Who Runs the World?

Apparently I do.  Or, at least that’s my plan for parts of it.  Ever since last year’s “Oh, I should run a 5k before I turn 30” stroke of genius, I have really begun to like running.  Love it, in fact.  I have even started calling myself a runner.  I have a subscription to a running magazine.  Who am I?

I was perfectly content with sticking with 5ks and 10ks as challenges, but then I discovered a little nugget:  The Disney Princess Half Marathon.  It encompasses many things I love:  Disney, theme parks, castles, princesses, running, and goal setting.  It’s a half marathon run through and between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World (that’s the one in Florida, for those of you who mix it up like I used to), and you get to RUN THROUGH THE CASTLE!  YES!  Now, clearly this is going to be a challenge.  A half MARATHON?  Good Lord, what is going through my head?  I just mastered the 3.1 mile run, so why not add on another 10?  Sounds like a solid plan!  Oh my gosh.

Now, I have a few secret weapons in my back pocket, the first being B’s Aunt M.  Aunt M has run this race before, and she was supposed to this year before she ended up injuring her ankle.  I texted her after hearing about the race, and she got back to me immediately, writing nothing but encouragement and “Yes!  Doooo iiiittttt!”  (She, of course, is much too classy to use so many extended letters, but that’s what it sounded like in my head, so I took liberties to translate it for all of you.)  Unknowingly, I was then signing on for doing it (I was still in the decision process), and promptly received a “Let the training begin!” package in the mail, filled with a princess crown sparkly tattoo and a running magazine.  Aunt M then excitedly told everyone we knew that we were going to run the race together – including my parents, who didn’t have a clue that I was even thinking about running a half.  Have I mentioned how adorable Aunt M is with her excitement?  Love her!  Her encouragement has really helped with my confidence about being able to training and get through it.  If she thinks I can, why can’t I think I can?

I also am the most ridiculously stubborn person I know, aside from my immediate family members (hey, I have to get it from somewhere… and this is all genetic).  When I set a goal in my head, I have to do it.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  This has actually caused a few issues (more posting on that later), but I jumped onto the training wagon with fervor.  I have had to take some downtime for the past two weeks, and it has killed me.  I have dreamed about running.  I have daydreamed about running.  I have tried it when I possibly shouldn’t have.  (Hint – I have a doctor’s appointment set up for the coming week… you do the math.)  I am going to do this.  I must.  I set the goal, and it WILL happen.  I’m scheduled to do my first 10k on the Best Coast during the summer, so I am stepping up my distance in races as the half gets closer.

So as I go along on my training regiment, I’ll share my experiences with you.  First up, what it is like to deal with Runner’s Knee.  I’ll tell you what, it’s not fun.  It downright sucks.  Just ask B.  No, he doesn’t have it, but he has a noisy wife who has it, and he has suffered plenty through all of my caterwauling.

Do you like to run?  Any tips for a new one?

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Thoughts from the Displaced

We moved in on Sunday, and it’s already Friday.  Where did that go?  I feel like that has been the question of the week, and I’m not talking about the time.  Living out of boxes is totally not my thing.  Observations and knowing where my junk is is more my speed.

My observations on moving and living in a new state from the past five days:

1.  Hearing your father-in-law call your dad a “beast” in a torrential downpour while moving giant furniture is hilarious.

2.  Giant furniture, and the moving thereof, sucks.  These pieces lead to giant bruises.

3.  These giant bruises will surface when you want them the least, like, oh, the day you have an interview to become a coach at your new school district.  No, sir, I wasn’t beaten recently; I just had a run-in with a lot of furniture that needed to go up and down four flights of stairs.

4.  I have the greatest college friends ever!  Carolyn and Aaron got up relatively early in the morning and loaded a ton of our stuff into the parking lot for the “boys” to pack into the moving truck.  If that isn’t impressive enough, it was about 85 degrees out with 70% humidity on Sunday.  We were all drenched in our own sweat.  Gross.  We owe them big time when they move into their new house (which is hopefully soon!).

5.  Remember our neighbor who used to live below us in Maine who constantly coughed and I thought she was going to pass out each time?  Yeah, she’s been replaced by a constantly ringing phone next door.  Who gets that many phone calls during the day?  I think they are running a mail-order bride business.  Also, who still have everyone call their home phones?  Oh.  Right.  My parents who don’t have cell phones.

