Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lovely Day

Sunny and 78 degrees today. It’s supposed to be 80 tomorrow.

Never mind that it’s still in the 40s first thing in the morning. I still got up this morning and CHEERFULLY put on a short-sleeved polo. As soon as I can find time to get a pedicure, I’m going to start rocking skirts and sandals. This brings me so much joy! I am SO over wearing a coat. And sweaters. And socks.

I ate lunch on the patio at Blue Coast Burrito and finally got to crack open my March issue of Runner's World. (I've been a little busy, so the magazine reading has fallen by the wayside.) It was lovely. And can I just say that I LOVE Kara Goucher? I mean, I probably only love her in the same way I love kittens and chocolate and flip flops, but still...

Since the weather is rocking my socks off, I ran 4 miles at the park today. (Technically, I did wear socks. I can’t run in sneakers with no socks.) With a half marathon coming up on Saturday (that I’m running for fun) and another half in a few weeks (that I’m running as a pacer), I know I need to run outside as much as possible. I think acclimating to the heat is 100 times harder than acclimating to the cold, and I want to get as used to it as I possibly can. Tennessee weather is fickle, and it could end up being 50 or 80 on race days in the month of April. One can never know for sure what to expect.

I also signed up for a 10K next weekend… as if I don’t already have enough going on in my life while trying to clean stuff out and pack up everything I own to prepare for my coming move-in date at the new apartment (fingers crossed I know what that date will be sometime this week)! But in some ways, having these races on the calendar is what’s keeping me 1) sane and 2) motivated to keep running in between so that I don’t get too out of shape.

Basically, I’ve got a race on 4 out of the next 6 weekends. I’m happy about this decision. I think it’s going to be good for me, even though I’m not really racing any of them. I’m having fun. I’m remembering why I love running and racing in the first place. Sometimes it’s really nice to not care about the clock and just enjoy the atmosphere of a race. After a fall season full of goals and PRs, I’m really enjoying this season of running where my only goal is to enjoy myself and have a good time in the running community.

Eventually I’ll start stepping it back up. I’ll add some mileage. I’ll get more serious about my pace. Hopefully I’ll do more cross training and yoga, something I have had zero time to do lately. I know I won’t really be able to do this until I move and get settled and find a new routine, and I’m ok with this.

Lots of things are still changing, but I’m feeling really secure in the changes. I’m getting more settled in my new job and feel confident that I’m absolutely where I need to be. I’m excited about making my move and can’t wait to get everything unpacked and decorated so that I can start feeling settled in a new home. It’s going to be awesome to be living in the thick of Nashville and closer to my running and social circles. The sun is shining, and I can’t help but feel like my life is kind of shiny right now. It’s not perfect by any means, but I’m feeling content about all of the changes that have been happening.

As I ran the last little bit of the greenway to head back to my car today, I found myself smiling. Life is good today.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Paper Product Pack Rat

I've never really thought of myself as a hoarder. I love cleaning things out and getting rid of crap. I don't like to keep something unless I think I'm going to want it later.

As I've been making my preparations to move, I've been trying to really clean things out and unclutter my life. Of course, anyone who knows me at all knows that there's very little clutter in my home. Everything has a place, and I know exactly where to find everything.

However, I've apparently been a bit of a pack rat when it comes to paper products. I don't think I had a clue until tonight.

I have two walk-in closets in my bedroom. (Cry for me; it's terrible.) (That's another good example of why there should be a sarcasm font.) One of them has my clothes, shoes, purses and accessories. It's on the list to be cleaned out, but tonight I wanted to tackle the other one.

I thought that I had been keeping it pretty organized, but I've apparently just been tossing a ton of stuff in there for the past couple of years. I also must have put a bunch of stuff in there intentionally a few years ago when I moved in, and then I promptly forgot all about it.

I have a filing system for receipts and bank statements and investment statements and the statements that I've marked showing when I paid my bills. It's all very organized. But I hadn't cleaned it out in ages. Needless to say, I have a GOB of stuff that I have to shred.

I also apparently keep a lot of random papers thinking they might be important later. And they're not. I filled an entire trash bag with old papers and folders and miscellaneous crap that I have no idea why I ever want to keep it.

