Monday, March 31, 2008

A Dreary Weekend

I'm so tired of gloominess outside. The sun is finally peeking out a bit today, but there are more storms coming later today. Booooo.

Despite the dreary atmosphere, I had a pretty pleasant weekend. Friday had me at a meeting down at Mercy with all the volunteers for the upcoming 25th Anniversary. I'm really excited about being part of this and can't believe it's right around the corner. I'm going to be helping out as kind of like a lead volunteer... basically, I'm the go to person for all the other volunteers. Apparently the job involves carrying around a walkie talkie. I decided this is very cool.

Saturday after a very hilly run, I headed back to Nashville for meetings at the venues where the 25th events are being held. (Yes, basically my weekend was wrapped up in my volunteer work, though not nearly to the capacity it will be when we get to the actual events in a few weeks). I found myself feeling even more excited, especially when we were wandering around the Titans stadium and visualizing the tents for the gala. I think that's going to be a REALLY fun night. I always picture myself being a fancy social events like this, but since I can't afford to attend I can't think of anything better to do than to donate my time making sure the evening runs smoothly for those who can. I still get to dress up and go and be a part of the evening. And one never knows who one might meet. I'll be working of course, but part of working such an event is chatting with people and being friendly. I can't wait.

I also spent some time this weekend going to see a baseball game at my alma mater. It brought back a memory of the one baseball game I went to see when I actually went to school there. I was with a former boyfriend, and after we played in the grass on the knoll. I'll always be a kid at heart, I suppose. Anyways, my sister happens to be dating a baseball player, so we went to show some support. It was chilly, but a fun time was had by all.

Have I mentioned it's a bit strange that my little sister has a boyfriend? And I don't? I was eating lunch with the bossman today and one of my more favorite John Mayer songs came on. I can really relate to it. It's the one that goes "I'm tired of being alone/So hurry up and get here."

Oh, no worries. I don't feel alone. I have a lot of good people in my life, and I always have something to do or somewhere to go. And I always have my cat. But boy, I wouldn't complain if it'd soon be time for this man famine to be over. They say be careful what you wish for... I'd just assume have a famine than to have a feast of less-than-desirable men. I'm just saying... if "putting things out in the universe" really can make things happen (that one was for you, Danielle), then I'm putting it out there that I'm ready for THE guy. The one who makes my heart pound and my tummy do little flippy flops... the one who sweeps me off my feet... the one who makes me feel like I can't sleep... the one who gives me that feeling that I just KNOW it's right... the one that makes me so sure that I don't even remember the meaning of the word doubt. I know he's out there... time for you to hurry up and get here mister.

Wow, I have no idea how I got all deep like this. I apologize for any sap you just read, but I suppose it's on my heart. Anyways, the point of this blog was to say I had a lovely weekend and feel that there will be some exciting and fun things over the coming weeks to share with you all.

For now, I wish you a happy Monday and also share that I'm about to buy Dave Matthews Band tickets. It brings me great joy. I haven't seen him since 2003, so I figured it's time again.

Friday, March 28, 2008

My First Date

So Danielle told me after my "Upon Dating" post a couple of days ago that I need to stop being vague and share my dating stories already. Part of my hesitance in talking much about dating is that 1. even if I don't use real names, I still would hate to offend/upset/embarrass anyone from my past and 2. I don't like to talk too much about current dating stuff because I like to see how things go before I share too much with anyone. But, I think it's time to share some old stories on occasion. A few readers may know who I'm talking about since I make no effort to be anonymous in this blog, but let's all keep this between us girls, ok?

I went on my very first date when I was 15. I had met this guy (we'll call him Scrub b/c I don't remember the code name Steph and I called him by in the notes we passed back and forth then, and because of another reason we'll get to later) through some of my friends. I remember sitting across from him at the lunch table and him looking at me spot on and saying, "You've got the most gorgeous blue eyes Melanie." Why thank you. Our flirting picked up when he got my instant messenger name from our mutual friend. I can remember getting so excited when I'd see him sign on and pop up to talk to me. I'm convinced that I really learned to type so fast when we were IMing back then...we talked about everything under the sun and finally one day he asked me out.

