Saturday, December 31, 2011

So Long 2011

Being as 11 is one of my favorite numbers, I definitely thought 2011 would be my year. It was not. It started off with the stomach flu right after my 25th birthday, therefore making me miss the epic snow storm in Oxford, job crisis, and cuts and ending with a losing football season and the death of my two beloved animals.

2011 also brought some amazing news/events and that's what I am focusing on.
  • Great friends, connecting back with old ones, and making new ones.
  • AMAZING family (both related and the ones I chose for myself)
  • Learning I would become an "aunt" thanks to Gracie and Tommy. I can't wait for Elliott to be here so soon. I literally tear up just thinking about it.
  • My cousin and Ellee's engagement. First family wedding since my parents 30 years ago.
  • My aunt still fighting her battle with cancer (and WINNING).
  • Completing a half marathon with Jessica. It was a lifelong dream.
  • Celebrating Mardi Gras with Hill and Regan.
  • Allie and Eric's upcoming nuptials .
  • The Sunday (Monday) Funday crew. I treasure their friendship so much!
  • Jacque and Thomas' engagement!
Things I am looking forward to in 2012. In order of things that will happen
  • My 26th birthday and doing NOTHING to celebrate, except eating chicken crunch
  • Sweet Eli's arrival (hopefully sooner than later).
  • Jacque's Bachelorette Party
  • Nashville to see my baby cousin play baseball and to spend some quality time with my aunt and uncle
  • Starkville the next weekend for the same above situation. When your family lives far away, you treasure seeing them as much as possible.
  • Jacque's wedding in FLORIDA. Hopefully a Disney trip in there somehow!
  • My mom's cousin's son's wedding in Chicago. Her family is INSANE, so I enjoy getting to see them every so often.
  • IRA in Chicago with my work friends. Can't wait to show them Chicago again.
  • The Country City Half Marathon in Nashville (still debating it for giving up Double Decker).
  • Beckett's Wedding to sweet Chaddy
  • CORBIT AND CAROLINE'S wedding!!! Corbit is part of our weekly dinner crew and I just adore Caroline and can't wait till she moves here!
  • Kenny and Tim concert in July with my best friends from home.
  • TRAVI'S wedding!!!
  • My sweet Dot's wedding to Eric!
  • Hopefully getting a Gertie (my dog name).
This year my main resolution is to go with the flow and not stress out about things that I can't control.

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2011.

Monday, December 5, 2011

13.1...Because I'm only half crazy

I did it....I am a (half) marathon runner (errr...walk/jogger).

Completing a half marathon has been on my "Bucket List". It was originally something I wanted to check off before I turned 25, but when I tried to sign up for the Chicago Rock and Roll 2 summers ago, it was already sold out.

I found out that my dear friend/tailgating family friend, Jessica also wanted to do a half. I don't know how we even started talking about it, but last Spring on a wing and prayer, we both signed up for the St. Jude half marathon.

St. Jude has always had a special place in my heart. My "church buddy" in grade school was a St. Jude patient. Unfortunately, Marisa lost her battle to cancer on July 3, 1999, but her life was extended due to treatment at St. Jude. Another coincidence is that I went to St. Jude Grade School. St. Jude is also the patron Saint of lost causes, a saint I pray to often.

In true Sarah fashion, I bought the app for the half marathon and vowed to stick to the Program. Well in true Mississippi fashion, Ole Miss football got in the way. Jessica, Sunny, Susan (when not chasing the most precious 2 year old around) and I did find a route that was about 4 miles and walked it at a fast pace almost every night we could.

Night before the race:
Jessica and I went up to Memphis Friday afternoon. We both were frazzled, forgetting things, my dog wasn't feeling well and I almost took him to the puppy ER. We ended up getting to the EXPO around 6. The check in process was so easy. We both wanted to look at all the fun things, buy some GU and maybe get some new running clothes. *Next Year, we plan on taking Friday off work and going on Thursday, everything was picked over and it was very crowded.

Morning of Race:
I honestly couldn't sleep, the thought that I was actually going to participate in a half marathon that day. All I kept thinking is "dear God, please don't let me die during this". Jessica and I got there early, we were able to check out bags, take pics and go to the bathroom (for the millionth time that morning).

Jessica and I before the race. Excited, nervous and WAY TO EARLY!

After this pic, I talked to my mom and her advice was "Why don't you just walk". Thanks for the advice mom. Appreciate it. After this, we started to walk to the corral's. We kept looking around seeing what everyone else was doing. When we got the corral that we thought we would stay in, I ran into a old friend from college, Emily. Emily had the same game plan that we had. It was fun to have a third person in our group.

Emily, Jessica and I right before the race started.

