Today’s quote Friday quote is one I’ve been harboring for awhile, but it’s one that I want to throw out there, in part to the Universe as I feel it is absolutely one of the best and most real quotes there is about friendship and also in terms of how I view my friendships – exactly like this.

“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”

I think that friendships have their ebb and flow, and there is a time to embrace, and a time to step back and sometimes, a time to walk away (as I have had to do in the past, as I am sure many of you have too), as hard as that may be.

I value my friends. Very much so. As much as I value my family and my sisters, I value my friends. I treat them with respect, I encourage, I support, I love, my friends. And all I ask is for that in return. Sometimes it is easier said than done, and sometimes there’s a level of communication that needs to be part of that to make sure those levels don’t drift away for no good reason.

I also think everyone has a right to step back and find themselves. See what makes them tick. See what makes them happy, what makes them mad, what makes them sad and what makes them want to be the person they want to be. I’ve done this in the past, to a certain extent, probably as I was getting through the toughest parts of my divorce. I just wanted to be alone. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want a hug. I didn’t want my friends to say “you’ll get through this, you’ll be better off, it’s his loss.”

I just wanted to mourn.

It was what I needed and the friends that stuck by me regardless of my that are my closest friends today. Some of those friends have surfaced as the ones that really “get” me. They know what makes me happy, they share in it, and if they don’t, they can still embrace it (like working out. not everyone loves it, but if you can accept that it’s a big part of my life and I love it and stress out when I don’t work out, then that’s kosher by me!).  I’ve never ever felt more valued to my friends and I’ve never valued my friends more than I do right now and that is a part of my life I would never change. They give my life light, they make it sing, and I love them (you know who you are).

So, my friends, this is my art of timing. In silence, or support, or embracing your destiny.

~~

It’s been a crazy week, and I am really looking forward to the weekend. I had an in-and-out trip to Chicago yesterday (4 am wakeup was a blast – NOT – but at least I was able to sleep in my own – okay Doctor Boy’s – bed, right? He even dropped me off at the airport and picked me up. And not only did he pick me up, he came in and waited for me by the escalator in the terminal.

total.

utter.

swoonage.

~~

Life is good.

Embrace it, embrace your friends, and have a wonderful weekend all! I will be celebrating “Friendsgiving” with my girls tomorrow night, as our annual tradition, so this post feels particularly fitting (even though some of my favorites can’t make it, you’re there in spirit!), and an evening tonight with Doctor Boy.

Cheers!

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…as uttered by Doctor Boy last night on the long (and late) drive home from Rascal Flatts last night.

swoon.

And amazing and epic it was! I sit here, exhausted, running on five hours or so of sleep (which to some, may be plenty, but for me, I need a bare minimum of 7 to feel relatively human!) but happy, beaming, even. And not just because I spent much of the weekend with Doctor Boy, but I had so so so much fun with my friends as well.

Let’s recap, shall we?

Friday. Carb-load with the Wicked Half crew for Saturday’s longest run to date (12.4 miles). Delish lasagna, some wine, bread, and cheese. Heaven. And, on top of that, I got word that my sister was in labor, adding another layer of excitement to the weekend to come (and she was born around 2:40 on Saturday, so exciting…and I am absolutely, 100% head over heels in love with my niece, Isabel Ann).

Saturday. 7 am wake-up call. 12.4 mile run – our last before next Saturday’s race (eek!) and I won’t lie – it felt MUCH harder and MUCH longer than the 10 miles we’ve done to date. But we managed, Steph and I clocked in around 2.40, which is a tad slower than I wanted, but time isn’t my concern – finishing is! 1500 cals burned….which was perfect given the evening’s much-anticipated bar crawl! Doctor Boy came by around lunchtime, and when I limped to the door (early pain from the run), he gave me a foot massage like no other.

Swoon.

He came to the crawl with me, where he met almost all of my closest friends and my sister Jess and brother in law Scott. Talk about pressure, right? There were about 12 of us, and we had a blast!! He fit in really well with everyone, I thought, and everyone kept telling me how much they liked him, and it never ceased to amaze me whenever I’d be talking to someone else, he’d be engaged in conversation with someone else. Not awkward. Not forced. I didn’t worry that I had to stick right by him the entire night (though I was closeby, of course!) and it was just more natural than I ever thought.

Yea, I dig him. A lot.

