Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Project 365 -- Week 5

Sunday, May 15, 2011 -- Birthday Flowers from my Beau!

Monday, May 16, 2011 -- My New Favorite Seasoning

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 -- Let the Vacation Begin!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 -- Birthday Dinner with Patrick!
Thursday, May 19, 2011 -- Overpacking at its Finest!

Friday, May 20, 2011 -- Finally, a Clean Kitchen!

Saturday, May 21, 2011 -- Kat's Luau Shower

Monday, May 30, 2011

#17 & #24 -- DONE and DONE!!!!!

I am tired, exhausted, jet lagged, and sad for my trip to be over, but I couldn't go to bed tonight without crossing 2 big items off my 101 Things list!  Patrick and I had a wonderful trip and I can't wait to update everyone on all of our adventures.  Be on the lookout for daily posts in the coming days!

Hope everyone had an awesome Memorial Day, and I can't wait to catch up on all of your blogs!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ipod Love

Yes, I realize that it's 2011...not 2001, but I just got my first Ipod!  In fact, a few weeks ago, this was me:
However, thanks to Patrick, I am now the proud owner of an Ipod Shuffle, and I love it!  I have only gone running with it once, but I seriously don't know how I ever exercised without it. 

Now I need your help!  The main reason I wanted an Ipod was for running, and I need more running approriate songs!  What songs are a MUST during your workouts?  Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

#65 -- DONE!!!!!

I'm so excited to get back into my 101 Things!  I can't believe how long it's been!

In October 2005, I made what I consider my first "big girl" purchase...a brand new car!  I loved that car so much, and I still do...but as the years went on, I became well aware of the car payment and what a big pain it was EVERY SINGLE MONTH!  Well, I am happy to say that I made my final car payment this week, and now that car is ALL MINE!!!!!  I surely hope I can drive it for several more years so I can save up some money for other, more fun items! 
Just before dropping it in the mail!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesdays!

What’s up ladies? It’s Wednesday and you know what that means…this week it means a lot more than usual because I am LOVING sooooooo many things this week:

1. I am loving that TODAY is the first day in my 2 week vacation from work! I really enjoy my job…really…I do, but I have been looking forward to this little sabbatical for quite some time and I intend to FULLY enjoy it!

2. I am loving that in exactly 4 days, my beau and I will be heading here:
Cannes, France
And here:
Florence, Italy
And here:
Rome, Italy
And here:
Barcelona, Spain
3. I am loving that this evening I will be enjoying a belated birthday dinner with my beau at Eastland CafĂ©…I’ve never been there, but I’m really excited to try it…and who knows, we may even use the Dairy Queen Birthday coupon I have for dessert. =)

4. I am NOT loving the weather here in Nashville this week (rainy and COLD); however, I am pretty excited that it’s finally supposed to be nice this weekend…just in time for Kathleen and Mickey’s Couples Shower that a few girls and I are throwing this Saturday!

5. I am loving that after a small lull during tax season, I have finally marked another item off my 101 Things list! Stayed tuned later in the week for an update!

What are you loving this week? Head over to Jamie’s blog and tell us all about it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Weekend Update - Birthday Style!

I hope all of you had wonderful weekends! Mine was certainly fun! Friday night was pretty low key and spent running errands and preparing for Saturday’s main event!
On Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early and after receiving my annual “Happy Birthday; your Dad and I love you very much!” phone call from my mama, it was time to put the finishing touches on all my Steeplechase food! At approximately 7:15, Patrick, Alysia, Ed and myself were off to celebrate the running of the horses. I’m pretty sure our group of 35 people were the first people to arrive at Steeplechase because when our bus pulled up, I swear we were the only people in the entire place! After getting all of our gear (i.e. food and alcohol) set up, it was time to get to business and start having some fun! Here are a few pics from early on in the day:
Patrick and I posing for the camera!

Patrick and I posing for the camera!

Alysia and me!

Mary Katherine and I look like we called each other that morning!  We obviously are making polka dots cool!
After making sure we got plenty of pictures before the rain came, it was time to get down to business…yes, that’s right!  At Steeplechase, lots of alcohol is consumed:
Patrick made 120 (yes, I said 120!) Jell-O Shots! 

Not only is that an oversized chair, but it’s also an oversized flask and an oversized bottle of vodka!  You know what they say…go big or go home!

They even got me to take a shot or 2…after all, it WAS my birthday!  =)
All-in-all, it was a very fun day!  The bad weather/rain held out (for the most part) until around 3:00, when it got pretty cold and dreary and we all felt like this:
  Tired, wet, and ready to head home!  =)
That evening, after getting the car unloaded and changing into some warm, comfy clothes, Patrick gave me my birthday gifts (an Ipod Shuffle and some snazzy new sunglasses), and we headed to get Chinese takeout. I’m pretty sure we were both sound asleep on the couch by 9:00! Whew…partying isn’t as easy at 31 as it used to be!

