There aren't any hills in Charleston ...

... only bridges. Seriously, Charleston is flat as a pancake. I miss the rolling hills of the Piedmont of NC and the beautiful Blue Ridge in the high country, but I also LOVE the beach. And running on the flat terrain is an added bonus. But, 2 weekends ago on a whim I ran a 5k with a friend when I went back to Charlotte. (Sidenote: Charlotte is NOT hilly compared to places where many of you live, but it is also NOT flat by any means--especially not compared to Charleston!). After the LungStrong 5k (finishing time: 33:44), I realized I need a few hills to run on.

So, last night my husband and I set off to the Ravenel Bridge that connects Mt. Pleasant to downtown. Over and back is close to 5 miles, and the slope is 4.1% most of the way (but gets up to 5.6% for part of the trek!). Lesson learned ... bridges are TOUGH! I ran the 10K bridgerun last year, but hadn't at all prepared for it and we were so far back in the crowd that by the time we even made it to the base of the bridge we had to walk. There was no way to get through all the walkers. Needless to say, we did make it up and back down alive. But after making it to the bottom of the first side and coming back up, it was hard! I did end up walking a lot of the second part up, but am ok with my first try out. We finished the 4.9 miles in exactly 1 hour. A really slow pace overall, but not too bad for walking so much.

And finally, check out this great giveaway (here) from Mel over at Tall Mom on the Run. Giveaway ends November 1st .. hurry to enter!


Carbon footprint, really?!

I have found one family-friendly, reality TV show that my husband actually enjoys watching with me ... 18 kids and counting, The Duggar Family. Seriously, this family just makes me laugh they're so cute! I know everyone has their own opinions about the way they choose to live their life--and I believe everyone's entitled to those opinions--but in my opinion they do an awesome job of raising those kids (at least the parts we see from the outside looking in).

Last night they had a special episode where viewers emailed or went on camera to ask questions, and different members of the family took turns answering. One lady (in a rather condescending tone, in my opinion) on camera asked how the family feels about how large their carbon footprint must be, considering how huge the family is.

Now, let me preface what I'm about to say by making sure y'all know that I do my part on a daily basis to save this great green Earth we live on. I am the light-nazi in our home, following my husband around flipping lights off that aren't need. I fully support car-pooling and walking, when feasible. Most of the time we fill up reusable water bottles and coffee mugs, rather than buying paper or plastic to throw away. We bought our own recycle bins and take them to the local drop off because our apartments don't recycle. And (I'm not kidding here), before Jett and I were married we actually had a fight about him using too many paper towels.

All that to let you know that my first thought when this lady asked her question was "what the hell is a carbon footprint"? Then I thought, oh wait, I do know what a carbon footprint is. Then, I realized this lady must have never seen the show, or just doesn't like children (and probably doesn't believe in marriage either). This family carpools everywhere, chops their own (dead) trees for firewood, built their own house with hot-water used to heat the floors, hands everything down to the younger family members, and does the majority of their shopping at thrift stores. I'd guess their carbon footprint is a lot more impressive than many of ours.

And on a completely more random note, do you ever notice how many cars on the road have been in wrecks? Seriously, probably ever 5th car or so I pass on the road or see at a light has a dent in the side, a bumper hanging off, or a busted light. That's a lot of car accidents!


October 25, 2008

One year ago I married my best friend. Jett and I met briefly our senior year of college when he came into town for the weekend, lost contact, then spoke every 6 months or so until the summer of 2007. We started dating sometime around the fall of 2007 and Jett asked me to marry him on March 22, 2008--just a short 6 months later. Surprised doesn't even come close to describing how I felt when he proposed! (We hadn't really talked about marriage yet.) But, I happily said yes and we jumped into planning our dream wedding, getting married just 7 months later.

(Shortly after we got engaged--we were at Panama City Beach, FL)

Our wedding day was perfect. We were married at The Tahoma Retreat in Norwood, NC. Lake Tillery was the gorgeous backdrop to our vows, and although it was cloudy and misty all morning, the clouds cleared right before the ceremony for a beautiful fall day. We danced our first dance to True Companion by Marc Cohn and our last dance to All I Wanna Do by Sugarland. Our day was absolutely great and I can't believe it's already been a year!

Check out a few of our pro pics from Kate Ashbrook here. We LOVED Kate! She did a fabulous job and is just overall a great person.

After our wedding, we spent the night at the Westin Hotel in downtown Charlotte before flying to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for a week for our honeymoon.

(Here we are at dinner at our resort)

(Watching the sunrise in Mexico)

(A little bored and impromptu photo session while waiting on a taxi)

(Back in North Carolina!)

We've had a busy year ... it's flown by, but looking back it seems like last year was both just yesterday and years ago. In the year since we've been married, Jett's moved to Charleston and started a new job, I've quit my job, I've finished 3 1/2 semesters of grad school, and we've moved again. We've also seen many friends get married and others have children, we've made great new friends in our new city and lost touch with some old ones, and we've celebrated many "firsts" both with one another and our families.

