A Simple Saturday Morning

So some days the weight of frustration is like an elephant sitting on my chest, and it’s been holding me down for so many hours that even when I finally move out from under the crushing impact, it’s still hard to catch my breath. It takes a little longer to let the bird out of the cage, to feel my wings spread and the breeze wash over me again. But when it does, I feel a wave of gratitude. It’s easy to neglect the simplicity of carefree breaths sometimes, when your brain doesn’t feel like it short circuited and you’re left with all the frayed wires to make sense of the mess. On this simple Saturday, I’m thankful for exactly that.

Really what’s better than a group of people sitting around a table in the evening, with good food, good drinks, and plenty of laughter? And my days have been full of that lately. Whether it’s in my kitchen, or my parents’ kitchen, or a restaurant. There are few things I love more than laughter, (and music.)

This morning I went for a little run. It’s overcast, the sky is full of gray clouds, but the air isn’t too heavy yet. (For a Saturday morning post sun-rise in July in North Florida.) It’s nice to have those moments again, where my own time is carved out from the world, this little piece of solitude. It used to be about time, and distance but not lately. Lately it’s just about enjoying the whole activity, getting to do this thing that’s my instant ticket to clarity – no matter how short lived.

Maybe today will see some beach time. Maybe it’ll see some crafting. Who knows? But I hope your Saturdays are sweet, and simple and your hearts are full of carefree easiness of summer.

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Wanderlust Wednesday: BKD Wedding Recap

Happy third of July y’all! After an afternoon doctor’s appointment, I’ll be hitting the (rainy) road to the beach so I’m sure my posts over the next few days may be a little sporadic. I guess that’s not new though, right? Today’s is a different kind of “Wanderlust Wednesday” post, a little reflection on last weekends roadtrip to Destin, Florida! Ohh man, the wedding weekend was great fun. 

On our way to Destin we stopped at an exit in Bonifay. We both needed a bathroom break, and maybe a snack. Of course there was a line, and then we decided to buy icecream (umm I know great roadtrip breakfast right?) and the woman working locked herself in the employee breakroom on the phone before she checked us out at the counter. Awwwkward. Then we hit crazy traffic on the way into Destin. So, I attempted to practice guitar. Then we went on a jacket hunt adventure at the outlets, (and of course a visit to JCrew was due because the whole store was 50% off!) Finally, we met up with my brother and his girlfriend for lunch at Harbor Docks. What a quirky, delicious little restaurant. I kid you not, the menu had photos of the cooks on it, and they served seafood, thai food, and sushi. You would think that’d make for weird service, but no I totally recommend it. Megan asked me about Bonnaroo so of course, lunch convo was fun haha. Luckily we were able to check into our hotel smoothly, and I literally got ready in about fifteen minutes, and we were still able to make it to the wedding early! 

It honestly was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed. I’m not an automatic wedding crier, and this one brought me to tears. I was so proud. Not to mention they’re a beautiful couple, and their love for one another is so visible it’s impossible not to smile at. The reception had so many personal touches to it, as well. Very sweet and great fun! It’s not very often that I don’t know a first dance song at a wedding (since you guys know I’m such a music freak,) but theirs was “My Love” by Third and Union and oh.my.goodness. SO SWEET. I have listened to it on Spotify multiple times now because I’m a dork like that. (And the six flower girls all huddled on the floor together watching the dance? Ohh, my heart.) Katie’s dad’s band sang a song (how cool!), and they had a really good band playing all kinds of music. The food was delicious, they had a cool teal signature drink called “Swamp Juice,” and our table mates were fun. (Ohh more, convincing conversation for me to head out to Portland. GAH!) Plus, it was so great to be reunited with my pirate friends. You know, as we get older the times where we’re all together in one place at the same time (under celebratory circumstances,) occur less often so I’ve learned to treasure them each time the opportunity comes. All the hugs are a little tighter, the laughs a little deeper, and the moments a little sweeter.

I’m not going to bombard you, but here are a couple of my favorite photos from the weekend (sorry about the bad iPhone photo quality, that’s why I switched to my camera!):

Okay, Okay I guess a little bombarding. I couldn’t be happier for these sweet friends starting their new adventure in life together! And to all of you readers, Have a Happy Wednesday!

PS: Look at this awesome rainbow on the drive back to Tally!

