Final Meal of 2009

I played food blogger tonight.

Spinach and artichoke cheese fondue…

With bread chunks, tortilla chips, apples, and veggies to dip (and Tim’s Boulevard Wheat):

A strawberry almond salad:

And the main extravaganza:

From the top down: portabella mushroom, teriyaki sirloin, chicken breast, citrus pork, filet mignon and sun-dried tomato and mascarpone ravioli:

I ate most of the ravioli and mushrooms.  We split the steak, chicken, and pork, and Tim got to eat all of this:

Lobster tail and shrimpies.  I”m allergic to shellfish!  (sadface)

We cooked it coq au vin style with veggies:

Dessert was a “flaming turtle”: milk chocolate, caramel, and pecans, set on fire:

With strawberries, nanas, cheesecake, brownies, rice krispy treats, pound cake, and marshmallows for dipping!


Finished everything off with a sip of champagne–just a sip, though, since I was DD-ing and frankly, it wasn’t that great:

Now I’m struggling to stay awake until midnight.  It’s a good thing our sheets are in the dryer, because otherwise I’d be snuggled up with a good book right about now!

Happy New Year!

2009 Recap

So, 2009 is drawing to a close.  Here’s a brief summary (also useful, because I didn’t start blogging until August!).

January

Since Tim proposed on New Year’s Eve, we started January out with the whole “OMG WE’RE ENGAGED!” shenanigans.  We got a bunch of cute engagement cards, which I saved.

(Gotta love the graduation card with “…on your engagement” written underneath it!)

I also got my ring sometime towards the end of the month–he proposed without it, we went shopping just after New Year’s, and it came in a week or two later.  This is my first horrible attempt at ring photography so my mom could see it:

At the end of January, we set a date for the wedding (5/8/10) and booked our reception venue.  It’s funny to think how far away everything seemed at that point–we were almost 16 months/500 days away at that point, and now we’re at about 4 months/130 days!

I also got into the swing of The New Rules of Lifting for Women and discovered that lifting can be super fun!

February

Um, I don’t remember February much.  Law school will do that to you.  Valentine’s Day?  I think we went out to dinner.  Good times.  Oh, yeah, we got all spiffed up and went to our final Barrister’s Ball of law school!

Every dress should really be accessorized with a Miller High Life wristband, don’t you think?

March

In March, we celebrated Tim’s big 2-5 with my first ever trip to Kansas City.  We hunted for and found our house (that we rent), and I got to see where we’d be living.  I also met all of Tim’s aunts and uncles that live there for the first time!  It involved a long road trip and we went to Cracker Barrel.  Tim was excited.

April

April…April.  Huh.  Don’t remember much about April either, probably because I was pushing through my final  round of law school finals.  They suck pretty hard, and I’m so glad I’ll never have to do it again.  Apparently, the only pictures I took in April were of the cats, so here you go.  Our cats, in April.  (Did you really think I could get through a recap of the entire year without cat pictures?  Come on, now.)

May

May was a big month.  First, we went to Chicago and took our gorgeous engagement pictures:

And I went dress shopping, but didn’t buy a dress.  (My ass looks pretty great in this one, though.)

(Look familiar?)

Then we graduated from law school!


And moved to Kansas City.  I had the pleasure of driving four hours with two screeching, screaming angry cats in the backseat.  I don’t recommend it.  By the time we arrived, my nerves were completely shredded.  I cried, I begged, and we had even given them a mild tranquilizer…it didn’t work.

On May 30, I found and bought my wedding dress!

We also started our bar review class.  No fun.

June

June was occupied mostly with bar review courses.  No fun.  But, we did manage to take a little break for my 25th birthday–we went out for Chicago-style deep dish pizza, and Tim bought me tickets to a White Sox-Royals game!  (I love baseball and the Sox are my team.)  We had incredible seats and the weather was bee-yoo-tee-ful.

Tim makes funny faces in pictures sometimes.

July

July is a big haze of bar review and taking the bar exam, which was entirely as awful as it sounds.  It was hot, I was cranky, and I was convinced I was going to fail.  Bad times, y’all.

But, I did manage to fly to Rhode Island for my beautiful friend Lindsey’s wedding!

But then, the exam was over and we were gloriously free!

