Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Better When We're Together

This past weekend, Rachel and I were having a conversation about how I've changed since we first met. Not that I'm a completely different person- the things that make me “Jenny” are still there- but I've broadened my view of the world. A lot of that has to do with JD. I think, when you’re in a healthy relationship, you grow.  It made me think of the things he’s taught me and the things I’ve taught him….

What I’ve learned from JD
*Tattoos can be hot (unless you’re the skanky tattoo chick that Jesse James cheated on Sandra Bullock with… I’m not one for celebrity gossip, but I’ll never get over that one- what a dirtbag).
*Sometimes, it's the “tough guys” that are surprisingly good to you and treat you the best.
*Procrastination can be a good thing. Work hard but play harder. In 20 years it won't matter how long those dishes sat in the sink (okay, I admit it, I’m still working on this one…)
*You don't have to say everything that comes to mind. It's ok to walk away from an argument.  You’ll discuss the issue more productively once you’ve calmed down anyway (I like to blurt things out at inappropriate times, like when we’re falling asleep).
*We could never repay our service men and women for all they've sacrificed for us.
*It's ok to want alone time.  You have to take care of yourself if you want to be a good partner.  (This also applies to having your own hobbies, interests, and group of friends.)

What JD has learned from me
*If you take time to make a decision (even just an extra 5 minutes), you will make a much more rational decision. Patience is an amazing tool.  (He doesn’t like this one, but he knows I’m right.)
*Grey's Anatomy and Glee are actually good shows (hopefully none of his academy buddies read that).
*Other people’s feelings and opinions are just as important as your own.
*You really do feel better when you eat healthy (minus the occasional dinosaur chicken nugget).
*Ludacris is a necessary addition to all road trips.  Old school is better, but any Luda will do.
*Ohio is an okay state after all (he doesn’t like this one either).
*They make safety equipment for a reason.  No one is invincible, and you’ll make a better partner when you’re healthy (not that he doesn’t still injure himself on a regular basis, but at least it’s better than it could be).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I'm back from the big girls weekend at the beach!  What a weekend it was!  There were plenty of drinks, laughter, and sunshine (probably too much sunshine for at least a few of us).

I took a half day Friday so we could leave mid-afternoon and get there at a decent time.  The trip took longer than usual (summer road construction already, blah), and we were packed like sardines into the car (5 girls and all their crap), but it was all worth it once we arrived.  We had a 3 bedroom condo with an oceanfront balcony and the only thing that would have made it better is if we could have stayed longer.  We walked in to find freshly baked cookies, 2 bottles of wine, and a welcoming note inviting us to make ourselves at home.  Needless to say, that first bottle of wine was opened immediately so we could toast to a fabulous weekend before going for a walk on the beach.

(I'm going to share some pics, even though the quality isn't great because I just snapped a few with my iPod touch.)

Trying to figure out showers between 7 girls and 2 bathrooms was somewhat interesting, so by the time we made it to dinner, we were famished.  We gorged ourselves on fresh seafood and even more wine at an oceanfront restaurant down the beach, before checking out some of the local bars.

Here's the part where I start to feel old.  After working in the morning, then driving 3 hours, then eating a large meal and having a few glasses of wine, I was t-i-r-e-d (how I'll ever have the energy to have a child, I'm not sure).  I kept yawning, and having fantasies of curling up in bed.  I toughed it out for a while (even though the bar was so loud I couldn't hear anything anyway), before my friend Rachel also admitted defeat, and we went back to the condo to crawl into bed.  On the plus side, we did catch an awesome view of the moon sparkling across the ocean, which was impossible to get a good picture of, but I'll share what I have with you anyway.

Saturday and Sunday were both spent on the beach.  We had absolutely gorgeous weather (sunny and 80's!), but this caused a problem for 5 out of the 7 of us, who are very fair skinned.  I swear I put on sunscreen every 2 hours, but this was my first extended period in the sun this year, so I burnt anyway... and so did everyone else.  By the time we left Sunday, my neck, shoulders, back, thighs, calves, and feet were all bright red, and all I wanted to do was soak in a bathtub of aloe... but at least I got some "color." :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Run, Jenny, Run!

