25 December 2012

Why I'm Ok with Working on Christmas

1. Holiday pay.

2. Just kidding. Kind of.

3. Jesus was born to save and to heal. I'd like to think I'm following in my Savior's footsteps today.

4. We don't have kids, therefore I'm able to step in for a co-worker who can now wake up and give her kids the magic of a Christmas morning without having to rush out the door to clock in by 6:38 am.

5. I have a job. I'm employed....something I'm very thankful for when thinking about the state of our country.

6. I can make someone happy who's sick today. Seriously - do they really want to be in the hospital on Christmas morning? Surrounded by strangers and beeping machines and hospital food? Really?

7. I can leave work tonight knowing I'm off for the next five days - Alabama, here we come!

8. No presents to open this year anyway - saving for a major 10 year anniversary trip next year. (Mutual decision, or did I get suckered into M's excuse not to shop??)

9. If you want to get technical, Jesus' birth was really in the spring. Or September, depending on who you ask.

10. M wants to celebrate the season by making tacos and watching E.T. Work gives me an excuse to get out of this. E.T. scares me to bits.

Merry Christmas, and please keep all of us nurses, EMTs, doctors, policemen, firefighters...my dad the funeral director... anyone who has to work on Christmas - to keep you safe and healthy - in your prayers!

22 December 2012

Springtime in December


It's been roughly five months since we've moved to Florida, and the farthest south I've been is to Ft. Pierce.

Where I work.

10 miles south of the house.


Y'all know I'm terrified of anything Miami. I have the Discovery Channel and their documentaries on the city to thank for that...guns, drugs and people staying out past 9pm?

So out of my comfort zone.

However, today, we decided to venture down to West Palm Beach, down the coast about halfway between our house and the end tip of the state.

The entire trip was prefaced by M stating, "You know you're going to see signs that say we're getting close to Miami. You think you can handle that? Will you be ok?"

Hahahahahaaaappppllllttthhhh. Jerk.

Despite the fact they opened cold shelters last night and everyone was in coats and parkas and boots, this former Missouri Girl thought the day was gorgeous and spring-like...I was so happy to see these less-humid, 60 degree temps roll in this morning. Now it feels like winter.

Objective #1 in WPB: Find the Cheesecake Factory. I've never been (Eeek! Gasp!) which is apparently a small sin in my family.

We found it. WPB has a sweet little downtown area called City Place, and the Cheesecake Factory was right smack in the middle.

This girl had a salad and a slice of low-carb cheesecake while watching M devour some monstrosity of peanut butter and chocolate that was one forkful short of sending him into a sugar coma.

After stuffing ourselves silly, we walked it off around City Place, which reminded me of a gorgeous spring afternoon walking around Delmar in St. Louis.

Speaking of, the best best best part of the day didn't happen until we were back in the car on our way home to Vero.

We stopped at a gas station in Jupiter.

Exciting, huh?

It was. Just hang with me for a second.

Jupiter, Florida. Home of Roger Dean Stadium.

As in my St. Louis Cardinal's springtime home. My Redbirds. My Cards. My boys in white baseball pants with tall red socks.

We made a U-turn in the middle of an intersection and went in search of the ballpark, which happened to be on the campus of Florida Atlantic University.

I went a little nuts. I love my Redbirds.

(Hence how my parents wrapped my birthday presents this year:)

M was kind enough to stop the car when he saw I was about ready to jump out just to get a couple pictures.

Very thoughtful of him, seeing how he's a diehard Braves fan and all.

I don't want to talk about it.


Best. Day. Ever.

And Redbird Bear (a sweet little Christmas surprise I found in the mail the other day from my mama) was along for the ride.

Today I love: Delicious low-carb cheesecake that tastes like the Real Thing, and feeling a little more connected to home down here in Southern Florida.

05 November 2012


The weather here is perfect right now. Low 70's in the morning, a slight breeze coming in from the ocean. It just begs a girl to go outside and play.

However, my right knee and hip still like to scream at me from time to time due to previous years of full and half marathons, added to the 14+  hours I spend on my feet at the hospital, so I'm honestly a little tired running. I'm still putting in three or so miles here and there, but it leaves me wanting to do something more. Something epic.

Something that involves more than sitting around the house in my pajama pants on my days I don't work.

Even though I really, really want to sit around the house in my pajamas on the days I don't work.

November is my motivation. This is my birthday month, the month I turn the big 3-2 and want to put in some serious miles on the days I don't have to wear scrubs and hand out medicine.

I might, might be freaking out about getting older. The more I see of 60 year olds with heart problems made worse by obesity and diabetes on my unit makes me want to stay as active as possible. I refuse to get older and use that as an excuse to be lazy.

Age is what you make of it. My almost-70 year-old neighbors run marathons.

Get outside, people!

So to celebrate, I bought myself a bike. No excuses about knees and hips - biking is a fabulous cardiovascular workout that even people with knee and hip replacements can do.

No. Excuses.

