People Just as Crazy as Me

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Don't LEAVE ME!

Work has been insane. And when I have enough time to post.. I am busy wrapping or cooking, or baking.... or hiding gifts...

IT IS INSANE.

I'll be back in January y'all.

I'm sorry.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snow Days and Work - Need I say more

Between the massive amount of work, and the 2 days of snow days... 
I haven't had time to write anything... let alone THINK anything.

I feel this is going to be a quiet month from me.

Stay Tuned.
I'll be around...

Hopefully more than the past few days.

Friday, December 6, 2013

My volunteerism.. and how it scarred me

On Wednesday, I went to a "nursing home"... not one of those NICE ones, that you see in happy movies... But, one of the STATE run ones... that are... dreary and smell like pee.

Some people there, are there because they have no family, and no one to take care of them, but have such horrible medical problems that they need constant care.

Others, have family, that obviously could care less (because NO ONE would leave there family member here, if they really cared).... And are stuck.

Some are amputees... Some are mentally disabled...

We brought these people presents.... That's what my organization does.. we reach out, and make sure everyone enjoys this holiday.

I went in with my best positive attitude.
I went in thinking, "I am going to make someones day. I will make a connection, because who knows when the last time this person will get another visitor?"

I left...
Feeling sullied and unusual. . . .

It wasn't the conditions of the hospital. You can tell they try to keep it as clean as physically possible.. But, they are packed to capacity. Let's just say that.

I was walking through one of the wards... and we were instructed to leave the present on there side table. Whether their curtain was OPEN or SHUT... I thought this was odd, and it made me uncomfortable. I was raised, if a door or curtain is closed.. you don't enter, unless someone can acknowledge you are there... and invites you into their space.

Well... back to what happened.

I go into this room (5 beds in each room.. this was a little much for me) and I drop of 4 of the 5 gifts, and the last bed has the curtain closed... and the table is just beyond the curtain... **SIGHS**.. So, I lean in just to drop of the present....

And, the man was in there... let's just say... I got an eyeful...

And, an experience that I want to erase from my brain.. COMPLETELY.

I quickly ducked out, I'm sure he saw me, and I just scurried away... Feeling very dirty.

I did not open any additional curtains during my volunteerism.
I let the MAN that was with us do it...

I just kept focusing on what happened, and thinking not of the.... "event".. but the horrible circumstance... I mean... That tiny little hospital curtained space.. is THAT MAN'S HOME. That is where he feels most comfortable... and safe....

And that struck me as very sad.
Yes, at least he is warm and has a bed... and is being medically provided for.

But: I wouldn't let my worst enemy.. live in a place like that.

It made me cherish what I have and love the family I have around me.
It also made me realize that one day.. my mother might not be able to take care of herself.
Now, I don't speak to my mother, and she is NOT a safe person... But, I would never allow her to be in a place like that. I wouldn't take her in to live with me... That is just not something I am comfortable with... But, I would make sure that she was someplace... that could actually feel like a home.. and not a hospital.. Not have to share a room with 4 other people... That's...

It's no way to live.

Feeling very reflective on this, and I can't seem to find the right words...

I could drone on and on about how awful it makes me feel.

 I think the basic sentiment is that LIFE IS PRECIOUS, and SO IS YOUR FAMILY.

And sometimes, family isn't blood... it's love... Make sure those you care about are taken care of.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Day my car Exploded.

Well, I guess "exploded" is misleading... you read that word and you instantly think of fire and flames... There were none of these things.. However, the car is down for the count.

This started about oh... a month or so ago. My car was starting to shudder upon acceleration. My mechanic looked into it, and well, it turned out that there was something up with my transmission. Since my car is under 36,000 miles, anything internal is covered by my manufacturers warranty. So, my mechanic said... GO GET THIS FIXED FOR FREE! (He's a good guy, took a hit and sent me to the dealership....) 

I go to the dealership, that took 4 freaking hours to diagnose the exact problem. It came down to 2 seals in my transmission were cracked. BUT: the parts are on back order (since this is happening a lot with my current make/model/year car). The parts were 6 weeks out. However, the dealership assured me my vehicle was safe to drive, that I would not do any additional damage, and that it would make it 6 weeks... 

Let's go to this past Tuesday. I wake up, I am running late, and I do not have enough gas to get me to work.. so I planned on stopping down the highway and fueling up. I was about 15 minutes from home when... 

SHUDDER SHUDDER STALL.

http://vitalministries.org/my_devotions/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/warning-lights.pngThe car turns off... All of the dashboard lights illuminated... I coast to the side of the road, and begin to CURSE.. I mean, like a sailor, truck drivers would have been SHOCKED. 

It is 5:45a... The dealership isn't opened for another 2 hours... my mechanic is still asleep... And I am definitely not making it in to work for my exercise... Let alone to do my job. 

I begin to talk to my car. I turn it off, and start rubbing the steering wheel. Because that works.. RIGHT? 
"Hey, there, I can tell you aren't feeling well today, and I completely get that. But, if you could just turn on... and allow me to drive 2 minutes up the street to the Diner... I will sit there until the dealership opens, and then we will get you fixed.. Mmmmkay?" 

http://mothsmokelingers.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/bombay-burning-prayer-bw.jpgI sit there for a minute and continue to rub the dashboard. Praying like mad. I turn on the car, the engine starts... I squeal, and proceed to slowly get off the next exit, and up the hill to the diner. 

