Standing Tall

The musings of a twenty something girl from the Midwest.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

House Hunters

About a year after Steve and I started dating we came up with a plan to move to Chicago. We would be married in this plan and we would both be moving back to the midwest to start a family. Chicago being the ideal place as it is half way between where his family lives and where mine is. Last August Steve and I made good on that plan and uprooted ourselves (and one unhappy cat) half way across the country to Chicago to start a new life, one based on family.

Part of this plan was to buy a house and start a family of our own. Around January we started on that plan. The buying a house part of the plan. We contacted a few realtors and started to look at some neighborhoods in Chicago and a few suburbs. We started to ask ourselves "what do I want from a house" and looked at what felt like a thousand houses. Some houses were foreclosed on (which was really depressing to look at), some were serious fixer-uppers, and some were ok. We found one we liked, that we would be ok with and we put an offer in some time mid-march.

Yes, the house we wanted to buy needed some work, but of what we looked at, we liked it the most. We put a closing date a bit far out so we wouldn't have to find a sub-leaser for our apartment in Chicago and we waited. Yesterday we heard from the bank that we got the "ok" on our loan and we are a go to close on the new house come June 1st. We are nervous and giddy at the same time. I will post pictures once we are moved in and start some changes to the new house.

One small leap for the real estate industry , one giant leap for Maria-and Steve kind.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

On Running

Ok, I haven't blogged in a very long time. Winter always seems to get me down and with down come a feeling of un-inspirtion which leads to no blog posts. But now spring is here and with it the feeling of productivity so I shall try to post a bit more frequently.

To start off the spring season I ran the Shamrock Shuffle last month. Running and I have quiet a history. When I was in high school and on the swim team I hated "dry land" days because that would require us to run. I'm not sure how far we would run, maybe a mile or so, but I would always be the one in the back. Trotting along at a pace that was just barley faster then a walk. Running was something I had to get through to get back into the pool.

When I went to college I quit all forms of organized sports and spent most of my freshmen year reading, drinking, and eating carbs. Occasionally I would swim in the pool in the basement of my dorm but I never pushed myself. I came home the summer after that year over 20 lbs. heavier. It sounds very vain, but the extra weight bothered me (keep in mind I was a lifeguard at this time so I was wearing a swimsuit everyday). On top of being a little more on the heavy side I also felt like I had lost a lot of strength. So one day I woke up and decided to run.

My first self directed run was about a total of 6 blocks with a break in the middle. Every day I would try to run, and every day I would run a bit further. I went back to school and kept up with the running. I would run in the morning before class, outside if it was nice, or on the treadmill if it wasn't. It became away for me to escape.

I would run away from the bio final that I had been worrying about all week, or the boy problems that were causing me anxiety. I would run away from worrying about not getting into the nursing school, or about where I should go to nursing school. I would just run.

The summer before my junior year of college was one of the most stressful times in my life. I started to run two times a day and would slip out around midnight without telling my family and just run. It made me feel good (even though I know it was not a very good idea to do this). I would feel like I was more alive durning these runs then any other part of my day. I kept running through the rest of my college career and would occasionally run once I moved to Boston.

There was a short time while I lived in Boston that I stopped running. I worked what felt like all the time and I was also trying to spend any spare time I had with my boyfriend, Steve. After a few years of dating Steve and I moved in together and all my time wasn't splint between work and spending time with my boyfriend so I started to run again. Running became less of a way for me to escape what was going on but just a way for me to enjoy my life. I also started to run some races. 5K's only, the idea of more then a 5K seem daunting.

A few months ago my friend, B, suggested I run the Shamrock Shuffle 8K with her, The run works out to be about 5 mile, which is more then I have ever run but seemed like a do-able distance. I wouldn't say i "trained" for this race but I did try to extend my runs a few blocks on occasion. I did have a goal of trying to run the race in less than 1 hour.

So on the day of the race, the warmest day we have had in Chicago yet, I ran. I ran through the streets of downtown Chicago with an amazing friend and it was one of the most enjoyable things I have done since I moved here. What makes me feel even better is I pulled in a great time of 54:00.

I'm not going to say this has inspired me to run anything longer then an 8K. I will say however, that I realize how important it is for me to stay active and have goals for myself. I will definitely be lacing up my running shoes again for a race soon.