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The one where I get new shoes…

This morning, hubby and I walked the Memorial Causeway to Clearwater Beach. It is always a treat when hubby joins me for a walk. We went around 7, before it got to be about 500 degrees outside. It was a beautiful morning. The view over the bridge and causeway are always amazing to me and reminds me how lucky we are to live here.

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After our walk (5.33 miles!) and a quick stop at Starbucks, we headed home and got ready to head back out again. During our walk, we had talked about how I need to start looking at new running shoes soon. Hubby asked if I had any in mind and I told him no, that I wanted to go somewhere and have gait analysis done so I know I am buying the right shoes. With another half-marathon coming up, as well as a 10K and 5K, I wanted a nice pair of shoes to get me through. We decided to head over the Fit2Run at International Plaza. (Thank you Beth for giving me a heads up on who to talk to!)

When we got there, I was helped right away by Gary and a few questions later to see where I’m at with my running, I stepped on a nifty machine, sans shoes, that determined how the weight is distributed when I stand. I never knew this, but I have high arches. The most weight is on my heels and the balls of my feet, more so on my left foot. He then measured my feet for correct show size and looked at the shoes I wore in, which are the Saucony’s I bought in March.

A few minutes later, I was in a pair of Asics and hopping on the treadmill so Gary could video tape my awesome running skills. I ran for about 30 seconds and then we watched it in slow motion. He said that I am a “neutral runner” as my ankles don’t roll out or in on impact. He also that the shoes I am wearing now are not the right ones for that (and they are also more of a track shoe, not made for long distance). Neither were the pair of Brooks Adrenaline I had before, which I wore for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon (oops). Both had support on the inside of my feet, which I don’t need, and that was causing my shoes to wear more on the outside. It was so exciting to learn all this.

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072112 gait analysis 1    072112 gait analysis 2

Based on this information, Gary brought out two more pares of shoes – Saucony and Brooks. After trying all of them on, it was no surprise that I liked the Brooks the best. There is nothing like putting on a pair of shoes that fit just right. I originally tried on the blue pair, but when I learned that had pink ones, well I had to get the pink ones. Aren’t they fabulous? I can’t wait to break them in tomorrow morning!

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Thank you, Gary, for all your help and teaching me things I did not know. It was very informative and helpful!

We checked out the rest of the store and I also got a cool water bottle with a pocket for my cell phone. Again, lots of color options and I picked the pink. Do you see a pattern here?

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I also decided to sign up for the Club Fit2Run membership. For $30 a year, you get a discount on everything in the store and a 30-day wear test guarantee on all running footwear. Sadly, it does not guarantee I’ll look this good while running… Darn!

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I also picked up two books I’ve had my eye on at Barnes & Noble. You know, because I don’t think about running enough, I have to read about it too. I am just determined to be a runner. I want to be a runner. I am a runner.

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Hubby really spoiled me today, but he says I’m worth it. He knows how much I enjoy running and wants me to have the best chance at it. Thank you, honey, for a fabulous day and for showering me with new goodies. I love you oodles!

Happy 4th of July!!

Okay, so I’m a day late, but the night ran late with our 4th of July fun… It was really nice having a day off in the middle of the week. It messed with my brain though, and I kept thinking it was the weekend. Anyone else have that problem?

Hubby and I decided to go over to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa and throw away a little of our money for a few hours. We invited my mom along for the fun. It was a fun couple of hours. Good news is, we came home with money, only leaving about $20 there. I’m so glad my honey has will power there and doesn’t keep feeding the machines. Yay honey!

After the casino, we headed home for a few hours and then went out to dinner. We originally wanted to go to The Ozona Pig, since after all it was the 4th and my dad was on our minds and we were celebrating him as well as Independence Day. Unfortunately, they were closed for the holiday, so we went to Sonny’s BBQ instead. Still a great dinner… My SIL Jenna and my niece Autumn met my mom, hubby and I up there. It was a very nice dinner. It’s a shame my brother Nick was working in Miami and he didn’t get to join us.

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After some silliness in the parking lot with hubby and Autumn, hubby went home so Blue and Ozzie wouldn’t be home alone freaking out from the fireworks. They do not like loud noises. How sweet is hubby to stay home with them?

My mom, Jenna, Autumn, and I went up to Crystal Beach for sunset and fireworks. Autumn melts my heart when she refers to it as Pop Pop’s Beach. She knows that was my dad’s favorite place to watch the sunset and talks about him while we are there.

