Life is good.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
~Courtney posted at 6:43:38 PM
Leaving my comfort zone...
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I've contemplated whether or not to join a running group for a very long time. My biggest hesitations were always that I'd be the slowest person, or that I'd collapse in the middle and cause a scene, or something equally as tragic.
Anyhow, I realized that it'd probably give me a (much needed) boost with my training, and finally bit the bullet.
The group meets on Thursday nights for a 50 minute out and back run, and then on Saturdays for a 5 mile run, and then on Sundays, where they split off on a 10-mile run, or a 16+-mile run (depending on what they are training for).
So, I was nervous ALL day on Thursday, but went, met some really nice people, and had a great (just shy of) 6 mile run. It was a small group of about 10-12 of us, and while I was no where near the fastest of the group, I wasn't in the back, either. I was actually consistently in the middle of the pack, which is fine with me!
Today, I headed out for the 5 mile run, and had SO much fun. This was a much bigger group (probably 70-80 people) and I pushed myself harder than I have in quite some time, because I ended up running with a fun group of people who ran really fast.
Anyhow, as the rational me knew all along, runners are nice people, and I shouldn't have stressed quite so much about joining. It's a blast, and I think I am going to go tomorrow to run the first five miles of the 10 mile course (it's 2.5 to the west, then back to the start, then 2.5 back to the east and back...so a great stopping point).
I am looking forward to early September, when I can actually join them on a 10 mile run.
Next attempt to challenge my comfort-zone = joining the master's swim team at the YMCA in September...we'll see. Baby steps!
~Courtney posted at 2:27:32 PM
Very quick dinner idea...
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
We just had pan seared sesame tuna steaks for dinner, and they were fantastic, and took about 10 minutes from start to finish.
We did corn on the cob, and a big salad with the blueberry vinaigrette I had made last night. Andrew and I both agreed that it was better tonight compared to right after I made it, but it only lasts about a week, so I would probably cut the recipe in half next time.
I am trying to plan our Fri-Sun menu...any suggestions?
~Courtney posted at 7:51:12 PM
Mr. Knick Knack
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
When we first moved here, I spent a lot of time trying to find fun activities for Benjamin and I to go out and do. There are SO many thing offered by the county and our town, so we've been having fun getting out and about.
Monday mornings are one of our favorites, because Mr. Knick Knack does a free concert a couple of miles from our house. He performs funny variations on the regular kiddo-songs, and has a crazed following of dancing and bouncing toddlers.
Anyhow, Benjamin is not a big fan of wild children who could potentially knock him over, so he chooses to participate, just OUTside of the circle. Yesterday was actually an improvement over previous trips, because he didn't make me hold him the entire time.
It was about 90 degrees, and just outside of the circle was some shade, so no complaints here! Here are a few pics of Benjamin whoopin' it up!
Click to see the whole album
~Courtney posted at 9:09:09 AM
One week (and 2 days), and voila!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The kitchen is DONE.
The painters came yesterday, and oh-so-quickly put my Ralph Lauren Lisbon Blue onto the walls, finishing up the job.
I remain in shock that all of this happened in 9 days (with about 3 of those non-working days) and am having SO much fun preparing meals in my fantastic new kitchen. Andrew and I worked into the middle of the night to unpack all of the boxes of kitchen stuff, and to find a home in our smaller, more um, compact kitchen.
At this point in time, we're still trying to come up with a pantry plan, because currently, there isn't very much FOOD in the kitchen. That is to be continued.
Don't mind the horrid lighting; the colors look much cooler together in real life (so come visit, darn it!), but here are a couple of shots of the completed project.
First, a reminder of what we started with:
And now the new...
View when you walk in from the front door/hallway:
Other wall view:
My fantastic, undermount sink. Which needs to be shined already (I know, mom!):
And because you make sangria when it's 100 degrees outside...
~Courtney posted at 7:11:38 PM
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
We've gotten a lot done in the past couple of days. Our fantastic contractor got the base cabinets in yesterday, and then he and his carpenter came in and did the upper ones today.
We measured for the granite yesterday, and that's being delivered tomorrow morning!
Here's how it looks right now:
No more fugly lamp:
Between the lack of kitchen space, and the fact that we don't have gas in the neighborhood, this oven is the next best thing. I have had this since shortly after we moved in, and LOVE only having to heat the little top oven to make brownies, chicken nuggets, etc. I imagine my Thanksgiving turkey will be one of the few things done in the big oven!
