“American” Thanksgiving, where pilgrims ate marshmallows

Happy early Thanksgiving!

Dinner was sooo good!  I wrote about all the recipes I was prepping a couple nights ago, and let me tell you the prep work made tonight so easy!  I woke up early this morning to stuff the herb paste into the turkey skin, let it stay wrapped up in the fridge all day, and had hardly any work to do tonight.  My consultant friends showed up, we chatted in the kitchen, they commented on how lovely the dining room looked, and they helped make the fire.  AND, maybe most importantly I can cross off “Make s’mores in a fireplace” off my List of Things to do Before I Die!

This girl loves "dat cat" maybe more than I do. I think she Instagrammed about 3 pictures of him and I saw him on Facebook too.

This girl loves “dat cat” maybe more than I do. I think she Instagrammed about 3 pictures of him and I saw him on Facebook too.

I put CB to work on making fire.  He taught me a much better log placement to start the fire than I had been doing.

I put CB to work on making fire. He taught me a much better log placement to start the fire than I had been doing.

My turkey!  Doing just turkey breasts was awesome and the platter came out lovely.

My turkey! Doing just turkey breasts was awesome and the platter came out lovely.

This picture does not even do these bad boys justice.  The brown butter, hazelnut green beans were delicious!

This picture does not even do these bad boys justice. The brown butter, hazelnut green beans were delicious!

Finished cheesecake - pronounced a hit by all.

Finished cheesecake – pronounced a hit by all.

...and then all had a good night... watching Elf.

…and then all had a good night… watching Elf…

...and making s'mores.

…and making s’mores.

I’m sitting here very happy this evening.  I love a lovely table, delicious food, happy guests, and s’mores.  I’m so fortunate I’ve met this group.  I’m reminded of something I heard at the OD Conference in my Mindfulness in the Organization session.  Dr. Brendel said something along the lines of – Imagine all the things that had to happen to get you in this room.  When you think about how many things had to happen so that this group of people are together in this time and space – it’s really too much to wrap your mind around.  How many choices made, roads not taken, missed connections, dreams chased, hopes dashed… This group of five people from all over the country all in my house enjoying a very comfortable evening – what are the chances?

Good night, dear friends.

 

Blog stats.

I don’t spend much (any) time trying to drive new traffic to this blog.   I know what my average daily traffic is, I know what terms they search for to get here (primarily Whole30, glitter shoes, and Cinderella running costume) and I know what they click on.

Anytime there’s deviation from the norm – I know somehow I’ve hit somewhere else in the Interwebs.  The day  one of my food photos ended up on the San Francisco Wedding Magazine page.  Just a few weeks ago I was getting a load of traffic coming from Facebook.  This is odd because I don’t publish the blog to Facebook.  Turns out the folks at Hot Chicken Takeover had run across the blog (a Google news alert I’m sure led them there) and they were so happy with the reference to Friday Night Lights that they posted the blog post to their facebook page.  I had over 180 views that day.  That’s like, 5x my usual.

Today I noticed that people were linking to my blog from LinkedIn.  I had a small panicked moment.  Please don’t ever have let me put this blog address on my LinkedIn page.  I searched it… no, not there.  How are they getting here?  I got an email then from someone I met at the recent ODN Conference, the one I wrote about here.  She mentioned that she and her colleagues really enjoyed my blog post on the event.  I traced my way back through their LinkedIn profiles until I found out how this was happening…  and it was awesome.

The Fantastic Brit I met at the poster session had run across the blog entry (I assume Google news alerts is again to blame).  And he wrote the following on his LinkedIn page with a link to the blog post…

“People DO remember what you say if you make them feel

I have just returned from an Organisational Development Network Conference in the US. I had a poster presentation sharing my and JCA’s work with the Environment Agency and evidence of how applied EI delivers ‘sticky change’. I really enjoyed meeting great people at this informal event, wine was flowing and aiding mutual learning.

