Tuesday, December 20, 2011

and this is why you should set goals.

In October, we were riding in the car, which at the time was HORRIFICALLY uncomfortable for me because sitting hurt my low back so badly.  I was in treatment at the chiropractor and miserable about it.  I told Adam that my goal was to get better by my birthday (Dec. 5th) because I didn't want to start year 30 with a hurty back.

He told me I was crazy and that setting a goal like that wasn't smart because I can't control my body and the healing process.

Obviously, I told him I thought that was dumb.  But at the time, I didn't have any reasoning behind it.  Now, after rehabilitating to the point where I think I'm at about 98% (every now and then I'll feel a little twinge but it's nothing like the 24 hour a day pain I was having for so long), I can say that he was completely and unequivocally wrong.

The body responds when you have a goal and a timeline.  My goal was in such a tight timeline that it convinced me to seek out physical therapy and find doctors and a PT that were more in line with my body philosophy, rather than wasting thousands of dollars getting "stretched out" on a chiropractic table. It helped me to get back into my yoga practice and to use it in more of a healing way.  I'm no medical professional but I think a lot of pain is your mind's reaction to what the body is feeling.  By taking a more proactive approach to the pain and healing, it was much easier to deal with and eventually recover. If I hadn't set my own timeline and goal, I'd probably still be visiting the chiropractor three times a week and feeling miserable.

Even if December 5th had come and gone and I were still having issues, it would have been okay!  It's fine to occasionally not meet a goal.  The point is to strive for the impossible and to dream big.  No offense, husband, but I'm glad that I didn't let you discourage me in this case.  Having a positive attitude and my own deadline was precisely what I needed.

Monday, December 19, 2011

out with the old and in with the new

I've been awful about visiting this space lately!  It's been busy- I have been extremely full-time lately, teaching extra classes and picking up extra hours all over the place- and fitting in half marathon training (we have about a month and 10 days until our half in Austin), blogging, reading blogs and other free time pursuits have gone by the wayside.  My yoga practice is very heavily neglected right now.  But it's good.  It's awesome to look down at my watch and see that it's already December 19th.  I'd rather time fly by than to be bored.

I've been goal coached by several people lately, which is really fun and I think anyone can be a goal coach.  Sometimes you just need someone else to read what you put down on paper and have them tell you that they know you can dream a little bit bigger.  It's encouraging and I'm also learning that it's ok to not meet some of my goals on my timeline, the just writing it down and then taking the act of "going for it" is part of the bigger picture.

For 2012:

I will run a half marathon in under 2:00.  I figured out that I'd need to be a little under 9:15 miles to do so, which I think is in my reach.  Just finding the time to train hard for it is going to be the challenge.

I will develop my yoga practice enough to hold peacock pose (see picture in a previous post, it's redonkulous) for five breaths.

I will be a key leader on the leadership team at work.  This was a really tough one for me, I am really scared about the money handling and closing/opening the store but I know that I'll be trained to do so before the time actually comes to do it on my own.  Why not see where I can go in my career for now?
I will find another place to teach yoga and add another class to my week.

I will either run another full marathon or complete a Crossfit on ramp program, which will also tie into my goal to lose weight/inches.  If I do the marathon, my plan would be to attend Crossfit WODs twice a week for cross training.  I don't want to do the Paleo diet, but I do want to modify what I'm eating because I don't think it's working for me.

I will plan an awesome vacation for Adam and I.*

I will say yes to more and just DO things in 2012.*

*The last two are a little ambiguous still but after reviewing 2011, I feel like I spent a big portion of the year saying no to things.  We spent the first 6-7 months of the year saying no because we had no idea when or if a job offer would come and if we'd be moving from Chicago.  The rest of the year was spent in so much transition that we said no to a few more things (both big and small) and I was concerned about money when I wasn't working for so long.  We will hopefully continue to have job stability for 2012 and we both work hard enough to take a nice vacation.  When I look back at this year, I have no regrets and I am really grateful that I said yes to the biggest thing I did this year (yoga teacher training) but even that severely limited me for most of the summer and didn't allow me to do as much outside of it as I would have liked to.  Having Higgins has also given us some pause in doing a few things here in Dallas.  We've been putting him in daycare more often so I want to make it my goal to not let having a dog limit us in the new year.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

maybe this year will be better than the last

I always loved the song "A Long December" by the Counting Crows even though it's kind of depressing and mellow.  This morning I am having a tough time remembering that this year is better than the last.  Grief has a funny way of sneaking up on you at times and since yesterday ended up being a bit of a disaster, I'm having a really hard time remembering why I didn't just buy plane tickets to run the half marathon in Las Vegas with part of our running group.  I know I didn't want to spend the money but it probably would have been a way better way to spend my birthday and today.  Ug.  I hate looking back and having regret over decisions.

Three hundred and sixty five days ago, I was waiting for the phone call from my dad to tell me that my precious Grandmother had passed away.  The night before had been a really fitful night of sleep because when we talked before bed, he had told me it would be soon.  It wasn't long after the sun came up that the call came and I'm not sure if he said much more than "She's gone".  Adam and I packed our things, headed to O'Hare and were in San Antonio in time for dinner.  I remember walking into the restaurant to a big table of our family and realizing that she wasn't ever going to be sitting at the table with us again.  Despite it being awful at times, a lot of our family came down from Boston and so many of my friends showed up to the services to support me.

My nanny job in Chicago had ended right before all of this and I remember feeling so awful, I had nothing to return to.  I knew I wouldn't find a job during the holidays but my dad made me leave San Antonio, which was the best decision for both of our sanity.  We could have easily sat around all day wallowing in grief.  She was such a key person in both of our lives, for our entire lives, that it was incredibly difficult to imagine going on without that.  Even today, I really can't believe it's been an entire year.  On the one hand, it seems like only yesterday that we sat across from her at her dining room table but on the other, it feels like so much has happened that she wasn't here for.

It's not a maybe, it's definitely this year is better than the last.  I had no direction in my life last year and I was sitting in the middle of some really heavy depression.  This year, I know where my outlets are to release my feelings and I can write a post like this (shedding a few tears, of course) but it won't drag down my entire day.  Just typing these words is a sort of therapy for me.  I can sit here this morning, have my own personal remembrance and be sad, for just a little while.   My grandmother was not the type of person who would let me sit and be wallowing for very long.