6.  Whoever designed the lighting in our apartment was on crack.  There are three light switches to the front hallway light.  This light is just for a five-foot hallway.  That’s it.  And there are three light switches.  The bathroom’s light switch is in this five-foot hallway.  Not in the bathroom, oh no!  That would make too much sense!  It’s not like there isn’t space on the wall for it.  There is.  Lots.  The light in the kitchen is also all the way on the other side of this skinny little kitchen, no where near where you think it should be.  Plain and simple – the electrician was on crack.

7.  Why does everyone in Massachusetts have to drive like they are in labor and about to give birth?  Sure, I like to get where I am going too, but I have no urge to get to the grocery store ten miles away in 60 seconds flat.  Also, honking makes few situations better.

8.  The grocery store carries something called “New Age Beverages.”  Um… what the hell is that?

9.  Massachusetts has the FREAKIEST tree frogs.  They sound like they have little sinister laughs.  Nightmares are made of these.

10.  It only seems to rain here when you want to move something, be it all of your apartment goods, groceries, or the bajillion boxes you now have clogging up your five-foot hallway with three light switches.  Where was the rain on the days I was sweating my butt off?

11.  There is a reason people pay a crap ton of money for water from Maine.  I have now discovered why.  When your husband tells you that your new water, even after being run through a water filter, has a different “tang,” prepare for your body to reject it and become best friends with the bathroom.

12.  My in-laws have this weird thing where they like to turn on all of the lights and then just leave them on.  It drives me nuts.  I don’t want to pay to have every light in the house on at the same time, mmkay?  As a side note, I have discovered that I am completely anal retentive about shutting off lights and will only turn them on or use any electricity when absolutely necessary.  You can only see five feet in front of you?  Meh, you’re fine.  No need for lighting.

There are, of course, hundreds of other thoughts bouncing around in my head, like why do 3M velcro strips have to cost so dang much?  And will that stupid phone EVER stop ringing?!  No, sir, Olga isn’t available anymore, but we do have a lovely Marta model if you are interested!  You should also check out Svetlana while she’s available.  Please call back later!

Moving is tough.

Castle Out of Boxes

The vagabond lifestyle is not for me.  Traveling?  Yes.  Constantly moving and having your belongings not in their places where you can reach for them time after time because everything you want to make seems to call for those pesky measuring cups you stupidly packed away two days too early?  Not having it.

This is currently our living situation.

All of our stuff is crammed into boxes, bags, and the random hampers that lived behind our living room door.  It will probably be like this for a day or two.  Today, though, is the day it all makes a journey.

Today, we move to Massachusetts!

It’s taken me a while to come around to the idea of moving, not because I hate the idea, but because I love the people around me.  My coworkers spoiled me in the past couple days, not to mention how wonderful they have been for the past two or three years.  We have laughed, we have cried, and we have determined that we are not necessarily all going to heaven.  Our family lives here.  Our pets (who all live with our parents) live here.  One of my best friends lives two doors down the hall from our apartment.  I love the outdoors.  Why on earth would I want to leave?

Well, for the adventure.  This is a time where we are married, but we don’t have the extra responsibility of dragging kids along with us.  We also need to do it for B.  This is a time for him to play with his professional dreams and succeed in his own endeavors.  Moving back to Maine wasn’t something he thought he would be doing, but he did it for me to be successful in teaching (and paying back some loans).  It’s time.

So, with our parents’ trucks, our two cars, and a moving van loaded down, we bid Maine adieu for now.  Of course we’ll be back for visits (though everyone keeps talking about Massachusetts as this super far off place where no one ever returns).  Here’s to adventure!  See you again from a place a little bit more southern!

Where in the World is My Wife?

I’m sure B has asked himself that question a few times over the last couple months.  I have definitely hit the road a few times, with and without him, in and out of state.  Travel is my mistress, and I don’t care if loving her is wrong!

So beyond our trip to Ohio to check out OSU, B and I have tried saving a lot of our money because of our upcoming move.  But you better believe that when an opportunity to get away for very little cash came up, I jumped on it like it was a runaway horse.  Wow, I am full of metaphors and similes tonight.  We’ll roll with it.

