the big birthday

thanks beautiful man

Here we are… my birthday.

For me, my birthday is essentially a version of Jan. 1.  I make all kinds of resolutions/plans since I’m rehashing the past year anyway.  Resolutions isn’t exactly a fair word since I’ve given these up a few years ago.  But still, it makes me think about what I want for my year.  And this helps define my purpose for the next 365 days.

Yesterday (my actual birthday) was a really busy day at work.  We gave tours to perspective students and I worked a table from noon-4 pm.  The highlight of this was the caf offers these oh so delicious cookies.  Seriously, they are my absolute favorite.  They are filled to the brim with gluten and sugar but I decided to throw that aside for my birthday treat.  I’m sure I’ll pay for it but LOOK


The frosting is perfect – the fondant W?  Nope – that hits the wayside.  For dinner, I was off to Red Robin.  I’ve been craving a burger and fries and they have the best fries ever!  I also really like their gluten-free hamburger buns.  I got silly full with french fries, campfire sauce and a birthday beverage.  I’m not kidding – I brought home 3/4 of my burger and more fries.  AND 3 containers of campfire sauce <–totally addicted.

I also came home to a lovely snuggle buddy
I also came home to a lovely snuggle buddy

Work out update, I ran/walked 3 miles on Monday.  I didn’t get right up and get on the tready, I lazed around for the day, watched some Parks and Rec, Super Natural and ate an undercooked waffle.  Seriously, snow days are MEANT to be enjoyed no matter that was a partial work day.  I still got them miles done (along with some cleaning) because I have this dandy renewed sense of motivation.  The miles were a struggle, I’m guessing it was from the 4th day in a row on the treadmill.  Most likely not a lot for many but since I’m still in the “getting back into it” phase, I was feeling a bit shin splinty.

Anyway, it was a better birthday than I anticipated.  Not because I thought it would be a bad day per say, my friends and family are/were wonderful.  But I thought I would have the birthday blues.  However, I realized I DIDN’T feel as down in the dumps about being a year older (mostly – I mean, c’mon, it still freaks me out somewhat) rather I have a good feeling about the year…

to me! I mean if this doesn’t inspire a good year, what would?!


Be prepared…

Get this – I worked out on MONDAY!  No kidding peoples, this is unheard of for me.  Now, I’ve worked out on both a Friday AND a Monday.  Man, I love cloneAmy.

I got 3.5 miles in on Monday and 3.5 on Tuesday.  Tonight will be a rest day since I’m headed to a friend’s house for dinner.  When she asked me about any dietary restrictions, I felt like a giant pain in the ass.  I sent her a list of the most problematic ones – not even a list of the bothersome ones.  I think this could eventually even itself out (foods on my no-go list might go to the every once in a while list) but if not then I will be hosting dinners at my place hence forth!

it will be waffles every time

The 8k is a week and a half away.  I think I said I was going to run outside before the race but now I’m not so sure.  I like being all cozy in my apt while watching  Netflix.  Sure, the treadmill is tedious and it is certainly harder for me to run on as opposed to running outside but it’s cold outside.  Please insert all of the whining here.

It absolutely will be a brisk slap in the face when I venture out in the tundra on the 7th but I might as well experience the chill along with running outside for the first time in months (seriously, this isn’t an exaggeration) for some double whammy fun.

press your luck reference – anyone?

I will say, while I am not in super great shape, I’ve been focusing on consistency so I will finish.  And hey!  It’s a distance I’ve never raced before – new PR!  I did order a new running shirt/jacket thing for the race.  I’m going to call it my birthday present to myself.

Yep, next week is my birthday.  It’s weird it got here so fast.  I’m a bit freaked out by it.  I’m attempting to age gracefully but all I can see is that I AM ALMOST 40!  I still don’t understand how this happened.  You know how older folks say they still feel like they are in their 20’s or something?  I do – I feel like I’m still in my early thirties.  Maybe my body is falling apart like a person who is getting older but that’s it.  The rest of me has no concept of where this aging came from.

I do recognize the alternative sucks, I’m being ridiculous and I should be embracing the day of my birth.  I just pictured my life being very different at this age.  I don’t think my life is bad but there are things I want and are ready for and I want them NOW.  Did I mention I am not very patient?

