Welcome Baby A&W!

A week ago, my life totally changed.

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Less than 12 hours of delivery and less than 30 minutes of delivery.

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6 pounds 14 ounces, 20 inches long

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I’ll write more later, but I wanted to share some photos to let y’all know she’s joined the world!

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Gratitude for Life, Happiness, & New Starts

I’m a day late, but on Sunday the Elf4Health challenge was to make a gratitude list of 20 things you’re grateful for. This was a fun, yet maybe a little difficult, challenge that we did last year, and I’m happy to do it again this year.

So, in no certain order:

  1. My husband. I never thought I would find someone who could put up with my smart ass attitude and my different swings, etc. I’m also thankful for all the times he’s made me laugh.
  2. My parents. As if I needed to point it out, but I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for their patience, support, and cheerleading. I’m a very lucky girl.
  3. My dogs. Everyday, no matter how bad things were outside of the house, no matter how bad the day as, I can come home and they make me smile and laugh without pause. They’ve helped me get through a lot of things.
  4. The horses. I still swear that my horses helped make me the person I am today. Growing up with horses helped give me a purpose and direction in life (and, for that, I can thank my parents as well.
    Is a childhood dream meant to stay in your childhood?
  5. My friends. So we might not agree all of the time, and we might be different in quite a few ways, but I can always count on my friends to laugh with me, commiserate with me, and just plain hang out.
  6. My body. No, I might not be in love with the shape of my body, but my body allows me to put it through the misery of CrossFit and running. I might be getting a little achy nowadays, but I won’t stop moving it!
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  7. CrossFit. Oh, yes, I have to be thankful for CrosFit. I have learned a lot about myself, and it has helped me get through some really tough times this year.
  8. Coaches. I’m thankful for all of the coaches/trainers that I’ve worked with through the years. Whether it be my CrossFit coach, Taylor, agility instructors, horse trainers, team coaches, they’ve all pushed me to do more and be a better person in many ways.
  9. Christmas. It might sound odd, but I’m thankful for a holiday that still has so much magic tied to it–people are generally better people, and the festivities are always so much fun and make you feel like a kid again. We need that more than once a year.
  10. Technology. It can be a good, and bad thing. But technology has allowed us to keep in touch with family and friends far away, and do work in better ways.
  11. A New Year. I’m going to be so thankful for 2014. M and I are hoping 2014 is finally our year, where we can start to enjoy each other without the stress of being unemployed, unhappy, etc.
  12. Our freedom. We are a very lucky country, and we have many men and women to thank for putting their lives on the line everyday for our freedom. Let’s not forget them.
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  13. Fleece. OK, so I went from one serious extreme to an off-the-cuff one, but as I’m sitting here wearing my fleece pants, while wrapped in a fleece blanket on this cold evening, I’m thankful to have this fabric to keep me comfy and cozy all winter long!
  14. Writing. Because of my ability to write, I’m lucky to have my freelancing business that I launched this year. Plus my writing in this blog, as well as my dog agility training blog, has been great for a mental release.
  15. A Good Pair of Shoes. A good pair of shoes can help you run 13.1 miles comfortably, or stabilize you in a clean and jerk, or make you feel sexy while out to dinner with your husband. A good pair of shoes (or even boots) is so important!
    I swear I told my bridesmaids they didn't have to have matching dresses or shoes...they just agreed on everything!
  16. Lexington. I am lucky to live in the middle of horse country. Lexington can be so pretty any time of year. If you haven’t experienced it in the spring yet, you definitely need to–beautiful blooms and lots of Thoroughbred foals frolicking in the fields.
  17. Our New House. We’re moving this week to a new rental house, and I’m excited about it. We’re still in a nice location, but this house has a bigger backyard for the pups, plus a screened in back porch (perfect for the cats), and just exactly the fresh start we’re looking for.
  18. My New Job. It feels odd going back to work, but yet like normal, even though I haven’t worked in an actual office setting for six months. I’m thankful for the steady paycheck and hopefully new skills that I’ll learn from my new co-workers.
  19. My Senses. I love the smell of leather, horse sweat, vanilla, and clean sheets. I love the sound of horses nickering, barbells clanging in the box, and a diesel truck. I love seeing my pups wiggle their stumps and horses streak across the horizon. I love petting my animals and the feel of soft leather. And I love the taste of chocolate, a good spaghetti, and bourbon. I’m lucky to have all of my senses.
  20. A Good Sweat. I love the feeling of a good sweat, and I’m thankful for that feeling and for being able to pull that off. A good sweat can clear your mind, arteries, and set you back on the right track.

