Health, Love & Fire: May 2014

Would You Believe . . . ?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Did you ever play that game Never Have I Ever at middle school sleepovers where you tried to think of things that would surprise your friends about you or that you haven't done that they probably have. Well I apparently spend too much time watching The Babysitter's Club (I couldn't sleep) and Mean Girls for my three day weekend, because I thought it would be fun to take you all back to those middle school days. (Kinda like when I shared my game of MASH throwback HERE) I also thought it would be a fun way to share some random facts about myself with all of you!  So here are a few things that you may not know or believe about me!

One: I didn't eat my first hamburger or cheeseburger till I was a sophomore in high school, and I didn't eat my first steak till I was a sophomore in college. #shelterediknow

Two: I'm absolutely terrified of Thunder and Lightning. I have been in a building that has been hit, had two different neighbor's houses get hit, and was in a horrible storm on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Basically I have PTSD and will freak out anytime I see a flash of lightning.

Three: I lived in Upstate New York for 15 years and I have never been to NYC. (Well I've actually spent several hours in the air port there, but that's it. . . it's really a crime)

Four: I am awesome at falling asleep during movies and I admittedly have never seen most classic movies. I just have a hard time sitting still that long! Here are just a few I have admittedly not seen in their entirety: Pretty Woman, The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, Good Will Hunting, Braveheart, Rain Man, The Patriot, and The Breakfast Club. Just to name a few. Seriously . . . I have issues! (My husband would be so upset if he realized I truly hadn't seen all of these!)

Five: I moved from Upstate New York to Oregon when I was 14. We spent 5 entire days in one mini van with four people, two cats, a dog, and all the stuff we forgot to put in the moving van. Lets just say it was a bonding experience for my family.

Six: I've never broken a bone in my body, and hadn't ever been to the hospital (aside from being born and visiting other people) until Christmas Eve 4 years ago when I sliced open my finger on a food processor while trying to make dinner for Dan and the guys at the fire station. That's what I get for trying to be nice. (p.s. I am definitely knocking on wood right now because I'd like to keep my lack of hospital visits at a minimum if at all possible!)

Seven: I hate coffee - now don't go unfollowing me or disowning me as a friend . . . that just means there's more coffee in the world for you! I'll just order my Iced Tea and enjoy the aroma from your french roast!

Eight: I have never ordered a fast food burger. This might not come as that big a surprise to you considering I hadn't even had a burger till I was 16, but I'm guessing this is definitely not the norm.

How many of these apply to you? How many of these things really surprised you? Feel free to join in and post your own facts that may surprise other people!

Memorial Weekend Wrap-up

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hi ho, Hi ho, it's back to work I go. Its always so tough to be back in the office after having an extra day off. I tried to get in some relaxation time, as well as get some stuff done on the house with my time off. With us trying to sell our house, I've been a ball of nerves ever since that for sale sign went up, so I've been trying to do as many things on my to do list to get it sold as quick as possible. (Cross your fingers that it goes quickly before I have a nervous breakdown!)

The morning started off helping my parents get rid of some stuff at their house and a nice 3 mile run. We spent the afternoon wine tasting with my parents and enjoying some of the different specials some of the wineries were offering for the holiday weekend. Then it was date night with Dan and enjoying some time just the two of us.

We got up early, cleaned up the house and headed to the beach! It was the perfect escape from worrying about the house. We of course took cooper with us and enjoyed walks on the beach, a little outlet mall shopping, and of course a nap at the beach house! I always love a day trip, and living just an hour from the coast makes it an easy escape! For some reason, lately I forget how close the coast is! Hopefully we will be make more trips their this summer.

(Yes my dog can jump over 6 feet in the air. Apparently he's part kangaroo) 

Dan had to work the holiday which meant Cooper and I got some hang out time. I did some shopping for the house, watched lots of Love It or List It, Too, and did some more packing. Anytime someone would like to come walk through our house or put an offer in . . . we're ready!!

After a few days off, I'm hoping this week goes by fast, and we have people who want to walk through our house, or better yet even put in an offer! We have a little getaway planned for next weekend with some friends, so hopefully the next four days fly by! I hope everyone else had a wonderful three day weekend. Last but absolutely not least, I want to thank all the service men and women and their families for their service to our country! You absolutely don't get thanked enough and I truly appreciate your bravery, sacrifice and selflessness!

My 7 Tips To Running A Half Marathon

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Since I've now completed 5 half marathons and have 2 more scheduled between now and September, I figured I'm a professional it was about time for me to share some of the things that help me stumble run across that finish line! 

