where did I go?!

29 Jan

This isn’t a question I think you are asking… more a question I’m asking myself.  Where have I been the last two months?!  I’m not even sure I know the answer.  I miss my blog and the urge to write is making my fingers itch.  So back in the proverbial saddle.  I feel a bit rusty though…

A brief rundown of my what I’ve been doing:

1. The holidays.  I headed back to WA like I do every year.  This was different since it was essentially a “Very Brady Christmas”.  My sister in law and brother in law came from Paris, and these were simply two of the folks joining in on the festivities – there were many others.  I will be honest, I was slightly apprehensive.  It all seemed so BUSY.  Of course, I worried needlessly.  It was an amazing visit.  I will write a full post because my family deserves more than a paragraph in a recap.

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family

2. I greeted the new year with sickness.  I’m thinking this is my new thing.  For the last few years, I’ve come back to MI and within a few days, come down with an ailment.  Planes man… they are flying germ buckets.  I then proceeded to pass along my troubled immune system to office mate.  He has had his revenge though because now he is getting sick AGAIN and I am about a day or two behind him.  The little virus critters are taking hold.  We are passing disease back and forth and I am lysol-ing the entire office.  We share the same phone and same bin of pens.  We are a biology experiment gone wrong (or gone right depending on which tests you are running).

3. Job searching, resume writing and new career finding.  This is definitely one of the biggest changes I’m currently undertaking.  I’ve known for a while this was the direction I was headed but now I’m actually making some progress.  Back to the great Pacific Northwest for me and it includes a career shift.  I’ll miss higher ed but I’m eagerly anticipating a different challenge.  The cross country move, while necessary, is some scary business though!

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4. Work.  Work always seems busy for anyone and everyone I know.

5. Actually cooking!  I have a post that is mostly written on this and I’ve been impressed with myself.  I realized it’s been some time since I was cooking meals and it was having a detrimental effect on my overall eating habits.  A blueberry muffin, blueberries and skinny pop are not the best dinner combination.  I wouldn’t say I committed to cooking dinner, rather I did it one night and then kept going from there.

Tatertot-copy

I love this dancing tater tot

6. I’m working on talking my sister and brother into doing a sibling 1/2 marathon.  I am slowly convincing them of what an amazing idea this is!  It means I need to get a move on with getting back into shape.  My current shape is more blob-like.  And I have no muscles to speak of.

7. Lastly, I’m still eating ice like mad.  I was doing pretty well with taking some iron pills and then I forgot them over break.  I’ve been a bit of a failure with reincorporating them into my med routine.  This weekend – I’m going to fix this.  I’m going through oh so many cupfuls!

giphy

this is me

An invigorating post, eh?  Really, I needed to finally hit “post” – side note, whenever I say this word, I can hear my Michigan accent.  Very strange.  Happy weekend!

inner thoughts

2 Dec this was on the ground - ice just WASTED.  shameful

I couldn’t decide on a title for this because it really is going to be a bunch of rambling – that probably should be the title.  The following things have been rattling around my brain for the last few days and I need an outlet.  Lucky you!  Of course it’s in list form, silly goose!

1. People who say you either shouldn’t or can’t eat a whole pie by yourself clearly lack ambition.  Trust me.  I am ambitious.  I really don’t know why I don’t make pumpkin pie more often – I love it.  Maybe it has to do with my ambitious nature.

2. Super thankful for my little ice machine.  My normal supplier was closed up for the holiday weekend but “babycakes” (as I affectionately nicknamed her – stolen from Spike, see below) did a great job.  Multiple cupfuls of ice were consumed.

this was on the ground - ice just WASTED. shameful

someone left this was on the ground – ice just WASTED. shameful

3. I had big plans on being productive during this past minibreak.  I wasn’t.  Unless you count powering through a couple of seasons of Flashpoint, which I doubt I should.  TeamSpike forever.

look how cute he is!

4. Have you ever watched so many episodes of a tv show that you get really into the characters?  Seriously, I had to remind myself “these people ARE NOT real!”  Maybe I should have talked to more actual humans…

5. I did not go black friday shopping this year.  I’ve done it for YEARS – back in the day when I was home for Thanksgiving break during college and my mom would drag me out of bed to run through walmart picking up presents for the little cousins and family.  While I kind of felt like I abandoned a tradition, I didn’t need anything.  Not to mention I didn’t want to be mobbed by all of the people and traffic.  Social anxiety saved me money and clutter this year!

