A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas Exploded in my House! AND we are the GRISWALDS!

Hello Holiday Peeps! I have been promising a Vlog/House Tour, so that's what you're getting today! 

Note: After I filmed the first video, I realized I forgot to show you a whole other room! I don't know why I forgot to show you a room, other than I had just run 15.5 miles and I was a bit delirious... So if you want to see the last room, watch video number two as well!

Here's my inside/outside house tour!

A bit about the outdoor lighting you see in the video...

I think we have PLENTY of holiday lights and decorations, considering the size of our house!

We've had all of this stuff up since November 12th. Paul helped me with the icicle lights but I did EVERYTHING else.

(I actually had a dude ask me in a skeptical voice, "How much of that did YOU help with?" UMMMM 90% OF IT, BUDDY!!!!!!)

Note: Everything was bought during after Christmas sales over the course of 3 years. EXCEPT the little fox. I bought that last year on a whim because I loved him! Also, I bought the 8 foot gingerbread man at full price this year.

This is what we have:

Snowflake pathway markers (set of 2)

Candy cane pathway markers (set of 2)

Solar pathway markers (18 total!)

Net lighting: 3 multi, 1 clear, and some normal clear string lights. (2 of my clear net lighting didn't work so I had to improvise!)

Icicle lights (set of 4)

Candy canes

Joy sign


Green and clear rope lighting

Blow ups: penguin, snowman, Santa, polar bear, fox, Rudolph, gingerbread man

# of extension cords: 8

The hardest part of all of this was figuring out how to plug it all in! Before I take everything down this year, I'm going to take pictures and write notes so that next year, I know exactly how to hook it all up!

Any suggestion on what I could add to my collection?
Do we have similar indoor Christmas decorating styles?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Races I'm Eying up for 2018

I hate planning races ahead of time... it gives me anxiety! Remember a couple weeks ago when I told you I ran a 30k and you were all like, "I didn't know you were running a 30k!"? Well, I didn't want to put it on my calendar in PEN because I didn't know how I'd be feeling that day.

I'm afraid of race commitment, is what it is.

So I'm  sharing what races are written in VERY LIGHT PENCIL on my 2018 calendar! Okay, some are written in dark pencil and one actually is written in pen because I registered and paid for it already!

This is that cool trail race where you run a loop and the first time you have 20 minutes to complete the loop, then 19, then 18, and so on until you can't complete the loop in time! I'm debating on whether or not to train for this and try to do one loop more than I can normally complete. The problem is I am soooo slow right now that I feel like I would need to train just to do as well as I normally do. This race is in dark pencil because as long as I am not sick or injured, I am DOING IT.

Little Patuxent River Half Marathon - February 4

I don't know much about this race but it's a loop on trail, it's only an hour and a half away, and it's only $35. If I feel like a nice long trail run in early February, I can just drive on down to Maryland and do this race.

Another "if I feel like a long trail run" type of races. It's only $35 and an hour away in Leesport!

Jim Thorpe is the cutest town! I bet Paul would even travel to this race with me. The race will be run on the Lehigh Gorge rail trail. Registration is only $50! 

Ana has been telling me about this road race and I always forget to sign up before the price hike. Well, I am OFFICIALLY signed up. It was $80... and that was BEFORE the price hike. I think that is an insane amount of money for a half, but apparently it's worth it. So yeah, this is the race that's written in PEN.

Dam Half Marathon - September

I ran this race this past September and it was a CHALLENGE. I would love to do it again. Oh, I'm not usually into swag, but I got a SWEET sweatshirt and the post race food was delish- fried chicken, mac and cheese, cornbread, and pizza!

HARRC in the Park 15k - October

This race is at Pinchot Park on a trail I used to run all the time. I normally do pretty well at this race, and this year I want to PR on the course! Here's my recap from this past fall.

