Friday, November 21, 2014

Happiest of Fridays!

I get to see Peter TOMORROW. Only 24 hours to go. After 3 months apart, I'm more than ready to spend the next week together, hanging out, drinking wine and enjoying him being home. Long distance is no a party but the reunions sure are sweet. 
Any Arrested Development fans? Source
This week has been long but also seemed to go by quickly. On Tuesday, I had an all-hands meeting, a thanksgiving potluck and then our building's power went out. They had to kick us after they heard it wouldn't be coming back until 6 or 7pm so it was nice to get home early and run while the sun was still out. 

Wednesday I had an online training class and my boss let me do it from home. That meant PJs and no bra all day. Glorious it was. 

Thursday at work I started to organize one of our community initiatives. Each holiday season my division sponsors A Giving Tree where we are given ornaments with gift requests from a local child in need. I create a spreadsheet with the 150 ornaments we got so that I can track which ones were taken and any that we will need to go buy. I'm always humbled to see the simple things these kids would like. 
Tennis Shoes, Winter Coat and Sheets and/or Comforter!
Thursday night I signed up for my 6th half marathon! And what's more exciting than that? Erin & Jared, Tracy, Alyssa, Julie and Erin (convinced her last night!!!) are ALL doing it as well! I think that's the most friends I've ever had in a race before. It's in March and I'm already SO excited!!!!

I also watched this video on ESPN. Kayla has MS and is one of the best young distance runners in the country. You must watch it. It is amazingly inspiring. It shows that the only one who can stop you from doing something is yourself. It really makes me want to stop being afraid of doing a marathon and DO IT. I have no reason not to. 

Well that's about all the ramblings I have. I hope you all have a great weekend and even better Thanksgiving next week! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kindness

I know it's not very intriguing to start a paper off with a definition but this is my blog post so here I go anyways…one definition of the word Kind is having, showing, or proceeding from benevolence. I think most of us would agree that the world could use more kindness. I know where I live I run into a lot of selfishness and rudeness whether it's in traffic on my way to or from work, at a busy store or restaurant…it seems like these people think their time is the most important thing in the world and everyone needs to get to steppin' if they are slowing them down. It's sad that it surprises me sometimes when people are nice... when a car actually lets me cross the road in front of them when I'm running, the cashier making friendly conversation at the check-out instead of staring into blank space while bagging, or a total stranger complimenting my dress. 

I had made it a goal this year to be more kind. More random acts of kindness and Hey I'm thinking of you and thanks for being great! It's not always easy but I just think the world could use more of it and the whole "be the change you want to see in the world" got me thinking. 

Now because everything is more fun with someone…my challenge for you this week  is to do one random act of kindness. Maybe it will inspire someone else to do something and that wonderful chain of paying it forward will continue. Nothing is too big or too small. And then let me know about it! I even spent 3 minutes coming up with a fancy hashtag! Share your act with me on twitter or instagram with this: #beckyiwaskindwhen .

To start it off, I'll share two of acts of kindness from yesterday…

+ When I wake up I usually lay around in bed for a few minutes checking my email/facebook/instagram. One email I got was from Groupon for a Starbucks deal. It was $5 for a $10 gift card. I immediately thought of my friend Kelly because she loves her Starbucks. She is currently finishing up her first semester of Optometry school and in the midst of taking finals. Over the weekend we were talking about how easy it is to convince yourself you need that red cup of goodness and she mentioned she likes getting coffee/caffeine before she goes to the library to study. Once I saw that deal, I opened it up, wrote a little note, entered in my payment information and then sent it off to Kelly! It took me all of 5 minutes and $5. I was smiling from ear to ear when she texted me later on in the morning to say thank you. It made my day that it made her day! Now if only we weren't 3 hours apart and could get our caramel macchiatos together!!

