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Sunday, December 30, 2012

10 Years in the Making

I have been waiting a very long time for this.  According to my mother, it has been 9 and half years.  It has been a tradition in our family to have our stockings either knitted for us or cross-stitched.  Specifically my mother has cross-stitched all of ours (5 kids).  With life getting in the way, it has taken my mother slightly longer to get my stocking done.  I think to help compensate she made mine far more detailed than she did the rest.  Aaaannnd I LOVE it!!!

The week before Christmas was my sister's birthday.  We got together again for her traditional Birthday Cookie Day  It's starting to become one of my favorite sister traditions.  I think my favorite part is getting to see my niece and nephew.  :)
Betty Crocker won't be calling me for decorating tips.

Brian and I added to our State-cation list by visiting both the history museum and the natural sciences museum.  Currently, the traveling Titanic exhibit is at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.  When we took our first trip to the museum we went to the history museum....thinking the Titanic exhibit was there.  It is a historical event, right?  Anyway, after two hours of walking around the museum we never ran across the exhibit.  Being pressed for time, we decide we'd leave and try again another day.  As soon as we stepped out of the doors, we saw banners for the Titanic exhibit at the Natural Sciences Museum.  The Natural Sciences Museum is literally across the walkway.  We apparently were completely oblivious to ALL of the signs as we walked into the History museum.  Oh well.  It gave us an excuse to go back.  Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from the Titanic exhibit because it was prohibited.

Hubby loves anything military

Seems so ideal

Little bit of trivia: Pepsi was invented in NC

very symbolic, I enjoyed this part of the exhibit
only picture from the Natural Science Museum
Since the holidays are here, my Crossfit schedule has been pretty out of whack.  I'm a routine person, basically Type A personality.  Because of my busy schedule, I can only make it to Crossfit at a specific time.  That class time tends to be the one cut from the holiday schedules.  Now don't get me wrong, I quite enjoy being able to sleep in.....but I think I've begun to enjoy the sense of accomplishment in my day that I get from Crossfit.  I need to learn to appreciate each day, Crossfit or no Crossfit.  Maybe I should take up running.

Monday, December 24, 2012

I'm that girl

I think I've officially reached that stage.  I can't stop talking about Crossfit.  My sister says I'm obsessed.  I feel majority of the time that it is the best thing that I have done with my day.  I feel so accomplished and I can't deny how much I love the compliments I get from loosing all of the inches.  I literally hid the scale from myself because I swore off the idea that the scale was a definition.  I wasn't overweight when I began my Crossfit journey.  I was just out of shape.  I actually haven't taken measurements either.  I can just tell you from the clothes that I wear and the energy I have on a daily bases how much I've benefited from Crossfit.

Today's WOD (Workout of the Day) was very important to me.  I petitioned for our box to do this Hero WOD.  Hero WODs are signature workouts given specific names of service men and women who have died in combat.  Well recently a Hero WOD was floating around Facebook designed after one of the teachers killed at the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, Victoria Soto.  She was a teacher for 5 years in room 10.  She died on 12/14/12.  She was 27 years old.  Because today is Christmas Eve, normal class times were not running.  I woke up bright and early to get to the 6 AM class before work.  I was proud to see all of the people who showed up for this class.  We did 5 rounds of 10 Thrusters, 14 Box Jumps, 12 Sumo Dead-lift High Pulls, 12 Burpees and 27 Kettle bell swings.  It is workouts like this one that make me proud of the community that Crossfit inspires.  I don't have any pictures of us completing the WOD.  I have yet to get the hang of taking pictures on a regular basis, especially if I want to get serious about blogging.  But you will see some in the future, sweaty mess and all.

And just to toot my own horn, I achieved a personal record this week of 105 lbs on the Clean and Jerk.  To see an example of this I pulled a short YouTube video. Clean and Jerk demonstration.

On a slightly different note.  Merry Christmas!!  I hope everyone is having a peaceful and lovely holiday.  I'm glad to be able to spend it with my family.  So from my family to yours, here is a little holiday cheer.
Zeta Eve (named after Christmas Eve, the day we got her)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Going Forward

Starting today I am going to try my damnedest to blog more.  I feel that I have lots of things to talk about but just don't allot the time to sit down and put them into words.  I have CrossFit, my journey to eat healthier, my financial quest, and an awesome husband...and of course our beautiful pup. :)  I shouldn't have any problems putting those things into this blog.  So this starts a new chapter.  I'm going to focus on all of these wonderful things I have in my life and share them with who ever is willing to listen (read).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Leaves, Leaves and more leaves

I fear that my favorite time of the year will continually be the most labor intensive time of the year.  I love the chilly weather (the need for layers ;-)  ), holiday comfort food, family gatherings and the COLORS!  I know I'm not an outwardly girlie-girl but man! these colors awesome for my complexion and hair color.  LOL  I am more inspired to go out and about when it becomes chilly then all of the summer....maybe it's that whole awkward humidity/sweating thing that gets to me. 

