Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Instagram Happenings

I love playing around with Instagram.  Sometimes I get a little crazy and Instabomb people with pictures (i.e. flowers.)  I don't really have tons to share today, besides that I'm super sore from the zillion squats and lunges I did at the gym yesterday, so I thought I'd Instabomb my blog instead :)  Enjoy!



 My sweet Ollie!!
Ollie and I before heading out for New Years festivities.
     My younger sis, Dominique before dropping her off at the airport. 
 MLK Day
   Sisters weekend with Jaclyn, Courtney (Lulu) and Meredith
Lunch with my parents
       I spotted a peacock at Broadwell Nursery.
 petunias
       New Guinea Impatiens
    African Daisies
 more daisies

If you've got an Instagram account you can follow me @asheypride.  :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekend Recap Randomness

Happy Monday, Folks! 

I hope y'all had a great weekend!!  I know I did!  I spent the weekend with my sister and her family in Burlington.  I arrived super early Saturday morning (I got there around 8) and left around 4 pm on Sunday.  The traffic heading back to Raleigh was crazy!!  No traffic jams but TONS of people on the road.  Here's what's happening:

*The weekend was fun.  We shopped around a bit, stopped at the Old Mill at Guilford, (check out the Old Mill HERE) and went to the Greensboro Farmer's Market.  I picked up some peaches, red onions, and corn on the cob at the Farmer's Market, and bought a bag of blueberry muffin mix at the Old Mill. I'm looking forward to baking those muffins!  I was going to pick up some scones mix too, however the last time I made scones they were a FLOP (Ollie said they were good but i know he just said that to be nice) so I decided to skip those. 

*If you've been tuning into my blog, you'll know I'd been dealing with a knee injury from way back in late October.  I could have been doing lots of other exercises in place of running the months following the injury, but I did next to none.  (SO dumb, I know.)  I did however eat lots of ice cream and junk food.  But that's all come to end now, and I'm happy to report that I'm back to exercising 5 days a week, eating a healthy diet (no junk food, sweets, fast food, fried foods) and have eased back into running again (20 minutes straight on Friday.)  It's already paying off too. I lost 3.5 pounds last week! I've set a weight loss goal of 2 pounds per week and I'm really serious about working towards meeting it. (love a challenge.) You can imagine how happy I was to lose 1.5 lbs more than planned.  Looking forward to seeing the numbers drop weekly!!

*Oh, and to let you know just how lazy I can be....I put my coffee in a water bottle this morning because I was too lazy to wash a traveler mug for the car.  Yup, a water bottle. 

Here are some pictures from the weekend:


Royce and James

My sister, Jaclyn with her kiddos.

sisters

water wheel @ Old Mill.  It works too! 


Friday, June 7, 2013

It's Friiiiiiiday!!

And I am so happy too!!! I hope y'all have something special planned.  I'll be making my way to Burlington to spend the weekend with my sis and her family.  Today was the last day of school for my nephew, James.  I remember the first time I held that kiddo.  Hard to believe he'll be 8 in July.  And my niece, Royce is starting kindergarten in August.  Such a big girl! I'm looking forward to getting beat up by the kids and chasing them around.  :) 

Who wouldn't want to hang out with these rugrats all weekend??





Happy Friday. :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Squeaky Clean

Yesterday Oliver cleaned the shower.  He told with me that after he finished scrubbing everything he used the garden hose to finish cleaning the shower.  Whaaaaaa???  He went on to explain how he did it.  He opened the window, pulled the hose through, tossed it over the side of the shower and finished the job. Here's a visual to help you better understand.


That Oliver.  He's one of a kind. ;) 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Confessions

I've always liked writing my Monday Confessional posts. It's fun admitting random things to the blogging world. (Although I'm pretty sure not too many folks read my blog these days since I nixed my Facebook page several months back.)

I could wait until Monday rolls to do an "official"  confession, but I've been on a blogging kick lately, and it's my blog, so I can do whatever I want!

