Thursday, October 27, 2011


If you had told me three years ago that I would be able to run 13.1 miles, much less enjoy it, I would have said you have downright lost your mind.

But my running partner (and one of my best friends) Karah and I went down to the little fishing town of Apalachicola this past weekend, and early Sunday morning we ran our first half marathon, The Apalachicola Running for the Bay Marathon.

A good luck basket of goodies from my sweet husband!

Krysti, (who is Karah's sister) Karah and I rode down to the coast (which took not quite 2 hours) in  Krysti's jeep with the top down. It was such a nice drive! The weather was fantastic and we rocked out to great music the whole way down.

We stayed at the Apalachicola River Inn on the second floor overlooking the bay. It was really a fantastic view! That evening we had a few drinks and a delicious dinner at Tamara's, listened to some live music downtown at the blues festival, then Karah and I called it an early night and walked back to our room to get some good rest before the big race the next morning.

That bridge in the background is the one we ran across and back for the race, The Gorrie Bridge
  We got up at 6:00am Sunday morning and got on our warm running clothes since it was a chilly 56 degrees. Armed with our iPods, we tracked across the street to the starting line at about 6:45 and stretched really good while we waited for the 7:15 race to begin.

I hope I never forget the feeling I had watching the sun rise over the gulf while running across the Gorrie Bridge that connects Apalachicola to Eastpoint. It was so moving, and the whole way across and back I thanked God that I had legs to run, eyes to see the sunrise, and breath to breathe in the salty ocean air.

I also have to add that a lot of my motivation and adrenaline came from the OUT OF THIS WORLD play list I created on my iPod. Music really motivates me, and I get really bored with repetitive songs, so I took careful consideration when arranging this play list for the big run.

One of my friends, Kristin, suggested I check out GirlTalk, a mash up DJ who combines songs everyone loves. She sent me a link to download for free. I am skeptical of anything that you can download for free, but I have to tell you, it did not disappoint. The beat is incredible and it kept me pumped up all the way until the finish line, and I think I even could have kept on going! So shout out to Kristin for the phenomenal suggestion!

Coming to the end of the bridge, I spotted my mom down on the ground taking pictures. I waved so she would know it was me!

Almost done! This was the final down hill section of the bridge.

Coming in strong for the finish!

Done! Ah it felt so fantastic to cross that finish line!

Miss Morgan was there to cheer me on across the finish! So glad she told me about this run and glad we both finished it!

Karah coming down hill off the bridge

And Karah crossing the finish! Way to go girl!

Me with two of the girls who were bridesmaids in my wedding!

My running buddy Karah

We did it! 13.1!

I ran 13.1 miles in 2:30:03, which was a pace of 11:28 per mile. I finished 16th in my age division and 136 overall. I am so proud of Karah and myself for accomplishing this goal!

Now what's next??? We have decided to work on our time, and try to be at least 10 minutes faster by the next Springtime Tallahassee 10k, which is usually sometime in April. Personally, I would love be running a 9 minute mile by then!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Lovely Advice- Day 33

Health: Drink plenty of water. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants. Live with the 3 E’s - Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy Play more games. Read more books than you did in 2010. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Sleep for 7 hours. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.
Personality: Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment. Don’t over do. Keep your limits. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip. Dream more while you are awake. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime. Smile and laugh more. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
Society: Call your family often. Each day give something good to others. Forgive everyone for everything. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6. Try to make at least three people smile each day. What other people think of you is none of your business. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch. Life: Do the right thing! Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. The best is yet to come. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wedding Rewind- Figuring out the Basics

After we were engaged and had spread the news to our family and friends, we really didn't do much for almost two months. We enjoyed being engaged and thinking about the future without any immediate deadlines. It was nice to have this time to just relax and enjoy the moment. I have talked to many friends who feel their engagement was rushed, and the day after they were engaged they started planning a wedding. We didn't even know what kind of wedding we wanted, so it was to our advantage to take our time. And if you know me, you know I am a bit slow when it comes to making crucial decisions.

