Saturday, October 29, 2011

Winter: 1 - Fall: 0 - Winter Storm Alfred

Our little "wintry mix" forecasted by the weather channel for this weekend has turned into this -

So much snow that he needed a name - Alfred... So much snow that the plows are out! Need I remind you that it is OCTOBER 29!? We should still have another month at least of warm balmy temperatures in the 40's and 50's. Not a high of 32* Halloween weekend. See ya Fall! It was nice to see you again for, oh, all of about 30 days. 

So much for getting in a nice run today, I am so not equipped to exercise in this mess yet. Kudos to those of you that are! They apparently have chains for your shoes to be able to run in the snow and icy conditions? I don't know if I'm that serious or dedicated yet, I'll stick to the dreadmill for now. On a completely unrelated note - I ran 3 miles in 31:59 on the dreadmill the other day - my fastest "5k" to date! An entire five minutes faster than I was a year ago! Go me!

And on another note - the puppy had his first major snow experience this morning -

Needless to say he loves it! I may be investing in some doggie rain boots and a jacket if this is our predictor for what winter has in store for us.. He still hasn't quite figured out how to go to the bathroom in it yet... but it sure is fun to run around in and play in. And yes that is my husband in a short sleeve shirt with no jacket... you can take the boy out of Florida, but you can't take the Florida out of the boy. 

Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Picks 2011

So, this post was originally scheduled for a top ten Tuesday post, but lo and behold Tuesday passed right on by and I was either sleeping or working. And now I'm all kinds of off schedule seeing as how I've been awake since 530am and on my second cup of coffee. Anywho, I wanted to share some things that I've seen around the world wide web that I absolutely love and have decided to label my Fall Picks for 2011. I'm thinking I might be a little late as winter seems to be moving right on in at full force, channel 3 news keeps saying something about a "wintry mix" or something of the like. I think they're just looking for ratings though. Right? I hope.. I also must warn you that there is no rhyme or reason to any of these picks..

      a)              b)              c)

     d)          e)           f)

    g)            h)          i)            

     j)              k)

a) I want new bedding. I'd just like to point out that I am my mother's daughter, who is a collector of comforters and couches. I need something that the animal hair would just blend right in with and I think this would be perfect.b) No doubt that this verse defines our life and I love it. So it only makes sense that I should display it on my wall in this great canvas. c) I love love love this chair. I saw it over at Paige's blog Simple Thoughts. It is from the country living fair, to which looks like craft heaven, which we all know crafts make me a little twitchy. But if I could hire an interior decorator to go and design my whole house from this fair I would. But really, I just want one of these chairs. For my non existent reading room. d) I'm not exactly a fashion guru, but I love this top. Very flowy, and would look great with a certain pair of boots and jeans, no? e)  I need a going out purse for all the times I go out... and I like to daydream sometimes f) I finally began to peruse Etsy and again for my non existent reading room - two of these would be perfect. g) I don't think anything needs to be said. I love these h) It's no secret, I'd like to leave the PC world behind and join the land of Apple.. i) I've been looking for a cross necklace for forever, and I don't wear a ton of jewelry, but I like this j) After tuesday night when I spilled an entire venti 4 shot (it was my 8th night shift in 9 days, I needed it) mocha in the seat of my car and down my pants I've decided I need a mug with a top the screws on... k) Again with this winter weather, and getting darker earlier, I want to be seen and warm when I run outside.

There you have it. I'm no fashion guru, and I'm definitely no interior decorator, I see these things, and I like them, but realize nothing really matches the other... I'm okay with that. And please don't judge my layout, I'm not really that techy either. I like to pretend that I have good taste but I'm just a nurse, that loves coffee, likes to run, a great pair of pajamas and a good book.

Proverbs 16: 9

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Club: OH MAN!!