We didn't do any family readings at her services, which was a good thing, since the pastor called up all the grandchildren (not part of the plan, GAH!) at the rosary (was it a rosary? I can't even remember now) just after I'd had my moment where I just lost my shit.  There is no better way to put it, I was sitting with my cousins, Adam, mom and brother since my dad was with all his brothers and sisters and Grandpa in the front row and I just had a meltdown and then, not two seconds later, the pastor calls all of us up.  I'm at least 99% sure that I had snot and tears everywhere when we had to go up there (I almost didn't go, seriously, it was that bad).  So all of that to say that even though I wanted to read something, it's almost certain that I wouldn't have been able to get through it.  If I had read something, my first choice would have been the e.e. cummings poem:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

After the service, I went up to her casket with the poem on a cell phone to read it to her in my own
personal moment.  It ended up being better that way, I think.  And the story of how awful I was when
we had to go up in front of everyone is a funny memory for me.  If she were still around, that is
definitely something that we would have laughed about together, in one of those "remember when..."
stories.  Before we moved here, I knew I wanted to have a part of the poem up in our house.  I ordered it
in August, and finally remembered to get a frame for it last week and Adam put it up on Friday night
right by my side of the bed.  I do always carry her heart with me, not just today, on this solemn
anniversary, but always.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

feeling thankful

Obviously, I'm about a week late for the obligatory blog post but we had a wild Thanksgiving week.  Adam's grandma passed away and we were scheduled to have company from Tuesday-Saturday.  I was still working and teaching one of my classes and our week was a little wild when he left for Illinois for the funeral and getting to and from on Thanksgiving weekend was an adventure for him for sure.  I still think I need to catch up on sleep from the whole thing.

We Turkey Trotted on Thanksgiving with my mom and cousin (and Mom walked Higgins).

As a real registrant, he got a bandana.  

The day dawned cold and super foggy.  Higg Man got to have his first DART ride.

Adam and I ran the 8 miler, which meant that we dodged the INSANE QUANTITIES OF PEOPLE that were not running for the first 2.5 miles and then enjoyed the heck out of the middle miles.  It ended up being super hilly since we ran over two bridges over the Trinity River that have some decent incline.  It was fun.  My goal was to finish in 1:15 but we ended up crossing the finish line about a minute later than that.  According to the Garmin it was about 8.2 miles.  RANT:  IT IS SUPER HARD TO MEET YOUR TIME GOALS WHEN THE RACE IS LONGER THAN ADVERTISED.  But still, we ran all sub-10:00 miles, which was a major feat considering the crowds.  I'll have to think long and hard about doing that one again because it was a little disorganized for my personal taste.

We had a great Thanksgiving meal with some extended family and friends.  I made some S'mores bars that I found on Pinterest that were so easy and delicious.  A new dessert tradition, to be sure.  I had a fabulous pedicure on Friday morning before work with my mom, cousin and uncle.  Mom and Uncle left after I went to work on Friday so I ended up having a great bonding weekend with my cousin.  I'm so thankful that we had that opportunity and that both of us are in a place in our lives to realize that the past isn't a bad thing, but more like what makes our current relationship special.  Without getting into too much detail, we had a lot of family drama growing up but it makes me enjoy her company lots more now.  We were leaving the Katy Trail Ice House together on Friday night when I felt someone grab my butt (which was a CRAZY thing, considering it's not like I know tons of people in Dallas yet).  I turned out to be one of my co-workers.

Speaking of said co-workers, my job is going awesome.  It was worth it to stay home for the holiday weekend to work because on Saturday night they asked me to stay after the season, which is awesome and exciting and gives me a great deal of relief for the rest of December.  Adam and I went to dinner to celebrate that last night and we were talking about how much we have to be thankful here.  We both have jobs we love, we adore sweet Higgins, we're so much happier in our new apartment with all of the space (we can even get a bigger tree for next year when they go on sale!) and we love Dallas life and the outdoor opportunities we have year-round here.  We're running faster than we ever thought ourselves capable of with our run group that is endless fun, I love teaching my yoga classes and he's plugging along with golf lessons, practice time at the driving range and man dates at the golf course.

Life is just good.  I have no desire to change anything about our current situation, well, I'd like to make it where Higgins had a little less separation anxiety but we're working on it.  My birthday is in less than a week and with it being such a "big" number in the figurative sense, I am feeling a little more reflective than usual.  Last December 4th, my grandmother passed away the day before I turned 29.  While it was expected and a relief in a sense that she was no longer suffering, it changed me as a person and made me someone that I didn't like for several months.  I was so angry, bitter, sad, frustrated and I took a lot of those negative emotions out on Adam.  The great Texas job search and condo mess made things even more stressful and difficult.  When I think back on where I was a year ago and even seven months ago, it's a night and day different situation from today.  I'm thankful for my family that they were bold enough to tell me I needed therapy and I'm happy that I went and that God was able to teach me through it.  I finally did what I'd been intending to do for about a year and did yoga teacher training over the summer, and while living a more yogic lifestyle is something that I still have lots to work on, I learned a little bit more about chilling out through that experience.  The people I met were worth all the time and money spent on the training alone.  It's funny that it took me until the last few months that we were in Chicago to really find my own community and my own place.  The transition here to Dallas has been as close to perfect as I could have dreamed it.  I have been teaching since our second week here- what a gift!  Finding other work was not as difficult as job hunting for me has been in the past.  I'm blessed to have jobs that I truly enjoy and co-workers that I want to be around.  Adam has found a place where he can be successful and grow and he found out last week just how much his co-workers here care about his well-being- they went above and beyond when Grandma passed.  We have much to be thankful for, too much for one day a year or one blog post.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

a little of this, a little of that...

So I kind of met(ish) Owen Wilson the other night.  It was a quiet Monday night at the mall and he happened into our store and bought a few things.  SUPER nice guy.  When he was telling us about a branch of our company in Maui and using a bunch of fun Hawaiian words, I felt like I was in the scene in Zoolander when they are at Hansel's house and he's telling them about hiking and smoking peyote in various exotic locales.  We were all so geeked out about it, like a bunch of Mary Katherine Gallaghers with sweaty pits and red faces talking to him.  And after he left, we thought of about 20 funny things we could have said or done but I think we just kept it classy and hopefully didn't annoy him completely.  But really, such a nice guy and really cool when another guest was totally making a tool of himself by annoyingly trying to talk to him.  

We went for a speed run last night.  Adam was hoarding the Garmin, which I realized that I've become pretty dependent on lately.  I am always pushing my limits when it comes to pacing (especially during speed runs) so I really have no concept of my pace because I'm going as fast as my lungs and/or legs will let me.  I had really high hopes of doing 3 sub-9:00 miles but it was not to be.  I have to learn to slow down during the first mile to leave a little in the tank for the last two.  I think I have it in me, it's just going to take a little more work.  We've been stockpiling Best Buy gift cards for awhile so we ordered a Garmin for me when we got home for only about $70.  It's going to be lime green (YES!) and I'm hoping that it comes in before the Turkey Trot by a miracle of shipping.  If you want to be a better runner, the Garmin is a life changer.  