6. Monday morning I had the brilliant idea to weigh myself.  I know, WTF was I thinking?!  Nevertheless, I knew it was time to face the numbers.  I haven’t moved much since I ran the marathon.  I should definitely be more than 2 lbs heavier but “thankfully” my ulcer makes it difficult to eat, so you know, silver lining.  Now, I need to get back on the treadmill for some walking, swimming for less impact and continue to strengthen my muscles with the PT exercises.  All of this written out looks a bit overwhelming considering my recent lack of motivation so I am going to break it down into some manageable pieces.

situps-are-lame

truth

7. Speaking of ulcer city, two things.  Sad face – I can no longer have my afternoon coffee (well, I managed yesterday but probably not advised).  I’m not kidding when I say, I find a sense of lost in this fact.  I luuuuurve it.  But it kicks up my stomach pains, so to the curb with it.  Next up – happy face – my stomach hurt on Wednesday even though I sort of had the day off BUT I felt better for 3.5 days!  Better than I have in MONTHS.  It was delightful.  Sunday afternoon?  Acid boiled up again.  Stress man… working on some life changes.

That’s all for now.  I have a couple of other random posts on the way and hopefully some kind of aerobic activities to report on in the next few days.  I have every intention of losing these two silly pounds in the next 22 days, so I better get crackin’.  Not to mention, the endorphins, digestion help and the overall good feels that come with being active.

this might count?

this might count?

bits and pieces

19 Nov c5nmgw9rwc-2

This is one of my new favorite commercials:

Why?  Because as I shared many, many posts ago, my dad convinced a dear family friend, who was a ‘tween at the time, to cut the head off of the party pinata and put it in my bed.  Brilliant.

pinata head

LOVE

I bought a bag of the mini Reeses trees as I like the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter.  Some of the other versions of Reeses either have too much peanut butter or not enough.  I take these things very seriously.  I opened one up the other night and found the tree shape to be quite lacking.  I seem to remember them putting more effort into the shape once upon a time.

Are you familiar with the blog Hyperbole and a Half?  If not, please stop reading mine and go to hers.  Well, in the name of blog self-preservation, you can wait until you’ve finished this post.  Where was I?  Yes, yes… I STRONGLY suggest reading the Kenny Loggins story.  My sister loves it too!  I suggested this to another person and their response was, “do I need to have an extensive knowledge of Kenny Loggins?”.  No.  You don’t.  I’m pretty sure there was some kind of age reference/joke in there since I don’t even know if this 20 yr old knew who Kenny Loggins was/is.

I also love her (the author’s name is Allie) drawings and much like Natalie Dee, I’m sure you’ve seen many of hers and not known who they belong to.  This one?

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Yep, Hyperbole.  One of my current favorite drawings from this post, is below

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this is my screen saver on my phone and computer

Given my obsession with the t-rex and our similarities, I adore this.  I also think there are an array of emotions that can be inferred from this lil’ gal’s face depending on my mood (or yours), so it works for me.

Oh and read the party post, too – again, I laughed and laughed.  In addition to laughing so hard I was crying, I’ve been moved and identified with Allie’s serious posts.  I recommend reading those, too.

Yesterday was a bad ulcer day.  So bad in fact, I was clutching my stomach in pain.  And audibly groaning.  I ended up having to go home for the day.  My favorite “joke” is, Pepto Bismol chewables are the after dinner mint for those of us with ulcers.

this is a decent depiction of how I felt yesterday

Finally, I have this carpet in my living room that NEVER.LAYS.FLAT.  It always ends up scootching its way under my couch since my living room carpet is very thin and there isn’t anything for the area rug to hold onto.  I’ve tried everything to keep it in place.  I’ve tripped a number of times but yesterday morning I hit the ground.  Hard.  Thankfully, I’m short so I didn’t smack my head into the concrete wall!  Nothing really damaged, a few aches and pains but seem to be okay.  My brother, being the supportive type, posted a few of these on my fb page when I shared:

if she was flipped, this is what I looked like

My family loves me!

