Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Wedding Fun

Last weekend my cousin got married in an outdoor ceremony.  The wedding theme was a Halloween carnival, and the guests were encouraged to come in costume.  The bridal party waited until the reception to change, while the rest of us donned our gear throughout the evening.

I changed up a bit my costume from the Haunted Half marathon and went as Maleficent.

My mother dressed as an Indian. 

Cowboy Dad opted out of photos, but I managed to snag one of him later.
Both the backdrop and their decor were gorgeous.

They even had extra costumes available so those who didn't dress up could join in the fun.
Aunt Betty rockin' the coconut bra
I figured what better day than Halloween to share with you some of the fun costumes!
Obviously these people don't watch Once Upon A Time for the real story.
The Head & Shoulders football player and her boyfriend.  (They caught the bouquet/garter later in the evening.)
Have you attended any Halloween parties this year? 
Seen any good costumes?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Crater: A Helium-3 Novel {book review}

Homer Hickam's Crater: A Helium-3 Novel, is his first in a series about life on the moon.  This book is a futuristic tale of the author's vision for life on the moon.  Centering around a teenage boy, sent on a dangerous pursuit, the book attempts to reach its targeted young adult crowd by giving the reader a hero to which (s)he can relate.

The author uses his knowledge of coal mining (readers might remember his non-fiction work Rocket Boys from which came the movie October Sky) to attempt to walk the find line between the comfortably familiar and the great unknown.  The story's hero, Crater, is selected from the other helium-3 miners on a secret voyage to retrieve a mysterious package.

As a fan of Michael Crichton's work, I enjoy a good story blending fact and fiction to the point the reader doesn't know where fact stops and the author's imagination begins.  Unfortunately for me, Hickman never managed this.  His inventions seemed contrived and forced, while his facts were uninteresting.  (What teenage boy- the books assumed audience - really cares to read a political commentary on the government intervening in a free market?)  I didn't hate the book, but I certainly didn't like it.

Bottom line: Read on a long trip.  Maybe to the moon.  When you've exhausted the rest of your reading supply.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

Haunted Half Marathon - Race Report

I posted on Friday my goal setting dilemma. So much of marathon racing (even at "just" the half distance) depends on knowing how fast you can go at the end.  Kinda hard to know without trial and error.  My running buddy Kelly decided to shoot for 9:40, I thought 9:45 was more realistic*.

*She thinks a goal shouldn't be attainable  but rather something to strive for.  I want a goal of what I think I can actually hit.

Although most every training run (even the mid week ones) were done together, we decided to run our own races.  We car pooled, registered, and took pre-race pictures.  Then we separated, trying to lose one another in the crowd.

I'm a social person and a nervous talker, so I sought out others to chat with while I waited for the gun start.  I chatted a bit with Daphne (from Scooby Doo) and the Cookie Monster before we got down to business.

The first mile looped a couple of times through downtown.  On the first past, I noticed a girl wearing an Ohio University sweatshirt.  Notable, because the Bobcats are all but unheard of in Tennessee.  During the second loop, I called out to her "let's go Bobcats!" to which she responded "OU - Oh Yeah!"

MILE 1 - 9:40

I was shocked that my first mile was at goal pace.  I'd intentionally held myself back, but it felt much slower than it truly was.  If not for the people in front of me, I would have probably pushed out faster, so I'm thankful to have positioned myself where I did.

MILE 2 - 9:39

There isn't a whole lot to say about the course - it travels through downtown and into the industry section.  While most of the race is flat (or as flat as east Tennessee gets) the air quality sucks.  This race is a great PR opportunity, but its not pretty.

MILE 3 - 9:43

I ran along side one of the 3 little pigs (who pointed out the lack of porti-potties on the course) and kept pace with several other runners.  It took me a few miles in to see Kelly ahead of me, but she was focused on running her race and didn't see me at the bend in the course.

MILE 4 - 9:40

Still feeling good at this point, I tried to plan in my head.  Did I want to pick it up on this mile, or wait until this mile finished up before moving into my "comfortable push" zone?  Somewhere in the process of thinking, I realized the decision had already been made for me.

MILE 5 - 9:34

At points in this stretch, I couldn't see Kelly in front of me but I tried to relax and let her go.  Run my own race.  After all I was already faster than I had anticipated, and I didn't want to blow it by going too hard too fast.  Would it suck for her to finish before me despite my 4 prior attempts (this was her first half)? Sure, but she'd worked hard for this and had earned every speedy moment.

