Author Archives: Carrie

Friday Funk?!

It’s Friday…I feel like I should be jumping for joy. But for some reason I feel this sense of dread/sadness/blah creeping over me. What gives?!

I feel like I go through these days rather often, and I’m not sure how to stop it. There are times that I feel SUPER AWESOME and ready to take on the world. I see my life in a really positive light and feel grateful and hopeful and excited. But then there are other moments and days, like today, where I just can’t shake the cloud. I can’t even really pinpoint what it is that makes me feel this way. Is it the overcast weather? The fact that I am frustrated by my job? That I don’t have any close friends in the area? That my family is far away? That the litter box needs changing, the bathroom needs scrubbing and I haven’t showered yet today?

I wish I knew what it was that was making me feel this reoccurring funk. I would nip it in the bud and move on with my life. Life is too short to feel this way on a regular basis. How do I maximize the awesome moments? How can I start LIVING my life with a perpetual sense of YAHOOAWESOMERAINBOWS?!

I turn 29 in a few weeks and want to put the funk behind me for good. It’s time to figure it out once and for all!

The Happy Emptiness.
The Happy.
The Funk Cloud.
The Funk Cloud.

Happiness please.

Advertisements

2013: The First Six Months

Oh geez, where do I even begin? The first half of 2013 was challenging at best, rough (and almost unbearable) at worst. 2013 is looking like it’s going to be one of my most challenging years ever.

Obviously updating this blog has taken a (far off, distant) back seat, but I’d like to continue to update it randomly. It’s eye-opening to look back at my own life in such detail, and I hope many years down the road I’ll look back at 2013 and barely remember is as being so challenging. So here’s where we are…

The Good.

Despite some serious frustrations, the first half of the year has had some highlights. Unfortunately many of these highlights are coupled with some major bummers.

  • Brian got a job in NJ and started working there in February. We were officially reunited, even though we were living under his parent’s roof.
  • We sold our house in VA in 8 days.
  • I achieved some major accomplishments in my new job and have solidified myself has a valuable member of the organization.
  • I started going to CrossFit consistently and totally fell in love. It’s probably the one thing that kept me mostly sane these past few months. I am still a newbie, but the variety and challenge kept me going. I have gone consistently 3 times a week for about 6 months. I also REALLY love the atmosphere of the box I joined.
  • We bought a house and have recently moved in. This is a “good” spot because, yay, independent living. But this also falls into the ugly category…we’ll get there.
  • I’ve enjoyed getting to spend more time with family and exploring a new city. Philly is a pretty cool place.

Happy photos

SoldSOLD (and BOUGHT).

CrossFit HandsMy super attractive CrossFit hands

The Bad.

  • One of the first things I tackled in my new job was organizing and managing a large fundraising event. I am no stranger to event management, but it was an incredibly frustrating situation, since I essentially had to act as the race director, logistics manager, communications team, PR director, sponsorship manager, volunteer recruiter, and a partridge in a pear tree. Ultimately my job is to raise funds for my organization, but the logistical side of managing a successful, high-quality event greatly interfered with my ability to develop sponsors or market this race adequately. The event was successful and exceeded budget, but I seriously resented the whole thing. I do NOT want to be a race director, and that’s what this was. I had several months of extreme stress and frustration.
  • While we managed to sell our VA house in just 8 little days, the process ended up being a HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS. We got a great offer and happily accepted, but then one of the buyers got his identity stolen and it pushed our closing back a whole month. It was ridiculous. So we ended up having to pay another whole mortgage payment. And the buyers and their agent turned out to be total d-bags, and were mad at us for having the water turned off on the original closing date. I mean come on people. We were dragged along and cancelled all the utilities, etc (not the insurance!) with the expectation that the house would close before it did. They also complained about all kinds of little repairs, etc. The house was built in 1920, it’s not perfect. Whatever it’s over.
  • Both Brian and I were commuting 1+hrs a day to our respective jobs. Thankfully I was able to work from home quite often, but the commuting got really old, really fast. It took me a solid 5 months to figure out that I should probably just work until 6 or 7 at night vs. attempting to leave anywhere around 5. And I also discovered Audible…bless that app.
  • The buying process for our new place WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD RIDICULOUS as well. It was so easy the first time around, that it was laughable the amount of issues we had on both the selling and buying ends. We literally were not cleared to close until TEN MINUTES before our scheduled closing time. I mean come on people!!
  • I officially lived with my in-laws for 7 months, 2 weeks and 1 day (not that I was counting). It had its benefits, but we were SO ready to gtfo of dodge if you know what I mean.

