Advice Column (aka Don't Do What I Did)

I should write an advice column filled with nuggets of wisdom that I have had to learn the hard way.  My first column would go a little something like this:

"Never eat a plate full of brussel sprouts and expect to have a good time hanging out with friends at a karaoke bar any where."

By the end of last night, I didn't even want to hang out with me.

So much for my new favorite food.  Brussel sprouts and I are going through the big D and I don't mean Dallas.


Holiday Party

Holiday party means showing all of my old high school friends how fat I have gotten.

Hope they still love me!


Non-Husband Dinner

Tonight my husband was not home for dinner, so I felt it necessary to make something he would absolutely hate, and I absolutely loved.

First, I got organic mushrooms and sautéed them in balsamic vinegar, pressed garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then I had an assortment of olives and roasted red peppers. Finally I finished it off with an array of juiced organic veggies.  After describing my dinner to my sister, she asked me if I was going to stop shaving my legs since I'm a hippy now.

I told her I stopped shaving my legs when I got married. Very little would changed if I were to become said hippy.

After all of the healthy food, I still could not help drinking a glass of wine.  It may have defeated the whole idea of a healthy dinner, but it was white wine and mushrooms....  What sane human would object?

My husband.


I need to sloooooow down.

I put a leather high heal wedge in the washing machine and did not realize until I went to put it in the dryer.



These two = Adorable

When I first met Angela's mother, I thought she was the sweetest person ever.  Then I met Angela.  THEN I met Ricky. Honestly, every member of this family is genuine and dear to my heart. I cannot wait to meet the newest member of the clan. :)

Congrats Angela and Ricky, and thanks for letting me share in your joy!

PS Carters Mountain is gorgeous.  Despite the climb. :)


New J-O-B

I started a new job.  Such a good decision, since I hated my old one.

I mean HATED it.  So much so that I would to glance hourly at the post-it notes below (hidden in my desk drawer, for fear of being fired) to remind myself that my job at CrapTastic Corp was not forever.

"Why yes, I am overqualified"

I am (somewhat) over it, since I now have a shiny new job.  No need for snarky post-it note pick-me-ups. 

Week one at my new j-o-b went a little somfen like this:

- Spilt coffee all over my desk less than two hours into day one.
- Forgot deodorant day two.
- Got stuck in the revolving door day three.
- Told someone my name was Megan on day four.  It's not. My name is not Megan.
- Got stuck in the revolving door day five.  This time it was not my fault.  It still hurt the pride a little.

Despite these minor set backs, I am super hopeful that I am going to last longer than three years and never have the urge to do... well... the things I had urges to do at CrapTastic Corp.  Let's just leave it at that. :)


Richmond 8k

This weekend I am running the HCA VA 8k in Richmond.  This is my first 8k, and I must admit that the lower mileage has made me a biiiiiiiit lazy in my training.  I don't think it helps that I have been training sans-sister, since she is doing the half marathon, like a Kenyan.

Besides the obvious reasons for my laziness (4.97 miles vs. 13.1), some not so obvious reason for my distraction (a nicer term for laziness), was my 2 weeks notice and subsequent week off from a job.  Oh and a new nephew. :)  More on all of those items later.

My master plan for the 8k:
-Maybe walk
-Have 2-3 stomach episodes
-Gain some amazing insight on humanity
-Quickly lose aforementioned insight after crossing the finish line
-Be sore the next day

Just like any other race, right?  Can't wait.


Little Mrs. Never Crafts

You know those people who make almost everything their wear, everything they have decorated their house with, everything in general?

"Ooooh!  You like my sweater?  I maaade it."

"Ssssseriously?  You LIKE this vase?  I made it you, know."

"The Valedictorrrrrrrrian?  I'm so crafty I knitted him in my womb."

...Apparently in my mind crafty people over enunciate their words as well as make a ton of stuff.

Regardless of their extra consonants, I aspire to be one of those people.  Within reason.  I promise I will never make a sweater, and I swear to never use the term "knitted him in my womb" ever again. Scouts honor.

In my assssspiration to be more like these crafty folks, I have made something that I am going to share with the blog world. Besides my photos, I am not a very crafty person, so this is attempt #1 to MAKE something that I won't eventually eat.

Here is the how-to for my craft project.

Buy a painting with lots of color on it. I chose Starry Nights.

Buy stick on letters, find a poem or a saying to put on the painting with your letters.

Stick on letter.  Yup.  That was the entirety of step three.  Way more complicated than it sounds.

Buy spray paint and cover the entire painting with the spray paint. Because my painting was pretty dark, I used 2-3 coats.  I say "I" used.  Really, 'twas the husband.

Let the spray paint dry before peeling of each of the letters, exposing the painting behind it.  Or be an impatient turd like me, and peel the letters off too soon.

