Sunday, July 17, 2016

11:11, Make a Wish

Happy Sunday! This post is coming a little later than usual, but that's because I got to spend a most wonderful weekend in Austin, and I'm just now sitting down to complete my usual Survey Sunday. And before we get started on that, I'll share a few of my favorite Austin moments. On Friday, I drove straight to my freshman and sophomore year dorm - Scottish Rite Dormitory. It has a couple nicknames, but I'll save them for another post. I got to visit with Emily and Jessica and my favorite maintenance guys - Joseph and Robert - while remembering with fondness all of the tours I gave and the phone calls I answered. And the pranks I pulled, but again, that's a post for another time.

It was so good to see them, and to hear that life is good at the SRD. Some of my sweetest college memories were made at this palace, and I met some of my very best friends while living here. I'm putting my future daughters' names on this list the minute they are born.

Naturally Mack and I had to make a visit to campus - we were on a hunt for his namesake, the one and only Mack Brown, but we had no luck. But I think Mack enjoyed it all the same.

My Longhorn pup
We walked Town Lake, ate at some of my favorite Austin hot spots, walked up and down South Congress, and slept like rocks before starting all over again the next day. We enjoyed an early morning walk, got our veggies in with smoothies from JuiceLand, made a visit to Anthropologie (heads up, teachers - there's a 15% discount on your entire purchase for the next two months with a valid teacher ID!), and ate lunch at the most charming sandwich shop tucked away in the back of a Hyde Park neighborhood with two of my former YoungLife girls. It was hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that they are going to be SENIORS in high school, as I met them when they were just 8th graders. How time flies, but I'm so proud of the young ladies they have become, and I can't wait to see all of the incredible things they accomplish in the coming years. Shout out to social media for making that possible! After a few more stops at my favorite Austin spots, it was time to hit the road again. A short, but really sweet, visit to my home away from home.

Avenue B Grocery
And now, it's time for our regularly scheduled Survey Sunday. Though this one is a little bit different. You give 11 random facts about yourself - this was much easier said than done - and then you answer 11 random questions. I love learning things about other people, so I never feel too self-centered when I share these surveys about myself. Happy reading!

1. I ate my first hamburger at the age of 10. Seriously. My mom was freaked about mad cow disease, and took every precaution necessary to prevent me from getting it. She would even go so far as to tell other parents that “I don’t eat hamburgers” whenever I spent the night out. Now, I’m a hamburger fanatic. Gotta make up for lost time!

2. I’m not a big fan of concerts. I love music, but I really don’t enjoy attending concerts. I think it’s a combination of the crowds, the length of the concert (they always go on far too long, in my opinion), and I don’t typically know enough of an artist’s songs to make attending a concert worth it. I love things like ACL and the rodeo, where shows last about 45 minutes – my concert sweet spot.

Rodeo 2015
Rodeo 2014
3. I have never had a cup of coffee. Seriously. I worry that even one cup of coffee would LITERALLY have me bouncing off the walls, as I’m already enthusiastic enough in the mornings without it.

4. For as much as I love health and fitness, I’m pretty pitiful when it comes to stretching. In fact, I can’t even touch my toes. This is why I should do yoga.

5. I loathe talking on the phone. I would so much rather text than talk on the phone. I’m sure this can be chalked up to my introverted tendencies, but I think it also has to do with the fact that talking on the phone tends to be such a complicated process. Press this number followed by this number followed by this string of 10 numbers, or I’m forced to wait for 20 minutes before talking to an actual person.

Jeff - on my right - is really good about regular phone calls to catch up
6. Though I am genuinely super eager to give help to other people when asked, I’m really bad at asking for help. I hate the thought of possibly inconveniencing anyone, which is why I will try and do everything on my own before asking for help. Typically, if I ask for help, I’m super desperate. I’m working on this.

7. I can’t parallel park to save my life – shout out to Driver’s Ed in a Box – but I’m pretty dynamite when it comes to backing into parking spots. And I was good at this even before I had a back-up camera.

8. When I was younger, I really wanted to be an astronaut. I was obsessed with all things stars and space. I was super excited about my Astronomy class in college, and it ended up being one of my least favorite classes throughout my entire college career. Go figure. That being said, I’m still interested in all things space.

9. One of the first things I notice about people is what arm they wear their watch on. Because I’m left-handed, I’m quick to notice any fellow lefties.

10. I love a good pun.

11. In fourth grade I was eliminated from the finals of the school spelling bee on the word “museum.” I happen to pronounce it “mu-zam”, and I spelled it as though it has an “a” in it. I’m actually a really good speller, though this word still haunts me.