My back is progressing along nicely, which makes me want to say nanny-nanny-boo-boo to Adam.  I told him awhile back that my goal was to be healthy again by my birthday (Dec. 5th) and he told me that it's crazy to set goals like that.  I think not, good sir!  I do best when functioning on a deadline.  I will be better by the start of Year 30, thankyouverymuch, because there is no other option for me.  I'm doing so well in PT that I only have to go once a week now!  (thank goodness because PT is NOT cheap)

Speaking of the big 3-0, I'm leaving the plans completely up to Adam.  It's on a Monday and he's taking the day off.  The only thing I really want to do is go to the REI garage sale and try a new restaurant.  I'm feeling a little more anti-climatic about the whole thing, because for the most part, I'm pretty satisfied with life right now.  There isn't anything that I'd change for me or us right now, I'm doing exactly what I want and enjoying the heck out of being in Dallas.  My weekends are full but full in a good way.   

I started teaching a new class on Tuesday nights.  I have a LOT of work to do because it's with students that have never practiced yoga before and I am used to teaching people that know where to go when I cue them into Warrior II.  I'm thinking I'll just break down everything even further, I just hope that the people that came to the first class aren't completely scared away by yoga.  I'm definitely stepping out of my comfort zone but it will be worth it if I can introduce one person to something that I really love.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

go forth and be daring

I've been running off and on for awhile now.  When we had to run in college for our PE class credits, I remember feeling so accomplished after running 1.5 miles.  At that point, there was no thought in my mind that I'd ever run any distances of note.  In fact, I have a distinctive memory of thinking that Ashley was completely off her rocker when I heard her talking about marathon running at the KD house.  Despite the fact that I finally got over my issues and fears with distance running (and I have to say, there's nothing like running a marathon to train your mind that middle distance running is not that bad), I've never really made serious time goals for myself.  I've always been content to run 11+ minute miles and be satisfied with that, telling myself that I have a breathing handicap.

I'm not sure if it was our purchase of a Garmin GPS watch or the fact that we've been doing a lot more races this fall or my new co-workers or a perfect storm of all of the above, but for the first time in my life, I've wanted to get faster and actually started taking the necessary steps to make that happen.  Everyone says that to run faster you have to practice running faster.  I've actually started doing "speed runs" (which my speed run pace would be a joke to most people but I'm trying) and my training plan for the 3M Half in January is to run a longer run each week and a shorter speed run, probably a 5K distance.

When I trained for the marathon, I thought that putting down all of the miles would just automatically make me faster but lots of slow miles means lots of slow miles come race day.  I had time goals in mind but I never put in the time and effort to come anywhere near meeting them.  This time I'm setting some audacious goals and I'm going to do my best to get there.

5K:  under 27:00, previous PR 28:11*
10K:  under 58:00, previous PR 1:00:35
Half Marathon:  under 2:00, previous PR 2:22:00
I'm sure there will be other distances out there, including the 8 mile run we're doing on Thanksgiving, in which case my goal will be to maintain between a 9:30/9:45 minute mile pace.  My goal for the Turkey Trot is 1:15:00, which is pretty daring for me!

*my 5K PR is based on gun time, not my actual chip time.  BOO.

My goal is to hit all of those time goals at some point in my 30th year but my target race for the half marathon is next years 13.1 Race in Dallas at the end of October.  The 10K PR comes from Saturday's race, which I think might have been my first ever 10K!  According to the Garmin, it was a tiny bit longer than 6.2 miles but I underestimated what pace I'd need to maintain.  I feel like I left a little bit on the table there so I know what I need to work on for next time.  I was under 10 minute miles for all 6, which is a HUGE accomplishment for me but I forgot that .2 miles should theoretically take 2 minutes and I couldn't quite make it to the finish in under an hour, which was my goal.

I also want to be more vocal about my goals and hold myself accountable, which is why I'm posting them here.  I'm not totally sure that a sub-2 half is going to be a realistic thing for me but I'm going to work awfully hard to make it happen by next October.

Friday, November 11, 2011

finding our new normal

It's been awhile since I last posted (and we won't even mention how long it's been since my co-blogger posted).  There isn't too terribly much to update.  I finally started working a bit more so I've been busy with that and with trying a ton of different workouts with my new co-workers.  I've spent the vast majority of the last two weeks being incredibly sore because I've been doing physical therapy for the decrepit back that involves a ton of core work and I've tried a barre class (achy calves for days), 2 CrossFit WODs, a new Yin Yoga class, Piloxing and a session on the Pilates megaformer and a class at a crazy power yoga place that reminded me of where I got certified because of it's intensity.  It's been a blast pushing some limits for myself because I've also been fitting in runs into all of that because I'm doing a 10K on Saturday morning.  My runs are getting faster when I've pushed myself (AWESOME!) and I'm basically just enjoying life right now.  I start teaching a beginning yoga class next week at one of the local YMCAs and I'm really pumped to hopefully change some lives like my first YMCA yoga instructors did for me.  It's good times here in the Nard Dog world.

The littlest Nard Dog Dictator, or terrorist as Adam calls him instead of terrier, has had a few funny stories lately.  We went down to San Antonio last weekend to celebrate my brother's birthday (for me, that involved two AMAZING giant bowls of chopped brisket topped by my favorite sauce from Bill Miller's BBQ) with a crazy 50+ person party.  My dad and uncle had a gigantasaurus bar-be-que made last year that sits on a trailer bed and has more outdoor cooking contraptions on it than I can detail here.  Basically imagine a commercial kitchen on wheels.  Adam got to golf and drink scotch and cook and eat Chris Madrid's burgers and tons of bbq and smoke cigars so he was a happy camper.  Higgins hung out with the other two dogs and proved that he is the troublemaking ringleader as he managed to escape from the backyard, not once but twice.  On Friday night, my dad and his girlfriend returned home to find him out in the street and on Sunday, just before leaving, I came home to grab Higgins and found him and Milo in the neighbor to the back's yard. They had found the one rotten board in the fence and somehow squeezed through it but neither of them would come back meaning that the neighbor and I had to finagle them over the fence.  Higgins ended up with a little scrape on his thigh and a cut on his neck from it and he had a bath immediately upon returning to Dallas.  He's INSANE.

Speaking of times that Higgins has been insane, the two escape attempts didn't convince Adam that he can't be trusted so on Wednesday morning I was instructed (against my better judgment) to leave Higgins out in the house while I went to my PT session.  It's only about 6 blocks from us so I was gone for a maximum of 1 hour and 5 minutes.  I got home and saw that he'd managed to push open the doors to both bedrooms and when I got into ours, I saw what looked like paper on the floor.  Upon further inspection, I realized it was our blinds.  He completely destroyed the ones in our bedroom because they are low enough to the floor and then climbed on the couches and ripped the two sets in the living room but only two little blades on eat set so we basically get to replace them for nothing.  Thanks, Dog.  Needless to say, he's back to full-time crating so he'll be safe from chewing the universe and destroying our home when we're gone.  I worry more about him ingesting harmful things than the actual destruction, by the way.

