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This week has been a special one in many ways. I spent two wonderful nights with some of my best friends – Wednesday with Micah, and Thursday with Vero. They both made me dinner (I owe them each countless homemade meals!)… it is one of my favorite things in the world to watch them create in the kitchen. They each have very individual styles – Micah made us some cafe style toasted turkey sandwiches on three seed bread with avocado, bacon and cheddar, while Vero made some homemade veggies with her special top-secret spices, dressings and mole (with Belgium chocolate). Both were amazing treats! I am so very lucky to have them both. They are the definition of unconditional love.
The other big thing that happened this week was… being on the cover of a magazine!! There are no words to describe the feeling of seeing a photo of yourself on something that you read all the time. It is for a fun publication called B-Metro, a Birmingham metro mag. When I was first telling them about making Bubble a month or two back, we had no idea that it would turn into a feature story. Even cooler yet, it’s part of the Women’s Power issue amongst some pretty great company. To say that I am extraordinarily thrilled and humbled would be a major understatement. I think this is a huge stepping stone amongst many for Bubble as it starts out on it’s journey into the world. Pretty soon we are going to be able to see our first rough cut, which will be so very exciting. We decided to push back our pick-ups until June 1st, as to better target the shots we need most. More on that soon as it gets closer.
This weekend I look forward to celebrating my mom, and all of the other wonderful moms in my life. I was given a mother that is accepting, encouraging and loving. No doubt I wouldn’t have the confidence and spirit I have without her in my life. I hope she knows how much she is appreciated and adored. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there!
Last night I had one of the best unexpected evenings. After a quick lunch with Vero, I asked her if she wanted to hang out later on. Of course she volunteered to make dinner at her place, and I took her up on it. Shortly after arriving at 6, we opened a bottle of red wine and she cooked up some delicious vegetables with her famous seasonings and dressings. I love sitting in Vero’s kitchen while she cooks, there is something very peaceful about watching her do her thing while smelling the aromas our upcoming dinner. Plus, she always puts cheese out. This particular evening the wind was strong since we were expecting storms later in the night. Vero opened her windows and the breeze came in at leisure. She had some fantastic French tunes on surround sound… and I was pretty much in heaven. After dinner, she gave me her famous “tour de chocolate” where she gives you tiny samples of Belgian chocolate and you have to guess the flavor (saved only for special occasions!). I probably tried about 8 of them, with thyme being my favorite. Once we were done consuming things, we went into her living room and watch Beasts of the Southern Wild (my second time to see it). I kept saying, I am going to leave in 10 minutes… about ten times. I ended up watching the whole movie with her while she prepped her Magic City Art Connection pieces. As I left her house, the wind picked up even more creating spooky sounds in the trees. It was just a wonderful night all around. I went to bed peaceful and happy.
We got our raw footage back from our editor Joe Walker, which is essentially untouched video from our shoot. This weekend James and I will go through it all and make/compare notes that we will then share back with our post production team. I am really looking forward to absorbing it all and seeing what we captured in a relaxed atmosphere. Joe says the footage is phenomenal… which makes me feel so excited!
I got my 23 and me report back, but that might need to be a blog post all on its own next week. It was a lot of fun to read my results, I learned a lot of valuable information about my ancestry and overall health. More on that soon…
Last night I had a glass of wine with my sweet friend Micah Manor at her place in Highland Park. We listened to the last winds of Isaac outside of her open front porch door while she whipped up some homemade spaghetti with wheat pasta for us to munch on for dinner. Her home is very uniquely her, with items from the sea thoughtfully placed almost everywhere you look. Even she looks like a sun bunny fresh from a day at the beach, complete with dark skin and sun highlighted hair. Micah is also very laid back, especially for a Leo, so there is an instant calm that surrounds you once you step foot in her little beach bungalow. She gives you undivided attention while you speak and gives heart-felt advice. Her stories and updates are also quite entertaining, so I love getting refreshed on her life. There is an innocent honesty about her that I admire.
This morning I got up bright and early at 4:15 a.m. to take Vero to the airport for her trip to Austin, TX. What is it about getting up at an ungodly hour that makes it a little fun? It’s almost like bragging rights for the rest of the day with instant sympathy. Waking up that early reminds me of going to Six Flags when I was younger, b/c we always had to get there when the gates opened in Atlanta, Georgia (an hour ahead and a 2.5 hour drive from Birmingham). Anything before 5 a.m. usually means an awesome trip of some sort, which is exactly what Vero had in store. I also enjoy taking people to the airport, because you can feel their enthusiasm before a fun adventure. Of course the second I dropped her off I went back home and snuggled in bed for another hour or so.
