Sunday, December 14, 2014

Oh, Holidays, How Fast You Come

How do I go an entire month without blogging? It has been busy and productive, but I need to get better at this whole documenting-my-life thing.

What have I been up to that has been keeping me so busy?

First, on Nov 20th, this little lady turned SIX. I just want to cry at how big she is getting. Mom, Trevor, Irelynn, and I took her lunch at school...... She thought she was big stuff.....

That night, was the premiere of Mockingjay. Heidi, Billie Jo, Anthony, Ethan, Noah, and I all went. I LOVED IT! Personally, I loved the change in keeping Effie alive.... Elizabeth Banks is great and it adds to the entertainment to have her in.

Thanksgiving was a bit quieter, this year. Everyone was going up to Tallahassee for the FSU/UF game, so as soon as lunch was over, it cleared out. My household went up Thursday afternoon, while I went shopping with Heidi and Noah. This was Noah's first Black ThurFriday experience and he was a hoot. We honestly didn't have any problems.... We got to WalMart first around 6 (that was the craziest, but nothing awful) and were done by midnight.

We were crying laughing over this poor girl who stood in line at WalMart for 30 minutes for a bag of marshmallows.......

At one point, we swung by WalGreens to return a Redbox. There were about four other cars doing the same thing...... As we drove away, a workers was peering through the glass doors, watching all of us. It was dead inside and I am sure they were bored to tears, lol.

Our last stop was Kohls..... Noah was freezing, so we got him this spiffy sweatshirt.....

The original plan was for Bryan, Megan, Shelby, and I to drive up to Tallahassee after Bryan was through was work on Friday. However, one of their dogs got really sick, so Bryan went up (it has been his lifelong dream to see Florida State play Florida in Tallahassee) and we stayed home. Saturday, I was able to get some Christmas prep done and then I went over to hang out with Megan and Shelby. 

I mean, isn't this the cutest thing you ever did see?

Sunday was more of the same...... Christmas prep and Shelby snuggles....

Monday the 1st, Heidi and I had plans to go see NPH narrate Candlelight Processional at EPCOT after work. It is always a great way to start off the Christmas season and NPH does a wonderful job. I love their stage set and twinkling tree lights.

The 4th was our city's Christmas parade. I am always in it for work (our stations are in seven different parades throughout the first two weeks of December). This year, I had to work the set up as part of my Junior League Provisional duties. It was a bit stressful, at first (our parade is HUGE..... 125 floats and over 35,000 people attending). My friends C and M, and I had fun looking all official, though.....

Saturday the 6th, I headed over to House of Blues for a Jerrod Niemann concert with my friend T. It was a lot of fun!

Sunday was a Christmas party at my friend Ronda's.... We had a blast and I walked away with some serious loot (tin of cookies, box of truffles, $15 Starbucks gift card, and a $25 Olive Garden gift card). My kinda party!

Wednesday (the 10th) night, we went to Melting Pot. They were having an Ugly Sweater promotion, so we wore ours with pride......

Saturday night, we did a promotion for a private Chris Young concert at a nearby golf resort. It was a very nice event, but a bit stressful as the venue wasn't familiar with working a concert or winners. Once everyone was taken care of, my friends that came with me voted to leave early and grab dessert. It was outdoors and we were freezing. We had a great time though.

Yesterday, I stayed in my PJs all day and worked on Christmas cards. I had something every evening for 13 nights straight and exhausted. As I finish typing this, I am working from Universal. The work stuff should be slowing down this week, so hopefully I will get caught up on all my personal business.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Life and Randomness....

I suck at this whole documenting life thing, lately. And, not just on my seriously neglected blog....... I have several Shutterfly books I would like to finish. I'm even not so great at remembering to Tweet or go on IG.

I guess I am just busy. I try to remember to document in some way, but it's so fast moving.

My perfect niece was born exactly two weeks ago. I have a post in drafts to let you see how wonderful she is. It will happen, soon. Just be sure that she's the best thing on Earth.

I'm giving away a truck on Saturday. In a pretty big way. A freaking live game show. That I put together. It's not easy, ya'll.

An extremely amazing opportunity has come up........ Hopefully, it will go through.We will see.

The past few years have been "The Years of Sass"......... Pretty sure that I've entered "The Years of The Bitch."

