June in Review + a May addition

June was mighty fun. And hot.
I had the pleasure of taking two weekend trips in June. The first was 24 hours in Charleston with some lady friends of mine. Thanks to Lori for being such an amazing tour guide!
We started with drinks at a rooftop bar.
Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 4.13.55 PMThen, we wandered around downtown. I took a ton of pictures in the cemetery at St. Philip’s Church, but this one stands out:

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It’s haunted!!!! (Seriously–I did NOT do this!)

We did some more wandering and had some more drinks (some courtesy of a guilt-ridden Charlestonian who stole the best seat in the house from us), and had dinner on the water, complete with dolphins.

Finally, we made it to the beach just before returning to Durham.
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We unfortunately did not spot Bill Murray.
The other weekend trip was for a wedding on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks. This was our first trip to OBX, and it won’t be our last! But, it’s quite a hike for just a weekend–over 6 hours and you don’t even leave the state? Where are we, California?
Anyway, despite the fact that we didn’t take very many pictures, the island and wedding were lovely. We stayed in a sweet little cabana that had a lovely pool and was really nice inside, and the beach was beautiful–so many crabs!
And big congrats to our friends (and neighbors) Sarah and Ian!
Also in June: a trip to Sennett’s Hole along the Eno River:
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Modelo’s newest spokesmodel

…All this time in the water, I should invest in another bathing suit.

I also got to work on the Durham Civil Rights History Mural a little, too!
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***
Plus, something I forgot to mention in my May recap:

We saw Frank Turner!!! In Winston-Salem! On a school night, no less. We’re such rebels.

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Don’t we look like we’re in love?

At his show, we got swabbed for the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do, but just never got around to. For more information, visit deletebloodcancer.org.

May in Review

My lag time for these month in review posts is not great. I want you to know that I’m working on it, but also that I don’t care that much, so don’t expect too much of an improvement next month.

So, May. Here we go:

It kicked off with Basecamp. That’s when I spend about a week on campus to wrap up the previous semester (giving presentations, working through simulations, etc.) and start the next semester (usually with lectures from my new instructors). It was my second-to-last Basecamp and boy, could I feel it! I’ll be done in August and just want this program to end. This semester, I’m taking Health Law, Leadership Journaling (which I have every semester and call Book Club), and my Capstone course which involves writing a business plan that I can’t talk about because it’s a real thing with real competition.

On a related note, we booked a vacation to celebrate finishing my masters and our fifth anniversary! It will be our first real vacation (more than a long weekend or a family function) since our honeymoon and I. cannot. wait. I’ll blog about it after, but booking it was obviously an event in itself.

Richie went to up to PA to visit his family (and see some friends). It also included a jaunt to his parents’ (newly renovated!) condo on the beach in Ventnor, NJ. I was bummed to miss it (for Basecamp, which is very mandatory).

I went to a bodybuilding competition. Yep, you read that right. My incredibly fit and inspiring friend Christina competed in the Figure category (competitors are judged from all angles and the goal is to have an athletic appearance – wide shoulders with slim hips and thighs) and I went to support her. After my initial discomfort and awkward giggles at the beefy men in sparkly Speedos, I got really into it and enjoyed myself! And Christina came in third!

Some things we did around Durham/the Triangle:

We caught up with some friends at the Bull City Ciderworks tour. We had been there before, but didn’t go on the (very small, very short, but) very interesting tour. They have lots of ciders to try, but my favorite is Steep South (infused with black tea and honey).

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from their website

We went to the quarry for the first time this season. It was so refreshing!

Dustin, one of the OG Beer Runners who unfortunately moved to Brooklyn last summer, came to visit! It gave us an excuse to have a great night on the town complete with drinks at the Counting House at 21C, dinner at Dashi‘s izakaya, and ice cream at The Parlour.

Running of the Bulls 8k happened! I ran slower than last year, but still finished in under an hour, which was my goal. It was hot.

before

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finish line

Our friend Lauren hosted her annual birthday float on the Haw River in Saxapahaw. It’s always a great time.floatJune has already been pretty awesome–you should really look forward to the report in July.

April in Review

I just realized I never did a post on April! You really missed it, right? Okay, let’s see…

I started the month by taking a week off work. March was crazy, so I needed a little R&R. I actually kept myself pretty busy–there was lots to do around the house and for school, it was nice to get a jump on my final month of the semester. I even wrote a blog post about my week off on my professional-ish blog here.

Richie went to DC for World Vaccine Congress, “where the global vaccine industry comes together to discuss science and strategy.” Sounds fancy, no? He says there’s nothing else to report on that front, so maybe no.

Oh, and something else: our house. I cryptically mentioned it in my 2014 in review post, and I’m able to talk about it a little more freely now.

Last summer, after moving into our house, we started a landscaping project that included drainage and some general beautification. The drainage part required a lot of digging, but the landscaper hit lots of trash pretty much immediately. And when I say “lots,” I mean decades worth of illegal dumping. So, we paused the project and brought out an geotechnical engineer who tested the ground under our house to see if there was trash down there, too. Sure enough, there is. This means that the ground under the house will settle in unpredictable ways. And we learned that it would cost nearly as much as the house itself cost to fix it, so that’s why we initially asked the builder to buy it back.

