Weekend Recap: Pizza Day, OKC + Movies

CHRISTY CAME TO TOWN!

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Christy and I roomed together in Houston for a year and a half. She and Zack met in the same graduate college at Rice University, and almost immediately we knew that Christy was “our people”. We’ve been close friends since 2014!

We began our weekend by enjoying the weather on the patio at Empire Slice House in OKC, probably one of my favorite pizza spots in Oklahoma to date. I mean. Look at dat pizza. Plus they had Shiner beer, and ain’t nothin’ finer than Shiner, so we’re 2 for 2, Empire Slice House. HIGHLY RECOMMEND if you’re ever out and about around OKC! Christy picked a good day to fly in- Remicade/Pizza day! 🙂

Then we rented Hidden Figures a la RedBox. I love a girl power, and I love space. I can’t believe it’s taken so long to tell the story of these GENIUSES behind NASA who were complete trailblazers, except I kinda can (#society). But Hidden Figures is definitely up there with some of my favorite movies now. Just go buy it.

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Saturday’s weather demanded outdoor festivities, so we settled for some specialty pops in the sun with ice cold beer on the side. Christy said, “Hey Stacey-pretty sure you could make these for free.” <– not untrue. I also got a really good chicken and hummus wrap situation from a food truck, but I forgot to photograph. Still gettin’ this whole blogging thing down! A nice family sat at our table with us and immediately started talking politics. Honestly, I really enjoy how eager people are to make conversation here in Central Oklahoma. These people are genuine and kind, and they always have enough time to speak to you and make you feel like a friend…even if you disagree politically ;).

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I found a new sour beer that’s pretty good ^ . I. luv. sours.

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And then we walked down the street to a brewery for more sips. Unfortunately neither Christy nor I are big drinkers, so after three beers over the span of four hours we needed naps (I’m a little ashamed to say). So we came home, ate leftover pizza (#CarboLoading), and watched the new Beauty and the Beast. Emma, you’ve come a long way since Hermione, and I love you all the same. 

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The brewery was a special kind of place, really…

This morning we woke up and had breakfast at a local eatery and then walked a couple of miles around and throughout campus just to look around- OU is really quite beautiful. I know nothing about it, but the architecture is admirable.

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We finished off the weekend with a trip to the theatre to see Wonder Woman (lots of movies). I LOVED WONDER WOMAN!!!! GOOD LAWD I want to learn Brazilian jiu jitsu and meet Chris Pine. I loved that movie. Hope your weekend was just as great!

Have you seen Wonder Woman or Hidden Figures? Thoughts?
Any other sour beer drinkers in the house? Suggestions? 

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Infusion Day

Hi, Friends! HAPPY FRIDAY! I’m blogging from my phone, so if the formatting is off that is why. I have never blogged straight from my phone before, so it’s a new adventure-here I go!

Today is Remicade Day 🎉

I went through hospital registration and admission, which took FOEVAH and evah. One hour and 45 minutes after my scheduled infusion, we finally got the show on the road. 


But my blood pressure has been WAY TOO LOW during the duration of this infusion (we’re talkin 80s over 50s…yikes), so I’ve been up walking around lots. But all I wanna do I nappppp. 


See the dark circles ^? You may also notice my fuzzy blanket. I call it “fuzz” and it’s a Remicade Day essential, along with a snack, a big jug of water, some headphones and a good book, just to pass the time. 

The hospital is delivering meals to all the patients, which is really nice but I have sworn off red meat ever since my diagnosis years ago, and the entree is meatloaf. Hopefully time flies by and I can grab something that won’t be painful to digest! 🙂


Yesterday after work my coworker rescued a baby bird whose friend had gotten ran over in the hospital parking lot. Little Guy was still beside him, scared to move! SAD! Thankfully, this guy is going to be okay and got a clean bill of health by a local wild animal rescue. 


I tried a HIIT workout on a stairmaster last night after work and had a near-puke experience. Safe to say I need to cross train more! My legs and hips feel sore in a good way today. 


Then I took Jaxon to run pet groceries with me since he was out of his favorite treats and food. He loved getting all the attention from cruising around in the shopping cart. I should’ve snapped a pic!

Tonight one of my best friends (pictured on the right; sister in the middle) flies in from Houston to hang out for the weekend. I haven’t seen her since our wedding in January when she was in the wedding party! 

Can’t wait to see ya, Christyface!
Hope you have a really great weekend, wherever you are 🙂

Workout Wednesday: Summer Solstice Workout!

Happy HUMP DAYYYY!

Today has flown by for it being the longest day of the year- I’m not even sure if I can believe that today had the most daylight.

