Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Big Bang

If you haven't checked out one of Nashville's newest bars, The Big Bang, then you need to do so! If you were reading my blog back in July, you read about a trip I took for a girls' weekend in Chicago with Steph and Amanda. We ended up at a dueling piano bar called Howl at the Moon that we absolutely loved.

The Big Bang is pretty much the same thing. Two pianos, a drum set, and an electric guitar. Four or five band members who take turns playing every instrument. Full staff choreographed dances once an hour. Plenty of fun.

Danielle and I joined our friend Bennett for dinner at Bosco's and a chance to catch up since he was in town for the holidays. Then we were off to Broadway to check this place out.

We laughed. We danced. We sang along. Justin Timberlake. Dave Matthews Band. Billy Joel. Michael Jackson. College fight songs (I was expecting a UT vs. Vanderbilt battle, but the football fans in town for the Music City Bowl were supporting in full force). New music. Oldies. Well, basically three and a half hours of everything under the sun. It's amazing how much those guys know how to play, not to mention that it actually sounds really good!

We're contemplating a return on New Year's Eve with some other friends. I would definitely recommend trying it out if you're ever looking for something to do. I always have a good time at some of the other local favorites like The Stage and Paradise Park, but I must say this is my new favorite.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Vacation

I'm one of the fortunate people who gets a Christmas vacation. We closed down on Friday and don't go back to work until January 2nd. Let me just tell you - it is fantastic!

After the wedding weekend (and some extra sleep to recover from it), I enjoyed a lovely holiday with my family. We did our usual Christmas Eve dinner with my Grannie, Grandma, and Grandpa at my parents' house. On Christmas morning we enjoyed a home cooked breakfast (except with no bacon... I was disappointed) before heading to the den to open presents.

I really like everything I received this year. Santa does a good job of finding things I like (with a little guidance from my list, of course!) I got some running clothes, a few movies, some new Christmas decorations, some cash, and some clothes. I was also particularly pleased with a bright green pea coat!

Today I got to meet up with Steph and Patrick at the Pancake Pantry for a little Christmas of our own. If either of their families ever move from TN I suppose I'll just have to move, too. It would be sad to not see them at some point over the holidays! We had a nice breakfast and enjoyed catching up before an exchange of presents including Christmas ornaments, gift cards and music! Steph and I definitely know each other well and seem to have no trouble thinking of the perfect gifts for one another. That's what best friends do! If I hadn't been so happy to just be spending some time together, I think I could have teared up over the beautiful glass ornament with our names etched into it.

I've been spending the rest of today lounging about and catching up on some laundry. I've had some cds to get into my itunes. I might go see another friend of mine later tonight. I'm looking forward to one more Christmas dinner tomorrow, and then heading to downtown Nashville for some good times on Saturday.

Yes, Christmas vacation is truly wonderful. One of the best parts? Sleeping in. I didn't today, so I'm contemplating an afternoon nap. :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Wedding Weekend

This past weekend was spent being a bridesmaid in my cousin Lauren's wedding. (See photos below.) Some of you who know my family may know that Lauren has been living in England for the past 4 or so years, and she met her handsome groom Edmund at Cambridge University.

Edmund is from South Africa, and some of his friends and family made the journey from there, England, New Zealand, and maybe some other places to come be a part of the big day.

Friday was full of wedding festivities. We started our day with the bridesmaid luncheon at LilliBelle's before heading to my cousin Amy's house for the lingerie shower. Then after making our bouquets, we were off to Benton Chapel on the Vanderbilt campus to meet the men for the wedding rehearsal. Then we enjoyed probably one of the best Italian meals I've ever had at Maggiano's in Nashville. Talk about yummy.

I don't think I have ever been in one room with so many people from other countries. Just hearing the assortment of accents was really neat. I really enjoyed talking to a lot of the people from other places and seeing how we do things differently from them.

