Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, could you come back for a sec?

I laughed this morning when I opened Leigh Ashley's blog because she posted a wee bit of me Wednesday on Thursday! She was so cute about it, and I am as guilt as she in forgetting Wednesday, so I'm joining her. I hope you will too! Let's turn back the clock to revisit Wednesday, just for a blog post.

{one} what is your biggest pet peeve?
Being stuck in traffic. Try as I may, I just can't get over it, it grates me every time.

{two} what is your favorite dessert?
Cannoli. If it's on the menu, and the restaurant is decent, I'm ordering it -- regardless of how full I am.

{three} what is the first thing you notice about people?
Usually their face, but sometimes their shoes.

{four} are you usually late, early or right on time?
Late. Yup, I'm one of those people, and I've just learned to accept it. Although, it drives Jed and a few of my friends absolutely crazy. Sorry guys!

{five} have you ever fired a gun?
Yes, a coworker took me to his gun club's shooting range for my birthday several years ago. I shot three handguns: a 22-caliber, a 45-caliber and a 9-mm (that looked like Jack Bauer's gun on "24"). It was scary, exhilarating and fun all at the same time. I'd definitely do it again.

{six} are you right-handed or left-handed?

{seven} which do you prefer: coke or pepsi?
Coke, but I drink Schweppes ginger ale most often if I'm going to have soda.

{eight} do you dance crazy when no one is looking?
I dance crazy when one is looking!

{nine} what’s your favorite movie snack?

{ten} do you scream on roller coasters?
Yeah, it just adds to the fun!

Monday, September 27, 2010

C25K Update and Some Questions

You all may remember that I decided to start Couch to 5K (C25K) around the beginning of the summer. I started out strong, and I was surprised at how easily my body adjusted to running/jogging. Yet, over the entire summer, I'm still on week two of the program! Haha... I found that I kept skipping weeks, and that hampered my progress, so I would have to fall back a week. Boo.

Time for a new plan. C25K recommends running three days a week, following the program's weekly progressions. No good for me. I keep pushing off the days I'm supposed to run. So, I'm amping it up to every day. I may not make it out every day, but at least if I tell myself I'm going to go every day, I'll end up fulfilling the three days a week.

I'm also not necessarily requiring myself to run every day. If I'm struggling, I'll go for a long speed walk instead. Not a big deal, I'm still moving, still exercising. It counts. Right?

Last week, I managed a short run one day, with two long walks on alternating days. Not too shabby for my first week of Plan B.

This week, I have scheduled time in my calendar every day to run. I will be tackling week two, which is alternating 90 seconds of running with two minutes of walking for 20 minutes total. Today, I ended up taking a mid-morning break from work (ah, the pleasures of working from home) to run and clear my head. 

My playlist for today:
I'm with You -- Avril Lavigne
Call Me -- Blondie
More than Fine -- Switchfoot (great running song)
Champagne High -- Sister Hazel (appropriate song for today since it was drizzly and gloomy)
Jesse's Girl -- Rick Springfield

A note about my playlist: songs are randomly selected from my crafted "workout" playlist. I downloaded a free trial of a program that analyzes my iTunes library and determines the BPM (beats per minute) for each song. Google "BPM counter," and you should be able to find one. I then created a smart playlist built off of songs with BPM of 120 or higher (what is recommended for exercise). I find up-tempo music motivates me to push harder when I'm thinking about giving up.

I'm always looking for new music, however, and there's some songs that snuck into my playlist that I don't think belong there. So, what do you listen to when working out? Do you have any favorite workout songs that you would recommend for me? I'm all ears! 

Today's run was good. I had some challenging moments, but I completed it, and I felt a lot better when I got back. The goal of clearing my head, lifting my mood and shrugging off my sleepiness worked.

I also need to start mapping out some three-mile loops around my neighborhood. Does anyone know of any free, Web-based mapping tools that I could use to create running trails? 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Introducing... Friday Fives!

I'm going to try something new today that I discovered at Just Me and My Life, the blogging home of the lovely Beth. I'm a relatively new reader of Beth's blog, but so far, I can't help but heart her.

So, she does this thing called Friday Fives, and this week's Fives are...

 5 Random Question Friday

1. What's your "comfort food"? Usually something warm... like soup, or brownies right out of the oven, or mac & cheese... or ice cream! LOL

2. One thing that's on your mind right now? Yay for the weekend!

3. What's the best advice you've ever received? Focus on the moment.

4. If you found $10 today, what would you do with it? Put it in my savings account.

5. What is your least favorite thing to clean in your house? The shower! And I had to clean it last night. Not fun.

Kinda fun, right? I thought so. Go say hi to Beth if you have a moment; I'm sure she'll appreciate it! 

