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Tuesday afternoon I treated myself to a prenatal massage. I was a little nervous not knowing exactly what to expect and if it would be comfortable or not and was surprised to see that I was still lying face down for the first part – just on top of a bunch of pillows with a sort of belly area in the middle. The first half of the massage was pretty good, although without her being able to put pressure on my lower back (where my pain is right now) it was less pain/muscle soreness reducing and more relaxing. About 20 minutes in, I was practically in a sleep state when I felt the softest flutter in my stomach. The only way to explain it is like butterfly wings moving down the inside my stomach for just a second. In my head I immediately thought, oh my God I feel the baby, but seeing as this is my first, wasn’t really sure. The massage continued on, and while I love a good massage, I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure it was worth the money in the end. Anyway, last night as I was going to bed, about 20 minutes after trying to fall asleep and just lying there, the flutter happened again. Just once, and so softly, but I swear I felt it. I don’t think I have felt it since though…

Tuesday night while Husband and I were grilling dinner (buying that grill has been the best purchase ever) I was playing with Bentley. At one point I had a stick in my hand and was pretending to throw it so he was running while looking at me and BAM into the deep end (10 feet deep) of the pool he fell. Now I know what everyone is thinking – dogs can swim – all dogs can swim – but I swear mine can’t. We have tried to get him to slowly go into ponds, oceans, etc. and he’ll wade but whenever he gets deep he sort of panics and thrashes versus swimming. So he fell in and I immediately went over to see him bobbing under and above water with his butt and back legs completely sinking. I pulled him out and he shook himself off and then went playing along and…I cried. He’s shown no interest in the pool but the idea of him falling in really freaks me out. The next warm day I’m taking a page from Caesar Milan and getting in the pool with him and showing him how to get out via the steps at the shallow end. Last night he kept trying to get out of the side but the water isn’t high enough, and I worry after 10 minutes of that … who knows.

I’m loving our house. I still don’t quite feel settled or unpacked by any means, but the progress between the renovations being done and the painting is amazing.

I’m ridiculously into the show Big Brother. It’s a show that has apparently been on for like 10+ years and I have never once watched an episode until this year and somehow I found myself hooked. It’s so stupid and silly and yet… it’s the one summer show I’m watching.

When we got married and got all our wedding presents, aside from gifts cards, rather than take them to our apartment at the time, we kept them at my in-laws. We have just started bringing them all over to our house and OMG it’s like Christmas! All new dishes, pots, pans, grill set, pillows, and more.

Tall decaf non-fat cappuccino with one pump cinnamon dulce…oh my word delicious. My new favorite drink that I can pretend is caffeinated.

I am finally starting to feel like a human again. Happy, energized, excited, and (mostly) non-nauseated!

90’s on 9 (satellite radio) or Spotify best of the 90’s playlist = sure fire way to find me singing and dancing as I apparently know the lyrics of every damn 90’s song.

This is my first weekend in months that I am home, I have minimal plans (aside from a shopping date with a friend and my first haircut in 7 months). TGIF.

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I’ve said it before, but I have a tendency to write a lot more when I’m in a negative or confused place. I wanted to be sure to document some things from the past two weeks because really, life has been good!

The Husband and I watched episodes 1-7 of True Detective on Sunday. Yes 7 (1 hour) episodes straight. To say we can’t wait for the finale this weekend is an understatement. That show is strange and so damn addicting. Watch it.

We took Bentley on an hour hike together on Sunday, the Husband’s idea, and it was so nice to spend time just the three of us outside, even though it was cold and icy. Bentley was so well behaved…that is until he ran up and grabbed something off the ground. We went to pull it out of his mouth and out came what looked like a dirty baby wipe. We both said to each other, no that must be mud on that wipe. Mind you, we were hiking in a really nice, wealthy, reservation area. A few hundred yards later we spotted a pair of torn boxers, covered in shit, with a bunch of used baby wipes next to them. We spent the rest of the walk hands out, gagging, just wanting to get home and sanitize ourselves.

The weekend before this last one, I bought a new car! Well, I traded my 12-year-old Honda in for a 2014 Jeep Patriot lease. I know a lot of people didn’t understand, but it was oddly emotional saying goodbye to that car. It was MY first ever car, and it is tied to so many memories. However, driving around in a nice new car, that I’m not worried will break down or get stuck in a snow bank, is pretty sweet. 🙂

This actual past weekend we had friends from college come out, with their 7 month old baby. I swear I have never seen such a happy, easy-going baby. It definitely didn’t help my baby fever and I actually think it sparked it a bit more in the Husband. We still plan to wait until after my half-ironman (at earliest).

