Sunday, April 29, 2012

weekend update

Ah the end to another weekend, why do they come and go so quickly!?

No photos from this busy weekend, but here's what went down...

Friday evening- run- just under 8 miles, done. Early evening in, early wake up call the next day!

Saturday-- up by 7, in Worcester at 8:45-- Pre Cana day! Actually this was pretty good, I feel like JAB and I really could connect to one another. There were about a dozen couples from 3 parishes in Worcester who are getting married over the course of the next year. We had veteran married couples there to talk about different topics-- communication, starting a family, having children, finances, the actual ceremony itself, and other real issues that arise when two people begin lives together. Some people there weren't even catholic, but it was actually pretty cool, there wasn't religious beliefs being forced on any "non catholics" at all. We concluded the day with an evening mass and I got to do a reading. I love speaking in the microphone!

Post- Pre Cana-- went to visit Mom (Dad was out with Nan), chatted with her, JAB gave her some PT advice for a minor injury, then back to RI we came.

Evening consisted of watching Legally Blonde-- I think I need to perfect my "bend and snap!"... works like a charm!

Sunday am-- I slept in til 8, JAB was up and biking in the basement around 7. He had a 3 hour ride, followed by a 45 min run, so he wanted to get some of it done before I got up. Plus he requires less sleep than me, so he sometimes just lets me stay in bed a little while longer :)

I had a long run today. I procrastinated a bit and got some cleaning done first-- floors, bathrooms, and laundry, then around 10:30 I headed out the door. Today was one of those runs that things just felt right. I was comfortable, relaxed, not going for time, just enjoying the run. I didn't really look at my garmin too much, just a few check-ins and wound up finish 11.3 miles in just over 1:26-- around 7:39 pace. I'll take it!

When I got home JAB was in the yard, so I mowed the back yard, then we came in to stretch, shower, and eat.

Unfortunately the running store we went to after lunch didn't have the shoes I need, so I ordered them--- fingers crossed they're here soon so I can break them in soon and be ready for the half marathon on May 20th!

I pretty much wear out my shoes every 3 months... which translates to 4 sets of running shoes a year, at around $100 each--- so at a minimum it's $400 in running shoes yearly! Oh well, it's what I love and it keeps me healthy, so that's the price you pay!!

JAB had to help his parents install a window--- 2 hours later--- it was done.

I was really getting hungrrrrry over there, I think partially because I knew I was making homemade pizza tonight. After a long run I feel like I need something bigger for dinner, and this pizza hit the spot!!

Time to face reality again... work in the morning, but first "REALITY" tv-- the Amazing Race!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Double Digit Wedding Land!

99 days until we get married-- we are officially in double digits baby!

Yesterday marked the 100 days to go in our countdown. I have to say that the engagement is going by pretty quickly! We got engaged last July, so we've already been engaged a little over 9 months, which means only about 3 to go! That's about 75% complete for you mathematicians out there.

Other wedding excitement will continue tomorrow. We have our Pre Cana day. Some churches do meetings over a few months, other parishes do a weekend retreat, but ours just does a full day of it.

What is Pre Cana?

According to Wiki-pedia... yes I googled it, even though I am a practicing Catholic, I still wasn't fully clear on what the Pre Cana entailed...

Pre-Cana is a course or consultation Catholic couples must undergo before they can be married in a Catholic church. The name is derived from John 2:1-12, the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee, where Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine.
Approaches to Pre-Cana vary among Catholic dioceses and parishes. Often six weekly sessions are led by a priest or deacon with support from a married Catholic couple.

Online programs have emerged as an alternative to gathered events as Parishes and Dioceses cope with fewer resources, geographically expanding congregations and deployed military couples.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops considers the following topics as "must have conversations" [1] before couples marry:
Spirituality/Faith
Conflict Resolution Skills
Careers
Finances
Intimacy/Cohabitation
Children
Commitment

Other topics that may be covered by PreCana include:
Ceremony Planning
Family of Origin[2]
Communication
Marriage as a Sacrament
Sexuality
Natural Family Planning
Theology of the Body
Couple Prayer
Unique Challenges of Military Couples
Stepfamilies
Children of Divorce

Basically we meet with other couples and talk about issues that could arise during marriage, plans we have for starting a family, and other things like that. Sometimes there are married couples who meet with you too to talk about their experiences as well.