Coach and I had a series of casual conversations about what kind of wedding we wanted. His first suggestion was to just go to the courthouse. Ha! Although I think that is a romantic and simple idea, there was no way I could really have a courthouse wedding. I am too much of an event person to go that route. Even though my dad tempted me with, "I'll pay you to just go to the courthouse, you can take the money and (get a new car, put a down payment on the house, take a fantastic vacation)." But, as tempting as that was, I had always wanted a wedding. After talking it over, the Coach admitted he thought it would be nice to have a wedding too, that way our families could be there. So the first decision was made.

It was fairly simple for us after that to decide what kind of wedding we wanted. We are both family people, so it was important for us to have our family present to witness us tying the knot. Therefore, since we are both from the same hometown, a destination wedding was out of the picture. We would have a hometown wedding with our family as the priority of our guest list. That being said, we both have big families, so we knew making this decision meant we were looking at a 100-200 guest wedding.

Our very first inspiration board

We took a suggestion from my friend who is an interior designer, who told me that in school when she was doing projects, the professors had them chose three words to define their space. These three words would set the tone for their design, and would help them narrow their focus and encourage consistency in the space they were desiging. We thought this was a great idea, and decided to use that concept and chose three words for our wedding.

Coming up with the three words was easier than I thought. We didn't plan to do it this way, but Coach ended up choosing one word, I chose another, and we both decided on the third.

My word was Romantic. I wanted a rich feeling of love and romance and hoped to portray this through our color scheme and flowers.

Coach picked the word Comfortable. He is a pretty laid back guy, and likes to kick back and have a good time, so it was no surprise to me that he chose this word. He said he wanted our guests to feel comfortable at our wedding, not stuffy or awkward. He didn't want anything too fancy, and he wanted a location where people could move around and visit and talk to each other.

Our last word we chose together was Southern. I think this pretty much speaks for itself. We are both born and raised southern. Southern for us is a way of life, it means tradition and family, good food and great music. It was only natural that we include southern traditions in our wedding, specifically through our decorations, food, and music

So that's really how we decided on the basics. We decided to have a wedding, made it a priority to invite family first, and decided we wanted our day to be summed up in three words: Southern, Comfortable, Romantic.

We didn't sit down and just hammer out everything in one night, I (more so than he) am the type of person that needs to have time to digest and think about things before making decisions, so this method of casually throwing out ideas and taking about two months to think about what our options were allowed us to really stew over things before we made any commitments or signed any contracts.

Did you jump right in with planning, or take some time to think about what you wanted your wedding to be like? Did you already have your wedding planned in your head, or did you need to brainstorm with your fiance like I did?

Next post, budget!


If you start thinking that your week begins on Sunday, suddenly Monday's aren't so bad anymore- Day 26

My BFF, Mindy, said this to me this weekend, and how much of a difference that has made for me today! I had a fantastic weekend visiting her (and her baby bump!) despite the rainy weather all weekend and didn't want to leave! I had so much fun in fact, that I didn't pause to take a SINGLE PICTURE the entire weekend! Bad blogger! Now that I am blogging, I need to remember to have that camera in my hands at all times.

I arrived at her house Friday afternoon, and after surveying all the updates she has done to her house, we took off to go antique shopping in Leesburg. We went to an amazing shop, then I took up the rest of our time in the candle shop across the street. Have you heard of Swan Creek Candle Company? We have three stores (that I know of) around my area that carry some Swan Creek merchandise, but there is an outlet store in Leesburg and I was in candle heaven! If you have never heard of these candles, let me just tell you, they are made from American soy bean wax, and are the best smelling candles. I even prefer them over Yankee candles.
I received my first one as a gift about two years ago, and it was in a decorative pottery jar, so not only do they smell divine, they look fantastic as well.  I had the hardest time on Friday deciding which scents to bring home with me, but I finally decided on a small Lavender candle for our bedroom, three Lilly of the Valley votives for the bathrooms, and a tall French Vanilla Bean for our kitchen. I also bought my first Christmas present, a tall Snickerdoodle candle for my mom.

