Saturday, July 30, 2011

In memory.

As you know, one of our close friends was tragically murdered two weeks ago.  I think about BFW daily, and I know she will live on in many of our memories forever.  I want to dedicate this post to all of the happy memories D & I have with BFW.

While I have no pictures, my earliest and best memories with BFW was our first trip to Hilton Head.  I have the best memories of playing Boccee Ball.  I remember sitting on the beach talking about our, marriage, etc.  I mentioned my love for Snyder's Pretzel Pieces.  I fell in love with them on that first beach trip with BFW.  We made what is now one of my favorite summertime grilled meals on that trip: grilled BBQ chicken, Publix brand potato salad, and grilled corn.  BFW also fostered my love for Paul Simon on that trip.  I remember the four of us, husbands were boyfriends at the time, playing a marathon game of Spades (they always beat us) and listening to Paul Simon and Ben Harper.

Our connection with BFW and her's and her husband's families goes so deep.  We became close with her family when we started tailgating before Georgia games with them.  I have the best memories of some of those times...

 [Me, BFW, & M at one of the most drunken, fun tailgates/games I can remember in 2007]

 [BFW & D; classmates]

 [The original Terrpain wives]

[So in love]

 [BFW & B-rye: Our fav couple to tailgate with]

 [2008 tailgates continue]

 [We got separated from the group]

[We always bonded over fashion, shoes, and Gossip Girl]

I have fabulous memories of BFW & B-rye's wedding.  It was in Hilton Head as well.  I loved being with all of our Terrapin friends and both of their families.
 [11.8.08: Their wedding was perfect.]

 [One of my favorite pictures of us all.  BFW's dress was my inspiration]

[So in love]

BFW took some of the most fabulous pictures at our wedding celebration.  She had emailed me the link the the Picassa photo album a while back.  When browsing through yesterday, it reminded me of how much fun we always had with these two.  I will always remember the love they shared and the happiness they brought to others.

One of my last memories with BFW was when D and I flew to Tampa to visit BFW & B-rye in Tampa, FL.  They finally got their dream of living someone new.  They were only back in Georgia for about a in their dream home.  That trip to Tampa was wonderful.  Of course,  I don't have pictures.  I remember being picked up in that Prius that I adored, hanging out in their perfect little bungalow, BFW's idea to make a low country boil (which is surprisingly easy!), more marathon Spades games, sitting on the beach (which BFW and I had the same JCrew swimsuit...we always did have the same taste in fashion!) and getting sunburned.  BFW let me use some sunburn lotion, which of course I later bought.  We had the most laughs with them.

There a million wonderful things I could say about BFW.  One thing her brother said at the funeral will always stand out most to me.  He said a family friend had stated to him, "BFW lived more in her 26 years than most people do in 90."  Nothing could ring more true to me.  BFW traveled the world, met her soul mate and married him.  She lived away from her family.  She was decorating the home of her dreams.  She loved her job.  I could go on forever.  I have a written list of things that will remind me of her always, but the memory of her will never go away.  I will love and miss her forever.  Our lives will honestly never be the same without her.

The Avett Brothers corresponded with BFW's family and dedicated this song as her family song.  It brings me to tears every time I listen to it.  Make sure to tell those you love that you love them and make the most of every memory you make.

If I get murdered in the city
Don’t go revengin in my name
One person dead from such is plenty
No need to go get locked away

When I leave your arms
The things that I think of
No need to get over alarmed
I’m comin home

I wonder which brother is better
Which one our parents love the most
I sure did get in lots of trouble
They seemed to let the other go

A tear fell from my father’s eyes
I wondered what my dad would say
He said I love you
And I’m proud of you both, in so many different ways

If I get murdered in the city
Go read the letter in my desk
Don’t worry with all my belongings
But pay attention to the list

Make sure my sister knows I loved her
Make sure my mother knows the same
Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name
Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name

-Murder in the City, The Avett Brothers
I love you BFW.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Beach bums.

That's about to be what we are.  I had the best memories with BFW, our friend who was taken from us, at the beach.  So this beach trip is going to be for her.  It's been a hard few days, so I am looking forward to getting away for a bit with D.  After returning late from Atlanta last night, I woke up bright and early and went into my new school since I'm missing Thursday and Friday.  I already love it there.  The people are so friendly and seem like they just WANT to be there.  Anyhow, I know I'm going to be super busy next week but am looking forward to getting started at school, trying to catch up on blogs and my blogging.

Thank you all for your kind words regarding my loss.  It means a lot to have this little virtual support system.

