Friday, December 31, 2010

Proven Urban Legend

I've heard the rumor before the drinking a hot tub or jacuzzi gets you drunk quicker. Well, its 3pm on NYE and in an attempt to initiate getting ready for the big night, I took a nice Epsom salt soak in my jacuzzi tub (while my fiancee went for a run and made me feel lazy)... with a glass of wine. One glass of wine. And now as I type this, I find myself backspacing almost every word to correct my horrifying spelling and semi-double-vision.

Its true... one glass of wine + jacuzzi = sloppy girl.

That's my 2010 piece of wisdom for you. Be warned.

Happy 2011!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Take Those Chinese Fortunes SERIOUSLY!!

Check out the message from the Chinese fortune cookie I got about 4 months ago. Ironically, I actually think I got it at Bangkok Kitchen in Maumee (although, do Thai places give Chinese fortune cookies? That doesn't seem right... shouldn't they give Thai fortune cookies?)

Nevertheless, we had literally just started house-hunting when I received it and now today we are closing on our wonderful "treehouse" in the lovely village of Whitehouse. We won't be moving in for a month or two because we are giving ourselves also the most wonderful custom kitchen ever (more on our wonderful cabinet company in another post). Photos to come... but I'll just wait until I have the keys in hand. Forgive me if I'm slightly skeptical of a fortune that comes inside a cookie!!! HOORAH!!! Life list item #102 shall be completed in a few hours!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Ahhh... the blessed purchase reviews. That's a throwback to my fabulous days working at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston when our offices were offsite in the Copley mall and myself and 5 other lovely ladies worked in one room together (with a handful of other lovely ladies just outside the door) and would oftentimes come back from our lunchbreaks with new goods to show off. Someone would come back with bags and we'd all yell "PURCHASE REVIEW!!". Loved it.

So here are two recent purchases... both that I am very proud of and cannot wait to showcase in my new home (which by the way, I close on tomorrow! Eek! Yay! Scary!).

The first item I found at an estate sale... not just any estate sale but the one of a sweet Edith Franklin... a famous and established Toledo pottery artist. I bought a handful of lovely pottery from the sale and some nice pastels so I can create my own "masterpieces" (notice I humbly put that word in quotations!). But my favorite purchase was this large oil painting. A complete abstract I have discovered that the artist John Black actually had a one-man show at the Toledo Museum of Art back in 1963... when this painting was made. Hmmm... I wonder if this piece was perhaps made for that show and once hang in the wall of a fancy art museum. Ironically as well, after some research I found that Ms. Franklin (who I had the pleasure of having a nice yet short conversation with that day) is actually a graduate from Boston's School of the Museum of Fine Arts! What a fun coincidence! Anyhow, I got a complete steal on the piece... I paid less than I probably would for a framed Pier 1, Pottery Barn or even IKEA piece. But I love it as if I paid 10x as much.

The other item I just purchased today at a WONDERFUL antique shop in Ann Arbor called Treasure Mart. I went there to visit a craigslist sale that featured a tan Barcelona chair... that was actually not in great condition and a weird greenish shade of tan so I passed. But luckily I hit up this gem of a store while I was in town.

First of all, let me add that Ann Arbor is a GORGEOUS town. I have never been there and the downtown area is all charming and tree-lined with amazing old homes. I'd love to go for a run there or sit in a local cafe and drink my cappuccino on a Sunday morning. But this store was RIDICULOUS! I loved it. Amazing everything -- furniture, lamps, art, books. And tons of it. Three different levels plus it was pouring in the garage, porch and driveway. Immediately I noticed things were all reasonably priced and in reasonably good shape but when I stumbled on a Duncan Phyfe mahogany dining room table for a mere $125, I lept on it before I even walked through the rest of the store. With that price, I couldn't risk losing it by 5 minutes! Upon claiming it and going to walk through the rest of the store to see if I wanted to buy anything else, I immediately noticed that it had an additional two leaves in a wonderfully custom-made crate underneath the table... which was a complete shock because already this table measured about 96" long! I later learned that it had 5 total leaves and expands from 48" to 108"! Talk about a dinner party! It will look even better when I pair it with some contemporary chairs and a shiny chrome light fixture of sorts. It was in impeccable shape as well... check out the images... but even more exciting for my $125 purchase, check out the similar listings for the exact same table (with less leaves) that have it listed at $1000!

Additionally, let me just add that the service at Treasure Mart was just amazing as well... two men shrink-wrapped and carefully loaded the "treasured" table into my pick-up truck with furniture pads (that they lent me under the condition that I return them in 2 or 3 weeks when I get a chance). They literally spent about 15 extra minutes just making sure I was all set and they were the nicest, friendliest guys to boot. I will DEFINITELY be coming back to this wonderful gem. Apparently the turnover there is pretty amazing which isn't a surprise given its great location and the amount of people there on a random Wednesday afternoon!

Listing 1,mahgany-drop-leaf,2269878.html

Listing 2*F%3F&GUID=4111aec512b0a06c1b770637ffded6dd&itemid=380234518982&ff4=263602_263622

That Crazy Panda

I want... no, I NEED to buy some of the Egyptian brand Panda cheese. I'm frightened to see any Panda's in my daily routine otherwise. (PS: If you lived where these commercials aired, this would be an excellent and FREAKY Halloween costume -- you'd have to play that music from a boombox to get the full effect).

For some reason they won't let me embed this youtube video but all the other ones are missing my favorite part at the end of the first grocery trip scene... view it here:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Designer Squared

Hopefully my graphic design skillz will translate to interior decorating skillz as well. I've had fun at least impersonating an interiorista and even if it doesn't look professional -- it certainly is getting me excited for the new pad. It may seem like I'm a bit anal-retentive here, but actually the MORE I seem to plan out kitchen renovations and furniture plans, the more flexibility I feel when I'm actually out buying the pieces that will go into the room because I'm so familiar with my final vision (hence also why these sketches are still in erasable pencil format in my sketch pad).

Check out my big plans for the living/dining areas of the new house. Sure, there's a lot of new fancypants furniture in there (including that silly Arhaus Reese chair that I'm just praying will be ours after we hit the Powerball), but its a long-term goal and with the drawings here as a guide, I know I won't just comfortable and end up stuck in a rut too easily. I think I may just frame the drawings and hang them so I can admire them from my bean-bags chairs until I get there.

