Ocean Front Property in Arizona

This past weekend I was able to go to Arizona for my sister’s wedding. Well, pseudo-wedding-vow-renewal-type-thing, but wedding is a lot easier to say.

Melissa got married nearly two years ago in a small courthouse ceremony in North Carolina, but a lot of her family wasn’t able to attend, so this weekend she held another ceremony in Arizona for those of us who missed out on the first one. I’m so very glad she did.

Not only was my sister able to have a wedding dress with her whole shebang, but I was also able to take GCB to meet the family (they LOVED him, by the way) AND was able to meet my oh-so-adorable nephew.

And we played. PLAYED. Volleyball, ultimate frizbee, kickball, hiking. I love that I have such an active family, and it was a blast to just run around and have fun with all of them.

It was quite the perfect weekend.

They’re so cute.

I love this picture. So very much.

My love
Not wedding related, but one of my favorite pictures of GCB and my youngest cousin.
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It’s a Beautiful Day

Some days serve as reminders. Some days all it takes is a conversation or a picture or a song to remind you just how lucky you really are.

Today was that day.

Scratch that. I’ve been reminded of this daily for a while now. There’s just something about today though that’s making it that much more evident.

I’m struggling to come up with adequate words right now other than “I am one lucky, lucky lady.”

I have a family who has banded together more in these last few weeks than I ever knew was possible. There have been phone calls and texts and emails and visits and hugs and reminders of the unwavering support system that is in place for if any one of us falls. I am so grateful for them. Today my uncle finalizes his adoption of his wife’s children. HIS children. It’s been a long time coming, and I could not be more thrilled for their whole family. They live in Arizona, which is where I’m headed in October, and I CANNOT wait to see him, his family, and the rest of my aunts/uncles/cousins who live out there.

I have a job, an apartment, a car, and independence. I’m healthy and have the ability to workout and train for races for the lone fact that I like it. Though I’m incredibly sore today, it’s a great feeling to have been sweating for a reason OTHER than just walking out my front door.

My friends are THE best friends in the entire world.

First names start with A. Middle names are Marie. We could start a club.

They are there for me no matter what I need. They are who I want to spend time with. They are family. It took a while for my core group of friends to be built in St Louis, but now that it has been? I can’t imagine it being any other way. I am beyond fortunate to know such an incredible group of people.


And to top it all off, I have the love of my life to go home to every day. Some nights it’s my home, some nights it’s his home, and next spring it will be OUR home. Today I had a couple conversations that reinforced just how incredibly fortunate I am to be with someone who is as kind and thoughtful and generous as he is. He shows me he loves me as often as he tells me. He makes me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. I honestly can’t imagine life without him. I am SO LUCKY to have him.


Nauseating sap aside, I’m so glad for days like this that I can look back on when a day isn’t so great.


It’s like I said earlier:

 

Love Hurts

So. Yesterday was quite cryptic, huh? I truly am sorry about that, but honestly, there’s some stuff I can’t, or more appropriately won’t, put on here. In the past I know I’ve written things about my family, but at a certain point that stops. These people are THE most important people in my whole life, and we’ve run into a situation where we have to band together and protect one another, support one another, love one another more than we’ve ever had to in the past. This is a really fucking difficult, dark time for us. I keep bursting into random tears, though today’s much better than yesterday. I know that doesn’t explain a lot, well, it doesn’t explain anything, but just know I’m grateful for the good juju being sent our way. Truly.

That said, and maybe it’s because of this situation, but some of the good things in life are seeming that much better. I just spent a week in Portland with my dad and his side of the family, and it was SO GOOD to see all of them. I hadn’t been out there since October of 2008, so there was a lot to catch up on. I have one cousin who looks just like me, so much so that it’s like looking into a mirror into the past. It’s weird. She acts like I did at that age too. Not to mention the time I was able to spend with my stepsisters, brother in law, dad, step-mom, niece, and nephew. The niece and nephew are getting SO BIG, and seriously I think I melted every single time my niece would call me “Aunt Ann.” This is, of course, not to be confused with “Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.” Just no.

I was talking to my grandmother on Sunday (at church even, and I didn’t even burst into flames). We were discussing children, marriages, etc, and she lamented that she’d wished she had done it right the FIRST time. The man she’s married to, my grandfather, is actually my step-grandfather, and her third husband. I suggested that I wouldn’t be here then, which brought out her response of knowing that her children were supposed to be her’s, and she’d have had them regardless. I reminded her that I was supposed to be my mom’s. I was also supposed to be my dad’s. They’re not together, and haven’t been since I was fourteen, but I have no doubt that my mom was supposed to be with step-Mark. My grandfather is MY grandfather, as my biological grandfather died when I was 3, and I don’t remember him. I am where I’m supposed to be. I have MY family, as I was meant to have.

I guess I say all that because family has been on my mind a lot, obviously. Family on the other side of the country, family here, people who have married in, people I intend to make my family, people who are as close as family regardless of legal or blood ties. My mom’s best friend is family. My closest friends are my family. And these people are so important to me.

This sounds all rambly. That’s how it feels in my brain. I love this family of mine. Painfully so, at times. Sometimes they do things I disagree with, and sometimes they make me so mad all I can do is scream or cry or spend hours upon hours staring out the window and yelling horrible things at them in my head. Yet there’s always love. It’s conflicting, and right now, it hurts.

I don’t even know what to say past that.

And the Lightning Strikes

One awesome week in Portland ended with a sucker-punch to the gut of some shit life has thrown at my extended family.

My mom’s already said it, I’ll say it. If you would, any and all prayers, if you’re into that sort of thing, or good juju, or whatever you have to offer would be beyond appreciated.

How do you process real life when you feel so numb?

