Higher!

First of all.  Thank you all for your incredible outpouring of support re: my slightly dramatic post last night.  I can, and will do this.  I’ve been playing Dr. Google all day, and I feel kind of certain that what is wrong with my knees and lower legs can be solved by rest and ice.  I am super anxious to get to the podiatrist tomorrow.  For now, I am just planning on resting the shit out of my legs until the half, but we’ll see what he says tomorrow.

I started today out still in a funk.  There are assorted wedding stressors going on that I don’t want to talk too much about, but are, well, stressful. 

Lunch.  The aerial view.  Exactly the same as yesterday.

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Lately, for lunch, I’ve felt more like munching than solid meals.  I’ll eat the cantaloupe around 11:30, then the pretzel roll around noon, then the yogurt around 12:30.  Works well for me!

I ate a bigger snack around 4 o’clock—a PowerBar Harvest bar—because I knew I wouldn’t be home until later because my dress fitting was at 6 about 45 minutes from home.  These things are good—chocolatey and coconutty and very big and filling.  Good for a light meal replacement or large snack!

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Then…second dress fitting!

It was so liberating to finally try on my dress without a foot of extra material on the bottom.  I could finally walk around in it!  And sit!  Whee! 

Also, when the seamstress zipped me up, I got a “did you lose weight?” that totally made my day.

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And the bustle!0331 005 We’re still not done yet—we decided to take in the top a teeny tiny bit just so my boobs are firmly locked in place.  It’s a little loose up there right now and I don’t want to be hiking them up!  I’m picking the dress up April 28th.

I came home to find a bunch of RSVPs—7 nos, 2 yes—and two packages, topped with a cat.

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The creme de la creme of wedding presents!

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Again, with cat interference.

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Hello, lover.

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For now, she is in the wedding room, but I have grand plans (biscotti!  frosting!) for post-wedding.

We also got a super cute cupcake carrier to go with it.  Wedding presents are fun!

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Tim and Milhouse modeled the second package.

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My uncle loves to cook and when I saw him this weekend, he was shocked he’d never gotten me this cookbook before and had it Amazoned to me immediately..  It’s actually a super fancy cooking textbook!  I can’t wait to take a closer look. 

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All in all, today started out pretty bad, but got better.  If I have to sit on my ass for two weeks to run this damn half marathon, I will. 

Back tomorrow with a podiatrist report!  Cross your fingers!

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Low.

Happy fake Monday, dudes.  It wasn’t a great one.  I stayed up late last night writing thank you notes, and didn’t take a minute to myself from the time I got home to the time I went to bed.  I had a particularly vivid nightmare about being chased by Captain Hook and Mr. Smee that made me wake up in a cold sweat.

This, however, was good:

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Cantaloupe!  Is it in season now?  Because I was inspired to buy one yesterday, and that was a good decision.  It’s one of those fruits that I used to not like but now I do.  Maybe I’ll come around to honeydew soon!

It was supposed to be a morning snack, but I wasn’t really hungry for one, so I waited until lunchtime.  My lunch also included:   0330 002

A hunk of pretzel bread and a Wee Brie cheese.  (Not going to lie, I bought it largely because of the name.)

And a yogurt mess.

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Totally for the sake of the wedding, I finished things off with a caramel.  These are samples for our wedding favors!  They are delicious.  I think the guests will like them. 0330 004

Around 4 o’clock, I snacked on a Kind bar.  It was good, but tasted like a handful of mixed nuts, and mixed nuts are cheaper.  Oh well.  0330 005

Heh.  Nut Delight.  Giggle snort.

Anyway.  My plan was to try to get 5 miles in today.  Mentally, I wasn’t feeling it.  I just wanted a relaxing night at home with Tim and the zoo, but since I can’t work out tomorrow (another dress fitting!) and Thursday (podiatrist!) I went anyway.

I ran 1.25 miles.  And I quit because the pain was so bad.

What pain?  Well, let me preface this by saying I switched from the cushiony insoles from the running store to my regular shoe sockliner because my left knee and hips were complaining after last week’s long run disaster.  I figured the sockliner would make me blister, but at least my joints would be okay. 

Wrong.

Here is what hurt.  A LOT.

  • Left knee.  Less hurty than it was clicky and kind of loose and unstable feeling.
  • Left outside-of-the-shin muscle from my knee down to my ankle. 
  • Top of my left foot.
  • Blister on my right big toe from god knows what.
  • Right inside-of-the-shin muscle.

I haven’t run since Thursday, so my body has had four days off.  And everything from my knees down was just awful feeling.  My head knew that stopping was the smart thing to do.

