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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recently, we went to Ireland

Our anniversary was in early January.  This year we decided to go to Ireland.  Dave and I love to travel and have been wanting to get to Ireland for some time now.  There is no better excuse to travel than to celebrate an our heads anyway.  There always needs to be some sort of a justification.  This was no sit down and relax type of vacation.  It was a get in the car and figure out where we're going vacation.  There are pros and cons to this variety of vacationing.  Like I said, there's less time for relaxation.  When you take on a majority of a whole country within a week, there's a good amount of room for things like stress, frustration, and wondering why on earth you decided to take this on.  Nothing's as perfect as it seems.  I love inviting these little challenges into my life, mostly because the outcomes end up being really positive.  And luckily, Dave and I travel pretty well together.

Traveling together like this really allows a couple to get some things off your chest.  Some of our conversations went like this.  Dave to Julia: "You overbook yourself and thereby overbook us and then we don't have enough time to spend just with each other".  Julia:  "That makes sense.  A lot of sense.  I'll try better to not plan so much for us."  Dave to Julia:  "Sometimes you are a freight train coming through".  This is reminiscent of our life at home.  And then, Dave continues on with a sound effect...of a train coming through and then continuing on into the distance.  Just imagine it.  This was a mainstay throughout our trip.  You'll see the picture of 'Beware of Trains' below taken on our Guinness tour.  We laughed so hard about this and will probably laugh about this for a very long time.  It's a reminder to me that Dave knows me very well and we can laugh at what pisses us off about each other.

A ridiculously large part of our trip was eating and drinking. This may come as a shock to everyone...but the food in Ireland was some of the best I've ever had.  And I've been places.  We're talking the bread, the soup, the sandwiches, the tea, the sugar, the lamb stew, the butter, the eggs, the blood pudding, the oysters (that you will see in a below picture), and please don't forget the Guinness and the Jameson.  Do others go on a purely food and drink centered vacation?  Is this normal?  I think it is.  I had worked really hard to lose weight over the holidays (which I was able to do, fortunately) only to gorge myself on foreign fare.  So worth it.  Every pound I gained, and did I gain.  But now I'm able to come home to the US and shatter Irish food stereotypes, which is very important to me.  But now I am back in full force with my WW. 

Oh, I should mention that my mom's side is from Ireland.  My great grandmother and her sisters left from Cobh, Ireland from the very spot where Dave and I stood less than a month ago.  A real disappointment was that the Heritage Center was closed that day (obviously) and I wasn't able to look up Katherine Lavin.  That was the ultimate bummer because it was a huge part of why I was so excited to get to Cobh.  Se la vie. 

So, below are some pictures of our trip, in no particular order.  And some are just pure random, but I love them.  I probably have a lot more to say, but I have a life you know. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My boss told me to 'not' get myself bogged down

Well...this is interesting.  My boss, whom I have a really good working relationship with, told me not to get bogged down with all of the 'things' I have going on.  That's not easy for me - to not get bogged down, that is.  It's a vicious cycle that I get myself into.  I seem to have some extra time at work (I work at a University thus semesters, semester breaks, etc.) and then I load on all of these awesome, fantastic events and programs that involve faculty, staff, students, and community partners...oh my gosh I love it.  And everything sounds like so much fun and more importantly BENEFICIAL to the campus, the students, and the surrounding community that I just figure out a way to get it done.  It doesn't matter how much time and energy it takes out of me - I can handle it.

Also, I've been waiting to hear for almost three years (yes, three years) about my job and it's ability to become a permanent position with benefits, like health, 401k, vacation, sick, life insurance, and whatever else comes in a benefits package.  It's been so long since I had one I can't remember really what makes up such a thing.  Anyway, the University decided that my position was worthy of a permanent position status...not just contract, and so I applied back in early September.  It's a competitive process even though I've created the position, the office, the program(s), the relationships and everything else that comes with what I do.  In all honesty, I really like the fact that it's a competitive process because I can fight for what I have worked so hard to accomplish for the University.  And this way, I know whether I truly deserve it.  It's do or die.  Love me or let me go type of situation.  Stop draggin' my heart around thing.  That's a song.  I find out today that I've been selected for an interview.  Three other people were selected.  I chose the final time slot for the day; hopefully this decision was strategically sound.  

