Friday, November 30, 2012

the marine wedding.

so in all of my november craziness i got to attend wedding #4 of the year for my brother from another mother, scott. i have literally known him since i was in 3rd grade. he and my brother grew up together from pre-k. scott was always part of the family and pretty much my brother. while he and kyle took very different paths after high school, somehow they ended up doing the same thing! see kyle didnt attend college right away and then joined the marines at the age of 20 (ps i cant believe he has been in for 4 years already!). scott went straight to the naval academy at anapolis and upon graduation decided to also join the marines! weird, i know.

about 6 months ago (give or take) we got a text from scott that he was engaged! he had met a great girl named kelly through a friend at the naval academy and get this, they literally grew up 7 miles apart from each other in california! of course we would be at the wedding we told him after learning it was sometime in novemeber. as luck would have it landed the week before thanksgiving so we were going to head down south 2 weekends in a row haha! but there is no way i would be anywhere else:)

we left for southern california saturday morning since the wedding was on sunday afternoon. since we would be back down there a few days later we decided to only stay the one night. upon arriving we went to one of my favorite places, el torito! now i know its more tex-mex than mexican food but i dont care. i love it anyway:) we milled around in a big shopping area till we could check into our hotel later that afternoon and actually got rained on! and you thought southern california was always sunny, ha.
that night we met scotts parents for dinner at their house. i havent seen them in, well a lot of years, and it was time to catch up. we got a quick glance at the groom on his way in and out the door for dinner with the guys:) dinner was friggin delicious, as always! it was fun to just hang out and catch up.

the wedding wasnt actually until 3p sunday so we got to sleep in quite a bit that morning. we scored a late check out and just hung out in the morning. about noon we milled around to getting ready and then went to olive garden for lunch around the corner. the wedding was literally 8 minutes away from the hotel so we took our time. kelsey (my brothers girlfriend) met us there so we could all travel to the wedding together. it was still a little hard for me to believe that scott was getting married!
the reception was at a beautiful park that looked over all of fullerton and brea. it was outside and just pretty all the way around! it was a country wedding theme with the girls wearing brown cowboy boots, the boys in suits rather than tuxes, and the bride wore red cowboy boots underneath an ivory dress with pockets:) scott wore his dress blues and looked so handsome. they are so grown up now! my brother was in the wedding, but being deployed he couldnt exactly make it haha. scott actually kept him in the wedding and during the ceremony they said a prayer for him and all our troops abroad (most of the groomsmen were also military). can we say serious tears?!

after the first kiss as husband and wife it was time to celebrate! we headed off to the reception while the wedding party took pictures. they had super cute little appetizers and an open wine/beer bar! i did get a little sad and pretty teary eyed as i watched them taking pictures, i wont lie. it was a little tough to go to this one by myself so soon after the breakup. i knew we werent ready to get married, but just felt even further away from having that in the moment. thank goodness for the wine!
luckily kelly had put myself and kelsey at the kids table with people our own age and my parents at an adult table. it was fun to hang out with everyone and catch up with scotts brother, jeff. i hadnt seen in a really long time, along with a few others at the table. dinner was delicious and everyone just seemed so happy! i finally got to meet kelly and hug scott as a i now married man:) she was so super nice and was so excited we could finally meet, i guess shes heard stories lol.
 i scored a passenger seat in the car so i could have as much fun as i wanted at the wine bar! the guys at my table were very gentlemenly and i never had to refill my own glass:) we danced and gathered around to catch the bouquet, all the fun traditional wedding things! way too soon though we had to head home. all 3 us had to work the next day and it was a 4 hour drive home:/ we found scott (who had changed into a suit like the other guys lol) and kelly to wish them good luck and to say goodbye. this one seemed harder as we really didnt know when we would see them again. they were headed out on a mini honeymoon and then to beaufort, north carolina where scott is stationed. ps that is where the movie walk to remember takes place! then in januaryish scott is getting deployed for a year and kelly will head back to california to be with her family while he is gone. they are too cute and going to be adorable to watch grow married together!
congrats scott and kelly!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

thankful thursday #4.

look at me all on time this week:) its the last round for the month of november and i have to say its been really fun!

1. our troops

i am an american through and through, which means loving our military! the sacrifice they and their families go through to protect our country is amazing. please keep all those home and abroad in your thoughts. make sure you always thank a vet or active service member:)

seriously one of my favorite pictures.source
2. coffee
i am a total addict and wouldnt have it any other way! i didnt really start dabbling coffee until i was in my senior year of high school and that wasnt much. in college though it really started turning around then working at old navy i started making my own at home finally. i love that it brings people together and just the smell alone can bring a smile to my face:)

peppermint mochas:)
 3. the holiday season

it really is my favorite time of the year! from the week of halloween to the new year there is so many things to do and fun events to participate in. plus it just makes me happy:)

have you ever been to the conservatory
at the bellagio at christmas time??
its my favorite:)
4. traveling

one day i would love to do more of it and more often, but i have been so fortunate to do quite a bit of it all my life! ive done runcations, study abroad, visited family and friends, international, and road trips galore. one day i would love to drive across the us and i definitley want to visit every state in my lifetime. dont worry, international is on there too! its so cool to go to other places and see new cultures, taste new food, and see different things everywhere you go:)

you never know where the travel might take you...
5. a return date

ive been keeping this one pretty close to the vest because it has changed so friggin much...but we have an official return date and time for my brother to come home!! im not sure that i can totally tell you what this yet, but know that it is very soon. we are so excited and very lucky to have him home safe soon and for the christmas holiday this year!

when we picked him up from bootcamp graduation.
check out those glasses!!

thanks for reading along everyone!! here is part 1, part 2, and part 3 in case you missed them:)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

thankful thursday #3

wow oh wow am i late with this one! so we will call it thankful thursday on a tuesday instead:) here is part 1 and part 2 if you need to catch up!

1. family getting together

this last week we were incredibly lucky to get almost all our family together for the thanksgiving holiday in southern california! we did miss a few people but had a blast. my family is big and loud and in everybodys business and crazy, and i love it:) 
2. being independent

just recently my parents and i were talking about the things they were hoping to teach their children. my dad taught me to be strong and sporty they decided. and my mom taught me to be smart and independent. i am so grateful for all the qualities they passed along! while my independent nature has definitely gotten me in trouble and is sometimes seen as me being too headstrong, i love that it is one strong feature i have. maybe one day ill find someone who will love it as much as i do...(hey a girl can dream, right) 
3. enjoying the little things

whether its grabbing a cup of coffee with friends, having no plans at all and loving every minute of it, or a late night giggly-girl phone call with your best friend, or being able to meet a great group of runners on monday nights that are there without fail. its important to step back and remember those things are so great. its not always about stuff, but the things and memories we get to create everyday!
4. traditions

this is a season full of all kinds of things that only happen once a year and i am so excited to get some of them started this last weekend! a few we have literally been doing as kids and i wouldnt trade it for the world. we definitely missed my brother throughout the weekend, it was a little weird i wont lie to not have him there for things like rogers garden and playing on the beach. we still had such a great time and are gearing up for our fun christmas ones over the next month, i cant wait! 
its never officially thanksgiving at grandpas
house without the eggnog!
rogers garden:)

5. somewhere to lay my head

this last month or so has been some big moves for me in more ways than one! my parents were amazing and invited me back home to get myself back on my feet. they even have helped me move a few times over the last few weeks. i really got some good ones:) it may not be ideal to move back home at the age of 27, but sometime you gotta do whatcha gotta do.

this thursday i will post the final thankful thursday, i promise it will really be on thursday this week;) its been fun to take out time and actually write down all these things. i know some of them may seem silly or not as important, and thats ok. sometimes we are all a little too serious and you have to take a step back to say thanks!

Monday, November 26, 2012

the ragnar las vegas race report part 2.

ok im back! so we left off just after our 2nd leg and about 11p, it was time for food and sleep. we decided on buffalo wild wings because it was close and people could get whatever they wanted. we ordered in the bar and it seemed to take forver! we were out of there as fast as possible to scarf it all down at micheles. im pretty sure i was asleep on the floor as soon as my head hit the pillow at about 1a. i was so glad we werent sleeping outside or in the van!
do you think theyll kick me out for falling asleep at the bar??
no really, do you?
2 legs down, 1 to go!
wayyyy too soon at about 315a the alarm was going off again and we were up to head back to the exchange. thank goodness this was our last round cause man was i ready to be done! we were at the exchange by 415a to pick back up. i ran into my friend derrick at the exchange while we were waiting! he used to run with us on monday nights but moved to iowa over the summer. i knew he was coming back to run but i wasnt sure i was actually going to see him.

this last round was my shortest at 5.6 miles and right on time layna came through sending me off down st rose parkway at 430a. the wind had finally subsided and it was actually pretty nice outside. st rose was super flat and i was diggin it until i had to turn up the street into anthem, then we were back to straight uphill, really! the sun started to rise and i was actually feelin good. there were quite a few people walking this leg, you could tell the whole thing was starting to take a toll on everyone.

finally i passed the 1 more mile to go sign and was ready to officially cross of my 3rd leg. the girls were right there ready and i gladly gave fanny the bracelet wishing her off! afterward i felt like a rockstar to be honest! i never thought i would be able to do something like that. in just under 24 hours i ran 19 miles. wow! i finished the 3rd leg in 54:02. we stopped off at a starbucks to get everyone some much needed coffee and i was super excited to have my 1st peppermint mocha of the season:)
Photo: officially a ragnarian!! done with my legs and my van is 1/2 way done with our final legs! almost to the finish line:)
the conveted ragnar tattoo.
ended up lasting almost a week and started a few very
good conversations after the race was over...
our van continued on dropping off and picking up for the next few hours. we all had that same super satisfied, exhausted, rockstar look on our faces as we crossed off our final legs. the weather was becoming nicer as we got later in the morning and soon it was time to send michele off on her last leg! we headed out to meet van 2 and gladly let them take over and agreed to meet them at the finish line so we could all cross together. they looked rested and ready to go, more power to you haha.
hey van 2 teammates:)
afterward we headed to the clear other side of town to drop off 1 of our girls then decided we needed to eat stat. again, that being the 1st runner sucks for the food end of things haha. we headed to ihop still all a little in disbelief we were done and STARVING. i think about 4 or 5 bites of food literally fell on the floor while i was eating because i couldnt get them into my mouth fast enough haha. since we were on that side of town we decided to get mine and sandys car then meet everyone at the finish line together. i was going to head home to shower but then made a detour to sandys so we could carpool out to lake las vegas since we heard traffic was going to be terrible.
when i was sitting on her couch the exhaustion really started to set in. after some confusion about finish time we headed out to the finish line a little early and wandered around only to find them sold out of my sweatshirt. see, i knew i should have bought it earlier friday morning! we found the rest of our van soon and before we knew it layna was running toward us and the finish line. she was like 15 minutes early and the rest of her van hadnt even made it yet. we wanted to wait for everyone so we could cross together! van 2 wasnt far behind and we all hobbled across the line just over 30 hours after crossing the start line the day before.
we grabbed our bling and took lots of team pictures before grabbing some of our free pizza. the original plan was to hang out for awhile in the beer garden really getting to talk. but once we were actually there we were just about all ready to go home. sandy and i hung out for a little bit but headed out soon after. walking back across the bridge to our car i ran into all my runner group friends!! and derrick was right behind us too. it was like a reuninon!!
that night i went to dinner with my parents at bjs and stuffed my belly happy full:) i went home to take a bath in epsom salt and a proceeded to take a shower after before falling into bed at 930p on a saturday night. i slept a total of 14 hours that night and probably could have slept more if i hadnt woken up hungry the next day haha. man i dont know how people do this race all the time! im already signed up for another one next year with friends in cape cod. i think i could do about 1 or 2 of these a year, but thats it haha. i also totally understand now what people mean when they talk about ragnar withdrawl! we were still all talking for the next couple days and it was weird to not all be together. i do have to say that i had an unintentional unplug from just about the world that weekend and it was quite nice. ragnar for sure came at the perfect time:)
team t&a completes in 30:30:54!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

the ragnar las vegas race report part 1.

man oh man am i behind! its been a crazy few weeks with no sign of slowing down anytime soon, but its kind of fun to be so busy:) so lets back up so i can finally tell you all about ragnar! in case you forgot heres the deal: you and 11 friends split up into 2 vans of 6 runners each to cover a distance of 200 miles in a relay sense starting in mt charleston and ending in lake las vegas! each person runs 3 legs and as soon as your leg is finished you hop back in the van while the next runner takes off, almost like a leap frog thing. theres not much sleep (we'll get to that), a constant funky smell, and you are closer to your vanmates in 30 hours than you are with most friends in months!
i have been wanting to do one for a few years but was a little chicken to sign up. when this year rolled around i was determined to find a team, luckily my friend sandy had an extra spot on her team which i quickly took. we met a few times as a team to determine a name and coordinate vans, etc. they seemed like a great group of girls and we were all in it for the fun, thank goodness!

november rolled around quickly and it was thursday night before fast. somehow i have had quite a few friends run one of these lately so i had lots of tips and tricks to keep in mind. (take a look at megans awesome list if you need!!) the best one out there for packing...put each outfit in an individual ziploc bag. #1 its easy to grab in a duffle bag. #2 it keeps from stinking up everything else in the bag and van. #3 things get hectic in the van and when your trying to sort out what belongs to who, baggies make iteasier. so i packed everything up and headed to bed way too late thursday night for an incredibly early alarm friday of 415a to get to the meeting spot.

i was in van 1 and runner #1 so we met at a major exchange in town so we could all carpool up the mountain to the start line. the weather had been absolutely beautiful all week until thrusday night when the wind started and the temperature dropped 20* overnight. this was going to be interesting. we quickly set to packing in food and decorating the suburban one of our girls had borrowed from a friend. it was already chilly and we knew the trek up the mountain would be interesting
the start line was at the las vegas ski and snowboard resort about an hour away. we left a little later then we probably should have which meant we got up there a little late. as we were climbing up the clouds seemed to get lower and lower and rain at the bottom. that meant at the top it was probably snowing, great. finally reaching the resort we checked in, got our safety brief, and made lots of new friends as we huddled together in the 27* weather, with 40 mph winds, snow, and a little bit of hail! finally it was time to start so we headed out to the start line after getting a little warm in the car.
the bananas! told you we made friends haha.
really?! 27*.

my 1st leg was just over 7 miles straight down the hill getting down about 2000 feet total before passing off to fanny. it was friggin cold, i was literally wearing 4 shirts, a scarf, a wrap around my ears, and gloves before finally getting warm. the downhill was great for time and i seemed to get out of the snow pretty quickly but that wind, dang. it was gusting so hard you had to really be paying attention or it would literally blow you over.

the 7 miles went really quickly, i think most of it was because i was so excited about finally participating. i found my team a few times and they cheered like crazy every time i ran by. soon i passed by the 1 mile to go sign and was ready to pass off to the next person. i saw fanny just up ahead jumping around with michele and slapped the bracelet on to send her on her way! i was feeling really good and finished the 6.95 miles (apparently it was just short of the 7) in 56:49 making it an 8:10 pace! after passing on i wasnt exactly sure what to do. stretch? am i hungry? can i just hop back in the van? i decided on the last one and we were off to meet fanny a ways down. the hunger didnt come till later and man it came hard core!
yay, 1st one complete!

we continued on down the mountain. picking up fanny, dropping off yumi. picked up yumi, dropped off cindy. it was about this time the hunger hit! finally back to the valley we picked up cindy, dropped off sandy. soon enough it was time to drop off our last runner-michele and meet our teammates in van 2 at the major exchange. up to this point we were just meeting our runners on the side of the road with a few porta potties and people there. the major exchanges are the fun ones where all the teams meet and they have more things going on. i should have taken my money so i could buy my ragnar sweatshirt there but wasnt thinking that fast.
some people come up with the coolest names!

once we finally grabbed michele we were all starving and decided on a local pizza/pasta place to refuel. it was about 1230p/1p at this time. the sucky part about being runner 1 is that you have to wait a really long time to eat, like 4-5 hours. i snacked along the way on bananas, trail mix, etc but its different then waiting a little bit after a run and then eating soon. we stuffed our faces and were glad to be out of the van for a bit. everyone was getting along really well and i was so glad our team was so easy going.

we headed out to our next stop at the jw marriot where we would pick up for the next set of legs. this was also a major exchange and we thought there would be a place we could dip our feet in, but it was more of just hang out on the grass and wait for the runners instead. we spent sometime in the casino wandering around mostly because it was warm and we could use real bathrooms haha. i mean, im all about a porta potties in need but a real bathroom is a better idea to change in! outside i ran into a few girls from my runner group i hadnt seen in awhile and soon it was about time for us to keep a look out for layna. we had heard quite a bit from the other team, thank goodness for cell phones, that she should be there right about 530p. now with the night legs you had to wear a headlamp, vest, and some sort of light on the back to be safe. all runners also had to have on a vest anytime they were outside the vechicle whether running or not. nighttime hours for us were 345p-630a since it was dark so early in november.

the actually runner exchange was kinda a total mess. there were just too many teams in a very small area. right on time layna came in and i was off again. this leg was a little shorter at 6.18 miles but it was straight uphill snaking through summerlin into the 30mph wind. not. fun. this one was by far my least favorite leg. luckily when i was startin to lose it a little bit my teammates found me to cheer me on! im not sure how they did since it was so dark, but thank goodness. and as i got to the end (or what i thought was the end at least) a girl from another team came up behind me and told me i was keeping a great pace and was good to follow! i was so excited:)
wow its dark!
 i crossed the exchange and gladly passed off the bracelet to fanny! the girls had stopped at the dunkin donuts in the parking lot and i gladly accepted the munchkins they had. it was cold and i was super over the wind. the next parts took us up through red rock and it was getting darker and darker plus colder and colder the later it got. i was sooo super glad to be finished haha. my 2nd leg time equaled out to 1:01:39 with a 9:58 pace. not the greatest one, but i was so happy to be done. the hunger started up again and so did the tiredness. finally we dropped off michele to take care of the last leg and end at the m where the next van could pick up. they had an out and back for their overnight leg to jean and back. i was super relieved to not have that leg, its straight out in the desert, yikes.
my cute teammates with donuts!
gotta huddle to stay warm:)
michele came back in right on timeand we gladly peaced out to somewhere warm and hopefully to sleep soon! it was just about 11p and wished the other girls luck as they took off. we had already established that after handing off to the other van we could just grab food to go somewhere and then head to micheles house to sleep since it was so close to the exchange. all of us were wearing fast and starting to probably get a little cranky. plus not everyone was heading out of the van everytime to cheer each other on, it was definitely time for some sleep. check back for all about the final leg and the finish line stuff!!
good luck ladies!
its time for van 1 to sleep:)
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