MILE 6 - 9:34

Somewhere on the back stretch of the loop, I overheard some ladies discussing the bad air quality of Kingsport.  "Coal country has nothing on this!"  Sure, the Eastman Kodak plant smells like a dirty vitamin, but the smell the were referring too wasn't what they thought.

I turned around, slowed, and yelled "We're near the sh*tter plant." They looked confused, so I repeated myself.  Still confused, I rephrased "Up ahead is the Waste Water Treatment plant."  Apparently they thought I said "sugar plant" and were hoping for samples up ahead.  Ewww.  I chatted a bit more with them then got back on pace.

MILE 7 - 9:42

As the course looped around for a 2nd time, I started to get excited.  I was really doing this.  I was running a sub 10 min/mile pace (and not feeling like I wanted to die!).  I was still hoping for a pick up at the end but biding my time.

MILE 8 - 9:35

MILE 9 - 9:36

During mile 9, I caught back up with Kelly.  I saw her in front of me stop and do some leg swings, then start running again.  When I asked how she was feeling, she said hip pain was starting to get to her.  We only ran a little piece together, then she stopped at the water station to stretch out some more.

MILE 10 - 9:25

From this point on, the plan was to push as hard as I could and for the first couple of miles it worked.  I was starting to feel fatigued, but I knew I could hold out another few miles.  I pretty much knew at this point I had it in me to finish strong.

My fastest mile.  Not sure how or why.

MILE 11 - 9:13

The wind started gusting pretty bad, or at least it felt like it.  Not sure if it truly was, or just the effects of my exhausted body.  My pushing effort met or exceeded the previous 2 miles, but the clock didn't show as much.

MILE 12 - 9:34

As we neared the finish line, I really started to tire.  I had given it my all.  A tired body at this point is just proof that everything was left out there.  I already started to puff up, proud of my accomplishments, but still had to push.

MILE 13 - 9:37

I tried to sprint the last section, but it just wasn't in me.  My cheering section (Sister, BIL, Princess & Little Man) cheered me into the finish.  I did slow long enough to give them high-5s as I passed.

0.27 - 9:22


Previous PR (and last year's course time) 2:22
AVERAGE PACE (give the 13.27 miles actually traveled) 9:34 min/mile

After crossing, I immediately went to find my family, and make my way back to the final stretch.  I knew Kelly would be coming in right behind me.  She told me later that she had to run/walk the final 3 miles.  Apparently the "run" sections were at a pretty quick pace because she crossed the finish only a minute behind me.  So proud of her!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fitness Friday: Half Marathon Goals

I love running the same race back to back years.  I always feel like it’s a great comparison for how far I’ve come as a runner.  Since I’m running the Haunted Half Marathon in Kingsport again this year, I wanted to review last year’s results.

One of the most fun parts of this race is dressing in costume.  I had purchased a vintage 1980s leotard to wear with leg warmers and tights for the race, but backed out at the last minute.  I hadn’t lost weight like I had hoped and knew I wouldn’t feel comfortable for 13 miles with my pudge hanging out.

My dad’s referee shirt came in handy, because the week of the race I came down with the crud.  My trusty rescue inhaler and a wad of tissues fit nicely into the front pocket of the shirt.  While I feel like breathing issues did slow me down somewhat, I was still excited to achieve a 4 minute PR for 13.1 miles.
2:23:11.1 Gun Time
2:22:48.9 Chip time
511/641 overall
45/58   10:55

This round of training I’ve been having a difficult time pinning down goals for this race.  My ultimate goal is to manage a sub 2 hour half marathon time, but I don’t think that’s realistic to expect this race.  My training paces have been fast (probably too fast for our long runs) but my training buddy and I have really pushes ourselves to the limits. 

Our last long run was an 8 mile pace run (we were aiming for 9:30) and averaged 9:35.  We were slowed down by a headwind and some hills.  Hills won’t be a factor this race.  Who knows about the weather! Our longest run was a 12 miler at a 9:41 pace.

Originally my goals for the race were:

1)      A PR

2)      Sub 10 m/m pace

However, it looks like (baring anything unforeseen) both of those should happen tomorrow.  I reset my goal for a 9:45 pace.  Given the 12 miler, it looks like I may not be shooting high enough even with that.  Dare I hope for a 9:30? 

