Monday, February 28, 2011

give & give often. you CAN make a difference.

long story short: the world is unfair. diseases affect too many. cancer sucks. a whole lot of negative things happen in this country, and many people i know and care about are affected by some of these things.

although im just one person, im trying to make a difference. part of my new years resolution was completing 50 in 2011 , one of which is donating to a charity every month. every little bit can make a difference.

in lieu of favors at our wedding we made donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, two charities which have affected my husband and i personally in the lives of our family. as many of you know, tyler's brother has CF. to learn more about CF, click here. in 2003 tyler donated his right lower lobe of his lung to his brother, and that lung is still working hard for aaron every day. tyler actually had more complications during surgery when his heart stopped for almost 4 minutes. aaron has since had another transplant of his left lung and may or may not be in need of another transplant in the future, something we are hoping to avoid with numerous medications and other treatments helping to keep the current lungs working for him.

in 2007 my step father was diagnosed with whats called "harry cell leukemia", a very rare form of blood cancer. the whole process was scary and he was very sick during the radiation treatments, but as of right now the cancer is gone, so we are all very happy about that.

in january we donated to the CF foundation. for february we are donating to the leukemia and lymphoma society. i chose to profile two women i know through the blogging/twitter world to donate to in support of team in training for the L&L society, as they are raising money to run marathons, a passion of mine as well. 

(visit her TNT fundraising page here
running San Diego Rock n' Roll marathon June 5, 2011

about Courtney- 
"I started running in May 2008, and began my blog as a journal for myself. It just grew from there, I guess.
Now here I am, a Starbucks Store Manager, living in South Florida with my dog, Mako and boyfriend, Ken – loving life and enjoying my favorite things: RUNNING and COOKIES!

On January 9, 2011 I crossed the finish line of my first marathon - The Walt Disney World Marathon. It was the icing on the cake after 5 months of training and raising $4,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. But I realized that I can’t stop fighting just because I crossed that finish line. At the Team Inspiration Dinner the night before the event, I heard a father talk about his 9 year-old daughter who is a cancer survivor.

He said:

"People you will never know will live because of you."

Less than 2 weeks after the Disney Marathon, I signed up for the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and committed to raising $2,650 to help fight against blood cancers. We can't stop until there is a cure. Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance LLS's mission."

(please visit her TNT fundraising page here
running Mayor’s Marathon in AnchorageAlaska June 18th 2011

about Elisabeth- 
"When I was a kid I remember my older sister's mother getting leukemia and eventually dying at a very young age (when she was only 42, my sister was just 16). I am running the marathon and raising money in memory of my sister's mother, Janet Zamucen. And in memory of the many others who have lost their courageous battles with blood cancers as well as those who continue the fight and sill need our help today and tomorrow.

Every little bit helps. Blood cancers are scary and difficult to overcome and we need to do everything we can to find a cure and help those living with these awful cancers and their families, and if my running a marathon and raising money helps even a little then I will be glad to know that I'm making a difference. Janet fought a brave battle and her memory lives on now in her friends and family and I want to honor her memory by continuing to fundraise and do what I can to help find a cure. No one should have to suffer through the difficulties of blood cancer. And, I am also running because I feel that no daughter, mother, sister, brother, father, son, friend or relative should have to watch their loved ones fight this battle, or worse lose it. It’s time to find a cure and put an end to cancer!

I know that I can do this, but I can only do it with your help! THANK YOU!"

thank you both, Courtney & Elisabeth, and all others who run for TNT in support of finding a cure. i wish you both the best of luck with your marathon and fundraising adventures!

"its important to give it all you have while you have the chance"

i heard this quote a while back and it really hit me. this quote relates to many parts of my life, with family, work, and running. although i sometimes feel sluggish, dont always want to go to work, or go to the gym... once i get there, i give it my all. and it feels good. sometimes i make the excuse that i dont have time to call a friend or family member. 5 minutes doesnt take long, and it feels good to make that call, make that connection. life can be busy, thats for sure, but youre never that busy.