OH MAN!! is the title of this post because, boy oh boy have I totally jumped in over my head. I had this great idea to write about books I've read, books I'm reading, books I want to read and I picked one, remember here,  Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese. I bought it for my Nook and had plans to finish Shadow of the Alimighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot by Elisabeth Elliot and then start Cutting for Stone. Then this happened:

This is a photo-graphical representation of my self diagnosed ADHD at it's worst. Hello, my name is Holly, I have a problem, and my credit card is tired. Barnes and Noble and Amazon need to be paying me at this point. I ordered Shadow of the Almighty, I'm almost done, and a review will follow shortly, or such is the plan in my head. After I finished this I had plans to start  Cutting for Stone with y'all and we could talk about what we liked and didn't like, character development, etc. All the things the I-kind-of-wanted-to-major-in-english-but-didn't-want-to-be-a-teacher-so-I-became-a-blogging nurse-self would love to talk about. Then a friend at work was reading Little Bee and I had been looking at it for a while and the back says:

"This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again - their story starts there..."

That's all. It sucked me it. So of course when I saw it at the Dallas airport I had to get it. I have to know what happens "that fateful day" that they have to make a "terrible choice". My thoughts went something like - this book sounds amazing, I'll knock it out in like two days, then start Cutting for Stone, knock that one out in another couple of days. Write up a few review, and pick the next book! THEN I found this amazing YouTube video about Katie Davis and her new book Kisses for Katie. It is about how right after high school she moves to Uganda to teach kindergarten, adopts 13 children and has since started a non profit that feeds and sends hundreds of children to school. She's 21 years old. I need your heart, I pray to God for a givers missionary heart like this, I must read this. So I ordered it when I ordered our new Bible study book, To Live is Christ by Beth Moore, which I am beyond excited about - getting to know some wonderful Godly women and study the word of God with them. Yes please. While in Dallas my Run Faster and Advanced Marathoning came in the mail - I have to read these too - I need the perfect training plan (if there ever was such a thing) to meet my goals for the Seaside Half Marathon in March and I only have a few weeks left to nail it down, so lo and behold I've been perusing these as well and trying to come up with a plan I can 100% commit to, because we all know that I don't have the best training track record (no pun intended). Thus the stack above... and all of this and I'm working eight out of nine days (hello overtime - what what!?) and I have become slightly narcoleptic in the process and can't keep my eyes open for five minutes once I start reading and stare at the same paragraph the entire time and yet could not repeat to you what I just read. Yet here I am at 4am writing about books, hello night shift, welcome to my lift.

So I have all these really cool books that I want to read and share with you, and hear your opinions too! My mind is telling me to pick one! Put the others away and just read one! My thoughts about all of these is this - I will stick to the original plan - I will finish Shadow of the Almighty, then I will start Cutting for Stone. After that I will read Little Bee, then Kisses for Katie. So essentially, in the order that they were purchased, they will be read. You heard it here first folks! Oh yeah and Nicholas Sparks has a new book too, The Best of Me. I know, you either like him, or you don't. But I do. I love a good romance novel, and everyone needs a good cry every now and again, it keeps you well rounded and he never fails to disappoint in providing this. Oh yeah, and a cupcake, and a good cup of coffee. A good cry, a cupcake, and coffee = well rounded person. (I know, Holly for president - cupcakes and coffee for all! And a good cry every friday! World peace!) I mean, you can also throw a great Nora Roberts book my way any day.. a happy every after romance novel, sign me up. 

Okay, you've seen my list. Pick one, any of them really, or none of them, and read it and I pinky promise that we will get to it! Let me know what you're reading, if it's something different I'll add it to the obviously neverending list! But I won't buy it just yet, until I've read the ones I have, but I will write it down. (<-- Hubs you saw it here!)

On a side note - can we talk about how my mom and dad are staying here this weekend - with this view
not going to lie - kind of makes me real real homesick... I could get a ton of reading done with this view!

Happy reading y'all!

Proverbs 16:9

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up: Baby Showering it Up!

I'm home!! Back in the northeast. I so enjoyed my time in Dallas and getting to play with an oh so cool MacBook. But I'm back to my PC and I know how to add pictures...

