Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bachelorette Weekend in Vermont

When I left my apartment last weekend, I had quite a few different occasions to pack my bags for.  The first was the week in New Hampshire with my family, and then was immediately followed by a weekend in Vermont to celebrate the upcoming wedding of one of my friends-who-is-like-family, E!

When E asked me to first be a bridesmaid, I was totally honored and blessed to be a part of not only her special day at the wedding, but all of the fun that goes on leading up to the wedding.  And what made it even more special for me was that the rest of the bridal party was made up of her two sisters and the other 3 girls who are like soul mates to me -- KO, Meaggie, and Teenie.  We divided up the pre-wedding duties, with the sisters throwing the shower and our group putting on the bachelorette party.

On Friday morning I did a 3-mile run at Waukewan, packed up my things, and then drove to Vermont where I was the first to arrive at the home that we had rented off of AirBnB.  After having such a positive experience with AirBnB for the home I rented while in Paris, I had encouraged us to use the service again and it was just as wonderful!  We had a beautiful secluded home to ourselves with an incredible view, amenities, and it just felt like a wonderful getaway retreat.  The woman who lives here year round is so lucky!!

Shortly after I arrived, some of the other girls started to arrive.  There were a few different carloads including the rest of my planning crew, E's sisters, and six of her college friends who had all flown in from different parts of the country to celebrate with us!

We had a great Friday evening just laying low, enjoying the beautiful evening, and utilizing the grill.

Oh, and course, some silliness was included too. 

I started Saturday morning early, along with a few other girls, to get a run in.  I had 7 miles scheduled on my training plan so I did 3.5 miles out and back from the house we rented.  We were staying atop a hill and it was a nice run out as it was mostly rolling downhill but made for a tough run back up fighting the incline.  Luckily, KO joined me for the 7 miles and although the talk was less frequent on the way back up, it made the time go by quickly.  AND, we made a few animal friends along the route.  It was such a pretty run through Vermont!

The rest of the day/evening included exploring some of the Vermont wineries and breweries, doing some more grilling, a few musical performances, lots of silliness, a number of drinks, candy, cake, and lots of hugs and love between the group.

I had met many of E's college friends over the years, one of whom, I actually had the opportunity to get to know really well after her, E, and I spent a summer living in New York City together while we all had different college internships.  That summer E's job actually had her working really long hours so I spent more time with her college friend than I did with her!  It was great to see her again, get to know the other girls better, E's sisters who I have known since I was tiny but haven't spent much time with as adults, and always, any time I spent with my best friends is a wonderful time.

It was an incredibly loving, fun, and special weekend that I will forever cherish.  I haven't been to a ton of bachelorette parties... in fact, I think this was just my second, with the first being my sister's five years ago.  However, it made me feel like "this is why you have a bachelorette party."  We were able to celebrate Erin's last month of "singledom" but also all are so very excited for her and her fiance to start their lives together.  They are perfect together and make each other so happy.  It's been an incredible experience to watch their relationship grow over the years and as I mentioned, I am so honored and excited to be a part of the wedding and to have them in my life.  I loved planning all of the details of the weekend and trying to make it special for my friend.  I loved doing it with my fellow bridesmaids and best friends, and sharing all of the memories with E's college friends (who I can say I would all call friends as well!) and sisters.  In fact, one of E's college friends lives in Atlanta and a few others have lived there in the past so I am very excited to have even more connections to the city that will be my new home!

As July comes to a close, the countdown is on to E's wedding in August 23rd (the day before my birthday!) and I cannot wait to spend more time with these ladies and with E's fiance, whom I adore.

I drove 4.5 hours in the car today with KO bringing her to NYC and starting the next leg of this multi-purposed trip I have been on.  I'm sweaty away in KO's brother's apartment in Brooklyn as I write now and am about to head to bed to get some much needed sleep before the week picks up!  Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Waukewan 2014 - Living Lake Life

Hey everyone! So this week I have been with my family at Lake Waukewan in Meredith, NH.  It's our annual "third week in July" summer vacation that we've been doing my entire life and my siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents all look forward to it throughout the whole year!  And in fact, when my mom and aunts and uncles were kids, they used to come on vacation here in the summers too.  It's been my family's spot for more than 50 years!