I am actually really looking forward to spending all day at church. I think it will be a great time for JAB and I to grow together and talk about real issues and conflicts that we will face during our married lives together.

And now for something completely different-- running! Yes, I didn't run yesterday, but this was planned. I had to switch up the routine this week because I wanted to plan to take Saturday off, since I will be up in MA in church all day! Soooo Thursday was a bike day, which meant today (Friday) was a running day!

Today's run was actually better than I thought. I knew that there were 25 mph winds, which I wasn't thrilled about, but I decided to run the loop I had planned, even though it is slightly hilly. As I was running I actually felt a little slow at points, but the wind resistance made me definitely work harder and even though I felt somewhat slow I thought "Julie, you're running, you're healthy, you're happy, it's sunny, and YOU'RE RUNNING." I couldn't complain to myself about the wind or the slight chill in the air, instead I enjoyed the run.

I even smiled afterwards!

And I must have not been running as slow as I thought, actually I think I was quite slow on some up hills, but I recovered nicely enough on the downhills that it averaged out to some ok stats. I wasn't shooting for anything time-wise today, just trying to get 6 or 7 miles in. I ended up doing that plus a little bit-- 7.53 miles, done!


Evidence- I really did it! And now the weekend can begin-- with the day off from working out tomorrow! I love running don't get me wrong, but this was a long week and I think my body is ready for a day off from working out tomorrow.

Here's hoping Pre Cana goes well... has anyone else been through this?



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Favorite Race

Happy Hump Day! It's the middle of the week, actually it's Wednesday evening so the week is more than half over!

It's been a long week already, I'm thankful that's there's only 2 days left to it! Once again I have another conference to go to tomorrow-- in Holyoke, which is about an hour and a half commute for me. I love going to conferences and learning new information, but tomorrow's commute is going to be a bit much, oh well! :)

After work today, I went to the gym and while there realized I was wearing a shirt from my favorite race, so I had to take a photo.


I am giving the #1 sign there because this is a great race, in my opinion!

The race shirt that I am wearing is from the Applefest Half Marathon. It's in Hollis, NH usually at the end of September. This shirt that I have on is actually from the first time that I did it in 2007. While that was not my PR for the half, it still is a great course and location. I've run it a few times and look forward to running it again with a new name! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Think Positive Monday-- First Edition

I think the sun forgot to get out of bed this morning, so my body wants to be in bed too.
It was the first day back to school after a week off and I have to say my body definitely fell out of a work routine and it's hard to adjust it and get back on schedule!

I feel like I have a case of the Mondays-- Office Space anyone? BUT I realized, I should be positive... so from now on Monday I will try to think of things that are positive for the day! (I should think this way every day though!!!)

I made it to school safely, despite the monsoon- like rain fall!

I found out today that I will be going to yet another conference-- this Thursday!

The rain cleared up, well sort of... I didn't get soaked going to my car after work!

I was able to go to the gym for a workout! 80 minutes on the elliptical, some core, and stretching, and I was one happy camper!

(Yes I am cool and waited for someone to leave the locker room so I could take this awesome shot.)

I came home to a package! I love getting mail!---> contents weren't for me though, some of my junior bridesmaids' gifts came in!!


I don't have a lot of take home work to do this evening!

I get to see my fiance in a couple of minutes!

This week is the last week in triple-digit-countdown-land for the wedding and this weekend is our Pre Cana retreat!!