The following blog was posted by an ODN conference member called Sarah who had spent some time talking with me about our work: blog post. Please do check out Sarah’s blog: it’s a great piece on the conference and there is some funny and much appreciated feedback there about me (4th para, though I’m not sure I lay claim to all the occasional swear words in the blog! – in my defence all used to illustrate a point).

My learning? : if you harness the power of emotion (enthusiasm in my case) then people will definitely remember what you say!”

I’m quite glad to know that he knows my enthusiasm for our conversation and his work was sincere and memorable.  I’m glad there was a connection made.

And if you’re new here – Hey!  Don’t mind the crazy, and enjoy the pictures of food.

Sarah vs. the Weekend – Grandparent edition

  • Some of my favorite people in the whole world are my mother’s parents.  They may have been the hardest part of leaving St. Louis.  They’re getting to the age where you know they won’t be around forever.  Grandma is the sweetest and really wanted to see my house, so mom drove them up for the weekend.  I was told to have a list of “projects” that Grandpa could supervise.  Grandpa isn’t so mobile any longer, but he doesn’t realize that all the time.  So, if I had projects for him that he could talk me through, or give advice on, we’d be okay.  Sarah vs. missing the grandparents…winner: Me!  Hand delivered grandparents for the weekend who finally get to see my house!
  • We wasted no time.  The first thing I had them do is simply cut my new fireplace grate out of 10 layers of cardboard.  My sister gave me a wayfair.com giftcard for my birthday and I knew exactly what to do with it – buy fireplace accessories.  I’m so excited to use my fireplace this fall and winter, but not before I get a screen.  Safety first.  The screen was packaged so well it would have been protected in a major disaster.  I bought the screen in anticipation of the living room remodel I want to do next spring.  Meaning, it doesn’t match the current decor (not that there’s a lot of “decor” in this room right now, but it’s the first piece I have for the room.  Sarah vs. fire safety… winner: Atmosphere.  I have a warm (get it!), happy feeling thinking of the fires during the holiday season, making s’mores in the fire, decorating the Christmas tree with it crackling in the background… I feel like a grown up having a fireplace. 
Gold/bronze geometric screen

Gold/bronze geometric screen

  • Friday night was Halloween and we wanted to check in on Baby Avery in her first Halloween costume.  Emilie made some time to FaceTime with us and that delighted the Grandparents.  Grandpa is always so impressed with technology.  Seeing Emilie in real time on the laptop was almost more than he could handle.  Sarah vs. Halloween….winner: tie between seeing Grandpa react to FaceTime and seeing my adorbs god-daughter in her cow costume.  
Look at this kid!!!

Look at this kid!!!

(Adorable site story about baby Ave.  Em says she is just the worst sleeper later, waking up often.  Emilie googled some reasons why babies might suddenly become terrible sleepers.  One of the reasons is that if they are working on a new skill, they can get so overwhelmed with wanting to master it they would keep themselves up.  Em has said that she is trying to stand so hard lately.  Pulls herself up on anything.  And in her crib she keeps doing it, then falls and bangs her head on the crib.  Talking to Em earlier she says they see it on the baby monitor, within a second of her being awake, before her eyes are even open, she’s trying to pull herself up.  Em says, “How long will this take?  How long until you learn to stand?”  How funny is that?  Babies being so dedicated to mastering a new skill they keep themselves awake.  Babies are funny.  Figure it out, Ave Fae!)

