Monday, May 23, 2011

Warrior Dash

Last Sunday, during our trip to Georgia, we laced up our old running shoes to run through the woods and play in the mud.  sort of. 
Somehow I was talked into running the Warrior Dash with Hubs and my brother.  The 5k trail run part sounded like fun and I figured to obstacles wouldn't kill me.  Apparently this thing is quite popular.  When we tried to sign up a few months out, all of the Saturday waves (at 500 people per wave and a wave starting every 30 minutes from morning to evening) were full.  We selected one of the two remaining Sunday options.

team orange.
the start.
Unfortunately, they have you running the first section on something about as wide as a sidewalk.  Unless you are one of the testosterone-filled, shirtless guys at the beginning who thinks you are a true warrior, you will likely be stuck behind lots of people walking (it's supposed to be a run, people!).

The first obstacle was a "walk" across a lake.  The water was actually a lot deeper than expected and a few parts required swimming. 
making it out of the water.
Once drenched from head to toe, we ran through some serious mud and entered the scrap yard stampede.

This obstacle consisted of mud-filled tires and climbing over and through muddy junk cars.  It was pretty fun.
can you spot us?
Next up was a section of alternating chest-high barricades to hoist yourself over and low barbed wire walls to crawl under.  All completely covered in mud, of course.  The crowds were still thick at this part so this was a pretty slow moving section.

We met back up with our awesome photographer (thanks T!) at this point for the giant climbing wall.  This was the scariest part of the whole thing for me.  The vertical wall had a rope to help get you up the front, however, getting over the top was terrifying.  You are covered in slippery mud and realize, once at the top, that there is no padding or anything on the other side.  I think many of us were convinced we were going to crash onto our heads as we tried to transfer from the front to back of the wall. 
Next, we headed into the mountains for some trail running and more obstacles.  The trails were tough but fun.  The obstacles included things like a tire crawl up and down, a vertical rope net wall, a horizontal cargo net crawl (surprisingly awkward and hard), and a "blackout".  The blackout area was a long, low wood structure covered in black tarps.  You have to crawl through a series of pitch black sections along the ground.  This is really freaky if you are terrified of spiders as you can't see anything.  Mike decided not to crawl at first and kept smashing his head into the wood beams.  Not a good plan. 

We finally made it out of the woods and to the slide from hell (my name for it, not theirs ;) ).  It's basically like a vertical slip and slide.  Seems super fun until you realize you are going 100 miles an hour out of control and backwards.  The end of the slide is essentially a combination of rock and pine needles.  I ended up with this battle wound and cut open hand.
From the slide, you jump into waist deep mud and crawl under more barbed wire.  Finally, you enter a lake to climb over several floating logs.  {Note to future participants, wait until the log stops spinning from the person in front of you or you will slice your other hand open.}  Luckily, this water section washes most of the mud off of you.

After exiting the water, you run to the finish over the fire logs.   The flames are scary and you will be so glad you are soaked with water!!
love the face!

please notice how terrified I am!

i jump like a girl.

I was very glad when the obstacles were over and I could stop being beat up.  Overall, it was pretty entertaining.  I think the guys would definitely do it again.  I might join the photographer crew next time as I am a wuss and didn't enjoy being scraped up all week.  The trail running part was really a lot of fun.  I only wish there had been more running and that the walkers would be more aware and move over.  It was definitely more like 2 miles of running max than 3.1.


complimentary warrior hats.  gotta love em. 

with our awesome photographer.

free beer post race: when we asked which beer was which they said "oh, they're pretty much the same."  The choices? Mich Ultra and Shock Top.  NOT the same thing. lol. 
My advice for those of you signed up for one soon: Start closer to the front.  Behind the crazies of course, but not behind all of the walkers.  Stay with your friends.  This is not a race you try to do for time so just enjoy doing it together.  I think that's the best part.  Beware of the deadly slide.  Coordinate bright clothes if you have a photographer looking for you.  It makes it easier to spot you.  But, make sure it's dri-fit.  I think Alex was pretty miserable in his 7 pound t-shirt.   Our particular race was lucky in that you end in water and not mud.  Photos I've seen of other races, participants are seriously muddy at the end.  I'd read to bring jugs of water just in case.  Wear some old sneakers so you can ditch them immediately.
Shoe donation pile. 
Oh, and if you hear banjo music, keep running...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weekend in Georgia

This weekend we made the trip back to Clarkesville, GA to visit my brother and sister-in-law, Alex and T.

Friday we went on a fifty seven mile hike to see Panther Creek Falls.

The walk was so pretty and we loved getting exercise in such a fun way.

Mike told me to run out on a fallen tree to take my picture.  I made it about two steps and then freaked out and couldn't figure out how to even turn around.  I'm so pathetic!

Mike of course ran right out on it.

The waterfall was super pretty and definitely worth the walk.

Our delicious dinners went undocumented as the new camera is a little large for toting around.

I did manage to capture some of the downtime at the house.  The weather was ideal for hanging out in the backyard with the puppies and some wine.


delicious local wine.

he's a lap dog.

so many dragonflys.
ellie mae.
boy and his dog #1

boy and his dog #2
The trip went by way too fast but was really fun!  Thanks again to our hosts and we hope to be back soon.  Wait till you see what we did on Sunday...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm a physicist!

