I Gotta Feelin’

I bought a wedding dress yesterday. For real.

That is really all I have to say right now, but holy shit, that’s an awesome thing to say.

 

Don’t Stop, Get It, Get It

So this happened.

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Saturday my team, Barry Jive and the Uptown Five, finished this course at Tough Mudder St Louis.

Today I hurt. All over. Abs, hips, quads. Even my triceps, which I learned when I brushed my teeth.

And? It was all so very worth it.

As much as I’d been worried about this race, given that it was an entirely unknown entity, PLUS the fact that I hadn’t really trained for it, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I’d expected. Our whole team finished. Our whole team completed every obstacle.

There were some injuries, lots of scrapes, more bruises than we’re able to count, and mud in probably every single spot and more it could get.

This was awesome.

Our wave started at 1020am.

Such clean shoes!

Such clean shoes!

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No quit in here

We had to get ourselves over a wall just to get to the starting line.

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The first obstacle we got to was called the Kiss of Mud.

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We were the lucky ones who DIDN’T have a fire hose on us during this obstacle. Apparently later in the day they added water, since the mud was drying out, while Mudders were in there. Bullet dodged.

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This is my aunt Melissa. She’s awesome.

Our next obstacle was a mystery obstacle, which involved climbing over a mud hill and jumping over fire into a pit, and then pulling ourselves out with a cargo net.

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Once we were all nice and soaked, they sent us to the Glory Blades, where we had to get over two slanted walls to get over and the slide down the other side. Hey, teamwork, you come in handy!!

And then. Arctic Enema. I swear Tough Mudder was trying to mess with our heads as we ran for probably a mile with the side of the truck screaming “ARCTIC ENEMA” at us. We knew what was coming, and seriously, the anticipation didn’t help.

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Blissful ignorance

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The many facial expressions in this one make me laugh

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Couldn’t really feel my face here

We ran around a quick corner and were quickly introduced to the Mud Mile.

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Going head first

Will cause this

Will cause this

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Then it was off to the Lumberjacked obstacle. It’s surprisingly uneasy to get over giant logs when covered in water and mud.

Stuck. Couldn't swing my legs up to pull myself over.

Stuck. Couldn’t swing my legs up to pull myself over.

Then they sent us off to the King of the Hill, which was a tower of giant haystacks we had to get over. I think we can safely attribute most of the tiny scrapes on our legs from the hay.

Running up to the next obstacle, the Electric Eel, was more intimidating than going to the Arctic Enema. From about 100 meters away, all we could really hear were these screams of (what sounded like) sheer agony. Once we got there, we were accosted by the nearly continuous *pops* of electricity zapping the people in the event.

Right as I got into the beginning of the obstacle, they started pouring more water into it. Directly into my face, which successfully made me jump straight into the wires. I got hit a couple more times, once directly on my head which made me clench my teeth really hard. It was an entirely disorienting, and completely unlikable experience.357363

Apparently my way "looked safer"

Apparently my way “looked safer”

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Following that, we ran a bunch and completed four more obstacles. I wish we had photographic evidence of my friend Kyle trying to carry GCB during the Warrior Carry.

Trench Warfare

Trench Warfare

Carry Your Wood

Carry Your Wood

Walk the Plank

Walk the Plank

We got stopped for a while before we hit Mud Mile #2, but it was pretty worth it. This mud was awesome.

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Over the Funky Monkey and through the Cage Crawl took us to the Berlin Walls.

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Then? Everest.

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This is my second try. First try I just missed.

Climbing down from Everest we were looking straight down the chute to Electroshock Therapy. As of now, I don’t have pictures for it. All I know is that I was stupidly lucky to miss every single wire. My teammates weren’t as lucky, and some ended up nearly face-planting in the mud.

All that was left to do was get our head bands and our beers and breathe a sigh of relief.

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500

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The end.

New York State of Mind

The rest of the story in a somewhat Wordless Wednesday (anyone remember the last time I did one of those? Me neither).

Because I missed it last time, here is the most awesome picture of the large pizza the fiance (!!!) and I finished off at Grimaldi’s.

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Delicious.

And now? Our engagement weekend in pictures.

Stadium 13!

Stadium 13!

They never would have kept this up at Busch Stadium with that kind of rain.

They never would have kept this up at Busch Stadium with that kind of rain.

Brunch in the West Village!

Saturday brunch in the West Village!