So other than working on the little dictator's separation-anxiety, we're just hanging loose and adjusting to our new schedules and our comfortable little life here.  After the 10K this weekend, we'll be in full training mode as we run an 8 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day and a half marathon in January.  I've set some time-related goals for myself for the first time and I'm going to do my best to push myself!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

goal setting

I was lucky enough to attend a small goal-setting workshop yesterday.  It's nice to be coached and to get reminders of what audacious goals will look like.  We set some goals this summer before we moved (including the infamous try to eat 19/21 meals a week at home, which is SO challenging) but this is a great time for me to both revisit those and look toward the future.  Looking at what we set out to do, most of that has been accomplished.  We made the big move to Dallas, which was goal #1 for more than a year and pretty much took over our lives for awhile.  I finally got over myself and my fears and got certified to teach yoga.  Finding teaching jobs has been a process but it's going very smoothly.  I've been teaching a regular class since we moved here and will start a new one in two weeks.  I have another couple of places where I can substitute teach and attend classes for free.  I have my "dream job" working at a yoga/running store and interacting with amazing athletes and people on a daily basis.  Adam loves his new job.  Personally, we're exactly where we want to be right now and there's not much I want to change.  I hadn't really thought about it until we had a brief discussion last night about the Law of Attraction, meaning that we put all these goals on paper together and actively worked toward them and achieved them.  It's not by just magic or even just hard work that got us here, it was setting goals and being brave enough to actually take the steps to make them happen.  Instead of just saying that we're happy where we are, this is as good a time as any to look ahead and make goals for the future.   In our workshop, we're guided to make a 10 year vision and work our way down from 10 year goals to 5 year to 1 year.  Making the 10 year vision is HARD!  I had and still have to sit down to really process and think about what I envision my life, our life together like 10 years from now.  I have nine more days to get my goals honed down and ready to post in the store so this post is mostly just a chance for me to brainstorm a bit more and marinate on my goals.

-Obviously, this one is on EVERY damn goal sheet I make in some form but I still (always) want to lose weight.  I am at the tip tippy top of the healthy weight range for my height and that is, quite frankly, unacceptable.  My problem with this goal is that I don't have a clear direction to get there and I need to think about the steps that I'm going to take to lose the weight and still maintain some moderation in my life and diet.
-Since my back issues started, I've been running more because it's been a pain-free way for me to exercise.  I also have some great company with our Running to Drink group and Adam's company pays for both of us to do a race a month if we choose.  I've been getting faster and I want to continue that and learn to sustain the speed over longer distances.  My previous PR in a half marathon is 2:22:00.  I want to run a sub-2 hour half in the next year.  Also, I want to do a sprint tri before the next five years is over.
-Yoga:  I want to continue practicing but also to grow.  I want to do an advanced class and/or workshop at least once per quarter and I want to learn to hold peacock pose for a minute.  In 10 years, I definitely still see myself actively teaching.  I think the ideal number while also being there for my family would be five classes per week.

Mayurasana (peacock pose) via Yoga Journal.  

-My goals here are just all over the place!  10 years is a LONG TIME FROM NOW and I have a feeling our life will look very different now.  At times, I think that I want to consider homeschooling our kids (part of this is based on the personal goal to buy an older home and rehab it, staying in Dallas proper where public schools may not be our best option and I think I can 100% give my kids a better education at home than sending them to private school, just based on my own personal experience at private school as a kid).  Other times, when I think about that, it sounds so foreign and crunchy-granola-mom-ish to me that I'm so not sure where I want to go with all of this.  
-I do want to be teaching yoga and hopefully working at least part-time when we have kids.  I want to be there for our kids and be active in their lives (field trips, classes, activities, sports, etc.) but I also want to be there for myself by having some time outside of the home and bringing in some income.
-In ten years, I want to be able to teach the classes I want, when I want at the premier studios and gyms in the area.  I don't think I ever want to own my own studio, but I'd love to be a yoga director or group fitness director.

-In ten years, I'd love to have a kid or maybe two.  This is an area where I really have trouble envisioning the future because it's so foreign from where we are now.  Higgins is plenty of responsibility (and money suck) for now!  
-I hope we will be in a position to purchase an existing older or historical home and remodel it to our taste and make it our perfect functional home.  This has been a goal that we've been tweaking and has changed based on where we are living in Dallas right now.  I always thought that we'd move to the suburbs and get a big house but we've come to the realization together that maybe we don't want that after all.  Neither of us wants to commute in the traditional sense.
-I want to be able to continue to travel.  My list of places that I want to visit is always growing at a much more rapid rate than I cross things off the list.  
-I hope we always have at least one dog in our home.  Higgins has changed my life and brightens every day.  I want my kids to grow up with family pets from the time we bring them home from the hospital.  I want to continue to pursue adoption and rescue of our dogs.  

It's always harder than it looks to start to process goals and look ahead at the future, especially because I'm quite satisfied with where I am.  But I didn't end up here by accident, it took setting the goals and working toward them.  If I want to end up at my 10 year vision, it will take more of the same goal-setting and goal-attaining.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

honor your body

Yoga teachers love to use that phrase, "honor your body", quite often during classes.  It can mean a variety of things, usually the teacher will say it after they've taught several levels of a posture and it is a gesture toward taking the level that you are best suited for instead of pushing yourself toward injury or pain.  I've been struggling with how to write this post because, in all honesty, I struggle with honoring my body in so many ways.  During teacher training, I somehow lost my way and did pretty much the opposite of any honoring.  I got competitive with my classmates, my teachers and most of all myself and quit listening to the signals of pain.  I thought if I tried a little harder, folded over a little deeper, that somehow I'd heal myself.  Instead of backing off when things were painful, I pushed myself further into some pretty painful injuries that have affected the entire backside of my body (and into the front side of my right hip) since July.  It took me way too long to ask for help or listen to my internal signals.  But despite that it's been a hard lesson to learn, it's been valuable.  It makes me a better and more understanding teacher; it has taught me to slooooooow down in many ways; it's given me the opportunity to get back into my running more than I probably would have; I've learned to appreciate my healthy body so much more.  I've always been a big race crier but now it means even more to me since I had a brief experience of being limited in what I could do with my body.  I'm thankful to have this vessel that does almost everything I ask of it and I have to learn to treat it even better.

I've been getting better about exercising after not doing much during chiropractic treatments.  That part has always come more easily for me.  Once I get going, the feeling of movement and the yoga buzz or runner's high is alluring and it's not that hard for me to get with the program.  I've completely modified the way that I practice yoga to be more gentle to my entire body, but most especially my back.  But the area in which I always struggle is my food consumption.  I do not honor my body by paying attention to what I fuel it with or listening to my body's signals that it's full.  I bought a huge bag of gummy bears this week and ate a bowl of them yesterday.  I constantly battle with food and I've been spending too much time at the grocery store while hungry (see the above gummy bear purchase).  I have to quit making excuses and stop pretending that a steady diet of cheese, bread, candy and beer will help me get further into the healthy weight range for my body (I mean, I exercise for a living, there is NO excuse to be in the top of that range).  I like fruits and vegetables, I just need to incorporate them more into my diet and work harder to make that the basis for everything.  I don't believe in low-fat foods as a general rule, since they often compensate with sodium or chemicals, but I can't continue to always over-slather everything with real butter and cheese.  I am tired of constantly battling between a 10 pound range.  I hate having "fat clothes" in my closet just in case.  I want to feel good about my weight 90% of the time, as opposed to the 10% of the time that I do now.  I want to look at pictures and think "I look happy" instead of "I looked like that?".

