Day 01: Moving In

Hurricane Florence

There was a point when we were scared of Hurricane Florence–that point where the hurricane was forecast to be category 5 making landfall directly on our house. In the end, she came onshore as a massive storm that caused major flooding and annoyance for all of us — food shortages, traffic, logistical nightmares, and going without power. We were lucky though; unlike some of our neighbors, we didn’t lose any property or our lives. At worst, we had some discomfort and a major clean-up job in our yard.

Back Deck

My parents live very near to us, but on the beach side of the Intracoastal Waterway. When Florence was heading towards us, they evacuated to my childhood home much further inland (ironically, enough, in Florence, SC). After the hurricane went through, one of the first things that we did was drive over and check out their house for any damage. There was a section of the gutter that fell down, but the worst damage was water intrusion from the many hours of wind-driven rain. Their house has a roof deck and buckets of water came in around that door, went through the floor/ceiling, and into the bathroom beneath. Lots of water also came in through a huge, west-facing window. The repair contractors came and measured the moisture and found water had moved through the walls and ceilings all along the main floor of their house. My parents were facing some very lengthy repairs for all the water damage.

Light Switches

The good news was that the contractors could get started on my parents’ house ASAP. They would box up and move their stuff (either to a safe spot in their house or a warehouse), rip out the moisture-damaged surfaces, use industrial machinery to dry everything out, then replace all the affected floors, walls, and ceilings. The bad news was that my parents wouldn’t be able to live in their beach house during this process. Normally, this wouldn’t really even be an issue. My parents still own their home in Florence; they could easily head there for the time of the repairs. The complicating factor was that my parents watch our youngest son for us during the day. Phoenix goes to baby boot camp with his Yaya and Granddad, and we couldn’t be happier that he’s spending his infant days with them. We love the daycare that our older son goes to, but we have so much more peace of mind that Phoenix is in good hands with my parents. But how could mom watch Phoenix and live in Florence? With all the flooding around our rivers and the commute times, the answer was they couldn’t go to Florence, they’d have to stay at the beach.

Baby Phoenix

The only option left to my parents was to move into our house for the duration of the repairs. I didn’t know what to expect from the first day. I really wanted my parents to feel completely welcome at our house, but I can only imagine how difficult it must be to move into your 40-year old daughter’s house, not wanting to impose on her family’s life. We had a great first day though. Mom and Dad brought all of their stuff to our house (including Timothy George, the Shih Tzu), and Mom made us all a really delicious spinach salad for dinner. It always used to drive me crazy how my mom would bring a million small bags when she travelled instead of one large one, but I’ve recently noticed myself doing the same thing, especially with all the stuff we cart around for Phoenix and Ephraim.

Bag Collection

The Only Team I Need: Flesh Eating Champagne

Rob and I never lived together before we got married, and when we finally did get married and move in together, we had a lot of fun playing Rock Band (the video game). We named our band in the game Flesh Eating Champagne, and the name has stayed with us since. When we need to come up with a team name for trivia or a race, I always suggest Flesh Eating Champagne. It’s only fitting that we have a logo.

Flesh Eating Champagne Logo

And here’s our team on a 5K Glow Scavenger Hunt back in October sporting the logo on day-glo orange t-shirts.

My Favorite Running Gear: Sports Bras with Pockets, Running Tights, and the Basis Peak

My Favorite Running Gear

When I began running, I think I did what a lot of people do. I pulled on some clothes I found around the house, laced up the most decent sneakers I had in the closet, and went out for week 1, day 1 of couch to 5K training. That was May 1, 2014. I ran my first 5K on July 4, 2014, and then I decided to begin the bridge to 10K training for a 10K I registered for on September 6,2014. And then I registered for a 15K on September 28, and then a half-marathon on November 2. And I knew I better buy some decent gear.

My sister took some video of me on my first 5K run, and the first thing I realized was that I desperately needed a better sports bra. I did some research and realized that the bras I had been wearing (sized only small/medium/large) were woefully inadequate for the gymnastic boob movements of running. I bought some Moving Comfort sports bras that worked very well. And then one day, I needed to run after work, but had forgotten my sports bra at home, so I stopped by the nearby outlet store for a bra to not ruin my training schedule. That’s where I found the best sports bra ever. The Champion All-Out Support Wireless Sports Bra is amazing. I read the reviews online and there are a lot of complaints about it having smaller sizing. I didn’t notice that; the bra sizing has been consistent with my regular everyday bra sizing. You can always try on multiple sizes to control for that issue. The real amazing thing about this sports bra is that it has two panels sewn together (I guess to mimic the support of wearing 2 sports bras at once – a strategy some women employ), but these panels make an amazing pocket. I can drop pepper spray and my phone in this pocket for easy access. No more special cases for my iPhone to wear on my arm or around my waist. It just stays snug in my bra. (And we’re talking an iPhone 6+ here.)

