The Outlaw Life

running, reading, blogging, loving

Sunday Funday: Easter Edition

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He is risen, He is risen indeed! Hope you and yours had a lovely weekend!

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Things I thought while swimming

1.) So much for my whole “if you don’t sweat it doesn’t count” philosophy! There wasn’t any sweating, but this one DEFINITELY counted.

2.) Do certain smells ever remind you less of a specific person and more a general feeling? The smell of rain in the air will always remind me of waking home after early season softball games and feeling …is it cheesy to say infinite? Probably, but there you have it!

3.) After a while your legs go numb, and then the difference between 25 minutes and 45 minutes is really kind of whatever.

4.) They should paint guidelines for the ceiling for when you’re doing the back stroke. Because those pool lane dividers CAN scratch up your elbows!

5.) I veer left in the lane, but am right handed. Odd?

6.) I miss my California family, which is odd because I don’t miss them often, but especially some of my cousins.

7.) No wonder Michael Phelps eats like 12,000 calories a day.

8.) If mermaids were a real thing, would they be nice like The Little Mermaid in the movie, or mean, like little underwater harpies?

9.) I need to re-watch the movie Fresh, because money is tight and its good for a reminder as to why its important to buy organic when we can.

10.) When I get out of the pool, and gravity is a thing again, am I going to be able to stand up?

45 minutes in the pool with only your thoughts sure does lead to one crazy mental meandering! But it felt GREAT to swim (gotta love a high calorie burning but sweat free workout!) and I spent the whole 45 minutes doing sets of 1×50 backstroke followed by two 2×50 freestyle rounds, which was a time-flying combo. With that done, I’m enjoying one of these

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because Mark is getting fed at work and thus we won’t be eating together until a mini dinner way later tonight – on the menu is baked mahi mahi and roasted potatoes! I hope you all have a lovely Easter/Passover/relaxing Sunday!!

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So much for spring!

Looks like we’re back to gray, rainy days here in Kansas – even more sad after that little preview of spring!

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Mark and I are house sitting this weekend for my parents, who went to see my grandparents. Hence the awesome deck/back yard. Last night Mark and I were craving something sweet (what else is new) and REALLY wanted some of our favorite Costco chocolate and sea salt covered caramels, but who wants to drive? Or pay like 9$ a pound? Hence a little home ingenuity 🙂

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Let me tell you, they were SO. GOOD. And for, like 1/116th the price. I simply used a frying pan to smoosh the caramels flat, dipped 5 caramels in 2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips, and sprinkled sea salt on them. Pop them in the fridge to set, and BAM!! So worth it. 😀 Mark’s heading in to work soon, and I’m super exited to hit up the gym right after that because today I’ve decided to hit up the pool! I haven’t done a pool workout in FOREVER, so any suggestions/ideas anyone has would be totally welcome. I’ll check back in later to let you guys know how it goes! That pesky IT band I’d giving me trouble again, so I’m hoping that taking it no-impact for a bit might be just the ticket.

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Getting to hang out with these two all morning is definitely the best part of Mark working later. 🙂 What’s your favorite part of the day?

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Dealing with Anxiety

I actually want to cut the ‘tude usually on the blog and talk about something kind of serious today.

I struggle with anxiety. A lot. More than I think most people do, and as far as I know, I always have. I used to HATE being away from my parents as a kid because I was terrified something bad was going to happen to them while I was gone. I legitimately thought that, if something were to happen, its not that my being there would stop that mysterious thing, but at least I would be there to…say goodbye? Keep in mind I was going to Girl Scout camp when I thought this so I was, what, 10? Maybe 11? Heavy shit, right? It got to the point where I once rolled in poison ivy so that I could get sent home from camp early (note to all who think this is a good way to get out of your problems: it can take up to 10 days for the poison ivy to develop. Camp was only 7 days long. At least I went home with a memorable souvenir!). I was always that kid who left sleep overs early, and in high school I basically just avoided the problem by having my friends come to my house. Which, since I have a cool house and cool parents, they were more than willing to indulge me in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I can’t spend the night somewhere other than my own home. I just feel far less comfortable when I do.