Friday evening we ventured to downtown Mt. Dora and had dinner at the Saucy Spoon. I had the salmon which was served with roasted vegetables and grits. It was great! After a nice meal we rode up to the Mt. Dora Brewery. I had heard Mindy and her husband talk several times about the brewery, and I was excited to see first hand what the buzz was about.

Mount Dora Brewing

We sat out on the patio in the back of the brewery where we could have fresh air but still hear the music from inside. I tried the Rockin Rabbit Red, which is an Irish Red Ale made from organic ingredients including orange blossom honey. I am not usually a red ale kind of girl, but I enjoyed this one very much. You could definitely taste the honey.

Saturday we trekked down to Orlando to the Mall at Milena to make a stop in Pottery Barn Kids to check out some baby bedding Mindy had been eyeing online. We of course made many more stops, including a late and long lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen. We split pizza and an appetizer and yapped like we always do, but better since we were in person instead of over the phone.

Sunday we went to church and I assisted (rather poorly, I might add) while Mindy taught Sunday school to a rowdy group of first graders. Then we went to the service, which was fantastic, followed by lunch at Sweet Tomatoes. Then it was time to pack up my car and hit the road to head back home.

I love every second of my weekend with my best friend, specifically starting out my week beginning with Sunday morning at church. Watching those first graders learn about Moses and then listening to the Pastor speak about seeking God has made a big difference in my attitude this Monday morning. Today I am thankful for best friends. Even if we live 4 hours apart, she always finds a way to touch my heart and help make me a better person.

Thanks for a super weekend Mindy Sue! I can't wait to see you soon!

Do you have a long distance BFF? How often do you get to see each other?


Friday, October 7, 2011

"F" is for Friday and Fabulous Friends- Day 23

I am out of the office today and on the road traveling to visit this awesome girl

We have a busy weekend planned, and I can't wait to see all the updating she has done to her home, go antique shopping, have lunch in little town Mt. Dora, and most of all spend time with my BFF!

Hope you get to see someone special this weekend! 


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Jobs on Jobs- Day 22

While the only Apple product I own is an iPod, my husband, parents, brother and many friends own iPhones and multiple other Apple products. I have found it ironic that most of them learned of Steve Jobs' passing on the very technology that he facilitated the creation of. I don't know much about Steve Jobs, but while reading the morning news, the following quote stood out to me and I felt the need to share.

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do," 

"If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on."

Steve Jobs, said at the 2005 commencement address at Stanford University.

Let this day be great. There is lots to be thankful for.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ten Articles a Newlywed Actually Wants to Read- Day 21

I love reading blogs and if I find a particularly interesting one I like to see what blogs that blogger reads... and somewhere I get lost down a bunny trail of blog-hopping. Today I stumbled upon this blog and this post in particular that had me laughing out loud, and I had to share.

Being a newlywed of 6 months, this entry is very applicable to my life. Wither you are planning a wedding, have planned a wedding at some point, I hope this makes you laugh too.

This blog is and the following is a list of suggested articles that newlyweds actually want to read (from these mass email producing sites like the Nest and Martha, and many others)

Ten articles a newlywed actually wants to read:
  1. Hand exercises to alleviate Thank You Note cramps.
  2. Who should move for whose career: The Armageddon of Newlywed Fights
  3. What exactly do you use a stand mixer for, anyway?
  4. Beyond flowers: easy ways to say “I’m sorry I was such a jerk last night”
  5. Damn the man, lower the co-pay: navigating through a health insurance switch.
  6. Cute ways to style short hair (because every newly married woman cuts her hair off, right?)
  7. No soap? Seriously?: How to clean a cast iron skillet
  8. Fun ways to answer the question, “How’s married life?” that will ensure it is never asked of you again.
  9. Can you still celebrate your dating anniversary? How many anniversaries are you allowed before you are That Couple?
  10. How to watch your wedding video without cringing so hard your face Gets Stuck That Way. [this article would really just be a collection of cocktail recipes] 

I would especially be interested in reading number 7. We received a cast iron skillet as a wedding gift and I have yet to use it, doesn't it have to be prepped or seasoned or something before you use it?? Anyone know how to do this?