Throwback Thursday: Lifelong Friends

This weekend, I’m hitting the road again. Larry and I are headed to Destin to see one of my oldest, dearest friends get married to his sweet fiance! I’ve been friends with Brad, Kyle, and Charlie since kindergarten. That’s twenty years of life right there. We coined ourselves the Pirates back in highschool, and they were my great adventure partners. We’d explore in the dried up lakes, go canoeing when there was enough water, roam the country club on nighttime golfcart rides (oh! the year I was on the golf team haha,) hit up Huddle House at odd hours of the night, they’d watch Degrassi with me since Charlie was the only one of us with that channel. Late night swims where they might’ve practiced scuba diving, or jumping off far too high awnings, climb trees (though I might’ve needed assistance getting down,) go to basketball games together, hit up Ocala just for Moe’s (small town kid life, alright?), sometimes head to the beach just for a day. Getting our liscenses definitely broadened our adventure scales – oh the places we could explore! Sometimes, that just meant finding an icecream shop that was open, and jamming out in the car with the windows down. Even being able to drive though, I can’t tell you how many countless nights we ended up just hanging out in the kitchen at Charlie’s house talking about life, looking up music, watching random videos on the internet. Aren’t the times you spend doing absolutely nothing, some of the best though? Of course, our ideas didn’t always align. (Very conservative versus my liberal self, and the lone Seminole in a room full of Gators – this led to a heated argument or two, and maybe some fierce pingpong matches.) They’d be just as down for a game of Guess Who or throwing darts, as they were to go hangout at this smokey dive bar in our hometown and throwaway money on the Jukebox, down Irish Car Bombs, or sing kareoke. As Maroon 5 would tell you, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, we’ve known each other long enough to hit some rough patches of life too – the hard stuff memorial services, family life changes, all kinds of stuff. Love these boys through thick and thin, and it’s been nice to know someone has your back. I’m so excited to see them all so happy about life, and so excited to celebrate with them this new chapter in Brad & Katie’s life! So! Today I’ve got a little photo spam of some highlights over the years. These boys are always down for making crazy faces with my ridiculous amounts of photo taking, so I’ve got some randoms:

Trail Run Thursday

In lieu of Throwback Thursday, I’m making it Trail Run Thursday (even though I went trail running on Monday.) Also, Monday night’s location was Tom Brown Park so this post is just full of alliteration. I know people occasionally read this blog who are also runners, and if you live in Tallahassee I suggest you try out the Trailblazers group through Gulf Winds that meets on Monday nights each week up until June with a “graduation” run at the Great Potluck Bash 4-Mile Trail Run. (I’ve never run Potluck but it’s one of those where participants try and predict their times!) So, Monday night was the first meeting of this group. I was kind of nervous because my only trail running experience was when I did the Miller’s Madness last August, and a few trail runs out at the Greenway (which kick my butt every time!) I knew it required the ability to let your body adapt to the different terrain and granted I haven’t been out on the trails in a while. Sunday morning, following Saturday’s 10K I just did an easy 2.5 mile recovery run. Monday night I was planning on doing the 3ish miles with the beginning group because I knew it’d be a bit taxing. Tsigy one of my running buddies from the Springtime training group was like, hey! we’re already here, we’re already gonna get sweaty – let’s do the six! (She’s such an encourager.) So, I might’ve struggled some but we did the six miles out there (the most I’ve done on trail,) and oh my goodness I forget what an awesome feeling of empowerment trail running gives you. There’s something about jumping over limbs and pushing yourself up hills, and being surrounded by trees and rocks and leaves. I love being able to look over to my left or right and see this gorgeous swampy scene,  a sunset reflecting off the water (I’ll admit – this reminded me a bit of Central Florida/Home, and that made me smile on the inside.) Seriously, the views out on those trails are just breath taking. It was a tough run, but exhilarating. Completing a challenge like that without giving in, makes me feel so on fire about life. So thankful that my friend pushed me that extra length, and didn’t let up! It’s such a motivator! I’m looking forward to exploring other trails of Tallahassee over the coming months, and getting to know more people in this group. It was an awesome turn out and as always a fun experience and adventure. It takes a lot out of me at the time, but I know it’s only making me stronger. I was glad to trade the roads for the day, and I know I need to discipline myself to do it more often!