+ I was walking around my building putting up flyers for one of our events. A lot of copiers are in our kitchens which is where I put most of the flyers. When I walked into one, I noticed the copier was loudly beeping and being all mad. The copier on my floor does this a lot so it was easy to recognize the problem. However I just hung up the poster thinking someone would come in and figure it out. Well someone did come in but he had no idea what the copier was mad about. I could have easily walked out and continued to do what I "needed" to do. But knowing that I would want someone who knew how to fix the problem to help me, I started showing him what was wrong. Simple paper jam. I pulled out the drawers/lever thingys and started pulling crinkled papers out. I got some ink on my hands, then on my shirt, without realizing it. After about 5 minutes, we finally got everything out and it started working again. He thanked me for my help and I continued on my way feeling good for being able to help. I would have missed that if I had just walked away.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Highlights

+ Friday night Sarah, Ryan and I met Peter's mom and little sister at Target. Sarah & Ryan wanted to buy some new Christmas decorations so we made a night of it. Listened to Christmas music and walked up and down the aisles of Christmas stuff. They got a lot of good stuff!

+ Saturday morning I woke up early to get my long run in. It was pretty cold and windy but at least sunny. I got a new running jacket at Target the night before and it was great to run in. My training plan said to do 13.5 miles but I started having some ankle pain and knew 12 would be enough for me. Once I got back home and stretched, I went to Starbucks to get my now usual hot drink. I had a gift card though so it was free and totally worth it.
Early morning bagel in bed...

+ That afternoon, I was the third wheel on Sarah and Ryan's double date with their friends Steph and Gerald. We went to a winery and then out to dinner. Peter called me once we were home and it was really nice to hear his voice. It was even better to think that that time next week I'll be hearing it AND seeing him!! Then I was in bed by 8:30. Pretty great day!



+ Sunday I slept in, cleaned and lounged on the couch for a very long time. I watched part of the Eagles game until it got pretty bad. Luckily I had bagel bites, fried chicken and beer to cheer me up.

I've got a lot of things to do at work Tuesday and Wednesday so I'm hoping it'll make the week fly by. Just 5 more days until Peter!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Currently...

Loving: Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I'm already halfway through season 5 and I just love that all the episodes of GG are at my finger tips. It's my comfort show and I don't think I'll ever get sick of it (10 years and going strong!).

Reading: Nothing at the moment but I have two books on nightstand that want to be read, Wine & War and The Vintage Caper - yes both wine books. Any other books I should definitely read??

Watching: See above. This weekend when I was at my mom's and didn't have my laptop, I did watch 19 Kids & Counting and Hallmark Christmas movies but it's been back to GG every night since I've been home again. 

Trying to: come up with my Christmas gift list. It's less than 6 weeks away now and I don't want to be doing any last minute shopping. The only gift I know I'll be buying so far is all the baby clothes at Target for my niece! :)
She needs this!!!
Wishing: all caramel macchiatos were free. I may have gotten another one yesterday morning...

Looking Forward To: PETER BEING HOME NEXT WEEKEND! It's almost been 3 months since I've seen him and now we only have 8 days to go! I can't wait until I'm driving to the airport to pick him up!! 

Happy Friday Friends!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Weekend Happenings

Thank you for all the encouragement and kind words on my last post! I'm happy to say that my grandma ended up not needing to have surgery and will just be recovering from her broken neck in rehab for a week or two. 

This past weekend I stayed at my mom's house and watched the dogs & cats. She and my step-dad had a weekend getaway in DC for her birthday. They walked around the city, shopped and ate delicious food. On Sunday they saw Bobby Flay speak at the convention center and got a signed book! It sounded like they had a really great weekend which I know they needed.

While they were off doing all that, I was being completely lazy and it was great. I needed a weekend of nothingness. On Friday my little pup Henry had surgery to get some rotten teeth pulled. He was pretty out of it because of the anesthesia when I got there that night but didn't seem to be in pain. I took advantage of his sleepiness and forced cuddle time on the couch - I don't think he minded though :) 

On Saturday morning I ran 11 miles on my mom's treadmill while watching A Good Year. It wasn't as scenic as my outdoor runs but it was nice to have a giant water bottle right there, the bathroom, no hills or wind. The rest of the day we alternated between playing in the backyard and watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. I don't mind starting Christmas celebrations mid-November. December seems to go by too quickly and I enjoy the movies, cookies and decorations so much. The earlier the better to me. 


