Thursday, May 22, 2014

Blessed!!

Had to pop in and let the world know how blessed I am!!!

My birthday is this weekend (Sunday to be exact) and since I took a vacation day on Friday, my co-workers surprised me with a decorated cubicle today! How cute is this!?!?! LOVE IT!!

I was sooo excited when I walked into the office today - they made my whole week!!!


 And this is my awesome cake!! I may, or may not have, had a ginormous piece of this fudgy goodness for breakfast along with my spinach and beet shake!! LOL!!


 They even left me some amazingly awesome gifts!!!! Jenna got me the Buxom collection - she knows it my favorite lip glass on the planet! 

The Popcorn is from Sheila whom I have known and worked with forever (she worked with my father years ago too)!!! It is chocolate covered popcorn!!!!!!! YUM!!!!!!!!


And on a final adorable note:  My baby bluebirds at work are ready to fledge which means they will leaving the nest within the next few days!! :-(   

WOW!  Off to a good start - successfully fledged 5 baby birdies this year so far!! When they leave, I will go clean out the old nest and hopefully mom and dad will be ready to make 5 more!!!!!!!! I LOVE nature!!!



Thank you to all the vets that gave ALL for our freedom and country!!!

I hope yinz have an amazing holiday weekend!!! 




Thursday, May 15, 2014

My First Blog Selfie

You know I must truly LOVE my new friend Sherri at GodLifeHappyWife when I take a selfie!

We recently participated in a Color Swap hosted by the Amazing Chaotic Goddess!!!

I sent her things of her favorite color (Purple) and she sent me things of mine (Yellow).

Everything she sent was awesome and you can read about it HERE.

I promised a selfie when I used the purse and necklace - well, here it is - it only took me a day!  I definitely think work will see these items at least twice a week! I LOVE a pop of color in a neutral outfit!!



And now it is really clear why I do not write a fashion blog! The pics of my style is horrible! You guys find these great locations with beautiful backdrops and even better poses to show off your outfit and pairing choices and I have a mirror in the bathroom!!!! HEE  Oh well, we do what we can!!

Thanks again Sherri!! I love everything you sent and feel very blessed to have made a new friend in the process!!!

Happy Thursday yinz!



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Color Swap




Time to recap the fun!!!

I am sooo excited to say that I participated in the Favorite Color Swap hosted by Beth and in the process met a truly amazing woman, Sherri, that I can now call my new friend and bloggy friend!

My new friend Sherri can be found HERE at her adorable blog space where she blogs about her family, faith, fashion and other miscellaneous things!! He favorite color is purple!! Make sure you check out her blog! She is an amazing woman that has overcome some obstacles in her life and still has an amazing outlook on life and faith - not to mention AWESOME fashion style - which I admit I lack - hee!!

She wrapped everything in this beautiful tissue paper with ribbons and sunflowers and I thought I had taken a picture but sadly I cannot find it!?!?

Here is my note from my new buddy!!!


And now, onto the awesomeness that was inside!!!!  She sent me this adorable purse!!! This has already in two days become my FAVORITE summer purse!!! I LOVE the yellow and it is the perfect size for any summer outing!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!


She also sent this adorable necklace!! How awesome is this?! It will be perfect with so many outfits I have now and I love the brown beads mixed in - seriously so pretty!!! I am wearing it at work already today - yippee!~~


Sherri also sent me this adorable kite to do my own pedicures...awesomeness!!!


And some beautiful polish!!! (Brilliant minds must think alike as I sent her polish as well) :-)


Loving this Livestrong bracelet...I see a lot of people in my races wearing these so I am now the happy owner of one!!!


And last but definitely not least...I am so sure that Sherri got to know me by this last item! I was confused when I saw the white pillow case but once I opened it up it was clear! She really really got to know me! I LOVE Kidrock more than any other musician EVER and she hooked me up with my very own Kidrock pillowcase! Yes, you heard correctly, I am now sleeping with Kidrock!!!! THANK YOU SHERRI!!!! HEE!!! 

 

I love it and also love everything else you sent! I was thrilled that you read my blog and got to know me and sent everything that I would have selected for myself!! I am so happy to now have made a new friend in the process! THANK YOU AGAIN SHERRI!

Did you guess my favorite color?!?!?

And thank you, Beth, for hosting this awesome swap!! I cannot wait for the next one!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Jacksons Mill Spring 2014


I cannot believe that I forgot to post about my amazing conference weekend!!!! I recently went to the Jackson's Mill 4H Camping location for a conference! It was amazing as always!!! I roomed with Laura (AKA Nancy) and we had such a great time!!! We roomed in Jackson's Lodge. This is the view from our balcony looking out onto the camp!!






