Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Weekend Recap

Remember when I wrote this post about only having 2 weeks left with Peter…apparently a year out of college and I've already forgotten how to count…it was 3 weeks luckily. But a week from now, he will be hitting the open road and heading west. I'm not thinking about that until the second it happens though because I still can't imagine him not being right down the road from me. Don't worry, 99% of the time I'm super excited for him to experience this next chapter and all the visits to Chicago!

This weekend was a good mix of me time, family time and Peter time!

+ Friday night was Fatty Friday. While I like to eat healthy most of the time because it makes me feel good, I can't deny a cookie or cheeseburger. Sarah and Ryan's friend came over and we went out to pick up whatever we wanted for dinner. Unfortunately my stomach started hurting in the car so in the end I only got a chicken quesadilla from Taco Bell but between the 4 of us, it was a good (unhealthy) spread.
Wendy's, Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell and Glory Days
+ Saturday I got up and ran. Ryan has been into running lately so it's been nice to have a running buddy for a little while. I signed up for half marathon #5 and am hoping this will be the one where I break 2 hours! I cleaned my room and bathroom. Took a nap and watched a few episodes of Gilmore Girls. Spent the night finishing my book and went to bed by 10pm. I'll take a day like that every weekend!

+ Sunday Peter and I drove out to my mom's house. She and my step-dad wanted to have Peter out to talk about Chicago and say good luck. They've got a nice house that backs up to woods so it's a fun mini getaway. We ate yummy food, had good wine and played with the cute pups. They also surprised me with their new car! They had an Acura MDX but needed something with better gas milage because they drive 40 miles to work every day. Crazies. It was a really nice day and I was glad to spend time with all of them!

Hunter: "please pet me Peter!"
That face
He cleaned all the dishes after lunch :)
my Henry! I'm so obsessed with this little guy
Hunter's new thing is running next to my step-dad on his bike
Mom and her fur children 
new car!
Can I have their life?
my love :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vacation Dreaming...

With no week long vacation planned this year, I've been daydreaming a lot lately about where I would go if I could /unlimited budget. Here's my current top 3:

1. Germany and Austria - Can you imagine being in Germany right now after they've won the World Cup?! Plus they have great wines, my favorite Riesling, and such pretty views! Peter’s been to Austria and loved it so since they’re neighbors, I’d make sure I’d see the sights there too!
2. St. Maarten – My mom has had a timeshare here for the past 10 years but only recently went for the first time with my step-dad last year. Strangely I wasn’t invited to come along…so I would love to go see the island for myself with Peter!
3. Cape Cod – Peter’s family has vacationed here every summer to visit their grandma. I’ve been twice now and instantly fell in love. The beaches, the small towns, the weather, the adorable beach houses! There’s even a delicious bakery called Becky’s Bakery right down the road from their grandma’s house! Peter’s mom and little sister are there now and I’m so jealous. Gimme this sunset.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Harry Potter, DC and Deutschland!

I've finally realized why I was much better at posting my weekend recaps on Mondays last year. I was in school and used it as an excuse not to be bored and studying. I miss Blacksburg and living with Julie and Kelly but I don't miss having to do schoolwork.

Highlights of my weekend:

+ Friday night I babysat for my co-worker while her and her husband went to see Bruno Mars in concert. They put him down when I got there so I watched the first Harry Potter movie and the baby monitor. Totally worth it to have a little bit of  extra spending money in my pocket. 

+ Saturday Peter, Sarah, Ryan and I went outlet shopping. Peter wanted to get business clothes for his internship. They had a lot of good sales which I wasn't sure about since July 4th was last weekend. We all ended up getting stuff but Peter got a lot of good shirts, pants and ties. I just wish I could see him in them every day!

+ Sunday morning I ran a 5k. It was a local running stores birthday celebration and only $25. I picked up my packet the morning of and it was super easy. The shirt is cotton but a cute one to run errands in. I had an hour to kill and called my mom…and woke her up! Whoops usually she's up early. Once the race got started I knew it was going to be a hot one. The sun was in our face almost the whole time. I was really thankful for the water station halfway through. I don't have another race until my half marathon in December and I can't wait for the cold temperatures. I've discovered I much prefer training through the winter than the summer.