I think that making this list makes me happier than before I had written it. Sometimes I don't realize how great things are, but by reflecting on them I see that a little rain and the day of the week that start with Mon- and ends with -day has nothing on me, it's all about positivity!!!! :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Long run, babysitting, church, and a movie

This morning's long run is done! A happy Saturday for sure!!
I am pretty sure that I ran faster at the end of my run because I really had to go to the bathroom! I think I had a little too much cereal before bed last night ! Oh well, 11.1 miles in just over 1:23- that means average of 7:33 pace. There were some hills though so I know I was slower and faster at different points.

Based on my honk-o-meter--- I'd say these socks were a hit by drivers and pedestrians today. I had 4 cars honk at me. I usually don't like this, I mean people really, I am just a girl out running, but still, this sort of made me think that they enjoy my socks. When it comes to running clothes I say the more obnoxious the better!


First time wearing these babies today, I think if the temps are similar in a month I will be sporting them for the half marathon. Two thumbs way up for comfort!

Once again this run was a good confidence booster. I have run the full marathon before, but with everything going on in my life (all good things!) I am trying to prep for this race with as little training as possible--- going with the motto train smarter, not harder.
I was excited to see the garmin hit 11 miles today and be done!


Excited face. My shirt is not as annoying as my socks.

I have been very good about making sure I stretch after workouts. That and a little core work.


Since JAB's sister-- my future sister in law! Is moving to CT, she asked us to go over and help out watching her little guy while she did some things. So it was off to play with this guy!


He really is too cute.

I also did some help with organizing kitchen things and putting covers back on light switches and outlets. We spent some time distracting and playing with my future nephew though so he wouldn't want his mom! Of course when JAB and I starting to eat our lunches (we packed them so we could be there sooner)... he wanted some food.


He's like his godfather-- the way to his heart is through his stomach!

We finished the day at church back in our town in RI. It was actually really nice to be there today and as I sat in the pew I was thinking about next weekend. We have our Pre Cana retreat up in MA. I think it will be awesome to have the day with other couples on the same path as us. I am hoping that we get to enjoy our time there and talk about our future lives together.

Saturday ended with a movie. "The Hangover" was on tv. Neither of us had seen it. Was it a two thumbs up movie? No, but it was light and funny, easy to watch after a long day. Plus it was nice just to curl up on the couch and relax together!

Now it's Sunday am... time to get ready for a couple hour bike ride, then do some household stuff and get ready for the work week--- that's right, back to school tomorrow!



Friday, April 20, 2012

Last Day of Vacation

Today is the last day of April vacation, so sad! But this just means next vacation will be summer vacation, woot woot!

Didn't sleep in too late, I had some things to do...

Once again INVITATIONS!
Ok I am huge dork, but today I actually watched a video on You Tube to see how to stuff the wedding invitations-- these are some complicated things man!

After an hour and a half this morning I stopped working on them so I could shower and head out for errands. Fridays are my days off from working out, so I didn't have to wait til after I got my sweat on to shower!

Went to the bank. Felt pretty cool walking in with a box of rolled coins. Cashed in for $95! Not bad for coins lying around our bedroom!

Then I visited with the bro before heading out food shopping. I like to go for a good grocery run at Market Basket when I am up in MA. There are things I like to get at Trader Joe's, but Market Basket has really good prices, so I try to take advantage when I can.


All of this for about $80!


And here's what was inside!
15 greek yogurts
6 bananas
milk
oj
lactaid
oatmeal x2
apples
power bars
sandwich thins
chick peas
lunch meats (for Jeff's lunches)
turkey kielbasa
turkey pepperoni--- pizza making tomorrow
spinach
salad greens
peanut butter
summer squash
tomatoes
cucumber
salad dressing
bbq sauce
honey
trail mix bars
frozen tater tots
vegetarian baked beans (canned)

After lunch, it was back to invitations and laundry. I am proud to say their are all stamped, labeled, and stuffed!!!! Our final guest list count was 197. Our room can accommodate for 200 so we should be good! :)


(still don't have to send them for about a month though!)