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Autumn had so much fun playing in the sand, walking in the water (which was out REALLY far!) and then doing sparklers and watching fireworks. They didn’t have an actual fireworks show, but many people brought there own. It was a lot of fun and there were so many people there. My dad would have loved seeing everyone enjoy themselves.

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And we actually got lucky and any rain in the area passed through before sunset. This was our 19th sunset we’ve seen at Crystal Beach since my dad’s crossing and not one single one has been rained out. I know my dad has something to do with that.

Here are some more of my favorite pictures from yesterday. As usual, I can’t get enough of my adorable niece Autumn and can never have too many photos!

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What did you do to celebrate the 4th of July?

I’d also like to wish my Nick and Jenna a very Happy Anniversary! Today is their 9th anniversary! Love you guys!

Happy 40th Birthday Honey!

Today, hubby turned 40. I am no longer alone in the land of 40 and I’m very happy about that.

As is typical for us, we went to Kobe’s Japanese Steakhouse for dinner. It’s a favorite of ours for our birthdays and anniversary. It’s a fun time and the food is always good.

I thought for sure we were going to get rained on as we drove to the restaurant. The sky looked very ominous.

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I made sure to take a picture of us in the car AND when we got there. I’m pretty sure I drive hubby a little insane with all my picture taking, but he expects it at this point.

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I enjoyed a nice glass of white zinfandel to start with. Hubby had chicken and shrimp, and I had filet mignon and shrimp. And we always get double yummy yummy sauce. It was delicious and of course there was too much so we came home with a to-go box.

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It was a great evening out. Happy Birthday Honey!! I love you so much! 🙂

Birthday and Father’s Day fun!

Yesterday morning, I gave hubby a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (his fave!) and Father’s Day cards from Blue and Ozzie. When I saw these cards, I knew I had to get them. They were PERFECT. Who says father’s of furbabies can’t be honored on Father’s Day?

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blue card 1      blue card 2

ozzie card 1      ozzie card 2

Then, hubby and I went for a walk at the park with Blue and Ozzie. We love talking the boys to the park. They are so happy and so excited when we go! I couldn’t resist getting a picture of the boys with hubby. He loves his boys!

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In my BIG, crazy family, there is something to celebrate just about every month. A tradition was started years ago, as the family grew, that we would get together and celebrate birthday’s, holidays, anniversaries, etc… It works out that almost once a month we get together, sometimes having a dinner for multiple reasons. My hubby’s birthday is on June 22, so every year, we all get together on Father’s Day AND celebrate hubby’s birthday.

Hubby decided he wanted to go to Hooter’s for his birthday. No one in this family ever complains about going to Hooter’s. All jokes aside, we are a Hooters-loving family. Smile

It was really a nice afternoon, with the usual, family craziness. There are a lot of us and we are loud. It always requires planning to eat out. I went to Hooters an hour early just to make sure we could get a table for 18. 18!!!

As always, there was a lot of talking and laughing. I really treasure our family time. The kiddos are adorable and there is silliness and laughter. Pair that with yummy bad-for-you-food and beer, and it’s a GREAT afternoon.

As always, I took way too many photos and Instagram’d the heck out of them. It’s hard to get photos of everyone and everything, but this is a great representation of the fun we had yesterday to celebrate my hubby’s (40th!!) birthday and Father’s Day.

me and my honey 061712           autumn monster

uncle mike autumn 1         silly autumn

autumn and daddy        autumn and cooper

cutie cooper        cutie cole

cooper and grandmommy         uncle toe and autumn

cooper and cheryl        cooper and uncle nick

uncle mike and cooper         joey jenni

me and jenna        chocolate and beer

Sunday in the kitchen {and a doozy of a headache}

This holiday weekend has not been what I had in mind when I looked forward to it all week. Thursday night, I had a sinus headache that thankfully went away on it’s own in a matter of hours. Friday evening, I was hit with another and it was a doozy, right above my right eye. I was in bed by 8pm just so I could be in a dark room with no noise. Saturday morning it was a little better but still there. After I helped hubby’s mom for a bit in the morning and came back home, it hit me again – this time on the left side. I’ve had a lot of headaches in my life and I can honestly say that the one I had yesterday was high on the list of worst headaches I’ve ever had. I could not get comfortable, I alternated between an ice pack on my head and a hot wash cloth. This headache was on the left side and it was throbbing. I actually threw up and that always makes me cry, and then I stood in the shower for 20 minutes with the hottest water possible running over my head. It helped a little but when I got out, I crawled right back in bed. I skipped dinner but was thankful when hubby finally came home from work and insisted I drink an ice cold frappuccino in hopes of the caffeine helping, along with maybe some brain freeze.

