Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Starting Friday, Fantabulously Frugal will be hosting 31 days of giveaways! That's right, one giveaway EACH DAY for the entire month of May. I know, right? Totally amazing.
So, take my advice: go check out Fantabulously Frugal! Subscribe! Become a follower! Lisa finds the most amazing deals and discounts - I promise you won't be disappointed. One free Redbox rental a week? Yes please! Free shipping codes and discount codes for...um, almost everywhere? Yes please!
Seriously, go check it out. Just click on the Fantabulously Frugal button on my sidebar. And enjoy!
1. I hadn't had a "long" run since Friday, the 17th, and
2. Mr. Smith ran earlier in the day, meaning I would be running by myself without any help with pacing.
I suck at pacing...I find it really hard. I also have some issues with...self-esteem? I'm not exactly sure how to categorize it, but...I think that I usually look stupid when I'm running. I go really slow, and I always feel awkward. And I usually feel much more natural and un-awkward when I run with Mr. Smith.
What is that all about??? This is such a woman thing. Who cares what I look like when I'm running? Umm...apparently, I do. Anyone else have this experience? It totally bums me out. My biggest challenge when running is the mental aspect rather than the physical. I often psych myself out and don't think I can do it. Yesterday, I planned on running 3 miles...but without Mr. Smith to push me, I only ran 2.75. And granted, that was fine, but still...I would have run 3 if I wasn't alone. Help me out with this one, will ya? :)
Anyway...I had slathered on the sunscreen before my run (I am the whitest person ever and don't leave the house without my SPF 30), but apparently did not let it sink into my skin enough. It felt like it was about 20583 degrees yesterday (in reality, it was only in the low 80s, but very sunny and humid!) and when I finished my run, I was covered in a sweaty-sunscreen layer. It was AWESOME. Seriously. Not.
Later in the evening, I felt like I was getting a headache. I took my headache pill AND a new anti-nausea med that my new neurologist prescribed last week. I vaguely remember her telling me that the new med could "knock me out cold"...and, wow. I passed out before 10:00 - I could barely keep my eyes open. I felt so drugged up that I could not force my eyes open before 8:00 this morning (aside: I usually get to work at 7:30).
My "oops," of course, was that I didn't work out this morning like I was planning. I had laid my workout clothes out in the living room, and I had put in my 30 Day Shred dvd last night so as to not waste any precious morning time. Oops. Oh well. I hope to get my Shred in this afternoon/evening sometime, fingers crossed.
One positive: I never got a full-fledged migraine last night, AND I am totally sore from the pilates. Score!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Where have you found your (free) designs? Any great websites that you love? I need help and inspiration.
I do enjoy how, thanks to my oversized office chair, I look like I'm a little kid sitting at the grown-ups table. Le sigh. Please overlook the fact that, as of late, I've been too lazy to put on makeup, it's super humid and the hair is going crazy, aaaaand...oh yeah, I'm like the whitest person on earth, something that is only intensified by the white shirt I'm wearing. Fail!
For this no good, very bad, terrible game, I tag the usual suspects:
A month later...I finally admitted to myself that running three times a week is NOT enough. My ultimate goal/plan is to do pilates on running days, and my trusted friend the 30 Day Shred on my non-running days. I really need to work on strengthening my core and it won't happen by itself!
Last night, I set my alarm for 5:45 and went to bed early-ish. I slept like a baby, and when the alarm went off, I popped out of bed, ran into the living room (okay, I didn't run, but you know...), and did my 20 minute pilates workout!
And boy, did I need it. After 20 minutes, I was sore and tired...but in a good way. I even got to work nice and early at 7:30! All of which reminded me that when I was in the habit of waking up early for workouts, I was more efficient in the morning and got to work earlier than usual.
This is it...the motivation is back. This afternoon - running. Tomorrow morning, 5:45am? I have a date with Jillian Michaels.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I will be out of the office all day today, working a business expo for the Chamber of Commerce. Blah. The expo has a theme - "homecoming" - so we all had to dress up. I do not like dressing up. We are all dressed like "cheerleaders" i- and there are quotes around that because the uniform is black warmup pants and a white polo, and it's been awhile since I've seen a cheerleader dress like that. Okay, never.