I was so happy to see Bentley’s reaction to having a baby in the house. He was curious, sweet (kept wanting to lick his feet) and oddly calm –at one point I was holding the baby, sitting in the dog bed and Bentley came over, sat down and put his head on my leg. It was one of those moments looking at the baby sitting on my left leg, and the puppy resting on my right leg that I felt, this is pure happiness, and the Husband and I will have this one day. Granted, the baby was in our house for only a few hours, so we still plan to have the behaviorist come and help us prepare him and all that jazz, but I’m still relieved.

Speaking of Bentley, he is back in daycare/going on long walks after being neutered. Life feels far less hectic now that Bentley is more tired, and we actually have more time to have lives.

Our wedding schedule this year keeps getting crazier. We now have the following weddings: July 26th, (August 30th got cancelled (well they decided to make it a family only wedding), yay!), September 20th, October TBD [friends moving home from England having their American reception], November 1st, and December 31st. Plus showers and bachelorettes for all. No more please.

I’m trying really hard to pull myself out of this half-ironman funk. Let’s see if I were to be completely honest… I’m doubting myself. Flat-out doubting myself. So much so that I thought, hmm I could just get pregnant now and not do it. But I don’t want that. I also know, deep down, if I don’t do this now – it will be one of, if not my biggest, regret to date. I think that the best athletes are consistent. For the next few months all I want to do is consistently get these workouts in, no matter the pace. Just get them in. It’s true, I honest to God just want to finish – that’s my only goal!

I went to bed at 9:45pm last night – that’s the earliest in a long time. I was up at 5:40am thinking I was still tired but after my train ride and completing my 45 minute run class – I felt, and still feel, fantastic. The power of sleep…and coffee!

I am so, so, so over the cold weather. I like winter and I love snow, but it’s March. I need sunny mid 50’s now not 20’s with wind chills down to single digits. This weather makes me just want to get home, bundle under covers, lay on the couch, eat hearty meals and watch TV. After doing that since December, it’s time for a change. I never thought weather would affect me this much, but it’s really draining me.

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Tick tock

“You don’t play triathlon. You play soccer; it’s fun. You play baseball. Triathlon is work that can leave you crumpled in a heap, puking by the roadside. It’s the physical brutality of climbing Mount Everest without the great view from the top of the world. What kind of person keeps coming back for more of that?”

With not all that much time left, I need to start getting serious about my training.

I’d love to say I’ve been consistent and training hard for the past weeks/months… I will be honest and say I haven’t been, not even close. Finally though, I’m starting to feel the need to stay consistent. To plan it out better. To stop making excuses. And my head is slowly starting to believe that just maybe, my body can do this.

This week on the schedule was:

Monday: 30 min swim, 60 min bike
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Strength
Thursday: 90 minute run
Friday: 30 min swim, 60 min bike
Saturday: 45 minute run
Sunday: 1hr 45 minute bike, 15 min run

What has actually happened / will hopefully happen:

Monday: 25 minute swim, 60 min bike (swim cut short from goggles leaking)
Tuesday: Strength
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Off
Friday: 60 min bike
Saturday: Hopefully 90 minute run
Sunday: Hopefully 1hr 45 minute bike, 15 min run (and maybe even a short swim before)

And here’s how my schedule is going to change. I’m going to take Saturdays off from now on. Having Tuesday as an off day, doesn’t feel like an off day because of my night-time work calls. Instead, I know I need a full weekend day off to keep myself motivated during the week. I signed back up for my running class at my gym on Tuesday mornings. That’s an hour run every Tuesday, no excuses and I love that class! I think I forgot that finding alternatives to get myself motivated is acceptable.

I also know, I need to get my workout done in the morning. Getting up at 5:40am really isn’t that bad, and to get an hour of biking in before work, is ideal. Starting my day off today with spin put me in a much better mood and now I get to look forward to spending the evening with my best girlfriend without feeling guilty. (And I give myself extra credit because my recently neutered spaz puppy tried to jump ON the bed at 5:40am – not allowed – and when I went to grab his collar, he jumped – into my nose – causing my first ever bloody nose. And I still got myself to spinning – no excuses!)

I also know, especially after talking with Becelisa, if I miss a few swims, it’s not the end of the world. But I need to get my bike and runs in – it’s where I’ll make up the most time by far.

