Friday, November 29, 2013

That Thanksgiving I rescued a lost dog and almost lost our rescue dog.

I hope everyone's Turkey Day was as fabulous, family-filled, and heart-warming as mine! We always spend Thanksgiving at my Grandpa and Grandma's house (my mom's parents) with my grandparents, great-aunt, aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

Speaking of cousins, let me introduce you to my three youngest cousins: the cutest pilgrims and Native American you've ever seen! They make the holidays so much more magical.

My mom has four sisters, so it's always a big shindig when the whole family gets together, but Thanksgiving is just crazy with the turkey and stuffing and dressing and casseroles and dips and about twenty-five other things that are all scrumptious. 

Personally, I fill up on a few things and don't even waste my time with most of the "classics," like turkey or dressing. I simply eat my weight in mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans (gotta have some redeeming nutritious item!) crockpot mac and cheese, and pie....

Lot's of pie. 

Peanut butter pie trumped the pumpkin, pecan, and pumpkin cheesecake varieties, but my grandma's renowned butterscotch pie was too tempting to pass up! (Also, my aunt made a festive pumpkin version of Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake that was to. die. for.) 

Here's a lovely snapshot of Lauren, Corey, Adam, and me chowin' down... I think that was during my first round/ plate of food. 

Okay, enough about the phenomenal food, because I think just talking about it is giving me a double chin.... Yikes.

Let me explain the post title. Here's the abridged, Reader's Digest version (spoiler: it's not super short):

Thanksgiving morning, I went on a quick run. I ran to another neighborhood, where I came across a pretty husky. He was running around happily, sans owner. I tried to keep running, but said husky followed me back to my neighborhood (haphazardly crossing a four lane highway in the process!). Once the dog crossed the major road, I started freaking out, because I recently had a dream about watching a dog get run over (don't ask; my stress dreams get real weird.), and I did not plan on watching that nightmare come to life on Thanksgiving day!

Now, I have to admit: I'm a people person, not a dog person. I love puppies just as much as the next person with a soul, but I don't naturally connect with animals like some people do. That being said, I'm sure I was a sight to see, chasing after a dog while saying, "Dog! Doooog!" trying to get a hold of it long enough to read the number on the dog tag. 

Alas, once I got a hold of the dog and read its tag, the husky (who finally had a name: Bane!) wriggled out of his collar and I was left dog-less! Thankfully, I found him again and wrestled the collar back on him. At this point, my phone had died (after I left the owner a voicemail), and I had no choice but to run home. I charged my phone, and noticed the owner left me a voicemail. I called him back immediately, and ran back outside to find Bane. Thankfully, he hadn't wandered too far, and I only had to chase him around my cul-de-sac (in my bare feet at 8:30 am.... brr!). 

The owner was super grateful, and I was happy to help, especially when he told me his upset little girls would be so relieved. I hope it's a lesson to all dog-owners out there: please keep your dog on a leash during walks. The man said he let Bane off of the leash for just a couple seconds, and he took off. It's not safe for the dog, who could get run over, and it's not safe for other people- thankfully Bane was a sweet doggie! 

I was super excited after I talked to Bane's owner; I felt like I was accomplishing something with my morning! Sadly, in the process of letting Bane into my house to wait on his owner, I kinda sorta dropped the ball... Our own dog, Bess, snuck outside while I took Bane inside! Once I realized Bess was gone, I really freaked out! I don't think my parents would take kindly to me saying, "Hey, guys, I have some good news: I rescued a dog! Bad news: I lost ours." Thankfully, after panicking and screaming for Bessie Lou high and low (which was pointless; the sweet old beagle is deaf), I found her in one of our neighbor's backyards! When I got back inside, my parents had no idea that another dog had even come inside, or that I'd lost Bess (although they figured when they heard me screaming her name throughout our house).

Phew. What a morning, right?! 

It was a Thanksgiving to remember; that's for sure! 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Running in Style

Hey guys, remember that time when it was Friday night and it wasn't Sunday night and school and work weren't tomorrow morning?