Anyway! Yesterday afternoon I hung out with my Little Sister, S. As the hours wore on, I had the striking realization that I was hanging out with the 12 year old ME. It was weird! But anyway...we first went to my apartment to pick up Oscar, and we took him to the park for a nice walk. Then we headed to the mall to "window shop," one of her favorite pasttimes.
We went to Aeropostale (awkward aside #1: they had some super cute summer dresses. Please don't tell anyone I just said that), Claire's (awkward aside #2: they had some super cute feather headbands. Please don't tell anyone I said that), the pet store (we held three different puppies) and Old Navy (which was fabulous as always). Then I took her home and couldn't believe that three hours had already passed!
That's when I got the most fabulous text message informing me that my friend Cassie had her baby yesterday afternoon!!! I had spoken to Cassie on Monday, and she was feeling crappy and just so, so ready to have that baby! Her due date wasn't until the 28th, so I'm thrilled that she had little Charles yesterday! Yayayay!
When I got home, Mr. Smith and I went for a run. Not good. I believe I have hurt myself...? Can any of you tell me what a shin splint feels like? I had to stop after 1.5 miles because I was in so much pain. My right leg hurts, in the middle of my calf/shin area on the inside, if that makes sense. When I stopped running, the pain only intensified and I could barely walk back to the apartment! I iced the area stat and it started to feel better. This morning, that leg still hurts all around my ankle when I put weight on it. What is the deal??! Somebody help, please.
Well, that's all for today - I won't be at a computer today so I'll miss reading all your lovely posts - and will be catching up tomorrow.
Happy Almost Friday!!!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Whew. I am so, so thankful that Oscar will live forever. Because...I just don't know what I would do without him. When the movie was over and I wiped away the mascara lines from my face (and chin, and neck), I gave my baby a big big hug. It took a bit of convincing, considering he was asleep and grumpy. But once he woke up...we had a nice little snuggle. Anyway, the movie made me think of when Oscar was a puppy, so I decided to throw in some of my favorite photos from Day One to (almost) the present. Enjoy my little furball!
Now I'm at work...sipping my Tazo chai latte that I made this morning before I left the apartment. Love it! I am seriously hooked.
Okay, I thought I had something else interesting (?) to post...but I can't remember what it is. I'm sure I'll remember in...about 5 minutes.
Monday, April 20, 2009
It was rainy and icky all day today - Mr. Smith and I decided to hit the treadmills instead of run outside. Of course, once we walked over to the gym, all the treadmills were being used. Fabulous. We decided to walk back home, change into outdoor running clothes, and brave the elements.
About one minute - literally - into our run, it started pouring rain, complete with gale-force winds. I don't actually know what that means, gale-force, but they seem to use it a lot on the Weather Channel when describing hurricanes. Seriously...it was freaking windy! Mr. Smith said, even though we were within eyesight of our apartment door, "Oh well, too bad! We're not stopping now that we've started!" and I agreed.
In an instant, the rain started hitting my legs like little daggers. It was extremely painful. And possibly...a bit hail-ish? The wind picked up even more and that was that. I was yelping with surprise and pain...and Mr. Smith suggested we scratch today's run. Agreed! Our main exercise was the sprint back to our front door. We were gone literally about 2-3 minutes, total...and I was drenched and shivering. Not fun!
So, no run today. Boo. Which gives me a bit of anxiety about our rescheduled run tomorrow...since it's now been three full days since our last run. Oh well!
I checked out a beginners guide to training for a 5k, 10k and 1/2 marathon from the library the other day - it has some good training plans. I plan on training for the 10k as soon as we're done with the 5k, so I'm getting excited about increasing my mileage as I read! Now that I have finished The Historian, I think I will snuggle up in bed and read the chapter I need the most: Mental Training and Motivation. Good night!
Dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging AND
To seek the reasons why we all love blogging
I must say that I certainly did. On Friday, Mr. Smith and I ran 3 miles outdoors! With hills! We were going to run a 2.76 mile route I had created on MapMyRun, but at the last minute...Mr. Smith tricked me and made me keep going til we got to 3 miles. But - I did it! And we still have about a month until the race. I know that by the time May 16th comes around, I'll be feeling super confident with my 3 miles.