I follow this instagrammer, NutritionStripped, and in her story today she discussed something interesting that I’ve actually been pondering lately. Workouts don’t have to be a big to-do; they can just be a good part of your day. No special routines are required. Stacey’s version here: No “Slay” water bottles with graphic tee shirts. No fancy notebooks to lug around the gym. Sometimes it’s nice to just move your body without adding stress to it- just move! Whatever kind of movement makes you happy.

I’ve been trying to be more mindful in my own workouts without making them a thing. For instance, a couple days a week I try to run without any gadgets or music in my ears. I love running with goals and looking down to see that I’m staying on pace, but sometimes it’s SO NICE to just move your feet and let your thoughts swirl around without being drowned out by some Kelly Clarkson (the girl makes great running music, y’all). Pure, undisturbed movement. Also, I have NO ROUTINE when I go to the gym- I know- this will make some people absolutely NUTS. But for me it works right now.

However, if you do need some guidance fear not! I have somethin’ for ya 😉

Summer Solstice Workout (that can be done any day of the year)
It’s a doozy, and it’s for the whole body
-1 mile, easy
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-Set a timer, jump rope for 5 minutes (I use this weighted jump rope)
-21 air squats
-21 burpees
-21 high knees
-21 commandos
-21 lunges
-21 push-ups
-jump rope for 5 minutes
*Repeat 6 times
———————
-1 mile, easy

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Recovery smoothie with frozen banana, Vega protein, a few frozen blueberries, and water. That’s it! Oh, and topped with some oats because I didn’t consume enough carbs today.

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And here’s a selfie, because I have blueberry seeds lodged in my teeth and I didn’t even notice. You’re welcome.

-Do you like to have a workout routine when you head to the gym? 
-What’s your favorite way to move? Spin class? Yoga? Weights? Dance parties in the kitchen?

Have you ever got pulled over by a police officer twice in two consecutive days? 

I did recently, and it wasn’t because my tail light was out although I’m fairly convinced someone had tagged my car with a sign only visible to law enforcement that read, “PLEASE PULL THIS CAR OVER NOW.”

The first occurrence resulted in a $235 ticket for a toll violation. I found myself on an unfamiliar turnpike and panicked when I realized that I lacked both cash AND the toll tag sticker. I thought I’d run through the toll tag lane and then immediately call the toll company once I got home and pay the amount due, before I could be mailed a ticket (I’ve done this before and didn’t run into any problems). But apparently, this is the sort of thing that warrants an outrageous citation in this state, and it’s called “taking advantage of the toll system”. Beware if you’re ever driving through Oklahoma on a turnpike, and have your quarters ready, or plan your trip to Sephora better than I did.

The second evening I was driving down the highway, listening to a ’90s country song a little too loudly.

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I’m even more embarrassed to say that this man ^, his mullet and mustache were behind the voice of the song that I was jamming. I wish this was a lie. Hi, I’m embarrassing. 

I saw red and blue lights in my rearview mirror and literally laughed. What now? I was going 73 in a 70mph zone. I left unscathed without a ticket, but I was told to control my speed. I’m still a little confused. SPEED DEMON ON THE LOOSE. It’s me. 3mph over- it’s me.

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This evening after work while at a Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation board meeting I received a phone call that I will be getting my past-due infusion on FRIDAY! *Hallelujah chorus* I have never returned to work after a Remicade infusion, so we will see how this goes!

Went to Trader Joe’s today and picked up some food, including watermelon slices that I am particularly stoked to have. Something about watermelon in the summertime (it’s 97 degrees and therefore “summer” here).

I wanted to work out tonight, but I ran HARD yesterday. Tonight = early bedtime for a morning workout. Letting my body call the shots on this one!

Hope you all had a great Tuesday 🙂

Weekend Recap (Father’s Day Weekend)

Hope everyone had such a great weekend!

Friday was [supposed to be] infusion day. Even though I’m in remission, my body needs time to wean off of the infusions. My doctor said this could take time…years even. But, hey, why not give it a go right now? My infusion center FORGOT TO FILE MY NEW INSURANCE back in April… which means an entire approval process of getting the insurance on board with my diagnosis and this multi-thousand-dollar specialty medication, and this could take “up to two weeks” according to my new infusion center. Healthcare in this country is the antithesis of efficient. SO INFURIATING. ughhhh

But on the bright side, I got to hang out with these guys this weekend:

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Zack has been working long, hard hours with a crazy schedule, and it was so great just to hang out this weekend. Jaxon clearly missed their quality movie-watching time.

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^This went on all weekend with these two- they’re the sweetest.