Loved this sign right before the start. I guess I'm only half crazy and only half inspiring. I'll take it!

I was so happy I decided to take my phone. I was able to capture some great things along the run. We decided to start out running. I honestly thought that first mile would never come. We dodged so many people walking and tripping over people (NOTE: Start in faster corral next time).

I'm not going to bore you with any more text so I'll just add commentary to my pictures.
Loved this group around Mile 4. They were children with Special Need's (mainly Down's Syndrome), dancing and cheering! I just wanted to stop and hug them!

This was at the end of running through St. Jude. I cried the whole time. The support in that portion of the race was AMAZING! This poster says "Because you are a runner, I'm a survivor." Talk about emotional.

Saw this Panda zoo friend around mile 7. I was sooo excited!

When we got to mile 13, Jessica, Emily and I SPRINTED to the finish line. Jessica and I grabbed hands and finished together. It was such an amazing experience.

Jessica when we finished!
Emily when we finished!
Me after I finished, So HAPPY!

Jessica and I in line to get some much needed and deserved food.

YES, I got in an ICE COLD TUB in the name of pain IN my race clothes. Thanks to Larandust, Jared and Chelsea for their advice in how to stop us from being super sore. All your advice worked!

The next day I went and saw my friend Susan and her sweet baby Cooper, who is HILARIOUS. He loved wearing my medal.

My advice for the St. Jude half for first timers like myself:
  • Get a good night of rest
  • Wear layers that you can take off, tie around your waist
  • Buy GU or the GU chewables
  • Start in a faster corral than anticipated.
  • Stretch afterwards
  • Soak in an ice bath (it sounds crazy, but it worked)
The St. Jude marathon was the most incredible experience. I still can't believe we accomplished it. I can't wait for next year, to actually train, and to beat my 3:30:46 time!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

We Don't know you...Get out of our Dance Circle

I've mentioned it before, but I am so blessed to be super close with the friends I grew up. This past weekend I ventured to Chicago to see one of my oldest friends get married (and Ryan is great!). I LOVE LOVE LOVE weddings, and this one was a great time.

I just love the story on how they met. Lauren and Ryan met at a bar in college. Someone yelled out "Schaef", which is an abbreviation for both their last names, they turned around and bumped into each other and the rest is history...seriously how cute is that?

Friday night was spent at the Sox Game and then at Twin Door where we ran into another grade school friend. Matt was always very clean cut growing up, so to see him with long hair and unkept is hilarious. I kept calling him Jesus and asking him how it was to walk on water. At one point I even started singing "Shout to the Lord".

Lauren's wedding was so sweet. She's so calm about everything. I asked her what she was dancing to for her first song and she responded "Some country song".
At our school we always had to sit in alphabetical order, which was great because I got to sit next to my two best friends. It was a sad day when Lauren broke up our trio and went to a different hs.

I have so many wonderful memories with these friends. No matter the distance or time, we always just find our way back to each other. It's like no time passed.

Congrats Lauren. I'm so happy for you my dear friend.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mary Cooper Cummings--ALL PROS

My sweet friend and sorority sister, Mary Cooper got married last weekend in Oxford. I (of course) got to host all my friends from all over the country. Autumn and Kailyn came from NYC, Morgan from Nashville, Ashley from Atlanta, Angela from New Orleans and Kristi from Dallas. Seeing as we were going to be a rowdy group, we decided to take over my parents house (aka, sober sister and good late night food).

My parents are fabulous people and loved having everyone around. Bonnie served as our photographer and Denny pouring drinks for us as we got ready. My mom even make a phenomenal brunch for all of us before everyone had to depart ways.

After a few stressful weeks at work it was great to just kick back and laugh with my friends.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Double Decker Double Fun

This past weekend I hosted a gaggle of my best friends from college for Double Decker in Oxford. If you aren't familiar, it's a big arts and crafts festival with live music and food from all the restaurants in Oxford. As I've said before, I know as we get older the frequency of our time together with will get less, so I'm enjoying the time that I have. Whenever we are together it's nothing but laughs. After the rough week before, I really needed a fun weekend---and some sleep.

At Frank and Marlee's (Me, Regan, Becca, Love, and Rach)

At Double Decker (Rachel, Me, Becca/Poppy, Besty, Regan and Sunny)

Adult Easter Egg Hunt/Breakfast Brunch.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Keep Calm and Lilly on

My sweet college roommate Ashley changed my life (for many reasons), but most importantly she introduced me to Lilly Pulitzer. Due to my lovely budget---thank you Mississippi and my daily 140 mile commute, my Lilly-ness is limited to sales and the occasional splurge. Yes, I think I put the entire spring collection in my "shopping bag". Thankfully a few days later, a few items had already sold out, so I didn't spend my entire paycheck online.

