Out of hibernation

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Out of hibernation

Yeh, I’ve basically been gone from this site so long that I almost forgot my login password. I have no excuses, except that

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My days were long, repetitive, and I had no motivation to record the events of winter—or the dreaded third nine weeks in teacher talk.

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Actually, this past nine weeks really wasn’t too bad.

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No really…..I actually have no complaints. Well, I could do without seeing 3 faces daily, but other than that…  ;-)

Seriously, that job has had a major (positive) turn around in 2014 and for that I am beyond grateful!

Speaking of 2014….

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Oh, yes, that is the reason I have been completely MIA since the holidays ended. My schedule has been ridiculous with new classes and new clients. Days that had me teaching 6-8 classes and training 6-8 clients in one day between my hours at school. That is beyond exhausting, boring, and repetitive.

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A majority of the days I got home and immediately showered and got in the bed before 9pm. Can we say pitiful? A few days I made myself stay awake to watch this ridiculousness….can I please have those hours of my life back?! Oh, and will someone please slap Nikki and wake her up!?!!?

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Yeah, the New Year rush was crazy, but I enjoyed every second of it. New people breath life into a repetitive schedule and challenge me to become a better instructor.  New members also provide the opportunities for new friendships and I am so happy that several have developed!

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Now that the New Years craze has passed and spring is upon us I have reduced some of my classes (I’m slowly transitioning away from daily nights/two-a-days) and have significantly reduced my personal training load. A majority of my new clients registered for a New Year special (3-month) and they ALL hit their goals. Seriously, I should do a before/after with a few of my clients! It has been so refreshing to finally work with clients who were serious about their goals and not constantly sabotaging their gym efforts. With that said, I am not training anymore once my current clients’ contacts expire in a couple of weeks–and that’s my choice. It’s been a long time coming/wanting.

I plan to update more frequently, primarily for my own reconciliation of this new, better year. Yeh, I said it before, but I now have the time and motivation!

And just because it’s been a long time since they’ve been viewed by Internet strangers:

 

I’ll be updating more regularly, so check back soon!

Timber & Traditions

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Timber & Traditions

Yep, as expected it has happened. Izzy has climbed the tree, broken a lot of ornaments, and has caused me to rearrange all my Xmas decor.

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Six feet up in the tree!

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Basically I am living the life all my friends with toddlers are currently living. The only difference…..she is left alone with the “toys” all day and she can leap onto the mantle and destroy attack the items I tried to keep away from her. Seriously, I hold my breath everyday when I get home expecting to see our tree toppled over and shattered ornaments. I have decided that when that day arrives–not if, but when. I will just walk out of the house, drive away, and leave the clean up for Philip.

We have discovered a way to keep her out of the tree, though. It’s required some rearranging of furniture and an eye sore in the keeping room, but…here it is.

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As long as that ladder is available she will stay out of the tree….for the moment at least. Seriously, they day we finished using it for decorating and moved it back to the garage she meowed/cried and started climbing the tree. Once I brought the ladder back into the house she was happy and well behaved.  Hello, new piece of furniture and pushover crazy cat lady.

BTW she asked Santa for a kitty condo/tower.

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Remember how I dressed the pets up for Halloween? Well, while decorating the tree (in between the Izzy drama) I tried hard to get an equivalently cute picture of the dogs wrapped in Xmas lights.  I got the idea from one of those seemingly cute, easy things you see on the devil Pinterest. Yeh, did not happen. This is the only pic I got. I think they are traumatized. Please don’t call PETA.

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Our house is very entertaining.

Ok, the blog world is filled with get-to-know-you/fun fact surveys. Some of my favorite bloggers created this Christmas Traditions survey and I decided to join party. Lets see how well some of you know me and if you can predict my answers…

1.  Favorite Christmas Album/CD/Song?

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Carol of the Bells. Love. I love it so much that I play it in my spin classes….hey, until they protest I will continue to do so annually.

 

2. Favorite Christmas movie?

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Classic. Can’t be topped.

3. Favorite childhood Christmas gift?

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So many hours of my life were spent playing with this “mansion”.

 

4.  Favorite Christmas tradition?

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Driving around and looking at Christmas lights. The more obnoxious the better. Not on my house, but for my viewing pleasure! I’m trying hard to get Philip on board w/ this tradition….meaning do it without complaining!!!!

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5.  Real tree, fake tree or no tree?