And, of course, enjoy your weekend! It's Friday people! Yipee!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I had been working in my first newspaper job for only a few weeks as a copywriter. I was really getting the hang of writing and editing the obituaries (I know, who wants to spend the summer after their freshman year of college writing obits?), and I even liked it. A part of me wished I had more creative license and time; I wanted to delve into these peoples' lives, to write mini eulogies rather than local paper obituaries.

It was my 19th birthday, and I arrived at the office to a pile of incoming obituary forms. I sat down at my teal-colored Mac to get to work. I think there was an accomplished, elderly professor who made some impressive scientific discovery. Someone's grandmother. The usual and expected.

Then there was the one that stopped me in my tracks. The obituary that brought tears to my eyes as I wrote it. The tragedy that broke me down that morning on my 19th birthday.

There had been a car accident. He was 19. Unlike so many teen accidents, this one did not involve alcohol (or texting, it didn't exist back then). It was just that: an accident. An unfortunate twist of fate that stole this young man from the Earth. 

He was the same age as me, and he was dead. He left behind his parents, his friends, his girlfriend... and his two-year-old daughter. He was just starting to make a life for himself, and he was gone. 

That obituary was a reality check for me -- one of many. It was a reminder that every moment is precious and sacred, that every kiss, hug, "I love you" and smile should be cherished because you never know when it may be the last. That young man taught me the value of not going to bed angry, of not leaving for work without a kiss goodbye, of not ending a phone conversation without telling a person you love them.

I must have sat in front of that teal Mac for 20 minutes, staring at this man's obituary on the screen, sobbing.

I never expected a summer job as a newspaper copywriter to teach me so much or touch me so deeply.

{Image via we heart it}

This post was inspired by:

Mama's Losin' It
Prompt #1
Describe a tragedy you didn't expect to be as deeply affected by as you are.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Simple Post

It makes me happy that I was able to relax and watch the Patriots game yesterday.

It makes me happy that I was able to vacuum the entire house in the half hour prior to the game.

It makes me happy that I can relax with a cup of tea.

It makes me happy that I am going on vacation soon.

It makes me happy that I have good things to look forward to.

It makes me happy that the warm weather is sticking around for a while longer.

It makes me happy that I am determined to have a good day at work.

It makes me happy that I am trying to make a habit out of running.

What makes you happy today?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Someone pass me the toothpicks...

This week kicked my butt. I'm exhausted. All I want to do is curl up and sleep, but there's work and cleaning to do, so I guess I'm going to have to prop the eyelids open!

I am so glad it's Friday, and I don't really have much in the way of plans. I would like to clean the house tonight and tomorrow morning. Tomorrow I'm getting my hair trimmed and re-layered, and then Jed and I are heading down to the marina to take a boat out. Keep your fingers crossed for calm seas with the hurricane sweeping up the East coast!

What are you up to this weekend? Does it include Fill in the Blank Friday??? 

1.   When I get a day to myself I like to       do something that makes me happy like go to the beach with a good book if it's warm or hit the slopes if it's snowing. If today was one of those days, I would curl up on the couch in sweats and catch up on movies in between naps .

2.  High school was....      the best four years of my life! I know most people don't feel that way about high school, but I loved my school, my friends, my classes and my experience. High school was when I really became me    .

3.  A little dream I have is       cruise around the world. Hm... maybe that's a huge dream! I'll downsize: a little dream I have is to ski every weekend this winter   .

4.  A big dream I have is       to cruise around the world! LOL... And to get married, move into a larger house in a quaint neighborhood and raise children   .

5.  If I could drive any car my pick would be     the Lexus RX hybrid. I'm ready for an SUV -- four-wheel drive, cargo space, a ski rack...  .

6.  A time that I felt really and truly beautiful was       as my best friend's maid of honor. I loved the dresses she chose, I loved my shoes, I loved my hair, and I was so happy for her   .

7.  Tomorrow I will....       clean the bathroom, get my hair cut, go out on the boat     . 

Your turn! Visit the little things we do to get the blanks and link up!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday Catch Up

I know I have been a bad friend because I haven't been commenting on all of your blogs, but I have been reading them! Life has just been so hectic between work during the week and house projects or figuring out this boating thing on the weekends. I haven't even really had time to dive into the book I'm currently reading, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (a classic, I know).

By the time I finish work, I've been running crazy in my mind all day, all I want to do is decompress on the couch. Cooking dinner has become an afterthought. Cleaning the house? What is that? I haven't done that in almost THREE WEEKS, which is a HUGE deal for me, the neat freak.

