Saturday, January 30, 2010

Clearly we are freaks of the registry!

Adam and I went to a registry event last night at Macy's. First of all, they call it a "Sip and Scan" and advertise it as "have a drink in one hand and a registry scanner in the other...". When you hear that, what do you think they mean by drink? If you're like me, you pictured a cheap Chardonnay. If you're like Macy's you'll have bottled water (for Jen to carry in her purse and develop a shoulder problem) and warm fruit juice. And really crappy appetizers, which is so sad considering we were at the multi-story flagship Macy's on State Street and they have several awesome restaurants inside. The food and drink was such a let down! But we got our scanning gun (Adam was so excited) and carried on.

The event started on the sixth floor that only has bedding (not interested, our city bed is a full size so there is no way we are registering for good stuff until we move to a master bedroom that is not smaller than a baby's nursery in most houses) and fine china (again a not need for us because of again, the space issues and the fact that my family has tons of fine china that no one ever uses, not even on holidays, thank you very much). And on the fine china subject, I am just not a fan of the idea that I need my "own Jen and Adam pattern" to sit in boxes for 364 days of the year and be wasteful. I fought my inner "overpriced demons" and against my better judgement registered for some Waterford stuff before we got the hell out of dodge and went to the basement where they keep all the good stuff.

We visit the basement of this particular Macy's kind of on the regular because they have a giant section of Marshall Field's Frango Chocolates and they make a great gift for our guests to take home for family and friends as souvenirs. They also have a Starbucks so you can grab a quick drink and take a respite from touristing. But everytime I'm down in the basement, I basically go hogwild because it's a Martha Stewart cooking extravaganza!!

We took our gun and went to town. There were several points when I got ahead of Adam (meaning I could grab fancy utensils off the wall before he could get them all scanned) and had to slow down my excitement. I cannot wait to have decent kitchen things and I'm going to spend many hours figuring out places for all of them in my three (seriously people, I mean three) cabinets in the kitchen.

I loved every second of it (well, except when I was battling my overpriced demons but is Le Creuset really overpriced? or a Dyson? they just happen to be expensive nice things, right?)! We found lots of things that I'm not sure I'll keep on the registry. We still have an event at Crate and Barrel and our registry at Bed, Bath and Beyond to work on. And if I don't feel satisfied then, I might have to consider William-Sonoma and nix one of the others. Registry madness!

At one point, when we were winding down and starting the "ok, we should really call it quits before we end up with some totally random stuff like plastic picnic wine glasses" phase of the registry process, Adam looked around at all the other couples that were apparently in deep and dramatic discussions about the merits of pastry brushes and the like and remarked how great it was that we were so decisive about things. Which really means that I am so decisive about things since he himself said that this whole process was more about me handing him a large serving plate and him imagining all the lovely foods I'll make and serve on it. What can I say, I am a decisive person. I'm not sure that things will go so quick at Crate and Barrel because I haven't been there quite as many times as I have the downtown Macy's. But wait, who are we kidding. I am the kind of person that knows what I like and I don't need to sit there and debate it for half an hour. The Dyson? I had only heard from people that they are obsessed with them so it took me one test run and listening to the lady who reps them for about 30 seconds to tell Adam to hit it with the gun. For me, the hardest part about shopping is price and price comparison. Well, in case you didn't already figure that out, a registry completely takes that out of the equation. And if you really think about it, kind of flips my normal price woes completely upside down. People don't want to buy you cheap crap for your wedding! They want to buy you nice things that will last you through your marriage. Am I right? (Before you think I'm insane and snobby, according to our report over 80% of our items were under $50,)

Either way, we headed back to the sixth floor to return our gun and go through the obligatory Macy's card schpeel again. The lady who met us was so shocked that we were done already and asked if it was our first time opening the registry or if we were just adding things. This was my first sign that we were registry freaks! We told her it was our first time but that we did have plenty of things on there, not to worry (and a couple of duplicate things like seeing a pizza cutter and then finding a better one a little while later, oops). She was borderline giving us a hard time that we wouldn't have very many things on our registry until she printed it out. She came back and said, "you did all this tonight? seriously?" to which we said yes. Apparently it was four legal sized pages of stuff in a little under two hours. What can I say? Maybe it was my hunger because of the crap appetizers and the fact that I didn't have a fat glass of wine in my hand or maybe it's the fact that I don't have to debate the merits of blenders with my fiance for ten minutes before we scan something. It's not rocket science and it's all online for your editing pleasure!

