Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bit of Bubbly

I'm taking a quick little break from cleaning the apartment to test drive something bubbly that I might get for my ladies to sip on while we get ready for the wedding ONE WEEK from today.  I've been eyeing it at Target for a while (btw, Target in Virginia sells beer & wine which delights me).  It's sparking wine.  In a can.  A pink can.  And it includes a little pink bendy straw.  And it's put out by Francis Ford Coppola's wine and is called Sofia, as in Sofia Coppola.  And it's not bad.  I'll admit that a lot of the points I give it are on account of awesome packaging, but the bubbly isn't too sweet or too dry.  I think this might just be the thing.

As for the rest of the wedding planning, I was all set to go get into one of those sunless spray tan booths today to try it out when, at the last minute, I found someone who does airbrush tans.  In my own home.  Am I the only one who thinks this is crazy weird?  So I made an appointment for tomorrow to make sure it doesn't make me, like, break out in hives.  I kept going back & forth on this (I went back & forth on a LOT of beautification-type things) but decided it will keep the dress from washing me out and will make me look pretty.

The Mister is off on his Bachelor Weekend, which means it is just me & Rory tonight.  For now, I'm sipping my bubbly and cleaning the apartment with Pandora blaring.  My parents arrive tomorrow, then my Gay Boyfriend & the Mister's mom arrive on Tuesday and the Mister's Sister arrives on Wednesday and then Thursday we're off to Cville!  And then I get married!  Holy crap, y'all!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Drinking Coffee in the Lounge

Good morning from Newark, NJ!  I am sitting in our crew lounge waaaaay too early for my 1:15 sign-in, but these are the things I have to do as a commuter.  Have I mentioned that commuting sucks?  I really need to find a crash pad.  For those of you not familiar with airline industry jargon, a crash pad is basically an apartment where a whole bunch of flight attendants sleep.  The majority of them have at least 3 to 4 people in each bedroom, up to 6 to 8 if there are bunk beds.  Some of them are run so that you have the same bunk every night.  Some of them are called "hot beds" and you just take whatever bed is open.  Dedicated beds are more expensive, but you're not having to bring your own bed linens and you have YOUR bed and no one else sleeps in it.  I was hoping to have mostly commutable trips, and I'm getting trips that are commutable on the front end, but nothing that is commutable on the back end.  So I end up having to stay in the New York area for an extra night.  Lame.

We're only 11 days out from the wedding.  I don't think I feel stressed, but I keep getting a twitch in the muscle under my left eye, which makes me think I'm just not acknowledging the stress.  I'm trying VERY hard to not stress eat.  In fact, I'm on a kind of pre-wedding diet.  But man, I hate that word.  Diet.  Basically, I'm trying to avoid overprocessed food and simple carbs.  I'm trying to eat lots of salad and lots of protein and drink lots of water.  I don't need to lose any weight to fit in the dress, but I just want to make sure I look amazing.  I also need to do a lot of push-ups, haha.

The Mister & I have been half-assedly whitening our teeth over the last month.  My teeth tend toward the sensitive side, so I haven't been putting the strips on every night and I haven't put them on in a few days actually.  But I've definitely noticed a difference.  Which is good because I've found and fallen in love with a ridiculously bright pink lipstick that I want to wear for the wedding, which would mean rethinking the overall make-up look.  We'll see.  I'm testing it out over this three days trip to make sure I like it.

That's about all that's going on around here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Only Half Crazy

So, did I mention to y'all that I was running another half marathon?  Because I did.  Yesterday morning I got up at the asscrack of dawn of run the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon, right here in Fredericksburg!  I put "run a marathon" on my 30-Before-30 list and I thought doing another half would be a great way to kick myself into gear.  And I definitely kicked myself, haha.

The Mister & I started our day at 5am.  He was a wee bit hungover because we'd had a couple of friends over for dinner and Cards Against Humanity, which meant a few more beers than the Mister is accustomed to drinking on any given night (we are both lightweights...two or three beers and we are dunzo so I only had one beer), but even bleary eyed he made me a cup of coffee and I made myself a couple of frozen waffles which I smeared with peanut butter.  That is now my Official Pre-Race Meal because that is what I ate before my first half marathon and I ate again this time.  It's good to have traditions.

The race started at 7am, but we weren't 100% sure about the parking situation, so we headed out a little before 6.  The race started & finished at the Expo Center, which is out in the main shopping area.  And because none of the businesses were actually open at 6am, it wasn't a problem to park in a random parking lot.  Parking quandary solved!  After a few visits to the port-o-johns (I have a nervous bladder), it was time to find my spot in the line-up.