Yeah, I remember that too. Sigh.

Thankfully, instead of a woefully long week, I just have two days until I'm homeward bound!

Yay for a break from classes, yay for yummy food, yay for family, and YAY for Thanksgiving! 

Anyways, back to why I reminisced on Friday...

I was so busy having fun on Friday (cough, going to sleep early so I could wake up and run at 5:45, cough) that I didn't share my Five on Friday!

Better late than never, right?!

Since I'm dabbling in the whole running deal, I've looked into a few accessories, or what I think is commonly referred to as "gear" in the sporty world.

Now, I have to say that I definitely have a "run for fun" mentality, and I realize a lot of this is unnecessary, but a girl can dream!

Hey, who knows... If I don't hate running by the time I've run the half, maybe some of this stuff will make an appearance on my birthday wish list! 
Running in Style

1. New Balance High Visibility Beacon Jacket
New Balance does not mess around when they make reflective gear! When "charged," this jacket gives some serious shine! I first saw it when Julie wore it at Disney World, and I don't know if it's just because Disney makes everything seem more awesome, but I've been diggin' the jacket's cool stripes and colors ever since! Of course, cool comes at a cost, more specifically $175! Yikes. If I'm spending that much on a jacket, you better believe it's going towards a Barbour

I was a little worried about running outside in the cold (and I still am kind of dreading it, because I'm a wuss like that). Since you get warm once you start running, you don't want twenty layers of shirts and pants on, unless you enjoy sweating to death, but what do you do to keep from turning into a popsicle during that first mile? My amazing TNT coach, Dean, had advice for me about running in the winter weather: as long as I keep my ears and my hands warm, I should be good to go. Y'all already know I'm pretty into Team in Training, so a warm and cozy fleece to help me represent? Score! Only $9 and 20% of the money goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society? Double score!  

Okay, so I already purchased this cute and functional little wrist wallet for half price at TJ Maxx. When I run, I need a safe place to store my car key, but I'm not a fan of lacing it up in my shoe. With this thing, problem solved! Plus, it's pink, and it's reversible! It'll also come in handy one day when I need a little energy shot or block. (Sidenote: I'm still at the point where thinking about needing to fuel during a run sounds insane... What am I getting myself into?!)  

I'm not sure if I'm completely sold on needing a separate pair of gloves for running, but I guess I'll just try to use a normal knit pair a couple times and see what I think... If I decide running gloves are a must to shield my sensitive hands from the frigid winds (I may be a bit dramatic, but seriously, the wind is hands down the most miserable part about cold weather in general), this pair seems pretty nice and not completely obnoxiously priced. 
5. Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS Watch
One of my new running buddies, Katie, has a Garmin, and I've kinda just let her watch do the timin' on our Saturday group runs. I have a free app on my phone that can be used as a run-tracker, but it's not quite as accurate as a Garmin and it's a bit bulkier to carry. Plus, whenever Katie gets within three feet of her computer, her watch automatically syncs with a program on her computer, uploading all of her latest running info! Necessary? No way. Super neat? I'd say so! She said it's especially fun to see how many miles you've run the whole month or year! 
If you can't tell, I'm kinda sorta in a honeymoon stage with running where I'm lovin' it... That's what happens when your long run is five miles- we'll see how I feel about running when I'm doing ten miles at seven am! Probably not so much love! 
(But definitely worth it.)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Then and Now

If you're like me, that title was super hard to read because I'm so used to seeing "now and then," but for the purpose of this post, it makes more sense "then and now."

A couple days ago, on the same day I found out about my Uncle Mike, I wrote more than what I posted. I also wrote this:

"I knew going into my Team in Training experience that there was a very good chance I'd be running "in memory" and not just "in honor" of Uncle Mike, and that felt weird and scary. 

This, the reality of it all, feels more than weird and scary. It feels terrible. 

I just have questions. 

And they aren't the kind with pretty answers, or even answers, period. 

