Hey there

I’m taking a little coffee break and watching some Olympic volleyball and thought I’d fill you in on what’s been going on with me over the last few days.

Well, Duncan has been as lazy as lazy can be. I guess he’s just giving that expression “dog days of summer” true meaning. I can’t help but smile at him though. He’s got it so easy.

This dog!

This dog!

Lazy pose #1,267,468

Lazy pose #1,267,468

He's blocking the return key AND the delete key. This is a problem.

He’s blocking the return key AND the delete key. This is a problem.

Waiting for me to get out of bed.

Waiting for me to get out of bed.

Seriously!

Seriously!

Stairs for the mid-day nap

Stairs for the mid-day nap

I went for a run on Saturday. It was a very “blue” run.

Blue Vivofit, blue shirt, blue socks, blue sneakers and even a blue poop bag that was the "in case it rains and phone needs to be protected" bag.

Blue Vivofit, blue shirt, blue socks, blue sneakers and even a blue poop bag that was the “in case it rains and phone needs to be protected” bag.

In the evening I put on my photographer hat and shot a 50th wedding anniversary.

IMG_4918

Sunday I spent with my boyfriend’s family for a small get together to celebrate his youngest’s 11th birthday. The cake must have “shifted in flight” and ended up looking like an Alice In Wonderland cake being all lopsided but it sure did taste good and nobody cared about the presentation.

IMG_4935We all laughed and tried to rescue it from the box with multiple spatulas. I spent my obligatory time with the adults having adult conversation and then I snuck away to chew gum and practice blowing bubbles with Mr. SOTSS’ oldest daughter. She just learned this fine craft thanks to her dad’s fine instruction. We’re going to petition to have it become an olympic sport for the 2020 Olympics so we have 4 years to practice :)

I posted a slow-motion video of this bubble popping if you wanted to be blown away. OK being totally dramatic. It's not that exciting

I posted a slow-motion video of this bubble popping on Instagram if you wanted to be blown away. OK being totally dramatic. It’s not that exciting

She's getting better!

She’s getting better!

Hanging with the pooches

Hanging with the pooches

Yesterday I had to run an errand in the afternoon and found myself near the boardwalk so I took a quick 45 min walk and enjoyed the sunshine. Of course there I was walking toward the Verrazano Bridge and found myself feeling the pangs of the NYC Marathon.

IMG_4973I am not running it this year or next year. But there’s a part of me that wants to do the 9+1 next year so that I can qualify to run in 2018. We’ll see. I’m barely getting through my 4 mile runs these days.

Later on in the evening i took Duncan for a walk. We went to a park we haven’t been to in months. It was a nice change of pace for both of us :)

IMG_4975

This afternoon I struggled through 4 hot mid-afternoon miles.

Duncan has become addicted to licking the sweat off my legs this summer

Duncan has become addicted to licking the sweat off my legs this summer

Well, I better get back to work. I’d like to be wrapped up before primetime so I can watch the Olympics….women’s gymnastics!

Have you ever run the NYC Marathon? If not, do you want to?

Who’s ready for the fall weather? ME!!!!

Happy Friday y’all!

I knew yesterday morning it was time for a running route shake up.

I just didn’t have it in me to run my usual 3 -4 mile neighborhood route for a couple of reasons.

  1. Boredom
  2. The sloped road and downhills were bothering my knee

So I took my run to the beach.

IMG_4874There’s a great 4+ mile trail that runs between the beach and the marina at Gateway National Park here on Staten Island.

marina

marina

The weather was spot on….in the 70s with a nice breeze. There is a loose gravel trail that runs parallel to the cement sidewalk so I alternated between both. The gravel is softer but also requires my knee to work harder to stabilize me. By alternating I was able to give it a break every so often. And the route is pancake flat which meant no downhill for my knee to get aggravated by. It was refreshing to see different scenery and psychologically it felt good to run all 4 miles in the 10:XX range.

IMG_4871The heat and the knee aggravation have made left me running in the 12:XX lately because I have been choosing to walk during downhills and when the oppressive weather forces me to.

