Our Engagement Story

6 Jun

A little less than two months from today I will be standing across from the most amazing woman saying, “I do”! I figured it’s about time I share our engagement story for everyone to read.:-)

My Fiance’s family lives in California so last August we spent two weeks visiting Las Vegas and California. I had never been before so it was amazing to see something new and travel with her for a couple of weeks.

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While in California we spent a few days in Disneyland, my first and hopefully not last time there!

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We were in Disney from August 7-9 and my birthday is on August 8th so it was amazing to spend my birthday at Disneyland! Danielle and I had talked about getting married before and I told her I just didn’t want to get engaged on my birthday because I felt like our engagement needed it’s own day to celebrate.

While in Disney, on the eve of my Birthday, we were waiting across from the Mickey Mouse ferris wheel to see the watershow with Danielle’s two kids. I remember so clearly she turned to me a few minutes before the show started and said, “I want to tell you something”. I stood there and looked at her expecting her to talk to me but instead she signed a beautiful message to me expressing how much she loved me and cared for me. I’m pretty fluent in ASL and she has always said it’s a beautiful language so she taught herself some sign language for me!

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Once she was done signing she took out a small box from her hoodie, got down on one knee and asked the famous question, “Will you marry me?” *blushes* Of course I said, “YES!” and there was applause from some of the people around us. It was amazing!! They say Disney is the happiest place on the planet and this topped any happy moment I’ve ever had at Disney!

I fool around with her because, after the fact, she told me her original plan was to propose ON my Birthday. I told her I thought that was cheesy a few months prior so she changed plans and popped the question on August 7th around 9:05pm in California, which back at home in North Carolina the time would have been 12:05… August 8th. So we goof and say we both got what we wanted. Technically she didn’t propose on my birthday but when I called my parents that night it was well past midnight and my Birthday already.😛

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I could not have asked for a better place to be engaged than at Disney Land! I love this woman and I can’t wait to call her my wife!❤

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We finished our trip in San Francisco where it was pretty cloudy the few days we were there but I would not take this trip back for anything!

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Not too much longer than I will no longer have a Fiance but an amazing Wife!!!

VegFest Festival!

31 May

My Fiance and I went to a vegetarian festival a few weeks ago and it was amazing! I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly ten years and sometimes it’s hard to go out to eat with friends when I have very few options to choose from. When my Fiance saw this all vegetarian (mostly vegan) festival in the next town over from us we really wanted to go and managed to squeeze in a few hours there before I had to go to work that day.

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It had been storming that weekend so they had to pull all the vendors inside a big arena which, for me, was a bit stressful since I don’t like crowds and I don’t like small spaces. Put 40 vendors in one gym and add a huge crowd of people… you can probably imagine how overwhelming that was for me!

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At the entrance we could each pay a dollar to be part of the voting team for the best vegan mac ‘n cheese which gave us the opportunity to taste test ten vegan mac ‘n cheeses from different vendors. Never thought I would really like vegan cheese but I was pleasantly surprised with how good they were! Some vendors even added in corn or veggies to their mac ‘n cheese which was delicious!

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One of the dessert vendors had amazing looking biscuits and donuts AND these homemade BBQ rolls that caught my eye right away! One of my favorite vegetarian dishes include these BBQ pockets from Gardein which I can usually find at Target or Whole Foods but haven’t been able to find for a few months now.

 

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These were probably my favorite part of the festival! I am so excited that we came across the add for VegFest and were able to make it for a bit!!

What’s your favorite vegetarian dish to make?

 

A Love Hate Relationship with Running

20 May

It’s no secret that I love to run. Well, let’s be honest, “love” is a bit much. I really like to run. I think I’m beginning to realize that I only love to run on race days which makes training for said races very difficult!

Running motivation is one of the best things that help me get out there! Pinterest is my best friend when it comes to this. Late at night as I’m trying to calm down after an 8-hour shift at work, I Pinterest … which I realize is probably a bad habit while I’m trying to go to sleep.

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I strive everyday to hit my 10,000 steps on my Fitbit Charge, which is a great goal to have on a daily basis, but in the long run it isn’t necessarily helping me get more fit. I’m proud to say I’ve hit this step goal everyday since January 1st of this year though!

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Looking back at my past races is a huge motivation for me as well! I’ve done big half marathons before so I know I can do it again. I remember every cold morning, every gun shot signaling the start of the race, and all the nerves that come with it. More importantly I can recall all the crowds of people cheering us runners on, the encouragement and motivation from my parents as they ran right beside me, the feeling of accomplishment as I cross every finish line… that’s the motivation I look to everyday!

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Amica Rhode Island Half Marathon, 2012

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Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon, 2015

 

 

What motivates you to get active?

 

 

 

 

 

Back into a Routine & a New Hobby!

