Sunday, September 4, 2011

About Face

This post has been brewing for quite some time, I just haven't quite been able to put it all together in my head and I wasn't sure what the exact context would be. Then it finally all became clear and here we are.

I've been thinking about how we sometimes make decisions in our lives and feel like it's the right thing to do at the time, but then somewhere down the line begin to wonder if it really was the right choice. It can seem okay for a while, but then you get a little distance on things and think "Maybe I did something wrong. Maybe I made the wrong choice." Then come the inevitable questions: What do I do now? How do I go back without looking like a flip-flopper/failure? What will people think or say when they find out I changed my mind?

When it isn't me that has to face these questions for myself, the answers seem simple. What do I do now? Make it right. Fix whatever is wrong. Un-do whatever you did. How do I go back without looking like a flip-flopper/failure? Make the necessary changes and simply face the consequences (keeping in mind that consquences aren't always negative or bad). It's easier than trying to do everything else under the sun to avoid the problem/wrong decision. The shortest distance between two points, after all, is a straight line. What will people think or say when they find out I change my mind? Who cares what they think or say? It isn't their life, it's yours. Besides, after the initial shock or surprise, they will get over it. Chances are, they'll forget you ever had this little bump in the road. You're the only one who really remembers things that involve you.

It's a little more difficult when I have to actually do as I would say. I was going back and forth about something in my head that just didn't feel right, but instead of just giving up, I was continuing to push forward. The problem was that I didn't feel like I was making any progress, I really felt like I was regressing. In my mind, it seemed easy or possible, but when I actually had to attempt things, it wasn't that way at all. As I began to face the reality that maybe I wasn't doing what was right or best, that notion made sense, but I was hung up on what people would say or what they would think of me.

Finally, I had to say "You know what? I can't worry about anyone but myself. I can't put myself, my body, my sanity, my happiness at risk because of what other people will say or think. That's not fair to me and I'm the one who will suffer most." You know Dr. Seuss saying: "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." As soon as I realized that and faced the fact that I was being my own worst critic, the decision was made.

I'm not going to run the Marine Corps Marathon after all. It's not been an easy decision, but it is something that's been nagging me for quite some time. For me, it's better to lose the money that I paid for the registration than to spend even more money to go to D.C. and not be able to finish the race or, worse, get hurt, which is a very real possibility if I'm not ready. 26.2 miles is a long way. It's not something to be taken lightly and, frankly, I'm just not there. While I'm disappointed that I won't get to experience the race itself and D.C. from that vantage point, I feel great about the decision. Almost immediately, I felt like a weight had been lifted. (I also may or may not have started to feel like I can actually eat things I want again!)

This in no way means that I'm going to stop running. I just realize that I'm not capable of running a full marathon right now. Maybe I never will be. I do want to do another half marathon, though, and have plans to run the Disney Half Marathon again in January. That is a goal that is perfectly attainable and I'm in a good place to begin training for it. I can also set realistic goals for improving on last year's race.

I know that this idea applies to other areas of my life, too, this idea of doing what's right for me, but not necessarily for everyone else. It's hard to change. It's hard to go back on something that you said you would do or felt so strongly about, but the reality is that things change. Situations evolve and change and you sometimes need to revisit something you thought was a done deal. I think that to be able to face things and say "I was wrong about this" and doing whatever it may be to correct the sitation says a lot. I also know that you tend to suffer less the sooner you're able to correct things. Dragging it out doesn't do anyone any good.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Finally! Sort of...

Finally meaning a couple of different things... one being that I'm FINALLY posting again. The other being that I FINALLY got a job.

I haven't had much to write about, at least that I wanted to put out there for just anyone to read. I still write in my journal every day and sometimes it seems that's about I'm good for. I'm also self-conscious about what I post on here. After I click publish, I start thinking that someone is reading it, scrutinizing every word and thinking "Why would she write that?!" At the same time, I own it and about ten minutes later, I'm over it.

The end of last year and beginning of this year brought some interesting challenges for me and a few members of my extended family. Five (specific) members of my family, including myself, found ourselves unemployed and unsure of what the heck was happening in our lives. I, thankfully, was probably in the best position of all, if there is such a thing, where I could move back home and regroup. For the others, it was a more urgent matter to find work and, as such, our family as a whole - my parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - set our concerns on them. We prayed for them, fasted, and kept our eyes and ears open for potential opportunities. Perhaps our being on the outside of their circumstances allowed us to have extra faith in their behalf.

For me, I wasn't all that worried about finding a job. I did a few contracted jobs here and there, babysat, and helped my dad in his business. During that time, I looked for a job, but perhaps not with the intensity of someone who would be out on the street in a matter of weeks if I didn't land something. For that alone, I am grateful. And I can't help but to have seen how the timing of everything worked out so well.

As of this past week, four of the five of us have found jobs and it's looking pretty good for the last. Maybe it wasn't as soon as we wanted to be employed, but employed we are. And that is a huge blessing. Enormous.

When I found out that everything came together for most everyone within a matter of days, I was amazed. I couldn't help but see the hand of the Lord in this trial that we've all been going through, separately, yet together. When I first found out that my company would be closing, I was sure that I'd have a job before my actual last day, I'd start it as soon as possible and would never have to attempt to collect unemployment. I was completely averse to it. Clearly that was not the way that things worked out, hence not what the Lord had in mind. That I know for sure. Instead, He had other plans for me that I can clearly see and will continue to see the benefit of this period as time continues to pass.

To list all the things that I was able to do over the last five months would take way too much time, but they have not gone unnoticed. And while I wasn't expecting to get a job here and continue to live with my parents, that's exactly what I'll be doing. I've even got a little plan to maximize the benefits of living at home. This all further proves that what I want and think is best for me isn't always what the Lord has in mind and, ultimately, He's in charge here. If I would only learn to really turn things over to him, I might be better off. I do know that as long as I'm doing the very best that I can and am capable of, things will be just fine. I guess I just need the reminder.

Interestingly enough, I just saw a link to this article. It fits perfectly with what I'm talking about, though it clearly written much more eloquently. I especially love how it talks about trials being the Lord's way of telling you that you're prepared to grow more and that Heavenly Father and the Savior love us perfectly and "would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love." So true, yet so hard to always remember.

I'm certainly not saying "Trial over! I'm home free for a while now!" For all I know, I could be getting ready to take on something even bigger. Gosh, I hope not.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Obsess Much?

I like things just so. If you know me (which you probably do if you're reading this, otherwise how did you find me, you lucky soul?!) you know this already. Most of the time, I don't realize when I'm being a little too crazy unless someone is close enough to me to notice. It's usually the weird looks and raised eyebrows that I get from my parents or brother that let me know when I'm "doing it again."

For instance... I like condiments with just about anything dippable (is that a word? yes.) I generally want at least two options and then I line them up in a row and dip in order, trying not to repeat the same sauce twice... until I get close to the end of the meal and then I tend to stick to the one that I'm enjoying the most. When I eat spaghetti, I cut the noodles in a checkerboard-type pattern. I cut the lines one way, then turn my plate to cut them across the other way. This happened last night and I knew that I was going to get laughed at when I saw my brother watching me turn my plate. I have a method when eating a sandwich and corn on the cob. The method for corn on the cob is mostly to avoid feeling like I have butter and corn all over the sides of my mouth. Okay, maybe with the sandwich (especially PB&J), too. I also don't like it when other people wash my clothes because I don't really like the thought of someone doing it differently than I would. Not that they aren't capable or I don't appreciate the help, it just bugs me. (My mom will both love knowing this and think I need to be committed for it at the same time. She's probably right.)

When I write in my journal, I use the same pen (black Pilot G2, .07mm; .05mm is too thin, .10mm bleeds everywhere) every night until it runs out. I generally have at least one on stand-by because it would drive me insane to know that just one page, out of the 200 or so in my journal, is written in a different kind of ink. Even if it's still black. I rarely go back and read what I've written in my journal (because I end up crying), but I never correct anything or cross anything out. I feel like it would be altering history or something. No matter how stupid or ridiculous or sad or insignificant now, it's a part of me and who I am and might just be worth a laugh some day... in the very far distant future, to someone other than myself.

I just spent the last half hour or so making some minor changes to the layout of my blog, which is what made me think of all of this. I intentionally set up my sidebar at one point in time, but just about every time I make any sort of aesthetic changes, I end up changing the order of the items in. I will rearrange the order, change the heading(s), something. And, inevitably, I think to myself "Who put these like this? It makes no sense!" while I'm making said changes. As if someone else did it! I will also edit the layout of any given post if it doesn't match the basic formatting that I've set up for myself (font, type size, justification. colors vary based on my mood, the topic, and the one I last remember using, which should be avoided.). Blame that one on the day job I used to have.