Saturday we spent a good bit of time taking LOTS of pictures before the actual wedding. After the ceremony (which was lovely) we headed off to the Marriott for dinner and dancing. We certainly had an absolute blast. I spent some time comparing musical interests with one of Edmund's cousins.. we listen to a lot of the same stuff, but at the same time he'd never heard of Dave Matthews Band. I told him we needed to remedy that one!

When the reception was over, the wedding party wasn't quite ready to call it a night. So we spent a little time at the hotel bar laughing and talking and continuing to get to know one another.

It was certainly an enjoyable weekend, and it was fun to meet new people and see some again that I met when I visited Cambridge in 2005. Enjoy the pictures of some dancing, my sister and I with the beautiful bride, and the entire wedding party.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hello, I'm a Mac

If you ever turn on your tv for any amount of time, you're bound to be familiar with Apple's current ad campaign. You know how it goes... "Hello, I'm a Mac. And I'm a PC." And that really cute guy from Live Free or Die Hard is the Mac. Yeah, you know who I mean.

Anyways, has anyone else seen their special Christmas edition? I love it! It's animated in much the same claymation way as Christmas classics we've grown up with like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. The two animated guys (Mac and PC) are Christmas caroling when the PC changes the song lyrics to "Buy a PC and not a Mac this holiday season or any other season for goodness sake."

I laughed so hard. I was already a fan of these commercials and have definitely thought it was a smart idea on behalf of Apple, but this one set the bar even higher for advertising. So many commercials are just plain lame. Apple is really on to something here. So clever...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Parties

I've attended three Christmas parties in a 24 hour period. I'm sure this isn't a record, but it's not something I typically accomplish.

Party 1 - Family gathering in Manchester Sunday night. We go every year to visit my dad's aunt and uncle and have a home cooked meal together. The food is always quite good, and there is always a fight over how many meatballs everyone takes. Despite my aunt's announcement that there better be some for her at the end, I took 5. I always take 5. I don't take ham or squash or fruit salad, so I feel like it's an even trade. We had a nice evening and I went home with a full belly.

Party 2 - Work Christmas Party Monday. Wayne and I decided we had to at least have a lunch for the office party this year, so we made it happen. There was pizza. There were Chik-n-mini's and cheesecake from our favorite Chick-fil-A. Homemade fudge pie and inside out Oreo balls. Oh, it was a good day. There may have even been some Napolean Dynamite dancing. (You had to be here I think.)

Party 3 - Family gathering in Brentwood Monday night. My dad's cousin and her husband host a holiday gathering each year, and this year's was held in honor of my cousin who is getting married this weekend. It's not so much a dinner as it is a table of tons of yummy finger foods, but it's enough to make a dinner. The most unusual item was a Ritz cracker fried with a piece of bacon wrapped around it. Delicious. I lost count of the number of glasses of champagne I had (this can be quite dangerous and I've learned in the past) but I was snacking enough that it wasn't a problem.

No more parties for a few days, but then again I am supposed to have a Christmas date with a good friend and a Starbucks date with another. Those are kind of like little parties, I suppose. For now, I'm really looking forward to the rehearsal dinner at Maggiano's on Friday night. Yum!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The First Post Race Saturday

There's always something about that first Saturday after a race. For the first time in like 4 months, I don't need to get up at the crack of dawn to run an insane number of miles. There is no need to spend an afternoon napping. I won't require an extra meal or two to refuel. Honestly, I almost forget after four months of training what I did on Saturdays before I was training.

Today I slept in until 8:30 and believe me, it was fantastic. Then I headed out to Mercy Ministries to spend my morning and most of the afternoon wrapping and labeling Christmas gifts for the 40 young women staying at the home.

I really enjoyed myself all day and found it was a good way to spend my first non-training Saturday. The girls who come to Mercy often come from broken homes, and many have never received anything for Christmas. A lot of people who give to Mercy donate gifts or money to go toward gifts for all the girls. It was really exciting to be wrapping 40 of everything and knowing that it would be so exciting for the girls when they open everything.

