Around Here…

Monday, October 20th, 2014 | Posted under About Me

Things have been a little bit quiet around here because I’m in full on grad student mode right now. My Theories of Personality take-home midterm, which involved writing two essays, is due tomorrow and on Wednesday I have a huge presentation in my Developmental Psychology class on the effects of chronic illness on self-esteem and peer relationships in adolescents. Yikes! I kinda bit off more than I can chew with that one, but I’m try to pull something together so I sound somewhat intelligent!

On top of all that, I’m starting another job! Winter is the slow season at the running store (apparently Minnesotans aren’t quite so keen on running in three feet of snow in negative twenty degree weather with a negative forty degree windchill!) so I decided to pick up another job — at Pier 1 Imports! As you may remember, I worked there last year for six months and enjoyed it pretty well so I’m heading back. I might be there just for the holidays, maybe longer. We’ll see how things shake out with hours and whatnot.

I’m also babysitting pretty regularly for this little boy with diabetes and his older sister. They are cute kids. It’s nice to have a family to work for regularly again. They also live in a really nice part of Minneapolis!

Oh, and I have a half marathon coming up this Saturday. I’m not quite sure how prepared I’ll be. I ran a really great 2.64 miles on Saturday. My fastest pace ever! But my quad was killing me, which I suppose is better than my knee. I haven’t been able to do quite the mileage I wanted, but I’m just going to head out on Saturday and try to have a good time even if I have to walk. I mean, it’s my first, so it’s a PR (personal record) no matter how fast I am! Haha.

And now I’m off to see Cheryl Strayed speak at Concordia University! I’m skipping math class to do it (but I turned in the homework via email so I’m still okay). I will take notes and report back soon on what she says!

One comment »

Our House: The Downstairs

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 | Posted under Home Life

Remember the time we bought a house? Well, we bought the last few pieces for our living room and now I’m finally ready to share some photos of our new home!

Our house was built in 1937, so it has a lot of historical charm and character. While a few updates have been made over the years, there are still a few upgrades that we would like to eventually make. Although, isn’t that how it always is?

I thought I would start off showing the downstairs of the house, and then next week I’ll show you the upstairs. We have a basement, but it’s pretty much storage along with the laundry so there’s not really anything to show off. Maybe someday!

We don’t have a front foyer, so when you walk into the house you’re pretty much in the living room.

photo 1-6


The living room is on the left, dining room is on the right, and the stair case is straight ahead. (You can see a portion of the kitchen too)

With more living room space in the new house, we were able to buy a couple new chairs at Pier 1 Imports. I saw the floral chair when I was working there last year, so I knew I wanted to buy that one. We thought about getting another chair, just in a different patter, but Erik picked this chair out when we went shopping. Natasha just loves sitting on it! She also loves to sit on the radiators throughout the house.

photo 1-5

I love the built in shelving and the arch between the dining room and living room. And you see that little wood square by the front door, under the mirror? That’s our mailbox! Isn’t that cool?

photo 2-5

 Our dining room was already painted a really beautiful brick red, which was reminiscent of the red wall we had in our New York apartment.  It also came with a gorgeous chandelier, although I’m not sure if it’s original. Either way, it looks vintage and fit the feel of the house really well. The dining room also has a beautiful built-in buffet, although we hardly have anything in it! I’m sure we’ll find things to fill it with, but so far it’s home to our cookbooks, our two sets of china, and some vases and extra wine glasses.

photo 3-3

Right now, our kitchen is probably my least favorite room in the house. It’s a big space, but the cupboards, counters and floors are all pretty ugly. I would love to make some changes but kitchen remodels are incredibly expensive.

photo 4-3

One perk of the kitchen is our “spice closet.” It’s probably Erik’s favorite feature of the house since he cooks so much. It originally was used to house the ironing board, but one of the owners installed shelving and now it’s a perfect place to house spices!



Now we move on to the guest bedroom, which is also where the downstairs bathroom is. If you were standing at the base of the stairs, on your left is a short hallway with a closet and the door to the guest bedroom. On your right would be another doorway to the kitchen (the architect really likes his doors!).

