Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Peter!

Today is Peter's 23rd birthday! We're now back to being the same age again! That's right…I'm a 6 month cougar :P

Luckily he has the whole weekend off from work so we'll have plenty of time to celebrate his birthday and Easter. Easter is a big holiday in his family and his dad makes some amazing food for it. One of my favorites…Knot Cookies! He made them on Thursday and I wanted to eat them all right then and there.

We've been celebrating his birthday together for the past 7 years which seems like a long time but it hasn't felt like that! I always enjoy picking out gifts for him but I'm also anxious hoping that he likes them! 
His Birthday pile this year!
I'll have full recap on Monday of all the birthday festivities! As most of you can guess lots of good wine will be involved. Last year I wrote 12 things about him if you're curious to learn more about my handsome guy! We've been through a lot together but he is one of the best! I'm so thankful to have had him in my life these past few years and we've made some wonderful memories! I can still remember being in high school and wishing he would be friends with me after Kiefer introduced us. And then wishing he'd ask me out! Luckily both came true :)

Happy Friday and Easter!

P.S. Happy Early Birthday to one half of my favorite Cincinnati Sisters, Erin !! I hope you have a wonderful weekend celebrating! Hopefully the Easter bunny will bring that Garmin watch :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Live for 32

"While 32 of our friends and classmates are in Heaven trying to explain what a Hokie is, I stand here sure in the fact that I wouldn't want to be anything else".


Extremely proud to be a Hokie today and every day <3

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Currently

The past two weeks I've been slacking on blog posts even though some exciting stuff has happened. So today I'm filling you in on what's been going on around these parts!

Loving: that the Spring weather has finally come and decided to stick around. All this sunshine has made for one happy Becky. I try to ignore it while I'm stuck at my desk for 8 hours of the day but it gives me more motivation to get a run in after work. I love seeing all the flowers blooming and waving to everyone else out enjoying the weather! Peter and I have also taken advantage of it and had a few wine afternoons in his backyard. If you have a Trader Joe's near you and $8, I highly recommend this wine!


Reading/Watching: I've been watching a lot of HGTV lately. I just can't get enough of the transformations on Property Brothers! I also love House Hunters International and taking mental notes for if I ever get a chance to live abroad. I've got a few books in mind that I need to download on my Kindle and start reading too.

Trying to: keep my new car clean! Last Wednesday I made the big purchase and while it was a little stressful, everything worked out well. The guy that I signed all the papers with had a daughter that went to Tech and lived in the same apartment complex I did (he recognized the address on my registration) so I took that as good Hokie juju. 
Top Right: Last picture in my CRV! Top Left and Bottom: First pictures in my new Mazda3!

Wishing: I had a tropical or European vacation planned! The kids are on spring break around here it makes me miss the days when I got a week off just because!

Looking Forward To: Peter's birthday and Easter this weekend! Peter will hopefully have the whole weekend off from work and I can't wait to celebrate with him. I'm excited to give him his presents and just have extra time to spend together! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Erin's Weekend Recap!

A few weeks ago, Erin had a genius blog post idea: recap each other's weekends only based on the pictures of it! This idea also meant that she would have to post on that little 'ol blog of hers. The past few months grad school has been keeping her busy making sure she earns that Masters degree! 

So we picked a weekend, sent each other the pictures and here we are! Let me tell you though, it was really hard to tell her what I was doing or ask what she was up to! Friday afternoon I already blabbed on my plans that evening to her because I was excited about them and I knew she would be glad to hear haha. 


So what was Erin up to this weekend? Here's my best guesses!

On Friday night, thanks to her awesomely sweet grandpa, her and Andrew got to enjoy a Twins game! I think we can all agree that half the fun of going to a sports stadium is the food. I'll take any excuse to enjoy a beer and some all American snacks!