Friday night, we watched Twilight. Ladies, I read Twilight a few months ago and thought it was a decent story - nothing ground-breaking, but it was entertaining and oddly addictive. I have seen photo after photo of Robert Pattinson since the movie came out, and I never saw what all the fuss was about - I just didn't think he was that much to look at.
Until Friday. I was NOT prepared for how hot Edward was in the movie! Seriously...what is the deal? Whew. I felt like a 13 year-old girl, for real.
On Saturday, we went to the Farmers Market - not much there yet, because it's so early in the season. But I did snag some great looking sweet potatoes - yum! Looking forward to cooking with those quite a bit over the next couple of weeks.
We also went to the library, where I checked out the most fabulous book - The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Have you read this book? Holy moly, it has totally sucked me in. I spent yesterday sitting on the couch - yes, all day long - reading this book. I am just over 300 pages into it and I cannot get enough! I am just dying to get back home this afternoon and do more reading!
I did go to the grocery store yesterday and I picked up some of the Tazo Chai Latte mix. I have heard great things about this (from some of you fellow bloggers, in fact!) and decided to give it a shot. Anything to deter me from a Starbucks run, you know? Anyway, I made chai lattes for Mr. Smith and myself yesterday morning while scones baked in the oven. Yes, scones. Tie a frilly apron around me and I would be Little Mrs. Housewife, right? Anyway - the lattes were amazing! I highly recommend hitting up your area Kroger and picking up some Tazo Chai Latte mix - if, of course, you like chai lattes. I know I do.
What did everyone else do over the weekend?
Friday, April 17, 2009
Fact: I LOVE getting my hair done. It feels like a great pampering session, and it is also the rare time when I can sit for two hours (which is how long a cut and color always takes for me!) and relax, read a magazine, whatever. My hair person in Alexandria, VA, was fantastic and great with color - plus she had a neat accent, worked at a British salon, and looked a bit like Kelly Osborne. Later, I realized that her "neat" accent was just a weird southern accent, as she was born and raised in Louisiana. She was about a gazillion years younger than me, and when she told me she was leaving the salon to move back to Louisiana because she was pregnant with twins...well, needless to say, I was surprised.
That was shortly before I moved to Indiana. I traveled constantly back and forth to Michigan for wedding planning stuff, and I would get my hair trimmed and colored by the fantastic woman who would be doing my hair for the wedding (the lovely Irene, owner of Flip Salon in Ferndale, for all you Michiganders!). She used this neat yogurt-based color on my hair that was less harsh than most color, didn't burn my nose when I inhaled, and lasted much longer than "regular" hair color.
Fast forward to post-wedding. i.e., now. All my hair is gone, cut about chin-length. And yes, I know I cut off my hair at the end of November and still haven't posted a photo of it anywhere. I'm sorry. I just don't take very good photos, and I'm holding out for a good one.
Anyway! I last had my hair colored in January, and I was thinking that it had been holding up really well. Of course, it's April now. And the other day, the light was reflecting just right in my bathroom mirror when I realized that I had about two inches of really bright, shiny grey roots at my part. And it looked...bad. People, I'm only 27. I should not have half a head of grey hairs!
Not wanting to fork over the cash for a professional color job, I headed to Target yesterday to find some hair-color-in-a-box. Fact: I stress out over choosing boxed hair color. What if I don't get the right color???!!! Ugh, so many things could go wrong. After about 20 minutes of contemplation that involved picking up every box of brown-ish color, I went with some Feria "Dark Toffee" or "Espresso" or something equally generic.
I went home, mixed up all the different bottles, and went to work. Fact: It never fails that the second I start coloring my hair myself, I freak out and think...crap. I probably shouldn't be doing this. I also constantly worry that I won't have enough dye for my hair. Did I mention that my hair is chin-length??? But every time I have my hair professionally colored, the hair people tell me that my hair just eats up color. What does that mean??? Sigh.