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Highline in Chelsea.

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Cupcakes at Billy's!

Cupcakes at Billy’s!

Central Park, and obligatory stop by Strawberry Fields.

Central Park, and obligatory stop by Strawberry Fields.

Quidditch!

Quidditch!

Matilda on Broadway

Matilda on Broadway

Times Square

Times Square

Rockefeller Plaza

Rockefeller Plaza

South Tower Memorial Pool

South Tower Memorial Pool

And then possibly the best part. When we got home, he took me to the place where we had our first date, Ted Drewes. Waiting for us were friends and family ready to celebrate our brand new engagement.

This part was supposed to be a surprise as well, but my sister Melissa kind of spilled the beans before I was even off the plane. Granted, this is a good thing as if it had been a surprise, I would have burst into tears when I got there, and no one would have gotten a word out of me for an hour.

Emotion + exhaustion + excitement + THAT surprise = Ann’s meltdown.

We’re going to ignore that there were moments of meltdown, like when our friends from Springfield (3 hours away) walked up. Like hugging my best friend and nearly asking her to be my maid of honor right then and there (I did wait to ask….for a day). Like showing the video clip of the actual proposal to my mom and future mother in law.

Yeah. Tears.

Ted Drewes! Where we had our first date.

Ted Drewes! Where we had our first date.

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Hey Baby, I Think I Wanna Marry You

So this happened.

IMG_0084The story!

Friday morning, I was woken up at 450am (ick). I was really confused because Adam was waking me up, and I was kind of worried that I was sleeping through my alarm. Then I noticed that it was the four o’clock hour, not the five o’clock, and I was confused. Adam goes, “How much do you trust me?” which is not something to say to a not-quite-awake person. I, in my ever so eloquent state, mumbled, “Um, a lot?” So he told me to put my glasses on and handed me two half sheets of paper.

It took me a second to realize that it was a boarding pass. Then I registered that it said LaGuardia. Then I registered that my name was on it. AND THEN I registered that the date was for that day.

And then I flipped a little bit.

I asked about whether I needed to call into work. He told me it was taken care of. I reminded him of plans I’d had with April and Ali for the weekend. He told me they were fake plans, and that it was taken care of. He told me that I had one hour to pack and get ready (he did apologize profusely for me having to pack, but he wasn’t sure what I’d want, etc).

So I packed. Kind of. It took me a bit to figure out what I needed to take since all he would tell me is that I needed walking shoes, comfortable stuff for walking, and then something a little fancier for Saturday night. Do you know how difficult it is to pack multiple options into a tiny carry-on bag? Difficult. Mostly because of the shoes.

Anyway, as we drove off to the airport he played two songs for me. Sinatra’s New York and Jay-Z/Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind. I started teasing him about missing opportunities. Where was “Uptown Girl”? Where was “New York State of Mind”? Heh. As we were driving, I googled which baseball team was home because I know him, and obviously we were going to a game since I’d never been to either stadium.

After getting through security, he told me he had a surprise for me and handed me a little bag, out of which I pulled a fancy new camera. He said, “We are NOT taking just cell phone pictures while we’re in New York.” And then he handed me an envelope containing tickets to both a Yankees game (see?) and Matilda on Broadway.

People keep asking me if I had any idea this would be coming, but because he pulled out the tickets immediately, I really didn’t. I figured it was just a fun surprise since I’m trying to get to all the stadiums and have always wanted to go to NYC.

When we got there, we took our bags to the hotel and headed off to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

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He said he wanted to take me to a pizza place that came very highly recommended. As we were walking across the bridge, he was telling me how there were a ton of locks locked on the bridge, as people would write/engrave names/dates/etc on them and then leave them on the bridge. I thought this idea was awesome and was really bummed I didn’t know since I had an unused lock at home.
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Here’s where I have to interject that in hind sight, I was incredibly blind to just about everything once I figured out we were going to NYC, but during everything, I was just happy to be there.

We ate at this place called Grimaldi’s (omg, YUM), and after we finished off a large pizza (yep) we took a walk down to the Brooklyn Bridge Park. We were just kind of walking along, and I sat down to just look at Manhattan, as I was still marveling that I was there in the first place.

