all right, y’all.  Don’t say it.  I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written.  A question for those who have planned a wedding while working full time while working out 5x a week 2hrs per day, will this get any easier?  Will time ever slow down?  Tom and I both said the other night how excited we are to be bored (when the wedding is over).

I don’t want to complain, though.  Life is great.  We are EIGHTY days away, which is so exciting (and soso close).  We had our meeting at Tendenza last night to plan whole night (most importantly, our DELICIOUS menu).  I am salivating just thinking of the food we’re serving- yum!!

Oh, also, I graduate from Grad school tomorrow- I keep forgetting.  I didn’t know that I wanted to go to the ceremony, but I am proud of my hard work and feel like walking in the ceremony (and being hooded!) will make it seem a little more real to me.

Last week I ran in the Ragnar Relay in New York.  Myself and eleven other team members relayed 197 miles in 29 hours.  It was such an incredible experience, and I am still on a high from it. 

I have hundreds of pictures, but as I mentioned this was team effort- and I don’t want to use their images in case they don’t want them in my blog.

I was beautiful, and I’m so thankful the rain held out on us!

Because of this event, I’ve been motivated to take my running abilities to the next level and challenge myself.  I’ve joined a team where I will be raising money for charity and will be  coached throughout my training, which will peak at the Philadelphia Marathon in November.  I will also be running in the ING Rock and Roll Half Marathon in September, which I ran in last year and very much enjoyed.

I mentioned that I will be raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team in Training and will be periodically posting a link to my fundraising page on here.  Please consider donating!  Every little amount helps.

Wish me luck, this is my first marathon and I am a little intimidated!

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food chronicles [pt. 1]

annnnnd I’m back!

a small life update: I’ve begun counting calories, diligently and obsessively. i love it. i can’t stop.  it’s such a new concept for me, as i HATE scales and obsessing over pounds.  but i’m getting better.  aaaaand, i’ve lost 5.6 pounds so far, so that’s great.  I’m also working out like a fiend, but again, i love it.

so with that, and in addition to tom and my vow to cook dinner more, i bring you tonight’s menu: spinach and artichoke dip with super-pretzel nuggets (yep! sooo good) and grilled pitas.

also, i made beer bread for a work function tomorrow:

oh! today marks 4 months to go until our wedding.  so close, i’m so excited!

idol time.

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I’m currently in the process of converting to Catholicism.  Tom and I have been taking RCIA classes since September and I will receive my remaining sacraments at this year’s Easter vigil.  I was baptized and raised Episcopalian, but did not get very involved.  As Tom and I try to put more effort into our religious beliefs and practices, we spent a good amount of time deciding what we would give up for Lent.  After much debate we chose to give up eating out at restaurants (prior to this decision, we were eating out at least 4 times per week- bad for our waistlines AND wallets!)

By not eating out we have been “forced” to prepare meals more often (and I say “forced” because I truly love to cook but have been feeling extra lazy and …well, mostly just lazy).

This weekend I was able to drag Tom to my personal mecca (Trader Joe’s) and pick out dinners for the upcoming week. I completely forgot to photograph the first two meals we prepared (garlic/lime tilapia- good; apple-stuffing stuffed porkchops- amazeballs) but I would like to share with you all the past two meals we’ve had:

soy-beef stir fry: a mish-mosh of mesquite teriyaki and soy sauce with chili flakes, white pepper, and garlic salt- red, yellow, and green peppers, asparagus, green beans, over brown rice

whole-wheat turkeyish pizza: whole wheat dough, mozz, vegetarian sausage, turkey bacon, turkey pepperoni, yellow onions *cooked on a stone* (essential to pizza success)

My plan is to photograph more delicious meals for no better reason than the fact that my life tends to revolve around food.  No, really.

And here’s a beautiful photo from the Basilica in Philadelphia:

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has it really been this long?

First off: I’m sorry!

I’ve done a terrible job at keeping up with this blog.  I’d like to say it’s because not much has been happening, but that is only half true.  I think it’s truly a strange combination of not much happening and dozens of things happening all at once.  It has been almost two months since beginning my teaching position, and I am feeling much more comfortable now.  Tom and I have also settled into our new house now, and it’s so cozy and comfortable.  We are just over four months out to our wedding day- where has the time gone??

My real purpose of writing this blog is to ask YOU something- how do you manage your time off from work?  Tell me your secrets!

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unintentional hiatus

I didn’t check to see the last time I posted a blog, but I know it was much longer ago than I had intended.  Not a big deal, though, as I’ve been too busy for my own good.

