Monday, August 12, 2013


2013...C and I are referring to this as the "year of running". Remember those goals I was tossing around? Well, it turns out that running a full marathon with my cousins made the list this year. Chicago Marathon, October 13th, we'll be there. In preparation for this event, we ran two half marathons in the first half of the year and have spent the last 8-10 weeks sloshing our way through the marathon training program. This week will be the longest run we've ever done...15 miles. Of course, that will be trumped by next week's 16 mile run, so it's all relative at this point.

As always, work is crazy. C is traveling for business off and on; nothing like the months he spent in Dallas, thankfully. I'm preparing for a work trip over to Copenhagen in a few weeks. This will be the first of 3 or 4 trips total over the next 4 months. And of course, we're both working hard on various other projects at work.

Spending hours per week running and a few days a month traveling for work? Why not get a dog? Yes, it's true, the G-family is in the market for a dog. But we don't have time for a dog? But Mel, you don't even like animals? As it turns out, C loves dogs, and I love my husband, so here we are. I keep sensing a replay of Marley and Me, of which the only thing keeping me moving forward in this whole thing is that at the end of the day, no matter how terrible Marley was, they still loved her. Apparently dogs are joyous. That remains to be seen. I'm praying for a low/no-shedding, low-energy, chill dog that comes housebroken and doesn't bark. Which one is that?

So that's our 2013 so far. We have a few more months before our marathon, which hits just before my work projects will really pick up steam and then we'll be sliding into the holidays. I have no idea where 2013 went, but it started off like no other year for us and has continued down that path. I'll try to write more, because really, I do like to write. But please don't give up on me if it's 2014 before you see me again. It's a real possibility at this point.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

One More Week...

...says the guy who told me two more weeks three weeks ago.

Sometimes I'm not the world's best wife:

  1. I have never cleaned our bathroom-it's C's job and I would rather wait an extra week or two to make him do it than me just do it myself. 
  2. I fail at domesticity, like last week when I completely burnt a whole pot of rice.
  3. I'm "forcing" C to give up chocolate for Lent because I'm giving up chocolate for Lent. This means he's sitting here eating marshmallow puff straight from the container for dessert. Life's tough.
But when it comes to checking C in for Southwest flights, I excel. I take this job seriously. I set alarms so I don't forget. I get spots like A22. 

With any luck, this will be the last week C spends in Dallas. I'll have my running partner back soon. I'll have my bathroom cleaner back. I'll have my sous-chef back. It's an exciting time around here!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


C and I came home from India four weeks ago. I know it's taken awhile to get this post going, and I really have no excuse as to why. Honestly, C still lives in Dallas 4 days a week so my weeknights are pretty tame. At this point my excuse is just laziness. It's many hours of watching Dawson's Creek on Netflix instead of blogging. It's the hours I spent reading Breaking Dawn so I can officially rid myself of the Twilight saga. It's pinterest. Enough said.

During my freshman year of college, I made a list of places I wanted to visit in my lifetime. Shortly after that, I spent a semester studying abroad in Germany and had the opportunity to cross a lot of places off my list. Over the past few years, I've been able to cross off a few more through work and personal travel. However, the list has grown as C and I toss around our own travel ideas and goals. India has been on my list since day one, but I honestly never thought I would have the opportunity to go. We were so blessed to be presented with an opportunity this summer when our friends informed us they would be moving there for a work assignment. They were only staying for six months which left us limited dates to schedule it and a short planning time. However, after sleeping on it that night, C and I decided we would never have a chance like this again. We were going to India.

India was an experience different from any others I've had. There were some major cultural hurdles that we had to overcome to really enjoy our time in India. These started at the airport in Chicago. We quickly became frustrated over the lack of organization, lines, and general respect for others as we waited to get our tickets for the flight. At that moment, we knew we had to let go of all we are used to and just go with the flow if we were going to enjoy ourselves at all.

We were blessed to have our good friends there to greet us as we landed in Bangalore. They spent the next 5 or 6 days with us in Bangalore and Goa. Having them there for advice and general knowledge about getting around was a HUGE help. We were heading to Delhi on our own for the last four days and were a bit nervous, but thanks to them, Delhi was a breeze!

