Bedroom Renovation

Well, I am finally on summer break from school. Which means two things. One – I can update here more and two – we are renovating our bedroom. It will be a fairly similar process to when we renovated our spare room, which you can look back on in my entry Spare Room, only this time we are adding French doors to the outdoor wall with the idea that we will eventually put a deck in the backyard.

About two Sundays ago, Matt and I moved our bedroom to the spare room. That took a few hours and as a result our house looks as if we just moved in all over again. Which, if you know me, gives me anxiety like no business. But I digress.

Monday evening we began demo in our bedroom. We lasted about an hour and a half before calling it and the next day I finished up the rest. That Wednesday, I set quite the ambitious schedule for myself with the intention of borrowing my dad’s truck and cleaning up all of the drywall, removing all the insulation and taking it all to the dump. And when I mean I set the schedule up for myself, I mean – by myself.

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Part of the drywall pile that needed to be cleaned up

I started out the day by heading to the gym, because, you know, bagging up and hauling dry wall was not going to be exercise enough for me apparently. By 9:40 I was in full blown clean up mode, gathering up the pieces of drywall we had taken down with a hammer and crowbar and shoving them into heavy duty garbage bags. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fill them up too much. Drywall is pretty heavy and I still needed to get the bags from our bedroom, out the door and into my dad’s pickup – alone. I wanted to avoid dragging the bags across our hardwood floor, so it was everything I could do to pick them up and hold them out at arms length, while trying to avoid rubbing the bags against me for fear of being stuck by a nail.

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9:55 am – regretting my arm workout

As I continued, I decided to skip putting the larger pieces of drywall into the bags and to just toss them in the back of the truck as I went. I created piles of the bigger pieces and took as much as I could at one time.

10:15 am – regretting my leg workout 

By about 10:30 I had filled the truck to capacity and headed to the dump where I had to lift the bags out of the truck and swing them over the short wall they have.

10:45 am – regretting my workout altogether

The dump didn’t take long and I was back at it within a half hour. I packed up the remaining drywall and then decided it was time to take down and pack up the old insulation. As you can see from the photo, it hadn’t been replaced for decades. It is probably the same insulation that was put in when the house was originally built in 1947.

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Taking out insulation can be a very nasty job. Since this insulation is so old, it seems to tear as soon you touch it. Inside is a bunch of disgusting fiberglass just waiting to mess you up.

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Because taking insulation out is so messy I had to be prepared to protect my arms from the tiny fiberglass, my nose and mouth from inhaling it and my eyes. As a result, I gathered an old sweatshirt, my Biology goggles and a 3m respirator mask which I had also used while tearing down the drywall.

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Obviously, I make this look good

It was quite the getup and extremely hot. Seattle is going through a bit of a heat wave right now and being bundled up like this was torture. As a result, I tried to move as quickly and efficiently as possible. I don’t think it took me much longer than a half hour to get everything done, but it seemed like longer. I was drenched in sweat by the time I was done.

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Sexy and I know it

11:45 am – WHY DID I GO TO THE GYM?

After a much needed lunch break and quick visit from my mom, I was back at it and had the second dump run done by about 2:30. I still had vacuuming, mopping and some general touch ups to do before we could move on to the next phase, but it took me less than 15 minutes into the final clean up to realize I was done. So I packed it in and finally took a shower at 3:00 and it was GLORIOUS.

Moral of the story – packing and hauling drywall IS a good workout.

Since then, the bedroom has been cleaned up and we are preparing for the next phase – rewiring the room. That will rely heavily on Matt in the beginning as he’s an amateur electrician and then we can continue on.

Stay tuned for the next phase of our bedroom renovation!

Stay cool, Seattle!

