Random Thoughts

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted anything.  There have been some exciting changes at work which have been keeping me busier than usual.  (Is it weird that I do most of my posting from work?  When I get home, I don’t really feel like sitting in front of a computer… but that may need to change.)

So I have been anticipating this coming weekend for quite awhile.  Why?  Well, maybe three months ago, Rob and I decided to finally book that vacation we had been talking about for two years and we leave on Monday(!!).  Really, we had been talking about it since our honeymoon.  I kept telling Rob we needed to go to Europe before we had kids.  I studied abroad for a year when I was in college and it was life changing.  Not that I think a one week vacation can have the same kind of impact but I really want to share this type of experience with Rob.  I have a serious case of wanderlust and I have a husband that isn’t interested in going further away than Ocean City.  For some reason, I think it is my duty to change him.  Yikes that sounds terrible.  But it’s sort of true.  I think anxiety about the unknown is one of the reasons he doesn’t like to travel and I’m pretty sure that’s an easy hurdle to get over, especially if I’m his guide.  But I digress…

When we booked our vacation several months ago (Rome, in case you were wondering – I call it a gateway country because honestly who wouldn’t fall in love with Rome?), I had to work around the slightly crazed schedule we have at work.  Once public schools get out, we begin week long summer cooking camps and my normally fairly quiet office turns into a zoo with all hands on deck.  So if I want to vacation in the summer it is has to be done in the short window between Memorial Day and the end of school.  Unfortunately, I had just signed up for a triathlon on June 1… which means our vacation begins on June 2.  Yikes, let’s hope I’m not sore on the plane.  This weekend is going to be a mess.  Packing, last minute shopping, getting ready for the triathlon, getting the dogs ready to be boarded for 10 days.  Oh and did I mention that tonight is the last workout at my box before it closes*?  Yes indeedy.  I’m going have to to hold myself back from going 100% in the last WOD so I’m not overly tired for the tri in 2 days.  Yikes!  I’m jam-packed!

*More on the box closing when I get back.  I found a replacement box already but everything is sort of up in the air.

So here is a random collection of things I wanted to tell you about:

1. We have been going to the dog park every weekend lately.  It’s ah-may-zing!  Dingo especially loves it.  She really immerses herself in the “pack”.  Hudson on the other hand, either follows Dingo around (total little brother syndrome) or can be found behind our feet.  Here is Dingo, completely exhausted, sunning herself after she chased every dog that would let her:

Dingo at the dog parkAnd here’s the smallest dog I have seen yet at the park.  Both Dingo and Hudson kept bopping her on the head and looking at her like “what are you?”dog park chiuaua

2. I just tried this chocolate bar and it is so much fun.  Wow!  It’s total novelty, not my everyday chocolate bar, but it was such a nice change of pace.  It literally explodes pop rocks in your mouth, but then the salt and chipotle flavors are also really interesting.  I’ve had a few other bars by this company and they are all really good, but this one is my favorite.firecracker chocolate

3. I just received these in the mail – I love getting surprises in the mail – from a kickstarter that I funded (is that even the right terminology?).  They are trying to reinvent ketchup.  I can’t wait to try them all!  History lesson: ketchup was originally made with almost every fruit besides tomatoes.  I think it’s time to bring that tradition back.photo 4

4. When I was talking about my “everyday” chocolate bar and complaining about some other silly problems, a coworker drew me this picture.  Good reminder of perspective.  I have only first world problems.  first world problems bucket

4. This quote was on my Facebook feed the other day and it really got me thinking.  I had to save it.  Do I want a “normal” life?  What is it I’m really working for?  How can I have a purpose-driven life?  Thoughts to ponder…

"normal"Have a great couple of weeks and I’ll be back in mid-June!  Happy Summer!

 

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Thankfulness

I have a long commute to work and I hate it.  When there is no traffic, it is a fairly easy 30 minute commute.  But when there is traffic – and there is always traffic in the DC metro area – it can easily turn into an hour and half or more.  I am lucky enough to work in a place where being perfectly on time is neither required or expected.  But still, I can’t stand sitting in my car for that long, moving 5 miles an hour.