HGTV Internationale

Yes... prepare yourself readers because if you haven't already figured out, you will be getting a LOT of home decorating posts in the upcoming months. Its better than me just going on and on about my wedding colors or other shenanigans associated with 08-06-2011. But the priority right now is pimping the house that I'll be closing on this Thursday out and making it as cozy and livable as the pictures in my bursting head. Now that that disclaimer is over...

I'm obviously given the situation, OBSESSED with HGTV. Except it seems that 90% of its programming is House Hunters. I find that show interesting but now that I've hunted and captured my wild game, I'd like some more details and how to make it look all DWR on an IKEA budget.

Even more so, for every one traditional House Hunters (which by the way, do often make me feel even MORE confident about our purchase and deal), they show like 4 House Hunter Internationals!!! Having just bought a house, I feel pride and excitement -- I really don't need to watch these folks that already own 6,000 sq ft homes shop for their Italian villa or Barbados beach house. Sheesh. Its a good thing we have such wonderful trees and landscaping at our new place... I can pretend that I'm vacationing in the mountains of Tennessee or Vermont or something until I find MY perfect French countryside cottage... in like 40 years.

Dear Arhaus,

I'm obsessed with your Reese chair (hey readers: its so much prettier than this photo in person... with a beautiful weathered look that is just delicious). Its like the most caramel-ly lovable version of the classic Barcelona chair that is just not my thing in its traditional black or white leather. I kind of need to have it. Even my fiancé is pretty infatuated with it.

However, even at your sale price of $1299, it is still more expensive than the ENTIRE sectional sofa I've picked out at West Elm. Yet, it doesn't seem like the look will go very well with the plastic folding chairs that I'll have to buy on marked-down-twice-fire-sale if I indeed spent that kind of money on ONE FREAKING CHAIR! For that price, I would like a nightly foot massage thrown in for a year.

Let me know if you could possibly arrange that and we'll talk. Otherwise, I'll just continue to stalk and dream of that damn stupid chair that I love so much.


Oh and PS: if I do break down and somehow decide to buy all of my other furniture at Big Lots so I can afford this chair, I really don't appreciate spending that kind of bank and waiting 10+ weeks to sit my butt on it. Just saying.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Life List #102: buy a house/condo/2-square-foot-of-land!

Ok -- this life list item is soooo close to being completed. Inspection went swimmingly except for that crazy radon test. But luckily the sellers were kind enough to get that taken care of (or it will be as of this Monday) so thankfully we don't have to deal with that or add that to our ever-increasing budget. Closing on the 29th or 30th. We cannot wait... we've even gone over once in the meantime to spray the bee's hive that we need to nix pre-move. Funny that we're doing all this maintenance already when it isn't quite legally ours!

The kitchen renovation continues... I met with the third kitchen cabinet folk today for cabinet pricing. Stopped at Lowe's to get a quote on this Black Walnut island countertop I'm slightly obsessed with. And we've officially bought all of our appliances except the stupid wine refrigerator. Such a pain trying to find an undercounter/built-in version with hopefully dual zones that is actually cheaper than our full refrigerator. WHO KNEW?! But I think we've saved so much money on the other items that a few extra hundred will be well worth it.

Anyhow, with the pre-planning I've done and sketches and research, we will most likely be ordering these cabinets the day after closing and hopefully installing a mere month later. Knock on wood... literally.

So, if any of you friends or blog-readers out there ever need a kitchen re-do, please consult me... I ask more questions than should even be legal, so I can tell you the upcharge for those roll-out pantry trays, or the paneling on the other side of the refrigerator, or those super nice soft-close doors and drawers. And I can also give you the tips on granite savings, where to shop for appliances in Toledo/on-line, differences between frameless and framed cabinets (not to mention overlay and inset) and the costs as well. I've even discovered that not only can you make a cool grand off of selling pre-existing cabinets on Craigslist... you can also sell them to a contractor who prefers to remove them carefully and correctly themselves (saving US a ton of extra work!). I'm a damn kitchen nerd. And thankfully for my lovely fiancé's sake, I'm adoring every second of it.

Check out my pre-planning sketches!!! Talk about ridiculously specific!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Life List #13: Sorta???

This weekend's half marathon in Dayton, Ohio was... well, interesting. In all technicality, my race was finished in 1:16. So I (sorta) completed my goal of doing one is less than 2 hours. Of course, there's a hitch. Just around mile 5, I started getting one helluva headache. Weird. Around mile 6, I was slightly nauseous and a bit light headed (I'll tell ya what, if you're feeling dizzy, having hundreds of runners passing you is not so helpful). Just shy of mile 7, I turned a sharp corner and my body kinda kept turning. Until I was collapsed on my bootie and sitting on the grass sobbing. I knew I wouldn't finish and I had NEVER quit a race. I felt defeated and embarrassed. As the Air Force cadets and the medical team rushed to help me and take my vitals (an hour after sitting on a cot and my heart rate was still well into the hundreds), I kept insisting that I'm not a quitter. When I started getting the chills and I put on my New York City 2008 marathon t-shirt one cadet goes: "You've done a full marathon?! Don't worry about people thinking you're a quitter then. You're just having an off day." that made my feel better.

Also I kept insisting that I had to get transported to the finish line to meet up with my fiancee and my cousin. Many hours later, I finally did with the other lady in the tent that dropped out from knee problems... only to find my poor fiancee roaming the crowds looking completely freaked out more than two hours after I should have finished. He's never hugged me so tightly in my life and he insisted "Who cares about the race... I'm just so glad I have you again!" So although it was sad and I felt horrible that he worried so much... it was a beautiful moment in the end.

Off day it was. Although I'm not scratching that item from my to-do list obviously, it is still ironic to think that somehow I did actually complete that item. Not what I had in mind!

Columbus half marathon in October! I need redemption!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Memmmmories.... like the corners of my minddddd

Hey bloggie. Sup?

Remember me? I bet I've lost all of my viewers. I've neglected them and you for so long, bloggie. I'm a horrible blogger. But I have a job. And a fiancé. And a house. For Pete's sake.

But after sending a good friend my "life list"... I'm inspired again to come back to you more regularly. I know you've heard this before so just support me and I'll do my best.