  • I met mom and the grandparents at Lowe’s Saturday morning where we had one task – buy new slats for my bed.  The ones that came with it are about an inch too small and they perilously perch on the edge of side rails.  If I toss and turn too much they shift and fall and I find myself up in the middle of the night (like baby Ave) fitting the slats back into their grooves.  It’s a total nightmare and not a sustainable situation.  Mom and I pop the mattresses off the bed and measure.  Then Grandpa comes hobbling up the stairs and has a look.  Tells me we can just screw these slats into the frame.  I decline.  He asks me why.  I say that’s not the way it’s done.  Then he doesn’t trust mom and I’s measurements so he needs to measure.  Says we can just get regular 8 foot boards and he’ll cut them down.  I say Lowe’s can cut them.  He tells me he brought a handsaw.  I know that it will 1) take so much longer for grandpa to cut these, and 2) come with a significant risk of him cutting himself or others.  We manage to get the slats and get them cut at Lowe’s.  Then Grandpa wants to talk about building me a nicer mantle.  Which I love the idea of, I would love a better looking mantle, but not sure this is something Grandpa can really take on.  Especially since the tool I still have not purchased is any kind of real saw, and we would need one that can miter corners.  It take a while to talk him out of this, but only with the promise of buying a new ceiling light for my entrance way that he can “supervise” me putting in.  Sarah vs. Lowe’s…. winner: Escaping with only manageable projects and minimal extra “stuff” from mom and grandma.  They’re so sweet and just miss me, but I ended up with a new winter rug, a spray paint nozzle doohickey, and a buffet lamp in addition to the things we needed.  
  • It wan’t that difficult to replace the two flush mount lights in the kitchen, so I figured it would be fairly easy to do the entry way light.  It was a kind of blingy flush mount fixture to replace the really ugly one that had been there.  It’s probably something no one will notice but me.  We did run into the same problem we did in the kitchen and that is the new mounting hardware isn’t quite in line with the old light fixture electric boxes in the ceiling.  We had to do some improvising to get the mounting hardware in, and thought that would be the hard part.  I was wrong.  
Note how grandpa appears to be reading directions.  Lies.

Note how grandpa appears to be reading directions. Lies.

Once mounting hardware was up we had to screw in the main light fixture, the part in mom’s hand in the picture above.  Not having looked at the directions, and thinking one track-ly, I assume the screws go through the fixture into the ceiling.  The problem is that you’re working completely blind that way.  You can’t see where the holes in the mounting bracket are that way.  Meanwhile, you’re working with your hands above your head, you’re dropping screws, and plaster from the ceiling is falling down the front of your shirt.

We did it this way for about an hour.

We did it this way for about an hour.

Finally, in a very exasperated state, I declared we had to be missing something and grabbed the instructions.  Turns out (and common sense probably should have prevailed much sooner than an hour into this) that you put the screws through the light fixture so you see the threads out the bottom and secure it with these pretty decorative end pieces.  ARGH!  We have to pull off the mounting plate again, thread the main screws in it, reattach, then mount the light fixture on it.  Sarah vs. light fixtures…. winner: electricians.  I’m not sure I’m ready to take on replacing the dining room light fixture after this ordeal.  I either need to hire someone, or wait for someone with more patience than I to visit.  Runner up: my foyer.  It’s fancy now.  

Crystals and swirls.  This is a girl house.

Crystals and swirls. This is a girl house.

And it makes pretty patterns on the ceiling.

And it makes pretty patterns on the ceiling.

  • We had about ten minutes to prepare for some visitors after the light fixture fiasco.  My grandmother’s sister-in-law and one of her daughter’s live in nearby Marion, OH so they came to visit that afternoon.  Grandma’s brother was my great uncle Al and I loved him.  He told silly logic riddles and I have clear memories of coloring at Grandma’s kitchen table with him when I was younger.  He taught me to let Jell-o melt in my mouth and swish it around.  He was just a neat guy.  He died several years ago.  His wife was Tess and one of their children is Pam, my mom’s cousin.  She is married to Scott and they have kids about 9 years younger than me.  Anyway, I’ve met Pam and Scott before and adore them.  I’m so happy I have some relatives not too far away, especially ones that are as fun as they are.  We had snacks and everyone caught up with each other.  Pam and Scott are kind of fancy foodies like I am, so I feel a little bad that I didn’t cook something more impressive… next time.  Sarah vs. family fun… winner: Grandma.  It’s nice for her to see this side of her family and she was so grateful that I hosted them.  It was truly no problem, I always have a good time with Pam and Scott and learn about new places I should eat, visit, or shop.  

 

Family!

Family!

  • One of the most fun parts of the weekend for me was to watch Grandpa and Oliver (the cat).  Grandpa loves to play with him.  Oliver loves the attention.  It’s perfect.
Oliver hung out next to him.