Yesterday evening before heading over to Micah’s I had a great solo run. I popped on my headphones and played some amazing music, and got lost in my own head space for about 45 minutes. I found some new alleys to explore, my favorite one being a little cut-through over a field of grass. It was on top of a hill and had an unexpected view of tree tops and the golf course, very close to the downtown area. I had a lot of ideas as well during my run, which inspired the creative wheels to start turning. I love when that happens. Very few things can beat a run at your own pace on a peaceful, windy day.
This weekend I am heading to Atlanta to see James for a few days, which I always look forward to. Today is also the last day of August, can you believe it? That means fall is well on its way. I’m ready to see what the rest of the year has in store, and to spend my time with those I love the most.
Yesterday evening I met my girls Brandi & Vero for a group run with three options: 2 miles, 4 miles or 6 miles. I was one minute late for the start, and as I was driving up I yelled out of my car window for them to wait for me. I quickly parked my car and hit the ground sprinting to catch up with the crew going down 7th Avenue South. When I caught up with them about a minute or two later, I learned that Vero had signed us up for the 6 miler. Since my butt has been a casual runner as of late, 6 miles hasn’t been on my radar in quite some time. But I knew I could do it. Also, I knew I would have the option to peel off at mile 4 if I wasn’t feeling it…which was a pretty decent back-up plan. The outside air was almost fall-like as we started on our way. I felt a surge of energy from the temperature and had a solid start. Once mile 2 and mile 4 came around, I was still feeling great. So I decided to go for the 6. The course takes you through Highland Park, 5 Points South and the north side of downtown by Linn Park…. almost exactly the same as the Vulcan Run. Once we hit the downtown area on our last leg, my soul just lit up with happiness. I hit me that the weather was indeed the first sign of fall coming our way, and that the end of summer was upon us. It is always a little sad to say goodbye to a season, but nothing lights me up more than the fall…especially the anticipation of it. It means that all of my favorite festivals are just around the bend (including the Sidewalk Film Festival next weekend, where Crush will debut in B’ham), and also my favorite holidays. If we were in a permanent state of fall, I would be one happy girl.
As we got to mile 5 of our run, I knew mile 6 was within grasp. In fact, I wasn’t even feeling that worn down or tired…it seemed like any other run I do during the week. Then I wondered, is anything perceived as “difficult” or “hard” exactly that – just a perception? I went into that run with a great attitude, then finished with ease. Of course, it is important to say that I do 4-5 mile runs on a regular basis, so my body was prepared for the distance. But besides that fact, I think it was my confidence that pulled me through. I just felt good. Once we were done I was really, really proud of myself. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment.
I started reading this amazing book called “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg last night that I purchased at Church Street Coffee and Books in Crestline Village. It immediately caught my eye as I was browsing through the titles, as I’ve always felt like habits literally run our lives from the second we wake up to the moment we go to bed at night. I also believe that we can do almost anything we want if we program our minds in the right fashion in order to succeed. Habits take the form of things that we do, to the things that we say to ourselves. It’s hard to break a habit, and it’s equally as hard to create one. Within the power of true success is the ability to do just that…as needed when goals change. I am looking forward to absorbing every word of this book. Also, if you live in the Birmingham area, you must check out that little coffee shop/book store. It is the perfect place to find a great read without overwhelming you with a sea of options. Just being in there made me want to have 4 books under my arm waiting to be ingested into my brain. You must go by and visit, it is worth the drop-in!
I love heat. When I am chilly, which is often the case when I’m at work, I love a hot drink or a heating pad from our spa area. It’s a great sensation to go from cold to warm, something in the back of my head tingles when it happens. I will also take running on a hot day over running on a cold day anytime, as there is nothing worse than getting up early only to freeze your tushy off. I thought this statement might be appropriate since it feels well over 100 degrees outside today, and only I would be really excited about that. I was so cold in my office this morning that I bought a hot decaf coffee and sat in the midday sun for about 10 minutes… it was pure heaven.
Speaking of running, I went on a 4 miler this morning with Brandi and Vero around Avondale Park through our special alley route. Vero likes to call this “freestyling,” as we don’t have specific directions as we go along. It’s a lot of fun actually, except for the fact that it has more inclines than our other runs. Luckily Brandi was the one with all of the stories to tell this morning, so I got to breathe as needed for the extra challenge. While I’m still not up to par with them fitness-wise, I am feeling pretty good with my ease to run 4-5 miles as I’d like. My knee has also been doing really well… no irritation or ghost pains to worry about. That is great news for when I do decide to up my weekly mileage again.
