surviving the holiday part 2

I hope yesterday’s post wasn’t too debbie downer.  I typically feel extremely guilty when I can’t/don’t feel as joyous as it seems everyone else is around me.  My hope is by putting it out there it helps me and others  accept it and work with it rather than fighting it.

and then it gets better again – nick miller just gets me!

I figure my action plan for not succumbing to holiday depression is going to be ever-changing.  It dawned on me there is no way I am going to be able to know how I will feel 5, 10 or 15 days from now.  Typically, I like to face things as they come BUT I thought I would give having an outline a shot.  Kind of like running, you know?

1.  I organized a cookie exchange at work.  So far there are 12 or 13 of my co-workers participating!  I’m looking forward to getting some new recipes and doing a bit of baking.

2.  I’m avoiding the holiday weight gain freak out – well to the best of my ability.  In a completely unscientific science experiment, I weighed myself the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Then I weighed myself on Sunday.  Guess what?  I didn’t gain an ounce.  I definitely fall into the hype of “don’t gain weight during the holidays” and start to panic followed quickly by guilt and then their bestie self-loathing shows up.  Sounds super healthy, right?  How am I going to do this?  Stick with my training for Dopey, keep eating normally, putting the scale away again and giving swimming and Jillian Michaels a shot.  Oh and I am going to try not to eat all of my feelings!  I also refuse to let holiday goodies have power over me – if I want a cookie, then I will eat a cookie.

3.  Christmas isn’t the end all be all.  I hope this doesn’t sound harsh but I have the Dopey Challenge to look forward to in Jan!  Last year it was also a trip to WDW and the year before it was a trip to New York.  I think having something planned for January is a good thing for me.

4.  Heading back to WA to visit the fam.  Can’t wait!  Slumber parties, coffee, lots of laughs – it will be a grand ol’ time!

5.  Purging more stuff and moving other items to storage.  My apt is too chaotic.

6.  I’m making a few fun Christmas presents this year.  I’m excited for them – pictures right after Christmas!

7.  Keep in mind a bad day doesn’t mean a bad life.

8.  I’m not going to set myself up for failure.  This means no plans to make cookies for everyone I work with and their extended family, or collect all the supplies to decorate my apt with homemade pinterest-y things or say I’m going to do the runstreak when I know I won’t be able to stick to it.  Looking at all of the supplies for cookies or decorations or tweets about the runstreak just reinforces how I didn’t get it done.  Basically, I don’t want to make promises to myself I don’t intend to keep.

one of my most loved quotes ever!

9.  Watch a ridiculous amount of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Love Actually, Easy A, Pitch Perfect – whatever movies make me laugh and I really enjoy.

10.  Ummm… hmmm… what else?  Basically, I’m going to take it easy and simplify my holiday.  A good chunk of shopping is already finished, I’ve been careful about committing myself to extra activities and I’ve carved out time for myself.

Overall, I like this action plan.  I want to add other fun items but don’t want to make an all out “bucket list”.  These fun things will include going to the Hobbit when I get home with my family, celebrating my friend’s birthday this weekend, meeting my friend’s new baby and who knows what else.  Whatever it is, I am determined to put things in perspective that may be challenging and enjoy what the season brings.

speak it manny!

back in the game

Whenever I take a break from blogging, it feels harder to get back into it… It’s like my brain has forgotten how to function in this creative medium.  This is my attempt to jump-start my brain!

Yay! for vacations!  My original plan was to blog while I was home visiting fam but there simply wasn’t time.  I spent every waking moment chatting, laughing, sometimes crying, drinking coffee, laughing some more, eating, being out and about and LIVING.  It was wonderful.

vacation is tough
vacation is tough

Here are a few highlights and things about my family that I love!

1.  I really do come from one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I forget until I am home for a visit (or I actually think about it) how magnificent the PNW is.  Here are a couple of views from the day we went to Hurricane Ridge (local), which is part of the Olympic Mountains.  Yes, this IS my back yard.

hurricane ridge2.  Sometimes I forget how awesome it is that my family is  touchy-feely.  Please don’t read this wrong – it isn’t anything weird.  Rather, when one of my family members walks by they might rub your back or give you a hug or just touch your arm.  It’s not every time but it is very comforting.  They say personal touch and cuddling has healing powers and I firmly believe this.  Babies who aren’t touched from birth have developmental and emotional issues.  So seriously, go out and give someone a little squeeze today!

starfish - ridge3.  We are a FUNNY family!

naturally strawberry mojitos belong in GIANT mason jars
naturally strawberry mojitos belong in GIANT mason jars

4.  A “German moment”  can be anything that reminds us of our childhood.  Sometimes it’s running late and sometimes it’s making really bad puns.  This goes along with #3

5.  I got to get to know my brother’s girlfriend so much better on this trip!  We talked a lot about men, work and what I am going to do when I go visit them in Paris.  Yes, this will include eating a lot of bread and riding a bike.  With a basket.  And being all sophisticated… or something!