This relaxation was exactly what we needed.

Your turn: List two things you’re grateful for!

Sleep — The Most Important Factor

How’d you sleep last night? Or have you not even gone to bed, yet (if you’re like my husband and work midnight to 8 am), how exhausted are you right about now?

Lately I rarely get more than 4-5 hours of sleep it seems. There’s a few factors coinciding with this (Dally’s on meds that keep her drinking and needing to go outside at all hours of the night, lots of thoughts going through my mind, inability to relax…), but my worst nights are Monday nights. I ref volleyball at a local German bar/restaurant from 6 pm until about 1:30 am. I’m exhausted through the night, but lately it seems like when I get home around 1:45, I can’t fall asleep right away. For example. this past Monday night/Tuesday morning I think I finally fell asleep around 3 am. And guess what…my alarm went off at 6:43 (don’t ask–I’m strange about time) so I could make my 7:30 class at Man O’War CrossFit.

I do this every week–Tuesdays suck for me! Sure I could probably sleep in and make the noon class, or even the 5 pm class, but I like my peeps in the 7:30 am class. And I like to get my workouts done for the day early–even when I’m working from home and no longer have to be in an office by a certain time. So, yes, I still wake up early everyday (even Saturdays) for my workouts. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I digress…

So, every Tuesday morning I walk into the box and proclaim “I hate Tuesdays” because the workouts are always tough ones. This week’s was no exception:

Talk about rough!! This was the first WOD where I felt like I could maybe throw up (which is pretty good, considering I have never felt that way, even when I started CrossFit in April). My asthma was affecting me for the first time in a long time and I had trouble breathing about 7 rounds into the WOD.

This was one workout where I definitely thought, “Maybe I should have tried sleeping in and tackling this at noon…” But by then it was too late–I was already dressed, had my half banana with peanut butter, and starting to fully wake up.

Sleep

How important is sleep to fitness?

According to research, growth hormone is produced mostly while you sleep. What is growth hormone? Growth hormone does many things: promotes fat loss, reduces fat storage, increases calcium retention, and can help boost your immune system.

Also, getting a full night’s rest has been known to satiate your hunger. (Which I’m always hungry…)

Read more from Men’s Fitness.

Sleep also allows your body to repair itself–hello recovery from tough WODs and long training runs!

It can also impact your mood (yes, I tend to be a tad cranky on Tuesdays) and your performance in anything–using your brain or physically. So I probably don’t do my best on my Tuesday workouts.

Hmm…so with all this in mind, maybe I need to rethink my Tuesday routine to include more sleep? (Though I do admit, every once in a while I’m actually able to take a nap during the day, but that’s pretty rare.)

How does lack of sleep affect you in your workouts? Everyday life? 

My Mom’s Gastric Bypass Surgery

I’m up in Indiana for about a week or so because today my mom had surgery. It’s been in the works for a while, and the day has finally come. We’re all anxious and excited for her, but also a little nervous about the days ahead. She feels the same way.

You see, my mom is having bariatric surgery.

My mom has always been overweight since I can remember. When I was younger, it wasn’t too bad–she worked a full-time job as a head injury nurse and was able to enjoy spending time at horse shows and rodeos with us with no problem. The weight wasn’t a big issue then.

Then my mom was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. If you don’t know what fibromyalgia is, here’s a nutshell explanation:

Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.

