Take Time Tuesday

I have been busy lately! Doesn’t that always seem to be the case around the holidays?

I’ve been able to fit in a lot of family and friends time over the past week or so. I’m very greatful for all of this, so I thought I’d get in the Thanksgiving spirit and link up with Katie for Take Time Tuesday. And with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday, of course, because these are all treats!

Last Thursday the fiance and I went out to dinner with some friends. They’re moving to Australia, so we wanted to see them before they take off. The locacation? An arcade. Good times had by all as we acted like kids again.

arcade

Friday I had dinner with a friend and asked her to by my bridesmaid. Celebratory Panera! I always get tomato soup. The sandwich I order changes, mostly because I can never remember what I ordered the time before, but always tomato soup. So. Good. Those gigantic croutons? Yes, this is the only place croutons belong.

panera

Saturday morning I drug my butt out of bed so we could road trip up to Wisconsin to see a friend and her new fiance. Always gotta have roadtrip coffee.

coffee

She asked me to take some engagement pictures for them. Despite the fact that I never post anything but iPhone pictures on the blog… I’m a half way OK photographer, but I do prefer to photograph inanimate opjects. Portraits are not my forte; talking and moving subjects make me nervous. Ah well, I lived, and we all had a good time and got some good photos. We also had some good eats and drinks, which I devourved before snapping a picture.

I also took the opportunity to ask this friend to be my maid of honor! We’ve been texting wedding stuff for a while, but I wanted to wait until I saw her in person to ask. It’s going to be a busy month! We’re getting married two weeks apart in the spring!

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Neither of the boys had been inside the Wisconsin capitol, so we went inside for a few minutes. It’s a beautiful building and I miss living close by.

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Sunday was a lazy day of helping family put up their Christmas tree. Which is far more work than it may seem. It’s GIANT. So after all that work we earned a treat. I’d never had a bloody mary before and I have apparently been missing out.

bloodymary

Monday night we went out to dinner with the friends that are moving to Austrailia again. We decided we could fit in one more dinner date before they move far, far away, so we headed to Cheesecake Factory. Yummmmm.

I’ve been having a blast getting to spend time with so many family and friends, and I’m looking forward getting to continue to see family over Thanksgiving!

Do you have Thanksgiving plans? I’m heading to my grandparents house and I’m soooooo excited!

 

Thinking Out Loud

I’ve wanted to link up with Running With Spoons for Thinking Out Loud for a while, and decided today was a good day to start! I’ve got a ton of thoughts bouncing around my head, why not share the random?

1) I had a donut for breakfast. And it was glorious. Someone brought a few boxes into work today, and there were a ton left, so I just had to rescue one. And it obviously had to be the chocolate with chocolate frosting. I haven’t had a donut for soooo long I nearly forgot how good they are when they’re fresh.

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2) I have only worked out once since my half marathon. Yes, it was a week and a half ago. Which I probably shouldn’t admit to after telling you all I ate that donut. Ha! Anywho, we had an arms day at the gym, and my arms were dead for two days. Nothing like easing back into it, sheesh.

3) Wedding planning is fun! Trying on dresses and veils… dreaming about cakes and flowers. Yay! And we checked the big stuff off the list, namely A DATE, the church, a pastor, and a reception venue.

4) Wedding planning is hard! Pick a photographer? What? How? Find bridesmaid dresses? They’re either cute OR affordable. Block of rooms at the hotel… oh they won’t return my phone calls? Ok that’s nice. Uuuugh. I keep trying to remind myself of the prior exclamation of “wedding planning is fun” and that if we have a church and as pastor, that’s the whole point of the day. But my bridesmaids would prefer not to be naked, and my guests would like a place to sleep.

5) Christmas is coming! Yay! I’m all about Thanksgiving, don’t get me wrong, but I love Christmas. There’s pretty lights, and fun songs and everyone is cheerful! Sorry, these are Instagram repeats!

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6) Have you heard of the podcast Serial? Yeah, I hadn’t until Tuesday. My roommate said it was good so I put a few episodes on my phone to listen to at work on Wednesday. Ohmygoodnessitissogood. Go listen.