Today, we spent the day just enjoying time with one another. On the morning of our wedding day, Jett had a special gift delivered to me. It was a box that he stained and labeled with our wedding date that was filled with paper, envelopes, a pen, and a letter from him. The purpose of this box is for us to fill with letters and cards that we give to one another every year, and then each year on our anniversary we will sit down to read through them. Can you imagine how special this will be in 50 years? Today we sat down to re-read through our past year and remember some special details from our wedding day.

We also cut the top layer of our wedding cake (which was actually pretty good) and has a toast of the champagne from the bottle saved from last year.

Rosemary and Duncan were a little jealous ... don't worry, we shared a bite of cake!

We also exchanged anniversary gifts and had dinner at Miyabi's in Charleston ... yum!

A year of marriage has shown me how blessed Jett and I are to share this love. It has been one of the most love-filled and rewarding years of my life. It has also been one of the most challenging. Anyone who ever tells you that newlywed life is filled with goggly eyes and long walks on the beach is either lying or the least selfish person God ever created. I am neither a liar or all that selfless, so I'm here to tell you that while we definitely had our walks on the beach over the past year, we have also had our fair share of arguments, tears, hurt feelings, angry words, and just plain ole fights. But, we also came into this with realistic expectations--knowing that we are both hot-headed and sensitive. Learning to live together was hard--it still is some days. But it's also a lot of fun and I wouldn't have it any other way (okay, maybe I'd trade in our crazy downstairs neighbor if I could). In just a year I know that we are slower to anger, quicker to forgiveness, and more considerate of one another's feelings. At the end of the day this marriage is always worth it, and I know that it always will be. I thank God every day for this blessing that is my life!

May I always be able to look back at October 25, 2008 and remember what it felt like to marry my best friend--my true companion.


Long Overdue

Although I haven't been blogging, I promise you I have been running and riding my bike. I admit, it hasn't happened all 7 days of the week like I originally intended, but it is happening. Sorry for the bare minimum of posts, but it's been an intense past couple of weeks with school work, travel, catch-up clinical hours, etc. I promise, I will be back!

For tonight, I'll leave you with this picture . . .

This was from a spur-of-the-moment 5K (LungStrong) I ran with my friend Veronica in Charlotte last weekend. She was running the 15k, and when we decided to travel into town last minute I signed up for the 5k portion to run with a lot slower than her. Man, it sure was way colder in Charlotte than Charleston!

Check back on Sunday for a special one-year-wedding-anniversary post ... can't believe Jett & I have almost been married for a whole year!


Confessions of a Sofa-holic

It's been one of those weeks ... or week and a half. Or really, it's just one of those semesters. I am currently getting my master's in nursing, which will give me my nurse practitioner degree in pediatrics. I plan to be finished in May. But, between nursing school and grad school, I took 2 years off. I worked full time and loved not having to come home to work. When I moved to Charleston, SC, from NC I worked for about 6 months while going to grad school full time. After Jett and I got married, I quit my job to focus on school ... which up until this semester was going great. But, since August I just can't seem to get it together. This semester is kicking my butt. I feel like I only have enough time to get bits and pieces of everything done. It was hard to get back into a "school mindset" after being out for a while, but I thought I had it figured out after 3 semesters. These past few weeks, though, I've really been doubting myself.

So ... as you might have guessed, I also have had a hard time adding in a good fitness routine. And blogging routine, it seems. But I'm back! Last week was a bust, for pretty much everything except for school. After my last post, I've only done my "activity" 2 days ... last weekend. But, I was able to run another full 3.1 miles, which felt great! I need to get back on track, with a lot of things in life. I'm a work in progress, so I'm okay with occasionally slipping up. I will get there, I know I will.

In other news, these past few weekends have been just as busy as the weekdays. Last weekend, Jett and I were able to spend some great time together just hanging out, rather than worrying about jobs, or stressing over school, or planning how we're going to juggle our schedules. On Friday, I packed a picnic and we took the dogs to Folly Beach and had dinner and just enjoyed our time. This is our view for dinner.

Saturday, we finally made it to the Charleston Farmer's Market, which I've been wanting to do since I moved here. And Sunday, we went back downtown to check out the Charleston Green Fair.

With all of the craziness around here lately, it's been hard to just be with each other. It was great to have some work-free, worry-free time together.

This past weekend, Jett's college roommates and their wives came into town for the App State v. Citadel game. Jett graduated from Appalachian State, but we haven't been able to make it up to any home games last season or this season so far. So, when we found out they were playing the Citadel in Charleston, Jett made plans for the game. It's always great to see friends from home, and the game was a nail-biter!

The boys at the tailgate
After the win! (It was SO hot Saturday)

Jett & Me at dinner Saturday night

We have a busy October, with lots of travel back to Charlotte for various reasons and our anniversary! I LOVE this month, and love that it is finally feeling a little fall-like this morning (although I think it's supposed to be back up in the mid-80s tomorrow). I'm excited to for all of the fun this month, and for trying to get my time-management back on track. Stay tuned!