To avoid too much congestion, runners are generally organized into corrals based on expected finish time.  I finished my last half in 2:22, so I found the 2:00-2:30 corral, which was pretty far back.

So many runners! 

I gave the Mister my camera and gave him strict orders to TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS.  Unfortunately, there was a snafu with the spectator shuttle and he wasn't able to make it downtown to see me at the halfway point.  I was a little disappointed because I was looking forward to seeing him.  Spectators are the BEST at races.  Seriously.  If there is ever a race in your city, go out and cheer for people.  Make silly signs.  Give out high fives.  I high-fived every little kid with an outstretched palm because it made me feel good and it makes them feel good!  Bring your dog!  I loved seeing all the doggies out on the race course.  I wish I would have taken photos of some of the fun people & signs along the way, but my phone was tucked into my armband and after it started raining, I didn't want to take it out.  Oh yeah, it was raining and people were STILL OUT THERE cheering!  Even random people, who just happened to live along the race course, were out there under umbrellas cheering us on.  Oh man, cheering spectators are the best!

So even though I didn't see the Mister, I still had lots of people cheering for me!  As I was running, I started thinking that I should have made myself a tshirt that said "Future Navy Wife" on the front and "Sweatin' for the Wedding!" on the back with our wedding date and I could have worn a little veil!  That would have been so fun and would have REALLY brought me some attention and cheers!  But I honestly didn't think about it until mile four or five.  There is seriously nothing to do while running BUT think because you want to distract yourself from any physical discomfort.  My personal method of distraction is checking out what all the other runners are wearing.  I'm a style blogger at heart!

I wore a lovely purple ensemble from Old Navy! The Mister caught me JUST as I was starting to spring for the finish!  I wish I had spotted him before he took the photo so I could have smiled, but instead I'm just looking super hardcore and intense!

Can I just say that I LOVE races where they give you a medal?  And this one is pretty sweet with a lot of heft to it.  And I was also pleased with the post race beer options, because they had some kind of Michelob Amber Boch that wasn't horrible.  My favorite summertime 5k in Minneapolis (which I signed up for again this year, this time with a friend!) serves MGD 64 which is awful and may as well be water, so hooray for decent beer and awesome medals and silly faces!  Those first few minutes after a long race essentially feel like the best high ever.  You're a little woozy, a little disoriented, kind of uncoordinated, but super happy.  I can't tell you how many people I bumped into while collecting all my post-race goodies (and there were some awesome goodies...frozen chocolate-covered banana bites, granola, orange slices, Gatorade recovery drinks, all kind of stuff!).  I was really excited because they also had a couple of tents set up with free recovery massages!  I made sure to thank my massage therapist for giving up his Sunday to rub sweaty people!

And I made sure to ESPECIALLY thank the Mister for being my #1 Supporter!  He believes in me even when I don't believe in myself and he always pushes me to be the best I can be!  I'm so excited that I get to marry him in less than two weeks!

I was pretty sure I finished at about 2:11, based on the time clock when I crossed the finish, but I checked this morning and the unofficial chip time results were posted!

2:09:48!  That is TWELVE minutes faster than my last time!  And I kept up an average pace of 9:54, which is no small feat considering there was a 150 ft gain in elevation over the last mile!  It's called Hospital Hill and it was a KILLER!  I managed to keep running up the whole thing, but my it was pretty slow going for a while there.

In other exciting news, the actor Sean Astin was there running and even though I didn't see him, I heard them announce when he crossed the finish line after me!

I'm faster than a hobbit, y'all!

We took it pretty easy the rest of the day because, well, I'd spent the morning running 13 miles!  But once I got myself showered and moving again we headed out to see the new Star Trek movie and it did not disappoint.  I love me some Benedict Cumberbatch and he makes one bad-ass villain.  I'm not as well-versed in the Star Trek universe as the Mister, but he seemed pretty pleased with the way the movie turned out as well and kept geeking out over old-school Star Trek references.

And finally, I'm bidding a sad farewell to my running shoes.  The Mister's mom sent them to me after the fire, so I've been running in them since last March.  I kept saying I needed to get new shoes because these are actually a half-size too small and at this point, there is zero tread left on the bottom.  But I hate things like going into specialty stores and asking questions.  I feel like a sham calling myself a runner, so I've been putting it off in typical Sarah-style.  But I ended up with of a couple of blisters along my insole and there are actually holes on the top by the toes, so I guess it is time.  The Mister is going to come with and we are going to go to the running store and have them measure my feet and kit me out sometime this week or the next.

