Archive for October, 2010

Did you miss me?

I’ve been taking a little hiatus from the blogosphere to live life without feeling tied to the computer. Don’t we all need that sometimes? Here’s a glimpse into what I’ve been up to since my last post:

First, J & I hopped on the motorcycle for a whirlwind trip to Louisiana and back in 5 days (2 days down, 1 day there, 2 days home)!

While J spent the Louisiana day in Baton Rouge watching the LSU game for his college best friend’s bachelor party, I toured around Lafayette with my awesome in-laws. First stop: Lafayette’s annual Boudin Cookoff!

They had every kind of Boudin cooked every kind of way you can imagine. If you’ve never had Boudin, it’s a spicy meat/rice mixture stuffed into a sausage casing which you then eat out of the casing. It’s one of my very favorite uniquely Cajun foods. I went to the cook0ff with my mom-, sis-, and bro-in-law, and my little niece Lilly.

The rest of the day we got some fro-yo, did some shoppin, cooked dinner together, watched the LSU game, and made Lilly laugh. Isn’t she just the cutest darn baby EVER? I’m one proud Auntie. 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She’s just so stinkin’ sweet!

So after our quick, and super-fun trip, it was two long days on the bike back home to the grind of work and school. Until… J called me up last week when I got off work and said “Hey, we have these birds over here by my office, want to come see?” And I said “Uh… sure?” SO glad I went out there, check this out:

The base employs these guys from USDA to maintain the bird population around the airfield so jets don’t crash / get broken / guys get hurt due to bird strikes. It’s imperative that they keep animals away from the flight line so they’re constantly trapping awesome birds like these: A great horned owl and a red-tailed falcon. Aren’t they AMAZING? They are gorgeous (and powerful!) birds. The guys trap them and then release them a couple hundred miles away. I was so excited that I got to go see these, let alone hold them! It was way cool.

Hope you enjoyed seeing what I’ve been up to! I vow to post a little more regularly now. To be completely honest, one of the reasons I hadn’t been spending much time online is because I was reeeeally anxious, waiting to find out if I got accepted to the UCM nursing program or not. For about two weeks I was running out to the mailbox constantly, dying to know if my acceptance letter was in there or not. FINALLY, after weeks of torture, I got my letter. And it said… I MADE IT IN!!!!!!!! Y’all have no idea how insanely happy this makes me, because for a year and a half I’ve been taking pre-nursing classes and waiting for this day. 🙂 I’ll start the 2-year program in January 2011 and graduate with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN in December 2012. Woo-hoo!!! I can’t WAIT. It’s going to be super challenging in so many ways but I’m excited for the day that I can use my skills to help people.
On that happy note, I’ll wrap this up for the day.
Until next time y’all…

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Running Lessons

There are many lessons to be learned from running: dedication, determination, and perseverance to name a few. As I continue trying to live holistically – incorporating physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects – I’ve applied many running lessons to the remainder of my life.

Today, as I was doing some October goal setting and taking a hard look at my priorities, I was inspired by this post. Since I’ve been maintaining my physical fitness consistently for about four months now, I started thinking about how well I’ve been maintaining my finances. I’m just not too impressed with how wisely I’ve been spending my blessings lately. So I added some financial goals to my October list, as well as some long-term savings goals.

Here are some examples from my list:
– Save a total of $X in the bank account
– Limit the spending of “fun” money by:
Planning and cooking all but one, maybe two, meals each week. More nutritious & delicious & saves $$.
Limiting money spent on clothes to one to two items per month, not exceeding $X
– Save $X to buy a car outright for J when his wears out (nearing 150K miles on his already!)
– Use part of “fun” money savings to make charitable gifts
– Save ahead for kids
– Save up for a great vacation before kids

I spent a lot of time thinking this out, and I’m really looking forward to following through. To motivate me, I printed out pictures representing each of my goals and posted them on my bathroom mirror to remind me of the long term and what’s worth saving for. To inspire me on the clothing limit I made a list of practical, classic pieces that I can choose from when it’s time to go shopping. I’m pretty excited about running in my financial life as well as I do on the pavement. Having goals definitely makes the whole process seem more fun!

As far as running on the pavement goes, I’m back in the groove and feeling GREAT! I’ve logged 6.27 miles over the last three days and have really enjoyed it. I’ve gotten to the point that a run can actually be relaxing for me now, instead of work. Today I was able to zone out and enjoy my music, the breeze, and the sound of my feet crunch-crunch-crunching along the asphalt. Aaaaah. Deep breaths and relaxation. Doesn’t get much better than that. I think running has also been a little more enjoyable for me lately since I decided to take a break from races for a while. I still have race goals, and found myself looking up 10K training plans today (yikes!), but for the time being I just want to run for fun, for the pure enjoyment of it. That fact alone gives me a whole new perspective.

How do you manage your financial fitness? Any tips or tricks for living frugally and meeting financial goals?

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Well hello, life!

I’ve been taking a much needed break from “the Inter-web” (<– heard that on the show Scrubs and thought it was hilarious), trying to focus on recovering from the Endo and just getting some stuff done. But now – I’m BACK!

