Life in General
From my perspective, I’m a totally average girl living a totally average life. And I don’t take any issue with that at all. It’s peaceful, uncomplicated, and I take great pleasure in all of the small stuff. However, since I got married over labor day weekend last year, G and I have been keeping a one-sentence journal which chronicles all of the happenings, big or small, in 365 pages—well, 183 as it’s double sided—so each year that you write, you can see what you’ve written in previous years. There have been a handful of days that say Gym. Work. TV. Sleep. But, for the most part there is a lot of business. And by business I mean busy-ness. So here, I give you my average week with all the gory detail not included in the basic one-sentence diary entry.
Monday (4/27) Because my weeks begin with Monday and end with Sunday.
I woke up with puffy eyes, not because of the pollen- well, maybe a little because of the pollen- but more because I kind of cried myself to sleep a little bit after the departure of my brother yesterday who was visiting for almost three weeks to get his visa. Thank goodness I work from home on Mondays! And I sleep in on Mondays too, no class in the morning means Sunday nights can be a real rager. Or emotional meltdown, whatever I prefer. Made my coffee and heated up my pre-made breakfast (bacon and egg omelet muffins) and headed upstairs to get online and deal with emails. I’m in the final throws of a huge proposal that should go in for its third and final round within the next month so I’m also busy reading and responding to dozens of customer questions and working on strategy to refine our last submission. Levi gets a walk and I get a work break somewhere between the 11am and 1pm timeframe and after I eat some lunch. During our walk, I typically come up with a playlist for my RPM classes for the week and listen to refresh choreography as we walk.
When we get back I eat something for lunch- this week it’s spaghetti squash with marinara and pulled rotisserie chicken mixed in. Totally Italian. Back upstairs to work, but I need a change of scenery so I bring my laptop downstairs to work on the couch while first season reruns of Sex and The City play on E! G lets me know she’s going to be running late to class, for which I pick her up at the metro to attend, so I head over to the gym early to reserve her bike, set up my own, and get music playing then go pick her up at East Falls Church metro. Class is usually packed, but now that it’s getting warmer outside and the cyclists can ride outdoors, it’s not complete mayhem. After an hour of cycling from 6:30-7:30, we chat with members and come home to have dinner- some left over Korean beef noodle bowls while we watch The Voice, which has been DVRd. We try to get to bed early, but usually end up getting sucked into watching it all, even fast forwarding through all the commercials yields a 10:30 or later bedtime.
I’m subbing BodyPump at 24 Hour Fitness today so alarms go off at 5am and we begrudgingly get out of the suuuuper comfortable bed. I work out 4-5 mornings during the week, but somehow this still does not make me a morning person. The struggle is still there. I think this is partly why I teach – it keeps me accountable. If I were just a member, I think I would skip class all the time. But if I teach the class, I don’t have a choice. I don’t have to lie in bed after the first alarm and contemplate just shutting it off, as though there was a possibility that I could choose a different outcome for the morning. I’ve been an early morning workout person for forever, but I definitely don’t leap out of bed effortlessly. Anyways, BodyPump 93 in the house, and it’s super hard. G tweaked something in her shoulder during class. We are hoping that it’s just a pull and not a tear. Only time will tell. Normally we would shower at the gym and I would take G straight to the metro but she is working from home today, so we just go home together and I get ready for work there. I have a full day of meetings about this proposal so I focus on that all day. When I get home, we have the spaghetti squash concoction for dinner and we continue to work on our computers – some work still to be done from the day, and some is planning for our trip to NJ/NY for Miss T’s bridal shower and bachelorette weekend in June!
My second weekly RPM class at 24 is on Weds at 6am so I am up early for that. G has a 2-day training she is attending and has to be there pretty early so she has to skip and get herself to the training site on time. I’m working from home on my proposal all day, and take my typical mid-day walk with Levi while I listen to BodyAttack to get ready for my Sunday class. Last Sunday class was cancelled due to a training that was happening in the group fitness studio so it will have been 2 weeks since I did the new release and honestly I don’t remember it! So, I’m basically learning it all over again and starting early so it will stick. I’m so exhausted from getting up early at 6am two days in a row that I take a short nap in the afternoon. Working from home is glorious when you get to do things like this, that actually make you MORE productive during the eight (or more) hours that you are working. Huge supporter of the siesta. #BringSiestaToTheUSA When I go to pick up G at the metro, we head straight out from there to run some errands – grab some ingredients we need at Whole Foods for dinner that we are hosting on Friday night, plus a few other stops.
Thursday! Now we’re talking! Getting closer to the weekend. It’s about on Thursday that I start checking out a little bit. It’s a sleep-in morning for me (much needed after the last two days of early mornings) and with no urgency to get into the office super early either, I make some coffee and linger in bed reading some piled up articles from HuffPost, MSNBC, and some fitness bloggers that I follow on my iPad. Begrudgingly, I get up and evaluate the state of my hair. Sometimes I need to wash it every other day, but sometimes I can get away with a 3-day-er. Not today. I call this a full grooming. Shower, shave, full hair blow out, nail clip, and a proper application of makeup. #lookingood And it’s only 9:30am. I’m at the proposal center where I am working on my proposal today by 10am, and I spend most of the day helping other people with their stuff instead of working on my own stuff. But, it feels good to be productive for the greater good. I feel exhausted after all of the interaction, so G and I leave the house and go out for dinner at one of our favorites – Open Road Grill, where I always get a salmon salad. I swear they have the best piece of salmon of anywhere. Anywhere! I don’t even know how that’s possible. Before you think I’m annoying for eating salad for dinner, I’ll disclose that we also had a basket of wings. When we get home, I spend the rest of the evening prepping the Asian Slaw side salad that will go with tomorrow’s dinner – it tastes better when it’s had a full day to marinade. I’m not a mayonnaisey person, but I love coleslaw with some crisp green apple and red cabbage mixed in with some light Asian influenced dressing.
It’s May! And more importantly it’s Friday! I start with my early morning RPM class which is always super fun, and many of the members I’ve become close friends with over the years- Fridays are always social hour before and after class to catch up on what’s up. I am the world’s most productive human between the hours of 8am and 1pm. In 5 solid hours I can get done what a normal person would take all day, or perhaps several days to do. This is great because today, while I’m fielding emails and calling into work teleconferences, I manage to do 5 loads of laundry, unload the dishwasher, discover a birds nest in my cotton wreath on the front door, rescue a baby bird from having flown inside my house (eek), clean up scared baby bird’s poo, vacuum and dust the basement, put the pork in the crock pot to start cooking for this evening’s social activities, make these amazing PMS Brownies, pick up our race packets for tomorrow’s 5k Color Run, and take Levi to his grooming appointment (and pick him up). So, at some point between 1 and 3pm you know what happens? I totally crash. Siesta. Doesn’t necessarily mean that I sleep, but I have to quiet down and zone out a little to get my second wind. DING! The brownies are done and it takes every ounce of strength not to eat them all.
After I pick G up at the metro, I come home and start making some of the other sides for dinner. Our friends Sue and Chris come over with their son Will and we break open the first bottle of red while we catch up, have dinner (pulled pork bbq, meatballs in tomato basil sauce, Asian slaw, and brownies with chocolate ganache for dessert), and play a game of dominos. Dominos are not little blocks that you set up in a row and then knock down- it’s a real actual game of strategy that I have never played before and it’s insanely fun. Especially after two bottles of red and some amaretto sours. It’s not a party at the Shay’s house until there are Amarettos involved. Super. Fun. Night.
Woke up early to get ready to metro down to RFK Stadium for the race with Stacie. I’m impressed with our on-time-ness and light packing- after all, there is no secure place to put your stuff down there. Our friends Jen and Dennis hop on the metro with us in Clarendon and we meet Patty and a few other friends at the starting point. I kind of expected a race that starts at RFK Stadium to have a cool route through South Capitol and Eastern Market, but no… we basically run in crazy eights around a giant dilapidated parking lot. A little disappointing, but I had fun and was surprised by how great I felt running after not having run in… well, it’s been so long I don’t remember when the last time I ran was. I credit this shocking amount of stamina to BodyAttack. It freaking works, guys. Anywho, I have no idea what our time was because I don’t think it was that kind of race, with time chips and whatnot. So, we regrouped at the end and went to Banana Café for brunch, color drenched and all.
By the time we took the metro back home and showered, we had some time to run some errands at Lowes, Michaels, and since we were at Fair Lakes, a stop into Kirkland where G spotted this beauty, and we are now the proud owners of.
My love for owls is pretty obvious now between the coffee mugs, cookie jar, vases, painting, pillows, and what else? Who cares. They’re cute and if you think I’m crazy, go on. At least I’m a happy crazy person. G’s Aunt Cindy and cousin were in town for a visit and we got some prime Saturday night real estate to have dinner with them, along with G’s mom and brother and his fiancée. So nice to spend the evening with family catching up. We will see them again soon at the family reunion being hosted at our house in June. Whoop!
Does anyone else get Sunday anxiety? I totally do. I enjoy my weekends so thoroughly that once Sunday comes back around I start thinking about the crazy week ahead. This happened to me as a kid also, the anxiety of having school the next day made me feel ill sometimes. I don’t know what that’s about, but usually it helps to prepare by grocery shopping, cooking food for the week, etc. So after my BodyAttack class in the morning, we head out to Wegmans and grab breakfast and coffee and get our weekly loot. Today, we also decided to see what’s going on at Fresh Market, which is a small independent grocer that opened in our little town. It’s gorgeous! The produce is gorgeous (but not always organic). The candy section is about 1/3 of the store. Winning! We had everything we need already, but sampled some goods there and grabbed 2 rotisserie chickens – this is a staple at our house. We pull the chicken while it’s still warm and store it in the fridge to eat all week. We put it in egg scrambles, put it on top of salads, and like Monday the 27th, it went into my very Italian spaghetti squash lunch. I love this trick- a great way to eat healthy without a lot of prep. G spent the afternoon power washing the deck, part of our schedule to get ready for the family reunion in June. I defrosted and organized the deep freezer in our garage and fixed the garage door opener, which has been deprogrammed and useless for months. Productive day, check! We had leftovers from Friday’s dinner while we caught up on several episodes of Veep and crashed very dramatically into bed dreamily meditating about how great it will feel to sleep in on Monday morning. At least there was no emotional meltdown this week.
Whaaat? It’s MAY tomorrow?? I had a little writing hiatus while we traveled, frolicked, and generally had completely unforgettable experiences in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and Miami and Key West, Florida. Go on… be jealous.
The reality is that travel is seriously draining. It’s amazing racking up these experiences and taking cool pictures of the way you desire to remember it, but I’ve already blocked out the majority of the nightmare that was getting out of DC during the nastiest snow storm of the year while desperately clinging to hope that we would leave the East Coast in time to make it to Mexico for any worthwhile amount of time. O said that if we got even 12 minutes of sunshine she would be happy. So, we coined a new hashtag and kept our humor intact.
It took nearly the full 2 days that we had left of our trip to unwind from the anxiety of getting there. However, Mexico is absolutely lovely and it was quite a unique trip for me because even though I had been to Cabo before (when I was 16 years old and hated it because my parents made me go… gosh I was so ungrateful) usually trips to beaches for me involve primarily books and sand but this trip was really focused more on exploring and experiences.
For example, we took long walks on the beach and did some of the hotel organized group exercise classes like BOGA- beach yoga, and Beach boot camp. Of course! Group X fanatics that we are. And while we were strolling or sprinting or down dogging or throwing medicine balls, there were pelicans diving into the water right in front of us and gray whales breaching out of the water less than 50 feet from the water’s edge. I felt so grateful for that experience. And to be there with my love and some of the best girlfriends a girl could ever ask for.
And, of course, there were the enormous drinks (where I learned a little too well how great Pepcid AC is for resolving the Asian flush issue), all you can eat resort meals, a fantastic first time paddle boarding experience for us all, late night dancing at a club with stupid little wannabe thieves (don’t worry, Stacie implemented some BodyCombat ascending elbows to knock the bitch over, a proud moment for O, who is her trainer… and we never even stopped dancing), and spa massages to make it classic stay in the great country of Mexico. Entonces!! #12minutesofsunshine
After coming back and feeling jet lagged for a week- thanks daylight savings time change in addition to the normal west coast/east coast swing – we had just enough time to de-bloat, regroup, repack, and head down to Miami for the wedding. I just love weddings. It’s one of very few events in your life where all of the people you love and who love you come together all at one time, from all over the world and from all walks of life in one place to celebrate love.
I gave my speech about family, which I feel so strongly about. The choice of being in it or not being in it. The responsibility we have to create and maintain connections that will support and enrich the newlyweds. It was a proud moment when I held it together and didn’t cry too much. The makeup artist told me after all that my whole face would be ruined otherwise. That’s a lot of pressure, you know? And I spent the trip to Miami and the evening of the wedding making new connections and strengthening existing ones. I really miss all of those wonderful people!
The day after the wedding, G and I hopped into our convertible and headed down to Key West for our own mini-moon, a quick trip planned in lieu of our original honeymoon which is postponed until later this year. It was gorgeous every single day. We rented bikes and rode all over the island- day and night. G was fascinated by the roosters and birds of all kinds, really. I turned my dislike of key lime pie into a love for key lime Everything including but not limited to pie, peanuts, cookies, barbeque sauce and body lotion. We went paddle boarding again as part of an eco-tour and never fell in once! And caught up on some much needed sleep and quality time at our amazing hotel, The Marker. Highly recommended!
There are very few places that I visit on vacation and would be willing to go again and again. After all, there are so many amazing places to see in this world, why would you ever want to go somewhere more than once? But, Miami, having been there probably 10 times, and now Key West are definitely places that I will go back to.
Aside from travels, another noteworthy occasion for April was my brother’s visit back to The States to get his more permanent visa to stay in the UK with his wife and kids. Since the complete (and final) fall out with our parents last summer, my brother and I haven’t had a lot of time together and it felt so good to have him here and for him to just be part of everyday life- having meals together, going to the gym together, running errands together, completing some house projects with his help, and having him around to fix little things like the garage door and my low car oil situation. It made me realize how much I missed him and kind of brought back a little bit of my remembrance of what it is like (or should be like- it’s quite possible given my history that my memory about family is quite romanticized) to have family around.
Of course, I have family around all the time – G and Levi, her family, and all of our chosen family. I’m not in any way discounting that or feeling ungrateful for that. But there is something different about someone who has known you and loved you from before your memories begin. Someone who came from the same place and understands you in a way that is effortless because there isn’t anything extra to comprehend when you think and express the same way. It feels nearly telepathic. Sometimes I wonder… is this what twins feel like?
So you can imagine when his visa came through and I had to say goodbye last weekend after almost 3 weeks of his company, I was really sad to see him go. Saying goodbye (even when I know it’s temporary, until next time) has never been easy for me. But, as I cried to and told G, there are only a few people on this planet that I really deeply love and feel connected to. And he is one of those people. He’s only a skype call away, but as we both are naturally nonverbal connectors, my heart is hurting from the proximity of his presence.