 I suppose I can stop rambling now… I’m sure I could keep going, though.

What is happening with you? Random thoughts to share? Ideas for keeping wedding planning sanity?

Dresses and a Race

This weekend was PACKED with fun times.
Unfortunately… there is very little photographic evidence of it. Whoops…
However, I was had so much fun, I’m not even that upset there are very few pictures.

Friday the first stop was packet pick up for the race on Sunday, followed by a Chipotle dinner. Yum! Once our bellies were full, we wandered around the mall a little, dreaming about things we want to put on our registry. Eventually we will actually have to pick things instead of just walking around the store pointing at pretty grown up objects like crock pots and silverware.

packet

Saturday morning I went out to breakfast with a friend. We have opposite work schedules, so it’s always a treat to see her. And the two pots of coffee we polished off at the restaurant were a pretty good treat, too 🙂

I headed home after breakfast to wait for my parents to get into town. My mom and I went wedding dress shopping! There are pictures of this, but as the fiancé occasionally makes a stop by the blog, I can’t post them! I didn’t buy one, but I found one that I like A LOT. But this was the first time I tried on dresses, so I want to check out a few other places. I have a feeling I’ll come back to this one though 🙂 Instead of a dress picture, how about this picture of me showing off my ring (like a cheese-ball)?

ring

After dress shopping was pasta for a pre-race dinner! I had shrimp and scallop linguini. It was fantastic. And I only had one sip of my mom’s margarita. Water only otherwise!

I attempted to go to bed at a reasonable hour Saturday night, so I could get up and, ya know, run a half marathon. But all-the-thoughts were running (get it?) through my brain. Laying in bed went something like this.

Go to sleep, self. You need to get up early!
Ugh, so early! It will be dark still!
I bet it will be cold in the dark.
I don’t want to run in the cold.
Why did I sign up for this race again?
Oooo that one dress was really pretty… except for that weird ass bow on it.
I’m cold now! It will be so much worse in the morning… outside.
Gloves! Don’t forget gloves! (I got up… and gave flat Kat gloves)
Do I want white or ivory?
Ivory… but a light ivory?
GARMIN! Don’t forget your Garmin! (I got up… gave flat Kat her Garmin and road ID)
Whew, fiancé would have been annoyed if he had to go home and get the Garmin (again… like last time)
Why can’t I SLEEP?
I reeeeeeally liked that one dress…
I want to tell fiancé about it.
CAN’T! Must. Keep. Secrets!

Clearly it was a long while before I managed to fall asleep.  But I did and morning came, way too early and way too cold.

I put on all my layers, ate my oatmeal, and climbed in the car.  I got dropped off at the race.  I found my running buddies, and before too long, we were off!  I’ll save all the details until later and an actual recap, but I ROCKED IT.   I had vague dreams of a 2:15 race, but I didn’t really put it out into the universe because I wasn’t sure it would happen and didn’t want to be disappointed.  Well IT DID happen… 2:11:36!

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I’m linking up with Becky for Treat Yourself Tuesday as well as Jessica Joy and Jill for the Fit Dish.  The Fit Dish topic for the week is wandering minds during work outs.  My mind was certainly wandering about running… it’s close!

Does your mind take over when you’re trying to sleep?  Mine was out of control!

Friday Five: Staying on Track During the Holidays

It’s always challenging for me to stay on track with working out and not eating all-the-things during the Holidays. It’s dark when I leave the house, it’s dark when I get come. It’s cold. There is snow. And that’s all before we get to Christmas. Then there are cookies. And wine. And more food in my eyesight than I should ever considering trying to consume in one sitting.

Every year I go into the holiday season with good intentions, and come out feeling like I ate my weight in cookies (which is probably because I did). This year is a little bit different though. I’ll be entering the holidays coming off half marathon training (three days to go!), and not to toot my own horn, I’m in pretty decent shape right now. I’d like to keep it that way instead of backsliding like normal.  And on top of that, this girl is getting married come spring, and I don’t want to be working on losing Christmas-weight (yep, it’s a thing) while I’d really like to be working on toning up for my wedding.

