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The Final Voyage

8 Jun

Andddd I’m back.

As per usual it’s been too long. Par for the course, really.

First of all, my mom is doing very well (all things considered). She’s undergone several rounds of chemo and her most recent blood work indicates that the cancer is responding to the chemo–which is beyond excellent.  Despite the exhaustion and consistent discomfort, she’s wearing her brave face and tackling life everyday with optimism and enthusiasm. True Sue style, really.

In other news, I got a job.  Like, a full-time teaching job which is obviously unbelievably amazing.  I am so excited for next school year!  Upon receiving the news I bought a new car, trading in my life-long ride… a 1999 VW Jetta…

… and while I loved my little red Jetta, it was time for an upgrade.  Jetta was bucking like a broncho as a result of a slipping 135,000+ mile transmission; she couldn’t play the radio at the same time the air conditioner was running and if the air conditioner was running, you might have thought that American Airlines was landing a plane in the lane next to you.  It was time.  On her final voyage, the Jetta sputtered and spat, she put quite the fight… but (begrudgingly) she made it to the dealership, where I kissed her good-bye and thanked her for all the good times and being there through all of the bad. I learned how to drive in that car, I drove off to college in that car, she carried me home when I learned that my mom had cancer. The Jetta and I had quite a bit of history together, but she and I both knew it was time to bid farewell.

And perhaps to show my loyalty, I purchased a brand new Jetta.  One with less than 100 miles on her, leather interior, heated seats, air conditioning, a moon roof, Sirius radio (that plays even when the air is on), a full navigational system, Bluetooth, and basically thinks for me…

I actually just took my first road trip in the new car last weekend to visit my doctor-to-be boyfriend.  Not only did I get to spend some quality time with my boyfriend, but also my lovely new car.

Corey is a few weeks into his graduate work in Physical Therapy at YSU. Unfortunately for me (and his brothers/parents) we are no longer viewed as people but rather study-worthy specimen.  Last week his class was learning about the shoulder and he volunteered me to be his shoulder study partner. Lucky girl, I know.  He cranked the crap out of my shoulder, named all the ligaments, bones and muscles and then told me I have a weak right shoulder most likely as a result of pitching too much in my growth spurt years. How romantic.

Other than that, all is well here at the homestead. We are all officially on summer vacay and planning a family trip to Boston sometime during the summer months. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go clean up the spoon I left on the counter before my father has an  aneurism about making messes.  Oh summer…

A Word From Your Long Lost Blogger

16 Mar

I always hate when weeks go by and I don’t get at least one post up.

I also always get annoyed when people tell you how busy they are, so I will shy away from elaborating on the obvious I’m so busy blubber and just say this:

I’ve been busy. Working two jobs–subbing and mall job. Helping coach my alma mater’s softball team. Trying not to gain weight/workout/stay on SparkPeople. Stay up-to-date on all of my TV shows. Attempting to have some sort of life~but essentially failing to manage that. Blah. Blah. Blah (eye roll). Therefore, HotPinkNailPolish has been neglected. :/

Regardless. I am here now.  And I would like to say that despite putting HPNP on the back burner, I love everything about being busy again.  It feels good.

  • Substitute Teacher

I started subbing at the end of February at the same high school where my mother is a teacher. It has been an absolute blast.  First of all, it is kind of fun because the kids are all thrown for a loop when I’ve been introducing myself.  The introduction convo usually goes something like this:

Me:  Hi, my name is Miss C.  As you can see, I am not your regular teach–

((three hands are raised))

Me: Yes?

Student:  Are you Mrs. C’s daughter? You know she works here? You look exactly the same. Only a little different.

Me:  Yes and yes (smiling, laughing to myself and thinkin… oh, to be in Junior High)

I don’t know what it is exactly, but there is just something about being at school that I love.  I think a lot of it comes from knowing that I get to be a part of something bigger than myself.  Even through just being a sub I know that I’m a small part of a large team of adults who are helping young, naive, impressionable students grow to become strong, knowledgable, productive adults.  And that? That is awesome.

Another one of my favorite things about substituting is just being in all of the different classrooms.  For those of you who do not have a background in education, a large part of being a successful teacher is building a routine, a rapport, and having systems as well as expectations for each of your students. So being a sub gives me an opportunity to see a slice of the routines, systems and expectations that the absent teacher has in place. There are so many interesting things going on in classrooms anymore.  And by being a sub I get to see a glimpse of all the creativity veteran teachers are utilizing which in turn is helping me continue to develop as an educator too.

  •  Softball

As many of you know, I love love love softball.  And usually around this time of year I’ve been bitten by the softball bug.  I’ve retired from my NCAA gig and honestly, I don’t think my arm could endure many more innings anyway.  So now, in an effort to get my softball fix, I (help) coach. I’ve been working a lot more at my mall job lately (I’m in dire need of a new car–more on that another time) so I have not been able to be at as many practices as I’d like but when I do get to be a part of practice it is always awesome.  Looks like we are going to have a pretty good team and I’m so excited to see what this season brings.