I’m breaking a cardinal rule of racing – I’ve never ran in my costume.  I did dance in the head piece, so I know I can make it stay put, but will it affect wind resistance?  Will the tutu be difficult to run in?  This won’t be my first tutu race, but the first/only other was a 5K. 

I look forward to bringing back a full report next week!  Do you have fun plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On Cosby Moonshine Run - Race Report

If I'm honest (and why wouldn't I be) this race was one big disappointment from the start.  Last year my mother and grandfather joined me - walking their way to age group awards for each of them.  My mom's recent knee surgery benched her from participating.  The week before the race my Papaw caught some sort of head cold/flu, so I was running this one solo.

Okay so maybe not solo.  I've got no problems admitting I'm a spoiled brat.  I want things exactly how I want them.  So despite the fact 2 of my friends/coworkers were running this race, I still felt bummed about my family not getting to join us.  

Yes, I'm on my tip toes in that picture.  Yes, they are that much taller than me.  What of it?  

Lisa and Kristi had been trash talking each other in the weeks leading up to the race.  Kristi really wanted to medal (its a small race and one of the more likely places for it to happen for those of us who aren't super speedy) and Lisa stood in her way.  Fast forwarding - they stayed neck and neck the whole race and Kristi pulled out a 6 second victory - good for 2nd in their age group.  Lisa took home 3rd.

As for my race, I was cautiously optimistic about how I would do.  I've gotten faster and faster this summer, and I new this small race was one of (if not my only) chance to ever win 1st in my age group.  Having said that, I've been focusing on half marathon training and have no clue what I'm capable of for shorter races.  The plan was balls to the wall - pushing as fast as I could for the entire 3.2 miles (yeah, that's 3.2, not 5K).

I let the race day excitement pull me out faster than I had intended.  Half a mile out I was keeping a strong pace and staying just behind a girl in front of me.  At this point I should have let her go, but instead I busted it to keep up.  

Mile 1: 8:18

That's just a few seconds of my 1 mile race time from Labor Day this year.  Way too fast to sustain over the long haul.  At the turn, I felt the slight incline really start to kick in and slow my pace.  Eventually I caught up with the girl from earlier, eventually passing her.  Apparently she and I both went out too fast.

Mile 2: 8:58

I was definitely disappointed with this time and tried to pick it up.  I just didn't have much gas left in the tank. At the turn around, I had noticed about 6 women (total) in front of me.  I knew one girl wasn't in my age group (she was a teen) but wasn't sure about the rest of them.  

At this point I didn't know if I still had a shot to meet my goal or not.  The last part of mile 3 was downhill and I tried my best to pick up the pace, but I just couldn't catch the ladies right in front of me.

Mile 3: 8:53

The last 0.2 cuts off the road and hits a paved track behind the school.  I knew it was time to kick it up, although too early to break out into a sprint.  I gave it all I had, eventually getting to what felt like a sprint, but  never was able to catch the ladies.

Final 0.2 pace: (7:44)

Yes, that's a fake smile.  My 27:20 time was good enough for a 2nd place age group win, but I was disappointed.  Even more so when I discovered the 1st place winning time was only 18 seconds  faster than my time.  Had I paced better I might have had a shot.

No need to comment "I'd love to be that fast!" Been there.  A year ago I ran this same race in 29:39, so this was a huge improvement over last year.  (But still enough to net a 2nd place award.)

Shoulda, woulda, coudla:  Train more specifically for this race.  Have a strategy for racing.  Not go out too fast.  Run my own race.

Bottom line?  Suck it up buttercup.  You're getting faster.  Deal with it.  Be proud of how far you've come.  And never. ever. ever. Leave anything on the course.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Light the Night

This Thursday, my family be walking with Team Zach during the Leukemia & Lymphoma "Light the Night" walk to support those who are battling the disease.  Zach, my 19 year old cousin, is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments to fight Lymphoma. 
I'm not good at fundraising.  It makes me feel a bit like Oliver:

BUT I do want to show my support.  Thanks to my twitter and facebook friends, I'm only $15 from my goal.  I'll happily donate the rest in order to put myself over the top.
If you can, I'd love to help my mother to reach the $100 fundraising goal as well.  I know money is tight and everyone seems to have a cause these days, this one is just dear to my heart.  If you have a few bucks to spare, I'd appreciate a donation. 
More important than money, though, is prayer.  Prayer for my cousin's healing, his doctor, his parents & siblings.  Since the price for direct communication with God has already been paid by Jesus, you've got no excuse to let me down!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday's 10: The Book Edition

Inspired by Lora's Thursday 10 list, I wanted to share with you what's currently on my bookshelves.  Figuratively, of course, because literally we'd go well over 10.

