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...)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday 5 - Happy Birthday, Momma!!!

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

Today is my mom's birthday.

 It's a big one. She's 60! 

We will be celebrating as a family tomorrow at my brother's house. I'm excited to see her and give her some gifts!

Today I'm going to share 5 characteristics I inherited from my mom, because the older I get, the more I appreciate some of her best qualities!

1. Her LAUGH. I just have to start with this one. My mom has a very loud cackle and so do I!

2. Her appreciation for finding a good deal. When I was young, I never understood why my mom was obsessed with coupons and would only buy things on sale. Well, now I understand! And I'm sure you know that Paul and I tend do be frugal about certain things!

3. She's a bat shit crazy tree hugging liberal and so am I! The funny thing is, I don't ever remember her talking politics or hot button issues with me, not even in college. (It didn't interest me then.) Maybe it's just she and my dad instilled certain values in me that once I finally did start paying attention, I found that I cared deeply about many issues that end up being categorized as liberal.

4. My mom is very confident and she raised me to be confident as well. I'm sure I learned some of my confidence just from watching her do her thang, but I do remember many, many, MANY instances when she pumped me up and urged me to go after what I wanted because I was capable of doing it. She never made me feel like I wasn't capable of something. (I just want to clarify that she made me feel like I was something I wasn't or gave me an inflated ego. I mean, she didn't urge me to apply to Harvard bwahaha! I'm referring to just general sticking up for myself and speaking my mind types of things.)

5. Okay, let me explain this last one.... I confronted Paul and said, "Name a quality I share with my mom... 5, 4, 3, 2..." "YOU'RE HYPER!" he shouted. Hahaha! I am going to change that to PASSIONATE! My mom and I are both very passionate people.

I am so happy I have wonderful parents. You don't realize you have good parents until you're old and grown...

Obviously, since I'm a mom, I know exactly what it's like...


I know nothing! I bow down to mothers!!!! And fathers!

Here I am with two bad ass moms...

Mom, Grandma, and Me

What are some of the qualities you and your mom share?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Why was I so scared????

You know how I am taking tap lessons? Well, before last night, I only was at one lesson! The second class I was supposed to go to was canceled due to snow, and the third class I missed due to being in NYC. I wasn't even officially signed up yet!

Last night, I was so nervous to go. I was worried they would say, "You missed too much, go home." I really got myself worked into a tizzy.

I'm sure you can guess what happened. I showed up, they were nice as can be, and I am officially a student at Vicki's Tap Pups. Everyone is so nice, and even though class doesn't start until 7:15 (late for me!!!), it is nice to socialize and get out and do something.

It is also nice not to be in CHARGE. I'm in charge of 20-25 students all day long. It was a nice change of pace to just be a student myself for once.

Funny story: Tapping makes my lower back hurt! I think it's from being on my toes for so long.

I can't believe I am writing this post at 9:42pm! I am finally home and ate dinner. I just have to shower and then I can go to bed. Thursday is my long day... work all day and then piano lessons until 7pm! But teaching piano is how I have money to do fun things, like take tap lessons, go to CrimeCon and things like that!
What's the last thing you worked yourself into a tizzy over and then it turned out to be nothing?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I'm Going to CrimeCon!

Remember how I was going back and forth over whether or not to go to CrimeCon? Well, I'M GOING!!!!

I pulled the trigger this past Friday. I'm registered. Hotel is booked. Flight is booked. Ride to the airport is obtained. (Thanks Mom and Dad!!!)

I'm going to CrimeCon with my cousin! She is obsessed with true crime just like I am! She lives in Atlanta, so we are going to meet up in Indianapolis for the weekend. Meeting up in a city for the weekend sounds like a very grown up thing to do, except that it's for a CRIME CONVENTION hahaha!

One of the reasons I was on the fence about registering was because there was no schedule of events listed. But now there is a schedule and there are a ton of cool events I want to go to! AND there are some awesome confirmed speakers, such as...






Do you know who all of these people are? If you are into True Crime, you do!

I have a lot of homework to do before the event. There are going to be many podcasts set up there. About half of them I already listen to. I'm going to start listening to the other ones so I can be ready.

There are also some people speaking about some cases I never heard of, so again, I am going to brush up on those cases.

I am very excited! June 9th can't come fast enough!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Central Park Run

One thing I love about going on vacation or visiting another city is the chance to run someplace new. Whenever I go to NYC, I make it a point to get up early and run in Central Park. That's exactly what I did on Thursday morning!

It seems like every time I run in Central Park it is dark out. That's because I can usually squeeze my runs in during the 6 o'clock hour! Don't worry, it's actually very safe. I stay on the main loop around the park and there are always other runners nearby (sometimes it's actually crowded!) and of course packs of cyclists whizzing by.

This run almost didn't happen. The real feel for 6am was supposed to be 1 degee! ONE DEGREE!!!??? I am hardcore but I don't think I'm THAT hardcore!

Still, I laid out my running clothes the night before....