I love that Brandi and Vero both have other exercises that they do to work on core strength and over all fitness. Vero usually spends 10-15 minutes each morning before we even arrive doing sit-ups, planks and lunges. Brandi alternates her fitness routine with running and yoga, which makes her super strong and lean. I’ve been considering for a while adding something new to my regimen, but haven’t quite had the motivation to do so until now. I still don’t plan on participating in any races in the near future… though I might consider Race for the Cure in October and the Vulcan Run (10k) in November since those are distances I do on a regular basis anyway. I guess if I want to do bigger races in 2012 like another Half Ironman or marathon/half marathon, I will need to start planning and training by the end of the year. We will see! It’s kind of fun to just do what I want, when I want. Especially since I am an active person anyway.
Do you love to dance? For some it is a little like public speaking… it can arouse some serious insecurities in even the most confident. I am really, really glad that I learned to love dancing, as it’s one of the only things I can do where I completely lose myself awareness. I can’t sing, I can’t act, and I can get some jitters before talking in front of a crowd – but you bet your bottom that I will bust a move like a fool when the time is right. I wish I could do that in other areas of life instead of being so self-contained. Something to think about.
I love time with my girlfriends. Over the past week I’ve gotten to spend quality time with several, which has made my soul happy. Last night I had a great dinner with Brandi & Demet at Rojo where we caught up on each others lives over a few beers and laughs. This morning I went on an amazing 4.5-5 mile run with Vero and Brandi, my all time favorite running group! They never cease to challenge me with their fitness and we always have a lot of fun…exactly the way exercise should be. However, I think I will take a much-needed day off tomorrow from physical activity!!
Have you guys tried Irish Oatmeal? It is sooooo delicious. The texture is a little different from what we normally eat here, as it has a bit of a bite to it. My favorite thing to do with oatmeal is to cook a sliced banana along with it. They melt together to make a great breakfast with protein, fiber and healthy carbs. Perfect after an intense run with your super in-shape friends. Hahaha
Some weeks just fly by and this has certainly been one of them. By the time a new month starts, especially this year, it seems like it is almost time for the next. I think that is probably a good sign that I’m enjoying my time and doing things that are stimulating for my spirit. I am still challenged by the fact that I sometimes dwell on the few minor things that I wish were different, but that way of thinking is something that I try to stay aware and away from. Things are pretty great, and I am grateful 100% for that fact. I’ve mentioned this before, but sometimes when things are close to the way you’d like them to be, you begin to question how long it will last. And that is such a terrible thought. It’s true that all of life’s little components – like work, love, and family – are constantly shifting and becoming a little different with each passing day. Different doesn’t have to mean bad. I think change can surprise you sometimes…the unexpected can bring you some of the best gifts. Today I will open myself up fully to this thought: I deserve to be 100% happy all of the time. That things will always change, but if I embrace ebbs and flows with a good attitude and outlook, then there is no reason why I can’t find beauty and peace in most things that happen. I’m lucky in that I already try to think this way most of the time, but it’s an ongoing practice. I am my most happiest when I just relax, and realize that I am almost always surrounded by hope and possibility.
This has been a really big week, and I’m super exhausted this Friday morning. But that isn’t going to stop me from doing my Friday happy dance!! Did you see me do it? Here I go again in case you missed it…
I was struggles mcgee on my run this morning with Ms. Vero. Good thing she wasn’t feeling super energetic as well, otherwise I may have forced her to leave me in the dust (which she would never do, btw). Normally I don’t like making myself do exercise when I am exhausted, but I felt like I needed to since I missed running Monday-Wednesday. I’m only doing 3-4 days a week right now of exercise to maintain my fitness, but I’m thinking of kicking that up a notch in the near future.
Guess what today is? The second Burger Coalition sign-ups! The first five to do so at 2:05 in Birmingham and 4:04 in Atlanta will take the lucky spots at the table. You can register via this link, just be sure to do it in the first few minutes after it opens up because they go really fast. I can’t say enough how much fun I had at the first one at Ollie Irene. The second Birmingham dinner will be at Avo & Dram in Mountain Brook. They have killer drinks! I’ve never had their burger, but I’ve heard it is delicious.
This weekend I will be heading to Atlanta for a few days, which is always a good time. Tomorrow night James and I get to attend PushStart Kitchen’s anniversary dinner! I first met Zach Meloy (the chef mastermind) in Birmingham last fall at a group dinner that Jason Wallis hosted in his photography studio. James just so happened to need a kitchen table when they were selling theirs, and the rest is history. It is such a small world.
