As you may know, I'm a Duke football fan, so George and I had the fun opportunity to go to the 2012 Belk Bowl over the Christmas break. Duke played the University of Cincinnati at the Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers. It was my first trip to a pro football stadium, and my first trip to a bowl game in many years.
Georg and Lesley
I reserved a space in a parking lot ahead of time, and we attended the pregame Duke tailgate, which was fun! The weather was nice, but cold for the 6:30 game. Even though Duke lost the game, we still had a fun time!
George and I have had a busy, but fun stretch of celebrations this month!
First, we celebrated Hanukkah with his family over at Papa's house. Papa is 98 years old, the patriarch of their family. He really enjoys having the family fill his house, and it's fun, for sure. The kids are growing up so fast! We did something a little different this year for gift-giving. We each drew one person. I got George's mom, Tina, so we went to lunch at Mellow Mushroom, then to Paint Your Pot in Cary this past Saturday. It was a great time to catch up with her!
On Sunday, George and I threw a Festivus party! I was in the mood to host a Sunday night party, so I googled "December 23 holiday," and found out that it's Festivus, Who knew?! Great excuse to have people over, we decided!We cooked chili, and others brought food and flowers, and we played the original Trivial Pursuit. Fun times, great company! (Thanks to +Beth Bruch, +Nancy Mayer, and others for joining in the fun!)
Last night (Christmas Eve), George and I went to a MoravianLovefeast at Christ the King Moravian Church. This is the second year in a row that we've gone to this service at Christ the King Moravian, so it feels like a tradition. It's such a nice service, with traditional Christmas hymns and readings, as well as the serving of coffee and buns, We really enjoyed it!
George, Lesley, & Marion
Today, George and I joined my Uncle Marion (who drove from Goldsboro) for brunch at Paparazzi, an Italian restaurant in Raleigh, for Christmas Day brunch. We had an 11:15 reservation, and didn't leave until nearly 3:00! Needless to say, we had a great time catching up and eating yummy food!
Once home, I called my parents in Alabama, and heard about their day. We wish we could've all been together, but it was great to hear their voices!
Tomorrow's a rest day for me, while George returns to work. It's been a great holiday season!
Today is Election Day across the country. It's a relief to many (including me) that it's finally here. I cast my ballot at an early voting location a couple of weeks ago, so I'm not part of the voting excitement today. (Since I'm home from work sick today, I'm kinda glad.)
This Presidential campaign season has had a different feel to it, at least for me. Part of it, for sure, is that I'm a lot busier than I was four years ago. I've added graduate school to my schedule, so I watch a lot less TV, and have less time to read newspapers and magazines for fun, so I didn't keep up through the primaries and final push like I did four years ago. It feels strange being so uninformed! But, I voted anyway, and I'm glad I did. It'll be interesting to see who wins.
After weeks (months?) of letting my health take a backseat, I went to a new-to-me doctor recently for a physical. I left with a pretty long list of marching orders that reminded me why I've been too busy to take better care of myself!
For starters, she told me to walk 15 minutes/day. It's been a good goal to stretch for, but some "old" running injuries (plantar fasciitis and a sore ankle) have flared up again. *sigh* She gave me a new blood glucose monitor, but the pharmacy has had difficulty getting me the correct test strips since running out of the samples that came in the monitor's box. She also wants me to buy a blood pressure monitor for home, but I've procrastinated after looking at the long list of possibilities on Amazon alone. (How do you know which one is best?! I think I'll look at the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist for suggestions.)
The doctor also wants me to look into a diet program like Weight Watchers. I've done Weight Watchers before with some success, but always regaining later. My issue with WW now is that I don't have time for the meetings, which cost money (which I'm using to pay for grad school and otherwise trying to save!) to attend. Some would argue that the "group therapy" approach to weight loss is helpful (it often is!) and that paying for something adds an extra element of motivation to the effort. I've decided to go a different route though, returning to SparkPeople.com. The website offers lots of information, teams (groups with similar interests), and a point system for clicking on different articles and such AND for fitness minutes. You earn virtual trophies for moving up the point ladder. The website also offers food, exercise, and weight tracking.
I've also made an appointment for my annual mammogram, always not-fun but oh, so important.
I return to the doctor in 2-3 weeks for a follow-up on her marching orders. How will I do? Stay tuned!
After an especially nice Labor Day Weekend, I find myself wishing for a little more time! My plans were to get a lot of studying done, but instead, I had flashbacks to undergrad days, where I procrastinated doing homework sometimes by cleaning my dorm room and doing ALL my laundry! Now, all of this has a different view as a middle-aged, working-full-time, part-time-grad-student adult, of course. It does feel extra nice to have a cleaner apartment, all my clothes hanging in the closet or folded in drawers, and food in the refrigerator! In a way, I have fewer distractions and some peace of mind as I work my way back into the study groove. Sigh. I'm missing my free time just a little!
Okay, I've vented enough for now, thanks. Back to homework!
I've been reading the book Eat to Live recently, and it's inspired me to go to the Raleigh Farmers Market this afternoon after my workout. I got some tomatoes, blueberries, and peas (I don't remember what kind of peas, but a variety I don't think I've tried before). I did get some cooking tips for the peas, so that's on my to-do list for this evening. Now I wish I'd gotten some squash and peaches too! I guess I'll have to go back soon. (Darn!)
George and I decided to take advantage of outdoor seating for dinner at Foster's Market in Durham recently. It was such a nice evening, and surprisingly few people were there, considering it was Reunion Weekend at Duke. (Perhaps a lot of people were involved in campus events.) At any rate, it felt great outdoors (and in the shade), so we had a delightful dinner. What a nice way to start the weekend!