Monday, March 31, 2014

Choices We Make

There were two incredibly fun events on Friday night in OKC, and even though I had a super fun girls night planned with Kimmy, I [begrudgingly] canceled our plans to spend the evening at home alone. I forced myself to have some quiet time.

I felt like I should've been out - should've been supporting my friends and their events - should've spent time with others -- because, you know, I had free time.

I feel like I've been going, going, going. Friday night was a choice that I made. A choice to sit at home and read. Turns out, it was nice.

Saturday was non-stop for 15 hours, but my evening ended with my favorite little princess. Babysitting Miss Em is always an adventure, and now that she is a little chatterbox, I am constantly giggling at what she says!

Em asked if she could take some selfies while we were driving around town. A few minutes later, the radio DJ was introducing the selfie song and Em squeals from the back seat, "They just said selfies!!" Naturally, after laughing a bit too hard, I changed the radio station. The last thing I wanted was for her to pick up some of the lyrics and say, "There's no vodka at this table." Oof!

I had to pick up a baby gift on Saturday night, and while I was totally overwhelmed by all the baby gear in the store, Emily was in Little Girl Heaven when we stumbled upon a Hello Kitty room.

"Yizzbiss! Take my picture!"



"Yizzbiss! I can see myself!" 


It has to be said: I'm going to be really sad when she starts pronouncing my name correctly.

After we picked up dinner, we went back to the DeLo house and watched a movie while we ate pizza. I asked her to eat the pizza over her plate so we wouldn't get parmesan cheese everywhere. After she took her next bite, Em looked at me and said, "Yizzbiss, I ate over my plate!" The look of pride on her face was just the cutest. She definitely got big praise from me!

There were also more selfies. Not sure why we were doing disco fever, but I just followed suit. 


It started to get late but the little princess was ANYTHING but tired. I convinced her that we should snuggle on the couch and read some books. She sure is a good snuggler. Actually, this was "kitty Emily." Everything she said was followed by meow. "Thank you meow." "I want to read that book next meow."



I shared this video on Instagram over the weekend... After we read a series of books together, Em decided she wanted to re-read the book by herself. It was so cute, I just had to record it. Well, I'm glad I did because the funniest exchange happened while the camera was rolling. I can't make this stuff up!

The full version of the video is below - terrible video quality but just so darn cute!!

video

Even though I was exhausted by the time I got home, making the choice to spend a Saturday evening with this little one certainly brightened my day.

Yesterday, we volunteered at the Open Streets event in Uptown 23rd. I was astounded by the turnout. Seriously cool!! (photo by Josh DeLozier)


Then, it was time to spoil my Sharee-ree silly and celebrate the impending arrival of baby Sloane! Bobbie hosted a beautiful shower and it was so good to spend the afternoon with my ICG family!!




Some days I feel like I'm watching my life zip on by. I live the most amazing, fun, entertaining life. And it absolutely exhausts me!

At church on Saturday, Craig talked about how he used to struggle with being a workaholic. He said that his therapist asked him one time, "Who are you trying to impress? What are you trying to prove?" I love my work, my friends and my extracurriculars. I also love how much of my time is devoted to these things -- to the point where I feel guilty when I take a night off and say "no" to whatever extra fun might be planned for the evening.

However, I realized that the same questions from the therapist apply to me. What am I trying to prove by doing it all? I have the ability to make choices regarding how I spend my time. And I'm learning that choosing to spend my moments how I want to spend them makes me a happier Eliz and those choices make for higher quality moments with the people I care about.

It turns out all the moms and dads in the world were right -- it's all about the choices we make.

xoxo, E


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Other People's Words

Some days I feel like I am absolutely, positively incapable of putting my feelings into words.

When I'm so happy that I have to jump up and down in the office [happened yesterday]
When I'm so sad that tears force their way into my eyes
When I'm so nervous that my chest breaks out in red splotches [super attractive]
When I'm anxious and my chest gets tight on the inside
When I'm twitterpated and my words get twisted up - or completely lost altogether
When I have so much joy that my cheeks hurt from smiling

...

