Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Fashion Attempt

As I stated before I really enjoy mixing and matching feminine and masculine pieces.  Menswear inspired fashion is just so much fun!  I attempted this fall trend earlier this fall.  I wore black pleated cuffed dress shorts, slightly slouchy baggy sweater, a man's chunky leather watch, and motorcycle inspired boots.  Not gunna lie, I was pretty dang proud of my ability to put this together. Haha 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Half Birthdays

Today was my half birthday!  As long as I can remember I've always semi celebrated my half birthday.  nothing special, just something special for me.  Tonight, I made a bomb meal, relaxed, and enjoyed a beer while looking at the stars. 

In my opinion half birthdays should be celebrated in a small way not forgotten.  After all you did reach the half way mark of another year in life!  Happy 22.5 years to me :D

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Social Butterfly

It has been said that I'm a social butterfly, flying between cliques, making friends where ever I go.  I don't believe I've ever denied that statement, then again, I don't think I've ever admitted how much I crave human interaction.  It's true I love socializing with people, learning about them, bullshitting, being sarcastic (some would say mine needs to get toned down at times), and being part of a group.  I have my quiet moments, hours, even days.  To tell you the truth, sometimes I feel as if I don't say much of anything then have a social explosion and just won't shut up!  Those are the times when I know I lacked human interaction but that's where it ended.  It was just a thought, nothing more, until last night.   
*Not me as a child, but I'm pretty sure this is a picture I would have taken given the opportunity. 
I prolly woulda yelled, "Hey, look at me!  I'm a butterfly, I can fly!"  Yea I was that kid! lol

Since moving to Denver, my life really has changed, some for the good, others for the worse.  Instead of never being home and always rushing from place to place; I'm always home and have loads of free time.  When you are super busy all you want is down time, wishing you had all the time in the world.  Then you get it and (if you're like me) don't know what to do with it! 

Yesterday was one of those days that really makes you stop and think.  What happened?  I experienced my old lifestyle; my old hectic, slightly everywhere life.  My typical Wednesday consists of going to class, coming home, hanging out, volunteering for a few hours, followed by some gym time.  Pretty laid back, nothing special, but lacks....socializing.  Yesterday went like this, keep in mind I didn't have a lot of time between these events: class, lunch at home, volunteered, happy hour with classmates, dinner fat kid feast with one of my best friends, and ended the night sitting in my car just listening to music.  It was brilliant, I was out of my house, I was busy, I felt important, I got to meet some cool people, I got to catch up with my friend. 

I never processed how much of a social butterfly I was until last night; how much I needed human interaction and being busy made me happy.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy hanging out at home, watching tv/movies, and the fact I have more time to cook.  But truthfully I'm good with twice a week!  I mean that's why Saturday and Sunday exist, right?

Have you ever re-experienced the life you used to have and missed it or experienced the life you thought you never wanted and loved it?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Fest

I love fall, chilly mornings and evenings with warm sunshine during the day, foliage changing colors, Halloween, and yummy fall foods.  This past week my friend and I had a fall fest, filled with all things fall.  We don't mess around; our night was complete with pumpkin carving, a great meal, pumpkin seed roasting, reality tv, gossip, and wine!

My Pumpkin had a gnarly scar so we decided to make
it a Scarface pumpkin named Al!

Yum!  Chicken spaghetti,balsamic toasted bread, fruit, pumpkin
fruit dip, salad, and wine! 

Spooky brownies!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm just me

Today was a mixture of emotions; the weekend was long, filled with uncertainty and slight self reflection.  This is the recap of the weekend (starting Thursday)

  • Fall Fest- blog to follow later this week
  • Made my dad a birthday cake
  • Dad visited..for 24 hours; we had some good meals, conversations, and got new phones!
  • Roommate moved to South Dakota :/
  • Complete room switch.  I moved into her room, Mike moved into mine, set up the dinning room and living room, cleaned everything & ready for our new roommate to move in
  • Average Errands
  • Orlando Jones at the Improv!  Cracked me up, nice guy too!
  • Slightly awkward conversations- just for good measure
Not a half bad weekend, just long.  Today was decent; talked complained to my mom about random things in life I just don't understand and probably never will.  Volunteered where I found out I'll be presenting my very 1st lecture this Friday on Arthritis and Physical Activity and headed off to the gym.  Now after reading my brother's blog, The Boring Runner, about awkward runners on last weeks Funny Foto Friday got me thinking - could I be one of those awkward runners?  I mean sometimes I lose myself in my music and semi dance, stretch a lot, walk/run a lot, beat red face, basically work around my science project of a body.  After today I've decided that yea I"m probably an awkward, inefficient, crazy entertaining runner but at the end of the day I'm just me, take it or leave it.

