Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Birthday Recap

Though my birthday was 13 days ago, I'm just now getting around to recapping it. It has been a busy few weeks and though the number of things I have to do isn't getting less, sometimes you just have to blog anyway. :)

Along with getting to go to the Texas A&M football game, I had a great birthday! I started off by running 7 miles (my longest run ever at that point). I know that doesn't sound like a normal way to start one's birthday, but when one is training for a half, you gotta fit in those long runs! After I cleaned up, I did some work through lunch time, then took the rest of the day off. I enjoyed a $1 salad from Which Wich (yay for birthday coupons), did some shopping, and then just relaxed at home until Matt got home. Matt was able to leave work early which was awesome, and enabled me to open my gifts that much sooner!

My family knows me very well and gave me some great gifts, including these beautiful prints I have hanging over my desk. I love these verses and they give me great peace and encouragement while studying.
Yay comps studying! But look at the prints behind the monitor
These came from this shop on Etsy. LOVE them!
My dear friend got me these beautiful
flowers and look, they're still alive!
After opening gifts, we headed out to dinner to Grimaldi's. Our pizza was absolutely delicious, but we were way too stuffed for dessert! Guess that's what happens when 2 people eat a large pizza... woops! We weren't going home right after dinner so we didn't want any to go to waste. Makes sense, right?

Gotta have a cheat meal on your birthday-- so worth it!
We then headed to Main Event for some bowling. I know I haven't bowled since my undergrad days, and the scores certainly showed that. Regardless, it was a fun activity and we had a blast!

Matt considering his next bowl...
Hard to tell, but that is a ball trying to knock down a 7-10 split.
Yeah, that didn't happen.
So that about summed up my birthday. It was relaxing and I'm glad I got to spend so much quality time with Matt. 

Hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Birthday Weekend Shenanigans!

Though my birthday isn't until tomorrow, this past weekend Matt & I headed down to the Houston area to visit my family and go to an A&M game! It was so nice getting to celebrate my birthday with my family in person for the first time in what seems like forever. My dad grilled us some amazing steaks on his new grill and we also had some delicious smoked ribs. My parents were able to go to the game with us and we really enjoyed getting to see campus and the new Kyle Field! Though it was a late game (kick off at 8 PM!), we enjoyed getting to see our Aggies beat the Rice Owls that night! 

We didn't get home until late Sunday evening because we had a get-together with our church's small group at some friends' condo in downtown Dallas. Between the authentic St Louis BBQ pork steaks, delicious ice cream pie, and the amazing view of the skyline, it was a great way to end our amazing weekend!

The delicious steak that cannot be beat.
Our last minute birthday ice cream cake! So good :)
Have to get our picture with Sully!
The new student section side of Kyle Field. SO different but I like it a lot!
The new Aggie War Hymn statue
Love this picture of the four of us!
One of the reasons we went to this game was to take part in the Young Alumni Tailgate.
Some of those in attendance were former yell leaders, so they
led us in a mini-yell practice before the game.

Inside the stadium!
View of the new screen from our seats in the third deck of the south end zone
And gotta have a picture of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band!
View from our friends' condo in downtown Sunday night

We got to go onto the roof and get some more views of
downtown-- looking towards the American Airlines Center
It was quite a weekend, but I had a lot of fun! As for my actual birthday, it will involve doing some studying in the morning (because comps), relaxing in the afternoon, then we'll see! 

Hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Running is Complicated

So I am now solidly into my half-marathon training. Sure, my race isn't til mid-December, but I wanted to take the training slow and steady in case issues popped up. I have a history of foot issues related to running so I especially wanted to make sure I didn't further hurt them. As I just completed my 6.5 mi run today (the FARTHEST I have ever run, by the way), I felt like I should check in and let you know how things are going.

Feet. So on the issue of feet. Dude they're complicated. So I got some orthotics to prevent the issues I was having and they're all well and good. I haven't had any flare ups related to my toes and no steroid injections, so I count that a win. However, before I started training I got new running shoes, and apparently the heel is much thicker than the heel of my older shoes. After longer runs, my right heel was pretty sore. I figured it was the shoes and I would just get used to it. Oh no, not at all. It just got worse. One of my professors/running advisers suggested I try running in my old shoes and sure enough, no pain! So I get to go back to the running store, plead my case, and hope they give me a discount on some new shoes. 