"we can do no great things, only small things with great love" ~mother teresa
"unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. it's not." ~dr. seuss

Sunday, February 27, 2011

mid winter classic

the mid winter classic 10 mile race, held every year (well... we will come back to that later) on superbowl sunday (again... stay tuned) in cape elizabeth has always been somewhat of a nemesis for me. to better explain, we'll take a little trip back in time. 

on race day in 2006 i woke up feeling like eh, i dunno if i want to run. i went outside and it was freezing cold (duh, maine in february). i drove to the high school (at the time i lived at my parents house which is 0.8miles to the school), picked up my bib and tshirt, and went back home planning to get back into bed (clearly i was more interested in the tshirt than actually running). 20 minutes later i felt guilty so i got my running clothes on and went and ran the race. 1:33:13 (9:20 pace). i then proceeded to eat my face off with a mix of all the yummy goodness a superbowl party can provide.

in 2007 the weather was horrendous!! i only have a pic post race, but i remember i wore running tights, wind pants (who wears wind pants?!), a tshirt, long sleeved shirt, fleece, and a rain jacket, along with gloves and a winter hat. and i never warmed up. still finished with a 10 mile PR, 1:31:00 (9:06).

shana showed us all up wearing shorts

2008 i decided to add a bit of a new years resolution to this run, not eating chips or drinking beer until after the race. probably a dumb idea since i pigged out on both after the race. whatever. the weather was much nicer and i was really rooting for the pats. after this day i was never allowed to wear a pats jersey ever again. 1:31:20 (9:06). apparently giving up chips and beer didnt help me with my speed. fail.

mmmmm chips and beer

and i clearly didnt learn my lesson from the year before, because i decided to give up beer again in 2009. i dont remember if i gave up chips or not. it doesnt really matter.oh wait, duh. i gave up chips for the entire year of 2009. yeah that was dumb. the superbowl party was the worst. after that i just got used to it. clearly ive forgotten about that torture i put myself through. i did get a PR however by a couple minutes, 1:26:08 (8:37). sarah showed up and brought a beer for me post race. yuuuummmm, did that taste good!

 i had a really rockin outfit that year
and then we watched the superbowl with our supercool 3D glasses

oh, my 2010 race. if youve followed my blog all along, you know that this race was the ultimate punch in the face. if not, read about it here. long story short, i thought i had a PR, and didnt. 1:26:08 (8:37). 

we love to rock. clearly.

so here we are to 2011. saturday night, the night before the race (superbowl saturday?), it snowed. not unlikely for maine in the "mid winter". the town of cape elizabeth cancelled the race... and i will support their decision, having lived there most of my life. the roads are not that wide, and there are not adequate shoulders to begin with. add in 4 foot high snowbanks, hills, turns, and 800 runners and youre bound to have issues. the actual day of the race (when it was supposed to happen) was a beautiful day to run. i, however, was hung over from the night before (having known the race was cancelled) and didnt leave the house until we went to friends for the superbowl. fail. so the race was postponed until sunday feb 27th. oh, thats today!

hi, welcome to maine, it snowed again. **fun fact: llbean actually sold out of their snowshoes this year cuz of all the snow. i dont remember when maine had THIS much snow, and ive lived here a long time. we wont thaw until atleast may. awesome. but back to the race, they cancelled it again. to their credit, i woke up this morning at 8:30 and it was nasty out so im much happier to have not run this morning. but i decided to take the 10 miles to the dreadmill anyway so as not to feel like i backed out.

i started off running 8:05's which, after 3 miles, seemed to be a bit too fast, so i slowed it down to 8:20's. i was more comfortable at that pace. there was no wind, no snow, and no hills... i was cruisin right along! i went back and forth a couple of times with my speed but still felt really good at 8:20 so i stayed there for awhile. at 6 miles i tweeted: "suck it up, sterling. you would never quit in the middle of a race... dont you even think of stepping off this treadmill". its too easy to quit on the treadmill. that stop button was screaming my name. but the positive self talk, along with "what the hell" by avril lavigne on repeat, kept me pushing despite every part of my body wanting to stop. of course my treadmill stopped on its own at 60 minutes (i thought it would go to 99... apparently not)... but i pushed on and finished. and i finished strong! i really pushed the last mile at 7:45 and i felt good.

so 2011 mid winter classic via treadmill: 1:22:53. a PR. success!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

(nearly) wordless wednesday*(**)

*title stolen from katie. she usually has good puppy photos on wordless wednesdays. those are my favorites. and are probably more interesting than this (nearly) wordless wednesday post.

