Friday, May 30, 2014

Hilton Head

A couple of weeks ago Michael and I went to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina with his parents and younger brother. Dr. Gore was there for a work conference, but they always stay extra days to make it a full vacation. Michael had talked about Hilton Head many times as we got to know each other, so for the past (almost) five years, I've wanted to go there. It was a lovely time with new lots of yummy new seafood restaurants, lounging on the chairs by the pool, Starbucks coffees, a fishing trip, a stray kitty that slept by the hammocks, walks on the beach at least once a day, dodging jellyfish, and riding bikes.

Of course I took over 300 pictures, but these are a few of my favorites:
One guy who worked at the hotel gave us two free Shutterfly coupons so I can make those nice 8x8 hardcover photo books (a $30 value) and only have to pay about three bucks for shipping!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Down to Zero

   I got one of my student loans paid off last Tuesday!! It is a wonderful feeling. I love signing into the website and seeing the zero dollar amount for that account. The Great Lakes employee who I spoke with on the phone last week said I should get a congratulatory letter in the mail soon.
   I believe I started off with a total of $13,500 when I graduated in April 2011, began paying them off in September that year and now have them down to $5,400. For some reason the accounts were split into two? My goal is to have it all paid off by the end of the year and for Michael to have $10,000 in savings in December.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Celebrate 3

On Wednesday (May 7th), Michael and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. Sometimes it seems like a lot longer, but I think that has to do with how quickly we got to know each other during Full Sail. We were boyfriend and girlfriend before we had even gone on our first date! Wednesday was a great day though, thanks to all of Michael's sweet "I love you"s the day before to get me out of my funk. I was working Tuesday and he stopped by to bring me my favorite Panera pastry, and a kiss. Plus he has been more responsible around the house lately! On our anniversary I spent the morning making the scrapbook page shown below and then walked the two miles from our apartment to Panera where we met for lunch. An hour later I walked home and took my time getting ready for our dinner date at J. Alexanders after Michael got home at 5pm. I was so happy that he dressed up really nice and even wore a tie! He looked so handsome and I made sure to tell him.
  At the restaurant the hostess told me she loved my dress (which I wore for Easter in California last year) and we were seated. Michael likes to order the chips with spinach and queso as an appetizer. I definitely helped him eat those- the sauce was so good!  For dinner Michael ordered the New York strip with macaroni and cheese and I had the grilled salmon with a side of orzo and wild rice! We also shared a bowl of creme brule for dessert. I ate about 60% of it. It was the best creme brule I've ever had. We talked about seeing a movie- either Divergent, Spider-Man 2 or Captain America 2, but we were both really tired. Michael went to sleep right when we got home and I walked loops around the neighborhood until it got dark then spent an hour looking up "minimalist" stuff on Pinterest.

  The night before Michael was working on something on our laptops that he wouldn't let me see. He put it on a flashdrive and told me to wait until morning. Technically I did as he asked since I waited until 12:30am! It was a lovely slideshow from pictures from the past year and a half, of all the fun times we had in California. He reminded me that even though we got into a decent amount of arguments during the time we have been married, it has also been a ton of fun! My "gift" was the pretty scrapbook page shown above but I think I gave him what he really wanted- me being in a good mood for our anniversary date, and I was.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Talking, talking..

  Only one more week until our amazing Hilton Head beach trip that I have been looking forward to since the end of March when we got invited. I began by doing the 30 Day Shred daily as well as some videos on PopSugar Fitness online, but after a lightning strike hit right next to our apartment last Monday (during all the tornado watches!) our Internet was out for most of the week and I was unable to watch those videos. So I began thinking about how I lost 8 pounds in 4 months during the beginning of Full Sail simply by walking to and from class each day. Since then I have found paths that I enjoy- thankfully with many hills to work different leg muscles- and continue those loops as often as I can. Plus the fresh air does the body and mind a lot of good.

  I spend a lot of time thinking about how "less is more". I have been putting most of my paychecks towards student loans and will have a whole one paid off by this Friday! Then less than $6,000 to go on the other one. I will admit to complaining about "not having any money", but its a very good thing because I would only waste it on stuff I don't need. (I stare at all the unopened bathroom products I bought at Wal-Mart last month, wishing I still had the receipts to return them.) However, this responsible way allows me to eat less because I am forced to eat what I craved last time I shopped- many cans of soup- since I don't have money to buy more groceries until my next paycheck.
  I watched "Eat Pray Love" last week (on DVD when the Internet was down) and my favorite part was definitely when she was in Italy. She ate lots of spaghetti and lasagna. There is a scene that meant a lot to me. Julia Roberts and her friend sit down to eat real Italian pizza- too great of an opportunity to pass up on this amazing adventure- but the friend says she can't eat it because she had already gained 10 pounds. But Julia Roberts explains that no guy is going to complain about a few extra pounds on the woman he loves. It is likely he won't even notice. She says, “I’m so tired of saying no and then waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before, counting every calorie I consume so I know exactly how much self loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese, I’m just through with the guilt.” The friend agrees. They are happy and full of delicious food and the following day they simply buy bigger jeans! I'm working towards feeling this way. When I was doing the 30 Day Shred (and/or the Ripped in 30 videos), I had so much extra energy. I was excited and I laughed a lot and didn't hold back on much. I'd buy a box of Buddy Bars because I didn't have to feel guilty. I had earned it and I think its important to work for what we want.

  I have to say I love my personaility. Although I sometimes say I wish I was really bubbly and social, my dry humor and polite sarcasm makes a lot of my friends laugh, especially the girls at work. And that makes me really happy. Sometimes I even laugh at myself, wondering how I come up with such hilarious comments! I enjoy being around a lot of people on occasion, but having alone time is very important to me. These are the things I think about when I'm by myself and its quiet.

Now I'm off to Google "free things on your birthday" and sign up for whatever I have to! ;)
** Woods photo by Michael Gore.