Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Remember When

I remember asking for a camera for my eighteenth birthday and I was so excited to use it at the next big event in my life.  Back then, film was rather pricey. Actually, it probably still is, but I haven't purchased any film in more than eight years.

I'm in my early 30s, but I remember only taking photos for special occasions:  birthdays, holidays, graduations and vacations. Taking photos has become a part of everyday life.  It seems that everyone with a camera phone snaps photos of just about anything -- food, landscapes, new outfits and the 2013 Word of the Year:  selfie.

I'm guessing the average smart phone user has more than 500 photos stored on their phone. I know at one point I had close to 700 and had to start deleting them because my phone was nearly maxed out on memory.  Do I really need photos of the meal I ate at a restaurant SIX months ago?

This morning my mother-in-law sent me an email requesting me to send a digital copy of a specific photo that had a time stamp from 2/10/11 1440.  She needed photos for a work event she has next week so she can display photos of her hero in uniform (her son).  Apparently, I emailed said photo to her in November 2011, with the caption "Happy Veterans Day!"

Thanks to my Type A tendencies -- every photo I own goes into it's rightful folder in a online photo website.  I found the photo immediately, downloaded it and then proceeded to browse for a few more to send.  Before I knew it, I had tears flowing down my face.  I've been with this man for 10.5 years and we have so many wonderful memories.  These photos are like looking into my soul.  They truly represent how happy we have been these past 10.5 years.

The flood of emotions really started when I saw a photo of Seth and I with our best friends at the airport on February 8, 2012.  That was a day I'll never forget.  A couple weeks prior to that date, my girlfriends and I got together to make "Welcome Home" T-shirts with puffy paint and I ordered a welcome banner as well.  I still remember the excitement I felt knowing I would be welcoming home my husband after his deployment.  

After emailing my mother-in-law the time-stamped photo and a few more that brought back memories, Seth arrived home from this therapy appointment.  He looked at my red, blotchy face and he asked what was wrong and why I had been crying.  My reply: "I was just reminiscing about the good times we've had together."  :)

I know we're all guilty of snapping a dozen or more photos no matter the occasion, but maybe you'll question yourself the next time you pick up your phone and switch it to camera mode.
When I look at this photo years from now, will it bring me back to that exact moment and the emotions I felt?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Burning Off My Crazy

My husband has told me on multiple occasions when I'm acting crazy.  We all do it, we overreact and our emotions take over.  And for ladies, the crazy level goes up a notch or two a few days out of the month. Am I right, ladies and gents?

This past fall and winter, I stayed busy doing household chores, caring for my husband and shuttling him to physical therapy and other appointments four days a week.  It felt like a full time job. To top it off, it rained constantly.  All of the gloominess, stress and hormones got to me and I wasn't in the mood, nor was I motivated to do anything productive at the end of the day. I would consider it a good day if I managed to go for a quick run.  But, to be honest, most nights, it was 10pm by the time I realized I should shower and do it all over again the next day.

Nine weeks ago, the never-ending appointments came to a halt, along with the stress of constantly running here and there.  But my hormones still ran wild several days a month.  So one evening, when I started a rant over something stupid,  my husband looked at me and said: "Why don't you go burn off some crazy?"  So I took his advice and went for a run.

Unfortunately, my BFF and I don't live in the same zip code anymore, so I no longer get texts asking if I want to go for a run with the dogs or go to body pump. I browse social media throughout the day and found myself searching for hashtags related to running and fitness. Before I knew it, my Instagram feed was filled with runners and fitness people.  Some examples of the posts I saw are: "A short run is better than no run" or this:
Photo credit: @runfastermommy on Instagram

I've always considered myself a visual person, so seeing quotes and funny images of my favorite character from Despicable Me got me out the door to run. Another app that helped motivate me was my Nike+ running app.  I use this app to record my distance and time using GPS.  Using the Nike+ app I searched for and added friends, then their weekly mileage appeared on my home screen.  Gotta love friendly competition! If that wasn't a motivator to run more miles, I don't know what was!  :)

Today, marks eight weeks and I look forward to pushing the "begin run" button on my phone. I have literally made it a habit -- a healthy one, but none the less a habit.  The added bonus is my clothes fit better, my energy has increased and burning off my CrAzY isn't half bad either.  

Pretty darn obvious which day I burned off more crazy, isn't it?

What's your healthy 'habit' to burn off your crazy? 
What motivates you to work out?