I feel all the feelings and I feel them deep. I hurt as big as I love. I dream big and obsessively. When it comes to fight or flight, the bird in me wants to spread wings, but the fighter takes that 1, 2, punch.

Feelings are suffocating and freeing. They're empowering and debilitating. They're the most exquisite dichotomy.

It takes me a while to get to the words. Sometimes the perfect way of expressing my emotions comes in the form of an awesome Design Crush quote, a song that comes on the radio at the perfect time, a text message from a friend, or - most shockingly of all - my own mouth.

Every once in a while, I feel compelled to send encouraging text messages for no reason at all. I'll text my mom to tell her just how much I love and miss her. [It always cracks me up when she replies with "why?" "Just because you're my Momma!!"]

Well, the other day, I had been thinking about a conversation with a friend who always seems to have the perfect words to sum up how I'm feeling - or the perfectly crafted comeback to those [really and truly] rare days of emotional distress. I wanted to be sure that he knew just how much I respect him and value his friendship. Plus, he makes my brain better. I've had to look up words, a handful of times, that he'll drop into casual texting convos.

Anyway, at some point in the conversation, the tables turned and I was being handed some pretty kind encouragement as well. I paused when he texted that he respected my drive and desire to always be more.

There he went and put words to this feeling that I haven't been able to pinpoint for a while. I do want to be more... I want to be kinder, stronger, happier, more loving, passionate and positive every day!

This is borderline "Beautiful Mind" rambling - sorry! Dear friends, at what age do we figure it all out?

Tell me it's 26. Cause ya know, I'm almost there!

It wasn't until I was about to hit "publish" on this post that I remembered I'd taken a screenshot of something on Instagram earlier, but I couldn't remember what it said.

Well, what do you know... it kinda, sorta, totally applies.

[image source]

Staying in the fight to always be more and striving for who I was created to be!
xoxo, E


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Currently Loving

I had an unexpected date with an ice pack and Advil last night. I had a really great 4.5 mile run - completed in 46 minutes and 10 seconds - and I decided that I wanted to give the last tenth of a mile all that I had. I took off running as fast as I could.

Hindsight is 20/20. My Achilles is killing me, and I'm praying that the ice and Advil will have it healed ASAP.

Next time, I'll remember that slow and steady wins the race.

So last night, while I was immobile and icing my aching foot, I got to thinking about a few of the things that I'm currently obsessed with.

One: Nicely Noted
My friend Kelsey sent me a Facebook message the other day and introduced me to the stationery subscription service that her friend started, Nicely Noted. Naturally, this is right up my alley and I can't wait for my first package to arrive!


Two: Kate Nash's "Nicest Thing"
I heard this song on Pandora the other day, and for some reason it caught my ear. I am bizarrely in love with it.



Three: Windows of New York
Seriously loving this graphic designer's take on NYC - "The Windows of New York project is a weekly illustrated fix for an obsession that has increasingly grown in me since chance put me in this town. A product of countless steps of journey through the city streets, this is a collection of windows that somehow have caught my restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the city. This project is part an ode to architecture and part a self-challenge to never stop looking up."

  

  

  

I googled a few of the addresses to see if the windows actually exist. Seriously cool stuff!

Four: Billy & Jimmy
My ultimate dream came true last week - Billy Joel & Jimmy Fallon together AND singing!! I have watched this no less than 10 times. Love!!!



Five: Impulse shopping due to childhood
I made an impulse buy on eBay yesterday. I bought something that transports me back to childhood. The item itself was $5 and I paid $10 in shipping. You guys, it's going to be totally worth it. Or it'll be wildly disappointing because I've built it up too much in my memory. But in the meantime, you'll have to wait in anticipation to find out what it is!

I hope you've also enjoyed these obsessions of mine. Happy Wednesday!!
xoxo, E


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Weirdest Question Ever

I've checked two more items off my 25 while 25 list this week, and it's only Tuesday!

Can I get a what what?!

As I mentioned, Chelsey and I went to Tulsa on Sunday and walked the river. The weather was absolutely perfect and the company was beyond perfection.



You know what they say... 4 feet are better than 2.