I’m feeling 600% better after a few painful weeks on the couch culminating in a burst ovarian cyst (gross, right?!). It was as if my life stalled for a while and I’m finally living again. You have no idea how wonderful it is to have the energy to do things and to get out of the house. It’s SO great and I am extremely grateful! I went for my first “real” run in about 3 weeks yesterday (I’m not counting the 5 minute trial run I had a few days ago). I felt ALIVE. I ran 1.9 miles which I’m pretty pleased with seeing as how I’d spent most of my time on the sofa lately. Again, I can’t stress how beautiful the days are when I feel well. Everyone: don’t take your health for granted! Cherish it! Use it! You never know when you might lose it, so enjoy it while y’all got it!

OK, I’m off my soapbox now. Here’s a couple things I’d been thinking about blogging, but hadn’t since I was on said Inter-web break:

1. We all know October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I just want to take a minute recognize all the strong sisters out there who have had, or are currently struggling with, breast cancer. It is a terrible disease that affects millions of women in one of the most invasive ways possible. I’ve been pretty impressed with the huge steps the media and the NFL has taken to raise awareness. Hopefully a lot of money can be raised to support more research for treatment and better screening methods.2. My grandma gave me the best Peach Cobbler recipe and I wanted to share it with y’all since it is so easy and delish. Grandma’s just know best when it comes to cooking. So here it is:

Mamma’s Peach Cobbler
1/4 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
dash salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup milk
1 (29-oz.) can sliced peaches (or if they’re in season you can totally use fresh peaches)

Melt the butter in a 9×13″ baking dish. Mix the dry ingredients together and blend in milk. Pour into baking dish. Place peaches and juice on top. Do not stir – the batter will rise to the top while baking. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Well, that’s all for now folks, hope your week is off to a smashing start. Happy Columbus day!

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Woman Up – Pt. 2

Well. Earlier today I was feeling extremely sorry for myself and wrote a draft of a post in which I basically just went on about how sucky my situation is. I was coming to terms with the fact that sometimes dealing with it isn’t as easy as I would like for it to be, and the fact that sometimes I just can’t do what I want due to the pain. I was feeling so frustrated with the pain and how it has been bothering me for so long and I just needed to vent I guess. So. After I finished venting via draft post I asked myself: what should I do, “woman up” and get over myself, or wallow in my misery?

I chose to woman up.

I laced on my runnin’ shoes, popped a couple of Advil, and went for …. a leisurely walk. 🙂 This may not seem like much but this was no small feat for me! I walked at a slow pace for twenty minutes around my neighborhood, staying close to my house the whole time just in case I couldn’t make it. I’m not sure yet if this was a good idea (sometimes things get worse after), but it felt GREAT to move and I wanted to test the waters of what I am capable of.

I feel like my posts have been a bit depressing lately and for that – I’m sorry. I’m ready to be up and about and working out again, sharing my successes & techniques instead of lame stories of pain. I promise the second I feel better I’ll be posting sickeningly happy, positive, fitness-inspiring posts. Maybe I should temporarily rename this blog to “See Mel Rest on the Couch.” 🙂

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Family Matters

Thursday, I was super blessed to witness my husband’s promotion along with:

His parents (who drove all the way from Louisiana!)

My parents

My grandparents (whom I affectionately refer to as Mamma & Pappa)

And two great friends (Roger & Paula).

I can’t tell you how special it was to J & I to have such a great gathering of wonderful people around to celebrate the important day with us. We were so happy to share our joy with everyone!

Between living far away from extended family, and on/off issues, family was a bit of a scattered experience for me growing up. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how important family truly is and have tried really hard to develop better relationships. It is beyond wonderful for me to be able to share such close family connections now. I never thought I would have an opportunity to have so many loved ones (from both sides of the family) gathered in my home, celebrating together. It makes me smile just thinking about it. 🙂

Besides my relatives, family for me also includes my brothers/sisters/mothers/fathers/aunties/uncles in Christ. Taking all those folks into account, my family is huge and amazing. Family is a lovely gift and I hope I never take mine for granted. They are beautiful people for all they are and I’m so grateful to have them in my life. It’s a terrific feeling to know they are all supporting J & I, no matter what. And that’s the value of family: they are always there for you. That is one of my favorite things about Jesus actually … He is always there for me and He is full of grace and acceptance even in my worst and weakest of times. Especially now, in such a painful time, I am even more aware of His presence and His gentle strength. This strength is often demonstrated to me through those in my life. For example, while my family was here visiting, everyone stepped up and helped me so much since I wasn’t feeling well. After everyone left, my faith community family stepped up with encouragement and prayers. I couldn’t be more grateful for everyone I get to share my life with… Love to all of you!

What do you love about family? What does family mean to you?

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The 5K that got away…

There once was a young woman named Mel
who thought running her third 5K would be swell.

She trained to win,
then her week took a spin.

The notorious endometriosis,
with its ways so atrocious,

Rendered her unfit
to run even a bit.

So instead…
she spent the day in bed.

And that was the day
the 5K got away.

And so life goes… I was really looking forward to setting a new PR at the annual Run For Freedom 5K today, put on by the Missouri Veterans Home, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m still trying to listen to and care for my body and just take it pretty easy until the pain is past. In the meantime, I keep staring at my running shoes and leg sleeves, longing to take them out for a spin.

They keep taunting me, but they’ll just have to wait a little longer.

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