Arrival

A story that illustrates how life is going right now. 

I like going to the movies. I’ve never really minded going alone. (Unless I have snacks and I need to go to the bathroom because how does one person manage that?!) I like turning my mind off for a few hours, eating too much candy, and basking in the glow of the big screen.

Alas, I’m not good at doing things that I like. Ridiculous, I know, but it’s true. I get bogged down by have to’s and checklists and the things that I enjoy end up on the back burner. A few weeks ago I wanted to do Denial but it wasn’t playing in town and driving an hour away didn’t seem like it would add to the relaxing enjoyment that I was looking for.

Then my big brother raved about the movie Arrival. He is not one to rave about a movie. He’s a tough customer. Sold! I’ll go see it. Of course I put it off and put it off and put it off. But last Sunday I finally went to the movie!

I got a good seat, right in the middle of the theater. No one sat in front of me, so I could prop my feet up. I didn’t get any snacks because it was right after lunch, so no conundrum about what to do if I had to use the restroom. I was ready for 2 hours of uninterrupted chillaxing.

The previews started. They were blurry. Not so blurry that I couldn’t tell what was going on but blurry enough that they hurt my eyes. Trying to focus on something unfocusable can’t be good for my precious pupils. Fellow patrons started talking to one another. The man behind me asked if it looked blurry to me too. That made me laugh. “Yes, I too see the blur.” A man five seats away said that he told the usher about it. The blurry previews continued to roll on.

Then they stopped. The lights came up. The manager came out.

He announced that the projector was not working and a technician would need to be called out. No movie. I got a refund and went home. 

Everything Is Texas in Texas

This time last week I was in Texas. It was warm, there was Mexican food, and I was home. 

thanksgiving

I had not originally planned to go home for Thanksgiving. My current school district doesn’t give us the whole week off. #firstworldproblems to the nth degree. I’ve been spoiled by schools where we have an entire week for the holiday! However, after lots of thought (and more than my fair share of struggles), I realized that I needed a dose of home. My brother and his wife graciously offered to host me and my two crazy mutts.

I spent one day driving to Dallas. (It took 12 hours! Why is Texas so far?!) Then I had two days to enjoy everythingasmuchaspossiblenotenoughtime. Then I drove back home. Only 10.5 hours that time. I’m starting to get the hang of the drive.😉

roadtrip

I was beyond anxious about how Crockett would do. My darling dog is easy on the eyes but obnoxious as hell. (For the record, Geronimo is chill and causes me no worries. He’s the me.) Crockett doesn’t have good manners. At one my brother said, “Not everyone wants to play with you, Crockett!” I feel like that could be his new hashtag if #crockettbecraycray ever gets old. My nieces and nephew (all dogs, all adorable) were beyond accommodating and everyone managed to get along just fine.

Thanksgiving dinner was at my brother’s in law’s home. It was gorgeous! And the food was amazing! And I smiled so much! There’s a lot to be said for tagging along to another family’s holiday celebration. I did not cook. I did not clean. I did not have family drama. I simply enjoyed. Besides, how could you not love people who not only cook you vegetarian side dishes, but they label them as vegetarian with adorable place cards?!

Fanciest Thanksgiving of all time!

Fanciest Thanksgiving of all time!

Friday was a day spent with my mom. We first met up with Julie! And her baby! Julie lives in Kansas now and it’s been too long since we were in the same state. (Side note: I still can’t believe we ran a marathon together this year!) We drank Starbucks and talked about everything. My mom got to hold mini-Julie baby Hailey. She was even really happy when she had baby spit-up on her. #grandmafever.

From there we walked around downtown Grapevine, aka The (self proclaimed) Christmas Capitol of Texas. We got to watch some glass blowing and enjoy tasty chocolate treats. We ate outside of a cute cafe. The whole place was adorable and the fresh air was just what I needed. We parted ways and then met back up again, this time with my brother and his wife, for a fancy dinner to celebrate my mom’s birthday. I don’t know what I ate (it was kind of like tortellini but different and completely unpronounceable) but I’m not complaining! Two thumbs up!