Fake. I’ve actually never had a real tree and I’m fine with that. A real tree would freak me out…..1) fire. For real, I’ve heard that they will catch fire from the lights!! 2) Bugs/animals. Come on…it’s a tree! From a forest! It’s gotta have bugs and animals in it!? Those are not urban legends!

6.  Christmas pajamas… yay or nay?

Nay. Big time nay.

7.  Where do you spend the holidays?  Your own house, your parents’ house, extended family, in-laws, friends?

Every year has been different for us, so I can’t answer that. Yes, that does frustrate my Type-A self.

8.   Favorite holiday treat?

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I make a lot of treats this time of year, but my top pick is my peppermint bark.

9. Open presents all at once or take turns?  Stockings… yes or no?

Take turns and yes stockings!

10.  What’s on your Christmas list this year?

BOOTS!! Shopping extravaganza this weekend to find the perfect pair. And jeans, jewelry, purses, workout clothes….  Ok, let me be honest. I would be more than happy to get nothing and just let this adoption shit end. Wow. What a way to end a happy post! ;-)  (Yes, I owe a lot of people an update and yes, we have an update, but I am not ready to go there yet.)

Back to happy…..

Answer one or all!!!   Feel free to do it on your blog and link back too!

1.  Favorite Christmas Album/CD/Song?

2. Favorite Christmas movie?

3. Favorite childhood Christmas gift?

4.  Favorite holiday or Christmas tradition?

5.  Real tree, fake tree or no tree?

6.  Christmas pajamas… yay or nay?

7.  Where do you spend the holidays?  Your own house, your parents’ house, extended family, in-laws, friends?

8.   Run on Christmas morning or take the day off?

9. Open presents all at once or take turns?  Stockings… yes or no?

10.  What’s on your Christmas list this year?

Take one for the team

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Ugh I had to do what I swore I wasn’t going to do….run out of a cooking necessity and have to go to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving. As expected, it was insane, but there was something different about the shopper population: it was 95% males. Read: grocery amateurs!

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Yep, women sent men to the store to purchase last minute items while they continued cooking. Kids were running wild, items were strewn all over the floor thanks to those kids, buggies were parked and abandoned in the middle of the aisles, and I got asked by no less than 5 men about the location of certain items.  Chaos, mass chaos.

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I had to help a jerk man locate his three kids and once all were found he grumblingly told me he was “taking one for the team and doing a woman’s job”!!!!! I bit my tongue–hard.

I arrived home (35 min later than expected) to unload the groceries and Philip was still hard at work cleaning the house. (That’s how we roll.)  I told him that I would take one for the female team and never send him to the store during prime holiday rush times.  It’s a pain in the butt for primary shoppers to fight the amateurs. Plus it takes those amateurs 3x as long to locate the items, call home to verify they found the correct item, and wrangle half a dozen kids.  He was satisfied with this statement and said he will gladly always unload/reload the dishwasher, wax the floors, wash/fold the linens, and dust the baseboards if I handle the crowds.

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Wait. That’s a lie, but he did say “deal” so I’ll read into it as I please. ;)

After my grocery experience I had to go to good ole Honey Baked Ham to get the meat for our meal. Fun fact: my sister and I worked at HBH sales counter during the holidays when we were in high school. We are still bonded over that sticky, smelly experience. Another fun fact: I won a TV one year by exceeding a sales challenge! I text my sister some HBH inside jokes while waiting in line and she commended me on “taking one for the team”.

I waited in line for an hour next to the same man who lost his kids in the grocery store!!! UGHHH.  This store was too crowded for his kids to get lost, but they sure were bad. That’s not the point. The point is how full of complaints he was and how he felt the need to tell everyone in the store that he was sick of “taking one for the team and running women’s errands”. Um, 65 people were standing in front of me and 46 of those people were men…yes, I was so bored that I counted the people.

He earned lots of ugly looks from everyone in line, but before I could school him the 4’2, 70 pound grandma standing behind him laid into him.

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She expressed everything I had been thinking since dealing with his attitude in the grocery store…..”taking one for the team” is a willingly made sacrafice for the benefit of others. It’s something you do without thought or the need for reward. She got him to admit that over 30 people were coming to their house for thanksgiving and his wife had to do all the cleaning and cooking solo!!  I don’t know if the lecture resonated with him, but it helped shut his mouth.

