Friday, August 31, 2012

September Challenge

A plank a day keeps the belly fat at bay. Right? I don't know. That's my hypothesis. Well, it's my hope.
If only my form were this good...
I've always incorporated ab work into my weight lifting routine (e.g. crunches, medicine ball sit-ups, planks, ab crunch machine) but the results haven't exactly been, ahem, evident. Probably because both the weight lifting sessions and the ab focus were sporadic. 
Next month, I've issued myself the challenge of -- at the very least -- a plank a day. Just one minute of my abs and me. No promises, but this probably won't be one of those challenges after which I report my results. I don't consider myself a pessimist, but I'd rather not blog about the flabby tummy I still have. Ya dig?
So, that's that. For my own edification, I'm excited to see whether one month of concentrated effort in addition to my usual workouts makes a noticeable difference. The challenge is on!
P.S. Do you have a challenge you issue yourself each month (or day, week, year, etc.)? If so, please share!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dear Gym-Goers...

Dear Phantom Hair,
Ever since I have grown you out, you always find a way to allow one of your pack to tickle my elbow while I'm trying to run. Emphasis on trying. How is it that just one of you escapes from my ponytail and my stretchy headband to slide down into the crook of my elbow? I must admire your tenacity and your acrobatics, but please stop bothering me. It's difficult enough not to trip over my own feet while simultaneously calculating pace and incline. I'll miss you (not!).
Dear Loogie-Hocker,
I would like to firmly assure you that we can all hear you grunting, panting, straining, and spitting with your dumbbells in the corner. I know you think you're camouflaged by heavy machinery and your high school muscle tee, but this is a fallacy. Please stop smoking a pack or five before you lift. The reason I keep turning my head toward you is not because I'm checking the status of my ponytail; it's because you're grossing me out and I'm forewarning you of my impending vomit.
Dear Overzealous Remote Thief,
Yes, I did hop off of my treadmill. I hope you don't mind that I went to grab some wipes to clean off my machine. In the meantime, please feel free to surreptitiously grab the remote I was using. You should know that I make it a habit to never know what happens at the end of CSI: New York.
Dear Volume King,
Sure, it can be a battle royale in here. The second you bump Pawn Stars up to volume 36, you best believe I'm bumping I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant up to 38. We can play this game all... workout... long. Once we both reach max volume and everyone else is plugging their ears, I'll still be running strong, pretending not to have acknowledged your scheme. Oh, you think I started it? Maybe I did. But we both know you'll be the first back down to volume 25.
Dear Music Monopolizer,
I'm totally down for some tunes while I lift weights, especially since my iPod is usually dead. Yes, you may go ahead and decide for all 5 of us what we'd like to hear. You should know, however, that Sarah McLachlan and Alanis Morissette are terrible choices for workout music. Please at least find some '90s Alternative or Top 20 or something worthwhile. Yes, I will accept Kelly Clarkson, but only if she's not wailing. Oh, wait...
Peeved at the Gym

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Key to Success: How I Weathered My First "Adult" Crisis