**alternate titles:
- "why we need to buy a house"
- "why we shouldnt have registered for any wedding gifts"
- "why we cant have people spend the night anymore"
- "shoot me"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the other love of my life

about a year ago we started seeing commercials for "fairpoint communications". i dont know where fairpoint service is available but if you havent seen the commercials, you are missing out. the "bundle" is truly the other love of my life, besides my husband. and secretly i think he loves the bundle too. (we even have a picture of him on our fridge. ok there might be two.)

one of the first commercials i saw with this fun little guy made me laugh

and then another one came out and i was hooked

and my all time favorite one (i mean, how can you NOT love this furry little guy!)

around christmas time a special was out through fairpoint where if you ordered their "bundle" you would get a 2011 bundle calendar! we didnt need this bundle (we have time warner cable... which we HATE but we really dont have a choice right now) but i wanted that calendar SO bad. i searched online, ebay, everywhere! but i couldnt get my hands on one. my sister-in-law works for the company that makes the commercials and she was going to try to get me one. (and she even said i might be able to meet the puppet. it would probably be the best day of my life... 2nd to getting married. yeah im almost that obsessed).

so to the point of this whole blog... the other night at work i just so happened to come across the 2011 bundle calendar!!! there it was, just hanging in the 3rd floor nurses lounge. too bad there were people in the room or i would have stolen the freaking thing, but i pretty much flipped out (to which everyone looked at me funny, but clearly they all know im crazy already so they just laughed at me). so instead of stealing it, i just took pics. and now for your viewing pleasure, a year of the fairpoint bundle. enjoy!













arent you just in love now too?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

playing catch up

ive been a horrible blogger lately... both writing and reading. ill try to get better, but theres not much going on now that wedding planning is all over.

life pretty much went back to the way it used to be when we got back from our honeymoon... ty and i had to go back to work, there were dishes to do, laundry to wash, coffee to drink, groceries to buy. the common question everyone asks has been "so how's married life?" and my reply has been simply "awesome". it really doesnt feel much different than non married life, but i am in love, and i love being married to a wonderful man. our wedding and honeymoon were amazing, and were ready for the next steps in our lives.

buuuuuut were not moving fast. we want to enjoy being married. all those "next steps" will come when they come (house, puppies, kids... probably in that order).

before 2010 ended i made a list of things i wanted to accomplish in 2011 (check it out). so far ive been able to cross a few of those things off. ive really been focused on reading some new books, and im really enjoying it.

in the summer of 1999 i read this book:

i couldnt put it down and it forever changed my life. i was heading off to college in just two months with an anticipated major of mathematics. after reading this book, i called my counselor at school and changed to psychology. yes, it had that much of an impact. read this book, you wont regret it.

(i also recommend reading this one right after):

i read the first 2 books of 2011 on our honeymoon:

for those of you who've read "something borrowed" you know its probably not the type of book to read around the time of your wedding, but it was an entertaining chick book. i think at one point i asked ty if he was having an affair with my maid of honor.... he was not amused at my reading choice.

the nanny returns is the sequel to "the nanny diaries" which i read a few years ago. *fun fact: i actually had emma mclaughlin's dad, john, as a professor in college.

after returning home from punta cana, the real reading madness began. it started with this:

shortly followed by this:

and now im finishing up with this:

i had no idea what these books were about but EVERYONE i knew was reading them, so i thought i would see what they were all about. i did NOT expect what i got, but i couldnt put them down. the first 100 or so pages of "the girl with the dragon tattoo" are a little tough to get through, but then it really takes off. when i got to the end, i immediately started the next book, which read just like the first book. and at the end of "the girl who played with fire", they left you hanging with the need to open up "the girl who kicked the hornets nest" right away. (i am not at all surprised with the publishers choice of putting the 3rd book in hardcover only. i know many people who are waiting for it to come out in paperback to read it... i dont know how they could resist buying it from the way the 2nd book ended! luckily my father-in-law had the hardcover, so i borrowed it).

im anxious to see how this whole series will end up, and although i have really enjoyed reading them and would highly recommend them, im ready to move on to books without blomkvist and lisbeth salander. ive got about 300 pages left and then ill be looking for a new book to read. actually, thats a lie. ill be reading this first (its the sequel to "something borrowed"):

then ill be moving on. any suggestions??