Becoming more consistent, feeling more in control of my schedule, and making my training a priority is all it takes. Let’s hope this motivation sticks.

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The start of February was exactly what I needed.

Friday night I headed to the gym after work. Unfortunately I didn’t make the spin class but I was able to motivate myself to get 1 hour on the bike with my own music.

Just 39 more miles after this amount...

Just 39 more miles after this amount…

The Husband was doing an OT shift, so I headed home with my Panera dinner, hung with Bentley and worked on a little “leave it” training and then we were both asleep by 11pm.

Saturday I was up before 7am (thanks Bentley) and we hung out a bit and got some cuddling/training time in. At 9:30 I took him to daycare and headed into the city to meet up with my friend for our birthday celebration day. (A yearly tradition to get together in between our birthdays.) We took a Flywheel spin class – which aside from the chaos the ensues before and after the class – the class itself was amazing and I seriously felt the burn. The instructor and the music was my favorite to date in a spin class.

We left class and headed to get big green salads for lunch and catch-up. Then we walked over to our go-to spa to get MASSAGES. We gave ourselves enough time to take showers there, put on comfy robes and sit for a few before our massage time.

So when I booked the appointment there was only an opening with 1 female and 1 male masseuse. I gave my friend the female and for the first time had a male. I’m not going to lie, I was actually a little nervous but all in all it wasn’t that weird. I can’t say I was 100% as comfortable as I would have been with a female, since he was (thankfully so) focusing a lot on my hips, glutes and IT Bands and it was sorta strange to have a 6’7 swedish man rubbing me but damn his hands hurt but in a hurt so good way, but all in all it was great. I left feeling looser and less off kilter in my hips than I have in months.

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I headed home to pick up Bentley, and we, including the Husband, snuggled in bed a little before we crated him and the Husband and I went off to get sushi and fro yo. The original plan was to see a movie but one look at the chaos of the movie theater and parking situation and we nixed that.

At this point I started to really feel the fact that I hadn’t had any coffee all day (I bought a Dunkin coffee but didn’t have time before spin to drink it. Plus it tasted so burnt). I was physically and mentally beyond exhausted. We headed back home sometime around 9 and not long after I painted my nails and apparently fell asleep on the husband’s stomach. I remember around 11pm he woke me up because he had been holding it and couldn’t anymore, and HAD TO pee. I remember going to get up…and my hand was stuck to his shirt.

Clearly I didn't fix them...

Clearly I didn’t fix them…

Sunday I cleaned the house. I mean I cleaned. I don’t know what got into me, actually I think it’s similar to Jill’s recent post in that I am trying to organize and control the chaos that was my life. I scrubbed floors, the shower, the toilet, I swiffered, I took out loads of garbage, I did 2 loads of laundry, I picked out work outfits for this week, unloaded and re-loaded the dishwasher, and all around tidied up. I spent about 6 hours in total. But it felt so, so good. What didn’t feel good was skipping my long run. I think this reiterates that Becelisa is right about figuring out how to have a weekend day off.

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Oddly though I didn’t sleep well last night. I kept having a dream about a “pyr” dog and couldn’t figure out what type of dog that was. It kept me anxiously awake and I tossed and turned. I wonder if the 4 cups of coffee yesterday did that…

Anyway, I’m feeling organized and positive today. I’m ready to make February an amazing month. 🙂

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So my staycation was nice. Oddly though, it didn’t feel nearly as long, or fulfilling as I expected it to. There was no pedicure, or sleeping in (unless you count 7:05am), or writing of my wedding thank yous or working out (in the traditional sense). Womp womp.

There was a lot of Starbucks, quality time with Bentley (lots of reservation walks), catching up on some TV (the Voice, Biggest Loser, Parenthood, Reign) and extra time with the Husband. I think of all the days, my two favorite were Friday and Sunday at the end of my staycation – when I was the busiest.

A few highlights…

Sunday the Husband and I took Bentley to puppy kindergarten where he had a blast playing with his puppy friends and learning some new commands.