Today started out neatly enough. Slept in a bit, hit the gym, made a health-conscious breakfast, prepped (stress-free) for class, et cetera. Well, my cable situation is still a debacle that has yet to be resolved. Totally my fault. Class was refreshingly anxiety-free and went smoothly. As I got in my car afterward, I remembered I had just under a quarter-tank of gas. I thought I'd trek the extra nine-tenths of a mile to Kroger to use my $0.20/gallon discount, even though my tummy was starting to rumble and I kind of had to pee. Here's where the shit hit the fan. And continued to splatter all over my face.
I pulled in around 7:30, grabbed my belongings, and began the ascent toward a movie, leftover stir fry, and a cup of tea. But no. My key jammed in the deadbolt, stuck about three-fourths of the way in. No biggie. The lock is a little funny and it's always been a tight fit, so I took the key out and tried again. And again. And again. Until my fingers were all but bleeding. It was starting to get dark, and I was starting to skip right over frustrated to make a beeline for pissed.
I live alone, so there was no roommate to come rescue me before panic set in. I don't know any of my neighbors because I'm never home long enough to socialize around here. I thought seriously about knocking on someone's door anyway, just for comparison's sake. Maybe I'm just a weakling, I thought, as I crossed off that idea from my What the F#$& Do I Do Now list. I dug out my cell phone and searched for the apartment complex number. Alas, I had never added it. No matter -- that's what Google is for, my blends.
I typed in the name of my complex, praying that it listed an after-hours emergency number. Pshhh, of course not! I dialed the main number, (im)patiently listening to my options in multiple languages. Finally, after practically dialing a foreign country, I pressed "1" for an emergency request that could not wait until normal business hours. Sleeping on my doorstep? So not grad-school chic.
I left a message with an automated answering service, praying that the complex's promise to return my call momentarily would actually come to fruition. [Mind you, all of this occurred in the span of five minutes.] Sure enough, I got some southern-sounding, rap-loving maintenance dude 4 minutes later. My heart (and my bladder) sank when he told me he had just been at the complex and was now 30 minutes away. He promised to come as soon as possible, but reported that he was between 30 and 45 minutes away by the time we hung up.
I was feeling a little better about my shituation as I trudged back to my car. I had drained the last of my water, and I had eaten my granola bar during our class break around 5:45. By this time, it was 7:50, and I was ready to be sitting in comfy clothes on my couch. Ever the relentless Productivity Nazi, however, I dug out my textbook and read 12 pages by the rapidly fading sunlight. I was so bored that I even pulled out my high-powered mini flashlight to read more to entertain myself.
When 30 minutes had passed, I reluctantly rolled up my car windows, packed up my stuff (again) and waited outside my apartment. I'm sure the teenaged passersby who saw me casually facing my apartment reading a book about grief, loss, and trauma made a few snap decisions about me tonight.
Finally, around 8:45, after an hour and 15 minutes of waiting and being eaten alive by mosquitoes, a very nice gentleman arrived to let me in. I yelled, Am I glad to see you! as he approached me. We both chuckled awkwardly as I told him I was glad I wasn't the only one who couldn't fit the key in the deadbolt. After a few minutes and a drop or two of metal lubricant, he fixed me right up. I have truly never been more glad to see the front hallway of my apartment. I kept thanking my lucky stars that I didn't have perishable groceries with me, that I didn't have a restroom emergency, that it wasn't blisteringly hot or subzero temperatures, that I didn't need to get any work done tonight, that I don't have a pet who desperately needed to be let out, and the list goes on.
I also thanked my lucky stars (a.k.a. Jesus) that I didn't panic. I thought logically and I did exactly what I thought my mother would have done in my situation. Except that she wouldn't have had any qualms about knocking on her neighbors' doors. In fact, she probably would have exchanged recipes with them and found out that they all knew the same people growing up in Craigsville. The point is, I'm proud of myself for surviving my first crisis in Big Girl World! Now, if a real crisis ever happens... all bets are off.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

K! True Richmond Story: "I'm Addicted to eBay"

