A Very Special 3.1 Miles

This past weekend, I participated in the South Florida Brain Tumor Association’s 10th Annual Sprint for a Cure 5k.  This cause holds a very heavy and dedicated place in my heart, and it felt beyond wonderful to run for this purpose.

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Honestly, this was the first time I ever ran a race for a cause that meant so much to me.  Of course, I support all of the great causes I have run for in the past, but there is something about running for something so personal that leaves you feeling inspired, accomplished, and selfless.

An interesting and unimportant note- I ran my fastest 5k ever.  I think this is because I was so unconcerned about myself and my time and simply so focused on running with meaning.

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The weather was humid and wet, the course was nothing scenic, the competition was nothing fierce, and the distance was short- but this was beyond a doubt the best run of my life.

Goal: Run the 2014 1/2 marathon in Chicago for this same cause.

What sporting events have you participated in that were extra special to you?

#whatgetsmethrough

These past few weeks have been beyond brutal on this (LAST) rotation.  But, instead of blogging about how stressed and tired I am (and how uninteresting my life has been), I have instagramed the highlights of my days.  The moments that get me through, and that when added up, remind me that these weeks haven’t been quite so bad.

keeps.me.going.

keeps.me.going.

zona.fresca.tacos

zona.fresca.best.salsa.ever.

irish.car.bombs

irish.car.bombs

st.pattys.with.friends

st.pattys.with.friends

father.daughter.love

father.daughter.love

underrated.underappreciated.candy

underrated.underappreciated.candy

friday.morning.munchkin

friday.morning.munchkin

dog.walk.sunrise

dog.walk.sunrise

cant.beat.view

cant.beat.view

family.photo.while.brunching

family.photo.while.brunching

love.these.two

love.these.two

soft.kitty

soft.kitty

refreshing.peach.tea

refreshing.peach.tea

this.face

this.face

french.toast.carb.overload

heaven.on.a.plate

sushi.boat.

sushi.boat.

25 Things I Now Realize at 25:

  1. I actually really like brussel sprouts.
  2. Dogs are, most definitely, better than people.
  3. True friends are extremely rare, and as life gets busy, efforts to maintain those friendships is necessary and important.
  4. Very few bad days can’t be remedied by wine and/or cookies.
  5. Salmon is delicious.  But pizza is still better.
  6. Waking up early to get ready slowly is much better than rushing out the door.
  7. The more education I receive, the less I know.
  8. I don’t really like science, and if I had the energy/time/desire/money to change career paths, I would.  Although I still have no clue to what.
  9. Exercising is mandatory if I want to eat pizza and cupcakes on the frequent, and on some days, I actually love to run.
  10. Money does not bring happiness, but it certainly makes life easier.
  11. I have not even scratched the surface of traveling or seeing the world.
  12. Thick skin is a requirement in life, because people will walk all over you and/or criticize you- daily.
  13. Retail therapy does work (preferably in combination with #4).
  14. While procrastination worked ten years ago, as I get older, it proves to seriously bite me in the ass.  Time management is, shocking, a time saver.
  15. I really like to grocery shop.
  16. When I look more put together on the outside, I feel more confident on the inside.
  17. Eating a small dessert every night is a secret to staying skinny and satisfied.
  18. I cannot wait to, one day, create the family I wish I had.
  19. I really cherish alone time, and love spending days to myself.
  20. I would rather live near mountains than the beach, and if I could move anywhere I think I would pick Colorado.
  21. Speeding up to pass a slow person while driving rarely gets me past a traffic light before them.
  22. Social networking sites are wonderful for staying connected, but can sometimes cause me to focus on other people’s lives more than my own.
  23. Sometimes people will not like me for absolutely no reason at all.
  24. When my apartment is cluttered, so is my mind.
  25. Life is very short, unpredictable, and unfair.  And also wonderful.

Life moves pretty fast….

Within a time span of seven days, from February 27-March 6 to be exact, so many parts of my life began to fall into place.  It’s crazy how everything exciting in life seems to happen all at once.  This week has been an absolute whirlwind.  I have been dying to blog about all of the exciting and scary changes ahead, both to share and to to have a moment of reflection for myself.

