What I got around to–and didn’t–in 2012

A few days ago, I was (finally) cleaning off the top of my dresser and came across my list of things I wanted to accomplish this year. Turns out, 2012 turned into the year in which I got some shit done.

The list was a list of intentions (formerly known as resolutions) for the new year. It contained some heavy hitters:

  • Read 35 books
  • Propose my dissertation
  • Run (read: finish) the analyses for my dissertation
  • Find and start my internship
  • Run a half marathon
  • Run a full marathon
  • Do a triathlon
  • Maybe lose those last 20 pounds finally?
  • Be mindful and intentional of how I spend money
  • Be mindful and intentional of what/how much I eat
  • Pray/meditate 3-4 times per week
  • Keep a daily gratitude journal
  • Add a couple more misfit toys to this island on which I live
  • Be more intentional about staying connected to people
  • Accept my body for what it is
  • Finish books I’ve started

Well.

Some of that got taken care of early in the year. I’d read 35 books by the summer, so I bumped the goal up a few more times since. Turns out, I finished 55 books this year…and I’ll tell you what I loved (and didn’t) next time. I’ll also maybe probably not tell you what’s still on the list that may not ever get fully read. Not only did I propose and finish the analyses for my dissertation, but I defended that bitch on 12/12/12. And there are no words to describe the feeling of having that thing done. Meanwhile, I’m mid-way through my internship and loving it more than I thought possible. I’m thankful for where and with whom I work–and that I get to do nothing but enjoy it from now until May.

I knocked out that half marathon in January and was well on my way to taking out a full before I got injured. I didn’t do enough to take care of my body as much as I was pounding it into the ground logging miles. So I made the decision to make the March marathon another half. Given that it was in hilly Atlanta on a hot March morning, I was glad I’d made that decision. The triathlon still hasn’t happened, though the desire is ever present. Regardless, I am pleased to report that I finished six races this year. As for those 20 pounds, they’re still here. But I have a plan for those little bastards. And I still haven’t accepted my body for what it is–well…not fully. But probably more so than I ever have.

The mindfulness of money and food will probably always be a work in progress. I think I was more mindful of both at different points during the year. For sure, those will be things on the list for 2013. I have incorporated new ways of spending (read: I give more to other people/organizations/needs than spend it on me) and eating (read: NEW RECIPES) (THAT MY PEOPLE LOVE). So there’s that.

I really wanted to work to stay and be more connected to people–and to open our home more to people than I had previously. I was able to start some of that…and will continue to do so next year.

And then there was the spiritual stuff. I did well with praying/meditating and keeping a gratitude journal…for about four months. I think the lack of structure (compared to what it had been) during the summer was part of the problem. So I’ll recycle those two for next year as well.

I haven’t quite set my intentions for this year. I know there’s a half marathon on the books for March. I need to finish my edits to my dissertation for the grad school…and then my internship so I will be officially done in May. I would like need to get a big girl job with a for real paycheck. And all the other stuff from above that I didn’t quite accomplish this year. But hey, it’s a work in progress. And really, I did get some shit done this year.

I am thankful for all that 2012 has been and look forward to the new year with anticipation of what it will be. Happy New Year to you and yours.

Pregnancy and Vegetarianism

So….guess who’s pregnant???

Not me.

My seester in love!!! I’m gonna be an aunt again.

We’re still a few weeks out from being able to determine the gender of Dillweed–yes, that is what we are all calling Baby Dos.

Also, you’d be amazed to learn what you can find on the interwebs these days. Everything from a honey badger and python in a death match to a onesie that SAYS Dillweed.

See:

I know some of you were pulling for a little Whitehouse to show up some time in the upcoming year. At this point, the only thing I’m gestating is a dissertation.However, I was starting to LOOK like I was pregnant. Apparently, I wasn’t getting enough protein in my body and so I was hungry all. the. time. And ate. all. the. time. So I’m back on the meat wagon….mostly because it takes too much extra time to think about and plan for plant based protein to make sure I get what I need not because I really wanted to eat meat again… (Helloooooo, steak.)Ironically enough, I’m still hungry. Because I’m eating less (even when you eat healthy stuff, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing) and my body is still adjusting. But it seems to be handling meat just fine. Most of the time.