So I guess the moral of this story is that we (potentially this is more me since I was the primary decision-maker) are, apparently in the eyes of Macy's, freaks for being able to walk into a store and know what we want. How crazy is that?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Disappearing Middle Class

I don't usually go all politico on you but with the State of the Union address to be taking over the airwaves (that is, if you watch network TV) tomorrow night, I figure this is the one time to go rogue and get on my little soapbox.

We happened to catch a few minutes of the news last night and apparently President Obama is going to discuss his middle class tax breaks plan during the State of the Union.

**disclaimer** It might help if I explain a bit about myself. I feel completely and totally alienated by both political parties. I guess I lean a little bit more toward being a Democrat (I voted for Kerry and Obama in the last two elections) but at the same time, I read an article written by Ron Paul about everything that is wrong with today's GOP and I adore his ideas and wholeheartedly agree that if the Republican party can go back toward it's roots (i.e. small government, not so pro-big business), I'd probably swing slightly more to the right. In other words, I'm a political mess! I want more green, meaning that I want the government to care about the environment and I want to pay less for that so I can have more green in my pocket! **

The only thing they really outlined that is part of the middle class tax plan is a big credit on childcare for families that make less than $85,000 combined. When I heard that, I practically felt my aforementioned low blood pressure skyrocket! Let's examine this further.

If you are using childcare (enough to get a tax credit) you are probably a dual-income family. I can tell you already that there is almost no way that Adam and I would ever be able to qualify for that tax credit (not that we particularly would want to need full-time daycare) at this point in our "careers" (haha, career, that's funny in reference to me). Most people in our generation are choosing to wait to have children until their late 20's/early 30's. By that time, you are usually relatively established in your career and you aren't making the standard just-out-of-college-$20000-to-40000 a year job. If you have two people that each earn, say $44,000 annually, you are already out of the running for this tax benefit.

You have to remember that at my current (and I use that word very loosely) job that I can barely hope to ever gross more than $45,000 annually due to our labor contract and the fact that your income tops out at 14 years of service and we are limited in the hours we can work in a month. But in a more mainstream career, in the grand scheme of things, isn't $45,000 a number on the lower end of the spectrum for a person in their early 30's? Are doctors and lawyers not considered middle class anymore? What about teachers or engineers? Lots of school districts pay up to $40,000 if you have a masters degree and that is for teachers just starting out. According to this tax credit, if you had a lawyer and a teacher dual-income family, they are no longer considered middle class. Don't forget, this $85,000 number is almost certainly pre-tax! Say an ER doctor and a nurse are married with two kids. They work crazy hours and probably need childcare. They almost certainly make above $100,000 but are they not middle class? What about the probably hundreds of thousands in student loans that they are working to pay off? Why can't they get a childcare tax credit too?

It's not that I'm saying that $85,000 is at the poverty line or anything but I really feel that that is a number for a dual-income-therefore-childcare-necessary family is pretty low. You can read in a multitude of sources that our salaries here in the U.S. of A. have not kept up with inflation and I think this is a perfect example of that. $85,000 might have been closer the top of the middle class back in the day, not when gas was more than $2.50 a gallon on the regular.

Ok, now I'm off my soapbox. Maybe I'm completely out of touch with reality on this one but maybe I'm actually on to something!

**disclaimer number 2** I hope to be in a position someday to not necessarily need childcare but I still feel strongly about the issue for a number of reasons. First of all, if a woman wants to go back to work after having babies, she should be able to go back without having to worry about if she makes enough to justify the childcare expense. Plus, many families need that second income just to maintain their quality of life. And I'm not talking an extravagant quality of life. Isn't the American Dream to own a home? That's expensive!**

Monday, January 25, 2010

three things I learned about myself today...

I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon but seeing as how I have been to the doctor/hospital more in the last month than probably in the previous 27 years of my life, I have gained some new insights about myself.