I am NOT complaining about this.

Out of the blue I received an invitation to interview for a high school teaching position to finish out the school year.  I NEVER had any intentions of working in a high school.  However, I’ve been trying to be open-minded about my career and believe that the right position will come to me.  Needless to say, I was offered the job.  Without going into the details behind it, I took it as a sign and accepted.  Today I finished my second week of work.  While the position isn’t necessarily what I always pictured for myself, I am really enjoying it and making the most of it.  (And it goes without saying that I am extremely grateful to be working so quickly after graduating).

On top of a new job (and a 5:45am wake up call….oy) we just got the keys to our new house! (!!!!!!!!)  It feels sort of surreal to finally, after nearly 6 years, to be setting up a house of our own.  More on this later, as we are literally got the keys today.

On TOP of all this, I’m trying to train for these races (and, truthfully, not having much success).  More on this later as well.

AAAAAND, shameless plug, tomorrow is my 25th birthday.

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and I run

I am a runner.

Well, no.  I want to be a runner.  I run.  I guess that’s more accurate.  I have such trouble identifying myself as a runner because I often don’t take it seriously. There’s a lot of people in my life that can vouch for this, too.  Anyone from high school reading this?  I whined at every drill forced upon us during soccer practice.  Hey college friends- remember that brief period where I vowed to run a marathon?  I didn’t get through the first two weeks of training before giving up.  I followed this pattern for a long time.

Then I moved to Philadelphia.  Guess what? City gyms are INSANELY expensive (especially when I was making hostess/grad student wages).  I wanted to get in better shape, and I thought running was the cheapest form of exercise I could start.

I knew I needed serious motivation, so I quickly signed up for the half-marathon that was five months away (at the time, I was running around 5 miles a week).  I trained hard and finished the race.  I have never been so proud of myself for accomplishing anything and knew I needed to continue.  I ran a 10k a few weeks later (more for the cash raffle at the end) but soon slowed down my pace.  In fact, I haven’t ran in almost a month because of the cold and snow.

Here’s where you come in, reader.  I  signed up for the Broad Street Run (10 miles) AND joined a team running a very serious 200 mile relay in upstate New York (read: hills).  These races are two weeks apart from each other.  There is no delaying this anymore.  I need to train.  You need to bully me into doing so.  Do I look fat or lazy?  Tell me.  Maybe that’s how I’ll be able to see myself as a runner- keep me going.

Coming up: I’ll write about my potentially life-changing experience running in Vibram FiveFingers.  Look elsewhere for the scientific data behind this philosophy, but know that I support it.

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Hello out there,

I suppose I should create an actual introduction of myself to this wordpress world.  If I plan to keep up this blog throughout 2011 (and I do, I promise), you may enjoy my writing more if you understand where I am coming from.

(To get this out of the way, I’m going to say “you” quite a lot.  This is not to assume that I actually have any readers- I just find it simpler to address my potential reader(s) in this manner.)

Let me start out by letting you know that I do not find myself to be particularly interesting.  I live a relatively normal, boring life.  I say this because I don’t want anyone to assume I am blogging because I think what I do/am doing is significant or unique.  I am a mid-twenties, east coast woman who finished graduate school about 5 weeks ago.  That means I am now diligently searching for a job.  My undergrad degree is in Marketing and Operations Management and my grad degree is in Special Education.  There is a long story behind that, but I don’t want to bore you with it.

I’m very excited to be getting married this summer.  My fiance and I have been together for coming on six years.  We met in our freshman dorm’s courtyard and have been together (mostly) ever since.  Planning a wedding is more work than I ever imagined, but it’s been a very fun experience (and I’m relieved to know I will only have to do it once!).

In my free time (which is most of my time as I’m currently- but hopefully temporarily-unemployed), I like to cook, run, take pictures, bargain shop, and plan things (e.g. our honeymoon, weekends, the wedding, etc).  I imagine that many of my future posts will be related to one of these topics.  In fact, I know the next one will definitely be.

So, this is me in a nutshell.  I live in the suburbs and I miss living in the city.  I dedicate a large portion of my day to getting a teaching position.  The remaining part of my days are spent watching TiVo (or other TV shows- we are currently enjoying Mad Men, feel free to recommend others!), planning my next meal, and sleeping.  I also will be dedicating a good deal of my time and energy from today on to running.  More about that coming up.  Any questions, feel free to ask.

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