Finally, it was time to do a little baking to surprise JAB... heart shaped corn muffins! Although I think I overstuffed the tins, they poofed out and don't really look like hearts!


Now I'm waiting for him to come home and enjoy the surprise!... then I think it's a low key night here in the J squared household!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

a week away from 100

One week from today will be 100 days until I marry this guy!


I'm pretty excited!!

But until then, vacation week continues!!

While I'm not taking any vacations this week, I surely have stayed busy. Yesterday, for example, I managed to occupy my day doing the following:

gym-- elliptical 80 minutes---> realized it's much slower than during the day than after school!

laundry-- exciting I know, but doing loads during the week means less on the weekend! I know, profound thought there. Seriously though, when you have a runner and a triathlete living together you can just imagine the odor of our dirty laundry :( better to get it cleaner sooner!

shopping-- multiples stores visited for various purposes. #1- staples- I was sent a coupon for a memory card. Since we're going to Hawaii this summer (hello honeymoon!) we want more memory for my camera-- 16GB for $15? um yes, I'll take it!
#2- Michael's-- I needed to get some calligraphy/ colored pens to use on wedding invitations---> more on those later!
#3- Target-- This store has it all. I like to do a big grocery shopping trip once a week, but if we need a few small things (ie: I'm on a frosted flake kick and am running low on lactaid) it's good to pick them up there while doing other shopping for vitamins, allergy pills, etc. They also had easter candy for 70% off! BUT, nothing there I wanted, we actually still have our Easter candy sitting in the cabinet; we're not major candy eaters here. (Although the Power Bars the bunny brought us have long been gone!)

kitchen-- I am going out with some girlfriends tonight for dinner, so I wanted to make sure JAB had dinner leftovers that he could have tonight.

I sent him a text with this picture yesterday to show him the fruits of my labor:

Homemade chicken pie! (While I am a vegetarian, he still likes meat, so I like to make some special meaty dishes for him too!-- although he likes most of the vegetarian meals I make as well! )

I think it was a winner! I had sweet potatoes that I wanted to use, so I added them to the filling, which came out great!


And now he has leftovers for this evening too! Yes, the way to his heart is his stomach!

Today started off by sleeping in til 7:45! I don't know how I am going to wake up at 6 again next week, I like this later wake up call.

I worked on invitations while digesting breakfast.


The front porch is turning into invitation central.

Then I went out for a run. My goal was to just do an hour, but wound up a little over.


I was happy that I got it in, just in time to shower and head to my massage!!


Aren't my knee straps attractive?!

Now it's time to go do more invitation work before meeting up in MA with some of favorite girls tonight!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Marathon Spectator

Marathon Monday has come and gone again... one of the perks of teaching in MA is Patriot's Day off-- plus it's the first Monday of April vacation, so it's off anyway!

Originally, I was going to run on the marathon course before spectating; however, due to the crazy warm day I decided to switch up the workouts and hit up the gym at 6 am before leaving for Boston. 8.5 miles on the elliptical, done.

My sister lives in Brighton, so I drove there from RI, then walked to my cousins' house in Brookline. They live on Beacon St., on the marathon course-- definitely a seller for me, they say location, location, location, right?!


Me and my younger sis-- I guess we kind of look alike even though I'm 4 years older!


Top two women at mile 23


Top male at mile 23


View looking down Washington Square-- kudos to everyone that gave it their all. Just in spectating I went through 4 bottles of water and still should have had more. It was a tough day, but for those that ran and adjusting their times, pace, and goal, congratulations!!!


As for today...
it started off with sleeping in til 8:00 a.m. LOVE VACATION.

It continued with 7.5 miles of running. It was another warm day, but not as bad as yesterday. I probably shouldn't have waited until 10:00 am to run, because it was already 76 degrees, but I ran and averaged 7:29 pace, so I'll take it.

Of course after running I looked like this and resembled the color of a tomato, but I'll take the heat over cold and snow!