  • SparkPeople

As much as I’d like to tell you I’ve lost more weight since we’ve last convened on the blogosphere, I haven’t.  I have been stuck at the same weight since my last post.  Such is life.  I’ve been plugging along, entering my calories and exercising but I have to admit I am not as hardcore with my measuring and I think that is exactly why I have been stuck.  My goal is to kick it up a notch and get serious about measuring. Let’s hope that kicks my body back into weight loss mode and I can shed a few more lbs.

  • Staying Up-To-Date

I am obsessed with ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. Like, crazy, do-not-talk-to-me-between-8PM-and-9PM OBSESSED. I will admit that the average viewing age is probably 15 years old, but I don’t care.  The show is based upon a series of novels which I read a few summers ago while lounging in a hammock.  Once I heard that ABC Family signed the show onto their network two summers ago, I was thrilled.  The show airs on Monday’s at 8PM and it makes even the most annoying Monday worthwhile.  My mom is also in love with this show, so it gives us some girl time together too which makes it that much better.

Side bar: To my fellow PLL watchers, any guesses on who A is??? Can’t wait for Monday to find out!

  • Having a Life

As far as a social life is concerned… ehm, not so much. Corey and I went out to eat and said approximately 3 words the whole time because we were both half asleep/cranky/irritable/in-real-world-shock. So we got our bill and came home to lay on the couch.

Anddddd you’re officially caught up on all things Danielle.

Hopefully I’ll have another post up soon… I do have some exciting news to share… until next time 😉

Important Announcement

21 Feb

I have an announcement!

Three years from this May Corey will officially be a doctor!!! He was accepted into Youngstown State’s Graduate Program for Physical Therapy!

Naturally, we needed to celebrate this exciting news with food because that is how we operate.  So I bought a cookie cake.  Sadly, the bakery at Giant Eagle was not open when I went therefore I was left to my own devices to decorate the cake…

 Cake decorating is clearly a specialty of mine.

Corey and I spent the evening talking about future plans over one beautifully decorated giant cookie.  It seems as though things are coming together.

Congratulations, Corey!!! I am so proud of you!

V-Day/B-Day?

9 Feb

Ya know that conversation that all couples inevitably have somewhere in the first few weeks of getting to know one another? The one that includes basic info that won’t help you gauge your true compatibility but you ask anyways like, “what’s your favorite color?” or “when’s your birthday?”

Well, Corey and I had this conversation several years ago now, and I will never forget it.  It was early February and we had only just begun dating…

Corey:  When’s your birthday?

Danielle:  February 14

<several days pass by>

Corey: Erm, did you know your birthday is also on Valentine’s Day this year?

Danielle: Yes. It has been on Valentine’s Day for 20 consecutive years now, Co.

   Corey: Oh. Okay.

I could feel him shutter from miles away.

Since then Corey and I have cleared up the logistics of Valentine’s Day and my birthday and how it will keep being on the same day every year.  But I truly feel bad for Corey.  Most guys hate V_Day as it is and here he is getting lambasted with a double whammy. That’s a lot of pressure, really.  But he always comes up with the most thoughtful, heart-felt gifts.  And he never complains about the 1-2 punch that is V_Day and my B_day…  Which I suppose is good because I actually have an affinity for Valentine’s Day and with that comes a deep-rooted repugnance for people who don’t love the Day of Love.  (And of course, I like celebrating my birthday too.)  So maybe there is some compatibility factor when asking those obligatory ‘get-to-know-you’ questions!?

Corey and I won’t be doing anything too exciting this year on Valentine’s Day because I have to work (I’m rolling my eyes, FYI) but such is life.  However, we are planning on going out to dinner and exchanging gifts on a currently undecided date at currently undecided restaurant–one that we have coupons to.

So even if you keep it simple and buy your girl or guy some of their favorite candy, you should be celebrating Valentine’s Day, people! And if you don’t have someone to celebrate it with then you should celebrate it for yourself… buy yourself some of your favorite candy and induldge a little! You deserve it and you are wonderful! (<—okay that kind of sounds like it came from a magazine for 16 year olds?! but I still think it’s a good idea.)

Super Bowl: Famous Family and an Epic (diet) Fail

6 Feb

I watched the Super Bowl in the presence of two very important footbally people:

 Tom Coughlin, NY Giants Head Coach

image of Tom Coughlin borrowed from Google Images

AND

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers QB

Okay. So perhaps this is not the whole truth. I did, however, watch the Super Bowl in the presence of the look-a-likes of two very important footbally people.

