Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Running Widow

You've heard of golf widows, right?? Their husbands are always out on the course and their wives never see them. Well, I'm a running widow. My husband goes for runs at least 4 times a week. Sometimes the run is a short 40 minutes, other times it's a long 2.5 hours. I know my running-loving husband would LOVE if he could share this hobby with his wife, but she's a running-hater. Oh, I try. I THINK I could maybe do a 5K (~3 mi) right now, but that's about it and I'd be struggling. Oh, and running outside and running on a treadmill are not the same. I discovered this when I started bootcamp. I could run 5K on the treadmill no problem, but I couldn't run around the Papal Cross twice without feeling like I was going to die. Suffice it to say, I will forever be a running widow.

Wes ran in the Dublin Marathon on Monday. His reachable goal was to get a better time than he got at the Connemarathon which was 3:10:25. His super goal was to get a sub-3 hour time. He's been training like a fanatic (even though it's pointed out to me numerous times that there are guys out there with FAMILIES who run more miles than him per week), so I knew he had a pretty good shot with at least the reachable goal. The marathon started at 9am and the weather was really perfect - mostly cloudy skies and cool temps. The route took him up through Phibsborough which isn't far from our apartment, so I went up there to cheer him on. There was a bigger crowd than I had expected and even cars that were passing the runners would honk and cheer them on. It was pretty cool! Anyway, it was only mile 2.5 and I have to say, he looked like he was struggling a bit. I was kind of worried, but I figured they had just ran up a hill to get there and if it were me, I'd already be walking, so I just headed off and prayed that he made it all the way around! The route for this marathon wasn't the best in that it made a huge circle around Dublin. I prefer routes where you can easily hop over a river or something and see them a few miles later. So, I basically had two hours to kill until I could see him again in the city centre. I did this with my book, coffee, and window shopping. I ended up seeing him again around mile 25.5, which was by Grafton Street. There was a really good crowd there since it was close to the finish line. He came around the corner and I checked my watch and knew he had a really good chance of meeting his super goal! I thought he looked pretty good, but apparently, that was a ruse.

In the end, he ended up doing 3:00:25!!! Just 25 seconds from his super goal, but he shaved off 10 minutes from his last marathon. I'm really proud of him! He said that around mile 19 he had to stop and stretch because he was cramping up. He only stopped for about 20 seconds because he knew if he didn't get going again he never would. Then, unbeknownst to me, right after I saw him by Grafton Street he was passing the 26 mile marker and it felt like a knife was driven into his calf. Come hell or high water he was going to finish! And he did!

And we hobbled home.

Wes (in the blue shirt) around mile 25.5.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Restaurant Review - Gruel

I've never done one of these before and since we like to eat out, I figured I would start talking about the places we go. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures this time, but I won't make that same mistake again!

Wes needed to pick up his registration pack for the marathon, so we decided to walk to the RDS since it was such a nice day and we would get brunch on the way. I suggested we stop at Gruel because it was recommended to me when I was complaining about the quality of brunch in Ireland and I've heard from others it's pretty good.

The inside of the restaurant looks kind of like a 1950s dive diner in the US. It's very cute and kind of made me feel like I was eating in my great grandmother's kitchen with hip music playing and funky posters hanging around. There was only one other person eating in there at the time and he was reading a book called, 'Physics for Future Presidents'. Riiiiight....moving along.....They had a brunch menu which was nice and varied. I almost got a Mediterranean BLT which was an open faced BLT on foccacia bread with parmesean cheese. Instead, Wes got his old standby of eggs benedict, I had eggs florentine, and we each got a cup of coffee. Obviously, the coffee came out first. To say we were disappointed would be an understatement. It was the smallest cup of coffee ever. It tasted good, but 1950s dive diners would have had bottomless cups of coffee with refill after refill. So at 2.40 for the cup, we weren't too happy about that. Then our food came out. I'm am seriously kicking myself for not taking a picture. It was the biggest plate of food I have seen in a long time. Both dishes were two HUGE poached eggs each placed on a very thick piece of bread. Wes' had huge slabs of ham under the eggs (of which I was totally jealous) and mine had spinach, all slathered in hollandaise sauce. But, the kicker was they had a side of roasted potatoes. POTATOES!!! For a country that loves potatoes in all forms, they don't really seem to eat them for breakfast. This is a crying shame. There was also a bit of salad on the side, but whatever. At 8.95 for each of our breakfasts this was a great deal. It was so much food that I could only eat one of my eggs. Normally, Wes would have eaten the rest of my food, but he was stuffed from his own plate. Thankfully we had a long walk ahead of us so we could work some of this off!