As of late, I am more in love..... and more unsure of the future.... and more calm.... than ever in my life. We will see.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tower of Terror 10-Miler 2014

So last weekend (October 3-5) was the Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend at Disney. If you will recall, last year's was my first big race ever. Before I talk about my race, I have to brag on some others.

So, my mom had so much fun watching Megan and I last year that she got amped up and decided to participate. She and my stepdad signed up for the 5K during Princess Weekend. Then, she signed them up for it this weekend AND signed Lydia up for the kids' races. Mom and Jeff really can't run it, because of some former injuries, so they walk. They just like to participate.

This was Lydia's first race and she *can* run. The first race was her age group. Depending on the age group, the kids run either 100, 200, 300, or 400 meters. Lydia ran 200. The 100 group was hysterical to watch. They are all aged 1-3. Some of them LOVED it and others weren't having it at all.

The winner went to Baby Aladdin who got about twenty feet from the Finish Line and refused to go any further. His parents refused to pick him up to walk him across the finish (a lot of parents were carrying their kids, lol). Even the media people got into it.

 Eventually, Baby A won. The RunDisney people needed them off the track to let the next racers (age 4-6) start. Parent - 0, Kid - 1. I took a ton of pictures during the 15 minute sage (there were several heats), but managed to get an internet friendly one (ie, no faces of the kid).......

Lydia rocked her 200-meter dash and even convinced Jeff to join her. Next up was a timed 1-Mile race. For that one, she wanted me to run with her. I was wearing flip-flops, so that wasn't happening. I walked near the path for the first half, so that she could see me. At that point, she was comfortable running the rest of the way with the group. Disney security is really tight, especially for the kid races. They don't let anyone leave the race area without a tag that matches the child's bib, so I told her that I would meet her at the Finish Line.

In her words, the race was "HORRIBLE. It was a long and awful race!" But, she liked her medal, lol.

After their races were over (I was getting Lydia ready while Mom and Jeff were doing their race, so no pics of them), I headed back to the hotel to nap and rest up for mine later that night.

Here's where I get real.......... I have *REALLY* let myself go. Like, I weigh more than I have in 5 years. Not a fact I'm proud of, but it's the truth. Not only have I gained 20 lbs since last year's race, but I plain didn't train. I mean, I'd run a few miles a couple times a week, but that doesn't prepare you for something like this. So, I was nervous. I knew I'd finish, but I figured it would take me about 20-30 minutes longer than last year.

On top of that, Megan is preggers and due with the-best-niece-in-the-world on Oct 19th. Homegirl wasn't about to attempt 10 miles at 38 weeks pregnant. My other race buddies also weren't doing this one for various reasons. So, I was solo. SCARY.

We always run by ourselves, but we usually hang in the corrals and start together. You get in your corrals at 9:15/9:30. The race starts at 10pm and my corral started at 10:20pm. So, I was basically chilling by myself for an hour. Heidi came up to hang with me until corral time and to see me finish, but it was still a bit intimidating to just stand there in a crowd of 9500 people and not know a soul.

But, I did it. I tried and I completed it.

As I was trudging along and miserable, I would just try to pep myself up. Thankfully, the weather was gorgeous. Last year was hot and humid. This year, it was the first cool night we've had. 50's and little-to-no humidity. So, I tried to tell myself that at least I was getting to enjoy the weather. Also, when I was in the last three miles and could only jog about 1-2 minutes at a time before having to walk, I really had to give myself a chat.......... 

"Jess. You are trying. You've completed 7-8-9 miles and you are still trying to jog. THAT is an accomplishment."

It was not easy. In fact, it was REALLY hard. I wanted to quit. There were times when I told myself that I just didn't care what my time was, anymore. There were times when I felt really bad that Heidi was waiting for me and I was taking so long (turns out, she was having a blast with the other spectators). But, I kept going.

Eventually, I did finish! And, I was completely right...... 21 minutes behind my time from last year.

Heidi was super proud and supportive. I was really thankful to have someone at the end.

Ironically, I wasn't nearly as sore as I was last year. I mean, I was sore. But, it didn't last as long or as bad as last year.

As it stands, I have TWO half-marathons scheduled at the beginning of the year. One at the beginning of January and another in mid-February. Yep, I'm insane.

