Two Years of Marriage

Two years ago was the best day of my life because my husband and I got married.  Everything went perfectly, and there is nothing we would have wanted differently.

As most people know, he is in the military and has been gone for almost exactly one of those years.  While his deployments aren’t long (about 2 months), they are frequent and so are his other trips.  I won’t say it’s been easy and there have been plenty of hard days. I will say we are still as happy as the day we met.

Today I knew today I wanted to post about our anniversary but had no idea what to post.  I finally settled on a “how we met post”.  I’m always interested to see how other people met their significant other so I thought I would share.

So How Did We Meet?

My husband and I met during college cross country season in 2011.  We met at a scrimmage race between our respected two universities.

Tim ended up winning the scrimmage race for men, and I won for females. After the scrimmage, we talked for a while and went on a run a few weeks later.   Cross country season went by, and we still chatted after the season.  During this time, I was coming back from my first serious running injury a tibial stress fracture.  Tim did multiple sports and was getting ready for ski season.  Since cross country was over, and he was no longer running competitively, running at a slower pace didn’t matter.  I was running easy after my injury and he was running easy just to run.

YAY an old school college picture.

Eventually, after several runs, we hung out outside of running. When the semester ended, we both went to our hometowns for winter break. Tim drove down to Virginia Beach and visited for New Years.

Later in the spring, we officially started “officially dating”.  I was blogging at the time, and I don’t think I even mentioned on the blog: OMG you guys, new boy in my life”.  It’s been a theme of the past 6 years, we’ve been happy but he isn’t a large part of the blog.

In May of 2012, we both graduated college and decided to try doing a long distance relationship.  Our options at that point were to try and do a distance relationship or break up.

Tim went to Air Force pilot school in Texas, and I began working in Oswego, NY.  During that time, we both learned a lot about ourselves, interests and hobbies.  We went just over 6 months without seeing each other.  It was one of the hardest times of our relationship but worth it.  The first time we saw each other again was that Thanksgiving, and it was as if nothing had changed.

My first visit to Texas

After Thanksgiving, we saw each other again for Christmas, then in March and in May. It was a lot easier than the first few months.  After nearly a year of distance, we made the decision I would move to Texas. As much as I enjoyed my job in Oswego, I wanted to continue my relationship with Tim and we had to eventually move (he did not have that choice with me).

In Texas, they have these for decoration…
Winning a growler at a half marathon in Texas

Tim graduated his pilot training, and we were told we would be moving to New Jersey. Neither of us knew anything about NJ (except people drive very quickly on the Turnpike) in October 2014.

We’ve now lived in New Jersey 3.5 years and I truly say I love it.  I’ve made incredible friends, I enjoy my job and there is always something to do.  We are only a few miles from Philadelphia and short drive from both of our parents, New York City and Baltimore.

On April 1, 2014, Tim proposed to me.  It was exactly what I wanted, low key and at our house.  We are low key, and I could not have asked for a better proposal.  To be honest, as much as we love running, proposing at a race or in front of hundreds of people is not either of our scene.

 

Engagement photo

Even though we lived in New Jersey, we made the decision to get married in my hometown area in Norfolk, Virginia.  We spent a year wedding planning and got married on April 12, 2015.  While planning a wedding further away was more difficult, it wasn’t as stressful because we both have such supportive and helpful parents.  We couldn’t have dreamed for a better day.

After our wedding, we took a few days to relax and went straight on our honeymoon.  We decided to spend a few days in Key West and go on a cruise in the Carribean.  It was a great vacation, and it was perfect.

Then a few days after we got home, he was deployed for a while.  For the first 6 months of our marriage, he was gone for just over 4.  Afterward, he was home for a bit more, but in the past 2 years, he has been gone for over a year.

Throughout the first two years of marriage, we have learned a lot about ourselves and each other.  Even though I grew up as a military child, being a spouse much different.  It’s not always easy, but the time we do have together makes it worth it.  I’m also thankful for my family and friends who help me get by.

As most people know, he is away now.  We might talk today, we might not.  It doesn’t mean I love my husband any less.  I could not ask for a better person in my life.

Flying together
Hiking Bear Mountain and when we actually saw a bear

Here are some other posts about my husband and I (or just my husband): 
Wedding Post
Honeymoon
Flying Together
Tim’s Recap of the Mercedes Marathon

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Love Yourself

Valentines Day is a time to celebrate love. 

Whether it’s love for….