She had fibromyalgia before it became a more popular term (to where you now see ads for medicine). With this diagnosis, it was almost like her health instantly went downhill. She retired from being a nurse and I think that’s when depression started to slowly hit get a grasp on her. Then I went off to college and moved out on my own, thus leaving an empty nest (my sister lives next door, but leads a busy life as well). The horse shows stopped, but dad continued working. Slowly she started having troubles even just walking–the past few years she’s had to use a cane when he legs were too stiff or too full of fluid to really bend and move very well.

It’s been hard seeing my mother’s health deteriorate. She hasn’t been able to walk down to the barn in I don’t even know how long, and I was worried about the length of her walk for my wedding when my brother-in-law walked her down the aisle. We’re hoping this surgery is a restart to her life, and that maybe this will allow her and my dad to enjoy their golden years together.

Christmas 2012 with my momma

Christmas 2012 with my momma

Her surgery is called the Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery. In this type of gastric bypass surgery, a small section of the stomach is used to create a new stomach pouch that is about the size of an egg. The smaller stomach is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine, bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. (According to WebMD)

The past few days mom’s enjoyed her “lasts”–last McDonald’s sweet tea, last dinner at her favorite Mexican restaurant, last chai latte from Starbucks. She also went shopping with my dad to get some of the things she’ll need for her recovery, including V8 Juice, baby food, and a Nutri-Bullet to make smoothies. I brought my protein powder for her to try (we all know the trials and tribulations of finding a protein powder we like) and my sister bought her a bunch of samples from her nutrition store.

I’ll be home for the next few days to make sure things go smoothly with the start of mom’s recovery, and to help out on the farm. Mom will be in the hospital until Wednesday, then her real re-start of her new life begins. We’re all hoping it’s the jump her health needs to tackle her golden years.

Do you know of anyone who’s had gastric bypass surgery? How’d it go?

Do you have any experience with fibromyalgia?

Healthy Living Survey

I always find surveys to be fun ways to get to know people, plus it can be a change from the usual everyday posts. I found this one on a fellow HealthysELFer’s (and Sweat Pink sister) site…thanks, Lauren!
1. What did you eat for breakfast?
French Toast Scramble and a glass of cold skim milk
2. How much water do you drink a day?
At least 2-3 full 24 oz CamelBack bottles during work, then some more throughout the evening.
3. What is your current favorite workout?
Running and CrossFit. Since I can’t really run, I’ve been loving CrossFit more and more!
4. How many calories do you eat a day?
I really need to keep better track of those right now…
5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?
Strawberries!! I could snack on those all the time! And almonds, too!
6. What do you usually eat for lunch?
Depends. For the most part a simple sandwich with Greek yogurt and Wheat Thins or pretzels. Or leftovers. It varies from day to day.
7. What is your favorite part of the body to strength train?
My legs–I feel like they are so strong.
8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?
My arms because I feel so weak. Though it’s my favorite to train because I feel weak and I want to improve that. Does that make sense?
9. What are your “bad” food cravings?
Kettle chips from Jimmy John’s, anything chocolate just about (horrible sweet tooth), fresh kettle corn (can’t go to an event in Lexington without some!)
10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?
No, but I know I should, especially some glucosamine and chondroitin for my joints with all the running I do. I do drink protein shakes–does that count?
11. How often do you eat out?
M and I have tried to curtail our eating out. Now we’ll go out to dinner most often only once a week. Most days I have lunch at home, but there are times that I just crave something different and pick something up for lunch.
12. Do you eat fast food?
Yes, but mostly it’s breakfast on the road on the way to dog agility trials, and then it’s usually an Egg McMuffin. Unless you count SubWay as fast food (and I do occasionally enjoy Jimmy John’s).

I was so happy to have my cheerleader to meet me at the finish line.

I was so happy to have my cheerleader to meet me at the finish line.

