And a month goes by….

sigh.

I’m sitting on the couch between two snoring dogs. Making lists and planning out the next 3 months.

We are on the hunt for a house…. moving out of state…. putting our things in order….getting the whole process started.

We are sorting our belongings, getting rid of stuff. We are donating as much as we can- clothing to the Lupus foundation (or whomever is picking up that week), books to the library and schools and to our friends kids.  Our old, crappy, second hand couches out to the curb (they look pretty, but man they are not even close to comfortable), along with some other old furniture we no longer want to drag around with us.

And the house hunt…. man oh man. There sure is a lot of crap out there.

We have a small list of must haves-

4 bedrooms (with a compromise at 3 if we love everything else)
en suite bathroom in the master (but again, we can compromise as long as everything else is perfect and we love it)
Open floor plan- neither of us is a fan of closed off rooms
basement and garage (but again we would be happy with either but not neither)
2 full or 1.5 baths
fenced in yard

 

That can’t be too much to ask, can it? You’d be surprised. We have so far looked at 30 houses. Yes, you read that right. It was not a typo. 30. 3-0. THIRTY. We found a 5 bedroom we loved, put an offer in, got the shit end of some shady realtor work, and pulled that offer before the contract was even signed. A second, 3 bedroom house we loved but it just wasn’t enough yard and it was not fenced.

So onward to this weekend.  We narrowed down our list and I think, I hope, this is the weekend the magic happens. I have a really good feeling. All of them have fenced yards, garages and 4 or more bedrooms. One has a soundproofed room already, which is what my musician husband loves. All of them are open floor plans with more than enough bathrooms….some of them even have sheds and hot tubs! And all of them face the road, no weird side facing oddballs like last time.

The nice thing about the areas we are looking is that the neighbors are not on top of each other. That’s the thing about Jersey. Or at least the thing about the area of Jersey we are in now. I love it, don’t get me wrong. I’ve lived here a little more than 6 years…plus or minus the previous 37 years…. but I am so tired of looking outside and just seeing my neighbors houses. And their yards. And the lack of privacy. And even when you get out into the next few towns from here, the houses are so close, you can’t always tell where one yard ends and the next begins. PACKED IN TIGHT.

No thanks.

And most of the communities we are looking at have water privileges, close to the bay, the ocean, or rivers…. and we’ve got stand up paddle boards and kayaks that need a home…

I’m so excited for this round of houses. I just feel really positive that we are going to find something this weekend.

And I have several in person interviews coming up in the next few weeks for teaching jobs in DC.

And I graduate with my MS in less than 4 months.

I feel like we hit a low point right before Christmas, with illnesses and deaths, and then more illnesses, and some near deaths in January, that we are due for some positive stuff to happen and it seems like it is on the horizon.

I cannot wait to move. I love a new, vibrant adventure. A new downtown and a new city to explore, new faces, new places, hiking, biking, running, and hopefully some good health news or everyone. I’m just so tired of ducking out of sight in the local supermarket in order to avoid the people I don’t want to run into in town. And tired of sharing a fence and backyard with people I don’t want to have to always talk to.

What is Life but one Grand (vibrant!) Adventure?

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Totally Cuckoopants

Wow. So it’s been kind of a while. Are you still out there? I’m still here, and not here…and sometimes just…. existing some days and some days not.

Autoimmune diseases are the worst, they steal a small part of your life away every time there’s a flare. I’ve been dealing with some out of control anxiety and depression…brought on by the cancer diagnosis of someone close to me. Never fun. Never good. And far too familiar for me. Cancer sure doesn’t leave anyone alone.

I am also freezing to death in this horrible winter arctic nonsense.  New Jersey is COLD people. Like negative temps for weeks, cold. And one of the perks of my disease is sensitivity to COLD. So winter’s been a fucking blast.

Another great part of the disease? Not only do I get to suffer it’s symptoms, but I ALSO get to suffer the symptoms of it’s opposite disease. Doesn’t that sounds JUST AMAZING? What? No? Well. Right. So I swing back and forth between the Hashimoto’s symptoms and the Graves symptoms.  Alternately shivering and sweating in our 67 degree house, a sometimes puffy face around the eyes, and dropping weight like its my job.

So the dropping weight part I don’t really mind, as prior to diagnoses I had put about 30 additional pounds onto my 5’3″ frame…. I’ve currently dropped that entire 30 plus about 5-10 more. It’s nice to have jeans that I can take off without unbuttoning now….haha! And the belly is mostly just a small round bump rather than the somewhat flabby, hanging over the top of my pants when I sit, mess it was before!