I have to admit... it's been hard to make myself feel like it's Christmas this year. It's just come along so quickly that it doesn't seem like it's time yet. But spending my day wrapping those gifts really made it feel more like Christmas, and I suppose it's because I was doing something that is part of what Christmas spirit is all about... giving.

Now if only I could get all of my Christmas gifts wrapped for everyone. Maybe I'll knock that out tomorrow while I'm in the groove.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Taking It Back

This morning I got in the car for my 6-8 minute drive to work (depending on if I get behind the bus or caught at the red light) and found that both of the Christmas music stations were on commercials. So I started scanning and landed on a station playing KC and JoJo's "All My Life."

Suddenly it was sophomore year of high school, and I was at the Homecoming dance that I had helped plan and decorate the cafeteria for through the student council. There was this guy there who was actually a sophomore in college, but he had come back (it was Homecoming, after all) and came to the dance to catch up with old friends and favorite teachers.

His sister, a friend of mine from the track team, introduced him and he asked me to dance. It was my first time to ever dance with a boy. I remember that song was playing.

I didn't see him again for a few years until I was dating the guy who lived next door to him. After the relationship ended, I think this guy took me on a date once and then we ended up being friends for a while.

I hadn't thought about him or any of this stuff in years, but that song brought it all back. Isn't it interesting how our brains work? It's crazy to me how a song, or a smell, or a breeze outside on a spring day can take you back to a very specific moment in your past. It's almost always something I hadn't thought about in ages.

The smell of bacon upon waking almost always reminds me of Christmas morning, as that's about the only time we ever woke to a cooked breakfast. (We were fans of PopTarts.)

I can't listen to DMB's "Bartender" any more without remembering hearing it live a few years ago and dancing in a misty rain with dear friends.

There are certain Tim McGraw songs that remind me of a guy who waited too late to make his move and how disappointing that was for us both.

Every time I hear "you're too good to be true... can't take my eyes off of you.... I NEED YOU BABY!..." I'm taken back to age 15 and am singing along with Steph in the halls of LHS, probably irritating everyone around us and not caring the slightest bit about it.

Anyone who ever starts a prayer with "Our most gracious and kind heavenly Father" reminds me of Coach Evans, and then I'm somewhat surprised when it doesn't end with "and may we hold our heads up high with Wolverine pride, in Jesus Christ, Amen."

Listening to Coldplay's "A Rush of Blood to the Head" reminds me of a time when I was hurting more than ever before. (But I can hear it now, remember that, and feel glad about how I came out ok in the end.)

I could keep going. I'm sure you all have experiences with this. It's weird really, how all the things in our lives can be so intricately intwined in ways that keep us from ever really forgetting things from long ago. I hope I'll still be remembering all sorts of crazy details from my life when I am old and grey.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Christmas Classics

When we got home from Huntsville Sunday evening, I didn't feel like doing much other than watching a movie. So we watched this Dennis the Menace Christmas special that my grandma had sent to us. It was definitely a family friendly film that I probably would have liked more as a kid, but it was still nice to relax and enjoy something festive.

It seems only appropriate to take a few minutes to highlight some of my favorite Christmas movies that I always try to find time to watch at some point during the season.

In no particular order....

~ Elf - This has become the movie that my family usually watches after we put up our tree on Thanksgiving.

~ Santa Claus The Movie - This is NOT the one with Tim Allen, though I usually enjoy watching it each year, too. This is the one from the 80s with Dudley Moore as Patch the Elf. John Lithgow plays the evil toymaker. His niece befriends an orphan named Joe. It's really a funny movie that I remember watching as a kid... it always really highlighted the magic of Christmas for me.

~ White Christmas - The original with Bing Crosby. Singing... dancing... acting... a show within a show. I would have loved to have seen the stage version at TPAC a few weeks ago. I love this one.

~ Miracle on 34th Street - The original black and white version. I always liked watching this one as a little girl, and as I've gotten older I've noticed that the girl in the movie looks a lot like I did when I was that age. It's kind of weird, but the movie is so good I don't notice how much it seems like I'm watching a younger me on the screen.