On Sunday, after sleeping in and relaxing most of the day, we headed out to our first kickball game in a few weeks! Fortunately, the other team didn’t show up so we won by forfeit! Unfortunately, we all still headed out to the game and were ready to play! SOOOO, several of us decided to head to an early dinner instead!

It was a very fun weekend, but man was I pooped! The good news is that I only had 2 days of work this week, and now it’s VACATION time for this girl! Hope you all have a fantastic week!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Project 365–Week 4

Sunday, May 8, 2011 -- Happy Mother's Day

Sunday, May 8, 2011 – Happy Mother’s Day!


Monday, May 9, 2011 – Travel Books Arrive!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011 – Shellac Manicure Gone


Wednesday, May 11, 2011 – Finally Finished The Help!


Thursday, May 12, 2011 – Fresh Spring Closet


Friday, May 13, 2011 – All Packed for Steeplechase!


Saturday, May 14, 2011 – Bring on the Rain!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Off to the Races...

The horse races it is!  For anyone who lives around here, you are probably well aware that the 70th Running of the Iroquois Steeplechase will take place tomorrow at Percy Warner Park here in Nashville, TN.  For those who don't live in this area, this event is Nashville's much smaller version of the Kentucky Derby.  The best way I know to describe it is to say that it's an all day tailgate with lots of seersucker and sundresses. 

It's known by many people as Nashville's most fun day of the year.  AND, since tomorrow also happens to be my birthday, I definitely hope to make it a day to remember!  And, don't worry!  I'll be back on Monday with a Steeplechase themed Weekend Update!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with some of my favorite pictures from Steeplechase past:
Steeplechase 2006 -- Less than a month after moving to Nashville!

Steeplechase 2007 -- Definitely my favorite dress of them all!
Steeplechase 2008 -- I am in desperate need of a tan!!!!!  =)
Steeplechase 2010 -- Patrick's FIRST horserace!


I even got to meet Jevon Kearse!

At the end of the day...too much sun and too much fun!
I'm sure this year's Steeplechase will be just as fun as the previous ones!  Keep your fingers crossed that there's no rain!  At least I have my rainboots ready to go!!!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weekend Update!

Only one word describes this weekend -- FAMILY!  Friday night was spent driving to Strawberry Plains (a 3 hour drive from Nashville).  By the time I got through Nashville rush-hour traffic and made it home, there wasn't much time for anything else.

After sleeping in on Saturday morning, my mom and I headed out to do what we do best -- SHOP!  We headed to one of my Knoxville favorites - Sally's Alley.  For those of you who haven't checked this place out, you should definitely head there ASAP!  It's similar to a typical boutique, but without boutique prices!  I was able to rack up on some really good stuff.  Our next stop was the infamous West Town Mall.  Finally, we ended the trip at Old Navy.  After all this shopping and running around, I think I am finally fully stocked on everything I need for the cruise!

Saturday night, I met up with Andi at our favorite cuisine -- Japanese Food!  She and I love it and any time we get together, this is what we always eat!  It was so great being able to catch up with her and chat all evening!  I really wish we had more time to hang out, but I really enjoy the time we do have.

Sunday, was a day full of church and hanging out with the fam!  We ate BBQ for lunch and then laid by the pool to work on our tans!  Finally, it was time to head back to Nashville and get ready for the work week to begin.  It was a great weekend filled with family time, some early birthday celebrations for me, and lots of shopping!  What more can you ask for?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Project 365 -- Week 3

Sunday, May 1, 2011 -- Holly the Honda's New Bling

Monday, May 2, 2011 -- Back on the WW Train

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 -- Day 11 of the Shelac Manicure

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 -- CMM Medal

Thursday, May 5, 2011 -- Spring Cleaning

Friday, May 6, 2011 -- Mother's Day Flowers

Saturday, May 7, 2011 -- Peppermint Relaxing

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Top 15 Reasons I Love My Mom!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!  I hope all of the moms out there have had an excellent day!  I know that I've had a great day spending time with my #1 lady!  In honor of Mother's Day, I thought I'd give you a list of the Top 15 Reasons I Love My Mom:

15.  She gives really good hugs!
14.  She let's me call her approximately 573 times per day and never gets annoyed.
13.  She is an extremely devoted Christian!
12.  She is extremely open-minded.
11.  She makes excellent Chicken 'n Dumplins!
10.  She gives homeless people money.  (I always tell her that this is a terrible idea and kinda unsafe, but secretly, I think it's pretty cool!)
9.  She doesn't drink alcohol.  (Not sure why, but I've always been glad that I don't "party" with my mom.)
8.  She has an excellent fashion sense.
7.  She always has the right thing to say when I have a problem.
6.  She's always on Team Melissa.
5.  She tells me that she's proud of me!
4.  She ends every e-mail with "Love and God Bless."
3.  She cleans my house during tax season.
2.  She makes me go to the doctor when I'm sick!

And, the #1 reason why I love my mom:

1.  She is my BEST FRIEND!!!!!

Happy Mother's Day, Mama! I love you very much!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesdays!