Can we talk about what a fan-freaking-tastic packer I am!? I mean at this point, all that was in my suitcase was baby gifts! I hadn't even started putting my own stuff in yet. Well, except for socks, those were not for Baby Rhoades, except I'm thinking she may have some pretty massive feet, so we could probably share. Speaking of overly massive feet, did y'all know that your feet grow a 1/2 size to a whole size bigger while your preggo, as if those little buggers didn't do enough to your body - I already wear a size 10 - hellloo boat feet. **And no, I'm not pregnant, just making a general statement of disbelief.** Anywho, how proud are you people that I was able to get ALL my stuff in this suitcase and my back pack (yeah I'm that cool girl) and carry on and save $25 both ways. Take that Delta! I had a very uneventful flight and was so excited to see my best friend all big with child and stuff! We were sitting there talking and it hadn't completely sunk in, and I looked down and I was like woah! woah! woah! your belly! 

On Friday after 8 months of putting it off, I got my hair did. It was getting a bit extreme, my split ends had split ends. I love it, and I'm pretty sure just to save like $60 I'll just wait until I visit Dallas and get my hair done. Kiley got her hair did as well, I have a fabulous picture that you can see if you follow me on twitter, but since I'm such a good friend (not that I have a lot more people following me on here than twitter, but my twitter is protected) I won't post it on here. But it's pretty good. Pretty much wraps up how one feels during their eighth month of pregnancy. We also walked around downtown McKinney, which I love. Went into some fabulous western stores. Only in Texas y'all. But I did find these - 
I love them. I want them. I need them. They're a small car payment. There are people who can't put food on their table and I want these. I just couldn't. But in the words of Rachel Zoe - I DIE for these!!!! I have plans for an overtime or two and attempt to justify them in my materialistic mind. I'm just trying to keep it real. 

Saturday - the reason for the visit, we had a baby shower for Baby Rhoades!! It was so much fun and I'm so glad that we were able to celebrate. Luckily for all these Texas peeps the Rangers had it amazingly together and won the American League Championship and will be going to the World Series. So everyone had a good time, the men and all. 

Amanda, Mrs. Kathy, Kiley, and Me 

The oh so delicious cake - from Stein's Bakery in Dallas - Amazing. I'll be honest, I had two very small pieces that equaled one normal size piece. 

The delicious petit fours - also from Steins. I don't even really want to disclose the number of these I may or may not have consumed. I have decided that I eat cake like I'm never going to have it again when it's available to me. I mean I guess when I go "home" I want to know that I ate my fair share of cake because the heavenly body won't need food, but this earthly body I have loves it some cake... I was a good wife and brought the hubs one home. Be proud that I didn't consume it before I got here and just not tell him.. that would make me a not very nice wife. But what he doesn't know, won't hurt him. Right!?

Me and my date Amanda. This is Kiley's sister-in-law. She's real cool. Best date a girl could ask for =)

Major party foul - Scott got a paper cut in the middle of present opening and was getting blood everywhere. Almost had to kick him out, but Mrs. Kathy was to the rescue with a band aid. All was right in the world again and he was able to commence with the present opening. I'm sure he would've been really disappointed to have been shunned to living room to watch the baseball game with his bloody finger...

Me and el preggo. She looks amazing if I say so myself. Doesn't even look pregnant and that is so not a maternity dress. I'd also just like to take this time to point out that everyone has on cowboy boots but me. I can come to no other conclusion, than that I need a pair too. Back to the Lucchese Spirit's featured above - that I believe I can get away with here in the northeast as it's a riding boot and not a legit cowboy boot. If you'd like to donate to this cause - you can reach me by email and I'll tell you where to send your contribution.. Anyone?

Oh yes, what is a trip south of the mason dixon without a trip to chick-fil-a!? My favorite!! I had to get my quota in! And I did. It was Ah-mazing!

I had a great weekend, and was so happy to spend time with my friend and her little family. I can't wait for Baby Rhoades to come into the world - I'm thinking a trip in the spring - the Dallas RnR half on March 25, 2012. Make a rounded out trip of it? Visit and love on the baby, and run a half = a very productive weekend in my book. 

