Sick with no taste and no voice = miserable.

Y'all, I have been SO sick.

Brian woke up last Saturday morning complaining of a sore throat. It went on all day and I couldn't figure out what may have caused it when he announces, "Well... it maybe could have been the community water jug at softball last night."

Oh hm, ya think?

So the sore throat continued over the weekend and then BAM! Monday morning hits. He wakes up with a really scratchy throat, and I'm fine. Tuesday he wakes up with a sore throat, while I wake up with the scratchy throat. Wednesday he wakes up with the stuffy nose and congestion, while I wake up with the sore throat. Thursday he wakes up feeling pretty good, while I wake up and cannot breathe. Today he's all fine and dandy, while I have no voice. Literally. So we played tag all week with symptoms. It was kind of nice by the time yesterday got here and I could look at Brian's cold clearing up and say, "Oh okay, that's where I'll be tomorrow." And I am. Just in silence.

On the downside, we had our THIRD restaurant week date last night at McCormick & Schmick's and I KNOW I was feeling bad because I didn't take any pictures of my meal. Know why I didn't take any pictures of my meal?

#1. Because I couldn't breathe while I attempted to eat

Yep, that's right. About mid-day yesterday, my tastebuds were taken over by this cold, and I couldn't taste a thing, which was really weird. If something was sweet or salty, I could taste that general spice or feel on my tongue that something was tangy, like with the balsamic dressing on my salad, but I couldn't. taste. anything.

From a weight-loss perspective, this would be positive/miserable to never be able to taste anything. I mean, I love food and flavors way too much to wish having no sense of taste on anyone, but as I was eating and NOT tasting anything, I realized that I really had no desire to continue eating anything. My bleu cheese and candied walnut salad? A few bites did me in because I couldn't taste those candied walnuts and therefore didn't want anymore. My apple and sage stuffed pork tenderloin? Brian said it was delish, but I had to take his word for it, and after three bites I was done. The fresh bread and butter? TOTAL mindless indulgence! I could taste neither the bread NOR the soft, melty butter, yet I still ate my entire piece. I just told myself that if there was anything that I could imagine the taste of, it was warm, fresh bread with melty, salty, delicious butter. Brian kind of summed it up with the comment, "Everyone would be skinny if they couldn't taste anything, because you could just eat salad all of the time and never crave anything bad, because you'd never had the taste of the bad stuff." Which is so true. I had a bite of his chocolate cake for dessert, and I couldn't taste anything, yet I went back for like, 2 more bites. Mindless, empty eating my friends. Kind of makes you wonder how often you continue eating unhealthy stuff just because it's there and you have the taste of it in your mouth, rather the actual need/want for it in your hunger.

Another study I'd like to do? Apparently there will be NO NFL FOOTBALL IN THE 2011 SEASON. I'll let you have your moment of silence. I wonder how drastically the levels of depression and frustrations in men will raise/lower, based on having no release every Sunday for several months. I mean, I'm not a guy and I even feel a little down about no football. Taking away football from a man is like depriving a woman of salt and chocolate during PMS-- you just don't do it.

This weekend should be semi-relaxing and lowkey. I have my WW weigh-in tomorrow morning at 8, then I'll likely stop by Target to stock up on gifts for my Texas Jack's 4th birthday, which was yesterday (love him! Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like supper at Texas Roadhouse and a chocolate cake. They know the way to that boy's heart...), then Brian and I are heading into Boston for the St. Anthony's Feast in the North End, which is the really Italian area of Boston. I am SO excited. I've been to Italian festivals in Connecticut before when visiting family, but Brian never has. He's in for a world of loud and rowdy folks, fun activities, and AMAZING food. I'm planning on an entire blog just about the feast, so be ready!

Sunday I've promised Brian that he can sleep in while I hit up the grocery store, as our kitchen is the barest it's ever been. We haven't eaten a home cooked meal in over a week, and my body's going through withdrawals for the good, healthy stuff. I know people do it, but I just can't imagine eating out almost every single meal. I feel gross and just blah. So, I'm stocking us up, cleaning the sick out of our bedroom, and roasting a chicken for supper with mashed potatoes. It's been in the 50s in the mornings here, so I'm telling myself it's just a head start on fall.

