Limbo

I’m going to switch gears here for a minute: this post really doesn’t have too much to do with anything except that it describes my perpetual state of being as of right now. I want to share these thoughts with you because they factor into everything else that I do, even my workouts and whatnot!

My life here in Nashville is coming to a close. My life in Chicago hasn’t quite started yet. I am officially in limbo. For someone who only knows one thing– go go go– the state of limbo is quite confusing, and even frustrating. I know it is temporary… soon I will be very preoccupied with the trappings of my new life and limbo will seem like quite a far away place.

Pictures and curtains are packed, leaving my apartment stark and empty feeling. My relationship has ended, four years of memories packed away with the curtains, leaving me a little stark feeling as well. My replacement at work has started, making me a bit superfluous. There’s plenty look forward to, though: new sights, sounds, routines, ideas, people. I can’t wait to experience all of it! But it’s just out of reach right now.

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Please excuse the metaphor, but the sun is setting on Nashville!

My time here in Nashville has been great. The city itself has surprised me with its unique culture, overwhelming warmth and refreshing levity. During the three years I have spent here, my life has changed drastically and I have grown up in a lot of ways, for better or for worse. I certainly won’t be leaving this place as the person I arrived as.

My upcoming time in Chicago holds so much promise. By going to grad school, I am accomplishing a very big goal on my life “to-do” list. I expect just as many changes to befall me there, if not more. And I’m looking forward to it, both the good and the bad… it’s what life is about.

But Chicago is on the horizon.

Yet Chicago is on the horizon.

But when you sit directly in between what was once great and what will be great, it’s like being trapped in a waiting room where there aren’t enough magazines. Because of the lack of reading material, you check your Facebook too much, leaving you feeling like time is standing still because there are no new status updates. That’s limbo, at least for me. I keep wanting to jump the gun on something, but there’s nothing to jump the gun on! I just have to wait for it all to happen at this point. Until then, I will just keep checking my Facebook.

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Weekend Wrap-Up: Packing

This weekend was exceptionally low-key, which was OK by me. Unfortunately, I can’t say I did anything productive with my free time. Even my workouts were lackluster. Yesterday afternoon I did a few rounds of my kettlebell circuit workout with the intention of going hard at the gym today. However, when I got to the gym I didn’t have an ounce of going hard juice in me. My stomach felt funny and I felt totally devoid of energy for some reason… it’s not like I was even hung over! I ended up doing 20 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill and a few leg machine exercises before heading home, defeated.

When I got home, I turned on some Patty Griffin and started packing up my apartment for the big move to Chicago. All I did was put some non-essentials like books, pictures and curtains into some boxes but it feels totally different in here now. Additionally, my replacement at work starts tomorrow, so things are starting to feel very, well, real. I’m really doing this!

The rest of the evening was spent lounging with these buggers. Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

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What’s the biggest move you’ve ever made? Any moving tips?

Caturday 7/20/13

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Phoebe likes to hang out between the shower curtain and the shower curtain liner. Adorbs.

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“No mom, please, I don’t want to wake up.”

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Piper sleeps in the kitchen window while I cook. My buddy.

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If Lucy has not been seen for more than 10 minutes, she has most likely gone to the bathroom to attack the bath mat. It is her mortal enemy.

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Big yawn! Special guest: Papillon. Owner: Emily B.

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Special Guest: Papillon. Owner: Emily B.

Want your kitty featured on Caturday? Email your photo to reallifemaggie1@gmail.com!

Friday Faves 7/19/13

-Homeland- I am totally addicted to this show. If you haven’t seen it and you like a good TV series to lose yourself in, this is it folks.

-Peaches- It’s peach season y’all. I picked these babies up at the farmer’s market this week and made some jam out of them. Ahhh, summer, you are so lovely.

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-Daughter- I recently ran across this band through a suggestion from Spotify (thanks Spotify algorithms!) I love every song I’ve heard of theirs thus far, they are all hauntingly beautiful.

 

Gym Encounters of the Gross Kind

I had a great workout at the gym tonight, except for one little detail: my elliptical machine neighbor.

I was about 15 minutes into my 25 minute cardio session when someone decided to get on the machine next to me, despite the fact that there were other open ones farther down. My new neighbor was talking animatedly on his cell phone, which is always an annoyance for me (despite the fact that I had earbuds in); I was willing to look past this and just turned up my music a bit.

However, once he got off the phone, he plugged his headphones into the elliptical machine and turned on Big Brother. No, this is not a crime, but making a very over the top and audible running commentary on the program is in my book. For the next 10  minutes, I heard “oh no he didn’t!” or “bitch is crazy.” I was about fed up, but I still had 3 minutes left and really wanted to get the satisfaction of finishing a strong workout.

Then, in the middle of an exclamation about the douchiness of so-and-so in the house, my neighbor ripped one. Loud. And it smelled bad. That was the final straw. I jumped ship as quickly as possible!

Nevertheless, my workout was good tonight. In addition to some solid cardio that left me quite sweaty, I focused on arms and abs to the extreme.

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What’s your worst gym encounter?

Gluten Binge!

So I know I just recently posted about limiting gluten in my diet, but I’ve been abiding by this rule for almost 2 months now. However, on Sunday and Monday I allowed myself some gluten-y treats: beer, burgers and pasta.