Even with low water levels, the view was gorgeous. I couldn't get over how much art there was along the path - and I totally geeked out over the well-planned and executed bike and walking trails.


God bless Chelsey for being willing to stop so many times on our walk so I could take pics! 



Hey Tulsa, you're pretty. I'll be back again soon for another long walk along the river.



Yesterday, I finally -- FINALLY -- got the opportunity to donate blood. Warning, if you are squeamish, I suggest you stop reading right now.

After doing the routine medical history questionnaire, I hopped up on the chaise lounge [kidding - totally a doctor's table - yet surprisingly comfortable!] and the nerves started to set in, just a tad. All I could think was, he better hit my vein on the first try; I will not be a pin cushion!


Well, he did hit the vein on the first try, but "Hm, the blood flow has stopped" is not exactly something you want to hear. After adjusting the needle a little bit [OUCH!!!] the blood started flowing again.


7 minutes and 51 seconds later, I had a pint of blood ready to [hopefully] help save a life!


My [little bit cray cray] nurse caught me taking the picture of my arm and he said, "Do you want a picture of you with your blood?"

Weirdest. Question. Ever.

But yes, yes I do.

Ladies and Gents - allow me to present, Eliz and the pint o' blood. 


Boom - goals achieved!

24 days to complete the rest. Wish me luck.

xoxo, E

Monday, March 24, 2014

I can't, I have...

When you go to a school that is highly specialized in the performing arts - and also goes by the nickname Overly Committed University (OCU - Okla. City University) - you get used to having to plan to spend time with friends. There's almost no room for spontaneity.

So, when trying to make plans with friends, one of the most commonly heard replies was, "I can't, I have rehearsal."

Obviously, it's been a few years since those words have crossed my lips. However, in the last 7 weeks, I've said, "I can't, I have to run," far more times than I can count. [Wow - how comma happy did I get in that last sentence?!]

My social life has taken a hit because of my desire to train for this half-marathon.

I'm so blessed because my friends have been awesomely supportive. One of my favorite moments in the day is when Brandi asks how far I have to run that night. It's become our little ritual. And the number of times that Gentry has said, "I'm so proud of you for doing this!" feels pretty darn good.

However, it's nearly impossible for me to make plans with friends "after hours." My schedule is wildly hectic, and I love it, but sometimes I'd really love to have hours on end to spend with my friends without running through this list in my head:

  • I need to get enough sleep tonight so that I'm rested for tomorrow's run
  • I shouldn't have anything to drink, just in case I get a headache from the alcohol
  • I definitely can't go out to eat if I want my tummy to like me during my run tomorrow - TMI, but true
  • My house is a mess, I need to do laundry, it's my only free night from my training plan
  • I really should be doing some cross training tonight
  • And the list goes on...

I'm super excited for the half-marathon, and I'm already looking for the next race to train for, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to the return of free time in May.

This past weekend, I decided that I was going to spend time with my girlfriends and prioritize some "me time." I'm taking care of my body by running, but my soul needed a little loving this weekend. So, I made the time.

I had the most amazing lunch on Thursday with Courtney. While we've seen each other out and about, and done the hugs & "it's so good to see you"s at events, we [very intentionally] took the time to be real and get to know each other. I'm going to call it now, that lunch was the start of a beautiful new friendship.

Kimmy and I had a girls night on Friday, complete with mani/pedis, Crepe Brewers, hearing The Flukes play at Premiere, mexican food, skinny margaritas, and all the laugher. All. Of. It.



Did I mention there was laughter? This is what happens when Kimmy shouts "I'm not ready for the picture yet!!" We turn into 13 year old girls when we're together.


Saturday evening was spent with my Kelly. This is the friendship that is the biggest casualty of my busy schedule. We live on opposite ends of OKC; we don't work 20 feet from each other anymore; and our schedules never seem to align. So, after many (many) failed attempts, we finally had a date over the weekend! 

When I told Kelly we needed to take a photo, she suggested that the entry rug should be our backdrop. She meant it as a joke, but I thought it'd be perfect. The following series of (less than flattering) photos occurred. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard!



Pull it together...


NOPE!