I would like to reiterate that I HATE RUNNING.  I’m a gym girl.  I’ll do pretty much anything besides run- yoga, weight lifting, spinning, stairstepper, whatever.  JD used to hate running, but since starting the academy he’s been essentially forced into liking running, which is great for him, but means he asks me to go running with him at least once a week.

Usually I laugh at him and say no.  I mean, why would I voluntarily go out and do something that I hate?  But then, I reminded myself that sometimes we do things for our spouses to make them happy, even when we don’t want to.
This past Sunday, I finally caved.  It was a beautiful day, and a run at the nearby lake in my new Five Fingers sounded almost like a good time.
After a quick lesson on proper form in the parking lot (you have to run a bit differently than you would in regular running shoes), and some tips on better breathing techniques (short, quick breaths), we were off.

I have to admit, I kind of liked it.  Running in the Five Fingers was really cool.  At the risk of sounding too much like a tree-hugger, you feel more connected to the earth and centered in what you’re doing.  By concentrating on my breathing, I felt like I was almost in a meditative state, rather than sweating a my a** off, miserable state.

After the first mile and a half, my calves were already burning.  The new technique means you’re using you’re muscles differently, and I could tell I was going to be pretty sore.  By the next morning, not only were my calves sore, but the arches in my feet were sore as well.  Like, really sore.  So sore that I had a bit of a limp when I’d get up after sitting for a while, and I could barely make it down the stairs in the morning.  
Today, I sucked it up and ran again through the soreness.  It wasn’t as fun as the first time- the weather wasn’t as nice, my calves and feet were on fire, and I didn’t have the same determination as I did over the weekend, but... I did it anyway.  Maybe there’s a runner in me after all.
We’ll see.

Friday, May 13, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

Sorry it’s been so long between posts.  I was in Ohio all last weekend and had taken a few days off work to make it a long weekend, but the downside to doing that is that I came back to twice as much work :)  I was exhausted all week and just couldn’t find the energy to blog.

Anyway, here I am!  My weekend at home was wonderful, and the drive was a breeze (thanks to many enjoyable episodes of Friends).  My mom said the weather there has been miserable lately, but I seemed to bring some sunshine with me, so we were able to get outside and enjoy walking their new dog, Lincoln, at the nearby reservoir, pick out some plants at the nursery, and have brunch on the patio at a French cafĂ© before strolling through the Farmer’s Market.  As usual, I didn’t think to take many pictures while I was there, but I do have a cute picture of Lincoln that my mom and stepdad sent a while ago.

I also enjoyed a laughter-filled day of bowling and mini golf with my dad, followed by dinner, and Graeter’s Ice Cream (For those of you unfamiliar with Graeter’s, it’s locally handmade ice cream that  can only be found in Ohio… okay, Northern Kentucky too, but it started in Ohio and I still claim it as an Ohio thing.  Anyway, it’s heavenly).  I’m still laughing about a story my sister shared from work about a mailroom robot that trapped some lady in the elevator.  This robot also has a smiley face glued on to the front of it, which makes the story even more hilarious.

Friday night, I finally had a chance to meet my high school friend’s gorgeous baby and see their new house.  Her baby is super happy and bubbly, and I’m just so happy for her and her beautiful little family.  I’d also like to add that all of my friends’ kids amaze me.  I honestly believe my friends have the most beautiful, best behaved children in the world.  (It kind of makes me worry that our kids won’t live up to the same standards… just a little bit).

As much as I love living in NC, our house, our friends, and my job, it’s always hard to come back after spending time with my family and friends in Ohio.  Ohio will always be home, and I miss so many things about it.  The good news is that I will be back in July for my high school reunion and again in August for my friend’s wedding!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Road Trip!

