Catch up

Long time no blog. As usual, my winter hibernation turned into a holiday frenzy of sorts and things got BUSY. Actually, I don’t really mind at all. It’s cliché, but the holidays do only come around once a year, and once they’re gone and the twinkly lights are taken down and the First Snow! was 5 snows ago, it’s just winter in NJ for another three months, so yeah, I’m taking them in. Still, there’s been some fun stuff going on, and I’d hate to go so long that I forget to write about it, so here goes.

Last weekend was a blast and half. It was packed pretty much to the gills, but it was worth it. Friday night, I hustled home from work and Chris and I hit up the store for some party snacks and firewood (!!) to prepare for our first Game Night!! Debbie, Mike and Umair sailed up from JC in a practical monsoon to game it up with us. We were super excited to light our first fire in our newly approved fireplace, and it was definitely amazing. It felt so homey to have a fire blazing away. It’s true, I bristle at the suburbs sometimes, but Friday night was not one of those times. Anyway, we snacked and played Rummy and ordered some pizzas and played Spades and drank and watched YouTube videos. It was so low key and easy, and it was just so much fun! We were sorry to have to say goodbye even though it was past midnight by the time we wrapped up!

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Saturday started with a little yoga for me and a run for Chris. Then, the two of us decided to make the mile walk into town for bagels and a little local shopping. Since I haven’t been running lately, all our workouts have been done separately, and I was actually really missing spending that time with Chris. It’s harder for me to focus solely on him when we’re home because I’m always multitasking. It’s terrible, I know, but I can’t help it. Running together allowed me to listen completely, and he’s a pretty cool guy to listen to, so I was really missing that. Our walk was great. We broke out the SLR and took a bunch of pictures (coming soon!) all over town. We found a house I absolutely need to own. Think I can convince Chris we need to upsize to a $1.1 million dollar place? The weather was chilly but sunny, and we actually patronized two new to us stores- an organic health food store (!!) and a little gift shop. Love supporting those small businesses.

Saturday night we had to make a quick trip to the store to pick up some toys to donate for Sunday’s Big Chill then we made the not so long trip three houses over for our neighborhood Christmas party. Chris and I decided in advance that we would stay for 1 hour if it was just ok and 2 hours if it was better than expected. We ended up staying almost 5 hours!! Our neighbors are so wonderful. Seriously, we lucked out. They were all just so kind and funny and warm. They were so interested in getting to know us and kept offering to help us out anytime we needed it anyway they could. We’ve got a seriously impressive block to live up to.

Sunday morning we were up way too early to head to Rutgers for The Big Chill. It’s a 5k that I did 2 or 3 times before Chris and I started dating, but the two years since, I’ve had to bow out (once for an IT band injury, once for a CIA prep class). There was no way I was missing it our third year. That was a dumb decision obviously as my hamstring is still painfully sore, and the course is kind of hilly. Still, I had fun with Chris and Steve out there on the course running past all our old college haunts. It was so, so cold though. It was maybe 30* at the start, and I had a chill in my bones for hours after the race was over.

Speaking of after the race, when we finished we grabbed a bagel with Steve (Cranford bagels > New Brunswick bagels) before heading to Sunday service at church. I’ve been enjoying my RCIA journey so much. Honestly, anyone who knows me is pretty shocked to hear this as I’ve never really expressed a solid interest in church or God. I’ve always had my faith, but it’s been a very private thing for me. This experience has been remarkable. The community has been so welcoming and enlightening, and I really do feel like I’m growing by leaps and bounds throughout this process.

I’m so glad I decided to do it at this season in my life too. I’ll probably write more on this at a later time, but I was struggling to get my mindset in the right place to get married. I’ve never doubted that I wanted to marry Chris (that part was easy!), but marriage and I have a complicated history, and I had such a difficult time putting those emotions to the side and enjoying our engagement. I also found myself frustrated that marriage seems to take a huge backseat to the wedding when you’re engaged. The party seemed like the main event, the marriage an afterthought. Obviously, everyone’s feelings and thoughts on this subject are so varied, but that was where I stood. Since making the decision to get married in the church and complete the RCIA process, I feel so much more centered. The marriage has taken on significance, and opening my heart to God and letting him into our marriage preparations has given me an incredible amount of peace and allowed me to truly enjoy this process. Ok. Onwards.

We ordered our Save the Dates!! Our engagement pictures came in a few weeks ago, and I finally go around to picking a photo and design I like. I just approved the proofs and literally cannot wait to have them in my hands! They are the first official thing to have our wedding date on them, and it’s made it 525% more real to see the date in (digital) ink. Don’t even get me started on the fact that in less than a month I can go from saying “We’re getting married next year” to “We’re getting married this July!” Holy cow!

As mentioned above, I’m still not running regularly. Nothing has changed with is both good and bad. My hamstring hardly ever bothers me when I’m not running (unless I’m walking on a steep incline or decline), and when I’m running, it’s not excruciating. It’s just there. It’s tight and sore, and I can’t not feel it. Rest (though I haven’t rested an entire week yet) has not helped. I need to be better about foam rolling and stretching, and I’m hoping real rest will help. The 5k on Sunday was really my last run for a while because I so want to be in shape come spring. Between the weather and the stress that’s sure to accompany wedding planning, I’m definitely going to want to run pain free!

Finally (as this is quite long enough) I bought my first two Christmas presents on Sunday, and I’m so excited about them! I haven’t felt this good about giving a gift in a while, and I think they’re both going to be big hits. I cannot wait for Christmas to hurry up and get here!

Edited to Add: Literally no sooner did I finish typing up this post than I got an email that totally torpedoed one of my plans. Now, I’m scrambling to figure out what to do. I have to be cryptic, but I will definitely share this story later. Blah. Should have knocked on wood.

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