friends

30 Days of New: Day 3

Ok, so I hate “selfies” with a passion, but today requires one:

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New glasses!!!  I wasn’t going to just post a picture of the specs themselves.  What good would that do? 

I don’t wear them everyday, and don’t wear contacts, but they are good for night driving, watching movies, and reading the computer screen.  Again, not an earth shattering “new”, but a new none the less 🙂  Always celebrate an update!

Last night, my wonderful friend Beth and I went for a 3 mile run, and it was awful!  I am still just struggling with my asthma!  It feels like I am running underwater or something and just cannot get my breath.  I have been running for nearly 9 years and yet lately I have felt like this is the first time I have laced up sneakers to hit the pavement.  I have a half marathon in 2 weeks that I am just going to work my way through.  Not planning on any PRs this time.

It was great to just have girl time though.  Beth is one of the greatest people I will probably ever meet in my life.  Smart, beautiful, will always tell it to you straight, but so kind and insightful.  She is the kind of person I feel that I could take any problem to and get great advice, comfort, criticism if needed, but still leave feeling loved, supported, and encouraged.

Beth is actually one of my boyfriend’s best friends.  When we first started dating, he talked about his two best friends, Paul and Beth, who are married, all of the time.  I finally was able to meet them about 2 months after we started dating, and I couldn’t have imagined 2 better people.  Down to earth, welcoming, fun, kind, I loved them instantly.  I have always said that you can tell a lot about a person by their friends, and that night I think was when I fell officially in love with Paul (my Paul, not his best friend Paul). With best friends like that, what could be wrong with the guy?

Seeing him interact with these people who are basically his family (and their adorable 3 year-old son), made me see him in a different light and appreciate him on a deeper level, and now, I consider them like my family too.

I am so blessed to have the people around me that I do.  I don’t know what I have done to deserve them, but I hope it always stays that way 🙂

Happy Hump Day!  Hump responsibly…. 

Happy Monday! Training Starts Today!

Welcome to all of my new followers! I am very excited to have you tag along on my crazy journey that is life, staying healthy, and training for my second marathon!

Today, training officially starts.  An easy 3, but it went from being 60 degrees on Saturday to a blizzard last night, but I am excited for the crisp run tonight.

I had a pretty amazing weekend, spending time with friends and family.  It was one of those weekends when you just sort of get a glimpse of life and what it is all about. 

Friday night we went out for a drink to celebrate the birthday of a close friend.  I was welcomed into a pretty close-knit group of people when I began dating Paul, and I am constantly reminded how lucky we are.  These people quickly went from being “my boyfriend’s friends” to my friends as well.  The women are intelligent, funny, beautiful inside and out, and supportive.  The men are just as wonderful.  I know they aren’t brothers to me, but they would do anything to help or protect any of us if we needed it. I don’t know how I got so blessed to have such amazing people in my life, but I am pretty happy that it has turned out that way.

Saturday, I went to a funeral for one of the dearest, most wonderful men I have ever known.  I didn’t know him very well, and often only saw him once a year, but he was just one of those people.  He was genuine, caring, and lived and loved life to the fullest.  I actually knew him through my aunt.  I have gotten to know her good friend over the years, Karen, who was in a 13 year, committed, loving relationship with Larry (the deceased).  Karen is one of those people who instantly became one of my favorite people upon meeting her.  She is spunky, hilarious, and just beams with energy and joy.  She and Larry were phenomenal together, just a wonderful example of how to love and enjoy life. 

I am not a crier, but I sobbed my way through the service.  It was honest, heart-felt, and beautiful, and Karen was a beacon of strength, smiling through tears, delivering a beautiful eulogy, but still beaming with love and positive energy.  I am so thankful that I was able to meet Larry and have people like Karen in my life as examples of “how it is done”.