We decided to double with his best friend, the one I met him through. We'll call him Joe, because I had no problem with him. So Joe didn't have a g'friend so he invited a gal pal along. The plans were made. Movie. Coffee at quaint little place in the village (Hillsboro, that is...) 30 minutes before pick-up time I was called and told the plans were changed and I needed to wear a dress. Looking back, this was a bit rude, but I didn't care then.

Turns out Joe wanted to go see Love of His Life perform at a performing arts event. So the plans changed. We watch a very dull performance where Joe is smitten with his musician, gal pal is seemingly bored, and Scrub and I are awkwardly making small talk between songs and I keep feeling like he's staring at me. I remember not knowing if I should stare back.

Anyways, all this is fine and dandy, but then we went to eat. Nice little hamburger joint. We're talking you might spend $8, maybe more if you have coke to drink. As we're ordering, Scrub leans over... I think maybe, just maybe, he's got some sweet nothing to whisper in my ear. Or maybe a peck on the cheek to be sweet and say in some way there will be a second date. No. Instead: "Hey Mel, how much money'd you bring?" I awkwardly responded to say I had $10 (b/c my mom taught me to ALWAYS be prepared). "Oh good, you'll be fine."

Yes, I paid for my meal on a first date. Granted, I still always offer to do so these days. But I hadn't yet on this particular evening. And I think any gentleman should say no and pay. Especially if he asked me out.

Of course, I didn't hold a grudge. I liked the guy. I wanted to see him again. And I think we did and then somewhere we ended up being pretty decent friends for the next few years, having one night where we made out, another where we were awkward because we had, and then continued on being pals again. Oh, the ways of the single folk.

So the rest of the reason why I refer to him as Scrub? It's pretty old school, but do you remember TLC's song about them? "I don't want no scrub/ A scrub's the kind of guy that can't get no love from me/ Hangin' out the passenger side of his best friend's ride trying to holler at me." (We went on that double in his best friend's car.) There's also a little snippet about "Wanna get with me with no money oh nooooo." I don't need a guy with gobs of money, but having a few bucks to buy me a burger on our first date would be nice.

And yes Steph, there was lots of conversation about socks puppets. One had to be there.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Some Randomness

Today I walked into Kroger hoping to find these chow mein noodles that this guy at work buys there for lunch that I decided I love when he shared some one day. Within seconds of being inside, it smelled like a trip to Florida when I was a kid. I have no idea what exactly that smell was or why it made me remember something from when I was so young. But suddenly there I was... remembering staying at Aunt Tiera's and going to play at the ocean.

Kroger did not have the noodles. I was sad.

Not to mention, I'm exhausted. I've been on the go every day this week. Last night I went to hang out with my sister and stayed out a bit later than I should have. Things didn't go the way we anticipated, but it was still nice to have some sister time.

Tuesday was the first night of the new singles ministry I've been part of getting started in the Boro. I want to write more about that, but for now let me just say we had around 100 people show up for opening night. It went really well, and I'm really excited about the possibilities of new relationships and connections that will come from this gathering of Christians.

I also did a pretty intense strenght training workout yesterday. We all have our target area, and mine is definitely the sides of my tummy. I realize I run marathons and people think I'm skinny and have nothing to complain about. The truth is that yes, I think I have a pretty healthy self-image. But it's important to remember that I do put a lot of energy into running and staying in shape and trying to be healthy. I still have target areas, and right now it's those sides. I want to not have that roll all around the top of my two piece on the beach this summer. So I have been doing core stuff like crazy.

I need to do a tempo run today, but I have to be honest... it's not going to happen. I'm too tired. I'm thinking a post-work nap is on my agenda. And then maybe yoga class... more core stuff without the exhaustion running can sometimes bring. And I keep meaning to get back into it anyways because all the running keeps my hamstrings seriously tight. They need help.