And the magazines. Oh, the magazines. I've been doing a good job lately of stacking them up and then taking them to the recycle bin. I had apparently forgotten that for a while I just kept them. I stacked them in bins in my closet. I think I thought I might want to pull them out and reference them again later (because THAT happens.)

So I literally have POUNDS of paper products that I'm getting rid of tonight. Don't worry all you tree huggers... it's all going to the recycle bins except for the stuff I have to shred. But I think the shredding company recycles it after they shred it all. I'm not sure.

When I finished, I kind of didn't feel very productive because I hadn't actually packed anything... but I did get a ton cleaned out, so that was a huge accomplishment. It feels good to know that I'm minimizing my life a bit more as I pack and get ready to move.

Attacking my other closet is next on the list, but I think it'll have to wait until the weekend. I want to go through every last item in there. If I love it, I'll keep it. If I'm not sure, I'm putting it on and making a decision. If I don't love it when I put it on, it's going in the yard sale pile (which is growing more every day). I'm not taking anything with me that I know I'm not going to wear. As I've gotten older, I've bought a lot of new clothes that I really like. Why hold on to old crap I never wear anymore, even if it is still in good shape? If I'm not going to wear it, might as well let someone else have it that will.

It feels good to be sorting through everything and cleaning out stuff. I encourage you all to try it sometime. It's amazing to find what you once thought you needed to keep that you no longer care about...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A :) Weekend

I totally made up for not running hills for the past four months on Saturday morning.

Matt and I headed out to the Percy Warner 11.2 mile loop. We both went into it admitting that it was ok if we took it a bit easy. I was even prepared to walk some of the bigger hills since it had been so long since the last time I ran any hills.

The day was sunny. I think it was in the 50s at that time of day. Gorgeous. We chatted and caught up as we ran among the trees. The birds were chirping. We saw an owl. And we ran the entire time.

I also ran into another friend as I was getting ready to leave, and that's always fun.

I had an absolutely lovely Saturday afternoon enjoying good food and some time outdoors with with good company. I learned how to swing a golf club and hit a golf ball on the driving range for the first time ever. It was actually really fun, although I totally missed half the time and had to laugh at myself a ton.

The weather turned rainy last night, so I opted to stay in today and do some more packing. I got my entire kitchen packed up. It might seem a bit early to have done this since I don't actually have a move in date yet, but I figured I rarely eat here anyways and can totally make do with paper products the couple of times I do between now and then. It feels good to see more and more packed up. I've also started quite the yard sale pile.

My bedroom and bathroom are really the only things left to pack. A lot of it will have to wait until closer to time, but I'm definitely planning on going through everything so I can figure out what I want to put in the yard sale. I don't want to move anything that I don't want.

It feels good to be productive. It feels good to already be packing so much so that I won't have to be rushed to do it later.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Glorious Day

Ran 4 miles today.

Outside.

72 degrees.

Sunny.

T-shirt.

Shorts.

Good tunes.

GLORIOUS!!!

The only problem was that the whole time I kept wondering why on earth it felt so hard! I kept telling myself I just ran 13 miles while sick less than two weeks ago, and it did not feel as hard as this.

But I didn't wear a watch, and when I got back to the car I figured out why it was so hard.

I kept a 9:00 average pace.

Something I haven't even tried to run in months.

Yeah. I'll take that. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Something to Look Forward To...

I'm a firm believer that you should always have something on the calendar to really look forward to. I'm also a firm believer that you should travel as much as possible.

So it probably won't surprise you that I just booked a trip!

In May, I'll be traveling up to Michigan to run the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25K with Nicole, Tara and Maritza! To say I'm excited would be an understatement.

I can't wait to see Nicole again, and I am so looking forward to meeting Tara and Maritza.

I'm also kind of pumped about running a 25K. It'll be a new distance for me. I'll probably just go into it with the goal of having fun and finishing, especially since I'll have just run the Country Music Half the week before.

I definitely have a ton going on in my world right now, but I think it's going to be good for me to know I have this one weekend set aside to leave my life here in TN and go have some fun with some awesome girls.

I. can't. wait.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Um, Yeah...

I totally shouldn't posted on the internet that I was going to run 10 miles today and finally eat at Loveless.

It totally didn't happen.

But not because I'm lazy (which I totally have been about running the past few months).

It poured down rain all day. When I woke up, it had kind of started and the radar showed it was about to get worse. I've still had a bit of congestion and a cough, even though I've been feeling a million times better. It just didn't seem wise to me to go run in the pouring rain and 5o degree temps.

