Friday, December 31, 2010

On the mend...

The last few weeks have been interesting at my house. Let's rewind to final exam week, shall we? I had 3 exams on Wednesday of that week. Yes, that's clearly unfair, but I played the hand I was dealt. Like all good MBA students, I was frantically trying to cram the last pieces of information about Finance into my brain that night. I was at a coffeeshop with a classmate preparing for the next day's exam. If you read my last post, you'll know that this is the day after my car got attacked by deer while I was driving to a Finance review session. I'm sensing a theme here. Anyway, I received a call from my dear husband around 10 pm. He was on his way home from playing basketball. He had rolled his ankle and couldn't walk on it. I packed up my study stuff and headed to one of our many local CVS stores. I bought pain medicine, an ankle wrap, and some crutches. When I got home, I was unprepared for the huge orange-sized knot on the side of my husband's ankle. Of course he wouldn't go to the doctor, so we did our best to treat the patient at home. For the next week, we had to ice his ankle round the clock and keep it elevated. This meant that he could not walk much. That, of course, meant that I got to play nurse. Thank God for Christmas break! It gave my husband a chance to rest and heal. Two weeks later, he can walk on his own without the crutches and we can leave the house a lot more frequently.
Looking back on it, I'm so glad that the damage was not worse. Let's hope that the Finance Curse of 2010 doesn't follow us into 2011.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bambi Strikes Back!

I will forewarn you that this story seems too embellished to be true. As with almost every story I tell, there are some embellishments. For the most part, the story is true. We'll just say it is true from my point of view.

Last week was final exam week for me. I had 3 finals in one day (which should be outlawed in Bloomington, IN). I planned to be a good MBA student and attend the review session led by my Finance professor. The review session began at 6:30 p.m. I live about 15 minutes away from school and there were remnants of snow on the ground. Taking all of this into account, I decided to leave my house at 6:00 p.m. to make sure that I would be on time.

Everything went as planned until I pulled out of my subdivision. Between this turn and the stoplight, there is less than 1/4 mile of dark road (no lights, lots of trees). I have warned people to be careful because it seems like a place where deer would choose to cross the street. I took my own advice, of course. I drove slowly through there (mostly because I thought there would be ice, but that is beside the point).

Alas, my attempts at safety proved to be futile. Almost as soon as I turned onto this road, I saw a (huge) deer! I've always heard that I should expect more to follow, so I hit my brakes. My anti-lock brake kicked in as soon as I saw another deer right in front of  my car. I did what all good drivers do: closed my eyes and held onto the steering wheel for dear (deer?) life. I realized that I did not hit that particular deer. Once my car came to a full stop, I heard a loud bumping noise on the front left side of my car. That's right, folks...another deer ran into my car. Essentially, I was attacked by a deer. It ran away and two more ran across the road.

I was really shaken up by this! At the time, I thought that I had run over a deer. I drove on to school and went to the review session. I couldn't open the door on the driver's side of my car, so I had to crawl out of the passenger's side. I thought my car would be covered in deer carcass, so I refused to look at it. Once inside the classroom, I contacted my husband. He (being the super-husband that he is) came to school and looked at my car while I was in the classroom. He let me know that he did not find any deer guts on the car, but he did see some dents.

Whew! Hopefully no deer was killed in this terrible accident. My car door is a small price to pay to keep those sweet animals safe. As you'll see from the next post, however, this event was only the first in a string of unfortunate events last week...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Post-Thanksgiving Post

Happy December! We got our first few real inches of snow last night. I hate winter, but I loved watching my dog romp in the snow this morning.

Did you have a happy Thanksgiving? I surely did. My family and I traveled to lovely Las Vegas to celebrate the holiday. We ate so much that I could barely eat when I got back home. There were many buffets involved on that trip. We ate Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin's house with his family. His wife made an awesome spread! It was good to have some home-cooked food. Besides that, we went shopping and toured a lot of different casinos. We had a great time, but got very little rest.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was watching The Lion King (musical). I have only seen parts of the movie (Mufasa's death was more than I could bear). The musical was much better. It focused much more on the African setting than the movie did. The dancers were almost unreal. Their costumes were not blatant, but suggested the animals they portrayed. I loved the music! Mufasa was my favorite character. Overall, I give it a 10. This musical rivals Wicked, which is my all-time favorite so far. I've seen Wicked 3 times (once on Broadway), so maybe I'm getting tired of it. I highly suggest checking out The Lion King if you live near good theater. It's a great show for kids and adults (my 6-year-old niece loved it, too). I will definitely try to see it again.