Erin and Andrew!
On Saturday they also tried out their hand in soap making! From these pictures I'd say they turned out pretty well and could easily open up an Etsy shop! She knows my address to send me one too! :P






Sunday was filled with fun things like cleaning the apartment, kicking butt in Insanity and avoiding the creepy guy at the laundry mat. It's good thing she brought her own laundry detergent…

One of these weekends this year, we will be recapping a weekend we had together! It will happen and it will be filled things like running, making and eating yummy recipes, drinking wine, probably watching Frozen and more wine :)

Now you can head over to her blog to see what I was up to this weekend!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

First Car Memories

In anticipation of me possibly getting a new car, I've been thinking about my current car a lot lately. It's bittersweet to be letting go of it because it has been through a lot of fun adventures and milestones! But I will also enjoy the perks of a new car, such as remote key! 

I'm lucky to have had such a great, reliable first car and have it handed down to me from my mom. So I wanted to write a post about some of our great memories together!

+ I went with my mom when she was car shopping. I was in 3rd grade. We test drove 4 different ones and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. In each one, my mom went to a cal-du-sac to see what its turning radius was like. The Honda CRV won hands down and soon my mom was signing the papers. I was there when she drove it off the lot and I remember the odometer saying 13 miles! It was such a fun experience with my mom and something I've always been glad to have had.

+ In middle school, my mom offered to drive Kiefer and my two friends Heather and Emma to school. After riding the bus in elementary school, I thought we were so cool being driven! We would pick up Emma first and Heather last because she always took a little longer. It was a really fun way to start off the morning and I'd loved getting to walk into school with two of my best friends. 

+ Junior year of high school Kiefer and I both finally got our licenses. Fun Fact: We both failed the first time we took the test. You know the part where you can't miss any questions? I missed Question #3 and Kief missed Question #4. Boom twins. Once we passed and got our licenses, my mom let us share the car and she got a new one. Another Fun Fact: I always drove us to school. It's the control freak in me and Kief didn't mind being chauffeured. We were both on the track and cross country teams so we had quite the adventures after practice whether it was in the school parking lot or driving somewhere for dinner!

+ I drove it to my first job as a camp counselor. Then my second job as a hostess. Then to my first internship. And finally to my internship turned full time position after graduation!

+ I drove it back and forth to Tech probably 40 times over the four years I was there. There was always enough room for my stuff and any friends I was driving. There was probably 5 times where it stuffed to capacity!

+ For Kelly's 21st birthday, we wanted to go on a hiking adventure. We tried a new route to a popular hiking place and got totally lost! We ended up on some dirt road down a mountain that didn't look like much a road anymore. Then we saw some hunters and I speed back up the mountain. It was a good story to tell though!




Took a pit stop for a photo op of being lost!!

+ One Spring weekend, Kelly and I saw that Parachute had a concert in North Carolina that Friday. Being only a few hours away, we spontaneously brought tickets to go! We thought the venue was near a cool outdoor mall so we planned to get there 3 hours before the concert. Well, it was in the middle of all these old abandoned buildings which sketched us out! We got Cook-out and hung out in my car for 3 hours. But we got to creep on see the band come and unload their stuff! The venue was cool and the people there were interesting…we saw a mom and an un-related dad almost get into a fight. We thought we would save money and not get a hotel room so we had a fun trip back trying to stay awake!

+ When Peter and I went to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers, we took my car to North Carolina. We left early in the day and enjoyed taking some scenic back roads! It was such a fun 24 hours together!!

+ It took Kelly, Julie and I to our first half marathon together! And on countless trips to Kroger, Target, Starbucks, Panera - pretty much all the restaurants and shops in Blacksburg!

+ It took Peter and I are many adventures together including hiking trips, winery trips and simple trips to the grocery store for candy. He gave me my claddagh ring while we were in it. I transported an iguana he was watching for a friend one Spring break. And lots of other random events :)

I could go on but this is getting long! Thanks for reading if you made it this far :)


Monday, March 31, 2014

Race Weekend!

And just like that, half marathon #3 is in the books! After 16 weeks of training, I was excited for it to be here. Here's a recap of my weekend and the race!

Friday
I got home from work and went on a 2 mile run. I wanted to get one in before the race but took it easy. It's a pretty cool feeling knowing that your next run is the race. 