That's just how off-my-rocker I am. I'm calling it situational Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, self-diagnosed, of course. There is a rule for just about every situation, but they don't necessarily apply to similar situations. And when there isn't a rule, or even the idea of a rule, in place... Heaven help me. I may not end up in the fetal position on the floor, but it's probably written all over my face. Go ahead, point and laugh.

P.S. As I prepared to post this, I was given a handful of Reese's Pieces and I am making sure that I don't eat two of the same color piece back to back. Straight jacket for one? Right here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just Keep Going

Lately I've been struggling with my runs. I've been going at 5:30-ish in the morning and, while I love having it out of the way, it's been rough. I began to wonder if I was just way out of my league with the ladies I was running with. I mean, I most likely am. M is a maniac and literally laps me every time we go. If I were able to keep up with her, I'd probably be able to compete in the olympics. But I figure that I should keep going with them because it's easier for me to go if I know someone else is going and maybe one day I won't suck so bad.

My brother and I have gone running a couple of times since he's been home, too. We decided to go tonight, since neither of us had anything going on. When my dad heard this, he suggested that we ride with him to our church building and then just run home. I didn't think it was a terrible idea, but thought it was like eight miles or something and knew Coley wouldn't go for it. When I mapped it out and saw that it was right at five miles, he said no problem.

We hopped out of the truck at the church and started our warm up. As we approached the causeway, I couldn't help but think "What the heck did we just do?" I almost forgot that I was doing this voluntarily. Luckily, I remembered and I just pushed myself. The causeway was a little different than it is before dawn. There were a lot more people to maneuver around and a lot more traffic, too. Those things helped keep me going. Especially the stretch where all the guys are fishing. There was no way that I was going to let them see me stop running.

We stopped at 7-11 for some water, but other than that, we were on the move constantly. We got home before my dad, which was the only real goal. We never would've never heard the end of it had he beat us home. It turns out that we only walked about a mile and a half of the entire five mile run. I was quite proud of myself and it showed me that I do run better later in the day, after having had the chance to eat and drink water throughout the day. When I run in the morning, I don't eat before I go. There a couple of reasons for that. One is that I'm just not hungry (I know, I know. It's shocking that there's ever a time when I'm not hungry.) that soon after waking up, or that early for that matter, and another is that I would have to get up a lot earlier to be able to eat and digest my food, so that I won't get sick while running. It's the price I pay I guess.

We were feeling it before we ever got home, so I'm sure we're going to be sore tomorrow. I already had all kinds of sore muscles from working out on Friday and yesterday, so it'll just continue. While I was training for my half marathon, there were several weeks straight where something hurt. I had almost gotten used to it. When I stopped running or working out for a short period and noticed that nothing hurt, I missed it. Who misses sore muscles?! Crazy people, that's who.

But I'll tell you what. Sore muscles mean things are happening. As Jillian Michaels says, "When it starts to hurt, that's your body getting stronger." And she ain't lying. I am definitely not dropping weight like a Biggest Loser contestant. In fact, I'm not losing weight at all. But what I do have are some sexy arms and toned legs. I'll take those things with sore muscles any day.

Did I mention that my next run is in less than six hours? Maybe I'm becoming a maniac...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chore Chart

When we were kids, my parents were never really all that strict, but I guess they didn't really have to be. We didn't have set bedtimes that had to be followed. We also didn't have specific chores that were tied to allowances. We would clean our rooms (well, I would clean my room), do the dishes and take out the trash when asked, but there wasn't a rigid schedule.

After have four adults back in the house, each bringing with them their own habits, priorities, and preferences, my mom decided to come up with a chore chart. When she first mentioned it, my brother and I were like "Is she serious?" We didn't think she really was, so we joked about it for a couple of days. Perhaps that's where we went wrong because, with each joke, she was reminded of the idea and would threaten to really make one.

Sunday night, she went through with it. Displayed on our refrigerator is a list of household duties down the left side of the page and the days of the week across the top. Then all of our names are scattered throughout the the middle of the page. I did notice today that on Tuesdays, I have no chores. I happen to be the only member of the family with a "day off," which my dad did not find fair. I think it's fantastic. Or I think it will be down the road anyway.

It just so happens that my mom is out of town, working, during this inaugural week of the blessed Chore Chart. I'm not sure how she's going to police what gets done and what doesn't. And, so far, everyone has done something that wasn't their specific chore, so it's all messed up. For instance, retrieving, sorting and distributing the mail is a chore (yes, we get that much mail), but my brother usually gets it every day. He isn't so good about the sorting and distrubiting, so he has been bringing it inside and I have done the remaining steps of that chore. And I ended up doing the dishes yesterday, even though it was my mom's day. I've also done a lot of laundry lately, just to get it caught up. I suppose the point of it all is that it gets done, some way, some how, so as long as that happens the chart will have served it's purpose.

Here's my beef, though: There's no sticker chart to go along with the chores. How am I to keep track of what I've done and show that I'm doing the most chores so that I get the most privileges?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Strange Things Are Happening To Me

My dad has owned a business for the last 20 years. People have always come in and told him their life stories or spilled their guts about all their problems to him. At first it seemed a little odd, but then became the norm. My dad is a pretty compassionate type person. After all, you have to be more caring than the average Joe to be a funeral director. I guess those sort of people skills shine through his personality, whether he's at the funeral home (which isn't often, for the record) or in his store.

I worked for him for about a year while I was in college. And when I say worked, I mean I was actually on the payroll. He would be out doing other things and I would be left to run the place and, like it or not, I was the hired help. Regular customers thought it was "so nice" that I would work for my dad and that we truly had a little family business. I bristled every time someone suggested that my dad retire and I take over. No thank you.

This go around, things have changed a bit. I'm not on the payroll, but am more earning my keep. I use the term "working" very loosely when I describe what I'm doing while in his store. I think I'm just trying not to get sucked in. And if the people that come in keep getting weirder by the day, I'm going to have to start carrying a net with me.

It's rare that I notice if someone's hitting on me, but a couple of times in the last week it's happened and I have noticed. What's strange is that it always happens when I'm working by myself and no one else is standing in the store. After being asked "Are you Wayne's daughter? Do you work here often?" I want to ask if it's really any of their business and if they think knowing my dad is going to really get them anywhere. In case you were wondering, the answer to both of those questions should be a resounding "No." Yesterday a guy wanted to play 20 questions with me because I was answering his yes or no questions with yeses and noes. I was so glad when I saw one of my dad's regulars walk. The guy was starting to really creep me out and I was tired of him not getting the hint.

Late last week, my brother and I had just opened and a lady came in with some postcards that she wanted to mail. She didn't have street numbers or zip codes, but wanted me to find the zip codes so that she could mail them. I tried my best to explain to her that there can be many zip codes for a given city or even street, but she just wasn't getting it. I was finally able to help her with one of them, after it seemed like she was finally putting the pieces of the puzzle together in her own special way, and she got mad at me. She proceeded to tell me how it wasn't that hard to give her the information and that I wasn't try to help her. With a quarter of a bagel still sitting in front of me, she then said "You're not even doing anything! You're just sitting there! EATING!!!" I looked over at my brother and we exchanged is-this-real-life?! glances. Then she continued, saying "And you're probably getting paid, too!" Too far, lady. One step too far. I informed her that I was not, in fact, being paid to be here. And neither was he. She said "You're not getting paid?! Not many people would do that." I wanted to say "Not many people are as stupid as we are, ma'am," but I had said enough.

What was even funnier was that she walked outside, waited a minute, and then walked back in like she had never been here before. She asked my brother if we sold stamps and then asked if he was from here, making "friendly" conversation. He looked at me as if to say "Is she serious?" and then said "Yes, ma'am. Born and raised." She said "Oh really? I'm not from here." He just said "I could tell." I almost choked on my bagel that I was stilll EATING.

All I've heard for days from my brother is "You're not even doing anything! You're just sitting there! EATING!" Perhaps I should cut back. But if I were to do that, the mailman might start stalking me on facebook again. And by stalk, I mean searching for me, telling me he likes my default picture, messaging me (just once, but isn't that enough?) and then talking about it when he comes to pick up the mail. All, of course, when my dad isn't around. Classy.

Friday, April 29, 2011

sometimes ya gotta lose 'til ya win

It's been a busy couple of weeks for me. I've been meaning to post, but couldn't really come up with anything exciting, that anyone would really want to read, but then felt guilty for letting my public down. So here I am! Just kidding. I really don't take myself that seriously.