I read a post from another blogger yesterday that struck a chord with me.  I'll spend obscene amounts of money on yoga clothes or running/biking gear, yet I don't care to spend the time and money necessary to work the best foods into our diet.  I have no excuse for that.  Why spend the money on great clothing that performs well for the outside of my body and not spend the money on foods that not only please me but fuel me in the best possible ways on the inside?

It's time I finally took the time to truly honor my body, in all the ways that it means.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

let me update ya

I've stopped going to the chiropractor.  It's been a week now with no chiropractic related treatments.  My neck is just now starting to feel back to normal (did I ever mention that she had this odd fascination with my neck- WHICH IS JUST FINE thankyouverymuch!), my back is still sore-ish but I can sit without feeling awful and that is more than I can say when I was getting "treated".  I was having trouble even finding comfortability when I was sleeping at night and that was never a problem until I started going to the chiro.  Funny how none of those ominous signs were the real reason I stopped going.  I just didn't want to pay the bajillion dollars and follow her treatment plan that went until MARCH!  MARCH?  WHAT!  Um, NO!

When I got her "plan" and saw the way-too-high number to pay on the bottom (and also, you should know that this shockingly high number only went through my 2011 treatments and we'd have to start paying again in January for those treatments until MARCH!), I started calling around to physical therapy places.  Turns out PT is also a gigantic pain in my butt.  I had to visit with my primary care doctor, which I suppose was ok since I needed to find one anyway and I like the lady I met with, just to get a script for PT.  The place she wants to send me to took 3 business days to finally call me back and they can't even get me in for my initial evaluation for another week (the first place wanted me to wait even longer).  I can't even imagine the grotesque amount of money it's going to cost and our new insurance here in Texas just plain sucks.  (I'll save my rant about high deductible insurance and how it totally punishes people with minor issues and basically gives you good coverage only when you've had a ridiculous chronic problem for ages for another day.)  But my hope with PT is that they say it should only take me 8 sessions, or about 4 weeks, to complete whatever plan we agree upon and if I haven't seen results, we'll move on to something else (probably meeting with a surgeon and I pretty much refuse to have back surgery for this, I'd rather just live with nagging pain).  It's not treatment until MARCH! so I'm happy with trying this route for now.  Plus, PT is more active, meaning that I'll be doing some exercises to get the area around my problem stronger and maybe even get "worked on" which I'm hoping means a massage.  We'll see.

AND... I would just like to CLARIFY for all the people who think they are my doctors.  My injury is opposite of what happens to most people.  I don't feel any pain when I'm standing, walking or running.  I have been guided to be doing backbending exercises for low back strength.  My injury is from over stretching during forward folding (like putting my face against my shins when either standing or sitting with legs extended).  So everything going on with me is pretty much the opposite of what all your other friends with bulging discs have had to do.  Until someone tells me I can't, I'll be running as much as I can.  It is the one time I feel no pain and when I mentally don't feel old, decrepit and defeated (which is totally the opposite of my normal attitude toward running).  Not being able to do yoga full-time has been very difficult for my psyche.  The studio used to be the one place where I felt strong and good at what I was doing and not having that right now has not been easy for me, mentally.

I did break the chiropractor's rules yesterday and went to yoga.  My primary care doctor said I'm smart enough to listen to my body and take it easy.  It's extremely difficult for me to not take everything to the ultimate maximum of my capabilities, but I felt SO DARN GOOD when my class was over yesterday that it's worth the mental effort I have to put forth to restrain myself during class.  My back is a little tight but it's more sore from the yoga class and a run Adam and I went on last night.  It's the first time in a LONG TIME that my body has been sore in a good way, not in pain.  I'll wait to see what my PT thinks after my evaluation next Monday and modify what I'm doing from there.

On an awesome note, we ran the Uptown 5 miler on Saturday.  It was a great course through uptown and downtown Dallas.  I finished in 52:16, which is less than 11 minute miles and that always makes me happy.  Adam rocked the race in 45:38 and we both finished 12th place in our respective divisions.

It was a great race and they were giving out grapefruit flavored La Croix at the finish.  I have a new obsession.  You should get some before I buy the grocery store out.  And yes, I am a race marketer's dream.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

the anatomy of a run

Adam runs with our Garmin so all of these are approximate guesses.

Yesterday around 3:00 p.m.:  I realize that I'm not going to fit a bike ride in and I email Adam to see if he wants to run 5 slow miles on the Katy Trail for a tune-up as we are racing a 5 miler this weekend.

Mile 0:  When we start talking about distance and turn around points, Adam lets me know that it "hurts his hips and knees" to run as slow as me so he'll be going on ahead.  He'll let me know where the turn around point is when we pass each other on the out and back.  GRRRREAT.

Mile .3:  I have taken off ahead of him because it takes him nine years to put on all of his running equipment and we all know he'll pass me at the beginning anyway.

Mile .5:  I can no longer see him in the distance.  Boo.  I am slow.

Mile 1:  Ok, I've been running for a little longer than 10 minutes so surely I have made it a mile.  1 down, only 4 to go.  I've got this.

Mile 1.2:  I see a girl I recognize from somewhere and spend the next few minutes trying to figure out where I know her from.  Was it high school?  College?  The sorority?  I never figure this out despite passing by her again on the way back.  Maybe high school?  I vaguely remember not liking her all that much then and wonder if I'd like her now.

Mile 1.5:  Finally get my breathing under control.  I feel like I am running very fast (spoiler alert:  I'm not).  This is one of those brief moments in a run where I feel like I own this run and could go on forever.

Mile 2ish:  Pass Katy Trail Ice House.  Internally curse the smokers on their patio.  Seriously?  YUCK.  Think for awhile how awesome the trail is and how nice it is to be surrounded by a community of bikers, bladers, runners and walkers.  Also see a million cute dogs out for their evening walk.

Mile 2.3:  See Adam and he tells me to just go all the way to the end of the trail and turn around at the American Airlines Center entrance where there are two silver posts.

Mile 2.5:  See the AAC, the silver posts and turn it around.  Look at watch, 26 minutes, which is a little slower than I want to be running.  Proceed to climb hill and take sip of water from my Camelback and then almost choke.  Have trouble getting breathing back for the next couple of minutes.

