husky

Some nights you just need a glass (bottle) of wine

As the snow has weighed down most of the nation, I feel like the stress of work has weighed me down.  Our generous vacation of nearly 3 weeks was wonderful to recharge and reset for the New Year, but 3 days in and I am starting to feel it already!

I love my job.  I love that I am working on 100 different projects at one time, 4 or 5 “departments” that need me at once, new ideas coming to the surface, not to mention day-to-day tasks and the unknown always popping up in my inbox and flying across my desk. But sometimes at the end of the day, you just need a glass of wine to recharge for the next day.

It has been a fabulous 2014 thus far, and I am excited to say that it will be an amazing year.  I was accepted to grad school and will be moving to Chicago to pursue my Masters this summer!

2014 is going to be the year to cross things off of my bucket list. I already have 3 ready to go. 1. Move out of Michigan 2. Move to a large city (my favorite none the less) 3. Pursue my Masters.

I love the New Year.  I love the thought of a fresh start and a clean slate.  Any day can be a clean slate, but for me, nothing gives hope like starting off the year on the right foot.

What are you all hoping to do or accomplish in the New Year?

Here are a few pics from my holiday and 2014 adventures thus far!

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A shot after the ice storm in downtown East Lansing

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Our New Year was spent celebrating the birthday of the 2 goldens in the back. It was such a great time with some of my dearest friends. (Look at the handsome ones in the middle)

We headed to Chicago for a work event and walked past our future apartment (we hope), and this could be my front door!!

We headed to Chicago for a work event and walked past our future apartment (we hope), and this could be my front door!!

My future Starbucks. How cute is that?

My future Starbucks. How cute is that?

We headed up to Winnetka/Glencoe to visit a great friend of ours. CUTEST villages I have ever seen.

We headed up to Winnetka/Glencoe to visit a great friend of ours. CUTEST villages I have ever seen.

Winnetka

Winnetka

My handsome snow bear right after our massive snow storm.

My handsome snow bear right after our massive snow storm.

Happy New Year to all!

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It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

It has been a snowy few weeks here in Mid-Michigan, and the temps have been sub-zero for a number of days. So imagine the joy and surprise of the people when it hit a balmy 40 degrees yesterday.

Annually, whenever the temperature dips below 50 degrees for the first time in “winter”, I sternly declare, “Michigan is too cold! I will never survive another winter!”… yet any Michigander will tell you that in the depths of winter, if the temp rises anywhere near 35 degrees or higher, you mine as well declare it a heat wave.

Enter this gentleman:

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I get it, it’s 37 degrees out and feels like spring break, but sir, this is just inappropriate.

Luckily for my Christmas loving significant other, the balmy weather did not melt all of our snow.  There was still plenty left over for us to make a snow man, an activity I have not partaken in for years!

Making a snow man is harder than it looks!  Snow is heavy, and molding a perfect or even presentable “ball” of snow is damn near impossible.  Alas, after a few failed lifts to give him a mid-section, a number of facial reconstructive surgeries to take him from looking like a bunny to the predator then ET, we finally sort of made a lawn ornament we can be proud of:

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Spartan pride and Detroit represented

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It is kind of hard to tell, but he is smiling

And the puppy helped of course:

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He’s so handsome!

Then, we retreated to our living room to sit by the Christmas tree and drink home-made Baileys, compliments of our dear friends. (We didn’t actually just sit by the tree, mind you. You just burned through our DVR then ended up watching Wheel of Fortune.  I know what you are thinking; we are one hot couple).

At this point in the story I need to tell you about what has been haunting me this Christmas.  A little, professionally wrapped box that was placed in my stocking.  Any girl will probably know what I am referring to when I say “a little box”. Oh yeah, that kind of box:

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Paul put this in my stocking about 2 weeks ago, and I am convinced it has been just to mess with my head.  He is NOT a Christmas engagement person; it is just not his style, but a girl (especially me) just has to wonder.

I have been bugging him since the first present went under our tree to start opening them.  I am a child, I just don’t wait well.  Finally, last night, whilst watching Wheel of Fortune, Paul says that I can open one gift.  I completely froze.  He had this ethereal, loving, can’t-live-without-you, could-never-love-anyone-more, how-are-you-mine? look on his face.  

Was this it? Was he thinking that it had been such a great night that it would be the perfect moment to propose? 

My heart started racing. Beads of sweat started to form on my nose. It was as if my parents had just caught me drinking and I was trying to hide the fact that I was drunk… Play it cool, just play it cool.

“Which one?” I ask… totally normal and level-toned I’m sure.

“The little one in your stocking.”