+ After the race I went to Peter's house to shower and get ready. We were off to DC for the World Cup Final. Every time I go into DC, I remember why I hardly do it…even though I'm about 20 miles away, it's always a headache to get into. We took the metro because I can't drive in the city, not trying to get into a car accident. We were going to a German restraint to meet friends there but it ended up being 1.5 miles away and took us 30 minutes to get there in the 90 degree heat. Blah. Once we got there, we waited in line for an hour and didn't make much progress. We finally gave up and went to the bar next door. It was on the rooftop, had food and beer, and small TVs but we could at least watch the game. Once it went into overtime, we went back to the German restaurant and made it in. It was fun to be there when the German team scored! We stayed around to celebrate for a little while and then headed back home. When we were about 5 minutes from Peter's house, he realized he didn't have his phone. We looked all over but it wasn't in my car. I kept calling and finally a metro station worker picked up saying he had it! Peter has a slide out phone and probably cost about $10 so luckily no one wanted to steal it haha. We went back and got it and then hit up Chipotle because we were starving by then. Overall it was a fun adventure but it'll probably be 2015 the next time I go into DC.

Not the best view but it worked!
Joey and Peter with their German beer!
Us with the friends we finally met up with!
Peter forgot to smile?
Celebrating with my favorite German fan!

Woohoo Germany!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Things I Don't Think I Can Do

Last night I was browsing what was on TV and stumbled upon the 2013 Ironman Championship in Hawaii. I'm one of those people who love to watch the Boston and New York marathons so now you know why I kept it on this channel.

They shared stories about the athletes so it wasn't just watching them swim/bike/run. Hines Ward and Gordon Ramsey were competing in it. A dad who lost his daughter in Sandy Hook was competing. A 78 year old woman broke the record again for the oldest woman to finish (BTW in 2009 a biker cut her off and she crashed breaking her collarbone. She finished the bike ride and the marathon with 8 minutes to spare, WITH A BROKEN COLLARBONE AND AT 77 YEARS OLD!!!) 

Over 2,000 athletes with stories for why they were taking on this arduous challenge. I wish I could read them all.

I sat there watching and just kept wondering how the heck they do it and how I couldn't. Why? Because it sounds hard. What a legitimate reason right? It got me thinking that there are things we "think" we can't do and 9 times out of 10, that's not true. The only road block is ourself.

So here's a list of things I don't "think" I can do but hope to one day prove myself wrong:

+ Run a marathon in under 4 hours. 9 minute mile pace for 26.2 miles…I haven't even been able to do that in a half marathon yet.

+ Complete a triathlon. 1.5K swim, 25 mile bike run and 6.2 mile run. I get tired just thinking about doing those 3 activities back to back.

+ Go skydiving. It sounds exhilarating to fly through the air and then have a safe landing but I'm pretty sure I would pee myself when I made that jump out of the plane.

+ Become Fluent In a New Language. I took 3 years of Spanish in high school and one semester of German during college…best things I remember is "no tengo pantalones" and "auf wiedersehen". 

+ Snowboard. When I was about 13, I tried it out with my ex step-sister. On the trail level above the bunny trail. It took me 2 hours to get down the mountain because I couldn't figure out how to do the back and forth and went down like this. Quads were sore for days...
Hopefully one day I'll get to blog about doing each of these things!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

On Not Being A Runner

Running is definitely like a snowflake - it's always different. Depending on the person, season, race, reason...

But I think the way it brings people together is just the fact that they do it. Just because you run a 14 minute mile and another person runs a 6 minute mile, you're both still running a mile. You both made the decision to get out and go running. When I hear someone say they're not a "real runner" because they haven't ever run a race/half marathon/marathon, I think they are selling themselves short. 
That's the thing about running - you can just get up and go. Maybe every day. Maybe every 3 months. You don't need an $100 pair of shoes and GPS watch... they are just fun accessories. If you want increase your speed or milage, those would help but the basis of running is having the will to go. On that first run. Again after a bad run. When you have to get yourself out of your warm bed before the birds are awake. Trust me sometimes it won't happen and that's okay too. Running will always be there for you when you're ready again. 

For me a lot of life lessons can be learned through running. Keep going when the going gets tough. Some runs will make you feel on top of the world and others won't. It's about putting one foot in front of the other and discovering you can do more than you had imagined. Ignoring your brain telling you to stop and listening to your heart instead. Being surrounded by others doing the same thing you are and feeling grateful to be a part of a wonderful community just by doing something you love. Getting inspiration from seeing someone do it with less than you have. You are the only one who can keep pushing yourself and that feeling of making itthrough will keep you coming back for more.

This past Saturday was the one year anniversary of Pappy's passing. I decided to do a trail run at Manassas Battlefield - the site of the first battle during the Civil War. My pappy was a huge Civil War buff so it seemed fitting to me. Within the first mile, I was sucking wind after running up a hill. But for me the run was a reminder that I'm grateful to physically be able to do something I enjoy. Feeling my heart beat against my chest, hearing my deep breaths and the pounding of feet below. At the end of run, the song "I Lived" by One Republic came on. I love when running music works out like that :). I run up my last hill and stopped my watch at 5 miles. I felt like throwing up for about 10 seconds. My quads were aching. I was trying to just focus on my breathing. But it all felt GOOD. Because I'm lucky to hear it, feel it and do it. I run because it makes me feel alive - what a sweet feeling in this short life?