Have a happy Friday, y'all.

Happy 4th Birthday, Jack! :)

5k? Been there, ran that...

Well y'all, the 5k goal has been accomplished. Completed. Checked off of my "to do" list. I still kind of can't believe that I actually started and finished (which was a pretty darn good feeling, I have to say). While I have to admit that it wasn't the most challenging race in the world, it was also harder than I expected.

A few things that I came to realize either pre/during/post run:

1. Running on a real road is a whole lot different than running on a treadmill or a track
2. A ton of runners used the 5k simply as a warm-up to their much longer, more intense run immediately following. And y'all... these people that continued are the ones who came in first. Just crossed the finish line and kept on running...
3. It is necessary to practice the art of slowing down to grab water while not coming to a complete stop, so as to not take out the water children in the future.
4. Do not be insulted by the young kids who whip past you and who are laughing and joking and full of breath as they pass you on their way to the finish line. Do not be mad. Take breaths. Resist urge to trip.
5. Listen to your iPod at the perfect volume, somewhere between the pumping "Beyonce is so gonna get me across this finish line" and the softer "The cheers from all of these people that I do not know are SO what I need right now!"
6. The people that you saw warming up/sprinting pre-race are indeed going to smoke you. Embrace this knowledge.
7. It does not matter that this race took place along the ocean. You will not acknowledge, recognize, or even be aware of the scenery until you're done and find sand in your shoes.
8. Do not be insulted by the man who has passed you while pushing a double jogger stroller, loaded up with 2 older kids and all of their necessities.
9. Do not be insulted by the crazy man who seems to keep trying to personally race you. Ignore this man and run at your own pace. Ignore the fact that he is running barefoot and STILL beating you.
10. Never ever forget that feeling of turning the corner at a crowd of cheering spectators, realizing that that is indeed the finish line ahead of you, seeing that you beat your expected time to finish, and sprint across the tape.

I am so so proud of myself for doing this race. 5k/3.1 miles or not, I committed and I completed. It has not been easy to transition from a non-exerciser to an elliptical fiend to running all. of. the. time., but it's a transition that I've loved. Running is not easy and it's not always friendly to your body, but nothing feels quite as rewarding as finishing up a running goal.

For the cherry on top (I just have to add this), Brian and I went to dinner with another couple on Monday night and it came up in conversation about what our past weekend plans had been. Not even thinking about it, I said that I'd run a 5k Saturday morning and then relaxed the rest of the day. The girlfriend sighed and said, "Gosh, that's great. I've always wanted to be a runner but could never just make myself do it."

Holy. Moly. Does this mean I'm officially a runner? When you willingly sign up to run in a race... that makes you a runner, does it not? Holy goodness, I love that.

Katie F-- RUNNER.

And now for a few of the most unflattering pictures of my life.

Of course I had to strike a pose pre-run, in order to exhibit my athletic efforts, post-run.

Me and the boy, pre-run. His presence at my race was much appreciated, and I have to say that it was a pretty good feeling to look up and unexpectedly see him standing along the route.
Good sport, he is indeed.

So as I started off, I realized that I didn't tell Brian which side of the road I'd be on, so he could take my picture.
Obviously, he found me.

And... here she comes! It was about this time that I tried to control my breathing, knowing that Brian was taking my picture, so that I didn't appear as though I was gasping for air... even though I really and truly was.

So unflattering but real!

Wow. I have muscles. In my legs. In my calves.

Well, I finished in 29:17. Considering I used to run a 34 minute 5k, I was pretty proud of myself. Please excuse the grossness, but I was basking in the glory of my victory. Big mistake to follow: folding myself into the seat on the way home. I was so crampy, I truly thought Brian might have to just throw me over his shoulder and carry me inside.

Yay for 5ks!!

three years.