Also, my standard answer to number 8 is, "So far... so good!" Don't know if this is appropriate or not...

Have a great Wednesday!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wedding Rewind- New Blog Series

I get a lot of questions about my wedding, and I thought it might be fun to do a little wedding re-cap here on my blog. Even though it was the highlight of my 27th year, I don't think it will hurt to look back a bit and share with you one of the best times of my life.
photo by Mary Beth Tyson
 I am going to do a few background posts and share who our vendors were and how we made those hiring decisions. I'll also show you a few DIY projects my mom and I did. Our wedding was truly a collaborative effort, we couldn't have done it without so many people's help!

I look forward to sharing this with you, and hope if there are any brides-to-be out there, that maybe some of my experiences will help you with your own weddings!


Cypress- Day 20

Last week the Coach took me out for a belated birthday dinner. He picked the restaurant all by himself, and it was amazing! We went to Cypress, which I had been to once before several years ago with my parents. He had never been. To say we both enjoyed it would be an understatement. Everything we had was absolutely fantastic! Cypress specializes in southern regional style cuisine, and everything down to the deserts and sauces, is made fresh in house.

We started off our meal with two Sweetwater 420's from the tap and the appetizer special which that evening was quail. It was served on a bed of mixed peas and  the sauce on the side had a BBQ flavor, it was divine!

Next up were our main courses. I had the grouper, which came with clams served artfully in the shell with a sort of chowder in each open shell. It's hard to describe, and I wish I had a picture because it was just gorgeous on the plate. Coach tried the entree special for the evening, duck two ways. Duck con fit in a risotto was laid below smoked duck breast. I snuck a bite of his and the meat was so tender.

After the main course, we enjoyed a second round of beers while we mulled over the desert menu. My favorite desert to order anywhere is creme brulee, however we decided to try the Southern Pecan Pie Turnover with maple caramel ice cream. OH MY HEAVENS I could have licked the plate! the pie was wrapped up almost like baklava and drizzled with caramel sauce. There was a scoop of maple syrup flavored ice cream with caramel crumbles on the side. Once again, I wish I had a picture because it was gorgeous.

Quail Appetizer from Cypress Website
It was nice to have a date outside of the house. We are both so busy and really concentrating on sticking to our monthly budget, we don't often let ourselves splurge, but it was worth it for dinner at Cypress!


Monday, October 3, 2011

"Monday Morning you sure look fine, Friday I've got travelin' on my mind..." - Day 19

Here is a list of things that are on my mind this Monday morning-

1. Fleetwood Mac is on my radio (hense the title of this post)

2. Today is the beginning of a four day work week for me and I feel fantastic!

3. I am so proud of Karah, my running partner, and myself for accomplishing our goal of running 8 miles on Friday! We ran until the sun went down and pushed ourselves to go a little longer and run by the light of the street lamps to achieve our 8 mile goal. Proud to say we did it and have another long run scheduled for tomorrow evening. We are about 20 days away from our big half marathon run, so we need all the encouragement we can get!

4. I am still dreaming of the beach this past Saturday. It was gorgeous! We stayed later into the evening which proved to be rewarding. Tabs and I were treated to a show by a group of dolphins. They were jumping out of the water and were swimming pretty close to the beach. I had never seen one jump while I sitting on the beach. It was so cool! We also saw this sailboat around the same time that the dolphins were turning their tricks. I wonder if it was stirring up fish or something?

phone pic from my droid
 5. Sunday was fantastic. I caught up on all my girly DVR'd shows, did laundry, cooked spaghetti, cleaned the kitchen, took a nap, and got some reading done. I am currently reading Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch. I have two more chapters to finish, then maybe I will post a book review.
via Google
 6. I am using annual leave on Friday and skipping town to have a weekend visit with my BFF down in Mt. Dora! I am so excited to visit her and see all the updating she has done to her home, go antique shopping, enjoy long lunches and just see her in general! I haven't seen her in about 7 months, since my wedding! It has been too long, and these two peas in a pod are overdue for a fun girl weekend. 
That's all for this Monday!