Edited to add today’s events:

This morning, I was putting my shoes on when I felt something scratching the back of my thigh.  I scratched it through my pants but it didn’t help.  I thought it might be a tag or something, so I pulled my pants down (sorry for the tmi) and reached back to grab the offending itchy object.  It was not an object, it was this:

so much hate

so much hate

No, No, NO!!  I legit YELLED/SCREAMED and flung it.  I hate these stink bugs, so not only did I touch it but it was hanging out in my pants for an undetermined amount of time.  The horror.  I still get the shivers thinking about it.  And I think it might have bit me.

It’s the (un)luck of the Irish, I tell ya…

deep breath

16 Nov view from Sacre-Coeur in Paris

Like most people, I was/am saddened by the terrorist attacks – all of them. I feel sorrow and true disgust at the horrific events that don’t seem to end.  The attacks on Paris sent my heart racing.

My brother and sister-in-law live there.  Many of my new friends and my new family live there.  I felt like I got punched in the stomach.  Thankfully, my brother is currently in New York but I panicked thinking of my sister-in-law and the others.  Given my propensity to think the worst (which has increased since my mom passed suddenly in 2011), I was so scared.  I’m beyond grateful my sister-in-law, family and friends overseas, are safe.

this is my SIL, Sabrina in NY with us in 2012

this is my SIL, Sabrina in NY with us in 2012

The anxiety hasn’t completely left me – I know, surprise, surprise.  I woke up today all kinds of out of sorts.  It was going to be a very packed day and it felt daunting.  I was supposed to do a PT session on my own today and this was somehow going to fit into my lunch break, in-between back to back to back meetings.  All of the stomach acid.

I made the executive decision to skip the PT session – I can still fit it in before my actual session on Wednesday.  I was able to catch up on some administrative tasks, which had been sitting on my to do list, taunting me.  I also realized I wanted some comfort food.

and some comfort memories – my dad and I in Paris this summer

Well, I realized it yesterday but I had to work so I had popcorn for dinner instead.  But tonight – tonight I wanted to feed my feelings.  I’ve been craving meat (not chicken or turkey), probably related to my iron deficiency, and I found my way to a stroganoff recipe.  How could I forget about stroganoff?!  I’ve only made it one other time in the last 12 years – crazypants!

I searched pinterest and found a recipe that satisfied my gluten-free needs.  Did you know cream of mushroom soup has wheat in it?  I wasn’t sure it would taste as good without that ol’ standby but I should’ve trusted.  The recipe I used was from Simply Recipes.  This was all homemade and business!

No pictures of my creation because stroganoff doesn’t photograph well.

Also, I ignored the salt recommendations, because I thought I was smarter?  You probably still could if you wanted to but I found I needed to add salt afterward.  I also practically doubled (or maybe more) the paprika because paprika and I are tight.

view from Sacre-Coeur in Paris

The stroganoff hit the spot.  Not only did it satisfy my taste buds but it was nice to go through the routine of cooking.  I haven’t cooked in a long time and making this bad boy was calming.  P.S. Read all of the directions before you start!  I had to scramble a bit.

Tomorrow is another filled to gills work day.  But I will have stroganoff leftovers waiting for me at the end of the day.

My thoughts continue to be with the victims of all of the attacks of this last week and previous ones.  I have so many dear memories from the two weeks I spent in France this summer celebrating my brother’s wedding and it hurts my heart to think of all of this devastation.

ice, ice baby

13 Nov

C’mon, we all knew this title was coming considering I’m currently bewitched by ice.  Besides, if Vanilla Ice can rip off the tune-age, surely I can “borrow” his song title.

creepy and funny

The ice thing… it’s peculiar.  Let me first start with I’m so happy I’m obsessed with ice rather than pica cravings.  Dirt is one of them.  Although, if I was craving huge spoonfuls of dirt, I probably would’ve gone to see a doctor, which still might be advisable.