I also tend to enjoy the tv specials that come on throughout the holiday season. There's just something about Christmas movies that really makes it feel more like Christmas. And goodness knows we need that here since our 70+ degrees temperature is making it feel more like April.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Rocket City Marathon

I won't keep you in suspense. I ran the marathon in Huntsville on Saturday in 4:31:23. I was absolutely pleased with my time as it was a new personal best by about 25 minutes! That's a lot to shave off since my last marathon back in April. (I ran it in Nashville in 4:56:17.)

Now that you know the most exciting part, allow me to share a few anecdotes from the weekend. On Friday, we loaded up in the car (we being my parents, Danielle, and me) and made the 2-hour drive. Once there, we met up with Bob and my pal Bennett (who was first Steph's pal, but we often share friends with one another) and headed to the Expo. They gave us really nice long-sleeved Nike tech shirts... boys got blue and girls got pink. I keep asking who it is that thinks that all girls like pink. We don't. But it looks nice on me anyways I suppose. We then all enjoyed a nice dinner at Olive Garden to carb ourselves up. I can't remember what was so funny the whole time, but I laughed a LOT.

I didn't really sleep well Friday night. I suppose this was in part due to being in a different bed and in part being nervous that the two alarms wouldn't go off. I woke up, walked out on the balcony, and quickly realized I wouldn't be wearing 3/4 of what I brought to wear. It was 60 degrees! I donned my sneakers, shorts and tee and headed out for the race.

Anyone who's ever witnessed any kind of running race knows that a start gun is typically fired. At this race, there was no gun. There was a WEAPON. I'm pretty sure it was a musket of some sort that shot out a huge puff of smoke. The weapon-holder somehow managed to find at least 3 different times to fire the gun before the race even started. (This is not typical.) I learned really fast after his first "Fire in the hole!" shot to cover my ears. Wow.

Despite being a bit warm, the weather was pretty perfect. It was incredibly cloudy, and there was a light mist of rain during most of the first half. (I silently thanked myself for wearing a black sports bra under my white shirt.) I felt great running along and enjoying the Christmas decorations in people's yards and chatting a bit with my fellow runners.

Around mile 5, I made some friends! Damon and Wes were running along at about the same pace as me so we started talking and it turns out they're from near where I live. Wes took off with someone else, but I ended up running and chatting with Damon until mile 12. Those miles really flew by. He told me all about his job, wife and kids and asked all about my job and if I had a boyfriend (and seemed shocked when I said no... and then went on to tell me to keep in mind that most men are pretty much idiots until they're about 30 and even then it often doesn't change... it was really kind of funny how vocal he was about it), and we shared some stories of past races. I sent him on his way before the half when I realized he wanted to run about 15 minutes faster than me, but I really enjoyed his company. I actually found him at the finish, and he came in about 12 minutes ahead of me.

After the half-marathon point, Bob jumped in to help me pace for the rest of the race. I was really thankful he did. We maintained a solid 9:30 pace for a while as we moved past the mile markers. Somewhere around mile 21 the sun started to peek out. I literally said out loud that it was not allowed to do that, and it went back behind a cloud! Even though it stayed cloudy, it started to get unbelievably muggy during the last few miles. I started to struggle a bit and had to take a few walks breaks to try to stretch out my calves that wanted to tighten up. Bob helped me keep an eye on the time and made me keep going even though there were one or two times when I was almost in tears because my legs hurt so badly. I needed to use the bathroom once and really enjoyed the minute of sitting instead of running, haha.

Somewhere around mile 24 I cursed myself and said I'd never do this again, but I knew I was lying and within a few days I'd be all for another one. I'm already pondering New York or Chicago. If I remember correctly, I think I said sometime during the Nashville run that it'd be my last. I guess maybe I lie to myself sometimes to get myself through tough moments, ha.

Even though I had to slow down a bit the last few miles, I still finished pretty close to my target time. I would have loved to break 4:30, but I got pretty close and there's always next time. I happily collected my medal and my finisher's hat (that is actually pretty nice and something I'll wear), and I look forward to getting my certificate and finish line photo in a few weeks.