But then I realized running in 1 degrees on 2 hours of sleep was probably not a good idea. So I changed my alarm and told Paul I was sleeping in!

I woke up at 5:40am WIDE AWAKE! I checked the weather and the real feel said 18. 18? I can do 18. Off I went!

I headed out at 5:50am. Our hotel on West 87th street was four blocks from the park. It's sort of a ritzy neighborhood so I felt safe. But I made sure to be very aware of my surroundings and I didn't let my guard down or turn on my headphones until I got to Central Park West and there were more cars and people around. Oh, and I had my phone right in my hand!

Unfortunately, my normal path into the park was blocked by construction, so I ran up a block and got on the 85th Street Traverse, which is a road that cuts through Central Park. There was a sidewalk to run on but there weren't any runners. My hope was to find a way to get on West Drive but there was no way to get off the Traverse. It was dark and once in awhile a car would drive by. I was freaked out until I passed a building that said "New York City Police Department". Bwahaha! I guess I was safe.

I ended up having to run to the other side of the park and got on East Drive, which is part of my normal run. I did something different and ran counter clockwise. This is going to sound weird, but when I don't get a lot of sleep, I tend to run faster. My first couple miles were sub 8s! That's a lot faster than I have been running lately. After a couple miles it started to hit me and a slowed down. But for awhile, it felt good to cruise!

The northern part of the park was dark and there weren't too many people around. I still felt safe because even though there were times I couldn't see anyone, it wouldn't be long before another runner came around the bend or I'd hear the whooshing sound of a pack of cyclists approaching.

Once I was on the West Side heading south, there were people everywhere. Maybe this is a busier section of the park or maybe there were more people because it was a little later in the morning.

As I run through the park, I always enjoy looking up through the trees at the skyscrapers and the city lights. I imagined that if I lived in the city, I'd be running here every morning. Where else is there to run?

One thing I'm always nervous about in Central Park is what if I have to go to the bathroom? I don't know where the bathrooms are and I wouldn't feel comfortable going into the woods/trees. I don't want to get murdered or arrested.

I ended up stopping after 7.5 miles (about an hour of running). With just 2 hours of sleep, I had enough!

When I got back to the hotel room, I was able to shower and get dressed before Paul's alarm went off. Once he was awake I told him I had a good run and it wasn't even cold. In fact, there were people in shorts.

"I didn't know you went for a run, I thought you weren't running this morning," he said.

"I know, but I woke up right at 5:40 and I was wide awake. I checked the weather and it said the real feel was 18 degrees so I went out. I woke you up and told you I was leaving and that I had my phone with me!"

Dang, it's a good thing no one murdered me or I would have been laying in the park and Paul wouldn't know where I was and we would end up missing our train!

Questions for NYC runners:
Am I right to feel safe running in Central Park?
Is there anywhere else runners can go in NYC?
Give me some running tips for my next visit!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Weekend Wrap Up

Happy Monday!

Here's what we were up to this weekend...

My weekend started a bit early. I woke up, ran, and went to work. As I was cleaning up my classroom and getting it ready for the day, one of my friends/colleagues popped in my room to talk to me. The first thing she said was, "What's wrong with your eye!?"

It turns out I had pink eye! I looked in the mirror and it was really red. When I shut it, it felt sticky. Ew! Since pink eye is very contagious, the school nurse suggested I go home. I have a ton of sick days and I didn't want any of my students to get pink eye, so I headed home.

What to do with a day off? Well, I organized my closet and all of my piano music! It took awhile but I felt very accomplished when I was done. My eye was itchy but I tried not to touch it.

Then I wrote a lot of blogs. Sometimes I don't have any idea what to write about and sometimes I have lots of ideas. I always feel a little anxious until the posts are written and scheduled to go.

I thought blogging was supposed to be relaxing!?

I went to bed pretty early. Sorry, my Friday just wasn't that exciting!

I slept in and then drove to Swatara State Park to run. I was glad to see there were 6-7 cars in the parking lot. I am sometimes scared running trail alone, but not when I know there are other hikers and bikers out there.

I ran about 9 miles in an hour and a half. I only saw three other people while I was out there! I managed to listen to murder podcasts for half the time I was running. There came a point where I got too creeped out and had to switch to a lighter podcast!

For dinner, we went to Tyler and Debby's house. We picnicked outside and then pretty much watched the kids play. 

Check out Tyler and Debby's solar panels. Paul and I are going to check into getting them!

As soon as Ellie got up there, she wanted down!


Clarky Poo!

Ellie and I are joining the circus!

Tyler showed me his trainer he uses in the basement. He has this awesome computer program that is hooked up to his bike that allows him to ride and race with people all over the world. I'm sure you cyclists and triathletes know what I'm talking about. It was fascinating to see all of his gear!

Today was GET. SHIT. DONE. DAY. I also lifted at home and ran some errands. There's not too much else to say...