August

On August 1, we departed for a beautiful vacation to the Outer Banks with Tim’s family.  I’d never been and it was gorgeous.  We really needed a long week at the beach after all our bar studying!

(Tim and his brother were dispatched to the ice cream truck more than once.)

Then, when we got home, my mom and sister came to visit KC and we picked out bridesmaid’s dresses.

Also, I started blogging at the end of the month.  Woo!

September

September was largely defined by panic over being unemployed.  I sent out a lot of resumes and applied for lots of jobs.  I also struggled with depression, which I haven’t talked about much here, but being out of work really took a toll on my emotional health.

I also ran my first race, and had so much fun I registered for a few more right away.

I think that part of the reason I got so addicted to racing was that even though I couldn’t find a job and I felt helpless, finishing races proved to me that I COULD do something and be successful.  It was an immense help to me, mentally.

October

In October, I got a job and started it!

We also went to Chicago and picked out our wedding cake, met our florist and officiant, and I ran a race with my sister.

When we got home, we officially adopted Milhouse and brought him home.

November

In November, I went on my first ever business trip.  And also I ran an 8K and another 5K!

We spent Turkey Day with Tim’s family and I shot guns and played with dogs. (Not at the same time, though.)

December

We went to visit my fambly for Christmas, and found out we’re going to be an aunt and uncle soon!

And now, on New Year’s Eve, I’m at work, planning to finish out the year tomorrow.  I remember New Year’s Day 2009 thinking of how big of a year this was going to be–I’d just gotten engaged, and in the next year I had to graduate, plan a wedding, move to a city I’d never even visited, take and pass the bar exam AND get a job.  I was overwhelmed and, frankly, scared shitless.   2009 was going to be the most stressful year of my life. I had no idea how I was going to do it all.

But I did.  It wasn’t easy.  I struggled.  I gained a few pounds.  I cried.  Tim was there to support me every step of the way, even when I was angry and felt cheated that I’d worked so hard to be rewarded with unemployment.

I made it through, and somehow, I will look back on 2009 as also one of the best years I’ve ever had because of the insane amount of things I made it through.  I went from student to gainful employed adult.  Tim and I moved in together and we got closer and our relationship grew stronger.   I ran, and I ate, and lifted.  I learned how much my family and friends mean to me because they are now out of my immediate reach.  I grew up, a lot.

Cheers, friends, and here’s to 2010!  (blows party horn)

Winter Wonderland

Kansas City got 8 or so inches of snow while we were gone for Christmas, and another 3-4 piled on overnight!  Look!

It’s the good snow–fluffy and pretty and not icy.  The roads were fine this morning on my way to work!

This morning I snacked on the most delicious pear.  Tim is a staunch Bartlett supporter, but I picked up Anjou last week because they looked 100 times better.  And it was pretty awesome, I must say.  (Woulda been better with almond butter, though.  But isn’t everything?)

After work I headed to the gym for a bit of strength training.  I forgot my lifting gloves, so my game was off and I had another kinda ADD workout.  I did:

  • 5 minute warmup on the treadmill
  • 3 sets of 12 squats at 135 lbs.
  • 3 sets of 12 deadlifts at 75 lbs.
  • 2 sets of 12 shoulder presses at 40 lbs.
  • 2 sets of 12 Bulgarian split squats at 40 lbs.
  • 15 minutes on the elliptical with the resistance maxed out

The problem with lifting is that halfway through, I get HANGRY.  Like, thinking about breakfast cookies and pickles and almond butter constantly hangry.  And my gym’s half an hour from home!  Strangely enough, (or probably not), lifting always makes me desperately crave eggs.  So guess what was for dinner?

An egg and two egg whites with some cheese, and two slices of wheat toast, one with AB&J and one with a little buttah.  Delish!  It totally hit the spot.  I finished about 15 minutes ago, though, and my tummy’s still a-rumbling.  Hmm…

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve!  Don’t forget to enter my super awesome Road ID giveaway!

RoadID Review and Giveaway!

So, in my quest to become a safe runner with my asthma problems, I decided that the time had come to get a RoadID.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, RoadIDs are identification tags worn by athletes (or, really, anyone who wants to be safe) with personal contact information and medical information in case of an illness or injury that leaves you unable to speak for yourself.  Unfortunately, when I’m having an asthma attack, it can be difficult for me to speak clearly (or at all), so I figured this would be a good way to go.  This gives emergency workers (and, heck, even concerned citizens) a way to know who to call and if you have any medical issues.