I really hate the color of the guest bedroom, but I was exhausted after painting the living room, our bedroom and my office, so I haven’t tackled the guest bedroom. Possibly over winter break when I’m not as busy.

photo 3-4

The world’s smallest bathroom. You have to sort of angle yourself properly to, well, you know. It’s kind of funny. It works just fine though and we’ve actually gotten used to it. When we first moved in, I thought it was going to aggravate me so much. But it turns out that there are other things I’d rather change first. Kind of funny how that works, huh? I definitely think that it helps to live with things for a little bit before making changes, especially if you can’t do everything all at once!

photo 2-6

So that is the tour of the downstairs! Any questions? I’ll have pictures of the upstairs next week!


Tuesday Wisdom

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 | Posted under Tuesday Wisdom


No Comments »

Friday Finds + Weekly Recap

Friday, October 10th, 2014 | Posted under Friday Finds

2a2fa101166454ad28cf8d01f26c6d7e10 useful websites for bloggers

Really, stop worrying about finding the G-spot

An insightful look at why we marry the wrong people

The changing world of plus sized fashion

Why “All About That Bass” really isn’t all that

This is why you shouldn’t make assumptions about others

How a sub-2 hour marathon can happen

The cutest story about an autistic girl and her cat

More people drink tomato juice on planes than on land

The power of self-talk


On Monday, my big goal was to run 12 miles. And that totally didn’t happen. Around mile 4, after I had taken a quick break to test my blood sugar and eat a HoneyStinger. Then right after I started running again, I had a pain in my left knee. It kept getting worse, and after about a half a mile I could barely run. It was so painful, but I was on a huge loop through the Twin Cities and so I still had to find my way back home. I managed to run / walk my way back to my house. I ended up covering about ten miles, but it hardly was any kind of training run. Even though the run sucked, I did snap an awesome picture of the Mississippi River and the view of Minneapolis.


I had a massage on Tuesday (I get them once a month at Massage Envy) and I told my therapist that I thought I had a knot in my IT band. She thought that was probably unlikely, but we did find out that in addition to a tight IT band, I had three knots surrounding my IT band! Ouch! I also had a knot on my right leg too. It was probably the most painful massage I’ve ever had. My therapist told me to try Biofreeze, which is basically like Icy/Hot but without the Hot part. I think it’s helping! I went for a three mile run today and didn’t really have any pain, so that was a relief. I never thought I’d be the kind of girl to get regular massages but I have so many knots that I think it’s really helping me! I just wish it wasn’t so expensive, but I think it’s a good investment.

Wednesday was packed. I had class in the morning, followed by a shift at our St. Paul store. Then I immediately skiddadled to a Junior League meeting, grabbing a spiced apple cider at Trader Joe’s on my way there since my group was responsible for providing beverages. Nobody drank it though, so more for us!

I normally do Orangetheory on Tuesday and Thursday, but I skipped it on Tuesday because of my knee. But I decided to brave it Thursday morning and just take it easy. It was sort of miserable. I didn’t like any of the strength training moves. Everything felt really hard, although my abs are killing me so clearly I got something out of it! And I used the elliptical instead of the treadmill, and while it felt good for my knee, I could not figure out how the heck to go faster! I felt like I was going so slow. Later in the afternoon I did some stuff for the store’s website, and I had a call with one of my editors at a diabetes magazine. Later that night, Lisa and her boyfriend Phil came over for dinner. We had a lot of fun chatting about everything from work to where we grew up (Erik and Phil went to the same high school, but just 2 years apart) to local breweries and restaurants. We have a lot more stuff on our to do list now!

How was your week?


The Perks of Being a Shy Extrovert

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 | Posted under Personal Essays, School

shyIn grad school, I’m taking a class called Theories of Personality. We’re talking a lot about different ways people have tried to figure out how we as people tick. So we’re talking about Freud, Jung, and a bunch of other psychologists that you probably haven’t heard of.

A couple weeks ago, the topic of extroversion and introversion came up. I’ve heard a lot of people use introversion as sort of this catch all for anyone who isn’t loud and outgoing.  I asked my professor to clarify, and she said that introversion really is how you gain energy. People who are introverts need to recharge by being alone, whereas extroverts feel recharged when they are with other people.

I decided that if this is the case, I am an extrovert. I prefer to be around people, and I prefer spending time with close friends or my husband to having to do anything alone. But this didn’t seem to fully encompass me. While I love to be around people, I don’t love being around all people. Obviously there are the kinds of people who just rub me the wrong way and with whom I don’t get a long. That’s obvious.