Sarah, Ryan and I watched Hart of Dixie that night and I was in bed by 10pm. I was looking forward to sleeping in!

Saturday
I was doing a great job sleeping in until Ryan started making noise in the office next to my room! I got up and we went to Costco, which I was not mad about. I've decided when I get my Invisalign off, one of my celebrations will be going there and eating all the samples!

I went to pick up my race packet in the afternoon at the high school where the race started and ended. I got some pretty good race swag. Gloves, headband, fuel, water bottles, bag,  free appetizer at Glory Days and the softest race T-shirt!!


I stopped by a local running store to get some fuel and ended up getting this Nike hat. It had nice wicking material and with the rain potential I figured it would help keep the rain out of my eyes. Boy was I glad I got it!!! Remember the race package, Erin got me with the dinosaur stickers? I put one on my bib so it was like she was there cheering :)
               

When I got home Sarah Ryan and I watched Frozen! We finally saw it available at Redbox and snatched it up. I loved it and all the songs! 

My friend Ellie and I went out to an Italian restaurant for my pre-race dinner. I got Chicken Parm and gobbled it all up! I got home around 9pm and hung out with Zoey girl. Puppies are so cute when they're sleeping!
               


Sunday - Race Day!
I was up at 6am to eat breakfast. Peanut butter on toast with bananas on top. Sarah and Ryan were super nice and woke up to drive me to the race and be there at the start. For people that get up at 5am for work, I was really appreciative that they sacrificed a morning of sleeping in for me! In the beginning of the week the weather was looking great for Sunday. Come Sunday morning…rainy and 20 mph winds. But I figured having a bad attitude about something I can't control wasn't going to make it better and decided it would just add to the adventure!

We got to the race around 7:15 and hung out in the car. The marathon started at 7:30 and the half at 8:00am. Three reasons why I'm very glad I ended up not doing the marathon:
1. the weather - I got wet and cold real quick and the winds only made it worse
2. my ankle started hurting at mile 2…I don't think I could have made it 24 more miles
3. seriously the weather, it started snowing when we were driving away!

My friend Ellie also came to the start. My mom was trying to park but since a lot of roads were blocked off she had to drive around for a little bit. When the race started, it didn't feel real for a second. I passed by Sarah Ryan and Ellie then got settled into the race.

I was glad I had done the group run on the course back in January. A lot of it looked familiar to me so it made it easier to follow. It was on roads and paved trails which was nice. I passed my mom around mile 2 but I didn't realize it was her because she was all bundled up. I tried to focus on the pretty scenery more than the weather. The only problem with running on the trails was that there was a creek that ran along side of it. Because of the all the rain, it was overflowing and made for a lot of puddles. I quickly stopped trying to avoid them because it was just more effort. 

It was a hilly course and they definitely got to me from mile 9 to 10.5. I took some walk breaks to relieve my legs but always picked a tree to start up again at. There were volunteers about every mile to help guide and they were all super nice! They always cheered and had smiles on their face even though they were standing out in the pouring rain. I tried to thank all of them and smile back!

I saw my mom around mile 11.5 and she started running next to me on the sidewalk. But I had to tell her to stop because I wanted a hug!! Best hug ever and just what I needed :) She ran next to me in her big yellow poncho and rain boots and I was so thankful to see her there!! It really gave me the energy to finish off the race. 

It ended at the high school track except we had to go around it about 300 meters. The last 0.1 Red Hot Chili Peppers came on and gave me the energy to keep pushing through. Sarah, Ryan and my mom were all at the finish cheering me on. It was so nice to see familiar faces!
13.1 long miles through rain, puddles and wind, I had made it!! We walked into the school so I could get dry and warm. Peter, his mom and other sister came five minutes later. They had trouble parking too but I was just glad to see them. Peter told me he was very proud of me and it made me feel that much better! Ellie was right behind them and brought my favorite kind of Clif bars!


