It’s My Birthday (And I’m Turning 31…eek!)

31Yep…today’s the big 3-1 for me. It’s really weird to say that I’m in my thirties. I’ve tried to come up with some sort of post like “31 Things You Learn Before Turning 31” or “31 Things to do Before Turning 31” but 31 just seems like a lot…

Turning 31 means I’m now in that stage of being in my thirties. I don’t know why, but last year, when I turned 30, it didn’t hit me as hard as I thought it would. But now, turning 31 has hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m one of the oldest in my CrossFit box, but yet still the youngest in my group of dog agility friends. I’m at the stage in life where my friends are almost all married, and most have kids or are planning to have kids. M and I? We’re still in the stage where we don’t know what we want, but we know we’re not able to be there yet.

So what does a young woman (wait, am I still considered “young” at 31?) do at age 31? Right now, not a whole lot of anything. We still have a lot on our personal plates before we even consider planning to have a family, but will it be too late whenever we can get our act together to do so?

I’m currently a freelance writer, looking for a new opportunity in the real world. (Can you tell I’ve practiced saying that a lot in interviews lately?) Never would I imagine my career would be at such a standstill and influx like it has been this year, especially at 31. I swear I thought I had it all together upon graduating from college, which was unlike so many others. And, yet, here I am almost 10 years later with everything in pieces.

So what have I learned about myself in my 31st year?

– I am strong. Not only physically (thank you, CrossFit), but in every other way. I have gone through so much this year, and yet I’m still standing. I’m still fighting. I’m still here. The events of the past year and a half might have made many crumble, but I have to thank my Scorpio, stubborn, competitive self that I am still fighting to win.

– I am loved. I’ve always known I was surrounded by such a loving, strong, supportive family, but the past year or so I’ve really come to appreciate it even more than ever. Without their honesty and support, who knows if I’d be able to say the above.

– I am more. I am more than what my past might say about me. I am more than what my bank balance or gas tank says I am. There is so much more to me that I need to discover, I need to embrace the coming years for exploration.

– I have talent. I grew up training my own horses and showing them. It some times surprised me what I could accomplish on my own with them–in 2004 I won the PHBA World Championship in hunter under saddle without a trainer. Now, because I can’t afford my horse habit at this time, I’m training and competing my dogs in agility, and somehow those talents have transferred to the smaller four-legged persuasion. I’ve qualified my Corgi, whom some said wouldn’t even be a champion, for the National Agility Championships for the third year in a row (oh, and she is on the verge of earning her second championship). I need to learn to use my talent for money-making purposes, though… Ha!

– I am better. I am better than any of those negative thoughts that creep into my head from time to time. I am better than when I start to think negatively about someone else, but I do so to try to help myself feel better. I am better than what my foes might think.

The best of both worlds: the mountains and the beach! (Lake Tahoe, 2012)

The best of both worlds: the mountains and the beach! (Lake Tahoe, 2012)

Now, here are 31 questions to get to know me better:

  1. What was your favorite food when you were a child? 
    I loved macaroni and cheese (still do) and Cheerios (still do).
  2. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
    “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” by Eli Young Band–mostly because that’s my ringtone on my phone.
  3. What is one of your favorite quotes?
    “Don’t let fear get in the way of your dreams”
  4. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
    Indoor: Baking, CrossFit
    Outdoor: Riding horses, hiking, walking the dogs
  5. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
    Cleaning the cat boxes
  6. What is your favorite form of exercise?
    Right now it’s CrossFit all the way!
  7. What is your favorite time of day?
    I love mornings because I feel so accomplished when I finish my workouts before most are even awake.
  8. What is your favorite day of the week?
    I don’t have a particular favorite day of the week for me–they all melt together right now.
  9. What is your favorite month?
    October because it’s the start of Autumn, but still warm and pretty
  10. What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?
    Uhh…some times I just hate driving.
  11. What is your favorite body part?
    I love my legs–they’re so strong and carry me to do the things I love.
  12. What sound do you love?
    I love the sound of horses running, my dogs playing, the clinging of weights in the box (strange, I know)
  13. What’s your favorite smell?
    Fresh saddle leather, alfalfa hay, Autumn
  14. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
    Pay off all of our debt!! Then I’d pay off my parents’ bills. Then we’d buy a farm with lots of land for horses and Corgis! LOL
  15. If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?
    Is there really life after death?
  16. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
    Euthanizing any of my animals–Mara this summer, my barrel horse, my Palomino gelding…there is a piece of me with each one of them that can’t be filled.
  17. What do you miss most about being a kid?
    Feeling so free to follow my dreams. I didn’t know the financial repercussions or the stress that came with following your dreams–you just did it and relished every moment. I miss spending hours on the backs of my horses being free and happy.
  18. What story does your family always tell about you?
    Probably the one about the “three bad boys” who punched a hole in the hallway wall. Spoiler: There was only one bad girl… 😉
  19. Your first car?
    My first car was actually a truck–and I’ve always owned a truck since then. It was a 1998 GMC Sonoma with a manual gear shift–my dad always said if we could drive a stick, we could drive anything, so my sister and I each had manuals for our first vehicles.
  20. Favorite sport to watch?
    I love watching football, especially college football (Go Irish! Hook ’em Horns!). Horse racing is right up there, too.
  21. Longest car ride ever taken?
    That would be the haul from Indiana to New Mexico. I was helping a family friend haul their horse to the National High School Finals Rodeo, so between the three of us, we drove 36 straight hours. It was actually a lot of fun and a trip of a lifetime.
  22. Nike, Adidas, or UnderArmor?
    Umm…all of them? I love my Nike Free Trainers for CrossFit, my Saucony Ride 5s for running, and if the workout clothes fit me right and I like them, I’ll wear them, whether they’re Adidas, Reebok, Brooks, UnderArmor, Nike, …
  23. Did you play any sports in high school?
    I played volleyball my freshman and sophomore year (plus club ball) and threw shot put and discus in track my junior year. All four years I competed in the National High School Rodeo Association and showed my horses, so my senior year I concentrated on that more than other sports. But I also coached volleyball and kickball at my old Catholic grease school.
  24. First job?
    Besides helping my dad some with his construction business, my first legit real job was working at Einstein Brothers’ Bagels my senior year of college. It was a lot of fun, until my boss kept scheduling me when I said I couldn’t work, including my graduation. So I quit.
  25. Mountains or the beach?
    I can’t choose. I finally got to see the beach, in person, last year on our honeymoon. Every night it was so peaceful sitting on our balcony listening to the waves crash against the sand. But the mountains are so beautiful, too.
  26. Were you in the school band?
    In grade school I was First Trumpet in our band for a couple of years–we were a pretty big deal. haha I tried to continue playing in high school, but after two practices with the pep band, I felt like it wasn’t meant for me any more, and quit.
  27. Favorite movie?
    Tombstone, Seabiscuit, Gone in 60 Seconds
  28. When did you last visit the zoo?
    Actually, M and I went during our day trip to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary last month to the Cincinnati Zoo.
  29. Do you like your handwriting?
    No–it’s so messy! That’s why I always type things out on the computer! I dreaded writing thank you notes after our wedding because I had to write slowly to make sure everything was legible.
  30. What’s one daredevil thing you’d like to do?
    I want to skydive!! I don’t know why, but I really want to! I know I’ll be a nervous, scared jumble of nerves all the way until I actually jump, but I’ll be so pumped once I’ve landed to probably want to do it again.
  31. What are some of your goals for the next year?
    Find my new niche for my profession. Run another couple of half marathons. Compete in a CrossFit competition.

Your turn: Answer one of these questions so I can get to know you better!


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

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)


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)!