All in all it was a GREAT place to go for brunch. My only recommendation would be that they would offer free refills on coffee. In addition to brunch, they also offer a supper menu in the evenings and I think we may have to try it out one night. The food was delicious!

68 Dame Street
Dublin 2

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Yahoo!!! I was in Fresh picking up some things for dinner. I found a recipe last night for peach cobbler and I decided I would get some canned peaches. I literally jumped back when I saw this on the bottom shelf! It's a bit rich at 3.10 per can, but I do plan on stocking up. There is no reason why one should be reduced to having pumpkin available to them for 2 months out of the year. That's a crime against humanity!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Patience is not my virtue

I'm all over the place these days. Well, mentally all over the place because physically I'm sitting in the same ol' spot that I sit in all day. I didn't get the job that I interviewed for last week. It's a bummer, but it's not the end of the world. The position was interesting, but not exactly what I want to do. There were parts of the job description that I really doubted my ability in doing. However, other than the obvious things this job would have offered, like a paycheck, the more important thing it was going to offer was clarity. It would have made things a bit clearer for the next, oh, five years! But, I didn't get it and now we're back to wondering what we're going to do when Wes' contract is up next summer. This is where my mind starts whacking out.

Do we move to the US? (sub categories of this include: expensive visa for Wes, moving an older cat, when would we start looking for job, how would we handle the extra expenses of healthcare and a car if we're only on one salary to start, I could get my stuff out of storage!, what if Wes hates it)

Do we move to the UK? (sub categories of this include: pitiful salaries compared to the US and Ireland, we would have to sort out a visa for me, it wouldn't be as far of a move for Little Kitty, no healthcare concerns, most of the jobs we would be interested in are in London and we don't want to live in London, we're further away from both our families, we both liked living there)

Do we stay in Ireland? (sub categories of this include: if I stay for 3 years I can get citizenship, no extreme moving for Little Kitty, the lack of jobs in our field right now is staggering, we would have somewhat of a cushion as Wes could claim benefits for a little while after his contract is up if necessary, the proximity to Europe is a definite bonus, healthcare is cheaper, we both like living here)

Throw in the whole 'when and where do we start a family' conundrum and my mind is racing! I do try to think about how it is an exciting time for us. The world is our oyster! We could go anywhere! But, it would be nice if we had an idea where that was going to be. Some days I feel like I'm just sitting here waiting for the rest of my life to start and it's not a nice feeling.

Apparently something is supposed to be happening in the budget for higher education in Ireland in February. Wes wants to wait until then before we make any decisions. Waiting involves patience and this is definitely not my virtue.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Botanic Gardens

Saturday was a beautiful day and I was anxious to get outside and enjoy the fall weather. We decided to go to the Botanic Gardens in the hopes that we'd we would see some leaves changing. There were some, not as many as I'd like, but I was able to kick through some leaves and hug some trees. Wes wouldn't take any pictures of me hugging trees. :-( The gardens were really beautiful and I look forward to going back in the spring! Here are some pictures from the day, in no particular order.

Flowers as big as Wes' head!

Little wee pine cones

Pretty foliage

Our standard shot!

Very, very tall palms!

There was a sculpture exhibition. This one was my favorite.

Tiny little orchids

One of the greenhouses

The ONLY fall display in the place. It was a little disappointing.

After the Botanic Gardens we went across the street for lunch at the pub. Then we went into town and met Mary-Liz for a coffee. I had a chai latte which was delish! I love to drink chai when the weather cools down. After coffee we headed over to the Market Bar for a pint. Neither Wes nor I had ever been there, so it was nice to go someplace new! All in all it was a really great day!