One of the first trips I jumped on was going to New York City with my seniors.  Every year, the senior class goes on a trip somewhere as their senior trip during senior week (yes, everything does need to be labeled with “senior”).  Last year, I joined in on a trip to Six Flags New England.  This year, the class went somewhere new, somewhere bigger, somewhere called New York City.  Many of my students hadn’t ever been out of Maine or New Hampshire, let alone outside of New England, so it was exciting to show them a new place.  We went all over the city; they discovered street food (though they refused to eat anywhere without running water at first), they discovered the subway (some where thrilled, some swore they would never ride one again), and they learned that people in New York really can be nice (there’s a rumor going around that sometimes they, well, aren’t). 

Then, of course, there were the many, many, many trips back and forth between Maine and Massachusetts to interview and do sample lessons for jobs.  But those weren’t really picture-worthy, and no one probably wants to hear about that.  I know I certainly don’t want to drive that much for quite a while.

B got to join me for the next few trips.  He and I went to my friend Kristin’s wedding at the same mountain where we got married and had a blast!  The wedding was gorgeous (as were the bride and groom), the band rocked, and we had such a good time getting back to such a special location for us as a couple.

And then… Bestie Alana came to visit!  And we. went. everywhere.  Holy cats.  The first part was Vermont, specifically the Burlington and Waterbury regions.  Then she and I went to Lowell to visit Bestie Alexandra and her husband Jimmy.  A beach day to catch up together was in order, and we all came home a little pink.  Throw in some time in our hometown for Fourth of July and some day trips here and there, and you have all of the trips we have been on.  It’s been a little tiring, but totally worth it!
What trips have you been on lately?

Pack Your Trunks

As I alluded to before, B and I are on the move.  Waaaaay back in February, we came home to a letter from The Ohio State that offered B a place in one of their Ph.D. programs.  Hooray!  We flew out to see the campus, meet the people, and get the true feel of what it would be like to become Buckeyes (and I got the email from Goodwill NNE about blogging for them!). 

The campus was HUGE!  It was definitely a beautiful campus, and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with B.  I did not, however, enjoy some of the quirks to the campus, i.e. one professor who told me it was “cute” that I was a public school teacher.  Um, back up, woman.  You do the same. damn. thing.  If I called your job cute, you wouldn’t like it, would you?  Please put that holier than thou attitude away and come up with a better statue for your theatre department lobby.  My thoughts aside, I let B feel out whether the program would be the right fit for him.  I could continue to mock that professor in my head if need be.The next letter came from a smaller liberal arts college in Boston.  Boston, where a lot of our friends live.  Boston, where B went to school already for his undergrad and his Master’s.  Massachusetts, where I am already certified to teach.  Hmmm… this had potential.  But, of course, B had to check it out on his own (no vacation time for me on this one!) and feel it for himself.  He seemed pretty excited when he returned, so I had my fingers crossed for the financial statement to be in our favor.

So it was down to two.  B had applied to three, but school numero three decided to drag its feet and we wrote them off.  You snooze, you lose, suckah!  Please read that in your head using Mr. T voices.

Or so we thought.  Yeah, UMaryland decided to give B a very tempting offer, so he jumped on a plane at 4 AM, toured the campus, met the people, and then jumped back on a plane to get home by midnight.  It was a long day for him, to say the least.  He was very tempted by their financial aid offer, and the flexibility of the program was a definite bonus.

The decision period was LOOOOOOONNNGGGGG.  I set my own deadline for him to make up his frickin mind already! a well thought out decision for our future, and he made it right before Easter.  Drum roll, please!  These boxes (almost all of which are JUST our BOOKS!) will be moving on down to Massachusetts in a few short weeks!  The school B will be attending has a great reputation, a great location, and a pretty solid financial offering, which means that we will be getting paid for him to attend in addition to me bring in the real bacon.  I never thought I would be the breadwinner as a public school teacher.  I suppose B should just start calling me his sugar mama.

So this is our life in boxes… or at least our bookshelves in boxes.  August 5 is the day.  Have I mentioned how much I hate packing up all of my belongings and praying they fit into all of my family’s cars and a rental truck?  Oh sure, it may fit, but where is it all going to go in our new apartment?  Where, I ask, WHERE?!