…a significant other

…your family and friends

…a pet

But most importantly: Love for yourself

Thinking out loud, as someone in their mid-twenties, I can tell you I didn’t always love myself.  In college, in suffered from anxiety and over committing to everything.  I compared myself to everyone and everything. I didn’t appreciate things about myself that looking back I wish I would have!  This doesn’t just include sports but life as well.   I never took the time to step back and reflect with what I loved about myself.

Valentines Day is a beautiful celebration of love.  You cannot possibly love others if you don't love yourself.  

Here are a few ways to embrace and love yourself:

Show gratitude for who you are now. As humans, we are always growing and learning more about ourselves.  We are striving to do better and to be better.  Take time to reflect on where you are now and how far you have come.  Never discount the small achievements.

Do something everyday that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming but do something each day that you know will make you happy.  Is that reading a few blogs?  Is that painting?  Is it running?  Make sure to make a little bit of time for just you each day.

Give yourself an honest chance. If you believe you will fail, you will.  Believe in yourself.  It’s that simple.  This is one of the biggest lessons I learned and am still learning.  To have success, you must believe you will.

Distance yourself from things that make you unhappy. One thing I’ve learned in the last few years is life is too short to do things that make you unhappy.  That could be things, people or activities but if you are constantly around things making you miserable, you cannot love and appreciate yourself.

Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will?  Confidence is key.

Valentines Day doesn’t have to be a Hallmark holiday or celebration of giving or receiving gifts.  It’s a celebration of love whether it is loving yourself, your family and friends or significant other.

We all have someone to love, and it starts with ourselves.

Question for you: How do you love yourself? 

 

How to Run with a Significant Other

As most people know, my husband and I met through running.  It’s a hobby we both share.  You read the full story here.  We both ran long before we knew each other.

He is a faster runner and there are very few periods that we run the same exact same pace, but it is enjoyable to share that time with him.  Running allows us to share uninterrupted time together.  During the day, it’s hard to find this uninterrupted moments.

Since coming to Alabama, we’ve been running a lot more together.  While it usually involves being out the door at 5:30am, it’s an hour we can spend together.

Many readers have asked: How do you run with your significant other?  Or Could you share some tips to make running with a partner more enjoyable?

So thinking out loud, I’m doing just that!

Keep in mind, running together is not always sunshine and butterflies.  I can remember a significant moment in our running relationship.  It was our first long run together.  I’m a very chatty runner and if you’ve run with me (or even raced), you know I’m yapping all the way.  My husband, however, is much quieter when he runs.  This took us a few runs to figure out.

We started off doing a 15 mile run in San Antonio, Texas.  All of a sudden he was running a few steps in front of me and silent.  I began getting irrationally upset.  Why were even running together?  It was just silence.  I continued to get more and more upset until finally I snapped and said:

“I’m tired of this dude running.  Men just run single file in a straight line and not talking.  Women don’t do that”.

I didn’t know his running habits, and he didn’t fully know mine.  Since then, we’ve had no more escalated running arguments, but my point is: it’s important to know any trainer partners habits.

So How do We Run Together?

The short answer: We both put on running shoes and move one foot in front of the other.

The long answer:

We run easier mileage together.  I’ll speed up my pace 10-15 seconds per mile, and he slows down a bit.  We agree to try and meet halfway.

We don’t do hard efforts together because our workout paces are not the same.  He is a faster runner and also has different goals.  (I like 5k-13.1 while he likes 5k-10k).

Occasionally he will do a tempo run with me, but that is the extent of workouts together.

Racing:

We both like going to races.  In my 2017 goals, I wrote how I planned to use a lot of races as workouts.  For us, going to races is quality time we spend together as well.  We like to sign up for races together.

The important part is we don’t race together.  We will warm up and cool down together, but when the clock goes off, we race to our own standards.  The majority of the time, we do not stay together.

Racing for you is important because if one person is faster, it will create problems to stay on the course together.  Part of being with a fellow runner is that you can’t expect to stay together or feel the same every race.  Does it stink to be dropped by your husband or a training partner during a race?  Of course, but that is the nature of the sport.  We support each other, good or bad race.

There are some important things to remember:

Ultimately someone might feel better on a particular day.  That’s okay, and there is no reason to feel upset by it.  With any running partner, it’s important to remember that running is for you.

Running and working out can be a great addition to any relationship, but your ability to run the same paces (or not) does define a relationship.