I slept in a bit and then ran 6 on the treadmill at the gym. I really should have done 10, but I can really only stand the treadmill for so long. I will admit that I watched the last hour of Snow White on the Disney channel as I ran. It kept me surprisingly distracted. I guess I'm a big kid at heart when it comes to the Disney movies I grew up loving. That Dopey... he still makes me laugh.

I'm sure the guy next to me thought I was an idiot for cracking up at a Disney movie while running, but I noticed most of the women around me were watching the same thing. :)

I spent the rest of the day packing. I don't know when I'm moving. I don't even know where I'm moving. I spent all day yesterday checking out places with no success. Most of the places I saw were dumps that only a college guy would rent, and the others were WAY out of my price range. Ugh. I can always move into an apartment complex, but I was hoping to avoid that. I really don't want to be stressed out right now, but it may come to that.

I'm already packing because I know I have a lot going on over the next couple of months in addition to finding a place and moving. It just makes sense to go on and pack up things I don't need when I've got the free time to do it. Like today, when it was pouring down rain and I didn't want to go out anyways.

It feels good to have a solid stack of boxes in the corner of the dining room that are ready to go. It feels good to have a stack of boxes of things I want to keep but not take to a new place, so they'll go into storage in my parent's attic. It feels good to see stacks of things I've already designated to the yard sale pile. (A yard sale is yet another thing I'm planning to schedule into the coming months!)

I do need more boxes though. Ugh.

I'm exciting about moving, but it's still a bit overwhelming to have so many things changing right now. It felt great to go run those 6 miles and watch one of my favorite movies from when I was a kid and just forget all about all the things that have been on my mind lately.

Running. It really does keep me sane when I've got a lot on my plate. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Exciting News

I haven't really shared this yet, and I've been meaning to do so.

I haven't really had any intentions of running the Country Music Half Marathon here in Nashville next month. Some people think I'm crazy not to run a race that's in my own backyard.

The half and the full are both great races! I've done the full twice, and when I did it last time I swore I'd never do it again. I'm glad I've done it twice, and I tell people that it's totally worth doing... but I feel like I've been there, done that. I'd rather try other full marathons.

I could go out and run a half pretty much whenever I want. It might not be a PR, but I could do it. But I've done Nashville's once, and it's kind of expensive. I tell people it's a blast and worth doing at least once, but again... I've been there, done that.

However, I noticed in my running club's newsletter a while ago that they needed pace team leaders for both races. I knew I had no interest in the full, but I applied to be one of the pacers for the half and figured if I got it I'd do it and if not, that's that.

Lo and behold, I got picked! I'll be pacing one of the 2:15 groups 5 weeks from today!

I'm actually really excited. Having something like this on my plate is really helping me to get myself motivated to start getting more serious about training. I can go run a 2:15, but I want to get a little more back in shape so that I can be confident that I'll be able to easily do it. I've never officially paced a race before, but I have helped some other people reach their own time goals. I am usually a pretty consistent runner, so I don't think it'll be that hard.

Still, I do feel a little pressure. People will be depending on me, and I don't want to let them down.

So I'm picking up the training a bit over the next 5 weeks so that I can show up at that start line with a smile and all the encouraging words I'll need to help people run the half in 2:15.

I'm really excited. It's going to be so awesome to get to do this, and I get to run one of the best races in Tennessee for free! (You knew there had to be another reason for why I applied. I'm all about working the system so that I spend as little on racing as possible!)

I have a lot going on right now. I'm still getting settled at the new job. I'm looking for a new place to live. I'm starting to pack. It's hard to not feel a little overwhelmed, and it's honestly hard to find time to get my runs in right now with so much other stuff going on.

But it's nice time to start getting my butt in gear... starting out with a 10 mile run tomorrow morning!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Repeat

I can't believe it's come to this.

I was casually chit chatting with a couple of awesome gals at my new job, just trying to connect and get to know them better while I was already in their office with some work stuff.

The subject of dating came up. While both of these girls are married, they both know exactly what I meant when I said how frustrating it can be to try to find good guys. We talked about how as you get older, you find yourself feeling pretty open-minded about how to meet new people... and I said that I'm not really opposed to the occasional set-up through friends.