After lunch it was time for some retail therapy. Good news, I found my wedding shoes!!! I don't have them yet though, they have to be dyed. I also figured out how to stuff the envelopes for our wedding invitations. I definitely felt lame when after opening all of the packages I had no clue what goes where and had to google "how to stuff wedding invitations." Seriously, what did people do before the internet and google?

Vacation fun continues tomorrow-- time to finalize our wedding guest list and I need to make sure I have everyone's correct address so I can type/ print up labels. I'm sure a gym trip and errands will be thrown in the mix too. And I also predict the day ending with Survivor!

Now it's time to watch some tv... I love having DVR so we can record the shows we like and watch them on our own schedule/ time! :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend Fun

This weekend has been fun, thanks to mother nature and some temperatures that have felt like summer!

Friday night started off amazingly-- my fiance surprised me with a 2 month early birthday gift, a new iPhone 4S!!! So Friday night was spent at the Providence Place Mall so I could pick it up! It's fun asking Siri to do things! :)


Yesterday morning I got up to get my long run done and was happy to see this on my garmin.
I wasn't watch my pace, just wanted to keep it comfortable... 7:40 is what it ended up being, I'll take it!

Needless to say I was pretty happy about the run!

Mother nature was good to us in RI too-- mid 60's in the early am in April? Yes please!

Then the day was turned over to date day with JAB! (He biked for 3 hours while I was running!)

As part of his late birthday gift I took him to Patriot's Place for the rest of the day and evening!



He loves his legos and Patriots!

I tried to show them boys a thing or two...

Finished the day out to dinner!

Sunday's happenings included-- 2 hour bike ride, church, trip to Lowe's (we have more house projects coming), and lots of time reading people's opinions about deferring for Boston!
Personally, I think that it's not fair-- you should have to qualify again for next year. A marathon is a marathon, you can't plan the weather, you just have to adjust your race to suit the weather. Plus it's not fair that charity runners have to run tomorrow--- isn't that kind of saying that they don't matter?!

Should be interesting--- plans are to head to Brookline tomorrow, two of my cousins live on Beacon St. on the course- how cool is that?!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2 Days Until April Vacation

Just two days to go! 48 hours (or less) from now I will have the week off!!!
I may not be taking a vacation, but a break from school is definitely welcomed!!
Of course 2 years ago at this time I was getting ready for this...
An amazing trip to Costa Rica with my dad and sister!

(Kelster and I resting after white water rafting in Costa Rica)



(Dad and Kel in the jungle... so cool!)


Sisters in the rainforest


Cheers to fun times and fresh juice!


That's not in the cards for next week, but I can't complain since Jeff and I have a nice 11 day honeymoon to look forward to this August! :)
And since I will be around this April break, I can watch (in person if I so choose) the Boston Marathon! Love watching this race, either on tv or in Beantown!

As per usual, it's been a busy week, but I've managed to try to get to bed a half an hour earlier at night, which seems to be helping my body feel more rested and just better overall.

Part of my new job includes learning more information and bringing things back to my staff, so I have had the perks of going to many conferences.
I spent this morning at Holy Cross College learning about a computer-based reading program "Lexia."
www.lexialearning.com
Tomorrow and Friday I will spend both days in western MA at the Massachusetts Reading Association conference. Hundreds of professionals in the reading field will be there... yes, I know I am a dork, but am very excited for the event--- not so excited about the commute, but I will deal!

Workouts so far this week:
Monday - 80 minute elliptical
Tuesday- 58 minute run (7.63 mi)
Wednesday -80 minute elliptical

All workouts have been followed up with lots of foam rolling and stretching. I've been good about icing at night too to try to keep my knees feeling ok.

Survivor date with JAB soon... who will be voted off tonight?!!



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fearing a Run

I love running, but sometimes I fear a run. It could be due to distance, weather outside, or just a gut feeling... but at times I hate going running or just am afraid to go. Why afraid today? Let's look back at Thursday...

