Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review

 Events that happened this year:
  • Ran a 15K
  • Found Kirby (handicapped kitty)
  • Said good-bye to my dog, Syd
  • Went on a cruise with great friends
  • Went to London with Chris
  • Moved in with Chris
  • Watched my youngest sister, brother, and niece grow up
  • Made some really good friends
  • Got to see Nick Danger and my best friends Alisha and Bryan (Nick's parents)
  • Learned that I love weight training
  • Watched my kittens become cats
  • Survived chemical thermodynamics and seminar (which means I completed the last final for the rest of my life!)

I have two goals for 2010:
  1. To stick with my resolution:  To be less critical of myself and more confident in myself.  
  2. To see how many of the 52 weeks out of the year I can run at least 3 days in the week.  I am not putting any distance, pace, or time limits on this goal.  I personally prefer to run outdoors, so I imagine most of the runs will be outside; however, I will run indoors if the weather is bad.  If any knee injuries spring up, as they have in the past, I will try using the elliptical (of course I won't do any running if the injury is too bad); otherwise, I prefer not to use the elliptical.
In summary, this has been a great year (aside from putting my dog down, but it was time).  I look forward to what the new year will bring.  I hope to make large strides in my research (which in fact I found something very interesting in the literature today), and to defend my candidacy.  I look forward to meeting new people and hanging out with old friends. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a fabulous 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sparkle and iTunes

(Warning:  The next few sentences are sappy... you may want to skip to the next paragraph.)  I saw this picture online and it made me smile.  I think it is beautiful and that it captures exactly how I feel this Christmas... Thanks again to my boyfriend for the beautiful jewelry that really makes me feel special and... well... sparkly. (o:

And as a gift for myself, I found something awesome at Best Buy yesterday!  It's an iTunes card that is titled "Serena Williams:  Spontaneous Speed".  It says "Download Nike's 30-minute workout packed with a series of intense speed bursts and high-energy music handpicked by Serena Williams.  Her expert coaching will help you power through the run while you develop explosive speed."

Okay, so I first need to start back at square one and build up some miles before really working on my speed, but I think it's awesome!  There is also an interval run that I think I might purchase.  I also saw a similar thing with Lance Armstrong's voice and Kara Goucher's.  There is one for "My Best 10K" even!  Check out iTunes for more.  I'll let you know how it goes when I finally test it out!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Some more pictures updates...

I just thought I'd post a few more updates since I'm finally looking through the hundreds of pictures that are on my camera.

with my Godson Nick Danger! He is soooooooo adorable! I was really happy that I got to see him and his parents (two of the most amazing people I know!

Chris and I at his friend's wedding

My beautiful niece, Joy Elizabeth

My good friend taught me how to make an apply pie! I decided to add fresh cranberries. I think it's the perfect combination of sweet and tart. Only if you have never tried a raw cranberry... DO NOT DO IT! I thought this was a good idea since I love cranberry juice. I could not have been more wrong. Even coated in layers of sugar, it is not good. I'll stick to it in pies and juice.

Chris and I at local gardens where we learned how to grow a butterfly garden. I am very much looking forward to building my own butterfly garden sometime this spring... Now I'm not sure if the butterflies will come to my third floor balcony, but we'll give it a shot.

Being silly at Epcot

Finished with classes... FOREVER!

I have officially completed the last of my classes toward my degree. Next I have to complete my candidacy followed by a couple years of research (the amount of time depends on how the research goes).

This past semester was the most difficult semester that I have ever had. Chemical thermodynamics consumed my life. Instead of going to the gym in the morning, we met to do thermo problems at 630 am. Then we did homework problems after work and on the weekends for hours at a time. Needless to say, my gym regimen flew out the window.

As far as running goes... this has been a bad year for me. I ran that 15 K at the beginning of the year, and well that is pretty much it. Although I did discover weight training and how very, very much I love that! The most I've worked-out this fall has been the occasional (very occasional) jog around the block. However, I have actually convinced a few friends of mine to train to run a half marathon next December with me (they are starting as beginners like I did a few years ago). I'm incredibly excited about that!!! We start our group training in January. I am looking forward to going back to weight training in the morning. I'm actually really, really looking forward to it! Now that I no longer have classes to worry about, I can focus on my research and have more time for working-out and updating my blog.

I'm also looking forward to cooking new recipes again! Over the summer, Chris and I decided that each week we would cook at least one new recipe, and we would trade off who cooked the meal each week. I had a blast trying new things! Then dreaded thermo happened... and my life as I knew it went out the window. I look forward to new cooking adventures! If anyone has any awesome recipes that they would like to share, please feel free!

To sum up the past few months... in September I turned 28 (eek!) and had an amazing birthday, and Chris and I celebrate two years of dating. In October we celebrated Chris' b-day. November and December have been filled with family, friends, and yummy food. Oh and between all of that was thermo, thermo, thermo, thermo, thermo... LOL. Oh and somewhere in there, Caitlin and I did an 18 mile bike ride while her boyfriend ran beside us (he was training for a marathon). All in all, I have been having a wonderful time with my super amazing boyfriend (who bought me beautiful jewelry for Christmas!! THANK YOU!!!) and all of my amazing friends and family.

My New Year's Resolution for this coming year is: To be less critical and more confident in myself. I am sure I can do this! I will also keep you updated on my training and try to keep up more with all of your blogs. I hope everyone has had a fantastic 2009, a wonderful Christmas, and will have a very Happy New Year!!!

Some pics:
My Birthday

Our 18 mile bike ride.

The babies are getting so big! Zack (all black), Ashe (all grey), and Kirby (grey and white).

Me with my little brother and sister who are so grown-up!

With my sister Renee and my niece Joy... she is so beautiful!