A bit later, one of them emailed me to tell me she had thought of someone.

We went back and forth for a bit with some details and everything...

And it hit me.

I had met this guy before. In fact, someone else had set me up with him like two years ago! (We had coffee, he was nice, but I think we were mutually not interested in anything more.)

How can this be happening?

There are over one million people in Nashville. I have to believe that a decent number of those people are single men in my age group. How is it that it's come back around that I'm being set up with guys I've already been set up with? (And it's hard not to wonder how it is that two years later, we're both still single... (***crickets chirping***)

Anyways, I don't even really date all that much. Maybe a handful of guys per year, and that's counting the ones I might only go out with once. There HAVE to be more available men in Nashville than this!

Of course, I just had to laugh. It's bizarre and random, and what were the odds?

I also thought of the How I Met Your Mother episode where Ted goes out on a blind date and neither of them realize until WAY into the date that they'd been on a blind date together years earlier. So I'm just glad I realized it before they actually went through with setting it up!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Green is SO my favorite color, so a holiday that requires you wear it is like a holiday after my own heart.

Then again, a holiday revolving around all things green isn't quite as exciting as holidays where you exchange gifts... BUT! I did get to celebrate a bit at a little party on Saturday night hosted by the lovely Amy. I also got to meet her friend and blogging pal April!

I wasn't feeling well, so I was happy to just sit around and catch up with friends. Not surprisingly, most of the people attending the party were local runners.

I had a photo snapped of the three people I run most with around here whether it's training or racing.

It's fun to see pictures like this and say to myself, "hey, those are some pretty awesome people and I'm happy they're in my life!"

Running is definitely a big part of my life for numerous reasons, but the biggest reason undoubtedly revolves around the social aspects. I've made some really great friends through running, and I'm hopeful that there will be more new friends in the future.

I like these kids. They're fun to run with on Saturday morning and then have a good time with on Saturday night.

I don't suppose St. Patrick's Day is typically one of those holidays that makes you feel all warm and mushy about the people in your life, but I can't help but look at this picture from this year's St. Patty's Day shin dig and smile about how I got to celebrate it with some pretty awesome friends that I've gained over the past year through running.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Tidbit

Just a quick word today...

"I really think my life changes faster than I can blink sometimes."

That's the first sentence in an email I plan on sending to two of my best girlfriends as soon as I can find the time and energy to sit down and finish writing the rest.

A lot of things are changing, and they're changing fast.

It's kind of got my head spinning. I know it's all positive change, but dang... I could stand for it to slow down a bit.

Or maybe it's just that I'm exhausted and all of these sinus issues are NOT helping. :)

Needless to say, I haven't run since the half on Saturday, and I quite honestly don't intend to do so until I can breathe normally again.

Or on Sunday, when I have plans to run a 10-miler with some friends that ends with a yummy breakfast.

Whichever comes first.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Race Report: Tom King Half Marathon

On Saturday, I ran in my 10th half marathon. I honestly didn't realize it was number 10 until after the fact, but it's still kind of cool nonetheless.

I ran in the Tom King Classic here in Nashville. I'd run this before i 2007 and 2008, but I wasn't in shape to do it last year. Needless to say, I had been looking forward to running it again because it's one of my favorite half marathons. I even set my PR here back in 2008.

I had grand aspirations several months ago about trying to PR at this race, but when my world changed with a new job I knew it probably wasn't going to happen. I really have not been putting in the kind of training that a new PR requires, and I've honestly been ok with that. Sometimes it's good to take it easy for a bit.

In fact, I was way more unprepared than I was really really to share on this blog. Since the half marathon that I ran on February 13th (an exact month before this race), I had run a total of like 10 miles... over the course of those 4 weeks.

In most cases, this is really insufficient training for a half marathon, but I knew I've been running long enough and am fit enough overall that I could wing it. I just had to go into it with reasonable expectations... like knowing it wouldn't be my fastest half and knowing it might be kind of hard.

In addition to my lack of training, I also started having some sinus issues starting on Thursday. It wasn't terrible yet, but deep down I knew that running was probably not the smartest idea. However, like most runners, this did not stop me.

Oh, and I kind of stayed out until 2am the night before. This is also not ideal, but it is what it is...