Monday morning the Husband and I got up early and headed to the outlets. We scheduled the dog walker to come a couple of times during the day so we knew we could easily be out from 9am to 2:30pm. It was actually really nice to split up, do some shopping and then get back together and have lunch. After heading home we picked up Bentley and drove out to my in-laws house for the afternoon. We let Bentley run around their 5 acre backyard for an hour or so (my in-laws, once not “dog people” have started to love him!) and had a nice home-cooked dinner with them. Once home, Bentley was zonked so he went upstairs to bed and the Husband and I finally had some alone, alone time. 😉

Fast forward and Friday was a great day. I scheduled the dog walker again to come (Husband worked the overnight on Thursday so needed to sleep Friday day). I left the house around 9am after a reservation walk and some command practice with Bentley, got myself some Starbucks, and hit up the Gap and a couple other stores nearby for shopping. Then I drove into the city and had a delicious lunch with a friend overlooking the water on her lunch break. I headed home, had some cuddle time with the Husband and Bentley, and then headed back out to have a warm catch-up dinner with my best friend J. We ended up getting a table right next to the fireplace and it was amazing to spend 3 hours just talking with her.

photo 1

Sunday morning we got up early and headed to puppy kindergarten. Maybe because some people had a 3 day weekend and went away but we (and the trainer) were the only ones who showed. It was actually nice since we got a private session and worked on recall and drop-it with the sole focus on Bentley. We’re apparently spoiling Bentley a little too much and it’s time that he lives in our world, instead of the vice versa. Now at 28lbs and only 3 and a half months, I think we’re going to have a big strong boy on our hands. After kindergarten we met up for a very short walk with my friend S, who got to meet Bentley for the first time. Then we came home, watched a little football (…I napped on the Husband) and then the Husband and Bentley went out to his parents for the evening. In a three-hour span without Bentley I was able to pick up the house, take out the garbage, Swiffer, vacuum, clean off the deck, do a load of laundry, upload my wedding pictures to FB, unload the dishwasher and Clorox the bathroom. It felt friggan amazing.

Shortly after my cleaning frenzy I headed back into the city to meet up with four of my friends for dinner. It was so nice to catch-up with everyone and eat, eat, eat! I was home late, and in bed shortly after.

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photo 5

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If I’m being my honest blog self…

I loved having time off, but life has changed so much since we got Bentley. With him still being a puppy, and me now living in the suburbs a good 30 minutes from friends, it’s no longer easy to just run out of the house for hours or meet up with friends at last-minute. Everything needs to be planned and coordinated. I found at times having a little FOMO when I knew my friends were getting together and I wasn’t. And because I had time off, I felt guilty putting Bentley in his crate over spending time together. I had envisioned getting to lay on the couch and relax, watch TV, or go for long runs last week in addition to spending time with Bentley and none of that really happened. But even when TV/couch time sort of did happen, I wasn’t all that happy. I was actually my happiest on my busiest days, the ones I highlighted, when I got to spend time with the husband, people, Bentley, get out of the house and do things, and feel “productive”.

I love Bentley with all my heart, I really do, but I also dealt with guilty and embarrassed (“I’m a failure and sound dramatic so can’t talk to anyone about this) feelings over being overwhelmed with Bentley. I think it was Tuesday when I only left the house to go to the trails with him and after a full day with him alone I just about lost it (husband worked, had his power-lifting class, then went back to work). If I had to say drop it or no bites one more time I think I would have pulled my hair out. I craved time alone, time with adults, even work just to get out of the house and have a break.

photo 2

Part of this process I think is me learning to also ask for my time too. The Husband has his power-lifting class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. No ifs ands or buts, I watch Bentley those evenings alone. He also has season tickets to the Patriots games so many Sundays when he is at the games all day with friends, Bentley is also all mine to care for. While most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings I head to the gym at 5:50am leaving the Husband in charge of the puppy until late evening (or when the dog walker comes) there isn’t an evening where I have felt it’s OK to ask the Husband to take on Bentley alone until last week. I’m not really sure why, it wasn’t the Husband’s doing by any means, I’ve putting the pressure on myself to always be there for Bentley when I’m not at work.

photo 3

On a side note, it has definitely made me really think about planning for a baby… and how I should probably target my (no time soon) maternity leave around a time when the weather is nice enough to go outside with a newborn (not too hot, not too cold) and find a new mom’s group or something or I may actually go insane.

I think overall, I’m such a better “puppy mom” and person when I have time each day to do other things, be around adults and be productive. I absolutely love spending a few hours with Bentley, hitting the trails, training and cuddling – but I need more than that to be happy. I need to work. I need to see my friends and family. I need to enjoy a quiet dinner with the husband. I need to get a few workouts in each week. I need to spend 20 minutes, alone, in a hot shower without being interrupted.