RoadID offers IDs that can be worn on your shoe, around your neck, or as a wristband.  Because I am ridiculously indecisive, I spent quite awhile agonizing over what I should get.  I decided against the shoe one, because I might like to take up swimming in the future and I would want one I could bring with me for that.  I also thought that if something is wrong with me, people might not be looking at my shoes first.  I was debating between the wrist and the neck version, but ultimately went with the wristband because I thought a bouncing necklace might be bothersome.  I also realized that the wristband could be worn a multitude of ways, as I’ll demonstrate later.

This is my Road ID!  I went with a nice bright purple so it would attract attention in case of an emergency.  Plus, it’s my alma mater’s color, so good luck, right?  (Although their sports history isn’t so great, so maybe not…)

(I put “Husband” on there a bit prematurely because I didn’t want to have to get a new one in 4 months!  I verified with Tim that he would, indeed, respond to any phone calls saying “Your wife, Brieanne, has been injured while running.”)  The blurred out areas are my last name and emergency contact phone numbers.  I also noted that I have asthma, which is pretty relevant, and that I’m allergic to Ceclor (which would really be important if I needed an antibiotic for any reason.)

I also could not think of a good phrase, so I put “Run Faster” on it, because, uh, why not.

I’ve been wearing my RoadID in the last few weeks during my workouts.  I even wear it at the gym, because it’s entirely feasible that I could get injured there and my bag with ID is usually locked in a locker that only I have the combination to.  It’s not just for outdoorsy types!

My only tiny issue is that I do find the RoadID a little scratchy/irritating to my wrist.  I have really sensitive skin, and even if I loop it loosely it bothers me a bit.  I’m hoping that with more wear, it will get a little softer, but until then, I’ve devised a few tricky little solutions!  (It’s fine when I’m running outdoors in long sleeves, but this is for when I’m indoors in a tank top or short sleeves.)

Solution 1: Loop it around the strap of my tank top.  I did this at the gym twice and it was fine, other than looking a little weird.

Solution 2:  Loop it on my SPIbelt.

Solution 3: Loop on shoe.  (I’m doing this until I miraculously get over my swimming issues.)

Solution 4.  Get a necklace and put it on that.  Haven’t done this yet, because I’m very happy with my shoe-lution for the time being!

So, yeah, not a big deal.

All in all, I give the RoadID a hearty endorsement.  Despite the minor comfort issues, it’s a worthwhile investment to have the peace of mind I need that I’m being responsible while running!

RoadID has been awesomely generous enough to offer TWO (count ’em, one, two) $35 gift cards to Fit Bride readers! This is enough to pay for their fanciest RoadID, the Elite, and shipping too!  Shipping to Canada is just $1.49, so this will also be good for my northernmost readers.

Here’s how to enter.  Again, you can enter up to three times!

  1. Leave a comment on this post about the saying you would put on your RoadID, obviously something cooler than “Run Faster.”  It must be less than 24 characters!  (Or, 48 characters, split over two lines.)
  2. Follow me and tweet the following on Twitter: “I want to be safe and win a RoadID from @thefitbride! http://wp.me/pCOfh-mI” then come back and comment that you tweeted.
  3. Blog about the giveaway, and come back and leave a link to your post.

The giveaway will end at noon on Monday, January 4 and winners will be selected at random and announced later that day.

Happy entering!  Start your new year off safely!

Quickie

Just a quickie update because there’s not too much to report.  I have some cool stuff going up tomorrow (best. giveaway. EVER!  For Canadians, too!) and New Year’s Eve, so I will make up for it then.

First things first, an administrative note: Please do not leave your web addresses in comments, other than in the space marked for “website address.”  So, if you write a comment saying “Your blog is awesome! http://www.mycrappysite.com” I will mark it as Spam and it won’t be published.  However, if you simply post “Your blog is awesome!” with your name being My Crappy Site, linked to said site, that is fine.  (Not that any of you have crappy sites, but spammers, I’m on to you and it’s to your benefit to not piss me off.)

