Sunday, February 27, 2011


As you know, we took a trip to Panama this month.  It was amazing, of course.  I thought I'd have a hard time with the lack of access to technology (as I spend more than half of every day on my computer and phone) but it was actually quite nice to not have to think about all of it.

Vacationing with the Wolf's (our BFFs) is not like the typical vacation that the Spicy Chicken and I might take.  They are "doers" so we did not spend a lot of time sitting on our butts.  We spend every Labor Day Weekend with them at their lake house on Smith Mountain Lake, so we knew this and were really looking forward to what Todd had in store for us.  He did not disappoint.  We toured all of Panama City, went hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, zip-lining, ropes coursing, and of course spent a little time enjoying how truly beautiful it all was. 

Here are just a few of the hundreds of photos I took:

We had a personal chef most of the nights on the island so we ate like kings and queens -  fresh fish, veggies and rice - it was fabulous. We did a little drinking too...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Progress Report

When I started working out at Clay Fitness 9 months I couldn't do a push-up.  Nor could I do a real sit-up. Nor could I run around the block without feeling like I wanted to die.  Seriously.  I was that out of shape.

Today I ride 15-20 miles in a 30-minute session on a bike every Monday and follow that up by 30 more minutes of intense strength training that consists of uncountable repetitions of push-ups, sit-ups, dips, lunges, squats, flys, presses, kick-backs, and a ton of other things I don't have names for.

Wednesdays we do our cardio in the big studio by lunging, squatting, jumping, hopping, running and jiving on the , the TRX (my latest love-hate relationship!, playing with sandbags, ropes, steps and other various toys and weapons.  

Friday's I'm not even scheduled to go to class but sometimes I show up just for fun.  Yes, I said, fun.  And did I mention that I run 3 miles on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday now, too? FUN.

For you numbers people here are the stats: I'm currently down 23 pounds, 2 pants sizes, one shirt size, one bra cup size and quite a few inches in most of the right places.

When I started 9 months ago I couldn't do a push-up.  Now I'm rockin' the "Athletic Conditioning" class like a true athlete.  Yes, I'm proud of myself.  I can't help it.  I've come a long way! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I'm not going to lie.  I haven't been on here much lately because there's not been a lot of good to report.   

While I've had a few decent runs over the past few weeks I've had to miss class much more than I'd like to and my eating...let's skip that part. Somehow I've managed not to gain any weight, but I seriously think that is just the "Diet Gods" feeling sorry for me because our lives have been such a crazy mess lately.

We returned from our trip to NYC last night.  The trip, to put it mildly, did not go as planned.  Both girls were extremely sick - running temperatures of up to 104 degrees at some point - the entire trip.  Each left New York with an interesting story about where they threw up (KK on 5th Avenue, M in Eately and at 4am) but very few memories of what I was hoping to depart with (i.e. Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Bloomie's, etc.).  M literally slept through our entire meal at Serendipity, and KK was so sick she couldn't even bring herself to try the Frozen Hot Chocolate.  More for me, I guess!

Both kids have now been diagnosed with influenza (M is lucky enough to also have strep!).  Courtney was diagnosed with it this afternoon and though I am currently asymptomatic I happily swallowed a Tamiflu a few hours ago in the hopes that I will not end up in bed next to any of them.  KK  is a few days ahead of everyone else so she's actually back at school, but the rest of the's pretty ugly.

So here's the serendipitous part.  We spent a lot more time in the hotel room than we had planned, of course.  But you know what?  I actually loved it.  The girls are getting older so we don't get as much of that one-on-one - "holding your baby time" as we used to.  This week I got hours of it - and I realized how much I missed it.  Sometimes I end up spending so much time telling them what to do and how to do it.  "Clean up your room!"  "Do your homework!"  "Pick up your shoes!" "Brush your teeth!" that I feel like I don't get to just enjoy them.  For 3 whole days I didn't say any of these things (well, except maybe the brush your teeth one).  And it was SO nice.

Sure, we missed out on discovering New York City, but we did get a chance to rediscover something really important -  how lucky we are to have one another. Now that's serendipity for ya.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Greet Each Day Like a Dog

"My goal for the rest of the week is to greet each day with 
as much enthusiasm as my dog does."  