And because I could really use a giveaway win in my life right now, check out Amy's giveaway here! If you don't already know, I'm obsessed with Amy's teaching/running blog.  She is amazing!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hard times.

I'm going to be out of commission this week. D and I went through one of the hardest things we've ever been through when we found out one of our very close friends was tragically killed on Friday.

It's hard for people to understand how deep this goes for us. We know her family very well. D is best friends with her husband, who is also the brother of his friend/boss. We vacationed with them. They're basically are their families. The sadness trickles down to many other people and aspects of our lives, which we know will never be the same.

D headed off to Georgia today, and I'll be headed down on Tuesday (since I have to try to get in at least a day at my new job). Thanks for bearing with me during these hard times. Keep your loved ones close and remember to treasure the time and memories you have with others.

-BlogPress post

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm coming back.

This whole week I was feeling a little down and out.  Even after writing my Happiness Edition this week, I just wasn't feeling it.  It was a combination of being cooped up in this house and being frustrated about trying to find a place to stay at the beach and board the dogs.  I had to take a breather on Tuesday from blogging and my Google Reader to just relax and refocus.  Then Tuesday night/Wednesday am, I got really sick.  You know those 24-hour bugs with mess you up.  I literally laid in bed all day Wednesday.

After spending all day this that guy above, I am feeling much better today.  And I lost 3 and a half pounds along the way.  I'm really excited about a few things coming up...
  1. HARRY POTTER on Friday.  D and I are going to see the 1pm showing in IMAX 3-D.  This is real guys.  Get ready to see the end.
  2. My family is coming to visit and see our house for the first time since we moved here.  I'm thrilled!
  3. Then we're headed for a mini-vacation to the beach.  We got a friend to check in on the dogs and finally found some cheap lodging (ps. I don't think I'm going to do the 10k there)
  4. I start my new job right after the mini-vacay!
Things are looking up!

Who else is going on Friday?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ten thing Tuesday :: Happiness Edition quattro.

Editions one, duex, tres

31.  Homemade cocktails

I can't say that I am good at (or have ever) done this.  Since D works for a beer company, we typically drink mostly beer.  And who am I kidding, I'm cheap and spirits are not.  But there is something so fun about muddling and making your own cocktail.  I don't drink cocktails as much as I would like (let's be honest, they're damn expensive and often not high in alcohol content), but they're fun an delicious!

32.  Breakfast food

[Last week's fruit, yogurt, and granola breakfast from my first WIaW link up]

I rave often about D's master breakfast cooking skills.  For some reason, I'm not the biggest fan of pancakes or french toast unless he makes it.  Anyhow, I adore breakfast.  I eat eggs for many meals.  I love them over easy.  The sole reason I could not be a vegetarian is breakfast meats (and trust me, I've tried the bacon and sausage alternatives...NOT AT ALL THE SAME).  Breakfast foods are just delicious.  I could probably devour an entire package of bacon if calories didn't count in life.

33.  Warm evenings sitting on the porch with a beer

I do this a lot more in the spring before the mosquitoes get all hot and heavy.  I take the dogs outside and let them run around in the yard.  I love just being outside since typically I'm cooped up inside with kids all day.  There is something just so relaxing about sitting down with a beer, and preferably some food, on the porch.  I hope we can make our my screened in porch dream a reality sooner than later so I can enjoy the warm weather and my beer without mosquitoes flocking me.

34.  Having my hair played with

Having typed that, it sounds a bit strange.  You get me though.  Something about someone touching your scalp, playing with your hair just feels wonderful.  I love it when D picks up a piece of my hair and twists it or rubs it.  Even at the salon, the washing, the scalp massage...just wonderful.  I'm sure it's some neurological, erogenous zone of the scalp?  Whatever it is, it just makes me happy to have my hair played with.

35.  Laying in the sun

I love going to the pool and the beach just to lay under the warmth of the sun and read.  D prefers actually being in the pool or ocean more, which makes me a party pooper for him (let it be noted that the ocean still freaks me out a little...jellyfish?!).  I love just being out there though.  I am anal about using the SPF, but it totally makes me happy to darken up my pasty, pale skin in the warmer months. 

36.  Synders Pretzel Pieces - Ranch

I seriously love these things and I might be the only person.  I first had them on a beach trip with some friends 4 or 5 years ago.  They don't taste so much like ranch flavor as they do dill.  They are delicious.  I only buy them on "special" occasions due to the calorie count and my obsession with them.  I'm much more of a salty person than a sweet person, and these things totally do it for me.

37.  Kayaking down the Broad River

[Via Google images...I do not know this man]

This is what it looks like.  Back in Athens, the Broad River is the place to go kayaking.  It is super chill (read: no helmets and most calm).  We bring beer, subs, and spend the day on the river.  It's such a fun activity!  I mean how many times can you get a work out in while drinking.  It's rare; I promise you.  I seriously can not find anywhere in or around Raleigh to do this (without having to buy our own kayaks, etc.).

38.  El Sol Torta

This is possibly another reason I could never go vegetarian...the steak torta sandwich from our favorite Mexican restaurant in Athens.  I've learned that nowhere has Mexican food like Athens, GA.  I'm not sure if the torta is "traditional" or not.  It is delicious, and I have yet to find one that compares.  It has steak, avocado, lettuce, cilantro, jalapenos,  tomatoes, and cheese.  You top it with salsa and their delicious green sauce.  I could seriously eat it every single day.

39.  The Grit

The Grit is an all vegetarian restaurant in Athens.  It is amazing.  Again, we have yet to find an all vege restaurant in Raleigh.  While breakfast meats and the steak torta keep me a carnivore, I typically eat mostly vegetarian/pescetarian (spelling? too lazy to look it up).  The Grit does tofu in the best (and probably most fattening) kind of way.  I'm obsessed with their "Golden Bowl" that is choke full of tofu, veggies, and cheese.  Since D is a master chef, he perfected the tofu and we started making our own Golden Bowls at home...but it's just not the same.  Seriously, we miss Athens food...a lot.

40.  Aruba

[All personal pics from our elopement/honeymoon in Aruba]

Lots of it, of course, has to do with the fact that we got married in Aruba.  Aruba combines many of my favorite, happy things though:  travel, flying, beach, drinking, laying in the sun, memories with D, etc.  What is there about Aruba to not make me happy?  I will always have wonderful, happy memories of Aruba.  I can't wait to celebrate an anniversary there in the future. 

Monday, July 11, 2011


Ok, so D got me thinking tonight. I have been banking on doing a 10k next week at the beach...well ON the beach. It is my first 10k (and I haven't done a 5k race since October). I was reeled in by the fact that it's at the beach AND only cost $3. It is literally on the in the sand.

So my question is...should I do it? I knew a 10k outside would be a challenge since I've done most of my consistent runs (no walking) inside and on a treadmill. I did begin worrying myself though. Would it doubly fatigue me in the heat & running in sand (meaning possibly not finishing/walking the majority)? Would I be more likely to become injured right before my half training?

Is it overall a bad idea?

I would be bummed if I didn't do it, but I'd be pissed if I had to walk the majority or got injured. It's not a super serious race and I could always find a cool place to run 6.2 miles to actually achieve running a 10k. D and I would still go to the beach.


And a running update.

I wanted to devote a full post to running, since I am nearing the end of my 10k training.  I’m pretty sure I mentioned that I have been doing the Couch to 10k program.  I have really enjoyed being able to download the app and use it for my training.  My one gripe/flaw with the program is the fact that it measures the amount of time you run, not distance.  For a slow runner like me, a 50 minute run is not getting me to 10k distance.  Nonetheless, I love the program, and it’s been the motivation I needed.  

Due to the heat (which is nothing compared to what all you crazies out in Texas are running), I’ve been treadmill running.  I’ve also been meeting a friend at the gym and combining classes with my running.  I don’t hate it.  I also don’t want to tell you what speed I am running.  I seriously think my short, little legs go at a different pace than other people on that treadmill.  If I’m running at a 4.5 speed (do not even judge), my Nike+ tells me I am hitting about a 12:00 mile.  I know I could probably go faster, but my goal is to finish (ideally without walking)…I know I’m not going to be beating anyone in a race.  Anyhow, at that pace it takes a while to run a 10k and my distances are only going to get longer.  I’m going to mix things up by running on the indoor track (also to accurately calibrate my distances) when I start the half training, but how do you keep from getting super bored on treadmills?  30 minutes alone kills me, let alone multiple hours.  I will start running outside again as the weather gets cooler.

On to more important things…MY RACE SCHEDULE!

10k – July 21st at Atlantic Beach, NC
8k – August 27 in Raleigh
10k – October 1 in Carrboro, NC
Half Marathon – November 12 at Outer Banks, NC

After the 10k, I am officially starting my half training plan.  Here are some screen shots of my plan.