Beaches are the best backdrops!

Beaches are the best backdrops!

Yay 10:29 average pace!

Yay 10:29 average pace!

I’ve been running mostly just to achieve my 12,000 steps a day goal (and to relieve my stress) but haven’t had any other real goals. But the Staten Island Half Marathon is at the beginning of October and that means I’ll finally be focusing my running on other things like hill workouts and long runs. I know at mile 9 of the Staten Island Half Marathon there is a big hill, so I’d like to run lots of hill drills. And since my knee is fine on the uphill I can get good workouts going up and walking down.

Anxiety lift

Well don’t ya know that my anxiety levels have come down so much over the last 3 weeks since leaving that full time gig. I’m enjoying freelancing again.

Such a lovely office view

Such a lovely office view

The flexibility is by far one of my most treasured aspects of freelancing. Not just for personal stuff like running and keeping up with my chores but to be available to bail people out when their in need of something, most recently when Mr. SOTSS had to work late and I was able to go feed Chester and let him out in the yard. I love that I can almost always create my own hours, whether to join my niece and sister-in-law for a jaunt in the city for epic milkshakes or today for instance, I’m going to a friend’s pool party but I’ll work this evening. And have I mentioned how awesome my clients are? They are really happy with my work and don’t hesitate to communicate that to me. It’s empowering as I start looking to sell my services to new clients. I’m working on updating my portfolio and credentials website and then I’ll be pushing hard this fall to land a few more clients. My life will always have things in it to cause anxiety and I’m ok with that but the anxiety I had being at a job that wasn’t a good fit for me was causing that anxiety to be more than I really should have had to deal with. The constant uneasiness of not knowing what my responsibilities or daily tasks were supposed to be and the complete lack of communication/direction from my superiors was just not my style. I also felt a ton of anxiety letting my family, especially Mr. SOTSS know how upset I was and how disappointed I was. I felt like a failure at first. I also wanted this job to work because I wanted that steady income so I could start saving for our (Mr. SOTSS and I) future together. And of course, as everything else in my life, everyone was so supportive of me. Life is too short to do anything that doesn’t make you happy or give you fulfillment. I’ve got plenty of time to save for that future. And once I realized I just wanted to work harder to find more freelance clients I felt so much better. I am a hard worker and have a marketable skill. There’s no reason I can’t make the same, or more money as an independent contractor. Actually I did this for many years so I know i’m capable.

Sorry for that ramble! Sometimes these blog posts become some much more for me than for you. :)

Have a great weekend!

Question:

Do you remember a time in your life where you just felt overwhelmed with angst? How did you handle it? Did it force you to make a change in your life?

P.S. I totally missed National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day yesterday! I guess that means next year I’ll have to eat 2 cookies. (or 2 boxes:)

Hi there.

How are you? I’ve been running, spent some QT with Mr. SOTSS and yesterday I had an epic milkshake. Yeah, I said epic.I know the word gets overused, but I mean it. I’m not being dramaticOK, let me back up and tell you about my week first and then we’ll get back to that milkshake.

RUNNING

I had another solid week in freelance-ville and like last week, I was able to get a few short runs in on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and the theme for all 3 was HOT and HUMID!

HOT and sweaty...the pits don't lie

HOT and sweaty…the pits don’t lie

 

Thursday trail run because shade was necessary

Thursday trail run because shade was necessary

Sunday pictureless 4

Sunday pictureless 4

RELATIONSHIPS

I ended up seeing Mr. SOTSS 4 days straight which is a lot for us unless we’re on vacation. It was lovely though. We went shopping so I could to pick out a birthday gift for his daughter, spent lots of time with the pooches, rented a movie (we saw Room—and it was really good!) and just enjoyed a whole lot of conversation. He even made me coffee in the mornings and cooked Sunday dinner for us.

The dogs fell asleep while we watched the movie. I think they were hoping we could rent the Secret Life of Pets.

