesterday.  Do you ever have moments when you look back at something you wrote and feel totally like you had a Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde moment.  That was me yesterday.  I am not sure what was causing me to feel so "funk-alicous", but I don't feel that way at all today.  So strange...  I am not going to delete the post because it does show real thoughts, but I am going to address some of the mess I wrote yesterday.  Today's encouragement to myself is in pink.  Here goes:  

  • Why aren't you losing weight?  You are going to be right back at 340 pounds before you know it you lazy sloth.  You aren't losing weight, but you aren't gaining weight either.  You need to realize that just because the pounds aren't coming off, doesn't mean you aren't doing well.  Your smaller size clothes fit and some of them even fit better than they did when you bought them (even though you were at a slightly lower weight when you bought them).  Just keep working!
  • Why do you even go to hot yoga?  You look like an idiot.  You can't do half the poses correctly.  Who cares if you look like an idiot!  Do you enjoy it?  (Yes)  Do you feel good after? (Yes)  Then enjoy every single sweaty moment!
  • Why did you decide to dress as Belle for the half marathon?  You weren't nearly as cute as some of the other girls.  Belle always has been and probably always will be your favorite princess - of course you decided to dress as Belle.  You worked hard with your mother-in-law to make a cute, but functional Belle costume and you rocked it!
  • Are you really considering signing up for another half this spring and 2 in the fall?  Are you trying to set yourself up for disappointment?  Yep!  You are gonna sign up for another one.  You love it, you are gonna keep doing it.
  • If you say you love to run so much, why didn't you get your behind out of bed this morning to run with your friends?  Come on!  Give yourself a break!  You ran a half marathon at Disney World on Sunday!  You had to get up at the crack of dawn for that race and you haven't slept well since then.  It is ok to take a day off!
It is interesting to look at the self-talk from one day to the next!  Today I feel awesome and I can tell in the way that I respect myself and encourage myself.  Here's to positive thinking and lots of positive self-talk!


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. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. 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: What’s On Your Workout Playlist?
All I can say about music is thank goodness for my hubs!  I didn't grow up listening to a ton of music.  Sure, I listened to the radio in the car, but I can hear a song and have no clue who sang it (but somehow know every single word!).  
Anyway, my workout playlist is pretty interesting.  When I am at the gym, I tend to listen to Katy Perry radio on Pandora.  If I am running, it is a completely different story.  The hubs loaded my iPhone with music and some of it isn't so nice... It is a blend of electronic, dance, hip hop, and some music with explicit lyrics.  The music doesn't always convey the nicest message, but the beat keeps me moving.  Here are some of my favorites (in alpha order):
  • Baby One More Time (Britney Spears)
  • California Girls (Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg)
  • Forever and a Day (Fragma)
  • Hummingbird Heartbeat (Katy Perry)
  • I'm a Stunna (Birdman)
  • I'm So Paid (Akon, with Lil Waye and Young Jeezy)
  • Seal it with a Kiss (Britney Spears)
  • Throw it in the Bag (Fabolous & The-Dream)
  • Trip Like I Do (Crystal Method)
  • Welcome to the Jungle (Guns N' Roses)