It's always a great time, and this year has been no different.  It's been especially nice since I have been able to stay here in New Hampshire for the full week this year (well, leaving a day early) whereas usually I am here for a weekend and a few days.

While on vacation I've been maintaining my running schedule with 10 miles on Sunday, 3 on Monday, and 5 on Wednesday so far.  I've also gotten in a couple kayak rides and lots of playing around at the beach and swimming and splashing.  However, my eating has really been atrocious.  The meals that we have while we're in New Hampshire are so different from what I normally have and the food that we just have laying around I can't seem to stay away from.  There's tons of candy and sweets always, Cape Cod potato chips, Cheese Doodles, big bulky rolls and salami, huge plates of pasta, lots of beer and wine, peanut butter and fluff, donuts, Oreos, cake, ice cream, and just so. much. fun.

However, trying to take deep breaths and enjoy the time with my family.  I wanted to share some photos and the latest in the Waukewan family music videos!  Every year we make a family music video, so enjoy!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Catching Up - My week in Albany and 5K PR!

Hey everyone!  Hope you all are doing well, and I apologize it's been a while since I have checked in last, it's been a busy week!

After the Boilermaker last Sunday, my week was pretty packed with social activities in the evenings and runs in the mornings.  I had a creaky 3 miles on Monday following the Boilermaker (my knees and legs hurt a lot!), then a humid 5 miles on Wednesday, and a run on Friday where I finally felt back to normal.

In the evenings I had a lot of fun as I started the week with my first ever jewelry party, then had a celebration "We have new jobs and are moving to cool cities!" dinner with a friend who will also be heading south in August, went out to a baseball game with some of my favorites, and had dinner and drinks out with two other friends on Friday evening.  All in all, it was a fun, but busy week.  I'm trying to take advantage of every moment I have in Albany and with my wonderful friends there over the next few months because it's starting to hit home how fleeting that time is.

In addition to being fun and busy and include beer and friends, it was also a great week as I was able to stay on track with my Weight Watchers points, manage my food and exercise, and finish the week feeling really good about how I did and how I felt.  For the first time I was starting to notice that the past few weeks of eating healthy had been paying off.

I started the weekend feeling really confident and Saturday morning kept that high going because I ran the Saratoga Silks and Satins 5K on Saturday morning and actually had a personal record for my fastest 3.1 mile time!!!!  I finished the race at 25:10 -- which is a 22 second PR from my 5K last August that I did in 25:32.  I was really proud and happy for how I did.  The race was a last minute sign up and I was really happy that I did it!

I liked the course, but the race itself wasn't my favorite as I didn't think it was super well organized.  Nobody knew where the start line was and the mile markers were way off along the course.  However, I had been in the mood to run a 5K and my time for local races is running low so this was a great one to do!

The busy-ness of the week continued on Saturday as I went right from the race to Jess's Blueberry Brunch where I picked a bushel (almost) of blueberries and got to spend some time with friends before heading up to New Hampshire for the start to a week of vacation with my family!

Lake Waukewan family vacation is really something that deserves its own post so I will work on that next.  I'm still there and blogging from the Lodge (where my family stays) while a vicious game of "Loaded Questions" goes on around me so I'll go back to family time and return to check in soon.

In terms of how things are going -- well it's been a blast but I've also pretty much gone off the deep end in terms of eating healthy.  I am pretty unhappy with my inability to stay in control but am at least keeping up my activity level with a 10-mile run on Sunday, 3-miles on Monday, and two kayak trips and lots of swimming today!

I'm so happy to be on vacation and spend time with my family and take a break from work.  Plus, we finished the annual family music video and I think it might be one of the best ever!  Cannot wait to share it with you!!  Have a great week.