If you're a Hoosier, enjoy the snow. Everyone else: I hope you get to enjoy sunshine and a beach today instead of cold weather.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

Last week, I had the opportunity to babysit for my friends. Their little girl came over to hang out for the day. We had a wonderful time! She stayed for about 6 hours and slept for 3 of them. During her wake time, we watched Sesame Street and SpongeBob Squarepants. While I was feeding her lunch, she laughed so hard that we had to take a break. All in all, it was a fun time for everyone (except my dog, who ignored us both all day).

This adventure made me think about the wonderful Babysitters Club books by Ann M. Martin. I loved those ladies so much! Dawn was my favorite. She ate weird food and refused to change. Plus, her spin-off series (California Diaries) was ever so hot. Her California crew had real problems.

I did some searching and found a Huffington Post article about the characters from the Club:
Check it out to see what your favorite babysitters are up to now.

Who was your favorite member of the club?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Monumental Half-Marathon

Well, folks, I did it! I finished my first ever half-marathon! In case you're curious, here's the story:
The day before the race was as hectic as all get out (that's very hectic!). My husband, Pete, had been staying late at work every night that week. I had to pack our clothes and get us ready to check into our hotel Friday night. After I picked Pete up from work (after taking time to hang out with the kiddos), we drove up to Indianapolis. We quickly checked into our hotel in the heart of the city. We put our stuff away and headed to the Convention Center to pick up our race packets. My race bib was quite stylish, don't you think?

We shopped for a while at the race expo, then went to dinner. Luckily, our hotel was connected to the Circle Centre Mall. We went there to eat, then made our way back our hotel to rest up for the race. I also organized our race snacks:

Can you tell we like "Gu"?

The next morning, we got up early to eat, get dressed, and stretch before the race. We watched the local news and found out that it was super cold outside. That made me nervous because I am not a cold weather kind of girl. After I got over that, we bundled up and went to the starting line. We got there just in time to say hi to some other runners, then it was time to run!

I think it was 30-something degrees at the start of the race. I was so very cold and had a hard time breathing at first. Once my lungs warmed up, I was much more comfortable. The sun came up and the temperature rose a little. We chugged right along until mile 7. At that mile marker, we stopped to potty and stretch. The race organizers did a great job of having water and Gatorade available for us. We kept on keeping on until close to Mile 10. That's when my knee began to protest the race. It hurt before that, but I was able to keep running. At Mile 10, I thought maybe I should quit the whole race. At that point, I heard my dear friend, Melissa's voice. She reminded me that I had less than 5K left. I thought I could handle it, so we ran a little bit more. At Mile 11, my knee went on strike. We saw our other dear friend (and Melissa's husband), Rick who had finished the race. He provided some more encouragement, but I couldn't run anymore on my knee. We were forced to walk the last 2 miles. My dear husband was kind enough to stay with me and not run ahead.

The finish line was such a blessing! We were both so sore and so ready to be done running. We got our medals and scooped up lots of snacks for later. We had to walk back to our hotel, but we didn't mind because we had accomplished our goal and finished the race! Unfortunately, I had forgotten to pack pain medicine and muscle cream, so we were in pain for a while. We took a long nap, then hit the mall for some shopping therapy. I'm sure we looked hilarious as we tried to walk around. We were so sore that we had to walk very slowly and each step was painful. It was a small price to pay for my first race medal!

After the race, I said that I didn't want to ever do that again. It was physically painful and very time-consuming. Now that I've had time to recover, I'm still planning to run the Disney Princess half-marathon in February and I'm thinking of doing another one in May. The jury is still out on the May race, but I'm certainly thinking about it. In the end, I'm so happy that I did this. I can proudly say that I finished a half marathon and that feels great!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Fun

Happy Halloween, everyone! It kind of felt weird for Halloween to be on a Sunday for some reason. I can't put my finger on why that is, but oh well...

My husband and I slept in until 8:15 this morning. We usually get up at 5:45 a.m., so anything after 7 is a real treat for us. We realized that we had a lot to do. He teaches kindergarten and had to attend a Halloween play that the kids put on today. Before that, we went to his school to organize his desk (we are both mildly obsessed with office supplies, so this was a fun task for us).

Later in the afternoon, we went to our dear friends' home for a fun Halloween party. We had a great time visiting with our pals, passing out candy, watching football, and eating (lots of pizza and candy...yum!). It was great to change up our usual Sunday routine.