So there you have it.

Dillweed’s ETA is April 9, 2012 (Seester is hatching a bunny).

I’m gestating a dissertation…and eating less…and running more…and getting ready for a 10-miler in VA Beach on my birthday.

Restricted Ranges Aren’t Always Life-giving

In my frustration over a near 10 lb. weight gain this summer (I see your surprised faces and I agree), I scheduled an appointment with someone who is a nutritionist…of sorts. She’s not a R.D., but has various health certifications and is all about all natural stuff…which is usually right up my alley.There were some cool things to come out of that meeting, but I haven’t felt good about it much since. I wasn’t ready (for lots of reasons) to go whole hog on her recommendations, so I made some decisions for myself that I thought I could live with for a little while. It involved eliminating dairy, gluten and eggs for a few weeks and adding some supplements to my stack of morning pills. I can do it, but it’s more complicated by my vegetarian status.

And then frustration set in.

I haven’t seen/felt much of a difference. Al joined me in the elimination diet, which made meal planning even more complex. Try eating out some time when you can’t have meat, dairy, eggs or bread…and everyone eating with you being happy with the options on the menu. I just wanted to say “F*** this. F**** all this.”

I did, in fact. Eleventy seven times.

And then I started to reconsider my diet even further. Because what was supposed to bring relief and be kinda life-giving was having the opposite effect.

I started reconsidering meat. Because I’m not getting enough nutrients…and am probably missing out on a bunch of protein since I’m also not really consuming dairy.

And I miss steak.

I took some other words of wisdom into consideration and looked for another opinion from a nutritionist (R.D. this time) who might be a better fit. Appointment made.

I also started thinking about how much happier I am when I listen to what my body says it wants and not focus on the numbers. And, to be clear, my body does not want sweet, tasty goodness on a regular basis. It wants fruit and vegetables, cheese and yogurt, beans and nuts and lean protein…and…somewhere in the back of the buffet in my head…steak.

To think about that range of tasty yummy goodness makes me sigh with content. To think about what I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks…you remember those merfolk that were turned into some type of sea plant by Ursula in The Little Mermaid? Yeaaaaaaah. That. That’s what I feel like.

So here’s to a healthy, widely varying diet that gives life.

Sugar Coma

I had a surprise gift in the form of a cupcake at work today. It was my first taste of the Hubba Chubba Crack Cocaine Banana Bread Cupcake with banana buttercream icing drizzled with chocolate ganache and a banana chip on top for good measure. It came from Gigi’s in Raleigh…and of course we all sampled one another’s tasty treats in the office. I got a bite of red velvet (HELLO) and coconut cream wedding cake.

That banana buttercream icing was the best part of my afternoon. The heavy feeling in my stomach since then…not so much. I realized today that I can’t eat like that any. more. Like really REALLY can’t eat like that. And in some ways I’m happy with that…it just means I have to have a friend or two join me for the next cupcake.

Any takers?

The District

We took a little family vacation to DC this summer—mainly because Al and I think it’s a cool town and because Ryan loves history and he’s kinda interested in government. Dad came with the three of us as we did a quick trip through the District.

Monday we hit up the Newseum, which people highly recommended. I thought it was pretty cool at first glance, but I NEVER thought I’d get sucked in as much or as long as I did. A few of the temporary exhibits included the Berlin Wall (and they had a few slabs on display in addition to news coverage), photos of famous athletes, and an FBI exhibit (which made me feel better about not getting a tour there). The FBI exhibit included various forms of news media and artifacts from the Unibomber, Waco, Oklahoma City, and the DC Sniper. I rounded the corner at the sniper exhibit where they had a mock-up of the trunk of the car (used for the trial) and it. was. chilling. There was also a display of Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, and it was like walking through a gallery of recent history. And I was amazed at how much I recognized.

The Newseum also has a 9/11 exhibit that is pretty impressive with floor to ceiling displays of the headlines on 9/12—from around the world. There were other artifacts about that fateful day—and I had to wonder if people around me thought something was really wrong with the fact that here I was standing in the exhibit explaining what happened to my almost 16-year old son.