So let's see..where to start.....

1) I confess that....I ran for the 1st time in 8 months on Monday!!!! Okay, it was more like a jog. And it was only for 15 minutes. That I broke up into 3 five minutes jogs. But this is HUGE for me!! I had a pretty bad knee injury and have struggled with all sorts of pain over the months. To be able to jog and not be in any major pain was a very happy moment for me. I took it super easy because I didn't want to overdo it. I will admit that my knee was a bit sore yesterday. I'm definitely easing back into running slowly!!!

2) I confess that...I have an app on my phone called Sleep Pillow that plays all sorts of soothing sounds like the ocean, rain, wind, thunder, and whales. I have a rainstorm with faint thunder programmed that I like to put on at night when I go to bed. It puts me right to sleep! It plays all through the night and shuts off when my alarm goes off in the morning. I love it!!!

3) I confess that...I am very scatterbrained and have been terrible about remembering things lately.  I've been forgeting all sorts of things. Family member's birthdays (I forgot my mom's this year), turning things in at work, writing thank you notes, responding to emails, etc. I hate that I am this way. I try to remember to do these things, but somehow they seem to end up being forgotten. It can be pretty embarrassing too. I've been this way my whole life.

4) I confess that...I'm turning 30 on August 7th!!! I am pretty excited about it too. It's weird to think that I've been alive nearly 3 decades. Grateful to be here for sure!! ;) My boyfriend turns 30 thirteen days after me on August 20th. We've planned a 2 week hoorah to Maui to celebrate the big 3-0 together. We'd tossed around several ideas before settling on Hawaii. We talked about a cruise or maybe going to Italy (his aunt has a home there), but when it came down to it we chose a Hawaiian getaway. I'll be tracked in at school on my actual birthday, but we'll arrive on the island on Ollie's birthday. :) I'm happy for that too since this is his 1st time to Hawaii. :) I'm really looking forward to lots of hiking adventures, beach time, The Road to Hana, snorkeling, parasailing, the sunrise at Mt. Haleakala (holly-ah-kah-la), and LOTS of tasty food! Did you know the state fish of Hawaii is the humuhumunukunukuapuaa AKA reef trigger fish.

5) I confess that...sometimes when I blog or Instagram I worry that I am coming across as a bragger like, "Look at me I'm so great and here's what I'm up to to prove it." But I just want to clear the air that I'm not wanting to come across that way at all. For example, refer back to #4 about going to Hawaii. I didn't write that to brag about my trip. I'm just super excited, and when I look back at this post years and years from now I want to remember what was happening in my life. My life is actually pretty uneventful for those who don't interact with me often. I go to bed pretty early on the weekends and my idea of "partying" now is having a beer (singular) after a long week of work. I grocery shop at Walmart and Aldi, rarely buy new clothes or shoes, don't keep up with all the latest trends, and I love to water my flowers in the evening.  My life is sooo exciting....yeahhhhhh!

Anyway,  if you have an iPhone check out that Sleep Pillow app. :)  And just because I hate having a post without a picture:

Hiking at Umstead Park.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Huh?!

I've belonged to a few gyms while living in NC. Recently I joined a super cheap, no frills gym for 10 bucks a month. I'm not in love with it, but it will do for at least the next year. I'd had my eye on a gym that I absolutely LOVED. However, the $73 a month membership fee, PLUS the ridiculously high joining fee turned me far away from becoming a member. I'm a teacher people, and 73 dineros a month is a lot for a woman on a budget!

Anyway, I hit the gym yesterday around 5:30 and what am I greeted with when I walk through the door? PIZZA. Yes, you've read correctly. Boxes and boxes of pizza. And people standing around eating pizza. AT THE GYM! And I am disappointed. And disgusted too. Why would a gym be giving out free pizza to its clientele? The gym is not the place for fatty, greasy foods. It completely defeats the purpose of even bothering to exercise. I think it's one of the worst ideas ever!