Brian and I celebrated our 3 year dating anniversary on Friday, August 6th. He had a softball game to play late that night and we were busy all day Saturday, then the week started up... and another week has gone by... and I'm now getting around to finally publishing the post that I'd been working on in honor of The Big 3.

There's this guy that I've been dating for three years today, and I kinda have a thing for him.

(first date, first picture, first experience in Brian's baaad sense of direction, hence our fanciness. august 6, 2007)

Three years, y'all. 1095 days. 26,280 hours.* When you're our age (23 and 24, with me being the cradle robber) and you've last this long, there's almost a feeling of accomplishment that you've successfully stuck it out and made your relationship work for this long.

(the night before Brian left to study abroad in Australia for a semester-- three weeks after the first date! talk about a whirlwind... august 2007)

It has not been easy. For all of the amazing and wonderful times that we've had together, we've for sure had our fair share of aggravated arguments, stubborn standoffs and frustrated f
ights. We obviously eventually made up after the weak moments in our relationship threatened to break us, and while it would be easy to say "I wish we never fought and never disagreed and things were just perfect," well... a) that's not realistic, and b) that's not something that I would hope for.

(Salem at Halloween 2008)

Agreeing to disagree, compromise, and learning which buttons to never not ever push are just a part of what makes a relationship healthy and strong and secure. We know that we have differences, but it's the different people that we are, with opposite personalities and views and beliefs, that make one really good couple.

(Graduated! Brian's celebration at Colgate, May 2009)

This past year has been a pretty monumental one in our little relationship. After our first two years together (minus summers and school holidays) were spent long distance, with the two of us going to school with 5 1/2 hours between us, we've had an entire year to really and truly get to know each other and spend endless amounts of time together (this is both good and... a learning experience). We moved in together late last August and came to realize all of the little quirks that we both have that had never really and truly been revealed. When you live apart, you go to the person, see their space, stay for a bit, and then exit the scene before Still Live Alone behaviors come out.

(new year's eve 2009)

I'm OCD about my bathroom being clean. I hang up my towels, wipe down the counters, clean water spots off of the faucet... it's my daily post-getting ready routine, whereas Brian drapes his towel over the footboard and forgets about it. I make my bed every single morning and am constantly smoothing the wrinkles out of the comforter; at school, the boy slept on one sheet with a purple comforter. ONE SHEET, my friends, that got washed when I went to visit. I've learned not to nag and he's learned that yes, there is indeed a towel hook on the bathroom door and yes, it DOES matter if the stripes on that pillowcase face vertical or horizontal. Compromise, people... we compromise. Brian can also play video games and watch sports for hours. on. end. This, as I've been told, is just typical man behavior and is the reason why we will have a "man cave" in our someday-home.

(Hootie and the Blowfish concert, August 2008)

Brian likes to recycle. He undoubtedly learned it from his dad, who will watch what you're throwing away in order to catch any piece of recycleable material and put it in the "to be recycled" pile in his parents' kitchen. I don't even think about it while I cook, often just throwing trash into a grocery bag and taking it to the trash chute, but I'm trying. Thinking I was doing a good deed, I picked up a bin at Target one day, with the intention of it holding our recycleables. Y'all, I created a monster. "Styrofoam-- NOT recycleable. Can, yes. Plastic tomato container, yes. Foil, yes. Again, Katie-- styrofoam, NO!" I love him for it, and he's so proud of his little separated recycle bin in the kitchen, so I let him have it.

(summer 2010)

The Boy also puts up with my MawMaw ways, and for this, he deserves a medal of honor. On certain days, I can go from full of energy to passed out on the bed in about 5 minutes. I can't eat or drink anything acidic without Nexium, and he shakes his head when he can hear my just-in-case pill bottles for all of my "ailments" rattling around in my bag. He's well aware that he's dating an 82 year old woman in a 24 year old's body, yet he still loves me.

(The Nutcracker for my birthday, December 2009... and please excuse the makeup and my look.)