STEP 6:  Proudly display your faux-painting/poem painting/WHATEVER you want to call it, on a sweet 70's recliner, and give it to your sister for her baby shower. :)

PS I thought of NONE of this. I found the poem and the craft project on Pinterest. :)



Fancy a trip down memory lane? Let's go!

When I was in high school I had the best psychology teacher EVER.

Every Christmas break, the seniors from the previous year would return to Mr. Foutz's class to be 'hypnotized'.  After I had begrudgingly left high school (am I the only one who like it there?) to go to college for a year, I journeyed back to Mr. Foutz's class for my chance at being hypnotized.

Because I was pretty sure it was all fake, I was more nervous about seeing my ex-boyfriend and his friends than I was about actually being hypnotized.

Foutz was unfortunately able to hypnotize me.  He was telling other people who were hypnotized that he was Brad Pitt, or that water filling the room. I was given a MUCH tamer scenario.  Shame huh?  I'm pretty good at making a public spectacle of myself.

I was told that there was no such thing as the number four.  No matter if I was adding 2 and 2, counting, or trying to read the number four, it would not work.  At one point I started getting angry.  Surprise.

After Foutz brought me back out of the hypnosis (for fear of getting a fist to the groin), I had to run out of the class room to get to my job at the mall.  Thaaat's right. I had a sweet mall gig at a kiosk that no one frequented.  I read books and people watched. Heaven.

That night I was counting the cash register and I could not figure out why it continued to come up wrong!  Could it be because I kept skipping the number 4?  Yeah... I was annoyed.  Once I realized what I was doing, I could consciously count the 4th dollar, but without prompting, my brain would just skip it.

I was hypnotized over 6 years ago and until a few weeks ago I had forgotten all about that little incident.

Until I was teaching Pilates.  "Inhale, one, two, three, five"...

Not a believer in hypnosis?  Me neither.



I zumba'd.

Before I went, I asked some Facebook friends if I should go or not.  I got a myriad of responses including encouragement to go, and reassurance that I would like the class. My favorite comment though, was "Zumba is African for awkward".

How right they were.

I walked in the class right as it was starting (whats new?) and was forced to be in the back row. Back row rocks. It requires less face time with the super amped instructor, and allows you to be seen by fewer folks. EXCEPT at this gym.  The back row is also lined in windows that peer out onto the cardio and weight lifting floor.  So while I am shaking it in a spin move, I saw a shirt I recognized [crap]. Second spin move, I realize I see my neighbor who would no doubt have a field day with my participation in such a group fitness class [CRAP].

The women beside me were ridiculously nice. They asked me if it was my first time and what my name was and to ignore the glass wall behind me.

Yah right!  If I were out lifting weights and I saw a hippo in spandex trying to make latin moves look good on her, I'd have to stare too.  It's an ocular law, similar to a train wreck.

As nice as the women were, I was way too self conscious to do a class like that alone. Not too cool- don't get it twisted.

I was finally able to let go and have fun for a bit, but one spin move later and I jerked back to reality* seeing the vast array of co-workers, church friends and neighbors alike all jockeying for a position at the window to laugh at me.  Ok, not really, but it felt like that. 

*Note: Reality= Not having the smooth moves of a saucy minx latin dancer who had stolen the affection of all those watching regardless of my girth.  

It ended up being a decent work out.  I don't know if it was my head not letting me get into it that kept it from being a harder workout, or if it was just not supposed to be a shirt drencher.  Either way I would only give it a 6 for toughness.

If I were to go again I would have to go with a friend, or go to a new gym that had 4 walls surrounding the workout room.

Or start investing in disguises.


Dirty Filthy Liar

I completed my 4 miles, I will have you know.  Even though no one called me to jeer me on.

But I lied. Oooooooh I lied.  I said that I was going to train for the half.  I'm not.

I wanted to because I was seeking the glory. I wanted to because my sister was doing it. I wanted to because I wanted to tell people I was training for it.

Well, all of those reasons are crap. Say it with me- CRAP!  And I realized that.  So, instead I am going to train for the 8k which happens the same day and time as the half.  That's what is so great about Richmond.  You can run the full marathon, the half marathon or the 8k, which is 4.9 miles.

This year, I am going to be the one at the end of the race cheering for my sister (since my race is significantly shorter) instead of the other way around. BLAMO.  Get excited.  I know I am.

In other unrelated news, I bought tickets to a needtobreathe concert and I could not be more excited.  Who is coming with me?


Oh Hail No

After taking a short hiatus from running, I am picking back up to train for the Richmond half marathon. I really liked the course last year, and I especially liked the weather we have during the training; nice fall  afternoons, as opposed to the 4 miler, which entails training during the hot, humid, take any route in the shade- even if it's known to be a homeless hangout, summers of Virginia.  This is especially nice since I no longer belong to a gym, and will be forced to do all of my training outside.

