Friday, May 28, 2010

sweet relief

Phew! My good friend Meredith's birthday was yesterday and I am relieved to say that she loved my gift. My relief may seem trivial to some, but I consider gift giving to be one of my love languages (except when it comes to Jake) and so the recipient's reaction is important to me... not to mention, I find Mere to be an extremely easy person to shop for! However, this year presented a unique obstacle, as she happens to be right in the middle of packing for a BIG move to St. Louis and it isn't the best time for acquiring trinkets, etc. This meant I had to make sure whatever I bought for her wouldn't be a nuisance to pack or move.

What did I get???

I ended up going with a variety pack of blank note cards (for keeping in touch) and the novel, Twilight. Before you judge me about the book, let me explain...

When I started reading the Twilight series Meredith mentioned that she was considering reading the books but was going back and forth about it. She told me that her hairdresser raved about them, but then later shared she was unhappy with how the series ended. This made Mere unsure whether or not she should read them at all. So truth be told, I wasn't forcing my love of the series on her out of nowhere- I just gave her the final push she needed to get started. Honestly, I thought a longer book was the perfect gift; she is about to move and have the summer off, affording her lots of free time. I figured if she ends up wanting to read the entire series she will have something to pass the time.

Also, please let the record show I checked with our friend Stacy before making this purchase. I knew everyone's first conclusion would be that I let the Twihard in me take things too far.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Step Masters

Well, well, well... our company has created a step contest with the winning team getting a paid half day off. Now, those are some serious stakes and my team is seriously set on winning. Currently we are in 5th place company wide, but it's only been one week and we've already heard some grumbling from teams that are ahead; odds are good that we will improve after week two (I'll definitely give you an update).

Just to show you how serious we are, I want to share the following facts:

1. We kicked off the week with an encouraging email from Jessie, commenting on our average steps and what our increased goal should be individually... and as a team.
2. We have a strategy for incorporating steps into the work day; which includes but is not limited to taking the long way to the restroom, stepping in place while at people's desks, pacing while waiting for the elevators, walking the entire garage (twice a day), avoiding options for a sedentary lunch, and always taking the stairs... from the 16th floor.
3. Our team captain, Meredith, emailed her "concerns" regarding accurate readings by our brand pedometers to the Dominion contact for the competition.
4. At one point someone suggested we have a mobile bible study... as in we walk around the mall, bibles in hand, with one note taker of prayer requests (I'll keep you posted if this happens).
5. There is some stalking of our competition; I can't go into details here because we don't want our ways to be discovered, but it isn't anything too creepy.
6. A reward system for most percentage improved from week to week has been established.
7. Personally, I've been baited with treats to exceed my daily goal.
8. Our team has started building their work attire around the potential to break a sweat. We're moving away from pants all together and are shifting toward skirts.
9. We've coined the term, "pedos" and we use it often.
10. One person on our team has a personal goal to have the most steps as an individual across the company; she is averaging 25,000+ steps a day, with the average person getting between 6,000-10,000.

Might I suggest a book?

I just finished the book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society over the weekend and would highly recommend it for a quick read! It may come as a surprise to most of you, but the story had nothing to do with vampires (well, the Cullens are really the only vampires I care to read about)! Anyways, it was actually suggested to me by a few people... and Stephenie Meyer just might be reading it as well. Regardless, I figured since I'm trying to form this hobby it couldn't hurt to try it out... and I'm so glad I did. I can't say enough good things about this book. The main character is entertaining in her own right and I noticed that I had a constant smile while reading- it was a true pleasure!

The whole book is letters written back and forth so it is incredibly easy to read and remain engaged. I know this isn't a witty post, but I just thought I would share my experience. Does anyone have any other book recommendations? I've moved on to, The Host for now but I don't have anything lined up after that.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How Could I Forget to Tell You About Sunday?

Oh my gosh, I can't believe I haven't told you all about this past Sunday and substituting for Jake's set-up duty! Ok, so you may or may not know that Jake and I belong to Crosscurrent Church which currently meets in an elementary school. That being said, every week they have volunteers come in early and stay late to set-up and break down the main room where the service is held, as well as ALL of the children's ministry classrooms. I only volunteer for children's ministry, but since Jake got his weekends mixed up I figured I could lend him a hand... what a m i s t a k e.

