Thursday, March 31, 2011

So dance dance like it's the last last night of your life life, gonna get you right

As I mentioned yesterday, I am in love with my new gym, Snap Fitness. It's clean, not crowded, spacious, smells nice (hard to come by in a gym) and it has everything I need to work on my fitness. Plus it's open 24 hours a day.... Um, not that I'd work out at 3am, but it's so nice to have that option.

Since I love it there so much, I've pretty much been visiting every day. And natch, my workout mix on my iPod is already getting stale. With the exception of two songs that is:

1. Usher - DJ Got Us Fallin In Love. Oh man, as soon as this song starts I am movin' and groovin' like no one's business. I look awesome doing it too.

2. Dream On, The Glee Version - I loves me some NPH (Neil Patrick Harris, for all you non-Glee and HIMYM lovers). I don't know, something about the way these pretty boys sing this classic Aerosmith song helps me get through the last mile of my workout.

How freaking random am I??? I digress.

So anywhooooo.... I'm looking for some new songs to join my top 2, and I am in desperate need for suggestions. Anything, good or bad, lay it on me. I mean, I get jazzed by Doogie Howser... clearly I'm not picky.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's spring in Ohio people...

Don't. Be. Jealous.

What I'm loving today

Thank you Tresemme for keeping my bangs out of my face

I just discovered this DELICIOUS hot beverage - I'm in love!!!

Potential bridesmaid's dress for L&M's wedding?? It's a convertible wrap dress, so it can be worn 5 different ways. Huzzah!

How freaking cute are they?? It's nice to have someone who understands you when no one else can ;-)

And lastly, my new gym Snap Fitness, which is so conveniently located .10 miles from my house and has made working out fun again! See, look how happy these people are!

Friday, March 25, 2011

In the mood for a change

I just sent Jon this text message:

Me: "I'm painting our dining room and staining the table and chairs. No work for you. Deal?"

Jon: "No problem. Do you know how to do those things???"

Hahahahahaha. Okay, so I might be a little bit of a train wreck when it comes to home renovation, but I'm learning.

For those of you who don't know, a few years ago we purchased a 100-year old "fixer-upper" at a great price in a nice neighborhood. Being married to an architect helped me see the "potential" in said home. Slowly but surely (read: verrrrry slowly), we've been making little updates here and there. And by we, I mean Jon. The poor guy has knocked down walls, hung drywall, and completely gutted our living room to make our home more livable. We still have ALOT of work to do, but we're not moving anytime soon, so we've got time.

Anywhoo, we have this great, huge dining room, and it is ugly as sin. No seriously. It's bad. We're not into the knock-down walls phase in that room yet (hey, home renovation ain't cheap), so I tried to paint over wallpaper a year ago, and the results were disastrous. Luckily, my moms stepped in and cleaned up my tornado, but the results of my first attempt at cosmetic updates were less than stellar.

While perusing the internet today at lunch, I came across some gorgeous photos that gave me inspiration for my DIY dining room makeover.
SWOON. I love everything about the dining room (especially the chairs)

I'm really feeling gray paint for the walls
Horribly ugly table, but cute wall color and I like the white trim

I think it's safe to safe gray paint is a front runner

Yep. Definitely staining the table dark. And I <3 that light fixture.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Even in my dreams, I'm a bad driver

I had a dream last night that I backed into someone's mailbox. An insurance agent came by and assessed the damage. $3,000. For a mailbox?!?! That would be my luck.

Do you ever go through periods of time where your dreams are just wacky?? For the last few weeks, my dreams have been so strange and random. My friend Tully is awesome at interpreting dreams, but since she's on Spring Break and unable to assist me, I went to to see if I could figure out what my mailbox dream "represented."
To see a mailbox in your dream, represents important information that you are about to receive. Pay particular attention to your dream and what message it is trying to convey to you from your unconscious. If the mailbox is full, then it indicates that you have not digested or accepted these messages. 

So according to this interpretation, I need to pay attention to the message it's trying to convey..... Okay, that's easy - I need to be a more careful driver! Done and done.

Car Crash
To dream that you are in a car crash, indicates that your beliefs, lifestyle, or goals are clashing with another's. It may also represent a shocking situation or painful experience. Alternatively, car crashes may forewarn of your dangerous or careless driving habits.

Hmmm, are my goals clashing with another's? Let's see, my only goal for right now is to run the half marathon, and sure it might be clashing with my free time and my desire for un-sore legs, but I wouldn't call that clashing per se. So, I'm gonna take this as yet another sign that I need to be a more careful driver.