All in all, it was a pretty great race. I was proud of myself of keeping a good attitude and completing it on my own! But I am VERY glad that for my next one that I will have my best friends right there beside me! I finished in 2:11 which included a bathroom break, walking through 3 of the water stops and taking out of my aligners to eat my fuel. 


We went to Cracker Barrel afterwards and it was delicious. Peter came over and we all watched Frozen! We had some celebratory chocolate cake from Costco and I spent the rest of the night on the couch. Pretty great post-race plans!!

I'm taking off a few days for rest and hoping to get some new shoes this week. I'm hoping that's what is ultimately causing my ankle pain. Here's to another great half in 4 weeks!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Thoughts

I didn't have a post planned today but then I read Erin and Kayla’s post and, like the wonderful bloggers they are, they inspired me to! First, go over and read theirs if you haven’t already. It is why they are two of my favorites and why I wanted to go hang out with them in person!

It’s been a busy time at work and I have my hands on a lot of projects. It’s nice being so busy and getting more responsibility but I come home at the end of day exhausted. I've spent a lot of nights on my couch watching 90210 on Netflix and it’s awesome.

This whole buying a new car process is stressful but exciting. I’m thankful that I am able to do this and at least I’m not in desperate need of a car so I can take my time looking. There’s just a lot of decisions and things to figure out. Luckily my mom and step-dad have been right there to help me with it all!

Peter and I are still on opposite schedules and sometimes it just sucks. I wish we could go on an adventure to a faraway winery on a beautiful Saturday instead of him working his butt off at one while everyone else enjoys the nice weather. But those moments we get and decide to just curl up on the couch, eat some candy and watch a funny show are just as sweet.

I haven’t run at all this week. I’m planning on doing a 2-3 miler tonight, even though it’s supposed to rain. I’m hoping the extra rest will be good for my ankle though. I’m really looking forward to my race this weekend because I see it as a celebration of all the hard work I put in during training. Trust me, this race will be easy compared to when I forced myself to wake up early on a Sunday morning and run 10 miles through the rain/snow/ice. The hard runs are done. My attitude for races: JUST HAVE FUN! See picture below from my first half marathon - My mom snapped this while I had 0.4 to go!




Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pre-Race Thoughts

I have 4 days until my 3rd half marathon. I can still remember signing up for my first one and thinking “okay I’ll just do this one so I can say I did it.” Now it’s my favorite distance and I plan on doing lots more!

After 15 weeks of training, it seems strange that the race is actually so soon. It was a loooong winter for training and my first time training through it. I chose to do a 16 week training plan since I had originally signed up for the marathon. In the past, I’ve done a 12 week training plan but I think the extra month of running will only help.

I’ve had lots of pre-race thoughts this week so I thought I’d write them down. A week from now this race will be behind me and I’ll already be looking towards my next half marathon in 3 weeks!

+ This is the first race I’ll be running by myself – no friends or family running it with me. I've done a lot of training runs alone so I just have to make sure I stay out of my own head!

+ So far the weather looks perfect! Sunny and in the 40s is my favorite running weather. Please Mother Nature, stay like this!



+ As much as I’d like to run a sub 2 hour half, I’m not sure this will be the race. It’s a pretty hilly course and I did a good job avoiding hills during my training…Also with my invisalign, I’ll have to take it when I go to eat my fuel, rinse my mouth with water and put them back in. My ankle has been bothersome too…but hey, if the stars align and this is the race, I will be happy! If not, I won’t be disappointed though either.

+ My mom, Kiefer, Peter, Sarah, Ryan and my friend Ellie are all coming out to cheer for me! You know you have great friends and family when they wake up early on a weekend to stand around and cheer when you run by for 10 seconds!

+ Speaking of cheers, I plan on putting my name on my shirt with sparkly duct tape. Though my name has a lot of round letters so hopefully it will look legible!

+ Speaking of friends, my favorite Erin surprised me with an awesome pre-race package!! A comfy target Tee, nail polish, socks and dinosaur stickers! I’ve already painted my nails and plan on sticking a dinosaur on my race outfit so she’s there in spirit!