I am so glad to be home, and except when I got there I had to reprimand a very naughty puppy - this is the picture that the hubs texted me Friday night -
Why yes, you are looking at fuzz from the middle cushion of our couch. The pup apparently doesn't like being left alone with the cat all day long. Who knew? But that face - how can we stay mad at that face. He is going to start puppy school very soon though. And I think I even see a couple of days a week of puppy day care in his future. (I know, we're going to be those people, those  people that take their dog to daycare.. Don't judge me) This was the last thing we needed to make us take the leap and call Petco. So hopefully in about six weeks he will be a new puppy. Perhaps even well behaved.

Proverbs 16:9 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Westchester Quarter Marathon Review

Hey Friends! I am writing to you from Dallas!! From a pretty sweet Mac (I kind of want to come over to the better dark side of computers...) I had plans to write to you before I left, but lo and behold I blew a fuse and took out the power in half of our house, and then we were unable to get in the basement to fix the breaker or whatever it is that you switch back on when one blows a fuse... did you follow all that? Needless to day, we were in the dark, with no TV, no AC, and no internet. It was like life before electricity. Good thing we only had to live in the pioneer days for a little over eight hours because any more than that might have been disasterous.

Anywho, if you remember, because it's been so long, the hubs and I ran in the Westchester Quarter marathon on Sunday morning. It was my first quarter marathon, as well as the hubs, so we PR'ed!! I'm not sure if there is such a thing as positive splits but I figure it's the opposite of negative splits.. and seeing as how I didn't have negative splits, I has positive splits. I ran the first couple miles around a 10:20/mile and then just continued to slow down from there.. BUT none of my miles were over 12 minutes!! The Garmin says that I ran 6.64 miles (I must not have run the tangents or whatever) in 1:14:59 which is an 11:18 mile and I had to walk a little, because I'm a wimp and was having crazy GI issues where I felt like I was going to hurl most of the time, and I haven't learned to just push through that feeling yet. But the good news is I was right on point with my Nashville Women's half time. Remember when I said that the hubs is generally faster than me, even though he never runs and he'd probably eventually get frustrated with me and go on... Well I kept up with him for the first two miles and then started to slowly slow down, found a nice pacer, and got behind her for the duration. Like the sweet boy he is, he did stop to wait for me at a water station and I told him to go on. He ran it in 1:10, which for someone who never, ever runs, I was too proud to be jealous. I  continued to follow my friend - I don't know her but she had the perfect pace for me - until about mile 5 when my stomach started to feel like a solid rock turning inside of me and wrapping my intestines up with it. I ate what I always eat before I run - a banana, almond butter, and honey english muffin - but I added some cut up strawberries and honeydew thinking how pretty and colorful and healthy I was being. Then I read in Runner's World when I got home about being careful about adding fruit to your before run meal... that would have been good to know before this mishap. But now I know. And I won't be making that mistake again! Anywho, it was a good fun run - and I got some good solid sleep after before I had to go to work. I'm glad that the hubs was able to run with/in front of me even if it did kill his knees and hip and had him walking like the old man he is. All in all, it was a good fun run for me, surrounded by some super fast people that I'm pretty sure use this as a training run for the NYC marathon, and got me out there and I got another tshirt out of the deal!

I ordered Run Faster and Advanced Marathoning from B&N and plan to use the rest of October and November on doing speed work and hills and eating better and just trying to get faster. I plan to use these books to compile the perfect training plan for the Seaside Half Marathon in March and finally, in my fourth half PR. That's the plan anyway. I'll take any advice any of you kind readers have for me as well - especially if it has anything to do with hibernating all winter. I'm going to try and boycott it, but living in Connecticut, we'll see how that goes. My main plan is to figure out how to stay warm, and keep running outside. I know, hardcore. That is so not me.

Sorry I'm a lame-o and have no pictures, I do have a couple, and if you're super interested I posted post- race pics to twitter and you can find some pretty sweet pics of us posing with our medals but this Mac is kind of complicated and seeing as how I'm borrowing it, I don't really feel like breaking it.. Now I really must get some zzz's I have to be at full capacity to baby shower it up this weekend with my bestie!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Weekend Update

Doesn't that sound like I'm updating you on the channel 3 news? I can't promise that anything I have to say is going to be any more or less important than what they might have to say to you - but I can promise that I don't have perfect hair, white teeth, and a tailored suit and I'm probably not as depressing. My update has nothing to do with the national debt, the jobs number, or the decline of the dollar. But I digress... And I'm just quoting things I've heard on CNBC and know absolutely nothing about.