With that being said, I wasn't feeling too hott today so I figured I'd do a really long warm up and just see how things play out.  I really focused on getting a good walk/run method going, I figured that I'd do a really long warm up (.75mi) and cool down with .25-.5 mi walk section when I was getting tired or could feel my pain come on. During my runs, I am always worrying about my pain, how's my breathing, what song is playing, why is this person next to me when there are 20 machines open, my mind doesn't stop.

Today, today was different.  I focused on my breathing, tried to find the perfect rhythmic pattern.  I think I've mentioned before, but this is hard for me.  I don't particularly like to breath, therefore, I tend to hold my breath; yea I know I'm a weirdo!  During my run my mind became less busy, mellowed out, and I found a piece of me I  misplaced. 

Mile 1- Nervous about hurting myself, giving up half way, and proving to people I'm a fighter & don't give up easily
Mile 1.5 - Getting into the groove, enjoying my music
Mile 2 - Pain from my TOS, scapulas, back it all didn't matter- I was in control
Mile 3 - Didn't matter the girl next to me busted out the same distance in half the time
Mile 4 - Running wasn't about getting thin, looking hott for Halloween, or trying to impress anyone
Mile 4.5 to 5 - I was getting tired, sore, and knew if I kept going I'd be wrecked the next few days but it didn't matter.  I found my missing piece; I found the quiet spot in my mind where I could process things in my life and be okay with them.  I found the place where being me is enough.  I was just me and it felt great.

When was the last time you got your mind right? 


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pick me ups

I love getting a random text message or phone call from a friend who I haven't talked to in a while but what do I love more?  When someone sends me a text that includes one of the following:

  1. Quote
  2. Hilarious Story
  3. Damn I Can't Believe That Just Happened Story
  4. Ask for my opinion or help
  5. Simply just saying Hey! makes my freaking day; especially if I've been down in the dumps or just studying until my heart is content.  Last night for example my friend send me a great quote that just made me smile after a rough week.  I know this quote applies right to me and my life.  People honestly don't ever give themselves enough credit and focus on what they haven't done (guilty as charged)!  Here's the quote:

I might not be someone's first choice, but I am a great choice.  I don't pretend to be someone I'm not, because I'm good at being me.  I might not be proud of some of the things I've done in my past, but I'm proud of who I am today.  I may not be perfect...but I don't need to be.  Take me as I am, or watch me as I walk away.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Last weekend I went back to Colorado State for homecoming and my college's 25th birthday celebration.  I had a fantastic time; it was definitely the pick me up I needed!  It was so nice to spend time with friends, professors and department heads I look up to, and most importantly, my FOCO family.  I was greeted with hugs, huge smiles, and kind words of you look great and I miss you!  It just felt really good to be cared about (even if they were yanking my chains!)  It was also sad because I saw a few people who I still deeply care about and it was apparent we are just going apart and becoming strangers.

I will always love (and hate some of) the memories I had in college but all in all it was nice to go back, see everyone, and be reminded of the true college community.  Below is a picture from tailgating at the big game!  Go RAMS!

Weekend joys

Happy Friday!  A few weekends ago I went to my mom's house.  It was a lot of fun, filled with relaxation and helping others.  My mom sits on the board of directors for the Arthritis Foundation; every year we help with their Jewels of the Vine event.  I love this event; I get to volunteer with my mom, get free wine and dress up!  This year the event was held at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs and I completely feel in love with their chandeliers.

Another great thing about the weekend: craft time!  Despite what my mother says she is pretty crafty and can put things together.  We made flower vases with stencils and paint that's dish washer safe!  I had such a great time; that for my bestie's birthday we are going to paint wine glasses :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Money, Money, Money, Saving money!

FACT: I love saving money.

I try and dabble in couponing now and again.  I would love to be those crazy coupon ladies at the store with their 6 shopping carts; books of coupons, stock piles, and stealing their neighbors Sunday papers.  But lets face it, I don't have the room to have stock piles, I'd probably be tippin the teledos at 250lbs (food warms the cracks of my soul & cooking for others fulfills a need to be needed haha), and more importantly I don't understand the math behind it to get paid to take things out of the store.