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Not so easy to see the big difference, but I see it and know its there. I’ll have to pull that dress out and see how it looks now, a year later. 🙂

Healthwise, besides the daily symptom struggle, I’m doing really well. I’m just saddled with some sadness and knowing that life is going to change in a major way any minute….

 

In other news, I’ve always said I wanted to get the hell out of Jersey. Well. We are finally doing it. Moving south as we have talked about for the last 2 years. I’ll fill you in more when we finally find a place, but come May 15, we’re out of here. Won’t it be nice not to trip over my last three exboyfriends and their significant others every time I want to go out about town?! Yes it will. It’s funny though, b/c those exs were the same people who never wanted to settle in Jersey, never wanted to have families here for fear of whatever Jersey had rubbing off on them and their spawn… and look whos moving away? ME. Y’all can have all the Jersey, all the time come May. Hope that offshore drilling doesn’t ruin your beach time.

The prospect of buying a house and moving out of state is terrifyingly exciting! I love change! I worked for a company once who’s motto was Change or Die. And it’s true. If we don’t change, adjust our lives, shake things up or whatever, we will die a slow stagnant death, wishing we had made the changes back when we had time.

 

So thats it for now, I plan to try really hard to make sure I post more, and keep you up to date about all the things.

Stay Vibrant!

 

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 26.2

Guys. GUYS. GUUUUYYYYYSSSSSSS.

I’m sorry I dropped out of sight for a while.

Life got shitty. and Busy AF. Like, I’ve never been busier busy. Life kind of exploded all over my training plan.

I didn’t get in all the long runs I wanted to.

I didn’t feel ready.

I didn’t even want to go on race day.

My stomach hurt. My head ached. I felt unhappy.

But I got my ass there, and I did a thing!

SLOWLY.

My goal was 6 hours.

And that was a big, fat, NOPE.

I felt really great the whole time!  But somewhere around mile 16, I started to lose steam…. It was there also that the crowd had thinned, and I would go BLOCKS without seeing a smiling face. Brooklyn…. oh man. Manhattan has a lot to live up to! Brooklyn was AMAZEBALLS! Even the Bronx was an intense, fun, ride….

but somewhere around mile 16ish… I lost it. Petered out. I didn’t feel like this was my wall, but it might have been.

Needless to say, I am a nearly-seven-hour Marathoner. But I am still a MARATHONER.

A TWO TIME MARATHONER!

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Someone told me once that all I would amount to was a fat, lazy chick who sat on her couch all day “eating bon-bons” and watching reality tv…. well. TAKE THAT AND SHOVE IT.

I ran TWO MARATHONS.

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With the best support system around!

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And yeah, thats it for me.

No more marathons.

Halfs? Maybe…. well, probably. and all the shorter distances…. but this was my last full.

Once to prove I could do it, and once to prove to myself it wasn’t a fluke.

I am a 2 time marathoner.

tick tock

Depression really fucking blows.

It has sucked my life force away these last weeks… losing a pet hurts. A Lot more than I anticipated.

Perspective- my younger brother died in March 1997. Surrounded by family, including me. I was 21 and this was the height of my pain up to that point, and beyond as well.  I watched him take his last breaths, I watched his eyes flutter and the breathing stop. I had nightmares and sadness and crying and anger and all the things death of a loved one brings out of us.

And i survived. And lived to tell the tale and aid others who were struggling with loss.

I fancied myself an expert on death and mourning… I mean my people have been slowly dying since I was in about 5th grade…great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, brother…. I really felt I had this whole death and mourning thing down.

Then my cat dies and my world shifts and throws me into Crazytown.  Can’t get through a day without tears, can’t find the motivation to do anything I loved, particularly run.

Eventually, as we know it will, the fog starts to lift, I start to run again….but around every corner of my house is a reminder of my lost girl. And my empty lap.

My lap is so empty.

I fill it with a laptop, and somehow just a few weeks later find myself perusing petfinder…

I cannot bare to get another cat… not now, not yet. But maybe a small dog?

So that happened.

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This is our new family member, Joey McStubbins. He’s a Bagle (Basset Hound/Beagle mix). All the love and all the cuddles… I’m finally feeling like myself, although a little sadder than before.

Running? Well… there are 17 days to go. I feel pretty good. I ran a half in Brooklyn last weekend and managed to shave about 10 min off my previous time……. Rock N Roll Brooklyn Half… was quite a lot of fun!