I got over my initial bout of anxiety when I realized how easy it would be to color my hair myself now that it's short. The color turned out okay, but it is more red than I would have liked. No grey, though.
A friend of mine from DC always had the perfect rich, brown hair color, and I knew that she colored it herself. I remember asking her what type and color of hair dye she used, and she said "I get whatever is cheapest in Medium Brown." Ugh. Could it really be that easy? I guess I'll find out next time...when I head to Target and come home with Medium Brown.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Yesterday, Mr. Smith and I ran a new 2.35 mile loop that we found on www.mapmyrun.com. Have you ever checked out this website? It is really neat! You can look up your area and find a bunch of runs people have already mapped out - and imagine my surprise when I found over 10 pages worth of runs for Bloomington! Most of them are long runs - much longer than I am able to do right now - but I hope to peruse the site more to find gradual runs as I up my mileage.
It was a really great loop, and I must admit - for possibly the first time - that I had fun! Yes, F-U-N. My lung capacity is getting better and better - I used to not be able to talk to Mr. Smith at all during our runs, because I was so out of breath. Last night, we chatted the whole time. And really had a great time! We're going to run that loop again on Friday and then up the mileage next Monday again. Whew! I am not allowing myself to run on the treadmill anymore (unless the weather is extremely inclement), so it will probably be a week or two before I can get back up to three miles - outside. Our neighborhood is pretty hilly (that's a total lie, but even the slightest "hills" seem like mountains when I'm running!!!), so I'm getting a much better workout outside with less mileage.
Last night, I was thinking of all these running questions I wanted to blog about to ask you runners out there...and now, I'm totally drawing a blank! Oh well.
But what I WILL ask you is: tell me your best workout/running songs. I'm trying to make a killer playlist for when I run alone...and I'd love to hear what gets you going!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
S is 12 years old and just finishing up 6th grade at a private school here in town that specializes in learning disorders and dyslexia. We had a great time getting to know each other a little bit, and discovering that we have several interests in common - reading, animals, spending time outdoors, shopping...you know, the works. She is very involved in a local program called PALS - People and Animal Learning Services, Inc., which provides a therapeutic horseback riding program. S is very into riding and showed me a scrapbook full of riding-related photos and prizes. How perfect! I told S that my sister-in-law has horses, and that perhaps we can go riding out there together this summer.
We also chatted about books and reading (she is just as much a fan of the library as I am!), dog-walking (she is a serious dog lover - I even met her dog, who was patiently waiting in the car outside), and baking. I think this is a good match and I know we will have a lot of fun together!
We will be hanging out next Wednesday for the first time one-on-one...and I am really looking forward to it. I'll keep you posted!
Girl #2: But seriously, that's what she is. I mean, who would go on a date with a married guy? That is just so f*#%ed up.
Girl #1: Ooh...is that what a homewrecker is??
Girl #1: Dude, we should start donating plasma. My brother makes like a ton of cash donating his plasma!
Girl #2: But like...don't we like need plasma? Are you supposed to donate it???
Boy: No, it's cool, your body like produces it.
Girl #2: But like...where does it come from?
Boy: Your arm. It's in your blood.
Girl #1: We should donate plasma like every week. Do you think there's a limit on like how much you can donate?
Boy: I don't think so...I be you can donate like twice a week.
*public service announcement: I'm pretty sure they will not let you donate plasma that often. But I'd check with the Red Cross to make sure.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Sunday night? Huge migraine = bed at 9pm. Monday night? Huge migraine = bed at 9pm. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I haven't talked to my husband since last Thursday. Yesterday, I tried to make an appointment with the neurologist that was recommended to me by the ER person - but I was told that their office needed to call the ER to get my ER records, and then they'd have to see when they could fit me in, and then they would call me back. No call back yet, of course, and I managed to offend the receptionist by calling the doctor "he" when the doctor is actually a "she." Her first name is Jamie. Who's to know??!!! It is a gender ambiguous name!
Other than that...today is my fabulous coworker (and only friend in Bloomington) Becky's birthday! Happy birthday, Becky!
And in other news...after several rescheduling issues, I am finally meeting my Little Sister today after work! We were supposed to meet last week on two different days, but had to reschedule a few different times. I am thrilled that the day is finally here! I am actually a little bit nervous...what should I do/say today? Any suggestions?