My half marathon is this Sunday, and I’ve been catching myself thinking how nice it will be to not have to run all the time. Of course I will have to give myself a break, but I just need to make sure it’s not a 2 month break. I’ve been thinking about ways to not fall of the wagon after my race, so this weeks’ Friday Five link up with Eat Pray Run, DC, You Signed Up For What and Mar on the Run has come at a perfect time. How to stay on track during the holidays!

Staying on Track

1) Yoga! My favorite yoga class meets on Wednesdays, and I haven’t been able to go because that’s when my half training group met. I’m excited to get back to the class after the race.

Yoga

2) The treadmill. I mentioned on Instagram how much I hate the treadmill. How does it make 2 miles feel like 8? But it’s a necessary evil for an Illinois resident who will not run outside if it is a million below zero. I did the first few months of training for my first half on a treadmill and I’m still here to tell the tale. (Barely)

3) 7 Minute Workout app. I mentioned before how much I like this app, but I tend to forget about it. I’ll have to work on remembering to use it. I know there are similar apps out there, so I’ll have to investigate those, too.

4) Keep the focus on good food. During the winter the last thing I want to eat is cold veggies. I need to work on finding food that is comforting in the winter, and still fuels my body with good things. However, there will still be cookies to eat and cocoa to drink, just with a side of some veggies.

5) Weight training. I like to do weight training at the gym with the fiancé. One, so I don’t drop the bench press bar on my head, and two because I’m kind of new to free weights and still don’t know what I’m doing. I used to avoid the free weight section like the plague (the men over there have biceps bigger than my head!), but I’m getting better provided I have an escort to tell me what to do. And it’s a fun opportunity to get to do something together, which is always a plus.

As a bonus item… setting a plan. I need to focus on actually DOING all these things. During the winter I never want to do any of the above wonderful things. I put it off for “one more day” and the next thing I know it has been 3 weeks since I did any sort of physical activity. Though trying to keep warm during polar vortex time has to add up to some sort of calorie burn.

What do you do to keep on track during the holidays?
Do you have any favorite work out apps? I need more! I like the 7 minute workout app like I said before, and my Fitbit app! Wanna be friends?

Race Recap: First Midwest Bank Half Marathon

I ran my first half marathon before I started blogging, but I’ve wanted to write a recap of it!  Considering my next race is this weekend,  I figured now was a good time to remember my first one!  The race was on a Sunday back in May. It was the First Midwest Bank Half Marathon.

FMWB

It was cold the morning of the race! Wait… I forgot some key things. *Rewind noise*

During the week leading up to the race, I was starting to feel kind of icky. That “oh crap. I feel like I could be getting sick but that soooo better not be happening to me” feeling. The days ticked by and I just felt meh. Then I woke up on Saturday morning. I was coughing. My nose was running. My whole body hurt.  And I had no voice!  It was pretty weird.  I could tell I was getting sick, but I was hoping it would hold off until after the race.  Nope!

After an emergency trip to Walgreens, I laid around most of the morning resting and feeling sorry for myself.  I would have liked to continue doing that, but I had to get all dolled up to go to a friend’s wedding shower.  It was a lot of fun! But the massive amounts of chatting (and wine) didn’t really help my sickness.  #worthit.

After the shower I drove to the hotel to meet my boyfriend and parents.  After setting out Flat Kat (which I had never done before… but I’d also never stayed at a hotel before a race) I realized I had no Garmin. NO GARMIN?!  Well boyfriend-of-the-year (now FIANCE!) drove back home, grabbed the Garmin and came back.  I got back to resting for a while.

After he returned with the once-forgotten Garmin, we headed off to pre-race day dinner… Pizza. And this is Chicago, so it had to be deepdish. Unfortunately the service was pretty slow, and I just kept getting more and more tired. After waiting for drinks… then waiting for pizza… and then waiting for the check… we finally got to head back to the hotel. Which ended up being back to the hotel via Walgreens so I could stock my FlipBelt with kleenex and cough drops. Awesome.

