Five on Friday, Easter edition

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hello, Friday! Easter is this weekend, and it's one of my favorite holidays. When I was a child, my mom took such care in selecting trinkets and candy to go in my and my brother's coordinating Easter baskets - which she still uses today. Every Easter, after church my cousins and I had a huge egg hunt at my grandparents' house, sometimes in matching dresses that Grandma had sewn for us. Ah, the good ol' days, right?! I can't wait to make memories like that with kiddos of my own!

One. Flowers, flowers everywhere! I could seriously kiss our previous homeowners. They planted all kinds of beauties all over our yard. Right now, the azaleas are going crazy and I'm loving it! I've always wanted azaleas. In fact, I said to Alex last spring, before we had any idea we'd be moving, that I wanted to plant some. And here we are a year later. God works in mysterious ways, I tell ya.

Two. Easter weekend is here! I'm getting ready for my inlaws, mom and stepdad for Easter dinner on Sunday. Easter is such a beautiful time of renewal and a time to remember and recognize the greatest sacrifice of them all. 

Three. Do you ever have those days where you think, "I am so blessed and I want to live this day over and over"? Last Saturday was that day for me. It started with the 5k, then we drove to Greenville to celebrate on of my best friend's little girl's first birthday where we got to see a lot of our Greenville friends that we don't get to see often anymore. Then, we took the scenic route up to the mountains of NC to mom's cabin, and we stopped by the Poinsett Bridge en route, a gorgeous old stone bridge I'd always wanted to see. Then we got to the cabin and watched the sun set on God's majestic Blue Ridge mountains and sipped on wine. It. was. magical. The whole day...just wonderful. 

At the Poinsett Bridge in Upstate, SC

Four. We planted a hydrangea this week, something I've wanted to do since we moved in. We had a pretty hydrangea by our front door at our last house, and it made me sad to leave it when we moved (it had been a gift from my mom the first spring I lived there). So Mom bought us one for this house! I can't wait to see it grow and make me smile for as long as we live here. 

Five. Did I mention it's Easter weekend? Ellie is ready, guys. She was born for playing dress-up. 

Have a wonderful Easter weekend -- and remember the reason for the holiday!

Linking up with
 AprilChristinaNatasha and Darci

Run girl

Monday, April 14, 2014

I did it. I ran a 5k!!

Before the 5k: sleepy but ready!
This has been on my life list for awhile now, and I added it to my "14 in 2014" list at the beginning of the year. I knew I could do it, but you see, me and running? We've never been friends. I've always preferred Pilates and power walking over jogging or running. Plus, I look a mess during/immediately following/two hours after I run. It's really not my best look. 

But I started the Couch to 5k program again in late January, giving myself plenty of time to train up, since I knew it would be painful. 
(Side note: I started the Couch to 5k program last year too, and got pretty far but never finished. Fail.)

This time, I remained focused and dedicated and ran like I was supposed to. My goal was to run the 5k without stopping to walk, but a few weeks ago I realized that my stamina just wasn't there. I would probably have to walk, but that was okay: I had made a lot of progress. And for a non-runner and someone who dreaded "The Mile" in PE classes for most of my youth, being able to run almost three miles without stopping was a huge success in itself.

On Saturday - race day - I was nervous but pretty jacked up and ready to get it over with go. Alex ran it with me, and I couldn't have done it without his encouragement every single step of the way. He kept saying "Let's just run to that sign up there" or "You're doing great, keep breathing" (important, I guess) and sometimes "You're running faster than your training pace - slow down." Even though he could have done it a lot faster, he stayed with me the whole way. And although I did take two short walk breaks - which may have accounted for a total of a tenth of a mile - I ran it a full four minutes faster than my best training time at home: 32:38. I know this is a pretty slow time, but for me, it was an amazing feeling to cross the finish line and see that I was sub-33. Honestly, crossing the finish line was a great feeling, period. The DJ was yelling "Looking good! You end at the finish line! You're almost there!" It was actually a ton of fun.