Dreams are weird.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Smiling, but we're close to tears

6 months ago today.... I thought my life was over. That was the day we said goodbye to our son, Jack. I can still remember every single twinge of pain and sadness from that day. It was the worst day of my life.

Never before has my heart been broken in such a gut-wrenching way. It's a pain that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. And it's certainly not something I should be expected to just "get over."

I've been doing so good lately. I miss Jack every day, but there are alot of happy things in my life. And then last night this song came on the radio... and without warning, I burst into tears.

This song has absolutely nothing to do with losing a baby. That's the funny thing about grief. It comes and goes, and you never know when it will strike. The lyric that got to me was "Trying to make it work, but man these times are hard." Welcome to my life. I'm fine, I'm good, I'm great, I'm fantastic and then BOOM. I remember that my baby was taken away from me, and I just lose it.

Luckily, my amazing husband was home to intercept me and like always, he was able to soothe the pain. Still, I have long ago accepted that sometimes..... I just need to cry. I miss my little boy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A warm Happy BIRTHday to two of my favorite people!

Today will go down in history as one of the best St. Patrick's days of all time.

For starters, one of the greatest girls I know, Holly, is turning the big 2-7 tomorrow. She has been a lifesaver over the last 6 months (and heck, since I met her!) She always listens when I have a problem, ranging from the mundane to the life-changing. I can't imagine ever being mad at her, because she brings so much positivity into my life. We always have fun together, no matter where we go or what we do. Life wouldn't be the same without her :)
So, to celebrate her awesomeness, we had a Chipotle party at work today in her honor. Check out all of the burrito glory.
Who needs Irish food when you can eat CHIPOTLE?!?!?!
 The second reason that today will be one of the greatest SPD's ever??? My nephew, Connor Patrick Morgan, is scheduled to arrive this evening around 6:30pm. Tomorrow will be an entire post related to him and his wonderful mama, but for tonight, please keep my BFF Jess in your thoughts and prayers as she prepares to become a first-time mommy! Sooooo excited to meet him! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My love/hate relationship with the snooze button

It's all about balance, folks... I have love/hate relationships with many things.

I don't know what it is, but I just can't wake up right when the alarm goes off. It makes no sense, but I feel like I get to sleep so much longer when I hit snooze. I realize it's only 9 minutes (which turned into 45 this morning) but I'm addicted to it.

Coincidentally, I have been 9 minutes late every day this week. Hmmmmm.....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The two most underrated spices you have at home but aren't using

I'm full of random posts lately, but I just have to get this out! There are two spices I've been using religiously over the last few months, and I feel like I need to share the secret.

I first realized that I was neglecting this beautiful spice when I had a cappuccino a few weeks ago that blew my mind. It was amazing, and I couldn't figure out why. Then, a few days later, I went back to the same place and got the same cappuccino, but it didn't taste the same. Why??? The secret and magical ingredient, cinnamon, was missing!

Of course, now I can't get enough of it. Every coffee product I consume now MUST have cinnamon or it's non-drinkable. I put it on my yogurt or toast in the morning. I like it on cereal. It's fantastic on ice cream. Pretty much anything with the slightest hint of sweetness (or something in need of sweetness) could benefit from a little cinnamon action.

And as if you needed any more convincing arguments, did you know that Cinnamon was actually GOOD for you?? Yup. Studies show that eating just a half teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower your cholesterol. I put that much on my morning mocha, easy. It can also help prevent arthritis, improve memory, and is a great source of fiber, iron, and calcium.

Try it. I promise I won't say I told you so.
Bland, Schmand. Your food will taste like Emeril Lagasse made it expressly for you when you add these little guys. This highly underrated spice adds a kick to any food that does not call for cinnamon. Scrambled eggs. Pizza. Pasta. Ground Meat. Chili. Any chicken dish. Soups and stews. The possibilities are endless!

And, eating peppers can temporarily raise your metabolism as much as 23%. Sweet!! I mean, spicy!!?!?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thrills and Spills

Ok, so we all know I'm clumsy, right?? I have never pretended to be otherwise. But yesterday, things got excessive. In an 18 hour span, I spilled/dropped the following things:
  • Coffee on my shirt (twice)
  • The laundry basket as I was walking down the stairs
  • About 1/4 of my dinner over the edge of the pan as I sauteed it
  • The remnants of my dinner plate as they were being emptied in the trashcan
  • The trashbag contents :( 
  • Water  as I poured it from my Brita pitcher (thrice)
  • Candle wax as I tried to move the candle from one side of the room to another
  • The soap in the shower (but that happens everyday, so it doesn't count)
 Maybe I need to buy those Power Balance bracelets I've been seeing on infomercials lately?? What's wrong with me?!?!?!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thoughts and Prayers

For the people in Japan, Hawaii, and dozens of other nations affected by the tsunami today. My heart goes out to them - very sad and scary.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bad habits

So, I have a little problem. It's a problem that I've been dealing with for 26 years, and every time I try an pretend like I'm cured, it creeps right back up on me.

