Friday, January 31, 2020

Day 390

I ended my week at Painting and Pinot with friends. It was almost perfect until Richard turned out to be better at painting than I am. I wouldn’t quite say it’s unfair, but I am a little bit mad. At least I’m married to the dreamy artist. 

Something that made today great: Friday night out with  friends was the perfect end to the week!
Time I woke up: 9:00 am

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Day 391

Yesterday, I said I was a bit sore from Tuesday's Lunchtime Lifts, but the truth is that I'm more than a little bit sore. My thighs feel like they're on fire any time I am in the process of sitting down or standing up. I hope this translates to speedier running in the coming weeks and months.

On the theme of things I did in the past catching up with me, my weekend of moping and procrastinating caught up with me today when I made an 80 instead of a 100 on my structural equation modeling quiz. Fortunately, my professor drops our two lowest quiz grades, so this could be one of my dropped grades at the end of the semester. One of my friends has switched to living a stress-free life, and this is definitely something he would not stress about. I am trying not to stress about this and am instead rechanneling my energy to be better prepared next week. Overall, though, I have come out of the week relatively scot-free from my less-than-productive weekend. The weeknights have been tough, but I am tough too!...sometimes.

After work, Sandra and I had a lovely 4-mile run around the LSU lakes. Both of us woke up thinking we would go for 6 miles today, but we had decided individually before we met up that today was a 4-mile kind of day. I'm just glad I made myself go do something rather than going straight home to read or sit on my couch. Running is a gift that I often underappreciate.

A special treat today was meeting my classmate, Willie, for dinner at Burgersmith. Tonight was my first time at Burgersmith, but I expect to be back in the future. I treasure the time I spend with my classmates that is not dedicated to studying, doing homework, or working on a project. Having time to talk about the frustrations--and there were several of those--helps tremendously, but what I love even more is hearing about the work my peers are doing and the aspects of their Ph.D. journeys that make them excited. Of course, I also enjoyed sharing what has been exciting for me lately, and I left dinner feeling optimistic again. It's easy to get bogged down in the required stuff and to forget about why we decided to pursue these degrees and eventual careers.

Throwing in a warm, delicious cheeseburger doesn't hurt, either.

Bring on Friday!

Something that made today great: Even with my cheeseburger dinner, I was under my calorie goal on My Fitness Pal today.
Time I woke up: 7:30 am

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Day 392

I ended up vague-booking (vague-blogging?) yesterday because I ran out of time and started my daily post just a few minutes before midnight. Tuesday is the only night of the week that I have class, and I must say that scheduling two of my classes in the afternoon was a great idea on my part. Evening classes have their benefits, of course, but I am liking being done by 5:00 pm two days a week. Fighting the 4:30 campus traffic is for the birds, but that should serve as motivation for me to go run the lakes while the traffic clears!3 On the night I do have class, my time post-class to do things (eat dinner, go for a family dog walk, and do some work for school/academia) is limited. I'm taking steps to address my negative moment yesterday, so I'll just leave that vague for now.

I did let some of my mopiness carry over to this morning and allowed myself to sleep in today. The pressure is now officially on to arrive at work by 8:00 for the next two days since I was going for three out of four days after Monday, and I tanked today. I had a productive day at work and had planned to run the lakes with Sandra afterward, but I got a text around 3:30 that my car was ready at the dealership. It was kind of cold outside, and I'm a bit sore from yesterday's Lunchtime Lifts, so I was kind of happy to have an excuse to blow off running...though we took a rain check for tomorrow, so I am not off the hook for long.

Other than regular school stuff, something moderately interesting in my life right now is that I am on a country music kick. I am not really sure where that came from, especially considering last week's obsession was rappers from Louisiana, and my favorite lyric of the week was "I need a Winn Dixie grocery bag full of money right now to the VIP section." Nevertheless, I have been practicing my best country singer twangs and am getting pretty good at it! My heavy Florida Georgia Line accent is compelling, but I can also quickly switch to Lady Antebellum so fast that I almost believe that I, like the singer, "would rather hurt than feel nothing at all." I have not mastered Miranda Lambert, but I feel optimistic about my prospects if this country phase lingers. Maybe I can find a way to blend the last two weeks. Even better would be if I could generate some secondary income with my musical talents.

Okay, it's definitely time for bed.

Took this photo on Snapchat while I was jamming out after my lunch break yesterday. I appreciate the trucks in the background.