Saturday concluded with drinks with a dear friend of mine, Krista, (before I took her to her surprise party 🙂 ).  It was her 30th birthday, so we had some girl time to properly send off her 20’s and kick off her 30’s.  Krista is another amazing person.  She is one of the most genuine, loyal, honest people I know.  She has no agenda, loves you for you, and will tell it to you like it is without any sharp edges at all. It is fun seeing a friend start a new “phase” in their life, not to mention it is  watching them stumble into their living room only to realize that 20 of their nearest and dearest are there ready to scare the shit out of them :).

All in all, a pretty great weekend.  I hope everyone has friends like I do, because at the end of the day, I can’t help but think that that is really what it is all about. 

Possibly one of the greatest days every?

Saturday was just an amazingly awesome day.  From start to finish, one of the greatest days of my life.

I woke up to meet one of my best friends in the whole world for coffee.  I walked from my Delaware and Magnificent Mile hotel location up to the Gold Coast, past amazing churches, posh window shopping, and great people watching.  I love this part of Chicago (ok, I really love pretty much all of Chicago, but downtown there has such a great feel to it).

I can never not have a great time with my friend Liz.  She is one of those friends that you can’t help but just feel blessed to have in your life.  She is smart, accomplished, caring, compassionate, extremely funny, and just wonderful.  We talked about life, work, friends, me getting engaged sometime in the future, to which she offered some great advice, “Try on rings.  What you think you like, you may hate.”  I then got the brilliant idea to go ring shopping with her, and she replied, “Well, I think Harry Winston is across the street,” glancing at our pajama inspired outfits, “do you think they’d let us in?”.  

After leaving Liz, Paul and I decided to head out to Wicker Park for some shopping/exploring/drinking.  He loves Wicker Park, and this was my first time really spending time there.  We started off at “Small Bar”, which was just that, but had a great atmosphere, and was playing the Manchester United soccer game… what could be better!?  The bar was packed with hardcore soccer fans, our waiter was super cool, we had a few amazing beers, and just chatted.  It only took 2 beers to get me good and buzzed, and to start talking about how much I missed our cat (not that I favor my cat over my dog, but I had had a dream the night before that she died, so she was on my mind)…after about 15 minutes of that, Paul decided it was time to distract me with some shopping/wandering.

One thing I noticed about Wicker Park was that there were dogs EVERYWHERE! Might this need to be where I live when I finally move to Chicago? We walked passed a dog park (THE Wicker Park on Damen, where I continued to freak out about how many dogs there were, and of course wanted to pet them all), and then we found ourselves on Milwaukee Ave. just as it started to snow.  Now it must be noted that all day we kept commenting on how warm it was (by Mid-West standards), yet, as we approached Milwaukee Ave., it started to snow; that beautiful, fat, fluffy, romantic snow.  I was in heaven! 

As we were heading back to Division for more beverages/food, groups of people on the corner had a huge sign that said “Free Hugs”, and were just giving out hugs to strangers.  OF COURSE I HUGGED A STRANGER!  I was in a giddy mood already, and this just sent me even further into giggle fits of joy (yes, I am a child)!

We then proceeded to have more drinks at “FatPour”, then crossed the street to “Jerry’s” where we were joined by my other best friend, Julie, for more amazing beer, the best sandwich I have ever had in my life, and the coolest bartender who was serving us (also a Michigander whose parents live right around the corner from mine in Ann Arbor). I believe I gave him my business card so we could be invited to his wedding… but after splitting beers with your bartender, that just feels like that next organic step, right? 

Hours later, after dinner, we enjoyed drinks at this great bar in the Gold Coast called “The Lodge”, with Liz and her husband.  Such a cool little spot, not too big, hole in the wall type feel.  I felt like we could have literally just come in off of the slopes, but again, the company was second to none.

Then, Paul and I walked back to our hotel along Michigan Ave., sandwiched between Christmas lights to our right and Lake Michigan to our left.