February 27: We took home this little bundle of joy.

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Macy

Macy

Her name is Macy- Macy Mae to be be exact.  We had been talking about adopting a dog for the longest time now, but we never felt 100% ready for the added responsibility.  Then, it hit us.  We will never be 100% ready!  Life is always crazy and always busy and we are never going to want to walk a dog at 6am.  But, as any dog owner will tell you, the payoff is so worth it.  We finally just took the leap and did it.  We said ‘yes’ to the dog.  I would be lying if I didn’t mention the insane anxiety that the added responsibility gave us at first, but a little over a week in, we have fell into a routine and love her to death.

Obligatory rant:

Please, please, please if you are thinking about getting a dog, ADOPT!  The Humane Society and Rescue groups are loaded with the sweetest, kindest, friendliest, healthiest dogs of ALL ages and ALL breeds.  You can be placed on a list for a certain breed or seek out breed-specific rescues in your state, if you have a breed preference.  Of course, I’m partial to mutts, but to each is own :)  Not only are you adopting a family member for life, but it opens up a spot for another precious dog to come in from a kill-shelter or owner surrender.  I am so passionate about this, I could go on forever.  But, I’ll leave it at this: don’t shop, adopt!

March 1:  Celebrated Ryan’s 26th birthday

It is so crazy to admit, be we are getting old!  My man is in his last year of his ‘mid twenties’.  We went out to a nice dinner at J. Alexanders on Friday and celebrated out with friends on Saturday.  We really enjoyed the food at J. Alexanders, but I have to admit that I am partial to Houston’s [for that price range and cuisine].

Celebratory Drinks

Celebratory Drinks

Grilled Artichokes

Grilled Artichokes

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

Salmon

Salmon

The grilled artichokes were delicious!  The foodie in me is embarrassed to admit, however, that I have no clue how much of an artichoke to eat.  Oops.  The ‘not your ordinary’ mac and cheese was also delicious, but practically swimming in the cream and cheese.  I felt as though I were eating cream with macaroni in it.  Two bites was plenty.  My salmon was very good, served with a dill sauce on the side.  However, I have had better salmon at a restaurant [Bonefish Grill and Season’s 52 to name a few].  Either way, it was a lot of fun to have a reason to try a new restaurant.  Happy Birthday Ryan! … (Let’s see if he actually reads this)

March 1:  Signed up to run my first 10k

True story: I talk about “goals” and things I want to accomplish, but then, surprise, life gets too busy and it doesn’t happen.  Case in point: run a 10k.

Funny story:  I decided, after a particularly unproductive and difficult gym session, that it was time to 1) get back in shape, and 2) accomplish this frickin goal.  So, I came upstairs, and in the heat of the moment, signed up for the 1st 10k that takes place on a Sunday in my area (because I work on Saturdays).  I didn’t care about the cause, I simply wanted to cross this item off of my bucket list and have a reason to push my butt to run every week.

So, I am now signed up to run the “Gumbo Lumbo Green Turtle Gallop” on April 7.  Yes, I am running 6.2 miles for sea turtle conservation, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

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Sometimes, you have to stop talking about things you want to do, and just do it!

March 6: Official Job Offer!!!

I was officially offered a full time pharmacist position post-graduation.  And the kicker?  It is located right where I live.  Those of you who aren’t currently on the hunt for full time, well paying, post-grad school jobs in desirable/saturated areas may not fully understand, but this is huge!  I finally feel as though my hard work is paying off and I am getting what I deserve.  I can officially say I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is bright!

Honestly, I have been through some rough patches these past few years, and it feels pretty amazing to feel all of these good changes on the horizon.  It is not always easy to “just stay positive”or “just keep pushing on”, and many times I wanted to seriously punch people in the face for uttering those phrases to me.  But, life really does move in cycles, and things really do get better.  And sometimes, good things do happen to good people.

So many of our days are spent wishing more exciting things were happening or yearning for x amount of days/weeks/months to pass.  Then, when we finally arrive at that accomplishment/goal/vacation/ending we want so bad, it all happens so quickly, that we don’t even appreciate it as it’s unfolding.

This week was splendid and eye-opening for me, and I want to cherish this feeling of happiness, gratefulness, and uninterrupted joy.  I want to forget about my anxieties and fears of all the added responsibilities ahead of me, and just savor this feeling.

Because really, life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around one in a while, you might miss it.-Ferris Bueller.

Treat Yo-self Day

For those of you who watch Parks and Rec, the title speaks for itself.  For those of you who don’t,  I have two things to say.  1) The title is a reference to the show, not an example of my grammar,  and 2) you should really watch the show, it’s hilarious.

In all seriousness, the other day I had the rare gift of a day off in the middle of the week.  Words can not even express how much this day to myself recharged my soul.  I spent the day doing only things for myself and ignoring every other obligation I had, which is the main premise of a ‘Treat Yo-self day’.  I did not ignore these obligations in defiance, but more because I knew that if I didn’t take a day to be selfish, the other things would never be accomplished efficiently and properly.

How rare it is to take a day- a whole day- to ourselves.  Think about it.  A day “off” or a weekend usually involves playing catch-up, running errands, and spending time with our [insert important person/s in your life].  Almost never do we get a whole day to bond with ourselves.

On this magical day to myself, I fit in a quick workout in the morning, had a nice big slice of banana bread for breakfast, got my hair cut for the first time in way too long, and spent the day shopping and having lunch and coffee by myself.  All alone.  And it was pure bliss.

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Some people might feel lonely spending the whole day in a crowded mall alone, but for me, it was therapeutic.  It allowed me to engage in an activity I love (shopping) without having to worry about another person’s needs, schedule, or preferences.  I didn’t have to spend an hour convincing my friend that blue was her color and the dress she tried on was in fact slimming.  I didn’t have to help my boyfriend hunt for the right size shirts for work, picking through the heaping pile of men’s dress shirts until we found a  sized 16 neck.  I was able go into each and every store I wanted to for as long as I wanted to, and I was able to sit and enjoy my fattening and difficult to eat falafel sandwich without worrying about the tzatziki sauce all over my face.

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Moreover, my thoughts were completely my own.  I was able to use those thoughts in an empty yet enjoyable way, such as people watching.  I also used them to contemplate things on my mind recently.  Things I have been meaning to mull over, except life is always just a little to busy to do so at the moment.  The realization that we rarely have time to just ‘be’ with our thoughts is sad, but etching out a whole day to be with these thoughts, while doing something enjoyable, is so peaceful.

It all felt so good.  More than good- necessary.

I wouldn’t be fully honest if I didn’t mention that the retail therapy of buying myself some special things didn’t help.  But is it really a coincidence that on this day all about me I just happen to stumble upon the perfectly fitting pair of black skinny jeans or the precise cross body bag that I have been searching for?  Hardly.  Those items were placed there by fate to make me even happier on an already blissful day.  Plus, splurging on fine things is another understood element of ‘Treat Yo-self day’.

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Although the inspiring concept for Treat Yo-self Day emerged from a hilarious TV show, the premise is universally solid.  Every now and then, we deserve a relaxing day to ourselves, by ourselves.  The logistics of this happening may be difficult.  They may involve babysitters, “sick days” at work, skipped classes, or canceled plans.  Even so, the difficulty of getting that whole day alone speaks volumes as to how needed it is.

I encourage all of you to get out your iCal, planner, calendar, or post-it note, and schedule a Treat Yo-self day as soon as possible.  You deserve it.

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Monday Morning Moment

Since Monday mornings tend to be so painful to get through after the high of the weekend, I thought it would be nice to post something peaceful, inspiring, cute, or relaxing every Monday.  It may only serve as a brief escape, and you may not even have time to see this until later in the day, but if it provides 2.5 seconds of happiness during a hectic moment, then my mission has been accomplished.

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Ft. Lauderdale Beach run

Have a great Monday everyone.  Only 4 more days until the weekend!