Annoying Photos.

PackingPacking sucks.

CommuteCommuting sucks. And this was 7pm.

The Ugly.

  • We bought our new house in a community about 30 minutes North of Philly. The idea was to give Brian a much easier commute (30-40 min vs. 1-1.5 hrs). And bonus for the new house being 20 minutes from my office (even though I mostly work from home). We moved in about a week ago and it’s been great so far…
  • So why is this ugly? Well. Brian found out yesterday that his entire department is being outsourced. It’s a somewhat dramatic thing, since they literally just decided to bring the department in-house (about a year ago), and that’s why Brian was hired. But thanks to some super shady stuff, the powers that be have decided that they want to outsource the department (and not like oversees outsourcing…like hiring another company to do a particular job). It’s a major, major blow since we bought this house to make his commute to work easier.
  • We are about 1 hour away from the rest of the family, all in an effort to ease commuting issues, and now we don’t know where Brian will end up.
  • And the obvious super ugly…we’re back to square one on the job hunt. It’s kind of surreal, and really, really, really sucky timing. He’ll work through August 30th and then he’s on his own. The whole situation is super pissed-off-worthy. Thankfully B’s made some great connections in his short time there, and he has some great people helping him out. Fingers crossed for a FAST AND EASY hunt. And that’s saying a lot in this job economy. I don’t think the reality of this situation has really hit us. We won’t really hit panic mode until the end of the year, since that’s about as far as the “Stay-on-until-August” payout will last us.

And in more recent news, our AC broke exactly 1 week into living in the new place, in the middle of an insane heat wave. It’s been quite uncomfortable, especially since all of this happened exactly at the same time as the job craziness. Can we get a break?!

So here we are. In a new house, in a new town, an hour from family, with no friends, and one less job than we started with. It’s pretty rough to be honest. I like to think I’m a generally positive person, but this move has been more frustrating and challenging than anything. I’m still kind of waiting for the good stuff to outweigh the bad. And with that, a picture dump of some bright spots from these past few months.

Waffle toungeSomeone is always blissfully happy.

PhillyLove the city.

FamCuzReunited with family.

Happy pupShe flies!

2013 Here We Come

How is it already 5 days into the New Year??

The past two years I’ve had some pretty solid new year’s goals (not so much resolutions…those are too harsh), and I attained both of them. In 2011 I decided I wanted to run 11 races. In 2012 I decided I wanted to run a marathon. Done and done, and I loved these goals!

So where does that leave me in 2013? Should I try for 13 races? Attempt a PR? Aim for something totally unrelated to running? I’m still kind of up in the air about what I want 2013 to look like, so goal setting is rather challenging. But here are a few ideas…

  • Focus on strength training. I’m not sure how well this goal will work out, since I do MUCH better with solid, concrete goals. This might be too abstract. But I really want to get into some form of exercise that focuses on strength. I’ve tried CrossFit (I’m still a little nervous about my ability to stick to it..) and love BodyPump. Sadly the gym I’m currently a member of doesn’t offer classes, but I don’t want to join a fancy gym until we know where we’ll be living permanently.
  • Take a pre-natal vitamin. Babies are still in the decent future for us, but I’d like to start getting my body in tip-top shape for when it does happen. I’ll be 29 in September, so we’ve started to talk about a serious time line. It makes me super excited, nervous and giddy all at once. I’m ALMOST ready for that next part of our life, but still want a bit more time to enjoy the newlywed phase.
  • Set aside serious $ in the baby fund. I’ve heard through the grapevine that babes are expensive little money suckers, so we’d like to get a decent chunk of change set aside. Even if that means sucking it up for a few months living with the in-laws. It’d be great to not have a housing payment for a few months!!
  • Go on a trip. Not just a vacation. I want to see and experience new things…not just sit around by a pool. While I love that, and certainly need it every now and then, I want to go somewhere awesome with Brian. This might conflict directly with the “save more $ for baby” thing…
  • Quit buying cheap clothing that I sort of like but isn’t actually great for my body and turns to crap quickly. I’m 28. It’s time to get my act together in terms of my wardrobe. I’m no longer in the market for stuff from Forever 21. I love a good deal, but I need to stop wasting $ on lots of cheap stuff, and invest in one or two pieces every now and then.
  • Sell a house, buy a house, and settle in Philly. God this needs to happen sooner rather than later!!
  • And in the running world…I want to get another sub 2 half marathon, and PR in the 10k.
  • I also want to learn how to cook at least 3 new dishes this year. Yes, I have low expectations, but this is probably all I can realistically handle. And I want to learn to cook these dishes WELL and consistently.

