My first Indian Wedding Experience

I hope everyone had a fantastic long weekend and (if you’re American) took some time to remember those who died serving our country.

My weekend started out with the usual 6:30 AM class followed by an easy 6.5 mile run. The first 2.5 miles of this easy paced run were not so easy because I had to pee and I knew how far the next available restroom was! I’ve never hated elastic-waist pants so much.

Later that day, Kyle and I went to my friend’s wedding! It was our first time at an Indian wedding. Soooo cool to see all the culture and traditions! He arrived on a horse, and she arrived in a horse-drawn carriage!

indian wedding

My friend told me that saris weren’t necessary, but highly encouraged! I was pretty excited to wear one! Here we are on Saturday for the ceremony (Sunday was the reception = excuse to wear 2 different outfits :) )

indian wedding sari

After a long day on Saturday, Sunday I didn’t feel hydrated enough to do my typical long run. Instead, Kyle and I went on a 25 mile bike ride and I discovered 1) I hate the wind and 2) I hate my bike from middle school. Yep, it’s that old. Time for an upgrade.

bike ride

After we got back and cleaned up, it was time for my friend’s wedding reception!

indian wedding reception

Just like on Saturday night, I was trying not to drink too much to avoid having to pee! Those saris are not easy to work with!

indian wedding sari

I was told that it’s pretty common to help each other out in the restroom at Indian weddings. Thank goodness! 2 events later and I still don’t know how to drape a sari. If all women were as helpful as the women in the restroom, we would rule the world. Just sayin’.

Such a wonderful experience and I felt so honored to be invited! Doesn’t the beautiful couple look like royalty?

sheb and raj wedding

How do you distract yourself when you have to pee while running?

Are you comfortable on a bike? NOOOO! I like my feet to make frequent contact with the ground, thank you.

Have you ever worn a sari?

Coolest wedding you’ve ever been to?

So you want to go back to school?

Recently I’ve had a lot of people ask me about going back to grad school while working full-time and staying in half marathon shape year-round. I remember feeling lost and not knowing what it was like, so I love offering my 2 cents! I’m certainly not an expert, but this post is about what is working for me.

First, a little background:

For those who don’t know, I’m a scientist at a biotech company in their Department of Infectious Diseases. We help to make assays (tests) that detect infectious diseases (e.g. HIV, HPV, Dengue, etc.). I have an awesome boss that is completely supportive of me going back to school (and he actually pushed me to go for it while I’m young)! I work a normal Mon-Fri, 7AM-4PM (I prefer that over 8AM-5PM) work week. I also am getting my Masters in Public Health from the George Washington University (based in DC) online.

Here’s a typical week, minus a lot of details obviously:

SUNDAY

  • Long, easy run (or rest day)
  • Prep for this week’s classes
  • Make grocery list and check coupons (not so fun fact- I’ve become really good at couponing/sales, while continuing to buy 95% healthy items)

MONDAY

  • Workout class during lunch
  • After work:
    • Cook dinner
    • Prep for Tuesday’s class

TUESDAY

  • Run at lunch
  • After work:
    • Class from 5-7PM
    • Kyle cooks if he gets home before I’m out of class (if he knows ahead of time that he won’t beat me, I’ll make a crockpot dinner that I start in the morning so dinner is ready when he gets home)
    • Relax with Kyle

WEDNESDAY

  • Class work during lunch, OR grocery shopping
  • After work:
    • Speed work run
    • Cook dinner
    • Relax with Kyle (if I’m caught up on class work)

THURSDAY

  • Run at lunch
  • After work:
    • Grocery shopping (if I didn’t get it done on Wednesday)
    • Cook dinner
    • Prep for Saturday’s class

FRIDAY

  • Class work during lunch
  • After work:
    • REST DAY (For working out, that is- unless I know I’ll miss a run over the weekend)
    • Cook dinner
    • Prep for Saturday’s class- but I’m usually caught up by then so I can do something with Kyle

SATURDAY

  • 6:30-8AM class (yes it sucks, but I prefer this so I can have the rest of my day)
  • Run immediately after class- typically speed work
  • FREE TIME (unless I have a project or test)

Okay, so now that I’ve put half of you to sleep, here are my tips for balancing grad school (or maybe you want to take a course, get certified in something, etc.) + working full-time + staying active + life, all without wanting to shoot yourself in the foot, just so you can have some time off.

Plan

This sounds like an obvious one, but it is completely necessary. Plan your errands, study time, workouts, meal prepping, etc. It also helps me to actually write it out (visual person). It might take you a while to come up with a plan that works for you and your family, partner, etc. Let your family/friends know that you have things scheduled like a German train station, so they know if they are to plan an event that they need to let you know well in advance.

sonora family trip

A recent trip we planned FAR in advance so I could work around school. We went to Sonora to watch Kyle’s sister in a musical. (She is not pictured, neither is my dad)

Have a good support system

Before I started school, I told my mom and Kyle that it was their job to talk me back into school when I wanted to quit. Their pep talks were very necessary at the beginning (and still the occasional one now and then).

mother's day 2015

Celebrating our mama on Mother’s Day

Ditch the negativity

We’re going to take a little advice from my girl T. Swift- shake it off.