BGK, you have made me so happy these past three years. While we've for sure had our moments, there is no one else in the world that I could ever imagine going home to at the end of the day and nobody else who I can't wait to spend my someday-forever with.

(Brian's sister Meghan's wedding, December 2007)

You meet me everyday at the train with a smile; you help me cook when I'm so tired I don't even want to stand up; you support me 152% in my running and my efforts towards healthy eating (and eat every meal with a compliment), and that means so much; you know just how to make me laugh, even when I don't want to; you have the most fabulous singing voice and treat me to your melodies all of the time... all. of. the. time.; you no longer gag when I eat bean burritos; you dance with me, even when you really don't want to; you drink wine with me, even though you hate it; you love that I love just the right amount of and have just enough knowledge of sports, yet am still all girl and would rather throw a sports party and entertain than be yelling on the couch with the guys; you don't complain when I come home on bad days and put on baggy pajama pants and my favorite stained sweatshirt.

(Plymouth Plantation, March 2009)

You get along well with my family (big stuff right there, my friend), play with Lucy, and pay just enough attention to the cats to get you by; you're just fine with staying in and having relaxing nights for our date nights; you see girlie movies with me, as long as I see action movies with you (like I said, good ole compromise); you don't complain when I insist on multiple Mexican nights for dinner; you let me plan our weekends/dates/trips to my little heart's content and just come along for the ride; you appreciate my goofiness and just laugh laugh laugh (may it be at me or with me, I really don't care).

(Brian's first trip to Texas! San Antonio, May 2008)

You encourage my snapping routines; you embrace my ungracefulness and inability to coordinate or walk straight; you love me even on my most moodiest of days and have learned to handle the tears that I can so, so easily cry; you're so smart, determined and focused, and you know what you want out of life, which is something that I completely admire; you can talk sports with my dad (and brother), which I always knew would be a dealbreaker when it came to qualities the guy in my life would have to have.

(Aaand... San Antonio trip #2, May 2009)

I love that I can trust you with no hesitations, and that I know you always have been and always will be honest with me. You take care of me and support me and love me unconditionally. You have happily embraced with me the fact that we've moved on from the lovey dovey honeymoon phase of our relationship, to the old married couple phase, and can laugh with me at stories of new couples who have yet to see what's still to come. More than anything, you are my true best friend. My life with you is happy happy happy and I am so beyond grateful to have found you and to get to share my days with you.

(Weekend with my family in Connecticut for my graduation, May 2010)

Happy Three to Us!

(sidenote: I initially wrote "8760 hours (I think-- my math skills aren't anything to brag about)," which is obviously true. Because it's so me, it stayed in the post).

Catchy-Knee Syndrome

The 5k plan is still in motion.

On a slightly sad note, immediately after hitting "submit" yesterday to pay my registration fees, I took the stairs to run an errand and something catchy happened with my knee. And I don't mean catchy as in fancy... I mean catchy as in uh-oh.

Needing the activity points yesterday, I still went to the gym but did 40 minutes on the non-impact arc trainer, rather than trying to run at all, and it was still sore last night. I RICEd it, but it's sore this morning, so I'm a little antsy. Brian suggested I take today off and just let it rest tonight, which I'm going to do, and then try an easy jog tomorrow morning. It feels like it's just from strain, since I never felt anything actually pop or noticeably catch when I last ran really hard. Regardless, I will BE at that 5k Saturday morning.

(sidenote: I really feel like I'm finally getting to a point of great physical fitness, as awfully corny as that sounds. Air-skiing away at Level 5 last night, I realized that I was definitely getting a great workout, but I felt like I could just keep going and going. I run more easily and for longer periods of time; I no longer get winded taking stairs or take forever to walk distances outside. My entire adult life has been spent not feeling 100% in my body and with my physical ability, but I finally FINALLY feel like if I were to be presented with a challenge, I would be able to give my entire all and accomplish as much as possible. And that, my friends, is a darn good feeling.)

Full of all kinds of running inspiration, I will also be running the Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women on Monday, October 11. Woohoo for determination, right?