[I think they'll enlarge if you click on them, if not let me know and I'll modify]

I need to give credit to Amy at Juice Boxes and Crayolas since I modified a plan that she used for her half training.  I’m pretty sure her plan was a modified version of Hal Higdon's Half Training Plan for Novices.  I got the idea for adding the post race training from this training plan being used by Megan and Jessica for their first half in Louisiana.  I hope this will be a way for me to maintain my running after the half and not just stop/slack off completely.  In the meantime, I plan to find some other good races to sign up for.  I don’t want to get too ahead of myself by saying I’ll sign up for another half, but I hope I will.  May as well schedule that massage for after the race too!

Oh and I just HAVE to have this shirt from Skinny Runner:

[Just as a reminder :)]
I do want to do this right and take care of myself and my body.  I need advice!  

Should I start foam rolling?
How do you recoup after long runs?
What is the best way to keep from being bored (on long runs and on the treadmill)?   
What is your favorite form of cross training?  

Ps. I started a DailyMile account.  You can add me using my twitter handle: sknnyjeanschai Add me so that I can add you :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

I gave myself ulcers and won an award.

That came out wrong.  I didn't get an award for getting ulcers.  And I don't even really know if I got ulcers, but it certainly felt like it.  My stomach has been in knots for the entire week after an interview at an elementary school.  I've been talking since at least the beginning of 2011 about how I want to teach in an elementary school setting, not middle school.  I always felt that's where my heart was.  Anyhow, fast forward through two "failed" interviews to last Tuesday.  Basically my options were narrowed down between (um, this was the only interview scored since my last in April...I'm telling you it is HARD to score a teaching position these days) a new, challenging position at my middle school and the possibility of another challenging position at an elementary school.  Due to some changes at the middle school, I was weary combined with my desire for an elementary setting.  Between all of my anxiety, I accepted that whatever happened was meant to be.  Well, I found out today that I was offered the elementary position!  I'll bore you with more on that later, but I'm very excited!  It will be challenging, but it is also a great opportunity for me to have leadership and really shine.  I will be losing some of my summer because (and missing out on a group trip to NY, which I'm pretty bummed about) the school is on a different type of schedule, but I am THRILLED!

In actual award news, Amy, over at Juice Boxes and Crayolas, awarded me with this:

Thanks Amy!  Amy is a fellow runner and teacher!  I am constantly pinning her teaching posts and running posts as motivation and for tips.  Anyhow, without further ado (and probably many good pics since I am using D's computer):

Favorite Cartoon Character
Um, I seriously have to think about this one.  I am going to have to say...
Stewie Griffin; 
 Family Guy is about the only cartoon I watch and I haven't thought twice about Disney movies in quite a few years.  Although I totally want to race at Disney!
Favorite Thing to Photograph

 My favorite thing to photograph is definitely places we travel to.  My favorite, happiest memories are of traveling, and I love reliving those through pictures.  I'd probably say I have the most pictures of my pets though.

Favorite Thing to Cook

One dish wonders.
 D and I always joke about what my side is going to be because I usually don't have one.  I like to just throw everything in a bowl, dish, Crockpot, etc., and let it cook.  I'm not much of a multi-tasker in the kitchen.  I like my meals easy.

Favorite Exercise
 Gentle Yoga
While I do enjoy running and the way it makes me feel, it can still be a challenge to actually start doing it sometimes.  I love gentle yoga because it is so relaxing while it is an exercise.  Yogis out there would probably shun me for saying this, but it's the ultimate "lazy" exercise.  I hope to one day say running is my's my #2!

Favorite Movie
I really have to think on this one too.  I have more favorite shows than movies.  I used to love Grease!  Now, I think I'd have to say...
"I'm Ron Burgundy?"  It never fails to make me laugh.

Favorite Article of Clothing
It's hard to think of just one thing...
Simple V-neck tee
They are comfy for every occasion.  I'm a simple girl, really.

Favorite Flower
Tulips, hands down.
Favorite Breakfast
I honestly love anything that D cooks for breakfast.  I'm not a huge pancake or french toast fan except for when he makes it.  When we go out, I typically order something with eggs over easy or poached...yum!
Favorite Book I've Read Recently

I didn't read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath super recently, but it's one that stands out to me. I really fell in love with this book.

Favorite Place to Be

 Duh, the beach.  Any beach...near, far, anywhere.  It is my ultimate relaxing place.  Those photos are from Aruba, where we eloped/honeymooned.
And One of my Choice: Favorite Drink

 Terrapin Wake-N-Bake Stout or a margarita!  Cheers :)

And I'm tagging...(only two because I'm lazy and this took a while):

Sorry if either of you has been tagged already! And all pictures are my own or courtesy of Google images.


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