You know those people you interact with on a daily basis who use the smallest increments of power to their advantage in ways that are hysterical to the rest of us? For example, the card-checkers at Sam's Club. They're 92 and still power-trippin'. You win -- I'll let you highlight my receipt as you pretend to be able to visually scan all 56 items in my giant cart. Or the mall rent-a-cops. Yes, your Segway technically makes you faster and taller, but I'm secretly questioning your manhood.
Well, I inadvertently discovered my own false sense of power: selling clothes on eBay.
Plato's Closet is virtually useless in that regard. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Richmond and Midlothian locations. You claim to buy the latest styles, yet you won't accept never-before-worn clothing unless I've got tags and a receipt to prove it. Umm... if my garments had both tags and receipts, don't you think I'd return them to the store for a full refund instead of to your overcrowded establishment for $2? Okay, I'm done with my rant.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Ian and I have booked a Royal Caribbean cruise for Spring Break. I need every available penny! The deals we found made this vacation very affordable, even for two broke professional students, but I'm in the habit of spending frugally. After Plato's offered me $3.96 for one of nineteen items I brought in, I turned to Ian for help before pawning everything off on Goodwill. He and my sister are eBay pros, though he sells and she buys. He graciously helped me photograph and meticulously list everything I wanted to sell. One more reason why I kinda like this guy ;)
I'm counting down the hours until my auctions close. Right now I have 12 items up. I had to stop myself from maniacally pulling everything out of my closet that I haven't worn within the past week and uploading it to eBay. I need eight more dollars, damnit. I can make that AE shirt worth a preteen's life savings, muahaha!! Just ten more minutes and I'll... get in... bezzzzzz
It's seriously addictive watching the numbers of Views and Watchers rise. I (half) jokingly told my mom that the next time she visits my apartment, if the kitchen table and chairs are mysteriously absent, I may have gotten carried away. My sister joked that I'd be sitting on the curb because I'd have auctioned off my apartment just for shits and giggles. That may not be too far off the mark... So if you're interested in some gently used Abercrombie & Fitch items I ridiculously purchased as an employee, you know where to find me. I kid!
Happy Sunday, blends!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Am I On the Right Track?

I debated a lot about whether I should disclose where I worked this summer, but then I remembered writing about the Faison School for Autism when I was up-in-the-air about my summer class schedule and my summer job (whew! What a whirlwind!). Now that work is over for the summer (sniff, sniff...) I feel like I can more openly discuss my TA position at FSA. This was my third summer working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at Faison School, and by far my favorite summer. I spent seven weeks with some of the most incredible children and TAs I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

This summer, instead of dispersing the summer students and summer TAs throughout the school's classrooms, all summer school students and all summer TAs worked together in one "guinea pig" class (i.e. we tested out the program for the school's administrators). There were eight students and eight TAs in our class, plus the most hard-working, dedicated, compassionate, and genuine teacher who's ever supervised me. The TAs ranged in age from 19 to 25, and I'm going to go ahead and brag about our ability to work cooperatively, brainstorm, come together in emergencies, and communicate effectively. I sound like a sixth-grade paper-writing planning guide, but what the hell.

For the first time in about six years, I've begun questioning whether the Master's degree I am pursuing in clinical mental health counseling is where I should be. I've developed quite a passion for working with individuals with ASD over the past three years, and teaching at Faison is an experience unlike any other.

Having an extremely specialized degree simultaneously gives people a niche to help them become more employable in a specific area and limits their employability options due to the nature of their degree. That kinda freaks me out... I think what I need to do is complete the degree I've known I wanted to earn since the middle of high school, and then earn a certificate in ASD studies. I don't like making decisions impetuously, and I definitely don't like giving up on something I'm actively pursuing. I guess you could say I'm between a rock and a hard place. Or, between degrees...?

I've never thought of myself as an indecisive person -- I'm a girl who knows what she wants. But I've also never found myself at a crossroads like this.

I guess I'll wrap this post up by saying thanks for letting me "talk out loud"? I guess I was looking for an outlet to write about the confusion I'm feeling right now. Sometimes I feel like I should be more resolved before I publish a post about some topics, and sometimes I just need to remind myself that writing my blog is all about exploring my options and growing within myself.
As always, thanks for reading! :)

P.S. While I'm not looking for advice, per se, I'd love for you to weigh in!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Year Older, a Year Wiser(?)

Officially one week from today, at 4:30 p.m., I will be embarking on my second year of graduate school! Eeek!!
So much has happened in the past year... I moved into my own apartment, I began my M.Ed. program, I returned to omnivorism after nearly a decade of vegetarianism, Ian began medical school and moved to my home city of Richmond, and we began discussing the idea of engagement. Plus everything in between. Oh yeah! And I began authoring Girl Emerging to document my weight-loss journey and my destination of full-time healthy living.