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

My parents have always been my biggest supporters in everything I’ve ever done. I’m very happy to have big support from M. I greatly appreciated seeing his face after I crossed the finish line of the Run The Bluegrass a couple of weeks ago.
14. Do you have a gym membership?
Yes. I use my membership for treadmill runs when the weather isn’t the best, plus I enjoy participating in the group fitness classes and spin classes now and then, not the mention the weights. I’d be lost without a gym membership! Though I just started CrossFit, so I’m thinking of canceling my membership to my regular gym and just do CF.
15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
I always feel like I didn’t get enough sleep. The amount of sleep a night varies from 5 to 7 hours a night. But even on days that I can sleep in, my body/mind doesn’t let me.
16. Do you have a “cheat” day?
I used to do cheat days with one program that I did–they were scheduled. Now it’s more like “cheat meals” if it’s something special. I’m trying to keep a balanced lifestyle, especially when it comes to eating and I feel like cheat days made me feel allowed to go crazy for 24 hours–not the most balanced lifestyle.
17. Do you drink alcohol?
Yes, but not as much as I used to. I enjoy a beer (or two) on the weekends while at agility trials, and maybe a glass of wine or bourbon and Sprite Zero to wind down after stressful days, but not that often.
18. Do you have a workout buddy?
I have running buddies for some days, and now I workout with people at CrossFit, but a lot of times it’s just me, myself, and I.
19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?
When I’m being active and healthy, it gives me a new confidence in myself. I realize the control I have over myself and my own life.
20. What was the last healthy thing you did?
Walked the dogs with my husband after eating lunch. I love my lunchtime dog walks because they’re a nice break in my day at the office.
Your turn!

Knee Frustrations

Wednesday morning I went to my fourth physical therapy appointment. I went into the appointment with a list of concerns: my knee wasn’t better (in fact I felt that it was worse than when I started PT), and my right heel/Achilles tendon almost paralyzed me in pain last week.

Last Friday I really wanted to go for a run, so I did a 3.75 mile loop around where I work and my old neighborhood. The run felt great–I didn’t push myself and ran around 9:00-9:10 miles. I felt like I could go for longer, but I was afraid of pushing myself too much. I stretched, went home to shower and then tackle the night’s festivities of a cookout with friends and bowling with the hubs and his co-workers.

Through the night my knee was a little sore. But the scary thing was my right heel/achilles tendon starting hurting so badly when I walked. It was hard for me to lift my leg just to walk, so I’d basically drag it behind me. No clue what that’s about, so I brought it up to my PT, Ryan, on Wednesday. His main concern was that my knee wasn’t any better, but he did say I should talk to a sports medicine doctor about my heel/achilles–it might be because of my heel spur.

We started my PT session with a strength test, to make sure I’d been doing my exercises to strengthen my quads, since that was supposed to help my knee feel better. I’d improved greatly, and even lengthened my quad muscle in my left leg by 3 inches (it’s now only 2-3 inches from heel to butt!). So I’ve improved in that respect, but it feels like my knee is getting worse.

For example, I can’t cross my right leg over my left knee for very long–it feels like I’m pushing down on the knee cap and it starts to ache. Tuesday, while reffing volleyball, it ached depending on how I held my legs. I can’t stay in a deep squat position for very long, or else it starts to hurt.

CrossFit sees you doing a lot of squats and lunges. I’m not able to get the proper form for all of the exercises, which isn’t good.

Last night, at agility class, I wasn’t running my best, mostly because I was scared about my knee. My instructor noticed, and so did LaMesa, and it affected our courses greatly. I pushed any negative thoughts behind me, and pushed through one last course run and it was great…but my knee didn’t feel so great. After the long hour-drive home, I hit the Ibuprofen and wrapped my knee in ice for 25 minutes before bed.

It’s frustrating to me that I can’t run. The weather has been gorgeous. My goal after the Run the Bluegrass was to keep my mileage up so I could easily tackle any next race I wanted, and now I’m only running 3-4 miles once a week (compared to 11 + long runs a week while I was training). Whenever I do get the chance to start training again, I’ll be starting back at mile 1, and that hurts! I’ve also gained about 5 pounds in the month of no running and battling being mildly depressed because of the sudden stop.