This picture was taken by Jay after he moved his books in (the right side).  The left side is entirely mine and now also full.  These shelves will be one of the things I miss the most when we move.
I'm Currently Reading:
This is one I'm reviewing for Book Sneeze.  Its a fun, easy fiction read.  However, I'm in the middle of several other books (see below) so I'm slow getting through it.  Reading a chapter of each at a sitting makes for slow progress.
I wasn't a fan of the Power of a Praying Wife, and didn't like this one at first either.  It came in one of the boxes of "Christian Living" books Jay bought for me a couple of Christmases ago.  I will say, that these past few chapters of Light have been applicable and helpful, thus changing my over all opinion of the book.
This book is a collection of short stories - light hearted and very easy to read.  I wouldn't enjoy this type of writing as a full novel, but I like keeping the book in my car to pass time when I'm waiting.  (At a doctor's office, meeting a friend to go for a run, sitting at a red light/in traffic)
I'm taking this book a chapter at a time to afford myself time to really ponder the author's position.  While I like his reasoning style, I'm not sure how effective it would be as an apologetics book written to the non-Christian audience.
I'm  only a chapter into this book, so I can't say much about it, only I was glad to download it as I am going through the book of Acts for my Bible-in-a-Year plan.  I'll be done with books 2 & 4 in the next day or so, and hope to get to a point in this book where my Bible reading and the book chapter line up.  Thankfully my chronological plan has me in Romans/Corinthians for the next week or so, while I catch up in the book.
On my To-Read shelf
I received my copy in the mail this week and am excited to get started.  My goal is to always have 3 books going: fiction, non-fiction, & car-reading, so I'm going to have to hold off for a bit on this.
My mother and I love the Stephanie Plum series, so I pre-ordered this book for her for her birthday.  No doubt she'll pass it on to me when she's done with it (if not before).
Crichton was my favorite author and this is the last of his books (published posthumously).  I hate to read it really, because I'll never have another new book of his to be excited about reading.
Recommended by Marla, this title is pretty self explanatory.  I haven't, however, figured out a way to buy a new book that teaches me how to not buy new things.  Library perhaps?
This book came on my radar because several of my Good Reads friends have read and liked it.
What are you reading these days?  Should I add it to my list? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Another Day Off!

This is what not having an official vacation gets you - plenty of random days off to take without a plan!! Jay has to go into town any way, so we're talking about going on a hike.  Its a clear, beautiful day for it so I think its worth the tag along, 30 minutes in the car while he deals with clients.

Otherwise I was going to spend the day purging my closet, taking books to the used bookstore, then meeting up with the run group afterward for a charity fun-run 5k.  Instead I'm going to be treated to views like this

Needless to say, purging takes a back seat.  Happy hump day y'all!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Weekend Update

I feel like I'm just now catching up from the weekend!  Unfortunately it was a regular ole 2-day weekend, but I slogged through yesterday by the skin of my teeth.  Jay & I drove 6 hours to West Virginia Friday after work to meet up with his parents.  Saturday, the 4 of us drove another 1+ hour to southern Ohio to watch the Ohio Bobcats take on the Akron Zips*.

Jay's parents had purchased the tickets (and bought our dinner/drinks that evening) for Jay's birthday coming up next week.  He's an OU alum and a big fan of all things Bobcat.  After Saturday's game, the team is 7-0 and finally broke into the top 25. 

I blame this trip for my lack of purging over the weekend.  Although I will give props to his parents for thinking outside the box.  I love consumables as a gift.  We all have too much stuff laying around.  Better to give a gift which can be enjoyed together.  Long after a DVD becomes old, a CD gets scratched, a book is lost, or a pair of jeans becomes threadbare, we'll still have great memories of this game. 

That's an Citizens Bank first down!  RAWR

*Yes, that is the most ridiculous mascot ever.  Giving us OU fans easy ammo for the game time smack talk. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pop Quiznos!

Title stolen from the movie 21 Jump Street.  If you haven't seen it yet, rent it this weekend.  Do yourself a favor and use the bathroom first.  Or wear a diaper.  I considered pissing myself at the theater because I was laughing so hard, yet I didn't want to miss a moment of the movie to relieve myself.