When we left the others that night and I exchanged hugs with many, I got a lot of “he’s great” and “I’m happy for you” and that meant so much more than I ever thought. I really felt how strongly everyone is pulling for me on my quest for love. It was very touching. At one point, I just looked around at everyone…from different stages of my life, and how everyone was just having an absolute blast, and thought to myself, “yes, this is it. this is what is meant to be happening. at this very moment.”

Sunday was a lazy morning as Doctor Boy stayed over (relax…still PG-13 😉 ) and we reminisced over the night before, and pleasantly, no hangover, which is always a good thing in my book. I headed to the hospital around lunchtime to meet my niece and then from there, headed to see Rascal Flatts with Doctor Boy. It was a blur of a day, and of a weekend, but as we swayed to “God Bless the Broken Road” on a relatively mild early-fall night (concert was outdoors), it just felt right…amazingly so.

And though I was tired, sooo very tired, when Doctor Boy looked over, held my hand, and thanked me for one of the most amazing weekends he’d had in a long time, I realized that it just was exactly that – through and through.

I feel blessed for many, many reasons right now, and he is just one slice of sunshine right now in a rainbow of happiness.

As I draft this blog post in the Philly airport, my calves are on fire, my thighs are aching and if someone asks me to do one more jumping jack, plyo jump, mountain climber or tuck jump, I may cry or quite possibly slap you...however, I am happy – that workout high that just won’t quit!

So, rather than go through a play-by-play of the Cathe Road Trip weekend (much of which you can gather from the agenda I posted the other day, however, they DID add a spinning class in right after bootcamp once we got there, stepping up the intensity like whoa!), I thought I’d post some of the most memorable moments of the weekend:

  • Co-teaching a couple of kickboxing tracks with Cathe – yes, I’m serious! Within the first 5 minutes of our very first workout on Friday night, Cathe called us out by name to come up and teach a couple of moves! Jess and I about died and went to heaven in that moment – we were thrilled (and okay, a wee bit scared!) and we taught a simple hook/upper combo, but it was amazing!! So fun and I will never forget that moment!
  • Meeting Heather! That was awesome – we had a great time rooming together, laughing and sweating it out (and blogging across the room from each other! Surreal!). One random fact – she’s shorter than I thought she would be (not that I should talk, ms. 5’3′ me!).
  • Wearing our ‘I heart Cathe’ tank tops that were a huge success with the group of 8 of us wearing them proudly and getting not only a great shot with Cathe, but a group shot with the other instructors in her DVDs! Amazing (and we’re sooooo making it to the Cathe calendar again this year, I can feel it!)
  • Loving doing a bazillion jumping jacks – NOT. Wow, I never realized a) how much I hate them and b) how hard it is to jack when your calves are on fire. Why were they on fire? Step class! They always kill me. I’m literally hobbling around as we speak. But a good pain…no pain, no gain!
  • Sweating more than I have ever sweat before in spin class (which was back to back to bootcamp class). I was literally completely drenched from head to toe and had no towel and was sitting there in complete awe that I could in fact be sweating as much as I was. Can you tell I love a good adrenaline rush?!
  • By the numbers? 8 workouts – spin (our bonus class we took Fri morning before things kicked off, cuz why not!) and step/kickboxing on Friday night, step/abs, bootcamp, spin, yoga, and cardio core circuit/upper body weights on Saturday (and Zumba that night but I watched only, had no more energy left!) and lower body blast/plyo legs this morning. Total calorie burn? about 2500 calories throughout the weekend. Damn.
  • Sneaking a glass (or two!) of wine during our shower/rest break before dinner at the gym Saturday night. Seriously the wine could have been 2-buck-chuck and it would have tasted like a $50 bottle of wine. Much-needed and savored!

So, all in all, it was a fantastic weekend. I had an amazing time with everyone from last year, and meeting new friends this year. Looking back, a lot has changed in the year that I’ve been at the roadtrip, but a lot has also stayed the same, and though some of the things that have stayed the same (like still being single) felt like a bit of a downer at first, I feel good, I know my life is on the track it should be and quite frankly, I feel blessed.

Hope you enjoyed your weekends – and here are a few pics from the weekend below.

Jess and me upon our arrival Thurs night - all smiles pre-RT!

Our crew of chicks with our cute 'I Heart Cathe' tank tops that were a huge hit!

Scored a group shot with the 4 other instructors that are in Cathe's DVDs!