Kelly is such a treasure of a friend, and I'm so lucky that she fights to maintain our friendship. I think that's becoming my favorite quality in a friend. Someone who makes the effort when you start to drop the ball.

Chelsey came in to town this weekend - and any adventure with her truly needs its own post! ;) My soul needed some love this weekend and time with Chels overflowed my heart with joy.


You know those girls that are loud and squeal and are a bit too dramatic? Well, we are those girls when we're together. I have no doubt that we annoy those around us, but I just don't care. She is one of the best things that happened to me in college - and I'll revert back to College Eliz when I'm with her, unapologetically.

This weekend reminded me that friendships take intention. They don't just happen. It was a pretty sweet weekend and I think this high will carry me through the remainder of my training -- that and the fact that Kimmy and I have another girls night planned for this Friday!

xoxo, E

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Beware the Ides of 25w25

We are officially in the final stretch of the 25 while 25 list -- my 26th birthday is one month from yesterday! Honestly, it feels like it was SUCH a long time ago that I decided to embark on this challenge. 

Time is a funny thing. It feels like our family vacation to Hawaii and our girls weekend in NYC for the 4th of July was eons ago, yet I can't believe it's almost time for our second Starlight Supper event!

How is it that days can drag but moments with my family are fleeting? Time, you are a tease.

Someone asked the other day if I've started compiling my 26 while 26 list. To be honest, I hadn't even thought about whether or not I would continue this project into year 26. I've loved it - it's super fun to have something to work towards, but to be honest, I'm not sure I'd have the same motivation to complete the list again. 

Hm, this just occurred to me... I might do an "Adventures to have" list. I've been feeling that desire creep up on me - like it does a couple times a year - to have an epic adventure. [I use the term "epic" pretty loosely here folks. It could be as simple as a spur of the moment day-trip to Dallas. I'm easy to please!]

Okay, so back to the present, back to 25 while 25. 

Here's the current standing of the "yet to be accomplished" items:

1. Train for and run a half marathon - 37 days until launch!

2. Dine/Shop at 15 new Keep it Local retailers/restaurants
I've got three more open slots on my list, but I've already decided where I want to go to complete it!



3. Try 15 new recipes - seriously?! what was I thinking when I came up with this one? Know thyself, Newton. Know thyself. Luckily, I've had a couple friends jump in and save the day with suggestions! I have 6 recipes to cook in the next 29 days.

4. Go for a run along the river in Tulsa - I've got a day-trip penciled in for this Sunday with my Chelsey!! I'm beyond giddy that she'll be in town! 

5. Throw a party inspired by one of the ideas I've pinned on Pinterest - honest moment? I keep forgetting this one is on my list. Durnit. 

6. Read 5 new books - I just started #5 this week. Now, if only I could force myself to choose reading over sleep...

7. Fly a kite - Who wants to go with?

8. Donate blood - who would have thought this would be the most tried & failed item on the list?! Well, I finally have an appointment to give blood on March 24th. 

Long story short, I put the wrong year for my last cancer diagnosis which made me ineligible to donate until March 1. Well, then I had a biopsy done on March 6th and I wanted to wait for the results before scheduling. But I am cancer-free and ready to donate!




9. Put on the ol' tap shoes and (re)learn the "Moses Supposes" choreography - remember when I posted I was scared to open the door on this one? Well, in addition to that, I'm scared to put even more strain on my joints and injure myself before this half-marathon. So, once again, I'm changing an item on my #25w25 list!

Replacement - Watch 5 of the movies that people just can't believe I've never seen! 
[Thanks Sis for helping me compile the list]
1. The Breakfast Club - watched March 16
2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off - watched March 16

3. Pretty in Pink
4. Say Anything
5. A League of Their Own

10. Put $25, at a minimum, in savings every month - still going strong on this one!

11. Learn how to make sushi - class is scheduled for April 8th!


So, it looks like I've got half of my list remaining. But, there is a plan in place! 
Oh geez. Slow down time, I've got lots to accomplish!! xoxo, E


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

You knew there'd be another...

We are 38 days away from my first half-marathon. Deep breath. 38 days. I can do this.