Update: the book club!! So I have had some response on people wanting to join me in this. And by some response, I mean like 3 people but I think that's enough. I might be able to talk my mom into it. I'm not really sure how we'll do it. No hard and fast rules or parameters. I'm pretty flexible and it might not even last that long... BUT in the mean time I did pick out a book. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.

The book is about twin brothers who are orphaned who live in Ethiopia in the brink of a revolution. They then move from Ethiopia to New York and back. Barnes and Noble says that the book " is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles." Sign me up. I say, if you want to read it, pick it up at your favorite bookstore or download it on your preferred e-reader device or order it and have it delivered right to your doorstep and we'll meet back in two weeks? Four weeks? I realize that I have a lot more free time than the average person, so y'all tell me. 

I'm also reading Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum and have Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot  by Elizabeth Elliot that is waiting to be read. So if you'd rather read one of those or a completely different book that's fine too! Like I said, no parameters. We'll just all figure this out together and see what works. And I'll take suggestions too!

Update: The Westchester Quarter Marathon! After some debate, and reading 10k on this page and quarter marathon on another page, I have solved this mystery - the hubs and I are running a quarter marathon tomorrow morning. That is 26.2/4 = 6.55miles. So a smidge longer than a 10k but not by much. The weather is supposed to be perfect at a balmy 63 degrees when we start at 9am, or so says I think I'll like starting at 9am much better than 7am that is the usual start time for races. It was much colder last year when I ran the half. I must say I'm having some race envy reading everyone's tweets and blog posts about the Chicago marathon tomorrow morning, but I will take the Westchester Quarter Marathon over not running at all. And maybe I'll be ready for Chicago next year? AND can I just tell you again how much I like smaller races! If you remember last year, they only had unisex shirts, I got a medium, it is huge and I have never worn it. BUT this year they had men's and women's sizes, but again, I'm not really a fan of the women's because people just haven't mastered the fit of a women's fitted tech shirt, so I was able to get a men's small! Lots of options. Thank you genesis adventures! I semi carb loaded (it's a 10k) tonight with a taco salad -

My meals have never been so colorful! But it was super delicious! I really just needed some guacamole from Whole Foods and it would have been complete. Now I must go figure out what I'm going to wear and figure out how to transfer my iTunes songs from one computer to another (the bane of my existence). I'm super excited, it's the first time the hubs and I will be running together. Well, I told him that if I was holding him back then just go ahead without me, but he also hasn't really been running, and his answer was "dear, anyone could run 6.5 miles at your pace." Cool. Thanks. 

Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Anyone want to join a book club?

Today I'm going to write my very first book review. I read a lot. Like a lot, a lot. Like two books a week a lot. Besides running, working and sleeping, I read. I read anything and everything that sounds good or a friend recommends, and I've decided that I'm going to start sharing some of these good reads with y'all. I've always wanted to be a part of a book club, I've just never gone through the effort of finding one to be a part of. I usually just pass books between my mom and friends, and we sometimes discuss what we thought about it. It's nice in a really complicated book with a lot of characters and plot twists to have someone to talk about it with and hear their take and hear if I may have skipped over something. I love to pick my friend Mary Meg's brain after a book we've read, I think she pays more attention and is able to store more information - I'm a skimmer and have to read something several times to pick up on every detail. So if I read something that I like, I'll pass it along and y'all can let me know what you think!

Last week I was sitting in the Nashville airport with my Nook and nothing new to read, so I was perusing and decided to purchase The Scent of Rain and Lightening. I had been looking at it for a while, I liked the synopsis but didn't know anyone that had read it, and sometimes with a new book and a new author I like to know someone else has read it and liked it so I know I'm not wasting my money. Sometimes I like to just pick up a random book, and these usually tend to be some of the best reads, but as much as I hate to admit it, I also have a few books that are marked in the middle and I just could not push myself to finish. But lo and behold Barnes and Noble gave this book good reviews,  and I decided to trust them and then tell all my friends that I liked it and they should read it too. And I really did like it.