Every school year as far back as I can remember, my mom took my sister and me shopping for back-to-school clothes, supplies, shoes, and haircuts. As I've gotten older -- and earned one college degree -- things are a little bit different. I definitely still enjoy back-to-school clothes shopping, and I am a school supplies hoarder like you have never seen. Seriously. Do not underestimate the number of highlighters I possess or the quality of my Post-It note collection... But anyway, I always establish goals for the beginning of a new school year to keep my mind moving forward and to have something concrete to accomplish.

I thought carefully about the goals I would establish this year, especially due to the changes that have already transpired in my life and the changes that are bound to occur. This is what I came up with:
- Eat cleanly 90% of the time
- Train and sign up for a race longer than a 5k
- Talk to Ian each and every day (Skype, phone call)
- Listen to the signs and signals my body sends me
- All As, all the way
- Actually maintain my planner/organizer

I think my goals are challenging yet doable and realistic. I've always been forward-minded, but I don't want to let my imagination run amok or allow myself to get so caught up in my head that I lose sight of what's happening right in front of me. So, that's that! As always, I'll keep ya posted.

P.S. Do you establish goals before a new school or calendar year begins? If so, please share! :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Carb Overload!

I'm not one of those "carbs are the enemy" types, but finding a balance of carbs has been challenging along my weight-loss journey. This weekend was a bit of a tremendous carb overload.
Thursday, Mom and I had dinner at Vinny's in Lynchburg and I brought home leftovers.
Friday, Ian made creamy chicken with noodles:
Saturday evening, the fam and I toasted a great upcoming academic year at Maggiano's (with a pomegranate martini pour moi). I ordered the Fettuccine Alfredo for my meal and the Bowtie Aglio to-go. My sister, Caroline, and I split the Chef's Table special, which included one appetizer (we chose the Spinach & Artichoke al Forno) or two side salads, two Classic Pastas, and one dessert (we chose Nonna's Toasted Pound Cake).
I wasn't miserably full when we finally left... but I didn't want to look at food until 10:00 this morning. I almost gagged when I looked in the fridge and saw half of my Vinny's tortolloni, half of my Maggiano's fettuccine, and another whole Maggiano's pasta. To say I've eaten way too much pasta and too much rich food this weekend would be a gross understatement. By 5:00 this evening, my body was crying out for a salad and fresh fruit.

I can't deny that I've been yo-yoing this summer in terms of nutrition and exercise. I wasn't able to strike that ultimate balance among diet, exercise, travel, work, and leisure. I'm not gonna beat myself up over it. I'll be back into my school routine in one week, and I don't want to wish my time away. C'est la vie!

Friday, August 17, 2012

My Meat 'n Potatoes Guy

When Ian told me earlier this week that he had in mind to cook dinner for me tonight, I must admit, I was a little... skeptical. He's texted me pictures of sauteed asparagus, skillet-cooked steak, and veggie-filled salads, but we're talking about a hardcore meat-and-potatoes guy here. I thought surely an Ian-style meal was in order. I was in for a delightfully pleasant surprise!

When I began clean-eating, I couldn't understand why the hell Ian wasn't interested in quinoa bowls or sweet potato fries. My mind immediately catastrophized our relationship: What if we never agree on healthy meals when we're married?! If he doesn't eat Chobani, what the f$%# will be for breakfast?? We so obviously do not have a future because he buys one-percent milk!!!

Ian texted me on Wednesday: How does creamy chicken with noodles along with salad sound for Friday evening?
My first few thoughts on the matter? (1) The recipe probably calls for heavy whipping cream. (2) It's gonna be a really carb-y meal. (2.5) Is this really going to happen, or will we end up at Taco Bell?
My actual response: Whatever you want to cook :)
I knew that if I made suggestions or tried to alter the recipe in any way, I'd curb his enthusiasm about cooking for me for the first time. Every diet deserves a little wiggle room, right? Besides, I'm a sucker for a romantic gesture.