The morning of the race it was COLD. I’ve lived in the Midwest to know that it being May did not guarantee good weather, but 40s?! Brrrrr. While we were standing around in the cold (and by standing I mean they were standing and I had my head on a table wondering how I was going to run 13.1 miles when I could barely lift my head), my dad thought it was hilarious that they were selling beer at 6 am. Naturally he had to drink one 🙂

It was finally time to line up and take off!  Had I written this sooner than 6 months after, I might remember more details of the actual race.  I do remember that…

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  • The first landmark we passed was a Walgreens.  I wanted to stop and buy all-the-Day-Quil.
  • I kept my coat on.  Why oh why did I keep my coat on?
  • Hills.  I should have trained on more hills.
  • I went out to fast.  I always go out too fast, and regret it half way through.
  • I made some temporary friends… but after a while they slowly started speeding up with out me noticing.  Then I was going really to fast.
  • Getting tired.  Uh oh.
  • Half way! Turn around point!
  • YODA!  There is a man with a Yoda in a back pack.  Impressive.  (It was Star Wars Day… May 4th… May the 4th be With You… no?  Just me who is that dorky?  I was wearing a Star Wars shirt)
  • Oh yes, all the way back the way I just came.  Out and back course? Never again.
  • Hills.  Remember… more hills training next time.
  • Next time? Yeah… right!
  • Ouch.  All my joints hurt.  Still many, many miles to go.
  • Coat needs to come off.  Lets repin my bib to my shirt while running!
  • Ooops… dropped a pin.  That’s ok, still have three left.
  • I shouldn’t have done all my training on a gravel path and then expected to be able to run 13.1 on a road.
  • Oooo! I should run on the shoulder of the road!  That’s gravel!
  • No. No that won’t work.  Gravel paths are not the same as gravel shoulders.
  • 10 mile point!  Only a 5K to go.
  • Who ever says that is the devil.  5Ks are hard, too.
  • Walking walking walking. I like to walk.
  • Oh jeez.  I need to run or I will not make my 2:30 goal!
  • Ow. Running. Hurts.
  • So close…
  • Made it!
  • Ouch.  Crying.  Ouch.

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My official chip time was was 2:27:12!  My goal was 2:30!  Woo hoo!

I was pretty much a hopeless pile for the rest of the day.  But I was treated to Portillo’s as my post race feast!  And a nap.  Which I took with my race medal on.

Five days until half number two!  The countdown is on!

Treat Yourself Tuesday: The Best Treat Ever!

It’s been a while since I’ve linked up with Becky over Olives ‘n’ Wine and Treat Yourself Tuesday!  I’m never any good at remembering to take pictures, so these are some random snaps from over the past few weeks.

A few Fridays ago at work I decided I earned a treat in the form of this delicious drink.  All that sugar, it’s definitely a few and far between treat 🙂

Sanpell

That same night, the boyfriend and I went for a walk at a local arboretum and were treated to this beautiful sunset.

mortonI was then treated by the boyfriend fiance to the best surprise EVER.  Don’t mind the terrible picture… it was dark and selfies are hard when you’re SO EXCITED.  I’ve been dating this amazing man for nearly four and a half years, and I could not be more happy!

surprise

All this excitement was followed by celebratory pizza! And beer! And wine! And ice cream!  (And followed the next morning by a rough 12 mile run…)

pizza

Since that wonderful evening?  I’ve been all-the-wedding-things! Somewhere in between my dream wedding and reality 🙂

One dream? The Palmer House Chicago.  This building is just gorgeous.  Did you know that brownies were invented at the Palmer House?  Mrs. Palmer requested a dessert for a group of ladies during the Chicago World’s Fair and the Palmer House chefs came up with a brownie.  See?  It’s a great place.

PalmerHouse

Another dream?  The Chicago Cultural Center.  This dome?  Amazing.

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And with that, I’m back to day dreaming.  I’ll come back to reality… sometime… maybe 🙂

What is your fantasy wedding location?