/over share

Bari posted her own quiz answers earlier today (and she borrowed it from some others).  Here goes for my answers:

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?

I love shot bloks, but wanted to try something new so I'm now currently training with sports beans. Love them both, but considering trying something else for my next box (I buy in bulk).

2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?

Whatever I'm training for!!! Right now I'm all excited about the half marathon distance, but I truly love running (and training) for each distance.

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?

I was just commenting early about how I use to be a capri girl (even in the heat of summer) but now I'm transitioning to shorts and skirts.  Weight loss, the right shorts, and Body Glide can all take credit for this transition.

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?

Gatorade.  I'm not really brand loyal but its easy to find in powder form at the grocery store.  Otherwise my husband would drink it whilst sitting on the couch and there would be none for me come long run morning.  Under an hour on a run and I just carry water.

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?

Neither!!  But if I have to pick I'll take cold.  Humidity sucks the life outta me.  50* and overcast is just about perfect in my book.

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics or Other?

Mizuno.  Love my Mizunos.  I've tried others, but always come back.  Doesn't hurt that my favorite style is pink!

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?

I use to be an English Muffin/Peanut butter kinda girl.  Now I just grab a protein bar on the way out the door.  My stomach is kind to me and I'd rather have the extra sleep.

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?

Yes please!!  Just kidding...but seriously.  I plan 1 rest day a week, and I usually get 2 due to life popping up.  It works though.

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?

I can do either.  Been running with Kelly a lot, so I rarely need music, but it can be helpful in a race for that extra pep.

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or Other?

I started for weight-loss, now I do it more for mental health.  I love the accomplishment from training and follow through of race day.  And I never turn down a cupcake.

What about you?

Hope everyone has fun weekend plans lined up!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Daily Thanks - Fall Edition

Friday - Pace run
I had a great pace run at lunch time.  A huge confidence builder as I head into my half marathon later this month.
Saturday - Color Me Rad
No PRs here, only laughing, dancing, and a fun time!
(not sure why the picture is distorted)
Sunday - Afternoon naps
Hello old friend!
Monday - Rest

Tuesday - Life

This evening, Jay & I attended a memorial service for a former boss of his.  Rather than mourning his death, the deceased's life partner made the memorial a celebration of his life.  It was a very touching way to remember a man who touched the lives of many. 
Wednesday - Not one but 2 showings on our farmhouse!
Thursday - sticky notes & a calendar
I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached sometimes.  I'm so thankful for a calendar (both paper and online) as well as sticky notes so that I can remind myself of my "to do" list. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

{almost} Wordless Wednesday

Remember my sabbath?  My phenomenal husband (with his phenomenal camera) snapped this photo.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 Days of Purging - Month to Date

Purged List
·        2 shorts
·        3 pants
·        2 shirts
·        Expired Meds
·        Mini sewing kit
·        Hair doodles
·        1 CD
·        2 books

That puts me 2 items behind on my clothing amounts and 3 items behind on the “other.”  Besides the upstairs bathroom sinks, I feel like I haven’t really purged anything.  The rest was just separated out as I have naturally come across each item. 
 I’ve got a super busy week this week.  Tonight is a memorial service for Jay’s former boss.  Tomorrow is the Socialites Homecoming run.  Thursday/Friday will be packing/traveling to watch the Ohio Bobcats take on the Akron Zips (WTH?). 
In order to not fall further behind, I need to be intentional about setting aside 1 item daily, rather than just assuming my cumulative grand total should be 31 at the end of the month.

I know some of you all are purging this month too – feel free to leave you link in the comments or let us know how its going!

Monday, October 8, 2012


Otherwise known as "The Sabbath."  From 10 Commandments fame.  I've always prided (prode?) myself on being a Sabbath-keeper.  Upon further reflection, I'm horrid at it.

Let's be honest - the Sabbath is Saturday.  The whole don't-travel-more-than-1/2-a-mile thing?  I traveled 11 this past Saturday.  And that was on my feet.  We won't discuss how many miles I rode in a car.

We console ourselves with the idea of a Sunday Sabbath.  After all, it was good enough for the early church leaders, it can be good enough for us.  Only I drive 30 minutes to church, only to work the sound board for the entire service.  I drive 30 minutes home (sometimes stopping for groceries to avoid the tourist get-the-heck-out-of-dodge-i-mean-town traffic), put away groceries, fix lunch, {sometimes} take a nap, only to turn around and drive 30 minutes back to church to work the sound board again.