All I know is people shouldn't die before their parents do.

People shouldn't die before they're old enough to use senior citizen discounts.

People shouldn't spend the last few months or years of their lives in pain.

Yet, these bad things still happen. Leukemia isn't the sole reason these bad things happen, but it has a special place in my heart.

It doesn't have a happy special place, but it has a special place nonetheless. 

Because leukemia took away a man who taught me what patience looked like in the most silly yet frustrating situations. 

Leukemia took away a man who humbled me with grammar corrections and poking fun at my "hand on the hip" pose on Facebook. 

Leukemia took away the man who taught me how effective isometric exercises can be. 

Leukemia took away the only man I've ever seen who was more of a smart-aleck than my dad."

Now. I've had time to reflect. And I think I need to rewind... Because I was a little in shock and a lot sad. And I've realized that as much as I want to raise awareness and money for research on leukemia and blood cancers, I don't want that hatred of cancer to overshadow the absolute love I felt and will always feel for my uncle. 

So I'd like to edit a few of my earlier statements:

"Because leukemia took away My Uncle Mike was a man who taught me what patience looked like in the most silly yet frustrating situations. 

 Leukemia took away My Uncle Mike was a man who humbled me with grammar corrections and poking fun at my "hand on the hip" pose on Facebook. 

Leukemia took away My Uncle Mike was the man who taught me how effective isometric exercises can be. 

Leukemia took away My Uncle Mike was the only man I've ever seen who was more of a smart-aleck than my dad." 

Yeah, Uncle Mike's life was cut short because of cancer, but I don't want to remember leukemia. 

I want to remember the man. 

Because he was super awesome. 

Uncle Mike in one of his signature Hawaiian print shirts with his precious grandkids: Felix and Archer. So glad he was able to meet and love on these adorable kiddos!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A "Real Life" Post.

Last night, I found out my Uncle Mike died.

There's a chance some of you are like, Yeesh, Chelsea, what the heck? Isn't that private? Is that really something you want to share on your blog?

If you're new around here, or you think this is too real, I agree. 

I desperately wish this wasn't real. 

But it is. 

Cancer is real. 

And yeah, sure, if I didn't talk about it, I'd be sparing myself a few awkward moments of not being sure what to say, or how to act okay when I'm not feeling okay. When I constantly feel like throwing up. 

But if I don't say something, I think I might regret it. 

Because this is an opportunity to let people know how prevalent, how real, and how evil cancer is; how evil it can be, how evil it was to Mike, and sadly, how evil it will be to more people in the future.

Now I feel even more encouraged to run, raising awareness and raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

I pray that I can keep Mike's spirit in mind, not just throughout my training process with Team in Training, but throughout my entire life. 

He was an incredible man, and I'm so thankful for his influence in my life. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Five on Friday: Fall Essentials Edition

Happy Friday!
Hope everyone's weekends are off to a good start! 

It's my favorite blog day of the week, because....
Link up with Darci, Natasha, Christina, and April!

Time for that Five on Friday! On the docket this week:  

(Well, not essentials... But things that make fall a lot more fun, and fun is certainly essential!) 

Clockwise, starting with the top left: 

1. Shut the Front Door Burlaps by Ryann. I'm a little in love with every. single. one. of these burlap door decorations by my sweet blogging friend. Seriously, how adorable are these? I think a pumpkin is perfect for October and November, and after that, good luck picking just one for Christmas! 

2. Gold Bond Intensive Healing Hand Cream. It happened this week. My hands betrayed me, per usual in the cold weather, and dried up like the desert. I've been using Cetaphil a little haphazardly on them, but let's face it: that stuff isn't going to turn sandpaper into a baby's bottom. However, Gold Bond's intensive healing hand cream just might. I bought it tonight at Target, and after one application, I'm a believer. This stuff means business. 

3. Hot Hands. I guess I have some seriously high-maintenance hands, because aside from getting chapped, the hands also get ridiculously cold! Hot Hands were a must for last night's eight o'clock kickoff in Death Valley! Yay for another "W" for the Tigers!

