Over Committed

I came to the realization yesterday that I am stretched WAY too thin.
With my Glass City Marathon Ambassador program, working (more than) full-time, my home life, medical issues and serving on the Girls on the Run Board, I know that I am not giving my full attention to everything that I want to be a part of. So, yesterday I made the extremely hard decision to remove myself from the Girls on the Run Board. I hated doing it and I wish I didn’t have to, but having just a small part of my free time back does put me at ease. We are heading into bowl game season, which means my time is even less of my own. We have five possible MAC Conference bowl games to go to, and there could always be the option of one of the other 20+ bowl games. I won’t know how my December shapes up until November 28-to know if I work on December 5 at the MAC Championship game, and then on December 7-to know which bowl game we attend. Unfortunately, I had to un-over-commit myself. Especially with the medical issues I am experiencing, I just feel so stressed.

I would love to run some of my favorite late fall races, but I am not sure if I am going to have the time. I don’t know why this year feels so over the top stressful and busy to me, when I had most of the same activities going on last year. I guess I’ll blame it on my being a year older. I have even stopped eating right and lifting, not to mention that I have all but stopped running. I feel so out of touch with myself and I need to find my way back to my ‘normal.’

As I work on finding my balance again, here is some Friday inspiration for myself.

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Random Pictures Edition

I know that I’ve said it 100334 times in the past few months, but holy busy. I can’t find the time (or I am really struggling to make the time) for certain things in my life. Blogging being one of them. Luckily, after this weekend, my craziness settles down!

A few weeks ago the microwave started giving off an electrical/burning smell. Naturally we watched and waited for it to die. And it never died and never smelled like that again. Other than being a place for our toaster oven to live, it is an integral piece of kitchen equipment. I got to thinking, and this microwave is over 16 years old. I am probably jinxing myself by putting this out there, but 16 is a long time, right?

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I was digging through my night stand and found my grandma’s old bible. She has passed away, but I found this picture inside of it. My grandma is on the left, looking quite fetching if I do say so. This was most likely taken in the 1930’s. Isn’t it amazing how fashion changes?
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I was in New York City last week for work and my hotel room had the most amazing view. I looked directly down on Times Square. I was pretty impressed. Thankfully the hotel is smart enough to know just how bright Times Square is and had black out shades for the windows.
2014-11-06 21.18.54And just to close out on a cute note, here is my Bo. He was excited when I came home from my business travel last weekend and didn’t let me out of his sight all weekend. I caught this cute face when he was napping on me.
2014-11-02 17.17.59-1How old is your microwave? 16 is crazy old if you ask me. I am so scared it is going to die now that I said this out loud…

 

Washington, D.C.

I was in DC last weekend for about 24 hours for work.
I held an event for the alumni in the area to enjoy some Toledo-area foods and meet the president of the University.
While I was there I made my first ever visit to Trader Joe’s. First. Ever. And now that I know how EPIC it is, I will be going there a lot more. Why have I never been before? Because the closest one is over 45 minutes away.
I made some space in my suitcase to haul some goods home!
From my TJ takeaway my favorite thing I brought home is:
2014-09-28 09.23.28-1I bought one container on Saturday night. I tasted them and then went back Sunday morning and bought two more. Yup, two more. They are that epic. And now that I know what I am missing out on in life, we’ll be heading to Trader Joe’s a lot.

I planned on a two-mile run while I was in DC. I knew the Potomac River was very close to my hotel and I thought the weather would be great for a quick run. I found that there was a path that curved along the water and holy geez was it beautiful!
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2014-09-28 08.44.41 HDR-1I ran through these small patches of forest that made the run so much easier. At one point, the path cut next to a building and over the water on a tiny bridge. Beautiful how it blends in with the curve of the building and land.

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There was so much to look at and take in that when I looked down to see where my mileage was, I had already run 2.3 miles. Oops. I wanted to run 2 TOTAL. Since that wasn’t an option anymore, I turned around and ran to Trader Joe’s for my Smore’s shopping trip. I made my purchase and ran the 1/2 mile back to the hotel. Yes, I ran to the hotel with a plastic bag full of Smore’s. I see the fun in this.
There were squirrels everywhere smashing these Osage Orange’s (Monkey Ball). This guy was so into eating that he didn’t care that I was only a few feet away from him.2014-09-27 18.27.59

From the path I ran on I could see the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building. I didn’t get the monument in a picture, but here is the Capitol Building.
2014-09-28 08.57.48And other than my event at my hotel, I didn’t do anything noteworthy while in DC.
I did have a complete runners-high the whole day Sunday, after my accidental 4-mile run. Running 2 miles more than I meant to did show me that I still have what it takes to run and when I got home I signed up for a 10K happening October 12. I really hope that my running mojo continues!

