Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Change of Heart

Let me start by saying, I really DO like my job.  But, the past several weeks, things a have been extra stressful.  My company is making some pretty MAJOR changes with the therapy (and nursing) department due to changes with Medicare reimbursment rates and guidelines.  Changes that are making our jobs much harder than necessary.  Everyone is on edge.  And, I'm sure the tension will continue until we figure out how to make things run smoothly in the new healthcare system.

But, needless to say, the stress is wearing on me.  I am a realitively laid back person, but lately have been feeling less than inspired.  And TIRED.  I really need an outlet for all of my new-found stress. 

I haven't swam since college.  I LOVED swimming for the longest time.  But, after a really rough Senior season, I was burnt out and ready for retirement.  I couldn't even STAND the thought of getting in a pool (for exercise, NOT relaxation...).  But, over the past several weeks, I have really had a change of heart. 

I miss exercising with people.  I miss being part of a team.  I miss the smelling like chlorine.  I miss racing.  I miss SWIMMING. 

I have even thought about joining a master's team.  I know enough about myself to know that I NEED structure (i.e. scheduled practice times, a coach, teammates, etc.) to keep me motivated. Phil and I have talked about it in the past (although I wasn't mentally ready to commit), but I think it might be time to pull the Speedos out of the closet and dust of my cap and goggles.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Country Music Capital

Traveling has been the theme of my life lately (not that I'm complaining).  I've been all across the country in the past several weeks spending some much need QT with friends and family.  One of my first stops (following my brief visit to KY) was in Nashville, TN!!  

One of my best friends, Shelby, is getting hitched over Labor Day weekend.  So, we all packed up for a night and headed down south!  I haven't been to Nashville since my high school swimming days, when of course, I was too young to actually go out and enjoy the city.  But it really is such a fun place! 

Out to Dinner with the girls
Caitlin, Shelby, and Stacy

Me and the Bride-to-Be!

Leigh Ann & Shelbs

The Group: Bekah, Cait, Stacy, Shelb, Eileen, Me, Meg and Leigh Ann

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Viva Las Vegas

Phil's friend, Dianna, is getting married in September.  She had a great idea to have her bachelorette party in Las Vegas and invited Phil along (which meant I got to tag along, too)!  Honestly, someone had to be there to keep Phil from gambling away our life savings...

There were a total of 12 girls, plus Phil, plus a 4 month old baby, and Mama Sue (Grandmother/baby sitter).   I won't go into too much detail of the weekend's happenings, because everyone knows: what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!  But rest assure, we all had a good time!

Vegas Photos

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cali Trip: Day 3

On our third and final day in LA, my cousin arranged something very special for us. She has this friend, Oscar Nunez, who you MIGHT recognize from NBC's hit show The Office or the 2009 blockbuster The Proposal, who offered to have us come on set during filming of an episode of The Office (our favorite show).

Karen jumped on his offer, which, of course, made us very, very happy! We arrived on set in the morning and got to go around meeting the directors, writers, and most importantly, the ACTORS! We toured the outside of the building/parking lot, the warehouse, the office/break room. We even got to sit in the green room and watch a scene or two being filmed.

Although the whole day was awesome, I have to admit that both of our favorite part was meeting the talent! Shaking hands with Steve Carrell, taking bathroom breaks with John Krasinkski (obviously that was a Phil experience), hanging out with Oscar in the green room, etc.

I have to admit, that after meeting the actors, Phil and I both completely fell in LOVE with Ed Helms! Phil has a huge man crush on him and I completely understand why. He is SO nice and friendly and FUNNY (imagine that, a comedian is funny....). During a break from filming, he came right up to us and started talking to us about our trip, etc. Our only regret of the day was not getting a picture with him!

Although we were not allowed to take pictures during filming, of the actors (without permission), or of the "office" set, we did mangaget to snap a few pics during break.

Preparing the Set

Posing with Michael Scott's Seabring

And again, with Meredith's van...

The warehouse
Welcome to Scranton

Meredith, Phil, me and Oscar

Ed Helms, The One that Got Away...

Cali Trip: Day 2

BEVERLY HILLS!  That's where I want to be!  Livin' in Beverly Hills...

We spent the next morning being typical tourists and visiting all of the LA hotspots:  Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Malibu, Hollywood, Manhattan Beach, etc.  

Although we were slightly disappointed with no celeb sitings, we did see a scene of cops and tons of people outside a popular Hollywood nightclub...

This is us driving by the cliffs in Manhattan Beach.  One second, we were walking around town and the weather was sunny and clear.  A few minutes later, as we headed down to the rocky cliffs overlooking the beach, it suddenly dropped 20 degrees and got very foggy....  It almost felt like winter in Tampa.  Crazy! 

We eventually made it down to my cousin's office, to meet her for some lunch.  She works for Disney/ABC and gets some pretty cool perks with her job.  We walked around and got to see a few of the ABC sets.  We even saw a blue screen and stunt machines being set up for filming some action scenes. 

That evening, we headed down to Disneyland.  We got there pretty late, so we only squeezed in about 5 rides before the park closed.  Thankfully those tickets were also free (we got a little spoiled while we were there...). 

Overall, another great day in LA! 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cali Trip: Day 1

Phil and I started our marathon trip out west by driving to LA to visit my cousin, Karen, her husband, Chris, and their three kids: Ben, Katie and Charlotte.  We flew into Vegas Sunday night, rented a car and drove 4 hours through the desert to LA, where we arrived at 2 AM (around 5 AM our time).  The next day, after some much needed zzz's, the kids gave us a tour of some of the local beaches.
And, per Phil's request, we hit up IN and OUT burger pretty hard on the way home.  Thank goodness we were there with pros... for those of you who don't know, there is a "hidden menu."  A double-double animal style is the way to go!  YUMMM!  Phil liked it so much, he even bought a shirt to remember his first In & Out experience!

In the late afternoon we went to watch Charlotte's swim lesson at a family friend's pool (I must say, swimming runs in the family, because I do believe Charlotte is a butterfly pro at age 6!).   We followed pool time with REALLY yummy pulled pork prepared by Chris.   And, somehow, we landed some free dodgers tickets.  An impromptu decision was made and we spent the rest of the night at Dodger stadium... When in Rome!  I was pretty stuffed, but Phil even managed to fit in a dodger dog and beer or two...

Pretty good day in LA!