Monday, August 31, 2009

Music on a Monday

I love this lady. She's joining a trio of new girlfriends I'm accumulating that includes Ingrid Michaelson & Regina Spektor. I'm going to have them all over for a slumber party and we're going to do Ouija board and eat graham crackers with frosting in between and prank call our crushes.

Lovely lyrics too.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Happy Things, Today:

- having Matt home for dinner all week
- the person who left their Sbux treat receipt on the couch I usually sit on... $2 drink for me!
- Buddy after a bath
- fried goat cheese salad
- chatting with my momma
- health insurance
- Kona coffee
- mid-day cat naps
- libraries
- my camera
- Buddy barking a little bit less
- plums
- faith
- Grandma S. I miss her.
- a happy marriage
- clean sheets
- Lauren, my coworker
- my parents health
- air conditioning
- wanting to hear a song and it just so happens to come on the radio
- winos
- health
- celebrating a 71 lb wt loss with someone today
- Dad's advice
- ballet flats still being in style
- having a great relationship with my in-laws
- a peaceful mind
- booking a trip to Utah next Feb
- no matter what kind of a week it is, Friday always shows up just in time

Party Dog.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Better than Ever, Better than Ezra

A few weeks ago I saw that Better than Ezra had updated their tour dates on their facebook page and they were coming to Raleigh....and it was FREE. I've pretty much been doing a happy dance in anticipation for weeks and weeks for this show. The last time I saw them they opened for Hootie and the Blowfish (which was also amazing), and I just loved seeing them live. I've been dying for another chance to see them.

I talked my friend Heather into going, and gave her a list of songs to listen on Grooveshark to get her warmed up. I'm still forgiving her for incessantly pointing out that their Greatest Hits albums has two of the same songs on there twice, and really only features six individual songs. WHATEVS. (You can probably guess the two; they may be the only two BTE songs you know.)

I made a pit stop in Durham to pick up Heath and see her new gooooorgeous apartment. (Exposed brick. I'm envious) Heather indulged me with a trip to my favorite Durham eats, Cosmic Cantina, and after a delicious but nauseatingly large chicken burrito, we headed over to Raleigh. There we met up with JP and a bunch of Heath's friends who lived a few blocks from the square where BTE was playing.

It kept raining all night and I was growing more despondent by the second thinking I was a mere 2 blocks away from KG and the boys and wasn't going to see them. But finally around 10 the rain let up enough that we scampered over there and saw them. Sigh. I love them. They were so delightful. By the time we got there, they were playing a lot of their new album, Paper Empire. (Listen to "Turn Up the Bright Lights" if you want a starting point.) But I did get to hear some of my regular faves, including Extraordinary, Desperately Wanting, and a great cover of Laid.

Is there anything better than dancing in a muddy field to your favorite band LIVE with two of your best friends? Pretty sure that would be a resounding "no."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Happy Things, Today.

- quiet sky on walks in the morning
- buddy's happy dance when he sees the puparoni bag
- skinny jeans
- coaching session epiphanies
- laura beth (my most competent, amazing, works her butt off student)
- good health (3 yrs, 4 months)
- itunes genius
- sister getting a job
- polka dot riesling
- my hubby (esp after listening to a girlfriend lament a he's-just-not-that-into-you rship... )
- fresh market
- my car
- not doing girl push ups anymore
- all august bills paid
- trader joe's hummus
- getting a present in the mail from a friend who puked in my car - nice to have your hard work (cleaning up vomit at 2 am) recognized
- a new swaptree book is on its way to me
- reading HeatherD emails
- new PINK running shoes
- my camera
- Better than Ezra
- hot cocoa with homemade whip cream
- my parents
- running again
- that feeling of getting in bed and knowing you're going to be asleep in a few seconds

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Middle Sister

I wish I drank red wine solely so I could purchase this bottle. I love judging bottles by their labels.