Seeing that made me think of something I read in a book a few months back. A man inside a gym observed a gentleman in the parking lot get out of his car, gym bag slung over his shoulder, stuffing the last of a DQ blizzard down his throat while heading into the gym. Now really folks, where's the logic in that??

Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE pizza and ice cream. A LOT. And I'm not saying people shouldn't eat these things. But I don't think you should be eating pizza at the gym. And finishing off a tasty ice cream treat while making your way into the gym is just plain dumb. Sorry. But it's true.

P.S.  Today's Ollie and my 9th month anniversary.  Yes, I keep track of these sort of things.  He left me a voicemail this morning saying maybe we can "break that rule" tonight. (You know, the "no eating out in the month of June" rule.) We'll see. ;)
Road bikin' together

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's June

June 2nd to be exact.  I'm not ready for the NC heat & humidity either.  We've had the BEST spring this year.  LOTS of cool days that made it nearly impossible to stay inside.  Oliver and I have been taking full advantage of this great weather too.  We've spent countless hours gardening and porch sitting.  Spring has certainly become a favorite season.

I feel like bulleting the rest of this post.  It's just easier to share random thoughts.

*Oliver and I went to the beach yesterday.  Kure Beach.  We had a GREAT time!!  We were out of the house by 8:15, at the beach by 11, stayed until 3, and were home around 5:30.  It was soooooooo nice to relax and read a book.  And maybe have a beer or 2. :)  Besides bringing sand back to Raleigh with us we also brought some nasty sunburns.  YES, we wore sunscreen, but we still burned. We've been applying lots of aloe and taking it easy today.
If you look closely you can see a bird. :)

*Oliver and I planted the majority of our perennials and annuals in early April.  I'm proud to announce that I've only killed about three plants. (small ones) Gardening requires a lots of work, but I really do love it!  Next year I fully intend to add veggies to the mix.
I wish I would have planted petunias in the entire box.  Look at these!!!! I'm in love!

*I track in tomorrow after a three week hiatus.  It's been a nice break, but I'm ready to be back with my students.  Only 20 more days of school......but who's counting???

*Hawaii is just around the corner.  August 19th will be here sooner than later!!  I'm excited about all the exploring and adventures Ollie and I will be doing together. Turning 30 never looked so good!!
Maui 2009.......Can't wait to be back!!

*Oliver and I set a "no eating out for the month of June" rule.  Two reasons why: 1) We spend way too much money, and 2) I'm losing weight.

*Injuring my knee back in October has really taken a toll on me.  Not only was it a depressing winter with no running, but my waistline has suffered too!!  Too many midnight ice cream snacks!!  I blame Ollie!!! He scoops way more than I do.  But to turn it away...NEVER!

*Oliver and I are coming up on 9 months together.  :)    I couldn't be happier.  He and I make a great team.  And we're goofy too.  I've never laughed more in my life.  He's for sure the one.  Love that man!!
Dinner @ The Pitt
Happy June!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday

~I put the bike rack back on my car.
~I actually put away all the laundry instead of leaving it in either a) a basket or b) the dryer for three+ days.
~My 2nd oldest sister, Jaclyn turned 36 and I spent the afternoon with her.
~I saw my niece, Royce and my nephew, James.  I love them so much my heart could burst.
~I ate some really awesome baked ziti.
~I rode an electric scooter for the 1st time.  (so fun!)
~I shared a secret with my sister and brother-in-law and they weren't even fazed.
~I have one more week of track out before I head back to work. :)
~Only 83 more days until Hawaii!

Today was a good day.
Happy Birthday Jaclyn!
James having some cake.
Royce before the kids got a hold of the pinata. :)
And just because I love him so much...

Ollie and I back in February.  He'd just picked me up from the Newark Airport.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hey You!

Stop what you're doing...and take a short break to listen to this beautifully sung song by Mindy Gledhill. 