Good bye, old friends!  You've served me well!  You will be missed, especially by Rory, who has  recently developed  an unhealthy obsession with you.

(if you can't see the embedded video, try clicking here )

Friday, May 17, 2013

Here Comes the Bride

Oh man, you guys.  Wedding planning.  Here is my advice to you: elope.  Seriously.  I've finally reached the point where I am happy & exited for my wedding day again, but for several months there I don't think a day passed without me asking the Mister if we could just elope.  Because dang.  It's stressful and expensive and frustrating.  But, in two weeks, we will find out if it will all be worth it.

At some point, I'm sure I had an idea that I would DIY a lot more of this wedding than I actually am.  But I am okay with that.  We aren't doing favors in any traditional sense of the idea.  We are having a photo booth because ERRRRBODY loves a photobooth.  The machine prints double strips of every photo and there is an attendant there who will cut it in half and paste one half in a scrapbook for us and people can write something and that will be our guest book and the photo strip will be the favor.

We decided to hire someone else to put up all bistro lights and navy blue paper lanterns, but I also wanted hot pink tissue paper pompoms hung from the ceiling.  So I'm making those.  I'm following the Martha Stewart Method and I'm using a combination of plain hot pink tissue paper as well as hot pink GEMSTONE tissue paper.  I'm pretty excited about the gemstone tissue paper, but apparently I ordered enough to make that website be temporarily out of stock.

The other thing I did was make faux-milkglass vases.  The Mister & I hit up four Goodwill stores to find a bunch of small glass vases.  Then we went to Lowe's and bought some Rustoleum satin-finish white spray paint.  So, now, here is where I deviated from the majority of online tutorials.  Most of the DIY articles say to just spray paint the outside of the glass.  But I found one tutorial that I now cannot find that suggested covering the outside of the vase with paper and spray painting the INSIDE because then you still have the shine on the outside.  And let me tell you, that is the way to go.

I am LOVING the way these vases turned out.  I ended up with a few duds from the first go-round, but now that I have my technique sorted, the results are spot-on.  The best part is that these vases are going to be full of hot pink peonies, so they don't have to be perfect.  The vases will be on top of navy blue tablecloths along with a bunch of white votive candles.  You can see the prep-work for my pompoms in the above photo, especially the SPARKLY TISSUE PAPER!  Because I interspersed the sparkle paper with the regular paper, the pompoms are not gaudy, but I'm hoping that the glitter will catch the bistro lights and give just a little bit of extra sparkle to the reception.

So that's what I've been working on, wedding-wise.  Today I have a trial run for my make-up.  The girl does airbrush make-up, which I've heard is THE way to go for weddings.  It doesn't smudge or run or sweat off.  And it's looking like it will probably be in at least the 80s on my wedding day, so sweat-proof make-up is the way to go.

And before I leave, here are two photos from the past months of radio silence.

The Mister's aunt & grandmother hosted a lovely bridal luncheon for me in California last January and my mom & cousin came out with me.  This is us at Venice Beach, enjoying the warm weather and sunshine!

And this is from the amazing bridal shower my sister put together for me in Illinois last month.  She is a fantastic party planner and the whole thing was a lot of fun, with the usual games and prizes and super yummy food.  I am in LOVE with that dress that I wore and I want to wear it all the time.

I am running my second half marathon on Sunday and after that, it is All Wedding All The Time.  Y'all ready for this? (please tell me I am not the only one immediately thinking of Jock Jams with that phrase?)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bon Appetit!

About a million years ago, the Mister & I finally made it up to the Smithsonian National History Museum.  I was on a mission because visiting Julia Child's kitchen was on my 30-Before-30 list and it was a total gimme except that the exhibit had been closed for renovations for a long time.

But!  It was finally open and we had a day free to head up to DC so we did!  And it was super fun.  The Julia Child kitchen is now part of a larger exhibit about food culture in America.  There were interesting exhibits about the rise of convenience foods & fast food and the organic movement and the increase of wine production in this country.

Personally I find the above pyramid to be wholly accurate and ideal. Though I might be tempted swap the coffee and red wine & chocolate levels.  I do love my coffee.

Having not been to the exhibit before they redid it, I'm not sure what exactly has changed, but I love the way they've set up the kitchen.  There are plexiglass walls all over so you can see the kitchen from all angles.  And the most fun part is that there is a little inlet that almost makes you feel like you're standing inside Julia's kitchen.