So as an FYI, I am now up to 33 items done on my list of 111 (78 items done). Done in the last few months:
65. get CPR certified
102. buy a house/condo/2-square-foot-of-land! (swoon... more details to come of my lovely "treehouse" in Whitehouse)

I'm also still chipping away at a few others, such as:
13. run a half-marathon in less than 2 hours (PR is 2:05:07) :: doubtful, but I do have a half-marathon tomorrow... maybe a miracle will happen (or I'll find a shortcut)
67. read the Bible :: I started reading it around Lent. Its slow-going with my busy schedule but at least I've started
75. watch all 100 of the AFI's 100 years, 10th anniv edition :: now at 66 out of 100 so far
78. develop a better/stricter budget and stick to for at least 3 months :: I'm at a month and a half of monitoring Ryan's and my bills and allocating them to line items. Granted with wedding planning and house renovations/decorations, it will be out of whack for a while. But the key is, I have a system and so far, its nice to track everything and just know.
111. go on a picnic complete with basket, blanket, wine, and a cute guy :: next warmish Fall day, maybe I'll take Ryan into our beautifully landscaped new backyard for a picnic and some champagne to toast our new purchase/new life! Oddly enough, his back up proposal was to have a picnic set up for us when we were out for a run... his actual proposal was perfect as is, but I can't help but swoon over how awesome he is and how well he does know me and what I love.

Cheers! Have a great weekend... post a hello to show me you're still here and encourage me to post more entries soon!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sometimes I Think I Might Just Be Crazy

Seriously... tomorrow I venture on the MS Bike to the Bay Challenge with my boyfriend and pals Jeff and Kristinna. Its 75 miles each day... 150 miles. Have you noticed yet that I seem to take a life list item and beat it to death yet?

1. run a marathon :: finished two now in 2007 and 2008. Was attempting #3 for this past April but got a stress fracture. Healing up and getting used to orthotics so I can attempt #3 again for this Fall in Columbus.

2. complete a triathlon :: finished a sprint in Fall of 2008. Just did another this past weekend but I was slow as heck so I'm now shopping around for a new bike and looking into my next races.

4. ride a century (100mile) -- finished 100 miles with Tessa in August of 2009. Now I'm doing 150 this weekend even though its already been checked off my list.

Its kinda annoying that I'm not repeating things like visitng Japan or Kenya! But at the very least, all these repeat life list items above are helping me get one step closer to this one:

104. wear a bikini and feel 100% gorgeous + confident with my body

I do have to report that although I have bought some BEAUTIFUL swimsuits recently before my last vacation... my wonderful boyfriend does actually do a great job and making me feel gorgeous even when the mirror doesn't. However, I want definition in my stomach and to svelte down my legs/hips and to just lose that 10 lbs of Ohio weight I've put on (no more beer or fried foods!).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Music for the Emotional Wacko

My momma sent me this super cool website the other day that chooses your music for you based on your mood. Such a cool idea! It seems a bit dangerous and confusing since I'm self-admittedly a pretty emotional person... one minute I'm happy as a clam and loud and outgoing, the next I'm super quiet and introspective (although my friends will tell you it must simply by 3pm in that case and that it can all be cured with a latte).

Anyhow, neat site. Check it out! Perfect for a gal like me who needs mellow music to work to and then obnoxious top 40 pop and hip-hop to workout to!

PS: God bless my awesome hip mom for sending this to me although I am a little concerned that I must be losing my own cool if my mom is the one informing me about the latest trends. Oh well, thanks mommy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Running on the Brain

As I head into my 32nd birthday which happens to be on the exact day of the Nashville Marathon that I was SUPPOSED to be running, I'm naturally a little bummed to be sitting on the sidelines (although I'm wicked proud to cheer on my dad, sisters, boyfriends and pals).

So let me just take a few seconds to pat myself on the back. When I made this life list, it was April of 2007 and I hadn't ever done longer than a 5k race at that point (although I was training for my first half marathon). I put run a full marathon as my number 1 item on this life list... and here's where I stand today (even without that stinky hilly thunderstormy marathon this weekend):

2 full marathons (2007 Marine Corps in DC and 2008 NYC // PR = 4:28:14)
6 half marathons (3 in 2007, 1 in 2008, 2 in 2009 // PR = 2:05:07)
1 7.5 miler (PR = 1:15:00)
2 10Ks (PR = 55:31)
2 5-milers (PR = 46:44)
6 5Ks (PR = 26:12)
1 Sprint Triathlon (PR = 1:30:24)

THAT'S EXACTLY 20 RACES!!! I can't believe the world's most unathletic and clumsy girl has accomplished so much. Two stress fractures over the years is a small price to pay and with the new custom orthotics I'll be fitted with next week, hopefully the next three years will be with even less injury!

So, I guess I'll get over sitting this one out. But don't think I'm not spying a whole list of triathlons and running races for the rest of 2010 as I recover and try to regain my fitness level back!

Out to run 3 measly little miles. Although with two months off, its actually pretty tough. No wonder so many runners still don't think they can run a full marathon (you can! you can!).


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday Duathlon

Well... I'm back! Finally healed (at least I feel like it) from my SECOND tibial stress fracture in the last 3 years of my marathon career (the first happened after I finished my first and was two inches above my current one). Last night I did a 5K run with a decent 9:24 pace and then immediately after did a 20 mile nice bike ride on some serious hills through Waterville, Perrysburg, Maumee (Sidecut Park is SO pretty), up the crazy Fallen Timbers memorial hill and then back home.

As far as the running, I felt great. It was the perfect crisp weather and the sun was shining and glorious. My leg and ankles felt fine but I was huffing and puffing and sweating as if I'd never run a day in my life. I'm kinda flabbergasted at that. My last run before I ended my training for the Nashville Marathon (which is BTW this weekend -- so excited to cheer on my sister on her second full, boyfriend at his first (which he blames me for!) and dad on his first half marathon!) was on February 18. So basically its been two months since I've really run. But why do I feel so out of shape? I used to be able to pick up 5 or 6 miles easily after 3 or 4 months off! And this time, I've actually been swimming hardcore several miles a week anyhow! I'm pretty irritated and as my birthday looms on Saturday wonder: is this old age?!? Let's hope its a fluke and will subside soon because there are a lot of road races and triathlons I have my eye on this summer.

Anyhow, despite feeling so outta shape during my run portion of my workout, I'm still awfully proud of myself. I feel like I'm finally feeling like myself again!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Back on the Google Reader Bandwagon

This post is dedicated to my little sister... who mentioned to me yesterday that she literally goes to my blog everyday to see if I post. I wonder how much time she has wasted in the last 10 months of my sporadic blog career? Anyhow, I'll try to do better.

