August 27, 2012

Don't Forget the Sunscreen

Dearest blog,
Remember that "wedding blitz" week I declared about a month ago? When I solemnly pledged to get through my to do list or die trying? When I promised to attack things head on, get organized, and banish wedding stress with a steady diet of fearsome dedication and accomplishment? When I proclaimed that I would, for lack of a better phrase:
... and remember how it didn't exactly happen? How I got a lot done, but not everything? Maybe not even most things? How the to do list still looms? How the stress is still steadily gnawing away at my patience? Well.
I'll have you know, dear blog, that this morning I wrote another to do list. Not a to-do-before-the-wedding list. Not even a to-do-in-the-next-month list... because HELLO those are basically the same thing now (hold me). No, today's to do list was just a little old to-do-this-week list. And when I got to three pages, I cried.
There are so many things I need to get done in the next few days it is truly frightening. So many phone calls, emails, thank you notes, lists, purchases, forms, errands, plans... it's enough to send me running for my pillow and a warm place to hide with the kitty until this all blows over. Something tells me, though, darling blog... it's not going to blow over. It's just going to get increasingly more difficult and complicated the longer I put it off. Easy tasks will turn into big scary chasing-me-through-my-nightmares monsters if I don't get them done now.
So between the to do list, the workouts, the necessary hours at work, and the fact that my life is still found mostly in boxes... I think you know where this is going, sweet blog. While I love you to the ends of the earth, things are getting a little crowded around here. Don't fret, though, my dear -- this is good news on your end. I'm taking a hint from two of the smartest guys I know, and like their puzzler, I'm sending you off on... 
So pack your bags and get ready for sand in your toes, drinks by the pool, and long afternoon snoozes. You've earned it, my dear. Send me a postcard from the sunny side of life. Enjoy your time off the clock... but don't forget about me. I'll be there to pick you up from the airport, although I'm sure you'll be so tanned, refreshed, and re-energized that I won't even recognize you. Me? I'll be the harried one in the corner, hefting a huge bag of wedding paperwork and lists, frantically emailing and texting and searching for the best rates on tea candles. You'll recognize me.
Bon voyage, dear blog! Have a lovely week, dear readers!


August 23, 2012

Phasing Out

I haven't run in several weeks thanks to some persistent leg pain. I've been spending an insane amount of time cross-training (just ask my husband), but I've limited myself to shooting longing glances at the treadmill from my perch on the elliptical, and my Nike+ notifications have gone from "More miles this week than last! Great job!" to "Are you still breathing? Is there someone we can call?" It's been rough, but yesterday marked a breakthrough. I've discovered that every time I take a break from running for a weird pain (which has happened more often that I'd like), I go through three very distinct phases:

Phase 1: Denial
("It's just a little tiny pain, probably nothing... I'll just keep running and I'm sure it will go away... it's only getting worse because my legs are getting tired... I'm not a very strong runner if I let the pain stop me, I've just got to push through it... the only way I'm going stop this workout is if my leg actually falls off... I'll just take two Advil so that I'll be able to walk for the rest of the day")