I scheduled a follow-up appointment with the sports medicine doctor for the earliest I could get in–May 23. whomp whomp :-/ I have one more PT appointment with Ryan next week before I decide to take a break from that until I hear from the doctor. I’m hoping I can try to get in a little earlier–May 23 seems so far away!

So how do you battle frustrations that stop you from doing what you love? 

My First Physical Therapy Appointment

Thursday morning I slipped on a pair of running shorts and my Run The Bluegrass shirt and headed out the door…to my physical therapy appointment. I went into it with a little bit of excitement but also a little bit of nerves–I didn’t really know what to expect.

My PT, Ryan, is great! We sat down and he asked me the usual questions to get going like if it there was anything that might have suddenly started the pain or if it just showed up. What sports I do, etc. I was quite impressed when I said that I did dog agility with my Corgi and Swedish Vallhund, he asked “Which type of Corgi? Pembroke or Cardigan?” (Most think a Corgi is a Corgi, just one has a tail and one doesn’t.)

Then he got down to manipulating my legs to really pinpoint the pain. He checked the strength in my quads, hamstrings, and hips, as well as their flexibility. He was impressed with how flexible my hamstrings were (“That’s not always normal for a runner”) and how strong my legs were in general, except for my hips (“That’s normal for a runner”). One interesting note: While laying on my stomach, he had me bring my heel to my butt one leg at a time. My right heel came within two fingers of touching my butt cheek, but my left heel was a full hand (including his thumb) from my butt cheek. While he noted that it’s normal for your body to not be symmetrical, this was a concern because of the large difference. Which means I need to work on stretching my quads more.

Verdict: Patellar Tendonitis (cue the “dun dun…DUUUUUNNNN!”)

Then we moved into the gym where, after a quick warmup on a stationary bike, he showed me some stretches and exercises he’d like me to start doing three times a day. The stretches were already ones I incorporate almost daily: standing quad stretch, pigeon pose, and crossing one leg over the other and bending down. I just need to do them more often and hold them longer. The exercises were also ones I have done in the past, but I’m just not as diligent as I should be. I was giving a nifty blue rubber band to do these workouts at home:

exercises

To wrap-up the initial appointment, he hooked me up to a little electrode pack to deliver some anti-inflammatory medication straight to my tendon. He said I might feel little pricks, but I didn’t feel much of anything. Twenty minutes later, the appointment was over and I was already scheduled for my second one next week.

I was all "charged up" Thursday morning.

I was all “charged up” Thursday morning.

Ryan said he felt like we could take care of “my little problem” in about 4-6 weeks, as long as I’m diligent about doing the exercises and the stretches. He said he was impressed that I came in after only a month of discomfort–most runners wait until much longer to come in. He said I could still run, but just know that it could prolong recovery. He told me he hates to tell runners they can’t run, even for short periods of time, because he knows it would drive them crazy (haha, how’d he know??). So I’m going to just do some short runs once or twice a week outside (no jarring on the treadmill any more) when I’m feeling froggy, but I’ll end them with my exercises and extra stretching, as well as icing the knees, like usual.

I’m not going to push it with the running, but it makes me happy to know that I can get back to doing something I’ve come to love, even if I can’t really train for any races at this point. But I’m OK with that.

What’s been your experience with physical therapy and getting back into your sport?

5 Things Friday – 3.29.13

This “5 Things Friday” is brought to you by racing nerves!

That’s right…less than 24 hours from now I’ll be running in the Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon–just my second half marathon, but a scary one with lots of hills and one giant hill! I’ve been training hard since January, run in single digit temps with 3 inches of snow falling, run in totally different locations in the area, joined two running groups to train for this, and learned so much. I hope I’m ready!

I'm going to love having one of these cool medals around my neck!