Anyway.  That said, today was a gym day.  I would have run outside, but frankly, my cold weather running gear smells bad and I didn’t want to put it on this morning.   New Year’s Eve and probably New Year’s Day will be for relaxing, and Half Marathon Training 2010 kicks off next Monday!  (Skeery.)  I was feeling a little indecisive, so I did:

  • 1 mile of running, increasing my speed every minute from 6.0-7.0 mph
  • 20 minutes of FHIIT (fairly high intensity interval training) on the elliptical.  I would go at an easy pace for two minutes, and then push myself to a pretty high max heart rate for a minute, lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Another mile of running, at an easy 6.0 pace (my legs were like lead from the FHIIT)

Then I came home to a fun surprise–more Christmas presents from Tim’s parents!

(And an excited dog to knock them over.)  Tim got a video game and a DVD and a book, and I got some fun stuff for my office and a candle holder.

Be sure to stop in tomorrow morning!  You will NOT want to miss this giveaway!

Thank you!

I’ve talked before about how talented my aunt is when it comes to making cards.  She is a stamping genius and makes some really incredible stuff.  Since I ended up taking over the invitations, she’s handling the peripheral wedding event paper, so to speak–wedding and shower thank you notes, shower invitations, and rehearsal dinner invitations.  She had a mock-up of a few of them ready and waiting for me!

This is a partial mock-up of the shower invitation.  The circle will have the quote from our save-the-dates on it: “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone…you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”  (Yep, from When Harry Met Sally.  We got engaged last New Year’s Eve.  It’s appropriate.)

This is the thank-you note for the shower.

I don’t speak “stamp” very well, but the design on the background of both was made with my aunt’s Cuttlebug, and the stamps are, I believe, by Stampin’ Up.

This will be the thank-you for the wedding, although we might sub out the “thank you” for our monogram stamp.  I actually think I probably will, I just have to mail her the stamp!

Again, the background is a swiss dot Cuttlebug pattern.

I keep trying to convince her to set up an Etsy store, but she hasn’t gotten there yet.  I wish she would!  She does some amazing stuff.

Thumbs up?

Back to the grind

Although it’s been pretty un-grindy today.  There weren’t many people in at work, so things were pretty calm!

I went to bed last night at 9:30 and woke up this morning at 6!  I was so tired from our early, early flight and snow digging.  Last night I took Sheila out for a test drive and just ran a mile around the neighborhood.  I was wondering why it wasn’t working until I realized I hadn’t pushed the start/stop button!  Clearly Garmins are too advanced for me.

Anyway, I went to work this morning and found a card and Panera gift card from my boss for Christmas!  How sweet of her.  I do love me some Panera.

I came home to my animals after work!  It’s so nice to be greeted by three warm, furry pals.  Milhouse, Sheila and I headed out for a run.  Unfortunately, I didn’t figure out that I had to reset my Garmin and not just stop/start it until halfway through, so the stats have today and yesterday’s run piled together.  I did about 3.5 miles?

My pace is way off because of the two runs together.  I was happy to see my fastest mile out of both days was 9:18, which is pretty darn good for me!

Preliminary thoughts on the Garmin: obviously, this is an awesome running tool.  I really like the chest strap for the heart rate monitor, which is more flexible (though wider) than the one on my Polar heart rate monitor.  It’s very comfortable!  The unit itself is heavy when you’re paying attention to it, but while running I barely notice it.  The satellites take at least a minute or two to load, which is a little frustrating (especially when you have a dog raring to go), but all in all I think I’m in love.  I like that I can use the lap feature to track my mile times!  I can’t wait until I can load the software on my computer to play with that, too.

In general, I had a really lovely run despite the eight inches of snow and icy conditions.  I felt good and strong after my rest week, which, yet again, cemented my belief that rest pays off a millionfold in the long run.  (Milhouse went inside with Tim at about mile 2.4.  He was cold and whimpering.)  I have to say, I really love running with a dog–it gives me something to focus on, other than myself, and the time just flies by!

Then, I came home and opened the mail to find a nice surprise–Larabars!  I entered their special holiday promotion last week and got four free ones–Peanut Butter Cookie (which I’ve had and liked), Cherry Pie (which I’ve had and not been a huge fan of), Tropical Fruit Tart and Key Lime Pie (neither of which I’ve had).  Sweet!  I big puffy heart free stuff.

Who are your running buddies? I think Milhouse is mine, and of course now Sheila the Garmin too.