Friday, October 16, 2009

My baby's in the hospital

That's right....I just dropped my laptop off to be fixed. WAAHHH!!!! I'm thinking it's something with the ethernet card because it's not connecting to the internet, but if I really knew then I probably could have fixed it myself! If that is indeed what is the issue, it shouldn't take too long to fix. Or so I've been told. I'm using Wes' laptop which I H.A.T.E. So, I'm anxious to get mine back.

In happier news, I went to Fallon & Byrne to check on the pumpkin situation. Still not canned pumpkin, but I did manage to pick up some sourdough hard pretzels made in Altoona, PA (Grandma Furry represent!) and strawberry Twizzlers. I stopped before I bought some Milk Duds and A&W Root Beer. Maybe that's what I'll get the next time I go looking for pumpkin!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gifts for little wee ones

There are some wonderful people in the world. I am not one of them. But, Sara Nunn is. She has a project where she collects gifts to give to families who have preemie babies in the hospital. Here is the mission from her blog which can be found HERE:

Preemie Presents Mission

The goal of Preemie Projects is to give gifts to parents who are stuck in the hospital with preemies over the holiday season. I am a stay at home mom of two boys, one of whom was born 6 weeks prematurely. My hope is that with each holiday this project gets bigger and I receive more help, therefore giving me the ability to touch that many more lives. Please contact me if you want to help in any way.

How selfless is that?? She's located in Illinois, so if you are reading this from overseas and want to help out, you can contact her and ask how to help!

I'm really glad there are people like her in the world.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sweet ride!

This picture is from the website

We saw one of these contraptions yesterday when we were in town. I think it's genius! I told Wes we need to have a baby so we can get one of these. Then I'll sit on the attachment and he can push the baby and I.

I am a lazy so and so.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Six months of wedded bliss?

Yesterday was our 6 month wedding anniversary, so I thought that might be a good time to reflect. I also haven't posted anything in awhile and I've been racking my brain as to what to write about since things haven't been too terribly exciting around here.

Being married is hard. There, I said it. In the first few months that we were married, people would constantly ask me, 'How's married life?' I really hate that question and I will never, ever ask anyone the same thing. This is because the answer everyone wants to hear is, 'Oh, it's wonderful!'. No one really wanted to hear my response of, 'Married life is hard.' I could tell this perplexed people when I said it. So I started saying, 'Oh, it's wonderful!' and they would go away. I should also qualify this statement for people who don't really know me very well....I'm not the overtly romantic-type. I'm not a gusher. You're not going to hear me screaming my love for my husband from the rooftops. Not because I don't feel it, but because I'm not that type. In fact, I wish I was more that type and sometimes I try, but it just doesn't come natural to me.

It's not Wes that makes being married hard, it's me. Getting married for the first time when you're 34 has its pros and cons. I am a very independent person with a good sense of myself and am able to bring my own personality to our relationship making us a great team. This sounds like a pro, right? Well, I could say I'm a very independent person who knows what she wants and is used to thinking only for herself and now has to learn to compromise and be part of a team. Then it kind of turns into a con. No one wants to get married, only to discover how much of a bitch they can be, right?? Yeah.

My unwillingness to give up my bitchiness led to disagreements about whose way is the better way. And it's hard to believe, but my way is the better way only about 90% of the time. Who knew!? Some of the best advice I can give to newly married people is to talk to already married people. I was in the US chatting with some of my girlfriends and they reflected on their early days of being married: 'You use Tide?? But I use Cheer!!' And my one friend told me that her and her husband bought their own milk for a whole year (her's was organic skim and his just skim) because they couldn't compromise on this. THANK YOU! This is what I needed to hear!!! Oh, thank god we're normal! You can even take it to the next level by hanging out with old married people. You can learn a lot from them.

Six months on I can say that being married is awesome. A few weeks ago I said to Wes how I feel like we've turned a bit of a corner and things just keep getting better and better. It's been hard, probably the hardest thing I've ever done, but it was the best thing I've ever done. Ever. I've learned my capabilities, my limitations, my strengths, my challenges, and the depth of my own feelings. I've tapped into feelings I never knew I had. Should I head to the rooftop to start proclaiming my love for this man?? I'm not that type.