I’m generally the kind of person who is always trying to maximize my time and sitting in traffic does not allow for me to do an optimal level of multi-tasking.  I get annoyed that I can’t be doing something more productive, that I’m forced to sit there and think or sit still or listen to NPR.  Gahh!  First world problems for sure.  So in an attempt to make the most of this commute and to generally make myself a happier person, I have decided to spend each morning coming up with 10 unique things that I am thankful for.  Today was the easiest day because I had everything to choose from.  The following days may get a little harder but I’m sure that is when it will be most valuable.  I have a lot to be thankful for and sometimes it’s easy to forget that.

Here’s what I’m thankful for today:

  1. My loving husband.  Rob being Rob
  2. My healthy family, many of them close enough to see regularly. photo 2
  3. My funny, quirky dogs. photo 4
  4. A job that I enjoy and rarely dread.
  5. A financially comfortable life that doesn’t have me worrying about how the next bill will get paid.
  6. A strong, healthy body. wonderwoman2
  7. A solid group of friendships built on love and respect, not gossip and pettiness.  photo 3
  8. Reliable and comfortable transportation (remember I was in my car when I thought of this list).
  9. Spring/summer finally being here after a long winter.
  10. The ability to buy, prepare and enjoy beautiful food. lettuce wraps

Of course this list is only the tip of the iceberg, but it did help get me out of an ungrateful funk and realize that I have it pretty darn good and I need to start seeing that.

I’m ashamed to admit this…

This is a hard post to write.  It’s probably going to make me sound like an ungrateful, selfish, jealous b!tch.  And maybe all that’s true, but I’m trying not to be and what’s that expression? The first step is admitting you have a problem?  Well here I am, admitting it.  And it’s making me feel horrible.

Let me back up.  I had a miscarriage back in August.  At the time I got pregnant we weren’t technically trying but we were ttthhhiiiisss close to starting to try so I was over the moon excited.  Of course that meant I was devastated when I miscarried, even though in many ways I was lucky because it was very early on.  Based on what all the doctors told me, I thought we would give a go again, and just like that, boom, we’d be pregnant again.  So each month, I drag Rob into the bedroom when I think the timing is right.  Then for two weeks I hyper-analyze every potential “symptom” until I convince myself this is the month.  Of course, that means I’m absolutely devastated each month when my period does show up, just like clockwork.  I tell myself each month, “Don’t get your hopes up” and each month, that is exactly what I do.

It’s like a sickness, I truly can’t seem to stop myself.  Of course this is putting totally unnecessary pressure on Rob, on me, on my body, on things that just can’t be controlled.  I’m actually tearing up in anger at myself right now thinking about it.  It’s been 9 months of hopes and disappointment.  Two weeks of waiting for the prime day to get busy and then two weeks of reading pregnancy blogs, monitoring my moods, my appetite, my body, my energy level – you name it – and then a day or two of crushing disappointment and self-doubt.  Can I really get pregnant?  Why isn’t it working?  Are we doing something wrong?  Am I ovulating properly?  Is something wrong with me?  <—Notice how much self-blame there is?  I rarely think, what if Rob’s sperm count is low or anything like that.  No, I focus all that negative energy directly on me.  Like I’ve deemed myself the person who must take all the weight of this problem.