I guess you could say I'm busy living a new version of my life. I just haven't decided if it's better or worse yet. Here's hoping things settle down soon! 

In the meantime, I'm glad to be able to bring you...
{one} have you ever won a trophy? if yes, for what?
Yes, I have won multiple dance trophies, and I think I got a trophy for a poetry/public speaking contest in middle school.

{two} what was your favorite subject in school?
English, always English. Probably the reason I'm a writer and a reader today!

{three} what time do you get up in the morning?
Between 7 and 8 a.m. On weekends, I like to sleep until 9 or 10 if I can.

{four} if you could open your own business, what would it be?
Either a travel consultancy business or a dance studio.

{five} if you could spend the evening with one rock star/band, who would it be?
Rock? Rob Thomas/Matchbox 20. I have loved those guys for 13 years! If I could branch out into country, I'd pick Kenny Chesney because I love his music and his laid-back attitude.

{six} what sitcom character reminds you of you?
Does it have to be a sitcom? I don't really watch sitcoms anymore. I guess since Leigh went with "Friends," I could say Rachel. Her relationship with Ross reminds me a lot of my current relationship.

{seven} what are the 3 most important things to you?
This is kinda a heavy question when you think about it, isn't it? The three most important things to me right now are living my best life, loving with all of my heart, and having faith.

{eight} chips or popcorn?
Chips, except when I'm in a popcorn mood.

{nine} have you ever ordered anything from an infomercial?
No, but I have Sham-Wows that we bought at Target, I think.

{ten} what is one thing that you are grateful for today?
Having good friends.

now it’s your turn!
happy wednesday…

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Guilty Pleasure Confession


Ok, I admit it: I have been watching The Bachelor Pad. Every episode, all season. I've cringed at the pettiness, shook my head at the drama, laughed at the ridiculous shallowness... and enjoyed every single second.

If anything, I think this show was a valuable sociology experiment. To me, it proved that even grown adults can resort back to their high school ways when placed in extreme situations. Women still get that girlish jealousy when their relationship security is threatened, and boys will be boys -- even when they are perceived to be men.

This was a game, but what the hosts and some contestants said all along was right: This was about relationshp-building... under the guise of a game for a quarter of a million dollars. It really didn't matter if you won or lost the challenges, however, as long as you were playing fair and forming genuine relationships. In the end, that is what it came down to.

Dave Goode and Natalie Getz ended up being the final couple after winning over a majority vote among the former housemates, over Kiptyn Locke and Tenley Molzahn. I want to state for the record that Kiptyn and Tenley totally deserved to win the dancing challenge; they blew everyone else out of the water!

I don't think I was surprised at the way the housemates voted because, even though Dave was a jerk at times, he was up-front with pretty much everyone. Natalie may have been the party girl, but she formed some real friendships with a lot of people and stuck up for those she felt deserved it, like Peyton and Jesse B. Kiptyn and Tenley seemed to be two of the sweetest people in the house, but perhaps that is why people didn't trust them in the end.

The final decision came down to the final couple themselves! I was a little surprised at this final challenge, but I guess it fits into the whole relationship aspect of the show. Natalie and Dave came through on their relationship and friendship, however, and they chose to share the money, hopefully solidifying their bond. I'll confess, I wasn't sure Natalie was going to share because she did come across as being selfish, but I was glad to see that she really valued her relationship with Dave, as she said.

I am happy with the conclusion. I didn't like Natalie or Dave during a lot of the show, but they won my heart towards the end once they got serious with each other. I thought they were a great team, and I think they really respect and care for each other.

Ok, time for you to come clean... Have you been watching The Bachelor Pad? What did you think of the show? What did you think of the finale? Would you like the show to continue? I think I'd be curious about another season, personally.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Life of Five Women in a Pink Honey House

I finally decided to watch this movie last night.

I read the book earlier this year, and, although I thought it was a slow start, I ended up really liking it and hanging at the end of every chapter waiting to find out what happens to little Lily Owens.

After watching Eat Pray Love and being disappointed (which I knew I would be), I was hesitant to even watch The Secret Life of Bees because I didn't want to be disappointed.

I wasn't. I really enjoyed this movie, and I thought it did the book justice as best it could. Obviously there was stuff cut out, but the scenes were chosen well, and the focus was on Lily's time with the Boatwright sisters, which was really the heart of the book. During that time, though, the movie could have shown more of Lily and August's time with the bees... since that is where the title comes from. I became more emotional watching the movie than I did reading the book, and that is the mark of a good movie to me -- it makes me feel something.

