Fantastic Father’s Day

How is it Monday already? Seems to me like weeks are moving to slowly and weekends, as always, are flying by. I’ve been bogged down with a nasty head cold since late last week and have done my best to enjoy the gorgeous Baltimore weather without sneezing my brains out. Not such an easy task, my friends.

I finally got things under control (with a little help from Sudafed) and we had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend. Friday night was spent separately – he went to a kickoff to summer party and I went out to dinner with a co-worker and an ex-coworker. It’s so nice to get outside of the office, relax, and catch up. After diner, I swung by the party for a bit but left almost right away due to the threat of thunderstorms. (Girlfriend does not drive well while it’s both dark AND pouring down rain.)

Saturday was spent running errands and with the JA’s maternal side of the family. His grandmother was in town and his cousin was having a birthday party, so we got to see almost everyone on that side for a little bit. We quickly came home to host game night with our neighbors out on our back porch. It’s easily one of my favorite spaces in the summer months and with a few new additions from Target, is absolutely gorgeous as day turns to night.

back porch w lights

Sunday we hosted Father’s Day dinner at our home for about 20 people (my immediate family and JA’s paternal side). Not wanting to be overwhelmed with preparations, we did a potluck and there was more than enough food to go around. The highlight? This cake from his Aunt Susan. Absolutely delicious, and I may or may not be contemplating having the last leftover piece for breakfast this morning. You only live once, right?

strawberry cake

It was a perfect weekend, and timed perfectly, because we could share some exciting news with everyone in person. Stay tuned to find out what it was!

What’s your favorite part of family get togethers? Mine is the company, but food is a close second 🙂

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

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A Bad Blogger and Sisterly Love

I was a bad blogger this weekend and only took a few photos. Therefore, we’re going to do a quick recap and move on to more important things.

Easter Vigil: The JA had a former student enter the church on Saturday night at Easter Vigil. It was the first for both of us. While the lengthy service wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be, it wasn’t as spectacular as we had hoped. But the smile on our young friend’s face and his excitement to be a part of the Church was enough to overshadow anything.

Will Run for Brunch: Yesterday morning, we ventured out to the BWI trail so I could complete my long run. I had originally planned to do a full 13.1, but paused my watch and think I only managed approx. 11 miles. I felt much better mentally and physically this time around (yay no foot pain!) but am certainly feeling the aftermath today. Time to foam roll!

While I was tending to my potential aches and pains, the JA made breakfast. French toast, bacon and orange slices? Yes, please!

Easter shenanigans. Since our families live so close together, we try to see both sides on holidays. We dropped Watson at my parent’s house, visited the JA’s side for a few snacks and hellos, then returned to my parent’s house for dinner. His parents joined us and we all shared a delicious meal together.

And now, to the important part: today is Nettifred’s birthday! A lady never reveals her age, so let’s just say she’s looking good for being so young 🙂 Happy birthday to the best sister around; I don’t even want to think of how different my life would be without you in it. xoxo

What was marvelous about your weekend? (Mine definitely was all the food!)

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Spring Breakin’

Wednesday afternoon began our school’s Spring Break. Since staff has to report next week, that left us with four days of true relaxation. However it’s also Easter weekend, meaning that we’re gathering with family this weekend.

Therefore, we decided yesterday and today would be the laziest days. We kicked off the faux weekend with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.

Prosecco cocktail. Because bubbly drinks are apparently my signature thing now.

Prosecco cocktail. Because bubbly drinks are apparently my signature thing now.

Only to return home to find someone who wasn’t exactly in the holiday spirit.

Sign says: I hate Easter eggs. That wreath was hanging above our couch - the one that W's prohibited from touching.

Sign says: I hate Easter eggs. That wreath was hanging above our couch – the one that W’s prohibited from touching.

Yesterday, we stayed in bed late and indulged ourselves with some puppy cuddles. When we finally emerged, it was time for a quick run then a trip to see one of my best friends and my godson. He’s getting so big and it was such a treat to see both of them!

Be still my heart.

Be still my heart.

Aunt Jess? Pick up the phone!

Aunt Jess? Pick up the phone!

We had another lazy morning today and again have no set plans. This is exactly what we both needed to invigorate and energize us for the week ahead!

What’s your favorite way to relax?

Running Around

Busy. That’s one word to describe my weekend. We had a fundraiser Friday night, a St. Patrick’s Day party and a birthday party on Saturday, and a race and a dinner on Sunday. Not to mention a crew of men in our front yard for most of the day Saturday.

bulldozer

But, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Friday night, we attended a fundraiser for Team Fox at The Ale House in Columbia. The event was a hit, and the staff couldn’t have been more accommodating to the group. When the designated area got tight, they opened up a second bar in the back so we weren’t packed in like sardines.

Saturday was a bit of a bust – we were tired from the night before, but had to be up early to welcome the company that replaced a pipe in our front yard. I was stressed out by the whole thing and quickly escaped for some retail therapy. Good thing, because I found some cute summer dresses! Now if only the weather would cooperate and the rental company would get this monstrosity out from the front of our house…

No, neighbors, we did not acquire a third vehicle.

No, neighbors, we did not acquire a third vehicle.

Once the coast was clear, we gussied ourselves up and hit the town for two events. I love being able to catch up with friends but we ended feeling really old and returning home around 11p. I had a race the next day!