Monday marked two pretty major events in my life: our second wedding anniversary and the date of my oral exam. The exam is a two-hour, four-faculty, me-at-the-dry-erase-board-being-quizzed-on-everything-I've-learned-in-grad-school exam.  We have been preparing for these exams all semester and the date has been hanging over my head since it's assignment.  To put it nicely, I hate public speaking.  It took a lot of effort to get me over the omg, I can't even remember my own name feeling when I got to the board.  The exam was actually harder than I expected as far as the material was concerned but it was also not quite as scary as I feared.  I felt mostly confident and the two hours went by quickly.  Before I knew it I was standing awkwardly outside the room waiting for the examiners to decide my future.

Shaking their hands and getting a hug from my director as they congratulated me on passing was one of the proudest moments of my life.  This day marked the conclusion of the Master's portion of my graduate degree and the end of my taking classes.  It's pretty crazy to think I have finally earned the title of Medical Physicist.  My two years of residency will begin soon and I'm excited to start the next chapter.  I know the next two years will have their own challenges but for now I'm beyond excited not have to spend every second of my life studying (well, until the first part of my boards in August...). 

Hubs and I went downtown for a double celebration at Capitol Grille in The Hermitage Hotel.  The place is absolutely gorgeous. 


The food was amazing and we had such a great time (huge thanks to MIL/FIL!!).  It was so much fun to get dressed up (including shoe option #1!) and enjoy a special evening with the boy I was lucky enough to marry two years ago.  I think this anniversary will always be a memorable one...

love you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Black High Heels

A few weeks ago, I was in need of a break from labs and decided on some retail therapy in my most favorite place: T.J. Maxx shoe section.  I ended up finding the prettiest pair of black heels ever and was shocked when Mike agreed to my request of buying the not-so-practical shoes.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I was back this weekend and found another pair of black heels that I fell in love with.  I brought them home with me and am now on a mission to decide which pair I can't live without.  Please help!


1, 2, or convince hubs that he should take me to TWO fancy dinners so I can keep both?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Updating our chairs

We recently decided to reupholster our kitchen chairs as light fabric and messy eaters don't mix too well. We  finally settled on a fabric (after I found like twenty I loved).

I would recommend using a staple gun for this task.  We bought a gun and staples that did not go together.  Being stubborn, Mike decided to use a regular stapler and smash it ridiculously hard instead of going back to the store.  I think his hand was pretty sore by the end. 

We love the way it turned out! 

The whole thing:
{Excuse the blurry cell phone pictures!}

Sunday, May 8, 2011


"Somebody's Hero" -Jamie O'Neal

She's never pulled anyone from a burning building
She's never rocked Central Park to a half a million fans, screaming out her name
She's never hit a shot to win the game
She's never left her footprints on the moon
She's never made a solo hot air balloon ride, around the world,
No, she's just your everyday average girl (but)

She's somebody's hero
A hero to her baby with a skinned up knee
A little kiss is all she needs
The keeper of the cheerios
The voice that brings Snow White to life
Bedtime stories every night
And that smile lets her know
She's somebody's hero

oh oh
She didn't get a check every week like a nine-to fiver
But she's been a waiter, and a cook and a taxi driver
For twenty years, there at home, until the day her girl was grown
Giving all her love to her was her life's ambition
But now her baby's movin' on, and she'll soon be missin' her
But not today, those are tears of joy runnin' down her face

She's somebody's hero
A hero to her daughter in her wedding dress
She gave her wings to leave the nest
It hurts to let her baby go down the aisle she walks right by
Looks back into her mother's eyes
And that smile lets her know oh oh oh
She's somebody's hero


Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful Mother!  Thank you for every bit of love and support you have given me through the years.  Thank you for being there for me for every skinned knee and broken heart.  Thank you for believing in me when I don't and always putting your children first.  I am so lucky to call you my Mom. 

Friday, May 6, 2011


They told us to keep Ellie calm after her spay...  Unfortunately, she doesn't really do calm.  She prefers crazy to calm.  So tonight when we realized she pulled out some of her stitches, we went back to the vet.  He closed her back up with staples and sent us on our way... with more instructions to keep her calm.  Really??

Thursday, May 5, 2011

He makes me laugh

I received an email today that had me crying in the clinic from laughing so hard.  I know some of you find my husband as hysterical as I do, so I thought I'd share it with you guys...

{Background: I made an enchilada lasagna last night for dinner while Mike was at his soccer game.  Also, we affectionately refer to our furry zoo members as dinosaurs (Elladon, Jastasaur, Pouncesaur).}

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My new toy

As a "graduation" gift, the mister surprised me with a new camera!  We've been dreaming about one of these for awhile (especially since the new pup).

So far about all I've mastered is AUTO, but I hope to eventually figure out how to take advantage of the technology.  One of the first things we did was take Ellie to the dog park to try it out.  It was an unfortunately dreary day but the photos turned out pretty awesome.


These pictures remind me... We picked her up from getting spayed this morning and they said "try to keep her calm for about 10 days."  I hope they were joking.