29 Apr

I never thought I’d say it, but I am really enjoying getting back into the routine of running and exercising. Now that the weather is warming up I am finding myself outside more which is what I love!

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My days lately have been filled with working but between my 8-hour (sometimes more) shifts at work I am finding myself out jogging with the pup, Zoey. We have a pretty set scheduale where Tuesday and Thursday after dropping off my step-daughter at school, the pup and I head to the dog park for an hour or so. It rained a few days ago and I didn’t want Zoey to roll through the puddles so instead of the park we did a two-mile jog!

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It’s that time of year that I’m starting a hobby that I’ve had my eye on for awhile. My Dad has grown a garden in our backyard for as long as I can remember and I am finally venturing out and learning the steps of growing my own garden! He has used Earth boxes for a few years now and they are working so great, so when I mentioned about growing my own vegetables he bought some brand new Earth boxes for me to use! These are working out so well seeing as our back patio right now is all cement, no grass!

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The neat fact about Earth boxes is they water your plants from the bottom so they don’t get too much water. After days of talking with my Dad, I decided to plant zuchinni, cucumber, eggplant, squash, and tomatoes. They have been planted for a little over a week and the tomatoes are already showing little tomato babies starting to grow!!

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My zuchinni, on the other hand, has retired and will be replaced shortly with a new plant. I’m a little discouraged that this is my first garden and I already have a plant that has died, not even two weeks into the growing process.

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This is my first attempt at a garden so I need some good vegetable garden advice! Make sure to comment with your best advice!!

 

 

 

Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh Remix Challenge Remix: Part Two

26 Apr

The Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh weekend continued as we prepared for the half marathon on Sunday. My fiance ran the 5k but she got up with us on Sunday and came to the start line to see us off and cheered us on along the course.:)

Pre Race

On Saturday afternoon my Fiance and I went back to the race expo to take our time and browse around as we were real rushed the night before when we got there a few minutes before it closed. There were booths from all kinds of running companies but my favorite part of the expo was the Geico booth! Why you ask? They had a TV screen where they were showing runners instagram photos from different RnR races and MY photo was on there from the 5k that morning! So I guess we can say I’m pretty much famous now!😉

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We went out to eat Saturday evening at Fiction Kitchen, a vegan restaurant in Raleigh. Last time we went there, about two years ago, I wasn’t over the hill thrilled with it. I can’t even remember what I got back than, but I remember not being amazed by it. Now I feel guilty about thinking that because this time around it was beyond amazing! I ordered a BBQ “pork” plate with mashed potatoes and veggies.

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It wasn’t long after dinner that we went back to the hotel room and started getting ready for our early wake-up call in the morning.

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Race

The alarm always sounds too early on race day. That feeling knowing that you are waking up to soon run 13-miles, knowing that in a couple of hours you will be done and at the finish line watching other runners accomplish what might be their first marathon or their 20th… but first you have got up out of bed.

Our hotel was right there at the start line so we were able to hang out in the warm lobby until start time came around. The temperatures this morning were a bit colder than yesterday, so you can imagine I had many more layers on than my ‘Flat Rachel’ (pictured above) implies!

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My parents and I were bundled in winter hats, gloves, long socks… pretty much the whole winter closet got torn apart at home to grab anything and everything to keep us warm for the 28 degree race morning temperatures! Needless to say, when I passed off my winter hat (along with two jackets, my gloves, and a pair of socks) to my Fiance at mile three I had major hat hair!

The race started and we were off to start the third annual Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh Half Marathon. The course started and my parents and I stuck together for a few miles. We encouraged each other to keep moving through the frigid weather and to finish strong! I was excited that the course started pretty flat… I made the mistake of getting my hopes up that the course would continue like this! haha

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The sun didn’t start waking up until we got around mile two, but I guarantee after that point I tried to run in the sun as much as I could!

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Around mile four I split from my parents and ran ahead of them. The rest of the course was pretty tough. I never fully prepare myself for those dreaded hills! That’s where my pace really slowed and I knew at that point I wasn’t going to beat my time from last year, but I was still determined to cross that finish line no matter my time!

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Before I knew it I was at mile ten and decided to pick up my pace. That’s where I typically try to speed up the process a bit because from that point it’s only a 5k distance to the finish line!

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Three point one miles later I was at the finish line accomplishing another half marathon!

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This was such a hard race! If it wasn’t for the Raleigh hills I most likely would have made a much better time but those hills always sneak up to you! It wasn’t too long after I finished that my Fiance and I cheered on my parents for coming in and earning their half marathon medal! My mom even got a shout out when the announcer mentioned the candy necklace she was wearing! “That’s brilliant! That way you always have a bit of sugar to keep you going on the course!!”