God was with me, definitely. The Diner is uphill from the Dealership.. I just had to COAST my way down. I called the dealership when I was safe in the warm diner... Instructing them to call me immediately.. that there was something really wrong with the car. 

8a hits (Do the math, 2 hours of waiting)... No call from the dealership, that opened at 7:30a. I definitely used the word STRANDED in my message. So, I prayed over the dashboard again.. and coasted into the dealership parking lot. 

My car is just about a year old. This isn't supposed to happen. LIKE AT ALL. 

The same service attendant saw me, and didn't seem happy to see me. They took the car right in... much to my surprise... and about 45 minutes later... He came out to me with a set of unfamiliar keys. 

They had to give me a loaner car... INDEFINITELY. 
The mechanic at the dealership discovered that my catalytic converter has gone defective, ON TOP of the problems with me transmission, and THAT part is ALSO back ordered. 

http://www.fairtrasa.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/shutterstock_92433031.jpgIn case you aren't reading between the lines: the 2013 Ford Fiesta... is a LEMON. And Ford will probably recall the entire engine and swap it ANY TIME now. 

Ford is paying for everything...

But, until these parts come in... I am the proud new driver of a SUPED UP 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback. 

http://www.thetorquereport.com/assets_c/2011/12/2012_Ford_Focus_Electric_new_fr8-thumb-530x325-16840.jpgIt's speedy, and the engine is 10000% beefier than mine... However, it is HALF the size. There is four seats.. and four doors... But, Clowns would be more comfortable than Emry and I. *SIGHS* Pickers can't be choosy. I am appreciative to be able to get to work... I am appreciative for the vehicle...

I just hope that I get my car back.. oh... by the new year? That be lovely.. right?!

So, there were no flames... the car didn't turn into a billowing fire ball.... It just... STOPPED. 

And it completely stinks. 
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-iygVqMoVlIs/UjIu1oPbcdI/AAAAAAAABKI/aE5jQA5M70k/s640/pouty+face.jpg


The 8,000,000 calories of Christmas: Office Edition

For those of you who do not know, I work in a pseudo corporate office, for a Nonprofit Christian Organization. We take Christmas very seriously here. 

For the record, every department does "Fellowship Treats" all month long. What are "Fellowship Treats", you ask! Well, everyone in the department signs up on a particular day from December 1st through December 31st, and they provide goodies for their co-workers. 

Now, what you should be reading here is: There is a lot of food temptation. Carbs galore, cheese, meats, fat fat fat fat fat, cookies... etc. It is very hard for anyone, even the most disciplined to survive this month without gaining a few pounds.

I, for one, am very scared. I am a food junkie, I know I am... I know that once I start eating, I continue to eat... I know that I have a hard time saying no... I know that I have a hard time stopping. 

So, I devised a plan: I would bring in a TON of healthy options, and instead of eating the deliciousness crap, I would instead snack on fruits, veggies and lean proteins. 

This week, I brought a Gallon Sized Ziplock bag filled with Veggie Sticks. I have zucchini, cucumber, celery, carrots and Red Peppers. I bring a giant apple with me each day, and I have an entire container of hummus. In the mornings, I bring a glass of almond milk, and depending on what the Breakfast Treat is, I bring oatmeal. 

How has this plan gone? Well, this week... not so good. Well, let me be really honest. Monday went GREAT. I stuck to the plan, and was not tempted. Tuesday, my car EXPLODED (there will be an entire post on this), so I was stuck at home and the dealership... so, eating healthy was... Stalled. Wednesday, started out great.. but then, after me and a few co-workers took a volunteer trip to a local Nursing Home (there will be an entire post on this as well), we stopped at Chili's, and I may have had a Lunch Chicken Fajita Combo with Chili... and then when we got back to the office, I may have overheard a conversation about Peanut Butter Pie.. and then proceeded (hypothetically) to eat two HUGE servings of it. So... Wednesday was another wash...

So here I am today, Thursday... and I hear the following: "I bought 3 fresh baked loaves of bread for ROCKLAND BAKERY, then Major StickupButt (really, not her name) made Minced Meat PIES, and pumpkin bread, and cranberry walnut bread... and we made TWO type of SOUPS" 

I instantly started pounding my vegetables... Seriously, no joke... After a PLATE of veggies and a CUP of almond milk, I still find myself going in and out of our break room... And I'm at WAR with myself. So, since I knew I was going to succumb, I ran to the refrigerator and grabbed my gigantic apple.

The goal of this Christmas Holiday is not to GAIN weight. I don't care if I lose any.... but I will not go above my 5 pound cushion of 135 pounds. It is NOT happening. I have been weighing myself weekly, and I have been able to keep between 130 and 135 consistently.. some weeks better than others... But, with 18 days left of "Fellowship Treats".... I feel like there is this GIGANTIC MOUNTAIN in front of me... and that it will be impossible to conquer. 

What is even worse, is that 2 of those 18 days are Office Parties. Which means that I will not be able to bring my own food... And, our company... well... We are EATERS.. let's just say it that way!

The goal is NEXT week, to do better. There will be no car disasters, and no volunteer day.... so, I think I should be able to keep on track better. 

I know with my mindset, I should be fine... But, I love food. I love home cooked food... and, I don't want to seem like the ungrateful coworker for not participating. You know?

You might be asking yourself, "What are you making on your "Fellowship Treat" day?"

That is a good question, and you are going to hate this. Because it goes against all of the above writing.