Doesn't sound very restful, does it? Cause its not.

Sabbath isn't one of those random rules that doesn't make sense. (Anyone got that "don't wear blended fibers one figured out yet?)  Rest is something our bodies need.  If we don't rest as we ought, often times we get sick - forcing us to slow down.

What did I do on my sick day a few weeks ago?  Laundry.  My closet/dresser/under-the-bed-storage is overflowing, yet I think I can't go a day without laundry?  I'll survive.  Promise.

We're gearing up for a big event at work (a month away) making my life even more hectic.  Add to that the half marathon I'm running at the end of October and both my work AND play dance cards are full.  I'm exhausted.  So I decided to take a day off work before work got to crazy to allow for it.  After all, thanks to my work-a-holic hubsand I have over 90 hours vacation time just sitting there.

Today is that day off.  A make-shift Sabbath.

Only I've already loaded the dishwasher, put a load of laundry in, prepared dinner in the crockpot, and I'm planning to hike later in the day.


What have I done right?  Went to bed late last night after 2 glasses of wine. I slept in (8:30 - a full 2 hours more than most work days).  I finished a book.  Contemplated several verse of the book of Acts.  And now I'm sitting here, computer in my lap, looking out the window at the beautiful neighborhood I have been blessed to call home (thanks work-a-holic hubby!) for the past 3 years.

Its a rainy day, so I'm snuggled under my thick B-Cubed (the Boyds Bear Blankie my mother-in-law no-sewed for me a couple of years ago) listening to the rain pinging off the house.  With my 2nd cup of blackberry cobbler coffee in hand, I'm about to heat the fried apple pie my mother got me at the apple orchard this weekend.

Maybe I'm not such a failure at this after all.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Best Things in Life

The best things in life aren't things.
Buchwald, Art

Why do we hold on to things which no longer (or never have) serve a purpose in our lives?  Are we truly afraid that we might night it later?  Or is it because the item defines who we were or hoped to be? 

As I purge through my things this month, I want to stop and take a moment to savor the things I have which point to more.  The magazine cut out of a crop of daisies, sent to me by my cousin as a cheerful hello.  The picture of Jay & I on top of Grandfather Mountain.  The cross reminder of my Savior, my God.

I hope to celebrate the best “not things” in my life this month and beyond.  What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

31 Days of Purging - Gettings Started Take 2

Continuing from Yesterday’s list of Marla’s “how to get started” ideas:

6. Open your medicine cabinet or a bathroom drawer or peek under the sink.

No.  You can’t make me! Translation: This desperately needs to happen. 

We have 2 cabinets (in the upstairs bath) and a closet (in the downstairs bath).  Last night I tackled Jay’s sink, which was kind of a cop-out, he uses the sink downstairs and we haven’t really filled it with junk yet.  It’s the other 2 I’m worried about.

7. Tell your children you’ll pay them 25 cents (or 50 cents/1 dollar/20 dollars) for each stuffed animal they’re willing to get rid of.

I have no children, so that was easy!

One thing I have started doing is trying to put race t-shirts to good use.  Unless it’s a tech shirt that I’ll enjoy training in, I ask for a size large men’s shirt.  After the race, Jay gets a choice – he can keep the shirt or I donate it to the homeless ministry in town.  If he keeps the shirt, he has to give me 2 of his old shirts to donate. 

I believe I also need to institute the 1 in 2 out rule for books of mine.  And possibly clothing.  Its sooooooo hard!

8. Go through your desk and throw out 25 things.

I don’t have a desk.  Jay has one, but its full of his crap.  I keep all of our bill stuff in a portable filing case.  Pens, paper, and the like are in a medium sized basket on the kitchen island. 

Suggestions for replacing this one with something I can do?

9. Skim through the clothes in your closet.

Every season I decide to turn around the hanger to see what I wear.  Every season I come up with an excuse as to why I can’t get rid of things.  I desperately need to get better at this – I have far too many clothes. 

10. Look around your house at all the knickknacks on various surfaces.

As previously discussed, I don’t like knickknacks.  Can I replace this with giving my entire house a good thorough dusting?  That’s not the same as purging is it.  Let’s face it, I’ll probably get stuck in the bathroom closet/sink cabinets and never make it to this one any way.

How do you put a limit on the amount of clothing you purchase?  Is it based off your closet size, what you have the funds for, or something else?