This is a weird post.  There is a possibility of a more coherent one in the upcoming days but the aforementioned birthday is throwing a weird wrench in my mood.  I’m sure things will be a bit all over the place for a few days!

running and birthday-ing

Last week I took a running and blogging hiatus.  I didn’t plan on it nor did I do it on purpose.  My birthday was on Monday (wahoo!) and then the rest of the week I was plagued with migraines.  Thankfully, I am feeling better this week and have jumped back on the running train.

Monday, 2/3 was the start of my plan with my running coach.  Sooo, having to admit to her that I didn’t get any running in was embarrassing.  I almost admitted I did a run on 2/2 but considering it had been a miserable 2 miles I decided not to even bother.

Jamie’s a way better coach than this!

Jamie was really sweet about it though.  She is the type of person/coach who you don’t want to disappoint.  This works WAY better for me than someone screaming in my face.  I also decided to watch some nature documentaries during my treadmill runs which is actually highly entertaining!  I start yelling and cheering for whichever animal is being highlighted.  I do get slightly heart-broken when a poor creature becomes a meal.

I’m fairly certain my cheers saved the sloth from the giant “jungle eagle”

And my first round of speed work was also on the docket.  Yep, no joke.  I’ve seen my treadmill speed average increase since I got back from Dopey.  What I like about speed work in general is when you pump up the number to run faster bringing it back down again feels so much easier.  Even if originally that lower speed felt tough.  Speed work can definitely display improvements or make me believe I’m improving!

As I mentioned, my birthday was last week.  I always get thoughtful around this time.  I evaluate my life and sometimes I base my life on a very unrealistic scale!  This year, I worked to put a new year into perspective.  It was helpful!  The weekend right before my birthday and then this past weekend, I’ve been spending a lot of time overhauling my apt.  Get this:  I FINALLY got rid of the last cardboard box from my move!  Big deal my friends, big deal.

I also have an overly filled car waiting to be dropped off at Goodwill and some items for consignment.  There are more clothing items to corral, too.  Clothes are one of the tougher things for me to get rid of.  I’ve watched some of my friends go through their clothes and they are some quick little whippersnappers!  Not me!  Then there are some other things that my mom gave me or remind me of her and those can’t go in one of the give-away piles either.  Medium-sized steps are still steps though so I’m happy.

Hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day and happy weekend!

the last bit of birthday talk

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!  I have ALWAYS loved my birthday.  When I was younger, I had great parties and my family was really good at making them special.  I am a firm believer that birthdays are INDEED special and it sincerely boggles my mind when people don’t like theirs.

That all being said, I’m still not quite sure about this whole “getting older” thing.  There are several aspects that I appreciate:  being more comfortable in who I am as a person, not caring (as much) about what other people think of me, the ability to better balance my work and personal life and understanding what I want out of life.

Now, what I do not appreciate is the slowing of the metabolism, the pressure that I should want or be more than what I currently am and this feeling I have that I am “behind” a.k.a not married (heck, not in a relationship!), no kiddies and not living in this house


I’ve also grown up… for the last several years, I’ve gone out to get a FABULOUS birthday dress.  This year was not different but it didn’t get here in time!  I did order it from my favorite store that has all kinds of umm…”party dresses” so I was disappointed but I made do.  If this had happened last year, I think I would have freaked out.  I know this seems like a small and perhaps petty example but learning to chill out is a great accomplishment for yours truly!

haha, this was NOT what I picked out to wear but I thought it was ridiculous and had to show you
haha, this was NOT what I picked out to wear but I thought it was ridiculous and had to show you

Oh yeah, birthdays surely make me think!  But honestly, did you expect anything different from me?!  The last few days, I’ve thought about the fun experiences I’ve had this year and the situations where I stepped out of my comfort zone.  I got a promotion and interviewed for a few other positions.  I’ve traveled (a crazy amount – I’ve worn out my suitcase!), spent time with my family and (ugh!) MOVED!  Haha, yes, moving was probably one of my biggest accomplishments because packing essentially makes me break into hives.