Also...Mr. Smith and I have picked our 5k! We will be running the Coach Hep Cancer Challenge on May 16th. I'm so excited to have a goal date for our first race! I ran a hard 2 miles outdoors yesterday in the rain...my first outdoor run without Mr. Smith to help with pacing. It took about 4-5 minutes to find my rhythm, but then I settled in and ran hard. I finished my two miles in 19:34...my fastest time yet! And yes, I know this is still pretty slow. But for me, it was fast!
I have made some pretty serious running goals for myself....but I'm going to save that post for another day. Happy Tuesday!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Total miles driven this weekend: 913
Total tanks of gas used: too many
Fires driven by in random fields yesterday: 3 (???)
On a scale of 1-10, how happy I was to get home and see Mr. Smith last night: 276
It really was a fun weekend in Michigan, but it was a little too short and it had a little too much driving. I was so happy to be in attendance at my friend K's bridal shower on Saturday, though - which was the central reason behind my trip home for the weekend. She and her husband-to-be live in Chicago, and I am really hoping that they come to visit Mr. Smith and me soon. Are you reading this, K??? :) Come visit!!!!
Anyway, I don't have much else to chat about this morning - it is very blah and dreary outside today, pouring rain. We're supposed to get extremely "strong storms" today, possibly with hail. Yippee! Definitely a good day to stay inside all day. Sadly, I'm out and about, running around from work to another meeting and another meeting and another meeting all day long.
How is your Monday going? And how was everyone's Easter?
Sunday, April 12, 2009
...our best friends got married. Happy first anniversary, Jenn and Ryan!
Friday, April 10, 2009
a) What's your favorite candy? I love candy stores at the mall, the type with all the candy bins where you can go pick a bag and fill it with your choice of delicious gummy candies. I like gummy grapefruits and various other gummy fruit candies. I am like a child.
b) Your favorite color? Blue. And red. And I also like pink. And I'm on a bit of a yellow kick.
c) Favorite movie? Ummmmm wow, this is harder than hard. I am really bad with favorites. I think I'll have to say it's a three-way tie between Love Actually, Monsoon Wedding, and Bend it like Beckham. I absolutely LOVE those three movies and have watched them each a gazillion times. Oddly enough, I only own one of them...so, if you would like to gift me with either Monsoon Wedding or Bend it like Beckham, feel free. :)
d) Favorite flavor of cupcake :) Hmmm. Well, Lisa took me to a cupcake place in Chicago that was fantastic, and I had a boston cream cupcake that was pretty incredible.
e) Favorite vacation spot? For the beach - Costa Rica. For the mountains - Vail, Colorado. For the culture - Rome. For the city - London.
f) If you had $1,000,000 what would you spend it on? First, I would pay off my student loans. :) Then, purchase a cute little bungalow with a fantastic kitchen and lovely furnishings. And perhaps one or two pairs of Louboutins. The rest, of course, would be invested and saved for my unborn childrens' college funds. Sigh.
g) When did you know we would be blog twin soulmates forever? ;) Well, it's hard to pinpoint the exact moment...perhaps when I found out we both get migraines? Or that we both are fabulous? Or that we both honeymooned in Costa Rica? Gosh...the list just goes on and on and on.
h) Favorite Will Ferrell movie? Hmmm, this is another hard one. So many fabulous ones...definitely a tie between Old School and Anchorman. Love both of these movies!
i) Favorite 80's song? Borderline. Madonna.
Sorry I have been a bit MIA lately. The last few days have been peppered with excitement, as Wednesday evening I decided it was time to check out the local hospital...so I got a killer migraine and ended up in the ER. Fun times! This was my first time in the ER for a migraine since 2005, and I expected to be hooked up to an IV for several hours. Luckily for me, the lovely nurse practitioner decided I should get my meds IM and I was in and out in no time. Literally. My entire ER trip lasted around 40 minutes...I think before Wednesday, my shortest trip to the ER had been 6 hours. Another pro of living in a small town!!!