How am I going to keep myself from going down that nasty 'Wingin It' rabbit hole? Well, it does help that these races are close enough to have something to work for, but far enough that I can train reasonably. I'm doing a HIIT Running app three days a week (started Week 1, Day 1 today) and then one longer run (starting at 4 miles and working my way up). Plus, I'm throwing in T25 for strength, speed, and agility.

I *know* I can do this. With the exception of my longer runs, I shouldn't be working out more than 1 1/2 hours a day. Back in my glory days, I was working out double that some days.

I'm also trying not to stress about my weight, right now. Of course, I need to work on my diet (those french fries and sweets have snuck their way back into my habits) and I definitely want to lose weight, but I'm trying not to focus as much on that. Right now, my main concern needs to be getting fitter.... faster.... stronger... more endurance. I feel like if I'm mildly conscience of my eating during this time, some of the weight should come off. Once the holidays and these races are over, I can really focus on the weight.

That's the plan. To keep myself accountable, I'll be posting my workouts and progress toward my goals at least every two weeks.

Here goes................

Monday, September 29, 2014

Saga of TG: New Chapter

Some of you may have seen this on IG. Most of you probably don't care. And, all of you are probably like, "Wait, why are we still talking about him?"

But, this has always been my place to document my life, so I'm going to share.

The Guy came to town last week. If you recall, it's been five years since he's moved and almost two years since he's been back. Ironically, this past Friday (the day he got here and I first saw him) was one year to the day since I found out that he was having a baby.

As I said in the baby post, I'd long ago given up hope or really wanting anything with him. I really had stopped thinking that we were ever going to be anything but friends. But, when I found out in such a harsh way that he was having a baby, it brought back ALL those things I once wanted and never got. It took some time to process. And, the hurt took a bit to get over.

Eventually, I did. Eventually, we started talking again. And, about 5 or 6 months ago, I was talking with him on the phone (we usually text once every 2-4 weeks, sometimes more and sometimes less.... and, we usually chat on the phone every couple months) and when I got off the phone, it hit me. I was COMPLETELY over him. Like, I was happy to catch up, but it just dawned on me that I'd healed.

Eight and a half years ago, he literally walked into a room and changed my world. It sounds dramatic, but he did. I've learned, I've grown, I've had my heart broken, I've healed, and I've really learned what unconditional love is because of this man.

It's been a LONG time coming. A really long time. But, it finally came. I think it happened gradually, but I just stopped being "in love." I still adore him and he still means the world to me, but my heart strings were cut.

Then, I found out he was coming to town. As excited as I was to see him, I was a little nervous. After all, it's really easy to think you are over someone when they live three states away. We chatted a couple times about his visit. We knew we would see each other at the station (he was coming into town for some business), but he still said that we needed to get together outside of that. I was feeling the excitement you feel when your best friend or favorite relative is coming for a visit..... but, I was still worried that I'd slip back into old habits when I actually saw him.

Friday morning, I went into the station and he was already there. He was sitting in on one of the talk shows and during a break I went in to say Hi. Cue him looking at me, "HEY! It's you!" and jumping up to give me a big hug. In between going on different stations and doing interviews, he basically claimed his old spot in my office to chill. We got to chat a little, but it was busy and a lot of people were coming in to talk with him. It was just really fun/weird to have him back in his old stomping grounds, which are still my stomping grounds. In some ways, it felt like he still belongs here and in other ways, it was so weird.

I invited him to go to HHN with me and some friends that night. He wanted to, but didn't end up going at the last minute. His mom was also in town and wanted him to hang out with her, lol. So, we made plans to meet up for breakfast Saturday morning.

We did meet up for breakfast and though it was quick (he had a speaking engagement to get to), we still had a good time. Like always, we basically talk about everything and nothing. 45 minutes later, he had to rush out, we grabbed a quick pic (because the one from the day before was blurry), he gave me a hug, and told me, "See you later, you."

That was pretty much it. I went about my day and the rest of my weekend. We shot quick texts to one another last night.

Meanwhile, I had a bunch of people being super concerned. It was sweet, but funny. My poor BIL saw a picture of him on FB and cautiously asked my sister if I knew he was in town. My sister, fearing that he had a death wish and didn't tell me he was in town, texted my cousin to make sure I knew. My cousin was aware that all was well, lol.