I have a "normal" body temperature that is not at the regular human 98.6 degrees. This doesn't really surprise me because my mom is the same way. I hover closer to 98.0 or 98.2. So when I have a 101 degree fever like I did with the H1N1 in May, it's extra brutal.

I also have wicked low blood pressure. Today I was 90/56. Which according to some (probably horrible) online research I just did means that I actually sit in the "hypotension" range and they think I should be constantly feeling dizzy or fainting. HA!

These two factoids go a long way to explain why I am constantly (during winter or extreme A/C conditions) freezing and why my extremities turn into popsicles, or as Adam calls them, my ice talons. If only it could also explain why I sweat like a monster and basically live summer in an uncomfortable state of overheat. I think I might just be a freak of nature because I have the world's worst internal temperature regulation. Can I get in the Guinness book for that, you think?

The third fun fact about Jen for the day is that I asked the doctor to measure me for height at the end. Have you ever noticed that once you past a certain age (18 maybe?) they stop measuring you and only weigh you? Like you want or need to be reminded of your weight, thanks. I decided to take matters in my own hands and make her measure me because I tried to figure out myself at the gym last week but measuring your own height is a futile effort. I currently measure at 62 1/4 inches. HAHA! I've been thinking forever that I'm only 5'1! So apparently I've grown a whopping 1.25 inches since I was 18. Good times! Again, this isn't really a surprise to me because I'm pretty sure that my mom did some growing after she turned 18 too.

How excited are you to know these things about me? My doctor is doing a bunch of bloodwork since it was essentially my "annual physical" (which is kind of funny because I'm not sure if I've ever had a physical, let alone an annual one, I don't count the stupid stuff I had to do to get hired by United as the work of real doctors). I'm interested to see my cholesterol and lipid levels because again, I've historically had freaky low levels of that too. It's been probably 4 years since I had any of that stuff checked because I kind of gave up giving blood after the third time that I thought I was going to faint and/or not be able to finish the bag. Not fun times.

So yeah, I guess this makes me officially an old person that has to go get physical exams and bloodwork done. When did this happen?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This week was kind of boring...

I had some great idea for a post the other day but it slipped my mind and I have not been able to think of it since then. Other than that, my week was rather routine. I managed to stay up for Conan's monologue for both of the last two nights, which is a pretty big deal considering all the gym time I put in this week and the fact that I go to bed at old people time (10:00 p.m. usually). I think I sit more in the Leno camp because it's all I can really remember from being a kid. I only think I stayed up for Johnny Carson maybe one time. Didn't he have a ton of curtains behind him or was I hallucinating? I do feel bad for Conan though and I hope he gets another opportunity because I think he is funny in a kind of different (college stoner) kind of way and has a niche market of people (college stoners).

Yoga is going so well. I could kick myself for not going sooner. It's one of the best things I think I've ever done for myself. I usually try to do another class or a little bit of cardio so last night I rode the bike for a few minutes and had a weird encounter with my evil nemesis trainer, Mondale, who was on the elliptical. Out of all the classes I do, he's the only instructor that doesn't actually do the work out with us (and his is SO INSANELY HARD that I will never be able to complete it) so it was kind of outer worldly to see him on the pansy elliptical machine.

I made a really easy WW recipe this week (well, it was a WW recipe before I gutted it to suit my tastes) but it came out well.

Green Chili Stew (modified from Hit the Spot, WW Cookbook), ~6 points per 1 1/2 cup serving
3 large red potatoes, quartered
3 chicken breasts
2 cans (4.5 oz) diced green chiles
1 package of reduced-sodium vegetable broth (I used one of the cardboard packs from Whole Foods, it was about 3 cups, if doing cans, I'd get two of them)
1/4 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
salt and black pepper to taste

Cook the chicken breasts and shred meat. I opted to bake for about 20 min at 350 degrees. I put just a touch of olive oil on each breast so they wouldn't stick to my cookie sheet and sprinkled them with Adobo seasoning. You could also marinate them for a few hours.

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, saute onion and garlic in the olive oil until onion is softened (about 5 minutes). Add the shredded chicken saute for another minute or so.

Add the broth, potatoes and chiles to the pot and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Stir in the cilantro and add salt and pepper.