I caught movement out of the corner of my eye, and figuring he was getting up so we could keep walking I started to grab my stuff, but then froze as he was on one knee in front of me. My jaw just dropped as he slid the ring on my finger and asked me to marry him. I don’t even think I fully was able to choke out “of course I will” before I was crying and kissing him all at once. He told me later that he had been looking for a somewhat secluded area so it could be a private thing between the two of us, and for NYC he did ok. There were, though, six people who were walking behind us who started clapping and cheering for us, which I was surprisingly ok with.

We started walking back to the bridge to cross back over into Manhattan, and we hadn’t gotten more than 20 feet when he told me there was just one more thing and handed me a hunk of tissue paper, which contained the lock in the very first picture of this post. And then I cried again.

Shortly after, we stopped so I could call my family, and then we took a deep breath, knowing our phones were about to die, and put the picture on facebook and twitter.

And then our phones exploded.

We talked to his mom for a little bit as we walked back to the bridge, and then shoved the phones into bags and pockets to give us time to find a place to put the lock.

As we walked by one place, we realized that there weren’t too many locks and that we’d be able to get ours on pretty easily. It took us just a moment, but THEN we realized that the light post we were standing next to looked directly down at the bench where he proposed. So there we left it.

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And there we will go back to find it over the years. I will never see the Brooklyn Bridge, whether in pictures or TV/movies or in person without feeling very fluttery in my stomach, remembering the absolute apex of happiness in my life so far.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Well, it’s official.

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In just eight short months I’ll be heading back to Orlando to run through some Disney parks. This time there will be quite a few more people and definitely fewer miles.

Kind of.

I’ll be short by 7 miles or so. Basically the same amount I walked in January. Works for me.

10k Saturday, half marathon Sunday, and the whole weekend with some absolutely incredible ladies!

I can’t wait!!!

 

Check out some of those awesome ladies!!! Lo, Kelly, and Angela.

Hot Rockin’

The other day my aunt Melissa, who’s running Tough Mudder with me, and I were texting back and forth. She was telling me about this squat challenge she’s been doing and moved on to telling me about the ab challenge she was getting ready to start.

This ab challenge.

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Yes, the month we are heading into is May, not June. Guess what though? May has 30 days as well! In fact, it even has a 31st day where a big ole REST can be planned. Convenient, right?

I think I’m most intrigued to see what kind of an effect this actually has, combined with the running/circuit training involved in the already set up TM training.

Melissa asked if I was going to take before pictures, and I plan on doing so, if for nothing but my own feeling of accomplishment, of “look how far I’ve come.” I’m fairly excited about that.

What is even more exciting has been the reaction on the social media platforms. People coming out all over facebook and twitter to say “I’m in!” I love that one tiny challenge can bring out so many people, some of whom I haven’t even spoken to in months/years.

And you know? It feels GOOD to be excited like this. To be looking forward to the type of soreness headed my way, to the miles and blisters and probably sunburns.

So. The challenge has been set forth. Are you in?

Happy

I am happy.

So happy that sometimes it feels unfair, like I’m taking more than my share. I recognize this is flawed logic, but still.

Reasons that I’m happy!

  • Just spent the most PERFECT weekend with GCB. Pub crawl Saturday, quiet Sunday, anniversary and Cardinals home opener Monday, and waffles and turning in the keys to my old apartment Tuesday. I don’t know that I can fully express JUST how good it feels to be done, DONE, with the old place. When I moved in, I was finally back to living alone (which I truly enjoy). But this, the living with the boyfriend thing, is SO MUCH BETTER than living alone. That and the perfect weather on Monday, baseball being back, recreating our first date (Ted Drewes!!), and just relaxing made all four days out of work so worth it. Going back to work today was rough. Ha.
  • This weekend my lovely friend Josey, along with her awesome husband and daughter, are coming to St Louis! Baseball, good friends, beers. What more could you ask for?
  • NEXT weekend, my roommate from my freshman year of college, Laura, and her husband are coming in for the Tap’n’Run. That weekend will be HOCKEY, good friends, and beers. And running.
  • And then there are the plans. OH the plans! Trips to the lake and to Chicago; my sister, brother-in-law, and adorable nephew coming to Missouri in July; going to visit family in Baltimore in May; concerts, baseball games, SUMMER, a new nephew!!!
  • On top of that (there’s more?!). The running. And GCB running WITH me! Tough Mudder in September, then a month later a Halloween half marathon. I am SO excited to have him want to share in these type moments with me. I really hit the jackpot finding him.

Things are just so, SO good right now. I feel lucky every single day.

Perma-grin, right over here.