There are also these situations where I’m around a lot of people that I’m not as close with, and I get… uncomfortable. I don’t feel like I’m on my A game and I struggle to figure out my place. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure it out. Everyone I know thinks I’m pretty outgoing and friendly. And I know I’m not an introvert because being alone doesn’t usually recharge me. In fact, I usually feel bored and restless. So what’s going on?

After my professor explained her view of the differences between extroversion and introversion, I then asked, “Well, what’s shyness?”

She explained that shyness is more related to an anxiety that develops around other people. It’s not necessarily a preference to being alone, it’s an anxiety about being around other people, especially those you don’t know. You can be an introvert who is fine public-speaking or going to networking events, but then you want to recharge by being alone. You can also be an introvert who has major anxiety public speaking (stage fright) or meeting people (shyness).

And that’s when I figured it out: I am a shy extrovert.

It crystalized for me when I was at Junior League meeting last month. I was sitting in the ballroom at the Minnikahda Country Club, surrounded by women, none of whom I knew, and I basically thought I was in hell. This isn’t even an exaggeration. I sat at a table, sipping on my Diet Coke with grenadine (because I didn’t bring cash and couldn’t drown my misery with alcohol) and it hit me: I’m shy. Actually legitimately, completely and totally shy.

It explains everything. I absolutely love having friends, but making them is torture.

When I think about how I’ve met friends over the years, almost all of them have been out of circumstances. Most of my good friends are either classmates or coworkers. A few friends are people I met online — so I was able to vet them for compatibility from the safety of my couch. It explains why I rarely have clicked with any meet-ups I’ve gone to… except for the Young Professional Couples group that — wait for it — Erik and I were a part of in New York. I was comfortable and less shy because I had my safety net, my husband, with me for each event. It’s why I felt comfortable and open at our church group. Because I wasn’t alone.

I always felt like my personality was sort of split when it came to socializing, and I think this really explains it. For a long time I thought I was an introvert, because I preferred people I knew to people I don’t know. But that’s really not it, because I realized that I don’t really feel recharged being alone. I mean, there are certain social situations that I don’t care for. You’ll never catch me at a loud club dancing the night away. I can’t hear anything and yelling rubs my throat raw. But I love having people over to our house and I actually don’t mind being out in crowds. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m married! I never have to worry about having someone to hang out with.

So remember, being an introvert does not mean you’re shy. Because extroverts can be shy too. And it sucks!



Tuesday Wisdom

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 | Posted under Tuesday Wisdom


No Comments »

The Weekend: Gone Girl + Staying Home Girl

Monday, October 6th, 2014 | Posted under The Weekend

gone_girl_movie_poster_1Having read the book two years ago and absolutely loving it, I really wanted to see the new Gone Girl movie on Friday night. We didn’t have time to get a real dinner between when I got home from work and when the movie stared, so we had “theater dinner” which is when we eat really horrible concession stand food as our meal. The movie, however, was amazing! If you loved the book, you’ll love the movie. And if you didn’t like the book, you’ll still like the movie (although you still won’t like what happens). However, if you haven’t read the book: the movie will ruin everything. It is incredibly faithful to the book, because the author wrote the screenplay, and she only made some very minor tweaks. She only cut minor characters and eliminated some unnecessary (for a movie) backstory. Everything that you loved and hated about the book is still there. And it’s awesome!

Gone Girl pretty much is the weirdest, creepiest, uncomfortablist movie ever but it is soooo good. The acting, the direction, everything was amazing. I definitely think there will be some Oscar nominations — possibly even wins — for this movie. Okay, I’m done gushing.

I had to work on Saturday, and when I got home Saturday night, Erik and I just stayed home and relaxed. We had dinner and then watched the season premiere of The Vampire Diaries, my guilty pleasure. (The Originals is tonight! Eep!) Then we watched one of the Harry Potter movies on television before hitting the sack.

Sunday morning we slept in super late, so we didn’t really get going until almost noon. We had brunch at a little diner in our neighborhood called Ideal Diner. Erik had their Nordeast omelet and I had a stack of pancakes with some bacon. I loved their pancakes but they had really crispy bacon, and I prefer chewier bacon. Oh well. Bacon is bacon. The rest of Sunday afternoon was spent doing housework. It takes a lot longer now, obviously, since now we have a house. Erik did the manly outdoorsy work like raking the leaves, mowing the lawn, and cleaning the gutters, while I stayed inside (where it was a nice and warm) to vacuum, mop and dust the downstairs and some of the upstairs.

