Monday, February 20, 2017

I moved!


Well, many weeks later, a sold condo and a new house, I am officially a HOUSE owner! My condo closed on February 8th, my house closed on the 9th, and I moved in myself (with the help of my parents and a coworker) on the 10th! So as of today, I have been in the house for 11 days! Just this weekend, since it was a long weekend, I painted the living room and dining room and have been shopping/decorating my house. Starting yesterday, it really has begun to feel like home, and not like I am living in a strange place. 

So....let's take a tour!

House in the summer....door is no longer red.

Painted and re-arranged living room! 

View when you walk in!

Painted dining room!


Guest room (and my room for the first week waiting for my bed to be delivered)



Off-kitchen half basement- it's such a nifty storage space.

Dining room (view from the kitchen)


Walk in closet!

Walk in closet!

View from closet towards bathroom (and a kitty).
I have a yard but it needs a little upkeeping, so I have no good pictures! I am still looking for more furniture for my bedroom upstairs (I am thinking a bigger rug and storage shelves with baskets for items) and a bigger accent chair for downstairs....and yard chairs/equipment...but it really does feel like home! I even did some yard work this weekend....aka 20 minutes of picking up tree "balls" (I never remember what they are actually called)..

Monday, January 9, 2017

Snow Days!

Happy Monday! Only a week into the new year and I am already off work from SNOW. We got about 8 inches (this is my guesstimate as I did not even bother measuring) from a big winter storm on Saturday. It has also been freezing. We hit 0 degrees last night and have not seen anything above 32 degrees since briefly on Friday afternoon. I love cold weather but I draw the line at single digits! This is Virginia after all. I didn't NEED a snow day just yet, so I really hope this isn't it for the season. Usually mid to late February snow is very much needed and appreciated :).

Since I have mainly been snow bound besides snow walks/runs (thankfully my condo's treadmill is in working order!) and a quick trip to the grocery story yesterday because I desperately needed kitty litter, I have done a lot of lounging and TV watching (Westworld anyone?)...and drinking. Ha! I only wish classes had started and I could get ahead on the semester...oh, well. I DID do most of my planning for the class I am teaching, so I guess that counts?

The kitties enjoyed the snow!

I love my neighborhood:)

I also had a very exciting Thursday and Friday...I sold my condo! Pending good home inspections this week, I will have a new house in February! This has all happened very quickly and pretty much down to the wire (I had a contingency contract on a house where I needed to sell my condo and the owner got another offer the same day I got an offer on my condo), so I am hopeful all will go well and things will continue to work out. I have LOVED my condo (and I still do!), but having more space and more room to make a place my own, have a yard and live a little more privately is so exciting to me! I have a backyard! A porch! An upstairs! I have already begun decorating in my mind:)

That is all for me...I hope you are staying warm!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in Running and Books

Once again, I read a lot of books this year! Not my best year, but work and school caused me to read some academic related books as opposed to my fun, fiction reads! The starred (*) books are the ones I recommend.

  1. Anybody Out There? by Marian Keys
  2. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari*
  3. Cold Cold Heart by Tami Hoag
  4. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
  5. New York by Edward Rutherford*
  6. Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keys
  7. Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keys
  8. The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes
  9. A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman*
  10. Hatteras Girl by Leslie Wisler
  11. Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand*
  12. The Assistants by Camille Perri*
  13. The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand*
  14. Summer People by Elin Hilderbrand*
  15. Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand*
  16. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson*
  17. I Still Dream of You by Fannie Flagg*
  18. Babyville by Jane Green*
  19. Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves*
  20. The Housewife and the Actor by Shannon Hale
  21. Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand
  22. No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Parenthood by Henriette Mantel
  23. Gray Mountain by John Grisham
  24. Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson*
  25. Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
  26. Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes
  27. Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead
  28. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult*
  29. Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  30. Deadline by Sandra Brown*
  31. Turning Tables by Heather and Rose McDowall
  32. Boys on the Boat by James Brown*
  33. Drowning Ruth by Christina Swartz*
I also ran a lot this year! I set personal records (PR) in the 15k, 10k, 5k and half marathon (I PRed twice!). Sadly, no full marathon PR due to getting the flu, but overall, it was a great running year! Click here to see all my records and races! My total miles for the year are about 1382, which is lower than my 1414 from 2015 BUT I blame that on my un-run marathon and the week of non-running due to illness:)