This weekend is Mother’s Day, which means it’s time to for me to go home to Ohio!  I leave tonight, and will be doing something I haven’t done in a long time- drive it by myself!  I have an arsenal of healthy snacks, music, and Friends audio (that’s right, I’m so obsessed with the show that I can simply listen to the audio and picture what’s going on in my head) to keep me entertained for the 8 hour trip.  So, if you happen to be driving down I-77 tonight and pass a girl who is LOL to herself or singing at the top of her lungs, it’s probably me :)

The last time I made the trip by myself was 2 Christmases ago, when JD had to work.  With all the presents I had to transport, I decided to drive rather than fly, plus it gave me the opportunity to bring Boyd, who my family hadn’t met yet.  I wouldn’t say it was a mistake, but it was an adventure for sure.  Boyd threw up in the car 20 minutes into the trip, so I had to pull over and shove Benadryl down this throat in an attempt to make him groggy enough to sleep.  Every 4 hours I had to stop, and struggle to give him the pills, and get drooled on, but it calmed him down enough to get him through the trip.  As if this wasn’t bad enough, I was also trying to avoid a major snow storm going through the area.  I went the long way home in an attempt to miss the storm, and a trip that usually takes 8 hours took me 14.  I think it was hour 11 that I almost started crying, but I stopped for coffee, put in a Ludacris CD to cheer me up, and continued on my way.

I’m hoping that this trip will not be nearly as long, or nearly as adventurous.  I’m not taking any of the dogs (although JD begged me not to leave him home alone with all 3 of them), and, as far as I know, there are no snowstorms to worry about, although it is a bit cold for this time of year.

My weekend schedule is already full of friends and family.  Tomorrow, one of my best friends from college is driving all the way from South Bend to hang out, or at least she’s supposed to be- her baby is sick… either way, it’s the thought that counts :)  That’s a long way to go for an afternoon!  Tomorrow night I will be seeing one of my high school friends and meeting her beautiful baby.

Saturday morning I’ll wake up and go to the local farmer’s market with my mom and stepdad, and be jealous of all the fresh veggies and flowers I can’t buy (well, I could, but that would be  a pain to transport home), then I’ll be spending the afternoon and evening with my mom and stepdad doing something TBD once our survey results are tallied.

Sunday will, of course, be spent with my mom, and I plan to make her dinner, although I’m not sure what I’m making yet :)

It’s still a little sad and strange that I can’t always do things and go places with JD because of his work schedule, but that’s just part of being married to someone in law enforcement.  We’ll miss each other this weekend, but sometimes it’s nice to spend some quality time with my family on my own.  Hopefully he can enjoy hanging out with his friends and riding his motorcycle, although I’m sure I’ll get a lot of “I’m bored” texts, which he sends a lot of while I’m gone :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Believe

I can’t bring myself to celebrate death, even the death of a man who took so many lives.  However, I can celebrate the fact that there is one less person in this world who holds so much hate in his heart.

The sad thing is, bin Laden’s death should be unifying us- as a country and as a world.  For some people, it has, but for others, it has turned into yet another political battle or a new slew of conspiracy theories.

This should not be an issue of Democrat or Republican, Obama or Trump, or whether this boosts Obama’s chances in the 2012 election.  We got him, people!  Isn’t that all that matters?

I’ve already seen several conspiracy theories- the government is lying about his death, there’s no way they could have the DNA results so fast, blah, blah, blah.  We’re talking about a very vocal and angry man.  No way he would let our government run around telling everyone he’s dead if he isn’t.  He would have released a video by now.

What upsets me the most about the whole situation is this- turning this into something it isn’t is a huge slap in the face to our military and the loved ones of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.  Ten years we’ve fought, ten years of sacrifice and loss, ten  years that families have had to live without loved ones, but we never gave up.  In the end we won, and there are people out there who want to cloud that with negativity and theories.

If that’s what those people choose to believe, then that’s their business.  I choose to live my life with faith.  Faith in people, faith that good wins over evil, and even faith in our government.  I thank our troops and their families for everything they’ve given this country, and really, the world. 

I believe.  And I am grateful.