Purge totals:

3 Dress Pants

1 Pair of Shorts

1 top

Expired medication (more to come, but will only count toward the purge total once)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2 - Where Do I Start?

I’m copying Marla for this blog series.  I know it, she knows it, and as long as you all know it, I think we’re good.  After all I’m not blogging a “how-to” but rather one of accountability for me.   A purging memoir if you will.

 A few of you (yes, Amy, Jaime & Mari I’m looking at you) mentioned joining me for this project.  I hope that you do!  If anyone participates and wants to guest blog about the experience please let me know!

In her into, Marla gave 10 “getting started” guides, then encouraged her readers to choose 3.  I’ve got all month, why not tackle them all?

1. Take all the books off one shelf, any shelf.

I have a lot of books – some decorative, some informational, others just fun reading.  I have so many books, we had these beautiful bookshelves built.  We have a free standing bookshelf full in the living room, and a box of books a friend of my mother’s gave me in my car.  Clearly this is an issue that needs addressing.

2. Empty your big kitchen utensil drawer (or crock or whatever).

I have both.  That’s a problem isn’t it?  I need at least 2 of everything; one for my non-stick cookware and one for the rest.  I’m rationalizing already.  Awesome.

3. Go through your socks/underwear/bras.

Some friends of mine and I were talking about this one just the other day.  Are you watching that show Revolution?  15 years after the blackout, they are still wearing their same clothing.  Lessons learned?  I don’t want to have to raid someone else’s pantie drawer if the crap hits the fan (both literally and figuratively).  It’s 3 tiny drawers, can “plenty” in this department really be that bad?

4. Look through your CD and/or DVD collection. Choose 5 that you never watch/listen to. Give them a new home.

I actually did this one last year, when we were prepping to put our rental cabin on the market.  The DVDs we didn’t care as much for went to the cabin.  I honestly haven’t been there in so long I’m not sure if they are still there.

PSA: When staying at a rental cabin, please don’t steal.  Even though Night at the Museum 2 made there “to-the-cabin” list and your kids really liked it, its still someone else's personal property.  I truly wish this went without saying.  Sadly it doesn't.

5. Do you collect something?

Pressed pennies.  Race medals.

 I figure even if I have 100 pressed pennies they’ll still take up very little space in the top drawer of my night stand.  As for race medals, I scored. them the hard way.  I wanna keep them.  I do kinda feel selfish when I hear about Medal for Metal visiting the Children's Hospital in the area, but not guilty enough to give mine away.

I'm exhausted and I haven't started the real work yet.  However I am loving that 2 days in a row I've determined the pair of dress slacks I wore each day to work belong in the "too big" bin. 

Let's address the remaining 5 items tomorrow, shall we?

Purge totals: 2 pair of dress slacks, 1 pair of shorts, 1 top

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Urge to Purge

Last October, my bloggy friend Marla hosted a “31 Days ofPurging” series.  I didn’t actively participate last year, but have come to the point I realize I desperately need to.  Our home is currently on the real estate market.  My hope is that moving will be fairly easy and painless when our house goes in contract.  I fear, however, the big move will be scattered and unnerving.

Add to that a control freak/perfectionist’s worst nightmare – not being able to find something in my house.  I try to keep everything in perfect order.  Even when everything isn’t tidy (Jay’s fault I promise!), there is still a place for everything and everything in its place. 

Picture it – Tennessee, late September.  A 30 something woman awakes on a rainy day to get ready for work.  Much to her dismay, her one and only umbrella is at the office.  Didn’t I buy a new one just a few weeks ago?  She thinks to herself.  Where did I put those sunglasses I got the same day?  She wonders.  In her search, she finds part of her sister’s birthday present in the closet.  CRAP! I finished her pressie off the same day.

I have searched my house and have been unable to find the following: 1 brand new pair of sunglasses, 1 brand new umbrella, 1 brand new _______ (just in case she’s reading this).  Sounds like an episode of hoarders if you ask me.  I’ve got so much stuff, I can’t find what I need.  Its honestly not that bad, but still unacceptable to me.

Lucky for me, we’re starting a new month today.  For the month of October I pledge to:

·        Purge 1 clothing item per day

·        Purge 1 non-clothing item per day

·        Sort through what I have and put what I’m keeping in working order

·        Pack up seasonal items that won’t be needed until after we’ve moved into the cabin

·        Re-evaluate my purchases.  Spending is a big part of the “too much stuff” equation.

Care to join me?