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Lucky Girl

23 May

Close friends contribute to our personal growth. They also contribute to our personal pleasure, making the music sound sweeter, the wine taste richer, the laughter ring louder because they are there. – Judith Viorst

I have always known how lucky I am to still be best friends with the ladies that have been by my side since elementary school. These days, it’s hard to get us all in the same place, but when we do it’s like things have never changed. Except that there are kids.

I’ve had the chance to see my three best friends transform into mothers over the last few years, and it’s been amazing (and sometimes very amusing) to see them step into their new role of “Mommy.” Most recently Jenny has joined the ranks. A family event finally brought her, the hubby and their new baby girl, Ida Lou, back home from North Carolina, and this called for a BBQ reunion at her parents’ house.

Jenny and her baby girl Ida Lou

I walked into their house on Monday, and it was like I was walking through time. Before you knew it, we were all sitting in the back porch, like we had done countless times growing up, and doing our favorite things: laughing and eating. Whoever said you can’t go home again didn’t know this group.

Yesterday my co-worker told me that laughter is like running for your insides. I hope it’s true, because if so, my insides are doing much better than my leg. Growing up we laughed a lot. Monday we laughed a lot.

We laughed the hardest when I looked down to see that my zipper on my super tight jeans had split open. This was a sure sign that I should’ve have gone back for more ribs. Boothe and Kel joined me in the restroom to try to help (and by help, I mean they stood around pointing and laughing a lot). We finally resolved the manner with some giant safety pins and by untucking my long shirt. Everyone was put on notice to let me know if they saw my undies. And I’m pretty sure Boothe has an incriminating photo of this event.

We went to get a group pictures of the ladies, when someone (I think Donnie?) suggested we take a picture laying on the ground like one we have from our past. We hit the pose, putting baby Ida Lou in between us and the boys snapped away. Donnie (who I am now thinking missed his calling as a creative director) suggested I mock the photo up next to the original (taken 14 years ago as we were headed off for college). The comparison between the two pics is amazing. When I mocked them up I realized we were in the same formation! I’m in the top left and going clock-wise it’s Boothe, Kel and Jenny. Baby Ida Lou is the middle, kicking our heads.

The pic on the left was taken 14 years ago, as we headed off for college. The pic on the right was taken Monday.

Donnie always likes seeing the four of us together because I turn back into a teenage girl, giggles and all. That’s okay… it’s good for the soul.

Me and Donnie – On top of the world.

I need to be careful. I might be enjoying my running hiatus just a tad bit too much. 🙂

Do you think you can go home again? 

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You Really Need to Work on Your Cardio

28 Mar

“Wow, Babe, you really need to work on your cardio.”

This is what Donnie said to me after our hike this past weekend when I admitted to him that I was seriously out of breath while hiking up the mountain that lies in my best friend’s back yard. The mischievous smile on his face told me he was kidding, and I couldn’t help but laugh (after I rolled my eyes, of course).

Here I am, training for my second marathon this year, and I could hardly tell my best friend a story without stopping to huff ‘n puff. Meanwhile my best friend, who just had a beautiful baby last month, didn’t seem out of breath at all. At one point she reassured me that it gets easier with practice, but I’m not sure where I’m supposed to find mountains to hike down here in Florida. Well, besides Clermont.

My best friend and her husband live in Sylva, a small town located in Western North Carolina. A small creek runs by their house and their back yard is the foot of a mountain. Their “yard” is picturesque, and made the perfect setting for our hike.

I don’t know how long or how far we hiked. Great company and the beauty of nature were quite distracting and I got lost in the moment. Growing up I spent every day with my best friend (no, I’m not exaggerating) and now I’m lucky if I get to see her once a year. Getting to spend time with her is a rare treat so I’d say this has been hands down my favorite workout all year. Even if it did take me longer to spit out a sentence.

I wish I could’ve bottled up the hike to share with you, but all I got were pictures. Enjoy!

Fellow hikers (and my favorite people in the world) Donnie, Brad and Jenny

Donnie and Brad lead the way. Brad is carrying his baby girl.

