Archive | June, 2013

All About Me from A – Z

30 Jun

I saw this post on Shiawase Life’s blog and thought it’d make a great last-day of June 2013 post! So enjoy getting to know a little bit more about me!

 

A. Attached or Single? Long-distance dating – so yes, attached

B. Best Friend? I have a few, they keep me grounded and remind me to count my blessings daily! I don’t have pictures of everyone, but here are some of the wonderful ladies I list as my best friends!

SUPER OLD PICTURE!!! (L - R: Sophia, Kira, Me, Mandy)

SUPER OLD PICTURE!!! (L – R: Sophia, Kira, Me, Mandy)

Disney Sisters

My Disney sister, Monique and I (May 2013)

Disney Sisters

Some more of my lovely Disney sisters (L-R: Lisa, Catherine and Me)

 

C. Cake or pie? This is a hard one…. but right at this moment pie!

D. Day of choice? Friday

E. Essential Item? Inhaler which keeps me breathing – kind of important 😉

F. Favorite color? I love green and blue and everything in between! I REALLY like turquoise and sea foam green though!

G. Gummy bears or worms? worms!

H. Home town? Farmersville U.S.A., or No-Man’s Land, America – both could apply

IMG_6932

I. Favorite Indulgence? Sweets.

J. January or July? Well if you know me at all, this is a no brain-er! JULY because it means NO SNOW!!

K. Kids? Can’t wait to have my own someday! Currently loving up my nephew, Paul!

L. Life isn’t complete without? Hopes, Dreams, Wishes and Prayers

M. Marriage date? I’d love to get married in October someday

N. Number of brothers/sisters? Two younger sisters

sisters

(L:R) Megan, Me, Macayla

P. Phobia? Being a failure

Q. Quote? “You never know how strong you are until strong is all you have left.”

R. Reasons to smile? Cute text messages, silly conversations with my family, vacation planning, watching for shooting stars

S. Season of choice? Fall… the colors are BEAUTIFUL enough said!

fall

T. Tag 5 People. I don’t want to put anyone on the spot. Tag yourself!

U. Unknown fact about me? I feel like I’m an open book, there’s nothing I can really think of to share at the moment.

V. Vegetable? I love them all – I can’t pick a favorite!

W. Worst habit? Biting my nails when I’m nervous, anxious, scared, bored…

X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Well, I’ve had more X-rays in my lifetime than I know what to do with!

X-ray

Yup, this is actually my right ankle from when I injured it living in Florida a few years ago. Thankfully nothing was broken!

Y. Your favorite food? Broccoli rice and cheese casserole

Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole

Broccoli Rice and Cheese Casserole – Yup I made this and I HATE cooking!

Z. Zodiac sign? Virgo

Advertisements

This little piggy went to market and this little piggy….

29 Jun

Was the star of the pig roast!

pig roast

Okay, so the real star was my cousin Eddie as it was HIS graduation party and the REASON behind said pig roast, but still.

Growing up in my family there are certain things you learn at a very young age:

  • It does not matter if you are wearing a shirt with your name on it, you will be called by all of your cousins’ an siblings’ names before you hear your own
  • You WILL be a Buckeyes football fan (I’m pretty sure we bleed scarlet and gray)
  • You will look forward to summer because it means it’s time for another PIG ROAST!

Now, I was especially excited for today because I MISSED the last pig roast (which was my little sister’s graduation party) because I was still on the Disney College Program living in Florida, and it was more important to me to get the time off to be at her actual graduation than to be at her party weeks later. (That doesn’t mean I didn’t pout a little when I was told all about it and saw the pictures on Facebook, I KNEW the deliciousness I was missing out on.)

My uncle has a special grill that he uses to cook the pig in…don’t ask me HOW he cooks it (well, for this party he was out of town, so the task was handed over to my grandfather and one of my cousins) because I couldn’t tell you. I just know that when it’s done it’s got a smoky flavor that is to die for! And we don’t JUST have pig, we include a turkey as well, because why not?!

pig roast and turkey roast

Now when the pig is ready, make sure you are standing close enough so that you can grab a piece of skin while it’s toasty hot! Trust me, the crunch and the flavor will be worth it! My cousin Mandy and I are pros at getting the first couple of pieces!

cousins at the pig roast

 