Thursday was a tempo day- according to the plan I've been following I was supposed to do a 4 mi tempo at 7:12 pace. BUT, I was tired after work on Thursday, so I told JAB I'd just to the hour run that he had planned (he's training for a half ironman!). Of course he runs faster than I do... so my "easy" in my head day turned into 8.34 miles in 60 minutes--- yes, that's like an average of 7:15.. which should be closer to my race day pace- NOT an easy training run. While it felt amazing afterwards, I paid for it yesterday.

Fridays are a planned day off, but I totally needed it-- my legs were soooooore and my knees hurt. (We were crushing down hills-- at low 6 min pace!) I have had bouts with patella tendonitis so I wear knee straps, but they didn't work well enough with yesterday's run.
So, last night I was afraid-- I knew I wanted to wake up and run today, but what if my body didn't allow it? So I tried to be smart. I planned a route to minimize hills, thinking that would help my knees. I also told myself I was going to try to do about 10 miles and stick to closer to an 8 min pace-- honestly, this is hard for me to do. I need to work on a long run being an easy pace.

I was able to get going and felt fine! Success, or so I thought. The other problem I tend to have it tight hamstrings... which happened again. I stopped around mile 6 to stretch my left hamstring, but then managed to add on another 4 plus miles!
Another interesting event occurred in the final 2 miles... the Easter bunny ran after me! I think he was bored while standing in front of a flower shop, because he totally started chasing me-- couldn't keep up though! ;)

I didn't have the best route and ended up doing a bunch of loops to avoid hills, but in the end I think it was a good decision because 1:21 later I had done 10.4 miles!


Now it's time to bake some brownies for Easter tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

4 Months to go!!!

I get a little excited when the fourth of the month comes... it means one month less of waiting until our wedding day!
We are getting married on August 4th, 2012!
Even though I've been a bridesmaid before, being the bride is whole different story! There is SO MUCH planning to do!
Here are some things that are done!

We met with the priest to pick the date... and get the church reserved for a Saturday afternoon!... In a few weeks we have Pre Cana retreat. We already did the "bubble test"... that was interesting, but neat to learn about how we answered different scenarios!


Venue is booked... this picture doesn't do it justice!


Entry to the country club-- we plan to use the balcony for some pictures!


Bridal Suite!

The country club is exactly what I was looking for-- an open space with lots of windows! It's set up high on a hill so it over looks the city. It will look beautiful too when the sun goes down!


After choosing our venue last summer we really got a lot done-- we booked our photographer and did an engagement photo shoot. We got our announcements done and ordered and sent our save the dates.
I got my dress!! And we also got all of the bridesmaid dresses too!

I can't reveal my dress- but here is one of my adorable junior bridesmaids! She is wearing "Iris" which is the color of all of the girls' dresses. The bridesmaids have more of an adult look to them though. They are strapless... and (bonus) have pockets too!

Our dj is booked. Our invitations are ordered and we just received them last week. We've begun to order bridal party gifts and think about things that we want to incorporate into the ceremony and reception. We booked our florist and choose our flowers. We booked our baker and tentatively chose our cake flavor(s). However, we need to go back in July to officially decide on our design. Our limo is set... or so I hope, that's another story for another day! We booked our honeymoon! We will be going to Hawaii for 11 days! We have a week in Kauai, followed by 4 days in Oahu--- and I can't wait! I've booked our day of wedding hair appointments and will be going for a trial in June. Also is June is my first fitting for my dress. They also will have to make the bustle! I still need to work on getting shoes though!

It doesn't seem like a lot, (and I've left out a lot of details) but it really is- there are so many decisions to be made! In a couple of weeks we meet with our wedding coordinator to choose our menu. Then we will have to send out the invitations and basically meet with everyone again to do all finalizing for the big day!!

So much goes into a wedding and all for good reason. In 4 months I will marry the man I get to spend the rest of my life with. In 4 months we will officially make our lives one. In 4 months I get to take on a new name and officially begin a new chapter in our lives. 4 months can't come soon enough-- (although I guess it's okay if we don't really jump forward in time, because there is still a lot to do before 8/4/12-- 4 months left to enjoy our engagement!)