Running & Bikini Competition Updates

Long time, right? Not only have I been busy with work, my personal life has been busy too. I’ve been absent for a few weeks really, so I’ll give a few updates.

I am 9 weeks out from my first bikini competition! I am loving seeing the changes in my body and feeling better about myself because of it. I am currently narrowing down the color/style of my suit and working on my posing. This is such a terrifying and exhilarating thing to go through and take part in. Bodybuilding shows judge you based on how you look. Not your education, job or really even personality. It is based on how you have crafted your body to look and if it fits within the guidelines for the competition you entered. Bikini competitors are indeed bodybuilders, they just compete in a different section of the sport. Here is my coach, Ashley Leahy, looking amazing.

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I am also choosing colors for my posing suit. I have narrowed it down to these three:
Royal Blue Sequin, Navy/Turquoise Sequin and Peony/Fuchsia Sequin. I need to remember that I’ll have a dark spray tan and take that into consideration when I pick a color. I am 99% sure I know which color I am going to pick…

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I am temporarily banned from running. Seriously. I have had some lung issues over the past few weeks and sometimes there mere act of talking makes me winded, let alone running. Which is disappointing because that puts me out of the Pemberville 5-Miler this Friday with Emily and Carah, and that also puts me out of the Boy Scout Half Marathon on August 30. Being told you can’t do an activity makes you want to do it that much more.

As of yesterday morning I have lost 36 pounds since August 2012. This boils down to an average of 1.5 pounds per month. And actually I have lost the past 10 pounds since the middle of May. I am so proud of my loss and this is a large part of my feeling comfortable in competing in a bikini competition. The downside to this being that none of my pants or shorts fit. They are all inches too big and other than wearing a belt with everything (I hate belts with a passion) I can get them altered or slowly rebuild my wardrobe.

These are the major occurrences in my life right now. Nothing too flashy, but they, mixed with work, have kept me extremely busy.
What is new with you that I have probably missed?

January Snowpacolypse & Frozen Pipes

I’m sure by now that you have heard about, or are living through, the huge winter storm that has been lingering in the Midwest. We received 10″ of snow on Sunday and then the temperatures started to drop that night. And they have continued to drop ever since. Here is a look at the weather right now. Outside temp is -11*F and the wind chill (real feel) temp is -39*F. Cold, right? The coldest wind chill we have experienced is closer to -50*F, but when it gets into the negatives can you tell a difference in 10*?2014-01-07 09.17.49Jeff and I went to lunch on Saturday and decided a quick trip to the grocery store was in order if we were going to live through this storm. Naturally, we only picked up the essentials.

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Our downfall was mentioning our horde of essentials on facebook because we soon after had a sneak snow ball attack! Our neighbors pelted our front windows and outer door with snow balls, trying to take our skittles. But our barricades held strong. The skittles were safe.

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Driving was not suggested, as you can imagine. The roads were slick and the visibility was lessening with every hour.

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On Sunday our front door had taken fall to a huge snow drift. This was around 4’5″ tall, blocking the front door. It was especially fun to dig out….everyone LOVES to spend their days digging through large snow drifts. Jeff and I tried to be as prepared as we could be. We went outside and shoveled/snow-blowed (snow-blew?) three times on Sunday, so we could keep on top of the snow. And, luckily, it worked! We never had more than 3″ in the driveway and thankfully, it was a very light and powdery snow that wasn’t heavy to move out of the way. Yesterday and today we have been on a Level 3 Snow Emergency. In a nutshell this means you don’t drive unless 100% necessary. If you are hospital personnel – you drive. If you are a plow driver – you drive. If you are a Realtor or a University employee – you keep your ass at home and don’t drive. So, Jeff and I have had a few snow days! Today the Level 3 is still there, so we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon it seems.

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One of the things you learn pretty early on living somewhere that the winters reach sub-zero temps, is that you never want your pipes to freeze. Never. They can freeze and then burst, creating a massive headache of broken pipes and water, water everywhere. Some of the things you can do to prevent this are to leave your cabinet doors open under sinks-to let the warm air circulate, you also should leave your faucets on a slow, steady drip-moving water doesn’t freeze so this will prevent freezing. Now, where I ran into trouble last night is with the washing machine. The pipes are on an outside wall (call to danger for frozen pipes!) and I thought that I was keeping up on running the washer often enough that the pipes wouldn’t freeze. Then, there was the time that I forgot to run the washer. Really, I did have an alarm go off to remind me, then I accidentally forgot about it. The washing machine pipe hadn’t had water running through it in about 12 hours. And in mega negative temperatures, this was a huge fuck up.

