I’m Right Where I’m Supposed To Be

Last April before my summer hiatus, I wrote about where I expected my life to be by the time my 31st birthday rolled around.  I was pretty upset back then that nothing I had planned had come to fruition.  A few friends texted me afterwards to say, “Maybe my life isn’t where I thought it would be, but I wouldn’t change where my life is.”  In other words, I’m right where I’m supposed to be and my life is pretty darn good.

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Old City of Jerusalem at 5:30 am on Friday, August 5, 2016.  The Western Wall (Kotel) at sunrise was one of the highlights of the trip.

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It’s Been A While

It has been waaaaaay too long since I last posted here.  If you stopped by at some point in the past few months, I greatly appreciate it.  If this is your first time here, then welcome.  I hope you enjoy your stay.  Thank you, Fitters, for allowing me to come back with open arms.

I figured I’d start with where I’ve been since it hasn’t been here, hanging out with all of you.  Even though the week is Sunday to Saturday, to me the week begins on Monday.  Monday is the start of the workweek after all.  So, Mondays.  And Tuesdays.  And Wednesdays.  And Thursdays.  And Fridays.  I sit here for five straight days from roughly 9 in the morning until 5:30-6 in the evening, sometimes later; in other words, I spend more time here than I do in my bed:

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I’m Back!

And I’m better than ever!

It has been waaaaaay too long since we last met.  I could insert a whole bunch of lame apologies, but I’m not going to waste your time or my time.  Part of my being away was pure laziness.  After sitting in front of my Surface at work all day, the last thing I want to do is open it at night or on the weekends when I don’t have to.  Part of it is Finn’s eyes.  Who am I kidding?  It’s all Finn.  When she just wants to snuggle, I oblige.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Case in point:

I can't resist when she wants to sleep in my lap.  Can you?

I can’t resist when she wants to sleep in my lap. Can you?

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Goals: The 2015 Version

Happy New Year!

I don’t believe in making resolutions; I believe in setting goals.  As M said last year, “resolutions don’t stick; goals do.”  While we’re on the topic of last year: My goal for 2014 was to find love (insert snarky rom-com/Patti Stanger comment here).  Goal accomplished.  In February, Boyfriend D asked me to be his girlfriend and we’ve been together ever since.

M and I met up on New Year’s Day and spoke about this year’s goals.  Before meeting M, I had come up with a handful of personal goals.  She showed me she breaks up her goals into 4 categories: Personal, Work, Social, and Health.  She also creates a Must To Do list of things that must get done that year.  I added these categories to my goals.

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Let’s Talk

Week in and week out, you’re guaranteed to hear about something going on with me.  For example, Finn is passed out on the couch next to me after an hour playing at the dog park this morning and an hour fetching in my neighbor’s backyard this afternoon:

I have diced sweet potatoes cooking in the oven to go with my breakfast eggs this week.

Boyfriend D and I made the most delicious dinner ever.  The best part?  It’s all paleo!  There are balsamic short ribs, spaghetti squash with avocado-pesto, and cauliflower tater tots.  For dessert, we had zucchini chocolate chip muffins.

My newest music obsession is The Maccabeats.  If you don’t know them, listen to them on YouTube (my favorite is Lecha Dodi).  I’m playing through their videos in the background and I added them to my shuffle mix on Pandora.

I always hears the expression “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”  I’ve been attempting to do this but can’t find clothes that fit.  Fitters, help me!  Where do you buy business casual clothes for an athletic CrossFitters body?

It’s that time of the year when I need to start getting the invitations out to my Annual Holiday Shindig.  I picked these cards up at Target the other day:

And now I’m going to wrap this up because I need to start writing these invitations and you don’t need to hear any more of my rambling.

Let’s talk about you.  What’s going on with you?  What would you like to talk about?  Most importantly, what do you want to see here?

Writer’s Block: NYC with J and A

It’s 9:45 pm here in New York and I’m lying in bed with my laptop.  Finn is curled up in her favorite spot, watching a Hallmark Channel movie on DVR and I cannot figure out what to write about.  I spent the afternoon/evening in New York City today with my friends J and A, whom I have known since high school.  We get together at least once per season to eat (usually brunch or dinner) and do something semi-cultural.  Today we went to the Hispanic Society of Museum (great if you’re uptown and have 45 minutes to kill) and ate at Le Monde (delicious and reasonably priced).  We drank tea and paleo chocolate chip orange scones Boyfriend D made following the recipe from Elana’s Pantry (we subbed clementine zest for orange zest).  I’m thinking of adding a few clementine wedges to the batter next time.  The recipe will probably also work really well with lemon zest or lime zest, depending on your citrus preference.  J took the extra scones home with her and A commented she would never have known they were gluten free if I didn’t say so.

How was your Sunday?  I will have a more substantial post next week.  After finally finding a groove, I didn’t want to miss a post.  Until next time, Fitters.

Vacation Time: Aruba

Enough with the vacation prep already, right?  How about the vacation itself?

Boyfriend D, his parents, his sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and I spent a week in Aruba.  Island time is real and it is glorious.  We were finally able to relax and take a break from the stressful hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.  We had family time shared with everyone.  He had guy time and I had girl-time.  And we had our alone time.

Day 1 – Saturday

Boyfriend D and I were on the same flight as his parents.  We arrived in Aruba Saturday afternoon and went straight to our hotel.  We ate lunch at the hotel, went grocery shopping, and spent the afternoon relaxing.  Boyfriend D and I ate dinner on the beach then took the first of what we became our nightly strolls on the beach.

Day 2 – Sunday

Boyfriend D had a golf outing in the morning with the men.  The women stayed in while the baby napped.  We ate lunch together on the beach then lounged in the pool.  We ate dinner with his parents and went for our nighttime walk on the beach.  We discovered it was easier to walk in the shallow water than on the dry sand.

