Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving - The Good, The Bad

Let's talk Turkey Day. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that's really changed for me over the years since I've been married. 

When I was single, it was a day when my grandmother, Nana, sister, mom, dad, 2 aunts, 2 uncles and 4 kids would gather around the table and dive into my mother's turkey with the trimmings. It was loud. It was crowded. But it was what I knew and loved. 

Enter marriage. Becoming a couple means that holidays now have to be split. So, Thanksgiving is now dedicated to hubs' fam. Christmas is my fam. 

Thanksgiving to me now means:

1. Traveling over 3 hours in one day to see hubs' family. It's exhausting.

2. Gorging myself on hubs' sister's pumpkin roll. 

3. Pouring over all the Black Friday sale papers directly after turkey consumption.

4. Coming home after a long drive and trying to pass out on the couch, while two crazy, cooped up dogs want to play.

5. Fighting with hubs on who gets the leftovers.

6. Debating on whether or not I should muster up the energy to get up at the ass crack of dawn and head to snag some Black Friday deals. Sleep usually wins.

7. Getting out all the Christmas decorations and going to town. By the time I'm done, it looks like Santa threw up all over the house. 

8. Dragging hubs to get a Christmas tree. Making him hold about 10183 of them and "shake them out" so I can get a good feel for what they'll look like in my living room.

9. Starting my yearly tradition of slowly converting hubs from his scrooge-like state to enjoying every minute of the holiday season. This is complete with all holiday activities like cookie-baking, music-listening, gift wrapping, light putting-up.

This year? We're chopping down our own tree. As in, heading to a tree farm, picking the prime pine, hacking it down and dragging it to the car. I can only imagine this trip will end up like a scene right out of Christmas Vacation. 

You know what though? I'm very, very thankful that hubs is back in the country. Because this time last year? He was overseas for work. And I was missing our Thanksgiving and holiday traditions. Now that I'm married, the holidays will always be where he is. <3 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Have Yourself a Slice of Pie

Today, Nana would have been 76. It's hard to believe we're nearing two years since she's been gone

She's the reason I started this blog.
And the reason I ran a 5K.
And the reason raised my family and I raised over $2,500 for lung cancer research.

Happy birthday, Nana Banana! We miss you every.single.day. 

Have yourself a slice of pie :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fitness Friday

Happy Friday, friends! It's the weekend before Thanksgiving, which means next week only consists of three glorious days at the office. Hells to the yes!

This week has been pretty mundane as far as fitness is concerned. Pretty standard, except there was no running. Daylight savings, rain and a busy schedule has made it hard to get outside. This is also week two of using Lose It. I haven't weighed myself, because I've decided to shun the scale for a few weeks. It tends to frustrate me and makes me want to quit, so I'll weigh in in a few weeks.

However, in exciting fitness news, we bought a treadmill! So, that means, running three times a week is back on. And guess who's going to set up her DVR for even more trashy reality TV to watch to pass the time? This chick. Nothing motivates me more than watching the anorexic-looking Real Housewives of *insert your city*. 

The treadmill we got is pretty nice. Nothing too crazy, but we walked out of Sears about $700 poorer. It's a Nordic Track that has all the fun features like iFit, which allows you to train with my fave celebrity trainer, Jillian Michaels. Plus, you can use Google maps, to load an actual route onto the computer in the treadmill and it will adjust the elevation while you run so that it's just like you're running outside. Pretty cool feature. Especially for hubs who is training for another race in the Spring. 

Delivery is set for Wednesday. Hubs has the day off, thank goodness. Although, with my recent experiences with Sears, I'm not exactly holding my breath for an on-time delivery.

How is this week shaping up for me? Let's have a look.

Sunday: Nothing. I got back from a weekend in Philly and had to clean. No time for workouts.
Monday: Kickboxing
Tuesday: Cardio circuit
Wednesday: Shred Level 2
Thursday: Nothing
Friday: Kickboxing
Saturday: Run/walk and core work

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gamer Husband?

When I met hubs about 8 years ago, I knew he was a video game addict. From the minute I walked into his dorm room and saw his Xbox and strewn about games like NBA Jam, I figured if I liked him it was something I'd have to get used to.

Now? We're the proud owners of almost every video game console out there. Because, hey, the man does now discriminate when it comes to gaming.