They gave me an anti-nausea med and a pain med, both of which knocked me out cold. I woke up with my alarm yesterday morning to go early to observe Truancy Court at 7am with my coworkers no problem...and then it hit me. I couldn't keep my eyes open! After truancy court ended at 9ish, I decided that work wasn't going to happen for me, and I returned home to crawl into bed. I passed out instantly, and woke up at....3:30??!!
Wow...I guess those meds were a bit stronger than I thought! After sleeping all day, I still went to bed early last night with no problem.
This afternoon, I'm headed to Michigan for the weekend...one of my very best friends is getting married, and I'm going to her bridal shower tomorrow in Flint. I am so excited to see her! And on Sunday, I'm having Easter brunch with my parents and their friends in Ann Arbor at the Gandy Dancer - deliciousness!!! Then I'll hop in the car and drive back to IN. A short but fun-filled weekend. I'm flying solo this weekend, as Mr. Smith is staying home with Oscar.
What are your weekend/Easter plans?
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
"I'm so excited! I get to see my husband today and I haven't seen him in six months!"
"Six months?? That's a long time! Why haven't you seen him in six months? Has he been on vacation or something??!!!" asked the DJ.
"Well...um, yeah, let's just say he's...been away. Sure, if you want to call it vacation, sure." replied the woman.
"Oooh. Um. Okay. So. Without saying exactly what he's done, how much longer does he have to be away after you see him today?" asked the DJ.
"Only eighteen more months!" replied the woman, happily.
Gotta love it!!!
That being said...let's move along to my next question!
Jackie asked: What kind of kids do you work with? Do you like it? I ask because I work with mostly minority disadvantaged children and always wonder what other schools are like.
To be honest, this is a brand-new population for me. The majority of the kids I see here at the high school are caucasian, which is definitely new for me, and very poverty-stricken - but in a much more rural way. This is a very rural, country area, and many of my kids spend their afternoons and weekends working on their family farms - definitely not something I came in contact with in DC! I really feel as though rural poverty is very different than urban poverty. Don't get me wrong - it is certainly still poverty - but it has a very different feel to it. I'm still very new to the rural population, so I'm still feeling things out - but I'd really like my readers' viewpoints on this one!
Previously, I've had experience with a the population you have described above, Jackie - minority, disadvantaged kids. That really describes the type of kids I worked with in foster care. And, when I worked at the hospital, I worked with everyone from homeless veterans to Peace Corps volunteers to Senators and everything in between!
More questions? Ask them!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
"Hi, I have a few books on hold," I said to the kind library lady.
I walked out of the library with:
The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower, by Robert Baer;
Lone Survivor: the Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10, by Marcus Luttrell with Patrick Robinson;
Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude, by Robert Baer; Engaging the Muslim World, by Juan Cole; and
Occasions, by Kate Spade.
I'll let you figure out which of those was my book.
I wrote everyone down on a piece of paper and used random.org to find my winning number. I know that someday, I'll figure out how to make the little random.org box show up on my blog. But until then, it will be a little less...high tech. Let's see who it is, shall we?
Yay! The dog tag goes to Taryn from The Colorado Desert, who said: I would totally get the puppy foot one in green for my parents' dog, Jacques. I love the little guy so much!
Congrats, Taryn! Leave a comment with your email address and we'll get in touch. :)
I owe you a sincere apology for being so dog-centric in my giveaway post yesterday. Please note that this giveaway is not limited to ONLY dog owners...as some of the dog tags are more animal-ambiguous and can be for cats, too. The small size should be perfect for cats, FYI.
If you are a cat owner and would like to enter the giveaway, please do so! By noon EST.
Monday, April 6, 2009
I wasn't planning on posting any more today because I have already inundated you with posts today. But...here I am. I wanted to post real quick about running. A lot of you lovely ladies are runners, and I just wanted to say that I use your blogs as motivation every day. I'm especially thinking about you - d.a.r., Julie, and Kilax! In fact, Kilax and I were just emailing back and forth today about motivation - she told me that reading my posts about running motivate her, just as hers motivate me. I was so touched - to think that my measely 6 miles a week motivate someone who just ran 30 miles last week! I am truly honored!