I'm not sure France will let me in... btw, this is my "elder wand" yo!
I’m not sure France will let me in… btw, this is my “elder wand” yo!

6.  My niece and nephew are now adult-ish.  It’s so weird!  My niece is 19 and my nephew is 17.  I spent some major quality time with both of them.  They still call me “Auntie Amy” (which I will always insist on!) and they are simply amazing people.  Oh yeah, and my nephew gave me a big hug – even in front of his other 17 year old buddies!  I must be cool.

I taught my niece how to make smores over the stove!
I taught my niece how to make smores over the stove!

7.  I discovered a new place!  It’s a local beach where the rocks are ROUND!  Wait, scratch that – SPHERES!  I dubbed them “alien rocks”.  Pictures to come!

during our search for the alien rocks
during our search for the alien rocks

8.  Even though we were running around doing things and hanging out, I had the opportunity to have conversations with my family on an individual basis.  I am so grateful for this.

paige and me

9.  When I am home, I am Maggie’s favorite

yes, maggie is the dog
yes, maggie is the dog

10.  A run – with no humidity?!  With a cool breeze?!  Constant hills?!  Okay, except for the last one, it was perfect!  As I’ve mentioned, my dad maps out the HILLIEST routes!

11.  My grandma made me kidney bean salad – sooo yummy!

12.  My dad found a bunch of old pics and we went through them the last day I was there.  They were great!  We also told stories about my mom the entire trip.  Sometimes this was sad and other times hysterical.  Both help though, you know?

my bro called this "hard-boiled siblings" and yes, we are wearing matching shoes!
my bro called this “hard-boiled siblings” and yes, we are wearing matching shoes!

Of course, it all passed by too quickly.  There are times when I regret moving half way across the country because I feel my heart is split in two.  I have friends and family in both areas and when it comes time to leave either it just sucks.  We need to invent teleporting NOW!

Simon gave me a lovely homecoming with kitty-hugs and snuggling.  My friend’s baby was supposed to arrive while I was gone but he waited for me!  After almost missing my last flight to Grand Rapids, MI because I was asleep at the gate, I made it back in one piece and hit the deck running for work.  Phew!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

future trip home!

Have you heard the best time to buy a plane ticket is on Tuesdays at 3 pm?  I didn’t quite make the the 3 pm deadline but I did get my ticket today to go back and visit my family in Port Angeles, WA!  I didn’t even have to sell a kidney in order to afford it!

here is an awesome pic of Port Angeles (nope, didn't take it - click on it for credit!)

Port Angeles is on the Strait of Juan de Fuca (yes, I have always LOVED to say this!) and it’s about 3 hours northwest of Seattle, WA.  One of the slogans is, “Where the Mountains meet the Sea” since the town is nestled in the Olympic Mountains.  I’m not going to lie, this is one of the prettiest places in the U.S.  If you ever get a chance, come out and visit!

yes, this is a real tree - we grow 'em big out there!

Not only will I be spending some much needed time with my family, I will be running a half marathon.  My family has never seen me run a race and I am really excited to do with this race with them in attendance.  All of this fun business will be taking place in July.  This is where I am hoping for a 1/2 PR – sub 2 hours!!

chocolate? champagne? running? AWESOME!

Today I also realized I am going to have one heck of a busy summer!  I mentioned the waves of panic that swept over me the other night and I figured out today the only way to avoid this is to GET ORGANIZED.  Now, classic organization isn’t one of my strengths – I definitely have my own style.  This style needs to be tightened up a bit or else I am going to flounder!  So I started, “The MONSTER To-Do List” today.  It has the fun things I want to do and the mundane things I have to do.  Luckily, I also have mega-organized friends who have offered to help – thanks friends, you da bomb!  Once I have more of the fun stuff on there, I’ll put the list on here.  I am determined to have a FUN summer!

Oh yeah, and can I just say how MAD I am at Dairy Queen for introducing this?!

noooo!! why would you do this DQ?! some of us have training plans to stick to you!

My hips, thighs and bum hate you Dairy Queen… and kind of love you at the same time.  If you can’t tell from the pic, its funfetti cake and blizzard.  YUM!

Don’t forget!  You have until tomorrow at 5 pm to enter my give-away!