I plan on doing a Breakfast Item, Lunch Item, and Dessert Item.
Breakfast: Klay will be making his AMAZING SCONES. They are usually apple cinnamon with maple sugar icing. He makes these from scratch, and they are ADDICTIVE. 
Lunch: I am going to make Chicken Fajitas. Now, this in the basics, is not an unhealthy thing. Lean Chicken Chunks with peppers and onions? Not awful! Now, once we add the tortillas and cheese to this.. well, that's when things get CRAZY
Dessert: Cake Pops. I'm making 50-80 Cherry Chip Cake Pops coated in Dark Chocolate. I am also going to see if I can inject some fruit filling into them. I know, this is a HORRIBLE idea.. because they are tooo tasty. But, I want to give a nice spread!

Also on this day, Karissa signed up with me. I should have put a line through the entire day so she couldn't... But, whatever, I am going to make up a sign to show what I provided, and we'll see what she brings. Last year, we were supposed to do this "together" and at the last minute, she bailed, and I didn't have enough food to feed everyone. I was very embarrassed... she could care less. One of the many reasons that I have (very maturely, mind you) backed away from this person. I don't like negativity and two-face behavior. Just saying. 

My day is scheduled for Tuesday, December 17, 2013. 

Also: during this month, I promised Emry that we would make Holiday Cookies for his entire class. We are going to make classic Sugar Cookies, and I bought a bunch of nifty cutters. They will be dipped in different types of chocolate and decorated with icing and colored chocolates. 
(So, you know that I'm going to eat more than a few of those). 

Christmas is a hard holiday... 

Just got to stick to the code... 
DO NOT GO OVER 135 POUNDS.

I probably will be writing a lot of posts about how this is going, and how much I hate it... But, writing is very therapeutic... It will keep me away from the food... Right?

Monday, December 2, 2013

So, who wants to read about my AMAZING 5 day weekend?

Hello All! I hope y'all liked my pre-written posts from last week. And I hope you all had a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving. 

So now, that I am back, I wanted to give you a first hand account of my AMAZING 5 day weekend!

Ready? Because this is going to be a long one!

I woke up on Wednesday morning, without pain in my foot/ankle.. feeling really good. Of course, I couldn't sleep late, because my body is trained to be up and ready at 5a during the weekdays... So, I got up and watched "Identity Thief" on demand... I have to admit, there was a couple funny moments, but overall.. I really didn't enjoy it. I think the Melissa McCarthy's humor supersedes the scripts that they write for her. Just saying.

It was a perfect day. The previous day, Emry was supposed to have a "Turkey Dinner" at his school, but due to the weather it was postponed until Wednesday... which is WONDERFUL because I could GO! The first grade classes had a feast of Turkey, Stuffing, Vegetables, Corn Bread Muffins, and a wonderful dessert section. Needless to say, my hopes of not eating any crap before my race went RIGHT out the window... but, I didn't go over the moon... and I had a nice time.

Emry showed me around his class, and I got to see the little hidden things, that only a mother would find... The group of girls that would walk over and giggle when they spoke to Joey. The kids who seemed to be unsure whether or not Klay and I were his parents or his siblings (which on a side note is a pretty cool feeling)... 

After that, it seemed kind of silly to let him sit in school for another hour (half day and all).. so we took him home early, and had a really LAZY day... 

I made the trifle for Thanksgiving Day Dessert... It was a Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle... If you want the recipe, you will have to find it here...    I did some additions, like between each layer I used Dark Chocolate and Caramel Syrup (and I may have used some Spiked Egg Nog.. just for a little something special!).

Then we watched TV, and movies... and just hung out. I didn't clean... I didn't work out... I didn't do NOTHING... I wanted to be perfectly relaxed for the next mornings 5k.

THURSDAY THURSDAY THURSDAY! Turkey Trot Day! 
I woke up at ... wait for it... 5a AGAIN... I really have a hard time sleeping in... It's awful. I got dressed, and got to Registration around 715a... The race began at 8a. I got registered, proceeded to warm up slowly outside. This consisted of me walking to and from my car a couple of times...

The temperature was 24 degrees, there was very little wind, and no precipitation. This was the best way to start this race. My father, Klay and Emry met me by the starting lane... 

And almost as soon as I got there... I was off... It was cold, and I didn't want to push to hard and run out of all of my energy, so I found a good pace... and just started to chug along. 

Photo by: Catello Somma
To my surprise, I was starting to pass people. What do you mean I was passing people? I know, it was kind of amazing to me.. Of course the hard core runners were far ahead of me.. but, I didn't care... I knew I was doing something AWESOME. As I made it towards the first mile, I looked up, and in the distance, I saw this very tall man, with a camera.. and this little woman next to him.. JUMPING up and DOWN... And waving at me. Lissa, and her New Beau (the photographer)... I smiled and kept chugging along... UP the first hill. 

After mile one, there was this other hill, not too steep, but , it prepared you for a very nice downhill trip to mile 2. At mile 2, I saw my entire support group (From dad - to Lissa's new beau)... All cheering for me... Emry screaming "GO MAMA RUN!!!" And Klay "HELLO GORGEOUS!" That gave me such.. adrenaline and happiness, I realized I started to pick up some speed. I was 2/3 of the way there.. I can DO this... 