I also had people doing "check ins" to make sure I was emotionally ok. So, I have spent the last few days explaining to everyone that I am, in fact, over him. There were no heart flutters at the sight of him, there was no tears or overwhelming sadness when he was gone.....

Simply put, I've moved on.

He is still one of my favorite people in the world. I will always care about him and his well-being. However, I can definitely, without a doubt say that I do not feel that way about him anymore.

As I told my Ninny, "Look, I will never say never. Who knows what God has in store for me. However, God has taken that desire out of my heart. For years, I've prayed that if TG wasn't in HIS plan for me to take the desire out and He finally did."

So, friends, it's been a long road, but I can say there is a new chapter in the story of The Guy. "Friends for Real"

Again, you may have seen this on IG. But, since all of this started on this little blog o mine and you've spent years reading about my seemingly-neverending-love, I thought at least one picture was owed of this previously nameless, faceless man.......

The Guy and I

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A change of self.........

Everyone says that 30s are so much better than your 20s.... you become more centered, you know yourself better, etc, etc. Having officially been here for a year, I can say that is proving itself to be true.

We all have weak moments. Moments of insecurity. Moments where our ugliness rears its head.

But, I find myself having these issues less and less.

Over the past 24 hours, I have found myself in a battle. I have a coworker that increasingly oversteps bounds and makes it known that he/she has very little regard for my position.

At first, I became angry. Then, I tried to fight passive-aggression with passive-aggression. Then, I became emotional (angry AND teary). Then, I got a few pieces of advice. Then, I became resolute and stood up for myself.

I'm not sure that this person got the point, but I am pretty sure our managers did. 

I find myself doing this more often, too. It is NOT in my nature to stand up for myself... and, when I do, it usually comes out as pure emotion. So, I'm working on being logical and reasonable.

I'm also working (and it is WORK) on caring less about being the people-pleasing, head-nodding, smiling, "do as I'm told with no questions asked", good little girl.

Several times this week, alone, I've asked myself, "Do I let this go or do I take the opportunity to stand up for myself?"

In one instance, I let it go. It doesn't matter.

In another instance, I let it go, but made a pact with myself not to let it happen again.

In the instance yesterday afternoon and this morning, I took a stand.

I feel a lot of things about myself changing...... Or, not so much changing, but coming to my true self. It's a pretty great feeling.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Birthday Fun........

My birthday weekend a few weeks ago and was a pretty great birthday weekend. In an attempt to just remember the small, sweet moments, I'll take you through the weekend......

Friday night, I went over to Winter Park to visit with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousin. My cousin Natacia was moving back into school for her Sophomore year. It's been great having her just a couple hours away...... she tends to be pretty busy, but whenever Aunt Teresa visits, I do, too. So, I've seen them quite a bit over the past year, which has been wonderful!!

We ate a super yummy Italian dinner and then walked around a bit, just chatting. While we visiting, I got a text from my sister asking if I'd like to join them at their 3D/4D ultrasound the next day. Ummmm, YES!

I eventually said my goodbyes and made my way home. Megan, Bryan, and I had a race in the morning.... which Bry and I completed. We were both HORRIBLE, but we did it. Megan has been having Braxton Hicks, so she decided to sit this race out.

Around noon, we all headed to the Ultrasound. My little niece was NOT cooperating. She had her hands over her face, her knees curled under her chin, and her little ankles crossed. After some prodding from my mom, I got up and started talking directly to her belly (I do this every time I see my sister and the babe will start moving around).

So, I started crooning, "Shelby... Auntie Kecka's here! Shelby, come out and play!"

I. Am. Not. Lying. She moved her hands and squinted one eye open. Everyone started freaking out. I kept talking to her and we finally were able to get one clear shot of her face. Like, none of this was specifically for ME, but it was still a pretty awesome gift :)

Sunday morning, Billie Jo and I headed to Disney for part of the day. We both wanted to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, so we got to the park right as it was opening. We grabbed a Starbucks and got in line. It was only about a 45 minute wait, which was perfect for sipping and chatting. The ride was very cute!