I left the gym.  I walked to my car and I cried in the gym parking lot.

Oh, hell, I cried most of the way home, too, and when I saw Tim.

I did what Hal said.  But I have serious doubts about my ability to finish this half marathon, and I hate it.  I have given up so much time to training.   It’s days like today that make me want to throw in the towel and sit on the couch and get fat again.

Of course, the first thing I did when I stopped running was fat talk.

You ate so much crap this weekend.  No wonder your body is breaking down, it can’t carry all the weight.”

Who do you think you are trying to run a marathon?  You’re just the fat little kid in gym class.”

You’re not a runner.  You’re too fat to be a runner.  You never will be.  Runners are thin.”

And so on, and so on. 

I don’t know what I’m going to do right now.  I am so glad I have an appointment with a podiatrist on Thursday.  I hope I can get some answers, because I know the root of all these problems is in my feet.  Everything I have tried to make this better has just made it worse.

And so I’m feeling low.  Two weeks ago, I was 100% sure I would be able to finish.  Now I’m not so sure at all.

My favorite shower gift

I was instructed at my shower that there was one box I had to open before all the others.  So, of course, I did, and I opened it to find this beautiful recipe box.

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(Gorgeous, no?)

My aunt asked my cousin, Jason, to make one for me, thinking he’d slap one together with plywood or similar, but he took the job really seriously and went out and bought some beautiful (and very expensive!) maple and cherry to make it.  It’s absolutely stunningly beautiful and well made.  I’ll have it forever.

The reason I had to open it first was because everyone had put a recipe on their package as a tag.  The first one was from Maddie the flower girl.

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I died.  SO FREAKING CUTE.

By the end of the day, I had quite the collection.

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Including some super vintage ones—my great-grandmother’s recipe for Baked Stuffed Tufoli, and my grandma’s aunt’s recipe for (super delicious) Raisin-Oatmeal Cookies.

My great-grandma’s recipe must be good, because it was in the newspaper.  They quoted her as saying, “Secret of a good sauce is to make it the day before.  And make plenty of it.”  Sounds like my kind of lady, even though I never met her!

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My mom also contributed several, though she’s much more of a baker than a cook.  (As you can probably tell by the recipe on top.)

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I need more to fill it with, but this is a great start!

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All in all, I got recipes for the following, many of which are my FAVORITES from my family members.  (If anyone wants any of them, leave a comment letting me know which ones you want to see!)

  • Great-grandma’s Baked Stuffed Tufoli
  • Fresh Apple Cake
  • Cookie Dough Brownies
  • Aunt Vi’s Raisin-Oatmeal Cookies
  • Strawberry Crepes
  • Cheesy Potato Soup
  • Chicken Vesuvio
  • Fettucine Alfredo (including 1 stick of butter and a pint of heavy cream!)
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Buster Bar Dessert
  • Baked Potato Salad
  • Pretzel Jello
  • Red Jello
  • Fruit Dip
  • Whipped Frosting
  • Christmas Rice
  • Chipmunk Pie
  • Caramel Corn
  • Banana Egg Rolls
  • Penne with Spicy Vodka Cream Sauce
  • Strawberry Pizza
  • Caramel Apple Pie
  • “Pat’s Crack” (a maple-flavored sweet snack mix)
  • Make-your-own Cleaning Wipes
  • Chocolate Eclair Cake
  • Hot Sausage Dip
  • Vanilla Raspberry Pudding Shots
  • Campbell Corn Bread (from Tim’s mom!)
  • Girl Scout Chicken (also from Tim’s mom!)
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip
  • Taco Lasagna

Disclaimer: none of these recipes are healthy.  But they are all yummy and special to me!

Anyway, I love, love, love this and will definitely do this at any showers I host in the future.

What’s your favorite family recipe?

Wedding Weekend Extravaganza Recap: Part Two

Sunday afternoon was my bridal shower.  We woke up early and drove down to the country club where it was being held…but we definitely made a Dunkin’ Donuts pit stop on the way.  (Have I mentioned how much I love DD coffee?)  I had coffee and a donut to get the requisite sugar and caffeine pumping to make me EXTRA cheery.

My wonderful aunts and bridesmaids had planned a wonderful tea party themed shower.  See?

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The place settings had a small bag with homemade tea bags, honey sticks, fancy sugar cubes, and cinnamon sticks in them.  So cute!

The teapots made perfect centerpieces.

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All the teacups were mismatched.  This was mine!  There were candles to burn in the teacups for after the shower.

