Thursday, June 13, 2013

Leavin' on a jet plane

Finally, finally, finally!! The Hubster and I are going to Thailand. I'm so stinkin' excited!

I've been to Thailand twice now - the first time was when I was 12, the second time I was 16. That was eighteen years ago. Jason has never been. He's never met that side of my family (my mom's kinfolk).

From pretty much day one of our marriage, we've been wanting to go. But, we just focused on the want and not so much the plotting. I think we would get discouraged at the cost. Plane tickets to Thailand are very expensive.Very. I don't know why we never set up a game plan to save up... maybe the task was too daunting?

But, just over a year ago (maybe closer to two years now), we started a savings account that we decided to build up for house projects (redoing our master bathroom, for example).  To help us build up this account, Jason split up his paychecks. Each pay day X amount would automatically go into our checking account and Y amount would go into that savings account. So, in the year and change that we've been building up that account, we've got a nice bit saved up.

In July 2012, Jason and I were visiting my hometown. My brother informed me that he and our mom were heading to Thailand at the end of 2013, so why didn't Jason and I come along too? Why not, indeed!

Up until today, the plotting that Jason and I have done for this trip has just been somewhat dreamlike. Still not exactly a concrete being. But, today, shit got real. 

We bought our plane tickets. That's right - We. Bought. Our. Plane. Tickets.  We've waited so long for this. We still have to wait until November. But, knowing that we have an actual date set... Eeeee!!!!

Next steps? Booking our hotel. Planning our itinerary. Buying some necessary items. Counting down the days. Making pack lists. Actually packing. Actually GOING!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Birds

"Close the  car door! What are you thinking??! Close the damn door!"

These were things my manly husband was screaming shrilly at me. I could only stand there and laugh, tears rolling down my cheeks, my abs hurting. That is, until I turned around and realized that maybe Jason did have a reason to be frightened. I was alone on the outside of the car, having closed the door at some point in my doubled-over-laughing stage (and I'm 99% sure I heard the click of the door locking). With them

We had gone to the beach for a little get away. This particular evening, we had just had dinner and were cruising around, just seeing the sites. We came across a parking lot that led to a dock for boat drops. I saw a few seagulls just flying around and I had the bright idea.

I'm going to feed them my leftovers! 

Jason tried to put the kibosh on this idea right away. But, I tend to not listen to him. In my head, things sound like fun and they. must. be. done. 

As I was preoccupied with getting out of the car and reaching into the backseat to get my to-go box, I didn't notice what Jason was seeing. The few seagulls had multiplied into MANY. What the hell? Are they part rabbit? The MANY seagulls had gathered behind me as I was still facing the car. They were waiting expectantly for whatever I had in the magical box. This is why Jason was screaming (shrilly) for me to close the car door. He was scared that the mass of birds would fly into the car to see if there was more grub to be had. 

All that was running through my head at this time was "oh shit. If I open this box, a scene from Hitchcock's The Birds is going to be re-enacted right here, right now. I don't wanna be Tippi Hedren!"

But, I wanted to feed the birds. Part of my tiny brain was screaming, "that still sounds like fun. Do it." So, I slowly opened the box, keeping my eyes firmly locked on the gull closest to me, staring into those beady black eyes, mentally telling him not to make any sudden moves. 

I gently pulled a piece of flounder from my box. I peed a little when all the gulls cocked their heads and inched forward. With a girly scream (I'm pretty sure it came from me and not from The Hubster safely locked in the car), I flung the fish as far away from me as I could. Thankfully, it worked. The gaggle of gulls immediately went into a frenzy to get the small piece of food I had tossed. 

Being braver, I threw more food in the fray (still throwing it as far away as possible), getting a kick out of watching the birds fighting over the meal. Jason, who still was refusing to get out of the car, cracked the window a little, imploring me to get back in the car. 

"Don't you think you've fed them enough? Why don't you get back in the car while they're distracted?"

With a sigh, I concurred that maybe it was wisest to stop while I was ahead. Safely back in the car, I dissolved into giggles again as I replayed in my head - and then out loud, imitating Jason - his frantic cries, demanding that I shut the damn car door . 

