Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************

1) While I love Spring, it the hardest time of year at school...and it's not because kids have "spring fever", but instead because where I work, no one is guaranteed a contract for the next school year and so everyone is on "pins & needles" waiting to see if they get one, meanwhile those who aren't getting a contract are called into the principal's office and told so. I struggle with this every year, particularly because I can't imagine being told that and then still having 6ish weeks of work left. Four of my co-workers/friends were affected this week...yesterday was an awful day. It is a blessing in disguise, I know that, but it is always hard to see initially. This place has become more and more toxic in the past couple years, which is very sad. I have been looking for something different for a while now...really hoping something surfaces soon because I don't know how I can spend another year here. 

2) I just can't help but love love LOVE this card one of my friends (above) sent this morning. It's so perfect. So fitting for this week. 

3) Baseball Update: the girl on our team got a hit on Monday night. Hooray!! Progress....and less screaming from her mom. Woohoo!! It was a great game for everyone as we could see improvement by all...even though we lost, the kids played so much better. Ethan even got his very FIRST (inside the park) home run. Proud mama here!
4) Today is my 9th anniversary. It is also the Spring Concert tonight...which is really "ok" since Ethan loves it and has a speaking part. Oscar will even be home in time to go to the show with us, which rarely happens. #winwin

5) Experiencing way more nerves and anxiety over this weekend's back to back half marathons than I thought I would. Oh well...the worst thing is that I walk a lot of the race on Sunday, but I'm going all out on Saturday. I'm also changing my intervals to 45 seconds walk/run...hopefully that will help me feel better come mile 9. 

6)  I'm still reading Americanah and really enjoying it. It's a bazillion pages so it will take me a while. My mom is in the same book w/me for this book and says she hates it and may be "sick" for book club. Oh well, I guess it's just not for everyone.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Chattanooga 7 Bridges Marathon or 4 Bridges Half Marathon

7 Bridges Marathon

Woot! I'm so happy to report that I have my very first Race Ambassador gig!! 

I am an Ambassador for the Chattanooga 7 Bridges Marathon/4 Bridges Half Marathon which takes place on October 16-17, 2016.

If you can run this race, then by all means, you should sign up...and even better, sign up with my discount code MAXDISC to save 10% off your registration.

This race is unique in that runners will cross the Tennessee River 6 times during the Marathon. Runners will also pass the TN Aquarium, AT&T Field (Home of the Chattanooga Lookouts), run through the Art district and finish in front of the Carousel in Coolidge Park. Why not take a ride on the Carousel as a finishing celebration?!

Come spend the weekend in Chattanooga with the whole family as the race is geared towards families as well, also offering a 5k and Kids races. 

Hope to see you there!!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************18692431

1) Woot! Finished this book in 2 days...can't remember the last time that happened. And bonus that I was on the elliptical machine while reading the first half of the book (65 minutes!). Yay for multi-tasking...that's what it's all about folks!! Back to the book...I really enjoyed the characters and the story as well, though I did have the ending figured out about half way through the book (and I usually don't do that) felt very much like "Fault in Our Stars"...

2) You know how when you don't eat/drink something for a while and then you do, it tastes absolutely wonderful??? Yeah, well I really need to take a break from Diet Dr Pepper so that it tastes SUPER YUMMY again because day after day makes it less enjoyable...the problem is that I can't imagine giving it up...I have nothing to replace it with. #FirstWorldProblems

3) I took Monday and Tuesday off from running...somewhat voluntarily, but also with the broken treadmill, it's hard to squeeze in running time with other commitments after school....soooo Wednesday we went to the YMCA where I ran a rock-star 4.25 miles and could have kept going, but got bored and also didn't want to be at the Y much over an hour...we still had dinner and homework to, I'm not sure it was the 2 rest days or the fact that I ate 1/2 a Quest bar and also a Stinger Caramel Waffle that helped my run so much. I'm trying hard to NOT be superstitious as I really don't want to HAVE to eat those things before (almost) every run. 