The only downside to those beautiful colors is when they begin to fall.  My husband and I have been living with my sister.  One of the ways we show our appreciation is we try to help out in the yard as much as possible.  This particular weekend our father drove down with all of his nifty machines (leaf blower, chainsaw, etc.) and gave us a huge helping hand in accomplishing the yard work.  The town in which we live comes by three times during the fall and winter season to pick up any leaves raked out to the curb.  So our mission this past weekend was precisely that.

  As you can see from the car in the background, this is quite the hefty pile of leaves.  This is in fact probably 10 years worth of leaves and pine straw that has fallen in the front and back yard.  I got a little carried away with the leaf blower....three and half tanks worth of gas type of carried away.  BUT!, the yard is as clear as it has been since my sister moved into her house.  She also took four (or five, I lost count) truck loads of trees and branches to the local dump.  Finally the sun can shine through the trees!!

See the line of leaves to the left, that's where her yard ends

Zeta is surveying her playground
I think the best thing I heard once this was all done is that my sister doesn't want to do anymore yard work for the rest of this year. YEA!!  Mission accomplished.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Festivals and Frogs

Let me preface by saying that I have decided recently to do some exploring of this fabulous state I have been a part of for so long.  And I must admit that I haven't been a very good North Carolinian.  Since I can't afford to take extravagant vacations, my husband and I are taking state-cations.  So, this past Saturday was the 29th Annual Barbecue Festival in Lexington, NC.  I brought the idea up to my husband that this year we should go to the Barbecue Festival.  We've gone to the NC State Fair three or four times and all we end up doing is walking around and eating the food.  So...lets walk around and eat food somewhere else this year.  The day was beautiful, especially consider what was around the corner.  (Praying for those in the midst of the Sandy damage.  We, North Carolinians, know all too well what it's like to go through those trials).  Since the food tents were scheduled to open around 10, we decided to take our time getting to the festival. 

29th Annual Barbecue Festival

We start almost every festival with the cars.  My husband tries to contain his excitement as he drools over any car he has deemed his "dream car".  I unfortunately just can't get on the same page.  Typical husband-wife scenario.  We slowly made our way through the crowds to get our peek inside each of the tents.  I will admit that either I go to too many festivals or the slow-going trend in today's crafts has become monotonous.  I only saw a handful of tents that peaked my interest.  I was more entertained by the stores who opened their doors to the masses. It all reminds me of why I loved living in a small town growing up.  I did break down a buy a soup cup to keep at my office.  Trust me, I wanted more than the soup cup but I restrained.

On to the barbecue.  This is one area of the festival that I was more than disappointed.  This is North Carolina people! AND a barbecue festival!  My expectation was endless rival tents of 'who's BBQ is better than whos' but that was clearly not the case.  When my husband and I decided have lunch we had to walk a few blocks before we even found a tent selling barbecue.  And if I'm not mistaken there were only two tents selling barbecue and one selling only sauce.  That does not make me a proud Carolinian.  This is the state of the East vs. the West.  (For those of you wondering, I am an Eastern BBQ girl)  I knew going to this festival that it would only be West but that was okay.  I was driving to the West portion of the state to get to this festival.  I guess the only thing I can really say now is that I've scratch that event off my list of Things To Do in North Carolina.

I managed to salvage the day though.  On the way home I stopped by my sister's house to visit my AAAADORABLE niece and nephew.  Nothing can make my day better than having my niece run and jump into my arms when she sees me walk into their house.  This weekend was just before Halloween.  My niece decided she wanted to be a princess.  And let me add that her favorite color is yellow.  So you can imagine my surprise when I found out her princess dress was.....wait for it.....yellow.  The cutest part of all of this is that her younger brother (7 months old) needed a costume as well.  So my ingenious brother-in-law sewed him a frog costume to coordinate with my niece.  It's the cutest site you will see this Halloween.