Time to go and do my 10 Minute Trainer workout.  And then figure out what to have for dinner.  And then figure out if we should take Sadie Girl out for a walk (it's been too cold even for her lab paws).  And then I need to sit on the couch.  Oh, and I was supposed to go to an Annual Meeting tonight for a fabulous non-profit that shall remain nameless, but in my quest for balance I said, NO. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

What does it all mean?

I'm not really trying to wax poetic or philosophical here, but really what does it mean?  My blog title, that is.  Am I really an 'over-achiever'?  Well, maybe in some regards but certainly not always.  What's an over-achiever anyway?  That's a subjective type of word.  This blog is really going to be about me; the constant mover and shaker trying to make some sense of how and why I go about doing these things that I do.  Hopefully some of it will be relatively amusing or enlightening to those who peruse these pages.  You'll see a lot about my journey with Weight Watchers...I know it sounds kind of annoying, but it's a big part of my life.  So if you want to read this, you'll just have to deal.  You might actually learn never know.

I've been thinking about doing some sort of blogging for some time, and now here we are.  This will be a good way for me to get this stuff off my chest.  I used to keep a journal religiously and now is it because I am 'old' that I just don't find the time?   I mean, since I met my husband I just haven't really made that time on a regular basis.  When I write in my journal my entries start out like, 'well, it's been a year since I last wrote and this is what has happened'.  And then 20 pages later I am done recapping the year.  It's like I threw up my year all over those pages in an attempt to leave some sort of trace of myself after I'm gone.  Oh jeez...that's not waxing philosophical at all. 

I'm in my early thirties and have to say that I was not sad in the least to rid myself of that twenties era.  I started Weight Watchers in June of 2007.  I was 28 at the time and was getting ready for my wedding.  How excruciating it was to look for a bridal gown.  In my head I thought I was looking pretty good...and then the search for the bridal gown was on.  I realized quickly how painful this process was going to be.  I hated it immediately and wanted it to end.  Fortunately, I found my gown and then came the measurements.  I think it ended up being a 20 or a 22 wedding gown.  Oh.My.God.

I kinda wanted to die as this little twig was measuring me.  This adorable, just as cute as a button, blond haired, little thing was trying to get her tiny little arms around my massive chest.  That was a pretty good wake up call.  I've had them before, like at the doctors office when she weighed me in at 195...holy cow.  I quickly got myself into my gym's Biggest Loser Challenge and won it...yes, I am that good when I put my mind to it.  Well, then I gained it all back and before you know it I'm in the dressing room with blondie and she's saying that we're ordering a dress with a 2 at the beginning of the size. 

So that's when I decided to check out this thing called Weight Watchers and it literally changed my life.  I lost 30 pounds for my wedding in January and continued to lose 7 more after the wedding and then barely recognized myself once June and July rolled around.  I made lifetime that summer and since have been navigating the turbulent waters of it.  It is a constant thought process and don't let anyone tell you differently.  I am a somewhat reasonable person and anyone who has been in weight watchers longer than a couple of years and tells you it's no big deal to maintain is straight up lying. 

So that's where I am now, clawing my way back down to 160.  I got there the first time with no problem.  Why am I having so much trouble getting there again?  That's what I am here to find out.  I juggle a full time job, a house, a wonderful, loving and supportive husband, my chocolate dog Sadie, and a family for whom I love, but seem to be at my 'doorstep' constantly (I like them there), working out, being with friends, and other things like boards of directors, community relationships, cooking, baking, reading, and whatever else my a.d.d. mind decides it wants to do.  Oh, cleaning is on there too, somewhere.  I'll be posting things about what I cook, bake, make, create, design, eat, etc, etc, etc. 

I can feel that this is going to be a good thing for you and me.  Please feel free to leave comments about whatever.  Thanks for reading and I look forward to posting again soon.