And for the 11 questions -

1. Coffee or tea?
As you guys read above, I have never actually had a cup of coffee. And I’m not a huge fan of tea, either, despite my best efforts to become a tea drinker. I have found one flavor of tea that I really love – Cheers to You Cranberry Celebration – and I restock my supply at the Nutcracker Market every year.

2. What is your favorite meal of the day?
I LOVE breakfast. One hundred percent my favorite meal of the day. From yogurt to pancakes to frittatas to waffles to chocolate zucchini muffins and so much more, you just can’t beat it. And there is truly nothing that can bring me down on First Friday.

3. What is your favorite place that you’ve traveled to and why?
SHOOT. What a tough question! I’ve traveled to some pretty incredible places. San Francisco holds some of my very favorite memories – a long weekend with my mom + a half marathon, a long weekend with four of my very best friends – and it’s just an incredibly beautiful city. I lived in Barcelona for almost two months, so that city will always hold a very special place in my heart. I fell in love with London on a short weekend trip from Barcelona, and my Argentina trip this summer was an absolute dream. I can find something great to say about every place I’ve traveled, but I’ll quit before your eyes glaze over.

Recoleta Cemetery

4. Which blogger(s) do you most admire?
Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers was the blog that inspired mine. I so admire her outlook on life, and the way she balances a healthy lifestyle with her family, friends, and her energetic dog. Just reading her blog taught me that calorie counting really isn’t necessary – it’s more about how you feel. That exercise should be something you enjoy doing, and that it doesn’t look the same for every person. And that it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, and these are all principles that I seek to apply to my own healthy living journey.

5. When did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging at the very beginning of my sophomore year of college – so September 2011. I had an obsession with reading healthy living blogs, and because I also strive to live a healthy, balanced life, I decided to combine my love of fitness with my love of writing (and my love of frozen yogurt). Thus, fitnessandfroyo was born!

6. What is the last book you read?
I recently finished When Breath Becomes Air, and I absolutely loved it. I had to go back and reread many parts of it, simply because I didn’t know a lot of the medical terms, but it was a really great read. I’m currently reading Stephen King’s The Shining, and I’m loving it. What that says about me, I don’t know, but it has officially sucked me in.

7. If you could meet anyone (past or present) who would it be and why?
I’m going to copy the person who filled this out before me and go with an Olympian. Past, present, future – you name it. I’m absolutely obsessed with the Olympics. I would love to sit down with Michael Phelps, Kerri Walsh, Shawn Johnson, any track and field athlete – but I would love to sit down with any of them and talk about their dedication to their sport. These athletes have given so much, and many of them are only recognized for it once every four years, and I would love to pick their brains.

8. Are you a morning or night person?
I am without a doubt a morning person. I wake up ready to attack the day, almost every day, and I’ve never been one of those people who says, “Don’t talk to me until at least 10am.” When I’m up, I’m up, and I’ve found that my brain is sharpest, and I’m far more productive in the mornings. Plus, I’m typically in bed by 10pm – something my friends have teased me about for years!

9. For April Fools’ Day, have you ever pulled a prank and what was your best one?
I can’t remember a specific April Fools’ Day prank, but I have pulled quite a few pranks in my day – Sarah Diamond being my best fellow prankster. We have quite the story about leaving fruit outside one of our dormmates’ doors while in Barcelona, though no one else seems to think it’s quite as funny as we do. I’m going to start early when it comes to April Fools’ Day this year – something that will get my coworkers, but that won’t get me fired.

10. What was your latest blog post about and where do you get inspiration?
My latest blog post was another episode of Things I’m Loving Friday, and this one focused on advice articles, if you will. Actually, many of them focused on the teaching profession, which is obviously something I hold very near and dear to my heart. My inspiration comes from my own life – the things I do, the articles I read, the places I see – and has transformed from something focused solely on fitness and healthy eating into a blog that follows my daily (or weekly … or monthly) life.

The greatest thing about teaching
11. What is the number one thing on your bucket list?
Okay, this changes quite often, as I have quite the bucket list. Much of it is centered on traveling, and experiencing things in these places that I maybe can’t experience in Texas. For example, canyoning in Switzerland. However, after a recent conversation with a running expert has left me thinking about really getting serious about qualifying to run the Boston Marathon within these next couple of years. The Boston Marathon is probably the equivalent of my Olympics – definitely in reach, but something that I’ll have to work extremely hard to achieve. 

And with that, I'm off to shower and call it a night!

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