Listen. 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Monday Confessional--They're Back!! (A little early)



Okay, I know the title of the post says "Monday" Confessional and it's Thursday, but I felt like writing and sharing this now instead of next Monday.  I haven't written one of these guys in like 7 months.  I've been a crummy blogger, and I confess that I'm not too sad about it either!  :P

ENJOY!!

1. I confess that...I took a class at the gym on Sunday and today (Thursday) is the first day I woke up not sore.  Man, I got my butt kicked! The class was a strength training class that targets every major muscle group.  I've definitely felt soreness in all of my muscles too!  I told my boyfriend, Oliver that the class was hard and the planks using the medicine ball about killed me.  He assured me that he would have had no problem with any of the exercises in the class.  (Surrrrrre he wouldn't.)  Therefore,  I insisted that Oliver take the class with me.  He agreed.  I'll let you know how that goes. ;)

2. I confess that...I have been a reading machine lately. I've been to the library three times in a week.  I'm currently addicted to James Patterson novels.  Good thing for me that he has TONS of books out there for me to check out.  NICE!!  Since I'm tracked out from work for 3 1/2 weeks I'm having plenty of time to catch up on the reading I can't do while in my normal work routine.  I loooooove teaching at a year round school!

3. I confess that...when I was subbing in a high school on Monday I played a little trick on a teacher in the hall.  It was lunch and students need a pass to be in the hall.  I hid my teaching badge under my scarf to see if she would ask me for my pass.  And guess what?!  SHE DID!  Ha!!  She thought I was a high school student.  Man, it certainly felt awesome to be mistaken for a teenager and not a 29 year old with new gray hairs popping up everyday.  I know, I know...get a life! 

4. I confess that...I am super thrilled about turning 30!!  I'm really looking forward to this brand new chapter of my life.  My 20's have been great, and I have certainly learned a lot, but I am ready for my 30's.  Oliver is turning 30 too this year.  His birthday is 13 days after mine.  To celebrate, he and I have planned a two week getaway together.  He and I are super excited.  Maybe next week I'll confess where we're going!! ;) 

5. I confess that...there are three things that I really want to confess, but 1) my family would find out, 2) people would be super grossed out (this confession has nothing to do with me), and 3) it would be a mean confession and not a very nice thing to write.   So I guess I'll have to keep them to myself and you'll just have to wonder.

Until next time. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Light That Shines

I came upon an incredibly inspirational mini documentary today.  The video is about a woman named Jill Brzezinski Conley.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent a double mastectomy, and her cancer went into remission.  Sadly, four years later she was diagnosed with stage four bone cancer.  She's only 35 years old. 

Watching this video reminded me of how much I take my life, family, and friends for granted.  I could never imagine having this happen to me or someone I care about.  It also reminds me about the need to re-prioritize things in my life.  And to remember that I am able to do and be so much more than I am at this moment in my life.

Please watch this truly inspiring story.  It might just change your life.


'The Light That Shines' a story for all from InBedWithSue.com on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

How Ya Been?

It's been months since I last posted.  I needed a break.  Blogging had lost its fun for me. I'd sit around and read blog after blog, looking at how happy people were with their friends and family, while admiring all the trendy clothing and accessories.  After a while I started feeling like crud.  I felt like my life was boring in comparison.  I was so busy sitting around getting a peek at what everyone else was doing, that I wasn't t focusing on myself and all the good things that were going on in my life.  I started to feel lonely and bad about myself.  Crazy right?!  So, I stopped spending my days reading the internet and went out and lived my life!