Meet in the middle.  Chances are you aren’t running the same pace or training for the same thing.  Don’t be selfish and meet halfway with paces and mileage.

Don’t Be a Sore Winner or Loser.  There is no point to “racing” your significant other because heck because neither of you is bumping each other out of overall awards.

Running with a signicant other can be a fun and pleasent experience.  I know my husband and I are extremely lucky we get to share that with each other.

Know each other’s habits.  It will make the run easier.

Finally, don’t force or guilt them into running with you. Don’t take anything personally, sometimes they don’t want to run.

Questions for you:

Do you workout with your significant other?

Have you ever run a race with someone?

One Year of Marriage

Today is my husband and I’s first year anniversary.  Many of LOLZ readers know how we met and our love story, but it’s fun to reshare.

aisle 2

 Here is a quick summary:

We met running in college.  We dated for the second half of senior year then maintained a long-distance relationship for a year and a half after college.  I decided to move to Texas, September of 2013 and we promptly moved to New Jersey after.  After living in NJ for a while, we got on engaged April Fools Day 2014.  A year of wedding planning went by and we got married April 12, 2015.  Now we just finished year one of marriage.  Good thing I blog so I can remember everything. 

But here is the longer version:

In the fall of 2011, we met at a cross country scrimmage race between our colleges.  After the scrimmage, we talked for a while and went on a run a few weeks later.  During that time, I was coming back from my tibia stress fracture.  I wasn’t supposed to worry about pace.  It was towards the end of the season so my goal was to make it through the season healthy.  I barely ran with my own team, let alone some random guy I had the hots for.

We didn’t run together until after the cross country season but we occasionally chatted.  I was knee deep in a recent college major change and Tim was a chemical engineer, so we were both busy. When we finally ran together in November, Tim was getting ready for Nordic skiing so his focus wasn’t pace or time either.  Running at a slower pace didn’t matter.

Eventually after several runs, we hung out. By that time, the semester was over and it was time to go home for winter break.  I grew up in VA Beach and he grew up in PA so we didn’t live close.

Tim actually came down and hung out for New Years.  We ran the Beat the Ball 5k as well as the Hair of the Dog 5k.

In the spring, we started “officially dating”.  I think I even mentioned on the blog: OMG you guys, a new boy in my life”  (just kidding).  I don’t even know how it came up through blogging…

This was about 3 years ago at the greatest night out in my life. I won a contest rapping Nicki Minaj superbass.
This was about 3 years ago at the greatest night out in my life.
I won a contest rapping Nicki Minaj super bass.

In May of 2012, we graduated and decided to try a long distance relationship.  Our options at that point were to try a distance relationship or break up.  Tim went to school in Texas and I began working in Oswego, NY.

The first few months were tough. By November, we were able to see each other for the first time since June.  I loved my time in Oswego and it was one of the most pivotal and influential years of my life.  I am so glad I chose to go there but it was hard to not be together.

My first visit to Texas
My first visit to Texas

After Thanksgiving, we saw each other again for Christmas, then in March and in May. As we adjusted, it was easier.  After nearly a year, we made the decision I would move to Texas.  As much as I enjoyed my job in Oswego, I wanted to continue my relationship with Tim and had to move eventually (he did not have that choice).

Less than two weeks after I moved to the middle of nowhere, Texas, Tim graduated his training. We were told we were moving to New Jersey. Neither of us knew anything about NJ except people drive quickly on the turnpike.

Tim's flight school graduation
Graduation

After living in New Jersey for 2+ years, we both love the area.  It’s close to Philadelphia, New York City, the shore and both of our families.   It’s the perfect location for us right now.

We got married on April 12, 2015, in Norfolk, VA.  We truly had a wonderful time at our wedding and were lucky so many friends and family that could attend.  We took our wedding as a celebration and party and that’s exactly what it was.

After getting married, we went on a honeymoon and cruise.  It was one of the best vacations of my life.

Southern Most Point
Southern Most Point

Due to travel and work, my husband has been gone about half of our first year of marriage.  It wasn’t a secret this would happen.  I can’t say it’s been easy all of the time but we have made it work.

To be honest, it hasn’t been a crazy transformation or change since getting married.  We lived together for over a year before getting married so there were many quirks we were both familiar with.  Like any couple, we’ve had our ups and downs but we try to support each other through everything.

I feel so lucky to be celebrating our first year of marriage and many more.

Some of my favorite moments together:

Going to my college roommates wedding
Going to my college roommates wedding
Visiting Texas
Visiting Texas
Winning a growler at a half marathon in Texas
Winning a growler at a half marathon in Texas
Our first Christmas Tree
Our first Christmas Tree

Hollie & Tim-695-X2

Honeymoon
Honeymoon…because why not buy these shirts?
Tim and I
Enjoying the Jersey Shore
The one time our fitness was at the same point...
The one time our running fitness was at the same point…

wedding 9

Here are some of the wedding posts if you want to look back on those:
Rejected Wedding Ideas
Lengthy Wedding Post
The Wedding

First dance
First dance

As always, thank you to friends and family for your love and support.  It feels amazing to celebrate our first year of marriage together and we could not be happier.

Life, Articles and Cake

This week went by a lot faster than last week.  I haven’t done any life update posts for a while, but that’s because I’m boring. 

Something I common I hear about blogging is: I don’t live an exciting life that anyone cares…

Well, we both have something in common!  Believe me, I don’t have that exciting of life either!  I just run work, and try and go to diners.  I wish I had more free time to travel the world, but alas, you can’t do that if work.  So here I am boring but updating you on life.

My husband and I decided to get each other cakes this year for Valentines Day.  To be honest, it was the greatest decision ever.  Flowers die, I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, and I like cake.

valentines day cake

Blueberry velvet is my new local favorite
Blueberry Velvet is my new local favorite

We celebrated with an at home meal of squid and sea bass.  Squid is one of my favorite seafood.  It’s easy to prepare, as you can sautee it in oil like any other fish.  This is the recipe we used.  It’s easy and not intimidating.

Sea Bass and Squid
Sea Bass and Squid

We enjoyed relaxing at home as well as our cakes.  No, we did not eat it all in one sitting, but I can’t say there is much left nearly a week later either.

This week there has been a lot of excitement outside of blogging as well.  Olympic Trials?  Grammys?  Why is my husband researching Shamwows?

Olympic Trials: (Here is a quick overview)

Here are my two cents (Which obviously have little to no value since I’m just a spectator…)

Photo from here
Photo from here

Personally, I’m very happy all three women who made the Olympic team.  Would it have been different if Kastor had been healthy?  Or if the weather was a little bit cooler?  Possibly but each of the women who made the team has worked hard.

I do have a question left unanswered: Why didn’t the reporters give Sara Hall the respect she deserved? For a while, she was a contender but was left out most of the time.  

I wasn’t as familiar with the men’s side, so I won’t pretend to be too knowledgeable about it. 

Everyone knows Meb.  Everyone was distraught when Ritz was forced to drop out.

Am I surprised Rupp won?  Yes and no.  I don’t believe Salazar would have race his debut marathon if he didn’t think he would win. I do hope he remembered to wear sunscreen and that he does in Rio.  I haven’t seen any week later photos so see if he was sunburnt….

I seem to be the only person not as familiar with Jared Ward.

I had a few elites favorite a few of my tweets talking about them, so that was neat.  Twitter is nice like that…talk about someone (good/bad) and it calls back to haunt you.

I hope each athlete competing was clean, and I’m excited for the Olympics to play out and how each athlete trains in the next few months and does.  Winning the Trials doesn’t mean you’ll medal. I could dedicate multiple blog posts to geeking about this sort of stuff.

Finally, in case you missed any posts this week, here you go:
5 Ways to Love Yourself
Saucony Kinvara Review
Meal Favorites
How Blogging is Changed since 2010

That’s all I have this week.  Unlike last weekend, I’m looking forward to a beautiful weekend.

Questions for you:

Are you racing this weekend?

How was your week?

Why I love Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest Hallmark Holidays of the year.  I don’t know the stats, but my guess is most of the employees in the card, flower, fancy restaurant and chocolate industry are overbooked and overwhelmed.

I know in the running industry that’s how I feel during marathon and track season

To be honest, Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite Holidays.  Not because I expect a plethora of things, or want to participate in the “let’s show off our love via social media contest”. 

addtext_com_MDUzNjE4MjE1NTkx

Valentines Day is a time to celebrate love. 

Whether it’s love for….

…a significant other

…your family and friends

…a pet

and most importantly:

Love for yourself

As a 20 something-year-old, I can tell you I didn’t always love myself.  In college,  I put a lot more pressure on myself. I wanted to the be absolute best I could be and wouldn’t give myself credit for achieving the small things.  I didn’t appreciate things about myself that looking back I wish I would have!  Not just in sports but in life as well.