My brother got home last Wednesday. It was surreal watching him walk through the airport, almost like it was a dream. We were (and still are) so happy to have him home. Every day we hear a new story about his time in Mexico. Since he was gone for two years, I think we'll be hearing stories for quite some time. It's weird and awesome to hear him speak Spanish so easily. I love it when he answers a question in Spanish without meaning to or says things in Spanish because he can't think of how to say it in English. It just tells me how immersed he was and how seriously he took it. I learn new phrases here and there. So far I can say "How do I look?" and I know what he's saying when he says several popular phrases. At this rate, I'll be fluent in about 80 years.

I still can't seem to figure out how to work the unemployment system, which has been extremely frustrating. I hate that I have even bothered to try collecting because it's caused me many a headache and I'm not gaining anything from it. If anything, I just feel like it's causing me to age quicker. I get the run-around and then get pissed, but still don't get a check. It's really stupid. I need to find a job and then I might just call and tell those unemployment people what they can do with the money that I never got. I need to stop. I can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it.

I finally got back to working out this week. I haven't wanted to, but I've forced myself to go to body sculpt and to run this past week. Now I just need to keep it up. I'm having a hard time remembering that I've already paid to run a marathon in six months. That might seem like a long time, but I am no where near ready and fear that I won't get there. Talk about needing to buckle down!

With not being the best of moods the last couple of days, I did realize a thing or two. It has become glaringly obvious that running and serving others is just plain good for me. When I run, I can do nothing but concentrate on the task at hand and how I'm going to get myself back home. Whether I'm telling myself that I need to wait just a little bit longer before taking a break to walk or making sure that I don't roll my ankle and re-injure it, I don't have room to think about anything else that's going on in my life. Not even if I try to! That is comforting and has lasting affects. By the time I make it home, all I can think about is how I just survived a near-death experience. You would think that that would help motivate me to go every day. Maybe someday it will.

Serving others takes you outside yourself, too. It could just be the simple fact that I'm busy and, therefore, don't have time to think about myself. Regardless, it does help and I should remember that more often. Yesterday there was a quick lesson in that. Then, tonday, there were a couple of opportunities to think about someone else and they lasted much longer. Needless to say, I am better for it. I feel a little selfish, even, because I am fairly certain that I benefitted more than the "recipients." Funny how that works.

And I simply can't get enough of the Royal Wedding. I don't forsee getting tired of it anytime soon, either. I just think that they are so cute together and am mesmerized every time I see some sort of story about them on TV. I've seen all the best parts of the wedding festivities at least 10 times each, but I just keep watching. And I am in love with her dress. I have long loved the dress that Kimberly Williams wore in Father of the Bride (the 90's version with Steve Martin, of course), but I think I have just found a new dream dress. Oddly enough, they are sort of similar. Sort of. Do you think she'd let me borrow it? I'd probably have to start dieting and really working out right now!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I just spent a week in the Bahamas. Working, mind you, but the scenery could've been worse. There were some really long days and some interesting experiences. These are the ones that were too good not to share. I flew down with F, someone that I've known for several years. He worked as a staff person for my old company, so I've gotten to know him and he's always entertaining. I was glad that he was going with me because he's an experienced TD (Travel or Trip Director) and would be able to guide me on my first real, extended program as a contractor. The other nice thing about traveling with him is that he's a transportation guy, so he really knows the ropes when it comes to air travel and ground transportation. He would make sure that we got there together and in one piece.

We were told to take a taxi from the airport to the hotel, which was just fine. We had to wait an hour to get through immigrations, but when we got outside, we didn't have to wait any time at all for a little Bahamian woman to get us in her van. I saw the back door open on the left side of the van, but started to go around to the right side to get in because F was getting in on the left. They (the driver and F) both stopped me and said I had to get in on the left. It hadn't occurred to me that this van was too old to have back doors on both sides. I thought it was strange, but as I got in and saw the steering wheel on the right side, it started to make sense. These people drive from the right side of the vehicle. And on the left side of the road. It was the strangest thing to me.

So we're driving along and F and the driver are becoming fast friends, discussing where we've come from and what we're doing in the Bahamas and the weather and local secrets that we should check out. You have to know that F has the thickest New York accent and is one of the funniest people to just listen to and watch, so I'm completely entertained and not saying a word. At one point, the conversation turns to the weather and how hot it has already gotten down there. The next thing I know, the taxi driver is saying "Don't tell anyone I did this." and she took off her hair and threw it in the passenger's seat. SHE TOOK HER WIG OFF IN FRONT OF US. She then proceeded to put a bandana on her head, to cover what little hair she did have. I don't know that I could've been any more uncomfortable had she taken her top off.

It sat in the seat next to her long enough that I was able to snap a couple of pictures of it. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have visual proof to back this story up. It looked like some sort of animal just sitting there. Perhaps it wouldn't have been so unnerving had I realized that she was wearing a wig to begin with. I really thought it was her real hair, or at least a weave. For the record, I would not have taken a picture to document the situation had she removed her top. That would've been left to a photographer for National Geographic.

She prolonged the awkwardness by telling us that it was just too hot to wear that wig. She even went so far as to tell us that her hairdresser would never even give her a weave because she (the hairdresser) knows that our driver would be back two days later begging to have it taken out because it was just too hot. I can't relate to any of that. I have long hair and, if I get hot, I put it in a ponytail. It usually doesn't bother me because it makes me hot, though, it's generally because it's in my way. You're just never going to catch me cutting my hair because it's hot.

The next "experience" that I had happened a few days later. I was given the assignment to man the Dolphin Cay area. I was to make sure that everyone that had signed up to swim with the dolphins arrived for their scheduled appointment, turned in a waiver, and to answer any other questions that they may have. Our group was not the only group at the hotel and cruise ships frequently book these activities for their guests, so I was constantly asking if people were there for us. At one point, a man who I knew wasn't with us asked me if I worked at there. I said no, that I was working with a group in-house and he said to me "That explains the whiteness." Later that day, one of our attendees asked I lived in the Bahamas. I said no, that I like in Florida and she said "Really? And you're still really white." I said to her "Yes, and you're the second person to point that out to me today. Thanks." I wanted to tell her that she should enjoy her nice tan, from baking in the sun for hours on end, now because in 20 years, she's going to look like an aligator and I'll still have great skin. I didn't, though.

There were only 10 staff for almost 1000 attendees, so we worked really long hours most of the days that we were there. In the end, it was worth it because everyone had a really good time and the clients were really happy with the outcome. It was nice to get home last night, too. I'm not sure what made me happier: to see and talk to my parents or to be able to use my phone again. Whether or not I'd go back to that particular hotel, I don't know. Maybe, if I had enough money to be able to enjoy myself without being dead broke when I got home. The lazy river was calling my name, but I never got to answer it. And I would just hope that the slot machines would be a little kinder next time. What? It was just for fun.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I've sure enjoyed the rain, but I'm looking forward to the sun

Every job that I've ever landed has had something in common with the other. On the day of my interview, it poured down rain on my way there and as I was walking in. Maybe it was a way to humble me just before I went in. When you want to make a good impression, being soaking wet with messed up hair and make-up running down your face isn't exactly ideal. Granted, I don't wear enough make-up for it to run down said face (and never plan to, thankyouverymuch) so that isn't an issue, but my hair being a mess bugs me every day of the week. Especially if I need to make an impression.

On Monday, it rained all day. All. day. Tuesday was slightly overcast, but not a drop. Wednesday it threatened to rain all morning and then started to rain just as I got to Jacksonville for my meeting. It rained through the meeting, the entire drive back home, and continued all day yesterday. Today? Sunshine and upper 70's. And I had an interview.

What I found interesting was that my resume was received through the "grapevine." Even though it wasn't my dream job coming to find me, I wasn't about to turn down an opportunity, even if it was just something to tide me over until I land that dream job. With obligations already on the calendar, I couldn't interview yesterday, which was the first option given. (Curse you, unemployment hoops that must be jumped through!) An appointment today was the best that could be done. As I drove over, I even thought about the fact that it stormed all day yesterday and there was now not a cloud in the sky.

When faced with the task of having to interview for a new job, I decided that I will be going about this process differently than I ever have, and maybe than I really should. I decided to go into with the love-it-or-leave-it mindset. While I will be sure to let any- and everyone know that I am capable, I'm going to just be honest. I have been and plan on continuing to be upfront about my skillset and expectations. I don't see the sense in trying to build myself up as something that I may not necessarily be. I've seen too many times where people say "Oh, yes! I can do anything you want me to!" and then they start and are far less than what they said they were. I don't want to be that girl. A wise guy that I know once said "Under promise, over deliver." That made perfect sense to me and is the way I'm going. Hopefully desperation doesn't force me to jump that ship!

