Week three of coronavirus has me in a slump. I’ve been feeling an uncharacteristic lack of energy and motivation, that I can only blame on latent stress caused by all the uncertainty right now. I’ve been giving myself grace, but I know too much ‘grace’ will only result in excessive time on the couch, surfing social media and snacking. Continue reading “how I’m trying to feel more ‘normal’”
my stay-cation with emily
OK, so now that I’ve divulged my senior moment about losing my sunglasses, here are some highlights from my recent trip to Emily’s:
First, I arrived to the cleanest, freshest, calmest, most tranquil house I’ve ever entered, and there were even snacks and tea to welcome me! Soft music was playing, candles were flickering and the lights were dimmed. I mean, I guess bringing work home with you as a massage therapist may not be the worst thing in the world… See it here.
A few shots of the new place (as fate would have it, Emily and her husband bought their first house the same day we bought ours’ here in New York!):
Just like Andrew and I, they’ve done a lot of updating their already move-in ready house. They have plans for a new kitchen, soon. I cannot wait to see what they pick!
After we spent a relaxing evening snacking, drinking wine, catching up and running some errands, we went off to bed WAY TOO LATE, yet woke up refreshed and ready for a workout. I think that is one of my favorite things about Emily–she is as into working out as I am and is so creative with what she does. She can get exercise out of anything, and we often make up our own ‘circuit training’ session at least once. Saturday morning, after a leisurely breakfast with her husband, Dan, we bundled up and set out (extra sunglasses in hand for me) for Sugarcreek Metro Park, which seems to be a favorite location of ours.’ I’ve done 5ks here and we always seem to find ourselves there for a hike.
After our hike–in which I wore my new YakTrax (metal coil-like rope you attack to the bottoms of your shoes to help in snow and ice) and Emily wore her snow boots. The YakTrax one, hands down. I could have run the entire trail no problem, while poor Emily was reduced to slipping and sliding. We even got lapped by some little Asian women armed with both the proper footwear and poles!
Speaking of Asian…we headed out for Thai food for lunch! Thai is definitely my ‘go-to’ food of choice. Thankfully Andrew likes it, too.
Emily was a good sport and agreed to try the green curry with me–it was HOT. And we got a 1 on a scale of 1 to 5. I introduced them to Thai iced tea, which is such a treat for me.
Next, Emily and I split off for some more shopping. We found ourselves at Zebra Girl Boutique, which is owned by a friend of Emily’s, named Natasha. It’s filled with fun accessories like jewelry, purses and scarves. Natasha treated us like queens and I picked up some goodies and gifts. I swear, all I did was walk around the store and say (out loud), “That is so Carolyn” or “That is so Abigail.” My sisters-in-law really like their bling. And Carolyn has a thing for zebra stripes. I may have picked up some goodies for them, too….
That night, we’d arranged to visit our friends, Jen and Dave, and their almost-one-year-old, Aiden. Their house is across the street from our old neighborhood. We packed up our slippers (we like to make ourselves at home there) and some belated Christmas presents.
Aiden may or may not have gotten ahold of my phone…
Emily, the consummate ‘planner’ of the group (she blows me out of the water, folks), got our dinner ordered–and she makes it look so easy. Funny anecdote: While on our hike that morning, we had to institute a no-planning-the-next-workout-until-we-finish-this-one rule! We just can’t help ourselves.
We chose City BBQ–a favorite of mine–and got a small family pack. We all fondly remembered the time we ate this same meal (plus Andrew), in this same living room, around a tablecloth-covered DOOR. (I went and checked for the post–it was back in April–but no photos of door/table. Sad.)
The happy momma and poppa wearing their new gifts 🙂
Remember I told you that Emily and I can come up with a circuit workout at the drop of a hat? Well, we did just that on Sunday morning before church. We drove to a local high school in hope of using their track, but found the gate locked and assumed it would be covered in snow, anyway, so we settled for the parking lot, instead. We did laps around the cleared lot and alternated with calisthenics each time we rounded the car. Thirty minutes later, we were bushed.
We all went to our church, Apex, and it was as if I’d never left. I tell you what–I’ve never loved sermons like the ones I’ve heard here. I’m definitely one of those ‘daydreamers/mind-wanderers’ in church (well, really, is there anywhere I go where I’m not already thinking of the next place/thing/to-do item?), but not at Apex. Why can’t we find a church like that here (insert whiney voice)…:(
We sat with another friend from our Bible study group, Brett, who picked up his two girls after the service. They were a little camera-shy, but I was able to catch a few shots:
Yet again, the girls broke off for some more shopping (we kidnapped Jen!) and the boys went home to take care of the kiddos. At First Watch (a must-do for me while in Ohio) a sweet older lady pointed out we were all wearing scarves….PHOTO!