Oliver hung out next to him.

And nuzzled up behind him.

And nuzzled up behind him.

And played with him.

And played with him.

Sarah vs. her family not being cat people… winner: Oliver.  That cat can win almost anyone over, I imagine.  He’s just the sweetest darn thing.  

  • The fam left earlier today and I got back to my normal routine.  A little cooking, a little treadmill walking, and a little Sunday napping.  It was just getting dark as I woke up and I decided no time like the present to try my hand at making a fire – now that I have the screen and all.  I had the Sunday paper still on the floor of the living room for kindling and a bbq tongs at the ready for stoking it since I still don’t have the fireplace tool set.  The people who lived here before were nice enough to leave a fireplace full of logs nicely stacked and ready for me to shove some newspaper into and light up.  It was surprisingly easy to get this fire started.  Sarah vs. fire: winner… a season full of cozy memories, starting right now.  Love Actually is on TV, I’m blogging with a cat purring behind my head, and there is a glass of red wine nearby.  So happy to have this feature in my house.  
I have made fire!

I have made fire!

Cozy.  Happy.

Cozy. Happy.

 

Stress. It’s a thing.

Alternate title: My therapist gave me an A

It’s not unusual to be hard on oneself, right?

I’m fairly open about the fact that I check in with a therapist every now and then.  I kind of think everyone would benefit from some insight into themselves from an outside source.  Today, I was struggling that I’m wasting time – not a new theme for me.  Claire tells me I’m so impatient.  I do live with a sense of urgency that can lead to anxiety.  Awareness is the first step, right?  I told the good Doctor that here we are, near the end of summer, and what did I do?  I’m haven’t finished Infinite Jest, I haven’t run regularly, the basement could be more organized (I finally bought the shelves!)… I could go on.

Good Doctor tells me I’m being too hard on myself and I needed to list all the things that I did accomplish in the last 60 days.  Work/professional stuff is going so well lately – OD Conference, the case study for the chapter in the OD book with Mr. Head of the Largest Change Mgmt Research Company, I was selected for as a member of the New Chapter formation committee for ACMP (Assoc of Change Mgmt Professionals) and the potential re-org at work that may lead to something bigger and better.  I worked on the house, maintained Sarah’s Farm (home of the Farm Fresh vegetables), bought a new car, settled into some new social scenarios, stopped binge eating (yeah – that was becoming a problem) and have reintroduced some exercise into my life.

The thing she said that had the biggest impact on me was a simple validation that there are a lot of stressful situations I’m in right now.  Still being new to Columbus, lack of social/family structure, lack of the relationship I was counting on here, buying a house, buying a car, repaying student loans, getting a new job in a new field… these things are hard.  They take time to get through.  She mentioned the actual stressful life factors test is the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.  Out of curiosity, and because who doesn’t love an assessment, I searched for the scale and took it.  If you’re curious, the link has an easy graphic where you click what applies and it adds it up for you.  Or, here is the scale:

Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale

Holmes & Rahe Stress Scale

Go ahead – add ‘em up.

Would you like to know my score?  Of course you would!  Why else have you read this far… 508.  Five Hundred and Eight.  And these are just listing the things that have happened in the last year!!  Here’s what the scoring on that is…

Scoring The Life Change Index
The body is a finely timed instrument that does not like surprises. Any sudden change
stimuli which affects the body, or the reordering of important routines that the body
become used to, can cause needless stress, throwing your whole physical being into
turmoil.

The following chart will give you some idea of how to informally score yourself on Social
Readjustment Scale. Since being healthy is the optimum state you want to achieve, being
sick is the state of being you most want to avoid.

Life Change Units Likelihood Of Illness In Near Future
300+ about 80 percent
150-299 about 50 percent
less than 150 about 30 percent

Really?!?! An 80% increase in the likelihood of a stress related illness in the near future?!  This explains the insomnia and general moodiness perhaps.  

So.  Stress.  Validation.