I made this on Monday night but saved it to eat on Tuesday. It kept really well in the fridge and was great warmed up. I made three huge pots of stew (2 kinds of chili and this one) and we still have plenty of leftovers and it's so easy to come home from the gym and throw some of this in a saucepan and let it heat up. I have been eating all three soups with a little bit of Garden of Eatin' Baked Blue Corn Chips (still the only baked chips I've found that are tolerable and these are pretty good) and a little bit of fresh grated sharp cheddar. It made meals so easy this week and really delicious.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, I could take one of the leftovers but it wouldn't do it justice to show you cold. Trust me, it's yummy and doesn't require a plethora of crazy ingredients. Despite the two cans of green chiles, it's not killer spicy.

Bon appetite!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I discovered recently that I am just not a huge fan of being a "gym rat". Meaning that I am not one of those awesome people that can go and spend 30 minutes on the treadmill/elliptical, 30 minutes on the bike, 30 minutes on the weight machines and then doing public crunches on the mat or with the ball (the public crunches part is my personal nightmare, for some reason I just feel like a total freak). If I had a dedicated gym buddy, all of that might be tolerable but still not my idea of fun. Luckily, at the Y we have a really great group class schedule, which was one of the reasons that I wanted to join.

So, I made a commitment to myself, which was facilitated by my recent rental of my own personal locker at the gym, to start going to more classes. Like I mentioned last week, my latest obsession is yoga but I am trying to mix it up a little more.

This is an example of how my "perfect" week at the gym would play out:

Monday: Ultimate Toning, followed by Yoga
Tuesday: my usual Ultimate Power (aka destroying myself) with Mondale, followed by Abs
Wednesday: Vinyassa Yoga, followed by Mat Pilates
Thursday: Off Day
Friday: a few minutes on the bike, followed by Hatha Yoga (because Adam is taking classes for his big test on Friday nights)
Saturday: Off Day
Sunday: Turbo Kick, followed by Yoga

I'll probably lose some of the classes as warmer weather rolls in. I really miss my jam sessions with my iPod on the Lakeshore path. And I'll probably switch to a Spin class closer to the summer to get my booty ready to be in the saddle for the triathlon in August. Last week, I missed a couple of those classes but I know that my hard work at the gym helped me with my big WW weight loss.

(and before you start to think that is a pretty ambitious schedule, it is, but you have to remember my body was used to doing about 26 miles a week and yoga is seriously such an awesome workout that you don't even feel like you're working out, until you wake up the next morning and realize you're sore)

Monday, January 18, 2010

things that are NOT working...

*I had a cavity filled this afternoon. I'm annoyed on so many levels. First of all it cost $175 because I needed a white filling and my insurance doesn't cover the extra cost. Second, the filling was worse than my dentist previously thought so after about 30-45 minutes of straight drilling, my mouth is not feeling so great now that the anesthesia has worn off. It was my first cavity/filling in probably about 15 years and only my third ever so I'm mad that I let it happen (even though my dentist claims that it's not totally my fault as it was between two teeth). A huge ug to that.

*I may be the only person in the world who can attend a cooking class entitled "Knife Skills" in the morning and then chop the hell out of her finger in the evening. So much for my new technique, huh? GRRRR!

***edit... I forgot to mention (because wonky things are always better when they hopefully bring laughs to my 3 blog readers) that I wrote down the wrong start time for the Knife Skills class and ended up being 20 minutes late instead of 10 minutes early. If you know me, I cannot stand to be late so it was horribly embarrassing. And, the entire purpose of me taking the class was to learn about knives for when we register later in the month for wedding gifts. I missed the entire part about good knives to own and then after class, I started looking at the knives they sold at the cooking school when I realized they were all about $140 each. Yes, for ONE KNIFE. I'm a huge believer in quality kitchen products but that is just insane. I'll be registering for a Faberware set at Macy's thankyouverymuch. So, in short, Knife Skills was an utter waste of my time and money because I missed the parts I wanted to hear and ended up learning a new technique that caused me to nearly chop my left index finger off. GOOD TIMES!!! (thank goodness I own a Slap Chop!)

things that ARE working...