I've been obsessed with cooking shows for as long as I can remember, far before there was even a Food Network.  I used to race home from school to watch "Great Chefs, Great Cities" and "Great Chefs of the World" on PBS and I can still sing most of the theme song:  During that time period, I mostly knew Julia Child from "In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs" and "Baking with Julia", but she was mostly just the big lady with the funny voice.  But as I got older and started becoming more interested in cooking, I became more interested in Julia.  And of course, it was spurred on when the Julie/Julia book came out and the movie (though I really wish it had just been a biopic of Julia because Meryl was awesome in it!).

I don't have anything new or profound to say on the topic, just that when the Mister & I were at the museum, they had a tape of one of her shows and it was fun to watch her make beef bourguignon on her first television series.  She made everything look so simple and easy, which is one of the things I also love about Ina Garten.  Any time a recipe calls for more than 5 steps, I lose interest.  But Julia & Ina (not to mention Deb from Smitten Kitchen!) make me feel like maybe I CAN tackle those recipes and come out successful.

And lastly, here is a photo of Rory locked in the shower.  I think we were cleaning the bathroom and were trying to keep him out of the way.  I'm really not sure, but his little face makes me laugh.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Oh hello

So, I had this whole long post written up about how I haven't written in forever and I tried to give a bunch of reasons and excuses.  I actually wrote it up freehand on the back of a pre-departure report (paperwork that gives the flight attendants pertinent information for each flight, like mileage, passenger counts and if there are any special assistance passengers) and then carried it around in my purse for a week without typing it up.

I talked a little bit about how wedding planning had eaten my soul (it did, a little, but I'm back to being excited about it instead of resenting the whole thing) and about how I've been flying more than I would like and that commuting is the bane of my existence.  I wrote the same "I don't know in what direction to take the blog" drivel that I think I've written three or four times since the fire.  The fire.  I wonder sometimes when I'll stop using that as a crutch.

Speaking of the fire, I had a long Minneapolis layover last month and I decided that after a 12 mile run, a great thing to do would be to walk past my building.  There had been talk early on that it would just be torn down, but some of the residents came together and petitioned to have it be made a historical landmark and then some guy stepped in and bought it and is renovating it.  I had heard all of these things but I don't know what I was expecting to see or how I thought I would respond.

It was amazing to me how easily my feet took me through my old running routes.  And how, even after a year, I ran up Franklin and didn't even have to think about turning left onto Nicollet and then right onto 19th and then left again onto Third.  It was automatic.  And as I approached 17th, I slowed my pace but my heart started beating faster.  I turned left and walked up the block and pretty soon, my building was in sight.  And there was a roof on it.  And there were new blinds on all the windows and the windows all had glass.  The front door was still boarded up with sooty-looking plywood, but otherwise, the building didn't look much different than it had when I lived there.

I was prepared to tear up a little.  But I thought, somehow, that after a year, I would be able to keep my shit together.  Shit did not stay together.  Shit fell apart.  Hard.  I started straight-up sobbing.  As in, completely unable to hold my body upright, doubled-over, heaving, wheezing sobs.  I was physically exhausted and completely unprepared mentally for the situation.  I had just sort of assumed that no one would be there and that I could have my breakdown in peace, but there was one guy who was moving building materials in and out of the side alley door and I was making rather a lot of noise.  He threw me a "You okay?" and a wary look and I decided I should probably move along.  So I did.

Then I went to Target, red-eyed from crying and covered in dried sweat.  I've apparently lost all sense of decorum when it comes to after-run activities.  In DC last week, I went for an awesome 6-mile run and then decided to go to Starbucks on my way back to the hotel.  The thing about running outside is that when it's 58 degrees and sunny, you feel totally great & not too sweaty.  But the minute you step inside anywhere, your body is like, "What the hell, dude?" and starts POURING sweat out your pores.  It's pretty sexy.

So that is really all I have been up to lately.  Flying, planning and running.  I'm running a half marathon in 16 days and getting married in 29 days.  That's something I'll get to check off the dusty 30 Before 30 List.  It hasn't been totally languishing, so I'll have some posts about that soon.

I know I keep saying it and I know I keep not sticking with it, but I really miss writing here and I really want to get back into it.  Being the total nerd that I am, I do a lot of reading on various topics and I was reading on a weight-loss blog or in a magazine that when you set a goal, instead of saying, "I'd like to do that" you should say, "I will do that."  And it makes total sense.  So here's to that.  I will be update this blog more consistently.