Anyone who could care less about American Idol out there needs to do me a favor and at least take 3 minutes to watch this. It was certainly one of the coolest performances this week. I still haven't watched the results show and have been ignoring the temptation to click on links to see how got voted off last night... I'll be watched it commercial free later this evening.

Tomorrow I'm back to a busy schedule (hopefully after much more sleep tonight) including a meeting down at Mercy Ministries for all the volunteers for their 25th Anniversary. I'm getting really excited about being involved that weekend. Giving my time to this organization has been bringing me so much joy.

I'm tired. I'm ready to go home. I wish I didn't have to ship orders today. But in the end, I'm happy. My life is random sometimes, but it is full and it is good. It's not perfect. I'm lacking some of the biggest desires of my heart. But God is good, and he says "do not throw away your confidence; it will be richy rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised." (Hebrews 10:35-36) I often pray that I'm doing what His will is for me. Sometimes it makes me tired. Sometimes I feel impatient waiting to receive those promises. But I keep smiling and hanging on to my confidence.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Reading Corner

I've always been an avid reader. During my school days, I spent summers going through book after book. I was a nerd that loved the Accelerated Reader program. Even once I got into college, there was still something nice about doing a little leisure reading.

I won't lie... I don't read quite as much these days. It's not for lack of desire or good reading material. It's more that my life has evolved into one that includes a hodge podge of activities and events. Between work, running, volunteering, and social outings I don't end up with quite as much free time for reading. I do still read. It just takes me longer to get through a book. Or I get distracted by my Runner's World magazine.

In the spirit of staying on top of both my reading and my blogging, I'm taking on the Spring Reading Thing. It's a novel idea if I do say so myself (pun completely intended) so I'm glad to have a venue to set some reading goals and share with my readers how things are going. I'll try to put up an occasional post about the books I finish.

Here's what I'd like to read over the coming months:

~ Cut by Nancy Alcorn and Starved by Nancy Alcorn (These books are both written by the founder of Mercy Ministries)

~Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus (a book that tempted me to buy it at B&N, something that pretty much never happens to me)

~The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg (a woman who was always like a big sister to me recommended this so I've been meaning to check it out)

~To Do List by Sasha Cagen (I love making lists. This book is all about the lists people make)

~The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis (I LOVE Lewis, but have yet to get this one read)

Happy reading to anyone else who decides to join! I'm looking forward to a little accountablity to make some time somewhere to get my nose in the books.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Upon Dating

So Steph did this Dating Meme thingamajig and despite the fact that I'm not currently dating anyone to be all gushy about (or married), I figured I have some good stories I could share. In fact, some of my faithful readers may remember me talking about my dating history (albeit vaguely) here and here.

BTW - I can't believe that NO ONE has commented on the possible NKOTB reunion post!

Ahem. Let us begin.

1. What is one life lesson you've learned while dating?
That when I find the right guy, I'll know it. And he'll know it, too. And he'll ask me to marry him. :) Ok, but really... I think that over the course of my years of dating, I've become more and more sure of myself and also more and more sure of what I'm looking for in a best friend, a partner, a companion... Sometimes it sucks to be one of the only people in my circle of friends who isn't married, but in the end I know that my man is out there and we'll know when we found each other. In the end, that's what matters to me. He'll be worth the wait. (But that doesn't mean I don't feel a little impatient sometimes, ha!)

2. What was your best date ever?
Gee, I can think of some good ones. I certainly hope that there will be dates in the future with my future husband that will far surpass any I've had in greatness. But - since that wasn't the question, let's go with this... I remember a night when a boyfriend of mine had come home from a guys only trip. We went to eat and to see Phantom of the Opera. We sat in the car talking and then singing a bunch of songs together. I realize nothing about this sounds awesome, and I'm even questioning myself as I type, but I think this date stands out because it was one of those where I was just so happy to be with that person that nothing else in life seemed to matter for a few hours. I would get that same feeling playing on the knoll in front of the university center or working on homework in my dorm room. I think in the end it comes down to how when you're with someone you care about and that cares about you in return, there's a kind of joy that you don't experience in other situations. That can make any date a "best" date.