My next favorite piece of gear is my CW-X running tights. Now I know that there are a lot of “compression” tights out there. I even have some from Old Navy that are great for pilates or even spin class. However, the high impact workout my knees and pelvis get while running necessitates my magic pants – CW-X Women’s 3/4 Length Stabilyx Tights. I have two pairs that I recycle every other run. I bought my first pair of these tights after getting a few weeks into my B210K training, and I was starting to have some knee tenderness after a run. That knee pain is completely gone now. These tights are really magical. They provide support like no other running tight. In the mild climate where I live, the 3/4-length, non-insulated version has managed to get me through the coldest weather so far (in the lower 30’s). Sometimes I pair some compression calf sleeves with the tights for added warmth or training support, but usually, I don’t.

My final recommendation is a relatively new acquisition, my Basis Peak. I am a data junkie; I’ve been running with a heart rate monitor since my first few weeks of training. I import my data into MapMyRun (my family all joins in on that fun), Strava because I love the heat map and following the pros, and Smashrun because they have a data-analyzing powerhouse for runners. It’s amazing to see my heart rate training bands over the past months. Before the Basis Peak, I was using a chest monitor. And although it wasn’t too bad, I did have to deal with chafing, putting it on, and trying to keep it from not stinking. My Basis Peak changes all of that. Using MapMyRun, I record my heartrate for all my workouts – spin class, yoga, barre-lates. It works with Strava also to record my runs. And its all from my watch. I run at crazy hours and I always have my iPhone, so I don’t mind that the watch doesn’t have GPS. It’s data is just so robust and convenient! I charge it every day while I’m showering (although it is water resistant). And that’s it. Heart rate, sleep monitoring, awesomeness!

My husband and I are training for our second half marathon this spring, and I know this gear will be with me the whole time making my running life more convenient.

Sandals with Socks

Socks with Sandals

I love, love, love the concept of wearing socks with sandals. This photo shows me trying out this style with my brand new pair of OTBT Black Trenton’s (that I got on final-pair sale for a great deal at Lori’s Shoes of Chicago).

These shoes are super-cute, comfy, and make me about 6′-4″ (eye-to-eye with my husband). They’re great, and I have no worries about wearing them without socks. But can anyone really wear sandals with socks? There are tons of article on the interwebs about how socks with sandals may no longer be a faux-pas, but I dunno. There are some days that I don’t care about breaking the rules, but there are other days that I do want to look to put together. I think I’ll err on the conservative side of this issue and opt for sandals with opaque black tights or bare feet only (most of the time).

Looking out my Kitchen Window

I was recently reading Apartment Therapy’s post on warm and cool people (find by clicking here) and their design styles. I am definitely a warm person. Rob and I have created a home full of tchotchkes and things that make us smile. Our problems are weeding out stuff we don’t use and organizing the stuff we do use. (Rob may be a cool person on his own, but with me, he has no choice but to be warm.) I have been trying very hard to keep lots of negative spaces in our new home & not fill everything to the brim with stuff!
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Wildlife stamp

Found Object #7 – Wildlife Stamps

Some saved wildlife stamps… (why did I save these for years?)

Our First Wedding Anniversary

On Sunday, April 19th, 2009, Rob and I our first wedding anniversary–the paper one. We were really lucky that some of our family members were able to come over to our apartment and celebrate with us. We made everyone try our year old cake, which was actually quite tasty.

Click on the image for a larger view.
Rob & Me
When we cut our top cake!

Pretty Cake
The cake with our toppers-the glass ant & spider. The icing was sort of mangled from being wrapped up & frozen, but it was good!

Erin’s Visit

Erin came up this past weekend. We had a blast. On Saturday Night, we even managed to have a girl’s night (with Mama too)!


Me & Erin

I Love Re-Mix Vintage Shoes

I thought that I would take the opportunity to show everyone to my favorite shoe company ever: Re-Mix Vintage Shoes. If you ever need to buy me a present, any of their shoes (in size 11-yay! they make 11) would be a perfect, though expensive, gift.
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Bundled kitties…

Are watching you.

Trixie and Texas

Snow in Little River

It wasn’t snowing when i got back from the gym this morning at 6:50am, but by the time I left for work at 7:30–it was coming down in Little River. I took some photos to document the whole thing because snow is so rare in this part of the world. The best was watching my cats. They’d never seen snow before, and they were at two windows ready to attack any flake they could.

Erin's Shower

Erin’s Surprise Bridal Shower

October 11th will be here VERY SOON! This past weekend I went down to Savannah to help Erin celebrate a surprise bridal shower that some very lovely ladies helped put together for her.

Pictures here.

Warcraft with Trixie

I couldn’t help taking these pictures of my adorable cat, Trixie, helping Rob play Warcraft.