When I tested the washer there was no water movement. I went into the crawl space and felt the pipes and couldn’t find anywhere that it felt frozen, everything was cool-but no more than it should be, given the outside temperatures. Even though I didn’t find anything frigid, I still sat in the crawl for over an hour trying to warm up the pipes with my hair-dryer. Yes, I was sitting on the uneven dirt in my spider and dead bug infested crawl space with a hair-dryer on a pipe. The water still didn’t run to the washer.

I gave up. I got angry. I got pissed. I got sad that the pipe may burst. Then I remembered that there is a huge hole in the drywall that we inherited when we bought the house and it had direct access to the pipes to the washer. I removed the insulated and I found the frigid and frozen pipes! Not that I wanted to find frozen pipes, but at least I knew where the issue was. I sat and blew the warm air on the pipes.

2014-01-06 21.35.45I did that for over 40 minutes, on a few different parts of this pipe, with no water flow. OMG. So I took another break to freak out and cry that I had let this happen. Then I gave it one more go and I sat there and listened to my ipod and tried to forget this had happened for a minute when I heard it. RUNNING WATER. Thank goodness, the water had thawed in the pipe and was flowing into the washer!

I listened as the entire cycle ran its course and I waited for the moment to hear the water flow into the drain. This was the next pipe that I had prayed had not frozen. The washing machine drain pipe froze last January and that was hellish enough. The drain pipe worked and everything was happy from there on our.

I disconnected the washing machine water line and put them on a steady drip into the machine to keep the pipe from freezing.
Now, with three faucets downstairs on a steady drip this had made the restroom stops more frequent for sure.

Holy hell. Have you had any issues with the cold?
Have you ever had pipes freeze?

Amazing Accomplishments

Now that my head doesn’t feel like a helium balloon being whipped around by the wind, I think I have control over my thoughts again. I hate being sick, as does everyone, I’m sure. Things tend to hit me fast and take me down pretty quickly. I am still feeling bad, but better compared to yesterday. I got home from work, situated the dog, and then crawled into bed at 5:30 pm and didn’t get up again until 6:30 am. Sure, I got up to let the dog out, but I generally stayed in bed the entire night. I think all of that rest helped with part of my sluggishness.

Homecoming

Over the weekend the U I work for celebrated Homecoming. It is a crazy time where we work a lot, but get a lot of satisfaction out of it. I was in charge of the Marching Band Reunion this year and I had over 150 band alumni come back to campus for a day full of activities. We had a great turnout, despite the rain that started exactly when the parade did. I got a little run down working 26 hours in two days. Hence, the sicky.

Best part of Homecoming weekend is the the U alumni whom I met. I met Bill Yosses. Who? Well, he is the Executive Pastry Chef at The White House. Yes, THE White House. His boss is basically Michelle Obama. Pretty awesome, right!??

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The Ambassador from Azerbaijan was also there. The woman who was on the team that invented Celebrex, too. There are a lot of people who have done amazing things who all graduated from the U where I work. Makes me feel like my life is pretty insignificant when it comes to amazing accomplishments.
My most amazing accomplishments so far include: not having had a speeding ticket ever, never having lost my cell phone, being awesome at binge watching television shows on Netflix, running a marathon, and having had over nine surgeries in my lifetime. Totally jealous, right? I have dome some awesome things.

Have you ever met anyone famous? Or semi-famous?

Throwing on the Wheel.

This past weekend was busy. Terribly, terribly busy. After working a typical 40 hour work week, I worked an additional 20 hours over the weekend for our annual art show that my office puts on. We get a slew of people from the community to attend and most of our artists sell out of their products during the show. I am on site the day of the show from 5 am until 7 pm and there are quite a few boring hours in that mix. Not boring, but full of walking and walking and walking to make sure that everyone is having a good time.
Right around boring o’clock I received some cryptic texts from Jeff…like he was at the art show. After I scouted him out I was beyond thrilled that he had come at the perfect time to break up my day! We walked around with the kids and Jeff’s mom and perused all of the artists, we had to stop at the hands-on booth though, where they were throwing on the potter’s wheel. These were University students who were majoring in art, and they let the children at the show help…
2013-07-28 13.13.42 2013-07-28 13.17.20 2013-07-28 13.18.06The kids had a blast trying out something new and getting to help make their first pot!
I had a semester long pottery class in high school and we did a lot of wheel work and all of my pots were pitiful looking. The one that I did keep and fire and glaze is especially sad and lopsided, but it is mine and I will probably keep it forever. You know, just as a reminder to my half-assed attempt at being an artist.