I’m going to love having one of these cool medals around my neck! (Source)

My first half marathon I ran in 2:17:58. I’m hoping to better that time–aiming for 2:14 or so. We’ll see. I just hope I can keep the nerves at bay and just run my race and keep a solid pace.

I checked out the Run the Bluegrass Race Expo last night, and was totally bummed that I ordered the wrong size race shirt! FAIL! I’m hoping I can trade with someone for a smaller shirt. The expo was alright–not as big as the Kentucky Derby Marathon/Half Marathon Expo last year, but it was nice to see the local companies.

So, without further adieu, here are my five things for the last Friday of March!

  1. Fun Weekend. Last weekend was fun with the agility trial and getting in 8 miles in Sharon Woods Park. I strongly suggest checking out new places (as long as it’s safe) for runs, especially when you’re traveling–I feel like it gives you an extra burst of energy because everything is fresh and new!
  2. Leading by Example. This was a great post that I caught on Twitter about being a healthy example and how you can “lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it.” Boy do I know how Coco feels! I feel that way everyday with my husband and family. It can be so frustrating, but you hope something might rub off at some point.
  3. Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon. Did I mention that this was tomorrow?? Did I mention there were hills?? Yeah. I’m planning to try to relax and take it easy tonight, but not sure how I can get a good night’s rest with all the anxiety.
  4. When A Calorie Isn’t A Calorie. Very informative article, thanks to yet another Twitter find! It’s mostly about eating clean and basic to introduce people to thinking that 100 calories of low fat fried crackers isn’t the same, nutritionally, as 100 calories of (say) raw almonds.
  5. Crushing Doubts. I’m hoping that this weekend I can crush some of the confidence crushers I’ve felt lately. I’m going to tackle those 13.1 miles of hills, and I’m going to revel in the after-race-party, and I’m going to love wearing my medal! (Did you know I was running in a half marathon tomorrow?? haha)

I’m really looking forward to this weekend. Not only because of the half marathon on Saturday, but I’m hoping to host a little Easter gathering with friends Sunday evening. Then M and I are headed to Cincy for the Reds Opening Day on Monday! I just hope the weather holds up and is at least decent for us!

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Five Things Friday-The First Edition

I’m jumping the bandwagon to do “Five Things Friday”–just a way to wrap up the week and gear up for the next one.

But first, I just wanted to say Happy February! Last night we had some major snow and wind–we couldn’t even see our neighbors! I woke up this morning to about an inch or two on the ground and single digits (7*, with the wind chill at -11*!). I slept in because today’s my rest day as I gear up for 9-10 miles tomorrow. Last night I finally got M to join me at the gym and we did some circuits that I thought might leave me sore, but no soreness here (now M, on the other hand, I wait to hear him whine…haha).

This was the crazy snow blowing around.

This was the crazy snow blowing around.

So now, for my Five Things Friday:

  1. Easy meals! This week I created a couple easy, but healthy, meals for dinner because I just wasn’t feeling like putting a lot of time into dinner. Wednesday we had my mom’s “Poor Man’s Sloppy Joes” with SteamFresh green beans and potatoes and Thursday we had CrockPot chicken with peppers on a bed of brown rice. 
  2. Spinning! I got back into spinning Wednesday night and loved it! I wasn’t sore yesterday, which is partly good because of my running training, but also bad because I feel like I didn’t work to my strongest efforts. I’m going to do my best to find the right balance for breaking a sweat, but I’m happy to be back to spinning for now.
  3. Flexible February! I’ve joined Clare’s challenge for Flexible February and I’m excited to be more accountable for making sure I stretch properly everyday. You can click on the badge to the right.
  4. Warm weather runs! Earlier this week I was able to get in runs outside in short sleeves and capris! Four miles on Monday after work (yay for a little more light in the evenings) and 3 miles with a friend Tuesday morning before work. And now it’s single digits, and I’ll be bundling up tomorrow to run with a group–not sure how much I’m looking forward to that.
  5. Four years! Today is me and M’s four year anniversary of our first date! We were meeting for lunch at a restaurant before the Super Bowl, and he was 15 minutes late. He actually caught me on a patient day. (He misunderstood a couple of things.) He seemed like a nice enough guy, and we chatted about football, friends, and family. We texted each other throughout the game while I was watching with a friend.
Celebrating Lexington during the Bluegrass Pub Crawl in 2009.

