Friday, December 31, 2010

Bye Bye 2010!

So, here it is, the end of 2010. It's been a really interesting and important year. Instead of going into detail, here's a list of 20 note-worthy things that happened:

1. Had what I suppose should count as my first really serious relationship

2. Started and completed Couch to 5k and thus began running

3. Ran my first real 5k

4. Finished and turned in my undergrad thesis that was years in the making

5. Graduated from college

6. Spent a month in Paris

7. Went to an Auburn football game (and realized I like football!)

8. Learned how to shoot a gun (and realized I like that too!)

9. Lost... 4 pounds? and feel really good

10. Ran my first trail run and regular 10k

11. Learned how to build a fence and other house-related things thanks to Jon

12. Applied to graduate school

13. Moved to France

14. Started teaching elementary school in a foreign country

15. Ended aforementioned relationship
16. Cooked my first Thanksgiving Turkey

17. Started the new WW plan (even though I haven't been good about it yet)

18. Bought size 8 jeans. I've had a pair of ON's Sweetheart jeans at every size I've been along this journey.

19. Went on a date and had fun :)

20. Stayed positive and made it through December with fabulous friends, a stateside Christmas visit, and delicious red wine

I know I had my ups and downs, especially this past month, but looking at this list, I really think that 2010 did hold more good than bad. My family is all in good health, my friends are all doing fabulous things and the future is bright. This year also means that in 12 months I didn't GAIN any of the weight back (don't they say that the longer you keep it off, the more likely you are to do so long term?).

All things considered, I think I got a lot out of 2010 and am really looking forward to 2011, a lot of exciting things are in the works and it should be a great year! More on that tomorrow though! For now, I'm off to order a bridemaid dress (for 2011) and then up to Columbus to ring in the New Year the right way: with good friends and good wine. :)

See you next year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Home for the Holidays (Part 1)

I know I've been totally MIA while I've been back here in the States... To make it up to you, here are a few photos from the beginning of my visit. I went to Athens for a few days to see friends and to get stuff back/give stuff to Jon post-breakup.

Seeing my friends and visiting my local favorites was amazing and exactly what I needed. I needed to see Jon too and I'm glad that we did, though I have to admit that it's a lot harder being in the same state/country as him and not being together than it was missing him from France. While my trip here has been amazing and I'm so glad I've had the chance to see everyone I have and visit, it has been hard knowing that I originally bought this ticket to see him and spend the holidays with him, but hey, I'm doing the best I can.

Met Alicia and her boyfriend at Jackie O's, a local brew pub for fried pickles and some local delicious beer

Bad for the waistline, but I'd been looking forward to fried pickles from Niffer's (down in Auburn) since we left AU this summer, so at least I got in a good substitute!

Then met Em and Jesse for dinner at LuiLui's (no photos) and after dinner drinks at Casa. These two margaritas represent Em's and my senior year. Every Thursday, we'd go to Casa and get margaritas and catch up. Mine with, hers without salt.

Graffiti on the way to the parking garage... I've wanted a photo of this for years.

I stayed with my pseudo big sis Bethany and her hubs Steve, aren't they fabulous? Steve even wrote me a song about Jon's and my breakup in an attempt to make me smile. He's a sweetie.

On my way out of town, we grabbed breakfast at Casa. This coffee gets it's own picture when you realize how much I'd missed normal American coffee!

Half order of huevos rancheros with homefries

Biscuit with apple butter

Adorably goofing around.

I wish I could have stayed a few more days, but I did get a lot done while I was there AND spent a lot of quality time with B and Steve. It's amazing how large a role food plays in coming home. I don't know about you all, but I came home from France with a list of places I had to eat while I was home.

That said, I'm now trying to get back on the tracking bandwagon since the past few weeks have brought me up to 166, as I found out at WW on Friday. I don't know if I was misreading my scale in France or if my clothing makes that much of a difference or if I really have overindulged that much lately, but it was disappointing, so now that xmas is over, I'm back into tracking and am slowly weaning myself off holiday sugar and chocolate!

More later!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm still here.

Ack. It's been a busy week and a half ish. That said, I'm currently posting stateside after a delayed voyage from Paris in this airplane:

It's been an interesting past few days. Went to Athens (where I went to college) to see some old friends and professors and to see/get stuff back/give stuff to Jon, which was heartbreaking and yet really great to see him again. He was my person and I really miss(ed) him and talking to him. Not going to lie, talking to him on the phone for the first time since the break-up was like being punched in the gut or pummeled with a stack of bricks. Not the best feeling. Part of me wishes I didn't have to go back to France so we could maybe, possibly, somehow work things out, but I know even then the chances would be slim. Ulgh. Furthermore, I was really looking forward to spending the holidays with him and his family, so I'm really working hard to quell up some Christmas cheer.

On a positive note, my dad has a treadmill at his apartment complex, so I'm going to go run for the first time in what feels like eons. I'm a wimp, I know... :-/

Then... off to acquire last minute Christmas things. Mad dash.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Earring Day

I didn't have time this morning, but here are a few photos from earring day. I got some compliments on them (which was fun since I got to explain why they're awesome).

