april miscellany

Sunday, April 30, 2017

april has filled my heart up so. -- happy days and even sweeter moments seemed almost daily this spring.  the heartbreaking, raw and hard moments in between make life what it is -- real.  but goodness prevails and i will always search and cling to those gems of happiness, finding the good, enjoying the smallest of joys through it all -- this is my way.

lots of our time was spent outside this april, readying & enjoying our bit of earth.  gardens were made, grass was seeded & cut, hands were made for digging, flowers planted, trees cut!  morning coffee alfresco, afternoons reading under that blue umbrella, and sunset gazing way past 7.  magic! and our list of springtime plans and adventures keeps getting longer-- so much to do and fun to be had! dreams of strawberry picking and a drive down to the Outer Banks are high on that list

things I want to remember from our april:
+seasons first-- blooms! azaleas and dogwoods and a favorite tree with the gorgeous pink blossoms to which its name escapes me, Caprese salad, shorts and sandals, iced coffee, dinner alfresco!
+ a weekend in Raleigh with my two best girlfriends & one adorable baby boy! lattes & pimento cheese biscuits --stopping in shops for oils, spices, and cheese--talking and snuggling and cuddling that boy so close-- these visits and women are food for my soul
+ those early april days when he took off work and we yard worked all the live long day! exhausted but proud at the end of those days, cheers'ing with cold beers and lighting the grill.
+ herb & vegetable gardens planted & growing.  ten different herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers oh my! praying for lots of rain and to remember my watering duties.
+ a truckload of mulch, that new weed eater, rose arbors and flowers and plants and four trips to the hardware store -- that proud feeling seeing all your hard work at the end of the day, priceless.
+ a carrot cake of my dreams and an easter weekend with family.  sunny and 70, two glorious and slow days spent enjoying his family and mine; so lucky they are just a short drive away
+ Starbucks & Target dates with my favorite 13 year old girl, who is now 3 inches taller than me and still making my heart and days so full-- also trying the unicorn frappe was a must for her! she loved it of course
+ a lunch date & just because tulips from a girlfriend i don't see enough of-- remedying that this summer for certain
+ his new hobby of drone racing and flying and building --i sure love my nerdy engineer whose hobbies are countless
+ making time for bike rides and ocean walks, seeing my island home come alive one again -- family and farm visits and hugging more tightly than ever before we leave.
+ corgi grass rolling and coat blowing, spring rights of passage for our Lucy girl
+ dressed up hummus, cheese and cracker plates, strawberry smoothies, and grilled chicken on our salads-- a few april eats
+ a sushi and sake dinner ending with a movie on the couch, a late lunch for half priced shrimp and steamed oysters & to ring in soft-shell crab season, a mid-week date nights breaking up the week by sipping wine and ordering too many appetizers, spin class together on tuesday and friday nights -- april dates
+ Thursday night kickball games, surprised by how excited I am for them now
+ anticipating summer novels and crisp rose and fresh corn on the cob; boat days and sun kissed skin and steamed shrimp by the pound


march miscellany

Friday, March 31, 2017

every weekend, every day seemed so full this march -- it was the best month so far this year, if i'm being choosy. memories of my lifetime were made over these past weeks, i cherish them so -- but am eager and hopeful for upcoming days;  finding adventures and celebrating the simple moments in between.

the weather this march is something one must note -- it was surely weird with snow and rain and sunny days mixed in -- but the sun is lingering longer each day and so that alone is something to celebrate.  i think we are on the cusp of a blooming spring, finally-- blooms abounding and lawn mowers singsong-ing.  i am ready to dig in the dirt, plant herbs, and ultimately end our days underneath that blue umbrella.   hip hip!

things I want to remember from march:
+ a weekend with my one of my best girlfriends! -- smoothies and pedicures, veggies on the grill and dancing in the kitchen, brunching with mimosas and talking, talking, talking.  it was beyond lovely.
+ our trip to Texas-- the Houston rodeo and all that it entailed-- longhorns, turkey legs, cowboy hats, country music and family, a most perfect Texan vacation.
+ running the 8k shamrock race with Chris! the cold beer and dancing in the sand that traditionally follows
+ Guinness drenched corned beef and basketball games all the live long weekend, madness indeed
+ running my first half-marathon!! and the entire weekend in North Carolina -- carb loading, celebrating, relaxing, belly laughing, and loving through and through.
+ spotting daffodils, and snowflakes, and red buds abloom.
+ fervent skin care routines and pops of lavender in my hair -- late twenties bringing out both the "give a crap" and "why the hell not" in me
+ the greening of every little thing, spring rain showers when birdsong is still heard, and windows open evenings
+ homemade vanilla almond granola if only to fill the house with good smells; cucumber noodles in our salads; and fresh berries & asparagus once again filling the fridge
+ a coffee table try filled with all the best things: springtime magazines, a new candle flickering, a baby succulent, and salted caramels in a dish -- the simplest things make my heart happy
+ springtime walks with my Corgi girl


