zoey nap
This is my silly, sleepy dog. She is exhausted, just like her mommy. 
Let’s rewind to Friday. From the second I got off of work on Friday, it was go, go go. 
I’ll breeze through this as quickly as I can… 
My sister Brooke flew in around lunchtime. Greg had picked her up from the airport and they were waiting for me at home. I couldn’t get home fast enough to hug my baby sister. Shortly after that, Greg’s parents and brother drove into town. Brooke came with me to an event I had to attend, then we met everyone back at home to regroup before a late dinner at Page’s Okra Grill. One word to describe that meal: Amazing.
Saturday involved shopping both downtown and in Mt. Pleasant, then cooking a delicious feast. I made a roasted veggie pizza from scratch and Greg grilled chicken and vegetables. Immediately after dinner it was time for the main event. Hootie and the Blowfish! We are lucky enough to live within walking distance of the Family Circle Cup stadium where the concert is held every summer. We had a great time, although everyone was bummed he didn’t sing Wagon Wheel. What the heck!?!?!?
Sunday flew by, between going to church, saying goodbye to all of our visitors and then having to work the late shift at the office. 
After such a full weekend, it’s no wonder I could not get myself up out of bed this morning. The second my alarm went off at 6:30, I knew my planned workout was not happening. The extra sleep never felt so good. 
I usually have a difficult time finding energy or motivation to exercise after work, but the cooler weather (85 degrees, woohoo!) was calling me outside for a run. Zoey had been inside all day too, so she didn’t have a choice but come along with me. We go on long walks a couple times a week, and sometimes we’ll do short spurts of running. But this was the first time we had tried real run together and she was a little angel! I was so proud. We ran about three miles and now she is done-zo (get it? like, donezo, but her name is Zoey so it fits…yeah.)

Weekend Eats (and More) 8-19-13

My brother and one of my best friends. I love you so much!
Now for some Weekend Eats!

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Friday afternoon Greg and I had lunch together at Black Bean Co. (we recently bought a Go Charleston Deal for this place). After being slightly disappointed with my usual picks the past few times I’d been, I opted for a new-to-me wrap, the Beach Burrito. I was pleasantly surprised and was happy to rekindle my relationship with BBC.
Greg texted me around 4pm asking, “Happy hour?” After the day I’d had, happy hour was more than necessary, so I eagerly agreed. We headed to Rio Grande as soon as I got off work. That margarita, along with the unpictured endless bowl of chips and salsa ended up being my dinner. Whoops. 
zoey downtown
Saturday morning Zoey was supposed to have puppy class, but it was cancelled. We were already on our way downtown to meet our group and decided to make the most of it anyway. We visited the dog park first to burn some of her energy where she met all kinds of new friends. Then we went on a little walk by Waterfront Park. She sniffed her little heart out trying to take in her new surroundings. 
Before heading home, we debated going to the Marion Square Farmers’ Market, but instead stopped at The Vegetable Bin. After all these years living in Charleston, we were glad to have finally made the stop. It was awesome. We loaded up on all our favorites including sweet potatoes, squash, avocados, bell pepper, cucumber and more. All of this for just about $11! I was on a high feeling so thrifty.
I put together lunch with all of our new veggies – sauteed veggie bowls, topped with mozzarella shredded cheese for Greg, goat cheese and plain Greek yogurt for me. Avocado toast on the side. 
blueberry pancakes
After such a healthy lunch, we both let ourselves get crazy for dinner, maybe a little too crazy. Nah. It was worth it. We were on our way to Page’s Okra Grill, a very local Southern style restaurant. As we passed the highway sign marking food at the exit, I jokingly said we should go to Cracker Barrel to get breakfast for dinner. Welp, Greg liked my joke so much that he pulled off the exit and soon found ourselves at the Old Country Store indulging in buttery blueberry pancakes. I had actually only been to Cracker Barrel maybe twice in my life, while Greg grew up eating there fairly often. We reminisced on our childhoods, remembering certain things our parents and grandparents always cooked for breakfast. Breakfast time and breakfast foods in general bring back some good memories. 
quinoa burger
Skipping right along to Sunday’s dinner now. I made quiona burgers that were simply delicious. I’ll tell you more about those another day soon!
What was the tastiest thing you ate this weekend?

Sunday Blessings – When Life Becomes a Blur

This is what it looks like to go to the gym during a monsoon. I unsuccessfully hurdled over puddles, mostly because they weren’t puddles at all. Our parking lot was basically a giant shallow pool, some sections more deep than others. I made it to the clubhouse, where our fitness is, with soaked shoes wishing I brought a dry pair of socks. Not the most ideal conditions for a run, but life goes on. 
I need exercise to keep going. I crave exercise when I’m not up and moving enough or when my mind can’t think straight. It calms me (despite any pain showing on my face) no matter how slow and steady or intense I make it. That’s why I trudge through the rain to fit in my workout. It’s worth it in the end. 
Throughout the past several weeks, I’ve slowly added new commitments to my life. I’m excited about the opportunities coming my way, but the timing of it all made me feel especially scattered this week. We’re in the middle of buying a house, which doesn’t help. (Sure, I’m thrilled, but it’s just about the most complicated process EVER! Enough with the paperwork and signatures already. Geesh.)
I want to do more and more, but then I suddenly worried that I may be taking on more than I should. Should I cut back? If so, what do I leave behind and what do I keep on my schedule? 
The one thing that is for sure is that God is always by my side. I am constantly praying these days for his guidance, for his path for me to be made clear, for my choices to reflect his will. Through this whirlwind of events that we call life, I am giving all of my worries to God. 