See you guys again on Monday! Have the happiest of weekends.
It’s an afternoon post! The day started off with a 4.5 mile run with Ms. Vero on our special alley route through Forest Park. It’s a very different experience running in alleys as opposed to the roads, almost like being in another city all together. Seeing someone’s backyard is almost like seeing them in their underwear (ha!)…. because it is highly personal and only meant for special company. I almost always notice something new on each run, like a rooster wind compass here and a mini glass greenhouse there. Sometimes you even run into the homeowners themselves walking their dogs in their pj’s. Most of them greet us with a smile and others…. well, aren’t so nice. We ran into a really grumpy lady today that gave us the stink eye for a good 30 feet. It is almost like we are running on private property, but not quite. Our alley route is referred to as the “hilly” run, and it is super easy to get lost in the intricate maze. It’s usually an adventure to find our way through the neighborhoods.
Since I am so late with today’s post, I promise to write more tomorrow very early on. I hope you are having a wonderful, peaceful Thursday.
I love it when a Monday turns out to be special. Last night after work I went for a super hot four mile run with Vero…sometimes a good workout can do wonders for how you feel. Afterwards I was high as a kite, happy as a cucumber. We met David for dinner at Silvertron when we finished and relaxed over lots of water and a glass of wine. Later on I went to my dear friend Misty’s apartment, whom I haven’t seen in what feels like ages. We caught up on everything going on in each others lives. It was really nice to spend time with her and her fiancé Deke.
I woke up several times last night from the storms that passed through. I turned off my air unit at some point so I could just listen to the thunder rolling outside. There are few things more peaceful than rain in the middle of the night. When I was younger I used to be so afraid of being alone in the dark, to the point of keeping myself up for hours in fear. I was mostly afraid of ghosts and spirits, of not being able to “see” what I could feel all around me. I don’t know if our 100-year-old house was really haunted, but it sure looked and felt like it was. To this day I am still fascinated by the thought of places being haunted, and with the kinds of spirits or energies that hang around a location instead of moving on. If they do get stuck in our earthly existence, then it’s probably not for happy reasons.
When I think of the word forgiveness, it is usually in respect of forgiving other people. Sometimes I give myself a harder time than I deserve, or I dwell on things that I may perceive as being a mistake on my part in the past. I’ve found that if I give myself the freedom of forgiveness as easily as I would to another person, I am able to let it go peacefully. Just the simple phrase – I forgive myself – has tremendous power. Sometimes our biggest bully is in fact ourselves, and I think that can be true for me more often than it should. But on the flip side, I am definitely my biggest cheerleader, too.
This morning as I was leaving my house to run with Vero, I noticed a happy little songbird perched up on one of the power lines above my front door. I decided to quickly take a photo of him before he flew away, but he seemed undisturbed by my presence. I snuck up closer and closer, and he continued to sing without a care in the world. It’s little throat was going in and out rapidly making a beautiful song filling up the quiet morning air. He kept checking me out from time to time to make sure I wasn’t doing anything too suspicious by tilting it’s head to the side. It was still singing as I drove off. I was three minutes late getting to Vero’s because of this.
Last night I had my monthly date with Debbie at the J Clyde. It had been close to six weeks since the last time we met, so we had a lot to catch up on. While she was talking to me last night I started thinking about the evolution of our friendship and the nature of the meet-ups that we’ve had in the last year or so. Our conversations are usually pretty epic since we touch base on all aspects of life. I confide some of my deepest secrets to her because I know she will not judge me, and I know that it won’t leave that table. I think that she feels the same way. Last night I noticed an amazing change in her… there was something, different. Not that she isn’t normally happy, but there was a glow about her that just made me smile. There was peace coming from her face, and it was contagious. I think it is incredibly inspiring to watch someone’s life unfold, especially when they deserve the world. Debbie definitely has some good karma coming her way that I think is only just beginning.
I have some pretty amazing people surrounding me right now on all fronts. I wonder if it is a reflection of the energy that I give off in return? I hope so. When I start to think about each one individually, it starts to overwhelm me a little bit. Because there are so many. All with a different purpose or importance. Tonight I get to see my dear friend Micah, who I’ve known now for almost 5 years. We met back when I used to work at McWane Science Center. I’m not really sure how or why we hit it off, but it was pretty instant. When I think about her, the word constant comes to mind. She is someone that I will know forever, no doubt. Even if we don’t speak for months, we can pick up right where we left off. I am so grateful for her and all of my other life companions.