My new gear felt amazing, the only thing cold, was the tip of my nose.. the only thing that WASN'T Covered! Ha! I rounded my way down the hill... and started to see someone ushering people towards the 3rd mile marker. I looked more closely, and it was the President of the Running Club, ED! 
"Good Morning Ed!" I screamed to him.. 
"Good Morning Jillian! I came back for you! You look great, you are doing great! Let's finish up!"
How sweet is that? He remembered me from the 2 times we have met, saw me running and after he had finished.. Wanted to SEE ME THROUGH! That's a great man! 

I passed the third mile marker, and could see this finish line! I pushed through.. even though I was tired... And crossed the line. 
Photo by: Catello Somma
Official time of 37 minutes 25.5 seconds. 

Not my best time, but an AMAZING time for my first ever 5k!

I was so happy! 

I sat down inside the mall (where the race was held at) and warmed up... With everyone around me.. We posed for a picture with a fellow runner.. who was dressed as a turkey... 

AND THEN: 
We went to breakfast at Denny's... and oh BOY did I have a WONDERFUL breakfast! 

Came home, finished watching the parade... and then had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with Klay's family. These people haven't seen me in a year.. so the reactions to my new physique were very.... well, they made me blush! 

We ate WAY TOO much... went home (with left overs OF COURSE) and then watched TV together. I don't remember what movie, all I know is that we all got into our PJ's. And ZONED out. Into a turkey coma! 

Friday morning was the day when I woke up and actually did a little workout. No cardio of course... But, I felt the need to, since I could still feel the previous dinner still in my stomach. I went food shopping, and may have stopped by the custom shoe fitting place... and got REAL running shoes... And oh boy are they fancy! Came home, cleaned the house from top to bottom, made the food for the week... Curious? Well, It's gumbo.. The recipe can be found somewhere in my Recipe List! MmmMmmmmm Can't wait to have it for dinner, come to think of it. 

Then we lit a fire, and had another very peaceful evening. Which may have included a quick trip to Dairy Queen for ice cream. Oh man... It was TASTY! And counter productive. Just in case you were curious, sitting in front of a fireplace while eating ice cream.. makes you eat it REALLY FAST.... due to increased melting! 

Saturday was COVERT OPPS Day. I told Klay that I had to help my friend run a "pampered chef" party... and then disappeared for the morning. This is something Sandy and I have been planning for about 2 weeks now. She came with me, and we hit up a Record (read: vinyl) Store about an hour away. This was so I could get Klay's Christmas Present without being suspected. 

When I got home, I watched Klay hang our outdoor Christmas Decorations. No, we didn't do a tree, we plan on picking that up this weekend! But, our outdoor stuff looks CLASSY and BEAUTIFUL! 

We then took Emry bowling. Which was a LOAD of fun.. We ate Food from the snack bar, and played in the arcade. Let me just tell you, Emry was the big winner of the night. That kid has some talent. Where as I... while I needed the bumpers put on to my lane! Ha! 

We came home, and then my dad took us out to our local Indian Restaurant. This is when Emry saw the folded napkins and decided they looked like hats... Klay followed suit... It was ADORABLE.

Came home, and almost instantly went to sleep. Busy day.. but great it was!

Sunday:

We were supposed to go to a Christmas Party on Sunday, in the early evening. But throughout this weekend, Emry had this cough that wouldn't go away, and I didn't want him coughing all over his friends. So I texted the mother, and let her know that we wouldn't be attending. 

Klay and I had previously planned on hiking up to Table Rock (at Minnewaska State Preserve), so we left Emry with the grandparents (Klay's mom and dad)... and proceeded to take this great hike. 

Klay has been building up this view for years now... and when we got to the top.. it was really overcast. He was really disappointed, but, I still thought it was beautiful. Plus, I couldn't have made this journey a year ago... so, I took it as a major accomplishment.

We then started heading out to lunch, which was supposed to be at Bacchus.. which is where our first official "date" was. But, at the last minute, Klay asks if I want to go to this other place. And since I had never been there.. I said yes, and we went there. It's called the Gilded Otter Brewing Company. They are a brewery and restaurant. 

Now, this is where things get pretty interesting, I hope you all have stayed with me to this point.
 
During lunch, Klay puts this tiny nesting doll on the table.. "I got you a present".

I collect nesting dolls. I absolutely adore them. So I grab it, and there was this weird clunk sound that came from within it. Not the sound wood makes against wood... but, a more metallic sound.

I put the nesting doll down, and said "There's something in there."

Klay very snarkily, "Isn't that the point."

I knew... I hope you all know where this is going...

So, I peaked in and saw it... So I closed it really quickly and looked away... Crying and Laughing. 
As I began to open it again... Klay got on one knee... 

And asked me to marry him. 

:)

Yup, that's right people... I am officially engaged.

And over the moon about it. 

It fits perfectly..... 

I am very happy. 

So, there, is my FABULOUS (from top to bottom) 5 DAY WEEKEND!

