Monday, December 16, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lego Advent Calendar: December 12

The Christmas tree! 

Lego Advent Calendar: December 11

A grill, a hot dog, and a wrench to flip it? The wrench wasn't pictured on the flap, but was included with all the parts. Quality control this year at Lego is on the fritz. 

Monday, December 09, 2013

Lego Advent Calendar: December 9

A bench to go with the table. I thought the table was boring I was mistaken because now I know behind another door will be the other bench.

Lego Advent Calendar: December 8

Food stuffs for the table! A pizza, cherries, turkey legs?, vino, and should be noted that the black toppers were pictured on the door flap but not included  today...I had extra pieces from a previous year. 

Lego Advent Calendar: December 7

A table.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Lego Advent Calendar: December 6

The cutest little robber with a crooked hat and a coffee cup.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Lego Advent Calendar: December 5

A barrel for handcuffs, an ax, and a crowbar. You know, because that's where they should be kept? 

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Lego Advent Calendar: December 4

The cutest little faceless snowman. 

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Lego Advent Calendar: December 3

A cute little dog, a water bowl, and a few bones. 

Monday, December 02, 2013

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Lego Advent Calendar: December 1

Today marks the return of the Lego Advent Calendar! This is my 5th year and it just brings me so much joy! 

Today brought a policeman. And a coffee cup. A donut would make this pretty perfect! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dear 18 Year Old Self

Emmie over at Authentically Emmie posted this weekend about things you might tell your 18 year old self.

Last year, right around the time I was turning 30, I started a list of things I would have told my younger self. I just spent a half hearted 10 minutes looking for my list because I never actually wrote the post. I didn't find my list, but there are definitely a few things I can think of. Hopefully I will eventually find the list and be able to compare.

Dear 18 year old Sarah-

You are going to have some pretty amazing stories and do some pretty awesome thing! Once you leave West Virginia your life will never be the same.

Your weight does not define you, but you will lose it. And when you do lose the weight, revel in your accomplishment. Start going to yoga ASAP, your body and your mind will thank you. Go ahead and get that laser hair removal sooner rather than later. Pay good money for a haircut. It's worth it.

Friendships are like seasons and they change. However, adult seasons last much longer. As an adult you don't have to be friends with someone "just because." Find the friends who you love like family and want to be around because they challenge and support you. Learn how to be a good friend. Learn how to love and be loved. You are capable of being loved. Your heart will get broken and life will go on.

You only have one family. Talk to them. Laugh with them. Cry with them.

College is a time to grow and discover what you are truly passionate about. Don't worry so much about tests, projects, and papers. Go to those parties. Go on that trip. Enjoy the freedom that comes with a college schedule.

Things won't always go as your imagined in your career and your personal life. Be able to reflect and learn and think about things you could have done differently or not at all.

You will run a marathon. Not just run one marathon, but two marathons. You will set scary goals and you can accomplish them.

You will be happy.


( I took quite the hiatus, but I figure I better get ready. It's almost ADVENT CALENDAR time!)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

How to PR a Half Marathon at Your Heaviest Weight

This past Sunday I ran my 10th (TEN!) half marathon. 3 years ago I was in the thick of training for my first and really had no idea what to expect. Now, that I have a few under my belt my training is no longer as strict as it once was. I skip runs. I skip other workouts. I eat whatever I want. The half marathon doesn't scare me anymore, or at least not as much as it once did. Don't worry, the thought of running a full marathon still scares me.

I started training for the Seaside Half marathon in December or so with the best of intentions. I had a training plan. I was going to start speed workouts again. I was still decently conditioned from the Marine Corps Marathon. I was going to PR a flat half marathon in Seaside. And then Christmas happened. And I didn't eat too much crap, but those homemade sugar cookies I ate were worth every bite. Then New Years Eve happened. And then my Grand Canyon trip happened. They told us the bottom of the Grand Canyon was not a place to be on a diet. And I listened! I ate whatever I wanted. This also included the most money I have personally ever spent on a meal at Wendy's $12+ dollars. Can you say biggie size? And the price of food near the Grand Canyon is just ridiculous. Also Valentine's Day candy and Girl Scout Cookies happened. And Easter candy was out early.

Do you see a pattern?

There was always something. I haven't used much restraint in my food choices at all the past 3 months. My waist line, my legs, and my arms show it.

I got the stomach bug a few weeks ago and my clothes were fitting so much better after. And then I started eating chocolate again. Oh, and I made some homemade banana bread muffins because muffins are easier for portion control right? Not so much if you eat 3+ in one sitting.

Folks, it was/is getting bad.

And then I had the Seaside Half Marathon. The half marathon that I sort of really didn't train too hard for. The half marathon I had really wanted to get me to the finish under 1:50.

It happened this past Sunday, I beat my previous personal record for a half marathon. And while it wasn't Wednesday, I realized at the half way point on Sunday, it was business time and I might actually be able to PR this thing. But, there was a slight problem. I hadn't spent the night before looking up possible times/outcomes on race calculators. I didn't even really know what my PR was. I honestly was just planning to go out and run and attempt to finish under two hours.