You don’t like pig you say. Don’t worry…. there’s always plenty of other food to enjoy as well! Believe me, when my family throws a party (and if you happen to actually KNOW my family, you’ll know we don’t even really need a REASON) we do it right – I’m talking taco salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, broccoli cheese rice, oriental salad, veggies, fresh fruit, deviled eggs, and who knows what else you could possible eat. Don’t believe me, take a look for yourself:

pig roast food

 

Okay so before you think the only reason I like pig roasts is because of the food, let me remind you that I have a VERY close-knit family (on my maternal grandmother’s side) that loves to socialize and we have get-togethers often. I’ll be honest, I love spending time with my family. They are some of the loudest, craziest and most wonderful people I know. It’s so much fun just standing around talking and hearing about everything that everyone has been up to. Yes, you could argue that because we are all on social media we already know how they are doing or what exciting things are happening, but it’s not the same as having a face-to-face conversation with someone, you never know what tangent you’ll get off on!

At the party today, I saw my cousin and her family (husband and 3 little kids all under the age of 6) who live in another country, but are back for a couple weeks because her sister is getting married on July 6, 2013! And I got to see another cousin’s husband and 2 of their kids (she and the baby are still in their home state until later in the week, but they will be here in time for the wedding as well).

And we can’t forget all the bonding time I had with my nephew who is 7 weeks old already! Oh how the time flies! I love being an auntie! He’s such a cuddle bug! Already he is trying to stand and climb up your body and over your shoulder!

Aunt and baby nephew

Needless to say, it was a great afternoon, filled with delicious food and wonderful company!

96 Days and Counting

28 Jun

Holy cow, I’m so excited right now I can hardly keep my hands on the keys so I can type.

96 DAYS and counting until I am once again in Florida, or more specifically at WALT DISNEY WORLD!!

96 days from:
Seeing my Disney Family
My boyfriend
Feeling like I’m where I belong.

20130628-230300.jpg

Tonight was very successful — flights are booked, hotel is booked (and I’m at a resort that’s hosting The Tower of Terror 10 Mile race so I’m THRILLED I won’t have to pay a $20 taxi fee to get back to my resort this time. Yes, that happened to me in May after the Expedition Everest 5K Challenge.)

My goodness even my email is filled with pixie dust:

20130628-230647.jpg

This is just what I needed to keep me motivated. Last night I went 4.5 miles in under an hour, I thought I was going to die, but I powered through. I felt like Super Woman afterwards – invincible, on top of the world, unstoppable. 🙂

On days where running outside is out of the question, and because I don’t have a treadmill, please let me introduce you to my personal Walking Drill Sargent: Leslie Sansone.

20130628-231040.jpg

She may look sweet and innocent, but don’t let her fool you — she will put you through your paces in her at home walking DVD workouts. This is a picture during a 3 mile power walk with fit cuff (goes around both ankles and provides resistance to train your lower body). I have a love hate relationship with her workouts, they are hard and you are completely gross when you finish (sign I’m doing something right maybe?) but the moves are simple enough to follow (it’s the fast pace and repetitions that killed me at first) and generally it goes quickly — a 3 mile walk averages about 45 minutes. I do love that I can get this great workout in in the comfort (and privacy) of my living room. I’m still self conscious of the way I look when I’m running outside, but I’m working to overcome that negative thinking about myself. I know I’m more than what I look like on the outside, sometimes I just need to be reminded to be nice to me. (Anyone else ever feel this way?)

So anyways, I’m well on my way for training and vacation planning. My roomie and I (who’s running the race with me) have already started planning our costumes for the race and I know they will be great because she is uber crafty and creative. I promise to post pictures!

And now I’m off to dream of genies, princesses, castles and kings…and who knows, maybe I’ll even practice outrunning a villain or two! Good night my fellow runDisney friends and readers!

Sweet dreams!

Wordless Wednesday – 6/26/13

26 Jun

Flower power

cousins

You know you were a band geek when…

23 Jun

Okay, I admit it, I was am a band geek. Actual, if I’m being honest, I’m a music geek! Always have been and I always will be, there’s just a way music touches my soul that nothing else can!

MusicFriday afternoon my little sister got home from babysitting and told us there were band member practicing on the football field… actually I think she may have said something more along the lines of “there’s a bunch of shirtless band guys at the high school.” So of course we (my sisters, mom and I) piled into the car to check it out!

When we got to the school… this is what we saw:

IMG_2625

 

Boston Crusaders practicing

This is only the brass ensemble, the drum corps, pit and the guard were each off practicing somewhere else.