 



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving - Let me tell you 28 things I am thankful for

http://blog.rv.net/wp-content/2008/11/thanksgiving-pals.jpg 

Well, people the day is here! 
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

I would like to take a moment to tell you the 28 things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.
(why 28? well everyone else is doing 30, and since turkey day falls on the 28th, I figure this is much more appropriate) 

  1.  The way the air smells during the months between fall and winter. The crisp air, with the faint smell of burning wood. It's nostalgic and brings me joy.
  2. Friends who understand and love me... regardless of how eccentric (read: freaking nuts) I am.
  3. How a mug of hot tea can not only physically warm you, but light up your soul.
  4. A stable and steady career; filled with interesting people, amazing fellowship... and regular reflective time with the Almighty.
  5. Internal growth and maturity... Some women hate getting older. I welcome it... it allows me to become more centered.
  6. Emry... without him, everything else wouldn't be as it were. He was the turning point in my life... his birth lit something in me... and has brought me to where I am today.
  7. Crackling fireplaces.... and how we all sit around it, enjoying conversation, instead of vegging out in front of the television.
  8. Exercise, and the fact that I know longer dread doing it. That I have found a piece of me that I never knew existed.
  9. Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Strawberries and Caramel Sauce: I am really thankful for the Chef/Cook that allowed me to make this concoction on my birthday, and thus revealed a new favorite breakfast delicacy!
  10. Love and Friendship that is found all in one person. It's always been right, and he knows it. I am thankful every moment of each day for Klay... and what we have.
  11. Being Deaf in One Ear. I am thankful that I lost my hearing when I was younger... it taught me to listen more closely.. to maintain eye contact when someone is speaking to me, and how to really hear the truth.
  12. My 45 minute (one way) commute to work. Without these moments of individual freedom... I would never be able to fulfill my dream of being the next Voice or American Idol. Singing is something that relieves the stress and makes me truly happy.
  13. Purple Highlighters . . . They make my boring reports all the more colorful and allow me to have "fun" while reviewing!
  14. Overall health.. from  mine, to Klay's, to Emry's, to my dad's... I'm glad we're all healthy.
  15. Laughter.
  16. For the memories that we build each day. For so long, I thought that I would not have anything special or important to remember. Now, Emry, Klay and I.. are making this wonderful life together... with fantastic memories.
  17. Local Grown Fruits and Veggies... That have shown me how awful store bought produce can be, and why we need to support all local businesses.. whether it be boutiques or farms.
  18. L.L Bean Slippers... Hideous as they are.. I am thankful for the people who created them.. they keep my toesies so WARM!
  19. Being able to live comfortably... without fear.
  20. For a kitchen that allows me to cook for those I love.
  21. Seeing beauty and grace in odd places....
  22. Blogging, and all the wonderful things it has brought into my life.
  23. Indiana Popcorn Company - for they make the most amazing chocolate covered kettle corn.
  24. Pictures, and cameras... So that we can capture all the interesting happenings in our world!
  25. My family. Even though some of them are far away, and I don't get to see them as much as I would like... I am thankful for who they are, and how our bond transcends.
  26. Books... and Poetry
  27. Hot Baths...
  28. Positivity, Light... and striving for it each day of this journey we call life... The ability to see all of the positivity and light through the darkness.... 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
I hope you all enjoy your day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My daddy loves me...

If you remember, the 2nd pre-race training session did not go as planned.... and left me rather discouraged

Well, because the weather forecast was predicting 19 degree temperatures, I was getting MORE than hesitant about running... 

Enter, DADDY... yes, I am a 29 year old woman, and I will always call me father Daddy.

My father is a very kind and generous man. He could see on my face how discouraged I was, how I was beginning to doubt my capabilities... and that maybe, just maybe this goal wasn't actually attainable... 
And he decides that I need cold gear running stuff, and GOOD stuff too.. because he is certain that this race isn't the end for me... He can see how happy running is making me... and how I am accomplishing a lot more than just miles and times.

Monday night, we went to our local Dick's Sporting Goods, and spent a very long time in the women's running attire section. Seeing what felt good on, seeing what I could layer... what I shouldn't layer... the whole nine yards.

We ended up with a lot of Under Armour products... 
  1. Because they fit the best, without feeling like I was too restricted for movement.
  2. The prices, although not exactly cheap, were fair.. based on what the gear is designed to do. 
  3. Had a range of color options (I'm a girl.. SHOOT ME.. I like to coordinate).
I purchased from their "ColdGear" and "Infared".. This is what I got:

Women’s ColdGear®Infrared Thermo Full ZipHoody 


Women's UA ColdGear®Compression Leggings

UA Ignite Crew Socks


Experia Powered by Thor-Lo Pads Sock - Dick's Sporting Goods

Experia Powered by Thor-Lo Pads Sock


Reebok Men's Performance Running Gloves - Dick's Sporting Goods

Reebok Men's Performance Running Gloves

Under Armour Women's Craze Graphic Winter Headband - Dick's Sporting Goods

Under Armour Women's Craze Graphic Winter Headband


 
 
 Now, I didn't want to buy ANY  of this stuff... I knew I had to get pants.. and I was dreading it.. but, of course he insisted... So, over $200 later... This is what I have.

I tried running in the pants on Tuesday, and let me tell you.. They kept my at BOILING temperature in the gym.. so I am sure they can withstand the cold. Oh man.. I think I may use these under my hiking pants when we do winter hiking!

I know my dad purchased these things for me, because, he knows that this is important to me, and that (in his mind) I am going to really get into this running thing..

Am I?
Who knows.. I am taking it one step at a time (no pun intended, well, maybe a little pun).

I know that after the race, I am planning on taking a break from running in general, for at  least a week or two...

My foot/ankle, is feeling much better.. but, I think that resting it after the race, and only doing the stationary bike or even the elliptical.. is a good idea.. I think the constant impact may be a factor with this phantom pain. . . .

The race is tomorrow... and I am getting excited...