3. Worst date ever?
Well, Steph would immediately argue that it was the one time in high school when I went on a first date with a guy and he asked me if I brought enough money for my meal. Yes, this was lame. It certainly doesn't fall anywhere near best date status. I remember a few unbelievably awkward dates. I think the worst dates for me were the ones where a boyfriend took me out and acted completely normal and then at the end of the night told me he wanted to break up (fortunately, this hasn't happened as much in my adult years). I always thought that was really rude.

4. What is the longest you've ever dated someone?
Almost 3 years. Yep, it's a long time, especially to just break up in the end. But I learned a lot of really good lessons from that relationship, and my husband will be thankful for that.

5. Breaking up is hard to do... what was your hardest break-up?
The one with the above mentioned almost-3-year relationship. In the end, I knew I deserved to find a man better able to receive my love and better able to love me how I desire to be loved. But that didn't change the fact that he had been my best friend and that he was always a good guy and I loved him. I suppose I finally came out on the other side a stronger woman after a few months of heartache and healing.

6. Are you friends with anyone you've ever dated?
No. Well, yes. I have one really good friend that I kind of dated for a bit one semester in college. Sometimes I forget we ever even dated. He's one of my closest guy friends. But as for all the more serious boyfriends of my past, no. And it's a shame. I don't feel the need to stay connected or anything, but sometimes I think it'd be nice to exchange a "hey, how's life?" Past that, I don't really have a desire to stay friends with them. It'd be too, well, awkward.

This really on skims the surface. Sometimes I think I could write a book about some of the crazy dating experiences I've had. Believe me, I've got some good stories about really insane things that just don't fall under the "best date/worst date" categories, ha!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

New Kids to Reunite?

There may be a New Kids on the Block reunion in the works. There's apparently been speculaction about it for several years, but the footage on the official website leads one to believe it might actually happen. Check it out at at the New Kids on the Block website.

You might be asking yourself how I know this. Well, after sleeping in a bit, having lunch with a friend and doing some grocery shopping, I had some time before heading to my parents' house to go see my grandparents for Easter. I was perusing some stuff on itunes that I had been thinking about buying. Somehow I stumbled onto a collection of hits from the 90s. Seeing all the boy band names made me think of NKOTB (the first true boy band that paved the way for Nsync, 98 Degrees, and Backstreet Boys, in my opinion).

I looked to see if they were on itunes and then there they were...

I LOVED these boys back in the day. Granted, I was like 8. But I had all the cassettes, some buttons, a jigsaw puzzle of them, books about each one of them and even a nightgown with their picture and logo. I remember being jealous of a girl in my 2nd grade class who got to go to their concert. I new every word to every song, including their Christmas album. I watched the news when they were accused of lip synching and fully believed they were innocent. And I always requested their stuff at the skate center. I really liked Jordan the best and even had a doll that looked like him. My sister's favorite was Jonathan, but she had a Joe doll. I've seen Joe recently on tv, and he's turned out to be an incredibly attractive man. I don't think I ever really liked Danny and Donnie that much.
I won't lie. Listening to the samples on itunes brought back memories. I may have to download a few songs to run to just for kicks. And you better believe that if they really do reunite and do some kind of tour, I will go see them if at all possible.

(Picture from wikipedia)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Day of Spring

We couldn't have more perfect weather here in TN for the first day of spring! It's sunny, in the 60's, and absolutely gorgeous. So I took my car to the car wash. I had earned a free wash the last time I took it (I'm ashamed to say that was in November), so it was nice to drive away with a clean car, inside and out, for free. Granted, it's not perfect. It could have been vacuumed better and there are still some spots outside, but I'll take it considering it was covered in dirt, salt, and general filth (not to mention all my hair on the inside).

I also went to order contacts at Wal-Mart. This was not as pleasant of an experience. A big part of what I do at work involves customer service. I answer questions, I take orders, I lay on my southern accent and get really sweet with everyone... but the eye place at Wal-Mart doesn't get it. I don't rant very often, but please allow me for just a moment.