Late this afternoon, I got a call back from the company. I was surprised to be hearing from them so soon. Who gets a call back the same day? Anyway... the news wasn't day-making. They said that they enjoyed meeting with me, appreciated me coming in, but that they filled the position. Put nicely, "You're not hired." I said thank you for taking the time to meet with me and hung up before the conversation got awkward.

I'm really not bummed at all. The rain thing crossed my mind as I was driving there, so I was sort of thinking it wasn't going to happen. Then, as we were talking, I was thinking about what I might say if I were offered the position and didn't want to take it. I wasn't trying to be negative about the situation at all, but maybe those were little clues that this wasn't going to be my big break. So the "vacation" continues. If you can call what I'm doing vacationing. It would be more of a vacation if I'd gone to the beach this afternoon, since it was gorgeous in Central Florida today. My fingers are crossed that we get a few days like this after April 20. Which, for the record, is only 19 days away.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Yesterday was the beginning of a busy few weeks. I worked a dinner meeting in Jacksonville, driving up and back in less than 12 hours. All that driving wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, even though it rained for a good portion of it. The meeting was at a Ruth's Chris, which was great because I was fed well and had leftovers. (My dad will probably benefit from them more than I will.) The not-so-great part of it was the subject of the meeting: IBS. I'll spare you the details, only saying that "raisinets" was used as a comparison. It's a good thing that there's really no subject that can be discussed over a meal that will make me not want to eat. Well, maybe that isn't a good thing, but it worked out well for me last night.

Next Wednesday I leave to do another meeting and will be gone for a week. I'm looking forward to it, but am a little nervous. It's different doing contracted staff work than being from the home office. I probably over-think everything I do, but I just want to make sure that I don't make things more difficult for the people who have to piece together the information that I give them after the meeting is over. I know how that is and sometimes I felt like a detective. Hmm... maybe I should put that on the list of potential careers. That can be right after Court Reporter. Oh, sorry.

The week after I get back, my brother will be home. There is no number of exclamation points that could properly convey how excited I truly am. It feels like we have all been "nesting" in preparation for him to get back. His room is pretty much finished, except for what needs to be hung on the walls. In reality, he'd be fine if nothing else gets hung up. Bambi has found a new corner, which is all he'll really care about.

His room turned out so well; there was a lot of hard work and love that went in to it. I don't pretend to have had any sort of significant part in that. My parents did most of it, though I did help some. If you'd ever seen his room (which is unlikely because it usually had clothes thigh-deep and you couldn't get past the door), you wouldn't even recognize it now. We hung new drywall on one wall - yes, we as in me, my mom, and my dad, together, no one else - painted the walls, put in crown molding, new baseboards, a new door frame, framed out the window, put in wood floors, and his new headboard will be here soon. Before Bambi found his new home, it looked like very beachy. Now, we affectionately call it Bambi's Beach Bungalow. I may post some before and after pictures, but not until he's see it. He has no idea what's in store for him.

Perhaps the most important "event" coming up is
General Conference. I am so looking foward to camping out at home all weekend with my parents and being spiritually fed by these inspired men and women this weekend. As a kid, I dreaded going, but maybe that was because you had to go to the church and sit in the dark for two hours watching the broadcast in church clothes and uncomfortable chairs . As an adult, I appreciate it and look forward to watching all four sessions. But I also get to do so in comfy clothes and pig out on whatever junk we've stocked up on for the occassion.

Thank heaven for modern technology! And for three more e-mails. :-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Car Alarm

Our friend, A, had a birthday on Sunday. We were going to see her at church, so we took a birthday card to her. Sometime during the first two hours of church, I realized that I left the card in the car. Not wanting my mom to scold me, I tried to think of the best time to run out to the car and get it. My dad still needed to sign it and A likes to sneak out as soon as she's finished playing the piano in Primary, so I knew that I had to either leave during the lesson in the last hour or really be fast right after church was over.

To be on the safe side, I decided to sneak out during the closing hymn in Relief Society and then go find my dad, roaming the halls somwhere, and get him to sign the card. Then I'd have to catch A before she left. It was a perfect plan and should work out nicely. Or so I thought. My mom's van was parked right outside of where she teaches the Laurel class (16- and 17-year-old girls), where we typically park every week.

Instead of interrupting her class, I used my key to get in the vehicle. I must've unlocked and opened the door too quickly because as soon as I did, the horn started blowing. It wasn't like I reached through the window, unlocked the door and opened it that way. I had a key!!! All I could think was "I have got to make this stop. She's going to kill me when she finds out that it's me making all the noise!" I finally got the alarm turned off and am still confused as to why it even did that. Once that was taken care of, I quickly noticed that the card wasn't even in the van. She had taken it in with her afterall! Thankfully, she just laughed about hearing it, even thinking it sounded familiar, but telling herself that it couldn't be her car because she hadn't touched her keys.

I guess that's because we're all older. It's funny how the dynamics between parents and childrem change when they're all adults. Most of the time, anyway... :-)

P.S. Blogger was a bear tonight with the formatting. It better be fixed by the next time I want to blog.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

i know you haven't made your mind up yet, but i would never do you wrong

I struggle with agency. The one that means "the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power." Sometimes it's with my own, but often times it's with others'.

I struggle with my own when I think of times that I either didn't use it wisely or I didn't use it at all. I was probably scared or stupid or lazy during those periods in my life. If I could go back and do things over again, I might, but also know that those experiences have made me who I am. And not just the experiences themselves, but the consequences, too. The whole package. I can't, though, so it's silly to even entertain the thought. What I love is that mistakes can be corrected, wrongs can be made right and I can move forward on the path that I always saw myself or wanted to be on.

I struggle with other peoples' agency because I can't always understand what goes in to their decision making process or I don't understand what's behind the choices they make. It could be none of my business and not affect me in any way, but I sort of worry about the potential consequences that they face. The choices could have nothing to do with me, but directly affect me and the way I live my life and I worry about them and me and what the consequences mean for everyone. While I want so badly to do something about it, I really can't. Or I feel like I can't or shouldn't or am not entitled to.

I think I would just love for things to be black and white. Things, life is easier that way. But it isn't the case. There's all this grey area and lots of different shades of grey. I'm well aware of this, I just wish I couldn't see all the shades. If I only saw the black or the white and no grey, I might think less, I might be less crazy, I might worry and wonder less. I'd be very different, though, that's for sure.

Tonight I had the privilege of being at a Q&A fireside with
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He was in Orlando to speak a year or so ago, but I didn't go for various reasons. Upon hearing that he was back, I wasn't about to miss him again. As he mentioned more than once, this opportunity doesn't come along that often. I am beyond glad that I went. About three-quarters of the way through the meeting, it occurred to me that I was in a room of a couple hundred people. Up until that point, I felt like I was sitting in a room with him and maybe a handful of others. I'm sure that sounds strange, but I can't really describe it much better than that.

Talk about food for thought. I took a few pages of notes, which probably wouldn't make much sense to anyone else. Heck, I may not even be able to read it all tomorrow. In theory, I'd like to re-write them all and elaborate on what I thought he said or what I was getting out of what he was saying, but I don't think I will. I think I will tuck those notes in my journal to reference later... in life. I think I'll look forward to reading over them again, along with the feelings that I'll capture as I write in my journal tonight.

I know people that I feel are "spiritual giants" and that just ooze knowledge and experience when it comes to the Gospel. I wouldn't think to use "spiritual" as a way to describe myself and I've only ever heard one person say that they thought I was (to my face). I was taken aback when I heard it and just sort of thought "I wish! You are SO out of my league, so how you think that is beyond me. But... okay..." Of course, I didn't say that, though. I'm sure I just smiled and said the first goofball thing that came to my brain-o-mush. Then I tucked it away and decided that I needed to work on getting there. I may never hear someone say it again, but it's something that I'd like to be and that takes work. Constant work.

There were a couple of people that came to mind when thinking about who I could share my "excitement" with on the way home tonight. Unfortunately, they were unreachable for one reason or another. I was glad to be able to talk to my parents when I got home, but sometimes I feel like if I share those "I finally get it!" moments, they're going to think "What took you so long?" Maybe it's good that there was no one to spill my guts to. I was forced to reflect and was able to continue to take it all in. And I was reminded that I'm absolutely on the right track.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

No Bueno

I thought that I'd be posting about the results of my first 15k, but that is not the case. I sprained my ankle yesterday, which made it impossible for me to run the race and I am pretty bummed. In fact, right now, I'd be running with B, but she's being a champ without me today.