The Unseen Battle

Every Friday I go to class and then directly to work. I try my damndest to get to work as quickly as possible. Sometimes luck is on my side and other times not. I was on my way this morning making decent time when I got behind a Pontiac that was driving a bit too slow for my liking. I knew they were probably elderly and I found it ironic that as I was rushing to get to my retirement home job I was getting irritated with this man’s slow driving. I have always been a patient person but my job has taught me to be even more so. It was as I was looking at the clock, wondering how much later I’d be, when I saw the man’s bumper sticker. D-Day Survivor 1944 Omaha Beach. As a history lover I found this fascinating. I suddenly began thinking about that day almost 73 years ago. All the recounts I’ve read about it, the way it is portrayed in the movies, and I thought about his experience. What was it like? Was he shot? Did he nearly die? Did he watch his best friends die? It’s amazing to me the sort of horror people can go through in their lives and then suddenly it’s 72 years later and you’re driving down the street in Shoreline, WA and nobody around you knows what you’ve done in your life and what kind of battle you may be fighting.

A little over four years ago, I was picking up lunch at Dick’s on Queen Anne for my coworker and I. She had given me money to pay for it and had said “If you have enough for an extra cheeseburger, get one”. It was the day after my grandfather had died and I was a bit out of sorts. When I came up to the counter I rambled off our order and then sputtered out the part about the cheeseburger. It turned out I didn’t have enough money for it so I told the girl behind the counter never mind, apologized and then said “I’m sorry, I’m out of sorts. My grandfather died yesterday.” Minutes later when my order was finally called, I was grabbing the bag from her when she said “I threw the cheeseburger in there for you. I’m sorry about your grandfather.”

I was so surprised and thrown off I almost started crying. My intention in telling her that had not been to get a free cheeseburger. It had just been to explain my inability to get a sentence out. Her generosity, however small and insignificant it may seem, meant so much to me that I still remember her now, and I know I always will.

My point in telling you all this is as I was thinking about all the things in life that man with the bumper sticker had been through, I remembered my own battles in life and the small things that others have done for me that meant so much. Life is short and so often we are so quick to rush around, judge and focus on the bad that we forget to focus on the things that are good. So, instead of getting mad at the man in front of me, honking, cursing and riding close behind him, like so many frustrated drivers like to do, I just tapped on the brake, gave him some space and enjoyed the ride.

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Thoughts While Doing The Rock n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon

So I finally accomplished another thing on my list of New Year’s Resolutions – run a half marathon! Yesterday I ran in the Seattle Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon. This whole time I thought my next blog entry would be about the things I wish I had known, or the things I had done better to prepare for this, but after doing it, I actually think I was well prepared despite it being my first. Thanks to advice from friends, and a little online reading, I can honestly say the only other thing I could’ve done better to prepare was train better. And I knew that going into it.

A year and a half ago I ended up washing my iPod in the washer after getting home from the gym one day. Since then, I haven’t worked out or ran to any music. Tricia seems to think that was crazy/bad ass of me to run a half marathon with no music, but it sure gave me some time to myself to think. The following are some thoughts I had while running 13.1 miles without any music and only my thoughts to keep me occupied.

On my way to the start line:

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Waiting to start!

Sean just left me. Why did he leave me?! I’m glad Tami is with me right now. I couldn’t start this alone. I can’t do this. Holy crap – this is happening. It’s time. I’m not ready for this. I’m scared. Am I starting to cry? Stop it. You’ll be fine. Save that shit for the finish line. Oh no, I have to pee again.

Crossing the start line:

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Start line for the Seattle Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

They were playing some rap song and so I started channeling my inner bad ass hip hop until I realized we actually needed to start running, instead of swagger across the start line.

I got 99 problems but a – oh crap time to run. What are you doing? Stop swaggering. This is no time for bad ass swagger. Run. Holy crap, I just crossed the start line for a HALF MARATHON. Crap, I definitely need to pee.

Coming up on mile 1: I’ll pee when I get to the first mile. I’ll just stop real quick, no problem. There’s mile 1! Oh no, look at the line. How do this many people have to pee already?

Between miles 2-3: I don’t have to pee that bad. Maybe I can hold it the whole time. Maybe it’ll evaporate out of me! Oh my god I can’t believe I’m doing this right now. Stop crying!

Mile 3: Mile 3, gotta pee. I feel pretty good. I can do this!

Mile 4.5: There they are! The perfect porta potties. The ones I’ve been waiting for. Time to pee!

Mile 5-6: Feeling pretty good but maybe I should try a shot blok now. That tastes pretty good. Crap. Now I’m thirsty. I need water. I need mile 6 and then there will be water. And then I’ll walk for a minute.