*vague post is vague*

Power of Love

Ok, I’ll be honest. The title has NOTHING to do with anything, except for the fact that the stupid fucking song is in my head. I blame GCB, as this morning he made reference to the fact that I was his lady. OBVIOUSLY I went ahead and started singing at him….that’s right, Celine Dion before 7am…..and NOW the fucking song is STILL STUCK IN MY GODDAMNED HEAD.

Good thing he’s cute.

This picture makes me smile like an idiot

Today is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday. Right now, I am anything but wordless. Not for any bad reason or anything like that. I’m just FULL OF THOUGHTS.

Honestly, I’m always full of thoughts, but some of those are so random, so prime for making you all think I am a lunatic, that I usually keep most of those to myself. Not today.

Random jibberish commencing.

First of all, there’s this:

Awesome, right? My friend Andy has been creating these Faceless Facebook designs, and this is the one he did of me. It’s coming from this picture: 

I absolutely love it. Seriously. He blows me away on a regular basis with his talent.
Not too long ago, my friend Sarah (who works for the Girl Scouts) offered me a chance to get cookies for $1.50 a box. I got ten boxes of Thin Mints. They’re almost gone. Today is the rungriest day I’ve had in a while, and I am working my way through killing the last sleeve of them I have here. My boss thought it was a great idea to tell me that lean proteins would probably be better for me than the sugar. I had to hold myself back from stabbing him in the throat. Maybe it’s that lately my patience at work has been minimal, but for some reason this just bugs me. Like dude? I’m an athlete. I fucking KNOW that protein would be better for me. I also know that if I ate my lunch now, I would be STARVING by the time I got home, and I have a six mile run on my agenda. Being that hungry with that kind of run ahead never ends well. I also know that one sleeve of Thin Mints is not going to kill me. I ALSO know that I’m in better shape than any single person in my group, so I’m pretty sure I’m o-fucking-kay with this decision. Why this is grating on me, I’m not sure, but I’m all bristly about it. Maybe it’s the implication that I don’t fucking know what I’m doing. Because I guarantee you, I fucking know what I’m doing. That statement applies to work too. I’m trying really hard to not rant about work right now. It is difficult not to. Whatever.
Happier topic. This week I got my flight booked to go out to Portland to see my dad’s side of the family. I am pretty pumped. Granted, I don’t have my flight back yet (still waiting for prices to drop), so that could get entertaining. Not only will I get to see a good chunk of my family (immediate AND extended), but I am taking twelve days off work. TWELVE. I am REALLY looking forward to it.
And then there’s this whole Ann’s running a LOOOOOONG way in like a week. Guess who just took five days off from working out? This girl. Guess who’s just SO burnt out that she’s looking forward to the END of Ragnar? This girl. I am really excited about this race, truly, but at this point I cannot physically improve anymore. I cannot get into my own head about failure, because it’s not an option. I cannot do anything but push myself to the limits and beyond, experience the whole race, and then come home for a pedicure that finally WON’T get jacked up and a few days of doing absolutely nothing while staying guilt-free. I realized yesterday talking to GCB that I have been in training mode since last AUGUST. I need a fucking break. But until then?
Impossible is nothing
My motivation is gone today.
The end.

Dizzy

Last night I went over to Ali’s for some friend time and some laundry time….and some whiskey time. Yes, by Tuesday it had already been that kind of week.

We were discussing upcoming weekends when it dawned on both of us just how busy this summer is shaping up to be. Let’s take a look, shall we?

This weekend contains a baseball game on Friday then a trip to Kansas City to see my roommate from my freshman year of college marry the guy she’s been with SINCE then. I’m pretty pumped.

Next weekend is a 10k race and a winery trip.

The weekend after is Ragnar.

Then I’m taking GCB to Jeff City to meet the parents and baby sister and brother. There has been talk of maybe going to a beer festival this same weekend and also possibly to GCB’s parents’ for Father’s Day.

Then I’ll be in KC for the Cards/Royals series at Kauffman and to see my awesome friend Jamie.

Then there’s a float trip possibility.

Then Portland (I hope…come on flight prices, drop a little bit!) to see my dad’s side of the family (complete with sister/bro-in-law/niece/nephew).

Two weeks later is a baseball game and a Pub Crawl.

Then the Tap N Run.

Then a free weekend (if you’ve kept up, this is the first weekend in August).

Then a trip to the lake.

That brings me to mid-August. When I start training again for the two half marathons (in October and November) and the full (in January).

No, I’m not busy, why do you ask?

Oh Baby, Baby

Bullet points!!

  • My sister is having a BOY. Nephew Watch 2012!!! Gah, SO FREAKING EXCITED!!!!!!!
  • I lifted for the first time today since nearly a week before the half. My legs feel great. My arms? Yeeeaaaahhhh, ouch.
  • It is time for me to refocus on how I eat. Again. The last two weeks have been ridiculous with what I’ve actually consumed, so yeah. Getting back to being good. These carrots and hummus are really fantastic.
  • I’m getting really excited for Ragnar. My last few runs have been REALLY awesome. Tomorrow GCB is coming running with me, which will be interesting. Pretty sure he’ll be able to hang, though.
  • Today I actually took measurements for the first time since early February. The reason I started doing so was to see just how I would change during my training, but as I’ve been balls to the wall training for quite a few months now, it seems as though I am at a decent plateau, despite the increase in the half inch or so around my midsection (which I attribute entirely to hormones at this point). I am more than comfortable in my skin. I feel like I’m at an incredible point physically, and it makes me proud of everything I’ve accomplished over the last year.
  • As I was telling mi madre earlier today, I really don’t think life has ever been any better than it is at this moment.
Life is incredible.