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And guess who got a bath this weekend?? Hint: Jaxon. I mean, technically I did, too. But not the point.

Oh, and one of my best friends/college roommates came into town!

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We hung out at Bleu Garten in OKC on Friday night. Highly recommend if you haven’t been there! Food trucks, drinks, and all outside. We shut the place down 🙂

Saturday morning was breakfast at Syrup. My chai tea was SO cinnamon-y and delicious. Not too sweet- just how I like it.

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Saturday afternoon I got my hair cut (for the first time in over a year, oops). Then we hung out with some friends and smoked some chicken and sweet potatoes. First experience with smoked sweet potatoes, and it didn’t disappoint!

Just overall a great weekend, the kind that go by too quickly and before you know it, they’ve passed. It was also Father’s Day weekend, so here’s a throwback with me with my Day 1:

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He taught me how to swing a bat, change a tire, and passed down constant misuse of clichés.
“There’s always more fish in the pond.”

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And maybe his dance moves.

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But most of all he taught me how to be generous and selfless and kind. I love this guy, and I’m proud to be his kid fo lyfe.

 

My Mythical Thigh Gap

Confession: I have body image issues.

Not mega-deep, emo body issues, and not to degrade or demean anyone who has had serious, life-altering, core-rattling body image issues that has wrecked mental havoc in your life and unwelcomely seeped its way your health. That is TOUGH, and you should feel like some version of a superhero for overcoming that. Pat yourself on the back for wherever you are on your journey of recovery. I’m offering you a virtual hug here, no matter how lame or patronizing “pat yourself on the back” sounds. Really and truly. I’m with you.

I, too, am critical of my body- the one that helps me run, fights disease, carries me to work, climbs up and down stairs, logs thousands of steps daily, hike and explore outside, and lets me live a dang good life full of strength. That body- I’m unkind, harsh, and judgemental about how she looks on the outside more often than I’d care to admit…even though I know she’s a strong and capable one. I discredit her, and sometimes I call her critical names.

I frequently refer to myself as “fluffy”, but recently I started reading books that talk about how we create our own realities by believing what we say. Our actions follow, and eventually we reinforce our own blessings or curses by what we repeat from our mouths. I’m learning to be kinder to myself.
(Reference: “You Are a Badass” or James 3:10-13…similar messages)

Sometimes I catch myself standing awkwardly in photos in a lame attempt to create a thigh gap that doesn’t exist. See?

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I am not even a little bit pigeon-toed naturally, but I’m trying to pose like my thighs aren’t touching. But I fail, because they are.

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Sometimes I even run long distances, and you know what? Those thighs still touch, AND I STILL TRY TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THEY’RE NOT.

So I call this my “Mythical Thigh Gap”. It’s about as real as any other mythical creature…like a unicorn…although I know there’s a strange following recently that believes in unicorn magic, so if you happen upon a unicorn, please holla if you find my thigh gap.

I did have a thigh gap…once. I was THIRTY pounds under-weight from health complications associated with a recent “moderate to severe ulcerative colitis diagnosis” and I remember crying as I stared back at my reflection in the mirror. I always maintained a love/hate relationship with my booty, but it was completely gone. Flat. And then I realized that I liked my booty all along- what a shame. My legs looked like “chicken legs” and my boobs had shrunk down to a size A Minus, if there is such a size. I didn’t feel like myself, and I didn’t feel feminine. I felt like a small, frail, skinny shell of the person I used to be. I felt unrecognizable.

Slowly but surely, I met myself again and began to recognize her. I learned to place my self-worth in what my body could do as opposed to how it looked. Besides, our bodies are ever-changing anyway. I learned to be proud of my resilience, my intelligence, my stubborn gladness to stay the course, whatever I was doing despite discouragement from haters. Despite rough circumstances, I was given a new chance to love myself from the inside. I became more mindful of the world around me, and I felt a little more child-like and less self-critical. The whole world was brand new in this foreign but pleasant way of viewing myself, the universe, its inhabitants around me, and the people I love.

I found this picture recently, and it reminded me of that new perspective, and most of all, what it was like to be a child: playing in the sprinkler on a hot summer day, not purposely standing pigeon toed, unaware of the false importance of a thigh gap that wasn’t, and completely loving life with the people I love…

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…and owning that one piece, high-pony tail, and lack of a thigh gap. No room for waiting until things disappeared to appreciate them; fully and completely appreciating life in the present.

So that’s my advice to you, dear friends. Love your life today. Love your thigh gap if you have one. Love your lack of a thigh gap if you don’t. Love your strength and your intelligence. Love your life, because it’s too short and fleeting to feel any other way. Most of all- Love yourself.