Dirty Bird 30k - November

I enjoyed the Dirty Bird so much that I think I'll do it again. But this time, I'll line up near the front so I don't spend the first 6 miles passing people!
What races are YOU eyeing up for 2018?
Do you like to schedule races in pencil or pen?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Weekend Wrap Up!


Happy Monday!
I hope you had a great weekend.
Here's what we were up to...

My day started a half hour earlier than normal because the cats woke me up. Chrissy came in to gobble up some of Jelly's food and Jelly hopped off the bed to defend his stash. I got up (like a good cat mom) to shoo Chrissy away. At that point, I was awake and got out of bed.

I ran 6 miles. I am loving these cold morning runs (for real!) especially because most people in my neighborhood have Christmas lights. I did notice this one house remodeled their carport into a bonus room. The windows are big and nearly take up the whole wall. I can see inside because there are twinkling Christmas lights and a big Christmas tree. An older couple sits at a table and eats their breakfast. it is SO HOMEY and I want to turn our carport into an extra room like that! Someday... I do like having a carport!

Post run stretch with my boy.

When I got to work I realized I forgot to put on deodorant! I had to borrow some from the nurse! She had these little bags of sample toiletries I used. How embarrassing!

My morning was wonderful because I took the entire fourth grade to see Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet perform The Nutcracker at The Whitaker Center. We go every year. The show is magical! I think the students really liked it and they looked so cute all dressed up.

Riding a school bus... not my favorite thing!

That afternoon, I only taught one kindergarten class and then the students had an early dismissal. Having the students gone gave me time to help my co-worker turn our hallway into a winter wonderland! We're having a door decorating contest but a lot of teachers are extending the decorating to the entire hallway! It's almost done, and when it is, I will show you more pictures. Here is a sneak peak...

Here is my door! It is finished... unless you have a suggestion!

After work I went to a wine tasting party with Traveling Vineyard's. It was at my friend Cat's house. I finally learned how to properly taste wine. First, you look at the color. Then, you check out the body. Then you smell it. Then you taste. I'm practically an expert now. (Just kidding.) I bought a bottle, but unfortunately it has to be shipped so I will get it in about a week.

When I got home, I had a super late dinner. We're quickly eating up the stuffed pepper casserole I made last night. It is so good!

Then I fell asleep reading reddit. #storyofmylife.

The first thing I did on Saturday morning was finish my Christmas cards while watching Christmas with the Kranks. What a great movie! I cried at the end. Why have I never seen this movie before?

Then I went for a 6 miler which turned out to be AWESOME. It was snowing, so I got a bit wet and cold, but I felt light and fast during the run... a feeling I haven't had in a really long time!

When I got home, I spent the next three hours preparing for our holiday game night. We had four couples over. I made way too much food. WAY too much. We played Zero, Code Names, and Dirty Neighbors. Fun was had by all and I was up way past my bedtime!

Despite going to bed very late, I woke up at 7. I laid in bed for two hours cuddling with the kitty cats and watching Into The Woods. The Bernadette Peters performance is on Youtube. I remember watching it in high school during chorus. When our concert was over and we didn't have anything to prepare for, we would watch musicals. I didn't like Into The Woods when I was in high school, but now as an adult I have come to appreciate it.

I met my dad and some other runners at Swatara State Park at 12:30. This park has beautiful running/mountain bike trails that are set up in a series of small loops. If you run the biggest outter loop, it's 8.5 miles. My dad did two loops and I did nearly two- I cut it short and only did 15.5 miles.

First of all, I had no intention of running that far that day! I thought I'd do 8-10 miles and that's that. The first loop was a challenge. My dad was running at a fast clip! I told him the only way I'd be able to do two loops is if we slowed down on the second one. We did slow down on the second one but my legs were just NOT having it. I was so fatigued and sore.

I even fell! When I fall on the trail, I don't twist my ankle. I catch my toe on something and propel forward, getting air, and then land. Luckily, I landed really well and didn't hurt myself. But besides my actual fall, I ALMOST fell three times. I was so tired and wasn't picking up my feet...