I would go somewhere else. But I don't have vision insurance and Wal-Mart has the best prices on the contacts I wear. When I went to the doctor last summer, they told me my contacts were discontinued and had me try a sample of some others one. I hated them. I did some research and found out it was a big lie that they were discontinued so I called them up on it. Turns out they were having backorders and it was just taking longer, so they were trying to get people to buy other stuff. I don't know about you, but I'm picky about the plastic I stick in my eye so I wanted to keep what I had.

So about a month ago, I find out Wal-Mart can get them again. I waited until now to go get some more mostly because my prescription expires next week and I wanted to get a whole bunch at the last possible moment and avoid having to go to the doc again for a year. I've been going since I was like 8 and have decided that every 2 years is sufficient to keep my prescription up-to-date.

I walk in today and there's one woman ahead of me who just needs a new nose pad. There were two employees, one who was helping someone else. So this man goes to work on the nose pad and then the phone rings. So he answers it and talks for close to 10 minutes! I mean, when you're helping someone who is standing right in front of you, you should take a message and call the phone person back. He finally hangs up, takes like 30 seconds to finish her glasses, and turns to me.

He looks up my contacts and tells me how the monthly ones are most cost effective than the 2-weekly ones I usually wear. I tell him how for me it's not because I buy the 2-weekly ones cheaper and wear them for a month. He starts to lecture me on how this is bad (which I begin to tune out because I know it's all just a ploy to make money... I don't were them all day every day, so I can make the 2-weekly ones last with ease) and the phone rings! He's on for a few minutes and then finally finishes up my order. We go to check out, and he says it's $99.

Now I'm not good at math, but he'd told me they were $39 a box so this didn't really make sense. Turns out he entered the monthly ones. Why am I not surprised? When he wasn't on the phone while doing my order, he was chatting with the other employee about something. So he goes to redo it and answers the phone again and chats it up with the other woman. I am not one to cause a scene or be a rude customer, but I have learned somewhere along the way that I'm not going to pay someone to treat me poorly... so I was REALLY close to asking him if he could please focus on completing my order before he did anything else since I needed to get back to work.

I know it's not a big deal, but something that should have taken 5 minutes took 20. I know people complain about customer service all the time. And here's the thing... if you work with customers, you have GOT to get it right. When you've got someone standing right in front of you, they are the priority. Not the person calling... you can ask to call them back. Not the person you work with... you can chat it up when the customers walk away. It's really a simple concept.

I suppose by choosing to go somewhere with the lowest prices that I'm also choosing to take a chance on poor customer service... but it shouldn't be that way.

All in all, it wasn't the best experience, but other than some mild irritation while I was there I certainly am not allowing it to ruin my day. I'm meeting my mom and some friends of our family for lunch in a short bit, heading to the gym for a run after work, and watching the new episode of LOST tonight. It really is a beautiful day, and I'm enjoying it!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Tom King Half Marathon

As you may have read, I ran in the Tom King 1/2 Marathon in Nashville this past Saturday. If you'll scroll down to the previous post, you'll find some pictures from the start, finish, and breakfast. If you're a facebook friend, there are more in an album on my page.

I woke up Saturday morning to find that it had been raining overnight, but nothing was coming down when I walked outside to assess how I should dress. By the time we were in the car heading downtown, it was pouring down rain. And there was thunder. And lightning.

I tried to remain optimistic. I had paid $40 for this race. I had trained. I wanted to run. What's some rain? I won't melt. I must admit that I was a little surprised for a moment to see the event hadn't been cancelled. But then I remembered that distance runners really are the craziest of athletes, so who was I to doubt? If I still wanted to run, then a lot of other people probably did, too.

So Bob, me, and a college pal Kirk lined up under the stadium awning, only running out when the gun was fired. The first hour brought four lightning flashes with rambling thunder and a constant downpour. It was actually a little neat to be running with 900 other people in a thunderstorm. Insane, maybe... but still a neat sense of spirit. The rain did let up about halfway through the race, so that was nice.