4) Crazy baseball mom of that little girl is still at it. As the team warmed up on Monday before the game, she made the little girl that point, I couldn't take it any longer and walked over to the coach, told him I am probably "butting in" but that I just couldn't listen to it anymore and if he could be on the "lookout" for her and pair her with someone to throw with so her mom isn't throwing to her (while yelling "If you don't try, we are going home!")....he did help in this and then during the game said to me "I never heard it until you said something to me."---I'm so glad I'm not going crazy. Now we just need this sweet, adorable girl to crush the ball when she is at bat so her mom will shut the ef up. #SomePeopleShouldntHaveKids

5) Next Thursday is my 9th wedding anniversary. It's pretty much a miracle that we've made it this long. We will celebrate by Oscar coming home from work on Thursday (instead of usual Friday) and then Friday, Ethan and I will take a half day and we'll head to Nashville so I can run the RNR half marathon on Saturday. I'm so excited about the hotel we got too!!

6) I rarely (basically never) chime in on political issues but looks like that may have to change...I just saw a FB post that Target is allowing Transgender peeps to use whichever bathroom they choose. OK - now...don't get me wrong - I am ALL about being WHO YOU ARE and I have no qualms at all about LGBT people, I have gay friends etc....but my issue lies in that when I go to the store, it is 99% of the time WITH Ethan. He is 8 and basically "too old" to enter the Womens bathroom with me....though I have still taken him in with me at times, but it's usually his choice at this point. Well, that choice just went out the window because he will NOT be going into ANY Mens restroom alone again. The only thing Target has going for them on this is that they have a Family restroom by the Pharmacy and we will have to use that one - seems we ALWAYS have to use the restroom when we are at Target - but I am considering decreasing or simply not shopping there any longer. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Yes, I'm screaming...hence the title in capitals...

It's the same "complaint"...though light-hearted of course...I just want to sit and read my books, alone and undisturbed....for many, many hours days on end. Yes...that would be amazing....especially since I'm trying to read multiple books at one time while anxiously awaiting being able to read others....

Trying to read this one for a small group at work...I'm on page 15...ugh!!

Reading this one for May 15 book club meeting...anxious to read it and I'm enjoying it though I should put it on the back burner since I have more time for this one. I'm on page 60.

Recently read that they were making this into a movie and the post said "must read children's books before they're made into a movie"...and so I'm trying to read it to Ethan at night...he could care less, which isn't helping things...we are on page 15. It's kind of strange though, so I sure hope it gets better. 

Wanting to start this one for A Slice of Brie online book club. I just picked it up at the library yesterday (for the 2nd time -ahem!) here's hoping I get to actually read it this time. Oh well, I just looked on the blog and I should have book read by April, yeah, that's tomorrow...oops. #fail  

Heard it was HOT on the YA list and it sounded like something I would why not...then maybe the middle schoolers will think I'm cool, right. Yeah, probably not....but still gonna read it. It just came through the e-books from the library....I'm down to 20 days left to read it....while still trying to read everything else in this post. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************

1) Market Day is coming up! What is Market Day you is where all 2nd grade students come up with a product or service to sell and then set everything up on a select day in May - called Market Day (of course!) and sell this product or service. In other words, it's ANOTHER parent project. Seriously...there is SO much competition for "what to sell" that it's a stressor for sure. I've been trying to figure out what Ethan and I could only idea that I think would be a big hit is macaron cookies....if they turn out of course. *sigh* We really need to make a couple practice runs with to find the time for that. 

2) I've had the AIDA Broadway Soundtrack on continuous play over the last few days. It's really best when I'm driving alone (which almost never happens) as I can sing along at full volume. Love it!