Group shot with Cathe and she has her hand on my arm - star moment 😉

Pre-5-workout day (and pre-sweat)

Yay - Cathe and me!!

Jess and me sporting our super cute 'Cathelete' tshirts at brunch today.

We’re off today, folks – a caravan of fantastic friends, including my sister Jess,  our friends sisters Andrea and Jen (this is their second RT), Shannon (her first RT!) as well as Heather (who I am so excited to meet when she arrives tomorrow!!), and friends from last year coming again this year. It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be “wicked hahhhd,” it’s going to be tiring, but it’s going to be memorable and one of the highlights of this summer – and year – for sure.

Here’s a taste of what we’re in for – the schedule!

Friday
3:45 PM “THE CATHE BUSES” DEPART FROM HOTELS FOR GYM.

4:15 – 4:50 PM – ROAD TRIPPERS’ REGISTRATION AND SHOPPING

4:50 – 5:15 PM- Road Trippers change clothes for class.

5:15 – 6:15 PM- FIRST CATHE CLASS
Join Cathe as she leads us through a grin-filled hour to start Road Trip 2010 with a bang. The energy in the room will blow you away!!!! CLASS FORMAT: 30 minutes of step and 30 minutes of kickboxing (WOO!)

6:15 – 6:45 PM- Time to freshen up!

6:45 – 8:45 PM- 2010 ROAD TRIP MEET & GREET PARTY AT CATHE’S GYM
Our hostess Cathe invites you to join her as we continue the Road Trip kickoff evening in high spirits! After you change into comfy and casual clothes we’ll enjoy lots of yummy food, beverages, prizes, hugs and an introduction to all the fun of your upcoming weekend! Remember to wear ONLY soft-soled shoes (e.g., sneakers or flip flops) in the gym. Also, bring a pair of PJs or yoga-ish clothes for a special treat – our end-of-evening Pajamas Nightcap Stretch Class!

8:45 – 9:00 PM – Road Trippers, change into your Jammies!

9:00 – 9:45 PM – SECOND CATHE CLASS — Pajamas Nightcap Stretch Class

9:45 – 10:00 PM – Road Trippers, QUICKLY gather your gear!

10:00 PM BUSES DEPART GYM TO RETURN TO HOTELS

Saturday
6:30 – 7:15 AM BREAKFAST SERVED AT HOTELS

7:15 AM BUSES DEPART HOTELS FROM FRONT DOOR OF FAIRFIELD INN

8:00 – 8:30 AM OFFICIAL ROAD TRIP GROUP PHOTO WITH CATHE
Photographer comes to do one big group shot of the 2010 Cathe Road Trip attendees with Cathe.

8:30 – 8:45 AM Break to grab your water and get ready for class!

8:45 – 9:45 AM THIRD CATHE CLASS
Join Cathe as she leads us through a high energy step class followed by killer core. CLASS FORMAT: 50 minutes Step/10 minutes Abs

9:45 – 10:15 AM Break for bathroom, cleanup, change clothes, shop, photo op, autograph op, then split into Groups A and B.

10:15 – 11:15 AM – We’ll split into two groups (A and B) of about 50 people each for the next two hours. As one group spends a little quality time with Cathe, <wicked wink , the other group will have a choice of two activities. Then we’ll switch places!

GROUP “A”: Road Trippers each choose:
• Q&A Info Session with Chris Williams, Cathe’s business partner OR
• Yoga Fit class with Nikki, a staff instructor at FSHS
AND
GROUP “B”: FOURTH CATHE CLASS – Boot Camp…run, jump, pump sweat

11:15 – 11:30 AM Break for Groups A and B to switch places!

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM GROUP “B”: Road Trippers each choose:
• Q&A Info Session with Chris Williams, Cathe’s business partner OR
• Yoga Fit class with Nikki, a staff instructor at FSHS

AND

GROUP “A” : FOURTH CATHE CLASS – Boot Camp…. run, jump, pump sweat

12:30 – 12:40 PM Cleanup break

12:40 – 2:15 PM LUNCH AND…
Ahhhhhhhhhh… After a quick change into fresh clothes, it’s time to refuel with yummy food and refreshing beverages. We’ve included extra time for socializing, taking pics, autograph signing too.