Mile 3:  This is where things get really tough.  My legs start screaming at me more than my lungs and I realize that I haven't run a distance of note since the last 5K, which was October 1st.  Start feeling angry at myself for not running more since it's not bringing me any back pain and I was feeling so good about my running during the last race.  Spend some time in a general malaise.  Feel myself slipping into a slower pace but not really able to do anything about it.  This isn't going to be an out and back with a negative split (running the second half faster than the first).

Mile 3.3:  See probably the third black cat on the trail and start wondering if there is a feral cat problem in Uptown Dallas.

Mile 3.5:  Think about how awesome Dallas is.  See some of the same people over and over since Katy Trail is so short, you have to turn around at the end points a couple of times to put in any serious mileage.  Look for Troy Aikman, who is supposedly a trail regular.  Think about dinner.  Think about wanting to finish ASAP.  Think about how happy I am that my back isn't hurting!

Mile 4:  COMPLETELY MISJUDGE where I am and think I've crossed over the last main street and pick up my pace for what I think is the home stretch.  It's getting darker so every time I see a streetlight I think I'm coming to the end.  Luckily, Tom Petty's "Running Down a Dream" comes on (BEST RUNNING SONG EVER) and I keep pushing despite thinking "I should be done now.  I should be done now." over and over in my head.

Mile 4.5:  TOTALLY cursing the fact that I've never ran this route before.  Looking for Adam around every tree and every corner.  Pushing through all of the pain in my legs and starting to wheeze pretty bad.  Actually, I think I might have been wheezing since mile 1.  I don't think there was any need for me to say "on your left" to the three people I passed, I'm sure they heard me coming.

Mile 4.9:  See Adam, practically jump for joy.  He meets me at the stopping point.

Mile 5:  Turn off heart rate monitor and spend the next few minutes being pissed off that it took me 56 minutes to run 5 miles.  I so desperately want to be a little faster but it might just be time to accept what I can do and be happy and proud of that.  Spend the next few minutes hacking up a lung and wheezing like a smoker with emphysema.  Complain about feeling decrepit but deep down, feel good that I can go and throw down a solid five miles after not running (and mostly slothing around with my back problems) for the last 18 days.  Know that I can get better and will get better about running again.  Secretly hope that it's a tad bit warmer on race day because my lungs much prefer it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

photo dump

While uploading photos from my camera the other night during our post-things-on-Craigslist project (anyone need a TIVO? or super contemporary dining for two set?), I came across a bunch of photos from the recent past that I hadn't done anything with.  So without further adieu, a few photographic moments from the last couple of months:

This disaster scene is the only picture I ended up with from our going away party at the world-famous Higgins Tavern.

A craptastic photo I took on our first night as Dallas residents on the rooftop of The Bone in Deep Ellum.  We keep meaning to go back and we need to!

Higgins' big day getting rescued from the pound.

Can you tell he was a little skittish?

Or maybe just overjoyed at being relatively free.

This was about two seconds before I made the ill-fated decision to roll down my window.  (He totally jumped out and ran back toward the pound.  I guess the pound is better than a home where you get abused though.)

Addison Oktoberfest.  I had to ride the swings.  SO SO FUN!


Our neighborhood is filled with quite a bit of random art and sculptures.  There are several sets of giant (like 3 stories high) robots with these silver chicks.  Adam had a seat on one.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

happy anniversary

One year down, one million more to go (because, obviously, we're gonna live forever).

It's been a roller coaster but I think where we've ended up is right where we're supposed to be.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

adventures with higgins

At lunch with Jennie the other day, I was telling a couple of Higgins stories and she suggested that they are "blog worthy" so here goes.

Unfortunately for this first one, I didn't have the foresight to take any pictures at the event.  Dog rescues are a close cause to my heart, even more so after our experience at the pound and our good luck with Higgins. I follow Whole Foods on Facebook and Twitter and saw that they were hosting an adoption event and that for $7 they would bathe your dog.  Higgins is not really a fan of baths and they can be a process for us, so I figured that donating some money and having him get a nice bath that we didn't have to participate in sounded like a pretty good deal.

Obviously, since this was at Whole Foods, it was no ordinary bath.  They had baby pools set up in a tent in the parking lot.  The dogs that were bathed before Higg Man were two little yorkies with their posh princess owner.  It was hilarious.  He was bathed in "gourmet" shampoo and even got aromatherapy behind his ears.  His parting gifts were treats, a fancy dog meal to eat there and one to take home.

This chicken-brown rice- veggie combo was one of the many choices that included quinoa and lamb.  I'm almost tempted to take a bite of it myself, it's probably better than most things I cook for Adam and myself.  (Don't worry, I won't, that's gross.)

His other latest escapade was attending Camp Bow Wow.  We need a place to overnight board him when we go out of town for shorter periods of time (it's not really worth it to drive him down to San Antonio for just a weekend).  To attend Camp, you have to bring the dog in for a minimum of a three hour "interview".  I seriously felt like I was taking a child to preschool.  I dropped him off on Wednesday morning and they said he was welcome to stay all day if I liked and since I had lunch, errands and a chiropractor appointment, I figured it would be good for him.  Plus, it had been raining all night into the morning and I figured he'd do well to run off his energy with the other pups all day.

When I returned to pick him up, they gave me this:

It may be a titch too small to read but it's his first day "report card", complete with a hilarious picture where he is just about to jump up and get the camera girl's treat.  He passed his camp interview and made friends with dogs named Fausto and Jackson.  HILARIOUS!  Adam put his report card on the fridge because we are totally ridiculous like that.

He also got to take professional pictures with my friend, Kate, of Kate Gavos Photography two weekends ago for our Christmas Cards.  He's living a posh existence, my friends.  Two months ago, he was just a Pound Dog but now he gets to live as the main Nard Dog.

Friday, October 14, 2011

the state fair

Despite the fact that both of us are native Texans and spent more than half of our lives here in the great state, neither Adam nor I had ever made the trip to Big D for the annual State Fair.  Seeing as how the trip is only one DART stop away from our humble abode, we felt that a visit was pretty much mandatory.  Admission is RIDICULOUS ($16?) so we went on Wednesday night and were able to score our tickets for only $2 and a donation to the Kroger Can Drive.

Obviously, we visited Big Tex.  He talks in a rather creepy voice and told us really random things like having clean hands while eating is very important (to which I said that I couldn't believe he wasn't advertising for So-and-So anti-bacterial handwash placed in strategic locations around the fair, but no, it was just a really odd PSA).

Fletcher's Corny Dogs.  Duh.  Do people go to the State Fair and not get one?  Although, next year, I'll try the Jalapeno/Cheese one.  I just felt it was important to have the original experience this first time.

This "walking taco" was Adam's Favorite.  He's so lucky that I did my State Fair research and found out what the supposed best items were via the Dallas Observer blog.  This was Nacho Cheese Doritos (sadly, they were out of Flame flavor) with taco fixins piled all over them straight into the bag.  It was not walkable at all, rather messy in fact, but we both enjoyed it.  I'll have to remember that idea because Doritos would probably make a rather glorious base for nachos.  Sadly, the lettuce and tomatoes make this hands down the healthiest food we dined on during our visit.

