Texas Forever <3

Last week, Ryan and I took our longest solo trip without the little guys. We headed way down south to Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas. I had a work meeting in Forth Worth, and since we have friends from college in the Dallas area, Ryan decided to join me.

Quick fun fact: Ryan was born in Texas and spent the first 7 years of his life in El Paso.

Before this trip, I had never been to Texas, so I was super pumped to visit the state home to one of my favorite shows ever.

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Clutter Challenge – Day 4

I’m en route to the airport, so I finally have time to post my Day 4 Clutter-busting post. I decided on my seven items as I was packing for Chicago.

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No, the picture is not taken on an angle: that suitcase is just leaning because a wheel is missing. Ryan and I have one set of luggage, which has worked out just fine for us. When we travel together, we only need the one set, and it’s worked out that when only one of us is traveling, the other is home. But this past weekend, that was not the case, as Ryan was out of town Friday through Sunday at a friend’s bachelor party. I was going to use my old carry-on for my trip, but when I pulled it off the top shelf in the closet, I knew that old thing had seen its last day. I wasn’t concerned about getting a new carry-on, but I was really concerned why I had kept a roller suitcase that was missing one of its essential mobility functions. Clutter-bug alert!!

It didn’t take me long to find a purse and some shoes I haven’t worn in years to add to the pile. I tossed the suitcase but will be donating the shoes and purse.

I am so excited to get home to my boys! I’ve missed them so much. I snapped this shot while driving the boys home from daycare on Saturday. (Don’t worry – I was at a stoplight!) They are loving the new wheels.

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Nashville Half 2013

I can’t believe it – but the Nashville marathon is over. For nearly five months, I was looking forward to the weekend I would get to spend in Nashville, and boy, that city did not disappoint. The weekend was filled with the good, the bad and the ugly. Fortunately, most of it was good, so the bad and the ugly are easy to forget.

We got to Nashville on Friday evening and headed straight to the expo. After we picked up our packets and got our beer garden bracelets, it was off to dinner. This is how we felt about McFadden’s, where we ended up for dinner:

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Horrible service. Terrible food. Good beer, though, from what Ryan told us. Not our best decision of the weekend.

Saturday morning was race day! I woke up feeling nauseous, which was due to a combination of nerves and McFadden’s food.

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Sleepy – but ready to run!

The morning only got worse when we saw it was raining pretty steadily. Since we had to walk about a mile to get to the race shuttles, we asked the hotel for large trash bags to wear. This game-time decision ended up being the smartest thing we could have done, because the rain did not stop. The entire race. In fact, it got much worse. We even saw lightening and heard thunder at one point. Not exactly what you want to be going on at mile 9.

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On the shuttle to the start line. Look at those smiles – so innocent

Unfortunately, I was miserable the entire time. The weather only compounded my hurt knee and lack of training. I can never thank Katie enough for sticking with me the whole time – and somehow smiling throughout. Despite the rain, there were a few things that made me happy during the race:

1. The people watching the race. I mean, WOW – you all deserve some sort of medal. The runners chose to be out in weather like that, but the spectators did not. I could not believe how many people were out there cheering, soaking wet with smiling faces. You all kept us going, and for that, we say THANK YOU!

2. The fact that Danni Allen was running the race too. That’s right: the winner of last season’s The Biggest Loser ran her first half-marathon in Nashville. And you know how big of a fan I am. I didn’t get to see her – but just the thought of maybe bumping into her kept me going. You can read more about that (and the marathon in general) here.

3. The spectator signs. I’ve run in and been a spectator for marathons in several cities, and I’ve noticed that the signs just keep getting better and better. We saw the usual (“Worst parade ever” and “Run, Complete Stranger, Run!”), but there were a few that I had never seen before that made me smile when I wanted to cry. Here were some of my favorites:

Chuck Norris never ran a marathon.

Don’t stop – people are watching.

Free bacon for runners.
(Katie didn’t see this one, but when I told her about it after the race, she informed me she would have stopped for that free bacon had she seen it.)

Your pace or mine?

Running: cheaper than plastic surgery.

There were many more that I can’t remember right now, but the fans of the Nashville marathon did not disappoint. I will say it again: THANK YOU!

Saturday afternoon involved eating pizza and napping. Then it was time for Jimmy Buffett! We went to Rippy’s, a bar on Broadway, before the show. There was a live band playing, and as soon as I saw the fiddle player I about squealed: it was Brad Paisley’s fiddle player, Justin! Brad Paisley has been my favorite country artist for 10+ years, and I’ve seen him and his band in concert enough to know what they look like. I was so excited! When the band took a break, one of the braver souls in our group went over to him. I’m not sure what he said, but somehow he got Justin to come over to talk to us. He was seriously so nice, and genuinely flattered that we knew him. He was nice enough to get a few pictures with us:

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And if one celebrity spotting wasn’t enough, the next day we walked out of our hotel to this:

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Filming an episode of “Nashville”

The crew of the show “Nashville” was filming some scenes RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from our hotel. I danced when I saw this. Seriously. Unfortunately, no one else with me at the time likes the show, so they only let me gawk for a few minutes. How cool is that?!

I had so much fun with my cube-mate and fellow blogger, Amy. I’m going to miss spending too much time talking about Nashville, but I’m sure we’ll find something else to keep us busy. πŸ™‚

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I spent most of my time with this pretty lady:

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This post would be obnoxiously long if I wrote about everything we did, so I’ll spare you all. Which is a shame, because we sure had fun!

And of course, I enjoyed the weekend with Ryan. Seeing him on the sidelines of the marathon is the only time I actually cried during the race. I would like to say they were mostly tears of joy, but that would be a lie. Thanks so much for your love and support these past months, babe!

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