The dogs fell asleep while we watched the movie. I think they were hoping we could rent the Secret Life of Pets.

After walking in the rain. Not amused

After walking in the rain. Not amused

Duncan loves his "PapaG"

Duncan loves his “PapaG”

We’ve been together now just over 2 years. The first 3 months were truly the “get to know each other” months. Dates were once every couple of weeks and eventually we added in our every Thursday evening weekly date. Somewhere over the next month or so things really clicked and we knew this wasn’t a casual dating scenario anymore. We really complement each other so well and I’m so grateful that he is in my life, and I am in his.

I told you his smile is as big as the smiley emoticon I usually use to cover his face.

I told you his smile is as big as the smiley emoticon I usually use to obscure his face.

We obviously don’t live together (we don’t even live in the same state—although we’re only 30 minutes away) but we make sure to take the time now to talk about how it will be to share a home in the future. We’re really clear with each other about things we will need, want, be willing to compromise on, etc. It sounds so silly but you can never be too prepared. I’ve lived alone since my husband died in 1999. In 2000, I purchased my home which is my haven and my pride and joy. I love having my own space and I’m not the most flexible when I’m out of my element.

Returning to my home sweet home yesterday

Returning to my home sweet home yesterday

So I let him know that it would be imperative for me to have a separate space for my graphic design studio that would also be set up as a mini apartment for me, a place I can escape to (and hide my stash of peppermint patties so he can’t find them :) . I envision it like a little cottage in the backyard with a pathway of scattered stones leading up to it. Lots of windows because I love natural light! And he will have his shop/garage where he can do his woodworking and home reno projects and work on his car. He’s volunteered to be make the beds and I’ll be the Swiffer-er! The good thing about meeting later in life is that we really have the wisdom and the determination to make a relationship work. Communication, compromise and above all mutual respect and kindness.

MILKSHAKE MADNESS
And now I’ll tell you about the milkshake that changed my life. My sister-in-law emailed me last week asking if I was going to be free yesterday because she wanted to take my niece to this restaurant in the city called Black Tap that she heard about that had some amazing milkshakes. I told her yes which meant doing some work over the weekend so I’d have the window of free time yesterday. We arrived at Black Tap about 30 minutes before they opened and there was already a line to get in. It was a short line and we were seated almost immediately after they opened. I hear that if you try and go later in the day you could wait 2 hours!

black-tap-milkshake

Yes that’s a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich attached to the side of the glass like a garnish!

black-tap-cookie-shake

cookie milkshake from Black Tap

My sister in law got the black forrest shake. It was chocolate everywhere with brownies on top. Tasted very much like black forrest cake

My sister in law got the black forrest shake. It was chocolate everywhere with brownies on top. Tasted very much like black forrest cake

I got the chocolate chip cookie shake. It was a vanilla milkshake with mini chocolate chips and cookie crumbles tossed in. There was also an entire ice cream sandwich attached to it. And chocolate frosting and cookie crumbs were covering the outside of the glass along the rim.

I got the chocolate chip cookie shake. It was a vanilla milkshake with mini chocolate chips and cookie crumbles tossed in. There was also an entire ice cream sandwich attached to it. And chocolate frosting and cookie crumbs were covering the outside of the glass along the rim.

Niece got the cotton candy shake. It was a strawberry milkshake with insane amounts of sweets on top. Rock candy and lollipops and cotton candy.

Niece got the cotton candy shake. It was a strawberry milkshake with insane amounts of sweets on top. Rock candy and lollipops and cotton candy.

My niece who now towers over me. I'm a shortie. She's a beauty.

My niece who now towers over me. I’m a shortie. She’s a beauty.

How cool is this shot I took of a door to the building the restaurant is in

How cool is this shot I took of a door to the building the restaurant is in

And now I am off to my couch to work…..oh wait….I’m already there 😉

Happy Tuesday! Happy August! Happy Summer!

What’s the most epic dessert you’ve ever had?
Are you good at relationships? Can you compromise?
How have your running workouts been lately?