But it’s not just being strange places that gives me anxiety. It’s being asked to do things that involve what I call “confrontations” and most people would just call, you know “normal every day social interactions”. Example: if we don’t get the thing we ordered at the drive through, I don’t go back. BETTER example: today, when Mark asked me to take our cable boxes to UPS so that they could be shipped back to AT&T (we recently cancelled our cable) I freaked out. Like, short of breath and crying freaked out. Why? No idea. I mean, some idea. Because I didn’t want to do it. DID. NOT. I didn’t want to have to take the boxes and go talk to people I didn’t know, without all the original information – Mark had talked to AT&T on the phone and had gotten the “full” directions from them – and I didn’t want to have to do it. So I just got SO. PANICKED. Please tell me I’m not the only person out there this happens to? I know it’s not good. I know it isn’t. There is no God-given reason that, at 23 years old, I can’t go out in the world and preform simple tasks. And, at the end of the day, I find a way to get through those tasks – I may not go back to the drive through, but I took the cable boxes back: one had to be done, one didn’t. So I still function perfectly well in society. But it took me, like, an hour to work up to the point where the idea of going to UPS didn’t make the bottom drop out of my stomach.

I don’t know. I know that there are things I need to get better at doing for myself in order to decrease this anxiety. I can distance myself from it, talk myself through it. I can get the vitamin D I need and follow through on my organization plans in order to try and prevent it from occurring. And, since I can still participate in my life and the life of others, I don’t feel it’s an end-of-the-world thing. I guess I just wish it wasn’t a burden I had to deal with, one I had to find a way through to begin with. You guys can sympathize, right? I sure hope so, because let me tell you – running is one of the few things that just drains all that anxiety right out of my toes.


Because it wouldn’t be me if there weren’t something lol-ing.

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Oh what a beautiful day

I can’t imagine a better start to Easter weekend than another 55° day and a killer Group Power (my gyms answer to BodyPump) class to start the day! It wad great to give the running/cardio a rest in favor of making my muscles scream.

As much as I love running and Zumba, which is a lot, I love strength training even more. 🙂 So, I’ve never gone to the gym for one of their 9:30 classes before, and let me tell you – that’s the happening hour to be at the gym. I was 5 minutes late to the class just trying to find parking. :/ I HATE being late, especially for my first time somewhere. Luckily there was this REALLY sweet girl who cleared a space next to her (the class was packed) and helped me grab my bar and plates and things.
The class was killer!! I forgot how much a solid hour of barbell work can really take it out of you, but man. By the end of class, I felt like I was shaking in muscles I didn’t know I had, lol. Even now I feel totally drained in a really fantastic way! I may go back to the gym for yoga tonight…them again, maybe not 😉

Lunch was another one of these bad boys, because the sausage was nearing its expiration date and the Annie’s was 2 for 1!

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And because I feel this post is still sadly devoid of pictures, here’s a silly one of Mark and I from his birthday

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Outlaw out. 🙂 Are you one of those habitual eaters? Or do you need that daily variety?

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Taking my feet to the street

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It’s such a gorgeous spring day outside, you guys! Kansas is finally getting its share of that spring weather poking its head out in other parts of the country, and what better way to celebrate than a run outside?!

Right before that happened, Mark and I whipped up a quick meal elementary-school style before he headed to work.

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Chicken apple sausage with Arthur-shaped Annie’s?! Yes, please. 🙂 It was the perfect fuel for my first spring run (which was also my first run with RunKeeper, and no wonder you guys keep raving about it!). I did 3.3 miles in 40:00, which is just over a 12:00/mile split. It want was even a run as I’d wanted (my splits basically went 12, 11, 12, 13) but I blame hills

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and getting distracted by suburban road warrior obstacles

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But I ended the run sweaty and happy and standing in sunshine, which is more than enough for today!