The last time I trained for a half-marathon, my plans were foiled by food poisoning during my birthday weekend - which also happened to be 2 weeks prior to the race.

I've made many jokes about not eating anything more than toast and peanut butter crackers, once I started training for this half, to avoid food poisoning again.

Well, hey there kids, guess who was in bed for 3 days this past weekend with a less-than-awesome case of food poisoning? Yours truly.

Luckily, getting sick 43 days out from the race means I have enough time to recuperate and get back on track with my training program. But you better believe that I'm starting that blandest-of-the-bland-foods diet starting now.

So, as for the title of this post, you knew there'd be another blog post about my half-marathon training progress. I have enjoyed training with my friends, while running alone. Allow me to explain...

Bobbie and I exchange stats following our latest runs. I happened to mention to her that when I'm running, and I feel like I just can't go on any more, I think "I need to keep running so that I can text Bobbie I ran without stopping!" I almost fell over laughing when I received the following:


I looped Emily in and added her to my group that I text before/after running. She received a lovely selfie, as a new member, and she replied with quite the cheer - which lead to a spring in my step - resulting in two 9.5 minute miles!


When I was hitting the North Carolina pavement - while home surprising my momma for her birthday - Dad had quite the sense of humor... [Mary is a nickname from my early dance competition days. Short version: I did a hip-hop dance routine to a rap version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" when I was in 1st grade]


And of course, no training team would be complete without my most consistent cheerleader! [Also, the one who gets every single teeny tiny update about my training]




I have to be honest, I'm always hoping for a "WHOLEY MOLEY" reply. Makes me feel like I did something super extraordinary!!

Bobbie sent the following inspirational little ditty, and I keep it on my phone as a reminder on the days when I just feel like I'm not cut out to be a runner.



Here's to a great 38 days of running ahead towards completing a goal! Let's do this!
xoxo, E


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Not Suitable for Instagram

On any given day, my house is not suitable for Instagram. You know what I'm talking about...

Among the multitude of styled, filtered and cropped photos, sometimes my life just isn't picture-ready.

Don't get me wrong, Instagram is my favorite social media platform, and I absolutely love the styled-to-perfection photos. But on those days when comparison is running wild, I have to remind myself that for every "perfect" photo, an imperfect person is on the other side [working meticulously] to capture that fleeting moment.


Well, in the interest of total honesty, I figured that I would show the state of my perfectly-imperfect house. Especially since Saturday was the 1-year anniversary of sealing the deal on this little beauty!!

- March 15, 2013 - 


My yellow front door is most definitely in the "top five" of favorite changes that I've made since this little bungalow became mine!


Okay, after a week of events during Downtown Employee Appreciation Week, followed by a week of preparing for the O'City St. Patrick's Day Parade and battling [what feels like a never ending bout of] food poisoning, here is reality:

1. Many, many piles of clean and folded laundry. Apparently, the extra 8 minutes to put it all away is just too much.



2. A dining room table that isn't used for dining as much as it's a catch-all for all of my stuff after work, after a run, or after just about anything.


3. Again, the jewelry box is a mere 6 feet away. But the dresser is much more convenient for de-robing jewelry at the end of the day. 

Especially since Kelly gave me this lovely little jewelry tray! Life is too important to be taken seriously.


4. My bed - beautiful when made - hasn't been made in quite some time. 


5. Oh, and remember this photo from my Instagram? Well, on most days, this is how it actually looks! 

Ya know... since I don't make my bed.


So, can I make a confession? Even in my [very intentional] decision to be honest in these photos and not allow the "Instagram effect" to creep in, it was harder than anticipated to show real life. As much as I love Instagram, it creates such a culture of comparison and discontentment.

"Comparison is the thief of joy."

Comparison is a necessary evil, but I won't let it steal my overwhelming joy that I get to live this beautifully-messy, not [always] suitable for Instagram, life.

... But I am definitely thankful for the multiple iPhone apps that help make me look tanner and my pictures a little prettier!

xoxo, E

p.s. speaking of Instagram, I did another closet clean-out last night and posted the stuff to my @shopelizcloset page. Same rules as last time: everything is free, but if you want to donate, all money will go to the Children's Miracle Network!