Friday, January 14, 2011

Excited!

Today I am very excited, for tonight I go to the airport to pick up my dear sister Lisa!! As she stated in her blog this morning -- growing up we weren't the best of friends. In fact, we fought a lot. I remember Mom and Dad would have to sit between us during church because we'd fight. Sometimes during the sign of peace when you shake hands, we'd give the MOST death-squeezing-hand shakes.

I remember when we'd fight, my Mom would be so sad. She would say every Christmas, "All I want for Christmas is for you girls to get along!!!!" She'd also say, "Someday when you're grown up, you will be best friends"

We'd roll our eyes.

Then I moved away to Tucson, and we realized we missed each other. We discovered black-berry-messenger. We found out just how much we did, indeed, have in common. And in the process of re-getting-to-know-each other....we became great friends!

So this weekend will be wonderful. We plan on taking a road trip up to Phoenix to see her friend who just had a gorgeous baby in December. I've mapped out a running path for us to take. We plan on doing some grilling. The weather will be in the 70's -- it will be a fantastic weekend! :)

Hope you all have a great weekend too!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A different kind of exercise

Yesterday, I decided "to hell with you, gym.". This is the time of the year in Tucson when you can actually spend time outside, and you won't fear for your health. (i.e. dying of dehydration or severe sunburn)

So when I wanted to get some exercise, I drove to the gym, pulled into a parking lot FULL of Massechusetts license plantes, and said "Yep. It must be Senior Citizen exercise hour", and looked at the crowds indoors , (Oh, snowbird season, I love you....) ....



And so I said, "To hell with this..."

And drove 1 mile north to a park called "Riverfront Park".

Now, let's not be foolish, here. There's not really a river. There are no rivers in Tucson. But there's a "wash" that as once a river in the ice ages. So they have built beautiful bridges and running trails along these washes.

I turned on my heart-rate-monitor and started jogging not knowing where I was going.

I haven't done this in............

.....I don't remember the last time I did this! Training for the marathon -- everything was VERY regimented. "Run 6 miles, every other mile sprinted......Run 8 miles, 5 of which will be tempo....Run 20 miles...Blah, blah. blah"

Yesterday I just laced up my shoes, enjoyed the mountains and ran for 45 minutes. It made me feel free.

Then, after my run -- I walked over to the soccer field at the park and startd to do good ole' plylometrics. I skipped up and down the field, did high-nees, karoke step (however you spell that), and sprints. I'm sure other spectators around the park thought I was a crazy woman.....

But after my work out, I realized this exerted me and gave me the best cardiovascular exercise I've had in a LONG TIME. Dare I say even more envigorating than running 20 miles? I think this is -- due to that fact that I didn't feel the need to be dragged home on a stretcher after my work out! I felt energized!

This reminded me that things don't always have to be so regimented and militant. Making workouts fun makes them go much faster! So as we are all attacking our New Years Resolutions...try to remember that exercise is fun!

It's what we loved to do as children way back when -- remember playing tag and running around in circles for hours?? That was hard work! But it was fun...because we weren't staring at the monotonous count-down timer on an eliptical machine!!!! We were just simply moving

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ten on Tuesday!

Good afternoon, all! It has been awhile since I've participated on 10 on Tuesday...and since I'm trying to do everything possible right now to procrastinate cleaning house and going to the gym...what's a better time to write a blog!?

;)

Here it goes!

1. Is there a band/artist that you HATE?

I don't like the word hate. I was always taught that it's one of those "never words"...but I will say I STRRRRONGLY dislike Lady Gaga. Strongly. Her music, in my opinion, is crap. Annoying. I don't know if it's just her music that gets to me or the combination of her overly-sexual, psychotic image she portrays. Gross.

I also strongly dislike Justin Beaver? Beeber? However you spell it, he drives me nuts. I remember the 1st time I heard him on the radio -- before he can a "Superstar"....I thought this kid has talent, and I had faith in him. He had a beautiful voice. Now, he's turned into a cocky like brat. Good luck with keeping that hihg-pitched voice after you go through puberty, little man.

(Okay, before you think I'm heartless -- I'm implying thick, sarcastic, cynical humor here.)

2. What do you do when you get a gift that you do not like? How do you react?
This is very rare that I would recieve a gift I don't. For, any gift is appreciated. If it were to occur, the giver would know I didn't like it...for I don't do well "sugar-coating" my reactions. I would probably respond in an awkward and uncomfortable manner just saying, "Ohhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

I don't have much of a "poker face"3. How is your work office/cubicle decorated?
I don't have an office desk or cubicle. If I did, it probably wouldn't be decorated. It'd just be really neat, with clorox wipes.