I saw several guys that work out at my gym so we all waved and such. It's nice to know some of my fellow distance runners from around town.

The race finishes on the Titans field with your picture up on the Jumbo Tron. It's really kind of cool running up the tunnel the football players run up for the games. I finished in 1:56:09, a time that it 6 minutes faster than my previous best for the half marathon. Apparently rain is my friend.

After the race, I immediately headed to the bathroom to change into some dry clothes so that I could enjoy the buffet breakfast. You better believe I tried everything and went back for seconds.

I spent the rest of the day napping and then watching We Are Marshall. It's sad, but I thought it was a really good movie. All in all, it was a great weekend and even the rain couldn't keep me from making the most of the race.

Tom King 1/2 Marathon Pictures

Friday, March 14, 2008

Changes on my Blog

I've really been enjoying perusing the blogs listed at the Ultimate Blog Party. One of the things I've realized is that I should have been giving my posts labels so that people can browse my posts from categories that interest them. So I spent some time going back and assigning labels to all 160 posts. I'm glad there were only that many. It was kind of fun, though. I remembered postings I had forgotten I ever wrote.

I started blogging just as a means to get some writing in and to keep my friends updated on my world, but I'm realizing there is a whole blogging community out there. I'm interested in seeing how people live, where they travel, how they work out, what their scrapbook pages look like, and all sorts of other things, so I feel it's safe to assume someone else might be interested in such things when they come across my blog, too. So, hopefully the labels will help you navigate through previous posts on various topics.

I also realized that for a single gal in her mid-20's, I don't post much about dating. You should know this is not for a lack of stories. It's more that I tend to be pretty private about such matters. However, I may try to keep in mind that if I use some code names, that a few stories would be appropriate for my blog.

I'm also thinking of updating my layout and things like that, so keep coming back over the coming weeks to see the changes!

I'm gearing up for my 1/2 marathon tomorrow morning! There's a good chance of rain, but at least it won't be hot. I'm looking forward to it and will share details and pictures later this weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Some Random TidBits

Today I have a few random things to share:

1. Last night at dinner my dad says, "Your mom has shingles." I thought I must have heard wrong and I asked what he said. "Shingles." Ok, so I did hear him say shingles. I asked him again what he was talking about and he repeated himself very slowly. I was like, "I heard you. I just don't know what you're talking about." Apparently shingles is this sort of measles type thing you can get and have to clear up with prescription drugs. The problem for me was that everytime he said shingles, I was thinking about roof shingles. So I was confused.

2. I'm wearing flip flops today for the first time this year. This pleases me.

3. A song on my shuffle came up today that I knew I had on there but don't hear often. I was paying attention to the words when I heard the guy say "Life ain't a track meet, it's a marathon!" It made me smile. So true.

4. I don't usually keep up with the news too much, but I'll read the captions on CNN while I'm on the treadmill sometime. Today, they had an "alibi expert" on there explaining how Gov. Spitzer could have prevented himself from being caught. I could NOT believe this. What are we saying to the viewers across our nation? Is it ok now for our leaders to do illegal things as long as they hide it and we don't find out? That we're trying to teach them how to cover their illegal activities so that they don't get caught? Yet one more reason why I'm anti-media.

5. While watching American Idol this year (the first year I've ever gotten interested in it), I realized that a lot of the contestants are 24. Clearly, if I had wanted to take a shot at being on the show, I should have done it this year while I'm the prime age. Oh well. I suppose I'll stick to rocking it out in the car instead. (And in case you care, I think Michael, David A., Brook, and Carly are some of the best talent on the show.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sunshiney Day

Spring is springing here in Middle Tennessee. Of course, it snowed on Friday. Nevermind that. Today it's sunny and 60 degrees! We might hit close to 70 tomorrow. I really need to take my car and get all of the salt washed off sometime soon. (Bob will be proud. He believes in keeping your car washed. I'm sure he prefers my car when it's at its cleanest sitting out in front of the office).

You do have to keep in mind that this weather does not mean winter is over for us. I'm sure we'll see more 30-degree days. Last year, it snowed the first Saturday in April when I was doing a 20-mile run and by the last Saturday in the month it was 70 degrees.