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I’ve got a closing shift tonight and Mark works until 11, so we’ll be sticking to a family favorite tonight for dinner (details tomorrow, gotta leave you wanting more 😉 ) but for now its some Naan chips and Biggest Loser reruns.

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Have you been digging spring for a while now? What’s your afternoon snack today? Favorite BL season?

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Check these stunner shades

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Hello, all! This afternoon has been quite a wonderful Birthday Celebration Part Two, complete with, you guessed it, more cake!

Lunch was basically this delicious snack plate

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because I knew before too long we’d be feasting on some mighty delicious Italian food!

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We started off at Olive Garden by splitting the fried calamari, which is some of the best I’ve ever had from a chain restaurant.

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Second course was a salad. But really I was just saving room for

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The herb and olive oil grilled salmon with a side of lemon asparagus (that’s only half – I had them box up the second half right away because I knew I’d want it later tonight!) Mark had the whole wheat linguini with spicy shrimp in cream sauce. Mmmmm

A little chocolate

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and a quick picture (OMG the squinting!)

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And then it was back to Mark’s parents house for their birthday dessert!

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We decided to head out to Lawrence for the night to go see some friends we haven’t seen in quite some time.

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If you look really hard at that last picture you can see my college dorms along the horizon toward the right side 🙂

Our friend John has recently fallen on some hard times, getting let go from his job and having internet issues (a problem in his Web centered life, lol). So in a double whammy effort to make him feel better and get a huge amount if cake out of our house, we threw him a “sorry your life sucks, hope it gets better” party

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Now the boys are doing computer stuff

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and I’m taking to you fine folks! We’ll head home before too long, since Mark has to work tomorrow – and I kind of can’t wait to have the second half of my salmon!

Do you follow any of the “how to eat out” diet tips? What’s your college town like?

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Just Call Me Paula Deen

Hello, blog lovelies! Did you miss me yesterday? I missed you guys. There was just TOO much going on yesterday, what with the official celebration of Mark’s birthday (with the Brown side of the family – the Outlaw side will be celebrating in a more low-key fashion this evening) and all!

The day started off relatively normally – a trip to the gym dressed like Rainbow Brite

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a new book to read while running my miles

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a stop by the gas station for a little post-workout nosh.

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Then the day got SUPER FUN, though, because I was put in charge of making the dessert for the night’s party, and that means I got to break out my copy of Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible. The recipes in that book are about 10,000,000,000 calories apiece, so I really only feel justified making them on special occasions, but that’s what last night was so

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May I present Paula’s triple layer red velvet cake with bourbon cream cheese icing. 😀 Yes, it is crooked. No, I don’t give two figs. Because it was delicious. As you can tell by the picture – it’s already been about half devoured.

The love of my life turned the big 2-5, meaning he’s officially half way to being old 😉 In celebration of this, my parents, our friends Alex and Rachael, and Mark and I all went out to Tanner’s, a local bar and grill, for tacos and nachos, none of which I got a picture of because ambient lighting in a sports bar does not make for attractive pictures. After tacos and the obscene amount of cake, it was time for presents! Mark got quite a few new workout outfits, but I couldn’t get him to fashion-show them for me, so I imagine they’ll be popping up on the blog in a more…organic fashion later on, and I’ll try to remember pointing them out when they do. But there WAS one gift (that may or may not have been given by his totally awesome and knowledgeable wife) he was more than happy to take a picture with

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It’s kind of hard to tell, but he’s hold the second season of Game of Thrones on blue-ray, and he’s super excited about it! Game of Thrones is one of our favorite shows, and one of the shows we actually consider worth the cost of paying to own on blue ray, so adding this one to our collection was a total score! Of course, no birthday celebration would be complete without a midnight trip to the store for one of life’s greatest necessities

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Black cherry flavored water > other flavored waters.