Send good thought... send prayers... send positive energy.

I promise.. I will try to at least post the results on Thursday.... if not, Monday morning!

Stay blessed Friends!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Our Week in Food: Nothing Spectacular!

Every once in a while, I let Emry pick the meal for the week. This week, he said "TACOS".

I know what you are thinking, who do you keep tacos for a week? That sounds gross?
You're right it does... It's called... Many tuperwear containers... and a little patience.

I made individual sides, to build the tacos....
  • Crumbled Ground Beef, seasoned with cumin, garlic, chipotle chili pepper, Bacon Molasses Seasoning.. and whatever else I grabbed from the cupboard. Once the ground beef was perfectly crumbled and browned, I removed it using a slotted spoon, and tried to leave as much of the left over beef grease in the pan. You never need to use extra oil with these types of dishes... Just use what the meat leaves behind... 
  • I cut up 2 onions, 2 green peppers, and 2 red peppers into slices, and then I sauteed them in the beef grease. Once they were done, I took them and I layed them ontop of a papertowel covered cutting board. This absorbed the unnecessary grease from the veggies. Yes, there is a little level of grease that is acceptable! Just saying.
  • You can either shred your own, or buy it.... I bought 2 bags of shredded taco cheese (cheddar/jack blend).... 
  • I cut up Red and Green tomatos, and shredded some Iceberg lettuce.... 
  •  I purchased extra taco shells.

VIOLA.. Dinner was done. It isn't the healthiest.. but it's definitely comfort food, plus, the boy will eat it, and the menfolk too.

Now, how am I eating this?

Well, I skip the actual taco. I take a little meat, a little sauteed veggies, a lot of iceberg and tomatoes.. and I make a pseudo taco salad... you know.. with out the actual TACO. It doesn't need dressing since the meat and the sauteed veggies already have the tasty acceptable grease.

And that's that.

I'm pretty sure the men folk have had 6-9 tacos each already this week. And that means they love it... and I'm happy with that.

 http://d1xj6atg96ipjv.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/StewedBeefTacos-1024x685.jpg

Monday, November 25, 2013

Running Discouragement: When sometimes a positive outlook doesn't yield a positive result....

On Sunday, I had another pre-race training session. I was super psyched for it, even though, my ankle has been acting up more... Anyway...

I was excited up until Saturday evening at around 6p... when it started to FLURRY out. . . So, I check my weather app.. and I notice that Sunday is supposed to be 28 degrees as the HIGH.. and that more than likely the Training Session was going to be in windy 20 degree'ish weather. 

I woke up on Sunday, woke up 7a, and the thermostat registered at 19 degrees. Wonderful... with the wind chill.. it felt like 8 degrees. I knew it was a bad idea, but I got my gear on, plus an extra headband to cover my ears and a light weight hiking jacket... and went out to meet the group. 

Vastly smaller group... I completely understood why... 

And we started to run, and my BODY was so angry with me. The little bit of skin exposed was blistering and turning purple. This is not an exaggeration... My skin was turning PURPLE... my hands hurt (I didn't think I needed them, my hands get super hot and sweaty when I run.. but THIS was a bad idea...)

A mile.. I made it a mile.. and I had to stop.. I was freezing, my chest hurt from the cold air.. and my ANKLE was on FIRE (ICE FIRE, I thought I was going to die, I swear).

So, I made it back to my car, and just went home... 

And I am not going to lie, I cried. 

I cried and cried and cried. 

My dad assured me all I needed was warmer running stuff, and I know he's right.. We don't have the money for that.. especially since I don't plan on running outside in the winter AT ALL... 

I was looking up and asking WHOEVER IS UP THERE.. why the mid 30 temps and low wind couldn't carry over to THE WEEK OF THE RACE... 

I looked down and my ankle, and tried to make it promise to hold out until Thursday. And asked repeatedly WHY it started to hurt WORSE than every before. My ankle never did answer. Stupid ankle.

I took a hot bath, I got dressed, wrapped up the area... and went about the rest of my schedule for the day... 

My ankle ached the whole day... so when I went home, I put it in an ice bucket.. and let the healing/freezing process take over. It feels much better today. I took it very easy while running this morning... And I do not intend on pushing my time up.. on the contrary.. today, I just tried to do it in 36 minutes... I ran slower than I have in a long time... and I know the day of.. if everything works out right, I will do that time, if now a little better.

I know this.

Now, my dad, the sweet man he is, and by sweet I mean STUBBORN AS HECK.. Is buying me running gear tonight.. Just 2 top layers (shirt/jacket and pants).. I figure I can use the stuff I have as a base layer... It seemed to hold temperatures in the 30's... so I imagine just a little more on top will seal the deal.

At the moment, TURKEY TROT DAY looks to be a high of 19 degrees and windy/snowy... I know, it sucks... but, I got to do, what I got to do...

However the day before is 51 degrees and rainy. I am hoping the weather man has it a little wrong, and some of that heat transfers over onto Thursday. Please Cross your fingers, say a prayer.. . Do something... I don't need 51 degrees.. but I'd take High 30's... I know I can do that... I just don't want to freeze.

Any runners out there have any tips? Please? 

So.. even though Sunday sucked... and I was very discouraged.. I am back up.. and pushing through...

This will happen. I will run this.. THE WHOLE WAY... and I will finish... This is IMPORTANT to me... and is a SYMBOL of ALL of my ACCOMPLISHMENTS...