Princess and the Frog
The evening ended with a bottle of wine and countless giggles with my other sister.  All in all a successful day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

As the World Turns

I'm not sure what to write anymore.  Part of the reason for starting this blog was for it to be therapeutic.  But I have a hard time wearing my heart on my sleeve.  So I avoided this place, this blog.  I'm sure I'm not alone in that defensive strategy.  I purposefully hid behind my excuse of having a second job and my excuse (which I no longer have) of working out every morning.  I just know that if I don't do something then I will begin to unravel.  So many of my goals are just beyond the finger tips but yet I feel like I'm just running in place. It's hard to stay motivated when your valuable therapy (Crossfit) is too expensive and your inexpensive therapy (wine) isn't truly therapeutic.  It's just a way of avoiding.

So here I am on a Tuesday night....avoiding.  I know what I need to do but that doesn't mean I have the fortitude to do it.  I have unfortunately found myself in a vicious cycle.  One of which that once you realize you're in it, the only person you can blame for it is yourself.  The question I must ask of myself is 'Can I break the cycle?'  Actually, that is not true.  I know I can break the cycle.  The right question is knowing if I can handle what comes after the cycle is broken.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Now that I have found the time

Don't be entirely surprised that I have been absent a few months from this blog.  Some call me crazy and others call me a workaholic but when it's proxy season, overtime is my bestest friend.  I drive a fine line between working for overtime pay and being dedicated.  I also have to remind myself that during this time I've managed to stay with my second job, as a waitress.  I think people always forget or don't realize how much energy being a waitress truly does take from you.  I'm obviously more aware of it now that I've had a desk job for more than two years.  Oh and let me tell you HOW outta shape I've managed to become.  It's quite depressing as a matter of fact.  But...I'm the only one to blame for feeling this way.  When you are young and playing sports in high school you don't realize that the structure of team and a coach is what helps keep you motivated.  Trying to get motivated or stay motivated, for me, is damn near impossible.  I've come to accept this as a flaw.

So yesterday was my birthday.  It is the first birthday I have enjoyed in a very long time.  I think it is very possible that I have come to except the coming of age.... Something else that comes with age is the onset of lovely feelings the body produces alllllll of a sudden which you are now completely and udderly aware of on a daily basis.  And on that note, that is why I FINALLY purchased a Crossfit membership.  Now don't start applauding yet because I managed to get an awesome Groupon deal (yes, I know I'm a cheapskate) but it was the exact motivation that I needed to just take the leap and go for it.  I've come to grisp with the fact that if I want to do Crossfit then it is going to cost me a pretty penny to do it.  But I need that hardcore, adrenaline, I can't move tomorrow type of motivation.  In my recent quest to better myself, inside and out, going to a Crossfit gym has been towards the bottom of the list.  I've worked for a couple of years now on my financial health, within the past few months began working on my mental/emotional health, so last but definitely not least is my physical health.  Wish me luck.

“Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternatives.”

Friday, February 17, 2012

May the road rise up to meet you

Okay! So the decision has been made.  The application has been mailed and the trascripts have been requested.  I'm going back to school to be a Nurse.  :-D  And I am excited about this.  I finally know what I want to be when I grow up!  There are few odds and ends that still have to be wrapped up in order to be excepted into the program.  I don't think that will be as much of a problem since I've gotten a head start on the whole process. 

Even more good news to share...I got a raise.  My debt snowball will be rolling at a faster rate this season and I'm so thrilled.  I've been working non-stop for months now, well...even years and I'm beginning to see the sun through the clouds.  I continue to pray that my goals will stay right on track.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The precipice

Have you ever stood at the edge of the future and the only thing standing in front of you is patience?  I'm so there and I'm copin' a pair of shades. :o)  I have diligently waited for the earth to rotate in our direction.  And for the first time in four years I believe that it is our time.  My one and only hiccup is...I'm SO impatient.  I'm like 3 year old fogging up the glass in an ice cream store.  I just want to start singing Veruca Salt's 'I want it now!'

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A loyal sister is worth a thousand friends

Considering the lack of friends I have in my life, I think that is why God gave me so many sisters.  I don't know what I would do without them.  Moving to the Triangle has to be one of the best decisions I've ever made.  Each sister has qualities that set them apart from the others.  And each one has helped support me in ways that are unique to that sister.  I will forever be a better person because they are in my life.

Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.  ~Margaret Mead

There can be no situation in life in which the conversation of my dear sister will not administer some comfort to me.  ~Mary Montagu

Our siblings push buttons that cast us in roles we felt sure we had let go of long ago - the baby, the peacekeeper, the caretaker, the avoider.... It doesn't seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we've traveled.  ~Jane Mersky Leder
Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring - quite often the hard way.  ~Pamela Dugdale

Sisters don't need words.  They have perfected a language of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks - expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief.  Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs - that can undermine any tale you're telling.  ~Pam Brown
We acquire friends and we make enemies, but our sisters come with the territory.  ~Evelyn Loeb

She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities.  She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway.  She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark.  She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink.  Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child.  ~Barbara Alpert

Friday, January 13, 2012

Currently on a high note

I've never consider myself a cheerful person.  :-/  I guess I'm just too misanthropic, on a daily basis.  But when I come into work and I seem to be the most upbeat person, that really says a lot for all of the others.  It's Friday!!!  And we have a three day weekend coming up!  Woo Hoo!!!  Exhibit some sort of excitement...please.  Now granted I can't stand an overly bubbly person but I would accept that right now considering the lot that is working here today. 

On a personal note, I can definitely say that a lot has recently made me happy.  First and foremost, I have mornings to myself again.  This semester my husband has to be at school by 7:45 so he generally leaves around 7.  This means I can finally get dressed with the light on!  LOL  Most recently I've changed my routine (I had issues with motivating myself at night to wash my face, brush my teeth, etc.).  So, I now take showers at night and get everything done before I go to bed.  Which means I get to sleep in an extra 15 minutes in the morning and I get to take my time getting ready for work.  A luxury I haven't had in about 4 years.  Secondly, I have had to back down on the amount of days I work at my second job.  The busy season is going to kick in soon at my full time job but unfortunately we don't know when that will specifically happen.  So, for now, I'm enjoying have the extra few evenings a week.  Third but probably best of all, my best friend is moving to the Triangle!!!  I miss my bestie.  We both moved away from Wilmington within a month of each other.  She moved to Fayetteville and I moved to the Raleigh/Durham area, only an hour and a half apart but still too far.  I've begged her off and on over the past two years to move here too but she wanted to stay closer to her family (can't blame her, that's why I moved here).  But now! she is moving to the Triangle and I'm terribly excited.  I have my coffee buddy back!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What to do? What to do?

So.  I don't want to feel as if my bachelor's degree (Business Administration - concentration Operations Management) was a waste of time but I don't particularly enjoy it.  It probably doesn't help that I denied the career path that I really should have taken...medicine.  Through many discussion with my husband and years of watching medical mystery shows, crime scene investigations, and animal rescues, I've decided I want a career change.  I realize I have to go back to school and to be honest I secretly enjoy the idea of going back to college. 

Here's my dilemma (a dilemma all freshmen in college face): what do I want to do with my life?  When I was younger I was hooked on Unsolved Mysteries.  Any show that had to do with solving a murder or crime through medical science I was glued to the screen.  Knowing that a crime could be solved because of the contents of the person's stomach or from a carpet fiber amazed me to no end.  And part of the glory of it all is that you are speaking for those who no longer can.  Most recently I've gone the opposite direction of death and enjoyed the idea of becoming a labor and delivery nurse or a pediatric nurse.  I've also read a few books on midwifery.  Walking couples through what is probably one of the most special moments of their lives is awe inspiring. 

So?  I'm torn.  Do I become a nurse?  Or do I become a forensic pathologist?  I hope to start school at the beginning of next year.  I obviously need to make a choice by then.  Either way, I know I would enjoy what I was doing.  I am also pretty much guaranteed to never be bored at work.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Total awesome Christmas presents

As some of you already know, I'm a simple person. I don't require much. Every once and awhile someone comes along and gives me a gift that is just a perfect addition to my life. This last Christmas I received two (basically three) perfect gifts that fit my personality. Let me preface by saying I LOVE coffee and wine. A day that includes both is pretty damn close to a perfect day. My sweet, loving and thoughtful sister, Jane, gifted me with Brookstone's automatic wine opener. 
Best present ever!!
 For those who have not had the pleasure of using an automatic wine don't know what you're missing.  The base in which the automatic wine opener sits has a built-in foil slicer.  GENIUS!!  :)  I have had the chance to use it four times since Christms and have cheerished every opportunity.  For the coffee enthusiast out there my other present(s) should tickle your fancy.  Interestingly enough, I don't care for automatic coffee makers.  For the past year or so, I have been using a made from recycled plastic Bodum french press.  It's simple.  It's easy to clean.  Makes fantastic coffee.  The added benefit here is that my husband is not a coffee drinker so not that much coffee needs to be made.  It's ideal for my daily routines.  My other sister, the eldest, Ruth and her husband purchased me a new, fancier (say it with a southern accents) french press.  But that isn't actually the present that has me all in a tizzy.  The best present is a Bialetti Moka Express.  It's an Espresso maker, old school style.  It's so simple an extremely easy.  Best part, or at least I think, is that when my husband and I plan any camping trips in the future I will be able to bring this along.  No coffee, even on vacations, makes me a grumpy person.