It started this morning. Well before I usually even begin work around 9, I like to spend an hour watching the Today/GMA shows and eating my breakfast and getting the sleep out of my eyes. I force the beau to not leave the house unless my two feet have hit the carpet because it would be too easy to just lull around in bed for half the morning. Therefore, I'm up at 7:15am and I spend the time I would previously have used primping and commuting to work -- being a total couch potato. No mas, mi amigos.

Whether its household tasks or a short bike ride or just reading the blogs that have taken over my bookmarks or the endless tabs I always have in my browser (I have an average of 20-30 webpages open at any time with articles that I want to go back to and read). I will henceforth be more productive with my mornings... and hopefully, with my blog posting too! My vacation is over... I have a ton of new clients for my own business here and I'm officially detoxed from my Boston/NYC overload from the past few years. I even usually go to bed around 11. Do you even recognize me, people?

So if any of you actually remember a post from a while ago, I had picked up the lovely Google Reader tool. I think I stopped using it around the time I also killed my former laptop. This morning... I updated it with all the new blogs I check. And deleted all the old cruddy ones I never really liked (and the blogs that have gone defunct in the last two years). And I'm freshly updated with new posts whenever they come in... no more checking and re-checking blogs that haven't been updated in a while. And while I added to google reader, I deleted from my bookmark. I have enough crazy articles and favorite pages to keep up with that I don't need those bookmarked as well.

I highlllly recommend that you all get a google reader for your blogs. It basically lets you know how many posts you haven't reviewed from all your fave sites. I honestly don't know how I survived with out it for so long but I can tell you it wasn't very efficient!

Friday, March 19, 2010

ACCOMPLISHED: #65: Get CPR certified

After learning all sorts of CPR and first aid for adults, children, and infants, I am officially certified (perfect scores on both tests, thank you very much). It was a full day of life-important lessons! And hopefully, it means that by being prepared, I'll never be tested (much better than the alternative of being in a scary situation and knowing I keep MEANING to take that course).

I highly recommend everyone to get a similar course like this so they know what to do! You don't need to be a medical professional to do what you can!

31 items on my list done. Only 80 more to go!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Pet in 2010?

Ok... so the BF/roommate isn't a cat person at all. And he is really opposed to even joking around with the idea of getting a dog (he likes them but 1. he thinks they're too much work (agreed) and 2. he seems to have a preference to little dogs: chihuahuas and yorkshire terriers... and I'm very much more into labradors or at the very least a good medium-sized pup).

So maybe... the the only type of pet I'm heading towards is a goldfish (hopefully this one won't commit fishy suicide like the last one I had as a child that leaped out of the bowl to his carpet death). I think with a tricked out house like this, that fish would never wanna jump...


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Log-Rolling Champion!!!

So a handful of years ago we took my girlfriend K out for a night on the town after a breakup with her boyfriend. We sat in the bar talking and drinking but thought the night would get more interesting if we brought some of the cute male clientele into our conversations. You know... a "more fish in the sea" reminder. So as L, K and I sat in that little bar in Boston with some random log-rolling competition being shown on the television, I started luring in the boys by polling them with a very important and tough question: "if the three of us competed against one another in a log-rolling competition, who do you think would win?" Somehow, they all kept picking L... which being that K & I grew up on farms seemed implausible (apparently my super high stilettos were causing the guys to question my ability to chose appropriate log-rolling footwear, one of them said).

Anyhow... the night was a hilarious memory that I forever think back fondly on but we never did have our log-rolling showdown. But I'll tell you one thing, I will NEVER go head-to-head with that crazy scary Kool-Aid man!!! He looks like he's been practicing!

Check out the commercial that totally reminded me of our fun night:

Best Cookbook of all Time

As my leftovers from last nights dinner are warming in the oven now, I figured it was an appropriate time to share my fabulous little gem of a cookbook. I'm kind of a cookbook slut. I have huge stacks in my kitchen of them. Probably no less than 30. But a few years back, my mom asked for this book for Christmas and I gladly gave it to her. After a year of her cooking some truly amazing dishes out of it, I asked for it the following Christmas for myself. It is the "The All-New Complete Cooking Light Cookbook"... although its a few years old so "All-New" doesn't really apply anymore (dumb title choice!). Buy it here.

Its healthy but amazing... and I love when cookbooks tell you how long its going to take before you get in over your head. My mom also pointed out that on the Cooking Light website, you can even view reviews of the recipes from other guests. A tool I'll definitely be using although their indication of "All-time Favorite" recipes has been working pretty well for me.

Some of my favorite recipes from here:
Asparagus with Brown Butter
Gruyere, Arugula and Proscitto-Stuffed Chicken with Shallot Reduction Sauce
Four-Cheese Macaroni (seriously? this is healthy!!!)
Margarita Pizza

Oops... My oven just went off. Time for yummy stuffed chicken leftovers!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oooo... Gummy Bears

I have always adored gummy bears and despite my crappy soft teeth that are prone to cavities and more, I always will. Therefore, as gorgeous as this looks, it's a wise decision to never have a chandelier like this hanging in any house of mine!

(from hello bauldoff and found via swissmiss)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Coolest Wedding Details of 2009!!!

OK - obviously after some amazing trips and wedding celebrations of 2009 in Kenya, Connecticut, Russia/Fort Loramie, Pittsburgh, and Toledo last year, how could I ever pick one as my favorite?

Well, I didn't but one photographer selected Miss Lynn's wedding as the best details. And wouldn't you know it... that was the one I helped out so much with designing pinwheel table cards, programs, favor cards, menu cards, vintage childhood photo lanterns, guest book, etc etc etc etc etc etc. It really was an amazing day and the photos from RAW photo design make it even more spectacular. Congrats to Lynn & Matt again!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Life List #112: Check!

Ok... if you've been following me, you know I only have 111 life list items. And I'm not just making up items as I do them so there really isn't nor will ever be an item #112. But after the last few days attempts and fails, this morning's triumph seemed like it should be listworthy.

Yes... you will laugh when you realize that a 31-year-old who has always been known to her friends as a pretty darn good cook & baker with some pretty over-the-top dinner parties on her record, did not know how to make an sunny-side up egg until this morning. I can roll sushi, bake bread from scratch, cook mussels, and even fry my own handcut truffle french fries. But even after resorting to google for tips on the "dippy" eggs (as I used to call them as a little girl), I could not master it! This morning -- done! I feel like I've been so productive today and its only 8am and I am just turning on my computer! (It may have to do with the website I designed in the last few days and my great response from the client last night though too).