My current "work area" is a nurse's station where I have a computer, my caffeine, and water -- and I excessively wipe the entire area with chlorox in fear that there is some skin-eating bacteria cultivating in my work space. Hospitals are icky.
4. Do you use all of your vacation every year?
No. I probably never will. My schedule requires me to only work 3 12 hr shifts/week. For example, in February we are taking a long weekend where I cannot work from Thursday-Tuesday, and I didn't have to take a single hour of PTO.
5. Did you have a real or fake Christmas tree?
Fake. You can fight me, argue me, call me a grinch -- but I will NEVER subject to a real tree. They are gorgeous, they are beautiful, they are real -- but I don't like pine needles and messes. Plus, I'm a little bit allergic to pine. So I'd probably get a rash decorating it.
I looove my fake, plastic tree.
6. If you could have anything for dinner tonight, what would it be?
Oh...I would love macoroni and ketchup. A childhood favorite of mine. The past 2 nights of work have been hell. Seriously hell -- to the point where it's almost comical.

So, all I want to do is go to the gym, come home, put on comfy pj's, curl up on the couch, and eat a bowl of macoroni & ketchup.
7. Do you bite your fingernails?
Only when I'm uncomfortable. When I'm in an awkward social situation, or talking to someone who is giving me piercing eye contact or who is getting into my "personal bubble", I bite my fingernails out of "discomfort". It's a weird habit of mine.

8. How many cups of coffee do you drink each day?
Depends. I used to be just 1. Now it's 1-3. I also usually have a can of diet soda if I'm working. My caffiene habits are getting to be a problem, and some action may need to be taken in the near future here....
9. Do you have a nervous tick?
I would have to say - yes. I have to be doing something constantly. Usually with my hands. Ryan will actually do "tests" to see how long I can go just sitting still and gracefully....

It never lasts beyond 5 minutes....

10. How often do you vacuum?
About 1-2 times per week. We have less carpet in our new house -- but I just discovered my Dyson handle's tile floors too! So, I am finding myself doing floors about 2 times/week. I think it annoys my husband....especially since I will do it at the randomest of times.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Changes

Many of us like to enter the New Year with changes. Resolutions. Goals. New endeavors. A brighter outlook.

This 2011 started out with many changes - and they weren't even by choice. It is incredible to me to realize how drastically different my life is now that I work nights. And I am so thankful I'm such a tight scheduler -- for it may be my only method of survival.

Here are a few things I've learned that can be applied to no matter what schedule I ever experience....
  • Cherish every moment you get. Every moment you get with your family. Every moment you get with your loved one. Prior to working nights, I was going "through the motions" BIG TIME. I took for granted the time I got to spend with Ryan. Now that we only get to sleep in the same bed, wake up together, eat normal meals, etc. a few nights a week -- I am sooo thankful on "normal nights".
  • Exercise restores energy. 4 days/week, I get my booty into the gym or out on the running trails and I burn off all the stress I've built up!!The first 5 minutes into my work out -- I feel completely restored and alive! 
  • Vitamin D is your friend. Just a few minutes of sunshine  -- works wonders. Trust me on this.
  • The B-Complex Vitamins from Trader Joe's are fantastic. I have started taking one when I wake up. ***Disclaimer: your pee might look like you drank a Bic highlighter. Don't freak out though.
  • Melatonin is your friend. Unfortunately, I now cannot fall asleep without it. Ever. But, if that's what it takes for me to get my 5 hours (which used to be 7-8 hrs....) -- I'll do it! 
  • Italian Roast EXTRA BOLD Starbucks beans = yum. And....if you bring in your empty bag to Starbucks, you get a free coffee!!
  • Planning out your meals before the week starts, you'll cook better, eat better, save money, and probably have fantastic left overs (since you planned ahead). (instead of just throwing something in a pan at the last minute....which I have been notorious for)
  • You don't have to clean your entire house in one day. No one gives you a gold medal if you did it. Also, no one is going to fine or punish you for doing one room a day. I have instilled a "Bathroom cleaning day", "Kitchen day", and "Floors/dusting day".Since cleaning destresses, it's nice to do a litte each day.
  • Cucumbers are not only a great snack, but are AMAZING in your eyeballs!! If your eyes burn, and you have garbage bags under you eyeballs -- lie down,  place cucumbers on face for just 5 minutes.
  • Live your life as you are, and don't worry what your neighbor's may think. If they have a problem, they can just simply ask "Why are you in your birkenstocks and flannel pj's getting the mail at 2:30pm??? Are you some sort of hermit depressed person??!!" 
Hope everyone is having a great Monday. I am still feeling somber over the events of the weekend. It's so eerie. This afternoon, I went to the grocery store (the one where the attack occured) -- thinking by now it was cleared it. (It is the store I shop at, afterall).... And there are STILL cops all over the scene, news cameras, "crime scene" tape, the whole works. Unbelievable. My prayers are still with the families/loved ones of those affected by this senseless event