Mile 5-6: WHERE IS MILE 6?! WHERE IS THE WATER! Oh there it is.

Mile 7-8:

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Tricia’s sign she had up during miles 7-8

Hey I know that sign. Is that Tricia? IT IS TRICIA!

Mile 7-8: I feel bad. I should’ve stopped and talked to Tricia. I just hugged her all sweaty and ran off. I’m a bad friend. What is that up ahead? Is that a hill? IS THAT A STEEP ASS HILL? Whose dumb ass idea was that? Screw it, I’m walking. I need to save my energy, right?

Mile 9: I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. Four more miles. I can do it!

Mile 10: Three more miles! I should be done in about a half hour! That’s usually how long my 5k’s take, right?!

Mile 10-11: Are the miles getting longer? Where is mile marker 11? Why am I not there yet? What sick bastard made the last 3 miles the longest?

Mile 11: Two more miles! Everything hurts. There’s the Space Needle straight ahead! We’re almost done! Wait – why are we turning left onto the viaduct? WHY ARE THEY MAKING EVERYTHING LONGER!

Mile 11.6: That guy said we would hit the water stop at the top of the hill and it would only be 1.1 mile longer. WHERE IS MILE MARKER 12! WHY DID HE LIE? Oh, there it is.

Mile 12: This sun is killer. I wonder if I should do what that girl just did and take off my shirt, too. I probably have a six pack by now. I mean really, I should definitely have one.

Mile 12.9: SCREW YOU KING 5 MAN! Three quick turns and I’m done? I remember this part of the course from a previous run and another bastard said the same thing. AND HE LIED. It is NOT 3 quick turns and done. I hate you King 5 man. I hate you. You know nothing. NOTHING!

Mile 13:

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Half marathon/marathon runners running up Mercer to the finish line

Where is mile marker 13? WHY AM I RUNNING UP MERCER? WHOSE IDEA WAS IT TO PUT A HILL AT THE END OF A FREAKING HALF MARATHON?! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! F*&^ YOU MERCER, F*&^ YOU MERCER, F*&^ YOU MERCER!

Mile 13: F*&^ YOU MERCER, F*&^ YOU MERCER, oh it’s Tricia! I can’t believe she made it here in time! F*&^ YOU MERCER, hey it’s my mom! I can’t believe she’s here! F*&^ YOU MERCER, F*&^ YOU – OMG IT’S THE FINISH LINE!

Finish Line: That was killer. I can’t believe I’m finally done. My body hurts. I need to sit down and stretch. Where are my people? I need to stretch.

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Done!

Keep running Seattle!

Tulip Pedal & Seahawks 12k

Last year Matt did the Tulip Pedal, a bike ride up in La Conner, WA where they have the annual Skagit Tulip Festival every year. Him and our group of biker friends had done the 60 mile ride and it apparently kicked their asses. But regardless, Matt told me he thought it would be a great one to do together, so we can see the tulips, without having to sit in traffic. So I agreed to do the 20 miler with him. Since I’m not a biker, I was definitely not about to do any more than that.

About a month or so ago my mom and Tricia both asked me if I wanted to run in the Seahawks 5k/12k run down in Renton. Since I’m preparing for the Seattle Rock n’ Roll 1/2 marathon in June, I figured what better way to keep me motivated than to sign up for a 12k (7.5 miles) and see where I’m at 2 months before.

So I signed up for them both. And realized only 2 weeks before that they were both the same weekend.

Whoops.

Even though I knew I would be completely physically and mentally exhausted, I did them both this weekend and had a blast at each.

Saturday morning Matt and I headed to my dads and met up with the biking group. From there we drove the hour North to La Conner and set out.

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Sean, Jennifer, Mike and myself – pinning bibs on each others backs

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Matt, Sean, dad, Jay, Mike, Jennifer and myself

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Rest stop about 12 miles in

The ride ended up being really nice and not too difficult. We ran into some head wind at a few points during the ride, but other than that it was a very scenic and just nice ride. We rode along country roads, sang songs (ok so mostly I sang) and unfortunately due to early blooms, we didn’t see any tulips. But regardless, I still had a blast hanging with my biker family and afterward, of course, we went to La Conner Brewing for some post bike ride food and beer and then grabbed some ice cream from a cute stand nearby.