While I was being the ultimate couch potato, my friend Ellie was running 45 miles!!!!!!!!!! There is a local paved trail here and she decided she wanted to run the whole thing. Not in a race or for a medal but just to challenge herself. Deb posted a great recap here! I'm so so  proud of her!! Of course now she has her sights on an official 50 miler and possibly a 100 miler…those running friends sure are crazy :)

On Sunday morning I was up early just because. I decided to take a road trip with my car-obsessed dogs to the Starbucks drive-thru for my 4th caramel macchiato of the week. The addiction is in full force. I came home and enjoyed it on the screened-in porch as the sun was coming up. Pretty great start to my day.  I spent the rest of it watching the marathon of 19 Kids & Counting. It just happened. 

Work is going to be busy the next 2 weeks but I'm okay with it because I want time to fly by. Only 11 more days until Peter is home and we have a full week together!! I. can't. wait.

Lastly, I'd like to say thank you to all the veterans who have served and are currently serving! We are a better country because of their bravery and sacrifice and I hope they feel honored every day. Sarah's husband Ryan did two tours in Iraq and it's always interesting to hear his stories from being in the Marines. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Something Good

Life has been a bit pretty crazy and emotional the past 2 weeks. I've tried to keep up with blogging but have also taken some time to just regroup. Yesterday I was able to get home at my normal time and just relax. By the end of the night I wanted to write a post so here we are!

2 weeks ago, one of my best friend's mom, who has been sick for a while, took a bad turn. It's just a really sad situation and watching your friend go through something like that, it's emotional. It's hard to imagine. She is being extremely brave, as much as you really can be, and I just trying to make sure she knows that I'm here for her, for anything.  

Then last Friday, I woke up to a text from my mom saying my grandma (who lives in Vermont) fell and was in the hospital. It wasn't until a couple hours later that we found out she broke her neck. Luckily my mom had been able to talk to her and she sounded pretty good, for someone with a broken neck at least. We thought she would spend a few days there and then get moved to a rehab place but then on Monday they found some damage to her heart. They weren't sure of the cause and were going to do some tests. I was able to talk to her that night and again, she sounded pretty good! But of course when I called my mom afterwards to tell her about it, I had a total breakdown. She is my last living grandparent, the only grandma I really got to know and she means the world to me. I don't want to think about her not being here. She is having surgery on her heart this morning so any happy thoughts/prayers would be much appreciated!

Like I said, it's been a bit crazy and emotional around these parts. But in talking to Kayla the other night, she reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

Though the past 2 weeks haven't been the best, here are my Something Goods that have helped me get through it.

+ I never got around to recapping this but the weekend after my birthday, I got to celebrate it with my twin, mom and step-dad. We went to a nice restaurant outside of DC and just had the best dinner. We ate delicious food, drank lots of good wine and had the belly hurts, tears falling laughing fits. We were telling my step-dad stories about our shenanigans growing up - there were a lot! My mom was still trying to grasp how she had two 24 year olds and a 27 year old!
#twins4lyfe

+ I'm finally done with my Invisalign! Last Saturday I had my last appointment. Now I just have to wear my last aligner to bed every night for forever. I'm so glad I did it and will write a final post about it hopefully soon.