Phase 2: Acceptance 
("Actually, this elliptical isn't so bad after all... At least I'm not outside running in the heat... That sucker on the treadmill looks pretty miserable, glad I'm not doing that... Why on earth would I ever think 10 miles was fun?... I'm not sure I ever want to run again")
Phase 3: Hesitant Rebound 
("I sort of wish I could be running right now... That treadmill looks kind of nice... I'd really like to try just a short run, but what if it's still painful?... I am actually dying to get back out there again, but I'm too scared of reversing any progress in the pain department... Just a few miles can't hurt, right?")
This time around, my denial phase was serious -- for weeks, I pushed myself to do a couple miles a day, ignoring the physical discomfort I knew would follow just for the mental comfort of continuing to run. I supplemented with cross training, stretching, icing, and lots of foam rolling, and honestly felt ok for a while, so I was hopeful that cutting back on mileage for a bit would fix the problem. Eventually, though, things got worse again and I knew I needed to stop completely.
After just a few days of mourning (and more than a little guilt), I plunged headlong into phase 2 -- thanks in no small part to the awful heat wave that hit around this time, I was actually thrilled not to be suffering through mile after mile of 100+ degree temps. Waking up each morning, I was relieved to head down to the air conditioned gym and a workout that, while still intense and seriously sweat-inducing (I have honestly never met anyone who works out faster, harder, or longer on an elliptical machine than yours truly), was less mentally challenging than pushing myself through yet another run. I stopped stressing about the miles I wasn't logging, the long runs I wasn't taking, and the races I had coming up. I was, frankly, quite happy to hit the gym once or twice a day and work out hard, but not have to run a mile.
Recently, though, as the weather has cooled off a tiny bit and I've been attempting to get used to a new gym, I'm feeling myself sliding towards the next part of my little running vacation -- the one that usually gets me back out on the road in a mentally and physically healthy place. Over the past week or so, I've felt a little less resistant to the thought of stretching my legs over a few miles outside. The treadmills have looked less torturous and more inviting (especially considering the new gym's lack of decent ellipticals and wealth of lovely looking treadmills). The itch has been building for days, but by yesterday, I was sure of it: I was dying to run again, even if it was just for 10 minutes. The only little problem with this part of the process is the nerves -- when I get to this point, I'm actually a little frightened to get started again. What if it hasn't been long enough, and the pain is still there? What if I aggravate whatever injury I had to begin with? What if, after a few weeks off, I just can't do it anymore? Lots of little nagging fears pop up every time I consider giving it a try, warning me to be careful and take things sloooowly. So as badly as I wanted to give one of the new treadmills a test run last night, I forced myself back onto my elliptical. Tonight, I'm going back to the old apartment for some more cleaning, and taking advantage of some time in the gym that feels more like home still. I think it might be the perfect time to test my legs with a mile or two -- on the treadmill where I've logged hundreds of miles in rain, snow, cold, and dark over the past two years. I'm nervous, but hopeful that this time around, phase 3 will ease me into a wonderful fall running season.


August 20, 2012

Outside the Box

I apologize in advance for the fact that this post may be:
A. disjointed
B. rambling
C. a tiny bit whiny
D. all of the above.
I are still looking for the box in which I packed my brain. I'm crossing my fingers it's not among the many I slid to the back of the guest room closet, thinking "I'll get to this one after the wedding." I'm pretty sure I tucked it alongside my motivation to create anything even vaguely resembling a healthy, home cooked meal and my self-control when it comes to dessert. At the last minute, I believe I went ahead and shoved my patience in at the top, just to keep everything from bouncing around too much. Come to think of it, it's been a long time since I have seen any of those things.... I hope that box made it off the truck.
We are about 95% moved. There are still lots of lingering things rolling like tumbleweeds through the wasteland of our apartment: an old cell phone charger here, a pile of books there, that old flower pot on the porch that sustained the life of a pretty pink geranium for approximately four days sometime last spring. There is still one closet to empty, some laundry (since we don't have a washer/dryer at the new place yet), and a whole lot of cleaning to do. We realized last night that all the alcohol we own is still in the cabinet above the (mostly empty) fridge. I won't go in to the details of what prompted that realization... let's just say it was an exhausting and stressful weekend.
The new house is an elaborate maze of boxes. Mostly unmarked boxes. Mostly boxes with a truly impressive random mix of small kitchen appliances, pillows, holiday decorations, and remote controls. Mostly boxes that take much more concentrated thought to unpack than I seem capable of at this time. Getting ready for work this morning posed several unique challenges: I could not find a single bath towel, the two matching shoes I needed were in two different boxes, and my hairdryer decided to protest the change in scenery by catching on fire. Hard to be too angry about that when I can commiserate pretty well.
It's certainly not a well-kept secret around here that I hate change and don't deal well when my routine is interrupted. By the time I woke up in a different home, much earlier than normal, had to get in the car and drive instead of walking the hundred yards to the gym, worked out on something that was certainly not my beloved elliptical, missed the sunrise because instead of a beautiful gym with huge windows to the pool, I was stuck in a basement gym with old people and a view of the "sunrise" local newscast (which doesn't even feature a sunrise), and drove back home to a towel-less shower, I was missing my old life something fierce. I wanted to go home. Dan gently reminded me that with time, this new normal would become, well, normal. I know that he is probably right, but I'm still a little skeptical. I'm more excited than I should be about going back to the old neighborhood after work tomorrow to clean the apartment and spend some quality time in my gym that feels like a second home.
Luckily, the most fragile member of our family (debatable) has handled the change relatively well. Poor Toby was seriously out of sorts as the apartment gradually emptied -- he watched the boxes fill with wide eyes and got a serious shock when he ventured out of the bedroom and saw his favorite couch being wrestled through the front door. By Sunday morning, as we packed up the first of two large loads of furniture, he had retreated to our bathroom, perching on the side of the tub and peeking around the shower curtain only when we came into the room to grab another box. I was a little concerned that uprooting his life and moving it across town was too traumatic for the poor guy, but he surprised me -- we got him to the new house last night, and after just a little regrouping time under his happily reclaimed couch, he popped out to explore. By bedtime, he was back to his old self, walking around like he owned the place (which, let's face it, he basically does). Clearly I'm the only one here with adjustment issues.
For now, I will keep pushing through the change and the nostalgia for my sun-filled gym. I will keep getting up half an hour earlier, I will keep driving to the new gym every morning, I will keep unpacking my new closet and learning how to cook in my new kitchen, and I will try to let these things become my new routine. And on the days that all the unfamiliar is too overwhelming, I will drive two minutes down to Dunkin' Donuts for an iced coffee to  remind myself that sometimes change comes with a few perks.