Hello everyone!  I hope you all have had wonderful Wednesdays!  I know that I feel much better knowing that over half the work week is finally over!  This Wednesday, I am loving:

1.  That this weekend is Mother's Day and I get to celebrate with the BEST MOM EVER!  Yes, I know...we all think we have the best mom ever...as we should!  I do have a pretty fabulous mom though, and this weekend, we get to shop together, lay by the pool together, gossip together, and just generally have a fun girly time!  Can't wait!

2.  That Patrick and I have finally finalized all of the details of our trip across the Big Pond!  Our flight is scheduled, our cruise is paid for, and as of today, our hotel is booked and our ride to the ship is finalized!  Now all I need is to pack my bags and head to Europe with my favorite travel partner! 

3.  That I get to have dinner with Andi this weekend!  She and I haven't hung out in forever and this weekend (since our beaus are both out of town) we get to have dinner at our favorite restaurant and hang out, and I can't wait!
4.  This guy:

He was so sweet this weekend during the half marathon.  Not only was he the perfect photographer, but he also made sure everyone stayed organized, and he cheered me on at every stop.  Not to mention, he does a GREAT Hulk Hogan impression!  =)

Head on over to Jamie's blog and tell us what you're loving while there's still time on this lovely Wednesday!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Country Music Half Marathon!

Amazingly enough, I actually got a pretty good night's sleep Friday night, but I woke up bright and early at 4:30 on Saturday morning!  I was soooooooo nervous (like, I couldn't eat that morning for fear of throwing up, nervous)!!!!!  However, before I headed out the door, my sweet mom woke up to take the only pic of the entire day when I looked like I wasn't dying:
Next, I was off to meet my work friends at LP Field (the finish line where all the runners park their cars).  I immediately felt better when I saw them.  I'm not sure why, but there is something to be said for being with people who are in the same boat as you to really calm you down.  After Leslie's husband gave us a ride to the start line, and we walked around for a bit, it was time for the race to begin.  Because the Country Music Marathon is so freakin' big, there is a wave start, and since Leslie, Mark, and Sandy all were in a much lower corral than I was we went our separate ways and I headed to get in line with my fellow runners.  As I got closer and closer to the start line though, a strange thing happened.  My nervousness began to fade and excitement took over.  I began the race at 7:40 am and immediately was feeling really good.  I had to slow myself down during the beginning of the race because I didn't want to tire myself out too early.

Miles 1-3 went really well, despite the fact that there were several hills.  As I finished my first 5K, though, I started filling a twinge of pain in my knee...I told myself that I was just imagining it and that I just needed to keep running. 

As I came up to mile 5, my knee was really hurting, but I knew my family, Patrick and Alysia were waiting up ahead, so I decided that if I could just make it to them, I would be okay.  Also, around mile 5 is when my cell phone decided to die...yes, along with my phone, I also lost my music...so sad, but I just hoped that there was enough stuff going on in the crowd that I wouldn't get too bored.  As I came around the curve, I saw my cheering section waving and cheering for me!  It was amazing!  I didn't stay at that stop for very long, but I was there long enough to pass off my cell phone and to get a few hugs from my Mama and my Beau:

My mom is always there to give a big hug!
 Sidenote:  Having my family and friends there to cheer me on a few miles in was the most wonderful thing ever!  I really was beginning to have a hard time, but as soon as I saw them, I got a renewed sense of energy.  I immediately felt better.  I saw my family again at mile 8 and I still felt great (except for that pesky knee problem).  Also, during the 30 minutes since I had seen them last, Alysia had been working hard creating playlist of music on her Ipod.  I was so freakin' excited that I was going to have some help to get me through the final 5 miles.
Alysia had my armband ready and everything!

Still smiling even after 8 miles!
I had decided a few days before the race that if my knee started hurting badly that I was going to walk miles 8-10.  I thought that if I could take a break in the middle that I would be able to finish strong.  Looking back on it, this is the one thing I regret of the day.  I did walk miles 8-10 and I thought that it would be easy to start running again when the time came.  However, it proved to be very difficult.  In fact, the last 3 miles of the half marathon were extremely difficult for me.  Not only did my knee hurt with every step, but I was REALLY tired.  I couldn't believe that I had felt so good at Mile 8 and then felt SO BAD at mile 11.  However, I still managed to finish the race in 3:00:58.  It wasn't the best time in the world and there were certainly THOUSANDS of people who finished ahead of me, but I am very proud of my accomplishment and am very excited that I beat the time from my last half marathon by over 15 minutes! 
Me, very tired and in a lot of pain, after finishing the race!

At the finish line I had MANY supporters:
Mark, Leslie, and Sandy (my work buddies) and Ainsley and Libby (Sandy's adorable kids)

Alysia and Patrick

Mama and Daddy
Thank you sooooooo much to all of you for coming out and supporting me and for giving me encouragement throughout this entire experience.  I appreciate all of you more than you will ever know!

When asked if I would run another half marathon, my answer is definitely "yes." I will absolutely do another one, and would love to improve my time by another 15 minutes the next time! =)