But overall, I just need to keep working on accepting that it’s OK to feel this way and it’s also OK to say it out loud. 

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A Friday night spent eating dinner and relaxing on the couch with the Husband.

A Saturday morning swimming ¼ mile (16 laps) for the first time in years. I just zoned out and swam and it was amazing. (As sore as my arms are now, still so worth it.)

Swim

A Saturday afternoon shopping and driving around with the husband.

A Saturday late night dinner with my best friend, her husband, and my husband. Eating absurdly delicious food.

Shrimp scampi and braised veal in a port wine and mushroom sauce

A Sunday spent with my best friend, walking through an apple farm, eating a hot out of the oven apple cider donut, then having a “cooking and sharing” day where we each made 2 dishes.

pumpkins

I made a ginormous sweet potato ground turkey shepherd’s pie and chicken sausage stuffed zucchini boats. She made a veggie and bean packed quinoa and an Afghani dish, Kaddo Bourani (pumpkin with yogurt and meat sauces) which is like lick your spoon a hundred time delicious. We made enough so that we both took about 4 portions of each meal. Meaning I went home with 16 portions of food (well more like 12 with the Husband’s portion size) meaning we don’t have to cook or eat out all week. I have got to spend my Sundays cooking more!

curiousgoat

And finally… the happy news that is making me dance around today…after talking to a breeder a few weeks ago we thought we were set on waiting for the next litter and getting a boxer puppy. But after hearing about the incredibly sickening and awful tortured dog that was found in the town next to where the Husband works last week – we started looking at rescues. I (somewhat dumbly I guess) never knew how many dogs and puppies were out there needing to be adopted. As we looked through the pages upon pages of rescues we came across a lab/shepherd puppy “Michael” and the Husband and I were IN LOVE. We just HAD to take him home. After applications (approved) and talking with an adoption counselor (so much information on rescues and the transport/quarantine process) all that’s left is to schedule his arrival, and then at some point within the next 4 weeks we will be taking Bentley (formerly known as Michael) into our home. I can’t explain the excitement and happiness I’m feeling about the addition to our family right now.

Bentley

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I’m not sure why, but lately I have started to notice more and more the qualities I admire in people around me. Maybe because I am getting tired of seeing the qualities I don’t enjoy in some others. It’s making me want to become a better person myself.

It’s hard in life to not act or respond at times with emotions intertwined. Most won’t admit it, but at times we say things that aren’t fully genuine, or we don’t couch things that may be too harsh, or we don’t truly speak from the heart, letting ourselves be fully vulnerable without attaching some manipulation, motive, or other negative feeling like anger, jealousy, hurt, or my own culprit, pride to it.

I have a best friend who I see about weekly. I have always had a close relationship with her since college, but it’s continued to grow each year. And each year I notice more and more qualities about her that I admire.

She is, deep down, a truly good person.

People, including myself, say that about a lot of people. But she is one that I mean that with every fiber of my being. She is actually at her core, one of those good people.

She is selfless, humble and honest. She cares without any motive behind it. She talks to you with an open heart and ear. She wants to help everyone be happy. Truly, genuinely, happy.

She’s the type of person that if you were in a car accident in the middle of the night, and you called her – she’d come pick you up without hesitation, drive you to work the next day, and feel badly that you had to go through that. She wouldn’t once complain, or be annoyed.

She’s the type of person that wouldn’t put you in awkward or uncomfortable situations. And if she did by accident, she would immediately apologize and take the blame for it.

She’s the type of person that after spending time with, even on very bad days, you feel whole again. She somehow spreads happiness, love, and makes you feel good about yourself just by being.

She’s the type of person that will openly admit her faults, her wrongs and her mistakes. And then she learns and grows from them.

She’s the type of person that as your friend, will tell you the things you don’t want to hear – and that others are too scared or unwilling to say. But she’ll say it in the most loving manner because that’s just it, what she is saying is out of love and with love.

She’s the type of person with passions and opinions. Passions and opinions that myself and others may not always fully agree with (or care as much about), and yet you find yourself caring more and more because her energy is contagious.

Just having her in my life and as my friend, she makes me a better person. She motivates me and makes me excited about life. She inspires me to go after what I want. And she makes me want to let go of my pride and become a better friend, wife, worker, listener, and most of all, giver.

I cannot imagine my life and my milestones without her. I, at my very core, want only the best for her. Julie, I am truly lucky to have you as my friend.

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