There is a really sweet bike shop down the street from our house called Orchid Island Bikes and Kayaks. Bikes and kayaks. How can you not fall in love with this place? The guys inside are a plethora of knowledge about everything cycling.

Plethora. Wow. I haven't used that word in awhile. Glad to know the English major in me is still alive and kicking.

Anyway, I think the guys saw this new-to-cycling girl coming from a mile away, because I walked out of the shop with a brand new bike that cost more than our house, plus a helmet, tire pump and a brochure of local bike trails.

And forget Huffy and Schwinn. I'm now officially in love with Trek bikes.

Thank you bike guy at Orchid Island. I'm now a believer in the power of specialty shops and not just buying something off the rack at Target.

Even though I still like buying things off the rack at Target.

I've really been missing my Missouri bike trails, especially during the fall. I remember riding some serious curves and hills on the west side of the South Creek Greenway with my dear friend Sarah, listening to Barlow Girl and Superchick to get us pumped up to rock our miles.

So I am very super-excited to discover some local paths.

This morning I set out with my favorite Camelbak and decided to try out the Jungle Trail - a packed sand trail that is 7.4 miles in one direction along Vero's barrier islands.

I'm so, so glad I did this trail.

It. Is. Amazing.

Flat as a pancake, but amazing.

Things I liked: The scenery and discovering native Florida. However, I will always have a special place in my heart for my Missouri trails that wind through the woods and over creeks and streams. But palm trees, mangroves, manatee areas and the breeze off the water is pretty sweet too.

Beautiful coastal houses didn't hurt the scenery much, either. 

Things I didn't like: The sand was mushy in some areas, which made pedaling my skinny hybrid tires a little difficult. Made for a great heart rate and calorie burn, but decreased my average mph.

Things I wish for: The lizards to stop freaking running out in front of me. Scares the bejeezus out of me every single time.

This was a fun little discovery on the path. So very cute.

All in all, a fantastic ride that I will definitely do again. And again and again. 

Total ride summary via Garmin Connect: 

Bike - Jungle Trail

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 9:00 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada) By runnergirl2027
Activity Type: Road Cycling Event Type: Fitness | Course: Packed Sand

Distance:14.50 mi
Avg Speed:9.7 mph

933 C

09 September 2012

Fall Sport Preview - The Coach's Wife Version

So by now you all know that if M isn't coaching something, chances are he's probably dead.

Or driving me bananas lamenting the fact that he's not coaching anything and how he could be doing baseball workouts and designing plays and doing whatever it is he does with stats and working on the field in the baseball pre-season so it's perfectly perfect for the actual baseball season.


So I'm actually kind of happy that this new school had an opportunity for him to be involved in fall sports.

In the past, if his school didn't offer fall baseball, his fall sport of choice revolved around coaching boy's basketball at the jr. high level or assisting at the high school level.

Not this year, my friends.

This year - this beautiful fall in south Florida - he's taken on a new role.

Head high school girl's golf.

Yes. He now gets to - in his words - "Go out every day after school and get paid to play a round of golf."

Do you feel sorry for him that basketball wasn't available?

Don't you dare. The PGA Headquarters are about 15 minutes away, and apparently Tiger Woods has been spotted on one of the area courses since we've been here. Ethics-police-he's-not aside, that's pretty cool.

M's not suffering on some little rural course that was designed by gophers. He's getting some sweet pro-course exposure.

But there's one little thing that I wasn't aware of until we moved down here.

Florida gets a regular afternoon thunderstorm just about every day, usually around 3:30 pm. I've almost been able to set my watch by them. Now I'm one of those people who love thunderstorms - from my house, in my pajamas, reading a good book.

Not standing out at the Vero Beach Country Club waiting for the rain to stop so the tourney could get it's little show on the road.

Waiting for the rain to clear. We're the ones in the bright orange.

I need to re-take up golf just for the cute skirts. I can do it. I even have the second-place trophy from my junior golf tourney at the good old Sullivan Country Club to prove it. I think I could have been a 12-year-old golf prodigy in the making...until I discovered I hated all things sports and preferred the piano. 

So stepping up to the plate and being the awesome coach's wife that I am, (sorry. I didn't mean to drip with that much sarcasm. It just kinda came rushing out.) I found myself riding along a rain-soaked course to watch these girls in action. 

I even got to drive the cart for about three feet. M does not like to relinquish control of the race car golf cart.

I can't believe he let me ride in the cart with him. Golf season is definitely more relaxed than baseball season - you know, when I can't talk to him because he's in his baseball uniform and it's not professional and he's working and has to focus. ***Enter screaming at the umpire here****

So golf turned out to be really fun. Sunshine (eventually), a gorgeous course, and five girls who were out there having fun and kicking Sebastian's butt. 

Like I mentioned...gorgeous Florida golf courses. I'm still getting used to seeing palm trees everywhere. 