What did you do to celebrate Halloween?

Friday, October 22, 2010

For the love of Veggies

On a whim, I bought some brussels sprouts last weekend. I've never  prepared them before and I decided to roast them. I posted about this on facebook a few times, and received enough responses that I thought a blog post was in order.

I started with some raw brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Then I drizzled some walnut olive oil & cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar on top...
We bought this oil & balsamic at a wonderful store called Old Town Oil ( My husband and I first went there on a food tour in Chicago. They let you sample the oils & balsamics so that you can find a combo that works for you. Enough about the toppings...
I put the coated veggies on a pizza stone & baked them for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
I put together a quick salad and added the roasted veggies to the plate:
In this mix, I also had fresh spinach, strawberries, cocoa-dusted almonds, gruyere cheese slices, and a touch of roasted red pepper hummus. I added a slice of wheat bread and chowed down!

I think I'll toss in some apples the next time I roast veggies.

What are your favorite veggies & how do you like to prepare them?

Monday, October 11, 2010

A little hint about mint...

We took a trip to our local Farmers' Market on Saturday. Our dear friends have purchased a share of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. They were out of town for the Chicago Marathon, so they told us that we could have this week's bounty.

We got some yummy peppers, garlic, mustard greens (which are surprisingly great raw), sweet potatoes, and a few sprigs of chocolate mint. I'm not usually a fan of mint, but it was either that or catnip. The catnip threw me for a loop, so we chose the mint. The farmer gave us lots of ideas of how to use the mint in desserts.

On Sunday, my nose was stuffy so we were researching natural decongestants. Somebody online said that they had used mint for this purpose. My ever-resourceful husband got the idea to make a hot drink with the mint. All he did was boil water and pour it into a cup over some mint leaves. The product was delicious! I took time to breathe in the steam before drinking it. I drank it like tea without any sweetner.

Now, of course, I'm hooked on this drink. I'll have to grow my own mint in a pot so that I can have unlimited cups of my new hot drink. Yum!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Is that a fake I.D.?

Yesterday, I was running errands around town. Towards the end of my journey, I decided to pick up a treat for my husband to enjoy after work. I've been on a bit of a "pumpkin kick" lately. I have stored up cans of it in my house. I've been hunting for pumpkin donuts and pumpkin beer. Doesn't pumpkin beer sound delicious? I was super excited about it.
I popped into one of our local liquor stores. I live in a college town, so there is no shortage of liquor stores (and pizza joints). One of the helpful employees helped me pick out a nice pumpkin beer. I took my purchase over to the register where another employee was waiting to take my money. There are signs all over the store warning those who are under 21 to  not even try to buy anything at this store. One sign even says that everyone gets asked for his/her I.D. and you may have to show more than one. To save the employee some trouble, I gave him my I.D. before he asked. We were making small talk as he was checking my I.D. He paused...looked at me...then looked at my I.D. again all with a very serious look on his face. I laughed and said "Do 31 year old people usually have fake I.Ds?". It was a dumb joke, but I was really surprised that this was taking so long. He then ran my I.D. through some machine that checks for the watermarks to prove authenticity.
Finally, he turned to me and gave me back my license. He said "I don't know how to say this nicely, but if you were any younger I probably wouldn't have accepted your I.D.". It turns out that the wonderful employees of the Indiana DMV did not print my driver's license properly. They cut off information at the bottom (such as the transaction number and my hair color). He compared my license with his to prove the error to me. He told me to take it back and complain since it looks like I made my license myself.
So, because the DMV in my city doesn't believe in doing quality checks, I'm walking around flashing a homemade-looking driver's license. I've been doing this for 2 years now. At least I now know, just in case I get refused service somewhere else.
By the way, the pumpkin beer was not great. I'm on a mission to find a better brand. I'm also still waiting for my local donut shop to start making pumpkin donuts.

Monday, September 27, 2010

5 weeks left...

I was at my doctor's office today so that she could work on my knee. As we were putting together a plan for me, I realized that my first 1/2 marathon is only 5 weeks away. Yikes! My husband and I plan to run the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon ( on November 6, 2010. I'm trying to take good care of my knee so that I can post a respectable time. I'm so excited and I can hardly wait to run in Indy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Feelings about Fall...