Aside from all of the catchy knee drama, last night was pretty uneventful. The Boy and I ate leftover steak from our dinner out on Monday, and I threw together a garlic parmesan orzo dish that I found online, as a side. I have to admit, after I made all of the healthy modifications, it just wasn't that great. My southern girl told me that there are indeed some dishes that just need all of that butter and cheese and cream to garner the melt-in-your-mouth reaction that you might be expecting. We then watched America's Got Talent, which I've never been a big fan of, and I was out like a light at 10:30pm. An exciting life I lead, indeed.

I've now spent the afternoon at work doing not much of anything, other than freezing my toes off, eating my afternoon snacks for a lunch appetizer, and catching up on online sales and blog reading. My job is just not exciting today, and that makes the day go by oh-so-slowly.

Speaking of work, do you ever have those days where you just want to say, "As a matter of fact, I really DON'T have a minute to do that for you, and I DO mind if you borrow my pen, and I DON'T have ten minutes to listen to your drama!"

That's me today.

I've kept a smile on my face to mask the snarl underneath, and have just nodded and acknowledged and politely spoken to everyone that's walked by. I really would like to be under my covers at home with an enormous burrito and queso and a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, with Lifetime movies playing as I nap the afternoon away. And yes, if any ladies out there were to guess the root of my moodiness, I'm almost positive you'd guess correctly. Brian has been given the heads up and will attempt to brave the storm of my emotions tonight.

Dinner is scheduled to be Southwest Skillet Macaroni and Cheese with a salad, so if all goes well, I'm planning on taking pictures as I cook and posting the recipe. It's a healthy favorite, one in which Brian almost can't even tell it's made with ground turkey and not beef, and it's been awhile since we've had it, so after a day like today, I'm looking forward to the comfort food.

Completely off topic, but as my final note, I ordered my coffee this morning with blueberry, skim milk and two Splenda, but they forgot the blueberry. When I took my first sip, I immediately thought of my MawMaw and the way her coffee used to taste. She'd always make me a tiny cup when I stayed over and pretty much drown the caffeine away with milk and sugar. I don't know what about today's mix sparked that memory of that taste, but it was certainly a nice way to start my morning.

Have a fabulous, kind, snarl-free rest of the day, y'all!

I'm a runner? Seriously?

Y'all, I have lost my mind and registered for my first 5k.

Like 2 minutes ago.

I'm kind of freaking out... because that kind of makes me a runner. Right?

I've never been a runner and I'm pretty sure I've talked about that fact on this blog before. Running was necessary if being chased or under similar extreme circumstances. However, since I began the whole get healthy/get fit campaign, I've come to realize that running is my mind's (and my thighs') best friend. It clears my mind, makes me feel strong and healthy, and it's motivating-- if I get out there and run, there's no way I'm going to want to unwisely make food choices that night. Plus, it completely knocks me out for the night (a positive for grandma over here).

While there are definitely days when the last thing I want to do is force my body to move lap after lap around a track, there are also days when I don't even think twice about my new activity. As a matter of fact, one of the weekends that Brian was away, I realized I was hitting that kind of lonely point where I'd run all of my errands but it wasn't time for my evening plans yet, so where I would have previously lounged and made myself watch a pathetic-yet-captivating Lifetime movie... I laced up my sneakers and hit the road. Seriously. At like 5pm on a Saturday. While I had sorely underestimated the insane heat and humidity that day, I couldn't help but smile at myself as I gasped around the track-- I willing, voluntarily, JUST FOR FUN had gone on a run. That's new, my friends.

This time four days from now, I will be running the scenic beach route through Brian's hometown, hopefully feeling as empowered and as strong as I have the last few times I've gone on my runs. My current greatest fear is that I'll get passed and left in the dust, being the last person to finish. Brian tried to encourage me this morning. It didn't really work.

Him: You definitely won't be last-- it's a race/walk.
Me: Um yea, the walk begins at 9, the race begins at 10. It's all runners... RACING against each other.
Him: Oh. *silence*

He has good intentions.

