Saturday, April 27, 2013

What else is new

I chopped all my hair off  last summer & it has stuck.

I got to explore the Daffodil Trail, part of the Summit County Metropark system. 40,000 in bloom!

 I spent a week in Staunton, Virginia with my Shakespeare class. I spent my time exploring a cemetery that has been in use since 1840

 and running the historic streets in search of pre-20th century architecture.

When deciding where to travel, aside from museums, architecture and old cemeteries top the list

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The running community

It's been a long time since I posted. I am a different person now than I was when I blogged regularly, and I am almost unrecognizable from the person I was 3 years ago when I started this blog. Back then, my husband was deployed and I needed an outlet. Blogging fulfilled that, and I absolutely love the community I've found in it.

But then, my lifestyle changed and I spent WAY less time on the computer. When M left for Iraq, I was unhappy. It had only been a short time since the death of my Mom and I handled it horribly. I got depressed, my anxiety spiraled out of control and I developed agoraphobia. I didn't have a great support system then, as I don't have much family, so it was up to me to change something. And I did. And I'm very proud of that, and who I am now.

I started out walking with my dogs. I have a bunch of them, so that kept me busy. Then I started hiking every day. It proved to be the thing that keeps me sane. After 2 years of hiking, 60 lbs lost and a complete mental reboot, I began to run.

The first race I ever ran was The Color Run just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I ran it with some of my favorite people on this planet and I had a blast doing it. That's me #5249 and my best friend # 5250. (He has also lost an unreal amount of weight, 100 lbs!) we trained together, we ran together, and we celebrated life together afterward. 

This is us 2 months later, right after we finished the Warrior Dash. We trained for it for months, and it was a bit of a science experiment to see how awesome we could become! 

These are my favorites. 2 friends, (me) and my wonderful husband. 

All of us have been through so much hardship, so many losses, and so much sadness. But we do what we can, no matter what it takes to look on the bright side of things, and that has changed my life too. After 2 years of running, it's a huge part of who I am and in a way, it defines me. To be a good runner, you have to commit, you have to be dedicated and it becomes a lifestyle. The point of my "comeback post" is to show how running and the community involved in it is such a miraculously positive thing. 

You can easily scroll back through my archives and see how I looked before. I was miserable and had no confidence and nothing to contribute to the world. I was in a fog and couldn't have been any more lost.

 Running saved me. When I heard the news of the attack at the Boston Marathon yesterday, it broke my heart. This is MY community. This is my sport. Running Boston is a dream, and you have to be elite to even qualify. People dedicate their lives to training for it for years. When I  heard of the shrapnel and how it was low to the ground... some of those runners, who define themselves as runners, will never run again. And that to me is as large a loss as I can imagine.

Every race that I have ever seen has an entry fee, of which, a sizable chunk goes to charity. That's one of the reasons I run, to give back in a real, and healthy way. My heart is broken for Boston and our running community. But as I have learned to do, I remain optimistic. The bad in the world will never defeat the good.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

11 random things...

from Krista over at Saturated Canary

Some Questions:
There are five rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you've tagged them.

11 Randoms

1. This is a picture I took yesterday. I feel like an idiot taking pics of myself, but I wanted to document my new haircut :)

2. I'm FB chatting with my brother. He travels every week for work and I don't get to see him often

3. I am OCD about random things. Legitimately OCD. My dad is too! But different random things lol

4. All I want to do right now is bundle up and go hiking

5. I love to cook. I cook elaborate meals for dinner almost every single day. I am pretty great at it, but I started learning at 3, so I have had lots of practice

6. I have a habit of reading 2-3 books at a time. I read about a book a day, everyday

7. It's bright and sunny outside right now. It's also freezing out

8. I am 7 years younger than my husband.

9. I only listen to sad music. I can't freaking stand happy songs at all haha! But I am definitely a happy person

10. Amish country is one of my favorite places to waste time

11. I plan my travels around whether or not there will be cool museums to visit, which is probably not for everyone, but my hubby is a good sport!

1. Favorite nail color?
I have a vivid turquoise that I'm into right now

2. Pink or RED lipstick?...or are you a gloss kinda gal?
I don't wear lipstick often but when I do I wear candy apple red

3. Where would you like to go if you could go anywhere on Earth?
I am dying to go to Paris

4. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I'm a night owl, always have been

5. Are you really chatty or super quiet? Or maybe somewhere in between??
In between, I'll talk to anybody, but I don't really strike up convos

6. What is one thing you want to accomplish this year?
This year, I've already accomplished so much!

7. What is your best talent/gift?
Trivia. I am the king of random trivia

8. Do you have a tattoo?
I have 3 tattoos. An Irish one on my back, my last name on one ankle, and another small one on my other ankle

9. What is one thing you'd like to learn more about?
Business. I'd like to open a brick and mortar store in the next few years.