Brief (sort of connected) story:  when we were little, my brother and I encouraged this little girl who was always at our house to eat a GIANT spoonful of sand.  We didn’t shove it down her throat, it was more of a dare, so not completely our fault.  We also dared her to lick a slug once.  I know we sound like terrible tyrants but she was a mean little kid.  She dropped our puppy from the top of a slide and poor Muffy had a concussion.  The image of Muffy bleeding still pulls on my heartstrings so I give little mind to the dirt and slug business.

she shouldn’t have hurt Muffy

Okay, back to current day… the ice situation has intensified, even since I last mentioned it.  It’s been going on for a solid month and half now.  It started off as a cup with a lot of ice and about 1/2 full of Sierra Mist.  I don’t like drinking regular pop but the world is against diet sierra mist/diet 7 Up/diet gingerale – at least in pop machines.  I realized I rather enjoyed the ice after I drank the pop.  The next day, same scenario but less pop.  The day after, who needs pop?!  It was all ice from there.

I’m at the point now where I am planning my day around how, when, where I can get some ice.  We have a fridge ice machine in our main office but the ice tastes funky if not in a flavored beverage (i.e. in my other love, coffee).  So this is out.  I have a main place I get it and when I do, I get multiple cups filled to the brim so I can have it for later.  Of course now there is my personal ice machine.  I eat A LOT of ice in a day my friends.

this is what I would look like as a blob one-eyed person

I am almost a week into my new iron supplements.  I have a feeling, even if the crazy ice need subsides, some of it has/will become habitual.  When I dislocated my thumb 8 years ago, I was in a cast for 8 weeks.  I still do certain things the same way as when I had to modify actions to accommodate my beast of a cast.  But I’m hoping the whole planning my day around ice abates.  I am not a very patient person, so I want results now.  Last night I had another almost passing out moment so it seems the iron needs a bit of encouragement.  Go iron pills go!  And dad, you should probably start making some ice now for my impending holiday visit!

all the pretty races

10 Nov

For the last few years, I’ve packed my schedule with races.  Whether it was spring (one or two in the winter) or fall, I attempted to fill it with as many as I could afford.  All with the thought/plan to “REALLY train this time around” and make those PR’s happen.

this is how I feel about a PR…

This wasn’t the case.  And with each race there were a few more aches and pains because all too many times I didn’t quite prepare as much as I should have.

I decided to be slightly more realistic this year.  I did sign up for a mid-winter race and realized this was dumb and didn’t end up doing it.  Aside from that delusional moment, I did fairly well.  I signed up for the 5k/10k back to back in June with a 1/2 marathon the following weekend.

I trashed my knee (my poor patella) with some serious slanted sidewalk during that 5k/10k.  This race is HARD.  There is a reason the quote is “The Thrill, The Will, The Hill”.  The hill is a freakin’ beast.  I climbed it once during the 10k, a 2nd time to get to the 5k start and then a 3rd time because I decided parking near the start was a better idea than near the finish line.  Must learn for next time!

this race kicks my trash - every time.

this race kicks my trash – every time.

The 1/2 was a great time as I was able to escape “up North” –  Michandger speak anytime you head to the Northern part of Michigan.  It was in stunningly beautiful Charlevoix (go there – it’s listed as one of the most beautiful places to visit).  The race is really fun, has some sweet swag, an awesome medal and the course is nice.  I was worried about my knee but it wasn’t terribly bothersome.  Because of my lack of training, my goal was to hit under the 3 hr mark.  I did just this – yay!  Not to mention, I got to go with a great friend for a mini-break.

the front has the MI symbol on it and then on the back in the lower corner is Charlevoix piece. I did it.

the front has the MI symbol on it and then on the back in the lower corner is Charlevoix piece. I did it.

this medal is awesome! the bridge pieces go up and down!

this medal is awesome! the bridge pieces go up and down!

After this, it was onto France and then immediately back to work.  This is also when I dabbled/half decided to sign up for the marathon.  At this point, I had plans to sign up for two 1/2 marathons to help with marathon training along with my favorite 5k/10k Peacock Strut combo.

Despite signing up for the Peacock Strut and picking up my shirt, I woke up the next day with no desire to run.  I skipped it.  I still don’t regret it.  I also didn’t end up signing up for the 1/2 marathons and instead went to NY to visit my brother where I ran the Bronx 5k – a much better and more fun decision!

me and my little bro running the Bronx 5k!

me and my little bro running the Bronx 5k!

