Here’s to 31

Yesterday was my 31st birthday. I am officially “in my 30’s” now! Scary!

But not really. It certainly doesn’t feel all that different.

We had a really nice dinner out at Stony River steak house, which is in Chesterfield. If you want a good steak dinner, that’s one place to go! I got a new laptop and an iPad, beautiful earrings and flowers, and then some monies for my birthday. So pretty successful I’d say.

Since I pretty much suck at the whole New Year’s resolutions thing, I decided I would pick three goals I want to focus on in my 31st year of life.

#1-Finding out my passions in life.

There are tons of things that I love to do. TONS. But what am I really, truly passionate about in life? I think they top ones would be being creative, cooking, photography, animals, the outdoors, and being active. Even though I look like a couch potato! So, I’m hoping and planning to explore all these things more in-depth and really start living through them more.

#2-Making myself a priority.

This is something that I’ve started to do a little bit already this year. But I will be honest, I don’t always take very good care of myself and tend to let people get away with saying and doing things they shouldn’t. I don’t really take the time to make time for myself everyday and I should. So that’s going to be a bigger focus this year as well.

#3-Getting the debt situation under control once and for all.

I made a few big steps towards this yesterday, and I can finally feel a little of the weight being lifted off my shoulders. With building the new house coming up, I want to try to reduce any other stressors in my life and taking control of my finances is a big, big part of that. Plus I have my Italy trip coming up next year, so I want to be able to enjoy that without worrying about my bank account and over-spending!

So those are my three goals/focuses for the next year. I’m planning on using this blog to really help me with each of these things, so be prepared for more posts (plus I count this blog as one of my creative spaces, so it is going to be getting a little more attention!).

Life Update

I can’t even believe that it’s been over two months since I last put up a post. I didn’t realize that it had been that long at all! I’m going to work on posting more regularly, so hopefully any readers I’ve had haven’t abandoned me!

I’ve been doing things, but I guess I haven’t really thought that they were necessarily blog-worthy topics. July was a pretty busy month as far as life goes, between my sister’s birthday, then my parents party, and then getting ready for the week of the fair (or as I like to refer to it, hell week). This year I actually didn’t have much going on for fair week since Dockdogs wasn’t asked to come back, so for the most part I help with photography and the parade. I also got to judge the BBQ competition, which was fun (and pretty tasty too!).

Then it was a week of nothing but working and trying to clean up my house because we were getting ready to leave for our yearly lake trip. I managed to at least get the kitchen cleaned up, which was my main goal, before we packed everything up and headed to the Lake of the Ozarks. It was a nice vacation, mostly relaxing. I got to spend some time with friends that I only get to see a couple of times a year and we went horse-back riding. Or at least attempted to go riding. We went from one field that had been burned down to one that hadn’t and there was a massive buck hiding in the waist-tall grass that spooked the horses and we both got dumped on the ground. It took me probably a good three weeks to really recover from that. I landed mostly flat on my back, but I guess the right side of my body took a bit more of the impact, and I had a pretty sensitive/sore spot right above my bum for a long time.

I took running stuff with me on vacation, but no running happened. As a matter of fact, no running, yoga, or biking has been happening at all since June! Which is a total pile of crap. I just haven’t been making the time to do any of that, then dealing with my fall, and now it’s time to get back on track. My eating has been not too bad, and I’ve managed to not gain back a ton of the weight that I’ve lost since the beginning of the year. But I honestly feel better when being more active and I need to make this time for myself. Adulting is honestly hard!

A few exciting things have been happening in my lovely life though. Earlier this month we closed on the property we’ve been trying to purchase for the past nine months. So now our total property it up to about 3.5 acres and includes an orchard! So I’ve been researching a bit about fruit trees and what I need to do to get that back into shape. We’ve also been looking at architects and house plans and I think we have both of those more or less picked out! So stay tuned for some crazy house building nonsense as all that approaches. This is the first time I have ever had to deal with any of this stuff, so it’s kind of intimidating all the decisions that have to be made!

I’m also looking forward to getting out there more with my bow, since archery season is fast approaching as well. This will be my first time bow hunting and I’m pretty excited/nervous for it. I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Well, I think that about covers it as far as current life updates go! I promise I will be making an attempt to blog more frequently and I do have some fun stuff I want to share with you all!

Much Adventure

This past week has been super busy and filled with lots of things.

So let’s back it up and start with some things I may have already covered in other posts but who can remember all that nonsense.

Monday M and I went for a 14.1 mile bike ride, then to pick strawberries and have lunch at Ekert’s, then home to make strawberry jelly, because strawberry jelly is awesome. I think I covered all of this in my last post, so sorry for boring you with already given details.

Tuesday evening I broke out my new trail shoes, which I got for trail running (thanks Captain Obvious) and hiking. I head to Indian Camp Creek and did 2.5 miles on one of the trails there. They have tons of inter-connected trails that are sometimes just a tiny little dirt strip in the middle of a huge field, so following them is an adventure. I had to cross a creek (twice) and I saw a snake that was about to cross right in front of me on the trail! It was only a garter snake, but still startled me when it turned around and high-tailed it back into the tall grass.

