Monday, January 16, 2012

Good friends and God's message

Whew, what a weekend!

After work on Friday, I headed to the gym for my weekly fix of Anthony's Extreme Fitness class. It continued with a wonderful night in, with crab-stuffed salmon and veggies, thanks to my hubby's EXCELLENT grilling skills. We watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which is a great movie, P.S.), and called it a night around 11:30. It was just what I needed to end such a crazy work week.

Saturday started a little later than usual, as I slept in until almost 9! I made a serving of my new obsession: organic oatmeal, and then got dressed and headed to Sports Authority to pick up some new running gear. Brent got me a fabulous Nike Dry-fit pullover, but I needed something thin to go under it. I also bought a new pair of New Balance compression running tights. Can't wait to run in and post my review of them!

After that, I made my way to the office for a few hours. A little bummed at first, knowing how beautiful it was outside, but I had an 11-mile training run planned, so I knew I'd have plenty of time with nature. As crazy as it sounds, Saturdays might possibly be my favorite day to work. I got more done in the 3 hours I was there by myself than I do in just about any regular 8-10 hour weekday. I was able to get in, get what I needed to do done, and get out. So thankful for that.

By about 2:30 p.m., I was running through Shelby Farms making my way to the Greenline. It was a wonderful run...11 miles at an 8:46 pace. My new PR training plan had me scheduled to stay at 9:02, so I was super happy with the pace. Not so happy about the soreness, though. Feeling like my feet are scraping the pavement + no more arch support + sore knees = new shoes needed pronto...and a trip to Fleet Feet.

Saturday night, we met up with a big group of friends at Blind Bear, a new speakeasy-themed bar in Downtown Memphis. It was fabulous, but of course you can’t really complain being in a super fun place with super fun people (except for the fact that they allow smoking...my only complaint). You have to say the code to get in (LOVE it!), and as you walk through it’s like a normal bar, with the exception of the fabulous prohibition-era d├ęcor. The bar area is large and open, which is welcome for a Downtown establishment. We had the "secret" room reserved, which is set up behind the bar. In the dark, hidden room filled with more 20's-style items, we were able to sit comfortably on a couch or ottoman, watch whatever game was playing at the time (Go Grizz!), and see through to the rest of the bar. Gotta love a two-way mirror! After {mostly} good conversation and some great libations, a few of us wandered down to Local Gastropub: ole faithful for a good meal.

Sunday was seriously the most AMAZING day! We woke up relatively early for once and made it to church to hear one of the best sermons I’ve heard in a long time. Do you ever get that feeling that God’s message is completely directed toward you? That’s how I felt yesterday. We're in an "I Quit" series right now, and the topic was Quit Comparing. After the intense struggle of the past few months (more so, the past two years), I don’t think I ever needed to hear what was said more than I did then. "Stop comparing your situation to others and thinking that life is unfair. Be thankful for the many blessings in your life." Our pastor talked about wishing for a better job, more money, and other things we so often take advantage of and envy others for. And then he spent about five minutes covering "everyone around you is getting pregnant and you're not. Be thankful for the life you're living, the blessings in it, and stop comparing your situation to others." Wow...talk about reaching into my soul. I was sobbing, of course, but it was such a wonderful, powerful message. And it couldn't have come at a better time. It's a God thing. SO very thankful!

After that, Brent and I went to our usual brunch spot, and then my precious niece Bailey came over and we began our afternoon of fun (her words, not mine). First, we went through the car wash. You would've thought I took her to Disney World! :) Next, we met up with my best friend Erika and her two sons at Chuck E. Cheese. I'm not sure if Bailey's been before, but she sure had a blast! Anything with cute animals that moved, she was all about it. Aside from quality time with B, it was so great to finally see my bestie. We don't get to spend nearly enough time together, due to our crazy opposite schedules, so it was very much needed. She has always been there for me, through more experiences than I can even try to remember. And no matter how insane our lives get, we always pick up right where we left off. {Thankful!} After that, B tagged along for my weekly trip to the grocery store. She's becoming one of my favorite shopping partners.

That night, Brent made homemade turkey burgers and chipotle sweet potato fries. Yum!! I'm so spoiled. After the last football game ended, we tuned into the Golden Globes. Perfection (not the show, just the day in general).

This morning, Autumn and I had the chance to run together since she was off work for MLK Day...teachers, ugh. ;) Not only is she my running inspiration, but she has truly become another spiritual mentor. She helps relate so many things to God and what he has in store for us both, and that's not an easy thing to come by where friends are concerned. So thankful for her and our brief but wonderful 5-mile run!

Okay, sorry for the novel that is this post. Happy Monday, everyone!

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