4. eos lip balm. Okay, okay... Maybe I just have the most sensitive skin in the world, because my lips also tend to take a beating in the winter. This year, I'm being proactive! Last week I bought some eos, although I was a little skeptical, because I thought maybe the whole spherical packaging was a gimmick. I was wrong, because it is awesome! However, I think maybe this holiday packaging actually is gimmicky.... And it's working. Mark my words: my lips (and hands!) will not suffer this year!

5. Soup, dere it is! Sorry, but I had to reference my dad's favorite holiday SNL sketch. In all seriousness, soup has become my go-to meal for suppers. It's hard to beat just throwing stuff in my crockpot and having warm and delicious meals for the entire week! I'm pretty sure this ravioli and zucchini soup is next on my list...

What are your fall essentials? 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Notice anything different?

Well, in case you don't, the blog got a makeover from the inside-out!

I decided to make the move from Wordpress to Blogger, which hosts most of the blogs I follow. 

Basically, now it'll be a little easier to spread the love to fellow bloggers! 

Also, I changed my blog address, which is now

While I was at it, I decided to give the blog design a whimsical facelift! 

Whatcha think?!

I'm diggin' it. 

Tomorrow, I'll give a little update on my Team in Training experience... Spoiler alert: people are awesome.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five on Friday: Go Team!

Oh goodness, y'all... I have news. 
I'm running a half marathon.
What have I gotten myself into?
Ta-da! I'll be rockin' and rollin' in Raleigh, NC come April 13th!

Ta-da! I'll be rockin' and rollin' in Raleigh, NC come April 13th!
If you're wondering why the heck I'm willingly running 13.1 miles, I have my reasons...With that, I'd like to take this Five on Friday to explain this crazy thing...
Happy Friday, y'all! Courtesy of Christina of Carolina Charm, Darci of The Good Life, April of A. Liz Adventures, and Natasha of Hello! Happiness

Happy Friday, y'all! Courtesy of Christina of Carolina Charm, Darci of The Good Life, April of A. Liz Adventures, and Natasha of Hello! Happiness

1. Some background... 
This past weekend, I came to terms with a pretty big, scary thing. My Uncle Mike, my dad's older brother, has leukemia, and he's really not okay.
 I remember being so shocked when my dad called me and told me Uncle Mike had cancer. I never let the shock turn into raw sadness, because I denied that it was real. Over the past two-ish years since his diagnosis, I've heard snippets of his journey. Since Mike lives in Michigan, I don't see him often, and to be honest, that made the terrible, evil cancer easier to ignore. I naively thought that all leukemia stories ended like the "Why, Charlie Brown, Why?" cartoon I watched in elementary school: with happiness and long-term remission. But sometimes, it doesn't have that kind of ending. 
And when I realized that after all Mike has been through- chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant (big, big deal), and alternative treatment methods- he still isn't guaranteed that happy ending? It didn't- and still doesn't and never will- seem right.
2. I agree; cancer sucks! Now what the heck does that have to do with running?  
I'd been looking for something to motivate me to run a half-marathon for a while. So when I realized there is a branch of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society called Team in Training, that helps people prepare for races while they raise money for blood cancer research, I was sold. 
3. Cool! So how does Team in Training work?
Team in Training, or TNT, is about to start its spring season, so I lucked out as far as timing is concerned. I went to an informational meeting yesterday just to make sure I understood what it was all about. I registered and picked which race I wanted to run, which was kind of hard. All of the races looked fun (as much fun as a half marathon, marathon, or triathlon could be!), especially the Disney Princess Half Marathon, but I can't commit to missing school. Boo. Ultimately, I thought it would be cool to say I participated in the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh event, and the location and timing seemed to fit best. 
Coaches train participants for several months leading up to their race, and they offer full support on the roads and off... Especially when it comes to fundraising, which is a big part of TNT.
When it comes down to it, I'm not doing this for a medal; I'm doing this for people like my uncle. I'm responsible for raising $1250 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and I'm a little intimidated by that. To be quite honest, I hated selling Girl Scout cookies, because I always felt guilty asking people for money. However, I'm reminding myself that this is quite different. As utterly delicious as Thin Mints and Tagalongs may be, they will not cure cancer. These donations may get researchers a little bit closer.  
4. Okay, okay, I'm sold... Now how do I donate?
Oh, you are just too kind! ;) If you'd like to donate, just go to my fundraising page! One dollar, ten dollars, twelve-hundred dollars... Anything is welcome!  
I'd appreciate as much support as possible throughout this journey, because I have a feeling it's gonna be a challenging one, to say the least! I could not be more excited, though. 
5. Tell people you love 'em. 
best thing
Well said, Audrey.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Five on Friday