ONE: Training!
I was chatting with Dan the other night about writing this post to help me come up with the must do things in order to finish, and the first thing out of his mouth was "well you should probably train"! Thanks honey. And he's right. You should. Don't follow in my footsteps and decide the day before to run it, when you haven't run more than 2 and a half miles in the last few months. But, I did it and I'm alive, so it's doable. I actually realized last night that I have run more half marathons without training at all then ones that I trained for. Probably not the best idea in the world, but I did it. My next one is in the end of June, so I plan on keeping up the running and being a little more prepared for that one.

TWO: Know how long you have
This goes along with training. If you are worried about not being able to run all 13.1 miles, you can always stop and walk. There's no one there besides yourself that is going to make you run every single mile. If you think you might walk some of it, make sure you know how long you have to finish. Normal half marathon time limits range from 3-4 hours. When I did the one this past weekend, I knew I had a 4 hour time limit and knew I could walk/run it in under that. Knowing your time limit takes some of the pressure off and lets you just enjoy the experience (as much as you really can around mile 10 where you're tired but know you still have 3.1 miles left) and finish in whatever time it takes you. Don't put too much pressure on yourself! The only person you have to impress is you!

THREE: Have a good playlist
For me, entertainment is key. And until I save up enough money and get online at the exact right moment to sign up for that Disney Tinkerbell or Princess Half Marathon, I need something to keep my mind off of the million steps it's going to take me to finish. My personal favorites are the Nsync or 90's pop pandora stations. Something about some Nysnc, Mandy Moore, Britney Spears and S Club 7 that just keeps my mood feeling happy and the people around me fairly entertained with my lip syncing.

FOUR: Have a cheering squad!
Knowing that I was going to meet up with Dan at mile 3 and mile 10 and have a running partner for part of the way was so helpful! I also knew that my parents were going to be around mile 6, and I wanted to be running when I passed them, which really motivated me when I definitely felt like walking! Seeing your loved ones cheering you on and hearing that they are proud of you is the best motivation ever! (Plus then you have people to take pictures of you along the way!)

FIVE: Find someone you want to beat!
I know this sounds a little mean, but for someone as competitive as me, this definitely helps me finish and finish faster! During every run, it seems to take a couple miles to really find your pace and end up surrounded by a group of runners who are running about the same speed as you. It's then that I try to pick someone out who I want to try to finish before. I was walking for a minute on a steady incline between mile 5 and 6 during my run this past weekend when I heard this familiar beeping noise. All the sudden to my right passed this woman with a pacing timer who I had run with at my last half marathon in September! I could't believe it, and had to snap a picture to share with my dad who shares the same annoyance with than pacing beeper! She was the person I had picked out to beat at my last race, so it just seemed fitting to do it again!

SIX: Look cute
I don't know about you, but I always run better when I feel better, and I feel better when I match and look cute! Whether it's buying a new running shirt at the expo when you pick up your race packet, or finding a fun new running tank on etsy, I always pick out something that makes me feel good. Plus, we all know we want to look good in those pictures they snap all along the race! It doesn't matter that I'll be covered in sweat (or rain if you're running in Portland like last weekend).
Gotta support my Oregon Ducks! 

SEVEN: Lay out all your stuff the night before
I don't ever like to get up any earlier than I have to, especially on a weekend. I make sure to lay out all my clothes, have my race bib pinned to whatever top I'm going to run in, and make sure that I have an extra bag packed with clothes to change in to after the race ready the night before. Having everything ready to go helps me fall asleep and not wake up worrying that I'm going to forget something. Plus it gives me some extra sleep time before I have to run 13 miles!

Hopefully some of these tips will help you if you go insane decided to run a half marathon. These are just some of the things that really help me. It truly is a fun experience and one that feels so rewarding at the end! Clearly something has made me complete 5 of them and be signed up for 2 more! It's all about the bling! 

Loosing Your Person

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Since the whole Christina's Goodbye on Grey's happened on Thursday night and we all know that I had to stay up passed my bedtime to watch it (yes I'm old), I wasn't able to recap until today. Please tell me that I'm not the only one who cried and who was expecting more! No teary goodbye at the airport, no I love you and want you to stay from Owen, and no real life threatening catastrophe that leaves you breathless and frustrated that you have to wait an entire summer to find out who lives. Maybe it's because they have put that cast through pretty much any disaster possible that they've run out of things to do, or maybe I have just been accustomed to these absolutely insane things happening, but I was a little disappointed with the season finale.

Of course as soon as it was over I texted one of my "people", my best friend Lindsey. Because I obviously knew she was watching it and I had to know what she thought. And like I assumed, she felt the same way! But throughout the episode, it got me thinking about best friends and how important they are in our lives. Lindsey is definitely one of my "people", just like Christina is to Meredith. She and I don't have to talk every day to still be friends. We understand that the other has a busy life, and although it was really sad and a hard adjustment to go from seeing her every day at work to only seeing her maybe once a week, it's still the same every time.