The book is about Jody Linder, a young woman whose father was murdered and mother disappeared when she was three years old, in a small town in Kansas. The whole setting of the story takes place in the town, and is about how the man suspected of the murder is being released from prison and coming home to the small Kansas town. I found the book to be kind of morbid and a little sad, and yet I couldn't put it down. Nancy Pickard, the author made it very interesting and I thought that I kind of had it figured out, and it was a little predictable and then the plot twists and turns and thickens and I was left like wait, did that really just happen? I will say that some parts are a little corny and a little predictable *cough cough* the thrown in romance, but hey, I kind of like the corny and the predictable in the middle of a murder mystery. The book was about 300 pages but it felt so short because I couldn't put it down. I just had to know who did it. There are book club questions at the end of the story, but I'm not in school anymore, and didn't want to feel the pressure of having to answer questions, so I didn't even look at them. I read for enjoyment now and not for a grade. So, go get a copy of this book, or be all technologically advanced and download it on your preferred e-reader device or just read the synopsis... and let me know what you think!

Proverbs 16:9

Monday, October 3, 2011

Westchester Medical Center QUARTER Marathon

Why yes, it is three o'clock in the morning, and I just signed the hubs and I up for a quarter marathon. He cannot back out now, for he is asleep and was unable to stop me (insert evil laugh). It must be the time.. Or I still have a high from the half last weekend, and I'm feeling the need to get out there again with a bunch of other people who enjoy running too, and feed off their highs.

For those of you who remember that short while, where I kind of blogged last year, right before I stopped? Yeah, I was "training" for my first half marathon during that time. It was a small  event and I could walk to the start line from my apartment, and it was flat. Sign me up! I also use the word training loosely because I didn't start road running until last September, all my running before that was done on the dreadmill, which I kind of enjoyed, not so much anymore. But anywho, I ran it, and I survived and I was hooked, and I've even dragged my sister into the downhill/uphill spiral that is running races. And now I'm going to drag the hubs along this time. He pushes me, and makes me run a little faster. Sometimes it makes me love him and want to thank him for pushing me and sometimes I just want to yell "I DON'T WANT TO RUN FASTER, AND NO I CAN'T DO IT, I'M GOING TO HACK UP A LUNG!!!!", but I don't. I'm curious as to how we'll do, or if he'll get annoyed 3 miles in and ditch me. It's the way we roll, or run shall I say. I'll be sure to let y'all know! I had plans to run the half, because it was my first one and it kind of holds a special place in my heart and I didn't think I'd ever be running it again, but lo and behold, here we are and the opportunity presented itself BUT I work Friday night and then again on Sunday night. I feel like I can handle 6.55 miles on a Sunday morning before work on little to no sleep, but 13.1... that's a whole different ball game. And oh yeah, I did just run a half last week. But I've taken a few days off, did a 48 hour juice fast/detox/diet/what-have-you (don't worry, y'all will hear ALL about that one) and now I'm ready to get the ball rolling again! And get a new racing outfit!! Because what makes running more fun than having something really cute to run in!?

This was my finish last year, so now I will be able to reminisce and run in my inaugural race, and I'm super excited!! I have a small goal, finish in 1:10. That's like an 11ish minute mile. Which again for my speedy friends, that is me booking it. And again to take a good picture. That is hard y'all, I never know if they're taking the picture or not and if I smile will they catch it!? I'm not that photogenic to begin with and now I'm going to try and get a moving picture from the worst angle ever, you know, where they're shooting up at you and you're like I hope all my chins aren't exposed... disastrous. 

While I have your attention - I tweeted yesterday to all 5 of my followers - you all know I want to run a marathon - should I run a big one and feed off the crowds or should I start off small and just take it all in the first time around? (you noticed I said first time...) No plans yet, I haven't picked one, but I'm looking...

Proverbs 16:9