On a side note... it's Wednesday!! That means Survivor night!! Time for some r and r with JAB!
Any other Survivor fans out there? I started watching during my first year of college (2000) and have been hooked (on and off) since then... now I've got my soon to be husband hooked as well! (Actually he doesn't like it as much as me, but he must love me because he puts up with my "reality" tv obsession!)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Making His House Our Home

So as you can figure out I am now living in Rhode Island; however, I had lived in Central MA for the first twenty-something years of my life. (Ok who am I kidding, I will be 30 in June, yikes- but that's another post for another day.)
JAB bought a house back in fall of 2010, in RI not too far from MA. After getting engaged in the summer of 2011 we decided that it didn't make sense to sell the house, so somehow we'd find a way to make that our first home. Of course I didn't mind moving out of my apartment when the time came- the problem would be that I would have to have an hour plus commute to and from work.
Well, you know how things happen for a reason? I truly believe this because a literacy coach position opened up a couple of months ago- in MA, but 30 minutes from the new home to be. I applied, and boom, change of life began.
Before I moved in though, there was a little water leakage in the kitchen. Ok, reality-- the kitchen was basically gutted and we redid it almost from the floor up! (I should have know a while ago that this would be "our home" since we weren't engaged, yet I was the one picking out the countertops and colors!
Here's the (almost) play-by-play of how the kitchen came to be...



It began with many trips to Lowes- pretty much turned into our date spot of the winter/ spring 2011. Very romantic mind you.


After the ceiling was re-plastered, we choose countertops and painted the walls. I may or may not have chosen the paint color for it's name-- who wouldn't love a kitchen painted in "Morning Jog?" Then I picked out these tiles for the backsplash and along with my mother-in-law to be, we set up this pattern.



My job as tiler started off as a "tile- handerer"-- however, by day 2 I was tiling on my own!Slap on some mastic, and put it on the wall! (I didn't use the tile cutter/ saw though-- I prefer to stay away from sharp objects!)

I did that!! (Well, I tiled, new counter was installed by someone who actually knew what they were doing!)


We added in a pendant light too-- again my contribution was going to Lowe's to buy it, while the men did the electrical work, but I think I picked a pretty cool light! We now have a curtain to match it above the sink- I like the red pop! Plus it looks cool when it's on at night!
(Bar table from IKEA-- we've since bought the matching chairs too.)


And here's the view of half the kitchen-- our kitchen!!

That's been the room that we have spent the most work on so far, but we've also done some minor things elsewhere-- a little painting, buying/ putting up curtains and since January we've added some of my furniture to the house too. Our upstairs spare bedroom is now more of an office, but it still needs work. There is still a ton to be done, but I'm happy that we can both live here and make it ours together!


Our dining room-- where we had our first Thanksgiving this past year!

And our living room... which is where I plan to be in about 5 minutes to rest before bed. A full day of school followed by the gym and I am tired!! (But on the plus side no school Friday and I have a full day conference tomorrow!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekly Workout Recap and Double Digit Sunday

I don't want this blog to strictly be about running, but it is something I love! I am planning to run another half marathon in May, so I've been training for that. I'm not going to lie though, this year has been so crazy with relocating to a new state, a new job, and making a new life with JAB that training hasn't been the focus. I do however, need it to keep me sane and thought that training for a last half will be fun. I know that I will not pr-- 1:29 is tough to beat based on the training I am doing. However, I want to do this half for fun and to run a final race before getting married!