Hello, Remember Me?

Hi Friends. I’m just checking in today to say hello. Ever since my July Blog-A-Day Challenge, I have obviously struggled to keep up any momentum. Here we are half way through August and this will be my second post. Whoops.
If you’ve been around for awhile, you know that my work schedule gets a bit off during the first several weeks of a new school semester. Well, that time has come again. Today I work 1-10pm. While getting off at 10pm is not the best, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to sleep in this morning. And boyyyy did I take advantage of that. I didn’t wake up until 8:15. It was glorious. On top of that, despite the gray, gloomy rain clouds hovering over the city today, the high is 78 degrees. Excuse me, what?! Yes, you heard me. 78 degrees. Charleston, South Carolina. Middle of August. True story.
I’m off to workout right now. Sorry to be so boring today. I’ll try to be more interesting soon 🙂
Have a fabulous day!

Weekend Recap – A Wedding, Family Time and a House

This past weekend I flew to Columbus for one of my best friend’s weddings. Between taking off a lot of work for Greg and I’s wedding/honeymoon earlier this year, and still a few more out of town weddings in the coming weeks, we’ve had to strategize our vacation time. That meant Greg stuck behind in Charleston while I made the quick weekend trip. I wasn’t even in Columbus for 48 hours, so I had to make the most of my time.

After my brother Austin picked me up from the airport around noon on Friday, we headed straight to Chipotle for lunch. Mmm, mmm. We do have one Chipotle in Charleston now (technically North Charleston), but it’s not the most convenient. I make the trip occasionally, but not often enough. Chipotles are all over Columbus so it’s a frequent stop when I’m there.

After catching up with my mom and lounging around her house with Austin, we got dressed up and headed to the wedding.

Being only about a year and a half apart in age, Austin and I have always been super close. If Greg couldn’t be my date, Austin made a great stand-in.

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And later at the reception, I was finally reunited with the beautiful bride! I couldn’t get over how gorgeous and happy Alyssa looked. I also couldn’t believe it had been three years since I last saw her. Congratulations Alyssa and Mark!
alyssas wedding1
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to grab a cupcake at the wedding. So I (easily) convinced Austin to stop for ice cream on the way home. Chocolate chip cookie dough in a waffle cone for me!
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Saturday morning started bright and early at the gym with Austin, followed by a run with my step-dad and his and my mom’s two border collies. I had plans to meet up with Diane at Northstar, but unfortunately we weren’t able to make it happen (next time, Diane!!). Although we couldn’t go together, I was determined to get my fix while in town, so stopped by for a praline scone and coffee to-go on my way to my grandparents’ house. 

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It was an amazing day filled with nothing but family time…and more delicious food. 
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My step-dad picked up fresh pasta and marinara sauce from a local Italian restaurant. He’s friends with the restaurant owner (and has been for many years), so we were hooked up with the best stuff. Thom cooked us all pasta primavera, full of peppers, onion, broccoli, mushrooms, squash and garlic. Seriously, to die for. 

I added sweetness to the night by making a rich and decadent dessert. I don’t know what you call it, but I’ll tell you the star ingredients: Chocolate, peanut butter, Reese’s cups and Oreos. Can you ask for anything more?

By Sunday, it was time to get back to clean eating. My flight home to Charleston brought me through LaGuardia Airport (so random), but was pleasantly surprised to find a salad bar in the food court. I loved it and I love whoever was in charge of making an airport salad bar happen. 
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I arrived home in the afternoon, shortly before Greg received a very exciting phone call. I haven’t talked much about it, but we had put an offer in on a house. Andddddd….the sellers accepted our offer! Although it’s not technically official, I can confidently say we will be moving into our first house next month! 
You can say it was a fantastic weekend 🙂

July Blog-A-Day #31: The End of the Challenge

We have reached the end of July and the end of my blog-a-day challenge! I fell a day behind, so I’m making it up with two posts today. I wanted to do a quick wrap-up of the month and this challenge in general.

We started out the month by sharing the story of my life. I gave you advice, gave thanks, walked you through my daily routine, and of course talked about delicious food.

I learned that blogging every single day is hard work. I wasn’t expecting it to be easy, that’s why it’s called a challenge. While I am proud of sticking with it, I am looking forward to getting back on a more moderate schedule of posting. This will allow me to spend more time focused on the present with my family and friends. BALANCE IS KEY.

I talked this morning about celebrating CMC’s second birthday. It’s a bittersweet time for me though, because tomorrow will be the second anniversary of my friend Morgan’s passing. I think about Morgan all the time and miss her so, so much. In planning my wedding this past year, I constantly thought of her and how badly I wanted her to be there on our big day. It was Morgan who helped bring Greg and I together to begin with. It breaks my heart she wasn’t there to celebrate with us and all of our friends in May, but I know she was there in spirit. Two years. I can’t believe this world has been missing her energetic, caring, beautiful soul for two years. God has an angel working for him now and I know she’s looking out for us.

As I end the blog-a-day challenge today, I look forward to spending a few days completely in the moment with my loved ones before I get back to the blogging world. Especially in light of Morgan’s passing, I know the importance more than ever of being there for your family and friends. Time is precious and something you can never get back.

I’m sorry if this post is jumbled. My words may not be making sense. The moral of this scatterbrained story: say I love you every day (actually, multiple times a day), cherish your time with your loved ones, and remember, everything happens for a reason.