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Since I did this one all by myself (hubs was camping), I didn’t get any finish line pics… well. Not any I want to share LOL. I look like a hot mess after long distance running!

I’m feeling damn good about November 5, and now that I have my corral and wave assignment… I know shit just got real.

Sadly I am once again in the last wave and last corral…. but whatever. I’ll once again outrun the sweeper bus.

XO

What the crap…

It’s been a hell of a 2 weeks….

  • school started
  • grad school started
  • we went away for a lovely weekend with family and friends where we kayaked our little hearts out                                                                            21034546_10154596101781370_8151685988597644942_n
  • Ate a massive amount of crabs, like with mallets and stuff…. 21078345_10154596507526370_6616495389497698170_n
  • and just basically enjoyed our last summer hurrah
  • I did get in 11 miles…. but it wasn’t pretty or fun…. though not nearly as bad as the last run

 

BUT. We came back and at the end of last week we realized that kitty cat wasn’t eating…. and she had just kind of slowed way down. On Saturday before my long run, I found her curled up in the shower (she has never in 17 years slept in the shower). I knew that was a sign. I scooped her up and brought her downstairs to her favorite chair. Where she stayed for some 4 hours.

We spent that Saturday at the tattoo shop, getting some amazing ink done… step 1 in a larger half sleeve. Though I don’t really feel it, I know I will over the moon in love with it….. I’m just gonna need a little time to heal…. in more ways than one.21231257_10154614014821370_5957816959485103966_n.jpg

After the tattoo, I came home wondering if kitty would be alive. She was, but she refused to eat, and just sat listlessly in my lap. She was purring and seemed not to be in pain, but I knew. The writing had been on the wall since July. It seemed like it was time to call the vet.

Sunday we spent most of the day cuddled up together on her favorite chair. She was still not eating, but she was still purring…I felt like this was her telling me she loved me one last time. Because I knew she didn’t feel well, and I knew… I just knew.

My amazing husband called the vet that morn and we brought her in around 2.

Through my sobs, the vet offered these words

“There is a window of time where it’s not too soon, and it’s not too late. You are in that window now.”

I said goodbye to my beautiful friend….. and 17 years of friendship and love came to an end, at least in this world. My heart is broken. My lap is empty. I don’t honestly know how to live in a world without my pet.

If you have never loved an animal with all your heart, you will not understand, but if you have, then you know. Even as I type, I can’t stop the tears.

So running and training have slipped, as I mourn, but I know I will get my shit together and do it. I just have to be kind to my poor broken heart.

 

RIP my beautiful Chloe girl. 18198777_10154262713701370_4208227268109328668_n (1).jpg

9 miles

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Things to remember:

don’t skip dinner the night before the long run, no matter how upset your stomach feels.

bring extra fuel on the long run even though you’re packing Tailwind (and replace the chews you drop on your way out the door, even if it means starting a few minutes later than planned).

ALWAYS bring a few bucks so you can buy extra water on the way when you run out (thank goodness for that secret $5 bill in the fuel belt) ( and don’t forget to replace the secret $5 bill in the fuel belt).

wear belaga socks on the long run. Your toenails will thank you.

Running skirts are the best.

The Kindness of Strangers

Who knew just a few words from a passing stranger could be the catalyst for getting your mojo back?

I went to Kean U. on Wednesday for a Rick Smith professional development workshop. When it was over, I walked the bazillion steps to my car, turned it on and put all the windows down. While I was getting my gps connected and finding my way home, a man walked by and as he did he called out

“Keep running! I can tell by your bumper stickers!”

and continued on his way.

I yelled out “thank you!”

And that was the end of our interaction.

When I got home I had mulled over the unconditional love of the running community and realized that it had been nearly three weeks since I last ran.

Then I realized that in September I would be coaching a Girls on the Run team. How can I coach girls to run, if I can’t even get my ass outside for a short 2-4 miles??

So I had planned to get up on Thursday, go do my tutoring and hit the park.

But then…. I had a headache Wednesday eve. A terrible migraine. Probably one of the worst I have had in over a year. I tossed and turned all night, alternately sweating and shivering. I woke up with only a tickle of a headache and was able to go about my day. I headed out to tutor.

I decided to come home after and rest for the afternoon….and I did….. but then I realized that some stranger told me to “keep running” ……. FullSizeRender.jpg

so I did.

9 miles coming up this weekend.

I’ve got this.

#vibrantlife