+ The fact that it is finally November and Peter comes home to visit this month! 15 days to go!!!! While it was fun visiting him in Chicago, I'm looking forward to being here together. This is our home. We have our favorite places, routines and friends. I can't wait (understatement of the year) :D

+ Snapchats from Kayla. We were on a roll this weekend - I lost count on how many we sent back and forth but they just put a smile on my face and make me laugh! I feel like we both fully embrace our weirdness and that makes our conversations that much better. Seriously, I can't wait to visit you and Erin again next year :)

+ Speaking of blog besties but actually real friends, my Minnesota Erin and I finally got to FaceTime last week. A whole hour of just talking about life, music, my obsession of Gilmore Girls! I feel like we could sit and talk for hours! I may have also gotten my finger stick while playing with my bed frame and we had a good laugh about that. I also can't wait to visit you and/or have you visit here!! Your 6 months of no vacation time is almost over!

+ These tweets from yesterday. Tracy, Alyssa, Erin (& Jared), please oh please come do this half!!! We can have one big post race party! And Kayla I'm sad you have a wedding! :( 

+ This picture of my niece in the adorable outfit I bought her. She has almost grown out of it so clearly I need to go buy her more!!!

+ Last but not least, Ellen videos. I spent an hour on Tuesday night just clicking through all her shows most recent uploads. I'm crying laughing, feeling inspired and oogling over Jake Gyllenhaal all in a matter of minutes. Thank you Ellen having the greatest show ever.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Week Plans

I know Thanksgiving is still 4 weeks away but as I've mentioned on here before, Peter will be home that week and it can't come soon enough. The last time I saw him was Labor Day weekend - this is the longest we've gone without seeing each other. Luckily there has been plenty of just saying hi phone calls and I can't wait to see you texts. To be honest I wasn't exactly sure we would do long distance since we had never done it before but it's going well as it can I think! I miss him like crazy and I can't think about him  still being there until next summer but we are making it work. One perk of it is that our time together is very well spent. Recently we've been planning out what to do while he is home for Thanksgiving!

+ Not surprisingly, a lot of wine bottles will be opened. We've made it a goal to have at least 5 of the wines in our collection. Yes wine goals are real things.

+ We'd also like to make a delicious meal to go with one of the wines. We've both been working on our cooking skills these past few months so I know it's going to be good. 

+ We have a lot of favorite restaurants around here. We're hoping to go to our crepe place for breakfast, Thai place for lunch and French place for dinner sometime throughout the week. 

+ We also have some favorite movies we like to watch around that time of year, Sleepy Hollow and In Bruges. We'll see how many episodes of Gilmore Girls I can get him to watch because I think I should on Season 5 by then...

+ We'll be going on a lot of neighborhood walks. One because I'll be watching Zoey for a few days while Sarah and Ryan go visit his parents and two because we like our neighborhood strolls. We've had some good talks on those walks.

+ On Thanksgiving we're going to enjoy hanging out with his family and eating a delicious meal. Peter's family loves their holidays and I know they've all missed Peter while he's been away. 

This is just what I've been able to come up with so far. I'm sure we'll be adding some fun things to this. I'm so glad that I took the week off from work so I don't have to waste any time working while he's home! 23 days to go :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

eShakti Review

This is my first blog review! I'm sure most of you have seen reviews for eShakti clothing around blogland by now. I was really excited when I got an email from the eShakti team asking if I would like to chance to review an item of my choice. 

Disclaimer: While I was provided an item of my choice in exchange for this review, all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

eShakti is an online clothing company that sells women's fashion apparel in sizes 0-36W and offers custom clothing. As I've transitioned my wardrobe into more professional clothes, it's been nice to find stores that offer plenty of options. With the holidays coming up as well, I wanted to choose something that I could wear to work and for a special occasion. I love dresses, especially fit and flare ones, so I went with the Red Hot Colorblock Dress

I didn't choose to do the custom sizing and went with my typical dress size. I submitted my order and then promptly got wrapped in life and forgot about it until it showed up on my doorstep. I think it only took about a week and a half to be delivered though. 

I quickly opened the box to try it on. I loved the colors - red and navy blue. It looked just like it did on their website. 


For the most part, it fit great! The only problem was that since it was cotton, it was a bit tight in my chest. I couldn't quite lift my arms all the way up.

This is what I like doing in dresses with pockets!