My very first espresso maker!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year but no new resolutions

The style in which I rang in the new year will probably be a good indication of what is to come.  I began the evening working at Spirits Pub & Grub, knowing damn well that we would not be remotely busy for this particular holiday.  (Working in the service industry and having a degree in Operations Management has made me very intuitive in this aspect.)  I putzed around most of the evening, seeing as how I only had four tables in four hours.  I looked forward to the fact that I would be able to get home and sit in my sister's cozy house with my husband to ring in the new year.  And then it happened.  Shortly after 9 o'clock a couple walked in, part of a larger party, 'dressed to the nines'.  The gentleman was even wearing a matching bow tie and cummerbund.  (Really?...Really? Matching cummerbund LOL).  My manager made an honest mistake and gave me a party that was already reserved for another server.  He was unaware of that fact, and didn't ask the right questions, that this couple was part of the original reservation.  I served a few drinks and the rest of the party walked in. The mistake was realized.  I repeatedly offered the other server the table, (mainly in an attempt to not stay ALL night) but she followed server etiquette and told me to keep the table.  It's an easy transfer in the system but again she told me to keep the table.  Let me not forget to mention, this party planned to Ring in the New Year at our fabulous little pub.  I was stuck.  No longer was this other server closing down the restaurant.  The glorious task now fell upon me. Whoo....hooo.  Since
the evening was now going to be consumed with serving duties I called my husband and kindly asked that he come up to the pub sometime after 11 so I'd at least be able to kiss him at midnight.  The night wasn't terrible but definitely not how I expected to spend my New Year's Eve celebration.  Granted this one party supplied me with more then half of the tips that I ended up making but I wouldn't have missed it either.
Happy New Year to me

I probably should make some sort of point in the symbolism aspect of that evening.  Spirits Pub & Grub is my part-time, second job.  In my lack of patience for debt freedom I applied for a server job (Desk jockey by day, table runner by night).  The job was meant to be a two or three night a week job in which every last penny went to pay off debt my husband and I have accumulated.  Our goal is debt freedom by the end of this summer.  Fingers crossed everybody.  Come to find out over my three month employment there, this restaurant does a lot of "cleaning house".  And apparently when you are good server you tend to acquire more shifts.  I also began to get calls from other servers asking me to cover his/her shift.  I have weaknesses in this area (which sort of go hand in hand): I'm a workaholic and I can't pass up an opportunity for money.  "The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work."  My part-time, second job has now turned into my practically full-time, second job.  I miss my husband immensely but I can't wait to tell Bank of America to &*%$ off! :-D

As far as resolutions are concerned, I guess I have a few. For the most part these resolutions have already been in progress. First and foremost: I'm (We - Brian and I) going to get out of debt. We have been well on our way and are making larger and larger leaps in this process. Since I don't know the exact amount of tips I make each week, we've set an approximate time frame of the end of this summer. And maybe I should be more realistic in stating that we will be free of all consumer debt by the end of the summer. I have family members I wish to pay back as well. In order to continue my motivation, I've set separate goals for these two different types of debt. Second and more importantly: I need to get a handle on my stress. Those close to me know the vicious cycle I cause myself with my inability to get control of this (probably the only thing I feel I don't have control of). I've decided I will do what is necessary to be the type of person I've always admired. This is coupled with the idea that I don't want to loose my marriage and the few friendships I have over the fact that I'm a cynical ass who sarcasm and inability to filter myself has caused enough heartache. (Deep rooted childhood issues table for one.) "The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you." Anthony (Tony) Robbins (and yes I just quoted Tony Robbins) Third and probably last: I want to start yoga. I honestly would love to start cross fit training and have the hot, muscular body of someone like Gina Carano but I'll start with small goals first. Yoga is something I know could and will be a life long activity for me and probably will help me greatly in my quest to be a calm and healthy individual. Any of you who are near and dear to me and live relatively close, I would appreciate any beneficial help you can give me in my current goals and welcome any constructive advice.

Gina Carano - too damn hot for words