*Weight Watchers. Tonight I hit my 10% goal, which was pretty exciting. I'm not a huge fan of the celebration time in meeting but I agreed to celebrate tonight and I got a sweet keychain. We also set my next goal after the meeting and I am excited to keep going. We also had a friend start a weight loss challenge and there is money involved in that so hopefully I can win it and have new money to go towards new clothes.

*Frontera Chili Starters. If your grocery store has these (they come in big jars, I got mine at Whole Foods), I highly recommend. I got one tonight and added shredded chicken and an extra can of beans and it made a rockin' chili and it was quick. I'm a huge fan of Frontera's chef/owner, Rick Bayless, and expecially his eating local/organic philosophy. Adam wants to go to his local restaurant for his birthday dinner so I am excited about trying more. I've always liked their salsas but the chili starter is baller.

*My fundraising. So far so good but I have a long way to go.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I've been inadvertantly MIA

Sorry about that!! I started a post on Thursday about probably the most annoying thing in the world to me, ignorance, and I haven't gotten it quite where I want it yet. My dad called and distracted me from finishing and posting it and it never got done.

Then we had a funeral to attend yesterday that was about a four hour drive away. And, you already know this, but funerals really suck. For a basket case like me, who literally cannot stand to see other people crying, funerals are an exercise in attempted holding in of emotions. Which is something I completely suck at. So basically, all you need to know to picture the scene is me, with watery eyes and a lump in my throat the size of Manhattan, trying not to cry myself as that would make me look like a tool. I am struggling with a few things in my non-bloggy personal life that made the funeral particularly difficult to bear but I got through it and feel like I am a better person for getting to spend the weekend with Adam's family. They are a really great bunch and I ended up having about 100 times more fun than I was expecting. I truly feel blessed to be gaining good people in my life at a time when I feel that I really need them.

Yoga is going well, except for the fact that I almost puked about 16 times during my class tonight because we had a little too much fun watching the Cowboys game this afternoon. I was irritated that they didn't win, more so because I cannot stand Brett Favre.

I am still reading freaky food books related to my viewing of Food, Inc. last month but am completely struggling with my diet and attempts to change my way of life. Eating "well" is an expensive endeavour. I'm learning more and more why they call Whole Foods, "Whole Paycheck" but I keep telling myself over and over a quote I read, "Eat less. Pay More.", meaning to spend a little more money on better quality food and the body will adjust and be able to eat less while still getting all the nutrients it needs. I will probably have to get a lot more of my thoughts on paper (and by paper, I mean keyboard and this blog) when I finish a couple more books and have a better idea what I'm talking about. And please don't worry, I haven't gone completely off the deep end here. I'm just attempting to make better choices and it doesn't happen all the time (case in point: Wendy's on our road trip this weekend). My favorite things about the two authors that I happen to be devoting most of my time to (Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan) is that they are real people with a realistic message. Schlosser orders a hamburger in Food, Inc. Why? Because they taste good. A huge part of Pollan's message is about enjoying the foods you eat because we Americans have such a nutrient-obsessed society that we often forget about just eating well and enjoying the experience. Enough about that, more to come later.

So... in short, life is pretty much at the status quo around here. Still cold. Still rocking out at the gym. Still attempting to eat less crap.

But I did go to a funeral this weekend so I only have one message to leave you with, hug your loved ones tonight before you go to bed and appreciate every moment.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

WW and Biggest Loser Tuesday...

I am so happy that Biggest Loser is back on, although none of the contestants have so far grabbed my heartstrings the way Abby did or played the game to annoy like Tracey did. They lost mad weight last week though!

On my own weight loss (and I promise, I am faithfully documenting in pictures every week, I'm just not at a point where I'd like to show them yet), things are still going ok, just slowing down a bit. Which is totally normal for this point. Christmas was harder than I thought it was going be and I broke down more than I wanted to and being sick helped in the weight loss efforts but not in the "right" way. I know I was losing lots of muscle weight instead of fat weight. I got totally rocked at my Tuesday class at the gym today :(

Weekends are tough when it comes to sticking to "the plan" but I do really well on most weekday by making and packing lunches and cooking point friendly dinners. I thought I had found an illusive 1 Point oatmeal and today I re-did the math and found out that each packet is actually 3 Points, which really made me sad since I bought two boxes last week. Blast! So even though the eating continues to be a big battle for me, I know I'm making progress and making better choices at restaurants. Most of all, I am feeling better about myself every time I get dressed and clothing fits!