Wow. I hate to be all cocky but as a breakfast-making, marathon-running, bible-reading, butt-kicking business entrepreneur over here, I'm getting so good at my life list, I'm now accomplishing things not even on it! ha!

On a side note: my good friend Carrie sent me this Sandwich Sprinkle spice mixture a few years ago to make her famous stuffed jalapenos with. Its ridiculously good on eggs -- "dippy" or not.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Move over Sheryl Crow

As I weigh my days wondering "To Run, or Not to Run" and start getting seriously bummed at the fact that my ankle/leg pain, while not getting worse, does not seem to be getting better... I'm looking for good distractions. Being in Ohio in an uber-small town with all of my friends a phone call or plane ride away, the idea of not being able to train for this marathon is a pretty big bummer. I'll find out more on Thursday when I go to the sports doctor -- stay tuned!

So I'm looking through my list... and checking it twice (Tee hee. Sorry.) for some ideas to pre-occupy myself.

I've already signed up for my CPR class, might as well do something that could (but hopefully won't) put it to the test... so I just signed up for a Masters Swim class at the nearby YMCA. A good workout since I'm sitting around and trying to stay off my leg. And although I've checked off "#6: Learn how to swim properly" and "#2: Complete a triathlon", I'd still like to keep moving forward on those items and improving both!

And because that class will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:45-10pm, I noticed there was Adult Beginner Guitar classes on Thursdays from 7-7:45pm at the same Y. So there you go: "82: learn at least three songs on my guitar."

We're making progress people...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Running Update

After one run... I had wicked Plantar Fasciitis (par for the course with my wicked flat feet). After another run... crazy achilles pain. Next time... my calf was on fire and it felt similar to when I had that stress fracture in 2007. I decided that despite the pain (idiot that I am) I was going to go back to the gym and squeeze a slow 4-miler in just in case I couldn't do my 11-miler this weekend. My run hurt like hell and the only time the pain really went away was about an hour after my workout. Huh? Running on it fixed it? That's entirely counter-intuitive!

Today, my heel is slightly sensitive and I'm just a bit sore on the top of my foot/ankle. But compared to how I was feeling before my run, I'm SO much better. My calf hardly hurts at all! YAY! And I've come to realize that at least I'm lucky to be running one of the few marathons in April that has a half marathon option -- that wasn't a possibility in New York or the Marine Corps. So as bummed as I would be not to run the full (its my birthday wish, after all!), at least I can do something!!!

In other endorsements, after my treadmill run, I limped over to Dave's Running in Perrysburg to talk to them. How perfect that I came right before closing when there was 4 employees with no other customers. They all patiently listened to my long list ailments and the remedies I've tried and although the didn't sell full replacement legs/feet, they did actually point out that maybe the treadmill usage in the last two weeks is a huge contributor (more give and it inevitably changes your gait!). HMM! Interesante! They also highly recommended (short of visiting an actual podiatrist for custom orthodics) the PowerSteps Pinnacle inserts, which is the same brand I vaguely remember my orthopedic doctor recommmending in '07. So I put the money down ($40! Not cheap!) and will keep you posted!!! I also dug up the physicl therapy exercises from that same orthopedic doctor and will start doing those too in high hopes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Soon All Will Be Safer in My Presence

Life List #65. get CPR certified

This will be happening on Thursday, March 18. 9-6pm. That's one long day of resuscitating dolls of adults, children and infants!!!

This item was put on my list a long time ago not for the actual overarching idea of helping my fellow man (although that IS pretty clutch), but because four years ago, I actually almost choked to death on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It was the day before my 28th birthday and I was just hanging out in my apartment on a lazy Sunday morning after a night out. I made myself a basic PB&J (smooth PB -- I've now switched to crunchy). On literally the first bite, it got lodged deep in my throat. I didn't quite chew it enough (I SAID it was a lazy Sunday, didn't I?). I scurried around my apartment trying to find countertops to push myself into in an attempt to dislodge it -- I had seen my older sister do this once at my parents' house long ago. It wasn't working and although I had considered running into the hall to my neighbors apartment, I was just in a t-shirt and underwear so my weird twisted idiotic logic said "I can't go out in the hall while I'm choking with no pants on!!!" Funny now... pretty stupid then. Or not... I still don't know.

In any case, I went into the bathroom (this had to be over a minute or maybe even two) to try to push myself on that counter with its rounded corners and as it wasn't working, I looked up and saw a purple scary face peering back in the mirror. My panic took control and I literally bent over and puked my guts out. That reaction literally saved my life... my airway was free and I had avoided death by PB&J. However that next week I literally couldn't even take a sip of water without excrutiating pain. Turns out after a visit to the Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor, I had pretty severely "burnt" the inside of my throat from the friction of the lodged sandwich. In any case, I learned my lessons: 1. Its a pretty good idea to take a CPR class at least once so I have some sense of what to do in an emergency. 2. Take smaller bites and chew them obviously. And of course, 3. Put some pants on, for Pete's sake.

So I'm really looking forward to this class and just knowing that I have the power to do something in that sort of scary situation God forbit it ever happened again.

Also, on a side note: why is it that the Toledo-area seems to have so much more First Aid/CPR classes than all of Boston and NYC areas? Do they realize its a lot smaller population? I've been looking into taking this class for years and not only do I suddenly have tons of options, but its also ridiculously cheaper!

Be inspired yourself -- take a CPR/First Aid class if they are available near you (Red Cross, Salvation Army, YMCA, local hospitals). Sadly, you never know when you'll need it!!!

Lenten Sacrifices & Ashy Wednesdays

Last night I actually went to Ash Wednesday service for the first time in about 3 or 4 years. It was nice and a de-stresser to sit there in church after dark. Of course, poor BF of mine had to work late bc his company's president was in town for a 5pm meeting so I blessed him by touching his forehead to mine when he got home and sharing some of my ashes! I know it doesn't technically count but I also know he would have gone if he could.