My running goals for next year actually includes running FEWER races (trying to save more $) and doing two marathons in the fall- Chicago and Richmond! I am excited to run more for fun and less for time...thankfully, setting so many PR's this last year takes the pressure off and let's me enjoy my miles for my mental, physical and emotional health rather than the clock time. 2017 will be the year of LESS pressure on myself and MORE enjoyment of my hobby!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy NEW YEAR! GOODBYE 2016!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Holiday Season 2016

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! After many holiday parties and festivities, I got off work on December 16th with two glorious weeks off! It is my favorite break of the year, so I had to celebrate accordingly.

Therefore....I went on a cruise to the Caribbean! My sister in law and I went out of Fort Lauderdale via Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas for a relaxing 6 day adventure.

Grand Cayman Island

Costa Maya, Mexico 

Cozumel, Mexico

I lounged A LOT, got a lot of sun, played a lot of trivia , ate a lot of food and read a lot of (3) books!

Then I spent Christmas with my favorite niece, June!

We snuggled a lot...

Since then, I have visited some friends, met a lot of babies, watched TV, run and will be enjoying a low key New Years! Get ready for my year end book list coming tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Long Time No Talk!

Well helllllo!

It's been 6 months since my last post, and I have been recently getting the urge to post again! I really enjoyed the break and my step back from blogging, but I did miss posting some days. I won't be a regular poster, but I do think I am ready to get back into the blogging game for a little bit!

So what have I been doing? Well, much of the same! I started a new job in July, so I have been adjusting to my new school and my new role and it has been wonderful! I was definitely a good decision! I work at my alma mater (high school) as the Counseling Director, which is fun, but also feels very different than when I went here, so that separation has been great.

I also am almost done with this semester of school! I took two classes this semester- an Educational Measurement class on creating test and survey instruments and a Qualitative Research class. I have enjoyed the content of both classes very much, and I finish completely for the semester on December 14th! I have some presentations between now and then, but I am pretty much done. It is hard to believe next semester is my LAST of classes! BUT I have a lot to do- taking two courses, teaching a course (same one I did last spring) and then my qualifying exam and comprehensive exam....THEN I get to start writing! I have my topic and chair, though, so I am feeling good and excited to get started! This program has flown by and overall been really great. I still don't know for sure what I will do with it, but I am looking forward to having options (like not paying tuition and making more $$$)!

As for racing- oh, what a fall! I was all trained for the Richmond Marathon, feeling great and having completed THREE 20 miler runs, and I woke up the day of the race with a 102 degree fever and the FLU. It was awful, but there was no way I could race. It took me about 10 days to get over the flu (please get flu shot)! I was able to run a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 10k, and instead of finding another marathon, I ran a half marathon this past weekend the Blue and Gray in Fredericksburg) and ended up setting a personal record! SO that was exciting and at least made me feel like the marathon training was for SOMETHING. It was a hard pill to swallow to miss it, but feeling as bad as I did made it a little better. There will always be another race!

Besides all that, I became an aunt in October (!), attended a lot of baby showers, and traveled to New Orleans this fall for a conference. It has been a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to the holidays!

I will check in again soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

On the last day of my twenties...

On the last day of my twenties, I woke up at 5:30 AM to 50's degree temperatures and went on a 3.5 mile run...

On the last day of my twenties, I wore a purple dress..

On the last day of my twenties, I played with kittens at work...