Recently I've been introduced to Re-Lilly, where people can sell or swap their gently used Lilly items. I've seriously stalked the website/facebook page all day! Obsessive much.

Right now My Pink and Green Garden Shop and Re-Lilly are having a giveaway of $150 to spend at MP&GGS. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to buy some pillows for my guest room. Seriously, check out her ETSY store. Everything is super reasonable and I already have about 10 things in my cart.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My blog soulmate

Dear world (or my three followers),
I have found my Blog Soul Mate. Little Miss Can't Be Wrong is hilarious, I think we'd totally be friends in real life. Don't you think?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Be Gone Mold

So I have been dealing with a mold issue for quite a bit. On the other side of the condo, my AC unit leaked under the foundation, flooded my neighbors, and warped my floor. Oh wait and it's also left some pesky mold.

I shall debate this sorority con list.

Cons of the mold:
  • allergies
  • arthritic-like aches
  • asthma
  • bloody noses
  • chronic headaches
  • coughing
  • "crawly" feeling skin
  • depression
  • dizziness or stuffiness
  • epileptic-like seizures
  • equilibrium or balance loss
  • fatigue
  • flu-like symptoms
  • irritation of the eyes, nose or throat
  • loss of memory
  • loss of hearing
  • loss of eyesight
  • nausea
  • restlessness
  • runny nose
  • sinus congestion
  • skin rashes
  • sneezing
  • trouble breathing
  • unexplained irritability
  • upper respiratory distress
Everything in Red I have experienced this year. And I'm not even exaggerating. I have been to the eye doctor twice, I have been forgetting everything at work (I just chalked it up to stress), I am tired ALL the time (even with 12 hours of sleep).

Pros (you always have to end on a pro):

New Tile
New Carpeting (dear Lord Jesus)
Symptom free living.

Cue: Aladdin...A Whole New World

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mardi Gras Mambo

My first Mardi Gras Experience 2 Years Ago....
So glad I get to spend the weekend with these two...maybe we will find Aaron at the Monteleon again...
Last month visiting them in NOLA

Love my friends Regan and Hill for hosting our crazy crew in NOLA this weekend for their first Married Mardi Gras!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March Miles

So awhile back my GBS Rebecca blogged about logging 100 miles in January... well I caught on the bandwagon a little late..

So Susan, Jessica and I decided we are going to push ourselves to try and do as many miles in March as we can! March miles has started.

I have already gotten my first text about logging miles from Susan:

"2 and 1/2 miles..amazing what I can do with a Kindle"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Can't wait

Can't freaking wait....

Feed the Hunger....

P.S. How do you add videos?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Flashback Friday (on a Saturday)

I taught swim lessons for 7 years. My swim lessons partner Beckie and I loved to bring underwater cameras to class to play with! I miss these kiddos and still get Christmas cards from some of them!

I wish I was in in Dixie (Oh Wait I am)

Normally I am not one to "Link Up" but Kelly's Korner is having a "Show Us Your Life" dedicated to your alma mater and I couldn't help but write about it. Oxford, MS is a place that gets in your blood and you really can't ever get rid of it. You are always homesick for it, even when you live here like I do.

The University of Mississippi will forever have a special place in my heart. My mom graduated from Ole Miss in Jan of 1969 and came back to Chicago where she met my dad and they raised me. My dad being a Sigma Nu from DePauw never desired to see Ole Miss, and therefore my mom (I have no idea why!) never came back to Mississippi to visit. Now he is a bigger fan than my mom!

When it came time for me to choose a college I had my heart set on the University of Iowa...3 hours from home, great journalism/PR program etc. Well knowing my mother she insisted we go see Ole Miss, so against my own will I agreed. I wasn't 100% set on Ole Miss from the get go though. I was still torn about where I wanted to go...I mean Oxford was 9.5 hours from home. But after a long night of partying senior year of high school--I flipped a coin between Ole Miss and Iowa---Ole Miss won and I was south bound from then on.

My freshman year was not typical--I was homesick all the time, all my friends were having the times of their lives in college and I was struggling. Finally I decided that I was just going to immerse myself in everything Oxford had to offer---I was hooked.

I have 2 degrees from Ole Miss, and currently work for the University in the Division of Outreach. My parents retired to Oxford and are now "duel citizens" of the North and South. At this point in my life I seriously cannot imagine living anywhere else.

I hate when I hear negativity about Ole Miss (mascot, Slow Dixie) in the news, because if you were here and knew the people at Ole Miss you would know this is not the case. We have the kindest people in our town. My mom always says "Only in Mississippi" about some of our crazy adventures.