It's not often that I really need to be doing intense stretches in a dress so I was still looking forward to wearing it. I decided to wear it to my birthday dinner with Peter's family. All I had to do was sit a table, eat delicious food and drink yummy wine - nothing that involved me doing the YMCA. 

I'll definitely be wearing this dress again and I want to thank eShakti for the opportunity to review one of their products!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Training For Tuesday {Round 2}

Confession: I enjoy reading blogs and commenting more than writing my own. I just get worried that what I'm writing about isn't that interesting or good. I know I leave out words when I write sometimes and grammar isn't my #1 skill. But what keeps me coming back is you all - when you comment with insight, kind words, funny stories. I love the connections/friendships I've made through this blog and I so appreciate you spending time reading about my dogs, niece, running and going to bed at 8pm. There are plenty of blogs with more glamorous postings than mine but I'm proud of the life I lead and that's all that should matter to me. Sometimes I fall down into the black hole that is social media and have to remind myself that life is not a competition. 

And with that off my chest, now on to the point of this post - linking up with Tracy and Alyssa for Training For Tuesday! In last month's post, I wrote about the first few weeks of my half marathon training so I thought I would give an update now that I'm on Week 7 and have 5 weeks to go.

+ As of yesterday, I've run 70 miles so far. My average pace has been 9:30. My fastest mile so far is 8:40!

+ The weather has been really great so far. I think there's only been a handful of days that were either pretty hot or pretty cold. I love that I can sleep in until 8am on Saturday, eat and go running at 9am and still have great weather.

+ I've been slacking on running before work. But it's just SO dark at 5:30am. I'm not trying to get kidnapped here. I'm hoping once day lights savings comes, it'll be a little lighter and more doable because I really like getting my run in before my day has even started.

+ I took most of Week 6 off. My left hamstring started to bother me about 2 weeks ago but of course I kept running thinking that it would go away…#runnerlogic. It didn't go away and then my quad started bothering me too. I sit a lot at work so I'm sure that wasn't helping either. Finally after my uncomfortable 7 mile long run I realized I should take it easy for a few days. I did a lot of yoga, foam rolling and icing. I looked up stretches my hamstrings and have now incorporated them into my post run stretches. I was able to do 6 miles on Saturday so luckily I think I'm on the mend!

+ Most of my runs I do by myself but occasionally Ryan (Peter's brother-in-law / one of my roommates) will run with me. He's been running since the summer but only goes up to 3-4 miles. He say it's "boring" and only does it for the workout. Yesterday on our run, I was trying yet again to explain how running is awesome and that maybe if he went longer, he would enjoy it more. There's something about waking up during the sunrise and getting 10 miles in. He said then he would do a half marathon if I did a mud run. I'm off to find a local mud run…

+ I'm still working on raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association as part of Team Momentum. I'm about $200 away from goal. I've put my link up on social media a few times but that's been about it. Feel free to share to any fundraising tips in the comments!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Birthday Celebration(s)!

Birthdays are meant to be celebrated multiple times right? Especially when it's on a Monday. I texted Peter a few days ago and thanked him for always letting me drag out my birthday to which he responded with "Of course it should at least be a week long!" That's my guy :)

Friday
By the time I got home from work, I was more than ready to start the weekend. Sarah, Ryan and I had pumpkins to carve from our farm visit so we set up outside on the patio to enjoy the nice weather and create our masterpieces. Ta da!


My pumpkin's transformation!
The rest of the night I watched Gilmore Girls and went to bed early (anyone surprised?).

Saturday
I decided to wake up early to get my long run in. There was a 5k going on in my neighborhood that morning and while it would have been fun to run, I didn't really want to pay $30 to run on roads I do every day. I got treated with this lovely view for half of my 7 miles and it made me so so thankful to be able to run. It wasn't because my time or distance but because the weather was perfect, the leaves were sparkling red/orange/gold and I got to simply enjoy something I love. 

