Hoppy Easter

This post is belated because I was waiting for these adorable mugs to arrive!  I spied one (along with its matching child’s size version, too) at Grandma’s house while we were visiting last weekend and I fell in love.  They’re from Sur La Table, my favorite kitchen-supply store, so we hopped on over on Saturday while we were out running errands.  Unfortunately, they were only available online (and incredibly marked-down), so Grandma treated me to four for my Easter table.


The bunnies even remind me of Grandma–she was a librarian and with the glasses, it just fits!

For our annual Easter trip to Grandma’s this year, we chose to leave a day early to spend some extra time with Emily and Dan in Dayton.  We ate pizza, the boys played laser tag, Nora played in her water table, and Emily and I hit up Whole Foods for their wine tasting and to pick up some treasures for me to take home.  It was a whirlwind of fun and–as usual–we were sad to go.

Nora and I matched when we woke up on Saturday!  We ❤ coral and turquoise!


On Saturday, we spent the day with Grandma.  Our first order of business each time we come for Easter is to get her glass table and umbrella out of her shed, clean it and eat lunch in the fresh air.  Afterward, we ran some errands to help her take care of replacing her water filter in the fridge and salt for her water softener.  We ended the evening at Eddie Merlot’s with Aunt Linda and Uncle Dave, who invited us to join them for brunch the next day after church.

Grandma, Andrew and I joined Uncle Dave’s family at the golf club for brunch.  We got to meet Chloe, Hannah’s (far left) daughter who turned one year old in January. Luke (far right) is a senior at Purdue majoring in engineering (like his grandfather, father, uncle and cousin, Andrew).



Until next year!

man, am i tired

All that traveling has really taken a toll….

I’m pumped mentally to start sorting/purging/packing for the BIG MOVE in a couple weeks, but I think I’m a little overwhelmed into inaction…at least this morning.

There are still SO MANY other random things on my mind, like, “Should I get new bedding for the guest room?” and “How am I going to lose these sneaky pounds that have crept back on before the wedding?” and “I wonder if that English class I took at PSU will count for the Diversity credit at Buff State?”

And, will I ever get together with Regina for her birthday?!

Thankfully, Andrew kept the house pretty clean–dare I say, spotless–so at least I don’t have a ton of THAT stuff to do today.

But, before all that, I must clear my brain and enlighten you with details of my trip!

Let’s see, where did I leave off….?

Oh yes!  A gas and coffee stop on Wednesday morning after leaving the driveway in the dark at 4:58 a.m.

And this is what greeted me upon my arrival in Carmel at 1:30:

A happy grandma and a light lunch!

We ate a bit, then we both snoozed (I think) before heading out to dinner at Seasons 52 with the Richters.  I got Ahi Tuna but it was too done.  Next time: RAW seared only on the sides!

We filled the subsequent days with lots of shopping, errand-running and yummy food. Here are some snippets:

Lunch at Le Peep, where (in true Holly-fashion) grandma and I split an omelet and blueberry pancakes.

Later that night we ordered Bazbeaux Pizza (the Genova–with eggplant and goat cheese!) with salad while watching…

…the opening ceremony of the Olympics!  I am, four years later, STILL disappointed I didn’t catch the Beijing opening ceremonies.  Note to self: carve out a night in July four years from now to watch the next summer Olympics’ opening ceremonies.  (I did view a few YouTube videos, though, to satisfy my curiosity.)

We’d picked up cheesecake to-go, so we enjoyed some of that while watching what was going on across the pond.

While in Carmel, I got some Chick-Fil-A…my usual: a one-strip kid’s meal with fries.  That concoction you see below is a ketchup/light mayo/hot sauce mix.  I dare you to give it a try!

We spent my last afternoon at the movie theater, seeing Brave.  I really enjoyed it–it was funny and touching.

That evening I headed out of town and stopped in Dayton to stay with our friends, Jen and Dave, and see Emily and Dan, who just moved into their first house!