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Everyone worked really hard to set up.  I felt so useless, but they kept telling me that I should just stand there and look pretty!  

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So I took pictures instead.

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True story: my cousin/bridesmaid, Brandy, made the infamous pudding shots to bring to my bachelorette party and brought them ALL the way from Indianapolis to Chicago…only to forget them in my aunt’s freezer!

But they made an appearance at the bridal shower.  Mudslide and butter crown shots….I had one of each!  (They are delicious, but very, very weak.  Don’t worry.  I was not drunk at my shower!)

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And check out the gorgeous cake.

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The tables looked so cute!  The tea party theme really was an adorable idea.  I am NOT that creative at party planning!

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For the favors, my aunt stamped tiny gable boxes with our monogram and filled them with my favorite homemade caramel corn.  Yum!

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And some family pictures!

This is me, my mom, and my sister:

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(There was also a kind of creepy bride doll as decoration.  On the right.)

And me with our flower girl, Maddie:

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She was absolutely the show stealer of the day.  She proudly announced, “I’m going to help with presents, because I’m THREE!”   So cute!

The food was good—there was salad, chicken marsala, green beans, and potatoes—but the star, of course, was the cake.

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I. Love. Cake.

I wish I could have brought some home to Tim, because this was fantastic.

I will spare you the 50 different pictures of me opening gifts and give you the highlight reel instead.  See my little helper?

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I love Maddie’s face here.

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These next two pictures require explanation.  One year, on Christmas Eve, my uncles had a few drinks and then decided to go shopping for stocking stuffers.  They came home with underwear for everybody.  (This probably started, oh, when I was in fifth or sixth grade.)  Every year, since then, I get a pair of underwear from them as a joke gift for every holiday.  (Yes, a pair of underwear fell out of my law school graduation card in front of Tim’s parents.)  So, naturally, at my bridal shower…

bridalshowerbachelorette 077 bridalshowerbachelorette 080 Bride panties.  Naturally.  My family is crazy, but awesome.

Anyway, I opened gifts for a long, long time, and there are lots more pictures, but I’ll spare you the rest.   It was a great day and I’m so glad everyone could come celebrate me.  I cannot believe how awesome and generous people have been to us through this whole wedding thing!

All in all, we got several of our place settings and flatware settings, our entire bedding set, pots and pans, a food processor, tons of kitchen gadgets, some gift cards…I can’t even remember all of it.  Our registries took a pretty hard hit!

Packing, of course, was an issue.  I could only bring some stuff back in my luggage to Kansas City—the rest is living at my mom’s house until we drive up for the wedding.  We’re traditionalists and waiting to use any gifts until after we’re married, so it’s not a big deal, but I still can’t wait to show Tim everything!  This stuff I left at my mom’s house:

 

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And I packed as much as I could.

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My aunt, the crafty lady she is, brought me a few other things for the wedding.

Backstory on this one: my mom’s father, my Grandpa O, and I were very close.  He died shortly after my father.  He was known for always wearing bright red socks, every single day, even in a suit!  When my cousin Jason got married, he wore red socks with his tux to honor my grandpa.  I wanted to do something to honor him, too, but I don’t think red socks would work with my shoes, so….we dreamed up a red sock garter:

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It’s actually made from one of my grandpa’s socks.  We’re not doing a garter toss or anything, but I love the idea.

She also brought our wedding thank you notes that she made for us:

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Aren’t they pretty?  She’s such a crafting rockstar.

After the shower, we spent Sunday night having pizza with my family and packing things up.  I flew out to Kansas City Monday afternoon, and now I’m home playing catch-up!  There’s a lot to do before work tomorrow.

Re: running.  My body is not feeling great after last week’s disaster run.  My left knee feels funny, and my hips are still kind of sore and creaky.  I also have two appointments after work this week, so I’m just going to do what I can this week.  I’m planning a long run Friday, and 5-6 miles tomorrow, but I think what’s best for my body is to start my taper a little early.  I’ve already exceeded Hal’s half marathon novice plan, mileage-wise, so I feel okay with this.

Anyway, it was a lovely weekend.  I missed Tim terribly and I’m glad to be home, but I had so much fun!

What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?  Check in tomorrow to find out what my absolute favorite shower gift was! 

Wedding Weekend Extravaganza Recap: Part One

I’m finally back from Chicago!  It’s good to be home, but I seriously had so much fun this weekend.  I’m going to split this recap into two parts.  So, here goes.