Wednesday night I was supposed to swim, but didn’t. I forgot to bring a suit with me and once I got home I didn’t feel like leaving again to drive anywhere, so I was lame in that aspect.

Thursday I had two miles on the schedule and decided to try out a new trail that has just been completed in the last year or so. I don’t know that it will be a regular route for me, because it has very little shade and it was kind of boring as far as scenery goes. Also, my Garmin decided to quit keeping track of my mileage with .27 miles to go, so that was annoying. Luckily I was able to fix it in Garmin Connect afterwards, so my splits corrected themselves and my pace adjusted for the right amount. But still, WTF?

Friday was a scheduled rest day and I did rest indeed. Saturday I woke up and it was just rainy and crappy for the better part of the day. I started cleaning the house up a bit and got most of the living room pick up but then M and I ran some errands and things kind of just fell apart there after. I did make homemade mozzarella cheese sticks that were pretty tasty, so a win there.

The rain did let up enough for me to get my four miles I had scheduled in. In a shocking move, I actually really pushed myself over the course of the run and came in with some really nice splits and surprised myself with some of my times actually. I’ve been playing it pretty safe with most of my runs and I was a little surprised by the fact that I held such a fast (for me) pace for the run. Especially considering the hills that I run up on the course I had chosen. Towards the end of the run I was definitely feeling the push and effort, but I am really happy with how it went.

Sunday I spent the whole day adventuring. I started things of with my first ever stand-up paddle boarding lesson. It was a little on the chilly side, but I have been wanting to try this for forever now, so I toughed it out. I fell in once, and then I fell on my board once. But it was a blast, and now I am thinking I need to invest in a paddle board. Because I have all the room needed to store one of those!

After paddling, I grabbed some lunch, went to my parents to throw my clothes in the dryer since I had no time to drive all the way home and change, and then headed to my painting class I had signed up for. I did a portrait of my lab, Cody. It turned out really nice and the class was tons of fun. I highly recommend doing one of these classes because they are so relaxing! Anybody can do them and walk away with a nice painting.

Then it was home, change, and rush off to a birthday party for our friend’s little boy. It was still a little chilly, but it wasn’t too bad. There was good food and everyone seemed like they had a nice time.

This week I’ve been a bit of a bum and also trying to catch up on all the things I didn’t get accomplished the past two weekends. So nothing too exciting will be happening around the house until this weekend, I’m sure.

Over the Weekend

Twas a wonderful long weekend.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early to hit the Katy Trail for a bike ride. I forgot to check my tire pressure before setting off, so about 3 miles in I had to turn around and head back to my car because it felt like I was having to work way harder than usual. Bike tires can lose pressure crazy fast! After airing up, I simply headed the opposite way of my original route and closed things up with a nice 20.63 mile ride. I’m so glad that I finally invested in a bike! Even though it’s not a road bike and it a hybrid, I still plan on using it to do a few sprint triathlona and stuff. Maybe some day I will be a big girl and get myself one of those fancy tiny-tire road bikes.

After my bike ride I came home, ate some lunch, and then napped for about an hour. After I got up, I got ready to head to the store to pickup the few things I needed for my deserts I was making for Sunday’s party when some friend’s called and needed a ride back to their truck after kayaking down the river a ways. One quick detour and I was on my way to the grocery shop for double-decker cupcake supplies.

Home and I got everything all put together and iced and refrigerated and then just hung around watching TV for the rest of the night. It was pretty relaxing and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sunday, I made breakfast for the first time in forever before cleaning up the kitchen and heading to my parents for their yearly Memorial weekend party. There were a bunch of little kids there and that really made the party a lot of fun watching them swim and be general hams for everyone.

Monday M and I got up and hit the Katy again for another quick bike ride (his first of the year!). Even though we rode the exact same line he wound up with a mile more than I did. Which was crazy considering we use the same apps and everything on our phones. After bike riding, someone decided that he needed some home-made strawberry jelly, so we headed over to Eckert’s to pick some strawberries and have lunch.

It was entertaining to see all the people who would wait in line, ride out to the strawberry fields, and then come back with maybe a half pound of strawberries. I guess most people don’t go out there with the intention of making jelly and requiring a shit-load of berries, but I just thought it was a little weird. I mean if you are going to go through all the work, why don’t you at least get a nice bunch of strawberries?

M and I wound up with nearly 17 pounds worth of berries. We gave some to his mom and then kept some for myself and my dad. The rest we juiced up to make jelly. My KitchenAid mixer has to be one of my most favorite things I’ve bought in the past couple of years! Another thing I’m so glad I made an investment in.

After all that over the course of the weekend, it was a little hard to get up and get going this morning. I’m hoping to take my new trail shoes for a spin on the trails tonight, since I haven’t run since the Zoo 5k. Hopefully these sketchy-ass clouds go away!