At the half way point I realized if I kept up my pace and increased it just a little, I might be able to PR and that's what I did. By about a minute from my fastest time in 2011 to finish at 1:52:20.

I should feel happy and over the moon that I set a personal record. Yes, I am happy. But I also feel like  I cheated a lit bit. It isn't supposed to happen this way. This sort of thing should happen when I am at my lowest weight and when I have trained my heart out.

I wish I knew the scientific reason for why I raced my fastest half marathon on Sunday. But I probably never will. Maybe it was the cool temps? Maybe the smaller race? For now, I am going to have an amazing time skiing in Vail enjoying myself with good friends. Hopefully I will be able to figure something out regarding my food intake when I get back and no longer feel controlled by what I eat and drink, but actually be in control.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2012 Show List

Some people look back on the year and look at their accomplishments. I look back at the shows I went to. 2012 was a good year. Not the best, but a pretty damn good year. I saw a show in every month except for November. Dang you Ray Lamontagne for getting sick and rescheduling for December and then I was sick and had to skip out. My favorites from the year are bolded.

Here's to many great shows in 2013!

January 5: Anal Beatles at The Basement
January 12: The Civil Wars at the Ryman Auditorium
February 18: Cieque Di Solei The Beatles LOVE! Las Vegas
March 6: Mumford and Sons at the Ryman Auditorium
March 7: Mumford and Sons at the Ryman Auditorium
March 8: Mumford and Sons at the Ryman Auditorium
March 20: Fanfarlo at Mercy Lounge
March 24: The Head and The Heart at the Cannery Ballroom
March 26: The Head and the Heart at the Cannery Ballroom
April 15: Sara Bareilles with The Collective at the Curb Event Center
April 20: Aziz Ansari at TPAC
April 20: Punch Brothers at Cannery Ballroom
April 27: The Lumineers at the Basement
May 1: Mayer Hawthorne at The Mercy Lounge
May 16: Jack White with the Alabama Shakes at the Ryman Auditorium
June 8: Bon Iver at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta, GA
June 22: Dave Matthews Band Deer Creek, Indianapolis, IN
June 23: Dave Matthews Band Deer Creek, Indianapolis, IN
June 27: Explosions in the Sky Ryman Auditorium
July 19: Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes at The Basement
July 23: Tallest Man on Earth at the Cannery Ballroom
August 11: Mumford and Sons Stopover Tour: Mumford and Sons, Apache Relay, Justin Townes Earle, THE VERY BEST Bristol, VA
August 21: The Lumineers at The Cannery Ballroom
September 14: Metric with Half Moon Run at the Ryman Auditorium
September 27: The Walkmen at the Mercy Lounge
October 3: Allen Stone at 12th and Porter
October 7: The Shins at the Ryman Auditorium
October 7: Barenaked Ladies, Eli Young Band at the War Memorial
October 24: The Avett Brothers and Randy Travis at CMT Crossroads taping
December 11: Dave Matthews Band with the Lumineers at the Gwinett Center, Deluth, GA
December 31: Old Crow Medicine Show with Pokey Lafarge at the Ryman Auditorium

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Dear Dave Matthews

(This post goes out to my dad who so lovingly reminded me at 6:33 AM, before my alarm clock went off this morning, that it was none other than Dave Matthews' Birthday. My dad, who dropped me off and picked my friend and I up from my first Dave Matthews Band concert at the Charleston Civic Center on December 8, 1996. My dad who has always encouraged and supported me in whatever I choose to do.)

Dear Dave Matthews,

If this were 10 years ago I would have known it was your birthday days before. I would have known because I would have had the Dave Matthews Band Calendar so lovingly hung in my dorm room. I probably could have also told you any other day of the year when your birthday was as well. But things have changed. It's not that I love you any less, it's just that there are so many other things I have to fill my brain with.

Thank you.
Thank you for helping me to find a love of music and to explore different genres.
Thank you for helping me to explore a major (music business) that I didn't really know existed.
Thank you for all the friends I have made. Serious life long friends. Friends all over the US and even Europe.
Thank you for helping me to find my first love, music.

I know I don't listen to your music as much as I used to, but that doesn't mean I love you any less. Like all relationships there are ebbs and flows. This isn't a bad thing, I know you will always be there. And you should know I will always be there too.

This past December, December 10, 2012 to be exact, we celebrated 100 shows together. 100. 16 years ago I didn't know people went to that many shows. In the grand scheme of things, among the people I know, 100 shows is nothing. But when you are 14 and have only been to a handful of shows, 100 shows seems like something monumental. At some point things changed. I started going to shows based on friends I loved and wanted to see, cities I wanted to visit, and venues I wanted to go to. I stopped worrying so much about the number or where my seats were. I wanted to enjoy the entire experience and spend it with people I loved. Things changed, but they still worked.

"Do what you will always
Walk where you like, your steps
Do as you please, I'll back you up"

I can only imagine what the next 16 years will be like. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You've influenced me more than you know.