Hodge Podge Monday

Today’s post is rather hodge podge as there is so much I want to share.  First off, who has seen this commercial?  I cried the first time I saw it and it still gets to me every time…

It’s really a beautiful take on life but it makes me happy and sad all in a one minute commercial.  Darn you Lowes!

This weekend was a lot of fun but also consisted of a lot of hard work.  Friday night Neal and I went to the National baseball game at Nats Park.

This weekend was their last home series of the season, so we had to make it out there (and buy their nachos…. sooo bad for you good).  We had a wonderful time and the park was just beautiful that night.

Pretty nice considering it rained all day!  Although the Nats lost, Neal and I had a fantastic time… right Neal?

Saturday morning I went to the Annapolis, MD Amish Market with my Aunt Danielle and had a wonderful time!  Remember you still have a chance to enter the Amish Market Giveaway!  A winner will be selected Wednesday morning.

Sunday Neal and I both woke up late so we didn’t go out for our scheduled 4 mile run.  Instead we stopped at Grounded Coffee, went grocery shopping and then made our way back home.  I had a lot of graduate work to do, so I spent the after working on a project.

Around 5PM Neal and I went for a 1 hour walk, which was a really nice change of pace.  I’m really proud of our 15K training so far, but it was really nice to just go for a walk.  Confession: I really have a hard time running!  I always feel great afterwards, but it really is challenging for me.  What I’ve learned though is with time, your body will adapt and running will become easier!

We made up our 4 mile run this morning, running at just over a 10 minute pace.  We finished 4 miles in 43:51 (running on a 2 minute run, 1 minute walk interval).  Neal had a great run and I’m really glad he pushed me this morning.

Tonight the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys in Monday Night Football, so I’m making Chunky Beef Chili and Jalapeno Cornbread for the occasion!  I’m really looking forward to sitting back and watching some football.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Any fun plans this week?  Last week of September…

Football, Beer, and Shaving

It is a beautiful day here in Washington, DC.  The sun is shinning and there is no rain in sight!

Last night I watched the September 11 Dateline special ‘America Remembers‘ and let me tell you, I was a hot mess.  Although it is hard to watch, it’s important to remember where we all were 10 years ago and to think about all of the people affected by this tragedy.  I had planned to go to bed early last night, but I was sucked into this special and was glad I stayed up to watch it.


After sleeping in until 8AM this morning, I made a big ol’ glass of iced coffee, poured a bowl of Weetabix with some vanilla almond milk, and began to tackle some graduate work.

It’s really amazing to me how much you can accomplish when you just put your mind to it.  Sometimes it’s so easy to wallow in the thought of how much work you have to do, but if you actually sit down to do it you’ll be amazing how much you can get done in a short amount of time.  I cranked out 1 reading assignment and 3 writing assignments in a little under 2 hours… which was awesome!

I then did something I should have done a LONG time ago…. I shaved my legs.  God bless Neal and his patience with me and my lack of shaving.  I hate shaving.  Hate it.  Again, it doesn’t actually take that long, but it’s such a hassle.  I’m always amazed by women who shave their legs every day… how the heck do you do that?

Now she shaved with confidence!

After a quick run to Whole Foods to pick up some ground beef, hamburger buns, and Fat Tire Neal and I settled in at his apartment to watch the Iowa vs. Iowa State football game.

I love watching sports with Neal, though his stomach is usually in knots when we watch the Hawkeyes.  Over the past three years I’ve learned how to watch games with him…. I leave him alone.  If he wants to talk, he’ll talk.  If he wants something to eat, he’ll ask.  One piece of advice ladies… learned how to watch sports with your loved one.   You’ll both be happier, trust me 🙂 (source)

Happy Saturday!! What are y’all up to today?

A Proud Hawkeye!

It’s the weekend!! And not just any weekend, it’s a 3 day weekend!!

Yesterday was a really big day for Neal!  As a published author, he had a book signing at Fry Fest in Iowa City for his new book “What It Means To Be a Hawkeye“.

Before the book signing, Neal was able to show me around the University of Iowa.  It was so fun seeing where he went to school and the dorm he lived in while he was there.

We even saw Neal’s books in a number of Iowa bookstores, which was really cool!

Neal was so happy and I totally felt like a proud girlfriend!!  Speaking of being a girlfriend… guess what Neal bought me??

Yeah right!  I wish!  We both got a good laugh out of it though.

After walking around the university for a bit, we stopped at Jimmy Johns for lunch.  We have a Jimmy Johns in Washington, DC but Neal and I had never been so we thought we’d give it a try.  I 0rdered the turkey sandwich on their 7 grain bread.  It was a really tasty sandwich and very, very filling!