Three teams competed - Vero Beach, Sebastian, and us - Lincoln Park Academy. LPA is pretty exclusive, and the parents of these students are super-involved. I was surprised to see that all the parents showed up to the tourney, rented golf carts and followed along. After being at schools where many of the parents never seem to show up, it was really great to see all the support and encouragement. 

We ended up taking second in the tourney, and Coach was ok with that. I've never seen him so laid-back and relaxed, encouraging the girls and offering tips and coaching advice when a ball was hit in the water or in the rough, telling them that as long as they were trying their best, working on their skills and having fun it was ok. 

If I didn't value my life so much, I'd gleefully remind him of that come baseball season. 

Today I love: Lunch after a great church service with great friends and the feeling of accomplishment from getting back into my running workouts this afternoon. 

01 September 2012

Officially Floridians

Sometimes I think all of my perfectly laid-out plans get smooshed to bits just so God can once again show me who's really in charge.

It's a lesson I obviously need to keep learning. 

I last left our story with the news that we were moving to Florida. In between then and now has been a mad rush to get to said destination. 

First, M left a couple weeks before I did due to his job. 

I got to deal with the movers and finish packing up the apartment.

Yay me. 

I ended up leaving Hattiesburg on the morning of August 15. I am one of those annoyingly happy morning people, more content to see the sunrise than the sunset. 

See? It's just so pretty, and my last goodbye to Mississippi. 

I drove for 12 hours with a vehicle packed so full I couldn't see out my mirrors, lots of coffee and the pups who claimed their seats for the entire ride.

Both. In the front. For 12 hours.

I deserve a medal for that or something. 

Here's where it gets fun. 

We were supposed to close on our house on the 15th. Then the 16th. Then the 18th. Then....

You get the picture. 

One week later, our dogs are still boarded at a doggy daycare, the movers were throwing a fit to get our furniture off their truck and we were living in a retirement community like Lucy and Ricky. Ozzie and Harriet. 

Twin beds and all. 

The house in the retirement community - although awkward and hilarious all at the same time - was a blessing from one of Matt's co-workers who let us use it because the owner is a snowbird who won't be down until this winter and the house was just sitting empty.

I still felt like I was invading Senior Land...I felt like we would get strange looks from the neighbors like, "You're too young!! Get out!!"

I wanted to say to them, "But you don't understand!! I'm in bed at 8:30 along with the rest of you!! You'll love me!! I promise!!"

As for the movers, we didn't want to pay a gazillion dollars a day for them to store our furniture, so we found a storage place that you could rent for $1 for the first month. We were just praying we wouldn't need it longer than that.

The movers weren't too happy with my multiple rubbermaid tubs packed full of books. 

Tough. I like to read and we paid you for your muscles.

We ended up finally closing on the house last Friday. Finally. 

We are in love with this place. 

It's a little surreal to stop and think we own real estate in Florida. I mean, for real. I have palm trees in my front yard. 

We live roughly five minutes from this:

Not the best beach picture, I know. And honestly, we haven't even been to the beach to hang out yet. We've been busy unpacking, starting jobs, finding out where the grocery store is located, getting our FL plates and tags...all the fun stuff that comes from moving to a new state.

And I'm ok with that...this Midwestern Girl is more of a pool person anyway. You all know how I feel about things in the water that can eat your legs. Ugh.

So when you all come visit, you'll walk through our front door....

Into the living/dining area (which will be bare for awhile...moving from a two bed apartment to a four bed house gives us more space than we know what to do with. But if anyone wants to throw some Lowe's or Bed, Bath and Beyond gift cards at us, we're fine with that too.)

Into the family room and kitchen.

Where, yes, The Office is always on in the background.

I. love. my. kitchen. 

We obviously need curtains and rugs.

Which brings me to a question I hope someone can answer.

Why, why are rugs so freaking expensive?

Suka has volunteered to serve as one for now. But be warned...this rug will lick your toes as you walk by.

I have all my books unpacked, and have discovered I have room for more. MORE!! MORE!!! 

If you think reading is boring, you're doing it wrong. 

The dogs really like our screened in porch...and I'm happy our backyard backs up to a preserve. It's so pretty and green and no one will ever build behind us. 

Florida isn't all fun and games and Disney and coconuts though, as we quickly discovered. Florida has things like hurricanes and tropical storms. And tornadoes. 

Growing up in Missouri has made me petrified of tornadoes. 

So of course, guess what happens three days after we move in? Thanks, Issac. 

So the dogs and I hung out in the bathroom for awhile. Alone. Since M was at school hunkered in the hallway with his students. 

And you all know me and tornadoes and alone. 

Luckily we didn't have any damage, and our part of Vero only had a little flooding. M was still out of school the next day because several schools had flooded...he's used to getting out for snow days, not tropical storm days. 

He was just hoping the golf courses didn't get too wet. 

You know. Priorities. 

My other question is this: if that was just a little ol' tropical storm, what the crap will an actual hurricane be like? 

Holy. Cow. 

Welcome to Florida. 

Today I love: Shopping for new house things and not being scared of our gas appliances anymore.