2:15 – 2:30 PM Bathroom/change clothes/shopping/pics/autographs/hugs from new friends

2:30 – 3:30 PM FIFTH CATHE CLASS
Okay Cathletes, it’s time to put your game faces back on! Let’s finish our day STRONG with another great hour of nonstop fitness. CLASS FORMAT: 30 minutes CARDIO CORE CIRCUIT/ 30 minutes INTENSE UPPER BODY CONDITIONING…YOWSA!

3:30 – 3:45 PM Road Trippers, gather your gear!

3:45 PM BUSES DEPART GYM TO RETURN TO HOTELS

4:00 – 6:00 PM Shower and dress in casual, comfy clothes you can move & groove in! Ahhh! That shower feels GOOD!

6:00 PM BUSES DEPART FROM HOTELS FROM FRONT DOOR OF FAIRFIELD INN

6:30 – 10:00 PM -FITNESS FEAST ……Plus 15 Minutes Of Fame, and ZUMBA DANCE PARTY AT CATHE’S GYM

AT 6:30pm, Cathe is your hostess once again for a delicious catered dinner. Let’s relax together, continue getting to know each other and give our tired bodies a little rest & refueling before we hit the fitness floor together AGAIN for the night! Yes, you read right, lol….

AT 8:15pm it’s time for 15 Minutes Of Fame. Workout live on the set with Cathe and cast for a quick minute (you can do anything for a minute, wink) and give Cyndi (our awesome RT Cathlete photographer) your camera so she can capture your lifetime memory for you. Don’t worry, you won’t be up there alone, other Cathletes will join you too. But wait there is more.

At 8:45pm, after everyone has had their famous moment captured on the set, we will all head back to the main fitness room for our ZUMBA DANCE PARTY!!!! If you are unfamiliar with ZUMBA, it is the hottest fitness craze sweeping the nation right now (check out ZUMBA.com). I’ve invited guest instructor Gladys (born and raised in Puerto Rico and one of our top instructors here at the gym for 25 years) to come share her ZUMBA moves and grooves with all of us. If you don’t want to ZUMBA, no worries, just enjoy the party!!! The latin passion Gladys exudes while performing is worth the entertainment itself. Bring or wear Sneakers and comfortable workout attire !!!!

AT 9:45pm ….GATHER GEAR FOR THE BUSES
10:00 PM BUSES DEPART GYM TO RETURN TO HOTELS

Sunday

Time Activity

6:00 – 6:30 AM BREAKFAST SERVED AT HOTELS

6:30 AM BUSES DEPART FROM HOTELS FROM FRONT DOOR OF FAIRFIELD INN

7:00 – 8:00 AM SIXTH CATHE CLASS
C’mon Cathletes, you can do anything for… an hour! Let’s make it a good one! CLASS FORMAT: Lower Body Blast combined with Plyometric bursts….Yes you can!!!

8:00 – 8:30 AM Time for a quick clean-up before the bus comes!

8:30 AM BUSES DEPART FROM CATHE’S GYM FOR FIVE POINTS DINER

9:00 – 10:45 AM FAREWELL BRUNCH AT FIVE POINTS DINER
We’ve earned it and now it’s time for some sinfully good New Jersey diner food, and one last chance to take pictures, exchange addresses and phone numbers with new friends, and enjoy some great big hugs!

11:00 AM BUSES DEPART FROM FIVE POINTS DINER TO RETURN TO HOTELS

How bout them apples?! This will be a blast – and if you are REALLY interested, there *might* be a webcam showing some of our workouts (though I can’t promise you’ll see us, there ARE 100 of us!)

I’ll leave you with a pic of a few of us from last year – and many, many more pics and a recap to come. Have a wonderful weekend all! (and I’ll have a few posts up in the next few days too).

And yes, we're wearing our I heart Cathe tanks again this year!

And yes, we're wearing our I heart Cathe tanks again this year!

These are some of the girls coming, and posing with Cathe (center)

These are some of the girls coming, and posing with Cathe (center)

How many times do you have to hear:

“you’ll find it when you’re not looking for it”

or

“everything happens for a reason”

before you want to just shake everyone who says it and say “but that’s not good enough?”

Sometimes, it’s exactly what I want and need to hear, other times, it feels like a “placeholder” comment when there is nothing else to say or no other advice but to “wait it out” and sometimes these statements tend to feel empty. And other times still, it’s a comment to something I’ve said IRL or blogged about in a completely humorous or funny way (last night’s post is a great example of a post fully intending to be funny, not serious, and I loved all the comments and feedback, you guys rock!) and I still get those types of comments sometimes and wonder if I just come off the wrong way.