Disney and Starbucks... A match made in Heaven :)

We walked around, rode some rides, and basically enjoyed an easy day at Disney. At 2pm, we had reservations at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. It's at the Beach Club Resort. Neither of us had ever been, but it was really good and just so charming!!!

We split the chicken sandwich and, after much deliberation, shared "Mickey's Sink."

It was every bit as good as it looked. We couldn't finish it. Our next mission is to get a larger group there to split their "Everything and the Kitchen Sink."

We headed back home, so that I could celebrate with my birthday buddy. Since our birthday was on a Monday and getting everyone together would be difficult, the WHOLE family got together for dinner and to celebrate Anthony and I.

My cousin Heidi made my MOST FAVORITE meal..... Pumpkin Sage Sausage pasta. Soooo good.

Ninny hadn't seen Megan or her preggo belly for a while, so she decided to give Shelby some love...

After dinner, we had ice cream cake and opened presents. It was a fun gathering.

Jess and Anthony.... The August 25ths....

Monday was my actual birthday. When I got into the office, my sweet friend/coworker M had put a birthday sign on my office door and left a card. One fun thing about going to work on your birthday is that everyone pretty much makes a big deal of you, lol. I'm not sure that I got a whole lot of work done, but it was a fun day!

I came into my office after chatting with a couple friends for a bit. There was a card on my desk that wasn't there before and my phone was blowing up. I had three missed calls, a voicemail, and several text messages. Upon checking my voicemail, I discovered that TG had called to wish me a Happy Birthday! His message was fairly hysterical. I called him back and we talked for a while.

As I was talking to him, I thought to myself, "I hope I hear from FD today." (note lots of progress in one area, not so much in the other, lol). A couple minutes later, still chatting with TG, I picked up the card and opened it. It was from FD :)

He'd stopped by to drop off a card and wish me a happy day. Cue happiness.

After I talked with TG, I called FD and chatted with him. He told me he was sorry he didn't see me, but he was in a rush to get back to work. Regardless, it was a very sweet gesture.

My mom and M took me out to lunch. Delicious!

Amongst the FB messages, texts, and emails, the birthday email from my rep at St Jude was one of the best. She did the obligatory "Your St. Jude Family Loves You" and then added, "and, so does Ryan...."

 LOVED it, lol!!

After work, my immediate family went to Bonefish for dinner. Billie Jo and Scott also came along, which made for a lovely evening.

My drink of choice.... It was so yummy and pretty.....

My Momma and I

Billie Jo and I

My sister Megan and I

Thanks to my wonderful friends, the party didn't quite end there! I got several birthday lunches and dinners throughout the rest of the week. (In unrelated news, I did a 3-Day Cleanse a week later)

Some people say that birthdays are less and less of a big deal as we get older. Bullocks, I say! If you pay attention to the little details, it makes for a pretty wonderful day!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Catching up....

Oops! It has been a while, hasn't it!?

What can I say.... Life has been busy! A good busy, but busy. I have so many things to share, and I am determined to catch up on my posts. However, let's do a quick catch up of "things"......

- I joined the Junior League. Never thought that would happen, but I did. So far, I REALLY enjoy it. Yes, it is another thing that will take up my time, but it isn't work related and I like that. I have already met a couple knew people, reconnected with girls I haven't seen in years, and will be able to participate in several awesome events.

- I have been a reading machine, lately. Just random free moments have been consumed by the books I have downloaded on my IPad. I basically have read the entire collection by Kate Perry. Next up? Jane Austen. 

- TG is coming to town for a few days. Yep. I have no clue if he is bringing the baby, but I do know that I am going to see him. I am really looking forward to it.

- FD is still around. Well, this summer he hasn't been around much. It has just been a crazy summer for both of us. I can count on one hand the amount of times we have seen each other in person over the past three and a half months. However, we text almost every day and talk pretty frequently. This weekend was pretty great and I am hoping/praying that it was the end of the lapses in seeing each other. Dear Lord, please.

- My sister is preggo and due with my niece in October. I cannot wait to love and spoil this nugget. She has already proven that she loves her Auntie Kecka and the feeling is mutual.

- The Mindy Project comes back tomorrow. The amount of excitement I have is fairly ridiculous.

- Work is back to busy. My slow period is the summer, but despite the weather, summer is over and we are into fall. I am praying for mental endurance and clarity to keep my head above water.