Any bottles you've bought based on labels that have turned out to be success? My two faves so far are Barefoot Pinot and Polka Dot Riesling.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cupcakes & Catchphrase

This weekend the stars collided and a number of our friends all happened to have the same Saturday evening off together... which called for an impromptu get together involving large slabs of meat on the grill, cold beverages in the fridge and funfetti cupcakes.

Okay, I confess, the funfetti cupcakes aren't exactly a necessity of a get together but it just so happens my wonderful friend Jamie has been gracious enough to share her birthday with our wedding anniversary so I wanted to give her a little birthday shout out. Plus, who doesn't love a chance to eat cupcakes?

It was a great evening, and just so nice to see the boys be able to kick back and relax. The hens had a great time clucking away in the kitchen sipping wine / whiskey sours (and um, eating frosting out of the can. There, I said it.)

After dinner, we gathered for a round of Catchphrase and it must be documented here in the inaugral Emergency vs. Optho, Emergency was the clear winner. Optho, ya'll better be studying up for next time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rana Loca? Claro que si!

A few Fridays ago, we headed out to dinner at Xia's - a small Asian fusion restaurant tucked away on a side street (Spruce St) in downtown Winston. On our way to Xia's, we drove down 4th St which was packed on both sides with restaurant and bar goers. There was a ton of foot traffic too, ranging from workers with gym bags slung over their shoulders headed to Rush to a bachlorette party all gussied up headed to Noma's to those in jeans and t-shirts headed for a bite of pizza at Mellow Mushroom to families grabbing custard at Wolfies. Downtown was busy, and looked like a real city should on a Friday night. Matt and I both looked at each other and went "Is this Winston?"

We are both so excited to see the changes that have happened in our little city over the 9 years we've been living here. Truly you can see that people are investing time and money into making downtown a desirable place to be. For a moment, we even pondered to each other whether should we have spent a few years in one of the new lofts on 4th St or the newly renovated Nissan Building.

Living in downtown Winston? It would have been unheard of, pointless, just a few years ago.

(For the record, we both agreed we love our country bumpkin locale more than the lure of being able to walk to the gym and/or custard shop. And let's be honest, we both know which one we'd walk to more often.)

For our anniversary, we tried out one of the new restaurants on 4th St, called Rana Loca. It's a Mexican restaurant, which to any Winston-Salemite sounds pretty blase. I mean, we've got La Carreta, El Torero, Monte Del Rey, El Dorado, Tequila's, El Mague, La Botana.... let's just say, that is one genre that is well established.

But our friends had given it a thumbs up and we went. I was delighted by the menu - empanadas, ceviche, fried yucca... this is not your typical Mexican menu here.* (No "combinacion numero dos" available here.) Their build your own menu is fantastic - you get a big magic marker and check off burrito, taco, quesadilla; the type of meat you want, all the veggies, the sides - guac, different types of salsas, etc.

What I loved about the food was how fresh everything tasted. I tend to find most of the dishes in the Mexican restaurants I've been to all sort of taste fairly similar and bland and rather salty. I usually just go to munch on chips and drink a 'rita, and then I always complain that there's no tequila in my 'rita.

There was definitely tequila in the 'rita here. And wine in the sangria. Heck yea.

Needless to say, I'm excited about the most recent addition to our little city and I can't wait to go back. Delicious foods, yummy drinks, great location? What more could you ask for? Hope you are here to stay, Rana Loca.

*Come to find out after a little Google research the restaurant is owned by John Cahoon, owner of Finnegan's Wake, the Irish bar on 6th St. When I asked the waitress for extra guac, por favor, she just laughed and said "Yea, no one speaks Spanish here." So, as I said - not your typical Mexican restaurant. Is it authentic? I don't know, and truthfully? I don't care. It is delicious. Eso es todo lo que importa.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two Years Ago Today

Four years ago, my husband asked me to date him. More specifically, he asked me to stay in North Carolina and not go back to Baltimore. We had known each other for 4 years at that point, having dated for a few months beginning our sophomore year. As college ended, we found ourselves getting reacquainted, running up cell phone minutes and staying way too late chatting on instant messenger. My grad school friends were perplexed that I spent all this time talking to and talking about this guy, even declaring that I would marry a guy "just like Matt" but yet, I wasn't dating Matt. It was a natural progression for us to begin dating, but yet, when he first posed the question - "stay here?" - I felt almost as much fear as I did excitement.