Let me be the first to introduce you to The Boston Crusaders.

They are a junior drum and bugle corps. These musicians are between the ages of 15 and 21. They had to addition to be in this group. We talked to one of the volunteers and she told us that most of the students are from the Orlando, Florida area because once they make the group, the students have to attend a music camp (camps only in select locations) one weekend every month from November – May. At these camps they work on memorizing music and marching technique. Then in May, they all move into dormitories for a few months before taking their show on the road. They travel with 4 or 5 greyhound buses, a mobile kitchen which prepares four meals a day for the 200 members, supply trucks that store the instruments and cots for the corps members (they slept in our high school gym), a merchandise truck and a truck with bunk beds so the kitchen staff can sleep on the road while they travel (they have to be up at 4AM to begin preparing meals). And in case you were wondering, it costs 2 million dollars to move them all down the road each season! They also have a nurse and physical trainer that travel with them.

Which brings us back to why they were at my old stomping grounds…their first show of the season (which started Saturday and runs through the second weekend of August) was at one of the local colleges and my high school was sponsoring them. They got here around 3:00AM Friday morning, and this was their schedule for the day:

Boston Crusaders schedule

When we got to the school it was around 4:00PM, the HOTTEST time of the day, therefore they are all out practicing in swimsuits and everyone is required to wear a hat. They also all have silver instruments and are wearing gloves, to protect the instruments or to keep their hands from burning, i don’t know.  On the sidelines were tons of HUGE water bottles and it appeared that each member was wearing a fanny pack, we guessed they might have salt tablets in them, as well as sunscreen.

Boston Crusaders practicing

The drum corps and pit (percussion instruments that can’t be marched with and remain stationary during a performance, i.e. bells, tympani drums)  were using the practice field behind the school. We watched the different groups practice the same 30 seconds – 1 minute worth of music 5 or 10 times while we were there. The directors were amazing. They could pick out obscure individual notes and rhythms of specific sections and parts. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were able to narrow it down all the way to an individual player.

We decided to go back up later in the evening for the full dress rehearsal and show run-through. It would be the first time the whole ensemble practiced together that day according to the volunteer we talked to (her son was a Boston Crusader in 2006 and ever since she volunteers a couple of weeks a summer to travel with the corps). We went back up to the school around 9:00 PM and the stadium lights were bright and glowing, and to my surprise, there were a lot of people there to watch (small community, word travels fast I guess, and it was FREE to the public!).

It was really cool watching the whole corps practice. Again, they were still spot-checking 30 seconds – 1 minute worth of music and marching drill. There were three directors sitting up in the stands with a PA system picking apart the music and the drill. Then there were 4 or 5 “coaches” out on the field marching along with the corps picking apart posture, marching steps and horn angle (was the musician holding the bell of their instrument high enough…as a trumpet player I can tell you this can tire out your back muscles QUICKLY and these poor kids had been at this all day long in the hot sun). I felt bad for the members of the corps, the directors kept telling them they needed to commit more, focus more. Honestly, I have NEVER seen a group of young musicians MORE focused in my entire life. To me, they looked pretty dang perfect. The music sounded amazing, their marching lines were clean and crisp. They all hit certain marks are the EXACT same time, EVERY time. They didn’t trip. The guard didn’t hit the musicians with the flags, guns or swords they were throwing dangerously high in the sky… and let me just tell you, there wasn’t a lot of room between the guard and the musicians, I would have been scared for my life.

When it was finally time for the full dress rehearsal run-through I was excited! After watching the different parts and pieces I was excited to see it all come together before my eyes. Let’s talk costumes for a moment…for the most part, the drum and bugle corps reminded me of a soldier’s uniform from wars long ago – maroon undershirt, medium gray coat with double-breasted buttons, white plume (feather in the hat) and black suspender pants, shoes and gloves. The guard (made up of males and females) all had different costumes which surprised me and was a bit distracting in my opinion. The various costumes included shorts, pants, dresses, skirts, fitted coats, coats with tails, coats without tails, long coats, short coats, off-the-shoulder shirts, and other combinations.