I let it get the best of me Sunday.. But not again... 

You fall, so you know how to PICK YOURSELF BACK UP.

(Side note: I only work 2 days this week, so I am trying to pre-write posts for Wednesday, Turkey Day, and Friday... so you probably won't hear race results until Monday morning... We'll see...)


Friday, November 22, 2013

If I see one more facebook post about..

How wrong it is that people are working on Thanksgiving, and that stores are opening on a "FAMILY HOLIDAY"... I'm going to puke.

Yes. It does suck. I have worked retail... and having to work on a Holiday is NOT fun. Working during the "Yule Tide" Shopping is most definitely not fun.. and Working a Black Friday when 1) you need to grab a few things and you can't because you are stuck at work! and 2) Hate shopping outside of the internet... SUCKS MOST OF ALL.

I agree. It's Sucktastic. 

Now here is where I jump off the bandwagon, and make a couple of new enemies.

Most of the people commenting how wrong this is... Are not retail employees. On Thanksgiving, MOST of these people will be watching the football game from their living room, hanging out with their families, and saying "Oh, but those POOOOOOOOR retail workers" and then after they eat their piece of pumpkin pie.. GO TO THE DAMN STORES AND SHOP

YOU PEOPLE: What is wrong with you?  How are you going to bitch and moan and complain about something that DOESN'T INCLUDE YOU and THEN YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THE REASON IT'S HAPPENING?!?!?! Does it help you to shop on the holiday? Will you say to the employee you buy that *insert hype item* I think it's awful you're working...

Now the people who do have to work the holiday and are complaining... And by complaining I mean, OVER THE TOP BITCHERY ABOUT HOW SUCKY THEIR LIFE IS AND HOW AWFUL THIS IS... 

YOU PEOPLE: 1) This is the job you are supporting yourself with, if the companies practices bother you so much... WALK.. I'm sure there is someone just WAITING AND BEGGING for a job to work. 2) You CHOSE this job... no one made you fill in the application to retail slavery... 3) What about the gas station attendants, grocery store employees, hotel staff, bus drivers, train conductors.... cabbies.... hospitals, police officers, EMTs ..... etc. etc. etc. What about those people? They still work even if the shopping mall is open or closed. JUST SAYING.

I haven't shopped during during the Black Friday Hype EVER. And you know why? Because, back when retail owned me, I worked 3 black Friday's in a row... And people are INSANE. And for the most part, other than Emry, none of the presents that I buy for people... COME from a retail store. I believe in handmade items, from handmade artisans. I believe in shopping local. And, that's why ETSY and our local artisan town (Sugar Loaf, NY) are amazing places. 
 
I have a few friends who are retail, and are kind of.. Ho Hum, yeah, well.. It's a job.. but it sucks nonetheless... This post is not directed at them. These are the people who know that FAMILY and BEING THANKFUL happens every day... that just because they can't celebrate on November 28, that they get to celebrate whenever they aren't working and can correlate plans. Turkey's are in the grocery store all year long... and these people know that a hug from their loved ones... and just getting to be with them.. IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT. 

 If you want to shop.. go shop... That's why they're open.. because people everyone likes a good deal. If you are that brave... GO FOR IT. But, don't be "THAT GUY" who says how wrong it is while giving the Checkout person your credit card. 

If you don't want to shop... still don't bitch about how wrong it is.. It doesn't help that the people are STILL in there WORKING their butts off. Don't waste your energy. 

And...
If this offends you in any way shape of form... leave the comment below... I love a good debate.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Vent over
 

 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I found this sad...

I have a friend, who has been single... for a VERY long time. 

She has been patient, hasn't wavered or compromised her standards... And, is always positive when other people are... excited about things going on in their life.

Well, finally, and at just the right moment, she meets this amazing man... 
She is really happy and excited about these things that are going on...

And I am super happy for her.

During our conversation this statement came up:

ME:
Aw! I'm excited for you! You have this amazing adventure! And, this guy seems amazing... And it's even COOLER that you're going to all these unique places! I am giddy to HEAR about it!  


HER:
Thank you...it's so great to be able to tell somebody this stuff without them getting all...snippy.

I read this and was instantly saddened. 
She isn't one to say something, without their being truth behind it. Thus, someone, she trusted enough to tell about this... Was rude... and probably for jealous reasons, tried to take this happiness away from her. Or jade it in someway. 

I hate that. 

If you knew this person. . . you would know that she is ALWAYS happy for other people... and she really is "Always the bridesmaid and never the bride." 

For her to have this little piece of happiness... this fresh new relationship... and for her to actually let herself delve into it... IS A BIG DEAL.. and anyone who couldn't see that....

Well, isn't a good friend.

Now.. where was I going with this...

OH.. people taking your light.. because they can't make their own.

We all have experienced it... We are over the moon about SOMETHING... ANYTHING... and there's always that ONE person.. that says something, or laughs... Just because... they're jealous. 

They try to demean this amazing new "thing" (relationship, promotion, affirmation, what have you)... because either they:
1) Can't get it
2) Don't want to work as hard
3) Think they deserve it MORE than you do.

So.. instead of being happy for you.. which is the RIGHT thing to do.... they trash it.

It's very immature, It's very ... it's fucking shady. Let's go there.

You should never have people in your life that are trying constantly to bring you down to their darkness. Yes, we all have dark moments, however, we can pull ourselves up... out of it.... 