I arrived at his apartment this afternoon, and he was already stoked about cooking dinner. At 3:30 p.m. So of course, I started to get excited, too. I didn't even read the recipe; I borrowed Ian's laptop to do some Facebook stalking -- in case you're unaware, I'm Facebook-free -- and I pulled up a bar stool while Ian did his chef thang.
I must say, I was quite impressed. Ian whipped up dinner in about 20 minutes. It was absolutely delicious, filling, and surprisingly health-conscious. Not only did Ian carefully consider my diet in his meal selection, he noted items my family and I stock and cook (e.g. egg noodles and skim milk). I may not be the only emerging cook in this relationship! ;)

In case you're interested in concocting Ian's dinner, here's what you'll need:
2 (7-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces egg noodles
2 ounces frozen spinach
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
2 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon paprika

1. Rinse the chicken breasts under cold, running water. Pat dry and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cook the noodles according to package directions; drain. Defrost the frozen spinach in boiling water or in the microwave on high heat for 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess water with a paper towel.
2. In a small, resealable plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons of the flour, the salt, the pepper, and the dried parsley. Add chicken, seal the bag, and shake.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a frying pan. Add the chicken and cook on medium-high heat until cooked through. Remove from the pan.
4. Melt the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of flour. Cook on low heat for 3 minutes, continually stirring. Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk in the cheese, stirring until thickened. Stir in the paprika. Stir in the spinach. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Pour the sauce over chicken and noodles.
Courtesy of:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Not Gaining, Not Losing

I really wanted to shed a few pounds this summer. I had great intentions, plus a meal plan and an exercise regimen in place. Things just didn't pan out as I had planned. I knew that that would probably be the case. Things went topsy-turvy in A.K. World this summer!

 I didn't work out nearly as often as I planned; I didn't eat quite as cleanly as I would have liked; but I also didn't let all of my hard work go to waste. I definitely ate way more Sweet Frog frozen yogurt than I care to admit, but I also swam way more than I could have anticipated -- to the extent that I got an extremely painful ear infection. Now I'm on 'the plugs' when I swim.
It wasn't uncommon for me to swim upward of 100 laps a week this summer,
nor was it uncommon for me to eat McDonald's breakfast twice a month. Need I even mention McGriddles or hashbrowns? I ran my first 5k this summer, and I persuaded my family to eat my way for a week:
I returned to a form of exercise I used to love, and I tried foods I haven't had in almost a decade!

All of that being said, I'm pretty darn proud of the fact that while I didn't actually lose any weight this summer, I didn't gain any weight, either.

I also know what I need to do: the clean eating, the exercise regimen, the schedule and the routine resume in T-minus 12 days! So does the long-distance relationship... Ian and I will soon begin navigating the 2-hour distance separating us, as well as the new lifestyle he has begun accompanying medical school. You're probably sick to death of reading those two words, but welcome to the next four years of my life! In my book, things balanced themselves out, and I didn't stress too too much ;)

P.S. If you are in a long-distance relationship -- and if you're willing to put aside your laugh as I refer to 2 hours as "long-distance" -- or if you have ever dealt with it, can you spare a few tips on you and your relationship surviving it?! Some "dos" and "don'ts," maybe?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Whole Fam Damily

This past weekend was perfect.

Friday, I spent my first night in Ian's beautiful new apartment, following the celebration of his introduction to medical school, and after a much-too-filling late dinner at Cheesecake Factory with his parents.

Saturday, unfortunately, I roused Ian at 8:00 to be out the door shortly after. He was even kind enough to walk me to my car -- and walk all the way up to his apartment and back down again to fetch my cell phone and charger -- half-asleep. Mom and Caroline and I spent the day tooting around Williamsburg. We shopped til we dropped at the Premium Outlets, and I maximized every dollar! Not an easy feat for someone with a Coach addiction. Some time with the girls was exactly what I needed to regroup and give my soul a little retail therapy. I even had one of those moments where you laugh so unexpectedly (and evidently forcefully) that you spray your drink out of your mouth... onto the back of your mother's hair. She's a very forgiving woman with a wonderful sense of humor. She even allowed us to indulge in McDonald's for b-fast and Panera for dinner (the clean eating countdown has begun: T-minus 14 days).

