Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Welcome to the Former Jungle

I am back home from Mexico, no future trips. Well, at least none that I know of yet. And I am so glad to be home. Three days after we closed on the house, I left for Mexico again. Jim worked on the yard while I was gone and it doesn't even look the same. Everytime I thought of the yard, I would literally sing 'Welcome to the Jungle' to myself. Just way too many overgrown flowers, plants, and trees. He's used the weed whipper and chainsaw, cut down a lot, and limbed some trees so that we have a much better view of the water from the house. The house is L-shaped and from the front room, there is a covered porch. When we bought the house, you could not see the water from the porch, now you can see the water from the front room! We still have more to go though, there's a large trellis still to remove and we will be digging up all the perennials this fall and next spring to keep them from coming back. We do have a good start for firewood for some future bonfires though!

Here are some of the before and in progress photos (not after yet, we still have a lot of work to go!):

View of the back of the house.

Same view. We plan to add a walkway with a porch under the bay window.

View of the backyard and lake.

View after some trees were cut down and the bigger trees had the lower limbs cut.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New Homeowners

After almost eight years together, Jim and I bought our first house! We are really excited about it and are really looking forward to this being our forever home. There is quite a bit of work that needs to be done, including a couple key items before we move in.

After the closing yesterday, we picked up Jim's sons, picked up some pizza and then ate dinner at our new house. The boys had been outside but had not seen in the house until yesterday. I was worried they wouldn't like it because it's an older home and does need some TLC, but they both loved it. They each have their bedrooms picked out, too. Even though it will be quite a bit of work, we are looking forward to our new home!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Putting An Offer In On A House

As I'm typing this, I still can't believe that we're going ahead with it. Jim and I routinely look at houses for sale in the area to see what's out there and to get an idea of what price we can put ours up for when we do decide to sell. We live on a canal now, but would love to live on the river or the lake. We've done so many updates to our house in the past couple years, mainly in hopes of selling it quickly when we do decide to sell. Our plan has been we'll keep saving money and stay where we are until we find a home on the river or lake that we plan to stay in for many, many years. We can always find really nice houses that are just way out of our price range, but recently we came across one that was just the size we were looking for with a large yard on the lake. However, the price reflects that it needs a lot of work. I have no doubt that in a couple years it will be our dream house but it's just getting to that point. It will be a lot of work, but I am really excited if we get the opportunity!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Work Travel

So, next week, traveling for work starts back up again. Unfortunately, it will be for most of the summer and longer durations since I am traveling to Mexico. I was traveling much of last summer too, so I'm not really looking forward to missing out on a lot of this summer as well. One of the best parts of where Jim and I live is the warm weather. We spend many weekends out on our boat and enjoy sitting out on our dock during the evenings. I won't be partaking in that as much as I would like.  :(  The other is running outside. I spend most of the colder months running inside on the dreadmill and really enjoy my outdoor runs when it's warm. Unfortunately, because I'm traveling to Mexico and restrictions my work has while traveling there, I will be running in the hotel gym instead. To keep myself motivated for running, I have found a new running program. I have yet to break the 30-minute mark in my 5k races (well, one I did, but according to my GPS watch, it was not a full 5k). And since I've been running longer distances, I've noticed my speed has suffered. So, I found a program specifically for running a sub-30 minute 5k. I'll work on this through the summer and try it out at a 5k late this summer or early fall.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cancer Prevention Study-3

I have enrolled in the American Cancer Society's research program and am really hopeful that this research will be able to make a difference in gaining knowledge about cancer and future prevention of it. As many people have, I have lost both family and friends to this terrible disease. My employer, General Motors, is participating and is giving employees the chance to schedule the initial appointment at our office. More information on the study and to enroll can be found at Cancer Prevention Study-3.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Jim and I are back from our Florida vacation and had a great time!

We spent a week on Knight's Key (near Marathon) and then the last couple nights of our vacation in Key West. While on Knight's Key, we stayed in a condo right by where my husband's boss and his wife stay in their motorhome for the winter.We didn't have too much planned but luckily had great weather. Jim went fishing two of the days and I spent those days reading by the pool. Our condo was within walking distance of the Seven Mile Bridge, so I also went running and walking on Old Seven Mile Bridge. I managed to drag Jim along to the Turtle Hospital, where they rescue sea turtles. The rest of our stay was pretty much spent relaxing and spending time with friends. On the last day in Marathon, I had signed up for my first 10k at Sombrero Beach. Luckily, it was towards the end of our vacation. It took me several days to get used to running outside in warm weather after being on the treadmill all winter long. Even the day of the race, I was pretty winded and had to walk some towards the end.  :(   But, I did finish in under 73 minutes and I'm real proud of it.

After the race, we headed on down to Key West and stayed at the Crowne Plaza on Duval Street. Luckily with hotel points, because I don't think I would ever spend that much on what might have been the smallest hotel room I have ever stayed in! Don't get me wrong, the hotel was really nice and the location perfect, but it was quite small! We had a great time, did some sightseeing (dragged Jim to the Hemingway House), and like the rest of our vacation, ate entirely too much! Key West was a little too touristy for us, I'm glad we went though, but we definitely plan to go back to Marathon again.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ready For My 10k!

I was so pleased with myself this past Saturday, I ran 6.2 miles! Last week, I mailed my entry form in for the 10k in Florida. Since I know I will be acclimating myself to getting back outside off the treadmill and to the warmer weather, I really wanted to get a run in going the full 10k distance before we left. As I'm going these longer distances, I'm realizing a lot of this doubt is in my head. It has also become very apparent it is time for me to get a new pair of running shoes. I don't really like the idea of getting a new pair so close before this race, but my shoes are really bothering my feet. I found a new pair yesterday, so I'm really hoping they work out! Four more days until we leave, I'm so looking forward to our trip!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Running Injury

Endurance-wise, I've been feeling great on my longer runs, and really trying to add distance. This past weekend, I made it to 5.5 miles. Unfortunately, my body is not taking to this too well. I've been incorporating weight training in during the week. A week and a half ago, I hurt my hip lifting weights, and apparently haven't been resting it enough. After each of my runs, my hip is really aggravated, especially the day or two following. The hard part with the resting is that actually running on it doesn't hurt, it's afterwards that I notice it. After this past Saturday's run, I was in quite a bit of pain Sunday morning. This did not bode well for my first 10k I'm hoping to run in a couple weeks. I would really like to get in a couple 6-mile runs in before the race. After researching on the internet, I believe it is my iliotibial band that I hurt (tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the lower knee). I found some stretches and tried them. Whether it was the stretching or not, I noticed it was feeling much better later in the day. I'll be taking three days off and I hope it's enough, I'll be ready to get a run in come this Wednesday!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

4 More Weeks To Add A Mile

While we're on vacation in Florida, I found a race at a nearby beach. They have both a 5k and a 10k and while my goal is to run a 10k this year, I wasn't sure I would be ready to time for this one. Last month, after I returned home from my business trip, I started working on adding distance. Two weeks ago, I ran 4 miles and last week, I wanted to add a little bit more to this. I wasn't feeling too bad during this run, so I decided to just keep going and made it 5 miles. I was really happy about this. So, yesterday, I added another 0.2 miles. Only 1 more mile to add before the 10k next month in Florida!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Staying in Key West For Free :)

I've decided I should probably stop about complaining about my work travel as much. Since I get all the benefits of airlines and hotel rewards points while traveling for work, I have accumulated quite a few. Jim and I are going to the Florida Keys next month for vacation. We will be visiting Jim's boss; they have a motorhome and stay in Marathon Key several months each winter. We will be staying at a condo right near them for a week. But, we extended our trip some by staying four extra nights in Key West using my hotel points. I knew the hotel prices in Key West were outrageous, and I'm glad the hotel chains have fixed points for reward nights no matter what the actual base price of the room is.We just booked over $1300 for our hotel stay and I was able to cover it all with my points. We're really looking forward to this vacation!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Meal Planning

In 2010, I tried meal planning and it seemed to work out great. On Sundays, I would plan meals for the week and go grocery shopping. I'd run it by Jim, so he knew which night(s) he was cooking and I could plan the nights I worked out where he was cooking or we were having left-overs. And it usually prevented stops at the grocery store on the way home from work to buy something for dinner that night. Well, now that I'm back home from traveling for work and the craziness of the holidays is over, I finally started back up my meal planning. Although, I was surprised when I opened up my online meal planner that it had not been updated in almost a year. :/  I guess that's what happens when you're traveling so much for work, I am so glad to be home and back into a normal routine though.