I'm great at matching...
I watched about 6 hours of Gilmore Girls after this. (again, is anyone surprised?). Around 4pm, I finally got up from my mold in the couch to get ready for my birthday dinner with Peter's family. Recently I got contacted by eShakti to review a dress and decided to wear it out that night. Review post coming soon! Peter's little sister Chrissy had Homecoming that night so she wasn't able to come but we still got to snap some fancy pictures!

Sarah, me and Chrissy!
We went to a delicious Italian restaurant and had bread, pasta, and wine. My kind of dinner. I got to open my first gifts. Sarah and Ryan got me a fleur de lis necklace and smores maker. Peter's parents gave me some spending money and Peter and I already have plans to hit up some outlets when he is home! Sometimes I remember that not all girlfriends are this close with their boyfriend's family (aka living with his sister and brother-in-law) and it makes me feel very lucky that we all get along so well and they want to take me out to dinner for my birthday even if Peter isn't here! 

Bouquet made by Peter's mom!

We got home around 8:30 and I promptly changed into pjs. Since I had started opening gifts, I decided to open up the package from my favorite Minnesotan Erin!She knows me SO well :)

Sunday - Birthday Eve
I thought I would sleep in but by 8AM I had already gotten 10 hours of sleep so I woke up wide awake. I decided to get to Trader Joe's early before the crowds picked over all the good stuff. I had to stop by another grocery store because I needed some spices and it just so happened that my favorite bagel place was in the same shopping center. I got my favorite combo - everything bagel with cream cheese. Perfect birthday eve breakfast.

In the afternoon I made my lunch for the week. If you like sweet potatoes, quinoa and chili, you need to make this! It was super easy and didn't take long, about an hour all together with prep and cook time. With the cooler temperatures weather this week, I've been looking forward to it each day. Yum!


Around 7 that night, I finally called Peter so I could open his birthday presents to me! I was gone for most of my birthday (coming below) and I wanted to make sure he was at least there via voice while I opened them. He's been getting me gifts for 7 years now and he always does a GREAT job. His thoughtfulness still blows my mind sometimes. He's never gotten me a gift just to check off the occasion. I so so wish he could have been there in person but it will just make next birthday when he is that much better! 

He got me this amazingly cute dress and a WeWood watch. He told me that a lot of the german people he works with wear one and he thought it was cool and different and now I'll fit right in when we go to Germany. I loved it! It's a little big so I just need to go to the mall to get a link or two taken out and then I'll wear it all the time. He also got me a small Berlin tote bag and sent back a book for me to read. I have the best guy!


Monday - Birthday!
I woke up and went to work. I didn't really think about taking the day off mainly because I want to save my leave for when Peter is home and trips to see him. A few of my close work friends remembered that it was my birthday and wished me a happy birthday. There are about 60 people on our team and I got a card signed by most of them. I wasn't expecting everyone to remember and I usually didn't bring it up. 

Once I got off work, it was time for the true birthday celebration. I went to see the US Women's Soccer team play one of their world cup qualifying games that night! I've been dying to see them for many years now but their games and my schedule never seemed to link up. When they came to my hometown ON my birthday, luckily Julie knew we couldn't pass up that kind of opportunity and got us tickets. Our friend Ellie and Cassy also came and we had a great time! I had stadium food and our seats were only a few rows from the field. USA beat Haiti 6 to 0 and have moved on to the semi-finals. I miss playing soccer and watching games always make me miss it more.

Celebrating a goal!

The birthday celebrations aren't quite over yet! Today I'm going out to lunch with my boss and our smaller team to celebrate. On Thursday my co-worker/friend is taking me to my favorite Thai place. Finally, on Saturday my mom and step-dad are taking my twin and I out to dinner. I'm lucky to have a lot of people who want to feed me and help me celebrate my birthday :)

Thank you for all the wonderful comments and birthday wishes on Monday!! I really appreciated it and it made me feel extra extra special :) Shout out to Kayla who wished me a happy birthday at least 5 different ways - text, snap chat, email etc!