Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shadows and Other Stuff

Well, it's time for me to announce that I'm sick and tired of the cold already.  While there is supposedly a big storm coming for Saturday, we really haven't had a lot of snow.  But it has been so cold and windy.  Cold enough to freeze my water bottle and iPhone when I go out to run. I think it's just extra hard this time of year because it's cold AND dark.  Not a good combination to be faced with every single morning at 4:45. Some days I hit the stoop and my brain is all

... and that's when I generally head towards the treadmill.  Even though it's cold out there too, I warm up faster and of course, there's no wind chill.  The issue with that is while treadmill running gets the job done, it's b-o-r-i-n-g!  The other morning I just kept repeating "6-8 more weeks and this will be over."


Little Helen responded to our request for a date by asking us to block off July 23-25.  Other than that, we pretty much have no clue what is going to happen.  We finally decided just to completely back off and whatever happens, happens.  It was just too frustrating and upsetting trying to get them to open up.  I know there are those out there who think that since she's a 35 year old adult woman, that's the approach that should have been taken in the first place,  But this is my only child and for her entire life I've looked forward to be excited WITH her about planning a wedding.  That's not what's happening and so all I can do is move on.


The first thing I moved on to is planning our vacation!  That's always fun, right?  We already knew we wouldn't be going to the Caribbean this year.  Even being able to stay in our friend's home, it's an expensive vacation.  We thought about going to Montauk, New York but couldn't find reasonable accommodations.  My sister tried to talk us into coming to the Hamptons anyway, and staying with her.  It's a nice offer because she has an in-ground pool, the beaches (including Montauk) are nearby, and there are plenty of excellent restaurants.  But the truth is, if we did that it wouldn't really be "our" vacation because the kids are there and instead of having time as a couple it ends up being more of a family thing.  Then we looked at Cape Cod where we haven't been there since our disastrous trip in 2010.  We love the Cape but as I started looking at prices to rent a cottage, I started thinking I should expand where we might go... where could we go in driving distance?  Suddenly I thought of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I've always wanted to go there and we already know we like North Carolina.  So as I explored, I realized I could get us a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house in the Outer Banks for what we'd pay for a tiny cottage on the Cape.  I figured I'd have to talk Mr. Helen into it because he is not a fan of long drives, but he was on board from the get go. I found us a great house just one block from the beach, so Outer Banks it is!  Neither of us has ever been there and I'm so excited for us to go and explore a new place together. While I'm super excited to see a couple new lighthouses (I seek them out on vacations), is it terrible to admit that one of the things I'm most looking forward to is Eastern North Carolina vinegar based pulled pork?  LOL!


Things are up and down with the nutritionist.  Or rather I should say my weight has been up and down - lost 3 pounds the first week, then immediately gained 2 back the second week eating and exercising the same both weeks.  My immediate reaction was how much I hate the scale.  I seriously wanted to scream.  But my second reaction was to be glad to show her exactly what I've been dealing with for years.  If she can figure this out, it will be my hallelujah you hear.

And just about the time I'm ready to give up hope, I get a sign, of sorts...

When I was running yesterday morning, I was on the downhill stretch home running smack in the middle of the street (you can do that at 5:30 am).  The street lights were casting shadows ahead of me.  I noticed one right away - it was tall and thin and sort of graceful looking.  But then I noticed a closer shadow: shorter, chubbier and clunking along.  I realized that the closer darker shadow was how I really looked.  Then it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, while I could see my present, just a little bit ahead, was my future.


  1. You are going to LOVE the Outer Banks! My family vacationed there for years growing up - Nags Head mostly. A friend of mine moved back there after living in Illinois for some time - I'll ask her for restaurant recommendations for you, as it's been years since I've been there.

    p.s. I loved the last paragraph the best!

    1. Thanks for any recommendations, I would love that!

    2. Here you go Helen!

      Kitty Hawk:
      -we're huge fans of Black Pelican (lots of history there too- it's built around the old life saving station where the Wright Bros. sent their telegram that they completed the first flight)
      -Hurricane Mo's (right across the street from Black Pelican) has an amazing happy hour every single day (I think 3-5 in the summer) and do wings, tacos, shrimp & drink specials + the regular menu. We love their coconut rice!
      -Rundown Cafe has some unique carribean style food
      -Bad Bean or OBX Taco Bar unique yummy spins on southern/mexican

      Kill Devil Hills/Nags Head:
      -JK's has my death row meal. Their ribs are out of this world.
      -Henry's has an amazing breakfast til 1pm, I'm not that big of a fan of their lunch/dinner though
      -Mama Kwans has really long wait times but awesome drinks and food. We love their wonton apps and fish tacos
      -Colington Cafe is fancy, requires a reservation
      -Flying Fish cafe (we're going there next week for my moms bday)
      -Owens is a nice night out, been here really long. They serve crackers and melba toast with this cheese dip cup that I want to just eat with a spoon.

      I think that's all I can think of that we love and frequent! My parents have been to Captain George's seafood buffet & like it, if they're looking for something along those lines.

  2. Aw Helen, I am sorry that planning the wedding won't go as you hoped. You never know, maybe once things get closer to the date it will be different. Hugs.

    I wouldn't mind bundling up to go outside (sometimes) if the sidewalks weren't so freaking icy around here! I wont' walk in the road and it just is slow going trying to navigate icy walks.

    I think a driving trip would be fun. We love to use the drive as a vacation itself to explore towns and cities along the way. When we did our trip to Maine a couple years ago, we did it with no agenda other then ending up in Maine and had such a great trip!

    1. I think we got worn out of driving long distances during Little Helen's college years: 4 years of 10 1/2-12 hours driving two times a year. Of course that's also how we found out we like NC so there's that. This will be different though - we can take our time because we won't be worrying about getting to the dorm storage area before it's locked up!

  3. We want to go to the Outer Banks! It looks beautiful - I think you chose a great place for your vacation. And hell's yes to that ENC bbq!!!

    We are having the wettest winter - with rain. I guess it's good for the crops and livestock and such, and no one likes a drought, but geez. I'm so sick of being cold and damp (and today I think we got another 3 inches of rain). Bah - I'm with you on being sick of winter.

    It stinks that you aren't getting the wedding experience with your daughter that you'd always envisioned. I'm sorry about that...I wonder if someday, she will be, too.

    1. I've notice your wet winter weather. It really is tiresome. At least you're done with your major race training now!

  4. I've looked the Outer Banks up and it looks so beautiful. I'm sure you will have a great vacation there.

    Although I can't complain about temperatures here (although this week is a cold one) I'm, like you, so done with Winter. It seems I dislike winter more and more now I get older. It used to be my favorite season. I can't bring myself to run outside more than once a week in the dark and I have accepted that finally. I will run more once I can run in daylight again in the morning. At least we have more daylight at the end of the day, that feels good.

    Sorry that you can't help plan the wedding, I can totally understand that you would have loved doing that.

    1. I'm overly excited for this vacation - wanted to go to the Outer Banks for years. Even though it's months off, we're keeping our fingers crossed for excellent weather.

  5. I"M excited about your wedding! It will give me a chance to "explore" via your great vacay reports!

    I hesitate to talk about our "winter." I think the only thing I could complain about is the LACK of rain. I know we need it, but practically speaking, it makes it nice for me and four dogs. Honestly, I do not know how you guys can make yourself go out in weather that cold and exercise. I am a total weenie when it comes to the cold.