Moving on... the Richmond half is in 9 weeks, thus commencing my first day of my training.  4 miles after work, I told myself yesterday.  NO excuses.

Too bad mother nature had some different ideas for what should happen around 5:00pm yesterday.  And none of these ideas included cardio of any kind.  Unless you count running from my car to my house, all the while imagining loosing an eye to a wayward piece of hail, and how I might make an eye patch look good.

As you can see form the pictures above, we were gifted with an unholy amount of hail.  So-  I will start tomororw.  Right? Right?
Someone call me around 5:00 tomorrow, and if I answer, yell at me.  Just yell terrible things in my ear about my gut, my third chin, and some scenario that includes me being found face down in a McDonalds bathroom 2 miles into the race.  Don't fail me, faithful blog readers.

Don't fail me like Mother Nature did yesterday.


Fun with bubbles

Nephew Duncan and his bubble hats.  What a trooper.

I call this his lopsided 'Marge'

And this is his Rocky and Bullwinkle look.

Yesterday we went to my parents house to celebrate their birthdays.  We ate, watched football, played the old game "Is it water or pee?",  and played with the nephew photographed above.  Charming little gathering.   :)

Happy birthdays Nonni and Papa!


Love letter to my juicer

Dear Juicer,
Ever since I watched a documentary about juicing I knew I needed you.  I wanted you in my home.

You're here. And you're amazing.  Your 30,000 RPMs are ferocious and strong, your pulp is dry and your juice is fantastic. Even if it makes me run to the bathroom after a comically short 10 minutes.  I feel so invigorated knowing my fruits and veggies are ingested so quickly and I can move onto the meat and starches I really love.

An apple, a cucumber, a carrot, kale, ginger. Yum.

You're the crowning glory of my kitchen.

Please don't ever leave me.



Jules' Babies

Lately I have been thinking... I cannot maintain two blogs. I can barely maintain brushed hair.  So today I'm making a photo post on my life blog.  Yeah... get used to the combo. I think I like it.

Here goes...

I had the pleasure of photographing a the children of a good friend.  The eldest, a boy, and his twin sisters.  They were a handful, but it was so much fun hanging out with the whole gang! Jules is a warrior woman.

Jules moved to Texas with her hunny bun, but came back to Virginia for a visit, and we decided to catch a few pictures of the kiddos. We even got some bubble bath photos that were to die for -  WHICH I will not be posting those here, so just scurry along purvy murvey.


Cutie Patootie.

I love Jules' tattoo and those little hands

Such a happy baby!

Make that two happy babies

Momma and Baby 1

Momma and baby 2

Isn't she gorgeous?

Hahaha. This might be my favorite picture of the handsome man


The Weekend with the In-Laws

Here is a short list of things we did during my weekend with the in-laws.

- We bought sausage at the farmers market. And here I was thinking the farmers market only sold vegetables and hemp hats.
- We went to three wine tastings, and saw some gorgeous views.
- We ate at Michie Tavern.  Can you say yum?
- I had a very hard time not saying "so's your mom" to most of Jeff's comments to me.  Now that the mother-in-law is gone, that sassy retort has returned.
- We tried 'juicing' together.  The family that juices together, stays together, you know.

Here are some pictures from the weekend. Enjoy!

My review system was very sophisticated.

Mmmm... above and below!



This wine was silly good.

I was really just trying to get a shot of the background, but I could snot resist the posing husband.


The Anatomy of a Goodbye

I hate goodbyes.  Especially when they are unexpected.  There is no end of summer camp feel to this goodbye.  No finished with freshman year farewell.

No, this goodbye has no rhyme or reason.  Just a friend who has to move away.

[Tear stained shirt-Drenched eyes-Hands shaking-Heads hung-Praises raised]

The anatomy of a goodbye.

Sorry so somber.  This old heart is heavy.


Red Lipstick

Hussy.  Ho bag.  Skank.  My first thoughts about RED lipstick.

Buuuut, after reading this blog post, and especially THIS one, I decided to take the plunge and try some red lips.

                                                               Ruby Woo by M.A.C.

Pardon the goofy pose, but I'm in love.

I walked downstairs to my husband after many many minutes of prepping myself for his response.  His first reaction was... WOAH.  He said it was "not me" but that he thought he could get used to it. :) Still not sure where I will premiere my look.  Work might fire me, and pilates doesn't seem at all right.

Regardless, I'm rather smitten with my new look only because I feel so womanly.  Not at all like a hussy.

 P.S. If you look really hard you can see the feathers I got put in my hair this weekend.  I think I'm hitting some sort of quarter life crisis.  A couple months late, but pretty fierce non-the-less.