ImageI’m excited about 2013!!

Goodbye 2012!

2012, you’ve been good to me.

I loved that I managed to blog somewhat spontaneously throughout 2012. It’s great to re-read my memories, accomplishments, troubles, good times, bad times, milestones…all that jazz. When I think about 2012, I think of change.

It was my first full year as a married woman (gosh I sound old).

Image

It was the year of running PRs in the 5k, 5 miler and half marathon.

Image

Image

It was the year I ran my first (and what is sure to be my only) marathon.

Image

Image

It was the year our family grew by one Waffle.

Image

It’s also the year I started grad school, made a big career move, made a big LIFE move, started to live with my in-laws in the crazy transition stage, discovered my love for lululemon and hot yoga, realized positivity will take me places, became confident in my abilities in the workplace, and continued to appreciate my family more and more. And, in all that squishy stuff, I had some awesome nights out with friends, kicked ass with my volleyball team, traveled to a few new places, laughed endlessly with my husband, drank wine by the fire pit on numerous occasions, snuggled with my crazy animal family, and still didn’t learn how to cook. All in in, 2012 was a bangin’ year. And, if I can have my way, 2013 will be even more awesome.

Image

Hey world, you’re my oyster.

A Move in the Right Direction

YAHOO! The hubs has an interview in the Philly area!! Perhaps the days of our long distance marriage are finally numbered…

Next up, packing up our entire house as quickly as possible, so we can get that baby on the market. I am REALLY hoping it sells quickly (all signs point to yes, thank goodness) once we get it on the market. Then we can hunker down at the in-laws for a month or two to save some $$, and then FINALLY start house hunting and get settled. I really hope all of this happens by April or May. And I really hope I don’t look back on that statement and tsk tsk tsk at my incredible naivety.

Image

Random Waffle photo. Because she’s cute.

In other news, I have a FINAL project due on freaking Christmas Eve. Because I’m in a completely online program, it’s accelerated and set up a bit differently. We ALWAYS have a final paper or project due on the last Monday of the 9 week term. And that last Monday just so happens to be Christmas Eve. I am pretty much the worst procrastinator ever, but I’m really hoping I can just get that thing done early.

Image

I’d like to experience Christmas joy on Christmas Eve.

Only 2 days of work, a long drive to Richmond and Raleigh and this damn project stand between me and a solid 10 days off from work. Time to get crackin’!

Too Many Cookies

I definitely just ate a foggy, dreary, sad, blah, long day’s worth of Christmas cookies. I worked from home today, which is a great perk of a flexible job. I love not having to commute an HOUR each way if I can help it, and it’s nice to really tackle all those computer tasks that always seem to build. However, I am NOT a fan of working at home when the neighborhood is covered in a lingering, dark fog until 2pm. It was SO dreary.

Image

My view…dark and blah. Until 2 freaking PM!

No matter what I did today, I just kept getting sad. It was nice to have work as a distraction, but it just felt like the dreary fog was taking over my mind. I think I’m handling this crazy time in my life pretty well, but sometimes it’s hard to maintain constant positivity. I miss my little family. I miss having a routine. I miss having my own space. I know my in-laws are family, but it’s hard not being in charge of my own home, or doing things the way I do them, without having to constantly worry about how someone else perceives them. I know I’m SO LUCKY to have such a great family, but this situation is still really tough.

Tomorrow I’ve got meetings in Philly, so I’ll be out and about, which I think will be great. And the sun is supposed to be shining. I also plan to squeeze in a run if I can, since I know it will help boost my spirits. I’ve just got to keep telling myself that all this change is worth it!

Rock and Roll VA Beach Half Marathon

I also like to think of this as the WORST race experience ever. My performance wasn’t terrible, all things considered,  but I know I could have squeaked out another sub-2 considering my training. Anyways…the RNR VA Beach race actually took place over Labor Day weekend (so yeah…in September…3 months ago), but I think it’s worth recapping, especially since it played a roll in my training for the full.