Clearly, you can see some resemblence?

Paired with our almost famous guests, our Super Bowl XLVI party was a combo of highly caloric foods sprinkled with salt and goodness on them; none of which fit nicely into my SparkPeople plan.  And chocolate. Lots of chocolate.  Honestly, if I weren’t so fond of Corey, I’d date chocolate–I am that much in love with chocolatey goodness.

Despite my best efforts I over indulged at the snack buffet. More than once. More than twice. And when I tally up all of the various Mexican inspired dips, the two varieties of veggie pizza (do NOT let the adjective veggie fool you, they were not that healthy) and the excellent chocolate brownies with chocolate frosting (homemade with Grammy Cammy frosting), I will probably curl into a ball and cry.  And eventually sadness will turn into anger and I will be swearing at those delectable little morsels of high calorie goodness as I am running them off tomorrow… and the next day… and probably the rest of the week. Heck, probably for the rest of February!

You thought I’d have more will power didn’t you?

So did I.

I hate excuses. So I won’t make any because that would just be annoying. Although, it might be semi-rewarding to blame all of this on the fact that Tom Coughlin and Aaron Rodgers were sitting in the living room and I got nervous.  But the fact of the matter is that the guacamole dip and the dill dip and the seven layer mexican dip and the chocolate chip cookies and the frosted brownies and the Reese’s cup cookies were all bellowing, ‘Danielle, I love you! Please put me in your tummy!’ And before I even knew what hit me, there I was shoveling spicy pretzels down my pie hole like SparkPeople never even existed.

The reality of it is, even with famous people look-alikes in my living room, even with the grueling I-will-not-eat-myself-into-oblivion-mental-preperation I put myself through, I showed up to the Super Bowl ready to pile drive anything edible. And unfortunately for my waist line, that is exactly what I did.

So there you have it. While America was watching Madonna “Vogue” her way into her mid-50’s teetering on 6″ Louis Vuitton knee-high boots, I was gluttonously bull dozing through the cookie table. I am not proud of it. But sometimes a girl’s gotta splurge. I will tell you though, if I look like that in my 50’s somebody had better be asking me to Vogue at the Super Bowl too. However, that will not be happening if I don’t get back on my SparkPeople plan ASAP. Oh, and learn how to sing and dance like a professional.

Happy Monday!

Wheelin’ Feelin’ [and HMNRE Update]

29 Jan

The Preface: Corey is in the process of applying/interviewing for Physical Therapy graduate programs. So when he got the email to be in Wheeling, West Virginia for an interview and possible admission to their program, he asked his extremely talkative girlfriend to go along for the extensive drive.

The Logistics: Because it is 195.5 miles from my house to Wheeling, WV and Corey’s house is essentially 3 miles short of the exact mid-way point between my house and the college, we decided to leave a few days early for the interview and stop to harass visit his family. Corey’s mom decided to take the day off from work to come with us for the trip down to Wheeling since he’d be in an interview for 4 hours and that’d leave me sitting in the car for four hours… in a parking lot… at a university in the middle of nowhere.

Now, I could potentially draft a novella on the happenings of this short jaunt down to Wheeling. But I promise not to make you commit to that much reading, nor suffer through that many grueling details.

In short, we drove down to WV, Mrs. V and I wished Corey good luck and dropped him off at his interview… at which point we looked at one another and came to the unfortunate realization that the lesser two of the directionally savvy were left in the car.   Mrs. V and I searched for somewhere to eat via the high-tech GPS that I’d purchased Corey for Christmas this year.  We found and ate breakfast without a problem; but we still had 2 hours left until Corey’s interview was done.

Feeling overly confident and being technologically clad, we decided we could go look for some down home, antique shops. After briefly searching the GPS for such a place, we decided on Tom’s Antiques–only 4 miles away. Perfect.

Here is the part where I must digress.  I hate to complain–especially with the modern convenience of having a charming British accent read directions out loud while also projecting arrows and maps in your face to ENSURE you are going the proper direction according to your desired destination. But apparently even that was not enough. After the GPS bellowing that it was RECALCULATING and tear-jerking bouts of laughter we, “arrived at our (bloody*) destination.”     *Ok, the GPS didn’t say bloody but I bet she wanted to.

Or so we thought.

But instead of finding Tom’s Antiques, we were looking at rusty, old, run down building that looked as if it was the home of just about anything but a store.

Somehow or another Mrs. V and I found our way to the Centre Market which in and of itself was another hilarious rat race around an unfamiliar town.  Nonetheless, we parked at America’s cheapest parking meter ($0.25 will get you an entire hour) and made our way toward the shopping district.

Or so we thought.