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Everyone has to sacrifice during the holidays whether that’s running errands, traveling, or listening to the same boring stories year after year.  I believe that anyone reading this blog has so many blessings that the sacrifices are ridiculously petty in comparison. We have warm houses, huge buffets of food, healthy family members…seriously, we have an infinite number of blessings.

The holidays are for gratitude and reflection of Gods love for His people. We are here as servants of God and should demonstrate our shepardship by serving those we love. Get off your butt and run errands for the stressed host or the disabled family member.  Be thankful that you have a loving family that needs errands run and that you have a means to run errands (vehicles, money, and nice stores). Use your time waiting in lines to bless the people around you–or to set the Grinches straight. ;)

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Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

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The Honey Baked Ham workers and Izzy!

Merry Thanksgivoween

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Merry Thanksgivoween

Happy Monday! I have 12 anatomy classes left to teach until I’m off for Thanksgiving break….not that I’m counting or anything. ;-)

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After Thanksgiving week there are only 2 “teaching” weeks, exam week, Xmas break, and then the school year is 1/2 over! Craziness!

Lets discuss how Christmas has overpowered Thanksgiving.  Heck, even Halloween. Basically, Christmas truly starts in July. I feel like this has slowly become a trend over the past few years, but this year it is completely out of hand. Sooooo many houses are decorated for Christmas and I am having a hard time finding Thanksgiving stuff in stores!! Those that do have Thanksgiving stuff already have it marked 50% off. For that, I am thankful! Seriously, most cities have already decorated for Christmas, a majority of stores are playing Christmas music, some radio stations are only playing Christmas music, and every other TV commercial is Christmas related.

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Confession….I like it. Half of ya’ll agree (those that have decorated) and half are appalled. Another confession, my house would totally be decorated for Christmas if I wasn’t hosting Thanksgiving dinner! Christmas decorations are 1) beautiful and 2) pricy! They shouldn’t be stored in a closet/attic for 11 months! Speaking of storing Christmas decor…I want a Christmas tree closet in my next house . One where you can simply roll your decorated (artificial) tree into it for easy storage. You will never have to deal with the assembly/disassembly again.  I tried hard to convince Philip to include one in our current house’s plans when we built a few years ago. Yeah, didn’t happen and won’t ever happen.

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Anyway, let me share how my Monday started….I set my Keurig to brew a large cup of coffee with no coffee mug set to catch the brewing coffee. Yep, that was a lot of fun to clean up. No, what was fun to clean up were Izzy’s coffee pawprints all over the kitchen floor.

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While Monday didn’t start so great, my weekend was excellent. I continued my change in routine & scenery by going “home” this weekend. I have not been to Birmingham since April! April! That’s entirely too long to go without visiting my favorite stores family. ;-) While I don’t have any exciting stories, I do have some not-so-exciting photos to share that I snapped throughout the weekend.

It rained during my entire drive both Friday and Sunday. That rain provided for an awesome rainbow the seemed to circle all of B’ham as I drove into the city Friday afternoon.

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God’s artwork.

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Double rainbow

Friday night I gave into my weakness… Ok, Saturday night, too.  Thank God there isn’t one of these in MS.

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I spent Saturday doing what I do best: using my husband’s credit card shopping.

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View from one of my fav malls in the city

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Accessories…another weakness of mine

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What?! You don’t take pics of yourself in a dressing room? ;-)

Two things about this picture…

1) If I am shopping alone I always send pics of the clothes I am considering buying to my mom and friends. I’m so dang indecisive. I believe the message I sent with the text was “Yes, this is pink, buttttt it’s totally different from any of my other ones because”….   Yes, I bought it and now it is at home in my closet with its 50 cousins.

2) My boot socks. AKA boot cuffs/boot candy. Obsessed. OBSESSED. It is “the” accessory of the season and I loveeee them. I already have 5 different pairs and only two are shades of pink. Be impressed. Wait. You can be impressed when I make a pair myself. Yep. I actually can knit and I obtained a pattern for them. Again, I made myself sound really old and boring.

Speaking of old and boring…Saturday night I was flipping through one of my mom’s many magazines on her coffee table and I came across this gingerbread house.

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My neighborhood is still planning to do a gingerbread house competition in December. The neighbors are going down now. I’ve got the blueprints of a winner. ;-)

Sunday I hit the pavement in the drizzle and did 15 miles throughout the streets of my childhood. I have a route that I love to do and the miles fly by because it’s so reminiscent.