Swatara is a BEAUTIFUL park. I highly recommend running there. And it's actually not very technical trail, despite all my trips today.

Boy was I tired and creaky when I was done. I felt delirious on my drive home and the fact that drivers were RIDING MY ASS didn't help things. I actually almost called 911 because there was a truck RIGHT ON MY ASS and I really thought his intention was to run me off the road. I was going to get off at an exit to lose him but he put his turn signal on to get off too. WTF!? So I merged back onto the highway and he got off the exit. It was insane. Can you dial 911 when someone is dangerously close to your car!?

It felt so good to shower and chill after my run. My brother and his family came over to check out my Christmas lights so it was fun to talk to them. I even rehearsed the song I am going to sing for my audition tomorrow. I am auditioning for Into The Woods at The Belmont Theater (formally York Little Theater). Wish me luck! (I probably won't get in because there is no chorus, only leads, but it will be good practice to just audition!)
Have you ever seen Into the Woods?
Did you get snow this weekend?
When was the last time you rode a school bus?
Tell me something fun you did this weekend!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Just a quick pop in!

Guys, yesterday I had the best run in a LONG TIME. There was no special route- I just ran around my hood and the nearby park. It was snowing, which made it magical, but that's not why it was such a good run. My body felt light and fast, like it used to. It was a feeling I hadn't had in a long time. 

I did six miles and didn't feel like stopping, but I had to because we were having company over and I had to cook.

I'm not sure why I had such a great run. Maybe after weeks of bad and ho-hum runs I was just finally due to have a great day.

I'll take it!

When was the last time you had a GREAT run?
I hope most of your runs are great!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Weekly Workouts

It was a busy weekend and a busy week. But of course the workouts were completed...

Saturday- 6 miles in my neighborhood. My run got interrupted a couple times because I had to call 911! Read all about this crazy situation here.

Sunday- 5 mile run, 1 mile walk. This was a sucky, sucky day and a sucky, sucky run. I felt all jacked up. Ever since Hillary Clinton my ITB has hurt due to sitting in very tight quarters in the audience. Isn't it crazy I can run for 3 hours without my ITB hurting but SITTING in certain positions bothers it? It will probably bother me for the rest of the week and go back to normal...

Monday- 6 miles. I didn't feel *as* jacked up as the day before, so I was happy about that. My phone said the real feel was 35 so I wore shorts. It was NOT 35, it was freezing! By the time I was done running, my legs were BRIGHT red.

Tuesday- Lifting chest @ home. I had a really great workout and did a TON of push ups... 125 is a ton, right?

Jelly, get off my bench! 
Mommy needs to do chest press!

Wednesday- Lifting back @ home. Fun fact: I walked 11.5 miles today! I had work and two chorus concerts, so I was MOVING. I was shocked.

Thursday- 6 miles. This run felt GREAT. It was cold, I had a good podcast, and I didn't feel jacked up anymore.

Friday- 6 miles. Another run that felt good. Yay! Stretching with Jelly after...

Do you know what I mean by "jacked up"? I don't know how to describe it other than just achy and creaky and like one side of me is... jacked up!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday 5: RANDOM!

Hey all! I am linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 5 2.0!

Today, I'm going to share 5 random things about this weekend. Honestly, so much went on that I could've shared ten things! But I will stick to the rules.


1. Our solar panels are officially ON. It was a long but very easy process to get our solar panels from Solar City. Easy as in, we were hands off and Solar City took care of EVERYTHING. We didn't have to do any of the paperwork or leg work. If we needed to electronically sign something, it was sent to us. That's it! I'm excited that our house is now 76% solar! And just in time for the holidays...

2. The kitties are going to start eating homemade chicken! That's right, I convinced Paul that they should have homemade chicken for their 4 o'clock feeding. Paul makes them a special breast with no seasonings or anything. Christmas DEVOURS his and Jelly just licks the top of his... Then of course Christmas comes to eat the remains. I bet you are wishing you could see their first special chicken meal? Well never fear, I have it recorded!