The show was FANTASTIC. I wish I could show you, but cameras and video recordings were strictly forbidden as no one has seen their show this season yet – yeah for previews! But I CAN give you my review…

The 12 minute show began with one of the guard members standing alone in the center of the football field. As the pit members began to play, the rest of the corps ran onto the field. I had thought someone had tripped, but it turns out they were all suppose to fall! A single member of the brass ensemble took a knee and began to play facing away from the audience — it was a haunting sound. The single guard member dances around the fallen corps. And then, just as gracefully as they had fallen, they stood and began to amaze the audience with their drill. I felt bad for one of the corps members, when he stood up, his plume came out of his hat (I wonder if he noticed?) and was there on the football field, just waiting for someone to trip on! But lo and behold, a member of the guard was paying attention and smoothly scooped it up all while staying in character. She danced around with it in her hands for a moment or two, and then when the opportunity presented itself, she shoved the plume down into the casing around one of the quad drums. GENIUS! The show continued, and it was fun being able to pick out parts of the music I had heard them practicing earlier that day or watching for the crab step the drum corps had perfected. One of my favorite parts happened about halfway through the show, the corps was nearing the end of a song and they all appeared to be about to slam their instruments into the ground when they changed their minds at the last second and paused forming a zig-zag line of brass! The strength and control in that move alone was impressive! This was followed by everyone running and falling to the ground (they spend a good amount of time on the ground, I sure hope they don’t perform anywhere muddy this season!). The guard member that started the show once again took center stage as she walked down a make-shift stairwell created by the other members of the guard out the their guns! She then danced and tumbled through the fallen corps members and when she passed, they stoop up. It was almost as if she were the resurrecting angel or something. The other guard members came running, crawling, falling and stumbling to the front carrying bright orange flags. It was a beautiful thing to see and the whole performance gave me chills.

But at the end, I was left wondering about the story line.  Had I witnessed a war and the aftermath or a zombie apocalypse? I’m not really sure, the way they were moving and the sound of the music really leaves it open to personal interpretation. I hope that when they perform for real they tell the audience the names of the songs, I bet that would give some much-needed clues to help follow the direction and vision of the performance.

I will leave you with this, I would personally love to see them again! If you get the chance to see them perform JUMP ON IT! I can promise you wont be disappointed!  For a complete list of all their events this summer, check out The Boston Crusader’s Summer Tour Calendar!

Wordless Wednesday – 6/19/13

19 Jun

A girl and her fishy

20130619-060048.jpg

Friday Funny

14 Jun

20130614-210812.jpg

Since I’ve been training for the runDisney races, this is kind of the reaction I get when I tell people how far I will be running…without being chased, forced or punished! And to think, it’s even [GASP!] fun!

Needed some time to myself today to think, relax and vent some pent-up frustrations, so I went for a nice little 4 mile run tonight around my neighborhood….no sidewalks, country roads and a couple of big hills. I can tell I haven’t run that course in a few weeks because my legs were killing me and my lungs felt like they were on fire, but I didn’t care because for the 50 minutes I was out there nothing could touch me. All I could focus on was left foot, right foot, inhale, exhale, left foot, right foot, inhale, exhale. My subconscious had a mind of her own as she listened religiously to the songs on my running playlist. At one point she wanted to breakdown and cry because she was feeling sorry for herself and all the things that haven’t “gone according to plan” in her life, but she quickly found out it is painful to try and have a total crying and emotional meltdown mid-run. I am proud to say that together we finished our run with heads held high and tears (mostly) unshed…also doesn’t hurt having all those endorphins flying around! My training is a work in progress still, I’ve been doing a couple Leslie Sansone Walk At Home workout DVDs with my mom, too. Earlier in the week we did one that had a 30 minute abdominal workout after a 2 mile walk, and my abs were hurting 2 days later!

I’m asking you to help keep me accountable to my exercise and healthy eating plans. I’m back to counting my calories and keeping a daily log of what I eat. I’ve decided to make some small changes to my eating pattern, for example, limiting the amount of 2% milk I drink to 1 cup a day (1/2 cup on my cereal in the morning, the other 1/2 with lunch). I’m also trying to drink more water everyday, I have a personal goal of 10 cups of water every day…that’s only 5 16.9 oz water bottles. I am proud to say I hit that goal everyday this week at work, and the girls I work with noticed, too. My thinking is that by drinking more water I can curb my appetite between meals and lesson my chances of snacking.

So that’s how I’m training and trying to get healthy this summer. My next race (10 miles) is the first weekend in October, so I’m hoping to be at my healthiest by then. Do you have any training tips? What healthy food is your favorite? I need all the encouragement and support I can get so I don’t fall off this bandwagon!