I did yoga on Tuesday and just a few reps of weights yesterday morning (the evening was spent getting new tires, running a last minute trip errand, and finalizing my packing.) I ran a four miler in the dark of the early morning today, it was about 60 degrees, and the neighborhood was pretty quiet. It was nice to just be me and the pavement. And it’s also been nice to give my body a break lately. I’m thinking it’s probably needed it more than I know.

Run the Edge Facebook shared this photo in my News Feed this morning from Paws and Pavement, and it’s so true:

“Running is like celebrating your soul. There is so much it can teach you.”

Springtime Tallahassee Recap

I know I’ve mentioned the Springtime Tallahassee 10K several times over the past few weeks, well Saturday it finally arrived! Let me just say, I think it was one of the most fun races I’ve participated in yet. First of all, we couldn’t have requested more gorgeous weather to run in. The sun was shining, but it was about 49 degrees at the start, and there was a nice breeze. From what I’ve read it seems there were about 1,500 people participating in the races (10k/5k/1mi) so I won’t lie – it was crowded, but people were good sports. There wasn’t any pushing or rudeness that I encountered. Of course, after the first turn there were cars parked along the street so you got to do some fun maneuvering around car mirrors, but all that just adds to the excitement. (My cousin said he saw someone ducking under the mirrors, clever!) I parked at Chili’s a few blocks away from the Courthouse, and actually got there around the same time as my cousin Tim and his running partner Buddy, so we were able to head over together. Tim is one of the people who really inspired me to start running, but this was the first event we’ve done together (which was really exciting!) We’d already done early packet pick-up, so we used the time to do some warm up jogging around downtown. We started near the front, (which looked a lot closer until about two minutes to go-time and the gaps and space quickly filled in!) The race itself was fun, I lost Tim and Buddy around mile 1.5 but that was to be expected with how crowded it was. I found myself smiling as people would pass by I’d recognize from Monday night group runs. I loved that! Also, a sense of calm fell over me as the familiarity of the course came into view. I knew what turns were coming up, the spot before the golf course the dog always barks at, the hill I dread at the turn by the golf course. But then there were fun things people had told me about before too, like the house that plays the Chariots of Fire song from the front yard, or the house that had a yard full of spectators in lawn chairs eating breakfast. Then there was a little girl on a morning walk with her mom and dog, dragging a baby girl by the hand standing with this awe-struck look on her face as a rainbow of runners filed by smiling and waving. The race itself was great, I felt strong and consistent. Though I’ll admit – no matter what my race morning meal is at about the last quarter mile of any distance I almost always get this weird nauseous feeling. Maybe it’s excitement about nearing the finish line and always wanting to push that last bit? I don’t know but eventually I’ll figure it out. I reached a new PR for this race (52:16) and I am hoping to break 52 minutes for a 10K at some point this year. No matter, this was progress, and a beautifully fun run so it was awesome all around. The “after-party” was fun, too. After passing the finish line the 10K runners were given a pretty medal that matched our tech singlets, and a towel as well! There was free beer, too. (The good stuff – an ice cold Stella for me, mmm!) And I got to mingle with so many people from Monday nights and friends in town, and meet some of my cousins friends as well. All around – GREAT morning. This was my first time running the Springtime Tallahassee race, but it definitely won’t be my last. I look forward to participating again in the future! The race directors and organizers as well as the training group facilitators did an amazing job putting everything together and creating a smooth, wonderful experience!

 

I love when my bib has “27” in the number!

Total dork, but whatever – that’s a happy face.

Woah sun, I know but yay! My cousin Tim and I after the race!

After the race I ran to New Leaf to pick up a few groceries, and Jamie texted me: “Hey! Are you busy today?” of course not. So, we met up downtown and watched the parade together and wandered through the arts & crafts and snack booths. We got some tasty cookies from one stand and looked at some really pretty prints by local artists. Then Larry and Brody met us over by the library (they were having a book sale out front,) and we wandered through the children’s park area where the Star Wars cast was hanging out. Eventually Larry and I wandered over to Kleman Plaza and had lunch outside 101 (where there was wonderful live music by the fountain.) Though the food is good there,  it is not worth an hour and a half wait – I mean honestly? Boo! But it was too nice outside to be worried about it.


I love when the baby Star Metro bus makes an appearance!