3) Whoa!! Baseball season is underway. No complaints from me and no conflict with teammates - amen!! I don't anticipate any either, everyone seems to be sweet and friendly, well, the kids are anyway. Then there are the parents....what the heck is going on...we have ONE girl on our team and her mom is a freakin' nightmare...this girl is going to have mega self-esteem issues if mom doesn't shut her trap. She makes ZERO positive comments to the least in the last practice and last game. It's constant. It's awful. Normally I can block noises & voices out, but not this lady. Sad. And wait! There's one more...another crazy mom...they showed up LAST to our game last night. Obviously the coach had the batting order created and added this kid at the end. He looked at his mom and said "I'm batting last." with a facial expression that clearly said "I know you told me I'm too good to be batting last" and mom replies (right in front of me) "Oh! The best hitter is the last hitter!?!" with a big harumph! I seriously could NOT believe her comment. If I was braver, I would have had something to her as her comment was insulting to ALL the other kids on the team and they were also nearby in the dugout. Did I mention it was our FIRST game? We've had 3 practices and NO ONE on our team is even close to being a "slugger" so I'm not sure where she got the "best hitter" thing from. Oh and then let me add....Ethan hit a triple (on errors though) last night and this kid, hit a single to 2nd base to get on with an error as well. In the end, I'm not sure it would have mattered if this boy was 1st or last batter, we lost 27-2. It was pitiful. Oh and one of those runs was driven in on Ethan's triple. Should I mention IT to that mom? Hee!
4) Whew!! Last night I secured a hotel for the Nashville RockNRoll 1/2 later this month. Talk about last minute...but this time that was a good thing. I attempted to get a hotel room for us a few weeks ago and everything near the start line was sold out or $300+...sorry, but unless I'm at Disney, I refuse to pay $300/night for a hotel....oh heck, who am I kidding, I don't pay that at Disney either...never have. Ha! Anyway, I got online last night and surprisingly there were rooms available and I even secured a room with POINTS (!!) and it's only 4 blocks from the starting line and I'll run past the hotel 2 times during the race. Talk about score!!! 
5) I'm supposed to be reading this for a small book club/review at work. I voluntary signed up and I DO want to read it...but so far, I've read maybe 5 pages. I'm really more interested in it from a personal standpoint than professional know, to be prepared when Ethan starts saying he hates school...oh wait, he's already said that a few times. Ugh!

6) Truly, THE BEST RUNNING POST EVER....died laughing!


7) Also reading Nightmares! Have been for a couple weeks in between finishing that last book for my book club. It's a cute book but I don't think I'll be reading the sequel.

8) Did I mention that my treadmill broke again? Yeah, super annoyed with that of course. This time it's not the motor...the gal who "troubleshot" it over the phone said it is the upright wire...the tech who is supposedly coming out to fix it some day said from my description of the problem, he doesn't think the upright wire will fix it. Lovely. Last night I took to Twitter to throw Sears and NordicTrack under the bus....I've had it. A 4.5 month old treadmill should not need a repair technician TWO TIMES...and actually, I might as well say it's only 3.5 months old since it's been out of commission for a combined 1 month between repairs...for this one, it's not been working for 2 weeks now. In my opinion, Sears should come pick this one up and deliver a new machine of same or better model and assemble it. So far, only Sears has responded on Twitter, but only to ask for my sales # so they can look into the transactions. *sigh*

9) We had so much fun last weekend at the Color Me Rad 5k...even though it was a bit chilly. Ethan said he wanted to do it again but without the 5k part, which of course made me crack up...this kid is so NOT into athletics...with the exception of's the only athletic-related activity he will do without putting up a fight. He says he likes it and was even hoping his game wouldn't be rained out last Monday...and it wasn't. We are signed up for The Flavor Run in June...which is essentially the same as Color Me Rad but the powder tastes good...should be interesting...I guess it will be like having Kool Aid powder thrown on us. Hopefully knowing he will get a medal for this one will help curb the whining...and did I mention we pretty much walked the whole thing...only running when we were "chasing" him in a game of tag. 