I had some knee issues training for marathons, I think partially due to higher mileage, so the plan for this half marathon is to run less, but smarter! I am training only with 3 days of running per week, which I know isn't a lot; however, I think it's best for my body. Here's the workout plan for the most part:

Monday- cross train elliptical (I've been doing 70- 80 minutes)
Tuesday- easy/ shorter run-- 6ish miles, this will change as the weeks go by
Wednesday- cross train elliptical (similar to Monday)
Thursday- run- focus on speed- I've been doing tempos/ speedwork (this is a struggle day!)
Friday- OFF. I haven't been one to take many days off in the past, but I think this is critical to staying injury free. I have had my fair share of injuries and would like to stop that cycle, so I am trying to force myself a day of rest and recovery.
Saturday- long bike ride-- I am trying to pay some visits to my bike again- I have a Specialized Road Bike and since I am marrying a triathlete, it's easy to get some motivation to ride when I have him to go with me!
Sunday- long run-- easier pace, but more miles--I've started to wear my Garmin again for this specifically, I know it sounds weird, but I think I only have one pace and on these days I really should not be running 7:30s and under, so I've tried to keep it just under 8 minute pace.
So there you have it... the tentative plan.

How did this week go?
Let's see!
Monday- elliptical 80 minutes (about 10.3 miles)
Tuesday- run- 50 minutes (6.6 miles)
Wednesday- elliptical 75 minutes (about 9.7 miles)
Thursday- tempo run-- ended up being 8.09 miles in 1:00:51, included w/ up and cool down--basically 7:30 pace
Friday- OFF! (went to RI home show with JAB)... we need a retaining wall for the backyard
Saturday- bike! 2 hours... about 29 miles
Sunday- long run-- 10.31 miles in 1:20

In addition I am stretching and foam rolling about 3 times a day. My hips have been very tight lately, so I am trying to loosen them up as much as possible! To help with my knees I ice them at night too.

So far, so good, I just need to keep myself in check... sometimes I am feeling great out there, but need to keep in mind the bigger picture and what I am training for:

http://www.cherrytreerun.com/

In the past I have done other half marathons in the spring, but this one is in my new state and it seems like a smaller field. I can be competitive, so I thought a smaller town race would be good for me-- I really just want to enjoy the time on the course!

Hopefully the half in May is as fun as this race was in November-- Fuel Belt team ran the RI 6 hour relay, good times! :)

Now it's back to Sunday mode- house cleaning, rest, and getting ready for another week of work-- but no school Friday!!!

July 26, 2011

July 26th used to be just an ordinary day on the calendar; however, now it is known as our Proposal Day! Little day I know that when I woke up that morning I would go to bed that night engaged. :) Here's what happened... Monday evening we got home from Lake Placid- exhausted. Unbeknownst to me, Jeff contacted my dad that evening to "officially" ask him if it was okay that he ask for my hand in marriage, how sweet! The next morning he tried to bring me breakfast in bed, but in my stubborn nature, I didn't want to let him do this- he had just completed a full triathlon, I should be the one catering to him! So I got up out of bed and ruined his plan! So he had to go to plan b... he went back upstairs behind my back and slipped the ring in his pocket. After I took my sweet time eating breakfast and uploading pictures from the trip he patiently sat there waiting. (I really thought he just wanted to look at all the pictures.) In reality, he was waiting for me to be done, so about an hour later I shut my computer and said I was going to go start some laundry. He stopped me and started to thank me for supporting him and then starting talking more about how much I mean to him... before I knew it, he was down on one knee. (I still had no idea what he was doing!) Then he took out a box, opened it, and asked me to marry him. What was my reaction? Oh yes, I started to hyperventilate and said, "Is it real?" After crying, laughing, and catching my breath, I finally said yes!
(Good thing my camera was nearby to capture the hyperventilation process...)
Many ring pictures followed, in addition to calling our parents to tell them the good news.
Needless to say, I never went and did laundry, we went out for breakfast instead! And of course, more pictures where my ring just happened to be visible ensued!
Love Wildflour Bakery!
Happy Engagement Day to us! <3 It was perfect. I had told him that I never wanted the "over the top" proposal-- didn't want our names on a jumbo-tron or anything like that. It was just a lazy Tuesday morning in the summer, completely unexpected, but absolutely wonderful and perfect.