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Post Race

We conquered those Raleigh hills and completed this race for the third year in a row! I can’t express into words how very proud of my parents I am! They strive in every race they do and are simply amazing!!

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Showing off our weekend bling!!

We have run this race ever since Raleigh started hosting this event and we have already signed up for next year’s 5k AND half marathon! Lesson learned… prepare for the hills!

Who else will we see at next years RnR Raleigh event?

Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh Remix Challenge Recap: Part One

23 Apr

A few week ago my parents, my fiance (yes, you read that right… my Fiance! More to come on this later!!), and I went to the heart of North Carolina to run the Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh races. The temperatures were just about freezing, probably the second coldest race I have ever ran, which made it extremely difficult to get through the runs.

This was also my first running race challenge, meaning the first time I have run two races in one weekend! Back in 2007 my Dad, brother, and I participated in the Myrtle Beach 10-mile bike ride on Saturday and then the half marathon on Sunday. I remember getting back to classes on Monday absolutely sick to my stomach, perhaps from putting my body through too much over the short weekend. For the past couple of months my mind kept going back to this. I didn’t want to get sick again or have to call out of work because I did too much in the weekend so I tried hard to prepare myself this time around!

Pre Race

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Danielle and I arrived in Raleigh on Friday evening where we went to the race expo with my parents. We didn’t spend a lot of time there because we were arriving so late, we really only had time to collect our race bibs, shirts, and time chips. It was a quick visit but that gave us a little more time to prepare for Saturday’s 5k run!

After the expo we went to eat at a restaurant called ‘B Goods’ which was amazing!!! This was my first time eating here and I would highly recommend going here to anyone! Being a vegetarian it’s sometimes hard to find a good healthy place to eat, especially while traveling. Raleigh is an amazing location full of many vegetarian friendly places to eat. At ‘B Goods’ they bring fresh ingredients in from local farms. I got a veggie burger with sweet potato fries that was delicious!

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When we got to our room we immediately started getting our race gear ready for the morning and headed to bed shortly afterwards.

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Race – 5k

Saturday morning we woke up to temperatures in the 40’s which meant I had to layer up much more than what I had prepared for. We had to catch a bus to the start line and arrived super early leaving us to try to find a warmer place to wait but at 6:30 am the sun wasn’t up yet. We resorted to standing next to a generator near a building in hopes it was running to keep up from going numb. I’m not sure if it was all in my head or not, but I think it kept us a little warmer!

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Who knew it would be so cold in April in North Carolina?!? After over an hour of waiting in the cold, we were finally off on the first race of the weekend!

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My Fiance and I stuck together through out the run which was nice because we encouraged each other to keep running, mostly to try to keep warm😉

We ran into mile two but slowed down a bit after a while. We were getting warmer as we kept moving which definitely motivated us to keep going! I have to say, I forgot how hilly Raleigh can be until I was out there running the roads. I feel like I say that every year but it’s true, I don’t run in Raleigh every day and where I do train it’s fairly flat (first mistake in training for this race!). That was probably the worst part about the weekend, the darn hills! That slowed me down more than anything.

I didn’t get a lot of photos during the run because I was just trying to enjoy my time with my Fiance and her first Rock ‘n Roll event race! We finished strong and crossed the finish line together:) My parents finished not far after us!

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Post Race

This 5k was actually really fun and enjoyable, around the frigid weather that is. We paused for a quick photo, skipped the free beer (I don’t mind a nice cold beer right after a half marathon, but at 10 am after just three miles… I passed) and than made our way to the bus to get back to the hotel. I’m glad we got in line when we did, the wait was pretty long!

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I can assure you we fell asleep pretty early Saturday night to be prepared for our big half marathon on Sunday! Keep checking back, Part two of the weekend is coming up soon!

Let’s Try This Again

22 Apr

Well it’s no secret I haven’t posted in months. I feel horrible about blanking out for week after week but I am back and training harder than ever! I have a lot of updates that I will be posting about in the next week to get you all up to date and I’m very excited about sharing it all!

Here’s a little sneak peak of what’s to come in the next few weeks!!

A couple of weekends ago my parents, my fiance, and I ran the Rock ‘n Roll Raleigh event in the heart of NC. It was freezing all weekend which made it hard to get through but still a fun weekend to spend with my family! My parents and I completed the Half Marathon and the 5k race AND we have already signed up for next years event!

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Now that the weather is getting warmer (finally) I have started up a vegetable garden! This is my first proper garden and I couldn’t be more excited about it. The struggle was real a few days ago while I was planting my baby vegetables as I had to run to the store three times for more soil as I over underestimated the number of bags of soil I needed! Now they are all planted and on their way to growing some fresh veggies!

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I am stoked that the weather is warming up as that means more time to enjoy the outdoors, especially with the little pooch! Keep an eye out as I will be updating lots shortly!

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