Just after I turned 28, I busted my tailbone.
Remember? The day after I turned 29, I sprained my ankle. Both incidences took place on or due to stairs and my inability to maneuver them. So I either need to avoid stairs in March or be extra, extra careful when I turn 30. I mean 29 for the second time.

I sort of wish that this injury had come with a little bit better story, but something tells me that any explaination would be embarrassing. See, what had happened was...

We got to Body Sculpt at 5:30 a.m., which means it's still pitch black outside. I dropped my stuff off on the little dock thing that we work out on, which is like a boardwalk-type contraption that opens up into a big area out over the lake (more like a pond) at the park. As I went to do my warm up lap, I couldn't see the steps that led back down to the sidewalk and I thought there were only three steps, but there were four.

I'm not sure if I realized mid-stride that I was wrong or what, but I ended up landing on my right foot and my body kept going. That's my best recollection of those quick five seconds anyway. And I was not alone, so two other people witnessed my clumsiness. Fantastic. They were really sweet about it, though. They stood with me while I tried to figure out if I was hurt and how bad it was. I wasn't bleeding and no bones were jutting out of skin, so I was going to survive.

I ended up staying through the class and just did what I could and my ankle just started to get puffier and puffier, but I am hard core, so I wasn't leaving. Ha! Actually, I just did arms and abs. I was already awake, so I figured it'd be silly to bail at that point. I knew that I wouldn't be able to make the race, though. B told me that I shouldn't get crazy and should take a rest day like the training says. I should've listened to her! Had I, I wouldn't be blogging, I'd be in Jacksonville with her right now.

It's still pretty swollen. And I hate having to use crutches. I'd rather crawl around to get where I need to go, but that's out of the question, too, because my left knee got scraped (the kind that's reminiscent of falling off your bike in elementary school). I'm a hot mess. I'm just going to have to take it easy for the next few days. Hopefully I'll be back running in a week or two. Surely it doesn't take forever to recover from a sprained ankle. Does it?

And it least it was now and not any closer to the Marine Corps Marathon. Thank heaven for small favors.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The First Time I Turned 29

I wasn't looking forward to turning 29. At all. Clearly my mom wasn't excited about it either and she didn't help things when she told me "You're old!" as she left for work at 6:30 this morning. I think I might actually like this age after all, though. If today was any indication of how the next 364 will go, I think I'll stay 29 forever.

I went for a run when I got up, but didn't get very far because it was raining. I was disappoint, but things seemed to be looking up when my hair decided to cooperate. Cooperative hair is always good. I then got a (free, except for tip!) manicure and had lunch with my dad and Papa. The day was still young, so I thought it'd be a good idea to get a pedicure to go with the manicure. My dad sprung for the pedi, but got lucky when the guys at the nail place only charged me half price since it was my birthday. Oh, and because my dad helps them out since their businesses are a few doors apart.

More people than I ever could've imagined wished me a happy birthday on facebook and via text. I also got birthday wishes in person and over the phone. I'm normally content to blen in with the crowd, but once in a while I do like the attention. Furthermore, I was pleasantly surprised by who wished me a happy birthday a few times. It could only have been better if Tom Selleck had proposed. Or Topher Grace. Topher's probably more age appropriate.

The best part of the day was easily dinner and dessert. My parents and I went to Texas Roadhouse for delicious steaks and rolls with cinnamon butter. Even though I don't really like it, some of the servers sang their birthday song to me. Why does it feel like that thing lasts for 20 minutes? When we got home, we had mini cupcakes that I picked up at
Sweet! in Orlando yesterday. If you've never had their cupcakes and have the chance to, do not miss out. They are amazing.

I have been thinking about all the things that I've "accomplished" over the last year and how much I know I've grown, whether or not anyone notices or realizes. And then I started thinking about all the things that will happen while I'm 29. I think that this is going to be a really good year. By this time next year, I plan on being able to confidently say that I'm a runner. (Currently I feel like I'm 85% runner and 15% poser.) I think that running at least three races will help with that. I'd also like to be gainfully employed by then, for the record.

Basically, my plan is to enjoy every second of the end of my twenties and to continue to look like I barely got to them.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Month

I love March. I just do. And my love for it doesn't just have to do with the fact that it's my birthday month. That should just make it more appealing to everyone else! I kid, I kid.

I love March because it's when people start breaking out their warm-weather clothes again and wearing brighter colors and when you can start going to the beach or laying out by the pool and people don't think you've either lost your marbles or just trying to rub it in their faces.

The past few days, I was working a meeting and as I sat looking outside at the pretty palm trees blowing in the wind on the golf course, I just realized "It's March!" I feel like the world just starts to look different this month. I love it. It's fresh, it's fun, Spring is well on it's way. I think the air might even smell a little different. It's also that time of year where it's warmer outside than it is inside and you feel the difference when you leave a building. It's no secret that I do not enjoy cold weather. I love it when I am inside somewhere, like the mall or movie theater, and am hit with warm air. This is the time of year when that starts.

With all this warm weather fast approaching (except for the cold front that's supposed to hit us tomorrow night), it reminds me that I need to be getting more and more serious about working out. This butterball wants to be in a bathing suit and have just one summer where she doesn't have to suck in and walk around all stiff to keep to much from jiggling for just one bathing suit season. And you ladies reading this know exactly what I'm talking about! If you don't, you're either kidding yourself or I hate you. Or both! Hehe

On a completely different note, I just read
Delivering Happiness - A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of I'm normally a mindless chick-lit reader and I don't deviate much from that, except for the occassion biography of Church leaders or other LDS topics, but I really enjoyed it. It was an easy read, but I feel like I got a lot of good information out of it, so if you're in to that sort of reading, you'll probably like it. In fact, I sort of want to move to Louisville or Vegas to work for zappos now. Maybe I should wait until the Kool-Aid wears off a little before renting an apartment, though. I can't do anything for at least six weeks anyway.

There were A LOT of links in that last paragraph. I'm hopped up on Coca-Cola and the anticipation of birthday cupcakes. I think I have Spring Fever.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On My Mind

I have a few things on my mind right now, so this will probably go from one topic to the next with no rhyme or reason.

I was watching Holly's World a few days ago (don't judge me.) and something said to Josh, Holly's friend, by his therapist kind of struck a chord with me. His therapist told him that between 30 and 35, you tend to or are supposed to be coasting a bit in life. So your late twenties, 25-29-ish, you should be preparing to coast. It seemed to make sense to me and also let me know that I need to get it together in the next 375 days. In a lot of ways, I am getting things in order. In the employment department, it's still a work in progress. I guess when things are meant to happen and the time is right, they will.

I'm hopeful that my semi-recent interest in being more fit will help me coast through my early thirties. I've gotten together with some of the girls in my ward to run and work out. What's so praise-worthy about that is that they meet at 5:30. In the morning. It's only been two days that I've gone, but I am really liking it. Don't get me wrong, 5:00 is earlier than I've ever gotten up on purpose, even for Seminary. But if it gets my booty in better shape and gives me more motivation to train for my races, I'm all about it. Besides, when other people are there, it makes it a lot easier to do. And I'm much more inclined to stick to some sort of regiment if I think that someone is depending on me or will be questioning me about my laziness. Today, right now, for my situation right now, I'm committed. I mean, the running will have to continue because I've already paid to run the Marine Corps Marathon, so at that's going to keep me going.

The other, completely random, thing that's on my mind is Charlie Sheen. I'm hoping that by getting this out of my head that I won't think about it anymore because it's complete garbage and I have no business worrying about it. I was watching the interviews that he's done this past week and I think he's completely lost it. The thing that really bothered me, though, was his "goddesses." I didn't think it was okay with Hugh Hefner had multiple girlfriends, but it seemed to be a one-off. Now that Charlie Sheen has gone and publicly said that he has two girlfriends and they're all in love with each other and they're helping to raise his kids.

It's just disturbing to me. I may be jumping the gun, but this kind of makes me worry a bit that guys will start thinking that it's okay, or worse - that they're entitled to, carry on relationships with more than one woman simultaneously and publicly. Sure, I know that people cheat all the time and it's wrong just the same, but for it to somehow become accepted or even "cool" to do that sort of thing makes me cringe. Don't get me wrong, I don't see it happening over night, but I do worry that my own kids will have to live in a world that accepts that sort of behavior and it's just one more thing to have protect them from. I feel less sorry for the two consenting women he's involved with and more for his poor kids. He has daughters that will eventually realize what's really going on. How do you explain that to them? How do you teach them that they're worth more than that and deserve better than a guy like their own dad? It's truly sad to me.

I guess I should count my blessings that I'm not involved in any way, shape or form with them. It's just one more thing that reminds me of how blessed I am to have parents with a sense of self-worth and a conscience and morals and who taught me and my brother those things. They taught me to respect myself and to not settle for less than what I deserve and they taught my brother to respect others, women in particular.