Our trip was short considering all we were trying to fit in, but we were definitely ready to get home by the end. We spent about a day and a half in Bangalore, which was a nice transition. Our friends have a driver so we were able to see Lal Bhag and the Bangalore Palace, have Mendhi done (after an hour or so of searching for a place) as well as eat some good food and catch up on some of our missed sleep.

From Bangalore we hopped a plane to Goa, a coastal beach area. We spent about four days in Goa, including New Years Eve and New Years Day. Our mornings were usually spent doing some sight seeing and then the afternoons were spent at the beach. One of my favorite things of the whole trip was the Spice Farm tour we went on while in Goa. Indian's believe heavily in the healing power of spices. We learned that pretty much any spice can cure anything if you eat it or rub it on your skin (in a downward direction-away from the heart) twice a day for 3 months. Truth.

From Goa we flew to Delhi (via a confusing stopover/hopover in Mumbai) and spent the next four days visiting Delhi and Agra. We arrived in Delhi late in the night and got up bright and early the next morning to meet our driver for our trip to the Taj Mahal. A coworker of mine helped book a driver for us to go there and back in the same day. It made for a long day, but we were glad we did it this way instead of spending the night in Agra. The Taj was as impressive to see as it looks in pictures. Our driver picked up a "tour guide" on the side of the road as we entered Agra (a sight that was a bit scary to us at first, but again, our mantra of "just go with it" kicked in). The tour guide was really nice and super informative, even if he was trying to screw me out of money and take me to stores/restaurants that paid him commission. He took a lot of pictures for us which meant C and I actually came home with a few pictures of both of us together!

We spent three days sight seeing in Delhi after the Agra trip. We probably could have fit it into two days, or tried to see more stuff, but it was nice not to feel rushed or have to get up too early. This was supposed to be a vacation after all....

Overall we really enjoyed ourselves. We had a lot of great food, and some OK food, but really nothing bad. We never got sick or had any issues with the food or water. We didn't ever really feel unsafe or insecure about our surroundings (okay, maybe for a few minutes in Old Delhi--it was kind of sketch.). We even rode a few rickshaws and lived to tell about it! While we don't have plans to go back anytime soon, or ever probably, we were glad we went and enjoyed all that we experienced.

Check out the pictures below of our trip. I tried to post one picture of each highlight or major site we saw during the trip.

Getting Mendhi in Bangalore

C at the Spice Farm tour in Goa

Dona Paula in Goa

C and I ringing in New Years on US Time (it was 11:30 a.m. already in Goa-oh, and 95 degrees!)

Taj Mahal-Agra

Lotus Temple-Delhi

Qutub Minar-Delhi

Dilli Haat-Delhi

Jama Masjid-Delhi

Red Fort-Delhi

Humayun's Tomb-Delhi

India Gate-Delhi

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Another New Year

If I made new years resolutions, I probably would have failed at them already. It's January 23rd and I've already eaten too many sweets, skipped a few workouts, and neglected the stack of dishes in my kitchen because I despise unloading the dishwasher.  But let's focus on the good. The healthy food choices I did make. The workouts I did follow through with. The fact that my dining room floor finally got mopped after being on my to-do list for two months. These are the things victories are made of. 

I'm still sorting through my goals for the year, personally, professionally, and financially. Mostly at this point I'm just trying to make sure all my bills are paid on time, because life's routine is just off right now. And since C is still in Dallas every week, I work through these things while watching Dawson's Creek on Netflix. It seems like the grown up thing to do. 

C and I got back from India just over two weeks ago but I feel like know we're still playing catch up. Preparing for the holidays and our trip left little time for much else. In all, our holiday season was really good. We got to spend some time with both families over the Christmas weekend and then rang in the New Year in India with some good friends. Now I'm just feeling pressure to get things organized for the coming year. 