Nutrition. This is certainly a learning experience in proper nutrition! Once you have been participating in exercise for over 1 hour, you have to start replenishing your nutrients while you exercise. You also need to make sure you eat the right things before and after the work out. It is all about getting the proper balance of protein, carbs, and sugars, so I've been trying out different running gus and chews. As Matt and I have started incorporating more weight training into our workouts, we are also making different smoothies with protein powder. The smoothies are certainly delicious and I know Matt hasn't minded us having bagels for breakfast on the mornings of my long runs!

Weather. I haven't run outside in over a month because it has been so hot and humid in Texas lately. We should be getting a cold front soon and I can't wait to be back outside! The treadmill just gets so boring, no matter what podcast is on or what's on TV. 

And that's about it. I know, a real exciting post, but I wanted to chronicle my experiences with my first half and I figured some of you may find it remotely interesting. Feel free to give me any advice you may have for training for a half-marathon :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Life Update

I know my posting has been sporadic at best, but that's because my life mostly consists of studying for comps. I figure you really would rather not hear about incapacitation effects (or how hard they are to estimate) or proper model specification. Sure, Matt & I do make time for fun things, especially on weekends. Our Labor Day weekend was especially exciting-- between painting (see post below this one), having friends over, and going to a friend's house for a backyard BBQ. Oh yeah, and watching Texas A&M BTHO South Carolina! Whoop! Here are some other random happenings and thoughts I figured I would share:
  • The less I have to do, the less productive I am. Note this post. I have a few other things I could be doing, like writing flash cards, clearing out some emails, or getting ahead on reading, but none of them have to happen today. This is a new habit of mine and I'm not sure I like it. After this post, I'm going to do... something. I'll figure that out later :P
  • We get to go to an A&M game in the next couple of weeks! We haven't been to College Station since 2013 and we haven't been to a game since Fall of 2011-- it's been too long! We got tickets for my birthday and I'm SO excited! 
  • Oh yeah, my birthday is coming up. That's crazy. I've just gotten used to saying I'm 25, what gives?
  • Comps are officially less than 3 months away. I've been feeling the first rounds of panic and I don't like it. I'm very thankful for a husband that reminds me to pray and listens to me talk for hours about comps. 
  • I get the chance next week to go interview those formerly incarcerated. I'm very excited about this opportunity to not only hear their stories in person but also expand my research skills. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little bit nervous as well. Gotta practice my poker face.
  • I'm making jambalaya with some Andouille sausage from New Orleans tomorrow night-- thank you, Paula! Too bad I can't get NOLA French bread to go with it...
And because no posts are complete without pictures, here are a few things from my birthday wish list:
I would love this above my desk; source
Yes, I really want an ice cream cake. source
See above; source 
So I think that about does it. What are your plans for this weekend? Do you also tend to procrastinate when you have fewer things to do?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Where we try to be artistic

One of the gifts I got Matt for our wedding anniversary was a Groupon for a painting class. Now this sounds really unusual for either of us to want to do as neither of us are in the least bit artistic. Art class was historically my least favorite class throughout grade school. However I had seen pictures of people who had done similar classes and it seemed really fun. Plus, we could bring our own drinks & snacks so that was a plus! 

About 2 months ago we had looked at the local studio's website where they had posted the paintings each class would be doing. We decided on one that was listed as 'beginning/moderate' skill set and we would get coordinating paintings. Our class was this past Saturday and we had a great time! The instructor and her assistants offered great instruction throughout the session. The only thing we didn't freehand was the bird's body. Everything else we did on our own, which if you know me is a huge deal! In the end, we were very surprised at how well each of our paintings turned out. They are now hanging above our TV in our living room and they look great. 
My bird & paint before class started.
We stenciled the bird's body

Taking a break during class, this was before all the 'detail' work

And our completed paintings! 
So moral of the story-- good to break out of your comfort zone and try something new. :)