I sort of turned down the TV thinking, “I don’t want to be a brat about it, but are Pat Sajak and Vanna White going to be the witnesses to my engagement?”  Don’t get me wrong, I would say yes to him any where, but part of me just felt like the situation was off… or maybe it was just the heaviness of the situation.  I have never dealt with this kind of thing before.  Was this the moment that I was going to be telling people about for the rest of my life? The moment I would call all of my friends about and have to repeat over and over in the coming months? Was I about to throw up? Did I look at all calm and unsuspecting?

“Steph, it is not an engagement ring, this is not Paul’s style”… I kept reassuring myself as I took the 6 foot walk from the couch to my stocking where the little box was resting.

“I’m in pajamas… I really wanted to be in a cute outfit…. Christ that could not matter less” I can argue a lot in my head in 6 feet.

I finally pull it out and make my way back to the couch when Paul says, “I really wanted to get this for you last year, so I am so happy I can give it to you this year.”

Female over-analyze activated: What the f**k does that mean?… Just open the present you weirdo. But my hands are sort of trembling (sort of = a lot), and I still can’t really breath.  Would it be wrong to hit my inhaler real quick? As if that wouldn’t be a give away that I wasn’t completely emotionally collected.

Slowly tearing through the gold paper, I unveil a beautiful little white box with a very reassuring and fabulous little word embossed in the top of it: Pandora. All levels returned to normal, breathing again was possible. 

All was clear, all was safe; it was a beautiful Michigan State Pandora bead for me to put on my ever naked yet daily worn Pandora bracelet.

I couldn’t love it more.  Sorry, Pat and Vanna, you will not be witness to my engagement 🙂

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It’s so perfect!!!!! He wanted me to have extra Spartan pride before the Rose Bowl game.

 

P.S Congrats, Paul, you officially made me squirm and I know you loved it.

The Rebuild

One of the greatest facets to taking a break from running is starting back up again. 

Those first few steps during your first official “training” run, or rebuilding your base run, feel so light and easy (for me at least).  Then you hit the wall of “OMG, I have lost all of my conditioning”, only to be soon followed by the victories of every longer run from there on out.  

Sometimes, I can’t help but see the parallelisms between running and life.  I love running because each run is an opportunity for victory (or defeat).  The outcome is more dependent on my attitude about it rather than the actual run itself, kind of how you can treat your day.  

Each new day offers an opportunity for victory or defeat. Whether you are conquering that pile of laundry, getting a promotion or bombing a presentation. Whatever it is, YOU decide whether you rocked your day or failed at it, and your attitude, not the checks marks on your to-do list, can determine that.

I don’t know how we just went from running to my soap box of positive thinking, but there you have it. I guess what I set out to say was that my efforts to get my base back and prep for a spring marathon are working 🙂

I hope everyone is having a very happy holiday season so far! I know this guy is:

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He’s so mad!

Vacation Recap: 2 weeks late

Hi Strangers!

It has been a busy few weeks for me, meeting new people, traveling, vacation, working out, all the good stuff 🙂  I hope everyone has been well and enjoying their summer!  Michigan sue got hot quick…. I am sweating in a few inexplicable places…

Anywho, every year, I spend a week at my favorite place in the world, the place I consider home; my cottage.  It is not actually “my” cottage, but it is where I spent nearly every summertime moment of my childhood, it was my mom’s favorite place on the planet, and is mine as well.  

So, on June 29th, I headed to the great north, which for me, looks like this: 

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Who wouldn’t go on vacation with their dog AND your cat?

Then, my trusty co-pilot stepped up to monitor the 4.5 hour drive:

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You can almost hear him saying, “hands on 10 and 2″… thanks, dad.

Once we arrived, it was pure bliss.  I burned through 4 books in about 2 days, enjoyed indescribable sunsets, ran, swam, put my brother’s girlfriend through a few nasty workouts, hiked, hung out with the puppy, watched the cat turn from a timid, scared thing into a pseudo jungle cat, met a few great people, caught up with old friends, and just enjoyed life.

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Sunset on the first night. Simply amazing!

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The New Presque Isle lighthouse

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Sunset on night #4 before we started a bonfire.

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At puppy’s favorite beach

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Where we found this in the water!!! How cool is that? Love truly is all around us 🙂

ImageOne of my mom’s best friends lives up in Presque Isle, so we try to have dinner with her once whenever we are up there.  This year, she pulled out her wedding album.  My whole family was in the wedding party, and this is probably one of my favorite family photos ever!

 

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Last sunset of the week 😦

It was just a really great time.  And the good news is; I get to go back at the end of August and finally take Paul too my favorite place ever!  I can promise more photos then 🙂

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Creeper, on the way home, just sticking her face out to meow at me.

 

I hope everyone had a very happy 4th of July!