Over the years, I've had a lot of friends come in and out of my life. When I was 14, I moved 3,000 miles away from any thing and any friend I'd even known. Saying goodbye to them was hard, but I had always figured I move back for college, or move back when I was older. Now being "older" I never really see that in my future. All the trips back to visit that I thought I'd make became one visit every couple years. The promises to write and call all the time, to email and always keep in touch turned to never getting or sending a wedding invite and barely knowing the person you see in Facebook posts. There are people in your life that are your person for periods of time, and we have to be okay with the fact that it might not last forever.

I struggle with letting go of the way I imagine things or want things to turn out. Just ask my husband, plans change or don't work out the way I want them to and it can be a struggle to change my mind. (Don't even get me started on how much of a struggle it is when I go out to eat and the restaurant doesn't have what I went there for!) Coming to the realization that friendships have changed is one of the toughest things I've dealt with, even harder than coming to that same realization in past relationships. It's hard to let go of someone you thought you would end up with fifty years later on the same bowling league or sitting on the front porch drinking iced tea and laughing. Friends come and go into our lives, and while I thought middle school sucked, this whole adult friendship/work/marriage juggling thing is so much harder.

We all change as we grow up, get married, and have kids. I wasn't a part of many of my friends' lives when they got married so I didn't have to go through that adjustment, but I'm now seeing friends have babies and meet new friends though work or their spouses and it's tough. I'm finding it hard to let go of the friendship and memories we had and realize that things will be different now. While I'm over the moon happy for them, I'm sad to think of how different our friendships will be. I've met tons of amazing ladies through this blog, but never one who I've gotten to know much in my own area. And while I'd love to jump on a plane and meet some of those ladies, but I know that isn't really financially possible all the time. So how do we adjust to our new people, or loosing our people we thought would always be there.

If only our lives were as easy as elementary school where even if your best friend wasn't in your class, you could play with them at recess and have them over after school for a playdate. Can't we go back to the time where there were nap times, afternoon snacks, and recess everyday? Life seemed a bit simpler then :)

Happy Hour, Roller Derby, and Half Marathons

Monday, May 19, 2014

This weekend was filled with lots of outings and fun, which makes it even tougher to be back to work Monday morning.

After a long week, I was ready for some time to unwind and enjoy some hubby time. We went out to happy hour at one of my favorite places nearby. Then we headed to the bowling alley and played a couple games. (I won of course) After a couple games, and a couple of sore arms (Gosh we're getting old) we decided to hit up a new local tap house and enjoy a couple beers. It was so nice to have some time together and to just have a low key, fun Friday night.

I met with our mortgage lady to help get all of the house related stuff in order. I post an update on the house situation later this week. That evening it was time to pick up my race packet for the run I'd signed up for a few months ago that was on Sunday. My parents and I headed in to the city, grabbed my packet, ate some delicious dinner, and met up with Dan at roller derby. All in all, a very fun night out.

Got my number & ready to race!! 

Race day!! I'd been going back and forth on whether I would run the 10k or the Half Marathon. I'd signed up for the half marathon in early december because I got a great deal on the entry fee, but leading up to the race I didn't train at all nearly as much as a I needed to. Basically I had only run a couple miles off and on. But I thought about it more on Saturday and realized that I would really be disappointed if I didn't try to run the half. And run the half I did. While I didn't run the whole thing, and definitely didn't PR, I completed all 13.1 miles, and I was pretty proud of myself. I spent the rest of the day resting and relaxing.

Hi-Fiving my Mom at Mile 10! 

Mile 11! 


All in all a pretty great weekend. Did you do anything fun?

Springtime Fun - Flower, Flowers and More Flowers

Friday, May 16, 2014

Thursday after work I was all but done with anything techy or work related. This has been one of the longest weeks and I needed a break and my brain needed a break. I was sick of heading home and watching tv for two hours. After a billion changes around the office, and a ton of chaos on campus, I wanted to get out and enjoy the nice weather we've been having. So what did I do . . . I talked Dan in to going to the local Iris Festival. I like going to this festival, because unlike others that happen throughout the year, this one is more relaxed and far less busy which I was definitely looking for. After spending time last weekend behind my cannon, I was definitely ready for more photo time.

It was nice to just get away, walk around the gorgeous garden and chat with my hubby. Life has been so so busy lately that a break from it all, even if it was just for an hour or so was so nice. The last time I had visited this festival was with my parents and my grandmother on her last visit to see us before she passed away, so I always enjoy going to this garden and remembering her being there with us.