On the last day of my twenties, I went to my summer class from 4-6:40 and talked about the different views of educational research...

On the last day of my twenties, I went to my former high school's graduation...

On the last day of my twenties, I talked to good friends and laughed with coworkers...

On the last day of my twenties, I sang Broadway in my car...

On the last day of my twenties, I watched an episode of Gilmore Girls...

On the last day of my twenties, I went to bed grateful for my twenties but ready to have them behind me...

On the last day of my twenties, I thought about all the amazing places I have been in my 29 years...

On the last day of my twenties, despite having a rough week, I felt blessed.

Here is to turning 30 and the best decade yet!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Race Updates

I have run a few races this year, so I figured it was time to do a quick recap of all of them!

January-> Frostbite 15K: 1:17:17 (PR)

I was in pain at this point, but I think I look pretty cool, right?
This was the 2nd time I have run the Frostbite 15k and it is a great, small race that starts only about 2 miles from my house. It begins at a local elementary school, so it is really easy to park, and they have a place to hang out, keep warm and use the bathrooms! This race was cold, in the 30's and it was snowing, but it was better conditions than last year when it POURED. It runs around a neighborhood and a few lakes, and I always enjoy it. A PR is also nice:)

March-> Huguenot 3 Miler: 24:44 (5k time- 25:37, PR?)

This race was not my favorite. I ran my last half marathon peak run the day before (12 miles) and had done it fast, so my legs were not rested. I wanted to use this run as some speed work, and while my first mile was 7:40-something, my last two were 8:30. I just couldn't keep the pace on my tired legs. The course was a few loops along a wooded path, so not my favorite scenery and it was not easy to run the tangents. I also think it was short of 3 miles... I may/may not do it again. At least it was cheap!

March-> Shamrock Half Marathon: 1:52:24

This is a good depiction of the race- head down avoiding wind/rain!
This race was probably the worst conditions I have ever run in! There were 30-40 mile/hour winds, it was POURING rain and it was cold (upper 30's). I debated running it once I got to the race (I commiserated with some other runners as we all decided if it was worth it), but since I had driven down to Virginia Beach AND paid for it (it was expensive), I decided to try. It also is a half I have run many times, so I knew the course well. I ended up only missing a PR by 13 seconds, and once the rain ended the race wasn't so bad. I may be done with this race for a while, though!

April-> Monument 10k: 49:04 (PR)

Smiles of a PR finish!
The Monument 10k is a BIG race (30k runners) and is the race that got me hooked on running. This was my 6th year running it, and it is always one that I look forward to. I live close to the start, know the route very well (I run it on a regular basis), and I get to party after the race is finished at my friend's house- what more could you want? It also has starting waves (and a good starting time- 8:30!), so it is well organized and you are always with people who run at your pace. My goal this year was to break 50 minutes, and I did it! I actually had to walk part of mile 2 due to a stomach cramp, but all my other miles were in the 7:40's, so I was able to make up a lot of time. The conditions were cold and it was even a little snowy, so it was perfect for a PR! I also parked near my friend's house for the after-party and jogged a 1.5 mile warm up on the empty streets before the start, so that was great:)

April-> Flying Pirate Half Marathon: 1:51:00 (PR)

This race is fun because it means a weekend at my friend's house in the Outer Banks! The temperature was perfect- upper 40's and sunny and we did not have much wind on the sound except for during mile 8. The course is challenging as the last 3 miles are on a trail and the rocks hurt your legs at that point AND the last .5 mile is practically straight uphill. I always run the last 3 miles about 10-20 seconds slower than the rest of the race, but I still PRed! My legs tightened up early (around mile 6) probably due to my fast 10k the week before, but I held on and was very pleased. Now I will have to aim for under 1:50 :) I do love half marathons!

 I have felt really good running and have kept my mileage around 20 per week, which seems to be my sweet spot, so I will have to keep all this in mind when deciding if I want to start training for the Richmond Marathon again:)