Suddenly October rolled around (I have no concept of time right now) and I ran three races – whoa!  The first was an impromptu 5 miler in Indiana with one of my great gal pals.  It was a very small, local race, which I always enjoy.  My knee was painful and stiff.  I couldn’t run the whole time (I added in some walk breaks).  It definitely made me nervous as the marathon was looming.  M and I stuck together and without her I would’ve walked a lot more.  Once again, I need to up my mental game.

Next up, the Detroit Marathon – have I mentioned this?!

Lastly, the weekend following the marathon was the Campus Classic here on campus.  I wasn’t sure I was going to do it, since you know, I could barely walk.  The Campus Classic is the first race I ever did.  I’ve told the story a couple of times here and I’ve never missed a race since.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to run it, which was a bummer but against my better judgement, I walked it.  The first mile was in the 17 min mile range.  I was being careful of my knee.  After I heard the time, I decided to screw my knee and the aftermath, I wanted to be done – faster.  I started focusing on catching people.  The second mile was in the 16 min pace and the last was a 15 min pace.  I was quite pleased with the negative splits, although the not so nice voice in my head provided some disparaging remarks regarding my overall time.  My friend used her real life voice to knock some sense into me.  Another race in the books!

probably my final campus classic -

probably my final campus classic

I don’t see the local Turkey Trot in my future.  I’m not sure if I’ve missed one since I started running though… if it does happen it will be another walking race.  I need to keep reminding myself that recovery is front and center.  Remind me of this if I start any crazy talk pretty please!

One last thing!  My medal for the 2,015 miles in 2015 came in the mail the other day – a lovely piece of hardware!

2,015 in 2015

the lighting sucks in my apt – there are some cute mountains in there, too!

my “moronic” muscle

8 Nov

Last Friday, I took some annual leave.  During a meeting with my boss the day before, I talked about my stress level.  I realize now I mentioned that “my health is not great” twice due to all of the stress as of late.  She kindly encouraged me to take the day.  I said I had a lot to do.  A couple of hours later, I recognized the gift and put in for the day.  It was a fabulous idea.

My second PT appt was bright and early Friday morning and I considered canceling it since I didn’t have to get up early anymore.  Nevertheless, recovery, right?  I got out of bed and made the appt.  Daren – PT friend, asked me how the muscle memory exercises were going.  I told him, I couldn’t believe these simple movements made my muscles sore!  I also said I couldn’t figure out where my patella was.  He had a plastic model and I was confusing tendon with patella, it made much more sense.  I had no idea the patella was so small!

We went through some exercises – a mix of stability and active ones.  I rode the bike for 6 whole mins, but that was the only cardio.  Even though I could feel my knee, it didn’t really hurt per say.  More irritated, I think.  I was definitely surprised when going through these strength exercises I broke out in a sweat.  They were tough!  During one of the exercise, Daren asked if I was feeling any pain.  Nope.  He then provided music to my ears, “I really think you just abused it by doing too much when your knee/muscles weren’t ready”.  Good news indeed!

it’s probably too early to hug him, right?

I know I said I was happy to be a lazy bones and I really am. That said, I’ve worked hard to lose almost 20lbs in the last year and I don’t want that to by the wayside. Sure, feeling crummy stomach-wise is helping with the decrease in eating but somehow, this doesn’t seem very healthy. In fact, it sounds eating disorder-ish, which is definitely NOT what I am looking for.  I told this to PT friend.  He said he understood – both about getting back into the habit of lying around and wanting to be active.  Next week we are going to evaluate and try the elliptical, which is going to be a riot since I can’t catch the rhythm of said machine and foresee failure.  I asked about swimming and looks likely as an option for next week.

I did ask about one of those electrode machines that contract the muscles for you.  I don’t know why but I really want one.  He said I could buy one myself, to which I asked if I needed one for recovery.  He said I didn’t since those machines are used to contract muscles that can’t do it on their own.  He said my muscles can, “they are just moronic right now”.  HA!  This cracked me up, my thigh muscle is a moron.  It’s perfect.

Physical therapy

icing the poor moron

PT update – over and out!

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