Day 3 – Monday

Boyfriend D and I began our day with a WOD at CrossFit A297, the only box on the island.  When we first walked in, we saw this on the door:

Once we walked inside, we saw:

The WOD was on a computer screen, but first, this:

I just love all of the positivity, don’t you?  Anyway, the WOD:

The running was outside in the sun.  We completed the WOD using much lighter kettlebells for the box overs.  CrossFit is all about “beating the clock” where the goal is to finish before the clock runs out.  In Aruba, it’s all about beating the heat as the running outdoors in the sun was brutal and there was no AC inside the box.

We met Boyfriend D’s family for lunch in town and walked around the shopping area.  I napped when we returned to the hotel.  That night was our night to stay in and baby-sit.

Day 4 – Tuesday

The men played golf in the morning while the women stayed in and the baby slept.  We ate lunch as a group when the men came back then lounged by the pool.  That night, we ate dinner at Simply Fish as a family on the beach and watched the beautiful sunset.

Day 5 – Wednesday

Finally!  Boyfriend D and I had the day to ourselves.  We went off-roading in UTVs in the morning, ate lunch with the family, and went to Screaming Eagle for dinner.

Crab:

They gave us the bandanas to cover our noses and mouths because the trail became very dusty:

Church:

California Lighthouse:

Boyfriend D pointing out the golf course from the lighthouse:

Day 6 – Thursday

Yet again, the men went off to play golf.  This time, we women were pampered with facials and deep tissue massages.  Like the other family days, we ate lunch together, lounged by the pool, then went out to dinner as a family.

Day 7 – Friday

Boyfriend D and I had the whole day to ourselves.  We spent the morning off-roading on the jeep tour, ate lunch just us, frolicked in the sea, and went to the Flying Fishbone for dinner (a MUST if you go to Aruba – make sure your reservation time is early enough to watch the sunset).

Our first stop was the Natural Pool:

Natural Pool itself:

Next stop:

The original Natural Bridge aka “Mother Bridge” (it collapsed after Hurricane Katrina’s winds passed):

The Natural Bridge still remaining aka “Baby Bridge”:

Goofing off wearing Boyfriend D’s backpack:

Yes, I know I’m white.  My goal was not to burn.  As a consequence, I didn’t tan either.

Moving on…The blow hole:

Day 8 – Saturday

We came home to snuggle with Finn (because you know there has to be the obligatory picture of Finn):

Have you ever been to Aruba?  What did we miss that we must go to next time?  Where should we go next?

Vacation Prep: Finn

Dear Fitters, I must apologize for my long absence.  My too long absence.  I have missed you and I have missed writing.  Let’s play catch up.

When we last met, I was getting ready to go on vacation and told you about my issues finding sunglasses.  I ended up keeping the Ray-Bans I bought.  I didn’t tell you about any of my other vacation prep, which I had meant to do.  Since I’m in the midst of my work traveling season, what better time than now?

You all know I have a dog and probably wonder, “What do you do with Finn when you go away?”  Luckily, a former neighbor recommended a very sweet, nurturing woman who lives two minutes away as a dog sitter.  I bring Finn to her house the night before along with all of her toys, a letter with important phone numbers (you know: grandma & grandpa, the vet), her treats, and Ziploc baggies of pre-packaged meals.

Yes, I am that person who measures out my dog’s meals and puts each meal in its own bag.  I know how much my dog eats for breakfast and dinner and don’t want to run the risk of her eating too little or too much, the latter being the more likely case.  I also am particular about my dog’s diet.  Finn doesn’t eat any grains or unnatural products.  Her food is Merrick Grain Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato and her treats are Blue Wilderness Grain Free Salmon Biscuits.

When my sitter wasn’t available one weekend last December, I had to use a back-up sitter who also came highly recommended.  She laughed when I told her I measure out my dog’s meals beforehand and questioned why I wouldn’t let her feed Finn whatever dog food she had lying around.  When I went to pick Finn up after that long weekend in Ohio, Finn could not wait to get out of that house.  Needless to say, I haven’t used her again.

To answer the back-up sitter’s question about her food, though: When I first picked up Finn and brought her home from the foster mom in Connecticut…I never showed you that picture?  It’s one of my favorite’s!  Cousin E took it as I was driving:

As I was saying, Finn had the worst dandruff when I first brought her home.  We finished up the dog food the foster sent me home with.  I don’t remember the brand exactly; but, it was one of those everyday commercial ones like Purina.  Cousin E suggested I put Finn on a grain-free diet and within two days, the dandruff was gone.  Now she has the softest, silkiest fur that I could pet for hours.

Vacation took me to Aruba with Boyfriend D and his family.  We dropped Finn off at the sitter the night before we left.  The sitter was leaving on her vacation the day we came home.  My stepmom, aka Grandma to Finn, picked her up the day before.  When we came home, Boyfriend D and I dropped off our luggage and went to pick Finn up.  I smile now, on the plane to Dallas, looking forward to coming home tomorrow for her greeting.

During my longer work trips, like the one last week that took me to Jacksonville, FL, after a day in Charlotte, NC, and had me away for 4 days, Finn stays with the sitter.  For those that are just one night, like this one to Texas, Boyfriend D stays over and takes care of her.  I hate seeing both sets of their sad puppy eyes when I walk out the door; but, I know the kisses I’m going to get from both of them tomorrow that makes it all worth it.

Tell me, Dear Fitters, what do you do with your pet(s) when you go away?

Also, Instagram account for Finn – yay or nay?

(As an aside, I receive no reimbursement for any reviews or links I may post.)