Valentines Day is a beautiful celebration of love.  It starts with love and appreciation for yourself.  

Here are a few ways to embrace and love yourself:

  1. Show gratitude for who you are now. As humans, we are always growing and learning more about ourselves.  We are striving to do better and to be better.  Take time to reflect on where you are now and how far you have come.  Never discount the small achievements.
  2. Do something daily that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming but do something each day that you know will make you happy.  Is that reading a few blogs?  Is that painting your fails?  Is it running?  Make sure to make a little bit of time for just you each day.
  3. Give yourself a fair chance. If you believe you will fail, you will.  Believe in yourself.  It’s that simple.
  4. Distance yourself from things that make you unhappy. That could be things, people or activities but if you are constantly around things that are making you miserable, you cannot love and appreciate yourself.
  5. Believe in yourself. If there is one thing you can do to love yourself, it’s believe in yourself.  If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will?  Confidence is key.

Valentines Day doesn’t have to be a celebration of giving or receiving gifts.  It’s a celebration of love whether it is loving yourself, your family and friends or significant other.

We all have someone to love, and it starts with ourselves.

Question for you: How do you love yourself? 

Wedding Wrap Up

I received my wedding photos last week and I’ve finally put everything together.  My wedding was one of the best and happiest days of my life! It’s hard to believe it was already four months ago!  My life continues to live on and I continue to enjoy life.

In my last post I put together a final slideshow from the wedding.  I also answered a few questions with a survey.  I’m a sucker to look at my friend’s big days so please enjoy.

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Here are a few questions and a quick survey too.  If anyone can learn anything from my wedding than it’s a success right?

What was the best part of your wedding day?

It’s hard because there were so many “best parts”! As cliche as it sounds the best part was celebrating Tim and I with our family and friends.  It was great to have all of my friends together in one spot.

What do you feel was totally unnecessary?

To be honest, I think we got rid of a lot of unnecessary things before the wedding. We didn’t have over the top decorations, 10 feet tall centerpieces or anything like that.  We focused on keeping a simple wedding.  Fancy decorations and over the top glam is some people’s dream wedding but it wasn’t mine!

What would you change, if anything?

If I could change anything, I probably would have invited more people! We didn’t have a destination wedding, however, many people did travel.  This meant several people were unable to come so we had a lot more space then I expected.  Our wedding planner said about one-third of guests invited wouldn’t be able to come.  That was accurate.

What was unexpected that you loved?

One thing I loved was how much people were able to enjoy themselves and mingle with others. We decided not to have assigned seating. We wanted people to sit where they wanted. I was warned this could go badly but guests were able to meet new people and enjoy themselves.  I was happy it ended up well and people were able to meet others and chat. I think it was the riskiest thing we did at our wedding.

What are your fondest memories of your wedding day?

A few of my favorite memories were dancing with my beautiful flower girl, dancing with my husband and just laughing the entire time. I truly never stopped smiling.

wedding cake

Is there anything you wish you had spent more time or money on?

T and I agree we wished we had spent more time rehearsing our dancing. It was extremely awkward but I guess awkward is the definition of us.  We made up for it during Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda though.

Is there anything you wish you had spent less time or money on?

There wasn’t anything we felt we should spend less money on. We definitely put a lot of our budget into an awesome DJ, good food and good booze. We spent the least on decorations and I think that worked out well for us.

Were there any unexpected surprises or issues?

We were supposed to have sparklers but the firecode in Norfolk prevented that. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world and if I had properly researched that we would have figured it out sooner.

What’s your number #1 tip for future engaged couples?

Tackle each item one at time.

Similar to writing a paper or working on a project, wedding planning has multiple steps that must be conquered. There are so many websites with timelines for wedding dates.  Print one out so it’s easy to figure out what needs to be done, when!  I also think that having a day of the wedding planner was the best thing we did.  We didn’t worry about anything!

How did you feel after the wedding?

I was happy. It was truly one of the greatest days of my life and I will never forget it.

More Wedding Posts: 

Engagement
Engagement Photos
Rejected Wedding Ideas
Wedding Preview
In Depth Wedding Post

Thank you to everyone who followed along and took this journey with us.  We had one of the best times of our life and could not have done it without everyone.  I appreciate my family, friends and readers sharing their love.  It’s time to move forward to the next chapter of our lives.