Well, that didn’t happen (though it still could), so we’ve filed a lawsuit against the builder (and a couple other entities). All parties have been served, and we’re waiting for their response.

It’s weird to even be in this situation, since suing someone was never anything I could see myself doing. It’s also really sad, especially because this is our first home and we’re trying not to get too attached to it. We saved really aggressively to put down a decent down payment, which was something I’m really proud of; but, now we have less in savings to pay all of the legal fees associated with this. So much for doing the responsible thing!

In other April news, we enjoyed about a week of spring in April. I’m pretty sure it’s summer now.

March in Review: I need a nap

giphyMarch came in like a lion and went out like a…bigger lion.

Some things that happened:

3/7, 3/10, 3/12: Trainings, trainings, trainings! I did one for a group of high school students in Orange County, NC; another one for grown-ups from all over NC; and another one for folks in VA. (They went well, thanks.)

3/14: Richie and I hosted the Third Annual Balitkahn Barleywine Festival and it was a huge success!

3/21: My friend Kate and I served as judges in a Destination Imagination (offshoot of Odyssey of the Mind) tournament in Western Carolina. It was a ton of fun to witness the various a-ha moments and train wrecks typical of a state competition. And two highlights: some llamas were staying on the lawn in front of our hotel; and I went to Waffle House for the first time ever and it was amazing (I got a waffle with city ham–not country ham).

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 4.50.37 PM3/21: Richie ran another Beer Mile with impressive speed!

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3/22-24: I went back to South Dakota to host a session at their Spring Tobacco Control Institute. I got to see some familiar faces from November and was able to put some faces to voices I’ve been talking to every couple weeks over the phone. I even had enough time for a stroll along the Missouri River:

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 4.49.30 PM3/27-29: Back to Western Carolina! This time to Asheville, where we attended Sierra Nevada’s Burly Beers and Barleywines Festival. We were supposed to run a race that morning (half marathon for Richie, 5k for me), but it was about 20 degrees, so we skipped it. In addition to fancy beers, we had some delicious meals—something I always look forward to when we visit Asheville.

Now, it’s nap time.

I want my TV

I’ve had a busy month. My boss (though she doesn’t like being called that) asked me what I do for self care. I started listing all the TV shows I watch (after mentioning exercise, since I didn’t want to come across as a total slob), and she requested that I make a list and post it on the blog. So, here it is. Judge me all you want.

Richie and I watch these together:

And I watch these by myself:

Just a note that this is everything I can think of over the course of a year. They’re not all on at once (thank goodness!).

February in Review

We’re really busy but we miss you!

So, some stuff that happened in February 2015:  watersI saw John Waters! Hairspray, Cry-Baby, and Serial Mom are some of my favorite movies of all time, so it was kind of a big deal when he came to the Carolina Theatre to do stand-up and tell stories. The funniest part of the night, though, was when I pulled some strings to get into the donor lounge with my friends and we acted all fancy to try and fit in (you kind of had to be there).

relayI ran a marathon relay! I was in a team of four, and the way it worked was: everyone had to run a lap, one at a time, in the same order until you were done. So, that’s 16 laps, four per person. It was hard, but also a ton of fun. I also ran 3/4 of my laps faster than I’ve ever run before. I wrote about the experience from a teamwork/accountability perspective on my semi-professional blog here.

carrabba

he was famous, but again he goes unnoticed

Richie and I went to Cat’s Cradle to see Lucero and Ryan Bingham. The show was great–especially Ryan Bingham–and the big surprise was that Twin Forks opened the show. I had never heard of the band, but as it turns out, their front-man is Chris Carrabba (aka Dashboard Confessional). And I admit that I got a little weak in the knees when I met him after his set (lol).

While I hunker down with this last semester and a half in my program (!!!!), it’s looking like monthly recaps will be the best format for the Blogikahn. For March, you can look forward to reports on some trips (business and pleasure), another race, and who knows what else?!

January in pictures (mostly)

We kicked off the year with a Beer Mile with some of the Bull City Beer Runners! It was great fun and the times were very impressive! (Richie won because he’s ridiculous.)

Shortly thereafter, we took a trip to San Francisco! Richie had to go for work and I had relatively light work and school loads that week, so I tagged along. We did some touristy things, like walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, down the San Francisco Bay Trail, and up the Lyon St. steps, but we also made sure to check out some dive bars in the Tenderloin and the Mission. We also got lunch with my dad and dinner with J Slink!

Then, I turned 30! A couple weeks before the big day, we had some friends over for an enchilada cook-off and tequila tasting. Wool E. Bull also came. It was so much fun!

On my actual birthday, I went to work and had initially planned on going to class but decided at the last minute to let Richie take me to dinner instead. He also outdid himself with my gift–this glorious print from local artist (and founder/owner of Runaway) Gabriel Eng-Goetz: