Category Archives: Uncategorized

Running Shorts Sunday!

So, Matt and I will be running the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in Savannah at the beginning of November.  We are two weeks into our training (two ugly weeks), and I have a dilemma.  A clothing dilemma.  See, I’ve only run in pants or capris.  If I wear shorts, the inseam of the shorts creeps up, and I get what I lovingly to refer to as “chub rub”.  It’s chafing of my inner thighs.  I’d like to blame my slender hips for this phenomenon.  The thighs just have no where to go.  My running friends that I asked for advice apparently discussed my issue on Friday night and back up my slender hip claim.

Anyway, now that we’re in Tennessee which is so humid and feels like the face of the sun at the moment, I thought that I might try shorts to keep cooler.  So I went out on a $17 limb and bought a pair of running shorts.



I maybe should have tried them on in the store, but I had to get to class.  They have a 2 1/2” inseam and felt like they had a lower waist than I am used to.  Not going to lie, I like to pull my pants up like Urkel.

So I took these babies on a test run this afternoon, and NO GO!  I only did 3 miles, before I had to cry uncle from the chub rub.  Granted I didn’t use any body glide, which might have helped, but I’m not sure.  One of my friends has recommended to me some $50 lululemon shorts.  I’m not sure if I should take the plunge, although if I buy another pair of shorts that don’t work, I might as well have spent the $50.


Does anybody else have issues with chafing?  Any suggestions for clothing?  Should I just get laser fat removal from my inner thighs?  Either that or birth a child in order to widen my hips?  Thoughts?

The Return of My Brother

I forgot to mention that my brother has returned home from Afghanistan!  He arrived in New Hampshire at 4:30am on Thursday, September 9, and met my mom at 29 Palms USMC Base in California around 4:00pm (Pacific) that afternoon.  We are so proud of him and so relieved to have him home.  This was his second deployment, and as much more difficult on his psyche from what I have learned.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers over the past seven months.  And thank you to all of our service men and women and the families supporting them.

September is here!

September is one of my favorite months.  It is beginning to be crisp and fall like, but still usually sunny.  Football is starting today.  Plus, sapphires are September’s birthstone, and we all know about my love of sapphires!

Sorry for the lack of posting as of late.  Last week was crazy.  I worked 60 hours in a week, then Matt went out of town and left me alone with the dog for the weekend.  And she had decided to start peeing in the house for no actual reason.  ARGH!  So I was getting up at 6am for a 3.5 mile walk, and a second one in the evening.  By the end of the weekend, after walking 14+ miles in two days, my legs were a bit sore!

Anyway, back to regular posting perhaps?  No promises!

Another reason I wasn’t posting is that I had no healthy living things or wedding items to discuss, since I haven’t been living very healthfully (and wedding is rather dormant).  Now I am trying to set myself back on the right track.  Here are some goals for September:

  1. If you buy healthy food and keep it in the house, you are more likely to eat it!
  2. “Soda free September” I like the alliteration.  Going to give soda up, for no reason other than I know that it’s not good for you, even diet.
  3. Go to the gym 2X per week minimum
  4. Send out Save-The-Dates

All very accomplishable goals.  As I said, September marks the beginning of fall, which is usually a very busy time for me.  This is mostly due to my obsession enjoyment of college football, which pretty much takes away a day of the weekend.  Combine that with going to the Cape, Minnesota, and Purdue and friends coming to visit and fall is jam packed!

ARGH, just realized that my camera cord is at work.  I swear I brought it home!

So I’ll entertain you with a picture showing that even our dog is ready for football:

She’s not a very good wide receiver, but I think she’d make a great defensive tackle!

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Everybody remember this viral website from back in the day?  I can remember looking at it in Jen’s apartment while doing like our materials homework sophomore year of college.

Anyway, this has been a main staple in our house for the past two months.  Basically, we’re lazy and don’t want to make food.  So we have this multiple times per week.

My PB&J is made with smooth peanut butter and grape jelly on whole wheat.  For some reason, strawberry just doesn’t belong on a PB&J.  I enjoy strawberry on toast or in my oatmeal, though.  Mmmm strawberry jam or preserves will suffice.

What’s on your PB&J?

I really need to get back to making food.  This is too convenient!

How was your weekend? Let’s back up to Saturday morning.  April woke up about 6:15, and I decided to be nice and let Matt sleep.  So we did a nice slow walk/jog for 3.5 miles.  All I could think about was returning to my bed.  Upon returning home at 8am, I crawled back in bed until 1:30pm!  HOLY COW! I know we didn’t go to sleep until after midnight, but still!

What’s the latest that you’ve ever slept?

After putzing around, we made our way to a new dog walking path at Fresh Pond.  It’s a 2.25 mile loop around a big pond in Cambridge.  I tried to take a picture of the view across the pond, but the camera would only focus on the fence.

Those two tall buildings in the background are the Prudential Building and the John Hancock Tower.

Action shot of April and Matt:

She loved how many dogs we saw on the path.  And they were all so friendly.

The path also took us by the Cambridge Water Works, which I thought was a cool building.

After our walk, Matt and I head out to dinner and some shopping at Michael’s.  I don’t think boys understand the awesomeness of craft stores.

Why were we at Michael’s?  Getting some wedding centerpiece mock-up stuff.  I went out to my mom’s Sunday afternoon to work on the centerpieces for my grandmother’s birthday party and for our wedding.  Stay tuned for the progress we’ve made.  I’ll post it tomorrow (AKA later today).

Hope you all had a great weekend!

A Dancer's Body Image

In honor of the Operation Beautiful Book Release, I’ve decided to talk about body issues that I have had over the last 28 years.

For those of you who don’t know, I have danced since I was five years old.  I love dance, the feeling of being on stage, the fun of dressing in outrageous costumes.  It’s an amazing high.  But with dance, comes an incredible focus on your body and how it looks, moves, and bends.  I was constantly surrounded by girls who weighed 30 pounds less than I did.  When puberty hit, so did the chest.  And boobs are not something that are common in the dance world.  I swear this is why I’m still convinced that I have a huge chest today.

I remember trying to lose weight in ninth grade.  Of course it never worked.  I had horrible eating habits.  I didn’t eat breakfast.  For lunch every day I had a bottle of cran-grape and a super bagel.  I would eat junk in the hour I was home between school and dance class.  Sometimes I made chocolate chip cookies, just to eat the dough.  Or I would binge on candy that I found in the house.  Dinner might be grabbing some fast food between classes.  Now I don’t want to speak poorly of my parents upbringing.   I did have wholesome meals several nights per week as we sat around the dinner table, but left to my devices, it was not good!

My mom recognized these bad habits, but was afraid to say anything and cause an eating disorder (which are so prevalent in the dance community).  I knew several girls growing up who had issues with these eating disorders.  I guess my eating during high school wasn’t exactly ordered.

Luckily, over the years, I’ve slowly learned what healthy eating is truly about and how it works FOR ME.  And while I still don’t have a “dancer’s body” per se, I have gained so much from dance.  Physically, I have amazingly muscular legs.  I also have a great sense of balance (which helps when trying to ski).  Personality wise, I don’t usually have stage fright.  I’m very outgoing, and am not so afraid to talk in front of people.  Dancing has given me a great hobby and talent, that I can take with me wherever I go.  I still try to dance at least once per week.  When I get together with my friends from high school, we always end up doing some dance (wedding give a great stage for that).  If you or your child dance, please try to see the good things and help them sort through the bad.  It’s all worth it in the end.   I wouldn’t trade my calves for anything! :)

Happy Fourth of July

Okay, busy weekend of nothing in Tennessee.  And no pictures to show for it!

Friday:  flew to Knoxville after spending 3 hours in Dulles.  We walked around Terminals A/B and named all of the state and attempted to name the country flags.  It’s a great way to (A) get in steps (B) educate yourself and (C) pass the time!

Saturday:  brunch at IHOP, visiting Matt’s granddad, then family BBQ at the house.

Sunday: church, lunch at Outback, saw the A-Team (pretty great, by the way), hung out with Matt’s best man, cookout/game party with church people where I re-learned Rook (for the third time) and taught them Euchre, hurried to fireworks, then hung out a bit more.

Monday: not much but playing with pictures and flying back to Boston.

One of the big projects of the weekend was to gather pictures of Matt for a wedding project.  I haven’t actually seen many pictures of Matt as a little boy.  A little background:  Matt has a twin sister, Diana, and they were born 2 months early.  He weighed 3.5 lbs when he was born and lost almost a pound in the hospital.  He stayed in there for 88 days (because he kept forgetting to breathe).  But he survived!  For those of you who are anxious about premmies, Matt’s a great success case.  Anyway, because of that, there aren’t many pictures (at least happy ones) as a newborn.  But I did find some great ones of him ages 1-6.  He was so freaking cute!  Here’s one of my favorites:

Aww!  I hope our babies have that cute little dimple!

I hope you all enjoyed your Fourth of July!

AccesSport America!

Thanks for all of your help with the dress choices!  I’m surprised that many people (my mom included) liked the blue one with the bow.  It was also interesting that the pink color didn’t work.  Usually that’s my go to color.   I’ve ordered the bow dress in a larger size and have them on the lookout for the other blue dress in a larger size (since it’s sold out).  We have another month (actually like 4 weeks) until the pictures, so you’ll see what I choose then!

Busy day today at work.  Luckily (despite the absolute gorgeous weather), our volleyball game was canceled.  So I came home at 5:30 and went on a great 3.5 mile walk/run with Matt and April.  Then we cleaned up the apartment and did laundry, because WE’RE GOING TO TENNESSEE TOMORROW!  I haven’t seen Matt’s family since Christmas, so I’m psyched.  Our wonderful friend Kristina will be dog-sitting at our house all weekend, so April will not be lonely.

That’s my big day.  Yawn, I know.  So I have a favor to ask ya!  I know that I really shouldn’t keep hounding y’all for money, but this one’s for my friend, Mell.  If I help her raise $5 from my blog, then it’s worth it, right?

All About AccesSport

AccesSportAmerica, a national, non-profit founded in 1995, inspires higher function and fitness for children and adults of all disabilities through high-challenge sports.

In support of this mission, AccesSportAmerica:

  • Engages over 1,500 athletes through High-Challenge Sports programs – adaptive windsurfing, Hawaiian outrigger canoeing, kayaking, rowing, cycling, soccer, tennis, climbing and Function+Fitness programs – personal training and conditioning with sports – in partnership with our Program and Funding Partners.
  • Builds skills and commitment through Sports Camps - intensive, overnight, one week training program in targeted locations nationwide.
  • Provides $250,000 in a free, year round program – City Street – for underserved, economically challenged urban youth in partnership with the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, Camp Harbor View and Boys and Girls Clubs.
  • Offers high-challenge sports program for Veterans.
  • Accommodates all disabilities; creates/develops nationally recognized Adaptive Equipment, the first to adapt for windsurfing.
  • Collaborates with professional experts to document physical, educational and social changes and to promote health, educational and recreational benefits.
  • Depends on the generosity and support of individuals, corporations and foundations to raise $850,000 annually as well as significant gifts in-kind.

My Company’s Team

Mell and other coworkers will be representing our company in the Access Sport America Mayors Cup Regatta on July 18th on the Charles River in a Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe.

As I said, they are doing this to support AccesSport America which provides people with disabilities the tools and training to pursue high-challenge sports (see above for more info).  Hilary (Mell’s sister who suffers from cerebral palsey) will be the representative from AccesSport paddling with the team, she has been involved with AccesSport as a participant for about 3 years. 

In order to have this day of fun, revelry, and potential soaking in The Charles they need to raise a total of $5,000.  Our company is donating the first $500 so we need your help to pull in the rest.  If you can contribute, please go to this link and make a donation in any denomination you wish.  (Choose Mary-Ellen H. as your paddler)

Here’s the team from last year:

AccesSport America sounds like group right up my alley!  We’re going to go down there and support the team on July (bringing April of course!)

Speaking of April, here’s a cute picture of her from yesterday (Matt got tired of taking pictures of me in dresses)

Thanks for your time!

You're Invited

I know that our wedding isn’t for another, oh, almost 11 months, but I bought some invitation supplies today!  Why?  Well Cards and Pockets (which is apparently located about 30 minutes south of me in Easton, MA) was having a 60% off sidewalk sale!  For those who might not be familiar, pocket fold invitations are all the rage right now, and yes I’m actually following a trend.  I think they’re so interesting and functional! Here’s the sample that they gave us that had information on them:

(By the way, when I told Matt about pocketfolds he called them “Trapper Keepers” and asked if we would use velcro on them . . . oh boys!)

