Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stage Fright

Last night I had my first tournament tennis match.  I got the courts early and watched a couple other matches and then met up with my doubles partner and started practicing.  Practicing went well.  I felt like my partner was hitting the ball relatively hard and I was having no problem returning the ball hard and fast back to him.  I also got a decent amount of good serves in.  I was smiling and having fun on the court.  I was ready to go.  Come match time, we get out on the court to start and I am like a deer in head lights.  I was so nervous half the time I was barely moving and just watching the ball zoom by me.  Sort like an out of body experience.  This has been the case almost every match I've played in, with the exception of the time we played against one of the worst teams in the league (I guess I didn't feel that threatened that day).  I felt kind of petrified and rather than do the wrong thing, I didn't really do much at all.  I was a terrible doubles partner.  We lost 1 to 9.  It was pretty awful. 
On the way home I replayed things in my head.  I really feel like I have a performance anxiety problem when it comes to situations like last night.  About 10 people were watching our match and then there was my partner and our opposing team as well.  I felt a lot of pressure in general from the match, but also because it was a tournament match and the team was counting on us (me).  I was terrified to screw up and hated everyone watching me.  It was kind of debilitating.
I also have a fear of public speaking.  I never liked giving presentations in school or college.  They make me very nervous- like sweaty nervous.  Last year I had to give a presentation for work at our all employee's conference to about 150 people and I HATED it.  The only thing that saved me was that I was up on the stage with a co-worker who did most of the talking.  Finally after 10 minutes or so I started to get a tiny bit more comfortable and jumped in with some information, but mainly I just stood there, again like a deer in head lights.
I'm part of a special team at work.  It's not part of my regular job, but I choose to be on the team because it's a good opportunity to get out of the office and work in a much different capacity for our organization than what I do for my primary job.  The team I'm on is huge on training.  We get to attend different kinds of training ourselves and we also often provide training and presentations on what our team does.  Last week I was out with the team to give a presentation to middle school and high school students and when our team leader asked if I wanted to speak/present, I opted out, not wanting to have to speak by myself in front of a large group.  We have international travel opportunities that I could go on, but the prerequisite is going through an instructor course that involves instruction exercises, which terrifies me.  I am dying to travel internationally, but I would also be afraid to be an instructor and have to speak to large groups, so I have avoided getting certified as an instructor and miss out on all these potentially cool international trips because of it. 
I'm really need to try and get over this anxiety.  Maybe do toastmasters or just make myself go to the instructor course and face my fear.  I'm not sure how to get over the tennis anxiety.  At this point the season may be over (depending on whether my team wins or loses the next match), so it may be a non-issue.  I just see a pattern of myself getting really nervous in situations where I'm center of attention.  It's weird, because I'm not even a really shy person.  I'm usually pretty friendly and outgoing and in many situations it's tough to shut me up.  But put me on display or in front of a large group and it gets me worked up! 
Do you have problems with stage fright/anxiety in these kinds of situations?  How do you/did you deal with it?  Help!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

If you can't take the heat...

This was basically Jen and I trying to run last night at 6pm in 98 degree heat.  It did NOT go well.  We probably made it close to 2 miles before we agreed it was just TOO HOT out there to really effectively run.  She was getting kinda dizzy and my pace was beyond slow.  It just wasn't working out.  :(  We walked the rest of the way rounding out 3.4 miles.  At least we did something, but it was by no means a good run.  Jen has more flexibility than I do in when she can run.  I think she's going to stick to mainly running in the morning.  If I were going to run in the morning, I'd have to get up at like 4am or so, and I don't see that happening.  I'm thinking I'm going to try and stick to running later at night, like after 7:30pm.  I can do early morning runs on weekends too.  That's going to be my strategy from now on.  The heat is really really frustrating though.  It used to be so nice to just be able to come home from work and head out the door.  I hate planning around this heat.  I still can't believe it's this hot out already in JUNE!  This summer is looking like it's going to be miserable!  I'm also itching to decide which half marathon I want to do in the fall but I feel like I need to wait til I can commit to training, which in this heat, I can't.  Oh well.  I'm just going to run whenever I can.  I'll try and cease every opportunity of cooler weather I can and do my late evening and weekend running. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Blueberries and Tennis

Sunday morning I asked Greg what he felt like for breakfast and he said, "something with blueberries".  I was kinda feeling like oatmeal so I brainstormed for a minute and came up with an idea. 