I'm positive that this came out strange and probably isn't exactly what I'm thinking or feeling, but I'm just glad to have it out of my head.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Neck & Neck

I was already planning to participate in Disney's Marathon Weekend next January. I made that decision just after crossing the finish line of the half marathon. So it made it easy to commit to a friend of mine when she invited me to join her team for next year. The team name is Team Neck & Neck and it's to support Thyroid Cancer awareness. I'm adding a link to the website on my sidebar, too, if I can figure out how to do it properly. There's also a public event on Facebook if you want to find out more.

T asked me to put together a bio for the website and it was at that time that I realized I should figure out which race I'm running. My initial plan was to run the half again so that Coley and I could do it together; I've already talked him in to doing it. But then I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon about two months prior to Disney's weekend, so I thought maybe I should do the full one. I'm not sure if I can talk Coley in to jumping in with both feet quite yet, though. The solution to this little problem would be to do the Goofy. Run the half and the full. Called the Goofy after the dog and because people who do that are, well... goofy.

You would think that I wouldn't even be considering do that, since my run this morning was less than stellar. In fact, I almost turned around and went home a number of times. The first couple of times were because some weird guy came out of the bushes and was waving at me and he didn't look all that trustworthy. He looked like he was looking for his next victim. The other times were because I was hurting. Badly.

One way or the other, I'll be running at least one of the races. I've got plenty of time to decide which or both. Guess who else has time to decide which to do? You! I realize that there are only like two people that ever read this, but I'm here to tell you two that if I can run these kinds of races, so can you. It really is a lot of fun and this team is a great cause to run for. Actually, you don't even have to run. You just have to be able to keep a 16:30 per mile pace. That's what I constantly reminded myself of throughout the training. If I could average less than 16:30 per mile, I was golden.

If nothing else, running really tones your legs and butt. I'm still waiting on some results in the mid-section! :-)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Getting Serious

Before I ever ran the half marathon, my friend asked me if I wanted to run a 15k with her in Jacksonville in March. I said "Sure! After a half marathon, a 15k will be a breeze." My only reservation was where I might be on the weekend of the race, especially when I lost my job, but I found a training plan and tried to follow it so that I'd be prepared. With the move, the training got put on the back burner, but actually registering for the race re-inspired me. Then I worked a meeting for a week in Orlando ate like I had the best metabolism ever - which I don't, if you were wondering. Four weeks before the race. No bueno.

I knew I needed to get myself in gear and said it the entire week at the meeting. "On Monday, it's back to reality. I'm running four miles and then getting back on the training plan. I have to get a couple of good, long runs in before race day." Besides, the first few days of eating from a decent buffet and unlimited (mini-ish) desserts was fun, but started to take it's toll. By the end of the week, I was still eating everything that caught my eye, I just didn't enjoy it as much. Why did I not exercise self-control? Because that's just not an option on-site. Work a meeting and you'll see what I mean.

Thank goodness B was in town this weekend and we'd made plans to go for a run. When she said that she wanted to run the causeway, I was hesitant, but game. Her reasoning was simple and so smart. The
Gate River Run ends with a bridge (on a bridge? over a bridge? whatever. there's a bridge at the end.) and she wanted to have a little practice before the big day. Thank goodness she knows these things because I do not.

So after my crazy week with lots of early mornings, I got up at 6:30 this morning to run the causeway. Let me first say that it is FAR from the intersection of Eau Gallie Boulevard and South Patrick/Riverside to the west side of the causeway. In a car, it seems like nothing, but when you're heading west on foot, it feels almost like it might not end. Perhaps I'm just not used to running straight stretches. I try to incorporate turns into my runs so that I have a change of scenery to look forward to. If not, all I can think about it how my run will never end. It must be that whole setting-short-term-goals-makes-the-long-term-goal-seem-more-doable thing. Or I have a bit of ADD.

All in all, starting and ending at Gleason Park, we ran 4.4 miles in 53 minutes. I was proud of the fact that I ran more of the "ascent" than I thought I'd be able to and I used the "descent" portion to keep running instead of taking a walking break. I might even try to find someone to run the causeway with at least once more before the race. I could definitely use the practice and it's actually kind of fun.

In other running news, the registration for the Marine Corps Marathon opens this Wednesday at noon. I will be registering as soon as I can so that I don't miss out. Hopefully I'll stop waking up in the morning thinking "What day is it?! Did I miss the registration?!"

Who have I become??? My one yucky, bruised toenail suggests a runner. Thank heaven for nail polish!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rapid Aging

Last Friday I started a six day stint as a staff person for a meeting. I was just getting used to this whole unemployment/vacation thing only to have to get back in to work mode. Six days straight was a bit much, but I survived. Barely.

Today was the first day that I got to sleep in again, which was fan-freakin'-tastic. I also had a few errands to run at the mall before getting a much needed and anticipated haircut. I'd gotten an e-mail about the President's Day sale going on at Loft, so I thought I'd stop in to see if I could pick up a shirt or something.

When I was checking out, the girl at the register asked if I wanted to give my e-mail address. I told her that I already got the e-mails, but she said they were updating them, so I gave it to her again. (I really need the daily e-mails letting me know of the new arrivals and sales.) After she finished typing it, she said "82 (part of my e-mail address)... Is that when you graduated or something?" I was floored! I said "Graduated?! Um, no. When I was born." Then she simply said "Oh." as though she was just slightly off the mark. Like "Did you graduate from high school in 82?" and I said "No, college." I really thought she would come back with something along the lines of "How silly of me! Of course you couldn't have graduated in 1982!" Not even close.

I then said "Do I look old enough to have graduated in '82?" And she just said no, as if my question were completely ridiculous. So I said "I know it's been a long, rough week, but I didn't realize that I looked that bad." And she just said "'82... that would make you even older than me." For the record, she looked like she was easily 45, so it wasn't like she was a young college-age girl.

The fact that she never even attempted to recover from this blunder just blew me away. It's almost as if she had no idea how insane her question was. Ever since I moved back home, I've had countless people ask me if I am getting ready to go off to college or if I just graduated from college. Before today, I couldn't get people to believe I'm almost 22, much less almost 29, if I tried! People think my brother is older than me! Yet I have somehow managed to age 30 years in the last week.

The meeting was no walk in the park, but evidently it took more of a toll on me than I thought. Thank goodness I've got a few days off now to recover. Apparently I need it. And some anti-aging cream.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


So, you heard I'm moving, right? Right.

I've been trying to clean out and then pack only the things that I will definitely want to take with me to wherever I end up after a (hopefully short) stint at my parents' house. I've done pretty well and took a significant amount of clothes and shoes to Goodwill on Friday. I'm talking two huge trashbags full of clothes and probably 30 pairs of shoes and that is no exaggeration.

Really, cleaning out my closet has been the easy part. The hard part has been to determine what I want to go in to storage and what I want at my fingertips. I know that whatever is in storage I will be able to get to because it's not like I'm renting a storage unit in Orlando, but living somewhere else. The problem is that I can't imagine that my dad is going to be willing to stack boxes in there the way I'd like him to so that, on the off chance that I need something, I'll know exactly where it's located. No. He's going to pack everything as tightly as he can get it in there (probably leaving room to put any other stuff that's been sitting at his house in there so that it goes wherever I go next. I'm on to him.) and he's going to tell me to deal.

Then there's the painting. When I moved in, I was told that I could paint whatever I wanted in my apartment and all I'd have to do is paint one coat of primer over it before I left. I wanted to paint stripes, but my dad thought I was nuts and told me that if I wanted to do it, I was on my own. I held off for the first year, not knowing what might happen with my job (which was only an internship when I started), but as soon as I renewed my lease for a second year, I went straight to Home Depot and bought paint.

This is what I ended up with, which I have loved every time I've looked at it.

Initially, I wanted a much more neutralcolor on the un-striped walls. As I was painting, I kept thinking "I hate this color. This looks like macaroni and cheese!" But once the blue tape came off and the furniture was back in place, it wasn't so bad.

I'm having a really hard time getting in the mood to cover it all up. Not only did I put a lot of hard work in to get my walls like this (every line is perfectly straight - I used a level and measured every single stripe), but if I cover it all up, I'm really leaving. Clearly I'm still in denial, at least part of the time.

It's just strange to think about all the things that I've been through while I've lived here and to think about how much I've changed. This wasn't my very first apartment, but it's the one that I've lived in since just after graduating from college. I've done a lot of growing here and it's tough for me to be leaving it behind.