I was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle dating someone who lived 600 miles away. (Leaving Baltimore was not quite an option yet, unless I wanted to quit grad school a mere 40% completed.) I was afraid that once it was official, and he was my boyfriend, that missing him would hit me so hard I wouldn't be able to handle it. I was afraid that he WAS the guy I was going to marry, and how could I possibly know that at 23? I was afraid that I couldn't handle dating someone, or ultimately being married to, someone in medicine. I was afraid I wasn't mature enough or good enough for the person I had spent the last 4 years declaring to everyone else was the model of my Mr. Right.

I went back to Baltimore, unsure of what to do. I was scared I might lose him, but I was scared to move forward.

Moving forward in the face of fear has always resulted in the most amazing things in my life. A week after Matt asked me to date him, I was walking back from Camden Yards after a Red Sox-Orioles game. It was a sunny afternoon, everyone around me was raucous and exuberant after a Red Sox win (I kid you not that there were more Ortiz fans than Tejada fans at most O's games.). We were all traipsing back through Fed Hill on this gloriously sunny April afternoon, but my heart didn't feel right. I went back home, and I was sitting on my front steps when my phone rang. "So......," he asked, again.

I said yes.

A year later I said yes when he asked me to marry him.

Tonight we celebrated our 2nd anniversary. It is amazing how quickly two years have gone by. Whenever I think about my husband, there is just an overwhelming sense of calmness, happiness, and gratitude that floods me. Floors me. He is mine? Forever? For keeps?

I used to drive around belting out the lyrics to a Rascal Flatt song called "Everyday Love." This song always resonated with me, and I think it's because I knew that this was the kind of love I was already looking to have. Simple, uncomplicated, trustworthy, yet so marvelous.

It's easy to take for granted the simple things in life, and I am absolutely positive that this is true of a good marriage. My intention for my marriage is to always let my husband know how thankful I am that he is there. That he was worth moving through the fear for, and that I found the most wonderful life on the other side of that fear. Thanks for asking me to be your wife, and happy 2 years to us.

It's ordinary plain and simple
Typical, this everyday love
Same ol', same ol' keeping it new
Emotional, so familiar
Nothing about it too peculiar
Oh, but I can't get enough
Of this everyday love

Monday, August 10, 2009


You know how sometimes you plan an event a few months out in advance, and then you talk it up and talk it up and talk it up and then the event comes and it's not nearly as fun as you built it up to be in your mind?

Well, that did not happen this weekend.

1 limo, 9 girls, 3 vineyards. Perfection.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just A Day, Just an Ordinary Day...

4:26 am. Alarm goes off. I disagree. Buddy pokes his head around the corner to see if I'm getting up. As he sees the comforter tossed back over my head, he flops down on the floor with a heavy sigh to wait ten more minutes.

4:36 am. Ten minutes goes so fast. Shoes are on, leash is in, dog is practically twirling to get outside. We walk. It is dark, it is quiet, it is peaceful and I often look up to the sky on these hushed mornings and wonder what God has in store for me that day. My contemplative state is nearly always broken by noticing that my dog is squatting somewhere, and if I don't hurry over, I'll be left to using my cell phone as a light to try and see where his poo is in the grass. From revelry to reality.

We walk until the leash goes slack, and that's when I know I've worn him out, and then we walk a little bit more for good measure. For both of us. We return, we both get food, and then I get ready for work.
As I'm pouring my coffee, Dr. C comes home. I'm fixing an English Muffin while he's scrounging in the freezer, heating up a Lean Cuisine or microwaving leftover She-Crab Soup. We could not be on more opposite schedules. He updates me on his night, we say good-bye, he goes to bed and I go to work.