I paid off a lot of debt, developed and nurtured  total kick-ass friendships, ran a FULL marathon (x2!!), actually kept up with blogging, watched every season of Supernatural, tried crossfit, ran a relay from Madison to Chicago, and am getting better with the whole “simplifying” aspect of my life.

wanted to post this one again!
wanted to post this one again!

My favorite poem has always been Robert Frost’s “The Road Less Traveled”.  I know it sounds cheesy but I’ve never taken the well-beaten path and it’s something I have to remind myself when those “I’m behind” feelings hit.  I have some big plans for this next year… can’t wait to fill you all in!




a bit of birthday fun

You say it’s your birthday – it’s my birthday too!

I can’t tell you how often I quote “16 Candles”… maybe a daily basis?!


Today is my birthday!  I definitely have thoughts on this and want to share them with you but it will have to be tomorrow.  For now, here are some entertaining tidbits:

*Had so much fun with friends last evening for a low-key night out


*Woke up to texts from friends, a birthday call from my dad, birthday call from my bro and his girlfriend and my sister sent funny texts last night too!

*Then I got this today on my facebook – I laughed out loud!  Especially the beer-pong part!

birthday card

*Speaking of facebook – such lovely messages!

*Oh and a wee bit of recovery today!

I woke up starving... at 6 am... wendy's always comes through for me
I woke up starving… at 6 am… wendy’s always comes through for me

*Tonight  a few friends are throwing me a party – ok, it’s for the Super Bowl but we all know it’s really for ME!  Guess what?  One of my friends made me chocolate cake with rainbow chip frosting.  This would be my all time favorite.  I know, a bit simple but I love it!

It’s been a great day and I feel so lucky to be surrounded by the love of friends and family.  I’ve simply sat back and soaked it all up – kind of like that feeling when you are laying in the sun and the vitamin D is sinking into your skin and you feel warm all over.  Actually, it’s exactly like that!  Thanks for being a part of my special day!

birthday weekend recap

Wahoo!  Happy Birthday to me :)  Yes, we are two days past my big day but it’s still really fun to live it up a bit.  I had an absolutely wonderful birthday.  Friends and family helped me to celebrate in a variety of ways and I had such a great day.  I thought this birthday would be really emotional and at times it was BUT I just felt so damn lucky all day.

Here are some of the highlight:


I’m not a fan of this term (I feel like I sound like some kind of preppy brat) but I am a HUGE fan of pedicures.  The ladies in my office gave me a gift certificate for a manicure and pedicure a few weeks ago and I decided to use it on Friday.  It was the BEST idea!

so relaxing!

The technician was really sweet and I got a design on my toes and fingers for free!  Yay!

Sisterly love:

and people wonder where I get it
inside - LOVE it :)

Then inside the box there were lots of fun gifties

yes, poor photo but there were individual wrapped presents, a Betty Crocker subscription - yay! and a lovely note from Sabrina!


So, I had four options for dresses.  Two of the options I posted the other day and the other two I got in the mail on Thursday.  They came in this package:

why yes, this is a priority mail envelope - cracked me up!

I did a fashion show and we all agreed on the dress I wore.  However, it was VERY low cut.  At first I was okay with it but then one of my staff members gave the idea of adding lace – brilliant!  I think it added a nice touch and I didn’t feel like I was flashing any other bar patrons

all ready to go!

Oh yes!  I got my hair cut the night before and my hairdresser, Stephanie is one of the sweetest persons around.  She had just learned how to put tinsel in hair and we agreed I needed some for my big night.  Stephanie gave it to me as a birthday gift – see what I mean about the sweetest?  I have red tinsel and it’s very subtle, cute and lasts about a week or two.  I like it :)

The Bar

this is probably some of the best popcorn in town

Okay, I have a mild obsession with popcorn.  I worked in a movie theater for three years or so and we literally would eat it for meals.  I love the stuff.  The bar we went to has free popcorn that just keeps on comin’.  This is one of the main reasons I go there!

Then there was also the nachos.  The nachos at the bar are fantastic and I haven’t had them in a year?

super delish and this was the half order!