10) The Book of Mormon musical was hilarious!! And well, I had NO idea about the language so that was quite a surprise...I laughed so so hard though and would definitely see it again. 

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************
1) I'm barely finishing this book which was for our April book club meeting, which occurred last Sunday. Oops!! I had been holding out on the library for the e-book, you know, to save me $8.00 (every penny counts) but the library let me down and still by the Monday AFTER book club the book had not come through for me so I had to buy it on Amazon, but turns out I waited too long (Tuesday) and couldn't get the book done in time. *sigh* It's a good story though so I'll finish it.


2) Americanah is the book club pick for May. Initially I was NOT excited about this book AT ALL. Ugh...I thought. The gal who picked this one also picked the book on North Korea last year. That I also dreaded. And then found terribly interesting. I'm hoping this one follows that pattern. I also "discovered" that this author wrote "We Should All Be Feminists" and also did a TedTalk on it, which I watched and found absolutely fabulous....I'm intrigued...I'll probably end up reading that book too!

3) Little League Baseball is finally underway. We've had 2 practices so far and another on Saturday. I made a choice this year to register Ethan in a league closer to our house and away from those we go to school with. There are a few reasons for this. I have already seen that I made the right decision and couldn't be happier.

Image result for color me rad
4) On Saturday, my mom, Ethan and I are running and walking the Color Me Rad 5k here in town. I'm super excited to get covered in color and take great pictures. That's what this "race", which really isn't a race since it's not timed, is all about. Now let's just hope that we don't freeze out there as it will likely only be in the 30s that morning...that is just WRONG. Ugh!!

5) I've struggled with losing Hula more than when I lost my last cat, Tango, which was also an awful experience. Oscar actually said I handled losing Hula better, but I think it's because more of it is inside me and he hasn't seen it. (He's gone during the week for work too) And a lot of it has to do with helping Ethan through this awful process. Ethan didn't really interact with Hula all that much, but losing her has definitely impacted him. I'm also struggling with some guilt that I didn't brush her as much as I should have, or I didn't spend as much time with her as I should have etc. When I looked through my pictures for pictures of her, I had a TON before February 2008 and then none for a few years until maybe 2011-2012 a few started popping up. Ethan was born in Feb 2008 and I get that this is probably a "normal" or "typical" situation, but nonetheless, it makes me feel a bit guilty. And sad. One consoling thought is that I made sure she had her medicine and gave it to her daily for 12 years. I feel like I took the best care of her that I could at the time and even though right now it doesn't feel like it was enough, I'm learning to accept the situation for what it was. #coping

6) As I searched high and low on Amazon for a book on pet loss...I found this. And I bought it. It made me feel good. Proof that retail therapy works.

7) I love this phone case...and may have to buy it. Clearly part of my coping with losing Hula is buying all the cat "stuff" I can...

8) I was off work yesterday (sick day for appointments)...didn't need the whole day but took the rest of it as "mental health day" know what I after dropping E at school (in my workout clothes like a REAL stay at home mom), I went to Weigels to get my Diet Dr. Pepper, dropped a pkg at the post office, came home, picked up toys in living room, swept the floor, did laundry, made the bed, did the finances & some blogging. I had all of that done by 10am at which point I headed out for an 8 mile run. about productive....and it just once again re-affirms that the best gig in town is a stay at home mom and while this may ruffle some feathers, I still stand by and say that it's WAY easier to be a SAHM than a working (outside the house) mom. I'd rather clean, sweep and run errands all day every day than deal with political bullshit that exists in EVERY single workplace I've ever been in. And if you are a mom that CHOOSES to work....good for's not a choice for me and that makes a BIG difference. That is all. Moving on...

9) Oscar and I are going to see The Book of Mormon on Sunday night. I bought these tickets what seems like a bazillion years ago. Not sure even if our seats are good or great, but I'm just happy to be going. I live for Broadway musicals...the only thing that could make this better is if I were seeing it in NYC. *sigh*  Still so excited!!!