While I completely and utterly believe these statements – I really do – I also think that said too often, or just tossed in “for good measure” tends to get old. Fast. As if I haven’t heard it before, as if I don’t believe it, as if I don’t blog about it (quite!) often. Now, I hope this isn’t coming across as a rant, because I don’t mean it to be whatsoever.

I am thankful to be blessed with a family of IRL friends and family and blog friends that I really couldn’t ask for more. It’s just something I’ve picked up on (and in part as part of a very funny Facebook convo I had last night!) and become much more aware of it. After hearing it so often, maybe I’m just hypersensitive to it to the point that it feels like an insult once in awhile. As in “no duh. I get it. I know it will happen when I least expect it, but can’t I still want for it, or think about it, or talk about it? Is that okay?”

It’s ironic to me that this post idea popped into my head in the last few days considering that my dating life really isn’t at the top of my mind at the moment. I’m not even really harping on it in my head, I’m trying to release as much as possible, and well, I’m just busy enjoying my summer, and that’s clearly helping too…but I think this topic and these statements are universal to a lot of situations – to loss of job, to divorce, to break-ups, to friendship woes, to financial strains, and yea, to finding love…but I hope anyone reading this actually can relate and agrees…am I off-base? Am I being too sensitive?

**To be honest, I actually had this idea for a post to be completely humorous, because I know there are many cliches that everyone says and hears all the time and it becomes a running joke, but this turned into a post that I ended up thinking more and more about…and the more I think about it, the more the worrier in me wonders if anyone will even “get” what I mean. I hope you do. It’s just an observation. It’s definitely NOT meant at anyone, as I would never, ever blog on something that should be spoken directly to someone if that were the case. So, after reading, I hope you still love me, friends!**

As I am just a few hours away from heading back up to my serenity – Maine – with my sister Jess, and my brother-in-law Scott, and one of my bestest, Amy, and Eric (woohoo!), I’m feeling pretty damn good, so I thought today’s quote Friday perfectly states it:

“Kick off your shoes, spread your toes, and ground yourself in the present.”

I plan to do nothing but that over the next 6 days and breathe it all in. I leave you with this pic – on the dawn of the last morning from my Fourth of July trip – it’s breathtaking, isn’t it? Serenity…is almost mine.

PS – this is my 500th post! Amazing. Go blog, go!

Hi friends!

Well, I’m feeling super discombobulated as I’m ending a stressful day at work (why is it that work feels *that* much more stressful and hectic before vacation? I mean, really, that’s just not nice…and it’s only 3 work days, not even a full week!), and while I have a few thoughts percolating for blog posts, they are swirling in my brain mindlessly so I tuck them away for later.

And since I have been blessed with some new readers that have some pretty fantastic blogs, I thought I’d share a few more with ya’ll, since I haven’t done one of these little recaps lately. Here goes:

  • Sylvest Walsh’s blog: The fact that the subtitle of her blog is “the stronger the wind, the tougher the trees” is one indication of why I love her blog (so far!). She has a really cool reason for the title of her blog, she too is divorced and I find a lot of what she says I can totally relate to (and I must say, she read Snark‘s ENTIRE blog in a couple of nights after stumbling across it, I think, from mine…how very cool is that?! And um, check out her ‘reality checks‘ – they are hysterical.
  • Magnolia: She’s just about 30 (woohoo for 30!), going towards a graduate law degree, and I just love her writing. And she’s super sweet in all she writes in response to my posts. Touched. Much more I need to dig into on hers.
  • Life Uncensored: I was really lucky to meet Ronda at Bloggers in Sin City in May as she is also divorced (and around my age) and is writing about dating and post-divorce life, and well, just some really honest writing that I love. We definitely see eye to eye on a lot and heck, she is a runner too *high five* Check her out.
  • cattails.me: Another friend from Bloggers in Sin City and another post-divorce find…and she just celebrated her divorce-sary today – you’re awesome, you’re a beautiful writer and I love what you have to say!

So, there you have it – a few new reads to my ever-expanding blogroll (no idea how I manage to somewhat keep up with everyone but I do try, because reading all of your blogs is like reading a good book you don’t want to put down, and you are all part of my family in a way. XO all!

…and now back to cleaning and packing for M-A-I-N-E! Woo! 🙂