Yay for another weekend, and yay for Five on Friday!

Happy Friday, y'all! Courtesy of Christina of Carolina Charm, Darci of The Good Life, April of A. Liz Adventures, and Natasha of Hello! Happiness
Happy Friday, y'all! Courtesy of Christina of Carolina Charm,  Natasha of Hello! Happiness, April of A. Liz Adventures, and Darci of The Good Life

1. "31 Days" Mission Accomplished. I had so much fun participating in The Nesting Place's  31 Days Challenge. I'm pretty proud of myself that I stuck with it the whole month, although I'm sure it was clear that some days I struggled writing something remotely interesting, even to my own parents. I'll definitely be participating next year, although next year, I think I'll do more of a theme. This year, I kind of blogged about whatever, which was good on days I had special things I wanted to talk about, but on days I had writer's block, it would have been nice to have a wee bit more structure. 'Til next October, don't be expecting to see any daily blogging from this gal!

im did it

2. Happy Halloween! I had a blast hanging out with some of my friends! I have to admit I was slow to warm up to John's sumo wrestler costume, because it was slightly ridiculous. It was a hit downtown, though, and I don't think he regrets his K-mart purchase one bit! That's why I love that guy! So goofy!

Still not sure how I feel about this...
Still not sure how I feel about this...

Accepting the situation for what it is: Halloween!
Accepting the situation for what it is: Halloween! (However, can I just say what the heck is up with the sumo hair? I thought it looked more like an acorn cap...)

3. Heartwarming videos. I know unless you've been hiding under a rock , you've probably seen at least one of these videos. However, if by some chance you haven't, perfect! The first video that melted my heart was a silly Youtube video of a baby who gets extremely emotional listening to her mom sing an old Rod Stewart song. It's absolutely adorable in a semi-weird (or to my dad, really weird) way. The face that baby makes is the same face I had throughout the video that made me explore possible career options... But that's a different story for a different day.

The second heartwarming video wasn't cute.... It was reaffirming. It was the kind of video that would restore your faith in humanity if you felt like there weren't good people in this world any more. A  kind bus driver was caught on tape stopping his bus after seeing a woman on the ledge of a bridge. He called out to the woman, and when she didn't respond, he got off the bus, helped her back over the edge, put his arm around her, comforted her, and ultimately, saved her life. Now that's amazing. Now this isn't the exact video I watched when I saw the clip on Today, but it still shows the amazing deed and the man's incredible character.

4. Home sweet home! I am so thankful I get to spend the weekend doing things, like go on nightly walks with my parents, whoop my brother and mom's booties at euchre with my dad ;) (heehee, that's a new favorite... who knew one day I'd actually enjoy a card game?!)... I'm looking forward to a Costco trip in my near future, and for this old-lady-at-heart, that's pretty darn exciting.

Love these peeps... I think this describes us all pretty well.
Love these peeps... I think this describes us all pretty well.

5. Calendar-flipping time! Holy cow.... Is anyone else shocked it's already November?! I love November, because November means Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving means time with family, and it also means something kind of special and important is just around the corner.... I don't want to get too ahead of myself, though! October was fantastic, and I'm looking to a hectic, busy, but beautiful month!