In the spirit of immediately trying to combat the stress, I joined some co-workers at a concert tonight.  One of our bosses has a brother who is the bass player in the band Walk the Moon.  They are a fun, poppy, alternative band and all from Columbus and Cincinnati – so, Ohio grown.  They are most known for their song, Anna Sun:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDVW81bXo0s

Tonight they played one of their new songs, Shut Up and Dance With Me.  Loved it!  Technically, it’s not released yet (on their album coming soon!!) but I did find it on You Tube.  (Audio Only)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhFvpS-I_6U

Sadly, knowing the sister of the bass player did not get us backstage or anything.

Sadly, knowing the sister of the bass player did not get us backstage or anything.

A great time with some catchy tunes and two beers – just enough to make me feel like dancing.

Sarah v. the weekend, vol 6

It’s Sarah vs. the weekend, volume 6, y’all!

  • I cooked dinner Friday night!  This is generally not remarkable except that I have completely lost my appetite the last couple of weeks.  I’m not cooking much, have no desire to get take out, just not hungry.  But, Friday night, inspired by Sarah’s Farm Fresh Zucchini, I made a zucchini “pasta” with pesto and salmon.  It was easy and really good.  It felt nice to eat real food.  Sarah vs. no appetite….winner: Vegetables!  Just a couple of months ago I was in a crazy unhealthy eating pattern, dealing with stress with a fair amount of binge eating.  I know not eating isn’t healthy either, so making a real meal with real food that was delicious wins.  

Use the mandolin to make the "zoodles"

Use the mandolin to make the “zoodles”

Saute zoodles with some Sarah's Farm Fresh cherry tomatoes

Saute zoodles with some Sarah’s Farm Fresh cherry tomatoes

Stir in some pesto at the end of the saute and add a piece of baked salmon on top.

Stir in some pesto at the end of the saute and add a piece of baked salmon on top.  Yum.

  • Saturday morning was the Color Run.  If you’ve read this blog for a minute you’ll know this is one of my favorite events.  This is the third year I’ve run the race.  My friend Kristy ran with me this year.  Something was just off from the very beginning though…I’m sure it’s me and my blah mood lately, but even the color run couldn’t work it’s magic on me this year.  Kristy is more of a walker than a runner, the color stations were really crowded, the music at the color party at the end wasn’t awesome.  I don’t know.  Sarah vs. The Color Run…winner: Doing what you say you’re going to do.  I’m glad I went.  I’m glad I kept the Color Run streak going.  I have hope that next year will be better and I’ll look back on this one and smile that I did it, even in my funky mood.  

 

Post Co;or Run 2014.  Even the post photo isn't as fun.

Post Color Run 2014. Even the post photo isn’t as fun and bright.  I’m just off this year. 

Color Run 2013 - super happy!

Color Run 2013 – super happy!

Post Color Run 2012... One of my favorite pics of me ever.

Post Color Run 2012… One of my favorite pics of me ever.