Once at Fry Fest we walked around for a bit and checked out all the venders and their booths.  There were soooo many t-shirt stands and lots memorabilia.  It screamed Hawkeye pride!

Is it sad that I really wished I had children already that way I could buy this table and chairs set?  These were SO adorable.  There were so many children there, dressed up in their Iowa attire.  It was incredibly cute.

Neal’s book signing was wonderful and it was so fun seeing him with the other authors and players.  I also stepped in to help organize things a bit.  They needed a woman’s touch to help things run smoothly.

After the book signing we headed back to his parents house and relaxed for a bit…. but it wasn’t before long that we headed out to the Dari Barn!!

This is seriously one of the best ice cream places I’ve been to and they are only open between memorial day and labor day.

It was a wonderful day and it’s hard to believe that we haven’t even been to the Iowa football game yet!  The game is at 11AM CST today and we’re both really looking forward to them playing Tennessee Tech!

I’m also really looking forward to Sunday as Neal and I are going on a 3 mile run around town as part of our 15K training!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Mission Wake Up

Mission “wake up when my alarm goes off and do not jump back into bed” is going really well this week.  Some mornings have been tougher than others, but the challenge to fight both the mental and physical in order to stick to my plan has been good.  I am finding that the nights I begin getting ready for bed by 10PM, thus getting me into bed around 10:30PM, leave me feeling awake and refreshed in the morning.  My toughest mornings tend to come after Neal and I have have hung out, whether we’ve been out at a ballgame (last night) or have stayed up late watching the shows we have on the DVR.  It is no fault of his, but I rarely get to bed before 11:30PM when we hang out.

So far this week I have set my alarm between 5:00AM and 6:00AM depending on when I have needed to be at the gym.  As soon as I acknowledge my alarm clock I popped out of bed, turn off the alarm and leave my bedroom before giving myself a change to think about going back to bed.  I also turn on lights around the house, which has been really helpful.  Training myself to wake up has fallen at a perfect time as I start graduate classes again on Monday and don’t want to miss out on going to the gym before work.

This fall looks to be a busy one, but I’m going into it with a clear head and a fantastic agenda.  I don’t know how it is for y’all, but the fall is a crazy season/time of year for me.  Everything seems to fall (no pun intended) between the months of September and December for me.

At the 'Art on the Ave' street festival in Del Ray last year

  • 2 graduate classes
  • Starting to prep my capstone project for my Masters
  • Work (fall is the busiest season at work as well)
  • Neal’s sister is having a baby
  • Training for Hot Chocolate 15K 
  • Possibly other road races (Wicked 10K, Turkey Trot 5K, Jingle All the Way 10K)
  • Baseball season continues
  • Football season (NFL and college)
  • Fantasy Football (in two leagues this year)
  • Fall TV starts (so excited about Biggest Loser, New Girl, Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, and Pan Am)
  • LOTS of birthdays (I swear, I have a gazillion friends with birthdays in the fall)
  • DC street festivals, markets, fall festivities (I love this website for DC area events)
  • Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas prep

At a Washington Redskins game

The fall is definitely my favorite time of year, but I have to go into it prepped and organized or it can become overwhelming.  Listing out the things I have going on, as I did above, is really helpful.  It gives me a rough draft of what I have coming up and what my focus will be on.  I then import the various events into my Google calendar.  I’m a huge fan of calendars and I love being able to categorize events and color code things.  On a weekly basis I make a list of to dos, especially for graduate school.  Lastly I’ll set reminders or “tasks” in Google calendar of things I need to get done on certain days, for example buying some cards today or sending out various emails.

In the end though, it’s about having fun and enjoying life.  Neal has taught me this!  It’s so easy for me to plan, plan, plan and not look at what’s right in front of me or what’s going on today.  Neal is great about living life one day at a time and I love him for that.  He helps me to enjoy every moment and not stress about the future.

Today should be a great day.  First on the agenda, getting my next few sets of Invisalign trays.  I am 6 trays in, so halfway done with my bottom teeth and 1/3 way done with my top!  After work I am meeting up with Matt and going to see Final Destination 5.  I’m nervous already, but that’s part of the thrill.  I’m definitely the kind of person who watches scary movies through her hands, but it’s like a roller coaster ride to me.  You get nervous, you get scared, but afterwards you want to do it all over again!

What is your favorite time of year?  What helps you to plan/organize your schedule?  If you live in DC, what fall event are you most looking forward to?