The trip wouldn't be complete without a visit to my brother's office. He engineered this huge LED screen wall. It's breathtaking in person.

The trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to my brother’s office. He engineered this huge LED screen wall. It’s breathtaking in person.

Everything the whole visit was just the best. The bed I slept in was the most comfortable! The waiter who dropped things was hilarious! Chuck the pekingese on the National Dog show was the best of all time! Torchy’s Tacos were beyond! The Cowboys won! The book on tape I listened to was so entertaining! Exclamation points!!!

Clearly, I’m home sick. (Texas sick?) It’s not that I have anything against Tennessee per say (or maybe I do – let’s be honest), but the town I live in is smallllll. El Paso was 6 times bigger. Yeah, it was in the middle of nowhere, but it had all I needed. We don’t even have a Super Target here. #firstworldproblemsagain It’s no secret that it’s been a tough year, and I plan to share more about that later. (If you don’t want to hear me complain, why do you even read my blog? Just saying. Keep stepping.)

The short visit home (to the mother land!) was so good, so needed. But it also left me a little sad. I wish I was there now, eating something spicy, wearing shorts and long sleeved shirt (because that’s how we do). Until we meet again, Texas, I shall carry my torch for you and rep you well. 

One Foot In Front Of The Other

I went running! Three times! And it wasn’t awful! 

Two of the runs were short and sweet around my neighborhood. I’m proud of myself for not letting my ego get in the way and pushing to run more. It’s so tempting to feel like I need to run 3 miles or 5 miles for it to be a meaningful run. But really what I need right now are positive running experiences. That’s exactly what these were.

And I had my new running buddy to join me.

run-run-c

Geronimo used to run with me all the time (he even got up to 4 miles when we lived in Germany!), but a few years ago he started to walk away from me when I would ask, “do you want to go running?” He’s worth so much more than a running partner, so I don’t force it. I let him be lazy; he’s earned it. Crockett, on the other hand, is an energizer bunny, going and going and going times infinity. That makes for a good running partner.

The big running news is: I went to a group run with strangers. 

I’m forever haunted (reminded? remembering?) my mom’s parting words as she dropped me off at college freshman year: “talk to strangers.” She knew what I needed to hear. I am shy. (Doesn’t it seem like everyone says that now?) I also think I’m a grower. People don’t realize they love me until they’ve spent a long time with me.🙂 And meeting people can be hard.

At the suggestion of a reader (Thanks, Jacki!) I joined the Moms Run This Town/She Runs This Town facebook page for my town. People are posting constantly about meeting up to run together. After months of procrastinating, I took the plunge and posted that I wanted to tag along to one such run. I’m a lot braver online, and once I committed to going, I wouldn’t let myself back down. Saturday morning, I found myself face to face with 3 other lady runners.

The most fall I ever had ever.

The most fall I ever had ever.

They were so nice! It could not have gone better! Two of us ran 6 miles together. (The other ladies continued on their own – they are marathon training had needed double digit miles.) I had this feeling of, “these are my people.” I underestimated how very much I’ve missed running with people. It was worth all the nervous feelings beforehand.

I keep thinking back to how much I loved Wear Blue at Bliss. I forged friendships with some of my favorite people at those weekly runs. I’m sad that I couldn’t bring all those friends with me to Fort Campbell. But this is my first step in building a new community here.

I’m keeping my expectations low. Since I have a tendency to overdo it when it comes to running. Plus, the weather. Holy cow, the weather. It was 27 yesterday morning. 27, people! I thought Tennessee was “The South.” I own not enough clothes to be outside in 27 degree weather. I’m sticking with 6 miles or less and preferably 3 miles or less on weekdays until the new year. Then will be time to start planning for Rock N’ Rolls Nashville. But for now, slow and easy, short and peasy. (I don’t know, it rhymed, go with it.)