  • Once the Color Run was over I had to get cleaned up and book it to the local Mazda dealership.  I brought Molly Mazda (my 2005 Mazda 3) in Thursday morning and the service center called Friday evening to tell me the car needed a fair amount of work.  Lots of little things, and mostly standard maintenance, that all added up.  Struts and brake pads and rotors and alignment and brake fluid flush and a heat shield and something about air in the fuel line…I was thinking about buying a car next year, so putting the nearly 3K into the car now seemed silly.  I spent some time Friday night looking at their pre-owned selection knowing that I needed to go in with a plan.  I can be easily persuaded, so I needed to be firm in what I wanted.  I found a Mazda 3 (I just really like this car) 2011 hatchback model with about 34K miles.  Done.  That’s what I wanted.  When I got to the dealership Saturday around noon it was pretty busy.  The service guy (who may be the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life) introduced me to a sales guy and we started talking about what I wanted.  I told him I saw three pre-owned cars on their website last night that I’d like to look at – told him what my budget was – and where I wanted to be for a monthly payment.  The little blue hatchback I saw online sold the night before.  There was a pre-owned CX-7 I wanted to check out, just for fun.  I test drive it.  It’s way too big.  After that he tries to talk me into a lease on a new CX-5, my most favorite model.  He’s persuasive.  He has me test drive a new 2014 Mazda 3.  I tell him I’ll think about the lease while I’m out in that one.  This is when I call Ex Hubs who is on standby during my car buying experience.  Ex Hubs talks me down from the sales pitch and I remember the plan I came in with.  When I get back to the dealership (all these test drives are me alone – this is different from the last time I bought a car where the sales guy came with) I ask him to review the pre-owned stock for 2011 or newer Mazda 3, preferably hatchback, and with a moon roof.  We’re back on track.  He brings around two cars – a 2011 really pretty blue one with black cloth interior and a 2012 silver one with black leather interior.  The 2012 was the Grand Touring model.  Meaning, it was pretty tricked out, I mean, for me.  Leather seats with seat warmers, the locks that lock automatically when you put it in drive, Bluetooth, auto headlights, and Bose sound system.  I loved it.  I actually like the interior of the 2012 more than the 2014 – I think in trying to make it minimal they made it ugly.  So, while I like the blue color better, overall the silver car is clearly the winner.  Heated seats!  That’s the dream!   It drives so nicely.  I decide on this one and then probably wait another 2 hours to do paperwork with my sales guy and then the finance guy.  Overall I’m at the dealer for about 5.5 hours.  While I’m waiting I get the keys to Molly Mazda back and transfer the stuff I had in it to the new car.  That’s when it hits me I have to leave her there.  Oh Molly.  The first car I ever bought.  Nearly a decade of memories.  I had a moment to say goodbye.  Then I just left her there.  Sigh.  The universe is conspiring to make sure I don’t end 2014 with anything I started the year with.  Sarah vs. the unexpected new car…Winner: Molly Mazda for being a great companion for the last 9.5 years.  
Introducing... Ted Mosby.  Yes, I named my car Ted Mosby.  I wanted him in my life and I feel this is how the universe answered me.

Introducing… Ted Mosby. Yes, I named my car Ted Mosby. I wanted him in my life and I feel this is how the universe answered me.

wpid-20140720_105840.jpg

What can I say – I just really like the Mazda 3. Zoom Zoom.

 

Oooh - pretty interior.

Oooh – pretty interior.

  • Sunday morning was the first time I took Ted out for a spin.  We drove across town to an 8:15am Jazzercise class.  It was a nice way to start the day – gave me energy for all the stuff on my list of things to do today, since I wasn’t expecting to spend so long at the dealership yesterday.  I stopped at the grocery store after working out and then Lowe’s for a few things I needed for chores around the house.  It was nice to tool around town in a car that had that new car smell.  Sarah vs. Sunday morning…Winner: Sarah!  Get up, get going, and get stuff done!
  • The biggest undertaking of the day was wallpapering the accent wall.  The wallpaper arrived Friday and that meant I didn’t need to let another weekend go by without some progress on the kitchen.  Here’s what’s happening with the kitchen… I got the phone call from the counter top people last Friday who tell me they can’t install then until July 31.  Meaning I can’t tile the backsplash until the weekend of August 9th because the first weekend of August is my soon to be god daughter’s baptism.  I started this kitchen adventure July 3rd.  Until August 10th.  Sheesh.  Anyway – two very important things got done today – the accent wall and the drawer and cabinet pulls!  Wallpapering was an adventure.  I haven’t done that in a really long time – since my grandparents bathroom when I was in college, maybe?  I for sure had a mis-step or two, but after the second strip I had it down.  Sarah vs. DIY kitchen projects… Winner: Accent walls.  It’s so fun and it makes me smile and looks like me.  I can’t wait to get this whole thing done and share the final after pictures.  
There it is!  Orange with clip art-y utensils.  I pretty much love it

There it is! Orange with clip art-y utensils. I pretty much love it!

I have cabinet pulls!

I have cabinet pulls!

I have drawer pulls!

I have drawer pulls!