After the race, I headed straight for the free massages. It was almost painful because my muscles were so tight, but I think it helped. Everyone found each other and it turns out Bennett set a new PR by 3 minutes so he was excited, too. We enjoyed some lunch at Chick-fil-A and then headed back to the hotel to rest.

We went to a dinner sponsored by the marathon that evening and enjoyed a terrific meal and some exceptional whiskey sours, so no complaints there. We ended the evening walking around the local mall and enjoying a Cinna-Bon. I love those things. I definitely crashed hard that evening, but I still didn't sleep well because my body ached so much it kept waking me up. The things we go through to reach our goals... :)

Sunday morning after breakfast we visited the Space and Rocket Center. I had been once when I was like 7, but I had little memory of the trip. It wasn't the coolest museum ever or anything, but I actually really enjoyed looking at everything and reading all the cool stuff about our country's experiences with space. I think sometimes it seems so normal that we have astronauts, but when you really think about it it's pretty unbelievable we send people up into space. We got to ride a few rides they have and see an IMAX movie, so all in all it was an enjoyable day.

I'm still tired. My body is still a bit sore. I won't be training for another full for a while, but there are a couple of half-marathons I'll run in the coming months around Nashville. It was definitely an incredibly fun weekend, and I've been ecstatic that I ran so much faster this time around. It was worth the 4 months of training and everything else from the journey I took to get to that finish line.

They say that runners sometimes have a "state of blue" after a race. I always find this to be true. I know I'll run another one. I know I'll be back at the gym in no time. But it always takes me a few days to get past the emotions of being excited about the race and being down that it's all over. Don't worry, it's nothing extreme. :) I'm not over here all depressed or anything, but the sheer exhaustion always brings a bit of up and down to the emotions I feel after running a marathon. All in all, I'm very satisfied and honestly a bit proud of what I accomplished for myself with this race. That's certainly nothing to be blue about.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Marathon Bound

In about an hour, I'll be on the road to Huntsville for the marathon. It's very exciting, and it's exciting in a really different way from the ways the first two was exciting.

My bag is packed with a variety of race gear... the low is 56, the high is 70. I wasn't quite expecting that, but I think it should be pretty comfortable. It should still only be in the 60s by the time I'm finished.

I enjoyed a big pasta meal at Olive Garden last night. I've been drinking lots of water. I plan on a nap during the car ride down (I hope.)

It's going to be good. I can't wait. Stay tuned for details and photos of the big event.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Editing Season

It just wouldn't be the Christmas season if I didn't have a few papers to edit. They're like little presents... I give the gift of excellent spelling, grammar, and sentence structure to those friends in need before handing in a final paper.

I'm up to four this week alone. I think those may be the last of them for this semester, but if you've got one then feel free to send it my way. Really, I don't mind. It's kind of one of my things... I actually enjoy it. The Track Changes tool in Word is a beautiful thing.

Happy writing to all my dear friends finishing up another semester of school. Best wishes on all your finals!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

100th Post

For my 100th post, I offer you 100 random facts about yours truly. I have lovingly stolen this idea from Stephanie, who stole it from her sister, who stole it from someone else... what a fabulous blogging community!

