What I’ve Been Up To Lately

In cased you missed my last post, here is a rambling explanation and lame apology about my recent 5-month absence from the blog.

Enough of that, though. Let me catch you up on to what’s new/exciting in my life these days:

I got a new job!

I recently switched teaching jobs, and will officially start my new position in August. This is a huge change, and has come with a lot of mixed feelings on my part. My previous job was extremely fulfilling and I loved it, but it was taking over my entire life. This change will afford me the time and space I need to focus on more of my personal goals.

It’s summer!

And I’m a teacher! (One that doesn’t have to work all summer due to the aforementioned job change!) I’m excited to have a lot of time over the next several weeks to focus on whatever the heck I want. Namely: family, reading, writing, learning, running, traveling, dreaming, and expanding my wine palate.

[Side note: a lot of teachers work really hard in the summer to develop themselves professionally and work on projects there is no time for during the school year. Oftentimes, this is volunteer work that they take on for the good of their students. (Just had to throw in this little PSA.)]

I just came back from an amazing vacation.

My family and I recently traveled to North and South Carolina for several days. We spent a lot of quality time relaxing, eating, and frolicking on the beach. I’m now convinced that Kiawah Island, SC is one of the greatest places on the East Coast, and that I need to retire there.

This picture doesn't do it justice.

This picture doesn’t do it justice.


My husband and I seriously considered expanding our family.

For the better part of a year, my husband and I wanted to have another child. In fact, this was the primary reason I switched jobs. But recently – for some reason I can’t pinpoint – we’ve both fallen out of love with the idea. Don’t get me wrong – another child would be an incredible blessing to our family. But there’s also the fact that life is really freakin’ amazing right now! While this has caused a roller coaster of emotions in the past year, I feel at peace knowing that my family is perfect and complete as is.

I improved my marathon time by 27 minutes.

It’s nothing to write home about – I went from 4:48 to 4:21 – but I’m happy with the improvement nonetheless. I’m still chasing a 4-hour marathon, and hope to find success with this goal in the fall.

I bought P90X3 a couple weeks ago, and am dabbling in it now.

I probably won’t commit to the entire program until October or November, but I’m currently using it for cross-training as I train for a half marathon in August. The workouts are 30 minutes long, and I really like them thus far! (Full disclosure: I’ve only tried Yoga and Pilates. I’m sure I’ll experience “push-up hell” soon enough.)

My philosophy on training for a race is evolving.

Long story short: more speed work, more hills, more cross training, fewer junk miles. I want to start getting more bang for my buck during workouts. For me, this means separating myself from the desire to run a ton of slow, easy miles that won’t necessarily improve my fitness level. (I, unfortunately, tend to gravitate to this type of workout.)

I started regularly eating seafood.

I guess this classifies me as a pescetarian rather than a vegetarian. Regardless of the label, my eating habits are constantly evolving as I try to find the diet that works best for my body. At this point, consuming less dairy and more fish seems to be working wonders. (I still eat too much sugar though.)

I’m experimenting with intermittent fasting.

In a nutshell, this means I don’t eat from 8:00 p.m. until lunch the next day (give or take an hour or two in either direction). I’m not really a breakfast eater to begin with, so the biggest adjustment I’ve made is eliminating all snacks after dinner. It’s not rocket science, but it’s amazing how much better I feel in the morning when I skip the late-night eating. (Please note: my 8:00 cut-off is for food only. I refuse to place such restrictions on wine consumption.)

I’m currently reading The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. (It’s awesome.)

Some of the claims in the book seem a little sensational, but I’m loving it anyway. Ferriss forces you to think outside the box and question whatever is conventional and/or popular. There are numerous experiments I’d like to try from this book – right now I’m incorporating cold therapy into my daily routines. (I’ll keep you updated on how it goes.)

I hate my student loans, and I want them gone NOW.

In this post, I wrote at length about why I’m not in a hurry to repay my student loan debt. In recent weeks, my philosophy has changed. A week ago, Uncle Sam raised my interest rate from 2.07% to 2.4%. I get that this is a still a very low rate, and I have nothing to complain about, but whatever. I despise the thought of throwing even more money away to interest payments.

I also stumbled upon the blog No More Harvard Debt, and am in the process of binge-reading it. This guy has an extreme approach to paying down his student loans, and it’s highly motivating.



What’s the best vacation you’ve taken?

Have you ever read The 4-Hour Body? (What did you think about it?)

What small step have you taken today to reach one of your goals?

I made a $685 payment on my student loans!


  1. Yes to everything…except the running/workout. I’m not with you on that.

    You haven’t seen the outer banks…just saying. NC and SC are fantastic.

    I’ve always stopped eating after 7pm. I’m starving by 9am but it works well for me.

    I would love a new baby to spoil but I love your little family so much. M is perfect and having a toddler ties you down. I miss having a baby around but last night LP actually stayed in his seat and fed himself while we ate out. So nice getting to eat before my food got cold or juggling feeding myself and the kid while holding the kid.

    • Charlene says:

      Ha! If you started running (and gave it a real chance), you would get hooked too! I would love to visit Outer Banks sometime…I researched that place too, but J really wanted to visit Charleston. Next time!

      I like to stay up late (especially in the summer), which is why I sometimes snack late at night. It used to not be a big deal, but the older I get, the more it wreaks havoc on my system. You’re lucky that’s never been an issue for you…it’s a hard habit to break!

      Babies are awesome, but so are older kids. : )

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