Since I had the drill out and was feeling so good about knocking stuff off the list, I thought I’d hang the new curtain in my half bathroom.  When I went to IKEA a couple weeks ago I bought the curtain panel and hanging system… so I thought.  Turns out I didn’t buy all the pieces required so I had to order a mounting system and sliding rail for this panel and wait for them to get shipped.  I spent more than an hour attempting to put this bastard up.  F$@* you, IKEA.  F@#& you and your ridiculous curtain panel system and stupid directions.  I got the wall brackets mounted – in a way that is not structurally sound at all – but then could not figure out how to attach the rail to the brackets.  I watched videos, I googled IKEA sites, I found pdfs for mounting.  Nothing answered my question.

The current state of this project.

The current state of this project.

Sarah vs. IKEA… Winner: Sweeden.  I don’t even know what my next step is here.  

Ending on a positive note… Months ago I saw a picture on Pinterest something like this…

Gross old end table into super cute cat bed/end table!

Gross old end table into super cute cat bed/end table!

D and I completed this project months ago – finding an old end table at some thrift store, D took off the doors and spray painted the hardware for me and we painted it.  I put a blanket in it and had it as my nightstand and the cats never got in it.  Bummer.  When I moved into the house I put that table in my tv room and put in a real cat bed instead of just a blanket.  And today, I’m thrilled to say Quinn is making herself at home in it pretty regularly.

IMG_9575

She loves it.

IMG_9571

Sarah vs. kooky DIY projects… Winner: Quinn.  It’s adorable and functional.  She and I are both very happy with this turn of events.  

 

Yowza.

I admit it.  I do the occasional facebook stalking on some old friends.  I don’t think it’s creepy, or at least, I don’t intend to be creepy.  People that were incredibly important to me for a long time – hard to drop them completely and I have always smiled when I’ve seen a random picture of them happy and having families and going on trips or whatever.  I am pretty sure these are ties that are severed forever, but I still like to pause and send happy thoughts into the universe about them.  Weird.  I suppose.

I believe it is a rule of life that when you go snooping you absolutely find things you wish you never knew.  I come to this rule conclusion from the times I’ve snooped and have always found things I wish I did not know.  Very scientific.  This evening, after a run, after a shower and while I sit on my bed in my bathrobe trying to decide what my next move is (pizza? no. cereal? no. wine?  probably.) I was trolling some old friends pages.  Only to come across a joke about this very blog – which does not seem to be highly regarded.  Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion and since I was snooping anyway I don’t harbor any ill will, but…

It stung momentarily.  My first reaction was to be embarrassed.  How mildly traumatizing to realize people you haven’t spoke to in 4 years are judging you by the random musings on an infinitesimal sliver of the internet.  Then came sad – sad I wasn’t able to repair those relationships, sad I couldn’t learn my lessons faster, be less of a jerk back in the day, etc.  I’ll always be sad that those few tough years overshadowed the years before and the potential for becoming better again.

Blogging has been on my mind the last couple of days.  I like writing, journaling, processing “out loud” but thought a transition back to pen and paper may be the way to go.

Then I thought of the kind of fun stuff I’ve done because of this very lame space.  Helped dozens of other women craft a Cinderella running costume.  Have some of my food photography make a San Francisco wedding magazine.  Make some significant connections with amazing women in Kansas City, MO and Little Rock, Arkansas.  Keep friends from Washington DC to Napa up to date – when it’s so easy to lose touch – this space has been a way for friends who choose to keep up with what’s going on to do so between the times we see each other or catch up in person.  I learned  about the Princess Half Marathon from a blogger and research so many recaps so I would know what to expect at a runDisney event and feel that was a big part of my successful Tink weekend and (knock on wood) will be part of my Princess weekend success.

So.  The moment has passed and I again learn my lesson about snooping.  And perhaps one about really letting go.