This morning we woke up with the sun to pick up Caroline's and my godfather, Bill-Bill, to celebrate the homecoming of his and my mom's home church in Craigsville, Virginia. The service was really nice; it was great being back, visiting with a few of our many cousins, and even meeting the new pastor who is a recent Longwood grad! I ate far and away too much at the banquet afterward, but that's what you get with United Methodist women. It was a great time.

Every once in awhile, I just need a family-filled weekend to ground me, remind me of my roots, and keep me humble.
Happy Sunday, my blends!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

White Coat

Yesterday was my best excuse yet for leaving work early. Normally I'm like, give me extra hours! I need that money monayyy! But yesterday was the Medical College of VCU's White Coat Ceremony for the newest batch of MDs-to-be. I darted out of work at 12:30, starving and nervous (as usual) about navigating Richmond's one-way streets. I worried about being on time, popping a tire on rough pavement, not having time to eat lunch, losing my sorority pin that I was wearing, missing Ian at his apartment and finding the Richmond Convention Center by myself, not having any cash to pay for parking... you name it, I was stressin' about it. As always, none of my fears came to fruition. I had plenty of time to do something with my, shall we say, tousled hair. I even had time to eat the snacky lunch I had packed myself. Ian's parents and I left his apartment in plenty of time to find seats that were by happenstance near the faculty/student entrance.

The ceremony was absolutely beautiful. I don't normally find myself especially interested in doctors' speeches -- partially because I don't understand a damn word of their technical medical lingo. Yesterday was a different story. I hung on every word the speakers said, from the moment the faculty processed to the end of the students' recession.
The white coat symbolizes so much in the American medical community. It's a figure of power, prestige, knowledge, healing, and caring. At one point during the ceremony, parents, spouses, and significant others were asked to stand so that the class of 2016 could applaud those who have helped them achieve their dreams and reach the place they stand today. I could not have been prouder of Ian at that moment for all that he has accomplished, both before and since I have known him. I'm so proud to call myself his girlfriend -- Congratulations, Dr. Giles! ;)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Hour

Okay, so yes, I will be 24 in December, quantifying me as an adult for the sixth year. That being said, I don't consider myself an adult. Or at least a grown-up -- the schmaltzy term. I do manage my own little apartment while I'm in school, I pay bills, I hold down a respectable job, and I have even managed to find a compatible group of "couple friends" who match Ian's and my out-of-sync lifestyles.

But until today, I had never gone to Happy Hour after work with colleagues. I was absolutely thrilled when Alex, one of my coworkers, put out the offer for Happy Hour last week. Ian had just moved to Richmond and he was trying to get himself settled, plus he was bunking with my family for a few nights until his furniture arrived, so I couldn't rightfully get hammered indulge under the circumstances.

On Monday, Alex threw out the offer again, but I was gung-ho about trying out spinning and the Stairmaster. I regretfully declined, but I've been dying to have a marg or two with my work frands. Today, I was flat-out of excuses. Tara, Alex, and I went to Nacho Mama's at 3:00 in the afternoon and ate and drank to our hearts' content. We ordered a plate of nachos to split that likely could have fed a small third-world village for a week or two. I had a house marg, and suddenly, another appeared in front of me. I even sampled the watermelon marg the restaurant owner cooks up every year for the Carytown Watermelon Festival. 

I have to say, it was quite nice enjoying the company of coworkers outside of the work atmosphere... even if all we talked about was work-related. I didn't feel so stellar about driving down Cary Street and River Road during rush hour following two of those margaritas (and with a very full belly, I might add), but I couldn't have my cake and eat it on this one. Thanks for the invite, Alex -- cheers to Margarita Wednesday, good friends, and great conversation!