I went to a yoga class yesterday and I seriously cannot recommend it enough. I'm usually so exhausted on Wednesdays but I am bound and determined to go to class tomorrow evening just because it was so relaxing. My upper body is sore and there were a couple of things that I wasn't able to do as well as I wanted but overall, the class felt so good and was an hour well spent. I hadn't been to yoga in years and I don't remember it being as great as yesterday. So, I think I'll be a yogi for the time being, at least until the weather is nice enough for outdoor activities. If you go to a gym that offers it, consider going.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Big Goals...

**I have given up on being in good health for the month of January. I am still at only about 90% and today Adam is home sick. I am getting by with chanting over and over in my head that winter will be over soon enough and reminding myself how lovely summer is.**

So last week, I decided that Christmas had been over long enough and it was time to get my butt in gear and actually start fundraising the minimum $1,800 I need to be able to particiapte in the Avon Breast Cancer walk that I reference in my blog header. First, I started with my family because I have a little self-pride and couldn't start harassing everyone else in my life without having at least a couple of donations. Adam was first to the plate and then he got uber-excited and emailed a ton of his work buddies and most of our Chicago friends. Today, I figured I should probably send out an email of my own so to those of you who got the email and also read this blog, DO IT DO IT! I would love to hit my fundraising goal, like, tomorrow, because I'll feel really bad if I have to repeatedly email people and become a donation-stalker. I promise, I don't think I'll be doing this again so this is probably the only time you'll have to donate to me. Love you long time.

So for those of you bleaders (from Julie and Julia ~the book, not the movie~ blog + readers = bleaders), who may not be on my email list, I'd love to give you the opportunity to donate as well! My personal webpage is and there is a sweet DONATE NOW button and I pinky promise, it's easier than online shopping on You can also donate through my Facebook page... how cool is that? Any donation, big or small, is appreciated and I LOVE YOUR SUPPORT. Because seriously, if you can find me a person who doesn't have a friend or family member that has been diagnosed with breast cancer, I will be shocked and impressed. This disease does not discriminate and as of right now, 1 in every 8 women will be diagnosed in her lifetime. That is sick and depressing!

Unfortunately, I know the timing sucks because everyone is probably maxed out from the holidays but I have until June 5th to raise the money and you can donate anytime between now and then! And I ordered pretty thank you cards today so you should really aim to get one in your mailbox because who doesn't love mail (that's not bills or junk!). So carry on with your Monday and please consider donating!

Brian Bazan, just got the email about 3 seconds ago
my Dad
James Palmer
Andrew, Rose and Amber Carmean
(lots of dude support for boobs, very cool!)



Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's like the Energizer bunny... keeps on going and going and going and going....

I am still feeling some aftershocks from last weeks horrible disease(s) and the resulting medications, which really ticks me off. I'm so over it but I am thankful that I can sleep at night and as of tomorrow, I should be off all medications and back to normal (?) (!). It's been almost 14 days of varying, and often confusing, pills and eyedrops.

Things I learned from it all:

-Never go to the ER unless you are straight up dying. They are chintzy with the drugas there!
-Write down your meds schedule if you've been told to alternate Tylenol and Motrin every three hours. It's mindboggling, I promise.
-Cherry 7up. Awesome when you are sick. Tastes terrible when you are not.
-Lipton Noodle Soup. See above.
-I always know when I'm rounding the corner to feeling better when I start massively craving pizza. And I've been that way since pretty much the age of 5.
-I love Househunters International and am greatly indebted to HGTV for having a marathon on NYE.
-Pink eye is DISGUSTING!
-Being a cheapo and ordering make up brushes from an online store that only charges $1 each is great in theory but not when you literally have nothing to put your new eyeshadow on with and it takes 90 years to get your online order shipped (and I paid $6.95 for shipping and ordered this stuff on the 30th... what the hell!).
-Vick's throat spray tastes grody.
-If I get sick again this winter, I may also have an accompanying mental breakdown.
-I should have bought stock in Walgreens.