They, in addition to a lovely meal at our favorite tartine place, helped make today not terrible. I am strangely really excited that we go there enough that the main waiter knows us and he and I had a nice chat tonight talking about how all of us were going home for the holidays. Regardless, finding out your ex has already found his "rebound" person less than 2 weeks later makes for a relatively irredeemable day, despite cheeky tartines, new earrings, and red wine. Ulgh. Trying to find some positivity in here somewhere.

More later and hopefully some exercise tomorrow (I'm so bad with this wind...) and home to the states in 6 days. Gotta get some running in since that dinner ate up the last of my weekly points! Whew! It's only Monday! Can't wait to get home!.

Just wanted to let you all know...

That I'm wearing my -30lbs earrings today!

I know I said that I was going to wait until an official weigh-in to wear them, but I've been consistently weighing in at under 163.6 (my -30 mark). This morning they were just sitting there looking at me next to all my other earrings in their original packaging sachet and everything and I knew: Today's the day. I'm actually pretty excited since I've been waiting over a year to wear them! Now, I just need to figure out a -40lbs reward! Any suggestions?

Anyway, here goes! I'm off to my 2nd to last day of teaching before break! Let's make Day One with my long-anticipated earrings a good one!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cookies, Weigh-In Day, and Evil Wind

Last night continued with my personal quest to a) be positive, b) keep busy, and c) try and enjoy Christmas as much as possible. I had my lovely girlfriends over to my apartment for some Christmas cheer and cookie decorating. We're really trying to do as much as can to pass the time buy and enjoy the season here before we all go to our respective homes this week/weekend. :) Here's the recipe we went off. Not "healthy" by any means, but it was a great time.

Our makeshift roller.

Weighed in this morning (after a breakfast of some cheese and toast... I forgot to weigh in) at 72kg (158.7lbs). I blame this .5kg (1.1lb) gain from yesterday on last night's Christmas cookie extravaganza. Since I didn't get in a lot of tracked activity points (I don't count my walking/biking around the city), I ended the week with a -2WP count. Not my best work. :-/

Today's gain would probably have been avoided if Helen and I had, in fact, gone running yesterday. As you can see from the lack of running posts, we did not since neither of us have the correct running gear to run in 45mph winds in the cold. I need to get some more running gear when I'm home in the states... Do any of you have any recommendations to battle this wind?

So far, I have:
a coldgear turtleneck
a pair of winter tights
a half zip fleece
a light all weather gear jacket
running gloves
fleece headband

The wind is supposed to calm down, so we'll be on schedule for a run tomorrow. We're debating training for the Marseille half marathon on April 17th. I'd sign up for it in a heartbeat, though I'm nervous about the 2:45:00 cut off... We'll see. I think it'd be really nice to have someone to train with the whole time and then run side by side during the race. Jon and I would train at the same time, but we wouldn't run together. I think it'd be really nice to have an actual running buddy.

Anyway, this week is a slight gain, but nothing that can't be fixed! Now I just need to find a training plan and kick my butt in gear!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Cheer and Thursday Lunch

Today's been a good day--I've been really productive, which has kept me upbeat AND I got to work with my kiddies today. There's something just unbearably adorable about singing "Deck the Halls," "Jingle Bells," and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," that just makes it impossible to be really sad during those 8 hours. Have I mentioned how adorable they are lately? I mean just take a look at these photos of our pumpkin pie making endeavor last week that Anita (who teaches my CM1/CM2 class) put up on the school's website:

Seriously. How can they not make you smile? I'm just trying to take it day by day and be as happy and busy as possible and these days spent teaching really help. Furthermore, the mince pie party was a success, though I sadly didn't get any photos of Becca's "pies." They were really more like mince pie cigars since she didn't have any moulds and instead rolled pastry up after putting mince inside. Yummy. I also spent the day after tagging along while Kyle did his Christmas shopping. Avignon is doing it's very best to get me in a Christmas-y mood.

Yes, Avignon had a band of clowns and elves (who were playing brass instruments) meandering through the streets to spread Christmas cheer

We stopped in the Hotel de Ville (city hall) to see the huge "crêche" of Santons. It was immense and gorgeous.

At the Hotel de Ville, they also had a fake table set up demonstrating the 13 desserts of Christmas, a traditional meal for Christmas Eve in Provence. THe number 13 represents Jesus and his 12 apostles.

And last but not least, here are photos from today's delicious lunch at Jean-Yves and Véro's house. Sadly I'll miss next week's lunch, so this is it for me for 2010! New Year's Resolution: take real camera (and not just cameraphone) to future Thursday lunches.

A "velouté" (cream soup) with artichoke and goat cheese, with nuts on top

Shells of seafood (see the plate's shape)... i.e. mussels, scallops, shrimp, and mushrooms in a cheesy, caloric sauce with a side of braised endives

Dark chocolate mousse cake with crystalized oranges

The oranges on some plates we so crystalized that we couldn't get them off the plate... See here how Jean-Yves must use a heavy-duty spatchula to make it happen

Anyway, that's been the past two days around these parts. Now I'm just working on finishing up the supplementary materials for all my grad school apps. I also applied to Wisconsin's French program tonight as well. It's not my first choice, but it's a solid one that was ruled out with Jon due to snow... We'll see. Even applying seems like a step in the "moving on" direction. That said, still keeping my fingers crossed for Atlanta! :)

Stay tuned for tomorrow's scheduled run with Helen!