A "whole lot" has been going on since I last posted.  My last post was about completing my first ever triathlon.  What an amazing experience that was.  (You can read about it here.)  I was so high on life after the race.  I felt like I could do anything.  I'm happy to write that I went on to complete a 2nd triathlon at the end of September in Wilmington, NC.   The race rocked, minus the 1500 meter swim.  I'm not a strong swimmer and 1500 m is a long distance to swim.  Especially when swimming in salt water.  My throat was burning so badly.  Blech! But I biked hard and ran like a champ.  Here are my official times:

1500 meter swim: 33:24 (not good!)
transition one:         1:44
12 mile bike:         38:41
transition two:         2:18
5K (3.1 miles):      26:13 (my fastest 5k ever!  I felt like I was moving so slow too.)

I finished in 1:42:18.

Besides two triathlons over the summer, I also ran my 2nd 1/2 marathon.  I ran my first 1/2 in NYC last March.  (You can read about that race here.)  My 2nd 1/2 was in Dallas, Texas.  I have a dear friend that lives in Dallas so I stayed the weekend at her home.  It was wonderful seeing Megan and spending time with her son Liam.  I had Liam in my class last year up until they moved in February.

                                               Megan and I used to teach together.

The race was great!  I ran a 9:06 pace and finished in 1:59:24. I shed a little over 15 minutes off my time from my 1st race.


             Post race pic.  It was realllllly cold race day.  Here I am rocking no makeup! 

The day after the race wasn't so great.  Unfortunately, due to over training, with a combination of new running shoes (I went from a neutral shoe to a stability one) and crappy stretching habits, I bruised my left knee cap.  Holy moly was it painful too.  I saw the doctor when I got home to Raleigh.  I couldn't bend my knee without horrible pain.  The doctor told me I could run again at the end of the week and gave me a steroid shot (super painful), some anti-inflammatory meds, and a couple stretches to do at home.  Yeahhhhh, the shot and meds did nothing, and it was a good 3 1/2 weeks before I could walk down the steps without pain in my knee.  After another trip to the Ortho I'm now in physical therapy. BUT, if all goes well, my physical therapist told me it's possible that I can run the Tar Heel 10 Miler at the end of April.  I realllllllly want to run this race.  I haven't run since the 1/2 back in October and I miss it horribly.  Fingers crossed!!

Last October I blogged about my friend and then roommate, Yasmeen (Yazz) asking me to be in her wedding.  (Here's the post about that.)  Yazz tied the knot with Eddie on 10/12/12.  Here are a couple pictures from the wedding:

 left to right: Valerie, Jessica, Kim, Yazz, Celeste, Sarah, and me :)

:)

Besides triathlons, 1/2 marathons, and a wedding, I also met someone.  This is Oliver:



He and I have been dating for about 5 months now.  Things are going more than well.  I couldn't be happier!  We have lots of fun adventures together and are the biggest goofballs.  One adventure was going to Philadelphia and visiting with his aunt and uncle.  I LOVE Philly and cannot wait to go back!  We're also in the process of planning a trip for our 30th birthdays.  He and I just are 13 days apart.  Not ready to share where we're going though!  ;)  I can't believe I'm actually excited about turning 30. ha!

I was able to spend New Year's with my sister, Dominique again this year.  Last year's adventure can be read about right here.  She flew back to Raleigh with me for a week. (We were in WV for Christmas with our parents.)  It was so great having her here too.  We added Oliver and our friend, Anna to the New Years festivities this year and had dinner in downtown Raleigh at Five Star Restaurant (awesome Asian restaurant) and then watched the acorn drop at midnight.  We got all dressed up and bought cheesy 2013 hats and glasses.

Dom and I 

Oliver and I striking a pose before heading out to dinner.  

I also took Dominique to work with me for 1/2 a day.  My students were super excited to meet her.  They know all about her and had lots of questions to ask her about living in Alaska, specifically living in a dry cabin. (no indoor plumming -and yes this is a normal way for students to live.)   You can learn more about dry cabins HERE.  I was sad when it was time for her to go.  I'm hoping to keep the tradition of of spending New Year's together going.

Well that's it for now, blogger friends.  I'm glad to able to share a little about what's been going on with y'all.  I hope you've enjoyed and don't forget to keep checking in for new updates.  :)