This weekend is about teaching a friend to make quiche, spending time with Doug, packing for a great work trip next week, officially beginning the house hunt here in Columbus, making plans to visit a friend in Richmond, finalizing all the Princess Half plans with Claire…

Next time I’m looking to fill some idle time I’ll fold some laundry.  There is always laundry to be folded.

past

Cheers to a whole new year

happy new yearI do set resolutions (or goals or plans or whatever you would like to call them) every new year.  Some years they are a list of tasks (like making my bed every day) and some years they are broader, like last year’s plan to just believe it was going to be a the best year ever.  I read last year’s New Year’s post this morning.  I had almost forgotten how optimistic and blindly determined that it was going to be awesome.  And the thing is, it was.  I believed in school, took  a chance that a job offer in another state was the right one, believed Doug was just the man for me and waited for him to believe it too.  2013 was a really beautiful year for me and I go into 2014 wanting very little.  I am going to continue the idea of picking a word to prescribe the fate of the new year.  This year it is HEALTH.

health2This isn’t a resolution to be a lower number on a scale, which have dictated years of my resolutions.  This is about overall health, and in some unexpected places.  I have two overall Health goals and then some monthly task goals…

Overall Health

It’s about Financial Health.  It’s time for this gal to get her money stuff together.  I created a budget, set up a tracking system, and am working on the mindset that I don’t need to buy my loved ones off just so they know I love them.

It’s about Mental Health.  This one is embarrassing and personal – and something I’ve said before, which is really why it’s embarrassing.  My friend Claire once told me I’d struggle staying on the “crazy pill”, aka Zoloft, my whole life.  That I’d stop and restart taking it for years.  Eventually I would learn I just need to stay with it.  I thought I’ve been there before – but still spent some significant chunks of 2013 self diagnosing.  That’s done.  I’m a better person on the pills and on them I will stay.

In 2013 I also learned that you can’t throw everything at a wall and expect it to stick.  I read the book The Happiness Project last year and was inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s year long plan broken out into monthly tasks.  I remember wanting to implement her plan, but needed to find a way to personalize it and not just take her initiatives.  I was struck with the idea to explore different aspects of healthy living through 2014 in different month long chunks.  Each month will have a fitness focus, a habit focus and a soul (creative & spiritual) focus.  I’ve started sketching out what the year holds…

wpid-1388105222906.jpgThe fitness column is a specific workout type activity that I want to try, want to get back to, etc.  For example, I’ve wanted to try spinning, so one month I’ll take a couple classes a week and try it out.  Jan and Feb are pre-destined to be running focused because of the 10K/Half Marathons at Disney.

The habit column picks up a healthy habit: flossing!  moisturizing!  1 hr of tv a night!

The Soul column is a strange catch all for creative and spiritual undertakings.  I want to go to Yoga, take another calligraphy class and take pretty pictures of food again.

Most of the rows aren’t in market yet.  I have post-its with ideas and want to keep the plans kind of fluid.  I would hate to commit to Spinning classes in March only to find out the group class schedule doesn’t match up with my work schedule or something.  So, I’ll have to firm some things up as the year goes on, but I also think that’s the right way to do it.  Setting a plan in stone on January 1 may not be the best way to keep this plan up all year.  Hard to plan for a whole year.  Something it’s taken years for me to be able to say.

healthSo, this is how we begin 2014 -

January
Fitness: Running – preparing for the Tink 10K and Half in just a couple weeks!

Habit: Moisturize.  That may sound funny, but I’m not getting any younger and I have so much lotion around the house.  I get super dry skin in the winter.  This was the first thing that came to mind when I thought of general 2014 resolutions in December.

Soul: Nourish self with real food.  I completed the Whole30 in November and never felt better.  Confident, energetic, rested…that’s why this went in the Soul column.  I’d like to start the year by making sure I can reach that inner Sarah stuff and I can’t if I’m mad about what I’m eating or feeling gross.  I can’t say that I’m starting the Whole30 strictly again right now because I haven’t come up with great pre-race or during race running substitutions for whole wheat tortillas, gatorade or Swedish fish candy.  So, 98% of the time I’ll be eating that way.  (Had an awesome thyme braised beef stew with mashed cauliflower tonight for dinner, courtesy of Well Fed 2!)

Be healthy, be happy, be you.

Happy 2014 blog-land.

health1

 

 

 

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