I flew in to Chicago BRIGHT and early on Friday morning.  My flight left at 7:15!  I was so tired, but I slept on the plane and felt better by the time I’d gotten off the plane.  (Except with all the airport walking, my shoes managed to rub another blister on my feet.  Shocker.)

I got home and my mom had set out a few adorable baby pictures of me. 

Check out this awesome picture of one of my bridesmaids and I:

 

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I’m in the pink jacket, she’s in the romper and bonnet.  I wasn’t kidding when I said we go way back!

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I think my mom actually put a bowl on my head to cut my hair.

We went out to do some shopping, and I had a totally unhealthy but totally worth every calorie Italian beef sandwich and fries for lunch.

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They don’t have such awesome things in Kansas City, so yeah, this was completely necessary.  Nom.

We hung out with my extended family all night and went out for a long, leisurely dinner.  Lots of bridal shower secrets were afoot that I couldn’t know about!

We did, however, get together more pictures for our family wedding picture table.  Check out this one of my grandparents!  I was very close with them and have my Grandpa’s WWII diary—he was training in California, and my grandma took the train from Chicago to come marry him before he went overseas.  It’s very romantic.

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He looks like he’s wearing lipstick!  I love this photo.

Saturday we got up and headed out for my hair and makeup trial.   (This is before the make-up.)

We tried two styles.  This was the first one:bridalshowerbachelorette 008 bridalshowerbachelorette 009 bridalshowerbachelorette 007

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And this was the second.  The front was the same as the second:

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(Disclaimer:  These will both be much sturdier/tighter on the wedding day!)  I think we’re going to wind up combining the two.   I love the back of the first one, but I like that the second one is more bun-like, so I think we’re going to do a neater, woven-type bun.)

Then, I met up with my bridesmaid Lindsey, and we went to have coffee with our old college friend Erin (who’s getting married two weeks after us) at one of our favorite college haunts, Kafein.

I had skim Mocha-nut.  (A coconut mocha. Ha!)  It was delightful, and pretty too.

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Here we are!

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(Erin on the left, Lindsey on the right.)  You can also kind of see my makeup trial there.

We had a great time catching up.  I love when you meet up with old friends and it’s like not a minute has passed!

Then we took the train downtown for my bachelorette party! 

My bridesmaid, Teresa, had gotten a gorgeous hotel room at the Affinia in the heart of the Loop.  Check out our view!

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And the room was all decorated for my party!

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There was lots of champagne and wine…and pink and black M&Ms, too!

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We all got ready and headed to Cafe Ba Ba Reeba for tapas and sangria. 

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I am a lightweight these days, so I think I wound up having maybe 3 glasses of sangria before my head started to ache.  I stopped at that point and it was a good choice!  (PS: the lovely lady on the left is also the little baby in the bonnet in the first picture in this post!)

The food at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba was incredible, by the way.  I love tapas because you get to try everything!

Then we set out for our second destination—The Baton Show Lounge!  We saw a most excellent drag show there—the ladies were so talented!  We had a great time, and after seeing the other bachelorette parties there, I’m so thankful my bridesmaids didn’t make me wear a giant veil, full wedding dress, or penis tiaras.  Phew!

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After the show, we headed back to the hotel and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning chattering in our PJs like an old school sleepover.  It was awesome! 

So, that was my bachelorette party.  I had so much fun with these ladies—all weekend I was truly amazed by how awesome and generous people were to us. 

I’ll be back later with a super-long shower recap—for now, I’m off to write thank you notes!

Hairstyle one or two? 

Hi from Chi!

Hi everyone!

I’m in my home state, enjoying all it has to offer (namely, friends, family, and giant Italian beef sandwiches). There are lots of surprises afoot for tonight and tomorrow and I’m being a good bride and keeping my nose out of them

Today, I have my hair and makeup trial, and then my downtown bachelorette party. All I know is we have a gorgeous downtown hotel room and are going out for tapas and sangria. Yum!

Full recap on Monday! Hope everybody is having a great weekend too!

Hey, guess what?

I’ve decided to run the Chicago Marathon for Team in Training.

Paperwork is in the mail.  I don’t have too many details yet, but since there’s no Kansas City team for Chicago, I’m going to be on the Virtual Team, which I think means I will have a coach living inside my computer or similar. 

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Wherever the coach may live, I’m not really in it for the guidance or team spirit.

I’m running it for this guy.

dad 001My dad, the runner, who will not be walking me down the aisle in six weeks because of leukemia.

The fundraising is going to be tough, but it will make this marathon a bazillion times more meaningful for me. 

More info to come.  Just thought I’d let you know.