The Centre Market consisted of a coffee shop, 3 antique stores, and a fish market with the world’s smallest bathroom. I was beginning to not feel well at this point but I didn’t want to miss out on experiencing WV. Prior to feeling like someone was stabbing me in the upper stomach though (more to come on that), we met the longest standing owner of an antique shop in the Centre Market.  The owner, who was the most eccentric and interesting person I’ve ever known for less than 10 minutes, told us her whole life story–including but not limited to the town gossip.  And apparently,

 ‘Y’all ain’t never gonna get no Wheelin’ feelin’ if you don’t getcha yourself sum fish. And don’t y’all know John fries up the best dang fish in West Virginia. I been workin’ and livin’ here some twenty years, I know good fish when I eat it, hunny.’

I did not mention that I preferred to eat foods that hadn’t previously had a face. Regardless, this woman’s accent was adorable and she had more stories to tell than me which is slightly impressive, really.

After seeing everything that was to be seen in the sleepy little market, Mrs. V and I received a call from Corey–he was finished with his interview. So we spent the next 35 minutes driving in and out of the same 0.5 mile long tunnel attempting to drive the >5 miles  back to campus but being unsuccessful.  If GPS’ could swear, and I’m talking much worse than saying “bloody,” this one would have certainly unleashed some serious fury on us.

At this point, I was feeling so ill that I could no longer wear a brave face and even our poor direction sense what not enough to crack me up.  In fact, despite the 37 degree weather, I had my head hanging out of the passenger side window like my dog does in the middle of summer–turns out I was having a gallbladder attack.  Because naturally, I could not just be a normal, nice wingwoman on a road trip.

Everything turned out well in the end though.  Corey felt good about his interview. Mrs. V and I didn’t have to try any fish. And I survived a gallbladder attack… just a regular day in the life of Danielle!

_______________________________________________________________________________

UPDATE:

HMNRE is still in full swing. My success in terms of pounds/per week has been decreasing; now I have been losing 0.5lbs a week compared to the 4-5 lbs from the first few weigh ins. However, I am continuing to lose inches and moving closer to my vision of a healthier me. As of February 2 I will have been logging my eating and exercising habits for exactly one month.  As of today, I have lost 10 lbs, 1.5 inches off my waist, 1 inch of my upper arms, and 1.1 inches off my upper thighs. Everyday comes with its own challenges–unmotivated to work out, craving something greasy/salty/sweet, frustration–but I’ve been committed to logging everything. Good, bad or greasy, whatever goes in my pie hole goes on my Nutrition Tracker. For example, today I ate 300 calories over my target range but I know that tomorrow is a new day and I can start fresh with a healthy breakfast and solid workout. If you are interested in spreading the spark here is a link that will help you to sign up:

http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/register.asp?from=friend&ReferredBy=11477539

Don’t forget that it is free. Whether you are looking for recipes, motivation (or re-motivation), or a way to keep healthy Spark People is stellarrrr!!!

Okay, I am done being preachy. You’re an adult, no need to peer-pressure you into it.  Sign up if you want to–but really, it is awesome. 😉

Back On The Road Again

11 Jan

It’s been one week and one day since I last declared my non-resolution revolution. If you missed out you can read it here.

Anyways, the good news is Mission Improve My Fitness Regime/Eating Habits has been a success so far. And the best part? I haven’t had to change that much.

I’ve increased my cardio so I am now working out 5-6 days a week as opposed to my previous 4-5 day cardio sessions.  I’ve also (re)laced up my Brooks and have been working on rediscovering my love for running–I’m back on the road again.  I mean I did run a half marathon in September… what better way to stay in shape than to run? Duh.

Paired with the whole running thing, I have been swimming once or twice a week (which conveniently counts toward the 5-6 days of cardio). I swam in high school and with a little shove from Corey, I decided to mix up my gym workouts with a couple thousand yards in the pool every now and again. (You can call me Flounder because Corey has been eating my bubbles during the pool workouts.)

But everyone knows being healthy  requires more than just exercise. Positive eating habits are an absolute must on the road to a healthier me.  Thankfully for me, I am a fairly healthy eater to begin with. My biggest issue, though,  is portion control.  Having been an athlete my entire life, I’d never had to consider what a real portion of pasta was. However, I am now in athletic retirement, which means sizing up what I am spooning into my Dorito shoot is absolutely necessary. This past week I simply measured every single piece of food I placed in my mouth.  I tracked everything I ate.

 I’ve lost 7 pounds already.

Seven pounds.

And I am not killing myself here, people.  I added one-two days of cardio per week, which boils down to a couple hundred extra calories.  But the biggest thing for me has been measuring my food.  Serving sizes have really expanded as far as the American eye is concerned and in return we are facing an obesity epidemic as a country.   I have quickly realized that even though I didn’t think I was over eating, I was.  Busting out the measuring cups was the best thing I could have done! I am back on the road to a healthier me!