I don't like "fall" (or autumn). I also dislike winter and spring. The only season I truly enjoy is summer. Today is the first day of fall and the high temperature will be in the 80's where I live. I love that! I really need to move to the desert so that I can enjoy blazing hot days with cold nights. I tend to be cold, so I don't like cold weather. Cold weather to me is anything under 75 degrees.

There are a few things that make fall more palatable:
Hooded sweatshirts
Chili and other Crock Pot meals
Hot apple cider
Indianapolis Colts Football (when they win games)

I will definitely rely on these things when the weather turns cold. Until then, I will enjoy the lingering summer weather.
What do you love about fall?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

My husband and I took a short trip this past weekend. As the title suggests, we went to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada! Neither of us had ever been there before. The weather was awesome! It was over 100 degrees outside each day that we were there. We did a whirlwind tour of casinos. We managed to eat at the MGM Grand buffet without stuffing ourselves, view an acrobatic act at Circus Circus, see the dancing fountains at Bellagio, and play some Black Jack. On top of it all, we met up with a good friend and got plenty of sleep.
Overall, I give the trip high ratings. In fact, I had so much fun that I'm trying to convince my family to spend Thanksgiving in Las Vegas. I'm sure that will go over well and I can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ready, ready, ready, ready, ready to run...

Remember how I mentioned that I had some pain in my knee? Well, that pain has affected my walk & it forced me to stop running for almost 2 weeks. I went to a doctor (actually, he was a physician's assistant) at our campus health center. To be honest, he made me panic about my knee. He told me to stop running immediately and said that I needed to have an MRI that very night. He was under the impression that my meniscus had been torn. Don't worry, I'll speed up this story.

I got the MRI that night. P.A. called me on the phone & read the MRI report to me. I guess he assumed that I had extensive medical training. The important part was that he wanted me to see an orthopedist as soon as possible.

I saw the orthopedist today (I know you wonder why it took me a week to go. I'm a busy gal.) He watched me walk & moved my knee around some. A short time later, he gave me the news. I beg your pardon for my lack of medical lingo, but essentially my kneecaps suck at being kneecaps. They are loose and irritate the tissue (cartilage?) behind them as they shift around while I'm running. He thinks that I might have surgery when I'm 60, but we can explore that later. His short term strategy was to give me a shot of some sort of steroid in my knee (please also forgive any 'roid rage) & have me take some strong anti-inflammatory medicine. He said that a simple solution is to have me work on strengthening my leg muscles. I start physical therapy on Friday morning.

The good news is that I can start running again next week! Woo hoo! I'm super excited about that. No surgery (yet) and I can hit the road again.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I have terrible allergies. I consider a good day one in which I can breathe out of one nostril. I've tried shots and medicines, but they get expensive. It's also annoying to be doped up on allergy meds all the time. As a last resort, I decided to try acupuncture. I also need some help with the pain in my left knee. There is a doctor's office right near my house where a Chiropractor & a doctor of Oriental Medicine practice together.

I was only a little nervous when I checked in this morning. I filled out some paperwork, then headed back to Kelly's office. She led me to a room that looked so relaxing. I instantly got tired. After she asked me some questions about my symptoms & dietary habits, she looked at my tongue. Then she felt my pulse on both wrists. After that, it was time to lie down on the table.

She made sure I was comfortable with pillows at my head & below my knees. She shined a heat lamp on my feet (awesome!). Then she felt various points on my body to see where I felt tenderness. Next, she put needles in different areas in my body. She put one in each elbow, one in each leg, one in each ear, and one in each hand. Then she put a needle on each side of my nose (right where I felt sinus pressure). Those were the only needles that actually hurt. I rested for a while, then she came in & removed the needles. She put acupressure nodes in my ears for me to wear until our next appointment.

I'm not yet sure how well the acupunture worked for me, but I am hopeful that I will feel some sinus relief soon. I will definitely keep you posted on how it goes in the next few days.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Guess who's back?

I've had a busy week! Last week was my final week at my internship. It was sad, but wonderful all at the same time. I had lots of goodbye lunches & dinners (including two dinners in one night). I received some fun presents (including Starbucks gift cards). I gave out some IU t-shirts and crowned some "honorary Hoosiers". What I didn't have time for was running, but oh well. I made up for it today.

About two weeks before the internship ended, I found out that I would receive an offer to work at the company full-time after graduation. I loved my summer experience, so this was really great news!