What did we get?  Here’s the main haul:

175 sparkling sapphire Pocketfolds (normally $1.38 each, on sale for $0.20 each)

A bunch of fuschia, rose, and sparkling sapphire (all metallic AKA SPARKLY!) card stock

Glue dots

and a sample packet (to play with colors!)

Total: $80.91!!  (at least a $275 value)

I am not sure what we’re going to do for printing.  We can go to a stationer and have them design and print.  Or we could design them ourselves and have them printed.  I don’t think that I want to print them myself.  Then it’s time for FUN WITH CARDSTOCK as we assemble them.

Regarding the design, I’m not sure how I want them to look.  Probably more simple than anything, with some flourish on the invite or maybe the paper like below:

We shall see.  But yay!  Some wedding crafty stuff in my house!

By the way, the sample invite came with a coupon code for Cards and Pockets.

This coupon code is good for 10% off anything purchased online July 3-4.  Use the coupon code:  sidewalk10

Walk a mile (or 5) in my shoes!

As I said, we’re doing a competition at work called “Shape Up the Nation”.  For the next 12 weeks, I’ll be wearing a pedometer (provided I don’t misplace it all weekend again), and counting my steps.  For those who haven’t heard, it’s generally suggested that a person should aim for 10,000 steps per day.  However from, here’s a breakdown of different grades of steps:

1) Under 5000 steps/day may be used as a “sedentary lifestyle index”
2) 5,000-7,499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered “low active.”
3) 7,500-9,999 likely includes some exercise or walking (and/or a job that requires more walking) and might be considered “somewhat active.”
4) 10,000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as “active”.
5) Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as “highly active”.

A Harvard study determined that as few as 6,000 steps per day is associated with a lower death rate.  What does this mean to you?  You are encouraged to determine your baseline (how much you walk during a normal day), and increase it by at least 10%!!  In a normal day I walk about 5-6,000 steps.  I have to consciously make an effort to add steps to get up to that 10,000.  Of course, as I’ve said, on days that we walk April for 45+ minutes, I can get up to over 15,000 steps.

How do you add steps?

  • Take the stairs as often as possible
  • Park several blocks from your destination or park at the rear of the parking lot
  • Get off the bus/subway a stop early and walk the rest of the way
  • Get off the elevator below your destination and walk a couple of flights of stairs
  • Park at the opposite end of the mall from where you need to shop
  • Walk to do shopping or other errands
  • Consider adding a walking routine to your daily routine, either at lunch time or after dinner (this could probably help digestion, too!)

How many steps do you do?  What are ways you get up and move more?

And on that note, I totally have to plug my cousin, Laura.  She works for WLFI in Lafayette, Indiana and got to interview Drew Brees today!  My face is green with envy!  I don’t think I would have been able to talk if I had met him!


And finally, gratuitous picture of our silly puppy sitting Indian style:

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father’s Day!!  Of course my dad is in Cincinnati (and I totally forgot to get him a card), but here’s a few pics of him!

That was August 1984 when I was the flower girl in my Aunt Janean’s wedding.

And the most recent picture with my dad:

I hope you can figure out which one he is!  (Hint:  He’s not Matt or my little brother, Tom)

Anyway, my dad is a big dork and here’s some reasons to love him:

  • Every time when he picked us up from school he would ask “What’s your homework status?”  He would always quiz me on my spelling.  Having a physics teacher for a dad helped out when I didn’t understand impulse/momentum and how the direction of current impacted the sign of electrical components in circuits.  Not going to lie, I love physics and totally aced it thanks to my dad.
  • He made sure that ALL of us know how to keep score in baseball (with the little diamonds and all)
  • Speaking of baseball, he coached my softball team, Tom’s baseball team, and now Robbie’s baseball team (or else is an umpire).
  • He’s one of those obnoxious men that decides he needs to lose a few pounds, runs 2-3 miles per day and is skinny by the next time you see him.
  • He tells really bad jokes, over and over again.  Such as he loves to refer to me as his favorite daughter (I’m his only daughter).

Happy Father’s Day!


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