I admit... my faith has sort of took a backseat in the last 10 years off an on. I've been put through hell and back with awful jobs, loss of loved ones, erratic schedules, repeated heartbreak and just general cruddiness. But that's no excuse because I've also been blessed with amazing friends and family, inspiring trips, and amazing accomplishments to make it to where I am today. So looking back on my life list, there are two spiritual items that are an effort to pick up on that religion that has inspired and driven my parents, grandparents, and ancestors to make me who I am today. Obviously my spirituality and beliefs are very personal and its always hard to make sense of it all in this modern world but if I don't start making a bigger effort to learn about it, how will I ever truly and not hypocritically be able to teach these things to my children someday.

So without going on a tangent of what I believe and getting all preachy (especially since I respect and am equally inspired by different religious ideals as well), I'll simply report what my 40 days of sacrifices are:

1. No candy. This isn't a huge issue for me actually but I learned that the BF has this weakness occasionally. So I'll do the same in solidarity.

2. No cursing. Hello!!?!?! Life list #98! BF is as well doing this in solidarity for me. I don't think I'm necessarily the sailor that I was before when I had such a cruddy job and entire situation going for a year or two. But I do slip up occasionally (proven when a "beeper" slipped out of my mouth while I had two teeny guests under 3 over the other night -- I'm hoping the dinner I cooked them and children's books I read them made up for it!).

3. And my third, rather than give something up, I'll do something I don't usually do: I'm starting to read the Bible. I have a great study version with lots of Cliff's notes and maps and timelines (and additionally the world's SMALLEST type ever -- this may take a LOT of lent seasons to get through!). Yet again, BF is on board with this one and really excited about it... so maybe I have to give him a nice bible to help him out! So there it is: Life List #67 as well! Anybody have any tips for reading it? Do I really just start at the beginning or is there a better order (New Testament first, perhaps?).

Runner up sacrifice: I considered giving up beer and pizza but since those seem to be the official food & beverage food choices of the state of Ohio, I decided now's not the time. I will however, try to limit it as well as make better eating choices across the board! Maybe a whole-grain home-cooked pizza is in our near future...

So I'm pumped for Lent (that's not a phrase that people usually utter, is it?). And although the homily last night was about sacrificing without doing it just to brag about it and focusing on the idea that He will know even if your sacrifices are secret... I'm still broadcasting it on my blog. Partially because, is anyone reading this thing anyhow? And partially because I need some accountability to help me stick to it.

So, if you need the accountability to... tell me, what's your 40 day sacrifice(s)??

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Birthday Wishes

So this year, the marathon I chose to train for is on my birthday -- April 24. My parents, little sister, boyfriend and a handful of other favorite people of mine are all schlepping down to Nashville for the Country Music marathon so some of us can run 26.2 miles (and I will celebrate all of my 32 years).

However, I've had problem after problem this year. Bad shoulder. Wonky toes. Super sharp plantar fasciitis. And now I have yet another eerily familiar woe -- the dreaded posterior shin splints. My right leg's calf is soooo sore on one little spot specifically on the inside of that leg. Been there -- done that. In 2007 I had a sore posterior shin on that same right leg the month or two before the Marine Corps Marathon. I completed... in a lot of pain and with a handful of advils. And within three days afterwards, I couldn't put any weight on it at all and I learned I had a stress fracture in my tibia. Cut to 6-7 weeks of wearing an evil boot and having to go to the world's creepiest and flirtiest sports orthopedist. Bad news.

So I'm paranoid that this is what I may have again... I sit here with ice on my stupid calf and worry that I'll have to spend my birthday tortured as I watch all my loved ones run the race that I was supposed to be in. That could be a REALLY crappy birthday. I know I'm insane to want to run a full marathon on the one day of the year that is all about me... but the actual race day is the only reason I dare run in the first place. I hate running coincidentally... but the glory of the finish line always give me amnesia to the hard work and exhaustion of training. So I'm saying my prayers and hopefully this Cobra kicks in so I have health insurance (they say it will be retroactive but I don't trust it). I have 67 days to try to get back on this bandwagon that I can't seem to stay on for even a solid week. Here's hoping!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Life List Update 2010

Last time I've done an updated list check in was September of 2008. Since then I've moved to NYC for a year and then back to my roots of Ohio. And had conquered 21 of the items. Now... I'm at 31 done!!! So let's recap!! Stuff in italics are DONE!!! Stuff in blue are hopefully within reach in 6 months!


1. run a marathon :: completed first on October 28, 2007 (Marine Corps in DC - 4:42:44). Finished my second at the New York Marathon in 2008 at 4:28:14. And I'm currently (I cannot believe it either) training for my third on my birthday: April 24 in Nashville! Do I get extra life list bonus points for completing above my
2. complete a triathlon :: completed at Douglas, MA 5 Star Triathlon on September 13, 2008
3. buy a bike :: completed on April 24, 2007
4. ride a century (100mile) bike ride in honor of my Uncle Ray :: completed with my sister Tessa on August 31, 2007. Rainiest bike ride ever ended up in the longest bike ride ever. We projected 8 hours but with Tropical Storm Daniel, we finished in 11!
5. run 10 5ks :: 5 out of 10 so far (PR 26:12)
6. learn to swim properly :: finished course at Y on 4/29/08, fluent with freestyle and backstroke

7. surf in New England
8. surf in Hawaii
9. surf in Indonesia
10. go rockclimbing outdoors
11. run in Central Park :: completed on 8/5/07 during NYC Nike Half Marathon
12. run up the stairs of the Chicago Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower)
13. run a half-marathon in less than 2 hours (PR is 2:08:59) :: next half marathon will be Churchill's in Maumee, Ohio on March 21, 2010
14. take boxing classes
15. do a yoga 30-day challenge
16. drink 8 glasses of water a day for one full month :: why is this one SO hard for me?!?
17. no soda for a full year :: finished on 10/1/08
18. compete at least three seasons of tennis league

19. go skydiving for my 30th birthday :: have to reschedule this... my initial attempt on 4/12/07 got canceled because of weather
20. ride an elephant
21. ride a camel :: completed in July 2009 at Diani Beach in Kenya
22. go skinny dipping :: completed in Fall 2008, not the sexy encounter I was envisioning in my head when I wrote this item but a hilarious memory of a camping trip gone silly
23. gamble in Vegas :: completed on 5/9/07 on a work trip

24. go white-water kayaking and/or sea kayaking
25. scale/belay down a building
26. climb a volcano
27. target practice at a shooting range
28. play paintball :: finished on 4/13/08 with sisters, Bill, cousin Todd, and Tim... want to do it again!
29. go snowboarding out West
30. go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef
31. swim with sharks
32. swim with dolphins
33. drive a sportscar around a track
34. go dog sledding
35. climb Mt. Kilmanjaro