After I took an early-morning tour of the place, all seven of us headed out to breakfast at Mimi’s (because, and I quote Emily: “Andrew isn’t here to veto it.”)  I miss this crowd!

finally, a runner

I went for a run yesterday in Carmel on the Monon trail in my new, expensive shoes (see yesterday’s post).  I had anticipated doing about five or six miles and waved goodbye to grandma at 7:40 saying I’d be back in less than hour.

…Ten and a half miles later…

I just didn’t want to stop!  This has never happened to me before.  I mean, I’ve really grown to love running and I’ve had my share of great runs, but I’ve never, EVER, just ‘kept going’ against my better judgement (hello Holly?  you’re wearing brand-new shoes…) for such a distance.  But this was EUPHORIC.  Seriously.  Despite my still paltry amount of sleep, I felt well rested and the weather was beautiful.  The shoes on my feet felt like pillows and I had all sorts of energy.

The Monon trail is about 1.25 miles from grandma and grandpa’s house, so by the time I got there and had done just a couple miles, it would have been time to turn around again.  But it was just so beautiful!  The trees provided almost complete shade, there were tons of people out running and biking and walking their dogs.  I even saw a girl wearing the same purple top as me–I called out “nice shirt” as I went by.  I also started paying attention to the mile markers that were counting down to the start of the Monon.  It was only a couple miles away.  I quickly did the mental math and figured out it would be about 10 if I made it to “0.0.”  So, the competitive side of me came out and I surged ahead, all the while feeling the most amazing runner’s high I’ve ever felt.

And the run just went so fast!  It was a combination of my actual speed and comfort (about 9-minute miles, I think–a pretty easy pace for me) and being so distracted by everything around me.  The quarter-mile markers just whizzed by.  This was especially nice on the way back, as I was starting to get a little antsy that the rest of my family might be worried I was taking so long, or (gasp!) up and breakfasting without me!  I was back to Main Street in Carmel before I knew it, and just had to chug back to the house.  I’ll be honest, the rising temperature and sun coupled with the very slight incline up the road to grandma’s house was enough to slow my pace a little on the last mile, but I still felt drugged I was so happy.  And God must have been smiling on me yesterday, since all I ended up with after a 10-plus mile run in BRAND NEW SHOES was a slight rub under one toe–praise God!

I have considered myself a runner for awhile now.  I started running in high school for fitness, then in college for ROTC, but never more than three miles or so.  My friend, Betsy, and now-husband, Andrew, introduced me to long-distance running and I challenged myself to do more.  Both of them had run cross-country in high school (I hadn’t even known it existed…) and continued running in college.  Before long I could do six miles slowly.  Despite completing a marathon (VERY slowly) my senior year of college, I still didn’t fee like a true runner.  It was still a chore.  Something to check off.

Fast-forward four years: I’ve upped my running, gotten a bit faster and completed another marathon.  I gladly ran at PT before work in the mornings and maybe some Saturdays as well, but I still didn’t LOVE it.

It wasn’t until I got out of the military and met Susy at the gym that I truly began to ‘find myself’ in my running.  She challenged me to go faster and longer than I ever had.  She is the most dedicated runner I’ve ever met.  She faithfully runs six or more miles every day but Saturday, her rest day.  Not that everyone has to follow her formula; I find running every other day works better for me.  She did the math the other day and figured out we’d run more than 2,000 miles together in the last two years…TWO THOUSAND!  Holy cow!  I just wonder how many words that was…

Both becoming a runner and feeling like a runner has been a struggle for me.  I’d been putting in the miles for years, but I hadn’t yet found any joy in it.  Part of that probably has to do with how “easy” running is at any point.  Part of it was my body.  I was a bit of a chubby kid and I’ve never really “looked” like a runner.  Even my dad said so once… that’ll scar you for life.  And no, do I look like the skeletal, fat-less, boob-less (well, that part might be true), muscle-less women in tiny tops and running underwear competing on tracks all over the country?  Not in the least.  But am I a runner?  Yes.