My in-laws are coming tonight.

Duuuuuhn dun dun.

And while some people would be rushing around their houses freaking out and dreading the weekend, I am rushing around my house singing and dancing [happiness and good music].

My in-laws rock. Fancy Nancy, my mother-in-law, is sweet, funny and 100% chasing after God's will for her family.  LOVE that.

Big Red is funny, charming, sweet and easy to be around.  That's saying a lot for a father-in-law, huh?

They both treat me like a treasured daughter.  Lucky, lucky me.

They also don't mind if my house is not perfect when they get here.  But my husband does, so I must go.  I'll post pictures of our adventures later!

Happy Friday. :)


I love you like a fat kid loves cake.

I have been blessed with a great group of friends recently.  I thought I would share.

First there is Joanna, aka Dr. W.  She is brilliant, beautiful and completely talented.  But she never lets on that she knows.  One of the best people to just be around.  And craft with.

Next, Mary Allison- I would say that she is the most devoted friend a girl could ask for. Kind, powerful, bright- both mentally and through her effervescent glow. Spencer's mom and a dang good one at that.

Next there is Lauren. So dear, so giving, so dang driven and smart. No, scratch that. Wise.  Yeah, wise.  But best of all she is lovely. Inside and out. Lovely describes Lauren best, but sassy does a pretty good job too.

Joni- Our host.  Classic, clever, crafty. She could break your arm in a breath, but is a genuine southern belle.  Always honest and hardworking. I think I want to be her.

Katie- Or Dr. B as we will one day call her.  She is awesomely honest as well, and luxuriously wide-eyed.  A genuinely sharp girl who loves her family almost as much as I do.

Lastly there is me. And I'd call myself a lucky girl.


Recent Yums

I recently had a realization that I can cook anything I want. I can pick up the ingredients, and make anything.

Not striking you as a monumental epiphany?  At this moment, I am wondering what was so amazing as well...

On the cusp of this mental bombshell, I have made two dishes that I had the wherewithall to photograph so that I could post.

Hoppin' John:
An old family recipe that my husband swears he can eat every week. I've tested this.

The next recipe has no name.  It is just something random I made from ingredients I had laying around the house.  I Muzzy'd my fridge.

Just thought I would share.

 Not the food. The pictures.


Holy Sprints, Batman!

As Lauren and I bid farewell to our current gym membership, we decided it was only right to do one last MAX CAL BURN work out.

The work out consisted of a running warm up, followed by sprints, followed by the stair monster, and finally weight lifting.

But by taking another look at the title of the post, you will realize that I have not been terrified to cough or laugh because of the warm up, or the subsequent exercises. Ooooh no.  It was the sprinting.  We would do 30 seconds on, and 30 seconds off at the following intervals:


I will admit that the last 4 I did 20 seconds on, 40 seconds off.  Mostly because I was spent. But also because I am afraid of success. And spiders. 

Regardless, it was a doozy and my abs and inner thighs were a-far (on fire) the next day. And the next day. And I loved it.


I'm a Pilates Teacher!

A real for real pilates teacher

Here I am right before my first class!

Can you tell I am nervous as all get out? Well I was.  A whole bunch of my friends from church came out and took my first class ever.  It was so sweet!  Two of them are marines and I was happy to see them struggle. Even if it was only a little. :)

I have been teaching for a few weeks now and I am proud to report that no one has farted in my class yet!  Well... no students any way.

I'll be sure to share that when it happens. :)


So this is a little odd... (WARNING- Disturbing images)

A few months ago I was in a wedding at  vineyard. Sounds lovely, right?  Well yes, actually the wedding was quite lovely.  What happened after was not so much.  
 Some how I managed to walk into the forks of a forklift.  Twice. Twice.


I had no idea that my leg had pretty much slipt open like a hot dog bun, pluuuuus it was really late, so I did not even entertain the idea of going to the hospital.  Good or bad, that was the decision I/my husband who was driving made. 

When I showed my mother what had happened, her first reaction was *GASP!* 
 Then in a low, saddened tone she continued.
"But a woman's legs..." She fell silent, too verklempt to finish.  But a woman's legs what??  A woman's legs should not have a scar that runs from top to bottom of the shin that gets really purple in the cold?
 A women's leg should not bare resemblance to a member of a second rate lion taming crew?
Here is a picture of the leg.- You've been warned... its gross.

 So if you remember, the name of the blog post was "So this is a little odd."  Let's get to that part.

The odd thing is not the cut, or the fact that it looked like a cherry blossom branch (admit it). The odd thing is that all of my leg hair is blond. EXCEPT on the site of the trauma. Even the parts that did not actually scar are marked by dark let hairs.  I hope it does not last long. I'll keep you updated.