We’re doing a late lunch/early dinner with the Outlaw family tonight, and rumor has it we’re going to the Olive Garden, which is AMAZING. But also, you know, the Olive Garden. It’s been a pretty “tough” week as far as staying on diet and all that, but I’m just trying to be as good as possible, picking the least of all the evils on the menu and making a plan for when I can eat as best as possible. Like this morning!

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A big ole’ bowl of oatmeal with some Fiber One cereal, a Stevia packet, and lots and lots of cinnamon. And, just to keep things interesting

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a couple of chopped dried dates. 😀 See you on the flip side!

Confession: I’ve never eaten a date before this morning. Any other suggestions for yummy ways to eat them?

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A Happy Birthday to My Love

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Guess which lucky birthday boy got to come home early from work (they’ve been super dead because of the snow these past few days)?! As you can see, he wasted no time relaxing into birthday mode, and good for him 😉

Nothing says happy birthday like some of your absolute favorite Easter candy (he’s lucky his birthday is always a week before the holiday, so the pickings are prime). While I was at the store, I made sure to pick up two of his absolute favorites

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Those things are about 1,000,000,000 times better than regular jelly beans, and I dare you to defy me. They share Mark and I’s second favorite spot (his top spot goes to Peeps, obvs, which I think is crazy because hello, Reese’s egg. And, lest you think that this is the only treat Mark will be getting, rest assured that he’s got quite the goodies coming his way tomorrow (tacos, gifts, and cake). Anyone care to guess what cake will be lucky enough to grace all our plates tomorrow?

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Anyway, in an internet celebration of the love of my life, I just wanted to get all mushy and say that I don’t think I could imagine a better man to have married, a better partner to spend the rest of my life with. He takes amazing care of me, makes me laugh every. single. day., and puts up with every last crazy thing I do (this blog and constantly taking pictures of food and strangers being just a few of those things). He’s a strong, smart, determined man who every day grows more and more a better husband and man. He loves God, he loves me, and he loves the internet, all of which put him pretty high in my book 😉 I hope that he has an amazing 25th year on this Earth, and I’m excited to see what adventures come our way.

Now that that’s done, how about a few pictures of meat? We were going to have pasta tonight, but in celebration of Mark’s birthday and him being off early, we decided to go a much more all-American route

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Bacon-wrapped fillet, twice-baked potato, and oven-roasted asparagus. It really doesn’t get much better than that. And that, my dears, is how Mark and I spent his 25th birthday. We’ll be spending the rest of the night watching Bones, snacking on Peeps, and enjoying one (or two…or three) of some delectable whiskey sours

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How are you winding down your Monday? What’s your favorite birthday meal?

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Man it felt good to stretch

Let me tell you guys, todays run felt AMAZING! Yesterday was an awesome day of lounging, sleeping in, and going to my parents house in the afternoon to watch KU squeak out a win against North Carolina. Half of my bracket has pretty much been shot to hell, but Kansas is still hanging in there and that’s really all that matters.

Mark and I got to the gym way later than we would’ve liked, mostly because my brain was just not in my head this morning. I forgot my water bottle, towel, phone…it was not a pretty sight. So no pictures 😦 but I did have my Kindle, so I had my music, which is, you know, essential.

It felt SO. GOOD. to just stretch my legs and be running. Last week was lots of rest and cross-training, but almost no running. So I just took it easy, running 3.1 miles in about 36:00 (12 minutes/mile) and really felt proud of how far I’ve come so far. Its been a while since I’ve had one of those “hell yeah” runs that just makes you feel strong, proud, and confident. I just put on The Biggest Loser and 36 minutes later was still running strong 🙂

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That was a giant plate of biscuits and gravy (yes, again – we’re people of simple pleasures) but it didn’t survive long enough to get a photo. Tonight is MARK’S BIRTHDAY (happy 25th babe!!) and we’ll just be taking it easy before a night out with my family on Tuesday and his family on Wednesday! But I’m also meal planning and going to the store today, so I’m sure he’ll end up with a treat or two 😉

Happy Monday!!

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