Something that made today great: I have my car back!
Time I woke up: 9:00 am

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Day 393

I have let time slip away tonight, but it was productive -- I was revising a paper that will hopefully be sent off to a journal by the end of the week. That is exciting!

Toward the end of my day, there was one moment that left a dark cloud on an otherwise lovely day. I vented/processed with Richard and some friends, but I am allowing myself to sleep on it. I know it's common, but I hate how I sometimes allow myself to let a tiny ugly moment put a damper on a whole day. Add that to the list of things to work on!

Hopefully, I'll allow myself more time to write tomorrow.

Something that made today great: I did better than expected for my first day back at Lunchtime Lifts!
Time I woke up: 7:00 am

Monday, January 27, 2020

Day 394

After a weekend that didn't go quite how I hoped it would, I am starting to get my groove back (possibly like Stella did, possibly not...I've never actually seen or read How Stella Got Her Groove Back) and feel less like moping around or sleeping. For good measure, I did sleep in again today, but that's behind me for the week. I'm going to be at work at 8:00 am three out of the remaining four days this week. (Hopefully, saying that here is enough to make it happen). I'm chipping away at the things I have due this week and starting to think about upcoming projects. This is as it should be.

Image result for how stella groove back book

Tomorrow starts the next cycle of Lunchtime Lifts, which I am excited about but also kind of dreading because I have not been one with the weights in some time. I don't think I have done a single lunge, crunch, or squat outside of regular life movements, either. Since I have not been in a RunBet for a few weeks, running has fallen by the wayside a bit, but I have been walking! My next RunBet starts on Monday, and I am looking forward to having that structure/pressure back in my life.

Something that made today great: Not being so mopey was a good feeling.
Time I woke up: 9:45 am

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Day 395

Tomorrow is my first day of Monday classes, and I had to finish reading a book for the class today. I kept myself busy until today, and even today, I dragged out the last 50 pages. After allowing myself to sleep in, play on my iPad, and go back to sleep, I read for a bit and did a few household chores before deciding that I needed a two-hour nap. I did finish the reading, but I am going to need this funk of dragging out my assignments to stop immediately. 

The weather was a little icky today, so I opted to stay inside most of the day. I need to also work on getting back into a regular running routine, even when the weather is not perfect. I guess that's a goal for this week!

Something that made today great: Scooter curled up with me today on the couch, which is rare...but she loves my heated blanket
Time I woke up: 9:56 am

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Day 396

Today didn't go exactly as planned, but that's okay. It started when I snoozed my alarm too many times and woke up too late to go run with Slow Mode, but I drove out to the lakes and waited for a few minutes to see if I could say hi to anyone coming back from their run/walk. I didn't see anyone from Slow Mode, but I watched people run, walk, and cycle by while I sat in my loaner car (a 2019 SUV that still has some new car smell) and listened to "Little Moments" by Brad Paisley. I have no idea why that song was on my mind this morning, but I did enjoy singing along with my best country twang.

Last night, Richard and I also made the decision to drop $2100 on a repair for my car--the rear main seal is leaking, which happens with age but is not a "beginning of the end" type of repair--so I also called the dealership to let the service department know our decision. Although we try to make responsible adult decisions and set aside money each month for emergencies, I always get stressed out when something unexpected happens. Even after I confirmed the decision with the dealership, I found myself worrying about the situation. That was a bit of a damper on an otherwise good day.

I had to leave the lakes after a few minutes because I was scheduled to volunteer at the Diaper Bank from 9:00-1:00. We put up some additional shelving, which I tested by standing on the middle shelf to position the top shelves. The units are rated for 800 pounds, which is more than I weigh, but we are confident that we did a solid enough job to store cases and packages of diapers.

This was my model pose.
The Diaper Bank is near a Popeye's, and today I elected to go through the drive-thru for lunch. After only having a Clif Bar for breakfast, I rationalized a fast-food lunch, including sweet tea instead of water or a calorie-free soda. Today was my second time to experience the infamous chicken sandwich (I ordered mine spicy), and it was as magical as the first time. The Popeye's sandwich is not just hype.

After I ate, I was some combination of tired, sad, and in a food coma, so I took a little nap and met Ellen for a walk at 3:00 pm. The weather this afternoon was incredible--sunny and in the 60's--and the combination of sunshine and good company helped put me in a better mood. I made it out to exercise twice today, as I joined Richard and Scooter on a Family Dog Walk.