Here’s to a great race day and a delicious Cracker Barrel breakfast afterwards!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Weekend Highlights

After my amazing Cincinnati weekend (read here and here), this weekend was pretty low-key but had some great moments!

+ Saturday I had to head to my mom's house so my step-dad could change out my headlight bulb. How come all car problems happen at the same time?! Before I got there though, we met up at a car dealership! I'm in the market and as a first time buyer, I need their help. When my step-dad asked if we could test drive it, the salesman said yes and then looked at me. My response: "Wait I can do drive it?!" Maybe one day I'll feel like a grown up...

+ Saturday night, Peter's family took us out to dinner to celebrate Sarah's birthday! Unfortunately Peter had to work until 8 and couldn't make it :( . We went to a fabulous Italian restaurant and everything on the menu sounded delicious. I got the lasagna and scarfed it down before my stomach could tell me I was full. Sarah, Ryan and I split a seven layer chocolate cake for dessert. After that, I was really done for and did have a bit of a stomachache. But it was totally worth it.

Sarah, Ryan and I! #roomies
+ Sunday morning, I got to meet up with Julie and her mom for a long run! It was cloudy and in the 40s but once we got going, it felt comfortable. My ankle was still bothering me between miles 4-8 so I'm going to ice and stretch it like crazy this week. 

+ Sunday night, I went to Peter's for dinner. His dad makes delicious Italian stuffing, usually just at Thanksgiving, but had decided to make it. Luckily Peter's really nice and invited me over! Afterwards we watched Silver Linings Playbook and I really liked it. I had never read what it was about and I'm glad I could go in with no expectations.  Now I can see why Jennifer Lawrence got all those awards for it!

We're supposed to get a dusting of snow today and I really hope this is the last time we see any white stuff! So far race day on Sunday is looking nice!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cincinnati Blate, Part 2!

I have no clue how it's already Thursday…work has made this week fly by but I'm not complaining! I'm here to wrap up my awesome Cincinnati trip - I still can't believe it's over! Kayla wrote about it here and included some pretty awesome pictures!

Saturday
We woke up, had a banana and were out the door to the hit pavement. I was really excited to go running because we had talked about it for forever and running with friends just makes me extra happy. We went to a local park and the weather was great - sunny and 40s. We did 5 miles!! That was Kayla's longest distance yet and I know she will rock that half marathon in May! I'll be cheering loud that day so she can hear me from Virginia :)

We got home and immediately made breakfast. No time for showering when you need to re-fuel! Kayla made the French Toast, Caleb made bacon and sausage and I happily ate it all! 



That afternoon Kayla and I headed downtown to a St. Patrick's Day festival. I had fun seeing   the city and listening to Irish music. Kayla was telling me about all the fun activities that go on during the summer and I'm thinking I'll need to come back to experience some of those!

She introduced me to Skyline Chili on the way home and it was gone in about 2 minutes - SOO delicious! I like restaurants believe in copious amounts of cheese!


That night was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip - we just hung out at her house, took funny photo booth pictures and had girl talk about life! If we lived closer together, I could easily do that with her every week. I'm lucky to have friends that I can talk with so honestly without fear of judgement and Kayla is definitely in that category!

Sunday
As you can already tell by now, Kayla made sure I was well fed this weekend! We decided to get donuts from a local bakery and Starbucks for breakfast. PJs were required!

We stopped by Target and I got a Cincinnati Reds shirt as a souvenir. I now have a shirt associated with both of the bloggers I met and their states! I think it's going to be my new blate tradition. I also got my mom and step-dad  a cute Ohio mug from Starbucks.


We came back home and watched a few episodes of Modern Family. It's such a funny show! After that Kayla and I had to drive to the airport. The weekend was SO fun but went by too quickly as we had predicted. 

Kayla, thank you for being such a great host!! I honestly had the best weekend visiting you and getting to know you even more. I knew we were great friends and meeting in real life just re-confirmed that :) The same goes for you too, Erin!! I can't wait to come back! Love you both!