So wish me luck, come 10am Eastern Standard Time on Saturday morning. Considering this is my first race ever, my goal is to simply run the whole darn thing, so there will be no efforts to set a record time or any fun stuff like that. My future running career is kind of dependent on how this little 5k goes. If I love the adrenaline rush and excitement that comes from running a race (which I'm so hoping I do), this could be the beginning of an even more beautiful friendship with running. If I hate it and curse myself from the get-go, well... Well I don't really know what I'll do because I'm not planning on that.

Brian's been assigned the job of being my personal race photographer, so there will be photographic evidence that I made it to and completed the race.

Wish me luck, friends!

is it really only wednesday?

It's been a semi-nutty week.

Between the two of us, I feel like Brian and I have been going non-stop all month. Three weekends ago, Brian had a golf tournament; the following weekend he had a tee-time with friends, the next weekend he went to NYC to visit his roommates from Colgate, and this past weekend I treated myself to a weekend home to Texas to see the family for my Aunt Linda's 60th birthday party. And when I say weekend, I mean I worked all day Friday, flew out at 5pm, landed at 11:30 in Austin, flew out Sunday at 4:45, landed in Boston at 1:40am, and woke up for work at 5:30am Monday morning.

Y'all. I am STILL recovering. Two mornings this week, I've turned my alarm off, which resulted in me sitting straight up in bed to the sight of the clock glaring "6:30" in bright red (I'm usually dressed with my hair and makeup done, in the kitchen making lunches by 6:30, so this was traumatic).

Between running every which way on the weekends and working all day/working out/playing housegirlfriend during the week, we're lucky if we can stay awake past 11. So, needless to say, blogging was the first "extra" to fall behind.

Since it really stresses me out to think about blogging about all of the things that have already happened to me, I'm just gonna make a big list about things that are coming up/on my mind. And then we'll be all caught up, right? Right.

*This Friday, August 6th, is our three year anniversary. Holy moly, between the long distance and my moods and emotions, I don't know how we made it this far, but we're here, happy and healthy and still just as in love as the day we met... which is obviously a good thing.

*A group of coworkers and I are doing a Walking Challenge at work. This means we have to each wear a pedometer every day and log our steps walked every morning. While it's been something else trying to remember this darn thing, it's been an even bigger issue to figure out where to discretely clip the pedometer. Not to share TMI, but the last two days my pedometer has been clipped to the hip of my undergarments, as I've worn either dresses or skirts and that's just the only non-awkward place it can reside. What happens if I clip it anywhere else? I get "It looks like you have a growth on your hip" from The Boyfriend. Got it. Point well-taken.

*I've convinced The Boy that we are well-deserving of a weekend getaway. Even though this weekend is our anniversary, we have other commitments that we have to work in, so we don't get to fully celebrate our day, and I have to say that if there's one day for a couple to celebrate, it's your anniversary. Anyways, we're busy this weekend, have a wedding to attend next weekend, and head to Texas for a weekend September 9-14, so I was bound and determined to fit in a getaway on one of the last two weekends in August. I spent all. day. trying to find somewhere for us to stay on Cape Cod, and it's either completely booked or so. expensive. I have no idea what we'll end up doing, but I'm bound and determined to get us outta here for a weekend. Updates to follow.

*I'm getting back into the swing of running, as I got really quite comfortable NOT running there for about a week. But I headed to the track today, in all the glory of the heat and humidity, and knocked out 3 miles, which felt really good. My plan is to run the rest of the week and then start a training program on Monday-- woohoo, sort of, for that.

*I have a whole big post in the works about my trip home, including pictures, but since my computer can't upload pictures... I can't post them on the blog. I'll sneak Brian's computer one night and get it all finished up and posted, promise.

*I'm not gonna lie-- I used 4 of my activity points that I earned today to have two small glasses of white wine... and boy, did I need it.

That's all for now, my dears. Brian had softball tonight and just got home, so I'm off to have a late dinner with him. Loves!