Blueberry Pie Oatmeal (seriously, it tastes like blueberry pie!)
-1/2 cup blueberries
-1/3 cup oats
-1/3 cup plus splash milk (I used vanilla soy)
-splash of water
-about a teaspoon (heaping) of Naturally Nutty Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter or almond butter
-a hit of Agave syrup or maple syrup.
You can also add a pinch of cinnamon.

Cook til blueberries break open and oatmeal is purple!


So I have a tournament tennis match on Tuesday night.  And I really haven't practiced.  I begged Greg to hit the courts with me, and he agreed to!  He might be up for husband of the year after letting me drag him to a baby shower, fancy dinner, and tennis in 95 degree heat all in one weekend... 
Off we went to the courts!

We lasted about an hour out in the HEAT!  Greg was great.  At the end when I said we could stop he told me to take my ball bin and practice serving for a while.  Thanks coach Greg! 
I feel like I got some good practice in.
We went home and had a well deserved lazy afternoon.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Belated Anniversary Celebration.

Last month was our fourth wedding anniversary, but celebrating didn't really happen.  I get emails from Living Social and Groupon, two sites where you pay half the price for a gift certificate to a restaurant (or spa, etc...).  One day a restaurant called Custom Shop popped up as the daily deal so I purchased a gift certificate at $25 for $50.  Pretty cool!  Since we know Greg has no weekends off in July, I suggested we use the gift certificate and celebrate our anniversary last night.  Greg and I don't do fancy dinners out very often, so I was REALLY looking forward to it. 
I wore one of my favorite dresses:

(Clyde was into it)

Greg got dressed up too :)

We got to the restaurant and were served fresh bread made in house drizzled with olive oil and cracked pepper.
Our waiter was great.  He explained that most of Custom Shop's food is local and/or organic. 
We decided to order a Spanish wine to share.  They have Quartinos, which are little carafe's of wine that are about a 1/3 of a bottle.  We chose the Pruno Ribera Del Duero 2008, Spain.  Mmmm, really really good.

We then ordered a meat and cheese board consisting of:
Aged Cheddar Wisconsin (Cow)
Drunken Goat Spain (Goat)
Genoa Salami (Italy)

For dinner we both wanted the same thing, Ricotta Gnocchi, Arugula, Fresh Mozzarella & Eggplant
Soooooo yummy!!  The Gnocci was like light pillows filled with ricotta.  Heavenly.
And I wanted some Skillet Brussels Sprouts to round out the meal, which was obvioulsy heavy on carbs and cheese.
(I haven't really mastered taking pictures in restaurants with many many people around!)
I was really fun and needed a doggie bag for about half the brussel sprouts and some of my Gnocci.

At the end of the meal our server brought us two glasses of champange on the house since we were celebrating our anniversary!  I loved that!
Custom Shop gets two thumbs up from us.  It was a great dining experience and all the food was delicious.
Leaving the restaurant we were treated to this view of downtown Charlotte...

Glad we finally celebrated!  It was a great night out!

Hello Baby!

Saturday started with a run in the morning.  I did a double loop around the neighborhood and it wasn't too terribly hot out.  Felt good actually:) 
Greg and I each had a Green Monster (spinach, ice, vanilla soy milk, vanilla whey protein, banana, a smear of almond butter, and a handful of frozen rasperries). 
Then we got ready to go to the baby shower.  It was a co-ed shower held at a restaurant in South Park called Village Tavern at lunchtime.

The parents-to-be!

Daddy-to-be (notice his medal!)


Michelle and Gibson sat next to us.

Greg and I.

We played a couple of the obligatory shower games.  Michelle correctly guessed the number of Snickers (42) in the baby bottle and won it! Nom nom nom...

I had a Thai chicken salad that was never ending, but pretty yummy!  We also had delicious cake that was as dense as poundcake.  Pretty heavenly.
The presents were opened...
The favors were litle tins of M&Ms and tiny little Chinese take-out boxes with mints in them. 

Greg and I with Becky and Brent.

Good times!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday Night In

Lately Greg has been finishing his trips at random times in random places on his last day and usually tries to find the first flight home from wherever he is and sometimes doesn't have time to call me and let me know he's on his way back.  I think the last three weeks in a row that's happened and then I've gotten a call from him saying he's at the Charlotte airport ready to be picked up.  Which is kind of a fun surprise, because it's usually earlier than I've been expecting him.  So around 5ish last night Greg was at the airport here after hopping a last minute flight in from DC and Clyde and I loaded in to the car to go get him.  Clyde gets so excited when we pull up and Greg gets into the car.  He loves him!!
We headed home for a quiet night in.  I asked Greg what he wanted for dinner and I kind of already knew he was going to say black bean burgers.  I think the man could live off those (and pizza)!  But it worked out good because earlier in the week I had gotten some parsnips to try making parsnip fries with so I had a chance to try those out.  I also had an avocado, so more guacamole was in order.  Dinner in pictures:
For the fries, I did half with a mix of just EVOO, a teaspoon of garlic, and salt.  The other half were nut butter crusted ala GraduateMeghann

Black bean burgers with some cheddar on top.