6:25 am. My first class starts at 6:30, and they're usually hover outside the door raring to go. No matter what time of day I hold class, there is always someone who arrives 20 minutes early. I'm very particular about my time - being late is my pet peeve, but being early infringes on my nerves nearly as much, for some reason. Perhaps it's because those 20 minutes while I'm setting up my class are the last 20 minutes of quiet I'll have for awhile and I savor each one. I'm teaching a class on portion control, and the front table is set up with enough fake food to delight a six year old with a Play-Skool kitchen.

8:15 am. My two classes are done with, and I begin to make the rounds picking up the room. The adrenaline rush that is with me while I am pouring my heart into each class, and answering questions that I hope will inspire and educate begins to wane. .. I sit down, and my feet scream THANK YOU. For an hour, I alternate between checking emails and following through but also losing myself in the pages of twitter, facebook or someone's blog I may not even know.

9:05 am. "Am I too early?" My first appointment is here. The next two hours pass by in a blur. I do four 30-minute coaching session in this time. At least one will move me to tears, at least one will leave me wondering what I could have done differently to light a spark that seemed fizzled. There is nothing I like more than coaching people through their challenges, or hearing stories about the lives that go on outside my classroom. There's little time to think about it, because my next class is gathering out in the hallway.

12:00 pm: I am walking across the tennis courts in high heels. I pray the Rec director does not come out and give me THAT look. But I am carrying a laptop bag, a purse, a backpack full of handouts, food logs, newspaper articles, and a lunchbox. I arrive in the office and have a hard time fitting through the door, without dismantling the bags from my arms and shoulders. For two hours, I enter data, read food logs or do research, updating the classes I'll be giving tomorrow or the next day. There's a book on tape on my ipod as I enter data and the numbers fly by as I soak in Tim Ferris, Michael Gerber or Rhonda Byrne.

2:25 pm: I am pulling into the Starbucks parking lot. I am pondering whether I will have an iced skinny vanilla or a light-java chip frap. My client's car is already here, and I am excited for the hour that will transpire and the transformations we'll make. Did I mention already that I love coaching?

3:55 pm: Coaching is done, so now I am hustling to the gym. Fortunately, it is 2 minutes away. I arrive and my PT client is already on the treadmill. He waves, and I have a mini heart attack that he might lose his balance. He is 72 years old, and lost 50 lbs working with me on his food intake over the course of 2 years. Now we've added in exercise, and for some reason, 3 years later, he's still putting up with me. I work him through our machines - a serious of leg exercise, upper body and core. I hold my breath as he does crunches on the medicine ball and I am posed to catch him. He notices me doing this and yells at me for making him feel like an old man. I retract my hand and he immediately rolls off the balance ball. We finish his workout, and I begrudgingly say good-bye to him and drag myself over to a stair mill. 5 minutes later, I am deeply engrossed in Kate Gosselin's bodyguard romance and the timer ticks down on the machine. I repeat the exercises I just took my client through, and leave thoroughly exhausted but happy.

6:05 pm: I arrive home and can hear the barking as soon as the garage door rolls up. I grab the leash, open the door and whisk him out the door before he can say heyyyy you're home. Nervous energy, BE GONE. A quick lap and he's himself again, and will spend the rest of the night testing out different spots in our living room as suitable nap locales. I drag out a cutting board and chop, pour oil in a pan, throw in, sizzle and wait. I open the plastic clamshell of triple washed greens, throw on some fruit, some cheese, some olive oil, some pepper.

8:45 pm: My energy is waning, so I pop my ipod books back on and bustle around my end of day routine. Pack gym bag, lay out clothes, pack lunch. Walk dog one last time, brush teeth, turn on TV. DVR-ed versions of Stacy & Clinton, Cesar or Joel McHale lull me into a vegetable state.

9:27 pm: "You in the bed?" When the Dr. calls from the hospital after 9, he knows where I'm at. I'm reading Dr. Kessler's "The End of Overeating" and it doesn't take more than six or seven pages before I start to go a little cross-eyed. Flop the book on the floor, throw the glasses on my nightstand and *click*. Lights Out.

To do it again tomorrow.