Celebrating Lexington during the Bluegrass Pub Crawl in 2009.

Tonight we’ll do a simple celebration at home, maybe some pizza, wine, and Family Game Night on the XBox (flashback to old times when we were first dating), then going out Saturday. (I have a long training run in the morning tomorrow, so I don’t want to get too crazy with food/drink.)

What are five things you’re happy for this week?

ABCs of Me!

Saw this from another HealthysELF blogger, Danica, and thought it’d be fun to share some randomness about me. Feel free to do the same!

A – Addictions
I know I’m addicted to sugar (so bad), but I’d also have to say that I’m addicted to pushing myself. I’m always trying to challenge myself to do something or be better–I can’t just sit around and do nothing.

B – Bed size
Queen — But M and I would love a king! We keep saying whenever we move into our own house (we currently rent), we’ll buy a king bed. One can only dream…

C – Chore you hate
I hate going through and cleaning up the dogs’ poop in our backyard. Uck!

D – Dogs or cats?
I used to be a cat person, but now I wouldn’t trade my pups in for the world! I still love cats, though.

Love these two pups!

Love these two pups!

E – Essential start to your day
I feel like I have an off-day if I don’t get some type of workout in in the morning (be it running or yoga). But definitely have to have some love from my dogs every morning!

F – Favorite color
I love silver, but people say it isn’t really a color. 😛 I am also a fan of the chocolate and turquoise combination.

G – Gold or silver?
See above–silver! My rings are white gold, though. 😉

H – Height
5’8″ … though I always strive for an extra inch.

I – Instruments you play/have played
I played the trumpet all through grade school. I attempted to join the high school band my freshman year, but volleyball and horses/rodeo took up my time. (Ironically, M also played the trumpet in grade school! Aww!)

J – Jobs you’ve had
In no particular order: Western wear store sales person, customer service rep at a bagel place, construction worker, sales person at a salon/spa/beauty supply store, basketball arena usher, photographer, media relations intern, publications intern, editorial assistant, freelancer, e-newsletter/photo editor, web producer, volleyball referee

K – Kids
Only the fur kind — 4!

L – Living arraignments
Our little family lives in Lexington, Ky.

M – Mom’s name
Michelle

N – Nickname
I’m not really called by any nicknames any more (sadness!), but I have been called: Arzy, Roughie, Smart Ass…

O – Overnight hospital stays
Only when I had pneumonia in the first grade, and I was in the hospital over Christmas! Total boo!

P – Pet peeve(s)
People who don’t use their turn signals, people who are oblivious to what their dog does, litter bugs, etc.

Q – Quote from a movie
“You tell ’em hell’s comin….and I’m comin with it!” — Tombstone (I could list many, MANY more from this awesome movie)

Tombstone

R – Right- or left-handed?
Righty tighty!

S – Siblings
Just one, my big sis (2 if you count my brother-in-law)

T – Time you wake up
Varies depending on what I’m doing in the morning, but mostly either 5 or 6 am

U – Underwear
Always a necessity

V – Vegetables your dislike
I grew up hating spinach, but now I’ve come to accept how awesome a veggie it is. I don’t like olives, though.

X – X-rays you’ve had done
It seems like my feet have been the most X-rayed feet ever lately! But I’ve also got films on my fingers and knee.

Y – Yummy food you make
I love baking, so anything I bake I love. But I’m starting to venture more with cooking, and so far my favorite has to be either the grilled chicken bruschetta or Anne’s chunky turkey veggie soup.

Z – Zoo animal
I’m always a big fan of the otters, seals, giraffes, and the ocelots (which are rare at a zoo)!