I didn't end up painting it, and opted out of painting around the cupboards, so we'll have painters in here at some point in the next day or two...they won't have all that much to paint now!
There is a lot of trim and touch-up work that will still be done in the next couple of days. But, I have to say, I am shocked and amazed that it's come together so quickly!!
We are so excited to be able to "move in" to the kitchen. We're almost out of paper plates...
~Courtney posted at 6:26:34 PM
Fun in NY.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Benjamin appears to be having a BLAST in NY with everyone. Aunt Emin-knee sent a bunch of fantastic pictures last night, and I hope to see some more!
He's been boating during a rubber-ducky race, hanging out on the river, playing in the rain, dancing at summer festival, and SLEEPING IN UNTIL NEARLY 10.
I hope he packs some of those sleepy-vibes in his suitcase tomorrow...he's never slept past 7:45 for me!
Anyhow, I can tell he's had a blast, but I can't wait to have him home!
~Courtney posted at 1:35:39 PM
New floor: Check!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The guys just left, and the grout is setting.
It looks better in there already!
Andrew and I are going to head out an continue on our mini-golf ongoing tournament, which has been on hold since about July of 2006. Mini-golf with a baby is awfully challenging, so we're using our time this weekend to do things that we don't normally get to do.
On that note, Benjamin appears to be having a blast in NY. He's playing, picking berries, and gasp, SLEEPING IN. They must really be wearing him out!
~Courtney posted at 10:39:26 AM
My open apology to PHS football players in the mid-nineties
Friday, July 11, 2008
I was a swimmer. Most of my best friends were swimmers, too. We were pretty good, actually, and despite training far too much of the year, usually had a blast doing it.
One event, that was always particularly fun for us was the annual swim team girls vs the football team swim meet.
These guys really loved to talk a lot of smack before the meet, and almost to the point where we'd be a LITTLE nervous that they might beat us.
I think a lot of them really didn't respect swimming as a real sport.
Well, we whomped their butts every year.
Anyhow, I stopped swimming in 1996 and hadn't had a cap or goggles on since then. Randomly, I decided that I should start swimming, and although I hadn't actually started, I didn't miss a beat when Ron asked me if I wanted to do the swimming portion of a triathlon in Norwood next month.
OF COURSE I can swim a 1/4 mile.
Wait, how many laps is a 1/4 mile? (It's 9ish, in case you care.)
Yeah, swimming is easy, anybody could swim a 1/4 mile.
So today was day one of my 5 week swimming training. Hot damn was it hard!
I swam 1100 yards over the course of 20-22 minutes (slow), and my arms were burning.
So anyway, back to the football players. I apologize for rubbing it in SO much when we beat you so badly. Swimming is a really challenging sport, and while it may not involve tackling people, running away from them, or lugging around a lot of extra weight (I am talking about your pads, not your beer guts), it takes a lot of practice, and in the dozen years since I've been able to call myself a swimmer, I've forgotten just how much athletic credit a swimmer deserves.
See you at the pool!
~Courtney posted at 3:12:21 PM
Friday, July 11, 2008
We're in the midst of having our kitchen remodeled. When we bought this house, we knew updating the kitchen was in our 2008 plans, but were hoping to salvage, at least temporarily, some of the components (read, the cabinets).
Because of faulty, old, and dirty appliances, we had to replace those right away.
I tried (and in turn, wasted about 30 hours of my own life, and a lot of Andrew, mom and Ron's time, too) to sand and paint the cabinets. But they looked like crap, and figured if we were putting in nice counter tops, then we'd want nice new cabinets, too.
Well, the new layout to a) make the kitchen safe, and b) maximize the minimal amount of counter space, would require new flooring too...
So, after getting a few estimates, we finally found a contractor we love, and since he's fitting us in between a couple of jobs, we're thrilled it's getting done so quickly.
Fast forward to this week.
I drove Benjamin up to Potsdam on Wednesday, where he's staying with my mom and Ron. I drove back last night, getting home around midnight. (That's 1044 miles in less than 40 hours, but it was fun to see my new car getting upwards of 40 mpg!!)
The contractor and his guy started with demolition yesterday, and had it all done by mid-day. They got the sub-flooring in, and laid a couple of rows of tiling.
Today, they fixed up a wall (the cat shrine is gone, in case you've been here and know which wall I am talking about), and have laid most of the tile. They plan to grout it tomorrow morning. I'll paint on Sunday, and then the cabinets come on Monday. Granite is being measured on Monday afternoon, and might be done as early as Tuesday. CAN NOT WAIT.