Now some pictures of why I love Oxford and Ole Miss so much!

This year we had 2 big snow falls. Here is a picture from the first one. Some students built a big Snowman on the Walk of Champions (where the Ole Miss teams walks through to football games every weekend).

Freshman year I was so lucky to meet all these amazing girls (and Jay!). They lived on the floor above me. We all pledged different sororities in college and still managed to stay close through college. Here we are celebrating at Regan and Hill's wedding. I am so happy that we have all stayed so close and get to see each other pretty often. I know over the years the frequent trips will become less, so I am enjoying them now. Plus, since I live in Oxford I have housed all of the folks in the recent years (including Lauren right now!)

I also was in a wonderful sorority. I pledged AOII as a freshman and I am so happy I did. I made so many great friends from all over. Here is one of my best friends and sorority sister Autumn on her 21st birthday.

Red Rose Ball Senior Year
And some great girls at bid day 2009 (including my little sis and big sis)

Here are two amazing AOII friends Whitney and Allison with former Chancellor Khayat. Allison and Whitney are my die hard Ole Miss fans with me. We are always chatting about Rebel Sports.
But the best part of Oxford is the sports....especially football. We are HUGE Ole Miss fans and go to most away games. One of my best friends got married on the LSU home game and my dad literally cried because he would have to miss a home game. We have a "tailgating family". There are about 5 tents next to each other around Ventress and we have all become great friends.

Part of our tailgating family (the Hughes girls) at the Ole Miss Women's Forum.

Bonnie and our favorite football trainer Larandust. He is like a member of our family.

Tailgating in Bama with our family friends from Illinois.

Reunion with some of my best friends in the Grove.

With George and Allison at Bama
My parents who put on an amazing tailgate every weekend.
More tailgating family!
Our annual "landshark" pic.

Frank Everett, Jr. said it best though.

There is a valid distinction between The University and Ole Miss even though the separate threads are closely interwoven.

The University is buildings, trees and people. Ole Miss is mood, emotion and personality. One is physical, and the other is spiritual. One is tangible, and the other intangible.

The University is respected, but Ole Miss is loved. The University gives a diploma and regretfully terminates tenure, but one never graduates from Ole Miss.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Flashback Friday

Love this pic of me, my sweet mom, my sassy Roro and crazy cousins on a family vacay in Sarasota.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sweet Potato Sausage Balls

I love cooking. There are many many times I just want to throw in the towel and move to Italy and go to culinary school. I found this recipe online and it was on my mind ALL DAY.

First I'll give you the recipe:

1 lb sausage
2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (it was about 3 small sweet potatoes)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups Bisquick

Mix together, roll into balls and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350.

The ingredients:

The Process:

Ready for the oven
The final product (please notice the one missing)
The Verdict: I give them a C+. Something was missing. I'm thinking of using spicy sausage next time and adding either green onion or a jalapeno.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I've lost my youth

Since I turned 25 (yikes), I have lost my youth.

Last week, I had the stomach flu. Today (as I'm leaving for my super important service project), I threw out my back. Literally can't move.

....I've lost my youth

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flashback Friday

This was taken driving back to Mississippi going into Jr. year of college. I had a terribly rough summer at home (death, cancer, my best friends studying abroad) and was SO HAPPY to get back to Mississippi. This sign says it all.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

25 for my 25th

In honor of my 25th birthday I am posting 25 things I want to do this year of my life.
  1. Go to Denver to see my aunt (who is sick) and my friend Lauren who has moved there.
  2. Run in the St. Jude Half Marathon (I lost a friend to childhood cancer. This is the year I will do it).
  3. Save money.
  4. Leave my work at work and not bring it home with me at night (easier said than done).
  5. Cut out the negativity in my life (people and habits).
  6. Get my house organized (I am such a pack rat).
  7. Eat more fresh foods, less processed foods.
  8. Create better exercise habits (swimming, running, biking etc).
  9. Be a better friend.
  10. Go out more with friends and not worry about being tired the next day.
  11. Become a better blogger.
  12. Be a better listener.
  13. Take a cooking class.
  14. Care less about superficial things.
  15. Buy things on sale.
  16. Write down stories from my parents lives.
  17. Organize my pictures at home.
  18. Clean out my childhood bedroom.
  19. Preserve my grandma's pictures (I am so lucky to have some great pictures and memorabilia from her life.)
  20. Read more books
  21. Find a church in Oxford that I love (even if it's not St. John's)
  22. Take better care of my skin
  23. Give away things that I don't use
  24. Start looking into grad schools/jobs away from Oxford
  25. Live life to it's fullest.