Just listen to that purr and tell me you wouldn't do that for your kitty!!!
Chrissy's like... "This can't be real, I better eat it as fast as possible."
Jelly's like... "Why is that camera in my face?"

3. I saw this meme on Facebook and just had to share it with you.

4. This is how my Monday started...

I didn't have time to clean it up or I would've been late for work. So I ran into the house, poured another bowl, and just let that sit there all day until I got home and could clean it up!

5. Today is Nutcracker Day!  Every year, I take the fourth graders to see Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet perform The Nutcracker at The Whitaker Center. It is such a magical day for me AND the students. I love the music and dancing and I'm glad I get to share the experience with over 100 fourth graders!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have you ever been to the ballet?
Did you ever make your pets food?

Tell me something random about your week!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

I auditioned.

This is a painful post to write. I auditioned for Hairspray at Theater Harrisburg on Saturday. I really wanted to get cast as a dancer or just a chorus member. But I didn't even get a call back. I sang a one minute song for the casting committee and that was enough for them to know they didn't even want me for the second round of auditions.

What a kick in the gut. I know I don't have a huge, strong, voice, and I didn't get my hopes up about being cast. I just didn't realize how much of a kick in the gut not getting called back would be.

Auditions were from 1-4. I arrived at 1:05 and there were already a ton of people there. I filled out the two information sheets and handed them in. I was number 38 to audition. There were about 70 people total. I had to wait awhile for my turn, so I just sat and tried to chill on my phone. An older gentleman sat next to me and struck up a conversation. Then when he left another dude sat down and we were chatting. Most of the people there to audition were young girls around 15-20. I felt old.

Tried to not dress too old looking...

When it was my turn to go into the audition room, I was very cold and NERVOUS. I was shaking! I wish I didn't get so nervous for stuff like this. There were three people in the audition room. The accompanist was a guy I knew already from doing shows. I didn't expect to see him there so it was nice to see a friendly face. The two people on the casting committee were a woman who works for Theater Harrisburg and the director, a guy I was actually in a show choir with in high school but I hadn't seen him in 19 years. Crazy, right?
I sang Oh Bless the Lord My Soul. My voice cracked on the one belty part but it wasn't bad and I got back into it. The director and the other woman on the casting panel listened intently. The woman smiled and sort of bopped along. I sang for about one minute and gave it my all. Then it was over and I went back to the big waiting area to learn the dance. 

I had to wait about an hour and a half for the next demonstration of the dance. I started to get really tired and got a pounding headache during this time. I could hear some of the singers through the audition doors and so many people had big, strong, voices. I was starting to think mine wasn't going to measure up.

Auditions were just on the other side of those doors...

Finally it was time to learn the dance. We were going to be taught the dance that day and then if we got called back, we'd have to perform the dance for the audition committee. The dance was REALLY hard, but luckily, it seemed like it was really hard for everyone. We were allowed to record it so that if we got called back, we could practice it at home and be prepared for the next round of auditions. I figured if I practiced for 2-3 hours I would be able to learn the dance- and I fully intended to learn it if I got called back!

After I learned the dance, I was free to go. I kept checking my email for the rest of the night, hoping to get the "Please come back tomorrow!" email from the theater but it never came. Around 9 I was pretty sure it wasn't coming. At 10, I was VERY sure and at 11 I started to get really sad. I admit, I did cry twice because I was sad. It sucks not being good enough for something.

I spend all my work days doing music, but it's dedicated to teaching young students. I was excited to potentially do something musical for ME for the first time in 6 years.

I actually did see a former student at the audition. I taught her from kindergarten-fourth grade. She was in my 4th grade chorus and my show choir. Now she performs in the high school shows. I don't know anything for certain, but she is so talented and I am sure she got in Hairspray.