Jamie and I post-parade hanging out by the library.

Brody hamming it up, of course everyone loved him!


Brody meeting R2D2. How sweet is that robot?!

So on the front steps of First Baptist there was a steel drum band that reminded me of Sea World, and then later they were playing songs from Little Mermaid and there was this traveling marine-life cart! You could pet stingrays and see great stuff like this cool starfish and crabs and stuff. Very cool!

Look at that face! Brody just chillin’ in the shade during lunch.

Larry, Brody and I post lunch.

The rest of the afternoon I took pretty easy with a nap and some light reading, until I joined my roommate for a sunset stroll at the Greenway. Sure my legs were a little tired, but I couldn’t resist!

It’s obvious why this is a favorite spot right?!

With a view like that, of course “I’m just sittin’ out here, watchin’ airplanes…” got stuck in my head.

Alex took this fun shot of Satchel and I. Isn’t the lighting awesome?

Friday Favorites #3

I’m on a roll right? All that neglect, and now you’re probably wishing I’d shut up! Well, well I don’t think you’ll be sorry for checking this out because for Friday Favorites I’ve got a few goodies to share this week.

Stumble Upon sent me an e-mail out of nowhere this week (I don’t remember the last time I logged in!) and directed me to Everyone’s Mixtape. Talk about awesome! I haven’t made any of my own yet, but I’m loving the concept and Stumble definitely knows me well. This description just melts my heart because it means people still get it. This is exactly how I feel when I make those mixes I mail out.

“Everyone’s Mixtape is not about adding songs and hitting shuffle. It’s about the time you looked at a cassette’s length as a challenge. About the time you stayed up most of the night making sure all the tracks flowed from song to song. It’s about the time your heart skipped a beat when the boy from science class handed you your first mixtape.”

Getting to spend the weekend with this pretty lady for her birthday last week! (Photo from our visit to Savannah MLK JR. weekend.)

We had boiled crawfish and homemade icecream and played cards and everyone enjoyed each others company. It was one of the most relaxing weekends in a while, (especially after all the craziness lately!)

The fact that the sun FINALLY shined for a little bit on the beach.

A Pretty Little Liars spinoff show called Ravenswood was announced this week! (Umm hello, they KNOW they can bank off of the PLL audience. I’m ok with that. It’s like L&O that doesn’t give me nightmares. But makes me feel like I’m keeping my investigative skills sharpened.)

OK, I know I did a Wish List post yesterday, so I don’t want y’all to think I’m super materialistic, but it would be mean of me not to tell you guys how awesome these Under Armour shorts are. I own my fair share of Norts (Nike Shorts) from over the years, but I found these when I was on the hunt for St.Patty’s gear and my word they are my new favorites. I wish I could wear them to work. I even went back and got the redish/coral color (with a Sports Authority coupon so I didn’t feel so guilty.)

Friday Favorites

Just dropping in to share some of my favorites from this past week!

Watched Country Strong with my housemate on Wednesday night. Loved it.

The VMars Kickstarter campaign (because it means THE MOVIE IS COMING!) So, let me just share one of my favorite scenes of all time.

The Shamrock Scurry 5K last Saturday was probably one of my favorite races yet. (I got a new PR!) It was definitely a challenge, that hill in mile 2? Ouch! But awesome. And there was a free pancake breakfast with Bradley’s sausage afterwards, and so I hung out with some of my friends from the Springtime Training group. Also, it was down the street from my house so I could jog there for a warm-up and walked home. That was about the coolest thing ever.

My parents are dog sitting Brody while Larry is on spring break in Cali! We took him for his first trip to the beach. (I drove over to my parents after the race Saturday and my brother went too. We had a great day walking on the beach, eating good food, laughing and enjoying each others company. It was one of those days I wish I could freeze in time.)

This little one is always callin’ shotgun.

I took Monday off of work. A rainy, windy, cloudy day at the beach beats a day anywhere else!

Tonight I am seeing Lisa Loeb perform live for the first time! I’ve wanted to do this since like middle school. And I get to spend the weekend with one of my favorite friends since middle school, Beth. The weather is supposed to be good and we plan on brunching (and hopefully beaching?!) and we’ve signed up for a St.Patty’s Day 5k on Sunday! Looking forward to a fun weekend.