1. My favorite color is green.
2. Therefore, my car is green.
3. It's a 2001 Cougar with only 61,000 miles on it.
4. I joke I'll drive it until it dies or I have kids, whichever comes first.
5. I'm thinking it won't be the kids.
6. I love chocolate.
7. Chili's has the best molten chocolate cake dessert.
8. But my favorite restaurant dessert is Demos' Raspberry Bash.
9. I don't like coconut, mostly because of the odd texture.
10. I'm the oldest of two children. My sister is 20.
11. I was born on a dark and stormy Friday the 13th.
12. I have a solid black cat named Tucker. I'm not kidding. Jet black, green/yellow eyes.
13. I'm not the least bit superstitious.
14. Tucker is the most affectionate cat I've ever known, not to mention incredibly vocal.
15. I have a B.S. in Journalism with minors in Office Management and French from MTSU.
16. I'm not using my degree at all right now, but I will someday.
17. I graduated Summa Cumme Laude. It was a big deal at the time, but I never think about it much now.
18. I graduated as Valedictorian in high school. Steph brags about this to everyone I meet.
19. Steph is my best friend.
20. She knows me better than any of my other friends, and her opinion always counts.
21. I still don't always listen, but she knows I value what she thinks more the other people.
22. Danielle and Aleesha are my best girlfriends here in TN.
23. They're always fun to hang out with and talk to.
24. I'm not planning on pursuing any higher education because I don't need to in order to be a freelance writer/editor and famous book author.
25. I still don't think my parents understand this.
26. If I ever wake up one day and feel like I need a masters, then I'll go get one.
27. I run marathons.
28. My first Nashville marathon in 2005 was finished in 5:12:43.
29. My second Nashville marathon in 2007 was finished in 4:56:17.
30. I'm planning on blowing both those times out of the water on Saturday in Huntsville. (Edit: I did. 26.2 miles in 4:31:23.)
31. I might try trail running next. Or maybe the Chicago or NYC marathon.
32. I think it'd be fun to work for a magazine in NYC someday.
33. But it wouldn't be fun to be so freaking cold in the winter there.
34. I tend to be cold-natured.
35. I suppose I could dress more warmly.
36. In college I was in Alpha Delta Pi.
37. I swear it was nothing like Greek life as you see it depicted on tv.
38. It's more like a bunch of girls getting involved together with service projects, social activities, and leadership positions on campus.
39. It was through ADPi that I got the position of the SGA's Homecoming Director.
40. Some days I remember that job and still wonder how I pulled it off.
41. But it was a hell of a lot of fun.
42. My big sister in ADPi is Serena and my little sister is Lena. Both are beautiful, sweet girls.
43. My sister joined ADPi when she headed to MTSU as a freshman.
44. Now we're like sisters twice.
45. I volunteer weekly at Mercy Ministries.
46. It's a terrific organization and it's a blessing to give my time to it.
47. I like mocha fraps every now and then.
48. I also enjoy a good milkshake.
49. Some of my friends tell me I'm really patient.
50. This is probably true, but I sometimes feel impatient with myself for being so patient.
51. Cozumel in Smyrna is my favorite mexican restaurant.
52. I learned to not eat there after running.
53. There was an incident one time. Steph was there.
54. My appendix was removed when I was 8 on New Year's Eve.
55. Not exactly my idea of a fun way to ring in the new year.
56. I'm not sure what I'll be doing this year. Last year I was in Boston.
57. I hope to visit Steph in Boston again before she moves.
58. There was a time when I wanted to be a teacher.
59. It was when I lined up my Care Bears on my toy chest and taught them math.
60. I hate math. I realize it's useful, but I'm terrible when it comes to anything more than balancing my checkbook.
61. Ironically, part of my job is accounting. (QuickBooks is a beautiful thing.)
62. I work as an Executive Assistant for a cabinet company.
63. My first job was as an Admin. Asst. at a risk management firm.
64. It was good for the first couple of months. Then I saw the truth about how things worked there and wanted out.
65. It took a few months to find something new, but my quality of life improved exponentially when I changed jobs.
66. Sometimes I use math terms like "exponentially" so that others don't realize I have the math skills of a second grader.
67. It's similar to my French skills, despite 18 hours of coursework en francais.
68. My magazine subscriptions include SELF and Runner's World.
69. Sometimes I think it'd be fun to spend some time working as a personal trainer or some other fitness job.
70. It'd also be kind of cool to run a dance studio.
71. I used to be a ballerina... and tap dancer.
72. I remember thinking that maybe some day I'd do it professionally.
73. I'm literally too old to try now, but I still have some moves.
74. My favorite shoes are my Sperrys and my Brooks running shoes.
75. I do like to change it up sometimes with some terrific heels.
76. I go back and forth sometimes with being a bit of a tomboy and being all woman.
77. Like how some days I don't wear make-up.
78. I hope my natural look is still pleasant for others to look at because I like it just fine.
79. My favorite TV show was Friends.
80. I own all 10 seasons on DVD.
81. I still laugh every time I watch an episode.
82. Now I enjoy How I Met Your Mother as well as LOST and Grey's Anatomy.
83. Other than this, I prefer movies and books to television.
84. I really enjoy grabbing a meal or coffee with friends.
85. I also really enjoy giving people gifts. It's so fun to pick something out for someone that you know she/he will really appreciate.
86. I'm done with all my Christmas shopping already.
87. But it doesn't mean I won't pick up a few more things.
88. I'm pretty independent and think I have a healthy take on appropriate boundaries.
89. I've been having the best year of my life, but I would still like to hope that next year will only be even better.
90. I can be pretty cheesy in my sense of humor at times.
91. I definitely laugh at myself and laugh a little harder when someone else laughs, too.
92. I really enjoy a lot of different types of music.
93. I like to sing along.
94. I had a lead in the musical my senior year of high school.
95. I had to kiss a boy. I like kissing boys, but usually only the ones I'm actually dating.
96. We made it look believable anyways, I hope.
97. I constantly try to learn and grow, hoping that I can become a better version of myself ever day.
98. I make mistakes and experience set backs on some days.
99. But I still keep trying.
100. And I hope that because of this that I'm constantly growing into someone who can better appreciate this life, all the people in it, and that can give much love and joy on a regular basis.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Little Excitements