I'm happy to report that the few goals I set for myself last year were mostly met. I read 15 books, ran my second half marathon, and we found a church that we like. We still haven't started attending on a regular basis, but we found a place that we are both happy with for now at least. My last goal was to register for the CPA exam. I failed. Or I changed my mind. I'm not really sure which. This still weighs heavily on me, but so do other professional development possibilities. My job changed a lot last year and it has me thinking through what my best options are for continued development. So I put a hold on the CPA thing until I make a decision. 

So here are the things fighting in my brain to make the 2013 goals list:
1. Read 20 books (This makes me nervous, but I think I can do it. My friend R reads 50 books a year!)
2. Figure out a career development plan
3. Keep Traveling! (Austin, Vegas, Mexico, NYC, SF/Napa Valley, Canada..the list goes on)
4. Update my wardrobe (I know this sounds crazy, but I mean this in the sense that I make smart choices about what I buy and buying quality rather than crap)
5. Save money (this conflicts with #3 and #4, but C and I have some savings goals we're working towards)
6. Run a half marathon with my cousins
7. Run a full marathon with my cousins? (This is really C's idea)
8. Do a mud/obstacle run (Warrior Dash, Mud Run, etc.)
9. Send more birthday cards
10. Blog more
11. Do random acts of kindness for C more
12. Get organized! (read as: Clean out the office)
13. Learn to sew and actually do it!
14. Get more involved in Kansas City groups and issues
15. Make our wedding album (this one should really make the final list. It's been over two years since our wedding.)

So that's the list. Maybe I can do all the things, but I think I should really narrow it down to about 5 items to focus on. As my uncle reminded me last night, if you set the expectation low, you can only please people when you exceed it! These are words to live by. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Twilight and single life

What's a girl to do when her husband is traveling for work and leaving her home alone? Read the Twilight Saga of course. Oh, and hack into said husband's Netflix to order the movies. Despite the all around horribleness that is K-Pat, I'm pretty sure I'm going to rate all movies with 5 stars just to screw with C's netflix suggestions. Dawson's Creek...also 5 stars.

For the past 3 weeks I've been living the "single" life as C is traveling for work. With all this free time I've been able to get back into my routine of working out a bit. Our old trainer at the Y was a little shocked to see me. I've also completed 90% of our Christmas shopping, wrapped all the gifts, hung curtains we bought back in May, read 3 Twilight books, and watched 2 Twilight movies. Oh, and let's not forget impromptu family togetherness time at McDonald's while my parents were in town and a visit to my Grandpa last weekend. My single life is riveting.

Can we talk about Twilight for a minute? I mean, have you read these books? How on earth did these become so popular? They are terrible! I get that it's a somewhat compelling story despite any ounce of reality. That's what keeps me reading. But seriously, these are some of the worst written books I've read. People give Kristen Stewart so much flack for being a horrible actress, and she is. But really people, she didn't have much to go with on this one. And the movies? Are you kidding me Hollywood? I'll admit that New Moon was about 100 times better than Twilight in production quality alone. Also, at least the music is good enough to tell me how I'm supposed to feel in that moment since the actors can't seem to portray any emotion whatsoever. But guess what, the actors are supposed to play kind of an important role. Don't you think you should have cast actors with some ability to act? This is one of those times when I'm going to have to say that pop culture has failed me.

Okay, rant over.

I cannot believe Christmas is less than 2 weeks away. I am looking forward to having more than 4 hours to spend with C. I'm looking forward to more family togetherness time in general. Although I was ready to have my sister move out of my house, and she only lives about 15 minutes away, I still miss seeing my nephew as much as when he lived here. Why is the happiness of a 3-year old so darn contagious? It's impossible to stay mad at this kid, even when he spits food out...on your lap...on purpose.

Due to all the travel C and I have been doing for work this year, it turns out we really haven't taken many pictures together. Which means, we aren't sending out Christmas cards this year. I'm pretty bummed about it; but also, my Scroogy side is okay with it. I still hope I get all the wonderful cards from our friends and family, but if not, I understand that sometimes life takes priority over Christmas cards. We'll try to be better in 2013.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mental Pep Talks and Chocolate

I have been more productive tonight than every night of last week combined. Trying to be productive in an empty house takes at least 5 mental pep talks and 3 pieces of chocolate. It's a formula I've worked out. To be fair, my "evening" started early today as I left work at 3:15 to go to a doctor's appointment.