August 16, 2012

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

These babies have been monopolizing my attention of late. Time-consuming, demanding, but necessary. And it's a little hard to complain when they're so pretty to look at! Even our favorite fluffball has been feeling a bit neglected though. Regularly (un-)scheduled blogging will return when all the sorting, stuffing, stamping, and sealing has been accomplished.


August 14, 2012

The Good and The Bad

Good news: The crazy type-A bride didn't scare our photographer away, which is lucky because he is pretty amazing. Dan and I were both thrilled and thought he was the perfect mix of "Don't mind me, I'm just here to document the day," and "This would be an amazing shot, let's make this work." He mentioned the magic words: "fast and easy family pictures," and if I hadn't already been sold, that certainly would have done it. He actually apologized for the insane amount of pictures we would have to go through after the wedding... swoon. I am so excited not just to see all the incredible pictures he takes, but to share our day with him.
Bad news: If you didn't already see it coming -- there may be a bit of a wedding picture overload over here starting sometime mid-October. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Good news: I know exactly what I want for our wedding cake, down to the very last detail.
Bad news: I have yet to find someone to make it. My top choice is booked for the rest of the year, and I'm still waiting to hear back from my plan B, which is making me incredibly nervous. I may be spending some time in the next month learning the fine art of fondant....

Good news: Our invitations are printed and the envelopes should be finished today. Since the envelopes looked better with a block print, we went ahead and paid for them to print all of them for us, which has surely spared me several dramatic late-night battles with my printer.
Bad news: We still have to stuff and seal each envelope, and then I will be handing over my left arm and leg to the US Post Office to pay for their delivery to 17 different states.

Good news: One of my very best friends and wonderful bridesmaids has started selling that line of bags/totes/purses that goes by a number larger than 30 but less than 32. I went to a party she hosted this weekend and am pretty excited that in a few weeks when my order comes in, I will be able to stop carrying my lunch to work in a plastic bag everyday. I am super excited for my new (thermal!) lunchbox and the other versatile tote I bought. If anyone's interested in checking out this practical but cute line of bags, let me know and I can connect you with my friend! (And no, she's not even aware that I am writing this.)
Bad news: I already know what I want from the fall catalog... dangerous...

Good news: There are so many amazing honeymoon spots with breathtaking views, awesome private pools, beautiful beaches, and so much potential for a week full of blissful relaxation. We have narrowed it down to one resort and a few private villas, each of which are absolutely incredible.
Bad news: We have to choose just one.

Good news: There are just 45 days left until the wedding!
Bad news: Um... There are just 45 days left until the wedding. Excuse me while I have a small panic attack.

Good news: That food post I mentioned yesterday is in the works, full of yummy new recipes I've been dying to try.
Bad news: That post may lead to some intense cravings. Which may lead to a few extra pounds. Which may lead to a wedding dress that doesn't quite fit. Which may be why it's taking all the self-control I have not to actually try these recipes out until after the wedding.

Hope your Tuesday brings lots of good news!