Let me set the stage... Sunday morning I woke up (much earlier than I usually would) and got myself to Linkhorn Park Elementary at 8:00am, service starts at 9:30. I walked into the cafeteria and went to put my bag down, thinking setting chairs was easy enough. At this point, I clearly had no idea that by filling in for Jake I could only come in and do the specific tasks Jake does, i.e. set up the kid's classrooms- a truly DAUNTING task. Imagine two huge wooden crates (at least 6 feet tall) on wheels filled with tupperwares, toys, organizational drawers, folding jungle gyms, bouncy seats, etc. In addition to this, there are baby gates (the kind that create playpens, not that guard doorways) and plastic outdoor things like a slide and rocking fish. Now think about all that stuff and then picture me... just me... responsible for setting it up. That's right folks, NO ONE else was there with classroom set-up duty. Our pastor Jason actually told me, someone should show up to help by 8:15 because it was definitely a two person job. He also noted that no one else setting up had any clue about what to do, so he really did hope someone showed up. EEK!!! I mean seriously, it went down like this, I couldn't make this sort of thing up if I wanted to.

So, I started unloading the items I could lift and delivered them into the appropriate rooms if they had a label, if not, I just guessed or left them on the cart. I kid you not, I was breaking a sweat 10 minutes in until I finished at 9:07. Thank goodness that Jarrod, the guy who sets up coffee, had a few minutes to help me lift two impossibly heavy and awkwardly shaped containers. Then it was finished. I complained a little to our friend Josh/recruited his help for tear down and went on to volunteer in the Starfish classroom. Yep, I actually had to go straight into playing with 2 year olds during the service... which of all weeks went 10 minutes longer. Are you starting to get a feel for what my Sunday looked like? I hope so.

Well, you didn't think that was the end of it did you??? Please. If I got off that easy I'd find something else to blog about. I told you, this duty required set-up and tear down! Finally, at 11:05 when the last two year old left my room, I had the pleasure of breaking my room and the remaining rooms down. I won't take all the credit though, the Starfish participated in their room's clean up & sang this cute little song while doing so, which for some reason wasn't so adorable this particular day. Regardless of whether they were sweet loading their blocks and cars into the tupperware, the task of loading everything back onto those wooden crates, which I spent an hour unloading, was at hand. Praise the Lord, Josh didn't try to escape helping- he actually found me and was eager to help! A few minutes in, we were both breaking a sweat. Josh is a nice guy, but his face let on that he was beyond frustrated. Bless his heart, but he must have unloaded and reloaded that wooden crate 5 or 6 times trying to get everything to fit. After giving him some words of encouragement and helping him get it to the point where it would close, I finished with my crate and wheeled it on over. Josh ended up moving things the extra distance to the truck and I finally got to leave.

The best part about this whole thing is that when Jake asked me to fill in, I specifically asked if there was someone else who had done it before who could do so. His response... and I quote:
"I didn't try to get someone else. You'll be fine. There will be people there to help you and tell you what to do. Its easy."
Well, when he got back in town and I relived the above he had the following to add:
"You know they asked me if I minded setting the rooms up by myself on days they were short people and I said that I didn't. I guess the week they wanted to try that out was this past weekend, sorry. Oh, and I know what you mean with the crate and the drawers, once you've done it a million times they go in perfectly... it only takes me a few minutes to break down."
I know you're thinking what I'm thinking right now, enough said.

This is the rocking fish I was talking about. I don't know this kid, but Google images does.

I also want to quickly point out that the toys and other kid-friendly items were completely overwhelming. Frankly, I find the above toy and the image of it being pushed over with a two year old in it by another two year old, terrifying (yes, that happened this week). Oh, and you should have seen me trying to make sure the bouncy seats were secure and put together correctly, quite scary. I was envisioning over and over that someone was going to come running from the Minnow's classroom screaming and crying that a baby seat felt out from under an infant and the child landed harshly on the concrete floor... knowing I would be responsible. Just awful.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Monday I randomly decided I wanted to start entering online sweepstakes as often as I could just to see if I would win anything with little to no effort. Now that I think about it, I suppose a Nest newsletter I received that advertised a drawing for a free kitchen aid mixer (you know the kind on every single wedding registry that no one ever gets) could have spurred this on, but that is neither here nor there. What matters is I have won absolutely nothing after 5 days of trying... its just awful.