Many women ask me "How do you deal with a husband that plays video games all the time?" Well, ladies, it's really not that bad. And honestly, over the past few years, he doesn't play nearly as much as he used to. He usually keeps it in moderation (except for this Fall, when apparently, all the most awesome games of all time were released.)

Here are the negatives:

1. Nodding and pretending to hear every word you say while he's playing a game. I've learned to try and not tell him anything of importance while he's playing, or else it gets lost in his brain. My messages typically get boxed out by Gears of War. If I really MUST communicate with him during game time, it's wise to make him pause. Which brings me to my next point.

2. Online gaming can be stopped for no one. If dinner gets done in the middle of him playing Madden online, then dinner waits until his game is done. Because he can't simply just stop, right? That screws up all his points (and stuff.) Good thing we have a microwave to nuke his cold food.

3. Noise. Now that we have the surround sound back, I can hear gun shots echo throughout the house. And when he's playing online with other people? The yelling and screaming can be downright irritating. 

4. Ignoring you for games. That doesn't happen too often, but with the influx of new games that were just released? I'm being ignored pretty regularly. And, yes, I've tried the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" routine. Not my cup of tea.

The positives:

1. He's made some amazing friends through video gaming online, which in turn means I've made some pretty amazing friends myself. You can laugh and judge and call us super nerdy and weird, but these are some of the most fun, hilarious, genuine people I've ever met.

2. His time playing games equals time for me to spend doing stuff I want. Like watching reality TV...or making crafts. Sometimes it's nice to go to our separate corners of the house for a while. 

3. I can nap on the weekends and he doesn't bitch about it. Also a plus. 

4. I can go to bed at 10PM on a Friday night, and he has something to keep him occupied. Yes, I go to bed at 10PM on Friday. It's usually been a long week. Give me a break.

5. There's always something to get him for Christmas/Birthdays. 

In reality, it's a rare occasion that I bitch about him playing games. It's his hobby. Something that he loves and relaxes him. And who am I to take that away, right?

Well, ladies, do you all have gaming husbands? How do you deal?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fitness Friday

It'ssss Friday! *Insert happy dance*

This time change is really bumming me out. And it's definitely affecting my running at the end of the work day 3 times a week. By the time I get home, get ready and head out the door, it's well on the way to being pitch black. And, unlike my husband, I don't enjoy running in the dark. 1. I don't want to trip on myself. 2. I don't want to be attacked by zombies. 3. I don't want to be attacked period. Not that we live in a crazy neighborhood, but you never know who's lurking in the dark.

Hubs and I are going to be heading treadmill shopping pretty soon. The one we had from my parents has given out. The belt is busted and the motor doesn't sound pretty either. So it's time for a new one. And, damn, those things aren't cheap! 

This is my first full week of using the Lose It app for my iPhone, and wouldn't you know it, I lost a pound! About damn time. Clearly, I was taking in more calories than I thought. Who knew? But I do have to say, I've been starvin' all week long. Guess my body has to adjust.

Here's my week breakdown:

Sunday: 30 min run/walk
Monday: Kickboxing
Tuesday: Cardio intervals
Wednesday: Shred Level 2
Thursday: Kickboxing
Friday: Cardio intervals, 30 min run/walk
Saturday: In Philly visiting Katie! No workouts. Just wine and sushi :)

Have a fabulous weekend!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

iPhone App Crazy

I may have mentioned recently that I finally ditched my old Samsung phone and got myself a sweet iPhone 4S. Needless to say, I'm in love with it. Besides my iPod Nano, this is really my first experience with an Apple product and I have to say that it's lived up to its name. 

What did I do the first day I got it? Well, other than asking Siri a million different questions, I went right to the App Store and started downloading like crazy. 

I have a few apps right now that I LOVE, but I'm also looking for other suggestions for worthwhile, useful and fun apps. 

Here's what I'm working with now:

Lose It: This has really helped me keep track of my calories. And here's to hoping it helps me lose some weight. It's so easy to have all of the calorie counts and records at your fingertips. It's much better than when I was on Weight Watchers because for one it's free, and for two, I don't have to be near a computer (although I do realize they have an app now too.) Plus, my most favorite feature, I can scan the barcode on my food and it appears in the log. Convenience at it's finest.