The casting, according to my own imagination built off the book's descriptions, was off. Dakota Fanning was great as Lily, but Rosaleen and August were not how I pictured them. I think Queen Latifah should have been cast as Rosaleen, who I pictured as older than Jennifer Hudson and a little more plump. August, in my mind, was thin, about 50 pounds lighter than Queen Latifah. May and June were close to what I imagined, as were Zach and Neil. T Ray could have been older, scruffier and more intimidating. He looks way too clean cut in the movie, although he does try to look awful. LOL

I gave this movie four out of five stars.

{Image via Netflix}

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hump Day - and it feels like an uphill climb

I have that "thank God it's Wednesday" feeling today... and it's such a short week too! I'm not sure what's going on with me yet, but I feel very blah, tense, anxious and like I can't wait for this week to be over. 

I am so glad Leigh Ashley came up with good wee bit of me Wednesday questions today. I am thankful it is Wednesday, which means two more days until I can spend some time on me and relax. I'm happy that last weekend was the last weekend Jed will be working on outside house projects (and I hope he takes a little break on the indoor house projects for a few weekends too). Oh yeah, and I'm grateful it rained this morning so our freshly planted grass seed could get some natural hydration!

{one} what was your first pet and how did you come up with its name?
You've all heard about my adorable Lhasa Apso, Morris Arthur. I actually didn't name him -- Justin and his roommates at the time did -- but I agree that his name is perfect for him. The boys decided they wanted to name whatever dog they got after the name of the street they lived on at the time: Morris Avenue. One of the roommates decided Arthur was the perfect middle name.

{two} do you like your ice crushed or cubed?
Cubed. With few exceptions.

{three} do you believe in love at first sight?
No, you have to know someone to truly love them.

{four} do you have any nicknames?
Way too many to list here! Jen is the most common, obviously.

{five} what movie do you never get tired of watching?
Bad Boys. I don't know why, but I heart that movie.

{six} how do you like your eggs cooked?
I'll eat eggs cooked multiple ways, but my favorite is omelets, and they better not be overcooked! 

{seven} are you named after anyone in particular?
My mother, in an indirect way. She didn't want to give me her first name, so my first name is my mother's Confirmation name, and we both have the same middle name.

{eight} what are three things that you would like to do that you haven’t done yet?
Get married, travel the world, have a family... probably in that order!

{nine} what one thing always brightens your mood?
A kiss from Jed.

{ten} what five things will you always find in your purse?
My driver's license, cell phone, lip gloss, eye drops, cash or credit card.

okay, now it’s your turn!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Recap

Wow, I've been so caught up and relaxed in this weekend that I forgot today was Monday... and I forgot about blogging... and I nearly forgot it's Friend Makin Monday! 

This week's topic, hosted by Amber herself, is...

What are you doing for Labor Day?

So, tell me, did you have a good Labor Day weekend? What were the highlights?

I'll give you a little play-by-play, all of which I am extremely grateful for, by the way.

I worked from home Friday, and I was sorta looking forward to seeing a bit of Hurricane Earl, but all we got was a little bit of rain. Friends of ours came up with a great idea of having dessert for dinner and hosted S'MORESgasboard -- a night of s'mores for dinner. They went all it with a s'mores buffet complete with homemade marshmallows (yes, homemade, including mint-flavored marshmallows!), homemade chocolate and regular and chocolate graham crackers. It was delicious, and I think we are going to do it annually!

Jed and I prepped our yard to plant grass then we went to my parents' house for a cookout... on their new deck!

Jed and I spent most of the day planting grass and setting the sprinkler system. Last night, we met up with friends for dinner at Olive Garden and a movie. We saw Takers, which I thought was really good! It's a typical cop/bank robber drama, but I liked the different perspectives they used -- you got attached to both the cops and the robbers.

Jed and I went down to Warwick, RI, to check out a boat club! Today was a perfect day, weather-wise, and the marina was beautiful! Jed has wanted a boat for a while, but neither of us is crazy about the cost and upkeep and storage a boat requires. So, Jed found this boat club where, for a membership fee, you have unlimited use of 11 boats out of the Warwick marina and also boats out of 50 other locations around the U.S. during boating season. It's sorta like a country club... with boats. They have a gorgeous marina with BBQ-equipped gazebos, a pool and a bathhouse. Let me tell you, I'm really looking forward to boating in Narragansett Bay, down to Newport, around the Cape and up around Boston!

So, that was our weekend. It was pretty low-key, but it was nice... and we're about a month away from our cruise vacation! Wooooohoooo!

{Image via Freedom Boat Club}