This is a painting at the Jane Lew truck stop! It is a local painter and I SWEAR that is Jesus in the middle of the war! See him, in the white clothes and sandals?!?!? No-one believes me! My favorite painting ever though!!





These are the lovely women I was blessed to spend the weekend with~~~ Laura in in the back and then Carm on the left and Donna on the right. These are three of the most amazing, strong, beautiful and loving women I have EVER KNOW!!!! I am so blessed that they are in my life!!!





Me and my roomie!!!!!!!





This is all of us waiting for one of the speakers to start!!!!! XOXO  I did not get any pictures of it but I had the honor this Spring to actually chair one of the meetings! It was great and such an honor!





This is an awesome stop we found just by driving around the town and killing time. They blow glass here and have everything you can think of for gifts...PLUS a stuffed bear to pose with! HA After the bear ate me - I made everyone get a photo!


 Here is Donna and Laura trying to be serious and look scared of the bear!!


Carm did not exactly get what I was talking about...as you can see below...


 She decided to scare the bear instead!!! HA HA Love that woman!!!



I am off for an early lunch at work to go an mail out my package for the Color Swap!!! I am so excited!!!! I was paired with Sherri and cannot wait to see how she likes all the PURPLE stuff I have chosen for her!!


I hope yinz all have an amazing weekend!!!!!!!


5 on Friday



YEA!! Time for Five On Friday with the four lovely co-hostesses Liz, ChristinaDarci, and Natasha.

:-)

 My favorite day of the week both due to Five on Friday and the fact that I do not have to work for two days!!!

HEE :-)

Here we go!!!!!!!

ONE: This is my quote from the "Why Do You Run" board at the Marathon Expo in Pittsburgh. Thinking on the fly...HA HA!

TWO:  This is my bib and medal and also car sticker! You know I stuck that on the car within 1 hour of crossing that finish line for the Marathon last weekend!!!



THREE: I was amazing last week at work! I usually do not ever see the lobby as I use the side steps to get to my floor of the office. This week I used the elevator (sore legs from the race) and realized that we have a Foosball Table in our Lobby!!! I foresee a lot of lunches down there!!!!!


FOUR:  Speaking of work...I have these little cuties in my bluebird box at work!!! Five babies about 3-4 days old!!! Sooo adorable!!!



FIVE:  Below is a shot of my patio from the parking lot! I love Spring/Summer/Fall and flowers and more flowers and more flowers!!! Can you tell??!


Thanks for letting me join in! I have yinz have an amazing weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Meat and Potatoes Night Out

Last night me and two of my friends from work went to try out a new restaurant (new to us at least) in Pittsburgh called Meat and Potatoes.  We mad reservations long ago - apparently there is a long list for booking reservations so better safe than sorry. This is Jenna on the elevator - this picture was taken so we knew what floor we parked on in the garage - ha!!!



Here is the menu for Meat and Potatoes.  They kind of have a little of everything!




And the lovely atmosphere..we scheduled our dinner early around 5:30 but the place filled up entirely within the hour!




The waiter brought us our water in these cute little glass jars...



My appetizer is pictured below...fried pickles! YUMMO!!! Seriously amazing! This is my new favorite thing on the PLANET!!! I get them everywhere now!! They were awesome!



This is Jenna's appetizer...it was delish also! She had devils on horseback (sorry she got three but I forgot the pic before she started eating).  If I remember correctly it was a fig, bacon, jalepeno and something else! Fantastic flavors together and not hot at all!!!



Below is Jenna dinner. She choose two appetizers for her meal...the ahi tuna taquitos and the mac and cheese! YUMMO!

This is my other friends dinner choice...she choose the fried skate. Which we found out after is a Manta Ray....wow, really!?!??! She liked it - I think. HEE!


And my BORING selection was pot roast. It was delish! I shoudl start branching out and trying new things but I am scared! They are known for their bone marrow but I could not even stomach the thought of scooping out bone marrow and eating it :-(



Just out of curiosity...have you ever gone out with friends/date when the person or people spent the ENTIRE time texting under the table? I mean the entire time - I do not think that this person said more than ten words the whole dinner.  I HATE this! I find it sooo rude that I will actually decline another lunch or dinner with that person as I think it is so ignorant. An I being too sensitive or who agrees or disagrees...dying to hear you input and opinions on this!?!?! I said something (in a joking manner) during the dinner and they insisted it was IMPORTANT personal business that they had to attend to?!?!  Please give me your comments on this...

These are some eye balls in downtown Pittsburgh. They are actually kinda neat - they are benches in a little park area in the Cultural District. Interesting if nothing else!.