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Sean, Jennifer & Matt

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25 cent elephant ride and my ice cream cone. I’m an adult.

Saturday night we ended up going to bed pretty early. I was so tired from the days events and worried about the run the next morning. So I hydrated and went to bed about 9.

The next morning Tricia picked me up at 7 so we would have enough time to commute to Renton for the Seahawks run, find parking and grab our packets before my run started at 9.

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Tricia and I before everything began

The run began at Renton Landing and headed out toward the VMAC where the Seahawks practice. This was the first time I had done anything more than 4 miles so I was pretty nervous about how I was going to do. It ended up being a beautifully warm day but running on the blacktop was kind of brutal. I made it all the way to the VMAC (4 miles) without stopping to walk, then kind of shuffled through the water stop and continued on back. There were 3 hills during the course that didn’t seem so bad the first time around. But boy did it start getting hard on the way back. I think I made it about mile 5.62 when I decided to stop and walk a bit. Unfortunately, walking didn’t provide much comfort as all I really wanted to do was stop to stretch. I did end up stretching my calves at a tree for a minute but really I just wanted some water and to plop on the ground in a butterfly stretch.

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I struggled for the rest of the run, walking and running, finding no relief in either as my lower back and legs began killing me. I was cursing the lack of water on the route as well as that damn 20 mile bike ride the day before when I finally heard the music of the finish line and even though it was super crowded and my body was killing me, I couldn’t help smiling as I crossed.

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Post race with my mom who did the 5k

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Stretching out post run

All in all I felt I had a pretty good run all things considered. It was definitely a wake up call in regards to how prepared I am for the 1/2 in less than 2 months, but it has given me the motivation to get out there to train better. I also learned the benefit of being able to eat WHATEVER you want after a nice long run like that. I couldn’t believe how hungry I was. Today I’m still getting over the physical exhaustion and nursing my sore muscles. I’m just excited to get back to it as soon as I feel better to start some serious training.

Until next time – keep running!

Running Advice From an Amateur

Last week I was talking to a friend of mine who was asking me for running advice. While I’m semi used to a friend asking me every so often for work out advice (ie. weights, etc.) I have never been asked for advice on running before. I’ve been working out at the gym since I was 14 but have only been a consistent runner for not quite a year yet, so needless to say I was surprised and pleased to offer my experience.

When I first began running, I didn’t have an agenda. I remember being pretty angry, actually, and knowing that the only way I could blow off some steam without going crazy was to work out. But somehow, going to the gym just didn’t seem good enough. So I literally put on my work out clothes and ran out the door. I don’t know why I stuck with it. I’d had a pretty good run and always knew that I needed to incorporate more cardio into my work out routines. I felt confident, though I have no idea why, that if I became a runner I would lose some weight. And I was right. So from then on, I started running on a consistent basis. And the results are what keep me going.

I’ve been hesitant to call myself a runner this past year even though I run about 3 or 4 times a week. It wasn’t until Tricia posted this picture to her Instagram that it really dawned on me that yes, I was indeed a runner! What more do I need to convince myself of that than the fact I run on a constant basis? Don’t ask me why some random quote on a picture resonated with me but it did.

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As an avid, yet still very amateur runner, here is my advice for you:

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others – I feel like this is the biggest downfall for a lot of people. Each person is different. Each body is wired differently. I recently completed an online Nutrition course for school and one of the most important things it stressed in the chapter on dieting is that what works for some people, won’t necessarily work for someone else. This is true for a lot of things, including running. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, how far you run or how often you get to it. You’re out there and you’re doing it when you can, at the pace you can. Each time I do a 5k with Matt, my dad, brother and our friend Sean, I’m the last one in. And the only other person who is a constant runner is Sean. Do I care that the others, who don’t run as often as I do, beat me? No. And you know why? Because we each do what we can, however fast we can. I also think my short legs could have something to do with that.🙂

Don’t Skip Rest Days – I know, this is repetitive, but it’s definitely important. And honestly, sometimes I have a hard time letting myself rest. But just know that your body needs time to heal and recuperate after the strain you’ve been putting it through. You risk injuring yourself if you don’t and that will keep you out of the game for longer than a rest day!