-Stacey

Sister Trip 2017 Recap

Hope you had a lovely weekend 🙂

In an attempt to not completely procrastinate, this blog post is a Sister Trip recap from last weekend: Northern Virginia Wine Country and Washington, D.C.

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Every year since 2015 we take a “Sister Trip”, just the two of us (woo-hoo three trips and counting!). In 2015 we went to Napa Valley, California while I ran the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half. Then last year we went to Charleston, South Carolina- our favorite trip to date, Lindsay’s choice. And last week we took this year’s trip, also situated around another Destination Race: Virginia Wine Country Half-Marathon (my choice again-see a theme?). It’s a fun excuse to get together in a fun place since we don’t live near each other any more, and it’s always a good time.

We began our United Flight, Basic Economy level with ONE single personal item (not even a carry-on) due to our limited space of conveniently being assigned the last seats on the plan, so we fit EVERYTHING into a backpack each. We miraculously made it back home with our souvenirs, too.  I honestly have never packed so light in my life…and I’m a little embarrassed by that.

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We picked up our car in the passenger pick-up line that we rented from Turo- it’s an app that allows you to rent cars owned by locals at their own discretion. Such a fun, easy experience! And it was slightly cheaper than renting a car. Then we drove to downtown D.C. and ate crab cakes and fruit at Old Ebbitt Grill at the bar- so good!

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With satisfied appetites and happy hearts we walked to the White House and, to our surprise, we were able to get right up close to the lawn without security barricades. The crowds weren’t bad either!

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Next was the beautiful Jefferson Memorial. I excitedly called Zack to tell him how thrilled I was to see one of my favorite historical quotes engraved in one of the giant walls, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…” He was quick to remind me about Jefferson’s owning slaves/having an affair with slave Sally Hemings, which basically served as a grave reminder not to romanticize people…which is hard not to do when you’re standing inside a giant monument erected in their honor. But I digress.

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Next was patriotic popsicles, because we are children. Then we drove off to the race expo in Leesburg to pick up my bib number and race shirt.

Finally, we made it to our AirBnB which was more enchanted than I could’ve dreamed up. Meet our greeters, Brandy and Whiskey:

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And our cozy cabin

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Complete with entertainment

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As an IBD patient, I appreciated this ^.

We ended the night early after carbo-loading at a local Italian restaurant. The next morning was an early one for race day, but I wasn’t tired after sleeping nine hours.

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^Morning view near the starting line at Doukenie Winery. Lindsay dropped me off near here. I loved the views!

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The race was overcast and in the upper-seventies, perfect weather!

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Girl YAS- LOOK at that ponytail action! :p

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Best part of the day.

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Sleeping at the pool was actually the best part of the day, if I’m being honest.

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Followed by dinner at Finn Thai and [another] early bedtime.

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The next day we went into D.C. for some quality American tourism…

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…and paid our respects to Texas veterans at the WWII memorial…

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…and visited Honest Abe (worth the walk and climbing the steps and the heat).

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We chewed on lemon Italian Ice as we sat in the grass of the National Lawn listening to peaceful protesters, then headed to find lunch.

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^ Hamilton’s! I LOVED this place. My turkey burger was amazing, and so were Lindsay’s California rolls and shrimp tempura.

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Next we went to the Holocaust Museum, a place I’ve wanted to visit since reading “Night” by Elie Wiesel in junior high school. This place shook me to my core, and I was struck by how subtle, gradual-changing political agendas gave rise to hatred. The world allowed this hatred to perpetuate by its lack of opposition and ever-increasing fear of peoples’ differences in the place of tolerance and compassion. It was so gradual and so real. I will never be the same after this museum. Never stop speaking up for groups around you who are persecuted. Support others, because they need you to be resilient.

We ended the day on a light-hearted note at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, which was really TOO COOL. HOW can they fit so many planes INDOORS?

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That night at our AirBnB we drank local wines and ate snacks on our hosts’ patio of their house until the wee hours of the morning- I felt like we were old friends, and I loved their company.

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And that about wraps up our journey. We had a turbulent flight back to Texas where we promptly stuffed our faces with Mexican food and guac upon our arrival.

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Then Jaxon and I headed back to Oklahoma for another work week- he’s a great little traveler. Honestly, such a FUN weekend, and we can’t wait to return to Norther Virginia- we couldn’t get over how GREEN all the scenery was this time of year- something you don’t see TOO much of in Texas. We are so thankful to have experienced Virginia’s Wine Country AND D.C. What a cool little time. Where should we go next year? Any suggestions? 🙂

Hope your Monday is better than most!

-Stacey