I can’t deny it, every indulgence was wonderful. Firstly, even though it was just Bud Light, my baseball game beer was ice cold and delicious. I almost got a second one but I decided to take it easy.

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The next day, some coworkers and I went to Robert’s Western World for lunch. Robert’s is one of the honky tonk bars down on Lower Broadway in Nashville, and it’s by far my favorite. Lunchtime is my favorite time to go because it’s not crowded with tourists and there is an old guy that sings classic country like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Unfortunately, there’s really nothing on the Robert’s menu that fits my food rules. So I just went for it and got a veggie burger with sweet potato fries. FYI… they butter their veggie burgers before putting them on the grill. Awesome and horrifying all at once.

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When I arrived home for dinner, Aaron had decided to cook a great summery pasta dish with zucchini, tomatoes, corn and goat cheese. It was delish, but it was my third batch of straight up gluten in 24 hours.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I’m no doctor and I am not conducting a properly controlled study here. All I know is that limiting gluten seems to have made a positive change in my body. And after my beer, burger and pasta, I felt awful! I had a headache for all of Tuesday, and I still feel dead tired today. Perhaps there is something else contributing to these feelings, but I’m blaming gluten.

Do you notice a difference if you eat gluten?

Weekend Wrap-Up: All American Weekend

This weekend couldn’t have been more perfect. We have an Italian “intern” (I use this term loosely, since she is actually doing an externship with us through her museum back in Italy) who has been working with us for the past few weeks, so we’ve been trying to show her a good time. This weekend, a few girlfriends and I took her to Arrington Vineyards, a local winery owned by country star Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn. Then on Sunday, we headed to a Nashville Sounds baseball game… for a real taste of America! The weather was fantastic for both adventures and the company was even better.

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Our beautiful little picnic at Arrington Vineyards.

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Soaking up the sunshine.

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Strolling the grounds.

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Loungin’.

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The motley crew.

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A beautiful sunset.

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Nashville Sounds game.

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A little rainbow joined us.

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Ice cold beer, ain’t nothin’ better at a ball game.

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Caturday 7/13/13

Whew, it’s finally the weekend! It’s been another busy week at work since we had another exhibition opening. I’ve been coming home utterly exhausted! But now it’s Caturday and all is well. :) Hope you have a great weekend!

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What I wake up to this every morning. Bums.

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I LOVE spotting the kitties in my apartment windows when I walk up to the building. It makes me so happy.

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Phoebe and I have a special bond, we are always together <3

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This happens every time I try and workout at home. They just think everything is about them.

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Lucy is growing more and more comfortable in her new home. When we first got her she was scared to get up on the couch or bed with us but clearly she doesn’t feel that way anymore! For the past few days she comes running when I get into bed and snuggles in with me like this.

Looked down to see Lucy like this one night. I don't even know.

Looked down to see Lucy like this one night. I don’t even know.

Gym Peeves

The past couple of evenings that I’ve been at the gym, I have had trouble finding the dumbbells that I need. I try to be flexible and go up or down by 5 pounds but–wouldn’t you know it– those are no where to be found either. I try to move on to a different exercise with the expectation that the dumbbells will return by the time I am done, but they never do. I look around the gym, search corners, but to no avail. Frequently I find a whole stack piled up at the end of someone’s bench, with that someone still sitting there… resting. I get that you need to rest between sets, but are you doing sets with the 15 lb, 20 lb and 25 lb dumbbells all at once?! Probably not.

Tonight I had just such a problem. First I had to wait for a bench to do some dumbbell presses on. No prob, I went and did my ab exercises while I waited. I returned, claimed the one open bench and went to get some dumbbells. However, every single dumbbell between 5 and 35 pounds was swept clean of the rack… and there are 2 separate racks! Both were totally empty. I saw somebody with a stack at their bench; the rest were totally hidden. I muttered “this is bullshit” before stalking off. I hope that guy with the dumbbell pile heard.

I went upstairs where there is a small area with weights that range from 1 to 20 pounds and a couple of benches. Luckily I scored the 20 pounders for my presses. However, when it was time to do some chest flies, I had to drop all the way down to 7.5 lb (way too easy). Why, do you ask? Because the 8lb, 10 lb and 12lb weights were all missing! Dear douchebags, please re-rack your weights. Ok? Thanks.

Even the little weight stack was useless!

Even the little weight stack was useless!

Nevertheless, I finished a decent workout that focused on chest and abs. What are your gym pet peeves?

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Oh! I also did cable crunches (3 sets x 10 reps @ 25 lb). I forgot to add that to my list :)

July Goals

I know, I know, we’re already a week into July so I’m a little behind on this post. But man has the first week flown by. In June I set the goal to make some measurable progress on my abs, a longstanding trouble spot. Now, I didn’t expect to have washboard abs by the end of the month, but I do feel that I made a difference.

Oh, I also promised I’d post a before and after photo, something I am very nervous about… so be nice! For the sake of comparison, both the before (top) and after (bottom) were taken first thing in the morning before breakfast. I intend on following my ab-centric goal through July as well. Slowly but surely!

IMG_2369My other July fitness goal is to do cardio intervals at least twice a week. Cardio is routinely my weak spot… it’s just not as much fun as lifting! But I recognize its importance in a balanced routine and I’m determined to do two 20-minute sessions in any form per week.

What are your fitness goals this month? How do you keep yourself on track?