My name is Audra, and I'm a nail biter.
I find it to be such a disgusting habit, yet I do it so often that I don't even realizing I'm doing it. I go through stages where I won't do it for a long time, but I always come back to it. Yikes.

WikiHow gives a list of 14 things you can do to stop biting your nails. They don't work. I've tried them.

So this got me thinking about other bad habits. I've got quite a few:

I always leave at the last minute. I drink coffee sometimes instead of eating breakfast. I leave my clothes on the spare bed instead of hanging them up at night. I never wash my jeans. I use ! too many ! exclamation points ! in my ! emails! I talk too much in some situations, and not enough in others.

So are these things I should work on, or are they quirks that make me who I am?? I'm not sure, but if you have advice, I'd love to hear it :) I'd really like to nail this down. Get it? Nail?? ** Oops, forgot to add my bad habit of using puns way too often **

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wag More, Bark Less

I saw this bumper sticker the other day, and it made me smile:

What a simple, yet profound/awesome message. Like dogs, we as humans need to embrace the happy/positive/exciting things in life, and learn to be better listeners. If more people "barked less" i.e. listened to others instead of talking about themselves, and focused on the positive instead of the negative, I think the world would be a better place.

I think Gloria from Modern Family was onto something:

Jay (explaining that Gloria is improperly saying "doggy dog world"): Well, it's "dog eat dog world."

Gloria: That doesn't make any sense.  Who wants to live in a world where dogs eat each other?   "Doggy Dog World" is a beautiful world of little puppies!

Haha, oh Gloria. You make so much sense.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oh, Brother

Sometimes it's hard to understand how the loss of your baby can and will affect other people. I assume that no one in the world could ever miss and love Jack as much as we do. We are his parents, and there is a small hole in our lives because Jack is not here with us. I don't expect anyone to feel even a thimble-sized amount of grief that compares to ours when they think about Jack, because they didn't know him like we knew him. I've assumed that our grief was ours to bear, and ours alone. After all, none of our friends or family got to meet him. I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for us, and I certainly don't expect anyone to miss Jack in the way we do.

I was wrong.

Today, I had lunch with my brother for the first time in awhile. We live in the same city, but he's always away on business and off being important somewhere. So I was excited that we finally found a time to get together. We met at our favorite restaurant, and I immediately launched into a story about whatever trivial things were bothering me today. About 10 minutes into our lunch, my brother asked if I'd like to see his new tattoo he'd just gotten. Sure, I said. This is what he showed me:
J.B. Jack Benjamin. My brother got a tattoo for his nephew Jack who was gone too soon. The look on his face was priceless, and I will never forget it. It was an expression that was mixed with pride, excitement, and hesitation. I could tell he was so happy that he did it, but also worried that I wouldn't like it or think it was an okay thing to do.

Tears are welling in my eyes as I type this, because I can't describe how touched I am by what he did. I guess I just didn't understand how Jack's death has affected my family, and I LOVE the way that my brother has chosen to honor him. In his own way, my brother has shown me the mark that my son has made on his life, and shows me that he won't be forgotten.

It's perfect.

My love/hate relationship with running

I recently committed to running my fourth half marathon in May. Yes, fourth. This proves only one thing: that you could have considered me certifiably insane at least four times in my life.
I am one of those crazies down there. See me?
I am taking on this challenge with one of my besties, Holly over at RIS. This will be our third halfsie together, and usually around mile 10 we start screaming to each other "Why, WHY, did we do this???" But we always make it through!

When I say that I have a love/hate relationship with running, I mean that in every way. The worst part of running to me is the time between putting my shoes on until about mile 1. The buildup to running SUCKS. I am terrified that I'm not going to make it through. But once I get going, my body remembers "Hey, I like this." And I absolutely LOVE how I feel afterward. I feel accomplished. Healthy. Motivated. I sleep better, eat better, and feel amazing.

After all, running gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't kill their husbands...... They just don't. <--- Ok, that last part was from Legally Blonde, but everything else is true.

So even though I hate running in the cold right now, Holls and I will lace up our tennies and suck it up for the next 12 weeks. Because running is great. And awful. And awesome. And horrible.
And pretty soon I will look like this. Right??? RIGHT?!?!?