SO... let's all cross our fingers together now and hope that tomorrow is the end of my pain and suffering. I'm tired of living it and writing about it and I just KNOW you have got to be sick of hearing about it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


  • Upon venturing out yesterday, I discovered that our friendly neighborhood train station has nearly been completed. I don't know if I've ever mentioned it but they are doing an overhaul of the Brown Line and making it totally handicapped accessible. It's been a complete cluster of an operation and they spent years closing down the smaller stations to completely overhaul them. Since our local station also serves the Red Line and is a main transfer point, they couldn't feasibly close it down and the construction has been dragging on FOREVER. I'm sure they are still working on it (like the elevators) but all I needed to see was that the side of the station on my side of the street and nearest to the car that I want to be in was DONE and OPEN!! I was about to be that scary random person and do a jump for joy on the street. It's probably going to shave about 5 minutes from my day both in the morning and afternoon. It's the little things in life that really get me jazzed!

  • I had a good weigh in at WW, which is hilarious considering I probably gained 3-6 lbs during Christmas week. Being so sick had one benefit! On the bad side, I tried to do 30 Day Shred yesterday and it was a huge FAIL. I made it a little more than half way through. Why does being sick take away all your strength? I was feeling so strong before. It's sad because I probably only lost muscle weight for my weigh in. Grrr. But I'm down 11 lbs so far so I think that is something to be excited about. I'm enjoying the way that my clothes are starting to actually fit me.

  • Today I can finally wear my contacts again, no more eyedrops and no more glasses! I'm heading down to the MAC store later to begin the process of getting new eye makeup. I only have a few more days of the strep antibiotics and then I'll be back to being medicine free. For awhile there, I was thinking I needed one of those pill holders to remind me what I was supposed to take and when. My meds were confusing!

  • We signed up for our first 2010 run yesterday. It's the 8K Shamrock Shuffle at the end of March. We missed it last year for a wedding so I am pretty excited. The past couple of years, the weather has been awful, snowy awful so I will be keeping my fingers crossed between now and then that it ends up being a nice day. Now, to get back in fighting shape for the run!

  • We are hosting two students from my alma mater, Texas A&M, over the weekend. The Student Center sponsors a really awesome trip for students that are interested in local grad schools. I'm a really bad member of the local Aggie group so hopefully this will kickstart me into being more involved. And it'll be a fun experiment having two extra females in our teeny condo for the weekend. Hopefully they will enjoy our fine city and our fresh and new neighborhood train station :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Worst Monday of the Year!

Even though I don't have anything major to do today (can't get new eyeshadow until tomorrow), it's just so dreary without any holidays to look forward to. The holiday season is such a blowout for me with Thanksgiving kicking it off, my birthday, Christmas and New Year's that January just feels like such a letdown. The bowl season is almost over, football Sundays are over (for the Bears at least) and it's still a long way til baseball and the beginning of spring and loosening of winter's lock on my soul. This time of the year is anti-inspiring for me.

I don't really "do" the whole New Year's resolution thing but you probably already know that, seriously, who starts Weight Watchers for the first time in their life right before Christmas (btw, I had a major fail of two weeks starting with Christmas Eve and ending with McDonald's last night). But I do have some things that I would like to accomplish this year and I think of my goals as more of a running list rather than resolutions that I'll probably break.

-obviously, keep working on my struggle with non-nutritious foods
-try some new fitness classes and not being so lazy about going to the gym even though it's a long cold walk
-cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma
-registry and the myriad of other wedding things I need to get done
-find a half marathon to run in 2010
-get over my freakish "fear" of the indoor pool at the YMCA and start swimming

I put fear in quotation marks because it's not that I am literally afraid of the pool, I just usually have residual childhood fear issues when it comes to getting familiar with a new pool. I used to be deathly afraid of pool drains and I still carry some of that with me until I get to know a pool. Plus, there is something slightly creepy about indoor pools or maybe I've just seen too many weird pool scenes in movies.

Plus, I have the Avon Walk and I really need to get on the fundraising bandwagon with that and all of my furlough goals to accomplish. At least I have some things to accomplish that will help me get through dreary January and February.