Thinking about running this afternoon as Mr. Smith and I walked over to the gym, I realized that I don't really have a mileage goal (despite the 5k we plan on running sometime in the fall). My ultimate goal is to feel like a natural runner. On Saturday, I had decided to up my speed and was feeling pretty discouraged when I couldn't make it past a mile and a half. Today, I decided to keep it slow (um, I'm always slow, by the way) and try to feel natural. With that in mind, I got on the treadmill and - oh my goodness, ladies! I RAN THREE MILES! It took me 35 minutes, but...this is a huge deal for me and I wanted to share asap.
My legs are definitely feeling it, but me...I think I have what you call a runner's high! Thanks to you running ladies for your motivation...and keep it coming!
*photo courtesy of http://hothotmess.wordpress.com/tag/richard-simmons/
This was a hard question, Lucy. I really had to sit down and think about this...and the answer itself actually surprised me a bit! To be honest, since getting married, I have found myself falling into some very traditional wife roles - cooking dinner all the time, baking, cleaning, you name it - if it's domestic, I seem to be doing it - more than ever before. Mr. Smith and I lived together for over a year before we got married - but it wasn't until after we made things legal that I have found myself becoming this domesticated woman that sometimes I don't even know. Hmmm. I am suddenly concerned about myself...! :)
Kilax asked: I remember you talked about your counseling job, and I wondered how you got interested in doing that - how you got there.
Well, it was a long and winding road, that's for sure! I graduated with my Masters in Social Work (from the University of Michigan - go blue!) in 2005, and immediately moved to Washington, DC for a family therapy job. My job was to do court-ordered, in-home therapy for families at risk of having their kids removed by Child Protective Services. This job SUCKED. I lasted three weeks before quitting to spend 4 months job searching while nannying and working at Anthropologie. The job itself was doable - but I felt extremely unsafe. I was put into unsafe situations, unsafe neighborhoods, unsafe everything - alone, in a new city. It was all wrong, and I knew it.
After four months, I found a job as a therapeutic foster care social worker in NE DC. There are two types of foster children: therapeutic and traditional. Traditional are, well, exactly what they sounds like - "normal" kids. Therapeutic foster children are kids with a DSM diagnosis - namely, kids who have some sort of diagnosis, be it a mental health issue (depression, bi-polar, etc), learning disability, the works. I had 11 kids on my caseload, ages 5 through 18. I was their legal guardian. It was...intense. I was on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I got called at midnight by the police, saying that they had found my kids places...and I'd have to go pick them up. I made almost weekly school visits for all of my kids, and participated in IEP meetings for all of them (they were all special ed, and had Individual Educational Plans). I also spent several hours a week in court attending continuancy hearings. It was an incredibly emotional, stressful job...but I learned so much about social work, social justice, the legal system, child protection, child abuse, foster care, education...everything.
Of course...when my dream job as a hospital social worker fell into my lap, I walked away from it all with barely a look back. I spent nine months as a foster care social worker...and I think I aged about nine years! After those strenuous nine months, my job as a social work case manager at a university hospital in DC seemed very cushy. At first, of course. Haha. Every job seems good at first, right? :) At the hospital, I feel as though I did very little "real social work, " as we like to call it. Instead, I functioned more as a liaison - between patients and the medical team, patients and the insurance companies, patients and nursing homes, patients and home healthcare companies, etc etc etc. I spent hours upon hours copying paperwork and faxing. And hours on the phone with health insurance companies. Oooooh, health insurance companies. How I hate you. As with any for-profit company, our work as social workers was often overshadowed by the financial bottom line, which grew increasingly stressful as we tried to do our part in advocating for our patients. That being said, I loved working at the hospital. I enjoyed interacting with the doctors and nurses, and I loved how professional the atmosphere was - a big change from the nonprofit atmosphere.
That being said...I was getting stressed out. The days were extremely long, and I was starting to miss working with kids. It was at around this time that Mr. Smith and I started entertaining the idea of moving back to Indiana. He was a few months away from getting out of the Army, and wanted to go back to graduate school. We were both up for the adventure, so we moved - kind of by the seat of our pants. I had been looking for jobs in the newspaper for awhile and saw the posting for this job - it seemed perfect for me. I had worked in an alternative high school as part of my graduate school internship, and I loved it. I thought that this would be a great time to get back in the school system again!