On Wednesday we got one of those scratchers in the mail for a chance to win $30,000!!! All you had to do (or so it said) was to scratch off all three boxes and if your #s in any of the 3 boxes matched perfectly the #s listed then you won! Well, low and behold, our middle box matched! Now, I knew there was a catch but as Jake casually asked, whether I won, I calmly said yes. Unbelieving, he grabbed the card and diligently started reading the disclaimers, etc. The funny part of all this is the smile he had while doing so. His words said he understood this was a ploy... but his face, no, his face said he was excited we'd won $30,000. Poor guy.

As a side note, I would like to put out there that I am very open to doing something to earn the free item, as long as the entry requirement is relatively easy. This said, if you know of any feel free to pass them my way. I don't care for video submission-type contests, but I'm not opposed to photos or written entries. Keep your eyes open and your ears peeled for me.

By the way, my work's pet contest is coming to a close and finalists have been selected. Now it comes down to the people's vote! Feel free to vote now for your favorite pet (as long as it is Addy, just kidding... but seriously, help Elizabeth out)!

This is Addy and her PERFECT picture, make sure to look her when you cast your vote!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

spin class

Alright, so I've not blogged much about it (yet), but I've been on a downward spiral since my wedding when it comes to exercising. And by downward spiral, I mean non-existent. I did the Wicked 10K down at the oceanfront on Halloween and that marked my final "hoorah" if you will. Since then, I'd be lying if I said I've been exercising at all. There have been bursts of activity i.e. no more than two runs in a given week (and that is a stretch), but nothing lasting...until this week.

A friend of mine coaxed me into trying a spin class at the YMCA and I L-O-V-E-D, loved it! I liked it so much in fact that I'm already signed up to go again on Thursday and possibly Saturday... which if you know me and my allergy to exercise you'd realize this is BIG! I am shocked myself, especially since I'm so sore that going up and down stairs, lowering and lifting myself from the toilet (don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about), and walking in general is incredibly painful. I'm feeling the burn...still, but for whatever weirdo reason I like it! I actually feel like I worked myself out hard and it feels good!

I'll keep you posted on Thursday's class and if I can push through the soreness to pedal my heart out. I have a feeling that if I really get hooked then the following may ensue:

1. I may just finally join AND use a gym.
2. I might have a hobby.
3. Jake could take this to another level and buy me a road bike (he is already talking about cycling together in Charleston this September).
4. I may shed a few and fit nicely (key here is not to fit, but to fit nicely) back into my favorite coral skirt purchased spring 2008, a pre-Dani's wedding purchase. I was actually in better shape for her wedding and that summer than I was for my own!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

victory is mine

I want to start off by saying that it doesn't matter how hard you play or "try"- it all comes down to those final seconds and the winning point. Honestly, who remembers a close match in cornhole or any other game? No one. People only remember winners and losers...some things really are black and white. With that in mind, I am proud to say that I played Jake in cornhole this fine Sunday and WON! I won't lie and say I did too much to get us to 20 points (I'll let Tim take the glory), but I will shout from the rooftops that I won that 21st point that ended the game in our favor!!! All of Jake's trash talking, intimidation tactics, and distracting words didn't get in my head for a single second. However, I did quit while I was ahead and let that be my only game of the night. Good thing too, you should have seen my "practice" throws later by myself, embarrassing.

And by the way, Jake wanted me to make sure I mentioned he won 5 straight games after that, so I guess this is my attempt at just that. Again, the only thing I took away from the night was that he LOST to me.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I believe congratulations are in order

Today marks the day we've all been waiting for- Jake graduated and is officially a Doctor of Physical Therapy, woop woop!!! I can't believe he is really finished with school...for a while the road to graduation seemed never ending, but he made it and is certainly enjoying being done.

I am also happy to note that he has already taken a job with Sentara in the Hilltop area of VB doing outpatient rehab and starts June 7th!!! The break between now and then is well deserved and actually needed so he can prepare for his VA boards the first week of June. Corny or not, I am really proud of him and this huge accomplishment.

I'm still not used to everyone playfully referring to him as "doctor" and I don't know that I ever will be, but he's earned it. My Papa decided all of a sudden to start calling him Doc from now on...he thinks he is clever and Jake certainly had no complaints.


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