I am madly in love with Chicago.  I love everything about it, but being there and getting to see my best friends who I love so dearly, and walking the streets with Paul, who I am even more madly in love with, just made this such a great day.

It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy, ex: fluffy snow falling, a hug from a stranger, or the sightings of happy puppies all over the neighborhood.  This day was just jam packed with nothing but good things, and I loved every second of it (ok, except maybe when we stopped at CVS for some liquor and I drunkenly dropped a bottle of Malibu, shattering it all over the floor and slicing my finger open while trying to pick it up… blood and booze everywhere.  BUT I was laughing, and it is something I am sure I will never forget).

Cheers, with carpet booze, to great days with fabulous people in amazing cities! 

And time spend with my favorite man 🙂

Hello, Monday

I am just sitting here thinking that I am a ridiculously blessed person. 

I spend a lot of time focusing on the fact that I am not exactly where I want to be in life and I am not at all sure where my life is going.  Despite all that, though, where I AM at is a pretty great place.

I have AMAZING friends, a job I feel passionate about, the greatest pets ever, and I go to bed every night and wake up every morning next to my best friend, who I can’t tell enough how in love with him I am.

In the grand scheme of things, I have to keep in mind that things are not all that bad.

The rest will follow eventually.

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It’s my birthday weekend!

I love birthdays, whether it be my own or someone else’s.  I think everyone’s birthday should be a big deal.  A great day to tell and be told, “I’m glad you were born”. 

I am so blessed because my birthdays have always been days when I am reminded how great my friends are and how loved I am.  This year is no exception.

My best friend is coming in from Chicago tonight to spend the weekend with me.  She has NEVER missed a birthday in the almost decade that I have known her, no matter where she is at in life.  I am so not worthy of her love 🙂

So, this will be me this weekend:

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Fat.  Sassy.  Relaxing…. except for that 10 mile run on Sunday.

Speaking of running, it has only been 2 weeks, so I guess I can update about the half marathon I ran over Memorial Day;  It went much better than I expected it to.  I ran the first half in record time, but slowed down in the last few miles, so my time wasn’t awesome, but it gives me a goal for the next one… which is a week from Sunday.

But, until then, I shall enjoy my time with my amazing friends, and be thinking about my amazing friends who can’t be here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

(Mint chocolate chip ice cream cake…only the best cake in the world)

Possibly one of the strangest days of my life

So back to my exciting weekend: Saturday was a trip! And by trip, I mean a visit into realities that are so far from my own.

I hope any reader out there picked up on the warning that I will pretty much talk about anything and everything in this blog, and this entry will just be one of those extra special glimpses into my life.

I started my day with a trip to my home town to attend the baby shower of one of my oldest friends.  I have known Karen since middle school and can still remember the first day I met her, laughing at our goofy teacher in computer class.  We always had the greatest time together, becoming inseparable and even leaving the public school system together to attend a parochial high school that my brother went to.

I had the privilege of standing up in her wedding two years ago, and after more than 6 months of trying, she and her husband finally got pregnant with their first child.  I couldn’t be happier or more excited for her.  

She and her husband moved to Philadelphia almost a year ago now, so when I got the invite to her Michigan based shower, I was ecstatic (no girl should go a year without seeing one of her best friends).  It wasn’t until I was driving there that I had to remind myself that this wouldn’t be our usual, careless hang out and catch up session… it was a baby shower, one of the most awkward things for a single girl like me who has no children and cannot picture them in her foreseeable future.  To me, any midday, non-work related social gathering that occurs on a Saturday or Sunday that doesn’t include alcohol is way out of my comfort zone.  A baby shower falls under this category.  After all, I was the friend at the shower that still had sharpied numbers on my hand from the bar the night before.

Note that I am not a huge drinker, but again, as a single twentysomething, alcohol is usually a mainstay at any event.  My parting text before leaving to my heterosexual soul mate was, “there will probably be balloons and no wine” (I HATE balloons…it is my weird phobia).