Now... I give people more chances than they deserve, at least that's what Klay tells me. I have a very forgiving heart.. and I do not know how to write someone off completely. . . . 

But, I think that in this circumstance.. that I would be fully capable of just disassociating with these type of people. 

Why just bring unwanted negativity to your world. 

I can't tell that to my friend though... She, like me, is very forgiving... and has an open heart. 

So... like she probably does for me.. We become the others Cheerleaders... when happiness comes our way... And the shoulder... when the sadness creeps in.

Make sure that you have friends that want you to be the BEST you.
Make sure that you aren't surrounding yourself with people who want to be THE BEST, and BETTER than you. 

That's my thoughts today.... 
 











Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Here's the Skinny: Confessions from a Social Binge Eater - #5 (Don't be afraid to eat Crap)


The below meme is something that I have read, and keep reading. Even though I am at my goal, and have currently been maintaining it for 3 months, I still have a problem when it comes to... indulging. 



As previously discussed, we know that, for me, it's either... I eat very healthy.. or I binge eat. I have been doing much better recently. Not completely checking out... But, I still find that when I do indulge, that I have a problem stopping. 

As the meme says "the cookie won't ruin your month, don't let it ruin your day"... But, what happens when you know that one cookie leads to another one, then the mini sized candy bar, then something salty to counteract all that sweet... etc. etc. etc. 

Then technically it can ruin your day (and your stomach)... But, it really is true, it's never really ruined my month..... Hmmm.....

Anyway, today, was PIZZA TUESDAY. Most of the people in my department chipped in $5 and we each got 2 slices of pizza. We pooled our money together last week, and well, today was the day. 
However, when I woke up this morning, I didn't feel like pizza. Weird right? 2 slices of Pepperoni.. and I just don't want them. So, I packed my lunch anyway... Some yummy Clams and Macaroni, Celery w/ Ginger Dipping Sauce, and an Apple.

When people saw me heating up my lunch, I heard, "And you're eating pizza too?" Judgmental people... they're just wonderful... aren't they? *sarcasm* 

No, I'm not going to eat pizza too. I took my two slices, and I placed them in a ziplock bag, and wrote my name on it. I will either bring it home, or leave it for another lunch. 

Recently, usually on Wednesday (not sure why), I find that I get REALLY hungry. Even more hungry than I am on the weekends... even though, that hunger is more boredom or stress than anything else.. But I digress.... I figure since I am usually FAMISHED on Wednesdays, that I will save one of those slices for then. Maybe it will prevent me from hitting the mini candy bars, or vending machine downstairs. Who knows... It's worth a shot. 

Even after 3 months of maintaining the weight... Going up, and then Going right back down... I'm still afraid to eat Crap... Still afraid of the Binge Eating, that I know I do. . . . and I know that it's super hard (sometimes impossible) for me to control. 

When am I not going to be afraid of food? 
I mean, I love food... so to be also afraid of it... Well, it's kind of like an abusive relationship? You know? 

I am trying very hard to give myself some credit... I am trying very hard to remember that my exercise regimen is here to stay.. and that I can eat a little crud here and there.. because I work out so hard (almost) every day. 

But, maybe I am having a hard time convincing myself, because... maybe deep down I am not certain if that is the truth... Perhaps subconsciously I fear that I will stray from the healthy lifestyle... and go back to being less active... and... Overweight... 

Truth of the matter is.. It is MUCH easier being overweight, than being in shape:
  • When I was overweight, I didn't care what meals I made for the week, I made whatever, with whatever ingredients. I didn't plan. I didn't research healthy swaps. 
  • When I was overweight, I took big portions that made me feel warm and stuffed inside. I didn't measure it out, or try to guesstimate what a serving should be.
  • When I was overweight, I ordered anything I wanted off a menu.. and ate all of it... then dessert... without even thinking... Oh man, do I have to run this off tomorrow. 
  • When I was overweight, I was able to put Emry to bed, and then vegg on the couch without having to do a million things. a) pack my lunch b) prepare a healthy dinner, c) pack my vitamins, d) do some sort of exercise, e) shower to get un-gross after exercise, f) research healthy meals for the next weeks... etc etc. 
  • When I was overweight, we would get crazy take out and eat all of it while watching a movie. 
  • When I was overweight, I could sleep in for an extra hour, and then I could go to work. 

It was just different, and easier... It was easier when I wasn't being self accountable for my lifestyle. 
It was easier when I was turning a blind eye to what I was doing to myself.. and how I was allowing my body to get away from me... I keep finding pictures of me from last year, the year before... I found one from 2009... and well.. let's just say... I was huge. I had rolls everywhere... and I just didn't SEE it. I ignored it... 

However, sometimes taking the easy way is preferred... Sometimes you just need a break.. and you get off track... 

Can I return to being blind? And just forget all the work I've done? Can I just forget all the lessons I've learned and how my mindset has changed?

I don't think so.. but it's still a fear. 

So, because I need to hear this:

DON'T BE AFRAID TO EAT CRAP EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.

Don't let that piece(s) of pizza scare you... It's yummy... Just don't eat it everyday.
That ice cream is sweet and creamy... It goes great with Chocolate covered pretzels.
Indiana Popcorn Company makes delicious Kettle Corn Creations... Don't hide from the free samples in the store!

One day... Will not Kill you.
One day.. will not undo everything you have achieved.

Just be active and accountable. 

And it should all work out... 

Who's with me? 


Any advice for me?