Now that the internship is finished, I've enjoyed spending time with my husband and my dog. I'm looking forward to relaxing this week. I will catch up with some friends and get ready for school to start. Before I can do any of that, I must ice my left knee (which is irritated after this morning's run).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Long Run

I ran 8 miles today! I never thought I could run so far at once. I proved myself wrong this morning. My husband and I do our long runs on Saturday mornings. As usual, I woke up wanting to stay in bed (we try to go early to get the run out of the way).
After we finished the run, I was so glad I did it. After the third mile, I started to feel a little sluggish. I ate some Gu and kept it moving. I sprinted the last 1/5 mile in order to get it finished. I felt good after running. I've taken a couple of short naps, but that is not unusual for my Saturdays. After today's run, I feel like I might actually be able to run 13.1 miles in November. I officially declare today a "win"!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I hate packing. The only thing I hate worse than packing is unpacking. Each time I have to pack for a trip or to move, I trick myself into thinking that I'm going to be so organized. I have visions of nicely folded clothes that are organized by outfit in appropriately labled boxes. The reality ends up being a mess. I usually wait until the last minute and throw clothes or whatever into suitcases and boxes.
I'm moving out of my summer apartment in a week from Friday. I'm headed back to my house, my husband, and my dog. This time, my packing has been a little bit different. I have actually started (which is unlike me). I have a box of books and a duffle bag full of clothes ready to go into my car. The plan is to move myself back home in 2 car loads. We'll see how that goes.
If you're awesome at packing, please lend me your advice. Better yet, if you're awesome at unpacking, meet me at my house in 2 weeks.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I am far enough into my 1/2 Marathon training program to incorporate cross training on my off days. Strengthening my muscles will help me run better. I also need some good stretching. I have decided that yoga is a good way to get both of those components at once.

I purchased a special deal on some yoga classes. For $20, I get my choice of 10 classes at a hot yoga studio in Louisville. I decided to try the Vinyasa class tonight. I'm so glad I did! The instructor was excellent and gave me some good tips. She even managed to make us laugh. The whole experience was challenging and relaxing at the same time.

At the end of the class, she asked us to lay down on our mats. The room was warm (but not as hot as during the Bikram class). She spoke in low tones as we relaxed on the floor. She stopped talking and I let my mind wander. I guess I let it wander a little too much. I found myself thinking "She is being very rude and talking too loudly!". It turns out that she was making sure that I was awake! I had taken a little snooze. She was a good sport about it and didn't make fun of me.

On Thursday, I'm planning to take "Power Vinyasa". Keep your fingers crossed that I don't reward myself with a nap again.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Winds of Change...

The winds of change are blowing in my household. I am in the summer between my first & second years of business school. My husband and I are in a weird place right now. We aren't sure where we will live and work after I graduate from school in May. This is a strange position for us. We've lived in the same city for almost 7 years. Now we aren't sure if we will have to sell our house and prepare to find another somewhere.
Change is not a bad thing. I usually like to have control over my life, but I rarely enjoy this luxury. While we will miss our friends and our current town, we are very excited to see what the future holds for us. The key to keeping my stress levels low will be for me to focus on the things in my "Circle of Influence". For now, we are planning to enjoy our current situation. We have made a list of things to do before we leave. The next thing on our list is to go to the Indiana State Fair. I'll definitely let you know how that goes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Destination Marathon

At some point this summer, I decided that running a 1/2 marathon would be a good idea. I have friends who are runners, but I tend to err on the side of avoiding running. I have asthma and am simply not a good runner. I guess there is only one way to fix this problem: run a half marathon! This length seems long enough to feel like an accomplishment (and it requires me to dedicate myself to training), yet I probably won't die attempting to finish.
Since I'm such a good sister, I encouraged (read: begged) my sister to run one with me. I thought we could make a vacation of it. What place could be more fun than Disney World in Florida? Yes, folks, my sister and I plan to compete in the Disney's Princess Half Marathon on Sunday February 27, 2011! It will include 13.1 miles of Disney magic. We'll make it a fun weekend by taking my sweet little niece to the park after we run.
Not only did my powers of persuasion work on my sister, but they also worked on my husband. I've encouraged him to run a half marathon with me in November. Yes! He's actually training (although he, too, hates to run). He's taking it seriously and everything.
I will definitely keep you posted on the training and events...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's About Time

I've had a few requests to start a blog. I guess over the years I've had a few adventures and some fun stories to tell. I don't think everything in my head will be interesting to everyone, but I'm happy to share what I know...or what I think I know.