36. climb Macchu Picchu
37. go on an African safari :: Jen & TC's wedding in July 2009. What an amazing adventure. I still cannot believe it.
38. visit the Pyramids
39. drive across America from coast-to-coast
40. visit Japan :: completed on 5/14/08
42. visit 200 places in the "1001 Places to See Before You Die" :: 51 out of 200 so far
43. visit Stockholm
44. visit Kenya :: trip of a lifetime!! completed July 2009
45. visit Montreal
46. visit Morocco
47. ride a mule in the Grand Canyon
48. go on a mission trip
49. spend a weekend in a log cabin in the wilderness :: October 2 in New Hampshire with Laura, Braden, and Emily. No running water... no electricity. And the most amazing food and more stars than you could ever ask for.
50. spend New Year's in an exotic location
51. ride in a hot air balloon :: completed on 7/12/08 in Stowe, Vermont (thanks, Steve!)
52. go on a yoga vacation/retreat
53. visit a rainforest :: completed in Belize on 12/24/07
54. fly first class
55. visit India
56. visit all seven continents :: 4 out of 7 so far
58. visit Graceland
59. attend Maine's Lobsterfest
60. attend the Head of the Charles Regatta :: completed on 10/21/07 - thanks Jeff & Sarah!
61. watch the sunset on the West Coast in a romantic setting
62. watch the sunrise on the East Coast in a romantic setting
63. spend an entire weekend on a sailboat
64. take a helicopter tour

65. get CPR certified
66. learn to make paella :: completed on 5/26/07
67. read the Bible
68. grow and eat my own herbs + vegetables

69. learn to roll sushi :: classes on 9/19/08
70. learn to pray the rosary (in memory of my grandmother + with her rosary)
71. bake bread from scratch :: completed 9/29/07 (rosemary bread... mmm)
72. learn to chop food like a pro :: finished cooking chopping class on 6/8/08 given to me from Danielle, Kristen, + Liz! I can't wait!

73. learn another language fluently
74. read/reread all 100 of the "Radcliffe 100 Best Novels" :: only 9 out of 100
75. watch all 100 of the AFI's 100 years, 10th anniv edition :: 60 out of 100 so far
76. learn more about investing
77. learn woodworking + make a piece of furniture :: finished a lovely teak coffeetable on 1/24/08

78. develop a better/stricter budget and stick to for at least 3 months
79. pick back up my contributions to my 401K

80. write a will
81. start a new 111 to-do's once this one is halfway finished

82. learn at least three songs on my guitar
83. take up art more regularly (though drawing, painting, photography, or mixed media)
84. commit at least three balloon animals to memory :: almost!
85. knit an entire sweater
86. sell some type of art/product
87. teach a class
88. be in another play or musical
89. write/illustrate a children's book and submit it to a publisher

90. convince someone else to start a list of life to-do's :: completed on 7/29/07, Lori and Missy
91. adopt a family for thanksgiving or christmas
92. volunteer once a week for at least 6 months
93. organize a charity event
94. be someone's mentor
95. donate hair to Locks of Love charity

96. give up coffee for at least 3 months :: finished 1/1/08
97. go to bed no later than 11pm every weekday for a month
98. one week without a single curse word
99. go one week without complaining a single time

100. no computer for one whole week :: completed week of 5/14/08 while in Japan, Vancouver, Seattle

101. buy a car
102. buy a house/condo/2-square-foot-of-land!
103. own a pair of manolo blahniks or jimmy choos :: completed on 9/16/08 (thanks, you know who you are!)
104. wear a bikini and feel 100% gorgeous + confident with my body :: P90X and marathon training?1? come on... it HAS to happen.
105. eat at a Michelin-rated restaurant
106. be on a silly TV gameshow (reality TV shows DO NOT count)
107. do a keg stand with both my sisters :: completed on 4/12/08
108. kiss someone in the pouring rain (a la The Notebook... *sigh*) :: completed on July 31, 2009. First weekend reunited with Ryan... stuck in the Ryan trying to get to dinner with my sisters as our cabbie got pulled over by a cop for a wrong turn and we chanced trying for another cab. Umbrella broke. And we were soaking wet. It was frustrating as hell but every moment with him that weekend was still romantic and magical.
109. throw an old-school all-girls pajama party sleepover :: completed on 4/26/08

110. go to the movies once a month for a full year
111. go on a picnic complete with basket, blanket, wine, and a cute guy :: got the basket and the guy... now I just gotta make it happen once the weather warms up!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where in the world is...

I don't know where the hell Carmen Sandiego is, but I'm here in Ohio. And despite the slow-pace of Midwestern lifestyle (at least in comparison with the Big Apple), its been a busy week trying to find my groove, unpack, work and miscellaneous shenanigans.

More posts later, tater.

Monday, January 18, 2010

New York Public Library

I'm ashamed to confess that after living in NYC for over a year, I have never been inside the New York Public Library. I went on Saturday looking for some peace and quiet to do some freelance work. However, I was a bit too distracted by the amazing decor that I had a hard time focusing (that and there was oddly no place to plug in my laptop in the computer study room I was in).

Anyhow... take a peek at some of my quick snapshots and visit promptly if you haven't. I look forward to coming back in the warmer weather when the scaffolding is off of the building for another gander.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Spookiest. Run. Ever.

So what did Tessa and I do on our hot Friday night in NYC? Well... we went for our belated tempo run. We had to do 7 miles which was exactly the distance to and from Roosevelt Island including a loop of the island. It was perfect... I have exactly one week left in my sabbatical in Manhattan before I return to my boyfriend and all of my stuff in Ohio... and I have never been to that island before despite the lure of a nice running path and a super cool tram to Manhattan.

We ran past the super cool lighthouse on the northern tip. And then back down to the southern tip... where the path stops and doesn't go to the very edge because of a metal fence. That fence had a gated door that was open tonight. And the allure of a brightly-lit super spooky abandoned insane asylum on the other side. Now under renovation and always lit at night, it actually goes by the name of the Renwick Ruins or the Smallpox Hospital. Tessa said she had never gone to see it because its too scary. I was pretty freaked out too but thought we should at least walk up and get a closer peek. So we did... not too close but just close enough to be spooked about the asylum ghosts that may be haunting at dark on a Friday night. But we survived... and then we had to suffer the achy run back.