I had a bunch of friends who came and went so I got to see a ton of people.  It was awesome.  I got amazing hugs, some fun gifties (I’ll take some pics of those soon) and get this, my dad sent me his first ever text message!  I was so proud of him! Dad had called me at 8:30 am to sing me happy birthday and then he texted me later.  I was so proud :)

Of course there was just a bit of drinking!  After I thought about it yesterday, I realized that I hadn’t been out and about in a REALLY long time.  I kind of forgot how to do it.  In fact, there was this guy apparently hitting on me but I didn’t even know it.  Oopsie!  Here are a few pics of the alcohol – have you ever noticed how pretty alcohol can look?

nuts and berries shots - total girly shot but tasty
The Superman
don't ask!

It was a blast!  I think I have other pics from the evening and I’ll get those up if they are decent.  At the end of the night I hung out on my couch a bit and see how happy I look?

Yay! A happy Amy

Then yesterday my staff made me my favorite cake

I know - isn't that so fantastic!?

All in all a fab weekend.


package from my dad and some running talk

I’ve had many requests to post pics of my dress options for this Friday night.  I will definitely do this tomorrow once I have a bit more light to take pictures.  I showed one of my staff members one of the dresses and she didn’t think it was very “Friday night birthday party” rather it was more like Sunday brunch.  I explained that once on, it definitely was NOT a Sunday brunch dress… unless I was still wearing it from the night before! ;)

I ran tonight – the weather was awesome.  It was almost 40* outside (at least around 3:30 pm) and still a bit of sunshine left even though I took off at 5:30 pm.  I wore my favorite Adidas tights, a short sleeve shirt and a fleece-y long sleeve running jacket.  I also wore a hat and gloves.  When I walked outside I thought I had under-dressed but once I started moving I was okay.  I managed a little over 4 miles.  I did have to walk .25 of a mile up this damn hill.  I usually measure my fitness by this hill because it is long and a bit steep.  Tonight I ran more of it than I did on Saturday so baby steps are good.  My time was 45.11 mins including the walk break.  This makes 3 days in a row of working out for me!  YaY!  While my motivation right now is a fancy-pants dress, I’m counting on this helping me with my all-around motivation.  I felt better today than I have in a couple of weeks and I owe it to the endorphins.  Much love to you little endorphins!  I also wore these cute socks

love my GR half marathon socks!

These socks are kind of high, which wasn’t my favorite at first.  Today I tucked my tights into the socks a bit – what can I say?  I’m a kid of the 80’s – we always tucked our pants into our socks back then ;)  I did want to give a shout out to the Grand Rapids Marathon.  I ran the half this year and it was really well-organized.  The race was featured in Runner’s World because they serve pickle juice along the route (at later mileage points) – I know, sounds wacky but ppl swear by it!  There was incredible crowd support and I still get e-mail newsletters from the race organizer, Don Kern, who also just broke a world record for marathon running.  The newsletters contain motivational info along with other running tidbits.  This is a great race!

there used to be 2 caramel kisses... oops

These lil’ brats are sitting right next to me on the couch.  I’m not sure why.  They are taunting me.  I caved once!

sleeping ball of fur

Is it possible for animals to have sleep apnea?  I’m pretty sure if it is, Simon has it.  He just snort-slept and woke himself up. I’m thinking the lil’ guy needs a trip to the vet where I’ll probably be convinced he needs a sleep machine that I’ll have to sacrifice my own life for in order to put it on Simon in the first place.

Today, I got a package from my dad for my birthday.  Inside was a GIANT candy cane that was supposed to be for my stocking, some fuzzy socks that were my mom’s, a card and a lil’ can of food for Simon

see the cute note?

The note says, “Simon, give Amy a hug and kiss for me.  Grandpa”  I read the card first and started tearing up when I read the message.  Then I saw this note for Simon and I started crying.  Yeah, I’ve totally turned into a crier – boo!  But they were just the sweetest messages and I think this birthday will be emotional anyway.

Alright, so tomorrow pictures of the dresses I DO have.  Last night I caved a little and wondered if I needed ONE MORE OPTION!  Of course I don’t but I headed over to and checked out their inventory.  Their clothes are inexpensive and definitely club-esque.  I found a cute one that might go in the “possibility” category!