And finally,  I will leave you with my favorite thing to post about - my bluebirds at work!!!!!!! I have 5 babies in my next box! Well, technically, the momma bluebird has five babies but I pretend!! HEE ~ so stinkin' cute!!!

I was going to go back to exercise classes tonight (after completing the marathon on Sunday) however, my heals are giving me some pain and grief so to be safe I am going to wait until Monday.  

Hope yinz have an amazing Thursday!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I AM A MARATHONER

Happy Wednesday yinz!! This is going to be a SERIOUS random post!

Below is my "cleaned-up" Marathoner picture!!  I got my co-worker to take my photo wearing my 2014 Pittsburgh Marathon Finishers medal!!! Whot!  I think I am going to milk the finishers thing for a long time!!! :-)



And this is a close-up of the bling!!!! Soooooooooo  worth it!! Yea!!!


 This is the field at work where my bluebird boxes are located! We participate in Wildlife Sustainability where I work and I have the pleasure of monitoring four bluebird nesting boxes!


I am happy to report - I had five eggs last week...this week I have five baby chicks!!!! YEA!!!!


The little bit of grossness pictured below was in my expensive salad from Panera yesterday!!! YUCK!! I NORMALLY love the fuji apple salad and got one for lunch. Apparently my Panera was out of RIPE tomatoes so they had these all throughout my salad - I think I picked out at least ten! They were hard and sour!! YUCK!!! Just leave them out next time for goodness sake Panera!!! Total grossness!!



Tonight I am going out to dinner downtown with two friends from work. We made reservations a month ago at Meat and Potatoes. It is supposed to be amazing! I am definitely getting the fried pickles and then not sure what else yet. The menu looks amazing! I promise to have photos!!!

Also, I am finally able to walk normal (still a little soreness but not much) after completing the marathon on Sunday so I am planning to go to HipHip tomorrow night (Thursday) for the first time in months literally!! I am sooooo excited!!! I will have pics from that too!

Hope yinz all have a great HUMP day!!!!




Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pittsburgh Marathon May 4, 2014 Recap

I am sure that this is just one of the many posts I will use to write about my first (AND ONLY) marathon!

So I awoke at 3:30AM on Sunday May 4th, 2014.  My four alarms were not set to go off until 5AM.  Guess I did not need all that back-up after all.  I set the alarm on my iPad, iPhone, Alarm clock and my FitBit! HA!!! OCD at all!?!?  When I woke up and remembered why I was up so early I was terrified. I was so terrified I would not finish. I did the training and was secure in that but I just kept thinking...I did not train hills...the hills are going to kill me.  Then my mind started racing. I could blow it all off!  I could lie and say I slept in or the alarm did not go off or I sprained my ankle.  But then I thought of how I would feel...I had to at least try! Even if I failed, at least I tried!! All those months of training kicked in!!! I suited up!!!

I arrived downtown at about 5AM...as you can see from my photo below - one of the first - HA! This is my Corral (D). I am a very slow runner!


Very ironic that my Corral was situated right in front of this building! I have not had a drink in 17 years...LOL! If I had had a drink in the past 17 years, trust me, I would not have been running a marathon - ha ha!

It was getting a little later....took a little selfie...

This was about 6:30AM...Now we're filling up Corral D...


Called my sister and my nephew around 7AM from the Corral since it was my nephews birthday too that day! I have a tradition of singing happy birthday to everyone in my family on their birthdays. I tried his cell around 7AM and he did not have voice mail so I then tried her phone and told her I would call hm later. Then the little rain droplets began to fall so I put my iPhone in the baggie and that is why the pictures look soo dark!
Plastic bagged my phone due to rain...

The race started and I felt great!!! Running very strong and confident.  I intended on getting a picture of every Mile marker.  We left downtown Pittsburgh and ran right into the Strip District...here is picture of Mile 2...missed Mile 1, not sure how?!

I also missed Mile 3 marker which marked the start of running into what is known as the North Side of Pittsburgh. I heard someone say that it was on the corner of a bridge we ran over? I did get Mile 4

Then came this bridge! I loved the signs across the top of the bridges and decided I needed to run backwards and get a photo for you all!!!! At this point in time my phone rang. It was my nephew.  Since it was his birthday and it was early enough in the run that I felt great - I answered and as I started singing happy birthday on the phone a few people running near me jumped closer and joined in! It was a great moment and I only wish I had their names or race numbers now! Thanks to you...you know who you were!


Then Mile 6 which was still the North Side

And Mile 7...heading into the West End...

And more of the West End at Mile 8...