So here’s what happened yesterday.   I very innocently received an email from a close friend of mine saying she was pregnant.  I knew they had been trying and I’m so so happy for her and her husband.  But what was my first reaction?  I saw the darkest shade of jealousy-green that I have ever experienced.  Luckily, I was at work, so on the outside at least, I managed to hold it together.  But on the inside, I turned into the brattiest child on earth.  If I could have, I would have thrown myself on the ground and kicked, screamed and cried.  I had this non-stop cycle going around in my head that sounded so jealous, so mean, so freaking ungrateful for my life, that I was actually horrified. green-eyed-monster

By the time I got to the car that night, I couldn’t hold it in any longer.  I was crying the big weepy tears, gasping for air.  It was really a combination of being so painfully jealous of someone that I love and am truly happy for and being really mad at myself because I know I need to grow up.  Of course those thoughts would send me down a self-shaming spiral of thoughts about how I even thought I was fit to be a mother when I was behaving this way and how I was so ungrateful for the many blessings I already have.  Ugh, what an ugly cycle.

On the way home, I couldn’t even hear the radio, my thoughts were so loud.  I actually cancelled meeting up with a mutual friend for a Run-Bike-Run because I didn’t think I could manage to show pure happiness at the news.  At the time I thought it made me a bad friend, but now, as I’m writing this, maybe it was me being a good friend because at least I wasn’t sharing my caustic mood.

Instead I drove to the store with every intention of buying whatever it is a person uses to take a bubble bath.  I thought this would relax me.  Here’s why that is ridiculous.  I hate baths of any kind.  We have a huge bath tub in our master bathroom and when they were building it I tried several times to convince the builder to take it out and put in a bigger shower.  The tub has never been filled.  Yet, here I was, a green-eyed monster, looking for bubble bath.  Except I had no idea what to buy, so I ended up with this: mr bubble

Rob got a big kick out of this when he saw it.  To his credit, he knew right away what I had been trying for.  Needless to say, I didn’t end up taking a bubble bath.  Because I also found this at the store.  photo 3 (2)

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I bought it and baked it and in some ways, it was exactly what I was looking for.  I didn’t want some fancy pastry or some homemade cake.  I wanted sugar and fat and chemicals and something that was as awful for me as I was feeling.  Does that even make sense?

Luckily, by the time I had baked them and made dinner, I was pretty much over my pity party.  Today, I’m still feeling that twinge of jealousy but I’m not overwhelmed by it.  And I can really feel the happiness for my dear friend that she deserves.  Congratulations to them! photo 4 (1)

April Foodie Pen Pal

This month I very gladly returned to the Foodie Pen Pal Program.  I was paired with a woman named Alison that lives in Virginia.  She sent me a really great box this month.  She nailed it as far as foods that I go ga-ga over.  

I mean H-E-L-L-O, do you see all that dark chocolate?  Yum! 

I made the brownies last weekend.  To be honest, I didn’t have the highest hopes for gluten free brownies.  So often GF is code for not-as-good-as-the-real-thing.  When I was mixing them up,  I was really questioning them.  The batter was so thick that it really was more of a paste.  But I figured I’d go with it.  I mushed it into the pan and attempted to smooth it out.  After putting it in the oven, I turned the light on and watched it bake.  Side note:  I do this a lot.  Oh the exciting life I lead! photo 3 (1) photo 4

Here’s the thing.  The brownies started to puff about halfway through and by the end (they needed 5 minutes longer than the box suggested) they were legit brownies.  But how would they taste?  Ummm, delicious!  You really couldn’t tell they weren’t gluten filled.  They tasted exactly like regular brownies.  I will be buying these again.  Why not keep a box on hand for brownie emergencies?  Another side note:  I really have brownie emergencies from time to time.  photo 1 (1)

And yes, that finger print is where I stuck my finger in them to see if they were done.  Some people might use a toothpick.  Some people aren’t that smart.  Luckily, it was just me and Rob eating them and neither one of us cares.

I forgot to mention the tea.  I’ve been drinking the Vanilla Caramel one with breakfast and it’s so yummy.  It hits the right spot between green tea and coffee, which are my other two morning beverages of choice.  This is right in between , so when I don’t want as much caffeine as coffee but green tea isn’t milky and comforting enough, this tea is the place to go. 

Ok, so I loved the box, but here’s the best part.  Alison sent me this really sweet letter telling me about her life and where she lives.  I just love that.    Thanks Alison!

The Lean Green Bean