Several small things have brought me some excitement in the past 24 hours....
  • I found some black boots yesterday. Really hot pointy-toed, black leather, stilletto-heeled boots. I realize this doesn't sound like anything monumental, but for me it is... I wanted to find black boots last year and after trying on pretty much every pair I could find, I finally resolved that it was not meant for me to have any. The ones big enough for my size 8 foot would either sag terribly around my skinny ankles or they were too big for my calves. I had tried again this year with the same results so far and had finally decided I just didn't care any more. I resolved to quit looking. Then Danielle talked me into a Sunday afternoon shopping trip. I spotted BCBG boots on sale for ridiculously less than regular price. I tried them on, and wouldn't you know they fit! So I finally am the proud owner of some very stylish black boots. I really lucked out on finding such a good brand, too. I've been working on my shoe collection lately, and I can safely say I have it pretyt much complete for now.
  • I bought some YooHoo's to have here in the fridge at work. Having one as I finished processing orders this afternoon made me smile.
  • I got the marathon information booklet for Saturday's race in the mail today. 54 pages of quality race information. My regular nightly reading book will be replaced tonight. I can't believe I have been training for this since August. I can't believe the race is this Saturday. I can't believe this will be my third. But at the same time, I believe it all. And I'm going to kick some serious personal record butt when it's all said and done.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

So This is Christmas...

One of the things I like most about Christmas is that it's always a good reason to invite people over for a party! This weekend we celebrated the beginning of the holiday season at my place with a lot of yummy snacks, a few games, and plenty of laughter and good times. Above you'll find just a couple of pictures from the evening. It ended up there were about 18 people here. It was exciting that I am finally in a place big enough to have that many over at once!
You'll also see a picture of my little Christmas tree. I opted for a small one after putting up the big one at my parents' house. The little reindeer are from Arby's... I'm pretty sure we got them years ago and I comandeered them to put under my tree since I won't actually put any presents there.
The party really turned out to be a great evening. We played this new game that I had never played called Apples to Apples. I recommend it! We also did a bit of Scene It and after playing the regular movie version, we switched to the Disney version. We had a bit of friendly competition between the gentlemen and ladies. The girls totally won. We know our Disney movies, ha!
I hope everyone is finding time this year to spend time with the people closest to you in your lives. I know I intend on attending a few more holiday gatherings between now and the end of the year. I love how festive everyone can be!