Be Consistent – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t become a marathon runner after one outing. Be consistent and build up to where you want to be. When I began running, I did this short 1.67 mile loop from my doorstep, up the road, down and back to my doorstep. The beginning of my run is up a gradual incline and doesn’t flatten out until about a mile in. So when I first started, it killed me. I would go as far as I could, stop to walk, then start running again when I felt I could. After awhile, I would challenge myself to get to the top of that incline – and then I would stop. I would continue that until I felt I could go further, and further, until before I knew it – I was doing that 1.67 mile loop without stopping. And once I’d mastered that, I increased my distance and went through the same stop and go process until I was running 2.25 miles without stopping. Build up to it and be consistent. Stick with it – because you got this! And it will only get easier from where you were before.

Take Your Time – This kind of goes with being consistent, however I want to stress that your pace doesn’t matter. Go at a pace that is right for you. I average a pace of about 10-11 miles per hour typically. Sure, it’s a bit slow I guess, but it’s what works for me. I’m not going to strain myself, risk injury or pain in order to have a better average pace. If I were trying to place into something like the Boston Marathon, that would be a different story. But for someone who just wants to run – it’s no big deal. Do what you can. It’s not a race. Unless you want it to be.

Sometimes You Have Bad Days – Sometimes you decide to go out for a run and your legs start to hurt, or you get a side ache, or you just plain aren’t feeling it. It happens. Every day can’t be a good day. Sometimes you have those amazing runs that remind you why you love doing this. Other times, you suffer through it. And that sucks. But at the end of the day, at least you can say you did it. It wasn’t pretty, in fact it was probably downright ugly, but it’s better than sitting on the couch watching reruns. Stretch it out, drink some water and give yourself a break.

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Cross Train – It’s important to keep other parts of your body strong and healthy as well. It helps to balance your muscle groups and reduces your chance of injury. I try to hit the gym in between running days. For awhile I would go for a run, then hit the gym the next day, go for a run, then hit the gym again. That’s where I was forgetting to rest! Although, you can have running rest days and hit the gym at the same time. Just be sure to train different muscle groups.

Have the Proper Gear – I bought myself a new pair of shoes strictly to wear to the gym about 2 1/2 years ago. Those were the same shoes I began running in and about the end of summer this past year, I started getting some good pain on the bottom of my foot whenever I ran and on occasion when I walked. I’m sure you can guess what that was from. So thanks to Tricia who had a great deal through Brooks, and Matt who bought them for me because I didn’t have the money, I got a new pair of running shoes and my feet felt better. The most important tool for running is your shoes. The rest of course you can have fun with, a nice pair of pants, a cute top, that stopwatch to help you track your time. But in the words of Lieutenant Dan “Take good care of your feet”.

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I guess number two is pretty good advice also.

Remember, each body is different! And I am not in any way certified to give any sort of fitness advice so be sure to consult a professional before starting any sort of work out regime.

Keep on running Seattle!

Happy St. Patricks’ Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! It was just two days ago that my father told me that we were Irish! He took a DNA test through Ancestry.com a few months back and discovered this. Which I think is great. I’ve always loved the Irish culture and am now proud to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a true part Irish woman! Tonight, we will dine on corned beef and cabbage and I’m decked out in my green today.

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In the spirit of today, I would like to share with all of you one of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day stories from when I was a kid.

I was about 7 years old, at the prime of believing anything my parents would tell me. I was terrified of Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Leprechauns – really any of those made up childhood stories that were meant to entertain and thrill young children, scared the absolute crap out of me. Don’t ask me why – I was a weird kid.

I remember having a conversation with my mom the night before St. Patrick’s Day. I can’t remember the details but I think I was terrified Leprechauns would come into my room while I slept. She assured me I would be fine and I slept soundly that night.

The next morning I woke up and was getting ready for school when I noticed the strangest thing. A tiny footprint on my closet door.