I had a few people who weren’t all that supportive of my goals. Some who didn’t get why I wanted to go back to school. And several who kept referring to my grad school program as “just online.” Haters gonna hate. But you gotta ditch the negativity. Life is too short to have “friends” who don’t support you.

For the record- my classes are online, but completely live. We log in at specific times, have a webcam on us, and we are in class with actual GWU professors and students. Say/think what you will.

Schedule fun and relaxing time

Yes, it is sad that you have to schedule fun time, but you will go crazy if you only work and study.

Fun time with my buddy

Fun time with my buddy

Ask for help

My parents will laugh at this one because one of my first phrases was, “I do it myself.” I’m the type of person that likes to do everything myself and never ask for help. It’s stressful. And unnecessary. I’m workin’ on it.

I had a few meltdowns when I first started school because I was just handling too much. Kyle and I had just purchased/moved in to our first house, my cat that I had since 7 yo had just passed, I decided to train for my first marathon, and Kyle broke his leg. I felt like I had to tackle everything myself so Kyle and his healing leg wouldn’t have to do anything. Whoops.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Realize that something’s gotta give. See above.

P.S. Her beach house is my dream house.

Don’t skip out on fun events

This goes back to the whole planning and scheduling thing. Try NOT to pass up on fun weekends, events, etc. Think about how much time away from studying this event will be. Compare that number to the ACTUAL amount of hours you would be studying (eliminate Facebook stalking, Instagramming, BuzzFeed quizzes, etc.) if you didn’t go. You get the idea.

Listen to your body

Remember that you’re human and need sleep. You may create workout schedules and have “Rest Days,” but sometimes the shit hits the fan and you’re more exhausted than initially anticipated. Rest. If you don’t listen to your body, you will get sick (which just wastes time!).

Keep your eye on the prize

Remember why you are going back to school, taking that class, etc. Eye. On. The. Prize. I promise it is completely doable with a lot of hard work and planning! If I can do it, so can you!

How do you deal with chaotic life schedules?

Who else feels like they’re taking crazy pills

Anyone else go back to school while working full-time?

What’s New Wednesday

Hi friends!

Since I haven’t talked to y’all in a while, I decide to call this post, “What’s New Wednesday.”

1. My sissy is done with college!

Whattttt? Yep. She finished her last quarter a little while ago, but will walk with the rest of her friends in the June graduation ceremony. Very weird to me.

This was my college graduation 3 years ago!

This was my college graduation 3 years ago!

2. Kyle and I are setting aside quality “us time”

When you have work, grad school, family stuff, house projects, train for half marathons, etc., it’s so easy to forget about “us time.” Kyle and I are only in our 20’s and we realized we need to have more selfish time together while we’re young!

One new rule is that during the work week, the cell phones go away as soon as dinner starts and stay away until we start getting ready for the next day. (We turn them on loud for emergencies and such, but texts and emails are a no- again, unless emergencies).

We’re also bringing out the Date Jar I made for Kyle a little while ago. I’m more excited about these date ideas than I was last year because I cannot remember what I wrote!

date jar valentine's day

3. Bocce Ball is fun!

bocce ball

I like this photo because I appear tall ;) I may or may not be standing on a ledge…

I have “played” once before at a work function, but it was mostly a lot of socializing and very little game playing.

Tough day at the office

The outdoor courts

Kyle’s dad’s company threw him a going away party (he is switching companies), and it was held at Campo di Bocce. A lot of fun and a lot of yummy food!

4. My next half marathon is about a month away!

Okay, so that’s not technically new news because the date of the race has not changed. But- it’s new because I just realized ;)

I’m particularly excited about this one because my grandpa is going to watch! The race is near his house so my family will stay at his house, and then I’ll drag them out of bed on race day to watch me sweat a bunch. I haven’t told them that the race starts at 6:30 AM yet. This conversation won’t happen until the night before.

I’m also excited because I get to run with Michelle (she generously offered me the race entry!)! I haven’t seen her since my first marathon last November! BTW she just ran Boston :)

run michelle me

Here we are after one of my long runs during marathon training last year. She’s just the sweetest and offered to run with me when I had to start tackling those 20 mile runs…

Anyways, I was hoping for a PR for this half marathon since I haven’t had one in a while, but unfortunately I just haven’t been all that speedy lately. I did add speed work to my training, so we’ll see.

What’s new with you?

Did it feel weird when a younger sibling, cousin, etc. graduated from college?

Do you have quality “us time” with your partner?

Have you played bocce ball?