So I headed to the Titans stadium and met up with some friends who were also running the race. One of the guys I used to work with was running his second ever half, and his wife was running her very first one. I decided to start with her and another gal she planned to run with.

Since it's almost St. Patrick's Day and I was feeling less than serious about this run, I decided to wear some special socks. See below.


They also had little shamrocks on the back. See below.

We set out with about a 9:30 pace for the first couple of miles. I felt pretty comfortable, but I wondered if I would end up slowing down a bit.

We ended up chatting a good bit as we ran, and that really helped to make the time go by and keep me distracted. By mile 8 or 9, I could definitely feel my lack of training. It wasn't terrible though, so I kept going.

We definitely slowed down to more of a 10:00 pace, but I was managing to hang on and was having a fun time running and chatting.

When we got closer to the end, I found myself picking it up a bit. Even though I was tired, I definitely wanted to finish strong. Before I knew it, I was running into the stadium and on the football field.

I passed a big group of people toward the very end, and then I ended up kind of sprinting against this one guy for the final yards.

One of the cool things about finishing inside the football field is that you're also shown up on the Jumbo Tron!

I ended up finishing in 2:08:20. It wasn't my fastest half, but it also wasn't my slowest. I think that factoring in my lack of training, lack of sleep and lack of clear sinus passages that it went pretty well. We were one happy group at the finish line.

I really love this race. It's a great course that's actually really flat considering it's located in Nashville. The weather was perfect this year - cloudy and cool. It's a real shame I wasn't in better shape because I would have loved to have been able to try to push for a PR.

One of my favorite things about the race is that they offer a buffet breakfast after the race, but this year I was less than impressed. I had a biscuit, but the hashbrowns were mushy and the eggs were incredibly bland. I guess maybe they had to cut back or something, but I'm hopeful they'll step it back up next year and return to the same quality that used to have at it.

All in all, it was a great race. I definitely felt sore the next day, but that seems to be gone now. I think that it was proof that I'm capable of more than I expect sometimes, and it was also a great start to getting more serious about training since I have two more halfs coming up in April... one of which I'd like to try to push and do really well if I can.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Buns of Steel

Who needs to do lunges when you've got stairs?

So my office is on the third floor of the building.

The lady I do most of my work with is located on the second floor.

There is indeed an elevator... but I kind of have an irrational fear of elevators and won't get in one unless I really have to.

So stairs it is... and even though I think I'm in decent shape (not my best, but decent), these stairs are kicking my butt. And I kind of don't mind. It's nice to feel like I'm getting a little workout while at work. And extra points on the days I wear heels.

And it's probably a good thing since I've been totally slacking on running. I HAVE to get more serious about it again after this week's half marathon. I'm hoping to use it as "a training run that will kick my butt back in gear."

Plus, I need to run it since I'll be attending what I think will be an awesome St. Patrick's Day party on Saturday night. Nothing like burning off a gob of calories to make room for new ones!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

She's Alive

My dear readers, I promise I'm not disappearing. My life is just kind of spinning a bit right now, and I'm trying to keep up. I know it'll settle in time, and I promise to return to more regular posting (and commenting) very soon.

In the meantime, some updates via bullet points (mostly because during the 7 days I've spent at my new job, I've put together a lot of bullet points):