2cf7b854b85c3b5bc0e81dcc0bf90a12It almost looked like someone had taken a stamp of a footprint, dipped it in black ink and stamped my closet. I demanded that my mother admit it was her who had done it, but she swore up and down she hadn’t, and seemed about as confused as I was. For those of you who know me personally, you know that my mother used to be a local Seattle area DJ. That day, she went to work and relayed this story to all of Seattle. I’ll always remember March 17th as the day that all of Seattle laughed at me. *sigh*

To this day, I have no idea where that footprint came from. Maybe my mom will come clean 21 years later. Or maybe – just maybe, they exist.

 

If You Knew..

So Tricia tagged me to share 10 confessions the other day. I must admit – this one was kind of hard after the first 5 or so. It took me a few days – but I have come up with 10 things to confess to you all.

The rules of the game are:

  • Confess 10 things and tag 10 people.
  • You can talk about something embarrassing, something no one knows about or a guilty pleasure.

So here we go!

1. I have an irrational fear of ghosts

I know it sounds crazy but I totally believe in ghosts. And though I feel like it would be so bad ass to run into one in real life, I know deep down it would scare the absolute crap out of me. I always have had this sense of adventure, like I’d love to experience a tornado or walk through an actual haunted house. However, when I was faced with the brief possibility of facing a tornado in Kansas when I was as 9 years old I cried like a baby and whenever I go into any place creepy my heart pounds. So do I really want to face a real life ghost? I don’t know. But I like to think that both of my dead grandpa’s know, that even though I feel like it would be awesome to run into them, it would really scare the crap out of me – and so therefore they stay the hell away.

1995, CASPER

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2. I wanted to BE a Backstreet Boy

No, I didn’t want to be WITH a Backstreet Boy. I didn’t have any sort of crush on them either. No, I wanted to BE a Backstreet Boy. I wanted to be that awesome chick who was so good she could perform with them and be the envy of all the girls because I got to hang out with them all the time. Maybe deep down it was me wanting to be a singer. Regardless, I wanted to be on stage with them, singing my ass off.

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3. I don’t want bottles and caps to be apart

When I recycle bottles, I don’t separate the bottle from the cap – because I don’t want them to be apart. Yeah.

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4. I shopped at Wet Seal well into my 20’s

I shopped at Wet Seal longer than I care to admit. When I would go in there, I was shopping with teenagers. Whatever – their tank tops were cheap.

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5. I am convinced that the crows in my neighborhood are out to get me

Early last summer we had a baby crow show up randomly in our back yard. It just sat there – for hours. We threw pine cones it’s way and it didn’t even budge, yet there were 2 adult crows in the trees looking on. Later, the next day, that damn baby crow showed up on our door step. Literally. I had an appointment with the college and needed to leave. It’s parents were hanging out outside our house. I went out the back door. This baby crow hung out in our yard for probably a week or two. It’s parents cawing and stalking us every damn day, hanging out on the telephone wires and being just downright assholes. Since then, I have had an irrational fear of crows. I swear to god the ones in my neighborhood are stalking me. I walk down the street, go for a run, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing, they’re watching me. Every time I walk by they caw. Crows know faces, they remember, and are smarter than we think. I am convinced I’m being stalked by these stupid birds.

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The baby crow that decided to chill on our front porch last summer

6. I’m afraid of zippers

This is something I didn’t realize until recently. I’m not afraid of zippers – I’m afraid of people zipping me up. Matt has tried to affectionately zip up my hoodie or my jacket in the past few months and each time I cringe. I am reminded of past times when the skin on my neck was caught in a zipper. I can’t remember when this happened or how, but it’s just what I see when it happens. I trust no one but myself to zip me up.

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7. Catholic guilt

Anyone who is Catholic probably knows what I’m talking about. I was raised Catholic and as a result I have what we call “Catholic Guilt”. I feel guilty over stupid shit. I remember once, when I was 8, my dad received a gift he already had and it kept me up for nights. It was a baseball roster. I mean, really? I can’t even convey this properly without you just simply knowing what I’m talking about – but trust me. It’s here, it’s a bitch, and you won’t ever get over it.

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8. If I Don’t Work Out I Feel Guilty

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This goes hand in hand with Catholic guilt but I really am running out of shit to say. If I don’t work out, I feel like I should have. If I don’t work out, I feel guilty or I feel fat. I feel my sexiest when I work out and shave in the same day. Sometimes I wear matching underwear and I really feel like I have shit my together. Regardless, if I don’t work out, I somehow convince myself that I am getting fat or that I should’ve worked out and I single handedly ruin my entire day.