Here's some more about Roosevelt Island's Renwick Ruins from a favorite podcast of mine about NYC history, the Bowery Boys... so interesting:

The almost fairytale Gothic structure was designed by James Renwick -- most notable for St Patrick's Cathedral, Grace Church, and the Smithsonian Institute in D.C. -- as the location of a hospital for smallpox patients. It was built in 1856 using labor from the neighboring lunatic asylum.

Roosevelt's relative isolation made it an ideal spot for a smallpox hospital, and the rooms were soon filled with hundreds of patients, many of them poor immigrants too distrusting of our country's immunization practices, or Union soldiers shipped here to recover from the illness. Within twenty years, the New York Board of Health took over the building and made into a nurses residences and school maintained by City Hospital. That too was then abandoned when City Hospital was transferred off of Roosevelt to Queens.

Luckily the deteriorating structure was saved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in the 60s and has only been preserved to the extent that its structure is maintained. It remains beautifully spooky to this day and a testament to the notion that not every inch of New York real estate need be functional.

I've Missed You Too...

Hello, blog. Have you missed me? Special shout-out to Mademoiselle Danielle over in Paris who has been begging me to re-visit you. For all you blog-fans, you better thank her!

Well, its been an eventful 6 months. Crap, has it been that long? And the 6 months before that I was kind of a slacker blogger with little substance. But its a new year and lots of new changes are beginning so its a good time to reinvigorate my favorite family, friends & follower updater (sorry Facebook status updater. I do love you too.). So... I will re-hash a quick 6 month summary of my personal life so I can resume without guilt.

Okay, so this isn't in particular an item on my life list so I'll try not to gush or start rambling too much about my love-life. But in June of 2008, I got a lovely LinkedIn message from a past love from about 10 years ago. We had lost touch and hadn't emailed in about 6ish years. I had often thought of him over the years and vice versa. Oddly enough, I thought of him a lot when I was in the pain of mourning my cousin last March. I guess deep in my mind, he was more than just an old flame and my subconscious knew he could comfort my sadness. LinkedIn messages led to a few emails and photo exchanges which led to a week of daily 2 hour phone calls... and pretty much daily calls since and visits to Ohio/NYC/and in-between every other week over the past 6 months. We knew pretty quickly that this was a big re-connection. And although I've always been convinced I didn't need a man to be happy (and still do), I've never been happier in my life than in the last 6 months. Soon, I made the decision I swore I never would... I moved back to Ohio. And you know what? I could not be happier that I did.

Its funny... I spent the last ten years playing big city hotshot. Getting glammed up. Shopping at Saks for designer ensembles. Rocking stilettos so high that they should really have a health-advisory-warning on them. Climbing the ladder at work and in the design world. And just trying to be as glamorous and far away from the little farm girl I grew up as. Deep inside, I knew I shouldn't hide that friendly & sentimental Midwesterner who missed her family and the quiet of the country and small towns. But it took a man from the past to remind me that although its fun to play dress up, I'm just as special being the same person I was way-back when. He loves me no matter what I wear, where I live, or how successful I am. And finally... I do too. What an amazing man that can show me that.

- THE JOB(S): dbox has been great to me. Like every company recently, we've had a few bumps in the road but because of their quality, much less so it seems than pretty much any other agency out there. And, even better, unlike my previous gig that left my insecure and unconfident, they've made me feel capable and talented to rock any project. I don't want to sound conceited by any means but, damn it, I've been designing a long time and my eerie good memory along with my attention to details has made it inevitable that I would become one of the best at what I do. In most cases throughout my whole career, I end up the sole art director/designer on most projects because I earn the trust from both my boss and client to be able to do it all. So its time to retire the insecure and scared designer and embrace my new life and my new business finally. Its scary as hell but somehow without any effort or push or requests for referrals, I've got new business requests flying at me -- and amazing dream clients at that! I've worked hard to get here and I'm finally more than ready and entirely inspired.

- THE RIDE: I did it. #4 on the list. Ride a century bike ride (100miles) in honor of my Uncle Ray. My Uncle Ray passed away a few years ago from cancer but not without leading a life that inspired. He struggled with spina bifida his whole life and despite having been told as a child he would never walk... his determination and persistence made it inevitable that he eventually did. Beyond that, he additionally went on to ride TWO century bike rides. For a man that I walked with a severe limp his whole life, I sat at his funeral and listened to these stories and thought about how I should try a century ride too... I didn't even OWN a bike then either. And he could join me as my angel and ride in his third century ride. So on a very rainy day on August 31, 2009, my sister Tessa and I taped photos of my Uncle Ray onto our trusty bikes and took off to ride 100 miles out to Montauk from Babylon, Long Island. We were tested for sure... Tessa had three flat tires and though we started out tentative, by our third flat we were practically an Indy 500 pit crew. We had our tears, irritations with one another, sang songs along the way, and I think I prayed about 40 exhausted Hail Mary's during the last 10 miles uphill. I've never been so muddy, cold and wet. And our 8 hour prediction turned into an 11 hour reality with the weather and tire problems. Ironically, the rainy storm was remnants from Hurricane Daniel. So apparently the angel of our lost cousin Danny decided to also join us and play a trick on us that day... that's just like him too. But we enjoyed it nonetheless... and finished proudly and without injury.

What else...
I'm training for my THIRD full marathon. Who would have thought? Do I get extra credit for finishing #1 on my life list three times?!? When I wrote this list in April 2007 I hadn't even done my first half-marathon and I had only been running for about 4-5 months. Who would have thought the little unathletic, clumsy girl would become a runner?!? I'm still unsure of it... we'll see how many marathons it takes before I finally feel like a real "athlete" rather than some sneaky regular person posing as one. All I know is that this marathon will be on my 32nd birthday. What a great way to assert how young I actually I am!

Lastly, life is just good all around. Friends and family are healthy and happy. My life is on the cusp of finally finding a better balance and peace with the patience and help of some amazing people in my life. And if you would have told me one year ago, that my life would be what it is now and I'd be so happy... 1. I wouldn't believe it. 2. I would be pretty proud of myself.

Although I have to do better on my blog updates, I know. Life can't be perfect now, can it? I'm making a list now of other things to update you on from the past 6 months too -- weddings, design projects, vacations. So stay tuned. I swear I will write again before another six months go by!!!