I guess that's what happens, though. I'm sure that there are bigger and better things for me ahead. This move in no way feels wrong. In fact, it feels more right than anything I've done in a long time. And I plan on painting stripes in my next place, so it's not like they're lost forever. They'll just be slightly different; I already have a plan.

I think what's also scary is that, for the first time, I'm taking this big leap of faith and I have absolutely no clue how it'll end up. Granted, I've got this safety net securely below, but I still have no idea what lies ahead. It's not exactly like I'm packing everything I have and moving to a strange city with the hopes of finding a job and being able to make it on my own. No, no. But the only "knowns" that I have are who my new roommates will be and how long I'll still be receiving a paycheck. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Preacher Cookies

First of all, I'm on some sort of blogging role. I don't know where it's coming from or how long it'll last, but I'm just going with it.

A couple of weeks ago I needed to make some sort of something to thank a member of my ward for teaching my class for me for the three weeks I wasn't able to around the holiday. I saw him my first Sunday back to church and made sure to let him know that I hadn't had time yet, but would make good on my promise. That week.

I'd been racking my brain for days trying to figure out what to make. These days you never can tell if someone has some sort of allergy that will kill them, so I was afraid of making something that could cause some sort of adverse reaction. What pressure!

Around the same time, a friend of mine mentioned that she had a Christmas present for and wanted to get together so she could give it to me. At first I thought "Oh crap! I only got Christmas presents for my immediate family, but we never really had that conversation. And it's stupid to go out and buy a Christmas present two weeks after Christmas. That's definitely cheating." Then it dawned on me. Preacher cookies! (For those who don't know... Chocolate. Peanut butter. Oatmeal. Enough said.) She loves them and, even though she has the recipe, loves them even more when I make them. (Everything tastes better when you didn't make it for yourself, you know.)

Two birds? One stone? Yes, please! Sort of.

I had one from that batch, just to make sure it wasn't poisonous, and gave them all away. But then it turns out that they were poison. Poison for my waistline! A week later I found myself jonesing for some Preacher Cookies! I tried to ignore it, but I couldn't and made another batch. Even while making them, I kept telling myself "I have no business making these things because I don't need them. I just ran a freaking half marathon! These are the very last thing that I need!"

I did take some to work, but for the most part, I've eaten almost the entire batch by myself. I've had at least four tonight alone. AFTER A THREE MILE RUN TODAY!!! Way to negate every step of that run, Jac. Way. To. Go. Jillian Michaels would probably tell me to throw the rest away. I mean, that seems logical, right? Just get rid of the temptation. But I can't. They're too tasty! I've never liked these little devils more. So my plan is to just finish them off, maybe even take some more to work tomorrow to speed up the process, and then get it together. My jeans and dresses and lungs during runs will thank me. Maybe even the scale will, too, but I'm not trying to be completely unrealistic.

P.S. If you don't have, but desperately need, the recipe, let me know. You will and won't thank me later.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What A Pain

When rumors were first going around that lay-offs were iminent in my office, I told my parents that I would be moving home if I didn't have a job. My mom seemed fine with it, maybe even secretly excited. My dad was a little more hesitant, but not because he doesn't want me there. I think. ;-) But then I survived the lay-offs and it was kind of a relief that I wouldn't have to do that. I was going to be able to continue on as normal (as normally as you can when 1/3 of your friends have just been let go) and keep calling Orlando my home. Then the bomb dropped that the office would be closing altogether and I was now out of a job and I was facing the reality of potentially moving home.

I may have said this before, but I'm going to say it again. Moving home messes with your head. Please don't misunderstand, I love my parents and I am so, so, so greatful that they are supportive of me and are allowing me to move back home until I find another job. But after being on your own for a long time, it's tough. I know that it isn't my fault that I'm in this situation, but I still wish it weren't happening. However, I do believe that things happen the way that they're supposed to and that everything will work itself out in due time.

Regardless, moving is not fun. I don't care what anyone says, even if they are crazy enough to say that it is. And this move is especially annoying simply because I'm moving back to my parents' house. My parents are not the annoying part; I love them and am kind of looking forward to being able to hang out with them all the time (probably more than they're looking forward to it!). But the annoying part about it is that I have to figure out what I'm going to need for the immediate future and what can go in to storage.

How long will I be living there? I have no idea. How long have I lived on my own? Over seven years consecutively, so I've got stuff. A lot of stuff. Well, not like a hoarder or anything, but enough. What's deceiving, though, is that I like things put away. So when I look around my apartment, I think "Oh, this isn't so bad." And then I open a cabinet that is (neatly) packed with... stuff. So far, I have two and half boxes packed and I have 17 days to be out. Eventually the pressure will move me to get myself in gear.

Aside from the packing, there's all the other things that have to be done in order to be completely moved out. I painted probably two-thirds of the wall space in my apartment. The good news is that I only have to put a coat of primer on the walls before I leave. The bad news is that the coat of primer has to be applied to the walls before I leave. It's not exactly an afternoon task. Then there's the change of address with the post office, with the actual people that send me mail, and on my license and closing my accounts with the power and cable companies. Part of me hopes that this move lasts more than a month just so that I don't have to go through this re-building phase two days after getting to my parents'!

There are some pros to moving there, though. I'll be saving money, which is the biggest one. My dad asking me "Did you run today?" will drive me a little crazy, but also keep me motivated. (Especially since, just tonight, I gave Kelsey a verbal, public agreement to run the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October. What?!) I won't have to eat leftovers for a week straight after cooking. I won't have to hunt my parents down when they aren't home on Monday night to read Coley's e-mail. And the icing on the cake: I'll be sleeping in a pink room every. single. night.

I'm sure there are a lot more pros that I have yet to see, but will in the coming weeks and months. I am hoping that once I get settled, I'll actually get motivated to look for a new job. Right now, I'm just not, but I do feel like what's going on is what's right for the time being.

And I've got some training to do. 26.2 miles isn't going happen overnight!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Half Marathon Recap

The big day has come and gone and I'm still alive. Here's the whole story, along with some pictures, and hopefully it doesn't bore you to tears.

On Friday, we went to the expo to pick up our race packets. Since this was my first half marathon, I was glad that Russell and Kelsey had been through this before and were showing me the ropes. The process itself was pretty easy. We didn't have to wait too long in any of the lines, but there were tons of people there. It stands to reason, since I think there were like 50,000 people participating over the whole weekend. 50,000!!!

Kelsey and me with the booths in the background (field house at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex. Coley is going to be SO jealous when we finds out that I was in the field house.)

And here are Russell, Kelsey and I leaving the complex.

The rest of the day on Friday, we checked in to the hotel, relaxed a bit, went to Olive Garden for dinner and to pick up a few things that we'd need for the race the next morning. After all of that, we went back to the hotel and played some Cribbage and got all ready for our SUPER early wake up call.

Let me just pause and say that I could not have had a better time. It was so fun to spend time with Russell and Kelsey. We laughed and joked and it was just a really good time. Russell almost went face first in to the display of bananas at Publix, knocking over 100 boxes of Nilla Wafers. (For the record, I hate the name of those things, but love banana pudding with them in it.) Playing Cribbage is always fun, but it was especially fun to let Kelsey get a little taste of what Russell is like when I'm beating him (which is the majority of the time). I also really enjoyed getting to know Kelsey better. She has to be one of the most, if not the most, positive people that I've ever met. I could stand to learn a great deal from her.

Moving on! We got up at 3:00 on Saturday morning, though I think I woke up just about every hour during the short part of the night that I was supposed to be sleeping. I don't know if I was excited or nervous that I would over-sleep and make us late and not be able to run. Either way, it was almost a relief when we were to get up because I didn't have to worry about it anymore. Friday night, we went to Tropical Smoothie so that I could get my smoothie with energizer and I started drinking that as soon as I was out of the shower. I knew I would need it and by the time I was dressed, I was already raring to go.

Our plan was to leave the hotel by about 3:40 so that we could take a taxi to the start and not have to worry about figuring out how to drive ourselves there or parking. This picture caused us to leave about eight minutes later than planned and "Coach" Russell was not amused, but I just told him to zip it and he did and we went on with our day. Haha!

After walking over the river and through the woods, we eventually reached the tents where we were to check in and then head to the corrals. Getting to the tents, though, is a whole other story in itself for another day. The bottom line is that we made it on time and no one rolled an ankle or anything before we got there. So what if we walked an additional five miles prior to the actual race? Here we are just before the point of no return.

Part of me wishes that I'd taken my phone with me because there were several times where I would've liked to have taken pictures along the route. I would've liked to have taken a picture of the guy dressed up like Peter Pan who I never noticed while I was passing him, only when he would flit passed me every so often. I would've also loved to have gotten a picture of or with the lady who had to have been at least 70 years old. I found her during mile eight and thought "I can't believe she's doing this. I need to pass her!!!" There were also quite a few people who made me feel especially skinny. That's always good for a little boost of confidence.