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9. My Family Nickname is Peepers

Yes, you read that right. There is a family controversy over where I received this name but everyone can all agree upon the fact I was given it to due to my “big blue eyes”. The only people who call me this is my mother and my grandmother, on occasion my aunt, or my cousin who just wants to be funny. Once, when I was in 4th grade, the boys in my class caught wind of the fact this was my nickname thanks to my brown lunch bag and “Peepers” written across the front, thanks to my mother. For the rest of the year they called me Peepers. Finally, the next year, I told the boys that the only people who called me that was family so unless they wanted to marry me, they couldn’t call me Peepers. That shut them up.

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10. I Can Rap All of “Lose Yourself”

I don’t know how or why this happened – but this white girl can rap all the words to Eminem’s Lose Yourself. That is all.

Peepers out!

I am tagging the following:

Sean Day with Views From Two Wheels

Heidi May with Waterfront Living

Sarah Rose Steckler with Fit Cupcake

and those are my only friends so that is all.

De-stressing with Exercise

It has been awhile since I’ve updated. It makes me sad but alas – school and work is keeping my occupied and consumes my every waking hour. Except when it’s not being consumed by some sort of work out!

I learned a really long time ago that the best way for me to de-stress is by exercising. It’s not a little known fact, it works for most people. But it’s so apparent in my behavior that whenever I’m acting like a crazy person or downright bitch Matt will just look at me and say “Maybe you should go to the gym.” Does he know me or what?

So when I began school last fall and threw myself into my studies, neglecting the gym for the sake of my homework, it didn’t take me long to realize I needed to find a balance. Now that I am working (full time starting this week! bring on the money!) and taking pre-req’s for Nursing which are proving to be even harder than my CNA program, I am finding it even more difficult to make time to exercise. But as I said – if I don’t do it – I turn into a nut job.

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I mean for real

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I’ve been maintaining a fairly good schedule of hitting the gym and going for a run a couple times a week each and it has kept me satisfied. This last Thursday, Tricia invited me to go this free yoga class by ClassPass at Strala Seattle. I had done exactly one yoga class before at my gym. I loved it. It made my body feel strong and relaxed. I have chronic shoulder pain and for awhile I went to get massages on a monthly basis. My masseuse told me that yoga was even better than massage (but not to tell anyone he said that) and so on his advice I tried it out and he was right. The shoulder pain was gone, if only for the night. I haven’t been back because the yoga classes are available at weird hours and it’s difficult to find the drive to go to the gym at 8pm. So when Tricia asked if I wanted to go, I was excited to participate and see what else was out there.

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Tricia and I after our yoga class

Long story short, we had a blast. I am probably going to start exploring yoga a bit more in depth in the near future but most likely on YouTube or the free classes at my gym due to cost.

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On Sunday I ran in the Hot Chocolate Run downtown. Since I am supposed to be preparing for my first ever 1/2 marathon in June, I originally wanted to do the 15k to step up my training, however, due to cost and late sign up, I ended up doing the 5k. Tricia and her mom were going to walk it and unfortunately I was unable to connect with them while I was there. So really, I worked til midnight the night before and got up at 530am to drive downtown to run a 5k by myself at 645 in the morning on a Sunday. In all honesty though, it was hard to be disappointed. The run took us from the Seattle Center, down to Pike Place and back and it was the most beautiful run. We started just as the sun came up and I really wish I had stopped to take pictures. We had such beautiful views of the water, the Great Wheel and the sun rise. But if I had stopped, I wouldn’t have PRed!

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Of course a lot of it was down hill – but going down hill means you must go up and that doesn’t mean I didn’t kick ass going up the hills! My routine run at home starts uphill so I think that makes me a better hill runner in general. This was evident to me as I ran up Mercer street and passed about 95% of the runners as they stopped to walk. I know, I’m bragging now. I’ll stop.