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Fall colors

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I am so dang sore due to all those awesome hills.

And one last story/pic. My dad and I went to a pet store during my visit and he kindly bought Warrior a new bed. The dog tore all of his stuffing out of his old bed during his horrible puppy years and he’s been basically sleeping on the concrete ever since. Anyway, I put his new bed in his pen last night and he whimpered for 10 minutes. He would NOT  lay on it. As soon as I put his old bed in the pen and he curled up on it and went to sleep immediately.

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I sent Dad this pic and he replied, “I feel sorry for him. It is like Tom Hanks getting off the raft in the movie Castaway and not wanting to sleep on a comfy bed. Warrior likes concrete”. Bahahaha. That seriously cracked me up. I will try the new bed with him again tonight.

And just because…..Izzy loves spinach. No, I don’t let her eat any, but she obsesses over it the entire time I eat it. She stole an empty bag of it off the kitchen counter and squeezed herself into the bag. She’s quite entertaining.

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So…what are your thoughts on Christmas decor making an appearance a little earlier each year? When is it too early? (I definitely think October is too early).

A change in routine & scenery

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I have been in a MAJOR work rut lately. I was starting to get pretty miserable (read: irritable). Don’t get me wrong, I love my gym job and the people, but I have some longgggggg days. While each day is completely different, my weeks are the exact same. Does that make sense!?

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I know, I know. Mega brat alert. I’m so ridiculously blessed that I have no room to be talking whining.

Who doesn’t go through this, though??  I know that ALOT of ya’ll currently are going through complete “blahness” (yes, it’s a condition). Many of my real-life friends have talked about these feelings as well as my blogger friends. The fact is that most of us need some spice in life right now.

This was further revealed to me when I read the following devotion yesterday morning:

“People ought to enjoy every day of their lives no matter how long they live” (Ecclesiastes 11:8 NCV). Families ought to be fun. The home should be a place to play. This is a major fault in many, many homes where couples are good people, but they don’t have enough fun. They’re too busy. They come home with their “to do” list after work is over. All that stuff has got to be done, and they just don’t have time for fun. Don’t be scared to shake up the whole schedule and say “forget the routine; we’re going to have fun”. Do something outrageous. No single day out of routine is going to make or break your life, but a single special event that is crazy and fun will make a memory your family will never forget.”

So, what do I do? Sub out my afternoon gym classes to go into the woods with Philip. Let me add that this was on the coldest day of the fall thus far…

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That’s big, people. Really, really big.

It was an afternoon of firsts and I really had fun.  Or maybe I was just so numb that I was confused.  Who knows?!

Philip text me during work telling me he wanted to take me to his hunting land to practice shooting. Yes, you read that right. Here’s why… I have had the same nightmare every.single.night. for two weeks.

Um, no, not this dream!

Um, no, not this dream!

Since he travels so much, those dreams have convinced me that I need to learn how to use some defense weapons (aside from my awesome muscles ;-) ).

Soooo, I layered up (4-layers, no lie) and we drove to the land about an hour away. I quickly realized this was going to be a “work trip” when he stopped to purchase A TON of deer feed. Yeh, he told me I was going to help him put out the corn and set up his game cameras. Um, what!? You mean I may ruin my manicure!? You mean I am going to be walking through the woods in my True Religion jeans and Frye boots? Yes, that’s what he meant. Yes, I am a brat city-girl.

Anyway, I had a really good time. After my shooting lesson ( I never hit the bulls eye on the target, so I am definitely not a threat to a human body…just the “walls of our house” as I was politely informed) we hopped on the 4-wheeler and rode for about an hour and a half setting up the cameras and chasing after herds of deer. I truly enjoyed being with him and watching him in his element. That’s something I’ve never done in the decade we’ve been married.

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Uh, yeh, southern people, I’ve never been hunting or really deep in the woods. We are talking deep. Like no cell service deep. Like if he had left me stranded I would still be out there. Frozen, but out there. (Watch us have been just half a mile from some major highway. Typical me and my sense of direction).

Change the hair color and this is totally me...shame...

Change the hair color and this is totally me…shame…

Anyway, this change in routine and scenery was awesome and it gave me the slight mental break I needed. Plus we had fun!!!! It’s some good memories and that’s what life is all about.

So, if you are suffering from extreme monotony then change things up for an afternoon.  Get completely out of your element and embrace the cold some new scenery.

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A cold, but beautiful sunset.