So, I applied. Miraculously, I got called for an interview...and I went the day after we moved to Indiana. So - on a Tuesday, we drove 11 hours from Alexandria, VA to Bloomington, IN. On Wednesday, I went for my interview. On Thursday, I drove 6 more hours up to Michigan and spent the weekend at my parents house for my bridal shower. While I was there, I found out that they wanted to have me back for a second interview! I had the second interview the following week, and was hired immediately. Fabulous!
So, that's how I ended up here. I work in the guidance office, as a specialized school counselor who works with high school students who are failing three or more classes, have truancy problems, discipline issues, and/or are behind on credits. I have a caseload of about 70 students. Often, my job is extremely frustrating. But I love my kids and I love the challenge.
This ended up being a pretty long answer...any follow up questions, let me know!
This one is really just for dog owners - sorry to everyone else! Just over a month ago, I entered a giveaway over at an awesome dog blog called Biscuits and Bellyrubs for one of the awesome Red Dingo dog tags below:
Of course, seeing as how I never win anything, I quickly forgot about entering this giveaway and, since Oscar needed a new tag after our move to Indiana, I bought this red fire hydrant tag for him (how cute is that one??!!). Well, last week, I found out that I won the giveaway! Which, in turn, I'd now like to turn into a giveaway for YOU.
I absolutely LOVE the dog tag I got for Oscar. It is very high quality - very thick, unlike the ones you get at the pet store. Plus...the designs are really cute, and there are a ton of colors. You can pick out what design and colors you like here at Pretty Personal Gifts - another great website and blog you should check out! The tags come in small, medium and large, FYI, for (almost) every size of dog!
So, here's how to win:
-Go to the Pretty Personal Gifts website and tell me what design/color you like for one entry
-Become a follower for two entries
-Become a follower over at Biscuits and Bellyrubs for three entries
-Blog about this giveaway for four entries
That's it! This is going to be a quickie - so, make sure to enter by....noon tomorrow. I'll pick a winner tomorrow afternoon! Good luck!
This morning on my way to work, it was snowing. SNOWING, people. It is 34 degrees. According to weather.com, Bloomington has a freeze watch, a freeze warning, and a flood advisory.
Can somebody please explain to me what the hell is going on here?
Sunday, April 5, 2009
And the whole time, I kept thinking...hey! Whenever I see photos of Jessica Alba with bangs, I'll know that I was there and have the same bangs!
Fact: this is one of the weirdest dreams ever. I have, in my lifetime, probably spent about 2 minutes total thinking about Jessica Alba. And/or her bangs. And Ken Paves. Combined.
And I don't even like bangs.
Anyone care to interpret?
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
We will be formally "matched" next Thurday afternoon. I can't wait to meet her! I hear she's a girlie girl who still likes the outdoors. Sounds like someone I know...oh yeah, ME!
Can't wait to let you know how it goes!
I went to Target last night and purchased a couple of baskets to organize the mess of magazines currently cluttering our coffee table. I also picked up some Lysol wipes (love those!). And one of those fun flexible plastic baskets.
When I got home, I opened a split of champagne (and, true to character, drank straight from the bottle), turned up the music, and got to work! I cleaned/dusted/wiped down the coffee table and put all the mags in the baskets. It instantly improved the look of the living room by 523%. Score!
I learned a great cleaning tip from www.about.com yesterday - when you clean a room, have a basket handy (hence my new plastic basket) and throw everything that doesn't belong in the room in that basket. Then, deal with the basket later. This is a miracle strategy for me - I am SO the person who picks up something that should be in the bedroom, then takes 25 minutes to look at it, and then it reminds me of something else, and then I start looking through a magazine next to it, and before you know it I'm writing a letter to someone and making cookies and I have completely forgotten that I was cleaning.
SO! I did the living room, and I have a basket of things that I will put away tonight. Score!
Thanks to all for your suggestions. I am still working out a cleaning schedule/calendar that I will share when complete.