Emerald Isle Half-Marathon weekend

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

this past weekend i ran my first half-marathon!  on Emerald Isle, the island where i grew up.  running a new distance and reaching this goal of mine, with family meeting me at the finish, and a husband who rode his bike all the way down the island cheering me on, -- it was a full and spectacular experience.  a highlight of this life of mine, of that i am certain.

driving down friday to sunny and 75! we arrived with time to relax, grocery shop, grab my race bib, and spend an hour at the farm(drone flying for him, chit chatting/swinging for me and mom).  later, we gathered at home for a pre-race pizza party!  five large pies from the best pizza spot at the beach made for full bellies and leftovers for days.  carb loading at its finest.

i woke up saturday with nervous butterflies and a honestly bit of self doubt.  it was a warm day already and i, having not trained or enjoy running in the heat, was nervous.  but i put those thoughts away, praying for peace and presence and to enjoy the entire experience ahead of me.  when training, i focused and planned to run my first half in two hours. but come race day that pressure and perfection was weighing me down, fogging my confidence.  so i softly told myself to just run, run with your heart--for yourself and not for time.

a quick before picture and a good luck kiss from Chris and i was ready. standing at the start line water bottle in hand, music in my ears, and nerves in my belly but eager to run.

a lucky thing to have lived on this island mile 2 looped right by my parents house! so they greeted me with whoops and hollers and homemade signs -- i smiled for miles and miles from their encouraging cheers.  down sound drive and across highway 58, down ocean drive and back up the island along the bike path -- each mile steady and strong.  warmed by the sun but cooled by ocean breeze; runners were encouraged by strangers, locals, and beach goers with the best signs!-- small island living at its core. i took each cheer to heart, this friendly island is my home and these people were just what i needed.

i felt great the entire race, enjoying the weather! and ironically not wanting the run to end! Chris biked along the island finding me at different mile markers; cheering me on, taking pictures and videos.  his genuine encouragement and excitement made my heart ache in the best way.  he is just the sweetest and i am so lucky to share these memories with him.

walking only at water stops and to squeeze down half a goo (should have taken the whole thing!!) not until the middle of mile 11 did i start to struggle.  my legs felt heavy and my head wasn't staying focused, i was ready for the finish line.  i had started to walk, but only for mere seconds until a girl i had been pacing with the last few miles tapped me on my shoulder and told me to keep going.  we had one more mile and we could do it!!!  a huge hug and shout-out to her! girlfriend helped me keep going when i needed it most.

oh the joy in rounding the corner to the beach, seeing the finish line and my parents; and then my time of 2 hours and 11 minutes then did i break down and cry! all while trying to remember my form for the finish line photo! ;) with happy and proud tears, i crossed the finish -- i had just ran 13.1 miles in a time i was unbelievable proud of.  i grabbed my medal, hugged and thanked my new friend, we just completed a half-marathon!!!  the love and congratulations from my family and Chris made my heart swell so big, nearly to the point of breaking-- that runner's high though, feeling all the feels is very real indeed, a most amazing emotion.

i hobbled back to Chris' truck with the biggest smile on my face, peace in my heart, and medal around my neck; i had ran a half marathon and now it was time to rest.  aka, eat the biggest sandwich with potato chips! stretch in the grass, and drink a mimosa!!

we spent the rest of Saturday relaxing -- spending more time out at the farm(drone flying, catching sun rays) my sister and nephew came to hang out together for a few sweet hours too.

a few celebratory beers were enjoyed Saturday night with my bother and Chris, i wasn't finished celebrating/gloating! in true fashion, i thoroughly enjoyed milking all the congratulations and praise -- everyone should just be happy i didn't wear my medal out that night!

i can't thank my family, friends, and husband enough for their love and support.  and i promise to not be so self-indulgent next race! maybe.

i will definitely be running the Emerald Isle half-marathon again in the future, and hopefully one more later on this year. i've been bitten by the race running bug.