"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dusting off the cobwebs and starting fresh....

Yes, I see that it has been a really long time since I contemplated an entry. Not because I had nothing to share, quite the contrary. The truth is I was trying to protect my new life and let the old one die. Unfortunately, the old one is holding on with a death grip, but I'll discuss that later.

We will start with current news and work backwards, so that you are free to exit stage left when you feel so inclined.

As many of you may recall, I posted about training for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, which was held on January 17, 2010. I am pleased to announce that I finished the race with a time of 2:21:49 or 10.68 minutes/mile. It was a beautiful day for a race. The race course was lined with people, bands and amazing support for all participants. I was proud to be running my fist half marathon and even more pleased to see the City support the event.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have considered make the transition from a sprinter to a distance runner; however, with the support of SF, I embarked on the training and never looked back. In July 2008, ten days after my 47th birthday, I stepped on the scales and took all my measurements. I am pleased to say that the training took me from a Misses Size 16 to a Misses Size 12 and I couldn’t be prouder. I put forth the 5:00 AM daily trips to the gym, the runs at Memorial Park, the laps in the pool, the circuits on the bike and the changes in diet and sleep habits. All of this was something I chose. No one forced me to run. No one made me keep up the training. No one really had any say in the matter. I was accountable to only myself.

SF and I discussed her attendance that morning for support and ultimately, I asked her to stay at home. Now, do not be bad sports about this and give me any grief regarding my decision. While I would have loved having her at the finish line to see me cross it, the weather and the duration of the race were not conducive to our needs. I could not risk her getting sick, as she was recovering from a chest cold already. I asked her to remain at home and have things ready for me when I returned. Reluctantly, she did acquiesce and got up with me and watched the event on TV, even spying me at the 9 mile mark. She had my lunch materials ready and made certain that I ate and drank the foods we had discussed for my body to recover. After my shower and a long soak in the garden tub, I spent the remainder of the day on the couch with the sun pouring in on me and watching sports while I knitted on the first BMG footie for SF. The yarn is J Knits “Orange and White” sock yarn from The Yarn Have (Knoxville TN) and Sandy was a treat to do business with via the internet and phone. SF was attentive and fixed me the most amazing steak for dinner. She was so very proud and made certain that I took care of myself for the entire week following the race. I swear life is just about as perfect as it can be.

I am also registered once again to participate in the ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run. I am the Team Captain for my office and I am pleased with the number of my co-workers that have registered to participate. I will be designing a team t-shirt this week so that they will be ready by February 25th when I will be picking up the packets for the team. I will be running the 10K again this year and I hope to better my time from last year’s event.

After the conclusion of the Rodeo Run, I will take a break from competitive events and focus on an overall plan to continue to strengthen my core and tone the remaining “trouble spots”. Running in the Houston humidity is not something I relish, so any new competitive events I contemplate will be in the Fall and Winter.

Christmas 2009 was wonderful. SF and I had a serious discussion about both Thanksgiving and Christmas prior to their respective arrivals, so we had all of our expectations laid out. We agreed to have chili as our dinner with homemade cornbread. Both the girls balked at the idea, but we patiently explained that we are making all new traditions for our life together and they would just have to accept that and go with the flow.

We went through a check list of items that included what we already had and then added what we needed. We purchased a 9 foot tree from Home Depot. Unfortunately, I cannot link to it due to the untimely nature of this post. I will try to get pictures loaded up to Flickr later this week and you will see it. It was quite lovely. Due in part to the compromise, she wanted the 9 foot tree and I wanted multi-colored lights, I was able to use multi-colored LED lights. We added about a dozen new ornaments that we chose together and a tree skirt. I also ordered us special stockings from Land’s End with our names upon them. She had the Santa with the Reindeer and I had the Nutcracker.

Once again, as part of our new traditions as a couple, we agreed to celebrate our Christmas together on Christmas Eve. We had a lovely dinner and nestled up together on the couch. We had a beautiful evening slowly opening the gifts and enjoying the moment. Some of the gifts were need gifts that we both knew the other needed but had not purchased. A few were special and that was the wonderful part. I received two beautiful watches. One is a Fossil and the other is a Harley Davidson. SF loves watches and she has been on a mission to get me to acknowledge that I needed several. She knew I needed a very dressy one (last year’s Valentine’s Gift) to go along with the very nice ESQ that I use for work. I also surprised her with a watch that was made especially to match her motorcycle. I mentioned the yarn from Knoxville earlier in this post, as it was part of her Lady Vols package. She received enough sock yarn for me to make her at least four pair of socks and this limited edition print by Robert A. Tino. One of the biggest surprises was the new iPOD she gave me. It has been affectionately named “Orange Crush”. There were other gifts but these are the highlights.