August 13, 2012

Picture Perfect

I was all set to combat the Monday blues with a post about my very-favorite-thing-in-the-world (that's-not-an-actual-living-breathing-person): food. (Duh.) Thinking about ice cream is always the best way to start a week... and finish a week... and spend most minutes in between... but I digress. My food thoughts have been put on hold today, though, because tonight Dan and I finally get to meet our amazing wedding photographer. So excited! The only downside to this is that now I have only 10 hours to come up with a list of pictures that 1. includes all the billions of shots that I want to get on our wedding day and 2. doesn't send the poor guy running for the hills. So in the name of research, today's post is brought to you by lots of other couples whose fantastic ideas for unique, adorable wedding pictures I plan to shamelessly hijack. 
simple but so cute
through the ring
love this idea for the bride & maid of honor!
perfect for the gazebo at our venue
making the best of rain
love adding the shoes as depth to make the classic "jumping" picture unique
speaking of jumping... the expressions in this pic are priceless!
gorgeous idea
a few creative shots of the rings...
very cute -- and this looks a lot like the ring I absolutely adore!
such a special idea for moms and grandmothers
do I dare?!
ha! so clever
love how high she is and the way her dress falls
absolutely breathtaking...

Phew... and that's really just the beginning. Now if you'll join me in a quick moment of silence, as we mourn the passing of our poor photographer's sanity (and quite possibly my own)....


August 8, 2012

Keys to the Kingdom

In a few hours, I get to go pick up the keys to our new house! I am super excited to see it again, but also a bit nervous. When I went to tour it a few weeks ago, before we signed the lease, the current tenants were still there and in the process of moving, so the house was a mess, their baby was asleep upstairs, their dogs were going crazy, and I was trying to get out of their way as quickly as possible. I remember the basics, but the whole 15 minutes was kind of a blur. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing it empty, clean, and quiet tonight. 
I am dreading the actual moving process -- schlepping boxes back and forth, finding a new spot for all of our (many, many) things, organizing closets, playing tetris with the furniture. And the cleaning... oh the cleaning. Cleaning the new place within an inch of its life before any of our stuff hits the ground (because I'm weird like that), and cleaning our old place with fingers crossed that our security deposit will reappear in the form of a nice Target shopping spree. If anyone can tell me how to mop a floor and plan for a wedding simultaneously, the title of Biggest Lifesaver of the Month is wide open for August.
I am, however, looking forward to the fun part of the move: the decorating. As if I needed more to do with these two little hands, I have a whole list of projects lined up to make this house into a real home. Good thing Pinterest and I are very best friends. I've found so many cheap, easy ideas -- starting with these adorable printables:
[via, via, via, via, via, via, via]
Speaking of framing things, I think some of these beauties would look quite nice:
In celebration of the fact that we. have. stairs! in the new spot, I'm also planning to do a picture wall with some of our incredible "engagement" pictures (for which I am still holding my breath... can't wait to share them when they get here!):
And of course, a wreath for our brand new front door! I'm purely speculating, of course, that by the time I get around to this craft, it might be getting on towards fall (shocking, I know, that I wouldn't be whipping up one of these this evening), so these seem particularly seasonal:
It wouldn't be wrong to take the glue gun with me on our honeymoon, would it?


August 6, 2012

A Monday on Mars

It seems unfair that the quiet, unplanned weekends pass just as quickly as the ones packed with activity, both flying by at speeds rivaling the Incredible Mr. Bolt (who truly couldn't have asked for a more appropriate last name). Despite its speed, though, this weekend was a nice one -- it included a yummy (and much needed) Friday afternoon pick-me-up:
(from a new fro-yo place that is dangerously close to my work)
... a few long but great gym sessions (if you can call not running "great," which, let's be honest, you can't), a few good homemade meals (including lots of veggies and this yummy pasta last night:
... dill and lemon and shrimp, oh my!), several loads of laundry (not so much nice as necessary), a few catnaps:
... some relaxing time by the pool, lots of Olympics, a great movie:
(I may or may not have a serious girl-crush on Jennifer Westfeldt)
... and best of all, a surprise visit from this guy:
... who came home for the evening on Saturday. Pretty great!
This morning even started off nicely (for a Monday) -- we got up in plenty of time for a decent workout (the hubs has joined me at the gym some lately), and I even had a few minutes to throw together my lunch without being late to work. 
Clearly, I'm not the only one in the country having a great Monday so far:
NASA seems to have broken the record for productivity on a Monday morning. I am super-impressed with the successful landing of the Curiosity, but also a little curious myself... haven't we always known there's life on Mars? I mean, kids have been singing about it for years...
(will anyone really be surprised if the little rover runs into a kid sipping a cocktail?)
... John Grey has already covered both Mars and Venus...
... and, perhaps most convincingly, we actually have footage of this guy:
I mean, really -- how much confirmation do you need?