I was pumped about the race because it was my first RNR race, and I had always wanted to run one. I’ve heard mixed things about RNR, that they’re kind of cookie-cutter-big-box type races, but I LOVE a race with a big crowd and a lot of support just as much as I love a small-I-can-place-in-my-age-group race (and that has to be SMALL for that to happen). I was planning to run the race with one of my Marathon Training Team (MTT) buds, Katie, since she and I both hoped for sub-2s. And my good friend Meredith was also running, despite not having much training. Just a fun run for her.

Meredith and I went to the expo together on Saturday and had a grand ole time looking around. We got TONS of free samples of stuff (and about 50 fortune cookies, thanks to PF Chang’s being a sponsor). I also loved the Brooks area (they’re the presenting sponsor), especially since they had my beloved Pure Cadence shoes on a very deserving pedestal.

Image

Read to ROCK.

Image

Pure beauty. I actually ended up buying ANOTHER pair of Pure Cadence at the expo…the blue/green pair was on ridiculous sale in my size, and I couldn’t pass them up. I love those shoes.

Image

Perfect.

Image

Free PEAS! Yum. And yes, I think it’s fair to say I’m often motivated by wine.

Image

I wish I ran a 2:03…

So after the expo we went back to our hotel, which was actually quite far from the starting line. It was almost impossible to find a room in VA Beach that weekend that wasn’t insanely expensive (like $250+ per night for a CRAPPY little place) or that required a 3 night minimum (because of the holiday weekend). But we were lucky to find the VA Beach Hotel and Conference Center, which is actually on the sound side of the water (I think it’s a sound??). It was a nice place on the waterfront, reasonably priced, and only about 15 minutes from the main strip of VA Beach.

The next morning we got up bright and early and very quickly got the fear of God in our eyes when we saw this…

ImageThis pic was taken right after the race, but it was 97% humidity the entire race too.

The humidity was out of control. When we woke up it was somewhere close to 92% humidity already, and in the high 70s. I knew at that moment that I was probably in trouble, despite having trained in the VA humidity for several months already. Running in the humidity is the WORST…there are only so many layers you can reasonably take off. At least in the bitter cold you can bundle up.

Bri dropped us off near the start with enough time for us to run into McDonald’s for a last minute bathroom stop. Then Meredith and I split ways to find our respective corrals and I met up with Katie.

Image

Me and Meredith. Scared but smiling. And it looks like I have a massive sock bun in my hair, but that’s actually just a tree.

The race started pretty normally and uneventfully. Katie and I managed to stay together for the first 3-4 miles, and were pacing conservatively so we didn’t burn out at the end of the race. We got separated at a water stop, and I waved for her to go ahead. I knew by mile 4 that a sub-2 was NOT going to happen unless I planned to pass out or die along the way, so I told myself to just keep pushing through and play each mile by ear.

By mile 8 I was already completely soaking wet with sweat. I had no idea my body was capable of such levels of sweat. It was gross. And I made sure I stopped at EVERY water stop (just for a short moment) to grab a cup of water to dump on my head and a cup of water to drink. I also drank Gatorade at every other stop. I figured it was foolish to pass up water in conditions like this.

Image

The race actually had a relay portion, so also around mile 8 there were a whole bunch of people who got to STOP and a whole bunch of people who got to start on fresh legs and only had 5 miles to do. This was a major downer for me and I really resented those people. The finish seemed SO far away and I was already feeling horribly tired.

I honestly have no idea how I managed to run the majority of the race. According to my Garmin, my moving time was actually pretty decent, somewhere in the 9:20s. The stopping at water stops sucked my time down quite a bit,  but I don’t think I would have been able to finish without them.

Around mile 10 I started to get an INSANE pain in my left foot. Like excruciating. The arch of my foot was stabbing me with pain and I was limping when I walked through the water stops. It was scary and horrible. However, I told myself to just keep going, and my foot actually felt BETTER when I was running. It started flaring up again around mile 12, but by that point I was pushing myself with my mind more than my body.