All of the irises and flowers are for sale, so you can walk around and pick which colors and sizes you like best and then purchase the bulbs or stems from the gift shop. Dan kept picking out flowers he liked and asking if they would keep until our house is finished. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure they won't last till November, but it just gives us a reason to come back next year!

 I mean I obviously had to get a picture with the teddy bears! 

Are there any flower festivals in your town? What's your favorite place to get your camera out and snap photos? I'm trying to think of ideas to do tonight and this weekend, so send any fun ideas my way! :) 

To Share or Not To Share

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I've been coming to this blog nearly every day for almost a year now. And I could count on two hands how many people I've personally talked to in my everyday life about this space of mine. That doesn't mean that they haven't found it through my super so not sneaky linkage of all my social media accounts to this place, but I still haven't personally told many people. But yet, I long for it to be something bigger, to continue to grow, and to keep coming back her for a long time. I love what this space does. It gives me somewhere to share my thoughts, and has put me in touch with some amazing ladies! And clearly if I haven't made new accounts on instagram, pinterest or twitter for only my blog stuff, then I probably secretly want my friends to know about it right?!? I'm just not so sure.

I've always been a people pleaser. I like to make other's happy, and in turn, I'm constantly worrying about what others think. I try to keep up with all the latest fashions so I don't stick out too much. I want to fit in, and I strive to be liked by others. I think part of that comes from being the new kid. When I was 15 I moved from Upstate New York to Oregon. Being the new kid, all I wanted was to make friends and fit in, and I think that sort of stuck. But if I'm constantly trying fitting in, am I ever really truly being myself? This blog brings me so much happiness and is such an awesome outlet for me.

My husband says he can just tell when I truly love something because he can see it in my smile when I talk about it, and that's how I am with this blog. And I want more than anything to turn this blog into something more. I'm a dreamer and hope to continue to grow and share my life. I love the people I've met and the stories I've heard. I want to be proud of this space and be able to share it with other's. But I'm scared. Scared of what people will think, scared of what people will say, afraid that it will change some of my friendships, and nervous about opening myself up to criticism.

But is that what am I really worried about? What could possibly happen if I woke up tomorrow and decided I wanted to not worry about people finding out and I wanted to use all my social media accounts to their full potential? What is it I'm really scared of?

So how long after you started your blog did you share it with your friends and family? How did you get passed being scared of what other people think?

An Evening with Mutch Mayhem & Push La Tush - Portland Roller Derby

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

We've been swamped the last few weeks with house meetings, packing, family get togethers, work, and fire department events, so when I realized Dan would have a Friday night off, I wanted to do something fun. We get so comfortable just staying home every night and emptying the DVR that I wanted to do something different, and that's just what we did.

Over the least year or so, my parents along with a few of our friends have gotten really in to roller derby. Thats right, roller derby. Meaning women in crazy make up, with hilarious names, on roller skates! Trust me, it's as amazing as it sounds! Our friends invited us to go to a bout (that's what they call a match or game) with them. And not only did we get to enjoy some awesome entertainment and people watching, but we also got picked to take part in the half-time show.

Portland has a league called the Rose City Rollers, which consists of 4 home teams, 2 travel teams and a junior team. Anyone can join a team, which is awesome cause our friend wants to join! They even have a recreational team where as long as you have skates and gear you can play and improve your skills. (Maybe I should do that . . . . naaaa, I'd just break my butt)

I'd almost consider it just because of the names . . .
Jala Pain Yo
Mutch Mayhem
Scrappy Go Lucky
Push La Tush
Untamed Shrew
Whippet Good
Scald Eagle 
Roller Eclipse
What would your name be? 

The bout consists of two 30 minute periods. And of course there's a halftime. We (all 4 of us)  got picked out of the crowd to participate with 6 other people in a marshmallow stuffing contest. Basically they would hand us a marshmallow, we would stuff it in our mouth and try to say roller derby. If you could say it, they would hand you another marshmallow. I ended up successfully getting 8 in before I could no longer talk. Our friend Josh (the winner) got a total of 13. (Clearly I don't have as big a mouth as I thought I did.) It was a fairly immuring, yet extremely messy way to entertain the crowd.

The Winner

See . . . . super attractive! 

Yep, that's my husband 

I won't get in to every detail and rule . . . but if you have roller derby in your area, it's definitely worth a night out to watch! This was our first time, but it definitely won't be our last. (We actually already have tickets for next weekend!) I hope you'll look in your area to see if there's a league near you! Maybe you'll even end up in a marshmallow stuffing contest too! Have you ever been to a bout? What would your name be if you decided to play?