P.S. What was your first happy hour like?

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'm Too Damn Old For This

Okay, so couples' Beer Olympics was everything I expected it to be and nothing like I thought it would be simultaneously. Everyone was too spastic to abide by the bracket I meticulously drew up and most of the dudes were enthralled with the real Olympic Games, so we didn't make it much past Chandelier and Pong. I blame the members of country Ireland for their poor choice in the opening ceremony; we all paid for it dearly. Between Miller Lite, Michelob Ultra Pomegranate, Fireball, and far too much caffeine-fueled energy, I spent the entirety of Saturday recovering. I swear I lost weight this weekend. Random, inappropriate side note: I could never in a billion years be bulimic. I'm too damn old for this.

I thoroughly enjoyed lounging on the James down at Maidens Landing while I nursed my hangover. It was also really nice to lazily watch Catch Me If You Can as a group Saturday afternoon. Saturday evening, Ian's family finally visited my house for the first time! His parents and his brother helped move him into his new apartment, as did his uncle, his cousin, and his cousin's lady. Saturday night was supposed to be a repeat of Friday's failed games, but everybody was out like a light before the clock struck twelve.

Yesterday, several of us enjoyed Third Street Diner's delectable brunch menu before we toured Ian's newly decorated apartment. I sampled Third Street's Greek omelette and absolutely loved it! Unfortunately, Ian's roommate, Chris, wasn't around, so I haven't met him yet. I'm still looking forward to meeting all of the new pals he met during the Prematriculation program in June.

Speaking of med school, today was Ian's first day of class! The M1s didn't do much today, but it's so exciting to think that my boyfriend has officially begun medical school -- at the newly-recognized best hospital in Virginia, I might add ;) Okay, sorry, I get a little braggy when it comes to Ian. I haven't had many chances to update you guys on Girl Emerging recently between work, Ian's move to Richmond, the Olympics, and very full weekends. Thanks for sticking around!

Today after work, I kicked my own ass -- as I so seem to love doing -- on the Stairmaster for 20 minutes before I cycled around Europe for 20 minutes. Whew! That was a heck of a workout combo!

Well, I guess we're all caught up. I'd love to hear about your weekend!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Ian and I booked our first vacation as a couple! Sure, I've been thrice to OBX with his family,
and he vacationed with us at Smith Mountain Lake, but this is big news for us, people. I'm talking, researched it ourselves, paid for it ourselves, asked all the right questions ourselves, made the adult(like) decisions ourselves. Yes, I'm 23 going on 7. Though I did feel like a grown-up purchasing travel insurance. Except for the part about "death and/or dismemberment." Uhh...

I'm officially an independent gym enthusiast. You read that correctly. My posts may have made it seem as if the gym feels natural and comfortable for me, but that has not been the case until recently. I used to always wish a friend or a family member -- or at least someone I knew -- would be there for me to ask, "What the hell does this machine do?" or for me to laugh with-slash-to when I fell on my face attempting to pump up the dreadmill. I'll probably never feel at home in the gym, but I finally feel at ease moving among the machines, weaving between treadmills, experimenting with workout routines. Though I always love an accountability buddy ;)

Ian moved into his first-ever apartment in Richmond! I've told him he cannot be coronated a True Richmonder until he has (a) lived in the city of Richmond for 25 years or more and (b) married a True Richmonder or (c) procreated with a True Richmonder. He lucked into one of only two apartments with a porch in his newly renovated complex. I could not be more thrilled for this new chapter in his life as a medical student. So many new and exciting changes!

Tomorrow, I'll be participating in Beer Olympics for the first time. Apparently I didn't have enough undergraduate years. Either that, or I'm living out my Olympic dream with Miller Lite and a makeshift flag. I'm just too pumped up about women's gymnastics, men's swimming, and the diving competitions. Rock on, USA!