*The opinions in this blog are my own and I am not paid to endorse any of the above mentioned apps.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Screaming Snow Cone

This morning I stumbled across one of those silly posts that lists crazy words for you to construct the name of your "summer cocktail."  It asks you to line up your first initial with one word on the list and the second word is based on the month you were born. Ya got me Beaty Brite, my summer cocktail name is Screaming Snow Cone. I must say,  I'm super pumped that the second word was Snow Cone and not something else. :)

When I was in my early twenties living in Delaware, my friends and I would head to the beach during the day and the bar at night to dance the night away.  We'd order a Pink Lemonade if we wanted something that wasn't too strong and an Orange Crush when we had a DD.  Side note: an Orange Crush is legit - just sayin'.  If you're ever at the beaches in Delaware, be sure to stop by any of the bars or restaurants to get one.  I believe the original concoction was developed at The Lighthouse Dewey Beach, but it was soo good that all the other places caught on. Anyway, now-a-days, I don't necessarily have a cocktail of choice - I switch it up depending on where I'm at, who I'm with and what I'm in the mood for.  But simply put, now that I'm in my 30s, my "go-to" drink is:  mimosas in the summer and red wine in the winter months.  I most definitely prefer red wine though -- pinot noir to be exact.

In 2011, my wine palate broadened when I met Tawnya and Vegas Wine Club commenced.  While our husbands worked odd hours, we held a monthly Wine Club so we didn't have to cook and eat alone.  Each month, we followed The Wine Club book.
One of us would volunteer as hostess by cooking a nice supper and the rest of the us brought a bottle of wine to share.  We covered each bottle with aluminum foil and numbered each one.  We would haphazardly write notes about the taste of each wine and all-in-all we'd have a wonderful night.  As we got to know one another, whether it was WC or not, drinking wine became the norm for us.  Seriously, if there wasn't a half-empty or empty bottle on the dining table or somewhere in the kitchen -- something was wrong.  Some of my best memories of living in Vegas, were with those ladies. :)

Fast forward four years...
I've been living in a communal residence that doesn't allow adult beverages. None, zip, zilch. And no, for those of you who don't know me, I'm NOT in rehab. :)  My husband and I are temporarily living in our own room in a huge ADA accessible house until he is medically boarded out of the military.

After five months of living here, my friend Carlie traveled by air and Tawnya drove 4+ hours to visit.  Carlie brought her four month old son and husband in tow and Tawnya brought her husband and several bottles of wine. The morning after they arrived,  I woke up with a smile on my face; not because it was Valentine's Day or that I had several glasses of wine the night before, but because two of my awesome girlfriends traveled great distances just to visit me (oh and my husband too).

After being cooped up in the communal house for months on end, it was a breath of fresh air having those ladies visit me.  I honestly just craved their friendship and genuine conversation. Don't get me wrong, I miss my Wine Club days, but most of all I just miss my girlfriends.  You all know who you are and please know that as soon as we're able -- we need to schedule a trip to wine country so we can broaden our wine palates even more. :) But in the meantime, here are some tasty sounding summer wine cocktails to hold you over...


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Omnia Causa Fiunt

I've always believed everything happens for a reason.  I recently looked up those exact words in latin and fell in love with it:  omnia causa fiunt.  It just has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?  So good, that I even tried to name the blog those exact words and it was already taken. Bummer. :(

Now, to the down and dirty:  Why start a blog?  I've been following bloggers for several years and I love reading about all sorts of stuff -- beauty, fashion, food, traveling and life in general.  You name it -- I've read it.

For the past eight months, I've been writing journal entries on one of those websites that helps to spread news to family and friends.  About a week after my husband's accident, my sister suggested a few different websites and before I knew it I was posting entries on a daily basis.  That website literally saved me!  It helped to decrease my stress and the number of phone calls I made on a daily basis.  Now with a few keystrokes, I communicate my husband's status with hundreds of individuals.  Many of our "followers" have mentioned how much they enjoy reading my updates and have made reading my journal entries a part of their daily routines.  It's hard to believe we have so many people reading about my husband's progress and praying for us.  We are truly blessed to have each and every one of them.  In fact, we recently took a vacation and someone asked my mother-in-law: "I haven't seen a post in about a week, is anything wrong with S & Jenny?"  She kindly informed them we were on a much needed vacation and that I'd be back at it soon enough.

With that said, I've started this blog for a reason.  Over the past year, a lot has happened and since I've been out of work and taking care of my husband -- I figured why not express my thoughts and feelings with the hope of helping people and connecting to people with similar interests?  I look forward to writing about my passions -- food, wine, fitness, furry friends, and life out west.

Fellow bloggers -- What were your reason(s) for starting a blog?