The race finishes on the VA Beach board walk which is nice and flat, but also cruel. You can SEE the finish line arch from just about a mile away, and it seems SO CLOSE. But my Garmin told me that I still had a ways to go, so I just put my head down and moved forward. I did manage to snap a happy photo though. This is the biggest BS smile I’ve ever given. I was hating life at that point…

Image

I ended up finishing in 2:07:32, which I think is pretty good all things considered. I threw the sub-2 dreams out the door early, and just focused on finishing. I was still faster than my first half marathon, so I’ll take that.

After crossing the finish line I knew my foot was in trouble. I couldn’t walk and it was SO painful. It felt very plantar fasciitis-esque. I got a bag of ice from the medical tent and then attempted to find Bri. When I did find him he took all my post-race stuff and we found a place to hang out while we waited for Meredith. Unfortunately we had to wait on the beach and I didn’t want to sit down…beach+soaking wet = incredible amounts of sand sticking everywhere. I ended up standing for a solid hour while we waited for Meredith. Turns out she also had incredible pain in her calves and could barely move forward. Poor thing!! But she did it!

ImageMeredith in pain.

On our way back to the hotel I couldn’t walk without a limp, and I felt like puking. It was horrible. The heat drained me of all energy and I was seriously worried about the foot. We went out to eat later and I couldn’t put any weight on the foot.

ImageHappy to be done, and totally favoring the left foot. Also, no idea why the heck I decided to wear jeans?? It was sweltering. But the race shirts are awesome.

All in all, I’d say the race was a good experience. I NEVER want to run it again for fear of the same terrible conditions, but at least the course was flat. I thought it was well managed and would have been a great race if the weather wasn’t so awful. Now I kind of want to run the Shamrock Half, also in VA Beach, but in MARCH, so the weather may actually cooperate.

Half marathon #4, success!

Miss this guy.

I’m currently living 4 hours away from my husband. It’s been this way for almost a month, and it’s tough.

When I got the job in Philly it was a no-brainer that we would move. We’ve always wanted to raise a family here, but never had the right reason to leave. And now, that reason is here. It’s always seemed like such a dream, such a far off wish, that I never really thought about what it would be like. Bri couldn’t up and leave as quickly as we’d hoped since he was in the middle of a huge project at work. It just wouldn’t be right for him to quit like that, and we didn’t want to lose his salary when he didn’t have something else lined up in Philly.

So now he’s on a perpetual job hunt while I live with his parents up in PA. It’s SO great to have a free place to live while we get things figured out, but it is tough. I miss him dearly. It’s weird how much you miss someone when you’re suddenly taken away, even if you know it’s only temporary. And we’re still “newlyweds” to boot. We should be living up this time of our lives together.

The plan at this point is for me to go on a crazy packing spree in our Richmond house in the week between Christmas and NYE (I have the week off from work, thank God). We’ll get it ready to list in early February, so it HOPEFULLY sells first thing in the spring. Bri will move up to Philly as soon as the house sells, or he gets a job up here, whichever happens first. I’m going balls to the walls getting that house ready to sell, because at least I have SOME control over that.

If we do sell and he hasn’t found something up here yet, we’ll live with his parents until he’s firmly on his feel. Luckily he works in a field that is in high demand, so we’re hoping the process isn’t too painful…

In the mean time, I’m thankful that I miss him like I do. It solidifies my love for him, and the fact that he really is my best friend (soooo sickeningly sappy, but true, and I don’t want to ever forget it). These next weeks and months are going to be HARD (holy hell I’m in a brand new city, in a new job, living with the in-laws, don’t know my way around, am trying to adjust, am taking grad school classes, am trying to stay in good running shape, and am doing it all without my husband), but I know it will all be awesome in the end…

Image

Yikes…

Oh wow it’s been 6 months. But I needed those 6 months. And boy, oh boy, have things changed. Maybe I’ll start posting more regularly, maybe not. But sometimes I just feel the need to write. So here I am.

In the past 6 months I…

  • Ran a marathon (holy hell that sucked)
  • Got a new job (bittersweet awesomeness)
  • Moved to PHILLY
  • Celebrated my 1 year wedding anniversary
  • Learned a LOT about what’s important to me
  • Have gotten very excited about the future
  • Tried CrossFit for the first time
  • Am currently in a long distance marriage

Perhaps I’ll write more on these topics when the mood strikes…there’s a lot to maintain for posterity’s sake!

The Face of Freedom

Obviously this photo deserves its own post. Waffle, we love you. Really, really love you.