Make Track for the Zoo 5k Race Recap

Sunday morning I was up bright and early to run the 30th annual Make Tracks for the Zoo 5k.

I say bright and early but in reality it was rainy and early.

I took a few risks the night before the race and had sorbet and crayfish and shrimp which is definitely not something I have on any kind of regular basis, so I had to cross my fingers there and hope for the best.

I wore my Asics 2000’s, lululemon Inspire crops, and a Run:Swiftly short-sleeved top. I really liked this ensemble because it was definitely muggy once the sun came out about five minutes into the race, and neither the shirt nor the pants got overly soggy and weighed down.

5kmapThey changed the course a bit this year and it was a little flatter than the past. I will say I did like it a little more because I thought there was a bit more shade on this route.

It rained the entire way there and stopped just as I was getting out of my car. I arrived to the start line with maybe 6 minutes to spare, just enough time to put water in my handheld and make my way to the actual starting area.

Because of this I was definitely at the back of the pack and had to weave around a lot of people before i could settle into a semi-comfortable groove. Even then I still did a lot of weaving and pass all the way up to the end, which was a bit of a bummer. Plus, it was easier to let myself slide into a very comfortable pace instead of pushing myself because all the people around me were going slower as well.

5kstats

My first mile clocked in around 15:50 (or 15:34 moving time) and there definitely a few times I had to slow WAY down before I could move around a person. Just before mile two the sun came out and it started to get swampy real fast around the course. I took a one minute walk break at the beginning of the second mile and clocked the second mile in 15:56.

The second mile on the course actually came .2 of a mile sooner than it should have, but they made up for it in the third mile, which made it seem extra long. My third mile came in at 16:28 and then I tried to pick it up and get to the finish but it was hard given how muggy it felt.

5kstats2

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my results given how crappy my training had been and how sucky I felt at the beginning of the race. There was a time where I thought I actually might puke on the course, which I’ve never done. So all in all, I’m not terrible upset by the numbers. It just means I need to buckle down and work on my training a little better for the next 5k in June.

5koffstat

 

My official stats are a little off from my Garmin pace, with my Garmin giving me an average pace of 15:59/mile and my chip time from my bib giving me a pace of 16:21/mile. Not really certain were the 21 second difference comes into play and which one to call my official pace, but I’m thinking I will go with the Garmin time (obviously!).

I do want to make one little note though-

I get that it’s a family event. I do. I understand little kids wanting to participate in the big race with mommy and daddy. But at what age is that really appropriate? How young is too young to be pushing 3 miles? And if they do want to run with you, guess what? You need to go their pace. Not drag them with you, or scold them for not “keeping up” with you or holding you back. You should be encouraging and positive through the whole thing, stopping when they need to stop and all that other jazz. Because that’s what’s best for them, mentally and health wise!

 

 

Soggy

This past weekend was full of activities.

Saturday I was up early and headed out to Swansea with my favorite yellow dog in tow to do a little dock dogging. We’ve been doing this little doggy activity now for probably close to 7 years, and even went to the World Championships a few years ago.

He didn’t have the best jumps in his wave but he still has fun and that all I can ask for, so it’s been a blast getting to meet people from all over the country who are just as dog crazy as me!

After we packed back up and stopped off at the dog wash to get him all cleaned up, we headed home and I got all cleaned up. M & I headed to the French Quarter bar to partake in their annual shrimp and crayfish boil. For the past few years, M’s cousin’s husband has been coming up here from Louisiana and cooking all the shrimp and crayfish that the bar is serving. We stopped by last year and it was all WAY too spicy for me to eat, but this year everything was so good! I never thought I’d really be into eating crayfish (or crawdads, as we call them up here), but they are actually pretty tasty.

Then we stopped by the Mexican restaurant for a friend’s surprise birthday party. We really only know him through the restaurant, because like us he goes there about every Friday for dinner. So it was nice to get to meet some of his family and friends. On the way home we made a quick stop by Chill for some fro-yo and sorbet. M just recently decided fro-yo was acceptable and actually enjoys eating it now.

Sunday I was up bright and early to head down to the Zoo for the annual 5k that they hold. It rained the whole way there and then the sun came out just in time to make the race nice and humid. I will post a race recap tomorrow.

After the race, I realized that none of the places I needed to run my errands at would be open until 11-ish, so I just headed home and showered and changed. Then I let both dogs out, and we wandered around the orchard, where they both found nice mud holes and dead crap to roll in. So it was back in side and bath #2 of the week for both of them.

I went and picked up my jewelry from being cleaned up, and did a little shopping because I needed some new shirts and a new pair of jeans. I have a tendency to wear things until they are quite literally falling apart at the seams or just don’t fit anymore, so my wardrobe need a few new updates.

Once I got home from those adventures, I cleaned and organized the pantry, did a little laundry, and made a really delicious roasted chicken dinner. All in all a pretty successful weekend in the books!