In the end I was really happy I went out there to do the run. At the end they had this “Finishers Mug” which was full of chocolate fondue, a bag of mini pretzels, a marshmallow, a rice krispy treat and some wafer cookies to dip in as well as – Hot Chocolate! PLUS included with your registration you get an awesome zip up hoodie. Most 5k’s give you a t-shirt with your registration which typically don’t fit right and I always end up donating them or never wearing them, but my hoodie I will definitely be wearing.

A few other pictures from the morning:

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Space Needle as the sun started coming up

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Only runners!

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Getting ready to run

This week I will be trying to find a new work/school/work out balance. I have a feeling I’ll be doing my work outs in the morning before work again, something I go back and forth on every 6 months or so – but it’ll be worth it to not go crazy!

Until next time – stay sane Seattle!

Reasons I’m a Giant Ball of Stress

It’s been awhile since I wrote. I’ve been so overwhelmed with all the stuff going on in my life, I haven’t had any time to update and I apologize. So I figured now was a good time to update you and check in to see how I am doing on my New Year’s Resolutions for 2015 – one month in.

New Year’s Resolutions for 2015:

Run a Half Marathon – on January 15th I officially signed up for the Seattle Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon. I’ve been running between 3-4 times a week and am slowly increasing my distance. I know I should buckle down and get serious so I’m not scrambling a month out to get ready but lately I feel as if I shouldn’t be doing anything but homework so I feel as if getting a run in is a luxury. However, I know that if I didn’t, I would eventually go from happy to ape shit in 2 seconds. So to de-stress and save the lives of many innocent people – I sacrifice some time.

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Post de stress run

Stay healthy – despite my busy schedule I’ve been finding time for running and the gym and I still feel great.

Eat healthier – some days are better than others. Taking Nutrition – even though I hardly retain much information – is subconsciously helping me to make better decisions. Today has not been a good day.

Dominate school – I constantly feel like I’m drowning although I don’t think I’m doing as terribly as I thought I was!

Save money – No money saved right now. As soon as I start working more hours and can pay off this quarter’s tuition, hopefully I can start saving….for next quarter’s tuition – ugh.

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Two of my friends and I sitting in the car before the exam. Eating almonds to calm us down – still nervous and excited. Hopeful. All 3 of us failed.

 

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My classmate and I – she was one of the lucky 2 who passed. She definitely deserved it.

Pass my nursing assistant state test on Jan 16th! – Fail. It’s still difficult for me to talk about without getting worked up. I went down there and half my class was there that day taking the exam as well. We all passed our written, but all of us – except 2 – failed the practical part. The first thing most people said to me was “That’s on your instructors” – but trust me, it isn’t. Most of my classmates were failed for the most ridiculous things – and the thing that really pisses me off is the guy I was paired with did 4 things (that I could tell) wrong and he was passed! Where is the justice in this world? Our issue’s lay with the women who gave us the exam. My re-test is February 14th – so here’s hoping.

Acquire a nursing assistant job – this will be in the works once I pass my state exam…on Feb 14th!

Volunteer – done! I’ve been volunteering at Northwest Hospital since last week and today was my 3rd day. I seriously love it and am learning so much about the hospital. My fellow volunteers are either retired who are looking for ways to give back or – most of them – are nursing students like me. And we ALL go to the same school. It’s amazing.

Stay awesome – I’m trying – and some days I think it takes a lot more.

Cut stress – this is just a fail. A horrible, horrible fail. Between work, school, volunteering, family crap – I have no time for a social life and no time is really devoted to relaxing. My shoulders are constantly tense, my head hurts and I’m afraid I’m a nightmare to Matt. My only saving grace is when he told me the other night “You didn’t know me in college”. I don’t know if I forget what it’s like to be in school and this is how I was or if I’m seriously on the brink of insanity. Regardless, I can’t wait to be done with Math..

Drink less – you’d think with all the stress in my life I’d be drinking more. On the contrary. If I’m doing homework on a Friday night with a beer in my hand – it’s a hell of a lot harder to understand what the hell I’m doing than if I were drinking tea. What’s the point in “relaxing” with a drink when I’m never relaxing anyway?

Love more – I love so much. All the people putting up with my insanity – I love you.

LIVE – failing. But I still have 11 months to figure it out.

Stay relaxed Seattle…