I haven’t been able to take any medication since Monday when I went to the eye doctor for the hemorrhage in my right eye. And while I know my body enough to know when a headache is sinus, stress, or whatever, I actually think I had a migraine yesterday. One side of my nose kept opening up which led me to believe it was still sinus-related, but the throbbing and my desire to be in a dark cool room makes me think it was a migraine also.

Today has been better, but I’ve still spent much of it doing nothing and napping. Still unable to take anything until all the blood clears from my eye, I have to rely on taking it easy. It’s not fun but I do NOT want to have another headache like I did yesterday. It. Was. Awful.

So, here is where I’ve spent much of my weekend. Thank goodness we have a super-comfy bed.

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Despite my headache, I did manage to make brownies and cook dinner today. It wasn’t anything new or terribly exciting, but it was nice to cook dinner for hubby. I think he thinks I’m silly when I take pictures of food all the time, but I just love to take pictures of the food I make.

I made hubby a steak (no picture of that!) and a side of shrimp cooked in Carolina BBQ sauce. If you’ve never done this, it’s super easy, and he loves it.

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I also had half a loaf of crispy sourdough bread from Publix leftover from Friday, so I sliced it up and toasted it with butter and garlic. Always a yummy addition to any meal.

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I made myself my super-easy rice, beef, and diced tomato dish. It sounded good and there are leftovers to have for lunch tomorrow!

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And because I was feeling down in the dumps when I went to the store this morning, I decided to make brownies. If a girl can’t enjoy a glass of wine or an ice cold beer, then chocolate is the next best thing. They came out sooooo good!

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I was very glad to have hubby home with me today. He was working yesterday and I know he couldn’t be home with me. Blue and Ozzie, being the super smart Aussies they are, knew that I did not feel good yesterday and they were super snuggly. Whether I was laying on the couch or in our room, they were right there with me. Today, hubby has been good company, letting me sleep and relax. He also says my eye looks much better, which makes me happy. I am so ready to be over this.

I hope you are all enjoying the holiday weekend!

Sunday in the kitchen and a blogger meet-up!

I hope you all have had a wonderful Sunday. I had a fantastic day. I had Starbucks this morning and got my grocery shopping done early. I did laundry and some much needed cleaning. Sad, but yes this makes for a wonderful day. It means I can start the week organized!

The highlight of my day (other than hubby coming home from his paintball weekend today) was a meet-up we had in St. Petersburg for the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers. I was lucky to join this group on Facebook a few months ago after following several local bloggers. They had a meet-up last month, but I was unable to attend. I had this day marked on the calendar, excited to meet a great group of women who I read about and interact with on Facebook and Twitter. We met at The Hooker Tea Co. in downtown St. Petersburg. Like anything new with me, I was nervous going into it, but quickly became comfortable with them. We talked about our blogs, eating out, reading, and more. It really was a great time. I had a yummy iced tea and enjoyed the surroundings. The staff was great and even took pictures of us (with several of our cameras!). I look forward to next month’s meet-up and continuing to get to know these great women.

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After our meet-up, I headed home to make dinner for my honey. He was gone all weekend playing paintball and I was excited to make his favorite meal – steak and shrimp. Normally I would make myself a piece of fish when he has steak and shrimp, but I decided to have the same. Well, almost. I make his shrimp in Carolina BBQ sauce – he loves it. I wanted something a little different, though. So I sautéed shrimp and fresh tomatoes in olive oil, minced garlic, and basil and served it on toasted French bread from Publix (darn you Publix for smelling like fresh bread when I walked in there this morning!). This is the first time I’ve made this bruschetta-type dish and I would most certainly have it again. The flavors were amazing and it was very filling. I couldn’t even finish my steak, thank goodness hubby was home and finished it for me. I also had a nice glass of Pink Moscato. It was soooo good.

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It really was a great Sunday. It’s a shame that tomorrow is Monday and that will ruin everything. So, I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Sunday!