We smile because we hike. Brad, me and Jenny.

The world would be a better place if we all had waterfalls in our backyard.

The creek that runs by their house.

Freshwater puppy

Donnie rocks his burly mountain beard.

Our trip was much too short, but I look forward to the day we hike together again!

What’s been your favorite workout this year?

Love Actually Night Required Reading

9 Dec

This post from The Hairpin is the perfect read in preparation for my lady friend’s upcoming annual Love Actually Night. I will also start to incorporate words like “shag” and “rubbish” in my every day vocabulary.

Lady Lovenotes

30 Nov

Photo Source

I can spend hours upon hours enjoying the ridiculousness available at someecards.com so I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed Lululemon’s lovenotes on their website.

Yesterday I found my new favorite lovenote: “Let’s watch Love Actually together.”

Every year, my best lady friend hosts her annual Love Actually night for all us lady friends around the holidays. She cooks pasta, we bring wine and chocolate and other tasty treats and together we crowd around the TV and laugh together (and sometimes we sniffle a bit too). And it wouldn’t be our annual Love Actually night if my friend T didn’t spill some sort of red drink. This year I’m considering bringing her  a sippy cup.

So I, of course, shared this lovenote with our lovely party host. It’s such a simple holiday tradition, but it brings us ladies together every year and it always brings us joy and laughter. And a carpet or couch stain. But this year we will try to leave her house unscathed.

Which is your favorite lovenote?  Do you have any holiday traditions with your lady friends?

How I Got Into This Mess

15 Oct

And by ‘this mess’ I mean running.

When I lived in NY, I went to the gym 3 or 4 times a week. My gym was only a block away from my Astoria, Queens apartment so it was really hard to talk myself out of going. I usually spent my time alternating between the bike, the stair climber, the elliptical and the weights. I stayed as far away from the treadmill as possible. To me running was the devil.

But when I moved back to Florida, I lived in Tampa for 10 months and money was tight. Plus my hours at the office were long and the thought of coming home and working out within more walls made me cringe. So I started to walk along Bayshore Blvd. And then I started running ‘until the next light post’ or ‘until I passed those people walking their dog.’

Not long after, I moved back to Orlando and continued setting short term running goals:

  • Run around the block
  • Run around Lake Eola one time
  • Run 2 miles
  • Run 3 miles
  • Run the Turkey Trot 5k

I met a lot of these first goals with the help of my boyfriend Donnie’s support. He would run to Lake Eola (I would drive there) and he would run laps with me. He would tell me to dig deeper and push harder when I needed to hear it (and sometimes when I didn’t care to hear it). And he bought me my first pair of running shoes. Up until that point I had been running in old cross-trainers and had started to feel some pain in my ankles. Without his help, I would’ve given up early on.

Shortly before that first 5k I started to run with some ladies from my job and after running a few 5k’s we started talking about running a longer distance. Our friend Tim, who was also a co-worker, got tired of hearing us ladies talk about it, but never actually do anything about it. So he picked a small half marathon held in Baldwin Park in November 2009 and told us we were training for it. From then on we called him “Coach.”

Running with this group of friends was an incredible motivator. Together we ran, we laughed, we got lost on runs and we commiserated. We dragged ourselves out of bed on weekend mornings, we struggled, we got injured and we learned the importance of listening to our bodies. We encouraged each other and we pushed each other. By the time the half marathon came around, two of our ladies were injured and had to run the 5k instead. But we all showed up that morning ready to run:

Before the Baldwin Park Half. I am the one feeling strong. Donnie is the one tying is shoe. Roxy is waving and Tim is trying not to look nervous. Both Roxy and Tim placed in their age groups!

Donnie, Me, Tim (aka “Coach”), Roxy (all Half Marathon) and our 5k runners Theresa and Amy. Both Donnie and Tim smell like sweaty boys, which is why I’m keeping my distance.

Because we all have different paces and jobs now, we no longer run together. But occasionally you’ll still see us at the finish line cheering on our old running buddies.