Good times.  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Just a little beasty

If you've read some of my past blogs or if we're connected on Facebook, then you know I'm in love with Crossfit. That is one of the things that makes up my universe. What can I say? I really enjoy Crossit. I love the camaraderie, I love the suck, I love it all. Ok, granted, when I'm in the middle of a workout I begin questioning my sanity. But, when I finish and I realize what I just finished.... I feel invincible. Breathless, but invincible.

I started actual Crossfit classes at the end of April 2012 (after going through a month of the basics, learning some of the core pieces, etc). Crossfit is a scary beast, but it will change your life for the better. You won't realize how much stronger or faster you've gotten until you stop and look back over your time line. We keep a notebook where we write down the WODs (workout of the day) and our results of said WOD. 

I recently have had two workouts that made me realize how much better I have gotten...

The first time was this past Wednesday. We had to do sets of wall balls (50, 40, 30, 20, 10) with a 400 meter run after each set of wall balls. Wall balls are where you have to stand close to a wall, while holding a medicine ball. Then you squat. As you stand up you throw the wall up and against the wall, having to hit a high mark on the wall. You catch the ball as you're squatting back down.  What's even more "fun" is after finishing the sets, when you turn to run, you realize your quads have locked up and you have to "learn" how to work your legs so you don't just collapse (I won't tell you how close I've come to eating the floor). 

Anyhoo - it took me 21:51 to finish this WOD. But, back on October 4th we did this same WOD and it took me 25:34 to finish back then. Holy shit, I've gotten faster! 

The second occurrence that made me wake up a little was today. On January 12th, my box (as Crossfit gyms are called) began a Paleo Diet Challenge. A lot of Crossfitters believe in eating Paleo or as Paleo-ish as possible. On that day, we took measurements of different body parts: biceps, chest, waist, hip, thigh. We recorded our weights. We had to do a WOD. This WOD was a 400 meter run, 21 kettlebell swings, and 12 pull ups... and you had to do three rounds of that. We were given a 15 minute cap. On January 12th, I barely made the cut off. I finished in 14:58. Two freakin' seconds to spare. 

Today was the end of that challenge. We all remeasured our parts, weighed ourselves again, and - of course - redid that workout. I was nervous about the workout. What if I didn't have a better time? What if I didn't even finish this time (I cut it pretty damn close last time). 

I finished that WOD in TWELVE MINUTES, FORTY-SEVEN SECONDS! I cut off 2 minutes and 11 seconds. It took what was left of my strength to not burst into tears of joy when I saw the clock after I did my last rep. 

I am so proud of myself. I am proud to see how far I've come in less than a year. Yes, I still have lots of self-doubt ("can I do this workout??"). But, slowly and surely I'm getting over it. As I continue to get faster and stronger and BETTER!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A bit of untarnished soul

I'm a very cynical person. When I see people panhandling I think of a myriad of un-nice thoughts like "I can't believe you'd rather stand there and beg for money, rather than earn it" or "I bet this jerkwad is running a scam. He'll stand here all day, getting handouts, and then he'll go get in his Mercedes parked two blocks away."

But this evening, I saw something different.

On my way home from work, I ran to a little shopping center for a quick errand. As I was stopped at a  red light to leave the strip mall, there was a young man and his dog on the median. The driver in front of me rolled her window down and handed the man a bag of different items. I couldn't tell what all was in the bag, but I think I saw some toiletries. After the man took the bag, the woman grabbed his arm and had a conversation with him. She petted his dog. He kissed her hand before she pulled away when the light turned green. I didn't hear any of the exchange, but something about the whole thing actually moved me to tears.

The man looked back at my car and I'm sure he saw the tears in my eyes. He waved to me and through my watery gaze, I waved back, offering a tremulous smile, as I wished to some higher power that I had something, anything I could give him. I had bought some candy on my errand, and I thought about offering that to him.  But, I felt that would be a mockery.

Tears streamed down my cheeks my whole way home.

Maybe I'm not as cynical as I thought (feared) I was.