Anyway... I am off to address my coffee cup and my to-do list this Monday morning. Hope that your weekend left you even happier than this:


August 3, 2012

Friday Favorites: Single Lady Style

As much as I love Fridays, there is one every month that I dread almost as much as I look forward to the others. It always starts in the same way: a uniformed hubby wakes me up long before the crack of dawn to kiss me goodbye, I spend the next several hours alternating between sleep and worry about Dan driving in the middle of the night (and trying to pry a distressed kitty off my head, where he would prefer to sleep every night), and then I finally drag myself out of bed, feeling a little sad about the lonely weekend ahead. True, I am grateful that this is only drill and he will be home again shortly, but somehow saying goodbye, whether it's for three days or five months, never gets any easier. Luckily, it never takes long for my "single lady" instincts to kick in (and by single I mean less "available and flirty" and more "borderline cat lady"), and I'm able to enjoy the me time that these weekends afford. Many months, I make plans for these few days -- heading out to see a friend, diving into a project, fitting in some family time. This weekend, though, I have nothing on the calendar... nothing, that is, except enjoying the weekend and getting. things. done. When 5:00 rolls around today, I have 48 uninterrupted hours and no excuses -- I am determined to do all of the cleaning, wedding prep, and packing that I have been putting off all week. I am hoping that by the time Dan gets home on Sunday, I'll have several bags worth of clutter ready to be trashed, and lots of boxes ready to go to the new house as soon as we get the keys (next Wednesday!). Of course, I'm also looking forward to the opportunity to embrace some of my favorite living alone tendencies:
1. total control of the remote: Even though we are experiencing some very poorly timed cable issues (please don't remind me of all the precious moments I'm missing with my favorite sports reporter), the fact that I'm the only one in the house this weekend with opposable thumbs means that I get to watch all the girly movies and weird documentaries and marathon TV seasons that I want.
2. strange eating habits: When there's no one around to remind me to eat meals, I tend to adopt an odd schedule. Sleepy mornings lead to slow breakfasts, late afternoon snacks mean late dinners, and lunch gets lost somewhere in there. It wouldn't be good for my body all the time, but it's nice every once in a while just to listen to my stomach and eat anything I want (with no judgement on that serving of seconds) whenever I happen to get hungry.
3. lots of sleep: Unlike my night owl hubby, I need a fairly large amount of sleep to be fully functional and minimally cranky... a fairly large amount that I have not been getting lately. I'm looking forward to a lot of horizontal time this weekend.
4. unlimited time at the gym and pool: While Dan is always super supportive about my workouts and the time I sneak in lying in the sun, it's nice to know that I'm not on anyone else's schedule this weekend when it comes to fitting these in. It's also a little easier to drag myself out of my bed in the mornings to hit the gym early when there's not a warm, comfy human (just a warm, comfy cat) still in it.
5. the possibility of a spontaneous trip: When I have a weekend on my own, I often think to myself "maybe I'll just get in the car one day and drive..." Most times, this line of thinking ends in a rare treat: the far-away (but soon to be soooo much closer) Dunkin' Donuts, frozen yogurt, shopping, or a stop at the college haunt I miss the most -- Wawa. Classy taste, right? Sometimes I fear I have the mind of a 400 pound person inside, just screaming to eat its way out of my decently-sized body. More often than not, I spend lots of time thinking about how nice a spontaneous, solo road trip might be -- windows down, my choice of music, no rush to get anywhere -- but then I never actually follow through. The pull of the couch (or the lounge chair by the pool, or the bed) is often just too strong. I'm thinking, though, that if I get a lot accomplished in the next few days, I might just feel the need for a small reward... a reward that may involve breaking out of the apartment and hitting the open road for a sweet treat. We shall see.
Crazy single lady, eh? Late-night eating, afternoon napping, wish-I-could-be-running time on the elliptical, and bad TV... better hurry home, hubs. The next few days could get a little wild.
Happy weekend, everyone!


August 1, 2012

Wednesday Words

Yesterday morning, as the exciting but long weekend started to catch up with me, I needed some extra motivation. I'm sure it's no surprise that I turned here for a little wisdom, a little pick-me-up, and a little kick in the pants. As you can see, 
mission: accomplished.
[Arthur Ashe]
[true, but also the bane of my existence.]

A few are a little cheesy, but sometimes, I believe in cheese as a motivator (particularly sharp cheddar). I also, however, believe in a healthy dose of honesty, and a little bit of humor:

And of course....
(always good advice)
Happy Wednesday! Hope you are only as productive as you absolutely have to be today!



Blog Template by