This was my first Tweet today and this is why:

The alarm went off at 5:30 this morning. Per usual, I groaned, hit the snooze button and rolled over, hoping to catch 10 more minutes of sleep. Scout, on the other hand, jumped up the second the wretched beeping started.  His floppy ears perked up.  His tail began to wag. And he sat there staring - no, I actually think he was smiling - at me.

"I'm so excited for another wonderful day!" he seemed to be saying.

I, on the other hand, was more like "You've got to be kidding me, another day already?"

Let me first say that this is not a rant about my life.  It's not like I woke up this morning wishing I didn't have to face another day - I just wasn't ready to wake up - nor am I ever really ready to wake up unless, of course, there is something really exciting going on that day. It struck me this morning, however, that Scout is like this every single morning of his life.  Every single morning.  And, ironically, every single morning of his life is all but exactly the same.  And yet he's so darn happy about it.

After the alarm goes off the again Scout waits patiently for me to roll out of bed to let him outside. There he circles and paces until he finds the "perfect spot". He then patrols the borders of his invisible fence, making sure no varmints penetrated his well-marked barriers over night. If he's lucky he may get the scent of of a deer, which he will bark incessantly at to ensure it dare not "threaten" his family. Eventually I stumble out before he wakes the neighbors. And yet he's so darn happy about it.

After morning yard duty Scout excitedly chomps down his favorite treat - the same thing he has had every morning since we got him.  Once finished he happily trots up the stairs to wake the girls.  Every morning he hops up on M's bed, licks her face until she finally opens her eyes and grumbles "Good Morning, Scout." Once she speaks he's off to peek out her window, just in case any more wicked deer have appeared. The same thing occurs in KK's room 5 minutes later. The exact same thing.  And yet he's is so darn happy about it!

The rest of his day is a combination of napping, tennis balls, and waiting for a run. While different days offer varied time periods of activities, each day is essentially a carbon copy of the last.  And yet he's so darn happy about it!

I was so tired when the alarm went off this morning I considered not getting out of bed.  When I rolled over, however, there was Scout, smiling at me. Another great day was awaiting us, I could see it in his eyes. And yes,  I was really happy about it!

February Already?

Wow - has it really been two weeks since I last posted?  Time flies when you're having fun! Not surprisingly life has been pretty hectic lately.  With two busy kids, my own company and the Spicy Chicken traveling every week I somehow feel like the week is over before it even starts!  

That said, I've really been trying to make time for my workouts while squeezing in a little time with friends, which leaves little left for blogging.  I have a ton of posts in my head or on scratch paper, but none of them seem to make it here lately.  

So, here's a quick update.  

I started running again and am almost back to the point where I enjoy it. The weather has been pretty good (we've been SO lucky this year, knock on wood) so I haven't had that as an excuse. My shins started bothering me when I got back to 3 miles but via a fortunate twist of fate I foresee relief in the near future. I've been asked by two local foot and ankle specialists to be the subject of their blog while training for the Charlottesville Half Marathon. (Yes, I have crazily but officially committed to that!). They are hoping to show people how doable running is (and really it is) and how these nagging injuries can be combated with appropriate care.  I'm really excited with working with these people and know that it will totally help me reach my goals!

My kids have been struck by illness after illness (and few broken bones) so I've missed more of Hyam's classes than I'd like to. I feel it in many different ways on a week when my class attendance has been low. My stress levels are definitely higher (I cannot say enough how much of a stress reliever exercise is for me), my energy levels are lower, and I definitely feel yuckier on the inside (yes, yuckier is a technical term). It never ceases to amaze me how much better my food choices are when I'm exercising consistently, too.  Go figure.

I've lost a few pounds over the past few weeks but they seem to creep back up every time I even think about overeating.  This has been a tough plateau and I'm hoping that increasing my mileage (and getting everyone healthy again!) will help me get over it.

We're heading to NYC for a few days this weekend and then the Spicy Chicken and I are off to Panama a few days after that. Though I don't think I will be sporting a bikini quite yet (who am kidding, I'll never sport a bikini again!) I will be a little less self-conscious on the beach this year and I'm really looking forward to that!