10) I'm starting to regret/worry about having signed up for two 1/2 marathons two days in a row. Oh boy. No turning back now I guess. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Remembering Hula.

WARNING: This post is super long....and of course it's really posted for me to read again another day, though it's pretty depressing so I'm not sure when I'll read it again, but I needed it all recorded here.

Hello there!!
(This picture actually made it into the 365-Cats-a-Year Calendar. 2005, I think)
It's taken me a while to put this together, but finally, here it "tribute" post to Hula and all that went wrong on Easter Sunday 2016.  It will certainly go down in the record books as the least favorable Easter ever.

Litter Mates. Love Bugs. Sweet Babies.

We went to Mass and Brunch and then came home. We were going to go to the zoo, but the weather was iffy so we decided against it. We then decided to go to the mall to walk a bit, but discovered it was closed, so we came back home and in hindsight, I'm SO glad things played out like that. We were MEANT to be home.

"How dare you wake me up!"

At about 2:30pm, I heard the strangest meow. It was Hula and it was a cry I had never heard from her before. She was heading my way to the office and when I saw her she was open-mouth breathing. Not good. With her congenital heart defect, I had always been told that when her heart was failing, she would likely begin open mouth breathing and that would be a sign the end was near. I know now that she was looking for and coming to me for help. Her tongue was already purple at this point so she must have been open-mouth breathing prior to coming to find me. :(

My  beautiful girl.
I called the UT vet hospital, where I had taken her for heart tests years ago, because I knew they'd be open. I told the lady what was going on and that we'd be there in 20 minutes. 

They took her back right away to try to stabilize her. In hindsight, I don't like how this was handled and wish I could have gone with her...she was freaking out and didn't know these people. She was probably so scared. :(  The vet said I got there "just in time" and feared that Hula would pass within minutes. She was turning purple...
Proof they love each other.
So thankful that Milo seems to be doing ok being alone. They are litter mates and have never been apart.
Add to that, he's always been so "needy" that I really thought he'd be a HOT mess without his sweet sister, Hula. 
While she said her lungs sounded good, which is not typical with heart failure, the only way to find out what was really going on was to intubate, but I refused to put her through this and the vet agreed. It was so likely that this was tied to her (significant) heart issue anyway. I hated making that choice (though I felt there was NO choice really) and wish it was more obvious that it was her heart, but she was struggling SO much and I knew she was uncomfortable. I had been preparing myself for the worst on the ride to the hospital, but I don't think anyone is ever fully prepared to lose their sweet furry family member.

2005 - after one of  her EKG tests at UT hospital - you can see where they shaved a bit of her fur. 

I wanted to see her again before everything was to end and so as they brought her into the exam room where I was waiting, she screamed even a louder cry that I had heard before. She was freaking out I'm sure. We got her on the table and I talked to her and kept petting her but could see how she was struggling so I told the vet to hurry so she wouldn't be suffering anymore...I couldn't stand to see her this way. While I was so glad to hold her and be there with her (she did calm down as I pet her and she heard my voice), I cannot get the feeling of her body going limp in my arms out of my replays over and over again and it's tearing me up. The vet said she wished I could have had more time with Hula...and I felt the exact same way. :(
Sweet fur baby. So loved.

Here's where things go south...

Because she was a 100% indoor cat, during our last regular vet visit they told me that it wasn't really a requirement for her to get a rabies she didn't get one. I say that because after about 15 minutes passed, the vet came out to tell me that Hula had bit the vet student. Hula was never mean or would purposely bite anyone, but I know she was freaking out, didn't know who these people were, etc. and that is probably why it happened. I'm also (a little) mad at the vet student because you would think they know these things can happen and would handle the animal in a way to prevent this from happening...either way, I know it's not the student's fault, please don't get me wrong. I'm sad it happened at all...for both of them. 
Always a fan of sleeping under my desk lamp.