There's some sort thing about differeny freezes and winters that we have to go through before winter is finally here. I think it has something to do with when things bloom and that there's got to be a cold snap each time something new blooms. I should do some research on this. All I know is I know my grandparents say things about "blackberry winter" and stuff like that.

It makes me happy when it finally starts warming up. I definitely prefer summer to winter. I was just telling a friend not long ago how tired I am of layering and wearing coats. I'm ready for skirts and sleeveless tops and flip flops and my super cute plain ballet flats I just bought at the Super Target!

It's been an insanely busy day at work with the phone ringing off the hook and all sorts of people turning up and coming in. We rarely have people in the office unless they have an appointment or it's some random salesperson. Today we've had a myriad of visitors... a sales call, someone looking for cabinets (yay!), someone looking for a job (who proceeded to tell us about how he typically builds cabinets that "look just as nice as these and you can't tell they are much cheaper once you get them in!" (yeah dude, sorry, but we do quality work around here), and the guy who was looking for a man named Tim who he knows works at a cabinet place somewhere around here and do I know which one since it's not this one...

The sun is shining, and I'm smiling. Life is good today in TN. Off to a speed workout, a shower, dinner with my dad, and maybe a little American Idol.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Ready to Party it Up

Welcome to my blog! For my dedicated readers, I'm doing something a little different today. I'm attending the Ultimate Blog Party! Come along, and let's have some fun!

Born and raised in the Nashville, TN area, I'm a southern gal through and through. From my travels and adventures in other states, there's something unique about living below the Mason-Dixon line. We really do love fried foods and sweet tea, but I promise we don't run around barefoot and in overalls. (Although, I prefer bare feet or at least flip flops in the summer!)

One of my hobbies is running, which as you can see has influenced the title of my blog. I've done three marathons and a handful of halfs. I think that life really is a lot like a distance race... sometimes it's easy and other times hard, sometimes you love it and sometimes you hate it, there are ups and downs, straightaways and curves, and in the end the most important thing is to take one step at a time toward the finish line. I also find it's always best when you can keep a smile on your face.

If you really want to know some random details about me, read my 100 Things for my 100th Post.

My blog consists of a lot of random things. Sometimes I like to tell about adventures I've had when traveling to visit friends in other places. Other posts offer details of weekend activities or something interesting that I may have encountered in my day. I sometimes share things that are on my mind, or maybe I'll tell about a favorite memory involving friends. I try to post pictures of various things I have seen or done. You never know what you might get, but I like to think it's usually interesting.

I'm rapidly closing in on being a quarter of a century old. I'm not married yet (so no husband or children stories at this point), but I sometimes have a fun dating story to share. I work full-time, volunteer weekly, and run 4-5 days a week. My cat Tucker keeps me company at home, and I have an amazing circle of friends.

I post pretty often, so feel free to come back and read about the adventures of this young, single gal in TN. I welcome comments and feedback, and I certainly enjoy invitations to your own blog party!

Prizes I think would be cool to win:

#117 - The $25 Target gift card offered by Mommy Bytes
#20 - The $50 gift certificate offered by
#60 - The $25 gift card offered by Judy

After that, it's 31, 39, 59, 68, 114, 129, 140, 70, 79, 91, 101, 104, 107, 92, 128, 132, 135, 148, 52, 56, 41, 3, 9, 49, 45, 67 and then after that anything else is baby/mommy type things and since I'm not a mom I'd have to say that if I won one of those prizes I'd take it and gladly give it to a good friend who is a mommy. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Easter Decorations

I typically save most of my decorating energy for Christmas, but this year I've done a little Easter decorating in my dining room.

My grandparents had this huge dining room table that seats 10. The room would look empty without it, but the table itself looks naked with nothing on top. So I found these adorable Easter egg plates at Target to bring a little color to the table. I LOVE Target. And don't even get me started on how SUPER excited I am that we have a SUPER Target opening a mile from my house on Sunday.