I definitely had the case of the "Sundays". There's a lot of stuff I need to get done at work this week and a lot of stuff I have to do in my personal life. I feel like I am in disarray! And when I start feeling like that, I have a hard time relaxing, and most importantly, sleeping.

I have a feeling this is going to be a difficult week...
Tell me something fun you did this weekend!
Have you ever had pink eye?
Are you scared running trail alone?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

NYC Trip! (Survivor Know It Alls LIVE)

Hey all! This past October, Paul and I went to see a live taping of our favorite Survivor Podcast (Survivor Know It Alls) in NYC. We had so much fun that we decided to go again when it was held this past Wednesday night!

As usual, we took Amtrak to NYC. It's only $88 round trip per person (3.5 hours one way), which is not bad considering how much money we'd have to spend on tolls and parking overnight in the city.

It's fun to zone out on the train. We get excited when we can finally see the city!

We took the subway straight to our tiny hotel room on the Upper West Side. I love people watching on the subway, particularly the people with the trendy clothes.

Since we were dead set on going to the after party, we pre-gamed in our hotel room with some iced coffees.

I'm not sure why we got iced coffees because it was cold and windy AF in NYC the two days we were there! Luckily, the subway station was only a half a block from our hotel so our hair didn't get messed up on the way to the venue- Carolines on Broadway.

Unfortunately, I made us get off at the wrong subway station so we had to walk around for 10-15 minutes in 14 degree temperatures before we found the venue! It was totally my fault!

We still arrived early enough to get really good seats! Not only were we next to some fun ladies, but we were in the front row (besides the reserved seats for Rob's family and the other Survivors).

Before the show started, I saw Billy Garcia from Survivor Cook Islands in the lobby. I talked to him for a little bit (he's hilarious!) and got my picture with him.

I also got to chat with Rob for a minute and got another pic!

Right before the episode was about to start, Zeke, Brett, and Chris from Millennials vs. Gen X came in and sat about 10 feet from us! Liz (Brains, Beauty, Brawn II) and Sophie (winner of South Pacific who I can't stand) were also there.

Look at how close we sat to Zeke!

The first thing that happens at Survivor Know It Alls is the whole room (350 people) watches the new episode of Survivor on a big screen. It's actually really fun, as we all cheer, clap, and boo at the appropriate parts. This episode was crazy, and while it didn't end the way I wanted it to, it was still entertaining.

Then Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach do a live podcast of Survivor Know It Alls and talk about the episode. They invited a couple past Survivor contestants (Sophie, Liz, Brett, Chris, and Billy) to come up and commentate as well. It was very nerdy and very funny- exactly what everyone there wanted!

After the hour long podcast, we got to talk to Chris in the lobby and get our picture with him. That was a surprise, as I didn't even know he was going to be there. 

Paul got to chat with Zeke and Rob!

Then it was time to walk to the after party at St. Pat's Pub. We met a fun kid named Kenneth who followed us there. I got us a little lost, and it was SO FREAKING COLD OUT, but finally, we made it to St. Pat's!

It was so packed! It was as if all 300 people from the show came to the after party! Okay, I may be being a little over dramatic. Maybe it's because I haven't been to a bar in a really long time.

Luckily, Paul and I found a little spot for ourselves at the top of the steps. Aubrey and Andrea from the current Survivor season showed up but we didn't talk to them. It was way too loud. We did talk to some fans and contributors to Rob's podcast. I drank cosmos (two total, I paced myself!) all night and Paul had three beers. This was our definition of "partying"!

 I snuck a pick of Aubrey. It looks like she caught me but I was pretending to take a selfie.

Our new friend, Kenneth!

At 1:30am, the party was still going strong but Paul and I were tired and STARVING! We had a hike to the subway, but on the way, we stopped at the McDonald's right on Times Square and got some GRUB!

This is what you're supposed to eat right before bed, right!?

We planned to take the subway back up to 86th street (our hotel was on 87th) but it was so late at night that the closest subway stop we could get off at way 96th street! That meant we had to walk 9 blocks in the bitter, bitter cold. I almost cried when I crawled into bed, all warm and cozy.

I was completely exhausted but I just could not fall asleep! I was also borderline dreading my run the next morning, but laid out all my clothes anyway...

I woke up wide awake before my alarm even went off. Two hours of sleep? No problem. I cruised around Central Park and did 7.5 miles before 7am! (More details on that run coming up on the blog!)

A bit delirious from lack of sleep...

Then I went back to our hotel, woke Paul up, and we showered and left for Penn Station to take the Amtrak home. NYC was a ton of fun, but we were exhausted and missed our home and our cats!

Oh, funny story... While I was waiting for Paul to pack in the morning, I found a green feather in our hotel bed. How did a green feather get there? Then it dawned on me... It was part of Chrissy's carrot toy from home! Somehow, a feather made it's way to NYC with us!

We had a great trip, but were glad to get home to this big boy!

Have you ever pretended to be taking a selfie but you were sneaking a picture of someone?

Ever find any weird things from home that made it's way on vacation with you?

What do you order at McDonald's?