Excitement was restored when I arrived and was able to sit with 3 beautiful classmates of mine from high school.  It was so great to see these familiar faces, but I soon felt like I had sat down at a Russian only speaking math convention (not speaking a lick of Russian and being terrible at math).  All 3 of them being mothers to 1 if not 2 beautiful  children, the conversation naturally turned to breast feeding, breaking water, bed times, upcoming recitals and the highs and lows of motherhood and marriage.  

Natalie, an amazing woman who I was very close with in high school, kept looking at me and laughing because I clearly looked lost and out of place.  It was so strange that I graduated with these women, am the same age as them, but felt like I was from a completely different planet.  I had nothing to add about “which city was THE best for young families to build houses” or “whether a child should sleep in your bed or not”.  How does a person our age even afford to build a house?  I can hardly build up a canned goods collection in my cupboards. 

“Which gift is yours?”  I was asked by a woman sitting at our table, as she nodded toward the table loaded full of presents.  ”The one that’s not wrapped” I said, shoveling cake into my mouth, my stuffed lamb sat staring back at us, perched on top of the children’s book, just screaming, “bought by the single, non-mommy”… typical I suppose.

All in all, it was so great to see my friends and the beautiful women they have grown into, but it was good to come home to my bachelorette pad and a life I can relate to… well, I was safe for a few hours anyway.

That night, I had a the unique opportunity to see 2 of my co-workers and a good friend of mine compete in a figure show.  Never having been to a figure show, I had no idea what to expect.  I thought I had a vague idea, but it’s like that saying from the old MTV show “The Diary Of…” that said “You think you know, but you have no idea”.

The show was kicked off (25 minutes late) by a woman belly dancing while balancing a sword on her head, bending and twisting, and humping the air from a kneeling position.  I am pretty sure she was cross-eyed.  I wasn’t sure at this point what I had gotten myself into.  She was followed by another guest “poser” who was a short man in his 50’s wearing a dog collar and a leather thong with studded fringe hanging daringly over his butt, which he repeatedly turned and shook at the crowd.  He was dancing so hard I thought his dog collar was going to pop off.  I give them both major credit though, because they owned their performances and had clearly put a lot of work into their physiques… I just wasn’t prepared.

The show continued onto the women’s competition, and again, a world of credit is given to these women because they looked amazing, but dear God, I am pretty sure I was born in more fabric than these women were wearing.  I wanted to pop fresh bottles of Tylenol to use the cotton to string together a bigger outfit for them.  They would walk out, pose, then pivot to face the back of the stage in order to stick out their butts to show off their hamstrings.  At one point, there were 6 perfect asses just staring at me.  Had my boyfriend been there, I would have shot myself… I don’t need him knowing that asses like that actually exist in the greater Lansing area.  I like to thinks he believes that all asses look like they have taken fire from a meteor shower.

It honestly felt like a horse auction.  Contestants would stand up there and people would shout for their favorite.  I kept waiting for someone to yell, “$100 on number 3!”.  Again, though, it is a tough sport requiring a perfect diet and hours of dedication in the gym.  God bless em.  I couldn’t help but feel that I could have saved my $25 and felt like shit about myself at home.  Not to mention the fact that the MC kept announcing the “winner of the 2002…”, he didn’t get the memo that it was 2012.  Poor guy was either nervous or high. 

It was so worth it though to see my friends up there.  All of their time at the gym, struggling through the bland diet and sacrifice of any sort of social life paying off as people screamed for them on stage.  It was so motivating to see these people (as crazy as it was) showing off the product of their hard work.  It made me think twice about the drinks I was order that night to recover from the ocular rape that was the belly dancer and thong shaker. 

So, for now, I have had a sneak peak at mother hood and body building, and though motivating and fascinating, neither are for me at this particular juncture in life, but I have learned to never say never, so I wont cross them off of the list of possibilities.