We had Stephanie, Jack, Zoe and Megan over on Christmas day. Zoe is getting so big and she was just getting the hand and eye coordination needed to open gifts. Overall, we enjoyed the entire day and we were sad to see them leave. Stephanie, Jack and Zoe had to get back to Huntsville to spend Christmas with Jack’s parents and with Jackson, Jack’s son from another life. Megan had to leave to go to have Christmas with my ex (SWCNLBN), her second father/mother.

Thanksgiving was just as wonderful as well. With it being our first together, I wanted to do the cooking. I enjoy fixing a family meal and this was the first time that I have had the opportunity over the last two years. It was a very traditional dinner. I had a 20 pound bird, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Our neighbors were also invited so they brought dessert. It was wonderful to have everyone over for the first major holiday since I moved into the house and with SF. We were fat and sassy but still managed to get everyone out and the kitchen cleaned in time for Stephanie, Jack, Zoe and Megan to get to the scheduled dinner with their dad (John) and grandmother. We too had another dinner to attend and we changed and made it on time for that one as well.

In the midst of November, we celebrated SF’s birthday. With any new relationship, there is that point in time where you want to surprise you partner with that one gift you know that they want but have not gotten for themselves. I had just that opportunity this year. I knew that we needed a windshield for the motorcycle and that SF had been putting it off. I called San Jacinto Harley Davidson and they helped me get the windshield and the mounting bracket ordered and in my hands with four days left to spare before her birthday. I was especially creative with how I gave it to her. I created a special “flyer” that let the windshield be the author of the document. It detailed with clues what the gift was and then with additional clues where the gift could be located. Essentially it was a scavenger hunt for the gift because it was too large to wrap. It was the best surprise I could have given her.

November also brought both of us new jobs. SF accepted a new position within her company at their Sweeney Facility. There is far less stress on her now and she is making several strides within the department and also with her staff. I am so vey proud of her.

The same exact day that SF started her new job, I also started a new job. I have nothing but praise for the CEO and Senior Staff at the previous employer; however, when the money was laid out on the table, they could not match or exceed the offer, so I embarked on a new assignment.

I was originally hired to be the Executive Assistant to a very high level Senior VP. I love working with her and she has been a wonderful role model and mentor. She has been kind enough to introduce me to her sister, who is also a very accomplished runner. The connection has made a whole network available to me that I would not otherwise come in contact with and I am looking forward to working with them in the future. Over the last two months, I have supported her staff and learned a great deal.

I have proven my skill sets and have now been promoted. I haven’t even had my ninety day review and I have an entirely new position in my lap. As of 3:00 PM CST Tuesday, January 26th, I am now part of our Corporate Communications Staff. The Blackberry Tour has been activated and I am already running. I have so much more to learn but I am super excited. More updates to follow as I get settled in the new role and learn more about the additional phases of the role.

September was a tough month. SWCNLBN retained legal representation; however, the letter from the attorney was loaded with statements that had no shred of truth or reality as back up. I had to retain a lawyer myself and as of today, the situation has gotten no where. But, we are forward thinking and I think our next move is an injunction. Can’t really say much else because I have been advised not to, so bear with me on that. Just know that SWCNLBN is still trolling the blog looking for updates or something. I get an email when her IP address “pings” the site, so even without an entry in such a long time, she is still trying to remain in my life. Why? If you can answer that then please shed some much needed light on it. That chapter is closed and I would love to have the remaining issues addressed and resolved once and for all.

Along the way I have changed my hair style, my hair color and gotten some new glasses (the wine color). With all the training, I have been replacing items in my wardrobe and I had forgotten how nice a size 12 feels. I have been adding pieces slowly in case I drop any more after the February 27th event. I plan on remaining a size 12 for a while but I don’t want to get carried away with a huge investment incase my body has other plans.

Okay, I think that I have bored you all enough with this epic entry. My goal is to get one new entry a week on the blog. My next one will be about knitting, as I have many completed projects to document and some glimpses of some future ones as well.


Megan said...

I'm glad to hear things are going so well for you! I too, am trying to get re-aquainted with my blog. One plus one does not equal two when it comes to children, it equals about thirty.

Amy Darsie said...

You're back!!! *hugs*

I was begining to worry there for a while, but I know that you've had some things in your life that you needed to settle. Sometimes, stepping away from the computer is the best thing.

Well, I for one am glad to hear that, for the most part, things are going well!