With that being said, I am so very happy to say the last time I went shopping for more than fruit and veggies I saved big.  How big.  Big.  I went to my neighborhood Safeway, had one paper coupon, it was a Wednesday and I noticed a lot of BOGO items.  I nabbed some things then rushed home to see if my unreliable mail man came yet (seriously I think our post man is having an affair with someone on our route; some days no mail, some days at 2:30pm, others 9 pm??).  I tore through the paper aids got me some nice additional coupons and went back to the store on Thursday. 

How did I make out?  Well let me tell you!
This just makes me smile!

Wednesday: spent $34.53 saved $15.47 31% savings
Thursday: spent $24.40 saved $18.81 44% savings
Grand total: spent $58.93 saved $34.28!!!

BOMB!! I felt like the biggest housewife going up and down every isle and really think if it was a good deal and different meals I could make with it.  Totally worth it though!  I saved so much money and haven't had to buy anything besides almond milk, fruit, and fresh veggies the past month. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

One in a Million?

In past posts I've mentioned having bad pain days or listening to my body and having to cool off on the work out.  I even mentioned my winged scapulas on my old fitness blog but what I always thought was normal pain (among other things) this past year 6 months I learned it definitely isn't.  After a long talk discussion intervention cry/complain session with my friend; I decided I'm ready to tell people what's going on.  My friend told me I didn't own my pain; as hard as it was to hear, she was right.  I didn't own my pain; I'm not mad at God, genetics, my family or anyone for what I have.  I'm just tired of dealing with it.  I'd like to sweep it under the rug rather than work through the process of letting people know what is going on.  Life is easier that way; if you don't talk about stuff.  So here it is.....I have a relatively rare, complex, and controversial disorder called thoracic outlet syndrome... winged scapulas (shoulder blades), and a few bulging discs in my neck/back.  So what does that mean? In short, I live with chronic pain & don't feel like a healthy 22 year old. 

My winged scapulas....yes, I'm well aware they look like elbows on my back

Elongated transverse processes that
are considered to be cervical ribs
Thoracic outlet syndrome (and winged scapulas for that matter ) is typically caused from trauma due to injury but can be caused from genetic abnormalities.  I fit in the less common category- genetic abnormality.  I have elongated transverse processes on C7, basically an extra rib that has a fibrous band attaching on my collar bone area.  This compresses the vascular and nerve supply to my neck, arm, and hands leading to pain, tightness, numbness, poor circulation/pulse (no blood supply if I raise my arms above my shoulder), and a whole lotta muscle weakness.  Because I was just born with this and have had pain for most of my life physical therapy didn't do much for me but increase my pain and frustration while decreasing my bank account.  It sucks but at least I tried it; more importantly it lead me to my discovery of TOS.  I first went into PT for my winged scapulas but once my pain started getting worse and spreading to other areas of my back,neck and arms my PT thought it was TOS and eventually sent me to a specialist (after much debate, running a half marathon, and after people started to notice my pain & became concerned I went). 
Clearly not me, but
similar tape job!

So where does this leave me? Being a science project, an estimated one in a million case (depending on what site you look at)?  Confused and unsure.  I ran my first half marathon this summer and I'm sure people would love to say this act caused all my pain and I never complained before really running.  I didn't complain because I didn't know it wasn't uncommon and I could manage it.  The pain has gotten worse and it affects being active in a large way.  I never used to enjoy running but now I do and TOS makes it harder than it's suppose to be.  For example, during my half marathon training I taped down my shoulder blades with pretty strong tape; I'm told it's about 2-3 steps above or stronger than kineso tape with the hope to decrease the compression and keep my shoulder blades down.  Strengthening my upper body is kind of out of the question.  Don't get me wrong, I attempt it but it kills me, knocks me out for at least 2 days and I can tell when I need to lay off on the running and walk, switch activities but honestly it doesn't just affect exercising.  More and more often I can't open jars, twist off beer bottles, or have my hands go numb/tingling while doing my hair or sleeping. 

I'm not okay with the possibility of "altering" my lifestyle, stop being me, or as one doctor told me, "You may have to be okay with the fact you'll be inactive for the rest of your life."  I have a degree in health and exercise science and you want me to be inactive  REALLY?!
I'm looking at 2 options; I can either have surgery or I can live with it and suffer the consequences of increased pain, decreased strength & threat of nerve and arterial damage.  I'm 95% confident on what I want to do but still need to look at all the pros and cons.  I'm very logistic and like to see things on paper, see what I'm dealing with.  More than anything it helps me accept change if I can guesstimate how things will go.  I don't want people feeling sorry for me; I just want people to accept my decision and help me through the process.  This is me, one of a kind; owning my pain, my disorder, my life. 

* Not my xray- picture taken from NYU School of Medicine-Dept. of Neurosurgery