I felt really good throughout the race. I did start to get hungry, though, and knew that eventually there would be a food station around mile seven. By the time I got there, I was so hungry that I would've eaten anything. I saw some people standing on the sidelines holding Twizzlers. I was confused and they didn't exactly look like official race volunteers, so I decided not to take any. Wouldn't it have been funny if they really weren't handing out candy to racers, but just holding it and I snatched one as I ran by?!

I think that I ran more than I walked, which was awesome. I know that I ran the first three plus miles without taking a walking break. That was amazing for me because I'd never run that far without some sort of walking mixed in. I think that the adrenaline was definitely pumping and I have to think all that energizer I drank prior to the race was helping, too. Here's a picture from when I saw Russell just before turning on to Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. This was during mile five, I'm pretty sure.

As I was getting closer to the end, I started to think about whether or not I'd get emotional when I finished. I decided that it didn't feel like that type of experience, so I was banking on no tears. Then, as I entered Epcot, I spotted my parents and they looked so excited to see me. I was excited to see them, too, since this was the first time I'd seen them during the entire race. They took a couple of pictures as quickly as they could, but I didn't want to stand around for a photo op, I just wanted to finish! As soon as I turned that little corner, I did get a little teary, but I never actually cried. I was just so thankful for their support and to see them. I needed that extra boost to get me through the last mile. I saw them again just before crossing the finish line, which was great.

In the end, I met my goal. I crossed the finish line on my own two feet and didn't even come close to being picked up and driven to the end for not being able to keep pace. In fact, I actually had a secret goal of finishing in under three hours and I'm happy to report that I met that goal, too. What's a little strange to me is that my official time on the website was 2:59:41, but I remember looking at the clock as I crossed the starting line and it was at 58 minutes and some odd seconds. Then, when I crossed the finish line, I knew that it was around 3:45 (3:44:56, according to the website). I may not be the best at math, but that would make my time somewhere around 2:47, give or take a few seconds. I think I like my time better, so I'm sticking with that one. Besides, both times are under three hours and it's not like I'm trying to qualify for the Boston or New York City marathons, so who really cares?

It took a little while for me to find anyone because I didn't have my phone and I didn't really know what I was supposed to do to find them, other than going to the "M" area like Kelsey and I talked about. After looking around for what felt like forever, I finally asked another spectator if I could use their cell phone to call my parents. I didn't want to move, but I also didn't know if they knew where to look for me. I wanted to stretch, but didn't want to be bent over or on the ground in case they were looking for me, too. Finally, Russell and Kelsey found me. Here are Kelsey and I, half marathon finishers!

My parents finally found us and everything, which was great. I'm sure my mom was a little disappointed that she was standing in the parking lot at Disney World, but didn't get to go all the way inside. I'll be sure to take her back soon, though. I'm disappointed because I don't think that I have a single picture with the two of them! Kelsey and Russell might have one (I hope! Please send it if you do!), but I am not positive. Two of my friends from work also got up before dawn to come out and support me. I wasn't sure if they were going to make it or not, but I was tickled to death when I saw them. Who gets up that early to go watch a bunch of crazies running?! These girls. And that's how you know who your real friends are.

The bottom line is that I am so happy that I did this. I will absolutely, without a doubt, run another half marathon. I will definitely do this one again and I will do a different one. I have already told my brother that he is completely capable of doing this and that we should run it together next time. He's down. Depending on my employment and living situation, I am planning on running a 15k in Jacksonville with a friend of mine in March. I want to keep running. I have never considered myself a running and don't think I'm quite there yet, but I want to get there. I want to set goals for the next race and continue to see myself improve and get stronger and to push myself to do things that today I don't necessarily see as possible.

Even now, all I can think is "Dude! I ran a half marathon!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

Going and Going and Going...

Two things I never do:

1. Share any substantial amount of information that I've written in my journal with anyone, especially the general public.
2. Put a link to my blog in a facebook status.

Tonight is like a total eclipse of the moon, not the heart, Bonnie Tyler-lover. (Apparently those are really, really rare. According to the google search results for "most rare eclipse.") I've had my blog address posted on my facebook info for pretty much the entire time I've had it, but I didn't advertise it. I figured that if someone found it on their own, they were welcome to read it, though I have nothing to hide.

This is, word for word, what I just finished writing in my journal. The entry isn't complete, but you wouldn't get the rest anyway.

"This is going to be all over the place for one reason and one reason alone. I went to
Tropical Smoothie for lunch today so that I could eat something reasonably healthy and tasty. They are doing weekly promotions with their suppliments. this week's happened to be adding the Energizer suppliment for free. I've never gotten one, but when offered a FREE trial, I thought "What the heck!" I really should've thought "What the heck? Heck NO." Anything that is said to fight fatigue and boost energy is a bad idea for me. At least when I won't be working out. I am STILL "cracked out" and it's been more than 10 hours since I started drinking the smoothie. I feel like I could run a full marathon right now with zero problems. I have no idea when or if I'll get to sleep tonight. A Blimey Limey smoothie plus Energizer makes me the freakin' Energizer Bunny. I am currently devising a plan to pick a smoothie up late tomorrow afternoon and store it in the refrigerator at the hotel overnight and drink it before the race Saturday morning. I think it would really help my running. I thought Russell was insane for wanting to drink Coke before a marathon because I thought the carbonation would completely mess up my stomach. Now, he may be on to something. Especially the way caffeine affects me. I'm going to see if the smoothie thing will be possible. If not, I'm going to open a coke tomorrow and let it get flat and drink some before the race Saturday morning. In fact, I think I have an open bottle in my fridge right now. I wonder if it's still good? I can't taste it right now, though. It'll send me back in to orbit and I'm trying to come down, though it's not going so well."

Many times while typing this all out, I thought "This is exactly why I don't share this crap with anyone and want to burn these dang journals before anyone besides me gets a chance to read them." And after reading all of this post, you should now know why the beginning of this post is the way it is.

One more thing I should try to never do again: willingly ingest the Energizer supplement from Tropical Smoothie. Or anywhere else for that matter.

I might regret this tomorrow, but tonight I'm too jacked up to care. :-D

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's So Close!

I cannot believe that in less than 48 hours, I will have completed the Disney Half Marathon. When I signed up for it, about three months ago, I thought the day would never get here. I kept telling myself that 12 weeks was an eternity away and that I had plenty of time to train. That notion has been proven wrong, but here we are anyway, ready or not.

What's even more interesting to me is that, back in April, I posted this and mentioned how I'd like to one day run a marathon. While I am not running a full marathon, as mentioned in the post, I at least made a step in the right direction. It's funny that eight months ago that was a pipe dream. I had no intentions of actually signing up and doing this, but here I am! Furthermore, I said in that post that I only wanted to do it one time and just to be able to say that I did it. Now, I'm thinking about the next one that I'd like to do. It's amazing to me how things (opinions, situations, goals, etc.) can change so quickly and so unexpectedly.

I've had a number of people ask me if I'm ready. The simple, most truthful answer to that question is "As ready as I'll ever be." Realistically, I haven't followed my training schedule as closely as I would've liked to. Work and life got in the way a bit, but I feel like I can at least finish the race, which is all I really set out to do. On the next one, I might set a time goal or something. I sort of have a time in my head that I'd like to beat, but I'm not going to hold myself to that since I have no idea what to expect.

I have enjoyed seeing my progress throughout the training process. My body hasn't changed in the ways that I was hoping that it would, but I've definitely seen changes. I kept telling my mom that the rib-cage to hip region was where I was looking for the most results (specifically: the muffin top), but some might kills for the quads and calves that I now have. (And by some I just mean one or two people.) I'm hoping that if I just keep running after Saturday that my midsection will catch up to my lower half. Way to be optimistic, right?!

Today and tomorrow, I will be mentally preparing. I really hope that I can sleep tomorrow night. Especially since we have to be at the starting line at 5:00 a.m. That means I have to get up way before I ever had to for Seminary. In most cases, having to be up at 3:00 in the morning would make me just stay up all night. Obviously, I can't do that in this situation. I'm also praying for no rain and cooler temperatures. The high in Orlando on Saturday is supposed to be 70, so I hope that's accurate and that it doesn't get up to 70 until later in the day. If it's in the mid-40's when we begin, I think it'll be perfect.

Did you, by chance, read what I just wrote? I just said mid-40's would be perfect. I am definitely off my rocker.

In case you're interested, here's a map of the run: