Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thirteen Things Thursday

Hello Blogworld!  I’ve missed you!

As Tuesday just cruised right by me, I am spreading my wings onto bigger and better things – a Thursday Thirteen (totally trumps Tuesday Ten).  As I’ve thought about this for the past week, I realize that it’s kind of like a little way to count your blessings without sounding so cheesy.  Then I thought about it a little more and it can also be a way to complain a little bit without going overboard.  Here goes (in no particular order):

1.  Lifelong Friends – I just can’t help but sound cheesy… My two best girlfriends went on a weekend vacation to some Michigan wineries this past weekend, but I wasn’t able to join them because I was worried about my mom’s back surgery and there was some stuff I needed to do for my friend’s upcoming nuptials (bridesmaid dress alterations).  Anyway, these two girls were awesome!  They called everyday and tried to Skype a few times.  I am not as good of a friend.  I totally would have been enjoying the wine and sunshine selfishly, because I am a terrible friend when it comes to that sort of thing.  Terrible.  Now I firmly resolve to be better.  Thanks, Colleen and Julie!  (You’ll hear more about them further down this line-up.)

2.  Long Bike Rides – Tuesday morning, Mike asks Ashley, “Hey, do you wanna go on a bike ride today?”  To which Ashley replies, “Yeah!  Absolutely!  Let’s go do the Cannon River Trail!” It was the perfect combination of planning to create a perfect afternoon ride.  I love having summers off.  This trail is mostly shaded for the 20 miles that it spans between Cannon Falls and Red Wing, Minnesota as it runs along the Cannon River.  Beautiful and far enough away from the city that you have long stretches where you feel like you’re the only ones on the trail.  Once we got to the Red Wing end we ran into Target and picked up some lunch (turkey sandwich and a Kit Kat for Mike, tuna salad and an ICEE for me).  It was 40 miles of awesome, and we managed to maintain 16+ mph.  What a sweet date!


3.  Hardware Stores – I could totally wander around hardware stores forever!  So many cool things!  I am actually looking forward to covering this place with Frog Tape tomorrow, but I know that it will be a short-lived zeal.  Anyway, Lowe’s seems to be my favorite.

4.  Pregnant Friends – Kind of weird, but I am so motivated by pregnant friends.  I have two of ‘em right now, and I sometimes wish that I could be the one becoming a mommy, but then I remember that I have a lot of work to do before then (like getting married).  Anyway, one of the things that seeing my living life for two friends reminds me of is the importance of fitness.  So, it’s like a great big reminder to get my butt out for a run.  Thanks for the kick in the pants, pregnant friends.


5.  Parties (but not costumes) – I love parties.  I really enjoy small talk for some weird reason.  I actually liked dating new people because it was like there was always something stupid to talk about.  BUT I despise having to dress up.  I’m terrible at it, and I am always left feeling self-conscious.  Weird, I know.  Costumes are supposed to mean the opposite of self-conscious.  I am sure that you can guess that we didn’t have a dress-up box when I was a kid.  So, I’m the one who is not dressed like a pirate in this Pirate Party Picture.  I am NO FUN!  (Okay, I still have loads of fun, but I just look very drab and boring.)  (Pirate Party friends it was so nice to catch up!  We should do it more than at the annual Pirate Party!)  YARRR!

6.  Family – Every time I talk to them I am reminded of more reasons why I love my family.  We’re just really good at taking care of each other.  I actually mean it when I say that my brother is my best friend.  This will probably show up every week.

7.  Weddings! – Oh, blissful nuptials.  I am so excited for my friend Katie’s wedding this weekend.  I was excited when she started working with me and she had so many fun stories about this new guy that she was dating, and I can’t believe that I am going to be standing at the altar as they exchange their vows in two days!  Love, love, love weddings.

8.  Setting Goals – I have been doing pretty well on my Dog Days challenge, but I needed a little more to add to it.  Therefore I decorated a little index card to hang on the bathroom mirror that says “3500.” That is this week’s burned calorie goal, and I’m already down to 1840 remaining after Monday’s run and Tuesday’s bike ride.

             I mentioned, too, that you’d see more about Julie and Colleen.  I convinced them BOTH to do the Monster Dash Half Marathon!  This will be the first time that the three of us do a half marathon together.  This will be Colleen’s first half marathon – we roped her in by saying that we would do it in costume.  Julie and I have done a few together, and we all did a 7K together for St. Patrick’s Day, but this is a BIG DEAL!  I am in charge of getting our training plans out this week.  I am so excited, and I think I am going to set my first ever time goal: 2:20.  My fastest time ever was 2:22, but I am feeling good enough now to beat it.  So, blog readers (if there are any of you out there): 10/29 in 2:22.  Hold me to it!

(Colleen is the one without the race number on the right.)

9.  Microsoft Office – I am such a putzy person.  I love my Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Academic.  I hate having to go use my school computer with its outdated version. (By the way, if you are a teacher or a parent of a school-age child, check out JourneyEd.  Great prices!) Love.Nerdy.Stuff.

Office Professional Academic 2010

10. Healthy Living Blogs – The Healthy Living Blogs website has such a diverse collection of healthy bloggers.  I think I might need to blog a little more (maybe get two months under my belt?) and then look into adding my name to their list.

Healthy Living Blogs

11. Costco – Oh Costco produce section, I love you so.  Thank you for providing giant amounts of produce for small amounts of change.  It makes me feel much less bad about those strawberries that froze and rotted and leaked all over my fridge.  Not your fault, Costco.  I am not loving my fridge right now.

12. Patio Dining – We met up with friends last night for a delicious dinner on the patio at Porter Creek.  This patio has it all:  fountains, fire pits, trees, lights, a big bar, relaxed-pace waitstaff, and half-price wine night.  Could have sat out there all night (and we did for about three hours!).  Nice to see you Nan & Chris!


13. A.J. Jacobs – If you’ve never read his stuff, check out his books The Year of Living Biblically or The Know-It-All.  I’m in the middle of the latter, and I love his little quips as he learns all this stuff.  I envy him, because it seems like he remembers stuff when he reads it, but I really hope that someday somebody will say something and it will spark one of my brain cells to remember whatever Jacobs wrote about it.  I read most of Biblically to Mike last summer during our cabin car-trips, and we laughed pretty hard at a lot of it.  Recommend, especially for anyone who can laugh at religion.

What are some outstanding things in your mind this week?

What are some fun, easy costume ideas that you’ve seen for a group of three girls to run in?

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