And if running doesn't do that for you, I encourage you to find something that does and hold on to it.

Monday, July 7, 2014

2 Weeks...

that's what Peter and I have left for our time together in Virginia. Hopefully the last week will include a small road trip to Chicago to help him move in and explore the city together for a few days…(if work lets me)

For the past 7 years we've been at most an hour away from each other. Between dorms, college apartments and moving back home after graduation, we've always been close enough to hang out easily, luckily. Now that the time is here to be 11+ hours away, it feels like the last 7 years flew by. When we first started dating, I always wondered how our story would unfold. Sometimes I still can't believe he's known me since I was 17 and the memories we've made. I'm glad I had a camera/phone/ipod nearby to capture a lot of those too. I love looking back on pictures and instantly remembering everything about that moment.

This will just be another chapter in our story for memories and pictures to be added. 
This past weekend, he had Thursday - Saturday off and we were able to spend a lot of time together. We watched the World Cup, hung out with some really good friends, had wine, ate good food, laid on the couch, read, took a walk in the nice weather and I enjoyed every second of it. 

Here's to airport reunions, exploring the city, Facetimes and a wonderful year of new adventures!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Keepin It Real

Sometimes you have a photo booth shoot with yourself at 9pm on a Wednesday night without make up on and towel dried hair then post it on the internet to just to keep it real :)

Happy Friday Eve Friends! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Colorado Weekend 2014

As I write this, I'm still trying to recover from the USA vs Belgium game ending. Tim Howard is my hero and I hope Chris Wondolowski had nightmares about that missed goal. Ugh. I will be cheering for Germany now I think.

Anyways, back to the point of you reading this. Here's a recap of my trip!

Our flight left at 6am so we were up super early but it was nice to get into Denver and have so much of the day. We went to breakfast in Denver first at Snooze. Everything on the menu looked delicious so I decided quick or else I would have spent all day choosing. Hashbrowns, cheese, ham and avocados - YUM!

Sarah's friend lives in Colorado Springs so we headed to her house to get settled. It was such a pretty drive - I never got over those mountain views everywhere. I wish I had this view while filling up on gas.

Our first tourist visit was to Garden of the Gods. I'll let the pictures do all the talking. If I had a blanket and book, I could have camped myself on some of the rocks and be content all day.

We grabbed lunch at a cute French cafe and we all got French Onion Soup. Oh the cheese and bread! We went back to her house and got in some afternoon naps. After getting up at 3:30am, sleep was necessary to keep going! For dinner we went to a brewery and had delicious pizza and truffle fries. Then we did a paint and sip class. It was mostly fun besides an obnoxious group of older women. They were loud, kept repeating themselves and swearing. Classy ladies. We got home around 10pm and luckily everyone else wanted to go to bed too. It's probably a little sad how much I like going to bed early at my age :)

Sarah and I slept in a little bit even though we were 2 hours behind our normal time. Sarah's friend made french toast, bacon and eggs for us and it was delicious. I need to steal her recipe for the french toast! Once we had full bellies, we hopped into the car for a trip up Pikes Peak. Most gorgeous 19 miles I've ever seen! We stopped along the way to take pictures and just see the sights. Towards the top, I couldn't look at the window as much because of the steep climb and cliffs. Once we made it, we got out to take pictures. It was freezing! Luckily there is a restaurant/shop and we went inside for snacks and hot chocolate. If you visit Colorado, you must go to Pikes Peak!

What it looks like from 14,114'!
Sarah and I at the top!
My friend Bigfoot and I hanging out
That night we laid low, made dinner at home and watched movies. I fell asleep right as the second started and didn't wake up until the next morning. Such a party animal - I know!

Sarah's friend made us breakfast again. This time delicious oatmeal that I need to steal the recipe to as well. We got packed up and headed back into Denver to explore it before we headed home. We went to this cute wine bar for lunch and enjoyed wine flights and delicious food. I ate so well this weekend and I'm already craving the food again!

We then walked around 16th Street for a few hours. We did some shopping and got ice cream. There were some interesting people there… We headed to the airport and saw that our flight was delayed 20 minutes. It got delayed 25 more minutes and we finally boarded at 7pm. Once we got home, I passed out and it felt so nice to be in my own bed again.

Overall I had a wonderful trip out west! Sarah's friends were super nice and easy to hang out with. I love down to earth people. Now I'm just wishing I could have fun weekend trips more often!