I'm optimistic that tomorrow will be more productive than today was in the arena of getting things done for school, but I am glad I was able to take care of some non-academic business today. Tomorrow also holds slow cooker meal #8 of 100!

Something that made today great: Planning a reunion trip with some of my best friends!
Time I woke up: 7:32 am

Friday, January 24, 2020

Day 397

I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about stress. Earlier this week, someone asked me about things I do to take care of myself. For the past few years, running has been my panacea for most issues. As we talked through my daily routine, she asked what I do for lunch. Specifically, she asked if I eat lunch at my desk, and the answer was, "Yeah, most days." Since that conversation, I have been making efforts to take little breaks and breathe rather than trying to multitask everything.

Today I did extra well because I had specific lunch plans. I met a student leader for lunch at The Chimes near campus, and it was a fabulous way to end the week. Before I started my PhD program, most of my days at work included frequent conversations with students, either through scheduled meetings or informal moments when people walked by my office and stopped to chat. That does not often happen in my new role, so lunch today was particularly exciting. We spent time talking about our backgrounds, goals, and the campus culture at LSU. It was nice to get off campus for a bit and have a delicious lunch. (The bacon jalapeno cheeseburger was a winner.)
I'm looking forward to the next one.

Photo from

I ended the day with the news that my car needs a significant repair, so that is less than ideal...but I am going to work through it.

Something that made today great: Catching up with Ariel and having some real talk
Time I woke up 7:15 am

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Day 398

I am proud to report that I rocked my first quiz in Structural Equation Modeling, AND I went for a run after work. I am #goals.

Also, I rediscovered the SNL skit about Britney Spears's divorce, and that is absolutely hilarious. Despite the passing of more than a decade, I couldn't stop laughing when Richard, Brian, and I watched this video...twice.

Photo from
Something that made today great: Brian came over for dinner, beer, and early 2000s Louisiana rap music!
Time I woke up: 7:20 am

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Day 399

I am not the smartest person in the world, but I think I am generally intelligent. Sometimes, however, I am awestruck by innovations that are really more common sense than revolutionary. Today, that came to me in the form of our slow cooker meal (#7 of 100 for the year). Sandra gave me a box of recipe cards for the slow cooker, and today I made ravioli lasagna. I'm a big fan of anything that combines meat sauce, cheese, and pasta, yet I never considered that I could turn two steps of traditional lasagna--laying the noodles then covering with cheese--by using a cheese-filled noodle for a layer. I just never thought about it. Turns out, it's delicious! Richard and I both approved, and I am looking forward to having leftovers for lunch tomorrow. But the fun doesn't stop there! Because the exact recipe I used is already on AllRecipes, you can experience the joy for yourself!
Photo from AllRecipes
Beyond my slow cooking endeavors, I also had a productive day at work, got a short workout in, attended an alumnae Panhellenic meeting, and read for my Structural Equation Modeling class tomorrow. I am learning so much about confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis, and it's only the second week of the semester! Provided that I can keep the different techniques straight, I have the potential to be unstoppable in the near future...even if I sometimes lack common sense.

Something that made today great: I squeezed in some training for Semper 5ive between work and my alumnae Panhellenic meeting!
Time I woke up: 7:24 am

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Day 400

I have debated when to restart my blogging for the semester, and I finally decided that there's no time like the present. Since my last post, I have been in three different time zones, traveled a lot of miles, run three marathons (all under 5:30--all under 5:21, too) and two PRs, and the LSU Tigers are national champions in football. I have completed several knitting projects and started a few.

After barely cooking anything in the fall (besides heating up frozen meals), I am trying to do better with cooking better meals for myself. My latest challenge in the new year is to cook 100 meals in my slow cooker for 2020. Twenty-one days into the new year, I am on track with six meals prepared!

My spring semester is off to a good start, though between national championship cancellations and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I have only been to two classes. I'm doing my beginning of the semester thing--using my planner, organizing my time, and swearing I won't get behind--and it is working so far. I'm tightening up my 1 am bedtime from the fall and making it midnight this semester. I'm not making any promises about what time I will wake up in the morning, but I can at least put myself to bed earlier and hope for the best.

I guess I'll be back to write more things tomorrow!

I wore my hand-knitted Kathytastic poncho today!
Something that made today great: Submitting the first round of revisions on a paper I am publishing with two classmates!
Time I woke up: 7:20 am