We really got sucked in to one exhibit which is basically newspapers and other news artifacts over time…and I usually think about how much occurred in history WELL before my time (seriously, I should have come of age in the 1940s or 1960s). But as I pulled drawer after drawer of significant headlines from 1979 to the present, I really HAVE been around for a lot of history.

We finally listened to our stomachs and got lunch in their food court (tasty, by the way). And then we headed over to the Spy Museum. I was hoping for a stop at the National Archives, but time didn’t permit…

And I have to say. I really like the Spy Museum. It starts out kinda cheesy, but it really is a cool place. And I highly recommend it.

Tuesday was the Holocaust Museum—something I’ve wanted to do since it opened my junior year in high school. And it didn’t disappoint. Going through the boxcar and coming out to see the suitcases on the ground next to it was the most haunting part to me.

And all along, one of us is taking the time to explain all of this to Ryan—who’d never learned about any of it. Which is surprising considering how much Ukraine took it in the neck from the Nazis. He was most captivated by the mock-up of the gas chamber and crematorium—and that was the part that stood out the most to him there. I am pleased to report that I wasn’t completely drained at the end like I thought I would be, either. It probably helped that I was hungry and Maslow kicked in…

And so we finally headed out for lunch at the Museum of the American Indian (part of the Smithsonian) at 4:00. We had plans for the Monuments by Moonlight tour that evening as well—and I HIGHLY recommend that one. Al and I did it several years ago and it was worth the repeat.

We walked over to Union Station from the Museum of the American Indian—by way of the Capital—which is always impressive to me. Even if what they say about laws and sausages is true.

The Moonlight tour takes you all over the District—the part of the DC that is the Mall and monuments. The driver tells you lots of fun facts while taking you around and there are several stops of about 30 minutes each. We went to the FDR Memorial—which is A. MAZING. and one of my personal favorites. We stopped at Lincoln/Vietnam/Korean War Memorials—and Ryan loved Lincoln. It was also cool to locate a name on the Wall with my Dad, who is a Vietnam vet. And give thanks that his name isn’t carved in stone. And the last stop was Iwo Jima after a quick drive by Arlington. Finally, it was back to Union Station and a late dinner at Capitol City Brewery.

Wednesday was the Museum of American History (hellooo Ruby Slippers, Kermit the Frog and a GEORGEOUS group of Stradivarii instruments, and military history display) and the Air and Space Museum. Both were crawling with people and I wasn’t particularly interested in Air and Space…but I knew the boys were, so I went along with it.

After a late night fire alarm pull at the hotel, we finally got back to some much needed sleep and headed home on Thursday.

It was super fun, but I needed a vacation to recover from my vacation!

ALSO. If you’re in DC and need dessert, check out Red Velvet Cupcakery on 7th and Kramerbooks and Afterwords in Dupont Circle. Someone outside Miami actually knows how to make a key lime pie.

I’m molting

Either that, or I’m sprouting chicken wings. Because I’m eating. that. much. freakin’. meat.

Also, I’m growing bunny ears. Because I’m eating that much salad.

Actually, it’s not that terrible. I mean…I’m still not as fond of meat as my carnivorous better half…but I feel better at this point than I did about a week ago when I didn’t think I could put another piece of meat or salad in my mouth.

The good news is that I can already see some pay-off. And the tape measure confirms it.

Meathead

Week one is done.

Following the food plan for P90X really isn’t as bad as others I’ve done…though it’s tough to consume that much protein. However, we made a fantastic discovery in the neighborhood this week…and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I’d like to give a shout out to the Meat House over on Kildaire. It’s a.maz.ing. If you like meat. And even if you don’t. Friday night, we had asparagus from there that game marinated…so it went on the grill next to the fresh mahi from Capital Seafood Market. Today, we went back and got MONSTER kebobs (already marinated) for tomorrow night’s dinner…and more asparagus…and a loaf of bread that came over from Stick Boy Bread Co. in Fuquay.  If you’ve never had their stuff, you are missing…well…manna straight from heaven. But beware…you won’t be a stick boy–or girl–for long once you start.

Truth be told, though…I’m kinda tired of eating. But I do like my breakfast smoothie.

Also, I didn’t do official measuring, but there’s a good 1-1.5 inches gone…and that’s just around the middle.