It still needed a little something, and these cute place mats with chicks fit the bill. I have to credit Kohl's for these... another fabulous place to find neat things.

They certainly bring a little color to the room. The perfect finishing touch was the Easter Egg cookie jar with the chick on top, something my mom had given me last year with my Easter basket!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Effects of Zumba

So last night I decided to try a new class at the gym. Several people had told me that the Zumba class is a lot of fun and provides a good workout, so I gave it a shot.

Basically, it's a cardio class that uses dance moves to music to work up a sweat. We're talking dances like salsa, cha cha, and rumba. I have to say that it really was a lot of fun. I worked up a sweat and my heart was pounding, but it wasn't quite as good of a workout as a good run. I still really enjoyed doing something different than my usual routines. On top of that, I occasionally miss taking dance classes, and this reminded me of the old days of dancing. There was much shimmeying, popping, and jumping.

Here's the thing. I had some crazy dreams last night, and I think the Zumba may have had something to do with it. I dreamed that I had all these people over at my house. There were a lot of people there that I know in real life but that I haven't seen, spoken to, or even thoughts about in years. Then Steph and her husband were there, only Steph looked just like she did when we were 15. There were some newer people in my life there as well. For whatever reason, we were doing a lot of shimmeying and shaking at this gathering, only there was no music or other real reason to be doing anything resembling dance.

It was... odd. I woke up about 4am thinking how weird it was to have that sort of dream, and then I remembered all the shimmeying I did in Zumba class and it made a bit more sense that I dreamed about it.

And I won't lie... my hips might be a little sore today.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Slightly Tiring Weekend - But in a Good Way

Wow. What a weekend this has been! It's been long and short, tiring and exciting, lazy and productive.

I started off by going to dinner at Danielle's on Friday night. Her family was there to see her off to Korea. I've been around long enough that I'm kind of family, too, so I shouldn't have been surprised when his uncle came in and sat on top of me. That's the sort of thing that my uncles would do, so I suppose it was rather normal in the grand scheme of things. It's interesting what uncles find to be funny. Nonetheless, it was a lovely evening and I'm glad I had the chance to spend a few last hours with Danielle. It's strange... it didn't really feel like she was leaving, but I imagine in a few days when we haven't seen each other it'll hit me.

On Saturday, I rose at 5am to drive back to her house to ride to the airport and really see her off. The moon was absolutely gorgeous when I left my house. For a few minutes, it felt like the morning a friend and I drove into Nashville to run last year's Country Music Marathon. I guess maybe that comes from the fact that I'm never up before sunrise unless a race is involved, ha. Clearly, I can add best friends to the list of things to get up early for (though I think it'd been on there for a while anyways). After hugging Danielle one last time for a year (maybe two), we headed back home. Bob and I went to the park to enjoy an 11.5 mile run in the park. It was a beautiful, sunny day - just perfect for a long run.

After a delicious breakfast number 2 for the day at Chick-fil-A (gotta love those chick-n-minis), I showered and napped. I hated to miss out on the beautiful weather, but boy was I pooped! I headed to Nashville after my nap to visit my grandparents and eat at Cracker Barrell. After dinner, my mom and I took my grandma to the mall for a little shopping. I actually bought shoes, which is rare for me. But they were $13!!! Amazing. If I keep this up, I'm going to cacth up with Steph's shoe collection. I also bought an ipod shuffle. It's true that I already have a nano, and it's also true that I never thought I'd own two ipods. However, I'd been thinking about getting one since they clip on and that'd be so much easier to deal with on a long run. When I saw the price was down to $49, I was sold.

After a good night's sleep, I got up today to find another beautiful, sunny and 70-degree day. Mom and I ran a few errands, and then I came home and got a LOT of chores done around the house. I even put out some Easter decorations!

It's certainly been a full weekend, but it's been really great even in the most tiring moments. It's always an emotional thing to say goodbye to a friend so mix that with the running and visiting and chores, you can see why I'm so tired. So this chickadee is off to bed. Hope you all had a fantastic weekend.