 

 

Happiness Is…

I am not happy that I’ve missed the last 2 days of blogging, but we had a bit of craziness. So, time to move on and start with today. Being Saturday, I’d like to do a Happiness Is post. 🙂

 

Happiness Is…

 

  • Starting the weekend with a 3 mile walk with hubby at the park after work on Friday. We ignored the clouds and threat of rain and went anyway. No rain and a nice breeze made for a very nice walk.

 

  • Meeting a fabulous friend for a 4 mile walk this morning on beautiful Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa. We hadn’t seen each other for almost 2 months so it was great to catch up AND be active at the same time. A trip to Starbucks topped it off.

 

  • Knowing that my snuggle boy Blue is getting the care he needs at the vet. I hate that he has to stay there, the house is WAY to quiet without him, and I miss him but I know he is exactly where he needs to be for now.

 

  • Having time today to upload pictures to finish my dad’s scrapbook that I started for him years ago. I will work on the book tomorrow and while I will not be happy about finishing it and bringing it to a close, it will make me happy to know that SO much love and emotion went into it. Since starting it, it’s been a very special book to make.

 

  • Having so many ideas for my blog and knowing it’s all mine to do what I want with. 🙂

 

  • Knowing that this week I’ve walked 11 miles. This is FANTASTIC given the last few weeks I’ve had.

 

What are you happy about today? Happy Saturday!

What a great night!

Last night we saw Daughtry in concert. No news to anyone who knows me or follows me on Facebook, Twitter, or here on my blog. It’s all I’ve been talking about. I promise this will be my last post about it… For now, anyway.

The concert was at my favorite venue in the Tampa Bay area, Ruth Eckerd Hall. It’s close to home, there’s not a bad seat in the house, and the sound is amazing. It’s a smaller venue, which I like, so it feels more personal.

After getting buying the tickets for my 40th birthday, my wonderful hubby surprised me with the news of  meet & greet passes just the day before the concert. It was something he had been working on for a few weeks and I, of course, had no idea. These are the types of things he does. If he knows I want or like something, he gets to work on it. He loves me. 🙂

The first part of the meet and greet was to listen to 3 songs during sound check. There were probably 40-50 people there for the meet and greet. We all got to go into the auditorium, down to the very front. I was so excited to be so close! We got to take pictures and enjoy the 3 songs. Here are a few pics I took and already had fun editing.

 

 

Afterwards, we went back out and waited for the band. Everyone got to meet the band and have a professional photo taken. I was so excited to see that it was uploaded and available just before the concert started!! I added a few touches to it and here it is!

 

 

The concert itself was AMAZING. This was our 4th time to see them in concert and they never disappoint. Driving home, hubby and I discussed where I ranked this concert out of the 4 we’ve seen. It only took a second to answer. My all time fave was the second time we saw them in Tampa, when they opened for on Bon Jovi. Needless to say I was in heaven that night. My second fave would have been tonight. My third fave was at the summer concert series at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. And last would be at Universal Studios in Orlando.

Here are some pics from during the concert!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great night, one I won’t soon forget. Thank you honey for making it a great night!!

 

 

Happiness Is…

I haven’t done a Happiness Is… post in quite sometime. After reading one yesterday, I thought today would be a good day to do it!

 

Today, Happiness Is…

  • Today is finally THE day for the Mutt Strut and even more exciting is that it’s at the park across the street from our house. It is put on by the Humane Society of Pinellas where we adopted our sweet Ozzie boy from and they always do a great job. The last few years it has been at Honeymoon Island State Park which was always nice, but I love that we can walk to it today AND not pay for parking. It’s sure be a super fun family day!

 

  • On Monday, one of my fabulous aunts from California is flying in to be here while my mom has surgery and to stay with her. We can’t wait to see her and are so thankful that she is able to come out. I know that if my other aunts could come along, they would too. They will all be here in spirit.

 

  • Having the whole weekend ahead of me. I have been so busy lately, I don’t know which way is up. There are so many things I want to do, along with the things I need to do. Regardless of what I accomplish, I hope that there is a nap and reading time in there somewhere tomorrow. I love a nice Sunday nap.

 

  • Having a hubby who gets up early on Saturday morning and goes to get me a yummy soy latte from Starbucks. And he brings it back OCD-compliant as I like to have it.

 

  • The smell of orange blossoms. I can smell them in our backyard, thanks to our neighbor, and at the park.

 

  • Having 2 crazy, sweet, adorable dogs. They are a handful and they do drive me crazy at times, but I love them. They are my babies.

 

 

What makes you happy?