Pandora: I had always listened to Pandora on my computer at my last job, however this job blocks all streaming radio. So I was psyched to have it back in my life. And you best believe I'm hooking myself up with a Christmas station.

Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest: Duh. I'm a social media whore, remember? Of course these three were the first to be downloaded.

Family Feud: Yes, remember that game show? I can play it on my phone. And I do. Every day. And I kind of kick ass. Just saying.

Words with Friends: I love this game, however hubs is the only person that I've connected with. And he brutally kicks my rear. Who knew an engineer could have such a great vocabulary.  So for the love of God, hit me up. I'm Heatherjp12 :) Let's play!

Skee Free: Skee ball! All I have to say about this is it's addicting. Don't say I didn't warn you. Say buh-bye to at least an hour of your life.

World's Hardest Game: See above. Seriously, I just spent an hour on this game. It's a series of mini games that get harder the farther you go. Disclaimer: there's math involved. Numbers. Some addition. Be prepared.

All of these apps were free (except I did upgrade World's Hardest Game.) However, I'm not opposed to paying for apps. So, give me your suggestions! I'm all ears :)

And if  you don't have an iPhone? Get it. Do like I did and wait until your upgrade rolls around and spend the $199 on the 16GB. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Missing the Fam

When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to peace out of my hometown the minute I got my diploma. 

Then I went to college only 45 minutes away. 

After college? I knew that finding a job in public relations and marketing in a tiny town was going to be a big issue. I had just spent four years of my life busting my butt to get my degree and I wasn't about to settle for a mediocre job that had nothing to do with my studies. 

Hubs (then boyfriend) got a job in New Jersey, and I took this as my best opportunity to escape. I packed up my crap a mere two weeks after graduation and headed to the Garden State to start my adult life. 

That was the day I knew that I would never be moving back to Hometown, PA. I discovered a life of convenience. Malls just down the street. So many restaurant choices, my head was spinning. Options for places to start my career in PR/Marketing. A big city within my reach. 

Four years in NJ was good enough for us. We found out it was a little too crowded for our taste. When hubs got his job in Baltimore, we were happy to start a new life in a new city. Although we hated saying goodbye to friends we made, we were ready for something new. Not only that, but we were moving 2.5 hours closer to my family. Which, in my mind, meant more visits.  

But, I might as well live in California or the other side of the world. I only see them when I can make the trip home. Which I tend to do once every 2 months or so. But as far as anyone visiting me? It's unfortunately not a priority. Life gets in the way. Everyone is busy. Seeing us is a chore. And I miss them. Not only that, but there are a lot of days when I yearn to just stop over for dinner. Or call up my sister to go shopping. These are the days when I wish I would have stayed. When I would have opted for a more universal career that could be found in towns big and small. Same goes for hubs. Engineering jobs are usually plentiful in small towns. 

My feelings are stirred up from a canceled visit from my parents this weekend. Unfortunately, life got in the way. It's been nearly 6 months since they've been down. We've changed a lot in the house and I was excited to show it off. Take them to dinner. Spend some time chatting. But? Dad's work got in the way. Sigh. 

But I'm the one that moved away. I had dreams of a different life for myself, outside of Hometown. So you could say it's my fault for leaving. And I shouldn't complain. Just cherish the time we do spend together. Most people would love not seeing their family often. Me? I'm not that person. 

Guess I'll be planning that trip "home" soon. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fitness Friday

Happy Friday!

It's finally the weekend again. And thank goodness for that. We're finally have a streak of decent weather here in Maryland, so it's feeling like Fall.

Once again, a week has passed and I still haven't lost any weight. I've decided I need to start tracking calories more...as much of a pain in the ass as it is. I think maybe I'm taking in more calories than I think I am. 

Lucky for me, now that I have the iPhone4S, there are a crapton of apps out there that help you track your calories and exercise. I've decided to use Lose It! because 1. It's free and 2. I've heard good things. But I'm open to other suggestions!

On to the the fitness. This week:

Sunday: 30 minute run/walk
Monday: Core workout
Tuesday: Kickboxing
Wednesday: Cardio video and 30 minute run/walk
Thursday: Shred Level 2
Friday: Cardio Intervals and 30 minute run/walk
Saturday: Parents are coming for a visit, so it's a rest day!

Have a great weekend!