  • I'm 7 days into my new job. It's going well, but it's also a big adjustment. As is typical with a new job, there's a bit of information overload and a lot of questions. I'm not incredibly busy yet since I don't know how to do everything yet. I'm coming home exhausted because my body is not used to being on this kind of schedule after 7 months of unemployment. Overall, I feel incredibly blessed to have found a good job at a good organization with good people (and good pay and benefits, because we all know that's kind of a big deal, too!)
  • I have not been running enough. This could be interesting since I'm running a half marathon on Saturday. It's ok though. I am fine with running this race as just another training run that leads to a medal and awesome post-race breakfast. I'll even try to get around to giving you a real race report this time since I slacked on my last half.
  • I also signed up for another half in early April. I'm hoping to try to finally run that one for real. I plan to let this weekend's race kick start some more serious training. I've GOT to find a routine that works to get my runs in with my new 8-5 work schedule. Hello late night runs at the gym.
  • LOST is blowing my mind this season. Every week I get so excited, and then that hour of my life flies by and I feel sad that there are only a handful of episodes left. I really will be lost next year when this show is over (hahaha, love a good pun)... but I anticipate sitting down and trying to watch all 6 seasons over the course of a few months instead of 6 years in an attempt to piece together things I can't remember.
  • I'm going to be moving sooner than I was even anticipating. The idea of looking for a place to live right now is a bit overwhelming since so much else in my life has changed. Fortunately, I do have a month or two to figure it out, so I'm trying not to really focus too terribly much on it yet. Just putting some feelers out there. I am excited to be moving closer to work and to friends and to the Nashville social scene, but it's also kind of sad to know the house that my grandparent's always lived in is being sold. I've loved living here and all of the memories that I'm surrounded with.
  • Even though I feel exhausted after work, I still haven't been able to get myself to bed at a reasonable time. Part of it is because my body just hasn't figured out we need to sleep earlier than 2am now, and the other part is because I really kind of like having time to myself before bed to read blogs or watch tv or something.
  • I'm feeling unsettled in a lot of ways right now because so much is changing (even though I know it's changing for the good). I know that I'll adjust and forget that I ever even felt this way in time, probably sooner than later. But one thing I am confident of right now is that I know I'm following my heart. In the end, I think that's all that we can ever really do.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Gut Feelings

I'd love to get some opinions on this, so if you have one please comment or email me.

What do you all think about gut feelings? Do you think they're usually pretty right? Is it silly to pay any attention to them? How much attention to you pay to them?

I usually think my gut feelings are pretty spot on. I suppose another way of thinking of it is that maybe I am just sometimes fairly intuitive? I'm not sure, but I do know sometimes I just get these feelings that something is either right or wrong.

A lot of times I might feel something, but then I sleep on it and realize in the morning that what I felt was way wrong. So then I feel like what I'm feeling in the morning is my gut feeling, and what I was feeling the night before was just something I was forcing myself to feel.

I'm sure this might be confusing. Let me offer an example. I might decide at the end of the day that the next day I'm doing to do something specific. I think it's a great idea and will go well. But then I wake up in the morning and I just know that I shouldn't do that something... it's like I just get this terrible feeling that it'd be the wrong thing to do.

It can work the other way, too. I might still feel like it's a good idea in the morning, and possibly for more mornings afterwards. So then I get this feeling that it's ok to move forward with doing whatever it is I was thinking about...

I know for a fact and am willing to admit that I am capable of overanalyzing things like crazy. Don't worry - I'm aware of it, it drives me nuts and it's something I'm constantly trying to work on improving. My biggest concern when I link my overanalyzing to my gut feelings is that I end up thinking way too much about the gut feelings instead of just letting myself go with my gut.

I know I'm being so all over the place with this, but I'd love to know what other people think about gut feelings.

Do you think it's generally ok to listen to them if you are consistently feeling the same thing over and over, or do you think you should spend a lot of time thinking about them. Maybe you have a gut feeling to do something that seems a little unusual from how you normally do things... it'd be easy to sit and think it over and over and come up with a million reasons why you shouldn't pay any attention to this feeling.

Should you let yourself think about it a ton, or should you just go with your gut? Especially when you know that most of the time, your gut is right?

Don't worry... I'm not actually thinking about doing anything crazy or anything like that! :) I just have been wondering about whether or not other people find themselves considering their gut feelings like I do sometimes. I always wonder if I'm like the only person who does something or not.

Monday, March 1, 2010

101 in 1001 Update

I'm still taking a bit of a break here, but I didn't fall to fall behind on my monthly updates.

Here's what I did during the short month of February.

6. Run in at least eight races I’ve never run in before - I ran the Frostbite Half Marathon in the Cedars of Lebanon park on February 13th. I used it as a training run, but it still went well. I was totally lame and didn't post a race review, but I ran the race with Amy so you could totally read her review here as it'd be about what I would have written.

68. Go to three concerts per year - I took my sister to see John Mayer as her Christmas gift this year. We got to witness his public apology for lame things he said in an interview.

74. Accept a new job that I love - DONE. :)

75. Find a job with benefits - DONE. :)

95. Watch one new movie per month, minimum - I saw Valentine's Day, actually on Valentine's Day. I also went to see Dear John. I don't usually see many movies in the theater, but apparently this month was an exception.

96. Read one book per month, minimum - Before seeing the movie, I read Dear John. I won't lie... I like a little Nicholas Sparks in my life on occasion.