Fried Oreos.  Adam was still feeling hungry as we were making our journey around the Cotton Bowl in a vain search for the award-winning Deep Fried Salsa.  We were choosing at this booth between Fried Snickers and Fried Oreos, so I told Adam to ask the lady working the booth what her pick would be.  She did not steer us wrong seeing as how there were four Oreos in an order.  DELICIOUS.

Still searching for Fried Salsa, we took an unpictured visit to the Wine Garden area and sampled the State Fair special wine and visited with a lovely man from Fall Creek Vineyards, where I have participated in a grape stomp (random childhood Jen fact).

The nightly parade came around right after we toured a few of the animal visits.  I LOVE PARADES.  Adam has never been to Fiesta in San Antonio and I'm determined to change this and do it up right come April.

We walked all over the entire fair with nary a Fried Salsa sighting.  I asked some people if they had seen it and they handed us a map that was probably more confusing than aimlessly wandering.  We went back to the general vicinity of where the map claimed the salsa was and had to ask at another booth.  Turns out Deep Fried Salsa hides at the "Taste of Cuba" booth.  ODD.  I was so happy to finally taste the goodness that I completely forgot to snap a picture.  Just know that it was in fact, a salsa ball made with tortilla chips and fried with queso for dipping.  I want to go back before the fair closes next week just to get more of it.

We searched for a funnel cake that was only 11 coupons (most were 12) and several of the booths had different pricing on various items.  We stumbled upon the Deep Fried Cookie Dough booth and Adam was sold.  In retrospect, this was a good thing, because I was able to pawn 2 out of the 3 dough balls off on him instead of dominating half of a funnel cake.

For the record, the Oreos were way better.

I want to go back, but Adam claims that his stomach can't handle another night of eating like that.  LAME!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

road to recovery

So after my cute little "I'm going to get my attitude right" post on Monday, I proceeded to be in a foul, cranky mood.  I wasn't feeling any relief.  At my appointment with the chiropractor that afternoon, I told her I was feeling the same, if not worse, and they made me an appointment for an MRI on Tuesday evening.  I wasn't exactly happy about that but I was interested in getting some answers.  I have this knot to the right of my lumbar spine and I've been thinking since July, when I started feeling the pain, that it was cancerous or something awful.  I am my mother's daughter, "worst case scenario" might as well be one of my middle names.

And the MRI itself, those things suck.  Why did no one tell me?  The form that I had to fill out had me all upset and nervous because I have a permanent retainer and I was afraid the magnets would pull my face into the machine.  And the machine itself is GIGANTOR and crazy looking.  When I saw the tiny chute that I had to fit into, it did freak me out a little bit.  I'm not claustrophobic, but it was freaky.  How do obese people get in those things?  Once I got in and we got going with the loud picture taking, it almost started sounding musical to me and I would zone out into a very savasana-like state.  Before I knew it, the tech came over the speaker and said we only had one more picture to take and that it would be two minutes.  Adam said I was back in the room for over 30 minutes but luckily it didn't feel that way.

When I got to the chiro yesterday, she said she had my MRI reports in (a day early, when does that happen?) and that she was going to call another doctor quickly and then we'd talk about it (so OBVIOUSLY my mind went to OH MY GOD she's calling the ONCOLOGIST and I'm going to die). She was just double checking with the doctor that made the report to make sure she was understanding it all.  I am an idiot.

We talked about the report, I have two bulging discs, just as she originally suspected, that are becoming more inflamed/aggravated when I do forward folding in yoga.  I have some options for recovery but my first choice is to try her decompression table, which basically involves me strapping in, face down on a table that uses pulleys and the dropping of the ends of the tables to pull me apart while my back is in extension (a slight backbend).  It sounds dramatic but it actually felt FABULOUS.  Of course, the table work isn't covered by insurance (but steroid shots into my spine are partially covered, because THIS is what is wrong with our health care system and America loves to treat things the most invasive way possible instead of allowing the body to heal itself with some assistance and a little bit of work on my part, WTH).  But this is not the time or place for my 8,000 word diatribe about all the things wrong with health care in America.

So, long story short, I did my treatments yesterday, spent the evening walking around at the State Fair (instead of sitting down, which is more painful for me) and felt better than I have in a LONG time.  I taught a class of VERY beginning students today so I did more yoga than I have in weeks (but taking it extremely slow and very easy on myself) and it felt good for the first time in a long time.  I'm not supposed to do yoga right now and I plan to take that seriously, but it did feel good mentally to know that I am slowly working on this healing process and that one day, I'll be able to enjoy my practice again.

This whole thing is, unfortunately, very much my fault.  I put a ton of pressure on myself to finish my certification in 8.5 weeks and put pressure on myself to take poses more extremely than my body needs.  One of my favorite instructors in Chicago always said "Go where you go" when we were in particularly tough postures and I need to remember that and go where my body wants to go, not putting my face on my shins just because I think that will make me a better yoga teacher and better person.  I'm not as good as a teacher now because I am limited, but even that challenge is teaching me to hone my words and describe more vividly what I want my students to do.  I will grow from this mostly because I'll learn what yoga really is; it is not competition with myself or anyone else.  It's just "going where I go" and learning to accept that for what it is.  Now that I know I don't have some flesh eating blob living inside of me (the knot is nothing to worry about and lots of people have them- the pain I feel more so on that side of my body is because one of the discs is bulging toward the right), it's much easier to feel comfortable about where I'm headed.  I am looking forward to learning how to take care of my spine.  I'll be a better teacher to others when this is all over because I know now just how infinitely precious my mobility is!

the wedding that was, part 3

After riding up on the boat, we joined our cocktail hour about 30 minutes in.  If I'm totally honest, the next hour or so was really stressful for me!  We were pulled in about 100 directions during the cocktail hour trying to see as many people as we could.  When we finally went inside for dinner, I was so anxious about greeting everyone (I've been to too many weddings where I never saw the bride and groom) that I wasn't even hungry.  While the coordinator, caterer and DJ were coordinating the buffet (Mexican food, of course, this was a very San Antonio event, after all), Adam and I were served and I think I told him he had less than 10 minutes to eat.

Somehow, we made it to every table and I think and hope we saw everyone.  When I looked around and saw full plates in front of everyone, I started to relax again and enjoy the night.  When it was all over, our only complaint was that it went by too fast...

Adam's groomsmen gift was custom Chuck Taylors in colors that represent the guys sports teams.  In order L-R:  Bayern Munich, University of New Mexico, Virginia Tech, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, Green Bay Packers, LA Lakers.  (not pictured:  my dad, whose colors were green and blue because he supports no sports teams and was lame and had to go back to the hotel because he forgot his speech and to change shoes- he was a hot mess).