Will I run another race of any kind? Jury's still out. But I know I can do it, and the competitive side of me knows I can do even better. We'll see what the future holds, but for now, I'm getting back to my barre workouts and will run when I feel like it.
At home, post-race. we did it!!

I'm still kinda on that crossing-the-finish-line high. What a feeling!


Five on Friday: I'm back!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Whew, what a crazy couple of weeks! Sadly, the next few will be just as bad as far as busy-ness goes - not a lot of time for R&R, which I really need! What have I been up to? A lot of work, and only a little play...but it's all good!

ONE. Two weeks ago, I saw Darius Rucker (actually, Hootie and the Blowfish) in Charleston. The golf team was playing the The Hootie, an annual event the band presents, so I scored second row tickets courtesy of the hubs. I love me some Darius!

TWO. Those Gator boys made it to the FINAL FOUR! I am SO pumped to watch in nervous splendor tomorrow night as we face UCONN. We can do this, boys! No matter what, I'm so proud of this team and what an awesome TEAM they really are! It's great to be a Florida Gator!

THREE. Last weekend, I made the wardrobe switch and busted out all my spring clothes. While it's a major pain in the you-know-what, swapping out winter clothes for spring/summer is such a mood lifter! Now here's hoping we don't have a freak ice storm in April 'cause all my winter clothes are packed away!

After! Seeing all this color in my closet is so worth it!

FOUR. I love Easter and Spring decorations, and I've been pairing them around my house with fresh flowers (camellias from my yard, daffodils from Trader Joe's). Can you say Spring is here?? 

FIVE. I just happened to look at this app this morning to see that Alex and I have been married for 1,000 days! What?! How did this happen? Thanks for putting up with me for 1,000 days, babe! All my moodswings, my OCD, my need to do things my way all the time...I am so lucky to have you in my life to take all my quirks in stride. I love you! Here's to thousands and thousands more!

Have a fab weekend, y'all!

Linking up with
 AprilChristinaNatasha and Darci

Essentials Only Month fail

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Top: fridge on March 1. Bottom: fridge on March 31.
Well friends, the end is here! Essentials Only Month is done. And it wasn't the glowing success I'd hoped it would be.

I'm not sure what happened really...

I mentioned that hubs and I were both traveling a lot this month. Alex had several tournaments with the team, so he was gone almost every weekend, and I traveled a little bit for work (which is unusual). I thought that us being gone so much would help in the spending department, but honestly, what we didn't spend on food we made up for in gas.

One of the reasons for doing EOM is cleaning out the fridge and the pantry, and using up stuff that has been taking up space for too long. Well, we only cooked dinner a handful of times (due to the traveling), so this was a marginal success.

And budget? We definitely didn't stay within our $225 budget. We nearly spent that much on gas alone. Fail.

Another reason for EOM is to avoid shopping for entertainment, which is what I'm prone to doing, especially when A is gone all weekend and I'm bored. For me, this was a success. I didn't step foot in a TJ Maxx for an entire month - and that, my friends, is willpower. Alex, however, didn't take it quite as seriously as he has in the past. But, come on, this was not his idea, so what can I expect??

The good that came out of this annual exercise that we do? We did save money, if only by drastically reduced grocery costs. Although technically we weren't "supposed" to, we did eat out a few times, but opted for inexpensive places. And with all the gas we burned this month and all the gifts we had to buy for people - baby, wedding, birthday, and hostess - we needed to save in other areas, like un-necessary shopping and food, and that we did.

Essentials Only Month may have technically been a fail this time around, but it's still a good frame of mind to keep for 30 days. It's always a good challenge, and makes me aware of what I'm actually spending on all the extra, unnecessary things in life. And it makes me feel blessed that having an Essentials Only Month is a choice, not a necessity.

Between EOM and Lent (for which I gave up fried food), I'm ready to carelessly spend some money and binge on Chick Fil A fries.

Kidding. Sorta. (Gotta wait until after Easter for the fries, duh.)

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