We were pretty tired by Sunday night, so Erik made salmon and veggies for dinner (to make up for our horrendously unhealthy brunch) and then we watched a little television and I did some reading for school before going to bed.


If you saw Gone Girl this weekend, what did you think? If you didn’t, will you? 


Friday Finds + Weekly Review

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 | Posted under Friday Finds

Kinder Scout, Derbyshire, EnglandDoctors suffer one of the highest rates of suicide — yikes!

What farts reveal about your health

A fun interview with Lena Dunham

The coolest way to change clothes without getting nekkid

An open letter to a pastor’s future gay child

Whole Foods is getting cheaper?

25 Struggles on ENFPs Will Understand (I think I’m ENFJ, but still. Pretty close.)

How the poor afford NYC



This week went by both really quickly and really slowly. Not that much happened, but I’m still really surprised that it’s already Friday! On Monday, I ran six miles as part of me getting for my first half. My hips were so sore at the end. I need to work on how to have less hip pain. One of the girls at work recommend working on my glutes, hamstrings and quads, so I guess I’ll be doing a lot of lunges!

Tuesday and Wednesday are sort of a blur. Tuesday was pretty much going to school and then coming home to work on homework, and then I watched TV in the evening while Erik was out for the evening. Wednesday was pretty absorbed with class in the morning and then work all afternoon and evening!

The exciting thing on Thursday was a blogger dinner that I went to with three Minneapolis bloggers, Jennifer, Christina and Deepta. They were super fun, and we had a great time chatting about marriage, Minneapolis, careers, and babies… all that good girl stuff! We went to Cafe Ena in South Minneapolis and it was a really nice restaurant. I got scallops, which I love. It was a really fun evening and I’m glad I had a chance to meet more ladies in the area.


How was your week? 


One comment »

Goodbye September, Hello October!

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 | Posted under Monthly Check-In



It’s October! Last third of the year is upon us! So crazy!

In September, I… 

Signed up for a membership to Orangetheory Fitness. I had a one month temporary membership at OTF, but last week I finally decided to make the commitment and I’m now a full-fledged member! Right now I’m going to continue taking classes on Tuesday and Thursday. But since I work next door at Run N Fun, I also get a bonus class each month! So that’s pretty awesome. They have a longer class on Saturdays and so I might try that out as my bonus class.

Got an A in my first grad school class. My 1 credit Orientation to the Profession of Counseling class finished last week and I got an A! I think that’s a good sign for the rest of my career in grad school, right?

Accomplished a huge diabetes goal. As I mentioned last week, I achieved an A1C of 6.6%! The American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommend an A1C below 7%, so I’m definitely safely below their recommendation. In 20 years of having diabetes I have never achieved an A1C that low, so it’s a big deal. I’m very happy!

Went to Des Moines for a diabetes conference and met Amber. I went to Iowa for the first time in September! And I also met Amber, from A Little Pink in the Cornfields. Both are awesome! It was a very fun trip.


In October, I will… 

Hang out with a lot of people. After my diatribe about how homesick I was feeling, I decided that I needed to do something about it. Nobody can help me feel less homesick but me! So I sent out a bunch of emails and organized a few dinners and blogger meet-ups. Next Thursday, Lisa and her boyfriend Phil are coming over for dinner, and then I might see her and Amber later that weekend. The following week I’m hosting a potluck for Minneapolis bloggers, so it’ll be fun to meet new people. And at the end of October, two of my local diabetes friends and their respective husbands are coming over for dinner. Yay socializing!

Run my first half marathon. I’m doing it, yo! I’m running the Monster Dash Half Marathon on October 25. Having accomplished a 10 mile run in September, I feel confident that I can do it. Monster Dash is supposed to be a pretty good run (mostly downhill!) and since it’s a casual holiday race, I figure I will feel less intimidated because a lot of people probably won’t be trying very hard. And so I won’t (hopefully) be the last person across the finish line! Although you never know…

Celebrate my hubby’s birthday. It’s Erik’s golden birthday! He turns 31 on October 31st. So of course, I have to plan something fun.


What does your October look like? Did you have a good September? 


Tuesday Wisdom

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 | Posted under Tuesday Wisdom


No Comments »

With Faith & Grace All rights reserved © 2012-2014

I am a HowJoyful Design by Joy Kelley