Cake cutting and there was no face smooshing at this wedding, just for your information.  Notice the original Lane Stadium (Virginia Tech) plan was scrapped post-Blackhawks Stanley Cup win.  Our friend, Brooke, made the epic 16 layers for Adam as our wedding gift.

After a particularly funny moment in a best man's toast...

Our first dance as husband and wife was spent mostly by Adam stepping on my dress, but lovely nonetheless, because we chose a funny song (Whatever It Is, by Zac Brown Band).

My dad and I relived our awesome moment on the football field with a fabulous rendition of My Girl.

Adam and his mom cried and danced to Josh Groban (which thankfully our DJ tastefully edited the six minute song, You Raise Me Up) and I don't think there were many dry eyes in the house.  I can't remember where I was during this because it was super awkward and I didn't know were I "should" have been.  From this photographic evidence, it appears I am talking to my brother.

Despite my dislike for it, "Shout" was my mom's #1 request and I had to acquiesce so the oldies would have something to dance to.

My brother and his girlfriend, who was also a bridesmaid and one of my besties from college.  He calls this his "cutting a rug" picture.

These are our two awesome friends that ended up marrying each other last June.  Good times.

This was the last dance of the night (Sweet Home Chicago- Blues Brothers Version) and we still had a packed dance floor.  We had the best guests on the planet and even my sweet Grandmother made it all the way to the end of the night, at a huge surprise to all of us.

We left in a blaze of glory and crushed up cascarones (confetti eggs, yet another San Antonio tradition).

Being the World Champion Wedding-ers that we were, we made it to Pat O'Brien's for a bit of the after party, although I'm still upset that we missed the drinking from the Stanley Cup that took place shortly after our departure.

We wouldn't have done it any other way.  It was perfect and it was so representative of our personalities.  Our wedding party was amazing (even with one at 8.5 months pregnant) and we had a blast dancing the night away with our rockin' families and closest friends.  The only thing that makes me sad about it is that we live so far away from so many of our guests (now and then) and we'll never have the opportunity to have them all in one room again, well, at least until our 10 year vow renewal.  Vegas, anyone?

*all photos, except for the last one, which was my own, are by the lovely Caitlin Hudnall of Caitlin's Creations Photography

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

the wedding that was, part 2

Texas weather can be notoriously crazy but we couldn't have asked for better on 10/16/10.  I want to say the high/low was something like 80/60, which was just perfect to not need a jacket, nor be sitting in a sweat pile.  It was worth the 14 month wait to get married in the fall.  

Our ceremony was VERY short, which was just fine with Adam and I.  An old family friend and former pastor at my church was our officiant and he basically let us choose the flow, the style, the readings, music, etc. and it was very much "us".  As on any wedding day, it wasn't without a couple of kinks (including a missing marriage license, whoops!) but nothing that we had to worry about.  It was perfect in my eyes.

Mini snafu:  My mother (bright blue) had trouble lighting her portion of the "unity candle" so my mother-in-law came back up to help her.  This is especially funny since I had asked my mom at the rehearsal to practice lighting it and she refused.  HMMM...  my dad and I were wondering what could possibly be taking so long!  

The look on her face is so TYPICAL Nancy.  And hilariously appropriate.  Better not to be able to light the candle rather than one of us faceplant.  Thanks for taking one for the team, Mom.

This is quite possibly one of the coolest pictures we got of the day.   The photographer's assistant shot it from the balcony.

Go time for Dad and me!  He managed to keep it together during our walk down the aisle.  I'm 99% sure I walked way too fast.  

AND we're married!  After what was probably a 10 minute ceremony.  You're welcome, guests.

From there, we traveled downtown and the wedding party got on a river barge to ride from our hotel to the reception site.  This was hands down the best thing we did and when the venue coordinator mentioned the possibility to my dad, it pretty much sold him on the place.  We even got to ride through the Arneson River Theater during a rather rowdy Tejano concert.  Ballers.

Cocktail hour, complete with mariachis, was being held on the 3rd floor balcony of the International Center on the San Antonio Riverwalk.  As we started to pull up, the announcement was made that we were coming via riverbarge.  It was awesome to see our guests lined up along the balcony.

The boat ride was perfect.  While I claimed all along that it wasn't a big deal if the weather foiled our plans, in retrospect, it was such an unforgettable part of our day.  Ironically, it was probably the cheapest part of the day! 

Next up:  Party Time (and the last in this fabulous little series, I promise)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

the wedding that was, part 1

We (ahem, I suppose it's only me these days because Adam doesn't want to come here and tell our three readers (hi, Mom!) how happy he is to be in Texas) started writing in this space during a difficult time in our journey that brought us here to Dallas.  I am so happy I revisited blogger because it's been fun to already look back and see the wide range of emotions that we went through.  I can't imagine how funny it will be to read the early angst-y entries in 5 or 10 years.

When I stopped blogging before, it was mostly because I had pigeon-holed myself into writing about running and my charity walk, which I wanted to take a break from.  But also because I had no work life to speak of (as I would not have discussed the family that I nannied for online) and I spent most of the remainder of my time bouncing back and forth from Chicago to San Antonio to spend time with my ailing grandmother and do all of our wedding planning.  While I adored reading wedding blogs, I didn't want to blog the step-by-step particulars of our wedding beforehand.  I still have no regrets about that.  I have a fantastic album made by our wonderful photographer and 150+ guests to reminisce about it with.

But, as our first anniversary rapidly approaches, it seems appropriate to remember what was the best day of my life so far.  And if I'm quite honest, I'm not sure what could approach it, as I don't think the days of my potential children's births will be quite the same awesome party.  Please excuse the fact that I broke the posts up.  I realize that is one of the most annoying things a blogger could do but I want to do the day justice.

Part 1 is pre-wedding:

Adam and the guys got dressed in the fellowship hall of my childhood church.

Some poker may have happened, not sure how Presbyterians feel about gambling...

For us ladies, getting dressed was SLIGHTLY more of a project.  Getting my dress tight enough was a THING requiring many people.

I always thought the Bride's Room at church was so regal and I'm not sure I ever imagined that it would be me getting ready in it one day.  (Also, not sure that I was prepared for not being able to put on my own shoes and garter, HA!)

We did a "First Look", which took some convincing on my part because Adam wasn't originally on board.  In retrospect, it was 100% the best decision we made.  It made us both much more relaxed and we only needed about 10 family pictures after the ceremony.

It also afforded us time to walk across the street to take pictures in front of this doozy of a mural, that I've heard my photographer made famous by having a huge canvas print of this shot in her office.  I've seen it pop up with other couples on her blog.  It's very San Antonio, which was what we were going for.

With our entire wedding party, they were all great sports and we couldn't have asked for a better posse to stand with us and they were all the life of the party at the reception.

Next up:  ceremony and travel to the reception.