Lunch of champions: some sort of veggie/egg thing covered in salsa and cheese, along with an english muffin and greens. Sour cream ON THE SIDE.
Back to the mission: YakTrax for Emily and SUNGLASSES for me! Pardon the lack of smile/pose; Emily had the brilliant idea that I should take a picture of myself in the pairs I was trying on so I could compare them quickly. Below is the winner 🙂
While there, sweet Emily gifted Jen with a new–and bigger–purse (the one she’s been carrying around wouldn’t even hold my lipgloss collection). Note the gray/green scarf–A Zebra Girl find and her gift from us. Jen and Dave as new parents without family around don’t get out much, and are so, SO, SO (and I cannot stress this enough), SO low maintenance, I thought it would be nice to get them some things to wear on those rare occasions they DO leave the house. A scarf for Jen (even childless Holly and Emily know necklaces and earrings are just baby playthings) and an athletic jacket for Dave.
After dropping Jen off at home, Emily and I made a mad-dash to Trader Joe’s so I could stock up on our favorites. Good news! We have not one, but TWO TJ’s coming to Buffalo soon! The one that’s led the rumor mill will be located on Niagara Falls Blvd. up in Amherst (read: FAR), but there is talk of another and–dare I hope–to be located in the Southtowns. It cannot get here fast enough.
After a light baked-potato-and-salad dinner at the homestead, Emily and I again ventured out in the cold–this time for ice cream. Just like First Watch and TJ’s, I can’t go to Dayton and NOT stop at a Graeter’s. I had anticipated getting a kid-size scoop of black raspberry chip, but splurged on a sundae. I consider it a personal victory that I didn’t finish it.
Our evening consisted of magazine reading under a blanket with a well-known holiday classic movie on in the background. Who can name it???
Monday morning we did 45 minutes of P90X yoga, which just about killed my arms, and then we showered and got ready to depart (me) and work (Em). I packed up my TJ’s loot–mostly frozen fish, their awesome Orange Chicken and wine, as well as some dry-goods favorites like fig butter, sunflower seed butter and red quinoa tortilla chips–and loaded the car.
Emily and I did a light lunch at Tropical Smoothie–we split their fish tacos and a ‘Health Nut’ smoothie–before I left. It was so nice to have some time to sit and chat and not rush out the door!
After only a couple hours into the trip I needed a comfort/coffee break, and snapped a photo of my new sunglasses in action.
And healthy snacks! Veggies, hummus, TJ’s sweet and salty trail mix and an iced coffee (it was warm that day!).
My last stop: Chick-Fil-A in Erie. Normally we drive home on Sundays, and they are closed. But not this time 🙂 I got my usual: two-strip kid’s meal with lemonade and bbq, polynesian and ranch to dip. I also mix mayo, ketchup and hot sauce for my fries. I learned it while we lived in New Orleans (that, and a ketchup/mustard/mayo/Tony Chachere’s seasoning combo dip) and whip it up every time.
By the time I got home, I was READY to be home. I missed my Andrew, but enjoyed my relaxing-try-not-to-plan-too-much trip to Emily’s. My next one can’t come soon enough.
Mom and Josh are here visiting!
(So happy to have them here, but I swear! I can’t catch a break this summer…it’s just one crazy day after another! When am I supposed to have that ‘down time’ I’ve been waiting for?)
We picked them up at the airport at 9:30 and went straight to church, where we heard Jim and Jill Kelly talk about her new book and their struggles and faith–very neat to see them and loved hearing their testimonies.
Then we headed to Elmwood to get some Saigon Cafe Thai for lunch before walking around and popping into different shops. Scored a major find at reimagine, a trendy consignment home-goods place–some small retro Pyrex/Corning saucers that match the teal-rimmed ones I found at Goodwill in Ohio! We also started eyeing this amazing black-and-wood two-tone long table for our new house…
We (well, more like Josh and I) wanted some ice cream and after seeing the wait at Watson’s, Andrew announced that he was taking us to Condrell’s, a local long-established ice cream and chocolate shop. We enjoyed sundaes and sodas before heading home to rescue the puppy (who’d been cooped up for 7 hours–thank you to Mom and Dad Layer for giving him a comfort break once during that time!) and start marinating dinner.
After a walk and a quick female-only trip to Target, we all settled in to watch This Means War (cute, but super predictable and a bit more risque than I anticipated), before turning in after midnight…
Andrew’s already off to work, I’ve been up since 5:30 working on an article and doing my morning thing, and our two visitors are still asleep! Although Josh did open his eyes and speak coherently for a bit while I was up putzing in the kitchen.
We’re off to the gym later this morning, then meeting Andrew for lunch at the Bar Bill for wings, then seeing our new house (!), followed by an afternoon in East Aurora. Sigh…I’m happy.