This is where I remember seeing Ellen and Steve last year when I ran the half for the first time. They were so great with their signs for me so I took a picture of the empty spot!  They had a baby two months ago and could not make it to spectate this year! Shout out - your bodies were absent but your spirit was not missed!!

After this mile I bumped into an amazing friend of mine, John Laukaitis. It was soooo awesome that he came out for me! I gave him a big hug and ran on! My friends rock!

This is headed down the South Side of Pittsburgh...I knew my family was up ahead somewhere!!

Then I hit the legendary (in my mind) split right before 11. The half marathoners go left and full marathoners go right. For the first time ever, I went right! Wow! I just kept thinking in my head - how could this not even be halfway yet? Am I really going to finish this race? Should I just go left and complete the half and give up on the full? It was a very serious debate in my head. And then I made that decision. After all the hard work and training, there's no way I was about to go left. I was moving forward with completing the full! And then, thank God, I saw my family! They were at the Double-wide Grille in the Southside right after the split!
Here are a few pics they got! Below are my adorable nieces the signs they made!!!


And they captured me running off.  What you cannot see is that I just started sobbing...and could not stop!!! They are so amazing and positive and supportive!! I could not stop crying. I had to stop running and calm myself because I could not breath, cry and run all at the same time! HA


I somehow missed the 12 which began our way into Oakland but I got Mile 13  although it looks like 3...

And...as much as I hate to report this to you... this is when my phone died....mile 14 in Shadyside. Needless to say this is the last picture of the race :-(

Then I saw these cuties plus my brother and sister in law! My niece and brother started running next to me and he was awesome! He just kept telling me how great I was doing and how he was proud- again, pretty awesome family!! Awesome signs and kids, right!?!? Everything in me to NOT start crying again! These pictures are from my sister-in-laws facebook!

Look at my awesome cheering section?!?!  Seriously, who could resist these faces?! Soooooo sweet! I HAD to run on!
I have no more pictures from during the race.  I packed the phone away into my camelback since it was dead....ha!

At this point in the race my sweet friend Christie jumped out and said hi! I had started my walk and jog portion of the race and she jumped in a said let's go....she even jogged next to me for about 1/2 mile. The whole time she was telling me how awesome it was that I was completing my first full marathon and I was almost done! Then she hugged me and said she could not wait to hear about the finish!I swear, my family and friends got me through!!!

The rest of the miles were simply a blur...mixed in with some kind of pain from somewhere!

The rest of the towns we ran through were...

Mile 15-Shadyside

Mile 16-South Point Breeze

Mile 17 Homewood

Mile 18 Homewood

Mile 19 East Liberty
 
Mile 20 Highland Park - it was around this mile that everyone was saying "It is all downhill from here". I was so happy to hear that!!! I had not trained on any hills! I know, that was crazy of me! I did my training runs on the treadmill and the Montour Trail which is very flat compared to the city of Pittsburgh! HA - the hills were killing me! Well, anyway, they were NOT correct! It was not downhill! There were many hills left and many big hills left at that! I ran and walked almost the whole rest of the time!

Mile 21 Friendship - it was around this mile that the band that was playing started playing Gonna Fly Now from Rocky! WOW! Anyone that says that music odes not make a difference did not see me! I took off - I have no idea where that burst came from - HA!

Mile 22 Bloomfield

Mile 23 Bloomfield

Mile 24 Strip District

Mile 25 Strip District - it was around this mile that I met Tootsie. She was originally from Pittsburgh and moved to Philadelphia, PA.  She came back to run the marathon for her bucket list too! She did not care about her time just finishing also! We chatted and ran and then chatted and speed-walked. It passed the time for the entire last two miles of the course! Thanks Goodness I ran into her!

Mile 26 Downtown

I finished with a time around 6:02:02 which came to a 13 something mile. I am so happy with that!! I truly did not think I was going to finish - everything hurt by then end!!! I am so proud of myself for setting this goal and sticking with it!! I now know I can do anything I set my mind to!

YEA!!!!!!! In closing, I did not get bit by the marathon bug! I do not EVER want to complete another! I am proud and I loved every second but will not do another. I am sticking with smaller races so I do not lose that joy of running ever again (I lost it about three months into training - I began dreading every run and hated every second of my training runs). I will do 5Ks and 10Ks and fun runs and MAYBE, just MAYBE, next year the half in Pittsburgh but never a full!

Thanks for all your supportive and kind comments over the past few months - you do not know how much you have helped me. And, to anyone that ever wrote a blog post about running or marathons, thanks for your information! I appreciated it and read it and used it! Thank you - Thank you - Thank you!!!!!!