Now because that happened, they had to test Hula for rabies and could not release her body to me that day and possibly not at all. After calling Oscar and sending him out in the backyard to dig a hole, this is what they tell me, just making everything more painful.

She was a pretty funny gal...always looking for the "best" places to catch a snooze!

Though I have no idea what the vets name is who helped us, she was very kind and compassionate and I appreciate that. One thing the hospital offers is a paw print made in clay and so I requested one and it is adorable. 
No words.

Before being told about the biting incident, I had made the decision to bring Hula's body home so we could bury her in the backyard. Since they had to do the test, that was no longer an least that day and the vet said possibly never. So I went from taking her home that day and attempting some closure with my family to NEVER??? I was NOT ok with this. 

Always right next to me while I'm working at my desk.
I will miss her company and her sweet purr.
After spending Monday at work in tears (I was a big mess) an awesome co-worker who is very involved in animal rescue told me to call my regular vet so they could call UT and advocate for me in getting Hula back. I cannot express how glad I am that she told me to do this. My vet and her employees worked hard for me all week and on Friday I picked up my sweet baby Hula at 4:30pm, took her home and we buried her. She has a statue of St. Francis at her grave to keep her safe. Ethan and I will also be making a stepping stone mosaic to put there as well. 

2007: The only picture I have of me & Hula together.
She wasn't a fan of being held - a typical cat - everything on her agenda.
Side note: beware, this is my crazy side...but I really wanted to open up the box and bags they had her in to make sure it was her. I don't know why this was bothering me but it really was. I got past the box and the first bag (canvas) but the final bag was plastic and taped quite a bit so there was no knowing what part of her body I would be opening up to and I did not want to see her face/head as that would be VERY different due to the rabies test. In the end, I did NOT open it up and had to set my crazy feelings aside and know it was her. Also, the kind man from the UT hospital said he was the only one handling her and he knew it was her, so I did have that...but apparently I also have severe trust issues. 

March 15, 2004 - March 27, 2016
So loved and so very missed every single day. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Random Thoughts

*I've given up (for now) the dream of working for Disney and here's why: 

(1) I actually received an invite to interview after taking and passing(!!) their on-line personality assessment, but at that point it is required to schedule a face-to-face interview within 3 days. Um...I was just in FL and I don't see making a road trip down there for an interview (for a not-so-great-paying, but maybe very fun job) happening. 

(2) It's also somewhat of a slam to my self-esteem (as if I needed help there) to receive the interview for a job I'm completely overqualified for but yet receive ZERO communication for any of the other "real" jobs I've applied to. #SadButTrue

Image result for running exhausted
*I ran 3.5 miles yesterday after school. I was "excited" about the run BEFOREhand and then terribly disappointed AFTERWARDS. It was my worst run in weeks. Slow. Lethargic. Nothing felt good. Talk about frustrating. Can a running route become "stale"? I've been going to the same place for a few weeks now. Surely, it's not that...though I'm considering going somewhere else next time. Tonight I'm running on the treadmill at the YMCA...hoping that goes better. And then completely enjoying a yoga class afterwards. Yes! Did I mention that my treadmill at home is broken again? #Seriously

*Taking the day off tomorrow and couldn't be more excited. Planning to get a few things done that I haven't had the time for lately. I may also attempt an 8 mile run as part of a virtual race that I signed up for. It's kind of hanging over my head...clearly I was feeling ambitious when I signed up for it. Oops! Mostly though, I'm looking forward to not being at work and having the whole day to myself. 
Image result for fitbit
*I've noticed that I can be leading on my Fitbit friends list all week long and then have a relaxing Sunday....or a Sunday with 8 bazillion other things to do so I don't get in many steps while someone else walks a million miles that day and then "wins" the weekly "challenge"....because of their activity for ONE day. That sure is annoying.