1. Got my tetanus shot. It turns out my last one was in 2000. Who knew? This is my third shot in a week. I'm becoming a pro.
2. Had my wedding ring cleaned and inspected. This was a bonus to-do item as Shane Co. is next door to my dentist's office and my dentist called and asked me to push my appointment back 30 minutes. Now my ring is sparkly. PLUS they gave me a little inspection book I can keep in my wallet so I don't have to bring my paperwork all the time. Why did they not have this sooner?
3. Got my teeth cleaned. No cavities for this girl. I also found out today that my dentist no longer works at the office. Don't you think they would send out a letter to clients letting them know there's a new dentist?
4. Went Christmas shopping and actually bought gifts. I've done a few other Christmas shopping trips where I haven't found anything I was looking for, so this was a good trip.
5. Two loads of laundry completed.
6. Dishes - this one took serious pep talks, even if it was mostly a cutting board and a knife. Yup, this girl's eating salads for dinner this week. Reason one: She needs to get back in shape. Reason two: She really doesn't want to do anymore dishes than necessary. It's mostly reason two.
7. Paid C and I's property taxes for 2012.
8. Went through an old stack of mail, sorted everything and actually put it all where it goes!
9. Put up our December calendar. This is a big deal. I haven't put up a new calendar since September.
10. Blogging!

Unfortunately in my haste to leave the office today for my appointment, I left my to-do list at work. I'm not really sure how many of these things were on that list, but I promised C I would be more productive this week and I think this counts. Last week, while he was gone, I did nothing but read Twilight all week. I'm still reading the series, but trying to minimize it to 2-3 hours per night. Speaking of....

I hope you all are finding time during the holiday season to slow down, enjoy yourselves, and remember the meaning of Christmas (or whichever holiday you celebrate).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tis the Season for a monthly update!

It's time for my monthly update on here and my monthly apology for being so absent. I have plans to get at least one or two more updates in before Christmas, I promise! Here's the highlight of what's going on in our lives right now:

1. My Spain Travel is done. I think. Of course my work could always ask me to go back, but we launched our project and it's pretty successful so far, so we are all happy. I am just happy to be home for awhile. As an added bonus, I had some great travel partners this last trip that did a lot of sight seeing with me over the weekend. Here's a sneak peak and I promise to dedicate a post to Spain pictures soon!

My travel buddies at Park Guell overlooking Barcelona. Not the best picture but a great group to travel with!

2. Unfortunately, I am finally home and now C's travel schedule for work is picking up immensely. Here's hoping we can both be home at the same time soon! On the bright side, I'm using these nights alone at home to to catch up on my reading. I may reach my 15 books this year goal after all!

3. My sister and nephew have moved out, which means my house is nice and quiet again. I loved having A around, but I'll admit it's so much more peaceful coming home after work to a calm house.

4. I'm getting back in shape. After a few months of eating what I wanted and general laziness, my clothes stopped fitting. Thank God for that wake up call. While the scale hasn't really climbed more than a couple pounds, I can tell I've lost a lot of muscle tone and definition. C and I are back on our normal eating routines and getting back into our exercise schedule starting this week. Maybe I'll even do some of those exercises I have pinned on pinterest. Maybe....

5. On a sad note, my grandmother passed away a few weeks ago. She fought hard for three long and painful months, but she just couldn't fight any longer. She was an incredibly kind, caring, and spunky lady. Our hearts are broken and she'll be missed by all of us, but I'm comforted knowing she's in a pain free place now. Please continue to keep my mother and grandfather in your prayers. Losing a mother and wife after 67 years of marriage has been devastating.

My beautiful grandmother. This was taken about 2 months ago when she first got home from the hospital after about 3 weeks of being away. She was so happy to be home.