My plate with some of each kind of parsnip fry, black bean burger on sandwich thin with tomato, salsa, guac (and I added lettuce before eating).

My beverage of choice.
For me, the verdict on the parsnip fries (both kinds) was that they were decent, but kind of sharp tasting.  Definitely different from a potato.  They are shaped like carrots (and taste a little like carrots), and because of this, it's hard to cut them into even shapes for even cooking.  I had many that were burned on one end and kind of less than done on another end.  Greg actually liked them a lot, and I think he'd like to have them again, so I'll give them another shot.
We took the monkey for a walk around the hood and then spent the remainder of the evening doing this:

Thursday night happenings

Ok, it's officially hotter than Hades in Charlotte.  I got to get out of the office for a while during the day Thursday for a presentation to some middle and high school students (it was cute!) and I looked at the temp on my dash on the way back to the office and it read 103 DEGREES!  Later on I had my camera with me and took this picture around 6:15pm, still HOT!

It was brutal.  Jen and I had talked about going for a walk last night now that she's on the way to recovery from surgery, but we checked in with each other and decided it wasn't gonna happen with the temps that high.  Instead we opted to meet for dinner.  Eating is always ok with me!
We went to Red Bowl Bistro.  I had a veggie spring roll, the Philadelphia roll, and the Red Bowl roll (which consisted of shrimp, crab, and either cucs or avocado- can't remember). 

I haven't had sushi in a while though, and it really hit the spot!
After dinner we randomly decided to cruise through a nearby Dollar Tree just for kicks.  Lots o' junk in there, but I did walk out with a cute butterfly gift bag for this weekend's baby shower. $1 = ka-ching!
We also grabbed a couple groceries at the grocery store.  My main mission was more BANANAS for banana soft serve, which will likely be making an appearance oh on a daily basis!
Back at la casa it was finally cooling down and I decided to take Clyde on a long walk around the neighborhood in hopes of wearing him out.  He's not really showing any signs of slowing down since his neutering and every night I battle to get him to calm down.  We ran into my neighbor from across the street, who's a really nice lady and has a dog and she and I walked the dogs and chatted.  Clyde got along well with her dog Dolly.  It was cute.
Did some dishes, and called it a night.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Today I came home and crashed on the couch for about an hour.  This heat is getting to me and I think I've been going to bed a little too late and getting up a little too early.  The puppy is hyper every night and it takes a good half hour to settle him down from the time I get in bed til he actually goes to sleep.  I might have to get to bed early tonight.  Must get sleep! 
One thing I needed to try and get done tonight was to shop for baby presents for a baby shower I'm going to on Saturday.  I was not feeling all that motivated to leave the house though.  I was contemplating doing more of this:

I decided a snack might perk me up.  I brain stormed for a minute and then remembered that I had frozen bananas piling up in the freezer.  I've been meaning to try this banana soft serve recipe I've heard about.  Basically all you have to do is throw some frozen banana in a food processor and you have banana soft serve.  Sounds good to me.  I added about a tablespoon of peanut butter and a splash of milk to mine.  Oh. My. God.  How have I not done this sooner???  I could live on this stuff.  Seriously. 
Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!!!
It was just the thing I needed to get my butt in gear and head to Target.  I opted to get an assortment of things off the registry for my gifts.

The yellow feet pajamas were not on their registry, but I couldn't resist.  Look at the FEET!!
Too cute!
I got a bunch of other randoms at Target.  Baked Beans, make-up sponges, dish washing tablets, sandwich thins... 
I came home and decided I'd use up the rest of my now-famous-because-of-Kath hummus.  I made a veggie wrap with hummus, cucumber, carrot, tomato, and spinach.  Plus the last of the cuc that wouldn't fit in the wrap and two slices of provolone. 

Ok, off to try and get to bed early tonight!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I have to confess.  I had a lazy evening.  I took Clyde for a walk as my exercise this evening, but otherwise it was all about catching up on TIVO.  I did get in some laundry, bunny cage cleaning, and lots and lots of playing with Clyde.  Sometimes it's good to have a night to chill. 
Then it was time to think about dinner.  I love me some Greek salad.  I couldn't think of anything more perfect to do with everything I had in my fridge: cucumber, tomato, Feta, olives, artichoke hearts, lettuce, chick peas, spinach....dressed with lemon, balsamic, olive oil and a little dried oregano and pepper.  OMG!!!  SO Delicious!!! 

