Friday, November 27, 2009
At about 9 am we started prepping and cooking the bird. Wow. A 20 lb. turkey is huge! Andy did a spice rub and put a can of Guinness with espresso in the pan. Cooked it at 350* for about 4 hours covered under aluminum foil. For the last hour we took off the cover and basted it for 1.5hours. Delish! It is the juiciest turkey I have ever had. I also made some Jalapeno deviled eggs at the last minute. I think everyone loved my apple pie (thanks Teresa for the crust recipe).
Ok, so I loaded the pictures...not my best, but oh well. :) The picture above is one view of our table (blurry 'cuz I had some wine already ;-)) The below picture is from the other way...
The others are pretty much self explanatory.
Andy with his Guinness/espresso turkey
We are so looking forward to decorating for Christmas. We already know where we are going to put the Christmas tree. :) Hope you all had a wonderful turkey day and are as thoroughly stuff as I am. I had pie for breakfast. Yummmm. TTFN, Heather
Chattanooga, TN-- Sunny 48* Wind: WNW 9 mph Humidity 47%
Bloomington, IL-- Sunny 34* Wind: Calm Humidity 76%
Aurora, IL-- Partly Sunny 37* Wind: WSW 5 mph Humidity 63%
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Running this week has been going pretty well. I had to skip one workout because I wore heels to work one day and I was on my feet for most of the day. Ugh. Misogynistic sexy shoes...why do I wear you???? Not to worry, my workout the next day was awesome. I have a 2 hour run tomorrow. Last Sunday I did a 90 minute run at just faster than race pace and got in 10 miles! There was a hellacious climb in the middle. If it was flat, I think I could have gotten in at least 10.5 maybe 11 miles. Seriously, this hill was huge! For those of you from Chattanooga, I ran the Moccasin Bend loop (with the climb). It is not a very difficult biking loop, but for running, I think it is the longest steepest grade I have EVER run. So for tomorrow, I think I am going to leave out the climb and run the loop for 2 hours and see how many miles I can get in. Jacqueline is going to run with me. She had an awesome race this morning...(spoiler alert) She text me this morning (btw...it is not texted, it is text); and in the Jingle Bell 5k here in Chattanooga she was 8th overall, 1st female overall, and had a time of 21:08!!!! I have never won anything overall. I have placed in my age group, but to be the first female in an entire race is so cool! Consequently, tomorrow could be very interesting. Hopefully, Jacqueline will be really tired from her stellar race today ;-) just kidding. I really love running with her. It is so awesome when you find a great running partner. They push you, you hopefully push them, you have great conversation, they understand when you can't talk it is because you are about to die -- and they know it is not because you don't want to be social. I really do love the simplicity of running. I didn't think I would like running with my new Garmin GPS watch, but I really do. It is sorta like when I started biking with my Saris power tap. I get to actually see my improvements in numbers afterward/during. Before, running for me was based all on "perceived exertion." Now running has definition and purpose. I still am a little nervous about running 26.2 miles, but I think after tomorrow, I will be one step closer to feeling more confident.
We bought our 20 lb. turkey for Thanksgiving last night. Whoo Hoo! The other night Deni and I sat down and planned out our menu. It is pretty similar to most traditional Thanksgiving dinners, I guess. Turkey, ham, green bean casserole, fruit salad, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, sweet potatoes, rolls, pies, and corn bread stuffing. I think the corn bread stuffing might be the only "southern" dish we have. Deni and Lloyd are bringing over some wine and sweet tea. I have made sweet tea at Hennen's, but I have not made it at home. I am going to trust the real southerners with the tea. As far as seating for our almost 20 guests, Andy and I have yet to get the 2 benches from his Uncle that match our dining room table. No worries. Today we are going to our church to borrow chairs. Gotta love small town churches. :)
We are going to have dinner at about 6pm. After dinner, I think we are going to either play games or start a bonfire or both :)
The weather down here has been beautiful. I think that has been what has kept me in such great spirits the past couple of weeks. When we wake up it is a little chilly. Starts out at 35* and misty. By the time I go out for my run over lunch it is usually 70* and sunny. Ahhhh the south. :) Although, Andy and I were thinking the other day...the weather down here was not this nice last year. Andy moved down to Chattanooga on November 8th and went out on his first bike ride with his new team (Motor Mile) on November 15th. Andy remembered there was snow on top of Lookout Mountain on his first ride in Chattanooga! So I am pretty sure we are having a very mild fall compared to previous years. I am NOT complaining. I hope the trend stays. I heard a rumor the Midwest and Northeast are supposed to have one of the most bitter winters in history. The Southeast is supposedly going to be sparred. Hopefully, the rumor about the Southeast having a mild winter is true ;-)
Well I am off to clean the house for Thanksgiving this week. I hope all is well for y'all. Much love and catch you on the flip side. Heather
Weather 12:37 pm (EST)
Chattanooga, TN - 60* Sunny - Wind: ESE 1 mph - humidity 53%
Bloomington, IL - 50* Partly cloudy - Wind: SE 8 mph - humidity 77%
Aurora, IL - 51* Sunny - Wind: SE 6 mph - humidity 62%
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Let's start with work. Work for me has been good. There was a couple weeks in there when I was unsure of myself and my abilities. But things are rolling now. I have been there 74 days! Like most things, sometimes it feels like I have been there forever and other times it feels like I started yesterday. We have changed our name from Logic Marketing to AREA203 Marketing. Here is our new web-site, please check it out!
Work for Andy has been a little different. On September 19th the owner of the Trek Store of Chattanooga informed Andy that the store was having serious financial difficulties AND could no longer afford to keep their Sales Manager (Andy). The Trek Store went onto explain to Andy that it was a business decision and they were extremely happy with Andy and his performance. Initially, I wasn't going to say anything in a public forum about our situation. I thought it would be in poor taste to be bitter about something we had no control over. Unfortunately, over the past couple weeks, we have discovered the Trek Store Chattanooga has been bad mouthing Andy and spreading a ton of rumors about the situation. To set the record straight-- Andy did NOT receive a severance package. He was informed on Saturday the 19th that he would be paid through the end of his last week (September 25th). Additionally, Andy's last "week of work" was Interbike in Las Vegas. The Trek Store refused to let Andy go to the biggest bike expo on company time. If Andy wanted to go to Interbike (for the Trek Store) he was going to have to use his vacation time AND it was an out of pocket expense for us. We thought it would be a good investment for the Trek Store and good PR for them as well. We bought a plane ticket and a hotel room; only after it was too late to get our money back, they informed Andy he was going to be laid off (the day before he flew out to Las Vegas). Second, unemployment is something EVERY employer pays into when you hire an employee. An employer does not START paying unemployment when the employee has been laid off. There is a "bank" of money where unemployment is drawn from. Not that it is any of Trek Store's business, but Andy is on unemployment through IL, not TN. Finally, I find it to be rather arrogant and asinine to have a previous employer keeping "tabs" on your after they have laid you off. If they were that concerned about how Andy would support our family, they should have kept him on as an employee rather than laying him off. Maybe they should spend less time trolling the Internet for Andy and more time trying to repair the damage they have caused. This is the last thing I am going to say about this subject, I do not think Trek, as a parent company, is bad or makes poor decisions. I think the Trek Store Chattanooga has made bad decision after bad decision and has not taken into account the southern market/southern mentality like they should have. The Trek Store Chattanooga has driven away business because management (excluding Andy) is rude, arrogant, and short-sighted.
Ok now that is said, back to the fun stuff :)
Marathon training is going really really well. Andy has always coached me for triathlon, so I asked him to train me for the St. Jude Marathon (that is coming up in 3 weeks :O). The training I have been doing is much different from the training I have done for marathons in the past. In the past, I would build up slow over 18 weeks to long steady runs and then finish the training with a sense of "being prepared." The way Andy is training me is very different. First, I get my week's schedule 1 week at a time. Second, the workouts I am doing are based around heart rate and are shorter and more intense. Finally, each workout makes me feel stronger and stronger. Before I would get a schedule for the full 18 weeks, long workouts (that I would usually skip 'cuz they were boring), and every other workout would seem like a failure. I got a new pair of shoes last night too! They are so cool. I ran in them today for the first time and LOVED them. So excited. I am running in a pair of Saucony Progrid Triumph 7. Our friend Zach Winchester recommended these for me. Check out his blog...
Our friends Shawn Watson and Courtney Bartels came down last weekend for a killer climbing trip. Courtney flew into Nashville from Boulder, CO and Shawn (on his way down from IL) picked her up at the airport. They drove down to HorsePens 40 (just outside Birmingham, Alabama) for 1 day of bouldering, before heading back up to Chatta-vegas to hang with us. We met them at Rock Town on Pigeon Mountain in Georgia. It was Courtney and my first time in Rock Town. We had a blast. Headed back to our house for some wicked awesome steaks Shawn cooked on the coals of our grill. The next day we went to LRC for some more bouldering. 2 days in a row of climbing for me = raw red fingertips. ouch. But we LOVED every minute of grimacing about our bloody tips. :) After climbing we grabbed some awesome Mexican food in Soddy and had a HUGE bonfire at our house. The last day we hiked off our back yard onto Flat Top Mountain. It was a first for me. Andy has drug his Dad and Wes on this hike before. Very cool to see what our back yard really looks like. We got back to the house and said our good-byes. We were really sad to see Shawn and Courtney go. They are our closest friends and miss hanging out with them so much.
Our next big adventure is Thanksgiving dinner. We invited Jacqueline and our neighbors for dinner. Guest list: Me, Andy, Jacqueline, Deni, Lloyd, Brent, Marissa, Brittany, Brent, Kelsey, Jodie, Lois, Jerry, and 4 other friends. Whew 17 people! We are going to do the turkey and a couple apple pies. Everyone else is bringing a dish to pass. I think Andy is going to do his famous Guinness basted turkey. I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving. :) I am sure we are going to go climbing/biking that weekend too.
Much love and thanks for all the thoughts and prayers over the last couple weeks. It really has meant a lot to us. Heather and Andy
PS-I almost forgot! Jacqueline and I had an awesome hiking/camping trip 2 weekends ago. We hiked in the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. My pack was 30 lbs! We hike about 6.5 miles the first day, camped over night, and hiked out about 5.75 miles the second day...although my GPS watch said we hiked over 9 miles that first day, hmmmm. We saw some awesome fauna and had a really enlightening weekend. Check out my pictures on Facebook. (hope the link comes through...)
Weather -- 2:16 pm (EST)
Chattanooga, TN -- Mostly sunny 71* - wind: calm - humidity 47%
Bloomington, IL -- Sunny 65* - wind: SW 10 mph - humidity 60%
Aurora, IL -- Partly cloudy 62* - wind SSW 10 mph - humidity 60%