I knew the Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5K was going to be massive, but to watch the sea of green from the top of a hill was awe-inspiring. I was feeling good going into this race but didn’t want to get over confident. My watch didn’t sync correctly and I forgot to turn off the stop watch on my phone immediately after crossing the finish line so I was under the impression that I didn’t PR. I was a bit disappointed, but realized that I was a full minute faster than the last 5K I ran. That’s a victory in itself. (And obviously deserved a beer.)

Later last night, I checked the results online and (spoiler alert) I actually PR’d with a time of 27:17:10. A pace of 8:48/mile! Full recap will be posted later but, as you can imagine, it was a great race for me.

The JA’s best man came to town last night for a conference, so we picked him up from the train station and had a lovely dinner date. And by lovely, I mean watching people make fools of themselves after a weekend of drinking. Wahoo!

waterfront hotel

How do you celebrate? Our celebrations normally include food and some sort of adult beverage. Calories don’t count when consumed in happiness, right?

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Just Go.

Yesterday felt like an absurdly long day. Even though I slept in, I still completed a full day of work, came home to ‘walk’ Watson, changed, came back to campus to work out, and then staffed an event until 9p. I returned home in a grumpy mood, knowing that a 5:15a alarm was set for this morning.

Before we passed out, the JA and I were incoherently mumbling talking and he said something that stuck with me this morning, “Jess, no matter how bad it is, you’re doing something you love. Training is keeping you AND me sane right now. You’re more happy when you’ve exercised. When you’re happy, I’m happy.”

When that alarm sounded this morning, I groaned. SOOO EARLY for me and on top of that, I have to run? Oof. This is how I envisioned it going.

click image for source

click image for source

Yet, in remembering his words, I got my butt out the door and to the gym. I didn’t get there as early as I wanted, but let those reasons roll off me as I stepped onto the treadmill. I was here. I showed up. Sometimes, that’s enough.

I took it fairly easy – slowing down my pace a bit (I wanted to save my legs for Barre tonight) and tried to call to mind that this might be my pace for the entire half marathon. Which would be fine. I certainly want to push myself, but completing 13.1 is no small feat. I kept thinking, “At least you’re moving.” And I am. I’m moving forward. Moving to my happy place. Moving toward my goal of completing a half-marathon.

just go

How are you moving today? Remember, every step (no matter how small) counts!

Just Pin It

Taking a break from my normal ‘life’ posting to linkup with Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean for her fourth Pin It! Party. Lindsay’s blog is amazingly awesome – providing recipes, roundups of articles you should read, and recently, musings from her hubby. Even when my reading list gets out of control, she’s one of the blogs I try to read on a regular basis.

Before we get down to details, if you want to see what’s inspiring me these days (before it gets posted here), here’s a link to my Pinterest page!

pinterest

Now for the fun stuff 🙂 Here’s what you do if you want to participate:

  • Round up 5 blog posts you’ve written that you would like to see on Pinterest.
  • Make sure there is a nice, pinable image or photo included in each post.
  • Write a short post featuring the posts you chose- ie, put 5 nice images & links to the posts all in one place, along with a short description of each post.
  • Publish your post, then visit The Bean and add your post to the linkup!

Best part? There’s only one rule:

If you add your post to the linkup, please take a few minutes to visit at least three other posts  and pin some of their images!

pin it party

Here are five posts of mine that I’d love to see pinned (and pinned, and pinned..):

Make It Your Own: Reusable Burlap Banner  – for under $20, I made a cute banner to hang on our mantle. Best part? I created it so that I can easily switch out a few things and have a banner for every occasion!

Burlap banner

Seated Working Workout – Lindsay came up with this great list of suggestions on how to move for five minutes every hour. While this workout won’t get you moving for five whole minutes, it’s inconspicuous enough to do in your workspace and not get stared at by co-workers.

seated working workout 2

Five Fitness Apps I Can’t Live Without – I use at least one of these apps every day to keep me on track with my health and fitness goals. I suggest you give them a try!

five fitness apps to try

Pretty in Plank Workout – A quick workout that keeps you moving and your abs guessing about what’s coming up next!

pretty in plank workout

Smoky Turkey Crockpot Chili – One of my ‘go-to’ recipes in the fall and winter. Warm food with a kick at the end  – yum!

smoky crockpot chili

This isn’t a one-way deal. I’d love to see what’s inspiring you, so if you’re on Pinterest leave a comment with your username/a link to your page. Happy Pinning!

Getting Crafty for Under $20

Valentine’s Day is on the horizon and, being on a budget, the JA and I can’t exactly afford to decorate the house for every holiday…yet. We have some heart towels and a lot of red (multi purpose for Christmas and Valentine’s) but nothing for our front room.

So I decided to get crafty and came up with a homemade burlap banner – for under $20.

banner full w text

I bought the supplies at Michael’s – a 24 pack of burlap squares and twine (totaling $12 with tax.) We had the oversized index cards, markers, and tape at home, but I can’t imagine them costing more than $10. (Hence, the $20 total.)

Step 1: Write your message. I used a red sharpie and then accented it with pink highlighter.

banner writing

Step 2: Get it together. I used tape to join the index card and burlap together not only because I want to reuse the burlap, but because my Type A personality could easily correct and crooked or off-centered letters.

banner tape - letters

Step 3: Twine time! I placed the twine on my mantle, measured it out, and taped it in place.

Step 4: Spread the love. Again, I used tape to affix the back of the burlap square to the twine. If you rearrange the squares a bit I would recommend using multiple pieces of tape to keep the lettering in place.

I put it on the floor to better showcase the placement.

I put it on the floor to better showcase the placement.

Volia! A reusable, homemade, burlap banner for under $20.

burlap banner w sig