10. You're alter ego would be a _______. (think occupation:)
Fighter pilot, without a doubt! That is the most badass thing I can think of, and I'm a little obsessed with Top Gun

11. What three people (past or present) would you like to meet?
I never got to meet my dad's Mom, so she is my #1. #2 would be the architect of my favorite house and #3 I'd like to meet James Cagney :)

My Questions for You:
1. What city did you grow up in?
2. What is the oldest item of clothing you own?
3. What is your favorite movie, and why?
4. When did you begin blogging?
5. What are your lesser know hobbies/talents?
6. What kind of car do you drive? Do you like it?
7. If you could change any 1 thing in your life, no matter how big, what would it be?
8. What is your favorite city?
9. What is your favorite meal to eat?
10. Have any of your relatives (ancestor-present day) served in the military?
11. What are you most looking forward to in 2012?

I keep my blog pretty vague/anon so I thought I'd share some randoms :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

These days

So far, this year is treating me quite well. I have a new job that I really like. I am happy with so many opportunities I have found lately! Hawk got a new job he really wanted and we're hoping to put our house on the market within the next 18 months. I can't wait to find our forever house and say goodbye to our little first house :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

The First Night of 2012

On NYE we went to an event called First Night. You buy a button to wear which is your ticket in to various events all night. Last year was our first visit and we LOVED it! I am a big fan of live music, museums and architecture, so it was made for me. Some highlights were:

Lisa & Heather Malyuk are sisters and phenomenal musicians. They play modern, celtic, folky stuff, LOVE them!
I was so excited to see them perform in our local Art Museum lobby! It's a pretty space.

The next performance we saw was in the gorgeous ballroom of a building called Greystone Hall. It was built in 1917, and the architecture is breathtaking

This year there were horse drawn carriage rides. This was extremely popular, and we did not want to wait in line for 1 1/2 hrs, so we skipped it.

we explored the Civic Theater which is my favorite building in the city. I sang here with choirs years ago, and my high school graduation was also held here!
there was a "make-your-own" mask craft, which we did for the 2nd yr

this made me smile the most. My Grandmother used to work in this building!

and finally we saw opera performances in the Actor's Summit which is actually on the top floor of the building the ballroom is in.

We had an absolutely wonderful end to a completely awful year!

Thank you for waring so we do not need to war

I'm a couple weeks behind, what else is new?

As you may or may not know, I have an 8 year old step-daughter. She is in 3rd grade at a great little school. About a week before Christmas, a big yellow envelope arrived in the mail, addressed to my husband. When we opened it, we discovered that it was from the guidance counselor at my step-daughter's school, this is what HER card said:

and this is what was inside:

There are 30 of them! The kids wrote, colored and decorated these cards for parents of students that are in the military. My husband and I were completely blown away. Here is a small sample of the insides :)

but THIS one is my favorite. This one is so innocent but meaningful to me. This kid knows exactly why my husband and so many others do what they do, even if he doesn't really understand. The core reason why they serve is in hopes that future generations don't have to.

we sat and read every single card. It was a highlight of our holiday season!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Not your average New Year's blog post

2012 will be a pivotal year for me. Well, they all are, aren't they? But 2011 was the first year I ever truly felt like an adult. It was not marred by a deployment or the death of anyone close to me. It also was one of my hardest years.

Reintegration after a deployment takes so much more time than you would ever expect.

It was a hard year, because I felt unproductive and 1/4 life-crisisy all year long. But next year (my 26th) I have to make some decisions. And decisions will also be made by others that affect me too.

I'm completely changing the course of my education. I hate that I'm STILL IN SCHOOL, but I did take a lot of time off to deal with life. I am a different person than I was 1 year ago today. And a better person, I can say without doubt.

I celebrated one year of marriage this October. I turned 25! I reached my goal weight through commitment and hard work. No shortcuts. I had heartbroken days and days I didn't want to end.
I don't make resolutions. But I do make goals, because they keep me on track. They keep me happy.

One of my goals for next year is to just let go. My past weighs me down, as I'm sure is normal when you lose your mom at such a young age. I was a child much longer than I've been an adult, yet, so most of my history is colored by memories of someone I love that I no longer have. And you know, she'd be SO "GET ON WITH YOUR LIFE!"

I think the biggest challenge for me this year has been figuring out who the hell I am and how to allow myself the room to grow into who I'm meant to be. Which I'm doing. And I feel more Me everyday.

So, 2012;
  • Be more present
  • Focus on happiness
  • Be more fearless
Anything that makes me happier and makes me feel more alive is an investment in myself.