Anyhow, here are a couple of visual aids to help you understand the horrific-ness of the kitchen previously, and how we've been living for the past 8 weeks. Because the cabinets grossed me out so much, and I refused to put my dishes in them, just to move them again, we've been eating a LOT of frozen meals, a lot of take-out or grilled foods, and we dine ONLY on our finest paper plates.
So, this is what it looked like before we bought the house:
And just because this (not so) gorgeous lamp will be gone in a day or two, a closeup for you.
I am missing Benjamin like crazy, and while the tile-cutter is far from quiet, it's far too quiet without his giggles and singing. Tuesday, when he and Andrew arrive back in VA, seems like a REALLY long time from now!
~Courtney posted at 11:56:10 AM
It's a good thing...
Monday, July 07, 2008
It's a good thing we ran out and bought new sneakers.
Oh wait, nevermind. Most of the kids had on crocs.
And Benjamin only lasted for 16 minutes before I had to leave my awesome kickbox class to come and pick him up.
I think it's time for me to find a pre-school/part-time daycare so he can get used to being around other kids...
~Courtney posted at 10:23:51 AM
Long weekends rock.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
We had a fantastic holiday weekend. We celebrated the fourth with old friends including
Tera, Katie and Kyle, and some other people from high school who stopped by. Katie and Kyle were fantastic hosts, and we had such a fantastic time. We weren't 2 miles away from their gorgeous new house when Benjamin conked out for the night!
We saw fireworks...but only on our drive home. I successfully removed my contacts on the capital beltway (we were stopped, of course) because they had been in FAR too long at that point.
Andrew and I stayed up too late, and Benjamin woke up way too early on Saturday morning.
We attempted to go mini-golfing yesterday. The course is, allegedly, one of the top five in the US. Of course, after waiting in line for 15 minutes to start out, we realized that there was NO way that Benjamin was going to cooperate, and traded our clubs in for a rain check. Instead, we went to a (not so) fabulous petting zoo near our house. I don't know that I've gotten the stench of that place out of my nose yet; 26 hours later.
Today, we slept in. All of us. And then went for a nice family bike ride on the W&OD trail. I think we got about 6 miles in, in just over 30 minutes. Not horrible for our first bike outing in a couple of months.
I completed week 2 of my 1/2 marathon training schedule, and decided that it was time to pick a 1/2 marathon to run in.
Being the (always...heh) budget conscious person that I am, I chose the Baltimore 1/2 marathon in October. I was hesitant to sign up, mostly because of my knee injuries from last year, and my fear to get hurt again, but am confident that I'll take it easy this time, since I have an extra 3-4 weeks to train for it.
I booked a hotel room (yay, Marriott points!) in downtown Baltimore the night before the race, so we don't have to deal with the possible traffic en route that day.
Other than that, we had a mostly mundane weekend involving errands, playgrounds, and lots of books.
I mentioned to Andrew, a few minutes ago, that the Sunday Blues are SO SO SO much worse after a long weekend. I am hoping that I can finish up a couple of things and be to bed within the hour...
Hope your holiday weekend was a fun and relaxing as ours!
~Courtney posted at 8:05:59 PM
Thursday, July 03, 2008
While I was planning to hold off until September, after the pool closed, we got a family membership at the local YMCA yesterday.
It's huge, pretty new, and really, really nice. Instead of a standard kid-care like we've had in prior gyms, the kids actually go into a gym and get to do activities and play in a big, open space. It's basically like hour-long day-camp!
We were all psyched to go this morning (I am going to start swimming as my non-running days exercise), and I read the rules, and Benjamin needed to have sneakers.
Benjamin doesn't wear sneakers. Or shoes. Only crocs.
Upon a friend's suggestion of the best place to get a kid sneakers that won't cost a fortune since he'll likely only wear them at the gym, we trekked over to Kohl's, where we got a fantastic pair of slip-on Nike's for only $24.99!
And shocking me, Benjamin asked if he could wear them after we decided to buy them.
Benjamin stopped everyone who'd stop to say "oooh, neeeewwww shooooz." It was pretty funny.
Here are the snazzy new kicks:
~Courtney posted at 11:54:26 AM
Rocks, Bark & Chips
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Picking up a piece of bark from the walkway.
Benjamin: A rock! A rock!
Me: No, that looks like a rock, but it's a bark chip.
Benjamin: Hmmmmm. Obviously thinking quite hard.
Benjamin: Woof Woof Woof. Yummmmmm, chips.
~Courtney posted at 10:44:07 AM