And because no post is complete without an Izzy pic…she is showing off her latest climbing discovery. Yes, I have to have a ladder in my closet. Yes, this solidifies the brat/city girl comment from earlier. ;-)

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A 3rd place WIAW

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Happy first Wednesday of November! WOW!!  You know Wednesday means…

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We live in a great neighborhood with about 80 homeowners. IMO it’s a perfect size being that it’s not too large or small. There are about 20 streets/lots currently undergoing constructions, so are expecting more growth. We know almost everyone in the neighborhood (P is HOA prez so we kinda have to) and hang out a lot during the warm, spring/summer months (lots of pool parties and cookouts). The gatherings taper off once pool season/warm weather ends. Since it’s been a few weeks since we’ve hung out with everyone I organized a chili cook-off this past Saturday night. It was a huge success! While I did not win (I didn’t expect to), I did place 3rd and will share with you my losing recipe.

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You’re welcome. The event had some stiff competition and every chili entered was completely different. Two were “traditional” chili (beef, beans, spices, etc) and those were the 1st and 2nd place winners. Some of the other chilis entered included deer sausage, hog meat, and seafood!? Yes, Chili of the Sea! That was a new one to me, but it was great! I had the only chicken chili and Philip fought me hard on entering it. (I modified this recipe.)

I guess I can say that he was right…traditional beef is the way to go if you want to win a chili comp.

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And that is why you will not win a comp w/ this chili….it’s UGLY! Appearance was worth 5 points on our ballots…

While I may not have won the chili contest, my pumpkin cake was a huge hit!

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Ok, so you know how my mind works…I may have lost this friendly competition, but I am already gearing up to win our next neighborhood get-together. It’s going to be a Gingerbread house competition in December. I’m already sketching out plans… so not kidding.

Gingerbread Village at the Seattle Sheraton

Um, I better scale it back….we do  have an hour time limit!

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IDK how/why..

A Photo An Hour

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Several bloggers that I follow do “A Photo An Hour” post a couple of times a month. I decided to join the party since I find other people’s daily life interesting. Warning: my life is not interesting.

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4am: Necessity

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5am: Hard working class at gym #1

*Most of them ran from the camera ;-)

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6:30am: Personal mini circuit

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7am: Personal Training

*This client is in the middle of marathon training so we hit fast intervals of 200m, 400m, 600m, and 800m x 3 at 5k effort with some upper body exercises thrown in the mix. It sucked.

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8am: Time to look decent

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9am – 1pm: WORK

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1:30pm: Manicure w/ a fall color change

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2pm: Emails and leftover chili for lunch

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2:30pm: Errands to Pet Co and the bank

*Yes, I’m one of *those* people. Sweet Cody sometimes runs errands with me.

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3:30: Feeding Af and Lac

*Just an FYI…ducks don’t like pasta. Shocked? Well, I was! How dare they be food snobs! We had leftover spaghetti noodles from a disaster dinner Philip made a few nights ago. I knew we wouldn’t eat the noodles and figured they would. Wrong.

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4:30pm: Teaching a scuplt class at gym #2

*Random thought I had driving to/from gyms: “Um, the sun just set….this Daylight Savings Time sucks”.

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5:30pm: Teaching a spin class at gym #3

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7pm: Walking the dogs

*Story time: Don’t tell Philip this pic is on the web!  Our neighborhood is veryyyy anti dog poop in yards. Seriously, these people will chase you down and send ugly e-mails if your dog craps in their yard. Not that I know first hand or anything. Anyway, I am a diva refuse to clean up their mess when we all go walking, so sweet Philip walks w/ plastic bags in his hands stuck in his shorts just in case the dogs go in someone’s yard.

7:30pm: Shower and pajamas

7:30pm: Shower and pajamas

*Fun fact: Izzy gives Warrior a 20-30 minute bath daily. He loves it.

*An even more fun fact: She is on some serious, daily fur ball medicine.

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8pm: Good ole’ slow cooker dinner. I spy Cody!

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8:30pm: Dishes and laundry

*No worries, once they lick the slow cooker insert clean it is soaked in detergent and bleach!

9pm: The Voice

9pm: The Voice and The Blacklist

*Has anyone been watching The Blacklist? Her life seriously stresses me out.

10:30pm-11pm: BED!

10:30pm: BED!

Well, that’s my Monday. How was yours? Is anyone still there….?? ;-)

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