Can't talk...too busy snarfing it down!! 

My Favorite Snack

After heated hashing of policy at work today I got home today and needed a snack.  Not just any snack.  My favorite snack.  Homemade microwave popcorn.  My mom taught me this trick.  If you are sick of the artificial taste of microwave popcorn, try this sometime.  It pretty much rocks.

You will need:
-one old fashioned brown paper sandwich bag
-1/3 cup popcorn kernals
-about a teaspoon of oil (I like olive oil or peanut oil best)

Ok, all you have to do is dump the popcorn and the oil in the bag and shake it up.  Then fold the top over twice.  Like so...

Now put the bag in the microwave laying down, like you would a regular microwave popcorn bag. 

I usually use the "POPCORN" Setting on the microwave and then add 30 seconds when it's close to being done, but another good way to do it is to set it for like 3-4 minutes and WATCH and LISTEN and just stop it as soon as the kernals slow and seem pretty much popped.  You don't want to burn it, so make sure to stop it when it sounds done.

This is how it looks when you take it out.  Most of the oil soaks into the bag.  Dump it in a nice bowl (or metal mixing bowl in my case!)

                                                                             That's it. 
I like a little melted butter and salt on mine.

                                           I'm a purist.  No garlic or cheese powder for me.

Try it.  It's good stuff.  And you can share it with your dog.

While watching The Next Foodnetwork Star on TIVO.

Eat and Run

Last night I got home and decided it was in my best interest to have kind of an early dinner, as I had a run planned for 7pm. It was between eating early and having food in me to fuel my run or having a snack and a late dinner after the run and I figured I was hungry enough to just go ahead and make an early dinner. I decided on nachos since I had some black beans to use up. I again used a base of Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips, topped with black beans, roasted red peppers (I kind of can't get enough of them lately), cheddar, salsa, and then lettuce, spinach, and plain non-fat yogurt after the rest was heated. Eaten while checking email and blogs...
I ran with a new friend last night.  We met online on through a running group and discovered we both live in the same area and arranged to meet up and run.  The location we picked is actually pretty close to my house (like a mile maybe?) so I decided I would just run over there and therefore add an additional mile or two to our planned 3 mile run.  It was HOT!!  What else is new, right?  
I rarely carry water when I run on shorter runs.  I don't like the idea of the belts with water bottles on them because I sometimes have chafe issues where my sports bra and shorts hit my skin- even with Body Glide, so I can't wrap my head around how I'd handle the belt without getting a giant chafe mark from it.  I decided to use one of my small Gatorade bottles but took out most of the Gatorade and filled it with ice and then the rest with water and ran with that.  It worked out good.  I had hydration there when I wanted it and for the first mile or two it was nice and cold so I could touch my  head or neck with the hand that was holding the bottle and get a nice cool sensation.  My new running friend was nice.  She's a teacher and is off for the summer.  We chatted and did between a 10-11 minute mile pace, which was fine with me with the heat.  She ran the Thunder Road half-marathon last year, but has kind of been on a running hiatus for a little while, and is trying to get back into it.  After our run we parted ways and I alternated between walking and running back to my house.  It was probably about 5 miles all together with 4 of them run and 1 walked.  I also took Clyde for a walk once I got back to house.  He had puppy energy to get out as usual!
After the run/walk I chatted on the phone with Kelly.  I also talked to Greg, who was sitting at the airport in DC in between flights and wondered how "our monkey" (that would be one of his nicknames for Clyde) was doing.  I then showered and settled in to watch trashy TV- aka The Bacherlorette.  I was so glad to see that she got rid of nutcase tattoo dude and the guy that never speaks.  Nice work Ali.
This morning I awoke and knew I needed to incorporate some Naturally Nutty Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter into my breakfast somehow.  I'd arrived home to my package from Open Sky sitting on my porch with two jars of the stuff inside yesterday.  I did a smear of that and a smear of peanut butter with an apple for dipping.  I see what all the hype is about.  YUM!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

My very lucky dad is currently on his way to Ireland with my mom right now!  SO JEALOUS!!  In honor of Father's Day, here's some pics of me and my dad :)

Ohio State Graduation

Friend's wedding in NH

The fam at my old house in Virginia

Related Posts with Thumbnails