Sunday, January 18, 2009

Here we go Steelers...

Got my Terrible Towel ready! I am SO glad I finally feel better and will be able to enjoy the game. I want to watch the Philly/AZ game too so I have a lot to do in the next hour. I just finished a great trainer ride, which was a surprise. For as horrible as I felt yesterday and the Nyquil hangover I had this morning, I'm amazed I felt as good as I did. And to think I considered taking the day off to rest?

I don't have much time to blog now, but here's what's new. Or should I call this my "top 10 brag list".
1. My sister and BIL are coming to visit in February for President's Day weekend.
2. We booked flights for San Francisco for spring break to visit my cousins.
3. LOST starts Wednesday!!!
4. Milan and I ran a 5K race yesterday and we both did pretty well.
5. I've signed up for the Little Rock 1/2 marathon.
6. I'm seriously considering signing up for this other big race, but am keeping it a secret.
7. I have lost almost 5 pounds since December 22.
8. I am still drinking wine, but cut down. Not sure if that is good since we WILL be going to Napa Valley while in San Fran.
9. I have the day off tomorrow!
10. I have a killer training schedule this week and am looking forward to it!

Gotta go feed the kids, shower, and get ready for some football. Here's to a Pennsylvania Super Bowl!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Merry (Serbian) Christmas!

Tomorrow we celebrate Christmas on the old Julian calendar. Our church never adopted the Gregorian calendar, which means that Christmas, as well as all the other religious holidays, fall 13 days later. So, January 7th was the only Christmas I ever observed until a year or two ago when my kids became old enough to know about Christmas, gifts, and Santa Claus.

I decided it wasn't fair to the kids to make them wait out Christmas like me, my sister, and all my cousins had to do. It really stunk going back to school after winter break and all your friends were talking about what they got for Christmas and you still had to wait at least a couple more days. I decided to distinguish the holiday into two parts, gifts and religion. The kids got all of their gifts, except from their grandparents and great aunts/uncles in PA, on December 25, and tomorrow will be primarily church and celebrating the birth of Jesus (Milan and I took the day off and the kids won't go to school). We didn't go to church on December 24 or 25. I took Nada last year to the Greek church here in Little Rock, and although it was a very beautiful candlelit service, and it was just weird and awkward for me. Not what I am accustomed to, and not what I want them to become accustomed to if possible. I'd like for them to know something about their heritage, after all, they are full blooded Serbian from a native born dad and first generation mom. Fortunately, tomorrow there will a church service at the Serbian church in Hot Springs and we'll go.

If we lived in an area with a higher population of old calendar Orthodox churches, like we had in Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and in the small PA town I grew up in, we'd be in church right now. Christmas eve is one of the best memories I have of Christmas as a child. We'd go to church at 6pm for the vigil service and afterwards there would be a huge bon fire outside where the priest would bless the yule log (not really, it's an oak tree). We'd be freezing our butts off hoping he would just hurry it up. There is an old Serbian custom about going out and finding the oak tree that fell, or something like that. Our church would just get a huge branch of one and then everyone breaks off a small branch of the tree and takes it home. But before going home we'd partake in the "fellowship hour" in the social center which consisted of hot tea spiked with plum brandy. Let me tell you, this stuff warms you up instantly, from the inside out! Normally after church my family would go to my aunt's house and get together with cousins and friends, eat dinner, open gifts, and just enjoy ourselves. The only limitation with Christmas eve is that it is technically still part of the advent fast so no dairy or meat products are allowed until after church on Christmas (lunch). Seafood was always served for dinner, which is great (you know it was fried), but my aunt was adamant about not breaking out the Christmas cookies. We softened her up a bit over the years and I think last year she let us have some of the peanut butter kisses at 11pm.

Needless to say, I'm a bit sad tonight. I wish I could click my heels 3 times and appear (with my family) in little Farrell, Pennsylvania where it is 33 degrees with a wintry mix (which means snow, not ice!). It was virtually impossible this year with January 7th falling on a Wednesday, my lack of vacation time, and the kids being back in school. Maybe next year we'll make it home for 'a' holiday. In the meantime, I'm trying my best to have the best Christmas possible here in Arkansas with the four of us. I have to say that in the past I was always disappointed that by the time our Christmas came around all of the Christmas spirit had ceased. This year I'm finding more of an appreciation that it has ended, that we're not distracted with the marketing of the holiday, and that we can now focus on the true meaning of the holiday.

By the way, the new year on the Julian calendar starts January 14th. That means a) another New Year's eve celebration on January 13th, and b) another chance at New Year resolutions in case you've blown yours before then. Pretty cool, huh?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Day 3

He caved. Hubby had a cup of coffee about an hour ago. He told me a few days ago the reason he gave it up was because since he was home all week on vacation there was really no need to be alert and focused. It was a trial thing just to see what would happen.

Day 3 into the new year, and so far so good. It was about 65 degrees here this morning. Had the roads not been wet, and I got out of bed a little earlier, I might have rode outside with the group at 7:30. Key word is "might". I know what a Sufferfest I'm in for once I join them again and I don't look forward to it. I'm also not at the point where I need to be riding for a couple of hours so why rush things? I got my trainer and did the scheduled workout instead, even added 5 extra minutes. What an overachiever I am! I finished with the P90X shoulders/arms workout and most of the AbRipperX workout. I say most because I finally got to the point where I just had enough exercise for one day. Plus my abs were screaming, so were my arms, and so were my hip flexors and quads. Oh, and I cooled down by vacuuming the downstairs. I finally had to do something productive and I couldn't help but notice all the crumbs on the carpet while I was down there crunching my guts out.

Don't know what we're going to do the rest of the day. Since I had Thursday off I got all the laundry done. Milan is leaving at 3pm for a short overnight trip to DeQueen, Arkansas. Don't ask. I'm thinking the kids and I will go out and something, maybe a movie or something, or maybe a Mario Kart marathon. As long as we're done by 7pm when the Indy game comes on. Naturally I'm cheering against them because it might be to the Steelers favor, even though Payton Manning is so darn cute.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!